Tag Archives: liz terry messenger

Friday 27th January 2023 – I HAD ANOTHER …

… lie-in this morning.

But that was completely involuntary and by accident because the alarm failed to go off this morning.

When I checked the mobile phone I found that the battery had gone flat and it had switched off. Further enquiry revealed that what had happened was that the charging plug had somehow become detached from the telephone. With no possibility to repair something like this, that was that.

We aren’t lost though. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few years ago I lost my mobile phone and being totally unable to find it, I bought another one. A few months later, when I was tidying Caliburn looking for something else, I found the ‘phone down underneath the driver’s seat. so it went into a drawer and I forgot all about it.

Today’s events made ne remember where it was so I hunted it down but found, to my dismay, that the SIM card wasn’t the same size. But not to worry – I’ll sort it out later.

The morning was spent working on the notes for the radio programmes that I’ll be doing on Monday and chatting to Liz and Rosemary on the internet. But once the afternoon came round I dressed myself up and went out to catch the bus.

And today I’m very proud of myself in one respect, but not in another. When the bus dropped me off at the Place Godal I set off on my marathon hike to the Orange Telecom shop. That really is quite a walk, only about 400 metres short of the railway station and I was really impressed that I made it all the way there on my crutches.

But not so impressed when I spoke to the assistant at the shop. he took both telephones, took the SIM card out of the one that i’m going to use, peeled off the small adapter that was around it, put the SIM card from the broken ‘phone into the adapter and put that in the other ‘phone.

It was as simple as that and had I noticed that earlier when I was at home this morning, I could have saved myself the walk.

However the walk did me good and it’s made me think a little more about how I might go for broke and try one of these days to walk on my crutches to the railway station. But the last 400 metres is a killer hill, and I bet that the whole route will be a lot more difficult when I have things to carry.

Back down in the town I went to the Carrefour and bought a few bits and pieces, like mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and the like.

At the bus stop there was a 45-minute wait for the bus and it was cold out there and so I decided that I’d cross over the road and catch the bus in the other direction, round to the terminus at the other end of the line and then rode the bus back. At least it was warm and comfortable on the bus out of the wind.

Just about 45 minutes after I returned home I had to go back out again. The taxi came to pick me up to take me to this nerve specialist. and I’ll tell you now that pumping electricity through me as he did was one of the most painful things that has ever happened to me.

There’s nothing much wrong with my arms but there’s an issue with my left leg. As for my right leg, well, the least said about that the better. It’s quite clear according to him that there’s some serious damage.

He’s going to discuss things with my doctor but he did warn me that I need to pack my suitcase. I suppose that I’ll have to buy a couple of pairs of pyjamas too. Hospital nightwear is pretty depressing and I … errr … don’t actually have any of my own.

After I returned I transcribed the notes of my voyages from last night. I’d just finished work and I needed something for the weekend, which was in Chester, so I set out for Chester. It was such a nice evening so I decided that I would walk. I took a t-shirt, a cagoule, a fleece and another rainproof jacket just in case. The walk as far as the suburbs of Chester was quite uneventful and I quite enjoyed it but as I arrived closer to the city, it went really dark. We suddenly had a torrential downpour of rain. Luckily with the 2 rain jackets that I had and the fleece in between the 2 I kept warm and dry. I was able to walk quite comfortably up to the traffic lights on the edge of the city. Then the rain stopped and it went bright again. I stopped to take off the rain jacket. There were some people coming the other way who started to admire my rain jacket and particularly my yellow fleece, starting to talk to each other about it. They asked me a few questions but for some unknown reason I replied in French. I could see a look of puzzle on their faces as I did so but I didn’t really want to hang around and chat to them because I had a lot to do. I wanted to have it done as quickly as possible because of course it’s a long way to Chester and a long way back if you are walking.

As an aside, I walked back through the night from Chester to where I was living near Audlem a couple of times – all 30 or so miles of it – when the girl whom I was seeing went to College there and I didn’t have a car. It didn’t take me as long as you might think and even once or twice I walked straight to work and did 8 hours before going home to bed. I couldn’t do it now, even if I didn’t have the crutches.

I can’t remember who I was with later on, but it was a married couple. They were my age. It concerned a Ford Granada and there was some work that needed doing on it, the front wheel bearings and a few other bits and pieces. It had been around for a while and the work hadn’t started. I was with the woman who said that she had had a dream last night about her husband who had gone off to do this and that and somethign else. She’d happened to mention the Granada and he replied “oh yes, I’m going to get down to do it starting tomorrow”. He seemed so enthusiastic so she said that that’s possibly a good sign that means that he will. I said “strangely enough, I had a dream about someone working on a Granada too”. Then I told her the story of a friend whom I knew who had a Granada and who had been in the same position. He just wouldn’t start doing the repairs which was something to do with the wheel bearings and the front wings. After so many months he’d just put everything in a box and sold it, including the car, for someone else to do. She was surprised. Next time I went round her husband was there. He said “by the way, I’d done one of those front wheel bearings. It only took me 15 minutes as well”.

Tea tonight was some of these mini sausage rolls with baked potatoes, veg and gravy. They were actually quite delicious. I’ll have to work out a way of ordering some more of these “Green Cuisine” products. Noz has them in on the odd occasion but I’d love to have a more regular supply. It’s not possible to order stuff like this from the UK these days, what with Brexit and all that.

So hopefully tomorrow the alarm will go of and awaken me properly this time. Not that I have too much to do this weekend – do my cleaner’s accounts, do some more work on sorting out how I’m going to pay for this apartment that I’m supposed to be buying and that kind of thing. So I might even finish the notes for these radio programmes.

And having been to the shops this week, I have everything that I need, I reckon, but I really am going to try to go out for a walk more often, even if it isn’t far. Having made it as far as the Orange Mobile place today, I need to keep up the good work and see if I can exercise myself back into some sort of condition.

Only time will tell.

Tuesday 24th January 2023 – I’VE BEEN, GORN …

… and dunnet now. And there’s no backing out from this.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m having some severe mobility issues right now and that I can’t go on like this much longer.

Regular readers of this rubbish will also recall, going back to the days when I moved from Belgium, that I sold my old apartment and had some money left over after everything was paid off.

When I moved here in 2017 I rented this apartment with the reasoning that I could look around the area and find somewhere nice to buy, but I love this apartment, this building and this little corner perched up here on the rock in the middle of these old Army barracks on the clifftop that I didn’t want to move anywhere else.

However, back at the end of November an apartment on the ground floor went up for sale and I made an offer on it. After much horse-trading we agreed on a price and this morning I went to the solicitor’s and signed the formal binding offer, having paid the deposit at the bank on Friday.

The story hasn’t quite ended yet. Everyone knows that Byzantine nature of French Civil Service and so I’m not expecting the formal exchange of contracts to be any time soon

Secondly, there is a problem in that the property is tenanted right now. But here I have a slight advantage over any other purchaser in that I’m a tenant here too and can negotiate with my own landlord for the tenant to take over this apartment in exchange if necessary.

And so when the alarm went off at 07:00 this morning I fell out of bed fairly quickly. Having had a good shower last night (and I can climb into the bath a little easier now as well) I didn’t need to hang about very much. On the way out of the building I put the wheeled shopping trolley in the back of Caliburn and then walked over to catch the bus.

The bus dropped me off at the terminus at the other end of the line and then I had a long walk down the hill to the LeClerc Hypermarket (why they can’t run the bus to what is the obvious terminus of this line instead of a roundabout 400 metres away completely beats me).

That walk took me long enough with my crutches and I was glad to reach the car hire offices at the back of the building.

After having gone through all of the paperwork I left the Hypermarket in a little Fiat 500. After having driven Caliburn and all other kinds of big vehicles, it was like being in charge of a roller skate but what did I care? Having made brief enquiries about the cost of a taxi to where I wanted to go, hiring a tiny car was a much better option.

First stop was Noz where I had a look round and ended up with some vegan chocolate and a bag of crisps. Next stop was the Biocoop where I bought some vegan sausages. But even though they have moved into larger premises, there is still no vegan cheese.

It was time now to head out into the sticks and the small town of La Haye-Pesnel. There’s a railway line here, the railway between Granville and Rennes, but the station closed a long time ago which was a shame.

Our appointment was for 10.30 but it was more like 11.00 when we were called in. And there was so much to read (and correct because some it it was incorrect) that it was about 13:00 when we left. And now I’m legally committed to purchase the apartment downstairs. No more steps to climb and, when I’ve installed a walk-in shower, no more bath to climb into.

And a much better kitchen too, which will be even better still when I’ve finished.

On the way home I stopped off at LeClerc and went berserk, spending just about €100:00. There was that much stuff that I needed that I didn’t have in stock, as well as the fact that there was a lot of stuff on special offer. I was in there for 90 minutes and the car was overloaded when I left.

Back here I put most of the stuff in the trolley and the bags in the back of Caliburn (I didn’t have to carry them far but it was a struggle all the same) and staggered up the stairs with the frozen food to put in the freezer.

And then back downstairs into the car and back to the Hypermarket to drop it off. I had travelled 48 kilometres, put in 3 litres of fuel to fill up the car, and paid would you believe €15:00 for the car hire. So €20:00 or so for 48 kilometres and a delivery of a huge load of shopping. You wouldn’t have had that with a taxi.

Mind you, how I’m going to get all of this stuff upstairs is another question entirely.

It was another cold walk back up the hill to the bus stop and I was exhausted – going uphill on crutches is not easy, I’ll tell you that. And then the bus to bring me home was late and I only just managed to beat the physiotherapist into the apartment.

He gave my muscles some manipulation … “PERSONipulation” – ed … and after he left I came in here and promptly crashed right out. It was a struggle to haul myself out of my chair to make some food. And now that I had a pepper, I stuffed it.

Liz and Rachel were both on line later so I had a really long chat with each of them and then I can sit down and write out my notes from the day.

And my journeys from the night too. I was busy working on and freezing a pile of carrots when the phone rang. It was the people whom I was going to see this morning ringing up to cancel the meeting as they had a cold. Of course, after all the arrangements that I’d undertaken to prepare I wasn’t in the least bit happy with the idea. I insisted that the meeting go ahead. It was such a shock that it awoke me.

Later on I was standing in the dining room with half a baguette in my hand. I wanted to speak to one of the big football managers who was in there. I had to wait a few minutes. Eventually he became free. I asked him pointing to this half-baguette “do you know whose this is?”. He mentioned a name, almost as if I should know immediately who that person was but it didn’t click with me. I thought “thanks” and wandered back to my seat. He said “he’s here, you know” and brought me back, pointing to the desk where this guy was sitting. I asked “do you mind if I eat your baguette because I’ve forgotten to bring mine”. He replied “go ahead and we can revise a page of our French together because this is our last week and our last lesson is on Friday”.

Well, now it looks very much like I’m going to be a householder again and I can’t say that I’m sorry about it. Caliburn will have to keep on running a little longer because there’s now going to be an enormous hole in my finances but that can’t be helped.

However a decent kitchen, a walk-in shower and no steps to climb will change my life dramatically and is worth far more to me than any value anyone else can place on it. I just hope that I can last out until I can finally take possession of the premises.

Saturday 21st January 2023 – MY EXCITING LIFE …

… reached its apogee today

there I was this afternoon in the kitchen having a wonderful time cleaning and defrosting the fridge. And it needed it too. I’d had one and a half kilos of carrots in there and they took some finding in all of the frost and ice.

There was some interesting stuff in there too – such as some vegan cream with a best-by date of October 2018. They went straight into the waste bin along with some other stuff and there’s actually some room in there now.

And even though I put the carrots in the freezer in the bathroom, there’s still some room there too. It won’t be long before everything is empty and then I can start again. Mind you, I’ve said that before about the freezer and I’ve not reached that point yet.

The kitchen looks a bit of a mess though, but that’s no surprise. I can’t work like I used to and have to go and sit down for an hour and recover after about 10 minutes of work.

And I’d had a better night last night too. Although it took me a while to go to sleep, I wasn’t disturbed as much as I have been in the recent past.

Just a few trips out and about during the night. I was with my mother at a house somewhere in Shavington. There had been a party and we had been tidying it up. It was in the most appalling mess after the party, glasses and food etc everywhere. I sat down to do the washing up which took me ages but eventually I did it. The whole of the work surface where I had the glasses was like a lake. We then decided that we really wanted to tidy up something else. After a while one thing that we realised that we hadn’t seen was the cat. We called this cat but it didn’t come so we carried on doing other things. Some time in mid-afternoon we saw it outside the window so we went to fetch it. It was shaking. The first thing that went through our mind was that it obviously hasn’t had anything to eat for a while so it’s probably starving. We took it into the kitchen and gave it a handful of cat biscuits but it didn’t seem all that keen on eating them. It wanted attention for something or other. It was still shaking but wasn’t all that interested in eating the cat biscuits so we wondered what was the matter with the cat

And then I was going to Canada on a plane. Before that was a meeting that I had to attend and it over-ran by hours. There was only half an hour left for me to catch my plane by the time the meeting finished. I had to enter the lift at the airport but everything was going wrong. She was calling out floors and stopping the lift but no-one was alighting. I was thinking that I would just be later and later as this goes on. I’m never ever going to recover my suitcase and catch the flight or even have time to make arrangements to catch another one going on the same day. I’m going to be in all kinds of difficulty if I miss this plane.

Finally I was at work. One of my colleagues was like Jon Pertwee, always being involved in schemes and blaming everyone else when they all went wrong. Something had happened at work and he said “it was Eric who did that”. By this time I was fed up for a start so I hit him so hard that he reeled right down the end of the room. I went after him but everyone else stopped me. I went back to my desk. On my way back I walked past my old garden which I had now given to my mother. I’d planted a couple of fruit bushes a couple of years ago. I had never done much with them but I noticed now that the fruit on them was enormous and it wasn’t summer yet. They weren’t ripe. The bushes had groaning under the weight of the fruit and it looked as if it was going to be a really bumper year for the crop.

And so I spent much of the night with members of my family. I wish that I knew why. I can’t seem to shift them out of my subconscious mind and replace them with people whom I’d be so much happier to see.

Such as Liz and Rosemary, for example. When I switched on the computer I found that Liz was on line so we had a chat for about an hour or so to catch up with each others’ latest news. We both have a lot going on right now and we haven’t spoken for a week or so.

And no sooner had Liz gone off than Rosemary rang me for a chat for a while.

Apart from chatting to Liz and Rosemary I didn’t really do an awful lot this morning. I had a wander through cyberspace looking for new things that I’m going to need in the near future and make a little list. But finding what I want at a price that I can afford and which will do what I want to do isn’t very easy.

And then this afternoon I cleaned and defrosted the fridge. It’s amazing how much ice the fridge will make when my back is turned.

There was football on the internet later. A basement clash between Aberystwyth and Caernarfon Town. They have both been struggling for the last couple of months and Aberystwyth have been sucked into a relegation scrap down at the bottom. Caernarfon, for all their midfield stars who would grace any Welsh Premier League Club, have a wobbly defence and have no-one at all in attack,

Aberystwyth were the better side and eventually rattled up a 2-goal lead. And they could have had a couple more quite easily too. Caernarfon didn’t really mount a shot on goal until Rhys Alun Williams scored what will easily be THE GOAL OF THE SEASON to pull one back for a late consolation.

Tea was a burger on a bun with baked potato and salad. My meals are definitely improving even though I don’t have what it takes to go and do a proper load of shopping. However when I’m out and about on Tuesday I might do a lap around Lidl, LeClerc and the Bio shop to stock up with stuff that I need.

And as I’m feeling better and Caliburn is going in to be fixed, I might actually start again to go to the shops every now and again to see what I can do. I have to start up again some time.

But having already almost crashed out twice this evening I’m going to go to bed and I’ll worry about the shops some other time. I’m more worried right now about having a good sleep and a lie-in although if past history has anything to go by, I’ll be lucky.

Sunday 15th January 2023 – WITH IT BEING …

… Sunday today, I’ve had one of my usual Sunday days where I’ve had a good lie-in and done next to nothing all day.

What else I’ve done, rather unfortunately, is to fall asleep at some point in the afternoon. As if 9 hours sleep during the night isn’t enough, especially seeing as I didn’t go to bed until 02:00 and get up at 11:00. I’ve no idea what’s going on with me these days.

There was plenty of time during the night to go on a few voyages too, such as I remember. We were working in an office somewhere. There was cake everywhere – everyone was either baking or bringing cake in and there could have been 8 or 10 different cakes in that office. I’d baked one and someone had given me one for my birthday etc. Someone came in to tidy up the office, a young guy. Before we could say anything he’d cut a slice off each of these cakes, dumped it onto my plate and took my plate away. I bawled him out for doing this, saying that in future when he comes, to leave the cake alone. He’s certainly not to cut or take my cake, the cake that I’d made or been given. If he wants anything for himself he should really ask before he just goes and helps himself like that. A huge pile of cake on a plate like that was just outrageous.

And then the problems between me and my partner reached a head. We’d already separated once then on the bus coming back from Chester to Winsford she suddenly alighted at a bus stop and the bus drove away and left her. When the bus reached Nantwich I alighted and decided that I’d walk back to Winsford, I’m not quite sure why. This involved a walk through a field then down an incredibly steep bank. There was a place to go down and a way in which you did it. I didn’t know this particular way. When I arrived at the top of the bank there was a guy there on a bike. he wondered what on earth I was going to do. I launched myself over the top and went down in a large S-shaped sweep down to the bottom and set off to walk back to Winsford. I’m not sure why or what I was hoping to do etc.

I missed out a lot of this next dream. I can’t remember but later on we were discussing films, about making a horror film. I said that the tension is all in the soundtrack and film score. A lot of the tension if you took away the soundtrack and film score just wasn’t there at all. This was particularly true in comedy films. I explained a couple of examples like one or two of the “Carry On” films, about how the music and so on led people to the comedy moments. If you took those away the comedy moments themselves were very small and unimportant

Another dream about which I have forgotten a lot was that I’d gone to a chip shop to buy some chips. There was a huge queue of people loitering around outside so I passed over my order and waited. I ended up chatting to some people etc. I suddenly realised that I’d been there an hour and there was no sign of my chips. I went in and asked but trying to have some people understand what it was that I was trying to ask was extremely difficult for some reason. I couldn’t seem to make them understand that i’d ordered and paid for my meal a long time ago and not received anything.

My day, such as it was, started off with a good chat with Liz who showed me a video and took me on a guided tour of her new accommodation. It reminded me of the house in which my niece’s eldest daughter lives in Woodstock but is in much better condition and laid out much more sensibly.

After brunch of cornflakes, toast and coffee I made a start on doing some more notes for the radio programme that I’ll be doing tomorrow if I wake up in time. That is rather touch-and-go the way that I feel these days

And not that I did an awful lot because it was in the middle of all of this that I fell asleep.

Just as I was on the point of going out for my afternoon walk as I promised, Ingrid ‘phoned me and we had a long chat about all kinds of things. We both have our health issues right now so we compared notes.

When we finished I noticed that the sky had clouded over and it was on the point of raining. Not much point going out now so I made a batch of fruit buns. And they look wonderful too, probably some of the best that I have ever made. And if they taste as good as they look, they will be delicious. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

Last week I mentioned that there was something not quite right with the pizza that I made. The pizza that I made tonight with the same batch of dough was delicious so it must have been just a one-off last week. But I really want to have a decent oven to do my cooking because this tabletop oven that I have isn’t doing what it should.

So now I’m going off to bed. It’s early but I have a 06:00 start in the morning and if the nurse has picked up my message from Friday he’ll be coming round to give me my fortnightly injection. They are starting up again now that I have a proper prescription and some supplies.

Let’s see if I feel any better after this. After all, I couldn’t feel much worse.

Saturday 7th January 2023 – I’VE DONE SOMETHING …

… today that I haven’t done for quite a while, and that was that I went back to bed this morning.

Not that I’m really surprised because despite going to bed after midnight, I was wide awake at 04:30 and try as I might, I couldn’t go back to sleep.

In the end I gave it up as a bad job and made a start on the day.

Something else that I did that I haven’t done for quite some time was to have some breakfast. Not really a surprise given my really early start. A bowl of cornflakes and soya milk went down really nicely at that time of the morning.

A little later Liz was on the internet so we had a little chat for a short while too. It’s nice to keep in touch with good friends.

Round about 10:00 I could feel myself drifting away and spent a few minutes trying to fight off the wave of sleep but in the end I gave it up and hit the sack. It goes without saying that a short while later I had a phone call. It was one of the neighbours asking me if I needed anything from the shops. But having had a good shopping session on-line yesterday, there wasn’t anything that I needed.

It was round about 13:00 when I awoke again and after some toast and coffee I watched the football on the internet. Penybont swept aside a poor Caernarfon side 5-1. I’m not sure what has happened to Caernarfon but for a team that over the last couple of seasons has been so competitive, this season they have gone right off the boil.

That really is a surprise because although their defence hasn’t been up to all that much for a while, they have a very talented midfield that can usually carry the attack to the opposition but the fire seems to have gone out.

One of the things on the shopping list yesterday was 1.5kg of carrots. They have been washed, diced and blanched and are now sitting in the freezer quietly freezing. Well, actually in the freezer compartment of the fridge because the freezer itself is full to overflowing. Despite everything that has come out of it this last year or so, there is still no room.

At least there is plenty of stuff in there right now, including frozen vegetables because I had another salad for tea with my baked potato and vegan burgers. It was a good plan to treat myself to a salad this weekend as part of my order.

But with a little luck there will be some more room in there by the end of the weekend as a lump of pizza dough will go and some fruit buns will be taken out too. I’ll probably find something else to fill it though.

During the night, even though I didn’t have much sleep, still went on a voyage here and there. I was with my Greek friend. We were in Crewe making a curry. We had a little room in this factory complex where we lived. We had this curry going and it was simmering away, on “very low” so we planned on going to bed and letting it simmer away through the night. Just as I was getting into bed the alarm went off at the factory as if an intruder had come onto the premises. I looked out of the window but couldn’t see anything. Eventually I could hear one or two people walking towards the gate, like security staff. When my friend awoke I told her about this. We had a bit of a laugh about this security system. But this curry was all starting to go wrong. It was simmering away and looking really nice but it kept on rising up in the pan even on the lowest heat and threatening to overflow everywhere. She became quite angry. I was quite disappointed, particularly as some curry had gone on her clothes. She said that she would coat all my clothes in curry and see how I liked it but after a couple of minutes of this she started to smile and pat me on the shoulder as if either she wasn’t being serious or if the crisis had passed and we were friends again.

Even though I’d had a good sleep later in the morning and another one … errr … at some point in the evening, I didn’t go anywhere else.

But even if it is early, I’m going now, and that is to bed. Despite all the sleep that I’ve had I’m feeling pretty exhausted and miserable and a good sleep will do me good. A nice lie-in if I’m lucky, followed by a nice, strong coffee and I might feel better. I wish that I could find some energy from somewhere to sort myself out because nothing is being done right now. Everything is just too much of an effort.

Wednesday 28th December 2022 – I’VE JUST BEEN …

… completely crashed out on my chair in the office. Out of my tree completely.

Anyone would thing that I must have had a hectic day but actually nothing could be farther from the truth. The most strenuous thing that I’ve done today is to eat my taco roll and rice for tea.

Strangely enough, I’d had a lie-in this morning too. never mind the 07:30 alarm going off – I didn’t get out of bed until the wrong side of 08:30 and if I hadn’t had to go for a ride on the porcelain horse I’d probably still be in bed.

During the night I’d been on my travels too, although nothing like the travels of yesterday. We started off at some kind of school, a science laboratory or something. I can’t remember anything like all of this at all but there was someone involved in this who shouldn’t have been involved like a Mafia boss or something. It all had very strange complications. Something had happened in there and they asked me for my opinion of it. That was that seeing as the lab was currently closed for investigation they should develop some kind of rocket-assisted propulsion, use it and get back to sync with it and propose to that Mafia boss some kind of advantage from the invention like a getaway vehicle so he would see a need for the lab to keep on his good side etc without any issues that they might expect once the investigation had gone under way and all things were covered. But there was much more to it than this that I can’t remember.

And then I was round on the Pyms Lane area of Crewe on a few council estates with a bus picking up and dropping off schoolkids. It was lunchtime and there were school buses parked everywhere. It was quite a nightmare to get through. In the end we ended up being on board a dustbin lorry. The driver tried a short cut but there was a bus blocking the end of that so he had to reverse out. I had to get out and direct him. The bus wouldn’t move and a Thames Trader lorry came along and got in the way again. I finally managed to climb back aboard this dustcart. It was brand new and was really nicely trimmed inside. One of the girls said that we out to get the group’s van trimmed like this but I mouthed “new vans” because the vans that they had were old. It was my plan to split the gear into two, first of all the heavy stage gear that would go in one van and then the musicians, their instruments and light stage gear in the other. The one wouldn’t have to be dependent upon the other. That led to a bit of a discussion.

Finally, there had been a bus route that had gone out of town down Victoria Avenue and round to West Street back into town that way. I was trying to have this bus rerouted so instead of going down Wistaston Road it would run down Gainsborough Road past my house. That seemed to be some kind of logical way to go, where there were more passengers but I wasn’t having any luck with that at the moment.

The highlight of my day was chatting to Liz on the internet. And then one of my neighbours rang to ask if I needed anything from the shops – so I now have a kilo of onions. Pretty vital stuff as far as I’m concerned. I can’t live without them.

And that is that. All the excitement of my day today. No reason whatever for me to be so tired, except presumably that I’m not very well. Although I ought to be doing so much better than this.

One of these days I’ll have the answer to all of this, but right now I can’t even work out whet the question is. I’ll just go to bed instead and start again tomorrow. When I’m feeling like this, things can only get better.

Thursday 22nd December 2022 – WHAT CAN BE EASIER …

… than buying something, arranging for it to be picked up and shipped to a different address?

Absolutely everything, by the looks of things.

This blasted sunroof that I ordered, paid for and collected (one of my reasons for going to Canada just now) and then arranged to be taken away and delivered to France by a freighting company has now turned up back at the point of collection.

The box has been opened too and all of the special packaging that kept it safe from damage all the way from the manufacturer is “missing”.

It already took 6 weeks for it to be collected by the freighter and then it was away for just about a week or so before it ended up back.

The story (for what it’s worth) is that Customs had to inspect it before it went on board the aeroplane (I’m not quite sure why) and as a result it missed its flight. The freighter will “arrange for it to be picked up again” but we shall see about that.

What is quite upsetting is that it’s no longer in its secure factory packaging, and sending a glass sunroof by air mail without the proper packaging is going to be somewhat problematic.

This shoud have been something sooooooo easy to arrange but that’s not the case. I keep on saying that I ought to stop doing things for other people as I find it so stressful but I always manage to find myself “suckered in” because it’s “so easy”. But for reasons that I don’t understand, it never is.

At least I’d had a decent sleep for a change. I remembered being awake for two or three moments here and there but not for any significant time. Once again I didn’t manage to beat the second alarm but there wasn’t all that much in it. I suppose that that’s optimistic for the way things have been just recently.

Once I’d come round into the Land of the Living I made a start on the radio programme that I wanted to prepare for today. There were several interruptions though so I didn’t set any records today.

Firstly, I have joined the rank of the Old Biddies. My shopping trolley has arrived so I had to go downstairs to collect it, and then assemble it. But although it makes me feel as if I’m about 100, it’s safe to lean on when I’m walking and gives me a little support here and there.

It’s quite large too so doing some shopping in the town may well prove to be a little more easy in the future. We’ll have to see after Christmas when I’ll make another foray down to the Carrefour.

Liz was on line too so we had another long chat, and then I prepared the onions and garlic and mixed up all the filling for my pie. It needs to be cooled before I can put it in the pie shell so I thought that if I were to do it early, it would have time to cool down.

And then, rather regrettably, I dozed off for half an hour at some point too.

This afternoon I’ve had a baking fit, but not, I have to say, with a great deal of success.

My pastry wasn’t up to all that much. I’m out of practice, I reckon, and it wouldn’t roll out properly. It ended up as something of a bit og a bodge but it worked.

Next was to make a chocolate sponge cake. That rose quite nicely in the oven but then it collapsed again in the centre. However it’s better than nothing and I’ll cut it in half, join the two halves together with a layer of jam and then ice it. That’s going to be my Christmas cake for this year. It’s the best that I can do.

Next stop was a pile of fruit buns, and I forgot that I had no bananas. Nevertheless, that lot looked as if it might have worked.

Finally, I had a go at making potato cakes for breakfast over the Christmas period. These aren’t a great success but then I’ve never had very much luck with these. But making them in little silicone muffin cases in the air fryer was a good idea.

It was while all of this was going on that I had to deal with the fall-out from this parcels delivery and it’s all very confusing.

For tea tonight, I had something different. While I was searching through the stores I came across a couple of packets of instant chick-pea curry. I tried one with some rice and veg. It was different and I’ve tasted better, but things like this need to be used. I tried to make myself an ad-hoc naan bread to try with it. And while that wasn’t a success either, it wasn’t disagreeable.

There were a couple of things on the dictaphone too from last night. I was on board a ship serving as a crew and the telephone rang. Someone answered it although it was my job to do so so I took it to interrupt him. In the end he said the name of the ship and he said my name and then passed the ‘phone over to me. It was the Institute of Diabetics inviting me to a meeting. Basically I had no interest whatever going to see the Institute of Diabetics. It turned out that these were taking place on board a submarine and I had absolutely no interest whatever in going on board a submarine either but this other sailor had. He was having to work out his plans etc to see how he could possibly fit it all in etc in order to negotiate an invitation for himself. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than going on board a submarine for something like this.

Later on there was a girl called Dianne, a Ukrainian girl with black hair who wanted a portfolio of photos taking. I’d looked on a website and she’d done plenty of portfolios before but I couldn’t actually see what it was that she needed. I was wondering whether it was a case of her redoing some of the earlier ones. I had a sort-around and tried to get a few things together but we had an appointment at 20:00 that was quite important, a contentious one. I had a few things to finish and round about 19:40 I’d done that so I said to Nerina “we have 20 minutes before this appointment so while I make a few sandwiches, can we talk about our plan”. She was puzzled about the sandwiches so I asked what we were going to eat. It seemed that she hadn’t thought anything about sandwiches at all or any food. She could think vaguely about where she could find a sandwich but not anyone else. I could see that this whole situation was going to turn into a nightmare. I knew that the night before I’d been out somewhere. It was really late when I was coming home, in the small hours of the morning. As I walked past Warner’s shop in Shavington there were some lights on and some people in the shop. I stuck my head in and opened the door to ask if they were open. They replied “not really” but what did I want? I just had a bar of chocolate just to get me home. They sold me a Mars bar. This was when I first started thinking about thse photos, when I was on my way home with my Mars bar after that. The rest took place the following day. But I was amazed that no-one else was prepared or had a plan or had anything organised – all down to me again and I only had 20 minutes. It was plenty of time for what I wanted to do but for what everyone else wanted it was nothing at all and it was going to be chaos.

Later on I got back into that dream about Dianne with the two “n”s. That flared up again from the very beginning and we went through that again.

Strangely enough I once met a girl, many years ago, called Dianne (with two “n”s and long black hair) but she was from South Asia somewhere like the Philippines or Indonesia, somewhere like that. Whatever would she be doing suddenly making an appearance in my travels?

So now I’m going to try to have another early night. I’m pretty much ready for this too and see if I can manage another decent sleep. Tomorrow I’m going to have a shower and change my bedding, and then I have a neighbour to see. I have to pay her for the stuff that she bought for me the other day. I’d better have a really good clean-up.

Monday 19th December 2022 – APART FROM A …

… fruit bun thing at about 10:30 I’ve had nothing to eat all day until about 22:00 – and then it was a packet of crackers.

When it was teatime I was chatting to Liz on the internet but never mind, I can wait for half an hour. That’s what friends are for.

And the moment that we finished, Rosemary rang me (I’m convinced that she has a camera installed in this apartment, God help her!) and we had another one of our marathon ‘phone calls. By the time we finished, I was too tired to cook anything. I’ll be off to bed very shortly.

It’s actually been quite a busy day today, not the least activity of which was during the night. I was later going to bed than I had anticipated but even so I was awake a couple of times during the night and by 04:45 I’d given up completely.

When the alarm went off at 06:00 I surprised myself by actually leaping out of bed (well, maybe not exactly but you understand what I mean) which considering just how difficult it has been just recently to raise myself from the dead at a normal time, is pretty astonishing.

After having had the medication and checked my mails and messages, I sat down to deal with the radio programme today.

No records were broken today – in fact, far from it. I had a break for about half an hour when I went for a shower as I’m having visitors later, and then the events that I mentioned towards the end of last week are starting to unwind and it won’t be long before my active involvement will be requested. I need to be prepared.

Once the radio programme was completed I actuallly fell asleep for a short while and then had to wait around for the doctor to arrive.

Trailing his student around with him, he came to examine me and to give me some advice about how things might unfold. e had quite a chat about a few other things too, more of which anon.

Later on, the Social Services department telephoned me. The woman to whom I spoke gave me a couple of phone numbers whom I need to contact so that I can have some assistance about the place. That’s a job for tomorrow as it was rather late in the afternoon.

A short while later, the physiotherapist came round. The doctor had contacted him too. He thinks that the problem lies in my thighs and hips and he gave me some exercises. He’ll be back in a week to see how I’m doing.

Once everyone had finished with me I could turn my attention to the dictaphone. There wasn’t an awful lot on there from last night. There was something about a block of flats where there was a place to sunbathe. Someone was pointing this out from quite a height, looking down onto it. We could see that a large glass carafe of water or something had fallen obviously from a great height and smashed to smithereens right in this place. If anyone had been sunbathing there they would have had the full weight of all of that right on their head.

Having spoken to Liz and Rosemary I’m now ready for bed. No Welsh lesson because we’re on holiday but if I remember, I’m going to do some revision.

What else I’m going to try to do is to catch the bus into town and try to find some frozen food to tide me over. It would have been a good day to take Caliburn out for a run with the temperatures having warmed up dramatically to 10°C today but there just wasn’t the time available and I’ll have to try that some other time.

Not right now though because I’m off to bed. Anyone would think that I’ve had an exhausting day but it’s just the way that things are going right now when I’m becoming tired out for no good reason. Let’s see how things unfold tomorrow.

Thursday 15th December 2022 – TONIGHT’S TEA …

… was sausage, beans and chips. And how beautiful it was too. I really enjoyed it.

One of my neighbours was going for a walk down to the shops this afternoon and he saw my note on the door so he came by to ask if I needed anything. Of course, if someone is going down to town on foot they can’t bring back very much of anything so a bag of potatoes it was.

At least my desire for chips is satiated for now and there’s enough for tea on Saturday night.

And in other news, I’ve had to make a start in tidying up the apartment as I’m going to have a visitor on Monday at lunchtime. I’ve finally managed to contact the doctor and he’s going to make a house call on Monday.

It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out once he comes round. What he’s going to say and what he’s going to suggest. At least it’s a start, but then again as I used to say back in the 70s when I was attending auctions as a buyer, it’s not where we start that’s important, it’s where we finish.

And to tell the honest truth, I’m probably finished already.

While we’re on the subject of finishing … “well, one of us is” – ed … I finished early last night and was in bed quite promptly looking forward to a good sleep.

Not that it worked out that way because I still had to leave the bed to go for a stroll down the corridor, and then apart from that I went off on quite a few little voyages during the night. We were living in Shavington and it was all quite primitive. We only had a cold water tap in the downstairs sink so I was trying to work out how I could make some kind of hot water tank underneath the sink with a candle to heat the water. I had a rough idea in my head but but it wouldn’t be particularly good. I spoke to my brother and said that maybe we ought to give it a go. My mother and my sister had been out somewhere. They came back in. We’d been watching a cowboy film but they switched over to watch The Clitheroe Kid. Then the two of them were in bed and were fighting over a sandwich that my sister was trying to eat in bed so I said something like “fancy swapping the TV over on our programme and then not going to watch it”. She said that we could swap back. It was right at the end, a Western something similar to one of the EL DORADO trilogy of films where the fight was over and the young boy was leaving. A young girl who had obviosly been close to this boy was practically in tears about him going but he said that he had to leave. “We’ve had 3 or 4 years of good times but it’s time to move on”. She was totally distraught about the whole idea of him leaving and rather than it being a happy ending it was a really sad, dramatic one. Even in my sleep I could feel how powerful the ending was.

Later on I had some money so I was going to invest it by buying a property in PIonsat, some apartments but it had to be a good quality apartment (not that there’s anything quite like that in Pionsat). I didn’t want to buy any old rubbish. There were several decent buildings in the town so I had a wander around and ended up at the bank. That was almost fraught because there was a traffic hold-up and a lorry decided that it would reverse down the High Street, nearly knocking me over as I crossed the road. In the bank I had to queue. It looked as if someone had forgotten his carrots but he walked off without them so I asked the guy in front of me if they were his. He said “no”. It was then my turn and I started to chat to this girl. This guy slipped a piece of paper “I know all about you” it said. “Don’t do it”. I asked “what on earth is this about?”. He said that someone chatted up a bank cashier and ended up meeting her in an alleyway and finished by murdering her. I said “I don’t remember this”. He replied “no, it was in 1968 so just you be careful”. I couldn’t understand what this guy was talking about. He was clearly not in the same world as the rest of us.

And then it was this summer and I was deciding to go into work very early, having spoken to someone who worked the early shift once this year. It would start at about 05:45 that meant that I would be in there by then. Of course my mother threw a fit, saying that I was never at home to help out. I told her that I was at home 24 hours per day 7 days per week except when I was at work, and going to work was normal. We had quite a row about it. When I arrived at work, rather than find the place empty there was someone around sticking up posters about the Roman excavations taking place in the wood. I was expected to go to work on some kind of bricklaying supervision. I tok myself out and was watching these bricklayers work while I was supervising this little group that I had with me. I felt that I was talking to myself all the time about what these bricklayers were doing. I thought that these few people here must have thought me totally crazy. When I concentrated on the work I found that we had a dip in one of the courses, a quite bad dip. There was no way that it could be rectified and we were going to have to take it all out again. There was one woman from work whom I came across as I was on my way into work who was sitting in a chair at the side of the road. She said “hello” to me so I said “hello” to her and didn’t think anything of it. Then I saw in the paper that she’s actually been in prison and was on some kind of rehabilitation course so I don’t know what she was doing at that particular moment, just sitting by the side of the street saying hello to passers-by unless it was part of her rehabilitation.

As you might expect, we have the family back in the equation but none of my favourite characters. That’s something that I find quite depressing.

When the alarm went off, I was in no mood to leave the bed. In fact if I hadn’t had to go down the corridor one more time I’d probably still be in there now.

Having slowly come round, I made a start on the radio programme that I wasn going to do, but my heart wasn’t in it. It took me much longer than anyone could ever imagine to complete it, not helped by crashing out on a couple of occasions and then a break to call the doctor.

When my neighbour called, I was fast asleep yet again. That seems to have been the story of my day, but I’m glad that he awoke me because tonight’s tea really was delicious.

After tea I had a long chat with Liz on the internet where we put the world to rights for a good while.

So right now I’m off to bed early again, in the hope that one night at least I’ll have a really good night and a good sleep to go with it. And if one of my three favourite young ladies could come and keep me company, then so much the better.

Wednesday 14th December 2022 – MY LITTLE NOTICE …

… on the door didn’t produce any response today, regrettably. But it’s early days yet and I remain optimistic. Where there’s life, there’s hope.

But one of the reasons why is probably the same reason why I haven’t set foot out of the door at all today. And that is because overnight we’ve had a snowfall and just like in HOLY GRAIL “the snows of winter cover the land”.

Not anything like an epic Auvergnat snowfall. There’s a light dusting on the roads. Nevertheless that’s enough to bring all public transport to a shuddering halt. No service buses, no school buses and it’s all been as quiet as the grave. God alone knows how these people would function in a metre of snow and -16°C.

But I’m going soft in my old age. It was really cold when I awoke and, for a change, I awoke a good while before the alarm went off. That’s what comes of going to bed an hour early but I was wasted last night. So much so that I still couldn’t drag myself out of bed when the alarm went off.

During the night I’d been on my travels as well. I was with my friend from the Wirral last night. I’d seen all of the flyers and a lot of the leaflets and publicity for the Cropredy Festival so I asked him “how do you fancy a weekend away this coming weekend?”. He replied immediately “yes” – in fact he was going away. He and his wife were flying to New York on Friday. He asked me why so I told him what I’d seen. He said that really that’s all that there is to Cropredy. He started to tell me all about it. You just turn up on Friday evening and pitch your tent where you fancy, sometimes around a raconteur who is well-known, sometimes with a group of people who you know and gradually things start to happen with music etc throughout the weekend. I made up my mind that I was going to watch it. Then of course I had the question of my health issue. What do I do about that? But I didn’t get that far, unfortunately.

Once I’d vaguely come round into the Land of the Living I went for another gymnastic display in the batchoorm as I tried to put my sooty foot into the bath so that I could have a shower and look something like clean in case a neighbour knocked on my door.

After the shower I had a chat with Liz and then I had some work to do. There’s an important e-mail that needs writing – well, quite a few actually but I mean one in particular – and that also meant speaking to someone from this building, which resulted in a series of e-mails. All in all it was quite a “brisk exchange”.

But one thing is certain, and that is that the more I learn, the less I understand.

Having dealt with all of that I organised some more stuff relating to the radio and paired off another selection of tracks because I’m going to have a go at doing another programme tomorrow. I’ve been letting my stock run down and I need to build up a healthy reserve.

No 06:00 start though – I’m not that dedicated. It’ll be the usual 07:30 start and I’ll see how I get on.

For tea tonight I fancied something different. And so a tin of mushrooms, a tin of chick peas, a tin of veg and I made an impromptu curry. Not as good as my vindaloo from the other day but it was different.

And so if I’m lucky I’ll be having another early night. Totally wasted yet again – these days of 3% effort on the fitbit are killing me off. God knows what I’ll be like if I ever go back to living anything like a normal life.

Tuesday 13th September 2022 – THAT WAS HORRIBLE!

Quite the worst Welsh lesson that I have ever had. I couldn’t remember a thing and it all went from bad to worse.

Having a lay-off for three months or so was clearly the wrong thing to do, but unfortunately there didn’t seem to ba ny other way to keep going during the Summer break. That’s something to which I ought to attend in the future.

Right now though, I’m worrying about the present.

Going to bed was rather later than I was hoping so I didn’t have too much sleep. And compared with the last couple of days it was rather a lethargic raising of the dead when the alarm went off.

When the alarm did go off I was talking to some people about someone who was in a harbour somewhere along the coast over in the Channel Islands. I’d only just started this when the alarm went off and spoilt my journey.

Actually making a start on my Welsh revision was even more lethargic than leaving the bed, although at least I didn’t suffer the indignity of falling asleep. Finally, grabbing hold of my coffee and fruit bun I went for the disaster that was my lesson.

What made it worse was that there were only 4 of us today rather than the usual dozen or so. Consequently we were under much more pressure and there was nowhere to hide when you are constantly in the spotlight.

This afternoon I finally caught up with the guy with whom I needed to speak about this weekend and, regrettably, it’s not possible to involve myself in it. It was an extremely long shot but if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

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

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As usual, my walk took me across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

There weren’t all that many people down there this afternoon. The good weather hadn’t arrived today so it was much more like a mid-September day with a heavy overcast and a wind.

The tide was well out again today so those people who had actually managed to go down there had plenty of room to spread out. But surprisingly, there wasn’t anyone up at this end of the beach having a scratch around for shellfish.

No-one flexing their mussels today, you might say.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Nevertheless, there were plenty of people out there on the rocks this afternoon.

Not scratching around with pèche-à-pied instruments but actually brandishing a rod and line from the rocks. In fact, almost every rock down there had a fisherman perched thereupon.

And this isn’t our usual spec at the end of the headland either there wasn’t any room out there for any more fishermen. This lot were down the northern side of the headland.

And, as you might expect, we didn’t see anyone pull anything out of the water this afternoon. Not that anyone was expecting it.

ship english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The view out at sea this afternoon was quite miserable. But the view down the coast was so much better.

The headland at Cap Fréhel was quite visible this afternoon, even with the naked eye, but strangely we couldn’t see the lighthouse at the end. There was something out there that I could see so I took a photo with the aim of enhancing and enlarging it when I returned home.

Back here, when I had a closer look, I could see that it wasn’t the lighthouse. It’s actually a large ship, a blue one. Unfortunately I’ve not been able to identify it.

There was nothing in or around the port of St Malo that might have corresponded, but it could be a serviceship for the proposed offshore wind farm there.

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022and so I carried on with my walk around the headland.

Fighting my way through the throngs of the people too. There might have been only a few people down on the beach this afternoon but there were plenty of others around and they were all up here walking around.

And it looks as if there are a couple of new people who have rented one of the apartments in our building because there was one of the occupiers showing them around out here, explaining how the buses and the refuse collection works.

And it’s all of these temporary lets via the Internet that are killing the accommodation possibilities in these seaside resorts.

cabanon vauban person on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There wee crowds everywhere up here on the cliff path and lawn this afternoon.

Even down on the bench by the cabanon vauban. There was someone else down there with his backpack and his bottle of water looking around at what was going on down there. Fishermen and that ship that I’d seen a little earlier.

Not much else though. No-one is going out right now with the tide being as far out as it is. I can see me having to change my timetable in order to capture a little more of the action when the boats are going out and coming back in.

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022From there I walked around the path on the other side of the headland down to the port.

It looks as if the summer season is dying out right now because this afternoon we have two of the three ferries moored up over there this afternoon. There is Belle France and there is the newer one of the two Joly France ferries with its windows in “portrait” format.

No sign yet of Victor Hugo though. She ought to be coming back pretty soon because later on in the week she has some work booked, running out the last ferries of the year to St Helier.

It goes without saying that I’m quite disappointed with the ferry service to the Channel Islands. Half a dozen trips per month, and just in the summer season too, and the service isn’t going to last all that long.

les poulbots unknown pierre de jade briscard chant des sirenes massabielle le styx chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, there were things that I needed to check in the chantier naval

Yesterday we saw the portable boat lift hovering around over Peccavi looking as if she was about to be put back in the water. Well she’s not there now, the ground’s all flat. And in her place is the trawler Pierre de Jade.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we know a lot about her because she was marooned in the chantier naval for quite a long period of time.

There’s another change too. Pescadore has gone back into the water too and her place has now been taken by a trawler that unfortunately I don’t recognise. She’s switched off her AIS transmitter so I can’t pick up a signal to tell me who she might be.

Time for another reconnoitre, I reckon.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Before I go back home I had a look down into the inner harbour.

Shtandart hasn’t come back yet but Marité is there in port. That’s another sign that the Summer season is drawing rapidly to a close.

So another day during which I managed to make a complete tour of the headland after my fall a couple of weeks ago. But I was decidedly unsteady on my feet today and I had a few wobbles. I don’t think that I’m in much shape to go anywhere really.

There xas some chocolate milk today for a mid-afternoon drink, and then I had a good listen to the dictaphone to find out where i’d been during the night.

I started off on a ferry going across the Gulf of St Lawrence somewhere. There were all these strange goings-on happening in the water but that was all that I remember. I can’t actually remember anything about this dream.

And later I had a house with a big front yard, a piece down the side and planty of room at the back. It was looking like a scrapyard with bits and pieces everywhere. Cars and cars etc. I started one evening trying to tidy up the place. By the time dawn came up there were only a couple of cars and a car bonnet that needed to be moved. I’d installed a sign outside the house that pointed to “Eric”. I’d made arrangements to build a sign so that people could see that it was here where I lived and that I had cars and everything. I programmed the sign so that if you typed up the name it came up with another. For some unknown reason that function didn’t work. I couldn’t make it change automatically. But the first sign that I mentioned was still out there. Liz and Terry popped by. They saw what was going on so they came for a chat. They had a look around and asked what this sign was for on the street. I couldn’t think so I said that it was a bed-and-breakfast. She said that I wasn’t going to have many people in here. I said that it’s basically for people driving past who want somewhere to stay for the night. If they came past here late in the evening they would never make it to the coast. She had a look and the place was all untidy. She said that she couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to stay here. It became later and later and they decided that they were going to stay. I had a little giggle to myself with Liz saying that at one time she’d never want to sleep in a caravan but here they are, they’d actually bought a caravan. I went outside to finish off. A Cavalier, the type from 1984 turned up, a beige one, Y-registration. It was all smashed in down one side. Behind it an elderly Jaguar or Daimler stretch limousine came along. The guy in the Cavalier went to exit and enter this Jaguar thing and drive away with the driver. I went to have a look. This Cavalier was actually a Private Hire vehicle complete with plate but it was all smashed in down one side, far worse than any one that I’d ever had and I couldn’t understand at all why it would still be working.

During the night I’d also been out doing a coach trip to some kind of market or trade fair. All these passengers on board and we were wandering around here. Someone knew half the stalls and told me where to go to try on a leather jacket. As the crowds were drifting away I went round. Most of the stuff had been packed away and there was only one rail. I tried on a leather jacket and I happened to like it so I walked away with it without paying, wearing it. No-one said anything, no-one chased after me. I ended up walking right out of the market ready to go home. I ended up back at the Leese’s. She had noticed the time and thought that I was going to be hours late because when she’d seen me she was sleeping. She thought that this was a bad sign. If course Iw as soon awake, soon tidied up, soon had everything ready and soon back. She was surprised. There was another job to do that they didn’t think I’d be ready for. That was another coach trip. She had the paperwork ready and gave me a portable ‘phone. She started to explain it to me how it worked, the numbers and what the numbers meant and so on. of course I knew all this thing really well with having used mobile phones before but she insisted on showing me like some 5 year old baby would be shown something. It was all extremely patronising

Tea tonight was a taco roll with rice and veg. And as I expected, the stuffing was quite powerful after marinading for 24 hours. Perhaps I ought to leave it for longer and see what it would be like then.

So, bedtime after a really disappointing day – for the Welsh lesson and for my little weekend project too. But as one door closes, another one opens and we’ll have to see where that one takes us

But that’s tomorrow. Here’s hoping for a better day.

Saturday 10th September 2022 – NOT MY CAT

not my cat place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Say “hello” to Not My Cat.

There’s a lengthy thread on all forms of Social Media with posts about Not My Cat. Anyone who knows anything about cats will know that they come and go as they please and finding Not My Cat in a house is a regular occurrence.

Finding Not My Cat in a block of flats is even more rare especially when, as far as I know, no-one has a cat and there’s a security door.

But I opened the door to my apartment this morning and there was Not My Cat waiting outside. Quite a young cat by the looks of things. He (or she) ran inside before I could do or say anything, did a tour of the place, found a cosy spot on the sofa, curled up and went to sleep as if he owned it.

When I stroked him he purred quite loudly and I’m sure that he could have settled down here for ever and how I would have liked that. Only the other day I was talking about having a cat around the place. But someone would be missing him somewhere.

A little later I had to go out so I picked him up to carry him out. He ran down the stairs to the front door and as I opened it he skipped off outside like a 5 year-old girl and that was that. He didn’t have any fear or anxiety about going out.

And that was that. What a shame because even though it was only for half an hour or so, I really enjoyed having Not My Cat here.

Maybe it’s a sign from somewhere.

He’s not the first Not My Cat that I’ve had around. Back in the Auvergne there was a FERAL BLACK CAT that roamed around that adopted me during that really bad winter that we had.

Not My Cat wasn’t the only visitor that I had today, and that will explain the mad burst of energy and all of the tidying up just recently. But I’ll tell you more about that in a minute.

When the alarm went off this morning at 07:30 I was straight out of bed which is a surprise by itself and by the time that the 3rd alarm went off at 08:00 I’d had my medication showered and shaved.

When Lidl opened its door at 08:30 I’d already been outside for 5 minutes and by 09:15 I was back here.

It was an expensive shop at Lidl today but I’m not going to miss out on Bags of Brazil nuts at 40% off. And I’m certainly not going to miss out on grapes at €0:99 a kilo. We’re coming to the interesting time of the year.

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022When I pulled up on the car park I noticed that Marité ws out and aboout on her travels again so I went upstairs to fetch the NIKON D500.

Back down here I strolled over to the wall at the end of the headland and took a photo of her.

She was quite far out by the time that I came back down too. It was a windy morning and she had some of her sails unfurled but I bet that the diesel motor was churning away too.

Settling down with a coffee, I had a listen to what was on the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I can’t remember too much about this particular voyage but we were working on a friend’s boat for some unknown reason, some kind of galleon. We needed to contact someone else about it. That other place asked us for the name of the boat and who owned it. For some unknown reason every time we tried to say his name a different name came out. They couldn’t match it with anything in their database. We must have said it 3 or 4 times and they still didn’t get it right as far as we were concerned.

A little later I was with Liz, wandering around the shops. We came to a newsagent’s where they had some brochures about camping. I had a look at a couple of them. One of them was for a company called Action Canada. The name caught my eye. I noticed that up in Labrador they had a camp site and 3 months there in June, July and August cost something like €3,000. I thought to myself “I could do this”. I picked up a brochure and showed it to Liz. When we had a look, this was a brochure for the British Isles only. I’d picked up the wrong one. I went back to try to find the one for Canada to find that where they had been, the owner had cleared out this particular range. We were scrabbling around looking for this particular brochure in stuff that was piled on the floor but we couldn’t find it. I was thinking to myself “here’s another one that has slipped away isn’t it?”.

Finally I was out with a bus-load of passengers and we were cruising around the back end of Shavington. We ended up on a dirt road. We were making comments about the dirt road etc. All of a sudden we came to a bit where they were tarmacking it. They actually had the whole road blocked off. I reached where these guys were working and asked “which way is past for me?”. He pointed to a steep bank that was probably about 1:2. he said “go down there”. I asked “are you serious?”. He replied “yes”. I thought that at the very least the front end of the coach is going to ground out on the bottom etc. I had the passengers making sure that they were sitting down and strapped in, and ever so slowly went down there and managed to bring the coach down to the bottom. We pulled away and ended up right where we ought to be in this café where we were stopping for lunch. I went in to see the girl. She was telling us that we would have to wait for a bit because we were early. I asked where was the best place to park the coach. She replied “about 1.8 kms away”. I replied “I’m not walking 1.8 kms”. Nerina who was with me said that she’d walk around the local area for a minute and look around. She was telling us about a mine shaft that was here which was why we’d come here for a coffee stop so that the people could see the mineshaft. She started to give the whole rigmarole speech. I thought “if she does this we aren’t going to have the time for the meal” so I had to somehow stop her and organise things properly. It occurred to me sometime during the night that I’d done the whole of the morning’s trip without putting on any music on the PA of the coach. I thought “that’s not like me at all to do that”.

Bang on cue at 11:00 my friends turned up. Someone whom I knew from my time in Manchester and with whom I’d kept in touch ever since, and was even best man when I married. We haven’t seen each other for eight years and so when I heard that he and his wife were passing through the area on their way down south, I invited them to call in.

And this is when Not My Cat appeared.

There was so much to discuss and we were in here for a couple of hours. However the weather improved dramatically and it looked like a nice day so we decided to go for a walk around the headland.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022You can see how much the weather had improved by looking at this photo of the Ile de Chausey.

With the sun being behind me the colours on the island came up much better than they notmally do in the afternoon. Perhaps I ought to go out more often in the morning.

There’s a yacht sailing around out there too but that was all the marine traffic that there was just now. Marité must be loitering around somewhere behind the island.

We couldn’t see Jersey today though. Still, I suppose that you can’t have everything.

autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022We carried on walking along the path towards the port.

There was no-one on the bench at the cabanon vauban but there was something in the iar, for the first time for several days. It’s a different autogyro than the one that we normally see. That one is yellow but this one is white and red.

It seems that this place is becoming much more popular as far as aerial travel goes, with all kinds of different planes putting in an appearance.

We went to la Rafale for a coffee and waited for a while until the crowds down in the town dispersed after the market was over, and then we went to hunt for food.

And just as you might expect, all of the restaurants had closed for the afternoon.

joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Instead, we went for a walk around the harbour.

As we reached the Ferry terminal where we made a pit stop, we were lucky enough to witness the arrival of one of the Joly France ferries from the Ile de Chausey.

This is the older one of the near-identical pair, as you can tell by her windows. There’s quite a crowd on board and they can’t have appreciated the weather that was out there in the bay this morning.

While we were there on the quayside at the fish-processing plant we saw the tractor and trailer belonging to Les Bouchots de Chausey pull up, as well as another outfit that I didn’t recognise. It looks as if the shell-fishing boats are out there working today.

briscard chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022One place that I wanted to visit seeing as I was out on my travels with people who could pick me up if I fell over was the chantier naval

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there’s a shell-fishing boat in the chantier naval that I haven’t been able to identify and I wanted to see who she might be.

We headed off that way and that enabled us to identify that it is Briscard who is in there next to Peccavi.

Hhaving ascertained that we wandered back into the town to find food. Our first choice didn’t serve meals on a Saturday evening so we ended up at the pizzeria. They also served Italian food and to my surprise it was no problem at all to rustle up a vegan meal for me.

It was quite delicious too.

bar ephemère chez maguie place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home we went up the Rue des Juifs where we would look down on the boulodrome.

The Bar Ephemère, Chez Maguie, is still here and in the twilight it’s looking quite nice with all of the lights that illuminate it.

Whether it will be here there next year though is something else completely. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the residents of the building opposite have launched a petition to oppose it.

They were successful in obtaining a ban on the Big Wheel that we used to have here and that has probably given them courage. If only we had a maire and a town council who would do their job and respect the wishes of the other residents.

It’s quite true that I moan about the tourists being here, but even I realise that without them this town would be a very poor place.

old cars chevrolet covette stingray rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Something else that we saw on the way up was a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

It’s been quite a while since we featured an old car in these pages. For some reason or other we don’t seem to see so many these days, so it cheered me up to see something like this just parked at the side of the road.

This is one of the third generation of Corvettes, one of the “T-top” versions, and it’s a later rather than earlier model because of the bumpers. The earlier ones had a traditional metal bumper but in 1973 it was replaced with the plastic “collision bumper”.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022We stopped a little higher up for me to catch my breath, and to overlook the port.

Now that it’s going dark and all of the lights are on, it’s looking quite dramatic down there tonight. All of the lights reflecting off the water, and the lights at the town of Carolles down there underneath the Pointe de Carolles.

The ferry terminal is still lit up, although it looks as if all of the ferries are now back home. Presumably they are cleaning them out ready for work tomorrow.

Looking at this photo, I really ought to start to go out again at night like I used to.

sunset baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Back in the car park my friends prepared to leave to go back to their camp site.

We watched the sun go down while we were there but it wasn’t as spectacular as some that we have seen. It actually sunk below the horizon a while back and all that we are seeing is the reflection of the sun in the sky.

We’ve seen some good ones of those in the past. One in particular that I remember was on 21st June one night when I was in Scotland years ago when I drove my coach up to the top of a hill near Stirling in Scotland at celestial midnight and watched the night fail to go dark and the sun to rise a few hours later.

After they had left I went back in. 135% of my daily activity when I’m having major mobility issues is something of an achievement. And so I’m going to bed while I still can. I’ll probably pay for all of this tomorrow but who cares?

Live for today, regardless of what happens tomorrow.

Monday 5th September 2022 – YOU WON’T FIND …

victor hugo baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Victor Hugo in port this afternoon.

While I was out taking my little (and I DO mean “little”) walk outside this afternoon I noticed her out in the bay going “Full Speed Ahead”.

She’s not on a scheduled sailing to Jersey today – I’m sure of that. And so I checked on the radar later on this evening. She’s actually moored in Cherbourg even as we speak so and as her next trip out isn’t for another week or so, I imagine that she’ll be staying there until then.

Having been keeping an eye on her for the last year or so, I reckon that she’s travelled further “light” to Cherbourg and back than she has travelled with fare-paying passengers.

And last night I travelled quite some distance too. Not as far as one or two just recently but certainly a lot farther than on many other nights.

When the alarm went off at 06:00 I didn’t feel anything at all like leaving my bed but needs must when the devil drives and I did beat the second alarm although I don’t know how.

After the medication I came back in here to make a start with the radio programme.

It took me until almost 11:30 to complete it today and that’s a really long time. But then there are several good reasons for that.

  1. There was an early break for a coffee
  2. As predicted, the nurse came around to give me the injection that I should have had yesterday
  3. Liz told me that a couple of her grandchildren had started school today and she sent me some photos, so we had a little chat
  4. There was a hole that I had missed in one of the tracks that I’d chosen so I had to hunt down another copy, only to find that that had a hole in exactly the same place

There were probably a couple of other reasons too that I can’t now remember. All in all, I don’t suppose that it was too bad.

But as you might expect, the nurse turned up right at an “inappropriate” moment and I had to make him wait for a couple of minutes until I’d finished … errr … whatever it was that I was doing.

While I was listening to the one that I’d prepared and the one that I’ll be sending off, I was making a late breakfast. The last of the baguette that I bought on Saturday and the last of the vegan cheese that I found in the fridge the other day, washed down with hot, strong coffee.

This afternoon I’ve had plenty to do such as organising the directories that are still out of order and then dealing with a query relating to a Ukrainian refugee living in Paris. I don’t know how I manage to involve myself in things like this.

Eventually I managed to set off outside for my afternoon walk but at the front door I was buttonholed by a neighbour (yes again) where I had a conversation for about 15 minutes.

Not that I’m complaining too much though because it’s just because I was held up that I saw Victor Hugo head out into the bay. Had I gone out at the normal time I would have missed it.

fisherman people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And so I staggered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on down on the beach.

There weren’t all that many people down on the beach this afternoon. Almost every holidaymaker has now returned home, even the British ones, and so it’s really only the locals and the pensioners in their mobile homes who are out there now.

But to my surprise, there was someone down there fishing from the rocks on the beach. I can’t recall having seen anyone fishing from there before.

But he wont be there long, given the speed at which the tide comes in.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As usual, while I was up here looking around, I was looking around out at sea as well.

As well as seeing Victor Hugo out there heading away towards Cherbourg, there were also plenty of yachts out and about in the bay.

They were quite a long way out as well, right by the marker light that signals the rocks at the extreme end of the Ile de Chausey and the chain of rocks.

There were no fishing boats in sight this afternoon though. And it was such a clear day that had they been there, i’m sure that I would have seen them

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With the weather being so nice, the views out to sea were quite clear.

The Ile de Chausey was looking quite nice too. We could see it quite clearly this afternoon although the weather wasn’t quite bright enough to see the whites of the cottages. Only the surfaces facing the afternoon sun were able to pick up the sunlight.

There was a yacht out there too, out there round about where a couple of years ago we had that famous incident of the rubber boat ramming the one that had stopped at his mooring place.

It’s a shame that we don’t have any more incidents like that where I can see them

joly france ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was something else out there moving around just offshore from the Ile de Chausey.

At this kind of distance I couldn’t see what it was so I took a photo and, back here at the apartment I enlarged and enhanced it in order to see if I could identify it.

And as it happens, I can see that it’s one of the ferries that run between here and the island. It doesn’t look like Belle France, the new one, though. It is therefore one of the Joly France boats but I cant even begin to tell you which one it might be.

le loup yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022From here I wandered off at a snail’s pace back across the car park and down to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

We’d seen a few yachts out on the other side but over here there were even more of them. A couple of the sailing schools were out in the bay this afternoon and I caught one of the schools going out and doing a lap around Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour.

They had a couple of zodiacs swarming around them too making sure that they stay in a straight line and don’t stray too far off course.

And here I was a week or two ago saying how I’d be out there with them one day, but not much channce of that right now.

arranging fishing nets port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Victor Hugo wasn’t in the inner harbour, but there was plenty of other activity going on.

Over there on the quayside there’s someone who has stretched out what looks like a new fishing net and there’s plenty of other activity going on with fishing equipment in the background too.

Back here I had a drink of ginger beer that I’d bought on Saturday. It reminded me of the story of the time that a couple of Scotsmen stepped off a ‘plane at Toronto airport.
“What is the purpose of your visit?” asked the immigration officer.
“We saw that advert ‘Drink Canada Dry’ and here we are” they replied.

later on I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been. There was an invasion planned for the Ile de Chausey by environmentalists who were opposed to the rearing and eating of turkeys on the island. This was investigated and it turned out that there were 4 different groups of people with 4 different aims in view who were going to have some part of what was going on. The interesting part about it was that the newspapers responded in a very aggressive way, telling people that if they don’t like it, to go and live somewhere else, generally being quite aggressive to the demonstrators even though they hadn’t actually started the invasion yet.

I was there in my apartment with Percy Penguin. We were living together. My friends from the Wirral came round and I was going to cook them a meal. We started to chat and I asked the woman how she was. She replied “ask my husband first” so I asked him. He said that he was feeling a little under the weather suffering from this and that, usual age ailments. I then asked the wife how she was. There were some tree roots that I’d noticed growing across my lawn so I was there pulling these roots up, like this willow that we used to have in the Auvergne. These roots would go for miles so I was busy pulling them up. I asked the wife how she was. She began to come out with a long complicated story while I was pulling on this stuff. Halfway through she broke off and went to do something that she’d forgotten which left just me and Percy Penguin. Her husband had gone as well. I wondered how they would finish it. What would happen next?

Yes, with all of the boats that I’ve had from my palodeon years and they were entitled to stay. If the couple from the Wirral were becoming annoyed with me about the food it was they who were going, not the bikes. We walked through the town. It was a sunny day towards the beach that afternoon. All of a sudden I lost them. I caught up with them later again outside this working shop. They had stupidly allowed something to be performed and had come to a rest in full view of me. I wasn’t sure how this shock was going to help everyone particularly those in the bushes who were hiding. I realise that this makes no sense at all and I’m sure that I haven’t transcribed it correctly, but nevertheless it’s a really confusing story.

Later on I was with Nerina and that Les whom we knew. We were in Gresty. Something had happened and we’d changed some of the wiring on the Cortina, the red Cortina estate with some wires off his car. I’d wired it up and had it running. he had loads of problems doing his and we were running hours late. he seemed to be taking all day to do a simple job which was very frustrating. In the end he finished it. Both cars started. He looked at mine and said that I had the wiring wrong (as if I’d have the wiring wrong on a Cortina). Eventually I had to correct it and it ran OK. From there I started to push a wheelbarrow down Gresty Lane. I had Nerina and Roxanne with me. Roxanne kept on saying that this was her motorbike transport but it was just so heavy and awkward to push, this wheelbarrow. I’d never had a wheelbarrow quite like this. Every step became agony after a while. I was glad when we stopped somewhere half-way. We went in and this was where Roxanne and Nerina had tea. The place was really untidy. There were plates and half-eaten sandwiches everywhere. I really fancied a coffee at this moment but no-one seemed to be thinking about making one for me.

Finally I was queueing to enter the USA. I’d arrived on my ‘plane, joined the queue at Passport Control. The last time that I’d been here it was quite chaotic at Passport Control with queues everywhere all over the place but this time they seemed to be much more efficient. They had it organised much better. I was sitting at the front of the queue only to find that i’ve forgotten to fill in my form. The young guy there chuntered a little but I filled it in. We had a little chat and I told him to have a nice day. He looked at me and said thank you so I thought “thanks to all them at immigration control.
“So here I am
With my immigration form
Big enough to keep me warm
When the cold wind’s blowing.”

Tea was one of the best stuffed peppers that I’ve ever made. I enjoyed eating that one very much and the leftover stuffing for the taco roll tomorrow will be wicked after marinading for 24 hours.

But that’s tomorrow. I’m off to bed right now hoping for a good sleep and some pleasant travels with charming companions.

It’s nice to see Percy Penguin again anyway. She doesn’t figure in my voyages half as much as she deserves.

Sunday 4th September 2022 – AFTER ALL THAT …

… the blasted, flaming, perishing nurse didn’t show up today.

And after I’d made a special effort to fall out of bed at 08:00 this morning, despite the rather late finish yesterday and the bad time that I had during the night.

speedboat buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while you admire a few photos of various kinds of nautical life that I saw this afternoon, I’ll explain.

Last night I intended to be in bed by about 23:00 but it was much closer to about midnight when I finally staggered off to bed.

And there I was tossing and turning for much of the night trying my best but failing miserably to go off to sleep.

Mind you, I must have done at some point because there were a few things on the dictaphone – notes of where I’d been during the night on my travels.

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After the medication I came back in here and when I’d eventually awoken (which wasn’t straight away, I’ll promise you) I had a listen to the dictaphone to find where I’d been.

I’d actually awoken with a really vivid sense of having played in goal for Pionsat’s football team for several matches. I really don’t know why but it was such a real feeling. It was hard to explain. We had some kind of team together somewhere in a dream and were looking for reinforcements. I’d heard about some young boy who played in some kind of cup competition as a goalkeeper. When we were putting the team sheet out for the next game a couple of days before hand this boy’s name was on it. I asked what was happening and they said that they’ve signed him up. he was going to sit on the bench for us. As I had to explain to someone that although he’s a good keeper he’s only young. He’ll have plenty of experience and learn quite a lot from just sitting on our bench in case there happens to be an injury. At 16 he has a lot to learn yet. This was when I started to have this feeling about being in goal for Pionsat.

It was actually such a vivid sensation that it took me a good few minutes to come to my senses (such as they are). I really did think that there was actually something in this when I awoke and it took me completely by surprise.

cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The next three voyages were quite interesting because they were all part and parcel of the same dream. I kept on slipping back into it. And it was another extremely realistic voyage or three as well.

I was with Rosemary and we were discussing the Ukrainians.

And this dream went on and on. We were all in Montreal. I was in the queue for buying something but I can’t remember what now. Their son (whom they don’t have of course) came up to me and asked if I was in a rush to go home. I said “not particularly. Why?”. “How do you fancy a week in Capri?”. I said “I’ll ask you a few questions. One – is it for a nice holiday in the sun?” to which he said “yes”. Then I asked “is your sister going?” to which he said “yes” so I replied “in that case I’m going as well”. We had quite a long chat about that. We all met back up. The father asked where we were but I couldn’t think of the street for a moment. I said “we’re on the south of the Rue St Catherine”. Suddenly I looked around and saw a big hotel and said “yes we’re in Campbell Square”. he picked up the name on an adjoining street and thought that we were in that. I insisted that this was Campbell Square (Place Mark Campbell is actually south of Boulevard Sherbrooke near the eastern end of the island and there’s no hotel there but never mind). I thought “we’d better hurry and organise this trip if we’re going tomorrow. I have to cancel my injection appointment with the nurse. If I cancel that and we decide that we aren’t going”. In the meantime mother and daughter were being rather distant. I couldn’t understand what was happening. When I looked around again the father and the youngest son (which they don’t have) had wandered away for miles. I was trying to find out what was happening here because really we all needed to stick together and book this hotel etc, book this flight and make sure that we were going. It didn’t look as if we were going at the moment and I was confused.

Then back in this dream yet again. A girl and I who had been with the Ukrainians had walked away. They’d gone off somewhere and we were walking past a group of beggars who were trying to entertain someone in the hope of having some money from him. We went past what at first looked like a grassy bank. I had a closer look at it and it was the ruins of a building that had been destroyed in an air raid in the early 1930s. There was a cemetery in the middle of it which I thought must have been the victims but it said something like “a cemetery, late mid-century”. I thought “that can’t be correct”. We carried on walking trying to find out what the Ukrainians were going to do about this idea to go to Italy for a week. We walked into another square and there was this huge magnificent hotel. I said “this is the hotel where we’ll be going to stay before we head off”. She said “there’s been another change of plans now. I heard them talking and it looks as if they’re going to be back home by Saturday so this thing doesn’t look as if it’s going to come off. We have to be careful because we’ll be in the red zone that weekend but if we can return home on Friday i’ve arranged for us to set up the tables presumably for the market stall the following day so this trip isn’t going to happen at all”. I felt extremely disappointed about that.

There’s a large part of this voyage that I’ve left out. Usually, the only things that I leave out are the more gruesome bits and pieces that you really don’t want to read. However today, I’ve left stuff out for another reason completely. If you really want to know the reason why, you’ll have to ask me.

There were a couple of pauses while I was doing that – firstly for breakfast and then for lunch. Yes, I had both today. In fact, going through the fridge yesterday I came across an opened packet of vegan cheese slices about which I had completely forgotten so for breakfast I made myself some cheese on toast.

It was delicious too but I wish that I had remembered to put a few slices of tomato on top.

When I finally finished I spent most of the rest of the afternoon dealing with the photos from Jersey. And once again, more time was spent researching than editing

A few weeks ago Liz and I had chatted about the Rollright Stones – the ancient monument, not the SONG BY “TRAFFIC”. In a Newsgroup that I follow, someone had posted an article about the stones so I sent the link to her and that led to a little chat.

Something else that happened was that I had a little “wobble” and found myself drifting away – the first time for a fortnight. But I think that I won’t count this because after all, it’s Sunday and I did have an early start.

And don’t forget that I did say that I’d go back to bed after the nurse had been. It’s hardly my fault that no-one turned up.

And it goes without saying that I staggered off outside, a little later than usual.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Not that I went far. Not the way my leg is feeling right now. I went as usual across the car park to look over the wall and down onto the beach to see the crowds.

And while it’s probably wrong to say “crowds”, there were certainly quite a few people down there right now. My attention was focused though on the ones who were brave enough to take to the water. Good for them.

No neighbours out there to detain me this afternoon so I didn’t have cause to hang around. After a look around out to sea, where there wasn’t much going on for a Sunday, I tried my knee out, found that it hadn’t improved any, and abandoned my plans for a hobble off around the medieval city walls.

masthead flag shtandart port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Instear, I took myself off to the viewpoint overlooking the port and the fish processing plant on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne

The first thing that I noticed was that Shtandart is still there. It looks as if the port has become a safe haven for her now. All of those who voted for LePen (and there were many more of them than there ought to be around here) must be exerting their influence.

The second thing though is that she has taken down her Russian flag at the masthead. There’s another banner there right now but I really don’t know to what it refers.

The superimposed images are strange. Top left looks roughly like Asia, bottom left roughly like the Middle East, bottom right like Alaska and the Aleutians, but I’m open to suggestions for the top right image. I wonder if they represent areas that Putin intends to occupy.

le styx spirit of conrad capo di fora charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Chausiaise, Victor Hugo and the trawlers are still there out of shot, and the three boats that we saw yesterday, Le Styx, Spirit of Conrad and Capo di Fora are still there too.

And they’ve now been joined by another yacht that must have come into port after I’d gone back inside yesterday. The blue and white yacht Charles Marie has now come into port. Maybe she has finished her summer season now as well.

There are two other boats in that photo too, a trawler in front of le Styx and a yacht, complete with wind turbine, in front of Spirit of Conrad.

However I have no idea who they are and I have no way of finding out because whoever they are, they don’t have their AIS beacons switched on

grass boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While I was here I had a look at the grass on the top of the cliff.

That rain that we had has clearly done someone some good because while much of the older grass looks as if it’s definitively gone beyond the possibility of recovery (and I’m not even convinced of that) you can see that there’s plenty of new growth springing up.

It’s not going to take too long before we’ll forget that we have had a drought this summer.

This was as far as I went. With no change at the chantier naval today I decided to head off home and not put too much trust in my knee.

As I said yesterday, I don’t have a great deal of confidence in my knee and it’s all rather worrying.

yellow powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way back home I heard an old familiar rattling up in the sky.

And I had to look long and hard to see who it was because it was so high up and lost in the clouds. I only noticed it when it flew into a gap and sure enough, it turned out to be the yellow powered hang-glider.

And while we’re on the subject of ULMs – as the French call “microlight aricraft” … “well, one of us is” – ed … one of them, not one that we know, went down yesterday morning near Falaise in the Calvados and regrettably both persons on board lost their lives .

Before going out I’d mixed up another load of dough and given it a good going-over.

When I came back it had risen quite nicely so I divided it into 3 and put two portions into the freezer. The third one I rolled out and put in the pizza tray for its second proofing.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022It sprung up like a mushroom too so when it was ready I assembled it and put it in the oven.

Following on from what I said last Sunday I remembered to put it one shelf higher than I usually do and it was actually cooked to perfection. Easily the best one that I’ve ever made and one of the tastiest too.

So now that I’ve finished my notes I’m going to relax for a while and then go off to bed. I have an early start tomorrow – 06:00 in fact – and a radio programme to prepare so I need to be at my best.

What are the odds on the nurse coming along to interrupt me at some point?

But what about last night’s adventures? That football one was certainly bizarre and I can’t believe that I actually had to think about what I’d been doing.

When I was at school I used to play in goal but I never had the height and I was never actually selected to represent the school so thinking that I wasn’t any good, I never kept it up. I just turned out in goal for the odd knock-about side after I left school and played outfield down the left side of the field.

It wasn’t until a good few years later that I discovered that the boy who was n°1 choice in goal at school went on to play for Wycombe Wanderers in the Football League and the boy who was n°2 choice played for Northwich Victoria in the UK’s fifth tier so maybe it was a case that I wasn’t that bad after all. The competition was just too good.

Instead, I ended up keeping wicket for a good-quality club cricket size for a few years until I went off on my travels.

But that voyage with the Ukrainians was interesting too. It’s a shame that I can’t tell all of the story.

Thursday 18th August 2022 – I DON’T KNOW …

… what happened today but I haven’t crashed out.

Not yet anyway. The night is young and there’s plenty of time to go.

Even more astonishingly, I’ve had yet another letter from the hospital this morning to the effect that I know have no fewer than SIX appointments scheduled for my next visit to the hospital. And if that’s not a record, I don’t know what it.

Perhaps it’s as well if I mention that the letter that they sent me is dated 9th August – that’s before I sent my incendiary missive their way. heaven alone knows what will be the response to that and how many appointments I mend up when the whatsit hits the wherever.

On the other hand, they could of course tell me to clear off, and I’m quite prepared for that possibility too.

joly france belle france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022However, retournons à nos moutons as they say around here and let’s talk about what happened today while you admire a few photos of Belle France leading the new Joly France ferry out to the Ile de Chausey.

Despite what I said last night, it ended up being a night much later than I had intended. Just as I was going to bed, TUNNEL OF LOVE, one of the must beautiful songs ever recorded, came round on the playlist.

Of course, it’s not a song that you can only play once. A song about nostalgia and Ohhh! What might have been if only …

Having a song like that going around in my head on my way to bed, of course it’s bound to be a very turbulent night.

joly france belle france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022This is a long rambling dream yet again but I can only remember bits of it. I was with Liz and Terry and they had a Ukrainian family staying with them pretty similar to Rosemary’s. Terry and Liz were going off somewhere in the morning so the Ukrainian guy came to see me to ask me what they needed doing today. I was surprised at how much his English had improved. I didn’t know so I asked Liz but she wasn’t there. I went to the top of the stairs out to the back garden and shouted for Terry. He came round so I went down to meet him and asked him what he wanted to be done. He pointed to an area round at the back of the shed between the shed and the river where they had plented onions but it was pretty weed-infested. He said “he can do that”. I said “OK – I’ll get him on that” but it was raining quite heavily so I didn’t know if he wanted to go out and do it just then. Then Terry changed into Liz. We had to walk back to the house. I was walking so much easier but when I reached the steps that started to lead up I started to take them 1-2, 1-2 and I actually managed 4 steps like that before my knee gave out which was an impressive turnaround. By this time Liz had gone up to the top and she wondered where I was. She saw me coming behind after her so she carried on. By now she was carrying this huge balloon in front of her. There was a line of school children so she just charged this line and pushed them along, pushed some out of the way and pushed the others forward etc until they all became embedded when she was about 2/3rds of the way down. The kids thought that this was really funny but the teachers weren’t impressed. I went up to Liz and said “Liz, I’m not with you”. There was much more to it than this and I really can’t remember it.

joly france belle france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There was also something else in a dream about me walking around. There was a girl walking around. She was caught in this flood that knocked her over and she nearly drowned. Luckily she managed to scramble free. That’s about the only thing that I can remember of that dream.

Later on I’d been on a train with some people heading towards Crewe. I alighted at a railway station somwhere to stretch my legs while the passengers were boarding. There were some people there clearly having problems so I went over to see what was going on. They were boarding this train but their train was about 12 hours late and they’d been shunted halfway across the south of France in different directions before they had been finally brought to this railway station somehow and were now going to make their way to Crewe on this particular train. I boarded the train and sat with them, talking about the train and completely lost track of time. They were talking about the stations, at which ones they were stopping. I explained that it was stopping at a lot more than usual because of all of these problems. We rattled through the railway station at Whitchurch and I was still talking when suddenly we were coming into the outskirts of Crewe so I had to run the length of the train to where I was sitting before, unplug and close my computer, pick up everything and hurtle to the door just as the guard was locking it. I thought “I’m going to be stuck on this train now until it reaches its destination wherever that might be”. Luckily he saw me running. He asked if I wanted off. I replied “yes” so he opened the door so that I could fall out onto the platform with all m stuff just as the train pulled away. I thought “that was a really lucky escape there”.

And we’ve had quite a few “train” and “railway station” dreams too.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Ohh no! I’ve not finished yet! Far from it.

I was on another train but I can’t remember now what was happening but it was something to do with meals on board that we never had and dietary requirements that we never had but I just can’t remember what happened with this now.

Nerina was about somewhere as well at some point but I can’t remember why. It was something to do with me tidying up. There were all these beer bottles lying around. I said “this is what happens since you’ve been back isn’t it?”. She said “yes but how many did you drink the other night when it was hot?”. I said that I’d dunk 3. She asked me where I’d found them. I replied that I had them from an Italian guy at work. She wanted to know why I’d been seeing him.

And seeing as I’m teetotal, the idea that I’d be drinking beer is rather bizarre too.

red powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Finally there were 4 of us, 3 men and Nerina. She had to go for a Covid special treatment because her first injection had come up with something. We all went to this marquee and those 2 stood outside and the 2 of us went in. Going in was something because there were people blocking the door. We had to register Nerina. Eventually she managed to be seen so i went to stand outside. We were waiting for ages watching all these GMT double-deckers drive past. Suddenly she came out so we could leave. I asked about her treatment and how many injections she’d had. She said that this was her 2nd. She asked a couple of strange questions. There was some kind of crate or container on wheels that she was pushing so we took it in turns to push it. First one guy pushed it and then I pushed it and then Nerina and then the other guy. At one point one of the guys said that he was becoming fed up of pushing this which was no surprise for it was up a steep hill on a grassy verge. I said “never mind, I’ll push it”. I pushed it up to the top of the hill. Not too far away was a pub. It used to be called the “Cheshire Cheese”. This guy said “do you know, it’s been years since i’ve been to a pub on a Saturday night for a quiet drink”. I said to him “go and ask the other guy and if he agrees we’ll all go in there and have a drink on the way home” so he went off to check with the other guy about going for a drink.

So after having several of my family members coming round to bother me, I had Nerina last night come to join me. Her presence doesn’t bother me at all because, after all, I did invite her willingly to take part in my life, for better or for worse so she’s every right to be here.

But where are Castor, Zero and TOTGA? I haven’t seen them for an age.

Anyway, it was another difficult start to the morning as I struggled to my feet to face the day. And after the medication I came in here and transcribed the dictaphone notes, of which there were more than just a few.

There was an interruption when the Postie came by with a large box. So I now have the bits for the fridge and I can open the door without running any risk (for now, anyway) of a load of bottles falling out.

Having eventually finished the dictaphone notes the rest of the day has been spent steam-cleaning the kitchen. Well, not exactly, and for two reasons too –

1) My in-depth cleaning skills aren’t as good as many other people’s. I don’t seem to have the correct technique in this respect
2) These days I can’t work like I used to. I can only do about 10 minutes and then I have to go and sit down for an hour. Consequently it’s taking me an age to do anything.

However you can actually see the difference and if I keep on progressing like this, a little bit here and a little bit there, I might eventually finish it. Who knows?

There were the usual interruptions, like the Postie, breakfast, my lunchtime fruit and also my walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So while I was being buzzed by the Nazgul that you saw earlier, I headed off to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach to see what was happening.

The weather was bright and sunny with a few clouds here and there, but colder than it has been of late. Nevertheless there were still plenty of people down there on the beach.

And even a few taking to the water. I know that at one point I was sorely tempted to go down and join them but today wasn’t one of those days. It wasn’t that warm.

There’s a yellow inflatable boat down there on the rocks and that would be much more like my way of going out to sea.

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022This isn’t it though.

While I was looking down onto the beach I was also looking out to sea at the same time. And that was when I picked up a white streak of water being disturbed way out in the bay.

A closer look when I returned home and enlarges and enhanced the image shows that it was a zodiac streaking by. He wasn’t hanging about at all. Il a le feu dans ses fesses – “he has a fire up his … ” well, never mind.

The footpath was crowded again today. All of the people who had turned out this afternoon but probably found it too cold on the beach had gone for a walk instead.

f-gcum robin dr400 180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So while I was fighting my way through the multitudes I was being overflown yet again.

We’ve seen the Nazgul and the red powered hang-glider, and now it’s the turn of F-GCUM, one of the Robin DR400-180 aeroplanes that belong to the aero club and fly out of the airfield just a couple of miles up the coast.

She took off from the airfield at 16:04, flew down the coast to do a lap around Mont St Michel and then came back home to land at 16:28. So seeing that my photo is timed at 16:20 (adjusted) that’s about right, I reckon.

And I wish that everyone else who takes off from there would file a flight plan.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Fighting my way through the carpark and past the cars parked on the lawn, I ended up at the end of the headland again.

There were a few people loitering around by the cabanon vauban and they were certainly having their money’s worth this afternoon for a change given how things have been this last couple of days.

A little earlier we saw Belle France and the newer Joly France ferries go past on their way out to the island. Those people down there must have had a spectacular view of them going by just offshore

And so must the people down on the bottom path. There were quite a few people wandering around down there too.

wind surfer baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And the two ferries weren’t all that there was to see this afternoon either.

swinging along on the breeze behind them (well, a long way behind them actually) was a windsurfer, looking for all the world totally untroubled by anything. He must have been having a really good time out there just now.

When I was in Brussels I met a young guy who had been a champion windsurfer. He told me that on several occasions he had set out from Kent to try to windsurf across the Channel but kept on running foul of the French marine patrol who didn’t want him and his craft in French waters.

And seeing how quickly this guy was moving on his windsurf board, I could see how it might have been possible to travel that distance.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So leaving the windsurfer to his own devices I headed off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

So ask me how I know that the second ferry in the line was the newer one of the two Joly France boats. The answer is that here at the ferry terminal we have the second one.

And by looking at the windows and seeing that they are in “landscape”, not “portrait” format, that she has a larger upper deck superstructure and there’s no step cut in the stern, we can tell that this one is the older one of the two.

There’s no-one about on board so it looks as if she’s not going anywhere right now.

gerlean fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Over at the Fish processing Plant we have a ship tied up there that’s sitting in the silt, seeing as the tide is not yet in.

She is of course Gerlean and we can recognise her with no problems, having seen her often enough these days tied up over there. No sign of L’Omerta today though.

And as for what’s happening in the chantier naval today, everything over there is exactly the same as yesterday. No additions, and nothing taken away either.

On that note I headed for home and my coffee.

marité marie fernand port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022But before I do, just a little change down there at the loading bay.

All of the freight that’s been there for a few days has now gone. That means that someone has been in to pick it up but I don’t know who that might be. Neither Normandy Trader nor Normandy Warrior have been in port today.

On the other hand, Chausiaise departed at 10:17 and arrived in St Helier at 13:47 and wasn’t back in the harbour when I looked, so that’s the likely answer.

Meanwhile, in other news, Marité and the new arrival, Marie Fernand, are still here thia afternoon.

Back here I had my coffee and did a little more desultory cleaning up. If I’m not careful this place might end up looking as if someone is living here and we can’t allow that.

Tea was a burger on a bap with potatoes and veg and it really was delicious too.

So now that I’ve finished my notes I’ll gird up my lojns and try for an early night at long last. A few more travels might do me good but wouldn’t it be nice if one of my favourite young ladies came to visit me? I wonder where they have got to.

And remember the traffic queue and the policemen from Sunday? Apparently it was a “control” and they stopped for questioning 266 motor vehicles.

History does not record how many led to a subsequent prosecution.