Tag Archives: foyer des jeunes travailleurs

Tuesday 19th October 2021 – THE EXCITEMENT HERE …

filming foyer des jeunes travailleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021… has been intense today – not like when you go camping when the excitement is in tents, but there has been lots going on.

As I went into the kitchen to make myself a coffee earlier on this morning, I could see the crowds gathering on the edge of the car park at the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs.

It wasn’t the ambulance that attracted the crowds – well, maybe it had something to do with it – but if you look closely, you’ll see that the film cameras are turning and the whole event is being filmed.

film crew vehicles place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As we saw the other day when I was wandering around on my post-prandial perambulations, that the public car park outside has been turned into a lorry park.

The film crew vehicles are parked on there and I am sure that there are quite a few more than there were when we last saw them. And apparently they are likely to stay for a few days yet as the filming continues.

At the moment, I haven’t yet found out the name of the film that they are filming but there will probably be something in the papers. I haven’t checked since I went away to Leuven last week. I’m building up far too many arrears.

film crew equipment boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021But back to the plot.

As one walks around the circuit around the headland, one stumbles across all kinds of film equipment that has been set up in all kinds of strange places.

This lot here was guarded by a security guard who was more interested in checking the messages on his phone rather than on the security of the equipment, so I was having a look round to see if there was anything that would fit nicely into the back of Caliburn.

people taking a light test place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There are all kinds of people doing all kinds of strange things too.

One of these guys was holding what looked like a microphone and manipulating a portable computer while the other one had some kind of strange black machine with a screen built in.

My initial thought was that they were checking the light with a very sophisticated light meter but having thought about the matter some more, I wondered if they were filming a background, complete with ocean noise, for “green-screening”.

That’s where you film the action against a background of solid colour (usually green but I use bright pink), film a background scene, like a seascape for example, and superimpose the action film onto the background scene, setting the solid coloured background of the action scene to “transparent” on your computer-generated image.

A lot of STRAWBERRY MOOSE‘s action shots are done by green-screening.

But anyway, I digress … “once more” – ed.

Last night I actually had a better night’s sleep. Still not as good as it could be, but an improvement on how it has been just now

After the medication I spent some time revising my Welsh ready for my lesson and I must be psychic because our lesson actually finished right at the point to which I had revised.

But I had a visitor in the middle – someone at the front door downstairs rang the doorbell.

It turned out that he was a locksmith come to change the lock in the apartment that has just been sold.

And I was thinking “if he needs someone to open the front door for him, he can’t be a very good locksmith”.

After lunch I sat down to make a list of things that need to be done within the next couple of weeks, including paying my internet hosting fees, which are not insignificant.

And that reminds me, if you enjoy or appreciate whatever I write, please make your next Amazon purchase by using the links on the sidebar to the right. It costs you no extra but I receive a small commission on the sale.

people swimming on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As usual, when I go out for my afternoon walk, the first thing that I do is to go over and see what is going on down on the beach.

This afternoon I was quite a bit later than usual so the photo doesn’t mean all that much. There was a fair bit of beach down there this afternoon but what caught my eye were the people down there on it.

There’s someone paddling in the water with their trousers rolled up to their knees, but even more interestingly, there seemed to be two people actually in the water up to their necks. Now that’s what I call “brave” as we come into the last third of October.

And that reminds me – although it looks quite nice and it is actually warm, it was freezing this morning and I have now put the heating on in the apartment.

holiday camp donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021It was another one of these strange, low-lying suns, which isn’t a surprise seeing what time it was when I went out.

It was quite strange because there was a ray of sunshine illuminating the holiday camp just outside Donville les Bains and was creating quite a spectacular effect.

It’s a shame that the camera couldn’t do the view justice, but I bet that those people over there on the beach were enjoying every single moment of it.

That was my cue to push off along the path, fighting my way past film technicians as I did so.

fishing boats returning home baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And as I was on my way out, everyone else was on his way back.

Although the harbour gates aren’t yet open, there are flocks of trawlers and other fishing boats heading back home with their catch. I counted about a dozen of them, and there were probably plenty more than I could see.

There weren’t many people out there this afternoon so I could stride on with alacrity – and “stride” too, because it seemed to take less effort to go around than it has done of late. I must be feeling better.

speedboat in waves baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down the path and across the car park went I, right the way down to the end of the headland.

And you’ll be forgiven for thinking that the sea was quite rough this afternoon, judging by the way that that speedboat is sending a shower of spray just about everywhere.

In fact, it wasn’t all that rough and there wasn’t all that much wind either. It was just the manner and the speed at which the boat was travelling. It was really bouncing about on top of the waves.

Judging by the flag and all of the radio antennae on the roof of the cabin, she seems to be some kind of “official” craft and that might explain everything.

chausiaise joly france fishing boats waiting to enter port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021My route took me along the south side of the headland and to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

There was no change in occupancy in the chantier naval but the outer harbour was heaving with boats. As I said earlier, the harbour gates are still closed but there’s quite a queue of fishing boats waiting to pass through into the inner harbour.

And over at the ferry terminal are Chausiase and one of the Joly France ferries for the Ile de Chausey. The ferries still run throughout the off-season, but on a very reduced schedule.

And I’m not going to mention the crane at all.

unloading bouchots de chausey port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The smaller boats don’t need to go into the inner harbour. They can unload in the outer port at the wharf by the fish processing plant.

Down there is the fishing boat Bouchots de Chausey loaded to the gunwhales with shellfish, all being unloaded by the crane on the trailer on the back of the tractor.

They’ll be in the shops in the morning, nice and fresh.

Back here I had a coffee and had some work to to in respect of my new radio project, and then I stopped for tea.

The cauliflower was washed, diced and blanched and most of it is on its way to the freezer. The rest went into a cheese sauce along with potatoes, vegetables and some veggie balls from the mountain in the freezer and it was totally delicious.

Right now I’m off to bed. I have a list of things to do and of course I have my physio session later in the afternoon so I need to be on form. A good sleep will do me good and I hope that it’s going to be better than some that I’ve had just recently.

Friday 13th August 2021 – I WAS WRONG …

35ma pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… about it being the little yellow autogyro that would cast its shadow upon me from the air this afternoon.

A couple of planes about which I had completely forgotten are the little ones that seem to carry a “special series” number that, to date I have been unable to trace except by the most fortunate of circumstances.

This one, 35MA, has overflown me on several occasions and I’m still none-the-wiser. I’m not even better-informed either and so I’m going to have to wait for a more suitable moment to make further enquiries.

unidentified aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving aeroplanes overfly me when I can’t identify their numbers is one thing. Having them overfly me without any number at all on display is somethign else completely.

This machine overflew me at (adjusted) 17:06 going straight up the coast from south to north and as she didn’t make any effort to turn off as if to land at the airfield here at Granville then I’ve no idea who she is.

It’s this kind of thing that gets on my wick. It’s a legal requirement for an aeroplane to display a registration number, but it ought to be a legal requirement to display it where people can see it.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe had much more luck with this aeroplane because we’ve seen her on numerous occasions, and her number is clearly displayed.

She’s F-GBAI from the Granville Aero club, one of the Robin DR400s that they have. This one is the 140B models.

She took off from the airfield at 10:38 and flew off out to sea, and then flying up the Rance estuary beyond St Malo, doing a lap around Mont St Michel and coming home for 11:23

My photo was taken at (adjusted) 11:19 so that’s about right.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we were in luck later on too, because we saw her as she went out for a run around later.

This time she was picked up on radar at 17:05, which corresponds with my (adjusted) time of 17:03 when I saw her, and according to my flight radar plot, she’s still airborne even now.

She headed out to sea, did a lap around the ile de Chausey and for the rest of her time has been cruising up and down the coast as someone clocks up the flying hours. I’ll have to check tomorrow to see what time she finally did land.

Breezer B600 D-EQDK baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s an aeroplane that we haven’t seen before.

At first glance I thought that she was an ME-262 fitted with a Junkers Jumo 210 engine as some of the earlier ones were, but in actual fact she’s a Breezer B600, registered D-EQDK and owned by the Aeroclub-Avranches.

She was first picked up on radar at 11:11 and must have done a few laps around before I picked her up at (adjusted) 11:22, and she disappeared off the radar near Avranches at 11:31

There are plenty of small airfields around here and on the basis of no other information I would imagine that they have their origins with the German Luftwaffe

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner TC-LLA Turkish airlines baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow this is much more like it. It’s been a good while since the skies have been clear enough to pick up full-size jets in mid-flight.

No prizes for guessing what this is – its distinctive shape gives the game away straight away. It can only be a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

And according to my radar, only one Dreamliner in the air in this vicinity when I took this photo. And that’s a Type 9, TC-LLA, owned by Turkish Airlines.

She took off last night from Miami and is taking Turkish Airlines Flight THY78C to Istanbul where she’s expected to arrive at 12:31, 26 minutes late.

She passed over me at 39,000 feet at 544 knots ground speed on a bearing of 098.

la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo that was what I got wrong today. Why don’t we look at what I got right?

Like the fact that there’s much more activity in the morning at high tide than what I’ve been seeing on my afternoon walk, like La Grande Ancre heading out of port.

What exactly her rôle is, I haven’t quite worked out yet. One of the very first times that I encountered her, she had a tractor strapped to her deck and heading out to the Ile de Chausey. But most of the time she’s running here and there with fishing equipment like this morning.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomeone else having an early start today is one of the sailing schools.

Plenty of water in the bay of course, seeing as I’ve gone out round about high tide this morning, and so they are bringing out the little yachts to do a lap around, being towed out into open water.

There are quite a few other boats too, coming and going out there this morning, and even a couple of kayaks having a paddle around. It’s more-than-likely that there will be some fishermen too somewhere.

trawler le coelacanthe speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the subject of fishermen, here is one bunch of fishermen heading for home this morning after a night on the tiles.

It’s our old friend Le Coelacanthe , one of the larger trawlers to sail out of the port, and if she’s on her way home with her hold full of fish then her little sister Le Tiberiade can’t be all that far away somewhere because they keep quite close to each other more often than not.

And the people in that speedboat were in quite a devilish hurry too – with the feu dans les fesses as they say around here. I’ve no idea where she’s off to.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallActually, it’s not Le Tiberiade that has come following Le Coelacanthe into the harbour, as it happens.

It’s one of the Joly France ferry boats that goes over to the Ile de Chausey and presumably she’s come back for a second load of passengers.

This boat is the one with the smaller upper deck superstructure and the rectangular windows in “portrait” format so that tells me that she’s the more modern of the two near-identical boats.

And having seen the older one and the very new Belle France yesterday, it means that we have all three running the service right now. Business must be booming.

marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomeone else who seems to be having a booming business these days as well is the sailing ship Marité.

We’ve seen her out and about for the last few days, usually out in the English Channel or the Baie de Granville but here she is today going for a lap around the Baie de Mont St Michel.

From what I can make out, she has quite a crowd of passengers on board, and I do sometimes wonder what would happen if they had an emergency and had to fit everyone in the little boat that she tows behind her.

But I suppose that there are always enough other boats loitering in the immediate vicinity everywhere she goes to deal with any issues.

yacht ile des rimains cancale brittany France Eric HallBut anyway, while I was out there, I noticed that the air was quite clear this morning and the view was really good.

A clear white sail right over underneath Cancale caught my eye so I took a photo of it. And when I enhanced it on returning home, I could see quite clearly the fort on the Ile de Rimains over there just offshore, to the left of centre.

When I was on board the Spirit of Conrad I took a few close-up photos of the fort and one of these days when I can, I’ll post them on line.

And on the right there’s a very good view of the church at Cancale – one of the best views that we have had from over here.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf you think that all of the action was taking place on the southern side of the headland this morning, you are mistaken. There’s plenty more going on out here on the north side too.

Most of these boats look to me as if they are fishing boats – I did say that there would probably be some fishermen out today. There were several groups of them, some inshore and others farther out in the bay.

But I bet that those just here don’t think all that much of what that rather fast craft just behind them is doing. That’s the kind of activity that will drive away all of the fish and it’s not as if they catch all that many to start with.

joly france la granvillaise ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd even more activity over towards the Ile de Chausey too this morning.

Apart from the dozens of smaller craft out there, bearing down upon us at a rather rapid rate of knots is one of the Ile de Chausey ferries and to my reckoning she is the older of the two Joly France boats likewise returning to this side of the bay.

Also over there, right up against the shore were some strange white objects and while I can’t see for sure what they are, they have the same shape as the sails on La Granvillaise

beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we’re here, we will of course have to have a look over the wall and see the beach to see what’s happening down there.

And as I expected, there isn’t any beach for anything to be happening upon right now. The tide is well and truly in, and that will account for all of the boats out there at sea.

Maybe I should come out here and look at what happens about 10 minutes before the harbour gates close. I imagine that there will be an almighty stampede for the harbour and the devil take the hindmost.

trans-shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo that was all of the water craft and aerial activity this morning.

Still afew other things going on that caught my attention this morning, like another lorry stranded at the Porte St Jean being unable to pass under the arch. That’s two now in two days.

No-one in attendance either so it looks as if the driver has gone off to seek further instructions. It’s really pleasant living in an environment like this, but it does have its drawbacks if you don’t happen to have a handcart handy.

mummy and baby seagull foyer des jeunes travailleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we are at it, yesterday we saw mummy seagull taking baby seagull for its maiden voyage over the cliffs.

There’s another mother and offspring here this morning siting on the roof of the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs, the hostel for young people, and baby is not at all enthusiastic as you can tell by looking at the photo.

It’s squawking at its mother in the most plaintive of tones and mummy, like most exasperated mothers, is taking absolutely no notice whatsoever. I find a lot of pleasure in watching the interaction between the young and their parents, whatever the species.

But like most things, I’m getting way ahead of myself these days. Let’s start with waking up, which I did about 20 minutes before the alarm was due to go off.

There were details of a voyage going round and round my head, details that were so miserable that I couldn’t even say them, let alone dictate them and transcribe them.

It’s very rare, very rare indeed that I have a voyage quite like this. Some have been really gruesome and they haven’t been much of an issue although I’m sure that you wouldn’t want to read them, but this was just unhappy, miserable and depressing. I’m glad in a way that it happened during the night and not during the day.

After the medication I came in here to start work but it took me a good couple of hours drifting in and out of a kind of trance before I was able to get myself going and then shock! Horror! I tidied up the bedroom.

You couldn’t move in here for stuff all over the floor, but now most (not all, just most) of it has been put away. I have plenty more to go at in here but I can only do so much before I wear myself out.

In the past the question of tidying up ( or the lack thereof) used to be because the Spirit was unwilling. But these days I have to contend with the flesh being weak as well.

Another thing that I did this morning was that when I was going through the files that I’d uploaded to this computer I came across three digital soundtracks of albums that I’d found but hadn’t yet split.

Two of those were quite straightforward, even if they are time-consuming, but the third should have had 8 tracks on it but somehow I ended up with at least 12, and one of them definitely didn’t sound like the singer whom it should have been.

All of that took some tracking down and it seems that I have somehow ended up with a master tape that includes several other tracks that were recorded for the sessions but were cut from the album.

These are as rare as hens’ teeth of course, these dropped tracks, and I have amassed quite a few here and there. They are good fun to broadcast on my radio programmes when probably no-one has ever heard of them.

After lunch I came in here and … errr … closed my eyes. And for only about half an hour too. A couple of years ago that would have filled me with dismay but these days it’s a sign of optimism – in that it’s not a couple of hours dead to the world as it has been just now.

Once I’d recovered, I had a coffee and had another go at the Greenland photos from 2019. Right now I’m on board the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR just about to get into a zodiac to go and visit the Eqi Sermia Glacier in Ataa Fjord, one of the fastest-moving glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere.

At 15:00 I knocked off to have a go at the Spirit of Conrad notes and I’d actually written a cople of words too when the phone rang. It was Rosemary wanting a chat and she had one too – for 105 minutes as well.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlthough you’ve already seen over the wall and down onto the beach during my morning wanderings, no reason why we can’t go there and have another look.

This time, of course, the tide was way out and there were plenty of people down there this afternoon compared to how there have been in the past.

Dozens of people sunbathing on the beach, and plenty of hardy souls out there in the water too. Mind you, it was really nice out there this afternoon even if there was some wind. But I suppose that down there, they are out of the wind and it could be quite pleasant.

fishermen in zodiac speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEarlier on, we saw plenty of what I took to be fishermen out there in the bay.

It looks as if a few of them are staying out until this evening’s tide comes back in because there were several boats still out there.

Those two boats out there look as if they have fishermen on board although they don’t seem to have their rods in the water right now. They are probably just having a sociable chat for a few minutes.

There’s a dark object in the water behind the boat on the left and I wonder if that’s the head of a swimmer maybe.

men fishing in zodiac man fishing from beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut these people here much closer inshore have definitely gone out there with the intention of fishing.

However the guy on the rocks doesn’t really look all that enthusiastic about it either, holding his rod at about 45° when the water is that shallow just where he is isn’t going to bring him very much much.

As for the four people in the zodiac, they look even less enthusiastic about the whole idea. Their rods are still perpendicular in their holders while they seem to be just sitting around chatting. I’m sure that they ought to be more eager than that if they hope to catch anything.

sailing boat english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there spying out the land I saw a rather large sail out there on the horizon in the English Channel.

Being interested, I took myself off to the high point on top of the bunker at the end of the path for a better view. I took a photograph of it and when I was back at home I had a much closer look.

Rather disappointingly, it turned out to be something of an optical illusion. It’s a smaller boat closer into shore than I thought and it’s the spar of the mast that’s level with the horizon. I don’t think that it’s anything more than a rather large yacht.

men fishing from zodiac pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut on that disappointing note I walked off down the path and across the car park to see what was going on at the end of the headland.

And we have a few more fishermen this afternoon. At first glance I thought that these people on this zodiac were musicians because one of them at least seemed as if he was holding a guitar.

In actual fact it is a fishing rod and he’s holding it with his arms extended. Two other people are fishing too but the fourth one just looks as if he’s passing the time. If I were out there, I’d need a really good book to help do that, along with some good music.

yacht being prepared for painting chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo leaving them to it, I pushed off down the path towards the port. And when I arrived at the chantier naval I asked myself “have I seen this before?”.

None of my earlier photos are conclusive but I’m sure that I would have noticed this had I seen it. It’s a medium-sized yacht and it’s been stripped and masked off for painting.

And if it has indeed only come out of the water this morning, then they have been moving at a hell of a pace and it’s a shame that all workmen around here can’t work at this kind of speed.

She’ll look really good when she’s finished, that’s for sure.

trawler on blocks chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday I mused about what might happen if the have to drop one of the seven trawlers that were here yesterday back into the water when the portable boat lift had a trawler in it.

It looks as if they have actually had to cope with this eventuality because they seem to have rigged up some kind of impromptu kind of blocking so that the trawler can be dropped from the lift.

The workmen have now clambered aboard her making a start and the boat lift has now gone back in its usual position over the drop into the harbour.

trawler charlevy trafalgar chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd this is the reason why there have been the changes.

Today there are only 6 tralwers down there. Charlevy, Trafalgar and four whose names I don’t know and which I’ll have to find out before they all go back into the water. There are plenty of workmen down there so they aren’t hanging around.

It looks as if the next one to be moved might be Charlevy because they seem to be well-advanced with her paint job and there are a couple of vans around her with men who look as if they are working.

marité grandstand port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne last thing to do is to check the inner port to see who is there.

We saw the big sail earlier, and even without enlarging the image I can say that it’s not Marité because she’s moored up in her little corner down there.

What has however caught my eye is the temporary grandstand at the loading bay. We had a concert down there a couple of weeks ago and so I wonder if they’ll be having another one this weekend.

Let’s hope that the Jersey freighters don’t want to come and drop off a load of freight.

Nack here there wasn’t time to do much before tea. Veggie balls, seeing as I have an endless supply thereof, followed by apple crumble.

Tomorrow is shopping day and I don’t need much with going to Leuven on Tuesday but I do need some fruit so I’ll see how I go.

And there’s football tomorrow, and about time too.

Saturday 10th July 2021 – 265 DAYS …

players warming up us Granville en avant guingamp stade louis dior granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… since we were last in the Stade Louis Dior to watch a football match, so I’m told.

And I nearly missed this one as well because the kick-off was at 16:00 and at 15:00 I was fast asleep, crashed out in my chair slumped over my desk. It was something of a scramble for me to make it to the stadium in time for the kick-off.

Up until that point it had been a reasonably good day as far as I was concerned. Once more I was up as soon as the alarm went off at 06:00 and although it was a struggle to gather my wits (which will be quite a surprise to everyone seeing as I have so few wits left these days) I gradually pulled myself round ready to face the day.

First task after the medication was to listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. Noticing that the newspapers had arrived today we read them and we noticed that the group “White Spirit” was appearing somewhere. They had one of these young female singers so the two girls would have liked to have seen them. I ended up buying 4 tickets and I took a friend of mine and the 2 girls so the 4 of us went. The 2 of us decided that we didn’t really want to go so we’d wait outside the hall in the car. He’d had to paint the doors inside-out so the paint was one colour but I’d had the tin and taken a look inside it and it was the right lot so I thought that … indistinct … Anyway they wandered off. This girl was singing and at the end of the first song she came down the corridor and came out to us saying “I hope that you 2 are going to behave because I’m going to be coming out here afterwards to see you”. She stayed to chat to us for a while. She was sucking on a stick of rock and I thought that seeing as she has a stage performance to do she’s being extremely I couldn’t think of the word. But there was much more to it than this of course but I can’t now remember what it was. And never mind the guy – who were the 2 girls we took to the concert and who was the girl who came to see us? Yes, all these girls appearing during the night and I can’t remember who they are. What kind of state is this to be in?

Later on I had to go to Manchester with a computer or PA or something so I got on the tram. Someone I knew was on there so I said “hello” to him. We set off and were well on our way when suddenly the tram came to a stop. I walked down towards the front past this guy again to see what was happening. There was some big accident in front of us so I got off the tram and started to wave the traffic through. All the traffic including this tram got through this obstruction. It all drove away and left me standing there so I had to hitch-hike. I had a lift with someone in a Mark I Cortina and it was an automatic with a bench seat in the front, or it might have been column change with a bench seat in the front. We were talking about something with these cars. I said something and he denied it but I knew that I was right but he wasn”t having any of this at all. In the end I took the rubber mat out of the front and emptied it out to make the car a bit tidier. He told me that I could drive on the way back. There was lots more to this dream as well but I can’t remember it now.

Having dealt with all of that, what remained was to bring up to date yesterday’s journal entries. Perhaps I should add at this point that although I said that I was going to have an early night last night, but in fact I became engrossed in the acoustic guitar and ended up playing for a couple of hours.

And I can’t do the slip-change from Chord C to Chord F and back again like I used to. I’m far too rusty.

Having organised the notes from yesterday I spent the rest of the morning organising the new laptop bag and making sure that it has everything that I need in it.

And then I packed the little suitcase that I’m taking with me, and sorted out the clothes that had been airing on the clothes airier on my windowsill since I can’t remember when.

While I was sorting things out I came across an old USB drive and a USB SD micro-card reader stuck in the pocket of an old abandoned bag.

And searching further I came across the missing audio cable for which I’ve been searching since I don’t know when. I must have taken it with me to Canada a few years ago so that I could couple up my old *.mp3 player to Strider’s audio input socket, and then forgotten to unpack it.

Here’s hoping that whatever new vehicle I might buy to replace Strider will have a USB socket. Yes, I was having a good look at a Subaru Forester estate car this afternoon while I was out.

After lunch I came in here to do some work on my photos but I soon crashed out on the chair. And then it was a rather desperate struggle up the hill.

moulin childrens roundabout place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way out to the football ground I went past the Place Charles de Gaulle and the Saturday market.

Summer is in full swing here in Granville if you are a kid (except in the Square Maurice Marland of course) and the kiddies’ roundabout is in full swing with plenty of potential customers. I stayed to watch the proceedings for a minute while I caught my breath and then pushed on up the hill.

And it was a long, lonely climb up there and I had to stop four or five times to catch my breath. I’ve aged 20 years over this last couple of months and that has filled me full of dismay. But I eventually arrived at the Stadium Louis Dior.

players us Granville en avant guingamp stade louis dior Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEn Avant Guingamp play in the French Second Division, but this was described as “A Team from EA Guingamp” which probably means that it contained triallists and players on the fringes of the first team rather than the first team itself.

And in an astonishing match, and in a game that Granville pretty much dominated, they somehow managed to lose the game 3-0. Threw it away completely and comprehensively.

Two goals they gave away by defenders going to sleep and there should have been a third as well except that the Guingamp player stood on the ball instead of kicking it. The third goal was a wonder strike of a curling free kick round the blind side of the defensive wall.

Granville had a bew player playing in the centre of defence – an older guy – and he certainly looked as if he had been around the block a few times. He was head and shoulders above anyone else on the pitch. He wasn’t a centre back from what I could see but more of a defensive midfielder distributing the ball out of defence. If he has signed for the club then things are looking up.

But once again, total defensive lapses and a bunch of forwards who couldn’t score in a brothel

2 players with n°33 us Granville en avant guingamp stade louis dior Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut here was something interesting that I have never seen before on a football pitch at this level.

Two players on the same team with the same number. And about 20 seconds after I had noticed, so did a few other people and the “older” n°33 was quickly withdrawn and replaced by another player. And he’d only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes too.

The younger n°33 took some time to warm up but once he got going he had a good game. He almost scored too, getting in on the end of a delicious cross to the far post but his shot was somehow scrambled off the line.

So after all of this I think that it’s going to be a long, hard season, if we manage to complete it.

no parking in town on Sundays Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way up towards the football ground I’d noticed the town centre covered with these signs.

There had been something in the local newspaper about shops opening all day on Sunday during the summer season but I hadn’t realised that parking will be banned in the town centre too. This makes for interesting opportunities if ever we have a summer here.

Actually it was quite warm now – the sun being out made a change from the damp, dreary start of the day, so I went for an ice cream. But my favourite ice cream parlour was surprisingly closed. I had to walk quite a way before I found another one with non-dairy options.

sale of fresh seafood closed port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now I found myself on the quayside at the spot where the fresh fish seller sells his catch from his boat every Friday morning.

However he’s announced that he’s not operating until the middle, missing the entire summer season, which seemed rather strange to me. But then I noticed the photos of his boat, and that explained everything. Do you recognise it?

Anyway, clutching my ice cream I wandered off down the quayside to see what else was going on that I might have missed since I’ve last been on the quaysid.

philcathane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s an old friend of ours riding the waves at her mooring here in the inner harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the past couple of weeks we’d been seeing the trawler Philcathane up on blocks in the chantier naval until she went missing, back into the water, at the end of the week.

By the looks of things she’s all finihsed now with her nice fresh coat of paint and she’ll be ready to go back to the fishing grounds on Monday.

And the interesting question now is “who has gone to replace her in the chantier naval?

tour du roc à la nage no parking at port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut never mind that for a moment. Let’s turn our attnetion to the immediate present and what’s going to be going on in town.

It looks as if they are planning quite a pile of events to welcome the tourists to the town and this one is certainly a new one on me that I haven’t seen before.

It looks as if there is going to be some kind of swimming race from the port and around the Pointe du Roc to somewhere on the other side of the headland. So good luck to those who are attempting it.

And never mind “no parking”. They will probably need a good ambulance of two or three at the finishing line to take away the unlucky ones. Struggling with the tides and the currents in the sea won’t be as easy as some people might think.

helicopter hovering over port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking along the edge of the quayside I was overflown by a helicopter. Someone has hed their chopper out this afternoon.

The only camera that I had with me today was the NIKON 1 J5 and the standard lens (I’ve mentioned before that it passes amost unnoticed into sports grounds and the like where a large DSLP won’t) so I wasn’t able to take much of a photograph of it this afternoon.

Without the telephoto lens I can’t see if it’s the yellow and red air-sea rescue helicopter, a drab olive military helicopter or a multi-coloured civilian chopper. But hs didn’t have any of his emergency lights on so whatever he was doing wasn’t anything urgent. I could press on without witnessing anything dramatic.

trawler galapagos chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo, did you all guess the significance of the photo to which I drew your attention earlier?

We’ve all … “well, one of us” – ed … been wondering who the big blue trawler is that’s appeared in the chantier naval the other day and now we know.

She’s called Galapagos and she belongs to the people who sell the fresh fish on the quayside. And now we also know why they aren’t going to be selling fish until the middle of September and we also have an indication of she’ll be back in the water.

There were some people with the yacht Rebelle. They weren’t very talkative but at least I know that she’ll be back in the water “shortly”.

joly france 1 ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was chatting to the people working on Rebelle we were disturbed by yet more activity – this time coming from the water.

Of course it’s the weekend, a Saturday evening in Summer zo the tourists are out in their hordes The Ile de Chausey is one of the places to be and so by the looks of things, there have been plenty of people out there.

This is when the two Joly France boats that work the ferry out there come into their own. This is the newer one of the two, Joly France 1 as you can tell by the windows in portrait mode, and she has quite a load of people on board today coming back from the island.

From the chantier naval I wended my weary way up the hill in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers and made it back home. There was time to upload the photos to the computer and then I knocked off for tea.

There’s plenty of stuffing left over and also a pepper that won’t survive until next week so a stuffed pepper it was, followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce. And that reminds me – it’s been a while since I made a jam roly-poly. That will have to be the next dessert.

Back here to write up the journal today when I noticed that I’d performed 95% of my daily activity today. So never one to miss an opportunity, I took the NIKON D500, fitted the f1.8 50mm lens and went for a walk around the block.

midnight sun baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd who said “The Land Of The Midnight Sun” then?

This is the sight that greeted me as I stepped out of my apartment this evening. We’re situated at 48°50′ here and that’s far from being in The Land Of The Midnight Sun so imagine what it must be like somewhere north of the Arctic Circle.

It did remind me of the nights that I was driving coaches on my Friday night run to Central Scotland and on one occasion one June-end it was so light that when I’d dropped off my passengers I drove to Stirling and parked up on a mountain top near there to watch the midnight sun and that’s 8° further North.

donville les bains rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was here at my little spec at the end of the car park I went over to look over the wall.

Not that I was expecting to see anyone on the beach this evening – as a matter of fact I couldn’t even see the beach – but I was more interested in what was going on along the coast, insofar as I could see it.

The Rue du Nord is quite well illuminated right now especially round by the Place du Marché aux Chevaux, and then carrying on to the left we have the lights of the houses on top of the cliffs at the Plat Gousset and then the lights of the waterfront reflecting into the sea down on the promenade at Donville les Bains.

rue du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack across the car park and along to the road now to see what’s going on here right now.

That is of course the Rue du Roc that leads to the headland where we find the lighthouse, the semaphore and the coastguard station – not that you can actually see any of those right now.

It’s very had to believe that a year ago I could run all the way down there to beyond the end of the street lights and then turn left and keep running all the way down to the top of the cliffs. The way I am these days, even just looking at the images makes me feel totally exhausted.

They were halcyon times, they were.

porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat’s the view in the opposite direction, looking towards the Port St Jean and the entrance to the medieval walled city.

And that shadow down there is the guy on whom I almost stepped in the dark because I hadn’t seen him. I must pay greater attention when I’m out and about in the dark. But at least he gives the photo some animation.

After all is said and done, the Porte St Jean all floodlit at night is one of my favourite photo objects and the shadow gives it something different.

Through the arch we can see the Rue St Jean illuminated by the street lights and in the foreground to the left is the car park for the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallStill 3 or 4% of my daily activity to perform in order to bring me up to my 100% and so I thought that I’d better go for a walk down to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour and see what’s going on there.

And it wasn’t easy to find my way down there either tonight as this economy drive means that all of the streetlamps are switched off and I had to grope my way down there in the dark.

What was even worse was that the harbour was in darkness too. There were just a couple of isolated streetlights and that was really our lot. It was difficult to work out where I was or what I was photograpiong but somewhere down there in the shadows are Granville and Victor Hugo.

They are the two boats that in better times provided the ferry service between Normandy and the Channel Islands but the combined effects of Covid, Brexit and the tight-fistedness of the Channel Islands in refusing to pay a subsidy towards the reopening of the service is making the recommencement of the services more and more unlikely.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt least here at this end of the harbour the presence of a couple more street lights makes it slightly easier to see what’s going on.

Over to the right the ferry terminal is brightly illuminated by several lights but to no good purpose because there won’t be any of the ferries coming into port for quite a while yet.

To the left of the image, illuminated by two street lights are the port offices. They are open when the harbour gates are opened and there is movement in and out of the port.

But with thz harbour being in total darkness like this I don’t think that there will be much movement going on right now.

In the foreground, all wrapped up on the darkness of the night, is the fish processing plant and there isn’t much going on round there right now either.

tower of eglise notre dame de cap lihou Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne final photo before I toddle off back to the warmth and comfort of my own little apartment.

Just behind where I was standing to take those two photos of the harbour area is the Eglise de Notre Dame de Cap Lihou. part of it is obscured by the medieval city walls but the spire isn’t, and it’s illuminated tonight for a change. I can’t go back home without photographing that now, can I?

So back in my apartment I’ve accomplished 102% of my daily activity and been out for my first night-time walk for about 6 months too and taken some photos.

And I’ll have to go out again and take some more, only this time remembering to adjust the ISO from 800 to 6400 so that I can let in more light without straining the camera unnecessarily.

Brain of Britain has struck again, hasn’t he?

Monday 30th November 2020 – WHAT I SAW …

fog college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… when I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last night when I was out and about on my travels I noticed the fog creepign in to cover the harbour. When I went out for my afternoon walk you can see that not only did arrive, it stayed around too and slowly settled on the town. That fog isn’t going anywhere at all.

As for how long it has been there, I can’t really say. That’s because this morning when I left the warmth and comfort of my own bed, it was still dark. Despite not going to bed until 01:00 or thereabouts, I still managed to beat the 3rd alarm. And that’s quite impressive these days.

After the medication I listened to the dictaphone (I haven’t forgotten that there is still Sunday’s to do)

One of my sisters and I were together. We were the only 2 in the house and I’d made tea. I’d served it all up and set it out and we ate it. But I must have dozed off in the dream because I didn’t remember very much. But I suddenly awoke with a start and remembered that there was pudding to eat. I went to put the pudding out, a fruit pie type of thing. I cut a slice off and put it n a bowl for her and went to get the coconut dessert stuff for her, but found that she wasn’t there. I went into the living room and she was there drinking a cup of tea in the dark. I asked her why she hadn’t awoken me to tell me that there was pudding. She said she just fancied a cup of tea and came in to sit down.

On a couple of occasions in the same dream (which dream do I mean? Have I missed something?) we were on a bus and I think that we must have done the same route twice. We were basically divided into 2 groups, the bus did one and then the other. There were these 4 Asian girls on there and 1 in particular caught my eye. She was gorgeous. Whoever I was with was a woman but only a friend, not a girlfriend. I made a beeline for this Asian girl as much as I could and we ended up sitting side by side on the seats at the back chatting. Then they stopped to take a couple more but everyone else got on and the bus was crammed. They were talking about they’d been out yesterday somewhere and I’d deliberately not gone on this particular group because I didn’t want to make it too obvious that I was after her. This girl was saying that they’d been doing some kin0n of primitive wrestling and was talking about the guys who wrestled with her. I thought “I missed my chance there didn’t I? I should have gone all the same regardless”. We drove out of this town up a hill past some fortifications and an old castle. For some reason I thought that it was Durham which was strange because it was a seaside town. Then we were walking somewhere on this railway viaduct and to get down we had to jump or else it was a really long and involved scramble. The jump was about 30′. The first time, the people who were with us just jumped down and I had to scramble my way around but the 2nd time there were just 3 of us, me, this woman I was with and this Asian girl. The woman I was with just took a running leap, leapt off and landed in a pile of dust and she said to this Asian girl “are you going to jump off?” She replied “yes” and she jumped. The woman I was with said “what about you, Eric?” I said “come on – with my knees?” (when I was an adolescent I’d broken my knees on three occasions – twice on motor bikes and once skiing, or was it the other way around?) and I mentioned her name – it was the wife of a friend from the Wirral so I went to scramble down. But suddenly out of nothing an Asian guy with a little baby sitting on his shoulders, he just ran down this embankment, which I thought was extremely dangerous, I wouldn’t have considered it, but he just ran down with this baby on his shoulders and made it look so easy.
One of the things that we were discussing was names of towns. She asked what was the English name for Abertawe (it’s Swansea by the way). For some unknown reason I didn’t really want to tell her, I don’t know why. Someone else piped up with a few long explanations that were totally wrong but I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t going to say anything to this girl about this.

There was much more to it than this but as you are probably eating your tea right now I’ll spare you some of the gory details.

pointing wall foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst task once I got myself going was to deal with the sourdough that had been festering overnight.

But not before my attention was diverted by a noise outside. I’ve seen a van and a workman here on a few occasions just recently. It looks as if it’s a “nothing much else to do” job of cleaning out and repointing the old medieval walls near the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs. If you peer through the trees you can just about make out his flourescent jacket.

he was here for an hour or so raking out the joints, and then he cleared off. Next time it goes quiet, he’ll be back, I bet, to do another hour’s worth.

So I kneaded the sourdough again for about 15 minutes and shaped it, and then put it in a mould for the second stage of rising. Then I went back to attend to the radio programme that I’d started yesterday, armed with a mug of hot chocolate and a slice of my chocolate cake.

Round about 11:00 I knocked off and went to see how the bread was doing.

It hadn’t risen up all that much but it will have to do. I switched on the oven to warm up and while it was doing its stuff, I made an apple pie. Plenty of pastry left over so I made a much smaller one as well and whatever was left I prepared an apple turnover.

When the oven was nice and hot, the loaf went in, and when the apple pie was made, that followed it.

No room for the little pie and the turnover, unfortunately. They went in the fridge for whenever I bake my next cake. I really do need a bigger, better oven and I really am going to have to look into that pretty soon.

While everything was doing, I fed the sourdough and did the washing-up, a whole mountain of it too with everything that I’d been preparing.

home made apple pie sourdough loaf Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually, the oven pinged and switched itself off and I went to see how everything had done. The bread was rather depressing. It hadn’t risen all that much, and was rather lopsided, which I suspect points to uneven heating of my oven, even with a circulating fan.

On the other hand, the apple pie looks done to perfection and I’m quite impressed with that.

But as for the bread, it might not look all that much, but in fact it was exactly as it should be as regards texture. And it tasted delicious too when I had some for lunch, still warm out of the oven with my home-made hummus and salad.

It’s a shame that I can’t make it look nicer.

After lunch I finished off the radio programme and then I went for my journey into the unknown, my woolly hat on top of my woolly head. It’s winter.

seafarers monument pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhatever was going on out at sea, I couldn’t see it. It was pointless trying to do anything about that.

One of the things that I did though was to go and look at the seafarers’ monument to see if the wreaths are anything to do with commemorating any of the disasters. But apparently not. The two disasters that are commemorated on there are 23rd December and 10th January.

Having dealt with that, I went for a walk along the path on top of the cliffs to se what was happening in the chantier navale but that was rather a waste of time.

refrigerated lorry fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther along the path I could hear a racket coming from the direction of the Fish Processing Plant.

One of the refrigerated lorries that calls in there was just leaving and eventually, it came out of the gloom and onto the main road. I’ve no idea what it might have on board though because I wouldn’t have imagined that there would have been too many fishing boats out in this weather.

Groping my way through the clag I made my way back home for a nice hot mug of coffee. I felt like I deserved it after all of this.

The hour on the guitars passed quite happily. And I found that I’m beginning to ejoy playing the bass again, especially as I can now sing as I’m playing. A couple of weeks ago I spent some time trying to work out the bass solo in the chorus of David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream”. Today I spent almost all of my little bass guitar session trying to sing in time to it.

It’s not at all easy but eventually I found that I could do it, although I’m going to need a lot more practice at it. The first time that I’ve really been able to do this for about 40 years.

Tea tonight was stuffed pepper. The stuff that I’m using instead of bulghour or quinoa is really different with a much better taste. And as for my apple pie, it was delicious

donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on I went out for my evening walk and runs. By now the weather had changed. we had quite a strong wind,, the fog had gone from the immediate vicinity and it was raining.

With the fog having lifted somewhat, the view down the coast was fairly clear as far as I could see. The lights of the promenade at Donville les Bains were quite visible tonight from the viewpoint along the walls where I stopped for a breather.

Only one or two people wandering about so I managed all of my runs. And things might be looking up a little because instead of breathing in fours, on a few occasions I was breathing in sixes and once or twice in eighths A far cry of course from 25 years ago when I started running again and I was breathing in eighths for miles after only about a fortnight. I won’t ever reproduce that but it’s nice to think that just occasionally I can do it.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was much clearer in the port tonight too. Although there were no boats about and nothing moored up in the unloading bay, it made quite a nice photograph.

There was nothing else going on anywhere so that was the only other photo that I took. After my walk around the walls, I ran on home in the rain to write up my notes and then to have an early night.

Tomorrow I have my Welsh lesson so I have to organise myself and so I also need a nearly start. In the afternoon I’m going to have a go at baking another cake and as I have a recipe for biscuits and everything that I need, I might have a go at that too.

But let’s have this early night first.

Friday 23rd October 2020 – ANOTHER FLAMING …

… shambles of a morning where I couldn’t find the energy to drag myself out of bed when the alarms went off.

That was despite having a relatively early night too. And nothing on the dictaphone either to disturb me. Although I do seem to remember something about hitting someone with a golf club so that he couldn’t take part in a competition in which I was competing, something like Tonya Harding, I suppose.

First task was then to finish off THE BLOG FROM YESTERDAY by adding in all of the photos that I took last night. And when I say “all of them”, I mean “all of them that survived the cull” because most of them ended up in the bin.

It was a very disappointing session last night.

Another thing that I did, which took up the rest of the morning, was a two-week course in “How To Create Great On-Line Content” from the University of Sheffield. I studied the course, took the exam at the end and ended up with a score of 80% and a certificate. Yes, the World’s my oyster now, isn’t it? And all in a couple of hours before lunch too!

This afternoon I attacked the outstanding 46 photos from August and now they are all done. Right on cue too.

woman swimming in sea plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving compeleted my day’s tasks, I went off for my afternoon walk.

Not as enthusiastically as this lady here, of course. She has come here to take the waters and that’s plainly evident by her actions in leaping into the sea. A braver man than I am, Gungha Din. I know that I’ve been it up to my knees 700 miles from the North Pole but I had a coat on at the time.

You wouldn’t get me doing what she’s doing, not for all the tea in China. I’m sure that I don’t need to repeat the discussion that I had with Castor and Pollux on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR.

light aeroplane Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallso instead I wandered off on my afternoon walk around the medieval walls of the old city.

Having seen someone in the water, several people on the beach and crowds of people around on the footpath, it only remained for me to see someone in the air and I would hit the jackpot. And sure enough, a light aeroplane from the airport at Donville-les-Bains duly obliged.

You are probably wondering why I didn’t include any of the scaffolders on the roof of the College Malraux or the house in the Rue St Jean as my aerial representatives, but the fact is that they had all cleared off and gone.

joly france baie de mont st michel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I’d been out at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord, I’d seen some movement out to sea near the Ile de Chausey.

My money was on it being one of the Joly France ferries coming back from the Ile de Chausey and as I came around the corner into the Square Maurice Marland, sure enough, she came around the headland and headed for the port entrance.

Unfortunately there were far too many people around so I couldn’t break out into a run. What with one thing and another, I run like a dromedary with dropsy and it’s not for public consumption.

joly france baie de mont st michel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the time I reached the far side of the Square, Joly France was making her tight turn into the harbour entrance.

Down there on the left-hand side, there’s a current that swirls away at the silt and it’s worn a channel over there that is deeper than the rest of the harbour entrance. When the tide is quite low like it is at the moment, the boats need all the sea-room that they can get and even so, I’ve bumped along the bottom over there once or twice.

But she successfully negotiated the entrance and then went over to the ferry terminal to tie up and disgorge her passengers.

pallet loader loading onto trailer port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn fact, there were quite a few strange goings on in the harbour this afternoon.

A van and a trailer pulled up at the quayside and then a pallet loader came along and dropped some rectangular metallic object onto the trailer. And as well as that, there’s a huge pile of what looks like wood dumped in one of the gravel bins over there. That’s something else for me to keep an eye on in the future.

But not right now. I headed for home as I had plenty of things to do this afternoon.

So, what were my plans for this afternoon?

First of all, I had to feed the sourdough. And it was a mistake to tip the excess down the sink because it’s clearly working, extremely sour, and has stunk the place out to high heaven. The next step, probably the middle of next week when the current loaf is exhausted, is to try my hand at making a sourdough loaf.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that several weeks ago, in the process of digitalising all of my music, I asked the question “could I record straight off the cassette unit of the old Hi-fi into the ZOOM H1 unit that I use for outside broadcasts when I’m out on the streets WITH THE RADIO.

Well, now I know the answer. And the answer is “yes, I can”. I tired it and it works. But not very successfully, unfortunately. There’s no output control on the cassette unit so it’s a tinny sound and it’s also overwhelming the recording level range of the machine. My next trick will be to dig out the old amp (which, as you might expect, is at the bottom of the pile so inaccessible for the moment) and run the cassette unit through the amp with the Zoom plugged into the headphone socket on there.

It’s a long and complicated process but in the end I’ll get there, I’m convinced of that.

The hour on the guitars was rather more interesting tonight. On the bass playlist a couple of Jimi Hendrix tracks came round. When I played in a group back in the mid-70s with Jon Dean and Dave Hudson we performed a few Hendrix numbers so I was reliving old times. But it’s depressing me because 45 years on and I can’t play the bass lines as rapidly as I used to be able to. So instead, I concentrated on singing.

That made me feel better, but I don’t think that anyone else within earshot did.

The half-hour on the 6-string, I just bashed out a few Lindisfarne numbers and then had a go at Led Zeppelin’s “Tangerine”. That’s not going to be the work of five minutes either.

Tea tonight was a potato and veg curry out of the freezer followed by more of my delicious home-baked apple pie.

lights of St Malo Brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was another beautiful clear night out there tonight. Not across to the Channel Islands but down the Brittany coast it was marvellous.

But no tripod tonight. The gale-force winds that we were promised for Wednesday and Thursday that we didn’t receive have arrived this evening. Instead, you have to make do with a hand-held photo of the Brittany coast – but with the correct lens tonight.

That photo was taken with me leaning up against one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall. A solid support but still plety of wind about. The tripod would never have worked here.

lights of St Malo Brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut this is so much better, isn’t it?

No tripod, but a handy flat-topped stone pillar being used as a route marker was pressed into service. And with the timer delay and suitable long exposure I managed to conjure up this photo. And for an ad-hoc photo of the lights of Cancale on the left and St Malo on the right reflecting from the clouds, there have been much worse than this.

Happy with that, I continued along on my run along the clifftop down to my rest area at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

yacht chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis was the view that I was hoping for last night that didn’t come out at all.

It’s a far cry from when we had 8 boats in there a few weeks ago, isn’t it? Now we’re just down to the one and that’s not a working boat either. It’s not the Spirit of Conrad, the one on which I went down the Brittany coast either. It has a wind turbine on the stern and that makes me pretty sure that I’ve seen her before.

From here I ran on back home and, to my surprise, without even thinking about it, I ran on a good 20 metres beyond my rest stop too – and uphill. I’m slowly getting myself back to fitness. It’s been a while and there’s still a long way to go too

Having written my notes, I’m off to bed. Shopping tomorrow of course and I don’t need much because next weekend I’m off on my travels. I’m going early to Castle Anthrax because I have a few things to do in Leuven. That means that I have to do two radio programmes next week. Luckily one of them is a live concert and hey! Have I got something special for that?

But that’s not all. Schools are out, the holidays have started, the holidaymakers have arrived, and three cases of Covid reported in the town – one of which is apparently in the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs which, as everyone knows, is the building behind mine.

Friday 17th July 2020 – I DID SOMETHING …

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… this morning that I said I wouldn’t ever do willingly.

So while you admire Thora coming into port this afternoon, let me tell you about it. In fact, what it was was that when I heard the alarms go off, I consciously and willingly settled back down under the nice clean bedding and stayed there.

Until all of 07:45 too. I wasn’t in any hurry. But there’s a lot to do and I thought that a decent rest would give me a head start.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was nothing on the dictaphone either, as I discovered when I went to check after the medication. It must have been a really deep sleep, that’s all that I can say.

Most of the morning was spent tidying up in here, putting some stuff away, doing some sorting out and tidying up. Yes, I have one or two cunning plans going around in my head right now.

And all of that took much longer than I was expecting. I have no idea where the time went. I haven’t done half as much as I intended to do, that’s for sure.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAll of that took me up to lunchtime when I finished off the last of Sunday’s bread.

That was a shame because it really was good and I was well-impressed with that loaf.

This afternoon I finished off the first week of my web development course. At this stage I know most of it but we spent a lot of time working on forms and that’s something of which I haven’t really done much so I’m already making some headway

Next week we’ll be doing some *.css. I have a rudimentary knowledge of that so I’m keen to see what I don’t know about it.

fishing boats english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the afternoon walk of course – I do that every day.

It looks as if the shoal of mackerel is still there. In the first photo of Thora above you saw half of the town with their rods out on the harbour wall, and all of the boats that we saw yesterday are out there again tonight.

Here’s just a few of them. In total I counted at least 20 altogether having a good go at the fish. And I still haven’t seen anyone catch anything.

tandem hang glider plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe air was pretty busy today too.

It wasn’t that particularly windy today, but windy enough for the hordes of hang-gliders to be hanging around in the field next to the cemetery at Donville-les Bains.

This one here is quite interesting. It’s a tandem one, that carries a passenger. And before anyone says anything, no I am NOT going to be having a go at it. Any flighted craft that takes off from a field with a cemetery at the end of the runway is not for me at all.

kids jumping off diving platform plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd here’s something else that I’m not going to be doing either.

Jumping off a diving platform into the sea seems to be such a popular activity right now that they have fixed the one at Donville-les-Bains that was derelict for quite a while. But here at the Plat Gousset in Granville, the crowds were gathering.

One or two people seemed to be more adventurous than the ones yesterday and it didn’t take too long for them to start leaping into the drink.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSo that’s all of the people in the air and out at sea. What about those on terra firma?

Everywhere was thoroughly crowded today. The beaches, the footpaths, everywhere. As you can see, down on the beach with the tide well in, the crowds really were congregating.

Those on the beach might just have the correct amount of social distancing between each family group but I wouldn’t like to bet on it.

Numbers of the infected here in France are rising quickly and we’ll be having a second wave of confinement before long. I don’t want to jump the gun and get myself infected by going down there amongst that lot.

baby seagulls rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallMy baby seagull seems to have gone definitively. Both parents were on the roof today with no sign of the little one.

On the other hand, the others seem to be coming along nicely and growing very rapidly. But I thought that this was a lovely touch. One of the residents has placed a ladder at the side of his house and put a bowl of water up there for the babies.

They were making the most of it too, enjoying every drop. And they needed it too in this weather because it was starting to become really warm by now.

thora unloading car  port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallYou saw the photos of Thora coming in to the harbour and tying up at the quayside underneath the unloading crane.

The big ferries to and from the Channel Islands are still not running, so it seems, so there is only one way to bring your car over to France.

This is the kind of procedure that takes me back many, many years to long before the days of ro-ro ferries. Cars had to be lifted on and off boats by cranes and despite the advances in modern techniques and modern equipment, there are no real facilities for that here at Granville.

So what worked in the 40s and 50s and early 60s is still working today. Particularly when there is no other alternative.

joly france baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThora wasn’t the only boat out there this afternoon.

One of the Joly France boats was out there too with a load of passengers. And it wasn’t easy to say where they were going. It was rather late though to be taking so many people out to the Ile de Chausey.

The boat is actually the newer one of the two. You can tell that because the windows are deeper and there’s also a smaller area of superstructure on the top deck.

She has a step cut in the stern too, but you can’t see that from here.

film crew loading lorries foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued around the walls until I reached the highest point where I can see down into the yard of the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs.

It looks as if the film crew is packing up for the weekend now. All of the vans and lorries are here, most of the stuff is outside and some of it has even been loaded up.

We’re told that they will be back on Monday to finish off. That should be interesting. And as I noticed later on when I went for my evening walk, the mobile canteen is still here. So they do mean it.

Back here I finished off the first week of the interactive web page studies and then spent the final hour trying desperately to speak to someone at the bank about my bank card that won’t work.

Eventually after holding for 45 minutes I spoke to someone who had no more idea that I have about why it isn’t working and they agreed in the end to send me a new card.

No idea what’s happening here.

After the guitars, it was tea time. Rice and lentil burger with veg and gravy, followed by more of my delicious apple crumble

flock of seagulls pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallOff I went later on, struggling up the hill on my evening run, falling short yet again of the top.

Walking up to the top and recovering my breath I ran on down to the clifftop to see what was going on, but there was nothig happening out at sea. All of the seagulls were there though, hundreds of them. Evidently the shoal of mackerel is still there and they are all fishing for supper.

“Are they having more luck than the fishermen?” I asked myself. I’ve not seen any of them catch anything as yet either.

big wheel marite port de granvilleharbour manche normandy france eric hallAll the way back down the other side I ran.

Thora has gone now, back out to sea. That was a very quick turnround. Marité is there though, although I understand that she has plens to be on her way soon. And in the gloom and doom the Big Wheel looks impressive. It will be even better when it’s darker and the lights will stand out more.

My run down to the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord was uneventful, and I missed the sunset too which was a shame.

No-one picnicking on the beach tonight either although there were a few people hanging around here and there. I didn’t wait but ran on home.

Now there’s some tidying up to do and then I’m off to bed. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow and I can’t afford to hang about.

Thursday 16th July 2020 – TODAY WAS …

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… not much better than the last couple of days. In fact in some respects it was worse because I missed the third alarm yet again.

So while you admire the photos of tonigh’s sunset, I’ll tell you that I only missed the alarm by 5 or so minutes, but a miss is as good as a mile, as we all know. What didn’t help was that all through the night I was awoken by some wicked attacks of cramp that really had me in pain. I could have done without those, right enough.

After the medication I checked the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallYes I’m not too sure about very much of last night’s dream at all except that I was in Belgium and I’d been out somewhere. I’d ended up on the frontier with France right on the point of a headland by the sea. There was a river that divided the two countries and you could see everything that was happening in France and I took a few photos. Then I went back to tell everyone where I’s been but people weren’t all that concerned or interested in what I was doing.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallA little later on I was playing football, playing central defence. I’d gone into a kind of forward attacking role to play the ball but I’d made a bit of a mess of it and the ball had got behind me with three attackers so I was running back after it but I just blew up – ran out of steam completely and could hardly move while I was chasing the ball and chasing these players
After another attack of cramp I went back to sleep and found myself on the playing field at the back of where we used to live in Shavington. There was the upper football pitch and the lower football pitch and I was on the upper one. everyone else was on the lower one and no-one was coming along to play with me so in the end I went down to join the others. But there were many more than 11-a-side there so I reckoned that one team ought to wear chasubles (I’m dreaming in French again) so that we would know who is on which team.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving disposed of all of that I turned my attention to the photos from July 2019. Another 50 or so bit the dust today which is good news, although I haven’t advanced very far. Right now we are in a fleet of zodiacs zooming around Kangerluluk Fjord on the east coast of Greenland. At this rate I’m never going to get to the North-West Passage, never mind New Brunswick.

It was shopping today too so I had a shower and a weigh-in. And my weight is still under my first target weight which is good news, I suppose.

And nice and clean, I changed the bedding and did a machine-load of washing. It’s all clean and nice-smelling right now which is good. I like the conditioner that I bought the other week.

film crew foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallSo off into town I set, having a quick chat with a neighbour as I left.

But I didn’t get very far. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there’s a film being made here just now. The seem to have transformed the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs into some kind of Government office and it was all floodlit this morning.

They must be filming something right at this moment, I reckon. And for that reason we are not allowed to approach the site.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route into town continued. And as I looked over the wall here I could see that down in the harbour “Old Faithful” is nack.

Chausiais must have moved pretty smartly this morning from the mooring underneath the crane because Normandy Traders, one of the little freighters from Jersey, is now in port.

The gates havent long been open so I imagine she sneaked in on the morning tide to drop off a load of shellfish from the Jersey Seafood Co-operative and pick up a load of material.

moving house place godal granville  manche normandy france eric hallOn I pushed to the Rampe du Monte Regret where I pictured a bizarre kind of house removal.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in Brussels we had portable lifts for all of this, but here apparently not. They were hauling up the stuff by hand with a couple of ropes.

That must have been hard work but it’s not a new experience for me. When I was younger I did all kinds of furniture removals like this, but that was in the days before Health and Safety regulations were in force.

Making my way into town, I called at the Post Office and sent off my letter – the one that I had written yesterday. Then I walked on to LIDL.

It beats me really why I went because I didn’t want to buy very much at all – and for a good reason too as regular readers of this rubbish will find out in a couple of days.

weedkillling with hot water rue de la houle granville manche normandy france eric hallIn the end, the grand total of €6:12 or something like that was what I spent.

On the way back down the Rue de la House I encountered this trange phenomenon – some people spraying the streets. That intrigued me greatly so I went to make further enquiries.

On the side of their little vehicle was a little sticker “weedkiller with boiling water”. So that’s what they are doing them. Pouring boiling water on the weeds.

How effective is that? I asked myself. It’s better for the environment than Agent Orange, that’s for sure. But does it really work that well?

On the way back I called at the vegetable shop and bought two (yes, two) carrots. For tea tonight and tomorrow. I won’t be needing any more for a while after that.

loading normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I headed on home up the Rue des Juifs.

Normandy Trader was still there being worked on. They were loading her up quite rapidly so it looks as if they are pushing to have her out of the harbour and on her way as soon as the gates open this afternoon

Back here I carried on with the photos for a while and then I had something else to do. There are a couple of cunning plans running round my head right now, one or two of which I have put in motion already.

One of the people approached actually replied (and another one did later this evening too) so I decided to push my luck and see if fortune would carry me onwards. That meant replying to the mail with a certain amount of jen ne sais quoi and seeing where we go with this.

But it’s not for right now, although it makes sense to push along while it’s fresh in people’s minds.

After lunch I started on my two courses. Firstly the song-writing course. And by the time that I knocked off I’d done the first week.
It didn’t teach me anything new but that’s not a problem. There is plenty of time and I have great hopes for this.

joly france baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter I’d finished I went for my afternoon walk around the walls.

The tourist season is well under way as we can imagine right now. Joly France is keeping quite busy, taking day-trippers on a couple of laps around the bay as she waits for the tides to turn so she can go back to the Ile de Chausey and pick up those whom she dumped on there earlier.

They do a lot of work in the tourist season, do the two Joly France boats. This is the older one, with the smaller windows, the larger upper deck and without the step in the stern.

boats people fishing baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThis is the kind of thing that makes me wish that I’d been out here 10 minutes earlier.

There is a huge load of small boats moored just off the headland as if there is a shoal of sea-bass in the vicinity. It seems to me that anyone who can hold a rod in his hand is out there trying his luck at catching supper.

I learnt the following day that it was in fact a shoal of mackerel that had appeared off the headland

And what confusion it must have caused to everyone when Joly France came round the corner at a rapid rate of knots. Scattered them like ninepins, I reckon.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallCarrying on my walk around the walls, I came to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

The tide is rushing in right at this moment and the massed crowds of grockles have now retreated up to the sea wall to keep their feet out of the sea.

The tide isn’t a particularly high tide today – a coefficient in the 40s – so they might be lucky and stay dry. But it would be interesting to see the outcome of all of this if the tide does comme in higher than they are expecting.

hang glider bombed by seagull plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd not just on land or in the sea was it busy.

It goes without saying that there was plenty going on in the air this afternoon too. The Birdmen of Alcatraz are out there in force swooping around like a bunch of vultures.

The seagull here is taking a great deal of exception to this particular birdman. It spent a good 10 minutes or so buzzing him, presumably to get him to clear off. Unfortunately I didn’t have tile to stay and see how it ended but my money was on the seagull.

kids jumping from diving platform plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd not just boats out on the sea either. There were plenty of swimmers there too.

The diving platform was crowded with people too and others in the sea swimming out that way to take part in the sports. This young boy here showed us quuite an acrobatic somersault into the water.

He received a good 4.9 for artistic impression from the bystanders but he lost a few points on the technical merit. His entry into the water could have been better.

kids jumping from diving platform granville manche normandy france eric hallBut at least he entered the water quite rapidly. This young boy here was not quite so keen.

The onlookers on the cliff were urging him on, chanting “sautez, sautez” but he didn’t budge. A couple of the people on the platform were also counting him down to enter the water too.

Eventually the young boy in the previous photo pushed his way to the front and leapt in. This seemed to galvanise the other one here into action and he leapt in immediately afterwards, to a loud cheer and round of applause from the onlookers.

loading boats onto thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRound I went to the Square Maurice Marland I went to check on my baby seagull but he seems to have definitively gone now.

Something else that has gone is Normandy Trader. She must have cleared off the moment that the harbour gates opened because there at the loading bay in her place in Thora, the other Jersey freighter.

You might recall seeing in an earlier photo some shrink-wrapped boats on the back of a lorry at the side of the quay. They are now being loaded into Thora ready to go to the Channel Islands.

And Marité is back in port too after her adventures just recently.

market place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving spent a few minutes looking at the loading, I carried on with my walk.

And there are changes in the Place Cambernon too today. It looks as if a little market of sorts has sprung up in the square. Only a couple of stalls but it’s a start, I suppose. We could do with more like this in the neighbourhood

There is the pizza van of course. That’s here on Thursdays too so it looks like that’s the day for everyone to come to the old town just here. I wonder if the market will expand over time. I hope so.

film crew foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I was walking along the elevated section of the walls when I noticed that the filming at the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs had finished.

They were packing up the equipment so I took a photo to show you what was going on.

Back here I started the other course – “building an interactive website”. And unfortunately and depressingly, i crashed out yet again. Another good hour or so on the chair, well away with the fairies.

As a result I didn’t do half as much as I liked, so I’ll have to push on tomorrow as it’s going to be rather a busy day for me

There was the hour on the guitars, followed by tea. A lentil and potato curry out of the freezer followed by apple crumble.

joly france lifeboat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfterwards I went out for my run. And I don’t know why because my heart isn’t in it right now.

It’s knowing that I had a collapse in health a couple of weeks ago on the Spirit of Conrad that’s done it. I can feel the difference right now and it isn’t very nice.

But anyway I made it a good way up the hill before I shuddered to a halt, and then walked the remaining 100 metres to the corner. From there I ran on down past the itinerant to the clifftop.

There were a few people around but nothing at all happening so I walked across the lawn to the other side and then ran on down the next leg of my run.

From that rest point I could see that there was something going on at the ferry terminal. Joly France is there of course but the lifeboat is tied up next to it.

It beats me why it would be there. The only thing that I can think of is that it’s been out on a job and missed the tide for going back into the port de plaisance where it lives.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe next stage to the viewpoint in the rue du Nord I have to do in two legs these days. The strain is definitely getting to me these days, that’s for sure.

At the viewpoint I watched the sun go down, and you have already seen the photos of that. But once more there were the crowds on the beach enjoying the good weather (it was a really nice evening).

Having seen the sun go down, I ran on back to the apartment to write up my notes. And now they are done I’m going to put away last week’s washing that I took off the clothes airer and then go to bed.

It will be a long day tomorrow so I want to be on form for it. I hope that I don’t have another attack of the cramps like last night.

Tuesday 28th April 2020 – AND I WASN’T …

trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hall… alone tonight either.

There might only have been a handful of people out there this evening enjoying the evening sun but there was enough going on out on the open sea to keep me out of mischief for quite a while

The tide must have been just right this evening because the fishing boats were queueing up to get to the Fish-Processing plant tonight.

As for me, this morning I beat the third alarm just for a change.

Well, to tell the truth I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my feet on the floor when the alarm went off. So I reckon that that counts as a victory for me.

Nothing on the dictaphone which is a shame (what I get up to during the night is far more exciting than anything that I get up to during the day). I’m always disappointed when I haven’t been anywhere or, more to the point, there’s been no-one with me to share my adventures.

Which reminds me – TOTGA hasn’t put in an appearance for quite a while. I wonder where she’s got to.

After breakfast I started on the digitalising. Two albums again. Long, bitty, slow with plenty of searching and one or two versions that i’ve found aren’t the versions that I want but it can’t be helped.

Nevertheless I did almost 40 photos from July 2019 in Iceland and I could have done many more than that except that I got myself into a tangle at one point and had to undo what i’d done and start again.

But at least I’ve managed to escape from Seydisfjordur. It’s the following day and we’re just pulling into the Berufjördur and about to drop anchor off the port of Djúpivogur.

Unbelievably, this took me all the way up to lunchtime and I was pretty fed up of it by that time, as you can imagine. There have to be easier ways of earning a living.

This afternoon I started on the notes for the current radio project and by the time that it came to knocking-off time, I’d written all of the notes, dictated them, uploaded them to the computer and started to edit them.

And had I put my back into it I could have finished except that I … errr … had a little relax at one point. For about half an hour too.

That was disappointing because I missed my carrot-freezing session and that will have to be tomorrow afternoon, assuming that I’m not held up with any other blasted flaming file-splitting

The hour (or more, as it happened) was enjoyable tonight and my playing on the 6-string is improving. Mind you, that’s not saying much. I just wish that my bass-playing would improve. i’m stuck in a rut with that and need to break out.

Tea was a burger in a bap and baked potato, followed by blackberry pie and almond soya stuff. And I have to say that the pie has worked in spades. That expensive jam stuff worked really well and I’ll have to do more of that. I wonder what other varieties they have.

trawler english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo off I went for my evening run.

And it was agonising to make my way to the top of the hill tonight, due to the headwind that was blowing me backwards all the time. But I eventually made it down to the clifftop to see the fleet of trawlers heading back to harbour

Surprisingly, I was the only one out here tonight admiring them too. I don’t know where everyone else has got to.

trawlers chantier navale granville manche normandy france eric hallhaving recovered my breath I ran on around the headland and past the chantier navale

And we’ve had a change of occupant in there today. We’re now back up to four boats with the arrival of the black and green one over there on the right.

The other three are still here and they’ve been here for a bit too. I wonder for how long the new one will be staying. But anyway it’s good to see the yard busy. The presence of a good, thriving ship repairer will encourage other people to moor their boats here, and that’s good for the town.

trawlers baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallEarlier on, I mentioned that the fishing boats were queueing up to come into the harbour.

And it wasn’t an idle boast either. There are two of them here loitering around just outside the harbour presumably waiting for a berth to become vacant at the fish-processing plant.

And you can tell that they are waiting to unload by the flocks of seagulls that are hovering around all over them. I hope that the matelots are all wearing hats.

trawlers fishing boats fish processing plant port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut you cans ee why they are having to loiter around outside the harbour.

There’s definitely no room at the in tonight with all of the boats here. As one pulls away, another one swings into its place.

The larger commercial boats used the cranes to pull up their catch to the top level where they are wheeled into the fish processing plant.

The smaller boats that are usually operated by private individuals or local shops usually unload by hand onto the deck-level underneath where it’s taken away up the ramp in their own vehicles, and regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of weeks ago we saw a tractor and trailer down there carting stuff off.

new floating pontoon supports ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut hang on a minute – did you catch a glimpse of this in the previous photo?

Now we know why they’ve spent weeks dredging by the ferry terminal and cutting away the rock outcrop, and why they pulled up the cast-iron pillars that we saw a few months ago.

It looks ver much as if we’re going to be having the new pontoons over there too. They are the same, identical mounting brackets that they have used elsewhere in the port.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens when we have them and the tide goes out.

floating pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallTalking of pontoons, here’s the big floating pontoon that they’ve been using as a work platform.

Today, it seems to have acquired a mini-digger and a crate of gas bottles. It looks as if they are going to be doing a lot of welding right now. I wonder why.

Reflecting on that point I carried on with my run, and past an old woman who made a few remarks. I was tempted to stop and give her a piece of my mind but I don’t have all that much to spare.

sunset english channel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallNo-one else admiring the sunset from the rue du Port with me tonight. I was all on my own.

But then again I wasn’t surprised because it wasn’t much of a sunset tonight. It was all obscured by clouds like this, with a clear sky above and the red sunset glow below.

It looks as if we’ve had the splendid evenings for a while. So I carried on home.

no waiting signs parking foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallBut having run back to the apartment building I had to turn round and go back to the car park of the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs because I’d noticed something.

This was rather a forlorn hope, wasn’t it? No waiting in the car park for this week as they are repainting the markings on the surface. But that didn’t go ahead of course and it’s no surprise. It’s not what I call essential work in these difficult times.

So in a few minutes I’ll be off to bed. But before I go, I’ll leave you with a little comment.

Usually, I’ve been trying very hard to steer away from political comment in my journal. If you want to follow what’s going on in the political world right now you need to follow me on my social networking account.

But I couldn’t let this one pass by.

As regular readers of this rubbish will know, the silly Brits voted 4 years ago to kick out all of the foreigners who have been “stealing their jobs”.

As well as that, Brits are being laid off work in the tens, if not hundreds of thousands due to the effects of this virus and are thus presumably short of money. And there’s a shortage of food in the shops.

With no foreign workers to pick the fruit and veg in the fields in this time of food shortage in the UK, the farming organisations launched a huge advertising campaign throughout the country to get the unemployed and poverty-stricken, starving Brits into the fields.

They needed 70,000 people to replace the foreigners who have been kicked out of the UK and won’t come back. And do you know how many of the unemployed and poverty-stricken, starving Brits turned up for work?


And this is how they intend to rebuild the economy after Brexit and after the virus. They are totally deluded over there on that island.

Thursday 9th May 2019 – BANE OF BRITAIN …

… strikes yet again.

All the way to LIDL and all the way back this morning, and I forgot my fitbit, didn’t I?

And I can’t blame being tired either, because I’d been to bed early and had a reasonably decent sleep.

Off on my travels too. I’d been staying in a hotel somewhere in a small town near Commentry with a couple of people and we’d been out looking for food. Eventually we came across a place that did couscous take-aways so we went and bought something from there. A while later I was back living in Les Guis so I had the idea of going back there to ask if they ever might need a delivery driver on occasions. I had to go home and print off a CV and I thought that while I was at it I’d print off a few extra copies and hand them out at similar places on the way. But the area was nothing like where I lived. It reminded me of the downhill slope of the road out of Clermont Ferrand past Vulcania and out to St Ours.

Unfortunately, I didn’t quite beat the final alarm, but it wasn’t far away. And after breakfast and a shower and general clean-up I headed for the shops.

council erecting election notice boards rue st jean granville manche normandy franceYou can tell that it’s election time very shortly.

The council has special poster boards that it erects at strategic places just before any election, and competing parties can paste their posters up on there instead of defacing the walls and doors of buildings.

It seems to work quite well, and helps to keep the place tidy.

LIDL didn’t come up with anything special at all, but at least the walk did me good and that’s the whole point of doing it.

conference of driving schools foyer des jeunes travailleurs granville manche normandy franceBack here, I started to put everything away but my attention was distracted by some goings-on on the car park at the back.

It looks as if there’s some kind of meeting of driving schools going on in the public rooms. There are about a dozen driving school cars parked out there.

No idea what is going on though.

Back at work, I had a busy morning. Back in December 2013 I’d been to Clermont-Ferrand and ended up in the war cemetery there where I’d seen a few war graves.

Something about it had piqued my interest today so I spent a couple of hours doing some research into the incidents that led to the deaths;

Surprisingly there’s a lot of information available on the internet, including contemporary press cuttings and photos, and so I was able to edit the page to include an enormous amount of factual information.

We were interrupted by lunch, of course, taken indoors yet again due to the high winds. I’ve spoken to a couple of neighbours today and we’ve all been saying that the Spring this year is much colder than usual.

Having updated the page from Clermont-Ferrand, I attacked the photos from my 2015 trip to Canada. All of October 2015, all of September 2015 and half of August 2015 are now collated to the dictaphone notes by the time I stopped for tea. It’ll probably be finished tomorrow with a bit of luck.

whitecaps waves granville manche normandy franceThere was the usual interruption for the afternoon walk in the wind.

And you can see just how windy it was by looking at the whitecaps on the waves down there

There was even someone out here wrestling with a kite, trying to make it stay aloft in the gale. He was having endless fun but I can’t say that he was particularly successful.

helicopter pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceAnd I was shaken out of my complacent reverie by a rattle from overhead.

Someone in the area has had his chopper out this afternoon, because the helicopter went flying by overhead. It’s painted yellow with a red stripe and that makes me think that it’s the air-sea rescue helicopter.

It’s impossible to say whether or not it’s been out on a mission, or whether it was just a training flight.

workmen shuttering monument resistance pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceHaving had a day off yesterday for the Bank Holiday, the workmen were back today at the site of the new war memorial to the Heroes of the Resistance.

By the looks of things, they were installing shuttering along the edges of where that had dug out and laid gravels.

I hope that this doesn’t mean that they are going to concrete it over. I’ll use concrete because I’m no good at paving, but I’m sure the Council can do better than that. The paved path that they just dug up was quite well-done.

coastguard post pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceSo I continued on my walk around the headland at the Pointe du Roc and had a quick glance at the Coastguard station to see if there was anything exciting going on.

There was someone out there on a ladder cleaning a piece of equipment. I’m not sure what it was though, whether it’s a CCTV camera or a siren or something.

But the concrete bunker underneath, that is roughly in the position which would correspond to where a mast anchored by that concrete cable-stay would be positioned.

pontoon grand beau temps port de granville harbour manche normandy franceRound now at the chantier navale to see what’s going on.

We seem to have acquired a different yacht today, the little one with the pale blue superstructure to the right of Grand Beau Temps.

The big pontoon dredger from the Vendee, St Gilles Croix de Vie is still down there and there seems to be someone working on her right now.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy franceFurther on around the footpath we can see down over into the harbour, and tied up to its quayside is our old friend Thora

She wasn’t down there in the harbour this morning when I went past on my way to LIDL, so she must have come in on the lunch-time tide.

And given the rather sharp turn-rounds these days, I wonder how long she’ll be staying

I came back here for my mug of hot chocolate and my brazil nuts and then continued on attacking the photos, with an interruption to wish Rosemary a “happy birthday”.

Tea was steamed veg and falafel with vegan cheese sauce. And I do have to say that it was the most delicious that I have ever made. I could eat that again – probably next week too for the second helping of falafel.

The apple pie and coconut sorbet that washed it down was delicious too.

donville les bains beach plat gousset granville manche normandy franceBack outside for my evening walk again, and despite the wind it was another pleasant evening.

And another evening where the colours were totally beautiful too and they have come out really well in this photo of the beach at Plat Gousset at Donville-les-Bains.

You can see how strong the wind is by looking at the waves. Tons of white caps and the waves are quite strong. Just imagine the power in those waves there, waiting to be harvested.

people on beach party plat gouset granville manche normandy franceAnd I wasn’t the only one out there enjoying the weather either.

There was a group of young people down there having a beach party and watching the sun slowly sink down to the horizon. It’s the kind of thing that takes me back 50 years.

As long as they were out of the wind they would be fine down there. It wasn’t quite so pleasant up here though on the walls.

seagull in nest granville manche normandy franceA few days ago, I noticed a pair of seagulls up to no good in broad daylight on the roof of a house across the road.

And even more recently the gulls have been diving down to pick up the grass offcuts that the council had been cutting.

And now we know what is going on, don’t we? It’s nesting time and it won’t be long before we start seeing the baby seagulls staggering around on the roofs of the houses.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy franceJust a final check in the harbour on the way home.

And Thora is still in the harbour, complete with her shipping container on board. Obviously the turn-round today isn’t that quick;

And round the corner I met the old lady who is Minette’s “mother”. We had quite a lengthy chat about cats, and even Minette came out to join in, although she remained rather aloof.

So back here and I don’t really feel like all that much. I’m going to have an early night and I’ll do the rest of this tomorrow morning.

helicopter pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
helicopter pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

Tuesday 23rd April 2019 – I REMEMBER SAYING …

… yesterday to Ingrid that I was feeling probably better than I have been feeling for quite some time.

And so it’s no surprise whatever to learn that today I’d had a relapse.

Last night was nothing like as early as I was hoping and it was something of a disturbed night. Nevertheless there was enough time to go for something of a ramble. There were two schools in London. Both originated from the same family who owned a wealthy sailing factory. One was a kind of prison or reform school and the other was an upper-class school and everyone was always getting the two mixed up about who went where. The guy who was chairman of the Board of Governors at the wealthy school was the sole surviving member of the family who founded it so some people thought that there might be a confilct of interest between the objectives of the school and the running of it. The school was running through some kind of financial issues. I don’t remember too much about it except that on one occasion the chairman was sitting there with his head in his hands doing a really fine impression of Quasimodo going “the bills! Ohh the bills!”.

Despite the bad night I was up before the final alarm went off, but I’ve somehow awoken with my bad throat and coughing fit again. It’s never-ending, isn’t it? And a certain medical condition that plagued me for a considerable while and then mysteriously disappeared has suddenly come back with a vengeance.

With having had an early start I was all fit for work and had a good crack at photocopying and sorting documents for my little visit tomorrow, stopping for a shower along the way.

There are a few papers missing but I can assemble quite a comprehensive folder full of documents;

The printer ran out of ink midway through but luckily I had bought some more when I bought the printer. It was something of a performance to make the cartridge fit because Epson doesn’t like you using non-original cartridges.

There was also time to have a crack at the dictaphone, and now all of the notes for Canada 2016 are transcribed. I’m about a third of a way through them now, but I won’t be as quick with the next batch as there are some substantial files in there.

Lunch was taken indoors today because the weather has clouded over and ran was looking likely.

Back at work I had to change my hospital appointment because I need it to be a week later. And then it was necessary to book my accommodation and travel. So all of that is done.

repaired walk pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceOn my walk around the headland this afternoon I tried once more the new route that has just reopened.

I reckon that the older path is the diagonal line that runs bottom left to upper right across the centre of the image.

That looks as if it’s formerly a path on some kind of gider bridge but it looks as if it’s slipped out of position. The part at the head of the bend looks as if it’s been dug out quite recently. It’s not very wide at all.

notre dame de cap lihou chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy francehaving climbed all of the steps back up to the top, I walked along the path to have a look at the chantier navale.

There’s another new arrival in there today. She’s Notre Dame du Cap Lihou, the local lifeboat whom we have seen out and about in the sea now and again.

No idea what she’s up to in there and I won’t be able to find out either I suppose, because I don’t imagine that she will be in there for long.

pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy franceFor a few days now we’ve been seeing the little pontoon in the harbour taking core-drill samples of the sea bed to investigate its make-up.

That’s now gone and we have a different machine in there. So I wonder what that’s going to be up to.

But It’s not escaped my notice that in the background are objects that look suspiciously like floating walkways, and so the next step, I imagine, is to place them in the water and secure them to the quayside.

Back here I tried to crack on with the mountain of photos but I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t fight off the sleep on the chair, and in the end gave up and went to bed. I think that climbing all of the steps was what might have finished me off.

For a good 90 minutes I was right out of it and I awoke feeling like death.

Tea was a slice of giant pasty with potatoes and veg followed by a rice pudding.

tide coming in plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThe evening walk, accompanied part of the way by a group of boys from the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs, was agony but I needed to do it.

At the beach at the Plat Gousset he tide was coming in, and coming in quite quickly too. There was a lovely current rolling over the beach and swamping the tidal swimming pool.

It was quite an impressive sight. Such a shame that there was no-one else around to enjoy it. I was quite on my own out there once those boys had cleared off.

rue paul poirier granville manche normandy franceA little further on around the corner, I stopped for a while where the path around the walls overlooks the rue Paul Poirier.

The light was going quite rapidly so I took a photograph just as the street lights were coming on and illuminating the streets.

This will be probably the last photograph of street lights that I shall take on my evening walk until later in the year, unless I happen to be delayed in my plans for going out.

So back home now and I really am going to have an early night. Tomorrow is a big day so I need to be on form.

Friday 5th April 2019 – – I WAS RIGHT!

eems sea port de granville harbour manche normandy franceRemember the other day when we were watching them pushing around the great heaps of gravel and moving them closer to the quayside and conveyors, and I was saying that we must be expecting the arrivale of one of the gravel boats?

So say hello to today’s arrival, someone whom we haven’t seen beforen and it’s nice to welcome new visitors to the port. Moored up at the gravel bay is is a new ship, the Eems Sea.

She must have slipped in on the late afternoon tide just now while I wasn’t looking.

Last night I had another decent sleep, with only a minor interruption. I was off on a travel too, but I’ll spare you all the details, seeing as you’re probably eating your tea or something right now.

There was an early start to the day too. I was out of bed pretty promptly too. And once the usual procedures were accomplished, I set to work. And I’ve had a very productive day too.

First task was to attack the searchable text database for July last year, starting from the beginning and working forwards this time. That wasn’t as easy as it might have been either because it needed quite a considerable amount of research to work out where I was, including hunting down an on-line version of Field Marshall Blücher’s memoirs and downloading them.

In fact I only managed about 60 photos. But serves me right because this was the period when I had mislaid the dictaphone somewhere in Caliburn.

Having run aground a little with that, I turned my attention to the photos for the High Arctic. That wasn’t quite so simple as it might have been either because I had to look up a few things for those too.

You’d be amazed (or maybe you won’t) about how much I’ve forgotten. But by the time I knocked off for lunch, I’d done another 160 of those too. Another day like that and I’ll have done a third of them.

In total I ended up with almost 1800 from that trip and the more closely I examine the photos on a decent screen, the more I see, the more I crop out, and I am slowly increasing the number all the time.

But as I said at the time, I’m dismayed by the quality of some of them – most of them in fact. I’ve a good mind to go back and take them all again.

It’s still winter outside so I stayed in for lunch. And this afternoon I had a phone call to make. My enquiry was actually successful in part, because although I didn’t receive the information I wanted, I was told that it had already been posted to me so it might be here any day soon.

While I was at it, I had a look around on Amazon for a few things that I needed. So I’ve been spending my money again.

But not in the USA. It seems now that Amazon is charging a “customs anticipation” amount to USA orders that makes the price no longer competitive with European pricing.

I smell a rat here, and I’m not talking about the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOn my afternoon walk around the Pointe du Roc, in a howling gale which explains why there were so few people about, I had a look at the chantier navale to see what was happening.

And I appear to have been mistaken about the band of colour that had appeared on the hull of the boat that’s being resprayed. It seems to be nothing more than a different type of masking tape.

And I’m not surprised that they have had to replace some of the masking in this wind. I imagine that the original stuff will be half-way down the Baie de Mont St Michel by now.

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere was more excitement than that too.

In the harbour I was treated to the sight of a trawler doing a very impressive nautical danse macabre around the basin.

From this distance I didn’t recognise the trawler, but I doubt very much if it’s one that’s new to the harbour. Usually they stay quite close to the fish-processing plant to which they are attached these days.

new pontoon walkway port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd I now know the story behind the crane – why it was here the other day. There was an article in the local paper about it.

Apparently they are replacing some of the old pontoon walkways in the harbour and they were delivered the other day. The crane was there presumably to lift out the old ones and lower the new ones into the harbour.

They are spending quite a lot of money on the harbour just now, what with renewing the harbour gates, dredging and all of that. All they need now is a lot more commercial traffic.

A hot chocolate was on the menu when I returned from my wanderings, and then I had another whack at the dictaphone notes. At this rate, I’ll probably be finished sometime in about 2525. All of the tasks that I have to do will keep me out of mischief for years, if I live that long.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper with spicy rice, and having cooked it for a little longer on a lower temperature in the microwave, it was even better than it has been in the past.

place d'armes granville manche normandy franceIt was still quite light when I went out tonight for my walk. And I was all alone out there too, even though it wasn’t dark outside just yet.

In the past I’ve taken a few photos of the Place d’Armes in the evening from up on the walls by the rue du Nord, but this is the first time this year that I’ve been able to do so in the light.

You can’t see very much of my building though. There’s part of it visible behind the cream building – the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs just to the left of centre.

eems sea port de granville harbour manche normandy franceHaving done that, I carried on around the corner and there I could overlook the harbour and see Eems Sea tied up at her berth.

Although she might not look it, she was built as recently as 2010 in, of all places, Haiphong in Vietnam. 87 metres long, she is a bulk carrier with a deadweight of 2600 tonnes and a gross tonnage of 1862.

Being owned by a group of people from Werkendam, near Dordrecht, she flies the flag of the Netherlands.

And isn’t it nice to see a new arrival here in the port?

After that, I hurried home because we had football on the internet. Caernarfon Town were playing Connah’s Quay Nomads in the Welsh Premier League. The Nomads needed a win to keep clinging on to the coat tails of TNS whereas Caernarfon needed a win to give them hope of home advantage in the Euro playoffs.

The Nomads’ lack of a striker was apparent yet again because Caernarfon scored early in the match and the Nomads, despite all of their possession and pressure, never ever looked like pulling one back. If only the Nomads had a goalscorer, their season would have been completely different.

And so a late night tonight. and with me needing an early start in the morning, I shan’t be getting too much sleep.

Saturday 30th March 2019 – MOVE OVER IMELDA MARCOS

I’ve been shopping for shoes today.

Last weekend after the football there was someone outside the ground handing out vouchers for 25% off the winter sports goods at Intersport.

For a while now I’ve been looking for a new pair of hiking boots and also a new pair of trainers and not found anything that I really liked. So I thought that this morning I may as well go there and see what they have.

As a result, I walked out with a decent pair of walking trainers and a decent pair of hiking boots, and also a pair of photography gloves. And 25% off them all too, and that’s off the mark-down price on the last day of the sale too.

They both have 5 stars for everything, except for impermeability, for which they scored three stars. But this afternoon I gave them a really good drenching in waterproofing solution and when that’s properly dry in the middle of the week, they’ll receive a second coat too.

It worked, and worked in spades too, for the trainers that I wear right now and which have all of the tread worn off due to constant use, so it may well work for them too.

Last night I went to bed and slept right through all the way until the alarm went off. I only have a vague recollection of going on a voyage, concerning a man whose dog had died and he wanted to bury him, but he was lamenting the fact that the only thing that he had was his mother’s old silver casket and how he was going to miss it.

Despite waking up with the alarm, as is usual these days I turned over and went back to sleep again. 07:25 when I arose from the dead, and by the time that I had finished the usual performance and the weekend shower, it was 09:10 before I hit the streets.

road accident avenue des matignon granville manche normandy franceLIDL didn’t come up with anything special, so having bought the basics, I headed for NOZ.

But it took me a while to get there due to an enormous queue in the avenue des Matignon. It turns out that there had been a road accident involving a car and a motor bike.

If you look carefully, you can see the debris all over the road.

bad parking noz granville manche normandy franceEventually, I made it to NOZ and here once again, we are confronted with another pile of pathetic parking. It’s the kind of thing that really gets on my wick.

But in Noz, I made one or two interesting purchases. At long last I’ve found a proper pie tin and that cheered me up no end. And a couple of small ramekin dishes for the oven

Furthermore, there was an Inspector Maigret full-length DVD that will go quite nicely with my collection.

brexit fiasco granville manche normandy franceThe shoes were next, and then back to LeClerc.

And isn’t it embarrassing and shameful when you see your country pilloried liks this even in the French local press. How could 17.4 million xenophobic racists, backed by a small group of opportunistic extremist politicians, drag the country through the mire like this.

But back to the plot, I didn’t buy anything special here either.

On the way home, I called at the second-hand shop to see what they had on offer. But there was nothing really that caught my eye at all.

Enormous queues again around the town with everyone taking the summer air. I’d even taken off my jacket. And the rue des Juifs is closed because of the works to the wall, and I had to go all around the houses to get back home.

la granvillaise port de granville harbour manche normandy franceHaving half-unpacked my shopping, I had lunch.

It was such a beautiful day that I took my book and the special baguette that I had bought and went out to sit on the wall overlooking the harbour to see what was going on in the sunshine.

And it was quite a busy lunchtime out there too.

la granvillaise port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWe had La Granvillaise out there doing her stuff after her major refit, and in the company of several other yachts.

And as well as that, we had one of the catamarans owned by one of the fishermen coming into port, presumably to unload this morning’s catch.

No lizards for my pear droppings though. they are probably still hibernating somewhere in a gap in the stone wall.

And then, back in the apartment I unpacked the other half of the shopping, having to stop for a little … errr … relax halfway through. And no surprise there.

football us granvillaise uson mondeville stade louis dior granville manche normandy franceUS Granville’s 2nd XI were playing tonight. USAN Mondeville were the visitors.

I think that I’ve only seen them once this season and I don’t remember much about it. But it was such a nice evening that I went out for a good walk.

And I’m rather disappointed that I did go, because it didn’t turn out as I was hoping.

football photographer stade louis dior granville manche normandy franceWhile you all admire the official photographer and his equipment, I can tell you something about the match.

Although the two teams were pretty much even on the field, Granville had no answer to the power and pace of the corners that the Mondeville winger was banging in.

And they had even less answer to the power and the pace of the defenders who were running in unmarked.

Panic and chaos ensued at every one and Mondeville scored from three of them. Thei fourth goal was from a good clearance by a Granville defender that had the misfortune to find a Mondeville attacker totally unmarked with all of the time in the world 15 metres out.

And, as usual, Granville didn’t have anyone out there who had the striker’s instinct.

ford fiesta trailer granville manche normandy franceOn the way back, Rosemary called me, so we arranged that she would call me back later.

But in the meantime, I was distracted by this vehicle on the car park of the Foyer Des jeunes Travailleurs. Excuse the very blurry photo but I only had the time to shoot off a quick image

It’s a cut-down Ford Fiasco being used as a trailer, and that’s exciting in itself.

An the apartment, Rosemary called me back while I was watching TNS v Barry Town in the Welsh Cup.

Rosemary and I had a very lengthy chat while TNS did the predictable. Barry just couldn’t seem to get going tonight.

So now it’s late, I’ve had no tea but I didn’t care. I’m going to bed and I intend to sleep for a week.

la granvillaise port de granville harbour manche normandy france
la granvillaise port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Wednesday 27th February 2019 – DESPITE MY …

… early night I took ages to go off to sleep. And when I did, being wide-awake at 04:45 was not what I actually had in mind.

I did manage to go off again to sleep at some point but much to my, yours, and everyone else’s surprise, I was up and about before the final alarm went off.

There had been time to go off on a voyage too. I’d been out driving in one of my own vans – that might even have been Bill Badger, my old A60 half-ton van. There was something about extracting digital images off kerbstones so I had a little electrical kit that could do that and I was driving up and down the streets doing it. At one point, there on the street corner was a girl called Carolyn (it’s amazing who appears in my travels) whom I knew probably about 35 years ago and who I encountered quite by chance under strange circumstances 10 years later. She was much younger than she was when I knew her, and dressed in a fashion that would have been inappropriate for the house, never mind standing on a street corner. I was having difficulty extracting these images, to which she replied that the electricity was usually turned off at midnight. I explained that it wasn’t midnight as yet and carried on, but with no result. In the end I decided to move on, but I told Carolyn that I’ll drop by later to see if she was still there.
A little later I was in my room – or, rather, not my room in Davenport Avenue. I was wrestling with a couple of different computers (as usual these days) trying to make sure that all of my confidential files and open web pages were just on one computer being run off just one web browser so that I could close down all of my searches and research in a hurry if some unauthorised person came too close.

crowds assembling at the foyer des jeunes travailleurs granville manche normandy franceWe had the usual morning procedure of course, followed by a some what later breakfast – a bowl of porridge and some orange juice.

Interrupted by the sound of crowds assembling on the car park of the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs. No idea what’s happening there.

And while we’re on the subject of breakfast, that reminds me – apart from a coffee at the football on Saturday night I haven’t had a coffee now since the Tuesday morning that I was in Leuven.

Once I’d done what needed doing, I settled down to work. And haven’t I been a busy boy today?

I’ve amended all of the blog entries all the way back from 13th December 2018 to the 1st November 2018.

Not only that, I’m a long way down the text database for November 2018 too.

When I have finished that, whenever it might be, I’ll be starting on October. So you can see – I’ve hardly been idle.

trawlers unloading port de granville harbour manche normandy franceFor lunch, it was yet another beautiful day so I went to sit on my wall.

I was going to say “with my butties” but I forgot to defrost some bread from the freezer.

So in the end I took the little bread left over from the weekend and a packet of crisps that needed eating, and watched the fishing boats unloading at the quayside.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThat wasn’t all of the action down there either.

Down there at the bottom end of the commercial harbour is our old friend Thora. She must have come in on the morning tide from Jersey.

Loads of merchandise all around the crane, presumably awaiting loading. But I couldn’t see any of the crew around there at all. Presumably they have all gone off for lunch too.

mobile homes caravans place d'armes granville manche normandy franceOver the past week or so I’ve been telling you all that it’s soon to be Carnaval, and I’m going to be locked in up here for the weekend.

But I shan’t be alone.

The public car park outside our premises is being transformed into a mobile home park full of caravanettes as all of the grockels turn up to come and pollute the atmosphere again.

But why should I complain? It’s activities like this out-of-season that keeps the town ticking over for the rest of the year.

And that’s why I’m here.

sea coast rocks pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceThere was the usual mid-afternoon walk too.

The day really was beautiful and the sea was gorgeous and a nice deep blue colour.

It was one of those days here when it really was a pleasure to be out and about – me in just a sweater (and trousers too of course) in late February.

drainaige assainissage lighthouse cap lihou pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceMy little walk took me around the headland of the Pointe du Roc.

At the bungalow round by the lighthouse and the coastguard station, there was a lorry there. This brings back many happy memories of my time in the Auvergne.

No mains drainage there of course, nor here, apparently. The tanker is here busily pumping out the contents of the septic tank.

Presumably to treat its 75mm gun with Dettol.

waves harbour wall port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe air was very calm and still, but there must have been a long rolling sea coming in right across the Atlantic with some terrific force.

You can tell that by the power of the waves as they break on the angle of the sea wall down there.

It’s quite surprising really, comparing the wind speed with the force of the water.

ferry ile de chausey port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWhile I was watching the waves, we had another one of our residents returning to the fold.

There must have been a ferry trip out to the Ile de Chausey today, because she turned up back here on the end of her round-trip while I was out there.

I was feeling rather envious, because this would have been a marvellous day to have gone out for a sale, and I suppose that with Carnaval, the tourist season is starting up.

astron chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd I missed out the chantier navale today too, didn’t I?

It’s quite busy in there today. We have the yacht in there of course, and Armor halfway through its respray down there.

The modern little fishing boat is interesting too, by my attention is drawn to the big wooden boat of some description in the centre of the photo.

I wonder what that is and what they are doing to it. I shall have to go for an investigation.

reroofing loading lorry foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy franceWe saw yesterday the workers repairing the flashing around the roof windows of the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs

It looks as if they might now be finished. They were busy loading up a lorry with all of the left-over building stuff.

Presumably the container and the machine will be leaping aboard too and disappearing off into the sunset some time soon.

I’ll probably find out tomorrow.

When I returned, I got on the ‘phone again.

I tried another tack with the bank, going in through the soft-underbelly. Not for nothing do I have friends. And about 15 minutes later, they discovered a way that might help me out and which will really upset the Worst Bank In The World.

Back to work with the text database, and then a stop for tea.

While I was finding my crisps, I found a pack of tortilla wraps, so I made myself a pile of stuffing with kidney beans and had a couple with some pasta.

I was stuffed too. No pudding or anything, so I’m doing my best to cut down my appetite. It will probably help if I keep on drinking as much liquid as I am right now.

But then I’ll have my water retention issues.

minette rue notre dame granville manche normandy franceOn my evening walk around the walls, I almost flattened a pedestrian skulking in a dark corner with an obviously secret cigarette.

But apart from that, not a soul. No matter how nice and pleasant it was out there.

Well, not quite alone. Minette was sitting on a car bonnet taking the air and enjoying herself. So I gave her a good stroke and came home.

I’m off for an early night now. Although it’s Thursday, I’m going to be doing a good shopping round.

No sense in going out on Saturday. The town will be heaving with tourists, the streets will be blocked and I probably won’t be able to get out at all.

Do it first before it’s too late.

fishing boat coming in to unload port de granville harbour manche normandy france
fishing boat coming in to unload port de granville harbour manche normandy france

yacht speedboat granville manche normandy france
yacht speedboat granville manche normandy france

waves harbour wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france

waves harbour wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Tuesday 26th February 2019 – I REMEMBER HEARING …

… the water heater switch itself off this morning at 06:25 but if anyone thinks that there was a possibility of me leaping sprightly out of bed at that time of the morning, they are totally mistaken.

Instead, I turned over and went back to sleep. 08:25 is much more like it for someone recovering from a viral bronchitis.

Plenty of time though, to go off on a few little voyages.

We started off on a big ship last night and sailing down some channel, and a few fires breaking out here and there, including a large one that, in order to put this one out, I had to sail the ship into the lee of the shore. I was tempted to laugh off these attempts and dismiss them, pretend that they hadn’t happened, but somehow there were too many witnesses and there were too many signs of damage.
A little later on, I was wandering over some kind of park supervising the cleaning. There were papers littering the place, torn ones of the kind that would have been the track of a 1920s paperchase in a Public School. One of the young gardeners had made very little effort to clean them up, and I wondered why. He exlained to me that his blower wasn’t working properly so that there wasn’t very much that he could do. I asked him whether he had reported the matter or taken the machine to be prepared, to which he didn’t respond. So I gave him a little lecture.
Later still, I was in a room in my house. This was somewhere round by the east end of Crewe by where Nerina’s family lived. I had to go off to the south of the town so I wheeled out the old Honda Melody that I had when I first moved to Brussels. I wasn’t sure how much fuel was in it, and whether I ought to go down Earle Street on it to the cheap petrol station or down Macon Way to the petrol station on the roundabout by the station. The latter was a shorter route by a couple of hundred metres but the fuel was dearer, and bearing in mind the fuel consumption of the Melody, how much difference would it make? And then I had the big motor-scooter – a four-stroke foot-first thing that ought to have a run out too. There was also a bike lying on its side on the floor of what I imagined was my bedroom. The wheel was wedged up against the wall so when I moved it, the wheel spun round and the dynamo front light illuminated. And I couldn’t understand why there was sand all over the floor.
Finally … “thank God” – ed … I was at the seaside. We were sitting in a coach that was being used as a waiting room. A discussion broke out amongst a few people about some kind of pink pottery on board a ship and that corresponded with some kind of nocturnal voyage on which I’d departed years ago. I tried to insert it into the conversation but no-one paid any attention. So I ignored the conversation and tried to read the newspaper. But reading a newspaper on a coach even when it was stationary was rather difficult. Eventually I looked up to see that the people to whom I’d been talking had all moved on. Instead, there were other people, talking about Mr Soandso whose car had just been badly damaged by some kids whose sled had gone out of control and collided with the car.

I eventually crawled out of my bed and went off to sort out my medication and some time later, I went back for a pile of porridge for breakfast.

And having done that, I had some errands to run.

repairing window seals foyer jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy franceNot that I managed to go very far.

There has been some work going on at the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs for a few days now so I was interested to see what was happening.

It looks as if they are replacing the window seals around the dormer windows in the roof by working on one of the mobile platforms that they had out here over the early part of the winter.

On the way down the hill I met the “electrician” from the other day. Busy erecting wooden shuttering around an empty shop front.

Just as I thought. Some electrician.

First stop was at the estate agent’s. I’d had a reminder about a bill that I’d missed and I needed to find out what.

Seems like I have the dustbin tax to pay.

Second stop was at the Mairie. I’ve decided to take the Bull by the Horns and tackle Madame la Maire about my little project.

It’s not easy because she’s busy, but it you don’t try, you don’t get.

I made it past the downstairs and as far as her secretary, and the latter took a pile of notes. We shall see where we go with this, but at least I’ve put my feet on the road.

Final stop was at the bank – firstly to pay the dustbin tax of course, and secondly, to find out why my telephone provider had sent me a reminder for a bill.

It seems that it’s not from the telephone provider at all but, as I suspected, one of these scams that is going around.

I checked at the Telephone company, and they confirmed it.

erecting stage place charles de gaulle carnaval granville manche normandy franceBack down the hill in town I noticed that they are pushing along with the preparations for Carnaval.

The roundabout that was there the other day has gone, and in its place is a stage. I seem to remember there being some music on there last year, as well as the MC of the whole proceedings.

I hope that it’s going to be a little more lively this year than last.

rue des juifs clearing streets for carnaval granville manche normandy franceRound the corner and up the hill, and a temporary road closure.

The rue des Juifs is where they park some of the floats for the carnaval, and so they are clearing the streets of some of the street furniture to give them more room to manoeuvre.

Outside one of the cafés here is an old rowing boat that is used by customers to sit in and admire the evening. They are in the middle of winching it off to I’ve no idea where.

Back up here I carried on with updating the blog but it was soon lunchtime.

And it was such a beautiful afternoon that I made some butties and went to sit outside on the wall.

While I was there I took a few photos with the different lenses of the camera and edited them.

You can see the results down below and these shouls give you some kind of idea of what the camera is – or isn’t – doing.

After lunch, I attacked the Royal Bank of Scotland yet again.

A mere 87 minutes on the telephone and not much further forward either and this is going to be a very long job to persuade them to do what I want to do, and take me a great deal of effort.

I just don’t know why I’m stuck with the useless pile of bankers that I seem to have acquired. I am really totally and absolutely full of dismay about all of this.

Totally fed up, I went off for a walk around the walls. And took another pile of photos on different settings.

Strangely, it seems to work like it should on automatic exposure, and about three stops up on manual exposure – in other words, it needs twice as much light than it says that it’s receiving.

I’ve had a look on the internet to see if there’s any firmware update, but not at all. So I’ve no idea now.

No tea tonight. I had a few biscuits and one of Jenny’s chocolates, followed by a chocolate soya drink. Not that I couldn’t have eaten anything but I’m trying to keep some weigh off now that I’ve got it off.

I don’t suppose that I’ll be able to keep it up but that’s no reason for not trying.

trawler coming in to port de granville harbour manche normandy franceInstead, I went for a walk around the Pointe du Roc in the pleasant evening, and to play with the camera again – this time with the 50mm f1.8 lens.

Of course it’s very difficult to tell what’s happening with that lens because I only every use it in the dark and set it by eye anyway, frame by frame.

But they don’t look like they used to, that’s for sure, especially after all of the work that I’ve been putting in.

trawlers coming in to port de granville harbour baie de mont st michel manche normandy franceRound to the entrance to the harbour to watch the trawlers come in with their catch.

This would have been a beautiful photo in the right conditions with reliable equipment, and I was expecting to have done something much better than this after all of the practice that I’ve been doing.

I’m going to have to upgrade the camera some time soon, which is a shame.

So, dismayed, I’m off to bed. An early night. I’ve decided to start with the alarms tomorrow and see how I’m going to get on.

——— RANGE ONE ——-

beach quay herel granville manche normandy france
beach quay herel granville manche normandy france

beach quay herel granville manche normandy france
beach quay herel granville manche normandy france

beach quay herel granville manche normandy france
beach quay herel granville manche normandy france

beach quay herel granville manche normandy france
beach quay herel granville manche normandy france

beach quay herel granville manche normandy france
beach quay herel granville manche normandy france

beach quay herel granville manche normandy france
beach quay herel granville manche normandy france

beach quay herel granville manche normandy france
beach quay herel granville manche normandy france

beach quay herel granville manche normandy france
beach quay herel granville manche normandy france

beach quay herel granville manche normandy france
beach quay herel granville manche normandy france

beach quay herel granville manche normandy france
beach quay herel granville manche normandy france

beach quay herel granville manche normandy france
beach quay herel granville manche normandy france

beach quay herel granville manche normandy france
beach quay herel granville manche normandy france

——- RANGE TWO ——–

donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france
donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france

donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france
donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france

donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france
donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france

donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france
donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france

donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france
donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france

donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france
donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france

donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france
donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france

donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france
donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france

donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france
donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france

donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france
donville les bains city walls granville manche normandy france

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france
crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france
crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france
crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france
crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france

trawler coming in to port de granville harbour manche normandy france
trawler coming in to port de granville harbour manche normandy france

trawler coming in to port de granville harbour manche normandy france
trawler coming in to port de granville harbour manche normandy france

trawler coming in to port de granville harbour normandy france
trawler coming in to port de granville harbour manche normandy france

trawlers coming in to port de granville harbour manche normandy france
trawlers coming in to port de granville harbour manche normandy france

trawlers coming in to port de granville harbour manche normandy france
trawlers coming in to port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Thursday 13th December 2018 – HAVING FINALLY MANAGED …

… to have an early night last night, I felt like death this morning when I awoke.

Nevertheless I did struggle out of my bed on time and that makes a change these days, doesn’t it?

After breakfast I had a few things to do, one of which was to have a shower and a clean-up and to switch on the washing machine with all of the dirty laundry that has accumulated over the past couple of weeks.

That’s just as well because I’m running out of clean clothes. As far as clothes go, I’m running a very tight ship here with limited supplies. So the more I can wash and the more often I wash them, the more comfortable I will be.

strange lorry communal rooms granville manche normandy franceAnother thing that I had to do was to look out of the window at the racket going on from the courtyard at the back, outside the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs.

After the military moved out of here in the 1980s, the buildings became derelict and a slow process of enovation has been taking place. My building is of course done, as is the College Malraux and the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs.

They ahve almost finished the third block, and there are some rooms done in the command block. But it looks as if they have started work on the command block yet again.

It was cold outside. The temperature had dropped down to 3°C during the night and wasn’t any higher when I went out. The wind was bitter too.

marite normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd down there in the harbour was Normandy Trader.

She was unloading a huge mound of sacks and so on, which were being loaded into a lorry on the quayside.
“That’s a quick turn-round” I thought to myself.

She can’t have been in long and they were working away like beavers down there. Clearly, something is up.

On the way back home, I noticed that Normandy Trader had gone. That was an even quicker turn-round.

electric coffee grinder LIDL granville manche normandy franceLIDL had nothing particular on offer today so I didn’t buy anything exciting at all. Just the usual bits and pieces, including some carrots that I will freeze tomorrow.

But I know where I shall come if ever I find any electric coffee. Here in LIDL today they are selling grinders for electric coffee – not, as you may well have expected and have already noted, “electric grinders for coffee”

old cars citroen ami 6 break LIDL granville manche normandy franceJust a little surprise on the car park as well.

It’s been a while, I reckon, since we’ve seen an old car on these pages. So here’s one to catch up.

Regularly featuring on polls of the “Ugliest Car On The Road”, it’s a very early Citroen Ami-6 break, or estate car, from the period.

Introduced in 1961, they were basically flushed-out 2CV deluxes with larger engines and were probably either the first or second ever production car to have headlamps that weren’t round – to the total disbelief of the Americans who refused to issue import permits for them until the mid-70s for this very reason.

First thing that I did on returning was to make a coffee. The second thing that I did was to sit down on my chair to close my eyes for a short while – a while that wasn’t as short as I hoped that it would be.

After lunch I came back in here and started to do some work – but I didn’t last very long before a wave of fatigue overwhelmed me.

I did manage to struggle out for my afternoon walk in an attmept to clear my head but it will take much more than a walk in the wind to clear what’s going on in my head.

hedge cutting pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceI wasn’t the only one out there either.

A couple of council workmen were busy cutting the hedge here on the Pointe du Roc at the back of the running track that the kids at the College Malraux use as a playing field.

The method and machinery were a bit industrial, but if you don’t do this kind of thing on a regular basis you can’t expect anything else.

but when I came back it wasn’t very long at all before I was stretched out on the bed.

I’m really struggling these days, aren’t I?

Tea was a burger on a bap with vegetables and steamed potatoes with vegan butter. And it was all absolutely delicious. And followed by tinned fruit salad and almond-flavoured soya dessert stuff.

It’s doubtful if I’ll be working late tonight. Its only just after 22:00 and I’m feeling exhausted already. I don’t think that it will be very long at all before I’m off to the Land of Nod.