Tag Archives: fruit bread

Thursday 21st April 2022 – GLOBAL WARMING ANYONE?

When John Ross, the leader of the first European expedition credited with exploring the north coast of Lancaster Sound, came by here in 1818 and when William Parry examined it in 1819-20, they noticed what might have been the entrance to a bay, which Parry called Croker Bay after the then-Secretary to the Admiralty.

dry valley croker bay devon island canada adventure canada into the north west passage 2019 photo august 2019 eric hallThey weren’t actually sure about whether it was a bay or not because the whole coastline was covered in impenetrable ice so they couldn’t sail in to make sure.

And there I was 200 years later, 25 kms deep into what is quite clearly a fjord rather than a bay, at the mouth of a dry valley where a glacier once flowed and where there isn’t a single trace of ice.

If you want to look for the “Croker Bay Glacier” you need to travel another 5kms up the fjord and eventually you’ll reach it. Over the last 200 years or so, a belt of ice 30kms deep and heaven alone knows how thick has melted.

Anyway I digress … “yet again” – ed.

aeroplane 54aay baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Outside this afternoon we’ve been having an aerial day but while you admire the light aeroplane 54AAY that flew past overhead making its debut on these pages, I’ll start at the very beginning … “a very good place to start” – ed.

And once more, it was a struggle for me to crawl out of bed again. I didn’t beat the second alarm, having gone back to sleep after the first one, but I was still up before the 3rd, even though it was “only just”.

And after the medication and checking my mails and messages, I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And to my surprise I found that I’d stepped back into a dream not once but twice.

It’s becoming something of a habit.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022One of my former work colleagues starred in this one. It was something to do with his retirement. He’d been called out for overstaying his retirement by some kind of sea creature so he went down to attack this sea creature and had a fight with it. He was stopped and they arranged a proper bour of either boxing or wrestling between the two of them. it was rather unfair because this sea creature had 4 arms instead of just 2 and it had to have its gills reinforced. The fight took place and eventually the sea creature won it. The person commentating said that it was a really good fight but he reckoned that every non-human and probably one or two humans as well really enjoyed the result and how it panned out

And then I started dictating the next dream in French. I was at home and had invited some friends round. They were actually grown-ups and I was only quite young. We ended up playing cards which I thought was a good game. They were 3 middle-aged men and one had a wife but she didn’t want to come. We dealt, and dealt for partners etc. They asked what I had to drink. I had a bottle of beer on the side from yesterday that I could drink. I looked in the drinks cupboard and they had one of these boxes of wine and there was some whisky etc so I started to put everything out ready for people to help themselves to alcohol

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022That dream continued afterwards and I’d actually met the wife. They were living in a big detached house very much like UK 1930s but it was in France. She was dreading the start of the French school year because her kids were going to school. I asked her if her move to France was permanent. She told me 20 good reasons why it was. We were having quite a chat when her husband came up and said that when he had the house tidied up and the kitchen arranged I would have to come over for a cup of tea by the fire

Later on I was talking to Percy Penguin, and it’s been a while since she’s put in an appearance. She was being very cagey on the telephone about something. I could tell that there was something going on but she didn’t seem to want to expand on it very much. I couldn’t seem to chisel it out of her. At the same time I was talking to a footballer who lived on the continent. We were planning some kind of event together. My family came on the phone and I started to chat to them and happened to mention something about my youngest sister. They replied “haven’t you heard?”. I said “no” and they answered that she’d died. I was appalled. I asked how. It seemed that she and her husband had gone for a breakfast brunch somewhere. Some security guard had knocked her husband’s cup or something onto the floor so they had “had words”. A fight started and my sister had tried to join in but the security guard pulled out his revolver and shot her 4 times in the groin. At that moment he had been arrested.

Airbus A350-941 F-HTRE pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022We haven’t quite finished yet, but we’ll have an interruption to watch F-HTRE go past overhead.

She’s an Airbus A350-941 owned by Air Caraibes and first took to the air in July 2019. She’s flying TX514/FWI14J from Orly to Fort de France in the Caribbean and went past me at 38,000 feet and 498 knots at vector 272°

But in the meantime I was stepping back into the dream involving my youngest sister. Everyone was now round at my house collecting her stuff to take away. I was busy writing a note to my brother expressing my condolences etc.

Once again it took me a couple of hours to come to my senses, which is a surprise seeing how few I have these days, but when I’d come round I made a start on the photos from the High Arctic of 2019. By the time that I’d finished this evening I was up the end of Croker Bay pinned against a glacier.

There’s a huge batch of photos that I’ve dealt with over the last couple of days. But I’m not out of the woods yet. I have simply moved into different woods.

We had a whole variety of interruptions today, coffee and breakfast being not the least of them.

But on the subject of fruit bread, I had the last slice today.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022That’s the cue for another load – this time it was fruit buns because there was nothing else to bake in the oven so I had the room.

And here’s the results. Enough to keep me going until I clear off next Friday, with a few in the freezer for when I come back too.

It’s basically a bread mix of 250 grammes with a pile of brazil nuts ground into a coarse flour, some dessicated coconut, raisins, sunflower seeds, chopped banana chips, some of those mixed dried fruits and a fresh banana all mixed in. And probably a few other things too that happen to be lying around.

And then when it’s all proofed, cooked for 40 minutes on a medium-high oven.

For lunch I took the remaining half-loaf out of the freezer this morning and it had been defrosting. And there’s nothing like fresh bread like that. I’ll have to make another loaf on Sunday, I reckon, while I’m doing my pizza and I’ll freeze half of that too.

taped off front of building place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was of course the usual afternoon walk around the headland.

However today I didn’t go very far before I came to a stop. Just outside the front door in fact.

There’s something afoot here just outside the building, and I’ve no idea what because I haven’t heard anything at all. But whatever it is, they have most of the front of the building taped off, presumably to prevent access.

The plot thickens, that’s for sure.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But anyway, we can leave that for a while. Let’s go and have a look down on the beach.

It was another quite nice day today and the crowds were out enjoying it. Down on the beach too there were plenty of people taking the air including a group of young women playing with a frisbee.

There were other folk down there too, poking around in rock pools, scavenging amongst the rocks and the like. We can tell that the tide is on its way out this afternoon.

And they had beautiful weather for it too.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022While I was up here looking down onto the beach I also had my roving eye wandering around looking at what was going on offshore.

There was quite a haze today so I couldn’t see all that far but I did notice a couple of fishing boats out there. One that we can see here but there was another one further out as well.

And presumably they were working too because they were pointing away from the harbour and following the coast.

Of course, they are far too far out to sea for me to be able to identify them, especially in these weather conditions when I had to peer through a sea mist to see anything at all.

marker buoys baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022That wasn’t everything either.

Just down there offshore is a collection of marker buoys. It looks as if someone has dropped a few lobster pots into the water just there.

Mind you, that’s not all that far out and I suppose that they will just come along later this afternoon walking across the sand to collect them and their catch because I’m pretty certain that where they have dropped them is out of the water when the tide is right out.

That speedboat roaring past didn’t have anything to do with them anyway

However that’s not my problem. Armes with my face mask, I went to fight the good fight amongst the crowds of people on the path.

people taking photograph pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a recurring theme that runs through these pages as that oe me taking photos of people taking photos.

But here’s quite a new twist on the subject. Down at the end of the headland I looked back and saw a guy setting up a tripod with his camera perched thereupon.

And having done that, he took up station with his beloved and the self-timer did the rest, much to the chagrin of one of the workers at the coastguard post who wanted to drive past there in his car and who was obliged to wait.

But they did make a handsome couple.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022It wasn’t just with lobster pots and trawlers that people were out fishing this afternoon.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen someone perched on the rocks with rod and line at the end of the headland but today we had one of the aforementioned.

And it still bewilders me that these fishermen don’t have a basket or anything in which to put their catch. However, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in all the years that we’ve been watching them, we’ve yet to see a fishermen pull a fish out of the water with rod and line.

There were no spectators on the bench at the cabanon vauban either today. They must have known that I was coming.

le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022From the end of the headland I walked down towards the port to see what was happening there today.

And there has been another change in occupancy at the chantier naval today. Le Roc A La Mauve III is still there showing little signs of moving but Anakena seems to have finished her overhaul and she’s now gone back into the water, ready for her summer voyages to the frozen north.

And how I wish that I was going with her too, but I suppose that you are fed up of me moaning about that. It’s high time that I went out and got myself a life. I need to do something to start moving again but with these heart issues and knee issues it’s not so easy.

But I have the doctor to see next week and the heart specialist at the hospital to see on the 5th of May so who knows? Something might start happening soon, but I’m not holding my breath.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Over at the fist processing plant it looks as if there’s a very long and complicated game of “Musical Ships” taking place.

Briscard was there but she went and L’Omerta came in her place. And then they swapped places, and today they have swapped back again. The excitement here is terrific and I might have to go and lie down in a darkened room.

Instead, I came home for a coffee, a session on the guitar and then (regrettably) I crashed out for a good while. I don’t know what’s the matter with me these days.

Tea was a curry made with leftovers, and delicious it was too. Tomorrow I fancy sausage, beans and chips, especially now that I have my air fryer. I’ve no excuse now for rubbishy chips

But that’s tomorrow. Tonight I’ll have a strum on the guitar and then go to bed. I could do with a much better night and then maybe I’ll have a much better day to follow.

Friday 25th March 2022 – AS YOU MIGHT …

… expect, today has been nothing like as productive as yesterday was.

But, quite rarely, the problem was nothing to do with a lack of effort on my part – more on the part of someone else who shall be nameless who had me running around on the internet for three hours for what eventually turned out to be no good purpose.

There have been problems with these people in the past over “certain issues” and a little over two years ago I vowed that that time would be the very last … etc etc.

However I relented over the passage of time and subsequently, over the past few months particularly, I’ve been given the run-around over a couple of issues that have caused me to sigh with dismay but today – well, I dunno.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m living on borrowed time and every hour that I waste is an hour that I won’t ever have back again.

On top of that, the doctors have told me to do everything that I possibly can to avoid stressing myself out. It’s only my heart keeping going that’s keeping me going and it’s showing signs of strain, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. But once I stress myself out to such an extent that my heart is affected, I’ve had it.

It’s simply that I can’t afford the stress. There used to be a time when I thrived on stress – never mind your “Management By Objective” – my motto was “Management By Crisis” and it usually worked. But I can’t do it now.

What was even worse was that for the first time since I can’t remember when, I had a good sleep last night. There wasn’t much on the dictaphone at all.

Well, in fact there was, but one entry was the carbon copy of one over two hours earlier, so whether I simply dictated the same dream twice with a lengthy gap in between or whether in fact i dreamt it twice, well, we’ll never know.

We started off last night at the family pile in Davenport Avenue and there was something going on in the garden. it involved a pile of fruit that everyone was eating. I wasn’t down there with them but there was something about I had to fetch more fruit so I went back into the kitchen and found the fruit but it was all black and rotten and sweating and there were mice eating it etc. I had to chase off what I could. In the end the only thing that was any good was a banana, and that wasn’t any good either but I picked it up. One of the cats – or both of the cats – were in there and there was something the matter with him and they were all covered in some kind of black substance like some of the fruit was so I suhered them out of the room where the fruit was. One of them wanted to go upstairs and I wasn’t going to let it go like that so I picked it up. It wasn’t very happy and it was filthy but I took it in my arms and put it outside

And then I dictated it again.

Later on we were in Germany last night at a town fair. We were running it and helping these German people set up their stall. They were selling tools like spanners and dies and taps, etc. Then it seemed that I had forgotten to formally open the event so I had to formally open it with a speech but when I started to translate it into French everyone shouted “shush”. They weren’t interested apparently in hearing it in French so I went to the office and used the PA system to announce it instead, all over the fair. At the end of the night these German people were packing up. I asked them how they had done and they told me that they had sold over 3 million Marks of stuff. I asked if that was Deutsche marks or Reichmarks. We helped them get together but by now it was pretty late so I said that I could run them to the nearest metro station but they suggested that I run them to Blythe Bridge and the main-line railway station there. I thought “yes, I’d do that” but then it turned out that there was a problem with the lines and a lot of the small local stations had closed so for them to return home to Birmingham was going to be extremely difficult.

There was also somewhere where I was heading off somewhere for a job interview in Vienna. I reached the Underground but my ticket wouldn’t read in the machine to let me into the station. I tried it in 3 or 4 different machines and eventually I managed to make it work. Then I couldn’t find the line that I wanted to take me to where this interview was and even worse, I couldn’t remember which was the Metro station where I had to alight to go to this interview. I was being totally disorganised yet again.

Leaving the bed was once more a struggle but I did manage to beat the second alarm.

fruit bread home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022After the medication the first task that needed doing was to bake a pile of bread – fruit bread as well as normal bread.

The normal bread tastes as good as it looks, because I had it for lunch but the fruit bread didn’t do so well.

Firstly, I forgot to brush it with milk and dust it with sugar, which doesn’t help matters, and secondly, I forgot it in the oven and it ended up being baked for 10 minutes longer than it should have been.

Still, it’ll be eaten before too long. And it’ll probably taste just as good as it ought to do. Anyway, the odd culinary disaster here and there is par for the course.

Much of the rest of the day, when I was allowed to, I was going through the photos from the Canadian High Arctic. Right now I’m in Quernbiter Fjord among a pod of narwhals. There were some exciting moments on that day.

As usual there were several other more routine interruptions, such as a coffee break, breakfast (with the last of the old fruit bread) and lunch (with the first of the new normal bread).

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual, I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland, and the first port of call was the wall at the end of the car park.

Despite the fact that it was another beautiful day today, sun shining, quite warm and all of that, therre weren’t all that many people down there this afternoon. Certainly not like yesterday when we had hordes of people down there.

But whether or not there was anything going on out at sea, that was something else completely because the sea mist that we had a few days ago has closed in and I could see very little this afternoon.

So instead I wandered off down the path towards the headland to see what might be happening

people on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022When I arrived at the headland, I thought that I might have been in luck.

A couple of people sitting on the bench (minus dog, or polar bear, or whatever it was) by the cabanon vauban looking as if something exciting was happening gave me a ray of optimism but I reckon that the excitement going on down there had nothing whatever to do with anything out at sea.

And in any case, the visibility in that direction wasn’t any better as it was as I was walking down the path.

And so I called it a day and headed off down the path on the other side of the headland.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On this side of the path I was rather more lucky with maritime activity.

One of the yacht schools was out this afternoon, with a big bunch of pupils sailing around in the bay. It’s always the case – at the start of the year there are dozens of them sailing around (although you can only see a few of them). But by the time we reach the end of the season, the numbers have fallen off dramatically.

And just to reassure you, I haven’t forgotten that I’m supposed to be making enquiries. But right now I’m more preoccupied with my Welsh exam in early summer and all of the (free) revision courses that go with it.

Sailing is for some other time – but I will do it.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022In the photograph just now, you might have caught a little glimpse of Chausiaise moored at the front of the queue at the ferry terminal.

Behind her, in apparently the same place as she was yesterday, is the older of the two Joly France ferries that go out to the Ile de Chausey.

But what had caught my eye was the little boat that was moored behind her. And when I looked closer, there were actually two – a little shell-fishing boat that presumably came in too late to moor on a mooring chain, and one of the little port runabouts is moored alongside.

And the builders’ material is still over there by the crane. That’s not moved either.

fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Meanwhile, in other news, a couple of things have moved from here by the Fish Processing Plant.

Yesterday we saw L’Omerta and Jade III moored over at the wharf over there but today they have gone.

Jade III is out in the bay fishing, according to her AIS signal, but as for L’Omerta, her AIS signal tells me that she’s moored in the harbour at Les Sables d’Orlonne where she hasn’t moved since April 2019 so we can forget about that.

On the way home, I didn’t even notice if anyone was parked by the Porte St Jean. I just came in for my coffee.

After a good session on the guitar this evening I started another task that I’ve been putting off for quite a while.

For the photos, I keep a monthly index but it always occurred to me that I ought to make one master index that would make searching for things so much easier without trying to remember when or where I was at the time.

So I settled down and made a start. That’s another job that isn’t going to be as easy as it might be either, due to all kinds of complicated reasons.

For tea, I added a small tin of kidney beans and some tomato sauce to the left-over stuffing and had that with some pasta and veg. I’ve had nicer meals than that, I suppose.

But one task that I had to undertake was to dismantle … “disPERSONtle” – ed … the sink waste pipe as some paper that had slipped down there. That’s a messy job and I hate it, for not the least reason being that I have to empty the cupboard underneath and there’s far too much stuff in there as it is.

So now I’ve written up my notes and done another little task that needed attention (more of which anon) I’m going to have a little 10-minute relax and then go to bed. My Welsh weekend starts at 10:30 and I need to nip into town beforehand for a couple of things, like the mushrooms for the pizza.

So what will my Welsh course bring me this weekend? And I hope that I’m in the mood to profit from it.

Thursday 17th February 2022 – TODAY WAS SOMEWHAT …

… better today than yesterday and at least I manahed to accomplish a couple of things.

Actually it started last night when after I finished writing my notes; I finished off the notes for the radio programme and then in a mad fit of energy I actually dictated them. It can’t be any better than that.

There was something that resembled a reasonable sleep last night. Judging by the times that I dictated the notes of my travels during the night, I must have had a good four hours of uninterrupted sleep.

After that I was off on my travels and I spent a lot of time wandering around. I started off with someone from the Wemsh group, and I wondered when one of them would appear. We’d been doing something or other and a third person whom I know but can’t remember came up to me saying “I saw your note just now back there” but I couldn’t think which note it was at all. I hadn’t written one. We went back into the lounge room and my Welsh friend said something like “right, it’s TV time. There was a programme on there that we usually watch. I had to use the ruler to switch on the TV because it was so high up on the wall. Apparently it was already on – it just needed touching to reactivate it. It tunred out that it was the Wimbledon singles tennis final between Maria Scharapova and someone. He’d written a note or a poem or doggerel about her. The other match that was taking place was the men’s singles final between Boris Johnson and someone else and if that isn’t a nightmare, I don’t know what is. I was surprised about how good Boris Johnson was. he was really making this young guy work his position and for a big man he was a lot quicker on the court than I expected him to be. He had this enormous smash that ended up with him hurtling backwards and hitting the wall at the back. Then he began to pull all kinds of bits and pieces from under his shirt. We realised then that he was wearing some kind of kevlar body armour that had shattered under the impact of him hitting this wall. he was pulling it out bit by bit. When there was a lull in the noise in the stadium I shouted “it’s not a very good advert for kevlar, is it?” and everyone burst into laughter.

Later on I was on my way into work and was at the back end of Tunstall when I saw a motorbike at the side of the road, a Royal Enfield single. I had a good look at it and decided that it was quite nice and carried on to work. Later that day I had to go back out again. 2 girls from the office came with me. One was a girl whom I quite liked. The other one was quite nice but this one was something special. I had my red Cortina and we piled into it. We ended up back in Tunstall again. This bike now had a sign or something on it saying “Series BSA for sale” but it was quite clearly a Royal Enfield. I mentioned that and they said “why don’t you go to see the person and find out?”. I replied “probably because I would be very tempted to buy it”. We found the address so we set off. Soon the houses finished and we were in the open countryside. The second girl said “we’ve been this way before haven’t we?”. The first girl replied “yes. It was that office outing when you went wine-tasting”. I said “yes, and we had a good time at that”. As we drove down this road we were on top of the moors. The wind was really strong, rattling a caravan out in a field. All of a sudden we came to some barbed wire right across the road. We couldn’t go any further, we had to turn round in a farm drive and go back but the bank out of this drive was so steep that the Cortina struggled to make any headway and it was difficult to try to go back out onto the main road again so that we could drive off.

As well as that I was at a school last night with some pupils, actually at a railway station in the underground passage beneath the lines. Someone came down carrying what looked like a solar-powered satellite. They reached the bottom, stopped, had a think, turned round and went back again. I wondered what that was all about. There’s more to it than this but I can’t remember

Finally, someone came out of the library at work bringing something to me. First of all we were having a discussion about some meeting and playing the ‘cello where we had to sit, where we had to stand, how we had to behave. I didn’t understand any of this and I’d never played a ‘cello in my life. I wondered whether I’d misheard or mistranslated. I couldn’t get any of this at all. While I was trying to talk to someone about it, someone came out of the library at work and handed me a kind-of press cutting wrapped in sticky-backed plastic and said that it was very important not to lose it because it means that she can join me. I had a look and it was about Nerina. She’d been awarded either a Doctorate or a Master’s for a dissertation that she had submitted to the University of Québec. Of course I was quite envious because of the Québec connection. I wondered what it was about all of these little privileges she could have so I thought that I’d better go to see the guy who’s in charge of “privileges and immunities” and talk to him aboit it before I posted it on to her wherever she was. At that point I set off to walk home. There were crowds of people on the pavement and a very strong wind and was making very little headway at all. Everone else seemed to be walking okay but it was so strong that it was stopping me going forward. I went over this long railway bridge and had to work out my way home. My way home was going to take me back towards my apartment in Jette but it seemed rather strange because I couldn’t understand anything of what was happening at all with any of this. Nothing seemed to make sense.

When the alarm went off it was something of a struggle to leave the bed but I managed to beat the second alarm all the same.

After the medication, the first job to do was to make the bread as I’d run out.

home made bread fruit bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022In fact I’d run out of all kinds of bread, normal as well as fruit bread. And realising that there isn’t a lot of room in my oven, I couldn’t make fruit buns so it had to be a fruit loaf instead.

The bread dough was one of the best that I’ve made so far, and for some reason that I don’t understand, the fruit loaf went together really nicely. I’ve not had one quite like this at all.

While they were baking I took out the glass and plastic rubbish to the bins outside, such is the exciting life that I live these days that I feel the need to write about it.

The ordinary bread was very delicious, exactly how it ought to be. As for the fruit bread, I’ll tell you about that tomorrow. But what I can tell you that half of the normal bread and half of the fruit bread have gone into the freezer. I can’t seem to get them to last more than three or four days and I suppose that that shows how fresh and natural the ingredients are.

Most of the rest of the day has been spent in some kind of desultory fashion finishing off the radio programme. And it took much longer that it ought to have done for the simple reason that I forgot to dictate some of the text.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As well as lunch, there was also a break for my afternoon walk around the headland.

As usual I went off down to the end of the car park to have a look at what was happening on the beach.

There were actually a few people walking around on the beach this afternoon – one in the middle of the beach and a family over at the foot of the steps.

And they had a nice day for it too. It was warm again for the time of year and it was quite sunny too. Just the right kind of day to go for a look at the sea.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022usually I go and look out to the sea as well but today I was rather distracted.

We’ve seen them working on the medieval city walls over at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux for the last few months and now they seem to have moved around the corner of the wall.

We can see that the protective netting has extended round to there so that would seem to indicate that the workmen have reached as far as there now.

There were several large and deep cracks in the wall just there so they will be quite a while working on that part.

And that reminds me of the time that a nasty crack appeared on the wall of 10 Downing Street, but workmen painted over it before Boris Johnson could read it.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Despite the nice weather there weren’t too many people out and about on the path so I had it pretty much to my self.

Out at sea though, when I finally managed to focus myself on what was going on out there I could see that there were whole fleets of fishing boats out there heading back into the harbour.

The tide was still a fair way out so I don’t imagine that the harbour gates will be open yet so they will be all queueing up outside.

At the end of the headland there was a family peering into the old bunker and another one looking at the monument to the missing sailors, but that was about the lot so I carried on towards the harbour.

yacht tiberiade le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Down at the chantier naval there’s been a change of occupancy yet again.

Le Roc A La Mauve III is still down there of course, with her paintwork a long way from being completed, and as for Tiberiade, her sanding down is still going on and her paintwork is a long way from even starting.

And we now have another boat in there too – a yacht without a mast. And the yellow prop on which she is sitting, I haven’t seen that one before.

While I was there I took the opportunity to have a good look at the stern of Tiberiade and sure enough, there are no fishing nets on board her that I can see.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022From the chantier naval I carried on down the path towards the inner harbour.

Yesterday we saw Thora moored at the loading bay and today she is still moored up there. I don’t think that she’s been out and back again in the time available.

While I was writing out these notes I had a look on the shipping radar. Thora doesn’t have an AIS detector so I can’t see where she is, but I did notice that Normandy Trader has now come into port.

That means that tomorrow when we go out for our walk we’ll probably find that the swimming pool that is on the quayside will have gone too.

ch932880 Calean sm735890 lysandre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022A little earlier I mentioned that the tide was quite well out and so the fishing boats will be queueing up to come into port.

The little channel that they dredged out at the side of the fish processing plant a couple of years ago is filling rapidly and some of the smaller boats with a lighter draught are already there.

There are two that I can identify. CH932880 is called Calean and SM735890 is called Lysandre– The SM tells us that she is registered in St Malo.

As for the other two, I can’t tell who they are.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Over the past weekor two we’ve seen Joly France, Belle France and Chausiaise moored together down at the bottom end of the harbour.

Today though we can see that Chausiaise has now moved and she’s tied up where the two Channel Island ferries usually tie up. Those two are still in Cherbourg, presumably being overhauled ready to go back into service.

On the subject of going back, I went back home for my hot coffee, half of which I forgot (I didn’t fall asleep, by the way) and finished off listening to the radio programme that I’d prepared during the day. And after all that, it’s come out quite well.

Tea was something of a disaster. I really fancied some chips seeing as I didn’t have any in Belgium, and as the microwave fryer doesn’t work so well, I tried doing them in the oven. And they took about an hour and a half to do.

What I’ll have to do next time is to see if cooking them for five minutes in the microwave first will make any difference, or else buy some proper oven chips.

So today was a little better, for which I am grateful. If I show the same daily improvement over the next few days then by this time next year I might actually finish something off.

Perhaps a good night’s sleep will do me good.

Sunday 6th February 2022 – NOT VERY MANY …

vegan pizza fruit bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… photos today. In fact, only the one, of my rather overcooked (don’t ask me how) pizza and some fruit buns to tide me over for a few days.

The truth is that despite it being a Sunday, I’ve been extremely busy – to such an extent that I haven’t set foot outside the door today. There has been plenty of work, which won’t be done by itself, and even so, I’m a long way yet from finishing it and there’s still plenty to do.

Tons, and I do mean “tons” of stuff on the dictaphone too. I was working in an office somewhere and I heard a couple of people talking about working at C-radio and it sounded from what they were saying that they wanted me to do it. I thought that it might be something interesting to do so I waited until they approached me. They invited me into their little office. I went in but only one of them did and the other one didn’t. It took me a minute to realise that the other one hadn’t followed me in so I immediately dashed out to where I worked to hide all my confidential and secret papers etc. I ended up with a cucumber in one hand and something else in the other. I went back into this room but they had gone. I spent the next few minutes hunting around in all kinds of different areas and different rooms trying to find them but it seemed to me very much that I had lost my chance because of that.

Later on I was in a house with some guy last night and he had put the contents up for sale so there were people coming along and walking around looking at everything. There were kinds of things that you carried with you and you put them down when you saw something that had caught your eye. These people were doing this, walking around making sure that they had declared their interest in the particular item that they wanted. Of course they then had to negotiate a price or maybe come back later. It was really complicated. I was with him for a good while while this was going on. Eventually someone turned up who admired almost everything that the guy had which wa well represented because there was too much stuff, the place was cramped. But this guy really liked most of the stuff so he sat down and started to have a pretty in-depth discussion about everything and all of his possessions.

There was also something about carrying some signs for some sort of purpose and if you won’t then there were some people who were supposed to shoot you but I’m not quite sure how that worked out because everyone did take their signs so that was something that never really happened although it was told to me that it might (and I wish that I could hear this more clearly).

There was something about hijacking a train like THE TITFIELD THUNDERBOLT too. This train was roaring down between Carlisle and Newcastle being pursued by just about everyone including the police. The crooks who were supposed to stop the train to take the goods from it couldn’t work out how to stop it. It was just going faster and their accomplices were going even faster on the road trying to catch up with it. All the other trains were shunted out of the way to let this one run through. An old lady who was crazy about cats was involved in it somewhere. After taking a dog-leg around the junction at Hexham the train disappeared and these guys in this car suddenly came into a yard full of locomotives. They thought that maybe it would be better if they were to steal a locomotive and give chase in that. It was a really weird and unusual dream, all of this. I remember that there was a town and they had to close the level crossing gates and there were crowds of 100s of people watching the first train coming in and having to be shunted out of the way and the second one racing through followed by this car that was trying to catch up with it.

As well as all that I was running a coach business last night and someone was talking to me about some of the confrontations between some of the drivers. I explained that there were some people out there doing work in coaches that they have bought for £1500 and others in coaches that they paid £200,000 for and it’s all a rat race of undercutting to the bottom. It causes a lot of problems. A job had been arranged by someone and he was going to drive the coach. His son dressed up in his school uniform to drive it and he looked a lot younger than 25 but he never was. He and his father and sister who was about 6 set out to go. I bumped into them and said “we’re leaving there now”. I said to the girl “doesn’t your brother look smart?” but she mumbled and grumbled something. We ended up going to a coach open day. We walked into this yard and into the offices. You could smell the diesel fumes everywhere. The offices were like in a cave. I said “you can’t go on presenting a place to the public like this”. He replied “yes but you have to keep a coach running to disguise the noise”. I wondered what on earth these people were up to if they were making a noise and didn’t want people to know that they were up to something and would suffocate all of their visitors by doing it.

We were on our way to Dover last night – or, at least, there was a TV programme about it – which I suppose beats being on our way to Wembley, and there was a story, I dunno if it was about Amundsen or someone like that and his ship was sailing from Dover. There was a kind of sculpture up on the cliffs so they showed this sculpture thing and a memorial. Down below on the main road was a kind of café that was like “the Amundsen Café” and I thought “I’ve been there”. Outside there were loads of people milling around as if they were going on a winter holiday, carrying skis and there was someone with a shopping trolley with skis in it etc. They were all talking about “the Monty Python Cheese Shop” sketch. Someone was saying that everyone was surprised when he said “ohh pooh!” when he had done something wrong. There was someone there with an LDV van and someone was explaining to him about how they had intended to modernise the front of the LDV and how it would be a different shape. The guy replied “yes, I know. There were one or two that were actually made like that but forward control vans are very old-fashioned and not a very safe design these days.

What didn’t help was not leaving my stinking pit until 11:05 this morning. I know that it’s a Sunday and there’s no alarm (and quite rightly so) so that I can stay in bed until I want to, but that was rather exaggerated with the amount of things that I need to do.

There were in fact several moments when I could have been up earlier, as I noticed when I checked my watch, but I couldn’t be asked to haul myself out.

When I finally did, I had my medication, checked my mails and messages (the helicopter rescue yesterday was because someone had become stranded on the beach at high tide – no surprise there) and then made a start on preparing a few live concerts.

One concert has worked out surprisingly well. It was a collection of live (and not-so-live) tracks that I found on a set of old CDs representing left-overs from the past of various concerts by a group from the 70s and 80s. I had to re-record the tracks, prepare a pile of applause to overdub so that the applause sounds consistent and then merge it together to make one concert out of it.

It actually sounds surprisingly good although it needs a little tampering.

The second one, which isn’t quite finished, has also turned out well. I’ve done a lot of chopping and changing around with this one so that it sounds much different from how it was played back in 1974.

There were several interruptions today too. Lunch of course, and football was the other. The League Cup Final between Connah’s Quay Nomads and Cardiff Metro.

At the end of play the score was 0-0 but despite that, it was quite an exciting and absorbing game and certainly not a drab affair by any means.

We went to penalties and, unbelievably, we had 24 penalties in order to decide on who would be off to Scotland in the Challenge Cup next year. A couple were missed on the way but when the Met’s Eliot Evans hit the post that was that.

But if the Met play with that kind of spirit in subsequent matches they won’t be bothered too much about relegation

After all that, no wonder I didn’t have much time for anything else.

With no pizza dough I made some more as well, and also some fruit buns as I’m right out of those. And I don’t know why my pizza was way overcooked as everything was just as usual. One of those things, I suppose.

With an 06:00 start in the morning I’m off now to bed and hoping for yet more pleasant dreams and charming company. It’s hard to believe that with all that travelling last night, not one of my favourite companions made an appearance, but I hope that I’ll be lucky and that they’ll come out to play tonight.

Sunday 5th December 2021 – AFTER THIS MORNING’S …

laurent comité de jumelage cerences bere regis Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021… exertions, I was glad actually to come back home and sit down.

And for a change, when the alarm went off this morning at 09:30 (and isn’t that early for a Sunday morning?) I was already up and about. A quick tidy-up and a play with my equipment to make sure that it was all in working order and I was ready to go.

And while I was at it, I worked out (quite by accident too) how to switch the recording from 2-track stereo to two mono tracks. And I’m a lot happier now I know how to do that.

Laurent turned up on time and we set off for Cérences, stopping to put fuel in Laurent’s car. It was my turn to pay because, after all, he’s been driving me around on these interviews for quite a few times now.

laurent comité de jumelage cerences bere regis Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021The interview was rather a disappointment.

My understanding was that we were to interview the President of this twinning committee and so it would be somewhere quiet and secluded. However it turned out that the whole committee was there and the interview took place in the middle of a Christmas Fair.

There was nowhere to bolt the pivoting mike stand so the committee ended up passing “their” microphone from hand to hand, with all of the pops and crackles that that entailed.

But at least they were content to see us, which is more than most people have been with this radio project on which we are working and I might be able to salvage something out of it.

But all of this is a learning curve for me and it’s only by making mistakes and learning how to rectify them that I’m going to make progress.

On the way home Laurent took me on a little drive to show me a few places of his childhood and then back here I made lunch although I needn’t have done so as I hadn’t realised that the clock on his car wasn’t changed at the end of October and it was earlier than I thought.

After lunch I prepared the dough for my loaf of bread for this week, and also a fruit loaf for breakfast. Yes, a fruit loaf, not fruit buns, and that’s because my oven is too small to make fruit buns at the same time that I’m baking bread. I wish that I had a larger oven.

people beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Later on it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

As usual I wandered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on down there this afternoon. And to my surprise there was actually someone down on the beach.

That was a surprise because the weather wasn’t nice at all. It had been quite miserable this morning, brightening up a little while we were on our way home but it had soon clouded over again.

buoy on beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And it wasn’t just people who were down on the beach either.

It looks as if Storm Arwen that paid us a visit last weekend has left us a little present. Down there on the beach below is what looks like a marker buoy off a mooring chain

Somewhere around here in some local port will be someone now fishing in vain with his boathook for the mooring chains.

These are sunk in most harbours and regular readers of this rubbish will have seen them in Granville. They run along the bottom of the port, indicated with the red buoys. You fish for the chain with your boat hook, tie your boat to it and drop the chain back into the water.

rainstorm ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021One look at the weather told me that I wasn’t going to stay out here long.

There was a rainstorm cascading down out there in the bay somewhere around the Ile de Chausey. Although it wasn’t as big or heavy a rainstorm that we have had just recently, it would still be wet and the wind was blowing it in my direction.

“This isn’t the time to be hanging around” I told myself, and headed off down the path towards the lighthouse, in the hope that I could complete the circuit and be back home with my mug of hot coffee before it arrived.

brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021There were only a couple of people out there this afternoon and that was a shame because once again we were having some interesting light effects.

The cloud cover only seemed to extend as far as the other side of the baie de Mont St Michel and the brittany coast down towards Cap Fréhel was basking in gorgeous sunshine by the looks of things.

Had I not been in a rush to return home I would have gone to stand on my bunker and taken a photo all the way down the coast because the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel was visible with the naked eye yet again this afternoon.

brittany coast cancale Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021But instead, I made do with a photo of the Brittany coast over at Cancale.

The weird clouds and lighting effects were silhouetting the skyline of the town on top of the cliffs over there and it was quite impressive.

It’s a shame though that there was only me out there now enjoying it. Everyone else had gone and there was no-one out there sitting on the bench down below.

And with no boats or anything out at sea this afternoon I carried on down the path towards the viewpoint overlooking the port.

tractor trailer fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021There was nothing whatever going on in the port this afternoon.

There weren’t any boats moored up at the ferry terminal this afternoon and nothing – not even L’Omerta – moored at the fish processing plant.

The tractor and trailer that handle the loads brought in by some of the smaller boats were down there this afternoon so presumably there are some boats out at sea and which will be coming home on the evening tide.

And with nothing else worthy of note I cleared off home and my coffee before the rain arrived.

Later on I bunged my bread into the oven and let it do its work.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And while it was working I was busy rolling out the dough for the pizza and putting it in the tray to rise.

When it was ready I assembled the pizza and as soon as the bread finished I took it out and the pizza went in. And when it came out, it was delicious too. I think that I have the hang of making pizza now.

And so I should after all of the times that I’ve been baking them. But if I were to have a better oven they would be better still. But that isn’t likely to happen any time soon, if at all.

Eventually I managed to find the time to transcribe the dictaphone notes. At the beginning it was to do with the radio station. We were having to organise some songs but I wasn’t sure about what kind of songs and how many to organise so I was going through other people’s entries on the Social Media page looking for examples that had been suggested by other people at other times. There was one in particular but the guy who had sung it felt himself and made him feel silly but I can’t remember very much more about this.

Later on I was at a holiday camp last night and had Zero with me. There had been a lot going on so I decided in the morning that I’d go back to bed and have a couple of hours sleep. She went off to play somewhere. A woman came along just as I was waking up, sitting there talking to me, telling me about Zero, everything like that. I went to dress but I couldn’t find any of my clothes. There were some clothes lying around belonging to someone else so I put them on. I made a joke that I’d put on my underpants inside-out. Also in an unconnected incident I’d broken my pencil so the joke was going around that I’d put on my underpants inside-out and broken my pencil as a consequence. There was a lot more to it than this but I can’t remember, and a lot more that I can but as you are eating your lunch you don’t want to be reading about it.

Finally I was staying at a strange boarding house with a girl who was a cross between a girl I know in Swindon and another one I know in Scotland. We had separate rooms of course. We were up until fairly late that night then went to bed and arranged to meet next morning. When I awoke it was something like 09:25. I thought “breakfast will be over in a minute so even though I’d switched on the computer and switched on everything and went outside to use the bathroom. I found that thr bathroom was actually a glass cubicle stuck on the end of the house. Everyone could see what you were doing. There were lace curtains at the side but they kept on coming undone. When you finished what you were doing there was no toilet paper, just a pile of old clothes and you had to tear off a bit. I started to do that but there was another couple inside there, from Clacton in Essex. They were talking away. I thought “this is the strangest situation that I’ve ever been in. I could see the girl who was with me. She was down on the lawn sunbathing, talking to it looked as if it was the woman who owned the place. I thought “I’d better get a move on otherwise breakfast will have finished”. I couldn’t seem to tear off a suitable piece of this old clothing to use and ended up with miles of it. Trying to do it in this glass cubicle where these curtains kept coming undone and everyone could see inside was not really very comfortable. In the end I stuffed a large piece of the cloth into my trouser pocket, dressed and went outside with the aim that I can go and arrange myself properly somewhere more quiet and more convenient than this.

And now that everything is done and finished, I’m off to bed. It’s an early start in the morning as I have to radio programmes to prepare. But at least I’ve done a lot of the work already so it shouldn’t take too long.

And isn’t that the Kiss of Death?

Sunday 21st November 2021 – AFTER YESTERDAY’S EXERTIONS …

… I ended up not going to bed until after 01:00. I reckon that it’s very hard to unwind after all of that effort to make it back home.

And it seems that I must have had some part of a decent night’s sleep somehow because there was nothing on the dictaphone until 07:00 this morning.

All kinds of things were going on last night but I can hardly remember anything of it. At one time there was some kind of fashion show that I was preparing but that’s all that I cam remember. There was also something about a young kid with a knife. It looked as if he or she was going to commit suicide but again I can’t remember anything about that.

Later on I had a big green Vauxhall Victor in my garden. There was some boy who used to hang around watching what I was doing, trying to help, that kind of thing. One day I came home and he had the bonnet open. I asked him what he was doing. he didn’t say anything but it turned out that he was trying to steal it. he had managed to open the bonnet but had snapped the bonnet catch. I told him to collect his stuff and clear off. he was going around telling everyone how had-done-by he was after all the help that he’s given me but I’d just thrown him out. Of course when I was asked I explained the story about trying to steal the Victor.

There was something else about me having 2 apartments, renting out one of them. There was some issue with the tax people about it and the tenant was not being very co-operative which was a surprise because he had co-operated 100% up until recently. I had no idea what was going wrong now

And later still I was in hospital, one of these recovery places. There was a girl there with me. We were sharing a room. There were all kinds of people coming through, visiting, schoolkids even. We were chatting about the people who ran the place. I was saying that they were quite quick to spot talent and had some of the inmates working for them doing various things. We went out and sat upstairs on the city walls. There were crowds of people and it was a nice afternoon. There were all kinds of things happening. There was an aeroplane flying overhead with a trawler slung underneath it. I looked and it was the same style as the ones being built by this firm in Turkey. I tried to take a photo but the camera shutter stuck and it didn’t work out. There was a girl chatting to us, wearing a very short skirt with a bikini on underneath. There were a couple of houses. We noticed that they were numbered 1,3 and 4. We wondered where n°2 was. Then we saw a narrow set of steps going up in between 3 and 4 so we imagined that there might be a bungalow or something at the top of these steps that would be n°2. Why it was n°2 and not n°3 we didn’t know. I had to go off to do something. On the way back I was very unsteady on my feet and everyone coming down this path was bumping into me and I was staggering all over the place. When I returned to where we’d been sitting, the girl had gone and I couldn’t see where she was.

Although it was about 09:30 when I finally awoke, it was about 10:30 when I left the bed. No point in rushing myself, especially on a Sunday after I’ve returned from Leuven.

Having checked my mails and messages and had a little chat on my social network I set about transcribing the dictaphone notes from Friday night/Saturday morning WHICH ARE NOW ON LINE and then from last night, which you have read just now.

When that was out of the way I sat down to pair off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow. That didn’t take all that long and I do have to say that it was one of those very rare occasions when all of the joints between the tracks went together perfectly.

After brunch I spent an hour or so working on updating the journal entry from Wednesday when I set out to Leuven. I didn’t finish it then because I had to stop to make some more fruit bread rolls as I’d run out just before I left.

And for once, I don’t know what happened but I managed to make a perfect dough and that doesn’t happen all the time, does it. If they bake as well as they look, they will be wonderful.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021While the dough was “resting” I went out for my afternoon walk.

From my vantage point at the end of the car park overlooking the beach I could see that there was plenty of beach to be on. However despite the beautiful sunshine this afternoon, a far cry from when I awoke and it was teeming down, there weren’t all that many people down there.

That might possibly be connected to the fact that it was howling a gale out there. I spent much of my walk clinging onto my cap, thinking that it won’t be long before I’ll be bringing out the woolly hat to go on my woolly head.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There were several other brave people walking around the path on top of the cliff.

But those of us up there were not as brave as whoever it was who was out at sea in a small cabin cruiser.

This was the only boat that was out there this afternoon and that’s hardly a surprise with this wind and this sea.

The view was really clear this afternoon but I didn’t go and stand on top of the bunker to take a photo because I would have been blown off there and my camera has already had a lucky escape up there once.

people at pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021My route from near the lighthouse takes me down the path and across the car park to the end of the headland.

Down at the bottom on the lower path are the bench and the cabanon vauban and there were a few people loitering around there this afternoon.

They weren’t sitting down on the bench as most people do, but they seem to be quite interested in whatever it was that was happening lower down on the beach and the rocks below.

But whatever it was, I couldn’t see what had attracted their attention.

men fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021It wasn’t just people on the end of the Pointe du Roc either.

We had a couple of fishermen out there this afternoon casting their lines into the sea from out on the rocks. The water isn’t particularly deep out there so they won’t be going for anything big.

The waves won’t help them very much either. The wind has stirred up quite a sea and the fish will be far too disorientated in the shallow, turbulent water for them to concentrate on any hook and bait that the fishermen might be casting.

fete de st clement seafarers memorial pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021While I was here I had a good look at the seafarers’ memorial.

It’s the Fête de St Clément today. He was one of the very earliest Popes and because of his beliefs he was exiled to the Crimea by Trajan in 100AD or thereabouts

However, according to legend (which is disputed) he continued to practise his beliefs and tried to evangelise the other prisoners on board the ship. As a result, they tied him to an anchor and cast him into the sea.

He is therefore the patron saint of mariners and they have been decorating the monument in his honour.

portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021My walk continued along the top of the cliff towards the viewpoint overlooking the outer harbour0

Although I said that I wouldn’t be posting anything about the chantier naval until there is some kind of movement or change of situation, I couldn’t for a moment remember where I was up to the last time that I saw the portable boat lift.

As a result, I took a photo of it so that I can compare it with the last photograph that I took of it to see if there has been any work done on it while I was away.

And I couldn’t see anything obvious. They must still be waiting for parts.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile, over at the ferry terminal, there wasn’t all that much going on there this afternoon either.

Moored over there is one of the Joly France boats. This one is the older one of the two. You can tell that by the windows in landscape format, the larger upper-deck superstructure and the absence of step in the stern.

There isn’t much else going on over there. A couple of cars were parked up on the quayside but I couldn’t see anyone loitering about. And at least they’ve managed to fold up the crane correctly.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Moored in front of Joly France is Chausiaise, the little freighter that goes out to the Ile de Chausey.

But neither she nor her friend moored behind her will be going out to the island for a while until the tide comes back in, despite the crowds on the sea wall waiting with eager anticipation for something exciting to happen.

Before I set out for my walk, I had set the coffee machine on the go ready for when I came back so I hurried home for my coffee.

The problem with my machine though is that it doesn’t heat up the coffee enough. One of these days I’ll buy an expensive machine that will keep the coffee piping hot for hours.

While my coffee was going cold I finished off Wednesday’s journal entry and that’s NOW ON LINE as well.

Later on the fruit buns were now ready to bake so I bunged them in the oven.

vegan pizza fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021While they were cooking I assembled my pizza. I’d taken the dough out of the freezer earlier and rolled it out after I came back from my walk.

Once the fruit buns were ready, the pizza went into the oven too.

The fruit buns look absolutely delicious, but I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow. The pizza on the other hand actually was delicious and I really enjoyed that. Not the best that I’ve ever made, but pretty close to it

No dessert though. It was rather filling.

Now that I’ve finished my journal I’m off to bed shortly. I’ve an early start tomorrow and a lot to do, as well as going for my physiotherapy session so I need to be on form.

Friday 5th November 2021 – I’VE BEEN …

… really busy today and accomplished quite a lot, what with one thing and another. And, of course, once you start, you’ll be surprised just how many other things there are.

Nothing important though, regrettably, but nevertheless it’s all helped.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Perhaps the most important thing that I did today was to bake some fruit buns.

The last one of the previous batch disappeared on Wednesday and being so busy yesterday, I didn’t have the opportunity to make any more. it was toast for breakfast yesterday.

But as soon as I’d taken my medication this morning I made a start on the next batch.

It took an age to mix the dough because I think that my banana wasn’t as big as usual so the mix needed more liquid, but as you can see, it has turned out some lovely fruit buns and I’m really happy with these, even if the dough has separated in the oven.

st helier jersey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021After a rather late breakfast I headed off into town to pick up my injections.

But straight out of the front door and looking down the bay, I was surprised to see just how clear everything was today. I could actually see the houses at St Helier, 58 kilometres away, with the naked eye and it isn’t every day that that happens.

Now that Normandy Warrior (more of which anon is up and running, I might yet have an opportunity to go out that way on board a ship to see what there is to sea on the coastline of Jersey.

trawler chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down the hill to the viewpoint overlooking the inner port I could see that Marité was still out and about on her travels

In her place there was one of the trawlers moored up there. Behind her in the loading bay is Chausiaise, the little freighter that goes over to the Ile de Chausey.

Ther eis still plenty of freight on the quayside after the two Jersey freighters were in port on Wednesday. This might mean that we’ll be having yet another visit some time soon to take it all away. Business seems to be picking up in the port at the moment.

sale of shellfish galapagos port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Of course it’s Friday morning, and that’s the day that it’s possible to buy fresh fish on the quayside.

The concession here is run by the owners of the trawler Galapagos and they are here every Friday morning, except of course when the trawler is in the chantier naval, as she was over the summer.

My first port of call was at the Medical Centre. I’d had my third Covid injection last Friday and I had to pick up my certificate. It was all ready for me so I didn’t have to hang around.

The pharmacy on the other hand was packed out with people and I had to wait a while before I could pick up my injections.

On the way back I almost – very almost – made it right to the way to the top without stopping. I was about 50 yards short and I’ve no idea why I stopped because I could have made it quite comfortably to the top. It was just an instinctive reflex action.

portable boat lift under repair port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021But the mystery of why the portable boat lift is parked up in the middle of the yard is now resolved anyway.

As we can see in this photo, it’s had its wheels removed so it’s no longer a portable boat lift. It must be under repair for one reason or another and it’s rather difficult to work on it where it usually lives, with all of the dangers of falling into the sea.

Back here, I had the account for repairing the NIKON 1 J5. I paid that and then seeing as I had my bank account open, I paid another bill or two that were hanging around in the queue.

This afternoon I finished off the journal entry from Wednesday with its 20-odd photos and that’s now on line. And then I went and did one of the ones from when I went to Leuven last.

And that’s not all either. I made a start on transcribing a few dictaphone notes from a while back and they’ll be updating a few journal entries in due course.

Meanwhile, from last night, A well-known gangster like Edward G Robinson came round to the house and what went on resulted in him wanting to be fed. I was in charge of the cooking so I made a main course which was OK but for dessert everything that I was proposing that I knew I had in the freezer or the fridge had gone as if someone had come in and raided the larder one night. This led to an extremely tense situation with him getting more and more angry until in the end I found a tin of pineapple rings. I was able to open them. Even though he was looking at me with a look that could kill, I managed to conjure up something with pineapple rings and ice cream but it was extremely uncomfortable, all of this, with him being menacing like that.

I was recording and editing some radio programmes at some time last night too but I can’t remember now why or when.

Afterwards, there was a football match going to take place between two teams. One team decided that they would put a little bit of dynamite in the changing room of the other team to destroy their equipment before the game. They were setting this dynamite up on the clothes locker but the other guy had the cable wrapped round his leg so when it came to go, he couldn’t leave. This led to a frantic scramble as they tried to untangle this cable. The two of them finally managed to leave the building. Instead of it being a small explosion it was a massive devastation that probably flattened stuff within a quarter-mile radius. Cars were destroyed and everything. People who survived gradually streamed away. Of course all the police were there, everything like that. At some point I was preparing to watch the game, someone asked me if I wanted a game to kick around but I said “no” because of my health. They tried to persuade me. It was hard to understand how anything living had been within that radius. Out of the shelter of a wall came this boy and girl. They’d obviously been having a smooch or something. being in this little recess had saved them. Out of the next recess stepped these two boys, clothes pock-marked and burnt but they were still alive. They walked away, filtered through this police cordonn checked and seen that they were victims and walked on. You could see all the street lights in a blue haze because of the smog and everything. A little earlier I’d been talking to a girl. She’d gone off somewhere down the road so I thought that this would be a good excuse for me to go and talk to her and see how she was doing so that’s what I decided to do

A little later my brother and I were going to watch the Alex. We were considerably early so I’d brought my computer with me to do some work. He was wondering if we had to pay or if we’d get complimentary tickets but I was better than that. I had a key to get into the ground. We fought our way through the crowds up to the front. There was a guy from school there so I said hello to him out of mischief more than anything else, used the key and let ourselves in. We were searched by a woman who was … err … very thorough then I had to find a place to sit where I could work amidst all the crowds. By this time I’d lost my brother. He’d wandered off somewhere so I had to follow him around. There were so many crowds of people that we ended up being blocked and couldn’t move. Worse, it was behind the commentary box so you couldn’t actually see the pitch from there. I was standing there hoping that this was all going to clear in the next few minutes so that we could find somewhere decent to sit and have a good view.

Finally I was with a girl last night and we ended up in a bar. For some reason she was very unhappy and had her head sunk down on her lap. I put my head down on top of hers and whispered a few nice things to her and gave her a little kiss. After a while she asked “shall we go?”. I was wondering about “go where and why?”. Of course, with my curiosity getting the better of me I sad “yes, let’s go” and we prepared to leave.

helicopter place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Another thing that I did in the middle of all of that was to go out to look at the beach.

Not that I made it very far across the car park before I was called into action. Someone had his chopper out this afternoon and just as I walked out of the door it went flying past.

It’s the red and yellow one, the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter that is based at Donville les Bains. I’ll probably find out tomorrow what it’s been up to when I read the newspaper, unless it’s a training exercise. They aren’t usually reported.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Once the helicopter disappeared behind the college I went over to look at the beach.

There was quite a bit of beach this afternoon. The tide is well out yet and there were a few people down there taking advantage of the lovely afternoon because it really was nice as you can tell.

Considering that it’s the beginning of November the weather is unseasonably mild. It must be building up to a really hard winter I reckon. It’s been a while since we’ve been in the grip of an Arctic winter.

yacht jersey channel islands baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021So with the nice clear weather, the view out to the Channel Islands was just as good as it was earlier in the day.

What caught my eye was something white right out there off the coast of Jersey so I photographed it on the offchance that it was something interesting.

Back in the apartment when I enlarged and enhanced it I could see that it was a yacht. I was impressed that I could pick it out at this distance.

It was Ingrid’s birthday yesterday but I was rather busy so I rang her up to talk to her once I returned. She told me all of her news, some of which wasn’t very cheerful, and I told her of mine, ditto. We’re a right pair, between the two of us.

Tea tonight was a baked potato, a vegan burger and a tin of refried beans. I haven’t had refried beans since I was IN SANTA FE IN 2002 but I found a couple of tins in Noz a while back and they need eating.

If I were to tell you that in the football tonight Connah’s Quay Nomads put 4 past Bala without reply, you would think that there had been a right spannering going on. And when I tell you that Beriala finished the match with just 9 players, you’re probably not surprised that it was a 4-0 defeat.

But the damage was done long before Chris Venables and Keiran Smith saw red, thanks to probably some of the most clinical finishing that I have seen, and three of the best goals that you are likely to see this season.

Bala unfortunately offered very little up front except for a shot from Chris Sang that he really ought to have scored. In fact it was something of a damp squib performance compared to Connah’s Quay’s fireworks.

A Connah’s Quay victory, certainly, but 4-0 is nevertheless a considerable exaggeration.

Anyway right now I’m off to bed now after my very busy day. No shopping tomorrow as there is no Caliburn but I’ll go down for a walk to the market and pick up a lettuce and some mushrooms.

See you in the morning.

Sunday 24th October 2021 – SUNDAY IS A …

… day of rest around here, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. And I rested so well that I actually crashed out for 10 minutes in the late afternoon, and how long is it since I’ve done that?

Mind you, it was another depressing night. It was 03:00 when I finally crawled into bed last night after all that coffee. But I was up and about at 04:40 with a severe bout of coughing that awoke me. I had to go off and have a drink of water.

That’ll teach me to eat a handful of peanuts just as I’m going to bed.

But once back in bed, it took an age, a real age, to go back off to sleep and even when I did, I was wide awake again at 09:30. I stayed in bed though, hoping that I would go back to sleep again but by 11:00 I gave it up as a bad job and went for my medication.

Before lunch I paired off all of the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow – that is, depending on what happens at the heart consultant tomorrow at 08:00.

As well as that I have the nurse coming for my injections in the afternoon followed by the physiotherapist, so I’m going to be pushed for time.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too from last night. There was some filming going on in our school. I’m not sure what it was about but I was there looking at the stills afterwards to see if there was anyone there whom I recognised. Afterwards the producer was issuing a couple of girls with rail tickets, a years worth, 12 x monthly ones. He was putting on the date. It was something like January for this and every subsequent year. I remember saying to him “I hope that this picture will be finished before the end of this year, never mind every subsequent year”.

I was doing something for G&B Coaches last night but it involved being in cars. One of the cars was an Austin Princess that I was driving. When I brought it back home I checked the oil and the oil was low so I topped it up. I set out to do what I had to do and we all met up near a beach somewhere. There was one driver, a girl, missing. While we were sitting on the beach we were wondering where she was. Then I went to check the engine oil again and the whole inside of the engine compartment was awash with oil. There was obviously a major oil leak somewhere. This was awful. We had a talk about that. I mentioned that they should have a mechanic in to fix this because this will cost them a lot in the long term with the oil. One of the guys said “with a mechanic in, that’s why they can get all these boxes of spares that they’ve bought and go through them and work out that they’ve made a good deal out of it all”. That still didn’t convince me anything about the state of this Austin Princess that was leaking oil everywhere. I thought that i’d be lucky if I get home in this.

There is also the afternoon walk but before I set out I had some bread to make. I’ve run out of fruit buns for breakfast so I made some dough with everything in it, mixed it all up and kneaded it, rolled it out and cut it into 8

With the lumps of dough I rolled them round into balls, pressed them down and put them on a baking tray to leave them to rise up.

seagulls on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Of course I had to go out to the end of the car park and look down over the wall onto the beach to see what was happening.

Never mind the beach, or the people thereupon. I was much more enthralled by the sight that caught my eye down in one of the tidal pools.

Just about every seagull in the Manche seemed to be either floating on it or hovering above it. According to someone with whom I was talking, it’s a feeding frenzy. Maybe a shoal of fish has been left behind as the tide has retreated.

Had I been fitter, I’d have gone down and checked it, but going down the steps is one thing – coming back up them afterwards is something else completely.

seagull man on rocks place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There was however someone down there on the beach.

And he was in danger of coming under attack by a low-flying seagull that is coming along to inspect him. I’m not sure exactly what he was doing down there. He wasn’t equipped for the peche à pied, or any other kind of fishing either.

But anyway, I wasn’t going to hang around and watch him while he strolled about among the rocks. I cleared off down the path towards the lighthouse, fighting my way through the crowds as I did so. it was quite busy out there this afternoon.

people at the pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down the path and across the car park, I came to the end of the path at the headland.

There wasn’t a single boat out there this afternoon in the bay. Nothing whatever was moving. And so I was wondering what these people would be doing down there this afternoon. Something had caught their eye but I couldn’t see what it was.

There was also a girl on the path down below, taking a photo of I don’t know what. But just as I was about to take a photo of her taking a photograph, she put her camera away and cleared off down the path.

sun shining through clouds brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021You can tell that the autumn is well on its way now, judging by the sun.

This kind of photo is a regular feature of these pages during the autumn and winter with the sun at a very low elevation in the sky shining through gaps in the clouds giving a kind of TORA TORA TORA effect to the sky.

There will be a few more of these as the year progresses.

From here I wandered off down the path on the southern side of the headland towards the viewpoint overlooking the port.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There was no change in the Chantier naval today. Yann Frederic was still there all on her own.

Jade III had gone from her perch on the slipway into the tidal harbour too and so I turned my attention to whatever was going on in the inner harbour.

Chausiais was there, tied up at the quayside underneath the crane. That tells us two things –

  1. She must have some kind of load to deliver to the Ile de Chausey in the very near future.
  2. We aren’t expecting a Jersey freighter in port for the next day or so.


Back at the apartment I had a coffee and then turned my attention to my stomach.

Earlier on, I’d taken out some dough from the freezer and it had been defrosting. By now it was ready so I kneaded it again, rolled it out and put it on the pizza tray to proof for the next half hour or so.

vegan pizza fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was assembling my pizza later, I turned the oven on and put the fruit bread buns in to back. It had all risen quite nicely over the last hour or two although I would have liked it to have risen more than it has.

When the buns were ready I put the pizza in and when it was cooked I went for my tea.

It was actually one of the best pizzas that I have ever eaten. The fruit buns look really good but I’ll be telling you more about those tomorrow.

For a change I’ve actually finished my notes early, so I’m going to take full advantage and go for an early night ready for tomorrow. It’s a busy day so I need to be on form.

Saturday 9th October 2021 – I DON’T BELIEVE IT!

Yesterday I posted that I had a really good sleep all the way up to 04:41 in the morning.

Anyone care to guess what time I awoke this morning?

Yes, you’ve guessed it. 04:41. Someone round here somewhere must have an alarm clock set for an early start, unless my body clock is playing tricks with me again. It can’t be a coincidence.

Although I was once more in bed early yesterday evening, the big difference is that I had a wretched night. I spent most of the night tossing and turning in my bed it it didn’t seem as if I had slept at all.

Mind you, the dictaphone tells a completely different story because by the looks of things I travelled miles during the night.

After the medication and checking my mails, I prepared to fight the good fight with the dictaphone. And I wasn’t joking about the miles either. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

We were at school, primary school and we’d had a test. Then the teacher sat down and started, we thought, to read through it and give us the answers. No-one understood what she said about question 1 and she didn’t mention question 2 so I asked “could we have the answer to question 2?”. She replied “you’re supposed to be writing down the answers”. We said “we’ve done that. We’re waiting for the answers”. She replied “the next person who makes a noise will be beaten”. Just then one of the children had been playing with something, a traffic light or something, and the lens fell off. She grabbed hold of the child and took it into her room and prepared her cane. There was another teacher there and they were discussing this child’s anatomy about where they were going to give it the cane. This wasn’t the first time that this has happened. I remembered seeing it perhaps on some other occasion the previous day or something. Of course, all the children there were quite distressed by this.

Later on I was playing bass with a guitarist and I just couldn’t find the opening note. It was one of these heavy metal power trio things like Robin Trower. My bass playing was awful. Eventually he told me that the opening note was E which I didn’t think it was, but that was what we started to play.

There was something else about some people. There had been a raid on a camp somewhere and they had found a steel door. Behind the door was a pile of illegal immigrants or asylum seekers. They had gone through and processed them, and found that there were some valuable workers there with them. They were then going to embarrass a few other countries by pointing out what they had found in this batch of asylum seekers.

So the French were interested in these people as resistance fighters from start to finish yet the British were more discerning looking on them as sex objects, that kind of thing.

There was a family barbecue and everyone was buying everything. We were all there at 09:00 lined up outside the supermarket. I was the first one away and took my stuff to where this was being held. My brother was in charge of the camp and I noticed that he had 10 litres of petrol stored somewhere and was planning to burn down some undergrowth near where this petrol was. I went back for a second load. I had a Landrover chassis but it wasn’t really – no body on it and you sat in it rather than on it, towing a trailer. We returned and my brother was there by this time and one of Lynette’s children had stayed with me. We started to unload this stuff. he was fetching out his petrol and putting down a circle ready to burn. I said “don’t be stupid! You have all that fuel there and some gas. He asked “what do you mean? The first lot has already been burned”. I can’t remember who I looked at but I said “thank God I wasn’t here at the moment when you did that.

All these pretty girls (which pretty girls?) were a pile of water too at the port (if that makes any sense) and I wanted to send them away because much as they were very attractive and helping to keep the male/female ratio a little closer than it might be, they were distracting me from anything else going on.

There was some kind of downhill water racing course in a machine, like a series of rapids or something like that. You go down there and when you reach the lake at the bottom you have to swim underneath the water in a tunnel and come out at the other end where the finishing line it. I did it 3 times and filmed it, including the bit of me going under the water down this tunnel which of course is an astonishing thing for me and made a collage together of how the film would be. Nerina was in here somewhere and I was showing this film to her and actually going ahead and doing it for her although I can’t think why. I can’t remember where this went or what happened about it afterwards.

We were off on board the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR again and it was lunch, or evening meal and we were queueing to get it. There seemed to be two queues, one for the normal meal and another for the fish or cheese variety. I had a look at the cheese variety that turned out to be a white square of fish in cheese sauce with toast. I thought that I would try that but I couldn’t find the vegetables. I managed to grab plenty of toast but there were some people chuntering about “all these people pushing in, doing this and doing that”, whatever. Despite the fact that I had to pay 20p extra my meal was looking like a washout. I went over to where Liz was sitting and asked if this looked right to her, my meal I had to choose a place to sit and there wer e2 seats, one either side of her, that were free. The one on the right was opposite another seat of course. I could see that the seat facing Liz was the handbag of the mother of Zero. The seat next on the right had someone else’s handbag on, and the seat on the left facing the seat on the right of Liz had nothing on it. I wondered if that was where Zero was going to sit so I decided that i’d sit at that seat facing there in the hope that it would be the case.

And that’s not all of it either. There was other stuff too but I’m sure that you wouldn’t appreciate my posting it as you are probably eating your meal right now.

It took me all morning to type out all of that – right up to lunchtime. But there was a reason for that.

home made bread fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Yesterday saw me almost reach the end of the bread, so seeing as I wasn’t going to go shopping this morning, I decided to do some baking.

There were only two or three fruit buns left too, so while I was at it, I made half a dozen of those. If I make some space in the freezer somehow (don’t ask me how) I can freeze half the load and three of the fruit buns for when I return from Leuven.

And I shall too, because this batch has turned out really well. The buns look really good and believe me! The loaf is excellent!

After lunch, there was football on the internet. Connah’s Quay v TNS.

TNS are way out in front of the table but Connah’s Quay, despite winning the league for the last two years in succession, are stuck in mid-table and their manager left in midweek. Nevertheless it was a pulsating, exciting match decided by a penalty for TNS not long after the start of the second half.

Mind you, it could have been completely different had Connah’s Quay been awarded a penalty for what looked like a pretty clear handball earlier in the game.

Both sides had a player sent off for fighting later in the game and we carried on into no less than 6 minutes of injury time that came from God Knows Where because this is the first match that I have seen for ages where neither first-aid attendant was required to enter the pitch.

Connah’s Quay actually had the ball in the TNS net in the dying seconds of the game but it was ruled out for offside.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021This took me up to walkies time so I grabbed the NIKON D500 and headed off outside.

Almost immediately I felt the icy hand of death upon my shoulder, but what had happened was that a Nazgul had gone flying by overhead. A two-seater Nazgul too.

In fact, I could have photographed any number of them this afternoon because they were out there in force. probably about half a dozen that I could see at any one time and I bet that there were more than that as well in total.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Having dealt with the issue of the Nazgul, I wandered off to the end of the car park to see what was happening on the beach.

And with the tide being out this afternoon, there was plenty of beach to be on. And there were crowds down there too – more than we have seen on the beach for quite a while.

That wasn’t really a surprise because despite it being October and there being a fair bit of wind about, the day was the warmest that we have had for a couple of weeks and once I was out of the wind I was obliged to remove my jacket.

aerial ballet hang glider powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I was watching the people on the beach, another Nazgul flew by overhead.

And around the corner from behind the College Malraux came the little red powered hang glider that had been out for a spin.

As they closed up on each other, they performed a really delightful aerial ballet – they really did. Not a danse macabre as we have seen the trawlers in the harbour do so often but a proper little dance.

powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021So having performed its little pas de deux with the hang glider, the powered machine headed off.

Its route took it out to sea across the Baie de Granville and I could follow it for quite a way. But then it headed off towards the airfield to come in to land.

The little scene had been witnessed by the crowds of people who were out there this afternoon. It seems that the whole town had come out up here for a walk.

hang glider falls to earth pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I fought my way through the crowds of people I had a very unexpected sight right in front of me.

Another Nazgul had gone by overhead and as I walked along the path he came tumbling out of the air and touched down right on the very edge of the cliff. With the camera already in my hand, it was an instinctive shot into the sun, hence the overexposed image.

My intention was to go over there and buttonhole him and ask him about his association and how I can blag my way up into the air, but as quick as he came down, he leapt of the cliff and was away, long before I could catch up with him.

digger heavy machine laying pipeline baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I was walking over the path towards the car park, I could see that there was plenty of activity going on in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

It’s a Saturday of course today, a weekend, so no-one was more surprised than me to see the heavy tractor thing and the digger out there working on this pipeline. It’s very unusual for this kind of work to be carried out at a weekend.

Obviously the tide is playing an important role in this, and with the lowest tides of the season being round about now, they must be paying the workmen a good bonus to have the work done.

Crowds of people out there too having a dab at the pèche à pied while they have the opportunity.

SNU Service National Universel pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There were three Gendarme vehicles and a pile of gendarmes on the car park and they seemed to be dealing with this group of people, one of whom was carrying a banner.

Thinking that I might be witnessing some kind of exciting incident I sidled up to one of them. “Who are you?” I asked.
“We’re the SNU” he replied
“What’s that?”
“The Service National Universal#34;
“And what’s that all about?”
“We volunteer” he said, and at that he wandered off. Talk about informative!

Anyway, having made my own enquiries subsequently I can tell you that this is a French Government initiative aimed at kids between 15 and 17 who want to “participate in the construction of a society of Engagement built around national cohesion”.

And don’t blame me. I’m only quoting. I don’t write rubbish like that. I have my own brand of rubbish to write.

F-HFMS Robin DR 400-160 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And while I was talking to that young person, I was overflown by a light aeroplane from the airfield.

And she’s a new one. We haven’t seen her before. We’ve seen plenty like her though because she’s a Robin DR 400-160 like some of the aeroplanes at the Aero Club de Granville, but this one is owned by the Aeroclub d’Andaines, near Alençon and is registered F-HFMS.

With no flight plan filed, I can’t tell you where she was going from here at 16:20, or even how she’d arrived here, but she was picked up on radar at 19:33 somewhere in the vicinity of Vire and did a big loop towards Alençon.

She disappeared off the radar at 19:59 not too far from Alençon somewhere near her home airfield at Rives d’Andaines.

trawler pescadore yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Having spent a lot of time out there this afternoon, I headed off back down the other side of the headland overlooking the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And here in the chantier naval this afternoon we have another new arrival to accompany the yacht that came in here on Thursday morning.

She has her AIS beacon switched off so I couldn’t tell you her name at first but her serial number came up trumps. She’s Pescadore and why I didn’t recognise her was that she used to be blue and yellow before she had a new paint job.

She was in here a couple of weeks ago, so I wonder what has happened to make her come back.

l'omerta tractor trailer vehicles under fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Another one of our old favourites from the chantier naval is sitting on the silt over there at the wharf by the Fish Processing Plant.

She’s L’Omerta and was in the chantier naval for a repaint a couple fo weeks ago as well.

And it looks as if they are going to be expecting a bumper harvest of shellfish this evening when the tide brings in the boats that are out working. As well as the tractor and trailer in position, we have several vehicles on the concrete pad underneath the Fish Processing Plant waiting to take away the loads from their boats.

Back here I made a coffee and sat down for a relax. I should have gone up town this evening to watch the football but I wasn’t up to in. Instead I carried on with the updating of some of the journal entries for August to add in the details of my nocturnal voyages.

They are all now complete, so something positive came out of today.

Something else that I forgot to mention was that somewhere along the line I had a play with that desktop mixer and made it work after a fashion. But I need to do more work on it some time.

Tea tonight was a breadcrumbed vegan burger with veg and some more of those nice potatoes.

Now that my journal is finally finished, I’m off to bed, hoping that there’s no 04:41 alarm in the morning.

Today has been something of a bad day. As well as not having had much sleep, I’ve opened a letter, thrown the contents away and filed the envelope, made a mug of coffee without any coffee in it, and boiled the kettle without any water.

Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Friday 10th September 2021 – ON WEDNESDAY …

digging trench laying drains rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021 … we took a little trip to see the roadworks that were going on in the Rue du Boscq.

On the way back home from the physiotherapist I came back that way to see how they were doing and they seem to have made a great amount of progress in just 48 hours.

They’ve already started to dig the trench that looks as if it will be going the length of the street and they are laying the drainage pipes in there already. They certainly seem to be advancing a lot quicker than those workmen did in Leuven when they were doing a similar job that took 18 months and more.

lorry load of gravel on old railway line parc du val es fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021What had excited my curiosity was that a heavy lorry was going down the track bed of the old railway line towards the road works.

He had a trailer that was quite heavily loaded with gravel, and so that gave me some kind of indication that the work was progressing rapidly. They wouldn’t be bringing in the gravel to leave lying around for 12 months or so.

And it was interesting to see that the old track bed was being put to good use as well, even if it won’t ever be a railway line as well. A sign of the times, maybe?

notification of works rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Something else that has appeared since we were here on Wednesday is a noticeboard at the town end of the work setting out the plans.

So we are going to have a cycle path, some car parking, piles of trees (at last), a real footpath and 2 viewpoints, presumably up on top in the Avenue de la Gare where one may look down on the scene.

There don’t seem to be any plans for a lift though to take you up to the station instead of having to negotiate these awful steps.

It’s going to cost pretty much €2,000,000 and I hope that they have their money’s worth out of it.

having fun with signs parc du val es fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Talking of “these awful steps”, these are the ones that I mean.

Trying to walk up here with a suitcase in the pitch-black in the middle of winter is a nightmare. Since I tried it once like that, I’ve been going up the Rue Couraye instead.

There was a pile of builders’ material that had been dropped here and it looks as if someone has been having a great amount of fun playing around with the road signs. Still, it keeps them out of mischief.

By the looks of things, I didn’t get into much of a way of mischief during the night. There was nothing whatever recorded on the dictaphone. I didn’t sleep right through though – I had a miserable, uncomfortable night tossing and turning in bed for much of it. I was exhausted when the alarm went off.

home made bread fruit bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021After the medication there was the bread-making to be done.

There was no ordinary bread left, and only a very small amount of fruit bread so I decided to make both lots seeing as I had the oven on.

Having had one or two failures with my fruit bread just recently through having tried a new method, I decided on a kind-of hybrid method and that actually looks quite a nice loaf.

After I’ve tried some tomorrow, I’ll tell you what it’s like but I do know that the ordinary loaf is excellent.

Having made the dough I went to have a shower to make myself smell nice and it was just as well that I did because the nurse came earlier than expected.

He had all kinds of trouble trying to find a vein from which to take the blood, but not half as much trouble as some of those butchers in Montlucon did.

Once he had departed I could have my coffee and the last of the old fruit bread, and then make a start. First task was to deal with the dictaphone arrears and now every one of those has been transcribed. Another good job done.

The next task was to deal with an outstanding h=journal entry from THE END OF AUGUST. by the end of the day that was finished and as from tomorrow I can turn my attention back to the 2019 photos and the trip to the Ile de Chausey.

As for updating the journal with the details of the night’s travels for the three weeks or so that I let things lapse, I’ll just do a couple a day.

There were the usual breaks, one for lunch and another one to go to see the physiotherapist.

ferry to ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way out, I went via the old medieval walls.

And from the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord I could see way out to sea and there was something of a reasonable size heading out towards the Ile de Chausey.

Without any doubt at all, it was one of the ferries going that way so I photographed it in the hope that back here later I could see who it was.

It wasn’t easy, but I could see that she had no step in the stern and had a more angular that streamlined shape so I think that she may well be the elder of the two Joly France boats.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021One of the features that seems to run through these pages is the sad state of the medieval walls.

The area round by the Place du Marché aux Chevaux was closed off about a year or so ago and when I was round this way a couple of months ago they had made a start on repairing them.

Just recently however, they seem to have made rapid progress and while the actual repointing hasn’t progessed that much on the outisde of the walls, we now have a huge scaffolding that is in the course of being erected just there.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021What caught my eye were the huge water tanks that are on the scaffolding there.

With 1,000 litres of water in each of them, each one will weigh a metric tonne. So judging by the way that the scaffolding is being erecting, it looks as if they are going to be erecting a “flying scaffolding” over the walls and the water tanks are being used as a counterweight.

This is going to become quite interesting and one of these days at low tide, I’ll go down onto the beach and have a good look from underneath at what they are doing.

female underwater swimmer rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was looking around at the scaffolding I was also having a look around on the beach as well.

Emerging from the water down there just like Ursula Andress in DR NO was another one of these underwater swimmers, complete with snorkel and flippers.

Whatever it is that they are doing, I still haven’t managed to find out. It can’t be anything special because where they are swimming is uncovered at low tide. It must be some kind of training exercise, that’s all that I can think of.

beach swimming pool diving platform promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A view that we haven’t seen properly, with not having come this way for a while, is the view down to the Plat Gousset.

First thing that I noticed was that it it still seems to be the summer season as far as the local Council is concerned. The beach huts are still there and the diving platform is still on its pillar.

These are all removed into storage at the end of the season. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen the power in the storms that crash down there during the winter. The storms will make a considerable mess of those cabins if they were to remain there during the winter.

There are some steps at the end of the path that go down to the Place Marechal Foch. I went down that way and headed off through the town centre.

delivery van unloading rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Another thing that regular readers of thids rubbish will recall is that bad parking is another regular feature of these pages.

Delivery vans these days are everywhere these days and they park anywhere they like. But if you have a look at this photo very carefully, you’ll see that there’s an empty parking space just to his left,.

Rather than waste 10 seconds of his own by manoeuvring into it, he proceeds to waste about 5 minutes of the time of 20 other motorists stuck in the queue behind him.

This is the kind of thing that brings these delivery drivers into disrepute, and it’s hardly any surprise that people have such a low opinion of them.

At the physiotherapist’s, he put me through my paces on his tilting platform. He gave me a pile of new exercises to do, with the result that just about every joint in my body, except the right knee, which is why I’d gone there for treatment in the first place.

flowers dying avenue de la gare Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back, I went down the Avenue de la Gare to look at those flowers that we saw last week.

Whatever was happening to them has obviously happened very quickly because most of the flowers seem to have died in that very short space of time.

And there were no more than a handful of butterflies compared to the other day.

Down the steps I went to the Parc du val es Fleurs to check on the roadworks, and then went to the Carrefour for some fruit, seeing as I won’t be going shopping tomorrow.

empty quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It’s amazing the difference that a couple of kilos of fruit make. It was quite a struggle to climb back up the Rue des Juifs

At the viewpoint overlooking the harbour I could see that the pile of freight that had been visible on the quayside yesterday afternoon has now disappeared.

Checking the comings and goings in he port on the radar later, I could see that Normandy Trader arrived in port at 09:10 and left again at 11:13. That is what I call a quick turn-round. I can’t keep up with all if this.

trawler aground in naabsa position port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Yet another subject that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that of fishing vessels which, instead of going into the inner harbour, are left outside in the outer tidal harbour to simply settle down in the silt.

The technical name for this is NAABSA, i.e. Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground, and it seems to be happening more and more frequently these days. We’ve seen this vessel a couple of times now moored up against the sea wall near the entrance to the harbour.

When I first came to live here we would only very seldomly see one, but these days it seems to be a couple of times a week. There must be something going on about the mooring in the inner harbour and I wish that I knew what it was.

trawler saint andrews catherine philippe l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There’s plenty going on over at the chantier naval today though.

By the looks of things, there has been a big clear-out of ships that were in there. Of the seven that we have seen over the lst couple of weeks, we now seem to be down to just four.

The ones that remain, by the looks of things, from left to right, are Saint Andrews, the unidentified one, Catherine Philippe and L’Omerta. Back into the water today have gone Yann Frederic, Peccavi and Massabielle.

The next question that needs to be asked is “who is going to come in to take their place?”. There’s a very high turnover of boats in there these days and those places won’t be remaining empty for long.

tank cleaner porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021from the viewpoint over the harbour I headed off for home.

We have another lorry parked up by the Porte St Jean that can’t fit under the arch. It’s not a question of a trans-shipment today. That’s a tank cleaner or drain unblocker.

Someone must have a problem with the drains and so there’s about half a mile of pipework running into the old town as the driver tries to blast it away. There’s no end of inconvenience that you encounter when you are living within the walls.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Before I went home, I went to have a good look down on the beach as usual.

The tide is well out but there weren’t too many people down there. It was rather cool and windy compared to how it has been and that might explain it.

There did seem to be a few people in the water too, although I don’t know why because it’s not really swimming weather. Anyway, I left them to it and came back here for my banana smoothie and a little rest.

As it happened, it was more than a little rest too. Probably about an hour’s deep sleep, in fact. And it’s no surprise because I’d worked hard at the physiotherapist’s and then i’d had the long walk home up the hill.

Tea was a burger on a bap with a baked potato and veg. No pudding still, but it doesn’t seem to be working because not only did I put that 100 grammes back on, I added another 100 grammes to it as well.

But right now i’m off to bed. I have visitors tomorrow morning and I want to be on form.

Friday 3rd September 2021 – JUST LOOK AT …

flowery plant swamped with butterflies avenue de la gare Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… this beautiful flowering shrub.

The flowers are a long cylindrical shape of a mauve colour with a beautiful smell that reminds me immediately of the Mediterranean. There is an enormous row of these shrubs all the way down the side of the Avenue de la Gare.

But it’s not the shrubs or the flowers themselves that are particularly interesting – although they are, of course. The fact is that the plant was absolutely swamped in butterflies. I don’t think that I have ever seen so many butterflies in one place in my whole life.

But anyway, I digress, of course … “yet again” – ed

last night I ended up in bed at some time like a reasonable time, for once, but it didn’t seem to do me any good because I awoke at 05:35 and that defeats the whole point of going to bed early.

Plenty of stuff on the dictaphone too. There was a big blazing row going on in the master’s room about something or other and I couldn’t hear what it was and I couldn’t understand it. Anyway I had to make my usual ‘phone call to my girlfriend’s mother so I could speak to my girlfriend. I’d asked the operator to connect me but there was “no-one known of this name”. I had a look in the telephone directory and there wasn’t either I asked “may I borrow the post then I can check the directory to see if it’s a mis-spelling, but I knew it wasn’t because I’d rung it before”. She replied “no, I might need this”. Failing to understand why, I asked her to give me my insurance details because the information would be there somewhere. By the time this row had subsided so I went to see the matron. The office secretary was in there and we bumped into each other in the room and had a surprise. I asked for permission to ring up the mother. The woman replied “yes”. The secretary started to come out with all these facetious off-the-cuff comments about me and this woman. I said nothing for about half an hour and they were still going on. I said “how would you like it if all of them and me came and invaded your country?” and it all went rather downhill from there.

Incidentally, “the mother” and “my girlfriend” starred in one of my more recent rambles a couple of weeks ago. Nice to see them back so soon.

Later on I was with Nerina. I’d been away for 5 years on a business course and I’d come back to my old job and I found it very limited and restricting after everything that I’d done. Nerina suggested that I should move somewhere where my competences would be much better realised. I asked “how do you fancy working and living in London?”. She said that she didn’t. I replied “well, there’s your answer, isn’t it?”. I went on to say “it’s a shame because if you were working in London you would be promoted within a week and probably running the office within a year, there’s that much of a high turnover of staff down there”. We had a laugh and generally just fooled about a bit and

There was some other stuff too but seeing as you are probably eating your tea right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

After the medication and checking the messages etc I went and made my fruit bread for the next week or so. And I don’t know what has happened here but this one has turned out to be a right dismal effort. Probably the worst that I have ever made. But it’ll be eaten all the same, I suppose.

That took me up to breakfast and afterwards I made a start on transcribing the dictaphone notes – in case you haven’t already guessed. I did the ones from last night and now I’ve made a start on the arrears from the last couple of weeks.

By the time that I had finished there are only … gulp … 17 files left to transcribe so at the rate at which I seem to be working, that will take another couple of years.

It might have even ended up with fewer than that, except that I … errr … fell asleep in the middle of it all.

After lunch I had a shower and a tidy-up and then headed off for the physiotherapist.

black mamba charlevy la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down in the harbour, the gates were open so there was some activity going on down there, more of which later.

But first, this photo features three of our old friends. The big dark blue yacht in the background to the left is Black Mamba. The grey, white and turquoise boat to the right is La Grande Ancre, a boat that seems to be connected to the shellfisheries out on the Ile de Chausey.

The trawler in the middle needs no introduction to anyone because we spent all summer looking at her up on blocks in the chantier naval. She is of course Charlevy, now back at work after her overhaul.

For a change, the walk up the hill wasn’t too gruesome. I had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath, more than Wednesday but nothing like as many times as my nadir when I was on my way to Leuven just now.

He had me doing all kinds of exercises on this moving platform thing and then another session on the cross-trainer. And I managed to improve my personal best by a good 20 seconds.

abandoned railway line to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back, passing by those gorgeous flowers, I went down to where the old railway line to the harbour crosses the road.

There’s an ongoing programme about them pulling up the railway lines to make a pedestrian footpath so I wanted to see how they were progressing.

But it seems that they started from the side of the road where I’m standing and have made their way downhill to the port. Uphill towards the main line is still in place – for now.

But as for me, I’m going downhill – in many senses of the word. But right now, I’m following the old line down past the Parc des Val Es Fleurs towards the port and home.

It was something of a struggle to come back up the hill to home but not as much of a struggle as it has been just recently

l'arc en ciel le coelacanthe port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Nevertheless I was glad to reach the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, where I could stop and take a break.

The trawler that is just coming into port here, the black and white one with blue coachlines, is a new one for these pages. She’s called L’Arc En Ciel – “Rainbow” – and I know nothing whatever about her at the moment.

The one to the right, moored up at the fish procession plant needs no introduction. Turquoise and white with gold coachlines means that it can only be one of two boats, and the wings at the side of the bridge tells me that she’s Le Coelacanthe, one of the larger trawlers in the port.

fishing boat victor hugo granville port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There was plenty of other activity going on in the port today too, which is no surprise seeing as the harbour gates are now open.

Put-put-puttering her way into harbour this afternoon is another one of the boats that is used in the shellfish. I’m never very good at remembering the names of those boats so I’ve no idea who this is.

In the background are the two Channel Islands ferries Victor Hugo and Granville. Apart from a couple of days last summer, they haven’t turned a propeller since last March (except when they were ejected from the harbour while it was being dredged) and the prospect of the service recommencing is looking bleaker by the day.

classe découvert fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The poor kids have only been back at school for a couple of days but they are hard at it already.

The Classe Découverte – “Class of Discovery” – is quite popular here in France and they are always out and about, sometimes travelling hundreds of miles and staying in hostelsin order to undertake activities outside the classroom.

This group of kids is visiting the Fish Processing plant with their teacher, presumably to have a good look around.

And did I ever tell you that I found out what the pipes and tubes are for? There’s a huge ice-making machine in the plant and before the fishing boats go out to sea they fil their holds with ice to keep their catch cool and fresh until they return home.

yellow autogyro place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021I continued on my way home from the port and as I came out into the Place d’Armes I was overflown.

It wasn’t the first time today, but with the NIKON D3000 it’s not very easy to take photos so far out or so high up and to see the results clearly, but there’s no mistake here.

It’s the yellow autogyro that we have seen on several occasions in the past. He’s rattling by overhead with a passenger on board and one of these days I’m going to make sure that I’m taken up there for a good look around from a few hundred feet. It’ll be an interesting and exciting adventure.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Of course, it goes without saying that I’m heading over to have a peek down over the wall onto the beach to see what is going on down below.

Plenty of people down below on the beach. Even with the holidaymakers gone, everyone back at work and the kids back at school, there are still some people who can find some time to be down there

It even looks as if there have been some folk in the water too. Not me though. It might be nice out there today, but it’s not that nice. For me, if the water isn’t at 37°C then I’m not interested in going near it.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there ontop of the wall looking down on the beach, I was also having a good look around offshore as well.

There was nothing really of any importance. No trawlers, car ferries, Jersey freighters or anything. Just this little yacht quietly tacking too and fro across the bay, taking his time.

However he can’t afford to take too much time because the harbour gates will close before long and then he’ll be out in the cold, quite literally, until the early hours of the morning before he can return home

It was now my moment to return home too so I went and prepared a coffee. And then, rather sadly but not too unexpectedly, I fell asleep for a while.

Would you believe – despite racking my brains for about half an hour, I’ve forgotten what I had for tea. And this is pretty much par for the course. I can remember everything that happened 50 or 60 years ago, but ask me why I have just come into the kitchen. It’s a sign of age.

But now that I’ve finally after all this time finished my notes, I’m off to bed. I’ve had enough of today and there’s shopping to do tomorrow.

Tuesday 24th August 2021 – LOOK AT MY …

home made bread fruit bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… fruit bread and loaf from this morning’s baking session!

Using this new technique that Liz taught me seems to be working quite well and although the ordinary bread didn’t seem to rise very much, it’s honeycombed with air galleries so it must be something like right.

As for the fruit bread, I tried a new technique. I mixed the banana in when I was making the dough but when it was ready for the second kneading, I rolled it out on the worktop dropping in the rest of the fruit and nut as I did so.

And that technique seemed to work in spades.

This morning I was awake when the first alarm went off, despite the lateness of the hour when I went to bed. I had the medication and came back in here to read my messages and the next thing that I remembered, it was 08:10. I’d been asleep for about 90 minutes.

Missing all that time meant that I had to rush and make the dough for the bread, especially as I noticed that the Welsh lesson today had been brought forward half an hour. There was just enough time to start the second kneading before the lesson started and I ended up being five minutes late.

The lesson lasted 90 minutes and passed by okay. I’d put the bread in the oven half-way through and it was doing quite well too.

For lunch I tried the bread that I made and it was really delicious. Nice and soft, just like bread ought to be.

This afternoon I had all kinds of plans but after working away for a while I fell asleep yet again. That meant that my afternoon walk was rather late.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst port of call was, as you might expect these days, the beach at the Rue du Nord.

With being later than usual, it’s not possible to see how the tide is doing right now. But there is plenty of beach down there today. The tide is quite a way out.

There weren’t too many people down there either today and that was a surprise. There was a little wind today but it was quite warm and sunny. I would have thought that there would have been many more people down there today making the most of the last few days of the summer break.

man fishing from rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, there were a few more people further along the headland, as I noticed when I walked further along the path.

Down on the rocks this afternoon was a fisherman casting his line into the water. But once again, he doesn’t seem to have much in the way of equipment in which to haul in or to keep whatever it is that he catches.

There weren’t any boats out there just offshore fishing either. That’s quite possibly due to the state of the tide but there isn’t really any reason why a boat couldn’t go out just before the gates closed and came back when they opened, just to fit some daytime fishing it.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, there were actually some boats out there somewhere.

My roving eye was at it again, looking out to sea to see what was happening. And I managed to pick up a yacht that was out there in the Baie de Granville

And while I was looking at her I noticed that she was stationary, and that there didn’t seem to be anyone on board. Maybe they had gone below for a kip until the harbour gates open this evening Their sail is furled so they clearly have no intention of going anywhere right at the moment.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe air was really clear this afternoon and there was quite a good view out to sea.

While I was scanning the horizon to see if there were any ferries or anything like that I picked up another yacht much further out beyond the Ile de Chausey. Judging by the way her sail was billowing out in the wind, she was moving along quite rapidly.

However, as for the rest of the ocean that I could see, there wasn’t another boat knocking around. The Ile de Chausey and the sea outside St Helier were completely deserted and it’s been a long time since that has happened, from what I have seen.

unidentified aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, it was at this point that I was overflown by a light aircraft.

And the slow speed at which it was approaching me told me that it wasn’t one of our more usual ones but I took a photograph of it so that I could have a look at it at my leisure back in the apartment.

When I enlarged it and enhanced it, I could see, with some disappointment, that it wasn’t carrying a registration number. She’s probably a microlight aircraft which won’t appear on any registration list to which I have access.

trawler la soupape chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound on the other side of the headland I walked down the path towards the port.

One thing that I noticed almost as soon as I came in sight of the chantier naval was that we seem to have had a change of occupancy. There are seven boats in the position where seven boats were the last time that we looked, but a couple of them at least looked rather different.

In the meantime though, I was quite interested to see Chausiaise over there at the ferry terminal. And none of the other three Joly France boats though. They must be all over at the Ile de Chausey although I didn’t see them.

trawler la soupape chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile as I walked further round I had a good look at what was going on in the chantier naval.

At long last it looks as if Charlevy has gone back into the water after her overhaul and repainting. And in her place there’s a similar trawler. Luckily they haven’t painted over her wind deflector so I could see her name. She’s called “la Soupape”.

And the trawler Trafalgar has gone back into the water too. In her place is one of the smaller inshore fishing boats but I can’t see her name from here.

The other boats look to be pretty much the same as before.

yacht being repainted chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was one more boat that we needed to check on before we leave the area.

Just before we went to Leuven we say a yacht out at the back being stripped down for repainting. When we saw it the other day much of it had been masked off. But today, a lot of the masking has been removed.

The hull though is still in primer so there is still quite a lot of work to do before she’s ready to go back into the water. And I hope to be there when the portable boat lift comes to pick her up. Watching it manoeuvre through all of the objects lying around would be quite a sight.

regate de chausey port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, in the inner harbour there’s a nice little sailing boat having a lap around in there.

This is quite an interesting boat. By the looks of things it’s a régate de chausey – one of the traditional small sailing boats from the area. There aren’t all that many still around and I’ve only ever seen one of them before.

After that I came back to the apartment to check over the photos that I’d taken, and also to drink my nice, really cold strawberry smoothie.

Tea tonight was the rest of the stuffing with kidney beans and taco rolls. No pudding again as my appetite still hasn’t fully returned.

Anyway, now I’m off to bed. I have my first physiotherapy session tomorrow. That will be exciting.

Monday 9th August 2021 – THERE HAS BEEN …

trawler charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… yet more excitement in the chantier naval today.

When I walked past there this afternoon I discovered that the yacht Rebelle has once more gone back into the water today. But for how long, who knows? We might be seeing it back again quite soon if past history is anything to go by.

Also missing today is the trawler Monaco du Nord II. Her repaint and renovation job seems to be finished.

All that remains today is the trawler Charlevy and the two others whose names I have yet to discover.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, over at the ferry terminal is one of the Joly France boats – the older one without the step in the stern and with the windows in landscape format.

It may well be that she’ll be going out to the Ile de Chausey when the tide comes back in, even if the tide doesn’t come back in until later this evening, unless she’s there in preparation for an early start tomorrow.

Despite the weather not being exactly summer-like, there are still holidaymakers who need to be ferried out to the island and back. And it’s really sad that the weather isn’t what they would have been wanting after all of the events of the last 18 months.

And the sleep that I had last night wasn’t quite what I was wanting. Despite my early night and feeling as tired as I was, I couldn’t get off to sleep for ages and when I finally did, it was one of those sleeps that was rather intermittent.

And one thing that I noticed that I had to leave my bed in the middle of the night, something that I’ve now done for a few times just recently after going without for a couple of years.

There’s a pile of stuff on the dictaphone too. It was 21st birthday party of one of my niece’s daughters and a late 16th birthday party for another. They had waited until Covid was over and were having this celebration. There were some kids next door who were having a party and the parties somehow intermingled. At some point there was a fire and the fire brigade were called. The police came and arrested me and took me off. Some woman policewoman started to question me about the party – what was I doing allowing this and that to happen? I replied “hang on – what’s this got to do with me? I’ve only just turned up from Europe. I have no idea of what was happening at this do. I wasn’t in charge of it or anything like that. Why isn’t my sister here? Why isn’t her husband here? If anyone was in charge of it, they were more than anyone else because they live there and they were their kids”. After this went on for a couple of minutes I said “I’ll tell you exactly whose party it was. It was my niece’s daughter’s party. She’s 21, she’s an adult. Why isn’t she here?”. The policewoman looked at me, thought for a minute and said “get out of here”.

I was having camera issues and things weren’t going very well. Suddenly a box turned up and I opened it. It was 3 cameras, one of which I’d ordered but the other 2 were 2 that I’d looked at and decided that I didn’t want. It seemed that Amazon had sent me the 3. Liz then asked “is that the one that I got you?”. It turned out that Liz had bought me one as well and someone else had bought me one. I thought “that’s really nice of my friends, isn’t it?”. They were all going out and I was having to stay behind. They were getting ready to go but there were all kinds of things – it was like being in an office. Instead of closing at 17:00 it was open until all times of hours. There were people coming and going, all that kind of thing. A friend of mine (and I’ve no idea who she was) with 2 daughters, she’d gone of to take her kids to ballet class but she didn’t have time to come back. She came back with the older daughter who was about 8. We’d had a chat and a hug. We were just about to go off and get the other car when the other girl appeared from her ballet class and asked “where are the others going?”. I replied “they are going away home and leaving you behind”. “No they aren’t” she retorted “No” I said “they are going to get the car and bring it round here so you can go”.

There was more than this too but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

What had occupied my time this morning was the radio programme that needed to be prepared. Yesterday I’d paired the music so I had to do the rest this morning.

And much to my surprise it was all done and dusted by 11:20, which is a new record, and I could even have finished earlier than that had I not forgotten to deduct the 35 seconds of speech from the time left over at the end of the programme.

As a result the final track was 35 seconds too long and I had to spend some time editing out a pile of speech to make the final track fit.

There was the usual break for breakfast, and my fruit loaf, the one that I made yesterday, is delicious.

When the radio programme was finished and while I was listening to it to make sure that it’s OK, I wrote up the notes from yesterday and posted them on line

After lunch I sat down to work on the journal entry from 31st JULY from when I went out socialising, and the excitement that I had on the way home. Unfortunately I … err … closed my eyes for a while, even though I had a full mug of hot coffee by my side.

Cold coffee doesn’t really taste the same.

Coming round from my reverie took longer than usual and it led to rather a late afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown to the wall at the end of the car park to look at what was happening down on the beach.

And today, not only were there people sunbathing, there were a few actually in the water enjoying themselves, although I can’t see how anyone could possibly be enjoying themselves in any kind of water at a temperature less than 37°C.

Mind you, today there was hardly a breath of wind and it was fairly warm. I’d even gone out without a jacket or pullover, for the first time since I can’t remember when.

man fishing place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that we haven’t seen for quite a while has been any fishermen.

Today, there was one of them standing on the rocks down at the end of the beach at the Place d’Armes. Of course, as you might expect, he never actually caught anything while I was watching, but then that’s par for the course.

And for a change, there wasn’t anyone in a boat fishing just offshore. Usually you don’t have the one without the other but we haven’t seen any seaborne fishermen with rod and line for quite a while.

fishing boats ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the other hand, there is plenty of evidence of seaborne commercial fisherman.

My roving eye out at sea had picked up some kind of activity going on round by where we spent the night in the Spirit of Conrad last year. It looks as if it’s one of the inshore shell-fishing boats.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there are some shellfish beds out there and I suppose that the boat is engaged in harvesting the fruits of the sea.

There are some bouchot beds out there too and I suppose that the quality of the harvest from there would be beautiful seeing as there’s almost no human interaction over there.

condor voyager boat english channel ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there was something else going on even further out behind the Ile de Chausey in the English Channel, something that looked rather like a large boat.

Although I couldn’t see it clearly, I took a photo of it with the aim of blowing it up (the image, not the object) and enhancing it to see if I can find a clue as to her identity.

Having done that and enhanced the image sufficiently, I noticed that her silhouette resembles one of the Condor high-speed ferries that works the round trip between Poole, the Channel Islands and St Malo.

This photo was taken at 16:33 (remember, the camera is set to standard, not Summer time) and I noticed from the radar that at 16:53 the high-speed ferry Condor Voyager pulled into the harbour at St Malo

yacht fishing boat rainstorm brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOver the fast few days we’ve seen storm and rain clouds gathering across the bay along the Brittany coast.

Today, there’s yet another rainstorm descending onto the sea just offshore over there. There ware a couple of boats, one a yacht and the other one that looks as if it might be a small fishing boat, that look as if they are about to be engulfed.

There are several small beaches over there that are quite popular with holidaymakers and they must be having something of a torrid time with the weather over the last few days.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAround the path on top of the cliffs to the viewpoint overlooking the port where I could look down onto the chantier naval and the ferry terminal.

Earlier on in this journal I posted a photo of Joly France settled down in the silt over by the ferry terminal, and here in front of here is Chausiaise, the freight barge who has moved from her mooring in the inner harbour where we saw her yesterday.

That would seem to indicate that she too is either about to go or has just been out on a run with freight over to the Ile de Chausey. The service is still continuing despite the depressing summer so far.

boat building material port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday, we saw a shrink-wrapped boat on the quayside waiting for transport out to the Channel Islands.

The boat has now been joined by a pile of building material so we can assume that there will be a freighter coming into the harbour imminently.

And if we look to the side, we’ll see that Marité has gone off for a sail today. We’ve not seen her out there at sea but I can tell you that she left port this morning at 08:06 and apparently she came back on the evening tide.

police interviewing motorcyclist car park boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat isn’t everything either.

There’s an issue, just as there is everywhere, of kids on motorbikes running around with little respect to the rule of law (and just in case anyone wonders, I was a young tearaway on a motorbike too in my youth) but here in the car park at the Boulevard Vaufleury, a couple of the local police force are giving one of the motorcyclists the third degree.

They are checking his papers, under the scrutiny of that woman over there who seems to be expressing a keen interest in whatever is going on.

apple crumble place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack at the apartment I finished off the outstanding journal entry and then went off to prepare a dessert for this week.

The choice fell on an apple crumble, and this is one of the best that I have ever made. You can see that I’ve already taken a helping out of it. That went down really well after my vegan pie and vegetables for tea.

But now that everything is done, i’m off to bed. Another early night and I hope that I have a better one that I did last night. I’ve been feeling a little better today and I hope that it keeps up. Tomorrow I have a Welsh lesson and I need to be on form.

Sunday 8th August 2021 – NOW THAT I HAVE …

… dealt with the issues of the radio programme for Monday, I can turn my attention to the journal entry for Sunday.

Having gone off to bed early and being awoken almost immediately by a bunch of revellers going home (as you’ve seen previously, it’s Concert Fortnight in the Old Town) I didn’t really have the relaxing night for which I was hoping.

Several times during the night I awoke, usually for no good reason and had I been really keen I could have been up and out of bed at 06:20. But I’m not that keen so I stayed in bed and didn’t leave until 09:30, which is early enough on a Sunday as it is.

Despite the turbulent night I’d been off on quite a few voyages and traveled a long way. And much to my surprise, things started off quite positively and pleasantly which is a surprise considering how things have been just recently, although it didn’t take them long to descend into the more habitual chaos and disorder.

Last night I started offin Crewe on Nantwich Road and there was a whole load of stuff that we had to somehow dispose of. We’d started by dumping it into an empty shop that was near where Barclays Bank used to be. While we were doing that someone came in and asked if we could repair the ferrule on their umbrella. We repaired that then someone else came in for anoher simple job like that which we did. The 3rd person who came in was a young girl and it was somethign similar as well, a ferrule on an umbrella Hers was a retractable one and I ended up dismantling it and found out that one of the set screws had sheared off. I cleaned it and did what I could to repair it. We started to talk about music and everyone there joined in. We were having a really good time discussing all kinds of groups. she’d been to see groups like Men at Work, all of those. As she was about to leave I called her back and asked for her e-mail address which she gave me. The ws started to talk about Strife. She said that her mother used to go to concerts as well and we jokingly said “Barry Manilow”. This was turning into something really quite pleasant. My radio programme came up and she said that she listened to my shows. She’d heard Strife and it was a pretty good thing
Later on a friend of mine put in an appearance. There was a group of us and we’d been doing something. i’d been involved in this from the beginning and my e-mail address had been handed in. The guy who’d been orgaising it had asked for a couple more addresses so I was going to say “I think you have mine already” and read it out so that she’d get a hint of this but instead he asked for hers and she wrote it down on a piece of paper and I could see it. She put it into an envelope and made sure that the woman who was co-orinating everythign had seen it, and then she popped it inside my envelope and said “here, you can have this”so I made a romantic kind of gesture and that seemed to go down well.

Later on I was doing somethingwith my partner and I can’t remember what it was but it was something to do with jars and containers and their contents. She made one of her remarks again and I said something and then I said “I suppose that you’re going to tell me that it’s all over in a minute are you?”. She replied “yes. It’s been all over between the two of us for quite some time” and generally going on like that.

At another point during the night i’d been researching an article on Greenock Morton FC, reading all the way through it and making notes. i’d got through to something like line 10,000 and something but I kept being drawn back to something round about 4,000-odd where there was some talk of a certain name who had a nightmare game for Morton. It looked as if he’d been on trial or something. His name was mentioned and it seemed to imply that he’d been a goalkeeper but I’d never ever remembered a goalkeeper of that name being there even once. I kept on being drawn back to this particular chapter or paragraph and trying to find out more about it. Talking to all these people and I was really bogging myself down in this research. It was a kind of thing that could be cleared up in a minute but for some unknown reason I just couldn’t get myself out of this paragraph.

And doesn’t that sound just like where I am with several projects right now?

This morning with it being Sunday I took it relatively easy because there will be plenty to do this afternoon. I simply edited a few photos from Greenland, and we are now ashore at Ilulissat visiting the abandoned Inuit village of Sermermiut and the stage is being set for the subsequent dramatic events that took place.

After lunch there was baking to do. The bread that I’d made with Liz had died a death and so I needed a new loaf, and I’d also run out of fruit bread. No pizza dough either so I had to make a pile of that too.

By the time that I was ready to go walkies all of that was sitting away simmering quite nicely.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst place to go and visit was the beach – in a virtual way of course because I can’t get back up the steps these days.

The tide is a long way from being in and if you compare this photo with THIS ONE that was taken at almost exactly the same time yesterday, you’ll see how the tide develops from one day to the next.

The difference between the two water levels represents just 38 minutes according to the tide tables so you can see how quickly the tide comes in on the beach down there.

lighthouse ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs usual, while one of my eyes is roaming around on the beach, the other one is looking around out at sea.

There weren’t any marine craft out there at sea today which was a surprise because for a change just recently, the sky is quite clear out at sea . The lighthouse and the houses surrounding stand out quite distinctly today.

The lighthouse itself is 37 metres above sea level and there are 79 steps that take you to the top. The beam of the light can be seen 45 kilometres away in good weather.

yacht semaphore  ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I had the camera poised, I took a photo of the northern end of the island .

When I enlarged it I was able to make out a yacht that was sailing around just offshore. There wasn’t any other kind of water craft out there around the island this afternoon. I suppose that the tide isn’t high enough for the Joly France ferries to be out working yet.

So with nothing else going on out at sea right now, I set off down the path on my walk around the headland

people on footpath lighthouse semaphore pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd I wasn’t alone out there this afternoon either, as you can see in this image.

Set against the backdrop of a heavy dark grey cloud, the lighthouse stands out magnificently, with the semaphore post to the right and surrounded by the remains of the German fortifications of the Atlantic Wall.

Standing out there to the right was a crowd of people gawking out to see, although I couldn’t see what it was that had attracted their attention because there was nothing whatever going on out to sea.

sailing ship english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut when I reached the top and stood on top of the old bunker, I could see something moving out in the English Channel, in a completely different direction to that in which everyone was looking.

Back at the apartment later I was able to crop out the section of the photo, enlarge it and enhance it. And I was able to discern that it was some kind of large sailing ship of a type that resemble our Newfoundlander, Marité.

Keeping that idea in my mind, I wandered off down the path across the car park and down to the end of the headland.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesyerday, when we were standing at the end of the headland we saw an impressive storm brewing away over the Brittany coast.

Today, we’ve been lashed by showers on and off throughout the day and we can see that there’s another big storm brewing over there this afternoon too and it’s pouring down with rain in Brittany.

It won’t be long before the storm arrives over here so I don’t want to hang about to long over here. I’d better be heading back home rather quickly.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown the path on the southern side of the headland I arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the port where I could see what was going on.

No change of occupancy in the Chantier Naval over the last 24 hours so I had a look over towards the ferry terminal. The tide is out and Belle France is over there in a NAABSA position, and we can therefore see her shape.

Yesterday, when we saw the ferry terminal we noticed that because of the weather the terminal and the surrounding harbour wall were completely deserted. Today though, with the slightly better weather, there were some people loitering around and others walking along the top of the wall around the port de plaisance.

l'alize 3 marite port de Granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut we can rule out the idea that it was the Marité that we saw out at sea earlier.

In this photo we can see her bow intruding into the photo. Therefore she’s at anchor and we’ll have to think again about the identity of the sailing ship that we saw.

Next to her in the loading bay is the trawler L’Alize 3 that we saw for a while in the chantier naval.

But my eye has been caught by the shrink-wrapped boat on the quayside. This would seem to me to indicate that one of the little Channel Island freighters will be in port quite soon to take it away.

Back at the apartment I added the mixed fruit to the fruit bread dough and then kneaded all of the three dough mixes the second time and put that for the fruit bread and the ordinary bread into their moulds and left everything to proof a second time.

When they were ready I put the two loaves into the oven.

With the pizza dough I divided it into three and put two of the parts into the freezer. The third, I rolled out and put into the pizza tray and when it had proofed again, I assembled my pizza.

vegan pizza fruit bread home baked loaf Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut of the oven came the bread and into the oven went the pizza, and half an hour later it was ready. And here are the finished products.

As for the bread I’ll tell you about that tomorrow but it certainly looks good. The pizza was for some reason or another undercooked and I don’t know why because the oven was switched to full and the baking tray was lowered in the oven. It’s rather bizarre, that.

You’ll probably notice that there is no pudding made today. I was going to make an apple crumble but there was no room in the oven. I’ll bake that tomorrow evening and make some baked potatoes while I’m at it. Maybe a slice of home-made vegan pie too
.

Just as I was settling down to start to write my journal entry, the telephone rang. It was Rosemary who wanted to have a chat.

We were there talking for almost two hours and after, I was far too tired to write anything. Consequently I took myself off for an early night and I’ll write up my notes tomorrow.

Thursday 29th July 2021 WHILE I WAS …

repairing city walls rue du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… out for a walk with Liz at lunchtime on our way back from a coffee we came via the rue du nord, one of the reasons for which being that I wanted to see how they are progressing with the repair work to the medieval city walls.

Much to my surprise, they have already made a decent start to the work and I’m sure that regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen A SIMILAR STYLE OF WORK in the past when they were repairing the walls in the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

When they did that work they did what looks like a decent job so I hope that they’ll bet on and do the same here.

And then hopefully they can get on and do the rest of the walls that are falling down around our ears. If medival builders can build something that will last for 600 years there’s no reason why modern builders shouldn’t be able to do so.

But anyway, be that as it may, I was awake at about 06:00 this morning as usual so I had my medication and came back in here listen to the dictaphone. We were all at home but home was dirty, disgusting and untidy and a complete mess. For some reason, at a court my mother’s family life as a young person was being discussed. Then some time later or was it earlier, I dunno, we ended up with anoher girl staying with us and we were trying to think of a place to go. But then this girl started talking about going to somewhere on the North Wales coast where she had been. She asked if we had ever been there and we replied “ohh no, we had far too much class. We went to Rhyl” which provoked howls of laughter but this gave us an idea and we booked a trip to Rhyl. When we arrived on the coach we all piled off and this girl “ohh yes I know all of this, I know all of that” so we were having a laugh and a joke and teasing her. Our mother was telling us to be quiet, we mustn’t be so rude. Then something happened to my mother and she ended up talking about other people behind their backs and we were sitting there saying “mother, don’t be so rude” which of course didn’t go down very well. We crossed the road over to the river.

At that point I’d switched off the dictaphone, which makes a change from the way that things have been just recently.

When I’d finished transcribing the notes I finished off the tidying up of the apartment as far as I could and it actually looks quite tidy, which is just as well, because Liz turned up.

We started off making the first dough for my fruit bread and she gave me several valuable hints for the first kneading, and then we put it into a basin to proof while we had a nice cold drink.

After the drink I mixed the fruit for the filling but Liz thinks that I’m putting too much fruit and nuts in it – and she would leave out the banana too. As for the banana chips she thinks that I should be breaking them up.

Liz showed me her method of adding the fruit and nuts, which might have worked had I not been using so many.

That was the cue to go for a coffee so we walked down to La Rafale, bumping into one of our neighbours on the way. And also meeting another one at the bar.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back we came via the Rue du Nord and I’m pleased to report that the absence of boats out to sea over the last couple of days must have been an aberration because they were all there today.

As many yachts as you might care to see this afternoon and I suspect that it might have something to do with the state of the tide. The tide is well in, the outer port is under water and the gates to the harbour and the port de plaisance are open.

It will be a completely different situation, I suspect, when the tide is ebbing and the gates are about to close. Then all of the marine craft will scuttle off home to safety.

Incidentally, there’s a dark blue flag right out there in the distance. I wonder if that’s Black Mamba gone off for a run around in the bay.

swimmer baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt wasn’t just water craft that were out there this lunchtime.

There was a swimmer down there doing the Australian crawl along the coastline just offshore. In a wetsuit too, and I can’t say that I blame him either because although it was sunny, it wasn’t actually all that pleasant.

Now comes the story of a disaster. Liz hadn’t asked me how I baked my bread and I hadn’t thought to tell her, so when I produced the bread mould back home she was taken by surprise.

The bread fell apart as we tried to move it gently into the mould so that didn’t work too well. Anyway we put it in the oven to bake while we had lunch.

After lunch, our next trick was to make a pineapple upside-down cake. I don’t know why but I’ve been hankering after one of these for a while and Liz had a recipe. Well, of an apple upside-down cake but the theory is still the same so we had a go at that.

That went into the oven and while it was baking, Liz still had some time to spare. A while back she had sent me a recipe for cranberry and pecan cookies and as I actually had some cranberries (but cashew nuts instead) we made a pile of those too. They went into the oven as soon as the upside-down cake was baked, and we went for a walk outside.

50sa aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe hadn’t gone more than five yards out of the building before two things happened.

Firstly, we were overflown by a light aeroplane. Well, not exactly overflown – it was in fact right out at sea and it was difficult to pick it up with the camera.

Some judicious editing when I was back home later showed it to be 50SA – another light aircraft that does not figure in any register that I have been unable to find, even though we’ve seen it before. It’s painted out in the style of a World-War II US Army Air Force fighter although its fixed tricycle undercarriage tells me that it is anything but.

The second thing that happened was that we were swept away in the turmoil of a furniture removal. Someone else is moving out of the building. There won’t be anyone else left except me at this rate, and I won’t be here for all that long at the rate that bits are dropping off me.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo walk outside the building these days is complete, or even begins, without a walk across to the end of the car park to look down onto the beach to see the activity down there.

By now the tide has gone well out and there’s plenty of room for people to be moving around this afternoon. Not that there were too many people though because while the weather had improved, it hadn’t improved that much.

nd while I was admiring the people in the water, Liz’s eye had picked out a father rubbing his young children with sun tan oil so that they could all run into the sea and wash it off.

Yes, I used to be a child too, believe it or not.

marité english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been watching the beach with one eye, the other one had as usual been roving out to sea.

Out there was a silhouette on the horizon that looked quite familiar to me so we headed for the nearest high ground where I could have a better view.

Once safely installed I took a photo and later on after Liz had left, I had a look at it, cropped it, enhanced it and blew it up (the photo, not the object)

No prizes of course for guessing what it might be, because we are all familiar with this silhouette right now.

Anything that’s big, with three masts and loads of sail can only be the Marité, our sole remaining Newfoundlander fishing boat, gone out on the morning tide for a lap around the coast and will probably return home this later on the evening tide.

people in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLiz had also spotted this and wanted to know what it was. I explained that it was probably asylum-seekers who had gone to the UK, decided that they didn’t like it and came back.

Seriously though, I thought that it might have been fishermen at first, which it may well be, but of what description?

And I wonder if they had anything to do with the strange square object bottom left? It doesn’t look like a mooring buoy marker or a lobster pot marker, so I wonder if it’s a diver in a face mask?

Mind you, what would be be diving for that he couldn’t find quicker and easier in an hour or so when the tide has gome out and the sea bed is uncovered?

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw the swimming pool on the quayside and I intimated that this would mean that Normandy Trader would be on her way into port quite soon.

And look who’s in port this afternoon then? I wasn’t wrong. And I was very lucky to see her because usually she comes in as soon as the harbour gates open and she does a quick turn-round and disappears back to Jersey with her load before they close again.

And so I’ve no idea why she’s loitering in port this afternoon. I suppose that these swimming pools have to be stowed very carefully because they are quite fragile, especially when they have a rolling sea to contend with.

Tons of other stuff on the quayside too and they’ll be lucky to fit all of that in. They can’t exactly drop it inside the swimming pool.

fishing boat in naabsa position port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut in the meantime, while you are admiring Normandy Trader, there’s another item worthy of note.

Here moored up at the quayside by the fish processing plant is another one of the local fishing boats, left to go aground as the tide goes out.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve discussed this phenomenon on many … “many, many” – ed … occasions in the past so I shan’t dwell on it again. Instead, Liz and I will go home and see how the biscuits are doing.

And cooked to perfection they were too, so we had another cold drink to celebrate, and rightly so because when you are out of the wind it’s really quite warm in the sun.

After another chat, Liz decided to head off for home and make tea for Terry who had been out working.

That was a shame because I had a few things that I wanted to discuss, but they were things of the moment and it’s doubtful that the moment will ever present itself in the same way again.

home made fruit bread oat and cranberry cookies pineapple upside down cake Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving seen Liz safely off on her way, I had a look at all of our cooking efforts for today.

As I mentioned earlier, the fruit load was not as it was supposed to be. The consistency and texture were perfect – the best that I’ve ever tasted and that was certainly a success. But picking it up and putting it into the bread mould halfway through its second proofing was not a success as you can see.

We’d already sampled the cookies and I do have to say that they were pretty good too. That was certainly a success and instead of cranberries and pecans, almost any kind of dried fruit and nut will do.

It’s like most things, when you are baking, you have your basic recipe and you adjust it as you go along, depending on what you have to hand.

When I worked in that Italian restaurant in Wandsworth, the woman who owned it told me that whenever she interviewed a new chef she would always have him make a tomato sauce. If that were good, then everything else would be.

Incidentally, my tomato sauce passed muster, but then Nerina was full of fiery Italian blood so what do you expect? I had a good teacher.

Back in my little office I sat down on my comfy chair and found that I couldn’t move. Not actually stuck in it, but I lacked the energy to pull myself out of it. I started to do some work but I couldn’t concentrate on it and that was the most difficult part.

Eventually a football match came on the internet. Connah’s Quay Nomads were playing FC Pristina in the European Championships. Having lost 4-1 in Kosovo last week they were up against it but it all started so well for them and within 3 minutes they had pulled a goal back.

They were pushing forward and forward incessantly and could have had several more but in the space of five minutes were hit for two soft, sucker goals, the kind that would kill off any team.

Nevertheless, Andy Morrison isn’t one to throw in the towel. He pulled off a defender at half time and sent on an attacker and then it was a relentless stream down the field towards the Pristina goal.

To everyone’s surprise, they managed to score three goals as they created all kinds of panic in the Kosovar defence, and had Mike Wilde not been offside in the 70th minute or had Jamie Insall had a clearer connection on the ball in stoppage time, who knows where they would be now?

But this is the problem with so many Welsh clubs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. They are up against teams that are much more street-wise and astute than they are, with several internationals from all over the developing world in their teams, and while domestic Welsh teams can turn on a performance like this, little lapses of concentration and stupid, silly mistakes are ruthlessly punished and rob them of just about everything.

Meanwhile, in the other match that wasn’t broadcast, events went on to prove just how wrong I can be. Having stuffed no fewer than 5 goals past FK Kauno Zalgiris of Lithuania last week, TNS went out and did exactly the same again tonight, to record the biggest ever aggregate win by a Welsh domestic side in any European competition anywhere. Teams with a long history in European competition, like Dinamo Tbilsi, Austria Wien and AA Gent were knocked out of the tournament last night.

It was 01:00 when I finally found the energy to go off to bed. And with getting up at 06:00 and going to the doctor’s tomorrow, I’m not looking forward to that at all.