Tag Archives: helicopter

Monday 11th October 2021 – WE’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… amusing exchange of family correspondence today.

Someone sent me a copy of a family tree and my attention was drawn to a name – Brian – in this family tree.

And so I sent a mail “Your “Brian” – is that the Denis Bryan Ashness-Wells who was born on 1 April 1915, father Francis George Ashness-Wells age 31 and mother, Alice Charlotte Frances Stuart “Elsie” Beavis, 38 who died in 1968, in Hillingdon, London, England, United Kingdom, at the age of 53?”.

The reply that I received was “That’s where you have me at a disadvantage. I find a document, show you the document then you ask me if it matches information you have that I’ve never seen. Not a game I want to play.”.

This reply is from someone who has complained to me in the past (like a couple of days ago) that I haven’t shared any information with him, despite the fact that he hasn’t spoken to me in over 20 years. So when, of course, when I do share some information with him, he goes totally berserk.

You really can’t make up nonsense like this, can you? And to think that I had to put up with behaviour like that for all these years until I became fed up, emigrated and left them all behind.

Some people need to go and lie down in a darkened room and double their dose. The rest of us had grown out of behaviour like this by the time we left Primary School.

But anyway, I digress.

Last night I was in bed rather later than I hoped and the night wasn’t a particularly good one, but I still managed to stagger out of bed when the alarm went off at 06:00.

After the medication and having checked my mails and messages, I attacked the radio programme. And despite a pause for a coffee and another one for breakfast, the programme was all done and dusted and ready to go by 11:15.

Of course I had to listen to it and also the one that I’ll be sending off for broadcast this week. And this week, they both went off without any issues – not like last week of course.

While I was listening to them, I was carrying on with this slow project of checking the duplicates of images that I have on the computer, and another few GB have bitten the dust right now.

After lunch I had a shower and a general clean-up and dealt with some stuff for my other radio project while I waited for the nurse to come to give me my injection.

Eventually I found out that he had already been, while I was in the shower and I’d missed him. So he told me that he’ll be round this evening.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021That meant that I could finally go out for my afternoon walk so I headed off towards the wall at the end of the car park.

Being rather later than usual, the tide was much farther in than you would expect, and the little spit of sand down there was quite prominent. I’ve never seen it quite as clearly as this before.

And there was no-one on the beach down there this afternoon. It’s later than normal and not as warm as it was at the weekend, but still pleasant enough for anyone who wanted to go for a walk along the foreshore.

red powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was looking down on the beach, a familiar noise up above attracted my attention.

As I watched, around the corner from behind the College Malraux came out own friend the red powered hang-glider that we have seen quite regularly over the past few days.

He came flying by and headed straight out across the bay in the direction of the airfield, presumably to go in to land.

Having watched it disappear out to sea, I headed off on my walk along the path on top of the cliffs.

men fishing from zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was looking out to sea, I happened to notice that there was something out at sea.

A closer look showed me that it was a zodiac, and in it were a couple of fishermen dangling their rods into the water in the hope of catching something for supper.

At this point I had another phone call to answer so I couldn’t see whether they actually managed to catch anything, but if the past is anything to go by, it was unlikely.

But once the ‘phone call ended, I carried off on my walk towards the lighthouse, fighting my way through the crowds of people who were on the path.

people on bench men fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021At the lighthouse I walked down the path and across the car park down to the end of the headland.

There was plenty of excitement down there this afternoon. Today, we have two couples sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban looking out to sea.

What they were looking at was difficult to say because there was nothing whatever going on out in the bay and across to Cancale this afternoon

There was also a couple of fishermen standing on the rocks down there with their rods and lines. But I didn’t wait here either to see if they actually managed to catch anything. I headed off down the path.

yacht les epiettes chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down the path I came to the viewpoint overlooking the port and the chantier naval.

The yacht is still there, but the trawler Pescadore has gone back into the water. She wasn’t in there for very long.

In her place we have the little boat that is painted in French Government colours. She’s called Les Epiettes and we had a very close encounter with her when we were on board the Spirit of Conrad last summer.

She’s been hanging around the bay for quite a while subsequently and has been in and out of the port a few time, although I haven’t actually found out yet what she does.

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was at the viewpoint overlooking the Chantier naval, I glanced over at the ferry terminal to see what was happening.

This afternoon we had a full house of Ile de Chausey ferries moored up over at the terminal. From left to right, we have the newer one of the Joly France boats with the smaller upper deck superstructure, and in the centre is the brand-new Belle France.

And then on the right is the older one of the two Joly France ferry with the windows in “landscape” format.

And they have finally collapsed the jib on the crane and folded it back up again after all of this time at full extension.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was on my way back home I was overflown yet again.

This time there was another helicopter going by overhead, a red one this time, different from the one that we saw yesterday.

Back home again I made myself a coffee and then sat down to do some work but instead I had a phone call from Rosemary and we had another lengthy chat, putting the world to right.

After our call finished, I went to make a curry with all of the bits and pieces that were lying around but I was interrupted by the nurse, and this injection was painful for a change.

While I was at it, I told him that I’d been notified that I have the right to a booster injection 6 months after my second injection, so that means with effect from any time now.

The information told me that a nurse can do it, so I asked him f he could administer it when he comes in 2 weeks time. He’ll bring one with him, he told me.

The curry was delicious, as was the scoop of ice cream that I had afterwards as I’d run out of soya dessert.

Now that my notes are complete I’ll have a little relax and then go to bed. I have my Welsh class tomorrow and I need to be on form. And then I have some errands to run in town tomorrow.

Sunday 10th October 2021 – CONSIDERING THAT SUNDAY …

… is supposed to be a Day of Rest and I’m not supposed to be working, I’m flaming well exhausted after everything that I’ve done today.

The day started really well too. I finally had what I’d been hoping for several days now and had a really decent, uninterrupted sleep from about 00:45 right the way through to 09:35 without even a flicker.

And staying in bed vegetating for another hour or so was exactly what I needed to do as well.

After the meds I came in here and checked my mails and messages, and then I paired off the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be doing tomorrow.

That took me up to lunchtime, following which I had a little clean-up in the kitchen to try to make it look a little more presentable.

Back in here, I printed out my rail tickets and then shock! Horror! I did some tidying up.

There have been papers all over the place for the last couple of months, stuff that I have to keep on moving so I can sit down or go to bed or whatever. Anyway today, I sorted right the way through them and filed away the important ones and filed the rest under “CS”.

There were some expenses from various sources for which I need to seek reimbursement and I set them on one side for scanning, but I ran out of time.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There’s quite a change from yesterday in the amount of beach available this afternoon.

That shows you really just how quickly the tide comes in around here. But there were plenty of people down there sunning themselves, and no surprise because it was a nice sunny day this afternoon.

Not as much wind as of late either either. We seem right now to be having a little Indian Summer since the storms, and I wonder how long we can keep it up.

Robin DR400-160 F-HGSM pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was out there looking at the beach, an aeroplane came flying in towards the airport.

She’s one that we have seen before – on the 2nd of April this year in fact. F-HGSM, a Robin DR401-160 owned by the Aéroclub Des Grèves Du Mont Saint Michel down the road at Avranches.

Once more, she hasn’t filed a flight plan, and she’s not been picked up on radar either so I’ve no idea of her route or anything else about her today. She’s being extremely mysterious.

helicopter 34-ACI pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There was nothing whatever going on out at sea this afternoon so I carried on along the path fighting my way through the hordes of people out there.

While I was doing so I heard the sound of an unsilenced rotary engine overhead. On looking up (yes, things are looking up here) I saw that I was being oveflown by a helicopter.

The nice weather this afternoon has made someone take out his chopper and go for a good run around. And even though I can see her registration number – 34-ACI – I couldn’t find out anything at all about her.

red powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And that wasn’t all either.

As I rounded the corner to head down the path towards the car park, something else came over going the other way.

This afternoon, we have once again the company of the red powered hang-glider, this time heading on its way out to sea rather than back home as we saw it yesterday.

But me, I was heading down to the end of the headland to see what was going on. and the answer to that was “nothing”. No crowds of volunteers, no boats, no-one sitting on the bench at the cabanon vauban and no-one skiving off on the roof of the old German observation post.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Instead, I wandered off down the other side of the headland towards the port.

No change in occupancy in the chantier naval so I had a good look over towards the ferry terminal. And once again, they’ve gone off for the weekend and left the gib of the crane fully extended. All that weight resting on the hydraulic seals.

Down there tied up at the terminal is Belle France, the very newest of the three ferries that do over to the Ile de Chausey. One of the others is tied up in the inner harbour so the third one is probably over at the island.

workmen's compound boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the way back, I stopped for a look down at the workmen’s compound in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

Things seem to be hotting up in there right now. The piles of gravel that they deposited at the side of the road now have dried out and as well as the white digger that we had before, there’s a large yellow one.

When I come back from Leuven next weekend, I’m expecting to see a few changes down there such as some actual work being done.

Back at the apartment I made myself a coffee and then came back in here to sort out the stuff that I’m taking to Leuven.

This time I’m taking a larger suitcase, simply because it’s easier to manoeuvre and there’s more room to bring things back in it if necessary instead of struggling with a collection of carrier bags.

Everything has been stripped down to the bare minimum too and I’m taking a lot less with me than I usually would. I imagine that it’s still going to be a struggle and I wish that it wasn’t.

While I was at it, I backed up my memory stick with files for the last two months. Last month’s back-up was done in a hurry and wasn’t complete so I made sure that I had time this afternoon to do it.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Earlier in the afternoon I’d taken out the last pizza dough from the freezer to defrost.

Later on i rolled it out and then assembled my pizza ready for baking. After all, what is a Sunday without a pizza?

Especially a delicious pizza like this one turned out to be. It really was nice, one of the best that I’ve made for quite a while.

And now even though it’s early, I’m off to bed as I have an early start in the morning. There’s stuff on the dictaphone from last night but that can stay on there for now as I don’t have time to do it.

Tomorrow I’m radioing so I need to be on form. And about time too.

Sunday 12th September 2021 – I KNOW THAT YOU …

… have been sitting on the edge of your seats, gripping tightly with eager anticipation waiting for me to tell you what was going on under the marquees that we saw yesterday.

And so this afternoon on my walk around the headland I went for a closer look, only to find that like Longfellow’s “humbler poets”, they have folded “their tents, like the Arabs, and as silently steal away”.

Gone! And never called me “mother”!

hang glider touches down pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Someone who was not as fortunate as to “steal silently away” was one of the Birdmen of Alcatraz

As I was walking on the path around the headland this afternoon, I was there to actually watch him come to grief as his Nazgul ran out of wind near the lighthouse and he silently descended to earth.

He wasn’t able to relaunch himself either in the time that it took me to walk up there. It seemed that his guy wires had become tangled and he was busy trying to untangle them. Whether he did so or not I don’t know

hang glider overhead pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021His colleagues, however, were having no such difficulty.

All through the afternoon they were whizzing by overhead without the slightest hint of a problem, just like the one overhead right now. It was just the other one who was having issues with the wind and his Nazgul.

The problems that I was having this morning though were of another kind. Like not being able to have a decent sleep for one reason or other. Most of the night was spent tossing and turning in bed.

With having problems sleeping, I was up and about by 09:30 which is quite early for a Sunday. I even had a slice of fruit loaf for breakfast after my medication.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too. I don’t remember much about this first bit except that there was a mother and a young daughter who had gone off somewhere to the seaside. Something happened and the mother was on her own. Someone said something to her like “if you think that that is bad you should see the antics that your daughter is getting up to”. I don’t remember any more about this, but what was interesting was just before I went to bed a few of us were chatting on the internet about exactly this subject – a mother and daughter who we all knew (well, we knew the mother anyway) who had gone to Llandudno for the weekend.

Later on there was some kind of walk doing on from Paris where everyone was walking different points of the compass. I was walking out to the west so I set out and was loading loads of diesel into one of the Mk111 Cortinas. It was really thirsty and really drinking it. I don’t know what was the matter and neither did anyone else. I thought “this isn’t going to be any good” so I set off and walked all the way outside Paris into the countryside. The first night was going to be spent at my house. I’d just moved house into a new modern house and none of my furniture would fit. It was all thrown in everywhere, paper all over the floor and it was really untidy. I thought that I was going to have to sort all of this out again. I set out on the second day and ended up losing everyone. I was on my own walking and night was falling. I walked down a hill where these roadmen were fitting all these cobbles. They were talking about what a good job they were doing compared to the one done underneath where they were working. Eventually I found my friends, all asleep and getting ready to awaken for the next day’s walk. As for the house I’d only just arrived. I was tired, everything like that and I really didn’t fancy going back out straight away to carry on this walk without having had a sleep.

The next plan was to do a little (only a little) tidying up as I was expecting company. And once the place was looking a little more respectable I spent the rest of the time, would you believe, editing the photos from Greenland in August 2019.

Yes, I’ve started on the outstanding arrears again, after all this time.

After lunch my invitee came round and we had a very interesting chat about my project for the radio. He seems to be quite enthusiastic about the idea and so when we have our next quarterly meeting (sometime round about the end of September) we’ll discuss it with the others and see what they can come up with.

red autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021After he left, it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

And I hadn’t even left the building when I was interrupted by the noise of something going by overhead.

It’s our old friend the red autogyro that has been for an afternoon out over the bay to have a good look around, taking a passenger with him.

One of these days I’ll have to blag myself a ride on it, or on the yellow autogyro that we see quite regularly too. I bet that the view from 500 feet is pretty spectacular. It looked pretty good from 25,000 feet when I flew overhead on a scheduled flight a few years ago.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So, without any further ado, I wandered off to have a look at the beach to see who was about.

The tide was well out this afternoon so there was quite a lot of beach to be on. Crowds and crowds of them.

Quite a few in the water as well, and why not? Beautiful blue skies and beautiful blue waster – it was a gorgeous day today with not a great deal of wind about (as our friend the Birdman of Alcatraz whom we met earlier will testify.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So that was the situation lower down on the beach at the water’s edge. What about the situation higher up?

Round by the steps that lead down from the Rue du Nord there were quite literally dozens of people, nestled in their own little nook and cranny in the cliffs out of the wind. A perfect sun-trap.

It actually made me quite envious and I felt like going down there to join them. But the trouble is that I doubt that I could climb back up the steps afterwards when it was time to come home.

repairing medieval stone wall place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From here, there was a pretty good view of the work that they were doing on the medieval city walls at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

They have made some progress at what they have already done so far, but I was more interested in what they were doing with the scaffolding.

It’s not a true “flying scaffolding” because you can see that in places is actually anchored to the ground but it’s still going to be a work of art.

The green railings that you see are those that go around the gate in the walle and on the left of the image you can see the path that leads down from the gate and underneath the walls.

la cancalaise english channel France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I’d been looking around at the beach, I’d also been looking out to sea as well.

There was almost nothing out at sea this afternoon, not even any fishermen, except for this familiar shape out there all alone in the English Channel.

With masts and sails like that, it can only be either La Granvillaise or La Cancalaise and my money is on the latter seeing as she’s right out there in between the Ile de Chausey and the Pointe de Grouin and heading towards land.

st helier jersey Eric Hall photo September 2021The view out to sea today was absolutely excellent and you could see for miles.

Even the houses on Jersey were visible with the naked eye, and with the NIKON D500 and 70-300mm LENS they really came out very well.

But despite how clear they might be, I can still only recognise a couple of them from here. But not to worry, I have a cunning plan to deal with that issue which will be put into operation in early course (I hope) if things go according to plan.

n81fm Mooney M20R Ovation - M20P pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was walking along the path towards the lighthouse and the grounded Nazgul, a, aeroplane went by out in the bay.

She’s one whom we haven’t seen before as far as I can tell. She’s a Mooney M20R Ovation – M20P carrying the registration N-81FM which, if my memory serves me correctly, is a British registration number. So what she’s doing here I don’t know.

She arrived at Granville this morning at 11:49 having been picked up by radar at Etampes at 10:22. When she took off from Granville she stayed pretty low because it wasn’t until 16:46 that she appeared on the radar, somewhere near Flers. And she disappeared off the radar near Etampes at 17:33.

And how I wish that these planes would file flight plans.

Apart from the Birdman of Alcatraz there was nothing else happening along the path so I cleared off across the lawn and the car park.

helicopter baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I did so, something else went buzzing by overhead.

Someone has had his chopper out this afternoon and it went flying by overhead. With it being silhouetted against the sun it was very difficult to see what colour it was but I think that I could see red and yellow paintwork on the fuselage.

That seems to indicate that it might be the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter that is based out near Donville les Bains.

There wasn’t anything happening out there in the bay this afternoon either. So rather disappointingly I fought my way through the crowds (yes, there were crowds) and went down the path on the other side.

tidal creek port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Here’s something that i’ve never seen before, and i’ve no idea why.

This is exactly what a “tidal creek” would look like on some mudflats somewhere in a tidal estuary and while there are one or two little water courses around the harbour area, there isn’t one just here

So I’m totally bewildered as to how come this has suddenly appeared this afternoon, and what has caused it. It’s almost as if an earthquake has occurred.

No change in occupancy at the chantier naval today, so I came on home for my banana smoothie.

This morning I’d taken one of the frozen pizza doughs out of the freezer and it had been defrosting.

Once it had warmed up I kneaded it, rolled it out and put it on the pizza tray to proof for a while.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021When it had risen sufficiently I assembled my pizza and put it in the oven to bake.

And here’s the finished product. It really does look nice and it tasted even better. And it would have been even better still had I remembered to put the diced peppers on it as well.

So that’s the end of my weekend. rather a productive one too. I’ve no idea why but it seems that the for the last few days I’ve been feeling more like my old self.

Of course, one swallow doesn’t make a summer as we all know, so I don’t want to start crowing too soon, but with another injection due tomorrow, I might actually be feeling more like going to leuven on Wednesday than I have done just recently.

But I’ll let you know more about that tomorrow because I’m off to bed. I have a radio show to prepare in the morning too.

Saturday 14th August 2021 – I WENT TO …

public indoor market Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… do my important shopping in the indoor market in the town centre this morning.

There wasn’t all that much that I needed today – just some mushrooms and some fruit, so it wasn’t worth taking Caliburn and going all the way out to the shops on the edge of town. A nice brisk walk to the market and back will do just as well.

Mind you, the prices are quite expensive – much more than you might think – and the quality isn’t as good either which is rather a surprise.

But at least I now have the mushrooms for the pizza tomorrow evening.

It makes a change not to go out to the supermarket on a Saturday – it means that I’m not in so much of a rush in the morning.

Not that I had a lie-in, of course. I was up and about as soon as the alarm went off at 06:00

After the medication I came back into my nice tidy bedroom to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I started off with a great big rambling dream about boats, things like yachts and sailing ships defending the bay against all kinds of things coming in here but it was long and complicated and I can’t remember any of it now which is a shame.

A little later on I was tidying my apartment. It started off as being a real mess but I was fed up and so I began to make a start on it. By the time that I’d finished it was looking a lot better, and i’d actually found four shillings and sixpence so it was quite a profitable venture. The only thing that worried me was whether I could keep it like that. Tidying up my bedroom yesterday has clearly traumatised me beyond belief, hasn’t it? There was my family of course and they were due to come round. I was asking about where they lived and they lived in a white building with blue paintwork and so on. It was a block of flats, a nice building so I thought “what is my family doing living in a place like that?”. They were going through the members of the family and there was a guy called Dhony and apparently he was one of the grandchildren’s boyfriends. He was a “Nene”. I was wondering what a “Nene” was and it turned out that it was another name for a refugee.

It was another morning where I took a good hour or two to get going after all of that. I might not actually have crashed out but it was as good as – I wasn’t able to do very much. In fact when I recovered I could barely find the energy to make a coffee.

Eventually it was time to go out. The tide will be well in by now, I reckon and in any case it’s as good a time as any to go to the shops.

la granvillaise marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWalking down to the sea wall this morning Icould see that we were going to be in for another excellent morning’s viewing today.

Out there at sea in the Baie de Mont St Michel are the two ships that are, I suppose, the stars of our port – la Granvillaise to the left and Marité to the right.

And the first thing that I noticed was that with the sun behind them shining through the sails, it looked as if the sails were illuminated, with the rest of the boats being in the shadows. It was quite an eerie effect.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I wasn’t allowed to go musing on that for too long.

While I’d been photographing the to ships I’d missed the departure of one of the Joly France ferries from the ferry terminal. But now she’s well on her way to the Ile de Chausey, sailing past Le Loup, the marker light on the rock at the entrance tot he harbour.

She has quite a crowd of people on board her this morning too. It looks as if it’s going to be a busy day over there on the Ile de Chausey, and they certainly have the weather for it.

artistic patterns in the water port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe Joly France ferry wasn’t the only boat to be leaving harbour as I was watching the morning’s events unfold.

There was a group of people who had clambered into some kind of motor boat that was moored in the harbour and while I watched, they cast off and shot off for the wild blue yonder.

And in doing so they described a beautiful circle in the water. It was quite an impressive artistic design and lingered on for quite a while before the currents reacted and took it away.

Meanwhile, the need for mushrooms for tomorrow’s pizza took me away into the town centre and the market building.

grandstand port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way down the hill in the Rue des Juifs, I went past the viewpoint overlooking the loading bay at the port.

That which we saw yesterday down there is cetainly a grandstand of some description and the fact that there’s some kind of advertisement for a local media company facing it implies that there is some kind of live performance connected with it.

Now you are going to ask me what that square compound thing id behind the grandstand, aren’t you? Well unfortunately I don’t have an answer for that and I’m not even able to speculate.

helicopter port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt this particular moment I was overflown by an aerial craft. I was wondering when this might happen.

And having talked for two days consecutively about the yellow autogyro that flies overheard occasionally the sound of a pulsing motor filled me full of optimism..

Someone had indeed taken out his chopper for a bit of airing this morning but it’s not the one that we were expecting. It’s not the yellow autogyro at all but a civilian model with a twin-boom tail that I ought to recognise and probably will as soon as I’ve pressed “publish” on these notes.

Fighting my way through the throngs of people on the market I purchased what I needed and then headed back up the hill towards home.

marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOur two ships, La Granvillaise and Marité had now quite happily done their separate ways.

Marité, having done a couple of laps around the Baie de Mont St Michel was now going past the ferry terminal and the entrance to the port on her way out to the Baie de Granville and the open sea.

It’s not as if she’ll be going far though for with the harbour gates only being open for less than four hours at a time, she’ll need to be back home pretty quickly.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs for the gates that guard the Port de Plaisance where la Granvillaise lives, I’ve no idea about their arrangements.

She seems to be happy enough today staying out in the Baie de Mont St Michel in the company of a couple of other smaller boats that are with her

These other boats will of course be looking for the good photo opportunities that the bigger ships can provide and that might be an idea for me to consider in the future, whenever that might be.

coelacanthe tiberiade port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday we saw the big trawler Le Coelacanthe come into port and I suspected that her little sister Le Tiberiade wouldn’t be too far away

We weren’t lucky enough to see her come into port but this morning they are both there moored in their usual place at the back of the Fish Processing Plant.

When they are together like this, you can tell them apart. Le Coelacanthe has the boom on the roof of the bridge and there are wings to her bridge where her name is written. Apart from that and their size (Le Tiberiade is slightly smaller) they are pretty much identical.

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow that Marité has gone over to the other side, as it were, I wander off over there to check up on what she’s going.

And she really does make a beautiful photograph as she sails past my spec up here on the cliffs, with every square inch of sail fully extended to catch the breeze. I bet that she didn’t put that much canvas out in the Roaring Forties.

She has her little dinghy being towed behind, and as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … the dinghy wouldn’t be able take as many people in an emergency as she has on board right now.

brittany ferries armorique english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut never mind the Marité right now, there’s something much more exciting going on out at sea.

Away in the distance out in the English Channel there was a rather large blob moving about on the horizon so I took a photo of it to enhance when I returned home.

And it’s worked out so well (which makes a change when I enhance something at that distance) that we can actually read her owner’s name on the side of the hull.

The fact that she’s a Brittany Ferries ship makes it easier for me to check the register of ships leaving St Malo just now and so I can tell you that she’s Armorique of 30,000 tonnes and launched in 2009, on her way to Portsmouth.

She holds a very unique distinction, being to only Brittany Ferries ship to have visited all the ports from which the company operates.

condor voyager english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd meantime, my riving eye has picked out something else exciting away in the diatance, on the other (eastern) side of the Channel Islands.

This photo hasn’t enhanced so well, probably due to the extra distance, which is a shame, but there can’t be many things that big out there in the English Channel within a cockstride of the port of St Helier.

And sure enough, a quick review of the register of ships leaving St Helier tells me that at 09:17, just 20 (adjusted) minutes before this photo was taken, the superfast ferry Condor Voyager who we have seen quite a lot just recently, set out from the port on her way to Poole.

ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe skies were certainly clear enough this morning and the view stretched for miles.

Once more the colours on the Ile de Chausey were magnificent. The lighthouse was standing out really clearly today and we could see all of the individual houses that were scattered around the island could be seen quite clearly too.

And as for the water-borne traffic, how much of that would you like? You can’t move out to sea this morning because of all of the boats. part from the few in the foreground, there must be a couple of dozen floating away around the island.

training ship belem english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was out there today, I think that I might have solved one little mystery that’s been puzzling us for a few days.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have been seeing a mystery sailing ship out at sea and I’ve no been able to identify her clearly. It’s not easy, because for example even Marité is still described officially as a “fishing vessel” which was her former occupation.

But today’s clear weather gave us the best view yet of the mystery vessel out in the English Channel, and the fleet radar told me that on that very spot is the training vessel Belem, a 170-footer out of St Malo and whose shape bears a very similar resemblance to this one.

unidentified aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt this point I was overflown yet again.

Well, actually, I wasn’t, because the aeroplane here was too far out in the Baie de Granville – so far out in fact that I couldn’t even read the registration number on the side of her fuselage.

According to the flight log the only aeroplane that took off from the airfield at round about this time was F-GBAI but if this is she, then she must have undergone a dramatic re-paint job overnight since we saw her yesterday. So I’m reserving judgement on this.

english channel belle france armorique baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeantime, I’d been holding my fire over a certain photo because there was a chance for some symbolism to creep into one of my pictures.

By now, Armorique is on the point of creeping behind the Ile de Chausey and just at that moment, a boat that I reckoned to be one of the Ile de Chausey ferries and which I later found out to be the very new Belle France sprung into view out of the shadow of the island.

The contrast between “little and large” ferries made for a nice photograph even if there wasn’t a great deal that I could do at that kind of distance.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhat was really ironic about all of this activity in the baie de Granville this morning, there was plenty of scope for irony.

Here, with all kinds of pleasure craft of every description whizzing past, a small fishing boat was actually out there working quite sedately, taking no notice whatsoever of what else was going on around him.

But now I was going to take no notice of anything else because I’d been out for so long and I wanted to go home for a coffee. I can only stand so much excitement in a morning.

Back in the apartment I brought my coffee into the nice tidy office and then sat down to plan out my day. And “plan” was about as far as I reached before it was time to stop for lunch.

After lunch, the early and energetic start finally caught up with me and I ended up being asleep on the chair for quite a while. That was followed by quite a lengthy session on the two guitars before it was time for me to sling my hook.

football us granville voltigeurs de chateaubriant stade louis dior Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was nice to be back at the football today for a competitive match after all of this time, and I’m also reassured to know that my vaccine digipass works too.

As for the football, the defence looked slightly more solid than it has done over the last couple of years, although Chateaubriant didn’t really put too much pressure on it. They had a very small, quick n°9 up front who was in a class of his own on the field, but there was no-one up there to support him.

As for Granville, going forward they were woeful. At long last they have a big centre-forward who they can’t shove off the ball, who puts himself about and who can hold up the ball, but he is totally wasted because the service he was getting was dreadful.

Not one of the other Granville players put a ball into the box with any accuracy or conviction and the Chateaubriand goalkeeper had probably the quietest 90 minutes that he will ever have.

0-0 the game finished, and both sides were lucky to get nil too. I can’t think if I’ve ever witnessed a more uneventful game than this

What dismayed me more than anything that despite virus infections being in the upper 20,000s, I was about the only person in the stadium wearing a mask, despite the frantic appeals of the announcer. No-one is ever going to be rid of this virus if they continue to be stupid about it like this.

It’s hard to believe the stupidity of some people.

nuit des artistes rue des juifs closed Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way home I noticed that the Rue des Juifs is closed to vehicular traffic.

The street is full of small art galleries, most paintings of which are of dubious quality at an astronomic price and once a year they are open until quite late at night and people can wander around to their heart’s content in the middle of the street.

Right now my worries are reaching the top of it because I’m not as yound as I was an not as fit as I was even three months ago and thse days I have to stop a couple of times before reaching the top.

bar ephemere chez maguie place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the places where I stopped to catch my breath was at the viewpoint overlooking Marité‘s mooring berth.

She’s now back at her mooring but my interest is centred for the moment on Chez Maguie, the Bar Ephemère that springs up every summer at the Place Pelley.

In the winter it all lives in a shipping container somewhere and is brought here in late June to cater for the hordes of tourists who swarm around the town.

Not that there aren’t enough bars in the town, but it’s the outdoor terraces that are missing. Sitting on a couple of pallets in a car-parking space in the Rue Couraye doesn’t have quite the same effect.

fishermen in speedboat zodiac loitering outside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA day or two ago I was talking about what might happen if by some chance you were out at sea and missed the closing of the harbour gates or missed the tide.

This evening, there were several boats and yachts, including this speedboat and zodiac, loitering around outside the harbour area, presumably waiting for the tide to come in so that they could come in and moor up.

I don’t suppose that there isn’t much alternative that to sit and wait.

Back here I didn’t even have time for tea before the next instalment of football.

Caernarfon v Haverfordwest in the Welsh Premier League. Haverforwest have signed a couple of good players in the close season but the Caernarfon team has changed quite a lot and they are lacking the old team spirit that took them so high in the table.

Oe or two of their new players struggled to make any impact, but Haverfordwest, despite having a resolute defence and a lively midfield, offered nothing up front. Eventually a Caernarfon free kick caught the Haverfordwest keeper by surprise and in the dying seconds of the game they scored a second.

haverfordwest can feel disappointed by this result but that what happens in football. Both clubs will have their work cut out this season.

But right now I’m off to bed. It’s too late to do anything else so I’ll write up my notes in the morning.

Good night.

Saturday 10th July 2021 – 265 DAYS …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They were halcyon times, they were.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 24th June 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… really tiring day today – so much so that I was stark out for a couple of hours round about midday and ended up having a very late lunch.

And that’s really no surprise because in what time was available I did quite a lot of work.

When the alarm went off at 06:00 I struggled out of bed and went off to take my medication. And then back here I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

I’d been to see a band play – it might have been Strife – and then a while later they were in a rehearsal room or village hall setting up for a kind of concert. They were going through a few things before they started, talking about stuff on the stage and said “we’re a bit overwhelmed with basses as well because Eric has his stuff here as well and someone else has his stuff” and so on. A little later on he took me on one side and said “did you learn the three numbers like I asked?” I replied “well to be quite honest no I didn’t”. He said “right” and fetched a pile of paperwork out. He said “someone worked out a way of teaching people how to follow music a bit like some kind of game. All you need to do is to watch your ‘phone and watch the paper”. He drew this kind of musical anotation thing with each string going down to the end of the page and then it doubled back going the other way rather like Chinese writing. He said “this is far the easiest way to learn and I’ll show you how it all works in a minute”. I was really intrigued by this method. Anyway sometime during this I’d been to the supermarket or the chip shop or something and while I was waiting around for this group to turn up I bumped into a girl and she gave me a really nice smile. I looked puzzled and she said “you don’t remember me but I was the girl in the shop yesterday. I made a special effort to remember everyone’s faces because I’m new here”. She was really extremely friendly about this kind of thing and that took me by surprise as well.

Having organised myself as well as I can these days I had an hour or so attacking the photos from August 2019. Right now I’m in Montana on the verge of making a fabulous discovery.

That was followed by a shower and – surprise surprise – a haircut. And having tidied myself sort-of-ish and set the washing machine of on a cycle (a very clever washing machine, mine) I hit the streets.

lorries unloading at quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot that I had actually managed to proceed very far before I stopped to take a photo.

Yesterday we had seen the two Jersey freighters Normandy Trader and Thora here in the port. By the time that I went out this morning they had both cleared off back to Jersey but it looks as if they (or at least, one of them) is going to be back fairly soon.

These two lorries here are the reason for that. The only reason that they would be here in the port area is if they are bringing merchandise to the quayside for the little freighter to take away back to Jersey with them.

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFull of curiosity I went to see what was going on in the loading bay but I was distracted.

Marité, the old fishing vessel now used for training and sightseeing trips has been away from port for the last week or two but this morning she is back. She’s definitely the star attraction of the waterfront so a photo was in order.

Every time that I see her I’m tempted to find out how and when I can go off on her for a sail but I’m not a big fan of the people who run it. Every time that you go down to their office and ask a question they scowl at you as if “how dare you interrupt us?”, tell me that “everything is on our website” and then go back to chatting amongst themselves.

It’s the kind of thing that makes me wonder if they are Belgians. They certainly know all about Belgian customer service.

It was a long, hard climb up the hill to LIDL this morning. I remember a few times when I sailed up there like a Spanish galleon or if I was on my way to invade Poland but those days are over. After my operation I’ve aged 20 years and I felt every single, solitary step up that hill

At LIDL I didn’t buy anything special but even so the bill today came to almost €13:00. I did buy myself an energy drink because I reckoned that that would be the only way that I’d get up the hill at the other end of my journey.

roofers fitting laths around chimney rue de la houle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back, I hadn’t gone all that far before I came to a stop.

Here in the Rue de la Houle they have been reroofing a house and today they are fitting a series of laths around the chimney as if they are going to be tiling that too. In fact, if you look further along the roof, you can see a chimney that has already been tiled by the roofers.

It’s a strange way of going about things, tiling a chimney like that. All kinds of things can be going on to the chimney, the brickwork and the cementing underneath the tiles and you won’t be able to see it until the chimney collapses. And as I looked at this one, it certainly needed a bit of fixing before they go to seal it in.

digger building site rue st paul rue victor hugo Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing upon which we have been keeping an eye is the building site on the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

There used to be a little cafe here but that had long-since closed. They demolished it and fenced off the site a few months ago, and then a notice appeared to the effect that planning permission had been granted for a 4-storey block of flats.

Today though, I noticed that things might be starting to get under way at long last. As well as some equipment that has been deposited on the sire, there’s a digger here and it looks as if he’s just dug a big rectangular hole in the middle of the plot.

As for why, we’ll have to wait and see. I pushed off down the hill into town where I became entangled in a schoolkids’ crocodile that had obviously just set off from the youth hostel.

As I passed through the town I noticed my first “G” registered car. The turnover is about 2 years and a couple of months for a letter, but the “F” plates started in October 2018. It shows you just what effect Covid had on the new car sales market.

wood on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallUp the hill I staggered underneath my heavy load, wishing that I had a shopping trolley to take with me, and made several stops to catch my breath – one of which was the viewpoint overlooking the loading bay.

That pile of wood wasn’t there yesterday evening and it won’t have come over from Jersey because wood travels in the other direction. It made me wonder if that was what one of the lorries had brought in this morning for one of the Jersey freighters to take away.

Over the next couple of days I’ll have to be keeping my eye open on the quayside. The turn-round of the freighters in the port is so rapid these days that I miss their visits quite regularly. By seeing when the load has gone from the quayside, that will tell me when one of them has been in here.

square potel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRight behind where I’m standing is the Square Potel, which at one time had the famous unstable set of steps.

Work has been promised to start on here in 2022 but the other day we saw a digger in here and it looked as if it had just brought down the set of steps. I was wondering if that was going to herald the start of the work, a year or so ahead, but that was being rather optimistic, I reckon. The digger has gone and the site is fenced off and that looks to be it for now.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … the way that the patrimony of he town is treated is a disgrace. The whole place seems to be tumbling down around our ears and the council is showing no sense of urgency.

fishing boat towing dinghy baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHeading back up the hill on my last leg(s) home I noticed something else going on.

There was a boat out there, moving quite quickly and towing a smaller boat behind it. Thinking that it might have been the patrol boat that we have seen a coupe of times just recently I took a photograph of it so that I could have a closer look when I returned home.

However when I enlarged it back at the apartment I noticed that it was simply an ordinary fishing boat heading out to sea. So why it would be towing another boat behind it I don’t know, unless it’s to go closer inshore when it arrives at wherever it’s going.

Back at the apartment I put the frozen food in the freezer, made myself some hot chocolate and cut myself a slice of fruit bread, and then came in here to carry on working.

At some point I crashed right out completely and I don’t know when, because it was another one of those occasions when I didn’t remember going off to sleep.

And this is something that worries me because if I’m going to be out driving around in Caliburn here and there, I would really like to know when I’m becoming tired and ready to sleep so that I can find a suitable place to stop and sleep it off. Just “switching off” like this is the kind of thing from which accidents are made.

Round about 14:00 I awoke again and it took me a good 10 or 15 minutes to orientate my head into the right direction. And when I finally managed to stand on my own two feet I was somewhat unsteady as I staggered around the apartment but I eventually managed to find my way into the kitchen to make a rather late lunch.

After lunch I had a task to complete. Well, to start actually. I have a huge pile of medical receipts that need scanning and then sending off to my insurance company to claim reimbursement. I made a start on some that I had to hand, and then had to break off to go for my afternoon walk.

hang glider point du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHardly had I managed to set foot outside my front door before the dark shadow fell upon me.

It’s the kind of thing that makes me understand what the Hobbits went through as they were being overflown my the Nazgul in LORD OF THE RINGS but of course there’s very little that is sinister in this particular occasion because we all know what’s going on here and there is no evil intent, unless one happens to crash-land on your head.

Yes, we have quite a wind (yet again) today and so the hang-gliders are out in force. There is probably half a dozen out there this afternoon.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that’s not all of the aerial activity. Not by a long shot.

After the incident with the hang-glider I’d probably gone no more than half a dozen paces before I was overflown by something else. That’s right, someone has got his chopper out this afternoon and is flying around the headland.

It’s not the usual yellow and red air-sea rescue helicopter that we have seen on so many occasions but its grey-green colour suggests to me that it’s a military machine and I wonder why one of those has decided to come out to entertain us today.

Nevertheless it reminds me of the story in which a class of schoolchildren were asked to write a sentence including the words “chaste” and “by helicopter”. And one boy wrote “the boy chaste the girl and by helicopter”.

hang glider beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that I always like to do is to go out and check on the beach and see how the tide is doing and whether there are any people taking advantage of it.

One thing that you’ll notice is just how much beach there is compared to YESTERDAY AT ROUGHLY THE SAME TIME. There’s about 50 minutes time difference between each high tide, so comparing this photo and that of yesterday give you some idea of how quickly the water comes in

But anyway, there are a few people out there enjoying themselves on the beach this afternoon, even if they are about to be overflown by the Nazgul that is hovering away in the distance.

tape marking path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEarlier this morning round about 07:15 or something like that I heard a lot of noise – schoolchildren cheering and all that kind of thing. But I couldn’t see anything from here.

But what I noticed this afternoon as I went on my afternoon walk around the headland is that some kind of path had been marked out by all of these tapes. It made quite a circuit and so I wondered if there had been some kind of race going on around the headland. And maybe that might explain the presence of the schoolchildren whom we saw earlier who seem to be lodging in the youth hostel.

But whatever was happening, it was all over now and there was no-one around to ask. Not even anyone coming to take away the rubbish that they have left and to remove the tapes. Maybe I’ll find something in the local paper tomorrow that might give me a clue as to what has been going on with all of this.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow how I wish that I’d come out for my afternoon walk about 5 or 10 minutes earlier. I might have been treated to an exciting spectacle.

The blue and green object on the ground over there near the gun emplacement is the parachute or whatever they call it of one of these Nazgul It seems that one of the bird-men of Alcatraz has come to grief over there and I was quite disappointed at having missed the spectacle.

Quite a few other people didn’t by the looks of things and there are plenty of people with mobile phones and cameras over there who presumably have recorded the incident. But anyway, the pilot or whatever you might call them doesn’t seem to be injured or anything and he’s up and about on his own two feet organising himself and his parachute.

hang glider taking off pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce he’d gathered up his wits, presumably from wherever he might have dropped them, he made his preparations for getting back into the air.

And getting back into the air seemed to be quite easy. He just lifted up his parachute and the wind filled it full of air. Gently, he rose up and away from the ground, and once he had sufficient height he was able manoeuvre himself and his parachute around and head off back the way that he had come.

The crowds of people watching the spectacle clearly enjoyed it. They had all taken enough photos and even a few films about all of the activity. when they return home to wherever home is, they’ll have plenty of exciting films and photos to show the grandchildren

fishing boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile all of this was going on, my eyes had been roving around and when they came back they pointed out more goings-on out at sea.

And so I took off down the path and across the car park down to the end of the headland for a closer look at what was happening. And living in a fishing port, you can expect that there is always something to do with fishing.

With issues going on involving the Channel Islands, which need to be resolved within the next seven days or so, the local fishermen are busy trying to exploit new fishing grounds that don’t fall within the scope of the Treaty of the Bay of Granville that the British Government unilaterally revoked under the pretext of Brexit

And so the Baie de Mont St Michel has become a favourite fishing ground at the moment for several local boats who are trying to see whether they can do any good here.

But the story of the Treaty of the Bay of Granville is that it was signed in 1839 between the Channel Islands and the fishermen of Brittany and Normandy to give fishermen from the three regions equal access to the bay. It was reinforced on many occasions, the latest being in 2000.

The Channel Islands are not and never have been part of the European Union and they are also free to negotiate on their on behalf in local affairs independently of the British Government so there is no reason for the British Government to intervene in the affairs of the Channel Islands.

However, the UK has claimed a 12-mile limit around the Channel Islands after Brexit and has revoked the Treaty without consulting either the Channel Islands or the local fishermen who have fished together in peace since 1839, and this is the subject of the dispute.

fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn the meantime while I’m talking about the Treaty of the Bay of Granville another boat comes in from down the Baie de Mont St Michel.

It’s coming in at quite a rate of knots too so I imagine that it must be late for a tea break or something like that. And as it’s surrounded by seabirds, I’m assuming that it must have quite a harvest on board. And that’s why many of these little shellfish-catchers have canopies or tilts across the cargo space – to prevent dive-bombing by the seabirds eager for a cheap and easy meal.

But I’m not going to hang about too long watching it. I’m taking to the path, despite all of the people ignoring the Prefet’s regulations on face masks, to see what’s happening in the harbour.

yacht rebelle chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd today, we have another change of occupancy in the chantier navale.

At the moment we’re down to just one boat in here, the yacht Rebelle from London. The other boat that was in here, the fishing boat Gwenn Ha Ruz, or “White and Red” has now departed, presumably back into the water to carry on with whatever it is that she does.

Who will be the next arrival in the chantier navale, I wonder. as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … a thriving ship repairing business is good for the port because it encourages people to base their boats, whether working boats or pleasure boats, in the port where they can be assured of a good and reliable repair and maintenance service.

fishing boat aground ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut this issue of people leaving their fishing boats to go aground when the tide is out instead of mooring them in the inner harbour is still continuing.

There’s another one moored over there this afternoon, right at the ferry terminal. So here’s hoping that none of the joly France ferries to the ile de Chausey want to go out or come in. We know that the Channel Islands ferries Granville and Victor Hugo won’t be going out any time soon.

But as for going out, I’m going back in. I’m ready for a nice piping hot coffee and then I can carry on with the work that I’m doing, sorting out the receipts for my medical expenses and getting them ready to submit to my insurance company.

And by the time I’d sorted them out, I found that there were two months missing. I remember one month where I wasn’t seen by a doctor at the hospital and so didn’t receive a prescription, but I don’t know what happened to the other month. I certainly had a prescription but there’s no mention anywhere of me going to a pharmacy to collect the medication, so I can’t have done.

By the time that it was guitar practice, I was still a long way from sorting them out, never mind scanning them. That’s a job for tomorrow. and so is guitar practice, I reckon, because I’m not making all that much progress with what I want to do. It’s a slow, laborious task.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper, because I bought some this morning, followed by apple pie and coconut whatsit. But that’s the last of the coconut so I’m going to treat myself to some custard tomorrow and Saturday.

And now I’m off to bed. I’ve finally caught up with everything that I did today and I’m ready for a good sleep. Tomorrow I’mm continue sorting out my receipts. There must be €1000 here so it’s “spend spend, spend” I don’t think.

Saturday 17th April 2021 – REGULAR READERS …

fisherman throwing fish back into sea beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… of this rubbish will recall that we have watched fisherman after fisherman standing on the rocks, or in boats, or on the beach, day after day after week after week and never ever catching anything at all.

And here we are today, watching a fisherman with a fish in his hand, and what is he doing except throwing it back into the sea. The first one that we’ve ever seen caught around here.

Mind you, this is a bit of a cheat. It looks as if he’s had a fishing net out on the beach while the tide has been in and while it’s on its way out, he’s gone out there to retrieve his catch. But as for why he would want to thrown one of his catch back into the sea is totally beyond me. I don’t understand this at all.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat’s not the only thing that’s been puzzling me this afternoon. We’ve had another one of these aerial afternoons today, with an endless stream of aircraft going by overhead.

Not any big stuff unfortunately – that is to say, nothing that I could see, and that is no surprise given the thick 10/10ths clouds that we’ve had today. We probably couldn’t see a thing about two or three thousand feet. Instead we’ve had a procession of all kinds of light aircraft going past me while I was on my afternoon walk.

This is just one of the machines that flew by me. It’s a helicopter of course but it’s of a type that I don’t immediately recognise with its twin outriggers at the rear. The make will probably occur to me once I’ve pressed “send” and published these notes, as this sort of thing usually does.

This morning I was up with the lark and the first alarm yet again, and then after my medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I had actually been in Vienna. It was something to do with the cathedral. It was a huge place and there were all kinds of things happening to it so they had set up a team to keep watch on there. Some of the watching was discreet and some of the watching was public. There was a theatre there and a couple of people who were involved in this, at the end of the night when everyone had gone would audition acts who would act out in the theatre. There would be actors, dancers, that kind of thing and I’m often stay up at night and watch. I really couldn’t tell the difference between a good actor and a bad actor from the standard at which they were dealing because they weren’t dealing with the ordinary run-of-the-mill stuff and some of the acerbic comments that they were making about some people I didn’t understand at all because it was way over my head. But it was extremely interesting. The cathedral authorities were receiving notes or finding notes such as “what about the damage to such-and-such cathedral over 11 years that went un-noticed and they were spending all of their time examining what was happening here?” These were generally dismissed as being to work of ineffective or weak people whereas some notes they were taking far more seriously because of the style in which they had been written. This dream went on for ages and ages and there was much more to it than this. I just wish that I could remember it all.

First task this morning after the dictaphone was to deal with the photos from August 2019. And I’ve found to my dismay that I’ve made a rather serious error. While I was in North America I visited the site of Fort CF Smith in Montana and although the remains have been described as “difficult to see”, I couldn’t see them at all.

With everything that I’ve been through, I would have thought that I would have been able to discern something so I was disappointed.

But examining a few aerial and satellite photographs I’ve discovered that the Lady Who Lives In The Satellite has some how made an error of about 200 metres because while the GPS co-ordinates on the Satnav gave me one reading, the same co-ordinates typed into a satellite viewer come up with a place on the other side of the road.

And to make things even worse, from the satellite, the outline of the fort is clearer than anything similar that I have ever seen.

Ahh well. You can’t win a coconut every time. I shall just have to go back there again.

There was a break in the middle of all of this for a shower, and then later on I went for my hot chocolate and sourdough fruit bread. No shopping today as I’m off on my travels on Wednesday at … gulp … 05:55.

There have been a few things that I needed to do this morning too. Like emptying out the mailbox, claiming a refund for my delayed train the other week before the time period runs out, and then trying to make a recalcitrant shipping company reply to a message that I’ve sent them four times now.

After lunch I came back in here to carry on with some work but unfortunately I crashed out yet again. I was away for over an hour as well and I’m not very happy about that. But at least I’ve managed to catch up with some outstanding work that I’ve been meaning to do, and that’s another task completed.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was a break for my afternoon walk of course and so I went out with the NIKON D500 and peered over the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on down on the beach.

This afternoon I wasn’t expecting to see very much because the weather was totally depressing. Dark, overcast and miserable. There were a few people walking around down there but not too many actually making themselves comfortable.

The members of the little group in this photograph were just about the only people standing around, although I suspect that they were more interested in the little kiddy that was running around

And of course, there was the fisherman with his net …

Nothing else was going on around here and I had the footpath on the top of the cliffs to myself

boat le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLe Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour, was swathed in darkness today in the miserable weather.

So much so that in fact I was surprised to note that it wasn’t illuminated, especially as the tide was well out today and the rock was exposed. There was a fisherman around there too, in his rubber boat, having a go at the sea bass and being singularly unsuccessful.

There wasn’t anything else going on out there this afternoon. For a change, there were no fishing boats in the Baie de Mont St Michel either. They must be having the weekend off.

So in the absence of anything else exciting, I carried on along the path and across the main road where a Mercedes actually stopped to let me cross. Wonders will never cease.

cherie d'amour chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe yellow fishing boat was down there in the chantier navale and once again the ladder was propped up against the hull so I couldn’t see the name on it.

With nothing better to do, I went for a walk down there for a closer look and I can now tell you that she’s called Cherie d’Amour. She’s up there on her chocks and blocks, but I couldn’t actually see any signs of work that was being undertaken on her.

They aren’t very big, these fishing boats. But all they do is to go back and to to the shellfish beds and lay the odd lobster pot. And as I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … they have a cover over the boat to stop the seabirds diving down to steal the catch.

aztec lady chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was down there, I took the opportunity to have a look at the other more longer-term occupants of the Chantier Navale, like Aztec Lady over there.

She’s actually the longest inhabitant of the Chantier Navale and she’s been there longer than I can remember, and longer than I ever thought she would when she first arrived here all that time ago.

And despite all of the time that she’s been in here, she looks as if she has a long way to go yet. Her hull is looking rather shabby and in need of a coat of paint. I would have thought that they would have given the paintwork a good going over to freshen her up while she’s been here.

anakena chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe other boat that has been in here for a good length of time is this one, Anakena.

And seen from this angle, out of the water and up on blocks, you can see that she’s a very serious piece of kit, well beyond what you’d expect to see in a port like this. The carrying capacity of the portable boat lift is 95 tonnes and I bet that she’s pretty near the maximum.

What I do know is that she’s 23 metres long and 5 metres wide and she would have been the kind of boat that I would have considered for a trip up to the far North except that she’s only single-hulled.

Nothing else of any note in the Chantier Navale so I wandered off back towards the apartment.

f-brnq Piper PA-28R-200 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHalfway home, I started to encounter the aerial flotilla that I mentioned earlier.

This particular one is a Piper PA-28R-200, serial number F-BRNQ. I’ve no idea where she had come from but she was picked up on the radar just to the west of Chartres. She then disappeared off the radar somewhere to the south-west of St Hilaire du Harcouet about 15 minutes before I saw her.

Apparently she had taken off from Lognes at the south-east of Paris at 14:47 and landed at Granville at 16:22. And at 17:18 the took off again and flew back to Lognes. She spends a lot of time at Lognes, so it seems, so it’s a fair bet that Lognes is her home airfield.

light aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw the helicopter earlier on. That was the next thing to fly past, but then it was followed by this machine.

This is a type of machine that I’ve seen before. I recognise the shape, but it’s another thing to which I cannot put a name. It’s something else that I’ll probably discover quite soon after I’ve posted this on-line.

But I really don’t understand why it is that there would be so many aircraft, one after the other, flying past over my head this afternoon as I was walking home for my hot coffee. It did make me wonder what I’d be encountering next before I reached my own front door.

modern morgan v twin rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it goes without saying that after all of this I was going to encounter something unusual before my journey finished.

This machine roared past me as I crossed over the Rue des Juifs and at first glance I thought that it might have been the Holy Grail of road vehicles – a V-twin three-wheeler Morgan. That’s probably what it might be, although it’s not what I was hoping for. A lose look at the engine and the front of the chassis shows that it’s a modern reproduction.

What I was hoping to see was a 3-wheeler Morgan from the 1920s and 30s fitted with the old V-twin JAP engine, something that I would sell my soul to own if ever one became available. But I doubt whether one will ever come up for sale in the near future.

Back here there was football. TNS v Penybont on the internet. As expected, TNS ran out winners 1-0, but they were made to work hard for it.

Penybont defended really well but like most Welsh Premier League clubs, were devoid of very much firepower. Sam Snaith is the one player whom they have who can pull something out of nothing but taking him off the field after an hour because he hasn’t doe anything much as yet and replacing him with a player who doesn’t have the same flashes of inspiration and who needs much more service was a tactic that was never going to pay off.

And that’s a surprise considering that Penybont’s manager Rhys Griffiths was one of the greatest strikers that the WPL has ever produced.

While I was doing that I was copying the CDs that I had received from the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. I’m going to be doing a radio programme in the near future that features music from the Festivals.

Tea was out of a tin tonight, followed by one of the desserts that I made the other day. And now I’ve done my notes, I’m off to bed and hopefully having a lie-in tomorrow. And about time too. I’m ready for this.

Sunday 13th December 2020 – JUST FOR A …

… change just recently, I was up and about at something resembling more a respectable time of day on a Sunday – like 10:30 for example, which is a world of a difference away from 12:00 and 12:30, isn’t it?

So having taken my medicine, I went to have a listen to the dictaphone. And phew! Was I busy during the night?

I can’t remember much about the next bit that happened (I can’t even remember any first bit) at night but there was a young girl in it something like my youngest sister. I don’t know what she was doing but later I was out and they were controlling the stuff that was going out of this shop. I had a TV computer screen and took a felt-tip pen and wrote on the screen surround today’s date to make it look as if I’d actually brought this in with me rather than just buying it so that I could take it out of the store without actually paying for it but my big felt-tip pen was all discoloured and the ink didn’t show up very well on the brown surround so I had to take a felt-tip pen off them.

Later, it was my mother’s birthday and I wanted to wish her a happy birthday (don’t ask me why). I was living in Chester at the time so I had to go to Crewe. I had this idea of going with the aid of a stick where I leant all my weight on this stick and pivoted forward like that. I could work up a good rhythm with that and actually go at 7 miles per hour doing that all the way back to Crewe. But then I thought that I would have to turn round and do it all the way back again. There were all kinds of stories about how they were going to use paper boarding but this kind of thing was extremely dangerous after all they had said. There were countless people who had set out with things like this and thought that they could do really well.

Next, we had another one of my “wandering around London” dreams last night. I’d been to see my aunt with a pile of things – I think that I’d been on holiday and I’d called back there just to drop off some stuff. Then I wandered off around and met up with a friend – we were planning on having a night in. But she turned out to me a mixture of herself and my cousin in Canada and we were actually in Canada. I had to go back to her house so I got off this bus with all these people with whom I’d been chatting, and noticed that her street was under more development. They were building another restaurant so I went to talk to her about it and she explained that it was always being modernised and so on. I said that these other people had talked about this restaurant and how good it was going to be and she agreed. Then we got into her car to drive these presents round to Mary’s. But when we arrived it was after the time that their building had been locked up. I said that we ring on the bell and wait 5 minutes and she’ll let us in, then we can get ourselves organised. But she seemed to be reluctant to get out of the car to go to see her and said something about her mother who was in her 90s, the same age as my aunt. In the end I decided that I would go out as well and she would go out and maybe we would just put the presents in the letter box and come back or perhaps maybe just find the time to say a quick hello but we didn’t get to the point of making a quick decision

I was with this same friend yet again subsequently and we had been all around south-west London. She was talking about her relationships and how her husband was moving out at the end of January. I asked her if she knew for sure. Had he given her a date? She said not but reckoned that that was what it was going to be. I asked about her plans and she said that she was going to move to a place called “Sea Breezes” so if he came to look for her he wouldn’t find her. I asked her about this place and she was a bit vague about it. She said that things were going to change – the air, you would feel the sea in it and the ozone. I thought that it would have to be pretty close to the sea but she said “no, it’s in south-west London”. So we set off to go and have a look at it but we ended up being sidetracked miles off our course and we had to come back to retrace our steps. she had been on a bike and in the end she picked up another one and I picked up hers and we both cycled back and came to a place where the hill was really steep. We had to cycle down this hill at an enormous speed. I said “I hope that your brakes work on this bike that I’m riding”. She said “yes so do I”. That unnerved me a little. I had to use my foot to slow down but we reached the bottom and ended up in part of the big urban environment there. I’d lost my friend for a minute and ended up talking to a couple of women. One of them was speaking in a French accent so I started to reply in French. We had a bit of a chat. She noticed the dry ski slope and said “oh, skiers. It’s like Mont Blanc here”. I had a look and I could see someone who resembled my friend going down the slope. I thought “she’s been quick to get there” so I set off. Instead I found her standing in the middle of the road on a traffic island chatting to Jackie. There was a group of about 6 of them. I went over but kept on bumping into this guy and kept on excusing myself. He kept replying “it’s no problem” but I could see that he was starting to become irritated about this but it was a natural reaction that I couldn’t stop. Then I noticed that STRAWBERRY MOOSE wasn’t there so I asked my friend what she had done with him. She pointed “he’s over there” so Jackie went to pick him up. They were all talking to this guy who looked like someone from the OU warning him about the clothes that he was wearing – he shouldn’t go to a certain place wearing those clothes. But his clothes weren’t OU at all – they had some other logo on them that I didn’t recognise so this chat continued

It’s hardly any surprise after all of that that I didn’t have time to do very much today. Transcribing that took a lot of time

But I did find the time to make my fruit bread. Much as I enjoyed my chocolate cake, it was very fatty and probably responsible for the weight that I’m gaining. Not an ounce of fat in the fruit bread, except maybe in the oil from the ground Brazil nuts.

So that was stuck on one side again while I joined up the music tracks for my next radio programme. That’s all done too. And our journey around the World moves on into yet more uncharted territory.

helicopter english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now I was ready to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland. First thing though was to exchange pleasantries with a neighbour outside who was taking the air.

It was a good job that I was wrapped up in my rain gear as it was raining outside. And as I stepped out of the car park I noticed that our local air-sea rescue helicopter went flying by, right out there in the English Channel. Someone with his chopper out this afternoon

At first I wasn’t sure what it was because it was so far out at sea. It was only when I returned when I could enlarge the photo to see what it was.

Anyway, I set off down the track to the lawn and across and through the car park to the headland to see what was going on.

fishing boats chausiais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd the answer to that conundrum was “nothing at all”. Not even a boat anywhere out at sea. So I walked down to cross over the road and I ran off down the path on top of the cliffs seeing as there was no-one about.

There wasn’t all that much going on in the harbour either. There were no fishing boats at the fish processing plant but there was one moving around in the harbour looking as if it was going out to the fishing grounds.

There were several others moored in the harbour but they didn’t look as if they are going anywhere right now. I suppose that they are all having the day off.

jean claude rabec furniture removals chausiais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there was certainly something quite strange going on in the background.

The company that owns that lorry is one of the country’s leading furniture removers and you can see that from the lorry they are unloading some very large wooden crates. These are the kind of crates that you would expect to see in a long-distance furniture removal such as a removal by sea.

But why unload them at the ferry port? They can only be for Chausiais but surely it’s easier to drop them in with the crane at the loading bay in inner harbour.

chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was here at the viewpoint on top of the cliffs, I had a look over at the chantier navale to see if there was anything new happening.

We’re still stuck at just the yacht right now. Nothing else has come in over the last couple of days since Ceres II went back into the water. Instead we can just admire the weather.

We’re having something of a rainstorm as you can see. The Pointe de Carolles over there in the background is shrouded in thick cloud and the rain is quite heavy out in the centre of the bay and it looks as if it’s settled in for the night.

sunset baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut out in the Baie de Mont St Michel the weather conditions aren’t quite as dismal.

We’re having another one of these “sunshine streaming through the heavy cloud” moments across near the Brittany coast, with the rain coming down to the North (on the right) and the South (on the left). In the centre of the image the corner of the cliffs by Cancale and the sea off the coast are really nicely illuminated by the rays of the sun.

But I wasn’t going to hang around to admire it for too long. I was becoming rather wet what with all of this rain. I turned on my heel and headed for home and my coffee, which I forgot to drink.

Instead I kneaded the bread a second time and shaped it, then dropped it into a greased tin to rise again. And having taken a lump of frozen dough out of the freezer earlier, I added some more flour to what was a wet mix, and then kneaded, rolled and shaped it, and stuck it in a pizza tray.

vegan pizza fruit bread rice pudding Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLiz was on line so we had a chat and I did some more work, but later on I put on the oven and when it was warm, stuck the bread in the oven, and then added a rice pudding to the oven as well.

While it was cooking, I prepared the pizza. I had no peppers and, unfortunately, I forgot the olives. But when the bread and rice were cooked, the pizza went into the oven.

The pizza was soon cooked and it was absolutely delicious – one of the best that I’ve made. The bread was left to cool and then stuck in a tin and the rice pudding ended up back into the oven to finish off as it wasn’t quite cooked.

I wasn’t hungry so I didn’t try it. That will be for tomorrow.

casino plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on I went for my perambulations around the medieval city walls – not that I was feeling much like it and which I won’t be able to do when the 20:00 curfew comes into force on Tuesday.

As seems to be the case these days I kept to the dry land up on top of the walls and the view from up there is different from what I usually see, as is the case with the view over the Plat Gousset.

Down on the path I ran all the way round and after having a pause, ran off around and through the Square Maurice Marland towards home.

christmas lights rue lecampion Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallback on the walls again, I had to remind myself that there’s a little point where you can see the Christmas lights of the Rue Lecampion and I haven’t photographed those yet.

You can see right down the street into the Place Generale de Gaulle and the blue lights on the Mairie that we saw a couple of days ago from up on top. And in the distance in the top right-hand corner you’ll see the lights at the top of the Rue Couraye.

So back here I wrote up my notes ready to go to bed. I’ve already started writing the notes for the radio programme so I’m hoping that I can finish them and have time to go to the shops before lunch. But that remains to be seen. It’s more important to have a decent sleep and a good start in the morning.

But we’ll see about that tomorrow too.

Monday 9th November 2020 – I DIDN’T …

… manage to beat the third alarm this morning. But nevertheless I managed to tear myself out of my stinking pit fairly quickly so it wasn’t too much of a problem.

helicopter air sea rescue notre dame de cap lihou baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you look at some photos of the rather dramatic air-sea rescue that took place this afternoon out in the Baie de Mont St Michel I’ll tell you something about my day today.

First thing after the medication was to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And, more importantly, who had come with me.

And there was actually something there, so I must have been away at some point. And what I heard about my voyage took me quite by surprise because it’s quite a rare event, what happened during the hours of darkness.

helicopter air sea rescue notre dame de cap lihou baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall Last night I dreamt that I had gone to the local Council offices to talk about getting a French nationality. The woman had sent me into a room which was where I would have to wait but my appointment would be something like 09:30. After a while I noticed that they had been calling through people who had come into the room after me and I was starting to become a little concerned about this. I went back to the reception and told them. The woman there said that there were a lot of people to see of course but she could absolutely guarantee that I would be seen before 11:30 that morning. I thought to myself “OK, I’ll have to wait” so I went back. But then I awoke in this dream and found that I was actually inside an old van with a load of other people. I had a look at my watch and it was 10:45. I thought that I have to go and make this appointment. How long have I been away and what have I been doing in the meantime? So I shook myself out, climbed out the van which was something like a CA Bedford or J4 with sliding doors. Someone else wanted to come out behind me so I had to help them out, then the curtain in the doorway was getting in the way. Then I thought “should I take a book with me or something? But them I thought that I don’t really have time. I have to get all the way back to the Council offices and hope that I haven’t been called in the meantime and that I’ll be there before 11:30.

It was really weird, this waking up in a dream and finding myself still in a dream.

helicopter air sea rescue notre dame de cap lihou baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce I’d organised myself with the dictaphone I had a radio prgramme to prepare.

It’s the 69th issue of my programmes and now I’m deep into the obscure tracks, which was always the plan. Groups like Amazing Blondel, Brian Auger’s Trinity, Eyes of Blue and the Swedish musician Bo Hansson will be making their debuts when this programme is broadcast and there are plenty more of the same to follow.

And so round about 07:30 or so I sat down to make a good start.

helicopter air sea rescue notre dame de cap lihou baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall It took me less than 90 minutes to choose the first 10 tracks, remix them, combine them in pairs and add on the introduction.

Then I had to research the groups because with so many new groups, I didn’t have much in the way of prepared notes, and then I had to write out the texts and then dictated them.

Once I’d dictated them I had to edit them, split them into segments and then link all of the pairs of songs together with the segments of text in between.

That left 4:20 so knocking 45 seconds off for a closing speech, that meant a final track of 3:35. Having chosen one of the right length and remixed it, I then had to dictate a closing speech which I unfortunately overran and ended up having to trim down the programme by 19 seconds.

Nevertheless, buy 14:20 it was all done and dusted, despite having a break for hot chocolate at 10:30 (and my fruit bread buns were perfect) and for lunch (and my hone-made bread was pretty good too).

First task when I finished was to ring up to enquire about Caliburn. And, as I expected, the time limit that I was given was … errr … somewhat optimistic. They’ll ring me up when he’s ready, but I can see that it’s not going to be any time soon.

Second task was to sort out the rest of the radio programme that I’d started. I even started to type out the notes but I’m afraid that my early start proved somewhat too much for me and I ended up asleep on the chair for a while.

cormorants on rock Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallConsequently my walk outside this afternoon was rather later than planned, but I went out just the same.

For a change I forgot myself and ended up going off around the headland instead of around the walls. The tide was well in and out there sitting on a rock was a colony of what looks like cormorants.

They were just sitting there not doing very much, except one of them that was flapping its wings as if it was going out of fashion. The birds posed quite nicely for a good few minutes and then I pushed off to find out what the racket was all about out to sea in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

helicopter air sea rescue notre dame de cap lihou baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd out there, hidden in the spray kicked up by the rotor blades of a helicopter, was our local lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

As I watched, the helicopter made two or three practice runs towards her and then on the next one, she hovered quite close and as I watched, she lowered a person down on a winch.

By the looks of things it may well have been nothing more than a practice exercise but it was still exciting just the same.

With nothing else going on out there this afternoon, I wandered off back home again to do a bit more work.

Later on, I had a really enjoyable hour on the guitars. One of the things that I did with the bass guitar was to work out the bass line to David Bowie’s “Heroes” and I found, to my immense satisfaction, that I could sing it at the same time.

Back 40 years ago I could sing and play the bass but it wasn’t all that easy. Despite the fact that I still haven’t manage to recapture whatever skill I might have had, I’m finding singing to be so much easier and I don’t understand that at all.

With the acoustic guitar, I selected half a dozen songs and then had a little concert. As I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I need to spend more time concentrating on maybe just a dozen songs and knowing them very well rather than dissipating my efforts over a hundred or so.

But one track that I’ve found that I can play and sing quite easily is Counting Crows’ “Recovering the Satellites”, although that song and “Heroes” that I mentioned just now remind me rather too much of a certain night back at the beginning of September last year and one day I might even write about it.

There wa san old burger in the fridge that needed eating so I had that for tea. And being fed up of pasta, I had a baked potato with tinned veg seeing as I have run out of carrots. And the veg was peas, peppers and sweetcorn from a tin that I had bought ages ago at NOZ. As I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … rummaging around in the food mountain at NOZ does provide me with a varied diet.

Both Rosemary and TOTGA wanted a chat on the internet so I was rather late going out for my evening walk and run.

And to my surprise, not only did I manage 6 runs, I ran them without any effort too and I reckon that I could have pushed on even further had I wanted.

escalier du moulin a vent Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn between a couple of the legs I stopped for a breather at the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen plenty of photos of the Place Marechal Foch during the night, but it occurs to me that you may not have seen the view looking behind me

There’s the nice little flat level ground which is disfigured by a small bunker or two of the Atlantic Wall, and then the stairs – the Escalier du Moulin a Vent that leads up to the Place de l’Isthme. And while there is indeed a “Windmill Staircase”, there’s no windmill. although there used to be and I have seen an old postcard that shows a view of it.

trees lit up square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo-one about so I had a good run across the Square Maurice Marland.

It was all looking quite nice, the trees all illuminated by the lights and with no leaves to hide the effect.

And from there I continued around the walls and then ran on home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow I have my Welsh lesson so I need to do some revision in the morning, and then in the afternoon I hope that I’ll be able to finish off the radio programme that I started in Leuven.

Then there are plenty of other things to be doing and who knows? One of these days I might be able to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Just don’t hold your breath.

Friday 16th October 2020 – SOMEONE ELSE …

Helicopter Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… has had his chopper out today, so it seems.

We’re used to seeing a helicopter flying around here but it’s usually the Eurocopter one that the Air-Sea Rescue uses. In fact we saw that one out and about the other night. But today it’s a new one that I don’t recall having seen before.

It looks as if it’s a private helicopter, not one belonging to a Government department or organisation. And it makes a change from the autogyro that we usually see flying around here in the afternoon.

And if it had been flying around here when the third alarm went off, I would have missed it because, once again, I failed to make it out of bed at the appropriate time and that has filled me with dismay.

And it’s not as if I had a late night either – well, not as late as some have been.

And I didn’t really go all that far during the night either. I’m not sure what was happening here but it was in lockdown and no-one was allowed out. There was one group or orchestra practising in a shipping container that was floating on the sea. But the container suddenly nose-dived and anyone in it was taken below the water. There were a lot of people appealing to the Ministry to allow people back out onto the beaches to avoid another tragedy

And later on, after many struggles Wales finally had its own navy although no-one ever called it out for very much. It wasn’t safe to go out in the ruler’s boat too far because of all kinds of different complications but we certainly had a navy by now.

It’s certainly interesting, the things that I get up to during the night.

All of the morning has been spent dealing with the photos from August 2020. And that took an age as well because the system that I tried, of dictating my notes out loud so that the recorder on the Dashcam would pick it up, was also a dismal failure.

In the end, I had to follow on the Dashcam the route that I took, look for road signs that I could decipher (which was not easy with the bright sunlight shining into the windscreen) and then timing the difference between two photos.

That’s complicated enough when it has to be done in German, but when you are dealing with notices, adverts and signs written in Czech, Slovak and Hungarian, it’s another thing entirely. It took me all the morning to do about 30, and there’s still plenty more to go at.

After lunch, I had to go out. Caliburn is now a teenager, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and for his birthday he’s having a makeover as I promised him. So basically I had to drive to Gavray where we repeated the process that we has done several months ago, and now he’s booked in for a week from 27th October.

There’s plenty of life left in him, that’s for sure, but his bodywork is looking his age and the MoT examiner made a few comments about it. It’s going to cost me an arm and a leg, and I really do mean that, but buying a new vehicle will cost me 10 times that. And if I get a second-hand vehicle, who knows what I’ll end up with?

And the repair will come with a 5-year guarantee, which is about all the life that I have left in me if I’m lucky, according to the doctor’s. They gave me a lifespan of between 5 and 10 years, and we’ve entered that period now.

Crowds On Beach Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving returned from my rather pointless drive from Gavray, I went for my afternoon walk.

And at least I had very good weather for it. The weather was really beautiful this afternoon. A little cold and windy but really sunny outside. There were quite a few people down ther eon the beach making the most of the mid-October sunshine.

However, on the way out of town, I’d seen people carrying buckets and rakes and all kinds of things off onto the beach, so I wonder if it’s another Grand Marée when they’ll be swarming onto the beach for the shellfish in the public area.

Antea English Channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was other activity going on out to sea too.

The white boat that we saw away in the distance in the English Channel is still there, only now a bit closer to the Ile de Chausey. A look on the live plotter of the Fleet Monitor that I have (regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I host in my apartment the AIS receiver and antenna for the port) tells me that the research ship Antea is still out there.

That leads me to the conclusion that she is in fact none other than the aforementioned. The next question of course is “what is she researching?”

Children Orienteering Pointe Du Roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were quite a few people out there on foot today wandering around in the good weather.

And the brats were out there again today, with their orienteering project. I’m not quite sure what it is that they are actually supposed to be doing because when I was walking past, one of the monitors was sending them off in pairs to stand by the control points.

It seems to me that one of these days I shall have to grab hold of a brat and interrogate it to find out what they are up to out here.

Fishing Boats Returning Home to Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo off past the lawn to the Point of the headland to see what’s going on there.

Even though it’s the same time as yesterday more or less, the tide is about 35 or so minutes slower so it’s not deep enough in the tidal harbour for the fishing boats to come in to unload. But they are streaming back from their stations in droves and I counted probably 8 or 9 that I could see with the naked eye.

Here are a couple of them – a trawler-type on the left and an inshore shellfish fisher (and try saying that with someone else’s teeth in) heading back to port.

Le Loup Baie de Mont St Michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was another one of these strange lighting effects today too.

There wasn’t a rainstorm today but there was plenty of cloud obscuring the sun in places. And every now and again the sun would pop out to say hello and there would be this extraordinary floodlighting effect, just like over there in the fields at the back of Kairon-Plage

Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour is nevertheless all in the shade and the guy fishing on the rocks in the bottom-left is nothing but a shadow.

Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was looking at the live plotter of the Fleet Monitor, I noticed that there had been a change in the boats in the harbour.

Victor Hugo, the older one of the two Jersey Ferries, the one that’s blue, is no longer shown as being present in the harbour. So while I was out I went for a look and sure enough, there’s only Granville, the newer one of the two present.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, the ferries to the Channel Islands have stopped for the time being as the Channel Islands have closed their borders, and both of them were moored here. So why, at about 06:20 this morning did Victor Hugo suddenly pull up sticks and head off – to Cherbourg as it happens?

And of course Normandy Trader has cleared off too. Out on the early morning tide on her run back to St Helier.

There was the hour on the guitar with the same lack of enthusiasm, and then tea. I added a small tin of kidney beans to the remainder of the stuffing from yesterday and had taco rolls. That was followed by the third of those desserts, and there’s one left for tomorrow.

Eglise St Paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halllater on I went out for my evening walk and runs. 5 more runs, to be precise. I’m stepping up my fitness activity as much as I can.

And it’s just as well, because I was all alone tonight and I had the old walled city to myself. There was nothing much going on worth photographing so I settled for a photo of the Eglise St Paul – on eof the world’s first modern concrete buildings.

However in 1999, not even 100 years old, it was found to be in a deplorable condition and was closed. Bits of concrete drop off without notice so parking at the side of it is forbidden. A project of renovation has been considered, but at a cost of €7,000,000 which is considered to be beyond the budget of any interested party.

Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow, here’s a thing.

A short while ago, I mentioned that Victor Hugo had left port early this morning and that Granville was there all on her todd. But after I’d finished my run across the Square Maurice Marland and looked down onto the port, I noticed that she had disappeared too.

At 16:53 to be precise according to my live tracker, not long after I came in. Or, in other words, as soon as the harbour gates opened. And she’s also in Cherbourg now apparently, so the crew who took her sister out there earlier must have come back by train and gone straight back out again.

It looks as if the ferries have now finished for the season if they’ve gone into winter quarters already. It was a pretty lean year for them, then.

Wednesday 14th October 2020 – IT LOOKS AS IF …

Boats Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… the fishing season is now back with a bang.

While you admire the piles of fishing boats queueing to get into harbour and unload, I’ll mention my day and we can talk about fishing boats later.

For a start, just by way of a change, I was up and about well before the third alarm yet again, which is something that is surprising me as much as it’s probably surprising you too. I can’t keep this up, surely?

And so first task this morning was to listen to the dictaphone to see if I had been anywhere during the night.

And I had too!

Boats Queueing Up To Unload Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt started off last night with a scandal when a bowls team was disqualified for fielding an ineligible player in a tournament. Once his identity had been discovered they awarded all of the remaining points to the opponents. However the organisers took no further action because his arrival at the club had been well-documented in the Press previously.

And just WHAT am I doing dreaming about bowls? It’s a game with which I have absolutely no empathy whatsoever. I’ve only ever played bowls once in my life and then not very well.

Unloading Bouchots De Chausey Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while they are unloading the bouchots about which we talked the other day, there was something going on during the night about car parking. I wanted to park a vehicle on some waste land between some buildings. I parked the building but left a note for the people who owned it. They telephoned me back and passed me on to someone. We ended up having quite a chat about it. They wanted money for it so in the end I decided not to do that. In the meantime they told me that if I would be passing the representative’s place which was at n°230 such-and-such a street in Shavington. So I went there and knocked on the door but no-one came, no-one answered, so I thought “never mind. I’ll drive on”. Then all of the family were going for a meal and this meant picking up a few other people. I had to go to pick up someone at 230 again – a street in Nantwich, near The Leopard. When I pulled up at that house, it looked exactly like the description of the property that I’d been given over the phone (… by the previous guy…). When the guy came out he said “ohh yes, you’re Eric” and started to chat to me. The discussion came round about welding. I’d just been given back my MIG welder so I said “yes I can do MIG welding now. I’m going to practise when I get home”. We ended up with Liz and Terry in a big field somewhere to go sunbathing. There were quite a few people there already and it was fairly busy and there weren’t all that many places to go. Terry had a word with the owner of the field. He said “if you want to eat, you’d better go and eat now as the restaurant is really busy. There might be a table free now at 18:30 but later on there might not. One of the women with us suggested that it might be an idea to at least go down and find out about “should we eat now while we would or see if we could book a table for later. We ought at least to make sure that there would be a table later”.

Fishing Pointe du Roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you lot admire the fishermen on the rocks at the end of the Pointe du Roc, I carried on with a project that I’d started back in May and which had ground to a halt on 24th June.

My web pages are becoming unwieldy, especially the earlier ones. As more and more stuff has been added to them they have done a pretty good imitation of Topsy and “just growed”. So I’ve started redrafting them and cutting them up differently to make them into smaller, bite-sized pages for the truncated attention span of the MTV generation.

The ones for MY 1999 TRIP TO NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY were done ages ago when I first started this project. Then there were a few miscellaneous ones, but then I ran aground with my trip to Canada and New England over the period of New Year 2001-2002.

But finally today, that one is finished and ALL OF THEM ARE NOW ONLINE TOO.

And that knotty web-coding problem that I had? After a good night’s sleep I resolved it in 5 minutes this morning. However it didn’t give me the result that I wanted so in the end I abandoned it for something else.

There was the usual break for lunch with more of my delicious bread and then there was work to do.

There were four extremely ripe kiwis here so I peeled them and whizzed them up to turn them into a nice runny liquidy mess. That was them filtered through my stack of filters to remove as much solid matter as I could, leaving just a kind of juice. I threw in the last of the grapes too for good measure.

Then I strained the kefir that I had brewing and put the resultant liquid in with the kiwi juice and mixed it around, leaving an inch or two in the bottle as my mother solution.

This was then strained through a fine mesh filter into two cleaned and disinfected glass bottles with stoppers where it will brew for the next 48 hours.

Kiwi Kefir Coffee Dessert With Apricots Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLast night I’d finished the blackberry pie so for a change I opened a tin of apricots and found a packet of coffee-flavoured dessert that you make with milk and it sets like a blancmange. That all went in together into four Sundae glasses and will do me until my next cookery session on Sunday.

And here is one that I made earlier, children.

No – seriously, these are the finished products. The bottles are now brewing in a dark corner of the kitchen at the side of the fridge, and the dessert is in the fridge cooling. For tea tonight I tried one of the desserts and even though I say it myself, it was delicious.

Erecting Scaffolding College Malraux Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack out for my afternoon walk of course, and straight into the action across the car park.

Our scaffolders are now back at work. The scaffolding has grown considerably since we last saw it and they have even no started to put stairs into it. This is going to be a serious job, I reckon.

And the compound has been repaired too. There’s now a shipping container in there, which is presumably going to be used as a store, and there are also a few pallets of bits and pieces. No slates yet though. I imagine that they will take a day or two to arrive, presumably after the scaffolding is finished.

Beach Seafront St Martin De Brehal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust for a change, the sun was out today, and that made a pleasant change from just recently.

It wasn’t particularly bright over here where I was, but across the bay on the promenade at St Martin de Bréhal it was really lighting up the area and making it all look so beautiful. I bet that it must have been really nice to have been out there in all of this.

In that direction you could see for miles too. The big wind turbine on the way out to Cerences is clearly visible on the range of hills on the horizon. It’s not every day that you see that too.

Zodiac Fishing English Channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen all of the fishermen in the harbour and those fishermen on the rocks, and the fishermen in the small boats seem to be back out again now that the weather has calmed down.

In the usual place amongst the rocks on the northern side of the Pointe du Roc we have three fishermen in a zodiac casting their rods into the water after, I presume, the sea-bass that is said to swim around here in these waters. I say that carefully, because in all the time we’ve been watching the fishermen, we’ve yet to actually see anyone catch anything.

There were quite a few pedestrians around here and I became embroiled in a lively chat with a very pleasant young lady who was aged about 4, I reckon. She had quite a lot to say for herself.

Yacht Baie de Mont St Michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that surprised me was that there was nothing much going on right out at sea today. No trawlers or freighters or anything like that – after all, the trawler men were queueing up to get into port right now.

But the good weather had certainly brought out the pleasure-boat men in their dozens today. There were yachts everywhere, including this rather beautiful one scudding along in the wind and going around the headland.

The purple sail was making a beautiful reflection in the water and it was a shame that the water wasn’t calmer.

Still the two usual suspects in the chantier navale so I ignored them and carried on home to finish off the web site work that I’d been doing.

Just as I was completing everything, Rosemary rang for a chat so we were on the ‘phone for an hour or so putting the world to rights. And then the hour on the guitar.

It was quite depressing mainly because I could not summon up the enthusiasm yet again. But I perked up a little towards the end when I tried to work out the chords to Steve Harley’s beautiful RIDING THE WAVES.

And it’s not as easy as you might think either, especially as in order to be able to sing it, I have to go down to a different key and then I lose my place.

For tea, I made an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit. I’ve run out in the freezer, as I discovered when I did an inventory the other day. And my pudding as I mentioned.

Air Sea Rescue Helicopter English Channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was some excitement tonight out there as well.

This photo might not look much but it is in fact the air-sea rescue helicopter that we’ve seen on several occasions carrying out an air-sea search with its floodlight. I’ve no idea why but doubtless I’ll find out tomorrow in the newspaper, if it’s anything serious.

So four runs tonight. No wonder I was exhausted when I returned home to write out my notes.

Shopping tomorrow and there’s quite a list too. I don’t know how I’m going to carry it all home so I’d better be on top form. A good shower will probably do me some good.

Nevertheless it’s a long walk there, and an even longer one back when I’m loaded up.

Monday 14th September 2020 – I’M NOT SURE …

… whether this has been a good day or a bad day.

When the third alarm went off this morning I was still in bed but surprisingly, I actually sprung up out of bed and sat on the edge. I’ve no idea what happened there – the “springing up” bit, I mean.

And neither will you when I tell you that I was still up and about at 01:40 this morning too. Having a lie-in is one thing but not when it adjusts my body clock quite like this.

As usual these days, it took an age for the bed to stop spinning so that I could get off, and once I’d gathered my wits I had a listen to the dictaphone.

We started off with a voyage that went on for ages and ages. I thought at first that it was a dream about football but it’s not. It took me a while to think about what it was actually about because when I tried to dictate it, it had all gone completely out of my head for a while but suddenly it all came back to me, as the skunk said when the wind changed.

It was actually about skiing. We were all going skiing, a huge group of us with a couple of friends of mine from the Wirral. I had some people whom they knew from the past but couldn’t remember very well some of the people. We’d all met up and having a ski around in the mountains. I was explaining to them my favourite ski runs particularly in the summer when there was still snow up in the mountains and skiing was still possible. We were making plans to all go and they were asking me “did my friends like this? Did my friends like to stop for regular breaks?” All this kind of thing. I hadn’t really got round to telling them that there was only me who was interested in going with them to do this. This conversation about my favourite ski runs in this mountain went on – you get to the top and you get the drag lift up here and you take this nice beautiful red run all the way down here. This went on for ages. Then it was time for break and we were sitting around. I was waiting at a table with this particular group. People were asking “do we want to continue? Do we want to go on?” I said “my group hasn’t asked for any food yet” so I said to them “do you have any requests? And make sure that they are physically possible”. Everyone burst out laughing but no-one actually asked for anything.

A little later it was a beautiful afternoon and I was walking around the little park/lawn place by the Boulevard Vaufleury and is this the first time that I’ve dreamt about Granville? Even though it was beautiful there was no-one really taking advantage of it except a group of schoolkids doing physical exercises under the supervision of a teacher who might have been called Taylor. There were people discussing a murder and whether a certain guy had done it and someone else chimed in “well they’ve got the wrong Taylor there haven’t they?” to which everyone wondered what he was meaning. I’m not quite sure where it went after that.

Not only that, I attacked a few of the arrears and I’m slowly whittling them down. As well as that, while I was listening to this week’s radio programme before I sent it off (I did remember), I spent an hour or so on the arrears of photos for July.

Having sent off the broadcast, I extracted the digital record turntable. Not being able to find the software for it, I had to hunt it down on the internet. But once it was all installed and connected up, it seemed to work quite well and I was able to record an album – the one that I wanted to record.

The only downside is that it recorded in mono. That’s not as big a deal because I can convert it into stereo. It was true mono too – not just one track of a stereo recording, so the fault either lies with the album (it might be a mono recording) or with the settings that I’m using. I shall have to check.

But once I’d done it, I was able to use part of it to complete some old stuff that I have from another time in order to recreate a rock concert that I had seen in 1971. That took the rest of the day but now it’s a nice live concert of almost an hour, including the legendary track about which I shall one of these days recount a very long story.

government boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs usual, I went out for my afternoon walk. And in the heat too. My thermometer at home was showing 29°C and it felt like it too.

The crowds of people who were out there were enjoying it too. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many people out there on a working day. Not so many people out a sea today though, which isn’t really all that much of a surprise. But this boat was out there again, towing a dinghy behind it this time.

It’s been a couple of times that I’ve seen it now and I’ve still not been able to work out what it is and who owns it.

government boat lifeboat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallBut anyway I carried on around the headland to the other side and there I was treated to an interesting nautical danse macabre.

The lifeboat was coming out of its berth in the port de plaisance and it crossed the mystery boat right outside the harbour. We had a couple of toots on a siren and then a complicated manoeuvre as they avoided each other.

The mystery boat, which has an interesting heavy-duty crane in the bows, then carried on into the Port de Plaisance. And I carried on home.

There was the session of Welsh and the time on the guitars and then I stopped for tea. Stuffed pepper followed by my delicious apple crumble with the left-over ice-cream out of one of the containers in the freezer. I need to make some more room in there.

donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was still stifling hot when I went out for my evening walk and runs.

There were quite a few people about this evening here and there which is hardly surprising given the heat. There was a heat haze out to sea so the view wasn’t as clear as it has been just recently.

However the view of the promenade at Donville-les-Bains along the coast was particularly impressive tonight and the photograph that I took came out rather well.

The Rue du Nord on the right of the photo has come out rather well and on the left you can see the red lights on the wind turbines round somewhere near Cerences.

people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallBut my reverie was disturbed by a noise coming from down below on the beach so I had a look over the wall.

Pitch-black is one thing for most of us but for young people it’s something else. These two down here checking messages on their mobile phones seemed to be having a very enjoyable time. And why not?

As for me I walked up to the old gate in the walls and then ran down the path towards the viewpoint over the Plat Gousset.

helicopter english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallBut I didn’t get very far and actually had to break off my run which disappointed me, because the excitement yet isn’t over.

As I was running down the path I was overtaken by a helicopter that flew along the coast and then went to ground down near the promenade at Donville-les-Bains.

“This is a strange time of the night to be having your chopper out” I mused to myself, and then carried on with my run. On reflection, the helicopter is quite probably the local air-sea rescue machine.

Nothing much else happened so I headed home. I managed my three runs although I do have to say that I never ever felt less like it. Having crashed out for 15 minutes after tea has taken its toll.

Tomorrow it’s Welsh class so I need to do some more revision, and then there’s the concert to finish off, followed by the missing week of my internet course.

Then at last I can turn my attention to other stuff. And not before time either.

Saturday 11th July 2020 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… day I’ve had today!

While you admire the beautiful sunset from this evening, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that it always takes me a day or two to adjust myself after the travelling to Leuven, but it’s never been quite as bad as this.

It goes without saying that I missed the alarms this morning. No danger whatever of me showing a leg at 06:00. 07:30 would have to do, I’m afraid.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd after the medication I listened to the dictaphone to see if I had been anywhere during the night. Somewhere on my travels I’d ended up near the new by-pass that they were building on the A556. I had a lift in a lorry out of Manchester and it dropped me off right slap bang in the middle of the roadworks and I had to walk all the way up to the M6 roundabout. I could see queues on the new road and I was lucky because there was no traffic here. When I walked off I met my brother and we had a discussion about things that needed to be collected from a little factory just off this old road that was being modernised. We had to walk all the way back to this factory. A guy came out to see us and said “yes I’ll fetch your order”. So we waited and waited and waited and waited. In the end I said to my brother “you stay here. I’ll go back and fetch the van because they are going to come out and say that the order is ready and we’ll have to fetch the van anyway. We may as well do it now while we are waiting”. Then the question of tyres came up. They had sent me four tyres and I had never received them. Then; thinking on, there were two earlier tyres that I had ordered from them and they had never come either. I was wondering what was happening about these tyres and should I bring up the subject while I’m waiting here to pick up this next load of stuff.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSeeing as I’m off to the shops I went for a shower and a weigh-in. My weight is hovering just underneath my target weight which is good although I would love to lose two or three more kilos.

NOZ was rather a disappointment. Some coconut milk, another box of these breaded soya fillets and a 9-volt battery for the preamp on the 5-string fretless bass. I need to push on more with that.

LeClerc wasn’t much better either. I wandered around rather aimlessly in there, spending most of my money on fruit. They did have some of the small tins of kidney beans in stock. I like using those to lengthen left-over meals to fill taco rolls.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were more frozen falafel too so I bought another box of 12.

Back here I unpacked, put the frozen stuff away and then … errr … crashed out for half an hour or so. It took me quite a while to gather my wits once I returned to the land of the living, something that surprised me seeing as I don’t have all that many left.

Most of the day has been spent dealing with photos. There have been some of those from my journey on board Spirit of Conrad and some more of my Transatlantic voyage last July. We’ve left Vestmannaeyjar and now in our raging storm somewhere in between Iceland and Greenland.

There was the break for lunch of course and also a break for my afternoon walk.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I wasn’t the only one out there either.

Although there was plenty of wind about, there was a beautiful sunshine too. Not the kind of weather that would encourage me to go and sit half-naked on a beach but it evidently appealed to some folk.

More than some folk in fact because the beach was pretty crowded. That’s the inaccessible bit down there.

granvillaise ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNow that the tourist season has officially started the “boats for hire” are back hard at it.

Marite has slipped her moorings, nowhere to be seen, but out there near the Ile de Chausey is a boat that has the same sail configuration as La Granvillaise

It’s not easy to see from this range, even with a good telescopic lens, whether it has the “G90” in its sails that would confirm its identity as La Granvillaise, but I can’t think who else it might be in a yacht like that.

And she wasn’t alone either, as you can see. Plenty of other yachts out there too dashing in and out of the harbour over there. They are keeping busy in the port right enough.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallDodging the massed crowds out on the walls, I made my way down the footpath to the viewpoint over the beach at the Plat Gousset

Here, it’s a bit more sheltered from the wind and I expected to see many more people here. And i wasn’t disappointed because they were out there in droves this afternoon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have been rather critical of Mme la Maire’s expenditure in the town but my hat does go off to her for having dealt with the issue of the tidal swimming pool and restoring it for use this summer.

The crowds down there are really enjoying it.

air sea rescue helicopter plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was admiring the view of the beach, I was buzzed by a low-flying object passing by overhead.

“Someone has got their chopper out again” I mused, but it is in fact the Air-Sea rescue helicopter flying back to its base at the airfield at Donville-les-Bains.

It’s obviously been somewhere, but whether on a training flight or a real mission I really couldn’t say. I suppose that I’ll have to keep an eye out in the papers tomorrow and see if there is anything in there to give me a clue.

baby seagull learning to fly rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallNo change at the roofing job in the Place Marechal Foch so I carried on into the Square Maurice Marland

My baby seagull wasn’t there on its roof this afternoon and I couldn’t see where it was at all. Mummy wasn’t there either. But on a roof across the road a couple of baby seagulls were taking their first fluttering flight from ground. This one here was hopping up onto that air vent and hopping off flapping its wings and somehow managing to cover a couple of feet before landing.

My baby seagull is a week or two behind the others so I don’t imagine that it’s flown away already. I hope that it’s OK.

square Maurice Marland granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall the three baby seagulls that we saw a couple of weeks ago having a pile of fun on a roof.

Today though they were being much more sedate, just sitting around in the sun. It gave me an opportunity to have a look at the Square Maurice Marland in all its glory.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when I started running last winter I used to run across there. The first ramp that I somehow managed to struggle up is to the right of the tree and it was the steep one on the left of the image that always defeated me.

The place was littered with wedding parties too – there had been a couple of weddings up here and they weren’t half making a racket. But nevertheless I somehow managed to crash out yet again and was gone for a good hour or so. It really was a miserable day from that point of view.

Round about 18:00 I pulled myself together and had a session on the guitars – including the 5-string fretless bass that I’m not using half often enough.

That took me up to tea time, which as usual was a breaded soya fillet with potatoes and veg. I’d bought some endives today so I had one of those with tea.

An old apple turnover from the freezer made up the dessert. It was quite nice with some of the vegan soya coconut stuff.

yacht english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was going out, it looked as if everyone else was coming home.

My first run was once more a disappointment. For the nth time in succession I never made it to the top of the hill, never mind down to the clifftop. But at least I was in time to see this yacht coming in towards port.

The itinerant was there again, buried in his hedge, sitting quietly reading a book. I have to say that I totally admire his stoicism, sticking it out in the hedge in all weathers.

yacht speedboat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallNot needing to pause for breath I carried on past the hordes of picnickers on the lawn and round to the south side of the headland.

And it does have to be said that I was right about everyone heading for home. The town had been thronged with cars and trailers pulling boats into town this morning as I went to the shops. All of those boats that had been launched are not streaming back into port to go home.

There are five boats close to shore on this photo and any other photo of the sea around the port entrance would have picked up a completely different five. There’s a lot of money to be made with the launching fee, that’s for sure.

victor hugo port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I ran on down the Boulevard Vaufleury but ran out of steam when I rounded the corner, so I went back to see what was going on in the port.

It was rather disappointing to see both Granville and Victor Hugo still in port. It was my understanding that the ferry service to the Channel Islands would be starting today and that one or other (or maybe both) of the ferries would be off.

But apparently not. They are both ties up here, presumably waiting for Godot or something like that. It will be good to see them back at work and bringing some revenue into the town.

While I was on my travels this morning I noticed a couple of Jersey-registered vehicles out an about, so it looks as if the car ferry to St Malo is already up and running.

crowds picnicking on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe next stage of my run took me down the Rue St Jean and through the alley into the Rue du Nord and up to the viewpoint.

There was quite a crowd there watching the setting sun – I just arrived there in time – but I was also interested in what was going on down on the beach. We have the picnickers back this evening having a meal down there. Not for nothing are they called “sandwiches”.

Having seen the sun set I came back home to write up my notes.

That was another disappointing day, spending most of it fighting off waves of sleep. It’s rather depressing that I can’t have a few days when I’m free to concentrate on what I’m supposed to be doing.

But there’s always tomorrow. It’s going to be a baking day with a loaf of bread, an apple crumble and some honey, lemon and ginger drink. Now that i’m back home I ought to be more focused on what i’m trying to achieve.

We shall see.

Tuesday 9th June 2020 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… I actually beat the third alarm to my feet this morning.

hang glider pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallSo while you all admire the Birdman of Alcatraz who came to grief on the lawn at the Pointe du Roc this afternoon. I can tell you all about it.

Actually, I cheated. That’s because I went to bed earlier than usual – something round about 23:40 if I remember correctly.

But, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall because it’s happened a few times just recently, including once just the other day, I awoke at about 04:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep again.

hang glider pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBut then, there’s a reason for that too.

Last night I’d been on numerous voyages, starting off walking through the hospital into the downstairs part of the waiting room where the haematology patients went, where there was a small swimming pool. The weather was really rough, raining and storming and there was even storming in that swimming pool. There was a dead body of a man with longish black hair and moustache, white shirt and beige trousers floating in it. He was clearly dead so I had to get hold of a telephone and telephone the police but I couldn’t get through so I telephoned the switchboard. They wanted to know exactly where I was but I couldn’t get out the words properly. In the meantime other people started to come into the area where there was this swimming pool. No-one else noticed this body except me so I was wondering whether I was really seeing it or whether I was having hallucinations.

hang glider pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBut having complained the other night about the lack of congenial company on my nocturnal rambles, I was joined last night by a girl with whom I used to work who could accompany me anywhere, as she did on one occasion skiing in Bulgaria and on another occasion skiing in Italy.. We were in the EU and I hadn’t long started and we were discussing all kinds of different things. How it started was that I’d gone into work on a Saturday. They asked me where I was going so I said “to such-and-such company”. Just at that moment this girl walked out of the door and I said “yes, where she works. Ohh yes she knows me and she’ll vouch for me, all this kind of thing” so they let me in. I went up the back but I couldn’t remember her room. I bumped into one of the directors and I’ll tell you his name in a minute, not Barros or Moratinos but a German guy (and not Heusgen either). I asked if he could point me in the direction of this girl’s office and he said “come with me” I asked him where she was so he took me downstairs onto the 5th floor and said “it’s just that office over there” and I thought “that’s the office that she used to be in before she moved up to the 8th floor – useless type”. Then I bumped into another girl and I was telling her about this. We ended up talking and this is where this other girl suddenly transformed herself into my friend again. We decided that we would go out for a walk. She started to run so I ran after her. We ran up some steps and down this fine gravel path. We were talking about work and how she had started. A lot of people had started but they wanted to get rid of some so they gave them all kinds of crappy work hoping that they would get fed up and leave pretty quickly. She said she stuck it out and I came a few months later. So off we went for a run. We were running for a bit. She said “are you comfortable running?” I said “well as long as it’s on the flat and the thing about Brussels is that it’s always on the flat, so yes, I’m comfortable running”. Se ran and did some strange exercises a bit like Castor would do strange exercises when she was running about. She ran a bit further on and slowed down for a walk. I slowed down to a walk and rather tentatively put my arm round her. She said “I’m going to go over there” pointing to somewhere off the path amongst a couple of trees. It was dark by this time. I said “shall I come with you?” She said “yes” and went off. She had some kind of coconut matting blanket and put it down on the floor and sat down. I sat down with her.

And there you are – the bird on my plate, just about to get my fork stuck in it, and I flaming well awoke!

It’s always the case, isn’t it? You could bet your mortgage on it.

But obviously my subconscious is telling me something. And I wish that I knew what it was.

Anyway, I didn’t leave the bed at that point (well, I did, actually. I went for a ride on the porcelain horse). I did all that I could to go back to sleep and step back in to where I left off, but to no avail.

Actually, I did go back to sleep, but I’ve no idea where I went – if anywhere at all.

Mind you, as I explained, I did haul myself out of bed before the third alarm and went and had my medication.

After transcribing the dictaphone notes, I had a few things to do. First was do hunt down a couple of digital copies of albums. I’d been provided with a couple of clues as to where I might find them, and this was indeed correct.

So that’s two more from the “outstanding” pile now added to the collection. And now that I’ve acquired a tape player (thanks, Liz) there will be a few more very soon.

Next stop was to prepare for my Welsh lesson. That involved not just reviewing my notes from last week and examining those for this week, but also tidying the kitchen end of the apartment.

That’s the big issue with video conferencing. I don’t want people to see the disorder in which I live.

And that reminds me – there was a headline in one of today’s digital newspapers about “the clue to alien life maybe found in dust”. If that’s the case, there must be loads of spacemen and Tory politicians sharing this apartment with me.

After my lesson it was time for lunch. And I do have to say that while there is plenty of room for improvement with my bread, this loaf is what I would call a success and I’m impressed with it.

It they keep on coming out like this I shan’t complain too much at all.

After lunch I had work to do.

Despite having already done one radio project this week, I wanted to do another. And by the time that I came to knocking off at 18:00, I’d chosen the music, combined the music in pairs and written half the notes.

So that’s the task for tomorrow I reckon – finish that lot off and if there is any time left, do my tax return and so some of my music course.

Really though, I could have made more time available by doing more today but I … errr … had a little relax for a short while.

trawlers buoy english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallBut never mind, there was still the afternoon walk to undertake, even if I didn’t feel much like it after my slumber.

The sea was heaving today with all kinds of traffic out there. mainly fishing boats of course, because it’s during the week and many people are now back at work with no time for pleasure-boating.

It was difficult to count how many fishing boats were out there today but here’s a couple as an appetiser.

people on beach pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it wasn’t just on the water that there were people either.

Although our photos of our birdman don’t show it, there were dozens of people loitering around the Pointe du Roc, and even down on the beach we had people walking around, studiously obeying the injunction not to “install oneself” on the beach.

The only surprise about this was that even though it was a nice day and the tide was quite a way out, there were so few people down there this afternoon.

air sea rescue helicopter pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWe saw our Birdman of Alcatraz just now. I didn’t actually see him come to grief but he sailed past me at a very low altitude and when I went around the corner he was already on the ground trying to take off again.

What was so amusing was that just a few seconds after he had become unstuck – or, rather, stuck – the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter came roaring past. It made me think that it had come by to rescue him from his plight.

But there was no need because he eventually managed to take to the air again – and without flapping his arms either.

fishing boats pleasure boats chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I carried on with my perambulations around the Pointe and along the walkway at the top ofthe cliff.

From there I could see down into the chantier navale and there’s been a change of occupant today. There’s a small fishing boat now appeared on the left-hand side of the row of boats.

Having made a note I wandered back to my apartment to carry on with my work. This kind of thing doesn’t get done on its own and there’s no-one else here to do it for me. HIS NIBS isn’t that well trained as yet.

Knocking off at 18:00 I had a session on the guitars. And the time on the base was spent playing along to Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House” and “Foxy Lady” – numbers that I used to play when I was in a rock group in the 1970s.

Of course, “Foxy Lady” – the name as well as the lyrics – has a much more recent significance, as regular readers of this rubbish who followed my antics in the High Arctic last summer will recall and it certainly ignited a flame that had been doused for quite a while.

For the fist time for a week, I had a hot meal this evening. A handful of pasta and a vegan burger – one of those that was running out of date.

So two meals today, for the first time for a while. I’m getting over this illness which is good news. It comes in cycles, so they say, which I suppose is better than coming on the bus.

And that reminds me of the sperm bank that opened in London a good while ago which was a total failure. They only had two potential donors but one of them missed the tube and the other one came in a taxi.

speedboat rocks english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallOn that rather sad note, I suppose that I’d better call it a day and go for my evening walk.

Outside here down below, the tide is now in,, and we had a speedboat with several people on board who seem to have more than just a passing interest in the rocks just there.

It goes without saying that I’ve no idea why, and it wasn’t possible to ask them either. I just shrugged my shoulders and set off on my run.

zodiac fishing english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWith no-one hurling gratuitous abuse this evening I ran all the way up the road to my resting point at the end of the hedge – a little easier than last week – and then stopped for breath.

Having recovered, I ran down in a blistering headwind past the itinerant who was comfortably installed in his little spec, down to the clifftop to see what was going on.

And it’s pretty easy to guess what these people in this zodiac are doing here. The rod and lines are quite a giveaway. At least – they look like rod and lines from here but you can never be sure.

trawlers baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallA little earlier I mentioned about all of the fishing boats out on the sea this afternoon.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall, we’ve seen the fishing boats starting to exploit new and (as far as I am aware) previously unexploited areas of the oceans. The Baie de Mont St Michel tonight was crowded with fishing boats yet again and there are three of them in this photo.

There were probably nine down there in all, hard at it this evening as far as I could see

la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy run carried on along the top of the cliff past the chantier navale and down to my next resting point.

Unfortunately, it seems that I was just a couple of minutes too late. It looks as if the harbour gates have just opened and a whole line of fishing boats was streaming into the inner harbour, led by our old friend La Grande Ancre, although it doesn’t look like fish that she has on board right now.

And there’s a lorry down by the loading bay for the Jersey freighters. Is he delivering more stuff? Or taking stuff away?

trawlers fishing boats granville manche normandy france eric hallOf course, what goes in must come out too.

And while there was a line of boats waiting to go into the harbour, there was an equally long line of boats waiting to go out. Here’s a group of three of the seven or eight that were waiting for the gates to open.

The small boat in the middle looks quite cute just there. And you can also see another three fishing boats working away down in the Baie de Mont St Michel

trawler with fishing gear baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallBut this was interesting and it took me somewhat by surprise.

This would seem to be one of the boats that has just left the harbour but if you look very closely he has his dredging plates out already, judging by the cable out at the back.

Not that I eat shellfish anyway – or any kind of fish for that matter, but if I did, I don’t know whether I’d be wanting to eat any shellfish off the sea bed right by the harbour entrance. Not with an endless stream of boats passing directly overhead.

trawlers fishing boats fish processing plant refrigerated lorry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe next stage of my run took me all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury and 20 metres beyond my usual mark. Then I walked back to check on the port activities.

It’s clear that they are expecting a bumper haul of seafood tonight. Down there at the fish processing plant there are no fewer than 5 refrigerated lorries waiting to carry away the catch as well as a handful of smaller lorries and vans.

And the fishing boats are still coming in too. there are a couple of them here coming into the harbour to pull up at the quayside and unload

trawler sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallfrom there I ran on round to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord to see the lie of the land out there.

We had the sun obscured by clouds unfortunately, but there was a small gap in them right over some of the outlying islands of the Ile de Chausey and the effect was just as if they had been illuminated by a spotlight.

That fishing boat just creeping onto centre-stage was very picturesque too. I had to wait a few minutes for it to take up position but it does set off the image nicely.

picnicking on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThere’s only about an hour and a half before high tide but that’s not stopping our picnckers from partying tonight.

There were a couple of groups out there tonight and I was particularly impressed by the little group who have managed to lodge themselves onto a shelf halfway up the cliff. I’m not sure if that’s going to be out of the water in 90 minutes time.

Having finished my exertions I ran on back to the apartment to write up my notes. There’s plenty to do.

There’s plenty to do tomorrow too. I’m supposed to be retired but you would never think so, given all of the work that I have to do these days.

An early night would do me the world of good but then I’d just awaken at 04:30 so it really defeats the purpose.

Thursday 28th May 2020 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

air sea rescue helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall … all of the excitement that has been going on this evening – and is still going on even now judging by the noise just outside my window – just offshore in the English Channel, let me tell you about my day today.

It started off as we meant to go on – with me having yet another late night. Due primarily to me taking too much time to write out my notes from yesterday.

There weren’t any other distractions, which makes a change just recently.

air sea rescue helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd in accordance with usual procedures just recently, I missed the third alarm.

Not by very much, I have to say, but a miss is as good as a mile, as they say. Nevertheless, 06:30 is not an unreasonable time to be out of bed when I didn’t get into same until about 00:45.

Surprisingly, there was nothing on the dictaphone yet again. And I have the disctinct feeling or impression that at some time during the night I was somewhere else

air sea rescue helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallIt rather reminds me of the old story about the man who dreamed that he was awake. And when he woke up, he was!

After breakfast there were a few little things to deal with around here, and I even did some tidying up. But I still can’t find my magnifying glass.

And then a shower and weigh-in. And I’ve put on another 100 grammes. I’m not working hard enough on my health, I reckon. I have to be doing better than this.

installing edging floating pontoon rue de port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith it being Thursday, that’s shopping day. And I hadn’t forgotten that I was going to go down to the port to see what was going on down there with the big cranes.

And the answer is that it’s not really evident. They’ve worked hard on the pontoons of course, and they’ve edged and trimmed them now, presumably with the bits and pieces of metal or aluminium that were on there the other day.

But with just one row of pontoons, with the supports poking through, that’s not really wide enough for people to pass carrying boxes of fish and the like.

digging trench rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWe’d seen the traffic lights in the rue du Port and I wanted to see what they were for, seeing as they are still here but the cranes are gone.

Nothing to do with the cranes at all – just digging a trench across the road. It’s a company called Cegelec that’s doing the work so it’s likely that it’s something to do with electrical work.

There are some now power boxes on the pontoons, but I would have thought that they would have been connected into the existing circuit rather than having a new one.

chausiais trawlers leaving port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhen I was up on top of the cliff I’d noticed that Chausiais was moored up in the loading position underneath the big crane.

By the time I’d come down and walked along the harbour she had pulled away. There were several fishing boats pulling away from the quayside too so it looked as if at any moment the harbour gates are going to open and let everyone out.

As for me, I pushed on to the labroatory where I went to pay for my blood test last week and pick up my results.

And my blood count is down – by 0.3. Not that that’s any surprise. After all, I’ve not had my essential four-weekly treatment since January

At LIDL there were quite a few people – more than there have been for a while. There was nothing in the specials that I needed but even so the bill was somewhat large for a mid-week shop, due to the fact that I needed a lot of stuff.

But remember those frozen red fruits from the other week? They had bags of frozen raspberries in there today so I bought a pack. Somewhere lying around I have some agar-agar so I’m going to have a go at making a strawberry flan next week.

trawler entering port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, I called at La Mie Caline for a dejeunette and then headed for home.

The harbour gates are now open and the queue of boats had long-since departed . It was now the turn of those coming in to pass through the gates, like this one is doing right now.

Back here, I had to shuffle things around in the freezer to fit the strawberries in and then, coffee in hand, I attacked a dozen or so of the photos from July 2019.

Right now, I’m back on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour and just coming in to Reykjavik harbour on a grey and miserable Sunday morning.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallLunch was exciting because it was such a glorious day that I went and ate my butties outside, sitting on the wall overlooking the harbour.

And I wasn’t alone either, as you can see. Sometime during the course of the late morning while I was working on my photographs Thora has sneaked into port and tied up at the loading bay underneath the big crane where I had seen Chausiais earlier.

Word has reached my ear that there’s a strike on in the port of St Malo, and a lot of freight from there is being delivered here instead

boats entering leaving harbour granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t just Thora and a fishing boat that was using the harbour either.

It looked as if the whole world and his wife was either coming or going in and out of the port today. Dozens of people were making use of the facilities in the glorious weather.

For ages I sat and watched them, and I was accompanied by a lizard. I bet they missed me last summer when I wasn’t here. In previous years I’d fed tham with my pear droppings.

yacht baie de mont st michel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallDo you remember the big navy blue yacht that we saw the other night? I’m sure that regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing the photo.

She must have moved into here – or, at least, the Port de Plaisance – because here she is again taking advantage of the breeze that was blowing out to see.

But she didn’t hang around for long and disappeared out of my view. So I finished my butties and cme on back to the apartment.

air sea rescue helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile you admire more photos of this evening’s activities, I worked on my web pages.

Firstly I rewrote one of the pages on one of the websites – a project that I’ve started just recently.

And secondly, I treated a couple of pages on the other website to the new modernisation procedures. One of those pages had a substantial rewrite while I was at it because events have moved on since I first wrote it in 2008 and it’s one of those rare pages that has never had an amendment.

baie de mont st michel st pair sur met kairon plage marker light entrance to port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was time to finish off this week’s accountancy course (next week, it’s Maths!)and then go for my afternoon walk.

Such a beautiful afternoon it was, and so I went off and snapped a beautiful photo of the marker light by the entrance to the harbour, with St Pair sur Mer and Kairon Plage in the background.

Crowds of people out there today. Restrictions here are being further lifted on 2nd June but you would be forgiven for believing that they have been lifted already, with the crowds who were out there.

seagulls pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallNot just crowds of people either.

The tide is well on its way out and so the flocks of seagulls were jostling for position on the rocks ready to dive down onto the mudflats and scavenge for the shellfish.

It’s impressive how they seem to understand about tides and the like. Animal instinct is a wonderful thing and it’s a shame that most humans don’t use theirs.

cleaning mooring chains port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk carried me on around the headland, past the chantier navale where there were still the two boats.

But I was intrigued by the work that was going on in the tidal harbour. There are mooring chains all over there, marked by buoys that presumably float the chains up and down with the tide.

These guys were cleaning out around one of the chains. It’s probably become bogged down in the silt and isn’t moving as it’s supposed to znd needs freeing off.

bad parking college malraux granville manche normandy france eric hallBut you can tell that the schools are back, can’t you?

It’s chucking-out time at the High School down the road and the parents are here, parking on the pavement in a narrow road because, presumably, their little darlings are too tired to walk the extra 20 yards to the huge free car park just across the main road in the Boulevard Vaufleury.

As for me, I carried on with my walk and came back home

And you won’t believe this but me, not having played the piano since I was about 12 (and that’s over half a century) I can now play quite happily a 12-bar blues two-handed with Cmaj7 as the root chord in the American blues scale. It’s so impressive!

It did involve a little cheating – I had to label my keyboard (I have one of these 5-octave keyboards) so that I could see the notes at a glance rather than think about how they relate to middle C – but it was still pretty good and I completed the first week’s course with some kind of comfort.

What was even better was that for my hour on the guitar later, I sat down and worked out the note spacing for the blues scale and then did a half-hour of walking bass up and down the scale followed by half an hour of lead guitar solo

It seems to me that I’ve learnt more in an hour this afternoon than I have in about 50 years of playing guitar.

So week 2 tomorrow. And at this rate I might even catch up with the course. That’s rather more optimistic than yesterday, isn’t it?

Tea tonight was the leftover stuffing with kindey beans made into taco rolls, and a slice of my totally delicious and juicy apple pie – the best one that I’ve made so far.

Outside for my evening walk – and straight into controversy as when I finally reached the clifftop after my struggle up the hill I – and everyone else there – was buzzed by a helicopter.

air sea rescue helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWe all stood and watched it for ages at it circled round and round and round the same spot, going lower and lower each time.

It’s the local air-sea rescue helicopter that regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen before, so the conclusion that we reached was that there had been an “incident” of some description.

We noticed, as you can see in this photo, that it’s attracted the attention of a fishing boat that has changed course and now come over to where the helicopter is.

air sea rescue boat helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallA couple of minutes later, the lifeboat came around the corner to join in the fun.

So whatever it was that was going on, it was clearly important and I’ll ptobably find out about it tomorrow in teh newspapers.

So knowing that this wouldn’t be resolved in a minute I decided to carry on with my run and presumably by the time that I got round to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord they will still be out there working.

open motor launch fishing boat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe presence of the air-sea rescue operation wasn’t deterring the rest of the nautical craft.

Commercial operations would hardly be affected and it seems that leisure activities weren’t halted either. these guys in their open boat are still chugging on their way regardless of the commotion that was going on around them.

Back at the apartment I enlarged the image and I could see that they were loaded up with rods and lines and the rest of the fishing gear.

chausiais joly france ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was some excitement over at the ferry terminal too.

While Chausiais was out on her travels today, it looks as if someone, the little blue and white boat, has ppinched her berth and moored herself to it. That means that poor Chausias has had to go and moor herslf somewhere else, as you can see.

That certainly seems to be something new. I’ve never seen a boat moored there before and I’m not convinced that it’s a good place to moor either, with the force of the rising tide risking smashing her into the wall.

air sea rescue boat helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo I carried on with my run down the Boulevard Vaufleury and round and across to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord.

The lifeboat was there now, and the crew was alongside the rails presumably looking for something – or someone.

They were there for quite a while too. I stood and watched them for an age but it was clear that whatever they were looking for, they weren’t going to find it in a hurry.

And I was right to, for they were still at it long after I returned home.

picnickers beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it’s no surprise that I wasn’t alone there either.

My picnickers were there again this evening. And out in force too. They must be multiplying or something because there seems to be more and more of them each night. If I remember correctly, we started off with four.

So I turned round and ran back home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow is a day with no planned interruptions (I say “planned” because we know all about unplanned ones). No accountancy course so I’m going to have a good go at the music course to try to catch up with the arrears. it’s certainly piqued my interest

But of course something is bound to happen to disrupt all of my plans. We all know how that works out.