Tag Archives: lucy horn

Sunday 17th April 2022 – THE MYSTERY OF THE …

photo credit interlink a changing canada Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… mysterious booklet is solved. All I had to do was to look in the photo credits on the final page.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few months ago some company or other bought a photograph from me – a photo of a small isolated community on the “forgotten coast” of Québec

The photograph has been published in the booklet and they sent a copy to me as a courtesy.

Perhaps I ought to add that much of my photography is no better – and probably a lot worse – than many other people’s but it’s all to do with the fact that I’m quite often wandering around, boldly going forward where the hand of man has never set foot.

Consequently they are of interest more for their curiosity value and content rather than their technical merit.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But be that as it may, it’s been another beautiful Spring day today.

The crowds were out in force this afternoon. And they had plenty of beach to be out there upon this afternoon.

Hordes of people swarming around down there this afternoon, all over the beach as well, not just in the shadow of the cliffs waiting for the tide to come in.

There are quite a few people out there in the distance hanging around the water that is retained in the medieval fish trap. Maybe they are looking for whatever might have been retained in there as the tide is on its way out.

hang glider people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Crowds of people swarming around on the path on top of the cliffs as well.

And as you will probably already have noticed, not a single face mask anywhere in sight. Except of course the one that I was wearing. I managed to remember to bring it with me today.

You will also notice that yet another Nazgul has come to grief over there too. And it doesn’t look as if the Birdman of Alcatraz is in any hurry to either take to the air again or to “fold up their tents, like the Arabs and as silently steal away”

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022A couple of days ago I mentioned that this weekend is one of the periods where the tidal coefficient is one of the greatest of the year.

And seeing as that coincides with the holiday season, we can reasonably expect to see crowds of people down there having a go at the pèche à pied and we are not wrong either because there were crowds down there today having a go.

So good luck to them too. As long as they remember to spread it out amongst their friends. Flexing your mussels, you might say.

Last night I certainly flexed mine while I was in bed because I covered a great distance while I was asleep. There was plenty of time to do so too because even though I didn’t go to bed until about 00:20, I didn’t actually raise myself from the dead until 12:00 this morning.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages, and then it was time for brunch – porridge and hot cross buns again. I have to celebrate the Easter season and I do love hot cross buns.

Having eaten, I turned my attention to the masses of notes on the dictaphone from last night. We started with something about the refugees coming back from Paris or Brussels. We had to walk to an adjacent station to catch the train rather than the station where we usually caught it but I don’t know how this finished because this was all that I dreamt about it.

Then this dream advanced to be something to do with the army. There was a huge depot full of all vehicles – dozens of Ford Anglia estates, stuff like that. They were all being sent for scrap. There was an ERF artic tractor, etc. An ex-girlfriend was there. She pointed to a smashed-up Ford Transit van and said that that used to be hers but it had been hit by a lorry when they were moving it around. They were all talking about these vehicles. She pointed out a couple that had the new green log books but he wouldn’t let them go for some reason or other. There were a few cars parked over there. I thought at first that they were Sunbeam Rapiers or Humber Sceptres but they turned out to be Citroens of some description, saloon cars. We were talking about them and we said “why don’t we take them back as a taxi? Why don’t we ask him?”. That seemed to be the logical thing to do for me but there were dozens of stuff here. They all had a big white cross painted on the side, stuff that was being sent for scrap.

Later on we were back in a big railway station that I recognised as the Gare du Midi (although of course it wasn’t). The refugees were actually leaving, flying by aeroplanes that were taking off from the roof. They had some kind of volunteers down there who would call the train times out and marshall the volunteers to bring them up onto the roof where they could then walk across to the terminal building to catch the ‘plane.

And thenI was at one of these American colleges and I’d been watching American football. They were talking about their own particular college that everyone was expecting them to post a 9-6 season but were on the verge of posting a 10-5. They were talking about the quarterback there who had had a better season than expected. I asked them what they thought about the clubs in their Conference and where they thought that their team was going. We had a chat about that. They pointed out about one young lad sitting there – he was actually their 3rd-choice quarterback and they were saying that when it neared the end they should have put him on to give the 1st choice a rest as the match was clearly won and he would avoid injury for him ready for the next couple of games. They talked about the match, that was actually broadcast on TV that went on until about 03:00 or 04:00. I was doing something that night otherwise I might have watched it but even so it was still quite late. The previous one finished an hour earlier because of the time difference in the USA where they had been playing and I’d missed that one as well. While we were chatting the clock was ticking down, about to come into the 2-minutes where they could take a knee and stop the game. They were all counting down the time while they were talking to me and I bet that you are all as impressed as I am that I can discuss technical phrases and tactics in American football games while I’m asleep

However I forgot to mention that there was something involving pizzas in there with all of the students sitting around eating pizza at this particular moment.

Now that all the Palestinians are safely aboard their train we now had to bring all of their luggage across to the new station. That wasn’t easy because there was just a couple of us on the Metro doing all of this. Eventually we arrived and we had to sort out the luggage into the various stops so that the correct luggage would be put out at the correct station. That brought me back to years ago when I worked in travel for Shearings

Interestingly, I was in Crewe last night in a Cortina mkIV or mkV, a red one that was really nice. I turned up Gainsborough Road into the side street to park. There was a policewoman there with a kid chatting so I thought that i’d better park tidily and properly while she was there. The steering was rather stiff because the car had just had a new steering rack fitted so I had to maul it round. When I got out she came over and told me that even though I had both feet on the floor they weren’t on the floor in the right place. In theory she could give me a ticket but she just wanted to make me aware. I found that hard to believe that your feet had to be in a certain position on the floor of your car but apparently so anything is possible in Tory Britain. We had a little discussion about things. Eventually she told me that there had been a police meeting yesterday. I said that I’d heard about it from someone else, and that there had only been 2 policemen on patrol for the whole of Crewe during the day yesterday while this meeting had been on and most of the policemen were there. That she agreed to

Finally I was living with someone in France. TOTGA had run away from home and came over to France to the town or village where I was living. She settled in a cave. For one reason or another she didn’t come to live with the two of us which must have been a great disappointment for me. We used to take her food etc. Then it was starting to become winter. There were a few more days to go before the school holidays so in the end we talked her into going to register for school for the next term. We told her that every child living in France has the right to education whether they were legal immigrants or not. eventually she went and took the plunge. She went to the local school to register. The school started to give her all kinds of help about who to see and where to go etc.

But imagine that! TOTGA living in a cave nearby and me not being able to take her in.

red powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022all of this took me up to the time when I go off for my afternoon walk.

And no sooner did I set my foot outside the building here when I was overflown by one of the aircraft that buzzes around overhead.

It’s our old friend the red powered hang-glider that we have seen quite often. and it has a passenger on board this afternoon too.

And all of this reminds me that we haven’t see the yellow powered hang-glider or the yellow autogyro for quite some time. I wonder what they are up to these days.

F-GBAI Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And that wasn’t all the aerial activity this afternoon either.

Buzzing along overhead was F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local Aero Club. She took off at 15:25, did a lap around the Ile de Chausey, flew down south to do a lap around Mont St Michel, and then back up the coast where she came in to land at 16:00.

And seeing as my photo is timed at 15:54 (adjusted for summer time) then that sounds about right.

By the way, this was the fourth of five voyages that she undertook (so far) today. They have certainly been keeping her busy.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022As was the case yesterday, I was surprised to see so few boats out there this afternoon.

It’s certainly true that there would be quite a while before the harbour gates would be open but I would have expected, given the fact that it’s a Bank Holiday weekend, the crowds are thronging around and the weather is so nice, to have seen all kinds of water craft milling around offshore in the bay.

Instead, all we can see today are a couple of cabin cruisers moored offshore, with the occupants probably having a good fishing session. And that was the lot. The weather was quite clear this afternoon and I could see for miles. And there was no other boat that I could see.

pointe du roc objects floating in baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022That wasn’t everything that was visible in the water.

As I walked around the corner and across the car park I could see something bobbing up and down just offshore from the Pointe du Roc.

This area is frequented by a few varieties of sea mammals, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall and I was thinking that I might have been lucky enough to have caught the head of one of the aforementioned bobbing up and down.

However, no such luck. It looks more like a plastic 25-litre drum of some description floating around out there and that was disappointing.

cabanon vauban people on bench watching peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022A little earlier, I mentioned the pèche à pied today.

There were quite a few people down there on the rocks this afternoon having a go at harvesting whatever there is to be harvested.

Furthermore, there were spectators to the events too. Apart from the usual people wandering around on the paths there were a few people sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban watching what was going on.

So from there I pushed off along the path on the other side of the headland.

anakena chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022My route took me along towards the harbour where I could see down into the chantier vauban to see what was going on there.

There are no changes to the occupants down there this afternoon but my eye was caught by what was going on with Anakena.

Part of the stern drops down to reveal a step into the water. That’s presumably for the passengers to step into a zodiac or something when it’s out on tour.

And, one assumes, for passengers to leap into the water for the “Polar Dip” when she’s up in the Arctic. And we’ve seen people do that quite frequently on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR

That reminds me of when Castor and Pollux tried to entice me into water at a sub-zero temperature in Cambridge Bay
“I can’t with this catheter in my chest” I replied.
A short while later, someone who had overheard the conversation asked me “had you not had the catheter, what would you have done”?
“I’d have found another excuse” I replied.

Not even Castor could entice me into the water at that temperature. I’ve been in twice up to my knees – on one occasion at just 700 miles from the North Pole – and I’m not going in any deeper than that.

bouchots de chausey port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Another boat that we have seen quite frequently is Les Bouchots de Chausey.

Shes often seen pottering around loaded to the gunwhales with shellfish that she passes over to the tractor and trailer that come to the harbour to meet her but today her crew is having a day off.

She’s been left to go go aground in the silt with all of her fishing equipment on board this afternoon now that the tide has gone out.

With nothing much else going on, I headed off through the crowds back to my apartment for my afternoon coffee and a decent session of music on the guitar.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022After lunch this afternoon I’d taken some pizza dough out of the freezer and left it to defrost throughout the afternoon.

later this evening I kneaded it and rolled it out onto the pizza tray. And when it had proofed sufficiently I assembled my pizza and baked it.

It was rather overcooked around the edges this afternoon but nevertheless it was quite tasty and filled a gap in my stomach.

So now that I’ve finished my notes I’ll have a little relax before I go to bed. Although I have a radio programme to prepare, it’s a Bank Holiday so i’m having another lie-in.

And maybe go off on a few more travels too. having had the pleasure of TOTGA’s company last night, it must surely be the turn of Castor or Zero to put in an appearance.

We shall have to see.

Thursday 25th November 2021 – I MIGHT HAVE BEEN …

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… rather hasty when I posted my rather vituperative comments the other day about the state of the road surface in the Rue St Michel.

As I walked past this afternoon on my way to the Post Office I can see that the workmen have come back.

While I watched, they were digging up the surface of the road down to a depth of about 30 centimetres, and they had some rather heavy professional equipment to move the soil, as you can see.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens next down there

workmen's equipment place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021However I can tell you what is happening next on the public car park outside my building.

Aapart from the equipment and material parked down at the far end, there’s a lorry with a skip and the dumper that you saw in the previous photo is bringing the soil to dump into it.

In fact it was the rather frequent passage of the dumper and its load up and down the street here this afternoon that actually drew my attention to the fact that there was work going on somewhere in the vicinity and I ought to be tracking it down.

At least it will give me something to do rather than to wade through mountains of sleep yet again because I had another miserable night. You can tell that my the amount and distance of the voyages on which I travelled.

We were living in London last night and a lad there was living in a house as a lodger. We suddenly found out that his landlady was someone really evil, in the style of Dracula or something so we rushed round there, made our way into his or her room. All of a sudden the woman appeared at the window and was making all kinds of uncomfortable gestures. The guy with me shooed her away and we played cards or something. Later, she came back and started to assemble a scaffolding at the front of the house. We chased her away again. The 3rd time we sent the dog out but it really didn’t do much so this guy went out with the dog, and the dog put an end to this woman. We carried on playing our game, a board game with this person although we were all very reluctant to sit by the window again in case this woman appeared even though the dog had finished her off

Later on there was something about trains being converted from diesel to electric power and running on electric lines in rural locations but I can’t remember that now. It’s all gone right out of my head.

There was a spaceship that landed on some ice. We went to see this spaceship and went on board. We were just about to go to bed when we heard a noise outside. We saw one of the people who had originally been on this boat and had somehow managed to escape. They were busy putting the leg of their boat or whatever back into position after they had moved it out of the way so that they could leave. We anticipated that there was going to be some kind of concert and right as this concert started under way I can’t remember any more about this
They had to start by untangling these jeeps and air passengers and so on, making a place on the stage for me to sing and where I could record but my voice seems to have gone down an octave and I couldn’t sing the parole as high as I used to
Later on I was on some kind of seaplane and it put us down somewhere in the far North of Canada on the sea. As we started to try to clamber off I looked out of the window and saw one girl whom I knew redirecting traffic and so on
“I fell asleep here” – ed
So I didn’t know then what was happening because I fell asleep again. Stopped wondering about what was going on, and then there was the missing one about being on board that seaplane that I added at a later date – and that really makes sense, doesn’t it?
There was a big party taking place and loads of people whom I knew where there. They were all doing exciting things. My German friend, for example, was cycling up a wall. Everyone was going around trying to find a friend, partner or something like that. I knew that nothing was ever going to happen to me. Who should turn up but a long-departed friend of mine. We had a little chat but because of my health issues the idea that I would have a partner was out of the window. We started talking, a couple of us there, and suddenly she burst into tears. I asked her what was the matter and eventually it was when we said that we can’t go on like this. I said “I can’t remember saying it”. She replied “you did, several weeks ago”. I thought that she meant that I’d said it today. Anyway, I tried to explain to her about my health problems, that I had other preoccupations at the moment but it was quite difficult for me to talk as she was in such a condition

Finally, Castor and Pollux put in a brief cameo appearance and it’s been a long time since they’ve done that, isn’t it? There was something about a major airport, it might have been Luton, that was having to close down because two big budget flight companies had collapsed so now the airport wasn’t having the custom that it had. Of course, whatever business we has was going to affect that very much. I said that Travel Agency was going to be the thing to get into because people like Castor and Pollux who were growing up are not going to be very happy sitting on a coach now for 10 days. They’ll be much more interested in sitting on a beach. Whoever it was with me was saying “that will change in the future”. I mentioned “we aren’t talking about the future at the moment, we’re talking about the way things are right now.

Once more I was wide-awake long before the alarm went off, although you might not think so reading all these notes, but even so it took me an age to tear myself out of bed.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I transcribed my masses of dictaphone notes and then set about dealing with these interview sound files. I ended up with two distinct interviews, and two for the price of one is always good value, even if it did take me until tea time, although with plenty of interruptions.

home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Not the least of the interruptions today was for the bread.

And isn’t this a magnificent-looking loaf? It’s certainly one of the best that I have ever made and when I tried it for lunch with my salad it tasted just as good as it looked.

This one was definitely a success and if I can produce loaves like this all the time I’ll be really happy.

It probably has something to do with the amount of time that I spent kneading it and shaping it. That probably contributed quite a lot to the success.

Something else that has taken up a lot of my time just recently has been a pile of correspondence that I have received today. An enormous box of papers has come to light relating to my maternal grandfather (who died in 1951) and his side of the family. No-one knew that they existed until recently.

Someone is currently scanning everything and sending them out in dribs and drabs. I’ve jhad a few loads just recently and another batch turned up today.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that my maternal grandmother was a well-known Vaudeville and Music-Hall singer in Canada in the early post-World-War I era.

It turns out that my maternal grandfather was an accomplished piano player and singer, and taught at a private boarding school, Denstone College, near Rocester (and that, incidentally, explains why my grandmother died in the hospital in Stafford). Later on, he had a road haulage business in Wisbech.

The letters are fascinating stuff, in particular his castigation of his younger brother for having abandoned his own business when he became ill, totally and utterly ignoring the fact that he himself had abandoned his own two children to strangers when his wife was taken ill.

In fact, when the south-east of England was evacuated in World-War II he wouldn’t even take his own children into his safe house in Wisbech and they were cared for instead by his younger brother.

But anyway, I digress. But at least I now know why the members of my mother’s side of the family are nothing but a bunch of thespians.

There was tile this afternoon to write the two incendiary (not that it will do me much good but it makes me feel better) letters that I should have written and posted yesterday.

On the way down to the Post Office I had a call to make. We have several projects on the go for the radio right now, one of which concerns the Carnaval here, and not too far away from here lives a woman who is a costumier who makes the outfits for the carnivalers.

My task for today was to persuade her to be interviewed for the radio and after a chat of about 15 minutes she agreed. We’ll have to organise a date in the near future.

jade 3 victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way down into town, passing the Rue St Michel, I ended up at the viewpoint overlooking the port.

We have a trawler – Jade III – over there parked stern-on to the quayside. There’s a van parked next to it and a couple of guts working on untangling a fishing net. They are going to have hours of fun playing around with all of that.

Also over there are the two sad, sorry-looking Channel Island ferries, the blue and white Victor Hugo and behind her, the newer Granville. I wonder if we’ll ever see them resuming their sailings. It’s not looking very optimistic right now.

christmas decorations place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down in the town centre I posted off the two letters that I had written and then looked across at the Christmas decorations on the Place Général de Gaulle

There’s a cherry-picker down there this afternoon so it looks as if they are installing the Christmas lights. And I hope that they will be different from last year’s. I couldn’t ever understand why towns don’t meet up and swap decorations every year so that we have different ones all the time.

As for what’s going on round by Santa, we can’t see anything because of all the forest. It looks as if Birnam Wood has finally made it to Dunsinane after all.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way back home I stopped for a gander at the inner harbour.

It looks as if one of the Jersey freighters has slipped in without me knowing it because a lot of the freight that was on there last time we looked has now disappeared

But not to worry. There’s still a large pile of stuff accumulating on the quayside. It looks as if it’s all going non-stop at the moment and that will keep the little freighters busy. It’s good news for the port too as we are struggling somewhat now that the big gravel boats have stopped coming.

man fishing from beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way back home I remembered to go and have a look at the beach this afternoon.

Only one person down there this afternoon. he looked as if he was a fisherman but I couldn’t see whether or not he had a rod with him. He was however striding out into the water with some great purpose.

Back here I made myself a coffee and carried on with my reading 70 and 80-year old letters and editing the sound files for my radio intervals.

Tea was veggie balls and pasta tonight. I have mountains of those and they need to be eaten so I’m doing my best to polish them off. At this rate, I reckon that they’ll finish me off before I finish them.

Bedtime now, and tomorrow I have yet more work to do – not for me either but someone’s bunged a translating job on me at the last moment.

There are also these sound files to send off for some gap-filling, a pile of questions for a bunch of elves, some shopping to do (as I’m at a weekend Welsh School this coming weekend) and several other things before I even start to think about my own work.

There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Saturday 24th July 2021 – JUST TO PROVE …

sunrise walled city Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall…. that I can do it when I really try, this is sunrise this morning.

It says 05:44 on the image date-stamp but because my cameras and recording equipment are always set to local standard time, it was in fact 06:44.

And by this time I’d had my medication, checked the dictaphone (to find that there was nothing at all on it – what a shame. I thought that Castor and Pollux might have come back to carry on from where we left off last night) and I was making a mug of coffee.

Such is the dedication, but unfortunately it didn’t last, as you will find out if you read on.

With nothing to transcribe on the dictaphone, I used the time by attacking the photos from August 2019 when we were in zodiacs cruising around Disko Bay in the Davis Strait.

A little later I went for a shower and then set the washing machine off on a cycle (a very clever washing machine, mine). And at the astonishingly early hour of 08:15 I hit the streets and went to the shops

3 Shops I visited, all in all. Lidl, Noz and LeClerc. Not an emty shelf in sight and you couldn’t move round the aisles for the piles of fresh fruit and vegetable. As well as the usual apples, pears and bananas, I bought peaches, grapes and a melon. Ill be pigging out this week

In fact, LIDl’s shopping bill came to something like €46:00 and it’s not very often at all that I spend that much there without something tangible to show for it.

new building near noz Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt Noz, the building that they are constructing on the waste land at the back is coming on apace, but I’m more interested in what was in the shop.

And at long last I found four matching seat cushions for my dining chairs. And a folder for all of my Welsh Summer School stuff. And some frozen falafel and as well as that some frozen vegan minced “beef”.

That was a good find because I need to make a curry, being pretty low down on stuff like that in the freezer and I was wondering what to use. That will make a nice change.

It was an important shop in LeClerc too. I told you that I was running out of stuff in here not having been shopping for a couple of weeks. But now I have a full freezer, a full fridge, a full vegetable rack and full shelves.

Having done all of the shopping I rushed back home and dragging only half the shopping up here (you’ve no idea how heavy everything was), putting the freezer stuff away, sorting out the washing and hanging it on the airing cupboard, I was ready for my new Saturday morning Welsh chat session, armed with hot chocolate and fruit bread.

Brain of Britain has struck once again.

After that, I can’t remember what I did. But one thing that I do know is that it wasn’t very much.

There was a pause for lunch, as you might expect, and then I came back in here. Next thing that I remember was that it was something like 16:15. I’ve had another one of those cataleptic crashing-out that has been the bane of my existence for the last 6 months.

Mind you, I don’t think that going to bed well after midnight contributed much to my good health.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo with no buses outside ruining the pavement and the grass, I wandered over across the car park to have a look down on the beach to see what was going on this afternoon.

And what surprised me more than anything was that there were so many people down on the beach this afternoon.

It may not look like it in this image but right now it was teeming down with rain. I hadn’t noticed at first, but I soon did once I put my sooty foot out of the front door of the building and I hadn’t gone 20 yards before I went back for my raincoat .

So all of those people strolling up and down the beach trying to work out what to do on summer Saturday afternoon that is probably one of the wettest that I have every know, well, they are braver people than I am.

ile de chausey baie de granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs usual, while one of my eyes was roaming around the beach, the other one was busy roaming around out to sea to see what I could see.

And while regular readers of this rubbish will recall being regaled with endless photos of whole fleets of boats out there at sea during the week and would have been expecting to see maybe ten times that on a Saturday afternoon in midsummer, then you are in for a shock.

In the expanse of the water in the Baie de Granville between here and the Ile de Chausey, I couldn’t even see one boat. And that’s probably the most surprising thing of all today.

So on that note, I cleared off along the path around the headland, dropping my camera lens cap on the way.

yachts in rainstorm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was however something going on out at sea. I’d seen something vaguely white down the coast near St Malo.

Back home, I cropped the image, enhanced it and enlarged it, and I found that there were two yachts just emerging out of a rainstorm down the Brittany coast. I can’t think that they must have been enjoying the weather out there very much.

And neither was I. I didn’t want to be hanging around too much in all of this so I cleared off rather smartish-like.

Across the car park and down to the headland, nothing going on down there. Not even a fisherman today which was a surprise. So I wandered off along the path on the other side of the headland to see what was going on there.

man with kids flying kite boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s an ill wind indeed that doesn’t blow anyone any good, as we all know.

As well as the driving rain, we were having winds of April-and-May proportions which were presumably keeping most people indoors, but not this father and his two sons.

They were making the most of whatever the weather could throw at them by flying a kite. They weren’t particularly good at it, I have to say, but full marks to them for trying it. Most of the other people around here at the car park in the Boulevard Vaufleury had taken shelter in their vehicles.

volkswagen lupo with broken rear window boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m not quite sure what had happened to this Volkswagen with a broken rear window.

It’s the kind of thing that I’ve seen happen before, when someone has put a rather large object on the parcel shelf and then slammed the tailgate without thinking.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall watching a young girl open a car door, causing the glass to come into contact with the mirror of the car next to her. The mirror made short work of her window.

On the other hand, there could have been something more sinister going on here with this broken window, but anything that I might say and any suggestion that I might make would be pure speculation.

tidal harbour chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn case you are wondering where all of the boats are that ought to be out at sea right now making the most of a Saturday in mid-summer, then now you know the answer.

They are all here, moored up in the inner harbour and left to go aground with the changing tide. The owners are, I imagine, either at home curled up y the wire with a good book, or else in one of the many bars in the town waiting for the weather to turn.

But it was something of a forlorn hope. There was 10/10th cloud everywhere with no sign of anything clearing. In fact at rained all afternoon, all evening and by the looks of things, it’ll be raining all night too.

There doesn’t look as if there is going to be any let-up in this weather until the wind turns round.

rue du port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou can see what I mean by looking at this photo here.

This is the Rue du Port on a Saturday afternoon at a couple of minutes to 5:00pm in late July, and you’ll see that some of the cars have their headlights illuminated. That tells you everything that you need to know about the weather.

And that was my lot today. I wasn’t going to hang around in this sort of weather. I headed for home.

And having had a nice cold Strawberry Smoothie yesterday afternoon, today it was a nice, hot strong coffee. It was taters outside.

Shock! Horror! I did some tidying up, and then I came for tea. One of those bread-crumbed soya things of which I bought a pile a while ago and stored in the freezer. That was followed by jam roly-poly.

Bedtime now, although I’m not tired, having had a really long sleep this afternoon. But I’ll do my best.

It’s a lie-in tomorrow but there’s plenty of work to do, like bake some more bread, for example. For some reason the loaf that I made the other day was a dismal failure. I blame the useless yeast myself, but it could really be down to anything.

Tomorrow I’ll give it another go.

Friday 23rd July 2021 – WHAT HAVE I BEEN …

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… saying for the last few days? That with all of the freight that we ought to be expecting the arrival of one of the little Jersey freighters to take it all away?

And sure enough, look who I saw in port this afternoon? And i was lucky, I can tell you, because as we have seen so often in the past, the boats are so busy that their turn-rounds are so quick these days and I miss them on a regular basis.

Yes, here’s Normandy Trader, the old converted ex-military landing craft having missed the morning’s tide and having to wait until this afternoon and the tide comes in before the harbour gates open and she can clear off back to Jersey.

But seeing Normandy Trader and Thora in the port in the same week is not something that happens all that often these days.

And what else have I been saying quite often just recently about how my regular nocturnal companions seem to have deserted me? Well, look who came back to accompany me last night.

We were off on the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR again last night and although there were lots more to it than this but where it led up to was that we were all out somewhere ond one of the girls was Pollux so I started to try to talk to her but her mother kept on getting in the way, or different people did. In the end it was time to walk back to where we were going to have our evening meal so we set out back and I went to align myself with Pollux who was now Castor – or was it Castor who was now Pollux (proper Castor and Pollux stuff this, to anyone who worked out the story). We walked back and to start the conversation I ask who were her favourite groups. She told me a few names which I didn’t recognise. When I told her that I didn’t recognise them she laughed and asked where I’d been living for the last so many years. We walked back to this village hall-type place and had to walk up onto the stage where we could wash our hands and so on. She disappeared off behind the scene backcloth, I imagined to put on a special kind of dress so I forestalled – that was the favourite word of Peary, the Arctic explorer by the way – her by going round the other side and grabbing 2 seats, sitting on one and saying that the other one was taken. Pollux turned up and I beckoned her over and said “here, I’ve saved a seat for you”. She replied “that’s fine, thanks, but do you mind if I sit next to my mother?”. I had a look round and found that I was sitting right next to her mother and I thought “ohh dear! Right! Ok!” So I moved up one seat and she slid in. Of course she was still next to me but she was next to her mother as well and then I tried to start off some kind of conversation with her.

But it’s interesting that I was spending so much time with Pollux and not with Castor. There has to be a story behind that and I wish I knew what it was. And I wish that I knew how the story ended.

But it’s quite a throwback to the days of my youth when I had my long hair, my leather jacket and either my Ariel 250 or later on, my AJS 650. I might have been popular with one or two girls (not all that many) but certainly not with their mothers.

I remember once lying in wait for a girl in Nantwich on Saturday morning and her mother, who knew my family well, saw me waiting and steered her up a side street out of my path.

That was the story of my life with mothers, and it’s interesting to see it emerging out of nowhere in this instance.

But meanwhile, back to the plot.

This is my last day of staying in bed until 08:00. And so I celebrated by having a really bad night’s sleep where I awoke early on in the night and couldn’t go back to sleep.

After the meds I came back to listen to the dictaphone and I must have gone to sleep at some point because my story about Castor and Pollux was there.

Then I went to print out the noted for today – 22 of them. And in trying to be ready early, the printer ran out of yellow ink and it took me ages to fit a new cartridge and make it work.

And then a few minutes later the black one ran out, so in desperation I ran it all in blue ink.

With my hot chocolate (made with real chocolate of course) and home-made fruit bread and went 5 minutes early for my Welsh lesson – last day of our Summer School. And if to confound absolutely everything, the tutor forgot me and didn’t let me in until 5 minutes after the lesson had started.

And if you thought that we had belted on at 100mph on each of the last 4 days, that had nothing on how we moved today. I don’t think that we stopped to draw breath. And it’s the only time that ever I’ve used more than 4 pages of notebook of vocabulary. When I’d finished I had to come in here and sit in the shade and talk to a friend of mine on the internet for a while.

Eventually I plucked up the energy to go off outside for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo buses or coaches parked on our kerb today, so I wandered off across the car park and looked over the wall to see what was going on down below on the beach.

And to my surprise, while there was much more beach to be on today, such are the benefits of going out 2 hours earlier, there were far, far fewer people down there on it than there have been over the past few days.

It beats me where everyone had gone to, that’s for sure. While the day had clouded over and the wind had got up (in fact at one stage earlier in the day it blew open the bedroom window and blew the clothes drier all over the floor) it wasn’t cold by any means.

We’re well into the holiday season too. There should be so many people about that it would be impossible to move. But not that I’m complaining. The fewer tourists bringing their viruses here the better from my point of view

fishing boat towing dinghy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd of course, while I had one eye scanning the beach, the other eye was scanning out to sea to see what I could see out there this afternoon.

Plenty of movement going on out there, including something quite bizarre out there close to the Ile de Chausey, so I took a photo of it with the idea of cropping it out, enhancing it and bowing it up (the photo, not the object) when I returned home.

Sure enough, it seems to be one of the smaller fishing boats on its way back to port this afternoon, but towing behind it a little dinghy.

They probably work the Ile de Chausey and the smaller boat is for getting in between the rocks. We saw what they were like last year when we were out there last year on our week away from home on Spirit of Conrad

men fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt goes without saying that there have to be some fishermen around here doing something or other offshore.

These guys are just offshore by one of the coastal marker lights having a go at trying to catch something.

And as I watched, for all of five minutes or so, no-one pulled anything at all out of the water. No fish and nothing else either which is no surprise because whatever else out there will have been picked up by beachcombers when the tide goes out.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd even as we spoke, we had someone else come to join us.

Not La Granvillaise – I don’t know where she has got to today, but Joly France, one of the ferries that runs out to the Ile de Chausey.

And with me having talked about it so often in the past, regular readers of this rubbish will recall quite easily which one of the ferries this is from this angle.

No step in the stern, windows rectangular in the “landscape” format – it can only be the the older one of the two going out to bring home a load of day-trippers

yacht fishing boat towing dinghy speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, in other news, things are developing quite quickly and quite dramatically out at sea.

We’re heading for a traffic jam or a collision here right now. There aren’t as many water craft out there today as there have been just recently but these three here look as if they are heading for disaster nevertheless.

There has to be a yacht picture though, doesn’t there? There wasn’t one just offshore at the Rue du Nord as there had been at the start of the week, so I reckoned that I’d take a photo of this one, but I never ever expected to have it as exciting as this.

But luckily everyone missed everyone else and they all continued safe and sound on their way.

And so did I too. I walked around the path and across the car park down to the rocks at the end but, surprisingly there was no-one fishing down there either today, so I cleared off along the coastal path.

chausiaise entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as I rounded the corner I just about managed to catch the rear end of Chausiaise disappearing into the inner harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall who she is but for the benefit of everyone else, she’s a barge, I suppose, owned by the people who run the ferry service between here and the Ile de Chausey.

With so many holidaymakers heading out there, the transport of their luggage and supplies for their stay on the island was becoming quite problematic on the ferries so the company bought the barge to transport the freight.

We saw her loading up the other day at the quayside near the harbour gate. She’s fitted with a nice big crane for that purpose as there are no unloading facilities on the island.

yacht rebelle trawler chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now my walk has taken me round to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval, and it looks as if there is plenty of excitement going on down there this afternoon.

With the trawler L’Alize III going back into the water the other day, they now seem to have moved the yacht Rebelle into the place that she occupied. The portable boat lift was just dropping her into position as I walked past.

So I wonder if that means we’re going to be having another arrival pretty soon who will occupy that place, or does it mean that we aren’t expecting anything in in the near future to occupy the other spaces here.

But one thing is quite clear. When one of the guys told me that she would be “back in the water soon”, he was clearly talking in geological terms.

fishing boat pulling dinghy into port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now I was ready to go home, but not before I’d taken another photo.

The fishing boat and little dinghy that had been dogging my path all afternoon was just now coming (undamaged) into the harbour as I walked by.

And it looks as if it’s quite busy down there with endless streams of people leaving port on all kinds of water craft. But our fishing boat will be going to moor at the fish processing plant and unload its catch.

And me? Back at the apartment it was finally warm enough for me to have a strawberry smoothie instead of a coffee, and I came in here to finish my chat.

One thing led to another, as it often does and I ended up not only missing my guitar practice but my tea as well, which was just as well because I didn’t know what to eat.

But now I’m off to bed. Back to the early starts tomorrow and shopping as well – all three of my shops because there’s nothing in the house today.

The question is – will I last the pace?

Tuesday 20th July 2021 – I’VE DONE SOMETHING …

… today that I vowed never to do – but needs must when the devil drives as we all know.

What I did was to change the times of the alarms from 06:00 etc to 08:00 etc and try for a decent lie-in to make sure that i’d be fighting fit for my course today.

The lie-in bit worked, I suppose, but the fighting fit bit didn’t – by the time that the lesson ended I was feeling rather groggy.

marite baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut while I might not have been fighting fit today, something else was.

Having a good sail around the Baie de Mont St Michel with a load of passengers on board was none other than Marité. She seemed to be coping quite well and she’s 30-odd years older than me.

In case you are wondering, she’s the last of the Newfoundland Grand Banks wooden fishing trawlers built in 1921 if I remember correctly. When her service was over she was sold a couple of times and finally rescued by an Association here.

She’s been fully restored and is licensed to carry passengers for hire, and that’s how she makes her living.

But I’m not going to be able to make a living the way I’m going on with this fatigue that’s getting me right down.

It might have helped had I had a continuous 8-hour sleep, but I noticed that there was some stuff on the dictaphone from the night.

I had to go to work down in London so I had to leave my old office so I went into there and thanked them all, particularly one group wit whom I worked. Then Nerina and I got into the car and headed off. I was telling Nerina a little about my house but not too much as I wanted to surprise her about the house that I had down in the south that was about 10 minutes from Croydon on the train. We drove down there and ended up at my house which was a 3-bedroom semi just like Gainsborough Road except that it was in the middle of a row. It had a garage and I showed her around the garden and took her indoors and had a look round. She came back and said “it’s better than I thought it would be, judging by the way you were telling me”. She started talking about how she would want a job. I replied “with 10 minutes on the train to Croydon you can find any kind of job you like”. So we started to open the post, there was some post there. One was a bill and then a reminder saying that they were going to cut my electricity all for £60:00 for three months that I’d been living there but hadn’t had a bill or anything so Nerina wanted a job and I said that we could find one for her quite easily.
Something else that occurred in this dream and I don’t know if I mentioned it … “you didn’t” – ed … but in the back garden of this house I had BILL BADGER up on ramps and the back wheels off while I was checking the brakes but it looked as if I’d backed him up into next door’s garden partly so Nerina and I put the wheels on with the aim of dropping it on the ground and pushing it forward away from next door’s garden. Somewhere in there Rosemary appeared as well. She’d been a taxi driver and had picked up a fare at Crewe Station to go to Battersea so she had taken the opportunity to go to her house which was in Main Road Shavington near the Elephant and Castle to pick up some paperwork that she needed to take to London so she had gone that way to Battersea. I met her when she was back. She had one of these Dacia – the vans, there’s an estate car version of the Dacia van and she had one of those.

What’s interesting about all of this is, as I have probably said before, that I haven’t seen Nerina for well over 25 years but she’s quite a regular passenger with me on my nocturnal rambles. Since those days, a variety of people have come and gone from my life and have also come and gone from my nocturnal rambles too, but Nerina still persists.

Whatever happened to TOTGA, Castor and Pollux, Zero, the Girl From The Auvergne and countless others who blazed a trail through my nocturnal rambles at one time or other, hung around for a while and then disappeared just as rapidly as they came?

It’s probably something to do with lives being so entwined, I supposed, that it’s impossible to untangle then. Mind you, some of these other relationships, well, maybe not “relationships” in the way that you might think of them, were pretty intense too.

One day, when I can find the right words to express it, I’ll fill in those missing three days of my journal from the end of August 2019 about one of the most intense experiences that I have ever had.

To quote Agatha Christie, I was “embarking on a hazardous journey in troubled waters facing who knows what currents of misfortune” but “one must follow one’s star wherever it leads, even unto hell itself”.
But then, to quote Agatha Christie yet again, “Beware of the day when your dreams come true”.

But that’s enough of me being all maudlin. That’s not helping anyone at all.

After the medication I transcribed the dictaphone notes and updated yesterday’s entry with the details of the night’s journey, did some organising and by then it was time for my Welsh course.

Armed with my hot chocolate and fruit bread I took my seat in front of the computer and we were off. Another hectic place with 52 pages of documents that needed to be downloaded from the internet.

In the lunch pause I had a shower and then I was back at my place for round two. And we belted along all the way until the end.

Coincidentally, the subject of Welsh Bibles came up and I was proud to be able to show the class my grandmother’s Welsh Bible. When she died, my father threw it away with the rest of her possessions and I had to hunt it down to rescue it.

When the lesson finished I found Liz on line so we had a chat and made plans for a date next week

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was long-past the time for my afternoon walk and peer over the wall at the end of the car park to look down on the beach.

So off I set across the car park and had a peer. And while there wasn’t all that much beach to be on, that didn’t bother most people.

They were deep in the water and having a really good splash around this afternoon. But to my surprise there were very few kids down there in the water.

Usually it’s the first thing that kids do – go charging down the beach and straight into the water without even bothering to change into their swimwear, as we have seen on several occasions.

frogmen rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe even had a few frogmen, or were they frogwomen down there as well joining in the fun.

They seemed to be enjoying themselves this afternoon but I’ve no idea what they were finding to do there. If they have lost something, they can just wait until the tide goes out.

But it was no surprise to see so many people because it really was lovely. One of my neighbours came over for a chat, carrying his towel. He’d just been for a dip.
“Why don’t you go in?” he asked. “It’s lovely”.

So I made my excuse about my catheter port that I had used on several previous occasions, including once with Castor. But in all reality, if anyone thinks that I’m going to be putting my sooty foot into any water that is less than 37°C they are sadly mistaken.

yacht baie de granville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt wasn’t just on the beach and close in to shore that there were loads of people. There were plenty of others much further offshore.

This was just one photograph of any number that I could have taken of any water craft out there this afternoon.

The reason why I chose the yacht was because it was just so majestic out there in the Baie de Granville. She was riding at anchor a couple of miles off the shore

There were some people on board but I couldn’t see how many or what they were doing, so I cleared off along the path round the headland for my walk..

la granvillaise baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow here’s a very familiar sight to the many regular readers of this rubbish, who will recall having seen it on endless occasions.

From this distance there was no change of reading her name, because she was about 10 miles out but her rigging gives us a clue.

She can only be one of two boats, and the fact that she is white and not brown tells us that she is La Granvillaise, even if we can’t see the tell-tale number G90 on one of her sails.

She plies for hire around the harbour too and it looks as if she has a full load this afternoon. I’ve no idea where she’s going but wherever it was, I have to admit to being quite envious

man fishing from rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that we haven’t seen very much of just recently is fishermen..

It’s always usually very popular and we’ve had week after week in the past of fishermen perched on every rock within a radius of 20 miles, but I haven’t seen any for a while.

But never mind, there’s one out there this afternoon on a rock at the Pointe du Roc, not looking as if he’s going to catch anything. He has no net to haul them in and no basket in which to keep them.

However that won’t matter because regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve never ever yet seen a fisherman haul anything out of the water – not even a bicycle wheel or an old boot.

powered hang gliders pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was admiring the fisherman at the Pointe du Roc, I was overflown yet again.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall a few days ago that we saw a pair of powered hang gliders or whatever they are flying over our heads while we walked around the path. Well, here they are again, flying past my knapper as I’m busy doing some thing else.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … one of these days I’ll have to go for a drive out to the airfield and see what’s happening there because there must be tons of exciting stuff and I’m missing it all.

light aircraft 50SA pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat includes machines like this one too, that overflew me a few minutes later.

Its registration number is 50SA and that’s not a number that’s on any national database so I’m not able to search it. We’ve seen plenty of this type of number and this type of aircraft and the number must be on some kind of register somewhere that will tell me more about the aeroplane.

And the only way to find out is, I suppose, to go to beard the lion in his den and receive the information first-hand.

But not today. I have far too much to do right now so I’d better push off and get a move on or it won’t be done.

marite baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, it looks as if Marité has caught me up.

She was sailing round to the harbour so I reckoned that she was going to put into port. But instead she continued on her way past, doing a circuit of the bay by the looks of things.

One of these days I’ll have to go out for a sail on her too, even if I don’t think much of the people who are in charge of her.

While I was here I had a glance into the chantier naval but there was no change of occupant in there today so I pushed on elsewhere.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallLike to the viewpoint where I could see into the inner harbour.

And look who’s in here today! It’s Thora, one of the two little Channel Islands freighters that run between here and the Channel Islands. They don’t come in here as much since Brexit, having to go instead to St Malo where there are proper Customs facilities.

Back at the apartment it was already 17:45 so there wasn’t all that much time left before it was guitar practice so I couldn’t do too much in the time available.

For tea I had steamed veg with veggie balls and vegan cheese sauce and it really was delicious. The apple turnover that I’d made on Sunday for dessert was also delicious – cooked to perfection.

So anyway, right now I’m off to bed. I’ve kept the alarm set at 08:00 because there’s no point in getting up early and then falling asleep again. I promised myself that I’d never surrender to this illness but having fallen asleep in a Welsh lesson recently, it’s not fair on the teacher and I need to show some respect, no matter how dismal it is..

Saturday 3rd July 2021 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

… afternoon I’ve had.

After my lunch I came in here with my coffee to do some work, and the next thing that I remember it was 16:55 and my coffee was cold by the side of my desk.

The confusing thing about this is that I don’t remember falling asleep. It was another one of those occasions where I seems to have switched myself off into a stupor or a cataleptic spasm or something, without any memory of being tired or anything.

What’s bothering me about this is the issue of driving. If I switch off while I’m driving without realising that I’m falling asleep, this could lead to a catastrophe that cold have unpleasant consequences.

But talking of driving, Caliburn and I were out this morning going to the shops as usual on a Saturday morning.

When the alarm went off at 06:00, I was up and about quite quickly even though I’d had a late night. After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out if I’d been anywhere during the night. There was something involving a huge serpent that had been slithering around somewhere and had been causing people to be trapped in their buildings and houses and so on. I had the idea at a certain moment that I was going to trap it and take it to the Government and let it terrorise the Government for a change. So I had everything arranged in my mind about what I would do but actually when I went to do it the serpent wasn’t there. The thing had disappeared. That was a big disappointment so I had to abandon my plans. The moment that I abandoned my plans the serpent came back and started to terrorise everyone else again.

After a shower, a shave and a general clean-up we set off for the shops.

new building at rear of noz Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLast week at the back of the NOZ car park they had started building a new shop unit.

Although I had the camera with me then, I forgot to photograph it but I remembered to do so this morning. I wonder what they are going to be selling from that shop. I suppose that I’ll have to wait for a few months before I discover that. It’s not going to be a big shop that’s for sure.

At NOZ there wasn’t anything very much of any excitement – just some more vegan soup and a couple more small things and then I went off down the road to LeClerc for the rest of the shopping.

LeClerc had alcohol-free beer on special offer so I stocked up with some bottles. They had some more of those small vegan burgers so I bought another pack. I need to encourage them to stock more vegan products. Oven chips were on offer too so I bought a pack of those as well, although I’m not sure why I did that.

On the way back home we had one of these two-minute torrential downpours that soaked about everyone and everything in its path as it moved down the coast. But I was lucky to be able to make my way back home because there had been an accident or something right outside the entrance to the car park and there was total chaos.

And if that wasn’t enough, all the tourists have arrived now and the roads were jammed with people trying to find a parking space. I was glad to return home, where I had a chat with a neighbour who had arrived at the same time as me.

Armed with my toast and hot chocolate, I came in here and had a few things that I needed to organise for the next month or so and that took me up to a rather late lunch

After lunch I wanted to book my trip to Leuven and my hotel but the less said about the afternoon the better. i’m so dismayed and fed up about it all.

people swimming in sea rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd so it was rather late when I went out for my walk and to see what was going on down on the beach this afternoon.

But never mind the beach for a moment. Look at these two people. That had been previously on the beach of course but now they were having a load of fun splashing and swimming around in the water. Perhaps I ought to try that. It would certainly wake me up a little

But then on the other hand I remember when Castor and Pollux asked me if I was going to take part in the Arctic Dip when we were on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR in the North West Passage.
“I can’t” I replied. “I have this catheter in and I can’t go into salt water with t”.
Castor asked me later “would you have gone in the water if you didn’t have the catheter?”
“No” I thought to myself. “I’d have found another excuse.

And that reminds me – whatever happened to Castor and Pollux? They haven’t been on a nocturnal voyage with me for ages. But then, there are many people who are conspicuous by their absence these days. Even my life during my sleeping hours is becoming very mundane these days.

Where did all the excitement go?

yachts boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s probably all going on out at sea right now judging by all of tha boats that are sailing around in the Bay of Granville this afternoon.

The weather might be warm but it’s still misty and the visibility isn’t all that much good with the mist that’s hovering around out at sea. We have quite a few yachts sailing around, but everyone seems to be heading back to the harbour right now. It’s close to high tide and if they miss this high tide, the next one will be in the early morning tomorrow so they’ll have to spend the night out at sea.

But that’s not a problem that’s going to affect me right now. I headed off down the path on top of the cliffs, trying to avoid the madding crowds. But I’ve no idea what prompted a group of young people decide to have a game of boules in the middle of the path so everyone had to walk in the grass around them or risk a broken ankle.

f-giki ROBIN DR 400-120 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I was walking long the top of the cliffs I was overflown by a light aeroplane to I took a photo of it to see who it might be.

And it’s our old friend F-GIKI who we have seen on many occasions in the past. She’s a small Robin DR 400-120 that belongs to the Granville Aero Club and is used for flight training or refresher courses for pilots who need to keep up their licences.

She had taken off at 17:06, which looks about right to me, and according to her radar plot, went for a flight along the coast towards Avranches, did a lap around the block and came back home, where she landed at 18:11.

f-gdkm robin DR 400 140 B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce F-GIKI had flow off on her little adventure I was overflown yet agaon almost immediately.

This time it’s F-GDKM who has taken to the air. She’s a Robin DR 400-140B, powered by a Lyvoming 160HP engine and she’s a new aeroplane to us. It’s not one that I’ve noticed before. She’s owned by the Manche Aero Club and is available to hire for instruction at €131 per hour for a solo flight and €151 per hour for dual instruction.

She actually took off from the airport at 16:42, her second flight of the day, and did pretty much the same circuit as F-GIKI, returning at 17:31.

And while I was looking at the flight radar, there was something else that caught my eye. At 14:08 a plane had landed at the airport here, N65MJ which is a British registration and had set off from Turweston Airfield near Brackley in the UK at 11:48.

Si what’s a ‘plane from the UK doing landing at an airport where there is no international clearance in the middle of a pandemic when the UK is on France’s red list? I smell something fishy, and I’m not talking about the content’s of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile all of this was going on, there was plenty more activity going on out at sea.

More and more boats started to appear out of the gloom and mist and one of them was one of the Joly France boats that provide the ferry service to the Ile de Chausey. They will be quite busy right now with all of the tourists that we have around here and she certainly looks crowded.

There were a couple of yachts and other light craft out there too, but what caught my eye was what was going on out on the horizon. Just left of centres is a large mast that might belog to one of the larger yachts that plies for hire in the harbour.

However out towards the left edge of the photo there are some pretty big masts and I wonder if it’s Marité on her way home from wherever she’s been for the last few days. It’s certainly big enough.

trawlers l'alize 3 philcathane yacht rebelle chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd I’ve identified the white trawler that’s in the chantier navale at the moment.

As I went past this morning I was able to read a couple of letters of her name, and that was enough to tell me that she’s L’Alize 3, the trawler that we saw in the inner harbour last week. She’s up there on blocks next to Philcathane with the yacht Rebelle over to the right.

As for the black and white trawler, I still can’t remember her name and there was far too much traffic about today for me to stop and look. I’ll go that way for a look around tomorrow afternoon if I’m not asleep but I’m sure that she’s related to le Pearl. Her owners have a distinctive car and that car was parked underneath this trawler this morning.

joly france entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now many of the boats that had been out at sea were coming into port, including Joly France

From this angle we can tell that she’s the newer one of the two because her windows are rectangular in “portrait” format rather than the “landscape” format of the older boats.

Now that Joly France is back home, I can go back home too. And I can’t say that I wasn’t sorry. It had been a tough afternoon.

Back home I put the coffee from lunchtime into the microwave to heat it up and then I came in here to push on with some work. I have plenty of work to do from Friday that I haven’t done yet and it won’t ever be done at this rate.

But whatever I did, it took me up tp teatime. A couple of the burgers from today with baked potatoes and veg followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce.

Now that I’ve finished my journal I’m off to make some bread mix. I need new bread for Monday so I can cook it while the oven heats up for the pizza. That sounds like a good plan.

Saturday 19th December 2020 – JUST IN CASE …

… you were wondering (which I’m sure you aren’t) I missed the 3rd alarm this morning too.

Nothing like as dramatically as yesterday, it has to be said. Only by about 20 minutes as it happened but still, a miss is as good as a mile as they say. And after something of a rather late night, I’m not really all that surprised.

So after the medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been. And it’s no surprise that I was late getting up with everything going on that went on during the night.

I’m not quite sure what I was doing during part of the night but I had a cat. I was cooking a bone and the bone had obviously been there for a very long time because it had all dried out and the meat was dry and the skin made a kind of sub-cutaneous fat crackling that all broke away from the bone. It was like eating a packet of crisps. I was Eating this and the recipe had been sent to me by my friend in Galashiels so I asked her if her meat had turned out like this, whether it was simply a cheap cut, something like that, but I never really got an answer. That was when I awoke.

Later on there was a bunch of us in a school yard. We’d been on a trip by coach or a cruise or something like that and it was the final day. We had a big debriefing session and a little snack but that was before the evening meal which was the last on that we’d be taking together. I wanted to say goodbye to these girls with whom I’d been friendly. They might have been Castor and Pollux or they might not, I dunno. I knew which table they usually sat at so as soon as the meeting was open I made a beeline for that table and I was the first basically there. I sat down and other people came to join me. But at the evening meal there was only about a quarter of the people there, just 4 tables and the rest of the people, including the two people whom I was hoping to see, hadn’t come down. I imagined that the snack that they’d had in the afternoon was enough for them. That was extremely disappointing to me as you could imagine. Anyway I started to pass the cups and plates around – they were actually underneath the table on a shelf thing that pulled out so I was passing them around. I started out by pouring out tea and I asked if anyone else wanted one. Someone did, and I got into such a confusion about his mug that in the end he took the mug off me and held it while I poured it. The conversation descended into telling bawdy jokes and everyone was having a really good laugh. The annoying thing was that I couldn’t think of a joke to tell and that’s not like me. I couldn’t think of a single 1 and everyone else was telling these jokes and we were laughing, having a really good time about this but I felt terrible because I couldn’t think of a single joke and feeling even worse because these 2 girls hadn’t shown up. This put a real damper on my trip in the end.

Having had a shower, I put the washing machine en route (I’m having clean sheets tonight) and then headed out to the shops. Caliburn started straight away with his nice, new battery so there was no problem there.

NOZ came up with a couple of CDs and not really much of anything else important. On the other hand I spent a lot of money in LeClerc on all kinds of exciting things, mostly food-related. I didn’t buy much in the way of fresh vegetables for Christmas – I’m leaving that until Thursday when I’ll also be hoping, if I’m lucky, to find some Seitan slices.

firemen breaking into a house rue paul legibon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut on the way back from the shops we had some excitement.

In the Rue Paul Legibon in the Quartier St Nicolas we had a police van and a fire engine in attendance at a house. And as I watched (firstly from stuck in a queue behind the fire engine and then in the church car park across the road) two firemen shinned up a ladder onto the terrace and proceeded to break into the house.

So whatever was going on there must have been quite important, if not serious, and doubtless we’ll be hearing more about this in due course.

Back here I put the frozen food (there wasn’t all that much) into the freezer, hung up the washing and then made myself a hot chocolate. And with a slice of my delicious fruit bread I attacked some arrears.

That took me up to lunchtime, and then after lunch I started to put some of the purchases away. Not all of them of course, I’m not feeling that much better. And when I felt up to it, I had a few things to do here that needed doing.

wassmer 54 f-bukk light aircraft Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat took me up to walkies-time so I set off out of the apartment.

And almost straight away, as soon as I had set foot out of the door I was buzzed by a light aircraft that had obviously been hovering around, waiting for me to come outside.

It’s none other than our old friend F-BUKK, the rather elderly Lycoming-engined Wassmer W54 that seems to have moved into the vicinity these days. And strangely enough, she’s not on the list of arrivals and departures for Granville Airport today although she was briefly picked up on their radar at 15:57 (roughly when I saw her) and disappeared as quickly as she appeared.

And I can’t find her anywhere else.

high winds pointe du roc baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut it’s a surprise really that there was anything very much going on outside today.

The howling, bitter wind that has plagued us these last few days, or weeks, or months, is still here. It’s churning up the sea quite considerably as you can tell from this photograph. All across the bay this afternoon we cansee the whitecaps that have been whipped up by the wicked wind.

It might be difficult to work out where it’s coming from, but I can tell you with extreme confidence exactly where it’s going. And I’m glad at times like this that I’m not a Scotsman.

For that reason I’m not going to hang about and I wandered off across the lawn and car park to the end of the headland.

trawler chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing much happening around there today either so I wandered off down the path on the other side of the cliffs.

And here in the chantier navale at long last, we have a new arrival. We seem to have acquired one of the little trawlers that has come in here to have some work done on her. I’ve seen her about the port here and there in the past and she does have a local (Cherbourg) registration so she’s one of ours.

Is this the start of another rush of work, or are we just going to be having work in dribs and drabs until people start preparing for next summer. After all being alone on a small boat is probably about the safest place you can be in a pandemic, and we’re certain to be having a few more waves of this virus.

dry land map of United Kingdom port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few weeks or so ago we saw a phenomenon in the harbour that seemed to represent the outline of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

As I wandered along the clifftop, lonely as a cloud etc etc, I noticed that we had the same phenomenon again today. And just as before, we had a sock of fleagulls reposing upon it. It’s not quite as accurately drawn as the time before but you can still make out the eastern and northern parts of the country, with the County of Kent just disappearing underneath the harbour wall.

That’s something else about which I would like to find out more. There’s a story that there’s a previous harbour wall somewhere prior to the building of the present one and this may be where the foundations are, the shallow depth of silt on top causing the water to dry out quicker.

Back here I grabbed a coffee and organised one or two things quickly because there was more football on the internet today. A bottom-of-the-table match between Y Fflint and Aberystwyth. I was impressed with Flint when I first saw them but they slid down the table at an alarming rate after that really heavy defeat and have recently changed their manager to no-nonsense Neil Gibson who a few years ago kicked Prestatyn Town three divisions up the pyramid in a very short space of time.

On the other hand, Aberystwyth are a good side with some good players but for some reason have simply failed to fire up and are in desperate danger of being sucked down into a relegation scrap. A win for both sides was vital today.

And the match went pretty much as expected. Aberystwyth throwing everything including the kitchen sink at Flint who had to sit back and hope to absorb it, and hit Aberystwyth on the break.

And I do have to say that Flint’s defence was magnificent today. They fought like lions with what at times was desperate defending and were unlucky with a break after 35 minutes when a header was pushed over the bar by Connor Roberts in the Aber goal.

But Roberts could do nothing in the 40th minute when one of the most beautiful, inch-perfect long balls out of defence that you have ever seen fell to Mark Cadwallader who shrugged off a desperate challenge TO TOE-POKE THE BALL PAST ROBERTS.

In the second half Aberystwyth had even more of the game and were pounding the Flint goal at will but were undone late in the game by not one but two breakaways for probably the most surprising victory that I’ve seen for a while and a result that just goes to underline Aberystwyth’s season to date.

They were unlucky to lose at all, and certainly not by a score of 3-0. Now both clubs are stuck right in a pack of four at the bottom with Y Drenewydd and Cefn Druids and this can all go in any direction.

But it’s easy to see why our two teams tonight are deep in the mire. Too many wayward passes, not marking close enough and, in Aber’s case especially, not having the killer instinct when they need it.

rue du nord place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow it was time for me to go out for my evening walk and runs. And the first two legs of my evening adventures brought me to the gate where I would disappear down to the footpath underneath the walls

Looking back behind me from this particular spot the view back down the Rue du Nord to the Place d’Armes over to the right was really impressive this evening. And the beam of the lighthouse down at the Pointe du Roc was making a nice hazy fog of light, as you can see over on the right behind the College Malraux.

Having taken the photo I disappeared down the path and along underneath the walls.

beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith no rain for at least 24 hours, which is strange just recently, that path under the walls wasn’t all that wet so my runs down there were reasonably comfortable tonight.

But where I stopped, halfway around to catch my breath, the view over the Plat Gousset was looking quite nice and special so I decided to have a little fun. I’d take three or four photos of the same view on different settings and see how they worked out.

The photo up above was one of them, and the one below is another of them. All of the rest were filed under “CS”.

beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis particular one has had a little post-work done on it but the first one is just as it came out of the camera and all in all, they aren’t too bad really.

The discarded ones were over-exposed. You’ve no idea (well, some of you have, of course) how difficult it is to set the camera for the right amount of light for artificial light when the surroundings are in pitch-black.

From there I did the next leg of my run down to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch. And, as usual thse days, there was nothing whatever going on down there, interesting or not so I turned and headed for home.

crescent moon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd tonight the crescent moon was back.

A little higher in the sky tonight so I could see it before I crossed the Square Maurice Marland, and I spent a couple of minutes trying to take a good photo of it.

From there I ran on down to the walls, walked along the walls and then ran on home for tea. I can’t get used to this “early” lark.

Tea tonight was pasta and nice fresh (and I do mean fresh because broccoli was the special offer today and I had bought sprouts on Thursday) steamed vegetables with vegan pesto (I’d bought some of that too) and an old falafel burger followed by rice pudding.

Rosemary had called me while I was out so I phoned her back and we were chatting for a couple of hours, which is why I’m still writing my notes long after 02:00. But now I’ve finished, I’m off to bed.

But I’ll leave you tonight with a special treat. For those of you who worry about me, I put it all down to the kind of company that I keep. This is ONE OF MY FRIENDS FROM OTTAWA in Canada. I hope that you enjoy it.

Saturday 31st October 2020 – I DID HAVE …

… my lie-in this morning.

Until all of about 10:00 too. Mind you, seeing as I was still up and about at 03;30 it wasn’t all that much of a lie-in today. Not at all. For some unknown reason, despite my exhausting day I just couldn’t go to sleep.

Anyway, when I listened to the dictaphone this morning- or what was left of this morning – there was some stuff on there from yesterday too. So first thing that I did was to add all of that into yesterday’s entry. Then I could concentrate on where I’d been last night and, more importantly, who came with me.

There was some kind of football match going on last night, a team of grown-up men if you like and they were playing in the Cup against another team. This other team sent out its juniors to face them for some unknown reason and Zero was there playing centre-forward. There were two matches that they had to play and this team of kids won them both, with Zero scoring a couple of important goals playing centre-forward. It’s nice to see her around on my travels.

Later on I was in a van or pickup, presumably Strider and I was waiting at some traffic lights. There were three or four people behind me. I was editing Strider’s signwriting while I was waiting at the lights. I could do that with the computer and it would change all over the van. I was busy doing that and the lights changed so I pulled off. There was a big pickup and another van behind me. We advanced up to another road junction and turned right I suddenly realised why this road had so much traffic on it. It was the main road from Ottawa to Québec and I’d just turned off the main road from Montreal to the east so it’s bound to be extremely busy here. It went through a beautiful pass, a big main road going through this beauiful pass and Québec City was just at the end of it. I thought “why didn’t I come this way before because it seems to be so much quicker. The I realised that going home from Adventure Canada the coach had gone this way; He went to the other side of Ottawa to drop off Castor and Pollux and then turned round and gone back to Ottawa to drop off their grandparents. That seemed to be such a sensible way of doing things and I wondered why I had never thought of doing that before either. And all the time I was wondering what these people in these vehicles were thinking with Caliburn’s signwriting changing just like that while I was either parked at those lights or starting to drive away.

There’s something else that spun into my mind as well, to do with a river. There was a girl doing something in this river, it might have been Zero or it might have been Castor. We were all alongside his river – there was something going on on it and I can”t remember very much now. Later on they drained the river and I started looking on this river bed for something that was concerning this girl. I was chatting to a few of the organisers and they were saying something like “yes well someone found something and we saw them using it”. I wondered whether it might have been this girl who had found it without actually telling me. That was a big disappointment for me because I was hoping to find it and give it to her as a way of drawing her attention to me. But I don’t remember very much about this – it was all very confusing.

And there was far more to this series of voyages too but seeing as you are probably eating a meal right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

After hat, I went and had a shower and washed my clothes. I need to look as pretty as I can s eeing as I’m staying here until at least Friday. I say “at least” because with more and more European states closing their borders to travel it might not be as easy as I think it might be to return home.

And while we’re on the subject of lockdowns … “well, one of us is” – ed … the Tory Party’s social media site had a post pinned to the top accusing Keir Starmer of “playing party politics with people’s lives” by demanding a second lockdown. It mysteriously disappeared earlier this morning and then later this evening the Tory Party announced the same measures that the Labour Party had demanded and which they had criticised.

You really couldn’t make this up.

After lunch I sat down here for a few minutes – and promptly crashed out. A really deep and depressing and disappointing sleep that lasted for almost an hour.

skip windmolenveldstraat leuven belgium Eric HallOnce I pulled myself together I went out for an afternoon walk around.

Not that I went very far before I came to a halt. There’s been a building site at the back here that has been abandoned for longer than I can remember and which had become a local rubbish dump.

A few months ago I noticed that it had been fenced off, and today I noticed that there was a skip there loaded up with much of the rubbish that had been abandoned. It might be that work is goign to restart there sometime soon and if do, that should be very interesting.

Maybe it’s going to be an extension of this place.

If you’re wondering about the photos by the way, the battery in the NIKON 1 J5 has gone flat on me yet again.

It’s a good job that I had my phone with me right now.

demolition and rebuilding tiensesteenweg leuven belgium Eric HallSo having dealt with that, I pushed onto the Tiensesteenweg where I was nearly squidged by a kid on a scooter.

In the street there’s more stuff of interest going on. There’s a building here that’s been knocked down. The site is fenced off and there’s some heavy machinery there. That presumably means that they are going to be rebuilding something else in its place.

In fact, there were several places up and down the Tiensesteenweg where there is redevelopment taking place. Despite the virus and the retraction of the economy, it still seems to be “full speed ahead” at the moment in this respect.

photographer cardinal ladeuzeplein leuven belgium Eric HallDown the Tiensesteenweg I went, into the Herbert Hooverplein and then into the Ladeuzeplein towards the main shops.

Down at the bottom end of the Square there was a couple having fun with a camera and tripod. One of the things that I seem to do is to spend a lot of my time taking photos of people taking photos.

And for a change, there weren’t too many people about here today. It seems that people here might be taking this health crisis seriously which can only be good news. It won’t disappear if people don’t treat t with respect and obey the rules.

market brusselsestraat leuven belgium Eric HallMind you, that wasn’t the case here. The maket in the Brusselsestraat is still open and there’s even more chaos than normal.

This is what I don’t understand. With a shelf-life of just 14 days, thus virus could be halted if they simply had three weeks of draconian restrictions. Half-hearted measures are not going to be good for anything.

And on the market there was a stall selling bratwurst – ed and that got me thinking. The idea of making sausages out of unruly children might be the answer to the post-Brexit food catastrophe in the UK. Perhaps they need to think about that to go along with hedgerow foraging and apple scrumping.

grote beguinhof leuven belgium Eric HallThere was some more shopping that I needed to so for a change I decided to go on to the Carrefour supermarket on the edge of town.

My route took me down through the Grote Beguinhof, the ancient area on the edge of the city which were formerly a kind of almshouses. Having been derelict for years they are now student accommodation for the University here and it really is a beautiful area.

It’s a pity that it didn’t become private accommodation because an apartment in here would be wonderful. I would be right at home here.

river dijle leuven belgium Eric HallThere’s a dual carriageway not too far away from here and a subway takes pedestrians and cyclists underneath.

But the River Dijle flows along right by here and it was looking really nice at this time of the year with the leaves almost all off the trees.

At the Carrefour there was plenty of vegan food, much of which was reduced so I stocked up with a few extra items for my diet. But looking at the selection, I decided that I would come here again the next time that i come to Leuven. There’s much more choice here.

stadion den dreef leuven belgium Eric HallOn the way back I went to have a look at the Stadion den Dreef.

Yes, I’m definitely missing my live football here. OH Leuven were promoted to the Premier Division for this season but with matches being played behind closed doors, there won’t be any chance of seeing them again for a while.

But there was football on the internet so I came home;

In the Welsh Premier League we were treated to Haverfordwest County against Bala Town. Haverforwest were promoted this year and I’ve seen them a couple of times this season.

Each time that I’ve seen them they have played quite well and deserve their mid-table position. They gave leaders TNS a fright the other week and this week we were entertained to an exciting 1-1 drawn. And had they been more clinical up front, they might have had more of it.

Tea was burgers and pasta with tomato sauce followed by tinned peaches and ice cream.

Bed-time now because I’m going out for the day tomorrow so I need to be on form. Let’s hope that it’s stopped raining.

Friday 23rd October 2020 – ANOTHER FLAMING …

… shambles of a morning where I couldn’t find the energy to drag myself out of bed when the alarms went off.

That was despite having a relatively early night too. And nothing on the dictaphone either to disturb me. Although I do seem to remember something about hitting someone with a golf club so that he couldn’t take part in a competition in which I was competing, something like Tonya Harding, I suppose.

First task was then to finish off THE BLOG FROM YESTERDAY by adding in all of the photos that I took last night. And when I say “all of them”, I mean “all of them that survived the cull” because most of them ended up in the bin.

It was a very disappointing session last night.

Another thing that I did, which took up the rest of the morning, was a two-week course in “How To Create Great On-Line Content” from the University of Sheffield. I studied the course, took the exam at the end and ended up with a score of 80% and a certificate. Yes, the World’s my oyster now, isn’t it? And all in a couple of hours before lunch too!

This afternoon I attacked the outstanding 46 photos from August and now they are all done. Right on cue too.

woman swimming in sea plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving compeleted my day’s tasks, I went off for my afternoon walk.

Not as enthusiastically as this lady here, of course. She has come here to take the waters and that’s plainly evident by her actions in leaping into the sea. A braver man than I am, Gungha Din. I know that I’ve been it up to my knees 700 miles from the North Pole but I had a coat on at the time.

You wouldn’t get me doing what she’s doing, not for all the tea in China. I’m sure that I don’t need to repeat the discussion that I had with Castor and Pollux on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR.

light aeroplane Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallso instead I wandered off on my afternoon walk around the medieval walls of the old city.

Having seen someone in the water, several people on the beach and crowds of people around on the footpath, it only remained for me to see someone in the air and I would hit the jackpot. And sure enough, a light aeroplane from the airport at Donville-les-Bains duly obliged.

You are probably wondering why I didn’t include any of the scaffolders on the roof of the College Malraux or the house in the Rue St Jean as my aerial representatives, but the fact is that they had all cleared off and gone.

joly france baie de mont st michel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I’d been out at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord, I’d seen some movement out to sea near the Ile de Chausey.

My money was on it being one of the Joly France ferries coming back from the Ile de Chausey and as I came around the corner into the Square Maurice Marland, sure enough, she came around the headland and headed for the port entrance.

Unfortunately there were far too many people around so I couldn’t break out into a run. What with one thing and another, I run like a dromedary with dropsy and it’s not for public consumption.

joly france baie de mont st michel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the time I reached the far side of the Square, Joly France was making her tight turn into the harbour entrance.

Down there on the left-hand side, there’s a current that swirls away at the silt and it’s worn a channel over there that is deeper than the rest of the harbour entrance. When the tide is quite low like it is at the moment, the boats need all the sea-room that they can get and even so, I’ve bumped along the bottom over there once or twice.

But she successfully negotiated the entrance and then went over to the ferry terminal to tie up and disgorge her passengers.

pallet loader loading onto trailer port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn fact, there were quite a few strange goings on in the harbour this afternoon.

A van and a trailer pulled up at the quayside and then a pallet loader came along and dropped some rectangular metallic object onto the trailer. And as well as that, there’s a huge pile of what looks like wood dumped in one of the gravel bins over there. That’s something else for me to keep an eye on in the future.

But not right now. I headed for home as I had plenty of things to do this afternoon.

So, what were my plans for this afternoon?

First of all, I had to feed the sourdough. And it was a mistake to tip the excess down the sink because it’s clearly working, extremely sour, and has stunk the place out to high heaven. The next step, probably the middle of next week when the current loaf is exhausted, is to try my hand at making a sourdough loaf.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that several weeks ago, in the process of digitalising all of my music, I asked the question “could I record straight off the cassette unit of the old Hi-fi into the ZOOM H1 unit that I use for outside broadcasts when I’m out on the streets WITH THE RADIO.

Well, now I know the answer. And the answer is “yes, I can”. I tired it and it works. But not very successfully, unfortunately. There’s no output control on the cassette unit so it’s a tinny sound and it’s also overwhelming the recording level range of the machine. My next trick will be to dig out the old amp (which, as you might expect, is at the bottom of the pile so inaccessible for the moment) and run the cassette unit through the amp with the Zoom plugged into the headphone socket on there.

It’s a long and complicated process but in the end I’ll get there, I’m convinced of that.

The hour on the guitars was rather more interesting tonight. On the bass playlist a couple of Jimi Hendrix tracks came round. When I played in a group back in the mid-70s with Jon Dean and Dave Hudson we performed a few Hendrix numbers so I was reliving old times. But it’s depressing me because 45 years on and I can’t play the bass lines as rapidly as I used to be able to. So instead, I concentrated on singing.

That made me feel better, but I don’t think that anyone else within earshot did.

The half-hour on the 6-string, I just bashed out a few Lindisfarne numbers and then had a go at Led Zeppelin’s “Tangerine”. That’s not going to be the work of five minutes either.

Tea tonight was a potato and veg curry out of the freezer followed by more of my delicious home-baked apple pie.

lights of St Malo Brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was another beautiful clear night out there tonight. Not across to the Channel Islands but down the Brittany coast it was marvellous.

But no tripod tonight. The gale-force winds that we were promised for Wednesday and Thursday that we didn’t receive have arrived this evening. Instead, you have to make do with a hand-held photo of the Brittany coast – but with the correct lens tonight.

That photo was taken with me leaning up against one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall. A solid support but still plety of wind about. The tripod would never have worked here.

lights of St Malo Brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut this is so much better, isn’t it?

No tripod, but a handy flat-topped stone pillar being used as a route marker was pressed into service. And with the timer delay and suitable long exposure I managed to conjure up this photo. And for an ad-hoc photo of the lights of Cancale on the left and St Malo on the right reflecting from the clouds, there have been much worse than this.

Happy with that, I continued along on my run along the clifftop down to my rest area at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

yacht chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis was the view that I was hoping for last night that didn’t come out at all.

It’s a far cry from when we had 8 boats in there a few weeks ago, isn’t it? Now we’re just down to the one and that’s not a working boat either. It’s not the Spirit of Conrad, the one on which I went down the Brittany coast either. It has a wind turbine on the stern and that makes me pretty sure that I’ve seen her before.

From here I ran on back home and, to my surprise, without even thinking about it, I ran on a good 20 metres beyond my rest stop too – and uphill. I’m slowly getting myself back to fitness. It’s been a while and there’s still a long way to go too

Having written my notes, I’m off to bed. Shopping tomorrow of course and I don’t need much because next weekend I’m off on my travels. I’m going early to Castle Anthrax because I have a few things to do in Leuven. That means that I have to do two radio programmes next week. Luckily one of them is a live concert and hey! Have I got something special for that?

But that’s not all. Schools are out, the holidays have started, the holidaymakers have arrived, and three cases of Covid reported in the town – one of which is apparently in the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs which, as everyone knows, is the building behind mine.

Sunday 11th October 2020 – SUNDAY IS …

… Day of Rest, but you wouldn’t have thought so today. I’ve been really busy.

And not just during the day either. Having gone to bed quite early, totally exhausted for some reason or other, I went off on the kind of rambles which would put me to shame in my daylight hours.

I started off around Oldham way last night although it turned out to be around Stockport. It was again to do with taxis. Someone had had a burglar alarm fitted inside their commercial garage premises and someone was talking to me about it, a passenger. I said that my vehicles are all fitted with stuff like this as well. As we were talking about this one of the alarms went off. I went round to see and they were busy trying to deal with this alarm so I had the long extension coil out that you could plug into it from where my car was parked but it didn’t quite make it. I was able to give a little advice to these 2 guys. They were Pakistani guys running this garage, talking about having their own taxi service so we talked about planning permission, where they could park their cars for it. They had plenty of room and plenty of ideas. And then all of a sudden one of the fridges had broken down, one of the freezers so they needed to move the stuff out of there. I have them a hand to do it. It was all like Indian takeaway food, all very unhygenic, stacks of mushrooms in these cardboard crate things, all over the place, stuff dropping off everywhere. It wasn’t the kind of place where I would like to eat once I’d seen how they were storing their food.

A bit later on there was something going on somewhere else where there were two guys, really tough guys who had taken over control of someone’s life. It was again to do with some garage or other – it may even have been the same one. They had beaten this guy severely and got him doing all kinds of menial stuff for them and they were getting him to brush the curtains with a wire brush. In the end you could see that he just put the brush down. They went over to talk to him and get him to do it again – “you know what happened last time” but you could see the look in his eyes. He had snapped. These two people were going to be in a lot of trouble once he let himself go. They couldn’t see it but I could. Then they started picking on me. One of them tried to push me arpund but I got him in a backbreaker on the floor and just sat there like that. He said “let me go! Let me go!” but I just sat there on him in this backbreaker just leaving him there. In the end he got free. “I’m not really interested in fighting you” I said. “Just leave it like this”. Then he started to try to provoke me again. I was sitting there doing nothing but I could see that the only way that I was going to stop this was by doing the same again like I did last time. I awoke in a feverish sweat at this point – something that I need to note because they ask me about this at Castle Anthrax.

Somewhat later, my brother and I had been somewhere in Caliburn and he was driving (as if that was likely to happen). We’d gone through Angouleme on the way out and driven for loads and loads of miles to see something and were then on our way back. When we got to near Angouleme (wr didn’t know that it was Angouleme at first) we saw a nice view. We thought that we’d go and photograph it. But then we thought that there was no road down there. He had a look on the GPS “there was a little bit of road further along here” so we went that way. We parked up and started to walk. We got to where this view was, a deep river with a gorge running through the mountains and this enormous tunnel as if the river had been canalised at one time and the river was flowing through there. I went to take a couple of photos of it but for some unknown reason my camera wouldn’t work. Every time I pressed the switch nothing happened. it gave a FAULT error. I tried three or four times but then gave up. We came to a building where there was a meeting place, museum or something with a lot of people walking around inside it. I wanted to take a photo of the inside but we weren’t allowed in as we hadn’t paid. We had to wait outside and take a photo through the door. Every time I went to take a photo someone stood in front of me and took a photo. In the end I pushed my way to the front and told my brother “next time this door opens, nip in and close a certain door (that I indicated) because the light coming in through there is spoiling the photo.” He did that and I took a photo but again the camera didn’t work. The woman in charge saw my brother and threw him out so we couldn’t take any more photos so we had to wander back. A girl with us (and I don’t remember her being with us at the time) who was definitely someone I know – maybe Maria, my Greek friend – said “it sounds like you have a card problem” so I took out the card. “Oh look” she said. “It’s melted” and it had as well. I thought “it’s a good job that there’s a spare one in the van”. We carried on walking but then I realised that I’m not using the SD card. There was another type of card in there. In the end I worked out how to take that out, clean it and put it back. That didn’t make the slightest bit of difference. It still wouldn’t work. We were walking on, now me, someone else (a Bourvil-type of character), a 3rd person and my brother. As we walked into Angouleme we somehow separated. My brother disappeared. We were following where we thought he went and ended up on a dirt road. We thought “this isn’t the main highway, is it”? We turned round and walked back. What we had by this time was a wheelbarrow that we were pushing. But it only had one handle so it was really difficult to push so we were taking it in turns. Two of us would carry it. We carried it in all different types of styles in order to exercise all differnt kinds of muscles. It was still awkward and we weren’t making much progress. The handle was a kind of wheelbrace, a metal one. Someone was walking past and I was pushing this wheelbarrow with its one handle and it suddenly flipped up. The handle flew over as the wheelbarrow canted over and the handle hit on the head the one who was walking past. I apologised but he had a good laugh and a smile about it. There we were in the countryside miles from anywhere, totally lost with a stupid wheelbarrow and a camera that didn’t work.

After all of that, what surprised me, and what will surprise you too no doubt, is that I was up and about as early as 08:45. It’s been a long time such a thing has occurred when I’ve not been going anywhere, hasn’t it?

Mind you, it took me a good while for my head to stop spinning round and it having come to a stop, I could get on and do things.

One of the things that I hadn’t done was to write up my notes from last night. In my state of health, the kind of walks that I’m doing with this monumental climb up the rock at the end of it is exhausting me more than you can imagine and I ended up being in such a state that as soon as the football finished I went straight to bed.

And so this morning I had to write them up. That was followed by transcribing the dictaphone notes. All of that took much longer than you might think too because with it being a Sunday I wasn’t really concentrating too much. Part of the time was spent sorting out some of the shopping that I had bought on Saturday which I still hadn’t put away properly, and that meant a little reorganisation in the fridge because it’s full to capacity.

After lunch I made a start on the work. There’s no bread here so I needed to make two loaves. The first was my fruit loaf – 250 grammes of flour with a banana, a couple of handfuls of raisins, a dozen or so ground Brazil nuts (I like my whizzer) and, for some variety, a good handful of desiccated coconut.

Then there was the main loaf. 500 grams of cereal flour with a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds thrown in .

One of the criticisms of my bread has been that it’s too dry. And so I left it rather wetter than I otherwise would have done to see if it improves things any. I put them both on one side covered with a damp tea towel and left them to proof.

Then I needed to feed my sourdough. I mixed it all well in, threw away some to keep the weight down to 100 grammes that’s effectively 50 grammes of flour and 50 grammes of water) and then added 50 grammes of flour and 50 grammes of water, mixed it all in, and then put it in a new jar- a thinner, taller jar. I put an elastic band around it where the level of the sourdough is, so that I can check if it’s rising.

That’s gone into the fridge where it can slowly ferment until next week when I can add some more. It needs feeding with the same weight of flour and water as there is in the mixture. So next week, I’ll have to add 100 grammes of water and 100 grammes of flour.

If I’d left the sourdough out in the warm, I’d need to feed it every day. The warmer it is, the faster is its metabolic rate.

But as I have said before … “and you’ll say again” – ed … it’s just like having pets around the house, the sourdough and the kefir.

Woman Swimming In Sea Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was time for me to go out for my usual afternoon walk. Twice, in fact. The first time was to take out the glass and plastic rubbish. It’s been accumulating for a while and the bag in which it lives was overflowing.

The second time was to make the most of the cold but sunny weather on my walk around the walls. And I wasn’t the only one making the most of it either, and certainly not to the degree that some were taking it. This is what I call courageous. You wouldn’t get me in that water in these kinds of conditions for all the tea in China.

it reminds me on the time on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR when Castor and Pollux asked if I would be taking the Arctic Dip when we were in the High Arctic.
“I can’t” I replied. “I’m not allowed to go into salt water with this catheter port in my chest”.
“What would you done had you not had that catheter there?” asked someone standing close by after they had cleared off
“I’d have looked for another excuse” I replied. I’ve been up to my knees in the Davis Strait 700 miles from the North Pole and that was quite enough for me, thank you.

Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving observed our lady friend for a few minutes, urging her on, I carried on along my path underneath the walls. No chance of going for a run. Far too many people around for that.

Round at the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset I could see what was going on down there. Just a handful of people down there on the beach this afternoon and not one of them taking in the sun, never mind going for a swim. Clearly the hardiness of the locals is something restricted to just a few.

But the seaweed scattered all over the beach had attracted my attention. The storms just recently have been so violent, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, that they seem to have torn a pile of seaweed off the seafloor and dumped it on the beach

Building Material Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route then took me off around to the Square Maurice Marland. Too many people for me to break out into a run so I had a nice walk.

Out at the end I could see down to the docks, and in particular the loading bay where the Jersey freighters come in to dock. And there’s a pile of building supplies in bags down there waiting for loading so it looks as if either Thora or Normandy Trader, or maybe even both, will be coming into port some time soon.

And that reminds me. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen Thora. They have pretty quick turnrounds these days down at the port but I would have expected to have seen it at some point just recently.

And from here I headed on home to my apartment.

Home Made Vegan Pizza Banana Bread Home Made Bread Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack at the apartment I had a look at the bread. Despite having proofed for well over an our, it still hadn’t risen too much but nevertheless I gace them both a good kneading, shaped them and then put them in their mould.

With the bread being of less weight than in the past (it goes too stale by the end) I used a smaller mould – one of my silicone moulds. The bread was sticking too much to the porcelain one that I have been using. The fruit and nut bread went into the usual small cake mould. I came back in here and did some more work.

With about an hour and fifteen minutes to go before teatime I switched on the oven and stuck the bread in it to cook. Meantime, I rolled out the pizza dough that I’d taken out of the freezer at lunchtime, put it onto the greased pizza tray, folded over the dges and left it to proof for forty-five minutes.

When it was ready, I prepared the pizza. It was nicely timed because as soon as I’d finished it, the oven switched off with the bread. So I took out the bread, tipped out the loaves onto a wire grill to cool, switched on the oven again and bunged the pizza in.

It took about 30 minutes to cook – and cooked beautifully too. The edges had risen quite nicely and I’m impressed about how this folding of the edges has turned out.

As for the taste, it was delicious. And I didn’t have any pudding because it was quite filling.

St Helier Jersey Channel Islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter tea, I went out for my usual evening walk.

The sky was really clear tonight and you could see for miles. All the way out to St Helier on Jersey in the Channel Islands. And it’s not every day that I can see so clearly like this all the way out there in the dark. It’s 58 kilometres out to St Helier, as I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … so to see the street lights of the town like this is quite surprising.

And you can clearly see the red aircraft warning lights on the radio tower on the hills at the back of St Helier. And what is the bright light to the left of the image? Is it a fishing boat out there working?

Brittany Coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter taking the photo I walked on along the path at the top of the cliffs on the north side of the headland.

Away in the distance the lights of the small towns all along the north Brittany coast were shining really brightly tonight. You could see all the way down the coast as far as St Cast le Guildo where we slept overnight on board Spirit of Conrad back in July. Right out to the right-hand side of the image is the light of the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, about 70 kilometres away and you won’t see it much clearer than that.

Here I was nearly bowled over by a couple walking along with one of these LED headlights to see where they were going. Somehow though they didn’t see me until they had almost knocked me over

Le Loup Jullouville Baie de Mont St Michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey were the only people whom I saw. No-one else was out there tonight enjoying the pleasant evening.

On the point of the headland there was a nice view across the Baie de Mont St Michel over to the promenade at Jullouville. Le Loup, the marker light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour, was looking quite nice tonight in the starlight. The reflection of the flashing light on the water came out really well.

From there I carried out my three runs tonight. One along the top of the cliffs to the viewpoint, the second along the Boulevard Vaufleury and round the corner into the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne, and the third one from the church back home. And as for the second, I extended my run by another 10 metres tonight. I’m not far from the brow of the hill now and another couple of weeks shall see me over the top and down the other side.

Back here I’ve written up my notes, and now it’s bedtime. Back to work tomorrow and I have a live concert to edit and engineer ready for broadcast. That’s not a work of five minutes.

Thursday 10th September 2020 – IT’S ALWAYS INTERESTING …

traffic lights porte st jean granville manche normandy france eric hall… the things that I see when I’m out and about on my travels around the town.

And it’s not as if I have to go all that far from home to find it either. I hadn’t gone 20 yards otside my front door this morning before I was confronted by a set of traffic lights.

“Road works going on in the old Medieval walled city” I mused to myself. I shall have to go for a look round later on to see what is happening.

roadworks rue notre dame pizza van place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd sure enough, while I was on my travels later this evening, I did come across what was causing the issues.

The road has been dug up on the corner of the Place Cambernon and the Rue Notre Dame. And judging by the names written on the “no parking” signs, it seems to be the Water company whose turn it is right now to dig up the streets.

It’s Thursday night as well, and the Pizza van is there tonight. And with the tables of the bar La Rafale being out in the square and its reserve place prohibited by the road works, it’s had to perch itself precariously on the corner.

Talking of perching oneself precariously on the corner, when the third alarm went off this morning I was perched precariously on the corner of the bed with my feet on the floor.

Not exactly awake but it still counts as being up and out of bed.

What was surprising about this was I’d had such a bad night. At one stage I thought that I would never ever drop off to sleep. There isn’t really much point in going to bed early if you can’t sleep.

When I finally got off to sleep last night I met another strange girl. She was from Venn which wasn’t too far from Eching (which it isn’t, but let’s not go allowing facts to get in the way of a good nocturnal ramble). There was this weird girls’ school and they were teaching these children all this dance, everything like that and poetry recital, that kind of thing. They had a kind of dancing competition. I wanted to see them about something but it was “oh no we can’t interrupt these proceedings now. It’s far too important. You’ll have to come back later”. Off they all went and I went back. All of these girls were in school uniform, grey with grey hats, that kind of thing, a very posh private school, that type of place. They all had taken some strange kind of wooden furniture, shelf kind of thing with two sides like blackboards that you could write on them. They had all taken these with them but there was one left in the garden. I mentioned it to the headmistress. She said “you’ll have to take that. It looks like one of the girls has forgotten it”. “What do you mean ‘I have to take it’?”. She said “you have to take it”. I asked “what do I do with it?”. She replied “you have to learn the ritual and at the appointed time tonight you’ll have to perform the ritual”. I thought to myself “what the hell am I going to be involved in now?”. She insisted that it was terribly important that I did this, so I ended up taking it home with me and stuck it in a corner when I returned home. I had to be very careful about who came to my house. We were listing stuff to sell and I can’t remember who was helping me now, maybe my brother I dunno. We’d listed some stuff to sell and we’d sold it and now we were listing some free stuff. He was listing some stuff that I thought was much more important to sell – we could get a good price for this – but no, he insisted on it being free. There was one thing that he insisted that people make an appointment to come round to pick it up. I said “that’s crazy, tying me to the house and I don’t want to be tied to the house. I want to get rid of these things as and when!”. We had a dispute about that and in the end we agreed that people would just have to ring up and say when they were coming to pick it up, a kind of compromise. After we’d done that, I said “hang on – I have something else to show you”. There was a girl in my house at this time – it might have been Pollux but I’m not too sure about this. I went and brought down this furniture thing and assembled it. I asked this girl ” how’s your Latin?”. She said “I come from Venn, it’s Venn that I speak, that’s near Eching in Germany, like Germany and Austria”. I replied “you’ll get on really well with Hans”. “Yes” she said, “that’s right. From Eching”. I showed them this and explained about this ritual that I had to do. One thing that I had forgotten was that during this competition I had 16 dances to learn. There had been a musician playing all of the dances and for a minute I’d been round with him doing something, trying to work out what the music was for these dances. It was another hot and sweaty night when I awoke and it took me hours to go back off to sleep as well.
Somewhat later I was with a girl and my father was around somewhere. I’d had to go out in a car and there had been some kind of confusion over which one I was to drive. It was suggested that i would take my father’s Zephyr 6 – the MkIV, not the MkIII which was his famous one 3816 TD. I went to try to organise something about all of this and I ended up with a pocket of keys. I had to start swapping them over. Then I noticed – I had to get up from my table at this bar place – and on the way back I noticed this key on the floor. It was the one that I needed to start the car. I showed it to the girl I was with and said “phew! That’s lucky!”. She asked what it was so I told her that it was the key to the car. My father then went to move all of his cars away. he took his mkIII Zephyr and drive it home and came back with the MkIV. There was still a bit of confusion about how we were going to go somewhere. I had a pocket full of rubbish and wondered how I was going to fit this key in. Then I couldn’t find the key and it was hidden in all this rubbish in my pocket. There was the question again about what car I was going in and we agreed that it was my father’s. I asked “what’s going to be in it?”. They replied “just his coat and one or two other little things”. I wanted to ask my father a couple of questions about his cars. I remember the two Ford E83W vans that we had – KLG 93 and XVT 772 – and I’m sure that there was one before them that had become stuck in my head, a 1937 van, and I wanted to know what we had had before that, and what he would consider to be his typical car if someone had to connect him with one particular car, which one would it be? I thought that it was important that he would tell me because of course he wouldn’t last for ever and if I didn’t start asking these questions soon I would never know.

But I’m not too sure why it is that Pollux has suddenly started making a series of appearances in my nocturnal rambles. Where has Castor got to?

There was some stuff on the dicaphone from yesterday too, so I transcribed that and ADDED IT TO THE ENTRY FOR YESTERDAY.

As well as having a shower this morning, I also cut my hair. It’s been a while since I’ve cut it and it was becoming a little straggly.

mobile crane rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd then I went out to the shops.

We’ve seen the traffic lights around the corner but that was far from being the only excitement. There’s a huge mobile crane down there in the Rue Lecampion lifting a load of something or other over the roofs of the houses into the rear behind the Rue des Corsaires.

That was well worth a photo of course, and when I’m down there I shall make further enquiries to see what they are up to.

crane rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd sure enough, when I was down there I could see that there’s quite a major operation going on.

It’s difficult to say what they are doing but there was this kind of glazed roof – at least, it would be glazed had there been any glass in it but I imagine there soon will be – that they are presumably going to lift up and over and onto whatever it is that they are doing.

My first stop today was the railway station.

My Old Fogey’s railcard expired a few weeks ago and with me planning to go to Belgium for my hospital appointment at Castle Anthrax, I need it updated.

That was dealt with without any particular problem and then I went off to LIDL. There was nothing much there that attracted my attention although with fruit being so cheap right now (especially grapes, of course) I ended up with a huge pile of fruit.

archaeological dig square potel granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I went past the Square Potel.

There’s an archaeological dig going on around there right now and we’ve seen the digger in the grounds of the museum. Today though, they were digging a trench in the square and there was an archaeologist examining some artefacts.

Having watched them for a short while I came on home, where I … errr … crashed out on the chair until lunchtime. That’s enough to make me feel really miserable.

After lunch I spent a pleasant hour or so working on the photos from Brittany at the end of June when we went off on the Spirit of Conrad.

joly france english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd the sailing – or, at least, nautical – theme continued while I was out on my afternoon walk.

There were crowds of people out there enjoying the pleasant weather and looking out to sea as something rather large was moving about heading towards us. These days I can recognise the silhouette at quite some distance without needing to crop and enlarge it.

And it is as I expected. Joly France is on her way back with the afternoon ferry from the Ile de Chausey. She seems to be quite busy right now despite the end of the holiday season.

fishing from speedboat pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were plenty of other boats out there too, as you could see in the previous photo.

There are several boats too much closer to home. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we seem to be in the middle of the rod-and-line fishing season. We have another small boat out there today with their rods out trying for a bite.

Here’s hoping that they will have more luck than anyone else who I have seen out there. Three and a half years have I been here and not a single bite have I seen

sailing school baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnyway i pushed on along the path and round the headland to the path on the south side.

One of the things that I regret not doing while I’ve been living here is to make the most of the opportunities that the local sailing school can offer. I would have thought that with the season being over their activities would have ceased but there seems to be another class out there today.

Not having gone down there to make enquiries is an opportunity that I have let slip and I hope that I’ll have another opportunity to put that right.

speedboat cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen we saw the photo of Joly France just now, we saw another boat coming along behind it.

And as I carried on with my walk along the path this rather large pleasure boat came around the headland towards the port de plaisance and I reckon that this is the “other” boat from the previous photo.

Having a good look at this, it’s clear that there is plenty of money around here, what with one thing and another. Not around me though. It seems to have passed me by a long time ago.

Back here I did some Welsh revision and then had my hour on the guitars.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallTea tonight was a stuffed pepper with rice, followed by apple pie. And then I went out for my evening walk.

There was a beautiful sunset tonight, although maybe I should say that the sun has long-since set. It was very reminiscent of some of the very late nights that I have seen in the High Arctic and makes me all nostalgic.

Before much longer, I’m going to have to make another return out there, even if it’s just to sit on the shore of the North West Passage and admire the sky.

My route carried on with a run down along the footpath, a walk around the corner to gather my breath and then another run across the Square Maurice Marland.

minette black cat rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that for a couple of years I had a regular encounter with an old black cat called Minette

Ever since the turn of the year I only recall meeting her once and the feeling seemed to be that she had gone off across the rainbow bridge. However, much to my delight, she was there again tonight sitting on her windowsill waiting for her stroke.

That cheered me up no end.

Nothing much else going on, apart from the roadworks that we have seen, so instead I came home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow I have a full day at home in which I can catch up with some arrears. I also need to book my voyage to Leuven for my visit to Castle Anthrax and so that will be a priority too.

But sleep is the first thing to do. And who will come with me on a travel tonight?

Tuesday 8th September 2020 – THIS EVENING …

… I have seen something that has caused me a great deal of disquiet.

There was an ambulance and police car in the rue Cambernon here and about half a dozen people, ambulancemen and police, were struggling with a hysterical adolescent girl to put her into the ambulance.

There was no clue as to what had caused the incident, but her hysteria was way beyond the norm and quite suggestive of some kind of stupefiant-ignited issue although of course from the distance at which I was observing the affair and the fact that it was in the dark, there was nothing other than the audible indication to promote this idea.

But whatever it was, my hat goes off to the police and ambulancemen. It was a very stressful event, quite a battle to put her inside and strap her in, and they showed far more patience and discipline than I ever would have done.

It goes without saying that it’s not the kind of incident that one photographs, but it’s still bad news when the affairs of the banlieux of Paris come to, quite literally, our own doorstep.

As for me, much to my and everyone else’s surprise, I was out of bed before the third alarm went off. At least – I was sitting on the edge of the bed trying to summon up the courage to take some kind of drastic action, like moving.

Once I’d gathered my wits, I had a listen to the dictaphone.

I was on a galleon last night, one of these Spanish galleon things with crowds of people on it, a big tourist attraction. I was there with a certaib lady of my acquaintance. Something happened, me being careless I think, and she ended up with a sea-full of face – or, more likely, a face full of sea. I said that I was sorry but she started to whine on and on and on in this silly voice that she had, mimicking what I was saying so on that point I’d had enough so I just turned round and walked away. She changed her tune afterwards, apologised and asked me to come back but I’d really had enough so I just walked off. There was someone climbing up a ladder into the rigging of this ship. He was carrying a tray with about 10 different drinks on it. I thought that that was adventurous. I wouldn’t even do that with two. I was wandering around this ship, trying to find my way around and try my best to totally ignore her while she was still having one of these tantrum display things. There were some people sitting down – I was wondering whether to go to sit with them but I thought “no. I really want to be somewhere quite a way from this end of the ship somewhere on my own”.
Somewhat later we were having a look at some photos last night about all of the abandoned properties around Crewe and Nantwich, places like the old Co-op brewery and so on, a lot of them with photos of abandoned cars on them. There were several in Nantwich, three of them being churches close together in Hospital Street and their congregations transferred to the main parish church there. These churches, one of which was called St Werburgh’s, were all very eerie but very magnificent, Victorian Gothic-type but in terrible states of disrepair and decay. Even though I don’t remember them as a kid (because they weren’t there) we were having a good prowl around these places last night in this dream. It was really quite interesting. On one occasion we ended up being at a church service. They came along and asked for a collection. The girl I was with said she didn’t have anything and I just had a few copper coins that I gave them. later, we were on a railway station watching the trains come in. We moved away but a train had pulled in so I prepared my camera to take a photo. As it pulled out another one, a magnificent really big powerful locomotive pulled out of this station hauling an express train so I went to take a photo of them with the NIKON 1 J5 as it pulled out of the station but it wouldn’t work at first. I had to press the shutter a couple of times for it to work. While I was doing this there was some woman standing nearby. She was excited because she could see the main railway station from here. I thought that she meant the one at Manchester which was quite some way away and you can’t see with the naked eye, but bathed in fog anyway. But she said “no, it’s Denton station! Look over there! So I looked over there but I couldn’t see it at all with my naked eye.

Having dealt with all of that, I finally got round to having a look at Sunday’s effort. And after a good deal of listening, of thought and of transcription I managed to sort something out and you can READ IT HERE.

Surprisingly, even though I had the strongest impression that Pollux was one of the people with me, there was no mention whatever of her name at all, so I’ve no idea where this impression comes from. Mind you, there are several minutes missing here and there, either because

  1. I didn’t dictate it (there seems to be a hole in the middle of the story somehow).
  2. I didn’t transcribe it because I couldn’t decipher it (there was some of that too)
  3. I didn’t type it out because there was a significant part of the voyage that would put you off your tea. And there seems to have been quite a bit of that just recently. I’ve been having some really disturbed – and disturbing – nights just recently.

As I was finishing everything, which had taken me long enough, someone with whom I wanted a chat appeared on the internet. We ended up having a lengthy chat and that was, basically, the morning finished.

After lunch I set about the radio programme. All of the tracks have been paired and combined and the text is written. Not dictated though because I ran out of time.

There had been a few interruptions during the afternoon.

speedboat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallFirst of all, there was the afternoon walk in the beautiful pleasant if not slightly windy afternoon.

There wasn’t all that much activity out there at sea this afternoon. Whatever that big ship was yesterday, that’s cleared off and there was only a speeedboat roaring past out at sea.

They are clearly going far too fast for fishing and I can’t think of any other good reason why they would be out there this afternoon. It’s not as if there’s anywhere to go in that direction.

tractors beach breville sur mer granville manche normandy france eric hallIn theory I suppose that they might be heading towards shore because there is something exciting going on over there on the beach by the looks of things.

We saw the other day that the bouchot harvesters were out there on the mussels beds at Donville-les-Bains. Over there on the beach bear Breville-sur-Mer they seem to be gathering again.

They are quite possibly waiting for the tide to go out so that they can access the mussels beds over there too. I doubt that the cabin cruiser there has any involvement in the activity.

fishing pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThey are probably local fishermen, because there have been quite a few of those out there over the last week or 10 days. There are plenty of mooring buoys and pot markers out there right now.

And plenty of other fishermen too. While I was walking along the path on the north side of the promontory a boat came around the headland. They are clearly intent on fishing as they have rods and fishing nets clearly on display.

It beats me why, because I have yet to see anyone out there ever catch anything.

painting trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route arounf the headland took me past the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale.

And there was plenty of activity in there once again. The usual seven boats of course – nothing has changed that much. But the fishing boat from which they had been stripping the paint the other day, that’s now in the process of being resprayed.

Give it a week or two and we may well find that boat back in the water. And one or two others because there was a considerable amount of work being carried on on the other boats too.

Back here, another interruption was to deal with the question of Strider’s insurance. That expires in a few days and needs to be paid, even though I won’t probably have the pleasure of going over to Canada to drive him this year.

So this involved several e-mails, a ‘phone call to Canada, a complicated series of transactions with the bank and then a discussion on the internet with Rachel.

That took much longer than I expected and meant that my third interruption, my session on the guitar, was somewhat curtailed.

Tea was my burger on a bap with potatoes and vegetables, followed by a slice of my delicious apple pie and soya dessert.

yacht sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I went out for my evening walk it wasn’t quite dark outside.

In the distance out in the English Channel there was a yacht looking as if it was heading towards port. Of course it was far too far out for me to be able to identify it.

There were also plenty of other lights out to sea on the horizon. It wasn’t possible to say anything whatever about those.

Instead, I carried on and ran all the way along the footpath underneath the medieval walls. And, having recvered my breath again I ran across the Square Maurice Marland

trawler docking in port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDuring my walk across the Place Cambernon I observed the incident that I related earlier and by the time that I moved on, it was now quite dark.

We’ve seen a couple of fishing boats here and there just recently – not as many as we saw three or four months ago. However there was one coming into port and performing a U-turn to tie up alongside the fish processing plant, presumably to unload its catch.

From there I walked down to the road and then ran all the way home to write up my notes.

And having done that, I’m now ready for bed. A nice early night, finish off the radio programme (which might take all day) and then do some tidying up

There is still plenty of work to be done and I’m not really catching up with very much at all. That needs to be changed, and rapidly too.

Sunday 6th September 2020 – THE BIRD-MEN …

hang gliders place d'armes pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall… of Alcatraz were out in force this afternoon.

And while this is not usually exactly any headline news, it is today. That’s because yesterday there was a disaster, if not a tragedy, involving them as one of them came crashing down to earth onto the rocks round by where the tidal swimming pool is on the Plat Gousset.

The air ambulance was called and the stricken bird-man was taken to hospital where he is in a life-threatening condition. Having seen them flying around as I have, I do have to say that sad as it might be, it is not entirely unexpected.

What else is not entirely unexpected is the fact that I was in bed until about 11:10 this morning. Flat-out until about 10:30 and then it took me about 40 minutes to summon up the courage and strength to leave my bed.

On the dictaphone was a very long and rambling, practically incoherent account of a nocturnal ramble. It didn’ make very much sense at all and I had to listen to it again (and again and again) until I could untangle it, and I’m still not sure that I’ve understood it.

I was with a group of young girls last night and we’d been to some kind of resort or holiday place. We’d been wandering around there. There was something about one particular girl. She had to take driving lessons but somehow she could only take 1 at that particular moment. I was hanging around with her and her younger friend or sister and another girl. We had walked past the port where the gates had opened and closed but were now open. Our route led us up into a small room. This room was open and they were wondering why it was still open and not closed so I explained to them about the tides, how it opened and closed with the tides. We went in and I had a look at my watch and there was about an hour left before it closed. There was a lot of noise coming from one of the bars. We couldn’t see it but we had a look but we couldn’t see what was going on but it was a load of boys being quite raucous as if they were drunk. This one girl said something about it and I said “we’ll probably get to meet them tomorrow when we’re going to be down there”. There was the question of her insurance and she had one driving lesson tomorrow and there would have to be others at some particular time and it drifted around quite like this.
Somewhat later, with a big gap in the middle as if i’d failed to dictate something, I played a tape of some driving instructor to this girl and I put it away but she was saying that she wanted to hear it again to learn it properly. I got it out and she sat at the table with her hands positioned as if they were on a steering wheel and I played the tape back. But it was about some kind of bicycle rally, about how a group of them on bicycles were going through the countryside making a very sharp turn, with a lot of people missing the turns and falling off. From this came a discussion about how to ride your bike on damp ground. I began to think that this is nothing like how to teach someone to drive a car at all. I’d put the wrong tape on, something like that. Meantime this girl fetched her bike and started to try to practise some of the things that they were talking about on this tape. I ended up at some point on a derelict railway station with this girl. It was pretty much overgrown but the platform was there. We found the milk-churn loading dock where they manoeuvred milk churns onto the trains by hand as they did back in the 1920s and 30s

There’s a good deal more to it than this but it’s not the kind of stuff that you want to read while you are having your evening meal.

What I can say however, is that when I awoke, I had the very strong feeling that Pollux had been accompanying me during my travels but surprisingly, there was no mention of her on the dictaphone so I’ve no idea as to the source of this feeling.

vegan pizza apple pie apple turnover granville manche normandy france eric hallToday has been a baking day and I’ve been quite busy.

First task was to make some pizza dough. That’s just like making bread dough but with a tablespoon or two of oil. I made enough for three pizza bases, and two of those I put in the freezer for again.

Then I made some pastry mix – 250 grams of flour and 125 grams of vegan margarine, all well mixed in and then a couple of tablespoons of water mixed in to make a very dry paste.

That was rolled out and a base but into a greased pie tin. Then several baking apples were cut up and put in there with some sultanas, desiccated coconut, nutmeg, cinnamon, all mixed in with lemon juice to bleach it.

The rest of the pastry mix was then rolled out and put on top, the edges having been damped with vegan milk. The top was then pressed down with a fork to seal it, and then trimmed.

The top was brushed with milk, sprinkled with brown sugar and then pricked with a knife to make vents to allow the steam from the apples to escape.

Whatever pastry was left was rolled into a square and I made an apple turnover with the remainder of the apple mix stuff. That was sealed, brushed, sprinked and pricked too.

hang glider pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAll of that went into an over for 45 minutes on 230°C and while it was doing, I went for a walk.

As I said just now, the hang-gliders were out again. Despite the tragedy of yesterday that didn’t prevent one of them from doing an aerobatic display for the dozens of walkers who were out there.

What with one thing and another, I have a feeling that the events of yesterday will not be the last either. It all seems pretty reckless to me, some of the things that they do while they are up in the air.

le loup jullouville baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallNevertheless it was a beautiful day and that explains why there were so many people out and about, both on the ground and in the air.

The sky was pretty clear and the view went for miles with just a touch of heat haze. Le Loup, the marker light that is situated on the rocks just outside the harbour, was looking particularly beautiful today.

The town of Jullouville in the background was looking quite nice too. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been out that way and I’ll have to go for another walk down there when circumstances permit.

o'toole transport port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the area is often visited by the rich and famous.

Fans of the James Bond films will remember that in OCTOPUSSY there was a girl called Plenty O’Toole, named after her father of course.

Her father is a regular visitor to the town and he was back again, parked up on the quayside down there by Victor Hugo, the Channel island Ferry.

It actually reminds me of when I lived in Crewe and every day for about six months I had to walk past a big factory with “O’Malley’s Tool Works” on the side of it. I thought to myself “so does mine, but I don’t put up a sign about it”.

Back here I made my pizza and when the pies were cooked I put that in the oven. And it was cooked to perfection. Really beautiful.

And so filling that I didn’t have any pudding. No sense in forcing myself. Have I mentioned that my weight is still slowly decreasing and I’m within touching distance of the weight that I had when i was running every night in my youth.

trawler fishing boat english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will also recall that earlier in the year we couldn’t move out at sea for fleets of fishing boats out there.

One thing that I noticed since I’ve been back is that there don’t seem to be anything like as many out there. This evening I noticed that there was one with its gear out, somewhere in the English Channel between here and the Ile de Chausey.

There wasn’t anyone else out there either and there wwasn’t very much going on either, so I did my three runs and came on home.

That American car from Connecticut that we saw here a few days ago is still parked up in the same place. It now has a flat tire so it won’t be going far in the near future.

Back here I’ve finished my notes and, much later than I was hoping, i’m going to bed.

I doubt if I will be up at 06:00 seeing as it’s this late already and I still don’t feel tired, but I’ll do my best. I have plenty of work to do

And I’ll hope that I can make some sense out of last night’s voyage. I’m sure that it’s quite interesting.

Sunday 30th August 2020 – I’VE HAD A …

home made pizza home backed bread banana bread granville manche normandy france eric hall… bit of a bake-in today.

Apart from the rice pudding that you can’t see, and the vegan pizza that you can, you’ll also notice two loaves of bread.

The larger one is of course a standard loaf of bread with a generous helping of sunflower seeds. As for the smaller one, it was 200 grams of flour with a couple of generous handfuls of sultanas and an over-ripe banana mixed well in

At the moment I’ve no idea what it tastes like, but I shall find that out tomorrow. It goes without saying that I have high hopes for this, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating – quite literally in this respect

marite english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallso while you admire the photos of Marité coming back to harbour, this morning was quite a strange morning. Even though there was no alarm, I awoke at 06:17. No chance of my getting out of bed at that time though. 10:00 is a much more likely time to heave myself out of bed on a Sunday.

And a big “hello” to Castor and Pollux who came to join me on a trip out last night. They had been off somewhere in some kind of themed concert, fancy dress type of thing. I had to go to pick them up afterwards. Pollux had a something, a kind of hood on with what looked like a knife blade sticking up out of the back. I can’t remember what Castor was wearing and imagine that! Me taking little notice of Castor’s apparel. it had been like a themed harem kind of thing. I picked them up and brought them back.
There was much more to it than this and when you’ve finished eating your meal I’ll tell you all of the gruesome details.

marite baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallBefore this there had been some kind of thing about trains where we had got to London and we were waiting at a station which was a combined tube and main line station in West London. There were tube trains stopping there and trains going to Birmingham as well. We were cornered by someone, me and this girl. Someone wanted something or other and he was a bit violent so when he started to throw his weight around I kicked him in the groin and he just keeled over onto the floor clutching his groin saying that he was going to get me, all this kind of thing. We just wandered off. His train came in and so he staggered onto it. About a minute later we ended up on a train as well. We were going round to Hanley – the Potteries on the train on one of the old loop lines. The ticket collector came along and asked for our tickets . I had about 100 tickets in my pockets that someone had given me from all various places. I had to search through them and in the end he said “this is a Birmingham train” so I found a ticket that had Birmingham on it. Even though it had been clipped once I gave it to him and he clipped it again and whoever I was with, she gave him the correct ticket. That would cause complications if we were controlled again because we were getting off this train somewhere and getting back on another one and with me having used any old ticket collected was going to be complicated for continuing our journey.
And this strikes me as having a familiar ring about it when once on a nocturnal ramble I was on a train in Crewe Station.

marite baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallSomewhat later on I was living in a house a bit like Hankelow Hall with all of these rooms. I remember that it was August and I had the heating on because it was so cold. i was spending my time working between the computer in one room and the kitchen in another. Suddenly this house became occupied by students as well. I had my things all over the place so i had to start tidying up. There were tins of food absolutely everywhere – a mess and so on but little by little I was getting this place somehow tidied up. I had to say that my tenants were really good-natured about it because I wouldn’t have been this good-natured had it been someone else. I had a pile of money – copper coins and 10c pieces lying all over the place as well. This surprisingly wasn’t being moved by anyone. We were all in cooking a meal and I was getting all my stuff organised slowly to make some space for everyone else, putting my dirty clothes in for washing, that kind of thing, filling a bin with rubbish. The conversation came round to something that I had recorded as a demo for someone, a speech about someone’s broken arm. It turned out to be a very prescient comment according to these kids but when they played it back I couldn’t see how it related to anything but they seemed to think that it did

Pierre came round this morning to see if I’d received the presents from yesterday. I thanked him very much, and he told me that Catherine, the girl who had made them, would be coming off the Chausey boat later that afternoon at about 16:00.

That gave me just enough time to crack on with the bread making.

autogyro granville manche normandy france eric hallDown in the town I found out that the Chausey ferries would be coming in at about 17:00 so I had a little sit-down to relax for a short while.

Once I’d recovered my breath I went for a little walk along the harbour wall. However I didn’t go very far before my reverie was interrupted. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the autogyro that we’ve seen flying over us every now and then. And here it was again.

It’s another one of those objects in which I shall have to go for a fly around one of these days. It probably takes off from the airport at Donville les Bains so I’ll have to wander off over there.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe boat came in earlier than anticipated but I was there to meet it.

However I couldn’t see Catherine anywhere so in the end after a good look around I came home again. I’ll have to send her an e-mail to thank her but that’s not going to be easy to send her the bottle of wine.

Once all of the break was baked I made my pizza. It was another delicious one and so filling, I didn’t have any pudding. That will be for another day I reckon.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter tea I went out for my usual evening walk

The sun had long-since sunk below the horizon but there was a beautiful radiant red sky away out over the Ile de Chausey this evening.

There were a few people out there enjoying the evening view too, taking photographs and the like. It’s been a while since i’ve seen so many people out there and it’s no surprise that Covid infections are running so high at the moment with all of this.

Seeing the casual way in which people are wearing their masks, it’s hardly any surprise.

boat with light cap frehel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallThis was quite an interesting sight.

Even though it was fairly dark this evening there was still a clear view all the way down the Brittany coast. The lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, to the extreme right of the image is quite clearly visible even though it’s over 70kms away

It was also interesting to see the light out to sea too. It’s probably a trawler or some other fishing boat with its nets out having a go at making a catch.

So back here I wrote up my notes and that was that. i’m going to have an early night because there is plenty of work to do starting tomorrow – all of the usual stuff plus catching up on arrears and there’s also a new internet course starting

So here’s hoping for more pleasant dreams with charming companions.

Thursday 13th August 2020 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

… day it was today.

It all started off during the night, seeing as it was something of a turbulent sleep and so it’s hardly surprising that there were tons of stuff on the dictaphone.

There was some kind of big incident going on, a murder or something like that and everyone was having to be questioned. Castor and Pollux were there and it became a case about their grandparents. It was so that their grandparents whatever they must do they must not go on the next leg of this trip because the stress would do them a lot of harm. I had to remind people of what had been said about this and they had a look. Yes, they were going on the next leg of this trip. I was wondering how I could catch up with Castor and rekindle our friendship. So I really don’t know.

Later on there were half a dozen or so of us, one of whom was another girl whom I particularly fancied. She ended up playing golf with another guy, getting right down to the end. Totally ignoring me and the rest of our little group. You’ve no idea just how hard or difficult it was to be there last night watching her there with this other guy. I was really, really down on my luck as far as that was concerned. Whether or not she had any kind of feeling for him, all she was interested in was playing golf and they seemed to be really having a good time enjoying themselves. I awoke absolutely full of grief, would you believe and drenched in sweat. All kinds of emotions about this. It was really strange. I just felt so bitterly, bitterly disappointed.

Later yet we continued our tramp through this countryside towards the sea, a group of four or five of us. We met the girl again. She was being taught how to walk on high heels by a couple of people. She was totally ignoring us so we just carried on walking in this dry countryside towards the sea and we suddenly seemed to take a different way. Whoever was leading the party branched off down this dirt track instead of along the main road. It brought us out somewhere at a T junction. I asked “how long is it going to be before we get there” but no-one replied, basically as if no-one really knew but didn’t actually want to say so which was a bit strange seeing as we were being guided by some kind of fitbit or GPS or something like that.

There was much more to it than this but as you are probably eating your lunch or something like that, I’ll spare you the gory details. What was interesting was that a couple of times, after awakening, I went straight back into a nocturnal voyage exactly where I had left it. And that’s happening more and more frequently these days.

But at least it was a very welcome return for Castor who put in an appearance, although it wasn’t under any sort of circumstances that I would have welcomed.

The upshot of all of this was that I was awake long before the alarm went off and so I had plenty of time to catch up with some paperwork before Hans surfaced.

After a coffee, we went out to breakfast at the cafe across the road and then we went to REWE so that he could do his shopping. And I was impressed by the amount of vegan products – even vegan cheese – available in there now.

Having packed Caliburn I headed off into the sunset – definitely going west.

And all the way this afternoon we had one hiccup after another. Roadworks, diversions – you name it we had it.

road accident traffic lights schwieberdingerstrasse Enzweihingen germany eric hallThe road out of Stuttgart was gridlocked and it took hours to clear, only for us then to run into a serious accident in the Schwieberdingerstrasse Enzweihingen.

And I’ve really no idea what was going on here. We had a motorhome that had ground to a halt in the middle of the traffic lights and a lorry on the other side of the road parked blocking the traffic looking as if it’s had bits knocked off it.

There were crowds of peopel around watching the events and a couple of policemen taking details but no one, and I do mean no one at all, controlling the traffic and it was all total mayhem. We were sitting in this queue for ages trying to make some kind of headway.

road accident traffic lights schwieberdingerstrasse Enzweihingen germany eric hallAs we approached the junction, inching bit by bit over a period of about an hour we could see that there was another actor in our drama.

If you look closely to the right, you’ll see that there’s a car in the hedge too and it’s difficult to see how it’s come to be there in that position.

Eventually, after a great deal of trouble fighting our way through the chaos we managed to reach the open road. And if that wasn’t enough to be going on with, round by Donauworth the heavens opened and we had one of the most astonishing rainstorms that I have ever seen. The temperature plummeted by 13°C in a matter of a couple of minutes and the rain continued for a good few hours.

What made my bad day worse was that I didn’t realise that there are two towns with the same name in Germany and of course I had booked a hotel there. Consequently, when I arrived in the town after a drive off my route of 60 kms, I couldn’t find the hotel. As a result I had to drive 80kms in the other direction past where I started to find the correct Malsch.

By now it was 20:30 and there was no restaurant open anywhere (it was too late to start up the slow cooker) so that was that.

The hotel is a little dated but then again so is the price so I’m not complaining. I’m hoping to have a decent night’s sleep as I want to have a good day on the road tomorrow.