Tag Archives: lie in

Sunday 25th September 2022 – IT’S SUNDAY …

55-qj baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… today and so I had my usual lie in. And as you admire a few photographs of examples of the local aviation, I’ll tell you all about it.

Not that it was all that much of a lie-in because despite not going to bed until 02:00, I was up and about by 10:30 this morning. And that’s not the usual way of doing things on a Sunday.

In fact, I could actually have been out of bed much earlier than that. I was debating whether to leave the bed and do some work round about 08:30 and that would have been a miracle in itself.

Thinking about it, I really ought to have made something of an effort, just for the sake of it.

helicopter baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After the medication this morning I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

This was something to do with a dog that was hanging around where I lived. I didn’t like it at all. I hated dogs so I was not interested in the least in anything that was going to happen with this dog. In the end we injected it with something that was guaranteed to kill it. Then I had to take a computer out to someone. We took the computer and prepared everything and then went outside. Then I realised that we didn’t have the cable for it so we’d have to go back. We popped in roundabout where the sofa with this dog was that we’d injected. I went back in and went to pick up the cable that was plugged into this plugboard, and the dog got up and started to move about wagging its tail. I told it to go and lie down again and go to sleep. I was really bewildered about this in the dream, wondering what on earth was happening. It was such a surprise in the dream when this dog actually got up when i’d just put it to sleep 5 minutes earlier.

Back in the War, we were preparing for the defence of Jersey. The island fell very quickly so once the War was over there was a kind-of war game. We found an old bunker that had a lathe in it with an electric fan. There was some kind of slicing machine that went on the lathe. We found a way where you could drop hand grenades from this bunker down underneath it if anyone had entered the cellars. We considered that this bunker would have held out for quite some time and probably several others too that were built to the same style although it was never publicly announced as to how they had been built. Of course all of this had been rendered useless in June 1940 when the Germans simply marched into Jersey with no opposition. It was really only a theoretical exercise but having done it we were convinced that we could have held out for a considerable period of time.

I can’t remember where we were next but it was something to do with some Chinese people. They lived in a town where the industrial estate and residential ares were not distinctly separated. Sometimes it was very hard to tell which was the residential building and which was an industrial premises. Having lost a trailer from somewhere or other that we had to find it was very important that we worked it out fairly quickly.

The rest of the day has been spent carrying on with where I left off yesterday. I’ve still not had the replies that I would like so I’ve had to proceed by guesswork and that’s not really all that easy either because I’m more than likely to guess incorrectly.

Things are a little clearer in my head now though, at least for the important parts of it and the rest will surely follow as night will follow day. But I can’t do anything about any other part until next weekend.

So on that note I wandered off outside for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As usual I wandered over across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

The sunbathers have now all gone home and the only people about and about are the walkers going out to take the air, like this lot here.

And they were all that there was around here. There wasn’t anyone else around here at all.

And there wasn’t anything going on out at sea either. The view was really good out at sea just now but apart from a couple of yachts out towards Jersey, that was really that.

With it being a Sunday I decided to go for a walk around the walls this afternoon instead of around the headland.

medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022From the Place du Marché aux Chevaux there is a good view over the wall and for a change there was no-one obstructing the view. No-one blocking the view of the base of the wall on the outside this afternoon either so I had an uninterrupted view of the repairs.

They had dismantled quite a lot of that and regular readers of this rubbish will recall the big hole that appeared in the wall at one time as they were repairing it, but now they have gone we can see the kind of job that they have done.

And the work that they have done really does look good. I was hoping that the workmen would now come back and work on something else that needs fixing but so far they have been conspicuous by their absence.

So from here I pushed on along the path nderneath the wall towards the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

tidal swimming pool diving platform beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And the end of the season is quite apparent here. For a start, the cabins and the crown off the diving platform have now been removed and placed into store.

No-one was swimming around in the tidal swimming pool either and there are no lifeguards on duty from what I can see.

There are just a couple of people now wandering around on the beach, and they are dressed for autumn too. Bikini days are over now, which is a shame. I can put my eyes back in.

Down in the Place Marechal Foch there was nothing happening, so I wandered off through the Square Maurice Marland. There wasn’t much happening there although a bunch of kids were having a really good time with a small ball.

ride on lawn mower port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There’s a little bit more freight on the quayside this afternoon too.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when we walked past here last weekend there were some red dumpers on the quayside. They found their way to Jersey on Wednesday.

Today we seem to have acquired a green ride-on mower. There isn’t anything in the way of grass down on the quayside so it looks as if this mower is going to follow the dumpers out to the Channel Islands the next time that Normandy Trader comes into port.

It’s good news anyway and as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any. And we need good news after hearing that the gravel boats have definitely finished coming.

Why St Malo would have bought the gear I really don’t know. They are rather constrained for space in there right now as there is a 6,000-tonne Russian freighter, the Vladimir Latyshev, marooned in the port because of sanctions. She’s been there now for 117 days

As the aeroplane 55-OJ flew by over head, followed by an unidentified helicopter, I set off for the long walk home.

street art place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022At the Place Cambernon, we had something that I hadn’t noticed before.

Unfortunately I can’t say when this piece of street art appeared but I can’t recall seeing it the last time that I passed. It’s not actually what I would call “professional” and it isn’t up to the standard of street art that we’ve seen elsewhere.

However it had drawn the attention of several of the passers-by and it’s livened up the place a little.

We can see it a lot better now though because the newsagents has gone onto winter house and is closed. There was just the bar, La Rafale, with a few tables out today, and not too many customers were there either this afternoon.

la maison du guet place du parvis notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home I went past my favourite house.

This is the Masion du Guet – the “Watch House” (“Watch” as in being a group of people engaged in observation) and was originally built by a carpenter in the 17th Century but in 1696 the French Minister of War ordered the walls to be cleared and demolished.

When the walls were restored, a house was built on the original site and has slowly been extended over time.

Today though, I doubt if they would be allowed to extend it. But with the scaffolding being there, it looks as if they are working on it, maybe doing a little restoration or renovation work.

F-GBAI Robin DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Jamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third” as they say around here. So sure enough, as I was heading for home I was overflown again.

This one is much more like it – being one of our usual suspects. She’s F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local aero club.

She had taken off from here at 15:17 and slipped off the radar near Avranches at 15:48. She was then picked up on radar near Avranches at 16:54, flew over airfield at Granville and inland before performing a U-turn to come back, and then disappeared off the radar near the airfield at 17:00.

My photo was taken at 16:52 (adjusted) sometime during the period when she was flying under the radar.

Back at home with a coffee, I carried on with my work and then went for tea.

No pizza tonight though. I’m still dealing with the arrears in the fridge. And cooking a vegan burger in the air fryer was yet another success.

In a few minutes I’m off to bed. An early start in the morning as I have a radio show to prepare. And I might well have to go out for a few hours too. There’s something going on with the radio tomorrow and my presence has been requested.

Wonders will never cease.

Thursday 22nd September 2022 – HAVING SPENT …

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… all the afternoon writing up my notes from yesterday, I’m now going to spend all the evening writing up the notes from today.

And notes a-plenty there will be too because there was quite a bit of activity going on in and around the headland this afternoon while I was on my afternoon walk.

And of the 20 photos that survived the cut, there will be plenty to say about them too. No time like the present so I shall have to make a start.

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And so while you sitting comfortably admiring plenty of photos of the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter F-ZBQA practising its craft along with its crew this afternoon, I shall begin.

And I’ll begin where I left off, which was coming home last night after midnight, letting it all hang out, the dirty stop-out that I am.

It’s hardly a surprise that once I settled in my chair I couldn’t summon up the energy to go to bed. In the end, it was after 02:00 that I finally called it a night staggered off into bed.

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022One thing that I regretted was not checking the fitbit.

While we were on our way back to Granville I noticed that I was on 93% of my daily activity. But walking around while we waited for a table must have clocked up well over 100%

However when I checked after I returned home, it showed just 1%. Of course, it was after midnight wasn’t it, and so it had reset and I’d missed what was the final total.

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was no alarm last night. I’d switched it off in the hope of having a decent sleep to compensate me for my efforts.

However, it didn’t work out like that. I ended up awakening at 06:30 and at various times thereafter. Had I set my mind to it I could have been out of bed a long time before … errr … 10:30.

Some stuff on the dictaphone too but I didn’t have the time to deal with it right away. It wasn’t until almost bedtime that I managed to find a moment to deal with it..

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022I was back home. I’d been out for a very long walk but for some unknown reason I was only half-dressed. I was in one of the upstairs rooms. I could hear everyone downstairs and the clanking of plates as if it was lunchtime. I thought that I’d betther finish dressing so I grabbed the rest of my clothes, went into the bedroom and dressed. I came out and the sofa had gone. I had who had moved the sofa. My mother stuck her head in the door and asked “what do you mean?”. “The sofa – where’s it gone?”. She pointed to it being stood up in a corner out of my view. She must have been past and cleaned the floor. I went to put down the sofa. She said “you can do that afterwards. It’s mealtime. Come down and have something to eat with the rest of us”.

F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Having dealt with the medication the next task was to sort out the photos from yesterday.

And when I’d finished those, I could make a start on the notes from all of the places that we visited while we were on our trip out.

Another purpose of this blog is to make me much better-acquainted with what is happening around here and in other places that I visit. And I’m certainly learning an awful lot. That’s because taking photographs is one thing, writing notes about what I photograph is something else completely.

fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while you admire all of the photos of the water craft that were out there today (and weren’t there a lot?) I was busy researching the photos from yesterday.

It takes a lot of discipline to do it correctly, and I’ve had to learn how to discipline myself. After all, what with the Recession, I can no longer afford that woman in Soho.

And so I settled down with the computer, a couple of ancient guide books, my book on the Hundred Years War and started to work.

fishing kayak baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Incidentally, while we’re on the subject of the Hundred Years War … “well, one of us is” – ed … for most British people, it’s a story of Crecy, Agincourt, Poitiers and a few other things too, mostly inspired by William Shakespeare.

For the French however, it was something else completely. When there was no major fighting, there were bands of discharged soldiers roaming around the country at will, terrorising the civilians and committing all kinds of bestial acts.

In addition, there were what they called chevauchées, raiding parties led by noblemen who would use terror as a means of enriching themselves and their followers by any means possible.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022All in all, it was a total nightmare for the civilian population in France. Imagine the events that have happened so far in Ukraine lasting for 116 years, from 1337 to 1453.

A few years ago, while I was rummaging around in a junk shop like you do … “like SOME of you do” – ed … I came across an old book written in French that described the Hundred Years War from the French point of view in almost 500 pages.

Obviously, it was far too good a purchase to miss and so I’ve been having a good read of it today as I’ve been working.

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022That’s because the history of Avranches and Mont St Michel are pretty-much tied up with what was happening during the Hundred Years War.

For example, the dramatic and rapid modifications to the entrance to Mont St Michel, brought about by the rapid and dramatic development of field artillery that rendered obsolete each modification almost as soon as it was completed.

It took ages to do because there were the usual interruptions, like coffee, lunchtime fruit, and all that kind of thing too.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Not forgetting the afternoon walk around the headland either.

And i’m glad that I went out despite all the work because it was a beautiful day. And there were several people down there on the beach enjoying it, as I discovered when I went over to the wall at the end of the car park.

They weren’t actually sunbathing, although they may well have done because it was that nice today. I’d actually gone out without a sweater today and I’d even had the fan on in the office for a short while.

yellow autogyro baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022We’ve seen plenty of stuff going on out at sea, and also quite a bit in the air too.

But the helicopter wasn’t all that was going on up there. As I set off to tramp around the headland I was overflown.

Having seen one of the powered hang gliders yesterday down at Mont St Michel, it’s the turn of the yellow autogyro to go down there, I suppose, and I caught her on her way back to the airfield.

There were two people on board this afternoon so it looks as if there has been an interested spectator today.

normandy trader baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While i’d been walking around, I’d seen something larger than the usual trawler heading our way from the direction of St Helier.

It didn’t take a moment to work out that it was in fact Normandy Trader coming in to port, presumably to pick up the freight that we saw being dropped at the quayside the other day.

We can tell that it’s she because of the raised platform at the back of the wheelhouse. Her sister Normandy Warrior has a larger wheelhouse but no raised platform behind it, carrying all her freight in the hold.

people watching air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There were crowds of people out there this afternoon in the nice weather.

Plenty milling around up and down the path, but by far the most of them standing around on the lawn or on the car park watching what was going on with F-ZBQA, the air sea rescue helicopter Eurocopter EC 145 that usually lives at Donville les Bains.

She’d been flying around quite a lot while I’d been out for my walk, and so I wasn’t convinced that this was a “real” rescue. I was of the opinion that it was more of a drill or a training rather than anything else.

cabanon vauban person sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And so all in all, this afternoon there was tons of stuff going on, more than enough to keep anyone entertained.

And so for that reason, I was puzzled by the apparent insouciance of the person sitting on the bench down at the cabanon vauban.

There he was, in a ringside seat with all of this going on. The best seat in the house and he seemed to be casually reading a book instead of watching all the activity unfolding right before his eyes.

There’s no accounting for taste, is there?

normandy trader baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022When I saw Normandy Trader just now I thought to myself that with all of the activity going on just outside the port, she’s going to have something of a surprise when she goes around the headland and finds herself in the middle of whatever is going on.

So around the corner she came, and the first thing that I noticed was that she didn’t have all that much freight on board.

She usually carries the shellfish from the Jersey Fishermen’s Co-operative but since Brexit that’s not been a very easy product to export

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … after Brexit you can catch as much fish as you like without any let or hindrance, but it counts for absolutely nothing if you don’t have a market in which to sell it.

normandy trader air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So here she comes, right into the thick of the action.

A little later on, I spoke to Nathan, her skipper. He told me that he was impressed by the welcome that he received today.

But anyway, while I watched what was going on, the Eurocopter was lowering down someone to where there was a buoy, and then just hauling him up again, with all of the proceedings being surveyed by the small boat directly underneath.

“Definitely a training exercise” I said to myself.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With all of that going on, it was easy to forget that there was other activity too today.

This is a scene that had it happened on any other day, it would have been headline news. It’s the moment when they are about to open the gates and let all of the fishing boats into the inner harbour.

Consequently they are all queueing up there at the gate and there are plenty of others at the Fish Processing Plant who have already unloaded who are now waiting their turn to go inside and ties up for the day.

This would have made quite a dramatic photograph on its own.

charles marie yachts air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With Normandy Trader having gone past on her way into port, next on the scene is Charles Marie.

She’s a charter yacht who takes out private parties or else organised day-trips when she isn’t doing anything else. She has about a dozen people on board and I’m sure that they are all having more than their money’s worth this afternoon.

As well as that, I bet that there isn’t much being taught in the yachts at the sailing school that have gone out this afternoon. They probably have other things on their minds too.

normandy trader entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So as Normandy Trader headed into port and F-ZBQA headed back to base for presumably a change of crew, I headed off back home.

And armed with a mug of hot coffee and a handful of brazil nuts, I carried on with my notes from yesterday.

Tea tonight was a taco roll with left-over stuffing. And with the stuffing having been marinating now since Monday night, it was even more delicious than usual.

But now I have other fish to fry after this evening’s marathon. Work is never finished, is it?

There’s a lot more to do tomorrow as I have some plans festering away in the background. I’m ready to have another day off and I’ve only been back at work for a day.

Sunday 11th September 2022 – WHILE THIS GUY …

kayak baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… on his kayak goes paddling by the end of the headland at the Pointe du Roc, I was busy recovering from yesterday.

Far too tired to go to bed, and far too tired to do anything else after my exertions yesterday, it was rather late when I finally went to bed.

For a couple of hours I was having quite a good sleep and then all of the tossing and turning began and the rest of the night was quite disturbed.

If I had had the energy and initiative (both of which are sadly lacking these days) I could have been up and about a lot earlier than 10:45. But then again it IS Sunday and I’m entitled to have one day of lying in bed vegetating.

red powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And as the red powered hang-glider goes gliding by overhead while I was out in the Place d’Armes, I was busy taking my medication and then sitting down to start work.

And work on a Sunday? Yes! Especially when I had a day like yesterday when I didn’t write up my notes.

It took much longer than I ought to have done too, but then again with it being Sunday I wasn’t quite as dedicated as I might otherwise have been. There are always interruptions, one thing leads to another and once you make a start you’ve no idea just how many other things there are.

And this took me up to lunchtime.

It was the usual Sunday breakfast of porridge, toast and plenty of strong black coffee, and a good proportion of my porridge ended up in the bin.

Whyever that would be I have no idea. It’s not like me to leave food that I have made. I usually have a very good idea of how much food I’m able to eat and this was just a usual proportion.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While these people scramble across the rocks with their equipment for the pèche à pied, I began to deal with the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing.

Having been out all day yesterday I hadn’t paired off the music for Monday’s work and so I sat down to do it after my meal.

The joints went together really well and it sounds quite good. And I’m getting to grips with the idea of intros, and extended the one for Monday’s opening track so that there would be enough time to superimpose the introductory speech.

There was also a good lead-in for the speech from this week’s guest and that impressive as well.

And that took me up to the time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The weather was much nicer today – in fact I had the window open again – so there was a good possibility that it would bring out the crowds.

There were plenty of people down there too just as I expected. Plenty of them in the sea too “taking the waters” and that’s quite impressive. We’re approaching the start of Autumn and everything will be cooling down.

The tide was well-out this afternoon – far too far out for people at the Plat Gousset to be taking advantage of it – so it was quite quiet down at that end of the beach. No-one in the water down there unless it was in the tidal swimming pool that I can’t see from here.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And you can see just how far out the tide is right now.

We’re used to seeing the marker lights on the rocks at the end of the Ile de Chausey, but it’s rare to see them so far out of the water like this.

It makes quite a contrast from what we are used to seeing when we are looking out from here or going past on a boat.

That will explain the people that we saw just now on the rocks at the end of the Pointe du Roc on their way out for a bit of pèche à pied .

F-GIKI Robin DR.400-120 Dauphin 2+2, chassis number 1931 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While we were out here on the clifftop there was an aeroplane that had taken off from the airfield.

She’s F-GIKI, a Robin DR.400-120 Dauphin 2+2, chassis number 1931 that is owned by the Aero Club of Granville.

She was picked up on radar at 16:20 just offshore from here, flew over Mont St Michel, deep into Brittany and came back over St Malo, coming back in to land at 17:57.

My photo was timed at 16:17 (adjusted) so that’s probably about right. She must be under the radar just here.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Taking my life into my hands, I decided to restart my walks down to the end of the headland.

Fighting my way past the crowds, I came in the end to the bunker at the back of the lighthouse where there’s a good view out to sea.

The view out to sea today towards Jersey wasn’t as good as it might have meen but down the coast it was one of the best that we have had. Cap Fréhel was visible with the naked eye today, and even the lighthouse could be identified.

Having clambered up there to the top of the bunker I took a photo, and I’ve not enhanced it at all.

pointe de carolles Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The view down the bay on the other side of the headland was just as good.

The Pointe de Carolles was looking quite beautiful this afternoon. The sun was catching it quite nicely and we could see the houses down there quite clearly. However they aren’t all that far away.

The hotels down at the head of the Baie de Mont St Michel are much farther away but even so, we can see them quite clearly this afternoon as well, in the background just to the right of the Pointe de Carolles.

It’s a shame that we can’t see Mont St Michel from here – that is, not until someone decides to dynamite the headland over there.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The walk down to the end of the headland was undertaken quite gingerly, sliding about on my gammy leg on the loose gravel and rough surface.

As we have already seen, there was plenty of activity down there with the kayak, the pèche-à-pied and all of the views. And so it’s no surprise that this afternoon there were a few people down there making the most of it.

There’s a woman down there hiding in the bushes but I’ve really no idea what she’s doing, and the knee of someone sunbathing too.

Plenty of people wandering around on the lower path as well enoying the lovely afternoon.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, there has been something exciting happening in the inner harbour by the looks of things.

Both od the sailing ships, Marité and Shtandart, have left the port and are out at sea. Marité must have simply gone for a lap around the bay as she did yesterday, because she came back into port at 19:51 this evening.

As for Shtandart, it’s much more difficult to keep track of her. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that she has switched off her AIS beacon and so I’m not able to find out by reference to my radar where she might be.

For all I know, she might even br back in port but it’s dark outside so I won’t be able to see anyway.

Having checked the harbour this afternoon I headed for home.

customs patrol porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And this was something that took me rather by surprise. I’m used to finding police barrages all over the place and even customs barrages. Regular readers of this rubbish in one of its previous guises will recall that I’ve even been caught in a few of them.

But what I don’t understand is why on earth they would want to have a customs barrage underneath the Porte St Jean. It’s not as if they are going to come across too many foreign smugglers there or people driving their cars on red diesel.

In fact the funniest moment that I ever had with a French “flying customs patrol” was back in 2002 when they took ages to set up all of their equipment to check the fuel of a lorry that I was driving, only to find out that it was in fact petrol-engined.

Back here there were the dictaphone notes to transcribe. All of them. There was Hans, Alison, Caroline and me. Caroline was in a wheelchair. We came into a building to go upstairs. Caroline went up first because she was going to bring down Aunt Mary in her wheelchair so that we could go up and visit whoever else was in her apartment. We waited and waited but nothing happened. We went upstairs to the floor, going up the stairs. The lift came back and Caroline exiited pushing the person on a wheelchair. We asked Caroline what had happened. She said that the panel had fallen down and you can’t see the buttons to press. We walked in there and a cupboard in there had fallen over blocking the entrance to the lift properly so we just stood it upright. I went to pull Caroline in and this other wheelchair. I thought that I would be blocked in here so I’d have to go down with them and back up. I stepped out. Caroline asked “how do I get in now?”. Suddenly Hans took her wheelchair, folded it up, stuck it in her hand and pushed them both inside it. Alison looked at Hans and said “I thought that you’d do well living in France”. The lift didn’t move but we were now focusing on getting to this door. Caroline would have to fend for herself to make the lift go downstairs and back up again.

Later I was in a white Ford Transit van driving from Nantwich to Crewe. As we reached Wells Green there was a vehicle in the middle of the road turning right so I passed underneath him on the left. Just as I passed him on the left a Morris Minor Traveller came the other way on my side of the road and hit all down the side of the van. Of course I stopped. Some guy came over who said that he had seen the accident. There was a girl there so he pointed me out to her. I shouted to her to come over. She was shouting some guy’s name. I went over to her and asked her why she wouldn’t come over and talk to me about the accident. She replied “no, I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it” and continued to shout this boy’s name. I said “right, let’s call the police”. I picked up my phone to dial 999 but she ran off up the road towards Nantwich. I ‘phoned the police and told them that I was involved in this accident but the driver had taken flight. They said that they’d be here in a moment.

And then we were in a hotel somewhere. There was a big business meeting taking place. I’d arrived early and was waiting maybe for Alison to show up. People stated arriving, all these upper echelons. I was amazed about how they were behaving, insisting, demanding, peremptory with the staff. One guy whom I noticed was particularly revolting with them. another guy sitting near me who was sprawled out on his chair listening to his music, someone walked past and pulled the plug out of the wall accidentally as they were going past. He was outraged and called on them to come back but they can’t have heard and just carried on walking etc. But he had put his power cable across the aisle so what did he expect? Eventually I noticed that it was approaching 16:00 and we had things to do so I decided to go upstairs which meant disturbing this guy again which wasn’t very popular. There was some stuff on the floor by the seat that I thought was mine so I went to pick it up. he made a scene about it as it was his. eventually I made sure that I had everything I need and began to set off for my room. I was really embarrassed by the behaviour of some of these people checking in at this hotel. It wasn’t a good signal for any of them.

I can’t remember very much about this one. I was with Nerina and I’d gone away early for Christmas. She was saying something along the lines of “you can tell that you’re popular when people waited until after you’d gone to bring in their Christmas gifts for each other”. I replied that that’s not true at all because people give their Christmas gifts around before they themselves go on holiday. There were a couple of people who went on holiday before me who brought in Christmas gifts for everyone including me”. That’s about all that I remember

Finally I was watching the football last night as well. Mike Wilde of Connah’s Quay Nomads took a really quick throw-in down the touchline to one of his players who beat someone and passed inside where one of his team-mates was totally unmarked. He came into goal with a on-on-one situation with the keeper. he pushed the ball past the keeper and then tripped over his own foot. The referee blew his whistle to stop the game. Everyone in the crowd could see quite clearly that there was no penalty because he really did stub his toe in the ground going round a good 3 feet from where the keeper was. We were all bewildered as to why the game had stopped.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Tonight’s pizza was one of the best that I have ever made.

And had I remembered to put the olives on it too, it would have been even better. I shall have to remember to make more like this

After breakfast i’d taken out a lump of frozen dough from the freezer and it had been defrosting all day. After my ginger beer following my walk this afternoon I kneaded it and rolled it out onto the pizza tray where I left it to proof for a while.

When it was ready, I assembled it and put it in the oven to bake, and when it was completely baked it was ready to seat.

Now I’m off to bed. It’s an early start in the morning with a radio programme to prepare. And then I have things to do. It looks as if everything is warming up again.

Sunday 28th August 2022 – NOT TOO MANY …

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022… people down on the beach this afternoon either.

When I went for my wander around this afternoon (around the medieval city walls rather than around the end of headland) I had a quick glance down onto the beach as usual to see what was happening there.

While it was wrong to say that the place was deserted, we can see that we are coming to the end of the summer season and the crowds are slowly melting away to go back home.

Just two people swimming in the sea here this afternoon as well.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The situation wasn’t all that much better at the beach round at the Plat Gousset.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing people packed shoulder-to-shoulder down there a couple of weeks ago. It’s thinned out quite dramatically down there now that we are at late afternoon on the last weekend of August.

But not to worry. Once the brats are back at school we’ll be swamped with all of the retirees in their caranavettes crawling literally like snails with their homes on their backs into every possible (and several impossible, if previous years are anything to go by) spaces and making life quite intolerable.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m a retiree too and anyone reading these notes on a regular basis will think that I’m a miserable old moaning retiree too, but I have a long way to go before I fall into the category of person who drives a caravanette.

So, retournons à nos moutons, I’ll tell you exactly what kind of category I do fall into today. And that is the one that lies abed until almost midday doing absolutely nothing at all.

Going to bed at 02:00 is probably responsible for some of that, but bone idleness is responsible for the rest. But seeing as it’s Sunday and a Day of Rest, ask me if I care.

Once I’d finally seen the light of day I went off for my medication and after that I came back in here for a very leisurely stroll around the information highway before going for food.

Back in here I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. Walking around Brussels I met some kind of guy who lived off his wits doing casual work. We’d had a chat and I went off to do what I was going. On the way back I bumped into him again. He was talking to me about a house clearance that he had done, about how it was taking lots of time etc. I was on my way back into the centre and noticed that some property that had been fenced off for years, the fence had come down ready for some developer to start to demolish and redevelop the property. It was in the centre of a railway line with all these bridges and had been closed off for years and now that the fencing had gone you could see that there was all graffiti etc. The way through led to where the dechetterie was so you had to walk across this site through these ruined buildings, climb through a stile at the far end and you’d be on the road where the dechetterie was. That would take you straight into the centre. I set off to walk through these buildings. I saw that there was something that was severely fire-damaged so I went to have a look. It was painted red, black and white, some buildings. Eventually I managed to find a plaque. This was one of Belgium’s oldest football teams that had played here until fire had destroyed their stadium and the club had folded. It looked very much as if they had been sponsored by this paint company whose warehouse had been here, which was what they were planning to demolish. While I was looking around 1 or 2 other people came up to me and started to chat. I wandered away and found myself by a ticket agency where they sold tickets for all kinds of events. I’d talked to a friend a while ago about going to see a concert and I’d have to travel on the train so I’d need rail tickets. The concert tickets weren’t on sale yet but I could see by peering through the window around the blind that was closing it off that there was someone in there so I knocked on the door. She came over, opened the door and started to talk to me.

Later on I was in Paris. There was some kind of lecture or something taking place and some activity going on. All of the students wanted this lecturer to lead it but he wasn’t really all that impressed with the idea. They were trying to persuade him. Then I was in the air looking down on Paris. I could see a car chase taking place. From my vantage point a few hundred feet up I followed this car chase. It ended up going through the Arc de Triomphe, out the other side and onto the Boulevard Haussman. I was able to follow it although I was floating in the air. I gradually came into land. The street was called Rue Fantastique. I vaguely seemed to remember knowing someone so I thought that I’d go for a wander around here in case this was where they lived. As I was wandering around I could hear them on the ‘phone. She was going on saying “yes, I’ve never been out with a songwriter before. It would be really interesting”. What she must have been doing was arranging a date with the songwriter. She gave him her address which sounded like “Fantastic Alley” which considering that I was in “Fantastic Street”, Rue Fantastique sounded about right. I shouted at the top of my voice “did you say that you lived in Fantastic Alley?” but she didn’t hear me or, at least, didn’t reply. I wandered round and could see her in the window of a bathroom shop which was presumably the one that she owned. I wasn’t sure whether she saw me. I walked on a little way out of this courtyard place and ended up back in the street where there was a timber merchant’s or DiY place.

And how long is it since we’ve had a “flying” dream? It must be ages, I reckon. I don’t recall having had one recently.

And more to the point – when did we last have a night without my family making an appearance?

The rest of the afternoon, such as it was, was spent first of all (and in news that will shock everyone on a Sunday – it certainly shocked me) was to tidy my desk. I found stuff lying around on here since late October 2019 when I came back from an Arctic adventure.

Working on a Sunday? Whatever next!

And then the rest of the time has been spent catching up with the blog entries from my trip around Central Europe. At the moment I’m just about to hit the road in Macon but as I said the other day, I’ll wait until I’ve finished it all before posting details.

medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Having had an uneventful walk past the viewpoint down onto the beach and with nothing much at all happening out at sea I ended up at the viewpoint further along underneath the walls.

Not many people down here either today although there are a few people scavenging, presumably for fish, down at the end of the medieval fish trap. A free meal tonight maybe if they are lucky.

The other day I also mentioned the yellow buoys that mark the limit of the patrolled swimming zone here. You can see them down there and if you look closely you’ll see the chains to which they tethered. There are a few people giving them a close inspection too.

lifeguards tidal swimming pool plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So if that’s the zone that is patrolled by the lfeguards, where do the lifeguards go when the tide is out beyond the buoys?

Sure enough, the green flag is flying at the tidal swimming pool and you can see the two lifeguards there in the fluorescent yellow tops.

The green flag and the lifeguards are the kind of thing that will bring the crowds, such as they are today, flocking to the pool and it looks like a reasonable turn-out

Stopping for a glance at the Plat Gouseet, I cleared off on my way around the walls.

In the Place Maurice Marland there was a young woman who must have been sitting on a blanket on the grass. She had the blanket spread out across a bench there and was picking bits of grass from it. That’s what I’d call “obsessive”.

typical chausiais rigged yacht festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022With nothing else of excitement going on there and all of the seagull nests having been cleared out I went for a look at the last day of the Festival Of Working Sailing Ships.

When I eventually get round to finishing the photos from my sail down the coast you’ll see a few more photos of a small boat rigged like this one.

This is one of the traditional, typical chausias-rigged dinghies doing a lap around the port. It’s very symbolic of the vicinity before mass-produced motorised aluminium yachts took over just about everything.

Bith the 2 men at the bow were pulling on the same oars, which was interesting to say the least, if not confusing.

marité marie fernand philcathane festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As for the rest of the festival, numbers were dropping off as I arrived.

Nothing like as many people as we saw earlier in the week even though it’s Sunday. Marité seems to be doing a roaring trade seeing as she hasn’t gone out to sea this afternoon, but not so many people seem to be interested in Marie Fernand

As for Philcathane and Chausiaise, they are being pretty much ignored. And that’s a shame because I’d ben much more interested in whatever they were up to.

Perhaps we ought to have a festival celebrating the current working boats that operate out of here, with an Open Day where we can swarm all over them. Maybe I should suggest it.

But I won’t invite the jazz band that was playing in the background. I have my dignity.

monaco du nord 2 le styx chausiaise festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022But in which class of boat would La Granvillaise fall?

She’s certainly a historic sailing ship but she’s also a current working ship that sails out of the port. And as yesterday, she was sailing around within the confines of the inner harbour this afternoon, diesel-powered unfortunately and with her tender by the side.

The chausiais dinghy had to move out of the way and all of the proceedings were being overlooked by the trawlers Monaco du Nord II and Le Styx as well as several others, while Chausiaise keps a discreet distance.

yellow powered hang glider port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022On the way back home I was oveflown.

Whoever it was was flying at quite an altitude and I couldn’t identify it at first. Back here though having enhanced and enlarged the image I could see that it was the little yellow powered hang glider on its way home after a run out down the bay.

Back here I had another iced ginger beer and then finished off the work that I’d started earlier.

After brunch I’d taken out the last lump of dough from the freezer and that had been quietly defrosting while I’d been working and walking.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022When I’d finished working it was ready to be re-kneaded and rolled out, and then I left it to proof for a while.

When it was ready I assembled my pizza and put it in the oven to bake. And when it was finished I attacked it with gusto (and a knife and fork).

The base was slightly overdone so what I’m going to try next week if I remember is to put it in the oven one shelf higher up so that the base will be less cooked but the topping more so.

It’s annoying me somewhat that I don’t have my new oven up here. I’m going to have to think about how I’m going to manage to bring up those kitchen units that I bought in Munich.

But that’s for another time. I have an early start in the morning with a radio programme to prepare so I’m going to have an early night – if I can and I’m not disturbed.

But something is bound to happen. It usually does.

Sunday 21st August 2022 – HAVING FINISHED …

… all of my work for the weekend by Saturday afternoon, I did something that I haven’t gone for quite some considerable time, and that was that I spent a few hours doing nothing at all except passing the time on the computer to no good purpose.

It was probably something to do with crashing out during the morning and the strong coffee that I’d had at half-time during the football but it was 04:00 when I finally fell into bed and I wasn’t tired then either. But with no alarm in the morning, I didn’t care either.

No-one went past with a steam engine this morning but even so I awoke a couple of times and at one point I was even planning on leaving the bed. But at … errr … 12:30 I finally saw the light of day.

First thing that I did of course was to go for the medication and then the next thing was to listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. We were going for a ride on a fairground attraction but it was at an airport. We were in the queue and people just kept on pushing in front of the queue or pushing in ahead of us. There was no discipline in this queue. I rang up the owner or organiser etc to tell him. Of course while this was happening there were even more people pushing in to the front etc so that was a pointless exercise.

Later on I’d ordered a bank robbery in the style of THE LAVENDER HILL MOB with a few people, someone like Sid James and one of the women out of SAINT TRINIANS films. We had the money and secreted it away waiting for an opportune moment. Someone had come along and recognises Sid James as bandit from in the past, even though he’d been keeping his name quiet. Another member of my team came to hear about this and began to feel really edgy. He came to see me and I explained that this was all part of the plan. Instead of them using me to lay their hands on the money and no-one else I’d been using them to lay hold of their experience to pull the job and that I was well in control of the situation even if I didn’t think that I was.

And then there I was lying in bed until some ridiculous time when I decided eventually to get up. As I was sitting on the edge of the bed my father went past the room and shouted at me “isn’t it about time that I got myself going, something like that?”. So I started to dress. I picked up a few things and went downstairs into the street to walk down to the living room. I suddenly realised that I somehow seemed to have acquired one wellington boot and one cardboard box in which to fit my feet. I couldn’t understand what was happening here so I had to go back to my room and sort out some proper footwear so that I could go back down to the living room.

After brunch I did something even more exciting, which was to transcribe not one but two days’ worth of dictaphone notes from my trip around Europe. If I’m not careful I’ll be catching myself up at this rate and that won’t ever do.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022By the time that I’d finished it was time to go out for my afternoon walk.

Not many people down there on the beach today, and there wasn’t anyone sunbathing.

Not that I was surprised because it was quite cool this afternoon. at one stage I was wondering whether to put un a sweater or something. And had I done so, I wouldn’t have been the only one wearing one.

There was someone wrapped in a towel so if he had just come out of the water he’s a better man that I am, Gungha Din.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And as usual while I was here I was having a good look around out to sea.

The first thing that I saw was something fairly large heading out of the bay past the Ile de Chausey and into the English Channel.

It wasn’t easy to identify it so I took a photo with the idea of enlarging and enhancing it when I returned hom later.

And in fact it’s a trawler heading out to sea, something that’s quite unusual for a Sunday. My understanding is that to preserve stocks, commercial fishing is discouraged if not prohibited on a Sunday. So maybe it’s a positioning voyage.

Unfortunately I can’t identify who she is at this distance.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022She wasn’t the only boat out there this afternoon.

The tide is well in so I imagined that the harbour gates and the port de plaisance are open. And with it being a weekend, every man and his dog have brought their water craft to the port.

Five or six yachts in this photo along with several other assorted craft, but really I could have taken a dozen photos from here, all in different directions, that would have included as many boats in each one

So on that note I wandered off on my walk. Today I’m going for my post-prandial perambulation around the medieval city walls

kayakers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Trawlers and yachts aren’t all of the watercraft out there this afternoon either.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m always on the lookout for a few oars here and there and I spotted some others out in the bay this afternoon.

Having seen the kayakers practising in the tidal basin next to the Nautical Centre behind the port, it’s no surprise to see a couple of them out here in the bay this afternoon.

The little wheels on the deck of the one in front are quite interesting too. I suppose that they help when you are trying to manoeuvre your kayak around on dry land. I remember the fun that I used to have trying to do that when I was kayaking at school.

swimmer plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Anyway off I went around the walls and found myself along the little path at the foot thereof that leads to the Plat Gousset.

There was something flailing around out at sea and I wondered if it might be a dolphin or a whale or something like that. After all, there have sightings of all kinds of strange beasts in and around Normandy just recently.

But it is in fact a swimmer and he seemed to be making good and steady progress. And in this weather he deserves a medal.

There have already been REPORTS OF SHARKS IN THE ENGLISH CHANNEL. I’m not too sure if any are man-eating sharks but to be on the safe side I’d only swim far out if you are a woman or a child.

“And would a shark swallow me whole?”
“No. He’d spit that bit out.”

I’ll get my coat.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The path leads on round to the viewpoint that overlooks the Plat Gousset and I always stop there when I’m round this way.

Down below there aren’t the crowds that we have been having over the last few weekends. The cooler weather today is keeping them off the beaches which is just as well as sometimes just recently it’s been overwhelming down there.

There was a line of people sitting on the concrete wall at the edge of the slipway down to the beach.

Don’t ask me why because there was no entertainment down there today. Some weekends, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there has been street theatre, musicians, all that kind of thing down on the Plat Gousset.

No policemen causing a road block this afternoon down on the corner of the Place Marechal Foch.

braderie rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There were thousands of people milling about in the streets of the centre of the town though.

There’s another braderie taking place at the town-centre shops today. All of the streets are closed to traffic and the shopkeepers have set out their stalls for all of the passers-by.

It’s all surplus stock, last years unsellable items, this years end-of-summer-season sales with the aim of emptying the shops so that they have room for all of the autumn and winter stock that will be arriving soon.

In the past I’ve been for a wander down there but there never was anything that particularly caught my eye at a price that I could afford.

So resisting the temptation to go down the steps into the town, I carried on with my walk around the walls.

plant trough square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022In the Square Maurice Marland there seems to be something rather bizarre happening.

While the square itself is descending into something of a less-than-genteel shabbiness we suddenly seem to have acquired a handful of plant troughs.

They are labelled with the names of individual “gardeners” who have presumably adopted the troughs and there are all kinds of things growing in them.

In this one for example, there’s what looks like a beetroot and some kind of strange plant with fruit that bear more than just a passing relationship to a tomato. Whatever the third plant it, I really have no idea.

dead leaves square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022A little further on down the path in the square there was something quite interesting to see.

This is something about which I’ve heard so much said just recently. The drought is causing all kinds of problems, one of which is that there is no longer enough water to hydrate the leaves of many of the deciduous trees.

The result of that is that many of the leaves are drying out and the tree is obliged to shed them in order to guarantee the survival of the ones less badly affected. That’s clearly quite evident here with dead leaves in the trees and an enormous pile of discarded leaves blown into a corner by the wind.

All of this behaviour in nature is in a sharp contrast with human behaviour. In humans, if one member is weak o unhealthy, the mother sacrifices everything to keep the weakest one alive. In the natural kingdom the weakest are often discarded to aid the survival of the strongest or healthiest.

yacht le loup port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There was a small sailing ship just outside the harbour heading our way.

And so I waited accordingly until it came into view so that I could photograph it. I have a feeling that I ought to know who she is but no name springs to mind. Regular readers of this rubbish ought to recognise them just as well as I do these days.

With nothing else happening out there this afternoon I came home for a glass of iced coconut milk and then to sort out the photos.

After lunch today I’d taken a lump of frozen dough out of the freezer and it had been defrosting during the course of the afternoon.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022When it was ready I kneaded it, rolled it out and put it on the pizza tray where it could sit proofing itself.

When it was ready I assembled it and put it into the oven to bake and once more it looked quite appetising when it came out of the oven.

It tasted delicious too, which it always does these days. I seem to have found the knack of making them now which is no surprise after the number that I’ve baked over the last couple of years.

So having finished my notes, I’m off to bed. Despite the short day I’m exhausted and I’m ready for bed, especially with an 06:00 start in the morning. There’s a radio programme to do tomorrow.

Considering that Sunday is a day of rest, I’ve had a busy day today. In fact, I’ve had a busy weekend and if I manage to keep this up I shan’t know myself.

It’s quite possibly no coincidence that I had my first shot of Aranesp on Monday for over 2 months but I dunno. They say that it’s the injection of last resort and when I read THE SIDE-EFFECTS I can understand why. And now they want to increase the dose.

There’s no way that I would be having that injection if there were any other solution.

Tuesday 16th August 2022 – SUMMER IS BACK!

After the couple of days that we had of grey overcast weather conditions, Summer came back with a bang today.

Not quite the record-breaking temperatures that we had, but blue skies all the same.

dry footpath pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And while we’re on the subject of the hot weather … “well, one of us is” – ed … I thought that you might like to see how things are doing around here.

This is the footpath on top of the cliffs at the back of the Sports Ground. It’s the route that I take down to the end of the headland and you can see how it is (or isn’t) holding up.

The path itself is a layer about an inch thick of dust. On the edges of the path the grass has dried out completely and has died off in places. The rest of it, what’s left, is a burnt shrivelled mass and it’ll take a while to regenerate.

Those little showers of rain that we have had just recently haven’t done anything towards improving the situation.

What else took a while to regenerate this morning was me, unfortunately.

It wasn’t until 09:00 that the alarm went off for me to awaken but there was a good reason for that. Late last night a Paul Temple adventure came up on the old-time radio feed just as I was thinking of going to bed. A programme that is timed at 3:25:00

These old radio programmes are really excellent and so I was planning on listening for an hour or so before going to bed. But instead I ended up listening to the whole programme and it was long after 01:00 when I fell into the stinking pit.

Not that I’m bothered about that because life is for enjoying too as well as working and let’s face it – I’m not getting much pleasure in anything else right now

So after I’d finally staggered into the kitchen for my medication I came back in here to find out where I’d been during the night.

And it’s no surprise that I wasn’t feeling like much today when you look at where I went during the night. Having stayed awake until all hours listening to a Paul Temple episode, when I was asleep I had a Paul Temple episode going on in my head. It went on for hours and hours and hours. It involved some saucepans and saucepan lids but everything was just so confusing that I can’t remember any of it. It rambled on and on and on about these guys who I think might have been sportsmen on small boats or something. That’s all that I can really say about this that went on for hours.

And then we were still in Istanbul (had we been there before? I dunno). We’d been talking to some people about meeting up with someone and performing an interview. They to whom we were talking was a taxi driver had something to do and he produced a girl. She exited his cab and walked away. The person with me said that that would have been a good interview. He explained that she was rather too far in in this organisation and would likely cause a lot of problems. She spent most of her time being institutionalised and the rest of the time going round with this gang. So we agreed and he said that he’d see who else he could find for us. He drove away. The person with me said “God, I have to go” and dashed through the door in this stone terraced house and disappeared. I went through this door. There was a set of really steep steps that went down to the river. I went down there as best as I could. I had no idea where he went. There were 2 or 3 cafés at the bottom. He didn’t appear to be in either so I wondered whether he’d gone to the toilet so I’d wait around. There was a girl painter there with a boy whom she was painting. He was carrying this brown and black cat. She was drawing the cat so I went over to talk to her and to stroke the cat. It wasn’t all that friendly but it didn’t fight or anything. We chatted about the cat for quite some time.

Later on we were on a train heading north towards Doncaster somewhere like that. We were on board and it was an express. There were a few seats taken, not all that many. We walked along the train trying to find our places to sit. I can’t remember any more than that

At some point or other a girl with me announced that she was pregnant but it was sort-of announced by accident. It wasn’t a planned announcement, it came out in the conversation. I asked her what she was going to do but she didn’t give a reply so we went back home and went in. The house was totally filthy and really awful. Everyone was just sitting around in a complete state of untidiness. Someone said “you’ll never guess what the baby (for there was another baby in there) had been playing with. He went on to say that it was a half-dead mouse. “I just threw it i ntothe middle of the room” he said which made everyone shudder. I had to start to look for this thing. I thought that if any girlfriend of mine was going to be pregnant this place is going to have to be cleaned up because she shouldn’t bring up a child in this no matter how someone else was bringing up another one. It clearly wasn’t any good at all and we needed to do something about it.

And finally I was walking along the shore on the edge of a beach. There was some people and a dog down there playing about in somewhere where there had been a great big fire. I could hear them discussing it. They seemed to think that it was some form of spontaneous combustion of whatever was underneath the sand. They were busy digging away at it and walking in for a closer look. I carried on walking past and ended up in the mountains in the snow looking at the maps about the ski resort and the various tracks to descend into the valley again. I was looking for either a blue or a red run. Eventually I found what I thought might be a good place to go down but there was a lot of fog around. It came swirling around cutting off the view of the valley and then the view of the sign with the routes on it. I thought to myself that this is going to be extremely difficult for me to go

That skiing excursion actually reminded me of a skiing adventure in which I took part in Cervinia in Italy in the days of my youth. I was with my Italo-Russian friend and we were up in the mountains of Italy near the Matterhorn. We were with a few other people but we were actually in front and when we returned to the village we found that we were on our own.

There had been hanging clouds in the mountains and they had missed the left-turning in the mist and carried straight on downhill into a different valley and ended up in Switzerland. In the days of border controls with no passports or anything, and the 38-mile taxi ride to return to the hotel was the least of their problems.

But something else that was interesting was the dream about the untidy house. We all know only too much about that these days and so for the rest of the day (because there wasn’t much of the rest of it after typing out all of that) I’ve been tidying up in here.

A huge pile of rubbish, papers and the like, bit the dust today. It’s all in the bin and a lot more would have followed it except that each time that I went out I bumped into a neighbour and we had a lengthy chat. Not that I’m one for chatting to the neighbours but I do have to try to be sociable occasionally.

And I now know why the barrier to the car park isn’t working. I wondered where the car of one of my neighbours had gone

As well as taking out the papers I’ve actually put some stuff away too, I have cunning plans for more stuff and later on tonight I’m going to go outside with my old non-working printer and … errr … forget where I left it. This is going to be quite a long job.

In fact I was so carried away that I forgot to go for breakfast. That’s not like me, is it? Although I am eating less these days than I have done in the past.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022It was a surprise that I actually managed to make it out for my afternoon walk.

As usual I went across to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach. With the weather being a lot warmer and sunnier than it has been this last couple of days I was expecting to see the crowds.

And as usual, I’m not disappointed. This was just a few of them, with many people having taken to the water to cool off. There were crowds of people elsewhere disporting themselves on beach towels catching the sun all the way down the coast.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While I was at it, I had a look out to sea to see what was happening there.

When I’d been walking down to the end of the car park I’d seen something white out at sea. It’s actually a yacht with a white sail with green stripe that’s cavorting around out there and it has a friend way over there towards the northern Normandy shore.

Over to the right of the yacht in the foreground is a marker buoy, presumably indicating another lobster pot, and then we have one of the many bouchot farms of the area in the background with its stakes rearing up like a medieval cheval de frise

st helier jersey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As you can tell from the previous photo, the view was so much better today with the air being much cleaner.

That meant that I had high hopes for a photo of Jersey and St Helier so I went and found a piece of high ground where there might be a really good view.

And once again I wasn’t disappointed. It’s not the clearest view that we have had of St Helier but it’s still pretty good all the same.

One of these days I’ll really have to get myself out there somehow so that I can identify all of the buildings that I can see from here. The way that things are right now, I’ll have to hitch a ride on a freighter.

kayak cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Or else flag down a friendly cabin cruiser.

As I walked through the sandy wastes towards the end of the headland I noticed this cabin cruiser pull up. At first I thought that it might be a group of fishermen but as I watched they lowered something down at the stern.

A couple of minutes later someone climbed in and kayaked away. And it’s a good job that it’s summer because you don’t need to keep warm. After all, we all know that you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

And on that not, I wandered off further down the path.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The car park was crowded again with cars so I was expecting to see a lot of people here too.

Plenty of folk down on the lower path and there was a couple of people sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

Not that they had very much to see because there were no boats out there this afternoon and no-one fishing on the rocks.

However, the buoy that we saw yesterday marking what I assume to be a lobster pot was still there so they can keep their eye on that.

ch638749 pescadore ch918297 trafalgar ch764626 chant des sirenes ch449345 peccavi ch 730708 la soupape I ch898472 cap lihou chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what’s happening in the port.

And there are yet more changes in the chantier naval as another trawler has come in to join the fray today. The black and blue trawler in the middle of all of that is Pescadore.

She always confuses me because when I first came here she was actually blue and white but had a repaint a while back.

Meanwhile over at the ferry terminal out of shot is Chausiaise, the little freighter. She’s not going anywhere at the moment.

marie fernand port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While I was here I went to check to see if anyone was playing “Musical Ships” at the Fish Processing Plant this afternoon but I was side-tracked.

Over there in the inner harbour is a yacht. At first I thought that it might be Charles Marie because it seems to be the same style, but the colours are different. This one here is dark brown rather than dark blue.

So I shall have to go for a closer look to see if I can pick up a name.

But there’s another lorry in the port this afternoon, presumably dropping off some more freight for the Channel Islands. Things are certainly hotting up here as far as freight goes. We’re starting to be over-run and that’s good news.

victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Heading off towards the inner harbour (forgetting all about the Fish Processing Plant) I noticed that Victor Hugo is back in port.

The last that I heard of her she was running a shuttle around the outlying islands of the Channel Islands but now she’s back in the inner harbour and moored up at the quayside. It looks as if her mad dashes out and about over the last couple of days have come to a halt.

However I hope that it’s only a temporary pause. I mentioned earlier that I want to get out to the Channel Islands at some point in the near future and I had some high hopes that the ferry might become a regular thing. It’s no part of my plan for her to be laid up for long.

marie fernand port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So back at the inner harbour and the yacht that’s in here.

It was not easy to read her name but a check of the fleet radar later revealed that she’s called Marie Fernand. She was built in 1894 as one of the harbour pilots for Le Havre and the northern Frenc coast, duties that she carried out until motorisation of the pilot service after World War I.

She was sold to someone in the UK in 1922 and for a long time disappeared from view.

Someone told me a delightful anecdote about her though. They planned to build a reconstruction of her in time for her centenary so they cast around for the plans. However someone had the rather brilliant idea “why don’t we just copy the original?”.

That was the first that the organisers knew that she still existed so they convinced the British owners to sell her back to the port and since then she’s been restored and was present at her own centenary.

There’s the Festival of Working Sailboats taking place soon so I imagine that she’s come here to be part of it.

Back here I had my iced coconut drink and did a little more tidying up. It’s going to take me an age to do what I want to do.

Tea was the second half of that rather wicked curry. and it was wicked as well. I’ll have to put the toilet paper in the fridge later.

But I didn’t go out to put the printer out. Even as I write we’re having a thunderstorm and a rainstorm. The printer doesn’t really work but I want to give someone a sporting chance and soaking it in water won’t help.

No radio tonight – I’m listening to music so I doubt if I’ll have a late night. I must remember to reset the alarm and then tomorrow carry on with my cleaning plan, otherwise known as “throwing out surplus items”.

A good night’s sleep would be nice too. We can live in hope.

Sunday 14th August 2022 – WOULD YOU BELIEVE IT!

It actually rained today. And I missed most of it.

When I (eventually) awoke this morning (yes it was morning) the bright blue sky that we had had for the last I don’t know how long had changed into a woolly grey mass of cloud and the temperature was probably 10°C cooler too. Not that you’d know it in here because being a stone building with walls 1.20m thick it managed to avoid the extremes of temperature that we have outside.

Mind you, it wasn’t far off midnight. That’s because come 03:00 this morning I was still up and about. I’ve no idea what time I eventually went to bed but I was glad that I wasn’t going out at 08:30 this morning.

In actual fact I was awake at 10:20 but there wasn’t all that much likelihood of me showing a leg at that time. It was much more like 11:00 when I finally staggered into the daylight and went for my medication, feeling quite grateful that I’d prepared the music for the radio yesterday instead of trying to do it today.

Back in here, in a mad fit of enthusiasm and I’ve no idea where that came from, I listened to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. There was a house somewhere down Minshull New Road or somewhere like that, a council house. I don’t know what I was doing in it but it was filthy, dirty, dusty, overfull of furniture etc. The only way out was to climb through a window, one of the smaller fanlight windows at the top. I’d been doing that for a while here and there. One day a girl in there got hold of me, told me her name and told me that she lived in this house and that she was fed up of people coming in and going out again through the window. I made a facetious remark about going out of the door which didn’t go down very well. I said “never mind. I’ll write you an apology. It’s no problem to me” so we agreed that I would write her an apology and she would accept it. We had a chat and she was saying how she hated this house and how she was hoping to move etc, quite a long discussion. In the end I decided that I had to go. Of course the only way out was through the window. I went to open the window which for some unknown reason wasn’t easy today. While I was at it two dogs, a big one and a small one came up and started gnawing at my leg. Then some old man came in and asked what I was doing. I explained to him and explained that I’d seen the girl. He didn’t seem to be all that pleased and was making up all kinds of reasons for it to be extremely difficult for me to climb out of that window. I was determined that I was going anyway. We were talking about travelling around the world. I said that I’d met some interesting people. He asked if I’d been to Moscow so I replied “yes”. He asked if I’d ever been to New York so I replied “yes”. He said that the World Trade Centre has only been down a few years so I replied that I’d been to New York a lot longer than those had been down. We had quite an acrimonious discussion, polite but bad-tempered. All the time I was trying to go out through this window so that I could leave but everything seemed to be conspiring against me to stop me going and to keep me in this flaming filthy, dusty, dirty house.

Later on I was at work. I’d been promoted and was working with the inspectors. We received certain information about different things and I suggested ways of dealing with it that were unorthodox but were bound to bring in results and weren’t illegal. Everyone looked at me strangely and as we didn’t have the staff we put it on the back burner for the moment. In the afternoon we were invited to a beach party so we went down there. A lot of the people were playing beach volleyball but I was peering through some papers that I’d brought with me sitting in the sun. I thought “when I’ve finished these papers I can go and join in the volleyball”. But everyone suddenly packed up and started to move. Someone asked where they were going and the response was “guess”. It turned out that they were all heading to the local night club because even though it wasn’t night time it was probably open by now. I had no intention whatever of going there but one has to be sociable. Just then some woman from the office came by with a huge folder and said “guess what I have in here”. I know that I was trying to lay my hands on a folder for work so I said the name. She said “no. It’s a list of all second-homes and country cottages in the UK”. I suggested that these be compared with the owners. If necessary we could make enquiries about them and tie them up to their owners and see what comes of it. Someone was there, a Prophet of Doom, saying that it would never work, that’s totally illegal” which of course it was nonsense. I was trying to argue my particular corner. For some reason these people seemed to be totally devoid of any imagination and were totally unlikely to make anything work with the kind of imagination that they had.

That’s one thing that I’ve noticed since I left the UK in 1992. These days British people seem to fall at the first fence when they are trying to do something. When a problem arises or a technical hitch develops or something goes wrong or a machine breaks or a plan needs developing, the first setback is enough to make them throw in the towel.

We were always taught to use our imagination, to think, and work out a workaround and I used to have loads of fun doing that. But I seem to be one of a very small breed of people today. It reminds me of the saying “99% of the population has problems, but the rest of us have solutions”.

After lunch I came back in here but strangely, I can’t remember now what I did. I know that I didn’t fall asleep, that is a surprise in itself these days. I managed to keep on going until it was time to go walkies but just as I was about to step out of the door Ingrid rang.

We ended up having a marathon session on the telephone too seeing as it’s been a while since we last spoke, and the result of all of this was that I was considerably late going for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual the first thing that I did was to go over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down on the beach.

There were hordes of people down there this afternoon but they weren’t there for the sunbathing.

That was because
1) there was no sun
2) It’s the time for the pèche à pied and they were all mainly down there at the water’s edge having a scratch around to see what they could pull up

bouchot farm donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And with the tide being quite well out, it was all systems go further down the coast.

At Donville les Bains there’s a bouchot farm and you can see all of the stakes planted in the sand. Someone made an accidental discovery that if you leave ropes and things in the water the shellfish will actually grow on them in preference to the sand.

And that’s quite a delicacy too because the shellfish aren’t full of sandy grit and taste so much better.

Why that works so well here, apart from the fact that we have so much shellfish, is that with the high tides, the ropes and stakes can be well-submerged for growing the shellfish but at low tide they are out of the water and can be harvested and the equipment maintained quite easily.

medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022But here’s an example of an earlier generation of fish traps.

This is the kind of thing that would have been common in medieval times. They would build a wall of loose-fitting stones across a bay or estuary so that at high tide, water and the fish therein would over flow behind the wall. And as the tide went out, the water would exfiltrate through the gaps in the stones leaving the fish behind.

And then all of your medieval fishwives would wade in and catch the fish with their bare hands ready for supper.

It’s the kind of thing that would still work today if it were properly maintained.

lifeguard tidal swimming pool plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There’s a sort-of modern version of it here.

That’s the tidal swimming pool at the Plat Gousset and the principle is the same. And today it seems to have caught quite a few fish of the two-legged variety in its trap.

The person in the fluorescent yellow jacket is the lifeguard. There is a handful of them scattered around at various places on the beach keeping an eye on the activities and making sure that no-one is swept away.

Not that they are likely to be swept away in the tidal swimming pool but you never know your luck, I suppose.

place marechal foch Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022From there I wandered off to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

Whenever we’ve seen that just recently it’s been heaving with people on the beach taking the sun but not today. There aren’t too many people down there in this weather. They are all wandering around the Place Marechal Foch.

But what caught my eye in this photo was the long queue of traffic coming down the hill into town. I can’t remember ever having seen a traffic jam quite like that in all the time that I’ve been living here

police interaction with mtorcyclist avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The reason for that might be something not unconnected with what’s going on in this photo.

These days it seems that you can’t go anywhere without attracting the attention of the local farces of Law and Order. And a couple of Granville’s finest seem to be rather more than interested in what this biker is up to with his machine.

In actual fact there were four policemen altogether and maybe they were performing a spot check of vehicles entering the town.

Nevertheless it’s good to see them going for the same old stereotyped victims. Nothing much changes, despite the passage of time.

crowds rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022another reason might be that the town centre is all closed off to through traffic today.

No vehicles are allowed in there right now and so they are having to go around the outside. That means that gordes of pedestrians can roam around the streets in perfect safety to their hearts’ content.

Rather bad luck if you live in the town centre and need your car, but never mind.

When I lived in Brussels we had a car-free day one Sunday every year. All of the public transport was free and there were all kinds of entertainments in the street.

Where I lived was on a hill on the edge of the city centre and you could see the dramatic improvement in air quality down below by the end of the day.

le coelacanthe le tiberiade suzanga massabielle nais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022My route from here took me through the Place Maurice Marland.

My seagull chick wasn’t there today so maybe it had gone off for a fly around with its mum. I hope that it wasn’t the one that I saw dead by the side of the street on Friday.

There was plenty of activity in the harbour this afternoon. It doesn’t look as if anyone had gone out working. Over there on the back wall we had Le Coelacanthe and little sister le Tiberiade. You can tell them apart in this photo as the gormer has the wings to its bridge.

In the foreground from left to right we have the new Suzanga, the blue Massabielle and on the right, the little white Nais.with red and yellow stripes.

Plenty of others too that didn’t make it into the photograph which was a shame.

marité philcathane chausiase port Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022 Over there in the bay where the gravel boats used to tie up is the trawler Philcathane

The other two boats that are there, I didn’t expect to see them here today. Marité for example, the wooden sailing ship. With it being a Sunday in the middle of the tourist season I would have thought that she would have gone out and about into the bay with a crowd of passengers to earn a few bob while the going was good.

As for Chausiaise, a friend of mine in St Helier sent me a photo this morning of her over there in jersey. The freight situation is definitely hotting up here if she’s being pressed into service.

Victor Hugo, the Channel Islands ferry isn’t here though. She spent yesterday and today running around the Channel Islands but she’s back in port by the time that I’m writing this.

book fair rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022From here I headed for home through the old town.

It’s book fair today and everyone had set out their stall to sell their surplus books. But by the time that I arrived here it was quite late and most people had packed up and had gone home.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall me talking about the Monegasque Royal Family and their connections here when one of the Grimaldis married a local girl. The browny-grey granite house on the street corner on the left is where she lived.

peche a pied baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Carrying on homewards I had a look over the wall and out into the bay.

A little earlier I mentioned the pèche à pied. Over there you can still see a few people out there but they are now heading for safety as the tide is coming in. And it comes in here quite rapidly too so they don’t want to be caught hanging about.

It was raining ever so slightly as I reached home and that’s a good thing as this are has been declared in a State of Emergency because of the drought. But we’ll need much more rain than this to do any good. Probably about a week’s torrential downpour.

And now I remember what it was that I did after lunch.

Last weekend I used up the last of the pizza dough so I had to make some more. That was how I spent the early afternoon and it had been proofing while I was otherwise occupied.

When I came back from my walk two lumps went into the freezer and I rolled out the third one and put it on the tray for its second proofing.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Later on this evening I assembled my pizza and put it in the oven to cook. And it was delicious too.

But here’s something that I rarely do. In fact, I can’t think when I last did it.

Usually I know exactly what my appetite will be and I make my food accordingly. My pizza is always a standard, regular size.

But tonight, about a third of it went into the bin. I quite simply couldn’t finish it and that’s something that has rarely, if ever happened to me before. It’s not like me at all to be off my food and not even want to save it for breakfast.

What’s happening here?

Anyway that’s for another day as I’m off to bed right now. Radioing early in the morning so I need to be at my best. But not much chance of that.

Tuesday 9th August 2022 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

trawler hermes I baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022… really bad day today.

And that’s completely miserable seeing as I forgot to switch on the alarm this morning and as a result ended up having an impromptu lie-in. You would have thought that I would have expected rather better after that.

So while you admire a few photos of the trawler Hermes I and La Granvillaise on a collision course out in the Baie de Granville I’ll tell you all about it.

And rather surprisingly, I didn’t go all that far during the night so that’s even more of a reason not to have had any difficulty today.

la granvillaise baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022In fact, one of the first things that I did after having my medication and checking my mails and messages was to transcribe the dictaphone notes.

I was doing something with my friend from the Wirral and the Ford Cortinas but when I awoke it went almost completely. It was something to do with motorbikes as well and something else to do with lock-ups. I had some lock-ups in Wistaston and I wanted some extra ones particularly as I had acquired an extra car. We’d looked at a few but nothing seemed to be right. One came up in the block where I already had 2 or 3 so I had that but I hadn’t mentioned it to anywone which was why I kept on being reminded about it. I kept on having these reminders about looking for an extra lock-up garage. That’s how I bumped into my friend. He told me about his new car and how he’d come to get that.

trawler hermes I la granvillaise baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And then later on there was an episode of the Clitheroe Kid about the Clitheroes on holiday at the seaside. Jimmy had been up to his usual tricks again and had to write out a apology to his grandfather in so many hundred words. He took a sheet of computer paper and cut off half of it which upset his sister because she was using the other half – using the page for something but now she only had the other half. He was in discussion with Alfie about what it was that he should write to express his apology but as usual Alfie wasn’t very much help at all.

When I’d finished that I had a little play about on the acoustic guitar for half an hour or so. I have to keep in practice although I’m not sure why because I don’t think that I’m ever going to have the chance for a live performance. That ship sailed a long time ago unfortunately.

hermes I baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022After my lunchtime fruit I made a start on the arrears of dictaphone stuff from my trip to Leuven

And believe it or not, I actually managed to undo a day’s worth of notes before I found myself crashing out on my chair. I’ve no idea how long I was out of my tree but it felt like an absolute age.

When I finally awoke, I was in no fit state to go out for my afternoon walk at first and I was all ready to postpone my perambulation until another day, that’s how I was feeling this afternoon.

Eventually though, much later than usual, I managed to stagger out into the street to take the air

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022and as usual the first thing to do is to go and look at what is happening down on the beach.

Consequently I staggered off across the car park and through the crowds to the wall at the end so that I could look down over the top of the cliff.

There wasn’t much beach to be on today, with the tide being well in, but somehow they still managed to fit hordes of people onto whatever beach there was.

Crowds of them taking to the waters too, which isn’t a surprise seeing how warm it was today. Another candidate for the hottest day of the year, I reckon today.

The path around the top of the cliffs was crowded too but I didn’t take much notice, waiting (rather in vain) for another one of Tom Rolt’s “Greek v Greek” moments involving Hermes I and La Granvillaise but they managed to avoid each other.

“No shipwrecks and nobody drownding. In fact nothing to laugh at at all”.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There were cars everywhere at the car park – in the parking spaces and even parked up on the lawn as well.

That will account for the hordes of people being around today. I was even expecting to see some fishermen on the rocks at the end of the Pointe du Roc and I wasn’t disappointed.

But never mind. I didn’t see anyone pull anything out of the water today. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that as far as I can remember, we’ve only ever seen one person actually pull a fish out of the water with rod and line.

We’ve seen a few pull a few out with nets, but that doesn’t really count.

cabanon vauban people on bench fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That wasn’t everything out here either this afternoon.

There were plenty of people wandering around on the lower path underneath where I was standing and as I watched, a couple of them left the path and wandered over to the bench at the end of the headland by the cabanon vauban.

They didn’t seem to be interested in the fisherman who was on the rocks down below where they were, but something in the Baie de Mont St Michel had clearly caught their eye and all their attention

speedboat trawler hermes I joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And I’m not surprised either because this made quite a lovely photograph.

Our trawler Hermes I had rounded the headland and was sailing down the south side of the headland just as one of the Joly France ferries, the newer one by the looks of things judging by its “portrait” format windows was leaving the port.

Once again it looked as if we were going to have a “Greek v Greek” moment but Joly France I gave a touch of the old “left hand down a bit” and the two boats passed by starboard-side on.

Only a handful of people on the ferry so it looks as if she’s going to bring back a group of tourists out on the islands and those on board have just gone out for the ride.

ch764626 chant des sirenes ch449345 peccavi ch 730708 la soupape I ch898472 cap lihou chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022We’ve had another change in the chantier naval today as I found out when I made my way around there.

We have of course Chant des Sirenes, La Soupape I and Cap Lihou in there along with the unidentified trawler, but a new boat has come in to join them, the white one with the red and gold stripe.

Her registration number is CH449345 and according to the trawler database, that tells me that she is called Peccavi and we’ve seen her on a few occasions in and out of the chantier naval

And in the background over at the ferry terminal this afternoon we have the little freighter Chausiaise.

gerlean l'omerta le styx fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Meanwhile, over at the Fish Processing Plant we have quite a bit of traffic today.

L’Omerta is still over there tied up at the quayside as she was yesterday, but she has now been joined by Gerlean. Those two seem to be regulars over there now and maybe I ought to stop being so surprised by seeing them there.

They have company over there too today. Tied up behind them is the trawler Le Styx. She’s busy unloading over there right now.

Hermes I who came into port a few minutes earlier has gone into the inner harbour and is presumably unloading at the other side of the wharf.

victor hugo ch338276 massabielle port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Also back in port today is Victor Hugo.

She apparently came into port late afternoon yesterday after having spent several days either in St Helier or St Peter Port.

Does this mean that the dispute over her operation has been resolved and she’ll be starting up in service, or is this rather wishful thinking? Her colleague Granville is still hanging around out and about in the Channel Islands and it’s been a while since she’s been shuttling back and to from France.

In the foreground is the little trawler Massabielle. I don’t recall having noticed her before today.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Before I went home I had a look at what was going on out in the bay.

It looked as if one of the sailing schools was preparing to go out for a run around. They had brought out all of the yachts and put them in position ready to take off. But the state of the tide means that they won’t be out there for long.

And neither will I.

With my walk almost finished and melting from the heat, I came back home for a coffee and to sort out my photographs from today

Tea tonight was a delicious taco roll with rice and vegetables. And it looks like curry tomorrow, I reckon.

But I’m struggling again for space in the freezer. I’ll have to stock up on frozen veg this weekend but I’m not sure where I’m going to put everything.

But that’s for another time. Right now I’m off to bed. I’ve remembered to switch on the alarm this evening so in theory I should wake up something like on time tomorrow. But whether I’m going to be in any state to do anything remains to be seen

Sunday 10th July 2022 – WE’VE HAD A …

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… wonderful day today in the beautiful weather and so while you admire the photos of the crowds of people making the most of it, I’ll tell you about my day.

It started reasonably enough with being awake at 09:30 but even so it was round about 10:30 when I finally fell out of bed. That was a really nice lie-in and I can do with a few more of those.

First thing that I did of course was to go and take my medicine. I’ve had years of practice at doing that of course, and we aren’t just talking about medication either.

And then I turned my attention to the dictaphone. And by the looks of things it needed all my attention too.

crowds plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022I started off with my mother, my other brothers and sisters and my father. We were in somewhere. There was a very earnest discussion going on between my mother and my father. I went to try to find out what it was. Basically they had sent my other brothers and sisters home, my father went off somewhere and my mother went off somewhere else. I went with my mother. We were looking down side streets, everywhere like that. I asked her what we were looking for and she replied “a garden”. That was something that I didn’t understand. This carried on. We were in this wasteland watching the wind blow the soil. In the end my mother said that what we were looking for was a giant armadillo roaming around somewhere. This was what we were looking out for, to make sure that we’ll all be safe from it, making sure of where it was and that the rest of my brothers and sisters weren’t there. We walked around for a bit and ended up going back to where we started. I had STRAWBERRY MOOSE with me. I went across the road but there was a car coming that had caught me in my blind spot so I had to run to get across the road back to my mother. I them threw Strawberry Moose back across the road to the other side but a car coming the other way hit him and swerved. It almost collided with a tree or something. I went back to pick up Strawberry Moose but by now he had somehow become a little girl. I picked her up to ask if she was OK and to ask her if she’d been hit by the car. She replied “no, the car had missed her”. I picked her up and carried her back over the road again to where my mother was.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022To my surprise, later on I’m back with that dream about the giant armadillo. This time I ended up with a family of Russians. I mentioned to one of them who could vaguely understand English about what was going on. She shrugged her shoulders as if to say “so what?”. They had their clothes all ready for washing so I put mine out hoping that they’d be washed instead of having to go through another couple of days. They were being washed and I was talking to the old woman, leader of this Russian family, about this giant armadillo. She didn’t seem to take it seriously and I was rather annoyed when she didn’t. That was surprising too because I didn’t really take it seriously. I didn’t really believe what my mother might have been up to.

Perhaps I ought to mention that even as kids we knew that our mother lived in a parallel universe to everyone else and was often quite detached from reality. At times it was quite embarrassing.

kayaks buoy plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022This time I was in a café with Liz (although which “Liz” I really don’t know because I know or knew quite a few of them), someone else and Malou. At first I was on my own while the other two had gone off to clear the table and bring back some coffee. When they returned, they brought Malou. They asked which coffee was mine. I replied “a black coffee” and they mentioned 3 or 4 different types. I answered “as long as it’s black and no sugar, that’s fine and there’s no liqueur or cognac in it etc”. They sat down and Malou sat down next to me. That’s all that I remember.

And not only Liz but I wish that I knew who this other person was. I’m assuming that it’s a girl.

zodiac kayak buoy plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And then I was with my friend from the Wirral last night. We had some numbers to work out on the bass guitar but I really can’t remember very much about this. There’s a whole load that’s missing that’s really interesting. It all ended up with me having to go home. We were supposed to go home quite earlyish but there was a woman there who decided that she was going to have a little rest. It was about 00:00. It was 01:30 when she awoke and then began to complain that no-one had awoken her. We replied “you told us that you wanted a little rest so how is it now our fault that everything is running late?” We had this tremendous argument about her and not awakening, everything but we stood our ground. Then we had to rig up some kind of emergency system to the fuel tank so that I could go home. I had no spare tyre and my friend didn’t have a car either so I asked “what is going to happen if I have a problem on the way home?”. He replied “you’ll just have to sort it out”. I replied “that’s the last thing that I wanted to hear”. He made up some story but I knew really that I wasn’t going to have any help. In the end the 2 of us set off for my house. We arrived really late and I was only going to have a couple of hours sleep before going to work. To my surprise I found that my family was up which meant that there was no need for quiet or discretion or anything. I could fix this car and it didn’t matter if I made some noise. I was puzzled as to why they were up, whether there was something going on or whether they were waiting for me, I really didn’t know. Anyway I said that I’d sort out something. I had a few bags together with stuff that I might need. My friend’s parting words were “what’s happening now about this arrangement?”. I thought to myself that it’s not going to be done at this time of night now, is it?


diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022So while we admire the fact that the diving platform has now returned to the Plat Gousset, I’m still soldiering on.

I’d been sent to prison and been put in my cell. There was another guy in there and he seemed to be OK etc. I went for a wander around and found myself in a cell with an old guy who was something of a philosopher. We had quite a lengthy chat about all kinds of different things. There was coffee brought around on a tray so I had a coffee and we carried on chatting for a while. I asked if he knew where I could find a blanket. After a couple of minutes he produced one. It wasn’t exactly the type of blanket that I wanted but you can’t pick and choose in a prison so I had that. When it was time for “lights out” I wandered back to my cell and my cellmate was on the ‘phone talking to someone or other. Our cell was quite untidy and my bed was really untidy. I thought “how am I going to sleep in here tonight?”. But looking at everything isn’t going to get it done. I noticed that there was another cup of coffee that this guy had obtained for me and put by my bed so I sat down and drank that for a moment.

And then I was with a couple of other people. We were outside someone’s house in Stoke on Trent when a girl pulled up in one of these Renault tiny little electric car things to say that she couldn’t find first gear. She was a small girl, tiny, petite. We had a look in it and frankly she had that much stuff all around the floorwell that she couldn’t depress the clutch very far. We took it apart to make sure that the linkage on the gearchange was OK, put it back together again to make sure that it worked and put it all back. It seemed to be working fine so she asked about it. I told her so she asked “how much do I owe you?”. I replied “give me a nice smile and we’ll call it quits”. She gave us a smile so we chatted for a bit. She talked about her University so I said that my friend from the Wirral who was here has 2 degrees, one from UMIST and I couldn’t remember where the other one was from. I had a degree from that college in Birkenhead but I couldn’t remember its name and neither could anyone else which was a good start. She asked about the third guy but I replied “you don’t want to know about his degree” because he’d served time in prison. We all ended up on a service bus to go back to where the cars were parked. There was a couple on there going through their shopping and someone found that he’d been to buy a card but had ended up with an empty bag. We all burst out laughing but decided that we’d have to go back on this bus to the card shop to pick up his card. I smiled and said to this girl “welcome to Stoke on Trent. It’s always chaos in Stoke on Trent”. She told me that she was on her way to pick up another car. It was going to take her 3 years to pay for it and we had a chat about that. In the end I gave her my card and said “if you’re staying around here, look me up”. She asked if that was me so I replied “yes”. She gave me a card back but it wasn’t the one that I’d given her so I put it in my wallet to look at later. There were more and more cars coming round this bend actually inside this bus. I thought that if we don’t move back to the town centre to pick up this card we’ll end up with a full bus of people and we’d have to explain everything to them and hope that they’d be OK with the situation.

But Stoke on Trent and no Zero? Isn’t that depressing?

Finally, there was a huge group of us out for a meal. A few of us had been out for a meal before including Jackie (although it wasn’t her). There was another girl called Jackie as well. We’d had a nice vegan meal at this restaurant. I’d had chips and some kind of vegan patty. We were all in this restaurant together, an even bigger group of us and I had to go outside to do something. I went to the bathroom and I had to check on a few things. I was quite hot. On my way back who should I bump into but the petite girl with the electric Renault. I found that she was coming to eat with us which I thought was great. I chatted to her and asked her how her car was. She said that it was absolutely great, it just needed a hoover out. She went into the restaurant, I washed my hands and came in. They had to invent a way of sitting us all together. I had to go and order my meal as everyone else had ordered theirs. I asked Jackie what it was that i’d had last night but she couldn’t remember. There was someone else there saying that the menu had changed – a range of items had dropped off. I had a look and saw that the menu was exactly the same as the one that we’d had yesterday so it must have dropped off a while back. I took off my jumper because I was hot so I was just in a polo shirt and trousers trying to order my meal. I couldn’t remember what I’d had yesterday and neither could they. Of course I was hoping that the seat next to this petite

But here’s a thing – not just once but twice did I step out of a dream and then step back in at a later date. Three times, really, because my friend from the Wirral has appeared in two different ones too that aren’t connected by any other pairing. I don’t think that that has ever happened in the past. Once here and there during a night but two or three? That’s never happened before.

And not only was I back in Zero’s stamping ground and she not making an appearance, we haven’t had TOTGA or Castor too, or even Nerina. But we’ve had my family appearing, up to our ears in fact. All of that is getting on my nerves.

After brunch I sat down and paired off the music for the radio programme that i’ll be preparing tomorrow. Strangely enough, that went quite well and some of the joints went together much better than I’ve ever done before.

While all of this was going on, I was having a chat with Liz on the internet. It’s been a while since we’ve spoken and it’s nice to hear from her

repairing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Later on – rather later than usual in fact, I went out for my afternoon walk.

For a change I went off around the old town rather than around the headland. It’s been a while since I’ve been around here. And as we can see, while I’ve been away, the repairs to the medieval city walls have been progressing quite rapidly.

They have reassembled the wall that they partly demolished in the Rue du Nord and have made quite a nice job of the pointing. It’s looking much better now than it ever did before.

repairing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was there I wanted to go down the stairs to have a look at what was happening to the outside of the wall.

But that was pretty pointless right now. They have erected a scaffolding now right up to the steps and that’s covered with netting that you can see in the photo so I wouldn’t be able to see anything from down at the bottom.

But from here, what I can see is that they’ve worked all the way down to here too. Although I don’t know what they will be doing with the left-over stones that are on the scaffolding.

When that guy told me a few weeks ago that they’ll be here for another year, I don’t think that he must have meant on this particular part of the wall, considering how much they have advanced in the last few weeks while we were away.

open air theatre plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022From the Place du Marché aux Chevaux I walked down the path underneath the walls and round to the Plat Gousset.

On my way round I was aware of someone shouting from down below and I wondered what was going on. It turns out that there was a “spectacle” going on at the open-air theatre this afternoon. Some guy was performing a monologue to a fairly large crowd.

Although I could hear him talking, I couldn’t understand what he was saying so I didn’t hang around long. Instead I looked at the diving platform now installed on the concrete pillar and then pushed off on my walk.

around the world in 80 seconds plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The open-air theatre at the Plat Gousset wasn’t the only entertainment taking place down there today.

Down at the Place Marechal Foch this afternoon there was some kind of entertainment going on, called “Around The World in 80 Seconds”. And I don’t think that they can be going far in that caravan or whatever it is – not in 80 seconds anyway.

However they did have a queue of people waiting to try the experience so I suppose that it must be something worth seeing.

So having seen all that I wanted to see, I headed off around the corner.

seagull chicks rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022One of the things upon which I’ve been keeping an eye have been the three seagull chicks in a nest on a roof in the Rue des Juifs.

We saw them a couple of months ago when they were fresh out of the eggs and they looked so cute and tiny. It’s really hard to believe that these are the same chicks that we saw back then They have certainly grown into monsters.

Although their parents aren’t in shot, there were several adult seagulls loitering on the roof here. It made me think that a very proud mummy seagull had brought all of her friends round to see her babies.

There are times when I don’t ‘arf write some rubbish.

childrens amusements Square Maurice Marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And while we’re on the subject of rubbish … “well, one of us is” – ed … regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve spoken about the Square Maurice Marland quite often in the past.

For several years it was under renovation but it reopened with quite a fanfare of publicity. As time went on, it became the subject of an anonymous blog by someone who was using what they considered to be the poor state of repair of the Square as a means to attack the mayor at the time.

A new mayor was subsequently elected and I wonder what the author of the blog makes of the Square now. It’s riddled with weeds, dying grass and half of the kiddies’ rides are missing. I noticed today that the roundabout has been taken away.

people on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022another thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that yesterday we saw crowds of people on the quayside at the inner harbour.

They are still there today – well, maybe not the same people, but the crowds in general. I’m not sure though what was going on down there because I couldn’t hear any music coming from down there today but whatever it was, it must have been good. They’ve laid out the red carpet for someone, anyway.

There’s an ambulance down there too. I’m not quite sure what they are expecting

However there is still no Marité at the quayside. She’s still out and about in the Atlantic somewhere.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022We do have one of our regular sailing ships out there this afternoon.

We saw La Granvillaise out there in the Baie de Granville yesterday with sails furled, but here she is today with her sails unfurled and billowing proudly in the wind, always towing her lighter behind her. Although I’d like to see all of her passengers cram themselves into it in the case of an emergency.

In the background is the Brittany coast, looking quite clear today in the sunlight. It really was a nice day out this afternoon.

De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Now here’s a surprise – something that I haven’t seen before.

This twin-engined aeroplane flew out into the bay, did a lap around and then flew off down the coast towards Mont St Michel. I couldn’t see a registration number so I can’t say with any kind of assurance what she might be but she bears quite a resemblance to a “Twin Otter” – a De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter.

And what she would be doing around here I really don’t know. I believe that the French Air Force has 5 of them. My contact with them is when I’ve seen them flying around Arctic Canada with Air Inuit when I’ve been out there.

Back here I had a strawberry smoothie and carried on chatting to Liz and then went off to make my pizza.

home made vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Earlier on I’d taken the last of the frozen dough out of the freezer and it had been defrosting.

Having kneaded it again, I rolled it out and put it on the pizza tray to proof and later on, assembled my pizza when the dough was ready.

When it was baked I devoured it and it wasn’t as nice as usual, for some reason. I think that the freezer hasn’t been freezing the dough correctly so when I make the next batch I’ll freeze it in the big freezer instead of the ice box in the fridge.

But now having finished my notes I’m off to bed. I have an early (like 06:00) start tomorrow to prepare my radio programme and I want to finish it as quickly as possible.

Then I can relax. But with the distance that I’ve been travelling during the night just now, I don’t know whether a good sleep is on the cards.

Saturday 9th July 2022 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

kids jumping into sea port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… a couple of photos of the local kids taking the Leap of Death off the harbour wall into the sea, I’ll tell you about my day today, such as it was.

It started off as I mean to go on, by ignoring the alarms when they went off at 07:30, 07:45 and 08:00. In fact it was at 09:30 or thereabouts when I finally crawled into the Land of the Living. That’s much more like it.

And so after the medication I sat down and began to transcribe the dictaphone notes from last night. And if you are wondering why it took me all of the morning to deal with them, then read on. I haven’t crashed out yet today and that’s a surprise given the distance that I must have travelled during the night.

kids jumping into sea port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022I’d been with someone shopping and we’d picked some stuff out and we had a tub of ice cream. We couldn’t carry that so we put it on the floor by the freezer and took the stuff over. We came back and I put that tub back in the freezer and picked one from right down at the bottom that would be nice and cold and hard because it was a hot day. Then we bumped into this girl called Marie or Maria. In real life she was someone whom I knew from Woolworth’s in Crewe in the 70s. We were chatting and then I said I’d take this ice cream over to where there was a desk. She gave some kind of vague indication. When I arrived there I realised that I didn’t know her family name so I was looking for some French-sounding family names because I was sure that her husband was French. In the end I found 2 desks with 2 people the same family name, a foreign-sounding name. There was a girl working at a desk nearby so I asked her which was Marie’s desk. She said “if you had been here yesterday …” “which I wasn’t”. “No, but if you had been here yesterday …” and was on the point of giving me some really long lecture.

The guy in this dream lives with his mother, not in a flat, and is dating Marie. They don’t live together because she had something weird in her separation agreement with her husband about having guys staying over so they are a couple. We were out somewhere in Scotland in the Central Belt with baked beans and sausage on toast talking but I can’t remember what we were talking about now. It’s all gone out of my head.

belle france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022So while you admire a photo of Belle France doing a trip around the Bay, there was an unexploded mine that had drifted into a harbour where they were loading these ships with soldiers. I’d been detailed to take it to a disposal centre in my Cortina. A woman called Carol and I went to pick it up. We had to fight our way onto the quayside in this car. We eventually arrived at the end where we could hoist this mine up. In the meantime thousands of people were fighting to get into the Cortina to get away. We had to explain to them that if they got into the Cortina they would be travelling with an unexploded mine so they all left. We put this mine in the back of the car. A woman came over and asked if we’d seen a child’s coat. I said no, I hadn’t so she had a look in the back where we’d put this mine and there were two kids’ coats in there. She thought that one of them might have been the coat for which she was looking but could she order an extra coat from the stores just in case? I told Carol to make a note but she pulled a face. We had this mine safely aboard our car and had to turn round through these crowds of soldiers and leave for this mine disposal place

Somewhere in this I was at Marianne’s and she told me that I could make some tea. I switched on the oven and put a small mushroom pie in it. I had potatoes on the stove and some peas cooking in gravy. Later on she came to check and saw that I was doing OK so she went back to her book again and carried on working. She seemed to think that I was doing everything correctly and asked me if I wanted some Brussels sprouts. I replied “no” because she would overcook them terribly.

la granvillaise notre dame de cap lihou baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And while La Granvillaise and the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou do a lap around the Bay I was back with this little girl and her father … “which little girl and her father?” – ed … again. They’d been round an amusement park and looked at the gardens and now gone to look for their plants. He couldn’t find his radishes but his wife and daughter found their plants. In the end he found his radishes in the wrong place so he went to dig them up. Just then there was some kind of commotion and he and his daughter fled. They scrambled aboard a spaceship that was one of the exhibits at this park and set off down this waterway. After a few hours they stopped. The girl was really nervous. She didn’t want to stop as they could easily be caught if they stopped so when he lowered the machine down onto the water she pressed the lever and it took off again and they went somewhere else. Eventually they came to another place. When they landed there and went out for some fresh air there was another young girl watching them. They took this young girl and put her on the spaceship as well. There were now 3 of them fleeing from whatever authority it was that pursuing them over these radishes.

Then I was in my bedroom and there was another girl here (and I wish that I knew who she was). We were talking about going somewhere. She moved her suitcase over to the wardrobe ready to pack it and my suitcase still had those hot cross buns in it so I had to go and make some room in the freezer to store them in there. When I came back in here she had gone. That awoke me with a start and for the first minute or two I was looking around the bedroom trying to find her, it was somehow so realistic that I thought it was real.

That was absolutely weird

kayak buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Later on, while this kayak rows past this strange buoy that has appeared just here in the bay, there was some kind of geography field trip. Half a dozen or so of us had gone to the site of some shale deposits and were searching through for all kinds of stuff. I lost interest after a while. I had these things and I had 3 foam-rubber cushions on which I’d been kneeling. I knew later on that afternoon that we were going to go home so I was simply piling them up in a corner ready to post them off but putting them so they looked tidy and I was just stirring stuff around to pass the time more than anything else. There was only really one person working, running out into the shale to pick up fossils etc. There was someone there with 3 vehicles, a black saloon, a red double-decker bus and a green double decker Bristol Lodekka bus. While I was walking around I suddenly had the thought that I’d never driven a service-bus double-decker so I went over to him but he didn’t stop. He kept on driving. I had to run round after him. I thought that this was pretty pointless. I was determined to have a go at this bus for about 5 minutes. It was like a farm track or something so it wasn’t going to be dangerous but the guy wouldn’t stop to talk to me. I had to run after him. I thought that this is going to be a pretty futile exercise, I could see this, but it was going to be my only chance to have a go behind the wheel of a bus like this.

I had some endives and a pile of Brussels sprouts that needed preparing, blanching and freezing. I prepared the endives but I didn’t like the look of the sprouts because they were all old and brown. Trying to find something nice in those would take me an age. There won’t be very much left to freeze if I do it properly so I was really not looking forward at all to doing that.

All of that and not a single TOTGA, Castor or Zero. I hope that they put in an appearance while I was away otherwise it’s going to be a pretty poor do. It’s been an age since I remember them coming to see me.

Once more, I’ve had no lunch. I’m trying my best to keep on top of my weight. There’s still plenty that I could do with losing to bring me down to what I consider to be my optimum weight. While I was in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2019 I actually made it too and I kept it off for a while until I was obliged to stop running.

This afternoon I made a desultory start on the photos from June and my trip around Europe. There are plenty to go at and I didn’t feel like pushing myself too hard.

And in case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been out to the shops today.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Instead I went out for my usual walk around the headland.

The first thing that I did was to go over to the wall at the end of the headland and look down on the crowds on the beach.

And crowds there were too. Plenty of people taking advantage of the nice warm weather and beautiful sunshine, even if there wasn’t all that much beach for them to be on this afternoon. The tide is well in right now.

Quite a few people actually brave enough to take to the water too. They were all having a whale of a time this afternoon, and who can blame them?

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were plenty of people wandering around on the path up here on top of the cliffs too.

And that’s not all because we had one of the sparrowhawks too this afternoon. There’s a colony of rabbits down there in the cliffs and I imagine that the bird is on the lookout for a juvenile to take home for tea.

From what I’ve seen, I think that there are at least two of them working the cliffs around here. Usually there’s just one of them but I have seen two on a couple of occasions flying around there.

While I haven’t actually seen one of these here manage to catch something, I’ve seen plenty of them in the Auvergne when I lived in Virlet that were clutching some kind of rodent in their claws.

yellow gyrocopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022That wasn’t all of the aerial activity that was happening either.

As I wandered along the path I was overflown by our old friend the yellow autogyro.

It was heading towards the airfield when it overflew me but immediately afterwards did a rather dramatic U-turn and headed back down the coast towards Mont St Michel.

Apart from that we had a few full-size jets flying by overhead at 35,000 feet but I haven’t seen a light aeroplane for a while. With it being summer, I would have expected to have seen them out and about more-or-less permanently.

fishermen pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022However, there were plenty of fishermen out this afternoon.

Every rock seemed to have its own fisherman today. There were seven just in my field of view here at the end of the headland, although only three made it into this photo.

And with all of the activity going on out at sea today, because there was much, much more than that which you have seen in the earlier photos, there was no-one at all sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban enjoying the spectacle.

Having taken several photos here and there of the various water craft I wandered off along the path on the other side of the headland.

The kids were there on the sea wall leaping off into the sea so I watched them for a while and took a few photos. Apart from that, there was nothing else going on in the harbour that we didn’t see yesterday.

people on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022What we did see yesterday were a couple of marquees that hed been erected down at the far end of the harbour.

There was some music going on from down there this afternoon and quite a crowd of people around there watching whatever was going on. They all seemed to ba having a good time.

Back here I had a strawberry smoothie and then true to form, bang on cue, Rosemary rang me. I’m sure that she’s hidden a camera in here somewhere.

We had a good chat about all kinds of things including her adventures with her Ukrainian guests at the local Prefecture when they went to register.

And little Miss Ukrainian is ill, so I heard. That’s really sad because I quite like her. I hope that she gets better soon.

Tea was a baked potato with veg and one of these breaded quorn fillets that I like so much. I’m running quite low on those now and that’s a shame. I don’t think that Noz will have any more of those.

So I’m going to have a relax before I go to bed. Tomorrow is Sunday so I’m having a good lie-in. It’s been several weeks since I’ve had a really good interrupted sleep and I am quite looking forward to it.

Sunday 5th June 2022 – EVEN THOUGH I …

… had a nice lie-in this morning, I still couldn’t manage to go for a whole day without crashing out at some point.

Only for 20 minutes or something like that but it was still enough for me to feel quite miserable about the whole affair.

Anyway, you don’t come here to hear me moaning – at least, I hope that you don’t. I ought to be out here bringing joy and gaiety into everyone’s life instead of sitting here feeling miserable.

This morning I didn’t awaken until about 10:00 and it was about 10:45 when I finally fell out of bed. There’s a pile of stuff on the dictaphone from during the night but as I type out my notes this evening it seems that I’ve forgotten to transcribe them.

Yes, it’s not been a very good day today.

So after the medication it took me a while to come round into the Land of the Living and then I paired up the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow. I forgot to do that last week and that delayed me somewhat.

Mind you, I don’t think that I’ll need any excuse to be delayed tomorrow. I’m really not feeling anything like it at all. I did however manage to find some kind of motivation to run through my acoustic set again. It seems to be working OK for the moment.

After lunch I came back in here where I fell asleep. And later on I made a batch of dough for the pizzas, seeing as I seem to have run out again. 500 grammes makes a nice load for 3 pizzas. It was all mixed up quite nicely and left on the side in order to proof.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022The other day I mentioned that I hadn’t been for a wander around the medieval city walls for a while.

What surprised me was that I actually remembered today, and that’s the reason why this afternoon’s photo of the beach is taken from a different viewpoint.

There were quite a few people down there this afternoon on the beach, but no-one brave enough to go into the water. This couple were busy drying themselves off so I was wondering whether they had taken the plunge before I arrived.

And once more, no boats out there in the bay today, as far as I could see.

repairs to medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Another thing that I wanted to check on was the work that was going on on the medieval city walls just recently.

They’ve been making quite a racket with power tools and the like over the last few days so I imagined that they were pushing on. And I wasn’t wrong either.

They have dismantled completely a small part of the wall here in the Rue du Nord and have removied the rotten mortar from the joints of another long length of wall.

The other day one of the workmen told me that they expected to be here for another year and I’m beginning to see that he might not have been joking.

repairs to medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022One of the things that I wanted to do was to go down the steps to look and see how they were progressing with the outside of the wall.

That wasn’t possible this afternoon because there were crowds of people hanging around just there and I’d have to wait for ages before they cleared off.

Instead, I went to have a look at the outside from farther round in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux but they have now covered it completely in security netting so it’s not possible to see anything at all.

What I ought to do, I suppose, is to go out later in the evening when there is no-one around. In fact I used to go out twice a day but I’ve not been up for that for quite a while.

35ma aeroplane Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022From the Place du Marché aux Chevaux I wandered off along the path underneath the walls towards the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

But here I was overflown by another aeroplane. This one is another one of the light aircraft that hang around the airfield and which we see every now and again. We saw 50SA yesterday – today it’s the turn of 35MA.

And as I said yesterday, their registration numbers aren’t in the database to which I have access, they don’t file flight plans and they don’t fly high enough to be picked up on civilian radar so I can’t tell you anything at all about them.

building work plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022When I got to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset I could see that there’s something exciting going on.

At first I thought that it might have been something to do with the phenomenal rainstorm that we had overnight but the cement mixer there seems to indicate that this is a project that’s been going on for a little longer.

By the looks of things they are digging out some rocks from the cliff at the back. I wonder if this is a security issue or whether it means that we are going to be having some more facilities on the Plat Gousset to attract more visitors.

Mind you, the fact that the Big Wheel has been banned from the town seems to indicate that encouraging tourism isn’t all that high on the list of priorities of the current town council.

They seem to be much more interested in turning the town into a genteel retirement home for the fortunate few at the expense of the younger, fitter, healthier population of the town.

tidal swimming pool plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022At least though they have managed to give the tidal swimming pool something of a recondition this last couple of weeks.

And at long last it seems to be retaining its water. It’s not been very successful at that in the past and even so, it’s draining out of the drain rather too quickly than I would have expected to see.

And although you can’t see it in this photo, they still haven’t put the diving platform on top of the concrete pillar. That is usually installed at some point shortly after Easter and I can’t understand why they are leaving it so late this year.

Another 4 weeks and the main summer holiday season will be starting.

airbus A400-M baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022With nothing much else going on down there on the Plat Gousset, I headed off towards the Square Maurice Marland

And from around the corner out in the bay came this big Air Force aeroplane flying southwards.

From this angle it’s very difficult to see what it is. I was tempted to suggest that it’s another one of the Airbus A400-M aeroplanes like we saw a couple of weeks ago, but it wasn’t making anything like the racket that one of those would make..

We saw one once at 34,000 feet and the noise was indescribable. At a tenth of that the noise ought to be considerably worse but this was nothing like as loud as I was expecting.

baby seagulls rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Our seagull chicks seem to be doing fine.

There are two of them, so it seems, and they are able to stand on their own two feet in a manner of speaking, and seem to be managing quite fine without mummy keeping an eye on them, for she is nowhere to be seen.

It was quite amusing watching them trying to leap up over the ridges in the roofing sheets. They couldn’t quite manage it and I felt for them because I understand exactly how they feel right now

p692 maroni gendarme maritime port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022We have a new visitor in port this afternoon.

This is a ship called Maroni and she belongs to the French maritime police. I wonder what’s going on around here that brings her into port today. There’s nothing going on around here that I can think of.

She’s not the one that came to check our papers when we were on board the Spirit of Conrad. She was called Geranium I and she was accompanying a survey boat that was checking the sea bed for likely spots to position some offshore wind turbines.

marquee port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022The other day I mentioned the marquee that had appeared on the quayside away across on the other side of the port.

With the 70-300mm LENS on the NIKON D500 I could see that there were stalls set up around the outside of the marquee and there were crowds of people milling around.

There will probably be something about it in the newspaper tomorrow that will tell me what was going on.

Back here I had a coffee and then wrote notes on “School Days” and “Technology” for my Welsh revision. I have to keep on going even though it’s a Sunday.

Later on I divided the dough into three and put two lumps in the freezer.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022The third one I rolled out and put on the pizza tray. And when it had had its second proofing I assembled this evening’s pizza.

When it was made I bunged it into the oven to bake and 35 minutes later it was ready to eat.

And I do have to say that it was one of the best pizzas that I’ve made. I don’t like using bleached industrial flour but I wasn’t having much success with any other kind.

Eventually I managed to catch up with the notes from my travels during the night. We’d been to Mexico. There had been some kind of scene about a song that we were supposed to know. I didn’t know particularly well so I didn’t join in. When everyone was cleared away I went over to the front and there on the screen were the words. They had song sheets and lyric sheets and batons for timing etc, a huge pile of mess at the side of the runway. I thought to myself that obviously this song wasn’t as well-known as people were pretending with everything to persuade these people to sing and all these people from the EU to join in as well.

And then there was quite a bit of currency manipulation going on with the German mark. People were coming up with all kinds of things that were going to drive the German mark down including blackmail. I had to do some research into it and found several things so I wrote various notes. I had to write them small because there wasn’t all that much room. In the end what I wrote made a great deal of sense even though there was something like 2,000 words crammed into a space of about 3″x3″. I managed to fit in something about blackmail and showed a little evidence as well. I was pleased with what I’d done and was about to present it to a meeting.

And finally there was something that I was doing for a photographic assignment, having to photograph all these people. There was something about having to get them all onto the photo at once which was going to be extremely difficult. I was trying to work out a way to do it when we had an enormous thunderstorm and everyone scattered. It made it virtually impossible for me to do it. I had to remind everyone that they were quite happy to do it before this thunderstorm. There was still the same photograph to do and still the same amount of space and same amount of land. We needed to push on and do this photograph because of the weather.

So now I’m off to bed. I’m up at 06:00 in the morning to start my radio programme so I need to be on form. But not much chance of that happening these days. I’m going to have to do better than this.

Sunday 29th May 2022 – DESPITE IT BEING …

… a Sunday today, I’ve actually been rather busy. And it’s not like me on a Sunday, is it?

It actually started off like any Sunday ought to have started, by having a nice lie-in. And to a reasonable time as well. None of your middays or anything like that but I was wide awake at 10:05 and by 10:30 I was actually up and about. I’m quite happy about that.

After the medication I started to hunt down the paperwork that I need to complete my tax return. Luckily, the banks have organised themselves correctly and a search on their sites reveals something called “fiscality declarations”. It’s just a case of downloading them and then printing them off.

For a change, I can actually find my pension certificate from Belgium. Last year, my Belgian old-age pension totalled €403:58. Spend, spend, spend, hey?

Unfortunately, there’s a slight problem with my pension from the EU. I need a declaration from them about the tax-free status of my pension from them but as you might expect, their web site is down at the moment.

When I had a look a couple of days ago, the EU’s website was OK but the web site of one of the banks was down. It looks as if they are all taking it in turns to confound everyone and make our tax returns late.

After lunch I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was in the army. A group of us had to go and investigate a chimney from the inside. The vertical transition up and down was easy enough but going from side to side, horizontal transition, was difficult. I had to go first. People were keeping a close eye on what I was doing. I had to call back every couple of minutes to explain the procedure. It was quite complicated to try to move horizontally in this chimney rather than vertically so everyone was keeping close tabs on me. They were pretty impressed with my progress. Someone was telling me about the cables he’d used when he was doing it. He’d plug the electricity cables into a house’s socket but for some unknown reason that had caused certain problems and the light only worked at certain times

And then I’d been away on holiday for several weeks and had taken a whole ton of stuff with me. When I came back to the office and my car I had it all in the office with me ready to move down to the car park. Someone reminded me about a book that he’d lent me. I didn’t remember actually taking it with me. I thought that it must be at home so I went to explain to him. He started to talk to me but then went off to talk to someone else. This happened two or three times. In the end I was fed up of waiting. I went back and started to search through everything that I’d taken with me. I couldn’t find anything there that related to this book at all. There were all sorts of things like 7-inch records, tons of paperwork, all kinds of stuff. Then I thought about how I was going to take all this home. From my office to the car was quite a trek. I’d have to do about a dozen trips to move all this. I thought that I could stick it all in my storage locker and take it home bit by bit over the period of the next few days. I went off to look for a trolley to load it all on so I could take it all round to my storage locker but it was strange that I couldn’t find that book in all this stuff that I had with me. This guy only seemed to be interested in making a scene about his book rather than making genuine enquiries about where it is and what had happened to it.

And then I was also having a laugh at the daughter of my friend Erika in Atlanta, Georgia, who is just 10 years old. According to Erika’s social network, Harper was going over to a friend’s house a few buildings away.
Erika: “Ok, what do we do if someone tries to grab you?”
Harper: “Kick him in the balls and yell ‘FIRE’!”
Erika: “Ha, right, but that’s not a good word, it’s ‘testicles’.”
Harper: “Ok, kick him in the balls and yell ‘TESTICLES’!”
Erika: “You know…that might work too.”.

Kids of that age are wonderful, aren’t they?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk as usual.

There was plenty of sun this afternoon but the strong winds that we had earlier in the year are now back again. For that reason I wasn’t expecting to see too many people out there this afternoon.

And I was right as well. The wind seems to be keeping them all indoors this afternoon. Everywhere was quite deserted, even the car parks up here. It wasn’t like yesterday at all when you could hardly move around down there because of the crowds.

Nobody up in the air either. I would have expected to have seen a few Birdmen of Alcatraz out and about in this weather.

yachts ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022What else I would have expected to have seen would have been fleets of boats out there just offshore having a good run around on a pleasant Sunday afternoon.

However it looks as if everyone has now gone back to Paris now that the long weekend is over. There wasn’t anything at all just offshore. All that I could see was right out at the Ile de Chausey where there was a handful of yachts milling around this afternoon.

No speedboats, no cabin cruisers, no fishermen. “No shipwrecks and nobody drownding. In fact, nothing to laugh at at all” as the old song goes.

And so I headed off slowly down the path towards the end of the headland to see what was happening there.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One thing that can be said about the day today was that visibility was amongst the best that we have had for a while.

The other day I showed you a photo of St Helier but I can do even better than that today. Even with the naked eye I could see the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel this afternoon and considering that that’s about 70kms away, that’s quite impressive.

One of these days I really will post those photos of the Cap Fréhel lighthouse that I took when we sailed down that way on Spirit of Conrad two years ago. I haven’t forgotten but like most things these days, I never seem to have the time to do anything.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yesterday while we were out for our afternoon walk we were overflown by the air-sea rescue helicopter.

Today, someone else has had his chopper out. We were overflown by yet another helicopter as we walked across the lawn at the end of the path.

And this is a helicopter that I don’t recognise. I’m not sure whether or not we have seen it before and unfortunately from this distance I can’t read the registration number that it painted on her tail boom so I’ve no idea who she is.

All of the arrivals at the airfield this afternoon are aeroplanes whom we know for one reason or another so it’s not likely that she went in to land there.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022With no-one in my way and no cars to knock me over on the car park I had a safe passage down to the end of the headland this afternoon.

And as usual, we had a few people sitting down there on the bench by the cabanon vauban admiring the view.

Not that there was much view to admire this afternoon because there wasn’t a single boat out there in the bay this afternoon. I’ve no idea where they have all gone today, unless they have all gone home.

But there are still five weeks to go before the schools break up for summer and then we’ll know all about tourism and no mistake.

cancale brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022A little earlier I mentioned the really good view that we were having this afternoon.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a decent view of Cancale, away across the bay in Brittany so it seemed to be the right moment to deal with that.

We were actually there five years ago and didn’t take a single photo because we couldn’t find a place to park. And then we were there with Spirit of Conrad but we never stepped ashore.

Why I was there 5 years ago was that I was looking for a hotel for the night and one came up that was 18 kilometres away “in Cancale” so I booked it. Of course, as I was to find out later, that’s 18 kms as the crow flies and I ended up driving almost 90 kms around the bay to reach the hotel

fishermen pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022We had a few more fishermen out there on the rocks this afternoon.

Not engaged in the peche à pied but using a rod and line like the guy was using the other day when we saw him pull a fish out of the water. These three here didn’t have the same amount of success though but then again, I don’t think that anyone was actually expecting them to.

Mind you, one of them did have a bucket so I suppose that he was having certain expectations.

And who knows? Maybe I might have seen him catch something had I waited around long enough but I had places to go, things to do, people to see etc.

yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Before I head for home, I had to take a photo of the latest arrival at the chantier naval.

It’s not exactly what I would call a serious piece of maritime equipment and I’m sure that they don’t need the services of the chantier naval to do what needs to be done to it, but as Marechal MacMahon once famously, said, “j’y suis – j’y reste”.

Back here I made a coffee and started work again as I had plenty of things to do. Firstly, I had some home-made bread to make seeing as I had run out. And so I mixed up a big batch of dough and left it to proof for a while.

Before I’d gone out I’d taken the last load of dough out of the freezer and by know that had defrosted so I kneaded it, rolled it out and then pout it on the pizza tray.

By now the bread was ready for its second kneading so I dealt with that and then came in here for a bash on the guitar for a while.

vegan pizza home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Later on the bread went into the oven and while it was baking I assembled the pizza and that went into the oven when the bread was cooked.

And here are the finished products. The pizza was quite delicious as usual – much as it pains me to say it, going back to commercial bleached flour was the right decision – and I’ll tell you about the bread at lunchtime tomorrow.

But right now I’m off to bed. I have a 06:00 start in the morning and a radio programme to prepare. High time that I organised myself better than I am doing. I’m never going to make any progress if I don’t.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 19th May 2022 – JUST IN CASE …

… you’re wondering, which I’m sure you aren’t because I’m as fed up as you are, there wasn’t any change today in the way things worked out.

So there wasn’t all that much of a morning to do things in but I was working out a couple of plans for later next month. My Welsh exam is on 17th June and then I might go off on my travels for a while. I’m not doing much good here so I may as well not do much good somewhere else.

While I was at it I managed to fit in the time to go for a shower and a good clean-up.

After lunch I had a Welsh conversation class which wasn’t as long as it ought to have been because firstly I had to finish early to go for my physiotherapy appointment and secondly it took an age for me to connect up to the chat. It really was steam-driven internet here today.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So eventually I had to wander off out for my physiotherapy appointment this afternoon.

As usual I went for a look down into the port from the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

And for a change we haven’t seen L’Omerta settled down in the silt for the last few days. She must have gone out to sea to earn an honest living.

Incidentally, you are probably wondering what the “2E et 202E de Ligne” refers to in the name of the street. It actually refers to the “2nd and 202nd (Regiments) of the Line” – the two infantry regiments that were housed in the buildings here where I live when they were military barracks before the army sold them off in the late 80s.

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022With nothing much else going on around here I headed off down the hill towards the town.

And for a change just recently, Marité is tied up at her berth this afternoon. It looks as if she might be having a day off today.

There are a few people loitering around on the quayside but I don’t think that they will be going aboard because she doesn’t have a gangplank out to the quayside.

And the speedboat that was there yesterday is still there today. No-one has been in from Jersey with a freighter to take it away so far today.

bar ephemere place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Things seem to be happening at Chez Maguie, the Bar Ephemère that opens every summer on the Place Pelley.

Never mind the boulonauts, the café tables now seem to have grown some orange parasols to shelter everone from the sun and, more likely, the torrential thunderstorms that we’ve been having this last couple of days.

As seems to be the case these days I didn’t enjoy the walk up the hill to the physiotherapist. I’m not doind as well as I did a couple of weeks ago and even then, that was nothing to write home about.

The physiotherapist put me through my paces again this afternoon. I’m sure that it’s a case of “kill or cure” with her. She’s certainly having a good go at finishing me off.

electricians working rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022At the end of my session I staggered out into the street and reeled off down the hill into the town centre.

The last time we came by this way, which was on Monday, we saw the electricians at work laying cables in the conduits under the pavement. And they are still at it today, but their tent has moved a few feet down the hill to another manhole.

The walk up the hill towards home was another desperate struggle with me having to stop for breath on several occasions. I was thinking that if I’m like this after just 10 days of being without my hospital treatment, what am I going to be like after 13 weeks?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022When I (finally) reached the top of the hill, after much binding in the marsh, I didn’t go straight home.

Instead, I went down to the end of the car park to have a look over the wall to see what was happening down on the beach this afternoon.

It had been a lovely day – in fact I’d been out to the physiotherapist in just a tee-shirt without wearing a jacket or a jumper – so I was expecting to see the crowds down there this afternoon so it was rather disappointing to see so few people.

There wasn’t anything going on out at sea either. Mind you, I only had the NIKON 1 J5 with the standard lens so even if there had been something happening, the tide was so far out that I wouldn’t have been able to see it anyway.

hang glider plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022However in the distance there were couple of bird-men of Alcatraz trying their best to take to the air with their Nazguls.

They seemed to be having an enormous amount of difficulty so I waited for a while to give them a chance to approach me but in the end I ran out of patience and went indoors for a strawberry smoothie.

And then I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was something about spies. We were actually catching a spy in Wales on the Lleyn peninsula. Right at the very end we put his body back in the water hoping that the current would catch it and take it out to sea. There was much more to it than this and I remember thinking that this would have made a really good plot for a book. Then there was Mildred Murfin and two men a bit like the Men from the Ministry. She was planning on going on holiday with them but of course they weren’t used to going on holiday. It was all a bit of a mess, packing and preparing everything etc. One of them turned up at her apartment dressed in his pyjamas saying that he wasn’t going. He didn’t think that it was him so she had to cajole him along to try to take the few final steps to prepare his things ready to catch his flight. They were all typical British holidaymakers of the 60s going abroad with no idea what to expect, no idea what to do or what to take etc, all very naive and all really rather a sad dream watching them try to prepare to leave on this holiday of a lifetime.

There was a married couple, two kids and me somewhere in Central Europe. They were something like a Romany family. We were all going off to stay somewhere in a caravan for 2 weeks. I was driving and I didn’t recognise the car that I had. We were all going to this caravan by the sea somewhere. I can’t remember anything about it at all, what was happening. I know that in the end everyone ended up leaving the car, leaving me in it. There were a couple of little girls who had come to meet the youngest of these two children to go to a dancing class. There was going to be a football match with all the kids against the adults but that’s all that I can remember.

We were listening to a Gospel-rock song by “Arrival” although it was in fact mostly “Alquin” musicians with Dyan Birch singing. For some unknown reason the guitar solo wasn’t what I wanted at all. I had an earlier guitar solo for that track stashed away somewhere so I edited out the guitar solo that was being played and superimposed the one from earlier in its place. I mentioned to the musicians that I’d changed guitar solo and the guitarist was distraught. He was unhappy with his own playing rather than anything else. I explained that it wasn’t a case that the playing was bad, simply a case that it was inappropriate for what I wanted. He was still inconsolable about it but I went ahead and changed the solo anyway. The other group members didn’t seem to be all that concerned at all.

This is about the 6th attempt at dictating this. I’d had all of the motor insurance renewals for France and I’d noticed that the premiums had gone up quite a lot so I’d gone round to the broker’s. They told me that much of it related to the yellow Cortina saloon because with it being parked up the premiums had gone up because some actuary had worked out that cars are more at risk of accidents when they are stationary than when they are actually moving. I thought that that was absolute nonsense. Maybe they disagreed with me but they couldn’t agree with the actuarial report. It was a girl with a cleft palate who saw me so it was very difficult to understand what she was saying. The thalidomide girl was involved in the discussion as well at some point. I learnt as well that they were going to drop down and possess part of my yard where the building was, taking away 1500m² that I owned there so that they could make a by-pass around the town. That was going to be even worse for me because I had nowhere else to keep anything. This was turning into a very bad situation for me. I wasn’t enjoying what I was hearing at all today. The boss was very unhappy with the fact that I was complaining but I thought that I was well within my rights to complain about this kind of thing.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap with a baked potato and veg – well, only half the veg because the other half ended up on the floor. It’s not my day today, is it?

and the fridge needs defrosting so I’m going to deal with that before I go to bed. One of these days things will start to go right for me, although God knows when that might be.

Monday 18th April 2022 – THERE WAS MUCH …

yacht trawler ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… more activity out on the water this afternoon.

Still not as much as I would have expected to see, given that it’s a bank holiday and we’re having nice weather, but still much more than there has been just recently.

But be that as it may, let’s retourner à nos moutons and while you all admire the photos of the water craft out there today, I’ll tell you about the morning that I had.

at least, insofar as I remember it because until about 11:00 or so I was deep in the arms of Morpheus. It’s a bank Holiday today so there was no alarm.

cancale brittany trawlers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022It’s no wonder that I was exhausted this morning because I must have travelled miles during my sleep, as I discovered when I listened to the dictaphone.

Some girl had fallen foul of a gangster boss for some reason. She’d been taking photos and dictating things into her dictaphone about this and that, dictating her dreams. This gangland boss insisted that she hand over her memory card and dictaphone which of course she flatly refused to do. This led to some kind of argument or stand-off. In the end one of his minions managed to produce some kind pf portable machine that would copy everything off the memory card and off the dictaphone so that she could have copies of everything that she had done. She could possibly have her memory card and dictaphone back. This was again a completely realistic kind of dream and made me worry about my dictaphone.

And then it was the birthday of TOTGA’s daughter so she was dancing around, reciting words in a form of poetry about presents that she would like to have for her birthday. Then TOTGA was talking about going to China … JUST LIKE SWEET REGINA” – ed … so I asked if the whole family was going. She replied “yes” or at least to the China museum which is free for everyone who visits China. She went over to a ticket machine to try to sort out everything from the machine that was there. I’m missing a few bits off this. I can’t remember all of it.

There were a couple of cowboys, taxi drivers, but one of them was an Indian. There had been some talk about disabled passengers. There was a notice on the door that said “if you’re phoning up for an elderly disabled person make sure that the taxi has a wheelchair lift fitted”. Anyway these 2 guys were on horses. One of them had a horse blanket over his horse because he was an Indian. When you took the blanket off you could see the saddle underneath all ready for war. One of his comrades came into town, also sitting on a blanket ready for war. The other cowboy went out to confront him.

people in zodiac baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022I was in a pub waiting for someone to bring round a settee to make it more comfortable. When the pub closed for the afternoon I was cleaning it up and doing some tidying up. There was something like an indoor pool in this pub, a water feature. I thought that I’d put a spade in and get down to the bottom here and see what was happening. Then 2 people turned up, a girl who worked here and her boyfriend, and they were in the middle of having an argument so I left them to it. I put my spade into the water and dug down into the mud and pulled up a huge pile of LPs and single, an Alquin double album, a pile of stuff by Alquin, loads of stuff like that. Everyone came to give me a hand to help me pull all of these out. I realised of course that they would all be ruined but I wondered what on earth they were all doing in there. I recognised one or two of them from stuff that I’d upgraded to CD but I don’t remember throwing away. There I was, picking out all these LPs from this dirty, muddy, filthy water inside this pub.

Robert Fripp was having a party to celebrate the release of his new blues album. A whole pile of us went. There was a young girl there, a bass guitarist, who played bass on his album but when she came to listen to his album you couldn’t hear the bass on it at all. She asked Robert Fripp what had happened to the bass and he told her that basically her playing was rubbish. That had of course reduced her to tears. I went to see him and asked if he would play the album with the bass on it. He replied that with the bass being rubbish he didn’t want to feature it. I told him that he didn’t really understand music because music isn’t just one performer, that sort of thing, music is everyone together, the whole ensemble. We had this argument. I told him that there had been other cases like Richie Blackmore who for example had sacked Mark Clark in the middle of a recording session and played the bass himself because he didn’t like Clark’s bass playing and I’m impressed that I could remember that when I was asleep. I said that it was dishonest in a way to have this girl play and then wipe out her playing. I insisted that he play the album version with her bass on it. He said that it would take some time so I asked him if he would send me a copy of the album with her bass playing on it. He had to fiddle around in the corner of the room to try to find the master tapes.

Finally I’d been at work. Everyone was slowly leaving. In the end there was just me and a girl, the girl whom I knew from Stoke whose name I can’t remember, the pretty one who had cancer. We were chatting away and the conversation became more and more about our intimate selves. In the end I ended up kissing her. We spent a good few minutes like that. Then I had to leave. On the way out I bumped into my elder sister. She noticed that I was late so I said that I’d been seeing some guy whose sister she knew who lived in Shavington. Then I walked down to my parents’ house in Davenport Avenue. It had changed quite considerably from when I remembered it, the outside. I knocked on the door and one of my younger sister’s children let me in. It told me to make sure that I wiped my feet but there wasn’t really any need because the lawn inside the house was all churned up like a ploughed field, a real horrible mess. My sister said that one of her children was dropping out of school. I told her that she better hadn’t because she only has one chance at education and this is it. She didn’t seem to think that she was, it was my sister’s idea that she would.

There was an interruption in the middle of this for a rather late brunch. Porridge, coffee and the last of the hot cross buns. I shall have to hope that someone I know is going back to the UK soon to bring me back another couple of batches. They aren’t very easy to make correctly and I do like them very much.

When I’d finished the dictaphone notes I had a good session on the guitar and then made a start on the radio programme that I’ll be completing tomorrow if all goes according to plan.

And while we’re on the subject of tomorrow … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ll have to tidy up the apartment tomorrow as I have someone coming round at 14:00 to see me and the place is something of a mess. How I’m going to manage raising myself from the dead with an alarm after several days of lying in remains to be seen.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But that all relates to tomorrow. Today, it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

As usual I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end to see what was happening down on the beach.

The tide is of course well out, as we have seen over the last few days. But there weren’t as many people down there today as there have been.

The difference today is the amount of wind that we are having. It’s a lot windier than it has been and I suppose that that is keeping people off the sand. No-one really wants to be out in a cossy in this wind.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good.

And so consequently we had the birdmen of Alcatraz out in numbers this afternoon. I counted a good half dozen and maybe more out and about in the air.

This one is carrying a passenger too, and I haven’t forgotten that it’s on my bucket list to go up for a flight one of these days if I can find an intrepid birdman intrepid enough to take me up, and a Nazgul strong enough to support the two of us. I really could do with losing another 8 or so kilos to bring me down to what I consider to be my optimal weight.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022The birdmen of Alcatraz weren’t the only people up in the air today.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last couple of days we’ve seen the red powered hang glider flying around and I mentioned yesterday that I wondered what had happened to the yellow one.

Sure enough, around the corner she came this afternoon, pilot and passenger, on their way back to the airfield after a lap around the bay.

All we need now is to see the yellow autogyro and we’ll have had the full set but she’s been conspicuous by her absence for quite a while now.

There was also a small aeroplane flying around the bay but she was too far out for me to be able to take a decent photograph.

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Not so many people out on the path either this afternoon.

That’s much more like how it ought to be these days when there’s a pandemic raging.c Not that I’m all that bothered during normal circumstances but if people won’t wear a mask when I’m a person at high risk, I would rather the path be empty.

Only another 87,000 cases yesterday and 35 deaths. Mind you, it hasn’t escaped my notice that the UK hasn’t declared its figures for the last few days. I wonder what’s going on there right now.

people by cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022With all of the excitement going on out at sea this afternoon I was expecting to see crowds of people down by the cabanon vauban.

Well, at least there were a couple of people gazing out to sea at the trawlers and the zodiac in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And also at the pecheurs à pied too because there were plenty of those down there on the rocks this afternoon too. I wondered why there were so many cars on the car park and so few people about.

So I left them to it and headed off down the path on the other side of the headland.

ch798530 briscard ch638749 pescadore sm517594 rocalamauve port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022It looks as if there were several boats that missed the tide and the open harbour gates this morning

Settling down in the silt over there at the quayside next to the Fish Processing Plant from front to back are Briscard, Pescadore and Roc A La Mauve. It’s not like any of those to be moored there deliberately.

Back at the apartment I made myself a coffee and settled down in front of the computer for this evening’s football match – a basement match between Barry Town, second bottom, and Aberystwyth Town, third from bottom, in a game that Barry Town must win.

Considering the positions of the teams in the League, this was one of the most exciting games that I’ve seen for quite a while, ranging from end to end like a tide. Aberystwyth took the lead quite early on and managed to hang on for the victory despite Barry throwing the kitchen sink at them in the final 15 minutes.

Whether Barry Town remains in the league now depends on whether Llanilltud Fadre or Pontypridd Town’s grounds are up to the required standard. I wasn’t impressed at all by the ground at LLanilltud when I’ve seen it.

It was too late for food by the time that the football finished so I had a few rounds of toast instead. It won’t do me any harm to go without a full meal here and there. But now I’m off to relax before going to bed.

Tomorrow I’ve an alarm to set, a radio programme to complete, a meeting to attend and a session with a new physiotherapist as well as an apartment to tidy. My few days off passed rather quicker than I was expecting.