Tag Archives: l'alize 3

Friday 17th June 2022 – "THE MOVING FINGER"

“writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it”
.

So wrote Omar Khayyam in his famous Rubaiyat 900 years ago. But of course he was talking nonsense because a good rubber or a backspace key can erase as much as you like of anything that you have written.

What you cannot lure back to cancel, not even half a word, never mind half a line, is a word that you have spoken and how I’m regretting many of the words that I spoke, or, “mis-spoke”, to be more accurate, in my Welsh exam this afternoon.

Luckily, it’s a conversation exam so, as has been drummed into us on many occasions, they aren’t looking for perfection. Just whether you can hold a conversation that is intelligible and which flows.

The part of the exam which I feared the most, the “asking questions to fill in the gaps”, actually went quite well but the conversation was strewn with errors. However I managed to keep it going, he understood me, I understood his questions and he understood my replies.

Where it fell apart was when I had to interrogate him for a minute or two about his house. You’ve no idea how difficult it is to ask someone a barrage of questions for that length of time.

Yes, what wouldn’t I give for my moving tongue to wipe away whatever it was that I said so that I could start again?

But anyway there isn’t really anything that I can do about that now.

Let’s focus on the rest of the day instead.

southern liner port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And how about this ship that appeared in port this morning?

The other day I mentioned that it looked as if we were expecting some interesting things happening in port but I wasn’t expecting anything quite like this.

She’s Southern Liner, a small bulk carrier of 1100 tonnes, registered in Panama, that for the last few weeks has been running a shuttle between St Malo and St Helier but for some reason or other has now come into port here.

Is this going to be the start of something important? I hope so, because we could do with some more trade coming into the harbour.

Not like some of the locals will like it. Having had a successful campaign against the Big Wheel that I mentioned a few weeks ago, they are now campaigning against the Bar Ephemère and are campaigning to close it down.

They seem to be determined to destroy everything that disturbs the peace and tranquility of their little world on the seafront and so I’m on record now as saying that if they don’t like the town and its entertainment I’ll help them pack and I’ll personally run them out of town.

At times I think that a great many people have forgotten that many years ago they were young people too. They need to get over themselves, grow up, and take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror.

So once again I was awake early. Round about 06:45 as it happens. And when the alarm went off I was up and about quite quickly.

After the medication and checking my mails I spent the rest of the morning and the early part of the afternoon revising my Welsh, with the usual stops for a coffee, for breakfast and for lunch as well.

a little earlier I mentioned the exam. It should have been much better than it was but having to think on my feet and talk for more than five minutes is quite confusing. Still, too late to complain about it now.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Once the exam was over I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

As usual I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to have a look down onto the beach to see what was happening down there.

It was no surprise to see crowds of people down there because it was the hottest day of the year today. It’s quite cool in my apartment with walls of solid stone 1.2 metres thick and even so I didn’t have a jumper on at all today.

Some of the people down there had taken to the water too and I can’t say that I blamed them. I was rather tempted myself – that tells you just how warm it was today.

marker lights ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While I was looking down onto the beach, my other eye was roving about out at sea to see what was going on there.

There was quite a haze out there this afternoon and a strange reflection from the water. In recent times when the tide has been out we’ve seen the really nice beaches down at the north end of the Ile de Chausey but today the haze had hidden all of that.

And as far as I could see, there wasn’t a single boat out there at all this afternoon and that was something of a surprise. Admittedly the tide was quite far out so there won’t be anyone on their way home but I was expecting to see something going on out there, regardless of the haze.

marker buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022A few days ago we saw a beautiful flag out there in the bay, presumably indicating where someone has dropped off a lobster pot.

There were a few more out there in the bay this afternoon. By the looks of things the inshore fishing is intensifying, possibly because of the summer season and the tourists. They’ll all be asking for fresh lobster.

Mind you, I can tell you a story about “fresh lobster” from my days in tourism but this is not the time and the place, bearing in mind the peculiar way that calumnie works in France.

There weren’t too many people here on the path so I could wander round in comparative peace and quiet on my way around my circuit.

securite civile van pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022But there had been something going on on the lawn here by one of the old bunkers and by the looks of things I had missed it.

That van there is a Securité Civile – Moyens Aeriens – “Civil Security by Aerial Means” and it is usually out and about wherever the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter is operating.

And so it looks as if they have had their chopper out around here performing a rescue. That’s cleared off, presumably to hospital with the rescuee and the van is on its way back to the depot with all of the climbing equipment and everything else that it carries.

And I was too late to catch it all in action.

That was enough excitement for the afternoon. There was no-one down on the bench by the cabanon vauban at the end of the headland so I wandered off around the end of the headland and down the path on the other side towards the port.

l'alize 3 charles marie 2 wavecat express chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And we have yet another change in the chantier naval this afternoon.

Wavecat Express is still there but the catamaran that has been there for a while has now gone back into the water.

L’Alize III that we saw in there on Wednesday is still in there today and she has company. The blue and white trawler that’s come to join her is Charles Marie II..

And there’s a yacht in there too today. I wonder if it’s the same one that we saw the other day that was briefly in here but didn’t stick around.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And we’re back to playing “Musical Ships” again by the looks of things.

Yes, it’s L’Omerta back again, moored up to the quayside at the Fish Processing Plant and settling down into the silt.

There were quite a few cars down there on the lower level so it looks as if they are expecting a lot of the smaller shell-fishing boats coming into port to unload as soon as the tide turns.

On the way home I went to inspect Southern Liner and then back here I had a strawberry smoothie.

Next task was to check the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was something going on about learning French last night but I can’t remember anything at all about it. It all went out of my head the moment I grabbed hold of the dictaphone.

Later on I was in my white Passat estate going to Germany from Brussels. Leaving Brussels was a real mess because everywhere was in roadworks. I had to go a long way out out of my way. eventually I picked up a road to Liège and set off to go that way. This road disappeared into a tunnel with a black and white road surface. There was a load of slow-moving pedestrians in it (by now I was on foot) and I was running into these pedestrians, they were moving so slowly. We went round a corner in this tunnel and ended up in some kind of subterranean railway station. A train pulled in so we all slmabered aboard. I walked down to the rear of the train where I could look out of the windows at the back and down the line. I didn’t have a ticket, was just standing there watching. The train gradually filled up. In the end the last 2 seats were taken by a couple of men who were clearly under the weather. They were dressed in light blue tuxedos. It looked to me as if they had been on a night out in a casino or something like that, spent their money and had plenty to drink. They settled down in these last two seats so I was standing up by there. The train pulled away and that was that.

And regrettably I fell asleep at some point. The only time that I fell asleep today as well and again, only for about 15 minutes.

After I awoke and came back round into the land of the living I started to empty Caliburn.

At great personal expense I’ve brought up two of my four kitchen units. I can bring them across the yard on a trolley, carry them to the front door (just about) and then roll them in their boxes head over heels up the stairs. It’s back-breaking so I’m not going to do the other two until tomorrow.

What I am going to do later though, when I’ve recovered, is to go down and bring up a pile of the lighter stuff. It’ll be another job done.

Tea tonight was a curry made of leftover bits and pieces and it was delicious. So now I’m going to take it easy because tomorrow I have some cleaning up to do.

Wednesday 15th June 2022 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

f-GSBV Robin DR400 180 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022… slight improvement today. and that was even though I had something of a very late night last night as well.

So while you admire a few photos of various aerial activity like for example F-GSBV, a Robin DR400 180, flying by overhead, I’ll tell you all about it.

This morning I was actually awake at 06:15 which considering that I didn’t go to bed until 00:15 this morning, that’s quite good going.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 I struggled to my feet and after the medication and checking my mails and messages I made a start on organising my revision papers for my Welsh exam on Friday. In the confusion and fast pace of the revision lesson yesterday evening everything had become mixed up.

f-ghpj Robin DR400/140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022So while you admire F-GHPJ, a Robin DR400-140B that had just taken off from the airfield on her way to Chavenay Villepreux, I was fighting off wave after wave of sleep.

Not too successfully in the end unfortunately. I drifted off for 15 minutes round about midday. And even though it was a crash-out, the fact that it was only 15 minutes is a big improvement on how things were this time last week.

When I recovered, I made a start on reading through all of the notes that I had made about the subjects that we are expected to know. There are 28 subjects, and we will be given 5 by the examiner and expected to talk for a minute on those five and answer several questions.

And then we have to pick one of those five and ask the examiner questions for a minute on each.

Finally, and where I’m expecting it all to go pear-shaped, we are given several adverts with important sections blanked out and we have to ask the examiner questions so that we can fill in the gaps.

Where the difficulty lies with this is that the “5 W-words”, who, when, where, what, why (and how) take different verbs depending on whether it’s a noun or a verb or a proper noun that follows them and what tense it is, and that’s already confusing.

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022So while you admire the sparrowhawk that was flying around above the cliffs, I was having lunch.

And then I went back to carry on with my revision. And I managed to finish off going right through it again before I succumbed to another wave of sleep.

Once again, it was only about 15 minutes again and once I pulled myself together I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was in the army. There was something going on. There had been an attack ordered and for some unknown reason I was given something different to do. It annoyed a lot of people that I wasn’t joining in with the attack, some people far more than others, and it even reached the stage where some of our own soldiers were throwing hand grenades at me and I was having either to move out of the way or throw them back. It was all a very unhealthy situation that no-one could understand why things were working out the way that they were and I wasn’t going on this attack etc. And there was this particular group of people fording this passage in couples and throwing hand grenades at me at every conceivable opportunity. In the end it reached the stage where I had to abandon my post because it was far too dangerous for me to be out there with all these hand grenades coming at me from all directions.

Later on I’d been in a factory dismantling one or two pieces of equipment. There had been some people hanging around who were doing some work there as well Who were as usual getting in my way. There was a digger that needed dismantling so I went back to do that today. There were hordes of people, probably 50, around there watching someone move some parts around on the car park. They were all wearing scarves with blue and cream (I think), the colours of some company or other that was also doing some work there. I had to go to find the foreman to tell him that I was going to start work dismantling this digger that was nearby. Luckily they weren’t in my way at the moment but they might be if they came any closer. I’d seen him once at the very beginning. As I was fighting my way through these throngs I suddenly realised that I couldn’t see him at all. I was wondering where he’d gone. I didn’t want to start dismantling this digger without making him understand exactly what it was that I was doing and how I wanted some space around me where I could work without being confined and pushed around

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

First stop was the wall at the end of the car park where I could look down onto the beach to see what was happening down there.

It was a nice sunny day and there was plenty of beach for people to be on, so it was no surprise to see a lot of people down there this afternoon. There was even the dog down there that may well have been the dog that we saw there yesterday

There weren’t any painters up here on the path this afternoon so I wandered off down the path on top of the cliffs towards the end of the headland

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022We’ve seen the sparrowhawk that was busily engaged in hunting along the top of the cliffs so I was looking out at sea to see what was going on.

There were a couple of things moving around right out in the bay over by the Ile de Chausey so I took a photo of one of them with the aim of enhancing it when I returned home to see what it might be.

What was going through my mind was that I was hoping that I’d see one of the Ile de Chausey ferries or maybe even Victor Hugo on her way out to Jersey but in actual fact it was a speedboat or cabin cruiser having a run out to the islands.

It doesn’t seem that I’m having any luck at all with the ferries.

sun reflecting off window brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022No’one loitering around by the car park this afternoon, which was just as well because there was rather a strange phenomenon.

Way across down towards the foot of the bay on the Brittany side, the sun was shining off a window or something like that and reflecting back, and I could see it quite clearly even if it was about 20 miles away.

Years ago I read an ancient book from the 19th Century called ON THE BORDER WITH CROOK, the story of General Crook’s campaign against the Native Americans written by his Aide de Camp.

It’s one of the books that travels with me when I go to the “Wild West” and what’s interesting about it is that Bourke describes at great length the use of mirrors as heliographs for sending messages between advancing columns of infantry and cavalry and how in the right conditions the flashes of reflection could carry for as much as 50 miles.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve been up on the dry, arid plains of Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico and I can easily believe it. And even in the kind of weather conditions that we have here, a flash of light transmitted through serendipitous means will carry over 20 miles.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There wasn’t anyone down on the bench by the cabanon vauban looking at the reflected light so I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland.

There were crowds of people out there this afternoon having a go at the pèche à pied. The tide is well out and the areas where the public can fish for shellfish are now out of the water allowing the harvest to begin

At first I thought that they were carrying fishing rods but they are in fact raker, gratters, nets and all that kind of thing that the serious pecheur à pied will carry with him to prize the shellfish off the rocks.

From there I wandered off down the path towards the port.

l'alize 3 wavecat express chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022We’ve had another change of occupant in the chantier naval since we were last here.

Wavecat Express is still here and so is the catamaran. But the expensive cabin cruiser and Pescadore have gone back into the water.

In their place we have acquired another trawler. This one is L’Alize III, a trawler that we have seen before on several occasions.

Still, it’s all good as long as there is a healthy turnover of boats down there. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … a healthy, thriving boat repair yard is good news as it encourages owners to moor their boats here.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before I went back home I had a look in the inner harbour.

Hauts de France seems to have gone definitively but Victor Hugo is still in there. But Marité is back again from her nautical perambulations of the last couple of days, tied up down at the bottom of the harbour having a rest.

Back here I had a coffee and carried on with my Welsh revision until teatime.

There was some stuffing left over from Monday so I had a taco roll with rice and vegetables and it was even nicer having been left for a couple of days.

Right now though I’m off to bed. I’m going to keep on with this having a good night’s sleep and hoping that I can keep this little improvement in my health going.

If it is something that is going to continue, it won’t be before time.

Sunday 8th August 2021 – NOW THAT I HAVE …

… dealt with the issues of the radio programme for Monday, I can turn my attention to the journal entry for Sunday.

Having gone off to bed early and being awoken almost immediately by a bunch of revellers going home (as you’ve seen previously, it’s Concert Fortnight in the Old Town) I didn’t really have the relaxing night for which I was hoping.

Several times during the night I awoke, usually for no good reason and had I been really keen I could have been up and out of bed at 06:20. But I’m not that keen so I stayed in bed and didn’t leave until 09:30, which is early enough on a Sunday as it is.

Despite the turbulent night I’d been off on quite a few voyages and traveled a long way. And much to my surprise, things started off quite positively and pleasantly which is a surprise considering how things have been just recently, although it didn’t take them long to descend into the more habitual chaos and disorder.

Last night I started offin Crewe on Nantwich Road and there was a whole load of stuff that we had to somehow dispose of. We’d started by dumping it into an empty shop that was near where Barclays Bank used to be. While we were doing that someone came in and asked if we could repair the ferrule on their umbrella. We repaired that then someone else came in for anoher simple job like that which we did. The 3rd person who came in was a young girl and it was somethign similar as well, a ferrule on an umbrella Hers was a retractable one and I ended up dismantling it and found out that one of the set screws had sheared off. I cleaned it and did what I could to repair it. We started to talk about music and everyone there joined in. We were having a really good time discussing all kinds of groups. she’d been to see groups like Men at Work, all of those. As she was about to leave I called her back and asked for her e-mail address which she gave me. The ws started to talk about Strife. She said that her mother used to go to concerts as well and we jokingly said “Barry Manilow”. This was turning into something really quite pleasant. My radio programme came up and she said that she listened to my shows. She’d heard Strife and it was a pretty good thing
Later on a friend of mine put in an appearance. There was a group of us and we’d been doing something. i’d been involved in this from the beginning and my e-mail address had been handed in. The guy who’d been orgaising it had asked for a couple more addresses so I was going to say “I think you have mine already” and read it out so that she’d get a hint of this but instead he asked for hers and she wrote it down on a piece of paper and I could see it. She put it into an envelope and made sure that the woman who was co-orinating everythign had seen it, and then she popped it inside my envelope and said “here, you can have this”so I made a romantic kind of gesture and that seemed to go down well.

Later on I was doing somethingwith my partner and I can’t remember what it was but it was something to do with jars and containers and their contents. She made one of her remarks again and I said something and then I said “I suppose that you’re going to tell me that it’s all over in a minute are you?”. She replied “yes. It’s been all over between the two of us for quite some time” and generally going on like that.

At another point during the night i’d been researching an article on Greenock Morton FC, reading all the way through it and making notes. i’d got through to something like line 10,000 and something but I kept being drawn back to something round about 4,000-odd where there was some talk of a certain name who had a nightmare game for Morton. It looked as if he’d been on trial or something. His name was mentioned and it seemed to imply that he’d been a goalkeeper but I’d never ever remembered a goalkeeper of that name being there even once. I kept on being drawn back to this particular chapter or paragraph and trying to find out more about it. Talking to all these people and I was really bogging myself down in this research. It was a kind of thing that could be cleared up in a minute but for some unknown reason I just couldn’t get myself out of this paragraph.

And doesn’t that sound just like where I am with several projects right now?

This morning with it being Sunday I took it relatively easy because there will be plenty to do this afternoon. I simply edited a few photos from Greenland, and we are now ashore at Ilulissat visiting the abandoned Inuit village of Sermermiut and the stage is being set for the subsequent dramatic events that took place.

After lunch there was baking to do. The bread that I’d made with Liz had died a death and so I needed a new loaf, and I’d also run out of fruit bread. No pizza dough either so I had to make a pile of that too.

By the time that I was ready to go walkies all of that was sitting away simmering quite nicely.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst place to go and visit was the beach – in a virtual way of course because I can’t get back up the steps these days.

The tide is a long way from being in and if you compare this photo with THIS ONE that was taken at almost exactly the same time yesterday, you’ll see how the tide develops from one day to the next.

The difference between the two water levels represents just 38 minutes according to the tide tables so you can see how quickly the tide comes in on the beach down there.

lighthouse ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs usual, while one of my eyes is roaming around on the beach, the other one is looking around out at sea.

There weren’t any marine craft out there at sea today which was a surprise because for a change just recently, the sky is quite clear out at sea . The lighthouse and the houses surrounding stand out quite distinctly today.

The lighthouse itself is 37 metres above sea level and there are 79 steps that take you to the top. The beam of the light can be seen 45 kilometres away in good weather.

yacht semaphore  ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I had the camera poised, I took a photo of the northern end of the island .

When I enlarged it I was able to make out a yacht that was sailing around just offshore. There wasn’t any other kind of water craft out there around the island this afternoon. I suppose that the tide isn’t high enough for the Joly France ferries to be out working yet.

So with nothing else going on out at sea right now, I set off down the path on my walk around the headland

people on footpath lighthouse semaphore pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd I wasn’t alone out there this afternoon either, as you can see in this image.

Set against the backdrop of a heavy dark grey cloud, the lighthouse stands out magnificently, with the semaphore post to the right and surrounded by the remains of the German fortifications of the Atlantic Wall.

Standing out there to the right was a crowd of people gawking out to see, although I couldn’t see what it was that had attracted their attention because there was nothing whatever going on out to sea.

sailing ship english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut when I reached the top and stood on top of the old bunker, I could see something moving out in the English Channel, in a completely different direction to that in which everyone was looking.

Back at the apartment later I was able to crop out the section of the photo, enlarge it and enhance it. And I was able to discern that it was some kind of large sailing ship of a type that resemble our Newfoundlander, Marité.

Keeping that idea in my mind, I wandered off down the path across the car park and down to the end of the headland.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesyerday, when we were standing at the end of the headland we saw an impressive storm brewing away over the Brittany coast.

Today, we’ve been lashed by showers on and off throughout the day and we can see that there’s another big storm brewing over there this afternoon too and it’s pouring down with rain in Brittany.

It won’t be long before the storm arrives over here so I don’t want to hang about to long over here. I’d better be heading back home rather quickly.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown the path on the southern side of the headland I arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the port where I could see what was going on.

No change of occupancy in the Chantier Naval over the last 24 hours so I had a look over towards the ferry terminal. The tide is out and Belle France is over there in a NAABSA position, and we can therefore see her shape.

Yesterday, when we saw the ferry terminal we noticed that because of the weather the terminal and the surrounding harbour wall were completely deserted. Today though, with the slightly better weather, there were some people loitering around and others walking along the top of the wall around the port de plaisance.

l'alize 3 marite port de Granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut we can rule out the idea that it was the Marité that we saw out at sea earlier.

In this photo we can see her bow intruding into the photo. Therefore she’s at anchor and we’ll have to think again about the identity of the sailing ship that we saw.

Next to her in the loading bay is the trawler L’Alize 3 that we saw for a while in the chantier naval.

But my eye has been caught by the shrink-wrapped boat on the quayside. This would seem to me to indicate that one of the little Channel Island freighters will be in port quite soon to take it away.

Back at the apartment I added the mixed fruit to the fruit bread dough and then kneaded all of the three dough mixes the second time and put that for the fruit bread and the ordinary bread into their moulds and left everything to proof a second time.

When they were ready I put the two loaves into the oven.

With the pizza dough I divided it into three and put two of the parts into the freezer. The third, I rolled out and put into the pizza tray and when it had proofed again, I assembled my pizza.

vegan pizza fruit bread home baked loaf Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut of the oven came the bread and into the oven went the pizza, and half an hour later it was ready. And here are the finished products.

As for the bread I’ll tell you about that tomorrow but it certainly looks good. The pizza was for some reason or another undercooked and I don’t know why because the oven was switched to full and the baking tray was lowered in the oven. It’s rather bizarre, that.

You’ll probably notice that there is no pudding made today. I was going to make an apple crumble but there was no room in the oven. I’ll bake that tomorrow evening and make some baked potatoes while I’m at it. Maybe a slice of home-made vegan pie too
.

Just as I was settling down to start to write my journal entry, the telephone rang. It was Rosemary who wanted to have a chat.

We were there talking for almost two hours and after, I was far too tired to write anything. Consequently I took myself off for an early night and I’ll write up my notes tomorrow.

Monday 2nd August 2021 – MY PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE …

… didn’t survive the weekend; unfortunately. Riddled with green mould when I looked at it this evening.

Apparently I should have kept it in the fridge after it had been made, but Liz thought that I probably ought to have known but, of course, I didn’t.

However, I do now. And I will for the next time, probably with a less volatile fruit.

But apart from that, I’ve had a really good day – and I’m quite surprised by that.

When the alarm went off this morning at 06:00 I was quickly out of bed and hurried off for my medication. Well – not exactly “hurried” but I’m sure you get the picture.

With my 10 tablets all washed down I came in here to check my mails and the like and then settled down to work.

By the time that 15:00 came round, I’d completed no less than four programmes, all live concerts too.

One of them was pretty straightforward as far as the music goes – I just had to check the joins between the songs.

Another one needed some shuffling around of tracks to make some kind of sense of a radio programme, but two more required some pretty major surgery – and I DO need major surgery too.

And then of course there was the text to write for the four programmes, then to record and then edit it and splice it into the music.

One of them has come out really well but the second is totally magnificent and probably the best that I have ever done. Anyone listening to my programmes on New Years’ Eve is in for a treat

So now I’m up-to-date, except for my Christmas show, until the end of February next year – exactly where I want to be. That’s quite a leeway if I decide to go away for a couple of months.

There’s another reason too why I want to be well ahead. Regular readers of this rubbish will understand that.

There were the usual interruptions for a coffee; for breakfast, for lunch and another coffee so I was quite impressed that the four programmes were completed so quickly.

It was just as well because at 15:30 I had a visitor. At the hospital they’ve prescribed a series of injections – something of the last resort, I suppose. When I went to the doctor’s on Friday I arranged for a proper prescription so that I could have a nurse come round.

So now that I’ve had this injection I’m feeling a little livelier. Which is what it’s supposed to do. I headed off for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOf course, I had to start by going across the car park to look over the wall and down to the beach to see what was going on.

There wasn’t all that much beach to be on down there this afternoon with the tide being well in. Nevertheless, there were quite a few people down there taking advantage of the weather

There were even a few people in the water. It might be nice, but it wasn’t that nice. But then again, I won’t be going into any water that is any less than 37°C. Call me “nesh” if you like but I don’t care.

cabin cruiser speedboat zodiac men fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt wasn’t just on the beach that there was plenty of activity. Out at sea there was plenty of activity going on.

There are plenty of boats out there in the Baie de Granville this afternoon too and here are a few to be going on with.

On the extreme right we have a stationary boat that might be full of fishermen. And they are being passed by a speedboat that is going at some kind of rate of knots and is bound to be upsetting the guys in the stationary boat if they really are fishing.

And then we have a cabin cruiser that is moving around quite rapidly. Not as quickly as the speedboats but quick enough.

boy flying kite pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnyway I set off for a walk around the headland, fighting my way through the crowds of people who were out there this afternoon.

On the lawn near the lighthouse a couple of boys were playing with kites. One of them wasn’t having much luck, which was a shame, but the other one was much more successful with his kite.

For a few minutes I watched the kite performing its antics in the sky and then I carried on with my walk along the path on top of the cliffs to see what else is going on out there this afternoon.

belle france speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked along the top of the cliffs, all of a sudden a large boat appeared from around the headland.

At first I didn’t recognise it but it didn’t take me long to work out who she was. She’s Belle France of course, the new ferry that came here the other day to take part in the ferry service between here and the Ile de Chausey.

She’s a very fine ship of course, but one thing that I noticed about her, apart from the crane that I mentioned the other day, is that there isn’t al that much room on the outside for the passengers to soak up the ozone.

That would put me off.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile there is plenty of activity out at sea in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

That set me off across the car park and down to the end of the headland in order to have a closer look.

It seems that one of the yachting schools have really … errr … pushed the boat out this afternoon They have let their fledglings sail right out about halfway, if not more, across the Baie de Mont St Michel.

That’s the yacht school for me of course.. The quicker I can go right out into the sea, the better, as far as I’m concerned. For I have yet another cunning plan.

men fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was there at the end of the headland of course looking at the yachts but there are other things going on round about there.

We’ve already seen what looked like a fishing boat out in the Baie de Granville and there’s another one down there just offshore at the Pointe du Roc.

As well as that, we have a fisherman standing on a rock casting his line into the sea. And while I watchen them, they didn’t manage to pull in anything, not even an old rubber boot.

And so I cleared off along the path on top of the cliffs on the south side of the headland

yachting school baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further on along the path I noticed the yachts of the other yachting school.

They aren’t being anything like as adventurous as the others today. They are still sailing about just offshore in between St Pair sur Mer and the harbour at Granville rather than being out and about in the middle of the bay like the others.

This just strengthens my desire to go to learn with the other yachting school. Being more daring tha others, I’ll be pushing on and leaving no stone unturned in my efforts to learn to sail.

Robin DR400/120 Dauphin 2+2 f-gorn pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking around the headland I was overflown yet again. It’s becoming a regular feature on these pages.

Today’s aeroplane is another one of our regulars. It’s F-GORN, one of the aeroplanes owned by the Granville Aero Club. She’s a Robin DR400/120 Dauphin 2+2 and is used by the flying club.

She took off from the airfield at 15:44 and flew off south. At about 16:43 she disappeared off the radar at St Aubin near Vannes, so it looks as if she’s going in to land somewhere around here.

l'alize 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was no change in occupancy at the chantier naval today so I carried on with my walk.

Down in the harbour the loading bay was occupied this afternoon. The trawler L’Alize 3 is moored up there, and so that tells me that we won’t be expecting one of the Jersey freighters today.

But one of those has been in the port just recently. The other day we saw a pile of freight stacked on the quayside. That’s now gone so someone has been working hard just now.

l'alize 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as I watched, she slowly pulled away from the loading bay.

She wandered off a little way to moor up next to one of her sisters. so what she was up to there I don’t know.

What caught my eye though was what was going on in the background. The hazmat guy is still there, not in his all of his hazmat stuff, and his pressure washer is there as well. It’s obviously a big job that he’s involved in.

But whatever they were all doing, I left them to it and headed for home.

Guitar practice was postponed as I had too much to do, and then I went for tea. Stuffed pepper and rice followed by apple pie seeing as the pineapple upside down cake ended up in the bin.

Now I’m off to bed and tomorrow I have a few things to do, and then I have to strip down the big computer and upgrade it – something that I’ve been putting off for quite a while.

Friday 23rd July 2021 – WHAT HAVE I BEEN …

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… saying for the last few days? That with all of the freight that we ought to be expecting the arrival of one of the little Jersey freighters to take it all away?

And sure enough, look who I saw in port this afternoon? And i was lucky, I can tell you, because as we have seen so often in the past, the boats are so busy that their turn-rounds are so quick these days and I miss them on a regular basis.

Yes, here’s Normandy Trader, the old converted ex-military landing craft having missed the morning’s tide and having to wait until this afternoon and the tide comes in before the harbour gates open and she can clear off back to Jersey.

But seeing Normandy Trader and Thora in the port in the same week is not something that happens all that often these days.

And what else have I been saying quite often just recently about how my regular nocturnal companions seem to have deserted me? Well, look who came back to accompany me last night.

We were off on the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR again last night and although there were lots more to it than this but where it led up to was that we were all out somewhere ond one of the girls was Pollux so I started to try to talk to her but her mother kept on getting in the way, or different people did. In the end it was time to walk back to where we were going to have our evening meal so we set out back and I went to align myself with Pollux who was now Castor – or was it Castor who was now Pollux (proper Castor and Pollux stuff this, to anyone who worked out the story). We walked back and to start the conversation I ask who were her favourite groups. She told me a few names which I didn’t recognise. When I told her that I didn’t recognise them she laughed and asked where I’d been living for the last so many years. We walked back to this village hall-type place and had to walk up onto the stage where we could wash our hands and so on. She disappeared off behind the scene backcloth, I imagined to put on a special kind of dress so I forestalled – that was the favourite word of Peary, the Arctic explorer by the way – her by going round the other side and grabbing 2 seats, sitting on one and saying that the other one was taken. Pollux turned up and I beckoned her over and said “here, I’ve saved a seat for you”. She replied “that’s fine, thanks, but do you mind if I sit next to my mother?”. I had a look round and found that I was sitting right next to her mother and I thought “ohh dear! Right! Ok!” So I moved up one seat and she slid in. Of course she was still next to me but she was next to her mother as well and then I tried to start off some kind of conversation with her.

But it’s interesting that I was spending so much time with Pollux and not with Castor. There has to be a story behind that and I wish I knew what it was. And I wish that I knew how the story ended.

But it’s quite a throwback to the days of my youth when I had my long hair, my leather jacket and either my Ariel 250 or later on, my AJS 650. I might have been popular with one or two girls (not all that many) but certainly not with their mothers.

I remember once lying in wait for a girl in Nantwich on Saturday morning and her mother, who knew my family well, saw me waiting and steered her up a side street out of my path.

That was the story of my life with mothers, and it’s interesting to see it emerging out of nowhere in this instance.

But meanwhile, back to the plot.

This is my last day of staying in bed until 08:00. And so I celebrated by having a really bad night’s sleep where I awoke early on in the night and couldn’t go back to sleep.

After the meds I came back to listen to the dictaphone and I must have gone to sleep at some point because my story about Castor and Pollux was there.

Then I went to print out the noted for today – 22 of them. And in trying to be ready early, the printer ran out of yellow ink and it took me ages to fit a new cartridge and make it work.

And then a few minutes later the black one ran out, so in desperation I ran it all in blue ink.

With my hot chocolate (made with real chocolate of course) and home-made fruit bread and went 5 minutes early for my Welsh lesson – last day of our Summer School. And if to confound absolutely everything, the tutor forgot me and didn’t let me in until 5 minutes after the lesson had started.

And if you thought that we had belted on at 100mph on each of the last 4 days, that had nothing on how we moved today. I don’t think that we stopped to draw breath. And it’s the only time that ever I’ve used more than 4 pages of notebook of vocabulary. When I’d finished I had to come in here and sit in the shade and talk to a friend of mine on the internet for a while.

Eventually I plucked up the energy to go off outside for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo buses or coaches parked on our kerb today, so I wandered off across the car park and looked over the wall to see what was going on down below on the beach.

And to my surprise, while there was much more beach to be on today, such are the benefits of going out 2 hours earlier, there were far, far fewer people down there on it than there have been over the past few days.

It beats me where everyone had gone to, that’s for sure. While the day had clouded over and the wind had got up (in fact at one stage earlier in the day it blew open the bedroom window and blew the clothes drier all over the floor) it wasn’t cold by any means.

We’re well into the holiday season too. There should be so many people about that it would be impossible to move. But not that I’m complaining. The fewer tourists bringing their viruses here the better from my point of view

fishing boat towing dinghy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd of course, while I had one eye scanning the beach, the other eye was scanning out to sea to see what I could see out there this afternoon.

Plenty of movement going on out there, including something quite bizarre out there close to the Ile de Chausey, so I took a photo of it with the idea of cropping it out, enhancing it and bowing it up (the photo, not the object) when I returned home.

Sure enough, it seems to be one of the smaller fishing boats on its way back to port this afternoon, but towing behind it a little dinghy.

They probably work the Ile de Chausey and the smaller boat is for getting in between the rocks. We saw what they were like last year when we were out there last year on our week away from home on Spirit of Conrad

men fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt goes without saying that there have to be some fishermen around here doing something or other offshore.

These guys are just offshore by one of the coastal marker lights having a go at trying to catch something.

And as I watched, for all of five minutes or so, no-one pulled anything at all out of the water. No fish and nothing else either which is no surprise because whatever else out there will have been picked up by beachcombers when the tide goes out.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd even as we spoke, we had someone else come to join us.

Not La Granvillaise – I don’t know where she has got to today, but Joly France, one of the ferries that runs out to the Ile de Chausey.

And with me having talked about it so often in the past, regular readers of this rubbish will recall quite easily which one of the ferries this is from this angle.

No step in the stern, windows rectangular in the “landscape” format – it can only be the the older one of the two going out to bring home a load of day-trippers

yacht fishing boat towing dinghy speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, in other news, things are developing quite quickly and quite dramatically out at sea.

We’re heading for a traffic jam or a collision here right now. There aren’t as many water craft out there today as there have been just recently but these three here look as if they are heading for disaster nevertheless.

There has to be a yacht picture though, doesn’t there? There wasn’t one just offshore at the Rue du Nord as there had been at the start of the week, so I reckoned that I’d take a photo of this one, but I never ever expected to have it as exciting as this.

But luckily everyone missed everyone else and they all continued safe and sound on their way.

And so did I too. I walked around the path and across the car park down to the rocks at the end but, surprisingly there was no-one fishing down there either today, so I cleared off along the coastal path.

chausiaise entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as I rounded the corner I just about managed to catch the rear end of Chausiaise disappearing into the inner harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall who she is but for the benefit of everyone else, she’s a barge, I suppose, owned by the people who run the ferry service between here and the Ile de Chausey.

With so many holidaymakers heading out there, the transport of their luggage and supplies for their stay on the island was becoming quite problematic on the ferries so the company bought the barge to transport the freight.

We saw her loading up the other day at the quayside near the harbour gate. She’s fitted with a nice big crane for that purpose as there are no unloading facilities on the island.

yacht rebelle trawler chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now my walk has taken me round to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval, and it looks as if there is plenty of excitement going on down there this afternoon.

With the trawler L’Alize III going back into the water the other day, they now seem to have moved the yacht Rebelle into the place that she occupied. The portable boat lift was just dropping her into position as I walked past.

So I wonder if that means we’re going to be having another arrival pretty soon who will occupy that place, or does it mean that we aren’t expecting anything in in the near future to occupy the other spaces here.

But one thing is quite clear. When one of the guys told me that she would be “back in the water soon”, he was clearly talking in geological terms.

fishing boat pulling dinghy into port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now I was ready to go home, but not before I’d taken another photo.

The fishing boat and little dinghy that had been dogging my path all afternoon was just now coming (undamaged) into the harbour as I walked by.

And it looks as if it’s quite busy down there with endless streams of people leaving port on all kinds of water craft. But our fishing boat will be going to moor at the fish processing plant and unload its catch.

And me? Back at the apartment it was finally warm enough for me to have a strawberry smoothie instead of a coffee, and I came in here to finish my chat.

One thing led to another, as it often does and I ended up not only missing my guitar practice but my tea as well, which was just as well because I didn’t know what to eat.

But now I’m off to bed. Back to the early starts tomorrow and shopping as well – all three of my shops because there’s nothing in the house today.

The question is – will I last the pace?

Thursday 22nd July 2021 – NO SURPRISES THEN …

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… for guessing who this ship is.

Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen it now three days on the run, each time getting closer to confirm by assumptions about her identity.

And sure enough, here she is today just entering the Baie de Mont St Michel and we can see quite clearly the number G90 on her sail and so she is without any doubt La Granvillaise, as I thought.

But you have no idea how lucky you are with this photo because when I spied her, she’d already furled up a couple of her sails and that one followed suit quite quickly. I was only just in time.

people in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe people in La Granvillaise weren’t the only people in a hurry to return home either while I was out.

This large zodiac was belting along at an incredible rate of knots across the Baie de Granville, presumably trying to return home before it turned into a pumpkin or something like that.

These things make quite a racket, as anyone who has ever travelled on one will tell you, and the noise that they make when travelling at full-speed is ear-splitting and shatters the environment for quite a large radius around.

As you might expect, I for one was glad when he had cleared off around the headland and gone the Way of the West as they used to say.

Of course, regular readers of this rubbish will recall where the phrase “Gone West” comes from because we’ve touched on this in the past.

It refers to the endless lines of wagon trains that set off in the 1840s and 1850s from the eastern part of the USA to head to California and Oregon. Dysentery, cholera, childbirth, drowning, starvation, wild animals, accident and murder (more emigrants were killed by their colleagues than by native Americans, incidentally) took such a toll of the emigrants that anyone who “went west” would never likely to be seen again by those at home.

speedboat people fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I bet the guys in this small cabin cruiser are totally fed up of what is going on all around them.

They’ve just been buzzed by an ear-splitting zodiac going past hell-for leather, and now they have to contend with a speedboat.

The guys in the cabin cruiser are fishing and if they had ever caught anything before, which is extremely doublful, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, they won’t be catching anything with all of this going on.

The guys in the speedboat have all of their fishing gear in the back too, but they won’t be catching anything at all going at that rate of knots so it’s just as well that they have their equipment out of the water.

But I’m going to leave all of this behind me and talk about calmer pursuits.

As usual this week, as was up and out of bed as the alarm rang at 08:00. And after my medication I made a bread mix. I don’t have any bread in the house right now.

With that out of the way I came into here to listen to the dictaphone. Unfortunately I can’t remember very much about last night except that there was some girl trying to model a bikini but where she was was invaded by hundreds and thousands of these polystyrene balls and she had to clear them out of a couple of rooms in order that they could carry on.

It’s a shame that I don’t remember at all very much about this because I sure would have liked to. Girls in bikinis is something of which there is a great shortage currently in my life.

There wasn’t much time left to do much so I edited some more photos, on the grounds that doing something – anything – of the arrears is better than sitting around doing nothing.

Then I went to make my hot chocolate and grab some fruit bread before my Welsh lesson. And because I was hoping to be early, my laptop decided to do an upgrade.

It’s one of those days, isn’t it?

As usual we belted at 100mph through the paperwork and had a couple of role plays. I was running an excellent café somewhere in Wales selling all kinds of exciting stuff. I clearly missed my vocation here.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I’m sure that Rosemary has planted a camera in my apartment. No sooner had my Welsh lesson ended than she rang up and we had a good chat.

It seems that I might have forgotten to mention that my friend Mike Beedell in Gatineau has an exciting plan for August 2022 and I’m on his mailing list, so I mentioned it to Rosemary. She’s going to add herself onto it, so watch this space – the dynamic duo may yet be hitting the road again to recreate our triumphs of 2019.

Eventually I managed to go out for my afternoon – now early evening – walk.

bus parked place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd this was the sight that greeted me when I put my sooty foot outside the door this evening.

Normally I wouldn’t have minded so much except that that’s our kerb – not the council’s – on which he has sat his 11 tonnes of bus. And secondly there’s part of the car park down the Boulevard Vaufleury that’s set aside for tour coaches to park.

And then of course there are always the bus bays outside the College in the Rue du Roc if he can’t be bothered to walk from the Boulevard Vaufleury.

This sort of thing always gets my goat, if you haven’t already guessed. It’s definitely one of the more classic cases of pathetic parking, isn’t it?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut anyway, let’s leave that alone for the moment and wander off to have a good look down onto the beach.

Off across the car park go I to the wall at the end and have a good look down. And as you can see, there is even less beach than before for people to occupy this evening.

And the lateness of the hour hasn’t prevented the people from taking to the water has it? They are heaving down there with the great unwashed masses.

And a few more children today too. Obviously, some parents have been reading my notes, which makes a very nice change these days. I could do with all the readership that I could get.

yacht speedboats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked along the path on my way around the headland I was watching all of the activity out to sea.

We’ve already seen plenty of it, and there is plenty more to come. There were no yachts today surveying the beach at the Rue du Nord, but there was one out at sea heading back towards Granville.

She has quite a crowd with her too. There’s a zodiac that has just gone roaring past her and a little further out there’s a speedboat that’s gone roaring past both of them

But as for me, I continue on a much more leisurely, and quieter pace along the path and across the car park to the end of the headland.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall has been the never-ending saga of the local fishermen.

Making wisecracks at their expense is rather depassé days but I can’t help thinking that here they are, with no net to haul in their catch and no basket in which to keep it. It’s almost as if they don’t expect to catch anything.

Here’s another one of them on the rocks at the Pointe du Roc, casting his line out to sea, more in hope than in expectation. And one of these days I will see a fisherman pull a fish out of the water and carry it off home for his tea.

powered hang glider microlight pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd right on cue, as I was watching our fisherman doing his best, I was overflown yet again.

It’s one of the two powered hang gliders or whatever they are that regularly float around overhead. Today we are honoured by the red one flipping about in the sky.

In fact he did a nice big circle around, almost as if he was looking for something. I can’t think what else was going through his mind as he passed by.

But I wasn’t going to hang around. I was heading off along the path on top of the headland overlooking the port.

yacht rebelle trawler l'alize 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it looks as if we are going to have yet another change of occupancy here in the chantier naval.

Judging by the way that the portable boat lift is positioned, it looks as if it’s going to be L’Alize 3 that is next to go back into the water, and later this afternoon too by the looks of things before the tide goes out.

That wil just leave us with the yacht Rebelle and the unidentified trawler. And I suppose that I had better go down and find out her name before I’m much older. At this rate she’ll be back in the water before I can get down there to see.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw some freight on the quayside yesterday waiting to be picked up.

It’s still there today, and it looks as if it’s been joined by a skyjack. So one assumes that one of the Jersey freighters will be in port pretty soon to whisk it all away.

While I was walking along the clifftop above the port, I fell in with one of my neighbours. We had a really good chat and put the world to rights for half an hour before I headed off home.

It’s not like me to be this sociable, is it? Two lengthy chats in one day? Whatever next?

speedboat yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBefore I can go home I’m attracted by some kind of luxury cabin cruiser heading into port.

He’s doing his best to disturb the yachting school out there. Even if it’s late, they are all still out there at it and probably will be until the tide has well-turned.

Back at the building the coach was still outside damaging the kerb. But doing my best to ignore it I came inside.

Too late to do anything now, I made tea. Burger on a bap with baked beans followed by jam roly poly and coconut whatsit. Totally delicious.

Right now, I’m totally bleary-eyed. I think that I’ve looked at the computer far too long so I’m off to bed. Last Welsh Summer School tomorrow so my routine will revert to normal. If I can wait that long.

Monday 19th JUly 2021 – YOU CAN TELL …

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… what kind of day we’ve been having today simply by looking at this photo.

It’s quite usual these days for me to go across the car park and peer over the wall at the end, down onto the beach to see what’s going on down there.

And despite the fact that there wasn’t all that much beach to be on – basically because I was late going out for my afternoon walk, there were still plenty of people jostling for a place on the sand, and the water is crowded with people taking a dip.

You can tell that summer has arrived at long last. And with it the tourists and also, unfortunately, the Covid. Being extra-careful is the order of the day when I go out and about on my walk.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd quite naturally there’s going to be plenty of activity out at sea as well.

The yacht school was in full swing with a pile of yachts out there accompanied by a couple of motor boats that were keeping an eye on them. One or two yachts were trailing behind the others and the speedboat has gone off to see what’s going on at the rear while the second one ushers two other hindmost boats into the bay.

It must have been a really beautiful day out there on the water today and despite everything else that’s going on, I would have liked to have been down there with them.

But at the moment I have other things on my mind – other fish to fry.

My full-time Welsh course starts today so for a change I toddled off to bed quite early last night. I slept right through until the alarm went off and went to take my medication.

Back in here I made a start on the radio programme and I made really good progress – writing the text, recording the text, editing the text and even managing to make a start on merging things together before I knocked off.

Armed with my hot chocolate and my delicious fruit bread I joined the lesson and found one of my habitual colleagues with me. We bashed our way through a pile of stuff at quite a pace and it was a really useful lesson. I’d love to see what’s going to happen over the next 4 days and I’m sure that I’ll benefit from this week’s course.

There were several breaks and during those I took the opportunity to continue with the radio programme and I wasn’t far off finishing. I’d even found the final track, edited it and dictated the text for it.

There were some notes on the dictaphone and I’ve no idea what was going on here. I was somewhere in Eastern Europe last night. It was the time of Greek independence and Greek expansion. There was a professor there who was working on that subject and someone had been to visit him and then left. A couple of hours later they had gone into this professor’s room and found that he had been killed. Now that person was coming back next morning at 08:00 so we would be interested to see the reactions, to see if this person had killed him or whether someone else, maybe a Turkish activist or another Russian activist hand so on had killed him instead. I got onto the bed where this professor’s body was and which had been covered up and waited. Then a young girl turned up. I explained that unfortunately the professor had died. She said “oh” and I asked her why she had come. She replied “It’s ours, professor, it’s ours”. I was wondering what she meant by “it’s ours” because I assumed that she’d been part of Turkey. Then she started to talk about this barbecue in Maine and how she had to go along and register for it after the death of her father. Now sh’d got it back or was buying it back to give it to her mother. This conversation went on for quite some time about this stupid barbecue. In the meantime I was wandering around in Maine looking at all these old cars. After she’d talked for a while about this barbecue she got into bed with me. I thought “what on earth is happening here?”. I was fully clothed and she was fully clothed. In the end I was moving around in the bed so much that I apologised and said that it’s terrible. No-one can really sleep with me because I’m just impossible when I’m in bed, so she got up to go.

So now it’s my turn to get up to go. It’s 16:20 and time for me to go for my afternoon walk.

pusher aircraft pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving been over to the beach to see what was going on, I carried on with my walk where I was almost immediately buzzed by a light aircraft.

This is one of the aircraft that we can’t identify because any registration number that it might carry is not in any register to which I have access.

And I don’t think that it’s one that I’ve seen before because, unusually, it’s a “pusher”, not a “tractor”. That means that the engine is in the rear of the aeroplane and the propellor at the rear which instead of pulling the engine along from the front, pushing it along from the back.

That’s not the usual way of doing things these days although in the early days of flight it was quite common for aeroplanes to be pushers because there was a danger that the propellor would obscure the view.

Furthermore, in World War I, it took a while for them to develop synchronised machinery to enable machine guns to fire through the arc of the propellor without hitting the blades, and one way of solving this problem was to mount the engine in the rear and configure it as a “pusher’.

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite the number of people out and about on the footpath, it’s usually fairly quiet out there.

However, every now and again there’s some infernal racket that disturbs the peace. Sometimes it’s an aeroplane but more often than not it’s a speedboat or powerboat going roaring by.

Here’s one busily going past, and at quite a rate of knots as you can tell by its wake. There are several people on board, but only one who seems to be wearing a life jacket. I can’t say that that’s a very sensible way of proceeding.

And once the machine had cleared off into the sunset – well, not the sunset actually but you know what I mean – I carried on on my walk along the path on top of the cliffs.

people on boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRight out in the Baie de Granville there was something going on and I couldn’t make out what it was.

And so, in accordance with my usual practice, I took a photo with the aim of blowing it up (enlarging it I mean, not by using dynamite) and enhancing it so that I could see what was going on.

It’s actually a type of cabin cruiser right out there at sea with what looks as if there are fishermen on board it. But they have been joined by whoever was on board that red-and-black zodiac, for reasons which I have no idea at all.

It’s not the sort of thing that’s usual. It’s a long way out in a zodiac and while we might do it when we’re out with THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR, we take all kinds of security precautions which don’t seem to be followed over here in Europe.

joly france speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, back at the ranch, while all of this was going on we had another visitor come to join us.

Around the headland going full speed ahead with a bit of left-hand down was Joly France on her wat out to the Ile de Chausey for another load of passengers.

You can tell from this angle that it’s the newer Joly France ferry. Apart from the rectangular windows in “portrait” format, there’s the distinctive step in the stern

And while all of this was going on, another speedboat came along to join in the excitement. There were plenty of them out and about this afternoon – more than enough in fact.

Having seen enough of what was going on around the north side of the headland in the Baie de Granville, I headed off down the path and across the car park to the end of the headland.

fishing boat speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut in the Baie de Mont St Michel there was plenty going on.

It seems that everyone was rushing back into the harbour as I watched. This fishing boat wasn’t actually hanging around but this particular speedboat was going like the clappers to reach the Port de Plaisance before they raised the gate there.

There wasn’t much point in hanging around here watching very more of the same going past me, so I headed off along the footpath on the south side of the headland towards the port to see what was going on down there

trawler galapagos l'alize 3 yacht rebelle chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd Lo! And behold! there is yet another change of occupancy in the chantier naval today.

The yacht Rebelle is still there but there’s a new trawler that’s up there on blocks today in between L’Alize 3 and Galapagos. And I do wish that they would paint the names of the trawlers elsewhere than on the windshield above the windscreen because I can’t see her name anywhere on the superstructure.

One of these days, and pretty soon judging by the speed of turnover of boats in there these days, I shall have to go for a walk down there to have a nosy around the chantier naval to check the name of the trawler.

But it won’t be this week because I have my Welsh course, and so much else to do as well that I won’t have much time left for anything.

seagull fishing boat leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while I’m off back to my apartment for a nice cold drink, there’s a trawler leaving harbour, heading off for her daily catch.

She has someone accompanying her on her way out of harbour. There’s a seagull circling around her and I don’t know why because there won’t be any chance of a free meal until its on her way back.

Talking of being on one’s way back, I bumped into one of my neighbours outside the building and we had a very long chat about this and that. It’s not like me to be sociable, as regular readers will recall, but I have to do my best.

Back here, armed with my cold strawberry drink, I dealt with a few things that needed dealing, to such an extent that I missed my tea tonight.

But I’m not going to miss my bed tonight. Another early night ready for my course, because, if you noticed, I didn’t fall asleep at all today, which just goes to show that I can do it when I have to. I wonder if I can keep it up tomorrow as well although by Friday I’m sure that things will be different.

Sunday 18th July 2021 – YOU CAN TELL …

boats heading to harbour baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… what kind of weather we’ve had today by looking at this photo.

Piles of boats out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel heading back towards the Port de Plaisance before the gates close with the turn of the tide. It seems that everyone has been out to sea this afternoon.

And that’s really not a surprise at all because the temperature reached the upper 20s this afternoon and there was almost no wind and it’s a long time since I’ve been able to sat that

But I missed a lot of the day today because of course I was going to have a lie-in this morning to recover from my journey to Leuven.

And with the intention of having a lie-in, 07:20 is far too early for me to be thinking of leaving my stinking pit. Even 09:30 was far too early but because couldn’t go back to sleep I was up and about shortly afterwards.

My push for fewer medications seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Instead of there being 7 pills and tablets to take every morning, there are now 9. So that didn’t work.

And what else didn’t work was relieving this fatigue either. I’ve spent most of the day trying, sometimes unsuccessfully, not to fall asleep.

First thing that I did after the medication was to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was at the Grammar School last night and there was a meeting taking place of the School Committee – some teachers, some pupils. The door was in a position where from the top of the stairs I could take photos of people coming and going so that was what I was doing. I’d been talking to a few people whom I knew. Then a girl appeared. I know who she is but I just can’t put a name and I wish that I could remember her name, and she was wearing some kind of ridiculous plunging neckline top. From where I was on the top of the stairs I had a really good view. There was a lavatory block in the middle of the hall with the Gents on one side and the Ladies on the other and on one of the ends. For some unknown reason none of these were suitable so this girl asked me where else do the ladies go. So I told her about the loos next to the 5th form common room. She looked bewildered and I thought “well, I’ve not been in this school for so long. The 5th form common room is bound to have changed from where it was in my day” and I had to try to explain to her where it all was. They said “okay” they’ll go off and find it. So off they went in a kind-of completely different way to the way that I had told them to go so I’d no idea what was happening there.

Some time later I was round at a friend’s and he was in a couple with a girl who is in real life the wife of someone else. He was talking about going on holiday and he had a trailer coupled up to his car but he had just a piece of paper as the rear numberplate with a number written on it put over the top of the number of the trailer. I told him that he would be far better off getting a real numberplate and putting it on. He was convinced that he was doing things the right way so I left him to it. I told him that in Europe trailers were registered themselves with their own numbers, all that kind of thing. So the girl and I were there after he had gone and we were doing some things. There was something important that needed doing for which I needed her help but I can’t remember what it was now but she said “we’ll see how it goes” but then as time drew on she said “we’re going to have to do this scene with some vehicles on it” so reluctantly I agreed and anyway so something was getting on and there were a couple of lively cats and a small dog playing around and then she made a decision about having a cup of tea so I got up to make one. I put the tea bags in the pot and I was about to fill the pot and she said “no, don’t make a pot of tea because I won’t be drinking it” so I said “I won’t bring you tea in the morning then in that case” so I went off to I don’t know where.

But there was somewhere along the line that I’d been out in a car and we were going to somewhere near Aberystwyth. I was with Percy Penguin and we drove all the way out there to do something but in the end came across an auction where they were selling old motorbikes. There was one old British one in a terrible state but looked complete but there were no bids on it so the guy said “does anyone want it?”. I was feeling really bad because had we gone in Caliburn I could have brought that back without any trouble at all but instead we’d gone in an ordinary saloon car and there was no room in it for a thing like a motor bike. I was really upset by that, and not just when I was asleep either.

Before lunch I went and mixed three loads of dough – one for the pizza bases for the next three weeks, the second for the jam roly-poly and the third with wholemeal flour for the fruit bread. That was all mixed up and then I could go for my lunch.

This afternoon, in between bouts of sleep I tried to bring up to date Friday’s journal entry, but I have to say that I didn’t get very far with it and nothing has changed with the entry already so far on line.

Another thing was to give all of the dough a second kneading. The roly poly was flattened out square and spread with jam, and then rolled up rather like a swiss roll. I had to cut it in two to make it fit the baking tray.

The pizza dough was kneaded, divided into 3 and two of the lumps were rolled in oil, wrapped in greaseproof paper and put in the freezer. The third was rolled out and put in the pizza tray to proof.

To the wholemeal dough, I added a ripe banana, some desiccated coconut, dried fruit, sultanas and various assorted nuts ground into powder. That was all mixed up, kneaded, shaped and put in the smaller bread mould.

As well as all of that, I’ve been pairing off the music for the next radio programme bur I won’t be working on that this week because I have a full-time Welsh course stating at 11:00 on Monday

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn between that I went off for my afternoon walk, not forgetting that I have to go to the beach to see what was happening there.

Across the car park I went and looked over the wall to see what was happening, and I was amazed by the crowds of people down there. And although there wasn’t very much beach to be on right now, the sea was pretty much full of people this afternoon.

It seems that every man and his dog has gone down to the beach to frolic about in the sea this afternoon. It would surprise me if there was enough room for everyone to find a little spot to sit down

man and woman on inflatable boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it wasn’t just down on the beach that there were crowds of people either.

The sea was quite full as well with all kinds of craft out there this afternoon. There were several interesting boats but my vote for pride of place has to go to this inflatable zodiac thing that was paddling around offshore with a man and a woman on board doing the paddling.

And I particularly liked their version of a lifeboat that they were towing behind them. An inflatable rubber ring in the form of a car tyre that will be a great help if ever it were to be called upon to perform the task for which it was intended.

flags pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that there are four flagpoles by the Monument to the French Resistance, but one of them was taken away a few weeks ago.

While i was away it seems that they have done whatever it was that needed to be done to the flagpole and it’s resumed its place down by the lighthouse. So the German flag was once more flying quite happily by the American, French and British flags.

There were crowds of people out there this afternoon, most of whom weren’t wearing masks despite the rising infection totals here in France. I still wear mine and in any case I did my best to keep my distance as I walked around the path.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been walking around the path I noticed something moving out at sea. I took a photo of it with the aim of enlarging it whe I returned home.

Actually, I had a really good idea of what it might be and as I enlarged the image I could see that I was right too. It’s one of the Joly France boats that runs the ferry service between here and the Ile de Chausey.

She’s pretty much loaded up with passengers, either day trippers or holidaymakers coming back and presumably catching the evening train to Paris.

But back to our story, and I carried on down the path and across the car park to the end of the headland. There wasn’t much going on there so I continued on down the path and round the other side.

f-bslf Robin DR-315 Petit Prince pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was round about here that I was overflown by a light aircraft that had apparently just taken off from the airport.

She’s one whom we haven’t seen before – F-BSLF, a Robin DR-315 “Petit Prince”. She’s not one of the Aero Club aeroplanes who we see on regular occasions.

In fact she only arrived this morning at the airport. Although she didn’t file a flight plan, she was picked up by radar at 08:51 somewhere near St Seglin heading towards the airport and disappeared off the radar near Mont St Michel, presumably to have a closer view as she came in to land.

And then she took off again at 16:13, when was when I saw her, and she flew south before disappearing off the radar again at Baulin near St Seglin. So it’s reasonable to suppose that she comes from somewhere around there.

l'alize 3 galapagos chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving disposed of the aeroplane I could continue on my way along the path towards the harbour and see what’s going on down there.

And there have been changes at the chantier naval while I’ve been away. We are down to just two trawlers, L’Alize 3 and Galapagos. The other two trawlers that were there, Black Pearl and Charles Marie II have gone back into the water. The latter boat wasn’t in the chantier naval.

The yacht Rebelle is still in there. They told me last time I was down there that she would be back in the water “shortly”, but they were clearly talking in Geological terms.

marite big wheel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther along the wall I could see down into the inner harbour.

There wasn’t a great deal of activity down there this afternoon. But our old friend Marité is still in there. It looks as if that trip that she was planning yesterday when all of those people were going aboard can’t have been going very far – probably just into the bay and back.

The big wheel is there of course, and it was actually working as well. There must have been plenty of people wanting to go for a ride. It’s not the thing for me though – I’m sure that I have a much better view from up here on top of the cliffs than I would on top of the wheel.

joly france leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was admiring the inner harbour a siren from the ferry terminal brought me back to reality.

When I looked round I could see that Joly France was reversing out of the terminal – hence the siren – and heading back out to sea. There must be plenty more people out there on the island waiting to come back to the mainland, more than the other Joly France boat can handle.

But I couldn’t wait for the two boats to come back. I came on back home to carry on work and trying hard not to fall asleep.

Round about 18:00 I put on the oven and bunged in the fruit loaf followed a few minutes later by the jam roly poly. And when they were cooked I bunged in the pizza which I had been preparing.

vegan pizza jam roly poly fruit bread Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen the pizza was cooked I took that out of the oven. And here it is with the jam roly poly and the fruit bread.

The pizza looks absolutely delicious and it tasted delicious too. As for the jam roly poly and the fruit bread, you’ll have to wait for a day or two before I can tell you what they are like.

Back in here, fighting off the fatigue yet again, I wrote up my notes for the day and posted them on line. And that’s all that I’m doing today. I’m completely exhausted and I have so much to do tomorrow, so I’m off for an early night in bed tonight.

And I can’t wait for that either. A good night’s sleep will do me the world of good – I hope.

Friday 9th July 2021 – NOT VERY MUCH …

… to say about today right now because I’ve been out this evening.

Yes, me socialising! Whatever next? But I had an invitation from a neighbour to go for a soirée. I only intended to stay for half an hour but then I noticed the time – 21:00 and I’d been there for two and a half hours. I thought that I’d better go home. I can amend these notes tomorrow because I’m not going shopping.

Not with having to leave for Leuven on Tuesday. I’ll make do with what’s lying around in the house.

And after all of this whining and moaning that I’ve been doing just recently, I thought that I was going to have a really good day today.

When the alarm went off I leapt to my feet (and I did too!) and went off for my medication. And while I was at it I went through the medication that I need to take with me to Leuven and a few other things that accompany me. I recall that I’d run out of ice cube bags, not that I’ll need them in this weather. I’ll just scrape it off the puddles outside

Back in here I had a listen to the dictaphone. There was something from yesterday so I did that, and THAT’S NOW ON LINE. and then I went and had a listen to last night’s wanderings around. I was with a boy from school last night and we were in a pub. He was asking me about any map that I had because he was going to go out on his bike on a few country roads. The only map that I had in my possession was a map for the whole of the British Isles which he said was no use so I suggested that we go back to my house to download one. That sounded like a good idea so off we went. When we arrived we changed into al all-maroon strip. Then I went downstairs and we had to manhandle my computer downstairs which was not easy. He was passing it down to me, then a voice from upstairs, which was my brother’s, asked me what’s going on. I replied “nothing much – I’ve just come back” saying today that really this is the first time that I’ve come back for about 8 hours and the story finished there – there was a lot more to it than this … I fell asleep here …

As I explained a while back, I’m always asleep when I dictate where I’ve been. But I usually manage to switch off the dictaphone and put it back on top of the unit by the bed when I’ve finished what I have to say. 20-odd years of doing this has taught me a lot.

But just recently these days, more and more often, I find that I’m drifting back off before I’ve finished what I want to say and the dictaphone goes on for hours recording the sound of my snoring.

Having done all of that I made a start on the photos from Greenland in 2019, but with an endless, remorseless stream of interruptions. The most important was the visit of the postie with another couple of boxes of my Amazon order, including the two new hard drives for the computer.

There’s also a bag for the portable computer. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, with me not feeling so well, I’m going back to taking a rolling suitcase with me to Belgium instead of my backpack. A nice big shoulder bag for the computer will be just the job

After a very late lunch I spent a couple of hours just doing things for pleasure, something that I don’t do often enough, and then I went for my walk. And now that I’ve uploaded all of the photos and edited them, I can post them on here.

people leaving beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd the first thing that you’ll notice are the crowds of people deserting the beach and heading for the steps back up to the street.

Obviously, I have to go to see what’s going on down on the beach this afternoon so I wander off across the car park and down to the end where I can look over the wall.

And while it’s probably incorrect to say that there are “crowds of people” deserting the beach, it’s true to say that everyone down there is leaving.

And that’s not very many people at all, and that’s no surprise because we’re back in winter and there’s no-one swimming today.

trawler returning to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was at the end of the car park I could also look out to sea to see what’s happening over there this afternoon.

Here in the Baie de Granville, it’s home-time for the fishing boats as the tide is now coming in. Here’s a trawler heading back to port after a day’s work out in the bay, coming sailing, steaming or dieseling in past the Iles de Chausey

Stuck up on a rock out there on the right of the photo is another one of these lights similar to Le Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour here in Granville, and I’ll tell you its name when I’ve finished my Spirit of Conrad notes.

And the height of the column on which the light is situated tells you the height of the tide here in the Baie de Granville.

trawlers and yacht returning to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s not just that trawler that’s heading back to port right now. There’s a veritable stampede of vessels heading in that general direction.

In this photo we can see three fishing vessels that have finished work in the Baie de Granville for the day and are heading back to port. But in the lead right now, although I suspect that it won’t be for long, is a yacht presumably heading for the Port de Plaisance where the pleasure boats moor up.

In the background we can see the Brittany coast. The day might be heavy, overcast and about 9/10ths cloud, but visibility is quite excellent today and even Jersey in the Channel Islands was quite clear this afternoon.

ship heading to st malo lighthouse cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo clear was the view this afternoon that I could see for miles. And out to sea off the entrance to St Malo was a boat that didn’t have the profile of a traditional fishing boat.

With the 70-300mm LENS fitted to the NIKON D500 I took a photo of it with the intention of cropping it out and blowing it up (which I can do these days despite modern terrorist rules) to see what i’d caught.

And sure enough, it does seem to be a small freighter heading into St Malo about 35-40 kilometres away from here. And a couple of hours after I’d taken this photo, a small chemical tanker called Tatlisu docked in St Malo harbour.

In the background of this photo the Brittany coast is even clearer than the previous one, thanks to photo enhancement, and on the extreme right of the image we can see the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, about 70 kilometres away.

boy finishing fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s not just the fishing boats that are heading back home right now either. This guy down here looks as if he’s had enough.

After I’d exhausted the possibilities of the sea I walked down the path, across the car park and down to the end of the rocks. The guy was fishing from a rock out there but as I approached he hauled in his line and began to scramble away over the rocks.

What interested me about this is that he didn’t have any equipment, like a net to haul in his catch or a bag to take it away once he’d caught it. It’s almost as if he was expecting to catch nothing. And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have yet to see anyone actually catch a fish with a rod and line.

fishing boats coming in to unload port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSome of the boats with the shallowest draught have already made it home and into the harbour.

So having dealt with our fisherman I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what they are up to.

As I mentioned yesterday, they did a good job of excavating that little channel at the wharf underneath the fish processing plant because even though there are plenty of craft still grounded out on the silt, that channel is filling up quite rapidly with water as the tide is coming in, and the smaller boats can come in to unload.

And I wonder if the yellow and white one is the same yellow and white fishing boat that we saw in the chantier naval a couple of months ago.

l'alize 3 black pearl trawlers chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we’re on the subject of the chantier naval“well, one of us is” – ed … I had to cast my eyes in that direction to see what was going on there.

And we’ve had a change of occupancy in there today by the looks of things. We still have Rebelle the yacht and three trawlers, but while L’Alize 3 and Black Pearl are still there, Philcathane who was in there between them has now disappeared back into the water.

Instead, another trawler has appeared to the right of Black Pearl. Unfortunately I can’t read her name from up here, so I see that I shall have to go for another walk around the harbour sometime over the weekend.

Not right now though. I’m going back home for a nice hot coffee.

Back here I made another start on my trip on board the Spirit of Conrad and I really thought that, after all of the complaining that I’ve done just recently I was going to hold out until bedtime. But unfortunately it wasn’t to be and I crashed out for an hour.

At least I managed the practice on the bass before I went socialising and that always makes me feel better I suppose.

Having spent much longer than I intended round at my neighbour’s, I’m back in the land of the living and now I’m going to have an early night. I updated the post the following morning instead of going shopping.

Sunday 4th July 2021 – CONSIDERING THAT IT’S …

… Sunday today and a Day of Rest, you’ll be surprised at just how much work I’ve done today. I know that I am.

There was even the customary lie-in, right up until about 10:30 too before I saw the light of day, and then once I was up, I was well-and-truly up, as Errol Flynn was heard to say on more than just the odd occasion in the past.

First thing that needed doing was to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And you can tell that I had forgotten to take my sleeping pill thing last night because there were pages and pages of notes of adventures while I was asleep.

I started off by having marital problems last night. I went to start to get to know one or two people a little better. The problems with my wife increased. She had no interest in me and our marriage and was going about everywhere with her friends both male and female and using this house as a kind of hotel coming and going as she pleased. One night she came back in and as soon as she came in she disappeared. I had to search the property and eventually I found her at an old type of church hall place like St Mark’s with a load of her friends. They were having a party and I thought that well this is on my premises so I said “fancy having a party without inviting me to it”. I thought that they ought to have had me in it at least so I muscled my way in. She was on the floor dancing at the time but tried to intervene. Eventually I became so obnoxious that everyone started to leave and she started to go. I had this 2lb bag of flour with me and for some unknown reason I poured it all down the back of her t-shirt and patted her back with it. Of course this made her extremely uncomfortable and was the rift that drove our marriage apart. I was thinking “how is she going to retaliate to this because she surely wasn’t going to leave things on their own as they have been?”…. I fell asleep here… Yes, the pressure on these not-really-married people was so intense and it soon became clear that whoever didn’t want my wife or anyone of her family in our country. I was quite pleased by this as I could start to get on and do something and issue some directives and at moments at the house but she wasn’t very happy at all when she saw me with what I was doing.

There were some tanks and all the heavy equipment, a full garage … I fell asleep here … at the end we were trying to get more stuff through but because of the train traffic we couldn’t … fell asleep again … I had two apples still in the oven there that couldn’t fit in the loaf that was going in the sixth car bonnet … fell asleep yet again … I can’t think of anything else.

There was something as well about some of my friends trying to rescue the owner of the older freezers and they had us change places and so many responses would be hanging out … fell asleep yet again … when you get there you’ll see that the big pile of equipment and property lined up that people have had to as they have been going past the city hall and this property is all going to be burned at the races and sometimes set on fire … fell asleep again

And with all of that, I’ve absolutely no idea what was going on and, more importantly how much of everything I might have missed.

Later on there was something else about me being at my place for the last day of work before I retired. I decided to have a lie-in and this lie-in went on and on and I was in danger of not even getting there for midday. Eventually I managed to organise myself then someone came in and checked a letter that I’d written before I sent it, or maybe it was notes of an interview or something. I didn’t think that whatever I’d written was complete or good enough but I didn’t really care all that much because apart from having to come back on my final day this was the actual last day that i’d be working because I had so much holiday to take so I wasn’t all that bothered. But this woman came in and checked my letter and all my notes. She seemed quite happy and went off. I turned up in work. The first thing that I did was to go to the bathroom which was situated on the ground floor right near the front door but the corridor had a kink in it so no-one at the door could actually see what was going on inside there. The ladies’ bathroom was on the 2nd floor at the top of the stairs and I don’t know why I remembered that. This dream just faded out at this point and I probably faded out with it, but this is one of these recurring dreams that we have.

Rosemary rang me up just as I was finishing. She had a question to ask me about access issues she was having to one of her sites. In the end after much discussion I managed to identify the problem and helped her to resolve it. She went off happy and I went to have my lunch.

After lunch I had a look at the bread dough that I’d made yesterday. It had risen quite well, both lots, so into the smaller load I added all of the nuts, suitably ground up, and then the fruit and seeds, folded it all in and made sure that it was properly mixed in

With the larger amount of dough, I added in several handfuls of sunflower seeds and mixed them well in. Then both lots were shaped and then put in their respective moulds and left for their second proofing.

Back in here, I then had to organise my voyage to Leuven and back in 10 days time. Because I have some extra appointments, I’m going a day early, on the Tuesday. But with our Welsh class now being on holiday travelling on a Tuesday is no problem.

Although I have extra appointments on the Friday as well, I was at one time thinking of coming home on the Sunday but I’ve decided in the end to come back on the Saturday again. I’m becoming a real home-body, aren’t I?

But eat your hearts out, you Britishers. 1300 miles on a train, half of which is on an ultra-high-speed TGV, all for the grand sum of €123:00 – about £108:00. When I once wanted to go from London to Bath, about 150kms, it cost more than that and it worked out cheaper to hire a car, put the fuel in and drive there and back

people in beach and sea rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halland then it was time for walkies so I went outside and across the car park to stick my head over the wall at the end to see what was happening down on the beach.

Owing to the crowds of people hanging around, I couldn’t make it to my usual spec, but from where I ended up I could see that there wasn’t much of a beach for people to be on this afternoon. The tide was well-in by now. But nevertheless there was still the odd little crook and nanny on the rocks where people were perched to enjoy the last of it before the water drove them up the steps.

But there was at least one person this afternoon who wasn’t too bothered by all of that. He was well away, enjoying himself in the water up to the top of his legs.

caramaran speedboat ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs is customary, while I was here I had a good look out to sea to see if there was anything else exciting going on down there this afternoon.

At least the sea mist that we have had over the last few days seems to have lifted and so we can actually see what’s going on out at sea this afternoon. Even the Ile de Chausey is looking quite nice and resplendent in the sunshine today.

And in between here and there in the Baie de Granville are a couple of boats to whet our appetite this afternoon. A really nice large white catamaran heading our way and also some kind of speedboat travelling quite rapidly towards us too. Presumably they have both set out from the Ile de Chausey.

Diamond DV20 Katana f-gnjc aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut that’s enough nautical action for right now. There was plenty of activity going on in the sky this afternoon.

It was difficult to read the serial number of this aeroplane that had taken off from the airfield because it kept well out to sea. The best I can come up with is that it’s F-GNJC. That’s a Diamond DV20 Katana although this doesn’t look much like one of those to me, although the angle might be deceptive.

But whatever she is, she hasn’t filed a flight plan from the airport and she didn’t fly high enough to be picked up on the flight radar either so it’s another one of those things that’s of no help whatever in enabling us to identify it.

powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that wasn’t all by any means either. A short while later something else buzzed by overhead.

This one is a powered hand-glider that had also taken off from the airfield – or, at least, I think that they come from the airfield – this afternoon just after the aeroplane that we saw previously, and headed my way as I was walking around the path on the cliffs.

Of course, there is no flight plan for any of these and they aren’t ever picked up on the radar. Neither do I have access to the registration database and in any case the information would be meaningless to me so I can’t tell you anything whatever about it

powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter I’d walked a couple of hundred yards, threading my way through the maskless crowds again, I heard once more the sound of the powered hang-glider.

Thinking that it was the same one coming round again I didn’t pay too much attention but as it passed by I noticed that not only was it a different colour but it was in fact a two-seater machine. That has to be worth photographing before it goes out of view.

One of these days I shall have to go out to the airfield for all kinds of different purposes, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but I shall have to see if I can blag a ride in that as well. There’s probably some good photography to be had at 500 feet up.

bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that’s not all the aerial activity either. In between the two shots of the powered hang-glider, there was more aerial activity that caught me eye.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, we have a couple of birds of prey that fly around the edge of the clifftop here. There is plenty of small wildlife in the long grass, including a colony of rabbits.

It must be good hunting ground for food because we started off with one bird occasionally, and then it became a more frequent visitor. This Spring it brought a friend and now they seem to be here almost every day.

And so am I there days, but not hunting for food. And today I did something completely different and instead of going across the lawn and the car park, I went down the steps and along the lower path.

men fishing from zodiac pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown here we meet all kinds of activity, and it’s the favourite spot for us to catch a few fishermen.

Today there were three of them out there in a zodiac busy casting their lines into the water. And I thought that my luck might be in today as I saw the guy on the left reel in his line. “Are we going to see someone actually catch something after all this time?” I mused, but he reeled in and cast out his line again.

There were a couple of guys fishing from the rocks but they were of little importance today. They weren’t even close to catching anything, so I left them to it and continued on my way down the path.

black pearl chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd I can now reveal the name for which I have been searching for the trawler that has been in the chantier naval for the last few days.

This was my purpose of going down on the lower footpath that takes me round to the port this afternoon. I wanted to check up on her name because, knowing my luck, she’ll be back in the water before I would otherwise do it.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I reckoned that she was the sister-ship to the new trawler Le Pearl and I bet that I’m correct too because apart from the colour scheme; she’s called Black Pearl and that’s all pretty conclusive. And it’s nice to be in a position to take a good photo of her.

l'alize 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs for the other boat that’s here on the other side of Philcathane, I was right about that yesterday too.

She is indeed the trawler L’Alize III, the trawler that appeared in the inner harbour a short while ago and about which there was all that commotion a couple of months ago. I was rather hoping that there would be someone around with the boat who might want to chat, but there was no-one.

Disappointed, I headed back up the hill in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers in the general direction of home and a nice hot coffee. It was quite a warm afternoon but a hot coffee never goes amiss at any time of the day.

fishing boat coming into port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I reached the top of the hill I could look down into the port to see what was happening.

It’s a Sunday today and most of the fishermen are having a day off today. All their boats are moored in the inner harbour. It looks as if there has been one out there working earlier because she’s now come in and is looking for a place to tie up for the rest of the day.

Back at the apartment I made my coffee and then looked at the pizza dough that I’d taken out of the freezer earlier today. It had now defrosted so I could roll it out and put it into the pizza tray (that I’d greased earlier) and left it to fester.

That was the cue to switch on the oven and when it was nice and hot I stuck the two loaves of bread in there to bake.

And while they were baking I came in here and dealt with a large order of things that I need to makr from Amazon.

I know that it’s a popular thing to go “Amazon-bashing” but have a look at where most of the products come from. Amazon might be the handler but in most cases (and in the case of almost everything that I buy) it isn’t the supplier or the expeditor. Most of the products are sold and distributed by small retailers who simply use the on-line “shop window” provided by Amazon.

During the pandemic with more and more small businesses being obliged to close their doors to face-to-face sales, they have turned to on-line shop windows like Amazon.

vegan pizza home nade bread fruit bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut anyway, when the bread was nearly ready I went and assembled the pizza and once the bread was cooked, out it came and in went the pizza. And when that was done, I sat down and attacked it. It was delicious as well, as was the bottle of that alcohol-free beer that I bought yesterday.

As for the bread, I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

“And no dessert?” I hear you say. Well, there’s plenty of chocolate sponge left that needs finishing so I didn’t bake anything else. That’s enough for the next few days and in 10 days time I’m off to Leuven anyway.

Talking about being off, I’m off to bed right now. It’s hard to believe that it’s been my Day of Rest today with everything that I’ve done today. I’m exhausted. I can’t wait to get back to work tomorrow so that I can have a rest.

Saturday 3rd July 2021 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

… afternoon I’ve had.

After my lunch I came in here with my coffee to do some work, and the next thing that I remember it was 16:55 and my coffee was cold by the side of my desk.

The confusing thing about this is that I don’t remember falling asleep. It was another one of those occasions where I seems to have switched myself off into a stupor or a cataleptic spasm or something, without any memory of being tired or anything.

What’s bothering me about this is the issue of driving. If I switch off while I’m driving without realising that I’m falling asleep, this could lead to a catastrophe that cold have unpleasant consequences.

But talking of driving, Caliburn and I were out this morning going to the shops as usual on a Saturday morning.

When the alarm went off at 06:00, I was up and about quite quickly even though I’d had a late night. After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out if I’d been anywhere during the night. There was something involving a huge serpent that had been slithering around somewhere and had been causing people to be trapped in their buildings and houses and so on. I had the idea at a certain moment that I was going to trap it and take it to the Government and let it terrorise the Government for a change. So I had everything arranged in my mind about what I would do but actually when I went to do it the serpent wasn’t there. The thing had disappeared. That was a big disappointment so I had to abandon my plans. The moment that I abandoned my plans the serpent came back and started to terrorise everyone else again.

After a shower, a shave and a general clean-up we set off for the shops.

new building at rear of noz Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLast week at the back of the NOZ car park they had started building a new shop unit.

Although I had the camera with me then, I forgot to photograph it but I remembered to do so this morning. I wonder what they are going to be selling from that shop. I suppose that I’ll have to wait for a few months before I discover that. It’s not going to be a big shop that’s for sure.

At NOZ there wasn’t anything very much of any excitement – just some more vegan soup and a couple more small things and then I went off down the road to LeClerc for the rest of the shopping.

LeClerc had alcohol-free beer on special offer so I stocked up with some bottles. They had some more of those small vegan burgers so I bought another pack. I need to encourage them to stock more vegan products. Oven chips were on offer too so I bought a pack of those as well, although I’m not sure why I did that.

On the way back home we had one of these two-minute torrential downpours that soaked about everyone and everything in its path as it moved down the coast. But I was lucky to be able to make my way back home because there had been an accident or something right outside the entrance to the car park and there was total chaos.

And if that wasn’t enough, all the tourists have arrived now and the roads were jammed with people trying to find a parking space. I was glad to return home, where I had a chat with a neighbour who had arrived at the same time as me.

Armed with my toast and hot chocolate, I came in here and had a few things that I needed to organise for the next month or so and that took me up to a rather late lunch

After lunch I wanted to book my trip to Leuven and my hotel but the less said about the afternoon the better. i’m so dismayed and fed up about it all.

people swimming in sea rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd so it was rather late when I went out for my walk and to see what was going on down on the beach this afternoon.

But never mind the beach for a moment. Look at these two people. That had been previously on the beach of course but now they were having a load of fun splashing and swimming around in the water. Perhaps I ought to try that. It would certainly wake me up a little

But then on the other hand I remember when Castor and Pollux asked me if I was going to take part in the Arctic Dip when we were on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR in the North West Passage.
“I can’t” I replied. “I have this catheter in and I can’t go into salt water with t”.
Castor asked me later “would you have gone in the water if you didn’t have the catheter?”
“No” I thought to myself. “I’d have found another excuse.

And that reminds me – whatever happened to Castor and Pollux? They haven’t been on a nocturnal voyage with me for ages. But then, there are many people who are conspicuous by their absence these days. Even my life during my sleeping hours is becoming very mundane these days.

Where did all the excitement go?

yachts boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s probably all going on out at sea right now judging by all of tha boats that are sailing around in the Bay of Granville this afternoon.

The weather might be warm but it’s still misty and the visibility isn’t all that much good with the mist that’s hovering around out at sea. We have quite a few yachts sailing around, but everyone seems to be heading back to the harbour right now. It’s close to high tide and if they miss this high tide, the next one will be in the early morning tomorrow so they’ll have to spend the night out at sea.

But that’s not a problem that’s going to affect me right now. I headed off down the path on top of the cliffs, trying to avoid the madding crowds. But I’ve no idea what prompted a group of young people decide to have a game of boules in the middle of the path so everyone had to walk in the grass around them or risk a broken ankle.

f-giki ROBIN DR 400-120 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I was walking long the top of the cliffs I was overflown by a light aeroplane to I took a photo of it to see who it might be.

And it’s our old friend F-GIKI who we have seen on many occasions in the past. She’s a small Robin DR 400-120 that belongs to the Granville Aero Club and is used for flight training or refresher courses for pilots who need to keep up their licences.

She had taken off at 17:06, which looks about right to me, and according to her radar plot, went for a flight along the coast towards Avranches, did a lap around the block and came back home, where she landed at 18:11.

f-gdkm robin DR 400 140 B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce F-GIKI had flow off on her little adventure I was overflown yet agaon almost immediately.

This time it’s F-GDKM who has taken to the air. She’s a Robin DR 400-140B, powered by a Lyvoming 160HP engine and she’s a new aeroplane to us. It’s not one that I’ve noticed before. She’s owned by the Manche Aero Club and is available to hire for instruction at €131 per hour for a solo flight and €151 per hour for dual instruction.

She actually took off from the airport at 16:42, her second flight of the day, and did pretty much the same circuit as F-GIKI, returning at 17:31.

And while I was looking at the flight radar, there was something else that caught my eye. At 14:08 a plane had landed at the airport here, N65MJ which is a British registration and had set off from Turweston Airfield near Brackley in the UK at 11:48.

Si what’s a ‘plane from the UK doing landing at an airport where there is no international clearance in the middle of a pandemic when the UK is on France’s red list? I smell something fishy, and I’m not talking about the content’s of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile all of this was going on, there was plenty more activity going on out at sea.

More and more boats started to appear out of the gloom and mist and one of them was one of the Joly France boats that provide the ferry service to the Ile de Chausey. They will be quite busy right now with all of the tourists that we have around here and she certainly looks crowded.

There were a couple of yachts and other light craft out there too, but what caught my eye was what was going on out on the horizon. Just left of centres is a large mast that might belog to one of the larger yachts that plies for hire in the harbour.

However out towards the left edge of the photo there are some pretty big masts and I wonder if it’s Marité on her way home from wherever she’s been for the last few days. It’s certainly big enough.

trawlers l'alize 3 philcathane yacht rebelle chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd I’ve identified the white trawler that’s in the chantier navale at the moment.

As I went past this morning I was able to read a couple of letters of her name, and that was enough to tell me that she’s L’Alize 3, the trawler that we saw in the inner harbour last week. She’s up there on blocks next to Philcathane with the yacht Rebelle over to the right.

As for the black and white trawler, I still can’t remember her name and there was far too much traffic about today for me to stop and look. I’ll go that way for a look around tomorrow afternoon if I’m not asleep but I’m sure that she’s related to le Pearl. Her owners have a distinctive car and that car was parked underneath this trawler this morning.

joly france entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now many of the boats that had been out at sea were coming into port, including Joly France

From this angle we can tell that she’s the newer one of the two because her windows are rectangular in “portrait” format rather than the “landscape” format of the older boats.

Now that Joly France is back home, I can go back home too. And I can’t say that I wasn’t sorry. It had been a tough afternoon.

Back home I put the coffee from lunchtime into the microwave to heat it up and then I came in here to push on with some work. I have plenty of work to do from Friday that I haven’t done yet and it won’t ever be done at this rate.

But whatever I did, it took me up tp teatime. A couple of the burgers from today with baked potatoes and veg followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce.

Now that I’ve finished my journal I’m off to make some bread mix. I need new bread for Monday so I can cook it while the oven heats up for the pizza. That sounds like a good plan.

Sunday 27th June 2021 – I’VE DONE SOMETHING …

sunset ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… today that I haven’t done for absolutely ages. And that is that I’ve been out for an evening walk. And I’ve even seen the sun go down on the Ile de Chausey for the first time since I don’t know when.

Mind you, there’s a good reason for that. When I went out for my usual afternoon walk today the rain was so heavy that the noise was deafening. According to a storm warning that we received round about lunch-time, the amount of rain that was planned to fall during the afternoon would be the equivalent of three weeks’ worth of rain.

And anyone who has seen the amount of rain that we have had this last three weeks will know that a pasting was on its way.

Something else that I’ve done today that I haven’t done for ages is to awaken to the sound of the alarm on a Sunday at 06:00. And if I ever understand what made me forget myself so much to have set an alarm for this morning , I’ll let you know because it’s certainly something that I didn’t intend to do.

Furthermore it interrupted me right in the middle of an exciting voyage too. I’d gone round to a girl’s house. It was in some kind of back entry I’d been walking down there. there were big houses and some girls were coming out into the back as I walked past so I walked into their yard. They were setting up a tennis game. One of them was serving a few balls that came remarkably close to me and I was very surprised. As this game developed a guy whom I used to know turned up. He started to work on a red Cortina belonging to one of these girls – the girl who had been serving these balls at me. I could see that there was some kind of chemistry between those two. He was going things like draining the oil all over the floor of the garage and he was masking up and painting some bits as well. He was asking me questions about the Capri that I had and what I’d done. I said that I’d swapped over a load of engines. he said “I thought that you were putting the yellow engine into that one”. “No” I replied. “I’ve put the red one in for now and the yellow one is going in somewhere else and when that’s done I’m going to take out this engine and rebuild it”. He was wrestling with this girl and I was getting more and more jealous and that was when the alarm went off and what the alarm was doing going off at 06:00 on a Sunday morning I really don’t know.

It took me quite a while to go back to sleep as well but eventually I dropped off. There was someone like a French friend of mine who was going to come to visit so we were tidying up the house. I was tidying one of the rooms and rearranging the furniture and some old guy who lived there came back from work. Whoever it was in charge told us all to stop and to get on and do some things but I was still looking around for any tons of mess that needed cleaning hidden behind chairs and so on. I had to go off to work – I worked in a cafe or a hotel or something so I set off to walk. There were a couple of these motorbike/moped things going past. I thought that one of them might have been my friend arriving. Anyway I ended up at an ice-skating rink and I wanted to go in. I was going to hire my skates but then I saw that I needed a towel to dry off after the shower and a few other things too. I thought rather than just help myself and leave the money on the counter I’d wait for the woman to finish what she was doing then she could come and serve me properly. She was with one of the managers and they were filling out a diary about cleaning and so on.

It was about 10:45 when I eventually managed to haul myself out of bed and go for my medication – but not before I’d checked the stuff in the slow cooker to see how it was doing.

After the medication I mixed a pile of pizza dough and then left it to rise. I then came back in here and typed out the notes on the dictaphone, the two above from today and the one from yesterday which is now on-line, and then organised some stuff that needed organising.

Lunch was porridge and toast with coffee following which I came in here and did some music stuff. Tomorrow I’ll be preparing a radio programme and the music is already chosen. This afternoon arranged it into pairs and merged the pairs together. Tomorrow I can start by writing the text.

Another thing that I’ve done is to check the specifications of my computer because it needs upgrading and I need to make sure that I buy the correct parts for it.

With the walk being abandoned I kneaded the pizza dough, divided it into 3, put two parts in the freezer and rolled out the third, putting it on the pizza tray.

While that was doing I’d tipped the stuff out of the slow cooker into the wok where the tofu was marinading, mixed it all around, brought it to the boil, added a few spoonsful of porridge oats to thicken and glutify it, and left it to simmer.

Pastry was next. I made a nice mixing of pastry, rolled out enough to make a base in a pie dish and rolled out some more to make a lid and then switched off the filling to let it cool down.

Once it had cooled down sufficiently I stuck it in the pie bottom, added the top and sealed it, and put it in the oven to bake. With the leftover pastry and the leftover filling I made a pasty-type of thing for tea tomorrow night.

vegan pizza vegan pie vegan cornish pasty place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile all of that was cooking I assembled my pizza and when the pie was properly baked, I swapped it over for the pizza.

When the pizza was baked too, I could sit down and have my tea. And as for the pizza, it was delicious – one of the best that I’ve ever made too. I just wish that I had remembered to turn up the heat in the oven to “full”, and then it would have been even better.

And why no pudding tonight? That’s because I’m having to bake bread on Tuesday morning and I’ll make a pudding then. Meantime, I’ll live off the apple pie that’s in the fridge.

Finally the rain stopped and I went out for my walk.

storm out at sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEarlier on I mentioned that this afternoon we were in the grip of a torrential rainstorm. This had only eased off a short while ago.

And that looks like it might be the storm over there, heading off down the coast of the Cotentin Peninsula depositing the contents of the heavy raincloud onto Agon-Coutainville and into the sea just offshore.

As you can see, there’s no point in scanning the horizon for any fishing boats or anything like that this evening. Whatever is going on out there, we aren’t able to see anything because of the raincloud.

man fishing from yellow zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow here’s a craft that we have seen on many occasions in the past – always assuming of course that it’s the same boat.

It’s quite possibly the same yellow zodiac that we have seen on previous occasions in the past moving in and out of the harbour and the Baie de Mont St Michel. Today, it’s anchored in the Baie de Granville and is occupied by a man who is bent on fishing in the water just offshore. He has one rod in the water and another one upright in the back of the boat.

As I watched him for a while he didn’t manage to pull anything out of the water and eventually, pulled his rod out of the water, sat down at the controls of his boat and roared off into the sunset. Another unsuccessful fishing expedition out of the many that we have seen so far.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo with him having cleared off now I can concentrate on what I’m supposed to be doing this evening.

No walk around anywhere in Granville would be complete without looking down on the beach at the Rue du Nord to see what is going on down there this evening. Due to the later hour, I didn’t expect to see anyone sunning themselves down there, and the fact that the tide was right in meant that there wouldn’t be too much beach to actually be on.

From this photo you can see how people can descend to the beach here. Over there at the top of the image towards the right is the set of steps that descend from the Rue du Nord. The foot of the set up steps in deep in the water which shows you just how far in the tide actually is right now.

wooden structure medieval city walls place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that we have noticed over the last while is the state of the medieval city walls and how the walls at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux have been fenced off to prevent people going too close to it.

What I noticed here today was that there is some kind of wooden structure that has been assembled and fastened to the wall. And I’ve no idea as to its purpose either. It doesn’t look very substantial so it can’t be anything important.

But out of shot is some kind of trailer that looks as if it might be a workman’s cabin. That’s appeared here over the last few days and so who knows? We might even be seeing something actually happening to the city walls in the near future and won’t that be a surprise?

person swimming diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was something going on round by the diving platform at the Plat Gousset and so, bravely dodging the big puddles on the path underneath the medieval walls, I wandered off that way to see what it might be.

First of all though you can see how high the tide is right now. There’s a concrete pillar out there on which is a kind of diving platform that the kids use for leaping into the water wen the weather is much more clement than it is right now. And today, the diving platform is actually submerged by the tide. Only the guard rail is above the water right now.

And as for what is actually splashing around in the water by the diving platform, it’s a swimmer who seems to be enjoying himself in the water. And sooner him than me in this weather. Mind you, it’s so wet out here that I don’t suppose that it makes much difference whether you are in or out.

urban trail announcement medieval city walls Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s something else that has attracted out attention over the last few days.

Having seen this sign I can tell you that this “Urban Trail” and the white tapes that have sprung up all over the place relate to a couple of races that took place on Friday evening in the town. 700 runners were attracted to the town to take part in 2 races, one of 13 kilometres and the other one of 8 kilometres.

Quite a few people have used the opportunity of the lockdown to start some kind of régime of fitness and many of the runners, particularly in the 8-kilometre race, were debutants at road-racing.

man with guitar girls sitting on sea wall plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow that my curiosity was satisfied I pushed on towards the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

There might not be a beach to sit on right now but there’s a sea wall. And with the comfortable seat and the calm sea, it’s an ideal place to sit and watch the sunset as these two young girls are doing.

But I’m not sure what the man is doing, apart from chatting to them of course. And he’s carrying a guitar as well so maybe he’s going to give them both a tune. The girl farthest away from the camera doesn’t seem to be to impressed by what is happening.

Nor me either, for that matter, I cleared off across to the Square Maurice Marland to see what was happening there.

seagull chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst of all, I have to go to see what my seagull chicks are doing on the roofs across in the Rue des Juifs.

And they seem to be coming along quite nicely. They look quite healthy and while they weren’t actually flapping their wings, they were quite active and alert, waiting for mummy to come home with supper.

As for the Square itself, I was hoping that with signs of repair taking place here and there around the town that they might have actually done something to start work on tidying up the place and restoring the kiddies’ rides ready for summer. But there looks to be no chance of that happening right now.

Another opportunity lost.

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd when they do eventually get round to restoring the place after all of this time, I hope that they do a far better job than they have done here. Because this is dreadful.

At one time the Rue St Michel used to be a really nice authentic cobbled street here in the centre of the old town but as we know, it’s been dug up a couple of times just recently while they have been replacing various pipes and cables.

But now they seem to have finished, they haven’t bothered to put back the cobbles at all. They have simply resurfaced the street with asphalt and how I hate to see that. It shows a total lack of imagination and lack of skill, particularly when we are talking about a historic place like the medieval walled city up here on the rock.

All of the old-time skills are dying out and I suppose that this is another one where there is no-one left with the skill to do the job correctly.

trawler l'alize 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the alleyway there’s a view over the inner harbour and at last I can identify the fishing boat that I saw yesterday.

She isn’t in fact a new one and I’m surprised that I didn’t recognise her because she is in her way quite a famous little boats. She’s L’Alize III and she was the boat that was excluded from the fishing grounds around the Channel Islands on 18th May and which led to yet another confrontation between the Channel Islands authorities and the town of Granville.

But this was enough for me. I folded up my tent and cleared off into the shadows back towards my apartment. I’m exhausted and so I’m off to bed. An early start in the morning and I’m radioing, so I need to be fit.

Saturday 26th June 2021 – THE BIGGEST SURPRISE …

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… today was the fact that when I went out for my afternoon walk today, there were actually a couple of people down there on the beach.

You only have to look at the photo to see what kind of afternoon it was. When I went out for my afternoon walk it was raining quite heavily and there was a rolling, wet, claggy mist everywhere that was engulfing everyone and everything in its path.

There wasn’t any point in asking me to look out to sea because I couldn’t see a thing. It was far worse than yesterday and I think that our brief encounter with Summer is finished.

This morning though, when I awoke, it wasn’t all that bad and it looked as if it might actually be quite a promising day. Certainly, me being out of bed as the first alarm was ringing is quite promising if nothing else is.

After breakfast I went and had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was something strange about three of us having to go to some kind of meeting of the army, something like that. I know that I had these khaki battledress things with zips and everything so I had to hide them before I could go to this meeting. We were all meeting up for breakfast at the Chinese Coach Park café. Liz was coming as well but she was saying that she was going to sit somewhere else because she wasn’t into eating meals in polite company, all these affected mannerisms and everything. I told her “well that’s rather crazy because no-one is going to be watching anyway. We’re all going to be doing the same thing”. Something came around about buying a house. I was thinking of moving or buying a house somewhere. The suggestion came up with Terry that perhaps I ought to think about buying a house with them.

There was much more to this but I really can’t remember it now.

Having organised myself a little I went and bashed on with the photos from the USA in August 2019. And by the time that I’d finished, I’d crossed back over the border into Canada and the province of Saskatchewan.

And now I think that I only have British Columbia and the Yukon Territory to visit. It’s only 3,000 kilometres by road from Vancouver to Whitehorse. I can foresee an aeroplane journey in the near future.

After a shower and a change of clothes I headed off to the shops. NOZ came up with very little, except a long queue at the checkouts, and LeClerc had nothing really exciting, although they did have some nice vegan mini-burgers in breadcrumbs. It was expensive though because I needed coffee and also apples which are much more expensive than they have been.

Back here I put the frozen food away and made myself a hot chocolate (with real chocolate) which went down nicely.

The next thing that I remember was that it was 14:00 and I’d been asleep for a couple of hours. There was something on the dictaphone too. One little thing that I had when I would start out was that I was working in an office and I’d been on my lunch break. When it came towards the end of my lunch break I realised that I couldn’t find my fruit so I tried to remember where I had it last. That was down i the basement somewhere so I went all the way down in this basement down all these escalators with these people behind me talking about different things. I reached the bottom where the tunnel went under the road but there was no fruit there. I had to take the escalators back up and I suddenly remembered that i’d put them in the fridge at the back of my desk last night as I was going home. I wondered if they were still there. I came back up and headed off to my office thinking that I’d be horribly late and sure enough everyone was there. There was a girl sitting at my place doing some temporary work so I asked her if I could have my desk back. She said “yes” and “that was nice. We’ll have to do it again sometime” in a kind-of sarcastic manner. The girl who was sitting behind me said “we’ll have to work out hw much of my desk you’ve got so you can pay me some money and I can pay someone else”. I said “I think that there are about 4 things in it” but we opened the drawer and we counted about 8 or 9 so she started to laugh. There were some other things in there. I remembered that someone had given them to me to keep them safe because they related to someone who had just come to work in the office. I’m glad that they were still there but I wasn’t sure how I was going to explain that to this girl because I’d put them in her desk. When we were counting up this stuff I might have to know how to justify it and I thought “why should I have to pay for stuff that belongs to the office anyway?”

After lunch there was football on the internet. Rhyl 1879 were hosting Bangor 1876 in a friendly match and surprisingly, given the history between these two teams, it was quite friendly too. Both these teams have a very long and successful history but due to all kinds of difficulties, now find themselves languishing in Tier 4 of the Welsh pyramid.

Bangor won 1-0 and I’ll tell you something for nothing that if this was a Tier 4 match, then either Tier 1 is going to be fantastic this season or else quite a few Tier 1 clubs are going to be in for a shock.

By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland so remembering my mask and my cap I set off.

lighthouse semaphore pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it comes as no surprise to anyone to know that I was all alone out there this afternoon.

There wasn’t another soul … “ahhh soul” – ed … out there on the path at the top of the headland facing the Baie de Granville. I had the path al to myself – just me, the lighthouse and the semaphore station in the distance.

Plenty of that white tape still there though and I think that I’ve found out to what it relates as well. As went out and about this morning I saw lots of signs about pedestrians in the streets tonight. There’s some kind of walk going on. Although if it carries on raining like this, it won’t be a walk, it will be a swim

frogman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis is not actually a sneak preview of tonight’s walk, even if it will end up something like this tonight I reckon.

While I’d been on my way down the path and across the car park at the end on my way to the end of the headland, I’d seen something swimming about offshore and I was wondering if it might have been a dolphin or a porpoise or whatever they are. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in the past we have seen a few of those.

But as it broke surface, I could see that it was actually a diver, complete with rubber ring. And by the look on his face, he was just as surprised to see me as I was surprised to see him. He gave me a really good, long look as if I was doing something that I wasn’t supposed to dp.

frogman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd he wasn’t alone either, which was even more of a surprise.

There were a couple of other objects that were loitering just underneath the water and which had caught my eye. One of them floated up to the surface and it turned out to be yet another diver. So what’s going on just offshore here that requires the service of three divers, because I reckoned that the other object is probably a diver too

However, I’m not likely to receive very much of an answer from them because they were too far out to shout at and I wouldn’t have heard their reply. And I’m not expecting to see anything in the newspaper tomorrow either. And so I just turned round and cleared off.

mother and child waiting for father peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further on I heard a little voice shouting “papa, papa from somewhere down at the back of the chantier navale so I tried to have a look for the source of the sound.

So down there sitting on a rock underneath a large umbrella was a mother and her little child – a daughter by the looks of things. Having a look farther out among the rocks I could see someone who looked very much like papa doing some prospecting down there in the fashion of the peche à pied.

The tide is still quite far out and the public areas are uncovered so he’d gone for a scavenge around. Howevern I imagine that his wife and daughter were not so keen and so had taken shelter under the umbrella. Not that I blame them. Given half a chance, I’d be under an umbrella myself.

flooded footpath pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother one of my favourite moans, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, is the state of the public footpaths around the headland.

Just there is the viewpoint that overlooks the harbour and you can see that it’s practically inaccessible today. As usual, whenever there is persistent rain, the footpath floods like that and everyone has to go for a very wet and slippery scramble around on the grass.

It’s not by any means the first time that it’s been like that. It was like that when I first came here over 4 years ago and it’s never ever become any better. In fact it’s deteriorating from one day to the next.

Much as it pains me to say it, this is a tourist resort and a great deal of income comes from tourism. And yet the facilities for the tourists are falling into disrepair as the local council, whoever it is who is running the show, is making little effort to improve or even maintain it.

They’ll soon by crying when the tourists stop coming, which they will do if things don’t improve..

yacht rebelle trawler philcathane chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually I did manage to find a place where I could look down at what was going on in the harbour.

Of course, the chantier navale is bound to be my first port of call, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. The yacht Rebelle from London is still in there, as I thought she might be, and so is the trawler who appeared in there yesterday.

And I can tell you her name now too. She’s one of our old favourites Philcathane. As I went off to the shops this morning in Caliburn I drove past the chantier navale and I could read the name on the side of her superstructure.

But nobody seems to be working on her today. Whether it’s because of the weather or because it’s weekend I don’t know. But neither is preventing someone from being aboard Rebelle.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, back around towards the Fish Processing Plant, another one of our old favourites is back.

That is L’Omerta which is Italian for silence and also the name of the oath that the Mafia take, so I’m interested to see how come a fishing boat here in Granville carries that name.

Another thing that interests me is to find out why there are quite a few fishing boats being tied up in a NAABSA (Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground. When I first came here it was a very rare thing to see one and when you did, it had been tied up so that maintenance could be carried out on it. But these days, it’s getting to the stage where it’s two or three every week.

But in the unpleasant, wet weather I pushed on towards home.

new fishing boat l'alize 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut here in the inner harbour something else caught my eye.

The white fishing boat there is one that I don’t recall having seen before. Maybe I have, I don’t know, but it doesn’t look very familiar to me. I can see that I’m going to have to go for another wander around down at the quayside some time soon.

But not right now. I’m heading for home and a nice mug of hot coffee.

And then I have some searching to do on the internet. It’s high time I upgraded my big computer and I need quite a few things to do so. They aren’t going to be bought and the computer upgraded if I just sit here and do nothing about it, even if it is going to be expensive.

Guitar practice went well for a change and then I went for tea. A couple of those burger things that I bought, baked potato and veg followed by apple pie and the custard that was left over from yesterday.

Next task that I mustn’t forget is to soak some lentils in the slow cooker and marinade some tofu. I’ve run out of vegan meat pie and I want to make another one tomorrow. Everything needs soaking and marinading to absorb all of the herbs and spices. Left overnight, it will be wonderful tomorrow.

And then I could press on with the journal.

Bed time now and I can’t say that I’m SORRY. I’ve had a tough week all told, much of which is due to ill-health and I’m not going to get any better. But we’ll see how things develop if I can have a good night’s sleep for once.