Tag Archives: flint town united

Saturday 14th May 2022 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… day where I’ve hardly ever stopped. So much co that I’ve not even had time to upload any of the photographs that I’ve taken today.

Just for a change, the way that things have been just recently, I managed to beat the second alarm to my feet. Well, actually, I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my feet on the floor when it went off so I suppose that that counts.

Mind you, I was feeling rather like death but I struggled on as best as I could despite everything.

Having had my medication the first thing that I did ws to transcribe the dictaphone notes from last night. There was something going on with Québec. If you worked with the Canadian Civil Service and you were close to retirement and that meant that your family was to be split up for different kinds of reasons like some were working and some were not, you had the right to settle in Quebec so you could reunite all your family together. I came to hear of this proposal because I was close to retirement date and my mother who was a few months older than my father and my other siblings, we all tried to arrange a meeting with someone official. The Premier of Québec was having some kind of entertainment thing. He was busy giving speeches to different people about the advantages of living in Québec although he did make some remark about people who travelled 350 miles just to catch a little bit of country food which he thought was a strange behaviour. I thought that his attitude was strange because of course it was country food that was the mainstay of Canadian society before Europeans. I had every hope that my application to move to Québec for this family reunification programme would be accepted. There was much more than this too but I can’t remember the rest of it. It’s slipped right out of my mind.

Having done that I spent an hour or so revising my Welsh ready for the first day of my weekend revision school

When I was ready I switched on the laptop that I use for Zoom meetings, only for it to perform a major update, consequently I was late joining and that was rather annoying. Punctuality is the politeness of princes.

We covered a lot of ground this morning and I was ready to knock off for lunch before my brain turned to spaghetti. We had an hour’s break so I nipped out for my afternoon walk considerably earlier than usual, for reasons that will soon become apparent.

Back here there was time for my butties before we started up again.

This afternoon we spent in small groups of two and three chatting about selected topics that are likely to come up in the exam next month. The conversations are quite lively and despite the lack of vocabulary we are making considerable progress.

These free supplementary classes that I managed to track down are worth every penny.

When the day’s work finally finished I dashed into the bedroom where my office is. I had 20 minutes before kick-off

It’s the final of the playoff in the JD Cymru League between Caernarfon Town and Y Fflint. It’s a winner-take-all match, the winner representing the league in the Irn-Bru Cup with teams from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

As for the match itself, I’ll let you be the judge of that. It was probably the most exciting, and intense matches that I have seen for many a long while, a game that swung from end to end from start to finish played like a game of chess. And it was certainly the most dramatic.

Don’t take my word for it. I don’t know how many of the regular readers of this rubbish are football fans but if you are and have a couple of hours spare you can WATCH THE GAME HERE. You won’t be disappointed.

That took me up to a rather late tea. There was some stuffing left over from last night so I had a taco roll with rice and veg. And as usual, marinading overnight makes it all taste so much better.

So now I’m off to bed. There’s an alarm in the morning and I’m starting the day with a mock exam. On a Sunday too. Whose crazy idea was that? I must be out of my head.

Tuesday 15th March 2022 – I HAVE HAD A …

… calamity today.

During the coffee break in our Welsh lesson this morning, I set some coffee on the go in the coffee percolator while I went for a ride on the porcelain horse.

When I came back, I picked up the glass jug from the percolator – and the bottom fell out of it. The coffee went everywhere.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … when I moved here I bought everything new, the cheapest possible, with the idea that I would have at all as quickly as possible and as items give out one by one, I would replace them.

So it was only a question of time before the cheap €9:99 coffee percolator gave out and today it’s been replaced with a high-quality machine with a metal jug that is actually a vacuum flask. I hope that my coffee will be hot enough now instead of barely tepid.

Another disaster was last night’s (lack of) sleep. I went to bed rather later than intended and couldn’t sleep at all for absolutely ages.

Eventually I dropped off to sleep and promptly had a nightmare. and while I’ve had a few that for all kinds of reasons have failed to make these pages, this one didn’t even make the dictaphone. I couldn’t even bring myself to dictate it.

And as a result of this nightmare, I didn’t go back to sleep. Nevertheless it was a struggle for me to leave the bed.

While I was preparing for the Welsh lesson I was drifting in and out of sleep but to my surprise, not only did I manage to end up in advance of where we finished today, it actually passed quite well and was quite a successful lesson.

Unfortunately this was the last session of our second year. Next week will be the first lesson of our third year and to my dismay one of my colleagues whom I happen to quite like has decided not to renew. That’s dismayed me somewhat, to be sure.

After lunch I had a few things to do and then I went to the radiology centre for the x-ray on my knee. It didn’t take too long for the x-ray to be taken- in fact she took 6 – and the wait for the finished photos wasn’t anything like as long as it usually.

LeClerc was next for my new coffee machine and then shopping at Lidl, seeing as I don’t have much in right now. It was quite an expensive shop too, much of which was spent on coffee and brazil nuts.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022When I returned home I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on down on the beach.

With it being later than usual the tide had turned and there were one or two people down there having a wander about. I didn’t stay long watching. I grabbed my stuff and came back in here.

There was quite a fight that I had with the freezer. It’s now full to overflowing, and there’s no room whatever for anything else. But I’m going to have to make a start on emptying it. It’s only the vegetables that seem to run through various cycles. Nothing else much seems to move.

For tea tonight I worked the air fryer again to make some chips. And this time they worked really well. With baked beans and a vegan sausage it was delicious.

And then we had football. Caernarfon v Y Fflint. Caernarfon’s manager and assistant manager are down with Covid right now so it was the Academy manager on the bench and to my surprise his choice of team was certainly different. An attacking Five, something that I haven’t seen since the early ’70s.

A couple of Caernarfon’s players were fairly anonymous tonight for a change but they still had too much in the tank for Y Fflint and ran out 2-1 winners. And had Mike Hayes, their centre-forward, had had more luck with his half-chance efforts, it could have been a cricket score.

Y Fflint have gone right off the boil just recently.

Bedtime now and I need a good sleep. I have a physiotherapy session tomorrow and then in the evening I have the first of my 5 Welsh language revision sessions for my exam in the summer.

It’s all go again around here.

Friday 4th March 2022 – I’M NOT CONVINCED …

… about these pills that I’m supposed to be taking before I go to bed.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022While you admire a photo of the crowds of people on the beach this afternoon, what with going to bed early last night I took one of them. And I fell asleep quite quickly.

It didn’t stop me from going off on a few nocturnal travels though, some of which were quite incomprehensible. At the very beginning there was something very amazing about 3 little shopping bags that were like boats floating on the water. People were using them to take things to places but it was really confused I can’t remember anything about it apart from that.

Later on we were with Nerina round at the home of someone from the Welsh group. We were just talking around etc and we suddenly had to leave. She had made this big pile of sandwiches and so she gave us some of them, salad and hummus sandwiches. We ended up taking them and left. Just as we were going she said something like “don’t forget to bring back some of that gorgeous cake when you come back”. Nerina and I bumped into someone else and told them the story of the sandwiches and cake which they thought was funny. Nerina asked “what time should we go back?”. I didn’t know so she said ‘how about 14:45 and we can have a siesta before we go back in the afternoon?”. On the was back was a very narrow lane which was very difficult for 2 vehicles to negotiate. I was driving down and someone came round the corner in an old C15 van. He saw me coming but pushed on regardless. We had to do some incredible negotiation so that he could go past but in the end he dropped into a ditch and couldn’t extricate himself. I couldn’t stay where I was – I had to go on further but in the meantime someone else came and instead of waiting where it was safe he pushed on as well. I said to the second guy “what a stupid thing to do, trying to pass here with these ditches. It was much safer to pass back there where you’ve just come from.

And later on, I was in a gym. There was a set of weights , the bar and weights, that were in a ramp. I was underneath it ad I was having to lift up this ramp with this set of weights, hold it above my head and then lower it down. As far as I knew I went off and I was doing that

At some other point I was in hospital having my treatment but they weren’t giving me my infusion, they were examining me all over and they pushed this huge, enormous needle like a knitting needle into my arm and I had a panic attack. Everyone else started to laugh. I thought that that was most unprofessional and most unpleasant and I was really annoyed and angry by this. They didn’t seem to take my worries seriously – it was all a big joke and I was so annoyed. The woman came round with the trolley with sandwiches on it but there were no sandwiches on it for me and that made me even more annoyed. I disconnected myself, went outside to my motorbike and went for a ride. I ended up on the A51 that leads out of Nantwich towards Chester. As I was going up the hill towards the canal this absolutely enormous monster aeroplane flew overhead. I couldn’t find my camera so I stopped to rummage through my affairs by which time this aeroplane had flown away by the time that I found my camera. I was having a friendly chat with a little kid who was having some grief from his parents for something or other. As I was putting away my stuff a woman came up to me and said “if you need your washing doing let me know”. I couldn’t work out what she meant. I had to ask her 3 or 4 times for an explanation. It turned out that I was parked in the entrance to a hotel and she thought that I was staying there. I explained what was happening and the doorkeeper for the hotel came over to talk to me. he told me that I was lucky that I wasn’t dragged in and had to pay for a meal or something. I said that he probably noticed that I was polite and courteous to this woman. He replied “yes, that’s why you didn’t have any trouble. We were also impressed about how you were talking to that child”. I had to wait for someone to finish their ‘phone call before I could go into the ‘phone box to make myself ready. I put my things in the top box of the motorbike but it wouldn’t close. I had to spend some time on it to make it close. I then went to kickstart to motorcycle but the piston stuck in the barrel so that it wouldn’t kickstart. I thought “this is another one of those days that really isn’t my day, isn’t it?”.

Finally there were 3 young girls and I’ve no idea who they were, wandering around somewhere in this town. They had a bottle of spirits with them. They were having a crafty drink of these spirits as they were going around but something went wrong, one of them disappeared and the other 2 made a quick getaway. They carried on walking away from this town drinking these spirits. They caught up with the third girl. Then this scene drifted to the 3rd girl waking up. She could remember what happened up to that point where they’d met up but the rest was a complete blank. She couldn’t understand it. She’d never had a lot of drink before. One of her friends who had awoken came to join her and they were trying to dress. It looked extremely funny watching them having to swap socks, swap shoes because they couldn’t remember whose was whose and they were in a completely intoxicated state and well out of everything. They finally were ready and I had to take them somewhere. I had to fiddle with my camera to find out where I was and get my camera at the end of the reel, I suppose. My sister was with me. She suggested “that’s where you are isn’t it?”. I replied “no, I’m roling the film round the other way”. Eventually I could reach the starting place so that we could all prepare to leave.

When the alarm went off it was a real struggle for me to leave my bed. I finally managed to struggle out just before the second alarm but it didn’t do me too good because after my medication I came back in here to start work but instead I crashed right out.

10:10 when I finally awoke – for the first time – and I fell asleep a second time early in the afternoon too. I’m not quite sure what these pills are supposed to do but I don’t think that they are supposed to do that.

After transcribing the dictaphone notes, I performed the back-up on the computer that I should have done a couple of days ago on the First of the month. And then copied onto the portable USB drive that’s on my door key the files that need backing up onto the portable computer that I take with me to Leuven

All of that took me up to lunchtime. And with having finished the half of loaf that wasn’t in the freezer, I made lunch with some taco rolls. No sense in defrosting half a loaf for today that will then stand idle until Monday.

This afternoon the first thing that I had to do was to bring up-do-date the database that I keep for my radio programmes. The events of the last week or so have meant that some of the radio shows have had to be shuffled around, a few new ones inserted, all that kind of thing, that have led to several changes.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual, I went outside for my afternoon walk around the headland.

We’ve already seen a photo of the crowds of people down on the beach, and here’s a few more. And one or two of them look as if they might be brave souls who have actually been for a walk into the sea.

It’s not exactly the kind of weather for the sea today. It was overcast and quite windy but, as seems to be the thing these days, it’s not as cold as it might be for this time of year. We haven’t had a winter at all this year. Just two days of frost and that’s all.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And, as usual, I was also looking out at sea to see what was going on there.

In the distance was something or other so I walked all the way down to the end of the headland to take a photo that I could enhance when I returned home and have a look at what it might be.

It’s actually a trawler out there in the bay. The tide is too far out right now for the gates to the inner harbour to be opened in the very near future so it’s probably working out there. They are popping up in all kinds of strange places these days.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Whether the pople down on the beach at the Rue du Nord were engaged in the peche à pied I couldn’t really say.

But this lot down here on the rocks at the end of the headland are certainly having a go. These people here are just a few of the hordes who were down there this afternoon, armed with all of the equipment necessary.

There wasn’t anyone at the cabanon vauban this afternoon – presumably the lure of the peche à pied was too much for them – so I carried on around the path towards the port on the other side of the headland.

courrier des iles, le roc a la mauve 3 la granvillaise charles marie spirit of conrad les bouchots de chausey chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And at the chantier naval there’s even more excitement this afternoon.

We now have a couple more boats in there – boats that we all know quite well because we’ve seen them quite often during the summer.

G90 is of course easy to identify. She’s La Granvillaise. And then the blue and white boat next to Spirit of Conrad is Charles Marie. Both of these boats do charter trips around the bay during the season.

The ferry terminal is empty this afternoon. Both the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou and the Ile de Chausey ferry Joly France have cleared off.

belle france joly france chausiaise marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As for where Joly France might be, she isn’t moored in the inner harbour.

Her younger sister is down there on the left with Belle France and Chausiaise. Joly France is probably out somewhere running a trip to the Ile de Chausey.

Marité is down there too. She hasn’t moved for a while but I imagine that she’ll be off on her travels quite soon. She’ll need her certificate to carry passengers and as the portable boat lift isn’t strong enough to lift her ut of the water she has to go off elsewhere where she can be lifted out of the water.

removing vegetation medieval city walls rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022A little further on along the path I could see in the distance that there was some work going on on the medieval city walls in the Rue des Juifs.

When I was on my way to town the other day I noticed that there were “no parking” signs down there. And what they are doing is attacking the vegetation that’s been growing up the walls.

If the roots penetrate the mortar they will chisel it out and make the walls unstable, which is why they have to keep on removing it.

Back here I had a coffee and then pushed on with another pile of photos from my trip to the High Arctic in 2019. I’m now at Qikiqtarjuaq – Broughton Island – off the coast of Canada in he Davis Strait.

And I’m not sure why we called there when there was an abandoned whaling station just 50 miles up the coast from here that would have been far more interesting for me.

There was a quick tea tonight because there was football on the internet later – YNS v Y Fflint. TNS won 2-1 as you might expect but it might have been a different story had Y Fflint’s goalkeeper and their attackers been on better form. They certainly had the chances.

While I was watching the game I was talking to Rosemary. She had rung me up on the telephone and there was a lot of things to discuss, given the state of the world right now.

And now I’m off to bed. It’s late but nevertheless I’ll take a pill tonight and see what happens. I hope that I have a better morning tomorrow than I did today.

Friday 29th October 2021 – THAT WAS PROBABLY …

… the worst night of them all so far last night. And four files on the dictaphone tells you what kind of restless night it was.

There was a pile of dirty washing-up that needed doing. Some had already been done so my brother and I cracked on and finished it all. After we’d had something to eat there was washing up to be done and I didn’t bother to wash up but he insisted that we wash up. I refused. I only wash up once per day and that was before going to bed. This argument rolled on so I went outside. I frightened one of the seamen sitting on the steps of our ship who was looking at another ship close by. I asked him what was going on and he said “nothing in particular” and wandered off. There were 3 or 4 ships in the immediate vicinity, one a ship owned by Disney that didn’t have any superstructure like a barge. The people on it were speaking Russian so I spoke to them in Russian – “hello, how are you? My name is Eric” in Russian and they were overwhelmed that someone was speaking Russian to them and they actually came over on board our ship to talk to me. And it’s been a long time since I’ve spoken any Russian. I learnt some basic Russian from a local woman in Nantwich before I started taking coaches behind the Iron Curtain and I’ve probably forgotten most of it now.

3 of us, a guy a girl and I had to check out a disturbance on a common somewhere. There was no-one around but interviewing the locals it appeared that foreigners gathered there later on in the evening. The guy with me who was in charge told the girl to stay there on her own and make a report which I thought was strange. I expected one of the others of us to stay as well and pretend to be a courting couple. A single girl on her own would be rather prominent out there. Anyway, that was what we agreed to do and the 2 or us went away. We ended up being stuck in this huge queue of pedestrians at a roundabout. It seemed that it was Derby County’s birthday and there was some kind of celebration. We ended up in this charity shop and they had some Derby County ski suits that were really nice. I was tempted to buy one but I didn’t like the idea of carrying something with “Derby County” on it so I didn’t. We had a good look around but couldn’t see anything else. We went out and decided to go for a meal. I reminded him about this woman and said “when we go to pick her up we’d better take her a cup of coffee”. He replied “yes. hang on here while I go and fetch one”. I said “it won’t be much use now. She’ll need it at 8 o’clock when we finish. She’ll be freezing”. He said “yes” and came out with some other stuff that I can’t remember now.

Later on Liz had bought some furniture for her new house, a bed. The people in IKEA were showing up how it went together to demonstrate what it looked like. She quite liked it and said that she’d take it but it turned out that there was a 6-month delay for delivery. I said “stick it in Caliburn and we’ll take it round in Caliburn”. She said that there was no-one there to assemble it, Terry had gone to work. I replied “I’ll assemble it”. She said “you have other things to do, haven’t you?”. I replied “I can spare an hour or two to do this bed”. They couldn’t find the right nails or screws ro go with this package. I pointed out various piles of screws and nails on the floor by the bed and this was starting to become really complicated. it turned out that she had gone in to buy a bed for one of her grandchildren because the two of them were sharing a bed and it was most uncomfortable for them. She wanted to get them separate beds and saw this while she was there.

Finally, I’d made myself some muesli and was looking for a container to put it in now that I’d come back from being away. I had plenty of flower pots but couldn’t find them all. Eventually I found a large one so I took a bucket of water and washed it out and had it looking fairly clean. Then I don’t know why I did this but I tipped the bucket of water into the flower pot. Of course the water went everywhere, all over the table, all over the carpet so I had to pour the water back into the bucket quickly. My brother said that we ought to find a mop. As we were going through into the back room to fetch a mop the police were in there. They’d been looking for someone for ages who had disappeared and were wondering where he’d got to. It turned out that he was in the next room. He’d killed himself. They were puzzled because the electrode that he had used to earth himself when he gave himself an electric shock wasn’t actually attached to anything metal, just to a wooden chair leg so that wouldn’t in theory have killed him so they began to wonder about his wife’s involvement with this.

But seriously, how come my brother has been playing such a large part in my voyages for the last few days or so? What’s been bringing him into the equation?

As a consequence of all of this it was a weary crawl out from under the covers this morning when the alarm went off. Mind you, I don’t suppose that it helped very much

After the medication and checking my mails I made a start on continuing with the blog entries but I didn’t get very far.

Not long after I’d started I had a message – do I have any Greenlandic music?

Of course, I have a couple of rock albums from Greenlandic rock groups who sing in Inuktitut but that wasn’t what was required. Did I have any Greenlandic music that would do as the background for a radio programme?

“Not to hand at this very moment” was the obvious answer but I do have two Greenlandic friends, one of Danish extraction and the other a young Inuit girl who are musicians so most of the morning was spent talking to them.

Nive told me that I could help myself to anything of hers (of which there is quite a lot) that I could find in the public media and Heidinnguaq, the young girl whom I met in Uummannaq sent me a couple of songs that she wrote which she plays guitar and sings.

And so what was left of the morning was spent chasing down the various files, editing them and remixing them suitably for the radio shows.

While I was on a roll, as the saying goes, I contacted the son of the guy (now unfortunately no longer with us) who wrote “Grasshopper” – the song that I mentioned yesterday – to see whether his father ever left his notes about his song construction. We had quite a chat for a while but to no avail – there were no notes left behind.

And so, there’s no time like the present and I contacted my musical friend who lives in Germany and sent him the link to the song. He’s going to score it for me. I’ve worked out the melody on the bass guitar but many of the chords bear absolutely no resemblance to the root notes, so they must all be derivatives and that’s way beyong my capabilities.

To take me up to lunch, the nurse came round and injected me with my third vaccination for Covid. Now I’m completely up-to-date with my injections and I have a very sore right arm.

After lunch I had a ‘phone call from the guy who co-ordinates the radio. What am I doing on the 12th November?

Apparently there’s a big meeting taking place to formally open the “Greenland Week” here but the girl who has chosen to make up a radio programme of the event can’t make it. Seeing as I know Uummannaq and the people there so well, could I replace her?

Well, of course I will actually, but really I can’t find the time to do my own stuff, never mind anyone else’s.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021After all of that I went out for my afternoon walk.

Quite a few people down on the beach this afternoon, although nobody brave enough to tackle the water.

And that’s not really a surprise because the weather has now turned and there’s a strong with blowing in its usual direction from the North-West. So the fact that it’s reasonably warm for the time of year counts for nothing really in this.

storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As usual while I’m out looking down on the beach, I have one eye roving about offshore to see what I can catch.

And what caught my eye was this storm raging away out in the bay. Somewhere out there is the island of Jersey but you can’t hope to see it because of the intense rainstorm that is falling down right now.

It’s not any surprise that you can’t see any boats out there in that direction. having seen that huge storm approaching, they have presumably run for cover and I for one don’t blame them.

storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021A little further along the coast I came to where I could see over the Ile de Chausey.

In actual fact, where I couldn’t see over the Ile de Chausey very much because there was a massive rainstorm over there too.

This one was far more ominous because the wind was blowing it in my direction and I began to regret that I had come out without a jacket because I had a feeling that in a couple of minutes time I would be right underneath all of that.

people in zodiacs baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021as I walked further on along the path, I did eventually come across some maritime activity.

It looks to me as if it’s a couple of zodiacs in which these people are standing, and the marker buoy behind them is not one that would relate to a lobster pot or anything like that.

The conclusion that I drew from this is that they are frogmen – or maybe I should be saying “frogpersons” these days – going for a practice over the side. We’ve seen quite a few of them in the past just offshore.

yacht rainstorm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I walked down across the carpark to the end of the headland the storm arrived and I got the lot, just as I predicted.

And as it happens, I wasn’t the only one who was having a great deal of difficulty with the weather. There was a yacht out here in the bay battling had to overcome the elements and making rather … errr … heavy weather of it.

The rainstorm was absolutely wicked so I had no intention whatever of hanging around in it seeing how things would develop.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021By now, the wind had increased considerably in speed and velocity and I was expecting to see the results of it on the sea wall.

I’d seen a large wave crash into the wall and sent spray high into the air so I prepared for another.

However it’s usually every seventh wave that is the most powerful but by the time that I’d seen the second or third I was drenched to the skin and the camera was soaking wet so I took a photo of whatever I could get and cleared off.

It reminded me of the time that Kenneth Williams appeared in Bamber Gascoigne’s farce “Share My Lettuce”. He came on stage and described how he disguised himself as a tree in order to study more closely the birds that might nest in it. And he finished his description with “and then I unfurl an umbrella and hold it up over my head”
The narrator said “but the birds will see through your disguise, won’t they, and stay away?”
“Maybe they will” replied Kenneth Williams “but I’m not getting wet for a load of bleeding birds!”.

crane unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Had the weather been any better I would almost certainly have gone for a closer look at this.

There’s a large lorry with something heavy on the trailer, and a very large mobile crane either lifting it off or putting it back on. It’s a shame that right now it’s raining so heavily that I can’t see anything at all. Not even after enhancing the image.

Back at home I made myself a coffee and then dashed through the photographs. I needed a quick, early tea because there’s football on this evening. I ended up with baked potatoes, baked beans and a vegan burger.

You have to feel sorry for Aberystwyth Town though. Second from bottom in the JD Cymru League but against the team that was second in the table, Y Fflint, nothing seemed to go right.

When they remembered to keep the ball on the ground instead of long, aimless punts upfield, they played some really nice, attractive football that kept them going forward despite all of the pressure that they were under.

They did however ahve to misfortune to find Y Flint’s goalkeeper Jon Rushton in excellent form and he made half a dozen top-drawer saves to keep his team out of danger.

Y Fflint scored twice through one of my favourite players, Jack Kenny, who would be a top-class player if he would just learn to control his temper, booked yet again for yet another off-the-ball incident when there was really no need except his own misplaced pride.

Aberystwyth did score a goal – a marvellous goal worthy of any “goal of the month” competition when Rushton punched a ball out upfield and Louis Bradford lobbed it back into goal right over everyone else’s head. have a look at about ABOUT 1:41:25 ONWARDS OF THIS VIDEO

Not long after the football finished and I was writing up my notes, I fell asleep at my desk. I hauled myself off to bed instead, reckoning that I’ll finish my notes tomorrow.

Goodnight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time will tell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 19th December 2020 – JUST IN CASE …

… you were wondering (which I’m sure you aren’t) I missed the 3rd alarm this morning too.

Nothing like as dramatically as yesterday, it has to be said. Only by about 20 minutes as it happened but still, a miss is as good as a mile as they say. And after something of a rather late night, I’m not really all that surprised.

So after the medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been. And it’s no surprise that I was late getting up with everything going on that went on during the night.

I’m not quite sure what I was doing during part of the night but I had a cat. I was cooking a bone and the bone had obviously been there for a very long time because it had all dried out and the meat was dry and the skin made a kind of sub-cutaneous fat crackling that all broke away from the bone. It was like eating a packet of crisps. I was Eating this and the recipe had been sent to me by my friend in Galashiels so I asked her if her meat had turned out like this, whether it was simply a cheap cut, something like that, but I never really got an answer. That was when I awoke.

Later on there was a bunch of us in a school yard. We’d been on a trip by coach or a cruise or something like that and it was the final day. We had a big debriefing session and a little snack but that was before the evening meal which was the last on that we’d be taking together. I wanted to say goodbye to these girls with whom I’d been friendly. They might have been Castor and Pollux or they might not, I dunno. I knew which table they usually sat at so as soon as the meeting was open I made a beeline for that table and I was the first basically there. I sat down and other people came to join me. But at the evening meal there was only about a quarter of the people there, just 4 tables and the rest of the people, including the two people whom I was hoping to see, hadn’t come down. I imagined that the snack that they’d had in the afternoon was enough for them. That was extremely disappointing to me as you could imagine. Anyway I started to pass the cups and plates around – they were actually underneath the table on a shelf thing that pulled out so I was passing them around. I started out by pouring out tea and I asked if anyone else wanted one. Someone did, and I got into such a confusion about his mug that in the end he took the mug off me and held it while I poured it. The conversation descended into telling bawdy jokes and everyone was having a really good laugh. The annoying thing was that I couldn’t think of a joke to tell and that’s not like me. I couldn’t think of a single 1 and everyone else was telling these jokes and we were laughing, having a really good time about this but I felt terrible because I couldn’t think of a single joke and feeling even worse because these 2 girls hadn’t shown up. This put a real damper on my trip in the end.

Having had a shower, I put the washing machine en route (I’m having clean sheets tonight) and then headed out to the shops. Caliburn started straight away with his nice, new battery so there was no problem there.

NOZ came up with a couple of CDs and not really much of anything else important. On the other hand I spent a lot of money in LeClerc on all kinds of exciting things, mostly food-related. I didn’t buy much in the way of fresh vegetables for Christmas – I’m leaving that until Thursday when I’ll also be hoping, if I’m lucky, to find some Seitan slices.

firemen breaking into a house rue paul legibon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut on the way back from the shops we had some excitement.

In the Rue Paul Legibon in the Quartier St Nicolas we had a police van and a fire engine in attendance at a house. And as I watched (firstly from stuck in a queue behind the fire engine and then in the church car park across the road) two firemen shinned up a ladder onto the terrace and proceeded to break into the house.

So whatever was going on there must have been quite important, if not serious, and doubtless we’ll be hearing more about this in due course.

Back here I put the frozen food (there wasn’t all that much) into the freezer, hung up the washing and then made myself a hot chocolate. And with a slice of my delicious fruit bread I attacked some arrears.

That took me up to lunchtime, and then after lunch I started to put some of the purchases away. Not all of them of course, I’m not feeling that much better. And when I felt up to it, I had a few things to do here that needed doing.

wassmer 54 f-bukk light aircraft Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat took me up to walkies-time so I set off out of the apartment.

And almost straight away, as soon as I had set foot out of the door I was buzzed by a light aircraft that had obviously been hovering around, waiting for me to come outside.

It’s none other than our old friend F-BUKK, the rather elderly Lycoming-engined Wassmer W54 that seems to have moved into the vicinity these days. And strangely enough, she’s not on the list of arrivals and departures for Granville Airport today although she was briefly picked up on their radar at 15:57 (roughly when I saw her) and disappeared as quickly as she appeared.

And I can’t find her anywhere else.

high winds pointe du roc baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut it’s a surprise really that there was anything very much going on outside today.

The howling, bitter wind that has plagued us these last few days, or weeks, or months, is still here. It’s churning up the sea quite considerably as you can tell from this photograph. All across the bay this afternoon we cansee the whitecaps that have been whipped up by the wicked wind.

It might be difficult to work out where it’s coming from, but I can tell you with extreme confidence exactly where it’s going. And I’m glad at times like this that I’m not a Scotsman.

For that reason I’m not going to hang about and I wandered off across the lawn and car park to the end of the headland.

trawler chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing much happening around there today either so I wandered off down the path on the other side of the cliffs.

And here in the chantier navale at long last, we have a new arrival. We seem to have acquired one of the little trawlers that has come in here to have some work done on her. I’ve seen her about the port here and there in the past and she does have a local (Cherbourg) registration so she’s one of ours.

Is this the start of another rush of work, or are we just going to be having work in dribs and drabs until people start preparing for next summer. After all being alone on a small boat is probably about the safest place you can be in a pandemic, and we’re certain to be having a few more waves of this virus.

dry land map of United Kingdom port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few weeks or so ago we saw a phenomenon in the harbour that seemed to represent the outline of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

As I wandered along the clifftop, lonely as a cloud etc etc, I noticed that we had the same phenomenon again today. And just as before, we had a sock of fleagulls reposing upon it. It’s not quite as accurately drawn as the time before but you can still make out the eastern and northern parts of the country, with the County of Kent just disappearing underneath the harbour wall.

That’s something else about which I would like to find out more. There’s a story that there’s a previous harbour wall somewhere prior to the building of the present one and this may be where the foundations are, the shallow depth of silt on top causing the water to dry out quicker.

Back here I grabbed a coffee and organised one or two things quickly because there was more football on the internet today. A bottom-of-the-table match between Y Fflint and Aberystwyth. I was impressed with Flint when I first saw them but they slid down the table at an alarming rate after that really heavy defeat and have recently changed their manager to no-nonsense Neil Gibson who a few years ago kicked Prestatyn Town three divisions up the pyramid in a very short space of time.

On the other hand, Aberystwyth are a good side with some good players but for some reason have simply failed to fire up and are in desperate danger of being sucked down into a relegation scrap. A win for both sides was vital today.

And the match went pretty much as expected. Aberystwyth throwing everything including the kitchen sink at Flint who had to sit back and hope to absorb it, and hit Aberystwyth on the break.

And I do have to say that Flint’s defence was magnificent today. They fought like lions with what at times was desperate defending and were unlucky with a break after 35 minutes when a header was pushed over the bar by Connor Roberts in the Aber goal.

But Roberts could do nothing in the 40th minute when one of the most beautiful, inch-perfect long balls out of defence that you have ever seen fell to Mark Cadwallader who shrugged off a desperate challenge TO TOE-POKE THE BALL PAST ROBERTS.

In the second half Aberystwyth had even more of the game and were pounding the Flint goal at will but were undone late in the game by not one but two breakaways for probably the most surprising victory that I’ve seen for a while and a result that just goes to underline Aberystwyth’s season to date.

They were unlucky to lose at all, and certainly not by a score of 3-0. Now both clubs are stuck right in a pack of four at the bottom with Y Drenewydd and Cefn Druids and this can all go in any direction.

But it’s easy to see why our two teams tonight are deep in the mire. Too many wayward passes, not marking close enough and, in Aber’s case especially, not having the killer instinct when they need it.

rue du nord place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow it was time for me to go out for my evening walk and runs. And the first two legs of my evening adventures brought me to the gate where I would disappear down to the footpath underneath the walls

Looking back behind me from this particular spot the view back down the Rue du Nord to the Place d’Armes over to the right was really impressive this evening. And the beam of the lighthouse down at the Pointe du Roc was making a nice hazy fog of light, as you can see over on the right behind the College Malraux.

Having taken the photo I disappeared down the path and along underneath the walls.

beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith no rain for at least 24 hours, which is strange just recently, that path under the walls wasn’t all that wet so my runs down there were reasonably comfortable tonight.

But where I stopped, halfway around to catch my breath, the view over the Plat Gousset was looking quite nice and special so I decided to have a little fun. I’d take three or four photos of the same view on different settings and see how they worked out.

The photo up above was one of them, and the one below is another of them. All of the rest were filed under “CS”.

beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis particular one has had a little post-work done on it but the first one is just as it came out of the camera and all in all, they aren’t too bad really.

The discarded ones were over-exposed. You’ve no idea (well, some of you have, of course) how difficult it is to set the camera for the right amount of light for artificial light when the surroundings are in pitch-black.

From there I did the next leg of my run down to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch. And, as usual thse days, there was nothing whatever going on down there, interesting or not so I turned and headed for home.

crescent moon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd tonight the crescent moon was back.

A little higher in the sky tonight so I could see it before I crossed the Square Maurice Marland, and I spent a couple of minutes trying to take a good photo of it.

From there I ran on down to the walls, walked along the walls and then ran on home for tea. I can’t get used to this “early” lark.

Tea tonight was pasta and nice fresh (and I do mean fresh because broccoli was the special offer today and I had bought sprouts on Thursday) steamed vegetables with vegan pesto (I’d bought some of that too) and an old falafel burger followed by rice pudding.

Rosemary had called me while I was out so I phoned her back and we were chatting for a couple of hours, which is why I’m still writing my notes long after 02:00. But now I’ve finished, I’m off to bed.

But I’ll leave you tonight with a special treat. For those of you who worry about me, I put it all down to the kind of company that I keep. This is ONE OF MY FRIENDS FROM OTTAWA in Canada. I hope that you enjoy it.

Saturday 3rd October 2020 – I ONCE STARTED TRAINING …

… as a fortune teller, but I had to give up my studies due to unforeseen circumstances.

That is just as well because I would never have made the grade. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last weekend I mentioned Y Fflint – a football club from Deeside that has just been promoted to the JD Cymru League I mentioned that “They are no mugs, and certainly not cannon-fodder like some promotees have been.”

Today they played TNS – and TNS put 10 past them. That’s the heaviest defeat that I recall in the JD Cymru League for quite some considerable time … “August 2016” – ed …. although in fairness, Flint’s keeper was carried off after 23 minutes and they had to put a substitute in goal.

But anyway, I’ll stop predicting and shut up. Except to ask the same question as I did last weekend – “just how good are TNS this season?”.

They are obviously better than I was this morning because once again I had trouble hauling myself out of my stinking pit. Only by a few minutes, but a miss is as good as a mile.

But it seems that I have a lot on my mind right now, judging by what was happening last night.

There was a boat last night and a few of us were on it. It was called the “Son Derwyn”, something like that it was called. There was some woman on there but I can’t remember what she was doing. In fact I can’t remember anything about it at all apart from that.

Later on I’d been seconded onto a job to go to work in the South Atlantic (that’s a coincidence, isn’t it?). There was a group of us and three of us were leaving on the same flight so we were waiting around at the ferry terminal (don’t ask me why). I was with Nerina. We were sitting there talking to each other and there were these two other people talking and making a couple of phone calls. It turned out that they were indeed two of these people. They’d been told to look out for a third so I was wondering whether to introduce myself but I couldn’t be bothered. Nerina and I sat there and carried on talking then we got on this plane and flew to wherever we were going. We ended up in the hostel where we were staying, all sitting around but these two other guys hadn’t come. We weren’t saying too much about anything to anyone. In the end it was time to go to our rooms to get ready for dinner. We went off to our rooms but ended up in the wrong one. We’d all been waiting in one of the rooms so we went off to ours. All it consisted of was two divans, sofas, wickerwork type bamboo things. We thought “this is strange. It’s not going to be very comfortable. We’re not going to be able to get up to much good in here”. We realised that we’d left all of our stuff in the other room. One of the other guys had been for a shower. He came out and said “God you don’t want to go in that shower. It’s freezing cold”. I said “I’m not a penguin. I don’t fancy that idea”. He said “it’s all there is”. We went down into the communal bar place. Apparently there was some bread and jam somewhere so Nerina asked one of the waiters or staff or someone where the bread and jam was. They replied “you have to do things for yourself you know here. You’re expected to work on Saturdays”. I explained that we were quite happy to go and get stuff for ourselves – that’s not a problem. We just wanted to know where it was because we were new. We didn’t get our bread and jam but nevertheless Nerina went off to try to find some and I went to find some tables. It was pretty crowded and in the end I found a couple of chairs and we tagged ourselves on to some other group we were with. Then I realised that I needed some names of people who did things in the town – tradesmen and I’d left the telephone directories that I’d pinched from the library in this guy’s room so I thought that I’d better go and find some more. I walked out into town and found a few. On the way back I was being harassed by this little boy and I almost picked him up and thumped him one but I restrained myself just in time. As I got to the traffic lights – we’d been passed by buses and whatever – I thought “this is a bigger city than I expected. Much more modern”. An ambulance came out of a junction and was rammed by a little white van. A few people piled out of this little white van and another vehicle pulled up as well. They started dragging people out of this ambulance. I noticed that the people in this little white van had police jackets on. One of them gave this gorgeous right hook on one of the passengers in the ambulance. i’ve no idea what this was all about. The ambulance guy was radioing through that he’d been hit by this van and that there was a fight going on with some of his passengers but he had a woman who was seriously ill who he was taking to hospital. Could they send another ambulance to pick her up and take her on while he sorted everything out here. I was making my way back to where I was staying. I do remember thinking “how the hell am I going to be expected to keep the peace in a town like this if this is the kind of behaviour that goes on and it’s such a busy place anyway?
Somewhere along the line was a pizza that had to be put in the fridge so we went to arrange the slices so we could but found that it was all too big for the fridge and there wasn’t the room to put it so what would we be doing about that? I had some ribald comments from my father and my brother about all of this while I was doing it to so I thought that if I can’t find a solution to a little problem like this how am I going to manage doing anything major?
And what was this next bit all about? “This train was crowded with people. Everyone was crammed in and no-one dare move in case someone took their seat. I was handed a telegram which when I opened it said that there was a mumbled something that I couldn’t decipher. immediately. I thought that this was a reference to this new job or else they’d found out something about me that I hadn’t wanted anyone else to know.

With a reasonably early start nevertheless I managed to edit about 15 photos before I went for my shower. And today I had the heater on in the bathroom. The first time this back-end. And I needed it too.

Next step was to empty out the fridge and switch it off. It’s frozen up again and needs to defrost. It can do that while I’m out at the shops.

NOZ had nothing exciting and Centrakor couldn’t supply a new bread mould.

In Leclerc I spent very little – most of which went on things like a box of 2kg of grapes. I bought three fresh figs too and when I reached home, I set another kefir mix en route. Mind you, I needed a boat to come home in, not Caliburn. It was raining hard when I set out but by the time I made it home we were having a torrential downpour of the type that you don’t see very often.

Brigitte had left the window open on her car too so I rang her and told her. But it was rather too late to do any good.

Having set the kefir going, I alternated between the photos and hacking lumps of ice out of the fridge. That latter is now done – all nice and clean and defrosted (but for how long?) and I’ve done almost 70 photos today. And some of them needed quite a lot of editing too. That took some time.

St Helier Jersey Channel Islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the time that I was ready for my afternoon walk there had been a dramatic improvement in the weather.

By now not only had the rain ceased but we were having a beautiful afternoon – one that had really brought out the crowds. And the views were splendid too. You could see for miles and miles – all the way to St Helier in Jersey 58 kilometres away. In all the years that i’ve lived here, I’ve never ever seen the Channel islands so clearly with the naked eye, and with the BIG NIKON D500 and the 18-300mm ZOOM LENS it all looked even more clear

It’s tempting me, if I remember, to go out with the tripod tonight if the wind has dropped to an acceptable level

Peche À Pied Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halland it wasn’t just on the footpaths and the lawns around here that there were plenty of people either this afternoon.

The severe storms that we have had just recently, such as Storm Alex and what went of before it have certainly shaken up the sea bed and who knows what they have unearthed? And so that’s another reason for the people doing the peche à pied to be out there this afternoon, over and above the beautiful weather and the very low tide today.

And I hope that they share the catch with all of their friends and neighbours. After all, one shouldn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish.

Medieval Fish Trap Crowds On Beach Plat Gousset Bouchot Farming Donville Les Bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd so I left the viewpoint overlooking the beach and walked on along the Rue du Nord, and down the footpath underneath the walls. Too many people about today to go for my run so I shelved that until this evening.

There was quite an assortment of items to note going on this afternoon on the beach at the Plat Gousset and down all the way past Donville les Bains.

  1. In the foreground we have the medieval fish trap (at least, I’m assuming that it’s medieval). The water flows over the walls when the tide is coming in and when it retreats it leaves behind a large pool of water in which, in theory, there should be fish trapped which the inhabitants can then pull out with their hands.
  2. Plenty of people out there too, including more pecheurs à pied
  3. The bouchot farm. These are mussels that instead of growing in the sand, somehow manage to grow on the strings that are attached to those poles. These are supposed to be something of a delicacy because with not having been in the sand, they aren’t anythign like as gritty. I once talked to one of the ropes and asked him about the affair. He told me that at first he didn’t like the bouchots but then after a while they began to grow on him.
  4. More pedestrians
  5. The caravan park, with the airfield behind it
  6. The Church of Bréville sur Mer


Crowds Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt beats me sometimes where all of these people come from because as well as the crowds milling around on the footpaths etc., there are also quite a few loitering around on the promenade at the Plat Gousset.

You can see that all of the beach changing cabins on the promenade are no longer there, having been taken away for winter storage a couple of weeks ago. And that’s just as well because had they still been there the other night they would have been smashed to matchwood with the force of the waves that were sweeping up over the wall onto the promenade.

There are one or two people on the beach as well, but not as comfortably-installed as they were last weekend with their folding chairs.

Anyway, I left them to it and wandered off through the Square Maurice Marland where I was engaged in conversation with a boy about three years old.

Joly France Seaweed Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the viewpoint overlooking the port, I could see that one of the Joly France ferries to the Ile de Chausey, the newer one with the smaller upper superstructure, is there whereas the other one looks as if it might be out at sea.

But it wasn’t that which caught my eye, it was the seaweed in the dock. The storm has clearly devastated the sea bed, as I suspected that it might, and the tidal current has been so strong that it’s brought the seaweed right into the head of the harbour.

That must have been some storm.

Football tonight on the internet tonight again. And Sgorio is still having problems with its service. Apparently the English-language stream stalled and while they were fixing it they transferred the viewers over to our Welsh language stream. And the presenter apologised to the English-speakers – IN WELSH.

As for the match itself, it was Cardiff Metropolitan v Caernarfon Town.The Met had 60% of possession, 15 corners compared to the 5 of the Cofis and a dozen shots on goal compared to the 4 of the opposition. When the Met were awarded a penalty early in the game those of us who were watching were saying “here comes the first of many”.

However Josh Tibbetts in the Cofis goal saved it, and from then on the result was predictable. The Met could still be playing out there all alone right now on an empty pitch and they would still be unable to score. As for Caernarfon, three of their four shots went into the back of the net, to produce one of the most unlikely results that I have ever seen.

The Met had a right-winger out there – a young lad called Liam Warman. I’ve not seen him before but he impressed me considerably tonight and I’ll be looking out for him again.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite what I said earlier, I didn’t get out with the tripod tonight.

When the weather brightened up earlier this afternoon as it did, I reckon that it must have simply been the eye of the storm, because it’s back, and with a vengeance too. So well wrapped up and in my waterproof jacket (and how I wish I’d taken my waterproof trousers too) I went out to take a photo or two of the storm.

And if you are wondering about the dreadful quality (because they really are dreadfully blurred and over-exposed) there was a wind blowing at over 100 Km/H and a driving, torrential rainstorm right into the lens of the camera and I had to do the best that I could.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there, I noticed that there was no-one else whatsoever taking advantage of the view tonight.

That’s hardly surprising because I don’t think that I’ve ever been out in such dreadful weather. There was no chance whatever of going around the headland so instead I went back around the walls. It was impossible – absolutely impossible to run down the path as I usually do. Not only was this absolutely awful headwind and driving rain, but the path was about two inches deep in water.

That meant that I had to pick my way gingerly around, which wasn’t easy as I had the hood of my raincoat pulled firmly down and I couldn’t really see where I was going.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually, after many difficulties, I reached the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

Here, I was being battered and buffetted by a blinding blizzard of rain and I could hardly see a thing. But I’d caught glimpses of the spray as I walked around the path and you could hear the noise of the waves smashing down on the promenade for miles, so I knew that it was going to be a good one.

Basically, it was just a case of waiting for a really loud crash, counting to three to give the spray enough time to make it high into the air, and then pressing the shutter blindly, hoping that something would work out. And, quite frankly, it was something of a failure altogether but you can’t have everything. Ideal conditions and nothing to photograph – miserable and depressing conditions and lots of excitement.

isn’t it always like that?

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving stuck it out for as long as I could and with rivers of rain running down the back of my jacket and soaking my legs through to the bones, I headed off for home, thanking the heavens that there had been no football in the area tonight that I might have gone to see.

The Square Maurice Marland was pretty well sheltered so I managed to run all the way across there and even halfway up the second ramp. I need to try my best to keep my heart working. But the final run that I do – from the church back home, there wasn’t any possibility of attempting it tonight in that wind. And I was right yesterday about the wind tunnel. The howling gust coming up there as I walked past almost bowled me over.

Back here I’ve written up my notes and that’s that. Sunday tomorrow and a day of rest too. No cooking or baking either (except for the usual pizza) because I shan’t be here for a few days. I might stretch myself and, having defrosted the fridge today, defrost the freezer tomorrow.

In this weather, it’s not as if there’s any danger of anything defrosting, is it?

Saturday 26th September 2020 – I WAS WRONG …

… about the weather last night. We didn’t have the rainstorm today. Or the plague of locusts either. But we had just about everything else.

The high winds are still here and still wreaking devastation about the town. I blame the baked beans that I had for tea the other night.

We also had one of the coldest days that I can remember for a good while too.

That’s probably why I didn’t feel like springing into action this morning and leaping joyously out of bed. Consequently I missed the third alarm. Only by 10 minutes or so, but missed it all the same.

And that’s hardly surprising as I must have been exhausted after my travels last night. I was with my aunt and we were doing a lot of stuff on the computer quite happliy working away. There was another guy with us as well. Suddenly my computer hard drive caught fire. This boy was all for dashing off for phoning up the fire brigade. Of coure I wouldn’t let him do that – I put it out myself. The fire brigade would just smother it in foam and ruin everything. In the end I managed to put out the fire. Of course the hard drive was ruined. My aunt and this boy were going into the City – Bishopsgate, although I don’t know why I thought Bishopsgate because it wasn’t there that I meant. There was a huge computer shop there. I felt really annoyed because I’d been to a computer fair that day and I could have bought a new hard drive there for peanuts had I known but it’s too late now. I asked this boy if he knew about this computer shop. Oh yes, he knew it very well. I asked “while you’re up in London with my aunt can you nip in there and pick me up a hard drive?”. I told him the one I wanted. He said “wouldn’t it be better to pick up a differet type for a MAC or something like that?”. He only ever uses MACs. I said that I use PCs and I’ve used them for years and I know them pretty well so I’m going to stick with them. He had a little bit of a chunter about that. Then I thought that I would have to get him some money as well and I probably don’t have enough cash on me so how am I going to do that? Then it came to booking the tickets so I went to look on the railway site. It turned out instead that I was looking at the bus site. It took endless goes for me to log in on it because everyone was meithering me and I kept on typing the wrong word. Eventually I got in to find that it was buses that we were looking at because we were now actually living in Bath. The first thing my aunt said was that they don’t have a direct bus service from Bath to London any more. We have to go on the train. We had to start looking for things like that. In the meantime we managed to find the times of the buses which would at least get them some of the way. Then the phone rang. My aunt talked to whoever it was and so on. When she hung up she said “that was George and that’s strange. He’s after his wages for the taxis. He’s on holiday and he wants it posted to him in York by cheque”. She couldn’t understand why he wanted it. I said “he’s probably going to buy something special while he’s in York”. “Yes but it’s early. he doesn’t get paid until Thursday but anyway …”. She had a chunter about that. Then I had to go and get her ready for this bus so they could get on it and this other guy too and head off into London
A little later on there was a girl and she was a lot older than she ought to be and she still had a dolly that she cuddled. People used to make remarks about it (Wiske and Schanulleke, anyone?). They decided that they would pass a Law about it. Somewhere inside there they inserted a clause that people who cuddled a pet or other object or person for the purpose of comfort would be exempt, which of course wiped out the whole purpose of this Law anyway. So we all had a debate about it.
Just then this other girl turned up. She was in a purple and gold kind of trouser suit kind of thing that looked more at home in a Middle-Eastern harem. She had long dark-brown hair that was cut in the style of an Egpytian, really precise cuts and edges and so on.
There was much more to it too but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you any discomfort.
And once again I was dictating without the dictaphone in my hand. Either this is starting to become a habit or else it already is and a whole load of stuff has slipped quite literally through my hands.

After a shower, Caliburn and I hit the streets and headed to the shops.

NOZ is always on my shopping list. That’s a shop that buys job-lots of bankrupt stock, overstocks, that kind of thing from all over Europe.

In the past I’ve found plenty of useful things in there and also a whole variety of different foods to vary my diet somewhat. Today they had stocks of Sharwoods products on offer so I now have some vindaloo and madras sauces as well as some mango chutney. Stocks of curry in the freezer are getting low, an I’m also going to learn to make poppadoms, I reckon.

At LeClerc I didn’t spend very much, and most of what I did went on fruit. The place is now looking like a greengrocer’s, which is good for my health (and that reminds me – my kiwi, lemon and ginger cordial is delicious and I’ll be doing that again – hence more kiwis today).

One good thing is that, after much searching, I finally found the fresh figs. So back here, I finally set my kefir en route. How that will pan out remains to be seen.

This afternoon I had a whizz through some more photos of my adventures with Spirit of Conrad in July and we are now in our anchorage for the final night aboard. I reckon that there are about 50 more to edit before I finish.

Then, there are the 400 or so from my voyage into Eastern Europe and once they are completed I can turn my attention to the 3000 that remain from the High Arctic in 2019 and the 2000-odd from the High Arctic in 2018.

And then, finally, I can write up the notes for all of this.

The burning question of the day is not Rafferty’s motor car but whether I’ll finish all of this before all of this finishes me.

A few more albums bit the dust too, some more work was done on revising the web pages, Rosemary rang me and we had a chat for just over an hour, and I even found time to crash out for 15 minutes.

And as for that latter, with everything else that I’ve been doing today, it’s hardly a surprise. I must have been exhausted by then so I’m not too disappointed, even if for the last couple of days I’ve managed to keep going.

chez maguie bar itinerante closed granville manche normandy france eric hallThe day is far from finished too. There’s football this evening so I headed off into town.

And here’s another sure sign that the summer season has ended. The beach cabins have gone and they’ve taken down the diving platform at the Plat Gousset already, but now the itinerant bar Chez Maguie has folded up its tent and crept silently away in the night.

It’s a very significant sign for some of us, but for others it means that the locals can have their boulodrome back until next summer.

football stade louis dior fc flerien flers us granville manche normandy france eric hallProfessional football started back up a few weeks ago, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. But this weekend amateur football has had the green light.

Consequently I headed off up to the Stade Louis Dior to watch Granville’s 2nd XI play FC Flerien, the team from Flers, in Normandy Regional 1.

For the first 15 minutes Granville’s control of the ball and their passing and movement was extremely fluent, but by the end of this little period they were already 2-0 down – a corner that the goalkeeper dropped into the path of an onrushing forward (he seemed to have a good pair of teflon gloves) and a misplaced header under pressure back to the goalkeeper that went to another onrushing forward.

After that, a couple of heads dropped, and the Fleriens got into their stride. We had to wait 55 minutes for Granville’s first shot on target (and about 10 minutes before the end for their other one) and 65 minutes for their first corner.

It was literally men against boys because Granville’s team was quite youthful whereas Flers had three or four old hands who had clearly been around the block far more times than the Granville players could handle.

The match ended 2-0 but really Flers could have had half a dozen and no-one in Granville would have complained.

And I’m glad that the match finished when it did because I was absolutely frozen to the marrow. It’s a long time since I’ve been this cold. I’ve been much warmer than this in the Arctic and next time I go to the football I’ll put on the thermal undies that I bought on Thursday.

blue light pedestrian crossing ave matignon granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, here’s something that I haven’t noticed before – mainly because it’s been an age since I went into town in the dark at night.

But now there seems to be blue lights shining down on all of the pedestrian crossings on the main roads. Presumably to give motorists a better chance of spotting civilians trying to cross the road.

It brought back many happy memories of a press release that we wonce received from the Parisian authorities when I worked at Shearings – “The policeman who directs the traffic at the roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe will from now on be floodlit to make sure that motorists don’t miss him in the dark”.

marite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route home had to be extended tonight for the simple reason that “if I’m out, I’m well out” and there’s no point in going home with just 90% on my fitbit. I may as well push it up to 100%.

For that reason I wandered on down into the port to see what was going on.

“Nothing much” was the answer to that. Marité was there of course, tucked up in her little corner and so were the two Channel Island ferries, Granville and the older Victor Hugo.

As an aside, we haven’t seen a gravel boat in here for almost 6 months. I was hoping that this new mayor would do something about stimulating the freight trade to the port.

restaurants rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route continued along the rue du Port.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen several photos taken of this street in the dark, all of which have been taken from the cliffs up above.

And so tonight, in an effort to do something different, here’s the reverse-angle shot taken from the street looking back towards the cliffs.

Not that you can actually see the cliffs in this (lack of) light. You’ll just have to use your imagination.

moonlight baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the climb back up the Boulevard des Terreneuviers I stopped (for breath) to look at the tidal port.

There was a beautiful bright moon tonight, even though it’s only half-full, and there was a wonderful reflection of light down in the Baie de Mont St Michel looking across to Jullouville and the Pointe de Carolles.

Actually, considering that this photo was hand-held and taken with the little NIKON 1 J5 with the standard lens, it’s not come out too badly, even if I did have to stop it down by 8 (in fact by 10 because normally the camera has to be opened up by 2 since the lens was repaired).

Back at the flabberblok there was yet more football so I grabbed a bowl of rice pudding and settled down in a ringside seat in front of the internet.

Y Fflint, newly promoted to the JD Cymru League this season after a 20-year absence were entertaining Barry Town. Barry, usually a strong competitive side but who misfired so spectacularly in European Competition earlier and then against TNS on the opening day of the season, have yet to grace my screen this season and I’ve only ever seen Y Fflint play once, in a cup match a few years ago.

The match was quite entertaining because while Barry were much more powerful and street-wise (which you have to expect), Flint matched them blow for blow and I was quietly impressed.

There were three significant items in this match

  1. Alex Titchiner, Flint’s ace striker, was carried off injured after just 2 minutes.
  2. Mike Lewis, in the Barry goal, played the game of his life and made a couple of stunning reflex saves (and that’s not to say that our old favourite, Jon Danby, formerly of Connah’s Quay Nomads, now next-door in the Flint goal didn’t have his moments too)
  3. and had a Flint defender kept his head when Matt Jarvis burst into the area and not conceded a penalty

then the new boys would have had something from this game. They are no mugs, and certainly not cannon-fodder like some promotees have been.

And if TNS managed to sweep away this Barry side so convincingly, then just HOW good are TNS?

There is also some exciting news from Deeside too. It seems that the idea to build a new football stadium on Deeside to be UEFA-compliant for junior international matches, and European club competition and to be shared by next-door neighbours Connahs Quay Nomads and Y Fflint has taken a giant step forward.

Who knows? It might even become a reality if the two clubs can keep up the momentum they they have established over the last couple of years. The announcement that “certain funds have been made available” is major news but, as expected, BBC Wales, with its hands so deep in the pockets of the Welsh Rugby Union to an indecent depth that it imposes a news blackout on Welsh football, has totally passed it by.

But by now, it’s late. Long after midnight, so I’m off to bed. I’ll write up my notes in the morning – if I’m here. It’s Sunday and a day of rest and I might sleep in long past midday.

Friday 28th February 2020 – I MISSED …

… the alarms this morning.

Yes, round about 07:30 when I finally heaved myself out of my stinking pit this morning. I’ve no idea why because last night wasn’t exactly a late night.. after the medication I had a look at the dictaphone as usual. I’d been on a few travels too during the night, but not enough to wear me out.

I’d been in Audlem and it had been some kind of New Years Eve or something like that. There were hordes of people out in the street all dressed in fancy clothes. I’d been wandering around looking at them and admiring their outfits, all that kind of thing. Then I headed down to where the Buttermarket was. There were even more people coming out from down Shropshire Street, all in a sort of nightwear type of thing as if they had been to some kind of pyjama party. They were all streaming up to a pub that of course doesn’t exist somewhere on Stafford Street. This pub was a black and white Tudor building with all kinds of statues on the edges of the roof like in Austria. There were all these bunk beds outside and this was the middle of winter and all these bunk beds for kids outside. These kids were all dressed in nightwear and I couldn’t understand what it was that they were doing. This was really late for kids to be out and so on.
Before that we had been in a procession, a procession of all kinds. We were dressed as seafaring pirates, a Marsupilami thing. We were quite happily parading and making up the story as we went along. We saw some being questioned about who was in a huge queue and who wasn’t and we realised that this was going to be the fate of death for us because we wouldn’t be allowed to continue. We chatted amongst ourselves who it was and ended up talking to this very young girl about 6 or 7 and ask her all these questions but by now we weren’t having the microphone passed down to us and being put on the air.

And there was more to all of this lot too.

After breakfast I had a look at some more sound files and, sure enough, just as expected, a couple of them were all over the place and took an age to sort out; Somewhere in the middle of all of this I took my Carnaval costume back to its owner. We had quite a chat and she had a lot to say for herself about her work so I made a note for the future.

hydraulic concrete breaker rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfter having finished the sound files I went down into town for my bread. The long way round too seeing as I wasn’t going anywhere special tody.

But down on the harbour, the hydraulic concrete-breaker that’s been breaking up the rocks over at the ferry port is back so that it looks as if they will be restarting there some time very soon.

Not today though. Chausiais and Joly France were over there moored in a NAABSA position on the bottom. It looks as if they have things to do this weekend.

new pontoon rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was here I went to look at the new pontoons that they’ve been installing.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day I mentioned the cranes on the quayside and that I didn’t think that they will reach over the pontoons.

Today, there were a couple of fishermen there so I asked the question. And the answer is “no, they don’t reach”.
“So what are you going to do then?” asked Our Hero
“Bof” replied one of the fishermen with a beautiful Gallic shrug.

A beautiful word, “Bof” – a must-have word in anyone’s vocabulary. It means basically “I don’t know” but with a much greater air of abandonment.

new pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe tide was out so I could walk across the harbour gates to the other side.

Thora had gone, as I had expected, so I could admire the new pontoons here too. They are cracking on with all of this and I don’t think that it will be long before they have finished.

But as I have said before, I hope that they will leave some space for the commercial boats like the gravel boats that come in here, even if they haven’t been in for a while.

At La Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette and headed for home.

Still plenty of time before lunch so I made a start on scanning in all of the receipts that needed scanning. And I was surprised that there were so many. I seem to have run aground somewhere in my plan for rolling scanning. even worse, I can’t find the receipts for medication that i bought at the end of June prior to going off on my sea voyage. It was an expensive do too so I hope that I didn’t discard the receipts along with all of the rest of the paperwork that I threw away on my travels.

After lunch, I had something very important to do. I’d used up the last of the hummus so I had to make some more. And although it took a while, it was thoroughly wicked when it was finished.

Basically, for any given weight you need 50% of chick peas and 25% sesame seed paste. These are the important figures to remember.
The remaining 25% of the given weight is made up of all kinds of things – olive oil and chick pea juice for a start. Then I use sea salt, ground black pepper, garlic (tons of that) and then your “flavouring ingredient”.

Everything except your flavouring ingredient goes into the whizzer and it’s whizzed round until it’s a nice creamy paste. Then, add your “flavouring ingredient”. I made two batches, one with the roasted peppers that I had prepared last night and the second with some sliced olives. You add that to the mix in the whizzer and whizz it just enough to disperse it rhrough the mix but not enough to break it up completely.

After that, I could crack on then and fill in these forms. And that wasn’t the work of five minutes either, with so many to do. I hadn’t really realised just how many receipts had piled up over that period when I broke my hand.

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual pause for my afternoon walk. Around the walls this afternoon, but no run because there were far too many people around.

Despite the wind, there were quite a few people down on the beach at the Plat Gousset too. I’ve no idea what they were doing but they were clearly having a good time doing it.

So I came back to carry on work, but it wasn’t quite the success for which I was hoping. There was a little … errr … repose during the afternoon that slowed me down too.

By the time that I had finished the medical expenses it was 18:30 and so I did something that I haven’t done for quite some time, namely I had a play on the bass. It shows you just how much work I’ve had to do that the guitars have been on the back burner all this time. The track “Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys” by Traffic came round on my playlist so I spent half an hour working out the bass line.

There has been some excitement too. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall my disenchantment with certain events over the weekend. The controller has called a meeting for Monday to discuss them but EVERY ONE of the volunteers is refusing to go and there has been a frantic exchange of e-mails.

There are stories of one or two others who are as disenchanted as I am, but I had no idea that the feeling was so general. Not, of course, that I am surprised.

Tea was an “anything curry” of leftover food in the fridge, including a couple of falafel balls that had been in there maybe longer than they ought to have been.

The evening walk around the headland was disappointing. I only managed one run and that was a struggle too as I had a headwind against me. Reaching my mark, never mind extending it, was something of a battle.

Later, I had the football to watch so I started to write my notes on the little old Acer laptop that I have recently raised from the dead just to prove that it still works.

It was Welsh Cup quarter-final and we should have had two second-division teams, Prestatyn Town and Flint Town United. But their match was called off so the cameras made a dash across North Wales to show us Caernarfon Town v Cefn Druids instead.

Caernarfon scored after just a minute – a wicked deflection from a corner that shouldn’t have been awarded in the first place. And then they had Alex Ramsey to thank for a series of excellent saves to keep them in the game for the next hour.

The match hinged on a moment of madness on the hour-mark.

Arsan, one of the Druids defenders, was fouled and the referee blew his whistle to award the free kick. Arsan, in his folly, kicked out at the Caernarfon player for which he was rightly booked. Probably not 30 seconds later, he had the ball and as he ran past a Caernarfon player, fell to his knees. No clearer case of simulation you will ever see, and he picked up another yellow card and was thus expelled from the game.

In my time I’ve seen some stupid players do some stupid things, but nothing quite as stupid as this.

Within the next 5 minutes Caernarfon had scored two more goals, and went on to score a bizarre fourth right at the end when an outstretched Caernarfon boot touched the ball awkwardly causing it to loop up over everyone and drop down behind a defender into the net.

So I’m off to bed now. For the first time in a while I’m off shopping and I hope that they have more of that Alpro soya ice cream. I started on that for tea tonight and it was delicious.

Saturday 8th December 2018 – JUST TYPICAL, ISN’T IT?

Ohh the decisions!

Do I go out in a howling gale and rainstorm to watch US Granville’s 2nd XI, or do I stay in in the comfort and warmth of my own living room and watch Y Fflint v Y Bala in the Welsh Cup?

After a great deal of deliberation, I decided to watch the latter. And I hadn’t even had time to sit down on the sofa before the floodlights failed and the ground was plunged into darkness. Match abandoned, and that was that.

That was almost that this morning too. Another mobile phone upgrade during the night and so despite being awake at 05:15, it was 06:45 when I realised that something was amiss.

That wasn’t all of the activity during the night either. I’d heard on the grapevine that there was a driving job on offer on a temporary basis at an engineering firm in the locality, so putting on a pair of overalls, off I trotted. When I arrived there they wouldn’t let me in so being fed up about being left hanging around like this, I just strode in, through the doors and into the machine room where I loudly asked to speak to the foreman. There was a guy who was sitting on a bench behind a table with several other people. He lifted up his head and announced himself. And I recognised him. He was one of my father’s former colleagues and naturally he would identify my overalls, as they were a pair of brown ones from may father’s place (they didn’t use brown, by the way) that had been liberated at one time. He wasn’t sure about this job but said that there was a pile of scaffolding behind the factory that needed moving. A manual job wasn’t quite what I had in mind due to my state of health and I visibly wilted, but it was a start I suppose.
A little later I received notice that my employer was sending me to work in London on a temporary basis. So I was no idea why I was looking up trains to Glasgow. But anyway I sorted something out ready for the early morning (it was very late in the evening) but then I suddenly realised that I didn’t have the address of where I was supposed to be going. I needed my papers out of my rucksack. On the way down tea was served for the group of people with whom I had been travelling. There was absolutely nothing that I could eat so I decided to try my luck with a cheese sandwich. But to my dismay, I found after I had taken a bite out of it that it had chicken on it. So there was nothing at all that I could eat. When I reached our bus, which was an elderly worn-out school bus rather like the one at Pond Inlet there were already people on board waiting to move on. I asked the driver if there was any food that I could eat so, after a great deal of thought, he reckoned that there might be some pasta somewhere. I could see that this particular trip was going to be extremely difficult. I went on down the bus to see if I could find my rucksack to find out the details of where I was expected to be tomorrow.

With a late breakfast there wasn’t all that much time to organise myself before it was time to shoot off to LIDL. And they still had one of the big slow cookers left. The small one that I have here was bought for travelling and hotel use, and is too small for cooking in here. When I make a mega-curry, it overflows. So a 3.5-litre one is a much better idea.

NOZ didn’t have anything special except some of the alcohol-free beer that I bought last year. So I bought a tray of it. They also had some real and proper Digestive biscuits and I can eat those.

bad parking leclerc granville manche normandy franceAt Leclerc there was nothing special.

We’re back on the bad parking though. Someone who can’t even park his vehicle between two white lines, and can’t manage to pull it off the public highway either.

It’s worse than Belgium around here at times, where people used to find their driving licences in packets of crisps, as the old story used to go.

They had some more of the coconut-flavoured soya dessert but there was also some almond-flavoured soya dessert with €0:30 off on special offer, so I thought that I would try one of those this week.

And just two of the gilets jaunes today on the roundabout – looking bemused and bewildered as the motorists drove past ignoring them.

Back here I crashed out for a while and then put away everything that I bought.

Lunch was indoors of course with some more of the home-made hummus – delicious it was too.

This afternoon I attacked the pile of images from the desktop computer and removed yet another pile of duplicates. It’s getting to be something of a habit. There won’t be any left at this rate.

storms waves fog granville manche normandy franceThe walk around the walls this afternoon was in the wind and rain.

The tide was out so no waves crashing over the sea walls, and not many people out there either which is hardly any surprise.

The waves were quite wild down there, rolling along the beach there like that. I didn’t fancy being out there myself

housebuilding rue du nord granville manche normandy franceIt gave me a good opportunity to have a look at the housebuilding that is (slowly) taking place along the rue du Nord.

I can’t remember now what was there before they originally started on the building, but whatever they are doing, they are taking their time doing it.

I imagine that we’ll be ending up sometime with a couple of apartments with a sea view or a single residence or something.

Tea was a stuffed pepper and spicy rice, all of which was a little more spicy that is good for me. I’ll have to put the toilet roll in the fridge for later.

And then the football – or lack thereof.

And a walk around the Pointe du Roc in a veritable hurricane – the storm had increased tenfold in velocity but strangely the wind had dropped. The waves were pounding over the sea wall by the harbour but there was nothing like enough light to capture it and I shall have to work on that.

night christmas lights rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy franceInstead, I had to make do with the Christmas lights that have been installed down on the rue du Port.

They don’t look all that impressive from up here, and I bet that they are even less impressive from down there.

I can’t help thinking that they need to make more of an effort to brighten up the place and make it much more attractive and artistic.

It’s Sunday tomorrow so I’m in no rush to go to bed. I can have a lie-in instead, but I bet that someone will come along to disturb me.

bad parking leclerc granville manche normandy france
bad parking leclerc granville manche normandy france

beach graffiti plat gousset granville manche normandy france
beach graffiti plat gousset granville manche normandy france