Tag Archives: l'ecume 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Friday 20th May 2022 – IT WAS ONLY YESTERDAY …

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… when I said that we hadn’t seen L’Omerta tied up at the Fish Processing Plant and settling down in the silt for a couple of days.

And so of course it goes without saying that this afternoon when I was a-wandering around the headland on my afternoon walk, I should come across her tied up in her usual place, sitting down in the silt waiting for something to happen.

Bang on cue, you might say.

But anyway, let’s leave the subject of my afternoon walk for the moment and start as we mean to go on by turning the clock back to the start of the day when the alarm went off at 07:30 this morning.

And in news that will come as a surprise to everyone, because it certainly came as a surprise to me, I actually fell out of bed when the alarm went off. And how long is it since that has happened?

Mind you, I hope that you aren’t expecting too much because it wasn’t as if it inspired me to do any work. It wasn’t until about 09:30 that I had recovered enough to make a start. But not to worry because that’s better than a 10:30 or a 10:45 start.

The morning was quite a leisurely one. I didn’t actually exert myself too much but even so it ended up being something of a late lunch as I really couldn’t find the energy to pick myself up from my chair and walk into the kitchen. That was expecting far too much.

After lunch I carried on with my rather leisurely day until it was time for me to go off for my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And as usual, the first place for me to visit would be the wall at the end of the car park where I could peer down onto the beach to see what was happening down there.

Although it wasn’t quite as warm as it has been just recently, I was still surprised at how few people there were down there this afternoon.

But those who were down there were taking full advantage of it. There were a couple of people down there sunbathing on a couple of towels spread out on the beach, and a couple more people out there having a swim around in the water

It’s been a good few days since we’ve seen anyone swimming around in the water as well.

st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It was a really nice day as I mentioned earlier, and today I could see for miles out to sea.

It’s been a long time since there has been anything like a clear view of St Helier in Jersey so seeing as we had one of those days today I thought that I would celebrate it by taking a photo of it.

Of course, I don’t really know what it is that I’m seeing out there on Jersey, but now I have no excuse because the ferries to the Channel Islands are up and running at long last. One of these days when I have more time and I’m feeling better, I’ll take myself off out there for a closer look.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But never mind the view out to Jersey for the moment, the view out to the Ile de Chausey was just as spectacular too.

It’s a long time since we’ve seen the island looking as clear as this. We can see all of the colours out there on the island quite clearly today.

What we can’t see though are any water craft. I was amazed at how few boats there were out at sea this afternoon. I don’t think that I counted more than half a dozen all told and this was the kind of weather that had they been there, I certainly would have seen them.

caterpillar pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022I carried on around the path along the headland and across the car park at the far end.

And I wasn’t alone out there this afternoon. I had all kinds of company, like this little fellow who crossed my path as I walked across the car park.

He was certainly brave, taking his like in his hands – or, rather, feet – like this and wandering across the car park where there was all kinds of traffic going by. But he did actually make it to the other side quite safely.

Natural history, and Lepidoptera in particular, is not my strongpoint so I can’t tell you anything about him unfortunately.

f-gbai Robin DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There was also something going on up above this afternoon too.

As I walked down to the end of the headland I was overflown by a light aeroplane on its way back to the airfield. It’s one of our regulars, F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local aero club.

She took off at 15:32, flew down the bay to Mont St Michel and back again where she came in to land at 16:08. And as my photo is timed at 16:02 (adjusted) that sounds about right to me.

The time is “adjusted” because I don’t alter the time on my digital equipment to reflect summer time.

person reading a book pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But all of this excitement has proved to be far too much for some people.

Here’s someone perched on the rocks right at the end of the headland with her head buried deeply in a book. That’s certainly the right attitude and the correct way to deal with whatever issues life throws at you.

In fact, I had half a mind to go down there and join her.

However, I have other fish to fry so I wandered off down the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was happening over there this afternoon.

kayaker baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Out in the Baie de Mont St Michel I actually managed to find a water craft close enough for me to take a decent photograph.

There’s a kayaker out there looking as if he’s doing a couple of laps of Le Loup, the marker light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour.

But what’s intriguing me is how he’s taken his kayak out there because the tide is quite far out and he would have had to drag it quite a distance.

And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s not advisable to light a fire in a canoe. After all, you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

j158 l'ecume 11 St-Gilles Croix-de Vie chantier naval belle france joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There’s been another change in the chantier naval over the last day or so.

That trawler from Caen, L’Oasis has now gone back into the water and Valeque isn’t there either. The only trawler there for the moment is the Jersey trawler L’Ecume II.

And the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie is still there too. They haven’t sent a lorry to pick her up and take her away just yet.

Over at the ferry terminal we have one of the Joly France boats and the very new Belle France that run out to the Ile de Chausey.

Back here I had a strawberry smoothie and came back in here where I crashed out for a good hour or so. All in all, there wasn’t really much point in getting up so early this morning.

However I did eventually manage to find the time to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I was in Philadelphia last night, walking across a supermarket car park. I thought that someone beckoned me over but they hadn’t. When I reached there everyone was sitting around on these tables and chairs. There was a seat empty so I asked if it was OK if I could sit there. Someone said yes. Some woman with a baby was by it. They asked if I wouldn’t be comfortable somewhere else. I replied “no, I’m quite happy there”. Everyone was watching a baseball game taking place on this supermarket car park. As I watched, a big service bus pulled away from the car park of the supermarket so I started to follow the bus. I had to run pretty quickly but by the time I reached the end of the car park it had disappeared and I couldn’t work out which way it had gone. I imagined that it had turned right so I went right that way but I couldn’t see it so I went back to the car park entrance and tried to think more logically, looking for signs on the road but I still didn’t see anything although someone with a few kids started to cross the road nearby where I was. There was something about American health insurance, why Americans had a lot more money to spend because they aren’t spending it on health insurance like Europeans

I was with a friend of mine from the Open University and it’s been so long since I’ve seen her that I can’t remember her name. We were in Germany talking about World War II battles. We were describing one where some defenders were trapped in the ruins and how they were bombed by air by zeppelins until they surrendered. She was telling me that a friend of hers was coming for Christmas. It was someone with whom she could have a great deal of fun – a German living in Canada and he knew quite a lot about the old border in Germany particularly with regard to the city with which he was concerned. There was something else but I can’t remember what it was but when she started to talk about it my ears really pricked up so I asked if there was any chance that I could wangle an invite to go to see her over the Christmas period so that I could talk to this guy and find out more about all of this. She started to ask me a few questions about this and that, presumably to find out my interest. Just then as we came into this city a German Post Office cyclist came round a corner but slipped on some ice. The bike slid across the road and hit the kerb. I had my friend stop and got out of the car to go to see. This woman was all covered in blood so I asked my friend to call an ambulance. I checked with this woman if she needed an ambulance in my pidgin German as it was to be the case although she was quite distraught and shocked, not easy to communicate with. So I shouted again to my friend to call an ambulance but she seemed to be rather reluctant to do so and I couldn’t understand why because this was a clear case of someone who certainly needed one after what she had just gone through in the accident on her pushbike.

And later I was back in Germany in a conversation class or something or other. I can’t remember very much about this at all except that one student had a very lightweight tight-fitting crash helmet. I asked about this and the another students said that he’d been like this for the whole 6 years of the course and no-one had been able to talk him out of it. Anyone who would try now would be wasting their time as far as that went. But I can’t remember any more of this at all.

Tea was sausage beans and chips which were delicious, and now I’m off to bed. I’m dropping one of the medicaments tonight and seeing if that makes any difference in how I’m feeling. It’ll probably take a week or so to work but we shall see. I can’t go on like this.

Tuesday 17th May 2022 – YOU ARE PROBABLY …

… just as fed up as I am about hearing about how bad my days are becoming these days. If nothing changes over the next couple of days I’m going to cut out all of these new medications because I can’t keep on going like this.

Just for a change I actually managed to beat the second alarm to my feet. Only just, but I beat it nevertheless.

After the medication I came back in here and that was everything that I remember until 10:27. I was out like a light for almost 2.5 hours and that’s the kind of thing that fills me with dismay. In fact I was lucky that I awoke when I did because I had my Welsh lesson at 11:00 and I needed to prepare everything.

There wasn’t much time but I was actually ready and the lesson didn’t go too badly either. There weren’t all that many of us there either. It seems that numbers are dropping off these days. I wonder how long it will be before they merge our class with another one.

After lunch I had a few things to do and a phone call to make. Rosemary had called me in the middle of my lesson and I needed to call her back

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Later on it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

First port of call was the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down onto the beach and see what was happening down there.

The tide is well out this afternoon and the weather was totally glorious and so I was expecting to see crowds of people down there today. And I wasn’t wrong either.

Surprisingly there wasn’t anyone out there swimming around. If any day was going to be suitable for going in it up to your neck, it would have been today. It was actually 25°C when I went out.

beaches and buoys ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Sometimes when the tide is right out and the sun is shining, the beaches on the Ile de Chausey are quite clearly visible.

And today was one of those days. The beaches were looking marvellous. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of years ago when went off on our week away on the Spirit of Conrad we spent a night on board in that lagoon over there and a morning lounging about on the beach.

You can tell how high the tide comes in too by looking at the pillars on which the marker lights are installed. When the tide is in those lights are barely above the water.

diggers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There weren’t all that many people on the path this afternoon so I had it pretty much to myself.

But when I arrived at the car park at the end I could see the diggers and the other heavy machinery out there working.

Even though I can’t really see what they are doing, they have come quite a long way with this pipeline that they are laying. It looks without any doubt that that they are taking it down to below the level of the lowest tide.

Mind you, having seen some of the storms that we have in the bay I wonder how long the pipeline will last before the storm rips it out again.

people on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And whatever it is that they are doing out there, they have something of a crowd watching them doing it.

There were a few more people sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban admiring the machinery and the work that they were doing.

There wasn’t anything going on out at sea though. There wasn’t a single boat that I could see this afternoon. Some are tied up in port and the rest of them are right out in the bay fishing.

And so with nothing to detain me here I pushed off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was going on there this afternoon.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022As well as the plant and machinery out there in the bay there were other things that the people on the bench could admire, even if there were no water craft of any description out there.

With the tide being so low right now, the public ares of the beach are uncovered and so the crowds are out there this afternoon with their buckets, spades, gratters and other equipment seeing what they can harvest from the rocks.

You need something good and strong to prize to shellfish from the rocks because usually they cling like … errr … limpets. It’s what I suppose you would call “flexing your mussels”.

It’s not really a thing that interests me but regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we broadcast a live radio programme from down there a couple of years ago.

cn726519 l'oasis j158 l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022As I walked past the chantier naval I noticed that there had been yet again anothe rchange of occupancy today.

L’Ecume II is still there of course but I can’t see if Valeque is still there because in the way blocking my view is a completely new trawler whom we haven’t seen before.

She’s called L’Oasis and her registration number tells my why she’s new in town. It begins with “CN” and that seems to suggest that she’s registered in Caen.

All of the trawlers that sail out of Granville have registration numbers beginning with “CH” tat tells us that their port of registration is Cherbourg.

crane lorry port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One thing that I wanted to do was to have a closer look at the crane that I mentioned yesterday.

There’s a better view from here, but it still doesn’t tell me very much. It’s a “Mantsinen”, the same as the other one, but the name has been painted out. And even though the paintwork looks new, the tracks look old and used.

There are also a couple of guys working on it this afternoon too. All of this seems to suggest that it’s the same one that was here before but is in the process of being overhauled at the moment.

All will become clear over the course of the next few days, I reckon.

trans-shipment rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One of the things that I’ve mentioned before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … is the difficulty of moving things around when you live in a medieval walled city.

Many of the delivery vehicles are too tall to pass underneath the gate and into the city so they have to park up while they work out a way of trans-shipping the articles to their destination.

Back here I had a milk shake and then did some work. There was some stuff on the dictaphone so I transcribed all that. It was something like a scene from CONVOY. A whole group of truckers was on the run again. What they were actually doing was that they had something to do with buffaloes, a ranch or something where they were rearing buffaloes from eggs. It was a whole really complicated scenario there about these eggs, how they were recuperated, how they were hatched artificially into more buffaloes etc. This was a real technological marvel and the IRS was involved in it. It was such a complicated system of rearing these eggs that the whole world’s attention was focused on what was going on here insofar as it affected these truckers who were in dispute with their Government. It was easy to see how they were being prejudiced against when they even saw churches that were totally ruined still doing things to support the Government by opposing the lorry drivers’ movement. We saw one new church where all the members had been arrested even though they were no danger to anyone about anything. It was only the power of these truck drivers that was keeping them out and their interest that this project with these buffalo eggs had created.

And then I was in one of my old offices and I bumped into my old boss Norma. She said “I have,’t seen your time sheets for ages, Eric. Do you have them?”. I replied “yes, they are on my desk”. She said “could you let me have them by Friiday?” We had a long chat about this and that. Then I went out into the main office to find my desk. I had STRAWBERRY MOOSE with me. Someone asked where I was on Saturday. “We didn’t see you in here”. I asked “why didn’t anyone tell me that there was overtime on Saturday?”. “Well, you should have known” was the reply. When I reached my desk there was no chair there so I had to hunt round the office for a spare chair. In the end someone made some kind of underhand comment about where there was a chair so I went and found one and put it back. It was covered in dist so I had to tip it out and clean it. While I was sitting there one of the other girls came over and asked “what’s the matter Eric? Are we friends or something?”. I replied “nothing’s changed as far as I know”. They seemed to think that I was offended by something or upset by something which I wasn’t really. It was just my normal usual grouchy self but they seemed to have it in their heads that for some unknown reason I was upset or offended. I couldn’t seem to persuade them otherwise.

That took me right up to tea time. There was some stuffing left over from yesterday so I had another delicious taco roll with rice and vegetables.

So now I’m off to bed. Hopefully I’ll have a good night and a decent start tomorrow as I’m sick to the back teeth of all of this.

Friday 13th May 2022 – THIS WAS PROBABLY …

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… the worst day that I have had for quite a while.

And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve had a few of those just recently.

So while you admire a few photos of everything that was going on out at sea this afternoon, when the alarm went off at 07:30 I couldn’t move an inch and it was just the same at 07:45 and again at 08:00. In fact it was, would you believe, 10:20 when I finally put my feet on the floor this morning

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It wasn’t that that was the worrying part about it. What worried me more than anything was that I was feeling as if I had a hangover. I don’t know what there are in these pills but they are certainly kicking in with a vengeance

But seriously, if this is how I’m going to end up, I’m going to try to work out which one of these new medications it is that’s causing this and simply stop taking them.

As I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … the only excitement that I seem to have these days is what goes on during the night. The last thing that I want to do is to cut all of that out of my life.

In fact I can understand why (although that’s not the same as saying that I agree with) the taking of hallucinatory drugs is so habit-forming. There is certainly something to be said for being taken out of yourself and going off on a series of voyages into the ether.

yacht ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So while we’re on the subject of my nocturnal voyages … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ve actually managed to pull myself together at some point during the day and dealt with the stuff on the dictaphone.

I was going to do a coach job which meant taking a coach to a race track by a big army camp in Yorkshire. I set off in Nerina’s Ford Escort to go to find the coach. When I reached the army camp I parked the Escort and got out but I must have knocked the gear lever by mistake for all of a sudden it revved up and roared off across the car park on its own with no-one at the wheel. It was late at night and there weren’t all that many vehicles on the car park but I had a feeling that this was going to be a recipe for disaster. I had to run after it but I didn’t have a hope of catching it. I could see it driving erratically around this car park. There was no way that I would catch it. Gradually the car park filled up, ordinary people, whole families of Gypsies hauling scrap and rags, soldiers etc. Of course I lost sight of the car and had to climb up onto a bank in the middle of the race course and that wore me out so I had to climb up a smaller one but I couldn’t see as far. Then they came in with the coach. I thought to myself that if I’d made such a mess of driving this Escort what am I going to be like driving this coach? This is going to be an absolute nightmare to me and how am I going to explain to Nerina what’s happened about her car? She’s not going to believe this story for a minute.

yachts speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And then there was a big group of us on an aeroplane. I somehow ended up with a girl whom I’d sat newt to on numerous occasions. We were discussing an aeroplane incident in the Atlantic similar to the Titanic and we were looking for the location of the yellow parachute of the plane. We were poring over maps documentation etc but we couldn’t actually see it. As well as that we were having a big lengthy chat. This girl was married but was in bad company and they spent a lot of money gambling. I’d been trying to tell her to cut down on it. She told me that last weekend she’d refused to go out even though everyone else in her family had wanted to. They’d wanted to go out on a big gambling spree but she’d dug her heels in and ended uo not going out at all. I was immediately pleased with her. Our hunt went on with quite a few documents but we couldn’t relate anything in them to anything on the ground. In the end she asked me quite pointedly what I was going to do now. I interpreted this as being that she wanted me to go. I gave her a great big kiss but she fought me off saying that people were looking so I prepared to leave on my own

That actually took me until rather late in the afternoon to type all of that out. For the first part of the day I couldn’t actually bring myself to do anything. It was all far too reminiscent of 2003/2004/2005 when I was going through another phase like this and I remember how difficult it was to climb out of the pit back then.

It was only Rhys’s wedding that rekindled my spirit of adventure back then. I’ll have to persuade him to marry again.

A lot of the morning was spent trying to recover and then the rest of the day was spent tidying up in the kitchen. There were piles of stuff everywhere and all of the washing-up that I hadn’t done yesterday after my rather busy day.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There is of course the afternoon walk around the headland so I had to drag myself out of the apartment and off on my way.

First port of call was the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down on the beach to see what’s happening down there today.

It was a really nice day and there were plenty of people down there making the most of it. No-one brave enough though to take to the water which was a surprise. I’d have expected to have seen the crowds in there today with the nice weather that we are having but they semmed to have all chickened out.

f-pdyt Turquetil DYT-01 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022While I was looking around out at sea at all of the maritime traffic, I was overflown by a light aeroplane on its way to the airfield.

It’s a new one on us. We’ve not seen her before. She’s F-PDYT, a Turquetil DYT-01 and that’s a machine about which I can tell you nothing at all.

Firstly, she hasn’t filed a flight plan and secondly, she wasn’t picked up on any radar anywhere so I can’t tell you anything about where she’s been and where she’s going.

And then I can’t even tell you anything about the manufacturer either because I can’t find any information about that either. It’s really not my day, is it?

As I walked down the path I came across a large group of people trying to take a selfie so I took their phones and duly obliged them. We had a little chat and then I carried on my way.

fishermen in speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Nown at the end of the path I walked across the car park and down to the end of the headland.

For a change there wasn’t anyone sitting down on the bench by the cabanon vauban, which was a surprise because there was enough going on out there this afternoon to keep everyone entertained for hours.

We’ve already seen plenty of marine traffic going by this afternoon, but this speedboat was stationary out in the bay. There were several fishermen on board but in all the time that I was watching, no-one actually pulled anything out of the water.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in all the time that we’ve been here, we’ve never ever seen anyone catch anything with a rod and line.

l'ecume 2 valeque sagone d'angawelys chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022From there I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was happening in the port.

There was quite a racket coming from the chantier naval this afternoon. It looked as if they had the air sander working full tilt on L’Ecume II grinding off the old paintwork.

In actual fact they are making quite rapid progress on her, which you can see when you compare her to how she was ON SUNDAY.

It’s not like them at all to be this rapid, is it?

St-Gilles Croix-de Vie chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yesterday I mentioned that the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie had finished its work in the harbour and had been towed across the harbour to the portable boat lift and had been lifted out of the water.

She’s now out there on a couple of blocks while they start to dismantle her ready to be taken away.

She doesn’t actually sail into port, as you might expect. She comes into port in a dismantled form on the back of a low loader and they assemble her on the hard-standing before they drop her into the water.

And then they dismantle her ready for her to be taken away again on the lorry that will come to pick her up in due course and take her off somewhere else.

fishing boats unloading fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022This afternoon there was quite a crowd over at the fish processing plant.

All of the boats are coming in to unload, swarming around L’Omerta that is still there after all this time. And there are a couple of large refrigerated lorries over there ready to whisk away the catch.

Back here I carried on tidying the kitchen and putting away the shopping from Thursday. The place looks a little more respectable now which makes a change. It had got into quite amess over the last few days.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper now that I have some and it tasted quite delicious. But I’m using a different rice right now and it’s not as nice as the usual stuff.

So later tha usual, I’m off to bed. I have a weekend school for my Welsh course so I’m hoping for a better start to the day tomorrow that today’s start. That was appalling and I don’t want to do that again.

Thursday 12th May 2022 – HAVING HAD A FEW …

… extremely quiet days just recently, that all changed today. I’ve been rushed off my feet and haven’t stopped all day. I haven’t even had any time for tea.

There’s even some stuff on the dictaphone too but I haven’t had time to transcribe it yet.

It all went wrong earlier this morning when for some reason that I didn’t understand, the alarm went off at 06:15. I was actually up and about by the time that I realised and it didn’t take much for me to crawl back into bed.

When the alarm went off again at 07:30 I did manage to leave the bed something-like on time and after I’d had my medication I went to have a shower and clean myself up

Then I nipped out to go and see this sports therapist at Saint-Pair sur Mer.

My appointment was for 09:30 but he was running horribly late and it was gone 10:00 when he finally saw me. He asked me a few questions and poked and prodded me around, and it didn’t take him long to find out where the bone in my kneecap is broken.

There is a series of special injections that he is proposing for me so he gave me a prescription and an appointment to go back on 1st June.

This weekend I have a Welsh weekend school so I called at LIDL on the way home and stocked up with a big pile of stuff to see me through the next 10 days. It cost a fortune too. But I’ll still nip out for a few things late on Saturday that I couldn’t buy at LIDL.

By the time that I returned home it was almost lunchtime, never mind breakfast, but I had one of my fruit buns all the same with some coffee. And I was right. It really was delicious.

After lunch I was back out again. It was the turn of the physiotherapist to have the pleasure of my company.

trawlers fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022First stop though was the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne where you can look down upon the fish processing plant.

It’s quite busy down there this afternoon. This is the moment when all the boats are coming in to unload and they are having to fight their way around L’Omerta who is still tied up to the quayside.

It shows you what a busy little port it is, with all of the boats down there and the people on top of the quayside helping to unload the catch into the fish processing plant. There will be cars and vans on the lower level underneath too, there to take away the load from some of the boats.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There was plenty of activity out in the bay too.

And not just trawlers coming into harbour either. One of the yachting schools was out there this afternoon with the pupils having a sail around the bay, with someone in a zodiac shepherding them around. And I haven’t forgotten that one of these days in the near future I’ll be out there with them.

There were plenty of pleasure craft too like the large yacht in the foreground that has just come out of the port de plaisance. And there were a couple of speedboats loitering around out there too.

chaisiase l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022That wasn’t all either.

While I was here I had a look over towards the chantier naval to see how they were getting on with L’Ecume II. They are still bashing away at her but as I watched, something else came around the corner into my field of view.

It’s the little freighter Chausiaise, on her way back from, presumably, a run out to the Ile de Chausey with a load of freight. Someone mentioned to me that if she’s out there with no return load, she’ll bring back a pile of shellfish for the fishermen over there.

marite normandy warrior port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022From the corner here I walked on down the hill towards the town.

As I was on my way I noticed in the distance that there was a shrink-wrapped speedboat on the quayside and as I approached I could see that Normandy Warrior was in port.

At least, I think that it’s she, because the bridge is slightly different and her skipper has moored her differently than her sister Normany Trader is usually moored.

There were also crowds queueing up to board Marité too. It looks as if she’s going off out for an afternoon’s sailing around the bay. The first time this year that we will have seen her.

The walk through town was rather agonising today and I don’t know why. I’ve noticed for the last few days that I’ not moving around as well as I have been.

And the physiotherapist put me through my paces todays. This new one works me a lot harder than any of the others whom I’ve had so far. I think that she’s on a “kill or cure” mission.

On the way home I called at the pharmacy for the prescription that the sports doctor gave me. If I pick it up while I remember, it saves all kinds of unfortunate complications for later.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022The walk back up the hill was a struggle today. I really am becoming worse and worse these days.

There were several occasions where I was obliged to stop, including at the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour. And “Gone! And never called me ‘Mother’!”. Both Marité and Normandy Warrior have cleared off.

But the shrink-wrapped speedboat is still on the quayside. Normandy Warrior hasn’t taken that away this afternoon. And so it looks as if either she or her sister will be back in port quite quickly to do the necessary. They won’t be leaving that on the quayside for too long.

notre dame de cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Something else that was wandering around in the harbour was the local lifeboat, Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

Strange as it may seem, they have been using her to tow the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie around the harbour while she’s been doing her dredging. So by the looks of things, she’s just knocked off for the day and it going home to have a rest.

In actual fact, not that I saw it, but apparently she was back out later. The dredging is finished so she towed the dredger over to the chantier naval where the portable boat lift could winch her out of the water.

marite baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022A little further on along the path we finally caught up with Marité again.

It’s a shame that I only had the NIKON 1 J5 with me. That just has the standard lens and so distance photography is pretty useless and I can’t really pick out anything.

But at least, by the looks of things she’s having a good sail around, even if it is with her diesel engines and not with her sails. I don’t suppose that many people still have the skills for this kind of thing.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Instead of going into my building I went for a look out to see what was happening.

What I was hoping to see was Normandy Warrior disappearing off into the sunset but wherever she was, she was well out of range of any equipment that I had with me.

All that there were that I could see were a couple of local inshore boats with a couple of fishermen therein so I had to content myself with them.

In any case, there was quite a haze out at sea and even the Ile de Chausey was difficult to see in these conditions this afternoon.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But it was actually a nice day so it was no surprise to see a few people down there on the beach this afternoon.

They were enjoying themselves, especially the few people who were brave enough to go into the water.

Having photographed them I came in here and had a strawberry smoothie and (regrettably) crashed out completely for a good half hour or so. This physiotherapist works me really hard.

And then I had to get everything together for my Welsh conversation class this evening. That passed quickly and it could have been much, much worse. But I’ve ended up with no tea and I don’t care either because I’m tired and I’m going to bed.

Tomorrow there are no plans but something will come along to disturb me, I’m sure of that.

But anyway, that’s for another time. Let me finally post up the details of my little nocturnal voyages from last night now that i’ve transcribed them We were in Wales, Hans, Jackie, Alison and me. We had to go to somewhere which meant going south on the train and then heading east and then back north again in the direction towards Shrewsbury. That was basically what we did and that was how we set off to do whatever it was that we were supposed to be doing.

And then there was something happening at the bar in the Rue des Juifs as well. We’d all taken musical instruments there and set them up in the alcove as if we were going to have some kind of performance but that was as far as I went with that.

Wednesday 11th May 2022 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

airbus A400m baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… day I’ve had today.

It’s been one of the worst that I’ve had for quite some considerable time, I’m sad to say. So while you admire a few photos of the flight of Airbus A400M aircraft that flew by overhead I’ll tell you all about my sad, sorry tale.

It’s probably something to do with the fact that the medication that I take before I go to bed must have kicked in. i was out like a light almost as soon as my head hit the pillow and that was that. An earthquake could have occurred and a bomb could have gone off but nothing would have awakened me.

airbus A400m baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022The alarm went off at 07:30 and again at 07:45 and again at 08:00 but like Housman’s “Shropshire Lad” who was “One-and-Twenty”, “no use to talk to me”.

The way I was feeling this morning I wouldn’t even have crawled out of bed for Jenny Agutter and Kate Bush, never mind TOTGA, Castor and Zero. It was 10:25 when I finally summoned up the energy to leave my stinking pit, and I was feeling like death.

It goes without saying that there was nothing at all on the dictaphone, and it’s been a long time since that’s been the case. I really was absolutely out of everything last night. And that’s probably the most disappointing part of everything from last night and this morning.

airbus A400m baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Once I’d had my medication and breakfast I came back in here but I was in no fit state to do any work. I spent the morning vegetating all the way up to lunchtime.

For lunch I had the last helping of the leek and potato soup and it was just as delicious as it was when it was fresh. In fact it was probably better with all of the spices having marinaded in.

Just as I was finishing my soup Rosemary rang me up and we had another lengthy chat. She was keen to know how Paris went because we’d talked about it beforehand, and I was keen to hear about her Ukrainian refugees.

But the bad news is that they haven’t arrived. They’ve been caught in a Covid trap and are currently in isolation somewhere along the route.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022After we finished it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk, even if I didn’t feel at all like it.

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

The weather had turned today. It was a lot cooler than it has been so I wasn’t expecting to see many people out there, even if it was school half-day. And there can’t have been more than a dozen people down there this afternoon.

What did catch my eye though was the couple perched up on the rock just to the right of the steps.

suzanga baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having dealt with all of that I headed off down the path towards the lighthouse.

No Nazguls out there this afternoon but we did have one of the trawlers on her way back in to harbour. She’s Suzanga, the newest of the trawlers in port. We first noticed her coming into port in August last year.

Not very many people on the path either this afternoon. I was pretty much alone out there as I admired the flight of Airbus military aircraft that went flying past out at sea. Far too far out for me to be able to read their serial numbers and not having brought my ‘phone with me, I didn’t have a radar on which to pick them up.

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022My walk took me across the car park to the end but there was no-one today sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban this afternoon so I didn’t wait around.

There wasn’t a great deal of activity out at sea either. We’ve seen Suzanga of course and out in the Baie de Mont St Michel there were a couple of yachts having a bit of a sail around the bay. And that really was about it.

At fist I thought that it was a catamaran and I had tio look twice to make sure.

So I set off down the footpath on the other side of the headland heading towards the port to see what was happening down there this afternoon before I went back home for my drink.

repainting l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There was a great deal of activity taking place in the chantier naval this afternoon and almost all of it was centred around L’Ecume II.

We’d seen it the other day looking in rather a sorry state but they’ve been hard at work having stripped off much of the perished paintwork and primed it. But there’s plenty to go at and they’ll be there for a little while yet smartening her up.

Dodging the classe decouverte walking in a queue-lieu-lieu, or “single file”, I carried on down the path towards the inner harbour because I’d noticed that away in the distance I’d seen Thora, one of the little Jersey freighters, tied up at the quayside.

thora leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022However as I drew closer, she slipped her moorings and headed off towards the gate and the open sea.

As she passed through the gates I ambushed her with the camera and took a photo as she headed off back to Jersey. I’ve not taken a decent photo of her for quite a while.

There wasn’t a great deal of anything else happening so I ended up back at the apartment where I forgot to make myself a coffee. I really must be slipping. It’s not like me to forget to make myself a coffee.

But I didn’t relax for long because I had things to do. I have to do some work today even if I don’t feel like it at all.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having eaten the last of my fruit buns this morning I needed to make some more.

So 250 grammes of flour, some dried fruit, a banana, piles of other stuff (and I forgot the dessicated cocount) all went in there and for a change it all mixed up quite nicely.

When I was satisfied with it I divided it into 9 buns and put them in the oven to bake for 40 minutes. And I do have to say that they look, and smell, delicious.

As for what they taste like, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for me to tell you that. But I do reckon that they will be among the best that I have ever baked.

Tea was veggie balls with steamed veg and vegan cheese sauce and it was delicious. And now I’m going to have another go at going to bed. And hoping for a better morning. I have an appointment with the sports therapist tomorrow so I’d better be up and about quite early for that. No lying about stinking in bed.

Tuesday 10th May 2022 – IT REALLY WASN’T …

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… the right kind of day to take your Nazgul out for a spin this afternoon.

This one came to grief at the Pointe du Roc and in all the time that I was watching, he was unable to go back into the air.

It reminded me of a story about a certain young lady. She was only the groundsman’s daughter but she never got off the ground.

Of course, one of these days, there will be stories written about me. Loads of them too. And I know exactly which wall they will be written on too. Not Crewe Bus Station unfortunately, because the public conveniences there have been completely flattened along with everything else in the town centre.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There might have been plenty of issues about what was going on in the air but out at sea there was nothing at all to prevent the crowds from assembling.

When I saw all of these boats congregating offshore I thought to myself that there must be something exciting going on out there, because I haven’t seen so many boats assembled in one place before in the ordinary course of events.

It’s quite possibly a fishing party of some description because most of the boats – with one exception – were stationary out there.

Unfortunately it’s not the kind of thing that will be reported in the local newspaper so we’ll have to pass on this event and leave them to it.

sb934730 le grand bleu yacht zodiac baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But there was something of note going on out at sea this afternoon that was worthy of note, and I’m not talking about the zodiac or the yacht in this photograph.

What caught my eye this afternoon was the trawler – simply because when I checked her registration number – SB934730 – on the database that I have, she wasn’t on it so she must be quite new.

SB stands for Saint Brieuc which is down the Brittany coast past Saint Malo, and the registration number and photograph corresponds with a trawler called Le Grand Bleu.

She was build by the Chantier Naval Bernard at one of their sites in Brittany and was launched on 22nd December 2021.

speedboat trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So be that as it may, let’s turn our attention to what I’ve been up to today while you afmire a few more photos of some sea-going craft.

My day actually started last night when I couldn’t go to sleep no matter how I tried. And I ended up being still here working at 01:30 because I couldn’t thin of what else to do.

When I finally went to bed it didn’t take long to go to sleep but no-one felt less like getting up this morning at 07:30 than I did this morning. In fact, for a couple of hours, if not more, I was right out of everything.

While I was supposed to be revising my Welsh ready for my lesson this morning, I even crashed out a couple of times too and that wasn’t any good at all.

petite laura baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Mind you, when the lesson started I managed to stay awake although I was a long way away from actually contributing very much.

There weren’t all that many of us in our lesson today either so it meant that we had correspondingly more to do. I for one was very glad when the lesson was over and no mistake.

And then it was time for lunch. Another big helping of leek and potato soup and like anything else that is heavily seasone,d it takes so much better the longer that it’s left. I’m certainly looking forward to the final helping tomorrow.

And that reminds me. While we’re on the subject of tomorrow … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ll be eating the last of my fruit buns for breakfast tomorrow morning so I need to make some more in the afternoon.

cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022After I’d finished lunch I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

This was where I was in Paris. I awoke to find that I was totally on my own so I don’t know what was happening with all this going on or not.

And that, surprisingly, was that. It looks as if I didn’t get up to much during the night which is a shame. Who can remember the nights a month ago when I travelled miles with all kinds of wonderful companions holding my hand? It looks as if these pills that the doctor is giving me are having some kind of effect.

That’s something that I find quite depressing. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … what goes on during the night is much more exciting than what happens to me during the day.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Soon enough it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

However, as soon as I put my foot outside the door, the dark, cold hand of doom fell upon me as a Nazgul fluttered by overhead. This one was on his way back to the landing strip which is next-door to the cemetery.

As it happens, I couldn’t think of a better place for the Bird-Men of Alcatraz to take off. If they make a mistake on taking off or on coming in to land, you can just heave the remains over the wall into the cemetery. You don’t have all that far to go at all.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having dealt with the issue of the Nazgul (for the moment) I went over to the wall at the end of the ca rpark to look down on the beach to see what was happening.

There wasn’t a great deal of beach but that didn’t seem to bother too many people. The weather was so nice with the temperature well in the 20s that it had brought everyone out and they were down there sunning themselves.

No-one brave enough to be in the water though which is a surprise. Plenty of people in boats of course but no-one actually in there swimming or splashing about. If they won’t go in there with weather like we had today, I don’t know when they will because this last couple of days have been gorgeous.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Plenty of people on the path wandering around as well as you can see, and also our stranded Nazgul.

That’s a good indication of how nice the weather was today. Not enough wind to keep this one in the air this afternoon. The seagull didn’t have any problems though.

While I was walking along the path towards the end of the headland I was taking a few photos of the boats in the bay. And as you have seen, there were plenty of those this afternoon.

But there was something of a haze out to sea today so photographing the islands out there was simply not possible. They will have to wait for another time when I hope that I’ll be lucky enough to photograph the Channel island ferries out there doing their bit.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022The car park at the end of the path was quite busy too and it was interesting (to say the least) to watch someone reversing around trying his best to knock over a couple of pedestrians walking around there.

But I walked on down to the end of the headland to have a look at the bench there by the cabanon vauban. This would be the kind of day where I would expect to see people sitting there and I wasn’t wrong, was I?.

They were having a grandstand view of all of the activity too this afternoon. Certainly having their money’s worth.

But I was more interested in the coffee that I had remembered to set off before I came out so I wandered off on the path down the other side of the headland towards the port and home.

trawler l'ecume 2 j158 fishing boat valeque sagone d'angawelys chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And I was right about La Roc A La Mauve III. There she was! Gone! And never called me “Mother”!

But I can identify most of the other boats down there this afternoon. The one nearest the camera defeats me for the moment but behind her is Valeque and behind her is the Jersey trawler L’Ecume II.

Yesterday we saw another unidentified boat in there but from this position we can see clearly who she is. She’s called Sagone D’Angawelys.

Having seen the chantier naval closed over the winter while they overhauled the portable boat lift, it’ nice to see the place filling up again. A busy ship repair yard is the sign of a successful port and that’s important.

omerta petite laura sm517594 rocalamauve port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Over at the fish processing plant we still have L’Omerta moored up at the quayside.

Behind her is Petite Laura just coming in to tie up and unload. We saw her earlier out in the bay on her way home.

The boat behind her tucked around the corner is the one that we saw there yesterday. We couldn’t identify her then but I can see who she is from this position. She’s called Rocalamauve and is carrying a Saint Malo registration number.

Back here I had a coffee and then started to play around with the photos, there were so many. But today things are taking me much longer than they usually go. I seem to have lost my enthusiasm somehow.

These days I’m doing that far too often.

Tea was a mushroom and lentil curry that was delicious as usual, and now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. I’m not sure whether to wish for a good night’s sleep or a disturbed night with plenty of travels to keep my interest going.

All of these First-World problems, hey’

Monday 9th May 2022 – HERE’S A SIGHT …

victor hugo belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022…. that I am more than happy to see.

Over there moored at the quayside is Victor Hugo, one of the two ferries that run out to the Channel Islands. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the service from Granville restarted on the 5th of May after a break of over two years (with the exception of one very short week).

There was this worrying feeling that with the end of the gravel boats and the cancellation of the Big Wheel, the ferry to the Channel Islands would be the next thing that this mayor would cancel in his valiant attempt to turn the town into some kind of haven for luxury retirees rather than a working, bustling seaport.

And so I for one am more than pleased to see the service restart.

place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But what comes with one hand goes with the other.

On Saturday I made the remark that the kiddies’ roundabout was back in the Place Charles de Gaulle during the outdoor market. But today, there it was! Gone! And never called me “mother”!

Never mind “musical chairs”. That roundabout is certainly doing the rounds a darn sight quicker than I can keep up with it.

Anyway, last night despite going to bed rather later than I intended, I still managed to be up and about “fairly shortly” after 06:00, beating the second alarm rather comfortably even if I didn’t feel much like it.

After the medication I had two radio programmes to prepare. I’d written the notes while I was in Leuven last week so that saved me some time but even so, it still took an age to complete everything. It wasn’t until 12:35 that both programmes were finished.

There had been a few pauses during the proceedings of course. I felt that I had the kind of thirst that you could photograph so I had several mugs of coffee during the morning, as well as stopping for breakfast.

And then the nurse came round to give me my injection for today.

When it was finished I made myself a big bowl of leek and potato soup. There was a big frozen mass of leeks in the freezer that weren’t doing much and having been brought several packs of hot cross buns last weekend seeing as I had run out, I needed to make some space in the freezer

While that was cooking I went and had a shower and a clean-up. And then filled the washing machine ready for when I go out later. I’m running out of clothes again.

The soup was delicious. Nice and thick and creamy and there’s enough for three days in total. And I’ll have to make some more some other time. The cumin and tarragon in it gave it an additional bite.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having set the washing machine off on a cycle (a very clever washing machine, mine) I went out for my physiotherapy appointment.

First thing though was to stop at the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne where I can look down on what’s going on at the fish processing plant.

And as you might expect, L’Omerta is still tied up there. It looks as if she’s moved in there permanently now. Mind you, the other boat that was there yesterday, Petite Laura, she has moved away. There’s another boat tucked away around the corner but I can’t see who she is.

There were plenty of seagulls floating around down there too, waiting for some shellfish to drop off the quayside.

la granvillaise trawler l'ecume 2 j158 fishing boat valesque le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There was plenty of other excitement going on out there this afternoon.

My attention had been caught by the boat that was over there out at sea. Even though we can’t see her registration number at this distance, my money is on her being G90 – La Granvillaise. The shape of the lasts and the sails, even if they aren’t all unfurled, would seem to indicate that

And there’s still plenty of activity in the chantier naval. From left to right we have an unidentified boat, then L’Ecume II, Valesque, and then another unidentified boat. By the looks of things Le Roc A La Mauve III has finally gone back into the water after all this time.

boules petanque place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022My route into town took me down past the Place Pelley and the Bar Ephemere.

When we came past here on Saturday there wasn’t anyone down there playing boules, which took me by surprise because it seems to be an unstoppable national sport. But they are making up for it today. There are plenty of boulonauts down there right now.

The walk up the hill was strangely difficult today, and I don’t know why that might be. It might have been quite warm outside but nothing else had changed.

And starting today I have a new physiotherapist. She took my X-rays and MRI Scans and then put me through several tests before giving me a few exercises.

At least having all of these different people means that I’m having all kinds of different tests and that can only be a good thing.

ambulance rue couraye rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022On the way home, down at the bottom of the hill there was yet more excitement.

There was an emergency ambulance parked at the corner of the Rue Couraye and the Rue Paul Poirier, complete with blue flashing light. There wasn’t anyone in attendance though and I couldn’t see where they had gone.

On the corner of the Rue Lecampion I had to go to the pharmacy. The nurse this morning asked me to ask them for a container to deposit my discarded needles. He usually takes them away but I imagine that he’s being overloaded right now. I’ve “had the summons” to have my fourth Covid injection (which he’ll be doing next time he passes) and if I’ve been summoned, so has everyone else.

building work rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022If the walk up the hill to the physiotherapist was tough, the walk up the Rue des Juifs back home was even tougher.

There were several occasions where I had to stop to catch my breath, one of which was just by where there was some building work going on. We had a skip lorry with crane and another small lorry in attendance.

It’s one thing that I’ve noticed, that there seems to be more and more renovation work taking place about the town, either rebuilding or renovating existing apartments or building new ones.

It’s quite a boom business now, but I bet that it’s not going to result in many more permanent homes. Holiday accommodation and Air B&B lets seem to be the way that things are going, pricing permanent residents out of the market.

classe decouvert rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Another thing that I’ve mentioned … “quite often” – ed … on these pages is what is called the classe decouverte.

This involves school kids being taken out of their normal environment to experience life elsewhere. And here is one such class, all congregating underneath the tree by the drawbridge into the walled city while someone was telling them all about the French Revolution.

The walled city is quite important because revolutionary forces defended it against counter-revolutionaries in a famous battle during the Revolution.

The conversation sounded quite interesting and I was in half a mind to hang around and hear the end of it but I was gripped by a raging thirst and wanted to go home.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022First though, I had to go down to the wall at the end of the car park to have a look down on the beach to see what is happening down there.

Plenty of people down there sunning themselves on the sand and a couple of people out there on a zodiac. But no-one brave enough to go in the water, which was a surprise because it’s a lovely afternoon right now.

Back here I had a coffee and then listened to the dictaphone to find out where I’ve been during the night. I was starting to shave myself with an electric razor last night but no matter how hard I tried, it hardly made any impact at all. I was there for hours trying to shave my face but there was very little hair coming off. I thought that I was going to be here for hours but I had to do it. Now that I’d started, it would look a mess if I only were to do a bit of it. After about an hour I had a feel of my face. There was still plenty on it in places. There was a knock at the door and a girl came in carrying my breakfast. I was lying on the floor trying to do my face so she didn’t see me at first. Eventually she put down the tray and we had a chat. I offered her some of my breakfast but I was still concerned about this shaving and getting my face done so I could hurry up and go out.

Having listened to the radio programmes that I prepared today, I went for tea. Pie with veg and gravy.

And now that I’ve written my notes I’m off to bed. I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be on form. But there’s not much danger of that.

Sunday 8th May 2022 – I WASN’T WRONG …

… when I said that I was likely to have a bad day today.

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So while you admire a few photos of the various water craft that was out and about offshore this afternoon while I was out on my afternoon walk, I’ll tell you all about it.

It actually all went wrong late last night because having crashed out so definitively yesterday late afternoon, I wasn’t in the least bit tired and it was long after 02:00 when I finally crawled into bed.

Strangely enough, that was round about the same time that I went to bed last Saturday night too but how I wish that it was for the same reason.

Even though it was really nice to be back in my own bed, I was awake at 10:00 and couldn’t go back to sleep again. Nevertheless it was 11:00 when I finally crawled out of bed.

speedboat zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022After the medication I did some work on the radio programmes, pairing off some music for a radio programme that I’ll be preparing in the future.

At the moment I’m almost a whole year ahead which is good news. I have to concentrate on building up a stock ready for if ever I get to go away again and, of course, for another eventuality which you all know.

That took me up to lunchtime – or, rather, brunchtime, because I haven’t had anything to eat yet. Porridge and toast and plenty of strong black coffee to keep me going for the afternoon because, surprisingly, I was starting to flag already.

As I said yesterday, I had a feeling that it was going to be something of a bad day.

zodiac with fishermen baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But not quite yet because there were still things to do.

The first thing was to write a rather difficult message. I’m not very good at expressing my thoughts and emotions, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and I always end up making a total mess of what I’m trying to write.

But when someone who has known me long enough to know better calls me “sweet”, then that’s the kind of message that deserves something of a rather special reply of the type that I’m really no good at all at writing.

Why does life have to be so full of complications? It would be so much better if I could simply rely on the power of thought transmission.

Having finally sent something (and that took much longer than it ought to have done) that I still didn’t think was good enough but was the best that I could do, I attacked the dictaphone.

I was having a dream about having to write letters to people (something of a premonition, I reckon). Someone was writing them on my behalf but something had happened. The situation had changed unexpectedly and the person writing these letters no longer felt comfortable doing it. The situation was not as she imagined it and she didn’t think that it was as I expressed it so she refused to write any more. I had to collect all the pens and papers and make a list of the people who have already had their letter, then sit down and write the letter again myself to every one who had been missed.

And then I was round at someone’s house doing some tidying up for them (as if that’s ever likely to happen. I can’t even tidy up for myself!). They decided that they would go out and I was still there, not making a great deal of progress. I was busy making myself something to eat when one of them came back, the first to come back and started setting out some food on the table. There were some cakes that he was laying out. I noticed that one of them was a plain scone and I wondered if that was for me. If so, that was quite nice of them. Then someone else came in with a strange-looking object that was like a glass globe that the top came off. They said “here, cook your food in that”. I can’t remember if it was porridge or something like that that I was making but I cooked it in this glass globe thing. It swelled up really nicely and when you coupled up a Land Rover to it at the back it looked absolutely perfect. Whatever it was that I was cooking had the look of like a cake or something like that but when I took it out of the microwave it went flat again which was a shame because it really looked so nice in this glass globe thing in the microwave.

As I expected, I fell asleep in the middle of dictating all of this. And then I fell asleep as soon as I had finished. And on the latter occasion, it was a really deep, intense sleep that wiped me out completely. Right the way up to time to go walkies.

And when I set out I was really in no fit state to go.

people in water beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022The first port of call once I was outside was to go down to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach to see what was going on down there.

The tide was on its way out so more and more of the beach was being uncovered. And there were more and more people uncovered too, to such an extent that several of them had actually taken to the water.

And that wasn’t a surprise because it was a gorgeous sunny late Spring day and there wasn’t much wind to cool things down.

even Rover was having a good time too, down at the water’s edge having a good bark at the passing seagulls, trying to chase them away.

fisherman baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Plenty of boats out at sea this afternoon as we have already seen, and plenty of fishermen too.

It seemed as if every rock had its own fisherman perched thereupon this afternoon. I counted a couple of dozen out there casting their lines into the water.

Not that we actually saw anyone catch anything. That’s been a regular theme running through these pages that we have seen hundred upon hundred of fishermen fishing from the rocks and not once have we ever seen anyone pull anything out.

There were crowds of people on the path too. It looked as if the whole town had turned out today for a walk around. After all, it is a Bank Holiday today – VE Day – and that’s quite an important date in the French calendar.

f-gorn Robin DR400-120 Dauphin 2+2 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022While I was out there looking at the sea I was overflown by a light aeroplane heading towards the airfield.

It’s one whom we know quite well – F-GORN, one of the Robin DR400-120 Dauphin 2+2 aeroplanes that they have.

When I returned home later I had a look at the flight database. The only flight that was recorded for her today was one where she took off at 15:07, flew briefly around the bay and landed again at 15:17.

But my photo was taken at 16:03 (adjusted) so she’s obviously been out again later and kept below radar level.

Incidentally, when I say “adjusted”, all of my appliances like cameras, dictaphones etc aren’t adjusted for Summer Time.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Crowds of people out on the paths, as I said earlier, and also a few people sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban.

There was plenty of activity going on out at sea and there’s little doubt that these people were enjoying the spectacle, both maritime and pescatorial. And with plenty of sun and very little wind, why not?

But I can’t stand here all afternoon watching them. I’ve forgotten to put the coffe on before setting out so I need to go home and make it. I headed off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was happening there.

trawler l'ecume 2 j158 fishing boat valesque le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One of the things that I had wanted to do was to check the chantier naval to see what was happening there.

And I was right yesterday when I said that I thought that the trawler there might be a Jersey trawler. Indeed it is, and it’s one whom we have met before. J-158 happens to be the registration number of L’Ecume II and she’s been in the harbour here a couple of times.

Her claim to fame is that a couple of years ago her watch fell asleep at the helm and she ran aground on a sandbank. And by the looks of her hull, she looks as if she’s been having a few more issues as well.

Also in the photo are La Roc A La Mauve III, Valesque and an unidentified inshore fisheries boat.

l'omerta ch646489 petite laura port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yesterday, we saw L’Omerta and another inshore fishing boat over there at the fish processing plant.

They are still here today, and from this viewpoint I can identify the second one. At first I thought that she was Lysandre but on checking her registration number I find that she is actually Petite Laura and she’s a new ship to us. We haven’t seen her before.

You can see in her stern all of the buoys and flags and so on of the type that we see dotted around in the sea just offshore. I’m convinced that they relate to things like lobster pots, indicating where the crew has dropped the pots over the side.

dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having noticed the dredger in port yesterday I was interested in having a closer look at her today.

And I was right. She certainly is St-Gilles Croix-de Vie, she who comes into port quite often.

But I was more interested in looking at the water level in the inner harbour because that looks a lot lower than it usually is. So what’s happening there?

Back here I had a nice surprise. Rosemary has been tidying up at home and she told me that she had sent me a little gift. So in my mailbox was a little parcel containing a little book on identifying ships. That was really nice of her.

Armed with a mug of coffee I came in here and promptly fell asleep again and that’s how I spent most of the late afternoon. I’m not doing too well right now with all of this. The first couple of days after my transfusion always seem to knock me out.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022After lunch I’d taken the last ball of dough out of the freezer.

Now that it had defrosted I rolled it out and left it to proof and then made myself a pizza.

This is the fourth out of this load of dough and I have to say that it was something of a failure becuase 600grams of flour divided into 4 leaves the base too thin. I’ll have to go back to 500 grammes into 3 for the next batch of dough.

So now I’ve written my notes I’m off to bed. I’m having an early start tomorrow to prepare a radio programme so I have to be on form. But where I’m going to find the energy to do it I really don’t know.

Monday 13th December 2021 – I HAVE HAD A …

… very quiet day today.

And that’s not a surprise because after all of the exertions this weekend I was pretty much exhausted, and I need to pace myself ready for my trip to Leuven on Wednesday and my … gulp … three hospital appointments on Thursday.

And although I’m not going to say anything particular about the rotten night that I had last night, I will say that the alarm didn’t go off this morning (I’d put it on “silent” in the cinema on Saturday night and forgotten to unsilence it later) but it made no difference because I was already awake.

There must have been some point during the night where I dozed off to sleep because according to the dictaphone I’d been off on my travels. We were at my father’s place of work last night, Nerina and I, and my father was there. The night before, they’d asked me to take a bus out and I’d been doing bus services around rural North-East Cheshire into the Manchester area in a red double-decker. I’d really enjoyed it and I’d come back and was quite ready to go for more. My father told me that they’d even given me a cash bonus for having done it. They had an 8-wheeled on the pit. They’d just finished servicing it. He told Nerina to get into the cab. He showed her all the controls, she started up the lorry and he told her to go and drive it over to the yard, so she did. He came over to chat to me and said, “well, she’s keen enough so there’s no reason to stop her doing it”. She came back. I had a huge power bar, an extension and a socket and I couldn’t remember what I was going to do with it, walking over to a bus. A guy came out of a door and said “how are you short for wet and dry paper?” I replied “all we can get, I suppose”. My father came over and told him how many we need and then he asked me if I wanted any. I couldn’t think for a moment but Nerina said that she wanted some but said to this guy “make sure that I have a receipt so that I can pay you how much is on the receipt”. She said afterwards “it all sounds very fishy to me and I wondered if they were trying to entrap us all into getting this stuff so I wanted to make it clear that I was going to pay for mine”.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I set about dealing with the radio programme. And by 11:15 this morning it was all up and running. And that includes stopping for a coffee and, later on, for breakfast. And while I was listening to it afterwards, I did some tidying up on the computer.

A shower was next and of all that weight loss that I mentioned the other day, I’ve put most of it back on even though I haven’t done anything that would have contributed to that. Either my scales are up the spout or else my water retention issues are accelerating.

After lunch I sorted myself out again and then headed off to the physiotherapist.

j158 trawler l'ecume 2 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021As I walked down to the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne, I noticed that there was a trawler coming into port.

And judging by her registration number – J158 – she’s the Jersey trawler L’Ecume II whom we saw in port a few days ago. She’s managed to find her way back into harbour again this afternoon without her crew falling asleep at the helm and running aground on a sandbank.

But her presence here in Granville proves that the British gutter press that is insisting that French ports are locking British fishing boats out of their harbours is talking the most unadulterated garbage.

normandy warrior port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021There’s another ship from Jersey here in port this afternoon too.

We can tell by the absence of the upper deck at the stern of this boat that it’s Normandy Warrior, not her sister Normandy Trader.

There’s a huge pile of freight on the quayside here that needs to be loaded onto her deck and she’s going to be a while before all of that is stowed safely on board.

From there I wandered through the town centre and up the hill on the other side to the physiotherapist.

After the usual 5 minutes’ warm-up on the cross trainer she had me doing some kinetic exercises and finishing off on the tilting platform – with 5 minutes’ overtime too.

ON the way home there wasn’t anything of any excitement whatsoever and I had a leisurely stroll home.

cutting trees boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021At the top of the hill at the Boulevard Vaufleury the workmen had been out this afternoon.

While I was on my travels yesterday I noticed that there were “no waiting” signs in the parking spaces just here, and this would seem to be the reason why.

There’s a long row of trees all the way down the road and they have been out there this afternoon trimming the trees. This is the time to do it when the sap is dying down and they will be ready for the Spring when the birds are looking for sites to build their nests.

lorry full of paving stones porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021While I’d been looking at the trees a large lorry went past me.

There was a skip on the back of the lorry – a skip that I recognised as the one that had been left on the car park over the weekend.

It’s now on the back of the lorry and it’s loaded up with these builders’ sacks full of cobbles. And presumably it’s waiting there for the fork lift truck to come from the roadworks in the Rue St Michel to take a few of them away. Presumably he can’t fit through the arch to take them himself

If I have time, I’ll nip down that way again before I leave to Leuven and see how they are doing.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Before I went back into my apartment I went to have a look down on the beach.

And there wasn’t anythign at all going on down there this afternoon. The tide was well in and it was going dark so I imagine that that would put most people off the idea of going for a stroll down there.

Back in the apartment I made myself a hot coffee and then had a little relax. I wasn’t up to doing much work this afternoon. I was pretty tired after all of this exertion.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap with baked potato and vegetables and it was delicious as always.

But now even though it’s early, I’m off to bed. We have our last Welsh lesson of the year tomorrow and I have plenty of revision and preparation to do.

Wednesday 1st December 2021 – ONCE AGAIN I HAVEN’T …

… done anything like as much today as I had wanted to.

There have been a variety of reasons for this – not the least being that I had yet another dreadful night, wide-awake at 05:20 and lying there waiting for the alarm to ring at 07:30. I tell you – I’m thoroughly sick of all of this.

As you might expect, it took a good few minutes for me to summon up the energy to leave my bed this morning and then I was pretty much wasted for the rest of the day.

After the medication I had a shower to clean myself up and bang on time Laurent came round for me. We went off to meet Thierry and then the three of us went off to meet Father Christmas and his blasted elves.

As I thought, the interview turned out to fall rather flat. I could understand the logic (whether I agreed with it or not) of submitting the questions in advance, I totally disagreed with the idea of “suggested replies”.

Children have a really fertile imagination and they need to be encouraged to develop it. And sometimes they can come up with some fascinating responses. But having them blindly reading off a script is a pretty dismal activity and it destroys the spontaneity of it all.

Having them all sitting around a table was another bad idea too because it’s always the more powerful ones who are heard. I would have interviewed them one by one where the kids could have responded without any peer pressure and chosen the pick of the answers.

In other words, this affair was micro-managed to an overwhelming degree and Laurent and I were quite disappointed about how it turned out. What had given us the idea for this was that two years ago wandering around the streets one night we had come across Father Christmas and subjected him to an off-the cuff interview. That was a resounding success.

While I was there I took a few photos of Father Christmas and his elves but I can’t publish them of course.

Back here Laurent came in for a coffee and we had a good chat about a few things, and made a few plans for the future.

After he left I went outside to wipe the rust-proofing liquid off the wheels and dry them, but painting them was out of the question. There was a howling gale again and it was sleeting.

Lunch was late again and afterwards I had the morning’s photos to edit and send off. They’ll choose one to illustrate our programme when it’s ready to broadcast.

trawler thora arriving at port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Once I’d finished that it was time for me to go off for my physiotherapy session.

The wind was if anything rather worse than it had been earlier and it was rather difficult to walk.

And I wasn’t the only one having difficulty moving around either. There was a trawler out at sea battling with the storm to come into port and behind her, Thora was being thrown about by the elements.

When I took this photo she was actually being blown sideways by the wind and was coming into port rather like a crab.

pointing wall Rampe du Monte à Regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Down at the wall at the Rampe du Monte à Regret the pointing of the wall was proceeding apace.

Mind you, I’m not sure what was happening there earlier. On our way back from Father Christmas there was an ambulance and a police car parked up at the side.

The personnel of the vehicles seemed to be quite interested in what was going on down below but as I wasn’t driving and as we had other things to do, I couldn’t go over and have a look.

If it’s anything interesting or important, it’ll be in the local paper in the morning.

Halfway up the hill towards the physiotherapist’s, I had to stop. Not because I was out of breath but because we suddenly had another torrential downpour. I had to nip into a doorway and put on my rain jacket.

It reminded me of how Superman and all of these other superheroes used to dash into telephone boxes and emerge seconds later with their underpants on outside their trousers. Where do they go to change now with the rise of mobile ‘phones and the demise of telephone boxes?

And then of course, there was my brother. He was often seen with his underpants on outside his trousers, but that was less to do with any superhero status and more to do with the fact that he didn’t have both paddles in the water.

No tilting platform today. There was the usual 5 minutes on the cross trainer and then a load of kinetic exercises that somehow took their toll of me.

She had me once more walking along this narrow beam and throwing a ball about. She was impressed with my reflexes co-ordination but as I have said before, my previous life as a goalkeeper and wicket-keeper had a lot to do with that.

father christmas decorations Place Général de Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021On the way home I came via the Place General de Gaulle.

On the way up to the physiotherapist’s I’d seen a few council workmen on up on ladders working on the trees and I was interested to see what they had been doing with them.

By the time that I returned, the workmen had gone but I noticed that some of the trees were now festooned with decorations. And if you ask me my opinion, it’s all a load of balls.

christmas decorations rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of years ago Strawberry Moose reckoned that the Christmas decorations in the Rue Paul Poirier WERE ALL BALLS too.

THis year though, there’s been a change, and not before time either. This year we have the street lined with artificial “Christmas Trees”.

Now what was I saying a few days ago about them recycling the same old decorations year after year and wishing that they would make a change?

Clearly, a great many people are very interested in the contents of my pages and pay them a great deal of attention.

La Bavolette Ii thora marité belle france joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021A short while ago we saw Thora having a bit of a struggle to make it into port.

Well she finally arrived, as you can see in this photo, moored up at the loading bay in front of Marité, with Belle France and the newer Joly France ferry – the one with the smaller upper-deck superstructure, moored alongside her.

The little trawler in the background is an interesting boat. She’s called La Bavolette II – at least, for the moment. And I mean that too because in the past she’s been known by several different names.

She was built in 1982 out of wood and displaces 40 tonnes

philcathane l'ecume II port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021This trawler is much more interesting though.

Not Philcathane, of course – not that she isn’t interesting in herself but she hasn’t had the adventures that the other one in the photo has had.

You can tell by her registration number – beginning with “J” – that she’s a Boat from Jersey and how long is it since we’ve seen a boat from the Channel Islands here in port with all of the shenanigans that are going on right now?

There’s a great deal of talk about illegal fishing right now and this trawler – she’s called L’Ecume II by the way, can tell you an awful lot about that because on two occasions about which I know, her crew has been in the dock and emerged with their pockets far lighter than they were when they went in.

And not only that, 18 months ago she found herself stuck on a sandbank because her helmsman had fallen asleep at the wheel.

In other words, she’s quite a well-known boat, for one reason or another.

storm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021However I wasn’t going to hang around and admire her for too long.

As you can see, out in the Baie de Mont St Michel there was quite a storm brewing up and the gale-force wind was blowing it my way.

As a result, I wasn’t going to hang around. I was going to head for home and a hot mug of coffee, and make plans about what I was going to do for the rest of the week. I actually have a day at home without any interruptions at all – but just you watch all that change.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Before I went in I went to have a look at the beach

And that was rather a waste of time because there wasn’t any beach to look at today. The tide was right in now and the water was at the foot of the cliffs. All I had for my pains was a good battering by the wind.

Back here I had my coffee and sat down to try to do some work.

Checking my messages there was a mail from my Welsh course telling me what ingredients I need for the Christmas Cake I’ll be baking on-line on Friday evening. Treacle isn’t available here so I ended up asking Liz for advice on a replacement and chatting to her for quite a while.

For some reason, tea was quite an effort tonight. I’m experiencing brain-fade – not quite as bad as the nonsense I was churning up last night – but I couldn’t think of what to have for tea. I’d really run aground.

In the end I settled for a burger and pasta. That was the best that I could do.

Right now, although I haven’t crashed out today, I’m thoroughly exhausted so I’m off to bed where I hope that I’ll sleep until I awaken.

But not much hope of that, I’m afraid. All of this is really depressing me.