Tag Archives: fruit buns

Wednesday 8th June 2022 – THE EXCITEMENT TODAY …

… has really been intense. I took out not one but actually two loads of rubbish to the bins today – one load of general waste and another of the plastic and glass. Can life really be any more exciting that this?

It did actually remind me of the time when I used to go camping, when all the excitement was in tents, but that’s another story completely.

Once again, I was wide-awake for a good while before the alarm went off and I was up quite promptly when it finally did ring.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022First task after I’d had my medication was to make a big pile of fruit buns as I’d run out.

There’s a pile of brazil nuts ground into a coarse flour, plenty of dried fruit of all descriptions (although I forgot the desiccated coconut), sunflower seeds, a banana and 250 grammes of wholemeal flour.

It ended up making enough dough for 12 fruit buns and they really are delicious – I had one of them for breakfast with my coffee. I seem to have the hang of making them now.

There are enough now in the cake tin to last me until Saturday and the rest are in the freezer ready to be brought out next week.

Not long after I’d finished making the dough and while it was busy proofing, I had a ‘phone call. Apparently my decision to no longer prepare any live concerts is creating waves. Would I go for a coffee with admin on Friday morning?

Apparently it was an “automatic server upgrade” that caused the problem, although who in their right minds would set upgrades on a broadcasting server to “automatic” is beyond my comprehension. You only want it to upgrade when there’s someone there with it supervising.

And “not many people listen to the broadcasts anyway” and “yours wasn’t the only programme to be lost” are not phrases that I would actually use to soothe a troubled breast.

Once I’d dealt with all of those issues and had breakfast, I spent the morning writing about “Clothes” and “When I was a child” as revision for my Welsh exam, playing my acoustic guitar set and then (rather regrettably) crashing out for well over an hour.

As a result I ended up with rather a late lunch again today.

After lunch I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was something about Ukrainian refugees being made welcome wherever they went, a restaurant having these Ukrainian refugees in and giving them a meal free, making sure that they sat in the window where everyone passing by could see them. I can’t remember any more than that

And then I crashed out yet again, for another hour or so. This is becoming far too much of a bad habit that I wish that I could break.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022As a result I was late going out for my afternoon walk again.

Nevertheless I headed off across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach this afternoon. And there wasn’t a soul down there today.

Mind you, you can tell what kind of weather we were having. One look at those waves will tell you that the severe winds that we had for several months earlier in the year are now back with a vengeance.

That’s enough to keep anyone indoors right now. No-one would want to be sunbathing in this storm and I don’t blame them for a moment.

thora baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022The sea was quite rough out in the bay and I did notice something struggling to make headway against the waves.

From this distance I couldn’t make out what it was so I took a photo of it so that I could enhance it when I returned to the apartment with the hope of being able to identify it.

And once I’d blown it up (because I can do things like that despite modern anti-terrorism legislation) I could see that it was the little Jersey freighter Thora battling her way through the waves on her way back to St Helier. She must have come in on the morning tide.

There were only one or two people on the path up here this afternoon – the wind was keeping everyone away from here too – so I had it pretty much to myself as I wandered around on my little circuit.

kite surfing baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was no-one on the bench at the cabanon vauban which is no surprise because they would have been blown off the end of the headland in this storm.

And so I carried on walking down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port where a couple of kites caught my attention.

As they came into view from behind the harbour wall I could see that they were actually kite-surfers being pulled along by the kites in the wind. They certainly had the right day for it today.

Apart from Thora, they were the only other things out there on the water and that’s not really a surprise either in this weather. You won’t find any of the sailing schools out there on a day like this.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022But some of the Ile de Chausey ferries must be out and about somewhere this afternoon.

The only one in port is Belle France, the newer one of the three. The two Joly France boats aren’t anywhere around the harbour so they must be over at the island. Good luck to those who are coming back on board in this storm.

In the chantier naval there’s no change in occupant. Still the posh new cabin cruiser and the catamaran and that’s your lot. Things have gone a little quiet down there just now.

But apparently L’Ecume II who was in there being repainted for so long is receiving rave reviews for her new appearance. That’s a good advert for the chantier naval.

omerta ch638749 pescadore port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Meanwhile, over at the fish processing plant, our game of Musical Ships continues.

Gerlean is now no longer there this afternoon but L’Omerta is back again from her sojourn in the inner harbour. And tied up behind her is the little trawler Pescadore.

Back here I had a coffee and then fell asleep yet again for another hour. I think that i’ve spent more time asleep today that I have been awake and that’s a dreadful thought. I telephoned Ingrid too but she was busy and she’ll call me back tomorrow.

Having not done any Welsh revision yesterday I wrote some more notes on “Last Weekend” and “Family and Friends”. And the latter one is not very long. I’ve also had the bass out and worked out a couple of numbers off this playlist that I was sent the other day.

Tea was a burger on a bap with potatoes and veg, and now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. But I’m wholeheartedly sick of this continual falling asleep. Obviously it wasn’t this medication that was causing it because while things improved for a couple of days I’m back to square one. I think that tomorrow I’ll write to the hospital, tell them about what’s happening and see what they suggest.

Not that I’ll expect too much from them. Their aim is to keep me alive as long as possible regardless of my quality of life. Mine is all about my quality of life and I don’t care about longevity.

Tuesday 24th May 2022 – WELL, JUST LOOK AT …

fisherman with catch pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… this! We were only talking about this a couple of days ago.

If you look very closely at this photo you’ll see, dangling on the end of the line just above the water, is what looks suspiciously like a small fish on his hook.

Of course, it could well be something that our fisherman might be using as bait to catch something larger, but on the other hand it could be the encouraging sign that one of our fishermen has at long last managed to pull something out of the water while we were watching.

Wonders will never cease. At least I won’t be quite so quick to pour scorn on the activities of the fishermen in the future. As is said in Proverbs Chapter 16 Verse 18, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”

normandy warrior baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But here’s something else that I was much more pleased to see this afternoon.

As I walked around the headland, just pulling out of the harbour was Normandy Warrior on her way back to Jersey, having presumably picked up the swimming pool and the speedboat that have been on the quayside for the last couple of days.

Apart from the fact that we know that her sister, Normandy Trader, is currently in dock being overhauled, we can tell that this is Normandy Warrior because she doesn’t have the raised deck at the back of the wheelhouse.

marité english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Something else that caught my eye, miles out in the English Channel beyond the Ile de Chausey was this sailing ship.

As to who she is, I wouldn’t really like to say. It’s true that Marité wasn’t in the harbour this afternoon but that array of masts and rigging on that ship in the distance doesn’t look as if if belongs to her.

and unfortunately, I have too admit that when I returned to my apartment after my walk, I forgot to look at the radar to see if I could identify her from there.

Do you ever have that feeling that it’s really not your day today?

normandy warrior baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So while you admire a few more photos of Normandy Warrior loaded up to the gunwhales with freight and on her way back to the island, let me tell you something about my day today.

Just by way of a change, I was in bed at something like a respectable time – 23:30 if I remember correctly – but in the absence of this night-time medication it takes me an age to drop off to sleep.

But sleep I did, eventually, and I was once more wide awake a good few minutes before the alarm went off at 07:30. Mind you, it was more of a struggle to leave the bed this morning than it has been of late.

As I said the other day, I’m not out of the woods quite yet. I’ve just moved into different woods.

normandy warrior baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It took me a while to make a start on work today as well, and that’s something of a change from the last couple of days too.

There was a Welsh lesson this morning so I had to prepare. It’s about this fifth time that I’ve prepared this particular lesson, what with one thing and another.

And it didn’t go as well as I would have liked it to either. I just couldn’t get going this morning.

And it’s half-term next week as well so there are no lessons either. As far as I’m concerned, this is the wrong time to be having a pause, what with my exam coming up in less than 4 weeks’ time. I’m going to have to do better than this if I want a decent result.

After lunch, I had an urgent task to perform.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022On Sunday I forgot to make some fruit bread and then I promptly forgot on Monday too. And so this afternoon, having been living on toast for the last few days I made myself a big batch of fruit buns.

For some reason I ended up with a dollop of dough that was much bigger than usual and instead of making a batch of 8, it made a batch of 12. And it mixed together quite nicely too. In fact, one of the best that I have made.

And so I left it to proof for a while and after I came back from my afternoon walk I baked them in the oven. And they look, and smell delicious too. I can’t wait to sample one for my breakfast tomorrow.

In the cake tin now are enough to last me up to the weekend and the rest are in the freezer.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Anyway, with the dough busily proofing, I wandered off outside for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And as usual, I went across the car park to look over the wall down onto the beach to see what was happening there.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t actually see anyone down there this afternoon. It was actually quite a nice, warm day without very much wind. Just the kind of weather to bring out the crowds, but in fact I couldn’t see a soul.

So I’ve no idea at all where everyone had gone to this afternoon. Presumably they were all watching the fisherman pulling that tiddler out of the water.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And while I was there leaning on the wall I had a look around out to sea to see what was happening there.

Way out in the bay was a trawler – well, at least, I think that it’s a trawler but it has a superstructure like no other trawler that I have ever seen here in Granville. Mind you, it was wandering slowly up and down out there as a trawler might do if it were to have its nets out.

It’s a convention of the sea that a trawler with its nets out has to show a white light as a warning to other maritime traffic but at this kind of distance in daylight I wouldn’t be able to see it.

And as you have probably noticed, it’s another day with really good visibility. You can see the island of Jersey quite clearly in the background.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yes, I mentioned that the view this afternoon was really quite impressive.

Once more, we can see the Ile de Chausey in all of its glory, with the colours being quite clear without all that much enhancing.

But surprisingly, even though we can see for miles, we can’t see any maritime traffic at all out there in the vicinity of the island. Not a yacht, not a cabin cruiser, not a speedboat.

And certainly not one of the ferries. This would have been a really nice day to have gone out there for a walk around the island. But just like the ferries to the Channel Islands – they don’t seem to be doing very much in the way of marketing here. It’s all very well running ferries and the like, but you need to let people know all about them.

cabin cruisers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It wasn’t just out at sea or on the rocks that we had the fishermen this afternoon.

As I walked off along the path towards the end of the headland, a couple of cabin cruisers came around the headland in the other direction. The only thing that sprung to my mind was that they were fishermen looking for a cosy spec for a couple of hours before the tide goes back out.

There were quite a few people on the path this afternoon as well so I had to fight my way around, yet for once there was no-one on the bench by the cabanon vauban. First thime that we’ve ever seen a fisherman pull something out of the water and there wasn’t anyone there to watch it.

yellow autogyro baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Here’s someone who we haven’t seen for quite a while.

We’ve seen the red and the yellow powered hang gliders quite often just recentlly but the yellow autogyro has been conspicuous by its absence. But today while I was walking across the car park at the end of the headland it flew past overhead.

Incidentally, there was something in the newspaper about someone who was 98 going for a flight in one of the light aircraft that operate from the airfield. That had me thinking that if I don’t get a move on and do something, I’ll probably be older than that by the time that I actually take to the air.

gerlean ch640361 nais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Down at the port by the fish processing plant, it looks like we’re having another game of musical ships.

The other day we had L’Omerta and Petite Laura. And then yesterday we had L’Omerta and Gerlean. Today it’s the turn of Gerlean and Nais to hold the fort.

Back here I brushed the bread rolls with milk and brown sugar and then put them in the oven to bake while I came in here with my mug of coffee where I … errr … fell asleep for a few minutes.

And to my surprise, there was nothing on the dictaphone through the night. It looks as if I had a really good sleep for a change, even though it didn’t feel much like it when I awoke.

Tea was a taco roll with the left-over stuffing from yesterday, and it was even more delicious than yesterday.

But now it’s bedtime. Another long, interrupted sleep like last night and I’ll probably feel even worse.

It reminds me of Pyrrus of Epirus, who said after his victory against the Romans at the Battle of Asculum, “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined”

Wednesday 11th May 2022 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

airbus A400m baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… day I’ve had today.

It’s been one of the worst that I’ve had for quite some considerable time, I’m sad to say. So while you admire a few photos of the flight of Airbus A400M aircraft that flew by overhead I’ll tell you all about my sad, sorry tale.

It’s probably something to do with the fact that the medication that I take before I go to bed must have kicked in. i was out like a light almost as soon as my head hit the pillow and that was that. An earthquake could have occurred and a bomb could have gone off but nothing would have awakened me.

airbus A400m baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022The alarm went off at 07:30 and again at 07:45 and again at 08:00 but like Housman’s “Shropshire Lad” who was “One-and-Twenty”, “no use to talk to me”.

The way I was feeling this morning I wouldn’t even have crawled out of bed for Jenny Agutter and Kate Bush, never mind TOTGA, Castor and Zero. It was 10:25 when I finally summoned up the energy to leave my stinking pit, and I was feeling like death.

It goes without saying that there was nothing at all on the dictaphone, and it’s been a long time since that’s been the case. I really was absolutely out of everything last night. And that’s probably the most disappointing part of everything from last night and this morning.

airbus A400m baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Once I’d had my medication and breakfast I came back in here but I was in no fit state to do any work. I spent the morning vegetating all the way up to lunchtime.

For lunch I had the last helping of the leek and potato soup and it was just as delicious as it was when it was fresh. In fact it was probably better with all of the spices having marinaded in.

Just as I was finishing my soup Rosemary rang me up and we had another lengthy chat. She was keen to know how Paris went because we’d talked about it beforehand, and I was keen to hear about her Ukrainian refugees.

But the bad news is that they haven’t arrived. They’ve been caught in a Covid trap and are currently in isolation somewhere along the route.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022After we finished it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk, even if I didn’t feel at all like it.

First stop was the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down onto the beach to see what is happening there.

The weather had turned today. It was a lot cooler than it has been so I wasn’t expecting to see many people out there, even if it was school half-day. And there can’t have been more than a dozen people down there this afternoon.

What did catch my eye though was the couple perched up on the rock just to the right of the steps.

suzanga baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having dealt with all of that I headed off down the path towards the lighthouse.

No Nazguls out there this afternoon but we did have one of the trawlers on her way back in to harbour. She’s Suzanga, the newest of the trawlers in port. We first noticed her coming into port in August last year.

Not very many people on the path either this afternoon. I was pretty much alone out there as I admired the flight of Airbus military aircraft that went flying past out at sea. Far too far out for me to be able to read their serial numbers and not having brought my ‘phone with me, I didn’t have a radar on which to pick them up.

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022My walk took me across the car park to the end but there was no-one today sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban this afternoon so I didn’t wait around.

There wasn’t a great deal of activity out at sea either. We’ve seen Suzanga of course and out in the Baie de Mont St Michel there were a couple of yachts having a bit of a sail around the bay. And that really was about it.

At fist I thought that it was a catamaran and I had tio look twice to make sure.

So I set off down the footpath on the other side of the headland heading towards the port to see what was happening down there this afternoon before I went back home for my drink.

repainting l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There was a great deal of activity taking place in the chantier naval this afternoon and almost all of it was centred around L’Ecume II.

We’d seen it the other day looking in rather a sorry state but they’ve been hard at work having stripped off much of the perished paintwork and primed it. But there’s plenty to go at and they’ll be there for a little while yet smartening her up.

Dodging the classe decouverte walking in a queue-lieu-lieu, or “single file”, I carried on down the path towards the inner harbour because I’d noticed that away in the distance I’d seen Thora, one of the little Jersey freighters, tied up at the quayside.

thora leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022However as I drew closer, she slipped her moorings and headed off towards the gate and the open sea.

As she passed through the gates I ambushed her with the camera and took a photo as she headed off back to Jersey. I’ve not taken a decent photo of her for quite a while.

There wasn’t a great deal of anything else happening so I ended up back at the apartment where I forgot to make myself a coffee. I really must be slipping. It’s not like me to forget to make myself a coffee.

But I didn’t relax for long because I had things to do. I have to do some work today even if I don’t feel like it at all.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having eaten the last of my fruit buns this morning I needed to make some more.

So 250 grammes of flour, some dried fruit, a banana, piles of other stuff (and I forgot the dessicated cocount) all went in there and for a change it all mixed up quite nicely.

When I was satisfied with it I divided it into 9 buns and put them in the oven to bake for 40 minutes. And I do have to say that they look, and smell, delicious.

As for what they taste like, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for me to tell you that. But I do reckon that they will be among the best that I have ever baked.

Tea was veggie balls with steamed veg and vegan cheese sauce and it was delicious. And now I’m going to have another go at going to bed. And hoping for a better morning. I have an appointment with the sports therapist tomorrow so I’d better be up and about quite early for that. No lying about stinking in bed.

Wednesday 26th January 2022 – I HAD A …

… lovely tea tonight, I really did.

Steamed vegetables with vegan veggie balls all tossed in a really nice thick vegan cheese sauce. And for a change the vegetables were cooked to perfection and it really was delicious. I loved every mouthful of it.

fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Breakfast was pretty wonderful too.

Yesterday I forgot to mention that I’d finished the last of the Christmas cake, and what a success that was! Even the icing hardened off after a week or so.

Unfortunately the banana and molasses cake had gone the Way of the West over the last four weeks that it had been standing idle, and so I made another batch of fruit buns first thing this morning after the medication and these have worked really well yet again

It’s just a simple 250-gramme bread recipe but with only 2/3rd water and a very ripe banana mixed in, along with sunflower seeds, dried fruit of all kinds and varieties, desiccated coconut and about 100 grammes of brazil nuts ground into rather a coarse flour.

Of coarse … “he means “of course”” – ed … there will have to be some coarseness involved if I’m doing something, won’t there?

Not much last night though. After the heady and turbulent nights that I’ve had in the recent past with Zero, Castor, TOTGA and a few other of my favourite young ladies coming to join me in my nocturnal rambles for hours and hours on end, last night brought me down to earth with a bump. A guy a know from way back when and I were rewiring a car somewhere using bits of wire but there was a whole wiring harness from another scrap car and I was cutting a whole length of wire out of it (and the times that I’ve done that too in real life!). Someone asked me what I was doing so I explained. They were a bit upset thinking that I’d been doing it in a different way but it seemed pretty reasonable to me. Then I could remember that my father could get hold of wire as well so I told my friend that we were using wire with a blue and grey trace but we could get from my father some yellow and grey trace for it and maybe we should go down there. He asked what time my father was working so I could explained. he said that if I get down there to Church Lawton I could take the car because there’s a misfire that needs sorting out and we can pick up some wire while we’re there. Of course I wondered if he was actually going to be out there and be the one to bring me back. We had a discussion about that but I can’t really remember where we went to after that.

Added to this was that some girl was involved in this but I can’t remember why. There was also something about why were we using this black wire with different-coloured tracing in it when we could have had any-coloured wire from anywhere to do the job and the more wire with higher contrast in it the better.

And what was he doing putting in an appearance in my nocturnal rambles? He was one of these people who had a very volatile character and while we had something of a working relationship back in the 70s and early 80s it fell apart dramatically on 2 occasions, the second time for good.

And if you think that that’s interesting, you ain’t seen nuffink yet. I was taxi-driving last night, going down Market Street and then up the bank in Middlewich Street. There was some excitement when a couple of boys on bikes were blocking my path. I got rid of them. Just then I heard a voice cry “Eric!”. I turned round and it was someone on a moped. The name “Frank” came into my head so I said “hello Frank”. Then I realised that it wasn’t so I said “it’s not Frank, it’s Pete”. He used to be the landlord of a couple of pubs in Crewe but had had some severe mental health issues. I asked him what he was doing now and he replied that he was working as a family counsellor. He was off the drink and had himself properly organised, all this kind of thing. We had quite a chat. I asked where he was living. He said he was living with his aunt, or his mother, or someone else who had a motorbike but they were constantly rowing about things but staying together. Then he said “you’ll remember (a girl’s name) “. I looked and there was a girl there. “Last time you saw her, she was a tiny baby” so I looked and asked “how old are you now?”. “11” she replied but she was quite big for 11 so we had a chat and I had a hug which was very nice and we all started to chat about the old days.

And why did he become involved in my travels too? He was someone who lost his town-centre pub due to a redevelopment project and they transferred him to a different kind of pub on a decaying housing estate and his character didn’t suit the locals at all. The last I heard of him, 40 years ago, he was having some really serious and tragic problems and I haven’t heard a word or even thought about him since.

The reason why there wasn’t as much going on during the night as there has been just recently is probably because I didn’t go to bed until almost 02:00. After crashing out so dramatically yesterday I wasn’t in the least bit tired. But when you have an 07:30 start in the morning, there isn’t much time for voyaging.

There had also been my first nocturnal challenge too – and that was changing the batteries in the ZOOM H1 while I’m asleep and the net result of my experiences is that I’m going to replace my ancient Sony with like-for-like. I can change those batteries in my sleep with no problem.

After the meds I made my fruit buns and then after breakfast I carried on going backwards through the journal to update it to include the missing journeys and photos.

At 12:30 I ground to a halt and went for a shower, followed by lunch. And the pain in my jaw has eased considerably over the last couple of days so I tried some sandwiches instead of soup. And that worked fine today.

Later on I went off and parked Caliburn on the street outside Lidl and walked down for my physiotherapy session. And the exercises that she’s had me doing, I can feel the difference between my left knee and the bad right one. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve broken both my knees once and the right one a second time in motorcycle accidents in my teenage years.

And then the right one a third time in a skiing accident in the 1970s – and next day drove my old BMC HALF-TON VAN all the way back to Winsford from Inverness and it’s not an automatic.

That van, known as “Bill Badger”, could tell a few stories, and you’ve heard a few of them, Alison.

It’s a good job that I went in Caliburn to the physiotherapist because I had a funny turn in Lidl – a week of inactivity hasn’t been kind to me by the looks of things.

The bill in Lidl was enormous, but seeing as I haven’t been shopping for almost 3 weeks it’s not a surprise. But they did have these tactile glove on offer again and they are great for photography in the winter, if I ever get back to the High Arctic, which these days is looking more and more unlikely until I learn to sail.

On the steps I bumped into my neighbour from up above and we had a chat, then I came in here to put away the frozen food, make a coffee and collapse into a chair. That was hard work.

Now that tea is over and the washing up done, I’m off to bed. Despite my bad night I’ve kept going all day which is good news but I still can’t motivate myself. maybe a good sleep might recharge the batteries, but I dunno.

And in any case, as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … what goes on during the night is much more exciting than anything that happens to me during the day and I wouldn’t exchange any of that for anything else – except if it were to happen in real life.

But fat chance of that.

Sunday 3rd October 2021 – I TRIED SOMETHING …

… different today, and by the looks of things, it might have actually worked too.

vegan pizza fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, my fruit bread has been something of a hit-and-miss but today for some reason that I have yet to understand, I ended up with a dough that was one of the best that I’ve ever made.

Consequently, in an attempt to try something rather different, I cut the dough into 8, rolled them into some rather flat discs, and put them on some baking paper on the oven tray.

When they had risen sufficiently I baked them in the oven. And although I haven’t tried them yet, they look and feel really good.

However, I did try the pizza that I baked after the buns, and that really was excellent.

So was my sleep last night. 10:35 when I awoke, and about 11:05 when I finally left the bed. I can do with a few more days like that.

Some stuff on the dictaphone too. I dreamt last night that Lidl had gone bankrupt so I walked from my apartment all the way out there without any problems at all, I should say, and had a look round. They were even giving free coffee to people who were looking around. There was plenty of stuff on sale. I don’t believe that I bought anything. I was following this man and his daughter down the stairs thinking to myself that seeing as I’m going off to somewhere else on Wednesday I’ll go in the van and have a look around the big Lidl that is there to see what bargains they have. There were some headlines in the paper that I was looking at – “1 foot 3 inch baby born again”. There were all these people hanging around the door and we couldn’t leave so I said “do you mind letting the ones born first out of the building so that the others about to be born can come along quicker?”.

With Sunday being a day of rest, I haven’t done a great deal. After a coffee I paired off the music for the next radio programme and that took me nicely up to lunchtime.

After lunch I relaxed for a while with a coffee and then made the dough for my fruit bread. While I was at it I did a little tidying up in the cupboard under the sink. Just a little – I didn’t go mad.

By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021First port of call was the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on.

It wasn’t raining and we actually had some blue sky, and although it was very windy this afternoon, the weather was still good enough to tempt a few people out onto the beach.

But not into the water by the looks of things. It wasn’t that nice. And with the waves coming in like that, then it’s to be expected. No-one wants to be dashed to pieces on the rocks down there by a rather large wave or two.

storm brewing over jersey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021It might have been a reasonable day over here in Granville, but that’s not to say that it was the same everywhere.

Look at that storm over there. Jersey is somewhere underneath that and by the looks of things it taking something of a severe pounding. I’m glad that I’m not out there in that.

Actually, the raincloud stretched all the way from the north-east corner of the Ile de Chausey and then right across to Jersey and beyond into the English Channel. And every now and again as I walked around my circuit, we had a spattering of rain as an extra-strong gust of wind brought some over.

workmen's compound place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a workmen’s compound had been set up in the car park outside here, and I’d promised to go and look at it.

Actually, it’s not all that much of a compound at all. Just some equipment that has been parked here, secured against theft by some red and white plastic tape.

Having a look round, I could see a notice that suggested that it belonged to a company that specialised in “difficult access”. And so I wonder if they are going to be setting up camp with a view to starting repairs on the part of the wall that is crumbling away just here.

If they are, then it’s not before time.

There were a few people around on the path as I made my way around the headland, but there wasn’t any activity out to sea. I reckon that most people had seen the storm and gone back home for a cuppa.

There was the sparrowhawk out there hovering around again but as soon as I pointed my camera at him, he cleared off, as you would expect.

sun reflecting on surface baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And you can tell that the sun is now going much lower in the sky.

For the first time since the summer we were having the reflections of the sun in that water. This isn’t the best that we have ever had of course, but it’s the first of the winter so it deserves to be recorded.

It’s a shame that there was no-one else but me enjoying it. There was no-one else about, not even on the bench down by the cabanon vauban. And there wasn’t even a boat out there either to profit from the afternoon.

yachts le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Mind you, there was a couple of yachts out there around the other side of the headland in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

You only need to look at the sea out there to see exactly what the wind was doing this afternoon. The whitecaps over there look quite wicked when you are battling the elements with a tiny yacht.

It’s actually not very often that we see the wind coming round from that angle. Le Loup is positively swamped in waves.

When I posted a photo a short while ago of the bay, the headland was acting as a really good wind-shadow to the bay with the usual nor’westers but this wind is now blowing from the west today.

waves breaking on harbour wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021With all of this wind surging around in the bay I was expecting to see something rather dramatic on the harbour wall.

However, it was only my hopes that were being dashed. Instead of a bang, it was much more of a whimper. The waves breaking on the wall were quite insignificant, and I had to wait for a couple of minutes even to have something like that.

Meanwhile, in the chantier naval there was nothing of any interest there. No new boats at all, only the dredger sitting there waiting for things to happen.

Had I been feeling better, I’d have gone down for a look. I planned to go there yesterday on my way back from the shops but the rainstorm put paid to that idea.

crane on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Anyway, further around the path, it looks as if I’ve acquired another pet subject to go with pathetic parking, the Birdmen of Alcatraz and the beach at the Rue du Nord.

Not a boat moored at the ferry terminal right now, everyone gone off for the afternoon, and they’ve left the crane arm fully extended, with all of the weight of the arm pressing down on the hydraulic seal.

But that’s their affair, not mine. I came back home for a coffee and for a relax, and left them to it.

After the coffee I kneaded and rolled out the pizza dough that I’d taken out of the freezer earlier, and put it onto the pizza tray ready to assemble.

Then I had the delightful job of peeling, dicing and blanching a kilo of carrots. On Saturday I was jost going to buy a couple and then a couple more in midweek, but why buy loose carrots at €2:19 per kilo when a one-kilo pack of carrots costs €0:79?

The buns went into the oven while I was assembling the pizza and that went in afterwards. Really delicious.

With an early start tomorrow I’m off to bed now. I’m radioing tomorrow of course and then I have an appointment with the physiotherapist. We’ve had a change of day for my appointments.

Friday 25th November 2016 – I’VE BEEN OUT …

… and about this afternoon. But only for a short while because CS Sedan-Ardennes are playing away tonight at Boulogne. And if I had thought on a little earlier, I ought to have enquired to see if there might have been a supporters’ bus going out for the match, and blagged my way on board. It would have been a good day out too.

I’ll have to look into this idea whenever I get back to Leuven, if I ever do.

Despite being tired last night, I found it really difficult to go off to sleep. I just couldn’t make myself comfortable and I’ve no idea why.

But once I was asleep, I was well away and remember nothing – not even anything about a nocturnal ramble of any type – during the night. And I didn’t feel too bad either once I awoke, which makes a change.

Second downstairs for breakfast (before the staff yet again) and first away from the table, and then I attacked my website and the pages on the Coasts of Labrador. And they are all taking shape now.

They have had some serious editing too in places because they were starting to become rather untidy. I must have them being not only interesting, but in logical order too and not have them wandering around too much.

Once I’d organised that, I came down here and carried on with researching some more stuff. I ended up back on the ferries and found, to my surprise, that the MV Apollo, all 46 years of her, isn’t the oldest ferry in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. There’s a ferry, the MV Sound of Islay is even older, being launched in 1968. And she’s been sailing since the earliest 80s on some of the roughest crossings in the world, despite never having been built for ice conditions.

After lunch and a little relax, I nipped out for an hour or so.

The aim was to go across into France and the small town of St Menges for some bread. But I didn’t get very far.

1st panzer division border post st menges france october octobre 2016I drove through the mountains and the woods to St Menges and just a couple of hundred metres across the frontier into France I came across this building – badly-damaged and fenced off.

Where I am is right in the path of the Ist Panzer Division just after they crossed the River Semois at Vresse sur Semois and rushed to outflank the French positions near Sedan by crossing over the River Meuse at Glaire.

You can see how much this building – a border post with pillbox in the basement – has been knocked about by shell fire.

1st panzer division border post st menges france october octobre 2016And not just by shell fire either. The building is thoroughly riddled with rifle and machine gun bullets too.

It was defended heroically by its staff of five soldiers, with whatever arms they had at their disposal, and held up the advance for several hours. But in the end they became the first fatal casualties of the German attack to fall on French soil.

They aren’t the only fatal casualties in the vicinity either.

The Royal Air Force had several hundred Fairey Battle light bombers – totally under-powered and totally overloaded and they were sent in to try to destroy the river bridges in the face of the German advance in order to slow them down.

Of course, they didn’t stand a chance. They were sitting ducks to the German fighters and anti-aircraft guns and of all of the hundreds of Battles sent in to the attack, only a few survived.

beames gegg ross fairey battle L-5581 st menges france october octobre 2016All over Western Belgium and North-Eastern France, there are graveyards with a little corner transformed into a Commonwealth War Cemetery with three graves in it – pilot, navigator, rear gunner.

And in the forest just a couple of hundred metres from where I’m standing, Fairey Battle L-5581 from 88 Squadron RAF crashed into the trees and Sergeant FE Beames (observer), Sergeant WG Ross (pilot) and LAC JHK Gegg (wireless operator/air gunner) were killed.

I shall try tomorrow to find their graves.

sedan france october octobre 2016I continued on over the brow of the hill and had a good look at Sedan down in the valley of the Meuse. Somewhere on that plateau in front of us, the Battle of Sedan was fought in 1870.

This was when a badly-led French Army was overwhelmed by the Prussian forces, a defeat that led to the collapse of the French Empire and the formation of the German Empire, with fatal consequences for Europe on a couple of subsequent occasions.

There’s a new boulangerie opened in St Menges and that had caught my attention. I went in there and bought some bread – they had a beautiful brown whole-grain bread and it was so delicious (I was given a sample) that I bought two (the loaves weren’t all that big), having been assured that it will keep for four or five days.

They also had some small fruit buns, €2:00 for 5 and so I bought a batch of those too for a treat this weekend.

We had some confusion about the price, but that was quickly resolved, and then I came back here. No point going on to Sedan.

Now, I’m off to try the bread and then have an early night yet again.

And hope that I can sleep properly tonight.