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Tuesday 27th September 2022 – NOT VERY MANY …

beach donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… photos today. And when you look at the photo of the beach down towards Donville les Bains you’ll see why.

When I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland I was almost swept away in a rainstorm and at one point I was even thinking of giving up and going back home. However I trudged wearily and wetly on around my circuit.

So providing that I haven’t caught pneumonia or something else and don’t pop my clogs I’ll tell you all about my day.

And as usual, when the alarm went off at 07:30 it was a struggle to leave my stinking pit. And after the medication I came back in here to revise my Welsh ready for my lesson.

Mind you, I need not have bothered because it was a pretty gruesome lesson. It didn’t go according to plan at all and I made rather a mess of things. Somehow I’ve not been able to get to grips with things since we started back and that’s quite depressing.

After the lunchtime fruit I’ve been organising a few things. There’s a little something simmering away on the back burner and I need to prepare for it. and so I’ve been dragging stuff out of cubby holes and that sort of thing today

Another thing that I’ve been doing is checking all of the electric stuff and making sure that it’s fully-charged. It’s twice this week that I’ve been caught with my batteries flat.

windsurfer beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And that took me up to the time when I usually go for my afternoon walk.

It’s no surprise that there was almost no-one down there on the beach. There was just one person out there at the water’s edge eyeing the waves but I was more interested in this guy here.

Al dressed up for the wind-surfing complete with board, but he’s on his way back to the steps up to the Rue du Nord. Obviously the storm was far too much even for him.

It was certainly far too much for me and as I said, I was in half a mind to turn round and go back home.

However, I carried gamely on, not that it did me any good at all because I couldn’t see a thing out there. There was just one person running around on the lawn and that was that. There wasn’t even anyone on the bench at the cabanon vauban..

briscard chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And so I pushed on along the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was going on there.

And yet more excitement in the chantier naval again today. The only boat that remains in there today is Briscard. The other two, Gerlean and Chant des Sirenes, have now gone back into the water.

Not that this is a good day to be going back into the water. I certainly wouldn’t want to be out there today, not in a 25-ton fishing vessel anyway. We would have been OK on a 12,000 tonne vessel like THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR

And thinking about that has got me going again, hasn’t it? High time I hit the frozen north. What actually brought that to my mind was how cold and wet and windy it was. It actually felt like the Arctic standing there today.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Today is usually the day that one of the freighters from Jersey comes into port.

And there’s a huge pile of freight waiting on the quayside to be picked up as you can see, but this isn’t really the kind of weather that you would expect to see one of them struggle into port.

The two lorries there are quite interesting though. The other day we saw two refrigerated vans parked back-to-back with their doors opened. Today, there are two refrigerated artics doing the same thing.

It must be some kind of ritual, I suppose.

blocked street rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But there’s something going on here in the Rue du Port right now.

There was something in the news this morning about the bus routes being closed this weekend and this is probably why. There’s some kind of concert taking place by the looks of things and they are busy setting up the stage.

Last year, I vaguely remember something about this so I’ll have to look through the old records to find out.

Back here I had a coffee and then had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. This was another one of these dreams where I had all of my work in a total mess so I was planning on retiring. I had my German homework to do but I hadn’t done it and I hadn’t done the next lot. The tutor started to harass me about my German. I couldn’t make up my mind whether to drop it or not. I explained that I was in a really bad place in my head at the moment. This wasn’t really the time but she kept on insisting. She started to talk about how badly she’d been done by some people. The football team that she’d trained for a football match who had let her down. This conversation started off being about me and my homework very quickly became a conversation all about her. I felt even more isolated while this was going on than I did before.

And I also have the very, very strong feeling that Zero was around last night too, but there was nothing on the dictaphone about that. That’s bizarre.

The rest of the day has been spent doing a load of washing and carrying on with what I was doing before I went out.

Tea was a burger on a bap with the last of the potatoes and then I had another meal to cook because there was still some stuff left in the fridge that needed to be eaten.

So now I’ve written my notes I’m off to bed. I’ve forgotten all about a football match tonight which was sad, and I have a busy day tomorrow so I’m not going to be hanging around for long.

Monday 26th September 2022 – GONE!

gerlean briscard chant des sirenes chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And never caled me “mother”!

Thee have been wholesale changes in the chantier naval today and I seemed to have missed them all!

The only boats that are still there from the five that were lined up at the side are Briscard and Chant des Sirenes. And add to that the fact that Gerlean has now moved over there too, and you can see that they have been really busy.

Everyone else that we have seen in there over the last couple of days has now gone back into the water.

So what’s going to happen next?

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Also gone! And never called me “mother!” either are the crowds of people

Autumn has certainly arrived, and arrived in spades too. As a result, despite the fact that there was plenty of beach to be on, there wasn’t a single person – or a married person either – taking advantage of it.

By the looks of things, everything is quietening right down ready for winter to arrive. All we need to do now is to clear out the caravanners and we’ll be back to our normal sleepy selves, and I won’t ‘arf be looking forward to that!

belle france joly france le roc à la mauve 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The beach isn’t the only thing where winter is a-cumin in.

Over there at the ferry terminal we now have two of the ferries parked up. Belle France is over there at the front of the queue and behind her is one of the Joly France boats.

We can tell from the windows in “portrait” format and the lack of step in the stern that it’s the newer one of the two. Chausiaise is in the inner harbour so all we need now is the other ferry and we’ll have a full house.

In the foreground, nothing to do with winter, is the little Le Roc À La Mauve III whom we saw for a while in the chantier naval

granville victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The final event that has underlined the arrival of winter relates to the Channel Island ferries.

Victor Hugo has been moored in the harbour for quite a few days but she’s now been joined by her sister, the single-hulled Granville that plies between some of the smaller ports up the coast and some of the ports on the minor Channel Islands like Alderney and Sark.

The fact that they are now both here seems to imply that they aren’t going to go anywhere until next Spring. And I hope that next year when everything starts up again we’ll have a much better service than we had this year.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But while we’re on the subject of going anywhere … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ve been going places today.

So while you admire some of the photos that I took while I was out and about I’ll tell you all about it.

And the first thing that I wanted to say was that I actually went out on the bus. The event that I attended was taking place at the rear of the Agora Centre on the edge of town and as the bus passes by there, I reckoned that I would leap aboard instead of going in Caliburn.

Especially as travelling on the bus around the town is free. I should really do more with that.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Mind you, I was lucky that I went.

The bus was due to leave at 09:10 and the nurse was also due as well and he can come at any time. I was half-expecting him not to come until after the bus had left but he turned up with 10 minutes to go.

Having had a shower earlier in the morning I was ready and so immediately after he left I grabbed my things and was out of the door. I made the bus in seconds flat, which you must admit is an amazing piece of engineering.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022It was pouring down with rain this morning, and I had to wander around in the wet to find the place that I wanted.

It’s the old Ecole Pierre et Marie Curie that closed down last year. The town has bought it so that they can bring into one place all of their outlying offices instead of having them scattered all around in various buildings.

It’s been refurbished, so they tell me, which I find surprising – it must have been in a dreadful state before – and some of the services have moved in. Today was the formal, official opening and I’d been invited.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There’s plenty of room in there. I must have counted as many as 20 old classrooms, of which only a handful were occupied.

Consequently they have made a lot of the empty rooms into “communal rooms” where the various associations can rent a space to hold meetings, and several “likely tenants” were there. I spent a lot of time talking to someone who runs a ballroom dancing class.

Interestingly, they have ploughed up what I suppose used to be the school playing field and that has been converted into some kind of communal garden rather like an allotment site. Now doesn’t THAT have possibilities?

le bouquet granvillais radio studio espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But why I was there was that one of the rooms has been seized by the organiser of our radio station.

We’ve never had a studio. Everything is always done at the home of whoever is presenting the programme and that can sometimes be inconvenient. But right now we have staked our claim and thinks can only (hopefully) improve.

It’s nothing like the type of studio that I would like to have, with a separate control room, sound insulation and absorption material all around it, but from small acorns large oaks grow and they’ll begin to realise the shortcomings and do something about it.

Thierry drove me home afterward so I didn’t even have to wait for the bus, and I could then carry on with my work.

As it happened, I’d already done quite a lot of work. With the alarm going off at 06:00 I was out of bed immediately even if I hadn’t gone to bed until after 23:00 and had a bad night, all of which just goes to show that I can do it when I really try.

After the medication, having a shower and checking my mails I made a start on the notes for the radio programme that I’d be preparing today. And not only did I finish writing the notes I’d actually dictated half of them when the nurse interrupted my progress.

Back here later I had a very late breakfast and then carried on with the work.

And it took an absolute age to do because it was rather a different way of doing it today. Usually I just trawl through my databases when I’m choosing the final track and pick one that matches the available timeslot less 45 seconds for a closing speech.

Today though was a themed programme and I didn’t have the same choice that I would otherwise have. I had to choose a track from a very small selection and adjust the length of the speech to fit.

And then in an error of calculation I was 10 seconds short so I had to re-dictate the final speech with some extra stuff in it and then re-edit it.

As a result it was a very late walk around the headland. At least the rain had stopped for a moment but there was a howling gale that had sprung up. I was the only one out and about and I could understand why.

le loup fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022You’ve seen the beach already, and there was nothing else of any note on the north side of the headland.

The storm was keeping everyone else in today except for a few brave souls such as those people in the little boat out there sailing … “dieseling” – ed … past le Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the port.

You can see how much she’s struggling against the wind in this photo, and although I wasn’t in the best position to take it, it was too good an opportunity to miss as it would soon be in the shelter of the headland.

ch932880 calean baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022This boat is having even more difficulty coming into port.

This is Calean whom we have seen on many occasions in the past. And I’d seen her way out at sea fighting her way past the waves and she had taken an age to come into the bay.

In fact she didn’t have it easy coming into port either because as you saw in one of the earlier photos there wasn’t a lot of water in the harbour so she’ll have to ride outside in the storm for a while until the tide comes in a little more.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Surprisingly, there was someone on the rocks at the end of the headland.

THis fisherman was having plenty of fun fighting the storm but he didn’t last long. He evidently heard me coming because as soon as I arrived he folded up his gear and cleared off.

There was someone on the bench at the cabanon vauban as well but as soon as I arrived he did likewise. I really ought to change my deodorant.

Crossing the road was rather a bad time as I hit the school buses going home. A whole fleet of them. Discretion was the better part of valour so I stayed on the pavement until they’d all gone by.

ch922443 cap pilar port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home I took a few photos that you have already seen, but there was this one too.

Actually it’s cropped out of another one and although it is missing some of the hull of Cap Pilar, it’s of interest because it shows quite a lot of her distinguishing features.

One of the things to do eventually is to make my own fishing boat database for the port with photos of all of the boats showing their name and registration number so that I can refer to it in future.

No time like the present.

Back here I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And then later (“later than what?” I asked myself) I was walking around an island. I started off in the company of Zero but we met other people. Gradually they wandered off and I was on my own. Because I’d had no orange juice I went to look for a shop that would have them. There weren’t many shops on this place. There used to be 3 but now there were only 2. Now the hotel had a few possessions as well, things to sell. I went to the first one but I ended up being side-tracked. I bought something else but completely forgot about the orange juice. Later on, when I was wandering around waiting for someone I remembered the orange juice as well. By this time I was a long way from where the shops were and I didn’t want to go to the hotel to see if they had one to fill so I had to go all the way back to the shops and have a look in there. But there was much more to it than this. It was a dream that went on and on and on as I was walking around this island and it lasted for ever.

I couldn’t go back to sleep after this but I must have done at some point because there was some kind of office meeting taking place. I was having to question a couple of people at this meeting. It concerned an interview between 2 people that had taken place on Monday. One of them was management. Some meetings between more members of staff who were senior grades and representatives of employers. There was a third topic too but I can’t remember that. I had to ask that question at 4 or 5 separate meetings. The first 3 or 4 went fine but in the final one I lost my plot, lost where I was. That was because in the first question I asked about this meeting with one member of staff, someone whom I believed was a member of staff shouted up and shouted “yes” in answer to a question. Of course no-one was even supposed to know about it except me. Anyway I awoke again and couldn’t go back to sleep after that

When the alarm went off I was somewhere in a hotel with a group of people. We’d been driving somewhere and going down this steep hill it was pretty dark. Some guy kept shouting “no, no, no! You’ve gone the wrong way! Stop, stop stop!”. In the end we stopped and had to retrace our steps then turn to the right. We followed a canal for a while. There was a sign for an abandoned railway station and we passed through some kind of derelict abandoned village. That was where I dropped something that I was carrying over the side of the jeep so we had to do a U-turn but the jeep behind us picked it up and gave it back to me. Someone in the jeep asked if I really enjoyed camping. “No” I replied. “I’m a hotel person myself”. And this really was an extremely realistic dream too that shook me rather when I awoke and found that it was a dream.

But at least Zero had come to see me during the night, although not for long. But let’s just be thankful for small mercies.

Tea was a delicious stuffed pepper, interrupted by a phone call from Rosemary, so I called her back later.

1 hour 45 minutes we were on the phone talking about this and that, and especially how Miss Ukrainian is enjoying going to school even if it is just part-time for a crash course in French. As a result, I’m running horribly late today.

And a Welsh lesson too so I need to be fully fit and raring to go. Still, we can all dream, can’t we?

Sunday 25th September 2022 – IT’S SUNDAY …

55-qj baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… today and so I had my usual lie in. And as you admire a few photographs of examples of the local aviation, I’ll tell you all about it.

Not that it was all that much of a lie-in because despite not going to bed until 02:00, I was up and about by 10:30 this morning. And that’s not the usual way of doing things on a Sunday.

In fact, I could actually have been out of bed much earlier than that. I was debating whether to leave the bed and do some work round about 08:30 and that would have been a miracle in itself.

Thinking about it, I really ought to have made something of an effort, just for the sake of it.

helicopter baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After the medication this morning I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

This was something to do with a dog that was hanging around where I lived. I didn’t like it at all. I hated dogs so I was not interested in the least in anything that was going to happen with this dog. In the end we injected it with something that was guaranteed to kill it. Then I had to take a computer out to someone. We took the computer and prepared everything and then went outside. Then I realised that we didn’t have the cable for it so we’d have to go back. We popped in roundabout where the sofa with this dog was that we’d injected. I went back in and went to pick up the cable that was plugged into this plugboard, and the dog got up and started to move about wagging its tail. I told it to go and lie down again and go to sleep. I was really bewildered about this in the dream, wondering what on earth was happening. It was such a surprise in the dream when this dog actually got up when i’d just put it to sleep 5 minutes earlier.

Back in the War, we were preparing for the defence of Jersey. The island fell very quickly so once the War was over there was a kind-of war game. We found an old bunker that had a lathe in it with an electric fan. There was some kind of slicing machine that went on the lathe. We found a way where you could drop hand grenades from this bunker down underneath it if anyone had entered the cellars. We considered that this bunker would have held out for quite some time and probably several others too that were built to the same style although it was never publicly announced as to how they had been built. Of course all of this had been rendered useless in June 1940 when the Germans simply marched into Jersey with no opposition. It was really only a theoretical exercise but having done it we were convinced that we could have held out for a considerable period of time.

I can’t remember where we were next but it was something to do with some Chinese people. They lived in a town where the industrial estate and residential ares were not distinctly separated. Sometimes it was very hard to tell which was the residential building and which was an industrial premises. Having lost a trailer from somewhere or other that we had to find it was very important that we worked it out fairly quickly.

The rest of the day has been spent carrying on with where I left off yesterday. I’ve still not had the replies that I would like so I’ve had to proceed by guesswork and that’s not really all that easy either because I’m more than likely to guess incorrectly.

Things are a little clearer in my head now though, at least for the important parts of it and the rest will surely follow as night will follow day. But I can’t do anything about any other part until next weekend.

So on that note I wandered off outside for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As usual I wandered over across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

The sunbathers have now all gone home and the only people about and about are the walkers going out to take the air, like this lot here.

And they were all that there was around here. There wasn’t anyone else around here at all.

And there wasn’t anything going on out at sea either. The view was really good out at sea just now but apart from a couple of yachts out towards Jersey, that was really that.

With it being a Sunday I decided to go for a walk around the walls this afternoon instead of around the headland.

medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022From the Place du Marché aux Chevaux there is a good view over the wall and for a change there was no-one obstructing the view. No-one blocking the view of the base of the wall on the outside this afternoon either so I had an uninterrupted view of the repairs.

They had dismantled quite a lot of that and regular readers of this rubbish will recall the big hole that appeared in the wall at one time as they were repairing it, but now they have gone we can see the kind of job that they have done.

And the work that they have done really does look good. I was hoping that the workmen would now come back and work on something else that needs fixing but so far they have been conspicuous by their absence.

So from here I pushed on along the path nderneath the wall towards the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

tidal swimming pool diving platform beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And the end of the season is quite apparent here. For a start, the cabins and the crown off the diving platform have now been removed and placed into store.

No-one was swimming around in the tidal swimming pool either and there are no lifeguards on duty from what I can see.

There are just a couple of people now wandering around on the beach, and they are dressed for autumn too. Bikini days are over now, which is a shame. I can put my eyes back in.

Down in the Place Marechal Foch there was nothing happening, so I wandered off through the Square Maurice Marland. There wasn’t much happening there although a bunch of kids were having a really good time with a small ball.

ride on lawn mower port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There’s a little bit more freight on the quayside this afternoon too.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when we walked past here last weekend there were some red dumpers on the quayside. They found their way to Jersey on Wednesday.

Today we seem to have acquired a green ride-on mower. There isn’t anything in the way of grass down on the quayside so it looks as if this mower is going to follow the dumpers out to the Channel Islands the next time that Normandy Trader comes into port.

It’s good news anyway and as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any. And we need good news after hearing that the gravel boats have definitely finished coming.

Why St Malo would have bought the gear I really don’t know. They are rather constrained for space in there right now as there is a 6,000-tonne Russian freighter, the Vladimir Latyshev, marooned in the port because of sanctions. She’s been there now for 117 days

As the aeroplane 55-OJ flew by over head, followed by an unidentified helicopter, I set off for the long walk home.

street art place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022At the Place Cambernon, we had something that I hadn’t noticed before.

Unfortunately I can’t say when this piece of street art appeared but I can’t recall seeing it the last time that I passed. It’s not actually what I would call “professional” and it isn’t up to the standard of street art that we’ve seen elsewhere.

However it had drawn the attention of several of the passers-by and it’s livened up the place a little.

We can see it a lot better now though because the newsagents has gone onto winter house and is closed. There was just the bar, La Rafale, with a few tables out today, and not too many customers were there either this afternoon.

la maison du guet place du parvis notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home I went past my favourite house.

This is the Masion du Guet – the “Watch House” (“Watch” as in being a group of people engaged in observation) and was originally built by a carpenter in the 17th Century but in 1696 the French Minister of War ordered the walls to be cleared and demolished.

When the walls were restored, a house was built on the original site and has slowly been extended over time.

Today though, I doubt if they would be allowed to extend it. But with the scaffolding being there, it looks as if they are working on it, maybe doing a little restoration or renovation work.

F-GBAI Robin DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Jamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third” as they say around here. So sure enough, as I was heading for home I was overflown again.

This one is much more like it – being one of our usual suspects. She’s F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local aero club.

She had taken off from here at 15:17 and slipped off the radar near Avranches at 15:48. She was then picked up on radar near Avranches at 16:54, flew over airfield at Granville and inland before performing a U-turn to come back, and then disappeared off the radar near the airfield at 17:00.

My photo was taken at 16:52 (adjusted) sometime during the period when she was flying under the radar.

Back at home with a coffee, I carried on with my work and then went for tea.

No pizza tonight though. I’m still dealing with the arrears in the fridge. And cooking a vegan burger in the air fryer was yet another success.

In a few minutes I’m off to bed. An early start in the morning as I have a radio show to prepare. And I might well have to go out for a few hours too. There’s something going on with the radio tomorrow and my presence has been requested.

Wonders will never cease.

Saturday 24th September 2022 – I REALLY DON’T KNOW …

… how to start today. I’ve been trying to think of some significant event that could open up today’s entry with a bang, but I couldn’t really think of anything.

It’s been that kind of day today.

35ma light aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while you admire a couple of photos of a few light aeroplanes that were flying around this afternoon, I’ll start at the beginning.

When the alarm went off I was in a University lecture and the lecturer was reading out the conditions for a test. The way he calculated the marks to be awarded only led up to 80%. he said “don’t worry. The other 20% will be awarded depending on how well you got on watching a couple of films”. Of course that didn’t seem right to me. he started to give the instructions but I was busy drawing flowers on the whiteboard that I had. he came out with something and I made rather a lame joke about it. Half-way through, the invigilator came in to ask him if he was ready to start. He said “I have them wound up. They are already cracking jokes “. I thought that had I known, I would have cracked a better joke than that.

light aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022It wasn’t a very enthusiastic start either.

Although I managed to beat the second alarm, it wasn’t by much. I was still dressing when it went off.

But after I had taken my medication I wandered off for a shower and a general tidy-up.

And then it was time for a quick trip to Lidl. I didn’t want much today because I have something organised later in the week and shan’t need much food – at least as far as LeClerc goes, so there wasn’t much point in going there.

It actually took much longer in Lidl than it might otherwise have done. Only one queue open, and some doddering old woman was having a dispute with the cashier.

She seemed to think that the cashier had failed to charge the reduced price for a short-dated item and nothing that the cashier would do to convince her and it took an age for the matter to be settled. Of course, the cashier isn’t going to print out the receipt and give it to the customer until the bill has been paid.

And when it did come to paying, the old woman had to dig deep in every pocket and bag that she had in order to find the right amount of cash.

There was a lot of words being said by those of us who were stuck in the queue.

f-gnnx Pierre Robin DR400-120 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while you admire F-GNNX, a Robin DR400-120 belonging to the aero club at St Brieuc that came to pay us a visit this afternoon, I was eventually finishing my purchases and driving home.

Having sorted out my purchases I came in here to check my mails and messages.

Do you remember the saga of Not My Cat from the other week? A friend of mine was followed home by two kittens yesterday. They came into her house and settled down. She added “despite leaving the front door open they didn’t want to return outside at all”.

Anyone who knows anything about cats will realise that the cats have now adopted their human and that is that.

Armed with a coffee and some cheese on toast, I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

You’ve already read one note from the dictaphone but there was something else too. We were back in the war. The area of Russia where we were living was invaded by the Germans. I’d been caught as being away from my own place when I’d been talking to this girl. I ended up having to work for the Germans but I eventually found my way back home again. There was a second wave of invasions and I was caught yet again away from home so we decided that I’d pretend to be a flatmate of this girl and I’d be having singing lessons. This is how it started. Of course the military came to raid us again. It turned out that the guy who was in charge of the military was the guy who raided the place where we lived the first time so that didn’t work and we were all taken off.

So no TOTGA, no Castor and no Zero last night. But no-one else to disturb me so I ought to be thankful for small mercies.

After lunch I was idly surfing the internet, like you do … “like YOU do” – ed … and I came across a live football game – Wales under-19s v Republic of Ireland under-19s.

It was pretty short of skill as you might expect but a couple of players impressed me. I don’t think that anyone would ever get past whover was Ireland’s n°4.

There were a couple of distractions while it was going on, which meant, would you believe (and knowing how things usually pan out with me, you probably would), I missed the two goals that Ireland scored. 2-0 for Ireland, the final score, which rather flattered them, I reckon.

As the final whistle sounded, it was actually bang on time for my afternoon walk so I hopped outside.

people taking photograph on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a regular feature that runs through these pages is one of photographs of people taking photographs.

Sown on the beach we had some guy posing at the water’s edge with some kind of dog that seemed to be a fashion accessory at his feet while someone else was taking photographs with a mobile ‘phone.

Not exactly what you would call the height of artistic endeavour but it makes some kind of unusual subject.

And just as well too because as far as I could see, they were the only people down there on the beach this afternoon.

jersey shtandart baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And while I was up here by the wall, I was having a look around to see what was going on out to sea.

And look who’s back in the neighbourhood. Right out there in the bay a good few miles offshore is our old friend the Russian sailing ship Shtandart. She’s come back to haunt us.

And I can tell that it’s her for the simple reason that there is no AIS signal from anyone out there in that direction. Had this been any other sailing ship she would have had her AIS transmitter functioning but regular readers of this rubbish know all about her switching hers off.

And look at Jersey in the background. On the extreme right we can even make out one of the offshore Martello Towers but I can’t make out which one it is from here.

st helier jersey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022That prompted me to take another look at Jersey, without the distractions of Shtandart.

Over on the right we can see the blocks of flats at St Clément. As you’ll see when I finally add the photos from my trip to Jersey there are four fourteen-storey blocks of flats one behind the other on the seafront there and they show up quite clearly.

And then to the left we have various buildings in and around St Helier. It’s not easy to identify which is which because the sunlight is rather bizarre today.

But what I will do is to cadge a lift over to Jersey in Normandy Trader and film a video of the approach when the identity of the buildings will be much clearer.

And while we’re on the subject of Normandy Trader, Nathan her skipper tells me that he came into port on Wednesday while my friends and I were out to pick up those dumpers that we saw at the quayside on Sunday, and then had to come back the following day for more agricultural equipment.

la grande ancre baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was some other stuff out and about too this afternoon.

One of the boats was instantly recognisable. I didn’t need the zoom lens on the NIKON D500 to tell who she was.

Sure enough, it’s another one of our regular customers, La Grande Ancre returning from a day’s fishing out at the Ile de Chausey.

The other boats were too far out to have any realistic idea of whom they might be, so I ignored them for the time being and headed off for my walk – or “hop”, more like.

wedding pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The path along the clifftop was really busy this afternoon. There were quite a few people walking about.

However what had attracted my eye was this large group of people on one of the lawns at the end of the headland by the car park.

While I’d been watching the football earlier, one of the distractions was the noise of motor horns coming from vehicles at the Public Rooms presumably attending a wedding. What looks to have happened now is that all of the guests had adjourned to the lawn to carry out their celebrations in the open air.

They even had a couple of cars parked on there, decorated with flags and the like. You can see one of them over on the right.

kayakers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022It actually wasn’t all that much of a nice day for it, no matter how it looked in the previous photos.

And I’m sure that the guys in the two kayaks down there would be able to confirm it. It was cold to the extent that I had on a sweater, and there was quite a wicked wind blowing – one that was certainly rocking the boat.

This would have been the kind of weather that had I been out there on the water I would have wanted some kind of heating. But it’s never a very good idea to light a fire in a canoe for as you know, you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

I’ll get my coat.

cabanon vauban person on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022What with all of the activity down there this afternoon, once more I’m surprised at the insouciance of some people.

Here we have a big wedding, a pseudo-Spanish galleon, a couple of kayaks, some fishing vessels and several aircraft flying by, all of which in a very strong wind, and here we have someone else sitting in a ringside seat on the bench down by the cabanon vauban and he is far more preoccupied by something else.

Maybe it’s his telephone, maybe it’s a good book, but there’s that much other stuff happening that I would have thought that he might have taken more of an interest in it.

la grande ancre baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Especially as just a minute or two later, La Grande Ancre goes sailing … “dieseling” – ed … part.

When I’d seen her earlier, she seemed to be pretty-much loaded up and I was really interested to see what she might have been carrying.

So here she is, and just look at all that shellfish. and not even a single seagull launching a dive-bombing raid for a free lunch.

It certainly must be profitable out there on the Ile de Chausey with all of that on its way back to the Fish Processing Plant, so I hope that they don’t hit any rough seas otherwise all that lot will come sliding off.

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022having seen la Grande Ancre I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

Yesterday we had seen Le Poulbot in the cradle of the portable boat lift waiting for the tide to come right in so that there would be enough water to float her away from the quayside. Anyway, she’s now cleared off back into the water than that is that

There’s still that empty place though where Pierre de Jade was until earlier in the week. I suppose that someone will come along to claim it in due course

In the meantime, Gerlean and L’Omerta are still where they were, over on the right of the yard.

ch922398 Gwenn Ha Ruz port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022By now, one of the other boats that was out in the bay has come into port.

She’s one that we have seen before – CH922398, otherwise known as Gwenn Ha Ruz, which means “White and Red” in Breton.

There’s quite a load on board her too so it must have been a really good day out there today from that point of view.

By the way, don’t confuse Gwenn Ha Ruz with Gwenn Ha Du, “White and Black” in Breton. That is the colour (and nickname, incidentally) of the flag of Brittany. And you can see the similarity between the Welsh and the Breton languages.

Back here I had a play with the radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday. It’s going to be a special programme because there’s an event that needs to be celebrated so I spent quite a while trying to find some appropriate songs.

But now I have my 10 and one or two extra to fill in at the end. But I’ll need to make sure that there wiil be plenty of stuff to cut out of the text because I don’t have the same room to manoeuvre as I usually would for an 11th track.

Tea was a baked potato with veg and one of my breaded quorn fillet things. They really are nice. And as I’m having to ration the potatoes at the moment I had a slice of apple pie from the freezer. Dated September 2020, it was still quite nice.

And now before I go to bed I need to make a start on a mega-back-up. It’s been ages since I’ve done a complete one for the travelling laptop so I need to think about that.

It doesn’t matter how long it takes of course because Sunday is a lie-in and I fully intend to make the most of it.

What could possibly go wrong?

Friday 23rd September 2022 – THE END OF …

la soupape 1 philcathane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… an era. And I’m not talking about anything to do with la Soupape I and Philcathane either.

What I’m talking about is what is – or more correctly, isn’t – behind them on the quayside.

In all of the excitement yesterday I omitted to notice that all of the equipment for the gravel boats has gone.

When we were on our travels on Wednesday we noticed a huge crane pull into the harbour but I forgot to go and check what was going on on Thursday and so I missed its removal.

It’s all been sold to the port of St Malo and they sent a lorry or two to pick it up and take it away. And that’s the end of the gravel boats coming into the port.

Presumably that’s going to underline the slow demise of the port as a cargo hub and I wonder how long it will be before the little freighters to Jersey move on. With the gravel trade going, the Chamber of Commerce who runs the port will have to think about how it’s going to finance all of the rest of the operations here.

le tiberiade baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But there will be another time to worry about that. While you admire a few photos of Le Coelacanthe and Le Tibériade having fun and games out in the Baie de Mont St Michel, I shall tell you about my day today.

And although the night was rather later than it otherwise might have been I still leapt out of bed with alacrity (and you thought that I was on my own too!) at … errr … well, maybe not quite 07:30.

After the medication I spent some time slowly dragging myself to my feet, which was not easy today, and then I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

le coelacanthe baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And we started off the night at Zero’ house, and wasn’t that a nice surprise?. There was something going on there about books. I can’t remember what I was actually doing now but she was there. So was her father. Our mother had died. There was a handbook for a Ford van, an E83W vzn, of which my father had two, one after the other, when we were kids and I do actually own a handbook for one, would you believe?. This was being given now to my father so I had to write an inscription in the flyleaf. There was also an encyclopedia left to my mother by someone called “Red George”. That had to be gifted to my father as well so I wrote the dedication in the flyleaf for the workshop manual then I was hoping to disappear with that so that I could present it and the pen over to my brother so he’d write the second dedication then I could get off and see Zero but I had a feeling that this was something where there would be some kind of ceremony or something about and of course she would be long gone by the time that all of this ended.

And this situation with my family trying to spike my guns when I have something interesting going on has a very familiar ring about it, doesn’t it?<

le coelacanthe port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022This next one was another dream that didn’t really get going. It was all about how I write up my blog. How I list all the image files which I normally do and then copy them onto a blank page and then fill in the text all around it but for some reason I was copying and pasting into the wrong file at the wrong time at the wrong place and generally speaking I couldn’t really co-ordinate my movements at all. It ended up being something of quite a mess which was a shame. It should have been so simple but I was finding all these ways to complicate it and time was slipping away.

And that’s a regular occurrence too, isn’t it?

But later on, when I was in work. TOTGA turned up for the first time in God knows how long and that was quite nice too. It’s been a good while since she’s been around. We started to talk and I invited her out for a meal as it was lunchtime. She agreed but she told me that someone else had invited her out at lunch and she was thinking of going with them. I immediately downed tools and said “let’s go now ourselves”. I asked her if there was anywhere she didn’t want to go because of other people whom she might meet. I stood up and started to walk out but suddenly realised that I had to pay for the meal that I’d had a while ago. I had to find a waiter but it was the equivalent of LIDL in here. Everyone was queueing etc. In the end the guy with me (for I was now with a guy) muscled his way in to the front of the queue and started to prepare my bill for me as if he was a waiter here or someone like that so that I could leave.

le loup notre dame de cap lihou baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while you look at the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou going out into the bay past le loup, I was in Virlet last night, taking stuff down to my house. I was doing it and there were one or two other people as well. Loads of other people came to join in. They were bringing stuff with them and putting it in my house as I was trying to sort through it to see what I had. Amongst the things that took me by surprise was a box that I thought was full of screws but when I looked underneath there were boxes of nuts and bolts etc, spark plugs and a condenser and set of points for the Cortina, all kinds of treasures, so I started to sort them out. Other people were bringing stuff. Someone pointed out a lorry fuel tank that was there. He was saying that when he put it there it was in good condition but someone had dropped something on it so it was now dented and useless. I was bringing a large plank with me. there were a couple of kids who were trying to get in my way by grabbing hold of the plank as I went past so I shouted at them. Some woman came past with some stuff that she had found that someone had apparently dropped. There was a fire burning in the grate even though the place had been empty for years. I asked if someone had lit a fire and they replied “yes”, not that I minded because it was cold. It was quite a little hive of business going on in there. At one point I had to find something. I remembered that it was in the fuel tank of my old CZ motorbike so we had to dismantle that but I couldn’t get my hand in to pick it out. I needed things like a long twig or something that I could push inside to dislodge this item. Everyone was really busy.

And apart from that, I’ve been doing stuff on the internet and not having a great deal of fun doing it either.

But there are moves of some description afoot to which I need to attend and they won’t be done if I sit on my derrière and do nothing.

Consequently I have had “arrangements” to make.

And as usual, half the people to whom you write or otherwise try to contact don’t reply to you. People talk about there being a recession and how hard it is to earn money these days. And here I am, with a desperate need to spend some of it and it’s far too much like hard work for anyone to do what is required to prise it out of me.

That was the cue for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022It was like November today. Wet, windy, foggy and overcast so my hat comes off to these two people here, especially the one who looks as if she’s just this minute come out of the water.

Not quite à la Ursula Andress, but never mind, hey?

And as far as I could see, they were the only people down there on the beach, and that won’t be a surprise to anyone who was out there this afternoon in this weather. I was in a sweater and a rain jacket in a vain attempt to keep myself dry.

people in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Here are some people in a zodiac having a sail around offshore, as I noticed as I continued on my way.

I don’t know what they were doing but whatever it was, they were doing it with a loud-hailer for the rest of the day,

The kids were also out there again though, orienteering around on the lawn around the bunkers. One little girl had a little chat with me which was nice. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I competed in the North West England Schools Championship on one occasion.

As an aside, not long after I moved to Brussels I saw someone wandering around in sports gear carrying some orienteering equipment so I wandered over to him to ask him.

He was aghast. The moment I began to speak to him he took one step back and stuttered “On se connait?” – “do we know each other?”.

In the end, I ended up running around the streets of Schaerbeek and Evere at night on my own

notre dame de cap lihou le coelacanthe le tiberiade baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022You’ve seen already a few photos of Le Coelacanthe and Le Tiberiade and one of the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou out in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

At one particular moment we almost had one of Tom Rolt’s “Greek v Greek” moments and I thought that it was quite appropriate that the lifeboat was in the immediate vicinity.

From what I could see on their radar plots, they had both been fishing just offshore and were now considering whether or not to head for home. You saw Le Coelacanthe coming into the harbour in one of the earlier photos after she had made up her mind.

And on the AIS database she didn’t have a photograph. But now she does!

le poulbot chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With no-one at the cabanon vauban this afternoon, I pushed on towards the harbour on the other side of the headland.

And it’s “all systems go” at the chantier naval this afternoon. And about to go is Le Poulbot after her length stay in port.

She’s sitting in the cradle in the portable boat lift waiting for the tide to come further in deep enough to drop her into the water.

Gerlean is still there though. You can just about make her out on the right. And L’Omerta is still there too, although you can’t see her.

suzanga black pearl briscard chant des sirenes le poulbot gerlean l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But also gone! And never called me “mother!” is Pierre de Jade. Her berth is looking quite empty now.

But someone stepped into Le Poulbot‘s shoes before she has even gone into the water. In her place is the pink Suzanga, one of the newest trawlers here in the port.

She’s been here not quite two years and regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we “scooped” the local press by having her photographed and recorded here before they did.

So who is going to come along and claim the empty berth then?

calean la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, with both Gerlean and L’Omerta being in the chantier naval, we have other fish frying over at the Fish Processing Plant.

Moored there today, amongst several other boats were Calean and behind her, La Grande Ancre. And there are a couple of guys standing on the lower level by the van taking a great deal of interest in whatever is on the stern of La Grande Ancre.

Behind them, Le Coelacanthe had by now come in to unload. There was another boat too and waiting her turn to dock at the quayside was Le Tibériade.

It’s a shame that there are a few boats that habitually moor up at the wharf and prevent other ships from unloading quickly and having a rapid turnround.

belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So that was that and I headed for home and a coffee.

And I wasn’t the only one heading for home as around the corner towards port came Belle France from the Ile de Chausey with a crowd of passengers on board.

And I bet that they would far rather have been out there yesterday when there was everything going on in the bay. It was quite quiet and boring there this afternoon.

Armed with my coffee I carried on working and then knocked off for tea.

What I’d been doing, surprise surprise, is going through the Accounts of a football club in Wales to see if I could identify why they would want to allow themselves to be struck off the register at Companies House and compulsorily liquidated when they had assets of about £400,000.

That’s a saga that will run and run too.

Tea tonight was a Left-over Curry, delicious as usual, and then I had to run as I’d forgotten about the football this evening.

It’s this weird competition organised by the Scottish Football Association that includes the leading part-time clubs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. TNS were at home to Dundee tonight live on the internet.

Really, it was no competition. TNS had by far the lion’s share of possession but I don’t think that Dundee ever broke into a sweat. They just stepped up a gear when it mattered and made it look easy.

The difference between the “professional” clubs and the “amateur” club is the fitness.

You watch when a big team is playing against a minnow. For much of the game the teams can slug it out toe-to-toe but the danger periods are the first five minutes of each half when the lesser team is struggling to come up to the rhythm and the final 15 minutes when the steam has gone out of the lesser team.

And sure enough, Dundee rattled in two goals almost straight from the kick-off for the second half, and added another one right at the end. They were just in a completely different class to TNS.

Bed time now, and I wonder who’ll be waiting for me. Zero and TOTGA again? Or Castor? It’s about time she put in an appearance again. But my money will be on one of my family coming along to spike my guns.

Watch this space.

Thursday 22nd September 2022 – HAVING SPENT …

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… all the afternoon writing up my notes from yesterday, I’m now going to spend all the evening writing up the notes from today.

And notes a-plenty there will be too because there was quite a bit of activity going on in and around the headland this afternoon while I was on my afternoon walk.

And of the 20 photos that survived the cut, there will be plenty to say about them too. No time like the present so I shall have to make a start.

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And so while you sitting comfortably admiring plenty of photos of the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter F-ZBQA practising its craft along with its crew this afternoon, I shall begin.

And I’ll begin where I left off, which was coming home last night after midnight, letting it all hang out, the dirty stop-out that I am.

It’s hardly a surprise that once I settled in my chair I couldn’t summon up the energy to go to bed. In the end, it was after 02:00 that I finally called it a night staggered off into bed.

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022One thing that I regretted was not checking the fitbit.

While we were on our way back to Granville I noticed that I was on 93% of my daily activity. But walking around while we waited for a table must have clocked up well over 100%

However when I checked after I returned home, it showed just 1%. Of course, it was after midnight wasn’t it, and so it had reset and I’d missed what was the final total.

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was no alarm last night. I’d switched it off in the hope of having a decent sleep to compensate me for my efforts.

However, it didn’t work out like that. I ended up awakening at 06:30 and at various times thereafter. Had I set my mind to it I could have been out of bed a long time before … errr … 10:30.

Some stuff on the dictaphone too but I didn’t have the time to deal with it right away. It wasn’t until almost bedtime that I managed to find a moment to deal with it..

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022I was back home. I’d been out for a very long walk but for some unknown reason I was only half-dressed. I was in one of the upstairs rooms. I could hear everyone downstairs and the clanking of plates as if it was lunchtime. I thought that I’d betther finish dressing so I grabbed the rest of my clothes, went into the bedroom and dressed. I came out and the sofa had gone. I had who had moved the sofa. My mother stuck her head in the door and asked “what do you mean?”. “The sofa – where’s it gone?”. She pointed to it being stood up in a corner out of my view. She must have been past and cleaned the floor. I went to put down the sofa. She said “you can do that afterwards. It’s mealtime. Come down and have something to eat with the rest of us”.

F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Having dealt with the medication the next task was to sort out the photos from yesterday.

And when I’d finished those, I could make a start on the notes from all of the places that we visited while we were on our trip out.

Another purpose of this blog is to make me much better-acquainted with what is happening around here and in other places that I visit. And I’m certainly learning an awful lot. That’s because taking photographs is one thing, writing notes about what I photograph is something else completely.

fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while you admire all of the photos of the water craft that were out there today (and weren’t there a lot?) I was busy researching the photos from yesterday.

It takes a lot of discipline to do it correctly, and I’ve had to learn how to discipline myself. After all, what with the Recession, I can no longer afford that woman in Soho.

And so I settled down with the computer, a couple of ancient guide books, my book on the Hundred Years War and started to work.

fishing kayak baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Incidentally, while we’re on the subject of the Hundred Years War … “well, one of us is” – ed … for most British people, it’s a story of Crecy, Agincourt, Poitiers and a few other things too, mostly inspired by William Shakespeare.

For the French however, it was something else completely. When there was no major fighting, there were bands of discharged soldiers roaming around the country at will, terrorising the civilians and committing all kinds of bestial acts.

In addition, there were what they called chevauchées, raiding parties led by noblemen who would use terror as a means of enriching themselves and their followers by any means possible.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022All in all, it was a total nightmare for the civilian population in France. Imagine the events that have happened so far in Ukraine lasting for 116 years, from 1337 to 1453.

A few years ago, while I was rummaging around in a junk shop like you do … “like SOME of you do” – ed … I came across an old book written in French that described the Hundred Years War from the French point of view in almost 500 pages.

Obviously, it was far too good a purchase to miss and so I’ve been having a good read of it today as I’ve been working.

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022That’s because the history of Avranches and Mont St Michel are pretty-much tied up with what was happening during the Hundred Years War.

For example, the dramatic and rapid modifications to the entrance to Mont St Michel, brought about by the rapid and dramatic development of field artillery that rendered obsolete each modification almost as soon as it was completed.

It took ages to do because there were the usual interruptions, like coffee, lunchtime fruit, and all that kind of thing too.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Not forgetting the afternoon walk around the headland either.

And i’m glad that I went out despite all the work because it was a beautiful day. And there were several people down there on the beach enjoying it, as I discovered when I went over to the wall at the end of the car park.

They weren’t actually sunbathing, although they may well have done because it was that nice today. I’d actually gone out without a sweater today and I’d even had the fan on in the office for a short while.

yellow autogyro baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022We’ve seen plenty of stuff going on out at sea, and also quite a bit in the air too.

But the helicopter wasn’t all that was going on up there. As I set off to tramp around the headland I was overflown.

Having seen one of the powered hang gliders yesterday down at Mont St Michel, it’s the turn of the yellow autogyro to go down there, I suppose, and I caught her on her way back to the airfield.

There were two people on board this afternoon so it looks as if there has been an interested spectator today.

normandy trader baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While i’d been walking around, I’d seen something larger than the usual trawler heading our way from the direction of St Helier.

It didn’t take a moment to work out that it was in fact Normandy Trader coming in to port, presumably to pick up the freight that we saw being dropped at the quayside the other day.

We can tell that it’s she because of the raised platform at the back of the wheelhouse. Her sister Normandy Warrior has a larger wheelhouse but no raised platform behind it, carrying all her freight in the hold.

people watching air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There were crowds of people out there this afternoon in the nice weather.

Plenty milling around up and down the path, but by far the most of them standing around on the lawn or on the car park watching what was going on with F-ZBQA, the air sea rescue helicopter Eurocopter EC 145 that usually lives at Donville les Bains.

She’d been flying around quite a lot while I’d been out for my walk, and so I wasn’t convinced that this was a “real” rescue. I was of the opinion that it was more of a drill or a training rather than anything else.

cabanon vauban person sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And so all in all, this afternoon there was tons of stuff going on, more than enough to keep anyone entertained.

And so for that reason, I was puzzled by the apparent insouciance of the person sitting on the bench down at the cabanon vauban.

There he was, in a ringside seat with all of this going on. The best seat in the house and he seemed to be casually reading a book instead of watching all the activity unfolding right before his eyes.

There’s no accounting for taste, is there?

normandy trader baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022When I saw Normandy Trader just now I thought to myself that with all of the activity going on just outside the port, she’s going to have something of a surprise when she goes around the headland and finds herself in the middle of whatever is going on.

So around the corner she came, and the first thing that I noticed was that she didn’t have all that much freight on board.

She usually carries the shellfish from the Jersey Fishermen’s Co-operative but since Brexit that’s not been a very easy product to export

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … after Brexit you can catch as much fish as you like without any let or hindrance, but it counts for absolutely nothing if you don’t have a market in which to sell it.

normandy trader air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So here she comes, right into the thick of the action.

A little later on, I spoke to Nathan, her skipper. He told me that he was impressed by the welcome that he received today.

But anyway, while I watched what was going on, the Eurocopter was lowering down someone to where there was a buoy, and then just hauling him up again, with all of the proceedings being surveyed by the small boat directly underneath.

“Definitely a training exercise” I said to myself.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With all of that going on, it was easy to forget that there was other activity too today.

This is a scene that had it happened on any other day, it would have been headline news. It’s the moment when they are about to open the gates and let all of the fishing boats into the inner harbour.

Consequently they are all queueing up there at the gate and there are plenty of others at the Fish Processing Plant who have already unloaded who are now waiting their turn to go inside and ties up for the day.

This would have made quite a dramatic photograph on its own.

charles marie yachts air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With Normandy Trader having gone past on her way into port, next on the scene is Charles Marie.

She’s a charter yacht who takes out private parties or else organised day-trips when she isn’t doing anything else. She has about a dozen people on board and I’m sure that they are all having more than their money’s worth this afternoon.

As well as that, I bet that there isn’t much being taught in the yachts at the sailing school that have gone out this afternoon. They probably have other things on their minds too.

normandy trader entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So as Normandy Trader headed into port and F-ZBQA headed back to base for presumably a change of crew, I headed off back home.

And armed with a mug of hot coffee and a handful of brazil nuts, I carried on with my notes from yesterday.

Tea tonight was a taco roll with left-over stuffing. And with the stuffing having been marinating now since Monday night, it was even more delicious than usual.

But now I have other fish to fry after this evening’s marathon. Work is never finished, is it?

There’s a lot more to do tomorrow as I have some plans festering away in the background. I’m ready to have another day off and I’ve only been back at work for a day.

Wednesday 21st September 2022 – I KNOW THAT …

… this is rather late being posted, but better late than never and if a thing is good it’s worth waiting for. And so is this

mont st michel by night Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022In fact I’ve been out and about today and didn’t return home until after midnight, when I would let it all hang out.

So while you admire a couple of photos of Mont St Michel in the darkness, I shall tell you all about my busy day.

As usual, the alarm went off at 07:30 and after the medication etc I set about tidying up because I was going to have some visitors today. I seem to be in demand just now

And it’s a good job that I’d started early because they came early too and I wasn’t ready. I had a few things that I hadn’t done so I had to to finish off while I was chatting.

That’s rather an uncomfortable situation to be in but at least having visitors around means that I have to keep the place looking something like tidy.

mont st michel by night Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was such a lot of things to say so we had a coffee and spent quite a while chatting, but it was such a nice day yesterday that it was a shame to waste it.

When they had been here the other day i’d mentioned about the beautiful views along the coast so I reckoned that that would be quite a nice drive today, and so we hit the road, Jack, or Jacques seeing as we are where we are.

The obvious place to go to in this nice weather is the viewpoint up on the Pointe de Carolles where there is the Cabanon Vauban. We’ve been here several times before but my visitors haven’t so off we went. I couldn’t actually remember where the turning was so we almost drove past it

tombelaine mont st michel from pointe de carolles Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022It was something of a long slow path across the fields once we’d parked the car, but the view from the end was worth it.

It’s one of the best views of Mont St Michel from up here, with the island of Tombelaine over to the left.

The tide is well out as you can see, and in certain conditions it’s possible to walk from the coast at Genets over to Tombelaine and Mont St Michel and it’s quite a popular thing to do. But you need a guide who knows the way because it’s not an easy trip and there’s no marked path.

There was plenty of marine traffic down there in the bay too, including a trawler that was having a go with its nets out to see what it could pull up.

fire on brittany coast Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But also over on the brittany side there was a fire in one of the small towns.

It’s not possible to say what it was at this distance – whether it was a bonfire or a house fire, but it looked as if it had been burning for a while.

We went for a walk along the clifftop but we couldn’t see very much else – I’m not up for clambering over the rocks these days – so in the end we headed for the car, once I remembered the correct trail. I seem to be forgetting everything.

And then we went back to the main road to carry on southwards.

tombelaine mont st michel viewed from champeaux Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There’s another viewpoint further along the road at Champeaux and I couldn’t remember where that was for a moment either.

The view from here is even better so when we eventually reached it we stopped here as well

Tombelaine was at one time the site of a monastic cell where in the 11th Century two monks from Mont St Michel came to live the life of hermit. The place was fortified in 1204 after the English had been expelled from Normandy and then by the English during the Hundred Years War.

There were various plans, such as to create a mini-Mont-St Michel here or, to turn it into a tourist destination but in the end it’s become a site for birdwatching (but not the kind of birds that I would be interested in watching) and is owned by the State and classed as a National Treasure.

st jean le thomas viewed from champeaux Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There’s also a good view from up here down onto the town of St Jean le Thomas.

The town was gifted by “William of the Long Sword” to the monks of Mont St Michel in 917AD but there was some conflict 200 years later between the monks and another “Lord of the Manor” about wood-cutting rights so it seems that the gift wasn’t as complete as it might otherwise have been.

There was a castle there at one time but Philippe-Augustus, King of France 1180-1223 ordered the castle to be surrendered to the monks and destroyed. At the turn of the 20th Century all of the remains of the castle had gone.

The narrow-gauge tacot railway line from Granville ran through here between 1908 and 1935. I’m not sure what there is that remains of the railway network in the town today. I suppose that one of these days I ought to go and have a look.

SAMU service d'aide medicale urgente helicopter airbus H145 T2 avranches Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022By now we were hungry so we headed into Avranches for a snack.

We parked up the car and headed into town on foot. And as we did so we were overflown by a helicopter.

It’s not the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter that we usually see but one that belongs to the SAMU – the Service D’aide Medicale Urgente or “Emergency Medical Services” so I suppose that it’s the local air ambulance.

She’s an Airbus H145 T2 and we’ve seen a few of those flying around here. It’s the later version of the Air-Sea Rescue’s Eurocopter EC 145.

Once again we had to struggle to find something to eat but finally a little café came up trumps with some sandwiches.

castle avranches Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022We could sit outside in the sun where there was a really good view of the castle at Avranches.

Shame as it is to say it, I’d forgotten all about this castle. Its origins date from the middle of the 10th Century and was one of the earlies recorded stone castles. However there is no trace of that construction remaining. What we see dates to the time of William the Conqueror.

It’s actually built by the Dukes of Normandy on a promontory overlooking the baie de Mont St Michel on a site that was known to have been occupied by the Celts and then by the Romans.

From its position it could obstruct the passage of Breton forces in the days before both Brittany and Normandy were part of the Kingdom of France.

The castle was surrendered to the French in 1203 and was fought over on many subsequent occasions, including in 1944 when considerable damage was caused to the fabric of the building.

Back to the car after a very long chat and we headed off for our final destination.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, parking at Mont St Michel costs an arm and a leg and we were only going to be here for a couple of hours.

However a friendly café owner, having served us a couple of coffees, informed us that as we were now customers of hers, we could leave the car on her car park. She told us how to unhitch the barrier later and we expressed our gratitude in monetary terms.

mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was a 15-minute walk to the shuttle terminus and a 15-minute wait for a bus to arrive, and then we were off.

My friends were quite impressed with the push-me-pull-you nature of the bus and, as they had never been here before, with the view that we had of the Mont as we approached it.

And as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … it’s all changed considerably since I first came here 40 or so years ago. The causeway was different and there was no official car park either. You drove down here and parked where you could.

In those days I’ve seen more than a few cars have to be winched out from the rapidly-approaching tide.

powered hang glider mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And as we alighted from the bus, we had one of our old friends come to visit us.

When we’ve been wandering around the clifftops back at home we’ve seen the powered hang-gliders dozens of times coming back from the head of the bay and I’ve often speculated that they have been for a look at what’s going on down here.

Sure enough, one of them, the red one, flew past overhead as we walked the rest of the way towards the walls so we all said “hello” and continued on our respective ways.

porte de l'avancée mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022bathed in the glorious early evening sunset is the entry, the Porte de L’Avancée.

Although there is, officially at any rate, only one way in, changes in technology over the past have meant that the original entrance, buit shortly after the Fall of Normandy when the inhabitants were massacred by Breton soldiers, was insufficient to defend the mount from invasion.

And this although the Porte de L’Avancée is the first part of the entrance that you encounter, it was actually almost the last part of the fortifications to be built, as far as I can tell, and dates from 1530.

tour gabriel mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Over to the left is the Tour Gabriel or “Gabriel’s Tower”.

This was perhaps the last part of the fortifications to be built and dates from 1534. It was built on the orders of Gabriel du Puy who was in charge of the mount at the time. Because it’s round, it has a really good field of fire that can defend the entrance from attack by sea in this direction.

There was a windmill built on the tower in 1627 and the tower even served as a lighthouse.

The building in front of it is more modern although I’ve not been able to find out the date on which it was built. But it’s outside the walls so it presumably dates from a period when the military funnction of the mount ceased.

ramparts tour du roy tour de la liberté mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Over on the right are the ramparts, the Tour du Roy, the “King’s Tower”, and theTour de la Liberté, “Liberty Tower”.

The Tour du Roy and the little Tour de l’Arcade that you can just about make out to its right date from the improvements of 1417 at the height of the Hundred Years War, presumably after Henry V of England landed in Normandy on 1st August and laid siege to Caen, which he captured on the 17th.

The Tour de la Liberté used to be known until 1789 as the Tour Beatrix and although I found the plans for it, I’ve not been able to find the date of its construction. It was certainly here in 1434 as it was reported as damaged by cannon fire in a siege by the English, and was repaired in 1441 and reconstructed in 1479.

There were important building works to strengthen the fortifications between 1389 and 1410 and it’s likely that it dates from that period.

mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As for the abbey itself, this is what everyone comes to see, although I’m not going to see it as I’d never get up the hill.

The village itself is known to have existed in 709 but before that, as a result of several alleged miracles, it was a site of pilgrimage and the Abbots of the cathedral at Avranches promoted the site in various written tracts. Some kind of church was erected in the village and was gradually expanded.

Some monks came here to seek sanctuary but their church was sacked by the Vikings in 847.

It was re-established later but in 965 the construction of the Abbey began. In 1022 Richard Duke of Normandy gave to the monks the Ile de Chausey who then used rock from the islands to expand the Abbey.

However by the mid-18th Century the place was starting to fall into ruins and the French Revolution finished it off.

It was declared a “national Monument” as early as 1862 and restoration began shortly afterwards.

maison de l'artichaut mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022This is the Maison De L’artichaut, so-called because its decorations on the spire are said to resemble artichokes.

It was actually created as part of the Hotellerie de la Licorne – the “Hostel of the Unicorn” which dates from the 15th Century.

It was declared a “Historic Monument” in 1918 and the upper part in 1936, however it’s not stated in the Formal Notice when it was actually built. One can only assume that it was built either at the same time or shortly after the Hotellerie de la Licorne.

On the right just here are the steps that lead up to the ramparts but I wasn’t going for a stroll up there.

porte du roy mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022This here is the Porte du Roy – the “King’s Gate”.

This is another addition from the work of 1417. With no ditch here at the time, the mount was easy to attack and difficult to defend so a ditch was dug and the gate was built, with a drawbridge to protect the entrance.

There was also a metal portcullis here to defend the entrance.

Nevertheless all of this was still insufficient so another entrance was built in 1440, part of which you can see through the arch, because of the advances in artillery that rendered the gate obsolete.

The final entrance that we saw earlier in was added in 1530 following further advances in artillery and offensive techniques..

You can see all of the steps up to the ramparts again on the left of the photo.

grande rue mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022This is the Grande Rue or “High Street”. I reckon that just about every building in here is a listed National Monument.

And it was here that I abandoned my friends for a while and let them carry on up the hill. It had defeated me so I wandered back outside to wait for them and to have a look around while they carried on trudging up the hill.

And while I was waiting outside I took many of the photos that you saw just now.

When they returned we had a very leisurely walk back to the bus stop, and then an even more leisurely wait for a bus to arrive. There are only two running right now so it was a very long wait.

sunset mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022At least, the wait meant that we had a good opportunity to see the sun setting. That was quite beautiful.

Back at the shuttle terminal we walked back to the café, rescued the car and I took the photos of Mont St Michel in the darkness as the lights came on.

We had a good drive back to Granville and I invited them to a restaurant where I treated them to a meal to thank them for a wonderful day out. And as a result it was after midnight when I returned home.

No time to write up my notes so I’ll do that tomorrow. which I did, hence the amended page.

And I also transcribed the dictaphone notes too. There was a trawler whose registration number was something like KVKLNO something or other. We’d been to a football match watching Morton. people were saying about how poor the side was these days. I was thinking that it’s not a case of how poor the side was, it’s a case of the money becoming tight everywhere and they are suffering. A subject came up that involved trawlers. One of the group said that thanks to someone else but I can’t remember who, they were saved from certain events that might have happened invloving this trawler because that particular person made them aware of things but I can’t remember what that was.

There was something going on last night with my beige Cortina. I was at home and talking to my sister. She was cleaning the house really deeply but we didn’t have all that long to wait before we had to go out so I couldn’t understand why she had suddenly started on this plan. One of the topics of conversation was the local councillor when we lived in Shavington. He was my age and had been on a student exchange with me. On one particular coach trip coming back from somewhere there had been a few shenanigans as you would expect with a bunch of teenagers. He’d been a part of all of this yet here he was 30 years later being all “Holier Than Thou”. Of course everyone remembered him and we made our best to make sure that everyone knew exactly what had been happening back in those days.

Wonders will never cease.

Tuesday 20th September 2022 – MEANWHILE, BACK AT …

fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… the apartment, I’ve been a busy boy this afternoon.

At breakfast this morning I ate the last of the fruit buns and so I needed to make some more. Consequently, after I came back from my stagger around the headland I made a start and mixed up a pile of dough.

It just so happened that I had two extremely ripe bananas and they certainly made a difference. And as a result there was rather too much liquid so I had to add more flour and thus instead of the usual 9 or 10 there are in fact 11

And they are of good size too so I shall be regaling myself for quite a while.

And it wasn’t only just this afternoon that I was a busy boy either. I kept myself quite occupied during the night as well. There was a “Help Yourself” song stuck in the Top 20 and the group was trying to come in from one way to reach it but someone else had come from ahead of it to reach backwards for it. This was going to cause quite some conflict in the charts as the group itself really didn’t do anything except sit there. And if you can make sense out of all of that, then well-done because I can’t.

We were all then waiting round the corner from Exchange Street for a bus that was coming past at 23:17 because it had a car on it that we wanted to pick up. The bus appeared but it just drove straight past the bus stop. We all set out in pursuit. We caught up with the bus as it pulled into the bus station. The driver was basically talking a load of nonsense saying that this is in fact the 21:17 running late and what made us think that we’d get a car on board his bus anyway? He said that there would be other buses coming in even though it was almost midnight and although the bus station would be closing at midnight. We said that someone had better fetch some drinks for us as we were exhausted but he took one and drank it which we thought was rather cheeky of him. Generally speaking we had the air that he wasn’t going to co-operate at all and was just messing us around until the bus station closed and that would be that. We didn’t have our car, we didn’t have a way of going home, we didn’t have anything. I could see about 20 people spending the night sleeping on board this bus in the bus station.

There was also a white and light blue Plaxton Premier driving along the Rue du Port heading towards the chantier naval. I’d no idea what one of those would be doing round here but it looked happy enough

And next, I was working for OUSA last night recruiting. I was talking to a new girl who had just begun her studies. She lived in North London. At first getting information from her was like getting blood from a stone but gradually we warmed up and we had a really exciting chat. She’d worked for a roofing company and had actually been on roofs, doing roofing herself at one time. I was beginning to think to myself that by the time the end of this chat warmed up, this was someone whom I ought to know really a lot better than I do. We were having a bit of s struggle though because she was sent over to see ma and I was talking to her but it was someone I knew from school who was in charge of all the paperwork and the brochures. I went over to fetch some paperwork and a brochure but of course he’d gone home and there weren’t any so it was rather difficult to have this subject and this conversation on the go. But this was a girl whom I’d have really liked to have met a lot more than I did.

Finally I was on a project building a Combined Heat and Power generator using an old diesel engine to run a generator and to heat water that would provide hot water for various projects. It’s proven technology of course but there were always the prophets of doom about. Some scientist had published some work on the subject. he was quite a famous scientist. The debate was going on about whether he was right in this instance. Someone made the point that he had been right 3 or 4 times but as I explained, that counts for nothing because each case is individual. In any case this isn’t new technology, it’s stuff that’s been used for hundreds of years and even in cars they do it with generators and hot water heating the interior of the car so it obviously works. It doesn’t need a scientist to tell anyone. This carried on until the alarm went off.

After the medication I sorted out a few things that I needed to do and then revised for my Welsh lesson. And I’m glad that I did because today we were only 6 students. Still several who are missing.

Mind you, I nearly didn’t join the lesson. When I went to refresh the portable computer that I use, it took that moment to perform an upgrade. I was about 15 minutes late in joining by which time everyone else was already in breakout rooms.

It passed off quite well today, much better than it did last week and I’m hoping that I can keep it up. And also to continue with my Welsh studies too.

Incidentally, you won’t ever find any double-entendres in anything that I ever write. If you happen to come across one, let me know and I’ll whip it out immediately.

After the fruit I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been. I must admit that I had a smile about the trip to Crewe bus station. No chance of that these days because it’s all been swept away in an orgy of demolition.

It didn’t quite manage to survive 60 years, which is a shocking indictment of modern construction techniques, about which I HAVE BEEN VERY BITTER IN THE PAST.

Nevertheless, it shall be sorely missed. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I passed my Biology ‘O’ Level exam thanks to the helpful drawings on the walls of the public conveniences on Crewe Bus Station

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So by now it was time for me to go walkabout

As usual I wandered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on down there today. The tide was quite a way in so really there wasn’t all that much down there for anything to be going on.

And there weren’t all that many people down there either. The weather has definitely turned and for the first time since I can’t remember when, I have put on a sweater in order to go out.

That’s not like me, is it?

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Even though the tide was quite a way out, there wasn’t all that much going on out at sea this afternoon.

Just really a handful of yachts like this one out in the Baie de Granville, and nothing else. We’re really getting to the end of the season now. It’s the first day of Autumn tomorrow if my calculations are correct.

There weren’t too many people up her eon the path either so I had a quiet walk along the tops of the cliffs. The view was good all the way along the coast and even out to Jersey but there wasn’t anything special to see today so I didn’t take any photographs to add to the record.

cabanon vauban people pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So despite the lack of action anywhere around, there were still a couple of people down by the cabanon vauban.

It was quite interesting going across the car park to see them because although there weren’t many people up there, I heard some English people and some German people too. Now that the French people have gone home, the foreigners are coming out in force.

But as for the people down below, I don’t know who they were but they certainly didn’t find the bench by the cabanon vauban to be comfortable enough. The ground looks much more comfortable for the person on the left.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But I suppose that there was someone down there for our people by the cabanon vauban to observe.

The tide is far too far in for the adepts at the peche-à-pied to be out in force, but perched down there like piffy on a rock we have a traditional fisherman with rod and line.

He’s concentrating quite hard on what he’s doing but it doesn’t look as if he’s intending to do anything special because like many other fishermen whom we’ve seen down there, he doesn’t have a box or a bucket in which to put any catch that he might take.

It could be of course that I’m completely missing the point of what the fishing is all about and it isn’t to actually catch anything.

There was quite a lot of traffic down on the road so it took me a minute or two to cross over.

gerlean l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And down at the chantier naval this afternoon there’s yet more exciting stuff going on.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have become quite used to seeing L’Omerta and Gerlean playing “musical ships” down by the Fish Processing Plant but by the looks of things they are now planning on playing a game in the chantier naval.

And you can see that it’s becoming quite tight in there with all the other usual suspects still in occupancy. There is some talk somewhere about the possibility of expanding the chantier naval and you can see why the proposition has been put forward.

But it’s unlikely that it’ll take effect. All of the quayside is a Protected Monument.

arc en ciel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And while the cats, as in L’Omerta and Gerlean are away, the mice have come out to play.

Moored over there at the Fish Processing Plant this afternoon is the little trawler Arc En Ciel. She’s another one whom we’ve seen on a couple of occasions in the chantier naval in the past.

While she was there I was trying to make out what was going on and what she was doing, but unfortunately she didn’t hang around long enough. Just after I took this photo she pulled away from the wharf and went into the inner harbour and that was that.

F-GORN Robin DR400-120 Dauphin 2+2 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Anyway, it was at this moment that I was distracted.

Flying by overhead as I watched Arc En Ciel came an aeroplane. On closer examination it turned out to be one of our old favourites. She’s F-GORN, a Robin DR400-120 Dauphin 2+2 that belongs to the local aero club.

She’d been out a few times during the day and picked up on radar but this flight wasn’t picked up. She was recorded at landing at the airfield here at Granville at 14:03 and the next time she was picked up, she wast taking off at Avranches at 16:29.

As my photo was taken at 16:19 (adjusted) she must have been on her way to Avranches but keeping a very low profile.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home I stopped for a look at the inner harbour.

There was a lorry down there unloading a pile of freight ready to be picked up by one of the little Jersey freighters. Although I’m not quite sure how they are going to load it up with Cotes De La Manche moored up in the way.

Back here I made a start on the fruit buns and I do have to say that they looked quite good while they were proofing.

So as I was going to have the oven on to bake the buns, I abandoned my plans to have a taco roll for tea and found some frozen vegan pie in the freezer. That went in to oven with some potatoes and the fruit buns while I cooked some vegetables in thick gravy

The tea was nice and as for the fruit buns, I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

And that’s tomorrow too. Right now I’m off to bed. I have visitors coming tomorrow so I’ll have to do a little tidying up. Not that anyone will notice the difference in here.

Monday 19th September 2022 – WE ALMOST HAD …

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… a new record for the completion of our radio programme this morning. So while you admire several photos of the marine activity out on the water today I’ll tell you all about it.

Actually, I’m not quite sure what happened today but at about 10:10 this morning I was about to start dictating the final speech for the last track, and once that it would be edited, it would be done.

For some reason though, probably an error of mathematics, I ended up with 10 seconds too much of speech. That was quite disappointing because I’d taken great care to make sure that the length of speech was correct. One like of text in my text editor is about 290 characters and that equates to about 17 seconds when it’s edited down so I have a reasonable idea of how long a piece of text takes to dictate.

So finding 10 seconds of speech to “lose” from what I’ve already dictated and merged into the programme so far isn’t as easy as it might be. Sometimes there’s a nice piece of speech that is ripe for editing out but there might be the introduction of the track of music to which it relates that overruns it.

yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Anyway, while it finally saw the light of day at about 10:50, which is still quicker than quite a few that I’ve done just recently.

But almost as soon as I started to listen to it to make sure that it was OK, Rosemary rang me up. I’m convinced that she hid a camera in here when she came to visit a few years ago. Anyway, we had one of our lengthy chats again.

But the good news is that Miss Ukrainian has started school today at the High School in the nearest town to where Rosemary lives. I’m sure that that’s a good idea.

Even if she can’t speak French and follow the lessons, she’ll be mixing with kids of her own age. Where she’s living right now there’s no-one around at all of her age and a young teenager needs to socialise

speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But meanwhile, back at the ran … errr … apartment, last night was something of a mess.

It was later than intended that I went to bed, and then I didn’t have much sleep because I must have travelled miles during the night. To start off there was a lady-friend of mine. I don’t know who she was but she started to date someone who was a cross between Boris Johnson and Bill Bailey and only had one leg. he was a famous politician and would sneak away from meetings etc to be with her. On one occasion the two of us had booked somewhere to stay but there was only one double-bed so we thought that we’d just have to make the best of it. Biy he turned up as well so it ended up with three of us in the bed. I went out to go to the bathroom ready to go to bed. He and this woman were in there so I said to them on parting “don’t forget later on in the night that your partner is the one on your right. When I prepared to go to bed his security team was there. They were looking for him so I didn’t say anything. I went back to another room after I’d had a wash in order to leave them to it for a while.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Back in the same dream later I was up and about. Those two were still in bed. Meantime the house was filling up with people. Eventually the woman got up and came in to join us. I asked her if she knew what “discussing Uganda” meant. She replied that she didn’t. I said that if I come out with the phrase, do me a favour of bursting out laughing and I’ll explain it to you later”. She wondered what I meant by that. Eventually he came out of the room. I explained that Zero (who must have put in an appearance somewhere but shame as it is to say it, I can’t remember her being there)’s mother had been to collect her, implying that we had a young child in the house at the time last night etc. After about 10 minutes of embarrassed chatting from their side I said that I’m going off to wash my hair so I’ll leave them alone and they can “discuss Uganda” or something like that. The other people in the house knew exactly what that meant and burst out laughing. I went into the bathroom, used the bathroom and went to wash my hands and found that someone had coupled the shower up to the tap and hadn’t undone it afterwards. As soon as I turned on the tap the water went everywhere and soaked the bathroom. I managed to stop it, opened the bathroom door and hurled a huge volley of abuse about the person who’d had a shower and left the shower attachment attached to the sink and not removed it at the end. Of course you can guess who that probably was but it was an impressive volley of abuse all the same. I started to look for something to clean up the mess.

Back in this dream for a third time. I said that Zero had gone home and the kids who had been on the trampoline were leaving. I gathered that those 2 had gone back to bed again so I made some remarks about “ships that pass in the night” etc while they were there and various other things to give the game away that I knew exactly what had happened although I said them in a manner that implied that I knew nothing.

Moving on from there, there was a big party in the office. The office was absolutely filthy. There was stuff all over the place. There was only one girl and I think that it might have been my elder sister who was attempting to tidy it up. I wasn’t going home as I had something arranged in the town so I stayed behind and helped her as best as I could. I did several huge bowls of washing up. Then it came to be 19:10 so I went to put back everything that I’d done so far. She asked how the room was so I told her that it was still a mess. I told her what I’d done. She said “OK, you’d better wander off now and do what you have to do. I’m going to be late in the morning” she said. “I’m not going to be in at my usual early morning time”. I said “never mind. I’ll try my best to be there myself something early and see what happens”. I was really disappointed that all our colleagues, none of them would stay behind and help and none of them were interested in coming along to open up the office tomorrow either.

When the alarm went off I was in the middle of a meeting with the owners of this building but they were only just setting up the bottles of water for people to drink and I never found out what went on. It was all about some abandoned farmhouse and buildings on the side of a main road that they were talking about demolishing even though it was nice, old Victorian stuff. It would have made a really nice conversion to flats and houses etc rather than being just swept away.

Anyway so when the alarm went off I did manage to leap to my feet quite quickly even though it was early, and after the medication I cracked on with the radio programme, as I mentioned earlier.

There were a couple of interruptions. Firstly for an early morning coffee and secondly to answer the door. The nurse had finally printed out my vaccination certificate from last June. Just one or two things that I need to do now.

Having listened to the radio programme and also the one that I’ll be sending off for this weekend, I went for my lunchtime fruit And then I had the notes on the dictaphone to deal with.

So I stepped back into a dream not just once but twice last night. And a mention of Zero too. What a shame I can’t remember her being about although I know that she must have been there.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After all of that it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And once again, it seems that the Nazguls were waiting for me to step outside the door again. I hadn’t gone more than three feet outside the building when one of them came swooping over the roof of the High School and heading in my direction.

A solo outfit too, but not to worry. There were several others waiting around in the distance, some of which were two-seater Nazguls. So at least there’s still an opportunity to go for a flight around.

And I haven’t forgotten …

paddle board people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So dodging the diving Nazguls I wandered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

But first, my attention was focused on the events just offshore. yesterday we had a zodiac watching events unfold on the beach. Today, we have a paddle-boarded paddling past.

There were a few people down there as well for him to watch. Probably a dozen or so scattered about all over there.

No-one in the water as far as I could see, but then again the paddle-boarder hasn’t fallen in yet. There’s still plenty of time for that.

cormorants baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Lots of other stuff down there for me to watch as well.

As I made my way along the path amongst the people who were wandering around, I noticed that out there on a rock just offshore was a whole colony of birds.

Cormorants, I reckon, but what do I know? All that I do know is that they aren’t any kind of bird which I would be interested in watching. I should have paid much more attention, because when we were married I had several long lectures from Nerina about bird-watching.

What I could do I suppose is to go on and on about how I don’t particularly like those birds, but it would just be another cormo-rant.

F-GCUM - Robin DR400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022and so on that note I suppose that I’d better carry on with my walk and see what’s hapening with the aeroplane that has just taken off from the airfield.

It’s one of the aeroplanes that we see quite regularly as we are walking along the cliffs around here. She’s F-GCUM, a Robin DR400-180 that belongs to the local aero club.

My photo is timed at 16:01 (adjusted) which corresponds with a flight that she undertook when she took off at 15:15 and flew northwards. That’s not a usual flightpath for an aeroplane out of the airfield. usually they go out to sea and then down the coast to the south.

F-GCUM - Robin DR400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022However there was something bizarre about the flight that she was undertaking just now.

As I watched her, she did a U-turn and headed back towards the airfield, almost as if when she had taken off but the pilot had forgotten his sandwiches.

Her actual flight plan though was she went north, as I said just now, and then flew back south, back over the airfield and out to sea but after just a couple of miles she performed a rather dramatic U-turn and flew back towards the airfield.

Once back over the airfield she carried on inland, performed yet another U-turn and back to the airfield where she landed at 16:09.

My route along the top of the cliff and across the car park was pretty much without incident today. Just a few craft out at sea that you have already seen, and no change either in the inner harbour or in the chantier naval.

mercedes tourismo iveco mercedes tourismo coaches boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Now that the heaving masses have headed back home at the end of the holiday season, we have the next generation of visitors.

The town and the cliffs are crawling with the pensioners out of the caravanettes or day-tripping on the fleets of coaches that are now arriving.

The poor little Iveco that waits to take the Homework Club schoolchildren back home at 17:00 is sandwiched between two rather large Mercedes Tourismo coaches, and thanks to Duncan Payne on the “Bus and Coach” group for identifying the bodywork.

It’s a good job that he did too. The driver of the brown one with whom I had a lengthy chat didn’t know and the driver of the green one drove off when he saw me approaching.

Unfortunately I’m out of the loop these days. I was left behind on Van Hool Alizees and Plaxton Premieres. I can’t believe that it’s almost 28 years since I last drove a coach after all the miles that I did in the past.

Back here I had a coffee and then I had a few things to do which took me up to teatime.

My stuffed pepper tonight was a really good one. I have really grasped the principle of those now. Plenty of stuffing left over for a taco roll tomorrow and maybe even some more to add into Wednesday’s curry.

But right now that’s that. Tomorrow I have a Welsh lesson and I hope that there will be more than four of us. But to be on the safe side I shall have to have a good night’s sleep and do some more revision tomorrow.

That is, if I can remember.

Sunday 18th September 2022 – THERE’S A NEW …

br905622 cotes de la manche port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022 … kid in town today. Or new boat in the harbour, something like that. Someone whom we haven’t see before.

Her registration number begins with “BR” so that tells me that she comes from Brest down in Finisterre and that’s a long way away from here. Her name is Cotes De La Manche and was launched in 1997. she arrived in port from Antifer at lunchtime today.

She’s not a fishing vessel but an Oceanic Research Ship and travels out and about into the inner ocean monitoring the environment and has been recently involved in research into the effects of the cable that will connect the proposed offshore wind farm near Paimpol to the mainland.

What I was doing during the night was researching into the effects of a rather strange sleep and I’m still not sure about what happened.

It was rather a late night because having done everything that I intended to do, I watched a few films and the like on the internet until about 01:30 when I finally crawled into bed.

What was strange about that was at 08:38 I awoke. and it wasn’t just a brief roll-over or something like that, I was actually wide-awake. There was even a time when I was debating whether or not to raise myself from the dead.

Nevertheless, wiser counsels prevailed and I stayed put. Eventually I went back to sleep and leaving the bed at 11:25 is a much more valid proposition as far as I’m concerned on a Sunday.

After the medication there wasn’t all that much time do do anything until lunchtime. Porridge, cheese on toast and plenty of coffee went down really well. And there’s still some cheese left for tomorrow too

Back in here, I had a listen to the dictaphone to fins out where I’d been during the night. I was back on board a yacht again last night. I had a certain time during which I could be out by I kept on over-running it and being late. Sam said that they reminded her of a pop group whom she’d seen where they had gone on to warm up for the main act when they’d been asked but they stayed on for so long that the main act only had time for 4 numbers. I recalled seeing a group like that as well. I wondered whether she and I had actually been at the same concert.

And then I’d just been in the filthiest office you could imagine. There was oil everywhere and I do mean everywhere. I don’t know how the women working in it could possibly have managed without running away. It was awful. A whole group of us had gone there. I’d met up with Danny Jackson (a taxi proprietor in Crewe whom I used to know). Someone had repaired a hydraulic jack for him and were proudly showing it off. I thought to myself that this jack isn’t going to work. There’s no pressure in the seals for a start. He was outside doing something on a car so I took this jack outside to try to jack up my van. I had BILL BADGER at the time. It started to lift it up and the seals gave out and slid back down again. When I started to jack it up I noticed that one of the rear wheels of the van was in an awful slanting position. I hoped that it was just an effect of it being off the spring rather than something broken or warped, something like that. There were some stuffed animals there as well. I know that he had one so I brought it out to him. He wasn’t paying any attention to it so by the time that I finished I took it back inside. Then he was asking for it and someone said “Eric had one”. I replied “no, that was yours. I brought it out to you but you didn’t want it so I took it back”. He gave me a little lecture about moving his possessions so I thought that it was good that I hadn’t told him about the jack. I was hoping that this animal thing wasn’t going to be covered in oil. It was at that point that we all started to drift home again. I can’t say that I wasn’t happy to leave.

Later on I’d alighted from a bus or train or something and was walking up a hill to some kind of place. There were some people coming up the hill behind me whom I recognised. When I went round the corner and higher up there was a queue of people. I remembered that I’d been on holiday with them once before. They were all ready waiting to sign in at this place and so was I. I could hear them talking. One of them was asking “who shall we invite to come with us?”. They suggested a few names. If they suggested my name, which was unlikely, I’d refuse and tell them “well you’re all far too noisy for me. I’ve come here for the quiet life”.

At some point even later on there was something going on with a sailing ship. Many people including me were of the opinion that all of her rigging and tackle should be replaced because it’s over a certain number of years old. It doesn’t last for ever but the company was exhibiting the ship regardless. Of course people were climbing about in the tackle and if the tackle broke this would cost everyone a lot of money so we couldn’t understand why they weren’t doing it.

That took me up until it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And I didn’t even go beyond the threshold of the building before I had to grab hold of the camera.

The cold hand of doom that fell upon me as I left the building was another Nazgul that went flying by. A two-seater Nazgul too, the pilot having picked up a passenger back at the blast-off point in the field by the cemetery.

In fact there were probably a dozen or so Nazguls out there this afternoon having a flutter around. The wind had died down a little from the last couple of days and so it was much safer for them to be up in the air today than it might have been when the gale was blowing.

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And before I even made it right across to the wall, there was a zodiac that I noticed out in the bay.

At first I thought that they might be fishermen but when I enlarged the photo back here later I could see that they were just sitting there, having a concentrated contemplation of the activities that might or might not be going on onshore.

Even more bizarrely, after about 10 minutes they moved off several hundred yards along the coast and stopped again for another contemplation.

No idea what they were up to but it smelt rather fishy to me. However, when you live just a few hundred yards from a Fish Processing Plant, everything seems to smell rather fishy around here.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And eventually I did actually make it over to the wall where I could look down onto the beach.

Quite few people down there this afternoon, although given how nice the weather was this afternoon I was expecting to see many more down there than I actually did.

Of those who were actually down there, some of them were having a little paddle about in the water and some had even gone for a swim in the sea.

This is presumably the swansong of summer, until everyone dresses up as penguins and goes for a run into the sea on Boxing Day.

belle france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Something else was moving around just off the Ile de Chausey and I’d been keeping an eye on it.

It was large and white and after a couple of minutes of reflection I realised that it was heading my way so I took a photograph of it.

No prozes for guessing who it was. When had a closer look at it I could see that it was in fact Belle France, the newest of the Ile de Chausey ferries, surrounded by all other kinds of water craft.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I’d go for a walk around the medieval city walls today to see what was happening there, so I set off through the crowds of people. It seemed that everyone was up here on the path today instead of down there on the beach.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022One of the things that I have been saying rather a lot just recently is that with one thing and another, Summer seems to be coming to an end.

Nothing underlines that so much as this photo here. You’ll see that the crown of the diving platform has now been removed from its concrete pillar and the changing cabins on the Plat Gousset have been taken away too.

It’s no surprise that the cabins go into store once the crowds go home and they are no longer required. We’ve seen some terrific storms coming in there in the past and the cabins wouldn’t last long. You’d come back next Summer and find nothing but a pile of matchwood

Nothing else much going on this afternoon down at that end so I pushed on through the wilderness that used to be the Square Maurice Marland on my way home.

philcathane rusa dumper freight quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There’s a lovely pile of freight down on the quayside this afternoon.

A load of dumpers and other stuff presumably destined for a dealer in the Channel Islands are lined up by the fence waiting to be taken away.

Judging by the colours I first thought that they might have been “Kubota” equipment but they seem to be carrying the name of “Rusa”, which as far as I know, is an Indian control equipment company so that doesn’t sound as if it’s correct.

And this was where I suspected that there was something different in the port because I didn’t recognise the array of antennae just to the right.

powered hang glider baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After everything that we had seen yesterday flying around, up to this point we hadn’t seen a single aeroplane here in the vicinity, except for something miles out in the Baie de Granville.

However as I wandered away through the Square we heard the familiar droning of one of our old friends. The red powered hang-glider had been having a run out this afternoon and was now on her way home.

From down here it looked as if there was only one person aboard, so presumably it as simply a training flight or a flight to clock up the hours rather than a run out to see the sights.

refrigerated vans port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There were however some strange sights to be seen elsewhere around the port.

These two refrigerated vans were parked with their rear doors opened back-to-back with each other as if they were exchanging loads. But with the driver of one of them sitting quietly in his cab, I was obviously missing something.

The last time that we saw a van parked on there with some rather bizarre goings-on around it, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that it ended up in the water. Mind you, it had been there much longer than these two.

Several months longer, in fact.

armoury medieval city walls Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way back home I went a new way, across the lawn behind the church.

Previously I’d seen this little gate and room in a bank of earth built right up to the base of the medieval city walls. This is exactly where I would expect the town’s armoury to be built, where there would be no chance of a stray cannonball striking it.

The construction of the walls began by the English in 1440 during the Hundred Years War, and extended and modified considerably over the next couple of centuries, so I can’t say when this room was constructed.

However by the late 14th Century the use of explosives in artillery was well-established. It wasn’t long afterwards that explosive shells of some primitive description took to the air so some protection to the entry to ensure that a shell didn’t hit it, such as might be provided by the church behind me, would be required.

After lunch I took the last lump of dough out of the freezer and it had been defrosting for a few hours.

later on this afternoon when it had defrosted I kneaded it out and rolled it. They I put it in the pizza tray to proof.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022When it was ready I assembled it, remembering the olives this week, and put it in the oven to cook

It turned out quite nice again, and with not putting quite so many onions on it this week, seemed to taste better too. It goes quite well with fresh tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and olives.

So now that that’s out of the way and I’ve written my notes I’m going to bed. I have a radio programme to do so I need to be up and about early.

It’ll probably take another long, exhausting session to complete it. Sometime between 4-5 hours seems to be par for the course but I wish that it could be done quicker.

And sometime as well I’ll have to think about doing 2 per week as my stock is slowly exhausting itself as I take a week off here and there.

But that’s not this week. I’ll have to make plans for that another time.

Saturday 17th September 2022 – I FORGOT …

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… that it was Saturday and shopping day today and almost forgot to go out.

When the alarm went off this morning I wasn’t in any rush at all and was lounging around for a whole 10 minutes or so before I had a sudden attack of realisation and leapt to my feet in something of a panic

So while you admire a whole collection of all kinds of aerial craft, because today it looked as if almost anything that could fly was in the air this afternoon, I shall regale you with my adventures.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And when I say “almost anything that could fly was in the air this afternoon”, there were even one or two things that couldn’t but were making a valiant attempt.

Like this Nazgul, for an instance. If it were me, I’d have “shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight. “
but Legolas was obviously having much better luck than Wordsworth and me.

This Nazgul came staggering around the headland clearly in some kind of difficulty and he ended up loitering around here for a good five minutes just half an inch above the ground waiting for a gust of wind to pick him up and send him on his way.

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBC baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Not all of the aerial craft was unidentified though.

Flying by this afternoon was Air France flight AF428 from Paris Charles de Gaulle to, of all places, Bogotà in Colombia, by coincidence where my journalist friend Jill from Philadelphia is on an assignment right now, and had I known, I would have been on it.

The plane that’s taking the flight is a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, registration F-HRBC, and it was at 34,000 feet on course 261° at 460 knots.

We’ve flown on Dreamliners before, once FROM CHARLES DE GAULLE TO MONTREAL IN AUGUST 2014 and once FROM MONTREAL TO CASABLANCA IN OCTOBER 2019.

aeroplane 50SA baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, and more banal kinds of flying machine.

So there I was, scrambling to my feet and dashing off to take my medication while I made plans.

After the medication I leapt (well, crawled, actually but sometimes you have to write for effect) into the shower for a good scrub and to make myself pretty, but I’ll need much more than the 4 minutes that the British Government recommends that you spend in the shower in order to do that.

And then Caliburn and I headed for the hills and the LeClerc supermarket.

aeroplane 55OJ baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Today’s shop was actually quite expensive, but they had a lot of stuff on special offer today.

The hair shampoo that I use, a special type with oils and not soap, was on offer in three-packs. It’ll probably take me the rest of my life to use it all but I couldn’t turn it down.

Fabric softener was at a give-away price too, and then they had some 100% végétale margarine of the best quality in the “end of range” row. It’s much better than the rubbish that I usually buy and the reduced prices was even cheaper than what I would pay for my usual stuff.

Nothing there that I could pass up.

These days I’ve become quite domesticated, haven’t I?

unknown aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home, I called at the Health Centre. The nurse had told me that my vaccination certificate for my fourth vaccination is now ready.

The certificate might be ready but the receptionist wasn’t. Her desk was all closed up. It looks as if the reception is only open 5 days per week. And so instead I came home.

Having put the frozen peas and the cold items away, I came in here and started work.

One thing that I want to do on Saturdays now that I have a little free time with only going to LeClerc and not to Noz is to pair up the music for the radio programme that i’ll be preparing on Monday. That means that I really can have Sundays off.

If I’m not careful, I’ll end up like Robinson Crusoe. he worked a 5-day week because all his outstanding work was finished by Friday.

unidentified aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The joins in the pairs were amongst the best that I’ve ever made, and I’m very pleased with these.

While I’d been rummaging around in the fridge the other day I found some vegan cheese that I had forgotten. And so for breakfast I had cheese-on-toast and coffee. And that old vegan cheese, stuff that I’d bought ages ago from Lidl, actually melts like real cheese.

That’s the kind of thing that’s useful to know so I made a note.

So having had a nice breakfast, I made a start on what was on the dictaphone from last night. Tons of stuff too. It must have been quite a mobile night.

powered hang glider baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Last night I was at the airport taxi-driving. I was sitting in the car in the rain watching the line of passengers grow longer and then shorter. Then it was my turn to leave, and I picked up some people going to the hotel in the south near Waterloo. 6 people entered the taxi so I had to insist that 1 of them left as I was only licensed for 5. In the end 2 of them left. They had a chunter but I was only licensed for 5 so there was nothing that I could do about it. We set off

After that I had my boat and I was up round the top of north-west Scotland somewhere. An emergency had occurred and I had to go back to London. It was fairly stormy but I went none-the-less. Although the journey shook me up a lot I made it back without any serious injury or illness.

Later on, Nerina came home from school one day very upset because someone had been taking the mickey out of her. She wanted me to go along and sort them out. Of course it’s not really something that you can sort out as I told her. I said that it was pretty pointless but she insisted so we drove back to Nantwich. I said “when we park up you’ll have to do this, this and this”. She replied “I’m not coming with you”. “Of course you are. This is about you”. In the end we didn’t actually have to go very far because as we pulled up he was there. I had a few words with him about it. He was effectively “what are you going to do about it,”. Of course there wasn’t really anything that you can do about something like that. In the end nothing ever became of it. It didn’t really prove a point but it was one of those things that you just have to do, one of the affairs through which you have to go.

powered hang glider baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022and then this was early in the morning. Everyone was getting up. I was talking to someone at the front door of the residence where I was staying, brushing my teeth. He pointed to my upper lip telling me that there was some toothpaste on it. I replied “don’t worry. I’ll wash my face when I’ve finished”. He replied “yes but I’m telling you that I thought for some reason that it was an extremely silly thing to do”. There was an advert on the TV as well about a young black boy taking 2 children, 1 on the handlebars of his bike and the other in a trailer behind. he was struggling up a hill in the snow. It was something to do with some kind of energy product because it cut to the end where he was cycling up this hill and overtaking everyone like nobody’s business, nothing like the struggle he was having before”. One of my friends from Germany was there. She was there as I was rinsing my face off so we had a little chat. I had my suitcase and was thinking that I’d have time to go to the airport to check in and hand in my suitcase and then come back. Then I’d be ready for going in the evening. I was thinking about it and I wasn’t going for another couple of days yet so why would I be wanting to take my suitcase now? This was starting to become really confusing.

yellow autogyro baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After the lunchtime fruit the next task was to deal with the carrots. I’m running a little low on them so seeing as they had 1.5kg bags this morning at the same price at which 1kg bags usually sell, I treated myself

They are all now scrubbed, diced, blanched and in the freezer. And I had to be quite imaginative about how I fitted them in because it really is now full to the brim and there’s no room for anything else in there.

Now that I’m much more organised here, I realise that I should have pushed the boat out and bought a bigger freezer. However I would have filled up the space just as quickly and I still would have ended up in this position with no room in there for anything else.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With the carrots now done, there’s still no time to breathe a sigh of relief and collapse into a heap.

There’s the afternoon walk – or stagger – around the headland. But not before I’ve gone over to the wall at the end of the car park to check up on the activities down on the beach.

Plenty of people down there this afternoon. No surprise though because although it was quite windy, even if a Nazgul rider didn’t think so, it was a lovely late summer day and it really was a pleasure to be out in it.

There were even one or two people brave enough to be in the water this afternoon.

st helier jersey UK Eric Hall photo September 2022The views out to Jersey were magnificent this afternoon.

They were so good that you could see some of the buildings on the island with the naked eye, and now that I’ve been over there I can tell you what some of them are, and when I’ve finished reviewing the photos I’ll probably be able to tell you what the rest are.

Going from left to right, what I think that we have is first of all Elizabeth Castle and to the right is Fort Regent. Over to the right, the white buildings are the blocks of flats at Le Marais in St Clément.

Of course, that’s guesswork based on what I saw when I was over there, but of course I didn’t actually see everything.

commodore goodwill english channel France Eric Hall photo September 2022And how about a flying ship?

It’s not actually a fata morgana – it is a real ship roughly in the position where it’s supposed to be, but the effects of the haze caused by temperature inversion at the water level gives the impression that she’s flying,.

It’s a phenomenon that’s been observed by mariners for centuries and has been the subject of all kinds of books and the like.

And no prizes for guessing who she might be either. It’s actually Commodore Goodwill out there in the English Channel surrounded by yachts and she left St Helier at 10:36 for a slow sail over to St Malo.

kayakers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Fighting my way past the crowds and the wounded Nazguls I crossed the lawn and came to the crowded car park.

Out in the bay there were a couple of kayakers having a good paddle around offshore this afternoon. Having a lot of fun, I suppose.

When I was at school I used to go canoeing but that was a very long time ago and on a canal. I wouldn’t fancy my chances in an open sea in this kind of wind.

STRAWBERRY MOOSE has been kayaking in the open sea while we were in the Arctic, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.
“Would you like a couple of oars?” I asked him before he set out.
“Yes” he replied. “After I’ve come back and put away the kayaking gear”

cabanon vauban man sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022My route continued across the car park to the end of the headland, and then I picked my way very gingerly down the loose gravel path on my one good leg.

There was plenty going on out at sea and plenty up above in the air too, as you have already seen. Consequently seeing someone sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban was no surprise at all.

What was surprising was that he was taking no interest whatever in the exciting events that were unfolding all around him. By the looks of things he was reading a good book, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Nothing wrong with continuing my way down towards the port either.

belle france joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So I scrambled off on my way towards the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see what was happening there.

Nothing much going on at the ferry terminal today. It seems that despite the fine weather, the summer season is grinding to a close. Moored over there are Belle France and one of the Joly France ferries. No step in her stern so that means that she’s the older one of the two.

The only one out at the island today is the other one, the newer of the two. So there aren’t any tours around the bay this afternoon.

As for Victor Hugo, she’s still moored in the inner harbour. Her season is definitely finished and I imagine that it won’t be long before she and her sister are off to Cherbourg for a maintenance visit.

l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The portable boat lift here in the chantier naval is only rated at 100 tons and I don’t imagine that that’s anywhere near as what is required to lift Victor Hugo out of the water.

It would be nice if we had a bigger left to pull heavier boats out of the water but then there’s no real room here for anything large.

Everyone whom we saw yesterday is still here by the way. However I took a better photo of L’Omerta. When I was looking at the radar yesterday I noticed that there isn’t an image for her on the radar database. As I keep the installation here I reckon that it’s upto me to bring it up to date.

That’s a little project for me – to go through and photograph every boat that lives here. I probably have most of them anyway.

Back here I had a coffee and then settled down to watch the football – Y Drenewydd v Penybont in the Welsh Premier League.

This was a game that had everything. Penybont were the better side and they raced into a 2-0 lead in the first half. Watching Y Drenewydd mounting a comeback and trying to pull themselves back into the game made the second half probably one of the most exciting that we have seen.

They pulled a goal back and kept on piling forward, only to be hit by a sucker-punch breakaway that made the score 3-1. Nevertheless they kept on going and scored a second, but couldn’t find a way through for the third despite everything that they tried.

3-2 was about the right result and the game was a great advert for the League except for a couple of “little incidents” in stoppage time that saw a rash of bookings and a sending-off as Penybont tried to slow down the game and run out the clock.

Tea was one of my breaded quorn fillets with veg, and then I came back in here to write up my notes, rather later than usual.

All my work for this weekend is now done so I can have tomorrow off. I even have pizza dough in the freezer (I think).

So I’ll try a walk around the walls tomorrow and see how I feel. I’m still not feeling myself, which is just as well because it’s a disgusting habit, but apart from that my right knee is finished, I reckon. I don’t think that I’ll recover from this.

And even if I were to recover, I’m not sure that i’d have the confidence in it that I had.

That’s sad, isn’t it?

Friday 16th September 2022 – MEANWHILE, BACK AT …

aeroplane 78ASX pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… the ran … errr … apartment, I’ve been a busy little B today, and while you admire a couple of photos of unidentified light aeroplanes flying by overhead this afternoon, I’ll tell you all about it.

And for a change, I actually had a good night’s sleep. I was in bed at a reasonable time and there was nothing whatever on the dictaphone until the alarm went off.

Mind you, I’m pretty certain that I was awake at a couple of moments during the night and it’s quite possible that there was something going on, but rather unfortunately these days I’m becoming used to the idea of forgetting to dictate stuff.

As long as it’s not Zero, Castor or TOTGA then it’s not all that important. I’d hate to miss a voyage with one of them in it.

aeroplane 78ARY baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But do you know what?

With having the longest uninterrupted sleep (according to the dictaphone) that I’ve had just recently, when I awoke this morning I actually felt worse than I have done for a while. But isn’t that par for the course these days? It always happens like that.

So where did I get to during the night then? When the alarm went off this morning I was actually in Vienna. I’d gone with a couple of friends to see some woman whom we knew about refugees and to help them. We’d been there once before to do something with refugees but we decided that we’d go again. When the alarm went off I was in a disco while one of these women was dancing to some kind of obscure pop music. I was standing there with my hands in my pockets musing on events while the music was playing and everyone was dancing around. That’s where it got to when the alarm went off

While we’re on the subject of aeroplanes by the way … “well, one of us is” – ed … the French have a saying jamais deux sans trois.

F-GBAI Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And sure enough a few minutes later an aeroplane did go flying over. And it’s one that we recognise too and can identify.

She’s actually F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local aero club. She was picked up on radar at 16:12 as she flew down the coast, did a lap around Mont St Michel and flew back, coming in to land at 16:36.

So that’s either a sightseeing run or someone clocking up the hours for the renewal of his licence.

My photo was timed at 16:11 (adjusted) which means that she was just about to burst onto the local radar screen when I saw her.

The rest of the day was spent dealing with the photos from Jersey. Having run aground yesterday as I mentioned, I started from the other end and worked backwards. It was a good plan too because I managed to complete over 20 photos and write their notes until I ran aground yet again.

This time, there’s a delightful house at Fliquet that is clearly something special, but I can’t find a single word anywhere about it and it can’t be something that ought to be ignored.

Amongst the pauses today was of course one for my afternoon hobble around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022

And as usual I started off by going over to the wall at the end of the carpark to see what was going on down below.

“Going over” wasn’t exactly the word. “Blown over” is much more appropriate because the wind was quite savage this afternoon and I’d even had to take off my cap as soon as I was outside.

Only a handful of people down there on the beach this afternoon. That was bizarre because even though the wind was thoroughly wicked, it really was a glorious day and I quite enjoyed being out there right now. I’d have thought that there would have been many more people out there in it.

So I headed off along the path towards the end of the headland, admiring the island of Jersey on the horizon which was plainly visible today.

lighthouse cap fréhel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022My eyes were however focused at what I could see out along the coast in Brittany. Many of the headlands were quite visible but Cap fréhel, the one on with the lighthouse, was lost in the haze.

There was something out there in that direction that I could see with the naked eye so I photographed it to examine later to see what it was.

At first I thought that it might be the lighthouse itself but it looks too low down to the horizon and there is what looks like rigging attached to it at the top so I dunno.

We’ll have to pass on this one.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Not too many people out there on the car park today so I wasn’t overwhelmed.

However we did have a couple of people sitting down on the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon admiring what was (or wasn’t) going on.

They were probably getting their money’s worth looking at the aerial ballet taking place overhead because it was while I was here that we had all of the aeroplanes going past.

Not so much out at sea though. It was strangely quiet in the water today.

omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was a lot going on at the channtier naval today.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we haven’t seen L’Omerta playing “Musical Ships” over at the Fish Processing Plant just recently. She won’t be playing again for a while because she’s come into the chantier naval.

She’s on blocks over there where Le Styx used to be and they’ve already started to work on her. Le Styx has gone back into the water by the looks of things so we’ll have to keep an eye out for her to see what she’s up to.

le poulbot black pearl pierre de jade briscard chant des sirenes omerta fishing boats chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And there’s even more changes down there too.

For a start, Massabielle is no longer there. And the unidentified boat has gone! And never called me “mother”! either. Her place has been taken by Black Pearl.

Next to her yesterday was Pierre de Jade but according to the radar, she’s in the inner harbour today tied to a pontoon so I’m not confused as to whether this is she and the radar isn’t correct for some reason, or whether this is a different boat.

She certainly looks the same to me so maybe she’s left her AIS transmitter behind when she was pulled up into the chantier naval. But I’m going for Pierre de Jade

catherine philippe trafalgar peccavi calean port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022When I reached the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour I had a look to see if I could see Le Styx but if she was there she was hiding quite successfully.

Plenty of other boats there today though. The white one with light blue and red is Catherine Philippe” and moored at the same pontoon behind her is Trafalgar who was there in the chantier naval for a while just recently.

On the other side of the pontoon in yellow and red stripes is Peccavi who appeared in the chantier naval on a couple of occasions just now.

But talking of Le Styx being well-hidden reminds me of the two soldiers who met in a barracks one afternoon
“I didn’t see you at camouflage parade this morning, Private”
“Thank you, Sarge”.

victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, over on the far wall, Victor Hugo is back in town.

When I was looking at the radar last night, I noticed that she was back. It looks as if her work for the season is now over. And that was a pretty short season too. As I have said before … ” …and on many occasions too” – ed they need to be doing much more than this if the ferry service is to remain viable.

And I for one hope that it does. It’s why I came here. Next year I’ll plan things better and stay over in jersey a couple of days, if it’s possible.

It probably won’t be long either before her sister Granville comes back to port too. I don’t suppose that she’ll be working much longer either and her season will draw to a close.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Chausiaise is still tied up where she was yesterday too. She hasn’t been out anywhere today.

That was that really. Marité was down at the bottom of the harbour and Shtandart wasn’t and with nothing much else happening I wandered off back home for the last of my chocolate drink.

For a while I carried on with my notes and photos, and eventually went for tea.

There were some burgers that were well out of date so I had one of them with pasta and I’ll finish off the other one at some point in the near future. I’m not too bothered about frozen food right now but for reasons that will become clear I want to clean out the fridge and eating the food that’s in it is the best way of doing that.

Shopping tomorrow so I’m hoping for a restful night and a good sleep. But the way that things usually happen around here that’s hardly likely

There isn’t really much that I need but I have to go through the motions and see what’s about.

Football again tomorrow night. I missed it last weekend and I’m ready to curl up in front of a good internet connection and watch Y Drenewydd. But I can’t remember now who they are playing.

Thursday 15th September 2022 – PECCAVI WASN’T BACK …

trawlers chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… in the chantier naval for very long.

When I went past there this afternoon on my afternoon walk, she was no longer there. It looks very much as if it had been a quick “in and out” yesterday in between the tides, presumably to fix a minor issue.

All of the other regular suspects are in there as usual. No change there. I even managed to have a better view of the unidentified trawler and while I was still unable to identify her, I’m certain that she’s another one of our usual suspects whom we have seen a few times before.

We’ll have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, in other news, if you are waiting to see how I’m progressing with the photos of my walk around St Helier a couple of weeks ago, you are going to be waiting a very long time.

What has happened is that i’ve run aground in one of the Squares. I took a few photos of some old buildings thinking that I’ll be able to identify them when I return home.

However they aren’t named on any internet maps and out of the several hundred photos that I’ve surfed through so far, I’ve seen different photos of the same buildings calling them all different names.

This is going to require more research than I can do at the moment so I’m going to pass on them and push on tomorrow. In the meantime, I shall approach some “official channels” for a more definite answer.

But knowing the speed at which people respond these days to enquiries on the internet, we’ll be here for ever.

However, that’s for another time. Let’s talk about today.

For a change, I was in bed just a little late but I had a really good sleep for a couple of hours before going off on my travels again. I was at work last night. It was announced that the boss wanted to see everyone at 17:00. With being an early starter I usually went home early but I decided that I’d stick around until 17:00 for this meeting. 17:00 came and there was no sign of this boss. It ended up being 18:00 and at 18:00 I’d had enough so I went to leave in a bad temper. I picked up my bag with my library books in it and went to the door, checked them and found that they weren’t actually mine so I left it by the door and went to pick up another bag that was mine. Just then I bumped into 2 other people looking for a bag of library books. We walked over to the door together and they picked up the other bag. They had a little tiny electric car that was so difficult to manoeuvre out of the car parking space in which they’d parked it that I wondered why they didn’t have the kind of car that had a rotating cab so that you could swing the cab round 180° like on a digger and drive it in the other direction. I went down the stairs onto the ground floor. I was told that one of the directors was looking for me and he was in the garage. I went into the garage which was like British Salt and asked around. Eventually someone came over to me. He said that they were so busy in here. I certainly could see that. They had all kinds of vehicles and lorries on which they were working, doing bodywork as well. They wanted to know if I wanted to start to work down here from now on in the offices on the garage. It meant working with my father and a few other people. Basically I said “why not? Here’s a job for which I’m qualified at last”. I started to have a look around, check on everything and find out what was going on.

Later on I went into work again. I was extremely early but I had a wander round to do a few things etc. It wasn’t until 07:30 that I went to the office. That was just as someone else was turning up as well. They had a key to open the office door so that they could let me in which was lucky because I couldn’t find mine although I did later. I went to where the desk at which I used to sit used to be but it wasn’t there. Now there was a filing cabinet. I had to look around and found it in a different corner of the garage so I went over there to put down my bag and coat and take off my jacket before making plans about what I was going to do during the day

And then we were out somewhere. There was something going past and I flagged it down and managed to have a lift. However I ended up in a Prisoner-of-War camp and everyone was being processed. We ended up in a room, 100 people, the size of a small bedroom. Eventually someone came in and started to hand out these sugar cubes. He said “there’ll be plenty more of these”. I replied “no there won’t. I bet that this is something just to soften us up and the real punishment will start in another week or so. Then we’ll all regret it”. Some little girl in this room started saying “yes, I saw a file”. She said “on Friday there will be 3000 of us taken to an extermination camp in Flossenberg, so many on Saturday, none on Sunday and 110 more on Monday”. She started to reel off these numbers very matter-of-factly so it looked almost certain that our Prisoner-of-War period is going to end in our death even if we survived the mistreatment. I started chatting to this girl, a nice, friendly little girl. I felt really sorry that someone like her is going to be swept away in a pogrom

When the alarm went off I was chatting to this little girl again on a boat going to Ireland. We were chatting about a woman where I used to work years ago. What had happened was that I’d had to stay in a guest house overnight because I’d missed my ferry to Ireland. The ferry next morning was quite early so it was quite a scramble to be ready. We swarmed aboard and it was pretty busy. There were very few trays in which to put our possessions. Someone found an empty one and gave it to me. I grabbed hold of it amid this powerful scramble. Someone else asked if they could pu ttheir things on it too but I replied that I had mine and my girlfriend’s. We put our things on this plastic tray thing then we sat down and started to talk, this little girl from the Prisoner-of-War camp and me who was now on board my ship going to Ireland. When we disembarked in Ireland there were plenty of cars around. It was cold and damp and raining just like any other day in Ireland. We were wandering around aimlessly

So not only did I step back into a dream twice last night, I was off again with a young girl. The paternal instinct is rearing its ugly head again, isn’t it? Maybe I really ought to have kidnapped that cat.

The nurse came around too and gave me my injection. He tells me that his next visit will be in 10 days time, on a Sunday, so we agreed that he’ll postpone his visit until the Monday. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I don’t do Sunday mornings.

After a late breakfast I made a start on the photos and as I said, I didn’t make much progress. At the rate that I’m going, with 94 to do that survived the cut, I’m going to be here for ever. But there is certainly a lot of excitement going on in respect of what I was doing over there and I’m certainly learning a lot.

guided tour place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Soon enough, it was time for me to go for my afternoon walk.

And I wasn’t the only one out there going for an afternoon walk either. The area where I live is quite historic so there are all kinds of guided tours around the place. There was another bunch of tourists out there this afternoon.

This was probably the end of their trip because at this point several people broke away from the crocodile and wandered aimlessly around for a while. They wouldn’t be doing that if they’d paid for a guided tour.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022A few of them followed me over to the wall at the end of the car park to check on the beach.

There were plenty of people down there this afternoon although I’m not sure why. It was a nice sunny day but there was a biting wind that was as strong as many that we have had around here in the past.

Now that the tourists have gone home it looks as if the dogs are now allowed back on the beach. Rover is down there taking his master for a walk.

No-one brave enough to go in the water this afternoon though and I’m not surprised. It might look nice but having reopened the window the other day, I closed it again this morning to try to keep the heat in.

etoile molene ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The views out to sea were excellent this afternoon

Way out in the English Channel behind the Ile de Chausey was a sailing ship. She’s not Marité because she’s in port and although Shtandart was out at sea this afternoon, the masts and rigging aren’t right for her.

So really she could be anyone, but back home I had a quick look on the radar where I saw that there was a sailing ship called Etoile Molene that departed Saint Malo aat 09:42 this morning, did a lap around out there during the day and came back at 17:03.

Her silhouette is not dissimilar to the ship that’s out there.

condor voyager english channel st malo France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was something else out there too this afternoon.

At first I wasn’t sure that it wasn’t a small island with the sun reflecting off it in a different way, but when I was looking at the radar earlier I could see that the ferry Condor Voyager was out and about this afternoon.

She left St Malo at 15:07 and returned at 18:21, having just been for a loiter around in the bay. That sounds quite unusual to me but if there’s anything bizarre about her little trip out it’ll probably be in the newspapers tomorrow.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Just now I mentioned that the views out to sea were really good this afternoon.

This is one of the best views of Le Loup that we have ever had. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there are rocks just outside the harbour and Le Loup is a marker light that sits thereupon to make sure that people don’t run into the rocks.

The colours were really tremendous today though and we’ve never seen them looking so good.

There were quite a few people on the car park admiring the scenery this afternoon but strangely, there was no-one sitting on the bench at the cabanon vauban either. They must have heard me coming or something.

peche à pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So with no-one down below me when I arrived at the end of the headland, I cast my figurative net a little wider to see what was going on.

And while this guy didn’t have a net, figurative or otherwise, he seemed to have every other piece of fishing equipment, at least as far as the peche-à-pied goes. And he was scrambling over the rocks with a great deal of determination too.

Leaving him to it, I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland. And the way down is a steep path covered in loose stones and dirt and I do have to say that it’s 50 metres or so of path that I really don’t enjoy doing, the way things are right now.

marité chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022We saw the goings-on down at the chantier naval just now and with no-one moored up at the Fish processing Plant playing “musical ships” I had a look down into the inner harbour.

The situation with the two large ships is as I mentioned a little earlier. Marité is down there moored at the bottom of the harbour and Shtandart has gone out to sea. Unfortunately I can’t tell you where she is because, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, she’s switched off her AIS transmitter so my radar isn’t picking up her signals.

Chausiaise was down there at the bottom of the harbour yesterday, underneath the crane. But now she’s moored over at the side of the harbour and you can see her over on the right.

She must have been loading up yesterday when we saw her because she set sail this morning at 08:55 to go out to the Ile de Chausey and was back at 12:01

And while I was checking the radar just now, I noticed that Victor Hugo was back in town.

notre dame de foy port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Here’s a trawler that you haven’t seen before.

However, I have, and if I’d been rather more diligent with the photos from my trip to jersey you would have seen it before now. She’s called Notre Dame de Foy and usually loiters Fécamp but when I was on my way back from Jersey we overtook her as we came into port and I have some good photos of her out at sea.

Interestingly, she’s a catamaran and you don’t find many trawlers like that. There are one or two like that in here but most of them are traditional single-hull vessels.

Back here I had an ice-cold chocolate drink and then had a desultory stir about with my photos from Jersey.

Tea was a burger on a bap with potatoes and veg. I’m having a little clean through the fridge and trying to use up the fresh chilled food that’s in there. The fridge needs a sort-out and I’ll do my best to do it. Mind you, seeing just how successful I was with the freezer, I hope that you aren’t holding your breath.

Tomorrow I’ll push on with the photos where I haven’t run aground and deal with the other issues as and when. Stuff is building up again and I really need to achieve something before I become irretrievably bogged down.

The injection of Aranesp might do me some good but that’s the kind of thing that’s clutching at straws.

Rather like when Fish tried to resurrect his career by teaming up with Rick Wakeman and the ghost of Sandy Denny. That was what I would call “Clutching at Strawbs”.

I’ll get my coat.

Wednesday 14th September 2022 – PECCAVI WASN’T BACK …

peccavi le styx chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… in the water for very long, was she?

A couple of days ago we sw the portable boat lift hovering around her like a bird of prey, and yesterday she had gone.

But this afternoon as I wandered around the headland on my walk, I noticed that she’s back in the cradle of the portable boat lift, either looking for a berth or else having ha da quick touching up and waiting to be lowered back down again when the tide comes in later this afternoon..

We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what’s happened to her. But whatever is going on, it was rather a short stay in the water.

Just for a change my stay in bed last night wasn’t all that short. I was (for once) actually in bed at something like a reasonable time and it’s been a while since that’s happened.

Quite a few little voyages during the night too. I can’t remember who I was with now but I was at a fishing port somewhere. I had a daughter who lived here. My partner asked me about her so I made a couple of excuses and said that she’s just been sent to bed because she’s misbehaved. Just as I was saying that, round the corner she came along wiht the nurse or nanny who looked after her. I thought “that’s my story blown, isn’t it?”. I said to her “hello. What are you doing?”. She replied that she had indeed been sent to bed but for a different reason to the one that I just gave. I asked her if she wants to see me when I’m here, she obviously has to be on her best behaviour because if she keeps on being sent to bed she won’t be able to see me at all. The two of us, my friend and the child’s nurse or nanny, we had a little chat together about everything.

And later, Marianne and I were in the Metro or Underground on our way to a theatre to watch a play or a cinema. We were passing through different Underground stations talking about groups whom we’d seen performing at concert halls nearby. As we closed to our destination Marianne said suddenly that she didn’t have her handbag with her. She’d left it at one of our stops. She had to leap off the train and go back. I carried on and got off at our stop and took up a place where I could watch the train arrive. It wasn’t many minutes afterwards when she arrived, saying that she didn’t have her bag, didn’t have her purse etc. I looked a bit suspicious about everything. She came up with some small change to leave the Underground etc. We went over there and I bought the tickets to go in, all the drinks, sweets etc. We decided that we’d go somewhere else but I can’t remember now where that somewhere else was.

Finally I was unloading a load of Rowntrees products from Strider when I awoke. I thought that he was saying that that company would haul anything if the price was right. They had a couple of large containers with their food on board that was destined for Taylor’s to share out at Christmas. The rest of it was shop deliveries. Even though it was all mis-sorted all over the place it had to be delivered to individual shops. We were going on about our relationship with the shop, about how sometimes it was very good, sometimes it was very bad depending on the particular issues. Before that I’d been somewhere or other from town. We’d been wandering around and there had been this 6-cylinder Harley Davidson parked up at the side of this building. It had been there for a while. Everyone would come to look at it, Harley Davidson aficionados from all over the place. One day a Harley Davidson club turned up to see it and decided that they would take some of us for a ride so somehow they managed to disconnect the lock on it. Someone else bought a trailer of the type that this Harley Davidson would pull when it was working. I was unlucky enough that I had a lift on a traditional Harley. They went north out of Crewe through the lanes. It was a wild experience. He was playing an LP of A NEIGHBOUR OF MINE like THE TALE OF SIR ROBIN but it was the tale of the guy who was actually driving the motorbike and I can’t remember now his name.

For the benefit of any new reader, anyone who knows anything about LORD OF THE RINGS will know exactly what make and model of vehicle Strider is. He’s on my mind at the moment because he’s just been for his safety inspection in Canada and I’m told that he needs some welding. That’s bad news of course but he is 14 years old and is left outside during the Canadian winters, so it’s not a surprise.

It’s high time that I made up my mind about what to do with him.

Having dealt with all of that then most of the rest of the day has been spent with dealing with my Jersey photos. I’ve not done too many of those because most of the time has been spent researching.

And most of that time was trying to find out when a couple of buildings were erecting. It’s always puzzled me that there’s much more information available about older buildings than there is about newer ones

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There were several breaks during the day of course, the afternoon walk being one of them.

As usual I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on down on the beach. And today, it was a case of playing “spot the human being”. I certainly couldn’t see one in this photo.

Not that that’s really surprising. The weather has turned yet again and the temperature has dropped. It’s quite cool there and pretty much overcast. Winter won’t be long in a-coming, I reckon.

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Looking out to sea was pretty much a waste of time this afternoon as well.

There was quite a sea mist and you couldn’t see the Ile de Chausey this afternoon. I’d almost given up hope of seeing anything out at sea when this zodiac came into view from around the headland. So at least that was something.

There was a guy on board who had in his possession a couple of fishing rods. So there’s no surprise as to where he’ll be going.

However I’m more concerned as to where he’s come from because in the kind of range in which a zodiac travels safely, there’s no port with a ramp into the water right now. It’s only people like us who’ll travel 30 miles in open water on a zodiac trying to find our ship.

But be all that as it may, about 30 seconds after this zodiac came by, another one came around the headland. It looks as if there’s quite a lot going on as far as they are concerned.

lobster pot marker pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022A little further on, I came across another marker buoy with a flag.

Having seen quite a few of these, I’m even more convinced that they mark the position of lobster pots that have been dropped overboard in the hope of making a catch.

And just in case I hadn’t seen enough of them already, there were several all dotted along the coast here.

They were all flying the same colour of flag so that seems to be pretty conclusive that the same flag belongs to the same owner, and a different flag belongs to a different owner.

cabanon vauban man on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With not too many people out and about this afternoon I wasn’t expecting to see anyone down at the bench at the cabanon vauban.

Nevertheless there were two people down there this afternoon. One of them went and hid out of sight behind the cabin when they saw me coming, such has my fame spread these days. But the other person took no notice so he fitted in quite nicely to my photo.

One or two people down on the lower path too but they didn’t hang around waiting for the bench to clear so that they could take their turn at sitting down.

And neither did I hang around. I cleared off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

pierre de jade chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And plenty of excitement today in the chantier naval.

We’ve seen Peccavi back in town, but it looked very much as if we had yet another trawler in there that wasn’t in there yesterday.

To be on the safe side I took a photo of it with the aim of examining it back at base but when I did so, it turned out to be Pierre de Jade who was in there yesterday.

They must really be cracking on with that because they have already painted out her name with some undercoating. And with all of the workmen swarming all over her in contrast to how the work is progressing on the other boats, it looks as if they have a pressing engagement for her.

shtandart marite chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile down at the far end of the inner harbour it looks as if we have a full house.

Not only is Marité there but it seems that Shtandart is back in town as well, tied up in her usual place. So what’s the story with her then? For how long is she staying?

Chausiaise is down there too in the loading bay underneath the crane. Now that things are quietening down at the end of the summer, maybe she’s thinking about going out with another load to the Channel Islands.

Meanwhile what I am thinking about is going home for a coffee. I’m really struggling, going round my circuit and I certainly can’t do it in 15 minutes as I used to. Fings ain’t looking so good.

For a while I carried on with my photos and later on ended up having a chat with my neighbour. This things isn’t happening this weekend, as I said, but we were talking about a few more opportunities. However, they are increasingly unlikely from my point of view.

Tea tonight was another delicious, magnificent curry and then Rosemary rang so we had another one of our marathon chats. Hence I’m running rather late tonight yet again. There’s no end to it.

Tomorrow I’ll be carrying on with my photos from Jersey. At least I’m ashore now having a coffee – about a quarter of the way through the images. It’s going to take another age to finish it, and then I can restart on all of the other hundreds of outstanding days when there was so much to do that is as yet undone.

It never ends, does it?

Tuesday 13th September 2022 – THAT WAS HORRIBLE!

Quite the worst Welsh lesson that I have ever had. I couldn’t remember a thing and it all went from bad to worse.

Having a lay-off for three months or so was clearly the wrong thing to do, but unfortunately there didn’t seem to ba ny other way to keep going during the Summer break. That’s something to which I ought to attend in the future.

Right now though, I’m worrying about the present.

Going to bed was rather later than I was hoping so I didn’t have too much sleep. And compared with the last couple of days it was rather a lethargic raising of the dead when the alarm went off.

When the alarm did go off I was talking to some people about someone who was in a harbour somewhere along the coast over in the Channel Islands. I’d only just started this when the alarm went off and spoilt my journey.

Actually making a start on my Welsh revision was even more lethargic than leaving the bed, although at least I didn’t suffer the indignity of falling asleep. Finally, grabbing hold of my coffee and fruit bun I went for the disaster that was my lesson.

What made it worse was that there were only 4 of us today rather than the usual dozen or so. Consequently we were under much more pressure and there was nowhere to hide when you are constantly in the spotlight.

This afternoon I finally caught up with the guy with whom I needed to speak about this weekend and, regrettably, it’s not possible to involve myself in it. It was an extremely long shot but if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

And that took me up to time for me to go for my walk this afternoon.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As usual, my walk took me across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

There weren’t all that many people down there this afternoon. The good weather hadn’t arrived today so it was much more like a mid-September day with a heavy overcast and a wind.

The tide was well out again today so those people who had actually managed to go down there had plenty of room to spread out. But surprisingly, there wasn’t anyone up at this end of the beach having a scratch around for shellfish.

No-one flexing their mussels today, you might say.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Nevertheless, there were plenty of people out there on the rocks this afternoon.

Not scratching around with pèche-à-pied instruments but actually brandishing a rod and line from the rocks. In fact, almost every rock down there had a fisherman perched thereupon.

And this isn’t our usual spec at the end of the headland either there wasn’t any room out there for any more fishermen. This lot were down the northern side of the headland.

And, as you might expect, we didn’t see anyone pull anything out of the water this afternoon. Not that anyone was expecting it.

ship english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The view out at sea this afternoon was quite miserable. But the view down the coast was so much better.

The headland at Cap Fréhel was quite visible this afternoon, even with the naked eye, but strangely we couldn’t see the lighthouse at the end. There was something out there that I could see so I took a photo with the aim of enhancing and enlarging it when I returned home.

Back here, when I had a closer look, I could see that it wasn’t the lighthouse. It’s actually a large ship, a blue one. Unfortunately I’ve not been able to identify it.

There was nothing in or around the port of St Malo that might have corresponded, but it could be a serviceship for the proposed offshore wind farm there.

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022and so I carried on with my walk around the headland.

Fighting my way through the throngs of the people too. There might have been only a few people down on the beach this afternoon but there were plenty of others around and they were all up here walking around.

And it looks as if there are a couple of new people who have rented one of the apartments in our building because there was one of the occupiers showing them around out here, explaining how the buses and the refuse collection works.

And it’s all of these temporary lets via the Internet that are killing the accommodation possibilities in these seaside resorts.

cabanon vauban person on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There wee crowds everywhere up here on the cliff path and lawn this afternoon.

Even down on the bench by the cabanon vauban. There was someone else down there with his backpack and his bottle of water looking around at what was going on down there. Fishermen and that ship that I’d seen a little earlier.

Not much else though. No-one is going out right now with the tide being as far out as it is. I can see me having to change my timetable in order to capture a little more of the action when the boats are going out and coming back in.

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022From there I walked around the path on the other side of the headland down to the port.

It looks as if the summer season is dying out right now because this afternoon we have two of the three ferries moored up over there this afternoon. There is Belle France and there is the newer one of the two Joly France ferries with its windows in “portrait” format.

No sign yet of Victor Hugo though. She ought to be coming back pretty soon because later on in the week she has some work booked, running out the last ferries of the year to St Helier.

It goes without saying that I’m quite disappointed with the ferry service to the Channel Islands. Half a dozen trips per month, and just in the summer season too, and the service isn’t going to last all that long.

les poulbots unknown pierre de jade briscard chant des sirenes massabielle le styx chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, there were things that I needed to check in the chantier naval

Yesterday we saw the portable boat lift hovering around over Peccavi looking as if she was about to be put back in the water. Well she’s not there now, the ground’s all flat. And in her place is the trawler Pierre de Jade.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we know a lot about her because she was marooned in the chantier naval for quite a long period of time.

There’s another change too. Pescadore has gone back into the water too and her place has now been taken by a trawler that unfortunately I don’t recognise. She’s switched off her AIS transmitter so I can’t pick up a signal to tell me who she might be.

Time for another reconnoitre, I reckon.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Before I go back home I had a look down into the inner harbour.

Shtandart hasn’t come back yet but Marité is there in port. That’s another sign that the Summer season is drawing rapidly to a close.

So another day during which I managed to make a complete tour of the headland after my fall a couple of weeks ago. But I was decidedly unsteady on my feet today and I had a few wobbles. I don’t think that I’m in much shape to go anywhere really.

There xas some chocolate milk today for a mid-afternoon drink, and then I had a good listen to the dictaphone to find out where i’d been during the night.

I started off on a ferry going across the Gulf of St Lawrence somewhere. There were all these strange goings-on happening in the water but that was all that I remember. I can’t actually remember anything about this dream.

And later I had a house with a big front yard, a piece down the side and planty of room at the back. It was looking like a scrapyard with bits and pieces everywhere. Cars and cars etc. I started one evening trying to tidy up the place. By the time dawn came up there were only a couple of cars and a car bonnet that needed to be moved. I’d installed a sign outside the house that pointed to “Eric”. I’d made arrangements to build a sign so that people could see that it was here where I lived and that I had cars and everything. I programmed the sign so that if you typed up the name it came up with another. For some unknown reason that function didn’t work. I couldn’t make it change automatically. But the first sign that I mentioned was still out there. Liz and Terry popped by. They saw what was going on so they came for a chat. They had a look around and asked what this sign was for on the street. I couldn’t think so I said that it was a bed-and-breakfast. She said that I wasn’t going to have many people in here. I said that it’s basically for people driving past who want somewhere to stay for the night. If they came past here late in the evening they would never make it to the coast. She had a look and the place was all untidy. She said that she couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to stay here. It became later and later and they decided that they were going to stay. I had a little giggle to myself with Liz saying that at one time she’d never want to sleep in a caravan but here they are, they’d actually bought a caravan. I went outside to finish off. A Cavalier, the type from 1984 turned up, a beige one, Y-registration. It was all smashed in down one side. Behind it an elderly Jaguar or Daimler stretch limousine came along. The guy in the Cavalier went to exit and enter this Jaguar thing and drive away with the driver. I went to have a look. This Cavalier was actually a Private Hire vehicle complete with plate but it was all smashed in down one side, far worse than any one that I’d ever had and I couldn’t understand at all why it would still be working.

During the night I’d also been out doing a coach trip to some kind of market or trade fair. All these passengers on board and we were wandering around here. Someone knew half the stalls and told me where to go to try on a leather jacket. As the crowds were drifting away I went round. Most of the stuff had been packed away and there was only one rail. I tried on a leather jacket and I happened to like it so I walked away with it without paying, wearing it. No-one said anything, no-one chased after me. I ended up walking right out of the market ready to go home. I ended up back at the Leese’s. She had noticed the time and thought that I was going to be hours late because when she’d seen me she was sleeping. She thought that this was a bad sign. If course Iw as soon awake, soon tidied up, soon had everything ready and soon back. She was surprised. There was another job to do that they didn’t think I’d be ready for. That was another coach trip. She had the paperwork ready and gave me a portable ‘phone. She started to explain it to me how it worked, the numbers and what the numbers meant and so on. of course I knew all this thing really well with having used mobile phones before but she insisted on showing me like some 5 year old baby would be shown something. It was all extremely patronising

Tea tonight was a taco roll with rice and veg. And as I expected, the stuffing was quite powerful after marinading for 24 hours. Perhaps I ought to leave it for longer and see what it would be like then.

So, bedtime after a really disappointing day – for the Welsh lesson and for my little weekend project too. But as one door closes, another one opens and we’ll have to see where that one takes us

But that’s tomorrow. Here’s hoping for a better day.