Tag Archives: le styx

Monday 13th June 2022 – NOW HERE’S A THING!

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While you admire a couple of photos of various sea-going craft, including what looks like Marité out there in the bay, I’ll tell you about my rather surprising day.

In fact, I seemed to be rather better today. The walk up to the physiotherapist and back again wasn’t quite as bad as it has been of late, and I only crashed out for about 15 minutes today, and that’s rather surprising considering the way that things have been.

Especially when I was up and out of bed this morning at 06:00 ready to work on my radio programme.

Once again today I wasn’t particularly rushed to complete it and it was about 11:30 when I finally finished it. And that was despite stopping for a coffee and also for breakfast sometime later

trawlers yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Although it’s not one of the better programmes from a music point of view, it’s a good one from a technical point of view with some of the nicest joins that I’ve made for a while.

What slowed me down somewhat as well was that for part of the time I was having a chat with Alison on the internet. She had a few exciting pieces of news to impart.

When I’d finished preparing the radio programme i had a listen to one that I’d made several weeks ago that will be broadcast this coming weekend, to make sure that it’s all correct

And while I was listening to it, I was tidying up and sorting out a few files on the computer freeing up a little more space.

There was time for me to have a shower before going to lunnch, to make sure that I was nice and clean and presentable ready to go to the physiotherapist’s.

After lunch I had a listen to the programme that I’d prepared this morning while I was still doing some housekeeping on the computer, and then it was time for me to go out for my appointment.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022As usual, the first thing that I needed to do was to go to make sure that the NIKON 1 J5 was working properly.

That means going to the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the viewpoint overlooking the outer harbour to see what was happening there and take a photograph of it.

As it happens, there was nothing to see today. The tide is quite far out and there is no-one playing “Musical Ships” this afternoon.

But the tractor and trailer are down there on the lower level waiting for the boats to come in later on this afternoon. They will take away the boxes of shellfish although to where I don’t know. I’m not quick enough on my pins these days to break into a run to follow it.

yacht pescadore wavecat express chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Meanwhile I’d heard a racket coming from over in the chantier naval.

It looks as if the portable boat lift has just a yacht out of the harbour earlier today and is presumably waiting for the tide to come in so that they can lower it back in.

And apart from that, there’s no other change in the occupants of the chantier naval. We still have Pescadore and Wavecat Express in there today along with the cabin cruiser and the catamaran that have been in there for a while now.

So with nothing else going on I wandered off down the hill towards the town.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022A little further on I came to the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour where I stopped to see what was happening there.

Marité, the large sailing boat, wasn’t there. We saw her in an earlier photo out there in the Baie de Granville, but there was a pile of freight waiting on the quayside.

That means that we will be going to be having a visit from one of the little Jersey freighters some time soon.

And it might even be Normandy Trader because I saw a photo this morning to suggest that her overhaul is complete and she’s gone back into the water ready to carry on where she left off.

cherry picker Rue de l'Abreuvoir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There weren’t too many people in the town today – there never are on a Monday as many places are closed.

But what there was was a cherry picker in one of the side streets with a guy in the nacelle doing some maintenance work on one of the buildings.

He had the street coned off to traffic and as I watched, a motorist reversed out of a parking place, flattened a couple of the cones and then drove away. It’s not just pathetic parking that’s an issue around here.

And gritting my teeth, I prepared myself for the long, weary climb up the hill towards the physiotherapist’s.

furniture lift rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And here’s something that I’ve not seen before in France.

We’ve seen plenty of them in Belgium though, haven’t we? A furniture lift being used to help someone move from one of the apartments in the Rue Couraye.

One thing that I have noticed is that many of the stairs in the buildings here are steep and narrow and I must admit that I wouldn’t feel safe, even if I was feeling fit and healthy, carrying heavy loads down the kind of stairs that you find in some of the buildings here.

At the physiotherapist’s she had me doing a few exercises and then 10 minutes on the exercise bike. And things seemed to be a little easier today.

When the session was finished I staggered out into the daylight and down the hill towards the town centre, and then back up to the other side of the hill towards my building.

gerlean rocalamauve l'omerta la grande ancre le styx port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022By now all of the boats are coming into the port one by one to unload their catch.

We can identify several of them – Gerlean, Rocalamauve, L’Omerta, La Grande Ancre and Le Styx are the ones that we can recognise at a glance.

Round about here I bumped into one of my neighbours. She’s the nurse and home help who lives on the floor above and, biting the bullet, I told her that I’m intending to engage her services when I come back from my travels.

Cleaning my apartment is now quite beyond my capabilities and if I don’t do something about it soon, it’ll be too late and I’ll end up living in some kind of squalid circumstances and I need to avoid that at all costs.

car driving the wrong way place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Now here’s something else worthy of note.

Just now I mentioned a motorist squidging a couple of cones down in the Rue Paul Poirier. But up here outside my apartment we have something even more interesting.

You can see quite clearly the “no entry” sign by the gate. This street here is a one-way street but this motorist doesn’t seem to care less about any of that. He’s pushing on regardless.

There’s definitely something wrong with a lot of people when they don’t care less about the rules of the road.

It’s not just cars coming the other way but there are loads of pedestrians around here who are used to cars only coming one way with the flow of traffic and won’t be looking out for vehicles coming in the opposite direction.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before I went in I went across the car park to have a look down on the beach to see what was happening there.

There weren’t all that many people down there this afternoon. Only a couple of people. There wasn’t anyone else taking advantage of such a nice day which was a surprise.

On the way back here there was another neighbour loitering around so I had a chat with her as well. She’s not doing very well at the moment either. It seems to be quite an epidemic of illness in the building.

Back here I made a strawberry smoothie and came in here to transcribe the dictaphone notes.

I was working behind the bar in this night club. Someone came in asking for a packet of cigarettes. They gave me the little square card with the barcode on and I had to go to the machine. It was hung from the ceiling so I had to climb up onto a couple of tables and 1 or 2 other things and then I’d be lucky if I could reach it. At one of the tables was a girl called Alison whom I knew from school whose surname ought to have been “Raleigh”. She was there with a guy so I was talking to her. The guy was looking at me rather strangely so I said that we knew each other from school and didn’t say too much. She made a few remarks about one or two people whom we knew and she knew in particular. Then I had to reach for this cigarette machine but I couldn’t reach it. It was one of those things that you were only ever going to have one go at reaching because if you overbalance you’ll fall. If you fell you’d need to grab hold of the cigarette machine to stop you falling into a void. I was there tottering away on the edge of this table thinking that I’m never going to reach this machine and get this pack of cigarettes. I had absolutely no confidence that I was ever going to do so. It seemed a strange place for this machine anyway. Everyone was urging me on to go and get this packet of cigarettes but I just couldn’t see how I was going to do it without it all ending in tears. It was all extremely confusing and extremely bad for the morale this kind of dream where I couldn’t even think about getting this pack of cigarettes. All I could think about was stopping myself from falling into the void.

Then there were a few of us walking through this shipyard when all of a sudden we were pounced upon by a group of people. They started to attack and torture us, asking us questions about the ships that we’d seen being built. Wr hadn’t taken very much notice so we weren’t able to say very much. They started to become even more aggressive and the attackes became even more painful as they tried to make us tell them things but we couldn’t really tell them anything because we hadn’t noticed anything while we were walking through the shipyard

I had a cheque for £347 that I had to take to the bank. I handed it over the counter to the cashier but she credited it straight away into my bank account without asking me what I wanted to do with it. A little later in the day I’d run out of money. I realised that I’d only wanted to pay £200 into the account and I wanted the rest as cash so I had to go back to the bank and argue about that they had done with this cheque. Eventually I managed to find the woman whom I’d seen earlier (at least I thought that it was her) and discuss the situation with her before she would then return some of the money that was paid into my account from this cheque

It was while I was finishing it off that I fell asleep but surprisingly it was only for a few minutes.

Tea was a stuffed pepper with rice and veg and now that I’ve typed my notes I’m off to bed. I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be on form.

And who knows? I might have a better day tomorrow too but one swallow doesn’t make a summer, does it?

Friday 15th April 2022 – WHAT I SAW …

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… this afternoon on my wander around the headland.

As usual, the first port of call is the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down onto the beach to see what’s happening there.

But I needn’t have bothered today. There could have been Godzilla and the Loch Ness Monster down there for all I knew, and I wouldn’t have seen them in this rolling sea mist that’s coming off the water.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have had sea mists before, but nothing quite like this one. It reminds me of the STRAIT OF BELLE ISLE between Labrador and Newfoundland.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Something else that I saw on my travels as I peered through the fog was one of the Birdmen of Alcatraz whose Nazgul seems to have come to grief here on the headland.

So while you admire a few photos of the pair of them wrestling with each other and the elements, I’ll tell you something about my day.

And with no alarm, I was expecting either an 06:00 start or another 12:30 rude awakening but to my surprise, and probably yours too, it was a much more sedate and realistic 09:40 when I finally crawled out of bed.

First stop after the medication this morning was to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Again I think that I missed out a lot but I was in Brussels last night – although it wasn’t Brussels – living in an apartment building. Underneath where I was living was a casino. There was a group of us talking about the EU and one or two of the rackets that went on there in the 80s and 90s that were exposed. Someone was running a Social media page called “EU rackets” but it was titled in German where it listed everything that was happening. One of the girls there was a German girl whom I knew. She was saying that she took part in this page to help the guy to run it but he was just as much a racketeer as the rackets that he was exposing. He lived in the building and was into large-scale gambling. Although they weren’t allowed to do it in the building where he lived, he found another way. That was when I mentioned the subject of this casino at the foot of the hill where my apartment building was. We spent a lot of time chatting about gambling and that kind of thing.

And then it was Welsh Cup quarter-final day. I was talking to someone about the games. There were 4 of them of course and were being played two at the same time with one before and one after these two. I couldn’t remember who was playing where and kept on being confused. I was talking to someone but I couldn’t come out with the correct venues and correct teams. We ended up outside a stadium for a match Aberystwyth against Cardiff Metro. We looked in and saw that the game had already started so I said to the people with me that I was going to stay and watch the game. Then I could go to the second and then to the third instead of watching it on the TV. So I went in and said goodbye to the people as I’d be staying here. Someone inside the ground asked “what did you say?”. I replied “I’ll be staying here”. They asked if I had a ticket. I replied that I could walk round and pay for one. There was a cat walking around on the stands so I picked it up for a stroke and went over to talk to someone but they had a lion. The lion expressed a great deal of interest in this cat so I pulled the cat away thinking that the lion might eat it but someone said “no, put it back” so I put the cat back and the lion started to wash the cat.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022This was a continuation of a dream that I’ve had before a long time ago so I said to myself in my dream. Someone was running an office somewhere and a young guy turns up for an interview. Although there’s no vacancy they feel sorry for him and fit him in for a couple of hours because it fits in with his life as a single father and offer him some work. I don’t know where it went from there but tonight it turned out that this guy had been an actor and had played Jesus in some kind of film or play. There was some kind of stigma over him and a couple of other people knew about this and they were doing all they could to keep out of his way. he was pushing his trolley with his possessions on it heading right for these 2 people. They were wondering how on earth they were going to get out of meeting him when suddenly a girl exclaimed “oh, it’s Jesus” and ran over and started talking to him. He started to tell his hard luck story. Someone else who was around interrupted them saying “aren’t you going to deliver those objects that you have?”. He said to this girl that he had better push on and do his job. These 2 objects were destined for the room in which the other 2 people were hiding. They were now panicking about where they could go to keep out of the way of this guy while he stuck these 2 parcels in this room

The rest of the morning was spent working on the photos from my trip around the Canadian High Arctic of 2019. Despite having dealt with a few dozen, I’m still on my zodiac in Dundas Harbour on Devon Island where I look as if I may be until doomsday at this rate.

After a lunch of porridge and hot cross buns I had a few things to do, a session on the guitar and a chat on the internet with someone or other who shall be nameless but you all know who it is, and then, much earlier than usual, I went out for my afternoon walk.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022You’ve seen the weather conditions today so I wasn’t expecting much in the way of photographs.

And the Birdman of Alcatraz and his Nazgul weren’t expecting much of anything either because after having wrestled with each other for a while, he imitated one of Longfellow’s characters and “shall fold their tents, like the Arabs and as silently steal away”.

Frankly, I don’t know what he must have been thinking, having come out in this kind of weather. I would imagine that, being uniquely wind-powered, you would need a good few hundred yards of room to manoeuvre your Nazgul if you are to avoid catastrophe and the visibility wasn’t anything like that good.

Being out in a rolling sea mist is a recipe for disaster if ever I saw one.

cabanon vauban people bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022It’s not a Bank Holiday here in France but nevertheless there are plenty of people on holiday, wandering around here and there.

And even a few down on the bench at the end of the headland by the cabanon vauban too. Although what they might be expecting to see down there is anyone’s guess because I couldn’t see anything.

Actually, I think they realised after a while that it was pretty pointless being down there because, as I watched, they slowly packed up their things and began to move away. Not that things are much better anywhere else, that is.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022In the newspaper this morning it said that one of the highest tidal coefficients of the year would be this weekend.

That can only mean one thing – the pèche à pied. With the high coefficient, it means that the public area of the foreshore will be uncovered at low tide so it will be a free-for-all as everyone swarms down there to see what they can find.

There are already a few people down there making their way to the water’s edge. And if this blasted fog would lift we would probably find that there are a few more people further out as well. When we did a radio programme from down there a couple of years ago there were hundreds of people.

ch721430 le styx ch922344 le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022So leaving them to it, I headed off down the path towards the harbour to see what was happening there.

And there’s a change of occupant – or, rather, an additional occupant at the chantier naval this afternoon too. We’ve seen the trawler Le Styx on a few occasions just recently unloading at the fish processing plant but here she is today up on blocks undergoing servicing.

Le Roc A La Mauve III is still there too. At least, I think that it’s her. I can read her registration number from here now but strangely, it isn’t in the trawler database that I found. Perhaps she’s been brought in from elsewhere and is being reregistered.

ch642969 galapagos port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Another trawler that we’ve seen once or twice on our way around in the past is Galapagos.

She’s over there by the fish processing plant, settling down in the silt and waiting for the tide to come in. By the looks of things she must have missed the opening of the harbour gates because she’s not one that usually loiters around over there.

As for me, I’m not loitering around either. There’s a good reason why I’ve gone for an early walk this afternoon and I’d better get a move on and head for home otherwise I’ll be late.

trawlers port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But the way things are, I’m not going home quite yet.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw Chausiaise tied up at the pontoon where the trawlers usually tie up. That would be bound to lead to complications.

Anyway, she’s cleared off somewhere else now and the trawlers are tied up where they belong.

But still missing from our photo are the two Channel Island ferries Granville and Victor Hugo. The last I heard of them, they had been hauled out of the water at Cherbourg.

But that was a while ago. If the service to the Channel Islands is to restart, they ought to have started it now while the crowds are here for the Easter break.

weeding porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022One final thing before I go back inside.

It’s the time of year when they send the gardening crew out. Today, they are pulling the weeds out of the rocks in the medieval walls by the Porte St Jean. If the roots penetrate between the rocks they’ll loosen the stonework and bring it down.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I had to repoint the whole back wall of my house in Virlet when I puled the ivy off.

Interestingly, you’ll notice that the van has the old-style number plates. That means that it last had a change of owner prior to 2009. So the local council has owned it for at least 13 years.

It’s not like the UK here where people change cars every couple of years. That’s why second-hand vehicles are comparatively more expensive.

Back at home I settled down in front of the computer to watch Y Bala v Y Drenewydd in the battle for second place. And just as the whistle went for the kick-off Rosemary rang. So that was the first half effectively out of the window.

That was a shame because the first half was the better of the two with both teams going for it. The match finished 1-0 for Bala which was about the right result. Apart from my favourite player Mwandwe, Y Drenewydd didn’t offer much up front today. Bala’s defence was quite effective.

But SPARE A THOUGHT FOR THE WOODWORK at the town end of the Oval Stadium at Caernarfon. I bet that it has a headache this evening after this afternoon’s match against Penybont.

For tea tonight I had the curry that I’ve been trying to have for a day or two. And of course it was delicious. It couldn’t be anything else.

So shopping tomorrow. I don’t need all that much, I suppose, but it’s been a while since I’ve been and I need a few supplies, as well as to see what’s on offer in Noz. I need to vary my diet again, I reckon.

Tuesday 12th April 2022 – IT’S BEEN SOMETHING …

jade 3 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… of a nautical day this afternoon when I was out on my rounds.

So while you admire several photos of the Trawler Jade III out there fishing just offshore in the Baie de Granville (and you can tell that she has a good haul on board from the crowds of seagulls that are flocking around her) I’ll tell you about my less-than-exciting day today.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 it goes without saying that I didn’t actually leave the bed at that moment. Mind you, I did beat the second alarm to my feet, although there wasn’t much in it.

In fact I actually felt like death this morning.

philcathane jade 3 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022So while Jade III and Philcathane cross each other in the bay, I had my medication and then sat down to deal with today’s radio programme that I should have done yesterday.

And although I’d already done half of it previously, it took me much longer than it ought to have done.

At about 09:20 I had a ‘phone call. “You told us on your questionnaire (for my MRI scan tomorrow) that you worked in metal.”
“That’s correct. But I’ve not done any welding since 1997 (when I welded up the exhaust on my old Passat) and only some very rare moments of grinding ever since”
“Nevertheless you need to come here for a brain scan. And bring your prescription with you”

jade 3 trawler speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And so I had to rummage through a pile of paperwork to find the prescription and then Caliburn and I set out for the Radiology Centre.

For a change, I didn’t have to wait too long to have my skull x-rayed but I had to wait for an hour for the results. Consequently I went down the hill to the Leclerc to do a little shopping – like sunflower seed, peppers, mushrooms and some flour.

Back at the Radiology centre they gave me my photos. “We gave you a brain scan” she said “but we found nothing” and that’s the most depressing thing that I’ve heard for quite some considerable time.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Back here I cracked on with the radio programme and it took me almost until lunchtime to finish it off. It really wasn’t a good day.

At least the bread that I had taken out of the freezer was nice and fresh, and that soft Greek vegan cheese that Alison found for me is absolutely delicious. It’s amazingly like fresh mozzarella. I’ll be buying more of that in due course.

Once I’d finished lunch I spent a short while organising some more photos from August 2019 and my trip to the High Arctic. Right now I’m in a zodiac roaring up Dundas Harbour at Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, trying to out-manoeuvre a polar bear that was there to keep a close eye on a family of seals.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022When I’d gone out earlier this morning it was quite a reasonable day. But this afternoon it had gone really cold and it was raining.

Not the kind of day that I would have expected to have seen anyone down on the beach, but nevertheless there were some people down there this afternoon, and there were some more people coming down the steps from the Rue du Nord to join them.

No-one in the water though, and that wasn’t a surprise at all.

While I was down there I had a look out to sea to see what was happening, and you’ve already seen Jade III and Philcathane out there in the bay having a good trawl around.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was quite a racket going on this afternoon from the work that’s being undertaken on the medieval wall at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

They are pushing on with the pointing over there and they seem to have made it as far as the huge vertical crack and that’s going to take some filling.

But it’s not going to be done right now, with one of the workmen sitting on top of the wall eating his butties or something.

Having dealt with all of that I headed off down the path towards the end of the headland. Despite the rain and the cold weather there were quite a few people walking around on the path this afternoon. I suppose that they have come here for a holiday and don’t have anything else to do.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022A little earlier I mentioned that it was something of a nautical day today.

You have seen trawlers and yachts and speedboats out there at sea but right now we have a cabin cruiser going past as I walked around the end of the headland. It was moving rather quickly too as if it was on a Mission from God.

As for me, I was on a mission too, which was to find some shelter from this rain. There was no-one sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon, and that was no surprise, and so I headed off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

le roc a la mauve 3 anakena chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022First stop was to see what was going on at the chantier naval this afternoon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw it in a long-distance shot from a different viewpoint yesterday so I wanted to see it from this point of view.

Of course, Spirit of Conrad has now gone back into the water but Le Roc à la Mauve III is still there where she has been for quite a while although her paint job is well advanced.

Anakena is there too. We saw her lifted out of the water a couple of weeks ago. There are a couple of people working on her this afternoon despite the rain and with the tourist season about to start, I bet that they are in a hurry.

jade 3 chausiaise joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022In the meantime, Jade III has finished her fishing session is on her way into the harbour, minus the flock of seagulls that accompanied her out in the bay.

Also in the port today, over at the ferry terminal, are Chausiaise, the little freighter that goes over to the Ile de Chausey, and one of the Joly France passenger ferries.

In the background in the port de plaisance we can just about make out the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

There were also several people with nothing better to do in the miserable weather lounging about looking over the sea wall at nothing particular.

le styx lysandre charlevy chant de sirenes catherine philippe port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022That’s because all of the activity is taking place on this side, over at the fish processing plant.

From front to back we have Le Styx, Lysandre, Charlevy, an unknown boat, Chant de Sirenes and Catherine Philippe just coming in to tie up.

And there’s quite a crowd over there on the quayside watching the activity. There’s plenty of it going on.

Back here I had a coffee and then, rather regrettably, I fell asleep. So there was half a mug of cold coffee and some in the percolator when I awoke.

and it was freezing cold too. Not even an extra jacket helped so I switched on the portable electric heater for a while.

That was the cue to make a start on listening to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. And I’d been quite far, as it happens.

Last night I met some Russian apologists who were excusing the violence and everything that was taking place but before I didn’t go very far into this before it petered out.

Then there was going to be the World Cup and there the organisers of the Welsh FA were on stage and with a crowd inside. They were drawing out of a glass bowl the names of players who were going to represent Wales. They started off with 30 but were choosing 23. They were pulling out these names of players and they were all players about whom i’ve never heard and I didn’t have a clue who they were or where they played. I had no idea exactly what was going on and why they had even thought about selecting some of these names to be in this pool.

And next I was on a station in Germany watching a Trans-Europe Express pulled by one of the NEZ CASSÉ French locomotives of the 1970s. I don’t know anything about this other than that I was on the station.

We were also going on a coach holiday. A girl whom I knew was coming with me – a really big girl (and I do mean “big”). It wasn’t until we were assembled ready to go that I realised just how big because the two of us sitting in a coach seat would be rather problematic. They were discussing all of the holiday but I wasn’t listening very much because I was too busy making a list of things that I had forgotten, including my raincoat so I was going to have to do some shopping when the coach stopped. They we had to board the coach so I took my suitcase but no-one else was bringing their suitcase. I imagined that there was someone collecting them in the office so I had to walk back to the office with mine, against the flow of traffic to leave my suitcase there and then come back. That probably meant that we wouldn’t get a good seat together on the coach. That really suited me because otherwise I would have had to sit next to her and there wouldn’t have been any room on the seat. But I can’t believe that I was coming away on a holiday and i’d left half of my important stuff behind like I had.
Actually, I can because it wouldn’t be the first time. Most people usually make a list of what they need and pack accordingly. I normally just pack and then when I’m away I make a list of what I’ve forgotten
So we all walked back to the coach. I was one of the last to board. Luckily the girl was sitting right at the front next to someone else which was great for me so I walked a few seats back. There was an empty seat next to a young girl who turned out to be Castor. so “hello Castor after all this time. Isn’t it nice to see you?”. I sat next to her. She was busy trying to pass her headphones to the girl in the seat behind her so that she could listen to the sound for the film that was being shown on the coach. Castor wasn’t talking to me yet. She was telling the girl behind her that she used to get up very early and go for a wander around and then go back to sleep for an hour. That was basically how I existed at that time so I thought to myself that with sitting next to her on this trip I might be able to strike up a good relationship with her, and isn’t that some wishful thinking?

We were in Crewe somewhere on the Wistaston Road estate although it was supposed to be somewhere round Pym’s Lane – Minshull New Road area. There were people preparing to go to school. There was a young girl there busy adjusting her cardigan, tying it in a knot at the bottom because it was a warm summer day. There were other people getting into a car to be taken to school because their school was actually on the Middlewich Road. I was walking past all of these people heading down the bacnk but I’m not sure why

Did I dictate the story about the girl who was preparing to go to school adjusting her cardigan as I was walking down the hill where I thought was the Wistaston Green Estate but was somewhere round by Pym’s Lane – Minshull New Road and there were all these people there preparing to go to school as I was walking past them … “yes you did” – ed. What I meant to say was we were now heading back towards the coach. I was one of the last on. Luckily this girl had found someone else by whom to sit, right at the very front seat wedging this person in. That was fine by me. I went back a couple of rows and found an empty seat. It turned out that I was sitting next to Castor so “welcome back Castor”. She was busy passing her headphones to the person in the seat behind her so that person could listen to the sound on the film that was playing on the coach. She was saying that she was a very early riser, awoke in the morning, did a few things and then went back to bed for an hour. That was the kind of thing that suited me because that’s how I behaved. I was hoping that I could have a really good rapport with her during the course of this voyage on this bus.

And I’m surprised that I dreamt the same dream twice a good distance apart and it all sounded almost the same even with the sidelong remarks.

Finally it was the school holidays again so we were back there and I was working on the railway station at Koln or Aachen. A train pulled in and the people started to alight. It turned out that one of the people was a girl whom I knew so I said “hello”. She wondered what I was doing here because she knew me from Brussels. I said that i’d come here to change trains. I asked where her train was going so she told me but that wasn’t really anywhere near the one that I wanted …indistinct…. but there was some detail on it that I could keep.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper with rice and veg. And it was delicious as usual.

And now that I’ve finished my notes, I’m off to bed for a decent sleep.

So Castor came back last night for the first time for ages. She’s been missed while she’s been away. But even so, it it didn’t look as if she was taking much notice of me. I hope that she’ll be back tonight and I can see more of her.

Monday 11th April 2022 – I REALLY SHOULD …

… have put my mortgage on it yesterday because, the way that things were panning out, it was inevitable.

Sure enough, at 08:20 this morning the doorbell rang. “Mr Hall, I’m in the building. May I come and give you your injection?”.

So there I was, hurriedly trying to dress myself while he was banging on the door. After all, I don’t want to give him an inferiority complex.

digging up road rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Something else on which I should have bet my mortgage was “how long will it be before they dig up that brand-new road on which they spent all that money just recently”?

It’s been completed and opened for traffic for just about a couple of months but sure enough, here they are with half of the width coned off and someone hacking away at the surface. It was inevitable, wasn’t it?

Anyway, back to where we ought to be.

Last night I fell into a very cold bed and that was the last that I remember of anything until this perishing ring on the blasted bell this flaming morning.

No-one was more surprised than me to find that there was some stuff on the dictaphone from last night because I didn’t remember a thing about anything So after having taken my medication I sat down and transcribed them.

I started off with something to do with a radio show. I bet that I’ve missed out lots of it. It was that I couldn’t do all of my radio programmes this week and so they had done some kind of message to say that I’d been unwell or injured myself climbing onto a railway station platform or something like that although they didn’t elaborate why I would want to climb onto a railway station platform. There was the inference that it was something to do with refugees or something and they didn’t want anyone to know that I was doing that kind of thing so they had to invent some kind of excuse.

Later on the 4 of us had gone off for another weekend. I can’t remember where it was now. We’d been looking at hotels but because of the budgetary issues we were looking at hotels further out of the city. I’d done some research and I’d come up with 4 that fitted the bill in the same kind of neighbourhood. They were miles from anywhere. We reached the 1st one which was a brand new chain hotel type of thing. Its budget was like €55 per night but they looked at it and decided that it would be far too expensive for us even though I told them that it fitted in with our budget. They still thought that it was far expensive so we went to the next one. To my surprise they only booked 2 rooms. It seemed that the girls were sharing the one and the boys (me and whoever) were sharing another. Across the road was another hotel of a similar type but it was blue. I’d stayed there once the very first time that I’d started out on my travels and thought that it was expensive for what it was supposed to be. They asked about restaurants but there weren’t all that many in the area at all. Nevertheless we booked in. We had to take a table and banqueting stuff out of our room so we carried the headboard out. It was enormously heavy. The guy who was with me carried it first but he almost dropped it so I had to help him. One of the waiters came along. He had a tray and put the coffee machine on it and the sugar in the bowl. It was quite interesting the way he put the sugar in the bowl. He had 2 spoons, 1 with white sugar and 1 with brown and he poured it into the sugar bowl so that it was half-and-half. He put some milk onto the tray. Another woman came in and began to hurry around. She prepared a second sugar bowl and put it on the tray so we made some kind of funny remark about that.

The rest of the morning, once I’d awoken, was to back up the computer – to copy all of the files that I had created or changed on the laptop while I was away and then load them up onto the big machine. There were quite a few of those as well and it took me a while to organise it all.

With what time was left before lunch I went for a shower, and I’ve put back all of the weight that I’ve lost over the last few months despite all of the walking that I did while I was away. I also had to organise the clothes ready for washing, which I’ll be doing while I’m out at the physiotherapist

There have also been several in-depth discussions on the internet too about the events of the last couple of days.

As well as that, although the trip was a success to the extent that everyone reached Granville safely and without losing anything along the way, there were several aspects that needed to be improved. Whatever you do, it’s always a good idea to sit down afterwards to see how things could have been accomplished better.

rocalamauve le styx port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And so on that note I headed off to the physiotherapist for my Monday afternoon session.

As usual I paused at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to check that the NIKON 1 J5 was working and also to see what was happening down there this afternoon.

There were a few fishing boats down there this afternoon. At the front is Roc A La Mauve and at the rear is Le Styx at the rear. I can’t see who the boat in the middle is.

You can see the crane unloading Roc A La Mauve and the pile of boxes full of shellfish on the quayside already unloaded.

trawler chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And as I watched, another trawler came chugging into port

Unfortunately she’s far too far out for me to be able to say with any certainty who she might be but I can see that the seagull over there was having a really good look.

Over there to the left at the ferry terminal is Chausiaise, the little freighter that runs over to the Ile de Chausey.

There’s something over there in front of her too – probably one of the Joly France ferries. It’s holiday time for the next two weeks so I imagine that there must be plenty of custom for a trip out to the island.

marite belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Whoever it was over there at the ferry terminal, it isn’t Belle France.

She’s down there tied up at the quayside in the inner harbour. There can’t be that much trade over to the island today.

But I was more interested in seeing Marité back in port again. She’s been away for the last while or so having her annual overhaul. She can’t be overhauled here in the chantier naval because the portable boat lift over there doesn’t have the lifting capacity to lift her out of the water.

There’s also a swimming pool over there. That means that one of the little Jersey freighters will be coming over in the course of the next few days.

boules bar ephemere place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022One thing that we usually see down on the Place Pelley during the summer is the Bar Ephemère, the temporary café that they erect on the boulodrome.

It’s here already and they are busy unloading it and erecting it all, ready for the Easter rush.

And it’s not disturbing the boules players at all. They are still managing to fit in a few games around all of the goings-on.

One of my friends had asked me to find out if there were any golf courses near here so I went to the Tourist Information Office. That was a waste of time because there were crowds of people in there and of the assistants, two of them were helping one client and all the rest of the assistants were Miltonists.

And in case you wonder what a Miltonist is, there’s a line in Milton’s poem “On His Blindness” that goes “They also serve who only stand and wait”.

road closed rue roger maris Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022On my way up the hill in the Rue Couraye I noticed that the Rue Roger Maris was closed off to traffic so I made a mental note to go back that way to find out why.

Not now though. I pushed on to the physiotherapist.

She had me on the couch again with the electro-massage machine and then I had the honour of being the first to have a go on the new electric bicycle. And finally a few kinetic exercises before she threw me out.

Back again on Wednesday for my last session with her before she moves on to her new job. She’s fixing me up for sessions with one of her colleagues.

place des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Who remembers the Place des Docteurs Lanos?

The last time we saw it, it was a huge mess of mud that had been churned up by all of the vehicles that had been on there while they had been using it to store the building materials.

On my way to find out why the Rue Roger Maris was closed, I had a look to see what they had been doing there and as you can see, they have made quite a bit of progress there since I was last down this way.

But as for why the street was closed off, there wasn’t anything evident that I could see, apart from the guy digging up the road around the corner in the Rue du Boscq.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022My route took me back through the town and up the hill in the Rue des Juifs towards home.

Near the top I stopped because there was something interesting going on out in the bay. One of the sailing schools was out again this afternoon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve promised that I’ll be out there with them one day soon but the way things are with the physiotherapy, the Welsh lessons, the radio and my trips to Leuven it’s difficult to know when I can fit anything else into my programme.

You can see that most of the fishing boats are now back home too and tied up in the inner harbour.

anakena rocalamauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022While I was here I had a look to see what was happening in the chantier naval.

Spirit of Conrad has now gone back into the water. I saw her moored up in the inner harbour. La Roc A La Mauve III is still there though, up on the blocks. How long has she been there now?

Also in there is Anakena. We saw her being lifted out of the water the other day just before I set off on my voyage. She has a programme of voyages out to the North so I imagine that she’s having her annual overhaul too.

One of the places that she’s visiting is Greenland, according to the local newspapers of a while back, so I sent a mail to her owners to see what the plan was because I’m keen to get back to Uummannaq and my little Inuit friend Heidinngauq but they never replied.

That’s the story of my life. People complain about there being a recession but how many times have I sent out mails to enquire about products and never received a reply?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022As has been the case in the past, I can’t go back into the apartment without seeing what was going on down on the beach.

With it being holiday times and reasonably good weather I was expecting to see the crowds down there and I was right as wzll. The place was heaving. No-one actually in the water though.

One thing thatt I did while I was out was to make sure that Caliburn started. We have to go out on Wednesday and with him having stood around for over a fortnight it’s as well to check.

Back here I had a good play on the guitar and then organised my photos from today. I have to stop letting things hang around here for as long as I do. Especially as I may well be off on yet more travels some time soon

And regrettably, I also crashed out for half an hour too.

Tea was a disappointment. It should have been steamed veg with falafel and vegan cheese sauce (now that I have some) but the veg was over-steamed which is quite rare these days with my steamer that doesn’t seem to work as I would like it.

So having written my notes I’m going to hang around for a while and then go to bed. I have a radio programme to do tomorrow seeing as there is no Welsh course tomorrow.

But it’s not going to be a 06:00 start. That I can promise you.

Monday 1st November 2021 – WHAT A DAY!

You might think that when I tell you that I finished my radio programme by 10:35 this morning, that I had set a new record. But unfortunately it wasn’t quite like that.

After yet another miserable night I sat bolt upright at 06:11 wondering why my alarm hadn’t gone off at 06:00. I fell out of bed, had my medication and dashed back to make a start with the radio programme.

And then, 40 minutes later when the alarm finally did go off, I was wondering what on earth was happening until I suddenly twigged. I hadn’t had a shower yesterday so I hadn’t plugged my fitbit into the computer to upload the data and synchronise itself.

Consequently it hadn’t adjusted to the change of the hour and I’d actually left my bed at 05:11

Making a start at such a time like that, I might even have finished a lot earlier too but today I decided that instead of using the ZOOM H1, I used the new ZOOM H8.

It is, as you might expect, much more complicated to set up and takes much longer to regulate but the quality is undoubtedly better. It was a really good experience to use it because it made sure that I understood how it worked and that I could produce some results from it.

However I won’t be using it again for my radio programmes – for the simple reason that to record in stereo I need to use two mikes and two channels otherwise it simply records in mono. The little Zoom records automatically in stereo.

Having done that, I had breakfast and then I had a few other things to do that took me right up to lunchtime – and my bread is absolutely delicious, just as I thought that it would be.

My bad day hasn’t quite finished yet either.

After lunch I put the heater on in the bathroom to warm it up ready for my shower and my general clean-up before going out for my physiotherapy session – and then I realised that today in France is a Bank Holiday and there is no physiotherapy today.

And with it being a Bank Holiday, I could have legitimately had a nice long lie-in instead of being up and about at that ridiculous time this morning.

Instead, I carried on with writing up Saturday’s journal entry, and listening to where I’d been during the night. Percy Penguin, who doesn’t figure in these notes half as often as she deserves, had paid me a flying visit. Instead of seeing her at the usual time I was having to see her at a different time. I came back from work, went to the canteen, had some lunch and went round to dump some stuff in her house. There were some people in there and she came and had cut her hair. It was just down to her shoulder blades and I felt very disappointed with that.

Later on I wanted to buy some shares so I had a cunning plan. To go to the Post Office, open a bank account and buy the shares at the Post Office and start to pay the dividends into that account. In the meantime that would enable me to close down one of my two accounts here in France. I arrived at the Post Office rather late and there was a queue right outside the door but I was seen quite quickly. I had to reduce my documentation which was a bit of a fumble. The guy found out that I already had an account there so the first part was quite easy and straightforward. Then he told me that they didn’t actually purchase shares – the office was somewhere else. It wasn’t in the locality where I had to go for them which was something of a disappointment. I should really have done this at the bank. I was preparing to leave but suddenly realised that he hadn’t asked me for the money to pay into this account, presumably because it was open already. I wondered what I was going to do about that.

Finally, there had been an airship that had crashed in north-west France. We’d gone out to investigate it. As we were investigating it we didn’t think that it looked quite right. We heard that somewhere along the route a pile of bodies and debris and everything had been found on top of a mountain along this airship’s route. Our immediate thought was that it had grounded out on some high point and ripped off the rear cabin. This was soon changed after a while when it seemed that the rear cabin had been in an explosion. A bomb had been planted aboard that had blown the rear cabin out and killed everyone in there whose bodies had fallen onto this mountain-top. Of course this had altered the handling capabilities of the airship and that was what had caused it to crash around where we were. We set off in a car to try to locate the spot where these bodies had been found. We were driving somewhere around the Chester way heading into North Wales. There was an old Ford Zodiac with a pile of aerials on it looking as if it was some kind of radio car that was in the hunt. We were heading into North Wales to carry on our quest for this first lot of human remains and so on into North Wales. There was something about someone had bought the site to erect a monument and the site had changed hands again and the new owner was trying to raise money for a monument.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There was the break this afternoon for my walk, somewhat later than usual.

There wasn’t anyone down on the beach this afternoon, for the rather prosaic reason that there isn’t any beach for anyone to be on. The tide is right in now, up to the foot of the cliffs.

You can see what I meant yesterday about those people down there. It’s easy to be cut off from the steps that bring people up to the Rue du Nord.

There were very few people around on the path this afternoon so I had this part of my circuit at least pretty much to myself.

people pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Along the path and across the car park I came to the end of the headland.

There were a couple of people down there looking as if they were taking a photograph of themselves standing on the end of the headland.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, photographs of people taking photographs is something that features quite often on these pages.

There weren’t any fishermen out there this afternoon on the rocks, and no boats in the bay either. It was all quite quiet as everyone begins to go into hibernation for the winter, which won’t be long a-coming.

le styx unloading fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There was no change at all in the chantier naval this afternoon – the portable boat lift was still parked up in the middle of the yard.

Over at the fish processing plant, we had one of the port’s trawlers, Le Styx, unloading over there onto the wharf. You can see one of the many electric cranes that they use to winch the loads up onto the top.

When she finished unloading, she cast off and pulled away from the plant, but I didn’t see where she went because I was moving off down the path towards home.

workmen's compound boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way home I walked past the place where I could look down on the workmen’s compound in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

That job that they are undertaking in the Rue Cambernon is taking its time. They must be doing a thorough job on it, whatever it is. I shall have to go down that way on Wednesday on my way to the physiotherapist in order to have a closer look.

Back here I made myself a coffee and carried on with my journal entry from Saturday and now that’s on line. There are just a huge pile of photos now to edit, and I’ll make a start on that tomorrow.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper with rice, and it was delicious as usual. And now I’m off to bed. I’ve had a long day and I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be at my best. But no matter what I do, there’s little hope of that.

Tuesday 11th May 2021 – LE STYX …

trawler chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… didn’t stay long in the chantier navale then.

When we walked past there yesterday we saw her still suspended in the cradle of the portable boat lift despite the fact that the tide must have gone out a good while earlier, so I wondered if she was actually destined to be finding a berth up here, but apparently not.

When I walked past this afternoon, there she was, gone! And never called me mother! Her stay up there must have been remarkably rapid – just quick enough for them to repair whatever it was that might have been the issue, and then back to sea she went.

My stay in bed was rather rapid last night too. I ended up having yet another late night, late nights that I can well do without, but nevertheless I managed to haul myself out of bed at the first alarm.

After the medication I came back in here to start revising my Welsh but I had a great deal of difficulty keeping awake. Not even a coffee could revive me so in the end, I went and had a nice hot shower in the hope that it would liven me up. And afterwards, I came back in here and promptly crashed out.

So much for that idea.

The Welsh that we are learning is now coming thick and fast. We’ve made a start on the subjunctive and conditional tenses which should be exciting seeing as I am still finding it hard to come to terms with the present tense of “to be”.

My brain, such as it is, has gone to pieces … “you’ve only just noticed?” – ed … and my memory has disappeared completely.

We actually finished on time today, the first time for about forever, but I nipped off into the office to attend to one or two matters, one of which involved the Welsh Parliament, and I was so engrossed that I missed lunch. No-one was more surprised than me when I glanced at my watch and saw that it was 15:30.

Grabbing a handful of crackers, I grabbed the NIKON D500 and headed for the door.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown to the end of the car park went I as usual these days, to look over the wall and down onto the beach to see what was happening there.

The tide is now quite far out so there was plenty of beach for people to be on, but there were very few people out there this afternoon. It’s fairly warm out here (although I have known it warmer at this time of the year) and nice, bright and sunny, but the wind is back and it was blowing quite strongly.

As far as I can tell, we only seem to have had a handful of days so far this year when there has been very little wind. I’ve never known a year like it from that point of view. I know that we are living in one of the windiest corners of Europe but even so, there are limits and what we have experienced so far this year has gone beyond them in my opinion.

trawler english channel baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou can tell just how windy it is by looking at the whitecaps on the waves out there in the English Channel.

This is one of the trawlers that is currently working the English Channel between the Pointe du Roc and the Ile de Chausey and it really was working it too because I watched it turn round at the end of its run and go back the way it had come.

There were several out there again today having a go at seeing what they could find. They seem to be putting a lot of effort into working that stretch of indisputably-French water over there and not heading for a confrontation with the Jersey authorities right now.

But like most people, I’m taking rather a vicarious pleasure in thinking about what they might do next.

trawlers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s not just in the Baie de Granville where the fishing boats are working right now.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few weeks we’ve seen them hard at work in the Baie de Mont St Michel too. There are two fishing boats that we can see quite clearly in this photo but if we peer into the gloom and haze in the background we can see several more out there over by the Brittany coast.

Having watched them for a few minutes I pushed off along the path on the other side of the headland to go and have a look at what was happening in the chantier navale and we have seen that it’s pretty quiet in there this afternoon, so I carried on home for my hot coffee

spirit of conrad charles marie aztec lady port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back I paused for a moment to have a look to see if Aztec Lady was still in here at her berth.

Sure enough, she’s over there dead ahead doubled up to Anakena who also spend a considerable amount of time in the chantier navale just now. Immediately to their left draped in some kind of canvas is Charles Marie and to her left, sideways on is the other big yacht that was in there for a while.

To her left is Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which I went down the coast of Brittany last summer. I wonder where she will be going this year, if she will be going anywhere at all with all of this virus going around.

Back here I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. The Welsh Parliament was under attack last night from some kind of aerial creature. We formed some kind of group, me and a few other people too to form it and we defended our corner of the coastline and sank a few of these missile things and so on, and we had a party to celebrate what we were doing but someone pointed that there was another one on its way. It seemed that we hadn’t got to the root of the problem at all and killing something of course means that a few others will arise in its place. I was thinking that this was pretty strange, something like a South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive bus to be involved in a fight like this here in North Wales on the coast

Later on there was some kind of war game going on involving ships but I don’t remember too much of it. Later on I was talking to one of the guys, someone whom I knew in Stoke on Trent. he was telling me about a car he had for sale and I was trying to bu it from him but he wouldn’t tell me how much. It was a MkV Cortina. We had this back-and-to for about half an hour and he even brought his old man to have a play at this game “well he wants to buy my car but I don’t know if I want to sell it yet. What’s he asking for it? What’s he offering?” and so on. Then we came to the headlines “the car had run for the 1st time in 30 years” so I thought “it’s not going to be a road-going car but I’ll go and see it”. The car was kept in a fridge and I looked inside. It was a Vauxhall Carlton, the old type, B-registered 1984. I tried to fight my way in to the fridge to get to it but found that all the doors had been locked and the key had been left inside, and the parking light was on. It was an estate. I thought “how the hell am I going to get in here? I could scramble through and it won’t have been the first time that that I’d done that but for some reason I was feeling all claustrophobic and didn’t really fancy the idea of getting inside the fridge and crawling all over everything like that in order to get this car to start.

There were other things that I needed to do but regrettably, I crashed out yet again and ended up missing my guitar practice as a result and no-one was more dismayed than me.

falafel chips salad place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on I went for tea. falafel, chips and salad. All of it was made with my own fair hands.

The falafel was some of the stuff that came from LIDL and I do have to say that it was the nicest that I’ve ever had in France. The chips were cut from potatoes and “fried” in the microwave fryer that my niece Rachel let me have when I was in Canada in 2019.

The microwave fryer isn’t as efficient as it was in her microwave. Mine is less powerful so it takes much longer to work. And in any case it’s too small so I have to take out the rotating plate and put an upturned ramekin dish over the top of the rotator and drop the fryer on that.

It’s not ideal, but at least it works on the odd occasion when I need it.

chocolate sponge chocolate sauce place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut as for the pudding, what can I say?

It was absolutely delicious, to such an extent that I was amazed. The chocolate sponge is the lightest that I have ever tasted and the chocolate sauce worked out really well. I shall be making much more of this, and on a regular basis too if only I could prevent the sponge from being so crumbly. I wish that I knew what the secret was.

So having done all that, and reasonably early too, I think that I’m going to go to bed. An early night will do me good after all of my efforts just now. Anyone would think that after the weekend I would have had more than enough sleep just recently, but it doesn’t seem like it.

Monday 10th May 2021 – AFTER ALL OF …

fishing boats ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall.. shenanigans that went on last week out at sea, it was very interesting to see the position of the fishing boats on my radar today.

The port itself was practically empty except for the odd fishing boat here and there and everyone else was out at sea. Half of the fleet was fishing away in the Baie de Mont St Michel and the rest were in between the Pointe du Roc and the Ile de Chausey, many of which boats we can see in this photo. It seems that the local fishermen are keeping a low profile right now until the situation cools down.

There were however one or two boats right out in between Jersey and Guernsey, but they were the larger boats from the fleets that operate out of here so I don’t imagine that they had as much difficulty obtaining their records over last weekend.

Talking of things not having much difficulty … “well, one of us is” – ed … I didn’t have much difficulty leaving my bed this morning after the first alarm. And after the medication, the first task was to deal with the carrots.

Last night I’d forgotten to mention that while things were cooking I peeled, diced and blanched a kilo of carrots and they had been draining overnight. They went into one of these ziploc plastic bags and were bunged in the freezer.

After that had been accomplished I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

I was living in Virlet and a new British couple had appeared on the scene. I’d been in the shops and tomorrow the shops were going to be closed so I got up, bought a few things that they might need which I could always use if they didn’t and went round to see them. They said that they were fine for stuff. In the end we chatted. He had a Wartburg saloon that he was going to restore. We talked about Income Tax and other kinds of things. He showed me his income tax form which he didn’t understand. Not having seen a French income tax form I wasn’t any more the wiser either but I was able to work my way down and in the end I arrived at some kind of calculation which didn’t disagree at all particularly from what the French government’s calculation had been. I was able to explain the fact that this was only an estimate based on what they had said that their provisional tax might be and how it could all changed depending on what they did earn and all the allowances and reliefs that they could change simply through reading this form.

Armed with a mug of coffee I attacked the radio programmes for the next while. The live concerts have fallen behind somewhat in the rota and I wanted to do two of them today and, to my surprise, I managed it too.

It wasn’t too difficult though really because the first one is of a group with whom I had a very long and animated correspondence about 18 years ago and they had sent me a pile of stuff back then. Some of it was hopelessly confused and I never succeeded in untangling it but I managed to rescue enough today to make up a concert.

The second was a concert from the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm in 1973 that some of my friends who played in that group sent me. The difficulty with that was that It was extremely difficult to trim it down to the right size and in the end I had to resort to what I can only call “imaginative editing”.

It wasn’t easy but in the end I managed it even if there was only space for an intro of 42 seconds. And I do have to say that it all went together really well. In fact when I listen to some of the stuff that I did when I first tried doing this back in the olden days I cringe with embarrassment. And I’ve improved a lot more over the last 18 months too.

Having finished that I attacked a Louis de Funes soundtrack to extract a few more soundbites for my radio shows. He’s the special guest on my radio shows and I make up dialogue with me asking questions and using the soundbytes to manufacture replies. It provides some levity in the programmes.

And, shame as it is to admit it, I fell asleep at this point. That was a real disappointment, although it probably isn’t much of a surprise. But whatever you might say about it, it meant a rather late lunch.

After lunch I had a listen to the radio programme that will be broadcast this weekend and then sent it off to the guy who maintains the internet schedule to fit it into its little slot.

By now it was time for my afternoon walk

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it seems that I can’t go for an afternoon walk without first going to the end of the car park to look down over the walls to see who was about on the beach.

There was no neighbour around today to squidge me so that was a task that I could perform in comfort. But even though the tide wasn’t right in as yet and there was plenty of room on the beach, there was no-one around.

That was something of a surprise because although it wasn’t as warm as it had been yesterday and there was slightly more wind, there was plenty of beautiful sunlight out there and it was a nice spring day. The kind of day when you might have expected the madding crowds to be out and about.

There were a few people on the path but not the crowds of yesterday which made a nice change so I could go for my walk in comparative comfort.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown at the end of the path by the lighthouse I stopped for a look back at the College Malraux to see how they are doing with that roofing job that they started a couple of centuries ago.

And despite all of this time since they started, they still haven’t finished it as yet. Judging by the material that’s around here there is no heavy or major work being undertaken so I really have no idea what is taking the time.

One possible answer to that is to take a closer look at the photo. A nice sunny day, albeit a little windy, it’s not yet 16:00, and there is no-one up there working. It seems to me that they have all knocked off and gone home, and that’s no way to work at all. It’ll never be finished at this rate.

kite surfer baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier I mentioned the hordes of fishing boats … “not hordes, actually” – ed … of fishing boats in the Baie de Mont St Michel and I was determined to go along to the end of the headland and look at them.

Indeed they were there and I was intending to take a photo of them but I was rather distracted by this guy here. I’m not quite sure the name of this activity that he was practising – it must be kite-surfing or something.

But whatever it might be called, he was certainly brave to do it around a fleet of fishing boats. I mean – you can see the boats but not necessarily the equipment that they trail out behind them and it wouldn’t be very much good tripping over all of that.

So forgetting to take a photo of the fishing boats, I pushed off along the path round the other side of the headland.

le styx trawler chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd today we have more excitement in the chantier navale, so I dashed down the path in order to have a closer look.

And we now have another occupant in here as of this afternoon (or, at least we will haven once she’s dropped onto her blocks) in the form of Le Styx, one of the smaller trawler-type of fishing boats.

Mind you, judging by how far out the tide is right now, they seem to have left her in the portable boat lift for quite a lengthy period of time. And with the van parked up by her, it makes me wonder if she is actually going to be put on blocks or whether they are simply giving her an inspection, rectifying a few minor matters and putting her back in the water at the next tide.

Mind you, after my prophesy with Aztec Lady that backfired so spectacularly, I’ve given up speculating on the boats in here.

fishing boat aground port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlso over there we have another fishing boat that has been left to go aground as the tide has gone out.

There are actually a few people aboard her so I wonder what it is that they are doing. If it’s simply a case of provisioning the boat, it still beats me why they can’t do that in the inner harbour. There’s definitely something going on about that.

The diving boat is still there too, so I wonder if when we saw the men with the jetski the other day, it really was nothing to do with any diving activity and the disturbed water was just a coincidence.

But on that note I came home for my hot coffee and because I had things to do. Like pay for my Welsh course and also to book everything for my next trip to Castle Anthrax. That’s come round quicker than even I had anticipated.

After all of that I had a session on the guitars which I enjoyed and then went for tea. Burger and pasta followed by the last of the summer w … errr … jam roly poly

Now I’m off to bed for an early night. I have my Welsh lesson tomorrow and I need to be on form. I can’t remember anything at the moment and I need to find the motivation from somewhere.

Saturday 9th March 2019 – NEPTUNE IS BACK!

neptune port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOn my way out to the shops this morning, I noticed that Neptune had come in on the tide earlier this morning.

I stopped at the side of the road to take a photo of her. She’s busy pumping out the bilges – probably come over here in a ballast of water to keep her on an even keel in the stormy seas that we have been having just recently.

So she won’t be loading quite yet.

Last night was another decent night’s sleep. I was awake just before the alarm went off but I was in no hurry to leave the bed.

But last night was a rather interesting night. I was in a house where there were two separate gangs of organised criminals, and the aim was to keep these two groups separate so that they did not cross each other’s path. At a certain moment, we had to leave to go somewhere so I had to pack. And fo some reason I was packing all kinds of clothes that I had already worn and needed washing – with the argument that I could wash them in the hotel sink (although how I was going to iron the shirts was something else completely). I needed to pack the laptop and a few other things, but I only had a very short space of time to do it.
Later, I was somewhere round about the junction of Gresty Road and South Street talking to a couple that might have been the French mother and son whom I had met on the Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour. I asked the mother if she had lived round here long, to which she replied in the affirmative. And so I enquired about a house at the back of the Royal Hotel in Pedley Street that was used as an artist’s studio, with a great big picture window facing south (which is bizarre because windows in artists’ studios face north, so that the light is even). She said that she knew nothing about it, but nevertheless she told me a surprising amount. So off I went round there to the area where I was on Wednesday morning and the Aldi supermarket and where, on reflections, I’ve been before, and found the house. In there were a couple of photographers and a couple of models doing some kind of greenscreen photography.

After the usual morning ritual of medication and breakfast, I had a shower and then set the washing machine going. There’s a huge pile of washing built up and I’m not sure how.

And then Neptune and the shops, calling at the paper container to dump another load of shreddings. It’s full now so I’ll have to wait for a while until it’s emptied.

LIDL had nothing special, although I did pick up another set each of AA and AAA batteries. I’ll have a big change-round of batteries here in the important stuff like the dictaphone and so on.

bad parking noz granville manche normandy franceAt NOZ, we encountered yet again another example of pathetic parking.

Judging by the registration number, that car is at least 10 years old, by the way.

Even though I spent a reasonable sum of money, it was on incidental stuff – nothing of any importance, except maybe a plastic werving spoon with holes in and, at long last, a nylon hand-whisk.

I have a metal whisk, which is great for using in a glass bowl, but no good in a metal saucepan. So €0:99 was money well spent.

Caliburn is getting low on fuel so I put some more in at LeClerc – the first since October, and then I didn’t fill it. I’m not going anywhere these days.

And in the shop, I didn’t buy anything special. There’s no point seeing as I’m going on Thursday.

Back here I actually managed to unpack and put everything away, and then I hung up the washing on the clothes drier in the windowsill.

After lunch I finished the blog entries for October so that’s up-to-date now.

But I couldn’t keep going. by about 14:30 I was under the covers in bed asleep, and there I stayed until 15:45.

house renovation rue du nord granville manche normandy franceHowever, I did managed to haul myself out of bed and go off for my afternoon walk.

This took me round by the rue du Nord and here on the corner they had started the renovation of a small block of flats here.

I shall keep my eyes on this work too over time, to see what they are doing.

new house building rue du nord granville manche normandy franceFurther on down the rue du nord, I had another look at the building works going on there.

That’s been going on all through the winter, in some kind of desultory fashion because he doesn’t seem to be making any rapid progress.

I’ve no idea when he might be finishing the job, but I’m not holding my breath.

crowds plat gousset granville manche normandy franceDespite the fact that it was cold (I have the heating on again) there were quite a few people out with me walking around the walls today.

And down there on the Plat Gousset there were even more crowds of people milling around enjoying the early March weather.

It won’t be long before the tourists are back.

people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy franceWe even had a few people running around up and down the beach.

It’s not really a day for being on the beach, but at least they were enjoying it, so good luck to them.

But looking at the figure at the foot of the diving platform, and seeing how far out the sea is, when we have a high tide, the water is up above the level of the platform so you can see the tidal range around here.

funfair parking herel pointe gautier granville manche normandy franceThe fairground out at the Parking Hérel is still going on, even though Carnaval finished on Tuesday.

For an experiment, I tried a long exposure to see if I could pick up the movement effect of the fairground attraction, but it didn’t turn out as I was hoping.

I can see that I shall have to work on my technique.

daffodils place maurice marland granville manche normandy franceFurther on around the walls, I ended up in the Place Maurice Marland.

And having talked yesterday about Spring, here today we have the daffodils blooming quite impressively.

We’re definitely expecting the sun right now then, aren’t we? Spring can’t be too far away at all.

neptune marite le styx port de granville harbour manche normandy franceBack on the walls, I had a look down into the harbour.

We have Marité of course, and also a trawler by the name of Le Styx, and also Neptune, who seems to have stopped pumping out the ballast water.

And unless I’m very much mistaken, she seems to have acquired a new digger. The old one was white – I’m pretty certain of that. But this one is yellow.

Back here, I made a start on the images for September. Only a world-record 1730 of them so it’ll take me an age to do all of them.

And then, finally, I can restart the web pages for my trip to the High Arctic.

We had a break for the football. A top-of-the-table clash between Connah’s Quay and TNS. Connah’s Quay lost the match, and the lead in the table, by a score of 2-0.

And the difference was that Connah’s Quay played with a very ineffective attack, whereas TNS were excellent up front.

The Nomads can say goodbye to the Championship after this, and we’re back in the usual position of TNS out in front.

Tea was out of a tin – ravioli with lentils and veg followed by apple pie and soya.

funfair parking herel granville manche normandy franceAnd then out for my walk around the headland in the rain.

Nothing much happening, except that the funfair seemed still to be working. Nothing else apart from that so I came home and made myself a mug of cocoa to warm me up.

Now I’m off to bed, and a good lie-in tomorrow I hope.

I certainly need it.