Tag Archives: high winds

Thursday 24th February 2022 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… a few photos of the storm that we had today pushing the waves up and over the sea wall in the harbour, let me tell you of a most astonishing coincidence.

My brother’s birthday is the 3rd of September, and that’s the date that World War II broke out. And it looks very much as if my birthday is the day that World War III broke out.

What fills me full of dismay is just how stupid the human race can be, seeing the damage that several World Wars have caused to the whole of the World, that it departs on another orgy of massacre and destruction.

It makes me wonder why I’m bothering having my hospital treatment. Who would want to live in a World as stupid as this one?

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Last night I was feeling in such a depressing mood that when I finished writing up my notes I started to listen to QUADROPHENIA by The Who.

It’s one of the best albums ever recorded and brings back many happy memories of a drive down to South London one weekend in mid-May 1974 to see The Who in concert at Charlton Athletic’s football ground.

We had my old MkI Cortina, PMB270D, a battery-powered tape player and just one cassette tape – “Quadrophenia” – and when we returned to Chester where I was living at the time the guy whose tape it was gave it to me to keep.

And I still have it too, even though I’ve long-since replaced it with a CD.

It’s an album that brings back many happy memories of that Summer and every time I hear it, it brings back a bad attack of nostalgia.

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And hence, having listened to it round and round, it was almost 02:00 when I fell into bed to go to sleep.

Once I dozed off I went off on a series of probably the most extraordinary journeys that I have had for quite some considerable time.

The start was a long, rambling dream that I had but I can only remember when we were on board ship. I was making breakfast for these two girls – it was muesli and two teacakes. For some unknown reason the teacakes just wouldn’t toast. They were taking all day. In between I was doing a couple of other things. For some reason, one of those things took far longer than it ought to be done. I suddenly remembered the teacakes just as someone else said something about them so I dashed back to the galley and they were there under the grill but they were on fire. Everyone was really surprised and concerned by this but bread catching fire under a grill when you are toasting it is no big deal. J simply pulled them out with a pair of scissors and put some new ones under. But for some unknown reason this seemed to develop into some kind of major situation and there was no need for it at all

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022But there was someone else. I can’t remember now where I was but I was with someone else. There were lots of pets around. For some unknown reason they had a lion as a pet. It was in a room with me and someone else . It was being rather playful, trying to nip me. Then I could see that it was starting to lose its playfulness and the nips started to become more serious. I kept on pushing the animal away but it kept on coming back. In the end I had to insist to someone that they came along and removed it because I could see that this was going to end in tears if we weren’t careful.

And then we had something involving trams. There was some question that I was coming home from work, something like that, and I’d met these 3 girls. 2 of them I knew and the other one I didn’t. I found the 3rd one quite attractive so I wanted to get to know her better. As it happened they reached the tram stop at more-or-less the same time that I was walking back from work so we started to chat as a group of 4, these 3 girls and me. I suppose that it must have become pretty obvious to the other 2 exactly what I was up to. The thing that surprised me most though was that I was coming back from work and I’d been working on cars. I was in oily clothes and had oily hands. I was hardly the kind of boy that would be respectable but it didn’t bother these 3 girls at all. On one occasion I reached the tram stop just as they were alighting but the girl whom I liked and one of the others alighted so I waved “hello” but they disappeared off. I wondered what on earth was happening here. The 2nd girl came over and said “don’t worry about those 2. They’ve just nipped back to (I think her name was Jane, this 3rd girl) they’ve just nipped back to Jane’s house so that she can fetch her cloak and they’ll be back. Something came up about the address. It was “Toxteth Road” and I was trying to think why I knew about Toxteth Road and why it seemed to be so significant about this particular moment.

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022I’m trying to think where I reached with this because it might be that I stepped back into the same dream or else I’ve remembered something different. There was one occasion when I was on my way back home. I was coming in a different way past this tram stop so I went to sit somewhere below it where I could see them alight. I couldn’t find a good spec to sit where I could survey the tram stop. I ended up in the square sitting on a plastic chair where I could see the tram stop about 22 metres away. At that moment someone else whom I vaguely knew turned up. We started chatting and I basically explained that I was waiting here for someone and we carried on talking for a while. Suddenly I realised that the girls hadn’t turned up. I happened to mention it to him and he said “to be honest, they know other people and there’s someone who hangs around that girl who is 55 and they go round there some times. You’ll probably find it extremely difficult to move him out of this girl’s orbit”. I burst out laughing and said “I can’t even get a girl in a bloody dream, can I?”. His ears pricked up and asked “what’s all this about dreams?”. I explained that this was a dream, that I was very interested in dreams and I’d been keeping records of my dreams since that University course 25 years ago when I volunteered to be a guinea pig for the experiment. He was most interested and we had quite a chat about that. But imagine being in a dream and knowing that it’s a dream and talking to someone about it being a dream when one is actually in a dream oneself and being able to recall so much factual information out of one’s subconscious when one is in a subconscious state.

Unbelievably, I stepped back into this dream yet again later on, and how many times have I ever done this before – the same circumstances and characters three times?. Not very many at all, if any. This time we were all in a house, this girl included. She was sorting through some things and on her rubber dinghy she had some paddles. She needed some stuff to clean them. She’d seen across the road in the distance a marine supplier’s so I suggested that we went. We collected our things together but as it was rather cold I went to find my leather jacket. I couldn’t find it, and the cats weren’t sleeping on it so “never mind, I’ll go without”. The 2 of us set off outside and I took hold of her hand and she took hold of mine. We skipped off down the street and across the main road to the other side. She was saying something about if her friends saw her like this with me, what would they think?. I burst out laughing and said “oh just tell them that I’m a dirty old man but I have plenty of money”. She said “dirty? You do wash, do you?” and I replied “ohh yes, on special occasions” and we skipped across the road and skipped up the steps and we saw the sign that said “marine market” and skipped off that way.

And do you know what? That was the happiest that I have ever been for an extremely considerable period of time, probably about for ever in fact, and it was a shame that it actually happened in a dream and not in real life. I should be so lucky. There’s definitely something missing in my life, something that I will never ever recapture – except maybe once a couple of years ago, but the World is not ready to hear that story quite yet.

Finally, I was with Laurence and Roxanne. We were in some country like the Soviet Union, somewhere like that, and we had to go north to a town called Brest (not, presumably the Brest-Litovsk that’s on the border with Poland). We ended up at a railway station quite late at night. There was a large queue so Laurence told Roxanne to stand in the queue until it reached the front. When it did, she went to take over and came back with a pile of tickets. She siad that there was a return ticket for Roxanne but we only have two single tickets. We ended up in a hotel somewhere, a cheap hotel that wasn’t too bad. The next morning we had to pack but there was tons of stuff to pack so it was good that we had some expanding rucksacks but even so there was still quite a struggle. I couldn’t find Laurence. I heard some noise outside the room so I went and found her scrubbing the floor of the corridor. I asked why and she said “you have to make the place tidy when you go”. I replied “yes, tidy is one thing but it looks as if you are working here”. We were arranging all our things. I remembered that when we had set out on this journey there had been quite a few of us and I was ready to go but everyone else wasn’t. It took until really late at night for them to prepare themselves to leave and half of them weren’t ready even then and had to go next morning to buy some stuff while we were away. All in all it was a thing of total chaos, this particular trip. If we had all been properly organised when we set out, none of this would have happened.

When Rosemary had telephoned me yesterday, she said that she would phone me today to wish me a happy birthday. “Not too early” I said and so, sure enough, at 09:15 she phoned me up.

Anyone who rings me up at that time of morning when I’m having a lie-in will hear nothing but a series of grunts and so I’m afraid that the conversation didn’t last very long.

However there was no possibility of my going back to sleep after that no matter how hard I tried. And I did try too – all the way up to 10:50 when I finally abandoned the idea and crawled out of bed.

After the medication the rest of the morning (and a little of the afternoon too) was spent transcribing the dictaphone notes. I’m not sure that there has ever been a night when I’ve travelled so far and with so much emotion.

No breakfast this morning so I had a brunch this afternoon, porridge and toast with plenty of coffee. And then much of the rest of the afternoon was spent acknowledging messages and speaking to Ingrid on the phone who rang me back to send me some birthday greetings

storm beach rue du nord baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And then I went off for my afternoon walk.

Yesterday I made the point that the gale-force wind that we have been having for the last while seemed to have died down. And how I wish that I’d kept my moth closed as the wind was back today, and with a vengeance as well.

You can tell that just by looking at the sea out here in the Baie de Granville. We didn’t even see waves like that at the height of Storm Useless. It was no surprise that there was no-one down there this afternoon, despite the sun.

trawler ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022However, having a look around out at sea, I was surprised to see that there was a trawler out there just off the Ile de Chausey.

When Storm Useless was blowing, all of the fishing boats remained in harbour, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but today the winds were stronger and the waves were rougher than they were back then but nevertheless here we are.

We’ve seen a trawler out there for the last few days and although I couldn’t identify it, this one is certainly a different one than whoever was out there before.

And to take this photo, I had to find a suitable wall on which to prop the NIKON D500 because the wind was wobbling it around in my hands.

waves rocks marker light pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Yesterday, I posted a photo of the marker light on the rock just offshore here.

Today, I’m rather earlier than I was yesterday and so you can see the difference in the height of the water even over such a short space of time. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … we have some of the highest tides in Europe.

There wasn’t anyone else out there this afternoon and that’s no surprise because the wind was wicked out here. At one point I was having to walk crab-like along the path in order to advance, and when the wind suddenly dropped for a moment I almost ended up over the cliff.

storm le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As I reached the lighthouse I had a look over the car park to see what was happening in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Sometimes the bay over there is in the wind shadow where the waves are quite calm, but not today. Le Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour is being battered by the wind and waves this afternoon.

Round the corner actually in the bay the situation was even worse as you have already seen, with the waves slamming into the sea wall. I wasn’t going to hang around spending too long watching and so I headed home in the wind.

Back here, no coffee. I’ve already had too much of that today. But my coffee cake really was delicious. I can’t believe that I’ve actually made a cake that has come out as well as this – a vegan cake with no eggs in it either.

Tea tonight was a slice of pie with potatoes, vegetables and gravy. And that was really delicious. I cut it into 8 slices and the other 7 are in the freezer – for once there was actually some room in there. The filling wasn’t up to much because it was a rather ad-hoc mixture but I’ll do better than this when I prepare one properly instead of dragging something unknown out of the freezer.

So that’s that. I’m going to bed very soon ready to restart tomorrow. If there is a tomorrow. We are living in very worrying times, for all kinds of reasons. But another journey tonight like that one last night and I’ll feel so much better. I wish I knew who she was.

Monday 21st February 2022 – THIS WINDY WEATHER …

storm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… is really getting on my wick these days.

The other day we had a storm warning for Storm Useless and it wasn’t anything at all to write home about compared to what I have experienced in the past. And yet subsequently we have been battered by winds that would have knocked Storm Useless into a cocked hat.

The high winds that met me this afternoon and which were churning up the sea in the Baie de Mont St Michel were better than anything that we have experienced over the last few days.

In fact the last six months or so have seen nothing but wind and I for one am becoming really fed up of it.

Another thing about which I’m thoroughly fed up are these bad nights that I’ve been having.

Last night, despite going to bed at a reasonable time and falling asleep fairly rapidly I awoke shortly after and it was as if my right leg and both my elbows were on fire.

One of the side-effects of one of the medication tha I take makes me itch and with having really thin blood, every time I scratch myself I bleed. And having made a right mess of my right leg a few months ago and then spent several months doing everything that I could to help it to heal, then it’s now back to even worse than it was back then.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall one of my habitual partners in crime (was it Zero?) seeing my leg during one of our nocturnal rambles and bursting into tears. Well, that was exactly how I felt when I saw the mess.

At some point towards the morning I must have fallen asleep because I went off on a ramble. There was something strange last night that involved a girl whom I knew although it took place in French. It concerned some kind of confusion between a couple of people who were having marital problems. I knew someone called Michael and she knew a different person called Michael. I knew the one who was having marital problems and it turned out that the one that she knew was also. When we were discussing them we were confused about who was the one about whom we were talking. But the alarm went off at that moment and I can’t remember any more.

Hauling myself out of bed at 06:00 was pretty miserable but once I’d checked my messages and everything I had a go at my radio programme. And by 10:45 it was all up and running and I was listening to it.

In fact I could have finished it earlier but I had a ‘phone call. The nurse was in the building giving someone a blood test so he wondered if he could come round to give me my fortnightly injection then instead of coming back at lunchtime.

No point in inconveniencing him so he came round and inconvenienced me. Not that it really matters, I suppose

While I was listening to the output, and also to the radio programme that will be broadcast this coming weekend, I had something of a tidy up and did a few other things here and there that needed doing.

After lunch I had some correspondence to deal with and then I headed off into town.

showmen's wagons port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022You’ve already seen the effects of the wind that was whipping up the sea in the bay, but something else down there had caught my eye.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that Carnaval has been cancelled this year but it looks as if the Fête Foraine – the funfair – is still going ahead.

Down there are all the living quarters of the showmen who will be setting up their amusements on the car park down by the Salle Hérel.

That’s not very many compared with what we have seen in the past so it will be interesting to see how things develop over the next few days if more and more of them come into town.

les epiettes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Someone else who has come into town today is Les Epiettes.

She’s painted in the colours of the French Government and the sign on her rails saying “do not tie up to me” would seem to bear that out.

Further research tells me that she’s owned by the Département des Ponts et Chausssées – the Department of Roads and Bridges – and she must be based reasonably locally because Les Epiettes is the name of a buoy somewhere off the coast of the Ile de Chausey.

And that was where I encountered her for the first time when we were out there on Spirit of Conrad two years ago.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Someone else who is in port today is Chausiaise.

But she isn’t moored up where she has been for the last couple of weeks. She’s now moved and is underneath the crane in the loading bay.

That would seem to indicate that she’s off on another voyage somewhere very soon. She usually goes out to the Ile de Chausey although just recently we’ve noticed her coming back from St Helier in Jersey.

With important things to do, I had to leave her there and wander off into town. I’ll go and have a walk around the harbour at some other time. I need to go to see the doctor some time soon.

Meanwhile down at the Post Office I posted off my letter and then made ready to come back home. I wasn’t going to hang around.

sideshows place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022In the street outside the post office the people associated with the fête foraine were setting up a couple of stalls.

It seems that they are making the most of the absence of the Carnaval to take over some of the ground that the Carnaval would otherwise occupy.

Incidentally, despite the fact that the half-term holiday is over, the kiddies’ roundabout is still in the square so it looks by the nature of the stalls here that they are going to have a kiddies’ corner in the town centre.

Presumably, the activities in the car park will be reserved for the adults and take place during the hours of darkness.

new brickwork rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022The walk back up the hill towards home was rather more difficult than I was expecting it to be, seeing as I had only myself and the NIKON D500 to worry about.

Halfway up the hill I stopped because there was something that I was keen to see. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few weeks ago they had replaced some of the crumbling brickwork with some new stuff but they hadn’t actually pointed them.

And when I had a close look today, I saw that they still hadn’t pointed between them. Once the frost and the rain get in there the new brickwork won’t be staying there for very long.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Before I went back to my apartment I braved the gale-force wind and went to see what was happening down on the beach.

Down below on the beach, regardless of the wind, there were several people wandering about. Mind you, it was quite sunny so I suppose that if you could tolerate the wind it was quite a nice day.

Back in the apartment I had my coffee and came back in here where, regrettably, I fell asleep again for half an hour or so. Mind you, after the night that I had, it was hardly any surrpise.

And then I went for tea. A stuffed pepper with rice and I do have to say that the stuffing in the pepper was the best that I have ever made. The way in which I make it is rather hit-and-miss but this evening’s efforts were definitely a hit.

Having written up my notes and having transcribed the massive amount of dictaphone notes from yesterday I’m off to bed. I’ve soaked my leg and elbows in some cold cream and I hope that it will work and I won’t set myself on fire tonight.

Friday 18th February 2022 – I WAS IN …

storm beach rue du nord baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… two minds this afternoon … errr … weather to go out for my afternoon walk.

The local weather office had produced a map today showing predicted windspeeds and Granville just happened to be at the junction of two wind bands – 100-110 kmh and 110-120 kmh – between 15:00 and 17:00, just round about when I usually go out for my walk.

But nevertheless at my usual time of 15:45 I set off out and while the sea looked quite turbulent, as you can see in the photo, the wind was actually something of a damp squib. We’ve had much stronger winds than this in the recent past without any drama at all.

Never mind Storm Eunice, it was more like Storm Useless. 110kph might look inpressive but a few weeks ago we had gusts of 140kph so we are used to it.

For a change, last night wasn’t all that turbulent – or, at least, not as turbulent as it has been. It was probably due to the fact that when it was bedtime I wasn’t in the least tired and it ended up being 01:30 when I finally crawled into bed.

As a result, things wre not all that easy when the alarm went off at 07:30, although I did manage to beat the second alarm.

There wasn’t all that much time for me to go on anything like as many nocturnal voyages as I seem to be doing just recently. I had to go to pay a fine at the police station last night. I hadn’t been given the formal notice to pay but I’d been given the decision. I knew that there was something else happening at the police station that was likely very much to have me arrested but my idea was to have everything over and finished as quickly as possible. I turned up at the police station but the entrance hall there was under all kinds of renovation so I had to walk through all this work, everything like that. I eventually ended up at a temporary desk and handed over the paper. The policeman started to go through the list to see what he had of cases but couldn’t find my case. I saw a name that I thought was mine so I said that i’d seen it so he turned back a couple of pages but it wasn’t and that annoyed him. I thought that if I carried on like this the kind of outcome isn’t going to be any good whatsoever so in the end I decided that i’d keep quiet and let him find it himself and see what happens. There was much more to it than this but I can’t remember that bit now.

After the medication I spent the rest of the day transcribing dictaphone notes and updating a few previous journal entries. What started off as being 41 dictaphone sound files is now down to 22.

There were several voyages involving members of my family, which is regrettable, but also a few featuring people like Zero, which always cheers me up. But we’ve not had a voyage featuring Castor for quite some time and that’s disappointing.

There were also several breaks today, firstly for breakfast and secondly for lunch. And I do have to say that my fruit bread is absolutely excellent. This is a really impressive fruit loaf.

There was also a rather unfortunate break when I fell asleep. But that’s not really a surprise these days, is it?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As I mentioned earlier, I did manage to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

As usual I went over to the wall overlooking the beach to see what was happening down below. And apart from the waves that were coming in with the kind of force that I haven’t seen for a while, there were actually several people down on the beach.

That was quite surprising because of the weather, but then again apart from the wind it wasn’t actually a bad day. Warm for the time of the year and fairly sunny.

storm le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022When I went round the corner where the Monument to the Resistance is situated, I had a really good view of how the storm was raging in the bay.

The waves down there were quite impressive, smashing over the rocks on which Le Loup, the light that guards the entrance to the harbour, is situated.

And judging by the tree on the right, Bob Dylan wouldn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows around here, would he.

Not that it’s any surprise, but there was no-one out at the end of the headland today admiring the view. Only me of course, and I was glad when I turned the corner and had the wind blowing into my back instead of into my face.

man and van on ramp port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022No change of occupancy in the chantier naval or the ferry terminal today so I had a look around elsewhere.

It was the van on the boat-launching ramp underneath the fish processing plant that caught me eye. I wondered what it was doing there because the incoming tide would make short work of it.

However there was a man standing on the silt down there having a good look around. But at what I really don’t know. However it is round about the time of year when they dredge the harbour so I wonder if he’s eyeing up the job.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Further on down the path towards the inner harbour I noticed that Normandy Trader is still in port.

She came in on the evenign tide last night as I mentioned, and she should have gone out on the morning tide after laoding up (you can see the swimming pool on board) but a message went round earlier in the day that “due to abnormal weather conditions” she won’t be going out until things calm down.

What I did was to send a message to the crew to invite them round for a coffee but they didn’t reply. I suppose that they were quite comfortable on board.

Incidentally, you’ll notice the small “upper deck” behind the wheelhouse. That’s how we know that she’s Normandy Trader and not her sister Normandy Warrior.

philcathane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Also in the inner harbour is a trawler that we haven’t seen for a while.

She’s Philcathane of course, and moored up against the harbour wall just like almost every other fishing boat. It loks as if none of the fishing boats have gone out today and that’s not a surprise in this weather.

Outside the building I noticed one of my neighbours struggling taking her rubbish over to the bins so I gave her a hand. We had a little chat about next-to-nothing and then I came back in for my coffee, clutching my new credit card in my hand.

So “Spend Spend Spend” hey?

After the coffee I finished off what I was doing and then went for tea. Veggie balls, pasta and veg in a vegan cheese sauce and it really was nice. It might only be simple food that I cook but it really is delicious

So tomorrow if Caliburn is still there and hasn’t been blown away I’ll be going to the shops. I wonder how things would work if I fitted him with sails.

Tuesday 28th December 2021 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021… a couple of photos of the waves breaking over the sea wall and into the harbour, I’ll tell you about my day today.

And there won’t be much to say because, for a change, I haven’t done a single thing today. Not a thing. I’ve had one of these days where I just lazed around.

Mind you, it all started quite badly today because for one reason or another I forgot to switch on the alarm this morning. Conseuently it was about 10:30 or so when I finally crawled out of bed. It’s a good job that I didn’t have a Welsh lesson today otherwise I may well have missed it.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Once I’d had my medication and so on, I came back in here where I sat down and did nothing at all.

As for breakfast, I missed that. I wasn’t hungry at all after my meal last night. The morning coffee that I had though was beautiful.

There was still some hummus left for lunch so I didn’t need to make any more this morning. And after I’d made lunch there was still enough left over for tomorrow too.

Back in here I had a rather desultory afternoon going through a pile of loose files on one of the old hard drives attached to my laptop and allocating them to various directories.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Of course there was the afternoon walk – I managed to stir my stumps to that extent today anyway.

Down on the beach there were several people wandering around this afternoon, but it was this pair who particularly caught my eye. A little girl and, presumably, her father, both with buckets and spades coming down to build a sandcastle.

No prizes for guessing what the kid had for Christmas, is there?

And despite everything else, there wasn’t a soul out at sea this afternoon. So I headed off through the maskless crowds towards the end of the headland.

pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021There wasn’t anyone sitting down on the bench at the end of the headland this afternoon.

And that was no surprise because it really was quite windy this afternoon. It had whipped up quite impressively and was churning up the sea. It’s not the weather to be sitting around bearing the full brunt of what was blowing around out there.

There were a few people walking around on the lower path down there and I bet that they were noticing the wind down there.

Nothing out at sea either this afternoon so I didn’t wait around out here. I headed down the path on my way home.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Walking down the path towards the port I could se the waves breaking on – and over – the sea wall into the harbour and I took the photos that you saw earlier.

The closer I came to the wall the more I could see how turbulent the sea actually was.

On the far right of the image you can see how the receding wave has churned up the one that is incoming, although the tail of the incoming wave is just about to give those people walking on top of the wall down there a good soaking.

So having seen everything that I wanted to see, I made tracks for home. I was ready for my hot coffee.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Looking back behind me as I walked down the road, I could see the sunset.

It was another one of these TORA TORA TORA moments, with the rays of the sun passing through the small gaps in the clouds. It really is quite an impressive effect.

Back here I had my coffee and just as I was sitting down to finally start some kind of work, Rosemary called me and we had another lengthy chat that went on for ever. Our conversation finished just in time, because the nurse came round to inject me.

Tea tonight was a burger with pasta and vegetables, but the burger that was loitering in the fridge was a falafel burger, so that’s effectively falafel for two nights running. Not that I’m complaining because it’s tasty and nutritious.

Eventually I caught up with my nocturnal perambulations. There was something about me being in the dentist’s or something. I’d been injected with some kind of anaesthetic or something but I can’t remember any more really than that

At another moment I was out for a walk last night and I can’t remember very much about it except that at one point the footpath was rather narrow. A tractor came towards me carrying two trees. We had to make ourselves very thin in this pathway and hide behind a bush or something somewhere so that this tractor could go past with these trees without knocking us over

There was also some kind of illegal activity going on involving 2 guys one of whom was rather young and simple. The other one had to take him to Liverpool to make sure that he was seen around a police station so that they could get on with what they were planning to do. The other guy wondered why that was necessary. The other one said that it was because he’d been seen hitch-hiking down towards the south so he would have to be taken back up north again. It was a cover to count for his presence there etc. He had to have possessions with him so they decided on a couple of LPS that were there, one from a pop group from the 60s and he suggested taking a Rolling Stones album with him as well. They were sorting this out at this shop place in London before they prepared to go back up north again

Now I’m off to bed, having made sure that the alarm is set for tomorrow. Nice as lie-ins are, I can’t spend the rest of my life in bed. I have to do some work some time some how.

Friday 10th December 2021 – I’M REALLY GLAD …

… that I started to write up my notes earlier this afternoon because the last thing that I was planning to do was to be thinking about eating my evening meal at 22:30 this evening. But there you are.

When the alarm went off it took me quite a while to find the energy and the enthusiasm to struggle to my feet. Things are really difficult right now and I’ve no idea why because if anything I’m actually in better shape physically than I was a couple of months ago.

After the medication and having checked my mails, I decided once I’d recovered my will to live to attack the outstanding dictaphone notes. And eventually, after many vicissitudes, they are now on line.

Having done that, I could then turn my attention to last night’s notes. Sherlock Holmes had been out on his travels last night. There had been some kind of party going on. Someone there had stolen a suitcase full of valuable clothing and Sherlock Holmes was on the trail. He tracked it down to a horse-drawn bus driver who was outside. A big, unruly bloke but Holmes managed to overpower him and hand him over to the Police. The guy was pleading to be let go. When they wanted to find out why he said that there was something urgent that he really must do before midnight. He promised everything he could if he could do it. Anyway they took him back towards the place where this party had taken place. As they got to the door people started coming out. For some reason he violently attacked two of them, a man and a woman. It turned out that they were the people in charge of the organisation for stealing things and he was just their handyman. They were prepared to let him rot in prison which he wasn’t going to allow. Of course with this party finishing at midnight he wanted to be there when they came out so that he could stop them.

Later on last night we were at school. There was something happening, some kind of problem. One of the girl pupils was interviewing a pile of other people. She had us in a room and was letting us out one by one to ask us questions. Eventually it was my turn. She asked me about how things were. I replied that I was really busy. She asked “do you think that you make all of your own problems”. I replied “yes, I do” (and I was dead right there). She asked me about the things that I did so I told her. Someone said “you need someone to help you, don’t you?” to which I turned to this person and said “oh yes but I’ve asked her but she doesn’t seem to be all that keen” – meaning the interviewer girl. She said “I don’t recall you asking me”. I replied “in that case, what are you doing on Saturday? Would you like to go to the pictures?”. She asked what was on. “What are we going to watch? What are we going to see?”. I replied “it doesn’t really matter, does it? Knowing my luck it will be ‘Little Women’, something like that”. To my surprise she answered “yes, OK”. When she had finished what she was doing I took her down to the canteen, sat her down at a table and went to fetch some coffee”. They had some vegan cake. There was some discussion about one vegan cake which I knew that she liked. In the end it turned out that it wasn’t that one at all so I had to make the assistant walk all the way back to the end of the queue to pick up a slice of the other vegan cake, the one that I had so we had two slices of vegan cake and two coffees.

But this makes a real change, doesn’t it? I finally get the girl after all these years. It reminded me of the time the English teacher set a task for his pupils to write an essay including the words “chaste” and “by helicopter”. One boy wrote“The boy chaste the girl and by helicopter” and that’s exactly how I was feeling last night.

The only disappointment is that I when I awoke I found that I didn’t know who she was.

The dictaphone took me all the way up to midday, although there were several interruptions.

Firstly there was giving the soft fruit mix several stirs about to keep the orange and vanilla essence mix percolating into the fruit. And then there was of course breakfast.

There was a phone call too. Caliburn’s winter tyres have arrived and when could I go and have them fitted? “How about 14:00 this afternoon?”

And so at midday when I finished my notes I went and had a hot shower. And the drop in weight of 1.2 kg over the weekend wasn’t a false reading because it showed the same reading today and that’s impressive.

Since I’ve been more careful about what I’ve been eating I’ve lost almost 4kg.

After lunch I went outside to Caliburn. And it was a struggle even to walk across the car park with the howling gale that was blowing up a storm outside. It was a case of “one step forward, two steps back” to reach him.

At 14:00 when the garage reopened I had been outside for almost 10 minutes waiting. And while they were changing his front tyres I had to wait again – until 15:30. I’ve no idea why it took them so long to change two tyres. usually it’s a 10-minute job. They didn’t even offer me a free coffee while I was waiting.

And I was right – they chose to fit the tyres to his front, unpainted wheels rather than the two in the van that I had painted the other day.

They’d taken so long to fit the tyres that the rest of the afternoon was wasted. I went to LeClerc for a few bits and pieces (where I finally found some glacé cherries), stopped at the parcels place to pick up the parcel of Caliburn’s bits and pieces and then came home – struggling across the car park with my shopping – the only thing that was stopping me being blown across the car park and into the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Not even time for any photos, and even if I had, it wasn’t safe to be out on the clifftop in this wind.

With my hot coffee I did something that I’ve been meaning to do for ages and had a good shuffle round of the music. It’s becoming rather stale with the same groups seemingly stuck in the same cycle so I shook it all up.

While I was doing that I also relegated a few groups out into the “miscellaneous” folder as I’ve long-since exhausted the possibilities of what they could bring.

Laurent came round for me at 19:15 and we set off for this “fish and films” festival where we met up with a few of our other radio staff members who were covering it. And I was introduced to someone who wanted to be interviewed for my radio project, so we made the necessary arrangements for later in the month.

fish and films festival yacht club Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021The festival itself consists of a series of short films that are shown in various localities all over town.

We were actually attending the opening party held at the local yacht club. There was a local jazz band (whom I have met before one afternoon on the headland at the Pointe du Roc) and they were playing a series of jazz standards that feature in several of the films.

But it was a strange festival. To celebrate the “fish and films” they had a “fish and chips” van in the car park who ran out of fish after just an hour. And in a fishing port too! You couldn’t make that up.

But one of our friends shall forever be known as “Chief Petty Officer Pertwee” for inviting us to a meal of “fish and chips” (or just chips in my case) so we waited in the queue at the van for over half an hour only to find out that he had no cash and the fryer didn’t accept cards.

It was just like a scene from “The Navy Lark” and the “Fish and Chip Ship” episode.

By the time Laurent brought me home my stomach was thinking that my throat had been cut so I made a quick dish of pasta and veg tossed in olive oil with grated vegan cheese.

So having written my notes I’m off to bed for hopefully a good night’s sleep. We’re radioing again in town tomorrow night so I want to be on top form. And I’ll miss my football again at the Stade Louis Dior, won’t I?

Saturday 4th December 2021 – DESPITE THE RATHER …

storm sea wall port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021… slow start to the day, it’s actually gone quite well and I’ve done a fair bit of work, which is always a surprise on a Saturday.

So while you admire a few photos of the waves smashing into the sea wall, I’ll tell you all about it.

Firstly, the alarm might well have gone off at 07:30 but I didn’t. My back was still stuck to the bed rather badly and it took me 20 minutes to extricate myself.

But at least I’ve worked something out.

One of the (many) why I’ve been sleeping so badly is a strange pain in the big toe on my left foot and I had no idea why that might be. It only happens when I’m lying down in bed.

storm sea wall port de granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Last night, I tried a little experiment. Before going to bed I took off the elasticated stocking from that leg.

And to my surprise, there was no pain at all in my toe. I was awake a few times for other reasons, but not for that. And that’s rather surprising. Especially as I’ve no idea why it might be that it only happened when I was in bed and not during the day.

After the medication I came back in here to check my mails and messages. Having done that, it took me an age to start work because I just couldn’t summon up the energy. A large mug of strong coffee put that right eventually and I could crack on with work.

storm sea wall port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021First task was to edit the photos from yesterday, post them on line and then bring up-to-date yesterday’s journal entry.

Regular readers of this rubbish will have noted that I only wrote out something briefly last night before going to bed. I’d done a lot of work yesterday, and I was feeling extremely weary.

The rest of the day has been spent working on radio stuff. I’ve chosen all of the music for the Christmas radio programme that I’m preparing and paired off all of the tracks. And I
‘ve written out all of the notes too.

As well as that, I’ve finished off writing the notes for the radio programme that I didn’t finish on Monday when I had to go off with Caliburn and have his windscreen fixed.

And so on Monday instead of writing out the notes I’ll just have two loads of notes already completed to dictate and edit.

Tomorrow I won’t be pairing off any music – I did that today with the Christmas programme – because I’m going out radioing tomorrow. Laurent telephoned me this afternoon to say that an interview has been arranged for tomorrow.

As for where I’d been during the night, When an alarm went off somewhere (which it didn’t, of course) I was carrying a large tray of eggs and I nearly dropped the lot

Later I had to go to an airport, Schiphol, but it was nothing like the Schiphol I ever knew. I arrived in Caliburn and parked him and had to find my way to my gate. I couldn’t see it but I looked around and there was some girl standing on top of Caliburn pointing the way to the gate. I followed the crowd and suddenly realised that I didn’t remember where I’d parked Caliburn so I had to go nack and make a note of where he was parked. There was some woman giving the instructions “you go through this particular gate then you phone for a taxi to take you’. I had no idea what this was all about so I went and waited where I was supposed to wait. There was a view of the countryside in front so I took a few photos. Then I noticed that there were these little electric buggy-type cars flying around. They would pull up and take people. I thought that these must be the taxis so i’d wait for one that someone else was taking to my gate and leap aboard with them. Then I looked at my ticket. The boarding time was 09:10 and it was now 10:10 so it looked as if I’d missed my flight. Thumbing back through my papers I found that there was a flight on 4th April that I’d booked and it was now October so I’d missed this flight by about 6 months as well

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Just as I was about to go out for my afternoon walk the heavens opened and we had a terrific rainstorm the like of which I hadn’t seen in quite a while.

When it quietened down a little I nipped out for my afternoon walk and went over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach.

It was so dark that I couldn’t see very much at all and I can’t tell if there was anyone down there or not. At least I can tell you without any fear of contradiction that I was the only person up here on the path. Everyone else has far more sense than to be out in this weather.

waves breaking on rocks place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021It wasn’t just the rain either. There was quite a wind blowing too.

You’ve already seen the waves breaking over the top of the harbour wall – something that looked quite impressive but the wind wasn’t that strong. What we were having was one of those heavy, rolling seas that we have every so often

It’s probably something to do with Storm Arwen and thz amount of built-up kinetic energy in the sea as a result. You can see how much power there is in the waves and how silly it is not to make more of an effort to capture it.

rainstorm ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021If anything, the weather was worsening as I was walking around.

The Ile de Chausey was completely lost in this huge raincloud that was coming my way and I didn’t want to have to hang around to wait for it.

There won’t be anything of interest out there at sea in this and even if there were, I wouldn’t be able to see it. And so I carried on along the path down to the car park, and down to the end of the headland instead.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021There wasn’t anything at all happening down at the end of the headland

And that’s no surprise with this really impressive rainstorm blowing in off the Brittany coast and the Baie de Mont St Michel. Whoever is underneath all of that will certainly know about it

In fact, thinking about it, today was one of the foulest days that we have had for quite a while. And it was so nice earlier on – to such an extent that I was planning on going out and preparing the two front wheels on Caliburn.

But this weather put a stop to any thought of that.

le loup coloured water rainstorm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021One of the many phenomena that we have around here is the colour of the water. We can have whole patches of it that are a different colour than the rest.

There’s a beautiful example this afternoon and it can’t be because of the reflection of light off the clouds because right over where I’m standing the cloud is a nice thick dark grey.

It doesn’t go any darker until much further out in the bay, as you can see with the rainstorm cascading down on the Pointe de Carolles.

But that rainstorm is slowly catching up with me so I’m going to clear off home and have a hot coffee before I’m soaked to the skin.

Back here I carried on working for a while and then went for a shower. I need to be pretty and smell nice for tomorrow,.

By now it was time to make tea. Seeing as I’d bought some peppers yesterday I had a stuffed pepper and it was delicious as usual.

And now I’m off to bed. There’s an alarm set (again!) for a Sunday as I’m being picked up at 10:30 so I need to check my equipment before I go. And there’s some tidying up to do too. If I have people coming round I have to pretend to be respectable, even if I’m not.

Thursday 2nd December 2021 – I’M NOT SURE …

… what happened today. It didn’t feel as if I’d done very much but when I look back on it, I don’t have too much cause for vomplaint.

Mind you, it started off as rotten as it could be because the alarm didn’t go off and I awoke bolt-upright at 07:54. Apparently I hadn’t plugged the phone in correctly at night and the battery had gone flat. I can do without days like that.

Once I’d had my medication and checked my mails and messages the next step was to check the dictaphone for messages. There were a few entries on there that were transcribed. The earlier days have been added to the relevant entries, and then I turned my attention to today’s.

Last night I was on board a small boat heading towards Greenland and this was going to start to become very interesting for the people who were around here with me but I awoke instead.

Later on I was working at the radio. We were going to record a discussion but for some unknown reason I could not get the sound correctly on my recorder. I’d been trying for half an hour and everyone was really fed up of waiting. Just towards the end of the time it began to be more promising so I thought that I’d go for a trip down the corridor while they were waiting for me. They were playing some music while they were waiting. I had my little Acer laptop and the back was off it. And if you want to know the rest of what happened here, you’ll have to wait until you’ve finished your meal.

Later still I was with Nerina last night. I’ve forgotten a lot of this but we ended up being in Germany. We didn’t really have much time but we found ourselves somewhere round by the border where East Germany used to be. We crossed over the border, not that there was a border to cross these days and picked up a road that was signposted “Dresden”. We followed that for a while. Nerina asked “how are we going to find our way back?”. I replied “we’ll drive down here for a bit and then look on the map for villages near the border, turn down to a village near the border and then go back that way”. We drove that way for a while and then came to a whole row of black and yellow posts and a deserted strip of countryside. That looked immediately like the border to us and we followed it for some time. In the meantime, we encountered a convoy of old British cars, Morris 1000s and the like. There was no border where we were but the posts that held the fencing and barbed wire were still there as a kind-of symbolic gesture. Nerina was driving. We went round a bend and came to a ford so I told her to take it easy. She did, and she got through. She reminded me of a time where she’d driven through a ford but had stopped, got out ang got her feet wet as she stepped into the water. I said “you’d done the difficult bit, hadn’t you, but you fell down on the easy part”.

There was something somewhere where I’d had a new starter fitted on the car. I’d ended up in a garage somewhere while I was waiting to load up the car with my stuff but I could walk around underneath the car and could see that a couple of bolts on the starter were loose. I thought that I’d go and find a spanner. I had my tool kit with me but could find an open-ended 15mm spanner but these looked like 16mm bolts to me and I couldn’t find a decent 16mm spanner. I thought “this is typical. Here I am in an ideal situation to put this right. I couldn’t wish for anywhere better. I can walk around and work on the car in perfect comfort but yet here I am and I can’t find the flaming tool that I need”. All this sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Incidentally, when I say that I “awoke”, I don’t actually mean that. I’m still asleep when I’m dictating these notes, as you could tell if you were to listen to them, but I snap out of the deep unconscious into something that is not so deep that enables me to control the dictaphone, that kind of thing. I don’t know how else to explain it.

Once I’d finished that I went downstairs to put the first coat of paint onto Caliburn’s wheels. It was pouring down and howling a gale so I had to do it inside the back of the van and the smell was overpowering.

While I was out there I bumped into a neighbour and we had a lengthy chat about nothing in particular.

Back in the apartment I grabbed a coffee and then I busied myself again. I had a few entries to update from while I was at Leuven the other day. They are now all on line and up-to-date.

After lunch I had to order the bits that I need for Caliburn – a new rear light unit, a door mirror glass and a windscreen wiper. And that wasn’t as easy as it might have been either because my on-line payment system kept on kicking me out. It worked fine on the computer but not on the telephone.

Next stop was to go and put the second coat on the wheels. The rain had stopped by now but there was still the wind so I asphyxiated myself in the back of the van again.

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

First port of call was down at the end of the car park to have a look at the beach to see what was happening there. Today we have a small part of a beach, but there didn’t seem to be anyone on it this afternoon.

But you can see how nice the weather has become by looking at the contrast between the part of the photo that is in the shade and the other part that isn’t. Unfortunately though you can’t see the effect that the wind is having.

trawlers returning to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021You can do in this photo though.

While I was down there looking at the beach I was also looking out at sea to see what was happening and I noticed that we had two trawlers heading our way, on their way home after a day’s fishing.

And they are making heavy weather of it too which is no surprise. You can see the whitecaps on the waves even that far out to sea so you can imagine that there is plenty of force in the wind this afternoon.

This afternoon I was the only person out there. I could walk in comparative pece along the path without being disturbed. Some of the kids were out there orienteering but they were well off in the distance.

portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Around the headland I walked and then down the path to where I could overlook the harbour.

And there’s plenty of activity with the portable boat lift this afternoon. For a start they seem to have painted it. It’s no longer a rusty white but a nice light-primer grey.

They’ve also painted the wheels too. They were a rusty dark black before but now they are a nice white. If I’d have known that they were painting the wheels I would have taken Caliburn’s down there and let them get on with job on my behalf.

chausiaise joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Meanwhile, over at the ferry terminal activity seems to have come to a dead stop.

We saw Chausiaise and, behind her, the older of the two Joly France ferries over there a few days ago and by the looks of things they haven’t moved an inch since then.

But then again, there doesn’t seem to be any custom about. I can’t see anyone at all on the sea wall over there. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen the place looking so deserted. You can tell that it’s winter time already and it’s going to be like this until Carnaval.

That is, if there is going to be a Carnaval this year. i’ve just seen today’s infection figures.

trawlers unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Having said that activity at the ferry terminal seems to have come to a dead stop, that’s hardly the case at the fish processing plant.

There are quite a few fishing boats over there unloading and as we saw earlier when we set out for our walk, they are still coming in. So despite the lousy weather over the last few days, the work still goes on out at sea.

Having finished my walk I went back home and made a coffee and my work then went on too. I’m off to Leuven in two weeks’ time so I needed to make all my arrangements.

It seems that my cheap 07:13 train has died a death. That’s good news in a sense because I’m not scrambling around so early trying to catch a train to Brussels. The train at 06:33 is plenty early enough.

Tea tonight was a couple of those small burgers in breadcrumbs with baked potatoes and veg. They are delicious of course but now I’m running rather low. I foresee a trip to Noz in the near future, although where I’m going to put them is anyone’s guess because the freezer is full.

Having finished my work, I’m off to bed. I have Caliburn’s new tyres to pick up tomorrow and the Law of Averages states that they’ll decide that the worst tyres are the ones that are on wheels that I haven’t as yet painted.

That’s how things usually work around here of course.

Wednesday 1st December 2021 – ONCE AGAIN I HAVEN’T …

… done anything like as much today as I had wanted to.

There have been a variety of reasons for this – not the least being that I had yet another dreadful night, wide-awake at 05:20 and lying there waiting for the alarm to ring at 07:30. I tell you – I’m thoroughly sick of all of this.

As you might expect, it took a good few minutes for me to summon up the energy to leave my bed this morning and then I was pretty much wasted for the rest of the day.

After the medication I had a shower to clean myself up and bang on time Laurent came round for me. We went off to meet Thierry and then the three of us went off to meet Father Christmas and his blasted elves.

As I thought, the interview turned out to fall rather flat. I could understand the logic (whether I agreed with it or not) of submitting the questions in advance, I totally disagreed with the idea of “suggested replies”.

Children have a really fertile imagination and they need to be encouraged to develop it. And sometimes they can come up with some fascinating responses. But having them blindly reading off a script is a pretty dismal activity and it destroys the spontaneity of it all.

Having them all sitting around a table was another bad idea too because it’s always the more powerful ones who are heard. I would have interviewed them one by one where the kids could have responded without any peer pressure and chosen the pick of the answers.

In other words, this affair was micro-managed to an overwhelming degree and Laurent and I were quite disappointed about how it turned out. What had given us the idea for this was that two years ago wandering around the streets one night we had come across Father Christmas and subjected him to an off-the cuff interview. That was a resounding success.

While I was there I took a few photos of Father Christmas and his elves but I can’t publish them of course.

Back here Laurent came in for a coffee and we had a good chat about a few things, and made a few plans for the future.

After he left I went outside to wipe the rust-proofing liquid off the wheels and dry them, but painting them was out of the question. There was a howling gale again and it was sleeting.

Lunch was late again and afterwards I had the morning’s photos to edit and send off. They’ll choose one to illustrate our programme when it’s ready to broadcast.

trawler thora arriving at port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Once I’d finished that it was time for me to go off for my physiotherapy session.

The wind was if anything rather worse than it had been earlier and it was rather difficult to walk.

And I wasn’t the only one having difficulty moving around either. There was a trawler out at sea battling with the storm to come into port and behind her, Thora was being thrown about by the elements.

When I took this photo she was actually being blown sideways by the wind and was coming into port rather like a crab.

pointing wall Rampe du Monte à Regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Down at the wall at the Rampe du Monte à Regret the pointing of the wall was proceeding apace.

Mind you, I’m not sure what was happening there earlier. On our way back from Father Christmas there was an ambulance and a police car parked up at the side.

The personnel of the vehicles seemed to be quite interested in what was going on down below but as I wasn’t driving and as we had other things to do, I couldn’t go over and have a look.

If it’s anything interesting or important, it’ll be in the local paper in the morning.

Halfway up the hill towards the physiotherapist’s, I had to stop. Not because I was out of breath but because we suddenly had another torrential downpour. I had to nip into a doorway and put on my rain jacket.

It reminded me of how Superman and all of these other superheroes used to dash into telephone boxes and emerge seconds later with their underpants on outside their trousers. Where do they go to change now with the rise of mobile ‘phones and the demise of telephone boxes?

And then of course, there was my brother. He was often seen with his underpants on outside his trousers, but that was less to do with any superhero status and more to do with the fact that he didn’t have both paddles in the water.

No tilting platform today. There was the usual 5 minutes on the cross trainer and then a load of kinetic exercises that somehow took their toll of me.

She had me once more walking along this narrow beam and throwing a ball about. She was impressed with my reflexes co-ordination but as I have said before, my previous life as a goalkeeper and wicket-keeper had a lot to do with that.

father christmas decorations Place Général de Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021On the way home I came via the Place General de Gaulle.

On the way up to the physiotherapist’s I’d seen a few council workmen on up on ladders working on the trees and I was interested to see what they had been doing with them.

By the time that I returned, the workmen had gone but I noticed that some of the trees were now festooned with decorations. And if you ask me my opinion, it’s all a load of balls.

christmas decorations rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of years ago Strawberry Moose reckoned that the Christmas decorations in the Rue Paul Poirier WERE ALL BALLS too.

THis year though, there’s been a change, and not before time either. This year we have the street lined with artificial “Christmas Trees”.

Now what was I saying a few days ago about them recycling the same old decorations year after year and wishing that they would make a change?

Clearly, a great many people are very interested in the contents of my pages and pay them a great deal of attention.

La Bavolette Ii thora marité belle france joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021A short while ago we saw Thora having a bit of a struggle to make it into port.

Well she finally arrived, as you can see in this photo, moored up at the loading bay in front of Marité, with Belle France and the newer Joly France ferry – the one with the smaller upper-deck superstructure, moored alongside her.

The little trawler in the background is an interesting boat. She’s called La Bavolette II – at least, for the moment. And I mean that too because in the past she’s been known by several different names.

She was built in 1982 out of wood and displaces 40 tonnes

philcathane l'ecume II port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021This trawler is much more interesting though.

Not Philcathane, of course – not that she isn’t interesting in herself but she hasn’t had the adventures that the other one in the photo has had.

You can tell by her registration number – beginning with “J” – that she’s a Boat from Jersey and how long is it since we’ve seen a boat from the Channel Islands here in port with all of the shenanigans that are going on right now?

There’s a great deal of talk about illegal fishing right now and this trawler – she’s called L’Ecume II by the way, can tell you an awful lot about that because on two occasions about which I know, her crew has been in the dock and emerged with their pockets far lighter than they were when they went in.

And not only that, 18 months ago she found herself stuck on a sandbank because her helmsman had fallen asleep at the wheel.

In other words, she’s quite a well-known boat, for one reason or another.

storm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021However I wasn’t going to hang around and admire her for too long.

As you can see, out in the Baie de Mont St Michel there was quite a storm brewing up and the gale-force wind was blowing it my way.

As a result, I wasn’t going to hang around. I was going to head for home and a hot mug of coffee, and make plans about what I was going to do for the rest of the week. I actually have a day at home without any interruptions at all – but just you watch all that change.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Before I went in I went to have a look at the beach

And that was rather a waste of time because there wasn’t any beach to look at today. The tide was right in now and the water was at the foot of the cliffs. All I had for my pains was a good battering by the wind.

Back here I had my coffee and sat down to try to do some work.

Checking my messages there was a mail from my Welsh course telling me what ingredients I need for the Christmas Cake I’ll be baking on-line on Friday evening. Treacle isn’t available here so I ended up asking Liz for advice on a replacement and chatting to her for quite a while.

For some reason, tea was quite an effort tonight. I’m experiencing brain-fade – not quite as bad as the nonsense I was churning up last night – but I couldn’t think of what to have for tea. I’d really run aground.

In the end I settled for a burger and pasta. That was the best that I could do.

Right now, although I haven’t crashed out today, I’m thoroughly exhausted so I’m off to bed where I hope that I’ll sleep until I awaken.

But not much hope of that, I’m afraid. All of this is really depressing me.

Sunday 27th November 2021 – I ACTUALLY MANAGED …

workmen's compound place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… to go out and about this afternoon to see what damage Storm Arwen had caused.

First port of call has obviously to be the workmen’s compound down at the bottom. Or, rather, what is left of the workmen’s compound.

Parts of it are all tangled up over there, but the rest of it is all over the place in the car park, along with all kinds of other rubbish that has been blown in from all over the place as well

There are going to be some very unhappy people when they come in the morning to inspect their vehicles.

repairing medieval city walls place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Another place that was going to be interesting to see is the face of the medieval city walls that they are repairing underneath the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

The walls are still standing, which is a surprise after the battering that it received, but the protection that the workmen built to protect themselves from objects dropped from above did not. And that’s hardly a surprise becuase, as we said the other day, it looked rather flimsy.

The first job on Monday morning therefore will be to re-erect their little shelter. And then they can crack on with the repairing. And by the looks of things they seem to be doing a reasonable job. We can’t afford to have them going for a Burton.

scaffolding repairing medieval city walls place du marché au chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile, up above in the Place, the scaffolding seems to have survived. The 5 tonnes of water in those pallet tanks seemed to have done its job.

All in all, we seem to have been quite fortunate with the storm. Gusts of 136 kph are not to be sneezed at, and the town’s firemen were called out 36 times during the storm, so it seemed that plenty of people had it far worse than we did.

It didn’t even keep me awake all that much. Although I didn’t go to bed as early as I would have liked, I managed to spend more time asleep than I have done just recently.

That’s not to say that I didn’t go on any travels during the night. In fact, quite the reverse. We were at school last night. My brother had been summoned before the headmaster for something so he actually left at about 08:30 and was playing for another team early on. We had to be back by 10:00 so at 09:45 I went over to the door to meet him. he came out with a group of other people, one of whom was someone from the radio. We all started to talk a little about my brother’s issues although he looked extremely happy just then when he came out. Then something and I don’t know what reminded me that I had to do something with the green folder and send it off to another house at school to have a listen before I could go ahead with the radio programme.

Later on I had Caliburn except that it wasn’t Caliburn but my red Cortina estate, loaded up with all my stuff for moving house like I did when I was moving from the UK to Brussels. I had to go somewhere for a few days so I parked it up in the street in Underwood Lane near where I lived. On my way back we went to a house to pick up some shovels and spades. It was 04:00. A woman came out and I thought that she looked familiar. It turned out that she’d been the person who had bought one of my houses somewhere else. It was her but she’d since moved and bought another house. She was telling me that I now have a house down there as well. We collected everything and went into the street but we couldn’t see Caliburn anywhere. We walked up and down that street 3 or 4 times and there was no trace of him. We were thinking about which scrapyards to ring up, all of this kind of thing but there was still no trace

Later still on I was back in the hospital and I couldn’t find a shovel that I’d use to dig a grave. I pointed to that fellow but he didn’t see us so I thought that I’d stick my 2 bodies into 1 grave. I needed to enlarge the grave. There was a fight going on between fishermen, farmers and the French police. I thought that now there wasn’t very much attraction so I’ll stop where I am because someone was after the issue fee “I see Eric” but I didn’t know my name and I wanted everything cleared up. And what that was all about I have no idea.

Finally we’d been up in the High Arctic as far as Grize Fiord and even further. We’d been in this town watching the aeroplanes come in to land and then all set off back home again. I had this old double-decker bus that we were driving, heading up the A5 from London. My car was in front and for some unknown reason it was driving on its own, driving really recklessly and I was convinced that there was going to be an accident with this. All of a sudden it did a turn right across several carriageways and pulled up against the kerb. I stopped the bus and went round to see what was going on. My brother was there so I asked him why he did that strange manoeuvre. He pointed to this shop selling clothes. I stuck my head in but couldn’t see anything exciting. While he was there I said to the people on board the bus “let me have my stuff and I can load my car ready to go”. I took a few bits and pieces out but someone on the top deck picked up my big sports bag and dropped it over the top straight into the boor of the car. It went in with an Enormous crash. I said that I hoped that there was nothing breakable in there, like my portable computer. Then I had a look at the bus. All the time that it had spent in the High Arctic had taken its toll and it was as rusty as hell, rusting everywhere as f it had just happened overnight. Even the sides of the bus were rusty and you could see the name of the previous owner, “Lena Tours” because of how the bodywork had rusted. I wondered how we were able to drive this without the police stopping us and taking a look.

And why does my brother keep on showing up in my voyages? Why can’t it be someone like Zero or Castor or TOTGA?

Anyway, leaving my bed at 09:00 was not very easy this morning but it had to be done and I staggered into the dining are for my medication. I checked my mails and messages, made a quick breakfast and went for my Welsh lesson – all 5 hours of it.

The time passed quite quickly too, and the one hour for lunch passed even quicker because I seem once more to have run out of pizza dough so I made to make a hurried batch. And it didn’t turn out too badly either, all things considered.

We had plenty of fun in our lessons today and I hope that I remember everything that we learnt. Some of it wasn’t familiar at all so I imagine that it’s South Walian and that will lead to a few complications when we’re back in our normal class on Tuesday after the weekend school.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021As soon as the lesson finished I grabbed the camera and finally made it outside.

Having seen the compound across the car park I went down to the wall at the end of the car park here to see what was happening on the beach.

There were actually two people down there, which was a surprise. The weather might have moderated somewhat after the wind of the last couple of days but it was still really cold and not the kind of weather that I would have chosen to be down there.

But there’s no accounting for taste.

outdoor tidal swimming pool donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little further on along the beach towards Donville-les-Bains there was something strange in the water.

My first thought was that it was an ancient wreck uncovered by the storm, something that is a regular occurrence in many parts of the world.

However it seems to be the tidal swimming pool down there at Donville. I didn’t recognise it because I don’t think that I’ve seen it more than a couple of times in all the time that I’ve lived here.

There must be some kind of optical illusion or trick of the light that has made it so visible this afternoon.

tidal swimming pool plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Having inspected the work down at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux I headed off along the path at the foot of the city walls, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been down here.

A little earlier I’d already seen the tidal swimming pool at Donviille-les-Bains so I was interested to see the one at the Plat Gousset here to see if it had survived the storm.

It seems to have managed okay but there’s some kind of turbulence going on at the back og the pool so I wonder what that is all about.

Perhaps they’ve caught the Loch Ness Monster. I didn’t realise that the storm had been that intense.

generator building equipment Square Maurice Marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Another feature that occurs quite regularly on these pages is the state of the Square Maurice Marland.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, they spent quite a while on repairing the place a few years ago and since then it’s been left todecay, something that seems to have happened a lot more rapidly that I had tought.

While I was there today though, I noticed that a pile of equipment has arrived here, includiing what looks like a diesel generator in a soundproof box. So maybe things are going to start moving again.

building equipment Square Maurice Marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And a little further on, I can see that they already have.

The part where the children’s entertainments used to be is now cordoned off and they have a strange tracked machine just there. That certainly looks as if it means business.

Much of the surrounding area has been sheeted over too and there’s some building material stacked up too. This is looking as if it’s going to be quite interesting and I’ll be back here more often than I am at the moment to check on things.

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Leaving the Square Maurice Marland I headed off towards the Rue St Michel to see how things were unfoding there.

It was difficult to see anything from down at the bottom end the other day because of all of the machinery, so this afternoon I came up via the alley at the top

From this angle it’s quite clear that they’ve scraped away the old horrible surface and that does actually look deep enough to lay some cobbles. But having been disappointed in the past by this kind of thing, we’ll have to see what happens.

And then wonder how long it will be before they dig it up again.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021From the end of the Rue st Michel I walked onto the city walls.

It’s going quite dark quite quickly now and I just about caught the last few rays of sun as the reflected up and through a couple of small holes in this really thick cloud cover.

That was the cue for me to head home. No coffee tonight as I’m pretty-much coffeed out after all that I’ve drunk today. I rolled out my pizza and then went to pair off my music instead, although I won’t be preparing a programme tomorrow as I’m having Caliburn’s windscreen fixed.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021When I’d finished that I went to have a play with my pizza.

When it was assembled it went into the oven for 35 minutes and I was ready for it when it was finally cooked. It was quite delicious too.

having finished everything in what was a really hectic day, I’m ready for bed. I have an early start because I need a shower and a shave before I take Caliburn off. If I have to pretty myself up, that’s going to take more time than I can spare.

Saturday 27th November 2021 – NO PHOTOS TODAY …

… either. And for the simple reason that it isn’t safe to to out.

The winds have been gusting up to 136 kph today and if you remember that little compound that we saw the other day down at the end of the public car park, that is now in bits spread out all over the car park and I feel sorry for those people who left their cars parked there over the weekend.

Some time during the afternoon I went outside to bring in the rest of the shopping from yesterday and made it with the greatest difficulty to Caliburn and back again. I was intending to see if it was safe to go out for a walk but I abandoned that plan.

Strangely enough though, the wind during the night didn’t keep me awake too much and for once I had a decent night’s sleep, even though there wasn’t all that much of it.

Plenty of time to go for a ramble though. There as something happening in a zoo and there were a lot of people around there doing some tests on some of the animals. Someone said something that upset the monkeys and they started throwing stones at this building. They broke the windows and all of the insects and animals and all kinds of laboratory creatures escaped. They all crawled over my legs to get out. I was mortified because I don’t like this sort of thing at all. They had to set through to catch them and all these horrible reptile things, they were talking on the news about how “this one was going to be good for making liver and they are monitoring its progress’. They found a type that was like a stick of rock but it was in fact bone and when you sang to it, it grew. They asked me to take a sample of it back to Leuven when I next went and leave it there with them so that they could perform a whole series of tests on it. I thought that I could make it grow by singing to it any time you like. It sounded such an interesting thing to do. But I was overwhelmed by these insects all crawling over my legs trying to escape, all kinds of horrible things.

With some time before my Welsh lesson I had another go at tidying up my back-up disk and created yet more space. Consequently I ended up with more than enough space to perform a full back-up of my computer for the first time since I don’t know when.

Before anyone is worried about my back-ups, or lack thereof, there’s a 128GB memory stick that lives permanently in a USB port and I back up all of my data files onto there every night. There’s also the portable computer that I take to Leuven and I back up onto there at the end of every month and again the morning that I travel.

There are 123 students at our Welsh weekend and we are divided up into 8 groups of about 15. But depressingly, they have put me into a “South Wales” group.

If you look at a map of Wales, you’ll notice the southern and northern coasts of course, and you’ll also note that the country is bisected in the centre by the Dyfi and Severn valleys that cut the country into a “north” and south”.

These valleys, the Dyfi that flows east to west and the Severn that flows west to east have been a traditional route for invaders throughout history, whether Romans, Saxons or Normans, and were heavily fortified, and so there was little interaction between the north and the south.

As a result, the native Celtic language evolved differently in each area over the last 2,000 years and there are considerable differences between the two.

As my paternal roots are in the north-east, I’m much more home with northern Welsh and so I’m not so much at my ease with a bunch of South Walians.

We are having four sessions of 2.5 hours, 2 today and 2 tomorrow, with an hour’s break in between, and we’re revising the first 5 chapters of our course book for this year. It’s quite interesting, and well-worth the money that I paid for it … “it was free, actually” – ed.

When the course had finished I went to bring in the shopping but not to go for a walk. With the amount of stuff, some of which was quite heavy, being blown around, I didn’t think that it was wise.

However I’m keen to nip out to see how the scaffolding at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux coped, 5 tonnes of water or not.

There was time to dice and blanch a kilo of carrots ready for freezing overnight. Seeing that I was at Lidl in Caliburn yesterday, I grabbed a kilo. I may as well take advantage.

The rest of the afternoon has been spent splitting up albums on the laptop. I found a few more master tapes just recently and I’ve been giving them the business. There are still plenty more to cut up.

Tea tonight was baked potato with a couple of these small breaded burgers that I like and a handful of veg. All very tasty.

So now I’m going to chill out before going to bed. There’s an alarm tomorrow shock! Horror! as I have to go to the second half of my Welsh class.

And I hope that the alarm works in the morning. It let me down for some reason this morning – not that it made any difference because I was awake anyway. I doubt if that will be the case on a Sunday morning.

Friday 26th November 2021 – PHEW! THAT WAS EXPENSIVE!

And I don’t even have any photographs for my pains either today.

That is for two reasons too.

  1. there’s a howling gale blowing outside right now
  2. I have been busy all afternoon and couldn’t even find time to go for my afternoon walk

Before we start though, I’m not going to mention last night. You can read the dictaphone notes and make up your own mind.

A train had been requisitioned by the Germans last night and was heading off with all kinds of art treasures that had been looted. They had a man on the front with a machine gun to defend against saboteurs, all this kind of thing but in the corridor of the tender facing the engine driver was another German armed with a sub-machine gun. At a certain point the train ground to a halt and there was some panic going on outside. The commandant in charge said “we’ll get the guy with the machine gun on the crew to reinforce you” which of course caused panic because no-one there actually knew that they were being watched like this on the footplate. At the same time there was a strike going on with football players because of recognition with their previous clubs hadn’t been granted so they weren’t considered as being equal or equivalent footballers to the Premier League and weren’t being able to be picked for the Premier League sides but that was on the point of being resolved.

A little later I was with someone (and I wish that I knew who it was) on a bicycle ride on holiday. I had a rucksack on my back and she had one on hers. We’d had some kind of incident that meant that she’d used my jeans as a mop so she’d had to borrow some jeans from someone for me. We were cycling and came to this bridge over a motorway. There were several lanes and a main road and a side road and a footpath etc. Several lanes went on a bridge over the top of the motorway while a couple went through a tunnel underneath. We cycled on and came to the motorway interchange. This was an awful, really complicated road junction. We were on bikes and the vehicles were running really quickly and not giving us much time to get into position because we wanted the lane far over in the centre. Eventually we managed to pick our way through the traffic without any excitement. We noticed on the map that someone who used to work for the radio lived here in a little cul-de-sac so we thought that we’d go to visit him. He had a bungalow in a kind-of close. When we arrived he was on the doorstep saying that he was just going to bed. he told us about an incident he’d had which involved the police which had left him feeling very bitter about whatever it was that the radio was. He went to bed but we were inside the house and used his bathroom, organised a few things. We noticed that there was an orange plastic skull sitting on his bed. We wondered what that was doing. Then my partner started to take stuff out of my rucksack to rearrange it which was uncomfortable seeing as I was wearing it at the time

And then there was a sandpit there (wherever “there” was) and a kid who was very much like me as a small child playing in it. Someone said something about how he could foretell the future in various respects. I mentioned that I’d had mine told for me and it wasn’t very complimentary

This cable had an olive-green and white speckly very thick-outer a cable with a very solid rigid central core that we could make into all kinds of shapes, but none of them were anything to do with what we were trying to do. And whatever that bit is all about is a complete mystery to me.

Some time later we were driving down the M6, a big group of us. A girl whom I used to know in Scotland was there as well, heading down. At a certain moment I recognised somewhere and said “this is the start of the Morecambe Bay holiday area, isn’t it?”. They didn’t know but we’d gone about half a mile and saw a load of surfers in the water. I mentioned that there was a town down here a little further where I’d been a couple of years ago and there had been an enormous flood. We’d spent our time swimming in what was the town square. When we arrived, the town square was flooded again so we had to drive round and find a place to park and then needed to find the solicitor’s that we were visiting the next day. I was sure that I knew where it was because I’d been here before. So we went and sure enough, this was where it was. Then we had to work out where we were going to stay. Everyone else was broke so we were talking about hostels and everything. Eventually they found some kind of bed and breakfast place that was quite cheap and were talking about booking it there but some people didn’t have any money etc

When the alarm went off I couldn’t get out of bed for quite some time but eventually I forced myself out and went for my medication.

Having checked my mails and messages I cracked on (and I really did too) with the work that needed doing. The sound-files have been sent off with the accompanying notes, and so have my questions for these perishing elves.

One thing that I noticed was that my server wasn’t saving the copies of my mails, which was no surprise as my mailbox was at 101%. I spent a very happy rest of the morning going through and weeding a pile of stuff that had built up in there that should have been deleted a long time ago.

What’s filling the place up is all of the piles of stuff that I’ve been receiving about my family so I went and downloaded it all and deleted it from my mail server. Now my mailbox is now at a more-manageable 73%.

One day I’ll download a mail-handling client like Thunderbird and download everything from the mail server.

There were several phone calls to make too. I contacted the insurance company about Caliburn’s windscreen and then I rang around for some new winter tyres for Caliburn.

When I was in the Auvergne 18 months ago I’d brought a couple of spare wheels back from the Auvergne because winter tyres are now obligatory in many départements in the centre where my farm is and it’s high time that I had some.

Hunting around on the internet I couldn’t find any bargains of the make that I wanted but somewhat closer to home, a tyre fitter could supply exactly what I wanted and on the wheels on the van they will work out even cheaper than the tyres alone on the internet.

Some other stuff is needed too for Caliburn. There’s a cracked mirror and a cracked rear light that the controle technique examiner mentioned, and of course if he’s having a new windscreen he’s having new wipers to go with it.

Rosemary rang me too and we had another one of our mega-chats

After lunch I wandered off to LIDL where I spent a fortune and can’t really see what I bought with my money, except that it was too heavy to bring all of it upstairs.

Next stop was at the windscreen place. The Insurance Company told me that the windscreen people would contact me but as I was driving past, I popped in. And as luck would it, they had a windscreen in stock and a vacant spec in their workshop at 09:00 on Monday morning.

From there I drove to the tyre fitter. he didn’t have the tyres in stock but I paid a deposit and he’s ordered them and they’ll be here on Friday morning. While I was there I bought some rust killer and some wheel paint. I may as well make his wheels look pretty

Final stop was LeClerc where I spent a fortune and once again I couldn’t really see what I’d bought for my money – except the four bottles of ginger beer that they had on special offer and the new slippers to replace my worn-out ones.

By the time that I returned it was 18:00 (where does the time all go?) so I made a coffee and ended up chatting to Liz for an hour.

Tea was a burger on a bap (now that I have baps and the correct burgers) with a baked potato and vegetables, and it was delicious.

Now I’m off to bed. I need my sleep – if I get any with this astonishing storm raging outside – as I have my Welsh weekend class for the next couple of days.

Can you imagine it? Me, setting an alarm on a Sunday! Wonders will never cease.

Tuesday 23rd November 2021 – I’M NOT GOING …

… to talk about my night last night. I shall just leave you to imagine it.

The only thing that I can say is that it reminds me of that American football coach who was asked his opinion about the match in which his team had been controversially defeated.
“I’m not allowed to comment on the lousy officiating” he said.

So staggering out of bed … errr … a short while after the alarm went off, I went and had my medication.

While I was medicating I remembered a few months ago that I said that I need to cut down on the amount of medication that I take. At the time I was on 8 tablets a day.

So now, having argued with the staff at the hospital about it all, I find that I’m no on … errr … 14. That went well, didn’t it?

Back in here I went through my mails and messages and then prepared myself for my Welsh lesson. In the middle of all of this, Rosemary rang up for a chat. And for a change, we only chatted for a few minutes.

The Welsh lesson went quite well and one of my fellow students passed me a recipe for a vegan Christmas cake.

And if this isn’t enough to be going on with, there’s an on-line Zoom lesson on a Friday evening in a couple of weeks time which is based upon baking, and the subject is … a vegan Christmas cake.

It looks as if I’m going to be having a surfeit of Christmas cake this year. I suppose that it’s much more exciting than a surfeit of lampreys, to which King Henry I would be the first to agree.

After lunch I had a few phone calls to make but I was out of luck. There wasn’t anyone answering the telephone anywhere and I don’t know why. It’s not a Bank Holiday today.

person on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Later on I went out for my afternoon walk, rather later than I intended

There was something exciting going on down on the beach this afternoon. However, I’m not quite sure what it was.

There was another howling gale blowing and as a consequence the beach was almost deserted, except for this one person down there.

And despite enlarging and enhancing the image as much as I possibly could, I couldn’t make out what it was that he was doing. But it looked interesting, that’s for sure.

jersey fishing boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021While I was looking down with one eye onto the beach, the other eye was roaming around out at sea.

At the moment, we are having some kind of turbulent issues with regard to fishing and as a result we’re encountering fishing boats in all kinds of unlikely places here and there every now and again.

There was a handful of boats out there in the Baie de Granville this afternoon wandering around looking for something to catch. They can’t be on the way home because as you saw in the previous photo, the tide is well out.

You’ll also notice how clear the weather was too. The island of Jersey is quite clear this afternoon in the background.

ile de chausey boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Once I’d gathered my wits (which takes much longer these days than it ought to do bearing in mind how few I have left) I set off along the path towards the lighthouse.

As I wandered down the path, the angle of the sun was such that a couple of boats just offshore from the Ile de Chausey were suddenly illuminated. It was quite a strange, eerie situation

The Ile de Chausey was looking quite good too and I imagined that the view down the coast towards Cap Fréhel would have been quite impressive, but I wasn’t going to clamber up on top of the bunker in this wind.

There wasn’t anyone sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban and there was no-one fishing off the rocks, so I carried on down the path towards the port.

workmen working on portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Ten days or so ago I mentioned that I wouldn’t take any more photos of the portable boat lift in the chantier naval until there was something exciting happening.

And today, we actually do have some excitement down there. They have the cherry picker extended with a few guys in the nacelle having an inspection of the metalwork.

On top of the framework there was someone clambering around making an inspection. And so it looks as if they are finally getting round to dealing with the issues that have led to it being taken out of service.

And who knows? We might even actually see it back in operation by the due date.

joly france belle france chausiaise marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Over at the ferry terminal there was one of the Joly France boats, but as you have seen it more than just a few times just recently, i’ll spare you another photo.

On the other hand, the other three boats that operate for the ferry company are all moored up together down in the borrom corner. From left to right we have Belle France, the other Joly France ferry and, on the outside, Chausiaise, the little freighter.

In the background, moored up against the quayside in her usual place is Marité. She won’t be going far for the next few months.

Back home, I had a coffee and then transcribed the notes on the dictaphone.

Yesterday’s notes are now on line and then I turned my attention to last night’s. We’d all been camping. I’d been with Liz and Terry in a caravan and several other people had turned up. My Greek lady-friend from work was there with a tent. We all went back and the next day I came up on my own with a car and caravan. I arrived far too early for the ferry across so I sorted out the car, put it in position and decided to walk into town to find some baps. Just then the Greek girl turned up. I said “so when did you leave?”. She replied “17:00”. I said “if you had said anything I would have brought you up” to which she didn’t say very much. I walked down into Crewe to go to the little bakery towards the bottom end of Victoria Street but everywhere had changed. There had been loads of demolition so I couldn’t find this bakery at all. I thought that if I went to queue in one of the supermarkets, everyone will have arrived by then and my van sitting first in the queue for the ferry and no-one could get on because it’s in the way. There was a lot more than this too but I can’t remember any of it now. But I picked myself out a bed already, a nice double bed, and thought that if no-one else turns up to share it, that will be too bad.

For tea I finally managed to eat my stuffed pepper and rice, and now that I’ve finished my journal, I’m going to bed. I have a radio interview to edit as well as going for my physiotherapy appointment.

There are a couple of letters, mainly incendiary ones, to write as well so I want to make sure that I’m in good form.

Sunday 31st October 2021 – JUST LOOK AT …

vegan pizza home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021… this gorgeous loaf of bread that I have made! I think that I’ve finally after all this time mastered the technique of having the correct shape.

And I hope that it tastes as good as it looks. Why shouldn’t it? The pizza that I made was one of the best that I have ever made so the bread ought to be the same. I can’t wait until tomorrow to try it.

But let’s turn our attention to today instead. And for once in my life in recent times, I actually had a really decent night’s sleep. I fell into bed at about 00:30.

Apart from one or two brief moments I slept all the way through to 10:40 too – or 11:40, because we changed the time today. I hope that you did too. Put the clock back one hour if you live in the real world.

But if you live in the United Kingdom under the Tories, set your clock back 200 years to workhouses and foundlings’ homes, kids working up chimneys and underneath weaving looms, abandoned kids living on the streets and desperate women prostituting themselves in order to be able to earn some money to buy food.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I had promised to eschew politics on my pages, but sometimes it’s just not possible.

Having taken my medication it took me a while to sort myself out as usual. I was living with Nerina last night and we had our house. I’d actually parked a car on the lawn to do something while she was out and then put the car back. She came back and thought that she’d detected the trace of a car. I assured her that there wasn’t and I hadn’t done. The next-door neighbour came round and was talking to Nerina. She went totally berserk afterwards because of the car that the neighbour had mentioned. I had a huge row with the neighbour and Nerina had a huge row with me. The neighbour had a door from my garage that went into her house which she didn’t normally use but she decided that she was going to start to use it so I decided that I would fit a bolt on the door to stop her. This led to Nerina packing her bags. I had a heart-to-heart talk with her. I don’t know whether the situation cooled down. She went through to the kitchen to talk to this woman while I started to make this bolt to assemble to put on the door anyway but everything was hanging in the air.

Later on I was in Canada with my niece and her husband and talking about library books, taking them back. There was a box with some old library books in it that were for sale as no longer used. One was a Haynes manual for Cortinas MkI and MkII made in Canada. of course I was extremely interested in this and went to take it. All I needed now was a car to go with it. He started to tell me about a couple of old cars that he knew of round near where he lived but it was a question of whether they had any Cortinas and whether I could prise any away from their owners.

Having done that I paired off the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll get a good start on it as I’m not going anywhere until later in the afternoon.

Once that was finished I uploaded last night’s photos to the computer and checked them through. Not very many – a mere 163 of them all told. That is going to be a lot of work to edit all of those, but it needs to be done, and soon too

After lunch I made a start on the journal entry from yesterday but I didn’t make much progress. After about an hour or so I had to knock off to go and make the dough for my loaf of bread. I need something for my salad to go on tomorrow lunchtime.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021having finished the dough and leaving it to proof, I wandered off outside for my afternoon walk.

Down to the end of the car park I went for a peer over the wall to see what was happening on the beach. There weren’t very many people down there this afternoon, and a couple of those seemed to be on the point of leaving it.

That was quite probably because there wasn’t all that much beach to be on right now. the tide is well up by now and those who are staying down there will need to get a move on if they want to leave with dry feet.

waves on water baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021It’s not just the tide that is going to be causing them a problem either.

Although the wind is nothing like as bad as it has been, there’s obviously something major going on somewhere out at sea because just look at the height of these waves coming in.

These will roll onto the beach and push up a lot higher than they ordinarily would in calmer weather, and many people don’t seem to take that into account when they go onto the beach with a rough sea like this.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The weather that had created these waves seemed to be so intense that I had a look out to see what was going on over at the Ile de Chausey.

You can see that something is happening there judging by the haze or mist that’s out there obscuring the view. And that white boat out there was playing “peek-a boo” with us. Sometimes you could see it, and other times it was hidden by a big wave.

On the path down to the headland there were plenty of people, and I seem somehow to have lost or misplaced my facemask and I couldn’t remember where I’d put my other one so I was without. I hope that this isn’t going to be a sign of anything.

people near cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Across the path and the car park and down to the end of the headland I was catching the full effects of whatever it was that was going on.

And it wasn’t just me who was taking advantage of it either. There were a couple of people who had just come down the steps and they were presumably waiting for someone else to join them.

If they were to sit down on the bench there, they would have a grandstand view of events. Just look at these waves, and I bet that they look even more impressive from even closer to.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021That reminded me that I ought to go to check the sea wall at the outer harbour. It was something of a damp squib last time I looked, so I was hoping for something better today.

Off along the path on top of the headland, I stopped at a suitable place to see how the waves were doing. And I didn’t have long to wait.

This isn’t the best that we have seen – far from it – but it’s still better than what we’ve been seeing just recently. And I bet that those people standing on the sea wall were enjoying every minute of it.

air sea rescue helicopter place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021They say that it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any goos, and certainly someone’s not having the best of it.

That’s the air-sea rescue helicopter that has just gone flying by overhead on its way back to base. I wonder it it’s been out on an emergency rescue.

Back here I gave the dough a second kneading and shaping and then started to prepare my pizza. As well as all of that I scrubbed, diced and blanched 2 kilos of carrots that I had bought yesterday, spoke to someone on the internet about the somg “Grasshopper” that I’ve mentioned quite often recently, and spent all of the evening chatting to a friend (I do have one) in the UK.

So now, everything is done, my notes are written and so I’m off to bed. An early start in the morning and I have a lot to do. So I need my sleep.

Friday 29th October 2021 – THAT WAS PROBABLY …

… the worst night of them all so far last night. And four files on the dictaphone tells you what kind of restless night it was.

There was a pile of dirty washing-up that needed doing. Some had already been done so my brother and I cracked on and finished it all. After we’d had something to eat there was washing up to be done and I didn’t bother to wash up but he insisted that we wash up. I refused. I only wash up once per day and that was before going to bed. This argument rolled on so I went outside. I frightened one of the seamen sitting on the steps of our ship who was looking at another ship close by. I asked him what was going on and he said “nothing in particular” and wandered off. There were 3 or 4 ships in the immediate vicinity, one a ship owned by Disney that didn’t have any superstructure like a barge. The people on it were speaking Russian so I spoke to them in Russian – “hello, how are you? My name is Eric” in Russian and they were overwhelmed that someone was speaking Russian to them and they actually came over on board our ship to talk to me. And it’s been a long time since I’ve spoken any Russian. I learnt some basic Russian from a local woman in Nantwich before I started taking coaches behind the Iron Curtain and I’ve probably forgotten most of it now.

3 of us, a guy a girl and I had to check out a disturbance on a common somewhere. There was no-one around but interviewing the locals it appeared that foreigners gathered there later on in the evening. The guy with me who was in charge told the girl to stay there on her own and make a report which I thought was strange. I expected one of the others of us to stay as well and pretend to be a courting couple. A single girl on her own would be rather prominent out there. Anyway, that was what we agreed to do and the 2 or us went away. We ended up being stuck in this huge queue of pedestrians at a roundabout. It seemed that it was Derby County’s birthday and there was some kind of celebration. We ended up in this charity shop and they had some Derby County ski suits that were really nice. I was tempted to buy one but I didn’t like the idea of carrying something with “Derby County” on it so I didn’t. We had a good look around but couldn’t see anything else. We went out and decided to go for a meal. I reminded him about this woman and said “when we go to pick her up we’d better take her a cup of coffee”. He replied “yes. hang on here while I go and fetch one”. I said “it won’t be much use now. She’ll need it at 8 o’clock when we finish. She’ll be freezing”. He said “yes” and came out with some other stuff that I can’t remember now.

Later on Liz had bought some furniture for her new house, a bed. The people in IKEA were showing up how it went together to demonstrate what it looked like. She quite liked it and said that she’d take it but it turned out that there was a 6-month delay for delivery. I said “stick it in Caliburn and we’ll take it round in Caliburn”. She said that there was no-one there to assemble it, Terry had gone to work. I replied “I’ll assemble it”. She said “you have other things to do, haven’t you?”. I replied “I can spare an hour or two to do this bed”. They couldn’t find the right nails or screws ro go with this package. I pointed out various piles of screws and nails on the floor by the bed and this was starting to become really complicated. it turned out that she had gone in to buy a bed for one of her grandchildren because the two of them were sharing a bed and it was most uncomfortable for them. She wanted to get them separate beds and saw this while she was there.

Finally, I’d made myself some muesli and was looking for a container to put it in now that I’d come back from being away. I had plenty of flower pots but couldn’t find them all. Eventually I found a large one so I took a bucket of water and washed it out and had it looking fairly clean. Then I don’t know why I did this but I tipped the bucket of water into the flower pot. Of course the water went everywhere, all over the table, all over the carpet so I had to pour the water back into the bucket quickly. My brother said that we ought to find a mop. As we were going through into the back room to fetch a mop the police were in there. They’d been looking for someone for ages who had disappeared and were wondering where he’d got to. It turned out that he was in the next room. He’d killed himself. They were puzzled because the electrode that he had used to earth himself when he gave himself an electric shock wasn’t actually attached to anything metal, just to a wooden chair leg so that wouldn’t in theory have killed him so they began to wonder about his wife’s involvement with this.

But seriously, how come my brother has been playing such a large part in my voyages for the last few days or so? What’s been bringing him into the equation?

As a consequence of all of this it was a weary crawl out from under the covers this morning when the alarm went off. Mind you, I don’t suppose that it helped very much

After the medication and checking my mails I made a start on continuing with the blog entries but I didn’t get very far.

Not long after I’d started I had a message – do I have any Greenlandic music?

Of course, I have a couple of rock albums from Greenlandic rock groups who sing in Inuktitut but that wasn’t what was required. Did I have any Greenlandic music that would do as the background for a radio programme?

“Not to hand at this very moment” was the obvious answer but I do have two Greenlandic friends, one of Danish extraction and the other a young Inuit girl who are musicians so most of the morning was spent talking to them.

Nive told me that I could help myself to anything of hers (of which there is quite a lot) that I could find in the public media and Heidinnguaq, the young girl whom I met in Uummannaq sent me a couple of songs that she wrote which she plays guitar and sings.

And so what was left of the morning was spent chasing down the various files, editing them and remixing them suitably for the radio shows.

While I was on a roll, as the saying goes, I contacted the son of the guy (now unfortunately no longer with us) who wrote “Grasshopper” – the song that I mentioned yesterday – to see whether his father ever left his notes about his song construction. We had quite a chat for a while but to no avail – there were no notes left behind.

And so, there’s no time like the present and I contacted my musical friend who lives in Germany and sent him the link to the song. He’s going to score it for me. I’ve worked out the melody on the bass guitar but many of the chords bear absolutely no resemblance to the root notes, so they must all be derivatives and that’s way beyong my capabilities.

To take me up to lunch, the nurse came round and injected me with my third vaccination for Covid. Now I’m completely up-to-date with my injections and I have a very sore right arm.

After lunch I had a ‘phone call from the guy who co-ordinates the radio. What am I doing on the 12th November?

Apparently there’s a big meeting taking place to formally open the “Greenland Week” here but the girl who has chosen to make up a radio programme of the event can’t make it. Seeing as I know Uummannaq and the people there so well, could I replace her?

Well, of course I will actually, but really I can’t find the time to do my own stuff, never mind anyone else’s.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021After all of that I went out for my afternoon walk.

Quite a few people down on the beach this afternoon, although nobody brave enough to tackle the water.

And that’s not really a surprise because the weather has now turned and there’s a strong with blowing in its usual direction from the North-West. So the fact that it’s reasonably warm for the time of year counts for nothing really in this.

storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As usual while I’m out looking down on the beach, I have one eye roving about offshore to see what I can catch.

And what caught my eye was this storm raging away out in the bay. Somewhere out there is the island of Jersey but you can’t hope to see it because of the intense rainstorm that is falling down right now.

It’s not any surprise that you can’t see any boats out there in that direction. having seen that huge storm approaching, they have presumably run for cover and I for one don’t blame them.

storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021A little further along the coast I came to where I could see over the Ile de Chausey.

In actual fact, where I couldn’t see over the Ile de Chausey very much because there was a massive rainstorm over there too.

This one was far more ominous because the wind was blowing it in my direction and I began to regret that I had come out without a jacket because I had a feeling that in a couple of minutes time I would be right underneath all of that.

people in zodiacs baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021as I walked further on along the path, I did eventually come across some maritime activity.

It looks to me as if it’s a couple of zodiacs in which these people are standing, and the marker buoy behind them is not one that would relate to a lobster pot or anything like that.

The conclusion that I drew from this is that they are frogmen – or maybe I should be saying “frogpersons” these days – going for a practice over the side. We’ve seen quite a few of them in the past just offshore.

yacht rainstorm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I walked down across the carpark to the end of the headland the storm arrived and I got the lot, just as I predicted.

And as it happens, I wasn’t the only one who was having a great deal of difficulty with the weather. There was a yacht out here in the bay battling had to overcome the elements and making rather … errr … heavy weather of it.

The rainstorm was absolutely wicked so I had no intention whatever of hanging around in it seeing how things would develop.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021By now, the wind had increased considerably in speed and velocity and I was expecting to see the results of it on the sea wall.

I’d seen a large wave crash into the wall and sent spray high into the air so I prepared for another.

However it’s usually every seventh wave that is the most powerful but by the time that I’d seen the second or third I was drenched to the skin and the camera was soaking wet so I took a photo of whatever I could get and cleared off.

It reminded me of the time that Kenneth Williams appeared in Bamber Gascoigne’s farce “Share My Lettuce”. He came on stage and described how he disguised himself as a tree in order to study more closely the birds that might nest in it. And he finished his description with “and then I unfurl an umbrella and hold it up over my head”
The narrator said “but the birds will see through your disguise, won’t they, and stay away?”
“Maybe they will” replied Kenneth Williams “but I’m not getting wet for a load of bleeding birds!”.

crane unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Had the weather been any better I would almost certainly have gone for a closer look at this.

There’s a large lorry with something heavy on the trailer, and a very large mobile crane either lifting it off or putting it back on. It’s a shame that right now it’s raining so heavily that I can’t see anything at all. Not even after enhancing the image.

Back at home I made myself a coffee and then dashed through the photographs. I needed a quick, early tea because there’s football on this evening. I ended up with baked potatoes, baked beans and a vegan burger.

You have to feel sorry for Aberystwyth Town though. Second from bottom in the JD Cymru League but against the team that was second in the table, Y Fflint, nothing seemed to go right.

When they remembered to keep the ball on the ground instead of long, aimless punts upfield, they played some really nice, attractive football that kept them going forward despite all of the pressure that they were under.

They did however ahve to misfortune to find Y Flint’s goalkeeper Jon Rushton in excellent form and he made half a dozen top-drawer saves to keep his team out of danger.

Y Fflint scored twice through one of my favourite players, Jack Kenny, who would be a top-class player if he would just learn to control his temper, booked yet again for yet another off-the-ball incident when there was really no need except his own misplaced pride.

Aberystwyth did score a goal – a marvellous goal worthy of any “goal of the month” competition when Rushton punched a ball out upfield and Louis Bradford lobbed it back into goal right over everyone else’s head. have a look at about ABOUT 1:41:25 ONWARDS OF THIS VIDEO

Not long after the football finished and I was writing up my notes, I fell asleep at my desk. I hauled myself off to bed instead, reckoning that I’ll finish my notes tomorrow.

Goodnight.

Wednesday 20th October 2021 – I WAS LUCKY …

trawlers entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021 … this afternoon, finally managing to take the photo that I’d been trying to take for the last I don’t know how long.

As I was walking back up the hill in the Rue des Juifs towards home after my physiotherapy appointment, the gates to the inner harbour opened quite dramatically.

That was the cue for all of the fishing boats that were lined up outside in the outer harbour to surge forward and fight their way in to be first to tie up at the fish processing plant.

trawlers entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As you can see, there are dozens of them that go out from here almost every day.

And what goes out has to come back, of course, unless it’s called Bugaled Breizh, but that’s another, much sadder story for another time and place.

We can recognise a couple of the trawlers in this photo. On the extreme right looking as if she’s trying to leave is Cap Pilar and at the back of the queue is Coelacanthe, one of the biggest fishing boats in the port.

And one of these days I’m going to have to go through my notes and make an illustrated database of the boats in here so that I can identify them more easily.

marite chausiaise thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And it wasn’t just Cap Pilar that looked as if she was leaving port.

Chausiaise had been tied up in the loading bay underneath the crane and as I watched, the crew cast off the ropes and reversed away from the quayside.

She’s not going to be heading out for a while because there was quite a queue of traffic waiting to come in, as we have already seen. And it’s not really a good time of day to be going anywhere because by the time that she reaches the Ile de Chausey it’ll be almost dark and the tide will be turning.

Talking of turning … “well, one of us is” – ed … I was doing a lot of that in bed last night. It wasn’t particularly early when I went to bed but nevertheless by 03:20 I was wide awake and from then until 07:30 there was only a few minutes sleep here and there.

When the alarm finally did go off, it was all that I could do to raise myself from the dead.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I knuckled down to attend to the work on the list that I had created yesterday. And to my surprise (and to yours as well, no doubt) I breezed my way through it, and a few other things that I had forgotten to add onto the list as well.

That was what I call a productive day, and it’s high time that I had one of those.

There was the usual pause for breakfast and for lunch, and after lunch I had a shower before carrying on with the work.

Listening to the dictaphone some time later, there was plenty of stuff to transcribe. I must have had an exciting night. I was working for the radio and trying to find people to interview for this radio programme. I was in an old Plaxton Elite coach parked up somewhere in the Wirral. All these people were getting on and off it as we were near one of these burger van things. People asked me what I was doing so I explained that I was looking for people who had experience of Brexit good and bad and wanted to talk about it. They asked in which direction I was going so I said “north”, so quite a few stayed on. I was going north and came to a road junction. Someone said that if you go left here there’s a centre down there where there will be plenty of people and I’ll be bound to find someone there. I went to the left and came across a low bridge. There was nowhere for me to turn round, the road was so narrow and so built up on either side that I couldn’t get a swing round to turn the coach round at all under any circumstances.

Later on I’d forgotten to fill the water container for the house at Virlet. It was late at night and dark and I had to set out and do it. Nerina wasn’t very happy. When I went out I remembered that I hadn’t fought my way into the room where the water tap is. She was annoyed about that. In the end I fought my way round to the top of the barn and went in. The fridge in there was working really hard and making a lot of noise. I went downstairs and out, and found that I could in fact get into the water room. I’d left the light on in there from the last time I’d been there. I went in and there was a bat that was flying around, diving into my hair and everything. There were thousands of little flies. I fetched the water container out of there and managed to struggle my way outside. The bat came out with me and flew off. So did all these insects.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021When it was time to leave the apartment for my physiotherapy I went down to look at the beach.

Peering over the wall I could see that there was quite a bit of beach this afternoon – after all, it is my more usual time of going out compared to yesterday.

This time though there wasn’t anyone on it at all and that’s no surprise because it was blowing a howling gale and it was trying its best to rain. Not the right kind of day to be out at all unless one had to.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further on down the hill on my way into town I could see that there was a boat moored up in the loading bay underneath the crane.

As I drew closer (but it wasn’t a good likeness of closer because I’m useless at drawing) I could see that it was Thora, one of the little Jersey freighters, who was in there. She must have come in on the morning tide

Another thing that took me by surprise was that I made it all the way up the hill to the physiotherapist without stopping for breath. That’s something that I haven’t done for months and I was so impressed with that.

Today she had me doing movements and exercises and they seemed to be better for me than the tilting platform. I was certainly aching more than I did before and, getting ahead of myself here, I was up the 25 steps to my apartment much easier than I have been of late.

old sfr shop rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021But on the way home, I could see the first casualty of the mobile phone wars that are going on throughout the world right now.

That shop over there used to be, until the weekend, the SFR shop and I’m not surprised that that has bitten the dust. Regular readers of this rubbish going back 7 or 8 years or so ago will remember the dispute that I had with them.

By now it was raining fairly heavily so I didn’t want to hang around too long. I came back a different way home yet again but there was nothing of any interest to see or to photograph.

bouchots de chausey avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Well, that’s not actually true.

Quite by accident as I was crossing over the Avenue de la Liberation, I saw a tractor heading my way and I recognised it immediately so I prepared the NIKON D500.

Sure enough, it’s the tracor and trailer that unload the Bouchots de Chausey and we saw them yesterday hard at it. Had I been able to run, I would have followed it to find out where it is going, but I’m long past that kind of thing these days.

joly france entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021A little earlier I showed you a couple of photos of the fishing boats coming back into harbour.

After they had all passed by, one of the Joly France ferries reversed out of her berth at the ferry terminal and followed the fishing boats into the inner harbour.

What I liked about this photo was that I also captured two blue and white fishing boats racing neck and neck towards the harbour. I had to wait a couple of minutes to have all three boats in exactly the right position but it was worth it.

trawler cap pilar meaving port de Granville harbour in a storm Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Another photo that you saw earlier was the one with Cap Pilar waiting for the traffic to subside as if she intended to go out to sea.

Sure enough, once there was a gap in the traffic, off she went and was immediately engulfed in the storm that was now raging out at sea. She disappeared into several waves that swept over her bows and my hat goes off to everyone who puts to sea in this kind of weather.

Back here I had a much needed coffee and that warmed me up somewhat. And there wasn’t time to do very much because it was quite late when I returned.

There were some mushrooms that were on the verge of looking quite dubious so I made a potato and mushroom curry with them and wasn’t that delicious.

And just as I put down my fork, Rosemary rang me – perfect time again – and we had another one of our endless, rambling conversations, hence I’m running quite late.

But now, later than I was hoping, I’m off to bed and after my dreadful night last night I hope that this one is better. I’m interviewing tomorrow so I need to be on form.