Tag Archives: dredger

Tuesday 12th October 2021 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… today, no-one bothered me at all. I had quite a calm day today wthout having to deal with reams of phone calls, people having fits of hysteria an dall that kind of nonsense.

Last night’s sleep wasn’t as good as it might have been either. It was another one of these nights when I was tossing and turning around in bed.

Tons of stuff on the dictaphone too.

I was the owner of a helicopter last night and something had happened that meant that I was in a lot of financial difficulties over it. Some big company was trying to squeeze me out and had been serving writs and summonses on me that I’d been fighting off, not receiving and refusing to receive and so on. eventually I had to go somewhere in my helicopter and ran out of fuel and had to put down on the North European coast somewhere. So I had to land and somehow found my way back to my base but there was no food to eat or anything like that. There was a girl and a guy eating some stuff so I went to fetch their plates to wash them up but they hadn’t finished. They were playing some kind of game with a couple of cats.

There was something about a girl probably 13 or 14 driving around in an America sports car, probably in his 20s. She was clowning around in the car as if she owned it. They were just driving around like they used to do in the old days and generally showing herself off to everyone in this car.

I was in Shavington last night and they had organised a football team and it was playing friendlies. The first match that they played, they lost 2-0 and were getting ready on Sunday to play another match. They were discussing the teams, who was playing and who wasn’t, what position. I was thinking that it was a shame that they hadn’t done this a few years ago. Then a group of us headed back to the house. I was bringing back some things that I’d discovered in an old cellar. We bumped into a woman and her daughter. The daughter was on a scooter and were chatting away. The woman with me (I don’t know who it was) said “when we get back to the house I’d better get a cardboard box to put this girl’s present in. She was in fact 21 even though she only looked 13 or something. To descend into the cellar was a complicated thing. We had to move a metal grille with a pile of paper on it so this woman could go down there and get a box. half of the stuff on top of this box fell down and it was all generally confusing.

Later on my mother was going berserk about some photos that had been taken of the surrounding buildings. I had a close look at it but some of them I didn’t recognise although it was my camera. It looked to me as if someone else had been taking the photos so I was rather annoyed about this. as I tried to look my mother told me to stop wasting my time and not to bother looking through them because that was her decision anyway so I went for a walk. It turned out to be in Sandbach. I had a walk round, initially to have a look at these buildings but I don’t know what happened. I was eventually caught up in the kids coming out from school. The girls from the Grammar School were wearing big cloaks and just red tartan-coloured knickers, that’s all that they were wearing. Of course they were flirting around with a few boys, that sort of thing while they were doing it.

There was a lie-in until 07:30, which seems to be the start time these days, I had my medication, checked my mails and messages and then started to revise my Welsh ready for my lesson.

That started at 11:00 and went on until 01:30 without any problems although I made one or two simple errors that were rather embarrassing.

After lunch I had some correspondence to deal with and then I set out for town.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down on the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard Vaufleury, there’s a good view looking out over the harbour.

This afternoon, the sailing schools were out having fun this afternoon. It was a little cool and windy, but a nice sunny day so I suppose that it was the ideal kind of weather for them to be afloat out there.

Down in the harbour itself there wasn’t very much happening at all. everything seemed to be exactly as it was when we saw it yesterday afternoon.

dumper depositing sand in skip boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There was however something goin on down at the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

A dumper had turned up with a load of sand and was busy tipping it onto a container that has turned up today.

When the dumper left, I followed its course and I can now tell you that this compound and the associated machinery are here in connection with the work that we saw the other day in the Rue Cambernon.

At least, that was where it was heading when I lost sight of it.

dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further down the hill I came to the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour.

There’s something having been going on down there because the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie has shuffled round a little and all of the pipes seem to have moved somewhat.

The number of pipes doesn’t seem to have diminished any, though. I wonder when they are going to start doing something with them. The dredger has been here for a couple of weeks and someone must be paying a rental for that.

First stop was at the Health Centre. My doctor had told me that a new cardiac specialist had set up shop there so I went to try and blag an appointment with him, taking with me the letter that my doctor had given me.

Unfortunately the receptionist was rather intransigent but I did manage to coax the doctor’s phone number from her.

Next stop was at the bank. I’d had my cheque for the last three months of my state pension from Belgium, and it needed to be paid in. Now, where can I go with €90:18?

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I only worked for about 11 months in the Belgian State Pension Scheme, back in 2005/06.

Final port of call was at the Post Office. I’ve had the estimate for the repair of the NIKON 1 J5 and it’s less that I was expecting. I needed to authorise the work and, more importantly, to pay the bill.

The way back home up the hill passed much more easily that it has done of late and I’ve no idea why that is either. It wasn’t anything like the struggle that it was a couple of weeks ago, although it’s still a long way short of how it was 18 months ago.

buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Back at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour we could see that Buddy M, the trawler from Cork, is still there.

She’s been here a few weeks now having her overhaul, and I’ve noticed over the last couple of days that there has been a white van parked by her. maybe that can belongs to the mechanics.

From there I carried on up the hill, rather more easily, heading for my apartment and a cup of coffee. I felt that I had earned it this afternoon.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Outside the apartment there was one of my neighbours so I went over and had a chat, grabbing a photograph of a Birdman of Alcatraz on my way.

Shortly afterwards, another neighbour came over and then a third, ans we were gossiping away like a bunch of old women for about half an hour.

Most of the topic centred around the garden outside the building. There’s been a proposal for the occupiers of the building to do something with it, like plant flowers and the like. Not that it affects me in any way as I won’t be taking part, but I can’t be unsociable all my life..

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Once everyone drifted away from the conversation I walked over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach.

And pleasant day thatit was, there wasn’t anyone down there at all, even though there was plenty of beach to be on right now. Even the Birdmen of Alcatraz had folded up their wings and departed.

There were a few boats out there in the bay, but they were even farther out that usual so taking a photo would have been pretty much a waste of time.

people on beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021But one thing that I did notice was a couple of people out on the rocks further around the beach.

They had piled up some of their clothing down there and had gone for a little paddle in the water. I hope that they were enjoying it.

Back in the apartment I made a coffee and then sat down to telephone the heart specialist. After much debate and discussion they eventually managed to fit me in on Monday 25th October – at 08:00.

That’s going to be some appointment, at that time of the morning.

Tea was pasta and veggie balls again in spicy tomato sauce – more spicy that normal because I dropped the tabasco sauce into the mix. But apart from that it was nice.

Now I’m off to bed, later than I would have liked, because I’m up at 06:00 tomorrow. I’m off to Leuven on the 08:45 train for a long day’s travel and I’m no good if I’m half asleep.

Thursday 7th October 2021 – I’M BEGINNING TO THINK …

“which makes a change” – ed … that I may have underestimated the amount of time that it’s going to take me to do this project that I’ve undertaken with the radio.

Today i’ve done almost nothing except write out a (three-page) summary (in French of course) and e-mail it to all of the other members of the team (and that was not without its problems either).

And then deal with the inevitable enquiries, of which there were more than just a few.

There’s plenty of stuff on the dictaphone too but I have yet to find the time to deal with it all.

This is going to be a long three months.

Last night was pretty long too. I was in bed at something like a respectable time but it didn’t seem to do me much good as I was tossing and turning around for much of it.

And despite a period in bed that wasn’t all that much short of 8 hours, I felt like death when I awoke and things didn’t improve for a while.

After the meds and checking my mails and messages, I sat down to write out my notes for this project. I’d already done several rough drafts and so I had to merge them all together, and format them in a way that would be acceptable to users of Microsoft Word.

The rewriting was fairly straightforward but the formatting took an age and I wasn’t convinced that it was correct. In the end, I prepared a *.pdf s well.

The co-ordinator sent me the e-mail list so after lunch I could send it out. But three addresses bounced and so I had to make further enquiries. And despite several attemps, one of them is still bouncing. I have no idea what is happening here.

After lunch I prepared to receive the volley of responses and I wasn’t disappointed. But right now, late in the evening, I’ve not received one for half an hour. I shudder to think what my mailbox will be like in the morning.

There was the break this afternoon to go for my walk, somewhat later than usual.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021First task was to go and have a look over the wall to see what was going on down on the beach.

The tide is well out now. We are not too far short of the lowest tides of this time of year, and as I was expecting, there were plenty of people down there this afternoon.

They weren’t actually going for a walk or a paddle in the sea but were mostly all scratching around in the sand and on the rocks looking for seafood that the tide has left behind. It’s that time of year again.

people on bench jardin de la haute ville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was watching the people on the beach I could hear a tappinng coming from the hole in the wall that we saw yesterday so I had a closer look.

Unfortunately I couldn’t see anyone there from my viewpoint, but instead I noticed a couple of people sitting on the bench by the steps down to the bench.

Where they are sitting is actually a small garden known as Le Jardin de la Haute Ville – the garden of the upper town. People drop off their compostable material up there and some people have created a little plot of flowers and vegetables to bring a little life to the area.

With nothing else happening out here, I headed off along the path on my walk.

cabin cruiser seagull baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I approached the headland, a small cabin cruiser came into view heading towards the port. I’ve no idea why because he’s going to have a long wait.

He was making quite a wake behind him as he approached, and when I had a good look at the photo once I returned home, it looked to me as if he was actually towing something.

That piqued my curiosity so I enlarged and enhanced it, and to my surprise what has actually happened is that I have been photobombed by a seagull. Right on cue.

And so fighting my way past another horde of kids out orienteering, a couple of whom engaged me in conversation, I carried on down the path and across the car park.

young people on bunker roof pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Whether or not these kids are supposed to be orienteering I really don’t know, but they have found a good place to skive off.

Sitting on top of the old World War II German observation post out of the way of passers-by might be one way to avaoid the crowds. It’s just as well that it wasn’t as windy as it was earlier in the week.

And in case you are wondering, there was no-one sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban this afternoon. And that was possibly because there wasn’t anything much happening out in the bay just there either.

peche à pied baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Round the corner though on the other side of the headland it seemed to be all happening.

The fleet of cars parked all along the seawall told me to expect crowds of people down there on the beach and on the rocks now that the tide is quite a way out.

The pêche à pied is now in full swing with half of the town out there this afternoon scratching around. No need to be selfish not sharing your shellfish with your friends, because they are all probably down there with you.

tractor digger laying pipeline baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021But in that photo I noticed something exciting down there that I couldn’t identify, so when I returned home I blew it up (I can do things like that despite modern anti-terrorism legislation) and enhanced it for a closer look.

And here’s something that I have forgotten all about. A good few months ago there was a digger and some other heavy equipment out there laying some kind of pipeline on concrete blocks.

So here they are, back again now that the tourist season is over and we’re having some low tides at the moment. I’d thought that they had finished this, but apparently not. I wonder how far out they are going to be going with it.

yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Meanwhile down in the nice, clean chantier naval we have a new occupant. So much for me saying that there doesn’t look as if anyone will be in there for a while.

There’s no name on her hull that I can see and although she looks very much like Spirit of Conrad, I don’t think that it’s her. I suppose that means another trip for me to go down and have a closer look.

But where’s the dredger? She’s disappeared from the chantier naval now. But she probably hasn’t gone far, I bet, and the fact that they are working on that pipeline right now seems to be more than just coincidence.

dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021In fact, here she is right now, in the inner harbour.

And furthermore, I can tell you her name. She’s called St-Gilles Croix-de Vie and we know all about her because she was here in port a little over two years ago doing some dredging.

Having made “certain enquiries”, I can tell you all why she’s here too. She’s come to dredge the port de plaisance where the pleasure boats tie up, on the other side of the harbour.

There’s more equipment appeared now o the quayside behind her too. I can see that this isn’t going to be a work of five minutes, whatever is going on right now down there.

building work boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Before I go back home, I went to see how things were doing down in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

Not a great deal of change today, except that we how have a couple of piles of sand and gravel down there, so they are clearly doing something, even if it doesn’t look much like it right now.

Back here at the apartment I had a coffee and carried on dealing with the issues from my mail at lunchtime. I have a lot to learn about all of this because apparently I’m not making myself clear enough.

However, having done it all in French, I’m pleased that I did as much as I did.

Eventually (the next morning, actually) I found the time to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I was with Liz walking through the streets of Crewe, down Alton Street in fact. She was talking to me about her house move and how it had passed, and how much she missed her little Citroen car. It turned out that she didn’t sell to to the guy she was going to bit it had to go back to the garage because there was an issue with the paintwork. Part of it had faded and part of it hadn’t. It was almost white on one side and the guy wouldn’t take it. So we walked and chatted and she kept on wondering where it was that we had to turn off. She didn’t realise that Alton Street was one long straight road. Eventually she said that she had to go to the bathroom so she nipped behind a hedge. I said “Liz, if you’re going to the bathroom, go to the bathroom properly”. There was a public convenience in the park just round the corner. She said something like “it’s my toilet roll, not yours” and off she went. I thought that it would be a good idea if I were to go too.

Later on we were in Greece and we’d been to a party one afternoon or something. Someone pointed out that there was a big tourist attraction nearby but it meant taking a bus. About 7 of us left this party and found a local bus that took us to the big bus station which was where the railway station used to be in the past. We had to find out which was our bus. Then we had to buy some kind of wooden bead that would be our ticket. We met the bus driver who spoke English. She told us which bus it was. She said that she’d be back in 10 minutes and when she came back we could take our place. It was a strange way of doing things. There was another bus with these Japanese girls in it, all sitting by the door on their luggage, inside the bus. We went over to where the food was. It was mostly chips but there were some boxes of things that looked like gold, called Machynlles. I was interested in this because there’s a big gold mine near Machynlleth in Wales that the Romans exploited so I was trying to find out exactly what a Machynlle was. There was a girl there and they were all wearing aprons with what languages they spoke written on it. There was one girl there with Welsh on it so I went over to speak to her. I said a few words in Welsh but she didn’t really understand. In the end I found another woman and explained to her but she couldn’t understand my pronunciation so she went to find the box. Then she couldn’t find the box so I never did get to know. But when we alighted from that bus and were walking towards the bus station there was a girl there. We ended up with my arm around her walking towards the bus station which i thought was strange

There was also something about we were in Scotland. I can’t remember who I was with but we were going to see Morton play. We had to catch a bus but I couldn’t remember which bus it was so we were waiting in Wistaston Road just round the corner from Flag Lane. I was with someone and a bus came. It wasn’t that one so we waited again. I wandered away to do something. Of course that was the moment that the bus came and the person with me stepped on board and went off. In the end I had to hitch a lift in a lorry that brought me to within 10 minutes of the stadium just in time to hear the final whistle.

Tea was a burger and pasta with veg – I wasn’t up to cooking a proper meal and there are plenty of burgers in the fridge. When I come back from Leuven I’ll have a vegan pie to bake and a vegan curry to make. I don’t have the enthusiasm right now.

That’s probably because I’m tired again. I brilliantly fought off a wave of sleep earlier but I can’t do this for ever. I need an early night and a decent sleep – but when I’m going to have one of those is anyone’s guess.

Monday 4th October 2021 – REGULAR READERS …

new shop opened rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021… of this rubbish will recall that a couple of weeks ago we saw a shop unit in the Rue Couraye being renovated ready for some new owners.

Outside the shop there was a pile of boxes being delivered that looked as if, according to the label, that they had come from a book wholesaler, so I assumed that we were going to have a new bookshop in the town.

Now that it’s open, we can see that it’s not exactly a bookshop but is in fact a centre for comic strips and other assorted accessories that are associated with bandes dessinées.

They are much more popular here on the mainland than in the UK and in the USA.

sign on door avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021But while we’re on the subject of shops … “well, one of us is” – ed … here’s a sign that I saw in a shop in the Avenue de la Liberation.

It’s proof that you don’t need any kind of qualification in mathematics to own or manage a shop. That’s the strangest looking 2 people that I have ever seen in my life.

Last night I wasn’t in bed as early as I was hoping so it was rather a struggle to force myself out of bed at 06:00. And after the medication and checking my mails and messages I sat down to work on the radio programme.

It was rather straightforward today, although it took me a while to find a suitable final track. Nevertheless I could have finished it before 11:00 had I concentrated but after breakfast I was side-tracked by a few things here and there and it was 11:20 when I finally finished it.

Strangely enough, I didn’t really enjoy doing this one and I’m not quite sure why. It’s probably something to do with the way that I’m feeling right now.

While I was listening to the finished product and also to the one that will be broadcast this coming weekend, I was going through my mailbox weeding out a pile of dead correspondence that is serving no purpose. It’s now down to about half its previous size.

After lunch I had a shower and then prepared to go out for my physiotherapy session. The days are being changed at the moment.

Outside in the wind I walked across to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see what was going on.

dredger cleaning chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There wasn’t anything much going on down there this afternoon but there was certainly some activity going on over at the chantier naval.

Never mind the dredger, which is still there, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the past couple of months the yard has been packed continually with boats undergoing all kinds of repair and they’ve been making quite a mess of the place.

And so today they have brought in a street sweeper and it’s giving the place a really good wash and brush up, creating quite a cloud of dust as it goes past.

boulevard des terreneuviers closed to traffic Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further on down the hill, I stopped to look at the workman’s compound that has appeared in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

It looks as if things are about to start down there any day now. We can see that the road is closed and diversions signs have been posted.

The lorry has dropped off a container and they have already started to fill it with soil, although I can’t see to place from where they have scraped it.

But as the work progresses I’ll be able to find out so much more about where they are working anf what they are doing.

road closed rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There are more roadworks going on here too.

Believe it or not, the passage over the drawbridge into the old town is a street, the Rue Cambernon, that’s accessible to motor vehicles. But that seems to be closed off too and the traffic diverted elsewhere.

Presumably there are roadworks going on up there too.

My route took me on down the hill and into town, and then up the hill in the Rue Couraye to the physiotherapist. Surprisingly, I only had to stop twice to catch my breath going up the hill. That makes a change from the last couple of weeks.

Today he tested my knee, seemingly having forgotten everything that I told him a few weeks ago, and then he put me on the tilting platform and then the cross trainer.

Even more surprisingly, I pushed my best time on the cross trainer to 4 minutes and had I tried a little harder, I could have done better than that. It seems that my health is slowly improving. Maybe the physiotherapy is doing me good.

rainbow place semard Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I’d been in the physiotherapist’s we’d had a torrential downpour that stopp just as I set foot outside – and that’s not like how things usually work for me, is it?

And across the road hovering over the railway station we had this really gorgeous rainbow. It’s been quite some considerable time since I’ve seen a rainbow looking as good as this one. It’s magnificent.

And, as we can see, the leaves are now starting to turn. It’s not as vivid as in the Canadian Maritimes, which is where I usually am at this time of the year, but we can see that autumn is now well on its way. I wonder what weather that is going to bring.

digger loading soil onto lorry abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021This afternoon I walked on down past the railway station and down to the abandoned railway line, which I followed down to the Parc du Val Es Fleurs.

The digger that we saw the other day is hard at it this afternoon, scraping up the old ballast and soil and dumping it into the back of that lorry that had reversed all the way up there from the Rue d Boscq.

They have made quite a large amount of progress with that since Friday afternoon. They aren’t going to be hanging about with this project. It’s quite a contrast with what seems to happen in Belgium, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

piles of soil workmen's compound parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There were no haphazard road signs at the foot og the steps, but there have been “other developments”.

The area at the foot of the steps has now been cordoned off and there’s a skip, a mini-digger and a van towing a trailer parked down there now.

The piles of soil are still here too. They don’t look as if they have changed in size – neither increased nor decreased.

From there I wandered off down the Boulevard Louis Dior to the corner of the Rue du Boscq to see how they were progressing there.

digging trench rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021No change in the park opposite the Ecole des Docteurs Lanos, but there are plenty of goings-on across the road.

Having gone to all of the lengths that they have of preparing the surface, they have now dug a trench in it and they are laying some of this red cable trunking in it. That’s rather a shame after all of this effort.

Meanwhile, part of the car park here has been cordoned off. That’s being used at the moment as a parking area for the machinery and vehicles, but I could see them digging this up as well and resurfacing it to match the rest of the work.

Before I left the house I’d packed an energy drink so I wasn’t all that worried about the walk through the town and the climb up the hill towards home.

sailing school belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Once again, I only needed to stop a couple of times instead of the usual half dozen just recently.

One of the places where I stopped for breath was at the viewpoint over the harbour. And out there in the bay the sailing school was just setting out for the afternoon now that the tide was well in.

While I was watching them, I was leaning on the wall drinking my can of energy drink thinking to myself that had I not been having all of these problems right now, I might easily have been out there with them having a go.

That’s something to do that’s on my bucket list, but whether or not I manage to get round to it is another thing completely.

trawlers waiting to enter port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was waiting there to catch my breath I was looking down at the harbour gates.

They were closed at the moment but the pile of fishing boats that was out there told me that they would be open any time now.

And so I waited for about 15 minutes to take a photo of a nice stream of fishing boats following one after the other into the harbour, but as long as I waited, the gates didn’t open at all.

In the end I became fed up of waiting and headed for home.

Just up the road I bumped into a neighbour and we had quite a chat that went on for quite a while. And I learnt quite a lot of interesting facts too that will come in useful as time goes on.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Instead of going straight home, I went over to the wall to have a look down onto the beach.

The tide was well in as I said earlier, so there wasn’t all that much beach to be on this afternoon.

There were a few people nevertheless and by the looks of things, they appear to have been in the water. Not that it’s warm, of course. It’s pretty windy too so hats off to these people.

And for a change, there was nothing whatsoever going on out at sea. I couldn’t see even one boat anywhere out there.

workmens compound place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was out here, I went to have a look at the workmen’s compound, or whatever it is.

Much of the stuff that has been there over the past few days has now disappeared. But to where, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s something to do with the roadworks in the Rue Cambernon.

Back in the apartment I had a nice hot coffee and then, regrettably, I fell asleep for 10 minutes. The first time for a couple of weeks and I was quite disappointed by that, having done so well just recently.

As for any nocturnal voyage, I was at British Salt and they were busy erecting barriers around all the doors so that no-one could see in. I was wondering what was going on. It was obviously something special that they didn’t want anyone to see. Then they wheeled out this extraordinary – it looked like a motor bike with a Ford Model T place to sit for 4 passengers and a huge engine at the back with a big exhaust. Someone called it the “White Fox” or something like that. It was a huge long thing so I asked if I could take some photos of it and the guy said “yes”. He started to move all the boxes and coats and everything that was on it. I started to help and I can’t remember where we went from that. We were all sitting around eating a meal later. Someone had to leave the garage and they had an A40 Farina hatchback thing. I expected them to open the doors wider but he managed to drive it in a slalom all the way round these sight screens and out like that. Then we were sitting down having a meal and talking, and that’s where this ended. It was a most impressive motorbike thing. I’ve never seen anything like this.

A little later or maybe earlier, I can’t remember now, there was a group of cowboys and a woman holed up inside a house, a cabin on the prairie because they were surrounded by Indians. The Indians took their buckboard, filled it full of explosives and rode it round and round until it blew up, all that kind of thing. Someone had managed to slip out and they were there for several days. Then there was a knock on the door. It was this guy who had come back and brought a few other people with him, the Matt Dillon type, US Marshall and a couple of his friends. They’d come to deal with the issue after all but it seemed that these Indians had gone. Whether it was because of the new arrivals or not, I don’t know.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper, and then I came in here to write up my notes.

That reminded me that I’d weighed myself just before I had my shower. And over the last week, I’ve lost half a kilo. I consoled myself by thinking that if I carry on at this rate then in a little over three years I will have gone completely.

Friday 1st October 2021 – I’VE HAD AN EXCITING …

… day today. So much so that I’ve hardly done a thing of what I’m supposed to be doing.

It wasn’t very exciting at first though. The first job that I had to tackle was to get my entry from last night on line.

For some reason, access to my web host timed out last night every time I tried to access it, and in the end I gave it up as a bad job and went to bed.

The night was better than some that I’ve had just recently although I wasn’t too happy about being wide-awake at 06:40.

Nevertheless I waiting until the alarm went off, had my medication and then came in here to tackle a few tasks.

The web-host was still timing out and even clearing the cache and cookies on the (four!) different browsers that I use didn’t make things any better.

However I do have another browser that I don’t use too often, and for a variety of reasons too, but its big advantage (which at times is a big disadvantage) is that it automatically erases your browser history, cache and cookies and everything else on closedown.

On trying that, it worked perfectly (given its limitations) and I was able to upload the journal entry.

Then I had a rather onerous task to perform. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday I was having some kind of issues about an insurance policy that I believed that I had and that other people disagreed.

Searching around in the apartment (and thank heavens that I have most of my papers filed neatly) I found exactly what I was looking for, so I sat down and wrote two letters.

Incendiary letters – the type that blister the paint off the walls of the office where they are opened – are two-a-penny around here, but the two I wrote today will probably beat most of those. And they were written in French too.

They will certainly provoke a reaction, although whether it will be the reaction that I want remains to be seen.

Writing those took much longer that it ought to have done because Rosemary rang me – not once but twice. She’s having difficulty dealing with a French administrative issue but because I can’t go into the site, I was unable to help her.

As a result, it was lunchtime by the time that I’d finished .

After lunch I had a shower (and my weight is now down to the lowest that it’s been for a good seven or eight months) and then headed off towards town.

baie de mont st michel joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down on the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne I stopped to have a look down into the harbour.

From here, I could see that they are up to their antics with the crane again. Parked up, fully extended like that, at the worst possible angle for it to be. All of the weight on the arm pressing down on the hydraulic seals. They won’t last for long.

Down there underneath the crane moored at the ferry terminal is one of the Joly France boats. The older one of the two with the larger upper deck superstructure and windows in “landscape” format.

dredger chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was here, I had a look down towards the chantier naval to see what was happening in there today.

No boats as yet, but there’s a much better view of the dredger that arrived here at the end of last week. And it’s definitely a dredger too, I reckon. We can see the grab quite clearly, and the pipework that discharges the waste water that the grab might pick up.

But when is she going to go into the water? And more importantly, where? They must have some task lined up for her now that she’s here, and I wonder what it’s going to be.

Time will tell.

belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021So from there I wandered off down the hill towards town.

For a change, moored up underneath the crane is Belle France – the new ferry for the Ile de Chausey that arrived here in the summer. She won’t be loading, of course, so I imagine that she’s just parked there waiting for a more permanent mooring.

Into town, I went to the Post Office and posted my letters. Recorded delivery with registered receipt. I’m taking no chances. Mind you, I did include the bill for the postage and my time when I wrote the letters.

Whether the recipients will pay me, I really have no idea and I doubt it very much, but at least it’s a menacing gesture.

The walk up to the physiotherapist wasn’t quite as exhausting as it has been. He put me for 20 minutes on this tilting platform thing and we went through several exercises to strengthen my knees.

Finally, he put me on this cross trainer thing and I managed to push my personal best up to 3:05 which is pretty good. Even more surprisingly, when I had a second go after catching my breath, I was so busy talking that I went well over 2 minutes without even noticing.

After he threw me out, I headed for home via the steps down to the Parc Du Val Es Fleurs.

soil parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There wasn’t a weird collection of signs at the bottom of the steps this afternoon.

Instead of the signs, we now have a huge pile or two of soil now deposited at the end of the car park where they had set up their little compound, with the signs hidden somewhere behind it.

It looks as if the renovations are progressing quite rapidly. That pile of earth wasn’t there last week, and this week, some of it has been removed already and presumably scattered about somewhere over the course of the work

digger on abandoned railway line parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And as for this beast here, I wonder if he’s the machine that moved it.

He was sitting on the abandoned railway line a short distance down from where everything was happening looking as if he was waiting for a signal from someone to go and do something else.

There was a driver in it and the engine was ticking over too, so he was clearly up to some kind of work.

But I didn’t wait to see. I continued on my way down past the Primary School to the corner of the Rue du Boscq.

parc des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down at the end of the road on the corner by the Rue du Boscq I asked myself if this is where the big pile of soil is going.

After all, they seem to have just about everything else here – piles of gravel, piles of sand, and that looks like soil down there right by the yellow digger.

At the moment this all looks like quite a mess but then it wasn’t actually very pretty here before the work started. It was a rather sad place. And so I’m looking forward to see how it develops over the next few months.

It has to be an improvement on how it used to be.

new roadway construction rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The reverse angle shot from where I was taking the previous photo already shows signs of dramatic improvement.

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen the Rue du Boscq in all kinds of different states but right now we can actually see signs of progress. The stones are all down by the looks of things and there’s just a little bit of building up to be done before they add the tarmac.

Last time I photographed this, with the grader and the compacter here, I made some kind of remark about the Trans-Labrador Highway. If this had been Labrador, all of the construction crews would have been long-gone by now and they would be running heavy lorries on it already.

filling road markers with water rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down at the far end of the roadworks there’s quite a bit of excitement going on right now.

They are obviously expecting a storm here this weekend, because being carried on that digger is a pallet tank of 1,000 litres of water and the guy in the red fluorescent jacket is opening the tap and filling the red and white road markers with water, presumably to weigh them down.

Of course, for an extremely complicated job like that, there had to be a supervisor, doesn’t there?

There was qute an interesting storm in the Avenue de la Libération when I walked past. There was a vehicle dropping off a passenger in the Place Marechal Foch right on the corner, not caring less that there were three or four vehicles waiting to turn into the square behind the.

As the next in the queue was a large lorry, he was too wide to pass in the inside lane and consequently the traffic was backed up right the way through the town centre as this one person leisurely took its time.

trawler port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The walk back up the hill towards home was a little easier than it has been of late.

There were only a couple of times where I had to stop for my breath. One of those was at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour. The gates were now open and this trawler was setting out for the fishing grounds, rather later than the others.

She must be one of the lucky 50% of the local fleet that has been given a permit by the Channel Islands authorities. Whether the remaining 31 temporary permits will be finalised or whether they will join the ranks of the 75 who have been rejected remains to be seen.

marité chausiaise joly france belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was there catching my breath, I noticed that there had been a change in position of some of the boats.

On our way out, Belle France was moored over there underneath the crane, but now her place has been taken by Chausiaise.

Belle France is now moored down here next to one of the Joly France boats. This is the newer one of the two as we can tell by the small upper deck superstructure.

Also in the photo is of course Marité. She’s in port rather than being out on an excursion, which is probably logical now that the summer season has come to an end.

trawler returning to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I walked further on up the hill, I noticed that there was something rather strange going on.

The trawler that we had seen earlier setting out to sea was now on her way back to port, like you do if you have forgotten your butties or your overcoat.

But instead of coming back into the harbour, she did a rather dramatic left-hand U-turn and headed off back out to sea, brushing along the harbour wall. And I’ve no idea what that was all about either.

workmen's compound boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And here’s something else about which I have no idea at all.

A few days ago I posted a photo of a workmen’s compound that had sprung up in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers, something that looked as if it might have some kind of connection to the electricity supply.

Although I have yet to see anyone working around there, we now seem to have acquired a large lorry and a digger, so it looks as if we are about to see some trench-digging beginning some time fairly soon.

That’s something else for us to monitor in the forthcoming weeks.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the way back home, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down on the beach.

Actually, there wasn’t all that much beach for people to be on this afternoon, and that’s probably why there weren’t all that many people on it. In fact I didn’t see a soul.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, one of the things that I had intended to do this afternoon was to go and have a look at the builders’ compound that has sprung up in the Place d’Armes.

Instead however I fell in with one of the guys from the radio, we had quite a chat and I’m afraid that it totally slipped my mind. There’s always tomorrow.

Back here, I had a couple of things to do – including playing the guitar for the first time since for about ever. These days it’s very hard for me to summon up any enthusiasm.

Tea tonight was a baked potato, some veggie balls and the left-over pasta mix from last night. And I’m convinced that spicy food left to marinade for 24 hours improves its flavour considerably.

And then we had the football. Y Fflint v Y Bala.

Flint at one time were leading the league and with a front line of veteran striker Michael Wilde who is enjoying a resurgence wince his move, and Jack Kenny who I have always admired, it was no real surprise.

However they have gone off the boil just recently and were up against a Bala side that has always been a good, if inconsistent side that is enjoying a bit of a good run right now.

Most of the football was played in the Flint half and it was easy to see why – Bala were certainly the more skilful side.

However Flint caught them on the break with a good cross over to Michael Wilde to head home, and he almost had a second 5 minutes later when a powerful run, shrugging off four defenders, saw his shot strike the inside of the post but rebound to safety.

A couple of substitutions for Bala did the trick though. They wore down the opposition and scored twice later in the game to pull off a deserved victory.

Mind you, it ought not to have been. Bala scored one of their goals from a throw-in which absolutely everyone watching on the internet and in the ground except the linesman and the referee considered that it should have been awarded to Flint.

And where did I go last night? Mustn’t forget that. In fact I must have forgotten it because I remember almost nothing about this except that that there was some kind of special offer for families going for a 4-week speaking course in Welsh that was being offered as a taster. There was some issue about driving licences in these communities but that’s really all that I can remember.

So I’ll go off to bed and hope for a more memorable voyage during the night.

Thursday 30th September 2021 – FISH AND SHIPS, ANYONE?

ile de chausey trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A couple of trawlers were setting out for the fishing grounds this afternoon as I was walking around the headland.

As I watched, this one skirted the marker lights on the rocks lying off the Ile de Chausey and set sail into the sunset.

This one, and the one that you’ll see in a moment, are a couple of the lucky ones. Today is the day that Jersey is supposed to issue the permits for French fishing boats to continue to exercise their rights under the Treaty of the Bay of Granville to continue to share the waters and the fishing grounds.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A total of 217 boats applied for licences to fish.

47 have already been granted, 64 were granted last night, and another 31 have been issued with a provisional licence valid for three months while their appeal against rejection is being considered.

That leaves 75, about a third of the French fleet in the bay, who have been refused permission to fish, with no hope of appeal.

Will this mean that there will be losses and redundancies, or will there be some kind of industrial action? How this is going to pan out now is going to be very interesting.

What was very interesting from my point of view was that even though the night wasn’t as early as I would have liked, I couldn’t sleep. I was tossing and turning throughout the night and it seemed as if I hadn’t had any sleep at all.

Mind you, I must have done because at one point I was back at school. Miss Howlett the history mistress had noticed that my brother had skipped a history lesson. He’d been up to no good for a while an this was probably the final straw. She sent him out of the back of school where there was actually a beach and sea to wait there until she sent for him. Then she spoke to me and told me that basically he can either be expelled or take a severe detention. The choice is up to him. I called him over and explained the situation to him, made him aware of what the situation was. She called him over and started to admonish him. We were onn a boat at one time and he’d been singing in a concert. It turned out that it was right up on the highest deck where he’d been singing. He was looking with astonishment at the arrangement of the boat, where he’d been. This teacher was telling him as well about how good he was, whatever, and he had a good career ahead of him if only he would behave. They were talking about hippos and rhinoceros and everything. When we’d all been out in the zodiacs earlier, one zodiac had been followed by a hippo and another one by a rhinoceros, everything like that.

Later on there was something going on in South Cheshire last night and I can’t remember what it was. We ended up being in a house. There was a girl there learning to type. She was having to use some kind of strange printer that built up ink squares that showed the letter. It took ages to type out one letter because of the way the ink built up. We were chatting about something and she was being ever so frustrated. She kept on telling us to be quiet while she concentrated. We quietened for a while and then the conversation carried on, and she started again. As this was going on it was taking hours for her to type out just one letter on this strange printer.

Today, I have spent almost every minute of normal office hours on the telephone. Yesterday I received a rather strange letter to say that my vehicle insurance had expired on 20th March 2020 and there was a substantial fine to pay.

What I was interested in knowing was “if that’s the case, what’s this letter right here in front of doing, saying that my insurance was renewed on 23rd May 2020?”, “why is there an identical letter saying that my insurance was renewed again on 26th May 2021?” and “why there are two sums of money debited from my account that correspond with the amounts demanded for vehicle assurance?”.

Have you any idea just HOW difficult it is to receive a straight answer from anyone on this question? And I had the phone cut off from underneath me four times while I was at it.

One thing that I did manage to do though was to make some bread dough. And then having made it, I was so carried away with all of these phone calls that I forgot to put it in the oven until far too late

Lunch was late because I was on the telephone at lunchtime, and the same thing happened at walkies-time. Believe me – I wss heartily sick of it all.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As usual, first thing was to go for a wander down across the car park to have a look at the beach.

There wasn’t really all that much beach this afternoon but a couple of people were down there taking full advantage. Trousers rolled up to their knees like day trippers on the beach at Blackpool, they were paddling around between the rocks.

That was really all that was going on down there. And apart from the two trawlers that we saw earlier, there wasn’t anything else going on out at sea this afternoon. It was all rather boring from that point of view.

workmen's compound place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There was something else exciting happening on the car park though.

It looks as if we are going to ba having some work done somewhere in the vicinity in early course because right in the middle they have erected a workmen’s compound.

They have already dropped off a load of stuff into there so what I’ll do tomorrow on my way back from the physiotherapist (if I remember) is to go and have a closer look.

That should tell me much more about what they plan to do with it all. I hope that it’s to repair the crumbling wall over there because that’s been out of bounds for quite a while now.

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021My route along the path was pretty untroubled this afternoon. There weren’t too many people about at all.

No aeroplanes about either to overfly me this afternoon, and no Birdmen of Alcatraz either, but one of our local sparrowhawks was hovering around the edge of the cliff, trying to find himself a tasty snack.

It’s really quite impressive watching them. There’s a howling gale that comes over the headland but they are there hovering completely stationary despite the wind waiting for an opportunity to swoop down after their prey.

people cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There wasn’t very much going on at the end of the headland either this afternoon which was no surprise given the wind.

But today we did strike it lucky with as many as four people down there admiring the view of nothing at all. One couple sitting on the bench in front of the cabanon vauban and the second couple looking as if they have just arrived.

And winter drawers on as well, by the looks of things. Overcoats seems to be the order of the day, especially by those sitting on the bench. It must have been quite uncomfortable out there taking the full blast of the wind so it’s no surprise.

There were moments when I too was hanging on to my hat.

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This general air of nothingness seems to have extended just about everywhere this last couple of days.

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been keeping some kind of desultory eye on a rather large yacht that was down there being painted.

The last time that I saw her, she was in primer and masking paper but they must have put on a really impressive spurt, finished her off and packed her back out to sea. Either that or else she’s shrunk when they went to hose her down

But to be serious … “for once” – ed … I wonder what they will be doing with that little fishing boat that’s down there in its place.

dredger chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The other day on the way back from town we say a large mobile crane messing around with some machiner, and I said that the first chance that I would get, I’d go to see what was going on.

This is obviously what was going on – they’ve been assembling some kind of dredger down there. She’s almost certainly a dredger because you can see the grab on the front and the discharge pipe at the back

No what are they going to be doing with that? I didn’t see anything in the local paper to give me a clue. This is going to be quite interesting too.

Things are definitely livening up in here right now.

Back home, I had a coffee and then sorted out my paperwork. Laurent had offered to take me to the radio meeting which was very nice. I put my proposition to the assembled multitudes and it met with favour, so Yours Truly now has his work cut out until Christmas.

As if I don’t already have enough work to do – but I mustn’t stagnate and get myself bogged down in self-pity.

Maryline who lives round the corner from me brought me back home. We had a nice chat on the way too, I like Maryline.

Back home I made tea – pasta and veg with an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit. And much to everyone’s surprise, including mine, I didn’t finish my plate. I think that my appetite might be going, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

But never mind, a baked potato, a few falafel and the left-overs from tonight will make a nice meal. And quick too, which is just as well as there is football on the internet tomorrow evening – Y Fflint v Y Bala.

So you might be getting a “plceholder alert” tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’m off to bed to catch up on the beauty sleep that I never had. I have a lot to do tomorrow, including writing to Father Christmas and also to my favourite Inuit

Sunday 16th February 2020 – DESPITE IT BEING A …

lentil tofu pie apple turnover apple pie granville manche normandy france eric hall… day of rest today, I have been a very busy boy.

And here is the evidence. Frm left to right we have a lentil-and-tofu pie, an apple pie and, to use up the rest of the pastry and apple, an apple turnover.

The other day I mentioned that there were only a couple of slices of pie left in the fridge. Well, there was some tofu that needed using up and I bought a couple of pastry rolls yesterday.

Lentils are never in short supply here and so there we were.

A couple of hundred grammes of lentils went into the slow cooker with some parsley, sage and rosemary, and then some water. And they were left to boil up.

Once they had boiled, I drained them off, rinsed them and put them back in clean water with some tofu, more herbs as above and a couple of stock cubes. And left them for a couple of hours.

And talking of a couple of hours, it was more than a couple of hours of sleep that I had last night. In bed at a relatively realistic time, I slept right through until about 07:50.

But there was no chance of my leaving the bed at that time of the morning. The howling gale and rainstorm that I could clearly hear going on outside made me crawl back down under the bedclothes. 10.30 is a much more reasonable time to arise on a Sunday.

After the medication I attacked the dictaphone. Apparently I was at a rock concert last night in Nantwich and there was a group playing and I was watching the group. I was with someone but I can’t remember who now and a woman came over. I knew this woman but I can’t remember who she was. She was big and tall and in a wide-brimmed black hat with a small crown, black cloak type of overcoat. She looked like a Bishop. She shouted at me but I didn’t recognise her at first but then I did and got talking with her. I noticed that one of the musicians was someone who had been a chauffeur with me, and he was with a saxophone. I thought “ohh, how strange”. We had a talk and a joke about cars, that kind of thing. I was meeting someone else but it was quite early so I went back to my apartment and got a burger and started to fry it. But being hit overwhelmingly by an overwhelming way of sleep I went to get into bed. I took off all of my clothes to get into bed and just then the doorbell rang. I staggered out of bed past a half-cooked meal, half asleep and asked who it was. “Oh, it’s Mikhael” the bass guitarist from the Hillbilly group. That was the guy I was waiting for. So I thought “‘I’d better let him get in and get dressed, stop eating and trying to cook this food, all of that kind of thing”.
After that I was in a museum somewhere and there was a discussion about a play taking place where two actors were throwing balls at each other – Roman actors. They were on version 2 of a CD or DVD and I had to check first of all to check that I had DVD version 2, which I had. So we checked and it was the Romans in bed that were throwing, these two guys were throwing these hard balls at each other until one was hit on the head and killed. We were discussing why the other guy hadn’t killed the first one and we thought “maybe he had been lying on his arm so long so his arm was weak and so he had to use his bad arm. This led to a discussion about military tactics at Flodden -Culloden rather where British soldiers were instructed to attack the man on their right whenever he raised his claymore to attack the British soldier standing on his right and never mind about the guy in front of you because your mate on the left would be taking care of him. Whenever they raised their right arm, their soft under-belly was exposed and that was where you would bayonet them. That went back to the crusaders and armour, how you would kill a knight is underneath the right armpit. Someone said “should we all go and get a glass of water out of the tap and resume this discussion somewhere more comfortable rather than around a few library desks.
A little bit earlier I was having to do something that was extremely urgent and I’d got off the Metro and there on the Metro was someone, the guy who played someone in Hawaii 50 and I can’t remember his name – a very famous actor. I quickly got back onto the Metro to get off a bit further down and was hoping that there was no-one at the station waiting for me. It was a long and convoluted route to get to where the safety deposit box was because obviously the previous Metro Station would have been better for that. I had to come off and walk across a crowded street which took ages and walking up this hill in the countryside. As I was doing it, some woman’s dog came along and started growling at me so I kicked it away. She complained. The dog came back and bit me so I gave it a really good heavy kick and she complained about that. I said “you should have your dog on a lead”. She said that lLeads are compulsory here which I thought strange. I had to walk up this hill and I reckon that it was a climb of about 500 feet and it was hot, in the summer and we were quickly out of the urban area into the rural area. I was feeling really uncomfortable at this walk and this climb. I have this the wrong way round haven’t I? It was first the man then the story about being on the tram and the dog biting me then finally the third part.
Later still I was on the The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again with a group of people, a family with very young kids and we were doing the usual family type of thing that you do with young kids, playing games and things. And then I went for a walk. We’d only been on this ship half a day or so but I’d been on it before so I knew my way round so I was wandering around quite happily. I walked past all these people on the deck sitting there in the lounge. I walked out and upstairs, outside and round and ended up being on the top of a double decker bus, an old green Crosville one. I worked out that on the top deck there was only room for about 20 people that you would expect on a double-decker bus or maybe more I dunno. Anyway I walked back down and these people were looking at le with amazement thinking “where’s he been?”. A stewardess called Kerry who I knew so I said to her, calling her by her first name and they all thought “wow he’s learning quick about the ship” and then we approached Crewe Bus Station which was a dock and I said to her “gosh, he’s coming in quick! Is he on a mileage bonus or something?” “Ohh God yes he is!” and he hit the quayside, bounced up on top of the quay. I said “that’s our holiday finished, isn’t it now?” But he kept the power on and the sip sailed round in like a U-turn, back to the edge of the quayside and dropped over and into the water again. I thought “God, I’d never ever thought of doing that” but there we were, back in the water again.

By the time that I’d finished typing that lot out I’d had breakfast, had a quick bit of butty and it wasn’t all that far off teatime. After all, it’s Sunday and I was in no hurry.

lighthouse coastguard station meteorological station pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall
One thing though – because of the weather I hadn’t set one single foot outside the apartment but round about 16:00 the rain briefly stopped.

Seizing the chance I grabbed my coat and went outside for a walk. The weather was still grey and totally miserable as you can tell from this photo of the lighthouse and the coastguard station at the Pointe du Roc.

But the most important thing was that the wind had dropped considerably and that was good news. it had really been wicked.

waves storm port de granville harbour baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer manche normandy france eric hallAnd while the wind might have dropped there was still plenty of power in the sea.

That’s quite evident in this photo. The tide is well out right now and yet there’s enough force in the waves to bring them right up to the sea wall with something of a splash.

If it keeps it up, it’s going to be really impressive out there this evening at high tide I reckon. Not that I’ll be there to see it though.

eroding cliffs concrete supports pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallHeading into town for a long walk by the very old road – or path more like – here’s something that I don’t remember encountering before.

It was the fencing and the “keep out” notices that drew my attention to it so I went to look. It seems that the cliffs are eroding just here and undermining part of the wartime German concrete.

There’s tons of that around here in the Atlantic Wall and we have seen plenty of it in the past, but this looks like one piece that we won’t be seeing for much longer.

spring exit pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBut while I was there my attention was further caught, this time by the sound of running water.

There are a couple of springs up on the top and these days they disappear into some kind of guttering system. I’ve never worked out where they go to from there but now I think that I know.

This culvert here that discharges into the sea looks very much like the outlet for all of this.

caravans fete foraine port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith the tide being quite far out right now the gates to the harbour were closed so I could walk over the pathway at the top to the other side of the harbour.

Yesterday I mentioned the fete foraine here in Granville. The machinery and amusements are to arrive today and start to set up tomorrow. It looks now as if most of them have turned up already.

Here they are anyway, parked up at the car park at the end of the quayside near to the ferry terminal and here they’ll stay fr a couple of weeks.

tractor trailer stone rubble port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve been following the fortunes of the two concrete breakers, the digger and the two tractors and trailers that are removing rocks from the ferry terminal.

The havy stuff parks over by the fish processing plant but here on the quayside are the tractors and trailers and all of the stuff that they have brought with them.

And this can only mean that we won’t be expecting a gravel boat for a while because all of this is parked where the gravel would be dumped for loading.

caravans lorry fete foraine granville manche normandy france eric hallLast night we saw the arrival of the first lot of caravans for the fete foraine and they were parking up at the Place Godal.

Today there are a lot more of them as well as a couple of lorries that might well be something to do with the fairground attractions.

and just in case you hadn’t already noticed, it was now back to raining again. But the wind was still keeping down so I pressed on with my walk. After all, I can’t get much wetter than I am.

fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallMy little voyage took me along the sea front and down to the Parking Hérel.

Starting tomorrow this will be where the fete foraine will be erected. And it’s a complete work of art the things that they do to get it going.

Tomorrow I’ll be coming back from my radio meeting this way and I’ll be able to see how they are doing. And hopefully take a few photos of the erections that they put up. And it doesn’t take them long to do it.

old normandy house rue commandant yvon granville manche normandy france eric hallFor a variety of reasons there aren’t too many old houses of the traditional Normandy-Style here in Granville.

And this is one that I haven’t seen before, in a little alleyway off the rue Commandant Yvon. A real Normandy wooden-framed house. And not falling down either like the one in the rue Ernest LeFranc.

By now I was ready to return home but still wishing to push up the percentages on the fitbit I continued around the town for a while getting wetter and wetter and eventually made it back home for coffee and cake.

For tea I made myself the usual pizza, forgetting the sliced garlic, and then made my pies.

Before I’d gone out I’d checked the slow cooker. The mix was too liquidy so a couple of spoonfuls of oats had taken care of that and it was lookign quite good.

So pastry in the pie dish, add in the filling, moisten the edge of the pastry, put a top on, press down the top with a fork so that it seals, trim off the excess pastry, paint with soya milk and prick with a fork.

Roll out all of the excess pastry so that it’s flat again, cut out a circle to put in a pie dish, slice a few cooking apples very thinly and pack the pie dish with them, some lemon juice and brown sugar and forget the cinnamon and nutmeg but remember the desiccated coconut.

Roll out the remaining pastry, cut out enough for a lid, repeat the process as for the previous pie except to sprinkle on the top some brown sugar.

With the pastry that you’ve trimmed off, roll it out again and keep on trimming and adding back as you roll it to keep it square, fill it with the leftover apple brown sugar and coconut, fold it over and then bung the lot in the oven to cook while I’m eating my pizza.

And while I was eating my pizza I was wondering why I hadn’t fried any onions and garlic for the pie mix.

The pies weren’t ready so for pudding I had a banana with some of the Alpro almond-flavoured dessert stuff that I’d bought for the apple pie.

No-one about at all on my evening walk so I had a good couple of runs. My usual track on the north side of the walls was waterlogged so I improvised. And I even did a third run – or, rather, half a run – later on because having seen that I was now on 93% of my daily target, I extended my walk.

Now my notes are finished, my day of rest is over and it’s back to work tomorrow. A good night’s sleep is required and then i’ll be fighting fit for tomorrow.

I don’t think.

Friday 14th February 2020 – IT’S ST VALENTINE’S DAY …

… and someone loves me evidently.

No-one tangible unfortunately, but someone “up there” … “down there, more like” – ed … must do, because I’ve had some good fortune. And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

Those of you who read my notes from yesterday will remember that I’d received this strange letter from some insurance company in Belgium. I rang them up this morning to enquire about it because it was puzzling me.

It turns out that, not that I remember, but when I worked for that strange American company in Belgium I’d been part of their occupational pension scheme which involves a “lump sum” payment on retirement.

As I officially retired, as far as Belgium is concerned, last year on reaching 65, I claimed my Belgian retirement pension to which I’m entitled having worked for this company and also my spell at General Electric.

This was awarded to me and as a result my identity number in the Belgian national records system has been reactivated and the Insurance company has thus been able to track me down and write to me telling me to claim it.

Usually I like to slip sideways off national registers because being on them brings the wrong kind of attention from the Authorities, but for once, as I said, it’s good news

Other good news – well, almost good news – is that I’m feeling a lot more like myself today. I must have had one of these 24-hour bug things, that’s all that I can think of, and of course I have no immune system to fight it off.

And I almost beat the third alarm today too. I had my head off the pillow and I was just about to sit up straight when it went off. Still never mind. Close enough!

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone. And another night of rambling away to myself. I started off with something to do with the dictaphone last night but as soon as I picked up the dictaphone whatever memory I had in my mind had gone completely and I’d completely forgotten what it was all about. But I did remember a bit of it. I was walking past an outdoor swimming pool. It was pouring down with rain and there was a big fat boy swimming in there. He climbe dout and got his clothes on and started to get dressed. He went inside the office and there was something happening inside the office with a couple of people and he was one of them but this is where my memory runs out. This certainly involved something to do with dancing and i was trying to work out a dance step with someone or other, a girl but I’ve no idea now.
Later last night I was emptying out Marianne’s apartment getting a pile of stuff in her living room and throwing away some of it, putting some of it in boxes and bags and getting it ready to be taken down to Caliburn. I was working quite well and was quite impressed wuth myself but when I had a look at the bedroom and kitchen there was still tons to do there and I started to get a bit despairing. But I thought well, it’s no good me standing here looking at it is it? I may as well press on regardless and get on with it, which was what I did. I was looking out of this window at Caliburn parked in the street, all that kind of thing.

So whatever all that was about, I really have no idea.

After breakfast I set about cutting up a few albums and this was an agonising task. The first one just wouldn’t cut as it was supposed to and after much binding in the marsh I realised that it was actually titled wrongly and not the track it was supposed to be.

The second one wouldn’t cut properly either but after a while (and I do mean a while) I realised that it was a studio acetate rather than a recording master and so the track order is quite different than the published and printed album.

The third one was one of the very few that had survived the Universal Studios fire so it was actually very high quality although it was “in bits” and needed reassembling.

But just a reminder – I’m only tracking down digital tracks for albums that I already own on vinyl or on tape.

trawler coelacanthe port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHaving resolved the issue of this pension thing, I had to go to the bank to have my payment details confirmed and stamped.

But on the way I was … errr … detained. We saw the trawler
Coelacanthe doing some kind of weird nautical danse macabre in the harbour the other day, but here she is again manoeuvring herself around.

Obviously the fishing is back on the agenda right now that Storm Ciara has passed.

Meanwhile, at the Bank, in the headlong plummet into the abyss of being The Worst Bank In The World, the Credit Agricole Normandie once again rises to the top, or maybe I should say “sinks to the bottom” to snatch the lead from the Royal Bank of Scotland once more.

“Ohh we can’t do that here” said the second cashier to whom I had spoken. “Our Head Office has to do that”.
“All I want is for you to confirm my bank account details and to apply your stamp”
“No, our Head Office has to do that”.

Totally pathetic, that is. Whatever happened to the excellent service and first-class customer consideration that I had at Pionsat? There was none of this nonsense.

trawler coelacanthe port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back to the apartment I picked up my dejeunette from La Mie Caline and then went to see what was happening in the harbour.

And the gates were open now, so Coelacanthe was heading off out so sea. And at the same time there were fishing boats coming in so we had a kind of traffic jam at the port entrance as they jostled for position.

But as for me, I came back here to carry on work. There was plenty to do

This afternoon I started to attack the outstanding photos. And there are more than I thought because there were those few weeks when I had my broken hand and couldn’t type or do anything.

Not only that, there were piles missing so I had to fire up the failed laptop and see if they were still left on there, and also to fire up the travel laptop to see what was on there.

They’ve all been copied over, although I’m still not convinced that they are all here as they are supposed to be. And it took an age to do so.

By the time that I’d knocked off for tea I’d finished all of the photos for June. And I think that I was unnecessarily depressed about the quality – at least of the early ones – because they didn’t need much post-work at all. Well, not as much as I was expecting anyway.

But of course that’s without making any reference to the ones that were taken under the Arctic light which is a great deal different than any light that I’m used to.

samu pompiers emergency ambulance rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallMy afternoon was interrupted, as you might expect, by my afternoon walk. And, for a change and I’ve no idea why, there were hordes of people out there. A nice day, yes, but not that nice.

And I’d hardly set foot out of my apartment before I was shocked out of my usual reverie by the sirens of an emergency ambulance roaring past me.

So, as you might expect, I wandered off down the footpath at the top of the cliffs in order to catch up with it to find out what was going on that needed an ambulance.

samu pompiers emergency ambulance rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBut when I finally caught up with it I was none-the-wiser. And not even better-informed either.

The ambulance was parked at the side of the road sure enough and there was an ambulance man talking to a family group on the grass verge. But as for why, I really have no idea.

And whatever was going on there didn’t look like anything particularly urgent to me, so I left them to it.

digger hydraulic drill concrete breaker port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBy now, the tide was well on its way out. Not quite right out yet though.

And so I was totally surprised to see the digger and the concrete-breaker already making their way out across the water to the ferry terminal. What was really quite amusing was that, as I watched, the digger bogged down a couple of times and he used his jib and bucket as a lever to pull himself out.

On eof the best free afternoon’s entertainments that I had had.

tractor trailer port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut the sight of the digger bogging down, even with its caterpillar tracks, had presumably convinced the tractor driver that the time wasn’t right for him to set out.

He was waiting patiently at the foot of the concrete ramp for the tide to subside some more and for the ground to dry out a little before he sets off.

And I can’t say that I blamed him. After all, he doesn’t have a bucket and jib to pull himself out if he becomes bogged down.

hydraulic concrete breaker port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut they had the order of proceeding all wrong anyway.

The tractor should have been the fourth, not the third machine to move. Because he’s not ready to set out quite yet he’s stopping the other concrete breaker from going across.

The other two by this time had actually made it across and had started work while they were still sitting there.

modeling mannequin rue st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallDesperate to bring the day’s total up to 100%, I went on another extended walk to clock up the miles.

My route back brought me along the rue St Jean towards home, and there at the dressmaker’s there was some excitement going on. Someone was all dressed up like something out of the 19th Century and there was someone else taking a photo of her using a tablet.

With nothing better to do, I stayed and watched them for a minute to see what they were up to but after the photo they just hung around chatting so I cleared off home.

cat place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it looks as if I have a new neighbour too.

Whoever they are, they must be acclimatising their family pet to his new surroundings as they had a cat tethered to a lead that was tied in through their window on the ground floor.

A very friendly cat too, and we had a good ten minutes of chat and socialisation. I hope that he’ll be there again.

Back here, I carried on working despite having a little snooze here and there. But nothing like as complete as they have been just recently.

Tea was next and, having tidied the freezer once more, I came across a potato and lentil curry of 2018. That was totally delicious with rice and vegetables.

No more rice pudding so I had a banana and raspberry sorbet. And even though it was the cheap LIDL sorbet it was still delicious.

But one thing that I noticed was that there are only a couple of slices of pie left. Sunday’s task will therefore be to make another pie. If I can fit in two pies at once I might even make an apple pie.

night trawlers entering port de  granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe evening walk was, as usual, all alone around the walls. That meant that I could fit in my two runs in relative comfort, regardless of the howling gale.

Being almost at 100% I extended my walk and went on the cliff by the fish processing plant where, from my lunchtime spec when the weather is good, I could see the fishing boats coming home now that the tide was coming back in.

Fishing is back on the agenda now that Storm Ciara has passed.

Back here, there was the football. Bala Town v TNS in the Welsh Premier League

TNS have swept all before them over the past 10 seasons although Connah’s Quay are catching them up. And with TNS losing at Newtown the other day the gap has narrowed.

Bala are, somewhat surprisingly considering that they have two of the best players in the league in their team, somewhat off the pace.

The match though, went according to expectations. TNS had about 80% of the possession and had Bala pegged back in their area for most of the match. But we were treated to something much more than a defensive masterclass – more like a desperate rearguard “thin red line” defence as bala did everything they possibly could.

Henry Jones and Chris Venables were surprisingly subdued today and so they offered little in attack. The big winger Lassana Mendes though had an excellent game and why he didn’t win the man of the match award I really don’t know.

Surprisingly, despite having nothing much up front, Bala took a surprise lead when a corner into the TNS penalty area was headed into his own net by Aeron Edwards. But TNS pulled one back with a penalty late in the game – a case of “blaa to hand” rather than “hand to ball” but a penalty none-the-less.

But no matter how much they threw at the Bala defence they couldn’t break through for a winner.

Meanwhile over on Deeside, Connah’s Quay put four past Caernarfon to go top of the table. Interesting times indeed.

But asI write up the notes I have a feeling that I’m not going to reach the end before I crash out at my desk so i’d better ….

ZZZZZZZZZ

Thursday 13th February 2020 – LIDL IN GRANVILLE …

soya steaks LIDL granville manche normandy france eric hall… is slowly dragging itself into the 21st Century at long last.

Over the past year or so its BIO range has slowly been expanding and there have occasionally been things there that I can eat, but today, the freezer has been restocked and there are now not only vegetarian frozen foods but even a (very small) vegan selection.

And that’s god news for me and even though i’m struggling for space in my freezer, I bought a box, on the grounds that if no-one buys it, they won’t stock it.

Yes, I made it to LIDL this morning although I’m not quite sure how because I was feeling really dreadful. Last night I slept right the way through the alarms and it was 07:35 when I hauled myself out of bed eventually.

And to say that I wasn’t feeling at all like it is an understatement. Looking back on what I wrote last night before I went to bed, then nothing whatever had changed.

It was preying on my mind too during my sleep (such as it was) by the look of things. After the medication I struggled back to the desk to check the dictaphone. It had taken me ages to go off to sleep but I went back on board The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour and there was a party type of thing that we were having and a group of people – the organisers – got up and did a song that involved banjos and guitars and a bass. It was really good – they were all disguised as Mexicans. I dashed in with my camera to take a photo but I couldn’t remember how to set the settings on it to get the photo that I wanted because they were standing right by an open window where the sun was streaming in so I wanted to play around with the settings but I couldn’t remember how to do it and it was the subsequent panic attack that awoke me, about 30 seconds after I’d gone to sleep.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfter breakfast I had a quick shower and then headed out to LIDL even though I didn’t feel much like it.

And the first thing that I noticed was that the wind was back after its day off yesterday. And back in spades too. The port gates can’t have been opened long so the tide still has about 90 minutes before it’s full but even so it was still looking very impressive.

The waves were hurling themselves with all of their might against the sea wall and some were going over the top.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe wind wasn’t the only thing that was back either.

For the first time in well over a week, Normandy Trader had turned up in harbour. The blockade of Channel Island ships has ended of course with Guernsey’s capitulation (in four days!) and Normandy Trader, which brings in the shellfish from the Jersey Fisherman’s Co-operative, can now come into port.

But for how long remains to be seen.

crane pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallregular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve been following the antics of the workmen down in the port and the gradual assembly of the big pontoon.

A large crane turned up yesterday too, and now it seems that it has been taken out onto the pontoon.

But for what, I have no idea. I can’t think what they would need something like that for in a harbour like this – unless it’s to act as a counterbalance for the crane on the quayside as it lowers the new walkways into the water.

Even so, that’s using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

mobile crane rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut then again, ther emight be something in this argument.

There’s now another mobile crane turned up in the rue du Port where they have been fitting the mounting brackets for the pontoon walkway on that side, so it looks as if they are almost ready to start there too.

This is all going to be extremely interesting over the next few weeks or so and I hope that I’ll be here to see it.

After something of a struggle I made it to LIDL where I forgot the mushrooms, but it was an expensive shop there today and for a good reason too. The largest saucepan that I have here is a 20cm one with a capacity of 2.5 litres and for what i’m doing now with making soups and drinks and also freezing carrots, it’s just not big enough.

On Monday I noticed that they had nig saucepans in on offer but I couldn’t bring one home. Today though, I was prepared with a large carry-bag and a 24cm 5.5 litre saucepan is now sitting in my kitchen.

That’s even big enough to sterilise all of my jars too.

pumping concrete rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving picked up my dejeunette at la Mie Caline I headed for home.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the other day the workman on the roof of that house that they are slowly renovating in the rue des Juifs. They are obviously going quicker than I was reckoning because now they are doing the floors and the concrete pump is here punping the concrete in.

It’s a good job that the local buses here aren’t double-deckers, isn’t it?

la grande ancre leaving port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDespite the winds having started up again, it seems that the marine activity is still going on.

We’ve seen Normandy Trader braving the winds to come into port but now it’s the turn of La Grande Ancre to head off for a life on the open waves out there on the open sea.

And good luck to her too. She’s going to need it, a small thing like her out there in waves like that. As I’ve said before … “on many occasions” – ed … my hat comes off to all of those going out there

On the way back I bumped into my neighbour and we had a lengthy chat, buffetted by the wind as we were standing there.

Back here I had a coffee and then started work. And I can safely say that today I didn’t do a single thing that had anything whatever to do with the radio. And I think that this must be the first day since well before Christmas too.

First thing was, due to my late start this morning, to split up a few digital tracks into their component parts. And I’ve given up relying on the official data for cutting the tracks because they are just so hopelessly wrong.

That took me up to lunch time and my butties.

This afternoon I attacked the mountain of paperwork that had accumulated over the past few months. Some of it was quite urgent too so it wasn’t just a case of simply filing it away, I had a few letters and e-mails to write for stuff that I should really have attended to a while ago.

There was a pile of photocopying too that needed doing. All in all, I was still at this by the time that I knocked off for tea and there’s more to do.

But here’s a surprise. I’ve found a document that tells me that I have an employment assurance policy maturing at the end of February that is going to pay me a pension. The only pensions that I know of are my morks pension, my UK and my Belgian State pension (not that these are anything to write home about) and some old pension from when I was in the UK years ago.

So what is this all about? I’ll have to ring up tomorrow to enquire about it because I don’t have a clue. It can’t be anything substantial otherwise I would remember it. But was I in a works pension scheme when I spent that 12 months working for that crazy American company in Brussels?

windsurfer place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were several interruptions to my afternoon walk.

First and foremost was my afternoon walk. And that was interrupted too by me noticing a couple of guys out in the sea windsurfing. They must be out of their minds in this weather with this wind and these heavy seas and as I prepared the camera, one of them capsized into the sea.

This left the other one to engage with me.

storm high winds baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd if I thought that the wind was bad around here, I hadn’t yet gone round the headland.

and there it really was wicked. Not as bad as it was earlier in the week but still enough to disrupt almost everything that I was trying to do. The waves were rolling into the Baie de Mont St Michel with quite a considerable force and I reckon that this evening when the tide is in it’s going to be quite dramatic.

So I wish that they would fix up some lights somewhere to make it easy for photography.

dredger digging rocks ferry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallNo change at all in the Chantier navale so I pushed on to see what they were up to at the ferry terminal.

The big tractor and trailer (there are in fact two of them) was heading back out there for another load of stone, with it being low tide. And wedged up in the corner was a concrete-breaker and a large digger.

The breaker breaks it off, the digger picks it up and puts it into the trailer and the tractor drives away the loaded trailer.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe photo this morning of Normandy Trader hadn’t come out too well as I had had the sun in the lens at the time.

But now, mid-afternoon, I have the sun behind me so i can take a much better photo of it too, and with the big NIKON D500 instead of the little NIKON 1. The Nikon 1 is a useful little camera and I take it with me when I go for long walks or go shopping because it’s very lightweight and fits nicely in my pocket

But it’s not up to big panoramic distance shots unfortunately. It’s very good at what it does, but it doesn’t do much.

crane pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFor the same reason as the previous photo, I re-took a photo of the pontoon and the big crane.

No idea at al what they are doing but as I said earlier it’s going to be interesting in the next couple of weeks as the story unfolds.

Back here and a coffee and then I tried to carry on work but I crashed out again. And that was a shame because my head had cleared and I was starting to feel a little better

But once I was back awake I carried on and now I have a huge blood blister on my finger where I caught it in the hole puncher.

Tea was a kind-of curry of everything left over – namely the rest of the stuffing with more onion and garlic and, to lengthen it, a good handful of salted peanuts. It was delicious with a tomato sauce, veg and pasta.

And the last of the rice pudding that followed it was equally delicious.

All alone again on my evening walk, and I managed my two runs, even putting an extra 10 metres on them which was quite surprising.

But now it’s bed-time, later than I had hoped but it can’t be helped. Tomorrow I’m going to finish off the paperwork and then start on the photos from my Arctic adventures.

That will be exciting.

Wednesday 12th February 2020 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall… day it was today.

And I’m not talking about the weather either because considering we’re approaching mid-February, it was a nice day from that point of view. The wind had dropped considerably, it was a bright day and there were even people walking on the beach.

What I’m talking about is from a health point of view.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the end of November and for most of December I was feeling better than I have been doing for quite a number of years.

But then in the new year I could feel a decline in my health and I’ve been going steadily downhill.

Today I reached rock-bottom. Most of the day was spent flat-out in my chair and had this been a few months ago, I would have taken to my bed without a second thought.

But having had this good spell, I’m not going to let this defeat me and I fought it out. Not very successfully but there we go. And at one time I was really feeling totally and thoroughly dreadful.

But then, that’s what this illness is all about. They say that I’ll start to feel the effects after about five years, and it’s been almost four and a half since it was diagnosed – and that’s no telling how long I’d been carrying this illness before it was diagnosed

What I’ll have to do is to resign myself to it and just take things as they come, and reflect on the fact that I’ve been far worse than this.

and to make things worse, last night I did something that I haven’t done for years, and that is to go for a trip down to corridor. Back in the past it was at least once every night but for several years it’s not happened at all. Sign on the times, I reckon.

And to add insult to injury, I failed to beat any of the alarms and it was almost 07:00 when I arose, and that’s no good either. All in all, it’s pretty depressing.

After the medication I attacked the dictaphone. We started off with a crowd of us in a room and I was drinking coffee and everyone else was drinking beer. There was a guy there from the – the – and he asked me if I’d had the Audi. “Which one?” “The one that was on your front the other day”. “Ohh that’s been and gone, that has. It just passed through my hands, that kind of vehicle”
A litttle later on we had an unexpected visitor. A footballer by the name of Jamie Reed has just signed for Cefn Druids in the Welsh Premier League and has been making something of a good impression. Anyway, don’t ask me why but last night on my travels he was trying to do something phenomenal with a boat out of Normandy but I can’t remember what now but it had become quite popular but on one occasion there was a balloon in a shop with him and someone else holding onto it. This mobile thing was turning around so they were suspended in the air turning around this object or being turned by it, one or the other (… like a ceiling fan…). Plastic models of them, inflatable plastic models (…not the real Jamie Reed …)
Then I was in a music shop and there was a little old lady there. She had a play on a guitar but played with one of the machine heads so the thing went flat. She put the guitar somewhere not quite right but when the guy came back in, the shop assistant, he saw that the guitar had been moved and said “is anybody here?”. This little old lady spoke up. He checked the guitar and it was out of tune so he plugged it into a machine to tune it up. In the meantime I had a bass and I was busy trying to tune that but it wouldn’t tune for some reason or another. I had the tuning gauge that I had set to percentages instead of an analogue meter and of course that’s much more difficult to tune when it’s like that. Then a parcel arrived, a huge, heavy parcel. I wondered what it could be. Then I realised that I’d gone in for a kind of lifesaving course so I could be a monitor in Canada in the Arctic and this was the first part of that and it was my certificate to say that I’d passed together with a huge wooden framed glass panelled door as a prize. Of course I could use that on my house between the kitchen and the hallway in Winsford, which of course never had a doorway between the kitchen and the doorway, but there you go.

That’s not all of it either but seeing as you are probably eating your lunch right now, I’ll spare you the gory details.

That apple and pear puree that I made – the verdict is that it was absolutely perfect and I really do mean that. You couldn’t distinguish it from any shop-bought stuff.

And then I attacked the splitting of the digital tracks. Again not straightforward because nothing actually corresponded to the published track lists. After much of an effort I came to the conclusion that the published lists are wrong, which is a surprise but there you go.

And also, if that’s not enough, some people have a strange idea of what constitutes a track break and I’ve often had to rebuild tracks before I could split them again.

Apart from that, I’m not quite sure what else I did during the morning. I know that I finished off the notes for the current radio project and I brought THE SET LIST WEB PAGE up to date so that people can see what was played when.

The rest of the time was probably spent fighting off a pile of sleep

pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom somewhere somehow I managed to summon up something to get me to go into town, even though I really didn’t feel like it at all.

Down into the port and across the top of the harbour gates seeing as they were closed, in order to see what they were up to. No sign of any wind turbine, as you might expect, but a very large floating pontoon with workmen and machinery thereupon.

And so the plot thickens here.

old pontoon walkway missing port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut I have an idea as to what might be going on because I’ve only just noticed that there’s something missing from the port.

In the space where Spirit of Conrad and Charles-Marie were moored up until very recently, there used to be a pontoon. And I should know because I walked on it once

But it’s not there now and I couldn’t possibly say when it went either. But anyway, I’ve only just noticed.

large crane port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd it makes me wonder what this machine might be doing here.

It’s a proper heavy-duty crane and is carrying a makers plate saying that it’s rated at 60 tonnes. Of course with an outstretched arm it won’t lift anything like that, but nevertheless they wouldn’t have brought something like this down here when they can have a mobile crane like the one that’s here already.

So we are definitely going to be having some strange things going on.

new pontoons port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut this might account for a lot of what is happening.

Out of curiosity and the fact that there was no-one around to stop me, I went for a closer look. Nice new rubber and aluminium heavy pontoons I reckon, presumably to replace the ones that they have ripped out and to go where they are installing the new supports.

But whether this brings any more marine traffic into the port remains to be seen. I haven’t seen a gravel boat since before I went on my High Arctic exploits

painting bus shelter cours de jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallAt La Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette and as the weather was nice I went for a little walk.

Round by the Cours Jonville they were erecting a marquee. At first I thought it might have been something to do with Carnaval but the smell of cellulose soon changed my mind.

It looks as if they are spraying the bus shelter there, to tidy it up.

My walk took me along to the rue Roger Maris to see why the street was closed on Monday but whatever it was, they must have done it as the traffic is flowing freely down the hill.

old well rue des moulins granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I turned my attention to heading back to my apartment.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in the past we’ve seen a few old wells dotted here and there about the town, particularly up near the Centre Agora.

But here’s one that I must have missed. I certainly haven’t seen this one before. It’s something that I shall have to look into sometime, if I could take off the roof.

And that reminds me of somethign out of Frankie Howerd and Up Pompeii
Senna the Soothsayer – “three times have I looked into the bottomless pit”
Frankie Howerd – “well, well, well”.

market hall art deco sculpture facade rue general patton granville manche normandy france eric hallcarrying on along the rue General Patton I came past the rear entrance to the Market Hall.

Although I’ve been out of that door a few times I’d never stopped to give it a good look. And I was impressed with it too – the Art Deco scultures of marine life such as shellfish.

It could do with a bit of a clean, a tidy-up and a repaint. It’s looking rather shabby around the edges, but then so am I and I’m not getting any younger either.

By the time that I returned it was long after lunchtime so I quickly made myself some butties and then attacked the work.

Fighting off wave after wave of fatigue, sometimes not successfully at all, I managed to dictate the notes, edit them, crop them and assemble a complete project, right down to the final track.

And for a change, I was short rather than overrun. Only by 7 seconds so I scanned through a collection of sound files that I’d made, cut out something from a previous project and inserted it in an appropriate place. There’s a lot to be said for building up your own sound library. I even added a cough to it too today.

A littl trimming here and there and off we go.

scaffolding house rue du nord granville manche normandy france eric hallapart from the sleep issues, I went for my afternoon walk too.

The rue du Nord was advertised as closed so I was intrigued to see why. That scaffolding that we saw the other day in the place du Marché aux Chevaux which I thought might have been for repairing the collapsing wall is in fact for repairing a house wall.

And with the street being so narrow, no cars can pass with the scaffolding erected. That will upset quite a few people I imagine.

people on promenade plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite the waterlogged ground I managed to fit in my run along the north side of the walls because there was no-one around up here at all.

And when I made it round to the cliff overlooking the Plat Gousset I could see why. We’ve already seen the crowds on the beach and there were yet more people out there walking along the promenade enjoying the really nice weather.

And I can’t say that I blame them either. Given half a chance I would be down there too.

repairing roof rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallBetter down there than up there with that guy.

There’s been a major house renovation project in the rue des Juifs that’s been proceeding along at snail’s pace – in fact they don’t seem to have advanced much since this time last year. But today, someone is up there fitting a new metal roof to it.

It makes me wonder what the seagulls have to say about it. They have been making nests on the roofs over there and I imagine it won’t be long until they are back.

tractor trailer tipping concrete port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallUnfortunately I didn’t manage to fit in my run along the square Maurice Marland because there were too many people about and I don’t want to show myself up.

But my ear picked up a noise of stones on the quayside so I went for a look to see what it might be. I thought that it might have been the gravel lorries starting to come back but in fact it was a tractor with a big trailer tipping rocks onto the quayside.

And that was interesting too. Tons of stuff going on around the place today.

tractor trailer loading rock ferry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallkeeping my eyes peeled, I followed the tractor and trailer as they left the quayside to see where they went.

And I was in luck again. Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen the concrete breaker down at the foot of the ferry terminal at low tide breaking off the rocks that are jutting out.

And there is the tractor and trailer, presumably on their way to pick up the rocks and drop them off somewhere where they can be collected. They can’t go and dump those off around the corner like they do with the silt.

Back here and in between the waves of fatigue I pressed on, determined to finish the radio project. And even though it meant a late tea, it was all done and dusted and ready for the road.

Tea was steamed veg with falafel in vegan cheese sauce followed by rice pudding. And absolutely delicious it all was too. My cooking is definitely improving.

trawler unloadind fish port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOut for my evening walk and I was the only one out there too so I managed another run. I have to keep on pushing on with this.

But with the foul weather having subsided it looks as if the fishermen are back at work. Here’s one of the trawler-type of boats unloading at the fish-processing plant, so it looks as if it’s back to business as usual.

So now all of my notes are written and I’ve listened to the radio programme to make sure that it’s okay, I can go to bed.

Here’s hoping that it’s a good night’s sleep and that I’ll be fighting fit in the morning. But I don’t think so at all. I think that i’m stuck with this.

Tuesday 11th February 2020 – IN CASE YOU ARE WONDERING …

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall… why the photos of the storm tonight aren’t anything as impressive as last night’s images, the answer is pretty clear.

When I was outside just now, it was still an hour or so before high tide. The sea was still coming in with an incredible amount of force though and I reckon that by the time it’s high tide, we’ll be having a belter again.

But I won’t be seeing it as I’m off to bed shortly.

Just for a change, I slept right though the night as far as I’m able to tell. There was certainly nothing on the dictaphone anyway

And furthermore, I even managed to beat the third alarm call so that’s progress of some kind or other.

With no dictaphone notes to deal with, I spent the early part of the morning cutting up digital tracks. Well, actually, repairing some really dire cutting before I could cut them properly (I don’t know who the heck they employed in some of these studios, I really don’t), as well as chase down a missing track which I eventually found stuck on the wrong soundtrack long after I’d downloaded a duplicate.

After breakfast I made a start on choosing the music for the next radio project and by the time that I knocked off for tea I’d even written most of the notes.

Had I applied myself to the task I could have had it finished, I reckon, but there were loads of interruptions

Much of the morning was spent trying to take a decent “selfie” (uuurrrggghhh) because I need a photograph that isn’t a standard size. Eventually I managed to seize up the memory card in the telephone and that has spent most of the day being recovered and repaired. Ancient laptops are really good for doing that because although they aren’t as quick as modern stuff, they are much more reliable and aren’t equipped with all of this modern fail-safe stuff that would stop a modern one.

heavy machinery dredging rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDuring a break in the rainstorms – because we have been drenched today good and properly – I went down into town for my dejeunette from la Mie Caline.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the dredging that was taking place a few weeks ago over at the ferry terminal. Well, it looks as if the material that they were using – well some of it anyway – is back.

We saw one of the diggers heading out there yesterday afternoon, so they muct have turned up sometime after lunch yesterday

erecting pontoon supports rue du port de granville  harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have been following the work that’s been going on at the quayside in the rue du Port.

This lunchtime I managed to catch them at it, fixing one of the pontoon supports to the side of the harbour wall. No sign of any pontoon yet, but I imagine that it won’t be too long before it’s here. There can’t be many more supports to fix.

And then we shall see just how this is going to work out

heavy crane port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe tide was well on its way out so the harbour gates were closed. That meant that I could cross on the path over the top of the gates to the other side.

And it’s all go here too since I was over here too. We’ve had quite a few deliveries of all kinds of stuff and a giant crane too. This has excited my curiosity and as there are some people over there with it, I shall go and enquire.

And you have probably noticed the clouds in the sky. It was quite bright early but now it’s turning ugly.

heavy crane pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I made my enquiries of the guys standing by the stuff and their response was “we’re going to erect a wind turbine – three wind turbines in fact – at the harbour mouth”.

Well, quite! I was sorely tempted to reply something like “pull the other one, it’s got bells on it” but instead I played along with them for a while and then wandered off as it had now started to rain.

But anyway, I worked out what it is and we’ll see if I’m right in early course I reckon.

Yesterday I mentioned that I’d go and see what was going on that had caused the road in the rue Roger Maris to be closed. But no chance of that today because we were being pelted with rain and it was dreadful. I came home instead.

After lunch I made some apple and pear puree seeing as I have run out. And I solved the problem of excess liquid by draining it off and drinking it. I didn’t think until later that I should have made a cordial out of it.

As it was, I ran the fruit through the whizzer once it was thoroughly cooked and it’s come out exactly as it was supposed to. I’ll see what it tastes like tomorrow.

Being on a roll I peeled some ginger and boiled it. While it was simmering away I added some honey and turmeric, and then peeled three lemons. The lemons went in the whizzer too and the juice was drained off and put in the fridge.

The lemon pulp was added to the ginger and all of that was left to simmer for a while.

low tide baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallBy now it was walk-time so off I went.

By the looks of things it was low tide and a very low tide at that too. The sea was miles out. And while the rain might well have stopped … “for the moment” – ed … where I was standing but across the bay at Jullouville they were getting the lot.

And the wind was still there of course. That couldn’t clear off across the bay too, could it?

storm brittany coast baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it didn’t look as if we were going to be spared the rain for very much longer … “I was right” – ed.

There was a wicked storm brewing up across the baie de Mont St Michel on the Brittany coast and whatever they were getting in Cancale, we would be getting it very shortly too give the speed of the wind.

This isn’t the time to be hanging around waiting for things to happen.

peche a pied baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallBut neither the rainstorms nor the high winds were going to deter the fans of peche à pied.

They are out there regardless of the weather scavenging among the rocks for shellfish and the like. There are some kind of rules about the exploitation of the coastline and the part beyond the normal low tide limit is apparently fair game.

But of course you can only access it at an abnormally low tide and today seems to be one of those. And I hope that they share out the catch with their friends. After all, you mustn’t be selfish with your shellfish.

fishing boat trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith the tide being so far out and with the weather being so vile today, many fishing boats that we wouldn’t normally see in port were all still there today.

And the low tide meant that you can see all of them too. As I’ve said before … “and you’ll say again” – ed … this is what is called a NAABSA harbour – Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground – when the tide is out.

It might look impressive to see boats like this but some NAABSA harbours are even more impressive. Take Ridham in kent for example, one of the destinations of our gravel boats. That’s a NAABSA harbour and ships of a couple of thousand tons can sit on the sea ed there at low tide.

dredger concrete breaker ferry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd the mystery of what that digger was going to do yesterday is solved because it was doing it again today and I managed to catch him at it.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the concrete breaker working away on the rocks over by the ferry terminal. They’ve obviously reached the limit of their reach up there because they are now working away from down at the water level.

I makes me wonder if we are going to be having a bigger ferry boat in here sometime soon

heavy crane pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd I was right!

Earlier on we saw them with the crane and the equipment and we heard their “wind turbine” story. What we actually have is a floating pontoon or two out in the water now, which is what I thought it might have been.

That doesn’t answer the question as to why, and seeing as I doubt very much if I will get any sense out of the workforce, I’ll have to wait and see for myself.

By now the rain had eased off so I extended my walk a little and then came back to the apartment.

Having put some coffee into the microwave to heat up, I sat down to wait for it and promptly fell asleep for 20 minutes. How awful this is!

But then I finished off making my cordial and then cracked on with the work. But you can see why, with all of these interruptions, I didn’t manage to get as much done as I had hoped.

Tea was a stuffed pepper and it was the best that I had ever made. It really was good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The rice pudding was excellent too.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThat took me up to my evening walk time.

The rain had stopped by now … “for the moment” – ed … but everywhere was thoroughly soaked. One of my running tracks was submerged so I had to do that run somewhere else.

Abd as I mentioned earlier, the tide is still quite far out right now. The waves were still crashing down on the Plat Gousset though but without the force that they’ll have a little later.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallJust for a change I was the only one out there enjoying the spectacle so I stood and watched it for a while.

With no-one about I managed my second run too and then headed for home, exchanging pleasantries with a guy cleaning his window sill. Some people have some funny ideas.

Back here I’ve finished my notes so now I’m ready for bed. But the lemon and ginger cordial that I made was totally wicked. I mustn’t spill any or it will strip the varnish off the floor.

But being tired, I’m off to bed, hoping for another good night’s sleep. I need it.

Monday 10th February 2020 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hall … yet more photos of Storm Ciara, taken at about 21:30 this evening in the pitch black, let me tell you about an exciting encounter that I had this morning.

Newspaper reporter – “you’re British, aren’t you?”
Our Hero – “No I’m not. I’ù European. 100% European, looking for a European country to adopt me”
Newspaper reporter – “could you give me your phone number? I’ll be wanting to talk to you sometime soon”

So there you go. Whatever I think about Brexit will be all over the newspapers in early course.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallLast night wasn’t such a late night as some have been just recently and just for a change I beat the third alarm to my feet.

After the medication I came back to check on the dictaphone. And by the looks of things it was a night that was extremely active.

No wonder I’ve been so tired recently with nights like this. I’ll be needing a sleep to recover from the sleep at this rate.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWe started off with the Fête Forain or Funfair in town and we were having a kind of circus or something like that. I’m not sure how it related to this particular dream but Castor was here. In the end, Castor and I worked out a plan. She really liked the funfair so in the end I got her to sneak off and she went round to some woman’s house and tormented the woman so that in the end the woman lost her temper and tried to attack her and she could kill the woman. It was all very surreal.
Part of this dream and I don’t know exactly what part involved me travelling on a bus from Goodall’s Corner (… actually the Sugar Loaf …) in Shavington. I’d got in at about 07:00 and started to take off my clothes and get into bed but then all the school kids started to turn up ready for the bus. I thought that I really wanted to be on this bus – I had things to do. There was something I particularly wanted to do but I cant remember what it was now so i got myself back out of bed and started to get dressed quite quickly as I knew that the bus would be here and I needed to be on it with all these kids for this reason but I can’t remember what now.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSome time later we (whoever “we” were) were on the road driving somewhere around Europe and we came across a couple who had a Marina Estate with a big trailer behind with loads of stuff on it. They were moving across France somewhere. So we had a chat and they were telling us about our plans and all that then they set off to drive. A short while later we set off behind them. On this trailer were two big air bags tied to the side, the type that keep yachts afloat. They were bouncing about in the wind and I remember telling whoever it was I was with that I wonder if they’d still have those tied to their trailer at the end of the journey. But they started to get a bit slower and slower then we were overtake by this big white Scammell lorry and white trailer that went roaring past us and I remember saying that I know that lorry from before and I don’t know what engine he has in it but it’s not the right one. These people ground to a halt and I pulled past them to park on the verge in front and I could see the smoke and smell the hot oil from where I was standing. It seemed that the car had blown up or something like that so I told the guy to bounce it over on the starter onto the verge then at least it’s out of the way of the traffic. So he did that but the trailer became disconnected – he moved the car but not the trailer so we had to start to man-haul the trailer out of the road. And I woke up right at that point in the middle of hauling this trailer

Later still last night I was at a party and I can’t remember who I was with now. Two guys were there who I knew really well but I can’t remember them. They were farmers talking to me about the farm and joined by someone else who was a farmer locally. They were all having a chat about their farms, that kind of thing. I was loitering around near them. The stranger of the three said something like this was why he left St Julian’s Primary School, was to do something or other. Their conversation drifted along. eventually the new guy said “is that your Transit parked outside by the way?” I said “yes it was” and I was about to say that I was now on retirement but that was when I awoke.

No wonder I’m exhausted after all of that.

Once breakfast was out of the way I attacked the digital files. And while I would like to say that for a change it went quite well, I ended up being left with a pile of stuff left over that I recognise but I just can’t put a name to it and that’s annoying me intently.

But anyway I went and had a shower.

road closed rue roger maris granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the shower I went off out on my walk to my weekly radio meeting at the Centre Agora.

There were no interruptions until I reached the rue Couraye and there I was presented with a road closure. It seems that the rue Roger maris is closed for some reason or other and there’s a diversion.

Tomorrow when I go to pick up my dejeunette from la Mie Caline I shall go for a walk out that way and see what gives.

recycling lorry avenue des matignons granville manche normandy france eric hallFurther on up the hill at the junction or the rue Aristide Briand and the avenue des Matignon, the recycling lorry was out again.

It was difficult to tell what he was collecting this time but judging by the sound as he emptied the silo, I would hazard a guess that it was the glass that he was collecting today.

Anyway I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … to the Centre Agora for our radio meeting and there I was within half an inch of saying something that everyone including me might regret.

But basically the guy who thinks that he’s running the show just wouldn’t shut up today and, even worse, he wouldn’t let anyone else have a say. and any suggestion that anyone other than he made was immediately shot down in flames.

He’s een bad before, that’s for sure, but today he was out of control and if he doesn’t get a grip of himself or p155 off elsewhere, this is all going to end in tears because there won’t be another meeting like this with me at it.

I have much better things to do with my time than to witness someone go off on an ego trip

We then had a Press Conference at which only two journalists turned up. A third, from Ouest-France, was scheduled to appear but declined. Apparently that newspaper supports another outlet and so won’t give ours any publicity at all.

It’s just like the situation in Wales where BBC Wales Sport is deep in bed with members of the Welsh Rugby Football Association and broadcasts everything to do with Rugby while imposing a total news blackout on the Welsh Premier League.

My way or resolving the situation with Ouest-France is simple. We are a public service outlet financed by the Town Council of Granville, organised by the Mayor. So quite simply, the mayor should refuse to invite them to any of her press conferences.

scales for digital kitchen lidl avenue aristide briand granville manche normandy france eric hallEventually the meeting was over and I headed off to LIDL.

There wasn’t much that I needed so I didn’t buy a great deal, but if only I had a digital kitchen I would have been well away with a set of scales.

But seriously, someone ought to teach the Chinese that what they are offering is not a set of scales for a digital kitchen, but a set of digital scales for a kitchen – a balance numérique pour cuisine, or at least check their writing before it goes to print.

coelacanthe trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn my way home and I called in at La Mie Caline for my dejeunette and then headed for home.

Down in the port one of the biggest trawler-type of fishing boats, called the Coelacanthe was having a nautical danse macabre all to herslef, and it wasn’t very clear whether she was coming or going.

But whatever it was, it won’t be far because the harbour gates are closed.

digger ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that at the beginning of the year they were dredging out by the ferry port with a digger and a couple of big lorries.

They cleared off after a few weeks but I noticed today on my way home that there was a digger back out there today. I’ve no idea what because he can’t accomplish very much on his own.

Back here it was long after lunch time so I had a quick lunch and went to work.

With not going for an afternoon walk (I’m over 100% already) I cracked on with the radio project and now that’s all finished and done.

Final task was to prepare a live radio concert for the end of the month. I had one lined up and dictated some text, but what I dictated wasn’t long enough so I had to dictate some more.

But listening to the concert – one that I mixed and edited 5 years ago – I decided that it was rubbish. I remember being impressed with it back in those days but I can do much better than that now.

And so I remixed and re-edited it. And I still wasn’t satisfied so I re-did it completely.

That meant a very late tea so it was an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit out of the freezer followed by more rice pudding

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallOutside tonight, the wind was totally wicked again and we have had a rainstorm and the ground is like a lake. I had to do my first run along another part of the track.

That brought me to the cliff overlooking the Plat Gousset where I joined the crowds looking down on the waves, driven by Storm Ciara, crashing down on the promenade.

Unfortunately they have turned off the lights on the promenade these days so we can’t really see the storm in all of its glory.

waves storm ciara plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThis little crowd of us waited around for a while and I took a few photos.

It’s disappointing that they haven’t turned out any better than this but you can’t win a coconut every time. I’ll try to be out and about at high tide in the morning if the storm is still raging.

And so I carried on with my walk – and run too. I did my second run even though I didn’t feel like it.

Now I’m back home, finishing off my notes and listening to the project that I recorded earlier. And there’s still some more editing that needs doing.

And what is impressing me more than anything is that I’m now starting to look for it and to recognise it. Stuff that I thought was good 5 years ago I’m now discarding because I can do much better than that now.

And that’s something about which I should be pleased, I reckon.

Tuesday 21st October 2020 – I’M FED UP …

F-BRTM Jodel DR-253B Regent granville manche normandy france eric hall… of being buzzed by just about every man and his dog who owns any kind of flying machine in this vicinity. It’s getting on my wick.

If it’s not the guy who had his chopper out the other week, it’s now someone in a low-flying aeroplane who has come for a look around outside my apartment.

This plane is actually F-BRTM, which is the 152nd Jodel DR-253B in the series apparently. But whether or not Jodel actually built it is open to question. The company stopped manufacturing almost 60 years ago and now just sells to home-builders licences for construction of its aeroplanes.

But as for flying, I certainly didn’t get off to a flying start. With my really late night last night – after 02:00 in the end – I couldn’t leave the stinking pit at all. 06:45 when I finally pulled myself together and arose from the dead.

After the medication I checked the dictaphone and here I drew a blank. I hadn’t been anywhere during the night, which was a shame. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … what I do and where I go during the night is much more exciting than what I do and where I go during the day.

After breakfast I began to catch up on a few outstanding tasks. First off, I cut up quite a few digital sound tracks that I had downloaded in the past into their individual component tracks

cutting brush boulevard des terreneuviers granville manche normandy france eric hallThat took me up until almost lunchtime so I went to have a look in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers to see what this work thing is all about.

And I do have to say that I really didn’t see anything that looked relevant. In fact the only thing that really caught my eye was the tree shredder here, parked up for lunch, with loads of bits of small trees around it.

It would be quite surprising if they had closed the road and banned all parking simply for this.

Who knows?

small outboard motor boat beached port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThis method of beaching ships and boats in some kind of ad-hoc informal dry dock situation is becoming something of a habit.

The other day we had the trawler type of fishing boat lashed to the harbour wall but today we have a small motor boat and outboard motor beached on the boat-loading ramp.

And I do have to say that I like how they have done this – dropped it onto the wall so that the outboard motor overhangs the steep drop and doesn’t ground out.

dumper lorry being moved dredging port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe heavy equipment that they have been using for the dredging over by the ferry terminal seems to have moved so I went to look for it.

And here’s one of the huge dumper lorries, being loaded onto a low-loader ready to be moved. There was a driver chaining it down so I asked him if the work was now completed. He replied that he didn’t think so but the equipment was required elsewhere.

And so we might be seeing it back some time in the near future.

piles uprooted port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day they were doing some kind of building work over by the ferry terminal with a concrete breaker and I’d said that I’d go for a look some time.

Today, with the tide being out, the harbour gates would be closed so I could cross to the other side by the path on top and go for a look.

And surprisingly there was nothing evident. But there were all of these columns that look as if they have been some kind of ferry pier at some time in the past.

So I shall have to make further enquiries.

work compound port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe place to go for that, I reckon, was the compound that regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing a few days ago too.

And I was in luck – at least, I thought that I was – because there were two guys just coming out of it. I went over to one of them but just as I walked up to him he got into his van and drove off.

Not to be outdone I turned round to grab hold of the other one but he must have seen me coming and disappeared off in a fork-lift truck.

Ahh well – I’ll have to come down here again too, won’t I? It’s not my day.

So instead, I went to La Mie Caline for my dejeunette and came back home for lunch, to find workmen painting the windows in the communal part of the building.

On the way up the hill there was a workman in what’s left of the compound that they had when they were working on the wall.
“Nearly finished?” I asked.
“Yes, nearly” he replied.

After lunch I started on another radio project – a rock music programme. And I’m glad that I chopped up all of that digital music this morning because I’ve been selecting bits out of there.

fishing boats english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAt one point I must have fallen asleep because I sat bolt-upright and it was 15:50. Time for my afternoon walk.

Outside it was bitterly cold to the point of being uncomfortable so I didn’t want to hang around. Having been buzzed by someone’s aeroplane, I did stop to take a photo of these two fishing boats crossing each other in mid-channel.

And I don’t know what happened to the photograph here but for some reason it didn’t want to work properly.

trawler on mobile sling chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallContinuing my walk around the headland in the piercing wind … “what wind?” – ed … PIERCING … “ohhh!” – ed … I was distracted yet again by the sound of a rather large engine.

Consequently I scampered around the bend and had a look over the wall to see what I could see, and there was yet more activity in the Chantier navale today.

Spirit of Conrad is there of course and so are a couple of fishing boats that have been there for a while too. But there is someone else coming to join them.

trawler on mobile sling chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWe saw the mobile sling working the other day when it was lowering the blue and yellow trawler-type vessel back into the water.

But today it’s pulling another fishing boat out. And as I watched, it moved across the yard with the fishing boat suspended beneath it and dropped the boat off on a set of chocks next to Spirit of Conrad.

And here, I imagine, she’ll be staying for a while. So I’ll keep my eye on her as I go for my daily wander.

police boats port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut here’s a thing.

We saw the little blue boat with the outboard motor earlier, beached on the boat-loading ramp. But here she is now back in the water moored to the fish-processing plant, and she seems to have acquired a friend.

And if anyone were to ask me I would say that the latter is in the colours that I would expect to see on a Police boat.

So what with the Customs yesterday and the Police today, tomorrow we might be having Godzilla.

Back here I pushed on with the music and that’s all chosen, and I’m halfway through writing the notes. But I have a feeling that it might have to change because somehow I seem to have over-run by some considerable amount.

That’s something for me to look into tomorrow.

Tea was a stuffed pepper with pasta for a change, followed by more apple pie. And it really was a nice tea too.

floodlights donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallhaving frozen to death this afternnon, I put on a fleece underneath my jacket and at least I felt a little warmer tonight outside.

Those lights that regular readers of this rubbish will recall me mentioning ages ago were on tonight and they stayed lit long enough for me to photograph them.

They seem to be in the position where I would expect Donville’s football pitch to be, but I don’t recall it having floodlights at all so who knows?

Despite the cold, I managed to do both my runs tonight because there was no-one around to laugh. My style of running these days is rather awkward to say the least but considering my illnesses and my age I’m surprised that I can do it at all.

bollards boulevard vaufleury granville manche normandy france eric hallWith being nearly at the 100% mark I stretched my walk to pass the limit.

And here in the Boulevard Vaufleury in another miserable photograph (what on earth is happening to my technique?) we can see that the bollards are back.

So what are they going to be up to tomorrow? I can’t wait to find out.

The barrier into the car park is now fixed so I brought Caliburn back from the public car park and he’s now in his usual little place.

Now that I’m back I’ve written my journal and I’m off to bed – unless something exciting comes up on the playlist meantime.

Tuesday 14th January 2020 – I WAS WONDERING …

fallen tree place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hall… how long it was going to be before we had a catastrophe.

The answer is “this afternoon at about 14:00” when this tree came crashing down. It was bound to happen sooner or later because the winds outside are horrific. They aren’t quite the worst that I’ve ever encountered but they are pretty close.

And this tree took the full brunt of it and came crashing down. Lucky that there weren’t any cars parked just there on the car park of the other block of flats.

As for me, I had a really bad day today.

By the time that I finished what I was doing, it was 02:30. Sure enough, the elarms went off at the usual time but it was 07:05 when I finally crawled out of bed.

There was the medication of course and while I was waiting for it to work I attacked some more of this translation. In fact over the course of the day I’ve been nibbling away at it here and there and I’m now at 65%. But even so, my good humour hasn’t returned quite yet.

trawler baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRound about 11:00 I headed out of the apartment for this Press Conference.

And as I was leaving my apartment this fishing boat from Jersey was leaving port and heading out into the wicked wind. I don’t envy him at all heading that way in all of this.

At least the rain wasn’t all that heavy, which was one good thing. But it’s been a long time since I’ve seen horizontal rain.

guy lefevre stade louis dior us granville manche normandy france eric hallAt the Stade Louis Dior I was one of the first to arrive and so I had another good chat with the Vice-president, Guy Lefevre.

We’d met each other ON THE BUS THE OTHER DAY GOING TO VERSAILLES and so we continued the interesting conversation that we’d had back then.

But then everyone else began to arrive and we all settled down.

johan gallon guy lefevre stade louis dior us granville manche normandy france eric hallNone of the players were available today but the team’s chief coach, Johan Gallon, came to talk to us.

He gave us a little talk and we all asked loads of questions. What interested me was that I was the only one there asking questions about tactics and the like. Everyone else was much more interested in the emotional side of the match.

He did his best to answer them but without giving away anything that might be of use to the enemy.

johan gallon guy lefevre stade louis dior us granville manche normandy france eric hallHe’s well aware that the match is going to be difficult, much more difficult than against Bordeaux and much more difficult than when US Granvillais met Olympique de Marseille back in 2016.

There were about a dozen of us all told, and two television cameras too. One or two of them were interested in me too – where did I come from and what was I doing there.

I suppose that I’m really something of a novelty around here, being British, asking tactical questions in French and gatecrashing press conferences like this

johan gallon guy lefevre stade louis dior us granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter half an hour or so Johan gallon left us to carry on with his other business.

However the Vice-President Guy Lefevre stayed behind and a couple of us continued our chat.

We also discussed the Carnaval because he has a char that parades there and it’s another idea that I have for the forthcoming.

One thing I learnt, which was of great interest to me, was how they transported the chars from their hidey-holes to the Parade.

Apparently the operators of the chars have to have Public Liability insurance but the road risks are arranged by the municipality. The Police provide an exemption from the Road Traffic Acts to cover journeys to and from the parades and the parades themselves.

Another thing is that there is a limit on the number of chars. Just 47 are permitted to parade. Motorised chars, that is. Push-along chars can turn up in any particular number that they fancy.

By the time that we finished, the rain had stopped so I walked home in something like comfort. On the way back I popped in to la Mie Caline for my dejeunette and then came back here.

By now it was 14:15 so that was it. Lunchtime.

This afternoon I started to listen to the recordings that I had made. The quality isn’t up to much but, rather like Samuel Johnson’s dog, “I’m surprised that it is done at all”. I spent some time enhancing the recordings so at least I could hear what was being said.

The plan is to listen to the recordings to hear parts that are obvious “answers” to questions that haven’t been asked, then to record the questions and edit them into the recording.

It’s an old radio practice that has been done for years – in fact when the Beatles first toured the USA they sent over to each radio station a recording of “answers” so that the reporters there could ask their own questions and have an “exclusive live interview”.

dredging ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn that point I went out into the horrendous gale. There were just four of us out there in total today and I was surprised that there was that many.

The wild wind hadn’t stopped them working down at the ferry terminal. They were digging out the silt, tipping it into the dumpers and taking it off to be dumped.

They can’t be going to be spending too long on it because sooner or later they’ll be wanting to send the ferries back out again and they won’t want to be working all around a ferry timetable as well as a tidal chart.

ripping up abandoned railway port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnother thing that’s cracking on is the work on the car park in the rue du Port.

They’ve devastated that pretty much over the last 24 hours as you can tell if you compare it to THIS PHOTO TAKE 24 HOURS AGO. It won’t be long before that will be finished and they will have all gone.

What’s going on in my mind is what it will look like when it’s finished. I hope that it’s not simply going to be a bare patch of asphalt. And I hope that they plant some trees in there too.

Back here I was intending to start work but I’m afraid that I simply crashed out on the chair. I was gone for a good hour too in a deep sleep, the kind of crashing out that I used to have before that last spell of good health.

It’s something that has depressed me completely and I don’t really want to dwell on it.

Instead, I had tea. The last of the falafel with steamed veg and vegan cheese sauce, followed by the last of the Christmas Cake. It was delicious too.

So tomorrow I’ll have to start on the rice pudding that I made on Sunday.

high winds storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallIf anything, the wind outside had worsened tonight. It bowled me along the street on the way out and on the way back there were times when it was impossible to make headway, so strong were the gusts of wind.

You can’t see it at all well but the waves were smashing over the sea wall at the Plat Gousset with the most astonishing violence.

It’s a shame that they’ve taken this decision to turn out the lights along there in winter. No-one can see a thing out there now and it’s terrible for photography.

The wind was so powerful across the square Maurice Marland that is was impossible at times to walk, never mind run.

But having anticipated that, I’d done my running (such as it is) in the sheltered spot on the north side of the city walls. The huge puddles there made it difficult but I pushed on for a few hundred metres.

It might not be much but at my age and in my state of health I think that it’s pretty good.

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere’s a spot on the city walls that is protected from the wind so I went there for a moment.

There was a trawler unloading at the fish-processing plant so I could snap off a quick shot of it through the trees. Winter is my favourite time for photography because there are no leaves to obscure the shot.

On the way back I bumped into a girl walking her dog and smoking a cigarette. We exchanged pleasantries and then I came back.

By now, THE PODCAST OF MY RADIO PROGRAMME WAS ON-LINE so I had a listen.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have a lot of time for kids – sometimes (in fact, quite often) I find them far more interesting than adults – and some of the kids in my radio programme didn’t let me down.

They performed admirably and gave a really good filling to the programme as well as providing some comic relief.

It’s the one thing that I regret – not having a kid of my own and I get quite broody at times. But then if I had a kid I would have to have the partner that went with it and I’m not made for living with other people.

Anyway, it’s later. later than I want to be. Marillion has passed by on the playlist so there’s no reason to stay up any longer. I’m off to bed and tomorrow I’ll crack on and do this radio programme.

Whenever am I going to find time to do my own stuff?

johan gallon guy lefevre stade louis dior us granville manche normandy france eric hall
johan gallon guy lefevre stade louis dior us granville manche normandy france eric hall

johan gallon guy lefevre stade louis dior us granville manche normandy france eric hall
johan gallon guy lefevre stade louis dior us granville manche normandy france eric hall

johan gallon guy lefevre stade louis dior us granville manche normandy france eric hall
johan gallon guy lefevre stade louis dior us granville manche normandy france eric hall

Monday 13th January 2020 – I’M NOT SURE …

… exactly what I’ve done, but whatever it is, I’ve done it good and proper!

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that US Granvillais, the local football team, have drawn Olympique de Marseille, one of the biggest clubs in French football, in the French Cup on Friday night.

There’s a Press Conference at the ground tomorrow at 12:15 and all of the giants of the Press will be there – TF1, Eurosport, all of these, and … errr … Yours Truly. Following my efforts on the bus to Versailles the other day, I’ve been issued with a Press Pass for the club and I’ve been invited along to cover the Press Conference on behalf of OUR LITTLE RADIO STATION

All that I hope for is that I can walk the walk as well as I can talk the talk.

And talking of talking the talk, my radio programme covering the coach trip and the supporters will be BROADCAST TOMORROW 17:00 CET, OR 16:00 UK TIME OR 11:00 TORONTO TIME. Don’t miss it!

Just for a change these days I was up and about prior to the third alarm going off. An attack on the medication and then a look at the dictaphone, which once again is bearing a remarkable resemblance to my bank account or Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard.

After breakfast I carried on with another whack at this translation and that’s another while done and out of the way. There’s still well over half left though but that will have to wait as it’s now time for a shower.

marite normandy trader la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfter the shower I went and headed off up town.

As usual, I had a butcher’s over the wall down into the harbour to see what was going on and, as usual, it was quite busy down there. We have Marité of course – she wont be going anywhere until the summer – but she’s been joined by La Grande Ancre and Normandy Trader.

The latter must have crept in on the morning tide and even as we speak they are busy unloading her.

road works place semard granville manche normandy france eric hallUp at the roundabout at Place Semard the Christmas Tree has gone, but there are also these signs here talling us that the rue Paul Poirier is undergoing work.

That’s not a street that I used this morning to come this way so I don’t know why or what’s going on but I’ll have a look when I go back.

And I did, and they were taking down the Christmas lights

cement conveyor av aristide briand granville manche normandy france eric hallNow this is something extremely interesting and I don’t know why the photo hasn’t come out very well.

It’s actually a cement conveyor and the guy who was attending it was mixing cement in a cement mixer and tipping it into the conveyor, which was then taking it off and over the top of those steps there.

Obviously it’s cheaper than employing a labourer to carry it in buckets.

cable laying av aristide briand granville manche normandy france eric hallMore good news from the avenue Aristide Briand.

This looks like loads and loads of black cable, and that can only be one kind of cable as far as I can see. Maybe now they are finally laying the fibre-optic cables.

And I like the cable roller too at the edge of the manhole. That’s a superb little thing.

So I made it to the radio meeting at the Centre Agora where they enthused over our VISIT TO DONVILLE-LES-BAINS. I’m glad that they liked it.

And it was here that I learned of my good fortune.

We discussed several other projects too and they may well be seeing the light of day in due course. We’ll have to see.

Another thing that I did was to hand over the present that I had picked up last week

moulin a cafe electrique lidl granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I went off to LIDL to do some shopping.

And here’s a thing. Now if only anyone around here were to sell any electric coffee I would be set up for life. But I’m surprised that they are selling a “grinder for electric coffee” rather than an “electric grinder for coffee”. I suppose that it’s something to do with poor translation into Chinese.

Having remembered the present I found that I had forgotten my shopping bag. The paper one that they gave me didn’t last a second so I had to buy another one to add to the several that are lying around here.

Having picked up my dejeunette at La Mie Caline I came home. It was already lunchtime by now so I had lunch straight away.

This afternoon, what with this Press Conference tomorrow, I had plenty of things to do that kept me really busy. Nevertheless, I found some time to do some more on this translation and now I’m almost at half-way.

And it’s not going to be finished for a while either because there’s this football thing to do. It’s pretty “current” so I’ll have to get cracking with that pretty smartly.

pecheurs à pied pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWe had the afternoon walk around the headland of course in the sunshine.

There were plenty of us out there today, including some very intrepid pecheurs à pied down there on the rocks at the Cap Lihou But they had better be careful. I’ve read somewhere that some of the shellfish is contaminated again right now.

But whatever they catch, I hope that they share them out with their friends. After all, one mustn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish.

dredging out ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd as I rounded the headland I found out why Chausiais and Joly France have gone back into the inner harbour.

There’s a digger on the extreme left of the image and a couple of huge dumper lorries down there. They are dredging out the bed of the harbour round at the ferry terminal – presumably to increase the operating times of the ferries

And there’s a guy in a high-visibility jacket down there further into the harbour. I wonder what he’s after.

ripping up abandoned railway port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe view from on top of the cliffs is pretty good.

From here I can see all the way down the rue du Port and have a good idea of how they are progressing with these improvements to the car parking which, unfortunately, means ripping up the railway lines

They are making good progress (which is a change) so I don’t imagine that they will be long in doing it.

But what you can’t see in that photo is Normandy Trader. In probably the quickest turn-round that I’ve seen, she’s cleared off home already. I’ve not seen anything that quick before.

Back here I went to carry on with stuff but I ended up … errr … having a relax, something that is annoying me intently.

With pushing on though, I had no tea tonight. I grabbed a few biscuits and worked on

trawler english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was still time to fit in my evening walk though, even if the wind outside was thoroughly wicked.

There was a trawler out there battling its way through the heavy seas and as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … my hat comes off to all of those out there in this kind of weather.

It was totally impossible to have my usual run as the headwind was pushing me backwards. However, not to be outdone, I had noticed that the north side of the walls was sheltered from the wind so I went round there.

Even though it was pitch-black and I couldn’t see where I was going, I managed a good few hundred metres down there just to keep up the pressure.

It’s now almost 01:30 and I’m just about to finish my notes. There’s still plenty of preparation to do for tomorrow but that will have to be done tomorrow too.

4:30 sleep tonight if I’m lucky. Just like old times, isn’t it?

Wednesday 8th May 2019 – THE BIG ADVANTAGE …

… about wearing the kind of clothes that I do (fleeces, shell-suit trousers) is that when I’m caught outside in a torrential downpour for 10 minutes, I dry off just as quickly as I became wet once the sun came out.

trawler brittany coast granville manche normandy franceThis afternoon I went out and about on my afternoon ramble with the aim of going down to the chantier navale

However I was held up at the top of the Pointe du Roc by an exceptionally good view of the Brittany coast.

It’s not come out so well though, because even with the monopod the strong gusting winds were making it impossible to hold the camera steady.

viewing platform pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceJust for a change seeing as I was heading down to the harbour, I took the stairs all the way down to the foot of the Pointe du Roc.

We’d been down there once or twice after it reopened and I’d taken a few photos when I was down there on the viewing platform.

But it came to my mind that I hadn’t taken a photo of the viewing platform itself. I need to remedy that.

concrete wire anchor granville manche normandy franceContinuing on around the footpath, and dodging the pedestrians who pressed on regardless of how narrow the path was, I had a good look around.

And here’s something that I missed on the previous occasions when I’ve been round here. It’s a concrete wire anchor, presumably for a radio mast or something similar, and quite possibly dating from the time of the Atlantic Wall.

I’ll have to look on my 1943 photograph and see if there’s anything that gives me a clue.

And it was round about here that I was drenched in the rain.

grand beau temps chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe maystery of the new yacht in the chantier navale is resolved.

She’s called the Grand Beau Temps and she is apparently registered here in Granville, although I don’t actually recall having seen her here in the harbour.

There wasn’t anyone around working on her to ask any questions unfortunately, so I don’t know any more about her.

dredger st gilles croix de vie chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWhile I was down here, I went over to have a good look at the red and yellow pontoon that has been in the harbour for a couple of weeks and has now appeared in the chantier navale

The first thing that caught my eye was here on the front. It looked at first as if it might be a grab of some description

But a closer inspection revealed that it might actually be some kind of gratter and suction pump

dredger st gilles croix de vie chantier navale port de granville harbour  manche normandy franceRound the back, there is what appears to be a suction outlet.

And that makes it much more clear. She’s probably a dredger, although that doesn’t explain why she’s been in the harbour here the last couple of weeks.

After all, they only dredged that last winter and it won’t be silted up quite yet.

There’s a plaque from the owners affixed to the cabin. and the surprising thing that the plaque told me was that she’s apparently owned by the town of St Gilles Croix de Vie

That’s on the Vendée coast opposite the Ile de Yeu where Cécile lived and where I went to visit back in 2013.

So the plot sickens.

This morning, having had a good early night and a decent sleep, I was up and about before the final alarm wen toff, which is always good news.

I’d been on a little voyage too during the night. I had an appointment at the Income Tax Office of all places in Northwich at 14:30. I was in Middlewich about an hour before, although it wasn’t much like Mifddlewich, and I had a couple of bags with me and a few other bits and pieces. I was on foot. I suddenly thought “how do I get to Northwich?”. I know the two roads that go there but which one do I take and which one gets me to the town centre because I couldn’t think which would be the best way to go. I was walking past Middlewich railway station (which was nothing at all like Middlewich railway station). There were some travellers parked there, a fairground, loads of buses and cars parked around there. And a taxi, an old FX4, was going to the station. It was L-registered (1973) so I thought that this must be the oldest taxi still working in the UK. It was rattling and clanking. I had to climb the hill to get over the railway bridge which of course doesn’t exist (but reminded me of where the canalised Weaver runs through Northwich near the old Hospital) but going up this bridge I just could not put one foot in front of another. It was just as if I was having to drag tons of stuff up behind me over this bridge. All I had was a couple of files of paperwork. I was just not able to put one foot in front of another. In the end there was some kind of office and for some reason I went in to sit down. It was like a doctor’s surgery with loads of people sitting round. I sat down and there were a couple of small girls behind me about 6 years old chatting like little girls do. I suddenly wondered why I was there. This wasn’t doing me any good at all, I had my appointment at 14:30 and it was now 14:15. I thought that I would now have to take a taxi to get there on time and I’ll need some money for that – I didn’t have any English money. So I stood up ans started to go out of this room. I said to everyone, as a gesture of pride, that I would be back in a minute. Some woman asked “how long?” so I replied “a minute or two” but of course I wasn’t coming back at all. I smiled at this young woman by the door and said “you can’t do anything without any money, can you?” and I went out, planning to go to the station to see if that taxi was there.
At some point though right at the very beginning of this I’d been out on the Northwich by-pass. I remember thinking that I didn’t have much time but I was hungry and there was a corner shop in one of the small towns on the by-pass so I remember walking there thinking that most people wouldn’t bother doing this because it would be too far. But I went anyway, ended up in this town, missed the corner shop and that might have been where I ended up in Middlewich.

With an early morning, we ended up with an early start to work and, in some really excellent news as far as I’m concerned, I’ve finished all of the dictaphone notes.

And I’ve also linked up the notes to the photos for Canada October 2015 and made a start on September 2015.

This is great progress indeed – to finish off one of my long-term tasks – and I gave myself a metaphorical pat on the back.

There are still plenty of other long-term tasks that need attention, so it’s not really made mush difference to the backlog of work.

It also helped that I didn’t have any distractions of any kind today, except lunch and my afternoon walk.

And also, a little 20-minute relax on the chair.

Another thing that is some kind of progression is that I now know what to do with the left-over stuffing from the pepper. Slice some onion and garlic and fry it with cumin, coriander and turmeric. In the meantime, cut a small potato into small cubes and give it three minutes in the microwave.

Then add the potato, the left-over stuffing and anything else that’s lying around and likely to be wasted, and make some rice and vegetables, and there you are.

Followed down by apple pie and coconut sorbet. Absolutely delicious.

casino beach plat gousset granville manche normandy franceAnd then out and about for the evening walk around the walls.

The light was really good tonight, looking towards the east, and the casino and the beach at the Plat Gousset were perfectly illuminated.

It’s a shame that there were so few people about out there enjoying it. Half a dozen down there on the beach and the promenade and just two or three people wandering around the walls.

victor hugo port de granville harbour  manche normandy franceWhile I was out wandering around the walls, I’d seen something moving rapidly across the sea.

No prizes for guessing what it was, because it’s that time of the evening. So I wandered round to the other side of the walls and there I encountered Victor Hugo just coming into port.

It’s that time of the year again and so the regular runs to the Channel Islands have restarted. She’ll be in and out on a regular basis for the rest of the summer season.

trawlers waiting for port de granville harbour gates manche normandy franceThat wasn’t the only action that was going on down in the harbour.

The harbour gates are closed as you can see, and the red lights on display give that indication to ships and boats about to come in.

But there’a a queue of trawlers lined up at the harbour gates so I reckon that the gates must be right on the point of opening.

And now I’m going to have yet another early night. I need a good shower to clean up, and then it’s shopping time tomorrow. I need to be on form and it would do me good.

victor hugo port de granville harbour manche normandy france
victor hugo port de granville harbour manche normandy france