Tag Archives: fishing nets

Monday 27th December 2021 – REGULAR READERS …

sunset sea mist baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021… of this rubbish will recall that yesterday’s posting included a note about the glorious sunsets that we have at this time of year.

On my way back from taking Caliburn to the mender’s to have his rear discs changed, there was yet another one. I noticed it as I walked up the hill from the town centre towards home.

And as well as the sunset we also had a sea mist that was rolling around in the bay restricting the view of the Brittany coast It was the kind of weather that made me want to head for home and my nice mug of hot coffee.

Anything to keep me awake of course because I’d had another rough night. Not because I was unsettled but because I was late going to bed. For some reason I couldn’t find the energy to go to bed when I ought to have done.

Nevertheless I managed to haul myself out of the bed in some kind of order when the alarm went off at 06:00.

Plenty of stuff on the dictaphone just now. I was going out for my evening run and I’d met someone. I can’t remember who it was but it wasn’t a very agreeable meeting. Then I came across a girl from school dressed in casual clothes. Then a few more people from school, boys and girls. Gradually, the further on round my course I went, the more people from school I met until I ended up in the dressing room for the gym. I had to fight my way through the crowds of people. They all wanted to know where I was going. I replied that I was going for a run. They said “yes, but there’s something else that you have to do” and I can’t remember what that something else was. I had to fight my way through the crowds and find the tutor and explain to him and carry on. Then I was stuck in the gym again. This time I couldn’t find the tutor to explain what was happening. These crowds of people, there were more and more of them and I was trying to fight my way through them, all this sort of thing. It was quite a struggle and I wasn’t making any headway at all through these crowds and just couldn’t find the tutor this time. And this a a dream of the “classic” type, isn’t it?

Later on I had a dream that was so real. There was a girl who lived in Chester who I bumped into. I thought that she was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. She could sing and had a beautiful voice. Some time a couple of years later when my enthusiasm for this girl had died down I came across her music. I managed to collect together easily a dozen songs and thought that there was enough here to make a radio programme, a live concert, and also some other songs for something else so I sat down to edit them. I was editing them in the street with the volume pretty loud in the hope that she would hear it and would come to find out who it was who was playing this music because I’d forgotten her name and where she lived. It was the kind of thing that having discovered her music it was now starting to haunt me that I couldn’t remember her at all or at least any details about her

There was also lots of other stuff going on during the night. There were a couple of young boys in the youth team at Morton given their chance to make their first-team debuts. There was also a girl whom I know from the internet who put in an appearance last night and it’s a shame that she couldn’t manage that for real.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I sat down to prepare the radio programme. And in news that will surprise almost everyone, because it certainly surprised me, I was all done and finished and ready to go at 11:20. I’ve never finished a radio programme so early.

That included stopping for a coffee at about 07:30. But not breakfast because I’d finished my programme by the time I was ready for food.

When I’d finished listening to the finished article I went for a shower and then for lunch. And that reminds me – I must make more hummus pretty soon.

After lunch I organised myself and then headed out for Caliburn. And we went off to the garage for his new brakes – and here’s hoping that they have the correct parts this time.

For a change it wasn’t too wondy and it wasn’t too cold either, so I decided to walk home – all 6kms of it

As I passed Aldi I popped in for some shopping. My cucumber and my lettuce were looking extremely sad at lunchtime so they ended up in the bin. Replacements were on the agenda today

There wasn’t much going on of any excitement happening on the way home really.

sign blown down in the wind avenue des matignons Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021However there’s a derelict garage and house in the Avenue des Matignons that have been up for sale and have just recently been sold.

A big sign had appeared saying that they will be building a couple of blocks of flats thereupon, but it looks as if the wind that we have had just recently has done for part of the sign.

It’s lying there flat on its face next to a very sad framework. They could do with re-erecting it because I can’t remember what it was saying right now. But whatever it is, I won’t be able to afford it. And I wouldn’t want to live there anyway.

bad parking bus station gare de Granville railway station Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Something else that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that pathetic parking has been a regular feature of these pages in the past.

This one is a pretty fine example. That’s the car park for the railway station down there, and that particular zone is where the buses park as they connect with the incoming trains.

However there’s a horsebox down there parked sort-of-ish in the bus station and as you can see, not only is it parked poorly, it’s also straddling the white line taking up two of the four bays. That’s bound to be popular with the bus operator, I don’t think.

Down in the town I didn’t see anything of any interest so I pushed on towards home.

loading fishing nets tiberiade port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Half-way up the hill I stopped for a moment – and not to drink the can of energy drink that I had bought in Aldi either.

The trawler Tiberiade is down there, having reversed in to the quayside and there is a couple of men down there sorting out and untangling a fishing net.

It looks as if Father Christmas has brought a new fishing net for Tiberiade, and I would have loved to have seen him try to fit it into a stocking.

They were taking their time with the net so I didn’t hang around for too long. I headed on for home and my coffee.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Before I went in though, I went to have a look down on the beach.

And the pleasant weather had brought out the crowds this afternoon. There were about half a dozen people down there having a walk around in the mild weather.

Back here I had a coffee and then I had some work to do. A pile of sprouts and leeks were left over from Christmas Day so I prepared them and blanched them ready for freezing which I shall do when they have drained properly.

Laurent came round bang on 17:00 and we talked about the message that he wanted me to write. It’s a complicated message because the person to whom he wants to speak is rather nervous about it, judging by what I read, and needs rather a large amount of reassurance.

It’s very difficult to do that but at the same time keep things professional and business-like but after about 90 minutes I was happy with what I had written.

Now we are in the Lap of the Gods.

After Laurent had had a coffee he went home and I made tea – falafel and steamed vegetables with a vegan cheese sauce.

While I was eat my meal in the evening I usually watch a film on the old laptop that’s in the dining area.

The current film is THE HITCH-HIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY but I’ve almost reached the end. And there was a line or two in there quoted by Arthur Dent that rang a bell with me.
“And for one week, one week, in my sad little blip of my existence, it made me happy”.

Yes, one of these days I shall have to write up the story of those missing few days at the end of August 2019, if the dust will ever settle. I dunno.

Thursday 28th October 2021 – NOW HERE’S A THING

man catching fish beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was out on my afternoon walk today I saw this guy bending down at the water’s edge with something in his had.

At first I thought that it was a carrier bag of some description but then I asked myself “is that a fish?”. Ohh no, it can’t possibly be a fist at all.

But when I examined the photograph more closely and enlarged and enhanced it somewhat, I could see that right in front of where he’s standing is a fishing net stretching out into the water.

And so the conclusion is that at long last we have actually seen a fisherman catch something out there and I bet that he’ll enjoy that with his cheap for his tea tonight.

Mind you, catching something with a net is one thing – catching it with a rod and line is something else completely and I’m not going to be really satisfied until I see a fisherman pull a fish out using his tackle and equipment.

Another thing about which I’m not satisfied is my sleeping just now. Last night was slightly better than the previous night or two but still not what I would call satisfactory. In fact, far from it.

And one thing that I never understand at all is that I’m lying in bed tossing and turning and not sleeping all the way up to 5 minutes before the alarm goes off – and then I’m out like a light for all of 5 minutes until I’m awoken.

That’s exactly how it was yet again today and once more, i wouldn’t actually call anything like “athletic” the way that I left my stinking pit.

There was still time enough to go off on my travels during the night I was with girl whom I’d met in Brussels for some part of the night. We were gradually working on our friendship and relationship. I was hoping that this time I might be able to make some kind of couple with her but it didn’t quite work out. And it didn’t work out in real life either, much to my dismay. I always seemed to find myself tangled up with these extremely religious people with high principles

Later on there was a game going on, something like “Just A Minute” where they were talking about repairing coaches. The girl sitting next to me used the term “panel beater” to which everyone objected. I told her that you could go into almost any garage in the country and find someone who would be described as a panel beater, painter and sprayer. She used this as the basis for her argument. In the end the presenter put it to the audience but before they could cheer or booh I awoke.

Later on, I’d gone round to see my friend near Munich. I’d bought myself a coffee from a van on the side of the road and gone to see him. We started to chat. I invited to buy him coffee so he ordered two coffees from this van. Then he disappeared. When he came back out of his house I asked him “have you drunk your coffee?”. He replied “yes, but yours is still over there on the van”. I had to go back to the van and pick mine up. There was something to do with a PA system that I’d seen for sale and I was wondering whether to buy it. he was going on about how nice a stack it was. Even though they were different components it all looked quite nice as a stack.

After breakfast I made a start on updating some of the journal entries from earlier in the month. That meant that the first task was the dictaphone. To my surprise several entries were missing. I’d copied them onto the portable laptop while I was away and instead of filing them to store afterwards, I must have deleted them.

There’s always some complication, isn’t there?

So firing up the laptop I found the files and I was in business. While I was at it, I also found another file or two that for some reason or other hadn’t been copied over when I returned home.

So now the first few days are updated, but this is going to be a long job. For example, only 29 other dictaphone files to deal with.

That took me up to lunch and then afterwards I had some post to be doing. I’ve received a few mails about my radio project and they needed answering pretty quickly. It looks as if I’ve been roped in for another event as well.

But turning my attention to more mundane matters, I really do wonder how I’ve managed to get to where I am today with some of the things that I’ve been doing.

Yesterday, the battery in the NIKON D3000 was flat yesterday, as I found out when I went to take a photo. Anyway, that went on charge when I returned home.

Today, just before I went out, I checked the battery in the NIKON D500 to be on the safe side. That was almost flat too and I wished that I’d checked it earlier so it would have had time to charge up.

And then I realised that a few months ago I’d bought two spare batteries for it. Only cheap low-capacity batteries but why they were important was that they came with a free charger that works off a USB port. I’m collecting USB items, like for example the AA/AAA battery charger that I found because they are lighter, easier to carry and just need the one cable.

So with one of the batteries now in the camera, I had another brainwave.

In the drawer is the old NIKON D5000 camera that worked for years until I dropped it, cracked the case and water ingressed and ruined the PCB.

That takes the same battery is the Nikon D3000 and the battery is still in it so I extracted that and put it on charge. We’ll see if it holds a charge and if so we’ll add it to the pile.

people on beach swimmer rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021So somewhat later than intended I went out for my afternoon walk.

And this afternoon the beach was comparatively crowded. It was a really warm, sunny day for the end of October and with it being the school holidays, everyone had gone down to make the most of it.

So much so that on the extreme left-hand edge of the photo you’ll actually see someone swimming in the sea. I don’t envy him one little bit. If the water isn’t at 37°C I’m not going in it.

The path was crowded with people this afternoon as you might expect so I had to fight my way through the crowds towards the lighthouse.

waves on sea wall baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I came out of the shelter of the College Malraux I was hit by the wind coming from a very unusual quarter – the south-west.

It was quite strong as well so I was expecting to see some excitement at the sea wall by the harbour as the waves will be picked up by the wind and hurled into the wall.

But this turned out to be something of a damp squib, didn’t it? The waves weren’t anything at all to write home about. Something of a major disappointment in fact. This was the best of a pretty poor lot of waves coming in on the wind

portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was on my way along the path on top of the cliffs I noticed that the portable boat lift had been moved from its habitual resting place.

Thinking that it might be engaged in some kind of activity I hurried along to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see what it it was up to.

To my surprise, I saw that it had been driven into the centre of the chantier naval, parked up and left there. There weren’t any boats about here at all.

All of this looks pretty weird to me. I’ve no idea what is happening with this. I certainly wouldn’t want to leave the boat lift here overnight where some motorist might drive into it in the dark.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Over at the ferry terminal, the two Joly France ferries are tied up there.

On the left is the newer one of the two with the smaller upper deck superstructure and the windows in “portrait” format. The older one of the right has the larger upper deck superstructure and windows in “Landscape” format.

And for once, the crane is folded up correctly.

Back at the apartment I made myself a coffee and had more things to do, like splitting a couple of albums into their constituent tracks. And that wasn’t easy for one of them as the tracks ran into each other and I’ll have to think about this carefully.

Tea was the last of the aubergine and kidney bean whatsit, and now that my journal entry is done, I’m off to bed.

But before I go, I’m going to have to try my best not to be so cynical.

Some books that belonged to my grandparents and great grandparents have been discovered and apparently (not that I knew until long after the event) there was a “family meeting” (to which I wasn’t, of course, invited). It was “agreed” that a certain member of the family should take them in and care for them.

My immediate response was “well, that’s the last that anyone will ever see of them”. I really must stop being so cynical.

Wednesday 29th September 2021 – WITH REGARD TO …

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… that big pile of freight that we’ve been seeing on the quayside just recently, a nice freshly-painted Thora sailed into port this morning.

As you can see, all of the red equipment that was down there on the quayside has disappeared, presumably onto the deck of Thora. Also on there is the little blue shipping container that was on the quayside for a few days, and what looks like a shrink-wrapped speedboat.

The galvanised sheets are still on the quayside. There’s clearly no room to fit them on board so I imagine that they are waiting for Normandy Trader to finish her paint job at St Malo.

Last night, just for a change, I had a better night’s sleep. Still tossing and turning around of course and drifting in and out of consciousness but at least it felt better. Especially after an absence of far too long, Castor was somewhere about in my nocturnal ramblings.

A photo of Castor suddenly appeared on my social network timeline. She’d obviously been away and this was her parents – you could see their reflection in this glass window taking a photo of her now that she’d come back from somewhere, with some kind of comment underneath it. I typed a message underneath, basically ‘welcome home. It’s really good to travel away, see new people, make new friends, but it’s really nice to come back home”. I posted my comment but the situation moved round from there somehow and we ended up talking about my house in Gainsborough Road. The bottom end of the garden was now a vegetable garden and where I used to compost all of the lawn cuttings, everything, they had gone so I was posting messages about “regular readers of this rubbish will note that there’s something missing from this garden. What is it?”. this kind of thing and I don’t know how we got there from being with Castor.

But it’s really good to see Castor back on my nocturnal voyages again, even if it is only a photograph. What do I have to do to have a real appearance?

Later on, I was in Virlet last night and a group of us had gone up there. Someone had taken some of us in his car and we were working away doing all bits and pieces. I was on the ground floor and there were some people in the attic doing some work. When it was time to go most of them came down but one woman didn’t. The guy who took us told us that she had used the wrong size of bore in one of the pieces of wood. I couldn’t see why she was so upset so I went to look. A couple of other people came as well. They had been working putting nails or screws or hooks into a piece of wood. She was telling me about this piece of wood. It was actually one of the friends of Liz Ayers whom I only ever met twice, of all people. I told her that it wasn’t any matter. The shutters were looking really good. I’d varnished them the last time that I was there but I hadn’t seen them since they were dry. We talked about them for a bit. The guy who had taken some of us there went into the cupboard there and pulled out the file and went to write down his mileage so that he’d be reimbursed. 1 or 2 of the other people asked what about them? Shouldn’t they be reimbursed as well? I replied “everyone put your mileage down. Go on – it doesn’t make any difference to me.

Later still I was in my Escort van and I’d gone for a drive. I ended up somewhere near the seaside on the south coast. By this time I was running out of diesel. I’d been running on ceramic diesel (whatever that might be) and I couldn’t find a ceramic diesel petrol station anywhere. In the end I found one that had fuel in so we filled up with fuel and it came to just over £40:00. I managed to root around and find the cash. I drove into town and ended up with a few people from the radio. We were wandering round this building that looked quite impressive. It was brand-new. I wondered what it was going to be. We walked into a room at the end. There were quite a few people in there obviously testing it out for sound. I walked up to the top and could see immediately that it was a Court. I said my bit “The Jury has heard the evidence and now we await the verdict”. Everyone looked at me of course. Then I noticed that the Judge sitting at his bench couldn’t see the first couple of front rows where the press was sitting and 1 or 2 other people. I pointed this out but everyone said that it didn’t matter. I said “the press can still be in contempt of court as well and the judge has to observe them”. We had a good look round and it came to be time to go. We ended up with a huge pile of stuff that was on trolleys that somehow had to fit into my Escort van so we had to decide on a way to go back to the van. Some people though that it was quickest to go one certain way but it was all loose gravel. I thought that we would never get the trolleys down here. One of them tried but all of his stuff started to fall off so we decided to look for another way. He said something like “how am I going to get back home with all of this?”. I said “don’t worry. It’s all going in the van”.

After the medication I had a few things to do and then Rosemary called me. She’d seen a message that I’d posted last night and sent me a message to ask if she could speak to me today.

Her husband had had a lot of heart issues and after his series of operations he managed to survive another 15 years before succumbing so she urged me not to give up hope, which was quite nice of her.

Of course, my issues are somewhat different but it’s very nice to see some solidarity amongst British people. Since the days of “Every man for himself” that began in the 1980s, solidarity went right out of the window in the UK and that’s the one thing that I miss the most and one of the (many) reasons why I left.

As a result not only did I miss my morning coffee, I missed my breakfast too and I was almost late for lunch. I just can’t believe where the time goes.

After lunch I had a shower and a general clean up. And my weight, that had been slowly increasing over the last week or so, is now back down almost to where it was 2 weeks ago.

Still 5 kg to go before I reach my target weight and 10kg to go before reach my ideal weight but I have a feeling that I’m not going ever to get back to the heady days of Winter 2019. But at least it’s not ballooning out of control as it did three or four years ago.

At least, not for the moment. But if everyone wants me to slow down, not go for walks and all of that kind of thing, it’s a distinct possibility, although everything might be overtaken by events.

yacht zodiac baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Outside, although the sun was shining, the wind was blowing quite strongly.

Not quite the gale-force winds of earlier in the week but strong enough to make this yacht struggle as it tried to tack in towards the port de plaisance, with some men in a zodiac as spectators.

From the viewpoint on the corner in the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne I walked on down the Rue des Juifs where I noticed Thora at the loading bay so I stopped to photograph her and the load that she had on deck.

The walk through the town and up the hill to the physiotherapist wasn’t quite as bad as it has been just recently and I’ve no idea why. I only had to stop three times to catch my breath instead of the usual nine of ten.

The physiotherapist was running late so he put me in the room by myself, showed me hoswto work the tilting platform thigs and let me run through a whole series of exercises all on my own while he caught up with some previous patient.

There was no-one around when the exercises finished so I let myself out and headed for home. I was going to stop at the supermarket for a cold drink to help me back up the hill in the Rue des Juifs but Bane of Britain had forgotten to bring his money, hadn’t he?

la grande ancre buddy m men working with fishing nets port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back up the hill I had to stop several times to catch my breath.

One of the places where I stopped was at the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour where I was interested to see what was going on. The trawler Buddy M was still there as I expected, but she was now joined by La Grande Ancre.

Yesterday, I’d seen a fork-lift truck wrestling with some old steel cable, coiling it up to be taken away. Today there were some fishermen down there spreading out a very large fishing net with the aim of, I suppose, attaching it to the new steel cable that was also down there yesterday.

man fishing with net place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While we’re on the subject of fishing nets … “well, one of us is” – ed … here’s something interesting going on down at the water’s edge.

When I reached my building, instead of going inside I went over to see what was going on down on the beach, and this was what caught my eye.

We’ve seen him – or someone very much like him – before messing about in the water with a fishing net. And while the view from up here isn’t the best he doesn’t look as if he’s caught anything either despite the net – apart from several strands of seaweed.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And then I carried on with what I had been aiming to do when I came over here.

Down on the beach there were actually a couple of people who looked as if they had actually been in the water for a swim. Well, good luck to them. It didn’t seem that warm this afternoon and in any case there was quite a wind that would be enough to cool anyone’s ardour.

Back in here I had my first coffee of the day, and then opened the letter that I received from the Hospital. Having galvanised them into action by telling them last time that my local doctor was leading from the front, they’ve now arranged a series of tests for me when I go there next time.

Of course, if they find something, then at least I’ll be in the right place for someone to be able to do something about it. But I’ll still take all of my papers from here with me too, and submerge them with paperwork.

Time goes quickly when you are enjoying yourself, and in no time at all it was time for tea. A burger with pasta and veg, followed by a soya dessert. Nothing special, but still very nice.

And tonight I’ve actually finished everything quite early so I’m going to make myself a drink. I think I’ve earned it. I have a day in at home tomorrow but a radio meeting tomorrow night. And i’m going to drive there, I’m afraid. I’d love to walk but I’m just not up to it right now.

Saturday 17th April 2021 – REGULAR READERS …

fisherman throwing fish back into sea beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… of this rubbish will recall that we have watched fisherman after fisherman standing on the rocks, or in boats, or on the beach, day after day after week after week and never ever catching anything at all.

And here we are today, watching a fisherman with a fish in his hand, and what is he doing except throwing it back into the sea. The first one that we’ve ever seen caught around here.

Mind you, this is a bit of a cheat. It looks as if he’s had a fishing net out on the beach while the tide has been in and while it’s on its way out, he’s gone out there to retrieve his catch. But as for why he would want to thrown one of his catch back into the sea is totally beyond me. I don’t understand this at all.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat’s not the only thing that’s been puzzling me this afternoon. We’ve had another one of these aerial afternoons today, with an endless stream of aircraft going by overhead.

Not any big stuff unfortunately – that is to say, nothing that I could see, and that is no surprise given the thick 10/10ths clouds that we’ve had today. We probably couldn’t see a thing about two or three thousand feet. Instead we’ve had a procession of all kinds of light aircraft going past me while I was on my afternoon walk.

This is just one of the machines that flew by me. It’s a helicopter of course but it’s of a type that I don’t immediately recognise with its twin outriggers at the rear. The make will probably occur to me once I’ve pressed “send” and published these notes, as this sort of thing usually does.

This morning I was up with the lark and the first alarm yet again, and then after my medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I had actually been in Vienna. It was something to do with the cathedral. It was a huge place and there were all kinds of things happening to it so they had set up a team to keep watch on there. Some of the watching was discreet and some of the watching was public. There was a theatre there and a couple of people who were involved in this, at the end of the night when everyone had gone would audition acts who would act out in the theatre. There would be actors, dancers, that kind of thing and I’m often stay up at night and watch. I really couldn’t tell the difference between a good actor and a bad actor from the standard at which they were dealing because they weren’t dealing with the ordinary run-of-the-mill stuff and some of the acerbic comments that they were making about some people I didn’t understand at all because it was way over my head. But it was extremely interesting. The cathedral authorities were receiving notes or finding notes such as “what about the damage to such-and-such cathedral over 11 years that went un-noticed and they were spending all of their time examining what was happening here?” These were generally dismissed as being to work of ineffective or weak people whereas some notes they were taking far more seriously because of the style in which they had been written. This dream went on for ages and ages and there was much more to it than this. I just wish that I could remember it all.

First task this morning after the dictaphone was to deal with the photos from August 2019. And I’ve found to my dismay that I’ve made a rather serious error. While I was in North America I visited the site of Fort CF Smith in Montana and although the remains have been described as “difficult to see”, I couldn’t see them at all.

With everything that I’ve been through, I would have thought that I would have been able to discern something so I was disappointed.

But examining a few aerial and satellite photographs I’ve discovered that the Lady Who Lives In The Satellite has some how made an error of about 200 metres because while the GPS co-ordinates on the Satnav gave me one reading, the same co-ordinates typed into a satellite viewer come up with a place on the other side of the road.

And to make things even worse, from the satellite, the outline of the fort is clearer than anything similar that I have ever seen.

Ahh well. You can’t win a coconut every time. I shall just have to go back there again.

There was a break in the middle of all of this for a shower, and then later on I went for my hot chocolate and sourdough fruit bread. No shopping today as I’m off on my travels on Wednesday at … gulp … 05:55.

There have been a few things that I needed to do this morning too. Like emptying out the mailbox, claiming a refund for my delayed train the other week before the time period runs out, and then trying to make a recalcitrant shipping company reply to a message that I’ve sent them four times now.

After lunch I came back in here to carry on with some work but unfortunately I crashed out yet again. I was away for over an hour as well and I’m not very happy about that. But at least I’ve managed to catch up with some outstanding work that I’ve been meaning to do, and that’s another task completed.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was a break for my afternoon walk of course and so I went out with the NIKON D500 and peered over the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on down on the beach.

This afternoon I wasn’t expecting to see very much because the weather was totally depressing. Dark, overcast and miserable. There were a few people walking around down there but not too many actually making themselves comfortable.

The members of the little group in this photograph were just about the only people standing around, although I suspect that they were more interested in the little kiddy that was running around

And of course, there was the fisherman with his net …

Nothing else was going on around here and I had the footpath on the top of the cliffs to myself

boat le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLe Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour, was swathed in darkness today in the miserable weather.

So much so that in fact I was surprised to note that it wasn’t illuminated, especially as the tide was well out today and the rock was exposed. There was a fisherman around there too, in his rubber boat, having a go at the sea bass and being singularly unsuccessful.

There wasn’t anything else going on out there this afternoon. For a change, there were no fishing boats in the Baie de Mont St Michel either. They must be having the weekend off.

So in the absence of anything else exciting, I carried on along the path and across the main road where a Mercedes actually stopped to let me cross. Wonders will never cease.

cherie d'amour chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe yellow fishing boat was down there in the chantier navale and once again the ladder was propped up against the hull so I couldn’t see the name on it.

With nothing better to do, I went for a walk down there for a closer look and I can now tell you that she’s called Cherie d’Amour. She’s up there on her chocks and blocks, but I couldn’t actually see any signs of work that was being undertaken on her.

They aren’t very big, these fishing boats. But all they do is to go back and to to the shellfish beds and lay the odd lobster pot. And as I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … they have a cover over the boat to stop the seabirds diving down to steal the catch.

aztec lady chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was down there, I took the opportunity to have a look at the other more longer-term occupants of the Chantier Navale, like Aztec Lady over there.

She’s actually the longest inhabitant of the Chantier Navale and she’s been there longer than I can remember, and longer than I ever thought she would when she first arrived here all that time ago.

And despite all of the time that she’s been in here, she looks as if she has a long way to go yet. Her hull is looking rather shabby and in need of a coat of paint. I would have thought that they would have given the paintwork a good going over to freshen her up while she’s been here.

anakena chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe other boat that has been in here for a good length of time is this one, Anakena.

And seen from this angle, out of the water and up on blocks, you can see that she’s a very serious piece of kit, well beyond what you’d expect to see in a port like this. The carrying capacity of the portable boat lift is 95 tonnes and I bet that she’s pretty near the maximum.

What I do know is that she’s 23 metres long and 5 metres wide and she would have been the kind of boat that I would have considered for a trip up to the far North except that she’s only single-hulled.

Nothing else of any note in the Chantier Navale so I wandered off back towards the apartment.

f-brnq Piper PA-28R-200 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHalfway home, I started to encounter the aerial flotilla that I mentioned earlier.

This particular one is a Piper PA-28R-200, serial number F-BRNQ. I’ve no idea where she had come from but she was picked up on the radar just to the west of Chartres. She then disappeared off the radar somewhere to the south-west of St Hilaire du Harcouet about 15 minutes before I saw her.

Apparently she had taken off from Lognes at the south-east of Paris at 14:47 and landed at Granville at 16:22. And at 17:18 the took off again and flew back to Lognes. She spends a lot of time at Lognes, so it seems, so it’s a fair bet that Lognes is her home airfield.

light aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw the helicopter earlier on. That was the next thing to fly past, but then it was followed by this machine.

This is a type of machine that I’ve seen before. I recognise the shape, but it’s another thing to which I cannot put a name. It’s something else that I’ll probably discover quite soon after I’ve posted this on-line.

But I really don’t understand why it is that there would be so many aircraft, one after the other, flying past over my head this afternoon as I was walking home for my hot coffee. It did make me wonder what I’d be encountering next before I reached my own front door.

modern morgan v twin rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it goes without saying that after all of this I was going to encounter something unusual before my journey finished.

This machine roared past me as I crossed over the Rue des Juifs and at first glance I thought that it might have been the Holy Grail of road vehicles – a V-twin three-wheeler Morgan. That’s probably what it might be, although it’s not what I was hoping for. A lose look at the engine and the front of the chassis shows that it’s a modern reproduction.

What I was hoping to see was a 3-wheeler Morgan from the 1920s and 30s fitted with the old V-twin JAP engine, something that I would sell my soul to own if ever one became available. But I doubt whether one will ever come up for sale in the near future.

Back here there was football. TNS v Penybont on the internet. As expected, TNS ran out winners 1-0, but they were made to work hard for it.

Penybont defended really well but like most Welsh Premier League clubs, were devoid of very much firepower. Sam Snaith is the one player whom they have who can pull something out of nothing but taking him off the field after an hour because he hasn’t doe anything much as yet and replacing him with a player who doesn’t have the same flashes of inspiration and who needs much more service was a tactic that was never going to pay off.

And that’s a surprise considering that Penybont’s manager Rhys Griffiths was one of the greatest strikers that the WPL has ever produced.

While I was doing that I was copying the CDs that I had received from the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. I’m going to be doing a radio programme in the near future that features music from the Festivals.

Tea was out of a tin tonight, followed by one of the desserts that I made the other day. And now I’ve done my notes, I’m off to bed and hopefully having a lie-in tomorrow. And about time too. I’m ready for this.

Thursday 1st April 2021 – THERE’S A TIME …

airing fishing nets rue du port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… for fishing, and a time for mending the nets, as we are so often told.

It beats me what these guys have been doing but they have a net stretched out here in a V shape, all rolled up as if they are about to fold it back up. There’s quite a crowd of people around them watching, and also a pile of other nets in the big plastic boxes there.

Of course, with it being a big, busy fishing port, this is the kind of thing that you expect – fishing nets and other fishing accessories all over the place. And it’s a surprise to me that they can keep the place so tidy. Maybe I should ask a few fishermen to come round and help me tidy up this place as it’s rather a mess right now.

anakena hermes 1 lys noir aztec lady chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that’s important in this port is the presence of charter yachts and also the chantier navale to keep everything in proper order.

Over the past few months we’ve been keeping an eye on what’s been going on in there and this morning on my way back to the shops I could see that there’s a new occupier in the blocks where Spirit of Conrad was laid up for a while.

That boat that’s there today is Anakena, the boat that’s been parked up for a year in the inner harbour.

But talking about this morning, I almost missed the first alarm this morning I don’t know why but I almost ended up going back to bed again. Nevertheless I pulled myself together and scrambled out of bed.

After the medication I came back in here and had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

There was a group of us playing after some kind of meeting. While we were playing we’d heard that a famous folk performer had died. I was waiting at the side of the stage waiting to go on to interrupt their act and announce the news to everyone but one of the musicians came over to me and asked me what I was doing. I explained and he replied “you’ll have to wait until 18:30 to say that. We’re booked until 18:30”. I replied “that’s OK as long as you announce it”. “I’m not announcing anything. You’ll have to wait until 18:30”. Later on as they were going off stage he came over to me and started to be a bit aggressive. I just grabbed him by the hands and waltzed around with him for a bit. It didn’t seem to have the desired effect to calm him down or anything like that. I thought to myself that there’s absolutely no reason why there should be this ungracious behaviour – none at all.

Having done that I had a go at the photos from August 2019 and another pile of those bit the dust. I’m now just coming up to the border between South Dakota and Wyoming on my way to the battlegrounds of the Powder River Country.

A shower was next on the agenda and then I headed out for town.

school of masonry ramparts rampe du monte à regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route took me down the steps by the Rampe du Monte à Regret where they are repairing the walls.

This is the first time that I’ve taken a photo from this position. As you can see, they have put up a banner to announce that this is a school of masonry.

There were a couple of students on there working. One of them was wetting the wall and the joints by pouring water over them from a container. I explained that the best way to do it is with a big, thick paintbrush. That always worked for me when I was doing THE POINTING ON MY HOUS back all those years ago.

First stop was the Post Office. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, Rosemary accompanied me on the first part of my journey across the Atlantic and left when we reached Kangerlussuak. When I’d seen her last summer I’d given her the photos that I’d edited up to date but there were still a couple of thousand that I’ve done since.

The other day I burnt them onto a DVD and this morning I packed in into an envelope and posted it off to her. She should receive it in a couple of days and I hope that she likes it.

graffiti cinema select boulevard de hauteserve Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve been seeing all of the weird graffiti that’s been appearing around the town over the last few months.

On the way from the Post Office to the shops I passed by the Select Cinema which is of course closed for the Duration. And on the windows is pasted more of the graffiti that we’ve been seeing around the town. One could actually say that the graffiti artist has gone to town with his work.

At LIDL I spent more than usual, because I’d run out of fruit. And there were also a few extra things – like some pots of grow-your-own herbs. The had quite a few varieties so I bought some Aneth and some Basil. I would have bought some coriander as well but they had run out.

Here’s hoping that they have some more next week.

On the way home I called at the Salle Herel and the vaccination centre, which was now open for business. I asked about having my second vaccine there instead of having to drive all the way to Valognes. In principle I could but they had no vacancy until 26th April and that would be too late, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

It’s important that I respect the manufacturer’s instructions because when the borders start to reopen, some countries, Canada for example, will only accept people who have been vaccinated according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Anyone else won’t be admitted.

Back in the apartment I made some hot chocolate and cut myself a slice of sourdough and then came into the office to do some work but unfortunately I crashed out yet again. It was 14:10 when I hauled myself out of my chair to go and have lunch. This is getting rather depressing.

After lunch I made a start on the page that I’m working on from my trip around Central Europe. I wrote the text for a few more photos but at this rate it’s going to be another month or so before I finish it. No chance of doing it by Friday as I wanted.

There was the break for me to go out for my afternoon walk. On time as well for a change.

kids playing games on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst port of call when I went out was to go to the wall at the end of the car park and look over to see if there was anything going on on the beach.

There were some people walking about, paddling in the sea but they were of little interest today. I had more interest in the group of kids playing rounders or whatever. That seems to be a strange thing to do – not the playing of the game but the fact that they were doing it on the beach when there are facilities at the Gymnase Jean Galfione where they can play games to their hearts’ content.

From the car park I wandered off down the path along the top of the cliffs. There were quite a few people out there this afternoon which was no surprise because it was really warm today. I’d even opened one of the windows in the apartment.

monument to the resistance le loup pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the path and on the lawn I came across the Monument to the Resistance.

There’s a noticeboard there to remind us of a group of about 20 local soldiers of the Resistance who sailed to the Channel Islands on various trawlers as the Germans swarmed into the area in June 1940. They fought for the Free French in Africa, the Middle East and Italy. Several of them lost their lives.

The path across the lawn too k me across the car park and down to the headland. There was nothing going on there or out at sea. I can’t think of where the fishing boats might be. Instead, I continued along the path down the south side.

trawler aground port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown the footpath I came to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour where we were treated to another unusual sight.

Well, it might have been unusual a few months ago but just recently we have been seeing rather a lot of fishing boats tied up in the outer tidal harbour and left to settle on the silt when the tide goes out. And here’s another one – and it’s one of the bigger fishing boats too.

It’s a catamaran hull so it’ll settle down comfortably without careening to one side. It’s what they call “NAABSA”, or Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground

It’s quite a surprise to see one of these moored up in the dry, and you can understand where the phrase “high and dry” comes from when you see something like this.

men working in port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThese men down here in the harbour caught my eye as well.

Over the last couple of days we’ve seen the diggers in there digging the holes and laying the concrete slab s for the new mooring chains. The diggers weren’t actually out there on the silt this afternoon so I reckoned that they must have run out of work for the moment.

That would mean that the guys here today are surveying the harbour to work out the siting of the next row of mooring cables. if you look to the right-hand side of the photo you’ll see a marker of some description that they seem to have left in the silt. Presumable that’s where one of the concrete blocks will go for the next row of mooring chains.

anakena hermes 1 lys noir chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier, you will have seen a photo of the chantier Navale with the new arrival, Anakena up on the blocks there.

From my little viewpoint overlooking the harbour I can see down into the chantier navale and we can have a better view of the proceedings.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there’s a little story behind the Anakena. She came into port on her way to Scandinavia a year ago but was caught up when those countries closed up their borders to foreigners. The boat was stranded here with its family owners aboard and for the first few months at least the children were studying remotely via the internet.

Since then I’ve not seen any news of them and I’ve no idea what has become of them since then. But it looks as if they are preparing to move on elsewhere.

digger on lorry port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust now I mentioned that the diggers weren’t out there in the harbour this afternoon.

Both of them are over there on the concrete by the fish processing plant. One of them is having a friendly chat with the tractor that pulls the trailer that one of the fishing boats uses, but the second one is behind them on a low loader trainer. Does this mean that their work is over and that they are heading home?

Talking of heading home, I was going that way too. There wasn’t anything else going on out there.

Back here I made myself a coffee, watered the herbs that I’d bought earlier, and then came in here to carry on with the work that I’d been doing.

At 18:00 I knocked off and had a session on the guitar and then went for tea. Tonight it was stuffed peppers (I’d bought some peppers today) with rice, followed by apple crumble and the last of the soya stuff. Tomorrow I’ll be making some custard.

It’s bed time now and seeing as it’s a Bank Holiday tomorrow there is no alarm. and that suits me fine. I’m ready for a good break for a few days without an alarm. A couple of good lie-ins will do me some good.

Wednesday 24th June 2020 – I’VE BEEN …

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hall… out and about on my travels this morning.

So while you admire the photos of the baby seagull, which now seems to be very fit and healthy, I can give you the account of my day.

And just for a change, it got off to a very good start, for I was actually up and out of bed before the third alarm – something that doesn’t happen too often these day. Maybe it was the early night that helped there – if you can call 23:45 an early night.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

Last night there was a group of us working on a new history textbook for schools and this involved rewriting quite a bit of stuff that was already in it including a load of songs and so on. So we noticed that these songs to fit into the new way of things and it was quite difficult for everyone to get into the habit of hearing them in the new way and I remember my brother being particularly surprised at some of the changes made to the songs in order to make the songs fit the times more than anything else
There was something else going on during the night and I’ve forgotten a lot of it but I’d been caught doing something and been punished in some way by having to do something, carry out a few tasks and at the end of that time I was given £30:00 in 2x£15:00 vouchers to spend. Whoever I was with – it might have been Nerina – was really upset about that and demanded to talk to me about it. The guy who was watching me, I held up the two vouchers and waved them about to attract his attention and said that I was going into the building. Nerina came with me and I had to find a quiet room to have a discussion. There were about 6 rooms in this building and there wasn’t really one that was suitable – the walls were flimsy and there were people in adjacent rooms. In the end we found a room where the photocopier was and we were about to go into there. And that was when the alarm went off.

And even though it was Nerina who was with me for part of the evening I do have to say that regardless of any of our issues, I would much rather have her company on my nocturnal rambles than many of the others who have been putting in an appearance just recently.

I’m still not eating breakfast so having done a little work, Caliburn and I headed for the hills – Gavray, in fact.

tacot voie metrique gare de gavray manche normandy france eric hallWhen I arrived in the town I took a wrong turning and I’m glad that I did because I found something that I would otherwise have missed – an old disaffected railway station.

There was a “Light Railway Act” in France similar to that in the UK of 1896, and for a period of about 50 years the whole of France became honeycombed with what they called the tacot or “rattletrap” – a narrow-gauge voie metrique railway network.

It’s the kind of system that was highlighted in the Alec Guinness FATHER BROWN series of films in the 1950s of the books by GK Chesterton

tacot voie metrique gare de gavray manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen plenty of examples of this on our travels, especially in the Auvergne where I used to live and also here in Normandy along the coast.

There was also a voie metrique that went across-country from Granville to Conde-sur-Vire, opened in 1910 and closed in 1936 (and we’ve seen lines closed much quicker than that too). That line passed through Gavray and there would almost certainly have been a railway station here.

That has always been one of the things that I’ve been aiming to do – to track it down – and having taken a wrong turning in Gavray when I was looking for something else, I find myself falling right on it, quite by chance.

kayaker english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo while you admire the photos of the kayaker and othe rpeople in various water craft out there fishing today, I was busy tracking down the garage that I had come to visit.

Eventually I tracked it down and the guy had a good look at Caliburn. He reckons that it’s perfectly possible to do something with Caliburn. There’s no rot except in one wheel arch – the rest of it is simply rubbing down, rust-proofing, zinc priming and about a ton of underseal.

He’s not going to end up as he did out of the factory 13 years ago, and it’s not cheap either. But with my lifespan that’s left there’s no point in buying a new vehicle just for three or four years.

Caliburn and I may as well go out together.

buoys speedboat fishing english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo I headed on back to Granville and I’ll wait for the estimate to arrive. But I’ve decided that i’m going to have it done anyway.

When I reached the outskirts of Granville I took the by-pass and joined the traffic queue heading south towards St Pair sur Mer.

Brico Cash was where I was heading, to see what they had on offer today as I haven’t been there for a while.

And the answer is “not an awful lot”. There wasn’t anything that caught my eye particularly although I picked up some French plugs. A couple of the appliances that I brought from The Auvergne when I was there just now still have British plugs on them.

fishermen zodiac english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallTraffic queues back here as well. I was stuck behind a grockle in a motor home admiring the blasted seagulls instead of advancing in an orderly fashion.

Back here there was still plenty of time before lunch so I had another look at the web pages that I’ve been amending.

That one is now completed and I’ve made a start on the next. I’ve now crossed over the border into Great Satan and I’m on my way to Bar Harbor in Maine.

cranes ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBy now it was lunchtime.

It was beautiful and warm and bright and sunny so I made my sandwiches (home-made bread, home-made hummus and salad) and went and sat outside on the wall again.

Even though the tide was well out and there were no ships or boats in the harbour, there was still quite a bit of activity going on down there today, despite it being the lunch hour.

joly france cranes ferry terminal port de granville harbour  manche normandy france eric hallThere was a mobile crane down there and as I watched, it was joined by another one – the big mobile crane that comes here every so often.

The big crane extended its jib and they were both performing some kind of activity out there. I couldn’t see what it was, so I shall have to go out that way on my Sunday walk to see what has changed.

It can’t be anything too complicated because all the way through the manoeuvre … “PERSONoeuvre” – ed … one of the Joly France boats – the newer one – was moored right there and with the tide being out, it wasn’t moving anywhere else.

Back at the apartment I tackled the last week of my Accountancy course. I’ve finished it, not very successfully I have to say because I can’t remember all that much about what I just learnt.

That’s one of the penalties of old age. Two things happen to you then.
The first is that you forget absolutely everything that you are supposed to remember.
And as for the second thing – well, I’ve forgotten what that was.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual break for my afternoon walk.

Today, in the gorgeous hot sunlight I went for a walk around the walls of the medieval town. From there I could look down on the beach at the Plat Gousset and watch all of the crowds enjoying themselves.

It’s Wednesday afternoon and the brats aren’t in school so the beach was busier than normal, and that’s not a surprise. Given half a chance, I’d be down there myself.

crowds tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few weeks ago we saw the local council clearing out the old tidal swimming pool with a lorry and a digger – clearing out years of accumulated silt.

They’ve done a really good job by the look of it. It’s actually retaining some water and it’s attracted quite a crowd of people, splashing around in there.

And the people in the flourescent jackets – I’m convinced that they are the lifeguards, although how they are expected to swim while wearing those is anyone’s guess.

roofing place marechal foch granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk went on along the walls and around to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch.

There’s been a roofing job going on on one of the roofs of one of the buildings down there for as long as I can remember, and they still don’t seem to have finished it.

Not long to go by the looks of things, but I recall having said that before. They were doing really well at one point but seem to have gone off the boil just recently.

lorry fork lift truck fishing nets port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I passed through the Place Maurice Marland to check on my seagull chick, and then walked on to the viewpoint over the harbour.

There’s some activity down there right now. A lorry has turned up and there’s a fork-lift truck that looks as if it might be thinking about unloading the lorry. Does this mean that either Thora or Normandy Trader are going to be paying us a visit some time soon?

And we have another group of fishermen over there wrestling with a rather large fishing net

pointing medieval stone wall granville manche normandy france eric hallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing is the works van that appeared on the city walls near where they did all of that repointing.

The pointing on part of it in the Parvis Notre Dame was pretty poor so i speculated that the work might be something to do with that, and it seems that I was perfectly right. There are two men down there cleaning it all up

You can see how much excess cement that one of the guys has scraped off the wall – it’s all lying on the ground behind the car.

Back here I carried on with the course and, shame as it is to say it, crashed out a couple of times too. This is really getting on my nerves.

But I finished the course in the end and there was time to edit a few more photos. Tomorrow I’m going to start the final part of my music course. I want that out of the way too.

After the guitar I made tea. There was some left-over stuffing so I added some kidney beans and tomato sauce and made taco rolls

yacht baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallSomewhat later than usual, iw ent out for my evening run. It was far too warm to go out at the usual time.

All the way up the hill and down to the cliff without stopping, saying hello to the itinerant sheltering under the tree. Out to the sea there was plenty of activity and we have already seen some of the boats. We haven’t seen this yacht though, sailing back from the Ile de chausey into port, towing its dinghy behind it.

It’s making me all broody again and I’m going to have to do something about all of this before too long.

fisherman picnickers pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallJust for a change there was no family group picnicking in the old gun emplacement.

There were however plenty of people down on the viewpoint by the old watchman’s cabin and they were having a good time by the looks of things

Quite a few fishermen too, down there on the rocks casting their lines out into the water. It seems to be becoming quite a regular thing these days.

trawlers chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy run continued on along the path on top of the clifftop on the south side of the headland

No kids jumping off the sea wall tonight, but instead we seem to have had some activity down at the chantier navale. One of the fishing boats that has been there for quite some considerable time seems to have gone back into the water.

There were a few other people down there taking photos of themselves in the evening sunshine. All in all, it was quite busy.

crowds on port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd not just there either.

Way across the port on the sea wall that protects the port de plaisance – the yacht harbour – there were crowds of people milling around tonight. They were certainly making the most of it.

As for me, I cleared off and ran all the way round down the Boulevard Vaufleury and the rest of my vastly elongated route round to the viewpoint in the rue du Nord.

people sitting on rock plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe tide is right in right now so the chances of finding any picnickers on the beach was extremely remote.

However that little shelf that we noticed a few days ago – that seems to be the place to be these days as there are a couple more people making use of it.

And I’m still trying to work out the optical illusion surrounding the guy on the left. It looks thoroughly weird to me.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe people down there were enjoying another magnificent evening.

There were quite a few people up here enjoying it too, and quite rightly so for although it wasn’t as good as last night’s, it was still something special.

having watched it for a while I headed on home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow, it’s shopping day. There’s not much that I need but it’s stuff that I can’t do without so I shall have to go.

And then i’ll make a start on the last week of my music course. I want to get that out of the way before the weekend. It’ll give me a chance to do some other work that’s been sitting on the back burner for the last month or so.

High time I got a move on.

Thursday 13th July 2017 – IF YOU WANT TO KNOW …

… the answer to a question, the most important thing to do is to ask the question.

And I now know all about the Pluto and the Victress.

I was flat-out in my stinking little pit when the alarm went off this morning. Which totally surprised me because I’m lucky to be still here

I was well-away with the fairies last night, starting off on my old Honda Melody looking for an ice cream. And on the way back I was passed by a couple riding horses rather recklessly down a narrow street. 100 yards further on they had been stopped by a plain-clothes policeman in a silver Range Rover who was giving them both a lecture and an on-the-spot fine, so as I rode past, I made a few remarks of … errr … “encouragement”. It was then that I realised that I had no insurance, road tax or MoT and with the number plate I knew that it would be checked immediately. No hope of flight of course so after a minute or two of wracking my brains I decided to leave the bike in the back yard where I lived and clear off. Of course I did that but I hadn’t gone 50 yards when the landlady stuck her head out of the back gate and told me that I was wanted. No hope of escape now.
A little later I was on a push-bike going into Newcastle upon Tyne. But it certainly wasn’t the Newcastle upon Tyne that I ever knew. I’d taken the route twice and so didn’t have my map with me but I was pretty certain of where I was going so it was no problem. So down the hill, turn left and then round this sweeping right-hand bend following the tramlines – a road that would take me very close to the city centre. But here on this corner, people kept stepping off the kerb right in front of me. And for some reason or other, this degenerated into a situation that appears quite regularly in my nocturnal voyages – namely that I have Mark III Ford Cortinas scattered all over the town in various states of MoT and Tax and Insurance, and I need to consolidate them all so that only the 100%-legal ones are on the road and the rest are safely stored otherwise I’ll lose them, including my precious estate car.

marite port de granville manche normandy franceAfter breakfast and a little pause to gather my wits (which doesn’t take too long these days) I hit the streets, direction town. It was a lovely morning, that’s for sure.

Down the hill and down the bank, and then down the ramp to the harbour and there was a superb view of the Marité looking so splendid in the sunlight

I’m determined that one of these days I shall go out aboard her, even if it is only for a lap around the bay. But I bet that I’ll be very disappointed and find that it will be a diesel-powered “sailing” all the way.

That will be sad.

pile of scrap port de granville manche normandy franceThere was another pile of scrap on the quayside, mostly old agricultural stuff and the usual scrap fridges and cookers.

This seemed to bear out my theory from the other day about the Victress and Pluto bringing it in. But then I had another idea.

By this time I was down near the harbour offices so I popped in to ask them about the ships.

And it seems, I’m wrong. Yes, it does happen occasionally, which I know will surprise you all.

There’s a big quarry near Avranches that produces a special kind of stone and every so often Victress and Pluto come in to load up 2400 tonnes per trip to take back to the UK.

But they always come in empty – it’s not they who bring in the scrap.

So who’s bringing in the scrap then?

It didn’t take me long to find out.

grima port de granville manche normandy franceNo prizes whatever for guessing what this is – or, rather, was.

She’s the Grima and her claim to fame is that she was formerly the ferry that operated the Shetland Island Council route between Bressay and Lerwick between 1972 and 1992.

She has a carrying capacity of about 8 or 9 cars or so and was sold when the volume of traffic began to overwhelm her. She eventually became a work-boat for the Lerwick fishing industry

She was still displaying her “Lerwick” lifebelts so I hailed the crew who were relaxing on deck.
“Blimey! You’ve come a long way in that”
“Not really” replied the skipper. “Only from Jersey”.

It appears that she now sails out of Jersey and comes into Granville a couple of times each week bringing in the scrap (there are no scrap-processing facilities on the island) and taking back building supplies, wood and the like.

She’s probably not licensed for passengers, but I have a Cunning Plan. You don’t need a maritime permit or whatever to be a ship’s cook and my cooking has never killed anyone yet – although I have seen a couple of people stagger out of my kitchen.

mending the fishing nets port de granville manche normandy franceThey say that there’s a time for fishing – and a time for mending the nets.

Clearly for today it’s the latter. Here they all are with their needles and thread having a good old sew and sew.

That looks as if it’s the kind of job that might take for ever with a net that size, so good luck to them

buoys mending the fishing nets port de granville manche normandy franceWe all know what these are, but what surprised me was what they are doing out of the water.

And even more importantly, have they put anything back in to replace them? It would be exciting if they hadn’t.

It’s a little-known fact that Michael Jackson applied to join the US Navy. But he withdrew his application after the Recruiting Officer told him
“I don’t care how it’s pronounced. Those things that line the approaches to every harbour are called BUOYS”.

I headed off around town to check my bank accounts (money STILL not received) and where I bumped in to my neighbour again as I had done last week.

Next stop was to see the estate agents to warn them of my absence. And I forgot to check the times of the buses for the station in … GULP … just 30 days time.

ferry ile de chausey port de granville manche normandy franceLunch was once again on the wall overlooking the harbour.

Not much going on today but I did watch the ferry for the Iles de Chausey heading off with quite a crowd on board. Sea as calm as a millpond so they probably all had a good time.

And I had a new lunchtime companion today. Never mind the four lizards who always come to see me – when I dropped my apple core onto the ground for the wildlife, a brown mouse appeared – right at my feet – and dragged it off into the undergrowth to munch at its leisure.

Apart from that, I’ve been bashing away on the blog once more. Not quite the 20-odd (and sometimes more) pages of recent date though.

I ran aground round about 7th January 2013 and that’s when it all went haywire as my concentration and efforts were diverted. So I’ve advanced to June 2013 where there’s a couple of weeks that need to be done.

Then the difficult bits will start.

That wasn’t the only reason that I fell behind. The walk this morning had taken quite a lot out of me and I was totally out of it for two hours and more this afternoon. I clearly can’t last the pace.

But with the final batch of kidney bean and aubergine whatsit having bitten the dust today, and having had a good chat with Liz and Rosemary, I’m ready for bed.

And quite right too. Shopping tomorrow!