Tag Archives: IKEA

Thursday 13th October 2022 – I WAS NOT …

… alone in bed last night. I’d just curled up and settled down quietly to go to sleep when suddenly there was a thud on the bed and some thing pushed a black and furry head into my chin.

Sure enough, Cujo the Killer Cat had decided to come to join me. She curled up next to me and went to sleep. All in all, she was there for an hour or so, changing position every 15 minutes or so to make herself more comfortable while I of course was becoming even more uncomfortable, but in the end she jumped off, ate a couple of cat biscuits and went off for a prowl around the house.

Anyone who knows anything at all about cats will know that this is simply normal, usual behaviour. When we were married Nerina and I had four cats so you can imagine how that worked out. Here, there are three cats but so far only Culo the Killer Cat has found me on a permanent basis. Oscar, the ginger and white cat, found his way onto the bed at one point but Gilligan, the young long-haired cat not at all.

With Cujo waking me up during the night, I forgot about a dream that I was having. I was having a lovely dream, but with Cujo the Killer Cat coming to join me I awoke and most of it went immediately out of my head. But there was some woman telling me that she’d let me know if something happened again and so on. Unfortunately I can’t remember what that was or anything but it was really nice wonderful comfortable dream.

And later, we were talking about defence in World War I and how the new German heavy machine gun was supposed to be the best. They fortified all of their railway stations and places like that with examples of their heavy machine gun

I stepped back into that dream some time later .Our unit had been badly shot up in World War I and we were being evacuated from the Front with a pile of wounded. One of the wounded was a French private and I spent a lot of time chatting to him. He was in complete agony. Eventually we found some road transport that brought us into the city centre of Verdun. Luckily he was one of the first off the transport into the hospital. I asked the nurse if he’d been shot with a machine gun. She replied “yes”. I asked what were his chances of recovery because he had a seizure. A few of these nurses came rushing round to him but he pulled his way through this seizure. They turned to me and said “he’ll be OK now that he’s gone through that. There will be no worry with him”.

Finally, I’d gone to a mobile phone shop because I wanted to download from my mobile phone an album that had been supplied free with the ‘phone. I couldn’t find which directory it was in despite knowing the name of the musician … "it was Steve Winwood" – ed. The first thing that I noticed was that he typed my phone n° into his computer and immediately had access to the contents of my phone via some kind of remote connection. He could see everything that I had on my phone, what my desktop was, etc. He hadn’t asked me for permission to do that and in any case I didn’t think that he could use his computer to view the contents of my phone from his desk. I was absolutely appalled. I was going to write to as many people as I possibly could to make this kind of thing known to them. I thought that it was awful that they could just type my number into their computer and see on their screen the contents of my phone and what I had visible on my screen at that moment.

When the alarm went off there were still people moving around the house and so I waited until everyone left before I arose from the dead.

The first thing that I did was to transcribe the dictaphone notes, that you have already seen.

Next plan was to book some accommodation for the next couple of stages of my journey. I’m leaving here in 10 days so I have to make sure that I have somewhere to stay.

It’s not easy because I have no Canadian ‘phone these days for the bank to send me some verification instructions for payment, so I have to book into these “pay on arrival” places and there aren’t too many of those

Next step was to try to find some freight companies to ship this sunroof back to Europe. After much research I found a couple of freight forwarding companies in Saint John and I’ve been in touch with them. Whether or not they reply is something else completely.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that receiving replies to e-mails that I send off to try to organise something or other is something that very rarely happens. Everyone complains that there’s a recession and that business is difficult but my own experience is that no-one really wants to do any work.

After lunch I had to go and measure my parcels. Having turned out the cab of Strider I couldn’t find my tape measure. Luckiiy though when I was in IKEA in the summer I’d picked up a measuring tape and it was still in my little bag so I managed to do it after a fashion.

They need to be weighed but I can’t lift them on my own. I shall have to wait for assistance.

One thing that I’d noticed was that it looked as if someone had been growing potatoes in Strider’s cab. I found an old yard brush and swept out as much as I could. He really needs a good vacuuming too as he’s full of dust. I’ll bet that he’ll go 5mph faster when I’ve done all that.

While I was out there, I noticed something quite amusing. Cujo the Killer Cat lived up to her name and brought back a live mouse to the front of the house. She dropped it off in front of Gilligan, the young long-haired cat, and was teaching him how to hunt it.

He performed a few practice pounces on it but after a while he lost interest. Cujo couldn’t incite him to continue so in the end she picked up the mouse and wandered off into a quiet corner to deal with it herself.

However I’m not sure what had happened because back in here I crashed out – and for all of three hours too. I must have been completely exhausted after all of my efforts for the last couple of days.

Tea tonight was more of my Chinese meal from yesterday and then I spent a good while chatting to Rachel. Consequently I’m late going to bed.

There’s plenty to do tomorrow so I need a good night’s sleep. That is, unless Cujo the Killer Cat comes to join me tonight.

Friday 19th March 2021 – AFTER ALL OF THE …

home made ginger beer orange kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… excitement last night, I rounded up the surviving bottles and put them in a plastic box on top of the fridge in the bathroom where they won’t cause too much damage in the future if a similar eventuality were to arise.

But making the orange ginger beer is back on again, I reckon, because I don’t think that it was that which caused the problems.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve been using an assortment of various bottles here, mostly recycled lemonade bottles and the like as well as a few rather dodgy cheap bottles.

But I also have three new, expensive bottles that I bought from IKEA. Two are used as water containers and the third was a spare. That was pressed into service to hold the ginger beer and, unbelievably, it was that one that blew up. The recycled ones and the dodgy cheap ones are keeping going.

That was something of a surprise.

What else which was a surprise was that despite tempting fate last night, I did manage to crawl out of bed just after the first alarm. And after the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

There was a huge murder mystery going on last night with about 20 suspects. There was a detective giving the final denouément right at the very end, going through each person in turn explaining why he would have done it and and finally saying that they didn’t because … and coming up with some reason. This went on for ever and I can’t remember it at all. At the end I was with a woman, someone whom I knew and I can’t think who it was now. We were discussing the radio system. We had half a dozen different aerials, half a dozen different things and we were all switching between the aerials automatically. We would expect a few problems with the automation and I was thinking about having the whole thing redone so that it would still be automatic but I could manually control the aerials so that I knew which aerial was transmitting what. And again this is another thing about which I remember very little.

After the dictaphone notes I made a start on the photos from Greenland. Another pile of those have bitten the dust now and I’m sitting on the deck of THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR watching them unload the zodiacs that will take us to the shore where buses will take up to the airport at Kangerlussuaq. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I had to break off my Transatlantic voyage here because the ship had been chartered by a bunch of North American schoolkids and being from Europe, I didn’t have a valid police check record. I had to come back 3 weeks later when the ship returned so that I could board her and continue my journey across the Atlantic to the Canadian mainland.

By now it was light so I prepared to do battle with the living room, making myself some hot chocolate and cutting myself a slice of fruit sourdough bread. But just at that moment Rosemary rang with a problem and we ended up having a brief chat. One hour and three minutes to be precise.

The damage in the living room is not as extensive as I thought. One of the windows in the nice unit in the living room has been peppered with shrapnel that has made its marks upon the glass, and the TV screen that I use as a computer monitor has taken a bashing too.

The carpet is in the bath. I’ve scrubbed it, used soap on it, scrubbed it again and rinsed it thoroughly. Now it’s in there drying off. And it’ll have another go tomorrow afternoon after my shower. All of the ginger beer that wasn’t in the tray as soaked into the carpet. There wasn’t much anywhere else.

Tons of broken glass about the place and I’ve brushed up as much as I could. But anyone who comes here now will have to be careful where they sit. We all know what happened to the captain of the Good Ship Venus.

The floor has been washed and it will have another washing tomorrow. And I’ll wash down the furniture etc as well tomorrow.

But some good did come out of all of this. The mechanical stopper of the broken bottle was intact and it had obviously proved its worth by resisting the explosion. So I swapped it over onto one of the cheap bottles and now that makes a really good seal. So all was not lost.

Another task that I had to perform was to speak to a certain young Canadian girl whom I know to acquaint her with the news that I’d received from Rachel yesterday because I imagined that in the confusion she would have been left out. We had quite a chat for 15-20 minutes about the events of yesterday and also about lots of other stuff too.

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

beach rue du nord plat gousset donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd for something of a change just recently, we were having a really nice day today.

The weather was cool and windy but there was a bright blue sky and for once there wasn’t any fog or haze. The tide was quite far out and there were several people down there on the beach and amongst the rocks making the most of the nice afternoon.

One thing that I have noticed – or, maybe, it’s more correct to say that I haven’t noticed, is that there haven’t been any bird-men around for quite a while. Where they leap off the cliffs is just over there to the right near the cemetery – something that probably means that if they make a mistake on take-off they don’t have far to go.

But to be serious … “for once” – ed … I wonder what’s happened that means that they haven’t been taking to the air just recently.

jersey channel islands english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith the weather being so much better today I had a good peer out to sea to see if I could seee Jersy on the horizon today.

And sure enough, with a GOOD LONG LENS and plenty of enhancement back at the apartment later, I was able just about to pick out the island. Not as clearly as I have done in the past, but the fact that we can see it at all today 58kms away shows you just what an improvement that we have had.

Not like in the Auvergne, apparently. Rosemary told me that she awoke this morning to a couple of inches of snow.

Just one or two people around today, so I had the place pretty much to myself. I pushed on along the path, across the lawn and across the car park down to the end of the headland.

seafarers memorial le loup jullouville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe Memorial to the Missing Seafarers is still there – not that that’s any surprise – but you can actually see it today, which is something.

Yesterday we struggled to see much further beyond Le Loup, the light that sits on top of the rock just outside the harbour entrance, but today with it being clear, we can see the town of Jullouville quite easily across the bay, and right to the water tower on the ridge at the back of the town.

On top of the ridge just to the right of the right-hand flagpole is that mystery tower. I haven’t forgotten that one of these days I intend to go and see what it is

With nothing going on out in the bay across to the Brittany coast I pushed of along the footpath at the top of the cliff.

spirit of conrad hermes 1 lys noir freddy land chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown in the chantier navale we have yet more movement and change of occupancy.

Spirit of Conrad, Aztec Lady, Lys Noir, Hermes 1 and Freddy Land are still there, but the trawler Charlevy has gone back into the water. On the morning tide, apparently. So there’s now room for someone else to come in and join the (af)fray.

There might be room for more boats very soon too because the whole place was quite a hive of activity today. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many people down there working on the boats, from private owners in private cars to specialist companies with sign-written vans.

The racket that they were making was quite unbearable. It looks as if everyone is making ready quite rapidly in anticipation of an ease in the lockdown. That’s what I call optimism.

naabsa fishing boat port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we haven’t seen to many hang-gliders just recently, we have been seeing a lot of fishing boats abandoned to the tide at the jetty by the Fish Processing Plant.

It beats me as to why. We went for months, if not years, without seeing a one except for special reasons but this last few weeks we see them on a regular basis. Clearly something is up.

My time was also up so I headed off home where I bumped into one of my neighbours and we had quite a chat. And then I came up for my hot coffee.

There was no guitar practice tonight. I can catch up with that another time. But when I returned I attacked that page of my notes from my trip around Central Europe on which I’ve made very little progress just recently, and found that I was advancing quite rapidly. I decided therefore to stick at it until I finished it because I was fed up of it hanging around.

Round about 20:00 I finally finished it and now IT’S ON LINE at long last. I hope that it won’t take me long to finish off this exercise, although there is a page on which I’ve been stuck for a while and I don’t know what I’m going to do about that one.

Tea was taco rolls and rice. I wasn’t very hungry and half of it finished in the bin. No pudding either.

So after the exertions of yesterday and today and having already crashed out for half an hour (and instead of fighting it, I allowed myself to be carried away) I’m off to bed for a good sleep.

No shopping tomorrow. Instead I’ll catch up with the guitar and practice that I missed and wash the living room again.

There’s football tomorrow afternoon and I mustn’t miss that either.

And then I need to slowly thing about going to Leuven. Wednesday, that is. I wonder what they will tell me this time.

Monday 3rd August 2020 – I’M NOT SURE …

… what it was that went past here at 05:49 but whatever it was, it made enough of a racket to awaken me.

I was in the middle of a nocturnal voyage too – something about an Austin 1300GT that was dismantled. It was bright yellow, the same colour as my taxis were, and we were discussing its paint job. I remember saying that it would come out of the factory with the underneath of the wings already painted like that and so there would only be one or two panels that you would need to pay for the painting.

Anyway, little chance of going back to sleep at that point so I did some work on the laptop instead.

Hans went out to the shop and came back with fresh bread rolls so we had a good breakfast and then went out to IKEA. And there I struck lucky – in the reduced section was a small folding camp bed for just €20:00. That is now in Caliburn ready for another adventure.

For lunch Hans made burgers and chips and then we went for a walk. Because of Brexit issues, he’s had to go back to work and so runs a small whisky shop in the town. He took me to see it and to show me around. And I think that I went on all of these walks today and I forgot to take my camera with me each time.

On the way back we stopped at the ice cream parlour for dessert and then it was time for me to hit the road.

hotel primavera parco furth germany eric hallA leisurely drive through the German countryside has brought me as far as Furth where I’m staying for the night.

This is a nice hotel too. There are several buildings here around a central courtyard so it’s fairly quiet and that suits me fine. I can smuggle the slow cooker into my room without any problems at all and so I’ve had another nice tea of all kind of tinned bits and pieces.

And having done the washing up, I’m going to have an early night. I’ve not done very much today but I’m totally exhausted having done it.

Monday 27th July 2020 – THAT WAS ANOTHER …

river allier vichy 03200 france eric hall… horrible day today. At one point during mid-afternoon the temperature inside the cab of Caliburn was 42°C and I had to stop and get out of the cab.

Luckily I was able to find a nice place to do so. To my surprise I found a parking place in the street in the centre of Vichy down by the River Allier so I could park up and go for a walk to cool off a little.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

This morning I was awake and about of bed before the first alarm, something that is always a healthy ambition as far as I am concerned. Plenty of time to attack the notes on the dictaphone because by the sound of things I’d trvalled for miles during the night.

I’d been with Ingrid on board a ship obviously going somewhere and it’s quite clear that we are a couple. We were watching a few other things happening. A notice that we saw said something like “COVID 19 flights to Egyot suspended at the end of April”. As we were roaming about at the end of the stairwell which was cut into the rock evidently we came across another couple and we chatted to them. We ended up down in the basement of the ship trying to find out which were the doors to our particular deck but we were fooling around and quite clearly a couple, the two of us.

Later on we ended up back at my house but my house had been sold, although my possessions were still there. As we walked in through the door there were all these cats there. 3 small cats in waste paper bins and so on. I said “this is typical. Look at these cats. My cats are still in possession and they have sorted the other ones out”. We walked around the kitchen but heard a noise from the living room. I said “hello, anyone there?”. Eventually a Dutch guy came out, youngish, very tall. he came round and shook my hand, said “welcome back from your holidays” and had a really good chat to me, most of which wa in Dutch which I didn’t quite understand. I was with Rosemary and Lieneke. Of course Lieneke was very much in demand for this conversation too.

By now we were all on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR but it was a coach. it was time for us to get off so I walked down to the front of the coach saying goodbye to everyone. Castor and Pollux were there so I said goodbye to Pollux but Castor, I smiled at her, put my head very close to her and said “thanks for everything”. She looked extremely uncomfortable when I said that. That was when I walked down the coach and got off. This was somewhere about Scholar Green and we were looking at a map to work out our way across to Alsager, that way. It was a bit difficult to work out exactly where we were because there were two roads, both of which went across and we could have been stuck by either of them. We were certainly out beyond the confines of Stoke on Trent in that particular area. But it was the look on Castor’s face that got me – a look of real fear. That was what awoke me.

Rosemary had brought me a cup of tea at about 07:30 and by 08:30 we were having breakfast. Afterwards, I packed and loaded up Caliburn, even rescuing my pushbike from Rosemary’s barn where it had been hiding for the last 6 or 7 years or so.

Before I left I fixed Rosemary’s settee and also finished off connecting up her television to her livebox – a task that involved telephoning the helpline.

Off on the road I went, as far as Clermont Ferrand. First stop was the Auchan where I encountered a most unhelpful Secury Guard, bought some more supplies and then I fuelled up Caliburn ready for the long haul east.

Second stop was at IKEA where I bought the rest of the storage jars that I needed, as well as a few other bits and pieces. But I didn’t buy a temporary mattress for Caliburn due to the absurd price that they wanted for one – €79:00 for a folding foam-rubber chair that opens out.

Ad as for the food, that was a major disappointment. I ended up with just a plate of chips and a lump of bread. No salad or anything.

The heat was stifiling when I went outside and it was really uncomfortable and the drive wasn’t very comfortable. Leaving Clermont Ferrand, I went north-east through the countryside and arrived at Vichy

home made raft river allier vichy 03200 france eric hallBut here I had to stop. It was impossible to go any further in this weather. I was melting.

There was a parking place at the side of the road near Parc Kennedy so this was where I stopped. It was a pleasant if not sweltering walk down to the banks of the river but once I was in the shade it was very nice indeed. I was quite envious of the people who were out there on their little home-made rafts going up and down the river.

Being a Pisces I would quite happily have been out there with them.

plage des celestins parc kennedy river allier vichy 03200 france eric hallThere’s a beach there too, the Plage des Celestins, and that was quite a popular place, as you can see in the photograph here.

There’s an ice cream stall, a place to hire deckchairs and also a place where you can hire little boats and so on. And then the row of yellow buoys out there mark the limits to which people can swim in the river. You can see that the boats going out into the river from the slipway at the far end of the swimming area.

A really nice walk along the river in the shade for half an hour cooled me down and I resisted the temptation to see if they had any vegan ice cream on sale. I didn’t fancy standing in the queue.

parc kennedy pont aristide briand pont bellerive river allier vichy 03200 france eric hallAt the end of the Parc Kennedy there’s a bridge across the River Allier.

It’s know, locally as the Pont de Bellerive because it connects Vichy to the town of Bellerive sur Allier on the other side of the river, but as the legendary French politician Aristide Briand had died just a couple of months before its official opening, it was named the Pont Aristide Briand in his honour.

Until the eary 1960s it was the only bridge across the Allier at Vichy but it’s by no means the first bridge. There was even a bridge across the river here recorded by Julius Caesar in 54BC although it might have been built by his soldiers on their way to the Battle of Gergovie.

There have been several subsequent bridges here and this one dates from 1932.

having cooled down a little I headed off eastwards through the mountains towards the Rhone valley, but I didn’t get very far. Tonight I’m in a modern unit hotel in Paray-le-Monial. Because of the heat I had the air conditioning on full blast for an hour and then a shower and a clothes wash.

Tomorrow I’m not going far but I’m still having an early night. I’ve already crashed out once this evening and I’ll be gone again if I don’t get a move on.

Saturday 7th March 2020 – I’VE BEEN HAVING …

night square maurice marland granville manche normandy france eric hall… a little fun with the little NIKON 1 J5 camera tonight.

Having a wander around in the dark, I tried a few photos on various settings of Exposure Compensation but none of them came out satisfactorily and they ended up in the bin.

But what I tried next, after having had a good wrack of my brains to remember how the manual settings on the camera worked, was to put it onto fully manual and try my luck with that.

And you can see the result. I’ve had much worse photos than this. That f1.8 18.5mm lens is worth its weight in gold and I’ll be getting much more use out of it in the future once I’ve worked out how to bring out the best in it.

This morning, something surprising happened. I awoke in the middle of a panic attack and I’m not sure why. I was confused and completely disorientated and when the first alarm went off at 06:00 I was totally convinced for some reason that it was the third alarm and that I’d definitely heard the other two.

All of that made me extremely interested to see what was on the dictaphone after the medication, but to my surprise there was nothing at all. So what was going on there, I had no idea.

After breakfast I broke up a couple of digital sound files, one of which was a total mess, then had a shower and hit the streets.

First stop was NOZ and there was nothing there of any great significance except some more of that fruit-flavoured alcohol-free beer that they had a while ago.

There was also some honey on special offer and I’m using quite a bit of that these days in my syrups so I bought a jar of that.

LeClerc was next. Not much there either although I did buy a roll of transparent adhesive film that I need for a project or two.

From there I headed to St Pair sur Mer and Brico Cash. I wanted to have a look in there before I decided whether I ought to go to IKEA. And it was something of a disappointment as they didn’t have what I need at a price that I want to pay.

While I was out that way I went to look in the huge Casino supermarket. And I found another pie dish just the right size, and with a large-ish lip. It’s not very good but it was only €2:80 and it means that I can now cook two pies at once as this one will fit on the oven rack with the other one.

Back at the apartment I had a coffee and then split up a couple more digital sound files, including repairing a couple of the very first ones that I ever split all those years ago. It certainly helps these days now that I know what I’m doing.

After lunch – the last of that delicious potato, leek and mushroom soup, I did some tidying up. I had LPs and cassettes all over the place but now they are tidied up and the LPs are even in correct alphabetical order. And it’s been a good few years since that happened.

Unfortunately I crashed out later on. A proper, deep crash-out curled up on the chair. Well away I was, and I remember thinking to myself that this wasn’t doing me any good at all and that I ought to pull myself together.

yacht english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd so, eventually, I did. I went out for my afternoon walk.

In order to make up my 100% for the day I had to go on a mega-ramble for miles, so the first part of that was to head off around the headland with the crowds. Plenty of activity out there at sea today, like this yacht.

This was just one of about for or five that were in my view at this time in between here and the Ile de Chausey.

canoeing kayak baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallDown the steep steps and around the headland, dodging the massing crowds as I did so. It seemed as if all of the town was out there this afternoon.

And there was yet more activity in the Baie de Mont St Michel. Plenty of yachts of course, but also a couple of intrepid kayakers were taking to the water. I’ve no idea to where they might be going.

One thing is certain though, and that is that you must never light a fire in a canoe. After all, you can’t have your kayak and heat it, as you well know.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere may well have been crowds out there on the headland and also out at sea, but that’s in vast contrast to what’s happening at the chantier navale.

We’ve seen four ships in there, three ships, two ships and, very recently, only one ship. But today, there are no ships at all down there. I’m hoping that this is only temporary because a thriving ship-repair yard is an essential for a maritime town like this.

Something will probably unfold over the course of the next few days so I’ll be keeping an eye open to see what goes on. We could do with something big and exciting down there.

new pontoon support pillars port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we saw them installing a couple of pontoons up against the pillars that they had pounded into the bed her ein the floating harbour.

That had inspired me to go to have a look down there to see what they had done and, seeing that the harbour gates were open so that I couldn’t go over to the other side of the harbour, I walked down the rue du Port to have a look.

And sure enough, they will be installing pontoons out into the basin, and that’s surely going to upset a few people who use the facilities.

And while you can’t see them, there are more of those pillars lying over on the other side of the harbour. I wonder where they are going to fit those.

light aeroplane ulm granville manche normandy france eric hallMy reverie was interrupted by some kind of noise in the sky.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there are a couple of people here who keep on getting out their choppers so I imagined that it might be one of those, but actually it’s some kind of weird microlight aeroplane.

Microlights, or ULMs as they are called here, are very popular in France. There a re a lot of them about and we’ve seen all kinds of weird designs in the past.

drainage gulley rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will also recall my rather catty remarks about the concreting that’s been going on on the new car park that they are modernising in the rue du Port.

With no-one about to control access, I could sneak onto the site today for a crafty peek and it does indeed seem to be some kind of gully that they are installing.

And the drains are definitely there to take away the excess water. I imagine though that hey will be raised to na appropriate height when they start to install the surface covering layer.

and I do hope that they include some greenery.

fete foraine funfair parking herel granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will also recall that although the fete foraine has cleared off, they have left the candy floss and toffee apple stall behind, and it was doing a roaring trade this afternoon.

But on my way out this morning I had noticed a couple of other things that had yet to leave. So i went for an investigation and sure enough, there’s one of the kiddies’ attractions still here.

Much to the delight of a great many young kids who were taking full advantage of the roundabout here on the Parking Hérel.

After about an hour I came back home and started work on the photos. That’s another pile from Iceland in July 2019 that are edited and will soon be ready for the road.

But I did have 45 minutes where I had a good play with the 5-string bass and the 6-string electric guitar. It’s been years since I’ve had a good go, what with one thing or another. And it was good to be back in harness again.

Tea was a curry out of the freezer – one dated October 2018. And just as delicious as the day it was made. Apple crumble and Soya dessert stuff for pudding too, and there’s enough apple crumble for tomorrow too, just about.

But when I’m cooking my pizza I’ll be making an apple pie. I did buy some more cooking apples especially for this.

night college malraux place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallSo I went out for my evenign walk – and run this evening.

And as I said, I was experimenting with different Exposure Compensation settings on the little NIKON 1 J5 and this photo of the Place d’Armes and the College Malraux was taken with 8 stops down

While the big Nikons actually adjust the image in the viewfinder, the little Nikon doesn’t and you don’t know what you have until after you’ve taken the pic by which time it’s too late.

For this one, maybe 8 stops is a little too much.

night plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallDown on the footpath underneath the city walls my running track was relatively dry and sheltered so I managed a really good run this evening that brought me round to the outlook over the Plat Gousset.

By now, I’m on the manual settings on the camera and there are plenty of lights illuminating everything. This time I tried four stops down and although it’s better, it could have been better still.

There was plenty of leeway to make a few more adjustments to give the image an even better quality.

night mere poulain place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were one or two people loitering around in the place Maurice Marland where I do my second run, but I totally ignored them and carried on regardless, stopping at the end to take the photo that you saw earlier.

But by now I was getting the hang of this camera, but there was still plenty of room to improve.

This photo of the posh creperie in the old medieval walled town could have been much better too. But at least I know where I’m going wrong and I can do something about it.

night place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallThis one of the place Cambernon is better still.

But still not good enough. 1/500th of a second at ISO6400 is rather needless. 1/125 at ISO1600 would have given a much nicer photo than that.

What I’ll do tomorrow is to give it a try on some kind of better setting and see if it makes any kind of improvement.

Back here now and a leisurely evening. But I’m off to bed now for my Sunday lie-in.

And after everything that I’ve done this last couple of weeks, I think that I deserve it too.

Thursday 19th December 2019 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… no-one and nothing came along to disrupt my work today so I was able to have a fair crack of the whip, news which should please sadists and masochists everywhere.

Mind you, had something come along to disrupt me today I don’t know how I would have fitted it in. I didn’t get off to the best of starts.

With having had a very late night last night, I didn’t respond very well to the first two of the three alarms that go off here in the morning. The third one prompted me to sit upright with shock at still being in bed, but nevertheless it was a good 10 minutes before I was able to haul myself out.

Even though it was a short night, there was plenty of time to go a-voyaging. We were recording again for the radio last night, a series of programes of a programme, something like that and we all had to set out and go somewhere and do something. I ended up walking all the way through the countryside and I kept on finding abandoned canal courses, falling in them and so on. I came all the way across these places and ended up back in Diffusion to find that the diffusion of documents was being moved from the building where it was to another building close by, something like if Shavington Infants were moving to the old Junior School, something along those lines. It was moving on the Monday but the Friday prior was going to be my last day as Monday I was going to move to another department. I asked why they were moving and they said that the official reason was that there was something to do with security – Diffusion had become famous for something or other and they wanted some privacy, but no-one knows what the real reason is. Of course “security” was nonsense and we all knew this and it seemed a totally illogical decision because or course all the paperwork had to br brought from the old office to the new one, sorted around and all taken back again which was going to take a lot longer and a lot more staff. We started talking and I expressed my dismay and they ask why? About leaving? About moving? I replied “not really but the new building is nearer my home and of course they waited until I changed department before they moved so I don’t get the benefit of having a shorter distance to go to work” something like that. They started to talk about the routes we had taken to get there. I said that I had found this old abandoned canal race and fell in it. They asked if I had plenty of photos then and I replied “Ohh God yes, hundreds of photos”. We were talking about showing them when the alarm went off and awoke me.

After the medication I transcribed the dictaphone notes and then went off for breakfast.

With that out of the way, I came back and started on Project 007. And it’s a good job that I’ve been systematically backing up as I go along because Audacity, the program that I used, crashed twice in the middle of what I was doing and had I not backed up, I would have had to start again.

But now that one is completed, 60 minutes to the second, and I do have to say that it sounds pretty good to me. But you lot will have to wait until 10th January to hear it.

cement mixer unloading rue st jean medieval city walls granville manche normandy franceIn the middle of everything I downed tools and went off to do my shopping in LIDL.

And here’s a classic example of why living within the walls of a medieval walled city is not always a good idea. Having everything delivered, like a lorry-load of furniture or a lorry-load of cement, creates quite a logistical challenge.

They aren’t always easy to solve either.

cement mixer unloading rue st jean medieval city walls granville manche normandy franceWhat they were having to do is to have a fleet of some kind of machines fitted with hoppers, and discharge the cement into the hoppers for onward transport into wherever they might be going.

And I don’t know if you have noticed, that underneath the cement chute there’s a large plastic sheet – presumably to stop the overflow of cement fouling the roadway.

So round the corner and right into the teeth of the gale, one of the strongest winds that we’ve had to date.

At LIDL I didn’t want very much. I don’t these days, going there three times each week, but I do it for the exercise more than anything else as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

crane unloading breeze blocks impasse de la corderie granville manche normandy franceOn the way back I went via the big Eglise St Paul to see what was going on.

Last time that I was here they had just finished erecting a crane in the Impasse de la Corderie so I was keen to see what was going on today.

It looks as if they are having a load of breeze blocks delivered and they are about to be craned into position, so someone is having a house extension of some kind.

chausiais port de granville harbour manche normandy francehaving picked up my dejeunette I headed on back up the rue des Juifs towards home, nearly stepping on someone’s dalmatian.

But I had a little stop when I got to the place that overlooks the harbour, because there was a weird danse macabre going on in the tidal harbour.

Yes, it looks as if, for once, I’ve caught Chausiais on the move.

chausiais port de granville harbour manche normandy franceShe carried on with her little dance for a good 10 minutes as I watched, and then took herself off into the corner where the pier is for the ferries that go over to the Ile de Chausey.

It’s intriguing me because what freight that has had to go over to the island in the past has gone over quite comfortably on the ferries.

So why a freighter? My opinion is that the owner has a cunning plan, and it might have something to do with the fact that Brexit isn’t all that far away.

But we shall see.

mini digger clearing building site medieval city walls Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne granville manche normandy franceEarlier on, we saw workmen with the concrete mixer up by the Porte de St Jean.

But here we have another load of workmen with a mini-digger and a pile of these one-ton reusable sacks. It finally does look as if they are cleaning up here ready to close down the chantier

That will be a job well-done.

fishing boat disappearing into storm high winds baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy franceNow that Chausiais has finished her dance and is moored up at her post, the rest of the boats here can move around.

Here is one of the little fishing boats heading out to sea. And just look at the waves, almost swamping the poor thing. And that’s only a hundred yards outside the harbour in the shelter of the sea wall.

Imagine what it’s going to be like out in the open sea. It gives you an idea of how the rough weather is right now.

Back here, I carried on with my project and that took me until well past lunchtime, but I didn’t want to stop until it was completed. And as I said earlier, it sounds pretty good to me.

After lunch I pushed on with the arrears. There were 50 photos of Leuven’s Christmas lights – clearly far too many to go on a blog page.

And so I sat down and quickly wrote a web page that features all of them, and you can see them at your leisure.

At that point I rather regrettably dozed off, and sat blot upright 10 minutes later at 15:50. late for my walk again.

fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy franceNevertheless I took myself out into the wicked wind to see what was going on.

Out at sea in the English Channel there was something moving around. I couldn’t see what it was so I took a random photo, hoping to be able to blow it up (the photo, not the object) back home to see what it might be.

It’s probably one of these small fishing boats that ply their trade out of the harbour, or else it’s Chausiais and she’s farther out at sea that I think she is.

spirit of conrad trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceRound the headland where the wind was even more fierce, I passed by the Chantier Navale and had a look to see what was going on.

Spirit of Conrad is still there up on her blocks, and the trawler that they winched out of the water yesterday is now up on blocks too and there are a couple of people working on her.

It doesn’t look as if she is going to be in there long either, I reckon, so we might be having another change of resident in early course.

mini digger clearing building site medieval city walls Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne granville manche normandy franceEarlier this morning I mentioned that they were clearing up the site where they had been repairing the city walls.

Right now they are making rapid progress and they have a small lorry there, with the digger dumping loads of rubbish into the back.

And I don’t know what happened to the photo there, because it’s not one of my best. Not by a long way either.

After a coffee, I changed a light bulb (I’ve no idea why these IKEA LED lights aren’t lasting as long as I was expecting) and then cracked on amending Sunday’s blog.

Not all of the photos of the Traversee de Paris are in there because, as I explained yesterday, there were far too many, and I told you where to go if you want to see them.

Half-way through, I broke off because it was tea time. Stuffed pepper, it was, and it was delicious. Followed by rice pudding too that made it even better.

night fishing boats english channel granville manche normandy franceAnd then my evening walk.

And I cans afely say without fear of contradiction that I have never seen as many fishing boats out there in the English Channel as I did tonight.

In fact I counted a dozen in easy view, and there may even have been more if the white lights on the horizon weren’t St Helier.

It puzzles me because I’m sure that i’ve never seen as many right out there in earlier years.

christmas lights place cambernon granville manche normandy franceBut talking of easy views, there was a lovely easy view down one of the little alleys that leads into the Place Cambernon.

The Christmas lights give it quite a lovely effect, especially when they are constrained by the walls of the alleyway.

So having admired the lights I went on with my walk and had a little run over my usual little stretch of level ground. And I made it right to the top of the first ramp too although it really did take it out of me.

So now I’m home, Sunday’s blog is finished and so is this one. And I’m off to bed.

There’s a meeting tomorrow evening so I’m hoping to have a good day cracking on with things and getting myself up to date.

Some hope there!

Tuesday 24th July 2018 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… bad day today.

Sitting down at the desk at about 14:30 this afternoon I was overwhelmed by fatigue. And not just a tiredness, but a completely “out-of-it” kind of tiredness. I had to lie down on the bed and that was where I stayed until 17:30 – completely out of it.

And it wasn’t as if I had had a late night either. It wasn’t as early as it might have been, to say the least, but it was nothing like as late a it has been just recently.

And once I’d gone to sleep (which didn’t take long) I was out until the alarm went off too.

Leaving the bed fairly quickly, I had the usual morning performance and then after breakfast I set about moving more of the dashcam files into the dedicated drive.

It didn’t take long to fill that drive and so in the end I had to dig out a big one that I bought a while ago and start to copy stuff from one drive to the other.

While that one was going on I had a shower and a tidy-up, and then wandered off to Brico Cash.

They had some kitchen worktops on special offer – 1m80 long for just €15:95 each. So I bought two of them. A few other bits and pieces too, but surprisingly, no black-faced melamine.

After I’d been to the Casino next door for a cucumber and a baguette I went to Mr Bricolage but they were closed. And then to LeClerc’s bricolage shop. And they didn’t have any black-faced melamine either.

And all this because I couldn’t buy a bed in light oak at IKEA last year. That’s why I ended up with a black one and why my bedroom has to be black.

What made this worse was that when I assembled the bed I found that it was indeed a light oak one that had been painted black. Quite a surprise because a light oak one wasn’t an option.

ferry ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceLunch was with two of my lizards (a third one was loitering in the undergrowth) and nothing much else, because there wasn’t much going on.

But just as I was about to pack up and go back to my apartment on eof the Ile de Chausey ferries came around the headland to give me a few moments of entertainment.

And then I came back to have my wasted afternoon.

Today’s task was to upload a pile of photos, edit them, and then start back on editing the blog to add the photos where I hadn’t done that, so that they can be brought up to date.

Tea was a stuffed pepper and spicy rice, followed by my walk around the headland.

As for the file transfer that I made earlier, this is going to take a while. I’m up to 26% so we’re talking about 3 days for this transfer.

But I shan’t be waiting for it. I’ll be going to bed. Despite having had a lengthy crash-out, I’m feeling rather tired. I just can’t keep going like I used to.

Monday 23rd JUly 2018 – TODAY I HAD NOT ONE …

… not two, not three but as many as FOUR lizards fighting over the pear droppings.

Not even I can drop enough bits of pear to feed four hungry lizards so they spent more time fighting over the bits than eating them.

Talking of fighting, I was fighting to wake myself up this morning. Last night wasn’t particularly late, but it was a struggle when the alarms went off, and I somehow managed to turn over and go back to sleep. 07:35 when I finally aroused myself today.

A nice empty dining table was awaiting me too so I could eat my breakfast in comfort. And then a nice little relax on an empty sofa in the uncluttered living area.

That was followed by a trip to the new workspace in the bedroom where I attacked the European Photograph Mountain.

I took some time out to do some tidying up as well. Some files and paperwork came out of the bookshelves in the living area and onto the shelves in the bookcases in the bedroom, and I tidied up in the bedroom too.

And while doing that, I found the missing computer mouse, the missing hospital paperwork and the missing medication. Tidying up certainly pays dividends.

Another thing that I did involved the scented candles that I buy from IKEA. I’ve put one in each of the clothes drawers in the chest that I assembled the other day. They should make my clothes smell quite nice.

channel islands ferry jersey granville manche normandy franceIt was a late lunch in the beautiful sunny summer afternoon sitting on my wall with my book and the herd of lizards.

There was quite a bit of movement in the port too. One of the Channel Islands ferries was coming into port from Jersey just as one of the ferries to the Ile de Chausey was setting out.

What with the piles of yachts and pleasure boats around the harbour entrance it was all quite exciting.

crowds on beach granville manche normandy franceAfter lunch I carried on with my work in my new comfortable surroundings, with a pause taken for an afternoon walk around the Medieval walls to see what’s going on.

There were crowds of people hemmed in on the little sliver of beach that was defying the tide.

Looking at all of those people down there, that kind of thing would really put me off. I couldn’t relax or enjoy myself sitting down there amongst all of those people.

crowds at diving platform beach granville manche normandy franceThat wasn’t all that was going on down there either.

There were crowds of people out there in the sea, swimming around at the diving platform just offshore.

It really was a beautiful day, but not that beautiful. Not beautiful enough to entice me into the water anyway. Especially these days. I’m getting rather nesh in my old age

gates open port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAfter spending my time admiring the crowds on the beach and in the sea I carried on with my trip around the walls.

There was a beautiful afternoon sun shining down onto the harbour making the water glow with some kind of opaque turquoise blue light.

I’ve not often seen the water in there looking quite as beautiful as this. We really were having a good day today.

Later on, I had some tea. Pasta and a kidney-bean and aubergine whatsit out of the freezer. It seems that my appetite has come back.

baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceAnd then a walk around the headland in the evening sun. With a beautiful view right down towards the bottom of the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Still not sure that I can see the Mont from here though with the headland in the way, which is a shame.

I shall have to go for a drive down that way in due course. And while I’m at it, I’ll stop for a visit to the old excise lookout post out there on the headland.

And now to carry on with work. I’m enjoying my new working conditions and make the most of them.

But not until some silly time in the morning either.

Thursday 19th July 2018 – IZZY WHIZZY …

… let’s get busy.

That’s been the motto of today anyway, just for a change.

Last night however, I was pretty exhausted and so I was in bed before 22:00 just for a change. But being wary of what normally happens when I try for an early night – that I end up tossing and turning for several hours – I resorted to the old stand-by of putting the laptop close to the bed and watching a film.

Never fails, does it? Didn’t even make 10 minutes.

So I was up early and organised the medication and all of that. And I wasn’t the only one up early either as a friend was waiting on line for me. Seems that she has had some disappointing news and wanted a chat.

And so I did. That’s what friends are for.

A late breakfast was the result, followed by a later shower and then I set the washing machine a-go.

The walk up to LIDL was painful, but I have to keep on doing it. I need to push myself onwards while I can.

peugeot scooter avenue des vendeens granville manche normandy franceBut I had a surprise across the road from there in the Avenue des Vendéens.

Two guys were looking at an old scooter which, at first glance from a distance, looked like one of the old Zundapp prototypes, so I went over to have a look.

It wasn’t quite as rare as that – in fact it was a Peugeot scooter from the 1950s. I’d never seen one before which, the owner told me, was hardly surprising as there can’t be more than a handful still left.

And I’d been lucky to see this one as he had only just wheeled it out of his garage for 30 seconds.

giant tomatoes LIDL granville manche normandy franceIn LIDL my eye was caught by the size of these tomatoes.

Not having a tape measure handy, the best guess that I could make was that these were about 4 inches in diameter. You can get some idea of the size by comparing them to the “normal” tomatoes to the right.

I was going to say that I’d spent nothing today in there. But that’s not really true. But if you compare today with what I’ve been spending this week, it is pretty minimal, But all the same …

First thing that I needed was some coffee. I’d run out of the ground stuff, as I said earlier, so I bought a couple of packets to see what it’s like. Had I known that supplies were so low, I would have stocked up on the coffee that I liked when I was in Belgium. It’s not sold in France.

Another thing is that with having guests arriving, I need some spare sheets. No-one wants to sleep in a sheet after I’ve been sleeping in it – washed or not – and I’d bought a new one at IKEA. But today at LIDL they had some blue ones (my bedroom is blue) on special offer so I added one of those to the guest bag.

It seemed to be my lucky day with old motorbikes too. On the way back, I came across an old guy cleaning a Solex – you know, the typical French moped of the 40s and 50s with the engine underneath the handlebars.

This one was a later one from the late 60s with a pressed-steel frame and so I got to talk to him about it. Regular readers of this rubbish in one of its long-gone guises will recall that I unearthed the remains of one of these in a field of brambles when I was doing a furniture removal back in 2002.

It seems that the guy collects bits and makes complete machines up out of the piles. So seeing as the Solex is doing nothing down on the farm and it’s not something that I’m likely to miss, I’ll bring it back whenever I’m next down there and donate it to the cause.

It pays to keep in with the locals.

marité la granvillaise baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceWe were having some more activity in the Bay as well.

Marité was out there having a little sail around the Baie de Mont St Michel, and she was in company with La Granvillaise.

One of these days I’ll have to take myself out and about on one of them, if they decide one day to go somewhere exciting. Quebec would be nice.

Back here I opened the window in the bedroom, put the clothes dryer thing in the window and hung up the washing. But this isn’t going to be easy with the new chest of drawers in the way. I need to have a think about this.

Liz was on line too and so we had a little chat. Strawberry Moose has his holidays to plan.

After lunch I tidied up Caliburn and got him looking much more like it. A pile of stuff went into the bin from there.

With that out of the way then I attacked the European Cardboard Box Mountain. And it’s now all gone down into the back of Caliburn. It’s amazing how uncomplicated it becomes when you have a ratchet strap handy.

But it was tiring work and I had to sit down halfway through and have a little … err … relax.

And if that wasn’t enough, I attacked the bedroom and did some tidying up in there too. And that looks much better, although there’s still tons to do. But it really is nice to be finally able to sit comfortably on a comfortable chair and do some work in a proper office environment.

The walk around the headland about finished me off, so now I’m going to bed. I deserve it too.

Tomorrow I need to make some more hummus seeing as I’ve run out of that kind of stuff for my butties and I don’t really want to attack the cheese as yet.

Mind you, with what I’ve done today I’ll probably be asleep for a week.

Wednesday 18th July 2018 – I’M WHACKED!

And it’s no surprise either. The last three pieces of furniture came up from Caliburn today, they are assembled, partly filled and now in place.

And what was funny was that when I was at IKEA and loading Caliburn with the two large cabinets, I couldn’t manage it and needed some help. But yet this morning I could pick one of them up with one hand and run up the stairs with it.

The big chest of drawers, well that was a different matter. That needed two trips as I expected. And at about 19:00 at the end of the day when I had to bring up the other large cabinet, it was something of a stagger.

Anyway, now they are all assembled and in position. The bedroom now actually looks like a bedroom-cum-office as it’s supposed to do. And not only that, I’ve even started to tidy up Caliburn.

Caliburn needs a good tidying out too because there needs to be room for the European Cardboard Box Mountain which is now totally out of control. All of that needs taking down and loading into Caliburn so that I can take it to the dechetterie when I’m out and about on my travels on Saturday.

And then I need to start to tidy up in here.

The problem with this illness is that I’m like a lithium battery in that I can work and work, and then just suddenly I hit the wall and all of my energy completely disappears and I’m fit for nothing. So there are paperwork, tools and everything around here and I’m too tired to put them away.

However, I’m getting ahead of myself here.

I did go to bed and some kind of early-ish night. But I lay awake for hours tossing and turning anf trying to make myself comfortable.

And when I finally did go off to sleep I was awoken at 05:45 by the lorry emptying the bins.

So all in all I didn’t have much sleep.

To treat myself I made a nice fresh load of muesli and had a nice breakfast, and then there were a few things to be done.

Once I’d organised that, I started to attack the furniture. That took a while, especially as I was interrupted on a couple of occasions.

Remember me saying yesterday that I needed to telephone Belgium? Well, they telephoned me. And what I reckoned might have been a really complicated procedure was resolved in three minutes flat, entirely to my satisfaction, for which I’m extremely grateful.

I first dealt with this company back in – I think – 2001 and despite all of the issues that have arisen, they have never yet let me down or disappointed me. So Chapeau to them.

Lunch was very late, and one of the lizards came for a chat which was nice. He seems to be quite tame right now.

But yet again I’ve gone without tea. It must be doing me some good – I’m not forcing myself to eat as I have a few kilos to lose, but I’ll be intrigued to see what my weight will be right now.

ferry ile de chausey marker light port de granville harbour manche normandy franceInstead, I went for my evening walk around the headland.

The tide was quite far out and so we could see the marker light for entry to the harbour. We saw it the other day when the tide was right in, with just the red bands out of the water.

The Ile de Chausey ferries here will give you some idea of how high the red bands are, and this how high the tide is when it comes right in.

port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd even more interestingly, there was some kind of activity going on at the foot of the new harbour gates.

I’m not quite sure exactly what they are doing in those red boats but they seemed to be quite interested in something that was happening there.

And you can also see here too just how high the tide will rise here on the harbour wall.

But I can’t wait for that. I’ve not crashed out yet, much to my surprise but I’m going to have an early night. It’s LIDL tomorrow and then I have to start the tidying up.

My favourite occupation, I don’t think.

trawler ferry ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
trawler ferry ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

Saturday 14th July 2018 – EVERYONE KNOWS …

… that today is a Bank Holiday – or jour ferié in France.

It’s also the day 200 – odd years ago that the French stormed the Bastille – the fortified prison in the centre of Paris. The reason why they did this is probably because with it being a jour ferié all of the shops were closed and they had nothing else to do … “are you sure about this?” – ed.

I celebrated the jour ferié by switching off the alarm last night and having a lie-in. But 07:45 was far too early to leave my stinking pit so I turned over for five minutes. And then it was 08:55.

With the usual morning performance, and then I had a very late breakfast. And having reorganised things a little better in here just recently, I set up the coffee machine – only to find that I’ve almost run out of ground coffee.

That’s right – ground coffee. So if people tell me that my coffee tastes like mud I can tell them that it was ground only half an hour ago.

But with it being a jour ferié, I had a little treat – another fig roll. So I pulled that out – and then forgot to eat it. So I’ll have two tomorrow because although it might not be a jour ferié, it’s a Sunday.

First task today was the photos. 271 from my little adventure and I’d dealt with about half. So all through the rest of the morning and the early afternoon I edited them all and then uploaded them to the internet.

A very late lunch, so I made my butties and went to sit on the wall in the glorious sunshine where I was joined by not one but two lizards. This pear treat is becoming quite the thing, isn’t it? I’ll probably end up with a couple of dinosaurs.

On the way back to here i Went via Caliburn to bring another load of stuff up to the apartment, and was accosted by a weird neighbour who wanted to have a good chat – and not about all that much either but it’s amazing just how some people can spin it out.

When I eventually returned to here, I transferred all of the files from the portable laptop to the one that I use here and made sure that they were all deleted to save space.

It was then I noticed that the portable “Storex” drive that I take on my travels, despite being practically empty according to the File manager, had over 5gb of material on it.

Of course, finding “hidden” files on an “empty” hard drive is only the work of half an hour or so – good old T223, hey? – and they were all revealed. More stuff that I knew that I had and had subsequently lost. So they’ll be reignited and moved in due course too.

With the neighbour outside, I’d missed my afternoon walk, but I carried on with another task. when I was in IKEA in Caen before I went away, I’d bought three little units to store the CDs and DVDs but it wasn’t enough. However it was all that they had.

However at the IKEA in Munich they had two more so I bought those (cheaper than at Caen too!) and assembled them this evening. Yes – working at 20:30, and on a Bank Holiday too!

party gun mount atlantic wall pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceBut I didn’t miss my evening walk though.

It was a beautiful evening and there were crowds and crowds of people about, with a group of people having a party sitting on one of the old World War II gun mounts from the Atlantic Wall here on the Pointe du Roc.

And had I not had all of this work to do, I would have joined them too, so nice was the weather.

high tide baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy franceYou’ll remember the other day just how far out the tide had gone, with all of the people collecting shellfish offshore.

But this evening the tide was right in and you can see from the harbour marker light how far in the tide comes in and how high it reaches when it’s really high.

The tidal ranger here is one of the highest in Europe apparently.

fireworks port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWhile I was out on my walk I bumped into a friendly neighbourhood policewoman.

She told me that there would be a firework display this evening at about 23:00 or thereabouts down in the docks, so round about 22:30 I went back out again.

There was a huge crowd down on the quayside but not all that many up here.

fireworks port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd so I had a grandstand view of the proceedings, sitting on my wall.

We had to wait until about 23:30 before things got under way, and then the spectacle began.

It’s not usually my kind of thing, but I have to be sociable and take part in the local proceedings. And it was actually quite good – much better than I was thinking that it might be.

fireworks port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe crowds weren’t just on land either.

Just before the event started, a few boats pulled up outside the harbour and dropped anchor so that the people on board could watch the fireworks from offshore.

Nevertheless, I still reckon that I had the best view of the proceedings from up here.

fireworks port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe whole show went on for about half an hour, and the finale was certainly impressive.

It certainly lit up the harbour and probably the bay for miles around. And once it had finished all of the crowds and the boats drifted away.

I drifted off back home to my apartment for a relax, and then I’ll go to bed. And hopefully I’ll have another good sleep.

But when will my appetite come back?

baie de mont st michel ferry ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
baie de mont st michel ferry ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france
firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france

firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france
firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france

firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france
firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france

firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france
firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france

firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france
firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france

firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france
firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france

firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france
firework display port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Friday 13th July 2018 – I THINK THAT I WAS …

shellfish hunting low tide port de granville harbour manche normandy france… right last night about the tides. When I went out for my butties, the tide was as far out as I have ever seen it.

There were quite a few people out there too, presumably having a root around in the sand for the shellfish.

Which, they would presumably share with their friends because, as I have said before … "on many occasions" – ed … you mustn’t be selfish with your shellfish.

Going to bed last night was at something of a much-more respectable hour, and I managed to sleep almost until the alarm went off, with a little hiccup at about 04:00 or something like that. I tried my best to ignore the alarm but I couldn’t go back off to sleep and it was about 07:00 when I left the bed.

We had the usual morning performance, but breakfast ended up being quite late. And I forgot my coffee too.

First task was to assemble the two small trolleys that I had bought from IKEA the other day. And now I have a vegetable trolley and a cooking utensil trolley and they are both very handy. And then I had a little tidy-up, much to my own surprise.

Lunch was quite late after all of that, and on the way back in I started to unload Caliburn. I’ve brought quite a bit of stuff up here now, but there’s still plenty to go. I reckon that tomorrow I’ll have to start to unpack things and do some washing.

Another thing that I did was to crack on with my 3D program that I have neglected of late. Especially as a few things that I wanted were in a “50% off” sale today only.

There was also a visit into town. The mixed dried fruit sold in the supermarkets that I frequent is pretty much rubbish but the Super U has some good stuff. I need it for my muesli so I went for a walk down there in the heat, and treated myself to a sorbet on the way back.

port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOn the way back up the hill I observed all of the boats outside the harbour.

The tide was on its way in by now and the smaller craft could make their way to the quayside to unload their catch. The larger boats would have to wait for the tide to come further in before they could come in and unload.

But you can see the effect that dredging out that strip by the quay in the winter has had. Smaller ships can come in earlier to unload and this increases the available capacity at the fish processing plant.

No tea tonight either. My appetite seems to have disappeared. Not quite like it did over Christmas but nevertheless. But it’s not really a worry, because I have quite a bit of weight that I could do with losing, what with this water retention issue.

But it was a pleasant walk around the headland this evening anyway.

So back here and listening to Marillion again. I have a couple of tracks – The Web and Garden Party – going round on a continual loop for some reason. I can’t shift them out of my head.

Marillion is a magnificent band but they always send me into a deep depression and I’ve no idea why. Still, I’ve plenty of time to cheer myself up, haven’t I?

Thursday 12th July 2018 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

… afternoon!

Sat down on the sofa at about 15:00 with a nice cold glass of lemonade. Next thing that I remember was that it was 18:45 and all my ice had melted.

And I’d been on my travels too. Out in Canada. In another setting that I have visited in the past too. This time I was doing a circular tour of some area, and I had some kind of deadline to meet too, so I couldn’t afford to hang about and I was relying on the dashcam for photography, thinking that I’ll take some stills of my voyage from the videos. But I arrived at an area with a huge girder bridge going over some water, with a big main road like a motorway. But for some reason the motorway came to a dead stop before the bridge and there was a ferry announced. For some reason or other it reminded me of the set-up at the Confederation Bridge from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Isle in the old days. The ferry was leaving in 10 minutes and I had 8 miles to travel (we’ve had a couple of real circumstances like this on our travels) so I didn’t even have time to check the map to see if this was the correct ferry. I just had to put my foot down and get going, and look pretty silly if it turned out to be the wrong ferry.

Yes, the exertions of the last couple of weeks have really got me down, haven’t they?

A late night last night didn’t help much, but then again that was balanced out by the fact that although the alarms went off as you might expect at 06:20 and 06:30, I just turned over and went back to sleep again. 09:00 is a much more reasonable time to be out and about.

After the usual medicine performance I had breakfast and a shower and general clean-up, and then off out. Just outside, I bumped into one of the neighbours who told me that the remote controls for the new barrier are ready, so I added that to my list of things to do.

First stop though was LIDL where I stocked up with a few things – nothing special. Next stop was the remote control, and then across the road to LeClerc, where I wasn’t quick enough with the phone camera to catch an old Renault 4CV that was driving around the car park.

Nothing exciting in LeClerc so I came home and, picking up the coolbox out of Caliburn, packed everything away and put the coolbox soaking with bleach to clean it out.

My lizard was there waiting for me on my wall when I went for a rather late lunch, and then back here, well, you know the rest of the story.

Once I’d come round, I had a think about tea – for the first time in a week or more – and made myself some pasta and vegetables tossed in garlic powder, pepper and olive oil.

While that was doing, I assembled a couple of little things that I had bought in IKEA and tidied up the first part of the European Cardboard Box Mountain.

Once I’d washed up, the rubbish went into the bin across the road and I went for a walk around the headland. I need to restart my good habits.

jersey ferry port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWhile I was walking around, I was miles away with my head in the clouds, as is my usual situation.

But my reverie was interrupted by a rather loud reversing siren coming from down one of the boats down in the harbour.

It turned out that one of the ferries, Granville that go over to Jersey was in the process of reversing out of its berth at the Gare Maritime.

victor hugo jersey ferry port de granville harbour manche normandy franceIt seemed to me that it was rather a weird time to be going out on a ferry crossing, so I watched it for a while.

However it wasn’t setting off out, but moving into the inner harbour to be tied up next to its older brother, Victor Hugo.

We must be having a very low tide tonight for them to want to move it inside. There will probably be crowds of people out on the sands tomorrow at low tide.

Back here now, exhausted and ready for bed despite all of the sleep that I had had. I dunno where this is all going but I can’t say that I’m enjoying any of it.

Saturday 30th June 2018 – WE HAD ANOTHER …

… early start today.

But this one meant business. Ulli was taking Hans off on a raft ride for his birthday and they had a long way to go. So we barely had time to exchange pleasantries before we all went our separate ways.

But I’d already been on my travels. Back on a job where I should have been retired but was still there. And instead of dealing with the post that was coming in, I was just filing it away un-dealt-with. And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve had several very similar travels to this one over the years.

For my part, I went off to the big shopping centre down the road. The big DiY place opens early so I went there to look for a German plug for the slow cooker.

A German plug will fit into e French socket but not the other way round, so to solve my cooking issues I’ll fit a German plug for mow. What I’ll do in the long term is to get a three-hole French extension and fit a German plug to that

I was in luck too. They had just the plug that I wanted, and for all of €1:89 too. So I changed the plug in the car park and now we are back in business.

There’s an IKEA just around the corner too so I went in there for breakfast.

But not breakfast in bed, like some lucky people.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day Liz and I went to the IKEA at Caen. But they didn’t have enough of some stuff and they had sold out of some others. And so I went round and stocked up with what I had missed.

And it was cheaper than in Caen too.

I had to try a couple of supermarkets before I found a baguette, and then I headed off for the motorway. And we had an element of confusion yet again as The Lady Who Lives In The Satnav failed to recognise a grade-separated route.

having stopped for half an hour to eat my butties, I arrived at June and Dave’s at about 14:30. They live at Memmingen and June has just had a very major operation, so I was looking forward to seeing her and seeing how she was.

Catherine, her daughter, lives nearby so I went to pick her up and the four of us had a vegan pasta and a really good chat for hours.

June’s son had been a sound engineer for several rock bands, including Hawkwind and had played bass in several bands. All of his equipment was at June’s house and she had never heard his bass, a Fender Jaguar, played. And so I duly obliged.

Later that evening I took Catherine home and came back to June’s where I bedded down for the night in their guest room.

And the bed here is beautifully comfortable. I’m looking forward to this.

Tuesday 26th June 2018 – I DON’T KNOW …

… what happened today, but at about 16:30 this afternoon despite having been on the road for about 5 hours, I’d covered just 190 kilometres.

I’d started bright and early too, being up long before the alarm went off, thanks to whoever it was who decided to make a loud noise at 05:00.

When Jacqueline awoke, she baked some bread which was delicious and we had breakfast – home-made bread with home-made cherry jam. And chatted for a while too, but at 10:30 I hit the road. There’s a lot to do.

chateau de chasselas macon franceFirst stop was the Chateau de Chasselas, well-known to all Monty Python fans of course.

Last time that I was here I’d bought a dozen bottles of wine to give as gifts. There are still plenty left but as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I can’t get at them. So I need some more.

And it was quite a hike to get there too as they were resurfacing the driveway and we had to go the long way round.

But this was just one more unnecessary expense. This “relying on friends to return favours” is costing me an arm and a leg. Far cheaper to pay for everything professionally than to go through what I’m going through right now.

milamant café chasselas franceThat building there on the corner used to be the village café of Chasselas.

Jean-Marc’s grandmother was the owner of the place back in 1970 and this is where I stayed for part of the time that I was here back then.

Of course, it didn’t look like that then. It had much more charm back in those days.

I headed into Macon because I had noticed diesel at €1:39 a litre last night, and Caliburn could do with a drink. And from there I headed off through the centre of the town and across the Saone.

And I don’t recognise a thing about Macon these days. I’d be totally lost wandering around there today, it’s changed that much.

The road out was uneventful, but quite slow behind all of these grockles in their mobile homes. And also due to the multitude of roadworks and diversions that interrupted everything. Not to mention The Lady Who Lives In The SatNav who took me on the scenic route through Bourg-en-Bresse.

But at Lons-le-Saunier it all went horribly wrong. Too busy trying to beat a long line of lorries across a roundabout I must have missed my turning and ended up on a road that I’ve never travelled before.

It took me deep into the Jura Mountains and right over the top of a series of mountain passes, at one of which I stopped to make lunch.

lake geneva noyon switzerland june juin 2018We crossed into Switzerland at a frontier post that I never knew existed and round another mountain pass that presented me with this beautiful view of Lake Geneva and what I was expecting to be Lausanne.

And I would certainly have known if I had seen this view before because this really was so stunning. I joined another pile of grockles busily photographing the scene.

But it wasn’t Lausanne at all as I found out as I dropped down to the lake, but Noyon, home of UEFA.

And I couldn’t remember exactly where Noyon was, so I guessed, guessed wrong, and ended up going about half an hour in the wrong direction before I realised.

lake geneva lausanne switzerland june juin 2018So back into Noyon and back out the other side, in plenty of time to hit the 17:00 rush-hour queue at Lausanne, where I could leisurely take photos out of Caliburn’s window while we waited in traffic jams.

I’d been feeling quite ill for the last couple of hours and had been wishing that I could stop. But once I got beyond Lausanne I found my second wind.

Here I could put my foot down and I began to eat up the miles. And it was amazing just how quickly and how far we managed to move.

gasthof sternen koppigen switzerland june juin 2018But another major road-works and diversion meant that there was no time to reach my favourite motel opposite IKEA on the outskirts of Zurich so I pulled up at a guesthouse in a small town off the beaten track.

Switzerland is frightfully expensive so having negotiated a price of €60 cash (I didn’t have any Swiss money – that’s something else stuck back in Virlet) I wasn’t expecting much.

And it’s just as well, because I didn’t get it. This place would have been fine 50 years ago, but they might have changed the carpets and the electrical wiring.

For tea tonight I have a tin of potatoes, a tin of mixed veg, a tin of lentils, some gravy browning and a slow cooker. and furthermore I managed to make it plug in (I forgot about Swiss plugs, didn’t I?) And it was all very delicious too.

I ended the night with a shower, and now I’m having another early night.

It’s been another long day.