… whose idea it is to ring that cacophony of church bells at 11:00 on a Sunday morning but it’s almost as if they don’t want you to have a decent lie-in on a Sunday morning when they go around awakening the dead like that.
It certainly put paid to my morning reverie and I was obliged to leave the comfort and warmth of my beautiful bed.
It wasn’t the first time that I had had to leave the bed either. Round about … errr … 04:00 or something like that, I had to go for a ride on the porcelain horse. I thought that I had passed beyond that, but apparently not.
So I went off and had my medication.
While you admire the high winds that we were having and the storm that was raging somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean, let me tell you about my morning.
First thing that I did of course was to check on the dictaphone. And sure enough, I’d been on a little voyage. I was with someone last night who resembled a girl with whom I had worked for a while although it wasn’t her I’m sure, someone like that. We were discussing languages. Something weird had come up and we had a reply to do which we had done in French or Flemish or something. This led to some kind of discussion about languages and what do we do, how did we behave, all this kind of thing. I made the point sometime during this discussion that what we did is that we’d have the radio on if we were at home and just listen to a French programme or a Flemish programme. It didn’t really make any difference to the two of us what we were listening to. Any of the languages were usually pretty good for us.
After that, I carried on with the project that I’m undertaking – of digitalising my collection of LPs.
On thing that I’ve been able to do is to find about 120 digitalised sound files of albums that I own, and I downloaded them all. I’ve then had to split them into individual tracks.
It isn’t easy because many of them are studio master tapes where the tracks are recorded in “recorded order” of course which is quite often very different than the order in which they are published on CDs and LPs
Another issue is that some of the tapes include tracks that were never ever published – rejected for one reason or another – and which I don’t have a clue what they are.
And sure enough, one of the sound files on which I was working was one of the latter.
Eventually, after a great deal of effort, I tracked it down. It seems that I have somehow managed to lay my hands on a rare Swedish-only version of a master-tape with one additional track that was only available in a couple of countries and a second additional track that was only available in Sweden.
That should be quite a curio when it comes to playing it on the radio programmes.
13:30. That’s a very civilised time to have breakfast, I reckon. And the last of the home-made apple juice from when I made the apple and pear purée. It’s certainly quite interesting when I am responsible for the making (within certain limits of course) of almost every product that I eat for breakfast.
After breakfast I didn’t really do all that much. After all, it is Sunday and I’m entitled to a break one day a week when I don’t do much.
Nevertheless, round about 15:30 or thereabouts I decided that I would have lunch. I wasn’t all that hungry, and there was an end of a baguette from yesterday hanging around in the kitchen.
Luckily, I had remembered to fetch some hummus out of the freezer yesterday. Roasted pepper hummus too, made with my own fair hands.
So I had a hummus, tomato, cucumber and lettuce butty for lunch, followed by the usual apple, pear and banana for afters.
And that reminded me (although I’ve no idea why it would) that the lemon and ginger syrup that I make for my medication is running low. Sometime later this week I’ll have to make some more. I’ve plenty of ginger but I bought some juice oranges so I’ll go for orange syrup this time.
Whatever happens, I mustn’t forget my afternoon walk. I’m only on 3% wandering around the apartment.
Mind you, sticking my head out of the door, I wasn’t too impressed about the idea of going out.
By the looks of things, there was a huge storm brewing away across the baie de Mont St Michel over there on the Brittany coast. And knowing my usual luck, I would probably end up finding myself right in the middle of it before I’d gone too far.
But anyway, in for a penny, in for a pound. I set off out.
And I wasn’t alone either. Despite the wind there were crowds of people milling around enjoying the weather and I was determined to join them.
My route took me right around the headland and down the steps at the end. And the farther on my travels I advanced, the more I didn’t like the look of the weather. It was just looking worse and worse
Mind you, my luck was in, for once.
The storm was advancing quite quickly but as I rounded the headland at the Pointe du Roc I could see that it was going to miss me by a good few miles.
It had found shore down by the Pointe du Carolles and places like Carolles-Plage and Jullouville were taking something of a pounding. I’m glad that it wasn’t here, because it did look particularly nasty over there.
My perambulations brought me further around the headland and here I was greeted with a sight that made the walk all worthwhile.
As I have said before … “many times” – ed … there’s nothing between that harbour wall and the eastern seaboard of the USA and here we have the highest tides in Europe.
Consequently the power that can build up in the water whenever there is a major storm anywhere in the North Atlantic is really impressive and the sea walls here catch the lot of it full force.
regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen some really impressive seas come roaring in just here.
And today is no exception to that. I stoop and watched it all for a good 10 minites even though I had other things to do, just because it was so impressive.
Strangely enough, there were several people passing by here, but no-one else seemed to be interested in staying to watch the free show.
So instead, I had a wander down to the port. The harbour gates were closed as, believe it or not, the tide is well out (although you might not think so) so I could cross over to the other side of the harbour.
One thing that has been interesting me is the story of the new pontoons that they have been installing in the harbour. We’ve seen the pontoons on the north side of the harbour alongside the rue du Port but I wanted to look at the new ones on this side
That is, assuming that I can get close enough to them, because they are crowded out with fishing boats right now. There can’t be too many out at sea today.
Another thing that we’ve been looking at as we have been on our way around is the scaffolding that is bolted to the side of the harbour wall here.
Being a Sunday and with no-one around, I took the opportunity to have a closer look, trying not to fall into the harbour while I was doing it.
And the result is that I’m still not too sure of its purpose and the OSB boards here fixed to the wall don’t seem to be able to throw any light upon the subject.
All that I can think of, as a wild guess, is that it’s a set of steps for the crew of the floating pontoon to descend to their little boat.
We’ve also seen them installing steel pillars in the harbour in order to extend the row of pontoons out perpendicularly from the harbour walls.
Three have already been installed in the harbour and I was sure that there were others although I couldn’t remember how many. Consequently I went to have a good look aroud and eventually came across them.
And I was correct. I had seen them and here they are – five of them by my reckoning. That seems to indicate two lines of four each and that’s not going to be good news for the commercial boats that come here and need the open space to manoeuvre.
And that’s going to be interesting even sooner than we imagined, because Neptune, one of the gravel boats, has just left Shoreham Harbour – “next stop Granville”. I was right about the heaps of gravel.
As you probably saw in the previous photograph, the storm has passed, the clouds are now all gone and the sun is now out.
That made me decide to push on and have a marathon walk all the way along the Quai Hérel all the way down to the new block of flats (and how I would love to live here!) and the Pointe du Roche Gauthier.
That’s as far as you can do around here. The path comes to a sudden stop and you have to retrace your steps 100 metres or so until you come to a flight of steps that go back up to the road.
So, retracing my steps, I can show you the big modern building over there on the left.
That’s the CRNG, the Centre Regional de Nautisme de Granville, and it’s also where the Youth Hostel and the Salle Hérel are.
The Salle Hérel was quite interesting today – or should have been – because they were having a “Free Market” where everyone takes the stuff that they no longer want so that others may help themselves.
However I was too late because anything that might have been of interest had probably long-since gone.
My walk brought me up past the Tax Office and it was round about here that I had an exciting encounter.
It’s not so much the car, but what the owner was using as a bulkhead to stop whatever was in the back sliding forward into the passenger seat.
It’s an old freight pallet cut down to size and trimmed to be an exact fit. I was well-impressed by this and wished that I had thought of it in the past when I had the Passat.
My walk took me onwards down little alleys that I had only glimpsed in the past.
My aim was to do down past the station and down into the Park de Val es Fleurs to see what was going on around there but in the distance I noticed a flight of steps that I hadn’t seen before.
That made up my mind to go and follow my star wherever it was going to lead me and see what was at the other end – stopping for a glance backwards at the railway engineering depot in the background where the trains are stored and repaired.
My little climb brought me out into a little housing estate where a small path led to the main Avenue de la Liberation.
This path in turn led me past a nice modern block of flats in the chemin de Choisel. And nice though the flats might have seemed, it wasn’t my cup of tea because someone was playing some music full-blast with the windows in one of the apartments.
Where I live, I have solid stone walls 1.2 metres thick so I can play music as loud as I like without disturbing the neighbours. That wouldn’t work here at all.
Out on the avenue de la Liberation and here’s a thing.
Ever since I’ve been in Granville, and probably for many years prior to that, there were some old, abandoned houses that were fenced off from the road.
It’s been a good while since I’ve been past here on foot and to my surprise something seems to be happening to them right now. We have a crane, a new roof and all other kinds of exciting things.
That will be a nice place to live when it’s all finished.
While I was here, I could have carried on down the road into town, gone down another footpath and the steps to the Park de Val es Fleurs, or else through the gardens of the Musée Christian Dior and down the steps to the Plat Gousset.
Obviously the latter will bring me closer to the sea and with me being a Pisces, being close to water is one of my aims, so I made my way down the side of the tennis club.
Last time I was out here, I saw a big cruise ship out to sea, so I had a look to see if I was going to be lucky again.
Not quite. No shipping out there today but we did have one of these mysterious buoys bobbing around in the sea down there. I still haven’t worked out what they are four but my suspicion is that they are something to do with fishing gear – nets or lobster pots, that kind of thing I reckon.
There were crowds of people out there today and a long, continuous line of people coming up the steps.
The steps are quite narrow and there isn’t much room to pass anyone so I had to wait for a while while they came up. That gave me an opportunity to take a photo of the nice archway down there that leads to the final flight of steps down to the promenade.
And the sea was looking pretty rough down there too. This could be very interesting.
And i wasn’t wrong either.
It’s now 17:40 which means that there’s still an hour or so to high tide, and the sea is totally wicked out there, smacking into the sea wall here with an incredible force and sending spray everywhere.
It’s lucky that the promenade s quite wide otherwise I could easily end up marooned down here and that wouldn’t be very pleasant, having to climb all the way back up the steps again..
And I wasn’t alone here either.
This was a show that you would have to pay a fortune to watch in some places, but we were having it for free. There were probably a couple of hundred people down here this afternoon making the most of the entertainment and we were all having more than our money’s worth.
So impressive was it that I stayed down here for half an hour taking photos when one of the very big waves came in
We’ve had quite a few storms down here so far this year, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and we’ve seen plenty of areas that have been fenced off due to the damage that the wild seas have caused.
There’s some more over there and apparently this needs to be fixed before the Grand Marée, the very high tide, comes in on Wednesday. They’ve engaged some workmen to do the job and they have erected some scaffolding to work from, but I don’t fancy their chances out there today.
It’s a good job that it’s a Sunday – a Day Of Rest – today when they can have a day off.
While you admire a few more photos of the storm on the Plat Gousset, I climbed back up all of the steps and walked home via the square Maurice Marland.
There was still about 40 minutes or so before teatime, so I busied myself with another pile of photos from July 2019 and my trip to Iceland. I really need to press on with that before i’m much older.
The trouble is, though, that with having no internet out there, I wasn’t able to do any research into the photos. Consequently every one that I am editing, I need to research to find out where it is and what’s in the image.
Sunday is vegan pizza night of course, but it’s also pudding time seeing as I have the oven on already.
It’s usually rice pudding or some such, but last week we had a delicious apple crumble. Apple pie has been on the menu too in the past and that was what I intended to try today, using the new pie dish that I bought.
These pastry rolls are the business. The cheap ones from LeClerc are vegan of course so I always have a stock of those on hand. And I’d picked up some backing apples too on Sunday.
So, grease the pie dish and unroll one of the pastry rolls and put that in, gently pressing down so that it’s in at the seam at the bottom.
Thinly slice a couple of the apples and lie the slices in on top of the pastry, making as many layers as you can fit in, so that the pastry is completely covered.
On every layer, a think coating of desiccated coconut, brown sugar and lemon juice (and some cinnamon and nutmeg, which I completely forgot, for some reason or other that I can’t explain).
Unroll another pastry roll, cut out a top for the pie, with an overhang of about 2 cms.
Wet with some mile the part of the pastry that is on the lip of the pie dish, then put the top on and press it down really hard with a fork to the pastry underneath on the lip. Then trim off the excess pastry.
Put a few slits in the top of the pie to let out the steam, brush with milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. Then bung in the oven.
With the excess pastry, coast it on both sides – and your rolling pin – with flour to stop it sticking, and roll it out with your rolling pin. It won’t be square, so keep on trimming it off and adding the trimmings into appropriate places so that it’s as square as you can make it
Grease a flat oven tray and gently with a couple of spatulas, pick up your flat pastry and put on the tray. Add the leftover apple slices into the centre, with desiccated coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg (which I remembered this time) then fold over all of the pastry and press it together to seal it.
Prick it with a fork to let the steam out, brush with milk and sprinkle with brown sugar, and bung that in the oven too.
And here’s the end result. It all looks pretty impressive and I bet it tastes even better even without the spices in the pie. I won’t be trying it this evening though because there’s still some apple crumble left.
Instead, the turnover was cut into 2 and put in the freezer, and the pie went in the fridge ready to start on tomorrow.
Rather like the time that I made a meat and potato pie when I was younger. I left the eyes in the potatoes so that it would see me through the week.
I’ll get my coat.
One thing that I mustn’t forget is my evening walk. I’m already up to 95% so i don’t intend to go far.
The NIKON 1 J5 and f1.8 18.5mm lens came with me so that I could have a little play around. I reset the ISO to “MAX 3200” rather than “MAX 6400” as the graining is too much, and stopped down a couple of stops to see what I could produce with that.
And f1.74 at 1/50 second and ISO3200 gave me this image. And for a hand-held shot, it’s quite reasonable. Joly France looks quite nice out there at the ferry terminal.
There have been much worse shots than this.
I’m wondering what else I can produce with this camera if I show some patience. Some good might come out of the enforced deprivation of the big NIKON D500
While you admire the rest of the photos of the storm there is something else that I mustn’t forget – and that is to go running.
And it’s a good job that I did those two-and-a-half runs yesterday because I only managed one and a half today. Not because of lack of willingness or lack of fitness, but because my first run down the rue du Roc was right into the teeth of a howling gale.
When I hit the slope of the hill about half-way or so along my course, it stopped me dead in my tracks and that was that. Luckily the return run along to boulevard Vaufleury was with the wind so that was a lot easier and I managed an extra 20 metres or so.
So now I’m back home and in the warmth.
There are tons of photos to edit and lots to write, so i doubt that I’ll be able to finish it tonight. But I’ll do what I can before I go to sleep and whatever remains to be done, I can finish it all off tomorrow.
Not that I’m complaining of course. This was a good day out and a really good walk around – more than enough to tire myself out. If I do fall asleep while writing out my notes, it will be for a very good …