… day I’ve had today.
While you admire a couple of photos of Thora leaving port under cover of darkness, let me tell you all about it.
And it all went wrong rght at the start when I missed the third alarm. And missed it by a good 35 minutes too which is extremely disappointed. It wasn’t as if I had had a late night last night either. I was actually in bed at about 23:30 which is early for me these days.
And so there I was, late again. I hauled myself off (eventually) into the kitchen for my medication and morning kefir. Kiwi kefir, which was my favourite until I discovered that clementines work well in it too (note to self – “buy more clementines”.
And then back to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been.
We were out somewhere driving last night and we got to Liège on the motorway – we’d been driving on the left as in the UK down a steep bank and everyone was going past me but I thought that when we reach the hill back up on the other side I’ll catch up with them because I had the cruise control set which will carry me on as they slow down – but we had to come off at Liège for some reason at the exit, down the slip road and turn left because the central reservation was closed off and it took us up to the Liège by-pass and we expected to be able to double back and return to the motorway again there. But apparently not. There were riot police and barbed wire all over the place. It turned out that there was a football match taking place in Liège that night between Standard Liège and some European opponent. I thought “this is some extreme to go to because of this football match” we had to inch our way along the ring road until we could arrive at the next junction. Someone else in the queue at the traffic lights to whom I was chatting counted that there were 7 sets of traffic lights between where we were and that next junction. While we were inching our way along, someone in a red Cortina S registered estate drove out of a side alley. Admittedly he was going slowly and it was impossible to see but it took me completely by surprise and nearly hit it. Then I ended up back at the EU and they were proposing a judo class so I went along to the opening lesson. There was a guy there interviewing all of the people there who wanted to join, asking about their experience. Of course with being the last to arrive they kept me until last. Then they came over to me, asked my name and what I did. I replied “as little as possible, like everyone else”. He gave me one of these tired, worn-out looks and went over to the computer screen to look up my details. I thought “if he wanted my details he should have asked for that instead of asking a silly question”. He started to scroll through but couldn’t see my name. I asked “why don’t you type me name on the screen and it will scroll right through to my name”. He replied “it won’t do that”. I said that it had been doing that for 20 years that I know of. He replied that there had been problems with the computer and it doesn’t do that. I had a look at the screen. It was all burnt and mangled, and looked a bit like a relief map of a railway line and a railway station. I was surprised that it was working at all looking like a mess like this
Having transcribed that, which took longer than it might have done, I had half an hour or so on the arrears of work from the summer before going for a shower and getting ready to go out to the shops.
It looks very much as if we have a full house today down in the port right now.
Thora is still here after her adventures last night, and it’s been pretty common knowledge that Normandy Trader is really busy, so it’s no surprise to see her in port this morning.
She set out at about 03:00 so I’m told, so she’s come in on the morning tide and so Thora has had to move off into the gravel-loading bay in order to allow Normandy Trader to moor underneath the crane in order to be unloaded
I struggled up to LIDL though – not quite as bad as the last tie I went, but near enough. And I didn’t buy much today because I didn’t really need anything special. They had those nice multi-coloured AAA batteries on offer so I bought 2 packs to use for the high-quality equipment. And the clementines of course.
The way home usually brings me down the Ru St Paul and for the past however many months there’s been a Citroen Saxo parked here. One of its windows is broken and it looks pretty much abandoned to me.
And it seems that the local council has noticed too, because since the last time that I was down here they have tagged the tyres and the road where she’s parked. The intention would seem to be to come back in after a reasonable period of time to check whether or not she has moved at all.
And if not, she’ll be taken away for disposal, I imagine.
But this tagging is interesting. In the old days the officials would note in their notebooks the position of the tyre valves in order to determine if a vehicle had or hadn’t moved. I suppose that there’s only me these days who still goes around with a notebook
Back here after a slow, weary crawl up the hill (noticing that Normandy Trader has already cleared off and that was a rapid turn-round, wasn’t it) I made myself a hot chocolate and cut myself a slice of fruit bread. And this is when I started to have problems because after about half an hour or so, no matter how many things I had to do, I crashed out completely.
And I DO mean “completely” too. It was 14:09 when I next glanced at the time – about 2.5 hours after I’d sat down. And it took me another half-hour to summon up the strength to leave the chair in search of food. You’ve no idea just how depressing that was today on top of the really bad start to the day.
But at least after lunch I managed to fit Caliburn’s new battery and he starts perfectly now too. He’s in need of a good run-out though so we might go for a little trip out on Saturday if I’m feeling up to it.
Despite how I was feeling, I wasn’t going to go and miss my afternoon walk.
And neither did anyone else by the looks of things, that’s all I can say because it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the paths as crowded as they were today. Even down on the beach there were hordes of people moving around in the beautiful sunshine enjoying what may well be the last of the good weather.
And at the top of the photo towards the right you’ll notice a bright yellow buoy of some description. I’d be surprised if it were a lobster pot, so close into the shore at low tide, but who knows what it might be?
Threading my way through the throngs, I walked on along the footpath. Nothing else happening here so I walked across the lawn and the car park to the headland.
Nothing doing there either so I walked along the path at the top of the cliffs to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale.
And it seems that we have a new tenant in there today. But it’s nothing to get excited about unfortunately. It’s only a very small cabin cruiser-type of boat and I don’t imagine that it’s going to be in there for very long, or that it will need all that much attention either.
We could do with a return to the heady days of late summer when we had as many as 9 of the largest types of boat in there receiving attention and there wasn’t room in there to swing a cat.
But down in the harbour, Thora is still there. She ended up not going out on the tail of the morning tide.
But interestingly, we saw in this morning’s photo that there was an articulated lorry pulling a trailer on which were two old shabby sea containers. The lorry and trailer have gone, but the sea containers are now on the quayside right by Thora. I wonder if she’s going to be taking them with her when she goes.
As for me, I must be going too. A nice hot coffee awaits me and I can’t say that I don’t need it. I need something to bring me to my senses, such as they are.
Back here, I did week 2 of my Welsh homework and then carried on with the arrears of work, making very little progress unfortunately. I just can’t seem to fire up the energy.
There was the hour on the guitars of course, which was quite enjoyable, except that I forgot my bass line to “Street Fighting Man” and that was disappointing. too. It’s not a very good day
In accordance with new procedures, it was time for me to go for my evening run about.
You might have seen in the previous photos for earlier today that the tidal port was quite empty. There was hardly a fishing boat to be seen. And in case you are wondering where they all went, they are here.
In this photo I counted 12 fishing boats on their way back home now that the tide is a-cumen in. And there were probably just as many that didn’t make it into the frame as well.
What’s happening, I reckon, is that they are all out there catching what they can before the curtain comes down on fishing in the Bay on 31st December.
And while we’re on this subject, I heard the report of the meeting that took place the other day between the local fishermen. Basically, they have agreed that if they are restricted from the fishing grounds that were agreed under the Treaty of the Bay of Granville in 1836, then no British fishing boat will be allowed to land its catch in France.
This will complicate matters for our two coastal freighters, particularly Normandy Trader which is chartered by the Co-operative of Jersey Fishermen to bring their catch into Granville.
But I’m just surprised that they didn’t propose to cut the underwater cable that provides the Channel Islands with electricity. All of their electricity comes from here, and my way of thinking is that if they want to cut themselves off from Europe and from their obligations, then they can do, but that’s the kind of thing that works both ways.
From the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord I ran off down the road until my next rest point. And I’m slowly pushing it a little further up the steep hill that’s there.
Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that very occasionally we have seen some very bright lights at the back of Donville les Bains, and we’ve been wondering what they might be. They were there again tonight so I took a photo o that I might have a closer look when I returned home, but nothing evident showed itself
The football ground is in that general direction, but when I was there, I don’t recall it having floodlights
The next two legs of my run have changed a little. In view of the floods on the footpath I now go along the road and down the steps half-way along near the Place de l’Isthme
There wasn’t anything going on around here so I wandered over to the side. The Christmas lights in the Rue Paul Poirier were looking really good tonight. Both of the big green crosses for the chemists in the street were flashing away but as my first photo of it didn’t work too well I deleted it and went to take another.
And just as I clicked the shutter, not one but BOTH of the lights were switched off. 19:30 bang on the button. Closing time, I reckon.
From there I ran off across the Square Maurice Marland, straight intothe teeth of a roaring gale. I don’t know what had happened but the wind has suddenly picked up.
But as I walked up the ramp at the far end, this was far too good an opportunity to miss. the winds had blown away all of the clouds and this beautiful little sliver of a crescent moon appeared through the trees. It’s not really worked out unfortunately but never mind.
And if you look tothe left of the photograph, you’ll see the ramp that leads up to the viewpoint here that overlooks the port.
So I walked up the ramp to the viewpoint to see what was going on there in the port.
And I was treated to another beautiful display of nautical danse macabres as a little freighter steamed … “dieseled” – ed … into port with all of its lights ablaze. At first I thought that it was Normandy Trader either forgotten something or else she’s dome a most amazingly rapid turnround back in St Helier.
But not even Normandy Trader can turn round that quickly. It is in fact Chausiais who now wants a go at the loading crane, but she’s not going to be having that for a while.
And the reason for this is that, surprisingly, Thora is still in port next to Marité. She seems to be taking her time getting in and out these days.
So I watched the procedure for a few minutes and then headed home.
As you saw at the beginning, just after I moved away Marité slipped her moorings and headed off out into the open sea on her way home again and Chausiais slid into the vacant berth.
having put my tea in the oven before I set out, I came back home to hot pie and baled potatoes with veg and gravy followed by rice pudding. Fresh sprouts were on the menu today, and with some steamed frozen broccoli it was all totally delicious.
Now that I’ve written up my notes, I’m off to bed. later than I intended, but that’s how things are these days.
There’s plenty of work to do tomorrow, a few ‘phone calls to make and that sort of thing, and then of course the arrears to attend to. So here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow than I did today. It was all quite depressing what with one thig and another.
But I am noticing little deteriorations in my health here and there. People with this illness have already died during the length of time that I have had it, and while I’m being very careful about what I do, who I meet and what I eat, and about keeping fit, I can’t go on for ever.
We’ll see what the future brings to me.