Tag Archives: greenock morton

Thursday 20th January 2022 – DAY THREE …

… of my enforced confinement was very much like Day Two; with very little of any kind of note happening at all.

And seeing as I’m not going anywhere, doing anything or seeing anyone is hardly any surprise.

Although I just about beat the alarm to my feet this morning, it was a dreadfully slow start. But there was a reason for that. I’m suffering from a lack of football and my thirst was satiated last night instead of going to bed early.

It’s the Scottish Cup at the weekend and Greenock Morton, a team in which I have an interest since I wrote a newspaper article about the club and its controversial chairman 20 years ago, have drawn Premier League opposition.

In the past, Morton have had four major acts of giant-killing and last night someone strung together a video of the highlights of those four matches and broadcast them on the internet. So I stayed up to watch them – videocam recordings of old 405-line transmissions in the good old days of steam-driven television.

And worth is just to watch ANDY RITCHIE’S MARVELLOUS GOAL that dumped Aberdeen, Alex Ferguson and all, out of the Scottish Cup.

Anyway, having struggled out of bed and having taken my medicine, I came back in here to see how things were with the dictaphone. There was something on there from last night – and about 20 things from the previous few nights. And you can tell how lightly I’m sleeping these days with the volume of stuff that’s on there. This is no deep, profound sleep that I’m having.

But never mind the dictaphone for the moment. I had other things that needed my attention.

As it happens, I’m a member of an organisation that is fighting to defend the SNCF from the onslaught of privatisation that the right wing of the political spectrum is fighting to impose on the rest of the country. And I happened to post a couple of messages relating to a couple of things that related directly to me.

Anyway, to cut a long story short … “hooray” – ed … the organiser of the campaign asked me for dates and times. And that meant going through about 18 months’ worth of blog entries. They were relatively unimportant, minor things so I hadn’t tagged them and that explains the time that it took.

Perhaps I ought to mention in passing that my journal is tagged and indexed. I keep it as a diary and as a reminder because my memory is hopeless, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. I can sing any number of lyrics of songs from the 1960s and 70s totally word-perfect, but ask me what I was wanting when I walked into the kitchen 5 minutes ago …

It also serves other purposes too, as I have probably mentioned in the past.

Then I could turn my attention to where I’d been during the night. As it happened, Nerina and I had another one of our arguments. This time she had a friend with her and it was pretty permanent so she stormed off, leaving me with the business and the dry-cleaner’s to run. All the people wanted assurance that I’d still be open at 09:00 on a Wednesday. I replied “of course”. Then I realised that it was going to be difficult because there was going to be a bus run that I normally did but I didn’t return until 10:00 so I could see that I had about 2 days to organise a pile of changes to make sure that everyone else was happy and that they could have their dry-cleaning when they wanted but it wasn’t going to be easy.

After lunch (I remembered today) I carried on with the entries from yesterday and was actually planning on doing a lot more but I rather sadly fell asleep. And to my surprise, I was off on my travels there too. I was with my brother and someone else. I can’t remember why now but I had some work to do so I set myself up in a room in some kid of village hall place to do it and they wandered off. However I couldn’t settle and when someone came in – a big ugly-looking man rather like Jack Elam, I lost my concentration completely. I went out for a walk to settle myself down. There, I bumped into my brother and the other person. They were angry that I wasn’t working so I invented a story that I was looking for a torch. The third person said that he had one and went to fetch it and they accompanied me back to where I was working while I tried to invent a story as to why I needed the torch. When we arrived back where I was, my brother bumped into this strange man and let out a gasp of surprise and shock which awoke me.

Later on I went for tea. I’m not feeling very hungry right now but I have to go through the motions. There was some stuffing left over from Monday’s pepper so I had a taco roll with some rice.

Rosemary rang me up while I was eating so I called her back and we had a chat. But not for long because my throat gave out.

But the question of food was rather interesting. Last time that I was ill like this was when I was in Minnesota in July 2019 (in the days when we could travel) and I lost 10kg in weight. If I can lose even half of that during this bout of illness I’ll be happy with that and I’ll have gained something.

So now I’m off to bed – at … errr … 02:05. Just as I was thinking of going to bed earlier, Help Yourself came onto the playlist, followed by Quicksilver Messenger Service with the magnificent John Cipollina, Roxy Blue (a vastly underrated band who could have been another Aerosmith or Bon Jovi and whose lead guitarist is now a dentist), followed by Kate Bush. And that’s enough to keep anyone awake, for all kind sof different reasons.

But now that Kansas has come round, I’ll clear off to bed because we’ll end up next with Lone Star (another vastly underrated band featuring Paul “Tonka” Chapman, later of UFO and Jon Sloman, later of Uriah Heep) and I’ll be here all night.

See you in the morning.

Friday 4th September 2020 – IT’S BEEN A …

… rather better day today than yesterday. For a start, I beat the third alarm again. Not by very much, and I was sitting quite groggily on the edge of the bed when it went off, but I beat it nevertheless.

After the usual morning ablutions I had a go at the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

We were staying in the city, something like that, last night. It was winter and I was on this hospital car park for some reason. Someone pointed out to me a dog that had two pairs of shoes on and a man running behind with some kind of paper wrapped round his feet. Apparently he’d been getting the dog out of his car in the snow and the dog had taken his shoes and gone off, leaving him behind. It was some kind of hospital and I had to walk across this car park to do something. Then I realised that I had my own appointment so I carried on. I was carrying a ladder and something else that I’d borrowed from the hospital. I got into the sheltered walkway and came to the door where there was a row of steps going up. When I got there, there was someone I recognised. It might have been someone whom I know from Newfoundland who was the caretaker. I had to give my things back to him. There was another guy on the door. It occurred to me walking across the car park that I didn’t have any form of identity with me, any kind of money. I didn’t have my hospital paper so I don’t know how I was going to talk my way into having my appointment. It was too late to run back to the car now. Anyway when I got there I thought that my Newfoundlander friend would vouch for me and who I am. There was a receptionist guy on the counter and I was about to go up and tell my story to him when I awoke again with yet another bad attack of cramp. I don’t know how many attacks of cramp I’d had during the night but that part of it was quite awful..
At somewhere else during the night I’d been with a guy who I know from a Greenock Morton Football Club internet site. We’d been to watch the game. Morton had started the season very unprepared with quite a few players short. They had been talking about players who the club was signing so I went to the ground. We were all standing around the field watching. the first action was a clearance from one of the defenders that hit a Morton player and the refereee blew for handball. Under the new procedures it wouldn’t have been given so we all had a moan at the referee. The we suddenly realised that we were all encroaching on the pitch so we had to walk back a couple of yards and found a chain link around the ground so we walked further back and put the chain link back up. There was some kind of fence that stopped us seeing much of the game so the two of us walked round behind Morton’s goal to watch the action from down there. There was talk of someone signing from a non-league club. he was supposed to be very thin and very tall. There was a discussion about players initials, some kind of gambling thing where you gambled on who the club would sign based on initials. We were talking about the game and the score was 2-0. I couldn’t find out who is was who had the 2. It looked like Morton as they were doing all of the attacking but I couldn’t be sure.

While I was at it, I transcribed a few more from the backlog from when I was on my travels. It was really hard to do anything while I was away because the computer was just not quick enough to respond and I wasn’t well enough

Another thing that I’ve done this morning is to do some tidying up of the things that I’ve bought. There was more stuff than I thought that I had, including some round rice that I thought that I didn’t have.

One day i’m going to have a major rearrangement of the things on the shelves and make some more space. There’s no need for half of the plastic containers that I have, for a start.

With some time that was left I attacked the photos from my voyage. I didn’t edit anything like as many as I wanted because I ended up with two photos having to track down where I was when I took them.

In the end, one I managed to trace but the second (and one or two that come later) will require much more of a detective effort to work out where I was when I took them.

Another reason why I took so long was that I … errr … closed my eyes for a moment or two.

After lunch, I did some of my Welsh revision and then attacked the new internet course. It took most of the afternoon but I managed to do a whole week’s course today.

It’s true to say that I knew a great deal about the basics of the course and that helped a lot, but I still learnt quite a lot from it.

tractors trailers mussels nets bouchots donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual break in the working afternoon while I went out for my afternoon walk.

Not that I went very far before I was distracted. The tide was quite far out this afternoon and out across the bay at Donville-les-Bains the mussels posts were uncovered.

What I think they are are the posts and strings for the bouchots – the mussels that grow on strings. The tractors and trailers are out there harvesting them.

The advantage that bouchots have over ordinary mussels is that with not being on the ground, they aren’t full of grainy sand so they taste much more natural and don’t break your teeth.

zodiac fishermen pointe du roc english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s not just down on the seafood beds that the ocean is rendering up its harvest – at least, in principle.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few das we have seen several fishermen out there casting their lot into the water. Today, we have a couple of guys on a zodiac coming round the headland.

They have their rods at the ready and it looks as if they will be taking up their positions just off the Pointe du Roc. I wonder if they will have any more luck than anyone else whom I’ve seen.

kids games pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was something extremely curious going on this afternoon on the lawn by the old bunkers at the Pointe du Roc.

The kids, presumably from a local school, where playing a game there. But what caught my eye more than anything else was the absence of masks and the absence of any social distancing.

It’s apparently true to say that kids aren’t as susceptible to the virus than adults (so they say) and don’t suffer as much, but then they all go home and see their siblings, parents, grandparents and neighbours over the weekend.

It seems to me to be pretty short-sighted to exempt kids from the requirements that everyone else is obliged to take. But then, looking at the horrendous casualty figures and the lack of decisive action to prevent or enforce the regulations, it looks as if Western Governments have given up the fight and prepare to sacrifice the population to the God Mammon.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhile we’re on the subject of social distancing … “well, one of us is” – ed … there isn’t much social distancing going on down in the Chantier navale right now.

My walk continued round the headland to the viewpoint there and I could see the latest developments in there. It’s been pretty full with seven boats in there but just the other day we went down to six. However today, we’ve gone back up to seven as another boat has come to join the collection.

Plenty of people down there working on them too. It’s all go in there right now, so it seems. I’m particularly interested with the one on its own on the left in the front of the row of five. They have been spending the last week or so stripping all the paint off it.

bad parking rue st pierre granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I walked along the path and down past the the end of the Rue Saint Pierre, the little street that leads up to the College Malraux.

It’s close to school chucking-out time and you can tell that by the vehicles that are parked half-on, half-off the pavement blocking the path to anyone who would like to walk along the pavement on that side.

When you consider that there’s a huge free car park just 50 metres away from where they are parked, it’s really a shameful situation to see them parked like that.

Anyway, you’re all probably quite fed up of me talking about pathetic parking so I’ll move on back home where I finished the internet course for the week and had my hour on the guitars.

Tea tonight was vegetable balls with steamed vegetables and vegan cheese sauce followed by the last of the rice pudding.

Later on, I went out for my evening walk. There were only two other people out there which is no surprise because it was quite dark.

Nothing was going on round by the rue du Nord so I carried on to the footpath and then ran along there, pushing on 20-odd metres past my limit.

illuminated trees square Maurice Marland granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was nothing happening at the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch so I went over to the Square Maurice Marland and ran all the way along it and up the ramp at the end.

A couple of days ago we saw the lights in there come on and illuminate the trees. They were already on by the time that I reached there, and everything was so much brighter so the photo is better tonight.

With nothing else going on at all, I ran on back home to write up my notes and then have an early night.

Tomorrow it’s shopping day so I need to be on form. I don’t need very much, for once, but I’ll need to remember exactly what I do need.

Saturday 27th April 2019 – A HURRICANE …

… is not the ideal weather in which to be playing football.

It’s even worse when you are standing on the touchline watching the game too. Howling, whining gusts of winds of incredible violence, sudden torrential downpours that drenched everyone through and disappeared before one had time to put on one’s rain gear.

What surprised me was that the match was quite entertaining given the circumstances.

I didn’t feel much like going, though. yet another bad night. Yet another early awakening.

And yet another interesting nocturnal voyage. Last night I was doing my pension calculations. I worked out that I would get about £19:00 per month from the Belgian Government, £19:00 per month from the French Government but then I suddenly realised that i was living in Canada and I was entitled to a small pension from them because I’d been here for a couple of years and been working. That meant that I would be entitled to about £57:00 per month. I thought that that was fine because if I were very careful I could live on that. Of course everyone ridiculed this and said that it can’t be done, but one girl sitting at this table in the café said that there were loads of other things that I could do to raise money – for example she picked the entire crop of tea in the whole of Canada, to which I thought “I bet that it doesn’t take you long, does it?” because there isn’t all that much there at all. We were sitting outside what used to be a café but had closed down and the sign had been practically painted over. Someone was giving me some food – two cheese and onion sandwiches cut into triangles and put in a plastic bag and they went to give me the plastic bag. They said “hang on a minute – where’s your tray?” so I went over to where I had been sitting. “Ohh it’s over there is it?” they said and gave me this pack of sandwiches.

I was wide awake when the alarm went off at 06:00 but it was more like 06:45 when I left the stinking pit. Medication, breakfast and then a shower, and I was ready for the shops.

storm place d'armes granville manche normandy franceBraving the tempest raging outside, I made it to Caliburn ready to head to LIDL.

And you can see just how violently the storm was raging. You can actually see a wave of storm moving across the image of the photograph here.

I was glad that I was only out there for a matter of 30 seconds while I ran across the car park, and not actually having to walk to the shops.

After LIDL I went next to Noz and then to LeClerc. And all in all, I bought next to nothing and spent about €25:00 in all.

On the shopping list today was an aubergine. I’ve run out of aubergine and kidney bean whatsit so it’s time to make some more. I’s probably going to be an idea for me to spend one evening a week cooking some mega-meal, like a curry or a giant pie or an apple tart or something, parcel it up into individual-sized portions and freeze the portions. But then, how about me getting organised? I must be getting older.

Back here, I put the frozen food away and then crashed out for 20 minutes on the chair. Feeling the strain early in the day, I am.

Once I’d recovered myself, I put the shopping away and that took me nicely up to lunch. Once again, indoors in view of the horrendous weather.

This afternoon I had plenty of things to do but ended up as usual being side-tracked. I was having a little 10-minute play around with my 3D program and ended up running off down a long alleyway with a little application that I had discovered.

As well as that, I had an eye on the live updates for two football matches being played this afternoon. Crewe Alexandra came back from being dead and buried at 3-1 to run out 4-3 winners against Forest Green Rovers, and Morton scored a late winner at Dunfermline to escape relegation. Morton have in fact won more points in their last two matches than they have won in the previous two months.

At 18:15 I headed off to the football. The weather had improved in that the rain had stopped. But I wasn’t taking any chances and took my waterproof gear with me in the small rucksack.

There was a little deviation on my route. I had run out of that caffeine-based energy drink and that is what I use sometimes to lift me up when I’m flat out. I’d forgotten to buy any today but as LIDL was open and I was early I popped in for a few cans.

football us mouettes de donville us percy cite des ports granville manche normandy franceAt the football, USM Donville were playing US Percy. I noticed quite a difference in the stature of the players on the field. The Donville players looked as if they were 11 ordinary people whom you might find on any street anywhere, whereas the Percy players looked more like athletes.

Nevertheless, on the field they were quite evenly matched and despite the wind it was an entertaining game. Donville had a n°9 playing up front who had some skill but was pretty much a lightweight easily pushed off the ball.

After 30 minutes, the Donville player pulled off a midfielder, pulled the n°9 back into a rather attacking midfield position, and sent on a substitute to play up front. He didn’t have the skill, but was much more aggressive and the game picked up.

Percy, playing against the wind, took the lead but Donville soon pulled back to level.

After the break, the second half was a game of two quarters. At first Percy had the ascendency and scored a second goal. But later in the game Donville gained the upper hand.

The n°12 playing up front got himself into some good positions. Had he had someone playing up front with him, something may well have come of them. He was quite unlucky with two good chances that he had too.

Not only that, had the ref not been unsighted and had the incident happened on the side of the field where the linesman could have seen it, Donville might have been awarded a penalty for a handball in the penalty area.

So 2-1 to Percy, which was rather unfair on Donville but these things happen in football.

On the way back, I was caught in a torrential downpour and by the time I had struggled into shelter to put on my waterproof trousers I was soaked to the skin and the downpour had passed.

Back here and hungry, I fancied something different for tea rather than a tinned meat.

So I cooked some pasta and when it was done, drained it off, added a big handful of frozen spinach, some garlic, some ground pepper and olive oil and warmed it all right though. The secret of course is not to overcook the spinach. That’s how you kill off all of the vitamins and minerals.

Once it was thoroughly warmed through I added a big handful of grated vegan cheese and stirred it all around.

That was probably the most delicious instant meal that I have ever eaten.

So now I’m off to bed. Tomorrow is Sunday and a lie-in I hope. I need a decent sleep, a good relax, and the will and energy to get myself back on track. My life is running away with me and I can’t seem to catch it up.

Sunday 21st January 2018 – TODAY WASN’T …

… the day that I wanted either.

We started off with another depressing night where it took me ages to go off to sleep. And then I was awake again just before 07:00. Mind you I’d been on my travels during the night. Or, rather, someone else had. One of the football clubs whose results I always check is Greenock Morton in Scotland and someone from the club came to see me and chatted for three hours to me about the future plans of the club, all of which were very interesting.

But never mind 07:00 – it was more like 08:30 when I crawled out of bed – mainly for the reason that any male of my age will immediately recognise.

After medication and breakfast, I vegetated for quite a while (well, it IS Sunday) before I did anything. And when I felt like it, I put away the washing that had been drying in front of the radiator for a couple of days.

And having spent a couple of days looking for the little laptop that I take with me on my travels and which I couldn’t find it, I cme across it, in its little portable carry-case. What a silly place to leave it, hey?

Much of the day has been spent going through another portable external drive that I came across on my travels and discovering another pile of unsorted photos on there that relate to one of my trips to Canada.

They’ll need to be sorted at some time or other but I couldn’t face it this afternoon.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Going through the box that I was unpacking, I found two new ink cartridges. I’m hoping that they are for the Hewlett Packard that I have here (I can’t think why else I would have brought them from the farm) and they don’t look much like the old Canon stuff to me.

There should have been a football match at St Pair-sur-Mer this afternoon but with the depressing weather continuing, I decided to give it a miss. If last night’s games were called off everywhere I couldn’t see this match taking place with the additional downpour this morning and it’s a long way to go to find out.

But I’ve been for my two walks today all the same, and got myself pretty wet too in the process. It looks as if it’s never going to stop, doesn’t it?

And for tea, another pizza. And I’m going to have to stop buying the bases at LIDL. Last week’s was rolled backwards so it took all kinds of effort to get it out of the packet, and this week’s wasn’t any better and ended up being quite a mess. I’ll have to bite the bullet and buy the expensive stuff from LeClerc.

So back to work tomorrow, and I need to continue to write the pile of letters that are awaiting me. I’m out on Tuesday so I want to have as many as possible done for then so that I can post them off.

I shall take full advantage of this printer while it’s still working.