Tag Archives: jullouville

Monday 6th December 2021 – THE PECHE À PIED

jullouville baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021… has taken on a whole new significance today, judging by the news that’s currently doing the rounds.

A couple of people who were over there at Jullouville looking among the rocks for crabs came across an old boot instead. And in it were the remains of a human foot.

There are of course all kinds of wrecks out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel – fishing boats, aircraft, pleasure craft and so on – and many people have been lost there, especially during the fighting in June and July 1944.

What has quite possibly happened is that Storm Arwen has disturbed an old wreck that still has human remains on board and the boot has floated free.

But it seems that from now on, when one is mentioning the peche à pied one will have to specify to which pied one is actually referring.

This morning at 06:00 when the alarm went off I had a struggle to take to my feet. But once the medication had been taken and the mails and messages checked, I cracked on with the two radio programmes that I needed to prepare, with the aid of a mug of strong coffee.

It took me much longer than I reckoned too, knocking off as finished at 13:15, but that was having had quite a chat on the internet with Liz who was on line.

What else didn’t help was that I couldn’t find a suitable ending-track for my Christmas programme. In the end I had to find one that would do, stretch out the speech that went with it and lengthen a few pauses and in the end it fitted quite nicely.

As for the other radio programme on which I was working went together quite happily

After lunch I had a quick clean-up and then headed off to the physiotherapist.

fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Outside it was grey and miserable and threatening rain.

On the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard des Terreneuviers I could look down on the fish processing plant. There weren’t any boats down there of course – the tide is well-out right now – but there is a refrigerated lorry and several freezer vans parked down there.

There must be plenty of fishing boats out at sea right now and they will be due back on the early evening tide, when the vehicles down there will take away the catch.

Yesterday while we were out on our travels we noticed that there were no longer any boats moored up at the ferry terminal in the tidal harbour.

joly france belle france chausiaise victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021They have all now come into the inner harbour so that would seem to indicate that they have no plans to go to sea in the immediate future.

The three that are moored together in the foreground are the brand-new Belle France nearest the quayside, with the newer of the two Joly France ferries, the one with the smaller upper-deck superstructure next to her. On the outside is the little freighter Chausiaise.

Over at the back on the right are the two Channel island ferries – Victor Hugo on the outside and Granville on the inside moored against the quayside.

repointing wall Rampe du Monte à Regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Further on down the road I had a look at what was going on with the pointing at the Rampe du Monte à Regret.

They seem to be making good progress with it, but my attention was drawn to the two guys on the scaffold – the one in the red jacket and the other in the fluorescent jacket.

Judging by the way that they are standing around doing very little and pretending to inspect the work, they look very much like site managers to me.

With the steps being closed off I had to walk down the Rue des Juifs and go through the town that way to my appointment

Today she had me do five minutes on the cross trainer and the rest of the time was spent doing kinetic exercises. And I’m dismayed at how much I seem to have been affected by whatever it is that is going on with my body right now.

Much of my co-ordination and balance has gone completely and I don’t have the power in my knees to stand up from a sitting position without using my hands.

Anyway, after half an hour she threw me out and judging by the state of the pavement I’d just missed a torrential downpour..

a href=”https://www.erichall.eu/images/2112/21120044.html”>christmas decorations rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021On the way up to the physiotherapist I’d noticed that the decorations in the Rue Couraye have … errr … evolved.

We now have candy-striped pillars placed over all of the bollards on the edge of the kerb. They have signs on them indicating the nature of the shops alongside.

Dark though it was right now, the Christmas lights weren’t yet illuminated. I can see that i’m going to have to come down later in the evening one night and see how they look, in the hope that they are better than they have been in previous years.

For some reason, I don’t seem to have the same enthusiasm that I had in previous years.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Halfway up the Rue des Juifs I stopped at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

Not because I was out of breath and not because of anything that was going on in the port either but there was another beautiful sunset out there in the Baie de Granville. This was far too good to miss. It really was quite impressive.

Before I set out earlier I put a can of energy drink into my bag with the idea that if I needed it I could drink it on the way home but I totally forgot about it. I might not be feeling enthusiastic but at least I’m feeling a little more fit than I was three months ago.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Before going back into my building I went over to have a look down onto the beach.

There’s plenty of beach down there just now, but there wasn’t anyone down there on it. That’s not really a surprise because it was quite windy, going dark and threatening rain.

Back in the apartment I had a nice hot coffee and then transcribed the dictaphone notes from last night. I’d had quite a busy night by the looks of things. and there was plenty to transcribe.

There were quite a few entries from the last few days too but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow to read those.

Anyway, last night I was at the cinema. I’d gone to see some rock concert or other that was taking place there. I mentioned to someone that I was going and he said that his younger sister was going as well. I turned up at this cinema and took a seat. When I looked round, there was a young girl there waving at me. I said “hello”. I thought to myself “is this that girl?” because when I looked around again there was another girl waving at me who looked pretty much identical. I couldn’t work out who was who and I couldn’t remember her name. As usual I was tying myself up in a knot about “should I go and sit next to her and so on? What if it was the wrong girl?”. The usual kind of confused state that I find myself in at times. Then the lights went out and we had the immediate “get your hand off my leg” comment that used to go around the cinemas in Crewe in those days when the lights went off, which always of course caused a lot of laughter. When I looked around though, both the girls had disappeared off somewhere. Here was yet another situation that I’d let slip through my fingers because I was being far too indecisive. The story of my life, isn’t it?

And I wish that I knew who the girl was too. Although seeing as I let her slip through my fingers like that, maybe it’s better that I don’t know, to avoid any disappointment.

Later on I was going out that night and I needed a new jacket to wear to make myself look smart (it’ll take more than a jacket to do that of course) so I went off to a shop that I normally use. I’d had a look round on the upper floors at a few different kinds of things but no jackets. I’d taken off my jacket and hung it on a peg while I was doing that. I then went downstairs to look at the men’s clothing. There were lots of other interesting things down there as well. When I arrived downstairs there was only the men’s clothing section open. The rest was all closed off as if they were remodelling the shop. They were busy hanging clothes onto hooks from behind the blanking-off thing that they were doing. There was a TV there with a load of men there watching the TV. I thought that they had probably been dumped by their wives who had then gone off to do the shopping somewhere else. Before I could look for a jacket I awoke.

Later still Nerina and I had had an argument in Germany somewhere on holiday and she had stormed off. I was walking the streets – it was 00:30 – wondering whether I should go back to the hotel room. As I was walking down the street a car pulled up. A man got out with a little girl about 7 or 8. She walked past me and said “here’s your computer mouse. I got on my bed and it fell off so I put it on the floor and here it is”. I took my computer mouse and was still wondering what to do. Somewhere somehow it turned out that Nerina had gone and my car had gone as well. I was stranded in Germany. I ended up with something like a Bella estate that I had managed to find. I was with that car and with Linda from Portugal (and here’s someone from a very distant past making her debut in my nocturnal rambles) but I’m not sure at all about where this bit with the Bella estate fitted in. I was in Stoke on Trent by this time

Finally I was having to negotiate my passage through the country that had formerly ruled the place where I live. I suspected that it wasn’t going to be easy. We set off and reached the border. I’d built some kind of big snowball or snowman and behind it were hiding several other men. I was discussing with them the plan that we’d go as far as the border and maybe go across. There would be a lot of bloodshed. They asked “what after that?”. I replied “I don’t know after that”.

The early start and the exercise at the physiotherapist’s had worn me out today and what with my early start on Sunday, I ended up drifting away for 20 minutes or so. That was rather a disappointment because I’ve been trying to avoid that for the last couple of months.

Tea was taco rolls with the left-over stuffing from Saturday evening lengthened with a small tin of kidney beans. And it’s even more delicious after marinading for a couple of days.

But now I’m off to bed. It’s early but I’m exhausted and I have my Welsh lesson tomorrow. There can’t be many left now before we break for Christmas. With my cookery lesson on Friday I have plenty of notes to review tomorrow so I need to be at my best.

Tuesday 7th September 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… much better and much more productive day today – due almost entirely, I reckon, to the fact that I had a sleep for about 90 minutes or so on my chair this morning not long after I had risen from the dead

As you might expect, it was a struggle to leave the bed this morning when the alarm went off and when I came back in here after the medication, I didn’t do very much in the way of work before I was away with the fairies.

When I finally awoke and came back round into the Land of the Living, I made myself a coffee and then attacked the dictaphone.

Yesterday’s notes were transcribed and went on line, and then I turned my attention to today’s notes.

I’d been on the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR last night and it was our final day out. We’d all been off looking at something and I was wandering around. Suddenly I had this uncomfortable feeling that everyone else had gone. Not to worry, because these were the days when I could run so I set off at a run back to it. Matthew Swann and a few others were there. Yhey were being quite derogatory about it They asked what had happened and I told them that I had fallen asleep. They had a moan and everything like that. I was quite literally leaping over obstructions, scrambling down hills and so on. But it turned out that it was all like giant beds with blankets and sheets on and I was falling down the side of these giant beds and running up the other side of them, hanging on to the sheets and everything as I went over the top. Every now and again I would bump into someone who knew me. They all were wondering what I was doing, whether I was doing something for a bet or a personal achievement. I explained what had happened, and I was wondering what would happen when I would reach the other side of the island. Had all of the boats gone out to the ship and left me right behind? But I awoke in a night sweat, as I have been doing for the past couple of weeks.

Later on there was something about we were driving somewhere in Germany and retracing our steps back the way we had come. It all started to become confusing when we arrived in a big city. There were all these weird blue and white buses and trams driving around and I couldn’t quite follow the signposts for some reason. I wasn’t even sure where I was supposed to be going. After we had driven out of the city and going into the suburbs I suddenly looked over to my right and saw a couple of shops in the distance that were extremely familiar so I turned round and started to head off that way thinking that if I remember them it must have been from when we came in and therefore it’s that road over there that must be the right one out again.

While I was asleep just now I was driving around Montreal with one of my Canadian friends talking to her. She was asking me all kinds of questions about places in Montreal and its vicinity and I knew none of them. I came to the conclusion that I didn’t know Montreal anything like as well as I thought I did. We were discussing dating sites with someone else. he was wondering about their popularity. I said “well sex is the most important part in people’s lives and people just aren’t meeting up as they used to” which he agreed. I went out anyway, going to post a letter and get some food. In the meantime a bus did a U-turn in the road in front of me and clipped a car that was in front. Another vehicle clipped another car somewhere else. I was driving around finding myself in an area that I didn’t really know at all and wasn’t really sure how I was going to find out anything.

Grabbing another mug of coffee, I went for my Welsh lesson and ended up being rather late because the portable computer chose that inconvenient moment to perform an upgrade.

The Welsh lesson passed really well and then after lunch, because I was feeling very lively, I caught up with an outstanding task. A while ago someone gave me a laptop to fit an Solid State Drive in it,seeing as I have a certain little computer program that means that I can do it without going through any complicated back-up procedure.

It took me quite a while because it’s an old steam-driven computer, dating to at least the year 2000 running an underlying DOS operating system so I had to dig deep into my memory from 20-odd years ago.

It works fine now except that I can’t extract the data files from the old drive because this computer doesn’t have a USB 3.0 port so tomorrow, if I’m feeling up to it, I have a cunning plan that I can use to make things work.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This took me right up to the time that I go out for my walk around the headland this afternoon.

Across the car park I went to look out over the wall down onto the beach to seed the crowds of people down there this afternoon. And crowds there were as well today.

Although there are a couple of people wearing swimwear, walking away from the water, there weren’t any people in the water here this afternoon. And this was surprising because this was one of the nicest days that we have had so far this year

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further out along the coast down at the Plat Gousset, there were even more people on the beach.

Quite a few people in the water too, making the most of the opportunity presented to them by the availability of the water in the medieval fish trap.

Way further out on the beach at Donville les Bains, there are dozens of people taking advantage of the sunny afternoon. Of course, you might well expect this now that the children have gone back to school and the holidaymakers have all now gone home.

There was nothing whatever going on out at sea in the Baie de Granville – no kayakers, no frogpersons and not even any fishermen so I had a very lonely trudge around the headland in the heat.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I walked around the corner by the old bunker I could see that out in the Baie de Mont St Michel on the other side of the headland that Le Loup, the marker light on top of the rock at the entrance to harbour, was looking splendid today.

The dark line underneath the lower of the two red lines is where the tide reaches and so it gives you a good idea of how high the tide can be.

Out in the background on the beach at Kairon-Plage in between St Pair sur Mer and Jullouville, there seem to be hordes of people this afternoon. More than I would expect so I wonder what is happening there today.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned that there were no fishermen out in the Baie de Granville.

On this side of the headland however there were plenty of people down on the rocks having something of a scavenge about.

With the tide being so far out this afternoon the public part of the foreshore down there is now uncovered so they can have a good forage for the shellfish and other seafood in rockpools that have been left behind as the water recedes.

Judging by the size of the containers that they have, they must be having a good and successful time.

trawler baie be mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Over the past few months we’ve seen the local fishing boats working out in areas that have previous been unexploited.

Today, right down at the end of the Baie de Mont St Michel close to the Brittany coast, we have a trawler down there this afternoon having a go to see what it can pull up out of the water.

At this kind of distance I can’t see who she is, and I’m not even sure that she comes from here.

So with nothing else happening, I pushed off along the path on top of the headland towards the port.

l'omerta fishing boat massabielle trawler chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And down at the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval I could see that we have had plenty of excitement down there today.

The little trawler Briscard that was nearest the camera and Pierre de Jade, the trawler next to her, seem to have gone back into the water this afternoon.

It didn’t take long for their places to be filled either. L’Omerta, the little shellfish boat that we’ve seen so often sitting on the silt by the Fish Processing Plant, and Massabielle, a trawler whom we haven’t seen before, have taken their places.

It’s all go in the chantier naval these days.

Back here I had my banana smoothie and then had another play with that computer, which took me up to teatime. Taco rolls with the rest of yesterday’s stuffing.

Tomorrow I’m at the physiotherapist’s so I need to have a good relax and gather my strength during the morning. But not 90 minutes-worth.

And while I was typing up my notes, with my other hand I fixed the computer issues that I mentioned just now

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.

Friday 19th February 2021 – I WONDER IF ANY …

long legged bird beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall … of my highly knowledgeable and well-informed readers might have a go at recognising this long-legged bird that I saw down on the beach by the Rue du Nord this afternoon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I am a very keen birdwatcher and have spent a lifetime studying long-legged creatures of that type. But not unfortunately birds of this type.

In the past I have had plenty of lectures on birdwatching, mainly from Nerina, and perhaps I ought to have paid more attention when she was lecturing me. But you can’t teach an old dog new tricks unfortunately, and old dogs don’t come much older than me these days.

So if you have an idea of what it might be, please click on the button down on the bottom right of the screen and send me a message.

Today started off somewhat surprisingly. Not only did I beat the third alarm – and beat it by a country mile too – I actually beat the new alarm that I’ve set in between the second and third alarms. That’s certainly keenness, and I’ve no idea at all where that has come from. It’s not like me of late, is it?

After my medication I mixed up the dough for today’s batch of bread, remembering to add in the sunflower seeds while I was at it, not like last time. Plenty of minerals and vitamins in them, including selenium, of which I may have a deficiency.

When the dough was ready for proofing, I went off and had a listen to the dictaphone. I was driving a bus around last night – a coach, and Lindi Duplessis and her friend Danielle were on board and quite a few other people. For some reason we’d all become separated. I was still on the coach but one or two other people who belonged to us, we could see on the radio that one or two people were wandering around trying to find the right channel to be on to speak to us. We tried to patch them through into our channel so at least they could talk and tell us who they were, and if they were our missing passengers we could direct them back to the coach

Later on there had been a bottle of gin left behind in a taxi. A girl who had travelled in the taxi, something like a girl who stayed with me for a while in Belgium, had left something behind. I’d found something to do with her mobile ‘phone although it wasn’t hers, a memory add-on or something that she was entitled to have. So I bought that, or got it, and got in my taxi and the SatNav brought me all this strange way from Haslington down some side roads that I didn’t know existed and we ended up in the north of Stoke on Trent. It guided me all the way up to her house, a big posh house but with subsidence it was leaning over. I took my things and went round. I was standing by the gate wandering where I went now and suddenly a voice said something to me. I looked and she was down there cutting the hedge. I asked if she had found her mobile phone and she said “no”, which was hopeful so I told her about what I had, the present that I had for her. I gave it to her and we were talking about this bottle of gin. I could see her parents looking at me, wondering what was happening but I didn’t care.

There was more to it than this as well during the night but as you are probably eating your evening meal or something I’ll spare you the gory details. The new computer drives came yesterday in the Post so today’s task, once I’d gathered my wits, was to deal with that.

That involved stripping down the old laptop, taking out the old hard drive and putting in the new one. And then start the initialising, configuration and uploading process. And that took far longer than it ought to have done too.

After a while I was able to identify the reason – one of the buttons on the mouse pad wasn’t working – the left one in fact. In the end I managed to configure an external mouse (despite there being no data on the drive) and then the procedure went so much easier.

That is, until it ground out again. Only half of the keyboard is working. So with the missing mouse button, it sounds like the data ribbon has become detached at one end or else a pin has broken off on the motherboard. I’ve checked the data ribbon as far as I can but this is going to end up being a dismantling job.

But at least, it’s working about 10 times quicker than it ever did when it was new and so now I’m sold on the idea of Solid State Drives. I’ve been checking to see what else I have in the way of laptops where the hard disk is easily accessible.

We had the usual pause for mid-morning hot chocolate and sourdough fruit bread, and then I gave the bread dough, which had risen tremendously, a second going over, shaped it, and put it in the mould before resuming my attack on the laptop.

home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound about midday I broke off work to put the bread in the oven and there it cooked for a good 70 minutes.

And when it came out, it was done to perfection. I had a couple of slices with my lunch and I can safely say that it’s the best loaf that I’ve ever made. I’ll do more like this one.

Another hour on the laptop and I called it a day after that. It’s up and running, working well, has an anti-virus on it and a real web browser. On the internet I’ve found a new-old-stock keyboard for the laptop at a decent price and I’m engaged in consultation with the suppliers about the perils and pitfalls of fitting it.

But there’s another job that’s actually finished after all of the time that I’ve spent doing it. Yes, the page for the visit to Oradour-sur-Glane and the Chateau de Chalus HAS FINALLY STAGGERED INTO THE DAYLIGHT.

There are bound to be a few more corrections needed but I’ll go through it all again some other time. I’m just pleased that I’ve finished and can push on with other things. It’s been a while since I’ve done a Magnum Opus like this

seagull on windowsill place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd not forgetting our afternoon walk either. I managed that today too.

Although I didn’t go very far before I had the camera out. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the windowsill on the first floor of the building where the seagulls sit – possibly because of the artificial seagull on the interior. There was another seagull there talking to the imitation one.

But there were other things to do too. We’ve seen the long-legged bird on the beach and from there I headed off along the path.

Nothing happening out at sea and nothing in the bay either. The clouds were such that there wasn’t even any sun reflecting off the sea.

le loup jullouville baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLe Loup was looking all lonely this afternoon too.

The light on its pillar on top of the rock just outside the harbour entrance is still surrounded by water right now but the tide is well on its way out. And the grey dismal background round by Jullouville didn’t make things look any better. It was a miserable, grey day outside even if it was quite warm.

But if you look on the crest of the hill in the background just to the right of Le Loup there’s an interesting vertical structure there. And over to the left there’s an interesting circular stone tower. One of these days I’ll go for a drive out that way and make further enquiries.

kite surfing plage d'hacqueville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I was on my way back I had a look over to the port to see if there was anything but instead, I happened to glance at what might possibly be a kite surfer.

It’s difficult to say where he or she actually is. Probably on the Plage d’Hacqueville behind that lump of rock – that’s my best guess.

Anyway, I came on back home to my coffee and to carry on to finish my web page. While I was at it, I tried to resurrect the old hard drive out of the laptop that I’ve been fixing, but that’s going to be a long-term piece of work. But while I was at it and I had my equipment out, I had a play with the other external drive that failed back in 2013.

With a bit of jiggery and rather a lot of pokery, I’ve now managed to make it fire up without stalling the machine, which was what was happening when I plugged it in before. It’s currently doing a repair but in 6 hours it’s managed about 15%. This is going to be another long job so I might leave the machine running overnight while it does its best to carry on.

There was the hour’s guitar practice and then just as I was going for tea, Rosemary rang. One hour and ten minutes later I started to cook. In a hurry I had pasta and veg with bulghour in a vegan cheese sauce. followed by apple crumble

So now, later than intended and with nothing like as much done as I intended, I’m off to bed. Shopping tomorrow, but I don’t need all that much. I wonder what catastrophe awaits me this weekend.

Monday 1st February 2021 – THERE’S ONE GOOD …

… thing about being in bed by 21:40. And that is that I can, if I play my cards right, be wide awake, standing up and looking for my clothes at 06:00 when the first alarm goes off.

Yes, never mind beating the third alarm, I actually managed to beat the first one today and that’s something of a red-letter day, isn’t it?

So there I was, wide awake, fighting fit and ready to go and by the time the third alarm went off I had had my medication and was sitting at the computer working.

By the time lunchtime came round, I had completed an entire radio programme from scratch – up and running, a whole hour of it. And I’d had my break for breakfast (the last of my Christmas cake) and drink of hot chocolate too. That was quite impressive too.

This afternoon I sat down and carried on with the siege of Chateau Chalus but later on in the afternoon I had the misfortune to crash out for half an hour and that was disappointed. I might have finished it otherwise.

crowds on beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat was probably due to the fact that I went out this afternoon for my usual walk around the headland.

There were a few other people around out there too, walking around, but the surprise was actually down on the beach. There were about 20 people down there playing some kind of sport and even though I watched them for a good few minutes, I couldn’t work out what it was they were actually doing.

There were a few other people around down there too but they were just doing normal things like walking around at the water’s edge.

fog in baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd when I say that I was surprised to see them, that was for two reasons too.

Not just because it was strange to see so many people, but also due to the fact that there were some incredible rolling banks of fog moving in off the sea and it was at times quite difficult to see very far.

Despite all of the wind that we have had just recently, there was hardly a breath of it today so while it might have been rolling in off the sea, it was just banking up at the head of the bay and becoming thicker and thicker down there. That’s not the kind of day to be out at sea.

le loup jullouville baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLe Loup, the marker light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour, was barely visible and you couldn’t see very much beyond there along the coast.

But one thing that you will notice is that it really is a sea mist or fog and not driving rain. And it’s not very thick either. You can see the blue sky overhead above the mist here at the edge of the fog.

At the end of the headland, I looked out to sea to see what was happening but as you might expect, I couldn’t see anything going on there at all. But most of that was down to the fog. I couldn’t even see the Brittany coast so I gave it up as a bad job and carried on with my walk along the headland.

aztec lady chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s another change of occupier at the chantier navale.

We still have a total of four boats, but one of the fishing boats that was there seems to have gone back into the water and instead, we seem to have acquired Aztec Lady, one of the tourist charter boats. It makes me wonder what’s the matter with her, but seeing where she’s been positioned, it can’t be anything that’s likely to detain her for long.

Talking of being detained for long, I cleared off home for my hot afternoon coffee but when I went to drink it, it was freezing cold. That’s what happens when you crash out for half an hour.

The hour on the guitar passed really well and I quite enjoyed it, and then I went for tea. Taco rolls with the remains of the stuffing but, most unlike me, half of it went in the bin. For some reason, I wasn’t at all hungry tonight.

You are all probably wondering where I got to (and, more importantly, who came with me) during the night. But just as I was about to start to transcribe my dictaphone notes, Rosemary rang up for a chat – a chat that went on for just over one hour and forty minutes.

It took me a couple of days before I could find the time to transcribe them, but I was playing bass with The Doors or The Grateful Dead or someone last night. We were on our way to a gig, the first that they had done for 25 years. I’d bought some new equipment. While we had stopped for a coffee and an afternoon break I started to wire up the PA but noticed that the microphones had on/off switches that had to be held down. I thought “this is wrong. We have the wrong equipment here. What are we going to do about this because you can’t hold down a mike switch in the middle of a concert when you have both hands on a guitar”. I carried on wiring them up anyway. A couple of boys appeared and spoke to Jerry Garcia or whoever it was. He had them play a little song, all very countrified rock, arpeggio chord-playing guitar, that sort of thing. The guy playing a really weird guitar with the tuning pegs in the body of the guitar and nothing on the neck, which was a very small neck anyway. I went back over to the pile of equipment and sat there suddenly scratching my head. Someone else came along and said “what are you doing?”. I replied “I don’t know. I just walked over here for something and I can’t remember what it was that I came back for”. He asked “was it your guitar strap?”. I said “no but I need to check that anyway so while I’m here I’ll do that”.

Later on I was with a couple and I’m not sure who they were. They may well have been one of my sisters and her husband. Also with me was Zero, who at one time was a very, very regular companion of mine on my voyages who hasn’t been around much of late, so a big “hello” to you in Stoke on Trent. The 4 of us had been to British Salt having my Cortina fixed. It had been a question of having it serviced of course and one of the bolts on the bottom pulley which was held on by two bolts needed replacing. Rather than buy one, they turned one on the lathe. There were all kinds of things going on there with old lorry cabs, an old Dodge lorry cab lying around. Someone had been sent home from work not once but twice. The garage there was absolutely spotless and I’d never seen it looking like that in al my life. They went in to get the paperwork ready. I went in with them but was told that I couldn’t stay. I had to go back into the waiting room. Then they all came out and the four of us walked down the drive. The woman was very slow and her partner was very fast and I was there with Zero. When we went round a bend the guy was suddenly no longer in front of us so we had to wait until the woman caught us up to find out where he had gone. There was something going on in Northwich and it was a lovely afternoon so Zero and I were wondering whether we were going to walk to Northwich or whether we were to go on the bus. We didn’t mind walking and we were sure that the guy would want to walk but she said that her mother (who was this woman) wouldn’t want to as she wasn’t very good at walking. So we waited, and the guy turned up. He’d been reading a notice and that’s why we missed him, a notice about a football competition. Then off we set on foot. We still hadn’t decided whether we would go on the bus or walk but there were loads of things to carry. One of them was a pack of margarine and I ended up with traces of margarine all down the front of my jumper. As we set off the woman said to Zero “you’d better come and sit next to us 2 adults so that you can have a better view” and I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by that.

But interestingly, as seems to be a regular feature in my nocturnal voyages, the moment that I find a pleasant and interesting character to come along with me, someone from my family always pops up to intervene. That really was the story of my life when I lived back in Crewe all those years ago.

Having written my notes now I’m off to bed. Welsh lesson tomorrow so I have to be on form for that, and then I have the rest of the week to do plenty of things that have been building up. Far too many of them just now and there seems to be more and more.

Sunday 24th january 2021 – I’M NOT DOING …

… very well with this idea of getting up early, am I?

Obviously it’s Sunday so we don’t really expect all that much but nevertheless 11:30 is rather exaggerated and it doesn’t bode very well for my 04:30 start. At this rate I can see myself not bothering to go to bed and sleeping on the train on the way to Paris.

And it wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve done that either as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

So after the medication, the first thing that I did was to listen to the dictaphone to see if I’d been anywhere during the night.

To my surprise, there was something on there FROM YESTERDAY so I transcribed that and added it into the entry, and then turned my attention to last night’s voyage.

And this was confusing because I was watching this action exactly as I would have done had I been watching a film – in fact it was a film although I’ve no idea as to the circumstances under which I was watching it – whether in a cinema, on TV or something like that. But it was certainly a film that, in my dream, I’d seen before.

It was something like a scene from The Great Escape or La Grande Vadrouille last night with 2 men and a woman escaping from the Germans. They ended up hiding in a forest and next morning they set out again. I remembered this film in my dreams – a film that inspired me about the Auvergne (although how I ended up in the Auvergne is nothing to do with any film at all) because the forest where they had been hiding was just like what I thought the forest in the Auvergne would be. It’s all very confusing. So they set off. The woman and a man set off together and another man walked on his own. he must have found a lift because he disappeared off the scene. The man and a woman went on walking and an old grey Albion lorry went past, one from the late 60s with an early Mandator TG4 cab actually and nothing to do with World War II, a left-hand drive one as well. Eventually they were picked up by some old woman who led them into town. They walked past a café and there sitting in the window was their friend who bore a very strong resemblance to Michel de Berg (and what’s he doing putting in an appearance here?). He left the café and followed them into the town centre. They went into a place and a fight broke out, I’m not quite sure why. The old woman was immediately suspicious of the two people whom she had brought in but anyway she went downstairs and the two people, the man and the girl whom he’d taken with her, they were already downstairs with the 3rd guy and were sitting at some tiny table tucked into the corner somewhere right by the toilet. When the girl came out of the toilet there was a whole rush of people trying to go in. The 3 people sat down and tried to order something. They had ordered a coffee but they were trying to order something to eat as well.
But somewhere along the line I remember myself with other people and I had two jars, one half-full of instant coffee and the other half-full of brown sugar. To save on the jars I suggested mixing the two together and I said that surely no-one will mind as they all take sugar in their coffee. And then I realised that I myself don’t take sugar.

There was a break in the middle of all this for a bowl of nice hot porridge, and then I didn’t do very much at all except attend to some outstanding paperwork.

There was the usual afternoon walk of course so out I went. And I rather wish that I hadn’t.

A long while ago I’d read a report on the Tay Bridge Disaster which said that the gusts of wind were so strong that men had to walk along the bridge on their hands and kneed to avoid being blown over, something that I didn’t take seriously at the time.

But having been out in the wind that was blowing this afternoon I can well believe it. I was being lifted off my feet and pushed along in any direction other than that in which I wanted to travel, so strong was the wind. I had never experienced anything like it.

That’s the reason why there were no photos from the northern side of the headland. It was just totally unsafe with a cliff edge nearby in a gale like this.

storm sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallInstead you had to wait until I went around the south side of the headland before I could unleash the NIKON 1 J5.

You might not think that this is nothing about which to become excited but actually we are in the lee of the strongest blasts of the gale. And while the sea is only “moderately wild” it’s still impressive enough but doesn’t do justice to the actual conditions that we were experiencing.

If the wind were to shift round a few degrees and the tide were to come in any more, then we would be having some really interesting scenery down there on the harbour wall.

storm le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou’ll have more of an idea of what we were up against in this image here.

You can just about make out Carolles and Jullouville in the distance through the heavy clouds and the rainstorm (did I mention that it was pouring down with rain too?) but you can’t see very much further beyond there. And, of course, the farther out you go, the rougher the sea becomes as it’s out of the shelter of the headland.

It was one more haggard, drowned rat that made its way back to the apartment and the mug of hot coffee was extremely welcome. And while I was drinking it, I prepared my pizza base for tonight’s tea.

While the pizza was cooking I tidied up, backed up the computer and packed my bags. I’ve probably forgotten loads of things but that’s just too bad.

The pizza was delicious of course and then I had a shower and changed my clothes. I’m going to bed tonight fully-clothed in the hope that I can just fall out of bed and hit the road tomorrow morning. I am not looking forward to this one little bit.

Thursday 22 October 2020 – I WAS FEELING LIKE …

… the Man From Westphalia this morning. In fact, it really was a failure.

When the third alarm went off I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed. I was rather like the two merchant seamen swimming in the sea with an overturned lifeboat.
“Did you manage to drag yourselves up on the boat?” asked a rescuer
“Honestly” replied one of them. “We never even had the time to do our hair”

It was 08:20 when I finally left the bed and that’s way beyond depressing.

It wasn’t as if I’d gone far during the night either. I’d been in the office to work and we’d been in the basement. To climb back out was hundreds of steps and I was exhausted by the time that I got to the top. There were crowds of people milling past me so when I went down again and coming back, I came back up the wider part of the stairs so all these crowds of people came swarming up the narrow part, which was quite strange. They all started to go home. Someone had an Austin A90 Atlantic with a very large boot on the back and I’d never seen that before, much bigger than a standard type. I got to the counter and asked if they had some papers for me. I knew that they had because I’d dropped them off there when I arrived. They asked “what name?” so I told them and they gave them back to me with a smile. I said “I’m going to take a shower before I go”. They asked were and I replied “in my room”. Someone had noticed on my paper the name of my car. They asked “do you have a Vanden Plas?” (which ACTUALLY, I DO). I went to show them on the paper. But there was somewhere something about a situation in the shower where I’m going to take a shower at someone’s house at one point and there was a rubbish bin full to the brim of all kinds of rubbish, mostly lightweight, these polystyrene balls, bits of plastic, whatever. I’d switched on the fan in the bathroom and all these papers and this polystyrene balls had blown absolutely everywhere and made a complete and utter horrible mess of untidiness inside this bathroom. I thought “it’s going to take me ages to clean this up, and it’s in someone else’s house as well”.

Writing out all of that didn’t leave me too much time to do anything else. I had a quick shower and then hit the streets.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOff to the shops now, albeit rather later than usual.

This morning though, i managed to catch the roofers on the roof at the College Malraux. They seem to be hard at it today as well, ripping the slates off the building. And their cherry-picker will make light work of hauling up the material to the roof.

It’s a bit tough on the young kids. No apprentices and labouring jobs these days where the youth of today can watch and learn how it’s done.

fishing boats leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hallhaving got that out of the way I continued on with my walk to the shops.

It looks as if I’d just that very minute missed the opening of the harbour gates. There was an endless stream of fishing boats, both large and small, engaged in a stampede out to sea . There were probably about 20 all told, I reckon.

The fishing season must now be in full swing again, I reckon, with all of this activity going on. It will be interesting to see the quayside at the Fish Processing Plant at high tide tonight.

repairing sails marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt wasn’t just the fishing boats that were undergoing some activity this morning. Marité was having her fair share of attention too.

There were a couple of guys in a sky jack or a cherry picker or something of that ilk checking and repairing one of her sails this morning.

You can see the heaps of gravel piling up in the background too. It’s not going to be long, I reckon, before a gravel boat comes in to pick it all up. It’s been 6 months since we saw the last one so it’s about time.

Everyone was in facemasks in the town what with these new regulations and it looked quite bizarre. But obviously necessary with 40,000 new infections today.

At LIDL there was nothing exciting. Just the usual stuff. I wasn’t out there long. Heavily loaded (not as heavy as last week though) I headed back for town and home.

trawlers port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked back up the Rue des Juifs I noticed an interesting spectacle.

It was something that puzzled me at first – two trawlers lashed together and sailing out og harbour. But just after there where I photographed them they did a hard left turn and the right-hand one came up against a pontoon. There, it was lashed to a support and the other trawler cut itself free.

Maybe it might have been an engine problem on the right-hand one that it couldn’t move under its own steam … “diesel” – ed … or something like that, I suppose

Back at the apartment I made myself a hot chocolate and then attacked the laptop. It has finished its reloading and all of the data files had now been copied back. What remained now was to add my suite of programs, something that took the rest of the morning.

More of my really delicious bread for lunch, and then this afternoon I started on the photos again. And this was extremely complicated because there were several photos that I took that, because of this failure of the DashCam to pick up my voice, I didn’t know where the photos were taken.

In the end I had to resort to watching the dashcam recordings to pick up any hints and with German road signs being so miserable, that wasn’t early and I ended up at one stage plotting my route by virtue of wayside advertisements.

However, I’ve now arrived at the Luxembourg border so from here on in, it should (hopefully) be pretty plain sailing for the remaining 46. Yes, I only managed to do 9 this afternoon, so complicated was it all.

roofing rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter I’d done some of the photos it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

First stop was to see just how they were getting on with the roofing job in the Rue St Jean. And, by the looks of things, there has been plenty of progress. Most of the laths are now on and they have almost covered one of the pitches of the roof with tiles. It’ll be fun watching them do the edging on the left.

And there was an ambulance in the area early this afternoon too. It made me wonder if someone had fallen off that flying scaffolding.

zodiac english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy walk continued on down and round the corner to the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord.

Actually, I was rather hoping to see a gravel boat so I had a good scan out to sea. But there was nothing doing. Only this zodiac racing past across the bay, with no indication of where it had come from and to where it was going.

However it was all loaded up with fishing gear so I imagine that they were going to have another go at the sea bass. And who knows? Some day someone might even manage to catch one too.

building sandcastles beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was plenty of activity going on down on the beach and that caught my attention for a while.

Over the least couple of days we’ve had the beach artists down there doing there stuff but today it looks as if they have abandoned the place to the Civil Engineers. There are a couple of young guys building something substantial – a dyke with protective walls and sand castles. Good for them

The adults seem to be be preoccupied with something going on out to sea, but I couldn’t see what it was from up here.

people in sea plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy walk continued on along the Rue du Nord, mixing in with the hordes of people who were milling about.

You probably saw in the photo of the roofing that it was a beautiful, cloudless afternoon. Nice as it may have been, it wasn’t that nice. You wouldn’t get me into that water down there right now.

So instead I continued with my walk. No opportunity to break into a run unfortunately. There were far too many people about for that and I don’t want to show myself off.

When it reached 18:00 I called a halt and had my hour on the guitar. but I’ll need to find some enthusiasm from somewhere because I have lost it all right now and that’s not like me. Or maybe it is these days. I dunno. I can’t seem to summon up any enthusiasm for anything right now.

Tea was taco rolls with the left-over stuffing from the other night, followed by my delicious apple pie with chocolate sauce.

Moon baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd then I went for my evening walk.

During one of my many pauses I’d read up on how to use the delayed timer, and it was a beautiful, clear night with no wind, so I took the tripod for a walk.

Many of the photos didn’t come out and were summarily deleted, and had I had the f1.8 50mm lens on the camera instead of the BIG NIKON ZOOM LENS I might have been able to salvage more. I have a lot to learn about photography in the pitch black

Trawlers english channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe tripod isn’t up to all that much either. Even on a level flat piece of concrete there’s still plenty of shaking in the joints. I didn’t have a weight with me to hold it down.

That’s pretty apparent in this photo of the street lights of Jersey. A 5-second exposure shows it up well enough. But had I had my night lens on I could have taken the same shot with just a one-second exposure and it would have been better.

And believe me – there were plenty more much worse than this that bit the dust.

Trawlers brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut you’ll remember from earlier today when I photographed the stream of fishing boats heading out to sea on the tide, and I mentioned that i’d like to be there when they would all be coming back.

And sure enough, I was too. while I was setting up my tripod at the end of the headland to take some photos of the reflection of the moon in the sea, two of the blighters went chugging past me on their way back home.

They are the lights of Kairon Plage and Jullouville in the background by the way.

Moon baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut this was what I was trying to photograph.

Over there in the background we have the Brittany coast round by Cancale. There’s the moon too, and some stars and planets, and the reflection of the moonlight in the sea. And there’s the traditional dilemma too – street lights just about right but the moon was far too bright.

Closing the aperture might reduce the light of the moon down to a proper proportion, but then you can’t see the stars or the street lights, and the reflection of the moon in the sea isn’t anything like impressive.

trawler baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen quite often the reflection of the street lights of St Malo bouncing around off the clouds in the distance.

One of the things that I wanted to do this evening was to take a better photograph of that, particularly as the clouds are now starting to close in. This was done with a 10-second delay, just long enough for a fishing boat to come into the shot, and a three-second exposure time, just long enough for the boat to become a nice blurred streak.

But at least the stars and the street lights aren’t blurred. I must have been out of the wind here, I suppose, and that prevented the tripod from being shaken about.

Moon baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis one was taken looking further up the Bay to the Brittany coast round by St Benoit des Ondes.

And taking this photograph was not without its difficulties either. There were a couple of other people walking about around here this evening and they had the habit of walking in front of the camera just after I’d pressed the shutter and while the time delay was running

Someone else though saw what was happening and he stopped. We ended up having a good chat about the area. He was from the Paris region and was on holiday here. It was his first visit and he was enjoying it so far.

moon trawler baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallhaving stood here for a good half-hour taking loads of useless photos I ran on (because I was still running despite the equipment) round the headland to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

By now, the clouds had thickened up and the moon was being obscured. Nevertheless I tried for a 2-second exposure here and that seemed to come out reasonably well. At least the trawler that drifted into the image wasn’t quite as blurred as the previous one was.

And strangely enough, there were even more stars visible in this photo despite the shorter exposure time

moon trawler baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot being sure of how the previous photo would come out, because the tripod was far from level and the photo was askew (I straightened it in post-production) I rejigged the tripod and took another one.

This one has come out quite nicely too although there’s plenty of room for improvement.

What didn’t come out nicely though was the photo of the chantier navale. Only one boat in there tonight – the yacht that we have seen. The other two have cleared off.

fishing boats unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor the record, I took several shots of the yacht in there but for some reason, not one of them came out as it should have done.

So instead I turned my attention to the Fish Processing Plant. We’d seen all of the fishing boats heading out to sea this morning and earlier this evening we’d seen them all come sailing back. It was now like a rugby scrimmage out there as all of the boats jostled for position at the quayside to unload.

All of the lights in the Fish Processing plant are ablaze, there’s plenty of movement with the fork-lift trucks and there’s a refrigerated lorry ready to take away the catch.

fishing boats unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat photo was taken at 1/3rd of a second so I went to take the same one at a faster speed.

This one was taken at 1/5th second and it’s not come out anything like as well as the previous one. So I gave up and ran on home.

All in all, I’m pretty disappointed with all of this. Had I had the correct lens on the camera I might have done so much better, quite simply because of the shorter exposure times that would have compensated for a rather wobbly tripod.

Tomorrow morning I’ll have to check that and do some adjustment, I reckon. My technique might not be very good but it’s not going to be helped by relying on faulty equipment.

So now I’m off to bed. I can’t do with another night like last night. I have to put more of an effort into things. But only another week before I’m off to Leuven so there’s tons to do and I can’t hang around brooding.

Interestingly, my horoscope for this week reads “I’m missing my true love. I need to do everything that I can to meet up with her, see her, or simply show her the proof of all my love”.

Anyone remember Tuesday’s notes?

Sunday 11th October 2020 – SUNDAY IS …

… Day of Rest, but you wouldn’t have thought so today. I’ve been really busy.

And not just during the day either. Having gone to bed quite early, totally exhausted for some reason or other, I went off on the kind of rambles which would put me to shame in my daylight hours.

I started off around Oldham way last night although it turned out to be around Stockport. It was again to do with taxis. Someone had had a burglar alarm fitted inside their commercial garage premises and someone was talking to me about it, a passenger. I said that my vehicles are all fitted with stuff like this as well. As we were talking about this one of the alarms went off. I went round to see and they were busy trying to deal with this alarm so I had the long extension coil out that you could plug into it from where my car was parked but it didn’t quite make it. I was able to give a little advice to these 2 guys. They were Pakistani guys running this garage, talking about having their own taxi service so we talked about planning permission, where they could park their cars for it. They had plenty of room and plenty of ideas. And then all of a sudden one of the fridges had broken down, one of the freezers so they needed to move the stuff out of there. I have them a hand to do it. It was all like Indian takeaway food, all very unhygenic, stacks of mushrooms in these cardboard crate things, all over the place, stuff dropping off everywhere. It wasn’t the kind of place where I would like to eat once I’d seen how they were storing their food.

A bit later on there was something going on somewhere else where there were two guys, really tough guys who had taken over control of someone’s life. It was again to do with some garage or other – it may even have been the same one. They had beaten this guy severely and got him doing all kinds of menial stuff for them and they were getting him to brush the curtains with a wire brush. In the end you could see that he just put the brush down. They went over to talk to him and get him to do it again – “you know what happened last time” but you could see the look in his eyes. He had snapped. These two people were going to be in a lot of trouble once he let himself go. They couldn’t see it but I could. Then they started picking on me. One of them tried to push me arpund but I got him in a backbreaker on the floor and just sat there like that. He said “let me go! Let me go!” but I just sat there on him in this backbreaker just leaving him there. In the end he got free. “I’m not really interested in fighting you” I said. “Just leave it like this”. Then he started to try to provoke me again. I was sitting there doing nothing but I could see that the only way that I was going to stop this was by doing the same again like I did last time. I awoke in a feverish sweat at this point – something that I need to note because they ask me about this at Castle Anthrax.

Somewhat later, my brother and I had been somewhere in Caliburn and he was driving (as if that was likely to happen). We’d gone through Angouleme on the way out and driven for loads and loads of miles to see something and were then on our way back. When we got to near Angouleme (wr didn’t know that it was Angouleme at first) we saw a nice view. We thought that we’d go and photograph it. But then we thought that there was no road down there. He had a look on the GPS “there was a little bit of road further along here” so we went that way. We parked up and started to walk. We got to where this view was, a deep river with a gorge running through the mountains and this enormous tunnel as if the river had been canalised at one time and the river was flowing through there. I went to take a couple of photos of it but for some unknown reason my camera wouldn’t work. Every time I pressed the switch nothing happened. it gave a FAULT error. I tried three or four times but then gave up. We came to a building where there was a meeting place, museum or something with a lot of people walking around inside it. I wanted to take a photo of the inside but we weren’t allowed in as we hadn’t paid. We had to wait outside and take a photo through the door. Every time I went to take a photo someone stood in front of me and took a photo. In the end I pushed my way to the front and told my brother “next time this door opens, nip in and close a certain door (that I indicated) because the light coming in through there is spoiling the photo.” He did that and I took a photo but again the camera didn’t work. The woman in charge saw my brother and threw him out so we couldn’t take any more photos so we had to wander back. A girl with us (and I don’t remember her being with us at the time) who was definitely someone I know – maybe Maria, my Greek friend – said “it sounds like you have a card problem” so I took out the card. “Oh look” she said. “It’s melted” and it had as well. I thought “it’s a good job that there’s a spare one in the van”. We carried on walking but then I realised that I’m not using the SD card. There was another type of card in there. In the end I worked out how to take that out, clean it and put it back. That didn’t make the slightest bit of difference. It still wouldn’t work. We were walking on, now me, someone else (a Bourvil-type of character), a 3rd person and my brother. As we walked into Angouleme we somehow separated. My brother disappeared. We were following where we thought he went and ended up on a dirt road. We thought “this isn’t the main highway, is it”? We turned round and walked back. What we had by this time was a wheelbarrow that we were pushing. But it only had one handle so it was really difficult to push so we were taking it in turns. Two of us would carry it. We carried it in all different types of styles in order to exercise all differnt kinds of muscles. It was still awkward and we weren’t making much progress. The handle was a kind of wheelbrace, a metal one. Someone was walking past and I was pushing this wheelbarrow with its one handle and it suddenly flipped up. The handle flew over as the wheelbarrow canted over and the handle hit on the head the one who was walking past. I apologised but he had a good laugh and a smile about it. There we were in the countryside miles from anywhere, totally lost with a stupid wheelbarrow and a camera that didn’t work.

After all of that, what surprised me, and what will surprise you too no doubt, is that I was up and about as early as 08:45. It’s been a long time such a thing has occurred when I’ve not been going anywhere, hasn’t it?

Mind you, it took me a good while for my head to stop spinning round and it having come to a stop, I could get on and do things.

One of the things that I hadn’t done was to write up my notes from last night. In my state of health, the kind of walks that I’m doing with this monumental climb up the rock at the end of it is exhausting me more than you can imagine and I ended up being in such a state that as soon as the football finished I went straight to bed.

And so this morning I had to write them up. That was followed by transcribing the dictaphone notes. All of that took much longer than you might think too because with it being a Sunday I wasn’t really concentrating too much. Part of the time was spent sorting out some of the shopping that I had bought on Saturday which I still hadn’t put away properly, and that meant a little reorganisation in the fridge because it’s full to capacity.

After lunch I made a start on the work. There’s no bread here so I needed to make two loaves. The first was my fruit loaf – 250 grammes of flour with a banana, a couple of handfuls of raisins, a dozen or so ground Brazil nuts (I like my whizzer) and, for some variety, a good handful of desiccated coconut.

Then there was the main loaf. 500 grams of cereal flour with a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds thrown in .

One of the criticisms of my bread has been that it’s too dry. And so I left it rather wetter than I otherwise would have done to see if it improves things any. I put them both on one side covered with a damp tea towel and left them to proof.

Then I needed to feed my sourdough. I mixed it all well in, threw away some to keep the weight down to 100 grammes that’s effectively 50 grammes of flour and 50 grammes of water) and then added 50 grammes of flour and 50 grammes of water, mixed it all in, and then put it in a new jar- a thinner, taller jar. I put an elastic band around it where the level of the sourdough is, so that I can check if it’s rising.

That’s gone into the fridge where it can slowly ferment until next week when I can add some more. It needs feeding with the same weight of flour and water as there is in the mixture. So next week, I’ll have to add 100 grammes of water and 100 grammes of flour.

If I’d left the sourdough out in the warm, I’d need to feed it every day. The warmer it is, the faster is its metabolic rate.

But as I have said before … “and you’ll say again” – ed … it’s just like having pets around the house, the sourdough and the kefir.

Woman Swimming In Sea Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was time for me to go out for my usual afternoon walk. Twice, in fact. The first time was to take out the glass and plastic rubbish. It’s been accumulating for a while and the bag in which it lives was overflowing.

The second time was to make the most of the cold but sunny weather on my walk around the walls. And I wasn’t the only one making the most of it either, and certainly not to the degree that some were taking it. This is what I call courageous. You wouldn’t get me in that water in these kinds of conditions for all the tea in China.

it reminds me on the time on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR when Castor and Pollux asked if I would be taking the Arctic Dip when we were in the High Arctic.
“I can’t” I replied. “I’m not allowed to go into salt water with this catheter port in my chest”.
“What would you done had you not had that catheter there?” asked someone standing close by after they had cleared off
“I’d have looked for another excuse” I replied. I’ve been up to my knees in the Davis Strait 700 miles from the North Pole and that was quite enough for me, thank you.

Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving observed our lady friend for a few minutes, urging her on, I carried on along my path underneath the walls. No chance of going for a run. Far too many people around for that.

Round at the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset I could see what was going on down there. Just a handful of people down there on the beach this afternoon and not one of them taking in the sun, never mind going for a swim. Clearly the hardiness of the locals is something restricted to just a few.

But the seaweed scattered all over the beach had attracted my attention. The storms just recently have been so violent, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, that they seem to have torn a pile of seaweed off the seafloor and dumped it on the beach

Building Material Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route then took me off around to the Square Maurice Marland. Too many people for me to break out into a run so I had a nice walk.

Out at the end I could see down to the docks, and in particular the loading bay where the Jersey freighters come in to dock. And there’s a pile of building supplies in bags down there waiting for loading so it looks as if either Thora or Normandy Trader, or maybe even both, will be coming into port some time soon.

And that reminds me. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen Thora. They have pretty quick turnrounds these days down at the port but I would have expected to have seen it at some point just recently.

And from here I headed on home to my apartment.

Home Made Vegan Pizza Banana Bread Home Made Bread Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack at the apartment I had a look at the bread. Despite having proofed for well over an our, it still hadn’t risen too much but nevertheless I gace them both a good kneading, shaped them and then put them in their mould.

With the bread being of less weight than in the past (it goes too stale by the end) I used a smaller mould – one of my silicone moulds. The bread was sticking too much to the porcelain one that I have been using. The fruit and nut bread went into the usual small cake mould. I came back in here and did some more work.

With about an hour and fifteen minutes to go before teatime I switched on the oven and stuck the bread in it to cook. Meantime, I rolled out the pizza dough that I’d taken out of the freezer at lunchtime, put it onto the greased pizza tray, folded over the dges and left it to proof for forty-five minutes.

When it was ready, I prepared the pizza. It was nicely timed because as soon as I’d finished it, the oven switched off with the bread. So I took out the bread, tipped out the loaves onto a wire grill to cool, switched on the oven again and bunged the pizza in.

It took about 30 minutes to cook – and cooked beautifully too. The edges had risen quite nicely and I’m impressed about how this folding of the edges has turned out.

As for the taste, it was delicious. And I didn’t have any pudding because it was quite filling.

St Helier Jersey Channel Islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter tea, I went out for my usual evening walk.

The sky was really clear tonight and you could see for miles. All the way out to St Helier on Jersey in the Channel Islands. And it’s not every day that I can see so clearly like this all the way out there in the dark. It’s 58 kilometres out to St Helier, as I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … so to see the street lights of the town like this is quite surprising.

And you can clearly see the red aircraft warning lights on the radio tower on the hills at the back of St Helier. And what is the bright light to the left of the image? Is it a fishing boat out there working?

Brittany Coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter taking the photo I walked on along the path at the top of the cliffs on the north side of the headland.

Away in the distance the lights of the small towns all along the north Brittany coast were shining really brightly tonight. You could see all the way down the coast as far as St Cast le Guildo where we slept overnight on board Spirit of Conrad back in July. Right out to the right-hand side of the image is the light of the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, about 70 kilometres away and you won’t see it much clearer than that.

Here I was nearly bowled over by a couple walking along with one of these LED headlights to see where they were going. Somehow though they didn’t see me until they had almost knocked me over

Le Loup Jullouville Baie de Mont St Michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey were the only people whom I saw. No-one else was out there tonight enjoying the pleasant evening.

On the point of the headland there was a nice view across the Baie de Mont St Michel over to the promenade at Jullouville. Le Loup, the marker light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour, was looking quite nice tonight in the starlight. The reflection of the flashing light on the water came out really well.

From there I carried out my three runs tonight. One along the top of the cliffs to the viewpoint, the second along the Boulevard Vaufleury and round the corner into the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne, and the third one from the church back home. And as for the second, I extended my run by another 10 metres tonight. I’m not far from the brow of the hill now and another couple of weeks shall see me over the top and down the other side.

Back here I’ve written up my notes, and now it’s bedtime. Back to work tomorrow and I have a live concert to edit and engineer ready for broadcast. That’s not a work of five minutes.

Saturday 26th September 2020 – I WAS WRONG …

… about the weather last night. We didn’t have the rainstorm today. Or the plague of locusts either. But we had just about everything else.

The high winds are still here and still wreaking devastation about the town. I blame the baked beans that I had for tea the other night.

We also had one of the coldest days that I can remember for a good while too.

That’s probably why I didn’t feel like springing into action this morning and leaping joyously out of bed. Consequently I missed the third alarm. Only by 10 minutes or so, but missed it all the same.

And that’s hardly surprising as I must have been exhausted after my travels last night. I was with my aunt and we were doing a lot of stuff on the computer quite happliy working away. There was another guy with us as well. Suddenly my computer hard drive caught fire. This boy was all for dashing off for phoning up the fire brigade. Of coure I wouldn’t let him do that – I put it out myself. The fire brigade would just smother it in foam and ruin everything. In the end I managed to put out the fire. Of course the hard drive was ruined. My aunt and this boy were going into the City – Bishopsgate, although I don’t know why I thought Bishopsgate because it wasn’t there that I meant. There was a huge computer shop there. I felt really annoyed because I’d been to a computer fair that day and I could have bought a new hard drive there for peanuts had I known but it’s too late now. I asked this boy if he knew about this computer shop. Oh yes, he knew it very well. I asked “while you’re up in London with my aunt can you nip in there and pick me up a hard drive?”. I told him the one I wanted. He said “wouldn’t it be better to pick up a differet type for a MAC or something like that?”. He only ever uses MACs. I said that I use PCs and I’ve used them for years and I know them pretty well so I’m going to stick with them. He had a little bit of a chunter about that. Then I thought that I would have to get him some money as well and I probably don’t have enough cash on me so how am I going to do that? Then it came to booking the tickets so I went to look on the railway site. It turned out instead that I was looking at the bus site. It took endless goes for me to log in on it because everyone was meithering me and I kept on typing the wrong word. Eventually I got in to find that it was buses that we were looking at because we were now actually living in Bath. The first thing my aunt said was that they don’t have a direct bus service from Bath to London any more. We have to go on the train. We had to start looking for things like that. In the meantime we managed to find the times of the buses which would at least get them some of the way. Then the phone rang. My aunt talked to whoever it was and so on. When she hung up she said “that was George and that’s strange. He’s after his wages for the taxis. He’s on holiday and he wants it posted to him in York by cheque”. She couldn’t understand why he wanted it. I said “he’s probably going to buy something special while he’s in York”. “Yes but it’s early. he doesn’t get paid until Thursday but anyway …”. She had a chunter about that. Then I had to go and get her ready for this bus so they could get on it and this other guy too and head off into London
A little later on there was a girl and she was a lot older than she ought to be and she still had a dolly that she cuddled. People used to make remarks about it (Wiske and Schanulleke, anyone?). They decided that they would pass a Law about it. Somewhere inside there they inserted a clause that people who cuddled a pet or other object or person for the purpose of comfort would be exempt, which of course wiped out the whole purpose of this Law anyway. So we all had a debate about it.
Just then this other girl turned up. She was in a purple and gold kind of trouser suit kind of thing that looked more at home in a Middle-Eastern harem. She had long dark-brown hair that was cut in the style of an Egpytian, really precise cuts and edges and so on.
There was much more to it too but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you any discomfort.
And once again I was dictating without the dictaphone in my hand. Either this is starting to become a habit or else it already is and a whole load of stuff has slipped quite literally through my hands.

After a shower, Caliburn and I hit the streets and headed to the shops.

NOZ is always on my shopping list. That’s a shop that buys job-lots of bankrupt stock, overstocks, that kind of thing from all over Europe.

In the past I’ve found plenty of useful things in there and also a whole variety of different foods to vary my diet somewhat. Today they had stocks of Sharwoods products on offer so I now have some vindaloo and madras sauces as well as some mango chutney. Stocks of curry in the freezer are getting low, an I’m also going to learn to make poppadoms, I reckon.

At LeClerc I didn’t spend very much, and most of what I did went on fruit. The place is now looking like a greengrocer’s, which is good for my health (and that reminds me – my kiwi, lemon and ginger cordial is delicious and I’ll be doing that again – hence more kiwis today).

One good thing is that, after much searching, I finally found the fresh figs. So back here, I finally set my kefir en route. How that will pan out remains to be seen.

This afternoon I had a whizz through some more photos of my adventures with Spirit of Conrad in July and we are now in our anchorage for the final night aboard. I reckon that there are about 50 more to edit before I finish.

Then, there are the 400 or so from my voyage into Eastern Europe and once they are completed I can turn my attention to the 3000 that remain from the High Arctic in 2019 and the 2000-odd from the High Arctic in 2018.

And then, finally, I can write up the notes for all of this.

The burning question of the day is not Rafferty’s motor car but whether I’ll finish all of this before all of this finishes me.

A few more albums bit the dust too, some more work was done on revising the web pages, Rosemary rang me and we had a chat for just over an hour, and I even found time to crash out for 15 minutes.

And as for that latter, with everything else that I’ve been doing today, it’s hardly a surprise. I must have been exhausted by then so I’m not too disappointed, even if for the last couple of days I’ve managed to keep going.

chez maguie bar itinerante closed granville manche normandy france eric hallThe day is far from finished too. There’s football this evening so I headed off into town.

And here’s another sure sign that the summer season has ended. The beach cabins have gone and they’ve taken down the diving platform at the Plat Gousset already, but now the itinerant bar Chez Maguie has folded up its tent and crept silently away in the night.

It’s a very significant sign for some of us, but for others it means that the locals can have their boulodrome back until next summer.

football stade louis dior fc flerien flers us granville manche normandy france eric hallProfessional football started back up a few weeks ago, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. But this weekend amateur football has had the green light.

Consequently I headed off up to the Stade Louis Dior to watch Granville’s 2nd XI play FC Flerien, the team from Flers, in Normandy Regional 1.

For the first 15 minutes Granville’s control of the ball and their passing and movement was extremely fluent, but by the end of this little period they were already 2-0 down – a corner that the goalkeeper dropped into the path of an onrushing forward (he seemed to have a good pair of teflon gloves) and a misplaced header under pressure back to the goalkeeper that went to another onrushing forward.

After that, a couple of heads dropped, and the Fleriens got into their stride. We had to wait 55 minutes for Granville’s first shot on target (and about 10 minutes before the end for their other one) and 65 minutes for their first corner.

It was literally men against boys because Granville’s team was quite youthful whereas Flers had three or four old hands who had clearly been around the block far more times than the Granville players could handle.

The match ended 2-0 but really Flers could have had half a dozen and no-one in Granville would have complained.

And I’m glad that the match finished when it did because I was absolutely frozen to the marrow. It’s a long time since I’ve been this cold. I’ve been much warmer than this in the Arctic and next time I go to the football I’ll put on the thermal undies that I bought on Thursday.

blue light pedestrian crossing ave matignon granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, here’s something that I haven’t noticed before – mainly because it’s been an age since I went into town in the dark at night.

But now there seems to be blue lights shining down on all of the pedestrian crossings on the main roads. Presumably to give motorists a better chance of spotting civilians trying to cross the road.

It brought back many happy memories of a press release that we wonce received from the Parisian authorities when I worked at Shearings – “The policeman who directs the traffic at the roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe will from now on be floodlit to make sure that motorists don’t miss him in the dark”.

marite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route home had to be extended tonight for the simple reason that “if I’m out, I’m well out” and there’s no point in going home with just 90% on my fitbit. I may as well push it up to 100%.

For that reason I wandered on down into the port to see what was going on.

“Nothing much” was the answer to that. Marité was there of course, tucked up in her little corner and so were the two Channel Island ferries, Granville and the older Victor Hugo.

As an aside, we haven’t seen a gravel boat in here for almost 6 months. I was hoping that this new mayor would do something about stimulating the freight trade to the port.

restaurants rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route continued along the rue du Port.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen several photos taken of this street in the dark, all of which have been taken from the cliffs up above.

And so tonight, in an effort to do something different, here’s the reverse-angle shot taken from the street looking back towards the cliffs.

Not that you can actually see the cliffs in this (lack of) light. You’ll just have to use your imagination.

moonlight baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the climb back up the Boulevard des Terreneuviers I stopped (for breath) to look at the tidal port.

There was a beautiful bright moon tonight, even though it’s only half-full, and there was a wonderful reflection of light down in the Baie de Mont St Michel looking across to Jullouville and the Pointe de Carolles.

Actually, considering that this photo was hand-held and taken with the little NIKON 1 J5 with the standard lens, it’s not come out too badly, even if I did have to stop it down by 8 (in fact by 10 because normally the camera has to be opened up by 2 since the lens was repaired).

Back at the flabberblok there was yet more football so I grabbed a bowl of rice pudding and settled down in a ringside seat in front of the internet.

Y Fflint, newly promoted to the JD Cymru League this season after a 20-year absence were entertaining Barry Town. Barry, usually a strong competitive side but who misfired so spectacularly in European Competition earlier and then against TNS on the opening day of the season, have yet to grace my screen this season and I’ve only ever seen Y Fflint play once, in a cup match a few years ago.

The match was quite entertaining because while Barry were much more powerful and street-wise (which you have to expect), Flint matched them blow for blow and I was quietly impressed.

There were three significant items in this match

  1. Alex Titchiner, Flint’s ace striker, was carried off injured after just 2 minutes.
  2. Mike Lewis, in the Barry goal, played the game of his life and made a couple of stunning reflex saves (and that’s not to say that our old favourite, Jon Danby, formerly of Connah’s Quay Nomads, now next-door in the Flint goal didn’t have his moments too)
  3. and had a Flint defender kept his head when Matt Jarvis burst into the area and not conceded a penalty

then the new boys would have had something from this game. They are no mugs, and certainly not cannon-fodder like some promotees have been.

And if TNS managed to sweep away this Barry side so convincingly, then just HOW good are TNS?

There is also some exciting news from Deeside too. It seems that the idea to build a new football stadium on Deeside to be UEFA-compliant for junior international matches, and European club competition and to be shared by next-door neighbours Connahs Quay Nomads and Y Fflint has taken a giant step forward.

Who knows? It might even become a reality if the two clubs can keep up the momentum they they have established over the last couple of years. The announcement that “certain funds have been made available” is major news but, as expected, BBC Wales, with its hands so deep in the pockets of the Welsh Rugby Union to an indecent depth that it imposes a news blackout on Welsh football, has totally passed it by.

But by now, it’s late. Long after midnight, so I’m off to bed. I’ll write up my notes in the morning – if I’m here. It’s Sunday and a day of rest and I might sleep in long past midday.

Sunday 6th September 2020 – THE BIRD-MEN …

hang gliders place d'armes pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall… of Alcatraz were out in force this afternoon.

And while this is not usually exactly any headline news, it is today. That’s because yesterday there was a disaster, if not a tragedy, involving them as one of them came crashing down to earth onto the rocks round by where the tidal swimming pool is on the Plat Gousset.

The air ambulance was called and the stricken bird-man was taken to hospital where he is in a life-threatening condition. Having seen them flying around as I have, I do have to say that sad as it might be, it is not entirely unexpected.

What else is not entirely unexpected is the fact that I was in bed until about 11:10 this morning. Flat-out until about 10:30 and then it took me about 40 minutes to summon up the courage and strength to leave my bed.

On the dictaphone was a very long and rambling, practically incoherent account of a nocturnal ramble. It didn’ make very much sense at all and I had to listen to it again (and again and again) until I could untangle it, and I’m still not sure that I’ve understood it.

I was with a group of young girls last night and we’d been to some kind of resort or holiday place. We’d been wandering around there. There was something about one particular girl. She had to take driving lessons but somehow she could only take 1 at that particular moment. I was hanging around with her and her younger friend or sister and another girl. We had walked past the port where the gates had opened and closed but were now open. Our route led us up into a small room. This room was open and they were wondering why it was still open and not closed so I explained to them about the tides, how it opened and closed with the tides. We went in and I had a look at my watch and there was about an hour left before it closed. There was a lot of noise coming from one of the bars. We couldn’t see it but we had a look but we couldn’t see what was going on but it was a load of boys being quite raucous as if they were drunk. This one girl said something about it and I said “we’ll probably get to meet them tomorrow when we’re going to be down there”. There was the question of her insurance and she had one driving lesson tomorrow and there would have to be others at some particular time and it drifted around quite like this.
Somewhat later, with a big gap in the middle as if i’d failed to dictate something, I played a tape of some driving instructor to this girl and I put it away but she was saying that she wanted to hear it again to learn it properly. I got it out and she sat at the table with her hands positioned as if they were on a steering wheel and I played the tape back. But it was about some kind of bicycle rally, about how a group of them on bicycles were going through the countryside making a very sharp turn, with a lot of people missing the turns and falling off. From this came a discussion about how to ride your bike on damp ground. I began to think that this is nothing like how to teach someone to drive a car at all. I’d put the wrong tape on, something like that. Meantime this girl fetched her bike and started to try to practise some of the things that they were talking about on this tape. I ended up at some point on a derelict railway station with this girl. It was pretty much overgrown but the platform was there. We found the milk-churn loading dock where they manoeuvred milk churns onto the trains by hand as they did back in the 1920s and 30s

There’s a good deal more to it than this but it’s not the kind of stuff that you want to read while you are having your evening meal.

What I can say however, is that when I awoke, I had the very strong feeling that Pollux had been accompanying me during my travels but surprisingly, there was no mention of her on the dictaphone so I’ve no idea as to the source of this feeling.

vegan pizza apple pie apple turnover granville manche normandy france eric hallToday has been a baking day and I’ve been quite busy.

First task was to make some pizza dough. That’s just like making bread dough but with a tablespoon or two of oil. I made enough for three pizza bases, and two of those I put in the freezer for again.

Then I made some pastry mix – 250 grams of flour and 125 grams of vegan margarine, all well mixed in and then a couple of tablespoons of water mixed in to make a very dry paste.

That was rolled out and a base but into a greased pie tin. Then several baking apples were cut up and put in there with some sultanas, desiccated coconut, nutmeg, cinnamon, all mixed in with lemon juice to bleach it.

The rest of the pastry mix was then rolled out and put on top, the edges having been damped with vegan milk. The top was then pressed down with a fork to seal it, and then trimmed.

The top was brushed with milk, sprinkled with brown sugar and then pricked with a knife to make vents to allow the steam from the apples to escape.

Whatever pastry was left was rolled into a square and I made an apple turnover with the remainder of the apple mix stuff. That was sealed, brushed, sprinked and pricked too.

hang glider pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAll of that went into an over for 45 minutes on 230°C and while it was doing, I went for a walk.

As I said just now, the hang-gliders were out again. Despite the tragedy of yesterday that didn’t prevent one of them from doing an aerobatic display for the dozens of walkers who were out there.

What with one thing and another, I have a feeling that the events of yesterday will not be the last either. It all seems pretty reckless to me, some of the things that they do while they are up in the air.

le loup jullouville baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallNevertheless it was a beautiful day and that explains why there were so many people out and about, both on the ground and in the air.

The sky was pretty clear and the view went for miles with just a touch of heat haze. Le Loup, the marker light that is situated on the rocks just outside the harbour, was looking particularly beautiful today.

The town of Jullouville in the background was looking quite nice too. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been out that way and I’ll have to go for another walk down there when circumstances permit.

o'toole transport port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the area is often visited by the rich and famous.

Fans of the James Bond films will remember that in OCTOPUSSY there was a girl called Plenty O’Toole, named after her father of course.

Her father is a regular visitor to the town and he was back again, parked up on the quayside down there by Victor Hugo, the Channel island Ferry.

It actually reminds me of when I lived in Crewe and every day for about six months I had to walk past a big factory with “O’Malley’s Tool Works” on the side of it. I thought to myself “so does mine, but I don’t put up a sign about it”.

Back here I made my pizza and when the pies were cooked I put that in the oven. And it was cooked to perfection. Really beautiful.

And so filling that I didn’t have any pudding. No sense in forcing myself. Have I mentioned that my weight is still slowly decreasing and I’m within touching distance of the weight that I had when i was running every night in my youth.

trawler fishing boat english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will also recall that earlier in the year we couldn’t move out at sea for fleets of fishing boats out there.

One thing that I noticed since I’ve been back is that there don’t seem to be anything like as many out there. This evening I noticed that there was one with its gear out, somewhere in the English Channel between here and the Ile de Chausey.

There wasn’t anyone else out there either and there wwasn’t very much going on either, so I did my three runs and came on home.

That American car from Connecticut that we saw here a few days ago is still parked up in the same place. It now has a flat tire so it won’t be going far in the near future.

Back here I’ve finished my notes and, much later than I was hoping, i’m going to bed.

I doubt if I will be up at 06:00 seeing as it’s this late already and I still don’t feel tired, but I’ll do my best. I have plenty of work to do

And I’ll hope that I can make some sense out of last night’s voyage. I’m sure that it’s quite interesting.

Friday 26th June 2020 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… I was up before the third alarm went off this morning.

Not by much, it has to be said, but before is before and it’s all good.

Mind you I don’t know why because outside was a really miserable day. I didn’t know if it was raining because I couldn’t see. Wr had a huge sea mist rolling in and it was freezing cold – a far cry from the last few days.

After the medication it was the dictaphone. I had an appointment at the hospital last night and I went to go to the reception. I walked into the office and had to get a ticket to queue up. But the woman called me over as I waslked in. I shouted “in a minute” and went to get my ticket anyway, but I don’t know why. When I got to the desk and said that I had an appointment she asked “who with?”. I said that I didn’t know – it was on the card. She looked on the card and all it had was “Doctor C”. She said “what you’ll have to do is to ring up Doctor Carpentier and se if it’s him. If it’s not him, here are all the other doctors whose names begin with C. You’ll have to ring round all of them until you find the one who is supposed to be seeing you.

Today, with nothing really outstanding that needed doing, I exerted myself by sorting out the washing that had been hanging up on the clothes airer for the last 10 days or so.

Nice and dry of course, and because of the washing softener it actually smelled nice too. Far better than it did the last time that I washed it and forgot about it in the washing machine for a couple of days.

After that, I had some things of my awn to attend to and then I settled down to carry on with a few of the projects that I started a while ago.

Firstly, this involves completely rewriting one of my websites. And that’s not as easy as it might sound either because it seems to have been amended in several stages in the past and some of the early stuff seems to have stuck in a previous format and missed the subsequent amendments.

What I’ve had to do is to prepare a template for each version, work out which version of the site each page is and then amend it accordingly.

So far I did about 4 or 5 pages this morning once I’d sorted out the templates. But it’s not just that – I’m finding lots of stuff that shouldn’t be there as well as a few files that i’d lost here and there along the way.

This afternoon I carried on with editing a web page from another site. What I wrote 20 years ago is not the same as I would have written today, and it’s not easy either to change a style of writing but keeping the same emotion that I had when I first wrote it.

As well as that, it’s been about 12 years since I’ve done any serious third-party web design work so I’m quite rusty in that respect but looking at my site with different eyes, I’ve solved almost instinctively a couple of problems that stumped me whan I was in full flight. I’m not sure how I managed that at all.

As well as that, I had a good go at the photos from July 2019 in Iceland and now I’m back in Heimaey on the way out to Greenland.

Another thing that i’ve done is to make a few tentative enquiries about going off on my travels sometime whenever. I have a couple of plans but they are not for right away or even in the near future. Nevertheless there is no time like the present to get things under way.

rocks light pointe du rock granville manche normandy france eric hallAt the usual time this afternoon I went out for my walk.

Although, once again, I couldn’t see why. In fact i couldn’t see very much at all this afternoon because that sea mist was still hanging around out there.

it was cold too, as I said earlier. I had a sweater on, which is pretty much unthinkable for the latter days of June. Even Gribouille the big ginger cat wasn’t coming out in this weather. He stayed stuck on his windowsill indoors.

seafarers memorial pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWith nothing much to see I trudged on around my little circuit, mixing with the people who were out there. There were actually quite a few – more than I was expecting.

With not being able to see very much in the fog, there wasn’t an awful lot to photograph. But regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen a few photos of the seafarers’ memorial just recently in the bright sunlight, so I thought that I would reproduce the view in the fog.

If you look carefully you can juts about make out the coast on the other side of the bay near St Pair sur Mer and Jullouville

la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith nothing else going on I walked on down along the top of the cliff and then round towards home.

Not an awful lot going on in the harbour either. No Jersey freighter today, but La Grande Ancre is there in port tied up. She has no intention of going out in this, that’s for sure.

From there I headed off back home to carry on working. There was plenty to do. And I might have accomplished so much more had I not gone off with the fairies again for half an hour or so.

When I came round, I was feeling pretty miserable. I reckon that I’m sickening for something else right now and I don’t like that idea very much at all.

But I plodded on with my work and then had the usual hour on the guitar.

Tea tonight was exciting. There was a pepper left over so I sliced it up. A potato was diced and put in the microwave with a little water and some spices (turmeric, coriander and cumin) for a couple of minutes.

While that was doing I sliced up a couple of onions and fried them with spices and also some fennel and fenugreek. A pile of garlic went in next, and then the pepper.

The potatoes followed, with a tin of exotic vegetables that I had picked up from NOZ a while back. And then a handful of spinach.

More spices to taste, and then the pièce de résistance – not a French virgin but a little carton of soya cream (regular readers of this rubbish will recall that they had some on special offer at LeClerc a couple of weeks ago).

So there we are – an Instant Korma, and vegan to boot. With some rice and mixed veg it was delicious and, even better, there are four more helpings for the freezer.

Apple pie and ice cream for pudding with chocolate sauce.

My run was going to be late tonight because I wanted to hear the start of my radio programme. But badger me if the baskets have forgotten YET AGAIN to broadcast it.

Having been missed off the list of “presents” at the meeting last week, I am not very impressed at all by this. If they don’t want my programmes they should have the courage to tell me so that I don’t waste my time.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallEventually I made it outside for my evening run.

And I ran straight into the sunset again. Unfortunately, although the weather is 100 times better than it was earlier and you could actually see things, there was too much cloud about for it to be as spectacular as the last couple of nights.

Anyway, I made it all the way down to the clifftop past the itinerant, even though I didn’t feel much like it tonight.

fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNot a great deal of activity out there tonight.

There was a small yacht way out in the distance over by the Ile de Chausey but there were also some fishermen in their boat just off the cliffs fishing for something or other.

One of these days I’ll have to accost a fisherman and find out what the catch is in the waters off here. The waters aren’t all that deep so it’s not going to be anything super-exotic.

crowds pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was another evening with no-one picnicking in the old gun emplacement so I carried on walking across the lawn.

There were a few people about as well, getting in my way, but round by the Pointe du Roc all of the action seemed to be down at the viewpoint by the old watchman’s cabin.

W’ve seen quite a few groups of people congregating down there just recently and there was another bunch of people hanging out in the evening sun down there. It’s a lovely spot to hang out.

fisherman pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was no fisherman down there this evening though. The rocks around there were looking pretty bare.

It seemed to me as if they had all given up for the duration but, having a look around, I found one of them standing on a rock elsewhere in the vicinity casting his line into the void.

With nothing else exciting going on, I carried on with my run. Past the chantier navale where there were still the five fishing boats.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAt the end of the path i stopped for a breather, and from there i had a look around to see if there was anything exciting.

The two Joly France boats were down there near the ferry terminal but what caught my eye was the older boat of the two. She was moored in rather a dangerous position right by the harbour gate and I was sure that she shouldn’t be staying there.

But closer inspection revealed that her crane was extended and as I ran on down the road, she lifted something out of the forr’ard hold, dumped it on the quayside, and then cleared off elsewhere.

swimmers changing people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAll the way down the Boulevard vaufleury I ran, round into the medieval city and round through the alleys to the viewpoint at the rue du Nord – a little easier tonight, I reckon.

There were a few people down on the beach this evening. Not picnicking but simply soaking up the sun. Not as many people as we have seen in the recent past.

But I was admiring a couple of people down there. They were drying themselves with towels and sorting out some clothes, so it looked to me as if they had actually been in the water for a swim.

Braver men than I am, Gungha Din.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs I said earlier, the sunset tonight wasn’t all that spectacular.

Back at the apartment I showed it to Liz and she described it as a storm in a sunset sandwich, which I thought was very lyrical of her.

For a change it’s a little earlier than usual so I’ll probably go for an early night. I’m expecting a couple of visitors tomorrow so I might even do a little tidying up early tomorrow morning if I feel up to it.

Shopping tomorrow of course, but I don’t need much at all. But I want to go to the second-hand shop because I have a project in mind.

More of this anon

Monday 22nd June 2020 – THIS MORNING …

… was another morning to really forget about as far as the “getting up” stakes went.

And it beats me as to why, really, because whilst it wasn’t exactly an early night, I crashed out and went to bed before I’d finished the night’s tasks. Finish the journal and do the back-up.

And the back-up is becoming quite complicated these days.

There’s been an upgrade to the operating system that I use – a major upgrade – and some of the functions are missing.

In the past there was a “search” function where you could specify “today” or “yesterday” or “this month” or “this year”. I have a 128GB memory stick in one of the USB ports and I would would simply “search” for “today” on the computer’s hard drives (there are four in here) and it would come up with all of the files that I’ve created or modified today, then I would just drag copies onto the memory stick.

But that function seems to have gone and what i’m having to do in the meantime until I find a work-around is to go into each of the hard drives on the computer, list all of the files and drag over copies of those that were last saved today.

And that takes about 10 times as long.

So when I eventually did heave myself out of bed and have my medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone. Yesterday’s voyage was transcribed and I amended the journal entry to include it.

But as for the one from last night, I was for ever writing that one out.

Last night I was in Canada – at least, I assumed that it was in Canada. I was in my car off taking photographs and there was someone in a car. But we started – I had to go to the tax office and I had to fill in a load of forms. One of them was the Vanden Plas that I’d got and how I’d come by it, how I was given it, all that kind of thing. And I was being interviewed by these two people – first one and then the other. They were asking me loads of questions about all this kind of thing. The first one came back with a pile of forms. “Here’s a pile of forms and you’ll have to follow the instructions that you will be receiving scrupulously” I had a quick glance though these forms and I couldn’t see what there was in there of any particular importance. I thought “I’ll find out in due course”. To go out it was liek a kind of maze of one room inside another, all with wallpaper painted over them and a rotted chipboard door in one wall that had swollen up. As I was going out a woman was going out with a girl who had her hair in pink pigtails. She went and I got in my car and drove off. Just then I encountered another car that had been bogged down in the gravel and they were trying to push it to get it out. The rear left tyre was totally flat on it, all the tyres were worn, the paintwork was peeling, it was an absolute mess this car.Anyway they pushed it out got into it and drove away. I thought “God imagine a car like that on the road in the Uk these days. My tyre was flat now so I took out the spare and put the wheel on the same nuts as the one that was still on there that was flat so I had two wheels on that particular corner. Just then a girl came past and we started chatting. A little earlier I’d been looking at a map and there was a promontory a way out from here miles down some narrow roads which had a shop there called something like “when the lorry stops, the community stops” or something like that. I imagine that it was a lorry that would take all the supplies out there. She was actually talking about what was I doing here, looking at my car and saying how a train doesn’t do this and a train doesn’t do that and a train doesn’t need inflatable tyres and so on. We started walking off down this road round this lake. I had a dog with me, a black and white sheepdog called Shep. She said “we’ll go on, there are some places to photograph and then we can go back to my place”. I thought “what’s happening here?” So we wandered off with the dog and by this time we had another guy with us – the three of us. The dog decided to disappear so I shouted after him to come back and he knew which way we were going. She stopped at this old derelict house and she said that it was something to do with – she came out with a quote from a book which the other guy immediately recognised as one of these American authors of the 19th Century and saying “is that the house where one of his characters lived?” He named the character and I can’t remember it now. We were talking about this and the blasted dog still hadn’t come back. I thought that I’d better go and look for this dog but I thought “if I do that this guy is going to get his feet under the table with this girl isn’t he? But the dog is much more important, isn’t it?”

Yes, I’m back to having anxiety attacks in my dreams again, although seriously, I don’t think that I ever stopped them over the last few years.

Ohhhh! To have a couple of pleasant voyages like I used to have with convivial companions. It’s been ages since TOTGA, Castor and one or two others have come along to accompany me.

It took me much longer to deal with the dictaphone notes than it ought to have done, and there was the Welsh homework to attend to. All of that took me up to lunchtime which was taken on the wall overlooking the harbour.

All alone, with no lizards, no passers-by and nothing going on down in the harbour. But even so, there has to be something to be said for home-made hummus spread out on home-made bread.

This afternoon I had a radio project to deal with – a live concert to bring myself into synch with everything else. I ended up with 57:09 of music and so I dictated piles of introduction – only to find that I was 15 seconds short – something that seemed most unlikely to me but there we were.

Consequently I dictated some more – only to find that I was still 5 seconds short. But some spurious applause fed into the soundtrack soon dealt with that issue and it’s come out quite well.

low tide beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were the usual breaks during the day of course.

For a start, there was the afternoon walk outside. rather windy but apart from that it was absolutely beautiful weather. The tide was well out although there weren’t too many people down there enjoying the sunshine which was quite a surprise to me.

Not that I intended to go down there. I was off for my walk around the headland.

fishing zodiac kayak granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve spent a lot of time looking at fishermen just recently.

We have the peche à pied of course – the people who scavenge amongst the rocks for the shellfish, and those with rod and line percehed on the rocks. There’s also plenty of movement out at sea too – with the speedboat roaring past the guy paddling his own canoe.

Fishing rods bristling everywhere of course. They all mean business, but in their own fashion.

feeding frenzy seagulls tidal pool granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s not only humans who are out there fishing.

The local wildlife spends a lot of its time fishing too. We’ve seen whole socks of fleagulls loitering on the rocks waiting for the tide to go out so that they too can go scavenging in the rock pools.

This bunch here seems to he having some kind of feeding frenzy down there in that tidal rock pool. And no fighting means that there must be plenty of food to go round.

And that’s just as well. You mustn’t be selfish with your shellfish

seafarers memorial baie de mont st michel le loup entrance light port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way round to where the seagulls wee hanging out, I went past the memorial to the seafarers.

There has been a lifeboat station here for a considerable length of time and a couple of crews have lost their lives over the years while out on a rescue.

The memorial stands just here overlooking le Loup – the light that marks the submerged rock at the entrance to the harbour – the Baie de Mont St Michel and the coastal towns of St Pair sur Mer, Kairon-Plage and Jullouville.

There wasn’t a great deal else happening out there so I came on home to carry on with my radio project. But, once more, in something that is becoming only too regular an occurrence these days, I ended up in the arms of Morpheus for 20 minutes or so. And I’m thoroughly fed up of all of this.

There was the usual hour or so on the guitars during which I found that I had forgotten most of what I had learnt.

Although on the 6-string I’ve found that I’ve been changing from Bm to F without even thinking about it and without even looking. 6 months ago I couldn’t even play them and I was changing key whenever a bar chord cropped up in my playing.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper followed by apple crumble and soya dessert. And I really had to force myself to eat it because my appetite has well and truly gone now.

fishing from zodiac english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo later on I went out for my run, and I never felt less like it than I do right now.

All the way up to the top of the hill, around the corner and down to the clifftop without stopping, to see what was going on there. We saw a zodiac out there earlier with a pile of men going fishing, but I’m not sure if that’s the same one.

The tide is right in so that they don’t have to go too far out from the cliffs this evening.

picnickers pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was a really beautiful evening and there were quite a few people out there enjoying the beautiful sunset.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a pile of people picnicking in one of the old gun emplacements, and tonight there’s a different crowd in occupation

It seems to me that that’s the place to be if you are having a family picnic and there’s no doubt that the view from there out across the English Channel to the Ile de Chausey and down the Brittany coast is certainly spectacular.

yacht baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued across the lawn and the car park and down onto the path at the extremity of the headland.

And as I arrived there, this beautiful little yacht went sailing past. It really did make me feel quite jealous and how I wished that I could be out there right now.

In fact I spoke to someone whom I know about going out sme time on a yacht but he never ever got back to me about it so I imagine that that particular plan is kicked in the head.

At this rate I can see me ending up buying a boat and had I been in better health I probably would. But then again, had I been in better health I wouldn’t be here, would I?

fishing from rocks cap lihou pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s surprising that during the course of the day we’ve seen almost everything out there fishing – except for anyone perched on the rocks.

We almost have to wait until the end of the evenign before we finally encounter someone. He’s climbed down the old collapsing stairs (they are fenced off these days) to where there’s a small tidal beach.

The tide is right in now of course, so he’s taking the usual step of perching himself on a rock and casting his line into the water from there.

Whether he’s actually catching anything is another question entirely.

people on rocks plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I ran on down to the viewpoint on top of the cliffs and as there was nothing happening there either I ran on all the way down through the medieval town and round on the rue du Nord to the viewpoint.

There’s no beach here to picnic on when the tide is in, so I wasn’t expecting any picnickers. But that didn’t worry these people here. They simply perched themselves on a handy ledge on the rocks and soaked up the sun.

That’s a place that i’m going to remember for future reference. It seems to have everything.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd they were in luck because there was plenty of sun to soak up.

It was another night of beautiful sunset so I stayed there fora while to enjoy it and then ran on home to write up the notes.

Earlier on I’d said that I didn’t feel at all like going out. But somehow the runs seemed to be a little easier than they have been over the last couple of days.

It’s clearly a state of mind that affecting me right now and I think that i’m sinking into deep depression. And that’s all that I need right now.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last summer when I was on my Transatlantic and Arctic escapade for several months without my four-weekly cancer treatment, I ended up deep in the depths of a depression.

On one or two occasions I expressed myself in a manner that made me unwelcome in one or two places and there are still three or four days at the end of August and the beginning of September where I haven’t published my notes because of what I wrote at the time and the manner in which I wrote it.

Back in February when my cancer treatment was dramatically stopped “for the duration” I remember writing something like “God knows what state I’m going to be in by the time they call me back” so it’s no surprise.

It’s just as well that there isn’t anyone around who gets on my nerves otherwise we might have another couple of “those” moments.

But anyway, you don’t want me to burden you with my troubles. You have enough of your own to be dealing with. I’ll go to bed instead before this Steve Harley concert that I’m listening to drags me deeper into the pit.

Who’s going to come along and disturb my sleep tonight?

Monday 15th June 2020 – I WAS HARD …

… at it all day today for a change) and by the time I knocked off at 18:15 I’d completed a whole radio project.

It was one of my live concerts which regular readers of this rubbish might think are usually easier than the usual ones – and usually they are. But not this one. Not at all.

Someone had very kindly send me a pile of music (which reminds me – if you are in a group and want your music featured on my shows, get in touch!) for a live concert, which was very nice of them and I never decry the effort, but it was all unusable.

It was a case of scouring the internet to see what I could find, re-manipulating and remixing the rest and then editing it and merging it all together. It’s ended up a bit of a dog’s breakfast, but there wasn’t all that much I could about it.

So in the end I wrote the intro, dictated it, uploaded it to the computer, edited it, and then merged it into the other part, and then had to edit everything to make it fit the on-hour time slot.

And if you think that’s a lot of work, it’s not all that I had to do either. And it didn’t help much that I missed the third alarm as well. Only by a few minutes but missed it all the same.

After the meds I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I had been during the night. I was actually working with someone for whom I don’t really care all that much in real life. We had a tyre depot or we had taken one over. It wasn’t particularly very busy but we were just doing odd jobs and things just to tide us over while we established ourselves. We’d taken it over from some other people, one of their depots and we noticed that we were getting into Novermber but we hadn’t had any calls to change tyres for winter or anything like that and I would have expected that to have been happening round about now. So I was wondering whether they were keeping all of the good jobs back from us and doing them themselves. I was talking to another friend on line and he was asking about how things were. I explained that I hadn’t had time to devote anything to any project that I particularly wanted to do because earning a living was the priority and as no-one wanted to employ me I’ve been having to create a business for myself and I was telling him about this tyre depot.

There were a few things that needed doing and then for the rest of the morning I dealt with my Welsh homework. And I found that I had forgotten most of what I had learnt last week so I had to revise it again.

There was the break for lunch of course, and also the brak for my afternoon walk.

speedboat zodiac buoy english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was trying its best to rain when I went out there this afternoon, so i didn’t like to hang around too much.

But regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen piles of weird buoys and maritime markers bobbing up and down in the water around the coast. There’s another one here just now, with a couple of boats – a zodiac and a speedboat loitering around it.

It’s difficult to see what they are doing – whether they are fishing with rod and line or whether they are doing something with the buoy.

fisherman cap lihou pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallNo prizes what this guy is doing here.

With not very much (and even fewer people) around on the lawn I wandered off around the headland to see if there was anything happening there. Again, not an awful lot except this guy fishing from the rocks.

It’s quite a scramble to reach that particular point and I bet that it’s even more difficult scrambling back up the hill, especially with a full catch.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I’m not convinced about his choice of attire either, and I have a feeling that he’ll be regretting it before much longer.

Just look over there at the Brittany coast. That’s a couple of wicked rainstorms and they are heading right this way. I’m not too bothered because I’ll be home in five minutes. It’ll take him at least that to put away his gear and scramble up the rocks.

There are plenty of boats out there too and they’ll know all about it when the rainstorm hits them in mid-ocean or whatever

rainstorm baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france eric hallThat’s not the best of it either.

My walk took me further around the headland to the south side and this was the sight that greeted me there. A huge rain cloud has blown in from the bay and enveloped the Pointe de Carolles in its wet and clammy grasp.

It’s slowly heading up the coast and as I watched it advance, it slowly spread its shround all over Jullouville.

“This isn’t the time to be hanging about” I reckoned, and headed back for my apartment

workers van place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the weekend we saw the “no parking” notices on the part of the car park that is on the public part of the Place d’Armes.

Being intrigued to see what was happening there I went round for a good look. It’s not easy to see what they will be doing but we have a builder’s mobile office parked here now.

Not only that, there’s a generator just parked there waiting for just anyone to come along, pick it up and drive away. Imagine that in the UK!

On my way back I saw Gribouille sitting on his windowsill so I went to give him a stroke, only to find Nicole there struggling with her drawers, with her hand still in a plaster.

Gallant me, I went to give her a hand. I glued them back together for her and slid them back into the unit.

Back outside it was now teeming down. The rain had caught me up so I came inside quickly.

After my hour on the guitars I ended up with a stuffed pepper for tea. And the amount of fresh food that I’ve had to throw away due to not eating is appalling. I hate throwing food away.

pile of rubble place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on I went for my evening walk and run around the headland.

First stop though was to see what was going on where the builders’ office was. And we seem to have acquired a pile of tarmac and sand from somewhere. They must be digging up somewhere, but I’ve no idea where.

Having examined that, I ran off up the road – a little bit (just a little bit) easier than it was been. And having recovered my breath I ran on down to the clifftop.

couple enjoying sunshine pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallMy itinerant was there again. I reckon that he’s here for the duration.

He wasn’t the only one here either – although he might well have been seeing as how quiet the whole area was. There was just one other couple here – a young couple sitting in the sun quietly watching it sink down into the sea

It’s a really nice way to spend a summer evening.

And talking about nice ways to spend summer evenings, I’ve had an e-mail completely out of the blue from someone who played a large part in my life 45 years ago and who I’ve seen on a few occasions since, but not for about 10 years.

So what’s happening here?

fishing boats english channel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallNo prizes for guessing what’s happening here.

A couple of fishing boats out there, almost stationary. So I imagine that they have their fishing equipment out and are dredging up the sea bed for the shellfish. I’m determined to get out there one day and see how they do it.

Despite it being overcast, there was another excellent view all the way down the Brittany coast towards Cap Fréhel. Not as good as the last time but still impressive enough.

chateau de la crete atlantic wall baie se mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs I walked across the lawn by the Resistance memorial, the sun suddenly came dramatically out of the clouds and lit up the Chateau de la Crête.

Ordinarily I would wait until I’m down on the other side of the headland where there’s an unrestricted view, but the weather is being rather capricious just now and you can’t rely on there still being the same effect in five minutes time.

But at least you get to see one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall. They don’t feature very often in my photos for one reason or another.

picnickers plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallNothing else of any importance happened at all. My run all the way in its several stages) down to the viewpoint at the rue du Nord was pretty uneventful.

There on the beach though I could see that a group of picnickers weas just installing itself down among the rocks. I didn’t think that it was warm enough for that, but they clearly do.

But when you ae young you are pretty much immune to that kind of thing. Yes, since I had that e-mail earlier, I’ve gone all nostalgic and broody.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallInstead of musing on the past, I straightened myself up and admired the sunset.

It’s another one of these wonderful mid-evening lights again and I really like the effect that it gives.

But I couldn’t stay for long. I had a chat with a couple of people admiring the apartment that’s for sale, especially when the woman stood on one of the bollards in the street to have a better view and it sank into the ground under her weight.

Tomorrow I have my Welsh class so I need to revise and prepare for it.

That means an early night, in the hope that I can be out of bed early.

Some hope, hey?

Friday 12th June 2020 – BRAIN OF BRITAIN …

… strikes again!

Yes, guess who put a load of washing in the washing machine on Thursday morning before going to the shops – and then forgot all about it?

It’s out airing on the clothes airer right now, but when I go to the shops tomorrow I have a feeling that I shall have to buy some nice perfumed fabric conditioner or something similar and put them through again.

As for my part, much to my own (and everyone else’s) surprise I actually beat the third alarm call to my feet this morning. I was in the kitchen organising my medication when it went off.

Back here afterwards (still no breakfast!) to look at the dictaphone – and … phew!

Last night I put in an appearance in an office where I used to work and went into one of the rooms which was room D and it was absolutely heaving with people. I’d been for a while in another room and getting a few things organised in there watching a couple of videos that kind of thing but I didn’t really want anyone else to know what I was doing so I was hunched up in a corner where no-one could overlook me. In this room it was crowded with people, hundreds of them. There was one little girl about 5 or 6 and a pile of these white fish fillet squares that she had got down all over the floor. There were a couple of guys in charge and they didn’t seem to be paying the slightest bit of attention. Before i’d gone in there I’d had a look out of the window and I’d seen someone disappearing off in a car towing a trailer pulling a petrol pump so I wondered if that had been something that had come off the beach around the corner so I went there to find out. I was told “yes” but the person didn’t seem to want to elaborate on it.
Later on during the night something had happened about something or other in Aberystwyth. It meant that I had to go home and fetch something and come back again. I was in an old mark V Cortina so I put my foot down i Aberystwyth and drove all the way back to Crewe where I got what I wanted . The journey back should have taken me about 45 minutes (well, yes!) but by the time that I had everything ready it was now exactly 1 hour 05 after I had left so I was going to have to do something about catching up this time. So I put my foot down. I hadn’t gone more than a couple of hundred yards before I ran straight into one of these processions. Even though it was something like 01:00 – 01:30 in the morning there were all these processions like a Miners’ Parade or something. And of course as I set to move off a group of motorcycle policemen came round pushing their bikes following this parade. Of course I had no seat belt on and the car wasnt in any particularly good condition so the captain of the motorcyclists came over and asked me a couple of questions about the car. I’d only had it a couple of days so I couldn’t really answer him so he asked to see my documents. I gave him my driving licence which was stuck inside my purse and took ages to put out. he invited me to come in to his office. Of course I didn’t have time to do all of this but he interrogated me a bit and he got on his radio and radioed my licence number through. I asked “am I clear to go?”. he replied “you’re clear to go. Some guy said “that will be £50:00. I thought “£50:00? What the hell is this for?” He replied “it’s just for having your hair cut”. “But I don’t want my hair cut”. However a girl came round and threw a towel over my shoulders and sat me in the seat. I asked “what the hell is this all about?”. “It’s just something that he likes to do when he’s caught someone and letting them go. It’s a way of raesing funds”. I thought “yes, I bet it is”. And all the time I was supposed to be going to Aberystwyth. I was already running late, I had these things, these people would probably be long gone by the time that I get there and that will be a wasted journey. There I was being trapped in this seat having my hair cut for £50:00
When I went back to sleep I stepped right back into this dream where I’d been before and set off again. I was once more waylaid on the route but I don’t remember anything about it now. I do remember though thinking that this is absolutely ridiculous and I’m never going to get to Aberystwyth at this rate.

A little later still I was on my way to South Wales. I pulled in at Knutsford Services and there I had to hire a car for the weekend and get some food to eat on the journey, get some fuel and sort out some gearbox oil for my car. I’ve no idea why I wanted a hire car but I went into the office and started to make all of the arrangements. They said that they had a Crusader so I said that that was fine by me. They said “hang on, we’ll see what else we’ve got” but I said “no, a Crusader is fine”. They wandered away and I was talking about which guy it was who knew which car they were. They said “it’s the girl over there – the one who’s big enough to be a girl guide”. I thought “what the heck has this got to do with me renting a vehicle”. I thought that i’d better drive my vehicle somewhere, come back, pick up this hire car, go off and I have to be back before Monday. So I told them to make the booking until Monday. Then of course I could work out about what I needed and what I had to get.

After all of that, it was quite a surprise that I was out of bed so sprightly.

Today has been spent working on my music course. And by the time I reached the end of the afternoon I’d done a whole week’s work. And now I can play the blues on the piano in the Key of F, Fmin and F7 with the left hand playing 7/10ths and 7/13ths.

Or, at least, I could if I were any good at it. But you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

At lunch I had some more of my bread. And it’s still tasting quite good. This was, I reckon, something of a success although, as I have said … “on many occasions” – ed … there is still plenty of room for improvement.

What I might do, when I run out of cake, is to make a smaller loaf but crush some banana in it, or else add a pile of sultanas, and make a kind of snack bread. Apricots in it might be good too of course.

After lunch I took some time off work and made myself some orange and ginger cordial. The honey that I’m using isn’t very good though, but I’m hoping that soon I’ll be back in Belgium where I can find some more Manuka honey.

jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallIt had been pouring down for most of the morning but by the time that I went out for my afternoon walk, the rain had stopped.

There’s a strange kind of light when it’s just stopped raining in the summer. And with the air being cleaner these days, the views are generally better. Once more, Jersey is standing out really well and you can see the houses at St Helier.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall a few weeks ago I mentioned something about the lockdown helping to clean up the air.

joly france ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThe ile de Chausey was standing out really well today too.

The houses over there were quite clear to see too, and we could even see Joly France setting out of the harbour there on its way back to Granville.

There’s no doubt whatsoever that I’ve never taken a photo as clear as this of the Ile de Chausey from the mainland. We could do with a few more days like this.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThe photo that I took, I split it into two parts. The previous photo that you saw was the left-hand half, and this one is the right-hand half.

You can see the houses in the little village at the northern end of the island and if you look just to the left of them you might just be able to make out the church. It’s said that there’s a bit of a Liberator bomber in there – one that was shot down over the bay just after D-Day.

The building on the eminence in the middle, that’s the chateau I reckon, a converted fort that was at one time owned by the Renault family.

You can see MORE PHOTOS OF THE ILE DE CHAUSEY here.


crowds lighthouse pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThe fine weather that we were having now that the rain had stopped had certainly brought out the crowds.

As you can see, the path around the cliff and up by the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall were heaving with people this afternoon all catching what sun here was.

The lighthouse is looking good today , and the four flags are still flying up by the war memorial – the British one hasn’t yet made good its bid for freedom

pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t just on the lawn by the lighthouse that there were the crowds either.

The steps down the path round the end were pretty busy, and there were people here down by the old watch cabin enjoying the view and the sunshine. And who can blame them?

You’ll notice that the cabin still has its roof and it’s pretty watertight. It’s just one of half a dozen places where our itinerant could seek shelter from the rain if he so chooses.

speedboat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo despite the crowds, I headed off on my walk down the other side of the headland.

Nothing much going on down there this afternoon – still the same three boats in the chantier navale and nothing else of interest. But there was this speedboat roaring past with le feux dans ses fesses – a fire up his … errr … posterior – as they say around here.

It’s quite stimulating being out on the sea at that kind of speed, but it’s not so good for the wildlife and the Noise Abatement Society would have something to say about it too.

heavy equipùent being unloaded rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few weeks we’ve been seeing all kinds of heavy plant parked up at the side of the Rue du Port.

Today there are a couple more things that have arrived. In fact the lorry that dropped them off is just pulling away as you can see. We seem to have acquired a kind of cherry picker and a fork lift elevator.

But I’ve no idea what they are doing with them. We see all kinds of weird things arriving or parked up there and after a day or so they just disappear.

traffic lights place du parvis notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallYesterday we saw the installation of a set of traffic lights to control the traffic in the old town while the roadworks are taking place.

It was my intention to go round to see where the other end was, and sure enough, it’s here at the edge of the Place du Parvis Notre Dame – not where I was thinking it would be at all.

So traffic at this end of the rue Notre Dame can come out of here the wrong way dow the one-way system and the lights are there to stop any unfortunate encounter.

les ilots cafe restaurant hotel rue st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallIn for a penny, in for a pound. I decided that I would go off and see how the roadworks were doing.

But down the rue St Jean I saw something that I hadn’t noticed before. In the good old days, it was the fashion in France to have huge advertising notices painted on the side of the buildings and it’s always been my regret that the practice has ceased. Here’s an old one advertising “Les Ilots” – café restaurant, with furnished rooms.

That’s going back a few years, isn’t it? Another lifetime ago, I reckon.

cobbles rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallBut at least there’s some good news at the roadworks.

Everything seems to be done and dusted now and the cobbles have been recemented into position. It looks now as if they are just waiting for the cement to dry and the road will probably be open tomorrow or Monday.

So in that case I’m glad that I came and photographed it today.

Back here I carried on with my coursework and by about 17:15 I was finished. I even managed to find the time to do a few photos from July 2019

Only a few though. Most of the time was spent hunting down the name of a church that I had photographed from The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour. And it took some doing too.

Nothing is straightforward with me, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

My half an hour on the bass was spent playing along to Arthur King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign” – which is how it feels sometimes. And the half-hour on the six-string was spent playing along to Springsteens “No Surrender” and also Bob Dylan’s “Times They Are A’Changin'”

A couple of lines of the lyrics leapt out at me from the latter.
“Come writers and critics”
“Who prophesize with your pen”
“And keep your eyes wide”
“The chance won’t come again”

Yes – “the chance won’t come again”. I’m back on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again aren’t I – one night at the beginning of September in the North-West Passage of Canada. All I need now is Kris Kristofferson and “I’ll give all my tomorrows for a single yesterday”

And do you know what? I would as well!

For a change, I had tea tonight. The last aubergine and kidney bean whatsit from April. I’ll have to buy another one and make some more. But I have peppers and potatoes that need using up so it looks like a pepper, potato and spinach curry is on the menu next week.

no parking place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallWe’d had a tremendous thunderstorm earlier on in the afternoon, followed by a really heavy rainfall. But when I went out for my evening walk, it had stopped and the weather was reasonably bright.

But my eye had been caught by a few notices like that dotted around outside. It looks as if something exciting is going to be happening here on 15th June – maybe roadworks or something.

Anyway, anyone who has a car parked there has been instructed to move it and no-one else can leave their vehicles there.

“That’s something to look forward too” I mused as I ran off up the road.

storm at sea english channel brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallThings were a little (just a little) easier tonight as I made it up to the top of the hill, I felt that I had a little left to spare in the tank.

But I recovered my breath and ran on down past the itinerant to the clifftop. The storm that had battered us earlier is still there – just out to see and round by Bréhal-Plage and Montmartin sur Mer.

It looks as if it’s having a right old hammering over there and I’m glad that I wasn’t out there earlier in that. And it beats me why the itinerant is sticking it out.

yacht baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france eric hallhaing recovered my breath again I walked on around the corner.

Where we saw the speedboat earlier, we now have a yacht strutting his stuff just offshore. But apart from the boat itself, I was intrigued by the colours now that the rain has washed out the sky.

The whole coast round from Kairon-Plage through Jullouville round to the Pointe de Carolles is really brightly lit this evening. And the white hotel buildings down by Mont St Michel are really clear too.

It really was nice.

chausiais victor hugo port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe next couple of legs of my run took me all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury and round the corner – and once more I overran my mark by a good 20 metres. And I could have done more too I reckon.

But I walked back to have a look down at the harbour and see what was happening. And once more, nothing much. Chausiais is there moored up against the harbour wall so she won’t be going very far very soon.

And Granville and Victor Hugo, the two Channel Island ferries, they are still there too. I’ve not had a latest update as to when the service will start again, but I’m going to try to hitch a lift on Thora or Normandy Trader one of these days.

beach bolwing plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom here I ran on all the way round to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord.

There didn’t seem to be the crowds of picnickers down there tonight – I did look – but instead we have a young couple who are playing beach bowls down there. You can see the guy tossing the “ball” at the pins.

It looks as if they have been having a party too. I can see a bottle of wine down there and with no cork in it, I’ll fathom a guess that it’s empty.

ile de chausey sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere wasn’t a decent sunset tonight – not even an impressive cloud formation.

But that’s no surprise either. Not with the weather that we’ve just had. And as I said yesterday … “and on many other occasions too” – ed … we’ve had some beautiful ones recently, and we can’t win a coconut every time.

Back to the apartment I ran but seeing that I was up to 90% on the day’s activity, I went for an extended walk to clock up the 100%

Hence the reason that I’m rather late tonight.

But I had an interuption this evening. Someone from the radio contacted me – someone not actually in my list of top 10 contacts. Would I like to go for a drink with him before our big meeting on Thursday night?

So what’s that all about, I wonder. Why would he want to see me before the meeting? I smell a rat, and I’m not talking about the contents of baldrick’s apple crumble.

Tomorrow it’s shopping. And I don’t need that much stuff either. A good start, I hope, and then a relax as we have football on the internet tomorrow afternoon.

High time we had some live football too. I’m missing my football fix.

Sunday 7th June 2020 – IT’S SUNDAY TODAY …

hang glider pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall.. and so I have followed the example set by my namesake the mathematician, and done
three fifths if five-eights of … errr … nothing.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I believe that everyone should have one day a week where they do nothing at all without feeling guilty about it, and that for me is a Sunday.

Mind you, there was an extra reason today because I considered that I had done more than enough during the night.

crowds pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallI was with someone called Bob last night and we ere wandering around doing something with regard to a zoo. It involved drinks and the subject came up about a certain type of animal and I can’t remember which one it was. It led to some discussion about drinks – whether we could only have had half a pint or a pint. Because we had a pie we both had hung on to our pints really tightly so that no-one could take them away
A bit later I was supposed to be going off somewhere and this involved going with one of my sister’s daughters. She hadn’t come in and I was concerned that I had to go into work but I had to get this organised but the girl wasn’t there. So I went round to see my sister and my mother and “ohh she went out on a ramble last night and she went to so-and-so’s and spent the night”. I said “what time is she expected to come in?” but they didn’t know. No-one knew what time she was coming in and I was getting a bit agitated about this. I went back a little later on and all my family was around there. Nevertheless I got hold of this girl, my sister, and asked her again. She gave me far more precise details “she went off with X and then they went here and there and then somewhere else”. But there was still no word of when they were coming so I said to my sister’s other child “make sure that I’m told straight away as soon as she appears” and they promised that they would. But I was still pretty wound up about having to wait and miss out on a day’s work and a day’s money, all this kind of thing.

hang glider crowds pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a group of us and we had gone off onto Ellesmere Island last night and trudging on northwards through the freezing weather. Trying to peel an orange was horrible. We stopped for the night and someone had brought with them a prefabricated wooden chalet to sleep in and I thought that by the time that they have gone very far with this, they’ll regret it. They put it up and I was invited to shelter in it. There were deer all around and female cows and we were noted the fact that there were no males. We ended up waiting for the bus. I was with Rosemary by this time and we had to check the bus to make sure that it was going to the right place – the Savannah College. Rosemary and I got on it with all of our equipment. It pulled into Hull and this was where we had to get out as we had to changed buses here to go to the hospital. I got off but Rosemary was taking an awful lot of time getting off. You could hear the struggle she was having with this equipment. I shouted up to her to see what she was doing and that was when I awoke – bang on 06:00.

But no danger of my getting up at that point. I went back to sleep again and ended up with a former friend of mine and we were cycling through Chester but for some unknown reason he put on a really fast spurt. I had to go like hell to catch hime up otherwise I would have shown him where I lived when I first came to Chester, because we were right by that area. He didn’t realise that I had lived in Chester when I told him, and I told him about my little room in Lightfoot Street as well. They we cycled off and came to this little building site and it turned out that the reason why he was having to go there was because his father was having a week off work and with a shortage of labour he was having to help out. At the same time he was fielding phone calls from Shearings about driving coaches and saying that he wasn’t available that weekend. Somewhere in the proceedings was a story about a cup with Inuit patterns on it but I don’t remember much about that but I do remember that when we reached the work compound in there were a load of old Standard forward-control vans like the Standard Atlas only different. He was saying to one of the guys there that if ever they get rid of it to let me know

My apologies too to Percy Penguin, who doesn’t appear these days in these pages anything like as often as she deserves.

She used to accuse me of snoring when we were asleep together – not that I ever did much sleeping when we were together as there were plenty of other things to be doing, but that’s another long story.

I used to deny it strenuously but having once more fallen back into unconsciousness in mid-dictation and left the dictaphone running, all I can say is … well … errr … quite.

But when I did take up the dictaphone again, I said that I don’t know if that registered so I’ll dictate it again about putting my house on the market – the house in Shavington where I was living at the time although it was how the Yoxalls had it organised with the garage, all that kind of thing. As I was passing an estate agent’s he had some houses in the area so I put it on sale with him. But I put it in a few newspapers as well including an American one. My father had seen it in an American one and was going around telling everyone that I was moving to the USA. Of course he was quite upset about that, i’ve no idea why. The discussion came round to a neighbour of my niece who had advertised his Mercedes coupé in the newspaper. I explained that he had had a lot of use out of it when he had first bought it but over the last few years he had been working away and had never used it except the odd weekend when he was home. She said “well that’s a waste then, isn’t it?” I said ‘that’s probably why he’s selling it”. I told her the story about how I had bumped into it (not literally of course) when I was down in the USA one time and he was down there on his holidays too

So it looks to me that not only did I dream it but I must have dreamt that I dictated it – and that’s when all of this becomes interesting.

09:30 when I finally saw the light of day, a reasonable time for a Sunday morning, I reckon.

There was no breakfast this morning, but instead I mixed some dough to make bread. As well as a sachet of “old” yeast, I used half a sachet of new yeast to see what kind of difference.

And having decided that if I’m going to be hungry at lunchtime I’ll have breakfast, I simply mixed it (and even though I say it myself, it was a perfect mix) and left it alone.

While I was at it, I rolled out the (now unfrozen) pizza dough, greased a pizza tray, put the dough thereupon, and left that too.

Back here I made a start on finding the documents to complete my Tax Return but I gave up after a while. It’s a Sunday and I didn’t feel like working.

In the end, I didn’t really do anything at all except just lounge about.

After lunch I went and checked on my bread dough. It had stood for about two and a half hours and had certainly risen – but by 100% I couldn’t really say. Anyway, I folded it over again, shaped it and dropped it into the greased dish that I use as a bread mould, covered it with the damp cloth again and left it.

jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallBeing Sunday, it’s my day to go for a long afternoon walk if the weather is nice.

And if the weather is even nicer, to go for my weekly ice cream too.

And there was no doubt that the weather was nice today. There was some wind but the view was one of the clearest that I have seen for quite some considerable time.

And the crowds – which we have already seen, were certainly out there making the most of it.

close up seagull jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallAs we saw in the previous photo, the view across to Jersey, 54 kilometres away, was ideal.

There’s some kind of lighthouse or beacon that stands prominently off the entrance to the harbour at St Helier and as you can see in this cropped and enlarged image, that came out clearly in this photo.

There’s even a seagull, heaven alone knows how many miles out to sea, that features clearly in the photo too, in the top right.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallPivoting round slightly to our right we have the Ile de Chausey.

Not really an island but an archipelago, where there are 365 islands at low ide and 52 at high tide – or is it the other way round? I can never remember.

But today, it was standing out there beautifully and even the colours had come out somewhat through the sea haze, just for a change.

close up ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallOut of interest, I cropped out a section from the centre of the previous image to see if I could see anything special.

And “not very much” is the reply. The main island, or “Grand Ile” is the only one that is inhabited these days. We can make out plenty of the houses on there and, of course, the lighthouse to the left of centre.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we went there once and TOOK DOZENS OF PHOTOS. One day I’ll get round to writing out the notes for the place.

sunlight Plage de Port Mer brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallFurther on along on my walk I noticed an interesting phenomenon right across the Baie de Mont St Michel on the Brittany coast.

There’s a beach over there, the Plage de Port Mer, in between Cancale and the Pointe du Grouin, and the sunlight today was catching it at the absolutely perfect angle.

It was illuminated as if someone had pointed a floodlight onto it and the bright orangey pink colour could be seen for miles. Remember that that is probably 20 or so miles away.

yacht brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallFurther on around the coast and out at the mouth to the harbour at St Malo, there was something that looked as if it was moving on the horizon.

Not being sure what it was, because there’s quite a lot of stuff that moves in and out of the harbour over there, I took a photo to crop and enlarge when I returned to the apartment.

And it seems to be a yacht with a very dark blue or even black sail. And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen one of those around the Baie de Mont St Michel a few times just recently.

cap frehel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was at it, I noticed that the Brittany coast all the way down to the Cap Fréhel was pretty clear today too.

That’s not something that happens every day either, so I took a photo to manipulate when I returned to the apartment.

If you look closely you can see the Cape – slightly to the right of centre in this photo. As I said the other day when we talked about it, it’s about 70 or so kilometres away from here, so the cameera is doing well to pick it out.

close up Phare Du Cap Frehel brittany coast unidentified object granville manche normandy france eric hallBut my intention was drawn to something that I noticed on the photo when I enlarged it for a closer look. Hence I croppd a section out to enlarge and examine in greater detail.

It’s really difficult to see anything in any detail. But on the Cap Fréhel is a lighthouse and a fort with a tower, and when they are viewed from this particular point, they might give the cross-reference that e can see on the extreme right of the image.

It’s also true that Marité, our three-masted schooner left port this morning for Lorient and she would be somewhere in that direction right now, although that doesn’t look like the kind of silhouette she might make.

So that’s another mystery to unravel.

kairon plage baie de mont st michel harbour entrance port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMusing on the aforementioned I wandered on down the steps, round the path at the headland and sown the old track into the port.

On the way around the Point, the view into the Baie de Mont St Michel was absolutely splendid today. The tide was far out so there were people down there performing the peche à pied for the shellfish (which they must share with their friends – after all, you mustn’t be selfish with your shellfish). and our beacon was sitting ther eilluminating its rock at the entrance to the harbour.

The beach in front of Jullouville and Kairon-Plage was looking magnificent too today.

digger rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDown in the harbour there’s another piece of heavy machinery here.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw a couple of diggers and a hydraulic breaker parked here a couple of weeks ago, and I never did find out what they had come to do.

And so I don’t suppose that I’ll have any luck finding out about this digger either. It’s a mystery to me why they come here when they don’t seem to be doing very much

no marite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy perambulations took me round the back of the fish-processing plant. As the tide was well out, the harbour gates were closed so I could cross over on the path on top.

One of my neighbours had mentioned that Marite had gone off on her travels, and so her berth was empty today. I’m not sure how long she’ll be away but she’s not due to dock in Lorient until 9th of June.

But you can see on the extreme right of the photo a few more Birdmen of Alcatraz hovering about on the thermals as they try to advance along the cliff-edge

portable offices port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere’s something new on the docks today – at least – I don’t recall having seen it before today.

There’s a series of portacabins stacked here to make some kind of office complex, witn an old shipping container at the side which is presumably to be used as a storage facility.

There were loads of posters plastered on the front giving various warnings about the Virus and so on, but I don’t think that it has any connection with the medical profession.

It could of course be something to do with the digger across the harbour, but whether that’s the case remains to be seen.

chausiais joly france ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn eof this things that I wanted to do was to see how they had got on with installing the new pontoons at the ferry terminal.

They now seem to have them down both sides of the terminal, which is quite useful, I suppose, for when both of the Joly France boats come in together and when Chausiais is moored here too.

There’s a length that seems to be missing on the nearest row of pontoons, and none of this looks particularly level to me – not that I suppose that it matters because passengers probably wont be boarding when the tide it out.

When the tide is in, the pontoons will of course be floating.

ramp up to new walkway ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will have seen the concrete block that appeared on the quayside here when we last came by.

Now, there’s a ramp up to the top, complete with handrails, and there’s a really impressive-looking ramp that goes down to the pontoons. But no artisanal wooden steps as we saw over where the fishing boats are moored.

It goes without saying that this has all cost a fortune (much of it needlessly – see many of my earlier postings) and so it will come as no surprise that there has been an “adjustment” of the tariffs for passengers.

The net ticket price remains the same, we are told, but the taxes and port taxes have increased. Someone has to pay for the expenditure.

chausiais ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallChausias that prevent us from seeing what cargo it is that she takes out to the Ile de Chausey.

There’s a drop-down ramp at the front and also a small crane, which I imagine would be for the ease of taking large bulky objects out to the island. I don’t recall seeing any unloading facilities out there on the island.

joly france ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallParked up behind Chausiais is one of the Joly France boats that provide the passenger ferry services out to the Ile de Chausey.

This one is Joly France I which, I suspect, is the newer of the two. It’s difficult to tell them apart from the front but from the side the newer one has deeper windows and a smaller upper deck, and from the rear the newer one has a cut-out in the stern

But the pontoons look impressive from here, especially with the handrails to stop eager tourists pushing each other into the water in their rush to board the ferries.

It’s a tidal harbour here, and the inner one is a “wet” harbour due to a pair of lock gates that close as the tide goes out, leaving water trapped behind to keep the boats afloat.

Some of the water has to be drained out however to allow the level to sink slightly so that the water pressure equalises and there’s a constant level between the inner harbour and the outer tide for when they can reopen the gates, which is 105 minutes before the high tide.

water evacuation point port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallIt’s also said (and how true this is I don’t know) that there’s a stream that runs into the inner harbour from inland.

So the surplus water need to have a drain out somehow and over there we can see the drainage channel for the water to run out.

To the left we can see one of the boat ramps underneath the fish processing plant and on the extreme right we can see part of the security fencing.

International passenger ferries dock here, coming from Jersey and they don’t want people to nip over the other side into the country without going through passport control and immigration checks

Having exhausted myself over here this afternoon I had a leisurely walk in the sunshine through the port de plaisance and into town, stopping off for one of my vegan ice-creams and a chat to the café owner.

He told me that business was not picking up as he had hoped, but it’s true to say that the last week or so has not seen very good tourist weather.

From here I had a slow walk back up the hill enjoying my ice-cream. And back at the apartment I checked on the bread dough to see how it was doing.

It had gone up like a lift – exactly how people said that it should. And so i switched on the oven, waited until it was hot, and then stuck the bread in it.

This time I remembered to reduce the heat after 10 minutes or so, and set the timer for 90 minutes. That’s longer than recommended but my oven is pretty much hit-and-miss and I’m sure that the thermostat isn’t correct anyway.

vegan pizza home made bread place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter an hour or so I went and prepared my pizza for tea and when the oven clicked off, I took the bread out and stuck it on a wire rack to cool, then bunged the pizza in.

The pizza was excellent, using my own dough of course, and as you can see, the loaf of bread actually looked like a loaf of bread today. It’s certainly the best that it has been to date.

The proof of the pudding though is in the eating and I’ll tell you al tomorrow about how it tastes.

No pudding tonight – it was a struggle to finish the pizza – so I went for my run.

And I’m not sure about what was going on, but while I’m not going to say that it was easy tonight, there certainly wasn’t the suffering of the last few occasions. It seems as if the illness that I had was brewing for a while.

sunset reflecting off terrelabouet brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallThe itinerant was still there, I noticed, as I ran down to the cliff top, but there was nothing else happening down that end so I walked round to the other side of the headland.

And it’s true to say that the excellent visibility that we had had this afternoon was continuing. The buildings across the Baie de Mont St Michel on the Brittany coast were all quite clear this evening with something clearly visible on the range of hills in the background slightly to the right of centre, about 20-25 miles away.

And the evening sun had caught a few things over on the coast at Terrelaboulet and we were having some more heliograph reflections from them

pointe de carolles cabanon vauban baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallWith the sky being so clear tonight, the view down at the head of the baie de Mont St Michel was also probably the best that we have ever seen.

The white hotels down at Mont St Michel are standing out really clearly tonight. All of the buildings down at Carolles-Plage were looking quite nice too, and we could even see waves breaking on the rocks down at the Pointe de Carolles

It won’t be like this for long, I reckon, so make the most of it while we can.

joly france ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom here I ran on all the way down across the top of the cliffs past the chantier navale where there is still no change in occupant.

Over at the ferry terminal both of the Joly France boats are now moored there and we can compare them to see the differences. The smaller upper deck cabin and deeper windows on Joly France I – to the right – can be clearly seen

There’s another row of yellow marker buoys over there, like those that we saw the other day at the Plat Gousset. The Plage de Hérel – the beach that we saw a few weeks ago – is over there so I’m more convinced now that they must be the limits beyond which one is not supposed to go swimming.

aztec lady port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHaving recovered my breath I ran on down the Boulevard Vaufleury to the bottom and my resting place at the second zebra crossing – well, actually about 5 metres further on seeing as I was in good form.

As I had gone past the harbour I had noticed some activity down there so I went for a look to see what was going on. Aztec Lady is now back home from her little sojourn in Scandinavia where, I believe, she was detained in quarantine in the Lofoten islands on her way back from Svalbard.

That must have been a very exciting voyage, I reckon. I’m sorry that I missed it

loading dredges into trawler rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was also something going on much closer to home too.

One of the fishermen had one of the electric cranes working and they were lowering one of the dredging plates down into the back of a fishing boat.

These plough up the sea bed and release the shellfish out of the mud, which are then scooped un in a kind of metal dredging basket that we have seen on a few occasions before which allow the silt and the smaller examples to pass through the slots and back out to sea.

ile de chausey english channel beautiful sunset rue du nord granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were a few people round at the viewpoint at the rue du Nord as I discovered when I ran around there.

Still a good while before sunset but the sun sinking slowly into the clouds really was a nice effect so along with a few other people I stayed and watched it for a while, and then ran back to the apartment.

Tonight there’s a lot to do and I probably won’t finish off all of my notes but that’s the first task for tomorrow.

Then there’s the Welsh homework to do – we’re almost half-way through this course – followed by the two other courses that i’m doing, and then two radio projects this week.

Sometime too I must push on with the photos from the Transatlantic adventure from last year, and then there are the website-updating projects to continue.

And I’m supposed to be retired and taking it easy too.