Tag Archives: montreal

Saturday 18th July 2020 – I’M NOT HERE

This morning, although I heard the three alarms, I didn’t get up until about 06:30. Tons of stuff on the dictaphone, as I discovered, so it must have been a very restless night.

We were in a classroom last night having a talk on climate change, this kind of thing. A question that came up interested me, about New Zealand. The lecturer was saying that all of the difficulties about New Zealand – in Iceland the volcanos and glaciers were pushing out the centre of New Zealand – rather, pushing it up, the centre of South Island and changing all of the weather. There were storms and this thing. I asked if this was going to be a permanent thing or a temporary arrangement. One guy in this classroom was making notes, doing it with a kind of hammer-press thing and it was making a racket even louder than a typewriter. I wanted to ask him to shut up if anyone was able to talk to me about my question, to which I never actually had the answer. There were a couple of girls in this class and I was quite keen on one of these. For some reason the question of cycles and motorcycles came up. These two girls rode motorcycles so I was thinking “should I buy a motorcycle too so that I can keep up with them?” and that way I can keep up with them and be close to them I suppose and so on. But it was a case of how long was this going to continue? Is it just a flash-in-the-pan kind of course and we’ll all go our separate ways in a week or is this going to be some kind of long-term situation. As usual, I was full of indeciaion yet again.

Later on I was back in my house in Winsford of all places. There was a lot going on there as if it was in Central London and actually a car. I was sitting there watching all these events going on behind me – a little old woman tottering back to her home and someone I was with running out and shouting after her. But this little old lady didn’t seem to hear. There was another older person with us. The three of us came back and the reason why I hadn’t heard anyone reply was that the 2 old women were talking really slowly. It seemed that they were taking this old lady to show her this Old People’s Home, whether there was a vacancy in it, something like that. Off they went and they were climbing up the steps just as an ambulance pulled up and dropped off a load of elderly ladies all on crutches. I was back in my house and a couple of rooms were really cold and a couple really warm. I had the central heating all confused. This was the first time that I’d been in this house for God knows how long. I got back in there and there was a small cupboard on the wall. That was where the food was. I thought “God I’d left my steps in Belgium”. I don’t know why I said Belgium. I had to open it and everything was all crammed into these shelves and I thought “where am I going to put my freezer now?” There’s no room to put that in the kitchen. I had a pack of drink and for some reason this drink needed to be put in another bottle so I cleaned another bottle with bleach and had to rinse it out. Of course there was all the calcium in the water and it took ages to try to run clean before I could start to use it.

Another thing that came was that I was on a bike cycling home and for some unknown reason I fell asleep when I was cycling and woke up to find that there were some girl cycling alongside me. As I awoke she sped off. I then had to go and retrace my steps. it was through this hilly area and I remember a few things of the route and got on a bit of route that I didn’t recognise at all. It was steep and windy. I thought “God, did i cycle through this in my sleep? I was doing really well!”. Then I came into a town and by the bus station were loads of people with skis and it turned out that this was a … march. This was a big ski resort and you flew into the airport and a bus from the airport brought you into the town. Right at the bus stop was the start of the chair lifts so it was the easiest place to go to if you wanted to ski after work. All these crowds there and I fought my way through. This woman said something about this but I can’t remember what the something was so I replied to her in French and said “it’s not a problem”. She said “I was referring to you” I replied that I have to get home so I have to fight my way through everyone to get home. Everyone laughed at that and that was when I ended up back at my house in Winsford.

Having gone back to sleep at some point I stepped right back into that dream again, right back into Winsford and right back into my house. The house had been built for 2 years but I’d only just moved into it. I’d had it that long that I hadn’t lived there. it was in the middle of some kind of shopping centre where all of these shops were half-built or quarter-built where the money in Winsford ran out. The didn’t have the money to finish off all of the shops to let. a very decaying place indeed it was. I was walking through there and there was another couple in front of me. the guy was telling the girl about how the election in May 2015 2 years ago had changed absolutely everything and the new party decided to stop work on the shops.

Later still we were in a water mill that produced electricity with the water wheel. This mill hadn’t been used for years due to some kind of faults and complications about a diesel fuel blower and all of this and had set the place alight. There wa s no way of getting any modifications for it and they needed to get some kind of money coming from the mill so they decided that they would open it as a water-powered mill and let nature take its course. I was there but everyone else was off looking for things but I was screwing up the sluice gates so that the water instead would pass through the main centre of the mill. I started to open the main mill doors and the water started to rush in there. it suddenly started to go at a hell of a rate, this, as if a huge flood had built up outside for hundreds of years. It was necessary for me to slow down the flow of water otherwise it was going to sweep away the mill.

After all of that I was surprised that I wanted to go away. That sounds like it was more than enough travelling to be going on with.

But the first task was to finish off the packing and start to load up Caliburn. Basically, I just threw the stuff in because the back of the van has a huge pile of old cardboard boxes in it.

When everything was packed and loaded I tidied up and took the rubbish down to the waste disposal, vacuumed the living room and kitchen and then washed the floor with bleach and disinfectant. While the floor was drying I had a shower and a weigh-in. And I’m keeping this weight down, although what I will be like by the time I return will be anyone’s guess.

Cleaning and disinfecting the waste bin was next and then bleaching and disinfecting the WC and sinks.

Once all of that was done We set off.

First stop was the dechetterie where all of the cardboard, the old Caliburn battery and the old electric kettle bit the dust.

Next stop was Noz. But there wasn’t all that much in there, apart from a few small tims of potatoes.

After that wes LeClerc for a full tank of diesel, a couple of memory cards and a few basic items of foodstuffs – nothing much at all.

Off to Roncey to Liz and Terry’s. Terry loaned me a brushcutter which went into the back of Caliburn – while I was there I tidied it up a little too but I’ll be doing some more tidying up in there as well as I go round

Liz made lunch and we all had a very good chat for a couple of hours.

Round about 15:00 I hit the road. 260kms to travel on the first stage of the journey. Via Caen, Liseux and Evreux. Eventually I ended up in St Marcel, on the outskirts of Vernon in between Rouen and Paris on the banks of the Seine.

Here there’s a hotel, the Hotel du Haut Marais, and this is where I’m staying tonight.

old cars 1913 panhard levassor duranville france eric hallOn the way down towards the banks of the River Seine we had a little interruption that delayed me somewhat.

As I drove through Duranville in the département of the Eure I came across a garage that had seven or eight old cars out on display, and that kind of thing is enough for me to stop and have a better look to see what is going on,

And I seem to have found myself at the garage of a dealer of vintage and historical vehicles and almost everything in this yard is available for sale if you have enough money, which I don’t.

strawberry moose old cars 1913 panhard levassor duranville france eric hallThe first car that I saw and which tempted Strawberry Moose out of Caliburn to come for a ride.

The car itself is a Panhard-Levassor of 1913 although what model it might be I really have no idea. Being a 2-door 2-seater it’s not going to be one of the Model 20s that Président Poincaré adored but that’s all that I can say.

The company was a big fan of sleeve-valved engines – ports in the engine casting to vent the gases, protected by a kind of rotating sleeve between the piston and the bore. Very quiet running but very heavy on oil consumption and a technique that faded away when conventional valve seating technique improved.

Some Panhards had sleeve valves and some were conventional, but I don’t know about this one.

old cars strawberry moose cadillac convertible duranville france eric hallThis car is much more like what you would expect to see in a place lke this.

One of the most opulent and ostentatious mass-market vehicles ever to hit the road anywhere, the Cadilac convertibles of the 1950s were the acme of bad taste in the 1950s. Big, powerful V8 engines and wallowing suspension were great on the open roads of the south-west where WE HAD LOADS ON FUN IN THE MUSTANG all those years ago, but in the crowded streets of the major cities they were a nightmare.

Nevertheless it was the kind of vehicle to which everyone aspired back in those days, and everyone had to be seen in one, just like Strawberry Moose and his new friend.

old cars Ford V8 pickup duranville france eric hallThis is a vehicle that will probably appeal more to the traditionalists and the practically-minded amongst us.

It’s a Ford “steppy” – a step-sided Ford V8 pickup of the design that when I first started going to North America 20-odd years ago, were still reasonably common on the roads over there but now you will be very lucky to see one moving about under its own steam on a day-to-day basis.

Possibly from the late 1940s or early 1950s was my first thought. In fact the unofficial Québec number plate that it has on the front (Québec doesn’t require legal plates on the front of its vehicles) suggests that it’s a 1952 model. If so, it’ll have the 239 V8 sidevalve engine in it.

old cars ford model T duranville france eric hallOn the other hand, 30 or so years earlier, just about everyone in the USA would have been seen in one of these.

“Every colour you like, as long as it’s black” said Henry Ford of his Model T “Tin Lizzy”, or “Flivver” as Paul Getty called his, so I’ve absolutely no idea at all what he would have had to say about this one in a bright lime green.

Te one advantage of cars of this era with separate chassis and body is that they could be cut about as much as anyone likes, and so you could buy them in all kinds of shapes and body styles. And if that didn’t suit you, you could customise your own.

This little pick-up is a beautiful example.

old cars ford modet t fire engine duranville france eric hallIt’s not the only Model T here at Duranville either. We have this one here to whet our appetite.

Or, rather, should I say “wet our appetite” because this is the former fire engine of the town of St Laurent in Québec. That’s a town that now no longer exists, having been conjoined to Montréal in 2002. But it’s an area of Montréal that regular readers of this rubbish will know very well because it wasOUR OLD STAMPING GROUND AROUND THE METRO DUCOLLEGE beFore I was taken ill.

As for the vehicle itself, it was new in 1924 and is said to be the first motorised fire engine of the city, serving between 1924 and 1944, and just imagine going out to fight a fire in that in the middle of a Québec winter.

She underwent a complete restoration in 2006/2007.

old cars dodge convertible duranville manche normandy france eric hallYes, as well as the cars outside, there was quite a number inside the building too as you can see and they let me have a wander around inside with the camera.

Right by the door was this Dodge Convertible. It looks beautiful from this distance but that’s because it’s had a full restoration by the looks of things. It wouldn’t have looked like this maybe 20 years ago, I bet.

Unfortunately there’s no indication of what model it might be but it has the styling of a Dodge of the mid-late 1930s

old cars dodge convertible duranville france eric hallIt’s carrying a set of French numberplates issued within the last 3 years or so but there’s no other indication about where it comes from.

It’s not the kind of North American vehicle that I would have expected to have seen being sold in Europe at that particular time – after all, there was a quite a big volume-car marked in Europe at this time churning out all kinds of stuff that was as good as this at probably half the price.

There wouldn’t have been an “exotica” market back in those days, so I suspect that this is a comparatively recent import, like much of the stuff seems to be.

old cars barn find bugatti replica france eric hallThis of course isn’t a recent import, but it’s certainly a lot more recent than it looks.

Had this been a genuine Bugatti “30 plus” you wouldn’t find it in a place like this looking as if someone has dragged it out backwards from a haystack. It would have genuine alloy wheels on it for a start and be locked up in a vault somewhere because it would be worth a fortune.

My guess is that this is a replica, of which there are several examples available and on the road. It has a few quite modern features that you wouldn’t have found on the originals 90-odd years ago.

old cars dodge pickup duranville france eric hallWe saw a Ford stp-side pickup just now parked outside, but here tucked away in a corner is a Dodge pick-up of an earlier vintage, I reckon.

There was a series of lightweight Dodge trucks, the WD series (or DD series if made in Brampton, Ontario) between 1939 and 1947 of various carrying capacities between half a ton and one ton and if I had to guess, I would say that it’s one of these.

The position of the sidelights on the A-pillars suggests that it’s later rather than earlier but the absence of window vents suggests that it’s not one of the final ones made.

old cars buick 8 renault prairie 1952 mgb duranville france eric hallThis is a bit of an eclectic assortment of vehicles stuck away in a corner.

The MGB is of no interest to us of course but the big Buick 8 in the foreground is of course. Again, it’s difficult to say much about it except that because of where the spare wheel it is, it might actually be a Buick 8 Special of the late 1930s

The Renault at the back is a Renault Prairie of 1952 and if you want to see a close-up of one of these I’ll have to dig out my photos from 2007 because regular readers of this rubbish in a previous guise will recall that we found one in a scrapyard in France back in those dats.

Talking to the owners later, it appears that they have an agent in Québec who sources this kind of thing and has it shipped over from there. So much for yet another business opportunity then, unfortunately.

But right now I have other things to think about, like finding a hotel.

hotel du haut marais saint marcel 27950 eure france eric hallThere are several along the river but I need to be careful because one of th bridges is closed for repair. I have to track my way through all kinds of countryside before I arrive at Vernon.

And this is my hotel for this evening, the Hotel du Haut Marais at St Marcel. It looks as if at one stage it’s been one of the Accor group’s places but really these unit hotels all look so alike that there’s no way of telling.

Anyway, it’s a reasonable price without going too far and it’s comfortable. And I’m off to have an early night. It’s been a long day and there is plenty to do. A good night’s sleep will do me the world of good.

Friday 15th May 2020 – I MISSED …

… the alarm again this morning and it was 06:45 when I finally arose.

My own fault, of course. Just when I was thinking of going to bed onto my playlist came THE KNIFE, a vastly, criminally underrated album by a relatively unknown progressive rock group from, of all places, just across the bay here in Jersey

No possibility of my switching off the computer while that is playing. I’ll quite happily give up sleep in exchange for good music, make no mistake about that.

So with a late start, everything else ended up being late too. And there was enough on the dictaphone to keep my busy for a good while typing it out too.

My mother (what the heck is she doing intruding into my night-time voyages? As if I didn’t have enough of this back in those days!) was in this and she was doing the housework, all this kind of thing and a girl whom I knew (and how come she’d suddenly appeared out of nowhere too?) who worked on the sandwich stall on Crewe market and later came to work with me. I was quite keen on her and she was talking about how she wanted to find some more money. My mother was ironing and folding up clothes, putting them away, this kind of thing so I mentioned “does anyone know anyone who wants some help around the house?”. My mother said immediately “well I do” so we talked a little about the girl.
A bit later on I’d been to the swimming baths and they were in Nantwich and freezing cold. I’d never been so cold in the water as I was then. There was a kind of regatta taking place in there but I was all for packing up and turning round and going home
Somewhat later, I’d been for a walk at a market stall type of place (not the one at Crewe). They had home-made bread in it so I went to try to get a loaf of bread. I walked in and it had just opened. The mother and the little girl who ran it were running around handing the keys back to the admin and so on. I went in and who should be sitting at a table right by the bread but a girl whom I used to know. I didn’t really want to see her so I just wandered around the shop and move out. Just then they shouted that the shop was closed so everyone else got up and moved out. She was walking some times in front of me, some times behind me, some times beside me and didn’t say a word but she got out of the building first and I followed. This was quite unsettling but I didn’t know why.

After breakfast I made a start on the rewriting of the website and attacked another page. This took some time to do too because there were a couple of old American cars, an old American bus and a railway locomotive on it and they needed identifying.

In the end I posted the photos into various discussion groups on the internet and while they ended up being the subject of a considerable amount of discussion and interest, everyone was as bewildered as I was.

For once, the collective power of the internet has let me down.

After I’d done that I reviewed the template that I had written (and resolved) for the other web site that I have and then amended a couple of pages from there to reflect the new design.

Well, it’s the old design really but all of the text menus for each individual page are being replaced by a common iframe with a common javascript menu, as well as a couple of other items of not very much importance.

Doing this is saving me about 4.5kb per page (and there are about 500 in total) and also a considerable amount of time and effort for the future when something needs to be changed throughout the site.

While I was having lunch (and the bread that I baked was delicious) Rosemary rang, so we ended up chatting until … errr … 15:00. These marathon discussions go on for ever.

And I also had an on-line chat with Josée. The area where she lives in Montréal has been pretty badly hit so I wanted to speak to her for reassurance and to keep up her morale. It’s strange that there are this little hotspots here and there around the globe like this.

That meant that there was only enough time left to deal with a few of the photos from July 2019 before I went for my walk.

kitesurfing donville les bains brehal plage  granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a windsurfer practising his art in the sea off one of the beaches between Donville les Bains and Bréhal-Plage.

Today we have no windsurfers but what we do have instead is a kitesurfer enjoying himself out there. The wind has dropped today, but not by all that much so he’s certainly taking his courage, as well as his kite, into both hands.

And once again, we have crowds of people on the beach over there in the sun.

couple on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd that’s not all either.

There was a noise down on the beach here at the Plat Gousset that caught my attention so I had a look down to see what it was. Nothing gave any indication of anything but my eyes did fall upon a couple of people making the most of the tide being somewhat out.

All I can think of is that there must have been a further relaxation of the rules about which I know next-to-nothing.

yacht pleasure cruiser ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd if you think that that was everything, that’s far from the case.

It seems that people have been taking to the waters too. Out there half-way over to the Ile de Chausey are a couple of pleasure craft. That’s a yacht of course, and what is accompanying it seems to be a cabin cruiser.

That’s the life – if you can afford it, of course. You won’t run much risk of catching anything – in a virus sense, that is – out there.

trawler english channel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallAt first glance I thought that this boat out there over towards the Brittany coast might have been Thora. She had a similar silhouette.

But back home I could crop and blow it up (the photo, not the boat) and, peering through the reflected sunlight, I could see that It was a fishing boat – one of the trawler-types.

Thinking on, though, we could do with some new blood in the harbour. We haven’t had a gravel boat in for quite a while and the port really should be trying to attract more commerce.

marker buoy english channel donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallBut plenty of fishing of course.

We keep on seeing mysterious buoys sprining up offshore every now and again with no indication of what they might be for or who has left them. And there’s another one here today just offshore over near Donville les Bains

It was pretty busy round by that little corner of the walls, and I carried on and ended up back at the apartment without having noticed anything else of interest at all.

There was the usual hour on the guitars but from 17:00 until 18:00 rather than 18:00 to 19:00.

There was a good reason for that, though.

Yesterday I used the last of the apple pie and so i wanted to make another pie, using pastry that I made myself to make sure that it wasn’t just beginner’s luck.

home made red fruit pie place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that I had bought a bag of frozen red fruit from LIDL yesterday. I’d left it out to defrost and this morning I put it in a colander to drain off.

350 grammes of flour and 175 grammes of soya margarine all well-mixed together seemed to make it too oily so I added more flour.

At about 400 grammes it seemed to have the correct consistency so I added a few tablespoons of water and mixed it in until it went into a nice elasticky mass, then, having coated it with flour, I rolled it out for the base and the top.

And here’s the finished product – totally delicious is was too.

caravanette mobile home parking rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t ready when I finished my pie and potatoes so I went for an early run.

My run of course took me up to the top of the hill where I stop for breath. And this sight here is becoming ridiculous now. Just look at all these caravanettes parked up here.

There are more and more of them arriving every day and they don’t seem to have grasped the fact that just because detention à domicile is over, it doesn’t mean that it’s safe to go out to play.

groups of people children playing pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd this is even more crazy too.

At least in a caravanette you are isolated of a sort but just look at all of these people. The group over towards the right were having a yoga session here on the lawn and the ones on the left were having a picnic.

As well as that, there was a pile of kids playing “tick”, of all things, over by one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall on the extreme right.

What will it take for people to understand what’s happening?

flags flying war memorial pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnyway, I left them to it and carried on with my walk.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw the other day that the British flag by the war memorial to the Resistance was on the point of being ripped off its pole by the force of the wind.

But it looks as if they have repaired it now. The don’t want it going fluttering off to some obscure corner of the globe. It would be something of a public relations disaster.

pointe de carolles cabanon vauban mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe weather though was beautiful and the air, at least down the coast to the head of the bay, was perfectly clear.

There was an excellent view of Carolles-Plage, the Pointe de Carolles with the Cabanon Vauban perched on the end, and then down at the head of the bay there are the hotels and other buildings that serve Mont St Michel.

You can’t see the Mont St Michel though because the Pointe de Carolles is in the way, which is a shame. That really would be something to see from here.

marker buoys baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france eric hallSomething else that we can see in this photo is a group of more marker buoys.

It would be very surprising if they relate to nets being out because they are really far too close to the harbour entrance. That makes me wonder whether they might be something to do with the sailing school in the port de plaisance

On that note I ran all the way home and had a slice of my home-made red fruit pie with soya coconut dessert.

It’s still fairly early but I don’t care. I’m going to bed. Shopping tomorrow and I’m hoping that NOZ will be open. It will be interesting to see what they have accumulated.

And I have an apple turnover, made from the left-over pastry, to cook. So I’m planning on oven chips for tea if I remember.

With burger and baked beans too. I’m looking forward to that.

Thursday 14th May 2020 – THAT WAS A …

… better day today!

For a start, I actually made it out of bed before the third alarm. And after yesterday’s disaster, that was really some kind of progress.

And I was off on a voyage as well during the night. Not quite as graphic as the previous night’s, which is a good thing, I suppose. There were three of us wandering around central London last night, me and two girls. I know these two girls and I just can’t think who they are. It was the time of a vampire attack on the city and we’d been doing something, fighting off these vampires and a fourth member of our party, an elderly gentleman dressed in Victorian suit and top hat was helping but he was taken ill on one occasion. So I went over to see him although it wasn’t me – but it was me in the dream if you know what I mean – and I undid his shirt. I found that he had a bandage wrapped round his chest so I had to undo the bandage. He snarled and snapped at me and I realised that he was a vampire. Someone had pushed a stake through his heart at one time. I grabbed these two girls and I stuck a cross in his way or his hand or something and we ran off. Somehow we became separated and I ended up with one of these girls and she ended up going home. I escorted her home and we came back out. We were on this street, something like rue St Catherine Est (near the CHUM) in Montreal. Down at the bottom of a hill was a church and that was where I’d arranged to meat this other girl. We were late so I said to this girl who was with me “stay here” and I ran on down to see the other. There she was outside this building and she was curling up, settling down on the floor going to sleep to wait for us on the pavement. I grabbed hold of her “God, don’t do that!”. She asked “where’s the other girl?”. “I’ve left her on a street cornerto come and fetch you. Now we have to go and fetch her back”. We were loaded up with valuables (…like the camera…) but we couldn’t find anywhere to put them. There were all these boxes where you could leave stuff but there was no key. We had to scratch around for a key or a lock or something – we didn’t have one. Time was getting on and in the end I thought “God just put the stuff in there. If someone pinches it, too bad”. The door didn’t close, the camera strap was dangling out right by a fire, everything like that. We ran back up the hill and as we ran back up we were really afraid of what we would see – whether the vampire had hold of this girl again. Should I have left a cross in her hand or wrapped garlic around her neck or something? I started to have all of these weird ideas about what was going to happen and what I should have done.

After breakfast I assembled the radio project as far as I could and checked the timing. Knock off 30 seconds from what was left out of the hour, and that was the length of track for which I was looking.

A shower was next, and a shave and general clean-up. And of that 300 grammes of weight that I had lost at the last weigh-in, I’d put 400 grammes back.

workmen rue st jean medieval city walls granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s Thursday today, and so that means shopping of course. But once again, I didn’t go very far before I stopped.

One of the penalties of living in a medieval walled city is that quite often the old gates are too low for lorries and the like and regular readers of this rubbish will have seen plenty of examples of trans-shipment

There’s more work taking place within the walls, I imagine, and they can’t pass the lorry and the trailer here through the gateway. They are going to have to unload all of this, I imagine, and take it through as best as they can.

joly france baie de mont st michel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallWe’ve seen all of the ferries – the two for the Channel Islands and the two for the Ile de Chausey, parked up during the confinement.

But today it looks as if things have eased off. Joly France, one of the passenger ferries that goes out to the Ile de Chausey, was just heading off out of the harbour and by the looks of things, she has a good complement of passengers.

Here’s hoping that none of them are infected because the virus would spread like wildfire out on the island.

First stop was the Post Office to post of Rosemary’s Christmas present. I know that it’s May but she was away from home until the day of the lockdown and as she came home, the Post Office closed.

We had to queue outside and were allowed in three by three.

At the Bank, where I went to pay in a cheque and to change a standing order, it was even worse. Facemasks compulsory (luckily I had taken with me the one that I was given by a neighbour the other week), oOnly one person in at a time and so the queue was down the street.

The counter clerk was very scrupulous about cleaning off the perspex window and all of that, and then handled all of my paperwork and bank card, which made the scrupulous cleaning of the perspex screen rather superfluous.

At LIDL I spent more than intended, but a large part of that was spent on a folding rucksack. It’s a reasonable size but folds up into a large pocket and it’s just the job for when I go on excursions.

The apple pie is on its last slice too but they had on special offer some frozen red fruits – €1:79 for a 750 gramme bag. So I bought a bag and I’ll make a pie with that tomorrow.

floating pontoon out to outer harbour granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I bought a dejeunette from La Mie Caline for lunch, but was once more interrupted walking up the Rue des Juifs.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen them floating the new pontoons across the harbour by pushing them with a motor boat, but this one is actually being pushed out of the inner harbour.

We’ve also seen the mounting brackets that they installed at the ferry terminal. It looks as if, now that Joly France has gone off on her travels, that they are going to install the new pontoons.

Back here I wrote the text for the final track, uploaded it to the computer, edited it and assembled the final track. I was over time by 5 seconds but a quick edit of some speech soon dealt with that.

After lunch, while I listened to my handiwork, I had a look at the template issue for one of my websites – the issue that I mentioned the other day.

And it should be no surprise to anyone that I resolved the issue in less than 10 seconds. In fact, I’d been thinking about this problem here and there and I had a very good idea of what I had done. And I was right.

It will also be no surprise to anyone that I also had a little doze for a few minutes here and there.

Once I’d recovered my composure I set about installing the new hi-fi. And I rather think that I’ve over-egged the pudding somewhat.

It was necessary to drill a couple of holes in the furniture and then perform a complicated rewiring job which meant practically dismantling the computer and a few other things too.

It led to something of a tidy-up too (and putting away a pile of papers) and then I connected everything up. And as I said, I’ve over-egged the pudding somewhat because this system is somewhat overwhelming.

But the quality is phenomenal nevertheless and I’m as impressed with this as I was with my galvanised steel dustbin.

Somewhat later that anticipated, I went out for my afternoon walk.

On the way out with the hi-fi box I bumped into a woman from the Mairie who was handing out the free washable face masks that the commune had ordered for their inhabitants. I asked her for an innuendo so she gave me one.

“Corona virus?” I enquired.
“No” she replied. “The school next door starts back up next week. We don’t want you frightening the kids”.

trawler english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hall

The hurricane was still blowing and it was a struggle to walk around the walls. But I wasn’t struggling half as much as some people. The trawler out there in the English Channel near the Ile de Chausey was really making heavy weather of the journey home.

You can tell by the whitecaps on the tops of the waves that far out (that’s probably about 10 kilometres out) just how wild the wind is right now.

windsurfer people on beach donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd the trawler wasn’t the only one out there in the wind.

Never mind the story about the beaches being closed and so on, we have a windsurfer out there enjoying the storm. And I suppose that he parachuted in from the air too.

But there must be a good handful of people out there on that beach between Donville les Bains and Bréhal Plage and I have no idea why they are there and what they are doing.

There was still half an hour left to enjoy the music before the hour on the guitar, which was spent mainly playing around with two Dire Straits tracks – “Sultans of Swing” and “Tunnel of Love”. Despite all of the time that I’ve spent working out “Telegraph Road”, i reckon that right now it’s beyond what I’m really capable of doing.

Tea was a nice stuffed pepper followed by the last of that delicious apple pie that I made, so tomorrow is going to be a baking day, I reckon.

car caravan parking rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBack outside in the teeth of the gale and my run up the hill which was agonising tonight.

And at the caravanette park in the rue du Roc we have yet more grockles who haven’t quite grasped what all of this virus thing is about. I’ve seen the local police on their patrols and I reckon that they ought to be doing something about this.

But anyway having recovered my breath I ran on down to the clifftop to see what I could see out to sea.

And the answer to that was “nothing at all”.

sunlight relection beach st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france eric hallAround the corner to the south side of the headland and I noticed something glistening on the beach over across the bay at St Pair Sur Mer.

Being of a curious bent … “errr … quite” – ed … I took a photo of it to crop and blow up back here. And what I can see is that it seems to be the sun’s reflection on the window there reflecting into a tidal pool on the beach.

It’s quite amazing what you can pick up with a good zoom lens.

floating pontoon ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallEarlier on today we noticed that they were pushing a floating pontoon out of the harbour.

At the time I speculated that they might be finally going to fit them to the mounting brackets that they fitted to the harbour wall over at the ferry terminal.

And sure enough, there they are in position. But I’m intrigued to see what is going to happen when the tide goes out because it dries out over there. And what happens to the pontoons then will be interesting.

floating pontoons port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDespite the howling gale I struggled on with my run down the Boulevard Vaufleury and I was pretty done in when I finally reached my marker.

Back down to the viewpoint over the harbour to see what they had been up to down there. And it looks as if some of the floating pontoons down there (we’d seen three rows yesterday) have gone.

The missing ones are probably those that they installed at the ferry terminal.

My next run took me round to the viewpoint in the rue du Nord but there was nothing going on over there so I turned round and ran back home as best as I could in the wind.

So now I’ve finished this, I’m ready for bed. This was a better day today and I felt a bit more like myself. Here’s hoping for an even better day tomorrow.

Monday 16th March 2020 – I WAS STROKING …

… the big ginger cat Gribouille outside the building this afternoon when a woman approached.

She saw me, wrapped a scarf around her face and gently skirted around me, keeping a good two metres distance all the time.

And the thought going through my head was “couldn’t she have picked a more polite way to remind me that I didn’t have a shower this morning?”.

And indeed I didn’t have a shower this morning. I’ve forgotten that I’m heading to Belgium on Wednesday (Government legislation permitting) so I don’t really need anything. So much for the big rice pudding that I made on Sunday.

But yes, Belgium. That hotbed of disease where everyone is in a panic, yet you have about three times as much chance of becoming a multi-millionaire by winning the lottery than you do of catching this disease.

Of course, the situation could change at any moment but that’s something to worry about when it happens. I’m under no illusions. I’m elderly, I’m in poor health and I have no immune system. And so if I do happen to catch it, I’ll be the first to go under. But there’s no point in worrying about it.

Mind you, I did worry about last night when I crashed out writing out my notes. It’s only half-finished and I did reckon that I’d finish it today but that wasn’t possible. That’s for another time, I reckon.

Just for a change these days, I beat the alarm this morning and I was up and about having my medication long before the third alarm went off. It shows the benefit of an early night.

And back here, I had a look at the dictaphone. And I’m not at all sure what was going on here. There was a building that was probably Hankelow Hall where I squatted for a certain time. There was some kind of football match going to take place between two ad-hoc teams and I was on one of these. We assembled to play our match. It was in the harbour of a town, something like the harbour where this abandoned building was. So we met and again I realised that I didn’t have all of my things. I needed some more before the match would start. I needed to go home and pick them up but would I have time before the kick-off of our match? Yes so the house was plunged into darkness again and we were going to have to have another search around to find ourselves, find our boots and find the people with whom we were supposed to be playing.
later on I was in Montreal last night with someone but I don’t know who. The two of us were on a STM bus and something was happening. The passengers weren’t very happy with the driver and they were having a go at him and he was having a go at them. At a bus stop, “Denbigh” in the rue Denbigh (which doesn’t exist, by the way), the driver stopped the bus at the bus stop, got out from behind his seat and came down the bus to try to attack one of the passengers. The passenger hid amongst the crowd of people so the bus driver couldn’t get him, so the driver took out a bayonet-type of thing, went outside and started to unscrew the window of the bus so that he could get at the passenger. At that moment I called the police and the police started to take all the details ready to send an emergency vehicle I imagine, but the driver just disappeared. So he was gone.

For breakfast, I tried some of that apple-and-apricot purée that I made yesterday, followed by some of the apple and apricot cordial. And it wasn’t at all bad. I’ll remember this because every now and again they do have tins of fruit in at NOZ where the labels are torn, something like that. And this is a good way to use them up.

Having done that, I had a look at the digital sound files that needed splitting. Another four have disappeared today. Much to my surprise, they were all reasonably straightforward and it’s been a long time since that has happened

Today’s project was to send off a radio project for this weekend and then to do another one to replace it. And by the time that I’d finished I’d chosen all of the music (except the last track), written the notes, dictated them and was half-way through editing them.

yacht ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNo supermarket today of course, but that didn’t stop me from going out for my three walks today.

having chosen the music, I went out for the bread and for a look to see what was around. There wasn’t anyone walking around but there was plenty of excitement out to sea, like this yacht threading its way through the archipelago that is the Ile de Chausey.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the number of islands out there varies between 365 and 52 depending on the state of the tides at the time.

cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallPlenty of other stuff out there too.

Apart from the fishing boats, there’s a cabin cruiser too floating around in the Baie de Mont St Michel and that wouldn’t have been a sight you would have seen a week or so ago when we were having all of those storms and high winds.

But it does go to show you the liberty that exists on the open sea and it’s making me quite envious. I wish that I had a boat right now.

fishermen peche a pied pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd how are you spending your enforced absence away from work?

These two guys have the right approach. They’ve gone fishing. And I can’t blame them because as the virus starts to bite and more and more people become sick, hunting and gathering might be the only solution so you may as well start early.

What I did like was the size of the bucket in which they were intending to store their catch. I was never one to dampen the spirit of optimism at all.

charles marie chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy wanderings took me down past the chantier navale to see how they were getting on with .

No change there – she’s still sitting up on her blocks with half of her sides torn out. But there was no-one working on her at all. They’ve probably all been struck down by the Bubonic Plague or the Black Death or whatever it is.

And that fishing boat there at her side – that’s a different one to that which was there on Saturday. We seem to have had a tactical substitution of fishing boats.

new pontoon anchoring mounting points port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe harbour gates were open so I couldn’t cross. Instead I continued down the rue du Port.

One thing that I have mentioned in the past is the mechanism by which the floating pontoons are attached to the supports, and I promised that one of these days I would have a closer look.

There seems to be two sets of rollers, an outer set and an inner rollar that ride up abd down depending upon the state of the tide. It’s a very clever arrangement and I hope that it works.

The town was deserted today. I counted no more than a dozen people scurrying around, most of whom were carrying bread. Only the bakeries seemed to be open – after all, people have to eat and bread is an important part of life here in France.

La Mie Caline came up with a dejeunette – at least the boulanger hasn’t succumbed to the plague as yet – and I came back home. I was tempted to go and take my butties and sit on the wall outside, so nice was the weather, but as usual I was sidetracked by something else.

cabin cruiser chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy afternoon was even quieter. I counted two people out walking and another couple waiting at the bus stop.

My aim was to wander around to the chantier navale because on looking at my photos, I appear to have overlooked that there was actually a third boat in there this morning – and it was still there today.

No idea why it’s in there, and even less of an idea why it isn’t next to the other two, but that’s something else to keep my eye on. Although if I do go to Belgium on Wednesday I’ll miss all of the excitement in here.

Back in the apartment I dozed off for ten minutes or so but I still carried on with things until 19:00 and knocking-off time.

First thing was to deal with the carrots. They were peeled, sliced and diced and then par-boiled with bay leaves and left to drain.

While they were draining I made myself some of my patent stuffing and had stuffed pepper with rice. Tomorrow night I’ll finish off the left-over stuffing and whatever else is lying around in an Anything Curry ready for my departure on Wednesday morning.

This rice pudding will be a problem though. What am I going to do with all of that? A man can only eat so much, no matter how delicious it is.

My walk tonight was even more lonely. I was the only one out there except for a couple of people putting something into a car boot I managed my two runs though. The first one, I put about 20-25 metres onto my usual distance and the second one, I actually made it all the way up a couple of metres onto the second ramp. Yes, I seem to be improving in that respect and that’s good news.

Rosemary rang later on for a chat. She’s feeling the pressure and being so far from home, it’s not easy for her. But there’s not much that she can do about it right now.

So I’ve finished this entry and it’s already late. Yesterday’s entry will have to wait for another time while I go to bed.

But these days, imagine going to bed and wondering if you’ll wake up in the morning. It’s like something out of the Dark Ages, isn’t it?

Friday 13th March 2020 – LOOK AT THIS …

seagull dropping shellfish on stone ramp port de granville harbout manche normandy france eric hall… seagull!

“So what’s exciting about a seagull?” I hear you ask. After all, there must be thousands of them loitering around here one way or another.

The answer is that it’s not necessarily the bird, but have a close look underneath it and you’ll see something dropping from it.

No, it’s not that, although it may well be, given the number of gulls around here. The bird has a shellfish and it’s flying over the concrete apron by the fish processing plant and the stone boat ramp, and it’s dropping the shellfish onto the hard surface in order to break the shell and eat the contents.

It’s had a few goes at it already and I imagine that it’ll keep on doing it until the shell breaks. But it’s just amazing to me how quickly the local wildlife adapts to the man-made environment. It’s much more convenient than dropping the shellfish on the rocks.

Just for a change these days, I beat the third alarm to my feet this morning. Not by much, but beat it I did and that was good news. Especially as it was gone 00:30 when I went to bed and so I’d had less than 6 hours sleep.

Following the medication and my nice new orange and ginger cordial, it was time to attack the dictaphone. There was a group of us doing something and it involved being out on a boat. The boat came to grief in some way or other – I can’t remember how – but the guy in charge said that it was due to our own fault, that we hadn’t taken any safety precautions like sending out a boat first to check on the crossing and check on the bit that we were having to cross over before we all leapt on board and sailed off. There would have been more to this as well but I actually had a shocking attack of cramp in my leg and awoke with a hell of a start.

After breakfast I attacked the digital sound-file splitting. Three of them went fine, according to plan, but the fourth – well …

It’s a very rare album so I doubt that I’ll get to find to what the master copy that I have relates. It doesn’t match anything at all that I have found so far. I’ve untangled it as best as I can and I’ll have to see about the rest.

But for some unknown reason, that knocked me right out of my stride and I just couldn’t get going at all today. As far as anything else goes, it’s been a very wasted day today and I’m rather disappointed with myself.

Mind you, I suppose that I have every reason to be disappointed. I’ve had some very disheartening news.

Not that I have said very much to very many people but I actually managed to find a freighter that would take me across the Atlantic from Ijmuiden in the Netherlands to Burns Harbor, one of the outports of Chicago, all the way down the St Lawrence and right through the Great Lakes, at the end of July.

It’s a trip that the ship does every month, so I had booked a passage on it as a way of getting to North America this autumn, and as it happens, on the return journey it refuels in Montreal so I’d made arrangements to be picked up in Montreal at the end of October to sail back to Europe.

But the long and the short of it is that I had a mail today telling me that the journey is cancelled. No surprise there – just a desperate disappointment. I was so looking forward to this.

chausiais fishing boats english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallOn that sad note, I went outside for my morning walk to pick up my dejeunette from La Mie Caline.

There were a few people out there enjoying the pleasant, if windy morning. And there was also quite a considerable amount of shipping out there today. It wasn’t easy to identify them from up here so I took a speculative photo.

When I get back home I can blow up the image and have a look to see who’s out there.

la grande ancre english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAt first glance, I had thought that one of the boats out there resembled La Grande Ancre.

But that’s not the case. It must be a fishing boat with a similar sikhouette. And how do I know that? Well, because right at that moment La Grande Ancre came sailing … “dieseling” – ed … around the headland on her way out to sea.

Right on cue, I reckon. She couldn’t have timed it any better.

But I do like this photo. Despite the distance at which it was taken, it’s come out rather well and I’m pleased with that.

yacht pointe du roc english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThey weren’t the only boats out there either.

Close on the heels of La Grande Ancre came this really nice yacht enjoying the windy weather and having a good run out in the sun.

And how I envied him. My own little nautical jaunt having been cancelled, I need to find some other way to take to the water this year, and I’ve no idea how I’m going to do that.

But then, there’s always a plan somewhere

chausiais english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd talking of the answer, here’s the answer – or, at least, part of the answer – to the question of which boats were out there in mid-Channel just now.

Out of the doom and gloom and mist and fog and haze comes Chausiais, heading into port. It looks very much as if she’s been out on the earlu morning tide to take a delivery to the Ile de Chausey and is now on her way home before the tide goes too far out.

It’s not very often that we are lucky enough to see her out at sea. She doesn’t seem to go out very much but I imagine that all of thzt will change pretty soon

la granvillaise port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe tide is out at the moment and the harbour gates are shut. That means that I can take the short cut across the path on top of the gates.

Over the last few days we’ve seen La Granvillaise up on blocks in the chantier navale but she was released the other day. She’s now here in the harbour, moored up in the space next to Spirit of Conrad in the space where Charles-Marie would be, were she not up on blocks in the chantier navale.

This harbour is going to become very congested in due course, with all of the pontoons that they are installing.

floating pontoon support pillar port de granville harbour  manche normandy france eric hallAnd talking of the installation of the pontoons, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday they started installing the second row of pontoon support pillars in the harbour.

This batch is going to be on the south side of the floating harbour, so one of the things that I wanted to do was to see how they are getting on with it.

The answer is that they don’t seem to have made all that much progress over the course of the morning. There’s still just the one pillar in position and there doesn’t seem to be anyone about doing anythign with anything else.

floating pontoon support pillar port de granville harbour  manche normandy france eric hallAnd with there being no-one about, I took the opportunity to have a peek in their compound to see how many more pillars there are to install. I mean – I imagine that all of those here are here to be used.

And what we have left are three large pillars, a smaller one that looks like it’s off the floating pontoon and is calibrated in some way, presumably for depth, and an offcut of about 10 or 12 feet.

What they are going to be doing with the offcut is a mystery that has drawn my attention for now. But basically, it looks as if we are going to be having one row of five pillars and another row of four, although in truth I’ve long-since given up trying to calculate the logic behind what these people are doing.

They were expecting me in La Mie Caline so I didn’t hang around long, and there was nothing to detain me on my climb back home.

After lunch, I had another attack at the sound files that we had recorded during our visit to the Grande Marée but my heart wasn’t in it and I found myself falling asleep – not once but twice – and in the same place in the recording both times too. I really must pull myself together.

low tide baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallTo break up the monotony and try to find some enthusiasm and motivation from somewhere, I went for my afternoon walk.

There were crowds of people out there on the lawn by the lighthouse enjoying the view but my attention was elsewhere because the tide was quite out and the bay was pretty deserted. Hardly a drop of water anywhere.

Of course, this merits a photo. It doesn’t get like this every day. Probably half a dozen times each year the tide goes this low.

charles marie chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRoud by the chantier navale, I went to see what was happening down there.

Charles-Marie is still there and the guy working on it is still there on the skyjack hacking a few more lumps out of the side of her.

It looks as if it’s going to be a long job and she’ll be there for a while. But she’ll be a whole different ship when she comes out and I can’t wait for the moment when I’ll be able to have a close-up view of her – whenever that might be.

But I’m not holding my breath.

taking photographs boulevard vaufleury granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen on many occasions photos of people taking photos and, on one or two occasions, photos of people taking photos of people taking photos.

Today, on the grassy lawn on the boulevard Vaufleury, overlooked by our old friend the Corsair Pleville le Pelley, is another group of people having their photo taken by someone armed with a tripod.

It would probably be a good idea for me to make more use of mine every now and again, if only the wind would subside.

Back here, I ordered a new memory card for the big NIKON D500. As well as taking SD cards, it also takes XQD cards in a different slot.

These are expensive but are much better quality so I’ve ordered one and it should be here in a couple of days. Then I can see whether it’s the SD card aperture that’s faulty or whether it’s something more crucial.

But I was still unable to find the motivation that I needed to do this project and rather than waste the day completely I edited a pile of photos from July 2019 when I was on my way to Iceland on board the The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour.

Tea was another “anything curry” with the leftovers lengthened with some lentils. It was quite delicious too. Apple pie and vegan ice cream for afters, and I remembered the chocolate sauce too.

No-one about for the evening run tonight. I managed three lengths too, having to lengthen my walk due to not having done enough on the morning walk. And I wasn’t as out of breath as I might have been either

No photos either. I was being rather optimistic with my ambitions, and they didn’t work out well enough. But you live and learn.

Anyway, bed-time. And i’m hoping for a good sleep tonight. A nice long voyage too, in pleasant company. I need cheering up and I always seem to have much more fun and excitement in my life during the night than ever I do during the day.

Wednesday 27th November 2019 – WHAT A WASTE …

… of a morning this was!

Although the night wasn’t as late as many nights have been just recently, I still had a few problems this morning.

I heard the 06:00 alarm go off sure enough and I’m not sure what happened next but when I heard the next alarm go off I thought that I’ll give it a couple of minutes and then get up before the third alarm, like I usually do.

After a few minutes I had a quick glance at the time before I arose. 06:25 it was. So for some unknown reason I had completely missed the second alarm.

At that point I decided that seeing as I had already missed my target time, another couple of minutes wouldn’t hurt any.

The next thing that I remembered was that it was 08:47 and I’d been right away with the fairies.

As indeed I had been. And not on my own either for there were three of us again and we were having something to do with the animals. We were looking after the animals in a kind of laboratory place and a couple of guys came past and were talking to us so we were talking back to them. But for some unknown reason the conversation took off into a kind of 1950s type of scene with all pork-pie hats and that kind of thing. I was speaking to them not as I would today but going back 50 years and everyone was wondering why. They didn’t understand the language for a start so I explained that this was how English would have been 50 years ago in the days of the Teddy Boys, all this sort of thing (of course the Teddy Boys were earlier than that) but this was when the period was, back in the teddy Boy days and they found it difficult to understand. From here it kind of drifted off into a wartime scenario and I can’t remember very much about this second bit where it was during the war.

By the time that my feet were on the floor it was almost 09:30 and I decided to forego breakfast again. Just have a coffee and some juice and then crack on with work. There’s an open-air fruit market on a Wednesday morning as I discovered when I was on one of my marathon walks just recently. I’d planned to go out there for a butcher’s but it won’t be today.

The first thing to attack, as far as work goes, was the dictaphone notes. And a mega-one of 12 minutes at that. All in all, from the night of 20th-21st September this year there were over 20 minutes of dictaphone notes and many of them are quite disturbing.

But the 21st was the morning that I set off from Montreal to ottawa so it was bound to be an extremely turbulent night. And had I listened to what had been going on during the night before I set off, I probably wouldn’t have gone.

But I didn’t, so I did, and that was an end to it. But I’ll be thinking long and hard before I put any of the night’s activities into print in the public domain. They will join the others that have yet to see the light of day until I have had an opportunity to consult m’learned friends.

The plan was to work on until about 11:00 and then go into town for a dejeunette (I’ve decided that I’ll do that every day from now on) and the Post Office to post the letters that I didn’t post yesterday.

But when I did glance at the time, it was just coming up to 12:00. This late start killed me off and it was far too late to go to the Post Office. I carried on with work instead.

low tide port de granville harbour manche normandy franceRound about 13:00 I broke off and headed down the steps into town. The tide was out, miles out in fact, and all of the boats in the harbour were high and dry.

With the tide being out, the harbour gates would be closed so I headed off round the back of the fish-processing plant and onto the path across the top of the gates and went into town that way.

Striding along as if I were on my way to invade Poland, I was feeling so good that at a certain moment I even broke into a little run. And that’s not been anything that has been seen this side of this Century – me running for no good purpose in broad daylight.

ski slope place general de gaulle granville manche normandy franceArmed with my dejeunette, I went to inspect the edifice in the Place General de Gaulle.

And I now know what it is, because there was an article about it in the local paper. It seems that Granville has pretentions about being a winter ski resort (don’t ask me how or why because I don’t have a clue either) and they are building an artificial ski-slope.

All that I can say is that the mayor and her cohorts are going downhill fast.

After lunch I carried on with the dictaphone notes. There were some mega-ones in there as you might expect, what with everything that was going on and how I was feeling, but I was determined to break the back of the issue today.

By the time that I knocked off for my afternoon walk, I had reduced the backlog to a mere 69. There are only a handful of really long ones in there, one of which is … errr … over four hours (and that can’t be right) so with a bit of luck I can crack on and whittle them down.

And then I can start on the photos.

storm at sea english channel granville manche normandy franceWhen I had gone out earlier in the day it had been quite windy. But now the wind was simply wicked.

The tide was out so I can’t show you just how wild the seas were, but you can have an idea simply by looking at the whitecaps in this photo.

They would have made rather a mess of the sea wall at the harbour or at the Plat Gousset.

casino beach plat gousset granville manche normandy franceTalking of the Plat Gousset … “well, one of us is” – ed … I stopped to have a look down there and to see what was going on.

Just one solitary soul out there on the beach and no more than half a dozen on the promenade itself. And that’s hardly surprising because it really was a dreadful wind.

In fact, we’ve had nothing but gale-force winds since I’ve been back from North America and I don’t know about anyone else but I’m getting rather fed up of this.

It’s a good job that my apartment is a really solid building. If I had owned a paper shop, it would have blown away a long time ago.

black cat granville manche normandy franceMy route into town took me down the steps to the Place Marechal Foch, but I didn’t get very far at all.

My trip was interrupted by a young black cat that was wandering around in the undergrowth so I stopped and had a little chat with it. They say that stroking a cat is a very good way of relieving stress, and who can argue with that?

The moggy and I were there for a good few minutes until I moved on.

road works place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceNot too far as it happened, because down below me the Plce was cordoned off and there was a pile of machinery down there digging up the road surface.

There were a few guys down there too who looked as if they had something to do with it all so I went down the steps to ask them about it.

But they must have seen me coming because they took off and by the time that I reached their van, they had long-since departed and that was that.

road works place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceI had to content myself with a really good examination of thr work to see what I could see.

Definitely electric trunking and the trace cable for pulling through was there. So I was wondering if this is a bit more of the fibre-optic cabling that’s been going on here for as long as I can remember.

What I’ll do is to come this way tomorrow on my way to the shops and see if the guys are there then, and I can ask them

Down at the Post Office I posted my letters and then I came back here. And with a coffee and a slice of Liz’s cake, I really hit the jackpot.

And big-time too.

A quest that I have been undertaking for almost 43 years has deamatically come to a conclusion.

Let’s turn our clocks back to 22nd january 1977. I was living in Crewe, sharing a flat in Nantwich Road with Allen Marsden. And on the radio came a “Sight and Sound” concert of Santana.

It was the most amazing, most phenomenal live concert that I have ever heard either before or since and, grabbing a tape, I recorded it. I’ve played the tape to death and it’s all worn away now, and over the last 40-odd years I’ve been trying to track down when and where it was recorded. I’ve even been to the BBC to ask them, and they were no help.

But idly surfing the internet looking for something else I suddenly found a Santana live concert from the Hammersmith Odeon on 15th December 1976 and I only had to listen to the first three notes to know that this was exactly the concert for which I had been seeking.

It really is superb! Just listen to “Soul Sacrifice” from about 44:00 onwards.

So listening to Santana on an endless loop I attacked the web page updating. And by the time that I had knocked off for tea, another 30 had bit the dust.

All in all, I call that I good day’s work!

Tea was a burger on a bap, followed by pineapples and blackcurrant sorbet.

brehal plage granville manche normandy franceAnd then the evening walk around the headland.

Despite the high winds yet again, the sky was beautifully clear again and once more there was a beautiful view up the coast. The lights of Bréhal-Plage came out perfectly in this picture, taken with the camera being hand-held.

Of course I could have done a lot better with the tripod, but in this wind? You must be joking!

spirit of conrad omerta aztec lady chantier navale port de granville harbour  manche normandy franceOnwards or upwards then, and round the headland and along the top of the cliffs overlooking the port.

Nothing much has changed in the chantier navale. Spirit of Conrad, Omerta and Aztec Lady are still in there on their blocks, and there’s badger all else for the moment.

So I carried on and broke into a run at my usual spot, much to the amusement of a passer-by and his dog. And tonight I made it all the way over the rise and down the bank as far as the pedestrian crossing.

That’s the farthest that I’ve been

So now it’s bedtime and I’m hoping for a better day tomorrow, with a nice long walk up to LIDL. That should be interesting. I forgot to see what the sale goods are.

Thursday 17th October 2019 – WHEN I WAS LOOKING …

… at my flight and trying to reserve a seat, I remember looking at the rows and rows of seats available and thinking to myself “this must be a flaming big ‘plane with all this room on it”

And much to my surprise, when i was walking down the ramp I noticed on the side of our aeroplane “Boeing 787 Dreamliner”. Boeing’s new flagship aeroplane, and we’ve only flown on one of these before, FROM CHARLES DE GAULLE TO MONTREAL IN AUGUST 2014. My luck seems to be in, for once.

The cabin crew were super-efficient. Although we had had a long wait, we were ushered in, seated and we were off taxiing down the runway in a matter of just a couple of minutes. Quickest loading and departure I’ve ever had.

Just two of us on a row of seats meant for three. My companion was a Francophone Canadian woman in her 40s I reckon, very friendly and with a good sense of humour. We got on quite well although she was a “mobile” passenger, needing to get up and move about on regular occasions, usually just after I had dozed off to sleep.

Mind you, there wasn’t much opportunity for sleep. That was a flight that I will remember for quite a while. I don’t think that I have ever encountered such astonishing turbulence over such a length of time. We were being tossed around like corks and at one time I think even I was praying to Mecca (it’s the first flight that I’ve ever been on where Mecca was shown as a destination on the flight direction screen). My poor travelling companion felt the worst of it too.

Vegan meals on offer too and that was quite pleasant. I’m rather wary of some flights – I’ve had far too many failures in the past. But my ratatouille and rice was quite acceptable. I turned down the coffee though. I’m having enough sleep issues as it is.

I suppose that I must have dozed off here and there because I was awoken by the arrival of breakfast. Bread and jam (with coffee and orange juice) and that filled a nice little hole.

Eventually we touched down – in Casablanca, Morocco!

And I bet that you are all wondering just WHAT I’m doing in North Africa!

The fact is that with having left my booking for the return flight rather late, the “direct” prices are just totally absurd. And with it being merely a “one-way” booking, there’s an opportunity to look around all different companies and sites to see who has the best deal on connections on scheduled flights. There was a whole batch of them too at prices that, while not exactly a bargain, were much less expensive than the direct price. And it’s not as if I’m in any particular hurry.

And so I had a good look around to see whether there was a connection proposed at anywhere exotic or anywhere where I had never been before.

Sure enough, Casablanca looked a good choice to me, so here I am.

We had to pass through Security, and then a four-hour wait. But that time passes quite quickly, especially when you are tired and close your eyes for … errr .. a short while. But close them I did.

Our plane back to Brussels wasn’t particularly full so we could spread out at the back. I had rice and veg for lunch too and that was delicious.

The flight was uneventful and we touched down in Brussels bang on time. And all in all, I’ll fly with Royal Air Maroc any day of the week. I’d had good service all the way from Montreal.

The joys of flying in on a scheduled flight from North Africa is that I was the only passenger in the “European Union” queue so I was straight through. I had a fight with the railway ticket machine and then collected my suitcase. Just as I set foot on the platform a train for Brussels pulled in so I piled on board and headed for the city.

For a change, I’m in a new hotel. I’ve never stayed here before but my regular one is booked up. This one is clean and modern, but cheap with no lift (so the receptionist had to carry my suitcase upstairs – all 19.7 kilos of it). I’ve stayed in many worse hotels than this, and for much more money too, although the internet is rubbish. And the huge damp patch on the wall behind the shower is rather worrying.

Back to the Delhaize at the station for a salad and now I’m ready for bed. Hospital tomorrow. I wonder what they are going to tell me.

Wednesday 16th October 2019 – SO HERE I ALL AM …

… not exactly sitting in a rainbow but sitting in one of the departure lounges of the worst airport in the world, with the rudest staff I have ever met. I hate this place with a passion that cannot be measured on any scale that is known to Mankind but here I am. I’ve decided that it’s time that I was moving on before I put down roots.

And roots indeed. The last time that I slept in my own bed was on 26th June – that’s 16 weeks or so ago and while I’m not going home just yet I ought to be getting a little closer to it.

A lot of water has passed underneath the bridge since 26th June, that’s for sure.

Talking of passing water, I had another bad night last night. A whole succession of cramps in the calves and shins and it kept me awake for an eternity. I took advantage of the wakefulness by going down the corridor, but I would much rather have had a decent sleep instead.

I suppose that I must have dropped off at one point though. Or maybe more because there are several recordings on the dictaphone that I don’t remember making. Anyway, at about 07:15 I was wide-enough awake to push on with things.

No breakfast though. I repacked the suitcase and bunged another pile of stuff into it (and it registered 19.7 kilos at the airport’s weigh-in machine so I’m clearly getting back to normal) so that the backpack is at least manageable.

At 10:30 I set off for a walk, leaving my baggage behind for a moment. All the way up to the top of the town where I met Josee. I had done a little research in the area and discovered a little Lebanese restaurant in the basement of the shopping precinct so I took her there for a meal. And it turned out that she was well-known to the proprietor.

Later on, I had a leisurely stroll around the town and visited a few buildings that I had seen on my travels in the past. The big one near rue Sherbrooke that I had seen on several occasions is in fact the former hostel for the Deaf and Dumb of the city.

Eventually I rescued my suitcase and by 17:00 I was on the 747 bus to the airport. And it was then that I realised that I had left behind my raincoat and my aniseed balls. The objects and items that I have abandoned behind me on my travels could have filled another suitcase.

It was a good idea to go early to the airport because the traffic was horrendous. It’s a working day of course so we had the rush hour to deal with and there were queues everywhere. Our bus even lost a mirror against a lamp-post trying to squeeze past a queue of traffic turning right.

The departure check-in wasn’t open yet so I had a sandwich at Subway and then handed back my card for the USA. I won’t be going there for another while unless something quite dramatic happens.

Security is always extremely stressful here so I don’t propose to talk too much about it, even though I’ve had much worse passes through airport control than this. Now I’m sitting quietly waiting for my flight to be called.

But before I go, let’s talk about music. For no reason at all a track suddenly popped into my head out of nowhere. It’s Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams and regardless of how apposite the lyrics might be vis-a-vis my own personal circumstances and how I have lived my life, then just as Colosseum Live reminds me of almost every late and lonely night that I have ever spent on board The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour, this particular track reminds me of just one particular night that was later than most and which I didn’t ever want to end.

I wonder if it means anything to anyone else.

That brings me round to the music that I am listening to now. Tom Petty has come round on the playlist and I have Into The Great Wide Open going full-blast.

Not a good idea right now of course. Far From it, in fact.
I heard you singing to no one
I saw you dancing all alone
One day you belonged to me
Next day I just wouldn’t know
One day all the rules will bend
And you and I will meet again

“One day all the rules will bend and you and I will meet again”. Nothing is more certain than that. You just have to believe.

“How could I get so close to you, and still feel so far away?”


Tuesday 15th October 2019 – I WAS RIGHT …

… about it being a very long day today. And I felt almost every minute of it too.

The Orleans Express bus was due to leave Riviere du Loup at 01:15 and much to my and everyone else’s surprise, it was bang on time, pulling into the bus depot at 00:50 ready to load up.

It was crowded, as I expected too. I had to share a seat so I wasn’t at all comfortable and I felt every jolt and bump at least as far as Sainte-Foy. But I did manage to drop off for a short while afterwards and awoke again as we were pulling off the highway at Longueuil.

After we had pulled into the bus station at Montreal bang on time at 06:15 I performed my usual task of disappearing for a ride on the porcelain horse for a while to catch up on my beauty sleep, such as it is, and then repaired to the cafe for breakfast.

At about 09:00 I wandered round the back of the bus station to my hotel. The room wasn’t ready at all, which was no surprise, but the guy on duty made me a coffee and I watched a TV programme about the treasure of Oak island amidst a wave of serious fatigue.

A little later I went for a walk down to the old harbour, along the canal and then back up rue Peel to the rue St Catherine.

Lunch was taken at the Subway in the Complexe Desjardins in the rue St Catherine. And I had to explain to the “Sandwich Artist” not once, not twice, not three times but FOUR TIMES that a “vegetarian with no cheese” really DOES mean “no cheese”.

I really don’t know where they find these people.

But I tell you what I DID find in a Dollar Store were some sweets that passed very well for the aniseed balls of my youth – when I eventually managed to buy them because the whole queue was held up by some guy arguing with the girls and the manageress at the check-out.

By now my room was ready so having fought my way in with this stupid key and stupid door lock, I could have a shower and wash some clothes.

And to … errr … catch up on some more beauty sleep.

Later on I took the metro to Cote Vertu for some bananas and grapes at the wholesaler’s, and then across the road for the Indian cafe.

No I’m back, and it’s bed-time. No alarm in the morning because it’s going to be another long and painful night tomorrow.

Monday 14th October 2019 – SOMETIMES IT’S VERY HARD …

… to say goodbye to people with whom one has been associated for so long, but today is the day that I hit the road, Jack (or Jacques, seeing that I’ll be heading towards Quebec).

4th September I arrived in New Brunswick and apart from 10 days or so clearing out my storage unit in Montreal and visiting family and friends in Ottawa I’ve been here ever since.

If I’m not careful I’ll be putting down roots next, and that will never do. I was born under a wandering star, as the old song went, and I’m destined to wander for the rest of my life until, making reference to a certain posting 6 or so weeks ago when I was still aboard The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour, Charon ferries me across the River Styx.

With it being Thanksgiving (which reminds me, Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian family and friends and new readers, et Bonne Action de Grace a toute le monde francophone Canadien) we had another lie-in this morning. Nothing like as dramatic as yesterday’s. Not quite so early in bed, a small disturbance during the night, and raising myself from the Dead round about 08:45. But still, I’ll take that over almost any other night that I’ve had for quite some considerable time.

Eventually there was some noise coming from the rest of the house so I went in to join the (af)fray. We had a reasonably heavy brunch, nothing like the legendary Sunday one but a good one nevertheless, and then hung around chatting for ages. Everyone seemed to be in a very sociable mood today.

With me heading for the hills, I managed to make the printer fire up so I could print off all of my travel documents ready for the trip. Another task accomplished.

This afternoon people had tasks to do so I busied myself packing and having another play around on the bass guitar before I put it away in Strider where it will live for the next foreseeable future.

A curry was on the agenda for supper so for a change Hannah and I attacked it. For some reason that I don’t understand, it didn’t taste anything like as good as any previous one that I have made. I hope that I’m not losing my touch!

But as for my carrot soup, well, what more can I say? All of the leftover carrots (because there were tons of them) steamed slowly to warm them up, with bay leaves for added flavour, and then simmered gently for a while in coconut milk with ginger. Finally the bay leaves were removed and the whole lot given a ride around in the whizzer.

Totally delicious.

Finished packing, and leaving a few things behind such as my spare clothes and my deck shoes, because I seem to have acquired a Tupperware microwave fryer and a pile of CDs somewhere on my travels and it won’t all fit in, and then Rachel took me down to Irvings in Florenceville and the Maritime Atlantic bus.

21:15 it was scheduled to arrive, and at 21:15 arrive it did. And remind me never to travel on a Bank Holiday or thereabouts because it was packed and it was a struggle to find a seat. What I did find though was a backpack under the seat, apparently left behind by someone who had alighted earlier, so I took it down to the driver.

We eventually arrived at Riviere du Loup where we all change buses. It was cold, miserable, wet and rainy but nevertheless I had a chat to the driver. He comes up all the way from Moncton, sleeps in the hotel next door, and then drives all the way back the following day. Reminded me of my days with Shearings when I used to do an overnight run every Friday night from Manchester to Glasgow and Edinburgh and return the following day.

And while I was chatting, someone came around “has anyone seen a black backpack?” so I passed him on to the driver.

So now I’m sitting on a seat in a draughty windswept crowded waiting room here waiting for my bus to Montreal to arrive. I’m reaching the end of this phase of my journey and who knows where I’m going to end up next?

As Winston Churchill once said after the British flight from the Germans at Dunkirk, “this is not the beginning of the end. It is merely the end of the beginning”.

Wednesday 9th October 2019 – WE’VE HAD …

… another tremendously busy day down at the tyre depot.

This morning, with nothing much to do although everyone else was rushing around, I filed away all of the bills, invoices and charging sheets. And that wasn’t the work of five minutes either. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, we’ve been very busy just recently and done a lot of work.

This afternoon involved even more of an effort on my part. I had to go off down to Bristol and the auto spares shop for parts for not one but two jobs that were ongoing in the garage.

And then we had an extremely complicated enquiry about tyres.

Someone has a pick-up with tyres on it that have long-been obsolete and reliable heavy-duty ones can no longer be obtained – except at some kind of silly astronomical price for “specials”. We managed to source a set of wheels of a different diameter and then we had to hunt down a set of tyres for those wheels that would have exactly the same circumference as the original tyres on the original wheels.

It was a good thing that I made the old laptop work yesterday because I could sit down and hunt for a tyre conversion program on the internet – and in the end I found one – and having downloaded and installed it, I could get it to work it gave me a choice of half a dozen different tyre sizes.

And this will please the guy intensely because one of the sizes of tyre is a much-more mainstream size of truck tyre, and even with the cost of new wheels for his truck, he’s going to come out ell on the right side.

I ought to be on a commission.

But that wasn’t all the excitement. yesterday as we were closing a guy came in for a new wheel that he had ordered and to have a tyre fitted on it. All in all, there wasn’t much change out of $1000. When it had been done, he just threw it into the back of his truck.

“Aren’t you going to strap it down?” asked Darren
“no” replied the guy. “It’ll be fine in there. Its own weight will hold it in”.
So Darren shook his head and came back in.

This afternoon the guy came back for some other things.
“You know that wheel and tyre that you sold me yesterday afternoon?”
“I do” replied Darren.
“Well, it’s in the river”.

Luckily he managed to rescue it otherwise that would have been very expensive.

Last night, with having not felt so good, I was in bed something-like and even though I heard the alarms go off, it was still 07:15 when I finally surfaced.

The girls had a ride in to school and so I had another leisurely breakfast followed by a nice stinking hot shower which made me feel so much better.

Plenty of time to make my lunch and then head off to the tyre depot. And I’d noticed that we were low on bread so I stopped to buy some another couple of loaves. Only to find up at the office that Rachel had also noticed that we were low on bread this morning and had already bought two on her way in to work.

Later this afternoon I fetched Amber from her cheerleading practice after school and brought her home. Rachel had gone to Fredericton so there were just us at home. Our little visitor had told us a while ago that she had a really good recipe for a vegan chili so we set her to work in the kitchen this evening.

And I’ll tell you all something for nothing – and that is that it really was excellent too. So much so that Darren, who isn’t usually a fan of exotic vegan cooking, helped himself to a second full helping.

I made a second visit to the pan too and decided that she can cook again for us!

So it’s bedtime now, and I’m looking forward to another decent sleep. I certainly need it. So goodnight to everyone, including my readers in Celbridge, Ottawa and Montreal. One day you really will have to introduce yourselves and say “hello”.

Meanwhile, I’m saying “goodbye”. Until the morning.


Saturday 5th October 2019 – I’VE BEEN …

… a very busy boy today.

And that’s hardly a surprise because I had, for the first time since I don’t know when, had a really good sleep last night and I’ve not yet set foot outside the house.

A few items on the dictaphone, although what there is I really don’t know. And I was up and about by 06:40 too.

Rachel and Amber went to work this morning so I decided on a day off. A leisurely breakfast and a long chat with Hannah and our visitor and then I cracked on to work, with just a brief interruption for lunch.

During the course of the day, people were coming and going but I paid no attention whatever and by the time supper was served, I’d finished all of the blog entries for July (including the missing one when I was ill) and most of them for August too. There are only three or four that need to be added, I reckon.

And those that are there make interesting reading. As Kenneth Williams once famously said, “I’m often taken aback by my own brilliance”.

Or, as the Duke of Wellington once remarked about the Battle of Waterloo and which sums up my voyage completely – “By God! I don’t think it would have been done if I had not been there”.

But now Amber is down with the dreaded lurgy. It’s doing the rounds here so I’ll probably catch it the evening that I’m due to catch my bus back to Montreal.

A brief interruption though. US Granville’s match against C Chartres Football was televised this evening and I managed to catch the second half.

Hannah and her friend Journee made tea tonight. For we vegans, she made a stir-fry tofu in a creamy vegan sauce with pasta, and it was absolutely delicious. She followed that up with some vegan muffins that she had found in the Atlantic Superstore and which I will be visiting again.

So it’s bedtime now. No alarm and a day of rest. I’m going to be attacking the rear of Strider and empty out some of the stuff that I fetched back from Montreal. Some is for Darren, some is for Zoe and the rest is for filing under CS.

See you in the morning.

Thursday 3rd October 2019 – I HAVE HAD …

… one of the best Indian meals that I have had for quite a while in North America. Outside Montreal, of course, because nothing can improve upon the Indian cafe that I discovered at Cote Vertu in Montreal.

It seems that a family of Indians – “those” Indians, not “those Indians” = have recently taken over a motel in Woodstock (a phenomenon that I first observed about 15 years or so ago) and converted the restaurant into an Indian restaurant.

I had a vegetable biryani and it was excellent, as indeed was everyone else’s meal. The service unfortunately did not match the food, but I’m sure that it will improve.

And I felt like a good meal tonight too because I’ve had a harrowing day. It all went wrong during the night where I reckoned that I had hardly slept at all. Three dictated files on the dictaphone told a different story but nevertheless that was how I felt.

There was no school run either so I hitched a lift up to the office with Rachel so that I could pick up Strider. But then we had an urgent phone call. The boy who was taking Amber to school failed to turn up so I had to dash home. Amber isn’t a fan of Strider but she had no choice in the matter this morning.

Quite a few stresses and strains at the tyre depot today. It seems that everyone is having weekend blues a few days early. But at least the cashing up was no problem tonight – we were $0:90 over so we decided to Spend Spend Spend!

At lunchtime though I’d come home for a shower and a change of clothes, and also to salvage the Note-Tab clipboard libraries from the old computer – a task that I had forgotten. But that’s now accomplished. And I do have to say that the old computer now that it’s “fixed” seems to be working better than it ever did.

We all went down for an Indian meal tonight, all seven of us. And on the way back Rachel, Zoe and I went to visit one of Rachel’s friends who is on the point of leaving for the winter.

But now I’m set up in my room on my way to bed. Let’s hope that tomorrow will bring us some happiness. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

Monday 30th September 2019 – IT’S BEEN …

… a pretty rough day for me today.

What didn’t help matters was that I couldn’t sleep last night. 01:30 and I was still struggling away trying my best to drop off.

At some point I must have done, I suppose, because the alarm awoke me at 06:00. Just in time to catch the vestige of a nocturnal voyage disappearing out of my head, so I grabbed the dictaphone and dictated it before I forgot. The only one from last night, apparently.

For a change, I remembered the medication and then I grabbed a quick breakfast so that I could take the kids to school. And then down to Hartland to take Hannah the lunch pail that she had forgotten.

Back at the tyre depot there wasn’t a great deal to do today. In fact, I just mauled around a few sacks of feed when customers came a-calling. My new gearchange cable is a Ford main agent part and won’t be in Woodstock until early tomorrow morning.

At lunch-time I went off to buy a sandwich from the Irving garage by the Trans-Canada Highway and then went back to the garage. Where I fell asleep not once but twice.

That was the cue for Rachel to send me home as I was clearly in no fit state to do anything.

Once I’d regained my second wind I made a start on adding the blog entries for the second leg of my voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. To see how far I’ve advanced, you can go to THIS LINK and work your way forward.

There were just Hannah, our visitor and me here for evening meal so I made thin-fried potatoes with carrots, onions, garlic and chili with herbs, and vegan burgers on baps with cheese. And it was all so delicious, especially when followed by one of my chocolate soya desserts left over from Montreal.

Talking of Montreal, I have (rather regrettably) booked my bus back to Montreal, Much as I dislike the idea, I suppose that I ought to think about going home some time soon.

As well as the bus, I booked a room in Montreal for the night that I’ll be staying there before I fly out. I saw the ideal place – and for $20 CAN too. A bed in an 8-bed dormitory in a hostel for women. But they wouldn’t let me reserve the place.

Instead, I’ve booked a room at one of my previous haunts in the rue St Hubert at the back of the bus station, seeing as there was a place on special offer. But then I remembered that that’s the place that doesn’t offer breakfast, by which time it was far too late.

So that’s that. My route from here as far as Brussels is now arranged, for better or for worse. And I’m going to be having a hard time leaving, I reckon. One thing that I’ve always been wary about is putting down roots, especially in places where it’s clearly impractical, if not impossible.

And emotional attachments are the worst of them all.

But onwards and upwards, hey?

Sunday 29th September 2019 – SUNDAY IS A …

… Day of Rest.

And quite right too. No alarm so I could enjoy a nice long lie-in until all of … errr … 07:30. And even so, I didn’t show a leg until about 09:00.

That was when I looked at the dictaphone. And Good Grief!
01:14 worth of notes at 02:10
01:47 worth of notes at 04:20
03:04 worth of notes at 05:29
03:17 worth of notes at 07:21
That’s what I call a lively and turbulent night! I wonder what I’ve been saying.

But I tell you something – and that is that I shall be Living in Interesting Times when I transcribe all of these notes. And what will be even more exciting will be when I add them into the blog and tell you lot all about them.

At 09:00 I went into the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee and then came back into the bedroom to work.

That took me all the way up to about 10:30 when Rachel came down after her Sunday lie-in. We cooked breakfast together and then laid the table for the Taylor Sunday Breakfast Brunch.

I’ve very likely told you all about the Taylor Sunday Breakfast Brunch. It’s a legendary experience and people travel thousands of miles in order to partake. All kinds of food is on the table, although being a vegan I have to “make do” (if you can call it that) with toast, jam, baked beans, hash browns and fried vegetables. Plenty of coffee too, as you might expect.

We did the washing-up afterwards and then organised a pile of washing. At one stage we ended up with only half a load of dark clothes so I nipped upstairs, had a shower and changed my clothes and then bunged my dirty stuff in with the rest.

Tea was next. Rachel was cooking a joint of meat so I found the flatbread again and made a couple of vegan pizzas, one for me and one for our little vegan visitor.

Rice pudding was next, and I had just enough coconut milk to make a vegan version. It’s a dessert that’s unknown in Montreal so our visitor was somewhat hesitant, but her plate didn’t remain full for long.

Washing up again and then I sat down and carried on with the work that I’ve been doing. And now I’ve completed the blog for July as far as I can until I can dismantle the old laptop and rescue the perishing hard-drive. If you want to see where I reached, then you need to go to THIS LINK and work your way backwards.

It will all be subject to revision in due course when I add in the photos and even more so when I add in the dictaphone notes.

As for the voyage for the second half of August, you’ll have to wait a short while for that to follow on. Other things are occurring.

So that was my Lazy Sunday. I’m off to bed to recuperate my strength a little as the week starts tomorrow. And it looks as if I’ve drawn the short straw tomorrow. School run starts at 07:45.

And in other news, my visitor from Celbridge in Ireland has been back for the last couple of nights, so Hello again! to you. But that’s not bothering me half as much as the question as to how a visitor to my site has managed to find his (or her) way directly here from what seems to be a link on a “certain type” of pornography website.

In fact, there are quite a few rather surprising links to my blog right now, from all kinds of places.

Strange goings-on indeed right now