Tag Archives: high winds

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.

Tuesday 5th October 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… very strange communication today.

People have given up asking me about my family because we weren’t really a family at all – just a collection of strangers living under the same roof, a 20th Century version of the “Harleian Miscellany”. and as soon as we were able to do so, we did our imitation of the KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE and each went our separate ways.

Some event that took place several months ago seems to have focused some minds, so it seems, and today I had an e-mail from someone who last spoke to me over 20 years ago and never replied to a couple of mails that I sent him afterwards.

Now, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m slowly dying of an incurable disease and I have no reason to suppose that “others” are unaware of this.

However, this mail spared us all the usual niceties about “how are you?”, “sorry to hear of your illness”, “is there anything that we can do to help you?” but it cut straight to the crux of the matter.

Yes, someone has found out that I have some things that they would like and the mail went “How are you making available ************ to the wider family? Could you include me in your circulation of such?”.

Seeing that no-one in “the wider family”, apart from my niece in Canada, has spoken to me in over 20 years, my reply was, quite naturally, “no-one in “the wider family” has ever asked me for it”.

Yes, because I have something that someone else wants, I’ve suddenly become popular.

Not that the lack of courtesy, politeness and concern ever bothered me – I’ve long-since given up expecting any of that. I simply admired the brass neck of it all

But anyway, returning to our moutons, as they say around here, as I have said before … “on many occasions” – ed … there isn’t really much point in going to bed early if I don’t go to sleep.

Last night, I was still tossing and turning in my bed long after 01:00 and so consequently even though I was lying in until 07:30, I was still half-dead when I crawled out of my bed when the alarm went off.

Much of the morning was spent hunting unsuccessfully for my notes from my Welsh lesson from last week, and it wasn’t until I’d written them out again that I finally found them.

And while I was reviewing the notes I … errr … closed my eyes for 10 minutes.

Armed with my coffee and one of my delicious fruit buns (and they really are delicious too) I went for my lesson. 150 minutes passed fairly quickly and it also passed quite well. Being tired was something of a drag but at least I didn’t fall asleep.

After my lunch, the first thing that I did was to book my stay in the hospital.

Surprisingly, all of the early TGVs were fully booked and I’ve ended up taking the 08:43 next Saturday from Brussels to Paris, and then I’m breaking new ground by going home via Caen. I’ve never been that way on a train before.

waves baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021By now it was time for me to go for my post-prandial perambulation around the Pointe so I headed off as usual across the car park.

It was a case of hanging onto my hat, and eventually taking it off and stuffing it in my pocket because there was a totally wild and wicked wind blowing around out there this afternoon.

Just one look at the whitecaps on the waves is enough to tell you all that you need to know. It was one of the wildest seas that we have had just recently, with the blowing round today from the north-east for a change.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021having made a note of that I went to look over the wall down onto the beach.

And to my surprise, there were quite a few people down there on the bsach this afternoon, despite the wind. Armed with buckets and spades, you might be forgiven for thinking that they are building sandcastles, but in fact they are scavenging for seafood amongst the rocks.

Into the teeth of the gale struggled Yours Truly, headig off on my walk along the path.

There was only me out there, which was no surprise. The wind really was taking away my breath and I had quite a struggle along the path.

le loup waves baie de mont st michel granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021When I reached the lawn by the lighthouse, just like Bob Dylan, I didn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

The sea was quite wild in the Baie de Mont St Michel this afternoon and Le Loup, the marker light on the rock just by the harbour entrance, was being battered by the waves.

No cars on the car park, of course. There wasn’t anyone around at all.

You’ll notice the upright pole with the sign thereupon, just to the right of centre. They installed that a couple of years ago and laid a little path from the car park so that people could approach it. It took 2 workmen about a week to lay the path.

A year or so later, a few more workmen came past and dug up the path that they had laid, and laid the one that you see that leads up to the Monument to the Resistance Fighters.

That first path was a waste of time, effort and money, wasn’t it?

cherie d'amour fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021My walk takes me down the path and across the car park to the end of the headland

No-one on the bench by the Cabanon Vauban, as you might expect in this weather, but there were other forms of entertainment out there. A couple of fishing boats, one of which may well beCherie d’Amour, were battling with the waves out there in the bay.

And as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … my hat comes off to all of those in peril on the sea working in weather like this.

flags boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The wind was far too strong for me to stay there for long, so I moved off down the path on the other side

The wind here was, for a change, just as wicked and it seems to have been wreaking havoc with the flags on the poles at the car park at the Boulevard Vaufleury.

The European Union flag has already gone and the French national flag is about to follow it, by the looks of things. The flags of Normandy and of the town also seem to have been taking quite a battering as well

What will remain of them tomorrow?

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Now that the chantier naval is empty (apart from the dredger of course) they have been tidying up.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a street cleaning machine down there hoovering up the debris. They have also put up the blocks on which they drop the ships, so does that mean that we might not be expecting any more boats in there in the near future?

However I’ve been quite wrong in the past about my predictions for boats down there, so I’m going to say nothing. I’ll just carry on with my walk down the path.

tubes in water port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Something else that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that for the past couple of weeks there have been a pile of pipes and other equipment on the quayside.

Today, those pipes have moved, and some of them now seem to be in the water in the inner harbour. The rest are on the quayside looking as if they are about to take to the water.

It still defeats me exactly what the plan is for all of those, but I suppose that it will become more clear as time goes on.

Back here I had my coffee and then turned my attention to the dictaphone.

I was having a chat with my Scottish friend last night about loneliness, of all things. She was saying that she had a girl of 14 whom she took away and it taught her about relationships with other people, that kind of thing, and stopped her being lonely. She was thinking about becoming a Brownie leader. I explained that I lived on my own little world and occasionally came out to interact with other people but mostly, I was doing fine as I was. This discussion went on for ages but I can’t remember much.

There was some stuff from some previous days on there too so they have all been transcribed and are now on line in the relevant places.

Tea tonight was taco rolls with the left-over stuffing from yesterday and it was delicious.

And now I’m off to bed, in the hope that I can have a good night’s sleep instead of what I went through last night. It’s high time that I had a good night.

Sunday 3rd October 2021 – I TRIED SOMETHING …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday 27th September 2021 – HOW LONG IS IT …

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… since we’ve seen the chantier naval looking like this?

Over the last I don’t know how many weeks, we’ve seen as many as 7 boats in there at one time, but it gradually reduced down to 4, and then 3, and then 2, and then1

And when I walked past the place this afternoon, the final boat, L’Omerta, has left the yard too.

“Gone! And never called me ‘mother'”!

The next question is “who is now going to come into the yard next?”. And, more importantly, “when?”. It’s very important for the port to have a busy chantier naval because it encourages people to base their boats here, and that’s good for the town.

As for last night though here, it was a pretty miserable night, the early 06:00 start notwithstanding.

waves man on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021You can tell by the waves out there at sea that there has been quite a storm somewhere.

In fact, it was actually right overhead in the early morning and the howling gale and accompanying rainstorm awoke me on a couple of occasions while I was trying to sleep.

It’s hardly surprising therefore that I was feeling pretty uncomfortable when the alarm went off this morning.

After the medication and checking my messages I sat down to deal with this week’s radio programme. And to my surprise, and probably yours too, it was finished by 11:00 and that’s a new record as far as I can tell.

Mind you, after I’d listened to it, I had to turn round and do some of it again. I tried an experiement that sounded good while I was doing it but while I was listening to it I realised that it wasn’t as good as I thought. The idea was right but the execution wasn’t.

Then I had a listen to the programme that will be broadcast this weekend and realised that I had to redo part of that as well.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m trying – for a couple of reasons – to get well ahead of where I am supposed to be, but that causes its own problems as I realised today.

When George Kooymans retired from Golden Earring in April (he was in hospital in Leuven in May with him) the hunt was on to find which group became the group with the longest continual complement of members.

Of course, down in Texas there was always ZZ Top who have been together for 51 years and so I wrote about that and dictated it into the programme that will be broadcast this weekend.

Of course, having dictated that a few months ago, didn’t Dusty Hill then go and die on me and Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard recrute a new bassist?

Consequently I had to rewrite, dictate and edit a new speech, making it exactly the same length as the part that I was cutting out. And inserting text into the middle of a programme isn’t easy because not only do you have to watch the length, there’s the sound balance that you need to match.

As well as that, I’ve had quite a lot to do about another project on which I’m working for the radio and that has taken up a lot of my time this afternoon. And as a result I didn’t have the time to listen to whatever might be on the dictaphone.

There was the usual walk around the headland too. We’ve seen the beach earlier when we were looking at the waves just offshore. Just the odd person down there this afternoon, which is no surprise given the weather that we were having.

During the walk along the headland down to the lighthouse I was pretty much on my own. And there was nothing whatever going on out at sea. Not even a single boat that I could see. Mind you, the waves out there were enough to put anyone off.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021No-one was around at the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon either, and no boats out there either in the bay.

But as I looked at Le Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour, I could see that the effect of wind-shadow provided by the headland, aabout which I have talked previously … “on many occasions” – ed.

You can see the whitecaps on the waves over there going in towards the beach down at Kairon-Plage but closer to Le Loup the sea is much calmer, due to the wind-shadow.

There were some people over there on the beach and I wonder what they were making of all of this weather today. It’s been quite a change from just recently.

refrigerated lorries fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Having taken in what was going on – or wasn’t going on, to be precise – in the chantier naval, I went to look at the fish processing plant.

When we were looking down there over the last few days, the place was covered with marquees and hordes of people for the Fête des Coquilles St Jacques but almost all of that has gone now and they are busy clearing away the rest.

Now we’re back to the refrigerated lorries over there queueing up at the Fish Processing Plant as normal service is resumed and there’s shellfish to be removed to the markets in Paris. All of the excitement seems to be over.

equipment on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021That may well be the case at the Fish Processing Plant but there’s plenty of excitement going on at the quayside.

Yesterday we noticed a pile of equipment that had been dumped on the quayside over at the back of where the Channel Island ferries tie up – you can see the bows of Victor Hugo and Granville over there.

There’s another lorry over there today with some more equipment on the back so it looks as if there’s going to be a big pile of stuff over there by the time that they finish, so it’s going to be some kind of serious work that will be taking place.

crane unloading freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And if that isn’t enough to be going on with, there’s even more excitement at the lading bay.

There’s a large articulated lorry over there having its trailer unloaded by the crane and there’s now an enormous pile of freight there.

Chausiaise is in attendance but that load won’t be going onto her – it’s far too much for her to carry and anyway there isn’t any unloading facilities over on the island and I doubt that her crane will be enough to lift it off.

It looks as if it’s waiting for one of the Jersey freighters but even so it’s going to be a struggle to load it all on. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Back here I carried on with my work and actually crashed out for 15 minutes – the first time since I’ve been working these “revised hours”.

Tea tonight wa s a stuffed pepper with rice but for some reason it didn’t cook as well as it usually does. I don’t know what I did wrong.

But now I’m off to bed. I’m hoping to have a nice long sleep (although I noticed that the wind has sprung up again) because I have my Welsh lesson tomorrow and I want to be on form.

There’s also my doctor’s appointment tomorrow – the Day of Judgement so I’ll have to remember to take my x-rays. I wonder what he’s going to tell me this time.

By the way, I did eventually transcribe the dictaphone note, but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll save you the gory details.

Thursday 2nd September 2021 – I’VE BEEN OUT AND …

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… about this morning, being sociable, which regular readers of this rubbish will know is not like me at all

As you can see, this morning we have Normandy Trader in the port. She came in on the overnight tide. And I had an appointment to go and have a chat with the crew.

The discussion that we had enables me to tell you a lot more about her too. She’s an ex-military landing craft built in 1964 and served in the Falkland Islands Campaign. And if you look very carefully, you can still see the bullet holes.

There are lots of other news to tell too, but I’m under instructions to leave that for a couple of weeks. So watch this space.

But at least I was right about the reason for the triangular run that they now do on occasion from St Helier to St Malo to Granville to home. There’s no health inspector here at Granville so the shellfish have to be landed at St Malo where there is one.

But anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself here yet again. After my marathon session last night when I couldn’t sleep and didn’t go to bed until 03:10, I reset the alarm to 08:00 and even so, it was still a nightmare rising from my stinking pit yet again.

At least I’d written up yesterday’s notes so I didn’t need to worry about that.

With such a late start there wasn’t long to wait before breakfast, and after breakfast there was barely enough time to start work before the doorbell rang. And I wasn’t even back in my apartment with my parcels – just loitering at the front door – when someone else turned up with a package for me too.

And isn’t it nice to be finally typing with a decent keyboard – the nearest thing to a flat-key silent portable-computer-type of keyboard that I have ever experienced. It’s definitely something.

Once it had all arrived, I shot off down to the harbour to talk to them at Normandy Trader, bumping into a whole collection of neighbours on the way.

After lunch, I very regrettably fell asleep for a while, which is no surprise after my night’s efforts but even so I’d managed to attack some of the arrears from the other day. But anyway, I was a few minutes late going out for my afternoon walk.

people swimming in sea rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As usual, I wandered off across the car park over to the wall at the far end to look down onto the beach to see what was going on.

It wasn’t the beach that actually caught my eye today. If you look closely at the photo you’ll see that there are actually some people down there swimming in the water.

And I do have to take my hat off to them because it wasn’t all that hot and it was quite windy too. Not the kind of day to be going out into the water.

As for the beach today, there wasn’t all that much of one this afternoon as the tide is well in right now.

f-gbai Robin DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was busy admiring the view of the swimmers, I was overflown by a small aeroplane heading inland.

No prizes for guessing who she is. She’s F-GBAI of course, the Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the Granville Aero Club. She seems to be about the only aeroplane we ever see these days.

She took off at 14:24 and did a kind-of figure of 8 – one circle inland and the second circle dpwn to Avranches and round the Ile de Chausey to come back into land at 16:02, and as my photo was taken at (adjusted) 15:57 that seems about right to me.

It’s been a while since we’ve featured an aeroplane on these pages but that’s not to say that I haven’t been overflown. I’ve either had the wrong camera, the wrong lens or else I’ve been busy talking to a neighbour.

yacht in high winds baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A short while ago, I mentioned the wind that has sprung up this afternoon out in the bay.

Looking at this photo should give you something of a clue about that. Apart from the whitecaps on the waves, the way that the sails belly out in the wind and the fact that the yacht is keeling over will tell you everything that you need to know.

Strangely though, the wind is coming from the north-east today. It almost invariably comes from west-north-west so to see it actually doing something else is quite a surprise.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The Baie de Mont St Michel is therefore sheltered from the nor’easter and so with the tide being in, it’s no surprise to see one of the sailing schools out there this afternoon. Doesn’t the sea look calmer on that side of the headland?

They are having quite some fun out there in the bay and I haven’t forgotten that once my physio sessions are over I have every intention of joining them

It’s school chucking-out time now incidentally, hence the arrival of the big 53-seater fill-size coach, and have you seen one of the bunkers from this angle, proudly displaying its battle scars from World War II.

normandy trader yacht pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So from there I pushed off across the car park and down to the headland to see what was happening in the bay.

And rattling around the corner right into the wind came Normandy Trader. I was told that she would start her loading at 14:00 so it’s not taken her too long to load up and get under way back home to St Helier.

The yacht that we saw coming in earlier has now made it to the headland anyway so in a few minutes she’ll be in the calmer waters of the Baie de Mont St Michel.

What I’m going to do is to see if I can beat her back to the harbour.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, I noticed that there was no change in occupancy of the chantier naval so I turned my attention elsewhere.

Over at the ferry terminal this afternoon there was only one of the ferries that I could see. She’s the very new one, Belle France, and she doesn’t look as if she’s going to be going anywhere this afternoon.

As for the other two, they are probably over at the Ile de Chausey and they’ll be back before long otherwise they will miss the tide.

At this rate I’ll miss my nice banana smoothie if I don’t make an effort to go home. So with nothing else exciting (Galeon Andalucia is still here but you’ve seen enough of her just recently) happing in the inner harbour and no bad parking to upset me, I made for home.

After my drink I tidied up the kitchen because I had a visitor coming round to see me with some information for me and after he had gone I FINALLY finished amending SATURDAY’S ENTRY. It’s really nice having a decent keyboard to type everything with.

When Sunday’s entry was finished, I could start on the tons of stuff that have accumulated on the dictaphone over the last fortnight. Nothing from last night though, which was a shame.

Tea tonight was another handful out of the European Veggie Ball Mountain with microwaved potatoes and veg – delicious as usual – and still no dessert. My appetite has diminished just now and I’m going to keep on encouraging it to do so.

So bedtime now. I have a computer to fix in the morning, fruit bread to make, and in the afternoon it’s the physiotherapist again. As well as that I have a radio epic to prepare for the end of December.

It’s non-stop, isn’t it?

Monday 16th August 2021 – WE HAD TO WAIT …

yellow autogyro ponte du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… for a good few days longer than I expected but nevertheless we got there in the end.

Sure enough, while I was out walking around the headland this afternoon, out of the clouds in the distance with its old familiar rattling came the old yellow autogyro from the direction of Avranches and the Pointe de Carolles.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I had anticipated her arrival a few days ago and as if to make up for her rather late arrival, she did a couple of laps around my head before disappearing off into the sunset and that was that.

grandstand port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that we have been eagerly anticipating for the last few days is to find out whatever is going to be happening down at the loading bay on the quayside.

The information still hasn’t filtered through but all of the equipment, including the grandstand is still down there.

As well as that, where that kind of rectangle was that we saw yesterday, we now have a couple of tents that have sprung up like little mushrooms. And we have even grown a couple of potted palms over the course of the day, as well a couple of bizarre objects, red and yellow.

tents quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it isn’t just there that things are happening.

All along the quayside down there and out into the car park at the side, there are yet more tents, marquees and other different things, and a few noticeboards indicating whatever might be going on.

As I’m off to Leuven tomorrow, I’ll probably miss whatever it is, but I shall go that way towards the railway station for a closer look and see what I can discover.

The plot sickens.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Let us return to our moutons as they say around here, and start at the very beginning.

Once more, going to bed early doesn’t seem to make all that much difference because I still had a very tormented sleep and it didn’t seem to make all that much difference as to how tired I am.

After the medication I checked my mails and then made a start on the radio programme. And by 11:20 I was finished as well, despite having stopped for breakfast – a slice of fruit bread (I’ve given up the hot chocolate as it’s starting to show).

And had I not had to redo some of it and choose another track in the middle to replace one that didn’t work as I would have liked, I could have been finished a long time before that too.

Having dealt with that, I listened to the programme to make sure that it was correct, and while I was doing that I booked the rail ticket for tomorrow from Brussels to Leuven and back again. By the time that it was all finished it was almost time for lunch.

After lunch I had the tidying up to do because the nurse is coming round to give me my injection and the place needs to look as if someone actually lives here.

The rest of the afternoon was spent transcribing the dictaphone notes, and there were tons and tons of them too, and it took me ages.

The stuff for Sunday took ages and ages, but it was all done and it went on-line to update yesterday’s journal entry.

There had been a couple of interruptions while I’d been doing it. Firstly the nurse came round and injected me. I hope that it will propel me up the hill tomorrow to the railway station.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSecondly, there was the afternoon walk around the headland, which of course always starts with a look down to the beach to see what is happening.

Off across the car park I went and over to the wall at the end of the car park where I could look over the wall. Not many people down there this afternoon but then again there wasn’t all that much beach to be on.

Nobody was quite brave enough to take to the water to any great degree this afternoon which wasn’t a surprise because there was a biting wind this afternoon that was quite really quite cold

Here I met one of my neighbours and we had a good chat, interrupted by a frantic chase back across the car park to rescue my cap that had Gone With The Wind

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallwhile we were chatting we were overflown a couple of times by various aircraft, but I only managed to detach myself long enough to catch one of them.

She’s our old favourite F-GBAI, one of the Robin DR 400-140B aircraft that belong to the Granville Aero Club. We’ve seen more of her just recently than we have of all of the other aircraft in total.

She took off from the airfield at 14:12 and flew several laps up and down the coast and even inland for some distance before coming back to land at 16:33. My photo was timed at (adjusted) 16:15 so she still had some time to remain in the air before landing.

sparrowhawk bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallF-GBAI wasn’t the only flying object that we were able to photograph this afternoon.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there are some birds of prey that loiter around the edge of the cliffs looking for animals, baby rabbits and anything else that might do for an appetising lunch.

We started off with one but it seems to be a happy hunting ground down there because there are now three or four of them.

Incidentally, I am informed that they are sparrowhawks. Not that I would know, of course. While I am a very keen birdwatcher, it’s not this kind of bird that usually attracts my attention.

fishermen in zodiac pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was plenty of activity going on out of the wind in the Baie de Mont St Michel so I wandered off in that direction.

There was a zodiac with fishermen aboard coming around the headland and I knew what was likely to happen once they came out of the lee of the headland so I waited.

Sure enough, the wind and the waves that hit them gave them a very nasty moment.

It reminds me of the story of the zodiacs aboard THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR. They all carry names, but prior to that they had numbers.
One day, the captain was bellowing down the loud-hailer “Zodiac number 61 – come back to the ship”.
No response, so he called again. Still no response, so he called a third time.
Suddenly realising that there were only 20 zodiacs aboard, he changed his tune and shouted “zodiac number 19 – do you have a problem?”

cabin cruiser yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut as I said earlier, there was plenty of activity going on in the bay out of the wind.

The first things that caught my eye were the yachts of one of the sailing school. There were a couple of schools out there this afternoon, taking advantage of the tide and the shelter that was afforded by the headland.

As well as that, there were all kinds of other boats out there – a cabin cruiser goign along at quite a rate and a small motor boat that might be something to do with the yachts of the sailing school – maybe the instrructor with a loud-hailer.

trawler charlevy trafalgar chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlong the path on the southern side of the headland, I took myself down to the viewpoint overlooking the port and in particular the chantier naval.

And we’ve had another change of occupant down there this afternoon. We’re now back up to our seven boats again and I really ought one of these days go down and enquire about their names. But that won’t be this week as I’m off to Leuven tomorrow as I mentioned earlier.

But I can’t keep up with the speed at which they are coming and going these days. They are wearing me out and I don’t have the energy to keep on nipping down there to check before they clear off back into the water and another lot take their place.

tents car park port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBefore I go back to the apartment and carry on with the dictaphone notes, we can see the final shot that I took of what’s going on down at the end of the port.

As you can see, the tents and whatever it is that they have erected have continued out into the car park, the area where the fishermen keep their shellfish drags and where the fresh shellfish are sold. It’s clearly going to be something quite important to take up all of that space.

With all of the lorries being there, it looks as if they are only just setting up their equipment. That means that they probably won’t be doing whatever they will be doing until the weekend.

Eventually, I finished off the notes from yesterday and then pounced upon the pile that related to last night. And if anything, there were even more of them.

Last night I started off on a ship, the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR or something last night in the Antarctic. We were involved with icebergs and so on and there was a very famous poem that had been written about ships and icebergs and somehow I was trying to make the poem match up with those on board the ship but I awoke before I’d gone very far with this.

And later we were discussing the ferries and in particular the ones out to the Ile de Chausey and the trips that they do around the bay and the Ile de Chausey but I can’t remember now how the story went

Later still I was around at the farm of a friend of mine from school and was talking to one of the young girls who worked there – it might even have been Percy Penguin. I’d just been into the farmhouse to use the bathroom and as I was leaving someone came to the door. Whoever I was with asked if I knew who it was and I said “no”. She replied “what a shame. You could have found out and they could have babysat while we went out”. After a couple of minutes I thought that i’d go back and find out and pretend that I needed the bathroom again. Just as I arrived these people were disappearing down the drive. One of them just looked from the rear like the sister of my friend except maybe a little younger. In the house I talked to their mother and she showed me her new Avon purchase which was something for putting tea into for dropping into a cup like a reusable tea bag. We had quite a talk about that. When I returned I explained things to the girl I was with. She asked “didn’t you ask if she would babysit for us anyway?”

But here’s a thing. After making those notes I stepped right back into where I had left off before dictating the previous notes, back on the farm. My friend and his little sister, on whom actually I had quite a crush back 50-odd years ago, were there. They were laughing and joking and she was sitting on him and generally being a pest. He said “why don’t you go and sit somewhere else?”. So me, ever the opportunist, said “come and sit on me instead” and much to my surprise she did. I thought “God, I’m popular”. We sat there, the three of us, talking and I had my arm round her at one point. Then she had to go and clear off and fetch the dinner as there was a big party taking place. She was serving everyone around and still coming over to talk and chat to me occasionally here and there. I couldn’t believe my luck. I thought “how on earth is this going to end?” but it ended up by me sitting bolt upright wide awake with probably the greatest feeling of disappointment I have ever had in my life and I would have given all that I had to have gone back into that dream again at that point and see how it finished. It was just as if 50 years had suddenly vanished from my life.

That was probably the most powerful, realistic and optimistic dream that I have ever had since the famous WORLESTON INCIDENT all those years ago and the fact that I cans till remember that particular voyage so well after all these years shows you just how much of an impression that made on me. And this one will probably be the same. It’s another one of these that has left quite a disturbing effect.

Having dealt with all of that I went and made tea. A fry-up of everything that was left in the kitchen that wouldn’t keep until I return.

And now I’m off to bed. It’s not early but still earlier than it has been here and there. There’s a lot to do in the morning before I head off for the train.

Tuesday 22nd June 2021 – THERE AREN’T MANY …

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… many photos today. And when you see the weather that we were having, it’s hardly any surprise.

When I went out for my afternoon walk today I was in sou’wester, oilskins and gumboots and had to battle my way along the coastal path in the teeth of a howling gale. Of course I stuck my head over the wall at the end of the car park as you might expect, but as you also might expect, there wasn’t a soul down there this afternoon. The place was totally deserted.

But anyway, back to this morning. I awoke with the alarm at 06:00 and was up and about quite promptly. First thing that I did after the medication was to add all of my secret ingredients to my fruit loaf and give it all a second kneading, shaping, and put in the bread mould.

Back in here I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I started off on board a ship again. We’d gone up to the quayside and the captain said “you’re in for a surprise with all these changes”. Anyway we went aboard and there was some kind of meeting so we went to participate in it. There was this yellow dick running around called Donald. Someone said “right, we’re going to talk about photography. I want you to imagine that you are sticking your head outside your tent in the morning” – something like that and he stuck his head outside the tent and said “we’re going to take a photo of it”. In the meantime this duck had come to me. There was a little 3 year old girl sitting next to me. She saw this and said “ahh, Donald”. I said “no I’m Eric actually”. She started talking to this duck and I has a feeling that there would be lots more of this to come.

Later on I was reporting to a ship at the harbour side and came on board. The captain said something like “things are changing now. You’ll find things the other way round” or whatever. Then he said “the task for today is to work out how you would get from x to y”. Of course this was quite easy because I used to do this thing with taxis and underground trains pushing me around. So I planned a route from the Strand to Underwood Lane without going anywhere near Gordon. he said “that’s maybe OK but what would God say if he came along and saw it” but I supposed that I’d been doing my good story here on the scene and … I fell asleep here

Incidentally, I was surprised by the similarity between the way the two dreams started, and I wonder where I would have ended up in the second dream had I not gone back to sleep.

By the way, when I say “fell asleep” – what I mean is that my speech descends into a slur and I stop talking. And you can tell by my breathing that I’m in a deep sleep. When I dictate these details I’m usually unaware of what I’m doing – it’s an automatic reaction to grab hold of the dictaphone even if to all intents and purposes I’m asleep.

Having done that I put the fruit bread in the oven to bake and, armed with a mug of coffee I attacked the Welsh revision and also took advantage of the possibility of booking myself onto a week’s course at the end of July. There’s so much going on in July now that I’ve actually started a calendar.

When the lesson began I armed myself with my hot chocolate and a slice of fruit bread which was now ready, and attended the lesson. It passed quickly enough, and I only fell asleep once. All in all, it was quite good today. And my fruit bread was perfection. Putting the fruit in at the second mix rather than the first seemed to do the trick.

After lunch and a little clearing up I came in here to do some work but unfortunately I hadn’t gone too far before I crashed out. And it was one of those occasions where I hadn’t realised that I’d been asleep until I awoke.

And that had actually taken me up to walkies time. A look outside this morning had made me fear the worst and nothing had changed at all as the day had progressed so it was the rainwater gear.

spirit of conrad baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve already seen the beach and the absence of people thereupon, but that wasn’t much of an indication of what the weather was doing. This photo sums it up quite nicely.

That’s the Spirit of Conrad, the boat on which we went up and down the Brittany coast last year, coming back from the Ile de Chausey. You can see that the wind is catching it beam-on and even with such a small amount of sail, it’s careening right over under the force of the wind.

It’s the kind of weather than makes me glad that I’m on dry (well, not exactly dry in this weather) land right now. I bet that it was really wild out there this afternoon.

unidentified yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I went round the corner at the end of the headland there was another boat battling hard against the headwinds.

It was quite a distance out at sea and so thinking that it might be Black Mamba I took a photo with the aim of cropping it out and blowing it up (the photo, not the boat) when I returned home so that I could have a closer look.

But it’s not Black Mamba unfortunately. It’s another unidentified yacht that’s sailing around in the bay and I’ve no idea where it has come from. There’s no chance of reading her name.

So I pushed on into the gale and headed off down the path to the viewpoint overlooking the port to see what was going on there.

fishing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallEven though there’s a howling gale out there people still have to eat, and I think that too many people take the fishermen for granted.

They’ve all been out there this morning and now the tide is well in, the larger boats are coming into harbour to unload their catch at the fish processing plant. There are quite a few of them at the quayside with several more in the queue waiting for a space to moor up and unload.

And that’s an indication of what happens when boats are left at the quayside – the room for unloading is smaller and the queue is longer.

With no change in occupant at the chantier navale I headed off for home and my hot coffee to warm me up.

The rest of the afternoon was spent tidying up stuff on the computer and I was so engrossed that I forgot my guitar session. I’ll have to do that tomorrow morning.

Tea was one of those breaded burgers that I bought in Noz ages ago, with baked potato and veg, followed by apple pie. And wasn’t it all delicious? I really enjoyed that. And now I’m off to bed. I’ve had a tiring day and I need my beauty sleep.

As much of it as I can get.

Monday 17th May 2021 – MY SOURDOUGH …

sourdough fermenting place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… seems to be enjoying itself right now.

Yesterday I forgot to mention that I’d fed the sourdough and the ginger beer mix. And sure enough this morning when I went into the kitchen I discovered that it had fermented so well that it had erupted and overflowed the bottle in which I keep it.

That’s what I call a good sourdough mix.

What else was good about the day was that I managed to leave my bed at the first alarm which, seeing that I didn’t go to bed until 00:30. And for a change I had a peaceful night

After the medication I armed myself with a mug of coffee and sat down to deal with a few radio shows. I needed three concerts in order to bring myself up-to-date and in a fit of marvellous concentration I managed to do all three.

The second one was an absolute swine to do and I really had to struggle with that. And then I needed over 4 minutes of speech in order to fill out the hours’ worth of programmes and that was a struggle to keep it interesting for that length of time.

The third one was much more straightforward and luckily it only needed 34 seconds of speech. That’s not really enough but there was no other way of doing it without cropping out some of what I consider to be crucial tracks. After all, it’s my programme and I get to choose the tracks that I like.

This all took me up to a very late lunch but that didn’t matter because I was determined to complete all three before I knocked off. And of course there had been the pause for hot chocolate (made properly with real chocolate of course) and sourdough fruit bread for breakfast.

After lunch I came in here to do some work but I do have to say at at some point I crashed out. And it was another one of those crashings-out where I didn’t realise that I had done so until I awoke. I’ve been having a few of those just lately and it’s disconcerting.

As a result I ended up going for a late walk this afternoon. And that wasn’t a bad thing because earlier it had been raining quite heavily, but now it had stopped.

“Gone back to fetch some more” I mused.

people on beach storm waves rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe were also having another session of very high winds as you can tell by looking at the whitecaps in this photo.

As usual I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to stick my head over to see what was happening on the beach. And being rather late today, the tide was leaving us with rather less beach than it would otherwise have done had I been out at my normal time.

But despite the miserable weather it was otherwise quite sunny and I suppose that if you could find a spot out of the wind in which to settle it would have been a very nice day. But I was too busy hanging onto my hat in the howling gale to notice.

Instead I headed off down the path along the top of the cliffs towards the end of the headland.

trawlers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith all of the issues just recently, the local fishing boats seem to be spending more time closer to home rather than farther out in the English Channel.

We have a couple of trawlers out there just off the headland and slightly to the north. One is clearly visible and there’s a second behind it obscured by the haze and mist and what looks like an approaching rain cloud. I hope that I’m back at home when it finally hits land.

There were a couple of trawlers out in the Baie de Mont St Michel as I discovered when I went round to the end of the headland but they were even more obscured in the weather than the ones here so I didn’t photograph them. Instead I pushed off along the path on the other side of the headland and along to the port.

chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale I noticed that the place hadn’t remained empty for long.

Today there’s one of the smaller fishing boats that’s come up onto the blocks here presumably to have some work undertaken while the fishing season for certain types of shellfish has paused. And if we’re lucky we might even see a few more of them up here being overhauled.

And in the background over at the ferry terminal, Chausiais is moored up, resting on her bottom as the tide is going out quite rapidly. There doesn’t seem to be anything going on out at the Ile de Chausey this afternoon that would require her attention.

And not mine either. I carried on home before the rain came upon me.

spirit of conrad charles marie black mamba anakena aztec lady la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s a change of occupancy amongts the larger yachts too.

Aztec Lady whom we last heard of at St Cast le Guildo has returned and she’s moored up alongside Anakena and to the right of Vlack Mamba and Charles-Marie. But the big yacht that has been there for ages next to Spirit of Conrad has now left port.

At least though now by the process of elimination I’m able to identify her. She’s called Capo di Fora, registered in Belgium the same as Spirit of Conrad and Anakena. And if you want to know where she is, she’s swapped station with Aztec Lady and is now in the bay just off St Cast le Guildo.

It’s a small world, isn’t it?

Back here, rather late, I had some fun working out the bass line to another one of the songs on this playlist and then I went for tea. Burger on a bap tonight with baked potatoes, followed by chocolate sponge with that soya coconut dessert stuff. I’m really feeding myself quite well.

So now I’m off to bed. Welsh lesson in the morning and the exam date is approaching. High time that I did some revision and got on with some work as well. I really do have to knuckle down.