Tag Archives: fete foraine

Wednesday 2nd March 2022 – IN WHAT MUST SURELY …

repairing bicycle shelter place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… be a new world record even for these days, the new bike shed didn’t last very long.

Not even 15 hours, because when I came home from the doctor’s this morning, the guy who was there yesterday installing it had returned and was now busy dismantling … “disPERSONing” – ed … it again.

Whatever he had done yesterday was clearly not good enough.

It’s not as if building a bike shed is rocket science so there’s no reason why he would need to take it apart again. But all that I can say is that I’m glad that I didn’t take my bike out of the back of Caliburn last night and park it in there.

There has been other news too today, and this news is equally depressing. At 12:00 midday all over France they tested the nuclear alert sirens, not that there’s anywhere these days to hide if there’s a nuclear attack.

We are living in interesting times.

fete foraine place herel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022So while you admire some photos of the fête foraine, the funfair, let me tell you about where I went during the night.

I was out on the Wirral peninsula last night. I’d been there before and I’d seen all of these kids coming out of school. There was a bus stop by three different schools, judging by the uniforms. I’d seen some kinds in another street, a residential suburban street and I wondered where on earth it might have been. I was looking for the house of a girl I know and her brother. I was wandering around and I only had the street name but I didn’t have the number or the ‘phone number and I didn’t even know exactly where it was so I had to find it on the map on my phone or something. I was walking around and suddenly came across a place in a street that went from north-east to south-west where I might have seen these children congregating but on a closer look it wasn’t actually the same place but pretty similar. Then I bumped into a little boy and a little girl. They were extremely talkative. They asked me what I was doing so I said that I was looking for this street that might have been called Allison Avenue, something like that, She said “oh, that lot of streets” as if she knew where it was. She said “why don’t you go to the end of the street here and look left? You can see all the way down the road to Liverpool from here”. I thought “maybe if I had time, I might but I don’t know where I have to go yet”. I started to quiz this girl but just then 2 other people came past and started to ask her something and she was talking to them. I was holding this girl’s arm by this time and I started to stroke it basically to keep her attention focused on me while she was talking to these 2 people.

fete foraine place herel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And later I was at a football match last night, watching a game sitting in the stand quite quietly. The ground was pretty full and these 2 boys were sitting next to me and started to crowd over onto my seat. They asked me if I was enjoying the game etc. The one in the middle asked “who was the hardest? me or his friend?”. I eplied that I don’t know his friend so I can’t really say. Then a fight erupted between the three of us and it was all extremely depressing kind of thing.

And then I was in my Opel Senator last night, using it as a taxi. I was parked up somewhere in Brussels and some guy who had at one time been a regular passenger in my taxi turned up. He said “we want to borrow your taxi for a moment to have” and about 10 of his friends stormed into it. They wouldn’t leave when I told them to so I went to ‘phone the police but my ‘phone kept on playing up – I couldn’t remember the password or the password was wrong or the ‘phone screen wasn’t working, all kinds of things like this. No matter what I tried I couldn’t make these people leave my car.

fete foraine place herel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Finally, I’d been out with some of my family again. I’d been out on a motorbike but I had my beige Cortina YLO with me. I was in an awful hurry to leave but they were loitering around. I was sitting there drumming my fingers on the table but my motorbike by now I’d actually coupled it up to the Cortina with a A-frame and so I set off on the motorbike pulling the car from Shavington. When I looked behind, the family was following me so I went quite quickly through the S-bends in Gresty, putting the motorbike well down to go round these bends towing the Cortina. I could hear tham say that I must be crazy or something. I arrived in Crewe and ended up in a subway somewhere. I had to cycle (because it was now a bike, that of Marianne’s that I was on) up the hill to the street-level but the gearing was all wrong on this bike. I couldn’t make it up the slope. No matter how fast I pedalled, it wasn’t advancing any. I had to roll back to the bottom of the slope on this bike pulling this car and then play with the gear arrangements on this bike in order to find the correct gear that would see me, the bike and the car back up the hill again and onto the street level so that we could continue.

But as you can see, it wasn’t a very pleasant night last night and in some respects I was glad when I awoke. That was actually quite early and I was out of bed as soon as the alarm went off at 07:30.

After the medication I went off to have a shower and a good clean-up ready to go to the doctor’s.

loading joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022When I reached the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard Vaufleury, I stopped to check the NIKON 1 J5.

Over at the ferry terminal was one of the Joly France boats, the older one of the two. And they were loading her up with stuff, judging my the crane with its hook dangling down into the forward hold of the boat.

It’s not exactly the best day of the year for a run out to the Ile de Chausey. It’s quite cool and windy and I’m well-wrapped up for a change.

lysandre les bouchots de chausey la grande ancre fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022While I was there at the viewpoint I noticed that there was plenty of activity going on down at the fish processing plant.

No prizes for spotting La Grande Ancre. Her silhouette is quite unique and you’ll be able to spot her anywhere.

Whoever is behind her I don’t know, but in front of her is Les Bouchots de Chausey unloading its catch onto the tractor and trailer that takes it away.

And just puling away from the quayside is Lysandre, the St Malo-registered shell-fishing boat that comes into port here every now and again.

marite thora belle france joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022There’s quite a lot of activity going on at the quayside in the inner harbour too.

Marité is there of course, but in front of her is Thora, one of the little Jersey freighters that run a regular service over here. Before she came to Jersey, she was a car ferry out in the Shetland Islands.

The other Joly France boat is down there in the foreground, tied up to Belle France. And if I’m not mistaken, Chausiaise is moored up on the other side of her. They can’t have much on today.

At the doctors he gave me my prescription for the Aranesp that pumps me up ready for when I go to Leuven, and also a prescription for an X-Ray on my knee. I’m not sure if I mentioned that the physiotherapist is of the opinion that there has been no improvement to my knee despite 6 months of effort.

“That’s not normal” she had told me, and that’s no surprise because neither am I.

Ther does however seem to have been some kind of communication between him and the hospital, because he also mentioned that counselling is a good idea for me. So God help the person who draws the short straw and has to probe the depths of my subconscious mind.

He has however given me some tablets to take before I go to bed. I’ll try them to see how they go but if it interrupts my nocturnal rambles I shall stop. Quite frankly, what goes on with me during the night is about the only excitement that I have these days.

Plenty of excitement at the chemists though when I took the prescription there. Some French woman was complaining about this that wasn’t right in France and that wasn’t right in France, so I asked her if she would like to swap her French nationality for my British nationality.

Some people don’t realise how lucky they are.

tiberiade port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On the way back up the hill I noticed to my surprise that Tiberiade was not out of the chantier naval.

It doesn’t look though as if she’s had a complete repaint. There are still plenty of patches of wear on her hull. She doesn’t have her nets on board though either, so she’s not completely ready to go back out to sea.

As for me, I was more than completely ready for my morning coffee and slice of coffee cake. I’d made it all the way up the hill without stopping for breath and I was pretty exhausted. None of these health issues are doing me any good, but you knew that anyway.

repairing bicycle shelter place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Goinf past the bike shed I noticed that the guy had gone and taken all of the innards with him.

All I can say is that that didn’t last very long, did it?

Back here I had a coffee and my cake and then attacked the dictaphone notes. As I said earlier, it wasn’t a very happy night by all accounts

After lunch, I was back out again. This time to the physiotherapist. She’s back from her holiday and it’s her birthday today too.

peche a pied port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Once more, I stopped at the viewpoint at the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard Vaufleury to check the camera again.

Right out at the entrance to the harbour there were some people out there wandering around as if they were engaged in the peche à pied.

And as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … with all of the stuff that is probably dropped and churned up by the boats that come in and out of the harbour, that’s the last place that I would look for shellfish.

By the time that I arrived at the physiotherapist’s, I was melting. It had warmed up dramatically and I was in my winter coat. But anyway she used a machine to massage my knee and then to finish off she had me doing a few exercises.

vegan cheese vegan dessert lidl Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022After I left the physio I went round to LIDL to pick up a few bits and pieces. With going to Leuven next week I’m not shopping on Saturday.

And here’s an astonishing thing that I haven’t noticed before. Vegan cheese slices – and “English” (presumably Red Leicester) too.

Of course I’ve no idea what they might be like but the vegan deserts aren’t as good as they might be so I’m not too optimistic. However, if no-one buys the stuff they won’t stock any more vegan food so they need some kind of encouragement.

If it melts, it might be good for cheese on toast and there’s only one way to find that out, isn’t there?

new building rue victor hugo rue st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On the way back I had a look again at the new building that was going on at the corner of the Rue Victor Hugo and the Rue St Paul.

They don’t seem to have made a great deal of progress since we saw them last, but the road must be closed for some good purpose that isn’t easily apparent.

At the bottom of the hill is the funfair – the fête foraine – so I went for a wander around there for 10 minutes. It’s not as good as it might be when it’s all lit up but I’m already on 105% of my daily activity and I’m not going out again in the dark.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Back here at the building I can’t go inside until I’ve seen what’s happening down on the beach.

By the time that I came back I was rather later than usual but there was still some beach to be on and there were a few people down there actually on it. They were probably enjoying the warm weather.

Back in here I had a coffee and then I had some work to do. We’re doing a series of programmes on the Ukraine and I spent an hour or so tracking down some Ukrainian rock groups. One of them burst into the limelight thanks to an appearance that they made at a concert in Lviv and I actually managed to track down the concert too

Now I shall have to brush up my Russian because this concert was in pre-independence days and it’s 30 years since my last trip to Eastern Europe.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that years ago I used to work for a coach company that won a contract to take tourists behind the Iron Curtain. As I fancied the job as driver, I found a local woman who spoke Russian and she taught me the basics, most of which I have forgotten.

While I was at it I also came across a friend of a friend of a friend who has a daughter in the Ukraine and I’ve been trying to set up an interview for the radio. But that’s not easy, as you can imagine.

Another thing that I did was to bash out a few more photos from my trip to the High Arctic in 2019. Where has this energy come from?

Tea tonight was a potato and mushroom curry, and then I came back in here to write up my notes – and to make a long ‘phone call to Florida. My network of contacts stretches throughout the world and it’s just as well, with all of this going on.

Monday 21st February 2022 – THIS WINDY WEATHER …

storm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… is really getting on my wick these days.

The other day we had a storm warning for Storm Useless and it wasn’t anything at all to write home about compared to what I have experienced in the past. And yet subsequently we have been battered by winds that would have knocked Storm Useless into a cocked hat.

The high winds that met me this afternoon and which were churning up the sea in the Baie de Mont St Michel were better than anything that we have experienced over the last few days.

In fact the last six months or so have seen nothing but wind and I for one am becoming really fed up of it.

Another thing about which I’m thoroughly fed up are these bad nights that I’ve been having.

Last night, despite going to bed at a reasonable time and falling asleep fairly rapidly I awoke shortly after and it was as if my right leg and both my elbows were on fire.

One of the side-effects of one of the medication tha I take makes me itch and with having really thin blood, every time I scratch myself I bleed. And having made a right mess of my right leg a few months ago and then spent several months doing everything that I could to help it to heal, then it’s now back to even worse than it was back then.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall one of my habitual partners in crime (was it Zero?) seeing my leg during one of our nocturnal rambles and bursting into tears. Well, that was exactly how I felt when I saw the mess.

At some point towards the morning I must have fallen asleep because I went off on a ramble. There was something strange last night that involved a girl whom I knew although it took place in French. It concerned some kind of confusion between a couple of people who were having marital problems. I knew someone called Michael and she knew a different person called Michael. I knew the one who was having marital problems and it turned out that the one that she knew was also. When we were discussing them we were confused about who was the one about whom we were talking. But the alarm went off at that moment and I can’t remember any more.

Hauling myself out of bed at 06:00 was pretty miserable but once I’d checked my messages and everything I had a go at my radio programme. And by 10:45 it was all up and running and I was listening to it.

In fact I could have finished it earlier but I had a ‘phone call. The nurse was in the building giving someone a blood test so he wondered if he could come round to give me my fortnightly injection then instead of coming back at lunchtime.

No point in inconveniencing him so he came round and inconvenienced me. Not that it really matters, I suppose

While I was listening to the output, and also to the radio programme that will be broadcast this coming weekend, I had something of a tidy up and did a few other things here and there that needed doing.

After lunch I had some correspondence to deal with and then I headed off into town.

showmen's wagons port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022You’ve already seen the effects of the wind that was whipping up the sea in the bay, but something else down there had caught my eye.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that Carnaval has been cancelled this year but it looks as if the Fête Foraine – the funfair – is still going ahead.

Down there are all the living quarters of the showmen who will be setting up their amusements on the car park down by the Salle Hérel.

That’s not very many compared with what we have seen in the past so it will be interesting to see how things develop over the next few days if more and more of them come into town.

les epiettes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Someone else who has come into town today is Les Epiettes.

She’s painted in the colours of the French Government and the sign on her rails saying “do not tie up to me” would seem to bear that out.

Further research tells me that she’s owned by the Département des Ponts et Chausssées – the Department of Roads and Bridges – and she must be based reasonably locally because Les Epiettes is the name of a buoy somewhere off the coast of the Ile de Chausey.

And that was where I encountered her for the first time when we were out there on Spirit of Conrad two years ago.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Someone else who is in port today is Chausiaise.

But she isn’t moored up where she has been for the last couple of weeks. She’s now moved and is underneath the crane in the loading bay.

That would seem to indicate that she’s off on another voyage somewhere very soon. She usually goes out to the Ile de Chausey although just recently we’ve noticed her coming back from St Helier in Jersey.

With important things to do, I had to leave her there and wander off into town. I’ll go and have a walk around the harbour at some other time. I need to go to see the doctor some time soon.

Meanwhile down at the Post Office I posted off my letter and then made ready to come back home. I wasn’t going to hang around.

sideshows place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022In the street outside the post office the people associated with the fête foraine were setting up a couple of stalls.

It seems that they are making the most of the absence of the Carnaval to take over some of the ground that the Carnaval would otherwise occupy.

Incidentally, despite the fact that the half-term holiday is over, the kiddies’ roundabout is still in the square so it looks by the nature of the stalls here that they are going to have a kiddies’ corner in the town centre.

Presumably, the activities in the car park will be reserved for the adults and take place during the hours of darkness.

new brickwork rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022The walk back up the hill towards home was rather more difficult than I was expecting it to be, seeing as I had only myself and the NIKON D500 to worry about.

Halfway up the hill I stopped because there was something that I was keen to see. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few weeks ago they had replaced some of the crumbling brickwork with some new stuff but they hadn’t actually pointed them.

And when I had a close look today, I saw that they still hadn’t pointed between them. Once the frost and the rain get in there the new brickwork won’t be staying there for very long.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Before I went back to my apartment I braved the gale-force wind and went to see what was happening down on the beach.

Down below on the beach, regardless of the wind, there were several people wandering about. Mind you, it was quite sunny so I suppose that if you could tolerate the wind it was quite a nice day.

Back in the apartment I had my coffee and came back in here where, regrettably, I fell asleep again for half an hour or so. Mind you, after the night that I had, it was hardly any surrpise.

And then I went for tea. A stuffed pepper with rice and I do have to say that the stuffing in the pepper was the best that I have ever made. The way in which I make it is rather hit-and-miss but this evening’s efforts were definitely a hit.

Having written up my notes and having transcribed the massive amount of dictaphone notes from yesterday I’m off to bed. I’ve soaked my leg and elbows in some cold cream and I hope that it will work and I won’t set myself on fire tonight.

Saturday 7th March 2020 – I’VE BEEN HAVING …

night square maurice marland granville manche normandy france eric hall… a little fun with the little NIKON 1 J5 camera tonight.

Having a wander around in the dark, I tried a few photos on various settings of Exposure Compensation but none of them came out satisfactorily and they ended up in the bin.

But what I tried next, after having had a good wrack of my brains to remember how the manual settings on the camera worked, was to put it onto fully manual and try my luck with that.

And you can see the result. I’ve had much worse photos than this. That f1.8 18.5mm lens is worth its weight in gold and I’ll be getting much more use out of it in the future once I’ve worked out how to bring out the best in it.

This morning, something surprising happened. I awoke in the middle of a panic attack and I’m not sure why. I was confused and completely disorientated and when the first alarm went off at 06:00 I was totally convinced for some reason that it was the third alarm and that I’d definitely heard the other two.

All of that made me extremely interested to see what was on the dictaphone after the medication, but to my surprise there was nothing at all. So what was going on there, I had no idea.

After breakfast I broke up a couple of digital sound files, one of which was a total mess, then had a shower and hit the streets.

First stop was NOZ and there was nothing there of any great significance except some more of that fruit-flavoured alcohol-free beer that they had a while ago.

There was also some honey on special offer and I’m using quite a bit of that these days in my syrups so I bought a jar of that.

LeClerc was next. Not much there either although I did buy a roll of transparent adhesive film that I need for a project or two.

From there I headed to St Pair sur Mer and Brico Cash. I wanted to have a look in there before I decided whether I ought to go to IKEA. And it was something of a disappointment as they didn’t have what I need at a price that I want to pay.

While I was out that way I went to look in the huge Casino supermarket. And I found another pie dish just the right size, and with a large-ish lip. It’s not very good but it was only €2:80 and it means that I can now cook two pies at once as this one will fit on the oven rack with the other one.

Back at the apartment I had a coffee and then split up a couple more digital sound files, including repairing a couple of the very first ones that I ever split all those years ago. It certainly helps these days now that I know what I’m doing.

After lunch – the last of that delicious potato, leek and mushroom soup, I did some tidying up. I had LPs and cassettes all over the place but now they are tidied up and the LPs are even in correct alphabetical order. And it’s been a good few years since that happened.

Unfortunately I crashed out later on. A proper, deep crash-out curled up on the chair. Well away I was, and I remember thinking to myself that this wasn’t doing me any good at all and that I ought to pull myself together.

yacht english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd so, eventually, I did. I went out for my afternoon walk.

In order to make up my 100% for the day I had to go on a mega-ramble for miles, so the first part of that was to head off around the headland with the crowds. Plenty of activity out there at sea today, like this yacht.

This was just one of about for or five that were in my view at this time in between here and the Ile de Chausey.

canoeing kayak baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallDown the steep steps and around the headland, dodging the massing crowds as I did so. It seemed as if all of the town was out there this afternoon.

And there was yet more activity in the Baie de Mont St Michel. Plenty of yachts of course, but also a couple of intrepid kayakers were taking to the water. I’ve no idea to where they might be going.

One thing is certain though, and that is that you must never light a fire in a canoe. After all, you can’t have your kayak and heat it, as you well know.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere may well have been crowds out there on the headland and also out at sea, but that’s in vast contrast to what’s happening at the chantier navale.

We’ve seen four ships in there, three ships, two ships and, very recently, only one ship. But today, there are no ships at all down there. I’m hoping that this is only temporary because a thriving ship-repair yard is an essential for a maritime town like this.

Something will probably unfold over the course of the next few days so I’ll be keeping an eye open to see what goes on. We could do with something big and exciting down there.

new pontoon support pillars port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we saw them installing a couple of pontoons up against the pillars that they had pounded into the bed her ein the floating harbour.

That had inspired me to go to have a look down there to see what they had done and, seeing that the harbour gates were open so that I couldn’t go over to the other side of the harbour, I walked down the rue du Port to have a look.

And sure enough, they will be installing pontoons out into the basin, and that’s surely going to upset a few people who use the facilities.

And while you can’t see them, there are more of those pillars lying over on the other side of the harbour. I wonder where they are going to fit those.

light aeroplane ulm granville manche normandy france eric hallMy reverie was interrupted by some kind of noise in the sky.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there are a couple of people here who keep on getting out their choppers so I imagined that it might be one of those, but actually it’s some kind of weird microlight aeroplane.

Microlights, or ULMs as they are called here, are very popular in France. There a re a lot of them about and we’ve seen all kinds of weird designs in the past.

drainage gulley rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will also recall my rather catty remarks about the concreting that’s been going on on the new car park that they are modernising in the rue du Port.

With no-one about to control access, I could sneak onto the site today for a crafty peek and it does indeed seem to be some kind of gully that they are installing.

And the drains are definitely there to take away the excess water. I imagine though that hey will be raised to na appropriate height when they start to install the surface covering layer.

and I do hope that they include some greenery.

fete foraine funfair parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will also recall that although the fete foraine has cleared off, they have left the candy floss and toffee apple stall behind, and it was doing a roaring trade this afternoon.

But on my way out this morning I had noticed a couple of other things that had yet to leave. So i went for an investigation and sure enough, there’s one of the kiddies’ attractions still here.

Much to the delight of a great many young kids who were taking full advantage of the roundabout here on the Parking Hérel.

After about an hour I came back home and started work on the photos. That’s another pile from Iceland in July 2019 that are edited and will soon be ready for the road.

But I did have 45 minutes where I had a good play with the 5-string bass and the 6-string electric guitar. It’s been years since I’ve had a good go, what with one thing or another. And it was good to be back in harness again.

Tea was a curry out of the freezer – one dated October 2018. And just as delicious as the day it was made. Apple crumble and Soya dessert stuff for pudding too, and there’s enough apple crumble for tomorrow too, just about.

But when I’m cooking my pizza I’ll be making an apple pie. I did buy some more cooking apples especially for this.

night college malraux place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallSo I went out for my evenign walk – and run this evening.

And as I said, I was experimenting with different Exposure Compensation settings on the little NIKON 1 J5 and this photo of the Place d’Armes and the College Malraux was taken with 8 stops down

While the big Nikons actually adjust the image in the viewfinder, the little Nikon doesn’t and you don’t know what you have until after you’ve taken the pic by which time it’s too late.

For this one, maybe 8 stops is a little too much.

night plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallDown on the footpath underneath the city walls my running track was relatively dry and sheltered so I managed a really good run this evening that brought me round to the outlook over the Plat Gousset.

By now, I’m on the manual settings on the camera and there are plenty of lights illuminating everything. This time I tried four stops down and although it’s better, it could have been better still.

There was plenty of leeway to make a few more adjustments to give the image an even better quality.

night mere poulain place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were one or two people loitering around in the place Maurice Marland where I do my second run, but I totally ignored them and carried on regardless, stopping at the end to take the photo that you saw earlier.

But by now I was getting the hang of this camera, but there was still plenty of room to improve.

This photo of the posh creperie in the old medieval walled town could have been much better too. But at least I know where I’m going wrong and I can do something about it.

night place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallThis one of the place Cambernon is better still.

But still not good enough. 1/500th of a second at ISO6400 is rather needless. 1/125 at ISO1600 would have given a much nicer photo than that.

What I’ll do tomorrow is to give it a try on some kind of better setting and see if it makes any kind of improvement.

Back here now and a leisurely evening. But I’m off to bed now for my Sunday lie-in.

And after everything that I’ve done this last couple of weeks, I think that I deserve it too.

Friday 6th March 2020 – SPEND! SPEND! SPEND!

Yes, I’ve had some good fortune today, and as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any. But that’s another story of course, the sea approaches to Kugluktuk not excepted.

In fact, I should really have started this entry yesterday because that was when it all kicked off. Only in my confused state – something that is a regular occurrence these days – I forgot to mention it.

So yesterday I had a letter from the Belgian Old-Age Pension Authorities. After only about a year or so since I made my application, they have finally agreed to grant me an old-age pension in respect of my time spent working for General Electric and for that other strange American company where I met Alison.

So, as of 1st March 2019, I am richer by the princely sum of … errr … €29:47 per month. Yes, I can really go wild with that, can’t I?

But it’s not actually the sum of money that is important. It’s what goes with it that matters. I haven’t yet looked closely into it but there are things like free eye care, free dental treatment and the like. I’m not quite sure what, but believe me, I shall be looking closely into it over the course of the next few days.

And that’s not all. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I had to go to the Bank today to pick up this blasted form. Three weeks since I handed it in, just for a simple stamp to be stamped upon it, and it took until today for it to be completed.

The guy to whom I spoke – he was as bewildered as I was as to why no-one there could have done it on the spot. he suggested that, the next time, I speak to him directly when I need something like this.

But then the subject turned round to the question of my money there. Not that there’s a great deal, but even so, he reckons that I could be doing so much better with it. And he worked out a little plan.

“You have your contents insurance with us” he said “but if you had other insurances, you’d get an even better deal”.
“But I do!” I insisted. “I have my motor insurance, my legal protection insurance (yes, I had a very mis-spent youth and who knows what’s bubbling away somewhere?) and the insurance on Virlet with you”
“No you don’t” he retorted.
“Yes I do” I insisted. “Have a look at my July outgoings”
And so he did. And there were my three annual payments
“But these are with the Credit Agricole Centre-France” he said. “That’s a different organisation”
Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the fun and games we had when I moved here and tried to have my bank accounts set up and transferred over. I thought, that after much ado about nothing and all of the time that it took, the situation had been resolved. But apparently not.

Anyway, he picked up the ‘phone and did it all on the spot so that at long last, all of my banking details are under the same roof in France.

“And I have some good news for you” he said. “This is a cheaper area for insurance than the Puy-De-Dome. You’ll be saving on your insurances with us.”

So he’s going to look at them more closely and get back to me with some revised propositions. And, hopefully, some money back too.

This morning I was ever so close to beating the alarms. I failed by a matter of seconds and that was very sad news.

But still, an early start (just about) and after the medication, I looked at the dictaphone. Strawberry Moose starred in last night’s entertainment. he was out somewhere and there was a football match going on with all different people, women and girls just kicking around playing. He was on the sidelines cheering and they were talking about him. Someone was saying, some woman saying that she’d been out for 30 years but had had to go back to work and was working as a typist and was taking Strawberry Moose with her to do some kind of reporting. I said “he’s going to be extremely busy then because tomorrow he’s going to the swimming baths and he has another football match to go to tomorrow afternoon”. I was busy trying to fit a dressing-up costume on him but his paws were too big to go through the sleeve holes and so on. This was another one with a lot lore to it than this but I can’t remember it now.

So that was the best that I could do during the night, and I went for breakfast instead.

Once breakfast was out of the way I had a look at a few digital tracks. No problems with any of them this morning although a couple of them ended up being far longer than I was expecting, and one of them many more tracks than there ought to be. I wonder if this is a “lost studio master” with the discarded tracks left on it. Who knows?

gravel lorry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAll of that took me up to about 11:30, believe it or not, and then it was time to go out for my dejeunette.

And one part of me wished that I hadn’t because I’ve never seen a rainstorm like it. I was drenched before I’d gone 100 yards. But another part of me was pleased that I went because I caught a gravel lorry just finishing tipping its load on the quayside and then reversing into a gravel bay to turn round.

And you can tell about the rain from just looking at the photo.

concrete drainage channels parking rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk took me down past the car park that they are fitting out on the quayside on the rue du Port.

And I believe that I made some kind of sarcastic comment about the roller-coaster concrete track that they had laid in the middle of it.

But it’s quite clear now why they have done it like that, and I’m off to eat some humble pie instead. They’ve fitted some concrete guttering on the concrete strip that they laid, and the dips now have drainage grids installed in them.

So they are obviously like a roller-coaster in order to channel away the water. So I’ll shut up.

Having picked up my bread at La Mie Caline I came back here and as there was still plenty of time before lunch I finished off the editing of the sound file for Project 030.

For lunch I had more of the mushroom, leek and potato soup and it’s even more delicious. Tomorrow will be the last load and then I’ll be back on the hummus butties. Must take some hummus out of the freezer.

after lunch I went down into town for my appointment with the Credit Agricole, as I mentioned earlier.

toffee apples candy floss stall granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, I decided to go for a little walk around to see what was happening.

The fete foraine – the funfair – has cleared off as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. But not all of it has gone. The candu floss and toffee apple stall is still here.

Does that mean that it’s going to stay here for the summer? That will be quite interesting if it does. It will all add to life’s great pageant down here on the coast for the season.

pile of gravel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut here’s exciting, isn’t it?

There’s certainly something going on here because the pile of gravel by the conveyor is getting bigger and bigger so there’s clearly something about to happen.

And I’m afraid that curiosity got the better of me when I returned home. I had a look at the shipping AIS map and, sure enough, the bulk carrier Neptune that comes in here sometimes for the gravel in in the English Channel and it’s heading in this direction.

Of course, it’s too early to say what it’s doing and where it’s going, but it’s optimistic.

pontoon port de granville granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is the installation of these three large grey pillars in the harbour and my theory about that they are for.

And it looks as if I’m right on that score too, because down there they are installing some pontoons heading our perpendicularly to the quayside and anchored to the posts.

Incidentally, I had a look to see how the pontoons are fastened to the mounting brackets. They are on rollers in grooves so that they will float up and down as the water level changes.

Unless they have a puncture, which is always possible I suppose.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk took me back around the long way in order to clock up the percentages on the fitbit.

And look who’s coming into harbour right now! It’s our old friend Thora coming in from Jersey on the afternoon tide. So hello to Thora.

As for me, I made it back and cracked on with the Project 030. I joined it all up and found a final track to finish it off, and then dictated the notes for it.

Just for a change, I ended up being four seconds short so I had to dictate a little extra to let into the proceedings. But that’s now all done and dusted and it doesn’t sound too bad.

What makes a difference is that there’s less talking from me.

Tea tonight was a burger and pasta in tomato sauce followed by apple crumble and the last of the Alpro Soya Dessert (note to buy some more).

And while I was eating, I was musing over my breakfast. Home-made muesli (well, home-mixed, should I say because the individual items were brought in), home-made apple and pear purée and home-made apple and pear cordial.

That’s all pretty impressive stuff, I have to say.

rue du nord place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallFor my evening walk I took the little NIKON 1 J5 with me, fitted with the f1.8 50mm lens.

You can see the image that I took with it tonight. That’s darkened four stops on the Exposure Compensation function. Still far too bright. And far too blurred.

What I’ll have to do is to set the camera to shutter priority and use a faster speed to eliminate the blurring, and then give it all some further thought.

Despite the howling gale I managed my two runs, although the first was not where I usually go. The wind blew me out of there.

The football was weird. TNS sprinted into a 2-goal lead in minutes and never ever looked like they were in trouble. Barry Town were pretty poor and the possession – 62%-38% and the corners 8-2 tell their own story.

And if it could speak, the Barry Town woodwork would have a few things to say. It’s no exaggeration that TNS could have had half a dozen against a very poor Barry Town side by half-time.

But football is a funny game, as we all know. After about 55 minutes the Barry Town right-back floated in a speculative cross to the TNS penalty area from the right wing. Everyone, including the TNS goalkeeper Paul Harrison, stood and watched as it floated aimless into the area and be picked up by the slightest breeze that drifted it onto the far post and rebounded into the net.

Deep into injury time Barry Town won their second corner of the game. The high cross was headed by a Barry Town attacker towards the outstretched arms of Paul Harrison,, only for it to hit one of his own players and take a wicked deflection into the net.

So probably the most astonishing 2-2 draw that i’ve ever seen. And I bet that the crowd is still shaking its head over this result because I know that I am.

Shopping tomorrow, and if I’m early, I’m going on a little expedition. “Spend, spend, spend!” as I said earlier.

Monday 2nd March 2020 – CATASTROPHE AFTER CATASTROPHE!

I am having a desperately bad day today.

Nothing is working, nothing is going to plan and everything that I touch seems to be breaking. I’m now at the stage where I’m too scared to go to the bathroom!

And it all started off so well too! I’d had a good sleep for what it was worth and even managed to beat the alarms out of bed.

A nice breakfast, nothing on the dictaphone to copy out, and a good crack on at the splitting of the digital files.

But that was as good as it got. The rest of the day descended into chaos.

First task was to book my accommodation in Leuven for the period 18th – 23rd March. And, surprisingly, all of the cheap accommodation had been sold out already. I’m having to go up-market into a higher class of accommodation – at an additional price of course.

The rail trip was next. And, surprisingly, there were no trains available at all on that day, or the day before. I used the SNCF chatline and whoever was on there confirmed that the trains were running, and that I should call the helpline.

At that point I went for a shower and then headed off into town.

railway station granville manche normandy france eric hallFirst stop was the railway station. But I didn’t get as far as i would have liked because I was bewildered by the lack of funfair.

It’s not there now – the ground’s all flat. They’ve folded up their tents like Bedouins and crept off silently into the night by the looks of things. I’m sure that they were here for longer than this in previous years.

At the station, the person at the counter told me that the trains were indeed running and there’s no reason whatever to think otherwise. She told me to book on the ‘phone if the internet still isn’t working.

And if I’m stil unsuccessful, to come back and see her.

clearing confetti carnaval avenue marechal leclerc granville manche normandy france eric hallOutside in the avenue Marechal Leclerc they were tidying up now that the fete foraine has gone.

The guys with the pressure-washers were out again washing the confetti into the drains for it to be discharged into the sea, which is a pretty thankless task, i suppose. It’s a good job that it’s made of paper.

At LIDL I bought a few things – some button batteries which always come in useful of course, and some new vinegar and olive oil dispensers.

The reason why I bought those was because they looked as if they were spray-on containers but when I unwrapped them at home, I found that they weren’t. And that disappointed me greatly.

But they did have leeks in – a bundle at €0:99 and I was thinking only the other day that I really fancied some leek and potato soup. So I bought a bundle and I’ll make some of that too.

crane impasse de la corderie granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, I had a look at the building work going on at the impasse de la Corderie.

They don’t seem to be making much progress so it’s difficult to see what it is that they are going. What I’ll have to do next time that I’m over there is to go to have a closer look and see what’s going on.

Had I not been running quite late and had a lot to do, I would have gone over then and there. But I had to press on regardless

fairground dismantling rue st sauveur granville manche normandy france eric hallInstead, today I went on down into town and La Mie Caline to pick up my dejeunette.

On the way though, I stopped to see what was going on with the big funfair because if the small one had gone, it was quite likely that the big one would follow it quite quickly.

And I was right about that too because they have broken camp and are in the process of clearing off too. But at least it gives me an opportunity to admire the balcony and French windows of that showman’s caravan just there.

piledriver pier rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs I’d been walking through the town I’d heard a pile of banging coming from down in the port so I was wondering what was going on there.

By the looks of things, they are installing a second one of those big grey pillars that we’ve been seeing. There’s a piledriver attached to the big crane and it’s that which has been making the noise as it drops down and drives the pillar into the silt.

And this is starting to cause me more than a little concern. Are they going to ba having some of these pontoons going out perpendicularly into the harbour basin?

And if so, how are the big gravel boats going to be able to turn round if the width of the harbour is thus restricted? I don’t like the way that this is shaping up one little bit.

Back here, I telephoned the rail booking point. They confirmed that the trains were running normally, They could book me tickets on the phone, no problem, so I gave them all of the details.

And then we had the “ohh dear!”
“What’s the matter?”
“I’ve no idea. The system will let me take you as far as Lille but no further. And on teh way back, it won’t let me book you from Brussels to Paris”.
“Why not”?
“I’ve no idea. It looks as if the TGV isn’t accepting our bookinss”

Well, that’s a badger and no mistake. But at least it’s solved the problem of my morning walk tomorrow. It looks as if it will be a walk up tp the railway station and see if I can book it from there.

Next stop was to order a new glass for the mirror on Caliburn. And having specified a “right-hand” one, when I had the “confirmation of order” in my mailbox, it quite clearly states “left-hand”.

So what the heck happened there? I had to send them an e-mail and hope that they read it before they post the glass.

Next was a phone call from the people at the radio trying to make me reconsider my decision to withdraw from Group activities. Despite their pleading, I stood firm. Not necessarily because I want to withdraw, but simply that if I change my mind, then that won’t change theirs and things need to change – and change drastically – at their end of we are to progress as a team and do things correctly.

With all of this going on, it was lunchtime by now so I made my butties. And then I started work on the radio project that I have to do.

There was an interruption for my walk, and this was where the calamity of calamities hit me. For some reason or other, the BIG NIKON has stopped working!

It’s refusing to read the memory card that’s in it.

So back here, I tried almost every single memory card in the apartment (and there are more than enough of them around here!) and no luck whatsoever. This really IS a calamity!

With something of a bitter taste in my mouth, I carried on with the radio project and, clearly being unable to think straight, I’ve made something of a dog’s breakfast of it and some of it has to be done again.

Tea was some of the leftovers from yesterday – the lentil curry with rice and veg, followed by apple crumble and some of that Alpro soya dessert stuff.

For my evening walk I fired up the old Nikon D3000 but didn’t get very far with that. As for my runs though, I managed to go quite far with them and imrpved my distances more than somewhat.

It just goes to show what having a good diet can do for you.

And not crashing out today either. That’s good news too.

But in view of my dreadful day today i’m going to have an early night and a good sleep – write off today as a total loss and start again afresh tomorrow.

It’s the least that I can do.

Saturday 29th February 2020 – THERE HAS BEEN …

… a change in my kitchen.

Only a small one but a very significant one at that.

On the floor underneath the shelves are two large plastic storage boxes. One has all of the spare food like packets of spices, packets of rice, all that kind of thing. The other has all of the cookery stuff.

Because of the way that things are arranged, one box has to go at the back and the other one at the front and it’s been the cookery one at the back.

But today I swapped them over. The cookery one is now at the front and easier to access, and the spare food is now in the more difficult position at the back. It’s quite clear that these days I’m using the cooker stuff much more than I’m needing to access the spare food, and that’s Progress with a capital P.

Not much progress this morning though. I couldn’t heave myself out of bed with the alarms and it was more like 06:30 when I finally made it to my feet. That’s disappointing.

After the medication I had a look at the dictaphone. And we started off at the football too. Yes, a mid-table 12th finish in the Football League I ended up with last night. I’d swapped my managerial job at Oldham Athletic with a manager from somewhere else whose team had been right down near the bottom and over the remainder of the season I’d slowly managed to drag this other team up and into 12th position. But there was a lot more to it, much more to it but I can’t remember anything now. As soon as I awoke it all completely disappeared from out of my mind. I do remember that involved me having to do something that was a disagreeable task yet I managed to do it. I just can’t remember now what it was.
A little later, it was the Carnival procession all the way out past the rue Couraye, down the rue Paul Poirier and out to the harbour. As things were drying up it was a rival across the musicians so I managed to force my way into the airwaves and I broadcast them instead. It was rather difficult broadcasting the musicians because they were of course more interested in the music than any other surroundings but it was a broadcast that had to be made. But again there was a lot more to it than this but I just can’t remember now.

After breakfast I set about cutting up a couple of digital sound files into their component tasks and, for once, that was fairly straightforward. And doesn’t that make a change?

A shower was next, and then I was ready to hit the streets.

bad parking noz granville manche normandy france eric hallThese days, now that I’m walking to LIDL twice a week (although that will change starting from next week), I start my little Saturday shopping adventure at NOZ.

And NOZ is always good for a laugh, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall because the parking here is totally ridiculous. Here I am, 5 minutes before the shop is due to open, just one car on the front car park (where there are eight spaces) and just four cars on the rear car park, where there are as many spaces as you would like to have.

But despite the signs all over the place warning people of the penalties for parking in the street, and the empty car park right in front of the shop, Madame (and it was a madame) in the black car on the extreme left of the image decides to park in the street with two wheels on the pavement.

You wouldn’t believe it unless you were to see it for yourself.

Today was a rather expensive day for shopping. For a start, at NOZ they had a big round pyrex casserole bowl with lid, twice the size of the one that I have.

I have to make my rice puddings in a meat tin and cover them over with aluminium foil so I’ve been on the look-out for one of these large casserole dishes for some time.

And then there were loads of other things, including the last container of that delicious Alpro vegan nut ice-cream that I bought, as well as some coconut milk.

At LeClerc, there was €50:00 spent on diesel for Caliburn and then another hefty load in the shop. But a good of that went on coffee. There’s a brand of ground coffee that I like that is sold in three-packs for €8:95 and so I usually buy something cheaper, but today they had on offer some 6-packs for just e11:95. That’s much more like my price.

They also had some big 3-kg bags of juice oranges on special offer. As my orange and ginger syrup worked quite well, I’ll make some more of that and so the juice oranges will come in handy.

Some cooking apples and a pile of pastry rolls too. An apple pie is on the agenda, and there’s also some tofu left over so I recon I ought to have a go at a bean-and-tofu pie. Monday sounds like a good baking day to me because I’m out tomorrow.

Back at the apartment I organised myself a coffee while I dealt with a few more digital sound files and did some general tidying up on the computer.

But one track that I worked on today brought back all kinds of memories – nights on board ships in the frozen North, mornings on desolate windswept airports in the High Arctic. I thought that I’d put all of that behind me but clearly I haven’t.

After lunch I set to work. I’m right down on apple purée and I really should have bought some more apples today (I did buy cooking apples but they are for the apple pie). Only four eaters that I could spare so I peeled them, diced them and boiled them up with some cinnamon. When they were starting to go mushy, I drained off the liquid (and drank it – it was delicious), stuck it in the whizzer, added two bananas and whizzed it all up.

It’s made about half a jar so that’s about four days, I reckon, and it’s now in the fridge cooling off. The first batch of banana-flavoured purée didn’t work too well but I have better hopes for this one.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe afternoon’s walk was a really long one seeing that I didn’t have any plans to go anywhere special this evening.

All the way around the headland and down the old path into town. It gave me an opportunity to have a good look at Joly France sitting on her bottom in a NAABSA position at the ferry terminal.

There are two boats called Joly France – the original which is here and a newer one, Joly France I. To tell them apart, the newer one has larger windows and a cut-out at the back, which this one doesn’t have.

funfair fete foraine rue st sauveur granville manche normandy france eric hallOnwards and upwards, across the harbour gates and around the port.

And then across to the funfair – the fete foraine to see what was going on. There weren’t too many people around and there wasn’t all that much going on. But at least the little kiddies were having a really good time.

As for me, I walked down the rue St Sauveur, round the back of the Mairie, across the car park and through the maze of narrow streets to make my way back to my apartment

chateau pointe gauthier granville manche normandy france eric hallBy now, the weather had eased somewhat and the sun was now out.

The view across town over to the Chateau Gautier and the Pointe Gautier was really pleasant with the town of St Pair sur Mer in the background.

And how I would have liked an apartment in the new block down there to the left. But I’ve never seen one at all available, whether to let or to buy.

And I’m not surprised either.

Back here, I edited another pile of photos from July 2019 s well as, rather unfortunately, crashing out for some time. That wasn’t part of the plan and it was rather dismaying.

With not going anywhere tonight, I had a proper tea. One of the pile of vegan burgers that I bought the other day, in a bap with potatoes and veg. Followed by pineapple chunks with the Alpro vegan ice cream and chocolate sauce.

There is absolutely no doubt, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have said before … “and you’ll say again” – ed … that while I might eat simply, I don’t half eat well. My diet is healthy, quite varied and it’s absolutely delicious.

later on I went for my evening walk. And run!

There were quite a few people about and my first running track was flooded out so I had to run on one of my reserve tracks.

ambulance place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallThe second part of my run was dry but that was something of a struggle – not as easy as it has been – because I was running into the teeth of a gale and that’s no good for me.

But as I was heading back, I was nearly squidged by an emergency ambulance, blue lights flashing, roaring through the narrow streets.

97% on the fitbit now so I extended my walk and even managed part of another one of my running tracks. This time though, it was more exposed to the wind and I had to abandon after only half of the track as I couldn’t catch my breath.

Back here now just finishing my notes with some good music playing in the background. No alarm tomorrow so, for a change, I’m in no rush to go to bed. And a lie-in will do me good.

Tuesday 25th February 2020 – THE WIND OUTSIDE …

… tonight is probably one of the most wicked that I have ever experienced in all the time that I’ve been here.

funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallYou might be wondering how come it is that the fete foraine – the funfair – is still managing to operate in this kind of weather.

In fact, firstly only part of it is. Several of the rides have closed down, presumably due to the high winds. But then again, the Parking Hérel, where the funfair is situated, is pretty well sheltered.

Where I’m situated is on a headland right on the English CHannel with nothing between me and North America and I’m certainly taking the brunt of it. There’s another headland to the south of the Parking Hérel and there’s a high cliff right behind it.

But returning to our story, a rather strange thing happened to me during the night. I had the same dream no fewer than four times, one after the other. I couldn’t believe it when I listened to the dictaphone.

We were at school. I was with a friend of mine and we were taking photos of all of the school children. They were all sitting at the big long tables eating their meals. At the end of the session we went over to the headmistress and asked “what about our meal?” She asked “haven’t you had yours?” “No, we’ve been busy taking the photographs”. It developed into a long, lengthy discussion about how we should have had a meal which of course we knew. She couldn’t understand anything because of this issue about the photos. She knew that we’d applied for the contract and that we should have had the contract as our quote was the best, all this kind of thing and we were entitled to a meal. She went on and on for a while. In the end she went off and my friend went off. She came back with a pile of paperwork and asked “who’s filled in these forms?” They were forms to show the directors and officers of the company. I could remember filling one in when i was appointed but my name wasn’t there. It was still directors of the company from school years ago who were still there. She said “I remember (… someone else from the past …) filling in this form only yesterday about taking kids for a walk. It’s clearly something that wasn’t right and it had to be put right so that the situation could be regularised. When my friend came back in I asked him what he would be doing on Wednesday night. He came out with some kind of comment about getting ready for school on Thursday. I told him that we had a pile of paperwork to fill in. I started to explain to him about the paperwork
I had this dream four times this evening as I mentioned earlier. But in the third one the headmistress was going on about cupboards in front of the radiators which were small with close-fronted cupboards and doors. She was saying that in the old days they were porous so that the heat could pass through and warm the room more but the ones they have now are solid and so the heat doesn’t pass at all.

So explain that if you can!

After breakfast I set about cutting up a pile of digital sound files into the component tracks. And once more I had the misfortune to find a pile that were out of order and it took a considerable amount of time to unravel them.

What with having something of a late start this morning, it was about 11:00 by the time I finished my morning tasks.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThat was the cue for me to go for my bread before I actually settled down to do some work.

For a change I had no intention of going out to see the parade this afternoon so I went for a long morning walk all around the headland, which would give me an opportunity for a close-up view of the chantier navale to see what was going on.

And we seem to have acquired another new resident. We now have three fishing boats in there receiving attention

large floating pontoon installing new pontoons port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe tide wasn’t quite in so the harbour gates were closed and I could pass over the path on the top to the other side of the harbour.

The big pontoon with the cranes was hard at work again over by the rue du Port. They are cracking on with the installation of the new pontoons for the landing stages and they might well be finished sometime soon.

But I was more interested in that very large grey post that now seems to have appeared over there behind the floating pontoon. That’s something else that I shall have to check.

floating scaffolding port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut there was one thing yesterday that I mentioned and that I said that I would check up on today.

That was the crane and the mysterious scaffolding construction that it seemed to be erecting. So down at the quayside today I had a look to see what was going on, and there is the scaffolding bolted to some poles that are screwed firmly to the quayside and clamped down.

So it looks as if there’s some kind of serious and semi-permanent arrangement of things happening here right now.

Having picked up my dejeunette at La Mie Caline I headed back home. The crowds were already starting to assemble and I didn’t really want to be caught up in it.

Instead, in the run-up to lunchtime I began the notes for the next radio project.

After my butties I spent an hour or so in the kitchen. The orange and ginger syrup is running out and having bought a pile of lemons yesterday, I decided to make a lemon and ginger syrup.

First step was to slice up the rest of my ginger root (I must buy some more) into tiny pieces and put them in a little water in a saucepan, bring it to the boil and let it simmer.

Meanwhile, peel the lemons and remove as much pith as possible, put them in the whizzer and give them a whizz around to extract as much juice as possible. That was strained off, poured into a bottle that I had sterilised and put in the fridge.

The rest of the lemons went into the whizzer again and properly broken down, and then added to the water and the ginger and left to simmer.

In the meantime I cracked on for a while with the notes for the radio project and then went out for my usual walk.

If you are wondering why there are no photos of the afternoon walk, it’s because the heavens had by now opened and we were having rain like I haven’t seen for a long time. I did have my camera with me but it was tucked up inside my wet weather gear and I had no intention of taking it out.

However, I did find a dry bit of my walk, one of the places where I usually go for a run, and so I took the opportunity to clock up another couple of minutes.

Back in the apartment I took the ginger and lemon off the heat and added a couple of tablespoons of honey to sweeten it. And then the whole lot went into the whizzer for a really good whizz around until it became a syrupy mass.

Final step was to take out the bottle of lemon juice that I had earlier put in the fridge, add the syrup to it and give it a really good shake up so that it was all mixed well in. And that will be the drink for the next week or so, diluted with my filtered water.

However, I am tempted to see what it might be like with some sparkling water.

Having finished writing the notes, I turned my attention to tea. Stuffed pepper with rice and veg, followed by rice pudding.

And I bet that you are all wondering how I make my stuffing too.

So, a handful of either bulghour or quinoa – whichever is first to hand – goes into a saucepan with a very small amount of water and some spicy chili power. It’s brought to the boil and left to simmer.

In the meantime, I chop up some onion, garlic, mushrooms, olives and anything else that looks as if it might be suitable and chuck it all into a bowl. And then I add a fistful of salted peanuts.

By now, the quinoa or bulghour should be ready (it doesn’t need to be competely cooked) and you add that to your mix with herbs and black pepper.

Finally, add some tomato sauce (I have some nice arrabiata sauce that they had in Noz and I bought a few jars) and olive oil and mix it all up together.

Cut round the stalk of your pepper and pull out the core, the seeds and the pith. Then stuff it with your stuffing and pack it well in with a fork.

Finally, 6.5 minutes on medium-high wattage in the microwave (in a microwave-proof bowl of course), followed by whatever time it needs on full power to finish cooking until the pepper itself is nice and soft. And there’s your stuffed pepper.

funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallOutside, I was absolutely whacked by this thoroughly wicked wind that seems to have sprung up out of nowhere.

My original pla was to go around the walls for a second time today rather than around the headland which would be … errr … somewhat exposed. But it didn’t quite work out like that.

The wind was so violent that it was impossible to walk at all in the rue du Nord and that’s the way that I go when I’m off on my travels out around the walls.

funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallInstead, what I did was to go for a walk through the narrow streets of the old medieval town where there was at least some kind of shelter.

One of the streets was actually quite well-sheltered from the wind and as there was no-one about I broke into a run.

It wasn’t as long as I would have liked but it wasn’t the kind of weather to be out there discussing things like that. It was one of those occasions where I was obliged to go with what I had and make the best of it.

burger van place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallThe route that I took brought me back into the Place Cambernon and there, a little surprise was awaiting me.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that on Thursday evenings we have a pizza van parked up in the square. But tonight we seem to have acquired a burger van.

Whether it’s going to be a permanent arrangement every Tuesday or whether it’s just a temporary arrangement for the period of Carnaval remains to be seen. But whatever it is or will be, it’s nice to see some life coming back into the medieval town.

funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallBy the time I made it to th city gates there was still 6% of my daily target to have a go at so I went for another little extension to my walk.

From the top of the walls there was a good view down into the funfair so I experimented with different speeds, exposures and ISO settings to see what I could produce.

And then I came back to write up my notes.

Now it’s bed time, later than I was hoping, but still …

The wind is sill howling away outside but in a minute I’ll be tucked up under the covers. I wonder where I’ll be going tonight. And how many times I’ll be going there.

Monday 24th February 2020 – THERE’S SOMETHING MISSING …

parking fish processing plant port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… from this photograph, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

Where’s the big red Iveco van that has been parked on the parking area at the fish processing plant since before I came back from North America at the end of October?

The answer to that conundrum is pretty simple. On Sunday morning the police, the fire brigade, the ambulance crew and a heavy breakdown truck lifted it out of the water where it had ended up sometime over Saturday night – early Sunday morning.

If someone were to tell me that someone had been up to mischief with one of the forklift trucks I wouldn’t be at all surprised, or else a group of revellers had decided to have a little bit of drunken “fun”.

But anyway, it’s not there now – the ground’s all flat.

As for me, with no alarm I slept through until round about 09:00. And it took me a while to force myself out of bed afterwards too. I was in no hurry.

After the medication I had a look at the dictaphone. Apparently I was in Toronto last night which was strange because I’ve never really been there and I was walking around the streets. I ended up in a street that was 250 yards away from the main centre according to the adverts because there was a shop that was closed “who would like to rent this place 250 yards away from Toronto’s main shopping street?”. As I walked on, there was this building advertising musical instruments and motor bikes so I went in. On the ground floor by where the door was was all drum kits. So I walked in and this place was absolutely amazing like a labyrinth of things and they had all this equipment down on the ground floor except the guitars. I walked upstairs and it was like vaults only upstairs. All these rooms, all these kinds of things in it except eh motor bikes and guitars. A lovely guitar workshop with all tools of all kinds on the walls and a couple of guys in wheelchairs who were working there. I couldn’t see the guitars or the motorbikes. As I walked around I discovered that there was a third floor as I heard one of the guys say “we aren’t going to expand onto a fourth floor yet – we’re all right as we are”. So I said “oh the third floor sounds good”. So I walked through this dark dingy recess place and out into the main stair well which was a huge stone stair well but the third floor was comics and magazines so I thought “where the heck are the guitars and motor bikes? I’d better go back in and ask”. But just then a girl came around ringing a handbell saying “closing for lunch, closing for lunch! Everyone outside” just like something out of a Dickens novel.

After breakfast I had a shower and a general clean-up. I weighed myself too and I’m now within just 400 grams of my first target weight. I’ve actually touched it once but couldn’t keep it there. I’m hoping for better luck this time.

mobile crane scaffolding joly france la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThen off I headed to the shops.

As is my custom these days, I had a look down to see what was going on in the harbour. And we have another crane down there, round where Joly France and La Grande Ancre are moored.

From up here, it’s not easy to see exactly what it’s doing, but it seems to be involved with a pile of scaffolding. When I go for my bread tomorrow I shall go for a closer look and see

At LIDL there was nothing special that I bought – unless you count a tube of superglue. However I did buy some lemons because I’m getting low on my home-made orange and ginger syrup so I shall be having a go at making some lemon and ginger syrup and see if I’ve really got the hang of it.

In the summer there will be many more fruits (I hope) to have a go at if it all works out.

fete foraine funfair rue st sauveur granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I stuck my head over the wall of the rue St Gaud to see what was happening down on the car park in the rue St Sauveur.

The fete foraine – the funfair – is now in full swing so I imagine that everything that is going to be here is here already, erected, up and running.

We seem now to have a fully-fledged kiddies’ corner with quite a few attractions, which is a good sign. But I must admit to having spent a good few minutes admiring the French windows and verandah in that showman’s living accommodation.

Back here it was already lunchtime and having picked up my dejeunette from La Mie Caline, I had my butties.

After the break I made a start on project 27 for the radio. In the time available I chose all of the music (except for the last track of course) but then came across a problem that I did not have a suitable break for my invited guest.

What I did then was to grab one of the lengthy sound-bite files that I have and cut it down into the individual sound-bites and save them all. From there I was able to pick out a suitable one.

Tomorrow I’ll crack on and do the text, and then do a “live concert” for the end of April.

trawler fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual break for my walk outside around the headland this afternoon.

There were a few people out there this afternoon wandering around, and some action on the water too. The tide must be on the turn because the fishing boats were heading home.

At first I wasn’t sure exactly what that was, seeing as it was so far out to sea in the English Channel. But a little “crop and enlarge” brought out the fishing boat

funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallIn past years I couldn’t remember if the fete foraine – the funfair – worked at all during the daytime in the week.

But anyway, there it is, all illuminated and the attractions seem to be going round and round.

having stood there and admired it all for a while, I came back here for a coffee and a slice of cake that I happen to have around here right now.

After all, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it yet, but It’s my birthday today. Another day older and deeper in debt.

There was a disagreeable task to be performed this evening too.

I’ve spent the last 24 hours, including much of the night when I ought to have been sleeping, mulling over the events of yesterday. And something else has happened in this connection in the early part of the afternoon that has merely underlined my thoughts.

As a result I’ve sent a mail to the co-ordinator to say that –
1) I’ll continue to do my rock music programmes
2) I’ll undertake spontaneously any other project that attracts my interest, and do it alone.
3) If he wishes me to undertake any other solo project, then I’ll be happy to do it, as long as it really is alone.
4) If one or two of the others (and I mentioned a few names) wish me to help them with any project that they have in mind, then they can contact me.
5) But I’m not going to involve myself in any group project
6) I’m not going to involve myself in any live broadcasts
7) I’m never going to work with him and one or two others (withdrawing from two projects to which I had previously committed).
8) I refuse to be in the same room as one other person whose name I mentioned.

If you think that I’m being rather petulant, the fact is quite simply this –
I’m slowly dying of a wasting, debilitating illness and I’m reaching the critical point. There’s not enough blood in my body to carry around the oxygen that I need and so my heart needs to beat almost twice as fast to pump sufficient blood -and oxygen – around.
The doctors have told me on several occasions that the only reason I’m keeping going so well is that I have a very strong heart and the moment that my heart gives out, I’ll have had it. And so I must do absolutely everything in my power to avoid anything that puts any unnecessary strain on my heart and stress is to be avoided at all costs.
And the stresses of the events of yesterday are no good at all. Stressing myself for a good purpose is fine because I think that the means are better than the end as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. But stressing myself for no good purpose is not what I have in mind at all.

Tea tonight was one of the new burgers that I had bought a while ago from Leclerc. It wasn’t disagreeable but it wasn’t anything special either. Apsta and vegetables tossed in a spicy tomato sauce too and followed by some delicious rice pudding.

camping cars mobile homes caravanettes place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I went outside for my evening walk it was raining quite heavily. But it wasn’t going to put me off.

And it had occurred to me that I hadn’t taken any photos of the grockles in their caravanettes parked all over the Place d’Armes and they have already started to break camp and several have left.

But up here on the walls of the medieval town there was a good view right across to part of the car park. Despite the weather the photo isn’t too bad and at least it’s picked up the vehicles on the car park.

The first part of my run was waterlogged but I managed to fit in the stand-by run which wasn’t too bad. and once more I overran by a good 25 metres and that’s always good news.

trawlers fishing boats fish processing plant port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFor the second part of my run I managed half-way up the ramp which was quite impressive seeing as how I hadn’t properly recovered from the first part. But, impressively, I’m running for about 4.5 minutes per day according to my fitbit, which at my age and state of health is pretty impressive.

The tide was well in now so the big trawler-type of fishing boats were in the inner harbour unloading their catch at the fish processing plant.

As for me, with no cat to stroke tonight, I came home and wrote up my notes.

The alarm goes back on tomorrow so I’ll be back hard at it again. So an early night is called for. But I’d much rather listen to the decent music that’s just come onto the playlist.

Wouldn’t you?

Saturday 22nd February 2020 – NOT A SINGLE …

… photo of the Carnaval today.

And that’s because I’ve been far too busy. In fact I still haven’t finished Friday’s notes yet, I missed out on the shops, I missed out a football match at the Stade Louis Dior (which US Granville won) and I’ll miss out on my lie-in tomorrow.

However, start as we mean to go on. And I was once more up and about before the third alarm. And after the medication I attacked the dictaphone and sure enough, there was an entry

There was a big group of us living in these like ships cabins things, 4 or 5 ships cabins. I was in a room with Andy Morrison of all people and what was happening was that I wanted to go to bed early. But it was the night of the budget and he wanted to record the budget so this was going on and on and on this discussion, and he went off somewhere. I went to the bathroom and ended up peeing into the chimney – the pot-bellied stove, I’ve no idea why. Just then he came in and we were talking about this. I said “do you want to record it or don’t you?”. He said “well, yes”. So I found a video tape we could use to record it and he said something about a cowboy film that was on afterwards. I was really tired by this time – I couldn’t really think straight and I didn’t want to have to programme the machine in case I programmed it wrong. I asked “when’s it starting? Is it starting now because I can get 6 hours out of this tape so I can switch it on and record it. Would that be enough time for the budget and this film?”. He was going on about “it’s not very fair on these boys” meaning he boys in another group because they want to do something and want to know about the budget. I said “they’ll have to look out for themselves. Do you want me to record it or don’t you?”. While he was vacillating like this I awoke. He was going on about things being unfair for the others which was of more importance than what he wanted to do in his dormitory where he was sleeping for your own personal affairs.

After breakfast it was the calm before the storm so I dealt with a pile of file-splitting for this digital sound file project. I’ve now split enough to fill a DVD so I burnt one and put it in the store for future reference.

Another thing was that I haven’t done a USB memory stick for albums that I’ve purchased recently and there was enough to fill a 2GB USB stick. The hi-fi here can only read up to 999 files so 2GB is about the correct size for that.

While that was doing, I attacked a pile of photos. Of the several thousands that need doing, I’m now up to 83 but there could have been more, but some of the morning wa spent doing some research. There was a photo that I took of a distinctive object on shore so I tried to track it down. And after a great deal of searching I found it, and that set me right for another pile of objects.

parking rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallTime to go down into town for my dejeunette at la Mie Caline.

In view of the short time available I went the direct way. I looked over the wall and saw the reason why they had the compactor on the dug-up car park the other day. It’s been pressed into service as a relief car park for the period of tCarnaval and I imagine that the chars will be parking down ther eon Tuesday.

At least I hope so and that they aren’t going to leave it like that. It will be a shame if they were to.

char de carnaval place generale de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving picked up my bread, I had a quick look across the road at the stage that they erected the other day.

It seems to have sprouted a few figures all ready for Carnaval. Satire plays an important rôle in the proceedings and we can be assured that someone somewhere will be up to no good somewhere.

So I came back home and made myself a sandwich but was caught unawares by Thierry who turned up early so I had to bolt my lunch and then we headed out.

Up in town it was the defilé des enfants and my task was to interview the kids. Kids have a tough time because they usually have a great deal to say but no-one ever listens to them.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that at one of our live broadcasts a while back there was a family of two adults and three kids standing there. The interviewer wanted to know what the kids thought of the affair so he asked … the parents.

That was something that I didn’t appreciate at all. I have a great deal of time for kids so I made it my mission to be spokesman on their behalf.

And when I came back here at 16:30 I had 29 soundfiles that I had recorded with the kids. I had to sit down and edit every single one of them and then send them off to be processed and that wasn’t the work of five minutes either. I ended up having a very late tea out of a tin.

fete foraine funfair parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallStill had to fit in my walk though, although I didn’t need to go far seeing as I’d done all that walking today.

The fete foraine is in full swing as you can see. I walked – or rather, ran – all the way down the rue do Roc to the roundabout and then came back through the car park.

That gave me a good view across the bay down into the town where I could see what was going on.

fete foraine funfair parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe car park right now is full of grockles in their mobile homes making a mess of everywhere and I must have disturbed half the camp site.

But taking photos is much more interesting than dealing with them so I couldn’t really care.

Back on the road again and I ran back along my usual course and found that I could fit in an extra 25 metres or so of running. and the only reason that I came to a stop was that I hit an incline.

It seems to be the inclines that kill me off but that’s unavoidable round here.

So I’ll listen to a little music and then go to bed. I have to be up at 08:00 tomorrow as they are coming for me at 09:00 and there are things to do.

Thursday 20th February 2020 – NOW HERE’S A THING!

When the first alarm went off this morning at 06:00 I was actually sitting at my computer working.

And yes! I had been to bed – not a case of staying up all night, as has happened on several occasions, eben though it was something of a rather late – in fact very late night (a huge pile of my favourite tracks came onto my playlist while I was thinking of going to bed so I stayed up and listened to them).

It all happened this morning quite by accident too. I awoke at about 05:20 to find myself dictating into the dictaphone that wasn’t switched on. The reason – a flat battery.

None around by the bed (I forgot to look in the camera bag) so I had to leave the bed to find one. In the radio bag there was only one so I had to search the apartment to find some more.

By the time that I found them, I was wide awake so there wasn’t much point in going to bed. I may as well start work. And I wish I knew where that battery disappeared to. It was one of my new ones too.

So I had my medication and was checking the dictaphone when the alarms went off.

I was back in Hankelow Hall again There was a huge crowd of us having a party or something and Clare Channing was there and I can’t remember who else and her husband. They had the electric on for some reason or other and were having a party. I was upstairs trying to do something and had to go to the bathroom so I went in and it was overwhelmed with cobwebs and things but there were still things hanging everywhere and so on. But there was toilet paper which was great. I switched on the light but the light wouldn’t work. I tried putting the bulb in various positions to see if that was something wrong but no. But I thought it was still light so I could go anyway. But I was called down at that point. A lot of people had gone and there were just a few around. Someone brought a big plate of sandwiches and gestured towards them “there’s some here that you can eat”, some kind of paste or something on really dark brown bread like German. I said I hope that I’m going to get more than this for my tea because there was really only two triangles and I can eat a lot more than that when I’m going. But no this seemed to be my entire teatime and I felt a sense of dismay at that.
I was In Hankelow Hall last night and there was a lot of us there doing something downstairs. I went upstairs to use the bathroom and it was all covered in dust and there were decorations everywhere all over the wall and everything, cobwebs, but I went in al the same. I found some toilet paper which was just as well but I couldn’t get the light switch to work which was odd. It wouldn’t come on. I messed around with the cable for a bit trying to get that into a better position but that didn’t work either. I realised that I was going to be more embarrassed by getting further, deeper into this than I intended to. And someone shouted out, it was a cry of “Maths” so I had to go downstairs and eat my maths. We were in a building like St Joseph’s so I went downstairs and changed my money and got some maths, changed some more money and got some motorbike company and had my evening meal. Although I was sitting at a table with a few people I had my thoughts practically about me and I stayed like that until the alarm went off at 07:15 when I was the first out of the door and got a boat ready to sail off to see the animals to see how they had survived the winter.
I’m not sure if the second part of the above is the same as the first part and dictated a second time in a different fashion, or whether it really is a different voyage that, by simple coincidence, is related to the first one.
A little later I was doing something but I can’t remember quite what that involved a couple of old cars and I had to swap these old cars around. I ended up in a black Citroen traction avant. I had to drive it up the road and down a slip road onto the motorway and off again somewhere. I got up to the set of traffic lights where you turn left for the motorway and turned onto the sliproad. Round about there, there was a boy and a girl weaving about in the road on pushbikes talking to each other and I clipped the heel of the boy on the bike. Of course that was all I needed! he insisted on filling in an accident form, all this kind of thing. Of course this traction hadn’t moved for years and there was no paperwork with it. he was quite insistent about this so I had a root around in the vehicle, found some kind of paper about something and he seemed to be quite satisfied with this, saying that the controle technique was OK and so on. In the meantime I was talking to this girl about the car. She said “if this was 30 years older it would be a real veteran”. I said “I know. It came out of a barn down on the French border somewhere (… I was in Belgium …) and we were having a friendly chat about this car and he was getting a bit up in the air about all kinds of things which he was right to do but anyway …

After breakfast I sat down and split up a few digital music files into their component tracks. And while it might have been more straightforward that on previous occasions, it was not without its complications.

One of the albums ended up with 19 minutes of extra music and of those, I only recognised one. I ad to search all the way through a pile of catalogues until I could find which version of the album it was and, more importantly, the timings because not every catalogue entry has the timings.

And then I had to listen to samples of the extended tracks to make sure that it really was what I was expecting to hear and that it was all in the correct order – because I’ve been caught out with out-of-order recordings before, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

“But why are the recordings out of order?” I hear you ask

The answer is that with studio master tapes, they are recorded, quite simply, in the order that they are recorded. However, unless it’s a concept album or something where the running order is crucial, the producer will then try to sort out the tracks so that there’s as near as possible an equal length of recording on each side of an LP or a cassette. And quite often, that’s nothing like the order in which they were recorded on the studio master tapes.

stage me vie dans la manche place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallThat was the cue for me to head into town and LIDL so I had a quick shower and put the washing machine on the go before leaving the apartment.

There was nothing whatever of any relevance on the way down into town so I didn’t loiter around. But my route took me onto the Place General de Gaulle where they have assembled the stage, to see what else was happening.

And there was certainly plenty of excitement there this morning.

ma vie dans le manche place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a bunch of guys manhandling a trailer around on the square, so thinking that they might be trying to steal it, I went to see if they needed a hand.

Actually there were delivering it, not taking it away. And I’ve no idea what it might be except that it makes reference to ma vie dans la Manche – “my life in the Manche” (the département here).

And so my thought is that it might well be some kind of sales pitch, tourism or advertisement thing ready to try to seduce the crowds at Carnaval.

chapiteau marquee parking cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallInstead of going up the rue Couraye I went along the Cours Jonville to see how they were getting on with the chapiteaux, the marquees that we saw yesterday.

And by the looks of things they might well be almost finished over there now. And that’s a really impressive task that they’ve undertaken to do it so quickly.

Mind you, they’ve r^probably had plenty of practice doing it. I imagine that the marquees are hired in and that the fitters and installers come from the hirers and do this every week.

stage cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallBut this is a new thing and I’d forgotten all about this, even though I stood on it last year to have a good view.

There’s a Princess of Carnaval and on Sunday she’ll be standing on this stage to address her loyal supporters.

And I’m amazed at just how quickly they’ve set up this stage too. There wasn’t even a hint of this here yesterday lunchtime when I came for my bread so it looks as if they must have dashed through the installation yesterday afternoon.

funfair fete foraine place pierre semard gare de granville manche normandy france eric hallUp past the cinema and onto the rue Couraye that way up towards LIDL.

At the roundabout at the Place Pierre Semard by the railway station, I came to another halt. On Monday as I came by there were just a couple of lorries here but today the fête foraine, the funfair is practically all installed ready for the opening on Friday evening.

These people don’t ‘arf crack on with this kind of work when they have a timetable to which they have to adhere

renovating old car spares shop avenue du marechal leclerc granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I first moved here there was a car spares shop and rally centre in the avenue du Marechal Leclerc but it closed down not long after I arrived.

A few months ago the windows were pained over on the inside as if something was going on there but there were o visible signs of anything at all. Today though, they’ve ripped out the shop window.

And so with this work going on, it looks as if there’s going to be a new occupier in there. I wonder who it might be and, more importantly, what they might be selling.

gluten free products lidl avenue aristide briand granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few weeks we’ve been examining LIDL here for vegan and vegetarian products on sale as their range slowly expands.

What we’re featuring today is another discovery that has taken me by surprise, namely a range of gluten-free products. This is a major Leap into the Unknown by a shop like LIDL but it’s a sign of the times, I suppose.

But it’s not all good news though. It’s a good job that I bought those vegan burgers when I did because there are none in the freezer today. Whether it’s a temporary rupture of stock or something more permanent remains to be seen.

And LIDL felt the benefit of my largesse rather more than usual today. They were selling bathroom stuff in there and one of the things that they had was a magnifying tabletop mirror, something that I don’t have and which I can certainly put to good use.

building work impasse de la corderie granville manche normandy france eric hallbeing rather later than usual today I didn’t loiter around too much but headed for home.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall a while ago that we saw them erecting a crane outside a house in the Impasse de la Corderie, but not a great deal happened subsequently. Today though, there’s some shuttering gone in and a pile of breeze blocks have been delivered.

Clearly things are going to start happening there sometime soon. I wonder what that will be.

fairground kiddies corner fete foraine parking rue saint sauveur granville manche normandy france eric hallOver the last few days we’ve seen them erecting the fairground attractions on the Parking Hérel.

That’s all the heavy stuff going in there but there’s a smaller car park next to it in the rue Saint-Sauveur and they are setting up a few attractions there today.

So that looks as if it’s going to be Kiddies’ Corner for all of the tiny tots to have their round of fun. As you can see, in one fashion or another the Carnaval and the fête foraine are taking over the town.

compactor parking rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAt la Mie Caline I picked up my bread and headed back up the hill towards home.

And my progress was erected in dramatic fashion by the sight down on the parking area that they’ve been renovating where they ripped out the old railway lines.

We have a compactor down there now flattening down the surface. So I imagine that they are going to be putting the top layer on there any day now.

That’s going to be exciting to see what they are doing – I hope.

Back here at the apartment I reflected on the fact that I hadn’t made any observation whatever about the climbs up the hills today. That alone tells me tjat I must be feeling somewhat better than of late.

And so I made a coffee and returned to the digital sound files.

As well as the ones that I’d previously downloaded, I actually managed to track down a couple more and they were summarily dealt with too.

The next task was to make myself a decent badge with my name on it for the weekend. We have badges for the radio but with our given names scrawled on the back in felt-tipped marker pen. I wanted something much more official so I scanned my badge, inserted text with my name in bold font, and then printed out two copies on stiff paper and glued them back-to-back

And it’s moments like this that I wished that I had my laminator here.

This was another job that took an hour to do. 5 minutes to scan the badge, 5 minutes to insert the ext and 5 minutes to print it out and stick it together, and blasted 45 perishing minutes to find that flaming thing that I sodding well had in dratted hands 10 damned minutes earlier.

By now it was lunchtime so I made my butties.

nw-700 neweer microphone holder place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallThis afternoon I had plenty to do.

Not the least of which was to contact the company who made the desktop mike stand that I ordered and which came the other day. The mike mounting is about 2.5cms and yet the diameter of the microphone is actually 4.5cms.

It looks as if the wrong mounting bracket was put in the box so I had to photograph the set-up to send off to the suppliers.

Of course I don’t have my coloured ruler – that’s in the pocket of my jacket that’s hanging up in a hotel bedroom in Calgary – so I had to invent one.

Coloured rulers – where each inch or centimetre is coloured differently are really useful because when you are photographing objects like this you can lay the ruler alongside it then take your photo, and the presence of the coloured ruler in the shot shows at a glance the effective size of the object.

Tidying up was next. I’ve found that the plastic containers in which I’ve been buying my carrots fit nicely in the small drawer of my desk – suspended from the top of the sides leaving a space underneath.

And so I tidied the drawer out and found a few things about which I had completely forgotten

Final task for today was to start the photos from the summer. All of June is now finished and I’ve now started on July.

But so much for my shipboard idea about placeholders. By the time that I’d reached just number 7 I’d already overtaken the placeholder numbers.

And the fault in the images on the portable computers doesn’t seem to be the photos but the screens, as I suspected. On this screen, which is quite expensive and good quality, as well as being more modern technology, they look so much better.

A couple of interruptions though. The afternoon walk was one of them but I didn’t go far as we were having a torrential downpour and hurricane-force winds. I did about half a lap in an ad-hoc direction that kept me out of the wind, and then came back.

The second interruption was … errr … a little relax. And no susprise given my night. The only surprise was that it was only for about 10 minutes and wasn’t all that deep.

Tea was all of the leftovers with spicy tomato sauce and pasta with vegetables, followed by apple pie and raspberry sorbet with chocolate sauce and it was magnificent.

And then the evening walk. The weather had subsided but it was still quite damp outside.

Nevertheless that didn’t stop me going for my evening runs. And for two days on the run … “groan!!” – ed … I ran on for a good few metres on my first run and on my second run ended up halfway up the ramp instead of flaking out at the foot.

Yes, I’m definitely feeling better.

And for two days on the run, Minette was there on her windowsill waiting for her stroke. It’s very relaxing, stroking a cat. Good for easing the stress.

new pizza van place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallThe pizza van was there again, parked bang outside Le Contremarche, the new posh restaurant in the Place Cambernon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I pointed out the other week that she had a new van. And now it seems to have been painted. Business must be good.

So now I’m home, finished my notes and ready for bed. And with new batteries in the dictaphone I’m hoping for a decent night’s sleep.

Whether or not I have one is another matter.

And no water craft today either. What is happening to me?

Wednesday 19th February 2020 – THESE FAIRGROUND WORKERS …

marquee parking cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hall… aren’t half cracking on with it, I’ll tell you that.

At lunchtime I went down to La Mie Caline to buy my dejeunette and after picking it up I went round to the car park at the Cours Jonville to see just how they are going on with the chapiteau that they started to erect on Monday morning.

Yesterday we saw that they had had a really good go at one of them but today they have leapt ahead in spades and they now have a second one up and it’s almost finished.

When they’ve done that I’ll have to get them to go round to my farm, won’t I?

As for me, I’m not very impressed with myself. I somehow managed to miss the second alarm and while I was contemplating my navel in bed, the third alarm went off. I actually had my feet on the floor half a second later but just couldn’t puck up the courage and went back to bed.

By the time that I was finally on my feet, that was half an hour of the day missed and gone.

After the medication I had a look at the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

There was this family – a husband and wife and a couple of kids – girls about 11 and 9. They had been on their travels and I’d forgotten a lot of what had gone on but they ended up being back in Mexico. They were at some kind of place and they had an old Mexican woman with them who had befriended them. There was some music being played. While they were rejoicing about their escape or whatever it was that had got them to Mexico these two guys slowly sidled in from the dark. The kids were cheering and the husband was laughing but the two women, this wife and the elderly Mexican realised that these two guys were here and it was quite clear to them that these two guys meant some kind of mischief. They tried to get the person who was playing these records to stop playing them so they could all go off to bed but this person hadn’t really grasped the seriousness of it and carried on. Meantime these two guys were becoming a bit more intrusive and talking about all kinds of things and reading some of the comments that I had on piece of paper about the music that I was doing. One was making air guitar gestures that kind of thing and I thought to myself that this is going to start to turn really ugly in a minute.
Somewhat later, I was at the death of John Cipollina the musician. He didn’t die of lung disease at all but was killed in a motorcycle accident in South Street, Crewe, opposite the Up The Junction club. He’d been playing with man and I’d been recording it for a concert for my live shows and I was preparing it. There was an awfully long speech about the introduction and all of this kind of thing. We were all called outside and there was a car mounted on the pavement where the undertakers used to be and Cipollina and his motorcycle were there. They’d been hit by this car. They were asking “how is he” but his eyes were closed and all this kind of thing “don’t anyone go near him”. Someone said “we had to go near him. We had to disentangle the wheels of his motor cycle, all this kind of thing. We were there; we didn’t know what to do. We phoned an ambulance but the ambulance took ages to come along. We then all went off into the village hall where they had the autopsy and examination and someone was talking about suicide at one time – he’d rammed the car directly, I suppose. Then we had to go down to the High School, Sandbach High School and break the news to my daughter whoever she was because she was rather fond of John Cipollina.

Like I said, the things that go on during the night are far more exciting than whatever happens to me during the day. Someone once asked me if I were troubled by dreams during the night. I replied “well, no. I actually quite enjoy them”.

After breakfast (and my apple, pear, coconut and cinnamon purée and drink are delicious by the way) I attacked the radio projects. And by the time that I was ready to knock off to go and fetch my bread I’d finished project 26 completely and also done the “live concert” for the last week in March.

The way things stand now, I’m already dealing with the prjects for may but I’m short of a live concert for the end of April. I have a few things lined up that I could use but as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, anyone who has anything that they would like me to broadcast on their behalf is more than welcome to submit it.

joly france ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWith my new determination to push on past the 100% level on my fitbit every day, I decided on a very extended walk down into town to fetch my bread.

So off to duplicate my afternoon route around the headland and I’m glad that I did because there was something moving about in the thick mist out to sea in the general direction of where the Ile de Chausey might be.

Armed with the big Nikon and the mega-zoom lens I took a photo of it to crop and blow up back at the apartment in case it was anything interesting.

However, it was only Joly France off on one of her runs out there.

bunker atlantic wall lighthouse point du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I reached the lighthouse, instead of going off across the lawn my the War memorial as I usually do, the lack of any major wind today meant that I could go down the steps and right around the headland without any major discomfort.

It’s actually an exciting way to go, not just because of the physically-challenging nature of the walk for someone like me but also for the fact that there’s quite a lot of the old Atlantic Wall, like this gun emplacement, to see.

We normally wouldn’t get to see this when we are on the more usual route.

slit trench atlantic wall pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere’s another part of the Atlantic Wall that we don’t usually see either.

This is a slit trench that’s reinforced with concrete and I can’t make out whether it’s supposed to be a shelter (given the roof) or an observation post given that the direction of the trench aligns with the Channel Islands.

Whatever it is, it must have been a very lonely, cold and isolated vigil, being posted to a tour of duty in here.

storm waves port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallJust now I mentioned something about “the lack of any major wind today”.

That may well be the case but you would never have thought so by looking at the waves here. The tide is still a couple of hours out yet the waves are storming in from out at sea and smashing their way into the sea wall here.

It’s going to be pretty exciting down there at high tide if they keep on going on like this, that’s for sure.

speedboat disappearing into the waves english channel baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallYou can see exactly what I mean by looking at this photo here.

Out in the English Channel is this speedboat – at least, I think that it’s a speedboat – and it’s disappearing into one of the heavy waves that’s rolling in.

That’s going to be something of a wild ride into the harbour in a little vessel like that in waves like these. Whoever is on board will know all about the weather by the time that they arrive in port.

fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was round about this time yesterday that I walked into town for my bread. And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that my arrival coincided with all of the fishing boats coming in to harbour.

The tide is about half an hour later every day so the gates won’t be opened for a bit, and this looks like the first of the fishing boats heading in for home. It’s quite a way out in the English Channel (hence the blurred photo) but it will take that extra half-hour to arrive here.

No particular need for me to rush for the harbour gates today then.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallJust as well because … ohh look over there!

Yes, we have a visitor today. It seems that Normandy Trader has sneaked in on the morning tide and tied up at the unloading bay underneath the crane.

So seeing as I have plenty of time today, having finished my essential work for the week, I’ll go over there and have a talk to them. I have things to discuss.

new pontoon port de granville habour manche normandy france eric hallSo I make my way down onto the docks, across the harbour ates by the pathway on top, and across to the other side of the port.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall yesterday that we watched them float one of the new pontoons across the harbour to the far side.

And sure enough, there are some of the new pontoons, properly anchored (I hope) to the mounting brackets that they have been installing over the last few days.

But how are they going to get down to the pontoons? They’ll need some steps of some description.

machinery pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallEveryone was at lunch and the harbour was totally deserted right now.

That gave me a good opportunity to go and have a look at the big floating pontoon that they are using to transport the crane about the harbour to see what else is on there.

There’s a compressor and a generator on there as well as a couple of storage containers, and also some other machinery that I was not able to identify with any certainty.

Still, it’s enough to be going on with.

Once again, despite my best intentions, there was no-one about on Normandy Trader. I shouted and button-holed a passer-by from another ship, but no luck.

This is something that I’m going to have to deal with by correspondence or by phone.

workmen outboard motor dinghy port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAt la Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette, went to check on the chapiteau as above, and then headed for home.

And the workmen are back at work by now too. Clearly too tired to walk around the harbour, they have decided to sail across in some kind of outboard motor-propelled craft of some description.

Whatever is the world coming to? As for me, I believe that I did mention that the last day or so I’ve been feeling a little better. So much so that I actually RAN for 50 metres or so UP THE HILL o the way back.

How about that?

After lunch I updated THE RADIO PLAYLIST with the tracks that were played over the weekend. That’ ssomething that’s pretty important and I always seem to manage to let it fall into arrears.

After that, I realised that I hadn’t yet chopped up any digital soundfiles into the individual tracks. So that was the next task and I would have done that much quicker and been much farther ahead had I not confused myself by “copying” when I should have been “cutting”, pasting the same track three times and wondering why everything was out of sync.

fishing boat baie de mont st michel port de granville granville  manche normandy france eric hallWhat with all of that, I found myself rather late going out for my afternoon walk around the headland – the shorter route this time.

And it seems that I wasn’t the only one who was “late” either. The harbour gates have been open for a good few hours and they won’t be so far off closing. But here’s a fishing boat heading into harbour nevertheless.

There’s always someone who has to be last, no matter when they come in. Nothing wrong in that as long as he makes it in before the gates close. We’ve already seen one fishing boat stranded at the fish processing plant, caught by the receding tide.

school children atlantic wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallIt’s school holidays here in Granville right now. Most kids are at home or with grandparents but there are some poor kids who have to go on what is called classe découvert or “discovery class”.

It’s said to be a way of making children explore their environment, to see things in a different fashion than they would otherwise do and to learn about them in a different way.

But in fact, it’s more about putting the kids somewhere out of mischief because either there is no-one to look after them or the parents want a break themselves.

Mind you, knowing some parents as I do, perhaps a classe découvert is a good way for the kids to get some peace and quiet away from their parents, so don’t knock it.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallGoing past the top of the cliff I stuck my head over the top to see what was going on in the chantier navale

And we seem to have a change in there this afternoon too. There’s only one fishing boat in there now. The other one seems to have cleared off back into the water.

So I wonder who’s going to be next to arrive in the chantier navale. It would be nice to have something exciting in there for a change or perhaps from them to build a boat.

That would be interesting.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallNo chance of getting to speak to Normandy Trader now this afternoon, because she isn’t there.

She must have sneaked out as soon as the harbour gates opened earlier this afternoon. And into the harbour has come Thora instead. I want to speak to her skipper too but if I can’t catch hold of them I’ll contact them in writing to maybe arrange an appojntment.

And there’s someone else I would like to talk to about this matter before I forget. I shall have to sit down one day and draw up some plans.

Back here I … err … had a little doze for a short while and then carried on with some other stuff that had been building up while I’d been stuck in this “work” mode just recently.

There’s plenty of that lying around and I shall be doing it bit by bit. But there are several things that need doing fairly quickly, so now that I’m free of any serious commitment until Saturday, I can tackle them tomorrow.

But I also have a party to attend on Friday night, here in the building. I don’t really have the time but it would be unsociable not to at least go for half an hour. I know that “sociable” isn’t like me at all but these are mu co-residents and I have to be polite.

Tea tonight was some of the lentil and tofu pie from the other day with potatoes, veg and gravy, followed by apple pie (also from the other day) with the last of the Alpro Soya Cream and chocolate sauce.

And it was absolutely delicious. I really am eating so well these days and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

night brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on I went out for my evening walk.

It was beautiful outside with a relatively clear sky and you could see for miles. The lights of Brehal-Plage were really bright tonight and came out so well.

If you look closely, you’ll see a small red light in the background. In the absence of any other candidate, I reckon that that’s the warning light for the wind turbine at the back of Gavray, about 20-25 kms from here. That’s how clear the night was

So now that I’ve written up my notes I can go to bed, and have more exciting dreams, I hope. And maybe if I’m lucky, actually leave the bed when i’m supposed to.

Shopping tomorrow, the dictaphone and the sound-file chopping, and then the rest of the day is my own. Plenty to do, though, and it won’t be done on its own that’s for sure. I have to get a wiggle on.

Tuesday 18th February 2020 – I CAN NOW ADD …

trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… to my list of accomplishments that of “tying up a trawler”.

I arrived at the harbour at exactly the moment that the harbour gates opened, and I actually do mean that because I was walking across the path on top when they started to close and I had to scramble underneath the barrier.

There must have been eight or nine fishing boats of various sizes sitting in the queue outside the gates waiting for the off.

trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnyway, as soon as the gates opened, they shot in like greyhounds out of a trap and headed for their berths.

One of the later arrivals pulled up right by me as I was walking down the quayside. The skipper shouted “tie us up, will you?” and hurled me a rope. I missed the first time but the second time I caught it and looped it over a bollard and wound it round.

he seemed quite satisfied that I’d done it correctly so I cleared off. I had no idea that passers-by – civilians like me – were expected to know how to do things like this and be roped (if you’ll excuse the pun) into participating in the antics of the fishing fleet.

You learn something new every day.

Nothing new though in this morning’s antics. I missed the alarms again and it was about 06:45 when I finally arose.

But I’d been awake a couple of times during the night and on both occasions found myself dictating the account of a nocturnal voyage … into my hand. Dictaphone still on the chest of drawers.

It’s enough to make me wonder how many times I’ve done that in the past and what I might have missed.

After the medication I had a look at the dictaphone and … GULP there’s enough on here to keep me busy for a week or so, enver mind half an hour.

There was a group of kids, 7 or 8 or 9 and it was some kind of adventure quest. They had to travel to France for some reason or other, all dressed up, even two of them dressed as a pantomime horse with a girl dressed as a princess sitting on top, all dashing off down to Dover docks. I was one of the monitors – I had to follow them around and make sure that they weren’t getting up to any good. They had challenges that they had to meet on the way, like one where it was the task of this pantomime horse to actually involve itself in the encounter, this kind of thing. I pile of them made it down to Dover so I said “what happens now? Do you have to get your tickets?”. One said “ohh no. They said we could get our tickets at the other side” which sounded strange to me but they all seemed to agree that that was what was supposed to be happening. They were all jostling around for a place to sit. One of the girls was Helena who was probably a little older, 10 or 11 I dunno so i got talking to her. “What have you been doing?” “Well apart from having to drive my car to the Isle of Man, not a great deal” so I asked her to tell me about her kind of adventure in this particular thing but she didn’t have the chance to before I awoke
And I’ve done it again, haven’t I? Dictating a dream in my sleep without the Dictaphone. Strange. I was up on the Elm Drive estate in what should have been a council house but it was a big private house of mine. I was doing it up but I’d been taken ill as you know and couldn’t work so the work had really slowed down on this place. But Castor and Pollux were there and Jerry Kobalenko (welcome into my nocturnal rambles, Jerry) too. We were preparing for an expedition and it had started and we had lost a lot of equipment and I’d fallen through the ice. We’d had to arrange this kind of thing and ended up with no clothes so we were back at my house again drying off. I started to lend Jerry some clothes and stuff like that and get myself organised. Jerry borrowed my car which was a Mark IV Cortina RHD but with the gear lever on the right up against the door. He went off and did something and then I came back and took the car for a drive. Went down West Avenue and Richard Moon Street and out to Nantwich. Round Nantwich and back again all the way up Middlewich Road. I can’t remember where I ended up then, some town or other and had to do a U-turn. I pulled out of a side road and nearly knocked a lorry off over into the centre of the road. There was a huge power station where I did my U-turn and came back. Castor and Pollux were talking to me. They asked me what I intended to do about the house. I said that I was going to finish it off and live here. They were surprised and asked if I ought to be taking more care of my health. I gave them the usual story about wanting to enjoy what life I had left rather than being afraid and not doing anything. They were a bit surprised by this but I told them that was how it was. They asked what I was going to do for money. I wasn’t going to say anything but yes I’m OK for money, plenty of it. I said “you don’t need a job”. Castor said to Pollux “but everyone needs a job, you know” and Pollux was still wondering how you manage to live, all this kind of thing. I was trying my best to explain to her. I’d forgotten that bit about taxis when I was out in the car. I wasn’t supposed to be taxiing and I had to stop thinking about being a taxi driver. So this discussion went on and then was when I awoke to find myself dictating this dream out loud into my hand not the dictaphone so I’ve no idea what has happened there – and how many other times I might have dictated into my hand during my sleep and never been aware of it.
Interestingly, it proves the point that dreams are connected with memories and not out-of-body experiences – at least this one was. The area of West Street around West Avenue, Richard Moon Street and Middlewich Road has undergone all kinds of changes since the demolition of the railway works after I left the town. But not one of these changes appeared in my voyage around that area.
Somewhat later I was doing exactly the same thing again – dictating my dream into my hand while asleep. It was a cowboy situation – the James Brothers. One of them was an outlaw, fed up of them being on the run and wanted to go straight. He was talking to me about it. I went outside and there was the other brother trying to break in a horse. That was when I awoke to find myself dictating my dream in my sleep again
Later on I was with Nerina and we’d been working on a taxi. We’d had to have some letraset done to make some stickers and Karen Brierley had done it. The job was absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t have had the patience to do this, as I told her, but this was really good. In fact we’d been talking about business cards prior to this. Someone had taken us to a place and the guy had opened up a set of drawers that he rented out, right by the doorway. “You’ll know what’s in here” he said and opened the top drawer but there was nothing in it. he opened the next one and it was full of business cards and that’s how we got talking about stickers. We much preferred stickers for the taxis because you could stick them everywhere. Anyway then people then were going on about this taxi, painted white and letraset it but it was really late. My family were all up and Nerina was really tired, and I needed her to do some more work. In the end I smiled and said “yes, go on Nerina, go to bed”. I said to my mother that I won’t be up very long either. Even though they were planning to be up all night I’d go to bed and do this first thing in the morning. She went off to bed and I went out to work on this car. But I came back because I was in a suit. I took off the jacket and shirt and went to get an old tee-shirt. And as for jeans I’d but on a pair of overalls to protect the trousers.

As you can imagine, it took me much more than half an hour to type out all of that. I had a break for breakfast at some point and then came back to carry on and it was right into mid-morning by the time that I’d finished all of that.

That meant that finally I could start on the notes for the radio project on which I’m working, but I wasn’t at it for long because I needed to go for my bread.

mobile crane port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFirst task was to leave the house of course. And it was a bright sunny day so i’d planned a nice long walk.

Not that i would get very far though before I had to stop. regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m quite interested in the plant life around here – this kind of plant of course, not the other kind. So when I saw this mobile crane pull up on the other side of the harbour I stopped to photograph it.

No idea what it might be doing there. There’s already enough plant and machinery over there as it is.

trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs I walked down the boulevard des Terreneuviers I noticed that the fishing boats were now jostling for position at the entrance to the inner harbour even though the “traffic light” was showing red.

That could only mean one thing – that the harbour gates were closed but would be opening very shortly. I had a brief look at the chantier navale but there was nothing there any different from the last time I looked.

And so I pushed on rather rapidly, not even stopping to take a photo of the shellfish that they were hauling up from a boat at the fish-processing plant.

fishing tackle trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallJust as I set foot on the footpath across the top of the gates the siren sounded. I moved rapidly but the barrier came down and the gates started to open before I could cross over.

Luckily I was on the far gate so I didn’t have to jump for it, but I still had to scramble under the barrier at the far side. But I’m glad I did because it gave me an opportunity to inspect the fishing tackle on one of the fishing boats.

So now I know where everything goes and what it’s for. I’ll have to get myself out there on a fishing boat one of these days and have a first-hand look at it.

trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallSo as all of the fishing boats cleared off into the harbour, I cleared off after them. And that was when I had my encounter with the other fishing boat that I had to tie up.

The guys were there with the pontoon and the large mobile crane. Having been rebuffed the other day I decided not to waste my time asking them anything but to wait and use my own eyes to see what was going on.

And I wasn’t to be disappointed at all, as you will see in due course.

food stall carnaval place godal granville manche normandy france eric hallAnother one of the things that I’m doing right now is to go round by where the fête foraine – the funfair – will be for the carnival and see how they are getting on with arranging everything.

In the Place Godal, where some of the caravans of the entertainers are parked, there was this popcorn, toffee apple and ice cream stall.

Not that i reckon that it’s supposed to be set up there (although it wouldn’t come as any surprise) but my thinking was that they are waiting for the funfair to erect itself and then these stalls will fit in around the amusements.

carnaval funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo down to the Parking Hérel to see how they were doing.

And the big machinery is going up together quite nicely – and quickly. In fact the apparatus on the left was actually working, swinging back and forth. It made me wonder whether the inspectors were actually there today checking it over.

These machines are impressive but they are quite dangerous and can’t ply for hire until they have been inspected and have a permit to operate.

palais du rire funfair fete foraine parking herel carnaval granville manche normandy france eric hallThe Palais de Rire – the Palace of Laughter – looks impressive and they must have worked impressively to have it done this quickly. They had barely started on it yesterday.

But I learnt something today too, and I’m always in the market for learning new things.

There was a lorry there that was towing a couple of trailers – the typical “showman’s goods” lorry. So I asked someone with it what licence yuo needed to drive with more than one trailer.

The answer was (the Fench equivalent of) “a HGV Class one licence – nothing else”. In other words, any ordinary Heavy Artic licence. And I have one of those, don’t I?

But don’t worry. My days of driving all this heavy stuff are over.

entertainment stage place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I walked into town and La Mie Caline to pick up my dejeunette

And here across the road is something that wasn’t here this time yesterday. Clutching my bread quite tightly, I went for a closer look.

They are pushing along quite rapidly with the features for Carnaval as we can see. This is the stage from which they will make all of the announcements I reckon and where there might be some kind of entertainment during the evening – I dunno.

erecting marquee chapiteau parking cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallYesterday I’d been past the car park in the Cours Jonville and seen them laying out the edges of the chapiteau – the big marquee where the Friday night Ball will take place.

And so I went that way today to see how they were getting on with it. And “getting on with it” they certainly are. It’s quite impressive the speed with which they are putting up these things and the marquee is certainly one of the more exciting things

So Friday night we’re going to ba having a Ball. Well, they are. I shall be tucked up in my warm little bed ready for the onslaught the following day.

cranes slinging into place pontoon support rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe roadworks in the place des Corsaires have gone now and the street is open. Me though, I pushed on up the rue des Juifs until I was interrupted.

Excuse the dreadful shot but the sun was right in my eyes and in the camera lens. But here’s our mobile crane, now on this side of the harbour in the rue du Port and the big pontoon has sailed over here too.

And between the pair of them they are manoeuvring one of the pontoon supports into place ready for fixing against the harbour wall. I was lucky to catch this photo today.

Back here I had a late lunch and then set about my afternoon project.

home made apple pear coconut puree orange ginger syrup apple pear cinnamon cocnut cordial place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallPeel some ginger, dice it into some very tiny squares and then put it in a small amount of water to boil, then leave to simmer.

Meanwhile, peel four good juicy oranges and put them in the whizzer. Whizz them round and then filter out the orange juice which goes in the fridge in a bottle.

The left-over pulp goes into the pan with the ginger and it’s all left to simmer.

While that’s doing, put about 5mm of water in the bottom of your nice new big saucepan and add plenty of lemon juice to it.

hen peel, core and dice seven apples and three pears. When they are finely cut, add them to the water and lemon juice as you go along, swirling them around so that there’s some lemony liquid covering all of them to stop them browning.

Then add desiccated coconut and some cinnamon to the apples and pears, take off the orange and ginger and put the apples and pears etc onto the heat and bring to the boil and leave to simmer.

With the orange pulp and ginger add a couple of dessert spoons of honey and stir well in. Then add to the whizzer and give it a really good whizzing around to liquidise almost everything. Then when it’s cooled down, add to the orange juice and give it all a really good shake.

There’s a nice orange and ginger syrup to add to filtered water.

floating pontoon across rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThat was the cue to go for my afternoon walk.

There were crowds of people out there today because it was so nice, and I’m glad that I went out when I did because I saw a most unexpected sight. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing the new pontoons stacked up on the quayside the other day, but here’s one in the water heading across to the cranes that we saw earlier.

But how are them moving? They aren’t rowing them so maybe there’s an outboard motor somewhere, I suppose.

rainbow granville manche normandy france eric hallThere had been a heavy rainstorm briefly a short while earlier but it had passed and was gone.

Not too far though because we had this gorgeous rainbow. We’ve certainly seen some impressive rainbows since we’ve been living here but this one is one of the best.

Back here I checked to see that the apples were done, and then strained off the liquid. That’s in a bottle ready to be diluted in early course.

As for the solids, they went into the whizzer and turned into purée for me to bottle. That’ll keep me going for a week or so.

Now I could finish off writing the texts and dictate them, just interrupted by a little 10-minute crash out. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to finish editing them before it was tea-time which was a shame.

For tea I had a stuffed pepper with rice followed by apple turnover and Alpro soya almond with chocolate sauce. And I’ll tell you something for nothing, and that is that now that i’m much better-organised my diet is improving 100%

Cutting out these shop-bought sugary drinks and their plastic bottles was really a good New Year resolution.

For my walk I managed my two runs and then headed back here to write up my notes.

And now bed-time. After my marathon adventures during the night last night I’m ready for a good sleep. I just hope that I remember to use the dictaphone if i want to dictate any notes.

Monday 17th February 2020 – REGULAR READERS …

… of this rubbish will recall that last week at our weekly meeting I was about half an inch from … errr … expressing my displeasure at the antics of a certain member of our team.

It seems that i was not alone because every one of us today received an e-mail from a member of our team announcing that he was standing down, and explaining in great detail exactly why. And these reasons correspond pretty much with my own ideas.

There is another reason, as I became aware on Saturday when I went for this press thingy with the chars for Carnaval, but that wasn’t mentioned at all which is hardly a surprise. But it’s what I expect is the real reason.

As for me, I missed the third alarm yet again, but not by all that much. 10 minutes or so, I reckon.

After the meds I came back to check on the dictaphone. And phew!

For some unknown reason I was in Burnley last night and I was taking an exam. It was about decimalisation and I had to write about decimalisation in this exam. I wanted to have ot done quickly so I could go. And I did it quickly. But just before I went to hand in my paper I suddenly remembered something that I had missed off so I had to add an extra paragraph onto my paper and add an extra conclusion. And then as I had done that which I had to write, I remembered something else about how easier it would be to calculate so I had to write another paragraph about that as well and another conclusion. But each time all the papers were getting muddled up and I couldn’t find half the papers. And then I couldn’t find more papers. There was this little girl trying to help me find the papers. In the end we were just disturbing everything but a little boy said “this paper is over here” so I went into one pile of papers and got one of the papers out. This was all getting into one confusing mess and just as usual, I was spending more time looking for the papers than I was writing anything down. My idea of getting away early had gone right out of the window by now.
Later on during the night I was at IKEA with Ingrid and a baby believe it or not. We started to wander around the introductory bit of the shop where everything is displayed but we somehow became separated. I went back to look for her but found the bargains corner so got waylaid in there looking through all the bargains. By the time I’d made it back into the display area Ingrid had gone and I couldn’t see her anywhere. I had a pretty good look for her and caught her in the distance waiting by a meeting point so I got my phone to ring her, gave her a couple of bleeps, she turned round and waved so I hung up and walked over to her. Then another family group, I was talking over the internet in a chat room and mentioned my daughter in this chat room twice so I was kicked out with a warning message about “talking about my daughter” on there.

After breakfast I came back in here and cut up a few digital music files into their component tracks and seeing as I picked three easy ones, it didn’t take that long to do

A shower next, (and I’ve put back about 400 grammes of that 600 that I lost) and then I headed off into town.

bad parking cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallFirst port of call was the Post Office to post the letter that I had written the other day.

But start as we mean to go on, hey? Back on this bad parking lark again. But then, why just take up one parking space when with a little less effort you can take up three as well as block off a pedestrian crossing?

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that this is the kind of thing that really gets my goat and it’s just becoming worse and worse.

erecting carnival marquee cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallBut for the next few weeks parking here in the centre of town will be more and more restricted.

Over the next couple of days I’ll be wandering around checking up on the erection of the Carnaval attractions, seeing how quickly they can get them up. And here on the car park at the Cours Jonville, they have ejected all of the cars and are sticking this marquee up for the Friday night dance.

That’s when it al kicks off, Friday night, but my work doesn’t start until Saturday.

boutique ludique cafe boulevard d'Hauteserve granville manche normandy france eric hallWith having come this way to check up on things, I carried on up the boulevard d’Hauteserve, a street that I don’t usually use.

And i’m glad that I came this way because here’s something that I haven’t noticed before. It’s a “Boutique Ludique” – a games shop café. And that could be extremely interesting.

Next time that I have half an hour or so to spare – whenever that may be – I’ll have to come here to make further enquiries.

And if it livs up to its title, I’ll bring my microphone and Zoom H1 because there must be some kind of story in this.

painting street furniture st nicolas granville manche normandy france eric hallThe walk all the way up to the Centre Agora was pretty uneventful with nothing much happening – except that I seemed to be a little more like my former self going up the hill. Not quite at the “on my way to invade Poland” yet, but getting there.

In the Square St Nicolas or whatever they call it, the street furniture guys were there. We saw them a few days ago in the Cours Jonville but we couldn’t see what they were doing. But here it was pretty evident.

Our meeting was somewhat subdued with the news that we had received, and when we were asked for our observations I wasted no time in putting forward the things that have been bugging me in this affair and telling them the things that I’ve been telling you lot over the last few weeks.

Whether anything comes of it or not, I really do not know. But I have heard that there has been a “follow-up” to all of this, so I’m awaiting developments with bated breath.

After the meeting we went down to the basement and did a stock-check. There is some kind of talk about some kind of offer of some kind of permanent place to use as a studio and store.

What, when, how or where – or even “if” – is very much an unknown factor but we need to know what we have. And it seems that somehow we are a microphone cable short.

No idea how, and I know that I don’t have it. But then things like this are always disappearing so it’s no surprise.

After the meeting I went off to LIDL to do a little more shopping.

soya desserts lidl granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd although I spent a little more than usual, on some cable ties and Brazil nuts, I didn’t buy any of this here but six months or so ago I might well have.

Last time I was here I pointed out the new vegetarian and vegan products that are appearing in LIDL, and this is the latest that I have found.

I would have died for this stuff back then but having given up hope of finding it, I’ve gone down a different road and buy the big tubs of Alpro stuff for dessert and make my own apple purée.

And that reminds me – I need to make some more purée tomorrow. So I bought a big bag of apples.

erecting funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallYesterday I mentioned about going round to see how they are getting on erecting the amusements for the fete foraine on the parking Hérel.

Earlier today, we saw the marquee at the Cours Jonville and I expected them thus to be well on their way here too. And I was right because they really are bashing it out.

No time to lose, I suppose. They can’t afford to be hanging about seeing as how they move from place to place quite rapidly wherever there’s a fairground to be installed.

erecting funfair fete foraine parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere are all kinds of amusements here – fun for all the family I reckon – but I don’t really know what’s in these lorries.

Time will tell of course so I’ll have a wander by tomorrow when I come down for my dejeunette and see what they are up to then.

But talking of my dejeunette I carried on with my walk into town and La Mie Caline. I don’t need to ask for my bread now – they just see me coming and slip a dejeunette into a bag all ready for me.

Service with a smile, that. You don’t get that in Belgium.

road closed place des corsaires granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back home there wal a little more excitement.

The road that goes through what used to be the Place des Corsaires seems to be closed and they are digging up the street. I wonder why – and there was no-one around to ask.

Back here it was already after my usual lunchtime so I quickly made my butty and had some fruit – the new apples, not the old ones. They are destined for the purée tomorrow.

And I’ll try out my new saucepan too.

This afternoon I attacked the radio project 26. “Where”s 25?” I hear you ask.

The fact is that 24 has now become 25 because 24 is the last Friday of a month (Bane of Britain forgot that there are only 30 days in April) so that will have to be a Live Concert, if I have one by then.

If not, I’m sure that I’ll find something.

By the time that I knocked off I’d chosen the 10 main tracks, combined them in pairs, worked out a speech for my guest and added in my standard into to Pair A.

Tomorrow I’ll do the text and see where we go from there.

Tea was falafel and steamed vegetables in vegan cheese sauce – not the pie because I wanted to use up the falafel that has been hanging around for a while.

Pie is tomorrow and stuffed pepper is on Wednesday by the way.

Pudding was half of the apple turnover with that Alpro almond dessert stuff and chocolate sauce, and that was delicious.

The beautiful weather that we had this morning has given way to a rainstorm this evening. I didn’t have my afternoon walk because I was already at 106% but I wanted to get in my runs.

So sopping wet and miserable, I completed them both, although the first was on my reserve track as my main one was flooded out again. In fact I did quite well on my first one, running on for about 20 metres which, the way things are with me, was quite good.

bad parking place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, we had more excitement and so we’ll go out where we came in.

Bad parking again, folks. Someone else who decides that it will be fun to park in the fire lane at te back of our building despite the yellow hatching. never mind that we’ll all be burnt to a cinder because he is far too idle to walk an extra 20 metres from the main car park.

So now my notes are written and i’m off to bed. Not as early as I wanted but still I should have about 6 hours sleep I reckon.

makes me wonder where I’ll be going tonight. And, more importantly, who is coming with me.

Sunday 16th February 2020 – DESPITE IT BEING A …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I don’t think.