Tag Archives: jamie insall

Saturday 25th September 2021 – THIS SHELLFISH FESTIVAL …

marquees fete des coquilles st jacques port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021 … isn’t half bringing in the crowds. And it’s absolute chaosas well by the looks of things.

Several more marquees and stalls have been set up since we last looked and they are packed to the gunwhales with people who have apparently come from all parts of France in order to indulge in an orgy of shellfish.

Including the boat Anakena, the one that was stranded in port at the height of the pandemic. You can see her, the dark blue one moored in the background. She’s been working her way around the Brittany coast, having set sail from Lorient at the end of August.

marquee marité rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And the chicane in the Rue du Port was total chaos this morning as well.

Motorists not knowing where to go and what to do, stopping, and even parking, in the most inconvenient places, and then there were the hordes of pedestrians milling about in the way of all of the traffic.

The way out to the hypermarket was chaos enough at 09:15. I shuddered to think of what it would be like by the time that I come back, so I went the long way round to reach home. And I bet that despite being the long way round, it took me much less time.

bad parking leclerc hypermarket Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While we’re on the subject of bad parking … “well, one of us is” – ed … there was enough bad parking today to fill a photo album, so I’ve selected this example for you.

It’s a delivery van delivering products to one of the boutiques in the Hypermarket. Dozens of empty spaces at this time of morning, including this disabled space right by the front door, but reversing in there is far too complicated for this guy.

What he’s chosen to do is to abandon his van in one of the car park paths, blocking in several cars while he was at it, including one with a driver who was trying to leave. But as long as he’s okay, what does he care about anyone else?

Anyway, let’s return to our moutons as they say around here.

Once more, the blasted phone people sent me a text message that awoke me during the night and I had trouble going back to sleep again. Nevertheless I must have done because the alarm awoke me at 07:30

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too so I copied the audio files onto the computer, and as I type out these notes, I realise that Bane of Britain has forgotten to transcribe them.

Off I went to the shops once I’d awoken. at Noz I didn’t spent much but at LeClerc it was another large bill, due to my buying more coffee and a pile of syrups seeing as I’m running out. I’ve given up making my own drinks for now. I’m not feeling up to tasks like that at the moment.

Another thing that I bought was some of those soya desserts in small pots. I need to vary my diet rather more than I’m doing at the moment.

Back here, having taken the long way round, it was astruggle up the stairs with my heavy shopping. But the fact that I managed it, albeit rather precariously, tells me that the physiotherapy is working somewhat.

Having put down the shopping I made myself a coffee and cut a slice of my fruit bread, and then came in here to relax for a while. I was exhausted after my efforts at the shops.

After lunch, there was football. Trefelin against Connah’s Quay Nomads in the Welsh Cup.

The gul in class was pretty evident right from the kick-off and at one point well into the second hald, the stats showed 28% Trefelin possession and 72% Connah’s Quay possession.

Nevertheless, the score at half-time was just 1-0 to the Nomads thanks to a brilliand Jamie Insall goal. The Trefelin goal was having a charmed life with shots whistling narrowly over the bar or around the post, and when they were on target, they found the Trefelin keeper in exceptional form.

Nomads scored a second goal shortly after the interval as a result of a goalmouth scramble, a goal that should quite properly have been disallowed due to a foul on the keeper, but with the Nomads having been denied a stonewall penalty in the 1st half that everyone except the referee thought should have been given, I suppose it evened things up.

The introduction of Jamie Mullan injected some more spark into the Nomads. He had a point to prove, and set about proving it.

2 late goals for the Nomads sealed what was in the end a comfortable victory, but in all honesty they should have been down the road and out of sight a long time before the interval.

old car peugeot 203 wedding civic offices Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was getting ready to go out for my afternoon walk there was quite a racket going on outside.

My apartment looks out onto the Civic Offices where the marriages take place, and it looks as if this afternoon, judging by all of the people around there, this today must have been the marriage of the Century.

But my attention was drawn to the car down there. It’s been a long time since we’ve featured an old car on these pages, and today there’s a Peugeot 203 down there – the white and red car.

These are gorgeous machines and I would have one in a heartbeat, especially a plateau, or pickup. I found one once ON THE ILE D’YEU when Cecile and I went to visit her mother, but I had to decline.

ship relaying bouchot stakes donville les bains baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As usual I went across the car park to have a look down onto the beach, but my attention was immediately drawn to this.

Whatever is going on down there, I have no idea but there’s a small ship fitted with a crane of some description, and I’m sure that that row of bouchot stakes wasn’t there yesterday.

It looks as if the bouchot farmers are having an extension, and there are quite a few people on the beach down by the campsite having a good look

And had I been feeling much better, I would have been down there having a good look with them.

people on beach rue du nord plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021But enough of that. Let’s go back to the beach.

Today was cloudy and overcast so I didn’t expect to see too many people down there, especially with all of the other attractions going on elsewhere.

And I was right in that respect, at least by the steps that lead up to the Rue du Nord, because there was only a handful of people there.

Farther along by the Plat Gousset there were a few more people, but that’s always the case. Access to the beach is much easier along there

f-gorn Robin DR400/120 Dauphin 2+2 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there at the end of the car park, I noticed a light aeroplane taking off from the airfield.

She’s F-GORN, the Robin DR400/120 Dauphin 2+2 that belongs to the Aero Club de Granville, on her way out to sea

However I can’t tell you any more than that because she didn’t seem to file a flight plan, and she wasn’t picked up on radar. She’d been out for a couple of flights earlier in the day, flights that had been either recorded or picked up on radar, but for some reason or other, this one hasn’t.

trailer load of everything place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From the wall at the end of the car park I set off for my walk, but as I crossed back across the car park I encountered this.

Everyone will know what some of these items are, and I’m surprised to see them on open display like this. But different countries have different attitudes of course.

But whatever the significance of it all is, it beats me. I was thinking that maybe it’s something to do with the wedding that’s going on at the Civic Offices. But it’s certainly strange behaviour and I’ll simply leave it at that.

zodiac men fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From my usual vantage point at the highest point of the walk, I had another look out to sea.

There was a zodiac out there, stationary, with a couple of guys in there. “Fishermen” I mused to myself.

But as I watched and prepared to take a photo, another zodiac came around the headland into the bay travelling at some speed so I waited until they were both in the viewfinder before I pressed the shutter.

At least the moving zodiac gave the stationary one a wide berth. Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen many photos that showed speeding boats passing fishermen far too close for comfort

cabanon vauban person sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Across the car park I went, down to the end of the headland.

There was someone this afternoon sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban having a good look out to sea. And I’m not sure why because with the mist and haze that was about this afternoon, you couldn’t see very far out across the bay this afternoon.

There weren’t any fishermen down on the rocks this afternoon, nor anyone at the peche à pied. They are all probaby at the shellfish festival having a whale of a time.

So leaving our visitor to it, I set off on the path down the far side of the headland.

cherie d'amour port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, I could see that there was no change in the chantier naval this afternoon. L’Omerta was still in there all on her own.

As for the boats that have been in there just recently, sitting in the silt in the tidal harbour is the yellow Cherie d’Amour. She was in the chantier naval for a short period of time a couple of days ago.

Over at the ferry terminal, Belle France was tied up, but you’ve seen plenty of photos of her just recently. The other two Joly France boats are very probably out at sea somewhere around the Ile de Chausey waiting for the tide to come back in.

marquee chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As for where Chausiaise might be, she’s over there underneath the crane in the loading bay, preulably waiting to load up for her next trip out to the island.

While I was busy looking at the mayhem down at the fish processing plant as everyone swarms around the stalls and marquees, I noticed her over there so I fitted her into this photo of the rest of the activity.

The pile of freight to the right of the crane seems to have increased since we saw it yesterday, and it’s a good job that neither of the two Jersey freighters are coming into port today. It would otherwise have been extremely exciting to watch them try to unload with all of those cars blocking the loading bay.

buffet fete des coquilles st jacques port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I mentioned yesterday, no fête anywhere in France is complete unless there’s a buvette.

THis one of course is no different than anywhere else in that respect. You can see what looks like a bar and row upon row of tables and benches where everyone can sit down and enjoy a quiet drink.

The doors into the Fish Processing Plant are open, and I understand that that is where the dressing of the shellfish is taking place.

There was apparently even a space for small children to try to dress a shellfish, although what you would do with the sleeves of your garment is something that would confuse me.

la granvillaise coelacanthe suzanga port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021No prozes for guessing who this is.

The angle of the sails and the number “G90” painted thereupon will tell you that this is of course La Granvillaise. Never one to miss out on a commercial opportunity, she’s giving tourists a lap around the harbour, presumably for a couple of bob a head.

You might have noticed Marité in an earlier photo. She’s down there too, although not sailing around right now. Also down there at the back on the left is the trawler Coelacanthe and in the foreground is the new pink Suzanga.

yellow autogyro place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Finally, and last but not least, on my way back to my apartment I was overflown by the yellow autogyro.

She came around the corner from behind my building at an altitude of several hundred feet just as I was crossing the road.

Back here, I made myself a coffee and then watched a couple of videos with highlights of a couple of other games from the Welsh Cup. I suppose that I should have been transcribing my dictaphone notes but I rather unfortunately forgot.

Tea tonight was the remainder of the curry from yesterday, lengthened with a small tin of lentils, and it was just as delicious. I had one of those soya dessert pots for afterwards to sweeten my palette.

Eventually, I did manage to deal with the dictaphone notes from today. I’d bumped into the captain of one of the little Jersey freighter in Granville and tried to interest him in taking part in our radio programme. But he didn’t have very much for himself to say and he asked about payment. I explained that there was no budget, that we were volunteers. He insisted that there must be some money somewhere. We went round in circles and in the end I thought that I had managed to persuade him that there was nothing. he didn’t speak French but one of his crew did so we arranged that next Sunday we would all meet in one of the bars here and he could let me know exactly what he thought and what he was able to tell me with the aid of his colleague

later, we were at a vehicle exhibition, wandering around looking at all the old lorries that were there, in the USA judging by the plates. A former friend of mine had one, an old Ford-type of lorry but there was no engine in it. We were wandering around and they lifted a flatbed back off a lorry and found that there was another flatbed underneath it, a FEMSA dated 1972. They wondered what this was doing because this was quite rare. They made a few enquiries but the owners knew nothing about it. They rang up FEMSA and quoted the body number. They replied that they sold it to that company in 1972 so this was a big mystery as what they’d bought it for and on what hat they were going to use it. There was an autojumble there as well. I was with some woman looking at all the bits and pieces. She was asking one particular guy loads of questions about stuff. All his stuff was American electrical stuff that was no good for the UK. Eventually we came back and there was a guy actually dismantling a lorry and rebuilding it while the show was going on. He was waiting for some bits but he was quite confident that he would rebuild it and have it on the road. He was planning on a drive from Northern France to South Africa in his lorry so I was interested in going along as a co-driver but he had a team. I still tried to see and ask my way around to see whether or not there might have been a place for me because it was something extremely interesting. But there were all kinds of strange people there, 3 babies, 2 of them very badly sunburnt. There was a woman dressed as a bride who was carrying a baby on her back. I thought “she’s left it rather late to be married, hasn’t she?”

So rather later than I was hoping, I’m off to bed. I’ll leave the phone in the living room where if someone messages me tonight, I wont hear it. It’s Sunday, and a lie-in tomorrow and I’m hoping to make the most of it.

But something will go wrong of course – it usually does.

Thursday 29th July 2021 WHILE I WAS …

repairing city walls rue du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… out for a walk with Liz at lunchtime on our way back from a coffee we came via the rue du nord, one of the reasons for which being that I wanted to see how they are progressing with the repair work to the medieval city walls.

Much to my surprise, they have already made a decent start to the work and I’m sure that regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen A SIMILAR STYLE OF WORK in the past when they were repairing the walls in the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

When they did that work they did what looks like a decent job so I hope that they’ll bet on and do the same here.

And then hopefully they can get on and do the rest of the walls that are falling down around our ears. If medival builders can build something that will last for 600 years there’s no reason why modern builders shouldn’t be able to do so.

But anyway, be that as it may, I was awake at about 06:00 this morning as usual so I had my medication and came back in here listen to the dictaphone. We were all at home but home was dirty, disgusting and untidy and a complete mess. For some reason, at a court my mother’s family life as a young person was being discussed. Then some time later or was it earlier, I dunno, we ended up with anoher girl staying with us and we were trying to think of a place to go. But then this girl started talking about going to somewhere on the North Wales coast where she had been. She asked if we had ever been there and we replied “ohh no, we had far too much class. We went to Rhyl” which provoked howls of laughter but this gave us an idea and we booked a trip to Rhyl. When we arrived on the coach we all piled off and this girl “ohh yes I know all of this, I know all of that” so we were having a laugh and a joke and teasing her. Our mother was telling us to be quiet, we mustn’t be so rude. Then something happened to my mother and she ended up talking about other people behind their backs and we were sitting there saying “mother, don’t be so rude” which of course didn’t go down very well. We crossed the road over to the river.

At that point I’d switched off the dictaphone, which makes a change from the way that things have been just recently.

When I’d finished transcribing the notes I finished off the tidying up of the apartment as far as I could and it actually looks quite tidy, which is just as well, because Liz turned up.

We started off making the first dough for my fruit bread and she gave me several valuable hints for the first kneading, and then we put it into a basin to proof while we had a nice cold drink.

After the drink I mixed the fruit for the filling but Liz thinks that I’m putting too much fruit and nuts in it – and she would leave out the banana too. As for the banana chips she thinks that I should be breaking them up.

Liz showed me her method of adding the fruit and nuts, which might have worked had I not been using so many.

That was the cue to go for a coffee so we walked down to La Rafale, bumping into one of our neighbours on the way. And also meeting another one at the bar.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back we came via the Rue du Nord and I’m pleased to report that the absence of boats out to sea over the last couple of days must have been an aberration because they were all there today.

As many yachts as you might care to see this afternoon and I suspect that it might have something to do with the state of the tide. The tide is well in, the outer port is under water and the gates to the harbour and the port de plaisance are open.

It will be a completely different situation, I suspect, when the tide is ebbing and the gates are about to close. Then all of the marine craft will scuttle off home to safety.

Incidentally, there’s a dark blue flag right out there in the distance. I wonder if that’s Black Mamba gone off for a run around in the bay.

swimmer baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt wasn’t just water craft that were out there this lunchtime.

There was a swimmer down there doing the Australian crawl along the coastline just offshore. In a wetsuit too, and I can’t say that I blame him either because although it was sunny, it wasn’t actually all that pleasant.

Now comes the story of a disaster. Liz hadn’t asked me how I baked my bread and I hadn’t thought to tell her, so when I produced the bread mould back home she was taken by surprise.

The bread fell apart as we tried to move it gently into the mould so that didn’t work too well. Anyway we put it in the oven to bake while we had lunch.

After lunch, our next trick was to make a pineapple upside-down cake. I don’t know why but I’ve been hankering after one of these for a while and Liz had a recipe. Well, of an apple upside-down cake but the theory is still the same so we had a go at that.

That went into the oven and while it was baking, Liz still had some time to spare. A while back she had sent me a recipe for cranberry and pecan cookies and as I actually had some cranberries (but cashew nuts instead) we made a pile of those too. They went into the oven as soon as the upside-down cake was baked, and we went for a walk outside.

50sa aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe hadn’t gone more than five yards out of the building before two things happened.

Firstly, we were overflown by a light aeroplane. Well, not exactly overflown – it was in fact right out at sea and it was difficult to pick it up with the camera.

Some judicious editing when I was back home later showed it to be 50SA – another light aircraft that does not figure in any register that I have been unable to find, even though we’ve seen it before. It’s painted out in the style of a World-War II US Army Air Force fighter although its fixed tricycle undercarriage tells me that it is anything but.

The second thing that happened was that we were swept away in the turmoil of a furniture removal. Someone else is moving out of the building. There won’t be anyone else left except me at this rate, and I won’t be here for all that long at the rate that bits are dropping off me.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo walk outside the building these days is complete, or even begins, without a walk across to the end of the car park to look down onto the beach to see the activity down there.

By now the tide has gone well out and there’s plenty of room for people to be moving around this afternoon. Not that there were too many people though because while the weather had improved, it hadn’t improved that much.

nd while I was admiring the people in the water, Liz’s eye had picked out a father rubbing his young children with sun tan oil so that they could all run into the sea and wash it off.

Yes, I used to be a child too, believe it or not.

marité english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been watching the beach with one eye, the other one had as usual been roving out to sea.

Out there was a silhouette on the horizon that looked quite familiar to me so we headed for the nearest high ground where I could have a better view.

Once safely installed I took a photo and later on after Liz had left, I had a look at it, cropped it, enhanced it and blew it up (the photo, not the object)

No prizes of course for guessing what it might be, because we are all familiar with this silhouette right now.

Anything that’s big, with three masts and loads of sail can only be the Marité, our sole remaining Newfoundlander fishing boat, gone out on the morning tide for a lap around the coast and will probably return home this later on the evening tide.

people in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLiz had also spotted this and wanted to know what it was. I explained that it was probably asylum-seekers who had gone to the UK, decided that they didn’t like it and came back.

Seriously though, I thought that it might have been fishermen at first, which it may well be, but of what description?

And I wonder if they had anything to do with the strange square object bottom left? It doesn’t look like a mooring buoy marker or a lobster pot marker, so I wonder if it’s a diver in a face mask?

Mind you, what would be be diving for that he couldn’t find quicker and easier in an hour or so when the tide has gome out and the sea bed is uncovered?

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw the swimming pool on the quayside and I intimated that this would mean that Normandy Trader would be on her way into port quite soon.

And look who’s in port this afternoon then? I wasn’t wrong. And I was very lucky to see her because usually she comes in as soon as the harbour gates open and she does a quick turn-round and disappears back to Jersey with her load before they close again.

And so I’ve no idea why she’s loitering in port this afternoon. I suppose that these swimming pools have to be stowed very carefully because they are quite fragile, especially when they have a rolling sea to contend with.

Tons of other stuff on the quayside too and they’ll be lucky to fit all of that in. They can’t exactly drop it inside the swimming pool.

fishing boat in naabsa position port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut in the meantime, while you are admiring Normandy Trader, there’s another item worthy of note.

Here moored up at the quayside by the fish processing plant is another one of the local fishing boats, left to go aground as the tide goes out.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve discussed this phenomenon on many … “many, many” – ed … occasions in the past so I shan’t dwell on it again. Instead, Liz and I will go home and see how the biscuits are doing.

And cooked to perfection they were too, so we had another cold drink to celebrate, and rightly so because when you are out of the wind it’s really quite warm in the sun.

After another chat, Liz decided to head off for home and make tea for Terry who had been out working.

That was a shame because I had a few things that I wanted to discuss, but they were things of the moment and it’s doubtful that the moment will ever present itself in the same way again.

home made fruit bread oat and cranberry cookies pineapple upside down cake Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving seen Liz safely off on her way, I had a look at all of our cooking efforts for today.

As I mentioned earlier, the fruit load was not as it was supposed to be. The consistency and texture were perfect – the best that I’ve ever tasted and that was certainly a success. But picking it up and putting it into the bread mould halfway through its second proofing was not a success as you can see.

We’d already sampled the cookies and I do have to say that they were pretty good too. That was certainly a success and instead of cranberries and pecans, almost any kind of dried fruit and nut will do.

It’s like most things, when you are baking, you have your basic recipe and you adjust it as you go along, depending on what you have to hand.

When I worked in that Italian restaurant in Wandsworth, the woman who owned it told me that whenever she interviewed a new chef she would always have him make a tomato sauce. If that were good, then everything else would be.

Incidentally, my tomato sauce passed muster, but then Nerina was full of fiery Italian blood so what do you expect? I had a good teacher.

Back in my little office I sat down on my comfy chair and found that I couldn’t move. Not actually stuck in it, but I lacked the energy to pull myself out of it. I started to do some work but I couldn’t concentrate on it and that was the most difficult part.

Eventually a football match came on the internet. Connah’s Quay Nomads were playing FC Pristina in the European Championships. Having lost 4-1 in Kosovo last week they were up against it but it all started so well for them and within 3 minutes they had pulled a goal back.

They were pushing forward and forward incessantly and could have had several more but in the space of five minutes were hit for two soft, sucker goals, the kind that would kill off any team.

Nevertheless, Andy Morrison isn’t one to throw in the towel. He pulled off a defender at half time and sent on an attacker and then it was a relentless stream down the field towards the Pristina goal.

To everyone’s surprise, they managed to score three goals as they created all kinds of panic in the Kosovar defence, and had Mike Wilde not been offside in the 70th minute or had Jamie Insall had a clearer connection on the ball in stoppage time, who knows where they would be now?

But this is the problem with so many Welsh clubs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. They are up against teams that are much more street-wise and astute than they are, with several internationals from all over the developing world in their teams, and while domestic Welsh teams can turn on a performance like this, little lapses of concentration and stupid, silly mistakes are ruthlessly punished and rob them of just about everything.

Meanwhile, in the other match that wasn’t broadcast, events went on to prove just how wrong I can be. Having stuffed no fewer than 5 goals past FK Kauno Zalgiris of Lithuania last week, TNS went out and did exactly the same again tonight, to record the biggest ever aggregate win by a Welsh domestic side in any European competition anywhere. Teams with a long history in European competition, like Dinamo Tbilsi, Austria Wien and AA Gent were knocked out of the tournament last night.

It was 01:00 when I finally found the energy to go off to bed. And with getting up at 06:00 and going to the doctor’s tomorrow, I’m not looking forward to that at all.

Saturday 8th May 2021 – REGULAR READERS …

… of this rubbish will recall some rather spectacular lie-ins just recently when there has been no alarm call in the morning and with not going to bed until about 02:30 this morning one could be forgiven for believing that we would have another one today.

However I think that a new record has been set today because I seem to have taken it to some rather extreme lengths. I don’t know what else you would call 13:55 for an awakening. All I can say is that I must have been really tired. It’s a good job that it was a Bank Holiday.

There’s no alarm tomorrow either because it’s a Sunday. I hate to think of what time it will be when I awaken.

Of course, with it being such a late start I’ve done absolutely nothing today. By the time that I’d had my medication and let it work, it was time for my afternoon walk.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs usual I wandered off to the end of the car park to look over the wall down onto the beach but instead today I was distracted by events out at sea.

Just offshore cruising along quite comfortably and slowly was Joly France. The holiday season must be well under way by now and with it being a Bank Holiday there are crowds of people about. The ferry company is thus making the most of it all by taking some of them for a lap around the bay to see the sights, whatever sights there might be.

We can tell from this angle that it’s the newer one of the two Joly France boats. The give-away is the shape of the window. On this one the windows are rectangular and deep whereas on the other one the windows are more square.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving observed the activity out at sea, I turned my attention to the beach down below.

There are crowds of people down there this afternoon as you can see, even if, with the tide, there isn’t too much beach to be on. And I’m not surprised today because it was quite possibly the warmest day of the year so far. There was something of a wind as well but for a change it was a warm wind, rather like the Föhn Wind that you experience sometimes in the northern rain shadow of the Alps.

There’s something else that you can see in this photo that’s interesting, and that’s at the bottom-right of the photo. It’s a stone outlet pipe that drains the water from the car park and cascades it down onto the beach below. It’s pushed so far out so that the water from the drain will fall down clear of the stonework and wash the mortar out of the joints.

joly france yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was something moving that caught my eye out there in the English Channel between the Ile de Chausey and the mainland.

It was quite a long way out so there was plenty of time for me to walk to the little butte at the back of the lighthouse where there’s the best view of the Channel. Dodging the crowds on the path, because everyone in Normandy seemed to be out there today, I wandered off along to there to take a photo.

Bach here I could blow up the photograph, despite modern anti-terrorist legislation, and I could see that it’s the other Joly France boat on its way back from the Ile de Chausey. They have been quite busy today what with this and that.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlthough the wind wasn’t all that strong today there was still quite a heavy rolling sea. I could see the waves breaking with some force onto the sea wall so I was keen to make my way round there to see what was going on.

First though I went across the car park down to the end of the headland to see what there was going on out there. And apart from the crowds of people around here and the people down on the lower path there wasn’t very much happening at all.

There was no-one fishing with rod and line off the rocks and there weren’t any fishing boats exploiting the resources of the bay today either so I wandered off along the path on the top of the cliff towards the harbour to see what was happening there.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHalfway along the path there’s a good viewpoint where you can see the waves breaking on the harbour walls.

The force of the sea isn’t as powerful as we have seen sometimes but nevertheless it was impressive watching these large, heavy waves come rolling in from the Atlantic. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … there is nothing between that sea wall and the North American coast several thousands of kilometres away so any storm out there will be picked up by the waves and brought to this very point.

But it was also quite interesting to see that the people on top of the harbour wall were taking absolutely no notice whatever of the waves breaking on the sea wall behind them

men with jetski port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey were obviously much more interested in what was going on in the harbour so I wandered off down the path to the viewpoint over the harbour to see for myself.

The first thing that I noticed was that the diving boat was there. So there’s something going on right now. Then there are the couple of people on the lower quay underneath the fish processing plant doing something with what looks like a jetski.

At the back of the jetski is a pile of disturbed water and a load of bubbles, just as if a diver has gone down over there and that had caught my interest. I waited there for a few minutes hoping that if someone had gone down over there, they would come back up. But no luck with that so I don’t know.

chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was waiting for the diver (if indeed there was one) to come back to the surface I had a look at the chantier navale to see what was happening in there right now.

And we’ve had a change of occupancy once more in there today. At long last, after all this time up on the blocks in there, Aztec Lady has now gone back into the water. Her repairs, whatever they were, have now finished. There’s just the little fishing boat in there right now but I imagine that that will change over the next few days.

The diver didn’t resurface so that made me wonder whether I was right about that, but after a couple of minutes waiting I went on home for a mug of coffee ready for tonight’s football which was about to start.

With TNS having won earlier this afternoon, it was vital that Connahs Quay Nomads won this evening in order to maintain their lead at the top of the table. I was delighted that Andy Morrison had picked an attacking formation because at times the Nomads have been quite impressive going forward.

Caernarfon aren’t all that strong on skill but there is a really good team spirit there that keeps them in a mid-table place but unfortunately they were no match for the Nomads. They went a goal down quite early on and although they held out after that they didn’t ever really threaten the Nomads goal.

The situation changed dramatically after about an hour. Jamie Insall was through the defence with the ball with only Lewis Brass in the Cofis goal to beat. Brass came off his line to try to win the ball but missed by about half an inch and brought down Insall.

It was clear to me that Brass was going for the ball and it was 25 yards out, well-wide of the goal but nevertheless the referee brought out the red card. And all that I can say is that if that was a red card offence then many other referees are being far too lenient.

With Caernarfon down to 10 men and with a substitute keeper in goal, Andy Morrison’s answer was to take off a defender and bring on another attacking player and the Nomads simply overwhelmed the Cofis and scored 3 more goals.

They were easily the better side but 4-0 was rather flattering. But the championship now goes all the way down to the wire. It’s all on the final match of the season.

Eventually I managed to catch up with the dictaphone notes, of which there were more than enough, from today. I don’t know if I’ve dictated this but I was out on a hike with my rucksack, a nice, rural rolling countryside. I came into a village and there was another girl or woman there with a rucksack obviously hiking. She was pouring over a map looking for somewhere. One of the locals was trying to help her so I asked if she needed any help. She told me that she was looking for a certain place where she hoped to find a place to stay for the night. Where I was headed was a Youth Hostel so I told her about that and invited her to come with me to this place but she decided not to and carry on and try to find the place where she was going to be staying. This was another one of these dreams where there was this mountain pass that we’ve been on on several occasions either skiing or walking, the very tall narrow pass, very steep. I was thinking that it’s quite a climb up there and down the other side and if the Youth Hostel there doesn’t have any room I’m going to have to come all the way back and I didn’t really fancy that at this time of the afternoon. But it was this pass again that was quite interesting.

I was with a woman and we had a big pile of kids. We were in Caliburn going somewhere and we picked up this big fat woman, gave her a lift. Suddenly she turned round to be extremely nasty and started to overwhelm everything, giving orders, this kind of thing. My response to that would have been to hit the woman with a trolley jack handle and all of us clear off but the woman with me said “why don’t we wait until we’ve crossed the border and then we can do that and dump her”. The we’d set off to go and fetch food or something. Coming back we found that this woman was 100 yards or so away from the woman, me and the van so I got in the vans and shouted for the kids to run behind the van as they were only youngsters and can run really fast and the big fat woman couldn’t run at all. I went about half a mile down the road and pulled up there waiting for the kids to come along and join us.

Somewhere during the night I was in an aeroplane, 2 of us in a Spitfire 2-seater. We had a radar set and we were supposed to be looking for mines. We were chasing 1 particular contact which turned out to be in the flat hills of South America. We landed our plane and went to look where the radar had indicated and it turned out to be a puddle with a few fish in it. The person I was with expressed surprise that the radar was so accurate that it had managed to pick out fish in a puddle and not mines in an ocean. I noticed that this puddle was at the side of a lump of concrete and as I explored it trying to work out what it was the person with me said that it was probably some kind of hard-standing for the farmer to park his tractor when he was here. I was looking at how it dominated a mountain pass and thought that if you had a tank on this concrete its gun would be firing straight up the road so anyone coming over the mountain pass, this tank could pick them off one by one. The rise of the hill on the other side would prevent anyone coming up the pass from firing back until they came over the top of the pass when of course they would be in full view of this tank. The guy with me didn’t think very much of my suggestion but I was convinced that that was what it was. This was what the radar had picked up, not the fish in the puddle at the side.
What linked these two dreams together – it was the aeroplane dream first – was for some reason we had a wheel off the aeroplane and some guy came over to have a look at us. He said “ohh a Spitfire” and talking, had somehow climbed into the cockpit 2nd seat while I was changing the wheel. We must have had a puncture or something. He started to play around with a few things. I asked “what are you doing?”. He replied “I’m undoing the handbrake” and the aeroplane which had now transformed itself into Caliburn or a van or something started to roll back ever so slowly, but slow enough that I could still get the wheel onto the studs and start to turn the wheel nuts on. As it rolled back I knew that it wasn’t going to go far because there was a tree behind us. Sure enough the van rolled into this tree and there it came to a stop so I could finish putting on the wheel nuts on it. It was somewhere round here where this guy turned into this big fat woman and we turned into this van with these kids and I had this woman with me

So having done all of this I’m off to make the first mix of my sourdough fruit bread and then I’m off to bed. I’ve not been up and about for long and I’ve not done anything at all. But there are occasionally days like this. We’ll have to see what tomorrow brings.

Saturday 24th April 2021 – THERE ARE MANY …

… things in this life that I don’t understand. And the older that I become, the more I realise that the less and less I actually do understand.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few weeks ago I was going through a phase of not being able to haul myself out of bed at any price regardless of however many alarms that I set and how loud and for how long I set them.

On Thursday I switched off the alarms so that I could have a lie-in and then on Thursday night before going to bed, I switched them back on.

The chattering birds outside my window, helped by the rattling fridge downstairs, awoke me at about 05:20. And not being able to go back to sleep, I lay awake waiting for the 06:00 alarm.

When I checked the time again, it was actually 06:10 and the alarms hadn’t gone off. It seems that last night I’d set them for 08:00 in error. And had I not been awake and instead slept right through to when the alarms would have actually gone off, I’d have missed my train home.

So what would have been the odds on that in similar circumstances a couple of weeks ago?

And this is what I just don’t understand – that I can actually do it when I have to so why can’t I do it when I don’t have to?

But anyway, there I was, up and about on time so I tidied everything up, made my sandwiches, packed up and headed off for the railway station.

martelarenplein leuven belgium Eric HallHere’s something that is extremely interesting.

Something else that regular readers of this rubbish will recall that not long after I came to live in Leuven in 2016 they closed off the Martelarenplein outside the railway station in order to completely refurbish it. And since then, it’s been all fenced off and the fences covered with tarpaulins so it’s impossible to see through it.

This morning though, some of the tarpaulin covering has been taken away and it’s now actually possible to see what they have been doing for all of this time.

And to be quite honest, it really doesn’t look all that different than it did before, although I do have to say that judging by how the place appears right now, there is still a great deal of work to be done. Another project around the town that has gone on far longer than it ought to have done.

So on the station, I didn’t have to wait too long for my train to come in.

automotrice am96 multiple unit 543 gare de leuven railway station belgium Eric HallThe train that I’m catching this morning is the 08:19 to the Belgian coast, calling at the Airport, and then the city centre before it clears off coastwards.

Just for a change, it’s not one of the depressing and dirty AM80 units but a much more modern AM96, the type with the rubber bellows and the swivelling drivers’ cabs. Bang on time it was when it pulled in and it pulled out on time too.

When we arrived in Brussels I still had 90 minutes to wait before my train came in so I went and sat in the main concourse for a while.

Once I’d worked out where my train would be arriving (there’s only a choice of 2 platforms for the Thalys and the train to Amsterdam pulled into one of them) I went up there to wait.

A few minutes later I was joined by a young lady. “This platform is quite big and lonely and there aren’t many people about” she said. “Would you mind if I waited near you? I’d feel safer”? She clearly didn’t know me very well.

Thalys PBKA 4331 gare de brussels midi railway station belgium  Eric HallSoon enough, a train pulled into the station at my platform.

It’s one of the PBKA (Paris – Brussels – Cologne – Amsterdam) units, number 4331, a nice clean and shiny one just out of the carriage wash. But it only had 8 carriages, numbered 1-8 which didn’t really suit me because I had a seat in carriage number 18.

My lady-friend had a seat in carriage 8 so she cleared off to board the train and take her seat. I had a few enquiries to make, such as to go and find an arrivals board to find out what trains were due to arrive in the very near future. That should tell me everything that I need to know.

TGV Réseau 38000 tri-volt 4536 coupling up to Thalys PBKA 4331 gare de brussels midi railway station belgium Eric HallAnd I was quite right too. 5 minutes before my train was due to depart, a TGV was coming into the station from Amsterdam. And sure enough it pulled up at this platform and I had the pleasure of watching them couple up two trainsets together.

This one is one of the PBA (Paris – Brussels – Amsterdam) Reseau 38000 tri-volt trainsets, number 4536, and once it was all coupled up I could take my seat in carriage 18. It was really busy too which is no surprise seeing as it’s the only train to Paris this morning and I’m not sure whether there will be one in the afternoon either.

We set out bang on time and arrived bang on time in Paris too, and there the passengers had to run the gauntlet of a police barrage, checking papers.

Although I don’t have a valid Covid test result, I’ve been out of the country for less than 72 hours and have a Carte de Séjour to prove my address and residence status, so I didn’t have a problem. A really good plan, that, to apply for my Carte de Séjour when I did.

And I’ll tell you something else as well, and that is that the gendarmette who questioned me at the station can detain me for further questioning any time she likes. Actually, I should be being paid by the police force, judging by the number of times that I’ve had to help them with their enquiries.

The metro was quite rapid and when I arrived at Montparnasse I even managed to find a seat, which was just as well because I had a wait of about 90 minutes for my train. I could eat my butties in comfort.

82694 Bombardier B82500 84559 GEC Alstom Regiolis gare de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was a 6-carriage train (the one on the right, not the Bombardier B82500 on the left) to Granville and it was packed.

Even worse, there were no reserved seats. But I was one of the lucky ones in that I didn’t have a neighbour so I could fall asleep and drop my laptop on the floor in comfort.

We were held up somewhere in the countryside by electrical current issues but we made up the missing minutes as we hurtled down the line towards the coast.

And when we arrived, actually a couple of minutes early, we’d somehow managed to throw out most of the passengers and there weren’t all that many of us left.

When I’d left Leuven this morning it was pretty cold but here in Granville we were having a heatwave and I had to strip off to walk home, down the steps and through the park.

citroen ami electric car parc de val es fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn the past we’ve seen some pretty awful and horrible-looking cars but this is one that really takes the biscuit.

It’s a Citroen Ami all-electric car and I do have to say that it’s one of the most hideous that I’ve ever seen.

The climb up the Rue des Juifs was rather painful in the heat and seeing as I’m not feeling myself right now, I had to stop for a breather half-way up the hill and that’s not like me at all. And I can’t blame the shopping that I was carrying because I’ve come up the hill with much more than this.

Having put the cold stuff away I came in here to watch this evening’s football.

And this was the match of the season – TNS, top of the table, against Connah’s Quay Nomads in second place. The Nomads do have some quality but they aren’t consistent enough to do it every week, whereas TNS are like a well-oiled machine and tick over quite smoothly.

Ordinarily we might be expecting a tight game but Nomads have been known to crumble at the most inappropriate times so I don’t think that too many neutral supporters would have had their money on the Nomads.

But while you always find the odd player here and there who has a bad game, it’s very rare to find half a dozen who are having a poor performance all at the same time. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the TNS centre-half pairing of Blaine Hudson and Ryan Astles were having a nightmare match.

Despite having 60% of the ball TNS never really did much with it and Connah’s Quay simply swept them aside. Michael Wilde, a player released by TNS a few seasons ago, scored a hat-trick and Jamie Insall scored a fourth while Astles and Hudson stood around watching them.

In the end TNS had 5 strikers on the field and while they did manage to score one early in the game, they never ever looked likely to trouble the Nomads back line and when they were awarded a penalty towards the end of the game, Oliver Byrne in the Nomads goal saved it quite comfortably.

It’s been about 20 years since I’ve been watching the Welsh Premier League and I have never ever seen TNS play so badly as they did today, although a lot of the credit should go to the Nomads back 4 and Callum Morris just in front of them who stopped almost everything that TNS tried to do.

One thing that I forgot to do until later was to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I’d started out with a former friend of mine and we were in Nantwich, Crewe Road end, going to visit some people. There were two girls there talking away and the guy was some kind of electronics guy and his house was a total tip worse than mine and there was stuff everywhere – all bits and pieces for making radios and so on. These 2 girls were young teenage girls busy talking away and at a certain moment I said to one of them “what language are you speaking? Is it Welsh”? They replied “no, it’s Slovensko”. So I asked “Slovene”? and they replied “no” so I asked “Slovak”? and they said “no” so we agreed that they were talking Czech. I was intrigued to know what they were doing while they were looking at all these bits and pieces. At the end of the road I looked out and there was an old guy on a walkframe, delivering the newspapers. It looked as if he had a paper round. I thought “it’s one way of keeping busy when you are old”. I went off into my shed, rooting around for something. There were all these old people standing around, not saying or doing anything, just standing there and it was making me feel uncomfortable. I of these 2 girls came in and she asked me for something. I couldn’t remember what it was she asked me but she saw it while I was searching through stuff so I let her have one. The other one came in and asked “where’s mine”? So I had to find one for her as well. I told her to make sure that she used it otherwise I’d be wanting it back.

Later on I was in Winsford with my father and a few other people, and Denise was there (as if that was ever likely to happen). One of my sisters was talking to Denise about operations, telling her about how she should have had a breast cancer operation a long time ago. Paul Ross rang up but my father was on the other phone so he couldn’t speak to him. Paul Ross came round and said that yesterday evening Dave Clark had died. We worked out that since Christmas we’d had 4 deaths in the immediate close circle and it was enough to make you wonder who was going to be next. Everyone looked at me but I said “as far as I’m concerned, it’s the creaky gate that hangs the longest, isn’t it”?

Anyway, now I’m off to make some sourdough mix and then I’m going to bed. No alarm in the morning and quite right too as I deserve a lie-in after my efforts today.

Saturday 17th October 2020 – WE CALLED IT …

… a draw this morning. I’d just thrown off the bedclothes and was on the point of sitting upright ready to crawl out of bed when the third alarm went off. Just one second earlier would have been a glorious victory.

And seeing that I was in bed by 22:30 last night I ought to have done better too.

And during the night I’d been on my travels as well. I was with Nerina and we were in Gainsborough Road. I don’t remember too much about this but we’d been doing a lot of sorting out. I’d been to see a lock-up garage somewhere near Manchester which would be ideal for me to use as a store to store a lot of stuff that was lying around that I didn’t need but didn’t want to dispose of. Then we were back at the house and I don’t remember a great deal but I seem to remember that I’d bought a house in Winsford – it might have been Plantagenet Close – years ago and I was wondering what on earth I was still doing with it. I couldn’t find the keys so I wondered if the estate agent still had them, or if Nerina had them – I’d given them to her to look after, or her mother, something like that. In the end I went to ask her but each time I started to ask, she interrupted me and said something else. We ended up in the Post Office in Crewe. I was going to go to Winsford the next afternoon but it was a Saturday afternoon and the Post Office wouldn’t be open. The aim was to ask someone in the Post Office about delivering letters – where do they go to, who had a key? All of that kind of thing. I got myself into a queue by a counter but there was no-one there at the time, just a customer but no member of staff so I was idly loitering around. One member of staff came and started to deal with it. When she had dealth with this person, a young guy and his father walked up in front of me straight to the counter. Nerina said “those two guys have pushed in front of you. I said “yes, they haven haven’t they?”. The younger of the two turned round and made a smart remark to me – in Dutch. I turned round to Nerina and said “yes, Ne’erlandssprekers” so this guy made another comment and strolled away. Then I got to the window and the cashier, and that was that..

But it seems that dreaming about a new house elsewhere that I own is becoming another recurring feature of my nocturnal rambles. So what’s going on here?

For an hour or so this morning I tracked down some more photos of my trip around Central Europe at the beginning of August. And one or two of those took some tracking too. German road signs are not the clearest, especially when viewed on my low-resolution dash-cam through a bug-infested windscreen but in the end I managed to do some good with them and they are all properly labelled.

One or two in Munich were likewise difficult but reference to Hans, my friend there, soon resolved that issue.

After a shower and a clean-up (and a weigh -in, and I’ve lost another couple of hundred grammes) I went off to the shops. NOZ came up with one or two things, but nothing to get excited about, and it was the same at LeClerc.

No figs though, but luckily the Fruit and Veg shop, la Halle Gourmande, had a few. The lady there told me that they are seasonal, so I’m going to have to think of a substitute for my kefir.

Back here, I put some of the stuff away and then sat down to continue the photos but ended up falling asleep on the chair after my exertions. A whole hour or so I was out, and that’s good for neither man nor beast, especially when it means a very late lunch.

orange flavoured kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter lunch I attended to the kefir that had been fermenting away for the last few days.

Four juice-oranges were whizzed up, strained and filtered and put in a large jug. Then most of the kefir liquid was strained and filtered (always leave an inch or two in the bottom of your jar to cover the grains that you are making) into the orange juice.

The whole lot was then mixed together and then poured through a filter into a few stoppered glass bottles, and I hope that this batch is going to be as good as my lime-flavoured kefir from last time, which was excellent.

Finally, I set another lot of kefir en route for later in the week.

By now it was time to go for my afternoon walk

Peche à Pied Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe other day I mentioned the Peche à Pied – the local pastime of scavenging amongst the rocks and the beach during the very low tides when the public areas below the commercial concessions are exposed

It seems that I may well have been right when I mentioned that it looked as if we are having another very low tide – a Grand Marée – this weekend because, sure enough, the crowds were out on the beach with their buckets and rakes, and whatever else they bring with them.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the Peche à Pied at the Grand Marée in April was forbidden due to the virus, so two of us from THE RADIO broadcast a “virtual Grand Marée instead.

Light Aeroplane Airport Donville les Bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halland there weren’t just crowds of people on the beach either.

There were the veritable hordes swarming around in the sunshine too, but also plenty going on in the air. As I watched, I saw a couple of light aeroplanes take off from the airport at Donville-les-Bains. One of them obligingly headed my way but before I could take a decent photo of it head-on, it veered off out to sea.

While we’re on the subject of the airport at Donville les Bains … “well, one of us is” – ed … there’s some talk about allowing international flights to land there again, mainly from the Channel Islands. This will mean that a permanent Police and Customs presence will be required.

All of this can only be a good thing.

Back here, a few more photos, and that leaves just 75 to do. But at the rate that I’m doing them, they are going to take forever to finish off.

Then it was time for the football. An early evening kick-off on the Internet for Barry Town v Connah’s Quay Nomads.

It was a game that finished 0-0 which is hardly a surprise because Connah’s Quay are still missing four of their star players – Danny Holmes, George Horan, and their two star attackers Jamie Insall and Mike Wilde. Chris Curran who normally plays on the wing, had a really good game up front for them but he was never likely to score.

Barry Town had a solid central defence for a change after their debacle the other week, but they too were missing their star attacker Kayne McLaggon and they still haven’t recovered from losing Momodou Touray at the end of last season so they were never really likely to trouble Connah’s Quay’s makeshift defence without Horan and Holmes.

The match though turned on a decision made after just two minutes. A Barry Town attacker burst through the defence and broke clear, only to be fouled by a Nomads defender. Certainly a foul, no doubt about that, but a red card for “denying a player a goalscoring opportunity”? The ball was only just beyond the centre-circle in the Nomads area, about 50 yards from goal with another two defenders bearing down on him and with the ball about 10 yards in front of him that the keeper might even have reached first? To call that a “goalscoring opportunity” is rather stretching things a bit in my opinion. I didn’t agree with that at all.

In fact the referee seemed to have a pop-up toaster in his top pocket because it seemed to me that there was always a yellow card popping up. I think that I counted 8 all told, many of which I wouldn’t have given myself. And the red card given to Barry’s David Cotterill, the former Welsh International, in the dying seconds of injury time for “kicking an opponent” was likewise somewhat exaggerated.

So Connah’s Quay played for 88 minutes with just 10 men and you wouldn’t have noticed because Barry never really had a serious shot on goal. A powerful header right into the arms of keeper Lewis Brass is all that I could think of.

Tea was out of a tin at half-time, and after the final whistle it was time for my evening walk

lighthouse pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor a change I went around the headland tonight and over some of the runs that I used to do.

The first leg was along the Rue du Roc for some of the way – not as far as I used to go, and then a second leg across the lawn down the side of the hedge to the clifftop where the lighthouse was busy sending out its beam.

Something that not many people know is that each lighthouse has its own individual sequence of lights, to distinguish it from another lighthouse somewhere in the vicinity. Here at Granville it’s four short pulses of light followed by a long pause.

There’s a rotating shield inside the light with bits cut out for the light to shine through which is responsible for that.

coastguard station pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were a few people out there tonight so I wasn’t as alone as I might otherwise have been.

There was even someone inside the Coastguard Station because there was a light on outside and when he saw me about to take a photo he switched it off just to confuse the issue and I had to take the photo again.

At least everyone had cleared off by now so I could run my third leg, along the clifftop. And that wasn’t as good as it might have been because the car park has now become the centre of assembly for all of the adolescents in the town with their motorbikes and music.

But who am I to complain? At their age I was doing just the same. And probably getting into more mischief too while I was at it.

Chantier Navale Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn my way back from the shops this morning I went past the chantier navale and I could see that it really is Les Epiettes in there.

There was also a new arrival, to make the total now three in there, so while I was catching my breath in the viewpoint at the top of the cliffs I could take a photo of it for the record.

And from there I ran on home – two extra legs of my fitness regime runs to make up five.

Back at the apartment I encountered one of my neighbours coming back home so we had a lengthy chat about putting the world to rights. And then I came up here to write my notes.

Having done that, I’m off to bed. Sunday tomorrow and a lie-in, but I also have pizza bases to make as well as some kind of dessert. It’s been a while since I’ve made an apple pie so I might have a go at that – either that or a crumble.

It might be a case of waiting until tomorrow to see how I feel.

Friday 1st November 2019 – I FOUND …

… the fitbit after all that. On the passenger seat in Caliburn where I must have left it when I was fitting the battery yesterday.

And I’d got up nice and early this morning specially to look. Even managed to beat the third alarm – and by a country mile too – and that’s not something that happens too often these days.

It was a reasonably late night too – mainly due to listening to some good music on the computer. And there’s nothing wrong in that as long as I’m working – which I was. In fact I updated some more of the web pages.

And so it was a short night too – but still plenty of time to go off on a ramble or two.

I started off back in the UK last night. I was in Cornwall walking around a headland and it was something (I don’t know what) to do but it was Marc Bolan and camping and he’d written the final verse of his song “Elemental Child” (… which I had been listening to just before going to bed …). They were broadcasting it over the radio and getting everyone to join in so anyone who was walking past or walking in the area they went and asked them if they would join in. This girl – she joined in too and did all of the song and to play it on the guitar or banjo or something. She asked about the lyrics so we pointed to where the lyrics were and she was brilliant. She had a really good go at it, this girl did. It really was a shame that I awoke.
A little later on, we were on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again last night and it was time to go home. There were a couple of coaches come to pick us up. They had already been and we’d packed but then we had to go off on a lecture or something so the buses were put back and were to turn at at 12:00. This lecture finished at about 11:55 and it was all about book-keeping, this kind of thing, and the guy who was giving the lesson afterwards went to print off some stuff and I went to help him but he didn’t need me. he was talking to some other guy and the other guy was saying that in Accountancy they were still using BBC Micros but they no longer dominate anything so they don’t actually see anything of what they do. The other guy said that he learnt his Accountancy on a BBC Micro. I said that I did my Finance First Part on pen and paper – but no-one took the slightest bit of notice of me whatsoever which seems to be normal procedure these days on board that ship. Then I had to get to my cabin and it was 11:55 and there was already a bus on board and people getting on so I had to fly throught the crowds and the ship like lightning to my cabin. Luckily I had packed before hand but there were still a few things out that needed putting away. I reached my cabin which was right at the back of my ship and the porthole was open so I could see the second coach pulling up and feel a nice cool breeze blowing through the porthole. The first thing I did was to grab a drink – some of my orange Vitamin B12 drink. There wasn’t much left but I took a swig of it and thought “Gid this is warm, this drink but it will do me until I get to wherever it is that I’m going and then I can think again”. At that moment the alarm went off.

10 minutes later I was up and about and tackling the notes from the night while I was waiting for the medication to work so that I could have breakfast.

Once it started to become light I went outside with the purpose of retracing my steps from my afternoon walk to see if the fitbit was anywhere about. But as I said, I didn’t get any farther than Caliburn.

Back in the apartment I attacked the 20-minute dictaphone entry from 30th July. And miles of it there was too, starting from when I left the motel in Lamoure all the way across North and South Dakota.

By now it was midday so I headed of for my morning walk. Down to the Super U for some garlic and a lettuce. The lettuce is exhausted and I have no garlic at all and I need to deal with that issue. And as I left the apartment and headed off down the street we were hit with a torrential rainstorm. Luckily I went in my rain jacket and so I managed to keep something-like dry. But there were plenty of others who weren’t so fortunate.

For lunch I had half of the carrot soup (which wasn’t so bad after all) and then attacked my little project. What I did the other day, I’ve undone it and started again because I could do better than that. And it’s all turning out rather nicely, although doing it in French is rather challenging.

crowds on beach peche a pied plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThere was an interruption in my activities when I went out for my afternoon walk. And I was not alone for even though the weather was miserable this afternoon there were still plenty of people on the beach.

It’s that time of year when we’e having the highest tidal range – the grand marée – and the lower beaches are uncovered.

These areas are beyond the limits that are leased out as commercial fisheries so anyone can go out there for the peche à pied – fishing on foot – to scavenge what molluscs they can.

rainbow arc en ciel granville manche normandy franceAnd I was right about the miserable weather too. Just look at the storm clouds.

But all of a sudden there was a hint of sun and we had the most magnificent rainbow. I managed to take a really good shot of it too.

It seems to be ending down in the town somewhere and I was tempted to back to my apartment to search for a spade.

There was an interruption after that. I received a text message “are you in?” to which I replied in the affirmative.

A few minutes later Terry and Liz turned up, with Darren, kate and the two kids. It was pouring with rain again so we went for a drink and a good chat. When the rain stopped (which it did for half an hour) we went for a good walk all the way around the walls and the headland and then they went home. I told Robyn to take good care of Strawberry Moose and she gave me a hug.

For tea I had two more taco rolls with the rest of the stuffing from the other night. Not enough though so I added a small tin of lentils so there was too much. No good for me, seeing as I’m supposed to be cutting down.

Football tonight on the internet. Not been too many of those this season. Connah’s Quay Nomads v TNS in the pouring rain in the Welsh Premier League.

In the first half, the nomads were dreadful and I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times they made it into the TNS half. Meanwhile TNS were rampaging upfield at will and could have had a hatful. As it happens, one goal disallowed for offside and a good save from Lewis Brass the Nomads keeper was all that they had to show for it.

Connahs Quay made three substitutions early in the second half and after that we had much more of a match, with the Nomads taking the game much more to TNS.

And so it goes without saying that TNS finally scored with a breakaway goal after all of that.

We then had bizarre incident where the referee gave a penalty to TNS for a handball, spotted the ball, and just as Greg Draper was about to run up to take the kick, he changed his mind and gave a dropped ball which Brass smothered.

From that, the Nomads raced upfield and with Insall (who should have been on from the start) having a shot saved, Michael Wilde running in fastened onto the rebound and scored – his first shot on goal in the whole game.

So 1-1 it finished, and it leaves me shaking my head. I’ve seen many more much batter games than this one, and I’m totally bewildered by that weird first half.

So not having done too much I’m going to bed and I’ll start again tomorrow. I must get myself going.

rainbow arc en ciel granville manche normandy france
rainbow arc en ciel granville manche normandy france