Tag Archives: lamoure

Tuesday 23rd March 2021 – WE’VE BEEN HAVING …

fisherman english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… something of a nautical day again today instead of the aviation day that we had at the weekend.

This guy out there in the English Channel in his little cabin cruiser with a couple of fishing roads hanging out over the back is just typical of what was going on out there this afternoon.

It’s quite possible that it has something to do with the arrival of the Parisians fleeing confinement at their main address and heading out to their second homes of whatever accommodation they have been able to hire at short notice, but the sea was absolutely heaving with people this afternoon in all kinds of water craft.

man plankboarding english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd when I say “all kinds of water craft” I really do mean that because this is yet another example of what was going on down below me in the English Channel.

Someone has decided to go out for a paddle on his paddle board and if he has paddled like that all the way around the Pointe du Roc from the port de plaisance, then he’s been doing really well because that’s not going to be an easy paddle, even when the weather is calm and the sea is smooth.

Actually the weather was quite calm this afternoon and it was rather warm, although not that warm that taking off your shirt was ever going to be any kind of option as far as I was concerned.

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis on the other hand is more like the kind of maritime activity that we are accustomed to see around here these days.

The tide is well in and the harbour gates are open so every now and again a trawler will set sail and head out to the open sea for another bout of fishing activity.

Regardless of the effects of Brexit to date, fishing is still continuing out there in the English Channel and the Bay of Granville although with relations between the UK and the EU deteriorating rapidly as the UK breaches Law after Law and Agreement after Agreement, how long this situation will continue is anyone’s guess.

This morning, I was up once more just after the first alarm went off and after the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been but to my surprise there was nothing at all on there. I must have slept soundly all the way through until the alarm.

With nothing to transcribe on the dictaphone I attacked the photos from July 2019. Right now I’m just pulling into the Travel Inn Motel in Lamoure, North Dakota, and there’s only about 90 to do now before the end of the month.

That’s only part of the problem though. For the month of August having made an initial run-through of the photos, there are 2091 of those that survived the first run-through so bearing in mind that many of them will produce two or even more images, we are looking at probably 2500 photos that will be done. And about 20 videos too.

There was the Welsh lesson this morning too. Having completed my day’s supply of photos I did some preparation for my course and then armed with a mug of hot chocolate and a slice of my sourdough fruit bread, I went for my lesson.

In contrast to last week it went rather better although it’s sad that I have forgotten more than I seem to be remembering right now.

For the rest of the day I haven’t stopped for a meal as I started a project that is taking more time than ever I anticipated that it would and I can see the computer being left on all the time while I’m away in Leuven. I have a couple of computer drives that failed a while ago and as regular readers of this rubbish will recall I’ve been trying to get them to fire up.

A few weeks ago I managed to make one of them work and so this afternoon I started to access the sectors manually. It’s probably 20 years since I’ve done anything like this and while computers have speeded up dramatically in that time, using pseudo-DOS hasn’t and hard drives are measured in Terabytes these days not Megabytes.

Having started at about 14:30 this afternoon and it’s now 21:50 and it’s done 2.5%. I thought that it would be a slow, laborious process but not quite as slow as this. And that’s not to say that I’ll be able to salvage anything. If any individual item of the data has spread over a defective sector then that will not be recoverable for a start.

While the computer was doing what it could do on its own I nipped out for my afternoon walk.

beach rue du nord plat gousset donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlthough there wasn’t all that much beach to be on right now because of the tide, it was proving to be quite popular this afternoon. The weather was really beautiful this afternoon with bright sunshine, bright blue sky and very few clouds in the sky.

There were plenty of people wandering around there on the paths too. Not much respect for social distancing and not as much respect for mask-wearing either. But I’m sure that you are fed up of me going on about all of this. It will become as obsessive as the pathetic parking that features on here when I’m having one of my moments.

Instead, I pushed off along the path down to the end by the lighthouse and across the lawn at the bottom.

police interaction rue du cap lihou Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as I reached the end of the lawn by the car park I bounced into an enormous pile of excitement down there by the roundabout.

From this viewpoint I wasn’t able to understand exactly what was going on but there were a couple of police motorcyclists down there and they seem to have pulled over a motorcyclist and his female pillion passenger.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, while I’m not usually averse to going down and asking what is going on, there are moments when it is clearly inappropriate and this is one of them. I’m sure that they didn’t want me going down there intruding at a moment like this so I left them to it.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallInstead, I concentrated on what else was going on all around me.

The most important thing that is happening right now is the reroofing that’s going on down at the College Malraux. As you can see, they seem to be making some reasonable progress since the last time that I had a good moan about it and they now have ripped off yet another bay on the roof.

They have almost finished putting the laths on there now too so it looks as if the fitting of the slates won’t be too far behind. It’ll be interesting to see where they will have reached when I come back from Leuven on Saturday afternoon, assuming that they let me out of Castle Anthrax.

zodiac baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier on I mentioned that there was all kinds of activity going on out at sea this afternoon and all types of water craft out there at sea this afternoon.

From my vantage point at the end of the headland I could see this zodiac roaring away into the bay down below. There didn’t seem to be any fishing rods on display but that isn’t to say that they are or aren’t fishermen. But the lifejacket that the passenger was wearing looked to be rather more substantial than you might expect for someone who would have to wield a fishing rod around.

Anyway they soon cleared off round the corner and out of sight towards the port so whatever it is that they were doing, they seems to have finished it and the tide has still a good while to go before the harbour is inaccessible.

While I was admiring the zodiac out in the bay I was overflown by a light aircraft. We’re having some aerial activity to day too.

f-bukk Wassmer WA54 Atlantic pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis aeroplane is F-BUKK, which tells me that it’s a Wassmer WA54 Atlantic, a design of aeroplane that dates from as far back as 1966. They have a special place in aviation history as they are the first aeroplanes built of composite materials.

They are actually probably the only type of true passenger aeroplanes that we have seen flying out of Granville airport as they have seats for three passengers as well as the pilot.

This one is a WA54 rather that a WA 50-something else because it has the larger 180hp Lycoming “O-360-A1LD” engine rather than the 150 hp Lycoming “O-320-E2A” engine. 55 of this model were built.

She had taken off from Granville and gone for a good flight down the Brittany coast almost as far as lannion where she turned round and came back to Granville again.

spirit of conrad hermes 1 lys noir freddy land aztec lady chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown at the chantier navale there was a surprise waiting for me.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw the mobile boat lift hovering away over Hermes 1 and I speculated that it had come to load up the trawler and drop it back into the water at the following high tide.

Anyway, I don’t know what must have happened but Hermes 1 is still there and the mobile boat lift is back in its parking place. All that I can think of is that they needed to reposition her chocks so that she would sit in a different position so that they could work on another part of her hull.

unloading lorry port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were things going on in the inner harbour this afternoon too. A large lorry seemed to be unloading its charge down by the loading bay.

Presumably this means that we are going to be having a visit from one or other or maybe even both of the two Jersey freighters in the course of the next couple of days.

From there I headed back to home and my hot mug of coffee and to see how my manual analysis of the disk was doing. And, as I said, it was very, very slowly. This is going to be a very long job.

While it was doing bits and pieces that I could leave it alone to do, I did a little more of the arrears of my trip to Central Europe and I’m now IN A HOTEL IN FÛRTH in Central Germany.

After the guitar practice I carried on with the disk analysis and then I wrote out my notes for the day. And now I’m off to bed. I have an early start tomorrow as I’m off to Castle Anthrax and there’s a lot to do before I go.

Friday 1st November 2019 – I FOUND …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 30th July 2019 – THIS PLACE …

… would be a really nice place to stay if I could afford it. But it’s the first motel that I’ve seen in 120 miles and it only had one room left so I didn’t want to take any chances.

Last night was a bad night and this morning I felt like death. I really could have stayed there a second night too but at that rate I’m never going to accomplish anything.

With last night’s protein broth not doing me any good at all (the remainder of the packet went down the sink this morning), I tried the porridge but half of that went into the bin. And as for my grape juice, well, I shan’t bore you with the gory details about that. But that was disappointing.

Eventually I managed to drag myself outside and into the car and staggered off to finish the rest of the James River trail. It didn’t take long and then I was back on my route again.

The first half was boringly flat as you might expect but things gradually started to warm up. I can particularly remember my elation when I saw a proper hill.

The lady Who Lives In The Satnav took me down some interesting roads and through some interesting towns, including one called Ventura which, had it not been for the cars in the backyards, would have been placed quite properly back in the 1880s

As the day drew on I started to hit the hills and that was comforting. A stop for fuel and a chat with the lady who ran the place, and then off again.

At about 16:00 I hit the big city of Pierre where I crossed the Missouri (the photo that I took was rubbish because there was nowhere to get for a good view) and entered Mountain Time, losing an hour.

But while I was stopped trying to find a good photo spec, I was passed by almost every police car in South Dakota (I seem to have crossed into South Dakota somehow without noticing it) with blue and red lights flashing, just like in some of these “bad river” films. They shot off up one road, came back down and shot off up another one. It made me realise that I’m not all that far from Keystone.

Now I’m really in the mountains. The foothills of the Black Hills of Dakota, following the trail (quite literally) of the old Deadwood Stage. It’s well-signposted with quite a few things to see from the 180s and 1890s.

Eventually I arrived at the township of Philip. A place which has two claims to fame, according to the motel owner. One is that the coldest temperature in South Dakota in modern times has been recorded here, and the second is that the warmest ditto.

It’s a one-horse town of course but with a huge cattle market, and smells like it too. I’m glad that it isn’t me, but I took a shower just the same to be sure.

The motel owner is very friendly and spent quite a while chatting to me which was nice, and later I went for a walk around the town – but that didn’t take long.

But now I’m exhausted. I had a huge wave of fatigue during the afternoon that I managed to fight off (just about) until I found my second wind. So even though it’s only 20:00 I’m off to bed on my rather springy mattress.

See you in the morning.

Monday 29th July 2019 – JUST IN CASE …

… you were wondering what has been happening just recently, I didn’t die (although I just smell like I did) I’ve had yet another in a long series of equipment failures.

Yesterday morning it was the turn of the portable ACER laptop that has been my constant companion for 5 years to bite the dust. I mentioned that it seemed to be taking an age to load up. Well the truth of it was that it just never loaded up at all.

But it’s no big deal because it was rubbish when I bought it and it’s gone from bad to worse over the years, creaking and groaning its way along hundreds of voyages into different parts of the world.

The only surprise is that it’s kept going as long as it has.

All that has been lost is about 10 days worth of work and that wouldn’t have been lost had I had the space to back it up so it’s no big deal. And anyway I’m not yet convinced that it’s gone for good … “and it wasn’t either – it was all later reovered, every last bit and byte of it” – ed.

And there is a bright side to it, more of which anon

So having gone off to bed depressingly early last night, I was awake on several occasions right up to the alarm. I had the medication and then some porridge, followed by another sleep.

For a change I awoke in time to pack everything up and hit the road, heading for the Walmart across the State Line in North Dakota.

First though I found a pawn shop so I stuck my head in to see what they might have, but one look at the customers and the staff behind the counter made me change my mind.

At Walmart in Grand Forks they had a laptop that might have done the trick but the staff there was so unhelpful that when they eventually told me what I wanted to know and they they didn’t have one in stock anyway, in the traditions of the best News of the Screws reporter, I made my excuses and left.

Down the flat featureless highway to Fargo, the biggest city in North Dakota. The land here is flat as a pancake for miles around with no feature to break up the relief. Luckily it’s not as monotonous as it sounds with a few trees here and there and different crops, and piles of railway lines exploiting the various produce of the region.

My eye did once rest on a hill, but closer inspection revealed it to be Fargo’s waste disposal facility

At Fargo I put some fuel in and asked the girl at the counter if she could direct me to Walmart. There are a couple here and I’m grateful that she sent me to the one that she did for I struck gold.

After looking for a while at the various items on display my eye fell (don’t ask me why) on q Lenovo Ideapad 330, 1TB hard drive, 4GB RAM and an Intel Core 13 processor, reduced from $349 to $279. Cheap as chips.

I drew the assistant’s attention to it and she said that it was out of stock. And so I asked if she would do a deal on the display model.

It turns out that the box was damaged, all of the accessories except the power cable were missing, and no-one in the shop could work out how to delete the Walmart splash-screen advertising screen-saver.

So after very much debate and discussion, I walked out of Walmart with it under my arm for a mere … wait for it … $125:00. I really can’t believe my luck. It makes losing 10 days work quite palatable.

Leaving Fargo, I went west, like my old computer. Another flat featureless road heading in a straight line, through one of the longest road repair section I have ever seen (we had to wait hours).

Eventually we started to hit the hills. I found Standing Rock, an old native American spiritual site which seems to be a menhir stuck into the ground, and then a scenic byway took me down the valley of the River James, the world’s longest non-navigable river, so they say.

It’s a huge historical site dating back to the early settlers of the 1880, old abandoned farms of the period and everything, and piles of old abandoned cars everywhere.

Eventually, finding an old nuclear rocket and a stern-wheel paddle steamer at the side of the road in Lamoure, I noticed a motel at the side of them. It’s rather early for me but here in the sticks a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush especially as there was a free room.

It’s seen better days, but then again so have I. And I’ve paid much more money to stay in far worse places than this.

In Walmart I found some vegan protein-broth so I heated some up to eat with bread. But although I’m feeling better, my stomach wasn’t quite up to this.

So another early night. I hope that I shall feel better in the morning.