Tag Archives: mushroom green pepper curry

Monday 29th November 2021 – SAY HELLO, EVERYONE …

marité normandy warrior port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… to Normandy Warrior.

Moored down there behind Marité is the newest freighter to visit the port. You won’t have seen her before because we are lucky enough today to catch her on her maiden voyage to the town

She’s the sister ship to Normandy Trader and you can tell them apart because Normandy Trader has a small upper deck behind her bridge on which lightweight articles can be loaded.

normandy warrior port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A few months ago I mentioned that the crew of Normandy Trader were talking about buying another boat.

What I had assumed that they meant was that they were going to replace her with a larger ship, but actually there’s an issue about licences and permits for larger boats and so they have managed to track down a sister ship and they are going to be operating the two simultaneously.

So here is Normandy Warrior busily being loaded with a huge pile of freight that has accumulated over the last few days for her first return journey from Granville to Jersey.

replacing christmas decorations Place Général de Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Something else that has been going on today has been the repair to the town following the devastation of Storm Arwen.

The Christmas decorations in the Place General de Gaulle were savaged quite badly. Father Christmas was blown halfway down the street and the trees that they had erected to surround him were all bowled over.

As I walked past on my way to the physiotherapists they were busy re-erecting the trees. Santa had already been restored to his previous place, so let’s hope that he stays there this time.

broken slates rue general patton Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021That wasn’t the only sign of a tragedy either.

As I was walking home along the Rue General Patton I was trying to avoid all of the broken slates that were littering the floor.

It seems that there has been a roof quite badly damaged in the storm and there were broken slates everywhere. This is going to be quite a bill for someone to have to pay

It’s actually quite a testament to our building that despite being exposed to the full force of the wind, we seem to have escaped quite lightly.

school children college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021However I’ve no idea what might be happening here.

When I returned with Caliburn from having his windscreen replaced, all of the schoolkids from the College Malraux were outside on the public car park hanging around.

Whatever had caused it had happened before I arrived so I wasn’t able to identify a reason, but the fact that all of the fire doors are open seems to indicate that there has been a fire alarm and the school has been evacuated.

While we are on the subject of alarms, my alarms didn’t go off this morning. Not that it made any difference because I was wide awake. I’d had another bad night where it seemed that I hadn’t slept at all.

And seeing that there are no files recorded on the dictaphone (and it’s been quite a while since that has happened, hasn’t it?) that’s a distinct possibility.

So I fell out of bed at 06:00 and staggered off for my medication. Then back here I checked my mails and messages and then had an hour or so working on the radio programme that I should be doing this week, although when, I don’t know.

A shower was next, to get myself cleaned up, and then I changed the bedding. I’m not sure when I did that last but one thing that I did notice last night was that it was high (and I do mean “high”) time that I changed it.

And then I put set the washing machine on the go.

Having made sure that Caliburn would start, I prepared myself to leave and then headed off to the windscreen fitter’s. And with the temperature being at 2.5°C, I put my woolly hat on my woolly head for the first time this winter.

Having dropped off Caliburn I went for a walk – to buy the stuff that I need to clean his wheels, to go to Bio-Coop to see if they had any vegan cheese (which they didn’t) and then to LeClerc for a coffee, where I fell asleep for 20 minutes.

When Caliburn was ready I picked him up and drove home, and I was amazed about how pitted and grimy his old windscreen must have been.

unloading scaffolding place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Back at the building there was someone here unloading a scaffolding.

Not to climb up onto the roof, but they were actually taking it inside the building.

These rooms are quite high and to reach the ceiling is not very easy at all. It looks as if someone is redecorating and the scaffolding must be to enable them to paint the ceiling.

Back here I sat down to carry on with the radio programme but unfortunately I dozed off again. As a result I had rather a late lunch.

After lunch I tracked down the rest of the things that I need to give Caliburn his showroom appearance and then headed off to town.

black pearl spirit of conrad Courrier des Iles charles marie anakena aztec lady port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard Vaufleury I could see that a trawler was just pulling up at the Fish Processing Plant.

She’s Black Pearl, one of the newer trawlers in the port whom we saw sail into port a while back.

Also in the shot are a load of the hire yachts that re laid up over the winter. We have, from left to right, Spirit of Conrad on whom we went up the Brittany coast 18 months or so ago, and then Charles Marie with the little Courrier des Iles moored against her.

Over on the right, Anakena is moored against the quayside with Aztec Ladymoored against her.

installing christmas lights avenue de la liberation Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021With the Rampe du Monte à Regret being closed while they repoint the wall, I carried on down the Rue des Juifs.

Down in the Avenue de la Liberation the Council’s cherry picker was out installing more Christmas lights. I wonder what this lot of lights is going to be like this year.

Heading through town, I climbed back up the Rue Couraye towards the physiotherapists, stopping off at Carrefour on the way. I forgot the tomatoes this weekend and I bought a can of energy drink to help my climb the hill back home.

At the physiotherapist’s she tightened up the screw on the cross trainer t make it harder for me to work the machine, and then I had a few kinetic exercises to carry out.

Finally I was put on the tilting platform and she obviously likes my company … “I can’t think why” – ed … because she let me stay on the machine for an extra 10 minutes.

abandoned railway line parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way home I came back down the steps at the Parc Du Val Ès Fleurs to see how the work was going.

From up above though, I could see that they are slowly advancing with the kerb along the line of the old abandoned railway. They are still a long way from finishing it though.

They’ve not made it to the road yet so it was something of a muddy tramp across the churned-up grass onto the car park and then down the steps to the bottom by where they have installed the keep-fit equipment

cutting wood parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021While I was on my way down there I heard the sound of a circular saw being used .

As I walked a little further on I could see that there was a van and a trailer. There was a generator in front of the van and they were using it to power a circular bench-saw.

Having cut the wood into the required length the guy working the saw carried it off to his friends who were working out of shot on the course of the abandoned railway line.

And judging by the amount of wood that he has on the trailer, he’s going to be working there for quite some time.

creating boardwark abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021What they are actually doing is construction some kind of boardwalk at the side of the concrete pathway that they have laid.

While I was going past I asked them if they would be going the full length of the abandoned railway track and they replied in the affirmative. And I can imagine that it will be fun riding a bike on that in the pouring rain.

But once again it’s pretty dismal, all of this concrete that they have been laying all over the place. I’m sure that they could do much better than that if they really tried, but they seem to be singularly lacking in imagination around here.

parc des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile further down the road I came upon the Parc des Docteurs Lanos.

It’s still quite a mess, churned up by all of the heavy vehicles that have been driving on there moving all of the stuff about, and that is going to take a considerable amount of effort to restore it, unless they do as they have done elsewhere an sink it under a mass of concrete.

And talking of stuff, there seems to be considerably less stuff on there now. They are using it up as a considerable rate and the fact that they aren’t replacing it with any rapidity seems to indicate that the work is slowly coming to an end.

rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And talking about masses of concreete, here’s a photo of the view behind me showing the Rue du Boscq.

Last time that we looked down here they were laying yet more concrete reinforcement matting and sure enough, while I was away in Leuven they have poured yet more concrete down.

One of these days I’ll post a photo of the car park at Lezardrieux where we visited with Spirit of Conrad. There, they laid out the car park with small stone setts and used setts of different colours to mark out the lines and it all looked quite nice.

rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the other end of the street, the situation was just the same.

Another mass of concrete poured down at this end too. It all looks so dreary and depressing.

Mind you, there’s a lorry-load of earth down there and they are tipping it into the gap between the edge of the concrete and the stone wall to the right. I wonder if that is where they will be planting the hundreds of trees that they have promised.

But anyway I left them to it and carried on home dodging the broken slates in the Rue General Patton.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Yesterday we saw a really nice sunset, with what remained of the sun peeking through a small gap in the clouds.

This afternoon, we had a similar phenomenon. There wasn’t as much cloud this afternoon and so the effect was much more dramatic.

In the background we can see the church at Cancale across the bay on the Brittany coast, silhouetted against the orange sky, just to the left of centre.

It is one thing that I like about this time of year. At the time when I usually go for my walk, we have some wonderful lighting effects. We’ve seen quite a few already and there will be plenty more before Spring, I hope.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Before I went in for my afternoon coffee, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to look over onto the beach.

There wasn’t anything going on down there this afternoon, for the simple reason that there wasn’t much beach for anything to be happening on. The tide was well in right now.

So on that point I came back in for my coffee and carried on with some work, but I knocked off earlier than I normally do.

That’s because in a fit of extravagance (or forgetfulness) I bought two loads of peppers at the weekend and I had no idea of when I was going to use them. So I made one of my mega-curries with peppers, mushrooms, a tin of diced veg and a tin of white beans.

It was absolutely delicious and there’s plenty left. So when it’s cooled down and there’s some more room in the freezer, I’ll parcel it all up into individual helpings and freeze them for later use.

But right now I’m off to bed. I’ve had a very long day, walked miles and I’m exhausted. I want to make the most of this and hopefully have a really good sleep for a change.

Monday 11th October 2021 – WE’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… amusing exchange of family correspondence today.

Someone sent me a copy of a family tree and my attention was drawn to a name – Brian – in this family tree.

And so I sent a mail “Your “Brian” – is that the Denis Bryan Ashness-Wells who was born on 1 April 1915, father Francis George Ashness-Wells age 31 and mother, Alice Charlotte Frances Stuart “Elsie” Beavis, 38 who died in 1968, in Hillingdon, London, England, United Kingdom, at the age of 53?”.

The reply that I received was “That’s where you have me at a disadvantage. I find a document, show you the document then you ask me if it matches information you have that I’ve never seen. Not a game I want to play.”.

This reply is from someone who has complained to me in the past (like a couple of days ago) that I haven’t shared any information with him, despite the fact that he hasn’t spoken to me in over 20 years. So when, of course, when I do share some information with him, he goes totally berserk.

You really can’t make up nonsense like this, can you? And to think that I had to put up with behaviour like that for all these years until I became fed up, emigrated and left them all behind.

Some people need to go and lie down in a darkened room and double their dose. The rest of us had grown out of behaviour like this by the time we left Primary School.

But anyway, I digress.

Last night I was in bed rather later than I hoped and the night wasn’t a particularly good one, but I still managed to stagger out of bed when the alarm went off at 06:00.

After the medication and having checked my mails and messages, I attacked the radio programme. And despite a pause for a coffee and another one for breakfast, the programme was all done and dusted and ready to go by 11:15.

Of course I had to listen to it and also the one that I’ll be sending off for broadcast this week. And this week, they both went off without any issues – not like last week of course.

While I was listening to them, I was carrying on with this slow project of checking the duplicates of images that I have on the computer, and another few GB have bitten the dust right now.

After lunch I had a shower and a general clean-up and dealt with some stuff for my other radio project while I waited for the nurse to come to give me my injection.

Eventually I found out that he had already been, while I was in the shower and I’d missed him. So he told me that he’ll be round this evening.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021That meant that I could finally go out for my afternoon walk so I headed off towards the wall at the end of the car park.

Being rather later than usual, the tide was much farther in than you would expect, and the little spit of sand down there was quite prominent. I’ve never seen it quite as clearly as this before.

And there was no-one on the beach down there this afternoon. It’s later than normal and not as warm as it was at the weekend, but still pleasant enough for anyone who wanted to go for a walk along the foreshore.

red powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was looking down on the beach, a familiar noise up above attracted my attention.

As I watched, around the corner from behind the College Malraux came out own friend the red powered hang-glider that we have seen quite regularly over the past few days.

He came flying by and headed straight out across the bay in the direction of the airfield, presumably to go in to land.

Having watched it disappear out to sea, I headed off on my walk along the path on top of the cliffs.

men fishing from zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was looking out to sea, I happened to notice that there was something out at sea.

A closer look showed me that it was a zodiac, and in it were a couple of fishermen dangling their rods into the water in the hope of catching something for supper.

At this point I had another phone call to answer so I couldn’t see whether they actually managed to catch anything, but if the past is anything to go by, it was unlikely.

But once the ‘phone call ended, I carried off on my walk towards the lighthouse, fighting my way through the crowds of people who were on the path.

people on bench men fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021At the lighthouse I walked down the path and across the car park down to the end of the headland.

There was plenty of excitement down there this afternoon. Today, we have two couples sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban looking out to sea.

What they were looking at was difficult to say because there was nothing whatever going on out in the bay and across to Cancale this afternoon

There was also a couple of fishermen standing on the rocks down there with their rods and lines. But I didn’t wait here either to see if they actually managed to catch anything. I headed off down the path.

yacht les epiettes chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down the path I came to the viewpoint overlooking the port and the chantier naval.

The yacht is still there, but the trawler Pescadore has gone back into the water. She wasn’t in there for very long.

In her place we have the little boat that is painted in French Government colours. She’s called Les Epiettes and we had a very close encounter with her when we were on board the Spirit of Conrad last summer.

She’s been hanging around the bay for quite a while subsequently and has been in and out of the port a few time, although I haven’t actually found out yet what she does.

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was at the viewpoint overlooking the Chantier naval, I glanced over at the ferry terminal to see what was happening.

This afternoon we had a full house of Ile de Chausey ferries moored up over at the terminal. From left to right, we have the newer one of the Joly France boats with the smaller upper deck superstructure, and in the centre is the brand-new Belle France.

And then on the right is the older one of the two Joly France ferry with the windows in “landscape” format.

And they have finally collapsed the jib on the crane and folded it back up again after all of this time at full extension.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was on my way back home I was overflown yet again.

This time there was another helicopter going by overhead, a red one this time, different from the one that we saw yesterday.

Back home again I made myself a coffee and then sat down to do some work but instead I had a phone call from Rosemary and we had another lengthy chat, putting the world to right.

After our call finished, I went to make a curry with all of the bits and pieces that were lying around but I was interrupted by the nurse, and this injection was painful for a change.

While I was at it, I told him that I’d been notified that I have the right to a booster injection 6 months after my second injection, so that means with effect from any time now.

The information told me that a nurse can do it, so I asked him f he could administer it when he comes in 2 weeks time. He’ll bring one with him, he told me.

The curry was delicious, as was the scoop of ice cream that I had afterwards as I’d run out of soya dessert.

Now that my notes are complete I’ll have a little relax and then go to bed. I have my Welsh class tomorrow and I need to be on form. And then I have some errands to run in town tomorrow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 28th December 2018 – WHAT A …

… horrible day.

It didn’t start off too well. I was in bed early enough and away on my travels too.

I shall spare a few blushes by mentioning no names but it concerns someone who went away from home in the afternoon to see a friend and I didn’t see her after that. So I locked the door and went to bed. She turned up at some time during the night, well the worse for drink which would have been quite an unusual thing. Although I knew really what had gone on, I had a member of my family round and so she explained that she had gone to meet a friend at the Wistaston Manor Hotel who was crying in her cups about a failed relationship. This had led to something of a consolation drinking session, which then overflowed into the evening. Consoling her friend took much longer than it seemed so she came back home late, found the house locked, thought that I was out and so went round to my parents’ house in Davenport Avenue – but they were out. So she went across the road to the Social Club which was still serving, and so waited in there until my parents returned home. But of course, she couldn’t wait there without making use of the facilities of the club, such as the bar. A load of nonsense of course, but it wasn’t in my best interests to contradict her in public.

The alarm went off at 06:00 and again at 06:10 and 06:20, and I was up and about at some reasonable time. But it ended up being a late breakfast as I was sidetracked by a few issues.

After breakfast I started to work but at about 08:30 I started to yawn again. And from then on, despite a second coffee, I couldn’t keep going. A short time later I lay down on the bed and the next thing that I remembered, it was 10:45. All in all, it was sometime after 11:00 that I managed to haul myself out of bed.

That wasn’t all either, because this afternoon I had another trip away into the wild. The stresses of the journey yesterday are proving far too much for me.

Most of the day has been spent in debate on a group in my Social Networking account. The affairs of Doctor Beeching and Ernest Marples crop up quite regularly and lead to a huge chasm between the participants, depending upon which side of the political fence one sits. And my regular contribution is to post a pile of facts into the argument, which don’t fit too well with either party. It rumbled on for most of the day until the group Admin closed the debate. That was a shame because everyone was (for a change) conducting themselves with respect and dignity and all in all, it was quite enjoyable. Harks back to the days of OUSA Debate.

The rest of the day has been spent in editing photos and tidying up a pile of directories on my laptop. I’ve freed off a huge pile of space on the laptop by doing that.

people on beach gathering shellfish pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceWe had our usual couple of walks of course today.

It’s obviously “that” time of the year because there were loads of people out there on the beach with buckets and spades and the like, presumably searching for seashells among the rocks and in the sand.

Flexing their mussels, one might say. Still, it keeps them out of mischief.

tractor hauling boats beach donville les bains granville manche normandy franceIt wasn’t just at Granville that they were doing their Neville Shute impressions.

Down there at Donville les Bains it looks as if they are bringing in a boat. There are some oyster or mussels beds out there and it looks as if they have been out there servicing them.

They have certainly picked a nice day for it.

winter fog haze baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceRemember last night when there was a fog that had descended over the Baie de Mont St Michel?

It’s still here this afternoon. The pillar with the marker light for the entrance to the harbour is swathed in mist. That puts visibility down to about 800 metres, I reckon.

When you consider that a modern supertanker required several kilometres to pull up to a dead stop, it’s not the kind of day to be out there on board ship without a radar.

Tonight’s meal was a pepper, sweetcorn and mushroom curry from 15th January. And it was just as delicious as it was when I cooked it.

night fishing boat port de granville harbour manche normandy francelater on after tea, I was out again for my evening walk.

The fog has lifted pretty much, and there were a good half-dozen or so fishing boats already in, tied up at the fish-processing plant and unloading.

Not only that, there were about another dozen fishing boats loitering in the vicinity waiting to come in on the evening tide for their turn to unload.

So now I’m going to have an early night. It’s shopping in the morning of course, being a Saturday and I need to be on form.

people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france
people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france

winter fog haze baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
winter fog haze baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

winter fog haze baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
winter fog haze baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

night fishing boat port de granville harbour manche normandy france
night fishing boat port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Friday 5th October 2018 – NOW THAT’S MORE LIKE …

… it!

Although you might not think so, from the way that things carried on from yesterday.

It was something like 02:00 when I finally went to bed this morning. But I wasn’t in it for long. About an hour and a half, something like that, before I realised that it would be pretty impossible to go to sleep.

So not wishing to waste the opportunity, I got up and carried on working on my photos from my trip. The first run-through is complete, and a mere 1715 photos have survived the initial cut. Now they need to be reviewed again and re-edited.

But I’ve now found a problem that I didn’t anticipate – and that is that I seem to have run out of space on my on-line file server. I managed to upload the first 220 and then it all ground out. I’m now trying to negotiate some extra space from my web-host.

Eventually it was time for bed though. 06:20 I reckoned – something like that. And I went off to sleep almost straight away.

And on my travels too. A friend and I had a couple of girlfriends who went to a select girls school and they were having a dance there. We were keen to go and, having failed to talk our way in, and to wear down the opposition with lengthy speeches that would grind them into the floor before they ground us in, we hit on the cunning plan of dressing up in girls-school uniform and pretending to be girls, hoping to pass unnoticed in the sombre lighting. We discussed our plans with a couple of our friends (you can see that this can’t be real. Whenever did I have any friends to discuss anything with?) and we were overheard by the school doctor. After listening for a while he announced that he was homosexual and he was impressed with what we were attempting, and said that there was no real need to go too far into this because once we’d rescued our girlfriends we could all come and socialise in his rooms and he would keep everyone else out.
A little later, I was back on board ship. And we were once more saying goodbye as we parted. We were presented with a map and it showed our route – the strangest route that I had ever seen because it bore some comparison with the route that we have recently taken, and yet a mirror-image. And we reached the Panama Canal from the western side down one of the bays that we had travelled. All in all, it was a rather strange and bizarre setting.

I was awake at 11:20, but not quick enough to find out who phoned me at 11:25. And then I had internet issues as the laptop refused to connect with the modem. Twice now, two consecutive days, that it has dome that. But I eventually managed to make it work and then went off for breakfast.

Having done that, I made a start on work that I needed to do.

First problem to be resolved was to make to work the USB stick that I was given on board the Ocean Endeavour. It wasn’t easy but I eventually made the laptop read it, and then I had to look for a key to open the files because at first glance they seemed to be corrupt.

But that’s the problem with people who use Apple stuff. Quite often the files that they save onto USB don’t transfer over to any other operating system without some work, and regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we were having these kinds of problem when we used to do the radio work. In the end, I had to format a USB drive specially to do the job back then.

Believe it or not, I did some tidying up too. Unpacking my suitcase and putting some stuff away. Not much, I hasten to add. It’s going to take more energy than I have right now to deal with all of that.

I put the washing away too – I had done a machine just before I left and had all of the stuff hung out to dry. And some more of the food too, although that involved clearing some space in the freezer and that wasn’t as easy as it sounds.

Next on the agenda was to look at all of the photos to date and to make some thumbnails of them of a reasonable size. That involves the use of three separate programs in order to get them just how I like them.

Having done that, I promised various people that I would put the photos on line in an accessible way (once I can find some additional room on my server to upload them of course). So I’ve made a start on making some web pages in the standard format that I’ve used since 2007. It’ll take quite a wile to do that but if I don’t start, I won’t ever finish.

Tea was exciting too. I’d bought a huge pile of mushrooms and some peppers the other day so I made a huge wok-full of mushroom and pepper curry in soya cream. It made a beautiful tea with rice, and there’s some in the fridge right now for a cunning plan, and there’s more happily freezing away in the freezer.

There was football on the internet this evening. Caernarfon Town v Bala Town in the Welsh Premier League. There are always good crowds at The Oval and this was no exception and the atmosphere was terrific.

The football was even better. Bala had by far the more skilful players but Caernarfon’s great strength is the camaraderie amongst the players – the Cofis really do play as a unit.

The final result of this pulsating, exciting match was 2-2 and that was about right. I do have to say that football in the Welsh Premier League doesn’t get much better than this.

Later in the evening TOTGA was on line. We haven’t spoken for quite some considerable time so we had a very lengthy chat. One day we might have a telephone chat or even a face-to-face chat if I am lucky.

So now, considerably later than anticipated, I can think about going back to bed. Even though it was a reasonably late start, I’ve gone all day without crashing out and even managing to do a pile of work.

One swallow doesn’t make a summer of course, but it’s an improvement. How will I be feeling tomorrow?

And I’ve just realised – it’s now 01:45 and not only have I not set foot outside, I’m still in my dressing gown from this morning.

Wednesday 20th June 2018 – THE WORLD’S WORST BANK …

… strikes again!

Remember that letter that I had to fax them yesterday? It seems that I had forgotten something off it.

And yes, I freely admit that it was my error. No argument there.

The bank sent me an e-mail and asked me to rectify the omission. No problem there either.


I had to reply by fax yet again. I couldn’t do it by phone, and I couldn’t reply to their e-mail either. Even though they had referred to my request in the e-mail that they had sent me, that it would be clear that any reply that I sent would have been in reply to their mail, and that the information was information that they had requested.

So that was yet more wasted time.

Like I say, I’m not denying my responsibility. I’m just moaning about the bank’s procedures. Had I still have been in the UK they would have been kicked into touch a good while ago. But then, had I still been in the UK, I would never have had the issues that I’m having now.

Last night, I didn’t get to see my film. I ended up going to bed fairly early instead. I was hoping to have an early night, but waking up at 03:45 was no part of my intentions whatsoever.

So much so that after breakfast I sat down and ended up being … errr … away with the fairies for a good half an hour.

But I pulled myself through, did some more tidying up and even vacuumed the living room, as well as measuring up a few things here and there, because I’m having a day out tomorrow.

hanging cloud port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOr, at least, I’m hoping to, if I can find the road.

On my trip into town this afternoon we were lucky to see the harbour. We’ve been swathed in a hanging cloud all day and it hasn’t lifted for a minute. It’s even worse right now.

If it keeps on like this, I won’t even be able to find my way out of the building, never mind out of town.

Having dealt with the housekeeping issues for today (Friday is to deal with the kitchen and Saturday is to wash the floor to let it dry while I’m out at the shops) I went back to the blog again.

The current whereabouts of my amendments is the day that I left Leuven to travel to Oostende. That page is not quite finished (although it might be by the time you read this) but it’s all now done from there onwards.

I’m determined to bring it all up to date before I’m much older, having left it somewhat … errr … incomplete during my all-too-frequent bouts of illness.

No point in going out for lunch today in the hanging cloud. I stayed in and read my book in the peace and quiet.

And then I had to fiddle about with the printer in order to make it work. It’s an ancient Hewlett-Packard that I inherited from Marianne all those years ago. It had an enormous amount of use while she had it, and it’s done some work here over the five years that I’ve had it. So it’s quite temperamental.

house demolition rue du port granville manche normandy franceAnd so off into town.

We’ve seen the hanging cloud, but I don’t think that you have seen the workmen down in the bottom-right corner who have now started on another house down on the rue du Port.

It’s difficult to tell whether they are knocking holes in the walls to fit new windows, or whether they are trying to knock the walls down completely. I suppose that time will tell.

gravel tipping port de granville harbour manche normandy franceHaving seen my friendly newspaper shop owner and sent off the fax, I came back up the hill.

And over in the port, another gravel lorry had arrived and had tipped its load. And behind it there was a digger driver busily heaping it all up into a tidy pile on the edge of the quayside.

Not in the gravel bins, you’ll notice. So that can really only mean that another gravel boat will shortly be paying us a visit. And I hope that I’m here to see it.

But I learnt some bad news in the newsagents. Madame la Maire has finally published her proposals for the port. She wants to build another casino and another pile of restaurants down there.

That means, quite simply, that all of the empty shops in the town will immediately be transformed into the kind of expensive boutiques that you see in every other seaside town – vastly overpriced for two months of the year and closed, gathering dust for the other 10.

And the port, instead of being a working, industrial zone, will become a haven for luxury yachts for 2 months of the year and deserted for the remainder.

It will totally destroy the character of the town, but such is the price that one has to pay for a bit of egoism.

And it did not go unnoticed that the proposals weren’t published until after the series of meetings with the residents (one of which we attended last week).

So that was my afternoon walk, and I crashed out yet again for a while. A coffee soon revived me though, and I had a good 50-minute session on the bass guitar. I’m cracking on.

After tea, which was a frozen mushroom and pepper curry in coconut milk, I went for my walk. And managed 120 paces at a run (well, a sort-of run). And if there was anyone else out there, I wouldn’t have an idea in this weather.

So now I’ll do a few bits and pieces and then have another early night.

And I hope that it’s more successful than the last one.

Monday 15th January 2018 – IT GOES …

… without saying that this morning didn’t go according to plan, doesn’t it?

In fact, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m continually being confounded by issues not of my own making and I have to go to extraordinary lengths to circumvent them.

Just for a change, I was awake before the alarm went off, but that’s not quite the same as saying that I was ready to leave the bed. In fact it was something of a struggle to haul myself out of my stinking pit.

Fist thing though was the urine sample. Despite a thorough search this last few days I’ve not found the report from Leuven so I had to go through the procedure here. That’s what I call “taking the P155”. Then I could have my medication and once that worked, I could have my breakfast.

There was a form to fill in to take to the laboratory and that involved some tracking down of stuff too. But once I’d done that I could set off. Into the howling gale and driving rainstorm. After the couple of nice days that we have had, it goes without saying that as I’m out and about on foot we are going to have this kind of weather, doesn’t it?

First stop was the Mobile phone repairer. Having been told that he was back today I made this my first port of call. But as I really ought to have expected, it’s Monday today and many places are closed in France on a Monday – the mobile phone repairer included.

Next stop was the mairie. The doctor who is doing my medical examination told me that I could find some forms here. But according to the mairie, not any more. The forms are available to download on line.

But at least this means that I need to take some decisive action to resolve the cable issues that I’m having with my printer. The tag that holds the plug in place has broken off so the plug won’t stay connected. I shall have to invent a means of locking it in position, or even making a direct connection.

But it’s just typical of Hewlett Knackered. They can’t use standard infinity plugs like anyone else – they have to go for something really fancy and complicated that breaks under the slightest pressure and renders the machine unusable (unless you have a devious mind of course).

Hiking up to the laboratory (which is just on the station roundabout) I was running out of steam – I clearly haven’t recovered from my health. And the bad news is that the lack of this urine sample means that I’ve had to pay €6:80. no wonder I’m spending a fortune with being so unprepared.

On the way back I picked up a baguette and then staggered back up the hill to here – thoroughly exhausted and thoroughly soaked to the skin – to such an extent that I had to change my trousers.

And just for a change, I had a coffee. First one (apart from some warm brown liquid at the football the other week) since I’ve been back from Leuven. And it tasted awful.

Soup with pasta and bulghour for lunch again, with some of the fresh bread (the rest went into the freezer) and then I had a relaxing afternoon not doing very much, although I did have a good session on the bass guitar. To my surprise, some of the stuff that we used to play 40-odd years ago came back into my mind.

For tea tonight, I made a huge curry – the first one for a while. Mushrooms, peppers and because it didn’t make as much as I was hoping, a tin of sweet corn. One helping tonight and four more for the freezer.

My evening walk was a disappointment. Pouring with rain still and a howling gale. So I just did a short lap around the streets and came home. No sense in risking another attack of Bronchitis.

Anyway, tomorrow I’m off down to town again to see if this mobile phone repairer is finally going to make it back to his shop. He better had be because it’s getting my goat.

And the music?

For most of the day we’ve had Jethro Tull going round. If I really had to choose one group to be my favourite, it would have to be Jethro Tull. It takes me back to my school days and Benefit, Stand Up, Aqualung, Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play – the latter two albums being so good that it took the critics 30 years to realise it.

Those five albums, and many others that they released subsequently, have been on my playlist for getting on for 50 years and won’t ever lose their place. Other bands and artists may come and go but Jethro Tull will always be there

Monday 27th November 2017 – I DIDN’T …

… go out for a walk this evening either. And for the same reason too. The day was grey and miserable but this evening the weather deteriorated and we had another torrential downpour after tea.

I’d had a good night’s sleep too. And away on my travels as well. Living temporarily in various rooms here and there about the place just like I have been doing until quite recently. My path crossed another guy who was one of mu co-cottiers. He described some of the places in which he stayed, and it seemed that we had stayed in the same places. He told me how much he had paid, and I was desperately trying to work out if I had been charged more than he had.
Meanwhile, a young boy and girl were in a swimming pool splashing around – the swimming pool being lined with sausages. These kids started to kick the water about and that attracted a shark that attacked them. The police were called and they ended up staying in one of the places where I was staying.

Today was one of those days when I didn’t do too much. I’ve been working on the internet and catching up with what I missed while my news reader was offline (it came back on line dramaically at about 10:00).

After lunch I went for a rather windswept walk around the headland. And I was effectively on my own. I didn’t count more than two or three people out there this afternoon.

Another crash out this afternoon – and for an hour or so. Well away I was too. This kind of thing is getting me down but I suppose that I have to make the best of it. It’s not going to get any better.

But tea tonight was good. Some peppers and a tin or mushrooms, and I made a curry. Having bought som coconut milk over the weekend I added some of that in there too. It was quite delicious and there are another four helpings to go into the freezer.

So with no walk this evening I’m going to have an early night. Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel better and the weather will improve.

Thursday 10th August 2017 – THE ONE THING …

… about spending all morning copying files from one computer onto a memory stick to load into the other one that you are taking with you, only to find that one is formated in NFTS and the other in FAT 64 so the second laptop can’t read the memory stick, is that it encourages you to set up a Home Network.

And that was excitement in itself because with no instructions to go by, it was a very hit-and-miss affair to say the least. Trial end error? It was certainly a trial – and there were plenty of errors!

And 5.3GB of data took 2 hours to read – never mind start to transfer over. And so I was not at all pleased to find that the data wouldn’t go!

It took me an hour to resolve the issue, having to delve deep into the bowels of both of the machines, but I’ve eventually managed to make it work. And, as I write this rubbish, that data is 7% completed with another … gulp … 7 hours to go!

strawberry moose granville manche normandy franceIn between all of this, I’ve managed to attack the packing, and you have to deal with the important things first.

His Nibs is preparing for the (af)fray of course – it’s the rutting season and he has all of his engagements lined up.

I’ve packed a few clothes, most of which I’m going to leave over there, and a few other bits and pieces. I’ve probably fofgotten tons of stuff that I need but I’ll just do what I always do

Most people usually make a list of things that they need and pack accordingly. I just pack and then make a list of the things that I’ve forgotten.

But I have His Nibs, my tickets, my passport, my cash and my bank cards. That’s the important stuff anyway.

Tidying up was on the agenda too. but not too much of that because I’ll only clutter up the place before I go. That’s a “tomorrow afternoon” job, as is a shower, the washing, going to the bank and so on.

And tea?

More of the curry stuff that I made earlier in the week. Just one more lot to go, which is fine because there’s just one more night here. Saturday morning, His Nibs and I are hitting the streets.

AIS beacon tracker granville manche normandy franceI did mention a parcel delivery that I received yesterday, and I promised that today I would tell you what it is.

This is it, although you can’t see it very clearly. It’s two small black boxes, a pile of cable and an antenna, and it needs to be erected properly – something that I’ll have to do later.

It’s an AIS beacon tracker, which is of extreme interest to me, not just for the machine itself but for the benefits that come with it.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have a fascination for ships, and I regularly run a Ship of the Day” column on here. Every ship is fitted with an AIS beacon which transmits its position and some other information besides, all of which is of interest to me as you might expect.

There’s a project afoot to equip every port in the world with an AIS tracking device which will transmit the information to a central point to make up one of the biggest interactive databases in the world – an absolutely fascinating project for someone like me.

The port of Granville wasn’t covered in this project, but when I read that anyone who hosts an AIS tracker will have free, unlimited access to the database …well – say no more!

It’s up and working, and I can see it on the web site of the organisation. Once a few checks have been done, I’ll be having my free access account, which is good news for me.

It was a late night last night – about 03:00 in fact – but I was still up at 07:00. And I didn’t crash out either.

So I’ll brave the hurricane and go for a walk and then try for an early night. I have the cleaning to do, and then down into town, and I’ve been invited to a soirée later.

It’s all go here, isn’t it?

Monday 7th August 2017 – THESE LATE NIGHTS …

… aren’t doing me much good, you know.

I set the alarm at 07:00 in the morning because when I was going to bed at 21:30 or something I didn’t want to waste the day as well. But just recently I seem to have regained all of my old routine – still awake and fighting fit at 02:00 – working on an animation, would you believe..

Back in those days, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that an 08:30 start was the norm when it was a 02:00 sleep. But no matter what, I’m going to hold out for these 07:00 starts.

All in all, this sea air, this “place of my own” and this new evening walk routine seems to be doing me some good.

So with all if this in mind, it took two goes on the alarm clock (Billy Cotton as well as David Bowie) this morning to get me out of bed and staggering into the bathroom, but there I was all the same.

Baguette on the wall for lunch too in the sunshine. It was a glorious afternoon and I was out there until about 15:00 with my book on The Hundred Years War.

It’s a strange war because most British people know of Agincourt, Crécy, the Black Prince and precious little else. For France though, it was about 115 years of sheer continuous terror with rampaging “Private Armies” devastating the countryside.

I know about it from the English point of view of course, so a year or so ago I bought a huge, thick book of about 1,000 pages going into intimate detail of the war from a French point of view.

Tea was a mega-curry. Should have had lentils in it but I forgot to boil them (they take about 2 hours to boil). However I had tons of stuff left over in the fridge like the rest of the stuffing for the peppers, a few mushrooms and the like.

Add to that the pepper left over from the three from LIDL and a large tin of vegetables, it all went together quite well and was one of the best that I’ve made. And enough for four days too.

Ingrid was on the phone for an hour having a chat. She’s in life-changing mode right now too so we compared notes.

But much of the day was spent doing something quite exciting. With my 3D program I just work with a couple of basic templates for figures and I’ve worked on them myself to develop some characters.

But the easiest one to work with is about 10 years old and is no longer supported so finding accessories is very difficult. Stuff disappears off the markets and the newsgroups and is never replaced. The Usenet discussion groups have a retention time of about 3,000 days so it’s all dropping off the end.

But the stuff that I found the other day included some stuff from a previous generation of templates and in a fit of inspiration I’ve managed to develop a little script to make it fit my template.

It’s far from perfect but I’ll keep working at it.

As well as that, I’ve discovered the secret of adapting morphs from older generations of templates to fit the templates that I use, and these are generally better-crafted than current ones.

Again; it’s far from being perfected bu I have a couple that work and that is indeed progress.

I’ll go for a walk now and see what later this evening brings me.

Tuesday 22nd April 2014 – SO WHAT’S HAPPENING …

fire pionsat 22 april 2014 puy de dome france … over there tben? There’s quite a fire burning for some reason or other and I wonder what’s going on.

I couldn’t hear the pompiers or any amulance or anything and so I don’t know how urgent that might be, but it certainly looks most unwelcome.

However, it’s not likely to burn for very long because we’ve had something of a torrential downpour this evening. There’s been the odd shower or two and we had a thunderstorm pass over at about 15:00 but it really meant business this evening.

Still, the first real rain for a couple of weeks and so we can’t complain too much.

The rain is my fault too, for I’ve been out gardening today. And I noticed that the three surviving strawberry plants have flowers now. But that’s by the way.

First job was to plant the Brussels Sprouts that I bought on Saturday. So I gave that bed a good hoeing over first, and carried on to weed a few more as well while I was at it. Then I planted the sprouts, followed by the 12 lettuce that I bought. 6 of them went in between the sprouts, and the other 6 went in between the cabbage that I planted the other week.

After lunch I sowed the new potatoes, and then I turned my attention to the seeds. Seems that I have some lettuce coming up, and there’s signs of life in the leeks too. But still nothing much coming up anywhere else.

Now though, I have some sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower seeds sown, as well as some organo and basli seeds. Tomorrow, though, i’ll need to push on.

At 17:45 I came to a halt as I had to go round to Cécile’s to show some househunters around – that was what I was on my way back from doing when I noticed the fire.

I made another mega-curry tonight. This one is a mushroom and green pepper one, and that will keep me going for a few days too.