Tag Archives: fingernails

Thursday 23rd August 2018 – HAVING HAD …

… a much-more realistic early night last night, no-one was more surprised than I was to find that I slept right the way through until just before the alarm went off at 06:20.

Even more surprisingly, I was out of bed before 07:00 too. I must be changing my habits here.

We had the usual morning performance and then I had breakfast. Rather later than I might otherwise have had it because I was sidetracked by not very much at all, but sidetracked nevertheless.

It was shower time too and then I would ordinarily have gone to LIDL for shopping. But seeing as I’m off on my travels on Sunday and, apart from fruit, I have enough food here until then, I decided not to bother. I can go down into town to the little supermarket tomorrow for a bit of fruit to keep me going.

Instead, there was an important task to carry out on the internet to prepare me for my voyage. I’ve had issues with this before, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and so I can’t put it off just in case I need it. And much to my surprise, despite it being a lengthy process, it all seemed to go quite straightforwardly.

What isn’t quite straightforward are the issues with the Fortis Bank. You may remember that they asked me to send them a letter from another bank (not the Fortis) with my name and address on it. And so I did, from the bank here.

And this morning I had a mail back telling me that it needs to be from the same country that issued my identity document (passport) – something that is not mentioned at all in their correspondence.

Their letter contained the phrase “I understand how you are feeling ….” to which I replied “no you don’t, because politeness prevents me from using the words that I would like to use”.

There were about a hundred photos from the last week that needed editing, and I sat down and attended to that too. They are all done and on-line now.

Lunch was on the wall with my book and two lizards, in the clouds and wind. It was something of a depressing day today.

This afternoon I did another pile of tidying up, and then sat down and started to pack what I need for going away. It would have been much easier had I had an idea of where I might be going. In the absence of any idea I need to take all kinds of stuff with me just in case

But I’m surprised because there is a pile of stuff that seems to be missing from my travel bag and I’ve no idea where it might be. The battery charger and the mobile phone are two items that are evidently missing, and I’ve no idea about the rest.

Tea was some of the stuffing that was left over the other day and put in the two wraps that were left, along with some spicy rice. And delicious it was too.

victor hugo channel islands ferry granville manche normandy franceAnd for my walk in the wind tonight I noticed Victor Hugo.

She was off out for a trip, presumably to the Channel Islands and that is something that I don’t understand because she doesn’t usually go out as late as this. She won’t arrive in Jersey until after dark.

I tried to take a photo that would give the effect of speed, but it wasn’t easy out there with the wind buffeting the camera around like this.

While I was admiring the ship I bumped into one of my neighbours running around the walls of the town.

So tonight I’ll try for another early night. If I can keep this up until Sunday morning I’ll feel so much better.

Thursday 16th August 2018 – YOU HAVE NO IDEA …

… how long it took me today to complete my Medical Expenses claim.

It’s quite true to say that I have let things build up and build up for the last … errr … eighteen months, but it still shouldn’t have taken as long as it did.

And it wasn’t down to a lack of sleep either because I had an early night and slept right the way through until the alarm went off, something that hasn’t happened for quite a while.

We had the usual morning performance and followed by a nice hot shower – the first for a while it has to be said – and cut my fingernails. And then I hit the streets.

First stop was the ferry office. It was closed, which should be no surprise to anyone who reads anything that I have ever written seeing that it’s midsummer and there are crowds of people about.

They did have some leaflets on display for the ferries to the Ile de Chausey but nothing for the Jersey ferries, so I wandered off to the Tourist Office. They had a leaflet but they also told me that the ferries are pretty much booked up for the next few days.

The laboratory was next. I had an e-mail from the hospital 10 days ago to say that there was a build-up of potassium in my body, to change the dose of my medication and to organise a blood test.

The people at the laboratory told me that all I need to do is to just turn up and to bring the e-mail with me, and they’ll do the test on the spot. So that’s tomorrow’s task.

LIDL was impressive today. As well as the usual stuff, they were selling hardware. They had some powerful cable crimpers and accessories, some heatsink tubing and some screw-in hooks so they found their way into the shopping bag. And had I been back in the Auvergne I would have had a lot more than just that.

On the way back I bumped into one of my neighbours and we had a chat in the street for a short while.

Back here, I needed to print out the e-mail from the hospital and that took longer than it might. The ink cartridge wasn’t seating properly and the nozzles needed cleaning and aligning.

By the time that I’d managed to print out the mail, it was lunchtime so I was off on the wall with my butties, my book and a lizard.

This afternoon I had to deal with my medical expenses claim. This involved scanning about 60 receipts, collating them, renaming then as appropriate and then logging into my insurance website and completing the on-line form. And seeing as there were only so many entries allowed on a form, it needed 5 forms in total.

What made things worse was that much of the laser printing from the earlier receipts were faded and it was very difficult for me to read the entries on some of them. I don’t know how they will manage at the Claims Office.

I missed my walk this afternoon with being involved in all of this. But seeing as we were having a torrential rainstorm at the time, it wasn’t much of a problem.

BY the time that I had finished and done a little tidying up, it was teatime. A plate of mixed steamed vegetables with vegan sausages and vegan cheese sauce.

yachts baie de mont st michel st malo granville manche normandy franceOn my walk tonight I met yet another neighbour who also goes for an evening walk. He goes the other way round so in fact we met up twice.

But the route was sodden with water following the rainstorm. Not very pleasant at all.

But at least I could admire all of the boats out there. They seem to be happy that the weather has cleared up and that they could go out to play.

rue du port granville manche normandy franceAlthough the rain had stopped, the streets were still wet.

Down in the rue du Nord the vehicles were making some very interesting tracks on the damp surface.

Even though it’s late evening, the streets were crowded with people and cars. It’s the height of the summer season so we have tourists everywhere, of course.

Anyway, it’s bedtime. And I hope that I have a decent night’s sleep yet again. I need to build up my strength as I’m going to be busy.

yachts baie de mont st michel cancale brittany granville manche normandy france
yachts baie de mont st michel cancale brittany granville manche normandy france

Sunday 15th July 2018 – 10:35 …

… is a much more civilised time to be waking up on a Sunday morning, isn’t it?

But what’s not so civilised is the fact that I was still up and about at 04:00 this morning.

For some reason I just wasn’t tired and at some silly time in the morning I was dealing with the hidden files that I told you about yesterday on the portable drive – passing them over to the master disk and then having to work out a way of deleting them from the drive because, for some reason, they had been installed in the system drive part.

In the end, a good old proprietary file shredder came to the rescue. The one that I have can reach into the parts of the computer that other file shredders can’t reach.

As a result of my late arousal, I had a very late breakfast. And I almost forgot my fig rolls too. But I had both of them, which meant that I didn’t have any lunch.

brocante haute ville granville manche normandy franceThe crowds out here wandering around told me that there was something afoot in the Medieval town. And so I grabbed a quick shower, but my nails, and went out hot-foot (or chaud-pied as they might say around here) to see.

Sure enough, we were having another brocante around the streets. And this time I managed to find something. A Michelin “Green Guide” of Normandy – a 1970-71 version in really good condition for all of €0:50.

There were lots of other things that I would have liked too, but I drew the line at paying €500 for a nice seascape or €220 for a nice model of a sailing ship.

The owner of the sailing ship told me of a secluded harbour in a wide bay where it could be kept, and he made it sound so good that I reckoned that his barque was worse than his bight.

photograph exposition haute ville granville manche normandy franceAnother thing that was going on up here was a photograph exposition in the open air.

It seems that someone has been out in an aeroplane or maybe one of these paraglider things and taken loads of photographs of Normandy from the air, and there were about 20 of them on display outside this afternoon.

Some of them were quite good too and there were one or two that made my quite envious. I wish that my photographs would turn out like his.

eglise de notre dame de cap lihou granville manche normandy franceI had another bit of good luck too this afternoon.

The church, the Eglise de Notre Dame de Cap Lihou was open to the public today.

That doesn’t happen all that often, and the last time that I noticed the open doors I didn’t have the camera with me. But today, I was properly equipped.

eglise de notre dame de cap lihou granville manche normandy franceThe origins of the church go back to 1113 when it is said that fishermen dragged up a statue of Mary from the sea, presumably from an earlier shipwreck.

In honour of this event, a chapel dedicated to her was erected in this vicinity.

But all of this changed during the latter stages of the Hundred Years War

eglise de notre dame de cap lihou granville manche normandy franceAfter the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 the English occupied Normandy and the the Medieval City was created and the fortifications built.

In 1440 the construction of the current church began. The granite blocks that were used in its construction were brought over from quarries on the Ile de Chausey.

And from then on, after the recapture of the town, the church was continually enlarged, with the sacristy being added as recently as 1771.

eglise de notre dame de cap lihou granville manche normandy franceThere are plenty of very worn gravestones on the floor of the church. It seems that this was the place for the notables of the town to be buried back in those days.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to read the inscriptions on them now.

As an important historical edifice, the church was added to the list of Historical Monuments on 12th December 1930.

eglise notre dame de cap lihou granville manche normandy franceWhile you admire another photo of the interior of the church, I headed for home.

Back here, shame as it is to admit it, after I returned I crashed out for a short while. And then I had to start to do some work.

There’s a possibility that I might be having at least three visits sometime over the next few months so I need to organise my diary, organise my appointments and make a few arrangements with others so that we all know what we are doing it – and, more importantly, when.

And that takes more time than you might imagine too. I don’t know where the time goes to these days.

With having had no lunch, I was ready for tea and with it being Sunday it’s pizza night. But surprisingly (or maybe not) I had a struggle to eat it. I’m definitely not doing too well, am I?

On the walk this evening I met Gribouille again and he came for a pick-up. And it seems that he has acquired a new younger brother, a little tabby, and he came for a pick-up and cuddle too.

peugeot 403 granville manche normandy franceAnd they weren’t the only things to see outside.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen this car before. It’s a Peugeot 403, built between 1955 and 1966 and which replaced the legendary Peugeot 203.

1,200,000 or so of these cars were built and there are still several thousand driving around on the roads of France as daily drivers, never mind as voitures de collection.

So I’ll try for an early night tonight. The alarm goes on in the morning and I really must organise myself. There’s a lot to do.

Friday 15th June 2018 – I TOLD YOU WRONG …

emma barthère paintings place maurice marland granville manche normandy france… yesterday about those photos.

They were not in fact by Emma Barthère at all. These are the ones that are by her – people sitting on rooftops (something that was the subject of some not inconsiderable discussion at that meeting the other night) all over Granville.

The ones that I showed you were by a photographer called Thomas Jouanneau and are part of his “Ile de Chausey” project.

So now you know.

What you’ll also know in a moment is that just by way of a change I haven’t crashed out yet today. And that’s despite being wide awake at 05:30. And it wasn’t as if I’d had a particularly early night either.

So I imagine that I’ll be paying for this in very early course.

After the usual morning performance and a little relax, I sat down to get on with some work. But it wasn’t long before I had a little distraction and ended up chatting to a friend of mine in Germany, about music and a few other things too.

And the result of this chat was that I ended up having a good hunt around on the internet. 30 years of storage haven’t been too kind to the bass guitar and it needs a few bits and pieces to restore it to its former glory.

Apart from a seized potentiometer, the machine heads and tuning pegs need replacing. And I’m not putting cheap rubbish on them but proper original Gibson equipment. And they took some tracking down too, but I might have found some in the USA.

They are going to be quite a price, and the person to whom I spoke is working out a price to include delivery to over here.

But before you all faint away at the price, just let me mention that the guy in the USA pointed me in the direction of a couple of basses the same vintage as mine that are currently on sale, and the cheapest one is at $5200 so you can see why I’m not fitting cheap and nasty rubbish to it.

Another thing too is that since I bought the tuning foot-pedal the other week, I have hit an unexpected snag. The foot-pedal goes on the floor of course, with the guitar plugged into it. And I don’t use an amplifier but a Vox Micro amPlug and headphones.

And now the amplug, instead of plugging into the guitar round about waist-height, plugs into the foot-pedal on the floor. And with the headphones only having a cable of 1.5 metres and I’m 1.73 metres, you can immediately see a problem.

You can’t buy headphones with longer cables, so eventually I was able to track down a 15m extension cable. And a proper pair of bass studio headphones while I was at it instead of the hifi headphones that I use. Might as well organise myself properly.

While I’m on the subject, another thing that I’ve been doing is to track down the guitar tabs for some of the tracks that I’ve been working on, and transforming them into images to save. I don’t read music quickly enough to play it with a score, so I play by ear. And I’m finding that these days it’s “ear today, gone tomorrow” and I’m spending more time trying to remember what I worked out the previous day than actually learning new stuff.

At least, having some kind of music enables me to work out at a glance where I’m starting and finishing, and where to keep in rhythm.

All of this took me up to something of a late lunch, so I made my butties (the salad oil mix that I made yesterday is delicious), grabbed my book and headed off for my wall where I was joined by my friend the lizard. He really enjoyed the pear leavings once again.

This afternoon I cracked on with the web page that I’m still miles from finishing, as well as having my walk. And spending 45 minutes trying to figure out the bass line to one of the tracks whose guitar tabs I worked on this morning.

And it’s times like this that made me wish that I’d paid more attention to Miss Ricketts’ music classes at school. That really WAS a wasted opportunity, that was. I don’t know what I must have been thinking when I chose my ‘O’ Level subjects and excluded Music.

My response from Nikon came back this afternoon too. Basically “ignore our earlier e-mail. You’ll have your lens next week some time”.

I had a mental block for tea tonight. I couldn’t think of anything that I wanted to eat. After much binding in the marsh, I ended up with a vegan burger and veg with thick gravy.

waves crashing over sea wall place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceOut for my walk this evening, there wasn’t much wind but there was quite a sea boiling up.

You wouldn’t have thought that there would have been enough energy in the sea to send the waves crashing up over the sea wall, but there we are.

And the photo hasn’t done too well, has it? I dunno what’s happening to my equipment these days. I think that the nut at the rear end of the camera must have a screw loose.

street party rue paul poirier granville manche normandy franceJust round the corner, I could hear some noise coming from the direction of the town.

Further enquiry revealed that there’s some kind of event in the town tonight, as this photo of the rue Paul Poirier will reveal. I was half-tempted to go down and see what was happening, but these days, I have to consider that it’s a hell of a way back up the hill late at night after a full day’s work.

I’m not as young as I was, am I?

And I was buttonholed by four young teenagers, probably about 13 or so, sitting on the wall with a smuggled bottle of cider. Could I take their photo with one of their phones? And so I duly obliged.

So having written out tonight’s entry twice (having pressed the wrong key and wiped off the previous version by mistake) I’m going to bed. I’ve had a heavy day what with one thing and another and I need my sleep.

Shopping tomorrow, of course.

Tuesday 29th May 2018 – IT WAS A BIT …

… of a shame about last night.

What with all of my efforts of recent days I made a point of going to bed at a relatively early hour last night so as to have a head start for today. But instead, I had one of the worst nights’ sleeps that I have had for a long time. One every unhappy bunny here again.

But anyway I was up at a reasonable-ish early time nevertheless but I wasn’t in the mood for breakfast quite then. I ended up for a while talking to someone on the internet about nothing in particular.

But after breakfast there were things to do, like another batch of photos to edit and a blog to update seeing that I didn’t do it before going to bed last night.

Once all of that was out of the way I occupied myself with a knotty problem on the 3D program that I use. And while I’m none-the-wiser, I’m certainly better-informed. And it’s hard to believe that with having done nothing but that this morning, I ended up going for a late lunch.

After that, it all went wrong.

There’s lots to do here but firstly there was a crowd of neighbours hanging around outside the building so I went to join them. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m not the most sociable of people at the best of times, but when one is living ina close-knit community like this, one has to show willing.

And even that was interrupted by the arrival of Gribouille the ginger cat who allowed me to pick him up and stroke him for a while, much to the surprise of everyone else.

Once all that was out of the way there was only time for a coffee before it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk. But at the moment where I was just about to put my sooty foot outside the door the heavens opened and we had another drenching. I dunno who it is up there, but just let him know that he missed me.

Eventually it eased off and so I could go for my walk. And at least it kept the grockles out of my way which is also nice. I started off in my raincoat but by the time that I was back here it was boiling hot, clammy and close, and I was sweating.

That reminded me that I had forgotten my shower this morning so I hopped underneath for a general clean-up. And I cut my hair as well seeing as it was getting all a bit long.

While all of this was going on, Liz came on line with a computer problem that needed resolving, and Sandra wanted to chat about my plans for summer. Trying to fit my guitar practice in was all rather complicated.

Tea was a frozen kidney bean and aubergine whatsit from out of the freezer and then I had a nice walk around the walls.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere wasn’t a great deal going on on the seaward side of the walls, but round on the harbour side, I noticed that Normandy Trader was back in port.

She’s been in and out of here quite a lot just recently and so she must be getting a lot of work. And that reminds me that I haven’t seen anything of Grima for a while. I shall have to make further enquiries

And despite the huge piles of gravel building up on the quayside, we haven’t seen a gravel ship for a while either.

One ship that is back in port though, ready for the summer season, is the Marité. But she was moored in a position where I couldn’t take a decent photo.

eglise notre dame de cap lihou turret house haute ville granville manche normandy franceAnd why I was prowling around trying to find a good spec, it suddenly came into my mind that I had never taken a decent photograph of the turret house built into the walls by the Eglise de Notre Dame du Cap Lihou.

So this seemed like as good an opportunity as ever to deal with that little issue. After all, it’s a beautiful house and I could quite happily live in one of those turrets, especially with the superb view that it has over the harbour.

And now, I really AM going to have an early night.

I hope that it’s a good ‘un.

Friday 27th April 2018 – GOD, IT WAS HARD THIS MORNING …

… to get out of bed. I ached in every joint and every muscle.

I’d had a bad night too – couldn’t manage any sort of decent, continuous sleep.

Not that any of this stopped me going on the kind of mega-ramble that I haven’t been on in quite some considerable time though.

We started off with a whole bunch of us in some seaside area or resort and where I was staying was out of the town centre so I had to walk in every day down this same old road to get into town. But it was coming up to our time to leave so we were assembled waiting outside a building for something to happen. After a while I decided that I would go in the building. In there was a load of people whom I knew – probably most of them in fact – and we all ended up having a big chat. Someone began to talk about the time that he had been for a drive with Nerina and the exhaust had become detached from the manifold on the black Cortina and how she had driven over it. I told a few moe stories about car problems that we had had. I happened to glance out of the window to see everyone else starting to come in and they all looked really wet. I asked if it had been raining, and the people replied that it had been snowing too. After a while Anne and Mike (although it wasn’t Mike) decided that they would have to leave regardless of the weather. They went outside but just then two young girls came past on bikes and shouted to Anne “we’ve done it – we’ve done it”. It turns out that Anne and Mike were some kind of medical consultants or the like and had to go to change someone’s bandages, but these two kids had done it instead, and successfully too. I asked what this was all about, so someone explained it to me. And then another two kids appeared. They announced that they had done something else to someone else who needed medicl attention. This ws all very exciting, listening to the accomplishments of these kids. They wandered off so I followed them around the corner. There was this big fat muscular old man there wearing a fez. I went back into the building and ended up in a dark corner doing something, but there was some kind of commotion, and I heard a gruff voice say “right then, we’ll go to his room”. There was the man, dragging roughly a boy from my childhood heading obviously to my room. It was clear that a large amount of force had been used on this boy so I asked him if he was ok. The boy replied “no, not after what he’s just done to me”. That made me pick up the phone to start dialling 999. this man came round to my side of the desk to see what I was doing. I told him that I was phoning the police. He replied “no you aren’t” and went to snatch the phone from me. My response was to pick up one of these dagger-like envelope openers and plunge it straight into his stomach. That’ll settle his hash.
A little later I was changing jobs within an office and all of my old work was going to be taken over by someone else and I would be having new work. I was very very unhappy about this because there were lots of things that I ought to have done yet hadn’t done, and I didn’t want my shortcomings to be exposed to anyone else. In view of this, and seeing that I was beyind retirement age I decided that I would simply retire and walk away. I wandered over to a nearby school to see if any of the school buses needed a new driver, seeing as it was chucking-out time. I had realised that I would be terribly lonely in my retirement as I liked people and was always pleased to see them (!!!). As these kids came streaming out, a young blonde-haired girl came over and greeted me as if we were really old friends. For my part, I had no idea who she was. I couldn’t remember her at all. Nevertheless I told her that I was retiring and that leaving was going to make me fed up. She said that that wasn’t a problem as she baked quite regularly and she promised to contact me each time she baked something and I could come along and buy some cakes off her. We can exchange the money right outside the accountants’ office where I work and that will make him really agitated, seeing me receive money. So I wandered off and ended up in the company of two boys. I ws looking for stones because what I had been doing was building up a breeze-block wall on an earthen bank. But the bank kept on collapsing and as I tried to hammer the breeze block into the cement on the top of this bank it was either making the bank crumble away more or else shaling the breeze block. I needed the stones to make a stabilising layer. My search took me down this cut-off part of road where I encountered these two boys. One of them had a very long pointed stick and he was killing everything that he encountered – deformed stillborn animals, seals caught up in fishing nets – by stabbing them with this pole. I was outraged by this. Halfway down this cut-off we came across a really strong and powerful half-man, half beast thing. He said that if we want to pass, we would have to fight him for it. I immediately volunteered this boy who had been killing everything. I said that he seemed to be in the right kind of humour for the task. But of course, like most bullies, he immediately chickened out. We turned round and retraced our steps much to my disappointment with this boy chickening out of this fight. But that was only to be expected, I suppose. I wasn’t going to get my stones, was I?

With all of that going on, no wonder I was exhausted.

After breakfast and the usual morning routine I sat down and attacked the two missing days. So now Tuesday’s entry and Wednesday’s entry are both on line.

And when you consider that the total amount of words came to just a little short of 5,000, you’ll understand why it took me until 19:50 this evening to finish it off.

It might however have taken less time had I not … errr … had a little relax after my afternoon walk. A good hour or so I was gone. It’s all catching up with me, this jet-setting lifestyle. I’ll be non compos mentis for a while at this rate.

Tea tonight, seeing as I don’t have a great deal of variety in the house just now, was stuffed peppers. I remembered to buy some at LIDL yesterday. And then we had football. Cefn Druids comfortably beat Connah’s Quay Nomads in the Welsh Premier League, live on the internet.

Afterwards, I went for a walk in the dark around the headland, and now I’m off to bed. An early night is called for as there is a lot to do tomorrow, as well as a football match in the evening.

I need to be on top form.

Wednesday 11th Aoril 2018 – SO HERE I AM ONCE MORE …

… not in the playground of my broken dreams but in a little studio in the Dekenstraat in Leuven. Didn’t that four weeks go quickly?

But at least my body clock seems to be working okay still. Despite a night that was … errr … somewhat later than I intended, I was wide-awake at 05:40 and waiting for the alarm;

Despite not having breakfast and not having a shower, I still didn’t have time to do everything that I wanted to doso the floor will have to remain unwashed until I return. But I emptied the rubbish, bleached everything that needed bleaching, cut my fingernails and changed the bedding so that I’ll have nice clean comfortable bedding when I return.

Yes, I lead such an exciting life, don’t I? At least I remembered yesterday to turn off the electricity for the heating and the hot water, even if I did forget to unplug the machinery in the kitchen. And I also forgot the opened jar of jam that I was planning to bring with me.

For some reason or other the walk to the station didn’t take as long as it usually does and I was there in less than 20 minutes. Plenty of time for a coffee and a relax as despite what happened four weeks ago, the train wasn’t in the station.

When it did come in, it was a six-carriage train instead of the usual 12-carriage train, and the seats were not reserved. We could sit anywhere we liked. I chose a seat right at the front – less distance to walk at my destination. As we know, time is pretty important when on the Traversée de Paris without Bourvil to carry your suitcase.

We were late arriving at Paris Vaugirard due to track repairs and the subsequent congestion but there was no queue at the Metro ticket window so I was through there very quickly. And even better-I convinced them to sell me a carnet of 10 tickets which means that I don’t have to queue at all for the next few weeks. And a carnet comes at a substantial discount.

The metro was reasonably painless -line 4 to the Gare de l’Est and then line 5 to the Gare du Nord and that’ll be the route for the next while until the repairs to the Gare du Nord station on line 4 are completed. It’s all getting to be quite complicated.

For the first time so far this year I was able to sit outside and eat my butties. How long this weather will last, though is anyone’s guess. We’ll be back in the snow before long.

The TGV was packed yet again but I had a good spec. And much to my disappointment we arrived 10 minutes late in Brussels.

That meant that I had missed the train that I like and had to catch the older less-comfortable one instead.

And at the place here I had to wait around for the office guy to come with the keys.

So now having been shopping at Delhaize and had my tea, I really am going for an early night. I’ve been fighting off the sleep all day and I’m about done.

I’ll be up early tomorrow though. A shower and a clothes wash and then the hospital.

Thursday 1st March 2018 – IT WAS A …

… lot warmer this morning.

Yes, the temperature when I awoke this morning was at the giddy heights of all of minus 3°C. It wasn’t as cold in here either this morning, but after less than 4 hours sleep, it certainly felt like it too.

snow pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceWhat didn’t help though was that after breakfast it started to snow. I wondered why it had gone completely silent outside, with no cars or pedestrians passing.

Under normal circumstances that would have put paid to any idea that I might have had about going to the shops. These, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, are not normal times and I need to move about.

And in any case, you wouldn’t exactly call that a snowfall after what we are used to in the Auvergne, regardless of what they might think around here.

So I had a shower and a general clean-up and cut all 20 of my finger and toe nails (and anyone who knew me even a couple of years ago will realise that an achievement that is). And then I hit the streets.

o'toole lorries port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd there over across the far side of the harbour where the fairground people had their residential caravans are a couple of lorries owned by the Irish company O’Toole.

Everyone knows of course that the company is owned by Plenty O’Toole, one of the James Bond girls from Diaminds Are Forever and who was, famously, “named after her father”.

But more to the point, what are they doing there? And even more interestingly, how did they get here?

water pimpig into port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThat wasn’t all of the excitement down at the harbour either. As you can see, we have a gusher – a ge flow of water into the basin.

I did wonder what it was doing – whether there had been a leak in the gates or whether they were trying something new, but it seems to be the outlet of a rather large pump and I’ve no idea what it’s supposed to be doing.

Or even where the water is coming from. I mean – I know that it’s coming from the sea, but that’s not what I mean.

We had some excitement in the town too. Someone in a 7.5 tonne lorry was delivering parcels – blocking the narrow streets as he unloaded, even though there was a free space just 20 metres higher up.

And another100 metres further on, he stopped OPPOSITE a free space and blocked the passage for the large queue behind him. So when he came out of th shop I asked him if he needed any help to park it – after all, I now have my HGV licence – but he just gave me a dirty look and drove away.

I made it to LIDL to find that there were no more than 20 people in the sho, and I had a till all to myself – something that deosn’t happen very often in LIDL as you know. Clearly the weather had defeated most people. But there was nothing exciting to buy in there, although the sorbet maker looks exciting – I’ll need Caliburn for that.

demolition rue st gaude granville manche normandy franceMy usual route back home takes me down past the streets in the upper part of town and there was some excitement here too.

It seems that a couple of old houses in the Rue St Gaude are being demolished, with plans afoot to replace them with modern apartments. This is a street with a good view in places over the harbour and in much demand – I saw a ruin here at an exorbitant price – and quite a lot of the old single-occupancy properties have gone.

But I admired them for attacking the job with a digger.

The day warmed up later and we were treated to rain – put the dampers on my two walks later on though, but at least I made well over the 100% daily exercise target which is always good.

And tea tonight was all kinds of vegetables and falafel with a cheese sauce, and that was delicious too.

But despite my short night last night and my exercise today, I’m not at all tired and I don’t know why. It’s going to be yet another late night.

Friday 26th January 2018 – NOW, HERE’S A THING.

I had a telephone call this afternoon – at 18:22 to be precise.

It was the bank, exactly as I had hoped. You may or may not believe this but some time shortly after the Bank sent me this famous letter, they actually received the document that they were seeking, so it’s no longer necessary for me to trouble myself to go to the Branch to sign the paperwork. And so the person to whom I was chatting presented his apologies quite profusely.

And then we had a long chat about Banking procedures and the like, and I gradually brought the question round to my problems with the Branch. And after listening to my complaint, he agreed to approach the manager himself, obtain an explanation of all of the errors, and have the manager contact me next week with his proposals to resolve the issues.

So it pays to complain and it pays even more to complain to the right people. Opportunities don’t come along very often but you need

  1. to recognise them
  2. to seize them with both hands

when they do.

Another miserable night last night, and I was running around all over the place. But I’ve no idea where I went because it was one of those dreams that disappeard right out of my head as soon as the alarm went off.

It was a struggle to leave my bed though and I wasn’t feeling at all like it this morning which was a shame. I can’t remember what it was that I did either. I remember fetching a binder ready to transfer all of my bank statements into one place but somehow that project wasn’t even started, never mind finished. It really was a wasted morning.

Just for a change I fancied cheese on toast for lunch, seeing as how I’ll be off to Leuven soon and I can buy more cheese. It was difficult to eat but I managed it all the same and it did make a nice change from soup for once.

This afternoon I cracked on – despite crashing out at one point for a good, deep half-hour. I rescued the micro-SD cards that I use in the dash-cam, copied their contents onto an external hard drive and reformatted them. While that was going on, I spent a considerable amount of time setting up the older dash cam, charging it up and getting it ready to take to Canada next summer.

I had another attack at the photos that I re-found the other day and actually managed to start something off with them, and I’ve also made a start on the dictaphone notes from North America this last summer. Add to that some tidying up and you’ll see that we are making good progress for a change.

Half an hour as usual on the guitar, where I suddenly remembered the bass line for “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting”, and I went for the usual couple of walks.

Tea was a frozen Aubergine and Kdney-Bean whatsit. And delicious it was too. There might even be room in the freezer now for the peas and the frozen peppers that I need.

But I wonder if I’ll have an early night? I could certainly do with one.

Thursday 4th January 2018 – I DIDN’T …

… end up with my ealy night last night either.

You know how it is – just before you go to bed you start a little job that will only take 5 minutes but one thing leads to another and you end up being surprised at just how many other things there are. And so it was more like 02:00 when I finally retired.

During the night I’d been on my travels. I was driving a coach, an empty one, out in the countryside and came round a bend and hit a steep hill. I needed to change down two or three gears but somehow I couldn’t make the vehicle change gear, or I wasn’t quick enough or something, and the coach wouldn’t climb the hill. I felt rather silly about that.
And then later I was out running – something that I used to do quite often during my nocturnal rambles when I would run miles across South Cheshire in my bed. THis time I was running along the pavement down a long road, stepping into the roadway to pass pedestrians. I was pacing myself, planning to speed up near the end and that meant predicting the movement of the pedestrians and much to my surprise I was perfectly correct. I arrived at work – a concrete office/car park clad in red and light brown brick, on the corner of the street. I was in time to go into work but I wanted to run home again and that wouldn’t leave enough time for me to return, so I would have to take the day off.

Once more, the alarm went off at 07:30 and I was out of bed … errr … rather quicker than I was yesterday.

Not only that, I managed three meals again today. Breakfast of course, a soup with pasta and bulghour, and for tea I tried a pizza, seeing as I had a pizza base that was running out of time. It took me about an hour to eat it but I did manage it eventually. It wasn’t nice as the previous ones – I don’t like this sauce very much and I’ll be glad when it’s all used up.

One thing that I was planning to do was to go into town. There’s a list of things that need attention and the sooner the better, but one look out of the window this morning dissuaded me. Persisting down in fact.

Instead, I did some more stuff around here including a little tidying up, and spent half an ohour with the guitar. Apaprt from a brief flurry a couple of years ago, I’ve not really played the bass for almost 40 years. And so what I’ve decided to do this year is to try to pick up where I left off all of those years ago.

I do have to admit that the little gadget that I bought three years ago so that I could play the bass in the apartment is worth itw weight in gold, now that I have some decent headphones and I figured out how to work it.

And I mustn’t forget a little snooze, or the mince pie with spray-on vegan cream.

So if I have the chance, I’ll be in bed early tonight and if the weather is on my side I’ll give serious thought to going into town. I’m feeling better in myself but I still can’t shake off this cough.

Monday 4th December 2017 – AFTER LAST NIGHT …

… ‘s early night, I managed to eat the second alarm out of bed.

I’d been on a real mega-ramble too, but it disappeared out of my head the moment that I awoke.

Despite the early start, it was a late breakfast. I’ve been making some room on a portable hard drive so that I could extract the (hundreds of thousands of) photos that I had found the other day. I made a start on copying them but the old hard drive is pretty flaky and kept on cutting out so I ended up having to do it manually in batches.

And so it was a 10:00 breakfast.

After that, I started to review the images and found some real gems from years ago, but of course not the ones for which I’m searching. There must be another hard drive somewhere, although I’ve no idea where.

The late breakfast meant that I wasn’t feeling like any lunch. A bag of crisps kept me going. No point in stuffing myself unnecessarily. But you can tell that I’m not too well when I’m off my food.

Nevertheless I still went for my walk around the headland. And I’m glad that I did too because we had another visitor in the harbour.

Ship of the Day today is the Islay Trader, sister ship to the Shetland Trader that was in here the other week. She’s come in here from Rye in Sussex, but I didn’t notice any piles of gravel about.

She’s something of an unlucky ship too, having a history or running aground here and there.

After a little snooze this evening I made myself a pizza, which wasn’t as nice as the previous ones because I’m trying a different tomato sauce which isn’t as good, I reckon.

And then I went for my walk.

You may remember that the other day I talked about the street lights and illuminations. Tonight, I remembered the camera so that I could photograph them.

But I still can’t upload them right now, although I do know why. While my laptopn was doing an upgrade, I switched on the old one – and that immediately performed an upgrade of my web browser. And the *.ftp program disappeared from there too. So I tracked down the program, and tried to upload it. But it informed me that “this is not compatible with this version of …” … my web browser.

So I’ll have to track down another one.

And Islay Trader had cleared off too. She’s heading for Whitstable, which is a surprise.

So now I’m going to try for another early night. I need it.

Monday 20th November 2017 – I HAD A …

… better day today.

Although it wasn’t as early a night as I was hoping for, it didn’t take me long to go off to sleep. And now that my head cold is abating slightly, I slept right the way through to the alarm. And if I’d been on my travels during the night I don’t remember a thing.

Afer brzakfast; I didn’t do all that much. I’m still not full of beans. Instead I was searching for things on the internet. And I found a lot of things that, although not what I was hoping to find, were interesting all the same.

And I found the time to cut my fingernails too. They had grown like talons.

Lunch was very interesting too. For a reason that I don’t quite understand, I’ve been cutting my bread horizontally instead of vertically. Today I cut it vertically and it seemed to be much more filling than it otherwise have been.

You can see that I don’t have too much on my mind at the moment that things like this can be quite absorbing.

This afternoon I crashed out for a while and so it was rather late that I went for my afternoon perambulation. I must have been feeling better if I could summon up the energy to tear myself off outside.

Tea tonight was aubergine and kidney bean whatsit in tomato sauce. Going through the freezer the other day I discovered that I didn’t have any of that stored up. And so I bought the stuff to make one. And much to my surprise I remembered to put everything in it, peanuts and olives included.

It was quick to cook but took ages to eat (just one portion, there are four to be frozen for another day) that I didn’t go out for my walk until later than usual.

i’ll see if I can have an early night tonight now. I hope that I’ll feel even better tomorrow.

Friday 6th October 2017 – I WAS NOT …

… alone last night!

There I was, all curled up under the covers last night, and I felt a weight settle down on my feet. Yes, Cujo the Killer Cat needed some reassurance and company.

It’s a long time since I’ve had a good cuddle with a cat in bed, and she didn’t stay too long either, but it was still nice. It hasn’t happened for a long time.

And despite having a disturbed night’s sleep, I was off on a mega-ramble that took me miles, and the sad thing was that as soon as I awoke – “PAFF!” – Gone With The Wind.

But there was a reason for that, I reckon. It was a noise upstairs that awoke me. And when I glanced at the time it was 07:15! The battery had gone flat in the ‘phone (I hadn’t noticed) so the alarm hadn’t gone off.

and so today, I’ve done … errrr … just like my namesake the Mathematician, three-fifths of five eighths of … errr … nothing.

And quite right too. In fact, it wasn’t until about 22:00 this evening that I actually set foot outside.

But the rest has done me good and I’m feeling a little better, which is just as well because there is work to do tomorrow.

Tea was a stir-fry in tomato sauce wit one of the vegan burgers that I bought the other day. And not only was it excellent, there’s enough left over for tomorrow too.

So now it’s bed-time. An early night ready for some work tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll have company tonight but if not I’ll have a really good sleep. I deserve it.

Friday 11th August 2017 – MY FITBIT …

… told me this morning that I could reach today’s fitness target by doing 4:46 hours of cleaning.

So it’s really true! Mt fitbit can really see into my apartment!

After my early night (and it was early too) last night, I was up with the cock and having breakfast at a reasonable time. And then I set to work.

Tidying up was one thing of course, and giving everything a really good clean around. The apartment is now looking as if someone actually lives here, which makes a change of course, and it’s vacuumed too.

The floors aren’t washed though. That’s the last job before going to bed so that I can mop myself into the bedroom and let it all dry through the night.

But I am though. Showered and shaved and haircut and fingernailed. I look almost human.

Tomorrow it’s to clean the toilet and the sinks in the kitchen and bathroom – drop tons of bleach down them.

I was in town too at lunchtime. Everything is still okay at the bank – the rent is paid, but still no money transferred over and this is beginning to annoy me no end. I paid a fortune (I’ve run out) in the little Carrefour for a bit of lettuce for lunch and for my butties tomorrow. They will keep me going through the day tomorrow.

Suitcase is finally packed and that was a nightmare. It’s only barely big enough and ended being something of a struggle. I hope that I don’t need anything out of there in a hurry.

Tonight I went round to socialise with the neighbours. A very friendly bunch but as you know, I don’t “do” socialising so I only stayed for a while. I came back to cut my hair and my fingernails ready for my trip.

So an early night and up with the cock tomorrow. 06:00!

But the good news, which I have saved for last, is that the hi-fi is now working. It must have been full of damp – which is no surprise – biut it now seems to have dried out. And so I’ve been on a major nostalgia trip listening to all of my cassette tapes from the 1970s.

The left speaker channel is flaky and the controls on the amp are confused – I ended up wiping a good ten seconds off Sweetheart of the Rodeo, which is a tragedy.

I can see me making a few purchases in early course as soon as I come back.

Friday 28th July 2017 – NOW HERE’S A FIRST!

Yes, I’ve been for a walk in the dark.

In fact, I’d just finished tea when Rosemary telephoned me. And with chatting about this and that, and all things considered, it was about 22:15 when we hung up.

A couple of weeks ago, that would have been broad daylight. But not so tonight. Cold, cloudy, windy – and dark! I can’t wait for it to be dark at a sensible hour so that I can have an hour outside with the new camera and see just how good its much-vaunted “low light” facility might be.

And Rosemary is just as bewildered as I am about what is happening in the UK right now. But don’t get me started on politics. I vowed that I would avoid them in this reincarnation of the blog.

I’d had a really good night’s sleep too. out like a light without a care in the world. And off on a mega-ramble too that was so exciting that I reached for the dictaphone to record it. And by the time that I’d put my hand upon the aforementioned, every single thought about where I’d been had completely evaporated.

Something that’s happening far too often these days.

After breakfast and a nice shower, I went off to the shops. And apart from a pack of button-cell batteries on offer in LIDL (I remember thinking when I had the remote-control issues the other day that I didn’t have any of those) I bought nothing exciting at all.

My trip – just to LIDL and LeClerc, came to a mere €23:00 and I was back here for 11:00.

But I do like the frozen vegetables in LeClerc, and when I come back, I’ll be buying a small freezer. The choice is endless and won’t that improve my diet!

Frozen veg is generally fresher than fresh veg, and you have much more choice – living alone means that you can only buy small quantities, and they don’t do small quantities of leeks, sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, that kind of thing.

And diesel – down to €1:10 at LeClerc – and queues a mile long too.

Lunch was on the wall as usual in the uncertain weather, and the Woman With The Dog came to say hello. As I said, people are noticing me now. I’m not sure whether that is a good or bad thing.

Apart from that, I’ve been on the blog doing the Canada 2012 updating. It’s not easy and I’ve only managed to unravel two pages – this one and this one – so far.

But never mind the slow progress – that’s two more pages than were done yesterday so we’re heading in the right direction.

The big question is though – will I finish this rewriting, or will the rewriting finish me?