Tag Archives: neighbours

Monday 13th June 2022 – NOW HERE’S A THING!

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While you admire a couple of photos of various sea-going craft, including what looks like Marité out there in the bay, I’ll tell you about my rather surprising day.

In fact, I seemed to be rather better today. The walk up to the physiotherapist and back again wasn’t quite as bad as it has been of late, and I only crashed out for about 15 minutes today, and that’s rather surprising considering the way that things have been.

Especially when I was up and out of bed this morning at 06:00 ready to work on my radio programme.

Once again today I wasn’t particularly rushed to complete it and it was about 11:30 when I finally finished it. And that was despite stopping for a coffee and also for breakfast sometime later

trawlers yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Although it’s not one of the better programmes from a music point of view, it’s a good one from a technical point of view with some of the nicest joins that I’ve made for a while.

What slowed me down somewhat as well was that for part of the time I was having a chat with Alison on the internet. She had a few exciting pieces of news to impart.

When I’d finished preparing the radio programme i had a listen to one that I’d made several weeks ago that will be broadcast this coming weekend, to make sure that it’s all correct

And while I was listening to it, I was tidying up and sorting out a few files on the computer freeing up a little more space.

There was time for me to have a shower before going to lunnch, to make sure that I was nice and clean and presentable ready to go to the physiotherapist’s.

After lunch I had a listen to the programme that I’d prepared this morning while I was still doing some housekeeping on the computer, and then it was time for me to go out for my appointment.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022As usual, the first thing that I needed to do was to go to make sure that the NIKON 1 J5 was working properly.

That means going to the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the viewpoint overlooking the outer harbour to see what was happening there and take a photograph of it.

As it happens, there was nothing to see today. The tide is quite far out and there is no-one playing “Musical Ships” this afternoon.

But the tractor and trailer are down there on the lower level waiting for the boats to come in later on this afternoon. They will take away the boxes of shellfish although to where I don’t know. I’m not quick enough on my pins these days to break into a run to follow it.

yacht pescadore wavecat express chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Meanwhile I’d heard a racket coming from over in the chantier naval.

It looks as if the portable boat lift has just a yacht out of the harbour earlier today and is presumably waiting for the tide to come in so that they can lower it back in.

And apart from that, there’s no other change in the occupants of the chantier naval. We still have Pescadore and Wavecat Express in there today along with the cabin cruiser and the catamaran that have been in there for a while now.

So with nothing else going on I wandered off down the hill towards the town.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022A little further on I came to the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour where I stopped to see what was happening there.

Marité, the large sailing boat, wasn’t there. We saw her in an earlier photo out there in the Baie de Granville, but there was a pile of freight waiting on the quayside.

That means that we will be going to be having a visit from one of the little Jersey freighters some time soon.

And it might even be Normandy Trader because I saw a photo this morning to suggest that her overhaul is complete and she’s gone back into the water ready to carry on where she left off.

cherry picker Rue de l'Abreuvoir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There weren’t too many people in the town today – there never are on a Monday as many places are closed.

But what there was was a cherry picker in one of the side streets with a guy in the nacelle doing some maintenance work on one of the buildings.

He had the street coned off to traffic and as I watched, a motorist reversed out of a parking place, flattened a couple of the cones and then drove away. It’s not just pathetic parking that’s an issue around here.

And gritting my teeth, I prepared myself for the long, weary climb up the hill towards the physiotherapist’s.

furniture lift rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And here’s something that I’ve not seen before in France.

We’ve seen plenty of them in Belgium though, haven’t we? A furniture lift being used to help someone move from one of the apartments in the Rue Couraye.

One thing that I have noticed is that many of the stairs in the buildings here are steep and narrow and I must admit that I wouldn’t feel safe, even if I was feeling fit and healthy, carrying heavy loads down the kind of stairs that you find in some of the buildings here.

At the physiotherapist’s she had me doing a few exercises and then 10 minutes on the exercise bike. And things seemed to be a little easier today.

When the session was finished I staggered out into the daylight and down the hill towards the town centre, and then back up to the other side of the hill towards my building.

gerlean rocalamauve l'omerta la grande ancre le styx port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022By now all of the boats are coming into the port one by one to unload their catch.

We can identify several of them – Gerlean, Rocalamauve, L’Omerta, La Grande Ancre and Le Styx are the ones that we can recognise at a glance.

Round about here I bumped into one of my neighbours. She’s the nurse and home help who lives on the floor above and, biting the bullet, I told her that I’m intending to engage her services when I come back from my travels.

Cleaning my apartment is now quite beyond my capabilities and if I don’t do something about it soon, it’ll be too late and I’ll end up living in some kind of squalid circumstances and I need to avoid that at all costs.

car driving the wrong way place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Now here’s something else worthy of note.

Just now I mentioned a motorist squidging a couple of cones down in the Rue Paul Poirier. But up here outside my apartment we have something even more interesting.

You can see quite clearly the “no entry” sign by the gate. This street here is a one-way street but this motorist doesn’t seem to care less about any of that. He’s pushing on regardless.

There’s definitely something wrong with a lot of people when they don’t care less about the rules of the road.

It’s not just cars coming the other way but there are loads of pedestrians around here who are used to cars only coming one way with the flow of traffic and won’t be looking out for vehicles coming in the opposite direction.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before I went in I went across the car park to have a look down on the beach to see what was happening there.

There weren’t all that many people down there this afternoon. Only a couple of people. There wasn’t anyone else taking advantage of such a nice day which was a surprise.

On the way back here there was another neighbour loitering around so I had a chat with her as well. She’s not doing very well at the moment either. It seems to be quite an epidemic of illness in the building.

Back here I made a strawberry smoothie and came in here to transcribe the dictaphone notes.

I was working behind the bar in this night club. Someone came in asking for a packet of cigarettes. They gave me the little square card with the barcode on and I had to go to the machine. It was hung from the ceiling so I had to climb up onto a couple of tables and 1 or 2 other things and then I’d be lucky if I could reach it. At one of the tables was a girl called Alison whom I knew from school whose surname ought to have been “Raleigh”. She was there with a guy so I was talking to her. The guy was looking at me rather strangely so I said that we knew each other from school and didn’t say too much. She made a few remarks about one or two people whom we knew and she knew in particular. Then I had to reach for this cigarette machine but I couldn’t reach it. It was one of those things that you were only ever going to have one go at reaching because if you overbalance you’ll fall. If you fell you’d need to grab hold of the cigarette machine to stop you falling into a void. I was there tottering away on the edge of this table thinking that I’m never going to reach this machine and get this pack of cigarettes. I had absolutely no confidence that I was ever going to do so. It seemed a strange place for this machine anyway. Everyone was urging me on to go and get this packet of cigarettes but I just couldn’t see how I was going to do it without it all ending in tears. It was all extremely confusing and extremely bad for the morale this kind of dream where I couldn’t even think about getting this pack of cigarettes. All I could think about was stopping myself from falling into the void.

Then there were a few of us walking through this shipyard when all of a sudden we were pounced upon by a group of people. They started to attack and torture us, asking us questions about the ships that we’d seen being built. Wr hadn’t taken very much notice so we weren’t able to say very much. They started to become even more aggressive and the attackes became even more painful as they tried to make us tell them things but we couldn’t really tell them anything because we hadn’t noticed anything while we were walking through the shipyard

I had a cheque for £347 that I had to take to the bank. I handed it over the counter to the cashier but she credited it straight away into my bank account without asking me what I wanted to do with it. A little later in the day I’d run out of money. I realised that I’d only wanted to pay £200 into the account and I wanted the rest as cash so I had to go back to the bank and argue about that they had done with this cheque. Eventually I managed to find the woman whom I’d seen earlier (at least I thought that it was her) and discuss the situation with her before she would then return some of the money that was paid into my account from this cheque

It was while I was finishing it off that I fell asleep but surprisingly it was only for a few minutes.

Tea was a stuffed pepper with rice and veg and now that I’ve typed my notes I’m off to bed. I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be on form.

And who knows? I might have a better day tomorrow too but one swallow doesn’t make a summer, does it?

Monday 25th April 2022 – THAT WAS A NIGHT …

… that I would much rather forget. I’ve been having a few of these here and there as well just recently.

Although I was in bed last night at 22:30 ready for my 06:00 start, and feeling tired at that as well , by the time that 04:20 came round and I was still awake, I was thoroughly and completely fed up.

Even more surprisingly, when the alarm did go off at 06:00 I was up quite smartly too even if I didn’t feel much like it. And apart from a little wobble here and there just after lunch, I kept on going all day without really crashing out.

And the chances of that happening – well, not happening – are pretty remote as well the way that things have been just recently.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I sat down and attacked the radio programme that needed preparing.

It was all up and running too at 10:45 and that was a surprise considering all of the interruptions that I had today. There was an early morning coffee, followed by breakfast followed by the nurse coming round early yet again to inject me with the Aranesp ready for my trip away at the weekend.

And having had a visit from the nurse, I had to ring up the doctor for an appointment. I need more Aranesp, having used the last lot, and I have to talk to him about my knee. Now that I’ve had the MRI scan and something has been discovered, I need to find out what is going to happen next.

As well as that, I need a blood test. They upped my medication when I was at the hospital just now, and I need to have the results ready for when I return next Thursday.

There were four radio programmes that I needed to verify today. I’m sending off two today because I won’t be here next Monday, and then there was the one that I prepared last week and never had time to verify, and then there was the one that I’d prepared today. And s much of the rest of the day was spent listening to them to make sure that they passed muster.

While that was going on I was working on the photos from the High Arctic in 2019. Right now I’m on board a zodiac in Flexure Bay off the coast of King William Island on my way to investigate a rather large pod of Beluga Whales.

There were several breaks in this task too. Firstly, I went for a shower. Secondly I had lunch and thirdly I went off for my appointment with the physiotherapist.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022First port – if you pardon the expression – of call was the wall overlooking the harbour on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

Our little game of Musical Ships is continuing this afternoon as well. Although the tide is in, L’Omerta is in with it, tied up at the quayside by the Fish Processing Plant. It must be her turn today.

There are two other boats in the photo too. The one in front looks as if it might be some kind of official boat judging by the colour, but I can’t make out the identity of the one behind her Whoever she is, she’s one of the inshore shell-fishing boats.

philcathane joly france yachts port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022The tide is actually quite well in right now and so one or two fishing boats are heading back to harbour.

This one coming in is Philcathane. Parked up at the ferry terminal is one of the Joly France ferries and the small upper deck superstructure makes me think that she’s the newer one of the two.

And there’s someone standing by the crane too, although there doesn’t look like any freight that needs loading aboard.

There are a couple of yachts out there in the bay behind her having a good sail around too, enjoying the nice weather.

repairing roofs rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022My route into town goes down the Rue des Juifs past the three houses that were devastated by the fire the other week.

There’s been a cherry-picker there for a couple of days with a few workmen in the nacelle. They are putting some kind of wooden framework up there to which they will be covering with a tarpaulin or two.

It’s quite important to keep at least the ones either side of the destroyed house covered in order to stop the elements doing even more damage than the fire has already done, but I think that te one in the centre, on which they were working as I went past, is beyond redemption.

The smell from the fire-damaged structure would be enough to put off anyone who might want to repair it, never mind anyone else.

swimming pool cranes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There’s more activity going on in the inner harbour this afternoon.

There are two cranes that work the freight in the harbour and it looks as if they are having a conference this afternoon. And there are a couple of people in attendance too.

On the quayside is another pile of freight, including yet another swimming pool. That can only mean that one of the Jersey freighters will be coming into port quite soon to which it all away.

There wasn’t anything of any interest going on in town this afternoon so I had a pretty uninterrupted trip up the hill towards the physiotherapist.

She gave me an electro-massage on my knee and then had me doing a few exercises.

While I was there I cancelled my appointment for Wednesday as I’m at the doctor’s, and cancelled them for next week too as I’m on my travels again.

redecorated facade rue georges clemenceau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022After she threw me out I headed back into town on my way home for my afternoon coffee.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the last couple of weeks we’d seen some scaffolding up against a building in the Rue Georges Clemenceau. Today, I noticed that the scaffolding has gone and we can see what they have been doing.

It’s the building down there that has the nice fresh blue edging. They have done a pretty good job of painting it and it looks quite nice now. I wonder when they are going to paint a few more to match.

fishing boat leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022On my way up the hill towards home I walked past the port where I noticed one of the fishing boats heading off out to sea.

Unfortunately she’s not one that I recognise and with only having the NIKON 1 J5 with the standard lens, I’m not likely to be able to enlarge it sufficiently to see its registration number.

Her colours are distinctive enough and I’ll certainly remember her if I ever see her again.

Around here while I was looking at the port I fell in with one of my neighbours on her way home and so we walked up the hill together putting the world to rights.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022When we arrived at the building I went over to the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

Firstly, there wasn’t all that much beach to be on. Even so with the nice sunny weather I was expecting to see a few people down there making the most of it.

However, there weren’t all that many people there this afternoon. all I could see were a couple of people loitering around down there.

No-one in the water as far as I could see though. The weather wasn’t all that warm, I suppose.

fishing boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was plenty of activity going on out at sea.

Even with the standard lens on the camera I could see quite a few boats out there in the bay, although I couldn’t see if they were fishing boats or pleasure craft.

But they were clearly busy so I left them to it and came back here where I bumped into yet another neighbour. It’s my day for being sociable today.

Back here I had a coffee and finished listening to the last of the radio programmes, and then I could see what was going on with the dictaphone.

At some point during the night I must have gone to sleep because there was some stuff on there that I had recorded. Three of us had booked rooms at a hotel (and there’s more to this story than meets the eye too). I’d specified a room next to the other two. I turned up at about 08:30. Of course it was far too early to take my room but I thought that there would be a consigne where I could leave the baggage but they were so busy at reception with people checking out and having breakfast that I had to wait around. Eventually someone came to take over from the night desk staff. We began to chat. He discussed my special requirements – I’d listed dozens of special requirements, some of which were quite silly but he went through them with me. We entered the lift but I’d forgotten half the stuff. There was some stuff that I didn’t know that I had to bring but eventually I collected everything together end we entered the lift. We went up to the 2nd floor but they were vacuuming there so we had to go up the the second-and-a-half floor and come down the stairs at the back in order to arrive at the consigne where I could leave my baggage.

And then I was living in Winsford again. There was a woman there with 3 small children, girls. They were round at my place. I was looking after them, taking turns to take them to the bathroom etc. They met Tuppence, my black cat. They were asking questions about her, how old she was. I said that she must be at least 20 now. They thought that that was wonderful. One of them had a cat that usually hid in a drawer. When she went to open the drawer of course it wasn’t there. Outside, between my house and the next-door neighbour’s I’d erected a suspension bridge. It looked absolutely magnificent. Everyone thought that it was great. I had to have the neighbour sign a liability waiver so that if anything happened to the bridge with him on it he wouldn’t sue me for it. We had an inspection of the bridge and in the end he signed the paper.

Tea was a stuffed pepper – there was one lying around – and it was delicious. And now I’m going to have a little relax and then go to bed. I’m totally exhausted and I’m surprised that I’ve kept on going so long. It just goes to show that I can do it when I want, even when I’ve taken one of those night-time pills.

Saturday 18th December 2021 – THAT WAS A LONG …

… day today.

It wasn’t just the 05:00 start that killed me off, it was the bad night that I’d had to go with it.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have said that I won’t talk about my bad nights, but this was a bad night with a reason – not a psychological bad night. There were people shouting and screaming in the building, dogs barking, through the night and all of that kind of thing.

When the alarm went off at 05:00 I was actually already awake. But I must have been asleep at some point because there’s yet more stuff on the dictaphone. There was something about a group of us doing things with rocks, wrapping them up, something like that. We were all in individual groups doing that but I can’t remember any more about this. I awoke at the wrong time

Later on, a group of us had gone to live in South America. We were wondering what to do. I came across something about scrap vehicles and ended up with a MkIII P100 pickup and an old scrap MkIII saloon so I said “well, I’m in business” and I used this P100 pickup to tow the MkIII saloon away. Then we were exploring these abandoned villages trying to find a place where we could settle down and live. There was some discussion going on about the group “The Band” in some bar somewhere, about how they had been an acoustic band but at some time in 1971 had gone over to play electric. I thought to myself that that was they listening to them but that was probably due to the fact that they hadn’t had any electricity until that moment and that was when they were connected to the grid.

So there I was, leaving my bed at 05:00 and by 05:30 I’d tidied up, packed, made my lunch and about to set out of the door.

By 05:55 I was on the station at Leuven, to find that the 06:08 that I caught last time was cancelled due to work on the line. However there is a train a few minutes later that goes via the airport so I took that one instead.

There was a few minutes of embarrassment when my telephone wouldn’t pick up an internet signal. However I eventually made it work which was just as well because all of my tickets are on there these days (I’ve gone paperless) and I’d be in all kinds of problems if there’s no internet connection on my phone.

At Brussels I had plenty of time so I had a good wander around the station before heading off to board my train to Paris. And we had phone issues here too.

After I’d sat down and was waiting for the train to depart, a girl struggled onto the station with a small suitcase which was the heaviest that I have ever seen. She couldn’t lift it onto the rack and someone had to help her and I bet that he regretted it.

Once we’d set off I dozed for much of the way to Paris which is no surprise after the night that I’d had. And we arrived on time and I was on a metro train within minutes too.

The walk down the street in Paris from the metro to Gare Montparnasse is definitely much easier than going through the labyrinth – so much so that I hardly realised that I’d done it.

But the station was heaving. Schools have now broken up and everyone is travelling to their holiday home. Our train was packed with Parisians heading for the coast and bringing their virus with them. Watch the figures here shoot up this next few weeks.

Just before the train pulled out, onto the train staggered the girl with the suitcase and that was when I found out that she was to sit next to me – and when I found out how heavy her suitcase was too.

She was going to Granville to stay with her boyfriend so we had a chat for part of the way and for the rest she dozed off while I carried on reading the Flatey Book and the account therein of Leif Ericson’s voyage to North America.

On the way home I popped into Carrefour for some mushrooms for my pizza (which I almost left behind in the shop) and then came home. The climb up the hill was agony and I had to make several stops. But I’m pretty much loaded up with all of the vegan food that I need over the Festive period.

Back here I fell into my chair and couldn’t move for several hours. Luckily there was a football match to keep me occupied – TNS v Penybont. TNS won the game 3-2 but Penybont had plenty of chances to score more than they did. And they might even have done so had the referee awarded after 11 minutes the penalty that I would have awarded them had I been refereeing.

Tea was a couple more of those small vegan burgers in breadcrumbs and then I came back here and fell into my chair again. If I manage to wake up again I might find the strength to stagger into bed at some point but I dunno.

Tuesday 12th October 2021 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… today, no-one bothered me at all. I had quite a calm day today wthout having to deal with reams of phone calls, people having fits of hysteria an dall that kind of nonsense.

Last night’s sleep wasn’t as good as it might have been either. It was another one of these nights when I was tossing and turning around in bed.

Tons of stuff on the dictaphone too.

I was the owner of a helicopter last night and something had happened that meant that I was in a lot of financial difficulties over it. Some big company was trying to squeeze me out and had been serving writs and summonses on me that I’d been fighting off, not receiving and refusing to receive and so on. eventually I had to go somewhere in my helicopter and ran out of fuel and had to put down on the North European coast somewhere. So I had to land and somehow found my way back to my base but there was no food to eat or anything like that. There was a girl and a guy eating some stuff so I went to fetch their plates to wash them up but they hadn’t finished. They were playing some kind of game with a couple of cats.

There was something about a girl probably 13 or 14 driving around in an America sports car, probably in his 20s. She was clowning around in the car as if she owned it. They were just driving around like they used to do in the old days and generally showing herself off to everyone in this car.

I was in Shavington last night and they had organised a football team and it was playing friendlies. The first match that they played, they lost 2-0 and were getting ready on Sunday to play another match. They were discussing the teams, who was playing and who wasn’t, what position. I was thinking that it was a shame that they hadn’t done this a few years ago. Then a group of us headed back to the house. I was bringing back some things that I’d discovered in an old cellar. We bumped into a woman and her daughter. The daughter was on a scooter and were chatting away. The woman with me (I don’t know who it was) said “when we get back to the house I’d better get a cardboard box to put this girl’s present in. She was in fact 21 even though she only looked 13 or something. To descend into the cellar was a complicated thing. We had to move a metal grille with a pile of paper on it so this woman could go down there and get a box. half of the stuff on top of this box fell down and it was all generally confusing.

Later on my mother was going berserk about some photos that had been taken of the surrounding buildings. I had a close look at it but some of them I didn’t recognise although it was my camera. It looked to me as if someone else had been taking the photos so I was rather annoyed about this. as I tried to look my mother told me to stop wasting my time and not to bother looking through them because that was her decision anyway so I went for a walk. It turned out to be in Sandbach. I had a walk round, initially to have a look at these buildings but I don’t know what happened. I was eventually caught up in the kids coming out from school. The girls from the Grammar School were wearing big cloaks and just red tartan-coloured knickers, that’s all that they were wearing. Of course they were flirting around with a few boys, that sort of thing while they were doing it.

There was a lie-in until 07:30, which seems to be the start time these days, I had my medication, checked my mails and messages and then started to revise my Welsh ready for my lesson.

That started at 11:00 and went on until 01:30 without any problems although I made one or two simple errors that were rather embarrassing.

After lunch I had some correspondence to deal with and then I set out for town.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down on the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard Vaufleury, there’s a good view looking out over the harbour.

This afternoon, the sailing schools were out having fun this afternoon. It was a little cool and windy, but a nice sunny day so I suppose that it was the ideal kind of weather for them to be afloat out there.

Down in the harbour itself there wasn’t very much happening at all. everything seemed to be exactly as it was when we saw it yesterday afternoon.

dumper depositing sand in skip boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There was however something goin on down at the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

A dumper had turned up with a load of sand and was busy tipping it onto a container that has turned up today.

When the dumper left, I followed its course and I can now tell you that this compound and the associated machinery are here in connection with the work that we saw the other day in the Rue Cambernon.

At least, that was where it was heading when I lost sight of it.

dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further down the hill I came to the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour.

There’s something having been going on down there because the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie has shuffled round a little and all of the pipes seem to have moved somewhat.

The number of pipes doesn’t seem to have diminished any, though. I wonder when they are going to start doing something with them. The dredger has been here for a couple of weeks and someone must be paying a rental for that.

First stop was at the Health Centre. My doctor had told me that a new cardiac specialist had set up shop there so I went to try and blag an appointment with him, taking with me the letter that my doctor had given me.

Unfortunately the receptionist was rather intransigent but I did manage to coax the doctor’s phone number from her.

Next stop was at the bank. I’d had my cheque for the last three months of my state pension from Belgium, and it needed to be paid in. Now, where can I go with €90:18?

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I only worked for about 11 months in the Belgian State Pension Scheme, back in 2005/06.

Final port of call was at the Post Office. I’ve had the estimate for the repair of the NIKON 1 J5 and it’s less that I was expecting. I needed to authorise the work and, more importantly, to pay the bill.

The way back home up the hill passed much more easily that it has done of late and I’ve no idea why that is either. It wasn’t anything like the struggle that it was a couple of weeks ago, although it’s still a long way short of how it was 18 months ago.

buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Back at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour we could see that Buddy M, the trawler from Cork, is still there.

She’s been here a few weeks now having her overhaul, and I’ve noticed over the last couple of days that there has been a white van parked by her. maybe that can belongs to the mechanics.

From there I carried on up the hill, rather more easily, heading for my apartment and a cup of coffee. I felt that I had earned it this afternoon.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Outside the apartment there was one of my neighbours so I went over and had a chat, grabbing a photograph of a Birdman of Alcatraz on my way.

Shortly afterwards, another neighbour came over and then a third, ans we were gossiping away like a bunch of old women for about half an hour.

Most of the topic centred around the garden outside the building. There’s been a proposal for the occupiers of the building to do something with it, like plant flowers and the like. Not that it affects me in any way as I won’t be taking part, but I can’t be unsociable all my life..

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Once everyone drifted away from the conversation I walked over to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach.

And pleasant day thatit was, there wasn’t anyone down there at all, even though there was plenty of beach to be on right now. Even the Birdmen of Alcatraz had folded up their wings and departed.

There were a few boats out there in the bay, but they were even farther out that usual so taking a photo would have been pretty much a waste of time.

people on beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021But one thing that I did notice was a couple of people out on the rocks further around the beach.

They had piled up some of their clothing down there and had gone for a little paddle in the water. I hope that they were enjoying it.

Back in the apartment I made a coffee and then sat down to telephone the heart specialist. After much debate and discussion they eventually managed to fit me in on Monday 25th October – at 08:00.

That’s going to be some appointment, at that time of the morning.

Tea was pasta and veggie balls again in spicy tomato sauce – more spicy that normal because I dropped the tabasco sauce into the mix. But apart from that it was nice.

Now I’m off to bed, later than I would have liked, because I’m up at 06:00 tomorrow. I’m off to Leuven on the 08:45 train for a long day’s travel and I’m no good if I’m half asleep.

Thursday 2nd September 2021 – I’VE BEEN OUT AND …

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… about this morning, being sociable, which regular readers of this rubbish will know is not like me at all

As you can see, this morning we have Normandy Trader in the port. She came in on the overnight tide. And I had an appointment to go and have a chat with the crew.

The discussion that we had enables me to tell you a lot more about her too. She’s an ex-military landing craft built in 1964 and served in the Falkland Islands Campaign. And if you look very carefully, you can still see the bullet holes.

There are lots of other news to tell too, but I’m under instructions to leave that for a couple of weeks. So watch this space.

But at least I was right about the reason for the triangular run that they now do on occasion from St Helier to St Malo to Granville to home. There’s no health inspector here at Granville so the shellfish have to be landed at St Malo where there is one.

But anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself here yet again. After my marathon session last night when I couldn’t sleep and didn’t go to bed until 03:10, I reset the alarm to 08:00 and even so, it was still a nightmare rising from my stinking pit yet again.

At least I’d written up yesterday’s notes so I didn’t need to worry about that.

With such a late start there wasn’t long to wait before breakfast, and after breakfast there was barely enough time to start work before the doorbell rang. And I wasn’t even back in my apartment with my parcels – just loitering at the front door – when someone else turned up with a package for me too.

And isn’t it nice to be finally typing with a decent keyboard – the nearest thing to a flat-key silent portable-computer-type of keyboard that I have ever experienced. It’s definitely something.

Once it had all arrived, I shot off down to the harbour to talk to them at Normandy Trader, bumping into a whole collection of neighbours on the way.

After lunch, I very regrettably fell asleep for a while, which is no surprise after my night’s efforts but even so I’d managed to attack some of the arrears from the other day. But anyway, I was a few minutes late going out for my afternoon walk.

people swimming in sea rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As usual, I wandered off across the car park over to the wall at the far end to look down onto the beach to see what was going on.

It wasn’t the beach that actually caught my eye today. If you look closely at the photo you’ll see that there are actually some people down there swimming in the water.

And I do have to take my hat off to them because it wasn’t all that hot and it was quite windy too. Not the kind of day to be going out into the water.

As for the beach today, there wasn’t all that much of one this afternoon as the tide is well in right now.

f-gbai Robin DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was busy admiring the view of the swimmers, I was overflown by a small aeroplane heading inland.

No prizes for guessing who she is. She’s F-GBAI of course, the Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the Granville Aero Club. She seems to be about the only aeroplane we ever see these days.

She took off at 14:24 and did a kind-of figure of 8 – one circle inland and the second circle dpwn to Avranches and round the Ile de Chausey to come back into land at 16:02, and as my photo was taken at (adjusted) 15:57 that seems about right to me.

It’s been a while since we’ve featured an aeroplane on these pages but that’s not to say that I haven’t been overflown. I’ve either had the wrong camera, the wrong lens or else I’ve been busy talking to a neighbour.

yacht in high winds baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A short while ago, I mentioned the wind that has sprung up this afternoon out in the bay.

Looking at this photo should give you something of a clue about that. Apart from the whitecaps on the waves, the way that the sails belly out in the wind and the fact that the yacht is keeling over will tell you everything that you need to know.

Strangely though, the wind is coming from the north-east today. It almost invariably comes from west-north-west so to see it actually doing something else is quite a surprise.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The Baie de Mont St Michel is therefore sheltered from the nor’easter and so with the tide being in, it’s no surprise to see one of the sailing schools out there this afternoon. Doesn’t the sea look calmer on that side of the headland?

They are having quite some fun out there in the bay and I haven’t forgotten that once my physio sessions are over I have every intention of joining them

It’s school chucking-out time now incidentally, hence the arrival of the big 53-seater fill-size coach, and have you seen one of the bunkers from this angle, proudly displaying its battle scars from World War II.

normandy trader yacht pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So from there I pushed off across the car park and down to the headland to see what was happening in the bay.

And rattling around the corner right into the wind came Normandy Trader. I was told that she would start her loading at 14:00 so it’s not taken her too long to load up and get under way back home to St Helier.

The yacht that we saw coming in earlier has now made it to the headland anyway so in a few minutes she’ll be in the calmer waters of the Baie de Mont St Michel.

What I’m going to do is to see if I can beat her back to the harbour.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, I noticed that there was no change in occupancy of the chantier naval so I turned my attention elsewhere.

Over at the ferry terminal this afternoon there was only one of the ferries that I could see. She’s the very new one, Belle France, and she doesn’t look as if she’s going to be going anywhere this afternoon.

As for the other two, they are probably over at the Ile de Chausey and they’ll be back before long otherwise they will miss the tide.

At this rate I’ll miss my nice banana smoothie if I don’t make an effort to go home. So with nothing else exciting (Galeon Andalucia is still here but you’ve seen enough of her just recently) happing in the inner harbour and no bad parking to upset me, I made for home.

After my drink I tidied up the kitchen because I had a visitor coming round to see me with some information for me and after he had gone I FINALLY finished amending SATURDAY’S ENTRY. It’s really nice having a decent keyboard to type everything with.

When Sunday’s entry was finished, I could start on the tons of stuff that have accumulated on the dictaphone over the last fortnight. Nothing from last night though, which was a shame.

Tea tonight was another handful out of the European Veggie Ball Mountain with microwaved potatoes and veg – delicious as usual – and still no dessert. My appetite has diminished just now and I’m going to keep on encouraging it to do so.

So bedtime now. I have a computer to fix in the morning, fruit bread to make, and in the afternoon it’s the physiotherapist again. As well as that I have a radio epic to prepare for the end of December.

It’s non-stop, isn’t it?

Sunday 1st August 2021 – THERE ARE LOTS …

72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall … of photos today for you to admire.

After all, today is one of the most important days, apart from Carnaval, in the whole of Granville’s annual calendar.

Every last Sunday of the month of July (and yes, I do realise that it’s the 1st of August and I wonder why the organisers haven’t) it’s Granville’s annual Pardon.

“And what is a Pardon?” you may well ask, as I’m sure that you are doing even as I speak.

musicians and singer 72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while a singer and some kind of orchestra entertain you with religious songs, let me explain.

The presence of an altar and someone in religious dress should give you a big clue. It’s a religious ceremony that is predominantly Breton in origin – in fact when I was in Brittany in 1978 I stumbled across several.

The significance of the date is that it was Sunday 31st July 1944 that Granville was finally liberated from Occupation and so they decided to have some kind of event to celebrate. This year is the 72nd Pardon.

joly france leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut the religious singing from the woman and her orchestra was far too much for some people.

With a hoot on her siren to warn anyone who might be coming into the harbour, the older Joly France boat, the one with the rectangular windows in landscape format, reversed from her berth at the ferry terminal.

She had quite a full load of people on board who had also quite clearly had enough of the religious singing too, and they all set out for a cruise off to the Ile de Chausey. And by the looks of things there is plenty of luggage because Chausiaise has moved from her berth while I was watching what was going on.

72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was sitting on my wall overlooking the harbour, a couple of neighbours fell in with me.

One of them is dog-sitting his sister’s corgi while she is away and he was taking it for a walk. The other one was my friend from the third floor and we sat together and watched events unfold down below.

She has an Apple phone and she’d been trying to download the Government’s AntiCovid application onto it, without much success. And so I had a try and I didn’t have too much luck either with it. I couldn’t even find the App in the Apple Store.

In the end I gave it up as a bad job and concentrated on the activities down below.

72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhat’s involved is that there’s a procession from somewhere in the town – from where I do not know – and people are either in it or follow on behind as befits their case.

All of the various trades and professions, like guilds I suppose, have their own flags and banners and they march in their respective order through the town until they reach the car park of the Fish Processing Plant where the ceremony takes place, along with representatives of the various churches and religious orders.

And I’m not sure if that’s a good place to hold the ceremony though. I don’t think that the odour would contribute much to the ambience of the festival, although a really good priest would just have to bring 5 loaves here if the congregation were to develop an appetite.

microlight aircraft ulm 72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallGiven the amount of times that I’ve been overflown by an aircraft of some description just recently, it goes without saying that I’m overflown again today while I’m sitting on the cliff edge.

it’s our old friend the red microlight powered hang-glider thing or whatever it is, come to have a close look at the events from up above in the air.

But the religious singing can’t have done him much good either because instead of circling around above to have a good view of the events, he took one look at the events and cleared off into the distance.

lifeboatmen 72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier, I mentioned that the various trades and professions had the right to take part in the parade.

Those guys down there in the orange jackets are the lifeboatmen, the sauveteurs de mer, and their emblem seems to be an old rowing boat of some description.

It’s quite appropriate for the lifeboatmen to be here in the procession because their lifeboat is called Notre Dame de Cap Lihou, and she, Our Lady of Cap Lihou, is the patron saint to whom the Pardon is dedicated.

72nd grand pardon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt doesn’t take long for the place to fill up and then the religious ceremony and the blessing of the flags and banners begins.

That’s the cue for me to make myself scarce because I don’t think that organised ceremonies and this “holier than thou” public profession of one’s faith is what Christianity is all about. This bit about graven images and all of that.

Religion is a personal issue between you and whoever your maker is, and no business of anyone else.

And in any case, on a more temporal basis, I’ve not had my medication yet and I need to deal with this before too long.

That’s because I didn’t awaken until about 09:30 this morning and the events kicked off at 10:00 so I couldn’t aford to hang around.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce the harbour gates open, there’s a procession of boats all around the headland and back again before the gates close.

Most of the local boats, such as our old friend La Granvillaise, recognisable by the “G90” on her bow, and this other boat whom we all know and whose name escapes me for the moment but which i’ll remember as soon as I press “send”, take part in the procession.

So while you admire all of the boats as they take part in the procession I can get back to doing what I was doing a couple of minutes ago and talking about my day so far, because it’s been a busy day today.

boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving gone to bed quite early last night, seeing as I was quite tired, I awoke a few times during the early morning, like at 07:20 as I remember.

But there’s no chance of my leaving my stinking pit at that time of morning. 09:30 is pretty early for a Sunday but with the Pardon to consider, I had to leave the comfort and warmth of my bed and take some decisive action.

Grabbing a nice ripe peach, I put on my clothes and finding the camera, headed outside for a cosy spec on the wall on the clifftop overlooking the ceremony – “a seat in the circle”, you might well say.

notre dame de cap lihou belle france 72nd grand pardon procession baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you admire the photo of our lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou and our new ferry Belle France, I was back in my apartment taking all of my medication.

And then, back in the bedroom where my office is, I downloaded all of the video files from the dashcam relating to my trip out. And I can see a couple of serious issues about this dashcam because about 90 minutes of driving used up 15GB.

This means that my 32GB memory cards are going to be fairly redundant at this rate and it’ll be 64GB memory cards in future, and a lot of them too if I go off on a long trip, which is unlikely these days, the way things are.

72nd grand pardon procession baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNext up was to look at the dictaphone to see what was on there.

There are in fact plenty of files on there and so I uploaded them to the computer with the aim of transcribing them.

Something was going on with some company or other so we all decided that we were going to picket so we all went out into the fields somewhere in this village then we all ended up going home. I can’t remember who I was with now but I asked what was on TV and they replied “nothing”. I asked “what about the cricket?”. They couldn’t find the cricket. Next day we went out and came back for the cricket again and England were like 125 behind and one of the batsmen, Jack Hampshire, had just been dismissed for making a noise. Apparently it’s a new regulation that if a batsman makes a noise he can be sent off. In the meantime we were back with this shelf-filling exercise – all shelves in supermarkets abroad are not filled but not in the UK and I don’t remember anything else but I was having one of the worst feverish sweats that I’d had for ages.

It was early afternoon, we were running the taxi business and I had a young guy driving. We were getting pretty busy and Mari rang up for a taxi to take her to the launderette. We added this onto the guy’s list. He went off to take her. Then we came back here and I had to go out to do a couple more jobs and Mari rang up for a taxi back. Nerina said that we were busy and she’d have to wait but I took the opportunity and said “oh no I’ll go and take Mari” so I went out in EBF, picked her up and brought her home. Then I got talking to the other taxi driver. He was saying that when he turned 14 he had four periods one after another so I laughed and said “you’re turning into a woman. He said “a bit” because he really was making medical history, this. We drove back and Nerina had made some soup and bread. I don’t know what was in it but it was very tasty and we all ate it. But there was another part of this dream that I don’t remember very much about me living in Gainsborough Road and having all of my old Cortinas there. There was some talk that the council was going to issue me with an enforcement notice telling me to dispose of all the Cortinas – another part of this recurring dream where I had Cortinas tied up in a garage and all kinds of different places all over Crewe.

I was walking through Shavington, down Chestnut Avenue. There were loads of people dressed in costumes, ballerinas and so on coming up the hill. I tripped over a pile of ballet shoes and got them all out of order and I had to throw one in the pile and hope that that one wasn’t important. Just then a steam locomotive roared past, a big 9F going like the clappers backwards up the hill followed by a couple of smaller ones. took a photo of one or two of them. There were loads of old buses, everything so I asked “is there a carnival going on here?”. The replied “yes – on Saturday”. I thought that if I come up from Audlem I can park my car out by the Elephant and Castle, walk into the village and watch the procession with the steam trains and buses because I’d seen a few old buses as well. It’s going to be really good. So I walked around to a place where they were doing food. There was some kind of activity taking place in which I took part. There was something like a half-marathon going on too. After the activity I wanted to take a shower but they were strange showers. Instead of being above you and pouring the water down they were below you and pouring the water up. I went to take a shower but got talking to this old woman. There were a few people there teasing each other about everything. This woman seemed to be quite active. she said “I’ll take you to the dance with me on Thursday night for the old people. I thought “old people!”. Then I suddenly realised that this carnival would be taking place and I don’t want to miss that so I had to make my excuses. Then I went to have a shower again but they were busy dismantling it so I had to shout at them to stop them dismantling it so that I could finish my shower in peace with everything ready.

marité yachts  trawler cabin cruiser 72nd grand pardon procession baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMarité was out there, being her usual anti-social self, and I was being my usual anti-social self inside.

The notes from yesterday needed updating to add in the photos but there were also a couple of events that had been recorded on the dashcam that needed checking.

One of them, to my extreme dismay, that had happened at Lidl yesterday didn’t work out at all but two others weren’t too bad. I had to produce a couple of stills from the recorded video and you’ll get to see them when I get round to adding in the photos of yesterday, whenever that might be.

speedcraft 72nd grand pardon procession baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn one of the earlier photos, I’d seen some kind of speedcraft rapidly going past the procession – in rather bad taste, I thought.

But there he goes now, flat out, full speed ahead on his way over to the Ile de Chausey and I’ve no idea why he would want to go that fast over there on a Sunday during what is supposed to be a religious parade.

In the meantime, I was busy editing the photos from yesterday and taking dashcam stills, and then I had things to do. By now the harbour gates would be well open and I wanted to see the procession of boats.

yacht rebelle trawler charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey had long-since gone out of the harbour by the time I reached the viewpoint, and so I turned my attention to the chantier naval.

The yacht Rebelle is still in there, as is the trawler Charlevy over there at the back. The two unidentified trawlers (still unidentified, by the way) are still there too but we’ve had a new arrival that is parked in between them.

She’s one of the inshore shell-fishers, as you can tell by the roof over the storage area that stops the seagulls pinching the catch as the boats return to harbour with their full loads.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … it’s good for the town to have a busy and effective chantier naval.

notre dame de cap lihou belle france 72nd grand pardon procession baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter looking at the chantier naval I walked off down the path and around the headland, in the reverse direction to normal, just for a change.

To my surprise, there weren’t all that many people out here watching the events – probably no more than a couple of hundred. The actual Pardon wasn’t particularly well-attended either. On the wall looking down onto the affair there can’t have been more than about a dozen of us.

It’s not at all like the Carnaval and I remember seeing the Pardon and the procession when I first came here, when you couldn’t move for people milling around.

72nd grand pardon procession baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound on the north side of the headland I found a convenient spec, without any difficulty at all, to watch the boats go past me.

That was the spec from where I had taken all of the previous photos of the the boats going past me.

As the last few disappeared off around the headland, I took another photograph of them and then walked back across the car park to the south side of the headland.

That was where all of the action was going to be for the next while

notre dame de cap lihou belle france 72nd grand pardon procession baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd right on cue, Notre Dame de Cap Lihou and Belle France came into view, neck-and-neck in the lead apart from the speedboat that was cheating on the outside.

As for the rest of the procession, I had to leave them to it and head back towards home because I have plenty to do. And so I retraced my steps along the path on the north side of the headland.

“This will do for my daily walk” I said to myself and joined everyone else who was busy deserting the scene, probably for Sunday lunch although there were a few picnickers here and there.

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMarité was still out there though.

She had no intention of joining in the procession by the looks of things, which was a shame. She had other business that needed attention, presumably taking a load of passengers out for a tour around the bay.

There was other business that needed my attention too – like lunch, for example. I’d had nothing to eat at all so far today except that peach and my stomach was thinking that my throat had been cut.

After my lunch I made a start on the bread and I kneaded it using the lessons that I had learnt from Liz on Thursday. It took an age but eventually the dough behaved just as she told me that it would and ended up being probably the best dough that I’ve ever made.

So I dumped it back in the bowl to let it proof for a while.

Back in the office I sat down to deal with the photos but to my dismay I crashed out for about an hour. And that put me behind just about everything that I was hoping to do.

But the bread had gone up like a lift so I gently shaped it and dropped it into the bread mould to carry on with its proofing. Then I kneaded the pizza dough that I’d taken from the frezer earlier, rolled it out and put it on its tray so that that could proof as well.

When the time was right, I turned on the oven and when it was hot enough I stuck the bread in to bake.

home made bread vegan pizza Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeantime I began to assemble the pizza.

And for once just recently, I had all of the ingredients to hand so it was quite straightforward this week.

When the bread was ready I took it out and put in the pizza and left that to cook. And here are the finished product. And doesn’t that loaf look really good?

No pudding of course because there’s plenty of pineapple upside-down cake to be going at for the next week or so. And as I don’t have much coconut soya stuff to go on it and I couldn’t find any yesterday, I have plenty of milk to make custard.

But not tonight though. I have no room for any pudding right now after that pizza

sunset baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall Later on, I went out again.

It was rather late in the evening and I was lucky enough to see the sun at one of its lowest points just about to disappear below the horizon behind the Ile de Chausey.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen the sunset over the sea. In the old days before Covid I was out every night at about 21:00 and I’dseen the sun set on several occasions, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall

These days though I just don’t have the time and I wish that I did. i have far too much going on to be able to relax as I used to.

police vehicle blocking port st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound the corner and down the street and there’s a road block at the Porte St Jean stopping the traffic entering the medieval walled city.

There’s something going on in the old town tonight and while it’s not a subject that interests me all that much, we have to note it for the record.

Policemen know everything, even if they are merely “Police Municipal” rather than the National Police or the Gendarmes. And so I made “certain enquiries” and the bobby pointed me in the right direction. and so off I jolly well set.

religious procession 72nd grand pardon procession Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd this is why I’ve come out this evening – and I’m bang on time which is quite amazing. THey are just going across the drawbridge into the old walled town.

There’s a religious ceremony taking place in the Eglise Notre Dame de Cap Lihou and everyone has come up from the Fish Processing Plant in a procession as they did around the town this morning.

And those two guys in front had better get a move on because their handbags are on fire.

Unless they are these incense things that they wave about distributing perfume. And seeing as they have just come up from the fish processing plant, that’s not a bad idea.

religious procession 72nd grand pardon procession Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBehind those two guys swinging their censers or whatever they are called, come the madding crowds. Everyone who was there this morning is coming this way this evening carrying some kind of lanterns, candles in a special holder that doesn’t look all that fireproof to me..

They are all carrying their banners and emblems, presumably taking them to the church to be blessed again after this morning’s service. And I’ve no idea why they would want to do that twice on the same day.

Some people might think that involving the children in carrying the emblems and whatever might be a good idea but that little kid at the back is having a bit of a rough time carrying that ship.

religious procession 72nd grand pardon procession Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBehind the couple carrying the ship comes almost everyone else.

There’s another one of these white ships coming on behind. This one is carried by two kids and I bet that they know all about the climb up the Rue des Juifs carrying that. It’s not as easy as you might think carrying something like that.

Behind the kids come all of the banners belinging to the different organisations and corporations of the town. And I wish that I knew exactly what they represented because I can’t decipher anything from what I can see on them.

religious procession 72nd grand pardon procession Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo pirzes for guessing who these people are

In their orange jackets and pushing the rowing boat that we saw earlier this morning, they can only be the lfeboatmen, the sauveteurs de mer. And here’s something that I don’t understand, which is “why haven’t they painted their bot arange and green, the same colour as their lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

And I bet that they know all about dragging that up the hill as well. It’s not as if it’s light. Mind you, if they had any sense, there would be some kind of motor under that blue canopy.

religious procession 72nd grand pardon procession Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBrining up the rear are the religious dignitaries from the region.

The one with the pointed hat is a bishop, I reckon, but I don’t know who the other one is. But if he’s a bishop and needs a good crook, I’m within beckoning distance. There’s no better crook than me.

So they are off to the church, shepherding the stragglers along with the bishop’s crook, I suppose and so I clear off too back home. I still have plenty of work to do.

Things are taking a lot longer than I anticipated which is a shame, and I need my beauty sleep as I have a lot to do tomorrow.

Friday 9th July 2021 – NOT VERY MUCH …

… to say about today right now because I’ve been out this evening.

Yes, me socialising! Whatever next? But I had an invitation from a neighbour to go for a soirée. I only intended to stay for half an hour but then I noticed the time – 21:00 and I’d been there for two and a half hours. I thought that I’d better go home. I can amend these notes tomorrow because I’m not going shopping.

Not with having to leave for Leuven on Tuesday. I’ll make do with what’s lying around in the house.

And after all of this whining and moaning that I’ve been doing just recently, I thought that I was going to have a really good day today.

When the alarm went off I leapt to my feet (and I did too!) and went off for my medication. And while I was at it I went through the medication that I need to take with me to Leuven and a few other things that accompany me. I recall that I’d run out of ice cube bags, not that I’ll need them in this weather. I’ll just scrape it off the puddles outside

Back in here I had a listen to the dictaphone. There was something from yesterday so I did that, and THAT’S NOW ON LINE. and then I went and had a listen to last night’s wanderings around. I was with a boy from school last night and we were in a pub. He was asking me about any map that I had because he was going to go out on his bike on a few country roads. The only map that I had in my possession was a map for the whole of the British Isles which he said was no use so I suggested that we go back to my house to download one. That sounded like a good idea so off we went. When we arrived we changed into al all-maroon strip. Then I went downstairs and we had to manhandle my computer downstairs which was not easy. He was passing it down to me, then a voice from upstairs, which was my brother’s, asked me what’s going on. I replied “nothing much – I’ve just come back” saying today that really this is the first time that I’ve come back for about 8 hours and the story finished there – there was a lot more to it than this … I fell asleep here …

As I explained a while back, I’m always asleep when I dictate where I’ve been. But I usually manage to switch off the dictaphone and put it back on top of the unit by the bed when I’ve finished what I have to say. 20-odd years of doing this has taught me a lot.

But just recently these days, more and more often, I find that I’m drifting back off before I’ve finished what I want to say and the dictaphone goes on for hours recording the sound of my snoring.

Having done all of that I made a start on the photos from Greenland in 2019, but with an endless, remorseless stream of interruptions. The most important was the visit of the postie with another couple of boxes of my Amazon order, including the two new hard drives for the computer.

There’s also a bag for the portable computer. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, with me not feeling so well, I’m going back to taking a rolling suitcase with me to Belgium instead of my backpack. A nice big shoulder bag for the computer will be just the job

After a very late lunch I spent a couple of hours just doing things for pleasure, something that I don’t do often enough, and then I went for my walk. And now that I’ve uploaded all of the photos and edited them, I can post them on here.

people leaving beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd the first thing that you’ll notice are the crowds of people deserting the beach and heading for the steps back up to the street.

Obviously, I have to go to see what’s going on down on the beach this afternoon so I wander off across the car park and down to the end where I can look over the wall.

And while it’s probably incorrect to say that there are “crowds of people” deserting the beach, it’s true to say that everyone down there is leaving.

And that’s not very many people at all, and that’s no surprise because we’re back in winter and there’s no-one swimming today.

trawler returning to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was at the end of the car park I could also look out to sea to see what’s happening over there this afternoon.

Here in the Baie de Granville, it’s home-time for the fishing boats as the tide is now coming in. Here’s a trawler heading back to port after a day’s work out in the bay, coming sailing, steaming or dieseling in past the Iles de Chausey

Stuck up on a rock out there on the right of the photo is another one of these lights similar to Le Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour here in Granville, and I’ll tell you its name when I’ve finished my Spirit of Conrad notes.

And the height of the column on which the light is situated tells you the height of the tide here in the Baie de Granville.

trawlers and yacht returning to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s not just that trawler that’s heading back to port right now. There’s a veritable stampede of vessels heading in that general direction.

In this photo we can see three fishing vessels that have finished work in the Baie de Granville for the day and are heading back to port. But in the lead right now, although I suspect that it won’t be for long, is a yacht presumably heading for the Port de Plaisance where the pleasure boats moor up.

In the background we can see the Brittany coast. The day might be heavy, overcast and about 9/10ths cloud, but visibility is quite excellent today and even Jersey in the Channel Islands was quite clear this afternoon.

ship heading to st malo lighthouse cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo clear was the view this afternoon that I could see for miles. And out to sea off the entrance to St Malo was a boat that didn’t have the profile of a traditional fishing boat.

With the 70-300mm LENS fitted to the NIKON D500 I took a photo of it with the intention of cropping it out and blowing it up (which I can do these days despite modern terrorist rules) to see what i’d caught.

And sure enough, it does seem to be a small freighter heading into St Malo about 35-40 kilometres away from here. And a couple of hours after I’d taken this photo, a small chemical tanker called Tatlisu docked in St Malo harbour.

In the background of this photo the Brittany coast is even clearer than the previous one, thanks to photo enhancement, and on the extreme right of the image we can see the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, about 70 kilometres away.

boy finishing fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s not just the fishing boats that are heading back home right now either. This guy down here looks as if he’s had enough.

After I’d exhausted the possibilities of the sea I walked down the path, across the car park and down to the end of the rocks. The guy was fishing from a rock out there but as I approached he hauled in his line and began to scramble away over the rocks.

What interested me about this is that he didn’t have any equipment, like a net to haul in his catch or a bag to take it away once he’d caught it. It’s almost as if he was expecting to catch nothing. And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have yet to see anyone actually catch a fish with a rod and line.

fishing boats coming in to unload port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSome of the boats with the shallowest draught have already made it home and into the harbour.

So having dealt with our fisherman I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what they are up to.

As I mentioned yesterday, they did a good job of excavating that little channel at the wharf underneath the fish processing plant because even though there are plenty of craft still grounded out on the silt, that channel is filling up quite rapidly with water as the tide is coming in, and the smaller boats can come in to unload.

And I wonder if the yellow and white one is the same yellow and white fishing boat that we saw in the chantier naval a couple of months ago.

l'alize 3 black pearl trawlers chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we’re on the subject of the chantier naval“well, one of us is” – ed … I had to cast my eyes in that direction to see what was going on there.

And we’ve had a change of occupancy in there today by the looks of things. We still have Rebelle the yacht and three trawlers, but while L’Alize 3 and Black Pearl are still there, Philcathane who was in there between them has now disappeared back into the water.

Instead, another trawler has appeared to the right of Black Pearl. Unfortunately I can’t read her name from up here, so I see that I shall have to go for another walk around the harbour sometime over the weekend.

Not right now though. I’m going back home for a nice hot coffee.

Back here I made another start on my trip on board the Spirit of Conrad and I really thought that, after all of the complaining that I’ve done just recently I was going to hold out until bedtime. But unfortunately it wasn’t to be and I crashed out for an hour.

At least I managed the practice on the bass before I went socialising and that always makes me feel better I suppose.

Having spent much longer than I intended round at my neighbour’s, I’m back in the land of the living and now I’m going to have an early night. I updated the post the following morning instead of going shopping.

Thursday 1st July 2021 – HAPPY SUMMER…

foggy morning rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… so welcome to the sunshine and the glorious weather. Can it get any better than this?

Yes, what a way to start of the summer. A cold clammy fog enveloping absolutely everything, just like a November day. And it was cold too. I had to go and search for a jumper to keep me warm. I’m not cut out for this kind of weather.

Anyway, that was the weather that greeted me as dawn broke this morning. I couldn’t believe it. And I have to go out shopping later. One look at that and I made myself a piping hot mug of coffee and came back in here to get on with some work

With it being the first of the month, it’s the day when I normally back up everything. So today I decided to start on a full and complete programme.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there’s a USB stick permanently plugged into the laptop on which I back up a few times every day. Then there’s a spare hard drive in this machine on which I back up once a month.

And then there’s an external drive on which I uploaded every single file off every computer or hard drive that I have ever owned and I’ve been gradually sorting it out into some kind of order.

So today, I copied the files off the working drive onto the back-up drive in the machine and then copied them over to the external drive. And even as we speak, after about 12 hours or so, it’s still going on. It’s a long job but it had to be done and I ought to do it more often.

But there’s one good thing about it, and that is that I can remove some of the stuff off the working drive that doesn’t need to be there and make some space, now that it’s stored in at least two other locations. That’s probably going to be tomorrow’s job, always assuming that this back-up is completed by then.

At least, while it’s doing, I can get on and do other stuff, like a pile of photos from August 2019. And now I’m wandering aimlessly around Sisimut in Greenland having a good look around.

After a shower, I made myself ready to set off to the shops. Not that I was feeling like going. And I was feeling even less like coming back loaded up with shopping.

empty shop rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere in the Rue Couraye is somethign that regular readers of this rubbish might recall.

This used to be some kind of oriental restaurant, as you might remember. And after it closed, a lot of money was spent on transforming it into a rather plush and expensive interior decoration shop with condultants and the like to give advice. And it opened amid a great fanfare.

But it didn’t last very long by the looks of things. As I went past this morning, it was empty, closed up and abandoned. There was a sign saying “we have moved” – but it omitted to tell us just where it actually moved to. And that tells us all that we need to know.

At LIDL I spent more money than I intended, not that I bought anything special. And they had run out of brazil nuts too which is a shame. But anyway, off I set for home, staggering under my heavy load.

retiled roof rue de la houle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is the roofing job that was being undertaken on a house here in the Rue de la Houle.

Last week we saw them nailing battens around the chimney in order to hang slates therefrom. And sure enough, they’ve now been and gone and as we can see, the chimney is now all slated and looking quite nice.

But my money is on the fact that they didn’t repoint the chimney and replace the rotten bricks, and that’s going to lead to a problem in the future because a poor chimney isn’t going to last forever, especially when the wind gets going.

And we’ve seen some famous winds since I’ve been living here.

crane building site rue st paul rue victor hugo Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomething else that we’ve seen a lot of since we’ve been living here is redevelopment of buildings and building sites, such as this one at the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo.

There used to be a café on this corner and we watched them knock it down and clear the site, and then fence it off. last week we saw a digger on site and it had dug a big hole. And I was wondering what was the purpose of the hole.

And now we know. They’ve installed a huge crane here and that tells me that building is about to get under way any minute now. Those cranes are expensive to hire and small builders won’t hang about when they have the rental to pay.

Although I suspect that you’ll all be reminding me that I said that in 6 months time.

seagull chick lost in rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack in town again, in the Rue Paul Poirier, I encountered something that caused me some anguish.

It’s the time of the year right now when the fledglings in the seagull nests begin to flex their wings and one or two of them manage to take to the air. Here is one that has left his nest and fluttered down into the street in the Rue Paul Poirier. And now he can’t get up steam to fly back to his nest.

It isn’t easy to know what to do in these circumstances. Maybe his mother will come to look for him, and human scent on her baby might drive her away. And if you do try to catch him, would he dash off into the traffic? I decided with regret that the best course of action was to leave him and hope that a more knowledgeable person would come along.

trawlers waiting to leave port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo up the hill I trudged with my heavy load of shopping until I reached the benches half-way up where I could see down into the harbour.

And it looks as if I’ve arrived at exactly the right time because judging by the little queue of trawlers here, the harbour gates are going to be open any minute now and I could sit and enjoy the spectacle. Mind you, I don’t envy them going out to sea in this dreadful fog. It’s not that thick down there, with visibility about half mile or so, but I bet that it’s a lot worse further out at sea.

It made me wish that there was a café nearby where I could fetch a drink for myself as events would unfold. This is pretty unseasonal weather for July.

trawlers leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSure enough, I only had to wait a couple of minutes before the gates opened and the red lights changed to green.

And once they did so, a whole line of trawlers suddenly burst into life from all over the inner harbour and they were off like ferrets up a trouser leg. It was quite an impressive sight to see them all go like that.

There was a whole line of trawlers waiting to come into the harbour too but it looks as if those leaving have priority. And once they had cleared the entrance, the ones outside swarmed in. I wanted to take a photo of them but once again, the lens jammed on the NIKON 1 J5. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we had that repaired about 18 months ago.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnyway I cleared off up the hill, still wrestling with the camera lens and eventually I managed to free it off.

And thzt was just as well because out of the fog came another one of our old friends going for a run around the bay with a bunch of tourists. It’s La Granvillaise, one of the charter yachts that operates out of the port. We can tell who she is because of her unusual sail layout and also the fact that she displays quite prominently the number G90.

And I felt sorry for the tourists because they aren’t going to see very much in this weather, although with the tide being in, at least the boat can go closer to the shore so they will be able to see something of what’s going on.

seagulls fighting rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was taking the photo of La Granvillaise there was a tremendous squawking from the roof of one of the buildings so I went off to have a look to see what was happening.

There are two seagulls down there having a tremendous tug-of-war over something or other but I couldn’t see what it was. They kept it up for quite a while too – longer than I was prepared to wait and see the outcome. I wanted to go home.

Back here I put the frozen peas in the freezer and made my self some real hot chocolate to go with my fruit bread. and having had breakfast I came in here to upload the photos onto the computer when unfortunately I dozed off.

Good and proper too. I didn’t wake up until about 13:30 and then it took me a while to find my equilibrium. Another late lunch.

This afternoon there was plenty of excitement, which led to me being kicked out of the “British in Europe” Group. The people who run it have the most unbelievable egotism and arrogance. Ever since Brexit they have leapt aboard every possible bandwagon going and every time some concession has been made, it’s been “look what we won for you” even when they weren’t involved at all.

There’s a campaign been organised to thank the various Préfectures in France for their forbearance and patience but the people who run “British in Europe” have ordered everyone (and told people to pass the message on) NOT to thank the French authorities as “it undermines our campaign”. Have you ever heard anything like it?

One of their main beefs is that the French authorities have, according to them, failed in their obligations to notify every British person of the new arrangements. However, the facts are considerably different. In France, the censuses are held every 5 years and a great many British people have failed to fill in the census forms, for various reasons. So, quite naturally, the French authorities don’t know that they are here so they can’t notify them.

Furthermore, they are complaining that the French are expelling people. The French have a right to expel people if they represent a manifest danger to the security of the State, and the people I know who have been refused residence and expelled are those who have not long been released from prison for certain unspeakable offences.

So I told the organisers what had been going on, but like any two-bit organisation, it can’t tolerate one bit of criticism and won’t hear anything that undermines the “Big I Am”.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis took me up to afternoon walkies so the first thing that I have to do is to go off to the end of the car park and look down to see what was happening on the beach.

So uutangling myself from a group of residents at the door, I set off to see who was about down there. And this afternoon there was quite a crowd down there. That’s because the weather had improved somewhat since this morning. The sun had burnt off the mist from on the land and it was quite warm.

Warm enough for people to be undressed and in swimwear although I didn’t see anyone actually take to the water while I was there. Maybe it wasn’t all that warm in there after all.

sea and rocks baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut whether it was warm or not, the sea really did look beautiful this afternoon.

It was that beautiful emerald green colour that we don’t see all that often. I reckon that it has to be a trick of the sunlight and the reflections or something like that to make it look so nice and inviting, even if it might be fairly cold this afternoon.

But I can’t hang around and admire the view. I had to push on around my little circuit and see where I can end up. And more importantly, what I encounter on my trip round the headland.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRather like this yacht that suddenly appeared from out of the mist.

Somewhere out there in that direction is the Ile de Chausey but there is no chance of seeing it in this weather. And that is probably from where the yacht has departed. As I was walking along the path on top of the cliffs it just materialised out of the doom and gloom rather like a phantom.

Of course it’s too far away for me to identify from here so I can’t say if it’s someone whome we know. But anyway, I wandered off across the car park and along the footpath on the other side of the headland.

trawlers philcathane chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut here is someone that we ought to recognise. And I ought to know who it is because I’ve seen it so often in the past.

There’s been another change of occupancy in the chantier navale this afternoon because she certainly wasn’t there this morning. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the trawler le Pearl, the new trawler that arrived here last autumn. Well I’m pretty sure that this is her elder sister and I wish that I could remember her name.

But anywhere, here she is, next to Philcathane, with the other trawler whose name I have yet to discover and the yacht Rebelle to keep her company while she’s in here receiving attention.

chausiais l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown in the other harbour, the tide is quite far out but once more we have a couple of fishing boats tied up ay the fish processing plant and left to go aground.

It’s L’Omerta of course and she’s been moored over there on and off for quite some time now and I’m curious to see what is going on and why she’s there so often.

In the background to the right, moored up at the ferry terminal, is Chausiais, the small freighter that runs supplies out to the Ile de Chausey. She’s probably not long come back from a trip out there and is empty at the moment. When she’s about to go off on a trip out there she’ll be in the loading bay underneath the crane in the inner harbour.

Back here I carried on with the backing up of the computer and the hard drives and that took me up to guitar practice. And I’m not making as much progress as I would have liked with the bass unfortunately. It’s not a case of lack of technique, it’s a case of lack of memory. I can’t remember what I learnt yesterday, stuff like that.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper (now that I have some mushrooms) and I’m sure that I forgot something that usually goes in it. My chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce was delicious too.

And now, as this argument from this afternoon rumbles on over a whole variety of pages on my Social Network, including someone from Britain In Europe wading into a person’s private page and telling her how to manage her own page (how outrageous are these people?) I’m of to bed, as soon as there’s a suitable pause in this backing-up.

But I fear that it’s going to be going on for quite a while yet. And so is this argument.

Tuesday 18th May 2021 – I REMEMBER HEARING …

… a story about a destroyer in World War II. It was ordered to join a convoy that was sailing into a battle zone where there were a couple of U-boat wolfpacks. The destroyer signalled “mechanical problems prevent joining convoy” and the convoy commodore signals back “this is not the time for destroyers to be breaking down”.

And this is not the time for me to be breaking down either. The day before I have a long tiring journey to Leuven and I have had a dreadful afternoon. Crashed out on the chair in the office for 2.5 hours, missing guitar practice, missing absolutely everything.

There was even the mug of coffee from after my afternoon walk, half-drunk and freezing cold, as I discovered when I awoke.

This is absolutely no good at all and if I can’t pull myself together soon I’m going to have a real struggle on my hands.

It wasn’t as if I had had a late night last night either. I was in bed by 23:00 And had a decent almost-uninterrupted sleep all the way through until the alarm went off at 06:00. And then, I leapt out of bed with alacrity. Well, almost, but you know what I mean.

After the medication I came along to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And surprise! Surprise! Having complained the other day about the absence of congenial company on my nocturnal rambles, Zero put in a welcome appearance.

I’d been working at the house of a former friend of mine and it was time for me to go home. They very kindly made me breakfast which I had and then I got up. While I was organising my things his wife asked “Eric do you have any washing that needs doing?”. I thought “my clothes are a bit dirty” but I asked if it would be ok and she said yes so I went to the van to fetch some clean ones – there are always clean clothes in the van. Zero was there and where I’d been sitting was some kind of hair clasp or something. I looked around again and she was sitting there having breakfast. I said to her “have you seen your hair holder, your thing?”. She replied “yes thanks” I said “it’s there with your doll”. She said “yes” and carried on eating. There was something else on the settee so I went over to it and asked if anyone had put anything there about these pearls that they had in a necklace that was there but how nice it was” and Helen Whatshername from the Open University, Scots girl, joined it and really told me off for noticing them which I thought was a strange thing to do.

There was much more to it than this but it deteriorated rapidly after than and as you are probably eating your tea or something right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

Most of the rest of the first part of the morning was spent revising my Welsh and working through the notes for the forthcoming lesson, although I did take 20 minutes off to go for a shower and a good clean-up.

Armed with a mug of hot chocolate (made properly with real chocolate) and a slice of my sourdough fruit bread, I went for my lesson and it passed quite quickly and for a change I didn’t have too much trouble.

Well, I did, but not with the lesson. My laptop hung up in the middle and in the end I had to go and fetch the other laptop and fix it up. It would be nice if I could make the mike function on this big machine work, but that’s a job for again, I reckon, when I upgrade the hard drives.

We finished quite late, as usual and I had some work to do and a letter to write so it was something of a latte lunch today. and then I could go off into town.

boats in port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the street I could look out over the harbour and see what was going on down there this afternoon.

The tide is in so there were plenty of boats bobbing up and down in the harbour right now. And just outside the harbour the sailing school was in full swing with the little boats being led out to sea by the pilot boat. And I haven’t forgotten that I have to contact the sailing school one of these days to find out about when I can go sailing.

But not right now. I have things to do in town so I headed off down the street. I cast my eye on the pointing on the wall at the head of the Rampe du Monte à Regret and noticed that they hadn’t advanced any further than when I last noticed.

And the workmen and apprentices weren’t there either. They don’t seem to be all that keen on completing the job, which is a bit of a shame. I could have had this job finished all on my own right now.

bar ephemere place pleville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHowever there is plenty of action on the Place Pleville where all of the layabouts play boules instead of doing an honest day’s work.

Summer is definitely acumen in and lhude sing seagull because the bar ephemere, the temporary bar, has arrived. It’s an old shipping container that has been transformed into a temporary bar and by the looks of things it’s just been dropped off in its usual temporary summer home.

You can see the owners talking out the benches and tables from the inside of the container and setting them up ready to receive their clients.

The post office was my next port of call where I dropped off the letter that I needed to send and then wandered off to the bank for my appointment.

And I didn’t understand why they had called me in for a chat because there wasn’t anything that needed doing or needed signing. It seemed to me that the bank clerk just wanted a chat.

He got that, all right, and I managed to deal with a little issue here and there that needed doing, although they don’t seem all that interested in pushing on to the next level which is a bit of a surprise. That’s the problem with these little provincial banks and it’s one of the reasons why I keep my accounts open in Brussels.

Next stop was the public library where at long last I was able to find a map of the town in the early 1950s. Although the tacot, or “rattletrap”, the old narrow-gauge railway network had been ripped up by then, there was still evidence of the earthworks so I could at least trace its course, but only to the town boundary.

It seems that I shall have to cast my net wider if I’m to find out more about it.

articles on quayside awaiting transport port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving left the library I wandered off down to the port to see what was happening down there these days with all of the changes going on.

And there is some activity going on in the loading bay as supplies of wood and so on and a couple of tractors are now parked up. It looks as if Normandy Trader or Thora, the two little Jersey freighters, are expected in the port soon enough to take them away.

But there is still no news on what is happening with the shellfish of the Jersey Seafarers’ Co-operative. That looks as if it’s well and truly blocked from being landed here in the port.

When Normandy Trader came into port the other day – minus the shellfish – she was met with a couple of jeers and catcalls but that was about it. I imagine that had she come in with the shellfish, the reception would have been a darn sight warmer.

seats on granville jersey ferry covered up port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThese are the seats on board Granviile, the newer of the two boats that (in theory at least) provide the ferry service from here to Jersey. As you can see, they are all covered up to protect them from deterioration from the sun.

There was some kind of fitter on board doing something so I engaged him in conversation. Apart from a period of about a week last summer, they haven’t run out since March last year at the start of the pandemic. I asked the fitter if there were any plans to restart the ferry soon and he replied “maybe at the start of July. We’ll have to see”.

They know about as much as I do about the future of the ferry service from here. I hope that they set it up and are allowed to start running again. It’s good for the town of course to bring people here from abroad. They spend their money here and provide employment, and you can’t have too much of any of that.

spirit of conrad black mamba port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust a little further along the quayside Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which I went down the Brittany coast last summer, is moored. She has Black Mamba tied up behind her and an unidentified boat that I didn’t recognise tied up at her side.

Pierre, her owner, was there and we had a chat. He has 3 trips organised all the way down the coast as far as Ouessant and my ears pricked up at that. I made further enquiries but it turns out that the first trip is going on Friday when I am in Leuven, the second clashes with my Welsh exam, and the third one clashes with my next trip to Leuven.

Not much luck there for me, so I asked him to keep me in mind for his next series of trips. I’m keen to get away for a week or two and a trip on a yacht will do me a world of good, I reckon.

victor hugo black mamba aztec lady anakena port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that I was hoping to do was to speak to the owners of Anakena to find out more about the boat and what her plans are for the future.

She’s moored here of course, where she has been for well over a year (apart from her sojourn in the chantier navale recently) and with Aztec Lady to keep her company. She was on her way to the Far North when she was held up in here when everywhere closed their ports to visitors and I was hoping to find out when – and where – she’ll be going.

However, rather like the Marie Celeste, she was completely deserted. There was no-one about at all so that was rather a pointless visit. She’ll be in good company here with Victor Hugo and Granville, the two Channel Island ferries in the background keeping her company as well.

And so I crossed over the top of the closed harbour gates to the other side and climbed up the steps to the top road, the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

fishing boat l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd there’s yet another fishing boat left at the quayside at the Fish Processing Plant to settle in the silt as the tide goes out.

She’s L’Omerta, one of the larger fishing boats that collects the shellfish. And I’m interested in whatever story there might be in her name. L’Omerta isn’t just Silence in Italian, it’s the name of the Oath of Silence that members of the Mafia take when they are recruited into the Society.

And another thing that interests me, as regular readers of this rubbish might recall, is why the boats are left to go high and dry at the fish processing plant instead of being moored in the main harbour or moored somewhere else out of the way.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that I needed to do of course was to go and check on the beach near the Rue du Nord to see how things were going down there.

And so when I arrived back at my building I went down to the end of the car park to look over the wall.

It had been a warm day today, the first really warm day that we had had, so it was hardly a surprise to see people actually settling down to soak up the sun. A day like today has been a long time coming.

A couple of my neighbours were up there on the car park talking so I joined in and had an exchange of pleasantries while I was about it. I’m not the sociable type as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but I can’t ignore my neighbours too much.

fishing boat english channel baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was also a fishing boat out there too, trawling away in the Baie de Granville in the gap between the Pointe du Roc and the Ile de Chausey. They are a lot more active in the local area these days, given the situation further out in the bay.

Back here in the apartment I made myself a mug of coffee and brought it in here to do some work, but the next thing that I remember is that it was 19:20. and it was another one of these occasions when I didn’t even remember going to sleep.

Anyway, girding up my loins, I made myself pasta and veg with a burger, one of the pile that I need to finish off. There a couple of dozen or so of those in the fridge that I’m going to have to eat sometime, not to mention the pile that are in the freezer.

When I come back from Leuven I’m going to have to go through everything and see what I have and what I need to make to keep the supplies going.

But not right now. I’m going off to bed. I’ve had a hard day and a bad evening and I’m off to Leuven in the morning. I haven’t even printed my rail tickets yet and I have to do that pretty quickly

Monday 8th March 2021- A NOT-SO-UNEXPECTED …

… Brexit dividend reared its ugly head this afternoon.

Amongst my friends is a woman in the UK who had a daughter who is a keen and accomplished junior ballerina (she’s danced at the Royal Ballet) and is hoping to come to France for an audition in the summer. And when I was in NOZ at the weekend I found a kids’ novel about a girl who was a ballerina.

It’s full of all of the technical-speak in French for a ballerina as well as all of the current kids’ slang and as it cost only €1:99 I bought it for Evie to give her something interesting and useful to read before she comes over.

This afternoon I took it down to the post office to send it off to the UK.

For a product that weighed just about 300 grammes and cost €1:99 and being sent non-commercially as a gift between friends, it took me half an hour to do all of the paperwork, involving the completion of four forms, and the postage came to €15:90.

And I’m still recovering from the shock.

And as well as that, I’m still also recovering from the shock of being up and about once more long before the third alarm went off. I wonder how long I can keep this up.

After the medication I made a start on the radio programme, this time doing the programme that I should have done last week. With having done all of the music already, it was all up and running properly by 11:30, all hours-worth of it. And I found a really belting final track to finish it.

The rest of the morning was spent working on the Greenland photos and by the time that lunchtime arrived, I’d done just over 40 of them and we are now in Arsuk Fjord in a zodiac cruising around looking for THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR which had moved off from where we had left it and then been lost in the fog.

After lunch I started off by listening to the dictaphone. I had been in France during the night. I’d gone there from Dunkirk and I’d met up with two people while I was there. I had to escort them back to the port of Calais in order to catch the ferry back to the UK. I was able to retrace my steps in reverse on most occasions although we did lost the way once or twice particularly when we were in buildings having o work our way through buildings. There was one particular part where someone was rather nasty to me so I was rather nasty to them. One of these girls was shocked. She didn’t really want to walk the way that I went – she wanted to find another way. I said “yes I understand your predicament but really there was a war on”. She was the one who found the lift down in one of these buildings. It had some luggage in it but we squeezed in anyway. The weight was such that the lift cable broke and it hit the ground with quite a thud. We eventually made our way into Calais to find out that our boat hadn’t arrived yet so we had to wait around for a couple of days. We were there when there was a huge ship that crushed a small one as it came into port and one or two other little things.

Later on I was living in some kind of digs and right outside them I was talking to some Pakistani girl. We’d started off talking in a café somewhere. I’d been in to order a glass of kefir. I’d had one of one type and later on I’d gone in and ordered another one. We were chatting inside this cafe place. She was serving and telling me all about how she’s graduated from University and how she’d done this and done that and it hadn’t really worked out for her. She was going to get a gang together and go off and do some work. We were discussing different places in France where this worked and I told her about all of the British people in the Combrailles who worked as a team when necessary. We finished off by talking outside a house in a run-down area, a terraced house at the end of a cul-de-sac. While we were talking a guy pulled up on a motor scooter and drove it right up against the wall, almost crushed me. After she went I had a speedway motor cycle type of thing, an old Jawa and I pushed it towards Caliburn – I was going to put it in the back of Caliburn. I realised that I needed a ramp so I went round to fetch my tools. They were all underneath a van, a trolley jack and a box of tools. I thought “how come I’ve left these there and they haven’t gone?”. I picked up a plank of wood. These kids were watching me wondering what I was going to be doing. I knew what I was doing because the plank of wood was going to be the ramp to put this speedway bike into the back of Caliburn. I pushed it towards Caliburn but then the alarm went off.

For the rest of the afternoon I’ve been working my way through the duplicate files that I’ve been backing up onto the back-up disk on which I’d uploaded all of the external drives and memory sticks and so on. Another 83GB of memory space has now been created and there will be much more to come.

In fact I was so engrossed in this project that I missed my evening meal completely and it was 21:30 when I finally noticed the time.

Having spent some time wrapping up the present for Evie and writing out a little note for her, I went out for my afternoon walk.

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe didn’t have the sea fog that we have been having for the last few days, but instead there was quite a haze out there.

And we had some traffic sailing around outside as well. Out in the distance heading into port was one of the larger trawlers, presumably with today’s catch. At first I thought that it might have been Le Coelacanthe or else her sister ship Le Tiberiade, the big green and white trawlers with the gold stripes.

But back here at the apartment afterwards when I examined the photograph I noticed that she was actually pale blue and white and I didn’t recognise which trawler she would be.

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was another trawler out there too, only this one was heading out to sea, rather later than the rest of the fleet.

By what is presumably a total coincidence, whereas the homeward-bound trawler is white with a blue stripe, the outward-bound trawler is blue with a white stripe.

While I was admiring the two trawlers and hoping to catch a photo of them both crossing each other out in the English Channel, one of my neighbours put in an appearance and we ended up having a good chat instead of concentrating on the local shipping.

She needed some advice about booking her vaccinationcara

appointment. Apparently I must be the local expert or something.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor the last few days we’ve been looking at the crowds of people wandering around on the beach at the foot of the steps in the Rue du Nord.

Today we didn’t have so many people down there, and certainly no-one going out for a swim. There was however someone sitting comfortably on a rock reading a book – the very epitome of deep and intense relaxation. Mind you, she didn’t look as if she was very warm.

Clutching my parcel for the post I wandered off around the footpath, across the lawn and the car park. There wasn’t a great deal of activity out there of course. After all, the kids are now all back at school starting today so there were just the old fogeys wandering around.

pipes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing new down in the chantier navale, just the same four boats that we’ve seen for the last few days.

But on the edge of the quayside down in the inner port there’s a whole pile of plastic pipes. They are far too long to be transported by one of the little Jersey freighters, so I’m wondering what they are doing here and how they’ll be moved onwards to wherever they might be going. I’ll have to watch this space.

Down in the town I went to the Post Office to post off my parcel to the UK, and then round to the Carrefour to but a lettuce that I had forgotten on Saturday. And there I bumped into yet another one of my neighbours and we had another lengthy chat. I seem to be in demand right now.

pasquier sweet caravan place godal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was down in the town I had a little wander around to see what might be happening down there.

And it looks as if we are preparing for the summer season already because the sweet and candy floss caravan has now turned up and parked in its usual spot ready to snare the holidaymakers and day trippers. That’s definitely a sign of the times. I wonder if the Big Wheel will be back in the town too this year.

From there, I went back to the steps at the Rampe de Monte à Regret and climbed back up to the Rue des Juifs ready to head for home and my coffee.

gangway down to marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving a look down into the port to see what was going on, something that I hadn’t seen before caught my eye.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, they spent a lot of time installing new pontoons, ladders and walkways in the port 12 months or so ago. But it seems that there’s a new pedestrian ramp of the same style of the rest of the equipment of the port that now leads down onto the deck of Marité.

That’s certainly quite new, as far as I can tell. I don’t recall having seen it before. But what interests me even more is how the deal with it when Marité is ready to sail away from the quayside. That should be a complicated manoeuvre.

harbour gates closed port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne final thing caught my eye while I was out there.

Just as I started back up the hill I heard the bells to indicate that the harbour gates were closing. By the time that I had the camera ready they were almost closed. You can see the red traffic light indicating that the passage is now closed, and a couple of pedestrians on the walkway waiting to be able to complete their passage to the other side.

Back here I had my coffee and my slice of chocolate cake and then carried on with the editing of the back-up hard drive.

At 18:00 I remembered to stop for my guitar practice but I missed just about everything else.

Tomorrow I have my Welsh lesson and then I need to make some more enquiries about updating my big computer. I need to make more extra space and while I’m at it, make it work faster too.

Monday 25th May 2020 – A FEW MORE …

… things to add to the pile of things that haven’t been done today. I’m not having a good start to the week.

It all went wrong right at the very beginning when the third alarm found me somewhere in Wyoming, and a very dry, dusty Wyoming at that too. I’d been in my old Opel Senator and had an accident in which it was written off and I’d had to wait around for a taxi. Eventually the one that the insurance company sent fo me tuned up – an old blue Volvo 244. On the way back (and the name Irmo – which Rhys might know – was mentioned) I mentioned how I’d be happy to settle in a place like this and I asked what taxi-driving was like around here. The driver told me with alarm “ohh don’t go settling around here” but didn’t elaborate. He told me that he might have a buyer for my car so we were talking about buying old cars and dismantling them like I used to from the abandoned car auctions in Brussels but at that point the alarm went off.

After the medication (I was up and about by 06:30) I had a listen to the dictaphone. And there was something very enigmatic on there from round about 02:30. “Yes sometime during the night I dreamt that I was actually writing up my blog. Yes, it’s getting to me, isn’t it?” was what I heard when I played it back. But what it was all about I really didn’t have a clue.

Between breakfast and lunch there was a variety of things to do. First off was to send off the radio project for the forthcoming weekend. And seeing as it’s the end of the month we’re having a live concert again.

Then it was time to choose the music for the next radio project.

It’s a friend’s birthday so I had to prepare a special birthday card for her. That was quite important.

My Welsh homework needed doing too, and that involved some research and more than a little tidying up of my notes. And the questions had come in *.docx format which Open Office doesn’t read correctly – so I had to reformat that by copying the text and paginating it which took an age.

Then back to the radio project and by the time that I knocked off for lunch the tracks had been joined in pairs, I’d chosen a speech for my guest and I’d started to write the notes.

home made apple pear purée cordial granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter lunch there was cookery to be done.

This morning I’d used the last of the purée so I made some more. It hadn’t kept as well as previously so I’ve decided to make smaller amounts more regularly. Today’s effort was apple and pear, and I remembered the cinnamon and nutmeg.

With the juice that was left over, I added some syrup to make a cordial, and we’ll see how that goes.

As well as that, there was the remaining kilo of carrots to be peeled, diced, blanched and frozen. They are in the freezer right now too.

yacht english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a break while I went out for my afternoon walk in the glorious sun.

There were a few people staring down at the foot of the cliff so I went along to see what there was going on. I’m not sure what it was that they were seeing, but I saw this beautiful little yacht go scudding by right under my nose.

One of my neighbours was there too – Gribouille’s mum – with her arm in plaster. She’d had a fall in the market on Saturday and broken her wrist.

She started to tell me all about it but no thanks – I don’t want to know things like that.

st helier jersey trawler english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallThe next couple of photos look as if the quality is quite dismal too.

In several respects that’s true, but it was necessary to enhance them to bring our exactly what it was that I wanted to see. These are two fishing boats – in this photo and the next one, but it is what is in the background that is more interesting.

In all the time that I’ve been living here I don’t think that we have ever had such perfect weather out that way

st helier jersey trawler english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallAs regular readers of this rubbish will recall, on a good day we can see the island of Jersey from here even though it’s at least 54 kilometres away.

Today, not only could we see the island quite clearly but we could even see the buildings and the radio masts on the island. I’ve seen them before, but only with the zoom lens at full-extent and with some severe cropping and enhancing. But today, it didn’t take much to bring them out.

In places you could even see them with the naked eye, and that was impressive.

peche a pied beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving chatted to another neighbour who was in the vicinity I went off for my afternoon walk.

There were crowds of people out there today – picnicking on the lawn, walking around the headland and even down on the beach. Some corners of the beach are not easy to get to but the seafood pickings must be really good. Here was someone having a go at the peche à pied by the looks of things

It would be really interesting to find out how much he actually was able to catch and, more importantly, how he was going to prepare it for eating.

seagulls scavengig in rock pools pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallTalking of good seafood pickings, regular readers of this rubbish will recall a few days ago that we saw a whole sock of fleagulls perched on the rocks, looking as if they were Waiting for Godot.

At the time I speculated that they were waiting for the tide to recede from the mudflats so that they could get stuck in to supper. The tide is out right now and here they are, having a feast.

There must have been several hundred here and it shows the capacity of the shellfish to regenerate themselves every day to be be able to produce enough food to satisfy this lot.

pointe de carolles plage cabanon vauban mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallA little earlier I mentioned the beautiful weather.

Over towards the Brittany coast the weather was rather misty and hazy but down at the end of the baie de Mont St Michel we could see quite clearly.

The large white buildings are all of the hotels and the like that service Mont St Michel. Having seen the prices that they charge for even the most basic services down there, I shudder to think how much they would want for a night in a hotel down there.

Over to the left we have the Pointe de Carolles with the Cabanon Vauban – the customs lookout post – perched on the edge.

And notice how far out the tide is? You can clearly see the orange sand down at the head of the bay.

boats trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual pause to admire the scenery down below the cliff on the south side of the Pointe du Roc.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we always keep an eye on the chantier navale to see what goes on there. Just ecently we’ve seen them whittle themselves down from five to four to three to two. But today, they have gone back up to four with the arrival of two more.

Only small ones, but then I suppose that everything helps. Someone was sanding down one of them. I couldn’t see which one it was but I could certainly hear the sound.

trawler beached port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallUp on blocks in the chantier navale is not the only way that boats receive attention around here.

Careening is a regular feature when there’s a high tidal range, although I’ve yet to see that applied in any seriousness. Being strapped tightly to a knuckle on the harbour wall so that the boat grounds out safely when the tide goes out is on the other hand something that we’ve seen on a regular basis and there’s another one over there receiving similar treatment.

There was quite a crowd up on the wall by it too, so something exciting must have happened to it.

giant crane rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOver the last few days regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing the giant crane that appeared on the docks at the end of last week.

Whatever it’s come here to do, it’s doing it right now. Its width with its safety feet is such that it’s blocked off half of the road and there afe traffic light sontrolling the traffic.

It’s not possible at all to see what it’s doing from here. One of these days I’ll have to go for a walk down there and take a closer look. It has to be something worthwhile to have attracted machinery like that.

There was the usual hour on the guitars, somewhat later than usual, and then tea. Tonight was a stuffed pepper and the last of the apple crumble. I’ll have to make another pudding tomorrow and I have a cunning plan for that.

port de granville harbour entrance marker light manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual run out tonight – an agonising crawl up the hill in the teeth of a gale. But I recovered my breath, ran down to the clifftop and then walked round the corner.

The other day, regular readers of this rubbish saw the marker light for the harbour entrance standing well clear of the water on its rock. By my estimation it’s still half an hour or so before high tide, and if you compare the two photos you’ll see how high the tide comes in.

And look how clear the air is this evening. You can see for miles down there.

people fishing from wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs I ran on down on top of the cliff I noticed hordes of people standing on top of the harbour wall.

For quite a while I stood and watched them, thinking that they might be going to jump in. We’ve seen them do that before. But as long as I looked, no-one moved and I came to the conclusion that they were fishermen or something.

There were a couple of parties of girls as well loitering around where I was standing, presumably likewise waiting for things over there to happen.

fishing boat seagulls baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs I stood there watching them, something came a put-putting around the headland.

At first I wasn’t sure what it was, but I suppose that it’s another one of these very small fishing boats. It’s a working boat, judging by the radio aerial.

And those things in the foreground. I wasn’t sure whether they were marker buoys or seagulls. And having had a closer look I have to say that i’m still none-the-wiser.

And that reminds me of a story I heard about a barrister, FE Smith, giving a lengthy explanation of something to a crowded courtroom.
“I’ve listened to you for half an hour” said the judge “and I’m still none-the-wiser”
“Maybe not, My Lord” replied Smith. “But you’re certainly better-informed”.

fish processing plant sucking shellfish out of trawler hold granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run took me all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury and as there was a lot going on at the fish processing plant I went to see.

This equipment that they were using was quite interesting and it took me a minute or two to work out what it was. And I came to the conclusion that it’s a kind of vacuum-cleaner that was being used to suck the shellfish out of the hold of the trawler and into the fish processing plant.

And if that’s what it is (and that was what it sounded like) it’s a pretty ingenious device.

sunset english chennel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run tok me round to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord.

Nothing exciting going on there and still a while before sunset so I took a quick photo and ran on home to write up my notes..

Tomorrow is a busy day. I have my Welsh class so I need to prepare, I have my book-keeping class that has now started, I have my music course.

Then there are the photos from Sunday to deal with, the current radio project and another live concert for the end of next month too.

That’s before I even think about the ongoing projects like the websites and the July 2019 photos, and then all of the other stuff that’s built up from projects before that were never finished.

It’s a mystery to me how I’m ever going to find the time to do it all.

Wednesday 25th March 2020 – ANOTHER DAY STUCK …

… here in quarantine, slowly getting on my own nerves. I’m not sure how people are coping with being quarantined together and not being able to get away from each other.

But for my part, I had a struggle to get away from my bed this morning. It wasn’t late when I went to bed, but later than I imagined. I slept right through (nothing on the dictaphone) until the morning, dozing through the first two alarms and sitting bolt-upright for some reason about 30 seconds before the third call.

Anyway, I was sitting with my feet on the floor and a tee-shirt in my hand when the alarm went off so I reckon that I had just about won that.

After the medication and with nothing on the dictaphone I made a start on the digitalising of my record collection. I wasn’t able to find any complete soundfiles so I had to work track by track and that took hours to do (with a break for breakfast of course).

Just for a change, there wasn’t anything of any great importance on anything that I recorded this morning. It’s just another 4 albums out of the way all done and finished. But I did have a sneak preview and in a couple of days there will be some really good stuff coming up.

One thing about having visitors is that it makes me get down to doing some tidying up. I know that Neitzsche said “out of chaos comes order” but Neitzche had never visited anywhere where I have ever lived.

It took me a good half hour to clean up, vacuum the floor and put stuff away. And now it sort-of looks as if someone lives here. It won’t last very long like that but at least when the nurse came round it was looking ok.

He took my blood sample – with much difficulty as regular readers of this rubbish will recall – and now I have little patches of white plaster all over the place.

He’ll send the blood to the laboratory for examination and they’ll send me a report. I know what figures to look out for and if there’s a problem I’ll contact my doctor.

buoy english channel brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite the quarantine regulations I still need my daily bread so I went off into town.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen on several occasions these mysterious buoys that keep on appearing and then disappearing offshore.

Despite all of my enquiries I’ve never yet managed to find out to what they relate. My best guess is that it’s do do with fishing nets or lobster pots but I really have no idea.

charles marie port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd it looks as if Charles Marie isn’t going to be around for much longer.

My route this morning went round the headland and down past the chantier navale. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen them tearing huge lumps out of her bulwarks but the last few days when I’ve not been out have seen them replace much of the wood that was removed.

With no distractions to worry them, they’ve been able to crack on with the work.

le soupape port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOther people have been cracking on with work too, taking advantage the enforced hibernation.

With the tide being out, the harbour gates were closed so I could walk across the path on top and over to the other side.

And a couple of people were busy working. The trawler Soupape had had all of its winching gear dismantled and it has all been repainted just recently.

And one of the crew had the wire rope out on the quay and was oiling it and giving it a good servicing. I suppose that they need to keep busy and fixing the fishing gear is one good way to go about it.

There were only a handful of people out and about in town today. It didn’t take long to pick up my dejeunette and I came straight back here. One of my neighbours stuck his head out of his window for a quick chat and one of the women went past and joined in – at a distance.

After lunch I pressed on.

Despite a good crash-out which disrupted my flow, I finished Project 034 and also Project 029 – the live concert for May. They aren’t as I would like them to be because the times are somewhat awkward. I ended up running short on both of them so I had to dictate some more, edit it and merge it in.

Then it was too long so I had to edit some more out, so it was then too short, so I had to add some more back. I’m sure that you get the picture. I could have been there even now but I ended up settling for what I had because it was by now 18:00 and when I’m knocking off these days.

All I need now to catch up is a live concert for June but there’s always something in the pipeline.

There was the customary half-hour on the 6-string and then half an hour on the bass – the acoustic 4-string. And I spent some of the time working out a bass line to Green Day’s “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams” – a song that has a certain significance for me and for someone who, for a certain short moment, was very special to me and who still would be, given half a chance.

As Kris Kristofferson once wrote, “I’d give all my tomorrows for a single yesterday” and that’s a song that appeared on my playlist out of nowhere one evening back then and has remained there ever since.

Still, I mustn’t start to become all broody. What will be will be. I went and had tea instead.

Burger on a bap tonight with jacket potatoes and veg. Plenty of mustard on the bap and that gave it a certain je ne sais quoi. A slice of jam pie with vegan caramel ice cream and chocolate sauce for pudding and that was totally delicious too.

sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThis photo might not look like much but it’s extremely interesting nevertheless.

20:30 when I went out for my evening walk and away down the English Channel there was still a touch of light in the sky. The nights are getting shorter which is good news. Summer will soon be here.

But the question that needs to be asked is “will we?”.

There were my usual two runs this evening. along the north side of the city walls and then the second one across the square Maurice Marland and half a dozen steps up the second ramp

candle in window rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallBut here’s a thing.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall Minette, the old long-haired black cat that sometimes waits for me to let me stroke her.

That’s the windowsill where she normally waits, but she’s not there tonight (which isn’t unusual) but the candle that’s burning there in her place doesn’t look very ppromising. I hope that she’s ok and that nothing has happened to her.

So I’ve had a slow evening listening to music and having to reconfigure my web server so that I could upload my images tonight. I seem to wasting time on such unimportant trivialities right now.

So tomorrow and Friday I’ll deal with the peche à pied radio programme that we recorded and which needs editing because on Friday evening I’m expecting a few audio diaries from various people and that’s my weekend task. They have to be edited and ready for Monday morning because our programme is going out on Tuesday late afternoon.

So I reckon that I’ll have another early night and get myself fighting fit. Fighting for breath and fit to drop, I reckon.

Friday 21st February 2020 – EVEN AS I …

… write I’m watching the football.

And in case you are wondering how I’m managing to do this, I have the football on the big computer and I’m typing on one of the laptops.

Not the little Acer that served me for all those years but the one that I bought in the USA to replace it. However I did magae to fire up the little Acer and download a couple from my suite of programs. I’ll give it a good run out next week and see how it does.

It’s not easy doing these two things at once but I’m having more luck than the footballers are. There’s a howling gale blowing on Deeside and it’s making a total mockery of this match. It’s nothing but a complete lottery out there. One goal kick “straight down the field” ended up in the commentary box.

This morning I was, for once, up and about before the third alarm. And apart from my adventures yesterday, that makes a nice change. Once the medication was out of the way I had a go at the dictaphone.

After breakfast I had another go at cutting up some digital sound files. A couple were quite straightforward but one was, as expected, out of order and that took a while to untangle.

Afterwardsm being in an enthusiastic mood, I tracked down a couple more on the internet and, as bad luck would have it, they were all over the place and took an age to sort out

That left me a short while to do some tidying up in the bedroom and put away stuff that had been hanging around for a while. One of these days I’m going to strip out the bedroom and tidy it up completely.

That took me up to lunchtime and so I went for my bread at La Mie Caline. As I’m having a quiet day today I went for my very long circuit right around the headland, down into town and across the harbour gates.

After lunch I had a look at the Acer. It’s as slow and creaky as ever so I just downloaded Irfanview, Notetab and VLC Player. Part of the problem with that machine was that there was too much stuff on it. It was only ever meant to be a portable machine for travelling

After my afternoon walk I had a good session on the photos. There are thousands to go at and I made it as far as 36. Mind you, much of the time was spent trying to decipher the names of the ships that I was photographing. At least that was a success.

One thing that I was planning to do was to dive out to the shops round about 17:00 but on reflection I reckoned that I have everything that I need and can buy some stuff on Monday if I need it.

Instead I went for a shower. I need to make myself look pretty because I have been invited out this evening to one of the neighbours. I went, anyway, just to show the flag for an hour and then came back here.

After a quick tea I went for a quick walk including a couple of runs and then came back for the football.

Connah’s Quay Nomads v TNS at the top of the Welsh Premier League, or JD Cymru League as I ought to be calling it from now on I suppose. Played in a hurricane, it was an impossible match and the ball was impossible to predict.

Connah’s Quay took the lead deep into stoppage time in the first half, and deservedly so because for once, TNS looked jaded and tired and the Nomads had the lion’s share of the play.

After half time TNS had the wind with them but it didn’t make a lot of difference and after 75 minutes, when the Nomads finally got the message and played the ball on the floor instead of the air, the Nomads actually looked much more dangerous.

1-0 it finished though, and the Nomads could have had another 2 or three quite easily. Lewis Brass in the Nomads goal was practically a spectator. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen TNS play quite like this.

Nomads now 4 points clear at the top. Let’s hops that they can hang in there.

Now, I’m off to bed. I’ll finish this properly sometime soon but I have a lot on this weekend. We’re broadcasting the Carnaval procession live on Sunday from 13:30 CET and tomorrow I’m out interviewing the kids.

Monday 11th March 2019 – FOR THE FIRST …

… time since the football over two weeks ago, I had a mug of coffee – when I was at Liz and Terry’s. In fact I had two.

And that probably explains why I was still wide awake working on the computer this morning at 02:30, unable to sleep.

Eventually, I did manage to go to bed. And a short while later I did actually go to sleep.

When the alarms went off at 06:00,06:10 and 06:20 there was absolutely no danger of my leaving my little bed. 09:05 was mush more of a respectable time given the circumstances.

As a result, we can almost dismiss the morning as a write-off. by the time I settled down to do some work it was 12:20.

One thing that I had done was to get on the phone to my web hosts. My domain names need renewal and for some reason the direct debiting wasn’t working.

After several attempts I was connected to the French helpline where the formalities were completed. And I was struck by the accent of the girl to whom I was speaking. it turns out that not only was she a French speaker from Acadie in New Brunswick, she was actually there, and my call had been diverted to Canada.

a little later I nipped out to Caliburn. the memory card in the dashcam in Caliburn had filled up yesterday so I’d brought it in with me. This morning I uploaded all of the media onto the hard drive and then took the empty card back down to keep as a spare.

One of my neighbours was out there so we had a chat. But freezing in the howling wind, I came in quickly.

Lunch was as usual, and then I set to work with the shredder. Another huge mound of paper has gone to meet its maker and another day or two will see the rest of it on its way. And then there’s more to attack, to keep me out of mischief for the next 6 months.

armor charles marie la granvillaise chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThis afternoon I braved the hurricane and went outside, bumping into another neighbour on the way.

Nothing much happening out there, except at the chantier navale where Armor, Charles-Marie and La Granvillaise were receiving attention.

But the funfair seems to have gone, and so does Neptune. She set off at 06:08 on her way to Whitstable.

chocolate birthday cake liz terry messenger granville manche normandy franceBack here, I opened my birthday present from Liz and Terry. A gorgeous chocolate cake.

It won’t keep for too long and seeing as I’m off to Belgium on Thursday half of it went straight into the fridge.

But I also cut myself off a slice to taste. And it’s delicious, as you might expect. As I have now run out of apple pie, I’ll be having a slice here and there for pudding with my coconut-flavoured soya cream.

Rosemary rang me up later and we had quite a chat – 1:33 of it, to be precise. She’s back now in France and here she intends to stay.

Tea was the pizza that I should have had yesterday, followed by the last slice of apple pie.

moonlight night ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceAnd then the walk around the walls.

There was only a thin sliver of moon but with the clear sky there was a beautiful reflection on the sea.

The wind had dropped and it was cold, but there was no-one around at all, apart from a new black cat that came for a stroke.

So now I’m going to bed. Nice and early. I want to have an early start tomorrow as I have a lot to do.

But before I go, spare a thought for my niece’s eldest daughter. Her boyfriend was seriously ill and his chances of survival were slight. He had proposed marriage to her and they tied the knot on Christmas Eve.

Unfortunately their time together was short. He passed away on Saturday morning.

Poor Zoe.

Friday 23rd November 2018 – FOR THE FIRST TIME …

… for quite some considerable time, we’ve had rain today.

Not enough to prevent me from going for my series of perambulations but enough to make me put on the raincoat and do up the hood. And it’s not a long knee-length raincoat, Rhys.

With having had a reasonably early night, I had a good sleep too.

During the night last night there was something of a family reunion. I’m no longer sure of the beginning or even the middle but right at the end I can remember going to bed – in Vine Tree Avenue of all places. But when I went to get into bed with Nerina, my younger sister was asleep in there too. When I awoke her to find out what was going on, she told me that there was someone else asleep in her bed so she had to find somewhere else to sleep. I went to look in her bed and found that one of my friends had actually gone to sleep in there.
As an aside, in real life whoever was asleep in her bed later became her husband. But that’s another story.

It wasn’t a particularly early start this morning either. I had a bit of a lie-in, and then I attacked the breakfast.

This morning I’ve been a busy little B. The blog for the last week or two is up to date and you can see where I updated starting from this page and working forward.

When I’m more organised, I’ll be starting from the end of October and working backwards, doing three or four a day until it’s all done. It might take me several years to do it but if I don’t start, I won’t finish.

Another task that I’ve done this morning that took me far longer than it ought was to merge the clipbook libraries.

The program that I use the most is a text editor called Notetab. I do evrything with it, from making brief notes right up to hand-coding my own web pages.

The main advantages that it has are that

  1. you can have several *.txt or *.html files open at any one time
  2. you can build up a whole series of clipbook libraries, so that you can save a regular block of text or coding that you use on a regular basis, and just one click inserts it into your document, as regular readers of this rubbish might recall

There are enough old computers here to sink a ship, and there are backups that date to about 1999, so this morning I started to extract the libraries from the various machines and merge them together.

having done a couple this morning, I then did a big back-up of the laptop and I’ll be backing up my data a couple of times a day from now on, always assuming that I remember.

While I was searching for something else, I came across a rare book going back to AD731 that has now been uploaded to the internet and available for free download. And so I’ve now added a copy of Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People to my virtual library.

This is one of the very earliest histories of England and, along with the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, was the basis of much of what was known about English history in the Dark Ages.

And that reminds me. I brought my Domesday Book with me from the farm, but did I bring my Anglo-Saxon Chronicle?

This muesli that I made really is wicked. It went down a treat on my butties at lunchtime and there is still plenty left. And after lunch I came back into my little office and carried on with Day Four of the High Arctic.

trawler aztec lady ship repair yard port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere was a break for a walk around the headland. Although it was raining, it wasn’t all that bad-certainly not bad enough to stop me.

At the ship repairers, Aztec Lady was still there, up on blocks. There was a ladder up to her deck but I couldn’t see any sign of any work being done.

The trawlers are still up there too receiving attention. I’m not sure what they are doing to the pink and white one that we saw being lifted out of the water.

fishing boats quay port de granville harbour manche normandy franceRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that back when they were dredging out the harbour, they had a digger in the tidal basin here at low tide.

It was digging out a deep channel at the outside of the fishing quay by the fish processing plant.

This was done presumably with the aim of making a cut there that would provide access to the quay for a greater part of the day

fishing boats quay port de granville harbour manche normandy france There’s a whole line of smaller boats that have been queueing up outside the harbour now on their way in to tie up and unload.

If you look at the surrounding tidal harbour, you can see that it’s a long way from being submerged right now.

It certainly seems that the little channel that they dug out is working, and in spades too, which is good news for the port and the town.

More time available to unload means that more fishing boats can use the facilities

Just by way of a change I’d been chatting to a couple of neighbours too – one as I left the building and the second as I arrived back. It’s all go here, isn’t it?

In the mail today I’ve had the bill for the taxe d’habitation – the Council Tax – for next year for my house in the Auvergne. Eat your hearts out, you UK dwellers. My council tax for next year is all of €24:00.

Ingrid phoned me up after I came back. And we had a lengthy chat for a good hour or so about all kinds of things. She’s not too well right now, so I told her that some nice, relaxing sea air would do her the world of good.

There was a pepper left over so tea tonight was a stuffed pepper. I need to rid myself of the perishable stuff before I go away on Sunday.

Then, back into the rain. There was just one other person out there this evening but Minette, the black cat, was there on her windowsill. She had a good stroke and even allowed me to pick her up for 30 seconds.

But for some reason or another, I’m feeling quite tired. No idea why – it’s not as if I had a bad night. But I do seem to think that I’ve not had my usual afternoon doze so that might account for it.

It’s a good enough reason to go to bed.