Tag Archives: la mie caline

Thursday 27th August 2020 – YOU ARE ALL PROBABLY …

… fed up of me going on about all of the bad days that i’m having. But it’s important that I note them because with this illness, which is terminal and a slow decline, it’s important to me to keep track of where I am and how I’m feeling.

And so it goes without saying that despite a reasonably early night, I still missed the alarms this morning and it was about 07:30 when I finally left the bed.

There had been planty of time to go off on my travels of course. Last night I was doing something with a ticket agency. We had to print some extra tickets for a show somewhere so I started work on it. It became very complicated because the person who had ordered the extra tickets – someone else had bought tickets after them so I had to go through and do all of the renumbering of the new tickets by hand. I did 10 then I had to find out who it was who had ordered them. That was a more complicated procedure than it ought to have been. In the end I managed to extract the information. It was the Queens Head Hotel in Wistaston Road so I had to put all those details on. Then I started to think of a way of doing E-tickets involving photos of purchasers, that kind of thing. Then I was asked if I would go into the stands to watch Manchester United v Liverpool. I asked if this was to commentate and they said “no, just to be up there in case any of the fans ring up”. So I went up there to watch the game. On the way down afterwards I was asked if we had a recipient because one of the wine vats was becoming full and overflowing. I didn’t have anything to hand so I had to organise and arrange something. I came across a dustbin that if it had been cleaned that would have done but for some unknown reason the woman I was with decided that it wasn’t appropriate. In the end we found something else. She made a remark about me being very unhappy to do this and to move this container but I said “no, it’s heavy” but she wouldn’t have it. She insisted that I had some bad grace or something. She was going on and on about it. I wished that she would shut up and let’s get this thing outside and decant this wine out of the vat.

There was some paperwork to do this morning and then I had a shower to make myself all neat and tidy.

lorry trans-shipping rue st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallRather later than usual, I headed out of the apartment for the shops for the midweek shopping.

One thing about living in a medieval walled city is that transport is extremely difficult. Deliveries in large lorries are quite impossible.

The solution is that if your products do come in a large vehicle they need to be trans-shipped into a smaller vehicle that can pass through the gateways and into the old town.

Still, it’s a small price to pay.

town council working on sculptures square potel granville manche normandy france eric hallFurther on down the rue des Juifs there was something else exciting going on.

In the Square Potel there are all kinds of interesting and weird sculptures around and about. But today, the local council have sent a cherry-picker to do something with the metal crocodile or whatever it is.

Into town and up the hill to LIDL I went. But I was interrupted on the way by a telephone call. The guy who manages the radio station telephoned me to ask me how I was and to update me with the latest news.

We were on the phone for about half an hour all told.

At LIDL I didn’t buy anything out of the ordinary today. Just the usual stuff that is running low, and a big bunch of grapes of course. I really want a nail brush but I couldn’t find one there. I shall have to look elsewhere.

On the way back I stopped off at La Mie Caline for my dejeunette today and then walked – or rather, staggered – on back up the hill.

chausiais leaving port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was some movement in the port today too.

Chausiais was manoeuvring her way into the ferry terminal today. It looks as if she has another load of freight to deliver to the Ile de Chausey.

I had to have a pause for breath half-way up the hill too. That’s not like me at all but it’s an indication of how I’m feeling and how my health is degenerating these days.

It’s rather sad, isn’t it?

Back here I organised myself a little and then, shame as it is to say it, I crashed out on the chair. About 90 minutes or so, I reckon. That is really depressing.

Lunch was therefore rather late and then I cracked on with the radio programme. I missed my afternoon walk which is a shame, but I wanted to make progress. And when I knocked off I’d finished the entire show except for the final track and the closing speech.

That I can do tomorrow but it’s depressing me, what I usually do in about a day and a half taking a whole week.

Tea was steamed vegetables with vegetable balls and vegan cheese sauce, followed by apple crumble and soya dessert.

red sunset coastguard station pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThis evening I went out for a walk.

There was a really high wind tonight but apart from that it was a really nice evening. There was a really nice red sky out to sea in the general direction of the UK.

Still, you know what they say –
“Red sky at night means Portsmouth is on fire”.

And they are probably correct as well. All kinds of things are going on over there right now.

moon granville manche normandy france eric hallYesterday I mentioned that the moon would probably be really nice in the next few days.

It certainly was bright and clear tonight – one of the nicest that i’ve seen it. So even without a tripod, I took a photo of it with the BIG ZOOM LENS.

Back here, I wrote up my notes and now I’m off to bed. I’m going to have an early night seeing as I’m feeling really tired right now.

A good sleep will probably do me the world of good and one of these days I might start to feel better. I hope that it won’t be long.

Thursday 25th June 2020 – I CAN’T SEE …

grinder for electric vegetables lidl granville manche normandy france eric hall… just what use this particular product would be to anyone.

believe me, I hunted high and low but I have yet to encounter a shop that sells electric vegetables. There certainly weren’t any in LIDL where I saw this appliance.

What I did see in LIDL though was someone pick up almost every melon in the shop (with his bare hands) and hold it close to his face to sniff it to see if it was ripe.

Note to self – don’t buy melons from LIDL. I really don’t see what is so hard to understand about behaviour in the middle of a pandemic.

Something else that I don’t understand is why I found it so hard to leave my bed this morning. Another day where I missed all three alarms and that is more depressing that anything to do with this pandemic, that’s for sure.

After the medication though, I had a listen to the dictaphone.

last night we were all on a yacht (I’m getting carried away with this idea, aren’t I?) and the question of some kind of news came up. We were talking about the weather, storms, all this kind of thing. At fist I couldn’t understand it but later I began to get to grips with the message and started to understand it. The project really wasn’t very bright. They asked me if I would go on the TV and speak to them, say something about it in Welsh but I declined the offer as I really didn’t know enough off the top of my head to be able to hold a conversation in it yet. The British all left and it just left this boat bobbing around and I was on my own for a while. Then more and more people started to come back and it wasn’t the same tranquil little scene that it should have been. I was annoyed about that as well.
And what that was all about I don’t have the faintest idea.
A little later on I was looking around at houses, in Sandbach, a house on the corner of that street that leads into Park Lane, an old terraced house. A friend of mine had been to see it so there was some thing about “this house is Private Property” and for any inspection please telephone “so and so” – Keep Out – all that kind of thing. It was from the Estate Agent who was showing me around. he told me about the house on the corner of Carter Street. I said “yes, a friend of mine had seen it”. he said “it’s good value isn’t it?” I said “it’s good value if you have the money to spend to do it up, I suppose”. He started to he a bit derogatory about my friend, saying “you could soon come up with the money if you wanted to”. I said “he hasn’t had his inheritance yet”. he replied “what kind of guy is it who sits around waiting for an inheritance? he should be out there making his own way”. I pointed out that he was making his own way if he was renting an apartment pro-tem and had his yacht, all this kind of thing. But this conversation just went on in a very deprecating tone towards this guy and I didn’t like that at all.

Later on I had a shower and a general clean-up. And a weigh-in too. And my weight is going back up – in fact i’m almost back up to my old target weight, having stayed below it for two weeks. I must do something about that.

marite normandy trader men with fishing net port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallLike go for a walk up the hill to LIDL in the early morning heat.

And here I am – right again. My assumptions from yesterday were correct. When i saw that lorry and the fork-lift truck preparing to unload it, I suspected that one of the Jersey freighters would be in port very shortly.

And here in the harbour this morning, having presumably crept in on the early morning tide, is Normandy Trader bringing in more stuff from the Channel islands and ready to take more stuff back

man in rigging marite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut something in that photo caught my eye so I went for a closer look.

And there up in the rigging of Marité there’s someone messing about with a mast. Had this been the UK then the Health and Safety inspectorate would have a field day with this.

And the guys with the fishing nets are still having an enormous amount of fun trying to untangle it over there. They still don’t seem to have sorted them selves out.

First stop was at the Railway Station. I’ve ordered and paid for my tickets but I need to collect them from the machine. I need to do that because there have been times when the machine has been out of order and the Booking Office doesn’t open until after the train has departed.

So if I can’t obtain the tickets from the machine then I am well and truly stuck.

Next stop was LIDL. I’ve mentioned some of the excitement there, but what was more exciting was that peaches are on special offer, and they had grapes in at a reasonable price.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m a big grape fan and I can demolish a kilo of grapes at one sitting with no problem at all.

fixing roof on building Rue de la Fontaine Bedeau granville manche normandy france eric hallThere’s plenty of home maintenance going on all over town right now.

But ehre’s some adventurous stuff that’s worthy of a photo. It looks as if the guttering or the fascia board has come adrift from the fron of that building in the Rue de la Fontaine Bedeau.

Seeing as it’s Thursday I went on to la Mie Caline for my dejeunette and a chat with the guys in there, and then headed off for home

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way up the hill in the Rue des Juifs, something caught my eye.

We’ve had another change of occupant in the chantier navale today. Or maybe I should say “changes” because there are two extra fishing boats in there now that must have been lifted up this morning.

So it’s all go in there then.

By this time I was roasting so when I arrived home I made a smoothie. There was a peach left over from last week, quite ripe, so I put it with some soya milk and ice into the whizzer and whizzed it all round.

That was something that I called extremely tasty, although maybe an extra peach might have given it more flavour.

This afternoon I started on the final week of my music course and that is now finished despite several interruptions. In theory I should be able to play 32-bar sequences in 5 scales using 2-5-1 progressions to change scale but of course the practical application of this course left me behind a long time ago. I can’t play the piano to save my life.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOne of the interruptions was to go for my usual afternoon walk amongst the crowds in the glorious sunshine.

Strangely though, there was nothing whatever happening out at sea today, although there was plenty of activity in the chantier navale. We saw that there were four boats in there at lunchtime. This afternoon they seem to have multiplied.

There’s now five of them over there up on blocks for work to be carried out. This is really good news as far as I’m concerned. Nothing wrong with all of this activity at all.

men fishing in boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallRound on this side of the headland there was some activity in the water.

We had a few men in a boat yet again all equipped with all kinds of tackle looking as if they meant to do some serious harm to the piscatorial population.

Whether or not they will do of course remains to be seen. I’ve yet to see any one of the huge number of rod-and-line fishermen actually pull anything out of the water. Not even an old boot.

26 aew aeroplane pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was out there admiring the fishermen I was interrupted yet again by some more air traffic.

A light aeroplane, presumably from the airfield at Donville-les-Bains overflew me. This time I managed to take a good photo of its registration – 26-AEW – but that tells me nothing because it’s not on the national database.

Apparently there’s some kind of local register for small light aircraft and the 26 in its number relates to the fact that it’s registered in Départemente 26, which is the Drôme, down in South-East France.

stenaca trawler port de granville france manche normandy france eric hallMy walk carried me on around the path where there’s a good view of the fish processing plant.

And it looks as if someone has forgotten their fishing boat. Stenaca is here tied up to the wharf at the plant but the tide has gone out around it and she’s now grounded out.

We’ll have to wait for the tide to come back in before she can sail off into the evening sunset. But while she’s there they could be giving her hull a really good scrub.

jcb digger place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallBack round in the Place d’Armes there’s more activity going on with the pipelaying in the Rue Lecarpentier.

We now have the digger here moving big slabs of rock into the back of the pick_up. I wonder if this means that the work is almost finished and they are now tidying up.

But anyway, I came on in to carry on with my music course. I wanted to finish it.

And I did too, although I could have finished it much earlier had we not had the other usual interruption of me crashing out on the chair for a while. It’s the kind of thing that is filling me full of dismay that I can’t keep going for a whole day.

In the time that was left before guitar practice I had another play around with the web pages that I have been editing. That’s a job that i’m looking forward to restarting tomorrow in earnest.

After the guitar it was teatime. I’d forgotten that I’d bought some endives at the weekend so I made myself some steamed veg with some of those frozen vegetable balls, all covered in a cheese sauce.

So filling was it that I didn’t have any pie for afters either.

My run this evening was much, much later than usual. And for a very good reason.

It had slowly begun to cloud over during the evening but round about 20:00 there was the most astonishing clap of thunder that blew the window right open, knocking the fan onto the floor.

That was followed by a torrential downpour of epic proportions with flashes of lightning and claps of thunder that I hadn’t heard for ages. No chance of my going out in any of that.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallBy about 21:30 the rain had stopped, the wind had died down and the ground was starting to dry out.

That was the signal for me to go out for my evening runs just in case the weather worsened again. And I’m glad that I did because I was treated to a really gorgeous sinking sun tonight

So anyway, off I shot and ran all the way up the hill and down to the clifftop past a rather sodden itinerant who still won’t seek shelter out of the rain.

normandy trader le loup baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were a few people there admiring the sunset but my attention was drawn elsewhere.

From behind me I’d heard the familiar thud if a couple of old diesels and sure enough, Normandy Trader was heading off out to sea past Le Loup – the light at the harbour entrance that marks the sunken rocks.

The way in which she was bathed in the late evening sun was so impressive and that was something that is always worth a photograph.

It surprised me that none of the others there were interested in it.

normandy trader baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs she sailed past me, I stood on the headland and watcher her go.

And then I set off for my run down to the viewpoint over the cliffs. apart from the fishing boats in the chantier navale, which hadn’t multiplied yet again during the late afternoon, there wasn’t an awful lot else going on.

having recovered my breath I walked over to the Boulevard Vaufleury and ran off all the way down to the bottom and then through the medieval town and back up to the viewpoint in the rue du Nord.

normandy trader ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallFor some reason or other, it was a much more difficult run that it has been of late, and i was glad when I reached the viewpoint.

My arrival coincided with that of Normandy Trader rounding the headland. She was well on her way out to sea now for an arrival in Jersey in the small hours.

The background of this image, a beautiful pale pinky orange colour and the Ile de Chausey fading away in the distance looked quite impressive too and I was getting all nostalgic about it yet again.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I arrived, there was no-one down on the beach having a picnic, nor anyone perched on the rocky shelf either.

But during the course of the next fifteen minutes a couple of people ended up down there and the crowd slowly swelled are more and more people came down to watch the sunset.

By the time that I was ready to leave there was quite a crowd down there enjoying the view, and with every good reason too.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe rainstorm that we had had had left plenty of clouds hanging around in the sky and the sun was playing peek-a-boo with everyone here tonight.

The spectacle was pretty amazing so I stayed to watch it for about 15 minutes and then I came on home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow I’m going to make a start on the current projects that have been in abeyance since I started my series of courses. The Welsh course still has three weeks to run but the others are all now finished.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallMind you, I have plenty of ideas of things that I need to do which i shall have to put in motion for when I’m free of all commitments, whenever that might be.

But that’s not for this evening. It’s already quite late and I’m going to have another bad day tomorrow if I don’t get a move on and go to bed soon.

So what I’ll do is to leave you with all of the photos from later this evening with Normandy Trader disappearing into the sunset while I go and catch up with my beauty sleep.

See you all tomorrow.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall
beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall
beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall
beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall
beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall

normandy trader beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel  granville manche normandy france eric hall
normandy trader beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall

normandy trader beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall
normandy trader beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall

Thursday 11th June 2020 -I WAS TREATED …

normandy trader thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… to a delightful little nautical danse macabre this morning down in the port.

Normandy Trader had come in on the morning tide – in fact she was waiting outside the harbour for the gates to open earlier – and was tied up at the unloading point while the workers on the crane were busy unloading her.

And into the harbour, full steam ahead, came Thora. She almost came to a dead stop when she saw Normandy Trader moored just there. Being too far over to moor up at the side, she had to go into a delightful 360° outside turn in order to get herself into position to moor in a temporary unloading place.

Mind you, while we’re on the subject of a berth being occupied, mine was occupied for rather longer than intended this morning.

Never mind the third alarm – it was 06:30 when I finally crawled out of bed again.

No breakfast once more so I came back here to listen to the dictaphone. We were on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again and we reached the Far North of Iceland although it was much more bleak and much more cold and much more icy than the Far North of Iceland – it could easily have been the far North of Greenland. There was some kind of settlement there which was pretty much abandoned – there weren’t many people living there. There was one building made of wood and the whole front had been washed away by a high tide in a storm. We typed something into a search engine about this place and it came up with a couple of shots of the boat that we were using to ferry ourselves back and to to the ship and also the World War II 4-engined bomber that had crashed somewhere in the vicinity. Of course I was really keen to go ahead and find out where this plane was but that was when I awoke, with a massive attack of cramp that knocked me right for 6.

So how did this end? I’ve no idea because after I’d eased the cramp off and went back to sleep I missed the restart and that was that.

Looking back on things, I’ve spent so much time during the night on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour that I shudder to think what the bill would be if ever Adventure Canada find out and decide to send me a bill for my stays.

Next job was to finish off the Tax Return and type a letter to the Tax people to explain my particular circumstances. A shower, and a weigh-in, and then off to LIDL

traffic lights porte st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallNot that I got very far.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the roadworks that we saw yesterday in the rue Notre Dame. All of the traffic is having to travel down the rue St Jean and as we have seen on many occasions, it’s pretty narrow.

As a consequence they have installed temporary traffic lights now at the Porte St Jean. I shall have to go for a wander and see how far they stretch down the street.

normandy trader baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOff I continued on my travels, but I didn’t get very far.

Around the headland came our friend Normandy Trader. As she approached the port entrance I prepared myself ready to take a photo of her entering port, but she came to a shuddering halt just outside the harbour.

Of course, what has happened is that the tide isn’t quite in far enough and the gates are closed. She’ll have to wait until they open but for some reason she’s decided to wait outside.

kiddies play area open air bar place godal granville manche normandy france eric hallAt last I could push on down the road and down the Rampe du Monte Regret.

And there seem to have been a few changes there too. Everyone is preparing for the summer and as there’s no Nuit des Soudeurs this year, it looks as if they are installing a kiddies’ open air play area of some description with a little casual café.

People won’t be travelling on holiday this year of course so we’ve seen all kinds of preparations being undertaken to make sure that people enjoy their holidays at home.

delivering beach cabins place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd on that subject, I’ve no idea what’s going on here.

These look pretty much to me like the beach cabins that we’ve seen them installing on the Plat Gousset just now, but I’m wondering what on earth they are doing unloading in the middle of the town centre here in the Place General de Gaulle.

All will be revealed in due course, I imagine. I see that the route of my Sunday perambulation is already panning itself out without me having to sit and think about it.

Up at LIDL I spent a lot of money but without anything substantial to show for it. A pile of bin liners was one thing, but the principal expenditure was on olive oil. I always cook with olive oil and I’m getting rather low, and today they had two-litre bottles at a ludicrous price. So one of them found its way into my shopping bag.

On the way back I went to the Tax Office to deliver my letter. It’s closed one day a week and regular readers of this rubbish will recall, having followed my exploits around the world often enough, which day of the week it’s going to be.

So I slipped it into the letterbox and headed back towards home.

Thursday is the day for a little treat. Calling at La Mie Caline, I picked up my dejeunette for lunch. I know that I bake my own bread these days but it’s still nice to have something different.

roofing place marechal foch granville manche normandy france eric hallPushing on I went via the Rue Paul Poirier to see if I could see the roofing works in thr Place Marechal Foch from a different angle.

And from here, there’s a completely different perspective on what they are doing up there. It’s quite a big roof, that much is evident, and it must have been something of an effort to put the scaffolding up in the gap between the two wings.

But on the fork-lift trucks they have a hod of slates so they are clearly pressing on with the job and it won’t be long before they will finish it.

normandy trader unloading port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallUp the hill in the rue des Juifs, I could see Normandy Trader at her berth.

They are cracking on with the unloading and with Thora awaiting her turn they aren’t going to be long in turning her round ready to leave port.

So I pushed on back home to sort out the shopping. There wasn’t any more excitement on the way back which was a shame.

Having gathered up my strength I went to have a look at Week 3 of my Accountancy course. There are actually 38 modules in this week’s session which makes this “four hours of study per week” look a bit ridiculous.

But by the time that 15:30 came round, I’d done 21 of them, and that was despite a stop for lunch.

At 15:30 though, just as I was planning to leave for my afternoon walk, Rosemary called me up. We ended up having a lengthy chat – to such an extent that it was after 17:00 when I was ready to go for my afternoon perambulation.

trawler english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd just for a change, it was pouring down outside. and I can’t say that we didn’t need it. All of the grass here is scorched dark brown and needs a really good soaking.

Dressed in my raincoat I was fine and I could watch in comfort yet another nautical danse macabre as a fishing boat sailed into the bay just here, performed an exquisite U-turn and sailed back out again.

If you look at the photo, you can see its wake quite clearly. But the point of it quite clearly beats me.

fisherman peche à pied pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThe weather might be bad for some people but others are taking full advantage of it right now.

Here’s someone down there dressed in the right gear and fishing off the rocks. I’m not quite sure what he might catch down there, apart from pleurisy, but it did remind me of the old guy who once told me that having sex these days was very much like fishing.
“Why is that?” I asked
“Well” he replied, “these days you get your rod out and you never know what you are going to catch”

fishing boats trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn that note I strolled off around the headland and down along the path on the other side of the promontory.

That route takes me above the chantier navale where I can look down and see what’s going on down there. And today we have another occupant. A large fishing boat has come in to join the others.

And only just come in too by the looks of things. The crew are still down there with her giving her a good hose down. Not that she’ll need much in this weather.

repairing roof rue du port granville manche normandy france eric hallA rhythmic tapping from further down the Boulevard Vaufleury told me that the roofing work down below in the rue du Port was still going on.

Not that I would want to be working on a roof in weather like this, but the answer to that is that with no roof on the building in a rainstorm you are going to get wet anyway so it doesn’t make much difference.

Talking of getting wet, standing here watching the workers on the roof was having that effect on me so I came on back home. There was my hour on the guitars to occupy my time.

After the session on the guitar I would normally go for tea but I wasn’t feeling hungry at all so I caught up with a few little bits and pieces, only to develop a raging hunger round about 20:30.

What’s going on here?

Anyway it was far too late to worry about food now with so much to do – like going for a run.

A few biscuits filled a little hole and then I set off into the rain again. Up the hill a little easier than it has been just now, which reminded me that my climb up the hill to LIDL had passed without the slightest hint of drama.

Having recovered my breath I ran on down to the clifftop past the itinerant who was sheltering under a plastic sheet. And that’s what I don’t understand. All of the World War II bunkers of the Atlantic Wall and the couple of stone buildings from the 18th Century fortress in which he could be sheltering, all of which are out of the rain and all a mere cockstride from here, and he’s sheltering under a plastic sheet under a hedge.

trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was nothing much happening out to sea so I carried on walking around the headland to the other side of the promontory.

It must be getting close to gate-opening time, I reckon, because the fishing boats were starting to head for the port. 105 minutes before High Tide, so I’ve been told, that the gates open and it’s not so very far off that right now.

But no seagulls hanging around the boats tonight. Probably the rainstorm is proving to be too much for them too and they’ve gone off to seek shelter elsewhere.

baie de mont st michel fishing boats queueing outside port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe next stage of my run takes me down past the chantier navale and down to the end of the path where I always stop for breath.

And I was right about the harbour gates being on the point of opening because just look at all of the fishing boats here. And that’s not by any means all of them either. There were another three or four out of shot behind the harbour wall, not to mention those still out at sea.

But the gate didn’t open while I was there so I carried on with my run.

boats new pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAll the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury, around the corner and up to the second pedestrian crossing. But once more I ended up a good 20 oe so metres beyond it.

Back down at the harbour I had a look at to see what was going, accompanied by someone else who was taking a few photos of the place. What caught my eye were the couple of little boats that were moored against the new pontoons in the shadow of the larger boats.

But what I was trying to understand was why they would want a ladder at the end of the pontoon going down into the water. That’s another mystery to me.

young boy fishing peche à pied plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe fifth stage of my run takes me now all the way to the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord where we usually see the sunset. But not this evening of course. Not in this weather.

No picnickers out there either tonight which is no surprise either, but we did have some more fishermen doing their stuff. One of them was a young boy whom I watched scrambling over the rocks until he foud a good position to cast his line.

Once he’s put his hook in the water I ran on back home to write up my notes.

So later than I anticipated I’m off to bed now. No idea who I’ll be meeting during the night but I hope that it’s someone interesting and exciting. After all, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

Tomorrow I’m going to finally get to grips with my music course and spend the day learning blues piano. It’s free so I may as well make the most of it.

Thursday 28th May 2020 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

air sea rescue helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall … all of the excitement that has been going on this evening – and is still going on even now judging by the noise just outside my window – just offshore in the English Channel, let me tell you about my day today.

It started off as we meant to go on – with me having yet another late night. Due primarily to me taking too much time to write out my notes from yesterday.

There weren’t any other distractions, which makes a change just recently.

air sea rescue helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd in accordance with usual procedures just recently, I missed the third alarm.

Not by very much, I have to say, but a miss is as good as a mile, as they say. Nevertheless, 06:30 is not an unreasonable time to be out of bed when I didn’t get into same until about 00:45.

Surprisingly, there was nothing on the dictaphone yet again. And I have the disctinct feeling or impression that at some time during the night I was somewhere else

air sea rescue helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallIt rather reminds me of the old story about the man who dreamed that he was awake. And when he woke up, he was!

After breakfast there were a few little things to deal with around here, and I even did some tidying up. But I still can’t find my magnifying glass.

And then a shower and weigh-in. And I’ve put on another 100 grammes. I’m not working hard enough on my health, I reckon. I have to be doing better than this.

installing edging floating pontoon rue de port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith it being Thursday, that’s shopping day. And I hadn’t forgotten that I was going to go down to the port to see what was going on down there with the big cranes.

And the answer is that it’s not really evident. They’ve worked hard on the pontoons of course, and they’ve edged and trimmed them now, presumably with the bits and pieces of metal or aluminium that were on there the other day.

But with just one row of pontoons, with the supports poking through, that’s not really wide enough for people to pass carrying boxes of fish and the like.

digging trench rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWe’d seen the traffic lights in the rue du Port and I wanted to see what they were for, seeing as they are still here but the cranes are gone.

Nothing to do with the cranes at all – just digging a trench across the road. It’s a company called Cegelec that’s doing the work so it’s likely that it’s something to do with electrical work.

There are some now power boxes on the pontoons, but I would have thought that they would have been connected into the existing circuit rather than having a new one.

chausiais trawlers leaving port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhen I was up on top of the cliff I’d noticed that Chausiais was moored up in the loading position underneath the big crane.

By the time I’d come down and walked along the harbour she had pulled away. There were several fishing boats pulling away from the quayside too so it looked as if at any moment the harbour gates are going to open and let everyone out.

As for me, I pushed on to the labroatory where I went to pay for my blood test last week and pick up my results.

And my blood count is down – by 0.3. Not that that’s any surprise. After all, I’ve not had my essential four-weekly treatment since January

At LIDL there were quite a few people – more than there have been for a while. There was nothing in the specials that I needed but even so the bill was somewhat large for a mid-week shop, due to the fact that I needed a lot of stuff.

But remember those frozen red fruits from the other week? They had bags of frozen raspberries in there today so I bought a pack. Somewhere lying around I have some agar-agar so I’m going to have a go at making a strawberry flan next week.

trawler entering port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, I called at La Mie Caline for a dejeunette and then headed for home.

The harbour gates are now open and the queue of boats had long-since departed . It was now the turn of those coming in to pass through the gates, like this one is doing right now.

Back here, I had to shuffle things around in the freezer to fit the strawberries in and then, coffee in hand, I attacked a dozen or so of the photos from July 2019.

Right now, I’m back on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour and just coming in to Reykjavik harbour on a grey and miserable Sunday morning.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallLunch was exciting because it was such a glorious day that I went and ate my butties outside, sitting on the wall overlooking the harbour.

And I wasn’t alone either, as you can see. Sometime during the course of the late morning while I was working on my photographs Thora has sneaked into port and tied up at the loading bay underneath the big crane where I had seen Chausiais earlier.

Word has reached my ear that there’s a strike on in the port of St Malo, and a lot of freight from there is being delivered here instead

boats entering leaving harbour granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t just Thora and a fishing boat that was using the harbour either.

It looked as if the whole world and his wife was either coming or going in and out of the port today. Dozens of people were making use of the facilities in the glorious weather.

For ages I sat and watched them, and I was accompanied by a lizard. I bet they missed me last summer when I wasn’t here. In previous years I’d fed tham with my pear droppings.

yacht baie de mont st michel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallDo you remember the big navy blue yacht that we saw the other night? I’m sure that regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing the photo.

She must have moved into here – or, at least, the Port de Plaisance – because here she is again taking advantage of the breeze that was blowing out to see.

But she didn’t hang around for long and disappeared out of my view. So I finished my butties and cme on back to the apartment.

air sea rescue helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile you admire more photos of this evening’s activities, I worked on my web pages.

Firstly I rewrote one of the pages on one of the websites – a project that I’ve started just recently.

And secondly, I treated a couple of pages on the other website to the new modernisation procedures. One of those pages had a substantial rewrite while I was at it because events have moved on since I first wrote it in 2008 and it’s one of those rare pages that has never had an amendment.

baie de mont st michel st pair sur met kairon plage marker light entrance to port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was time to finish off this week’s accountancy course (next week, it’s Maths!)and then go for my afternoon walk.

Such a beautiful afternoon it was, and so I went off and snapped a beautiful photo of the marker light by the entrance to the harbour, with St Pair sur Mer and Kairon Plage in the background.

Crowds of people out there today. Restrictions here are being further lifted on 2nd June but you would be forgiven for believing that they have been lifted already, with the crowds who were out there.

seagulls pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallNot just crowds of people either.

The tide is well on its way out and so the flocks of seagulls were jostling for position on the rocks ready to dive down onto the mudflats and scavenge for the shellfish.

It’s impressive how they seem to understand about tides and the like. Animal instinct is a wonderful thing and it’s a shame that most humans don’t use theirs.

cleaning mooring chains port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk carried me on around the headland, past the chantier navale where there were still the two boats.

But I was intrigued by the work that was going on in the tidal harbour. There are mooring chains all over there, marked by buoys that presumably float the chains up and down with the tide.

These guys were cleaning out around one of the chains. It’s probably become bogged down in the silt and isn’t moving as it’s supposed to znd needs freeing off.

bad parking college malraux granville manche normandy france eric hallBut you can tell that the schools are back, can’t you?

It’s chucking-out time at the High School down the road and the parents are here, parking on the pavement in a narrow road because, presumably, their little darlings are too tired to walk the extra 20 yards to the huge free car park just across the main road in the Boulevard Vaufleury.

As for me, I carried on with my walk and came back home

And you won’t believe this but me, not having played the piano since I was about 12 (and that’s over half a century) I can now play quite happily a 12-bar blues two-handed with Cmaj7 as the root chord in the American blues scale. It’s so impressive!

It did involve a little cheating – I had to label my keyboard (I have one of these 5-octave keyboards) so that I could see the notes at a glance rather than think about how they relate to middle C – but it was still pretty good and I completed the first week’s course with some kind of comfort.

What was even better was that for my hour on the guitar later, I sat down and worked out the note spacing for the blues scale and then did a half-hour of walking bass up and down the scale followed by half an hour of lead guitar solo

It seems to me that I’ve learnt more in an hour this afternoon than I have in about 50 years of playing guitar.

So week 2 tomorrow. And at this rate I might even catch up with the course. That’s rather more optimistic than yesterday, isn’t it?

Tea tonight was the leftover stuffing with kindey beans made into taco rolls, and a slice of my totally delicious and juicy apple pie – the best one that I’ve made so far.

Outside for my evening walk – and straight into controversy as when I finally reached the clifftop after my struggle up the hill I – and everyone else there – was buzzed by a helicopter.

air sea rescue helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWe all stood and watched it for ages at it circled round and round and round the same spot, going lower and lower each time.

It’s the local air-sea rescue helicopter that regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen before, so the conclusion that we reached was that there had been an “incident” of some description.

We noticed, as you can see in this photo, that it’s attracted the attention of a fishing boat that has changed course and now come over to where the helicopter is.

air sea rescue boat helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallA couple of minutes later, the lifeboat came around the corner to join in the fun.

So whatever it was that was going on, it was clearly important and I’ll ptobably find out about it tomorrow in teh newspapers.

So knowing that this wouldn’t be resolved in a minute I decided to carry on with my run and presumably by the time that I got round to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord they will still be out there working.

open motor launch fishing boat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe presence of the air-sea rescue operation wasn’t deterring the rest of the nautical craft.

Commercial operations would hardly be affected and it seems that leisure activities weren’t halted either. these guys in their open boat are still chugging on their way regardless of the commotion that was going on around them.

Back at the apartment I enlarged the image and I could see that they were loaded up with rods and lines and the rest of the fishing gear.

chausiais joly france ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was some excitement over at the ferry terminal too.

While Chausiais was out on her travels today, it looks as if someone, the little blue and white boat, has ppinched her berth and moored herself to it. That means that poor Chausias has had to go and moor herslf somewhere else, as you can see.

That certainly seems to be something new. I’ve never seen a boat moored there before and I’m not convinced that it’s a good place to moor either, with the force of the rising tide risking smashing her into the wall.

air sea rescue boat helicopter english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo I carried on with my run down the Boulevard Vaufleury and round and across to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord.

The lifeboat was there now, and the crew was alongside the rails presumably looking for something – or someone.

They were there for quite a while too. I stood and watched them for an age but it was clear that whatever they were looking for, they weren’t going to find it in a hurry.

And I was right to, for they were still at it long after I returned home.

picnickers beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it’s no surprise that I wasn’t alone there either.

My picnickers were there again this evening. And out in force too. They must be multiplying or something because there seems to be more and more of them each night. If I remember correctly, we started off with four.

So I turned round and ran back home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow is a day with no planned interruptions (I say “planned” because we know all about unplanned ones). No accountancy course so I’m going to have a good go at the music course to try to catch up with the arrears. it’s certainly piqued my interest

But of course something is bound to happen to disrupt all of my plans. We all know how that works out.

Thursday 14th May 2020 – THAT WAS A …

… better day today!

For a start, I actually made it out of bed before the third alarm. And after yesterday’s disaster, that was really some kind of progress.

And I was off on a voyage as well during the night. Not quite as graphic as the previous night’s, which is a good thing, I suppose. There were three of us wandering around central London last night, me and two girls. I know these two girls and I just can’t think who they are. It was the time of a vampire attack on the city and we’d been doing something, fighting off these vampires and a fourth member of our party, an elderly gentleman dressed in Victorian suit and top hat was helping but he was taken ill on one occasion. So I went over to see him although it wasn’t me – but it was me in the dream if you know what I mean – and I undid his shirt. I found that he had a bandage wrapped round his chest so I had to undo the bandage. He snarled and snapped at me and I realised that he was a vampire. Someone had pushed a stake through his heart at one time. I grabbed these two girls and I stuck a cross in his way or his hand or something and we ran off. Somehow we became separated and I ended up with one of these girls and she ended up going home. I escorted her home and we came back out. We were on this street, something like rue St Catherine Est (near the CHUM) in Montreal. Down at the bottom of a hill was a church and that was where I’d arranged to meat this other girl. We were late so I said to this girl who was with me “stay here” and I ran on down to see the other. There she was outside this building and she was curling up, settling down on the floor going to sleep to wait for us on the pavement. I grabbed hold of her “God, don’t do that!”. She asked “where’s the other girl?”. “I’ve left her on a street cornerto come and fetch you. Now we have to go and fetch her back”. We were loaded up with valuables (…like the camera…) but we couldn’t find anywhere to put them. There were all these boxes where you could leave stuff but there was no key. We had to scratch around for a key or a lock or something – we didn’t have one. Time was getting on and in the end I thought “God just put the stuff in there. If someone pinches it, too bad”. The door didn’t close, the camera strap was dangling out right by a fire, everything like that. We ran back up the hill and as we ran back up we were really afraid of what we would see – whether the vampire had hold of this girl again. Should I have left a cross in her hand or wrapped garlic around her neck or something? I started to have all of these weird ideas about what was going to happen and what I should have done.

After breakfast I assembled the radio project as far as I could and checked the timing. Knock off 30 seconds from what was left out of the hour, and that was the length of track for which I was looking.

A shower was next, and a shave and general clean-up. And of that 300 grammes of weight that I had lost at the last weigh-in, I’d put 400 grammes back.

workmen rue st jean medieval city walls granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s Thursday today, and so that means shopping of course. But once again, I didn’t go very far before I stopped.

One of the penalties of living in a medieval walled city is that quite often the old gates are too low for lorries and the like and regular readers of this rubbish will have seen plenty of examples of trans-shipment

There’s more work taking place within the walls, I imagine, and they can’t pass the lorry and the trailer here through the gateway. They are going to have to unload all of this, I imagine, and take it through as best as they can.

joly france baie de mont st michel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallWe’ve seen all of the ferries – the two for the Channel Islands and the two for the Ile de Chausey, parked up during the confinement.

But today it looks as if things have eased off. Joly France, one of the passenger ferries that goes out to the Ile de Chausey, was just heading off out of the harbour and by the looks of things, she has a good complement of passengers.

Here’s hoping that none of them are infected because the virus would spread like wildfire out on the island.

First stop was the Post Office to post of Rosemary’s Christmas present. I know that it’s May but she was away from home until the day of the lockdown and as she came home, the Post Office closed.

We had to queue outside and were allowed in three by three.

At the Bank, where I went to pay in a cheque and to change a standing order, it was even worse. Facemasks compulsory (luckily I had taken with me the one that I was given by a neighbour the other week), oOnly one person in at a time and so the queue was down the street.

The counter clerk was very scrupulous about cleaning off the perspex window and all of that, and then handled all of my paperwork and bank card, which made the scrupulous cleaning of the perspex screen rather superfluous.

At LIDL I spent more than intended, but a large part of that was spent on a folding rucksack. It’s a reasonable size but folds up into a large pocket and it’s just the job for when I go on excursions.

The apple pie is on its last slice too but they had on special offer some frozen red fruits – €1:79 for a 750 gramme bag. So I bought a bag and I’ll make a pie with that tomorrow.

floating pontoon out to outer harbour granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I bought a dejeunette from La Mie Caline for lunch, but was once more interrupted walking up the Rue des Juifs.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen them floating the new pontoons across the harbour by pushing them with a motor boat, but this one is actually being pushed out of the inner harbour.

We’ve also seen the mounting brackets that they installed at the ferry terminal. It looks as if, now that Joly France has gone off on her travels, that they are going to install the new pontoons.

Back here I wrote the text for the final track, uploaded it to the computer, edited it and assembled the final track. I was over time by 5 seconds but a quick edit of some speech soon dealt with that.

After lunch, while I listened to my handiwork, I had a look at the template issue for one of my websites – the issue that I mentioned the other day.

And it should be no surprise to anyone that I resolved the issue in less than 10 seconds. In fact, I’d been thinking about this problem here and there and I had a very good idea of what I had done. And I was right.

It will also be no surprise to anyone that I also had a little doze for a few minutes here and there.

Once I’d recovered my composure I set about installing the new hi-fi. And I rather think that I’ve over-egged the pudding somewhat.

It was necessary to drill a couple of holes in the furniture and then perform a complicated rewiring job which meant practically dismantling the computer and a few other things too.

It led to something of a tidy-up too (and putting away a pile of papers) and then I connected everything up. And as I said, I’ve over-egged the pudding somewhat because this system is somewhat overwhelming.

But the quality is phenomenal nevertheless and I’m as impressed with this as I was with my galvanised steel dustbin.

Somewhat later that anticipated, I went out for my afternoon walk.

On the way out with the hi-fi box I bumped into a woman from the Mairie who was handing out the free washable face masks that the commune had ordered for their inhabitants. I asked her for an innuendo so she gave me one.

“Corona virus?” I enquired.
“No” she replied. “The school next door starts back up next week. We don’t want you frightening the kids”.

trawler english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hall

The hurricane was still blowing and it was a struggle to walk around the walls. But I wasn’t struggling half as much as some people. The trawler out there in the English Channel near the Ile de Chausey was really making heavy weather of the journey home.

You can tell by the whitecaps on the tops of the waves that far out (that’s probably about 10 kilometres out) just how wild the wind is right now.

windsurfer people on beach donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd the trawler wasn’t the only one out there in the wind.

Never mind the story about the beaches being closed and so on, we have a windsurfer out there enjoying the storm. And I suppose that he parachuted in from the air too.

But there must be a good handful of people out there on that beach between Donville les Bains and Bréhal Plage and I have no idea why they are there and what they are doing.

There was still half an hour left to enjoy the music before the hour on the guitar, which was spent mainly playing around with two Dire Straits tracks – “Sultans of Swing” and “Tunnel of Love”. Despite all of the time that I’ve spent working out “Telegraph Road”, i reckon that right now it’s beyond what I’m really capable of doing.

Tea was a nice stuffed pepper followed by the last of that delicious apple pie that I made, so tomorrow is going to be a baking day, I reckon.

car caravan parking rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBack outside in the teeth of the gale and my run up the hill which was agonising tonight.

And at the caravanette park in the rue du Roc we have yet more grockles who haven’t quite grasped what all of this virus thing is about. I’ve seen the local police on their patrols and I reckon that they ought to be doing something about this.

But anyway having recovered my breath I ran on down to the clifftop to see what I could see out to sea.

And the answer to that was “nothing at all”.

sunlight relection beach st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france eric hallAround the corner to the south side of the headland and I noticed something glistening on the beach over across the bay at St Pair Sur Mer.

Being of a curious bent … “errr … quite” – ed … I took a photo of it to crop and blow up back here. And what I can see is that it seems to be the sun’s reflection on the window there reflecting into a tidal pool on the beach.

It’s quite amazing what you can pick up with a good zoom lens.

floating pontoon ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallEarlier on today we noticed that they were pushing a floating pontoon out of the harbour.

At the time I speculated that they might be finally going to fit them to the mounting brackets that they fitted to the harbour wall over at the ferry terminal.

And sure enough, there they are in position. But I’m intrigued to see what is going to happen when the tide goes out because it dries out over there. And what happens to the pontoons then will be interesting.

floating pontoons port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDespite the howling gale I struggled on with my run down the Boulevard Vaufleury and I was pretty done in when I finally reached my marker.

Back down to the viewpoint over the harbour to see what they had been up to down there. And it looks as if some of the floating pontoons down there (we’d seen three rows yesterday) have gone.

The missing ones are probably those that they installed at the ferry terminal.

My next run took me round to the viewpoint in the rue du Nord but there was nothing going on over there so I turned round and ran back home as best as I could in the wind.

So now I’ve finished this, I’m ready for bed. This was a better day today and I felt a bit more like myself. Here’s hoping for an even better day tomorrow.

Thursday 7th May 2020 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hall… this evening’s beautiful sunset, let me tell you about my day today.

Just for a change, I went to bed last night at a not-unreasonable hour and I was just about on the point of throwing off my bed covers when the alarm went off.

So, a narrow defeat this morning, which was a shame. It’s high time I got myself onto a winning roll with all of this getting-up lark. I can’t afford to spend my time lying in bed.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see if I’d been anywhere during the night.

There had been some kind of radio meeting during the night. There was a new woman there and we’d been discussing a few things. There was a brochure that we had prepared, like a magazine. It was in French with an English translation. I was looking through this translation and I noticed that this new woman was standing there not too far away and she was trying her best to speak in English. I’m not quite sure why. And then the meeting came round about we were going to abandon our Saturdays. One project that the chief decided on was that we were each going to bring in a piece of fruit once a week and we’d talk about this piece of fruit. He went through the catalogue and when it got to Saturday, he said “of course Saturday we won’t be here so we can’t do Saturday”. Then he came out with a list of reasons why we couldn’t do it with coffee – because some people like it with sugar and some don’t and so on. And it all became confusing.

sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter breakfast I had a go ata couple of pages of the website and upgraded them.

That all led to a shower and a general clean-up. And for all of my efforts this week, i’ve lost another 100 grammes. At this rate it’ll be years before I’ll disappear completely.

But in other news, I’ve cut my hair today. And it needed it too. I’ll probably find that I’ve lost half a ton of weight now that that lot has gone.

crane pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThursday today and so that means shopping. I grabbed my bag and headed to the hills.

One thing though, and that was that I was interested to see what was going on today with all of the shenanigans down in the harbour over the last few days.

And so this morning we could admire the big yellow crane that was now back again, and it seemed to be doing some stuff with the new pontoons over there.

So that looks like progress.

new pontoon walkway ramp road marking car park rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDown here on this side of the harbour by the rue du Port we saw them last week manoeuvring one of the walkways into position.

This week we can see that it’s been installed properly now. I can’t wait for the detention à domicile to end so that I can go for a walk down there and see how it is. I want to find out how the bottom is fastened to the pontoon because the pontoon won’t be at a constant height.

But just look at that car park on the right. How disappointing is that? There was so much that they could have done to it to make it so beautiful and all that we’ve ended up with is a slab of tarmac with painted white lines.

So, filled with disappointment I pushed on through the crowds (and I DO mean crowds) up the hill out of town.

First stop was at the laboratory for my test results and to pay the bill. There’s a one-way system in force there so we had to go in through the back door (and out of the front).

And in astonishing news, it’s been months since I had any treatment and my blood count has gone UP! 9.7 is quite ridiculous if you ask me. I’ve no idea what’s going on there.

house renovations avenue marechal leclerc granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way up the hill to LIDL I went past a house renovation that appears to have started, here in the Avenue Marechal LeClerc.

In fact one of the things that I noticed was that in a lot of the shops that are currently closed there are all kinds of repainting and redecorating going on. It looks as if everyone is getting ready for reopening, and using the downtime profitably.

At LIDL I spent a little more money than usual but there was a reason for that. I need a new plugboard with more sockets, and there was a seven-way switchable one on offer for €5:99. So that joined the happy throng.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I called at la Mie Caline for a dejeunette and then headed home. And the shopping was really heavy, what with everything in it. Like two bags of flour for a start.

But my eye caught a change over at the chantier navale. There have been four boats in there just recently but today it looked as if there was now a fifth.

And even more interesting – the boat on the left in the line of four is not the same boat that’s been there for the last couple of weeks. That’s gone and another has taken its place so it seems.

Back here I had a coffee and then made a start on the images for July 2019. For a couple of hours I had a good back at those and another 40-odd have bit the dust.

Right not I’m on the upper deck of The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour watching the tight manoeuvres as we attempt to make our way into the port of Vestmannaeyjar on the island of Heimaey.

old cars citroen acadiane place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a break for lunch of course, and I happened to glance out of the window where I saw this.

It’s been years since we have featured an old car, so this old Citroen Acadiane is a welcome visitor to our pages.

Regular readers of this rubbish in one of its many guises years and years ago will recall that I had one of these that I bought at an auction, but it was “lost” when the lock-up garages where it was kept were swept away when the site was cleared for houses.

After lunch I launched an attack on the updating of the web pages. And here I made an exciting discovery.

At one stage a while ago I was looking for the working files for my 2014 trip to Canada that I could never find and which I assumed had been lost when the old laptop gave up the ghost in Germany.

But I’d obviously at one stage done some kind of directory compare between the files on the computer and files on my web server, presumably found them on both and knowing that they weren’t ready for publishing, deleted them – but from the computer and not from the web server.

They’ve now been moved over to the correct location, so obviously some more good has come out of this project.

But what with that and an early finish this afternoon I didn’t manage to do as much as I would have liked, but I can’t win a coconut every time.

So after my hour on the guitars, my early finish had given me half an hour spare so I put it to good use.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve run out of pudding and so I decided to make a small apple pie.for the rest of the week or so.

However, rather than use a pastry roll, I’d seen a simple recipe for making simple pastry – basically any given welght of flour and half that weight of butter (or in my case, vegan margarine) all kneaded together until it looks and feels good, and then a couple of tablespoons of water added and kneaded in until the texture feels good.

Take out your silicon baking sheet, dust it with flour, stick your pastry on there, flatten it out and then roll it with your rolling pin, keeping it dusted with flour so it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin as you roll it.

Grease your little baking pan (I used a 15cm one) and cut your pastry to fit it. 150 grammes of flour was enough to make the top and the bottom and there was some left over.

Peel, core and slice a couple of baking apples and add the slices to the pie with some cinnamon, nutmeg, desiccated coconut, brown sugar and lemon juice.

Then add the top, milk the edges and press them down with a fork to seal them. Brush the top with milk and dust with brown sugar, then put a couple of slits into the top to let out the steam, and then bung into the oven.

apple pie apple turnover place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallWith what’s left over (pastry and apple) make an apple turnover.

And here’s the finished product. It looks absolutely delicious. And the apple turnover certainly was because I had it for pudding with some of that almond soya stuff after my burger-on-a-bap and baked potato.

And I’ll have another go at this pastry lark because it really was quit straightforward and simple. In fact, I’m wondering what I can attempt next.

trawlers english channel ile de chausey brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the washing up (of which there was more than enough) it was time to go off on my evening runs.

There were quite a few people out there tonight, presumably fed up of the lockdown (which seems to be working – only 600 new cases today). And we had plenty of fishing boats to admire too – like these out and about in the stretch of the English Channel between the Ile de Chausey and Bréhal-Plage.

They seem to be working all kinds of new areas these days, and a lot closer to home too.

fishing buoys english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallSo much so that it didn’t surprise me to see these buoys just a few miles offshore.

At first I thought that it might be a seal or a porpoise or something so it was rather a speculative shot that I took. But back home where I could crop it out and blow it up (the cropped image, not the object) I could see that they were these temporary marker buoys that we see floating about every now and again.

Despite all the time that I’ve lived here I’ve never been able to find out exactly what they are but having seen them on fishing boats, my best guess is that they are markers for fishing traps, like lobster pots and the like.

trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday (and for a couple of other days just recently too) we’ve walked round the headland to discover a fishing boat setting out of the harbour.

There was another one today heading off out today too. There were a few boats out fishing off the Brittany coast near Cancale across the bay and it looked as if this one was on its way to join them.

Looking more closely though, it seems to be surrounded by seabirds so I wonder if it is in fact fishing with its nets out just there.

trawlers chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut here’s another thing.

My evening run took me along the path on top of the cliff past the chantier navale and I could see that there was yet another change of occupants.

We’d seen this morning that we’d increased to five occupants – two of which were new because one of the older inhabitants had gone from the chocks. But tonight we’re down to four again, with one of the new ones having now been put back into the water.

It can’t have been much that she needed

chausiais port de granville harbour  manche normandy france eric hallThe next leg of my run takes me all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury and round into the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and once I reach my marker (the second pedestrian crossing) I can pause for breath.

So I walked back down the road to the walls overlooking the harbour to se what was happening. Chausiais is now back in her habitual mooring spot at the ferry terminal and Marité although you can’t see her, is still moored at the far side of the harbour (and I forgot to look this morning to see why she had been moved).

Apart from that, there was nothing very evident to indicate what work they had been doing around there.

fishing from the steps rue du port granville manche normandy france eric hallSo I ran off round to the viewpoint at the rue du Nord just in time to catch the sunset, as you have already seen.

There were a few people out there again tonight, including these people who were fishing with rod and line from the steps that go down to the beach (or would do at low tide, of course)

They seemed to be having a great deal of fun, whether they were actually catching anything or not, so I left them to it and ran on home.

Half of my notes are finished now, but so am I too. I’m off to bed and I’ll finish the rest tomorrow. It’s a Bank Holiday (VE Day) in Europe tomorrow but in defiance of usual practice I’m setting an alarm so that I can finish my notes early tomorrow.

If I can.

Thursday 30th April 2020 – I WAS RIGHT …

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… last night when I predicted the arrival of either Thora or Normandy Trader here in the harbour today.

On my way out to the shops I had a glance over the wall down to the harbour, and there was Normandy Trader down in the harbour.

Another thing that I was right about was the quick turn-round time these days too. She must have crept in on the overnight tide and is leaving right now – right at the moment that the harbour gates are opening.

silt coming in on tide port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd the harbour gates are indeed just opening right at this very minutes, and you can tell that just by looking at the colour of the water coming in on the tide.

You can see that it’s a brown colour – heavily loaded with silt, and that contrasts with the blue of the water that’s inside the harbour.

Whether that’s because the silt that might have been in the water has settled out while the gates were closed, or whether there’s a fresh-water sources from somewhere feeding into the harbour is anyone’s guess.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd I wasn’t just right – I was right in spades too!

Because as I came back from the shops Normandy Trader had long since departed and in her place Thora was now there loading up. That was quick.

Another quick turnround too because when I went out this evening to take the air she had already long-since departed. So when I say at timed that I haven’t seen them for a while, that doesn’t mean to say that they haven’t been here.

The least said about this morning, the better. Not one of my more successful starts to the day, I’m afraid.

But I did make it to my feet and after the meds had a listen to the dictaphone. I was working for the French Government last night on an employment reinsertion project and one of my clients was some young guy I know in back in Pionsat. I had to give him advice and tips about getting back into work, all this kind of thing. Of course it’s pretty evident that he doesn’t need any tips with the amount of work he does on the side but it’s the kind of thing that had to be done. There were all kinds of questions about me, a foreigner advising people on French law. It went on like that for quite some time. At one point I was actually travelling somewhere and I’d come to a strange town that I knew. I tried to buy some fuel but one or two of the petrol stations were closed and there were queues at the other stations so I had a walk around the town for something to eat but I couldn’t find anything to eat. Everywhere was closed as well in this town
And during the night I was getting my carrots ready for freezing, chopping them up and dicing them. At one point I had to measure them but it was a bit late by them because I’d already chopped them up and you couldn’t really assemble them back together again to measure them so that was something as well.

After breakfast I had a go at some music-file digitalising. The first one that I attempted was a nightmare and I had to search everywhere. But I still ended up one track short no matter where I went.

And I was right about one of my assumptions because it was there in black and white in the artist’s catalogue – “this artist is known to be one whose work was lost in the Universal Studios fire” and because he’s a pretty obscure artist, that would appear to be that.

What I’ll have to do is to digitalise the album myself instead of hunting down master tapes, and then upload my versions.

As an aside, I should mention, so that there’s no mistake or misunderstanding, that I’m only digitalising albums that I already own.

Because of all of this, I was late having my shower and late going out to the shops.

heavy machinery rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd even later than I would have been too. There was so much going on out there this morning and of course it’s been a wek since I’ve seen any of it.

For a start, what is this? Some kind of heavy machinery, that’s for sure, and I imagine that the artic at the side has just delivered it.

But whatever it is, it’s an interesting replacement for the large crane that was parked on there for a couple of days after thay had taken it off the floating pontoon.

new pedestrian gangway port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few days ago I was mulling over how they were going to get down to the new floating pontoons.

It’s all very well having the pontoons but it’s no use if you cant get up or down from or to them.

But I found out the answer to this conundrum this morning. We can see the new gangway over there that goes down to the pontoon. I imagine that it’s secured at the quayside but unsecured at the bottom so that it can slide about as the pontoon rises and falls with the tide.

normandy trader crane new gangway rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd if we can avert our eyes from Normandy Trader for a while we can see yet more goings-on just here.

Our big mobile crane is back again, and here she is just about to wrestle with a gangway for the floating pontoons here. I imagine that the gangway will be dropped into position during the course of the morning.

And on the other side of the harbour you can see the big floating pontoon that was being used as a workstation. It’s now been dismantled and is ready to be taken away in early course.

removing british flag union jack place godal granville manche normandy france eric hallA couple of days ago, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that they set up the flags on the Resistance War Kemorial at the Pointe du Roc.

Here this morning down in the Place Godal the local Council had the cherry-picker out playing with the flags here too.

But what they were actually doing was taking down the British flag. I’m not sure why and I wasn’t quick enough to ask them, but it was probably a symbolic post-Brexit gesture or something like that.

We’ll have to see next week whether it goes back up.

So I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … to LIDL for my shopping, through the madding crowds.

On the first day of detention à domicile I remember wandering the streets looking for bread and there wasn’t a soul about at all. Today, apart from the few people wearing masks you would never have thought that these were lockdown times, with the crowds that were out and about.

But it seems to be working. Only 758 new cases today, which contrasts with the sad state off affairs in the UK where there were 6032. At a 15% death-rate 15 days hence, which seems to be the norm, France will soon be reaching Germany’s low totals whereas the UK will be out of control. Even more so when an order of “vital supplies” of ventilators ordered in an emergency turn out to be totally useless

There was a security guy on the door at LIDL too controlling ingress and egress. Older, bigger and more out-of-condition than me, he was too. He wouldn’t have been any use running after shoplifters. But then, he’s not there for that.

In LIDL I spent a lot of money, but I needed quite a lot of stuff as stocks were well down. And so much stuff did I buy that it was a struggle to carry it home. But it’ll keep me fit, I suppose.

But fit for what, I really have no idea.

On the way back I stopped off at La Mie Caline for my dejeunette for lunch and then back here I had a coffee.

Having almost run out of hummus I made another batch. And it’s really easy to do.
Drain a tin of chick peas.
Add to the chick peas half the weight of sesame seed paste (400 grammes of chick peas means 200 grammes of paste).
Add some of the chick pea juice, some olive oil, sea salt, ground black pepper and garlic – usually in total about half of the weight of chick peas again
Chuck the lot in your whizzer and give it a really good whizz around – adding a little more oil or chick pea juice until you have the consistency you like.
In the meantime, dice up your flavouring. I’ve used roast peppers, all kinds of things in the past but today it was sun-dried tomatoes and olives with tarragon.
Add them into the mix in the whizzer and just blip the whizzer so that the flavouring is dispersed throughout the mix – you don’t want to purée it, which is what will happen if you whizz it too long.
Put it in small pots, freeze some of it and put a pot in the fridge for immediate use.

And it was totally wicked on my dejeunette with tomato, cucumber lettuce and vegan mayonnaise.

After lunch I had a look at a second album to digitalise. And this was a loooooooong one too and it took an age. And the disappointment was that for some reason or other, two of the tracks on the master tape where, had this been an LP there would have been a change of side, the one seems to have lost its end and the other its beginning.

So that’s a task for tomorrow – to see if I can track them down.

But one track on the album was one that I used to play in a rock group in the 1970s so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to have an extra go on the bass. That brought back some very happy memories.

And I ended up having to dismantle the computer at one point. The mouse has been playing up just recently but this afternoon it handed in its hat so I had to find another one and untangle a mass of cables to do that.

And it wasn’t easy either.

After another session on the guitars I knocked off and went to make my apple and pear purée, now that I had some apples and pears to make it with.

10 apples peeled, cored and diced, added to a small amount of water with a lot of lemon juice (to stop the apples browning) with desiccated coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3 pears followed suit into the water which was them all put on a low heat, given a really good stir and left to its own devices for about an hour.

In the meantime seeing as I’d had the oven on to sterilise the bottles I stick a couple of potatoes in to bake along with some baked beans and vegan cheese.

A simple tea of course but it was delicious, as was my blackberry pie and almond soya dessert.

home made apple pear puree breakfast drink granville manche normandy france eric hallBy now the fruit was ready so I drained off the liquid and bottled it to use as a cordial for breakfast.

The fruit went into the whizzer and was whizzed round into a purée and then put into the other two jars that i’d sterilised in the oven.

They were left to cool, and you can see the finished results right here. It looks really good and, having tried a sample off the end of the spatula, I can say that it tastes good too.

storm english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallSo at this point, about an hour or so later than usual, I went for my evening walk.

And I was glad that I’d done something during the day too because by the looks of things, it wasn’t going to be the right kind of evening to be out there.

There was a famous storm raging out there in the English Channel somewhere round by Jersey and I wished now that i’d put on my rain jacket – or maybe gone out a little earlier.

storm ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite the howling headwind, which wasn’t quite as strong as yesterday but nevertheless … I managed to run up to my marker point at the top of the hill.

It was something like a struggle – well, a lot like a struggle actually, but I was given the impetus to move on quickly when I saw the storm heading my way from the Ile de Chausey.

As I watched, I could see it getting closer and closer and I didn’t like the look of it at all, so I cleared off.

trawler baie de mont st michel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd even despite the raging weather, there was another fishing boat out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

This kind of weather, rough though it is, won’t stop them at all. But as I have said before … “on numerous occasions” – ed … they seem to be fishing in areas that I hadn’t noticed before.

No change in the chantier navale this evening which was just as well because I didn’t feel like stopping. Still the same four boats from yesterday. They are keeping quite busy in there despite the restrictions.

car park boulevard vaufleury flags european union france normandy granville manche normandy france eric hallBut while I’d stopped for my breath, I had a look at the flagpoles here in the car park in the boulevard Vaufleury.

They’ve been busy with the cherry-picker because they have put these flags up too. We have the EU, then France, then the province of Normandy and then the flag of the town of Granville.

But on that note the rain started to fall. The storm had caught me up. So I ran off down the street and back home, missing off my two final runs due to the inclement weather.

But I was over 100% on the fitbit so I wasn’t too disappointed.

It’s horribly late now and I’m nowhere near finished. Tomorrow is a Bank Holiday here and that’s usually the signal for a lie-in bit I’m going to defy convention, get up early (if I can, of course) and finish off the outstanding stuff before breakfast.

See you in the morning.

Thursday 23rd April 2020 – THE GOOD NEWS IS …

… that I’m holding my own.

Yes, I don’t want to be holding anyone else’s, that’s for sure.

Mind you, someone else could hold it for me, depending on who it was of course and several candidates spring to mind. And that reminds me, I’ve not heard anything from Percy Penguin (who doesn’t feature in these pages half as often as she deserves) for absolutely ages.

That’s right – I’ve been to see the doctor this morning. He’s quite pleased with my progress and thinks that I’m in a stable condition. But then again, so was Mary after giving birth to Jesus.

There’s even better news too, although not necessarily for me alone. I asked the doctor about this virus and how it was doing. he replied that there hasn’t even been a call for a test in Granville during the last 10 days, never mind a case of the virus.

He’s of the opinion that the number of cases is falling dramatically due to the success of the detention à domicile and if this keeps up, then Granville will be one of the first places to have the restrictions lifted.

However, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, statements like this are usually the Kiss of Death for any hopes. So we shall see.

But apart from that, today has been a horrible day for me again.

It all went wrong last night with me being very late going to bed. After 02:00 it was, what with one thing and another.

Surprisingly, I managed to beat the third alarm although I was feeling like death.

With the medication out of the way, I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was standing with a group of people on a square somewhere last night – a “circle” thing that you used to get with Council House estates. This square was being modernised and the road being reorganised and so we were standing in a group there and it was going to be one of these funk, soul R&B blues things but the guys were white and that took everyone by surprise.

After breakfast I had a go at doing some digitalising. Another two albums and, to my complete surprise, apart from two tracks that “stuck” and needed quite a bit of encouragement to work properly it went so rapidly that I didn’t have time to do more than half a dozen or so of the photos from July 2019.

fishing boat towing dinghy port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBy now, it was time to go to visit the doctor so I grabbed my things and headed for the stret.

It’s been a while since I’ve been out on foot into town in the morning and there was plenty of activity about, like this fishing boat that’s setting off into the English Channel, towing its dinghy behind it.

For a moment or two I thought that it might have been our old friend La Grande Ancre on her way out but I really can’t tell form this image.

strange lighter boat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd I can’t tell from this image what this thing is either.

It’s some kind of pontoon or raft of some description with a cabin and a crane and several buoys on board. It looks as if it might be doing something with the mooring chains in the tidal harbour.

However, when they’ve been doing that in the past, they’ve done it on foot at low tide, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. I couldn’t see why they would want to go to the expense of bringing in a special craft to do the job.

spirit of conrad chausiais port de granville harbour  manche normandy france eric hallThe excitement is a long way from being over too.

Yesterday, we saw that Joly France has moved from her spec at the ferry terminal and was moored up in the inner harbour. I’d noticed earlier that Chausiais wasn’t there this morning either, so I was wondering if she had gone off on a delivery.

But no – she’s here in the inner harbour having a friendly chat with Soirit of Conrad. So there’s something going on at the ferry terminal too, then.

large crane pontoon rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut never mind that for a moment. There seems to be quite a lot going on with the new pontoons at the “Rue du Port” side of the harbour.

It’s difficult to see exactly what they are doing here, but the giant mobile crane that occasionally puts on an appearance here and there around the harbour is back and it’s in position to lift something.

And I can’t think that they will be lifting that will be so heavy that they will need this crane for it.

Bit I carried on and went to the doctoor’s, and then off through the madding crowds (of which there were more than just a few people) up to LIDL.

Although I spent more than usual, much of that went on a new mini-wok. My frying pan is quite small and some of the stuff I make is too big, but far to small to cook in the giant wok.

However, despite everything that i spent, I forgot the carrots, as I found out when I went to peel them this afternoon.

pubic service rue st paul granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back home I always keep my eyes open for anything unusual or exciting, and this in the rue St Paul is one of those things – something that made me look twice at it.

Rule N°2 (regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen Rule N°1 a while back) of hanging up signs and notices is to make sure that there are no creases or folds in the material that might distort the message.

Or do you think that that is splitting hairs?

new house building rue charles guillebot impasse de la corderie granville manche normandy france eric hallSomething else on which we’ve been keeping an eye just recently is the new house that’s being built on the corner of the Rue Charles Guillebot and the Impasse de la Corderie.

For quite a while, progress on it was stalled but they started up a short while ago.

And now they have managed to go as far as the roof. If they aren’t careful, they might be in a position to finish it off before too long.

Bu tit’s not going to be anywhere where I might want to be living.

large crane pontoon rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallLa Mie Caline was open so I picked up a dejeunette and then went across the road to the pharmacy to pick up my medication for the next month.

On my way back up the hill in the rue des Juifs I wanted to see how the big crane was doing. But there she was, gone. And never called me Mother. Instead the floating pontoon is over there with the giant crane.

And I couldn’t even see what they were doing with that one either. It’s not my lucky day, is it?

large crane ferry terminal port de granville granville manche normandy france eric hallAs to where the big mobile crane has gone, that question soon resolved itself too.

And it also answered the question as to why Chausiais and Joly France have moved. With the ferries to the Channel islands being suspended now until the 11th may at the earliest, it looks as if they have seized the opportunity to carry on with the work that they were doing before all of this erupted.

With no ferries to worry about, they can presumably crack on.

And so I cracked on too, back home and started on the final work for the two radio projects that I had on the go. And by the time I knocked off for lunch, I had finished writing the text, it had all been dictated, uploaded to the computer and one of the projects had actually been completed.

After lunch, it didn’t take long to finish off the second, and I could breathe a sigh of relief. There are just 3 or four live recordings to deal with now, and then I’ll be at my target of four months ahead.

First job after finishing was to catch up on a pile of e-mails that needed sending out, and second job was to sort all of the albums that have been digitalised to date and file them away.

That latter job was one that took far longer than it ought because, having already crashed out for 10 minutes earlier, I went out like a light for a good half hour while I was putting away the albums.

And I do mean “out like a light”. It was as bad as I have been for quite a while and the type that would have had me crawling into bed had it happened this time last year.

There was still some time left to do a couple of little things before I knocked off at … 17:00 … for my hour on the guitars.

But at 18:00 I had other things to do.

apple crumble honey lemon ginger drink place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallThe apple crumble is down to the last helping and there was some crumble mix left over, so I used it and the remaining cooking apples to make a small crumble.

But first, the home-made ginger and orange drink was finished off this morning so I needed to make some more. The lemons were looking somewhat sorry for themselves so I ended up with a home-made orange and ginger cordial today.

And here’s all of the finished product it all of its glory. There’s tons of stuff that I’ve been making just recently and once I have the time I’ll be trying more stuff.

While the apple crumble was cooking, I stuck a couple of potatoes in the oven with it and after a while a slice of frozen pie went in there too. With mixed veg and gravy, that was tea followed by the last of Sunday’s apple crumble with soya coconut dessert

trawler sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallOutside for my evening walk later on.

The sky wasn’t as good as it has been just recently though. No clear skies this evening. It was rather overcast and it was unlikely that we would have a good sunset. But this fishing boat sailing off into the setting sun was quite interesting

The Ile de Chausey is out there somewhere but it’s lost in the haze tonight.

trawler fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving dumped the rubbish in the bin, I set off on my run to the top of the hill.

And that was the worst that I have ever felt for quite a while too and I wished that I could do something else. But that kind of attitude bever helped anyone and I need to stop being so defeatist.

At least I had another really good view of the fishing boat pushing on out towards the Channel Islands or wherever.

trawler fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were no fishing boats that I could see in the Baie de Mont St Michel, but there were several out in the English Channel tonight.

From my vantage point up on the cliff I could see at least three, and here’s one of them just here. She looks as if she’s been down near Beéhal-Plage for some reason although I can’t imagine what it might be.

As for the others, it wasn’t easy to tell what they might (or might not) have been up to

flags war memorial pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallA year or so ago regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing the erection of a monument at the Pointe du Roc in honour of Maurice Marland and the other member sof the resistance who carried on the struggle against the Germans during the Occupation.

Four flag poles were erected, but with no flags and there was much speculation about which flags were to be flown here.

But today, we know the answer to that. Somewhere in the course of the day they have been out there to hoist a few – the French,the USA, the UK and, surprisingly, the German flag.

But then, I suppose, the German people were as much the victims of a wicked ideology as anyone else. And I can’t help thinking, as I witness the rise of Fascism in the UK and the USA and several other states in Europe just as in the 1930s, that “those who don’t learn from history are destined to repeat it”.

girl admiring sunset pointe ru roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThe sunset wasn’t as spectaculr tonight as it has been during a couple of evenings just recently.

Nevertheless there was a girl who had breached the security barriers in order to go down to the viewpoint at the bottom to admire the view. I wonder if she thought that what she had seen was worth the risk of the €135 fine is one of the Police Municipale ageents had appeared out of the blue.

There were certainly not so many people out and about this evening, but of those whow ere there, one of them was a guy with whom I’d exchanged pleasantries the other evening.

trawler unloading fish processing plant port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere’s been a great deal of talk here and there from certain people all over France complaining that the small local operators have been refused permission to fish whereas the larger multinationals are out there regardless.

The regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen enough evidence to suggest that this is clearly not the case here. We’ve seen plenty of fishing boats from here out at sea and here are a few that are at the fish processing plant unloading their catch.

So I’ve no idea what is the source of these complaints

large crane ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was here recovering my breath from one of the legs of my run, I had a good look across at the ferry terminal to see if there was any evidence of the work that the large mobile crane had been undertaking.

Not a sausage, as it happens. I didn’t notice anything in the way of new work. But I did notice that the crane is parked up here, presumably for the night, which must mean that whatever they were doing, they hadn’t finished it.

Presumably then they’ll be back to have another go tomorrow, so I’ll have to check tomorrow and hope that it will be more evident.

floating pontoon support pillars rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThat just leaves the support pillars for the floating pontoons.

There has been a great deal of work going on there during the course of the day with all kinds of equipment being used and so I was quite looking forward to observing the progress that they have made.

But as bad luck would have it, there was little if no evidence of anything that might have required the use of the cranes. All that I could see that was different today wat that another one of the support pillars for the new floating pontoons has acquired its rain hat.

And they wouldn’t surely have needed a big mobile crane for that.

My run continued onwards and I went down to the rue du Nord to check on the sunset. The girl who had been there yesterday was there again, but with a friend (she must have heard about me). And there were now heavy clouds obscuring the sun so it wasn’t worth hanging around. I ran on home.

So now it’s late and I’m having a bad day today. Not much sleep, and what I did have was at the wrong time of day. I don’t seem to be recovering quickly enough from my athletic endeavours either and despite the reassurances of the doctors I might be holding my own but I’m not feeling myself.

Looking back on my notes from the High Arctic last year when I was three months without my medication and how I was feeling (which is why I make these notes), I can see it all happening again.

No hospital appointment until July too – another two or three months to go. Heaven alone knows what I’ll be like by then.

Thursday 16th April 2020 – I COULDN’T KEEP IT UP …

… this morning, which id something of a shame.

Having done so well this last couple of days, I couldn’t beat the third alarm today. I missed it by about 10 minutes.

Mind you, I didn’t have the early night that I was hoping for last night. I was listening to music again and so enjoying myself, I split up a Louis de Funes soundtrack to extract some more soundbites for my radio shows.

Definitely my favourite French comedian, Louis de Funes, and he deserves to be my co-star on the radio.

So where did I get to during the night, After the medication I could go along and find out.

I was going some kind of post-dated ad for the end of the month – the old men wanted it for some project or other. I’d get them to sign in and anyone who sends me any connections will have a reward because of it. But I was with Nerina for some part of the time.
Later on, a group of us was going skiing. We were all sitting around waiting for the bus to come and pick us up. I had all of the stuff to hand out to everyone for them to take their possessions. But some of the stuff, some of the people couldn’t carry. My brother was lucky – he just had a suitcase there and a guitar. I said “there’s no guy ropes or anything with this”. he said “yes that’s fine, not a problem. It turned out that all the stuff like that was in my suitcase and I’d got tons and tons of stuff like this. Mine was just really really heavy. There was someone who might have been Nerina but I’ve no idea who it was who didn’t have very much either, and someone else who might have been one of my sisters who didn’t have plenty. We were all there with all of these things and there was tons of it all told. I was wondering how on earth we would manage to get all of this onto a bus or a train, however we were going. Each person was responsible for his own but that’s not going to be right with all of the stuff we have. It’s just escalating all of the time out of hand like this
Later still I was just about to go off on a trip with Stuart Graham, the Honda motorcycling racing specialist and tuning guy who lived near Nantwich but just as I was getting ready to go off the alarm rang and put an end to that.

There was much more than this going on too but as you are probably eating a meal right now, I’ll spare you all the gory details.

After breakfast it was digitalising the cassette collection time. Another four albums have bitten the dust this morning but, once again, they are four albums that I won’t beusing in the radio projects, for a variety of reasons.

And it made me realise that there are a pile of albums that I no longer have and I don’t understand that at all. And bearing in mind what they are, I have an idea where they might be. But I’ll never have them back now. Ahhh well!

But the splitting was reasonably comfortable and reasonably rapid, but somehow I’ve ended up with two *.mkv files, which is what I’ve been trying to avoid.

A shower and general clean-up was next. And I weighed myself too. And after all of this running and so forth I’ve … errr … GAINED 800 grammes. It looks as if my scales are as reliable as the blood machine in Castle Anthrax.

manoeuvring flaoting pontoon support pillar port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallA shooping trip to LIDL was called for next.

And I was right about something else too. Starting on Tuesday earlier this week I’d been hearing strange noises coming from the port and I’d been thinking to myself that it sounds as if they have restarted work on the pontoons.

And that certainly seems to be the case. The big crane on the floating pontoon has one of the large supporting pillars in its evil clutches over there.

installing floating pontoong support pillar port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd when I came back from the shops later on, they were hard at work on the pontoon.

You can see the piledriver up there, supported from the big crane, pounding away at the pontoon support and driving it firmly into the bed of the harbour.

And just think how much easier it would have been to have done this work two years or so ago when the harbour was drained and they were reinstalling the new harbour gates. What an effort they would have avoided had they done it then.

marite cargo on quayside port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut in the meantime, my attention was distracted by the excitement going on down at the bottom end of the harbour.

You can see Marité there of course, but you’ll also see a pile of large bags of building material. That would seem to indicate that either Thora or Normandy Trader is on her way to port.

We haven’t seen either of them for a few days, but that’s not to say that they haven’t been here. With us in detention à domicile like this and only being allowed out briefly, and with the rapid turnover that the ships seem to be enjoying these days, it’s not impossible that I’ve missed them.

disinfecting streets rue couraye granville manche normandy france eric hallOnwards towards LIDL and in the rue Couraye I came across something interesting.

There have been reports from all over the world about the disinfecting of the streets that receive heavy use. Here in Granville most of the banks and important local shops are situated in the rue Couraye and here they are out spraying the street.

It’s quite possible that the speech by the President the other day has galvanised them into action.

There’s also a story that the town council has ordered 20,000 masks from a local clothing manufacturer to distribute to the population. This ending of the detention à domicile on 11th May might actually be a possibility.

At LIDL tomatoes were in very short supply and those that they had were expensive. In fact I spent a lot of money there, but much of this was on new cooking supplies. They had some new tart cases and stuff like that today.

On the way back, I discovered that La Mie Caline had reopened, so I bought a dejeunette. Things really are slowly returning to normal, bit by bit.

fishing boats entering leaving port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was an article in the local paper this morning that the amount of fish products landed here during the month of march had fallen by 30% or so.

That’s certainly some kind of clear evidence that fishing is continuing despite the crisis, albeit in reduced numbers. And as I walked up the hill in the rue des Juifs there was a delightful nautical danse macabre in the harbour.

One fishing boat was on its way in and another was on its way out, and they were having a nice little waltz around each other.

After lunch I started on the remains of the two radio projects that I hadn’t finished. I’d chosen the final tracks and edited them last night so it was just a case of writing the text, dictating it, editing it, merging it into place with the final track and then editing it all down to one hour for each project.

That took me up to about 16:15 to do them both, and I could have done it quicker too except that I … errr … relaxed for a while.

And then, until 18:00 I had some “me time”. I deserve some. And one of the things that I did was to order a new computer hi-fi system.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the one here has its problems and seeing as I spend so much time these days listening to and editing music and so on here, I ought to have some decent stuff.

And so I ended up in discussion with a musical equipment wholesaler and we’ve worked out a package. There won’t be much change out of €300 for what I’ve ordered, but I’ve had this hi-fi here for at least 18 years and it’s due for a change.

After the hour or so on the guitars, I made tea. Now that I had bought an aubergine I made myself an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit – and forgot to use the mushrooms that were left. I had some of that for tea and there are four helpings left for the freezer. I need to build up the supplies again.

The apple pie was delicious too, with the last of the coconut soya cream. But there’s that lovely banana sorbet for the next couple of days to take my mind off things.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on I went out for my evening activity.

There was a really beautiful red sky in the distance and by the time that i’d run up to the top of the hill (and that had me in agony) it was lookign even better, with the sun just peeking through the sky over the Ile de Chausey

It looked absolutely wonderful with the cloud just there like that, in exactly the right place.

fishing boats baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I carried on with my perambulations while I recovered my breath.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have recently been discussing fishing activity deep in the Baie de Mont St Michel. There’s another fishing boat out there this evening – not the one to the left of the photo which seems to be heading into port, but the one to the right.

That one is farther out, deeper into the bay and has its workign lights switched on, so it would seem to be actively working out there.

sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallBut by the time that I’d gone round to the other side of the Pointe du Roc, the sun had sunk below the horizon.

And here I’m presented with one of the most extraordinary sights that I’ve ever seen, and I’m glad that I had the big NIKON D500 with me to photograph it. The way that the sun is reflecting on the cloud above it behind the Ile de Chausey is just like the light of a theatrical backdrop and I’ve never ever seen this effect in real life.

It was totally spell-binding.

spectator enjoying sunset ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I wasn’t the only one out here tonight enjoying the sunset either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve mentioned on previous occasions that we are seeing more and more people flouting the regulations about staying in and so on. We had a fair crowd out in the streets today, and here’s someone who has passed the security barrier to go down to the little cove there to watch the sunset.

Still, I suppose that the sight was well worth it.

support plllar for floating pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith my usual two stops for a breather, I ran all the way home from here.

But in one of the breaks I had a little diversion to look at what they had been doing in the harbour today. And they have indeed stuck another pontoon support pillar into the ground.

Not all the way down, so presumably they’ll be back to finish it tomorrow and to install the rest. Obviously the local council isn’t worried too much about this virus.

So I’m off to bed, later than I intended. Tomorrow, with no radio stuff to deal with for the first time since I don’t know when, I can make a start of a few of the arrears that have been building up.

And aren’t I looking forward to that?

Friday 27th March 2020 – AND IF YOU THINK …

… that yesterday was a bad day, you should have seen today.

We started off this morning where we finished last night – in total chaos. It wasn’t as early a night as I was hoping because just as I was about to go to bed, onto the playlist came Al Stewart and his song “Modern Times” from THE ALBUM OF THE SAME NAME.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Al Stewart was pretty much dismissed in the same terms that were reserved for Chris De Burgh several years – “the work of a queasy adolescent scratching his pimples” or some such quote.

And while his early output was considered by many to be mushy, maudlin, sentimental and egoistic, it was something that many of us, brought up in similar circumstances, cast adrift as teenagers in squalid and sordid bedsits, could readily identify.

His later work evolved as he himself evolved, but there was still this underlying nostalgia deep in there somewhere and in the song “Modern Times” he brought out every memory that I ever had of the painful pangs of growing up, coupled with, right at the end, two minutes or so of one of the most magnificent, underrated guitar solos that I have heard for quite some considerable time.

So on that note, rather later than usual having listened to it three or four times and shared it with some of my friends, I went off to bed feeling about as depressed as I could be.

When the alarms went off in the morning, I quite simply missed it. All three calls. it was 07:50 when I finally arose from the dead, feeling completely disappointed about the whole affair. I don’t know what’s getting to me right now.

After the medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone. And no wonder I was so tired. You would be had you gone off on the voyages that I had.

I’m not too sure about much of this first part because in the panic that I had when I couldn’t find my dictaphone and had to wake up and get out of bed to look for it, I forgot all of it. But it was to do with me being in a kitchen, a caravan-type of kitchen although it might not have been in a caravan and I had to get some things out of the cupboard that’s above the sink. So I opened it up but couldn’t find anything at all that I knew was in there. It suddenly occurred to me that what was happening was that for some unknown reason the stuff there in the cupboard was the wrong way round, as if you were trying to get in from the back rather than from the front. That’s why I couldn’t find anything that I knew was i there because it would now be at the back instead of at the front. There were things like little test tubes full of a kind of oily liquid of all different kinds of stuff in there and I was trying to work out what these were that I was pulling out – lots of different stuff like that!

Later on during the night I dreamt that I was arrested for a debt but because it was a debt that related to something weird to do with some kind of Act of 1742 I was arrested and sent to a debtors’ prison, the kind of place we had that still exists today. We were all herded into one great big cell, men women, children. We were all basically put in there and the key was locked upon us. Meals were cooked but there was no organisation or anything. We grabbed a seat where you could and lay down where you could, all of this kind of thing. The Salvation Army would come amongst the prisoners to talk to them, that kind of thing. Surprisingly, I counted quite a lot of solidarity between the prisoners, something that you wouldn’t really expect in those conditions. Certainly an interesting place to be. There was a book passed round with a list of all the prisoners in it. It had me in it, and showed my address and an extract of the roll of my premises and it said “car scrapping and recovery” and something else there that was all quite interesting too.

Finally I was on an aeroplane to Chicago but it was Canada and I’ve no idea why Chicago might be in Canada. It was only the previous day that I had made up my mind that I was going – I had a couple of weeks between hospital appointments so I thought that I would go. I got onto this plane and it was pretty crowded. I was sitting next to a young boy, a college student, something like that, and I had to explain to him that the UK was fighting a war and while there was a surfeit of Canadian students until 2021, that was going to disappear so I said that any Canadian student of which there is a surfeit to get them over to the Mother Country – tell them that the UK is fighting a war and needs their bodies. We were discussing things on board the ‘plane and talking about headphones. he asked “what happens when the staff plug in a headphone for you and you don’t use it – does that count?” I explained that you get a basic radio service that’s free, included in the price of the ticket and you only pay if you go for an enhanced service. There was a problem with my seat – it wouldn’t stay upright and kept on reclining backwards. I thought “God I hope that they don’t make me move prior to take-off because there didn’t seem to be anywhere to move to and I was settled where I was in a nice aisle seat.

Thinking about it later on, it was the whole kind of emotional environment last night going to bed where, had this been another time, I would have expected Castor or Zero to have put in an appearance. But as far as I’m aware, neither of them showed up, which was probably a good thing.

After a rather late breakfast I had a crack at the digital sound files. It wasn’t as good as it might have been because for one album, there was absolutely no trace whatsoever of anything relating to it.

Not that it surprises me because I must have the only copy in existence, so I’ll have to make a digital copy myself along with the others that I’m collecting for which there is no trace.

Two more, all that I could find are *.mkv files. And while I can convert them to *.mp3 just as easily as I can convert almost anything else, it’s disposing of them afterwards. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve identified a fault that makes them almost impossible to remove without a great deal of effort and if you have too many on your computer, they all try to open automatically at once and it slows your machine right down.

As a result I’m trying to hold off downloading *.mkv files until either Yours Truly or Microsoft can find a fix.

Having eventually finished the albums I went out to see if I could find my bread.

trawlers fishing boats english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday I mentioned the Ile de Chausey, the folk who live there and the lack of facilities that they have, and I wondered how they would cope.

So when I saw a couple of boats heading out that way in the mist I took a rather speculative shot to see whether it might be either Joly France or Chausiais doing out with supplies.

But it actually appears to be two fishing boats going out that way, presumably for the purpose of fishing. So I’ve no idea what is going to happen over there if they can’t receive any help.

charles marie cap lihou joly france chausiais chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhat’s even worse from my point of view is that all of the paths around the clifftops are closed off so I couldn’t take my usual long route around the Pointe du Roc.

Instead I had to walk around the edge of the park in the boulevard Vaufleury. There’s a good view down into the chantier navale and from there I could see that Charles Marie has found a friend.

The fishing boat Cap Lihou has come to join her, but keeping her social distance as she can see. There was someone there with a pressure washer hosing off her barnacles.

That reminds me of the time that I was talking to a ship about barnacles. I was saying that I didn’t like them very much.
The ship replied “neither did I at first, but after a while I found that they grew on me”.

fishing boat lobster pot buoy port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe port and the harbour are out of bounds too with this new legislation so I walked on down the rue du Port.

There was one of the smaller fishing boats moored there, and there in the stern was a lobster pot (however do they train baby lobsters to go on one of those?) and, would you believe, some buoys with red flags like we’ve seen floating in the sea every now and again.

So that might well the answer.

As I expected, La Mie Caline was all closed up again with no sign of life. Luckily I had done my research yesterday as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and the boulangerie at the foot of the hill was open, so I picked up a baguette from there.

square maurice marland closed to public granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, I took a short diversion.

As I mentioned above, all of the walks around the clifftops are now out of bounds and that includes my running track across the Square Maurice Marland, as I discovered last night.

And so i went that way to have a look at the notice and to take a photograph of the situation so as to record it for posterity. We are living in unusual times and it’s important that we document as much as possible of what is going on so that history will have something to remember.

fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSomewhere on the internet in some social group or other I was reading that in some places the smaller fishing boats have been prevented from going out to sea.

We saw a couple from here earlier heading out towards the Ile de Chausey, and here’s another one heading into the English Channel towards Bréhal-Plage.

We’ve seen buoys out there where the boat is – in fact, there was one the other day – but I haven’t seen who is out there placing them in the water. But if you look closely at this photo, you’ll see some kind of disturbance in the water between the boat and the photograph.

After lunch, I turned my attention to the purée because I had used the last of that this morning.

Firstly, I peeled, cored and diced 9 eating apples (I prefer them to cooking apples as they need no extra sweetening) and put them as I diced them into a large saucepan that has a small amount of water, lemon juice, nutmeg and cinnamon in there. there was also a large amount of desiccated coconut, for a reason that I will explain.

As I added the diced apple each time I had finished one, I stirred it round in the liquid so that it would remain white and not start to go brown. The desiccated coconut adhering to the bits of apple showed me that they had been treated.

Then I peeled, cored and diced three pears (and I would have added more had I had them) and added them to the mixture, stirring them round as above.

The saucepan then went on the heat and was brought to boil. Then I left it to simmer for an hour.

In the meantime, I made a start on the radio programme about the Grande Marée. There was an interview of almost 8 minutes that needed editing and that took me quite a while to deal with it too – but now it’s down to about 4:30 of quite interesting stuff.

Halfway through the proceedings I broke off to look at the fruit to see how it was doing.

It looked pretty good to me so I washed and cleaned the two jars and put them in the microwave with a small amount of water so as to heat and sterilise them.

home made apple pear puree granville manche normandy france eric hallThe fruit was drained off and the liquid put in a bottle that was put in the fridge for juice in the morning. The actual fruit was put in the whizzer and given a really good whizz round to turn it into a nice purée.

Once it was whizzed up, I put it into the sterilised jars and put on the lids, that I had carefully cleaned. So that’s the apple and pear purée for the next 10 days or so, I reckon. And it’s pretty good stuff, I promise you.

Once it had cooled down, I put it in the fridge. And I carried on with my radio programme. And as I was beginning to assemble it, I found another one of the interviews that I hadn’t actually edited, so i had to turn my hand to that as well.

Unfortunately, I ran out of time. It was 18:00 and time for my hour with the guitars. I won’t get any better if I don’t practise, even if I won’t get any better if I do, but that’s hardly the point.

At 19:00 I broke off and made tea. There was the rest of the stuffing left over so I added the rest of the mushrooms, some more onion and some spinach and tomato sauce, and boiled up some pasta and vegetables.

Pudding was, of course, jam pie and vegan ice cream with chocolate sauce. Totally delicious. And it’s a shame that there’s just one more slice left, because for an ad-hoc improvised arrangement, this was a real success.

And so simple too. There will be many more of these in the future, that’s for sure. With all different kinds of jam. Blackcurrant might be nice.

cresent moon planet granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that last night I went out to photograph the new moon with a camera that had a flat battery.

No such mistake tonight because I had it on charge overnight. So we can see the beautiful moon tonight, with a planet shining quite brightly close by.

Not being an astronomer, I’ve no idea what planet it might be but I understand that Venus is quite visible at the moment. I wouldn’t like to speculate, particularly after the last time when I said to a passer-by “I can see Uranus from here” and the dirty look that he gave me in response.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith all of my regular runnign spots and all of the clifftop paths closed off, I had a rather irregular walk tonight, although I still managed to fit in two runs of some description to the equation.

There was another nice view across the harbour and the town, so I took another evening photograph of the tranquil scene. We’ll be seeing many more shots like this as this lock-down takes hold.

And if it’s anything like any other plague or epidemic in history, it will flare up again for a couple of years until they can either find a vaccine, everyone becomes immune or everyone is wiped out.

So now I’ve finished my notes and I’m off to bed, as long as nothing in the way of nostalgic music appears on the playlist.

Saturday tomorrow, and shopping day. So we’ll see what that brings us. I’m expecting thigs to be much more busy than last week with people having been cooped up and thus short of supplies. I can see me eventually changing my time of visit to a less popular time as this affair carries on.

Thursday 26th March 2020 – TODAY HAS BEEN …

… a very bad day today. And for a variety of reasons too

  1. Having had a brief flurry of activity earlier in the week, I found my favourite boulangerie closed today and had to walk almost as far as the Proclaimers to find another one
  2. I spent most of the afternoon crashed out on the chair and I’ve no idea why
  3. It was a beautiful evening for photography with a beautiful clear sky and a thin sliver of crescent moon, so when I lined up the camera to take the first of what I hoped was many photographs, the battery went flat on me
  4. My evening routine is now completely disrupted as the terrain on which I perform my evening runs has now been placed out of bounds

And probably many more reasons that I can’t think of right now but I bet that I will as soon as I press “PUBLISH”.

The day started off so well too. I was awake for the first two alarms and out of bed dressing myself when the third one went off. Not something that happens every day.

The last of the ginger and orange this morning for my medication, so I need to deal with that a little later.

And then the dictaphone. In the first part of our adventure last night Castor went missing. It was somewhere round about Ottawa in October. There was a message posted about everyone search their gardens and yards, all this kind of thing. Of course everyone did that and there was still no trace of her so they announced that they were going to search people’s cabin trunks. I remember saying that that’s one way to encourage people to get rid of their travelling trunks. So we (whoever “we” were) unpacked ours, checked it and repacked everything and closed it up again, got it ready. There was still no trace of her and she had disappeared on the 10th and the panic started on the 12th so it then got to the stage of asking people to check her movements before then and to look for human remains in their gardens, all of this kind of gruesome stuff upon which I won’t elaborate.
A little later there was a group of us all going somewhere and we should be setting out because we were – it was getting late. But someone was there listening to some music – Yes as it happened – and we were all urging this person to get a move on. He was saying “yes, I want to listen to the music. We have plenty of time yet”. I said “you might have but I haven’t, I have a lot to do and I need to be getting myself organised”. I had an electric welding kit and aluminium welding rods in the back of my car that I was going to do something with but I can’t remember what, and I needed to have a shower as well and there we were, trying to urge this person to get going but he was just taking his time, taking his time, taking his time.

After breakfast (and the last of the muesli too) I made a start on the digital sound files. Again, no complete file so I had to hunt down probably about 50 individual tracks.

But not to worry – over the next few days there will be some really good stuff coming up and I’m quite looking forward to that. All kinds of classic albums that I haven’t listened to for years.

Once they were out of the way I had a few things of my own to attend to, and then I went out to La Mie Caline for my dejeunette.

chausiais joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs usual, during the lockdown I took advantage of my permit in order to go the long way around, all the way around the headland of the Pointe du Roc.

Over at the ferry terminal were Chausiais and Joly France, the older one (the newer one has a step cut in the stern) and that got me thinking, which is a rare event these days, I know.

There are no facilities on the Ile de Chausey apart from a bar-hotel and a small grocery point, as far as I am aware. So I’m wondering just how they are managing at the moment – whether the ferries are still running and, more importantly, what happens if the virus hits the island when there are no medical facilities for them there

It’s probably something about which they aren’t going to think until it actually happens.

pontoon support pillats port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe tide was out so the harbour gates were closed so I could take the path over the top to the other side.

It’s no surprise that work on the pontoons has ceased for the duration, and the pillars that remain to be installed are still lying here waiting for something to happen.

But the off-cut is intriguing me. I’ve no idea what they intend to do with that but it wouldn’t be here if it isn’t going to be serving a useful purpose.

Being confounded at La Mie Caline, I went to the boulangerie up the road. But that one is closed on Thursday. I ended up at the one in the rue Couraye where we have seen them install the new shop front.

No dejeunettes of course so I bought a baguette instead. And I was inpressed with their security precautions – a strip of clingfilm posed vertically along the top of the counter to act as a germ barrier. And the people working there were wearing gloves and masks.

And there I was – I’d decided not to go to LIDL this morning because I didn’t really need anything important, and I ended up on a marathon hike just the same.

alleyway rue ernest lefrant granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I took something of a roundabout route and found myself in the rue Ernest Lefrant looking at this little alleyway that I hadn’t ever noticed before.

That’s one thing that can be said about all of this – that i’m going places that are off my usual beaten track and seeing things that I never would usually see.

And in case anyone is wondering why I was taking something of a roundabout route in the present circumstances, it was to spy out the boulangerie that is nearest to my home to check that it’s still open during the crisis and to see what are its opening hours.

Having bought my bread from there in the past, I seem to recall that its baguettes were quite acceptable and if La Mie Caline is closed for the duration I’ll be going here.

After lunch I sliced up a lump of ginger into very small pieces and put them into a little water to boil. While they were simmering away quite nicely with some cumin and coriander, I made another batch of muesli so that there’s some fresh stuff for tomorrow.

When the ginger was boiling nicely I took a pile of oranges. One or two weren’t looking so goo so of those, I cut off what I didn’t want to use.

Then I peeled all of the oranges, removed as much of the pith as I could, and then put the oranges in the whizzer. I gave them a gentle whizz around, just enough to separate the juice, which I strained off and put into a glass bottle which I had sterilised in the microwave with a little water which I had then emptied out. The orange juice then went into the fridge.

The pulp was put back into the whizzer and whizzed around until it was as fine as I could reasonably make it and it was then added to the ginger and water.

With plenty of other things to do, I came back in here and started on the radio programme for the Grande Marée and edited a couple of the recordings that we had taken.

home made orange ginger cordial place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter about 60 minutes I went to see how my stuff in the saucepan was going. All quite properly done to a turn, so I took it off the heat and added a couple of tablespoons of Manuka Honey, stirring it well in.

It all went into the whizzer again for a really good whizz around for a good few minutes to really break up everything, and then when it had cooled (I did the washing-up meantime) I added it to the orange juice and put it into the fridge. There’s my cordial for the next week or so.

Back here though, I couldn’t keep going. I crashed out I don’t know how many times and it really was a struggle. I did however manage to pull myself together and do some of the stuff though, but I was really disappointed with my lack of effort.

Rosemary rang me too, and I had a chat with Liz on the internet and as a result I missed 15 minutes of my guitar practice. But there were a couple of songs that I had digitalised just recently with which I wanted to have a play around, so I spent most of my time with those on both the bass and the six-string guitar.

For tea I added a small tin of kidney beans (good idea, those small tins) to the left-over stuffing and made myself taco rolls with rice and veg. Totally delicious. There’s some of that left too for tomorrow when I’ll be having an “everything curry” made with all of the leftovers.

Pudding was more jam pie with vegan ice cream and chocolate sauce and it really was a meal fit for a king. I’m eating so well these days and a lot of it is home-made.

And that got me thinking too – that if bread is going to be hard to obtain, then taco rolls and a supply thereof might be useful.

As for my evening outing, I mentioned it just now. I did manage to do two runs but not as I was hoping or where I was hoping, but we all have to make sacrifices too these days.

And no photos either. That’s depressing too.

But regardless of everything else, I’m so tired that I’m going to have an early night. Despite my reasonable sleep I’ve had a really bad day and I don’t want too many more like this. I have so much to do and so little time to do it.

Wednesday 25th March 2020 – ANOTHER DAY STUCK …

… here in quarantine, slowly getting on my own nerves. I’m not sure how people are coping with being quarantined together and not being able to get away from each other.

But for my part, I had a struggle to get away from my bed this morning. It wasn’t late when I went to bed, but later than I imagined. I slept right through (nothing on the dictaphone) until the morning, dozing through the first two alarms and sitting bolt-upright for some reason about 30 seconds before the third call.

Anyway, I was sitting with my feet on the floor and a tee-shirt in my hand when the alarm went off so I reckon that I had just about won that.

After the medication and with nothing on the dictaphone I made a start on the digitalising of my record collection. I wasn’t able to find any complete soundfiles so I had to work track by track and that took hours to do (with a break for breakfast of course).

Just for a change, there wasn’t anything of any great importance on anything that I recorded this morning. It’s just another 4 albums out of the way all done and finished. But I did have a sneak preview and in a couple of days there will be some really good stuff coming up.

One thing about having visitors is that it makes me get down to doing some tidying up. I know that Neitzsche said “out of chaos comes order” but Neitzche had never visited anywhere where I have ever lived.

It took me a good half hour to clean up, vacuum the floor and put stuff away. And now it sort-of looks as if someone lives here. It won’t last very long like that but at least when the nurse came round it was looking ok.

He took my blood sample – with much difficulty as regular readers of this rubbish will recall – and now I have little patches of white plaster all over the place.

He’ll send the blood to the laboratory for examination and they’ll send me a report. I know what figures to look out for and if there’s a problem I’ll contact my doctor.

buoy english channel brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite the quarantine regulations I still need my daily bread so I went off into town.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen on several occasions these mysterious buoys that keep on appearing and then disappearing offshore.

Despite all of my enquiries I’ve never yet managed to find out to what they relate. My best guess is that it’s do do with fishing nets or lobster pots but I really have no idea.

charles marie port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd it looks as if Charles Marie isn’t going to be around for much longer.

My route this morning went round the headland and down past the chantier navale. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen them tearing huge lumps out of her bulwarks but the last few days when I’ve not been out have seen them replace much of the wood that was removed.

With no distractions to worry them, they’ve been able to crack on with the work.

le soupape port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOther people have been cracking on with work too, taking advantage the enforced hibernation.

With the tide being out, the harbour gates were closed so I could walk across the path on top and over to the other side.

And a couple of people were busy working. The trawler Soupape had had all of its winching gear dismantled and it has all been repainted just recently.

And one of the crew had the wire rope out on the quay and was oiling it and giving it a good servicing. I suppose that they need to keep busy and fixing the fishing gear is one good way to go about it.

There were only a handful of people out and about in town today. It didn’t take long to pick up my dejeunette and I came straight back here. One of my neighbours stuck his head out of his window for a quick chat and one of the women went past and joined in – at a distance.

After lunch I pressed on.

Despite a good crash-out which disrupted my flow, I finished Project 034 and also Project 029 – the live concert for May. They aren’t as I would like them to be because the times are somewhat awkward. I ended up running short on both of them so I had to dictate some more, edit it and merge it in.

Then it was too long so I had to edit some more out, so it was then too short, so I had to add some more back. I’m sure that you get the picture. I could have been there even now but I ended up settling for what I had because it was by now 18:00 and when I’m knocking off these days.

All I need now to catch up is a live concert for June but there’s always something in the pipeline.

There was the customary half-hour on the 6-string and then half an hour on the bass – the acoustic 4-string. And I spent some of the time working out a bass line to Green Day’s “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” – a song that has a certain significance for me and for someone who, for a certain short moment, was very special to me and who still would be, given half a chance.

As Kris Kristofferson once wrote, “I’d give all my tomorrows for a single yesterday” and that’s a song that appeared on my playlist out of nowhere one evening back then and has remained there ever since.

Still, I mustn’t start to become all broody. What will be will be. I went and had tea instead.

Burger on a bap tonight with jacket potatoes and veg. Plenty of mustard on the bap and that gave it a certain je ne sais quoi. A slice of jam pie with vegan caramel ice cream and chocolate sauce for pudding and that was totally delicious too.

sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThis photo might not look like much but it’s extremely interesting nevertheless.

20:30 when I went out for my evening walk and away down the English Channel there was still a touch of light in the sky. The nights are getting shorter which is good news. Summer will soon be here.

But the question that needs to be asked is “will we?”.

There were my usual two runs this evening. along the north side of the city walls and then the second one across the square Maurice Marland and half a dozen steps up the second ramp

candle in window rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallBut here’s a thing.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall Minette, the old long-haired black cat that sometimes waits for me to let me stroke her.

That’s the windowsill where she normally waits, but she’s not there tonight (which isn’t unusual) but the candle that’s burning there in her place doesn’t look very ppromising. I hope that she’s ok and that nothing has happened to her.

So I’ve had a slow evening listening to music and having to reconfigure my web server so that I could upload my images tonight. I seem to wasting time on such unimportant trivialities right now.

So tomorrow and Friday I’ll deal with the peche à pied radio programme that we recorded and which needs editing because on Friday evening I’m expecting a few audio diaries from various people and that’s my weekend task. They have to be edited and ready for Monday morning because our programme is going out on Tuesday late afternoon.

So I reckon that I’ll have another early night and get myself fighting fit. Fighting for breath and fit to drop, I reckon.

Tuesday 24th March 2020 – I WAS WRONG …

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… and that’s a habit that I need to abandon as quickly as possible because that’s twice now this year so far that I’ve been wrong and the French have a saying jamais deux sans trois

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few days ago I said that we wouldn’t be seeing the two little Channel Island freighters Thora and Normandy Trader around here for a good while now, but here’s Thora moored up at the quayside this morning.

And she can’t be in quarantine either because when I went out for my evening constitutional she had cleared off back to St Helier – or, at least, she had left harbour.

And excuse the photo. I’d forgotten about the focusing issues with the little NIKON 1 J5 and it’s managed to focus on a blade of grass in the foreground rather than on the ship in the background.

Another thing that I’ve been wrong about (I really must get out of this habit) is the question of memory sticks. I must be confusing myself with the old hi-fi back in the Auvergne because I tried a 16GB memory stick with 900 tunes in the hi-fi in the living room. I’ve managed to track down a supply of reasonably-priced 4GB memory sticks and I’ll be ordering a dozen of those.

Another thing that I need to be ordering is a new set of speakers for the big desktop computer. The set that I’m using is the set that I had back in Expo which I bought probably 18 years ago. They were stored in a damp corner for 6 years before I resurrected it for here. The bass boombox didn’t work but no worry, the two main speakers did.

That is, up until yesterday when the left speaker is on the point of giving up.

And you try to find a decent mains-powered hard-wired speaker system with pre-amp these days. Everything seems to be battery-powered bluetooth these days and that’s no use to me.

This morning I had quite a shock. Lying there dozing my way through the alarms and I suddenly sat bolt upright. Just a minute to go before the final alarm. I just about made it out of bed as well before it rang.

Due to my extraordinary late night last night, that was impressive.

After the medication I looked at the dictaphone. And I’d had another busy night too. But all that I remember of it was travelling from Paris to the South Of France on the train going via Brussels and I can’t remember why I went that way. And that’s my lot.

After breakfast I attacked the file-splitting. I found another complete sound-file which was good news but for a couple of albums you can tell that I’m getting down to the dregs because there are several albums that I found where there are no digital copies anywhere of any track. It looks as if I’ll have to make my own in the end – wow, flutter, crackle and scratch included. I’m not sure how that’s going to work.

But in the meantime there’s still 100 or so to work on. And as I said yesterday, then there are the cassettes.

Having eventually managed to finish that I had a shower (for once) and then headed into town, complete with my paperwork authorising me to travel.

There were more people out and about than I expected, although there weren’t exactly any hordes of people, but the good news is that my favourite bakery, La Mie Caline, is open again.

LIDL was weird. No more than 20 people allowed in at any one time. We had to wait outside and when 5 people left, another 5 would be admitted. The staff were all wearing masks and the checkout staff were behind plastic screens wearing masks and rubber gloves, and also some weird kind of headgear like a welder’s helmet but with a clear plastic face screen.

Clearly taking no chances.

As for me, I just bought the usual stuff plus 3kg of apples. One of my plans is to make a big apple puree sometime in the very near future and they had big bags on special offer today. My orange and ginger cordial is getting low but I have plenty of oranges so I’ll make another batch tomorrow afternoon.

At La Mie Caline I picked up my dejeunette. The manager was there and he was telling me his problems about his staff, having to pay them when he has his takings vastly reduced. It’s going to be a huge problem for all kinds of small businesses and the Government needs to step in to help these people otherwise we’ll have a huge economic catastrophe.

It was lunchtime by the time that I returned so I had my butty and then I came in here to do some work.

By the time I’d knocked off at 18:00 I’d written all of the notes for Project 034 and also for the live concert for the end of May, dictated them and uploaded them to the computer.

But if the truth is known, I could have done so much more. Not only was I easily distracted, I … errr … had a little relax on my chair. No surprise there, is it, after my late night.

Half an hour on the 6-string semi-acoustic and then half an hour on the five-string bass. This extra string is confusing me but if I don’t practise with it, I won’t improve, that’s for sure.

Tonight’s tea was delicious. I found a slice of lentil and bean pie in the freezer so I had that with potatoes, vegetables and a nice gravy. For pudding was another slice of this delicious jam pie with the last of the soya coconut dessert. I’ll start on the vegan ice cream tomorrow and that should be interesting.

night place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite having been out this morning, I still went out for my evening walk. I heard a few people in town and met someone smoking a cigarette on their doorstep but that was the lot.

The Place Cambernon is deserted too. We saw yesterday that the bar La Rafale and the new restaurant La Contremarche are closed. Today, we can see that Mere Poulain’s creperie is closed too.

Not that any of this would deter me, so I managed both my runs, and over the slightly extended circuits too. So i’m pleased about that.

But I’m going to have an early night tonight. I deserve it. I have a nurse coming tomorrow to take a blood sample. The doctor has requested it so that he can see how I’m doing .

But a blood test? I won’t be doing any studying for it, that’s for sure.

Tuesday 17th March 2020 – BLIMEY! WHAT A CHOICE!

The trains to Belgium are cancelled, as you might expect. And there are no trains from Granville tomorrow anyway.

So do I stay here and die of lack of my cancer treatment, or do I go by some other means and die of the virus?

But more about that later. Firstly, I managed to beat the third alarm again and had a decent start to the morning. I can’t wait to get to Leuven though because my stocks of medication are dwindling and I’ve already run out of one item.

The dictaphone came next of course. We had one of my sisters again in this dream and she was dressed up like some 1920s New Orleans dancer. I had to pick her up from school and she was all upset because they wouldn’t let her slide as in sliding up and down the ground on the ice. There was me, my sister and someone else, another person and we were in the car and we came to get out of the car when we were back home. I can’t remember now what she was saying but she was certainly acting very grown up for her age.
Somewhat later I was in a cruise ship that was coming in to dock somewhere. There were crowds of people on the railings. It was the end of the voyage apparently and we were all having to get ott. It was a quayside landing so everyone gathered their carry-on possessions and were milling around waiting for the order to disembark. There was a girl of about 10 there and I was having a chat to her, a little dark-haired girl. The order then came basically to leave so they started to leave. Then this girl came back so I don’t know what she was trying to do but she disappeared into the crowd so I didn’t get the chance to speak to her at that moment. I had my rucksack and my little camera so I was going to go off the ship to take a photograph and probably come back on as well and wait until later when it was the time to disembark. In the meantime there was something going on about the storage locker on board ship. They had a car and they were driving it into the storage locker. At first the owners of the vessel were very disappointed with this and very upset. But by the time that it came to the third time to drive the car in, they had come round to the fact that it was a good idea to have this storeroom opened. The third time they succeeded in bursting the lock but I’ve no idea now why it was that they wanted it open themselves.
There was another one of thsee nights where there was more going on too but if you are having your tea or something you won’t want to know about it.

After breakfast I had a look at some more digital files to split. I seem to have drawn the short straw with this today though because firstly, they were all very long and complicated ones to break up, and secondly, one of them just wouldn’t work at all and I’ve no idea why. Half of it was missing and / or unavailable and I’ll end up having to record this directly from the album one of these days.

As a result I was late going for my bread. We aren’t officially allowed out of our homes except for certain specified reasons, but “shopping for essential supplies” and “taking exercise in the vicinity of your own home” seems to cover that. We have to download a form off the internet each time we need to go out, fill it in and carry it with us

trawler english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo having printed out and filled in a form, I could go outside for a stroll.

There was no-one else out there at all walking around the headland, but that wasn’t the story out at sea. Regardless of the situation, people still have to eat and fish will be quite high up n the menu over the foreseeable future. As a result, we had a few trawlers out there doing their stuff.

Trawlers, maybe. But I bet that we won’t see Thora and Normandy Trader for quite a while. They’ll be keeping a respectable distance while all of this will be going on

yacht english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo no Channel Island boats and probably no gravel boats either. But there’s always other stuff.

If you’re out at sea you can neither give this virus to anyone else nor receive it and so taking to the water in your yacht seems to be a very sensible option. It’s times like this that I wish that I had a boat in which to sail.

All the time that I was out there, I reckon that all in all, there weren’t even half a dozen people out in the streets. But I learnt some tragic news at La Mie Caline. All non-essential businesses are to close for the duration of this outbreak. And despite being a bakery, their business has been classed as non-essential. Today is their last day of operation.

It beats me how anyone can consider a bakery to be non-essential, but I suppose that it’s do do with them having a café on the premises that they fall foul of this “public gathering” rule.

Back here I mused on the fact that having had to print out all of this paperwork et cetera, I hadn’t seen anyone official, never mind been asked to produce anything. But a friend who lives in Macon reassured me. She had had to take her cat to the vet’s but she had been stopped and asked for her papers.

There was a phone call too – and this has thrown my plans into disarray. Due to “other considerations” which are completely understandable, my appointment on Thursday with the nephrologist has been cancelled. I rang up the oncology department to confirm my appointment just in case but despite trying for an age, I couldn’t get through. Instead, I had a little … errr … relax and then finished off the radio project.

To back up the computer was next and then to load up all of the files that I need onto the portable hard drive that I take with me. No afternoon walk of course, much as I would like to go. The cynic inside me doesn’t take this as seriously as everyone else. I’ve lived through all kinds of things that we were told were going to wipe out the human race and I’m just wondering what’s going to wipe us all out after this.

Tea was an anything curry, everything left over in the fridge, followed by rice pudding, and then I had a shower.

Grabbing my stuff, I’m now ready to leave. I’ve decided that I’m going to go in Caliburn too even though I’ve nowhere to park him. But I’ll worry about that later, I suppose.

What I’ll do is to do the drive in two (or maybe more) stages, because it’s a long way. If I can get a couple of hours on the road tonight, park up in a lay-by and then continue tomorrow.

That is, if I get that far because movement is strictly controlled. While “travelling for medical purposes” is one of the exemptions, I reckon that they might raise an eyebrow or two at almost 700kms

But I set off, fuelled up at LeClerc and then headed for the motorway. No-one about at all and I had one of the quietest runs that I have ever had.

pont de normandie le havre france eric hallMy route took me to Caen and then in the direction of Rouen and Paris

But I turned off in the direction of Le Havre and skirted the outside of the city. At one point I had to drive over the magnificent Pont de Normandie over the estuary of the River Seine. It the time that it was built, in the early 1990s it was the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world and also had the longest span (856 metres) between the pillars of any other cable-stayed bridge in the world.

Although it no longer holds these records, it’s still an impressive structure and I would loved to have had a better photo of this but unfortunately Strawberry Moose wasn’t with me to take the photo. He’s stayed at home, for I don’t want him to catch this virus

le havre france eric hallFrom the top there’s quite an impressive view of the town of Le Havre and its port. Everywhere was lit up and it looked like something out of Space 1999 but I couldn’t take a decent photo of it which was disappointing.

I picked up the motorway again at the north side of Rouen (it’s bizarre that there’s no ring road around Rouen) and headed in the direction of Calais, turning off for Amiens and then Lille.

In between Amiens and Lille I found a Motorway Sevice Area and settled down for a couple of hours on the front seats of Caliburn. I’d remembered to bring my bedding with me. It’s about 01:30 and I’ve driven about 350 kms in 4 hours, which is good going. It’s important to pass beyond the Paris-Le Havre-Rouen-Amiens area in the dead of night because if there’s ever going to be heavy traffic, it will be in that sector.

But that was one of the quietest runs I’ve ever had.

Monday 16th March 2020 – I WAS STROKING …

… the big ginger cat Gribouille outside the building this afternoon when a woman approached.

She saw me, wrapped a scarf around her face and gently skirted around me, keeping a good two metres distance all the time.

And the thought going through my head was “couldn’t she have picked a more polite way to remind me that I didn’t have a shower this morning?”.

And indeed I didn’t have a shower this morning. I’ve forgotten that I’m heading to Belgium on Wednesday (Government legislation permitting) so I don’t really need anything. So much for the big rice pudding that I made on Sunday.

But yes, Belgium. That hotbed of disease where everyone is in a panic, yet you have about three times as much chance of becoming a multi-millionaire by winning the lottery than you do of catching this disease.

Of course, the situation could change at any moment but that’s something to worry about when it happens. I’m under no illusions. I’m elderly, I’m in poor health and I have no immune system. And so if I do happen to catch it, I’ll be the first to go under. But there’s no point in worrying about it.

Mind you, I did worry about last night when I crashed out writing out my notes. It’s only half-finished and I did reckon that I’d finish it today but that wasn’t possible. That’s for another time, I reckon.

Just for a change these days, I beat the alarm this morning and I was up and about having my medication long before the third alarm went off. It shows the benefit of an early night.

And back here, I had a look at the dictaphone. And I’m not at all sure what was going on here. There was a building that was probably Hankelow Hall where I squatted for a certain time. There was some kind of football match going to take place between two ad-hoc teams and I was on one of these. We assembled to play our match. It was in the harbour of a town, something like the harbour where this abandoned building was. So we met and again I realised that I didn’t have all of my things. I needed some more before the match would start. I needed to go home and pick them up but would I have time before the kick-off of our match? Yes so the house was plunged into darkness again and we were going to have to have another search around to find ourselves, find our boots and find the people with whom we were supposed to be playing.
later on I was in Montreal last night with someone but I don’t know who. The two of us were on a STM bus and something was happening. The passengers weren’t very happy with the driver and they were having a go at him and he was having a go at them. At a bus stop, “Denbigh” in the rue Denbigh (which doesn’t exist, by the way), the driver stopped the bus at the bus stop, got out from behind his seat and came down the bus to try to attack one of the passengers. The passenger hid amongst the crowd of people so the bus driver couldn’t get him, so the driver took out a bayonet-type of thing, went outside and started to unscrew the window of the bus so that he could get at the passenger. At that moment I called the police and the police started to take all the details ready to send an emergency vehicle I imagine, but the driver just disappeared. So he was gone.

For breakfast, I tried some of that apple-and-apricot purée that I made yesterday, followed by some of the apple and apricot cordial. And it wasn’t at all bad. I’ll remember this because every now and again they do have tins of fruit in at NOZ where the labels are torn, something like that. And this is a good way to use them up.

Having done that, I had a look at the digital sound files that needed splitting. Another four have disappeared today. Much to my surprise, they were all reasonably straightforward and it’s been a long time since that has happened

Today’s project was to send off a radio project for this weekend and then to do another one to replace it. And by the time that I’d finished I’d chosen all of the music (except the last track), written the notes, dictated them and was half-way through editing them.

yacht ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNo supermarket today of course, but that didn’t stop me from going out for my three walks today.

having chosen the music, I went out for the bread and for a look to see what was around. There wasn’t anyone walking around but there was plenty of excitement out to sea, like this yacht threading its way through the archipelago that is the Ile de Chausey.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the number of islands out there varies between 365 and 52 depending on the state of the tides at the time.

cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallPlenty of other stuff out there too.

Apart from the fishing boats, there’s a cabin cruiser too floating around in the Baie de Mont St Michel and that wouldn’t have been a sight you would have seen a week or so ago when we were having all of those storms and high winds.

But it does go to show you the liberty that exists on the open sea and it’s making me quite envious. I wish that I had a boat right now.

fishermen peche a pied pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd how are you spending your enforced absence away from work?

These two guys have the right approach. They’ve gone fishing. And I can’t blame them because as the virus starts to bite and more and more people become sick, hunting and gathering might be the only solution so you may as well start early.

What I did like was the size of the bucket in which they were intending to store their catch. I was never one to dampen the spirit of optimism at all.

charles marie chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy wanderings took me down past the chantier navale to see how they were getting on with .

No change there – she’s still sitting up on her blocks with half of her sides torn out. But there was no-one working on her at all. They’ve probably all been struck down by the Bubonic Plague or the Black Death or whatever it is.

And that fishing boat there at her side – that’s a different one to that which was there on Saturday. We seem to have had a tactical substitution of fishing boats.

new pontoon anchoring mounting points port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe harbour gates were open so I couldn’t cross. Instead I continued down the rue du Port.

One thing that I have mentioned in the past is the mechanism by which the floating pontoons are attached to the supports, and I promised that one of these days I would have a closer look.

There seems to be two sets of rollers, an outer set and an inner rollar that ride up abd down depending upon the state of the tide. It’s a very clever arrangement and I hope that it works.

The town was deserted today. I counted no more than a dozen people scurrying around, most of whom were carrying bread. Only the bakeries seemed to be open – after all, people have to eat and bread is an important part of life here in France.

La Mie Caline came up with a dejeunette – at least the boulanger hasn’t succumbed to the plague as yet – and I came back home. I was tempted to go and take my butties and sit on the wall outside, so nice was the weather, but as usual I was sidetracked by something else.

cabin cruiser chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy afternoon was even quieter. I counted two people out walking and another couple waiting at the bus stop.

My aim was to wander around to the chantier navale because on looking at my photos, I appear to have overlooked that there was actually a third boat in there this morning – and it was still there today.

No idea why it’s in there, and even less of an idea why it isn’t next to the other two, but that’s something else to keep my eye on. Although if I do go to Belgium on Wednesday I’ll miss all of the excitement in here.

Back in the apartment I dozed off for ten minutes or so but I still carried on with things until 19:00 and knocking-off time.

First thing was to deal with the carrots. They were peeled, sliced and diced and then par-boiled with bay leaves and left to drain.

While they were draining I made myself some of my patent stuffing and had stuffed pepper with rice. Tomorrow night I’ll finish off the left-over stuffing and whatever else is lying around in an Anything Curry ready for my departure on Wednesday morning.

This rice pudding will be a problem though. What am I going to do with all of that? A man can only eat so much, no matter how delicious it is.

My walk tonight was even more lonely. I was the only one out there except for a couple of people putting something into a car boot I managed my two runs though. The first one, I put about 20-25 metres onto my usual distance and the second one, I actually made it all the way up a couple of metres onto the second ramp. Yes, I seem to be improving in that respect and that’s good news.

Rosemary rang later on for a chat. She’s feeling the pressure and being so far from home, it’s not easy for her. But there’s not much that she can do about it right now.

So I’ve finished this entry and it’s already late. Yesterday’s entry will have to wait for another time while I go to bed.

But these days, imagine going to bed and wondering if you’ll wake up in the morning. It’s like something out of the Dark Ages, isn’t it?