Tag Archives: le loup

Sunday 2Sunday 22nd May 2022 – WE HAD MORE OF A …

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… nautical day today than we have had for the last while.

So while you admire a few photos of all various kinds of water craft that was out there this afternoon, I’ll tell you about my day today.

And to my surprise – and probably yours too – it was rather better than it might otherwise have been today.

Last night, I was in bed by 00:00, without the particular medication that is causing me all of these issues. And as a result, I was tossing and turning in bed for quite some considerable time trying to go off to sleep.

cabin cruisers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Eventually, I must have managed to drop off to sleep because there was something on the dictaphone. At least I’d managed to go off on my travels for a while at some point during the night.

But even more surprisingly, considering that Sunday is a day when I spend as long as possible lying in bed without moving, by 09:35 I was actually up and about. And, believe it or not, actually feeling as if I was up and about as well. And without an alarm either.

It’s early days yet but even so it’s a long time since I’ve felt like this on a Sunday, isn’t it? Usually I’m lucky to see anything at all this side of midday, medication or not notwithstanding.

yacht speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022When I’d finished the medication I had a listen to what was on the dictaphone to see where I was during the night.

This is the story about the Clitheroe Kid who was working with a group of children in a coal mine underground. They were talking about the wages and everything which were peanuts of course. At the end of the shift the children began to come up. Some of them looked as if they were only 5 or 6. A couple of the children didn’t come out. They had to send a rescue party with people like Higginbottom etc. They rescued the ones who were stuck, saying how lucky they were, at least they had a decent hospital near where they were where the children who were injured could receive treatment. They had like an overhead gantry where they could put the children on and it would take them to the hospital. Jimmy Clitheroe was one of the last to leave but one of his friends didn’t appear with him so he shouted that this kid was stuck so they had to go back and free this kid. They came out, and as they were coming out of the mine a kid and her parents, and this kid couldn’t have been more than 5, came back out of the hospital. She saw Clitheroe and his friend and went over to them to share a cigarette with them. Her parents were relieved that their daughter had been saved and that Clitheroe and his friend had managed to make their escape from the coal mine.

This was another one of these dreams that was just so real.

speedboat yacht le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Much of the rest of the day has been spent playing guitar.

There’s a little project simmering away on the back burner right now that might actually come off in the near future if I’m not careful, so I need to be prepared.

Mind you, it’s not something that I can do alone and, regrettably, there is some “history” about this particular event in the past. I hate being dependent upon other people, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

Someone has “promised faithfully” to send me something “straight away” for over two weeks and a couple of reminders now and I’m still no further forward.

The last time this happened, I made my own notes which I wrote down in my notebook which is in the pocket of my jacket hanging up on a hook in a hotel in Calgary and at this rate it’ll be quicker to fly over to Canada and rescue them.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Later on I went out as usual for my afternoon walk.

First of all I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end to have a look down onto the beach to see who was down there this afternoon.

The good weather that we had earlier in the week looks as of it’s gone for the moment. It was cloudy and rather windy out there this afternoon. Mind you, there were a couple of people down there and they were brave enough to go into the water up to their knees.

So hats off to them. It’s not really the kind of weather that would make me take to the water. But then again water at minus 1°C in a snowstorm 700 miles from the North Pole didn’t deter me, did it?

cormorant baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Out there on the rocks just offshore we had rather an impressive-looking bird flexing its wings down there.

It could well be a cormorant but I don’t really know. I know that when I was married to Nerina I had plenty of lectures about birdwatching and I suppose that I really ought to have paid more attention, but not one of them was about this particular type of bird.

It was around here that some local came up to me to ask me about my photos. He lives locally apparently and he has seen me out and about quite often. We ended up having a little chat for a few minutes about photography and the like.

He was interested to know whether I had ever sold any photos so I delighted in telling him about the photo that appeared in that book a couple of weeks ago, to name but one.

sparrowhawk baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Meanwhile, while we are on the subject of birds … “well, one of us is” – ed … there was another one of the feathered variety a little further along the path.

This is one whom we have seen on several occasions in the past – or one very much like it. It’s a sparrowhawk that preys on the colony of rabbits and other wildlife that live in the long grass on the edge of the cliffs around here.

And all I can say about his efforts this afternoon is that he was having just as much luck as the fishermen were having yesterday..

At the end of the car park I fought my way through the crowds and across the car park down to the end of the headland. No caterpillars to impede my progress this afternoon either.

35ma pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There wasn’t anyone sitting on the bench down at the end of the headland this afternoon, but we had a little bit of aerial activity while I was admiring the view.

It’s one of the little light aeroplanes – 35MA – that fly out of the airfield down the coast. Unfortuately I can’t tell you anything about her because her registration number isn’t listed in the database to which I have access.

She doesn’t file a flight plan either so I can’t tell you where she’s going but it’s a reasonable bet to assume that she’s going down the bay to do a lap around Mont St Michel and then come back in to land.

My journey took me down the path along the other side of the headland so that I could see what was going on down at the port this afternoon.

j158 l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And they have made an enormous amount of progress with L’Ecume II.

She’s almost finished now so it won’t be long at all until she’s back in the water with her nice fresh coat of paint.

The dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie is still over there too, out of shot on the right by the portable boat lift. The lorry should be coming to take her away any day now ready for her next posting.

It’s interesting to speculate who is going to be next in the chantier naval. It’s only a few months ago that they actually had as many as nine boats in there under repair at the same time.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Meanwhile over at the ferry terminal we have Belle France tied up.

The other two Joly France boats that were there with her yesterday have cleared off this afternoon. Now that the tide is coming in presumably they have slipped their mooring and gone out to the island to bring back the last of the weekend’s holidaymakers ready to catch the last train back to Paris.

But as I said yesterday, I’m much more interested in the two Channel Island ferries, Victor Hugo and Granville. I’ll have to try to track down a copy of their schedules to see when they are likely to be sailing out to Jersey.

l'omerta ch643489 petite laura port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Meanwhile, over at the quayside by the Fish Processing Plant, L’Omerta has some company this afternoon.

Moored up behind her is Petite Laura, another one of the shell-fishing boats. Neither of them is doing very much this afternoon except getting in the way of the other boats that might want to come in and unload.

Back here I had a coffee and carried on with the guitar and, a little later, rather regrettably, I fell asleep again for an hour or so. I’m not yet able to shake off all of the vestiges of this medication that I’ve been taking.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022After lunch this afternoon I’d taken out a lump of pizza dough from the freezer and it had been defrosting during the afternoon.

Later on this evening I kneaded it and rolled it out, putting it on the pizza tray to proof for an hour or so. And then I assembled this evening’s pizza.

When it was cooked it was quite delicious but I’m finding it difficult to accustom myself to the plain, bleached flour. Admittedly it goes up like a lift and cooks quite nicely but the taste is rather different.

But anyway now that i’ve dealt with all of that I’m off to bed. I have a 06:00 start in the morning and a radio programme to prepare, and it will be interesting to see how I cope without this medication and an early start.

Thursday 28th April 2022 – I’M NOT SURE …

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… what happened today but I’ve been feeling much better than i have done for the last few days.

And so while you admire a handful of photos of all of the maritime traffic that was out and about this afternoon while I was on my post-prandial perambulation around the perimeter of the Pointe du Roc, I’ll tell you all about it.

Even the bit about not only not crashing out during the day but not actually feeling as if I needed to, and isn’t that some kind of progress from the way that things have been just recently?

ch517520 yann frederic baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Mind you, it was quite a turbulent night, as you can tell from thz amount of stuff that was on the dictaphone.

And after the nurse had been (because I had a blood test this morning) and I’d taken my medication I sat down to transcribe everything.

I was looking at apartments and houses last night. There was some kind of robot thing that went through them while I was looking at them, and put them up to let. It seemed that every time I wanted to buy a place it was miraculously transformed into a letting property. The noise that this robot thing made when it roamed through these houses and apartments was really annoying. I couldn’t find a single property to buy without being overwhelmed by this. When I tried to sell a place, again I was overwhelmed by this kind-of robot thing that came along. It was the same with water. I couldn’t have water at the right temperature. It was either too hot or too cold even when there were two different sets of mixing taps draining into a sink. I couldn’t get the water temperature to be right. This thing with these apartments was really stressful in this dream.

trawlers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Then we were back on that ship yet again … “which ship?” – ed … but in an aeroplane now. The little girl and 2 other people on board had hi-jacked it and were preparing to sail off somewhere peaceful where they didn’t have to worry about being kidnapped again

Back in that dream yet again and there were Portuguese waiting down the road for that girl, to ambush her. This brought me on to I was actually at someone’s house when someone pulled up outside. The guy looked out of the window and said “Oh God it’s him”. I asked what had happened. he said that he had picked up someone at the docks when he’d come back over from Europe and was taking them home. When they arrived at a motorway interchange this guy had proposed going one way and the other guy proposed going a different wayto reach where they were going. This had led to something of quite a dispute between the 2 of them, quite a bit of bad feeling. When they met again outside this bungalow they explained the situation. I said that when one is used to going a certain way for 15 years and someone comes along and says to go another way it’s always something of a challenge. They gradually eased the situation between the 2 of them.

trawlers yacht le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Finally; we were in North America somewhere. We were standing by this railway line watching these 2 girls running across some land and ended up running to this railway line. Whoever it was who was with me we both looked at these girls but we didn’t recognise them at all. We couldn’t think of why they would want to come to this railway line especially in the fashion that they had done running flat out like that.

So as you can see, the fact that I went the whole day without being tired is something of a miracle.

Another task that I needed to do today was to book my appointment with this Sports Therapist person. So I rang them up and that’s arranged for Thursday 12th May. a moment of destiny amongst so many others, one might say.

trawlers port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022What I have been doing for some (and by no means all) of the day is to do what I should have done a while ago and updated the notes from when I was in Leuven and Kôln.

It completely slipped my mind that they needed editing and so I made a start. And I actually completed one day before I ground to a halt again.

That was because I had been set another task, presumably to prove that I am worthy, as AS THE OLD SAYING GOES. I need to produce an entertaining itit – init – itinin – initit – timetable for the weekend, seeing as I’m the only one who knows where I’m going (and even that is doubtful).

Anyway, that is all done and dusted now – three days of riotous fun and high living – I don’t think. But there are some hot cross buns going spare if I behave myself, but really there’s little chance of that, isn’t there? Especially considering who else might (if I’m lucky) be there.

There were the usual breaks for breakfast, coffee and lunch. And then, of course, the walk around the headland to which I referred earlier.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022

And first of all, as usual, is the wander across the car park to look down over the wall to see what was happening down below on the beach.

And as the weather was so nice and there were crowds of people and parked cars all over the place, I expected the beach to be quite busy. And I was right too. There were probably a couple of dozen people down there.

There was quite a bit of beach as well. The tide is on its way in though so it won’t be like that for much longer. You probably gathered that from the crowds of fishing boats loitering around just outside the harbour waiting for the gates to open.

people on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022As I said, there were hordes of people milling around on the paths this afternoon. It was very hard to keep some kind of distance, even more so as I seemed to be the only person out there wearing a mask.

There were a couple of people down there on the bench by the cabanon vauban watching the spectacle going on out at sea because it’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many boats out there waiting for things to happen.

So while they were waiting for things to happen I headed off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what’s happening there – if the multitudes of people would let me pass by.

ch827132 valeque le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022When I arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval I noticed that there’s a new boat in there.

Le Roc A LA Mauve III looks as if she’s put down roots. She’s still there after all this time. But down there with her is another shell-fishing boat.

She’s carrying registration number CH857132 and that’s not in my list of boats so she must also be new to the area. Luckily I can see what I think might be her name and she may well be called Valeque.

Lots of boats in the outer harbour today as you have seen but it’s impossible to say who they are at this range.

normandy warrior port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But we all know who this is, moored up at the loading bay in the inner harbour.

She’s one of two boats, and the fact that she doesn’t have that raised deck at the stern behind the bridge tells us that she is in fact Normandy Warrior, not Normandy Trader.

She must be in port to pick up the swimming pool that’s been on the quayside for a couple of days.

And the company that owns these two freighters is extremely busy. They are recruiting additional sea-going staff and there’s an advert doing the rounds. If only I had a mariner’s watch-keeping certificate I would be home and … errr … well, certainly not dry.

powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Before I went inside though I was overflown by the little red powered hang-glider thing or whatever it’s called.

It was on its way back from a trip down to Mont St Michel when it flew past me overhead. Luckily it didn’t have the same effect as the seagull did yesterday morning.

Back here I finished off my itinerary for the weekend and then went to make tea.

That sweet potato made lovely chips in the air fryer and I’ll do that again. Someone mentioned seasoning so I added a pinch of chili powder, a pinch of garlic salt and a generous twist of freshly-ground black pepper and that certainly added something to the mix. I’ll do that again too.

So now I’m off to bed. I have an 06:00 start in the morning, to which I am not looking forward at all. But as it’s the most important weeked for a good many years with a very crucial meeting, I have to do it.

What I’ll have to do is to nip out surreptitiously and hope that the butterflies in my stomach don’t notice.

Not that it’ll make much difference because if things run according to form and past history, I’ll make a mess of it. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Saturday 16th April 2022 – IT WAS SUCH …

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… a nice afternoon that the crowds were out in droves when I went out for my post-prandial perambulation.

The tide was well out so there was plenty of beach for everyone to be on, and that was just as well because there were plenty of people on it.

It’s been a good while since we’ve seen so many people down there. It looks as if the holiday season has really taken off this weekend and I bet that they are regretting not having the Jersey ferries up and running to cater for all of the trade. This would have been just the weather to go for a ride out to St Helier.

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Iwasn’t just on the beach that we had the crowds either.

The paths around the headland were heaving with people as you can see in this photo and the car park was overflowing with vehicles parked on the grass.

Brain of Britain forgot to take his face mask with him too. I bet that I’ll regret that before too long, the way things are. We’re still in 6 figures of daily infections and a couple of hundred deaths each day, and it’s no surprise when you see crowds like this taking no precautions whatsoever.

f-gcum Robin DR400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And it was quite busy in the air today too.

Apart from the commercial flights that were passing by too far out in the bay for me to see them properly we had a couple of light aircraft going by too.

None of the little ones that we see quite often though. This one here is F-GCUM, a Robin DR400/180 that belongs to the Aero Club here.

She took off at 16:21, went down the coast, came back, did a lap around the Ile de Chausey and landed again at 17:03. It’s probably just a flight for someone to keep up his hours

While we’re on the subject of hours … “well, one of us is” – ed … I spent hours in bed last night.

All about seven of them because I was, as usual, late going to bed. Just as I was on the point of going, something interesting (and I can’t remember what now) came up on the playlist so I stayed up to listen.

It might have been ONE OF THE SONGS that my Inuit friend HEIDINNGUAQ sent me for a radio show a while back. Any mention these days of Greenland and the High Arctic is enough to stop me in my tracks. I’ve walked those streets in Uummannaq and STRAWBERRY MOOSE and I are in a hurry to go back.

Anyway, I digress … “again” – ed.

Meanwhile, back at the ran … errr … apartment, I finally managed to drop off to sleep and that was where I stayed until the alarm went off at 07:30. And I was still there when it went off again at 07:45.

Mind you, I did managed to beat the third and final call at 08:00 and that is some doing, seeing the way that things have been around here just recently.

After the medication and checking the mails and messages I went for a shower to tidy myself up. And since Wednesday I’ve lost another 600 grammes of weight. For some reason or other I must have been having water retention issues and doubling the dose seems to have had some effect.

But that of course reminds me of when I was in Liège a few years ago with my German friend from Munich. We were in a restaurant, surrounded by pretty young girls, talking about … our medication.

That’s when I realised that I was getting old. We would have been talking about something quite different five years ago.

Considering that I didn’t need all that much today, I spent quite a lot of money. And all of it was on food.

Noz came up trumps yet again – more of those little breaded quorn burgers that I like. Two packets of those are now in the freezer.

As for LeClerc, I can’t think what I bought that contributed to the fortune that I spent in there today. And I nearly spent more than that as well because someone disappeared with my trolley and when I caught up with it, a couple of packets of sausages had been added.

car leclerc yquelon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But this in the car park intrigued me. I’ve never seen a car like this before.

Its small size suggests to me that it’s a Japanese town-car model but the steering wheel is on the left and it has a built-in rear fog light so it’s not a “grey import”. But it’s bizarre all the same.

These days though I’m quite out of the loop when it comes to new cars. I don’t have a clue as to what’s on the market and what isn’t

Back here I put the frozen food and the cool stuff away and then made myself a coffee. Eagerly clutching a slice of my fruit bread in my sweaty little mitt as well, I came in here to listen to the dictaphone.

We’d been on holiday to a hotel or some place like that. We’d been picked up by a coach in Manchester and driven to this place. When we arrived we had to all sign a paper for our drinking chits etc. We had been out for the day for a drive. I don’t know what happened but I missed the bus and I hadn’t a clue where I was going to go back because I didn’t even know the name of the town, never mind the name of the hotel. Of course I was on foot in the North-East of England. I thought that the only solution was to walk back and follow the route that we’d taken and hope that I would get it right. Following a route in reverse is not as easy as following it going forward. I set off and I’d been walking for about 10 minutes when I bumped into 2 other people, 2 girls who had also missed the bus. I thought that at least I’m on the right road here. We ended up crossing this enormous suspension bridge with a central stay, the highest central stay I’d ever seen. I remembered coming over this. We’d turned left onto it so I thought that we’d have to turn right. We prepared to cross over it but one of these girls fancied a cup of coffee. I had no money with me so she had to buy it. By now we were on this bridge so we had to cling on to the side rail while she went to fetch this coffee. Then she had to find a place to put it which was on something soft like the mattress of a bed. We were clinging on to the side of this bridge with our arms, she’d put this coffee down and we had to unhitch one of our arms to drink this coffee. This was becoming confusing. I asked her the name of the hotel but she didn’t know it or know the town either. The 3rd one hadn’t anything to say at all so there we were with this coffee hanging onto this bridge by our arms trying to drink this coffee with the mugs on a soft surface on probably the highest bridge in the UK

It ended up being quite a late lunch, what with one thing and another (and once you make a start, you’ll be surprised just how many other things there are).

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And that led to an even later walk around the headland. Wherever did the time go to today?

As I mentioned earlier, there were hordes of people out there on the beach this afternoon. Not just out at the water’s edge either but settling down in the shelter of the cliffs ready for the long stay until the tide comes in.

Gone are the days unfortunately when there would be the beach-side café and the “pot of tea for six” that people my age will remember. And I have a special reason for remembering it too because apparently the people who cared for my mother as a small child had a beach-side café at Epple Bay on the Isle of Thanet between the wars

But, of course, not that I would remember it. I’m not that old, even if I feel like it and look like it as well.

Cirrus SR22 n549cd baie de Mont St Michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And back in the air again we had another visitor. And I DO mean visitor.

This is apparently N-549CD, a Cirrus SR22, and its claim to fame is that apart from THE AIRBUS A400M that we saw a couple of months ago, this has to be about the noisiest plane that I’ve ever heard.

She hasn’t filed a flight plan and she kept below civilian radar so I can’t tell you where she went, but she arrived at the airfield here on the 13th of April after a 3-hour flight from Schwabish Hall in Germany.

She’s owned by the Plane Fun Inc Trustee Corporation from Snellville, Georgia, USA

le loup yacht cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There might have been plenty of things going on on land and in the air this afternoon but there was almost nothing at all going on out at sea.

In the immediate vicinity of the port, loitering around by Le Loup waiting for the tide to come in were a couple of boats, a yacht and a cabin cruiser.

And that was about your lot. There wasn’t anything at all out at sea as far as I could see, and that was a real surprise given the weather and the crowds.

And so with nothing at all to watch, there wasn’t anyone down on the bench at the cabanon vauban either so I cleared off rather rapidly down the path on the other side of the headland towards the harbour.

le roc a la mauve 3 anakena chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And there has been yet another change of occupant at the chantier naval today too.

We still have the little Roc A La Mauve III down there and the much bigger Anakena, but where’s Le Styx? She put in an appearance yesterday afternoon but it must only have been a flying visit because this afternoon, she’s gone!

And never called me “mother”!

But if you want to know where Chausiaise went to, she’s over there at the ferry terminal not doing very much at all.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There is something else that won’t, regrettably, be doing very much at all later in the summer. In fact, it won’t be doing anything at all.

Never mind all of the fishing boats tied up in the inner harbour, we’re much more interested in what isn’t there, and won’t be there in the summer.

Regular readers of this rubbish are used to seeing during the months of July and August the big wheel that comes along and sets itself up down there behind the warehouse. But it won’t be back again.

Apparently the inhabitants of one of the blocks of flats there petitioned the Maire to ban it because, apparently, it makes too much noise and they have to spend all summer with their windows closed. And surprisingly, the Maire has acquiesced.

Firstly, I don’t know why people do this kind of thing. Much as I hate tourists, this is a seaside resort and the crowds come here and expect to be entertained. And if you want to live by the seaside, you expect the inconvenience of the tourist attractions – unless of course you are a NIMBY.

Secondly, there are acres of empty space all the way down the far side of the harbour round by where the Channel Island ferries tie up. Why not stick the wheel there? It’ll be far enough away not to disturb the NIMBY residents with what little amount of noise that it really does make.

With all of this, I can’t help thinking that there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

interlink a changing canada Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Back here I had another task to perform.

Yesterday, I forgot to mention that I had a strange delivery in the Post. This glossy booklet about “A Changing Canada” in the 21st Century suddenly turned up. It’s not anything that I’ve ordered or requested so I’ve no idea what it is about.

So what I have done is to photograph the front cover, post it on my Social Network, and see if any of my Canadian contacts can throw any light on the aforementioned.

And having done that (with no replies to date) I went and had a really good session on the guitar.

Now that I have some more of those breaded quorn fillets I had a couple of them with potato and veg. They really are nice and if I’m going to fill up the freezer with something, it may as well be them.

But the freezer is now filled up and there’s no more room for anything else. I had to buy a few loose carrots as there wasn’t any space to do any freezing. Just when I think that I have the freezer under control, I fill it up again.

And I daren’t sort through it because it’s so well packed that I would never be able to re-pack it again. At least, if World War III breaks out, I won’t starve for a while.

Sunday 27th March 2022 – HOW LONG IS IT …

citroen traction avant 7L porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… since we’ve featured an old car on these pages?

It must be quite a good while so I was quite pleased that one of them went coughing by this afternoon while I was out on my afternoon walk.

It’s a Citroen “Traction Avant” of course and I should know because there’s one of them IN MY BARN IN THE AUVERGNE where it’s been for over 20 years and where, unfortunately it will have to stay.

The car is one of the later models as you can tell by the straight horizontal bumper rather than the curly “whisker” bumper. And if you were to see the rear of the vehicle, you’ll see that it has a propor boot rather than a sloping back with the shape of the spare wheel pressed into it like one of the ones THAT WE SAW at Oradour-sur-Glaine in the Summer 2020.

It’s always interesting to watch these more-modern films of wartime France when these cars were everywhere and spot the later models that have slipped into the action that took place long before they were ever manufactured.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022But that’s enough of that. While you admire a couple of photos of just some of the dozens of boats that were out at sea this afternoon, I’ll start at the very beginning.

A very good place to start.

As I mentioned yesterday, we had an alarm this morning, which was just as well, especially as the clocks went forward this morning and there was an hour less for sleep today.

In fact, I set three alarms at five-minute intervals and I actually managed to beat the second alarm, which is quite good going these days.

After the medication I made a quick breakfast and then settled down for my Welsh lesson today.

yacht rowing boat cabin cruisers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022It started off quite badly because it took me a while to warm up.

But once I was going, it all went pretty well and by the end of the lesson this afternoon I was talking much more confidently than I ever have done to date. I reckon that this free revision weekend was worth every penny of the price.

We had the usual breaks for coffee and for lunch, and during the lunch break I made a pile of dough for the next batch of pizzas. And as the bases overflow the pizza tray somewhat, I made a batch with 600 grammes instead of 500 grammes and then divided it into four instead of three.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022In some respects it was a shame to be indoors today because I reckon that it was the nicest day of the year so far.

And that’s borne out by the crowds of people who were down there on the beach. And even though there wasn’t much beach down there, they all managed to squeeze on there somehow.

No-one in the water as far as I could see, but there were a couple of people down there looking as if they were stripping off ready for a plunge.

You’ve seen a few photos of the boats that were out there too. The sea mist hadn’t gone completely but even so it was nice enough to tempt a pile of Sunday sailors out into the water for a good sail around.

la granvillaise le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And it wasn’t just the private boats that were out there. There was some commercial activity too out in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw la Granvillaise in the chantier naval a couple of weeks ago having an overhaul. Now she’s out there this afternoon with a quite a crowd of tourists having a sail around in the bay.

It’s easy to identify her from this range as she sails past Le Loup. You can see her registration number – G90 – on her sails.

The lifeboat that’s being towed behind doesn’t fill me with much confidence though. I’m sure that they wouldn’t be able to fit all of the passengers on board the lifeboat if they have any issues.

Maybe they have a few rafts on board just in case.

rowing team baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022The car park was packed to capacity with cars and motorbikes just about everywhere.

They had brought crowds of people down to the end of the headland where there were a few things going on to keep them entertained, like these oarsmen going past on their way back to port.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I once had a go at that but I wasn’t much good and I fell into the water. “He must be out of his scull” said a passer-by.

STRAWBERRY MOOSE once wrote me a note to say that he would be going rowing if only he could find a couple of oars. I really must take him up about his spelling.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And believe it or not, I was right about the crowds of people around here this afternoon.

Some of them even managed a grandstand seat, such as these two sitting on the bench at the end of the headland by the cabanon vauban looking out to sea.

Plenty of others too walking around on the lower path. It’s actually been a while since I’ve been for a walk down there but I’m not as healthy as I was when I first came here, which is rather depressing. Over the last 12 months my health has deteriorated dramatically.

But that’s enough of that for now. It’s time to be pushing off around the other side of the headland.

kids on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022While I was walking along the path towards the port, I noticed a kid climbing up the steps that have been cut into the sea wall there.

What went through my mind was that he must have been jumping in from off the top so I hung around for a while to see if anyone else would follow suit.

But in fact they were all drying themselves off and then slowly, one by one, they drifted away. The tide must now be too far out for them to jump in safely, although I’ve never known a bunch of young boys worry too much about things like that in the past.

Nothing else of any interest anywhere else in the port this afternoon so I came back home, stopping to photograph the old Citroen on the way.

Back here, over the next couple of hours I did more work that I would normally do on a Sunday when there aren’t any Welsh revision classes.

Firstly, I divided up the pizza dough into four, rolled three in oil and put them in the freezer and rolled out the fourth one and put it on the pizza tray.

Back in the bedroom I dealt with the dictaphone notes from last night. This first one was a dream something like Peter Frampton who had had a big hit and had ended up saving 3 or 4 of his songs. He had someone write a song for him. It was an unusual type of person whom you wouldn’t associate with rock songs. When he went to meet this person there was so much pressure on him that he was running, and jumped from about 30 feet away and slid on his stomach through the street to this guy. He ended up breaking his spine and had to go into rehabilitation. That enabled the guy to write a song for him and a few others. he went on from there to be a success. It was someone like Peter Frampton, a one-hit wonder who burst out into the mainstream after someone wrote a successful song for him

My father had died last night. We (whoever “we” were) ended up going to the funeral which would be a surprise. Back at the house afterwards there were one or two of his things in which I was interested. I asked who was administering the estate. Someone gave me the name of whoever it was, as it happens the same person who had administered my aunt’s estate and with whom I’d had all that trouble 6 months ago. I eventually managed to find my way out of the house to go to see him. The first thing that happened was that he was really upset that I still had my hat on. Then he told me to make a list of the things that I’d taken but of course I hadn’t taken anything. Then he told me to go along and help hand out the coffee and tea etc. Basically he didn’t seem to be all that interested at all in talking to me or letting me tell him what it was that I was hoping to be able to take away.

And then I was with a girl last night. She was working in a pub. The postman came and brought her something and she immediately burst into tears and asked if she could go to work somewhere else instead of the public rooms. Eventually I managed to track her down and she showed me a telegram. Her aunt who was her only living relative had died. I don’t know what happened after that but I had to have my appendix out and she had to have some kind of operation. In Nantwich how this worked was that they had mobile surgical labs. These were parked up near the church in Churchyardside outside the market. They drove the two of us there because she needed something too. We were going to have our operations in 2 surgical labs one parked behind the other. They drove us there in ambulances and we had to get to the corner of the road and then turn left instead of right into the Crofts and do a U-turn and come up behind. I’d go first and be put in the surgical lab and my ambulance would move away. Then the other surgical lab would pull up behind then the ambulance with the girl would pull up behind and they’d put her in her surgical lab. I was in mine. They were talking away and I was trying to go to sleep but I didn’t drop off. I could hear things going on. After a while someone put a pad of cotton wool over my face and dropped some ether on it. When I came round I was in the surgical lab and they asked me how I was and what I could feel. I said that I could feel some heat like something burning on the right side of my lower abdomen like where they would take out the appendix but they didn’t elaborate on what iy actually was and I didn’t want to know either.

And I’m impressed that I can give coherent directions even when I’m fast asleep.

Finally I was around Chester. I was just wandering around and had to go to wash my hands, and found that the toilets there had become unisex so I could only wash my hands and not the rest of me. I was out there in Foregate wandering around when I saw a boy from school but I kept out of his way and let him walk by. Later on there were some schoolboys who had hijacked a lorry-load of whisky. They were busy stacking it in 3 or 4 cars that they had. They were having all kinds of arguments about people who had disappeared with the odd bottle here and there. Just as they were loaded up a police car arrived so they shot off, right into a column of policemen setting out on their beats and scattered them. A couple of police cars gave chase but they adopted a manoeuvre of dodging down a side street when no-one was looking and coming back up the next one. Of course the police who didn’t see them go down the side street when down the next one so they passed each other at 180°. Then another car came and turned round. It was obviously looking for them but they happened to notice that there were a couple of crates of whisky in this. They thought that this was another couple of crates that they’d lost, that someone had stolen. Having given the police cars the slip they set off. They ended up being stuck in a mountain pass somewhere because the police had a couple of observation parked on the other side of the pass to watch all the cars that came past. They wondered how they were going to do this. They had the idea that they would send one car out with a couple of girls in it and a radio. They would be able to see whether any other police cars followed that particular car. That way they’d know whether they were suspected of actually being hidden up in this mountain.

Having done all that I paired up the music for the next radio programme that I would normally have done this morning.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022There was the pizza to deal with too.

That had risen nicely while I’d been working so I assembled it and when it was made and the oven was hot I put it in to bake.

For some reason, it wasn’t as good as the last few have been and I don’t know why. Mind you, it was certainly better than the first few that I made before I grasped the technique.

Now that i’ve finished my notes, I’m off to bed, even though it’s quite early. I didn’t have my usual long lie-in today and there’s an early start in the morning – even earlier than usual due to the change in the hour.

It’ll probably take me a good few weeks to adjust to the change but if I don’t start now I never will, will I?

Saturday 19th March 2022 – AFTER ALL …

old car communal rooms place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… of the excitement yesterday at the Communal Rooms, red carpet and all, it kept on going today.

When I went into the dining room to make a coffee, an unearthly rattle told le that there was something exciting about to happen. And sure enough, an ancient car from the 1920s limped into the courtyard.

Furthermore, there was some high-ranking communal official waiting there to receive them, as you can tell from the tricolour sash worn by the person standing at the top of the steps on the right.

All that was missing in fact was the red carpet and the cameraman and that was something of a disappointment.

Incidentally, there was nothing in the news yesterday about the purpose of the red carpet. Not that I thought that there would

people on beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Also extremely interesting today was the big crowd of people down on the beach.

It has to be said that it was a lovely day but even so, it’s a long time since I’ve seen so many folk down there. even Rover was having a good time.

That’s more than I’ve had today because you’re going to have to suffer another long moan and whinge as I talk about my day today.

Once more, I struggled to leave the bed when the alarm went off. I nearly missed the second alarm too.

But after breakfast I went for a shower and put the bedding in the washing machine to wash, and then headed off to the shops.

Noz didn’t have much – just a few varieties of alcohol-free beer that I like so I bought a few packs. Now I think that I have more in stock than they do.

There wasn’t anything special in LeClerc either, but it still ended up being expensive, mainly because they had coffee on special offer so I bought a pile of it. I seem to be going through it quite rapidly.

suzanga spirit of conrad chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On the way back, seeing as I had no frozen food in danger of melting, I went to the chantier naval for a close look at the trawler that was in there.

It’s actually Suzanga, the new trawler that arrived here last August. It was interesting to have a closer look at her because this is the first time that we’ve seen her out of the water.

In the background of course is a bit of Spirit of Conrad. She’s been here for a week or two now being prepared for her summer season.

Back here I hung the washing up to dry and made myself a coffee. Then there was a disaster. I’ve eaten the last of the magnificent coffee cake that I made for my birthday. How sad is that?

Settling down with my coffee I transcribed the dictaphone notes from last night. I was on my holidays going south. I was in some kind of vehicle. I came to some sort of tunnel that we had to go through. It was very narrow and very low so there were traffic lights where you have to stop to wait for your turn before you could go forward. I stopped but someone pulled up alongside me on the outside which was strange. Someone in a black suit and black hat rather like an Orthodox Jew came along and tried to sell me a bottle of spirits, absinthe or something like that. I said “no” but he insisted so I told him that I didn’t drink. Then he started to offer me all kinds of other things. While he was doing this, the lights changed and a whole load of people went past into the tunnel. I couldn’t shake off this guy or the car that was parked alongside me on the outside. I was in a left-hand drive vehicle but for some reason I was driving on the left. I went through this tunnel. By now I was on foot pulling my suitcase and my computer bag and other bits and pieces. I came out into a room in a large town where this tunnel ended. There were all these people there who had gone past earlier, loads of nuns and kids and so on. I had to renew my travel permit which I did. I went outside but dropped everything. I found to my surprise that as well as a magnifying glass I was carrying an extremely large sharp knife so I was trying to pick up all these little things like the knife and the magnifying glass and put them in my pocket while I was walking with my suitcase but that wasn’t easy and I was making a great mess of it.

Later on, a group of people from Runcorn were coach operators. The have a company called I-Coaches. They were running out of money so they decided that they would do a few hold-ups to try to bring some money in. They were not particularly successful. The guy who was leading them, his 3 friends were criticising him. In the end one of them said that he would lead the next one. Just then someone came down the hill in a car so they flagged him down. When he stopped, he was eating an orange. The guy who was now in charge pulled out a gun and shot him. Of course this led to all kinds of arguments between the 4 and they split up. 2 went one way and 2 somewhere else. We were back in Runcorn town centre and what was then happening was that there was a police cordon or something and the 4 people there in their groups of 2 suddenly noticed the town was being filled with police. There was a coach involved in it but I don’t know where this fitted in. The two, including the guy who had committed the murder tried to slip through the cordon but the police closed right in on them. The other 2 were there watching knowing that it was going to be their turn next to be pulled up. In court it was a woman in a wheelchair who was prosecuting them, the first lawyer in a wheelchair in the Uk

And then I was at work last night. I had a meal. We all ended up going for this meal, a huge group of us for a formal dinner. I was sat on a table with someone and we were discussing a report that had been prepared. There were 3 groups mentioned and the guy who was on my table was trying to work out who to send them to. He thought that 2 of these names were relevant because of their connection but the third one wasn’t. I said “if that’s what you think, send them there”. But he wanted this lengthy discussion and I was sure that we would arrive at the same conclusion no matter how long we spent talking about it. Then the waiter came round with some of the starters which was thin-sliced cold beef. I explained to him that I was a vegan so he took my plate away and it looked then as if I wasn’t going to have anything to eat. When everyone had finished their starter they started to mill around. I bumped into a colleague of mine and we ended up in a small group chatting. he explained about how when I was in a bad mood I’d drive to Nantwich and just sit and meditate. I wondered how he knew that. Then the waiter came round again putting a bottle of beer at everyone’s table for them to drink. Before I could stop him he disappeared. Knowing what had happened with the starter I knew full well that if I complained about the beer he’d just take it away and not leave me anything so I gave it to my colleague for him to drink.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I promised you some excitement today. And I lived up to my promise as well! At LeClerc they had carrots at €0:79 a kilo so I had bought a kilo. After I’d finished the dictaphone notes I went into the kitchen, diced them, blanched them and put them into the freezer to freeze.

Now how exciting is that?

Actually, it must really have been something because after lunch I came back in here, sat down and promptly crashed out. I’d gone for a good hour too, right out of it. Probably the deepest sleep that I’ve had for several weeks too and there I was, thinking that i’d gone past this stage.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Anyway, I managed to pull myself together and stagger off outside for my afternoon walk around the headland.

As I mentioned earlier, there were crowds of people out on the beach this afternoon. There really were too, as you can tell from this photo.

There was plenty of beach to be on too, with the tide being well out, and it was quite a nice, warm day for the time of year.

Nothing going on out at sea that I could see though. There was quite a thick sea-mist despite the wind and everything was obscured. Visibility was only a couple of miles out to sea.

f-guko Grob G120A baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Nothing going on out at sea but just like Thunderclap newman, there was something in the air.

This is a new aeroplane for us – the first time that we’ve seen her. She’s F-GUKO, a Grob G120A. That’s a type of aeroplane about which I know very little, except that it’s a type used by the Royal Canadian Air Force and a few other air forces as a basic trainer.

She took off from Granville airfield at 16:07, flew north for a while and then headed south to Avranches where she landed at about 16:43.

Her previous recorded flight was yesterday, so seeing as I took the photo of her at 15:59, this must have been an unrecorded flight below the level of the radar.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Several people on the path on top of the cliffs too so I had to dodge the crowds as I walked down to the end.

Le Loup, the marker light on the rock at the mouth of the harbour, was looking quite nice this afternoon framed by the trees and the signboard.

You can tell how high the tide comes in from this photo. We’ve seen the water well up to the higher of the two red rings when we’ve had a very high tide.

You can also see how thick the sea mist is today. You can make out the Pointe de Carolles in the background but that’s about it. You can’t see any further than that.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022With the tide being so far out today, there’s plenty of scope for the pèche à pied.

The people in this group have all come very well-equipped with all kinds of stuff that they will need for a successful afternoon. They all have a couple of buckets each.

But it was the guy in the fluorescent orange waterproof gear that caught my eye. He’ll stand out from the crowd on any beach dressed like that.

He rather reminded me of a press release that we received from the Paris police when I worked for a major holiday company in the UK in the late 80s –
“The policeman who stands in the middle of the Place d’Etoile directing traffic will from now on be illuminated to make sure that motorists don’t miss him in the dark”.

It was round about here that I had an encounter with a couple of tourists.
“Can you see the Ile de Chausey and Jersey from here?”.

So I pointed out to them the Ile de Chausey that you could just about see through the mist and I explained that in this fog, seeing Jersey, at a distance of 58 kms from where we were standing, would be pretty much impossible. I did however indicate the direction, in case they are about some other time when the fog has lifted.

le roc a la mauve 3 suzanga spirit of conrad chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche harbour Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Having dealt with the tourists I headed off down the path towards the port.

Earlier in the day we’d been in the chantier naval where we had seen Suganza and Spirit of Conrad. They are of course still in there, as is Le Roc A La Mauve III with its shiny coat of white polyeurethane paint.

She’ll be ready to go back into the water quite soon, I reckon. But then again, regular readers of this rubbish will recall what happens when I make predictions like that.

One thing that has gone though is Joly France. She was moored over at the ferry terminal yesterday but she’s not there now. The ground’s all flat.

It’s not really the right kind of day for a trip out to the Ile de Chausey and certainly not if you are going sightseeing, but if the service is advertised, they have to go. It’s a Saturday and the seasonal occupiers of the houses will gradually be turning up.

objects on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On my way home, I noticed this huge pile of equipment by the side of the crane in the bay where the gravel boats used to tie up.

Despite enlarging and enhancing the photo, I’ve still not been able to work out what it all is. Ordinarily I would have gone down for a closer look to satisfy my curiosity but it’s been a good 12 months since I’ve been well enough for a quick jaunt like that.

Back here there was a nice surprise. The postwoman has been. And so not only do I have my new course-book for the third year of my Welsh course, I have the new dictaphone too. I can’t wait to try that out.

And so I’ll probably not go off on a voyage tonight, simply out of spite.

This afternoon I’ve had another good session on the guitar, and then I edited some more photos of my trip to the High Arctic in 2019. Right now we’re in the Davis Strait on our way north-west to Lancaster Sound.

There were plenty of really good subjects for photography such as THIS ONE but as you might expect, they were all either early in the morning or late at night when the light is poor, and so when you are on board a moving ship in a lively current, the results are … errr … questionable.

Tea was a couple of those small breaded quornburgers with potatoes and vegetables, all cooked in vegan margarine. And as usual, it was delicious.

But I’m almost running out of those now and I don’t know what I’ll do when they are finished because I haven’t seen any in Noz for ages. I used to buy them in Belgium years ago, and so I suppose that next time that I’m in Leuven I’ll have to go out on the prowl and cast my net further.

Bedtime now, much later than usual as I’ve had a quiet relaxing evening. A nice lie-in followed by a good breakfast with plenty of strong coffee. Hopefully that will set me up for the week but whether it will or not remains to be seen.

Only 11 more days than I’m off on my travels.

Saturday 26th February 2022 – YOU HAVE ALL MISSED …

earth and tyres dumped by farmers at leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… the excitement that took place through the night at quite a few of the supermarkets in Normandy overnight.

It seems that the local farmers had been to pay a visit, and had dropped off loads of earth, old tyres and other assorted stuff all over the entrances to the car parks so that no-one could enter.

The cashier at LeClerc with whom I spoke about the matter couldn’t tell me what was the object of the exercise, but French farmers don’t need an excuse to be militant . They can do it as a matter of course

tractors and lorry removing earth and tyres leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Some of the obstructions had been moved by the time that I arrived, and when I was on the point of leaving they were removing the others.

One of the workers had seen me taking photographs and came over to talk to me. He wanted to make sure that I knew that they had nothing whatever to do with the depositing of the load and that they were private citizens clearing it up.

Of course, I had no idea that they were anything else, but as they went to great pains to point it out, I thought that it was only correct that I emphasise the point.

Another point that I ought to emphasise was that I didn’t have much sleep last night. Not at all.

It was about 11:30 when I went to bed and with the alarm set for 07:30 I was optimistic that I could have something of a reasonable sleep. However I set off on my first nocturnal ramble at 01:24 according to the dictaphone and I didn’t stop after that. I started off in the north of Québec on a big Harley Davidson. It was winter and snowing heavily, and the only way that I could keep warm was to have my hood up on my jacket right over my head with just a small gap for my face. For some unknown reason the hood came down. I was riding along this autoroute and I was freezing – i’d never been so cold. There was snow and ice everywhere. On one occasion I lost sight of myself and looking on further down the road I couldn’t see where I was on this motorbike. Eventually I managed to catch up with myself and I had my hood back on. I arrived at the place where I was going, somewhere round by Québec or somewhere like that

And later we were back in Québec again, in winter again and at school. Again it was one of those things where my hood came down and I started to freeze to death in the snowstorm without putting my hood back up. Eventually, later on I relocated everything and I could put my hood back up. Then I could go to find the Governor and talk to him about some kind fo reciprocal arrangement for me to leave.

Amazingly, I was back a third time in Québec working in a butcher’s or a food-packing plant where we were putting boxes of food away in freezers ready for distribution. For some reason, in order to move fast, I was on a pair of roller skates and I’ve no idea why that was or how likely it would be and I can’t remember anything more about this, although I do remember that I went back into this dream at a later point but while it was pretty much the same dream my way of moving about this warehouse was a considerable amount slower compared to how it was previously when I was on roller skates.

The dream about the woman in the Ukraine dressed up on the second trip was actually after the Ukraine one that where everyone was freezing cold on the second trip. That’s what I dictated anyway, and what it relates to I really don’t know. Should it be maybe something connected to my second trip to Québec and does the woman relate to the part that I forgot?

It makes me wonder what else I might have forgotten or failed to note when I’ve been out and about at night, and whose visits have I omitted to record.

There was a deer that was wild but somehow it had come into a place where there were lots of people. It started jumping up and knocked over a woman in a bright blue dress before stamping off through the town. This was something to do with me being at work. I’d been absent for a considerable period of time. When I came back I plonked myself in a corner. people were making remarks about me being stuck in a corner. I replied that I’d just sat here to keep out of the way. if it’s someone else’s desk they have to tell me and I’ll quite happily go and sit somewhere else. In the end someone said that it was his seat. I was sure that it wasn’t so I had to gather all of my things. With all of the stuff that I have, it takes much longer than for someone else. Eventually I found that I had almost everything in my arms and stuck into bags etc. They found a place for me on a chair with no table sitting by a wall near a radiator. At least there was a bit of a socket there. One of the girls, Anne-Marie or someone, came to talk to me. “No-one likes Morales”, they said. “You should see his car. It’s parked 15 feet in front of a parking space” etc. That’s just the kind of person whom he is.

While we’re on the subject that vampires come up into this (and what this relates to, I really don’t know). Alison and I suggested meeting Jackie at a town that we know that was decaying, crumbling down where some really depressing things look as if they have taken place. There was something else about whales in an aquarium tank that I can’t remember at all

Finally, I was at some kind of meeting last night. There was some kind of talk being given and later on everyone went for lunch. When we came back out I was looking for a seat because someone had taken mine. There were these 4 statues right at the very front of the room. I patted one on the head and it said “hello” and started to talk to me. I realised that it was one of these pre-programmed things and the reply was based on what you said to it. I asked it all kinds of strange questions and was giving me some reasonably coherent answers, so much so that I was surprised. I was having quite a lot of attention from various people, my conversation with this statue. It turned out that the voice inside it was that of a girl and she came from the Soviet Union somewhere. I had quite an interesting chat with this pre-programmed robot statue thing.

So no TOTGA, Castor or Zero yet again, but having an interesting and exciting chat with a statue is something new. It sounds just about how my real life is these days. If I were to have a statue in here, having an interesting chat with it would make quite a change to talking to myself.

So after the medication I had a shower and then headed off to the shops.

All they had at Noz that interested me was some Italian alcohol-free beer so I bought a couple of packs of that and I’ll try one with my pizza tomorrow.

100 percent veggie food with eggs noz Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022But what was interesting, for quite another reason, was the 100% veggie Schnitzel escalopes.

Having been caught out on a previous occasion by one of the 100% veggie products that they carried, I check the labels these days and sure enough, it contains eggs. So much for the 100% veggie.

But I thought that the “yellows of eggs from free-range hens in powder” was rather extraordinary. How can powered hens, free-range or otherwise, lay eggs?

At LeClerc’s, apart from forgetting the Vitamin C tablets yet again, I didn’t buy anything special. It was just a normal shop this week. Quite a change from last week.

tractor removing earth and tyres leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As I was leaving the supermarket, the tractor that was helping to move the rubbish turned it.

At first, I saw the tyres so I thought that it was coming to drop some more rubbish off but then I saw that those tyres were stuck on the prongs

On the way home I was listening to some SIMPLE MINDS. It’s another one of these albums that always touches a nerve with me. There’s a time and a place for music like this in my life and unfortunately, it always comes round on the playlist at the wrong.

“Somewhere there is someone who can see what I can see”. Yes, and for three whole days (and nights) too.

Back here I had a coffee and a slice of my really delicious coffee cake, and then I transcribed the dictaphone notes, which you read earlier.

After lunch there was football on the internet – Y Drenewydd v Connah’s Quay Nomads. The Nomads won 2-0 but I’m not going to comment on the match for fear of being charged with bringing the Welsh Premier League into disrepute.

What I can say is that if Chris Hughes, the manager of Y Drenewydd knew Jim Finks, the manager of the New Orleans Saints back in the late 80s, he would be repeating his comments “We’re not allowed to comment on the lousy officiating”

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022On that note, it’s probably best that I go out for my afternoon walk.

And as usual I wandered off across the carpark to see what was happening down there on the beach. And I don’t know if the young girl down there is the same one who was down there yesterday but the wellingtons certainly looked familiar.

In fact there were plenty of people down there this afternoon. We’re supposed to be having the carnival but that has been cancelled. Nevertheless I imagine that many people had made arrangements to come here and they are here to make the best of it.

cabin cruiser fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And as usual I also had a good look around out at sea while I was here.

The yellow buoy that we saw yesterday was still out there but I was more interested in the cabin cruiser that was right out in the bay.

By the looks of things it’s a fishing party that’s out there – a rod and line fishing party, I mean. There weren’t any trawlers out there this afternoon. When I went past the port earlier this morning they were all moored up at the quayside.

They must be having a day off today.

sea pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that one of the things that feature regularly in these pages is the water out in the bay.

We’ve seen a few good examples just yesterday of these variegated layers of water and yesterday we even saw quite a clear demarcation line where two currents had met.

But today, just offshore, we had another really good example of what I mean. There’s no physical demarcation but the colours are quite distinct.

On a completely different subject, there was a girl walking along the cliff edge filming herself and talking on the phone. I was inclined to go over to her to tell her to be careful. After all, I don’t want to be a witness at yet another inquest but she stopped her call as I approached and walked off.

She must have heard all about me from someone else.

yacht ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022There was something else that was moving about right out in the bay off the Ile de Chausey so I went to stand on my bunker for a better look.

As I thought, it was a yacht returning to port after, presumably a sail out to the island. Not that I’m surprised because it was a gorgeous day. Quite sunny and just enough wind to move boats around out at sea but not enough to disturb those of us up here on the headland.

The sails were quite distinctive but it isn’t a yacht that I recognise. There were several seagulls keeping her company too so I hope that the crew had their headgear. The seagulls around here have an accuracy that puts Bomber Command to shame.

couple bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022The weather was so nice that I was expecting to see crods of people out and about around the car park.

The lower path that goes round the base of the cliff was crowded today and we even had a pair of lovers right out on the headland at the bench by the cabanon vauban and it looked as if they were having a good time.

And so was I, actually. It was nice to be out there in the sun without too much wind to blow me around off my perch. And so I headed off around the corner to the other side of the headland.

yachts le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel there were a several other people out there taking advantage of the good weather.

There were several yachts wandering around in the bay but these two particularly caught my eye and I waited until they were lined up perfectly with Le Loup, the marker light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour.

Over there in the background there were several people walking around on the beach at the side of the road that runs between St Pair sur Mer and Jullouville. They were taking advantage of the nice weather too.

tiberiade la roc a la mauve 3 courrier des iles yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Meanwhile, in the chantier naval it looks as if most of the people connected with the activity down there were having the weekend off too.

As far as I could see, there was just one person down there, working on La Roc A La Mauve III. But by looking around on the ground underneath Courrier des Iles you can tell that they’ve been sanding down her paintwork.

Back here I had a few things to do, such as unpack the shopping and put it away. And I actually found one of the burgers that I especially like.

Consequently, for tea I had a burger on a bap with potatoes and veg. Plenty of mustard and garlic mayonnaise.

So having done everything that needs doing, I’m going to change the bedding. I had a good scrub this morning and I’m feeling quite clean (for a change) so I’m going to make the most of it.

Thursday 24th February 2022 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… a few photos of the storm that we had today pushing the waves up and over the sea wall in the harbour, let me tell you of a most astonishing coincidence.

My brother’s birthday is the 3rd of September, and that’s the date that World War II broke out. And it looks very much as if my birthday is the day that World War III broke out.

What fills me full of dismay is just how stupid the human race can be, seeing the damage that several World Wars have caused to the whole of the World, that it departs on another orgy of massacre and destruction.

It makes me wonder why I’m bothering having my hospital treatment. Who would want to live in a World as stupid as this one?

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Last night I was feeling in such a depressing mood that when I finished writing up my notes I started to listen to QUADROPHENIA by The Who.

It’s one of the best albums ever recorded and brings back many happy memories of a drive down to South London one weekend in mid-May 1974 to see The Who in concert at Charlton Athletic’s football ground.

We had my old MkI Cortina, PMB270D, a battery-powered tape player and just one cassette tape – “Quadrophenia” – and when we returned to Chester where I was living at the time the guy whose tape it was gave it to me to keep.

And I still have it too, even though I’ve long-since replaced it with a CD.

It’s an album that brings back many happy memories of that Summer and every time I hear it, it brings back a bad attack of nostalgia.

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And hence, having listened to it round and round, it was almost 02:00 when I fell into bed to go to sleep.

Once I dozed off I went off on a series of probably the most extraordinary journeys that I have had for quite some considerable time.

The start was a long, rambling dream that I had but I can only remember when we were on board ship. I was making breakfast for these two girls – it was muesli and two teacakes. For some unknown reason the teacakes just wouldn’t toast. They were taking all day. In between I was doing a couple of other things. For some reason, one of those things took far longer than it ought to be done. I suddenly remembered the teacakes just as someone else said something about them so I dashed back to the galley and they were there under the grill but they were on fire. Everyone was really surprised and concerned by this but bread catching fire under a grill when you are toasting it is no big deal. J simply pulled them out with a pair of scissors and put some new ones under. But for some unknown reason this seemed to develop into some kind of major situation and there was no need for it at all

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022But there was someone else. I can’t remember now where I was but I was with someone else. There were lots of pets around. For some unknown reason they had a lion as a pet. It was in a room with me and someone else . It was being rather playful, trying to nip me. Then I could see that it was starting to lose its playfulness and the nips started to become more serious. I kept on pushing the animal away but it kept on coming back. In the end I had to insist to someone that they came along and removed it because I could see that this was going to end in tears if we weren’t careful.

And then we had something involving trams. There was some question that I was coming home from work, something like that, and I’d met these 3 girls. 2 of them I knew and the other one I didn’t. I found the 3rd one quite attractive so I wanted to get to know her better. As it happened they reached the tram stop at more-or-less the same time that I was walking back from work so we started to chat as a group of 4, these 3 girls and me. I suppose that it must have become pretty obvious to the other 2 exactly what I was up to. The thing that surprised me most though was that I was coming back from work and I’d been working on cars. I was in oily clothes and had oily hands. I was hardly the kind of boy that would be respectable but it didn’t bother these 3 girls at all. On one occasion I reached the tram stop just as they were alighting but the girl whom I liked and one of the others alighted so I waved “hello” but they disappeared off. I wondered what on earth was happening here. The 2nd girl came over and said “don’t worry about those 2. They’ve just nipped back to (I think her name was Jane, this 3rd girl) they’ve just nipped back to Jane’s house so that she can fetch her cloak and they’ll be back. Something came up about the address. It was “Toxteth Road” and I was trying to think why I knew about Toxteth Road and why it seemed to be so significant about this particular moment.

storm waves port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022I’m trying to think where I reached with this because it might be that I stepped back into the same dream or else I’ve remembered something different. There was one occasion when I was on my way back home. I was coming in a different way past this tram stop so I went to sit somewhere below it where I could see them alight. I couldn’t find a good spec to sit where I could survey the tram stop. I ended up in the square sitting on a plastic chair where I could see the tram stop about 22 metres away. At that moment someone else whom I vaguely knew turned up. We started chatting and I basically explained that I was waiting here for someone and we carried on talking for a while. Suddenly I realised that the girls hadn’t turned up. I happened to mention it to him and he said “to be honest, they know other people and there’s someone who hangs around that girl who is 55 and they go round there some times. You’ll probably find it extremely difficult to move him out of this girl’s orbit”. I burst out laughing and said “I can’t even get a girl in a bloody dream, can I?”. His ears pricked up and asked “what’s all this about dreams?”. I explained that this was a dream, that I was very interested in dreams and I’d been keeping records of my dreams since that University course 25 years ago when I volunteered to be a guinea pig for the experiment. He was most interested and we had quite a chat about that. But imagine being in a dream and knowing that it’s a dream and talking to someone about it being a dream when one is actually in a dream oneself and being able to recall so much factual information out of one’s subconscious when one is in a subconscious state.

Unbelievably, I stepped back into this dream yet again later on, and how many times have I ever done this before – the same circumstances and characters three times?. Not very many at all, if any. This time we were all in a house, this girl included. She was sorting through some things and on her rubber dinghy she had some paddles. She needed some stuff to clean them. She’d seen across the road in the distance a marine supplier’s so I suggested that we went. We collected our things together but as it was rather cold I went to find my leather jacket. I couldn’t find it, and the cats weren’t sleeping on it so “never mind, I’ll go without”. The 2 of us set off outside and I took hold of her hand and she took hold of mine. We skipped off down the street and across the main road to the other side. She was saying something about if her friends saw her like this with me, what would they think?. I burst out laughing and said “oh just tell them that I’m a dirty old man but I have plenty of money”. She said “dirty? You do wash, do you?” and I replied “ohh yes, on special occasions” and we skipped across the road and skipped up the steps and we saw the sign that said “marine market” and skipped off that way.

And do you know what? That was the happiest that I have ever been for an extremely considerable period of time, probably about for ever in fact, and it was a shame that it actually happened in a dream and not in real life. I should be so lucky. There’s definitely something missing in my life, something that I will never ever recapture – except maybe once a couple of years ago, but the World is not ready to hear that story quite yet.

Finally, I was with Laurence and Roxanne. We were in some country like the Soviet Union, somewhere like that, and we had to go north to a town called Brest (not, presumably the Brest-Litovsk that’s on the border with Poland). We ended up at a railway station quite late at night. There was a large queue so Laurence told Roxanne to stand in the queue until it reached the front. When it did, she went to take over and came back with a pile of tickets. She siad that there was a return ticket for Roxanne but we only have two single tickets. We ended up in a hotel somewhere, a cheap hotel that wasn’t too bad. The next morning we had to pack but there was tons of stuff to pack so it was good that we had some expanding rucksacks but even so there was still quite a struggle. I couldn’t find Laurence. I heard some noise outside the room so I went and found her scrubbing the floor of the corridor. I asked why and she said “you have to make the place tidy when you go”. I replied “yes, tidy is one thing but it looks as if you are working here”. We were arranging all our things. I remembered that when we had set out on this journey there had been quite a few of us and I was ready to go but everyone else wasn’t. It took until really late at night for them to prepare themselves to leave and half of them weren’t ready even then and had to go next morning to buy some stuff while we were away. All in all it was a thing of total chaos, this particular trip. If we had all been properly organised when we set out, none of this would have happened.

When Rosemary had telephoned me yesterday, she said that she would phone me today to wish me a happy birthday. “Not too early” I said and so, sure enough, at 09:15 she phoned me up.

Anyone who rings me up at that time of morning when I’m having a lie-in will hear nothing but a series of grunts and so I’m afraid that the conversation didn’t last very long.

However there was no possibility of my going back to sleep after that no matter how hard I tried. And I did try too – all the way up to 10:50 when I finally abandoned the idea and crawled out of bed.

After the medication the rest of the morning (and a little of the afternoon too) was spent transcribing the dictaphone notes. I’m not sure that there has ever been a night when I’ve travelled so far and with so much emotion.

No breakfast this morning so I had a brunch this afternoon, porridge and toast with plenty of coffee. And then much of the rest of the afternoon was spent acknowledging messages and speaking to Ingrid on the phone who rang me back to send me some birthday greetings

storm beach rue du nord baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And then I went off for my afternoon walk.

Yesterday I made the point that the gale-force wind that we have been having for the last while seemed to have died down. And how I wish that I’d kept my moth closed as the wind was back today, and with a vengeance as well.

You can tell that just by looking at the sea out here in the Baie de Granville. We didn’t even see waves like that at the height of Storm Useless. It was no surprise that there was no-one down there this afternoon, despite the sun.

trawler ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022However, having a look around out at sea, I was surprised to see that there was a trawler out there just off the Ile de Chausey.

When Storm Useless was blowing, all of the fishing boats remained in harbour, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but today the winds were stronger and the waves were rougher than they were back then but nevertheless here we are.

We’ve seen a trawler out there for the last few days and although I couldn’t identify it, this one is certainly a different one than whoever was out there before.

And to take this photo, I had to find a suitable wall on which to prop the NIKON D500 because the wind was wobbling it around in my hands.

waves rocks marker light pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Yesterday, I posted a photo of the marker light on the rock just offshore here.

Today, I’m rather earlier than I was yesterday and so you can see the difference in the height of the water even over such a short space of time. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … we have some of the highest tides in Europe.

There wasn’t anyone else out there this afternoon and that’s no surprise because the wind was wicked out here. At one point I was having to walk crab-like along the path in order to advance, and when the wind suddenly dropped for a moment I almost ended up over the cliff.

storm le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As I reached the lighthouse I had a look over the car park to see what was happening in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Sometimes the bay over there is in the wind shadow where the waves are quite calm, but not today. Le Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour is being battered by the wind and waves this afternoon.

Round the corner actually in the bay the situation was even worse as you have already seen, with the waves slamming into the sea wall. I wasn’t going to hang around spending too long watching and so I headed home in the wind.

Back here, no coffee. I’ve already had too much of that today. But my coffee cake really was delicious. I can’t believe that I’ve actually made a cake that has come out as well as this – a vegan cake with no eggs in it either.

Tea tonight was a slice of pie with potatoes, vegetables and gravy. And that was really delicious. I cut it into 8 slices and the other 7 are in the freezer – for once there was actually some room in there. The filling wasn’t up to much because it was a rather ad-hoc mixture but I’ll do better than this when I prepare one properly instead of dragging something unknown out of the freezer.

So that’s that. I’m going to bed very soon ready to restart tomorrow. If there is a tomorrow. We are living in very worrying times, for all kinds of reasons. But another journey tonight like that one last night and I’ll feel so much better. I wish I knew who she was.

Friday 18th February 2022 – I WAS IN …

storm beach rue du nord baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… two minds this afternoon … errr … weather to go out for my afternoon walk.

The local weather office had produced a map today showing predicted windspeeds and Granville just happened to be at the junction of two wind bands – 100-110 kmh and 110-120 kmh – between 15:00 and 17:00, just round about when I usually go out for my walk.

But nevertheless at my usual time of 15:45 I set off out and while the sea looked quite turbulent, as you can see in the photo, the wind was actually something of a damp squib. We’ve had much stronger winds than this in the recent past without any drama at all.

Never mind Storm Eunice, it was more like Storm Useless. 110kph might look inpressive but a few weeks ago we had gusts of 140kph so we are used to it.

For a change, last night wasn’t all that turbulent – or, at least, not as turbulent as it has been. It was probably due to the fact that when it was bedtime I wasn’t in the least tired and it ended up being 01:30 when I finally crawled into bed.

As a result, things wre not all that easy when the alarm went off at 07:30, although I did manage to beat the second alarm.

There wasn’t all that much time for me to go on anything like as many nocturnal voyages as I seem to be doing just recently. I had to go to pay a fine at the police station last night. I hadn’t been given the formal notice to pay but I’d been given the decision. I knew that there was something else happening at the police station that was likely very much to have me arrested but my idea was to have everything over and finished as quickly as possible. I turned up at the police station but the entrance hall there was under all kinds of renovation so I had to walk through all this work, everything like that. I eventually ended up at a temporary desk and handed over the paper. The policeman started to go through the list to see what he had of cases but couldn’t find my case. I saw a name that I thought was mine so I said that i’d seen it so he turned back a couple of pages but it wasn’t and that annoyed him. I thought that if I carried on like this the kind of outcome isn’t going to be any good whatsoever so in the end I decided that i’d keep quiet and let him find it himself and see what happens. There was much more to it than this but I can’t remember that bit now.

After the medication I spent the rest of the day transcribing dictaphone notes and updating a few previous journal entries. What started off as being 41 dictaphone sound files is now down to 22.

There were several voyages involving members of my family, which is regrettable, but also a few featuring people like Zero, which always cheers me up. But we’ve not had a voyage featuring Castor for quite some time and that’s disappointing.

There were also several breaks today, firstly for breakfast and secondly for lunch. And I do have to say that my fruit bread is absolutely excellent. This is a really impressive fruit loaf.

There was also a rather unfortunate break when I fell asleep. But that’s not really a surprise these days, is it?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As I mentioned earlier, I did manage to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

As usual I went over to the wall overlooking the beach to see what was happening down below. And apart from the waves that were coming in with the kind of force that I haven’t seen for a while, there were actually several people down on the beach.

That was quite surprising because of the weather, but then again apart from the wind it wasn’t actually a bad day. Warm for the time of the year and fairly sunny.

storm le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022When I went round the corner where the Monument to the Resistance is situated, I had a really good view of how the storm was raging in the bay.

The waves down there were quite impressive, smashing over the rocks on which Le Loup, the light that guards the entrance to the harbour, is situated.

And judging by the tree on the right, Bob Dylan wouldn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows around here, would he.

Not that it’s any surprise, but there was no-one out at the end of the headland today admiring the view. Only me of course, and I was glad when I turned the corner and had the wind blowing into my back instead of into my face.

man and van on ramp port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022No change of occupancy in the chantier naval or the ferry terminal today so I had a look around elsewhere.

It was the van on the boat-launching ramp underneath the fish processing plant that caught me eye. I wondered what it was doing there because the incoming tide would make short work of it.

However there was a man standing on the silt down there having a good look around. But at what I really don’t know. However it is round about the time of year when they dredge the harbour so I wonder if he’s eyeing up the job.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Further on down the path towards the inner harbour I noticed that Normandy Trader is still in port.

She came in on the evenign tide last night as I mentioned, and she should have gone out on the morning tide after laoding up (you can see the swimming pool on board) but a message went round earlier in the day that “due to abnormal weather conditions” she won’t be going out until things calm down.

What I did was to send a message to the crew to invite them round for a coffee but they didn’t reply. I suppose that they were quite comfortable on board.

Incidentally, you’ll notice the small “upper deck” behind the wheelhouse. That’s how we know that she’s Normandy Trader and not her sister Normandy Warrior.

philcathane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Also in the inner harbour is a trawler that we haven’t seen for a while.

She’s Philcathane of course, and moored up against the harbour wall just like almost every other fishing boat. It loks as if none of the fishing boats have gone out today and that’s not a surprise in this weather.

Outside the building I noticed one of my neighbours struggling taking her rubbish over to the bins so I gave her a hand. We had a little chat about next-to-nothing and then I came back in for my coffee, clutching my new credit card in my hand.

So “Spend Spend Spend” hey?

After the coffee I finished off what I was doing and then went for tea. Veggie balls, pasta and veg in a vegan cheese sauce and it really was nice. It might only be simple food that I cook but it really is delicious

So tomorrow if Caliburn is still there and hasn’t been blown away I’ll be going to the shops. I wonder how things would work if I fitted him with sails.

Monday 31st January 2022 – WHAT THE H*LL …

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022… happened to me this morning?

While you admire a few photos that I took of the sunset this afternoon that illuminated the Baie de Mont St Michel, I’ll surprise you all by telling you that not only was my radio programme finished by 09:15, I was actually listening to it running through.

and that includes having to rewrite and redictate about a third of it because I wasn’t satisfied with what I’d done. And then it needed some further editing too because after I’d re-edited the speech parts that i’d redone, I’d forgotten to shunt the rest of it down the line.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022And if you are wondering how come I managed to do it so quickly and so comprehensively, you’ll be even more surprised when I tell you that at 04:34 I was sitting at my desk in here starting work.

Whatever happened during the night I really don’t know but I had something like a reasonable sleep for a few hours and that was that. And it was absolutely impossible for me to go back to sleep.

There wasn’t any point in lying in bed trying and failing to sleep and waiting for the alarm to go off at 06:00 so I arose from the dead and started work.

The earlier I start, the earlier I finish.

But as far as the radio programme went, today was the first time that I’ve actually felt that a series of speeches and introductions went well. I must be improving, which I suppose that I ought to seeing as this was programme 148 that I was preparing.

If I’ve not learnt anything in all this time then there’s something seriously wrong.

After breakfast and after having listened to the programme I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been and, more importantly, who had come with me. There was a whole pile of stuff going on last night about someone who walked out of my life last summer, about how someone was trying to make her husband reduce the price of the house that he had for sale and if necessary sell it to them yard by yard so that they could keep under their budget. She asked them to quite honestly prepare some kind of statement about how their personal wealth had increased and so on over the last 12 months. She was walking home with Phil Lynott and saying how much he contributed towards her childhood. There was tonnes of other stuff as well and she finished by saying that as of the end of the month or the end of the week their address would be “The Turfs” but she didn’t actually say where, “presumably for a very good reason” said the cynic inside me. I dunno about this but there was tons of stuff and I missed most of it

And later Nerina was back again last night after our row on Thursday (was it on Thursday? At least, that’s what I said during the night). We were having a chat about things trying to organise ourselves. We came to the conclusion that we’d been using the car far too much. We thought about the idea of trying to do things differently. We were becoming more organised in the kitchen etc but again the question of the car turned up. I said “how about going somewhere on the bikes?”. Nerina had a bike and I had the bike of Marianne’s. They both needed som adjustment but I said that we could do that and spend some days out on our bikes and see where we went from there. She was coming up with a few reasons why we couldn’t do that but none of those seemed to relate to the point that we would try to see what we could do about the bikes. We could have a go at it. I had the impression that she wasn’t all that keen on the idea of cycling but it seemed to me that if we were to stop using the car to go to work or something it was the obvious answer. Spending half a day trying to organise it to see if it would work would be a good plan. Anyway she was off making something with 3 apples and I was washing up in the kitchen and this conversation was going on and on. I was trying to persuade her to at least have a try about doing it.

Following that I went and had a really good shower and clean-up to prepare for my trip to the physiotherapist, and then I … errr … fell asleep.

It was therefore a rather late lunch and then I headed out for my appointment.

le loup baie de mont st michel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022At the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard Vaufleury I stopped to make sure that the NIKON 1 J5 was working.

The weather today was grey and windy – very windy in fact – and there was more than just a hint of rain in the air as you can tell from the rainstorm that’s out there just offshore from the Pointe de Carolles. We can’t see very much out there in the distance this afternoon.

The tide was well out as you can see. The inner harbour is pretty much dry and Le Loup was slowly rising up out of the waves, just about to be buzzed by a long-distance seagull.

spirit of conrad black mamba charles marie anakena belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Meanwhile, there is quite a full house down there in the harbour.

From left to right insofar as I can identify them, we have Spirit of Conrad with an unidentified yacht next to her. Then the yacht with “154” on her hull is, I think, Black Mamba moored alongside Charles Marie.

to their right is Anakena, then a couple of unidentified fishing boats and finally the new Belle France. But no Aztec Lady. It looks as if she’s headed off to the Arctic already.

As for Anakena, her owners were talking about Greenland not so long ago so I sent them a message to ask about their trips. However, as you might expect, they never replied.

The next person who complains about a recession with get a smack in the mouth.

loading building material chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022While I was walking down the hill towards the port, I could see that the big crane in the loading bay was busy working.

My first thought was that one of the Jersey freighters was in port this afternoon, but in fact it’s Chausiaise, the little freighter that runs out to the Ile de Chausey, that’s receiving attention.

It looks as if she’s preparing for a run out to the island, but I can’t think what they will be doing with all of that building equipment on the island.

But that was enough excitement for now. I have an appointment and I’ll be late if I’m not careful. I need to get a move on.

installing kiddies roundabout Place Général de Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022It’s coming up to school half-term, as this photo will tell us.

Carnaval is cancelled yet again this year but we are having the kiddies’ roundabout at least, to keep the brats entertained.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there was some dispute about the roundabout that usually comes here – it was oversize and obstructing the pavement so there was some talk of revoking its licence or making it go somewhere else.

The owner intended to lodge an appeal against any decision that the council might make, but it looks as if some kind of compromise has been reached because he’s setting up in his usual place, just across the road from the Mairie.

The walk up the hill was agony. I made it up without stopping but I knew all about every inch of the way. And I spent most of my session doing kinetic exercises

My neighbour was there too and he offered me a lift home, but I decided to walk.

street lights trees rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way home I went via the back of the town centre to see what was happening at the Rue du Boscq.

If you look closely, you’ll see that we now have some trees planted all the way down on the right-hand side of the concrete walkway. But it still doesn’t look like it does on the artist’s impression, but then again these things never do. They only produce these drawings to hoodwink the gullible public.

As for the grey columns, they look as if they might be streetlights. And I’ll probably get to find out next week when I wander off to Leuven – unless it’s light at that time of the morning. They days are lengthening rapidly.

new brickwork rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022A few weeks ago I posted a photo of the new bricks that they had put on top of the wall on the Rue des Juifs after they had finished pointing it.

At the time I remember remarking that they’ll be back quite soon to point the brickwork and I’d forgotten all about them until this afternoon.

Well, anyway, they have been back and they have actually repointed one of the gaps. But they haven’t bothered with the rest. It’s true that we don’t have any really cold weather like they might elsewhere, but if they don’t point the bricks quite soon and the frost gets in, then it would have been a waste of time sticking the brickwork on top.

les bouchots de chausey tiberiade coelacanthe marite skyjack port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022In a few weeks time Marité will be going for her annual inspection prior to the start of the tourist season at Easter.

It looks like they are carrying out a few repairs to her masts and rigging, and they’ve even involved a skyjack in the repair procedure.

Over in the background to the left, the boat that I couldn’t identify yesterday is Les Bouchots de Chausey and to the right we have the two big trawlers Coelacanthe and Tiberiade.

In the background on the quayside there are a couple of people working on some fishing nets. As they say, “there’s a time for fishing, and a time for mending the nets”.

chausiaise joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On our way out to the physiotherapist’s, we saw the big crane loading up Chausiaise with a pile of building material.

The harbour gates are still closed so she won’t be going anywhere right now, but she’s moved away from the loading bay and she’s now moored up alongside one of the Joly France ferries that go to the Ile de Chausey.

She’s the newer one of the two sisters, as we can tell by the fact that she had a much smaller upper-deck superstructure. The older one is presumably moored out at the ferry terminal, where she has been for several days now.

lifeboat helicopter baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Excuse the blurred photo here but I had to take it in rather a hurry and the NIKON 1 J5 isn’t as reactive as the bigger Nikons.

Out there in the bay I’d noticed the lifeboat, the Notre Dame de Cap Lihou, out there in the bay heading off out to sea. And as I watched, the air-sea rescue helicopter flew by overhead, went out to the lifeboat and did a couple of laps around.

Once they had co-ordinated themselves, off they set out to sea, followed by a couple of seagulls. Whatever is going on out there, doubtless there will be some kind of report in the local paper if it’s anything important.

It’s a shame that the photo didn’t turn out very well.

belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022While I was busy dealing with the helicopter and the lifeboat, another boat roared into life down in the harbour.

It looks as if it’s the turn of Belle France to go for a little wander around. But she can’t be going far because right now the harbour gates are closed so the best that she could do is a quick lap around the inner harbour.

However, I had a quick lap of my own to make so I didn’t want to hang around to see what she was up to. I was tired, cold and fed up and needed a hot coffee to warm me up so I headed on up the hill towards home sweet home.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But not before I’d seen what was going on down on the beach this afternoon.

It wasn’t easy to take this shot either because there was a howling gale blowing out here and I was having trouble trying to keep my feet. So whether or not there was any beach for anyone to be on, I didn’t actually expect to see anyone on it so I wasn’t disappointed.

Back here I made myself a coffee and came in here to carry on with my work. And when I awoke, the coffee was still there, untouched, and stone-cold. It doesn’t stay warm if it’s left for almost two hours.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper, and having had a hot chocolate and written my notes I’m off to bed.

Writing my notes was not easy because despite all of the sleep that I’ve had today I’m still quite exhausted. I’ve been struggling to keep awake.

It’s my Welsh lesson tomorrow and I want to be on form, and so I need to have a better night’s sleep tonight than I did last night. I must admit that I’m ready for it, but then again, so I was yesterday and look how that turned out.

Thursday 9th December 2021 – FOR SOME REASON …

… today has gone really slowly. In fact, it’s dragged pretty much today and at one stage I thought that it would never finish.

That makes a change from how it usually is when there never seems to be enough time to do anything at all. And in fact, despite it never seeming to finish, it took quite a while to start, especially when I couldn’t seem to raise my back up off the bed.

However, I was up and about eventually and once I’d come round, had my medication and checked my mails and messages, I started work.

First task was to write a pile of e-mails. The time-limit for my project is drawing closer so I needed to chivvy up a couple of people who were foolish enough to promise me something. As for the other people, that’s Monday’s job.

Next was the recordings from Sunday. I wrote a mail to Laurent enclosing the sound files with a note explaining whet needs to be done.

The organiser from the radio wrote to me too. Would I go with him tomorrow evening and photograph a music concert? So that’s my football tomorrow evening down the spout.

For the rest of the morning I’ve been working on the photos from that music concert at the end of October. I’d forgotten about those – and that’s probably because they’ve forgotten about me. I offered them a spot on my radio programmes as a liv concert one weekend but despite two reminders, I never had a reply.

In fact, of all the mails and messages that I send out offering people free air time, or trying to buy something, or trying to obtain information that might lead to me spending a lot of money with them, I have about 10%-worth of replies.

Seriously, the next person who tells me that there’s a recession on will receive a smack in the mouth.

Another thing that I’ve done today is to scrub, clean and polish Caliburn’s headlights. They have gone rather dim just recently and I found a cheap headlight-polishing kit in LeClerc. And it’s a good job that I did it when I did because half an hour before, and half an hour after, we had a rainstorm.

When I went out to clean the lights it was the only part of the day when it wasn’t raining.

Something else was to soak 750 grammes of dried fruit. I’m going to make a Christmas fruit cake this weekend so I need plenty of dried fruit soaked in flavouring. Finding alcohol-free brandy or rum essence is impossible here so I made my own out of vanilla and orange. That will sit and soak now until Sunday.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Despite the heavy rain, I dressed for the weather and then went out for my afternoon walk.

First place to visit was the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down onto the beach. And to my surprise, there were some people down there too. They must be as crazy as I am.

One guy was out there walking his dog but I’m not sure what the others were doing. You’re probably expecting me to make some kind of comment about the peche à pied after the news the other day, but I shall refrain.

fishing boat baie de granville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021By now it was raining quite heavily so I had to be careful where and when I produced the camera.

You can see the kind of weather that we were having by looking at this fishing boat out here in the bay. Not only is it lost in a mist of heavy rain, it’s also quite low down in the water.

Well, that’s relatively speaking, of course. What’s creating that effect is the fact that the sea is quite turbulent today and I took that photo at the apogee of a wave-cycle. That explains everything.

But as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … going out to sea in this kind of weather day after day; week after week, is one of the more dangerous modern occupations and my hat comes off to anyone who does it.

different surfaces in water baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021One thing for certain is that these different colours in the water is not due to variations in the cloud cover.

That’s something that I can confirm today anyway because we are having 10/10ths cloud cover. It’s all thick, heavy and grey out there and yet the sea is producing another one of its multi-coloured layer effects for us.

All that I can suggest is that if it’s not down to what’s underneath on the sea bed, it must be to do with the water-type – the water with the slight brown tinge is presumably fresh water coming from a river and bringing silt with it, and being carried by the tides and current.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021There’s none of it round the other side too. You can see the frontier half-way out towards Le Loup

There are two rivers here – a river that flows from a spring in the side of the cliff here and then there’s the River Boscq that runs underneath the Rue du Boscq and out through the harbour.

But once more, I was the only person here watching it. In view of the weather there was no-one else around at all. And, in news that shall surprise no-one, there wasn’t anything going on in the bay either. Everyone else was safe at home in the warmth.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021There were a few people walking around by the ferry terminal though.

One of the Joly France boats was there – the older one of the two with the larger upper-deck superstructure and with no step in the stern. They must be planning on running a ferry service out to the Ile de Chausey in the immediate future.

She’d drawn a little crowd too. There were a few people walking around on the quayside over there and also on the wall that goes around the Port de Plaisance.

But I’m not hanging around right now. I’m rather wet at the moment … “no surprise here” – ed … so I’m heading home for a hot coffee.

What I did once I returned home will surprise many people, but I made out a CV and sent it off in answer to a job advertisement.

There’s a good reason for doing this, which I shall now proceed to explain.

Apart from the obvious intention of going back into the Travel business where I spent many happy years in the 80s and early 90s, I wanted my CV to be on their table and brought to their attention and this was the ideal moment to do it.

In the past, I’ve travelled with this company as a client, which is rather like a school field trip rather than a tour, and to say that I’ve been unimpressed with the historians that they have engaged is something of an understatement.

Without wishing to blow my own trumpet too much, I know far more about the Norse voyages to Greenland and North America than the “historian” did, and I’ve spent much more time out on the Labrador coast visiting exciting places that relate to all kinds of history of the Province, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

So what I did in my CV is to post links to much of the stuff that I’ve written in the past, in the days when I used to have time, in the hope that they will read it. So if I don’t win the Tour Manager’s job (which will be a shame if I don’t) they might pick me up as a historian and geographer.

One thing that I do know is that if I don’t apply, I won’t have the job and I won’t lose anything by trying.

But it really is the kind of job that I can do standing on my head. 13 years of leading coach tours behind the iron Curtain, a couple of years organising conferences for that strange American company in Brussels where I worked with Alison. I must be in the mix somewhere

Tea tonight was pasta and a vegan burger and now I’m off to bed. Before I go though, I’ll just add in the dictaphone notes from last night. There was a party taking place and I’d been invited so I was definitely going. There were several girls going too so I thought to myself that I want to play an open hand here for if I’m lucky I might actually end up with one the way things were breaking out. Someone offered me a lift home afterwards, which I refused because I said that I wanted to see how the situation ended with a certain girl because obviously if it ended well I was going to walk her home. If she came with us in the car that would complicate matters even more because there was one boy going to be left over rom these boys and girls anyway and I was hopeful that it wasn’t going to be me. We all turned up at this party and the way that the tables were arranged we were ending up in pairs – boy-girl-boy-girl with a boy at the end. I was lucky in that I was next to the girl I wanted to be. So the meal started to be served but there was some kind of issue between the guy who in theory was alone (there was a guy with him with whom I went to school) and one of the girls that was on the point of turning ugly. I couldn’t understand what was happening. It was a simple matter of dishing out the food but for some unknown reason there was some kind of dispute. I was looking on with some kind of fright because for once I’d actually managed to sit next to the girl I wanted but the way that this was going I could see everyone walking out and that would leave me sitting on my own. One of these “just as I thought I’d got my bird and just about to get my fork stuck in it” moments.

I stepped back into this dream again later with this situation between this boy and this girl and serving out the lettuce was becoming extremely uncomfortable. There I was thinking for once in my life when I really did get the girl this is all going to backfire through no fault of my own and I’ll be on my own again

I’d already started to dig out the interview bits to fit the camera and the reporters and preparing for this to be recorded but the way that things are going on there will be no-one here to record. And what that was about I have no idea at all.

Later on I was trying to tidy up the kitchen where I was living with someone. She had a small daughter about Roxanne’s age. There were clothes everywhere all over the kitchen belonging to this child who was just taking them off and dumping them somewhere. I was collecting them up and putting them in a pile in the wash basket. It was overflowing like mad. I felt like having a word with this woman to say that only one change of clothes every day. I mentioned that I had the clothes and she replied “you know where the linen basket is. Put them there” so I continued to build up this enormous pile of clothing. She was doing something down the sink. I asked her what it was. She replied “a while ago some birds had gone in there in the evacuation and you could see them so you can shoot at them and occasionally hit one of them and it would die in the waste trap”. She said that they were thinking of selling their house so she had to have it cleared out anyway but there was enough room for the water to pass out by the side of it.

Finally I was doing a coach trip but as a passenger, not a driver. The new Covid regulations came out that meant that people could only sit at one of every two seats. I was going around putting bin bags on the alternate seats and taping them in place, making sure that there were notices telling people not to sit there. Of course, in the middle of a coach trip this was extremely difficult. Some people were being co-operative, some were not. The crane parked alongside the coach wasn’t making things easy. In the end I managed to close off half the seats with the exception of the back row because of people were there. I thought that that’s another job in this list that’s been done even if the people were not too keen. I had to borrow a set of scissors from one of the passengers but someone produced this most extraordinary sharp knife with a strange blade but that was exactly what I wanted so I borrowed that as well to do the job.

It was a good day today. Here’s hoping for a better one tomorrow.

Tuesday 7th December 2021 – JUST BY WAY OF …

… a change, there has been no excitement in the local area today.

The rest of the body that goes with the foot wasn’t washed up on a beach anywhere in the vicinity. And neither was the Loch Ness Monster or Godzilla. In fact, we were all back to normal again.

Plenty of excitement during the night though. I’d been asked if I’d do a lorry-driving job driving a tanker somewhere. I said that I would and set out from the UK in this artic towing this tanker. We reached the docks and I drove my lorry on board. They said that they would park it so I let them park. When the ship docked I went down below to the hold and found that they’d uncoupled my lorry from the trailer. I though that this is going to be an absolute bitch for me to couple up because I haven’t driven a lorry for 30 years. I have to line everything up, mate it up, connect it up, connect all the cables. I drove round there but thought that this doesn’t feel like my tractor. For a start, my music wasn”t playing and it was a lot rougher to drive than mine. I wondered if I’d got the wrong tractor but they keys all fitted and everything. When I arrived round at the other side I noticed that the tractor had had a couple of its wheels taken off so I had to hunt for a couple of wheels which wasn’t easy. There was a big inspection pit there full of snakes and all kinds of other obnoxious reptiles (and we had this the other day). Eventually I found 2 wheels but on one the tyre was really thin on it. There was another new tyre there ready to put on. I thought “I have to put these 2 wheels back on, change this tyre over, reverse this tractor unit in underneath this trailer and so on. I’ve already been at it for about 6 hours and the ferry has probably done 2 trips back and to to the UK while I’ve been doing this and I’m never going to get away at this rate as I keep on finding more and more problems with this flaming tractor. This continued confusion and frustration is another regular feature.

Something else that is a regular feature is about me being back in work and planning on leaving. My last day should have been a Monday but I left instead on the Friday and was heading to the South Atlantic. However they were overrun with work so they asked me to come back on the Monday. I was really disappointed, firstly because I wanted to be in the South Atlantic and secondly because I’d left behind a whole pile of messy cases that I didn’t want to do. When I finally made it into the office on Monday morning there were a whole pile of cakes and everything on my desk and people making comments about “ohh your appetite’s back as well Eric” – all that. There was also something about a family with a young girl. They had been doing something with the town, some kind of course. The young girl hadn’t been there for the first couple of days because she was ill but she had come back after I’d left and was being very impolite and very awkward. A few people had had words about her behaviour. I don’t know where that fitted in but by now I was back at work with all of these tyres to change (as in the previous voyage) and a whole pile of paperwork and stuff that we were doing and reordering. I was completely fed up with having to come back and if they thought that I would come back the day after, they were very mistaken.

Later on I did step back into that dream where I left off, the one where I was back in work the day after but convinced that that was going to be my final day. I spent a lot of the time looking in hedgerows for orienteering clips that were supposed to be there.

Finally I was in an Inuit settlement in Nunavut. In a gap between a couple of houses was a river but when I looked it was a really long cascading waterfall with about 4 or 5 different drops. I took the camera out to take a photo but it was a really difficult one to photograph. Just as I took the photograph 4 or 5 girls came past on bikes saying “that’s a strange thing to photograph”. I told them to come here and look, which they did. When I showed them the photograph it consisted of them on their bikes obscuring my photograph.

After all of that excitement it was a struggle for me to leave my bed when the alarm went off. When I eventually did struggle to my feet I went off for my medication feeling rather unsteady on my feet.

After checking the mails and messages I sat down to revise my Welsh for the lesson and to write up my notes from last week too. And all of that took longer than it ought to have done as well.

The lesson passed quite quickly and for a change it passed off quite well too without me, for once, making a fool of myself. But I’m really struggling with this teflon brain of mine. Nothing seems to stick to it

After lunch I had a few things to organise that took me right up until it was time for me to go for my afternoon walk.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021As usual, my first port of call was going to be at the beach – or, rather, at the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down onto the beach.

It was the kind of day where I didn’t expect to se anyone down there, and I was right too. It was fairly windy today but more relevantly, we’d been having rainstorms on and off all throughout the day

At the moment it had stopped raining but 10 minutes ago and at various times during the rest of the day we were having it coming down in buckets.

In fact, no sooner had I taken the photo of the beach it all came down again so I put away the camera on the inside of my rain jacket and trudged off down the path.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021That will explain why there are no photographs until I arrived at the car park at the end of the path – it was too wet to take out the camera.

However by the time I reached here the rain had diminished somewhat so to celebrate the occasion I took a photograph of Le Loup – the marker light that sits on the rock at the entrance to the port.

It looks quite nice framed through the trees like that and the rain that was falling down was giving it something of a surreal effect. We’ve seen plenty of photos of it when it’s been beautifully illuminated by the sunshine so it’s nice to have a photo that is somewhat different.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Talking of the sunshine, we’re having another one of these beautiful sunsets.

Over towards the Brittany coast there’s a gap in the clouds and the sunshine is streaming down and lighting up a little patch on the sea in the centre of the bay.

As I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … this time of the year is always good for this kind of effect and it was rather a shame that I was the only one out there enjoying it this afternoon.

portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021With nothing else going on I wandered off down the path towards the port.

And there is something going on down at the chantier naval this afternoon. The first thing that I noticed was that the wheels of the portable boat lift have now disappeared. I wonder where they have gone.

There’s a guy down there too, going back and to between the ladder on the side of the boat lift and his van. He’s the only one down there this afternoon – everyone else who has been working down there recently seems to have cleared off.

Probably something to do with the weather, I reckon.

jade 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And this afternoon we have a boat over at the fish processing plant this afternoon.

It’s not any of the usual suspects such as L’Omerta but one of the larger trawlers – Jade III in fact, as I was to find out as I drew closer – and as I’m useless at drawing, it was a pretty poor likeness.

Her registration number tells me that she’s from St Brieuc, although we’ve seen her here a few times, and it’s a good job that she has a catamaran hull so that she can settle down in the silt without too many problems.

The problem that I was having now was that it had started to rain fairly heavily so I headed off back home quite quickly.

fork lift truck place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Before I went inside though, I was distracted by the goings-on on the car park outside.

There was a fork-lift truck racing around on there, heading back on its way out again. he drove off towards the medieval walled city again, the wrong way down the one-way street.

He’s presumably working on the Rue St Michel and that reminded me that tomorrow, if I have time, I’ll have to go that way and see what they are up to. It’s been a while since I’ve last checked and I imagine that they’ve made some progress since then.

workmen's compound skip lorry place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021So this is what the fork-lift truck has been up to.

It looks as if there has been a load of material delivered in those large sacks to what used to be the workmen’s compound and the fork-lift truck has been lifting them on to the back of the pickup over there, which is now heading off in that general direction as well.

The skip is back as well, having been gone for a few days. Things must be hotting up over there.

Back here I had a nice hot coffee and then transcribed the notes off the dictaphone for today, which I posted earlier.

This evening’s mean was a curry made of all of the left-overs in the fridge, lengthened with a tin of lentils. There’s enough there for a meal tomorrow as well and that’ll save me having to think of a meal. I’m not sure what’s happening but I seem to have lost all of my enthusiasm for everything just now.

So later than usual, and later than intended, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow I need to make a start on editing the sound-file that I recorded on Sunday morning. I’m hoping therefore to have a decent night’s sleep. It’s been a while ….

Tuesday 5th October 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… very strange communication today.

People have given up asking me about my family because we weren’t really a family at all – just a collection of strangers living under the same roof, a 20th Century version of the “Harleian Miscellany”. and as soon as we were able to do so, we did our imitation of the KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND TABLE and each went our separate ways.

Some event that took place several months ago seems to have focused some minds, so it seems, and today I had an e-mail from someone who last spoke to me over 20 years ago and never replied to a couple of mails that I sent him afterwards.

Now, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m slowly dying of an incurable disease and I have no reason to suppose that “others” are unaware of this.

However, this mail spared us all the usual niceties about “how are you?”, “sorry to hear of your illness”, “is there anything that we can do to help you?” but it cut straight to the crux of the matter.

Yes, someone has found out that I have some things that they would like and the mail went “How are you making available ************ to the wider family? Could you include me in your circulation of such?”.

Seeing that no-one in “the wider family”, apart from my niece in Canada, has spoken to me in over 20 years, my reply was, quite naturally, “no-one in “the wider family” has ever asked me for it”.

Yes, because I have something that someone else wants, I’ve suddenly become popular.

Not that the lack of courtesy, politeness and concern ever bothered me – I’ve long-since given up expecting any of that. I simply admired the brass neck of it all

But anyway, returning to our moutons, as they say around here, as I have said before … “on many occasions” – ed … there isn’t really much point in going to bed early if I don’t go to sleep.

Last night, I was still tossing and turning in my bed long after 01:00 and so consequently even though I was lying in until 07:30, I was still half-dead when I crawled out of my bed when the alarm went off.

Much of the morning was spent hunting unsuccessfully for my notes from my Welsh lesson from last week, and it wasn’t until I’d written them out again that I finally found them.

And while I was reviewing the notes I … errr … closed my eyes for 10 minutes.

Armed with my coffee and one of my delicious fruit buns (and they really are delicious too) I went for my lesson. 150 minutes passed fairly quickly and it also passed quite well. Being tired was something of a drag but at least I didn’t fall asleep.

After my lunch, the first thing that I did was to book my stay in the hospital.

Surprisingly, all of the early TGVs were fully booked and I’ve ended up taking the 08:43 next Saturday from Brussels to Paris, and then I’m breaking new ground by going home via Caen. I’ve never been that way on a train before.

waves baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021By now it was time for me to go for my post-prandial perambulation around the Pointe so I headed off as usual across the car park.

It was a case of hanging onto my hat, and eventually taking it off and stuffing it in my pocket because there was a totally wild and wicked wind blowing around out there this afternoon.

Just one look at the whitecaps on the waves is enough to tell you all that you need to know. It was one of the wildest seas that we have had just recently, with the blowing round today from the north-east for a change.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021having made a note of that I went to look over the wall down onto the beach.

And to my surprise, there were quite a few people down there on the bsach this afternoon, despite the wind. Armed with buckets and spades, you might be forgiven for thinking that they are building sandcastles, but in fact they are scavenging for seafood amongst the rocks.

Into the teeth of the gale struggled Yours Truly, headig off on my walk along the path.

There was only me out there, which was no surprise. The wind really was taking away my breath and I had quite a struggle along the path.

le loup waves baie de mont st michel granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021When I reached the lawn by the lighthouse, just like Bob Dylan, I didn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

The sea was quite wild in the Baie de Mont St Michel this afternoon and Le Loup, the marker light on the rock just by the harbour entrance, was being battered by the waves.

No cars on the car park, of course. There wasn’t anyone around at all.

You’ll notice the upright pole with the sign thereupon, just to the right of centre. They installed that a couple of years ago and laid a little path from the car park so that people could approach it. It took 2 workmen about a week to lay the path.

A year or so later, a few more workmen came past and dug up the path that they had laid, and laid the one that you see that leads up to the Monument to the Resistance Fighters.

That first path was a waste of time, effort and money, wasn’t it?

cherie d'amour fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021My walk takes me down the path and across the car park to the end of the headland

No-one on the bench by the Cabanon Vauban, as you might expect in this weather, but there were other forms of entertainment out there. A couple of fishing boats, one of which may well beCherie d’Amour, were battling with the waves out there in the bay.

And as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … my hat comes off to all of those in peril on the sea working in weather like this.

flags boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021The wind was far too strong for me to stay there for long, so I moved off down the path on the other side

The wind here was, for a change, just as wicked and it seems to have been wreaking havoc with the flags on the poles at the car park at the Boulevard Vaufleury.

The European Union flag has already gone and the French national flag is about to follow it, by the looks of things. The flags of Normandy and of the town also seem to have been taking quite a battering as well

What will remain of them tomorrow?

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Now that the chantier naval is empty (apart from the dredger of course) they have been tidying up.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a street cleaning machine down there hoovering up the debris. They have also put up the blocks on which they drop the ships, so does that mean that we might not be expecting any more boats in there in the near future?

However I’ve been quite wrong in the past about my predictions for boats down there, so I’m going to say nothing. I’ll just carry on with my walk down the path.

tubes in water port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Something else that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that for the past couple of weeks there have been a pile of pipes and other equipment on the quayside.

Today, those pipes have moved, and some of them now seem to be in the water in the inner harbour. The rest are on the quayside looking as if they are about to take to the water.

It still defeats me exactly what the plan is for all of those, but I suppose that it will become more clear as time goes on.

Back here I had my coffee and then turned my attention to the dictaphone.

I was having a chat with my Scottish friend last night about loneliness, of all things. She was saying that she had a girl of 14 whom she took away and it taught her about relationships with other people, that kind of thing, and stopped her being lonely. She was thinking about becoming a Brownie leader. I explained that I lived on my own little world and occasionally came out to interact with other people but mostly, I was doing fine as I was. This discussion went on for ages but I can’t remember much.

There was some stuff from some previous days on there too so they have all been transcribed and are now on line in the relevant places.

Tea tonight was taco rolls with the left-over stuffing from yesterday and it was delicious.

And now I’m off to bed, in the hope that I can have a good night’s sleep instead of what I went through last night. It’s high time that I had a good night.

Sunday 3rd October 2021 – I TRIED SOMETHING …

… different today, and by the looks of things, it might have actually worked too.

vegan pizza fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, my fruit bread has been something of a hit-and-miss but today for some reason that I have yet to understand, I ended up with a dough that was one of the best that I’ve ever made.

Consequently, in an attempt to try something rather different, I cut the dough into 8, rolled them into some rather flat discs, and put them on some baking paper on the oven tray.

When they had risen sufficiently I baked them in the oven. And although I haven’t tried them yet, they look and feel really good.

However, I did try the pizza that I baked after the buns, and that really was excellent.

So was my sleep last night. 10:35 when I awoke, and about 11:05 when I finally left the bed. I can do with a few more days like that.

Some stuff on the dictaphone too. I dreamt last night that Lidl had gone bankrupt so I walked from my apartment all the way out there without any problems at all, I should say, and had a look round. They were even giving free coffee to people who were looking around. There was plenty of stuff on sale. I don’t believe that I bought anything. I was following this man and his daughter down the stairs thinking to myself that seeing as I’m going off to somewhere else on Wednesday I’ll go in the van and have a look around the big Lidl that is there to see what bargains they have. There were some headlines in the paper that I was looking at – “1 foot 3 inch baby born again”. There were all these people hanging around the door and we couldn’t leave so I said “do you mind letting the ones born first out of the building so that the others about to be born can come along quicker?”.

With Sunday being a day of rest, I haven’t done a great deal. After a coffee I paired off the music for the next radio programme and that took me nicely up to lunchtime.

After lunch I relaxed for a while with a coffee and then made the dough for my fruit bread. While I was at it I did a little tidying up in the cupboard under the sink. Just a little – I didn’t go mad.

By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021First port of call was the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on.

It wasn’t raining and we actually had some blue sky, and although it was very windy this afternoon, the weather was still good enough to tempt a few people out onto the beach.

But not into the water by the looks of things. It wasn’t that nice. And with the waves coming in like that, then it’s to be expected. No-one wants to be dashed to pieces on the rocks down there by a rather large wave or two.

storm brewing over jersey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021It might have been a reasonable day over here in Granville, but that’s not to say that it was the same everywhere.

Look at that storm over there. Jersey is somewhere underneath that and by the looks of things it taking something of a severe pounding. I’m glad that I’m not out there in that.

Actually, the raincloud stretched all the way from the north-east corner of the Ile de Chausey and then right across to Jersey and beyond into the English Channel. And every now and again as I walked around my circuit, we had a spattering of rain as an extra-strong gust of wind brought some over.

workmen's compound place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a workmen’s compound had been set up in the car park outside here, and I’d promised to go and look at it.

Actually, it’s not all that much of a compound at all. Just some equipment that has been parked here, secured against theft by some red and white plastic tape.

Having a look round, I could see a notice that suggested that it belonged to a company that specialised in “difficult access”. And so I wonder if they are going to be setting up camp with a view to starting repairs on the part of the wall that is crumbling away just here.

If they are, then it’s not before time.

There were a few people around on the path as I made my way around the headland, but there wasn’t any activity out to sea. I reckon that most people had seen the storm and gone back home for a cuppa.

There was the sparrowhawk out there hovering around again but as soon as I pointed my camera at him, he cleared off, as you would expect.

sun reflecting on surface baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And you can tell that the sun is now going much lower in the sky.

For the first time since the summer we were having the reflections of the sun in that water. This isn’t the best that we have ever had of course, but it’s the first of the winter so it deserves to be recorded.

It’s a shame that there was no-one else but me enjoying it. There was no-one else about, not even on the bench down by the cabanon vauban. And there wasn’t even a boat out there either to profit from the afternoon.

yachts le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Mind you, there was a couple of yachts out there around the other side of the headland in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

You only need to look at the sea out there to see exactly what the wind was doing this afternoon. The whitecaps over there look quite wicked when you are battling the elements with a tiny yacht.

It’s actually not very often that we see the wind coming round from that angle. Le Loup is positively swamped in waves.

When I posted a photo a short while ago of the bay, the headland was acting as a really good wind-shadow to the bay with the usual nor’westers but this wind is now blowing from the west today.

waves breaking on harbour wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021With all of this wind surging around in the bay I was expecting to see something rather dramatic on the harbour wall.

However, it was only my hopes that were being dashed. Instead of a bang, it was much more of a whimper. The waves breaking on the wall were quite insignificant, and I had to wait for a couple of minutes even to have something like that.

Meanwhile, in the chantier naval there was nothing of any interest there. No new boats at all, only the dredger sitting there waiting for things to happen.

Had I been feeling better, I’d have gone down for a look. I planned to go there yesterday on my way back from the shops but the rainstorm put paid to that idea.

crane on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Anyway, further around the path, it looks as if I’ve acquired another pet subject to go with pathetic parking, the Birdmen of Alcatraz and the beach at the Rue du Nord.

Not a boat moored at the ferry terminal right now, everyone gone off for the afternoon, and they’ve left the crane arm fully extended, with all of the weight of the arm pressing down on the hydraulic seal.

But that’s their affair, not mine. I came back home for a coffee and for a relax, and left them to it.

After the coffee I kneaded and rolled out the pizza dough that I’d taken out of the freezer earlier, and put it onto the pizza tray ready to assemble.

Then I had the delightful job of peeling, dicing and blanching a kilo of carrots. On Saturday I was jost going to buy a couple and then a couple more in midweek, but why buy loose carrots at €2:19 per kilo when a one-kilo pack of carrots costs €0:79?

The buns went into the oven while I was assembling the pizza and that went in afterwards. Really delicious.

With an early start tomorrow I’m off to bed now. I’m radioing tomorrow of course and then I have an appointment with the physiotherapist. We’ve had a change of day for my appointments.

Tuesday 28th September 2021 – “BNP IS PRODUCED BY …

… the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber. The heart releases more BNP and NT-proBNP when the left ventricle is distended from working too hard, as in heart failure.
Levels above 450 ng/L for individuals between 50 and 75 years of age are consistent with heart failure”.

Mine is 514.

Still, with only 60% of the red blood cells that carry around the oxygen, my heart has to beat about 1.67 times faster to move the oxygen around my body. And it’s been doing that now for over 6 years and it can’t keep up that pace for ever.

We’re not quite at the “it’s a waste of time you buying any long-playing records” yet, but I don’t think that it will be far off.

But going to the doctor’s this afternoon did bring about some benefits.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there I walked back via the port to go and ispect these piles of freight on the quayside that we’ve been admiring from a distance over the last few days.

As for what this lot is, it’s very difficult to say. It’s some sort of folded-down equipment that can be unfolded and repositioned. I had a good look around it but I couldn’t see what it might be when it’s unfolded.

It’s pretty heavy and substantial so it’s obviously going to be for something quite serious.

However there were no makers’ labels or anything on it to give me any further information.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This other pile of freight is however rather more interesting.

It’s galvanised, made in the Czech Rupublic, supplied by a company in France and labelled “Jersey”, so it’s evidently destined for one of the Jersey freighters.

It’s this new-fangled design of corrugated sheeting of the type that it used for roofs or walls but the way that it’s packed on these pallets, it’s something much more substantial, more heavy and more important.

It’s not all just thrown together, one on top of another, like normal corrugated sheeting..

tubes on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was here, I went to have a look at these tubes that had appeared on the quayside by where the Jersey ferries are moored.

Once more, no clue as to what they might be. They are metal, and quite substantial too so they aren’t going to be buried in the ground to carry water or cables or anything like that.

They look to me more like the kind of things that could be used as pillars, but where they are going to use them is another matter entirely. The flanges don’t look to be the type that can be bolted together either.

This is another thing on which I’ll have to keep an eye in the future.

working on electronic equipment buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was on my way between the different piles of freight I walked past the Irish trawler Buddy M.

There were a couple of guys up there on the roof of the cabin dismantling some of the electronic equipment so I engaged them in conversation. After all, if you want to know any answers, you have to ask the appropriate questions.

She’s put in here from Ireland especially for an engine overhaul and she’s expected to be in port for three or four weeks while it all takes place. In fact, what with one thing and another, we were chatting for quite a while. We had a lot tosay to each other, mostly about Brexit.

But anyway, despite having almost 8 hours sleep last night for the first time, I felt dreadful this morning. I had an awful night again, tossing and turning for much of it and trying really hard to go to sleep.

Although I must have gone to sleep at one point because there was some stuff on the dictaphone. Some teenage boy had led a raid on an amusement park somewhere on the coast and had been quite successful so he was always keeping his eye open for another opportunity. He noticed a few other vehicles lined up there looking as if they were about to raid the place so he raided them and disrupted all of their proceedings. Most of them went away empty-handed or with nothing or were caught. There seemed to be one woman who was really interested in him and he was very interested in her even though she was quite a way older than him.

Later on there was something about me wandering around a shopping precinct. There was a particular shop that I wanted to visit and I ended up going down there just as John Houston was walking back up again, going on about that’s the 3rd time he’s missed it now. He’ll have to wait for another train. I wasn’t sure what he meant ro when I reached the bottom it was 19:00 and they were locking up. Part of it was a butcher’s and part of it was a clothes shop. It was that Sylvester guy who made the sandwiches cleaning up the butcher’s place. everywhere was starting to close down and I couldn’t work out where my sister worked. I ended up with another woman and we ended up doing some kind of field trip exercise, getting everything ready. We’d been disturbed continually by the aeroplanes flying over but suddenly they stopped and we could continue to work. I said something to this woman. Se replied “yes, we put our foot down, didn’t we?”. I replied “yes, we’d better get a move on because once the other groups are finished they’ll be buying them bottles of drink so it will all start up again and be even worse.

When I awoke, I was drenched in sweat again – really drenched. It’s hardly a surprised that it was a bad night.

After the medication I came in here to check my mails and messages and when I’d transcribed my dictaphone notes I went to prepare for my Welsh lesson.

Unfortunately, and to my dismay, I fell asleep while I was trying to revise, and that filled me with dismay again. As I have said before … “on many occasions” – ed … there’s no point in going to bed early, or lying in until late. It makes absolutely no difference to my fatigue.

The Welsh lesson passed quite well. We had two new people starting today so we were 14. It’s becoming rather unwieldly now, but it’s a sign of how popular the Welsh language is becoming.

Usually, these courses are run in colleges and every year they might have 100 students. The course that began in March 2020, the one that I joined, coincided with lockdown and so were held on Zoom.

They had 1038 students that year and so now that colleges are reopened, they are nevertheless continuing on line.

After lunch, with the new printer now printing properly, I printed out the return paper that I received when I registered the faults with the NIKON 1 J5 and its lens, and then packed it in a suitable small cardboard box.

And then I headed for the town.

yacht cherie d'amour le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Autumn is definitely here now after the howling gale (107kph) winds that we had on Monday morning.

It was windy, cloudy, overcast, not a trace of sun anywhere. There’s a yacht out there near Le Loup being pushed along by the wind towards the port.

There was plenty of water in the harbour this afternoon, although the harbour gates were closed. The yellow Cherie d’Amour is over there floating about.

There were a couple of other fishing boats in there too this afternoon so maybe they’ll be heading for the open sea when the tide turns.

crane assembling structure chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There was some kind of excitement down in the chantier naval this afternoon.

It’s clear now why they didn’t seem to be in any rush to fill any of the empty berths in there. We have a very large mobile crane in there that seems to be used to assemble some kind of large metal structure.

Had I had the time, I would have walked down there to the viewpoint that overlooks the chantier naval for a closer look, but I always seem to be running short of time these days. Too much work to do and not enough time to do it.

That’s the story of my life.

council working on pavement rue de juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From there I walked on down the hill towards the town.

In the Rue des Juifs I was intrigued to see some council workmen busy working on the pavement over there. It wasn’t so much the work that intrigued me, but the fact that their van is parked facing the wrong way in a one-way street that is used as a service-bus route

My route towards the doctor’s leads down the Rampe du Monte a Regret so I wasn’t able to find out what the workmen were doing.

But I needn’t have worried too much about the time as the doctor was running late and I would have had plenty of time to find out everything, had I known.

The plan that the doctor has for me is to go and see a heart specialist. There’s one opening an office in the Health centre next week and he reckons that I should go t see his secretary in midweek to make an appointment.

And I need to take my x-rays, my blood test results and, if I’m lucky, my heart examinations results, to the hospital with me when I go.

There was a notice on the Post Office door “closed exceptionally at 16:00 today” and it was 15:58 when I arrived. This isn’t like me at all. usually I’d arrive at 16:02 expecting it to be open until 16:30 as usual, and find it close instead.

It’s twice now that that has happened. It was the same last week at the laboratory, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. What is happening?

But anyway the NIKON 1 J5 is on its way to the repairers and we’ll see what happens about that in due course.

fork lift truck coiling up old steel cable port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back home I went via the port to look at the freight and to see what else is going on down there.

There was a fork lift truck out there wrestling with a mile or two of heavy steel cable. I asked the driver about it and he told me that it’s old rotten cable that’s come off a trawler.

Sure enough, further on down the quayside there was a mile or two of new steel cable, ready to be wound on round the pulleys from which the old cable had been taken.

For a few minutes, I stood and watched him. He was making quite a ballet of coiling it up ready to be taken away.

capo di fora spirit of conrad port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further on down the quayside I stopped to look at the two large yachts.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw them from a distance the other day. The one on the right nearest the pontoon we know all about because she’s Spirit of Conrad. She’s the boat on which we sailed down the Brittany coast last summer.

The other one is called Capo di Fora and she came into port the other day. Despite her Italian-sounding name, she’s actually fling the flag of Belgium. And so, incidentally, is Spirit of Conrad. I keep on meaning to ask her skipper why that should be but it keeps on slipping my mind.

charles marie courrier des iles anakena valeque sagone d'angawelys port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Here’s an exciting collection of boats for you to admire.

The blue and white one far left is of course Charles Marie who we have seen on many occasions. Then we have Anakena, the big beast that was stranded here at the height of the pandemic and which slipped back into port at the end of last week.

Tied up to her is the little Courrier des Iles.

There’s a fishing boat here, Valeque too, but the most interesting boat is the other one, Sagone D’Angawelys. She’s actually a mobile seawater laboratory based at the Laboratoire De Biologie Marine, at Bénouville.

She goes round taking samples of seawater which I suppose is something to do with the fishing industry along the coast.

tide coming in port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The harbour gates were closed so I wcould walk over the pathway on the top and across to the other side.

By now the tide had turned and you can see from the waves here the speed at which the tide comes in when it has a mind to do so.

But then regular readers of this rubbish will have seen the difference of height of the water between high tide and low tide by comparing the photos of Le Loup at the different states of the tide, and of course it only has 6 hours to do it too.

On the wharf by the Fish Processing Plant, everything from the seafood festival has now been cleared away and not a trace remains.

removing marquee rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It’s not quite like that in the Rue du Port.

The chicane is still there and while the big marquee has been dismantled, the framework is still here ready to be loaded onto the back of a lorry to be taken away.

The climb up the steps of the Escalier des Noires Vaches to the Boulevard des Terreneuviers was total agony. I ached from every bone in my body and had to stop half a dozen times to catch my breath before I reachd the top.

Back here I made myself a coffee and sat down to drink it, but ended up falling asleep again for 20 minutes. As I said earlier, what’s the point of going to bed early and lying in?

Tea was taco rolls and one of these soya desserts. And now I’m going to bed. I’m expecting a phone call in the morning so I need to be up and about. I just hope that it isn’t too early.

Monday 27th September 2021 – HOW LONG IS IT …

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… since we’ve seen the chantier naval looking like this?

Over the last I don’t know how many weeks, we’ve seen as many as 7 boats in there at one time, but it gradually reduced down to 4, and then 3, and then 2, and then1

And when I walked past the place this afternoon, the final boat, L’Omerta, has left the yard too.

“Gone! And never called me ‘mother'”!

The next question is “who is now going to come into the yard next?”. And, more importantly, “when?”. It’s very important for the port to have a busy chantier naval because it encourages people to base their boats here, and that’s good for the town.

As for last night though here, it was a pretty miserable night, the early 06:00 start notwithstanding.

waves man on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021You can tell by the waves out there at sea that there has been quite a storm somewhere.

In fact, it was actually right overhead in the early morning and the howling gale and accompanying rainstorm awoke me on a couple of occasions while I was trying to sleep.

It’s hardly surprising therefore that I was feeling pretty uncomfortable when the alarm went off this morning.

After the medication and checking my messages I sat down to deal with this week’s radio programme. And to my surprise, and probably yours too, it was finished by 11:00 and that’s a new record as far as I can tell.

Mind you, after I’d listened to it, I had to turn round and do some of it again. I tried an experiement that sounded good while I was doing it but while I was listening to it I realised that it wasn’t as good as I thought. The idea was right but the execution wasn’t.

Then I had a listen to the programme that will be broadcast this weekend and realised that I had to redo part of that as well.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m trying – for a couple of reasons – to get well ahead of where I am supposed to be, but that causes its own problems as I realised today.

When George Kooymans retired from Golden Earring in April (he was in hospital in Leuven in May with him) the hunt was on to find which group became the group with the longest continual complement of members.

Of course, down in Texas there was always ZZ Top who have been together for 51 years and so I wrote about that and dictated it into the programme that will be broadcast this weekend.

Of course, having dictated that a few months ago, didn’t Dusty Hill then go and die on me and Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard recrute a new bassist?

Consequently I had to rewrite, dictate and edit a new speech, making it exactly the same length as the part that I was cutting out. And inserting text into the middle of a programme isn’t easy because not only do you have to watch the length, there’s the sound balance that you need to match.

As well as that, I’ve had quite a lot to do about another project on which I’m working for the radio and that has taken up a lot of my time this afternoon. And as a result I didn’t have the time to listen to whatever might be on the dictaphone.

There was the usual walk around the headland too. We’ve seen the beach earlier when we were looking at the waves just offshore. Just the odd person down there this afternoon, which is no surprise given the weather that we were having.

During the walk along the headland down to the lighthouse I was pretty much on my own. And there was nothing whatever going on out at sea. Not even a single boat that I could see. Mind you, the waves out there were enough to put anyone off.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021No-one was around at the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon either, and no boats out there either in the bay.

But as I looked at Le Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour, I could see that the effect of wind-shadow provided by the headland, aabout which I have talked previously … “on many occasions” – ed.

You can see the whitecaps on the waves over there going in towards the beach down at Kairon-Plage but closer to Le Loup the sea is much calmer, due to the wind-shadow.

There were some people over there on the beach and I wonder what they were making of all of this weather today. It’s been quite a change from just recently.

refrigerated lorries fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Having taken in what was going on – or wasn’t going on, to be precise – in the chantier naval, I went to look at the fish processing plant.

When we were looking down there over the last few days, the place was covered with marquees and hordes of people for the Fête des Coquilles St Jacques but almost all of that has gone now and they are busy clearing away the rest.

Now we’re back to the refrigerated lorries over there queueing up at the Fish Processing Plant as normal service is resumed and there’s shellfish to be removed to the markets in Paris. All of the excitement seems to be over.

equipment on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021That may well be the case at the Fish Processing Plant but there’s plenty of excitement going on at the quayside.

Yesterday we noticed a pile of equipment that had been dumped on the quayside over at the back of where the Channel Island ferries tie up – you can see the bows of Victor Hugo and Granville over there.

There’s another lorry over there today with some more equipment on the back so it looks as if there’s going to be a big pile of stuff over there by the time that they finish, so it’s going to be some kind of serious work that will be taking place.

crane unloading freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And if that isn’t enough to be going on with, there’s even more excitement at the lading bay.

There’s a large articulated lorry over there having its trailer unloaded by the crane and there’s now an enormous pile of freight there.

Chausiaise is in attendance but that load won’t be going onto her – it’s far too much for her to carry and anyway there isn’t any unloading facilities over on the island and I doubt that her crane will be enough to lift it off.

It looks as if it’s waiting for one of the Jersey freighters but even so it’s going to be a struggle to load it all on. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Back here I carried on with my work and actually crashed out for 15 minutes – the first time since I’ve been working these “revised hours”.

Tea tonight wa s a stuffed pepper with rice but for some reason it didn’t cook as well as it usually does. I don’t know what I did wrong.

But now I’m off to bed. I’m hoping to have a nice long sleep (although I noticed that the wind has sprung up again) because I have my Welsh lesson tomorrow and I want to be on form.

There’s also my doctor’s appointment tomorrow – the Day of Judgement so I’ll have to remember to take my x-rays. I wonder what he’s going to tell me this time.

By the way, I did eventually transcribe the dictaphone note, but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll save you the gory details.