Tag Archives: Leclerc

Saturday 17th September 2022 – I FORGOT …

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… that it was Saturday and shopping day today and almost forgot to go out.

When the alarm went off this morning I wasn’t in any rush at all and was lounging around for a whole 10 minutes or so before I had a sudden attack of realisation and leapt to my feet in something of a panic

So while you admire a whole collection of all kinds of aerial craft, because today it looked as if almost anything that could fly was in the air this afternoon, I shall regale you with my adventures.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And when I say “almost anything that could fly was in the air this afternoon”, there were even one or two things that couldn’t but were making a valiant attempt.

Like this Nazgul, for an instance. If it were me, I’d have “shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight. “
but Legolas was obviously having much better luck than Wordsworth and me.

This Nazgul came staggering around the headland clearly in some kind of difficulty and he ended up loitering around here for a good five minutes just half an inch above the ground waiting for a gust of wind to pick him up and send him on his way.

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBC baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Not all of the aerial craft was unidentified though.

Flying by this afternoon was Air France flight AF428 from Paris Charles de Gaulle to, of all places, Bogotà in Colombia, by coincidence where my journalist friend Jill from Philadelphia is on an assignment right now, and had I known, I would have been on it.

The plane that’s taking the flight is a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, registration F-HRBC, and it was at 34,000 feet on course 261° at 460 knots.

We’ve flown on Dreamliners before, once FROM CHARLES DE GAULLE TO MONTREAL IN AUGUST 2014 and once FROM MONTREAL TO CASABLANCA IN OCTOBER 2019.

aeroplane 50SA baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, and more banal kinds of flying machine.

So there I was, scrambling to my feet and dashing off to take my medication while I made plans.

After the medication I leapt (well, crawled, actually but sometimes you have to write for effect) into the shower for a good scrub and to make myself pretty, but I’ll need much more than the 4 minutes that the British Government recommends that you spend in the shower in order to do that.

And then Caliburn and I headed for the hills and the LeClerc supermarket.

aeroplane 55OJ baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Today’s shop was actually quite expensive, but they had a lot of stuff on special offer today.

The hair shampoo that I use, a special type with oils and not soap, was on offer in three-packs. It’ll probably take me the rest of my life to use it all but I couldn’t turn it down.

Fabric softener was at a give-away price too, and then they had some 100% végétale margarine of the best quality in the “end of range” row. It’s much better than the rubbish that I usually buy and the reduced prices was even cheaper than what I would pay for my usual stuff.

Nothing there that I could pass up.

These days I’ve become quite domesticated, haven’t I?

unknown aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home, I called at the Health Centre. The nurse had told me that my vaccination certificate for my fourth vaccination is now ready.

The certificate might be ready but the receptionist wasn’t. Her desk was all closed up. It looks as if the reception is only open 5 days per week. And so instead I came home.

Having put the frozen peas and the cold items away, I came in here and started work.

One thing that I want to do on Saturdays now that I have a little free time with only going to LeClerc and not to Noz is to pair up the music for the radio programme that i’ll be preparing on Monday. That means that I really can have Sundays off.

If I’m not careful, I’ll end up like Robinson Crusoe. he worked a 5-day week because all his outstanding work was finished by Friday.

unidentified aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The joins in the pairs were amongst the best that I’ve ever made, and I’m very pleased with these.

While I’d been rummaging around in the fridge the other day I found some vegan cheese that I had forgotten. And so for breakfast I had cheese-on-toast and coffee. And that old vegan cheese, stuff that I’d bought ages ago from Lidl, actually melts like real cheese.

That’s the kind of thing that’s useful to know so I made a note.

So having had a nice breakfast, I made a start on what was on the dictaphone from last night. Tons of stuff too. It must have been quite a mobile night.

powered hang glider baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Last night I was at the airport taxi-driving. I was sitting in the car in the rain watching the line of passengers grow longer and then shorter. Then it was my turn to leave, and I picked up some people going to the hotel in the south near Waterloo. 6 people entered the taxi so I had to insist that 1 of them left as I was only licensed for 5. In the end 2 of them left. They had a chunter but I was only licensed for 5 so there was nothing that I could do about it. We set off

After that I had my boat and I was up round the top of north-west Scotland somewhere. An emergency had occurred and I had to go back to London. It was fairly stormy but I went none-the-less. Although the journey shook me up a lot I made it back without any serious injury or illness.

Later on, Nerina came home from school one day very upset because someone had been taking the mickey out of her. She wanted me to go along and sort them out. Of course it’s not really something that you can sort out as I told her. I said that it was pretty pointless but she insisted so we drove back to Nantwich. I said “when we park up you’ll have to do this, this and this”. She replied “I’m not coming with you”. “Of course you are. This is about you”. In the end we didn’t actually have to go very far because as we pulled up he was there. I had a few words with him about it. He was effectively “what are you going to do about it,”. Of course there wasn’t really anything that you can do about something like that. In the end nothing ever became of it. It didn’t really prove a point but it was one of those things that you just have to do, one of the affairs through which you have to go.

powered hang glider baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022and then this was early in the morning. Everyone was getting up. I was talking to someone at the front door of the residence where I was staying, brushing my teeth. He pointed to my upper lip telling me that there was some toothpaste on it. I replied “don’t worry. I’ll wash my face when I’ve finished”. He replied “yes but I’m telling you that I thought for some reason that it was an extremely silly thing to do”. There was an advert on the TV as well about a young black boy taking 2 children, 1 on the handlebars of his bike and the other in a trailer behind. he was struggling up a hill in the snow. It was something to do with some kind of energy product because it cut to the end where he was cycling up this hill and overtaking everyone like nobody’s business, nothing like the struggle he was having before”. One of my friends from Germany was there. She was there as I was rinsing my face off so we had a little chat. I had my suitcase and was thinking that I’d have time to go to the airport to check in and hand in my suitcase and then come back. Then I’d be ready for going in the evening. I was thinking about it and I wasn’t going for another couple of days yet so why would I be wanting to take my suitcase now? This was starting to become really confusing.

yellow autogyro baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After the lunchtime fruit the next task was to deal with the carrots. I’m running a little low on them so seeing as they had 1.5kg bags this morning at the same price at which 1kg bags usually sell, I treated myself

They are all now scrubbed, diced, blanched and in the freezer. And I had to be quite imaginative about how I fitted them in because it really is now full to the brim and there’s no room for anything else in there.

Now that I’m much more organised here, I realise that I should have pushed the boat out and bought a bigger freezer. However I would have filled up the space just as quickly and I still would have ended up in this position with no room in there for anything else.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With the carrots now done, there’s still no time to breathe a sigh of relief and collapse into a heap.

There’s the afternoon walk – or stagger – around the headland. But not before I’ve gone over to the wall at the end of the car park to check up on the activities down on the beach.

Plenty of people down there this afternoon. No surprise though because although it was quite windy, even if a Nazgul rider didn’t think so, it was a lovely late summer day and it really was a pleasure to be out in it.

There were even one or two people brave enough to be in the water this afternoon.

st helier jersey UK Eric Hall photo September 2022The views out to Jersey were magnificent this afternoon.

They were so good that you could see some of the buildings on the island with the naked eye, and now that I’ve been over there I can tell you what some of them are, and when I’ve finished reviewing the photos I’ll probably be able to tell you what the rest are.

Going from left to right, what I think that we have is first of all Elizabeth Castle and to the right is Fort Regent. Over to the right, the white buildings are the blocks of flats at Le Marais in St Clément.

Of course, that’s guesswork based on what I saw when I was over there, but of course I didn’t actually see everything.

commodore goodwill english channel France Eric Hall photo September 2022And how about a flying ship?

It’s not actually a fata morgana – it is a real ship roughly in the position where it’s supposed to be, but the effects of the haze caused by temperature inversion at the water level gives the impression that she’s flying,.

It’s a phenomenon that’s been observed by mariners for centuries and has been the subject of all kinds of books and the like.

And no prizes for guessing who she might be either. It’s actually Commodore Goodwill out there in the English Channel surrounded by yachts and she left St Helier at 10:36 for a slow sail over to St Malo.

kayakers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Fighting my way past the crowds and the wounded Nazguls I crossed the lawn and came to the crowded car park.

Out in the bay there were a couple of kayakers having a good paddle around offshore this afternoon. Having a lot of fun, I suppose.

When I was at school I used to go canoeing but that was a very long time ago and on a canal. I wouldn’t fancy my chances in an open sea in this kind of wind.

STRAWBERRY MOOSE has been kayaking in the open sea while we were in the Arctic, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.
“Would you like a couple of oars?” I asked him before he set out.
“Yes” he replied. “After I’ve come back and put away the kayaking gear”

cabanon vauban man sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022My route continued across the car park to the end of the headland, and then I picked my way very gingerly down the loose gravel path on my one good leg.

There was plenty going on out at sea and plenty up above in the air too, as you have already seen. Consequently seeing someone sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban was no surprise at all.

What was surprising was that he was taking no interest whatever in the exciting events that were unfolding all around him. By the looks of things he was reading a good book, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Nothing wrong with continuing my way down towards the port either.

belle france joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So I scrambled off on my way towards the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see what was happening there.

Nothing much going on at the ferry terminal today. It seems that despite the fine weather, the summer season is grinding to a close. Moored over there are Belle France and one of the Joly France ferries. No step in her stern so that means that she’s the older one of the two.

The only one out at the island today is the other one, the newer of the two. So there aren’t any tours around the bay this afternoon.

As for Victor Hugo, she’s still moored in the inner harbour. Her season is definitely finished and I imagine that it won’t be long before she and her sister are off to Cherbourg for a maintenance visit.

l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The portable boat lift here in the chantier naval is only rated at 100 tons and I don’t imagine that that’s anywhere near as what is required to lift Victor Hugo out of the water.

It would be nice if we had a bigger left to pull heavier boats out of the water but then there’s no real room here for anything large.

Everyone whom we saw yesterday is still here by the way. However I took a better photo of L’Omerta. When I was looking at the radar yesterday I noticed that there isn’t an image for her on the radar database. As I keep the installation here I reckon that it’s upto me to bring it up to date.

That’s a little project for me – to go through and photograph every boat that lives here. I probably have most of them anyway.

Back here I had a coffee and then settled down to watch the football – Y Drenewydd v Penybont in the Welsh Premier League.

This was a game that had everything. Penybont were the better side and they raced into a 2-0 lead in the first half. Watching Y Drenewydd mounting a comeback and trying to pull themselves back into the game made the second half probably one of the most exciting that we have seen.

They pulled a goal back and kept on piling forward, only to be hit by a sucker-punch breakaway that made the score 3-1. Nevertheless they kept on going and scored a second, but couldn’t find a way through for the third despite everything that they tried.

3-2 was about the right result and the game was a great advert for the League except for a couple of “little incidents” in stoppage time that saw a rash of bookings and a sending-off as Penybont tried to slow down the game and run out the clock.

Tea was one of my breaded quorn fillets with veg, and then I came back in here to write up my notes, rather later than usual.

All my work for this weekend is now done so I can have tomorrow off. I even have pizza dough in the freezer (I think).

So I’ll try a walk around the walls tomorrow and see how I feel. I’m still not feeling myself, which is just as well because it’s a disgusting habit, but apart from that my right knee is finished, I reckon. I don’t think that I’ll recover from this.

And even if I were to recover, I’m not sure that i’d have the confidence in it that I had.

That’s sad, isn’t it?

Saturday 3rd September 2022 – I MADE IT …

… to the supermarket this morning.

Not that I felt much like it but nevertheless there I was. And here I am back again so something went right today.

Not that it looked much like it earlier though.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While you admire a couple of photos of some of the water craft that was out and about this afternoon, I was having a pretty miserable night.

The computer didn’t start up again during the night but that was about the only thing that didn’t. I had that weird problem with my ankle strapping and I reckon that as there’s a French saying of jamais deux sans trois I’ll take it off before I go to bed tonight if I remember.

Apart from that there were loads of voyages and by the looks (or the listening) of things there was about an hour and a half where there must have been all kinds of turmoil going on, judging by what was there on the dictaphone. I started off at school. The back way out of school was to go out of a window and down a ladder that was usually propped there. I went that way and found that the ladder had been extended to its full extent and put across the pavement to the window. Because it was at its fullest extent it was at something like I dunno less than 40° for an angle of the ladder. I thought that that was positively lethal. The ladder needs to be brought up closer to the wall and made much shorter so that it’s much safer and you aren’t actually on it for as long. I pulled it in from where I was standing. I had to untangle a few nets that were around it then drop the ladder down to the right kind of height. Somehow it all went down and didn’t reach up to the window. One of the teachers went past and saw my manoeuvres. I thought that she was about to say something but she didn’t. eventually I managed to make my own way down to the floor underneath. There was an Afro-Caribbean family living there. They were going on about this ladder. I explained that the ladder had been set up all wrong. One of the little girls there, I told her to go and fetch something but she refused so I told her that if she were to go and fetch it I would show her how to set up the ladder so I could actually go down to the ground floor and the street at the back.

kayaker baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022At the end of the exhibition thing (which exhibition thing?) the crowd started to thin out until there was just about half a dozen of us left. I saw that the person there was someone whom I knew. He’d been kept captive there and the ladder out to the back garden was at an angle of much more than 45° so it was completely unsafe to be on it. Despite being told off by his teacher he made it down to where the ladder was. He pulled it in but ended up dropping it so he was stranded on the rock where he was. Eventually he was met by a West Indian family who started to show him crutches and things but he showed them a few tricks himself with the card that frightened one of the girls. He then asked about using the phone otherwise he’d end up here making them alone for Christmas, carrying out work about that when he went over to sign them in at the council’s local papers and he had to give a name and date of birth. That completely stumped him.

When I dictated this bit about going out when the ladder was not steep enough and causing problems sliding so I picked it up to try to adjust the length and put it at a better angle. Instead, the whole lot of the ladder folded up. The teacher who saw me didn’t actually say anything which surprised me so I went somehow down to the floor underneath. There was a West Indian family there. I explained to them what had happened and asked their little girl to go and fetch something but she refused even though I promised to let her see what was going on.

He (who?) played for the local village football team, a group of shopkeepers and he embarrassed a few senior professional sides on more than one occasion while he was playing for them. I can’t remember what else I had to say about this

We had a few of these where the prosecution had a buoy that was much bigger than the normal standard size so it creates all kinds of confusion on shore when you take it ashore but I can’t remember why it was a subject of conversation now. And what this is about I really don’t have a clue

There was something weird happening in a space laboratory that made TV tubes last night. There weren’t all that many workers and the process is automated. In the rest room there were all kinds of problems going on and the camp was split pretty much into 2 groups of people, the humans and the not-quite-so-humans. They were creating some kind of nasty atmosphere towards each other. There was a definite split down the workforce such as it was with the humans ganging up on the non-humans. They created an aggressive situation. There was one newish workman who had come there from earth to work. He tried to resolve the conflicts but his manager made the announcement that this guy’s funeral will be on Wednesday next week, which is to the effect that they were going to push him right out of the organisation. They asked what would become of him. he said that there’s another factory here in Space and he can go to work there. He said that they had a lot of trouble with door knobs but they can only go in occasionally and can’t come out at all.

We were all in Canada later on last night. There was a problem with the insurance on the Ranger. We could have the vehicle MoT’d but he wouldn’t pass it until I produced the insurance. Of course this was going to be extremely complicated for me being a non-resident. In the end after a great deal of argument and discussion I managed to have him agree that I’d produce the letter from the insurance company offering renewal and submit that and he’d issue the certificate. He had to go to check with his boss and quite a few people first. After that we were all ushered away. We ended up going to someone’s house. All of my friends etc had gone upstairs but there were one or two people milling around on the ground floor. I asked “do I have to go upstairs too or am I being stuck down here?”. They replied that I could go upstairs so I went to go but there were all people sitting on the stairs talking and wouldn’t move out of the way for me to go past. One of the women made some kind of remark that was intended to make these people move but they took no notice at all and carried on talking. I was effectively being prevented from going upstairs.

And finally there was some time for me to go and meet some kind of Middle-Eastern family who had come to live in the West. They had ever so many people living here. I somehow ended up being with 2 children. I was talking to them. The little bit of the apartment that I could see was untidy, littered with all kinds of dust etc. I asked the little boy how many people lived here. He replied “21”. I said “that must be difficult when you go to sleep, isn’t it?. He started to tell me a story but his sister who was perhaps a little older began to speak to him in a foreign language and he didn’t tell me any more after that. I didn’t press the issue on the grounds that if they wanted me to know they would tell me but if they didn’t, they wouldn’t.

As well as all of this, that blasted steam engine or whatever it is went past this morning again at about 06:00. I haven’t a clue what that is.

Anyway when the alarm went off I fell out of bed, had my medication and then went for a shower. And how embarrassing is it when I can’t climb into the bath to take a shower? I had to invent something in order to take a shower this morning.

And then I set off for LeClerc. Climbing into Caliburn was difficult but at least this posh new barrier looks good, complete with its LED lighting. I don’t have to climb out to move any bollards.

When I pulled into the supermarket car park a delivery of fuel had just taken place and there were only a few cars on the pumps so I pulled in and fuelled up with 30 litres just so I’d have some. The car next to me was well over the cente line while the driver was fuelling up, and Caliburn is rather wide so the driver had to wait for me to clear off before he could get back into his car.

And serve him right.

This week’s shopping bill was much more than it ought to be. But then they had that orange juice that I like on a special offer for a multiple buy and the coffee that I like was reduced to €6:50 for a pack of 4 and I’m not going to pass that up. One or two other little “extras” made it into something of an expensive shop but what I buy today I won’t need to bother any other time.

It was 10:25 when I returned from the shops, nearly squidging a couple of pedestrians who were passing through our private car park, A coffee and some toast then saw me attack the dictaphone, the results of which you have already seen.

Other things that I have done today were pairing off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday, and then also dicing, blanching and freezing a kilo of carrots.

people swimming beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Apart from the usual pauses I went out yet again to try my luck with a little walk.

As usual I wandered over to the wall to the end of rhe car park to see what was happening down on the beach. And sure enough, there were quite a few people down there today.

Some of them had even gone into the sea and that was quite brave of them. But then again the weather had improved dramatically. This morning it was all grey and overcast but right now there was plenty of sun, even if there was quite a bit of wind about

But have you noticed that a couple of the people down there in the water look as if they are fully clothed?

people on beach donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As usual, I had a good look around to see what else was going on round there.

You’ve seen already all that there was to see out at sea. And there wasn’t all that much of that. But along the coast beyond Donville les Bains there seemed to be plenty going on.

There were a couple of tractors along the waterline there but on the boat launching ramp there was a van looking as if it has just launched a boat into the water.

Dozens of people milling around on the beach too. There must still be plenty of people at the holiday camp down there

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Nevertheless it seems that I was unlucky this afternoon because I missed one of the Joly France ferries coming back from the island.

When I staggered over to the other wall at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, the boat was busy discharging its load of passengers.

Jusging by the windows in “landscape” format, this is the older one of the two boats. And by the looks of things she had brought back quite a crowd too. All of the passengers were queued up on the boat waiting to leave.

The service is now winding down for the winter. All of the seasonal staff were laid off on Friday so it’ll be just a skeleton service for the winter.

dog in bicycle trailer boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While I was there, there was a lot of other stuff going on too.

And what do you make of this? While I was standing at the viewpoint overlooking the Fish processing Plant (you have some really scenic views here), this strange contraption went rolling past.

We’ve seen DOGS PUSHED AROUND IN TROLLEYS before now, but I don’t think that I’ve seen anything quite like this before. Dogs being moved around in trailers pulled by pushbikes is certainly a novel idea.

But shouldn’t the dog be wearing a seatbelt and crash helmet?

unloading joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, as all of the passengers swarm away from Joly France on their way home, the real work begins.

For the last couple of years there has been a little freighter, Chausiaise, that runs back and to to the island with the freight that is required. Today though it looks as if there wasn’t all that much demand for freight.

Instead of sending Chausiaise they are bringing back the freight in the hold of Jolly France and they are now unloading it with the aid of the quayside crane.

It’s a good job that I’m not operating the crane. Seeing all of the tourists milling around there, I’d be sorely tempted to have a go at a life-size version of pub skittles

As well as Chausiaise and Victor Hugo moored up in the inner harbour today there was plenty of other stuff too.

le styx spirit of conrad capo di fora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the left is the trawler Le Styx and on the right is the yacht Capo di Fora that we have seen in port A COUPLE OF TIMES

But the boat in the middle is the one in which I’m interested. She is of course Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went down the Brittany coast a couple of years ago.

She’s been off on a mega-sail around Scotland and the coast of Norway and at one time I was optimistic about having a moment spare to go for part of the trip. However health issues soon put a stop to that idea.

In fact I knew that she was back in port because on my way out of the building this afternoon I met Pierre her skipper on his way in and we had quite a lengthy chat. I seem to be “flavour of the month” right now with the neighbours.

Back in here I finished off what needed finishing and with all of my work done for the weekend, except for the pizza bases tomorrow, I relaxed.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap, which was quite delicious.

But now I’m off to bed. There’s an alarm for the morning because the nurse is coming round. And I won’t feel all that much like it but it has to be done.

And then I’ll probably go back to bed. After all, it IS Sunday.

Saturday 27th August 2022 – I CAN’T REMEMBER …

… the last time that it was as quiet as it was today on the path overlooking the port.

Maybe yesterday, with all of the painters and everything, was exceptional, I dunno, but today there was hardly anyone about at all round there.

wet pavement boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Mind you, that did actually have its own advantages.

During the night we must have had a really heavy rainstorm because you can see just how wet the path is there. That’s the bit that usually floods in the heavy rain so considering that we’ve had no rain to speak of in an age, it must have been something impressive last night.

And you can see the vegetation here. It’s turned a lot more green just overnight. Things must be looking up and if we aren’t careful, we might have our lawn back.

And while we’re on the subject of “during the night” … “well, one of us is” – ed … I actually had quite a disturbed night.

And not just during the night either. I sat up bolt-upright 10 minutes before the alarm was due to go off, to find myself once again dictating notes into my hand. How many times must I have done that?

Nevertheless I grabbed the dictaphone and dictated what I could remember The milk was rather late being delivered so they sent some elderly guy round to check and to go to see his way into the attic. And it was at that moment that I awoke and whatever else was going on just evaporated,

Not a success.

Regardless of that it was still a struggle to fight my way out of bed and take my medicine. And then in an effort to liven myself up, I had an energy drink and then a shower.

It’s shopping day today, not that I need all that much, but I set the washing machine off just to finally at long last empty to linen basket and then we went to the shops.

There wasn’t much that I needed so I didn’t buy much. It still came to €24:00 though, mainly due to the big bag of peaches and the vegan spread and I was back home by 10:05.

But i’m beginning to notice another problem – and that is that it’s a long way up into Caliburn and I’m struggling to make it. That’s ominous.

Back here, armed with a coffee and some toast, I had a listen to the rest of the dictaphone notes, of which there were more than just a few. Someone came to the door of the house where I was at that particular moment. He walked in, saw me and someone else there and asked for “Professor (so-and-so)”. For some unknown reason I went white and began to shake. The person I was with said that he was Detective-Sergeant (someone-or-other) and was here to make a few enquiries. Before he could continue I asked wht=at this was all about so they explained that the professor had been murdered some time previously which caused an enormous amount of upset. At least I discovered that it wasn’t me whom the person was after.

And later I had a train to catch in London at 22:15 and was coming back again early in the morning. I’d been camping so I had to pick up everything and prepare to leave. When it was time to leave I looked around for everything and couldn’t find my bumbag anywhere. I had a good hunt round but couldn’t find it. In the end I decided that I’d have to go without it. I tied my tent to the bottom of my sleeping back, stuck my parasol in the sleeping bag, hoped that my bumbag was in there. I had to walk somewhere to say goodbye, forgot my sleeping bag, walked back, picked it up, got into the car, drove into Crewe. It never occurred to me until far too late that I should have gone to a suburban railway station in a village somewhere and caught a train to Crewe and could have left my car there. When I arrived in Crewe I was too far away from my house to park there so I had to look for a parking space. There wasn’t any in the public highway. In the end I found myself thinking “how much will it cost to use the British Rail car park by the station for 10 hours or whatever. It’s only going to be expensive if I’ve lost my bumbag. If I have to start paying for parking it’s going to be the end of the world

I’d just gone into a restaurant to have some salad sandwiches. Although the place wasn’t crowded the 2 people behind the counter were working like demons. One of my friends from Germany was there and someone else. The someone else was making the sandwiches and my friend was waiting on table and waiting at the counter and also making some sandwiches. I stood there while they were all busy running around. They’d smiled at me but they hadn’t otherwise said “hello”. I thought to myself that this is taking much longer than it ought to fetch me something to eat. There was a dispute about someone – they thought that they’d organised the wrong meal but my friend was adamant that they hadn’t. Someone had set the toaster too high and burnt a lot of the sandwiches. I was beginning to think at the end of the day that I was invisible because no-one took any notice of me at all.

My niece was pregnant last night too. She’d come round for something and had gone off to the corner shop on the corner of Brookhouse Drive and Davenport Avenue (which there isn’t). In the meantime I’d had to nip out to do something so I went off in my red Cortina. It took much longer than I thought. By the time that I returned my niece was sitting in her car on the car park looking extremely miserable so I have her what it was that I had, parked my car and went back to our flat. I found that I was even so late that everyone had already started to deliberately eat it as well. THis was incredibly late as well, I don’t know why everything had taken so long but it wasn’t supposed to be anything like this at all

With not being in any great rush that took me up until my lunchtime fruit. And one of the peaches is bruised already. I can’t seem to keep fruit very long here and I don’t know why.

And afterwards I paired off all of the music. Only 8 tracks because one of them goes on for almost 22 minutes. I always had a secret admiration for Graham Bond’s Holy Magick.

It took far longer that it ought to have done as well because there were small gaps in the recording at regular intervals, as if the tape had been nicked by something sharp that had gone right through. You’ve no idea how many nicks there can be in 22 minutes of recording and I had to patch each one.

The opening is a very good opening too and I like good openings when they can run underneath my opening speech (which lasts for 13.555 seconds) but as this one wasn’t long enough for that, I looped a segment 8 times and it kept the beat all the way through my extended opening.

As well as that, I had to change a track because one that I had chosen was much more suitable as a programme opener. I don’t have too many of those so I don’t want to waste them.

All in all, I’m glad that I did that this afternoon instead of trying to do it on a Sunday when I don’t really feel like it.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That took me more-or-less up to the time to go for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And once more, I was surprised to see so few people down there. They had plenty of beach to be on but for some reason everyone had deserted the sand.

Many of those down there had made it into the water which was no surprise because regardless of what might or might not have happened during the night, we were back to summer again today and it was hot.

Just the day, in fact, when you would expect to see a lot of people.

medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Down at the Plat Gousset it was pretty much the same, although I was intrigued by the guy in suit trousers, shirt and tie. What was he doing down there on his own dressed like that?

But you can see how the medieval fish trap works. As the tide goes out, some water is retained in the trap and that’s where you’ll find the fish that have come in with the tide but been stranded when the tide has gone out.

This would be the time when all of the fishwives would wade in and start to pull out the fish by hand. And that evening, everyone would have a fish supper.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, while I’m here I’m also having a good look out at sea.

In the Baie de Granville there was hardly any water craft today. Just recently we’ve seen hordes of craft but it seems that they are all having a day off today. These three yachts and probably a handful of other boats were all that I could see.

Mind you, the weather was quite hazy today in patches and while some of Jersey was visible from up here, the rest of the island that we could normally wasn’t clear.

The ile de Chausey was quite visible and I had a little smile to myself listening to some British guy telling his friends that it was the Plateau des Minquiers which are just off Jersey to the south.

sailing ship english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Further out in the English Channel there was something of interest going on.

There’s another sailing ship right out there again today.

Marité is out at sea but she’s currently behind the Ile de Chausey so I don’t think that it’s her and I’m not sure who else it might be.

La Cancalaise hasn’t been out that way today either, but a couple of other suitable candidates might be Etoile du Roy although that’s unlikely, and Le Renard who was out there in that direction somewhere.

It’s not easy using the radar on my mobile phone and when I return home to look on the computer, all of the ships have changed position so I have to estimate their position at the time from their historical track.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Down at the end of the headland there wasn’t an awful lot going on today so I wandered off across the car park to see what was happening down on the rocks.

We had another fisherman down there this afternoon and I do have to say that I was impressed by his tackle. he had a nice big aluminium box strapped to his back but the way things are around here, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was for a seat rather than to store his catch.

There wasn’t anyone sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon. Judging by what happened yesterday, they must have heard me coming and cleared off before I arrived.

Not that I blame them either.

festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Walking down past the sodden part of the path I could see what was happening at the Festival of Working Sailing Ships.

There doesn’t look as if there are all that many people there today either compared to how many there were earlier in the week.

One reason for the comparative lack of people around today is that we’re coming close to the end of the holiday season. Many people will have packed up and gone home this morning, I suppose.

Nevertheless, there would surely still be plenty of people living not too far away who would want to come away for the weekend and see the sights.

la granvillaise marie fernand rowing boats l'alize 3 festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The mystery ship that we saw just now, I can tell you who she isn’t.

It can’t be La Granvillaise because she’s down there giving tourists a lap around the harbour for whatever the local equivalent of half a crown might be. And without her tender either. Let’s hope that she doesn’t need it.

And if you can’t afford the half-crown, you can row your own in one of the rowing boats that are wandering around there. Plenty of opportunity for doing something with a pair of oars.

Up against the wall at the back is of course Marie Fernand and the trawler in the foreground is Alize III

philcathane chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Further along the quayside are the trawler Philcathane and the little freighter Chausiaise. Of course there will be no loading up of freight while the Festival is taking place.

But one ship that isn’t there right now is Victor Hugo and I don’t need to consult her itit .. init … tinit … itninnin .. timetable either to tell you where she might be. As I was on my way to the shops this morning I saw her loading up at the Ferry Terminal presumably for a trip out to Jersey.

And as for me, I’m not there right now either. I came back to the apartment for a drink of ice-cold ginger beer. Shop-bought from a while back. And I reckon that I ought to start my drinks-manufacturing again. But in the bathtub in cas eof any unwelcome explosions.

It was a shame about my TV

No football this evening but there were extended highlights of a game last night in the second tier between Ynyshir Albion and Llanelli. I remember Llanelli from their time in the Welsh Premier League but I’ve never seen Ynyshir so I reckoned that that was a good way to relax.

You can’t tell much from highlights of course but Ynyshir looked the better side, even if they couldn’t make their way past Scott Coughlin, who I remember from Afan Lido, in the Llanelli goal who had a good game. Llanelli scored a goal early on and then rode their luck to the final whistle.

Tea was steamed potato, veg and a breaded quorn fillet and as usual it was delicious. I’ll go back to LIDL at some point and look for more of those.

A day off tomorrow with it being Sunday, and no work to do because I’ve done it all already. I’ll have a few more days like that. I’m going to bed early, no alarm, and have a good sleep so I’ll be fighting fit for tomorrow.

And pigs will fly as well.

Saturday 20th August 2022 – IF EVER I LAY …

… my hands on whoever went past here in what sounded like a steam engine at 06:08 this morning, they’ll be eating soup through a straw for the next month. I was having a really good sleep at that moment and after it had gone past I didn’t go off to sleep again.

And there I was, hoping for a decent sleep as well.

belle france joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So while you admire a few photos of the Ile de Chausey ferries, including a rather delightful “Greek v Greek” moment between Belle france and the newer of the two Joly France boats, I’ll fill you in.

Although not in the same fashion as I would had you been driving steam engine around here at 06:08 this morning.

Anyway, I suppose that I was being somewhat optimistic about a good night’s sleep. It was another late night, later than intended so I was fighting a losing battle before I started.

Just as I was going to bed last night, the broadcasting company that covers the Welsh Premier League posted the highlands of the games that evening, Y Drenewydd v Y Fflint and Connah’s Quay Nomads v Airbus UK Broughton.

joly france leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Of course I had to stay up and watch them before retiring, didn’t I?

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I used to enthuse about Lifumpa Mwandwe at Y Drenewydd. He’s no longer there, having moved to the North American professional game in the Summer.

But it looks as if he’s been replaced in my estimation by Okera Simmonds, about whom I said a few positive things last weekend.

Top of the League now, Y Fflint, after their impressive victory last night, but they’ve been there before and fallen away towards the end of the season so I’m not making all that much of it.

joly france leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022This morning despite the early awakening I had a difficult start yet again to the day, struggling to leave the bed.

But a good shower after the medication livened me up somewhat. I also set the washing machine off as I’m running out of clothes. By the looks of things I haven’t done any washing for months but that can’t be right

Having organised all of that I headed off to the shops. Well, shop, actually because I only went to Leclerc. There’s not much point going to Noz these days although one of these days I’ll have to go to Lidl I suppose.

At leclerc I didn’t buy anything special at all. It was rather a mundane shop today and didn’t cost very much at all. A few more months of spending like this will sort me out, I reckon.

On the way back home I went to the dechetterie.

Last night I took out the printers and left them by the side of the rubbish bins so that anyone who would like to can help themselves to them and see what they can make of them.

While I was at it, I stuck all of the cardboard boxes into Caliburn and seeing as I was quite early (I was there at leClerc at opening time) and didn’t have any frozen food, I went by the dechetterie to drop them off.

container dechetterie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022But I was surprised by the grills that they have around the containers these days. It means that you have to tear up or crush your boxes to pass them through the slots and drop them into the containers.

It was all very reminiscent of the old piano-smashing competitions where you had to demolish a piano and pass the debris through a hoop, and the quickest one would win.

Anyone as old as me would surely remember those. And what a waste of good pianos that was.

Back here I put everything away (and that’s a surprise), hung up the washing and then made some toast and coffee for breakfast.

le loup joly france leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While you admire another photo of Joly France going out and passing Le loup on her way back to the Ile de Chausey, I was finishing breakfast and then having a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

There was a concert that I didn’t attend for some reason but a lot of my friends did. I had a visit from someone who told me that the rock group for this concert so would I think about doing something? I took my guitar and things and went off to this concert. There were about half a dozen people messing around on stage. One was my friend from the Wirral with his drum kit. I gestured to the stage and he picked up what I was doing. One of the guitarists stayed up and in the end we made ready to play an impromptu set with just a dozen numbers of typical 3-minute standards. The guitarist was sulking with me and I’m not quite sure why but I determined not to let that bother with me. I’d just ignore him and just be my usual gushing outgoing self on stage and he can sort out his own problems.

Later on I had a girlfriend who worked in a Chinese restaurant. We were due to go to the cinema so I turned up to see if she was ready but she was waiting on in the restaurant. I asked her what was happening. She said that she had to work today because no-one else had come in and her mother who ran the restaurant wanted her to work. I rolled up my sleeves, took off my jacket and said “here, I’ll give you a hand”. I was running around clearing tables etc. A group of young people came in. They knew the girl and saw me. They asked why I was there and I said that I’m taking her to the cinema but she’s having to work and can’t go. They started to talk to her and asked what was on etc. They wanted to know the reasons why she was working in the restaurant instead of being out enjoying herself etc.

Actually that dream reminded me of something that happened many years ago when we used to go skiing on a dry slope on the Wirral on a Sunday evening.

There was a Chinese take-away just down the road with a really cute young girl who worked the counter. We used to go there for a takeaway for tea. Not that I like Chinese food but I would have gone anywhere to see her.

On one occasion a group of us was going to a Chinese banquet so I had a cunning plan. Without saying anything, I asked her to show me how to eat with chopsticks so that I would look good at this banquet and so she gave me a few lessons.

When I felt competent enough, I put my plan into operation. “You’ve been so kind and helpful that i’d like to thank you. Would you like to come with me to the banquet as a recompene?”.

She replied “no”.

Ahh well … . Someone else who had a lucky escape, I suppose. My life is littered with those.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was somewhere like in the story of Tim The Magician from MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL but he was actually walking forward as he was making the explosions. They were assembling a team to meet him.

It was at that point that this steam engine thing, whatever it was, went whooshing past on the street and awoke me. I could actually hear the noise that it was making when I listened to the recording.

However prior to that I’d been back at work again, another one of these dreams where I was sitting on piles of arrears of work and thinking to myself that I could retire today if I like because I’m past retirement age and it wouldn’t make any difference. I started to drop a couple of hints to a couple of people. They were talking about where I was going. I replied that if the Northwich office has air conditioning I’ll be going there tomorrow. It’s high time that this place brought itself kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. They started asking someone else questions about the place in Northwich but she couldn’t tell them much.

And isn’t that a recurring dream too, about me being at work past retirement age with piles of arrears?

We had yet another mad fit of enthusiasm and I transcribed the notes for another day when I was off in the Great Wild World back in June-July. I’m not sure what’s happening there.

But it wasn’t as enthusiastic as it might otherwise have been as I rather regrettably dozed off for 20 minutes while I was doing it. Mind you, with having had such a rude awakening, I’m not really surprised.

After my lunchtime fruit I peeled, diced and blanched a kilo of carrots. They were on special offer at LeClerc so I reckoned that I should pick some up. Believe it or not, there was actually some room in the freezer.

Next task was to pair off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be doing on Monday. I know that that’s usually my task for Sunday but I need to make the most of this enthusiasm and go ahead while the going is good.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That took me up to the time that I usually go out for my afternoon walk.

There were quite a few people down there on the beach this afternoon. The weather has improves somewhat and while it wasn’t actually warm, it was quite sunny and that had brought out the crowds.

Some of the people had even managed to drag themselves into the water and my hat went off to them because the weather wasn’t quite that good.

You wouldn’t catch me going into it but then again, water for me to immerse myself in it needs to be at 37°C.

yachts speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, while I was up here on the cliff looking down I had my other eye roaming around offshore.

Out there in the bay there was quite a bit of activity today. In the foreground we had a speedboat that looked as if it was in a devilish hurry, as you can tell by the size of the wake that it’s creating.

A little further behind it is a couple of small yachts. Judging by the sails they belong to one of the sailing schools that are in the vicinity.

There are several of those and when I find out what this series of medical appointments is all about, then I really am going to see whether or not there’s a way that I can fit a course of sailing into my activities.

commodore goodwill english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022It wasn’t just in the immediate vicinity where I was looking either.

Right out in the English Channel way behind the Ile de Chausey was something quite large out on the horizon. It’s definitely a ship, but which one?

Back here I had a look at the radar and nothing obvious presented itself. However Commodore Goodwill left St Helier at 11:59 and arrived at St Malo at 19:34 and she has the same silhouette as the ship out there on the horizon.

However 7.5 is an awfully long time for the crossing so I don’t know what happened there.

She wasn’t the only mystery ship out there this afternoon.

la cancalaise baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Further round was a small sailing ship, far too far out for me to identify it, but I took a photo of it all the same so that I could have a closer look back home later.

Having enlarged it, it’s still not possible to say with any certainly and you’ve no idea how many other ships were out there confusing the radar screen this afternoon.

However one of the boats out there was La Cancalaise, sister ship to our own La Gravillaise but based across the bay at Cancale, and the outline of the boat in the photo is not unlike their outline.

Consequently, I reckon that it would well be La Cancalaise out there, in the absence of any better suggestion.

f-guxa Robin DR-400-120 Petit Prince baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While I was out there admiring the shipping I was overflown by a light aeroplane that was coming from the direction of the airfield.

She’s F-GUXA, a stranger to us. She’s not appeared in our notes before.

She’s a Robin DR-400-120 Petit Prince, construction number 2467 and is owned by the Aéroclub Regionale De Caen.

Unfortunately she doesn’t seem to have filed a flight plan as far as I can see and she must have been keeping quite low because she wasn’t picked up on the civilian radar to which I have access, so that’s really that.

cabin cruiser speedboat yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022But meanwhile, back in the ocean, the sea was crowded today.

Considering how quiet it’s been out at sea just now, it looks as if everyone has been saving up for the weekend. It’s certainly brought them out in their droves.

There might only be three or four boats in this photo but I reckon that in total there were about 50 altogether in the vicinity of the port today here and there.

No-one from the sailing school, which was a surprise though, although on my way to the shops this morning they were having kayaking lessons in the tidal basin next to the Nautical Centre behind the port.

A right bunch of oars if you ask me.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022at least the people down on the bench by the cabanon vauban were having their money’s worth this afternoon.

Those who were down there during the week didn’t have all that much to cheer about but with all of the traffic out there today, that probably made up for it.

And all of the pedestrians too. The car park was heaving yet again and there were crowds down on the lower path.

The buoys for the lobster pots were still there, and in fact they seem to have acquired yet another friend for company.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022having seen what there was to see at the end of the headland I walked down the path towards the port.

On my way I was overflown yet again, this time by the little yellow powered hang-glider. He’d just come up from down at the end of the bay, presumably having taken a passenger for a sight-seeing trip because there were two of them on board.

There was no change at the chantier naval today either. There were still the same boats there as yesterday.

And no-one at the ferry terminal. We’d seen the Joly France ferry come in but she’d unloaded and gone back out straight away. It must be busy out there this afternoon.

zodiac diving boat port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There were none of our usual suspects at the Fish Processing Plant this afternoon.

However my attention was drawn to what was going on at the slipway underneath. One of the harbour lighters is there – the one that takes the divers out and about – and there was quite a crowd on board.

As well as that, a van towing a zodiac had pulled up and there was quite a crowd around there as well. There’s plenty happening over there this afternoon.

Back here I made a coffee and then came in here to play about with the photos for a while.

That took me up to kick-off this early evening, Aberystwyth Town v Cardiff Metropolitan

Both teams had won their opening matches last weekend but with the result tonight, how poor must Airbus have been last weekend?

Even though this game was played at Aberystwyth, the Met tore Aberystwyth to shreds and the final score of 0-4 was no exaggeration. Apart from a spell of about 15 minutes in the second half, Aberystwyth offered nothing at all.

Last season their defence was incredibly shaky and at times they were in deep trouble at the wrong end of the season, but they have made a few new signings and they have done nothing to improve the side.

The defence is going to have to be stiffened up quite considerably and they really need something up front. Alex Lang in the Met goal had very little to do today.

Tea was another one of those breaded quorn fillets that I like from Lidl. They are really nice in vegan butter with baked potatoes and steamed veg.

Tomorrow I’m having a lie-in. It’s Sunday and having done all of my work already it’ll be a quiet day I hope. Who’ll come along to disturb it? Or will that blasted steam engine thing go past again at 06:08?

Saturday 13th August 2022 – GUESS WHO …

… dropped a full jar of tomato sauce on the floor and broke it?

It’s just not my day, is it?

But anyway, despite having gone to bed at something like a respectable time yesterday it was still a struggle to fight my way out of bed this morning when the alarm went off. Nevertheless I was still up and, well, almost about when the second alarm went off.

After the medication I organised myself, such as I’m able to, and headed off to LeClerc.

For some reason or other the place was absolutely packed, even if I did arrive just 2 or 3 minutes after opening time. I can’t recall ever having seen it so busy.

Nevertheless I managed to remember to buy everything that I needed there, even if I did have to queue for about a week in order to leave the shop.

On the way back I hit the traffic and there were queues everywhere. It took me quite a while to navigate myself through the town. It really does look like the height of the summer now with the crowds of people coming into the town, and parking is next-to impossible. I’m glad that I have a private parking spot otherwise it would be rather grim.

My entry into the car park though was blocked by a visitor trying to negotiate her way past the informal barricade that we have to stop strangers coming in, seeing as our barrier STILL isn’t working. But eventually I managed to sort her out, only to find that the person whom she’d come to visit wasn’t in.

It was almost time for breakfast when I returned so I made some strong coffee and toast to keep me going until this evening. and then I had a listen to the dictaphone. There was a little girl who had been caught in a strange land, the neighbouring land to where she lived. There had been some conflict between the two lands and the owner of the land to where she had strayed told her to go home and dispose of all of her milk and dairy produce. She went back and tried to break into her parents’ fridge. At first it was difficult but eventually she managed it but she found that it was the freezer and it was full of things like frozen carrots etc. She didn’t know what to do so she decided that she’d have another go. This was where I stepped in because I caught her trying to find the fridge. I asked her what was the matter and she told me everything. I suggested that she went and told her mum about it because no-one unless they are really stupid these days wants a war. Maybe her mum could either co-operate with this guy or else go to see him herself and tell him what kind of deal there is about whatever he is concerned about. It’s certainly not the place for a small child to become involved in this kind of thing.

And then one of the girls on our Welsh course had died and it was going to be another couple of weeks before our Welsh course restarted so her body had been placed outside her room but I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t think that it should be left outside her room for a couple of weeks until everyone came back. They told me to take care of the problem so I came along and put her in a room where there was like a coffin-shape already chiselled in the floor. I dropped her in that with the idea of obtaining approval from someone before I covered it in cement. The teacher in our class said “if you don’t mind me saying so, there are some very weird people in our classes”. I asked “what’s the problem?”. She replied “it’s a strange way that you’ve chosen to deal with this girl”. I answered “you can’t leave her body surely outside her room for several weeks while people come back etc”. She said “there’s a camp bed there. You can erect the camp bed and put that on it”. I answered “that’s a strange thing if you ask me, but I came to ask your advice and you’ve given it so there’s no reason why I shouldn’t follow it. I’ll go out there and put the camp bed outside her door and put her body on it and just leave it there like that”.

There had been an explosion in a mine and a lot of people had been killed. CCTV showed an employee taking something out of his haversack immediately prior to the explosion. It’s believed that that was what caused the accident while the men were having an evening sing-song down there. A couple of weeks later some kind of singer was appearing for a benefit concert for this mine disaster. He began to sing this song and while he was doing it he reached into his satchel for something and was immediately pounced upon by 2 security guys. This led to a kind of confrontation between his security guys and the mine’s guys. The mine’s guys explained what had happened a couple of weeks ago and the singers guys were having nothing to do with it at all. It led to quite a confrontation and people were really annoyed that this famous singer was seeming to get away with this breach of the law just because he was famous without any regard to the consequences that might have happened had he actually succeeded.

Later on I was round at someone’s house last night. I had to make tea so I started off with a soup, putting all kinds of things like vegetables, olives, chives and everything into a pot ready to mince down wit the mincer. But I was rather carried away and not only was the pot overflowing but I’d put the chives in complete with the earth in which they were growing instead of clipping them. I thought “that’s a bad start”. Anyway I managed to get the soup under way. Then I had to think about a main course. That involved frying some burgers so I had to fetch some cooking oil for the frying pan. But I had the wrong frying pan. This one had a handle that was three feet long that you would use for a barbecue. I put some oil in that and spilled half of it. Then I had to fetch some water in a saucepan to cook the rice. I’d done that then I thought that I’d better fetch a kettle full of water so I was going back and to all the time. The Farmer’s Daughter was there again as well. She’s been making a few appearances just recently and I don’t know why. She was having problems with her maths homework. My maths homework had been based on the subjects that she’d been doing so I took my folder with my work in it to her so that she could read through it and ask me questions at a more convenient time as I was really busy. By now the soup was boiling so I was having to stir that round and check that it wasn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan and break up some kind of dry noodles into there, some really tough dry noodles that would absorb some of the excess water and thicken the soup. There was another guy there, the husband of this family who was working. He was giving me advice about what needed doing as well. he was careful about spilling stuff because my brother was working somewhere and he might come out and slip on the water, not to mention the oil that I’d just dropped everywhere. This was turning into a real chaotic cooking session instead of something that should have been so simple and so straightforward.

Finally there was a village fête going on. There were crowds of people watching all the events. There was a group of us sitting at a table. One of us was a little girl. She took quite a shine to me and we had quite a chat. This chat went on for quite some time then in the end she got up and said that she had to go which disappointed me as I happened to quite like her. About 10 minutes later she came back. There were 3 little girls. 2 of them were skipping and she was in the middle. As the skipping rope went past over the girls’ heads they would go over her and she would jump too. This was all done in rhythms so they wouldn’t be tangled up in each other’s rope. So there were 3 of them and 2 ropes with the girl that I liked in the middle without a rope who was jumping just the same. It was something that looked quite impressive. They made their way slowly to the centre of the arena. Then the other events carried on. I was doing some work on a kind of Victorian water pump, something about being jammed by logs in Victorian times by careless felling and how the local council was improving some techniques that was going to lead to more of this careless felling which would lead to more problems with the pumps. I looked up and this little girl was watching the events in the arena. For some unknown reason I felt extremely disappointed that she hadn’t come back to sit by me and carry on with our conversation again.

Yes, two small girls again last night. I’m becoming broody again. I ought to have had a daughter of my own at some point in the past. She would have been spoilt rotten Those three years that I had Roxanne as my daughter were amongst the happiest of my life and I’d do it all again given half a chance. But that ship sailed a long time ago.

And choreography in my dreams too. Whatever next?

Having done that the next thing that I did was to pair up the music for Monday’s radio programme. That’s something that I usually do on Sundays but today I thought “let’s push on and get ahead”. Why not? and a couple of the pairs went together really well. A couple of them … well, less so.

Having had a few other things to do as well I ended up once more being late for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, my first pace to visit will be to see what’s happening down on the beach.

And so I wandered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on there.

Because I was later than usual there was plenty of beach to be on and there were plenty of people taking full advantage of it. Absolute crowds, in fact.

Quie a few of them in the water as well, not that I’m surprised because every day we seem to be setting new records about heat and temperature. I’m at the stage where I wish that I had the strength to go down and join them and that’s not like me at all, is it?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022But there was something else going on down there this afternoon that caught my attention.

It was a bunch of people shouting that did it and so looking around I noticed a bunch of guys doing stuff with cones and markers.

From up here I had no idea what they might have been doing but my money was on them being one of the local football clubs having a Saturday afternoon training session. After all the season starts here next weekend, if I remember correctly.

And that’s another thing, isn’t it? A couple of years ago I was a regular at the local football matches, all kinds of them. But that’s another ship that has sailed too. I can’t get up the hill to the ground these days.

The path around here was crowded too. Everyone who was anyone was out and about admiring the view out to sea, even if it was too hazy to actually see anything farther out.

car park pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That much was apparent by looking at the car park.

All of the spaces were taken when I arrived there and there were probably two dozen vehicles parked on the lawn on either side of the entrance.

Not that I’m going to criticise that all that much because, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, going back a couple of years we actually have a photo of a police car doing just that.

So I fought my way across the car park and down to the end of the headland but there was no-one sitting on the bench at the cabanon vauban this afternoon.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Plenty of people out on the rocks though.

This weekend is one of the highest tides of the year and it’s well out right now. So with it being a Saturday it’s brought out everyone for the peche à pied when they can go scavenging among the rocks on the public part of the shellfish beds to see what they can find.

Some of the shellfish are attached quite firmly to the rocks, so you’ll have to flex your mussels to pull them off

Yes, I’ll get my coat. Sorry.

zodiac pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022But what are those guys doing down there?

They have a zodiac and it looks from up here as if they are perilously close to the rocks in it. In fact, although I can’t be sure, it looks as if one of the guys is in the water up to his kneess pushing the boat out to sea.

From the way that they are dressed, they aren’t your usual pleasure boaters znd they don’t seem to be wearing any lifesaving equipment so there’s something rather bizarre going on here and I’d love to know what it is.

red powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022On that note I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was going on in the port.

However I was overflown by one of our favourite little aircraft, the red powered hang-glider. By the looks of things it had been taking a pilot and passenger down the coast to Mont St Michel and back again.

In the port there was no change at all from yesterday. No-one playing “musical ships” this afternoon at the Fish Processing Plant and no change of occupant in the chantier naval.

And no Chausiaise at the ferry terminal either.

chausiaise ch907879 l'arc en ciel ch338276 massabielle port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That’s because she was here in the inner harbour tied up at the quayside.

Also in shot are a couple of trawlers, the little Arc en Ciel and behind her the bigger Massabielle whom we saw the other day.

What isn’t in shot is Victor Hugo, the Channel Islands ferry, and there’s good reason for that. When I went to the shops this morning she was actually at the ferry terminal loading up.

She left port at 08:36 this morning and arrived at St Helier at 10:43, and then departed at 18:49 to arrive back at 20:56.

So does this mean that services have finally begun? Watch this space.

Back here I had a glass of iced chocolate milk and put my feet up on the desk ready to watch Pontypridd United in their first game in the Welsh Premier League after their surprise promotion last year against a Fflint side that had, I reckon, 10 new players in their team from last year.

Pontypridd looked a fairly useful side technically but lacked height all over the pitch and had no-one up front to capitalise on the good work that their midfielders were doing.

Y Fflint, apart from having a centre-half who was 6’6″ tall, had some old hands on the pitch who have been around the block a few times and had several spells of a few minutes here and there when they looked pretty unstoppable.

It looks as if it’s going to be a long hard season for Pontypridd but if Fflint can play more often and more regularly as they did in those little cameo flashes they could surprise one or two pundits who have written them off too.

Y Fflint had two players on the field, a winger called Omar Ibrahim who has been playing in Finland and Okera Simmonds who was on the books of Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers and Accrington Stanley and was capped at England under-18 level. And if those two play like they did just now in those little flashes, we’ll be hearing a lot more about them as the season progresses.

After I’d finished I went to make my tea where I had my incident with the pot of tomato sauce. At least the walls and floor are clean now.

Tomorrow I’ve been invited out but I’m not going. An 08:30 start isn’t any good to me on a Sunday especially when I’m feeling out of sorts. I’m going to lie in and have a rest and build up my strength ready to fight the good fight next week.

And I don’t feel much like that either.

Saturday 23rd July 2022 – HAVING COMPLAINED YESTERDAY …

belle france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… that we hadn’t seen Belle France out and about anywhere for a while, quess who we ran into this afternoon?

Sure enough, there I was out and about on my afternoon walk and as i was crossing the lawn at the end of the headland, from around behind a bunker she came.

It didn’t look as if there was anyone on board so presumably she’s on her way out to the island to bring back a boat-load of tourists.

It just goes to prove once more that I have the Kiss of Death when it comes to things like this. Every time that I make some kind of profound comment I am confounded.

Just like yesterday when I was waxing lyrical about the subject of kites and I was wondering to what exciting place I would be heading and with whom I would be heading there. And instead I ended up going almost nowhere and with no-one either. There was just something vague last night about a few drinks in these tetra-packs and taking a car in for a service etc. I can’t remember anything at all about anything except that and I’ve no idea at all what was going on.

When the alarm went off I struggled to my feet – really struggled – and then after my medication I headed off to LeClerc. I was there so early that the place wasn’t open yet and I had to queue with a pile of other folk for a while before they would let us in.

Once inside I did my usual shopping and bought a few extra things as well. For instance, they had some alcohol-free beer on special offer so I bought a six-pack to add to the supplies in here.

It was only just after 10:00 when I returned so I had a nice early breakfast, and then everything fell apart. I had the worst day that I’ve had for quite a while – several years in fact.

You can tell by the times of the photos that I ended up not going out for my afternoon walk until about 17:00 (adjusted). That’s because from about 10:45 until about 16:45 I was flat out on the chair in my bedroom. Out like a light with no prosepect whatever of awakening.

Anyway, I eventually summoned up the strength to go out for my afternoon walk.

And as usual the first place to go was to the car park at the end of the headland to see what was happening down on the beach.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The weather had improved dramatically since yesterday and even since this morning when it was still quite cool.

By now it was quite warm and that had brought out the crowds, even if there wasn’t all that much beach right now for all these crowds to be on.

And I do mean “crowds” because there were loads of people out there on the beach today.

Some of them had even taken to the waters which was quite brave of them because I don’t think that the weather was that warm today. Not warm enough for swimming anyway.

paddle boarding baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022In the previous photo we’d seen al kinds of water craft in the water just offshore.

A little further out we had a couple of men on paddle boards looking as if they were going for a good run along the coast this afternoon. Not that I know anything about paddle boards though. It’s not my idea of entertainment.

And that was really all that there was going on down at this end of the beach. There weren’t any Nazguls out and about this afternoon or anything else of any interest.

I left them all to it and wandered off down the path on top of the cliffs towards the end of the headland.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There might not have been very much happening down by the car park, but it was all action further on down the path towards the end of the path.

The sea was absolutely heaving with boats and there was hardly any room to swing a cat in between them.

This is just one photo of half a dozen that I could have taken that would have shown the same situation. It seems that everyone who is anyone has taken to the water his afternoon and it must have been total chaos at the slipway trying to put all of these boats into the water in the limited time that’s available when the tide is high enough.

And taking them out of the water is going to be even more exciting.

commodore goodwill english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It wasn’t just pleasure craft that had caught my eye this afternoon either.

There was something large moving around out in the English Channel behind the Ile de Chausey so I took a photo with the aim of enlarging it and enhancing it when I returned home.

Back here when I examined the image more closely I found that her silhouette bore a close resemblance to the freight ferries that run between Portsmouth, the Channel Islands and St Malo.

And when I checked the fleet radar, I found that at the time that I’d taken the photo, the freight ferry Commodore Goodwill was out there in the English Channel. She left St Helier at 13:30 and arrived at St Malo at 18:50.

f-gbai Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And seeing as we were mentioning yesterday an obscure 1960s one-hit wonder, today it’s the turn of another one – Pete Townshend’s chauffeur John “Speedy” Keen and SOMETHING IN THE AIR.

It’s one of our old friends, F_GBAI, a Robin DR400-140B from the aero club, flying out into the bay de Granville.

My photo is timed at 17:09 (adjusted) and she was picked up on the radar at 16:10. She flew around the bay, then back inland, then down the coast and back where she disappeared off the radar again right by the airfield at 17:23.

red autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022She wasn’t the only thing in the air either today.

This is something that I don’t recall seeing before. We’ve seen the yellow autogyro flying around here quite often but this is the first time that we’ve seen a red one. She looks quite new and clean too.

So pondering on this mystery I wandered off along the path towards the end of the headland to see what was happening there.

Surprisingly there was nothing at all. No-one fishing off the rocks and no-one on the bench by the cabanon vauban either. And so I wandered off towards the port.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Meanwhile, out in the bay here, we have La Granvillaise coming for a sail past, towing her little dinghy behind her.

The other day I believe that I mentioned something about hos we haven’t seen so many of the charter boats out there so far this year so it’s odds-on that we were going to see one of them out and about this weekend, wasn’t it?

No change in the chantier navale or in the inner harbour so I came on home for my chocolate drink. and to try to do some work seeing as I’d had a miserable day so far.

Tea was the left-over breaded quorn fillet from last weekend, with potato and veg. Really delicious. I’ll have to go back to Lidly to see if they have any more of those.

The one problem with having slept so much today is that I can’t sleep now. It’s quite late, or, rather, early next morning, and I’m still not tired. It’s totally messed me up, this sleep that I’ve had today and I’m going to regret this very much. But it’s a sign of the times I reckon.

It makes me wonder how tomorrow will work out with all of this going on – or not going on, as the case may be.

Saturday 16th July 2022 – WHEN THE ALARM …

… went off this morning, I was elsewhere at that moment busily making a sandwich for an Irish girl whom I knew at one time years ago.

It’s strange, the things that go on when I’m on a nocturnal ramble.

Perhaps I should have organised a lie-in today to continue where the alarm cut me off. And I wish that I had too, because I’ve had quite a difficult morning.

It’s not as if I’d had a late night either. It was after my usual time but not so late as would worry me aver-much. But sleeping in nice, clean bedding was really nice. I really must organise myself so much better.

Not surprisingly it wasn’t easy to leave the bed this morning. However I managed to beat the second alarm by a comfortable margin.

Quite early on this morning I nipped out to LeClerc. I was one of the first there too. The cap park was quite empty and I pretty much had the place to myself at first, although that didn’t last long.

For a change I remembered a few things that I’d forgotten, including the new mop. The only thing that I didn’t remember was the mint syrup, which is running low. There was something else that I’d forgotten too but I can’t now remember what it was.

It was only 10:15 when I came back here, which is about the earliest that I’ve been back, so I made myself a coffee and came in here to drink it. And that was when I crashed out. Totally and completely too, for a good couple of hours. Just like a few weeks ago and you know how depressing that was.

Once I’d recovered and warmed up my cold coffee, I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There’s a young girl in this first story. I know who she is but I can’t think of her name. There was a lot in this dream but I’ve forgotten most of it. I had a cat and I was away and someone was supposed to come in to look after it. In fact it was one of the guys from the radio himself who turned up to feed it. My trip ended early and I was back home when he came. I knew about this, at least, it was something like that. Later on in the afternoon when I was round at his house I was preparing everything to go. We were doing something on the car and I went back into the house to see if there was anything that I’d forgotten or that I’d need. His daughter was there in this dream – it was this girl. We said hello. He came in and I asked him about something but he couldn’t think of it. I was inclined to go into the pantry and fetch it myself but no. What happened after this was that he and the girl started to talk. She said that she should have gone round today to feed my cat but he did it instead of her and she wasn’t very happy. Tomorrow was Saturday so I said to her “you can come round tomorrow morning if you like”. She replied “I can’t make tomorrow morning. Would tomorrow afternoon be OK?”. I thought that if I’m going to have visitors of nice young ladies I said “yes, that’ll be fine”. I’ll do my stuff some other time. He wanted to come round to do something as well so I was trying to arrange it that their appointments would be different so that I’d have this girl on her own and she’d come round without him being there so that we could have a nice friendly chat and I could maybe find out a little more about her.

Later I was with someone going around Shavington. We went past the houses at the Sugarloaf. I pointed out that one of them was owned by a family who had been there for a very long time but before that there was someone who was the founder of Chester Zoo who lived there. She didn’t believe it at fist but she went away and did some research and found that it was true. There used to be a zoo in Shavington etc a long time ago which moved off to start Chester Zoo.
And if you think that this is somewhat far-fetched, then READ THIS

Later still, there was something going on in work that made drinks and food to eat but then they left to go cold so someone thought to put them in the oven so in 10 minutes they would all be nice and warm again. There was some issue with a girl here. They found out how she was and sent Security to search her. She thought that these people were trying to arrange a date with her on one of these Social Networks so she was busy trying to arrange a date back while they were coming to look for her. This led to all kinds of confusions as to what was happening at this place that evening when they were trying to rid themselves of these 2 girls and instead had a match-making service operating

Then there was a place with all kinds of problems going on about whether pies were food or whether hair was part of you or an accessory, a few other bits and pieces. I can’t remember any dream that it was in but there was all of this going on. In the end some sea captain of a pleasure cruiser decided that he was going to deport a woman who was continually in the way and made suggestions that were wrong.

Finally, my Irish friend and I had been down at Rosemary’s and we had spent a week there and were about to go our separate ways. My friend had to go to the airport and I had to drive home. I was feeling less and less like the drive. Rosemary said that I could stay over for a few days if I wanted to so I thought that I was going to exercise the option. My friend and I of us went for a walk first of all around the town as her flight wasn’t until the afternoon. We spent a lot of time sitting on a bench just chatting about things in general. Then of course she said that if we’ve got to go, we’ve got to go so that made us get up and wander off along the street. I had to check the times of her flights and make sure that she was on time at the airport. I wasn’t sure if we were to go on the Metro or in the van etc but I was making a sandwich for her when the alarm went off.

She was a lovely girl and we did go out together a few times – even on a skiing holiday together and I would really have liked to have known her better but she had far more sense than to to take our friendship any further than she did.

There was a break for lunch today, seeing that I hadn’t had any breakfast today, and then I washed, peeled diced and blanched a kilo of carrots that I’d bought this morning. Once they had drained properly they went into the freezer for the next couple of weeks.

Later on I went out for my usual afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As usual I started off by going across the car park to look down over the wall onto the beach to see what was happening down there.

And with it being a really hot day today, and a weekend to boot, I was expecting to see quite a few people down there this afternoon but this really took me by surprise.

There were hordes of people down there this afternoon and plenty of them had taken to the water. I must admit that I was quite tempted too. I really was hot today and by the looks of things the next few days will be even hotter.

No-one out there kite-surfing today. The wind that we were having yesterday has dropped considerably now.

people on beach shellfish harvesting donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022No-one hang-gliding either. I did have a good look around to see if there was anyone about on the field by the cemetery preparing for blast-off.

No-one out at sea either today but there was plenty going on out on the beach at Donville les Bains. As well as the crowds in the water over there, we had the sea-food harvesters working away this afternoon while the tide was well out.

You can see the stakes there on the beach. These ae submerged at high tide and the strings that connect them are where the bouchots grow. This was a serendipitous discovery many years ago, the fact that mussels would grow on strings and they are quite a delicacy because unlike sand-grown mussels, they aren’t “gritty”.

It’s quite high-maintenance however, hence the fact that they are considerably more expensive.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022So while there was nothing going on out at sea, there was plenty happening in the air, the lack of Nazguls notwithstanding.

While I was looking down at the beach I was overflown by several flying machines. The first one to go by overhead was the little yellow hang-glider.

She had been for a flight down to Mont St Michel by the looks of things and was now on her way back to the airfield.

There are two people on board – the pilot and his passenger. And don’t worry – I haven’t forgotten that I intend one of these days to go over to the airfield and blag a ride on one of these for a lap around the bay with the camera.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022That wasn’t the only airborne machine either.

While I was walking down the path through the crowds that were thronging this afternoon the little yellow autogyro came flying past, having performed a similar trip to the yellow powered hang-glider that flew by overhead a couple of minutes earlier.

As it happens, that’s actually the machine on which I would like to go for a trip. I shall have to make further enquiries.

That was that for the moment so I headed on down to the lighthouse.

fisherman buoy pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Crowds again around here so I imagine that this is how it’s going to be every weekend until the kids go back to school.

To find some peace and quiet I went down to the end of the headland and saw this guy here. At first I had no idea what he was doing but it turned out, when I could have a closer look, to be fishing.

But he’s the first fisherman whom we’ve seen who has been up to his knees in it. All the other just stand upon a rock.

And just offshore is another marker buoy that is presumably indicating the site of a lobster pot that one of the fishermen has dropped off.

la confiance 2 monaco du nord 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

And absolutely nothing whatever any different from what we saw yesterday. La Confiance II and Monaco du Nord II are still in the chantier naval and L’Omerta was still over by the Fish Processing Plant. Marité was still absent too.

That was that really. I headed off back home for a coffee and a really good session on the guitar. On the acoustic guitar I’m much happier now playing the more complex chords and mastering the more complicated chord changes.

My playing on the acoustic seems to have improved rather a lot just recently.

Tea tonight was potato, vegetables and a breaded quorn fillet. To my surprise, Lidl had some in stock yesterday. Just one packet which I bought and had they had any more I would have bought them too.

Tomorrow is Sunday and a lie-in. And I need it too. I think that I’m slipping back into the situation in which I found myself a month ago when I was crashing out for hours without any notice.

And with my right knee looking as if I’ve done for it permanently right now, I’m in something of a mess.

Monday 20th June 2022 – HERE WE ALL ARE …

… not exactly sitting in a rainbow, and not exactly sitting in a Première Classe Hotel in Tours. STRAWBERRY MOOSE and I are actually sitting in Rosemary’s spare bedroom here in the Auvergne.

Last night was another turbulent night with tons of stuff on the dictaphone. There was something going on about Canada and the World Cup. They had qualified for another final and a World Cup final for another sport the previous day. When they qualified for the World Cup people accused them of a little indifference because they didn’t celebrate as much. There was a dispute about one of their goals that should have been given offside. There was also a scandal that they had a camera installed in the changing rooms for one of the matches. People were questioning what was going on about that as well.

There was something happening to do with a guy to pick up an arctic lorry and trailer that had broken down somewhere. He had one of these dock shunter things for pulling it. I thought that that would make a really interesting article for a newspaper, to go with him and write about his recoveries. I went with my father and the first part went OK but waiting for him to come back the second time, we were waiting there hours, not for him but for another person who was coming with us rather. We were waiting hours and in the end we decided that we’d go without this other guy wo I had to go and rescue my cat Tuppence to bring with me. Trying to catch her was another thing, but in the end I managed it but she wouldn’t let me put the antiseptic on her paws. In the meantime she’d been catching fish out of the pond and eating it. We were talking to the neighbours about how good it was to actually have a cat that feeds itself without any help from us.

There was a rich comedian telling us the story of the time that he was at a hotel somewhere doing an entertainment and there were these three girls. He’d managed to get together with the older one but had been told in no uncertain terms what would happen if he started to get together with the two younger ones. He made an attempt on the middle one, put his arm around her etc but she was very uncooperative and wasn’t interested at all. He was telling us how difficult it was to try to be friendly and put your arm around a girl who was not at all interested in any of that. In the end I didn’t want to hear any more about his stories so I went off to have a shower. The shower in my room was pretty miserable and wasn’t up to much so I prepared my stuff ready to go into my friend’s room. On the way there I told them that I was going in for a shower and if they wanted the bathroom for anything they had better hurry up. They said that they thought that they had heard me use the shower so I explained how awful it was. I’d had it running but it hadn’t done anything very much so they asked me to wait for a minute while they organised themselves in their room.

Anyway I was awake early and up and about as soon as the alarm went off.

After a good shower I packed everything and was actually back on the road again by 08:55.

Caliburn required me to stop down the road at LeClerc to fuel up and I found myself right by the hotel that I had tried to find last night – just a cockstride away from where I’d slept.

The drive – as far as Chateauroux anyway – was quite comfortable except that I was flashed by a speed camera that I hadn’t noticed.

But once I hit Chateauroux the sun came out and it burnt me out of the cab. That was hot.

At LeClerc at Montlucon I went in for some groceries and I bumped into two people whom I knew, who high-tailed it out of there the moment they saw me coming. Old habits die hard in Montlucon.

On the way out I found a sheltered shady layby and stopped there to make a butty And then pushed on to see my partner in crime.

It’s been two years since we last saw each other and despite our lengthy telephone conversations we had a lot of catching up to do. I also met her Ukrainian refugee family who seem like really nice people.

They have a young girl, barely a teenager, who is very fond of animals and was showing me photos that she had taken of local animals here. So in exchange I showed her my photos of polar bears, walruses and whales from the Arctic.

She’s ever so cute and it is totally beyond my understanding why anyone would want to be so evil to kids like this.

She has a cat too and insisted on giving it to me to let me cuddle it, even if it wasn’t that keen.

Tomorrow she’s going to have the shock of her life. I’m going to introduce her to STRAWBERRY MOOSE.

But not right now. I’m off to bed. I’ve had a long, tough day, I need my sleep and it’s already late.

Sunday 19th June 2022 – HERE WE ALL ARE …

strawberry moose place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022… not exactly sitting in a rainbow but sitting in a Premiere Classe hotel in Tours in Western France.

And when I say “we” I really do mean “we” for I am not alone. As you might expect, STRAWBERRY MOOSE has come with me too. I can’t leave him behind.

And just in case you are wondering, I’ve already made a considerable list of things that I’ve forgotten. Most people make a lost and pack accordingly. I pack and then make a list of what I’ve forgotten.

Despite a late night last night I was awake at 08:30 and drifted in and out of sleep for another couple of hours

After the meds and checking the medication I started to back up the big computer onto the little portable memory stick that travels with me. And that wasn’t the work of five minutes.

Then I had to finish off emptying out Caliburn and packing up everything to go in him. The final task was to do all of the washing up and cleaning and then disinfect everywhere.

There were plenty of notes on the dictaphone too. I was writing stuff for a radio programme, the notes for the music. One was for a particular group from the 60s. I remembered seeing them and I got on really well with them. They were busted for drugs like most groups were at the time. I always remembered the last time I saw the girl singer was that some of her group had gone already. She was singing with just one or two of them in the street on this makeshift stage. At the end she got off and came over to see me smiling and we bumped fists. She wandered off down the street and that was the last I ever saw of her. I remember thinking about how nostalgic this was and things might have been different to everyone’s lives if instead of bumping fists I’d grabbed hold of her and held her like I wanted to do but I didn’t really know whether I should have done at the time.

Later I was with Nerina and she was having problems as well with her new relationship. They were no longer sharing a room together. Where they worked in this motel they had a room made up for both of them but they were actually sleeping in separate rooms. I asked how long this had been going on and she replied “a couple of years”. Anyway they had been caught doing this and it had led to all kinds of different complications and for all kinds of different reasons that they were no longer actually living together.

Finally there was a group of us on board a boat. We’d had a meal and we were doing the washing up on the back of the boat outside. There was a little guy on board something similar to Hercule Poirot. He came over and said that he had a request for us. We asked what it was and he asked could we go and do the washing up in the kitchen, in the sink. I couldn’t understand why so I asked him why but he couldn’t really come out with a really good answer. Someone else cottoned on to the fact that he didn’t think that the washing up was being done correctly. It needed to be done in running water and the plates properly scrubbed and everything like that. He didn’t think that what we were doing was very hygienic. I was basically on the point of telling him that if he wanted the washing up done down in the boat in the kitchen he can take the bowl away and do it himself rather than disturbing us who were doing it while he was doing nothing but discretion got the better of me. I tried to find out exactly what his precise objection was but for some unknown reason he wasn’t really all that keen in spelling it out. It was annoying me that we were working and he wasn’t and he didn’t like the way that we were working but he didn’t actually volunteer to come along and do the work himself if he wanted it done in a different way.

There was much more to it than this but you really don’t want to know about it, especially if you are eating your tea right now.

By 16:00 I was on the road again. First stop was at LeClerc to fuel up (and that cost me an arm and a leg) and then we had a leisurely drive through the French countryside.

We hit Tours, 250 kms away, at 20:00 and saw a cheap B&B hotel so I left the ring road, found myself stuck on the motorway and couldn’t find my way back, came off and couldn’t get back on to retrace my steps.

premiere classe hotel joué les tours France Eric Hall photo June 2022However, all was not lost. After I’d been driving for a while around the suburbs of Tours trying to find that hotel, a Première Classe Hotel loomed up out of the gloom.

A room was a mere €45:00 which I’ll take any time, and they arranged for a vegan pizza for me at a nearby hotel that even gave me 15% off.

As you might expect, I’m totally wasted after the drive. I’m clearly not up to this. The day that I drove non-stop pulling a trailer for 32.5 hours are long-gone.

But right now, I’m off to bed. I’ve earned a good night’s sleep.

Saturday 4th June 2022 – YES, WELL …

… this afternoon has been another miserable afternoon and I’m pretty much fed up of all of this. I sat down in here after lunch at 13:45 and the next thing that I remember was that it was 16:00.

And even then, it took me a good few minutes of struggle before I felt in any fit state to stand up. And then another 10 minutes before I was ready to go off for my afternoon walk.

while I was crashed out I was worrying about some French homework that I needed to do and trying to find some paper to do it on. And it was really quite confusing when I awoke.

Things started off fairly well today as well. When the alarm went off at 07:30 I was out of bed quite quickly and then after the medication I went and had a shower and a really good clean up to make myself look pretty.

Caliburn and I then wandered off to the shops. As usual Noz came up with nothing whatever (except something to drink as I had a thirst that you could photograph)

At LeClerc I spent my annual food budget on a litre of olive oil – someone somewhere is taking the mickey out of everyone – and then I was back at home for 10:30 and breakfast.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I’m convinced that Rosemary has a camera installed in this apartment. As soon as I sat down on my chair with a coffee and was stuffing myself with a fruit bun, she rang me up.

She needs to go and register her Ukrainian refugees with the commune and the prefecture next week and needed some advice about the procedure.

We had quite a lengthy chat as usual, much of which was about my health. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I am at the moment facing what I can only describe as “considerable challenges” to my state of health.

Once she had hung up I had a run through my acoustic guitar set. I’m going to try my best to keep it up, although for what reason I really don’t know, other than for personal satisfaction

After lunch I came in here and crashed out completely for a couple of hours as I mentioned earlier , and eventually I managed to stagger off out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022As usual, I wandered off across the car park to have a look down on the beach to see what was happening there.

And with it being a weekend, there were crowds of people down there this afternoon. We haven’t seen so many people down there on the beach for quite a while as we saw down there right now.

And most of them have taken to the water as well. We haven’t seen this many people in the water for a long time either.

Mind you, that wasn’t a surprise. It really was a nice afternoon and I hadn’t been out there too long before I had taken off my sweater.

man in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And as usual I was also having a good look around out at sea to see what was happening.

Once again, with it being a really nice weekend, I was expecting to see quite a lot of water craft out there but there wasn’t very much at all. The only thing that I could see was this zodiac making its way across the bay.

Mind you, the view out to see was nothing like as good as it has been for the lat couple of days. The Ile de Chausey was shrouded in mist and Jersey was quite invisible in the haze. If there was anything else further out in the bay I wouldn’t be able to see it anyway.

There weren’t many people up here on the path this afternoon either so I had it pretty much to myself.

zodiacs men fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There wasn’t anyone sitting down on the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon.

In fact, it was all quite deserted down at the end of the headland today. There was probably just a handful of cars on the car park and that was that. We did have a couple of zodiacs out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

By the looks of things they were fishing out there this afternoon. And they would be out there for a couple of hours yet because the tide is quite far out and the gate to the port de plaisance won’t be open for a while so they wouldn’t be able to dock even if they wanted to.

50sa aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While I was admiring the zodiacs out there in the bay I was overflown by a light aeroplane on its way back to the airfield.

It’s an aeroplane that we have seen on several occasions in the past. Her registration number is 50SA and as that’s a number that isn’t in any database to which I have access, I can’t tell you anything about her unfortunately.

And as she doesn’t file a flight plan or fly at a height that is picked up on civilian radar, I can’t tell you anything about where she’s been and what she’s done either.

So on that note I headed off along the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Yesterday we saw L’Omerta and La Bavolette II moored up at the quayside by the fish processing plant.

Today L’Omerta is still there as usual but La Bavolette II seems to have disappeared. Maybe she’s gone back into the inner harbour.

But it beats me as to why L’Omerta spends so much time moored there and not at a pontoon in the inner harbour. It must annoy the other boats that they can’t come in and tie up there. We’ve seen queues of boats waiting to find a berth to unload there at times.

However omerta is an Italian word that means the vow of silence taken by members of the Mafia so maybe the answer is there.

chausiaise philcathane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Meanwhile, in the inner harbour it looks as if we aren’t going to be having a Jersey freighter arriving in the very near future.

Down there in the loading bay underneath the crane is Chausiaise, the little freighter that runs out to the Ile de Chausey. The trawler that’s down there with her is Philcathane. We see her quite often.

Back here I staggered upstairs and made myself a coffee, and then spent an hour writing about “Healthy Living” followed by “Shopping”. These topics that we have to learn for our Welsh exam are really quite interesting and exciting, aren’t they?

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too. One was about 2 young farmers. One was quite successful and the other one was failing. Everything was going wrong with him and his business and he ended up losing his wife to the other guy. I can’t remember very much about this at all really. I awoke in the middle of it just as it was becoming interesting.

And then my group at work had won a prize. After much messing about it turned out that it was a trip to Kelso to go to a distillery. And nothing could actually be less fun for me than to do that. I didn’t think all that much of this but everyone else seemed to be quite keen so they would organise a bus to take us there. In the meantime I was wondering whether I could swap it for another group leader and have them go in my place and me to have some other kind of benefit that they had and see what would happen in that particular case.

Tea tonight was a breaded quorn fillet that I found in the freezer, with baked potato and vegetables. I’ve no idea how long it’s been in there but it was certainly delicious.

But I’ve had enough of today. I’m going to have a hot blackcurrant and lemon drink and then go to bed. I’m thoroughly fed up of everything. I wish that there was a “reset” button that I could press and start again somehow.

Saturday 28th May 2022 – I’VE BEEN RATHER DISAPPOINTED …

… with Noz just recently.

It’s twice now in succession that I’ve been in there and not found anything at all worth buying, not even anything to vary my diet.

A few weeks ago they re-arranged all of the shelves and racks to make it even more difficult for people to find their way around the maze, and since then the place has gone downhill rather rapidly. It’s getting to the stage where I’m wondering whether it’s worth my while still going there.

But all of that is for another time.

This morning I fell out of bed as the first alarm went off – but not without difficulty, I have to say. I really could do with getting more of this poison out of my body. This medication is said to take a month in order to be effective. I imagine that withdrawing from it will take just as long.

Having had the medication I went for a shower and a good clean-up. And then I headed off for the shops.

Noz was a complete waste of time, as I said, and LeClerc didn’t come up with anything special either. I didn’t hang around, and was back here by 10:25. Plenty of time for a strong coffee and a home-made fruit bun.

For the rest of the morning I was working out the music to GRASSHOPPER. I’ve been determined, for personal reasons of my own, to crack this song and after several hours on it today I can play the chords and also a reasonable approximation of the bass line.

Furthermore, I can actually sing it too, which is definitely progress.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that this song has a special significance and refers to one night and a following morning about which I’ll write one of these days when I’ve found out about how the Statute of Limitations works in Canada.

But if I’m assembling some kind of ad-hoc acoustic set for my own amusement, I may as well choose songs that tell little stories. After all, the more I have to say, the less I have to sing and that’s good news from everyone’s point of view.

After lunch I had a little chat with Liz. She was on her way to a wedding and wanted to show me her new frock. It was quite nice, one of these earthy pastel designs that look so much nicer than these formal dress designs.

We talked about quite a few things, and it turns out that, quite surprisingly, she was having the same chat with Terry that I was having with Alison, and at exactly the same time too. Great minds think alike.

Another thing that i’ve been doing is to carry on with my Welsh revision. Today I’ve been doing “If I were 18 years old again” and “Animals”.

With the “if I were 18” etc, I can talk about “family and friends” which is another subject, and with “animals” I can talk about polar bears which comes up in “last holiday”, “celebrations”, “favourite places” etc so you can see how they are all interconnected.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And as usual, there was the afternoon walk around the headland to keep me occupied too.

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

As I mentioned the other day, with it having been a Bank Holiday and people having fait le pont to extend it into the weekend I was expecting to see the crowds. And I wasn’t disappointed either.

There were even a few of them taking to the water too. That was courageous because although it was sunny, it wasn’t that warm today.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And as usual, while I was here I had a good look round out to sea to see what I could see out there as well.

There were plenty of water craft offshore too. Most of them were quite a distance out to sea but this cabin cruiser was a lot closer inshore.

He can’t be a fisherman because he’s travelling far too fast, as you can tell by his wake. And I doubt that he’s on his way back to the harbour because the tide still has a good few hours yet to ebb before the gate to the port de plaisance is closed.

Of the other water craft that was out there this afternoon, there wasn’t anything of any interest.

red powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022When we went out for our afternoon walk yesterday we were overflown by a couple of Birdmen of Alcatraz and their Nazguls.

Today it’s the turn of the red powered hang-glider to go flying by overhead as we wandered off down the path towards the end of the headland.

There are two people on board, so it looks as if the pilot has taken a passenger out for a run around Mont St Michel for an afternoon’s sightseeing.

There were also a couple of aeroplanes out there as well this afternoon but they were too far out in the bay for me to be able to identify them. All in all, it was quite a busy day out there.

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And not just in the air and in the water either.

The path down to the end of the headland was heaving with people this afternoon too. All of the car parks were full and there were even people parking on the grass by the bunkers.

It looks as if the summer season has started in earnest so I hope that they repair the barrier at the entrance to our private car park otherwise we’ll end up with all of our parking spaces usurped by tourists.

Having a private parking was one of the main reasons why I chose the apartment that I did when I came to live here.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Fighting my way through the crowds, I walked across the car park and down to the end of the headland.

You can tell how busy it is here today. usually there are two and maybe three people sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban. Today, we have no fewer than eight people taking it easy out there.

Plenty of stuff going on down there today as well, but no fishermen on the rocks. Obviously, the idea that one fisherman has actually managed to catch something has caused all of the others to go and lie down in a darkened room.

Anyway, I headed off along the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022At the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval I stopped to see how they were progressing with L’Ecume II.

By the looks of things, her paintwork is almost finished. Even down to the anti-fouling paint below the waterline. That’s what stops barnacles clinging to the hull of the boat.

Once upon a time I spoke to a trawler and asked her how she felt about barnacles. She told me that at first she didn’t like them but after a while she found that they began to grow on her.

I’ll get my coat.

That’s probably a good point for me to go off and head for home. I have plenty of things that I ought to be doing this afternoon.

F-ZBQA - Eurocopter EC 145 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But not before I’m overflown yet again.

From this range I can’t read her serial number but she’s very likely to be F-ZBQA, the Eurocopter EC 145 that is based at Donville les Bains and used by the local air-sea rescue service. that’s the one we saw when we had that rather sad encounter last November.

Back here I made a coffee and then cleaned, diced and blanched a kilo of carrots. They had them on special offer at leClerc this afternoon so I bought some more to freeze.

And then I went to have a listen to the dictaphone. I was in Crewe in that flat from the other night off Nantwich Road. There was something about bicycles. They had battery packs made up out of small C-cell batteries that were rechargeable. I went to change them over out of one bike to put in another one that had been standing for quite some time. For some unknown reason, instead of taking off the top of the battery container I unscrewed the battery container from the bottom and the container came apart in my hands. I had a look at the mess and had to think about how I was actually going to rebuild all of this and have it ready for going back on the road again.

Later on we were in Crewe in a field near Pym’s Lane. It was going to be the live broadcast of one of my radio programmes about cooking a Mexican meal. Hordes of people had turned up with their bags and recipes and ingredients etc. There was someone there to interview everyone but they started to interview all kinds of different people and never interviewed me at all. They never came near me to ask me a single question about what was happening. I felt really out on a limb about this. Then I found out that they didn’t broadcast the cookery programme anyway. All these people had turned up for nothing. I was extremely disappointed by all of this. There were all kinds of things going through my head at this particular moment about this cookery programme etc. I was preparing to wander off and leave them all to it and just go back home. Yes, it’s definitely getting to me, isn’t it?

Having done that, I rather regrettably fell asleep again and only just managed to rouse myself in time for tea. A burger on a bap with baked potato and vegetables.

So now I’m off to bed. And a good lie-in because I have another busy day tomorrow. And if you want to hear the concert that you should have heard on Friday, IT’S HERE

Saturday 21st May 2022 – AND SO THIS MORNING …

… having done without one of my medications last night, I was awake at about 07:00 or something like that. And not only was I up and about as soon as the alarm went off at 07:30, I was actually feeling something like enthusiastic as well.

But one swallow doesn’t make a summer of course and there is always whatever is the reverse of the placebo effect to consider. I’ll want to wait for a week or two at least before I decide that it’s this particular medication that’s causing me these issues.

After having organised myself I went for a shower, set the washing machine en route and then Caliburn and I headed off for the shops.

At Noz I didn’t buy anything at all – except for a bottle of something to drink because this morning I had a thirst that you could photograph.

At LeClerc I didn’t buy anything special today but at least the larder is stocked up for the next couple of weeks.

Back here I had a coffee and some toast, put away the food and then sorted out the washing, hanging it up to dry. I seem to have caught up with everything now which make a change. It’s not like le to be up to date, is it?

And then I had a listen to the stuff on the dictaphone from last night. There was a dream about a rather fat schoolgirl who had to solve a few clues that might have led to some kind of mystery writer’s novel being solved. She was floating around in a car park for something. At first she made a little headway but later on became dispirited and was knocked out of her stride somewhat and virtually gave up. It became a story about how she once had a boyfriend from another school, a boy who was 3 years older that her but who had committed suicide. The focus of this investigation shifted away from what she was doing into what had happened at this particular school that had led to this boy’s suicide but I can’t really remember very much apart from thet.

And then at another school was a girl who was nicknamed “Rakkers” short for her name of “Irak” who had written a murder mystery. There was some discussion as to whether this might have been tied in with what this other girl was involved in investigating

After lunch I had a kilo of carrots to wash, peel, dice and blanch ready to freeze. The ones that I’d bought on Monday didn’t really last the pace. They were pretty miserable when I bought them and they don’t improve with keeping.

Back in here, just to show that not much has changed quite yet, I sat down and crashed out. And for a good 90 minutes as well. I’m not out of the woods yet by any means. I have simply moved into different woods.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022As a result of all of the foregoing I was rather late going out for my afternoon walk today.

Although it was a bright, sunny day there was something of a strong wind out there so it was a lot colder than it ought to have been.

Add to that the fact that it was late, there weren’t all that many people around down there today and there certainly wasn’t anyone brave enough to be in the water. Going for a paddle looks to be about the limit today.

And there weren’t any more people further down at the Plat Gousset either. They must all be having a day off.

red powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There might have been few people on the beach, but there was a little more going on up in the air thia afternoon.

As I walked across the car park I was overflown by the red hang glider. That went past on its way back to the airfield after what looks like an afternoon out down the bay.

He has a passenger with him today so they have probably been out on a sightseeing expedition down to Mont St Michel.

And I haven’t forgotten that one of these days I’m going to take myself out to the airfield to blag myself into the passenger seats of one of these machines and go for a flight around to see what I can see.

hang glider cemetery Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022That wasn’t the only aerial activity this afternoon either.

There was quite a crowd down at the field at the side of the cemetery and as I watched, a birdman of Alcatraz rose up from the air with his Nazgul. However he didn’t advance very far in all the time that I was waiting and after a while I lost patience.

Taking off and landing from the field next to the cemetery is actually quite appropriate. If they make a false manoeuvre then they can just chuck the bodies over the wall and that’s the problem solved with as little drama as possible.

man fishing with zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022When I went out to the shops this morning I had to thread my way through the fleets of vehicles pulling boats on trailers down to the harbour.

There were a few of them still out there even though the tide had gone well out and was now on its way back in. One of the boats that I had seen was this zodiac with a fisherman on board and, as you might expect, in all the time that I was watching him he didn’t catch anything at all.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, in all the time that we have been watching the fishermen out here with rod and line, we have yet to see anyone actually pull anything in. I’m not even sure that that’s actually the goal of what they are doing.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yesterday the weather was so clear that we could see quite clearly the island of Jersey away on the horizon.

Today though, even despite the wind, the haze is back and the good view that we had yesterday has gone. However there was something white right out there in the distance so I took a photo of it so that I could examine it back in the apartment to see what it might be.

Rather disappointingly, it turned out to be a yacht. I was hoping that it might be one of the Channel Islands Ferries on its way back home from St Helier. One of these days I’ll actually see them out there working.

people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Down at the end of the path I walked across the car park down to the end of the headland.

There weren’t any caterpillars making their way across there this afternoon but there were one or two people down there on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

Not reading a book this afternoon, although they may as well have done because there wasn’t anything else going on down there to hold their interest. All in all it was rather boring out there this afternoon, especially for a late-Spring Saturday afternoon.

And so instead I carried on down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was happening over there.

j158 l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022No changge in occupancy in the chantier naval today, but they aren’t ‘arf cracking on with the work on L’Ecume II.

When we first saw her in there WHEN WE CAME BACK FROM LEUVEN she was looking distinctly shabby, but they have pressed on with her overhaul quite rapidly.

They have stripped off all of the faded paint right down to the base primer and they are dashing ahead with the top coat of paint. It’s not going to be too long before they will have finished her paintwork and then presumably she’ll be going back in the water and on her way home.

belle france joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Meanwhile, over at the ferry terminal there is quite a gaggle of boats tied up there today.

On my way out to the shops this morning I’d seen one of the Joly France boats on her way out with a load of passengers for the Ile de Chausey.

But right now, all three of the ferries, the two Joly France boats and the new Belle France are tied up over there. Presumably they are waiting for the tide to come in later on this afternoon when they’ll go back out to the island to bring home the tourists at the end of the day.

But as for Chausiaise, the little freighter, she’s tied up in the inner harbour.

crane swimming pool speedboat port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022On thing that interested me was ro see what was happening at the quayside with the freight today.

The speedboat is still there, and we also seem to have acquired a swimming pool too. I also know why stuff isn’t being moved as quickly as it usually is right now. That’s because Normandy Trader, one of the three little Jersey freighters, is currently having a major overhaul and has been out of action for several days.

Apparently her overhaul is nearly complete and she’ll be back in service in early course with her nice new stainles steel accessories. COPULATUM EXPENSIUM, AS WE POMPEIIANS SAY

yellow powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having been overflown by the red powered hang-glider on my way out earlier, it was the turn of the yellow powered hang-glider to overfly my on my way home.

Once again, she’s out there with a passenger, presumably also having been for a flight down the bay towards the Mont St Michel.

Back here, I took out the rubbish to the bin, such is the exciting life that I leave, and then brought up the milk that I’d bought this morning that I couldn’t manage to bring up earlier. I can’t believe how difficult I’m finding ordinary everyday tasks these days.

Tea tonight was a couple of those small breaded burgers with a baked potato and veg. And now I’m off to bed. Despite intent upon having a lie-in, I’m going to miss out on that medication again and see what good that might do me. I reckon that it will take a while for the effects to work their way through so the sooner I start, the sooner I’ll finish.

Saturday 23rd April 2022 – THIS GAME OF …

fishing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… musical ships moved into a new dimension this afternoon.

Neither L’Omerta nor Briscard were there when I went past on my afternoon walk. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I speculated that either Titanic or Mary Celeste would be there in their place but instead, we have two anonymous inshore shell-fishing boats.

Unfortunately I’m too far away to read their registrations so I can’t tell you who they are but they are new players in the game so we’ll have to watch this space much more closely to see how things develop in the near future.

However in the immediate past, I had a better day and actually managed to go through a day without falling asleep, although it was touch-and-go at one point this afternoon.

And when I saw how far I’d travelled during the night, I’m amazed that I could keep on going. But we’ll leave that for a moment.

Once again I managed to beat the second alarm so that’s progress of sorts, and after the medication and a quick shower (and washing a couple of pairs of trousers because I seem to have run our) I was off early for the shops.

Noz still had some of those mini-burger things, although I noticed this evening that they aren’t the same, but anyway I bought another packet to add to those in the freezer.

LeClerc didn’t come up with al that much either except that coffee was on special offer so I bought a four-pack of the variety that I like. I use a lot of coffee.

They also had carrots at €0:99 a kilo so I bought a packet of those, and actually peeled, diced and blanched them as soon as I came home. Even as we speak, they are freezing up ready for the next couple of weeks.

Finally I could turn my attention to the dictaphone. I was on that … “which?” – ed … space rocket last night. I had my own comfortable room and my bass guitar with me. I seemed to be in there for months as I kept orbiting the earth.

And then I was supposed to be going to Paris. I was staying in a hotel. It was going to be a quick train into Paris and back on the TGV for the evening because I was playing bass in a rock group. There was some kind of commotion in the station at the front of the hotel. It turned out that all the TGVs were cancelled. I’d have to go on a standard train which would take hours and it wasn’t until 20:00, the next one. I asked whether there would be one back later at night or whether I ought to stay over. He said “we’ll find out later” but it was gone 18:00 already so there wasn’t much later to find out. If I couldn’t have a train back I would have to book a hotel etc. I went back to my hotel room. I was in and out a couple of times and suddenly realised that I’d locked myself out of my hotel room. I had to go down to rception. They gave me a duplicate key. Some woman must have overheard me speaking English because she came up to me and invited me to a party “when the war is over” she said. “You’ll have to come round to the party” and she gave me a card. I went to give her a card. She said “yes, I’ll cook you a really good meal”. There was another woman standing nearby. We both said at the same time “oh we’re vegans”. This woman smiled and wandered off leaving the 2 of us so we started to talk. I invited this woman into my room now that I had the duplicate key. I asked her if she wanted a coffee. She said “no”. We started to talk, bearing in mind that I had to be gone in an hour or something like that and I had a lot of things to arrange in the meantime.

I was also in Eastern Europe last night. I had a filing cabinet with me in the back of the coach and there was a load of files in it, including ones on Putin and things like that. While I was doing something a girl came up and took a file from the cabinet. I took the file back from her but she had a piece of paper on her hand. I went to take that too but she didn’t want to give it to me. In the end I had to wrestle it from her hand. She went to ‘phone the police. When I looked at the paper I saw that it was one of hers so I apologised and gave it back to her. I got into my coach to drive away, fearing that any moment now I was going to be swept up in a police patrol and taken off somewhere

It was becoming close to Brexit. Boris Johnson had some kind of notice prepared with the date on it. He was out there in no-man’s land standing by this notice. We could all see him dithering. He went to unhook the date so people started cheering that he was going to call it off. Instead he suddenly and decisively put the date back on and said “right, let’s go”. This immediately started a riot. People began to set fire to everything, piles of paper, coal, buildings, etc. Rees-Mogg went to collect his things together but he found that someone had been into his jewellery box and stolen every single item of his jewellery. This led to a lot of discussion. We were talking to someone about that. They mentioned his jewellery box so I asked “where’s his father?”. The penny dropped with them as well. Everyone immediately understood what I meant and what had probably happened to his jewels. Someone who was rather pro-Brexit asked me where mine was. I replied that he was near Betley, Wrinehill, the last time that I had any news of him.

We were then back on Brexit again. First of all though I had a dog that I was trying to lose. I arrived at Crewe Station and there was a bus coming in going to Chester. It was packed so I led the dog on I was hoping to disappear but at the last moment I had a pang of conscience and couldn’t let it go. In the end I climbed aboard – there was just about room. I went to pay my 50p to the driver but I dropped it. The bus was so crowded that I couldn’t pick it up so someone whom I knew paid my bus fare and picked up my 50p from the floor. We left the bus at the Hurleston reservoir. Rees-Mogg was there, he’d just turned back since … I fell asleep … he was going on about how he’d me this nice lovable clown who had promised him all kinds of riches and wealth and so on. Of course that was Johnson and his proposals for Brexit.

Of course, when I say that “I fell asleep”, I don’t mean that because I am actually asleep while I’m dictating, in some kind of subconscious state. What I mean is that I slip out of this subconscious state into a much deeper state where I don’t function.

Finally I was with Nerina last night. Somehow we’d encountered my father’s sister somewhere along the road. We were all out somewhere. We had a huge, lengthy chat. We’d set out to go shopping actually and somehow encountered them. Then we drove a little way together out of Crewe and Nantwich. It was a really cold, icy winter. First of all I’d been off somewhere and had to walk back. Nerina had been out working when i’d gone but she’d obviously gone in because the weather was too cold. There we were and I suggested to her seeing as it’s a nice cold day and we aren’t doing anything and it’s rather boring why don’t we go to do our shopping in Whitchurch which is where my aunt lived. She thought that that was a good idea. We took my aunt back and dropped her in the centre of Whitchurch. Then we were talking. I was qaying “look at me becoming all family-orientated again. Not like me, is it?”. She made some comment and said “no, particularly as we have to go through your father in order to contact your aunt”. She led me off down these alleyways, down these steps. We had to step through these tables and restaurants where these people were playing chess. It suddenly dawned on me that fancy me having to be shown around a town by Nerina when I knew everywhere but of course she worked in Whitchurch (at least, she did last night anyway) so it was only natural.

But over the last couple of weeks my dreams are becoming quite political and I don’t understand why. I could understand it when there was all of the uncertainty about our position a couple of years ago but these days we are all regularised and our lives haven’t changed so considerably that there is any great cause for concern.

So what’s happening?

After lunch there was football. The final day of the regular season with four clubs – Aberystwyth v Connah’s Quay and Hwlffordd v Cardiff Metro chasing the one spot to play off for wild card in the Irn-Bru Cup or whatever it’s called these days. There was just two points separating the four clubs so it was effectively “winner takes all”.

We were watching Hwlffordd v Cardiff Metro with the other game in the corner of the screen. And the producers made the right call because while the game at Aberystwyth was a drab midfield battle that ended 1-1, we had a game full of excitement that ranged from end to end and back again, one of the best that I have ever seen.

The Met won 2-1 in the end with a winning goal that was worthy of any championship, but how different might things have been if Henry Jones’s diving header in injury time had been half an inch lower and crept in underneath the bar.

And having watched closely a few of the incidents that took place in the various penalty areas, I’m convinced that at times Dean John the referee was refereeing a different match to the one that the rest of us were watching.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022By now it was the usual time for me to go off for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And the first stop was as usual the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down onto the beach.

Not that I was expecting to see anyone down there this afternoon because the weather had turned cold and overcast. I was even wearing a jacket when I went out.

One saying that I like to use quite often is “your level of success is measured by your level of expectation” and so seeing no-one down below on the beach was no surprise and no disappointment, even if it was a Saturday.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was however something going on out at sea, as I noticed while I was looking round.

Not too far offshore was a yacht swanning around in the bay having a whale of a time.

No fishing boats out there though, at least, as far as I could see, because visibility was quite poor this afternoon. It wasn’t even possible to see the Ile de Chausey this afternoon.

And nothing in the air either. In fact it was quite a quiet day all things considered.

fishermen zodiac baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There were a few more boats out there around the corner in the Baie de Mont St Michel though, I noticed

There was this rather large zodiac floating around just off the end of the headland, with three men in it. I thought that they might have been fishermen but I couldn’t see any equipment and they certainly didn’t have any rods out in the water.

But even so, I can’t think of anything else that they might be because the boat wasn’t actually moving when I saw it. It was just sitting there about a mile offshore waiting for something to happen.

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There were some yachts from one of the sailing schools having a run around in the bay as well.

These two were having something of a race across the bay, with the rearmost one slightly in the lead. Somewhere out of shot there was a zodiac keeping an eye on the proceedings.

And while we’re on the subject of the sailing school … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ve been carrying out a few rather desultory enquiries and discovered that there’s a “boat permit” that licenses you to operate a powered craft of a certain maximum size within a certain distance of shore.

Apart from wanting to sail, of course, that permit is something that I might find to be of use as well. But at the moment everything is on hold until the hospital and the doctor can sort me out.

cabanon vauban person sitting on bench Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022With all of the activity going on out in the bay, I was half-expecting to see it all having something of an audience this afternoon.

And here I wasn’t disappointed either. This woman sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban seemed to be taking rather a keen interest in what was happening with the zodiac.

The way things were, I had half a mind to go down and join her but it wasn’t the kind of day for loitering around. Instead I pushed on down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was going on in the harbour this afternoon.

ch922398, sm735890 lysandre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There wasn’t all that much going on in the harbour either. All in all, it was extremely disappointing for a Saturday.

There were a couple of inshore shellfishing boats out there in the outer harbour. The blue one is of course Lysandre on a visit from across the bay at St Malo but although I can read the registration number of the other one, she’s not in the fleet list that I have.

Still the same boats as yesterday in the chantier naval but no-one over at the ferry terminal either.

You’ve seen the photo of the two boats over at the fish processing plant, and that was really that. I came back for my coffee and to finish off the dictaphone notes.

There was time for another good session on the guitar too this afternoon before tea. A couple of these new mini burger things with potatoes and veg. And even though these burgers aren’t the breaded quorn fillets that I thought they were, they are still just as delicious.

A lie-in tomorrow, at long last. And I can’t say that I don’t need it. It’s been a tough week and it’s going to be even tougher next week as I have physiotherapy twice, a Welsh lesson for which I’m not prepared, an injection, a visit to the dcotors, a trip out and a weekend away.

By the time that I come back I’ll be ready for another break to recover.

But I wonder what I’ll be doing this time next week.

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.

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.