Tag Archives: montmartin sur mer

Thursday 23rd September 2021 – WHAT A BEAUTIFUL …

montmartin sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… day it was today – at least, the afternoon of it.

The sky was as clear as a bell and you could see for miles, way out to sea and all along the coast too. With the sun now shining brightly, and down at a lower angle, it had lit up the town of Montmartin sur Mer as if it had been in a spotlight on a stage.

And when I blew up the photo, I could even make out some people on the beach, and that’s pretty good going for that kind of distance.

st helier jersey Eric Hall photo September 2021The view was just as good further out to sea as well.

It was another one of those days where not only was Jersey really clear on the horizon 58 kilometres away, we could even make out some of the buildings at St Helier.

The big tower over to the left is very intriguing. It really could be anything – the “Marine Peilstand 1 Tower” which was a German Army artillery ranging point or La Tour de Vinde, a Napoleonic-era Martello tower, or even the tower the name of which I have forgotten that overlooks St Brelade’s Bay.

yacht ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further on around to the west, the Ile de Chausey was looking quite good too.

The colours weren’t as brilliant or as visible as we have seen them on the odd occasion here and there but the little white cottages at the foot of the lighthouse stand out quite clearly against the dark background of the hill on which the lighthouse is situated.

There wasn’t much going on out at sea though this afternoon. There was just a yacht drifting about rather aimlessly and what looks like a motor boat on the extreme right, but that was about everything.

trawler cap frehel brittany coast France Eric Hall photo September 2021Finally, finishing off our arc from north-east to due west, from my vantage point on top of the bunker at the back of the lighthouse the view was even better.

Right out there in the distance, 70 kilometres away, the lighthouse and fort at Cap Frehel were visible with the naked eye this afternoon, never mind with the camera’s zoom lens.

And we could even see the headland around at the end of the next bay, which I think is the Ile de Brehat at the mouth of the River Trieux

There’s a trawler out there as well, and we can even see that it has its nets out this afternoon. That’s what I call a really good day.

But I’m glad that some people had a really good day today because I had an absolutely awful one.

The night wasn’t as early as I was hoping and when the alarm went off at 06:00 I was right out of it, absolutely and completely. And having another feverish sweat as well.

There wasn’t even time to finish checking my mails and messages before I had gone west and I ended up, to my complete and utter dismay, back in bed and under the covers again. Twice in three days, after going for a couple of years without doing so. That’s a sign of how I’m feeling right now.

It was about 10:20 when I finally staggered out of bed and I’m not sure if I wasn’t feeling any worse either. It took me an age to pull myself together.

But once I did, I made an Executive Decision, and for the benefit of any new reader (of which there are more than just a few these days), an Executive Decision is one where if it’s the wrong decision, the person who made it is executed.

And the decision is that I’ve changed the time of the alarm from 06:00 to 07:30 to give myself an extra 90 minutes in bed, until this situation resolves itself one way or another. Just on Mondays will I be having an 06:00 alarm call as I have the radio stuff to do.

Once I’d had a coffee I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I had to go to meet my aunt off the ferry that was coming in at 06:00 so I had to get up early. There was half my family in my apartment and that was uncomfortable for a start. When I set off, I didn’t realise actually where I was going to have to go to meet everyone. I ended up at the shop and was in there when suddenly my mother walked in. There was some discussion with the shopkeeper about tickets to go to meet people, all this kind of thing, tickets to come back from the ferry terminal on the bus to where they were dropped off at his shop. He said “if my aunt comes, she’ll have a ticket and we can all arrange it them”. Then I had my mother and my brother trying to argue with me. I said “look, for the last 20-odd years I’ve lived on my own. I’m not used to all these people”. That led to a few ribald remarks from my brother and one or two other people. As we walked back to my apartment I found myself thinking “I wish there were some other apartments in this building vacant where I could stick them and get them out of my hair”. There was something as well that I’d told one of my sisters about a book about a Chinese disc jockey that summed up quite a lot the way that I’d been feeling. All the way back we had “my sister couldn’t be bothered to read that book” all that kind of thing and it was a most uncomfortable dream.

I was out with TOTGA last night, of all people. I’d been to go to a Conference on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday so I went to the hotel which was near Birmingham and booked myself in for the Tuesday night to start on Wednesday morning. There were another 2 people there booking and they were only booking for the Wednesday night and Thursday on the same course. He asked me why, and I recognised one of them. I knew that he lived fairly locally so I said that I imagined that he would come straight from home for the conference and then come back here for the next two nights. I can’t remember how it went on from there but there was some time to kill so I ended up going for a walk with TOTGA. We were hand-in-hand walking and chatting. She asked where I would like to go but I didn’t really have much of an idea. She said “how about the cinema?”. I’d never been to the new cinema in Crewe so I said “yes, fine”. We walked along Wistaston Road. There was a queue outside the cinema and it slowly started to move. The tickets were £27:00 to go in, so I thought that I’d pay for her but she was renewing her annual subscription so she said that she’d pay. I insisted on paying but the woman at the counter said “you know that hers is £999, don’t you?” I replied “right, in that case I’d better let you pay”. We arranged to meet one lunchtime as well. She asked me where we’d meet so I replied “why not the cinema?”. We agreed that we’d meet on the lunchtime at the cinema. Then there was the case of making a snack. She had bought me a pizza from here once so I thought “right, we’ll have a pizza”. Apparently you made your own. The cheese though was like a spread that you spread over the base of your pizza and put your topping on top which I thought was an extremely strange way of going about things but I started to do that.

I’d been working on repairing an old MkII Ford Consul. We’d had the engine all stripped down in situ and reassembled it. The owner, my father, was not very happy about everything. He saw petrol lying around in cans and he went and took them away. I had to clean all of these parts, and in the end someone went and fetched the petrol back so I cleaned all of the parts of the carburettor and reassembled it. There were still a few bits and pieces left to do including fuelling it up because there was very little petrol left in it but someone had brought a portable bed and gone to sleep right up against the car where the fuel filler was so I couldn’t reach it. In the end my father came back and asked how we were doing. I replied that it was almost done. He made a few remarks about a few bits that were missing, all this kind of thing. I said “it’s not trouble at all, they aren’t really necessary until we find out how the car runs”. We went to start it and it started first time and sounded nice. He got into it and took it for a little drive around the block. He said “yes, this is fine”, then drove off somewhere else. I remember saying “he’s not going to get very far with the few bits that are missing off it and there’s no petrol in it” And he should know about the petrol because ha was the one who stopped us filling it”.

But in the middle of all of my blasted family coming around to annoy me like they do, it must have cheered me up to have had an afternoon or evening out involving a Close Encounter with TOTGA. But in real life she had far too much sense to involve herself with me to that kind of extent.

What with one thing and another I missed out on having lunch, because, even though I didn’t feel like it, I had a task to perform

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of weeks ago I bought a new printer to replace the one that was only printing in blue. I hadn’t installed it yet but this afternoon someone sent me an important communication that I needed to sign and send back, so I had to unpack it and install it.

Although it’s the same make and model as the old one, it’s an upgraded version so it took me a while to figure it out, and when I’d finished installing it, even though it would print, it wouldn’t scan.

Eventually I discovered that despite it being one of these multi-function printers from a major manufacturer, the scanner drivers aren’t included in the installation package, something that left me totally bewildered, so I had to go on-line and hunt them down.

And then I couldn’t make the machine work as I wanted. The control panel is quite complicated but seems to be lacking in functionality. I was surprised that it hadn’t installed a “scan” button on the computer desktop.

So after much binding in the marsh, I eventually discovered that the original “scan” icon for the old printer now points to the new one and once I’d realised that, it was all plain sailing.

All of this made me quite late for my afternoon walk, and when I finally made it outside, I bumped into a neighbour who kept me chatting for half an hour. Not that I had the time to spare, but I can’t spend all my life being totally unsociable with everyone.

While we were chatting, there were all kinds of stuff going on in the air. The powered red hang-glider went by overhead, followed by a couple of Nazguls, a light aeroplane and even the air-sea rescue helicopter, but you can’t interrupt your conversation to take a few pictures. It’s not very polite.

launching site for hang gliders Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021One we’d parted company and gone our separate ways, like the Knights in THE HOLY GRAIL? i tried to make amends.

The field from where the Bird-men of Alcatraz take off is right next door to the cemetery, which I always thought was a good idea because if they make a mistake on take-off or landing they won’t have far to go, so I took a random photo to see if I could see anyone.

But they must have come in and untangled themselves from their equipment quite quickly because by the time that I looked, the field was pretty much deserted. The bird-men had flown.

bouchots donville les bains people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Instead, I concentrated myself on what was going on down on the beach this afternoon.

Plenty of beach to be on today of course with the tide being out, but not too many people on it taking advantage of the warm, almost windless afternoon.

Meanwhile, further over at Donville les Bains, they are out there in force at the bouchot beds – the beds where the mussels grow on strings rather than in the sand. You can see the tractors and trailers out there as they harvest today’s catch

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was here, I had a look to see how the repair work on the old medieval city wall at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux was going on

It’s been a while since we’ve had a close look, so I was hoping to see some substantial progress today. But all that I could see was that some white protective sheet had been erected to cover the scaffolding at the far end.

There are however a couple of guys on the scaffolding down at this end working on the wall so if I can get away early on my way to the physiotherapist tomorrow afternoon I’ll go for a closer look and see how they are doing.

jersey trawler Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While all of this was going on, I was having a good look around out at sea.

As I mentioned earlier, Jersey was standing out quite clearly this afternoon. With some digital enhancing we can see plenty of boats out there this afternoon, like the fishing boat over to the right that might even be the same one that we’ve seen in the bay for the last couple of days.

And it’s not all that usual that we see the eastern end of the island so clearly, yet here it is today. I was trying to identify some of the buildings there by reference to an aerial photo, but without very much success.

boats leaving harbour st helier jersey Eric Hall photo September 2021A little further around to the west there’s a really good view of several boats leaving the harbour at St Helier.

The one on the extreme left of the image caught my eye. Blowing up the image as much as I could, I could see that it has some kind of winching gear on the stern, but it looks too big to be a trawler.

However, there was nothing arriving at or leaving the port round about that time that corresponded with a ship of this nature.

And then we have another couple of trawlers heading our way

trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy Eric Hall photo September 2021With nothing else going on over here (as if all of this isn’t enough) I went to have a closer look at Cap Fréhel, which I could see with my naked eye today, and then across the lawn and the car pary around to the end of the headland.

In the past, I can’t recall having seen fishing boats working in the strait here between Granville and Cancale over in Brittany, but that all changed fairly recently when we noticed them starting to try to exploit this area. There’s a trawler out there this afternoon trying to see what it can pull up out of the sea bed.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I wonder if this constant search for new fishing grounds is due to the issues over fishing rights further out in the Baie de Granville.

hotels baie de mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned how nice the weather was today and how clear the sky was.

Down at the foot of the Baie de Mont St Michel, while we can’t actually see the Mont until someone removes the Pointe de Carolles and the Cabanon Vauban that sits thereupon, we can see the hotels on the mainland this afternoon.

If you look just slightly to the right of the foot of the Pointe de Carolles you’ll see a few white or light grey buildings. These are where anyone who comes to visit the Mont and stay overnight will usually stay because prices actually on the Mont itself are quite simply out of this world.

And there on the mainland they aren’t really all that much better, I suppose. It’s pretty much a captive audience over there.

l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Meanwhile, it’s “all change” at the chantier naval this afternoon.

As I walked along the path on the top of the cliff towards the port, I could see that things were looking quite different down there this afternoon. And it looks as if there has been a massive clear-out today.

The only boat that is left today is L’Omerta. The other boats that were in there – Hera, Le Pescadore and Catherine-Philippe – have now gone back into the water.

The next question is “who is going to come into the chantier naval to take their place?”.

belle france chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It’s a lot more normal over at the ferry terminal this afternoon.

The new ferry Belle France and the little freighter Chausiaise are moored over there this afternoon. The two Joly France boats are probably out at sea somewhere. And they’ve closed up the jib of the crane as well, which is good news for the hydraulic seals.

Meanwhile, in other news, there’s some kind of jogging team out there on the quayside going for a run. They’ve turned off and are starting to run along the wall around the port de plaisance.

And I’m intrigues to find out what will happen when they reach the end, because there’s a large gap in the wall. Perhaps it’s the start of a triathlon and they are all going to leap into the sea and swim across.

Back in the past, I took part in a triathlon, but only the once. I was busy doing the water leg when I suddenly thought to myself “this is silly. I’m getting the bike all rusty here”.

marquees chicane rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Over the last few days we’ve seen interesting developments taking place in the Rue du Port.

We have the chicane of course, and the marquee that they erected yesterday. But now a couple more marquees have sprung up on the car park of the Fish Processing Plant. This is all starting to become interesting.

And we can see that Marité is back in town as well. She’s been absent for the last couple of days. Well, in fact, she hasn’t really. She’s been nipping out early on the morning tide for a lap around the Ile de Chausey or over to Cancale and not come back until the evening tide.

Hence my mid-afternoon walk has missed her.

aztec lady capo di fora spirit of conrad mini y port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Meanwhile, In other news, we have a couple of new visitors in the port.

The white yacht on the extreme right next to the blue Aztec Lady is called Capo di Fora. Despite her Italian-sounding name, she’s actually flying the Belgian flag, as, incidentally, her neighbour Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went up and down the Brittany coast last summer.

The large grey yacht is called Mini Y, registered in the UK. She’s a “Baltic 85” yacht built in Finland in 2018 of fibre and composite construction and weighs in at just 50 tonnes.

She’s been cruising along the North European coast for the last few days and just recently has been roaming around St Malo and the waters between there and here

Back here in the apartment I had a few things to finish off and then I was just on the point of starting some work when Rosemary called me again.

Once we’d finished, it was long past my tea time so I grabbed an aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit out of the freezer and had that with some pasta. That tasted really nice, and it would have been even nicer had I not dropped the bottle of tabasco sauce in it.

***Note to self – put toilet roll in fridge tonight ***

And now I’m off to bed – going to make the most of my lie-in for the next few days to see if it makes me feel any better. Although I have a feeling that I’ll need more than this to liven me up.

Thursday 15th October 2020 – I WAS RIGHT …

… when I asked yesterday “surely this can’t continue” or whatever it was that I said.

Consequently this morning, I missed the third alarm. Not by many minutes, but a miss is as good as a mile, I suppose.

Mind you, I’d been on my travels again somewhat. I’d been looking around, searching for different things about the house and came across an automatic firearm – a big heavy thing, silver one. I was messing around with that and then took it off to show a friend. He and I had a play around doing all kinds of different things. Then we were out in the town with it and there was a lot of trouble about theft and violence, groups, all this kind of thing. We thought that we would be bound to be searched and if they found this firearm we’ve had it even though we aren’t actually doing anything with it. The nearest official building to where we were was the Nigerian embassy so we took the gun there and handed it in. Back home a few days later I was about to go into the living room when I heard my father ask “does anyone know what’s happened to my gun? It’s gone”. One of my brothers and sisters piped up to say “Eric and his friend had it”. He rang up my friend and he told him what had happened but cutting out the flamboyant bits. I was concerned about this because I was going to get into a load of trouble by taking it but my father seemed to be rather nonchalant about this. I walked off into the room something like a hospital waiting room and as I was walking in a woman was walking out. “Ohh I have your food here” she said. “I wondered when you were coming back. I’ll bring it in”. I was loaded up with loads of other stuff that I was dropping on my way in and had to try about three doors before I found which one was the correct one. I went in and sat down and waited for the next part of this story to happen.

Which of course, it didn’t.

Having sorted out the dictaphone I had a good shower and clean-up. And a weigh-in too. And I’ve lost that extra weight that I put on in Leuven, having now accelerated my fitness programme a little. If I keep up this regime and continue to lose weight at this rate, by the time my next birthday comes round I’ll have gone completely.

And now it’s time to head for the shops.

For a change I didn’t but anything extra, but I was still loaded up like a packhorse. And when the 2kg bag of apples burst, I ended up having to stick them in the shoulder bag too and that wasn’t part of the plan. It was quite a stagger back home, loaded up as I was.

And to make matters worse, the battery in the NIKON 1 J5 decided to go flat even though there were plenty of interesting things to photograph. And I only charged up the battery the other day too. I hope that that’s not going to start playing up.

Back here I made a drink and sat down – and then crashed out, which is no surprise. I recovered in time to perform a major upgrade of the computer before lunch, something that surprised me too.

After lunch, with more of my delicious bread, I had a task to perform that I’ve been putting off for several months. There were a plie of *.mkv files on my computer that simply wouldn’t allow themselves to be deleted. I spent some time experimenting with the file properties of one of them and in the end I managed to delete it.

There were about 20 altogether and I had to adjust their properties one by one too, but at least they have all gone now, which is good news.

Next task was the photos of July 2010 in Switzerland and Austria. And here I came up against another problem. Instead of using a dictaphone, I was speaking loudly so that the dashcam in Caliburn would pick up the details. But it didn’t do it well enough so that can be classed as a failure.

But this is how you learn, isn’t it?

In the end I had to look for road signs, names of buildings, town signs, that kind of thing on the dashcam recordings to work out where I was and to follow my route on an internet mapping service to work out where I was.

That took an age, as you can imagine, but now all of the photos for that month have been edited, processed and correctly identified. Another job completed.

There just remains the photos for August which should be interesting, because all of those road signs are in either Czech, Slovak or Hungarian and that is going to lead to difficulties when I see a building name.

Scaffolding College Malraux Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving made some good progress I could go outside for my afternoon walk, almost bowling over four people whom I hadn’t seen before entering the building. Elderly people, so I reckon that someone has let out their apartment for holidaymakers.

Across the car park, the scaffolding seems now to be complete as far as they intend to go. They’ve even put their advertisements on it to let us know who they are. And as for the container, it’s not a container at all but a very large skip. Benne pour bois – “skip for wood”. So that’s where they will be disposing of all of their old laths.

And their compund has blown down again. They aren’t having much luck with that. I mean – it’s not as if it’s windy right now outside.

Sunshine Montmartin sur Mer Rainstorm Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn fact, the weather is quite changeable today.

And no photo can sum that up better than this one of the coast higher up the Cetentin Peninsula. If you look at the view round by Montmartin sur Mer towards the left, you can see the sun shining down on the houses, making them appear so nice and bright.

But yet just a couple of miles away, there’s a huge rainstorm throwing it down just there and everywhere is dark and gloomy.

Trawlers English Channel Ile de Chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday I mentioned that it looks as if the fishing season has started in earnest, and I’m very probably right.

We’re still a good half-hour before the time that the harbour gates open, so all of the big trawler-type vessels are heading for home, presumably with quite a good catch. Here are three of them heading for home and they all seem to be surrounded by socks of fleagulls

We also have a yacht out there over towards the Ile de Chausey. He’s picked a nice day to go out for a sail because it looked quite nice over there.

Unidentified Ship Antea English Channel Islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was scanning the horizon for more trawlers, I came across this object out at sea just off the coast of Jersey near the port of St Helier.

It certainly wasn’t one of our two freighters or a trawler – the superstructure is all wrong. And so I took a photo of it with the aim, when I’m at home, of cropping it and blowing it up (the image, not the object of course) to see if I can identify it.

Not that it was easy, but an examination of plots of ships in the area reveals that there’s a French research ship, the Antea, out there in that vicinity. And an examination of her photo reveals a superstructure quite like the superstructure of this ship here. So it may well be her

Man in Kayak Fishing From Rocks Pointe du Roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked on along the lawn at the Pointe du Roc I came across all of the brats. It looks as if the orienteering classes are back up and running … “very good!” – ed … again after a pause last week.

My route continued on past the Coastguard Post to the end of the headland, and looking down onto the rocks I could see that the fishermen are back again. And as usual, in the time that I was watching them, no-one actually caught anything.

We also had a kayaker out there, and I bet that he was quite cold out there this afternoon because you aren’t supposed to light a fire in your canoe. Everyone knows that you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

Joly France Ferry terminal Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last year or so there have been plenty of rebuilding projects going on all over the port area.

And it looks as if they aren’t finished yet. There’s another crew over by the Ferry Terminal. They have a digger, a shipping container or skip and an assortment of all kinds of other stuff. it will be interesting to see what they are doing.

Joly France, one of the ferries that go out to the Ile de Chausey, is paying no attention whatever to the machinations. It’s the older of the two ferries – you can tell because there’s no step in the stern, the windows are smaller and the superstructure on the top deck is larger.

Autogyro Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen – or, at least, talked about – plenty of people, and we’ve seen a great deal of maritime activity too.

So let’s not go forgetting the air today. And so, our friend, the yellow autogyro who we first encountered AT THE CABANON VAUBAN in August 2018 just before I set off for the North Pole, decided to put in an appearance today.

And that reminds me – I’ve not been on a plane this year, and the only time that I set foot on the sea was our trip on the Spirit of Conrad. I don’t even think that I managed to get onto a ferry this year at all.

Mind you, it’s not good for my blood pressure to see a ferry. Every time I see one, it makes me cross.

Having finished the photos I crashed out yet again for a little while, and then had my hour on the guitar. And I’m still not enjoying it, which is a shame. But I’ll stick at it of course.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper, now that I have some, followed by one of those desserts that I made yesterday.

Later on tonight I went out for my evening runs. And in pursuit of even more fitness I managed to fit in 5 runs tonight. I have to control my weight now I’m back on the intravenous drips.

St Helier Jersey Channel Islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut it really was a beautiful night tonight – one of those nights when you can see for miles and it made me wish that i’s taken the tripod. Although these next two photos don’t add up to much, the fact that I’ve taken them at all is significant.

Here we have the street lights of St Helier in Jersey reflecting off the clouds. And also, quite clear in the photograph, are the lights that are on the radio tower or whatever it is on the hills at the back of town.

And when you consider that this is a hand-held shot taken with a f1.8 50mm lens of objects that are 58 kilometres away in the pitch-dark, it’s quite something. But what would it have been like with a tripod?

Trawlers English Channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd pretty much the same thing might be said of this photo too.

While I was casting my eyes around trying to see what was going on out at sea, my eyes alighted yet again on something else. Three lights out at sea, presumably from working ships. My plotter seems to think that the one over to the left might be Antea, whom we encountered earlier, whereas the two brighter ones to the right might be fishing vessels.

There are in fact two in the area according to the plotter – Philcathane may well be the bright light to the left of the two, and the second one might be L’Alize III

Rue Du Nord Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was there, I wasn’t just admiring the view out to sea. There were plenty of other things to see.

In the foreground of this photo is the area where the walls are crumbling away along the Rue du Nord. You can see the barrier that they have put up to stop people walking too close to the edge. It was this barrier that was swept away in Storm Alex and ended up littering the Rue du Nord.

Over in the background is the car park at the Place d’Armes, that used to be the old parade ground when all of the buildings there were Army barracks. And illuminated there is the College Malraux with its coat of scaffolding and its big banner advertisement.

If you see what looks like a diamond-shaped light, that’s the building where I live.

Marité Normandy Trader Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA couple of nights ago I mentioned that with all of the building material stacked up on the quayside, it looked as if we might be expêcting one of the Jersey freighters to arrive.

And sure enough, anchored at the quayside next to Marité underneath the loading crane is our old friend Normandy Trader. She’s obviously come into port on the afternoon tide on one of her regular runs across from St Helier.

Talking of runs, I’ve managed to do 5 tonight. Nothing particularly energetic but being back on the intravenous drip means that my weight is going to balloon up again and that’s the last thing that I want. I have to keep it down.

But not right now. It’s late and I’m off to bed. I need a good rest.

Friday 12th June 2020 – BRAIN OF BRITAIN …

… strikes again!

Yes, guess who put a load of washing in the washing machine on Thursday morning before going to the shops – and then forgot all about it?

It’s out airing on the clothes airer right now, but when I go to the shops tomorrow I have a feeling that I shall have to buy some nice perfumed fabric conditioner or something similar and put them through again.

As for my part, much to my own (and everyone else’s) surprise I actually beat the third alarm call to my feet this morning. I was in the kitchen organising my medication when it went off.

Back here afterwards (still no breakfast!) to look at the dictaphone – and … phew!

Last night I put in an appearance in an office where I used to work and went into one of the rooms which was room D and it was absolutely heaving with people. I’d been for a while in another room and getting a few things organised in there watching a couple of videos that kind of thing but I didn’t really want anyone else to know what I was doing so I was hunched up in a corner where no-one could overlook me. In this room it was crowded with people, hundreds of them. There was one little girl about 5 or 6 and a pile of these white fish fillet squares that she had got down all over the floor. There were a couple of guys in charge and they didn’t seem to be paying the slightest bit of attention. Before i’d gone in there I’d had a look out of the window and I’d seen someone disappearing off in a car towing a trailer pulling a petrol pump so I wondered if that had been something that had come off the beach around the corner so I went there to find out. I was told “yes” but the person didn’t seem to want to elaborate on it.
Later on during the night something had happened about something or other in Aberystwyth. It meant that I had to go home and fetch something and come back again. I was in an old mark V Cortina so I put my foot down i Aberystwyth and drove all the way back to Crewe where I got what I wanted . The journey back should have taken me about 45 minutes (well, yes!) but by the time that I had everything ready it was now exactly 1 hour 05 after I had left so I was going to have to do something about catching up this time. So I put my foot down. I hadn’t gone more than a couple of hundred yards before I ran straight into one of these processions. Even though it was something like 01:00 – 01:30 in the morning there were all these processions like a Miners’ Parade or something. And of course as I set to move off a group of motorcycle policemen came round pushing their bikes following this parade. Of course I had no seat belt on and the car wasnt in any particularly good condition so the captain of the motorcyclists came over and asked me a couple of questions about the car. I’d only had it a couple of days so I couldn’t really answer him so he asked to see my documents. I gave him my driving licence which was stuck inside my purse and took ages to put out. he invited me to come in to his office. Of course I didn’t have time to do all of this but he interrogated me a bit and he got on his radio and radioed my licence number through. I asked “am I clear to go?”. he replied “you’re clear to go. Some guy said “that will be £50:00. I thought “£50:00? What the hell is this for?” He replied “it’s just for having your hair cut”. “But I don’t want my hair cut”. However a girl came round and threw a towel over my shoulders and sat me in the seat. I asked “what the hell is this all about?”. “It’s just something that he likes to do when he’s caught someone and letting them go. It’s a way of raesing funds”. I thought “yes, I bet it is”. And all the time I was supposed to be going to Aberystwyth. I was already running late, I had these things, these people would probably be long gone by the time that I get there and that will be a wasted journey. There I was being trapped in this seat having my hair cut for £50:00
When I went back to sleep I stepped right back into this dream where I’d been before and set off again. I was once more waylaid on the route but I don’t remember anything about it now. I do remember though thinking that this is absolutely ridiculous and I’m never going to get to Aberystwyth at this rate.

A little later still I was on my way to South Wales. I pulled in at Knutsford Services and there I had to hire a car for the weekend and get some food to eat on the journey, get some fuel and sort out some gearbox oil for my car. I’ve no idea why I wanted a hire car but I went into the office and started to make all of the arrangements. They said that they had a Crusader so I said that that was fine by me. They said “hang on, we’ll see what else we’ve got” but I said “no, a Crusader is fine”. They wandered away and I was talking about which guy it was who knew which car they were. They said “it’s the girl over there – the one who’s big enough to be a girl guide”. I thought “what the heck has this got to do with me renting a vehicle”. I thought that i’d better drive my vehicle somewhere, come back, pick up this hire car, go off and I have to be back before Monday. So I told them to make the booking until Monday. Then of course I could work out about what I needed and what I had to get.

After all of that, it was quite a surprise that I was out of bed so sprightly.

Today has been spent working on my music course. And by the time I reached the end of the afternoon I’d done a whole week’s work. And now I can play the blues on the piano in the Key of F, Fmin and F7 with the left hand playing 7/10ths and 7/13ths.

Or, at least, I could if I were any good at it. But you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

At lunch I had some more of my bread. And it’s still tasting quite good. This was, I reckon, something of a success although, as I have said … “on many occasions” – ed … there is still plenty of room for improvement.

What I might do, when I run out of cake, is to make a smaller loaf but crush some banana in it, or else add a pile of sultanas, and make a kind of snack bread. Apricots in it might be good too of course.

After lunch I took some time off work and made myself some orange and ginger cordial. The honey that I’m using isn’t very good though, but I’m hoping that soon I’ll be back in Belgium where I can find some more Manuka honey.

jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallIt had been pouring down for most of the morning but by the time that I went out for my afternoon walk, the rain had stopped.

There’s a strange kind of light when it’s just stopped raining in the summer. And with the air being cleaner these days, the views are generally better. Once more, Jersey is standing out really well and you can see the houses at St Helier.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall a few weeks ago I mentioned something about the lockdown helping to clean up the air.

joly france ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThe ile de Chausey was standing out really well today too.

The houses over there were quite clear to see too, and we could even see Joly France setting out of the harbour there on its way back to Granville.

There’s no doubt whatsoever that I’ve never taken a photo as clear as this of the Ile de Chausey from the mainland. We could do with a few more days like this.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThe photo that I took, I split it into two parts. The previous photo that you saw was the left-hand half, and this one is the right-hand half.

You can see the houses in the little village at the northern end of the island and if you look just to the left of them you might just be able to make out the church. It’s said that there’s a bit of a Liberator bomber in there – one that was shot down over the bay just after D-Day.

The building on the eminence in the middle, that’s the chateau I reckon, a converted fort that was at one time owned by the Renault family.

You can see MORE PHOTOS OF THE ILE DE CHAUSEY here.


crowds lighthouse pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThe fine weather that we were having now that the rain had stopped had certainly brought out the crowds.

As you can see, the path around the cliff and up by the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall were heaving with people this afternoon all catching what sun here was.

The lighthouse is looking good today , and the four flags are still flying up by the war memorial – the British one hasn’t yet made good its bid for freedom

pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t just on the lawn by the lighthouse that there were the crowds either.

The steps down the path round the end were pretty busy, and there were people here down by the old watch cabin enjoying the view and the sunshine. And who can blame them?

You’ll notice that the cabin still has its roof and it’s pretty watertight. It’s just one of half a dozen places where our itinerant could seek shelter from the rain if he so chooses.

speedboat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo despite the crowds, I headed off on my walk down the other side of the headland.

Nothing much going on down there this afternoon – still the same three boats in the chantier navale and nothing else of interest. But there was this speedboat roaring past with le feux dans ses fesses – a fire up his … errr … posterior – as they say around here.

It’s quite stimulating being out on the sea at that kind of speed, but it’s not so good for the wildlife and the Noise Abatement Society would have something to say about it too.

heavy equipùent being unloaded rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few weeks we’ve been seeing all kinds of heavy plant parked up at the side of the Rue du Port.

Today there are a couple more things that have arrived. In fact the lorry that dropped them off is just pulling away as you can see. We seem to have acquired a kind of cherry picker and a fork lift elevator.

But I’ve no idea what they are doing with them. We see all kinds of weird things arriving or parked up there and after a day or so they just disappear.

traffic lights place du parvis notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallYesterday we saw the installation of a set of traffic lights to control the traffic in the old town while the roadworks are taking place.

It was my intention to go round to see where the other end was, and sure enough, it’s here at the edge of the Place du Parvis Notre Dame – not where I was thinking it would be at all.

So traffic at this end of the rue Notre Dame can come out of here the wrong way dow the one-way system and the lights are there to stop any unfortunate encounter.

les ilots cafe restaurant hotel rue st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallIn for a penny, in for a pound. I decided that I would go off and see how the roadworks were doing.

But down the rue St Jean I saw something that I hadn’t noticed before. In the good old days, it was the fashion in France to have huge advertising notices painted on the side of the buildings and it’s always been my regret that the practice has ceased. Here’s an old one advertising “Les Ilots” – café restaurant, with furnished rooms.

That’s going back a few years, isn’t it? Another lifetime ago, I reckon.

cobbles rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallBut at least there’s some good news at the roadworks.

Everything seems to be done and dusted now and the cobbles have been recemented into position. It looks now as if they are just waiting for the cement to dry and the road will probably be open tomorrow or Monday.

So in that case I’m glad that I came and photographed it today.

Back here I carried on with my coursework and by about 17:15 I was finished. I even managed to find the time to do a few photos from July 2019

Only a few though. Most of the time was spent hunting down the name of a church that I had photographed from The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour. And it took some doing too.

Nothing is straightforward with me, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

My half an hour on the bass was spent playing along to Arthur King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign” – which is how it feels sometimes. And the half-hour on the six-string was spent playing along to Springsteens “No Surrender” and also Bob Dylan’s “Times They Are A’Changin'”

A couple of lines of the lyrics leapt out at me from the latter.
“Come writers and critics”
“Who prophesize with your pen”
“And keep your eyes wide”
“The chance won’t come again”

Yes – “the chance won’t come again”. I’m back on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again aren’t I – one night at the beginning of September in the North-West Passage of Canada. All I need now is Kris Kristofferson and “I’ll give all my tomorrows for a single yesterday”

And do you know what? I would as well!

For a change, I had tea tonight. The last aubergine and kidney bean whatsit from April. I’ll have to buy another one and make some more. But I have peppers and potatoes that need using up so it looks like a pepper, potato and spinach curry is on the menu next week.

no parking place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallWe’d had a tremendous thunderstorm earlier on in the afternoon, followed by a really heavy rainfall. But when I went out for my evening walk, it had stopped and the weather was reasonably bright.

But my eye had been caught by a few notices like that dotted around outside. It looks as if something exciting is going to be happening here on 15th June – maybe roadworks or something.

Anyway, anyone who has a car parked there has been instructed to move it and no-one else can leave their vehicles there.

“That’s something to look forward too” I mused as I ran off up the road.

storm at sea english channel brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallThings were a little (just a little) easier tonight as I made it up to the top of the hill, I felt that I had a little left to spare in the tank.

But I recovered my breath and ran on down past the itinerant to the clifftop. The storm that had battered us earlier is still there – just out to see and round by Bréhal-Plage and Montmartin sur Mer.

It looks as if it’s having a right old hammering over there and I’m glad that I wasn’t out there earlier in that. And it beats me why the itinerant is sticking it out.

yacht baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france eric hallhaing recovered my breath again I walked on around the corner.

Where we saw the speedboat earlier, we now have a yacht strutting his stuff just offshore. But apart from the boat itself, I was intrigued by the colours now that the rain has washed out the sky.

The whole coast round from Kairon-Plage through Jullouville round to the Pointe de Carolles is really brightly lit this evening. And the white hotel buildings down by Mont St Michel are really clear too.

It really was nice.

chausiais victor hugo port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe next couple of legs of my run took me all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury and round the corner – and once more I overran my mark by a good 20 metres. And I could have done more too I reckon.

But I walked back to have a look down at the harbour and see what was happening. And once more, nothing much. Chausiais is there moored up against the harbour wall so she won’t be going very far very soon.

And Granville and Victor Hugo, the two Channel Island ferries, they are still there too. I’ve not had a latest update as to when the service will start again, but I’m going to try to hitch a lift on Thora or Normandy Trader one of these days.

beach bolwing plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom here I ran on all the way round to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord.

There didn’t seem to be the crowds of picnickers down there tonight – I did look – but instead we have a young couple who are playing beach bowls down there. You can see the guy tossing the “ball” at the pins.

It looks as if they have been having a party too. I can see a bottle of wine down there and with no cork in it, I’ll fathom a guess that it’s empty.

ile de chausey sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere wasn’t a decent sunset tonight – not even an impressive cloud formation.

But that’s no surprise either. Not with the weather that we’ve just had. And as I said yesterday … “and on many other occasions too” – ed … we’ve had some beautiful ones recently, and we can’t win a coconut every time.

Back to the apartment I ran but seeing that I was up to 90% on the day’s activity, I went for an extended walk to clock up the 100%

Hence the reason that I’m rather late tonight.

But I had an interuption this evening. Someone from the radio contacted me – someone not actually in my list of top 10 contacts. Would I like to go for a drink with him before our big meeting on Thursday night?

So what’s that all about, I wonder. Why would he want to see me before the meeting? I smell a rat, and I’m not talking about the contents of baldrick’s apple crumble.

Tomorrow it’s shopping. And I don’t need that much stuff either. A good start, I hope, and then a relax as we have football on the internet tomorrow afternoon.

High time we had some live football too. I’m missing my football fix.

Wednesday 6th November 2019 – I DIDN’T …

… go anywhere special today as I predicted. I spent the day in a gentle orbit around the apartment.

But that’s not to say that it’ll stay like that. Foolish me had to open his mouth on Monday, didn’t he? And say that he’d been to Uumaannaq, had taken plenty of photos and had friends there.

And so someone rang me up. Something to do with the local High School. “It’s Greenland Week here next week and we’ll be discussing Uummaannaq. Are you free on Friday afternoon the 22nd?”

Ahh well! That’ll teach me to open my big mouth, won’t it?

Despite being a little later in bed than I would have liked, there was time to go off for a ramble or two. Again this is another dream that I can only remember a bit of. I was with someone who might have been Castor and we were helping me get myself organised (that’s going to be a long job isnt it? Something like the Augean Stables). There was a cupboard that was open and you could see everything in it. She asked what I was going to do about it and I replied that I wasn’t going to do anything – it was all going to stay in there so she was working out how to close the cupboard. You could see all files and all that kind of things that were on there. I don’t remember very much more about this dream but there was plenty to it. In this cupboard was all kinds of office stuff, files, binders, computer ink and I had a vague recollection that it belonged to something to do with the ship but I don’t know.
And it was certainly vivid because I remember distinctly in my dazed state going to get out of bed to go to tidy it up and close the door
A little later there were four young people playing outside on the deck right in front on the bows of The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour. Don’t ask me what they were doing though because I was only asleep for a second.

There was a mad panic to fall out of bed. I’d vaguely heard the two earlier alarms but I desperately wanted to continue my run of early starts so having almost gone back to sleep, I just about managed to launch myself into consciousness just before the alarm.

After medication and breakfast I attacked the dictaphone notes. And up until lunchtime I had managed to transcribe only three. But when I tell you that the running time of those three is just short of 29 minutes, you’ll understand why.

I told you that there were some mega-files in that lot but that’s nothing to what’s coming up. There’s one of over 4 hours and another of over 3 hours.

And I managed to fit in my three walks today.

seagulls trawler entering port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAt about 12:45 I went out for a walk around a new circuit, down all the steps, along the rue du Port and back up the rue des Juifs.

But a racket coming from down in the harbour disturbed my reverie before I’d gone very far at all. We had a trawler coming into the harbour.

And it was probably fully-laden with fish too. You could tell that by looking at the large flock of gulls all around it. They are presumably waiting for the fish-heads to be thrown overboard.

rainstorm pointe de carolles granville manche normandy franceYesterday, you’ll remember that we had a lovely photo of Carolles all bathed in the most gorgeous and warm sunlight.

The situation today though is completely different. No sunlight at all – in fact it’s bathed in the most enormous raincloud.

And just in case you are wondering, you needn’t. 5 minutes later I got the lot right down the back of my neck, as regular readers of this rubbish may well have anticipated.

A rather dripping wet me came back to the apartment for some lunch.

And afterwards, I sat down to complete Project 002. Yes, I’m anticipating that this might run for more than 99 editions.

And straight away we had a problem – in that the audio mixer couldn’t be picked up by the big computer.

After a great deal of trial and error I managed to make one of the laptops pick it up, and I dictated my notes onto that. And it’s awful. It sounds as if I have my head in a bucket.

But I’m not going to go around like this. My friend Hans modernised his recording studio a while back so I got onto him. And he has an old PC mixing desk that is surplus to requirements. It seems to have every function on it that you could wish for and probably brews the studio tea while it is at it.

We negotiated a democratic price for it and tomorrow it will be winging its way here, I hope. As I said, it’s time for me to organise myself and do things properly.

house renovations rue du nord granville manche normandy franceFor the afternoon walk I changed my route and went for a walk around the walls.

The reason for that was that I wanted to see how they were doing with the house renovations in the rue du Nord.

As you can see, the one on the corner seems to be finished. They’ve extended the garage which is interesting, and the balcony that they have built over the extension does look quite nice.

I wonder what their plans are for it.

house renovations rue du nord granville manche normandy franceThere was another house under construction further down the rue du Nord as regular readers of this rubbish might recall.

That’s all finished now too, and I know what their plans for it are because as I’ve walked past it on many an evening walk, I’ve seen the lights burning in the window.

Someone is already living in it and I wish them luck. The view must be terrific from up top and I’m somewhat jealous.

montmartin sur mer granville manche normandy franceBut never mind the view from the top floor of the house. The view from down here is pretty good today too

For a change, now that the wind has died down somewhat, the atmosphere is a lot cleaner and there was a really good view out and up the coast. The seaside resort of Montmartin-sur-Mer was looking particularly attractive.

At least, I think that it’s Montmartin-sur-Mer. I lose count of which town is which all the way up there.

casino plage plat gousset beach granville manche normandy franceI case you haven’t gathered, the rain had stopped this afternoon and so there were people out and about.

There were even a few of them wandering around up and down the beach at the Plat Gousset by the Casino. But then again it is Wednesday afternoon so the kids are not in school. No reason why they can’t have a run about.

Talking of having a run about, there was no-one around by the time I got to my little running track, so I had a nice little run. Mind you, although I made it to my marker I was pretty much out of breath.

I have a feeling that I’m not going to see much improvement in my distances.

navy patrol vessel bair de mont st michel brittany granville manche normandy franceAnd talking of distances, out there in the distance close to the Brittany coast I noticed a dark speck that seemed to be moving very slowly.

With the big Nikon and the long zoom lens, I took a somewhat speculative shot of it with the intention of cropping it and blowing it up (he image, not the object) to see what it might be.

And it looks like some kind of naval patrol vessel out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel. And I’ve no idea why they would want to patrol out there. It seems strange to me.

Having finished the recording (for now) I could deal with tea. Some stuffing left over from the other night so I had taco rolls with rice and vegetables. Best ones that I’ve made too, although I’m not sure why.

And I finished off the last of the rice pudding too. That was nice as well

For the evening walk I went around the headland, totally alone. And I ended up running another few hundred metres along the footpath. I’m determined to do something about getting fit and keeping the weight off. So even on a quiet day I’ve done 64% of my daily activity and walked 5.0 kms.

So tonight I’ve done some web pages and I’ll listen to some music for a while, and then go to bed. Shopping at LIDL tomorrow, I reckon.

The walk wil ldo me good.

Saturday 11th May 2019 – WE HAD MORE …

… football this evening.

The second of the two Europa qualifying semi-finals, between Caernarfon Town and Cardiff Metro.

The match was certainly not without incident as the bundary wall behind the goal collapsed when Caernarfon scored a goal and about 50 fans, mostly young kids, spilled over onto the field. Luckily no-one was injured or hurt, but it held the game up 8 minutes.

We had another surprise result. Cardiff Metro won 3-2 away from home to a team that finished 3 places above them. But that was the correct result. Caernarfon’s players aren’t particularly skilful but have a tremendous team spirit and the huge crowds act as an extremely potent 12th man.

But the Met are a very skilful side, if horrendously inconsistent, but tonight once they got going they played well.

So they are away at Bala Town for the play-off final next weekend. Should be exciting.

Talking of exciting, the night-time was exciting too. We were at the football last night and it was the Welsh play-offs. Of the first game, it was the unexpected team that won, rather like last night – znd tonight too. And we were getting ready for the second. There was this huge monstrous type of guy there watching the game and I can’t remember very much about what he was doing right now, but we ended up back on Ocean Endeavour and off sightseeing. We came into a harbour that was very narrow and restricted, and there was some kind of red bar across the harbour to stop boats in the river being brought out by the tide and current. I had to go in and out of here on a zodiac and every time I went past this red bar I had to be verified. It was the same man verifying me all the time. he had to walk up to me, I had to anchor the boat, he’d check the boat over and we’d walk back in together. When I was going out we had to do the procedure in reverse. He would be wandering off checking all these boats and I wouldn’t be sure where he was going. I’d look around and he’d disappeared up some alley of boats. It reached the stage where the locals gathered to see this pantomime, me and this guy walking up this river every now and again. I could always tell when he disappeared because I would get hoots of laughter and derision as I was carrying on marching, so I’d have to stop and wait for him. He’d go off, check a boat and come back and follow me. It was all a big pantomime
Later on I’d been given a new job as a doctor. Actually we passed all the exams so I turned up at the place where my room was to be given to me. There was some kind of discussion about the rooms because we’d all had pre-printed visiting cards showing our room numbers but people had changed into different rooms. We had to move everyone around and sort that out. In the end I got my room, or rather the corner of a communal room of four people, all furnished in heavy oak like a private library. We had to go off somewhere and I could choose my company car. I chose an old Jag XJ-S convertible with a 56 plate. I took some people with me and the car ended up in a terrible state with rubbish everywhere. I had to vacuum it but I needed to be careful because I’d pulled some things out of my pocket earlier and all bits of important things like micro-SD cards were everywhere. I mustn’t hoover them up. We discussed getting back into the car later but the people in front of us had already gone. We wre in Telford at the time so someone asked if I knew the way back to Stoke on Trent. “Are we going past the such and such nightclub where we could have a good time or drive straight back?” I said that I wouldn’t be in work the next day. They asked why. I replied that I had an interview for a job. People were amazed that I was going to turn this one down but I said “not really. I had five interviews for jons and this one I was offered but I wan tto go to all the other interviews just to see what goes on and how things sit and practise my interviewing techniques”

After all of that, I was rather late leaving my bed, but not too late that I would be worried.

We had the usual medication and breakfast, followed by a shower and I forgot to do the washing, and then I went off shopping.

Today? I spent very little. I didn’t need much and what I did need wasn’t in stock. lIDL had nothing special, NOZ just had a couple of little bits and pieces (and more coconut sorbet) and LeClerc had just the usual, minus my vegan burgers.

Back here I unpacked and put everything away, and then dealt with a few things relating to the blog for yesterday.

After lunch (which was taken indoors and was a lovely fruit bread from LIDL) I attacked the photos for September 2015. These are now done back to Saturday 19th September, which means that there are a mere 18 to go. I’m hoping to finish that off and even October’s before I go to Leuven next weekend.

people on zodiac granville manche normandy franceThere was the usual afternoon walk of course, seeing as there’s no football tonight.

And I wasn’t the only one out and about either. The sea was humming with people out there enjoying themselves, including a dozen or so people having a run around the bay on a zodiac.

Makes me wish that I was out there with them. And who knows? one of these days I might be.

yachts montmartin sur mer granville manche normandy franceThat wasn’t all either.

WIth the new telephoto lens I can take some good distance photos without having to change lenses.

Right out there across the bay near Montmartin Sur Mer there seemed to be a sailing school out there today. Dozens of yachts are down there sailing around offshore

hang glider cemetery granville manche normandy franceAnd hang-gliders too.

Here’s one taking off from the place that they always use – at the back of the Christian Dior Museum by the cemetery.

And I think that that is an appropriate place for them to begin their adventures. If they make a false manoeuvre on taking off, they don’t have too far to go.

person sitting on beach granville manche normandy franceBut at least I was enjoying the weather out there.

Whoever this person is here, she clearly isn’t. And I can’t blame her either because I wouldn’t have liked to have been sitting on the beach.

The wind was far too strong for that and I wouldn’t have lasted five minutes.

crowds on beach plat gousset cherry picker granville manche normandy franceOut of the wind, though, the situation was better.

There were crowds of people walking along there on the promenade and even a few people sunning themselves on the beach. Clearly the wind wasn’t as strong down there.

And there was a cherry picker down there too. I’ll have to go and have a look down there to see what is happening.

ferry ile de chausey coming into port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere was a lot of action on the sea today;

We’ve already seen quite a bit of it but as I wandered further on round on my route, I observed one of the ferries from the Ile de Chausey coming in to dock at the Marine Terminal.

Hordes of people on board today. And they must all have had a good time out at sea today.

woman playing accordion square maurice marland granville manche normandy francePlenty of entertainment on land too.

At the Square Maurice marland there was a woman sitting on a bench playing the accordion. I asked her if she would mind me photographing her, and she smiled and carried on playing.

This is one of the most bucolic events that I have witnessed since I’ve been here in Granville.

playing palet rue notre dame granville manche normandy franceAt least, it was until I went around the corner into the rue Notre Dame.

A group of young men were playing some sort of wierd game, so I went over to ask them about it.

The game is called palet and it’s played in several different regional variations. They were playing the Palet Breton.

This is a similar game to boules or petanque in that there’s a pion or target that is thrown onto the board, and each person stands 5 metres away from the board to throw in turn their discs onto the palet. And the closest to the pion wins.

In Palet Breton the discs are made of lead and about 50mm diameter. Other regions use different metals and/or different sizes.

And in the background two girls were playing open-air darts.

Tea tonight was out of a tin, but it was delicious nevertheless, especially with more apple pie and coconut sorbet.

yacht baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceThere was time for a quick walk and a chat with a neighbour.

The crowds were still out and about on the sea. This rather beautiful yacht was sailing around in the Baie de Mont St Michel. And I must admit to admiring thr colour scheme.

And then back to the apartment, the sofa and the internet for the football.

So now it’s a long lie-in tomorrow – at least I hope so. I’ve had a couple of little crashes today so I reckon a good sleep will do me the world of good.

people on zodiac granville manche normandy france
people on zodiac granville manche normandy france

Wednesday 30th January 2019 – IT’S SNOWING!!!!

snow place d'armes granville manche normandy franceAlthough you’ve seen this heading before this winter, you’ve seen it in relation to Canada, the Auvergne and Belgium. But this afternoon, it’s been snowing here!

And I’m not talking about a light dusting for five minutes either. Round about 13:00 the heavens opened up and we had a right pasting for a couple of hours and it looked quite impressive.

I thought that it was going to stick too but it stopped, the weather warmed up a couple of degrees and all of the snow disappeared.

st helier jersey granville manche normandy franceThat’s a shame too. because tonight, there’s a clear sky, millions of stars and you could see for miles.

This photo, albeit rather blurred because it was hand-held on a very slow exposure in a wind, is of St Helier in Jersey.

The lights are, would you believe, about 60 kms – that’s 35 miles – away. And you won’t have this kind of light and this kind of photo in many weather conditions.

night montmartin breville granville manche normandy franceThis photo is a little closer to home.

That’s Montmartin-sur-Mer, Breville-sur-Mer and Bréhal-Plage. Montmartin, on the extreme left, is about 25 kms away.

So, in other words, it is probably going to be really cold tonight and had the snow hung around, it would have been a good base to really start the winter.

Despite my depressing posting of yesterday, I’ve had a better day today. A good sleep of at least 5 hours. There was a vague wave of tiredness round about 17:00 but I managed to fight it off.

And a little ramble or two too during the night. There were four of us, me, my father, the son of the woman whom he married in the 1970s and someone else. And the car was his red Mark III Cortina. We’d all been out for a drive somewhere and ended up in a small town somewhere. We were all hungry so decided to go for food. My father and his friend wanted to go somewhere special but I was just interested in something simple so Paul and I went to a chip shop for a portion of chips. The chip shop owner was a bad-tempered, miserable kind of guy, the chips were over-cooked and the portions were disgracefully small. We took them outside to eat them, and noticed that there were two young girls, one of them an Asian girl, chatting to my father and his friend in the car, and then they climbed in. So Paul and I made a few ribald comments about what was going to be going on. Shortly afterwards Paul and I were with a couple of people and the subject of these girls came up. I made some kind of suggestion about their professional activities, but the other people told my that my opinion was far from being the case and that they were really nice and friendly girls really and certainly not the kind of girls that I was suggesting.
Although I was awake at about 05:30, there was still enough time to go back to sleep before the alarm. And off on another voyage too. Ad I was with either Alison or Jackie – I can’t remember now just who it was. And she was clambering about up the side of a slope and on top of a hill and I was taking photographs. But when I looked at them, they hadn’t come out ptoperly but more like rather jerky poor-quality *.gif moving images. I was disappointed by that because it meant that either the camera was playing up or the computer was playing up. But either way, I was worried that I had lost all of the images.

After breakfast I had a very relaxing morning doing a mega-back-up of the new computer seeing as I hadn’t done one since I’d bought it. That took some time, what with one thing or another.

Another thing that I did was to sort out some more music for the bass guitar. And to print it out too. I need to organise myself so much better than I do.

Lunch was rather later than usual, and I spent the time watching the snowfall. Like I said, a shame that it all petered out.

This afternoon I did some more 3D stuff. I’ve had to go back and rework some objects that I created a while ago because I came across something the other day that made quite a useful add-on.

st helier jersey granville manche normandy franceThere were a few people out a-walking this afternoon. It was damp outside but not really cold and not really windy.

A good day for photography because there some strange effects on the sea as the storm was moving out across the bay.

St Helier and the rest of Jersey were fairly clear, even if they were swathed in storm.

ferry ile de chausey traversier granville manche normandy franceThere had been a ferry service out to the Ile de Chausey too. Or, at least, there was a ferry coming back from the island.

I would have been out there much more often on the ferry had the prices been more reasonable. But €27:50 for a round trip is a bit more than I’m willing to pay for a sail around the bay.

rock ship granville manche normandy franceThis photo was quite interesting too.

There’s a huge rock at the entrance to the bay at St Malo but there seemed to be something else out there too.

Cropping, enhancing and blowing up the photo (because I can do that despite modern anti-terrorist legislation) brought out something to the left of the rock that might possibly (although it’s difficult to tell) be a ship – possibly one of the Brittany Ferries fleet – sailing into St Malo.

Tea was a curry – a pepper, mushroom and coconut cream curry from November 2017. just as delicious as it was the day that I made it.

Later on, as I said, the storm has gone when I went around the walls, but it’s cold out there and I reckon that it’s going to become even colder tonight.

So I’ll be huddled up under the bedclothes gathering up my strength for my trip to the shops tomorrow. I’ll need to warm myself up.

ferry ile de chausey traversier granville manche normandy france
ferry ile de chausey traversier granville manche normandy france

st helier jersey granville manche normandy france
st helier jersey granville manche normandy france

st helier jersey granville manche normandy france
st helier jersey granville manche normandy france

Monday 28th January 2019 – THE ONE PROBLEM …

… with having a really good lie-in is that when you eventually go to bed, it takes a positive age to go off to sleep.

And so it was last night. It was well-gone midnight before I went to bed, and then I was tossing and turning around for quite some considerable time.

Mind you, once the alarm went off I was pretty much wide awake, although it did take some considerable time for me to leave my stinking pit.

After breakfast, I sat down and set to work.

First job was to go through a mountain of photos. The other laptop that I had been using was struggling to cope because the quality of the screen and the graphics card was not up to much and I couldn’t see properly what I was doing. And it’s a whole wide world of difference with the graphics card in this computer and the new IPS screen.

Second thing, that took all of the morning and quite a bit of the afternoon was to download a huge load of *.zip and *.rar files for the accessories for the 3D program that I use.

Luckily, I’d bookmarked most of them so I could track them down fairly quickly. Although downloading them and unpacking them took all of the time. And it’s amazing how much I had forgotten that I had.

Cheese and salad butties for lunch. I’ve finished off the hummus and there’s some cheese opened from when I was in Belgium last week. One of these days I’ll make some more, and have a mega-cook-in too because I have some puff pastry that needs using. I fancy an leek and potato pie, and I might even put some tofu in it too – except that I don’t have any.

storm port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere was a terrific wind blowing this afternoon. Not as much as yesterday morning though but impressive all the same.

We had a really impressive array of waves smashing onto the harbour wall.

The power of the sea is really astonishing and if only people would put more effort into harnessing it, the world’s energy problem would be solved without any difficulties.

agon coutainville hauteville sur mer granville manche normandy franceIt was a beautiful day for photography too.

The air was quite clear and you could see for miles down the coast. Montmartin-sur-Mer and the Sienne estuary stood out really clearly today so I took a few photos.

I cropped and enlarged a few selections and you can see them below.

Tea tonight was vegan sausages and vegetables, all covered in vegan cheese sauce. It was delicious. Especially when followed by pineapple and coconut-flavoured soya cream.

st helier jersey granville manche normandy franceThis evening’s walk around the walls was really nice.

The wind had dropped, it was warmer than it ought to be this time of the year and the sky on the horizon was quite clear. The lights of Jersey stood out quite clearly.

The way things are going, I’m going to have to buy a better camera with a more responsive ISO as well as a decent attachment for the tripod.

trees night place maurice marland granville manche normandy franceBut even so, the Nikon D5000 can still bring out some really good photographs in the right lighting conditions.

Now that they have installed some illumination in the Place Maurice Marland it’s producing some really nice effects.

I shall have to do some more of this when I have the time.

cable fibre optic granville manche normandy franceThe fibre-optic cable works are continuing.

We saw them the other day digging a hole on the corner of the rue Notre Dame and the rue de l’Auditoire. Now, they have put an inspection hatch in there, ready for the cabling.

While I was out there I nearly flattened another pedestrian, and I also met a new cat, a youngish short-haired black one that I had never seen before. And talking to the cat made me realise that I haven’t spoken to a single person today.

And in other news, there are reports coming in that British travellers arriving at Dusseldorf Airport from the UK were pushed into the “non-EU” lane.

Things are beginning to bite, and we aren’t even at B-Day yet.

agon coutainville granville manche normandy france
agon coutainville granville manche normandy france

hauteville sur mer granville manche normandy france
hauteville sur mer granville manche normandy france

st martin de brehal granville manche normandy france
st martin de brehal granville manche normandy france

storm port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm port de granville harbour manche normandy france

storm port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm port de granville harbour manche normandy france

trawlers fishing night granville manche normandy france
trawlers fishing night granville manche normandy france

medieval city walls granville manche normandy france
medieval city walls granville manche normandy france

trees night place maurice marland granville manche normandy france
trees night place maurice marland granville manche normandy france

Friday 2nd June 2017 – HAVING A RIDE …

sand sculpture crocodile montmartin sur mer manche normandy france… on Rosie the Crocodile – and just look at those big scary teeth!

While I was out doing my shopping his morning I had a phone call from Liz. “We’re all going down to the beach at Montmartin sur Mer this afternoon after lunch. Would you like to come with us?”

Do bears go for picnics in the woods?

Last night was a really bad night for me. I was still wide awake at 04:35 and wasn’t sure that I would ever go off to sleep. But I must have done, and crawling out of bed at 07:00 wasn’t very easy either as you might expect.

A shower brought me round somewhat, and then I noticed a little calamity – something along the lines of the fact that I seem to have run out of clothes again. I had a good rummage around and managed to find a few clean things but I really shall have to go to the launderette next week. I have actually found one in the town by the harbour.

Once I’d organised myself I headed off to the shops. Going on a Saturday morning, is, as we know, a waste of time. I went to the Bio shop for some vegan sausages (I fancy sausages, beans and chips), to Mr Bricolage for some fittings for the curtain rail in the bedroom, and to LeClerc for the groceries and some diesel.

But I’m going to have to think again about the bio shop. The stuff in there is quite expensive, the choice isn’t up to much and the staff is quite surly in there. I shall have to see what I can find in the way of mail-order outlets once my bank account is FINALLY organised.

And we weren’t alone on the streets either. By one of the roundabouts was a police motorcycle patrol who was interested in vehicles entering the town. Not quite sure why, but he took a note of Caliburn’s registration number.

After lunch I headed for the beach at Montmartin sur Mer.

french army aeroplane montmartin sur mer manche normandy franceWhile I was on my way up the coast I was overflown by a flight of four aeroplanes. Big four-engines French Army transport planes of some description – I’ve no idea at all what they might be.

But when I was walking down onto the beach after parking up Caliburn they flew back again, directly overhead. This gave me a good opportunity to take a close-up photograph of them as they roared by. They were certainly impressive – and noisy. Just imagine what 500 Avro Lancasters going by overhead must have sounded like. No wonder you needed an intercom

french army aeroplane montmartin sur mer manche normandy franceAt the end of the beach, away in the distance, they performed a U-turn and flew back off at a tangent somewhere inland. They were clearly up to something, that’s for sure.

As an aside, it was explained to me later that there’s to be a drop of parachutists over the Invasion Beaches to commemmorate D-Day in a couple of days time. I reckon that these would be just the type of aircraft to carry paratroopers and so maybe they are having a quiet rehearsal of low-flying over the beach.

lighthouse pointe d'agon montmartin sur mer manche normandy franceWhile I had the camera out – do you see that lighthouse across there? That’s the lighthouse on the Pointe d’Agon where we were the other day. We’re actually at the mouth of the River Sienne (not the Seine) and the currents offshore are gradually shifting the mouth southwards by that huge sand bar over there.

Built in 1856 on the site of an old fortress washed away in 1776 by an exceptionally high tide, the lighthouse is now a good kilometre from the mouth of the river today.

We had fun building Rosie the Crocodile and then the lack of sleep last night took hold. I can’t think of any finer way to spend a sunny afternoon out at the beach than by having a good crash-out for a couple of hours. I was well away. And everyone was laughing because I’d put my cap on my face to protect my face from the sun, and as I was breathing in and out, my cap was going up and down like in one of these cartoon films.

Liz and Terry very kindly invited me back for tea and we all had a really good chat, as Kate, Darren and the kids are going home tomorrow. And then , I came home.

It had been a long day and so it wasn’t any longer that I hung about before going to bed. I have no plans for tomorrow so we’ll see what that day brings.