Tag Archives: nikon 18-300mm lens

Monday 10th January 2022 – NOT VERY MANY …

… photographs today. And you’ll find out why as you read on. It’s not been a very good day today. Not at all.

It started off quite well though. When the alarm went off at 06:00 this morning I was actually out of bed quite rapidly for a change. And after the medication and checking the mails and messages, I attacked the radio programme that I intended to do.

And despite a couple of breaks for coffee and for breakfast, It was all finished and up and running by 10:37. And it would have been finished even quicker had the final track that I had chosen been properly formatted.

In the end I had to re-record it and re-format it and that took a while. And had I thought on, I would have re-recorded the whole album because if one track is badly formatted, it follows that all of the others are too.

When I’d finished the programme and listened to it (and to the one that will be sent off later for broadcast this weekend) I went and had a shower and washed a load of clothes ready for my voyage to Leuven on Wednesday.

After lunch the nurse came round and gave me my injection of Aranesp following which I sorted out my papers ready for my walk up to the physiotherapist.

jade 3 loading with crane port de Granville harbour Manche harbour Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way down the hill into town I noticed that there was something happening down at the inner harbour.

If I am correct, the trawler down there is Jade III and there is somethign going on for which she needs the services of one of the dockside cranes.

It can’t be the nets because they are usually loaded from the rear, with the boats stern-on to the quayside, as we have seen on many occasions down there in the past. But this crane is being used on the side of the boat.

This afternoon I was rather late setting out for my appointment so I couldn’t loiter around. I had to push on quite rapidly. But I made it there in time.

And this is where my problems began. In the middle of an exercise my knee gave out again, just as it did that time in Paris, and I fell to the floor quite heavily. I didn’t have the strength to pull myself up, but luckily I was by the wall-bars so I could grab hold of something to help me to my feet.

But at least my physiotherapist had a really good view of what happened. She’s no longer in any doubt about the issues that I’m having. But it’s not boding well for my trip to Leuven on Wednesday.

Luckily, one of my neighbours was there at the same time as me, and he too was a witness to my little incident. He was here in his car so he offered to drive me home which was very kind of him.

Back here I grabbed the NIKON D500 and headed outside for a wander around – and fell down the stairs as my knee gave way again. And so I didn’t go very far.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Nevertheless I struggled on across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

It was rather later than usual, with having had to hang around somewhat for a lift, and so the tide was coming in quite rapidly. And there was no-one down there on the beach at all. The place was deserted.

The weather wasn’t actually all that bad. Although there was some rain in the air being blown around by the wind, it was quite warm for the time of year. In fact, this weather is unseasonably-warm. I don’t think that I’ve ever known a winter quite as mild as this one so far.

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022There had been some kind of activity at the chantier naval that I’d noticed earlier so I went for a closer look with the 70-300mm LENS

Gerlean is still there of course, but over on the right the skyjack has put in an appearance from out of the shed where it usually lives. It doesn’t look as if there’s any reason for it to have been brought outside – they usually only need it when they are working on one of the large trawlers.

But even more interestingly, they have a couple of vans with people in attendance over at the portable boat lift. It’s not been back in commission for a month yet but it’s already been under repair once and it looks as if it’s under repair yet again.

ch640361 nais ch638749 pescadore port de Granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Meanwhile, back in the inner harbour, most of the fishing boats that we had seen in there the other day now seem to have gone out to sea.

There’s Pescadore, the blue and black trawler that we saw in the chantier naval the other day, down there, and also one of the inshore shell-fishing boats too.

Luckily I could read her registration number from up here and now that I know where to access the index of French-registered fishing boats, I can tell you that she’s called Nais.

What with the leg giving me issues right now, I didn’t go any farther. I turned round and headed for home, with something of an undignified scramble up the stairs to my apartment.

Back here I made a coffee and came back in here to sit down, where I crashed out definitively. And to such an extent that I was seriously thinking of going back to bed at one point I felt so dreadful. And it’s been such a long time since I’ve felt even remotely like that. When I awoke, my coffee was stone-cold.

And once I recovered I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was staying last night in some weird hotel run by some Indians somewhere. He had only prepared part of my bill but I had to leave although I’d be back later. He hadn’t finished working out how much my evening meal was. I went out but when I returned he told me that Nina had been to see me. She’d turned up not long after I’d gone. There obviously wasn’t much that I could do about that. I waited for him to finish this bil for the meal. It was totally astronomical. He’d done things like because I was the only person there eating at that time he’d charged me the hourly rate of the 3 servers and the cook, that kind of thing. I had to pay their wages for an hour or so. Instead of paying something like £7 or £8 it was £70 or £80. I thought that it was absolutely astonishing. But whatever it was, he was busy explaining why he’d added this in, why he’d added that in and he never reached to point of telling me how much it was. No matter how much I asked him about this bill he still wouldn’t tell me how much it was. It was dragging on and on and on. I wanted him to get to the total but he was too busy with all of these explanations to tell me anything about how much I was going to have to pay at the end.

Tea tonight was taco rolls and rice with veg using the stuffing left over from Saturday. Tomorrow night’s tea will of course be a curry made of everything loitering in the fridge that needs to be eaten before I go off to Leuven.

That is, of course, if I go. With Covid being out of control it depends if there will be a train. And even if there is a train, it depends if I’m in any kind of state to travel there.

This is not going to be a good week for me to travel.

Sunday 26th September 2021 – NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL …

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… the perfect vegan pizza.

It really was too. I had to make a new batch of pizza dough this afternoon because I’d run out of the last batch. But I used wholemeal flour instead of bleached white flour and although the taste was rather unusual, it rose to perfection.

It’s a shame that I can’t make my bread dough rise quite like this batch of pizza dough did, and I don’t know why it won’t. I shall just have to keep on practising until I can find the key.

But it’s bizarre all the same.

And that’s what I call a lie-in too. Despite not going to bed until about 00:30 I was asleep until about 10:35 this morning. And it was … errr … some time later when I finally arose from the dead.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I’ve forgotten very much about the first part of my travels but it was some kind of car journey with kids and we had to make up a bed inside the car for them because it was a long way travelling through the night but I can’t remember very much about this at all.

A short while later I was with a woman and we were wandering around the streets of a strange city somewhere in Eastern Europe. It was an aimless wandering around and I let her take charge but every time she seemed to take a decision to go somewhere it was always the wrong way. But it was still quite an adventure. It was hot and stuffy with quite a lot of traffic about, including one bus where the passengers were arguing with the driver about which way to go. Then we came to a complicated road junction where I misunderstood the lights and was nearly squidged. By this time I was with Nerina. We had been somewhere the night before after she had come in. She was telling me that a she came in my brother had invited her out for a drink. She said that she had this opinion that he’d known that she had been drinking although it was 16 minutes since her last one and she should have been clear so maybe she’d drink her drink in a different way next time to provoke a different reaction in her stomach.

I was wandering around Nantwich later and it was something to do with my German friend who was there – I’d arranged to meet him so I went to phone him up but I phoned Percy Penguin instead. I had a little chat with her and we tentatively arranged to meet. Then I was back in my house getting things ready for going. Another friend had said that someone had left me a message. I had a look and it was yet a third friend looking for the seed potatoes that he’s left. I had absolutely no idea where these were so I started to hunt my through for them and couldn’t fond anything. I came across my boots that I’d been wearing that I’d forgotten all about. I wondered if I should take those because the ones that I was wearing now were extremely comfortable although they were rather old and I still couldn’t find these potatoes. Liz Ayers turned up and said something like it was time to go. I told her that we hadn’t found these potatoes and she said that she wanted to go round to my house on the way back to see whether there was anything there that we needed. This was going to end in a load of confusion.

Later still, there were some more people round at my house. I had to go off somewhere and knew that I was going to miss these people by ages because I wouldn’t be back until late. When I returned there were 2 people walking up the stairs in front of me in the dark without the light on. I was wondering what they were doing. They went to my door and rang the bell. Whoever was in my house opened the door. This woman asked “have you received a message or a bill some time today?” to which whoever it was said “no”. Just then a girl came out of my apartment, a girl who had been in there earlier and was the one whom I was afraid that I was going to miss, carrying a box of stuff to put in her car. These 2 women saw her and asked “are you leaving? I hope that you are going to come back again”. She replied “yes, I’ll be coming back”. I added “yes, she better had be coming back”. We were having this kind of chat on the stairs at about 23:00 and this girl should have gone a long time ago. I was leafing through an old file and came across a sailor’s discharge book from the Navy, showing all the ships that he had been in, where he’d been torpedoed, where his ship had broken in 2 and sank, whatever. I was so fascinated by this book and deeply absorbed in it and wasn’t folling half of what was happening in this conversation which was strange because I was very keen to keep friendly and keep in touch with this other girl.

While I was at it, I transcribed the notes from yesterday and now they are on line as well.

After lunch, I had a little vegetate – after all, it IS Sunday. I was doing some research on something that I had read about a Communist sympathiser known as Hilaire Noulens, whose real name was Jakob Rudnik as I discovered, who was sent by Comintern to Shanghai to foment rebellion against the “International Forces” in 1931 but was arrested and exposed.

In the “International Zone” of Shanghai in the 1920s and early 1930s there were all kinds of strange and bewildering goings-on until 1932 when the Japanese invasion put a stop to most of it.

Following that I organised and paired off the music for the radio show that I’ll be preparing tomorrow and a little later I went off and prepared the dough for my next batch of pizza.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk so I headed off across the car park to the wall at the end to see what was going on down on the beach.

There were quite a few people down there this afternoon. Although we are at the last weekend of September it is unseasonably warm right now with very little wind so people were taking full advantage.

There were even a couple of people in the water right up to their knees. I know that it was a nice day, but it wasn’t that nice. But then the definition of “nice water” for me is “water that is at 37°C”

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further along down at the beach at the Plat Gousset there were even more people.

Of course, the access there is much easier but they are closer to some competing attractions such as the Fête des Coquillages St Jacques down at the port. A plate of shellfish surely has to be a better deal?

But then I suppose there are those people who have come here to take the waters. As you can see, there are even more people up to their knees in it over there. Sooner them than me.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There wasn’t anything happening this afternoon out at sea so I had a look over to the Ile de Chausey.

The view was quite good today – not as nice as it has been but better than most days – so the colours didn’t come out particularly too well.

There was one of the two Joly France ferries (Belle France is still moored at the Ferry Terminal as I found out later) moored out there and we could see it quite clearly from here.

While I was admiring the view I fell in with another one of my neighbours and we had a lengthy chat. I seem to be quite popular these days and it’s not like me to be so sociable, is it?

While I was chatting, I was overflown by just about everything that could possibly take to the air, as you might expect. But you can’t be so impolite to break off a good chat to take a couple of photos. There will be other times.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From my viewpoint up on top of the old bunker at the back of the lighthouse I could just about make out the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel with my naked eye.

With the NIKON D500 and the 70-300mm LENS the photo came out quite clearly after I’d enhanced it somewhat and we coud see once more the land beyong the cape.

Surprisingly, apart from the Joly France boat that I mentioned earlier and something far to small to identify, I couldn’t see a single other boat out there at sea this afternoon.

yacht small boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The position in the Baie de Mont St Michel is rather different.

As I walked across the lawn and the car park, that was once more packed to the gunwhales, I could see a couple of things out there towards the Brittany coast.

I took a photo of what I saw with a view to having a closer look when I returned home. And I’ve managed to capture a yacht with its sails furled and also a smaller boat of some other type.

But what “other type” it was, I couldn’t say. I couldn’t see clearly enough.

cabanon vauban couple changing a baby pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021By the looks of things, I wasn’t the only person admiring the view out across the bay this afternoon.

There was a couple sitting on the bench by the Cabanon Vauban and my first thought was that they were having a picnic. “A nice big helping of shellfish from the fête”, I mused.

Back here I had a closer look and I could see that in fact they were actually changing a baby. And I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that because any other baby is probably going to be just as noisy as the on that you already have.

F-GKAO - Piper PA-28-181 Archer 2 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Round about now I was overflown by another aeroplane and I was in a position to be able to take a photo of it.

It seems that this is one that we haven’t seen before so i’m glad that I was able to photograph her. She’s F-GKAO, a Piper PA-28-181 Archer II.

She’s spent much of the day flying around here. When I saw her, she had taken off at 16:24, flown down the coast as far as Avranches, and then along the coast to Cap Fréhel before coming back into land at 17:16.

At 18:07 she took off and, stopping at Dinard and then Dinan, disappeared off the radar near Rennes St Jacques at 19:30.

buvette fête des coqilles st jacques port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As you can see, the buvette at the fête is still going great guns.

There was no change at the chanter naval today, with just L’Omerta still in there, and there was only Belle France moored at the ferry terminal so I didn’t spend too long having a look around there.

It seemed to me too that there has been an expansion of the facilities there today. Yesterday, everything seemed to stop by the door into the Fish Processing plant, but today there are a few more marquees and stalls further on that seem to have attracted quite a crowd of people.

equipment on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021But what had attracted me – or, at least, my attention, was the big pile of equipment in the background.

Full of curiosity I cropped it out and enlarged it to see if I might be able to work out what it all is.

It looks like another load of pipework, as far as I can tell. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a while ago they did dig up part of the quayside to lay a network of pipes.

Perhaps they are going to repeat the process once the crowds disappear and the harbour is pretty much empty. Whatever happens, I’ll be keeping an eye on it.

fête des coqilles st jacques port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned that the crowds were still flocking to the Festival.

There are probably even more today than there were yesterday. It’s a good turnout and I’m glad that I’m up here.

You are probably wondering how come I never went down to see what was going on down there. The truth is that I don’t feel up to it. Not even the downhill part, never mind the climb back up afterwards.

What i’m going to be doing is to wait for the doctor to see the x-ray photos of my lungs and see where I go from there.

electricians compound boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021One final thiing to see is something that I haven’t noticed before, not having come this far down the hill on my previous walks.

There’s some kind of compound been created on the waste land at the side of the Boulevard des Terreneuviers. By the looks of things and the name on one of the containers, we’re going to be seeing some electrical work taking place down here pretty shortly.

Not right now though. I came back home for a cold drink and to check on the pizza dough – to find that it had risen by an extraordinary amount.

While I was waiting for the pizza to cook, I peeled and diced about 1.5kg of carrots and blanched them ready for freezing. I hadn’t planned to buying a pile of carrots, but when loose carrots worked out at €1:79 per kilo and yet a 2kg bag was €1:29, what would you do?

That 1.5kg filled the saucepan, so I’ll do the rest tomorrow afternoon.

Bedtime now that I’ve finished my notes. An early start because I have my radio show to do so I won’t be hanging around either. I hope that I’ll have a good night’s sleep, but we shall see.

Wednesday 11th August 2021 – GONE!

gone and never called me mother empty quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd never called me mother!

For the past few days we’ve been keeping an eye on the steadily-increasing pile of freight that has been building up on the quayside down in the port. But when I looked down there this afternoon, there it was! Gone!

It looks as if one of the little Channel Islands freighters has paid us a visit on the early morning tide and cleared off back to the islands with its cargo, without saying anything at all about it to me.

gone and never called me mother empty quayside port de Granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomething else that has gone, and never called me mother either is our old friend Marité, the old Newfoundland fishing boat.

She sneaked out on the early morning tide by the looks of things too and probably won’t be back home until the gates open this evening.

What I can see me doing is checking on the times of the tides and going for a morning walk as well as an evening one. I seem to be missing quite a lot just recently.

marité ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd in case you are wondering exactly where Marité might have been this afternoon, then I reckon that this is she.

While I was out on my afternoon walk I was keeping a watchful eye out to sea and with the aid of the big 70-300mm LENS I was able to make out the sails of a very large sailing ship just offshore.

The photo isn’t very good because while it was one of those days where you could see for miles, there was a peculiar taint to the atmosphere that distorted all of the colours and you can’t see things as clearly as we did yesterday.

yachts cezembre fort de la conchée st malo Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut with the peculiar atmospheric conditions, this afternoon we could see things around the entrance to the port of St Malo that we don’t usually see.

The big island that you see is the island of Cézembre. At one time connected to the mainland by a causeway that has long-since eroded away, access was forbidden to the public after 1944 as an extremely heavy bombardment had littered the place with all kinds of unexploded ammunition.

Several attempts at sweeping the island have taken place and access has been permitted since the Spring of 2018, although many areas are still closed off.

The rather rectangular island to its left is one of the forts that guards the entrance to the harbour at St Malo. The silhouette resembles very much the Fort De La Conchée, built by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban and Siméon Garangeau. No longer used by the military, it was classed as a National Historic Monument in 1984.

But anyway, I’m running away with myself again, aren’t I?

This morning I awoke with the first alarm and wandered off for my medication. Back here I started to do the morning tasks but the next thing that I knew, it was 09:18. I’d been fast asleep on my chair in the office for a little over 2 hours and I didn’t feel a thing.

Having finally recovered I made myself a coffee and sat down to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I started off in a country area, somewhere like that, and there was a lot of building going on. There were all these Germans there building houses. I had all of my medication so I wandered off to have a look at these houses while I took my medication but I dropped one of my tablets. I had a good look around but I couldn’t find it anywhere so I thought “never mind – I’ll have to go back and get another one”. This girl came up and began to talk to me. She asked me what I was looking for so I told her. She turned out to be Bruce Springsteen’s daughter. We talked about this tablet and one or two other things. She said that she was having to go on holiday soon but there would be someone around at their house. If they wanted to pay she could arrange for someone to be up there at the shop who could maybe bring my tablet back. She explained that their business was being sold and there would be someone new in there pretty soon.

Some time later I’d been going around my garages trying to get myself organised with my old MkIII Cortinas (and this is something that seems to come up quite often). I suddenly realised that now I had electric there was no reason why I couldn’t go back to MiG welding. I resolved that what I was going to do was to start to practise on bits of metal and see how I could develop a technique. While I was there I took a boot lid off a MkIII Cortina and went to replace the locking mechanism on it but then I couldn’t get the boot to lock. I was wondering if I’d assembled it correctly. I put it down in the toilet of this place while I went wandering off and there were people coming in and out of the toilets as you might expect. Some little girl went to the toilet and some older woman, her mother maybe, went running hell for leather after her to try to catch her. Then it was time for me to take myself off so I went outside to walk home and the skies were really, really heavy grey with rainclouds and rainstorms and everything. I didn’t have a jacket and at the moment it wasn’t raining where I was but it was going to rain soon and I was wondering whether I ought to try to reach home before the rain started. It was a big wide road and I had to wait for some traffic to pass. One of them was a big Riley used by the local police. There was another one, a smaller type of police car that went past while I was waiting to find a gap in the road. Then a Morris Oxford MO pulled into a car park just a little further back so I thought that this might have been something like an Austin Morris Owners Club event.

Later still I was living in an apartment somewhere and I’d gone outside to do something. I noticed that the apartment above me was being redecorated. There were 2 vehicles there, an ancient Land-Rover and something else with people taking boxes out of it, all that kind of thing and taking them up the stairs to this apartment. I thought that someone must be moving in. I thought that I’d go round and see them and make a coffee but I wasn’t dressed so I thought that I’d dress and then I’d better have a wash as well. At that point someone came round to see our apartment and see some people who were there. The were all getting in my way and I couldn’t get anything organised. I thought that by the time I get myself organised and these people had cleared off and I’m ready to go the ones upstairs doing this apartment would have probably had a coffee and wouldn’t need one from me so they wouldn’t have any time to sit and chat and talk about themselves.

While all of this was going on, I was chatting to Liz. She had some news for me, but more of this anon.

All of the day has been spent, as I mentioned yesterday, dealing with arrears of work.

The photos from Greenland had quite a lot of time spent on them and just as yesterday, one or two of them touched rather a nerve with me just as yesterday and I can do without sinking into a deep depression right now. As if I don’t have enough on my plate right now.

But to cheer myself I had a little fun with A PHOTO OF STRAWBERRY MOOSE. It’s been a long time since he’s been on an adventure.

Mind you, he has told me that he’s pleased that he’s in the EU and not in the UK at all. Word on the streets is that the UK is about to tear up the EU’s restriction on experiments on live animals, and he would have been afraid that he might been forced to sample my cooking.

As well as that I spent some time on my Spirit of Conrad notes but I’m not doing too well with those. For some reason I can’t seem to summon up the creative spirit these days and that’s annoying me too.

There was breakfast of course, and lunch, and then there was the afternoon walk around the headland to stretch my legs.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo Nazguls casting their shadows of doom over me today so I could wander off calmly across the car park to the wall overlookign the beach.

The tide is once more 40 or so minutes behind where it was yesterday so there’s even more beach to go at this afternoon and there were a few people taking advantage of it as well.

There were even a couple of people in the water and one or two sunbathers, but it’s still quite quiet compared to how it usually is in August when you can’t move outside here for the heaving masses.

man in canoe woman sunbathing on beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd there were some people taking advantage of the weather in all kinds of different ways too.

We had a guy out there paddling his own canoe around the headland and I did wonder from where he came seeing as the tide is well out and there isn’t a slipway or quayside in the water right now.

He has a spectator too – a woman sitting on the sand at the water’s edge, prresumably wondering what the canoeist is going to do next.

As an aside, I used to go canoeing when I was at school and on one of our trips on THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR I was asked if I would like to take a kayak out.
My response was “I would do if I could find some oars” to which they replied “who you meet and what you do when you are out there is your own business”.

bouchot beds st martin de brehal Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen the bouchot beds out at Donville les bains and talked about them on several occasions.

There are bouchot beds all along the western coast of the Cotentin Peninsula and because of the strange atmospheric conditions today, we can see many more than we do usually.

If my geography is correct, these are the beds to the north of St Martin de Bréhal that stretch all the way along to the mouth of the River Sienne. And it’s not every day that we can see them as clearly as this, even when the tide is quite low.

fishermen in speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we are on the subject of fishing … “well, one of us is” – ed … there has to be some fishing included in the report of the day’s activities.

For the last couple of days, as I mentioned yesterday, there’s been a distinct lack of offshore fishing been going on, which is strange seeing as we are right in the middle of the summer season.

Today though, there were some fishermen out there. This speedboat had several in there but they weren’t doing much fishing as their rods were all furled up. And in any case they wouldn’t have caught much at the speed at which they were travelling.

f-bsno Wassmer WA-4/21-250 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd at this point I was oveflown by an aeroplane from the airfield just along the coat.

Having spent several days without the sight of even one, we made up for it today when this one went past. It’s one that we’ve seen on one occasion in the past, about two months or so ago – F-BSNO, a Wassmer WA-4/21-250.

She was picked up on radar at 16:07 over the sea near Granville – my photo being timed at (adjusted) 16:06 so that’s probably right, and she disappeared off the radar somewhere in the vicinity of the St Malo-Dinard airport at about 16:16 so she wasn’t aloft for long.

Another aeroplane, one of the smaller, lighter ones, flew by overhead almost immediately but I was engaged in a (Flemish) conversation with a couple of Belgians who wanted to know about the offshore islands.

fisherman canoeist pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith fishing seeming to be the activity of the day I wondered if there might be anything going on out at the end of the headland.

And so I scurried across the car park and down to the path to see for myself, and sure enough, we have someone with his rod out, down there on the rocks right at the end, not having much luck as usual.

There’s a canoeist down there too, but I’m not sure if he’s the same one who we saw a couple of minutes ago. If it is, he’s made rather rapid progress.

And I would still like to know how he intends to take his canoe out of the water at the end of his trip because he has a good few hours to wait before the tide will be in far enough for him to have access to a slipway

peche à pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third”, as they say around here.

And so having seen a couple of photos featuring fishing (of a sort) there’s bound to be a third, especially as the tide is so low. There are bound to be some pêcheurs à pied around here somewhere.

And sure enough, there were a couple of them scratching around in the rocks and rock pools a little further around the headland. Plenty of others elsewhere too out on the rocks further round, but when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all.

And that reminds me – why is shopping in North America so boring?
Well, when you’ve seen one bunch of shops you’ve seen a mall.

I’ll get my coat.

trawler trafalgar charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeantime, some new activity yet again in the chantier naval.

As I’d been making my way along the path on the southern side of the headland I thought that the layout of the place had changed a little, and sure enough, we have another little trawler come to join the crowd this afternoon.

She’s called Trafalgar, a strange name to give to a French vessel bearing in mind the outcome of the battle of that name on 21st October 1805, and we haven’t seen her before – at least not to note. She’s now in here keeping company with Charlevy and the two others whose names I have still not discovered.

paddleboarders plage greve de herel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday I drew your attention to that swimming pool area at the beach at the Grève de Hérel.

And it’s a good job that I did so too because it’s a hive of activity this afternoon. The guys from one of the sailing schools have taken out some pupils on there and it looks as if they are going to be receiving some paddleboard instruction, or something of that nature.

If there are any sunbathers and swimmers on the beach over there, that’s not going to be too popular with them. There’s precious little enough water as it is without having to share it with a sailing school.

small boat aground port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile back at the ran … errr … harbour there are more boats left to go around at the wharf as the tide goes out.

Regular readers of this rubbish well recall having seen this one a few times on and off, painted in colours that are more usually associated with Government vessels than private ones.

But she would seem to be a private vessel because those red buoys look to me like the buoys that they use to indicate the presence of their lobster pots.

And something that I’ve always wondered is “how do you train a lobster to go on a lobster pot?”

On that note I’ll head for home.

Back here I had a cold drink and carried on with my notes until guitar practice time. That was followed by taco rolls with the last of yesterday’s stuffing, followed by apple crumble.

It’s early yet, but who cares? I’m going to bed. If I feel up to it I’ll resume my weekly treks to LIDL tomorrow but I’m not too optimistic. I’m a little better than I was and I could climb the steps without clinging on to the handrail, but even so that’s a long way from when I used to sail up the bank like a Spanish galleon.

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.

Friday 19th March 2021 – AFTER ALL OF THE …

home made ginger beer orange kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… excitement last night, I rounded up the surviving bottles and put them in a plastic box on top of the fridge in the bathroom where they won’t cause too much damage in the future if a similar eventuality were to arise.

But making the orange ginger beer is back on again, I reckon, because I don’t think that it was that which caused the problems.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve been using an assortment of various bottles here, mostly recycled lemonade bottles and the like as well as a few rather dodgy cheap bottles.

But I also have three new, expensive bottles that I bought from IKEA. Two are used as water containers and the third was a spare. That was pressed into service to hold the ginger beer and, unbelievably, it was that one that blew up. The recycled ones and the dodgy cheap ones are keeping going.

That was something of a surprise.

What else which was a surprise was that despite tempting fate last night, I did manage to crawl out of bed just after the first alarm. And after the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

There was a huge murder mystery going on last night with about 20 suspects. There was a detective giving the final denouément right at the very end, going through each person in turn explaining why he would have done it and and finally saying that they didn’t because … and coming up with some reason. This went on for ever and I can’t remember it at all. At the end I was with a woman, someone whom I knew and I can’t think who it was now. We were discussing the radio system. We had half a dozen different aerials, half a dozen different things and we were all switching between the aerials automatically. We would expect a few problems with the automation and I was thinking about having the whole thing redone so that it would still be automatic but I could manually control the aerials so that I knew which aerial was transmitting what. And again this is another thing about which I remember very little.

After the dictaphone notes I made a start on the photos from Greenland. Another pile of those have bitten the dust now and I’m sitting on the deck of THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR watching them unload the zodiacs that will take us to the shore where buses will take up to the airport at Kangerlussuaq. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I had to break off my Transatlantic voyage here because the ship had been chartered by a bunch of North American schoolkids and being from Europe, I didn’t have a valid police check record. I had to come back 3 weeks later when the ship returned so that I could board her and continue my journey across the Atlantic to the Canadian mainland.

By now it was light so I prepared to do battle with the living room, making myself some hot chocolate and cutting myself a slice of fruit sourdough bread. But just at that moment Rosemary rang with a problem and we ended up having a brief chat. One hour and three minutes to be precise.

The damage in the living room is not as extensive as I thought. One of the windows in the nice unit in the living room has been peppered with shrapnel that has made its marks upon the glass, and the TV screen that I use as a computer monitor has taken a bashing too.

The carpet is in the bath. I’ve scrubbed it, used soap on it, scrubbed it again and rinsed it thoroughly. Now it’s in there drying off. And it’ll have another go tomorrow afternoon after my shower. All of the ginger beer that wasn’t in the tray as soaked into the carpet. There wasn’t much anywhere else.

Tons of broken glass about the place and I’ve brushed up as much as I could. But anyone who comes here now will have to be careful where they sit. We all know what happened to the captain of the Good Ship Venus.

The floor has been washed and it will have another washing tomorrow. And I’ll wash down the furniture etc as well tomorrow.

But some good did come out of all of this. The mechanical stopper of the broken bottle was intact and it had obviously proved its worth by resisting the explosion. So I swapped it over onto one of the cheap bottles and now that makes a really good seal. So all was not lost.

Another task that I had to perform was to speak to a certain young Canadian girl whom I know to acquaint her with the news that I’d received from Rachel yesterday because I imagined that in the confusion she would have been left out. We had quite a chat for 15-20 minutes about the events of yesterday and also about lots of other stuff too.

By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

beach rue du nord plat gousset donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd for something of a change just recently, we were having a really nice day today.

The weather was cool and windy but there was a bright blue sky and for once there wasn’t any fog or haze. The tide was quite far out and there were several people down there on the beach and amongst the rocks making the most of the nice afternoon.

One thing that I have noticed – or, maybe, it’s more correct to say that I haven’t noticed, is that there haven’t been any bird-men around for quite a while. Where they leap off the cliffs is just over there to the right near the cemetery – something that probably means that if they make a mistake on take-off they don’t have far to go.

But to be serious … “for once” – ed … I wonder what’s happened that means that they haven’t been taking to the air just recently.

jersey channel islands english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith the weather being so much better today I had a good peer out to sea to see if I could seee Jersy on the horizon today.

And sure enough, with a GOOD LONG LENS and plenty of enhancement back at the apartment later, I was able just about to pick out the island. Not as clearly as I have done in the past, but the fact that we can see it at all today 58kms away shows you just what an improvement that we have had.

Not like in the Auvergne, apparently. Rosemary told me that she awoke this morning to a couple of inches of snow.

Just one or two people around today, so I had the place pretty much to myself. I pushed on along the path, across the lawn and across the car park down to the end of the headland.

seafarers memorial le loup jullouville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe Memorial to the Missing Seafarers is still there – not that that’s any surprise – but you can actually see it today, which is something.

Yesterday we struggled to see much further beyond Le Loup, the light that sits on top of the rock just outside the harbour entrance, but today with it being clear, we can see the town of Jullouville quite easily across the bay, and right to the water tower on the ridge at the back of the town.

On top of the ridge just to the right of the right-hand flagpole is that mystery tower. I haven’t forgotten that one of these days I intend to go and see what it is

With nothing going on out in the bay across to the Brittany coast I pushed of along the footpath at the top of the cliff.

spirit of conrad hermes 1 lys noir freddy land chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown in the chantier navale we have yet more movement and change of occupancy.

Spirit of Conrad, Aztec Lady, Lys Noir, Hermes 1 and Freddy Land are still there, but the trawler Charlevy has gone back into the water. On the morning tide, apparently. So there’s now room for someone else to come in and join the (af)fray.

There might be room for more boats very soon too because the whole place was quite a hive of activity today. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many people down there working on the boats, from private owners in private cars to specialist companies with sign-written vans.

The racket that they were making was quite unbearable. It looks as if everyone is making ready quite rapidly in anticipation of an ease in the lockdown. That’s what I call optimism.

naabsa fishing boat port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we haven’t seen to many hang-gliders just recently, we have been seeing a lot of fishing boats abandoned to the tide at the jetty by the Fish Processing Plant.

It beats me as to why. We went for months, if not years, without seeing a one except for special reasons but this last few weeks we see them on a regular basis. Clearly something is up.

My time was also up so I headed off home where I bumped into one of my neighbours and we had quite a chat. And then I came up for my hot coffee.

There was no guitar practice tonight. I can catch up with that another time. But when I returned I attacked that page of my notes from my trip around Central Europe on which I’ve made very little progress just recently, and found that I was advancing quite rapidly. I decided therefore to stick at it until I finished it because I was fed up of it hanging around.

Round about 20:00 I finally finished it and now IT’S ON LINE at long last. I hope that it won’t take me long to finish off this exercise, although there is a page on which I’ve been stuck for a while and I don’t know what I’m going to do about that one.

Tea was taco rolls and rice. I wasn’t very hungry and half of it finished in the bin. No pudding either.

So after the exertions of yesterday and today and having already crashed out for half an hour (and instead of fighting it, I allowed myself to be carried away) I’m off to bed for a good sleep.

No shopping tomorrow. Instead I’ll catch up with the guitar and practice that I missed and wash the living room again.

There’s football tomorrow afternoon and I mustn’t miss that either.

And then I need to slowly thing about going to Leuven. Wednesday, that is. I wonder what they will tell me this time.

Saturday 3rd October 2020 – I ONCE STARTED TRAINING …

… as a fortune teller, but I had to give up my studies due to unforeseen circumstances.

That is just as well because I would never have made the grade. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last weekend I mentioned Y Fflint – a football club from Deeside that has just been promoted to the JD Cymru League I mentioned that “They are no mugs, and certainly not cannon-fodder like some promotees have been.”

Today they played TNS – and TNS put 10 past them. That’s the heaviest defeat that I recall in the JD Cymru League for quite some considerable time … “August 2016” – ed …. although in fairness, Flint’s keeper was carried off after 23 minutes and they had to put a substitute in goal.

But anyway, I’ll stop predicting and shut up. Except to ask the same question as I did last weekend – “just how good are TNS this season?”.

They are obviously better than I was this morning because once again I had trouble hauling myself out of my stinking pit. Only by a few minutes, but a miss is as good as a mile.

But it seems that I have a lot on my mind right now, judging by what was happening last night.

There was a boat last night and a few of us were on it. It was called the “Son Derwyn”, something like that it was called. There was some woman on there but I can’t remember what she was doing. In fact I can’t remember anything about it at all apart from that.

Later on I’d been seconded onto a job to go to work in the South Atlantic (that’s a coincidence, isn’t it?). There was a group of us and three of us were leaving on the same flight so we were waiting around at the ferry terminal (don’t ask me why). I was with Nerina. We were sitting there talking to each other and there were these two other people talking and making a couple of phone calls. It turned out that they were indeed two of these people. They’d been told to look out for a third so I was wondering whether to introduce myself but I couldn’t be bothered. Nerina and I sat there and carried on talking then we got on this plane and flew to wherever we were going. We ended up in the hostel where we were staying, all sitting around but these two other guys hadn’t come. We weren’t saying too much about anything to anyone. In the end it was time to go to our rooms to get ready for dinner. We went off to our rooms but ended up in the wrong one. We’d all been waiting in one of the rooms so we went off to ours. All it consisted of was two divans, sofas, wickerwork type bamboo things. We thought “this is strange. It’s not going to be very comfortable. We’re not going to be able to get up to much good in here”. We realised that we’d left all of our stuff in the other room. One of the other guys had been for a shower. He came out and said “God you don’t want to go in that shower. It’s freezing cold”. I said “I’m not a penguin. I don’t fancy that idea”. He said “it’s all there is”. We went down into the communal bar place. Apparently there was some bread and jam somewhere so Nerina asked one of the waiters or staff or someone where the bread and jam was. They replied “you have to do things for yourself you know here. You’re expected to work on Saturdays”. I explained that we were quite happy to go and get stuff for ourselves – that’s not a problem. We just wanted to know where it was because we were new. We didn’t get our bread and jam but nevertheless Nerina went off to try to find some and I went to find some tables. It was pretty crowded and in the end I found a couple of chairs and we tagged ourselves on to some other group we were with. Then I realised that I needed some names of people who did things in the town – tradesmen and I’d left the telephone directories that I’d pinched from the library in this guy’s room so I thought that I’d better go and find some more. I walked out into town and found a few. On the way back I was being harassed by this little boy and I almost picked him up and thumped him one but I restrained myself just in time. As I got to the traffic lights – we’d been passed by buses and whatever – I thought “this is a bigger city than I expected. Much more modern”. An ambulance came out of a junction and was rammed by a little white van. A few people piled out of this little white van and another vehicle pulled up as well. They started dragging people out of this ambulance. I noticed that the people in this little white van had police jackets on. One of them gave this gorgeous right hook on one of the passengers in the ambulance. i’ve no idea what this was all about. The ambulance guy was radioing through that he’d been hit by this van and that there was a fight going on with some of his passengers but he had a woman who was seriously ill who he was taking to hospital. Could they send another ambulance to pick her up and take her on while he sorted everything out here. I was making my way back to where I was staying. I do remember thinking “how the hell am I going to be expected to keep the peace in a town like this if this is the kind of behaviour that goes on and it’s such a busy place anyway?
Somewhere along the line was a pizza that had to be put in the fridge so we went to arrange the slices so we could but found that it was all too big for the fridge and there wasn’t the room to put it so what would we be doing about that? I had some ribald comments from my father and my brother about all of this while I was doing it to so I thought that if I can’t find a solution to a little problem like this how am I going to manage doing anything major?
And what was this next bit all about? “This train was crowded with people. Everyone was crammed in and no-one dare move in case someone took their seat. I was handed a telegram which when I opened it said that there was a mumbled something that I couldn’t decipher. immediately. I thought that this was a reference to this new job or else they’d found out something about me that I hadn’t wanted anyone else to know.

With a reasonably early start nevertheless I managed to edit about 15 photos before I went for my shower. And today I had the heater on in the bathroom. The first time this back-end. And I needed it too.

Next step was to empty out the fridge and switch it off. It’s frozen up again and needs to defrost. It can do that while I’m out at the shops.

NOZ had nothing exciting and Centrakor couldn’t supply a new bread mould.

In Leclerc I spent very little – most of which went on things like a box of 2kg of grapes. I bought three fresh figs too and when I reached home, I set another kefir mix en route. Mind you, I needed a boat to come home in, not Caliburn. It was raining hard when I set out but by the time I made it home we were having a torrential downpour of the type that you don’t see very often.

Brigitte had left the window open on her car too so I rang her and told her. But it was rather too late to do any good.

Having set the kefir going, I alternated between the photos and hacking lumps of ice out of the fridge. That latter is now done – all nice and clean and defrosted (but for how long?) and I’ve done almost 70 photos today. And some of them needed quite a lot of editing too. That took some time.

St Helier Jersey Channel Islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the time that I was ready for my afternoon walk there had been a dramatic improvement in the weather.

By now not only had the rain ceased but we were having a beautiful afternoon – one that had really brought out the crowds. And the views were splendid too. You could see for miles and miles – all the way to St Helier in Jersey 58 kilometres away. In all the years that i’ve lived here, I’ve never ever seen the Channel islands so clearly with the naked eye, and with the BIG NIKON D500 and the 18-300mm ZOOM LENS it all looked even more clear

It’s tempting me, if I remember, to go out with the tripod tonight if the wind has dropped to an acceptable level

Peche À Pied Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halland it wasn’t just on the footpaths and the lawns around here that there were plenty of people either this afternoon.

The severe storms that we have had just recently, such as Storm Alex and what went of before it have certainly shaken up the sea bed and who knows what they have unearthed? And so that’s another reason for the people doing the peche à pied to be out there this afternoon, over and above the beautiful weather and the very low tide today.

And I hope that they share the catch with all of their friends and neighbours. After all, one shouldn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish.

Medieval Fish Trap Crowds On Beach Plat Gousset Bouchot Farming Donville Les Bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd so I left the viewpoint overlooking the beach and walked on along the Rue du Nord, and down the footpath underneath the walls. Too many people about today to go for my run so I shelved that until this evening.

There was quite an assortment of items to note going on this afternoon on the beach at the Plat Gousset and down all the way past Donville les Bains.

  1. In the foreground we have the medieval fish trap (at least, I’m assuming that it’s medieval). The water flows over the walls when the tide is coming in and when it retreats it leaves behind a large pool of water in which, in theory, there should be fish trapped which the inhabitants can then pull out with their hands.
  2. Plenty of people out there too, including more pecheurs à pied
  3. The bouchot farm. These are mussels that instead of growing in the sand, somehow manage to grow on the strings that are attached to those poles. These are supposed to be something of a delicacy because with not having been in the sand, they aren’t anythign like as gritty. I once talked to one of the ropes and asked him about the affair. He told me that at first he didn’t like the bouchots but then after a while they began to grow on him.
  4. More pedestrians
  5. The caravan park, with the airfield behind it
  6. The Church of Bréville sur Mer


Crowds Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt beats me sometimes where all of these people come from because as well as the crowds milling around on the footpaths etc., there are also quite a few loitering around on the promenade at the Plat Gousset.

You can see that all of the beach changing cabins on the promenade are no longer there, having been taken away for winter storage a couple of weeks ago. And that’s just as well because had they still been there the other night they would have been smashed to matchwood with the force of the waves that were sweeping up over the wall onto the promenade.

There are one or two people on the beach as well, but not as comfortably-installed as they were last weekend with their folding chairs.

Anyway, I left them to it and wandered off through the Square Maurice Marland where I was engaged in conversation with a boy about three years old.

Joly France Seaweed Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the viewpoint overlooking the port, I could see that one of the Joly France ferries to the Ile de Chausey, the newer one with the smaller upper superstructure, is there whereas the other one looks as if it might be out at sea.

But it wasn’t that which caught my eye, it was the seaweed in the dock. The storm has clearly devastated the sea bed, as I suspected that it might, and the tidal current has been so strong that it’s brought the seaweed right into the head of the harbour.

That must have been some storm.

Football tonight on the internet tonight again. And Sgorio is still having problems with its service. Apparently the English-language stream stalled and while they were fixing it they transferred the viewers over to our Welsh language stream. And the presenter apologised to the English-speakers – IN WELSH.

As for the match itself, it was Cardiff Metropolitan v Caernarfon Town.The Met had 60% of possession, 15 corners compared to the 5 of the Cofis and a dozen shots on goal compared to the 4 of the opposition. When the Met were awarded a penalty early in the game those of us who were watching were saying “here comes the first of many”.

However Josh Tibbetts in the Cofis goal saved it, and from then on the result was predictable. The Met could still be playing out there all alone right now on an empty pitch and they would still be unable to score. As for Caernarfon, three of their four shots went into the back of the net, to produce one of the most unlikely results that I have ever seen.

The Met had a right-winger out there – a young lad called Liam Warman. I’ve not seen him before but he impressed me considerably tonight and I’ll be looking out for him again.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite what I said earlier, I didn’t get out with the tripod tonight.

When the weather brightened up earlier this afternoon as it did, I reckon that it must have simply been the eye of the storm, because it’s back, and with a vengeance too. So well wrapped up and in my waterproof jacket (and how I wish I’d taken my waterproof trousers too) I went out to take a photo or two of the storm.

And if you are wondering about the dreadful quality (because they really are dreadfully blurred and over-exposed) there was a wind blowing at over 100 Km/H and a driving, torrential rainstorm right into the lens of the camera and I had to do the best that I could.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there, I noticed that there was no-one else whatsoever taking advantage of the view tonight.

That’s hardly surprising because I don’t think that I’ve ever been out in such dreadful weather. There was no chance whatever of going around the headland so instead I went back around the walls. It was impossible – absolutely impossible to run down the path as I usually do. Not only was this absolutely awful headwind and driving rain, but the path was about two inches deep in water.

That meant that I had to pick my way gingerly around, which wasn’t easy as I had the hood of my raincoat pulled firmly down and I couldn’t really see where I was going.

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually, after many difficulties, I reached the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

Here, I was being battered and buffetted by a blinding blizzard of rain and I could hardly see a thing. But I’d caught glimpses of the spray as I walked around the path and you could hear the noise of the waves smashing down on the promenade for miles, so I knew that it was going to be a good one.

Basically, it was just a case of waiting for a really loud crash, counting to three to give the spray enough time to make it high into the air, and then pressing the shutter blindly, hoping that something would work out. And, quite frankly, it was something of a failure altogether but you can’t have everything. Ideal conditions and nothing to photograph – miserable and depressing conditions and lots of excitement.

isn’t it always like that?

Storm Alex Waves On Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving stuck it out for as long as I could and with rivers of rain running down the back of my jacket and soaking my legs through to the bones, I headed off for home, thanking the heavens that there had been no football in the area tonight that I might have gone to see.

The Square Maurice Marland was pretty well sheltered so I managed to run all the way across there and even halfway up the second ramp. I need to try my best to keep my heart working. But the final run that I do – from the church back home, there wasn’t any possibility of attempting it tonight in that wind. And I was right yesterday about the wind tunnel. The howling gust coming up there as I walked past almost bowled me over.

Back here I’ve written up my notes and that’s that. Sunday tomorrow and a day of rest too. No cooking or baking either (except for the usual pizza) because I shan’t be here for a few days. I might stretch myself and, having defrosted the fridge today, defrost the freezer tomorrow.

In this weather, it’s not as if there’s any danger of anything defrosting, is it?

Tuesday 25th August 2020 – IT’S BEEN YET ANOTHER …

… day when I just couldn’t find the concentration to get going again. In fact, it’s been something of a bad day all round.

And, once more, it started off quite well again with me being out of bed before the third alarm went off. Twice in two days is going it somewhat!

And as well as that, I’d been on my travels yet again. I was in a big old metallic green V6 Granada last night. I’d only just bought it and I’d been out for a drive around Creve in it. There was no tax and no MoT on it and I was reluctant to take it for an MoT and I’ve no idea why. I should have just taken it and had it tested and seen what it needed but for some unknown reason I didn’t want to do that so I was just driving around in it thinking “should I go to Stoke on Trent in it? Should I see someone whom I know there etc etc and get him to drive my other car back?” I thought that I’d better get it insured at least but then I couldn’t remember where my insurance broker lived and I was drifting along the streets around the West End of Crewe looking for the street where he lived but I just couldn’t remember which one it was. Anyway I went into the Post Office for something or other. It was a Saturday and the Post Office was crowded so I started to queue but I couldn’t remember what it was that I wanted so in the end I got out of the queue and up to a table. Someone came along and dumped a pile of papers and a cheque book and then wandered out of theplace for some reason. I was looking at these papers wandering what was going on when a young guy came over. I can’t remember exactly how he said it but he was going on about how he really had three cars and how he was proud. I said that I had four cars up my drive at the moment. He asked what I had and I said “a Transit and three Ford Cortina estates” (But I could think of two estates, THE MK III and THE MK V, so what was the other one?). He was all enthusiastic about those.

This is quite reminiscent of a recurring dream that I have every now and again about having various Ford Cortinas parked up in all kinds of miscellaneous places all over Crewe

There was some paperwork to do of course this morning but shame as it is to say it, I fell asleep on the chair. That early too!

This is no good at all and I’m going to have to do something serious about all of this sometime.

But anyway I eventually awoke and had a look at my notes prior to my Welsh class starting.

And that was a disaster too because I couldn’t remember a thing. I’m going to have to deal with this issue too. But I think that in all honesty I’m breaking up, I reckon, and I can’t go on much longer like this.

After lunch the first task was to deal with the carrots. There was 1 kilo of them that needed peeling, slicing, blanching and freezing. For some reason, shop-bought frozen carrots seem to be pumped full of water and are particularly ghastly so I like to freeze my own from fresh.

Then apart from that, there was some washing up to do for the things that I had brought back from the Auverne. They are all done now, at least, as far as the glass jars are concerned. There’s still the cutlery for the camping kit to do, although that’s not necessary now because I can’t go off for a further wander around this year.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallHowever, I can go out for my afternoon walk – or crawl, or whatever, even if it was later than usual.

And it goes without saying that I wasn’t the only one out there either. Despite all of the wind that we were having, there were still crowds of people taking in the sun on the beach .

There were quite a few people out in the water too and I bet that that was exciting for them. The kids with the surfboard probably enjoyed it.

sunlight reflecting off marker light ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw several lights out to sea in the evening.

There’s a bit more light out there again today and I was wondering what it might be. A long-distance shot with the big ZOOM LENS and enlarged when I returned home soon solved the mystery.

It’s one of the tall markers on the little tidal islands off the Ile de Chausey with the sunlight reflecting off the glass at the top. Nothing really exciting at all

kitesurfers english channel donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallWe mentioned just now about people out there in the water this afternoon.

Here’s a few more of them out there in the distance off the shore by Donville les Bains. These people are out there kitesurfing and I do have to say that they have picked a nice day for it.

They were out there last Friday when i went for a walk with Liz and Terry but I didn’t have an opportunity to take a photo of them.

crowds in sea waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd if that isn’t enough, there are plenty of people down there in the water too at the Plat Gousset.

The waves are quite high with the wind that’s blowing in off the sea and all of the people seem to be quite enjoying the waves as they come rolling in.

A couple of surfboards out there too and of course the lifeguard in the green flourescent top to the right, keeping an eye on things for safety’s sake.

chevrolet car with connecticut usa licence plates granville manche normandy france eric hallNow here’s a thing.

Round by the church I happened to notice this car parked up in the street. To my surprise it had number plates from Connecticut in the USa both front and rear and that made me wonder what on earth it was doing here. And, more importantly, how it had arrived here.

Mind you, it hadn’t escaped my notice that the Connecticut road licence in the window expired in 2009 so there’s clearly something not quite kosher about all of this.
.

Back here I had another go at the radio programme. I added the introduction to the first couple of tracks and then started on the notes but once more I made very little progress and i’m going to have to do better than this.

Tea tonight was delicious. Leek and tofu pie with potatoes and vegetables with gravy, followed by apple crumble and soya dessert. Despite everything, at least the food is good here.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallLater on I went out for my evening stagger around the headland.

There wasn’t very much going on at all and apart from one other person doing the circuit in the opposite direction, I was totally on my own. Nevertheless it was interesting round by the chantier navale because we seem to have acquired another attendee.

There were five boats in there last night, I seem to remember, but tonight we seem to have ended up with six.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThat’s not the only excitement down there either today.

Talking of ships arriving in port, we have Normandy Trader down there this evening. She must have come in on the afternoon tide.

It was mentioned that she should have come into port yesterday but I understand that she postponed her sailing for a day due to the high seas and the nature of the cargo she was transporting.

Back here now, it’s late and I’m not tired and I don’t know why. That’s not a very good sign. I can see it being a really difficult day tomorrow.

Saturday 1st August 2020 – I BIT THE …

… bullet today and finally galvanised myself into action for a change.

But more of that anon.

Despite still being awake at long after 03:00, I was actually sitting on the edge of the bed ready to get up when the third alarm went off at 06:15. But nevertheless it was still a struggle to rise up from that position.

Plenty to do this morning, despite my late night. I might not have been tired enough to sleep last night but I was too tired to do any work. After breakfast (more fruit salad and delicious bread) I finally managed to finish the notes from last night.

There was something on the dictaphone too. It was all about Crewe Alexandra winning promotion. They scored a really good goal. Jordan Bowery scored it – he fought his way through the defence to kick home. The commentators were there congratulating the team. It meant that several others didn’t have the chance to play off as the team coming out straight afterwards for another game were going to be extremely disappointed by the results and so on.

To clean myself off I had a good shower, a shave and a clothes-washing session and then I hit the road.

old car aston martin dbr2 ksv 975 1971 lech austria eric hallYesterday when we’d been down in the town we’d seen a Blower Bentley parked up at the hotel.

Today there’s another old and interesting vehicle parked up in the town and in case you haven’t recognised it, it’s an Aston Martin DBR2.

Well, that’s what you might think but it actually isn’t. According to the UK’s Driver and vehicle Licensing Authority it was first registered in 1971 and a little research reveals that when this vehicle was offered for sale in 2007 by Bonham’s the Auctioneers, it was described as a “1971 Aston Martin DBR2 Recreation”.

old car aston martin dbr2 ksv 975 1971 lech austria eric hallIt wasn’t sold cheaply either by Bonham’s. Including the Buyers’ Premium, it went for almost £78,000.

That price might sound expensive for a replica but an original sold for over £9,000,000 so the price of the replica is pretty small beer. And according to the guy who built a few Aston Martin replicas, even the £78,000 represented “a considerable premium to my build prices” so we’ll all have to go along and order one.

But they aren’t really the same as the original ones unfortunately because with being built to modern standards they have modern engines and a different style of chassis that doesn’t flex as much as the older one did and so takes away much of the excitement of driving it.

der lecher taxi lech austria eric hallIt’s easy to see why this town is the favourite town of Strawberry Moose.

He’s not been here for 48 hours and he has started his own taxi company here. And as you might expect, he’s chosen a most appropriate name for his business. I’m sure that he’ll pick up plenty of work over the period that he’s going to be here.

It’s a shame that he wasn’t here for a photo opportunity but he had plenty of other things to be doing to set his business off on the right foot.

alpine horn lech austria eric hallNot only is it the height of the tourist season it’s also a Saturday and so there are crowds of people around iin the town this morning

To entertain them, there were a few alpine horn players standing on the bridge over the river and I’ve no idea why they were taking such an intense interest in me as I was taking their photograph. I wasn’t making half as much noise as they were and I wasn’t blocking the traffic either.

The lederhosen that they were wearing didn’t impress me all that much either The didn’t look particularly interesting. And they all should be wearing their little felt hats with feathers in.

But it did remind me of the time that I was chatting to Lee Jackson, bassist/vocalist of The Nice, who told me that the only cure for an Alpine Horn was an Alpine maid.

river lech austria eric hallToday, I’m going to be doing what I really wanted to do yesterday had I been on form.

What I had wanted to do was to go for a tramp in the woods, but he got away so I was going to walk up into the mountains along the side of the river to see if I could make it as far as Zug. First I needed some supplies, so I went to the supermarket that I had visited yesterday.

Now that i’d organised food for the journey, I set off up the hill

cable lift lech austria eric hallYesterday we saw at the side of my hotel the cables of a gondola lift going up into the mountains to the east side of the town.

From up here where I’m standing, we can look right across the town and see the cables climbing right up into the mountains, the cable pylons on top of the first crest and then the station at the top way over to the right on the second crest.

One of these days when I’ve saved enough money (because it isn’t cheap by any means) I’ll take the gondola right up to the top because I imagine that the views would be totally spectacular. But knowing my luck, there would be a fog, a low cloud or a heat haze.

upper vorarlberg lech austria eric hallAs you saw in one of the previous photographs, there were two ways to go.

One of the ways was by the ordinary road that climbed its way up through the mountains, or the second way, which was the footpath that wound its way along at the side of the river.

The road looked all hot and bothered and not very inspiring but the path along the river went through a load of shade from the trees that were growing along the banks. And so as far as I was concerned that was the only way to go.

river lech austria eric hallAs you can see from this photo, I wasn’t wrong about the road.

You can see it up there where all of those cars are driving. It’s right out in the open there, in the sun and not the place to be in weather like this.

The town of Zug is out of view behind the crest of the ridge that you can see over to the left of the photo. I imagine that the river will wend its way around there and the path that I’m on will follow the river round to the town.

river lech austria eric hallWhere I took the previous photo was from the bridge just there across the river.

Hidden in the trees back there is a large open-air swimming pool and leisure centre that seemed to be very popular with all kinds of people. It was pretty busy. One of the things that I noticed here was an open-air café where I could conceivably buy a coffee on the way back because I had a feeling that I would be needing it.

But not right now because I was rather hot. I sat on a convenient bench and had a drink of the water that I’d remembered to bring with me.

river lech austria eric hallThe longer that I sit around doing nothing, the longer it will take me to reach Zug so I decided to press on along the trail.

It seemed that it didn’t matter which was I was going to do. Every path or road north-westwards up the valley seemed to lead into the hot sun. There was a really big clearing here round by this cabin and if they didn’t already have enough sunshine there were signs that there was tree-cutting taking place here.

There wasn’t anyone around attending to the timber so I carried on along the path.

mountains upper vorarlberg lech austria eric hallNot too far though because something interesting along the way had caught my eye.

On top of the mountains over there are some buildings and what’s exciting is wondering about how the occupiers get up their with their supplies. But seeing as over there is really the back of Lech I imagine that the buildings are some way connected to the ski lift and gondola system so people might come up that way.

But looking at that slope over there, I imagine that the way down on skis to the main road at the foot of the slope would be quite exciting too.

waterfall river lech austria eric hallIn one of the earlier photos you might have noticed some people at the side of the river and also the start of some rapids.

The elevation into the mountains is a lot steeper than you might think by looking at the photos and the water is running quite fast down the river. And with there being different strata of rocks around here and some rocks wearing quicker than other, the presence of rapids is assured

Not the kind that you can shoot in a raft unfortunately – there isn’t enough water for that at this time of the year.

rapids waterfall river lech austria eric hallNevertheless it’s still quite magnificent and powerful, and I’d love to see it in the spring when there is all of the meltwater flowing down the valley.

There has been so much water in the river at times that there have been some impressive flash floods lower down in the valley. There was a catastrophic flood in June 1910 when the flow of water reached 300 cubic metres per second. A church tower 52 metres high in Lechhausen was badly damaged and 5 million marks worth of damages was caused in Augsburg.

As a result in 1911 they started on building flood defences downriver.

rapids waterfall river lech austria eric hallThe town of Lech hasn’t been spared either. In August 2005 a considerable amount of damage was caused due to a sudden flash flood.

But returning to the river itself, its source is in the Formarinsee, a lake higher up in the mountains, and then flows a distance of about 250 kilometres, draining about 3900 square kilometres before feeding into the River Danube near Donauworth where we visited IN 2015.

It’s not a navigable river, due mainly to the shallow depth and the gravel beds. And also due to the fact that there are 33 power stations along its route.

people in water waterfall rapids river lech austria eric hallBut it’s certainly the place to be in the summer, especially on a hot, stifling day like today.

There was rather a large family group of people sitting on one of the gravel beds having a picnic and a paddle about in the water. And I must admit that I was sorely tempted to go and join them and dangle my feet in the water for 10 minutes or so.

But instead, I pushed on along the path towards Zug. At least there was some shade here amongst the trees as I scrambled up and over some of the undulations in the path

zug mountains upper vorarlberg zug austria eric hallOver there is the town of Zug, a lot farther away than it looks in this photograph, thanks to the wonders of good long-distance ZOOM LENSES. A couple of minutes further on from where I’d seen the people paddling in the pool I burst out into the sunlight and there it was through the trees.

But now it’s lunchtime and having found a handy bench in the shade, I have my book and my lunch – another half of a small melon and another can of that energy drink that had lifted my spirits yesterday, both of which I had purchased from the supermarket earlier.

And here I sat for a good half hour, in the middle of a golf course apparently judging by all of the people passing by with their golfing trolleys and so on. Not that I could see anything of it through the undergrowth and shrubbery from where I was sitting.

After having sat down and relaxed for about half an hour I pushed on towards the town.

ski lift mountains upper vorarlberg zug austria eric hall
Yesterday I mentioned that we are in the middle of one of the most extensive skiing areas in Europe and so, as you might expect, there are gondolas, ski lifts and drags all over the place.

Here at the side of the river is the bottom station of one of the ski lifts – the Zugerbergbahn – that goes up to the top of the mountains to the north. Up there on top at an altitude of 2100 metres is the Balmalp Lech am Arlberg ski lodge. Tha represents a rise of over 600 metres from my current 1488 metres, according to my telephone.

And avid skier as I was in my younger days, I would have to say that it would have been quite exciting skiing back down from there again through all of those trees. It reminds me of Erma Brobeck who once famously said “I’ve no intention of participating in any sport that has ambulances waiting at the bottom of the hill”.

mountains upper vorarlberg zug austria eric hallThe next stage of my route was comparative easy because for about 5 minutes we actually had a path that was flat, level and comparatively smooth.

Over there ahead of us is presumably the car park for the chairlift and also for people going a-walking around in the vicinity too because it really is a nice area to be walking around.

In the background are some of the most splendid mountains that you have ever seen, still with a couple of vestiges of snow upon them. We actually drove past them, but on the other side on our way to Lech from Dornbirn on the Bregenzerwald Bundesstrasse Highway.

mountains upper vorarlberg zug austria eric hallThis is probably one of the finest glaciated valleys that I have ever seen.

You can usually tell a glaciated valley from a river valley because of its shape. A river valley is more likely to have a “V” shape whereas a glaciated valley is more likely to be a “U” shape. And this one speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

The ridge going across from left to right in the photo looks at fist glance as if it might be a moraine – a bank of gravel left behind by a glacier as it retreats. But it’s not possible to say without excavating it, and it looks a little too unnatural to me.

mountains upper vorarlberg zug austria eric hallFrom the bottom of the valley down by the river up to the village was a climb of about 30 metres, but it looked and felt like a darn sight more than that to me.

Halfway up the path I stopped to recapture my breath and had a look around. There’s a complex of about three or four guest houses on the edge of the village somewhere to the east and I imagine that those buildings over there must be it.

Behind them is the valley up which I walked, and the town of Lech is right down at the bottom somewhere near the left-hand edge of the photo where you can see that cleft between the mountains.

Filialkirche St. Sebastian church mountains upper vorarlberg zug austria eric hallEventually I arrived in the centre of the village, such as it is, and found myself standing in a little square outside the church.

The church is the Filialkirche St. Sebastian and it’s an impressive structure for such a small place. There’s quite a story behind it too, in that in the early 17th Century there was an outbreak of the plague here and someone made a vow in connection with the plague.

Unfortunately I’ve not discovered who it was, and what exactly was the nature of the vow, but one of the attributes of Saint Sebastian is that he’s the patron saint of protection from the plague, so I would imagine that it’s due to people praying to Saint Sebastian that if they survive this outbreak they would build a church in his honour in thanks for their safe deliverance – that kind of thing.

musicians upper vorarlberg zug austria eric hallApart from the church, there’s little else here to talk about. A couple of hotels, such as this one and that’s your lot.

At least they had some entertainment for us this afternoon, and that’s always welcome. No alpine horns unfortunately, but we do have a guitar, a double bass and a kind of hurdy-gurdy. I was tempted to buy a coffee in order to stop and listen for half an hour, but then I saw the prices.

There isn’t really anything else to do around here, and I suppose that, being so isolated, they can hardly nip to the shops next door for a pint of milk if they run out.

zugertal panoramabus upper vorarlberg zug austria eric hallOne thing that I was also going to add is that there isn’t really any passing trade, because this road is actually a dead end that comes to a stop in the depths of the mountains.

But just as I was about to say it, around the corner came a tourist bus full of passengers. There isn’t very much to see except the scenery. And I was reminded of Betty Marsden, the English comic actress who when asked what she thought about the Alps, replied “it was terrible. The mountains hid all of the view”.

And I was extremely interested to see that even though it’s advertising an Austrian service, the bus has German number plates.

mountains upper vorarlberg zug austria eric hallOne thing that did catch my eye while I was here was that track down there heading over the mountains to the south.

Had I been 20 years younger and in better health, because it’s much steeper than it looks in this photo, I’d have been tempted to have gone for a walk over there. There’s a waterfall, the Wasserfall Zug a kilometre or so up there, and then a long and difficult walk takes you to a lake, the Spuller See.

From there, you can turn right and head to the Bregenzerwald Bundesstrasse or else turn to the right and follow the valley of the Spreubach down to Dalaas in the Voralberg valley.

mountains upper vorarlberg zug austria eric hallHaving had a good look around, I retraced my steps back to the path that I climbed up to the village

So that was Zug then. I’m sure that I’d been here once with Nerina when we passed through in 1988 but I didn’t remember anything at all about it and nothing that I saw had rung a bell with me. It had that kind of effect on me.

But from here I was able to have a better look at that bank while I was up here, and that looks definitely man-made to me from here. There’s a road that runs across it so maybe that’s the reason for the bank. I imagine that it must be quite wet down there in the snow melt.

lake golf course mountains upper vorarlberg zug austria eric hallOn the way up here I missed this – I can’t have been looking down there in that direction.

This is some kind of leisure facility complete with its own lake, and it had me wondering if it might have been anything to do with the golf course across which I stumbled on the way up because despite seeing the holes, the greens and the golfers, I hadn’t seen a clubhouse.

But that’s something about which I can worry some other time. I’ve had a really good walk up here and now it’s time to go back downhill for a rest. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve been going downhill for years.

On the way back I simply retraced my steps for half of the way.

At that cabin where there was all of this new timber, the lumberjacks were busy cutting down another tree so I stood and waited, filming it on my camera. But just when they reached the crucial moment when I expected the tree to come crashing down, they knocked off for a cuppa and that was that.

For a while, I waited around but they didn’t come back so I wrote it off as a bad job and carried on towards home.

When I reached the bridge that we saw in an earlier photo there was another path going straight on down the southern side of the river and as there were a few people following that path, I followed them to see where I would end up.

river lech austria eric hallOver there is the River Lech down in the bottom of the valley.

After scrambling over a couple of stiles and squeezing my way through a couple of narrow gates, i have now found myself back in civilisation, as you can see. The road along which I walked out of Lech earlier today is just the other side of the river where that car is driving

On the left-hand edge of the photo is the little path down which I walked to reach the river so that I could follow the river up into the hills. There’s a little path down there by the waterside that is out of sight.

river lech austria eric hallHere’s a view looking further down into the town. Over there is the river with the waterfront houses and the road behind up which I walked on my way out

The path down which I had walked, called apparently, the Lechuferweg, has transformed itself into a very chic residential street called the Omesberg at the southern end of the town. This would seem to be the place to be around here, where you would live if you were ever to win the lottery.

But I wasn’t going to hang around and enjoy the view or lap up the atmosphere. I was ready for a good, hot mug of coffee and a little relax back at my digs after walking all of this way.

storm mountains upper vorarlberg lech zug austria eric hallAnd have you noticed how the sky has dramatically changed colour over the last few photos?

All the way down the path I was hotly pursued by a low cloud and thunderstorm. Not only the sky but the weather had changed while I was out, and changed quite quickly too. That was another reason to be back in my room as quickly as possible because that lot looks quite nasty..

I just about made it back to the hotel before the heavens opened and drenched the town in a storm of epic proportions. You can understand how come they have these severe flash floods around here with weather like this.

Back here, looking at the storm, I actually crashed out for a while, which was no surprise given the bad night that I had had and the fact that I’d walked almost 10kms today into the mountains and back in the lovely, fresh alpine air.

Tea was a tin of potatoes, a tin of mixed veg and a tin of lentils with some mustard sauce, and it was delicious.

An early night tonight because it’s my last night here. I’m pushing on tomorrow as I still have plenty of places to go and plenty of people to see. Unfortunately June is not available. Her husband is not too well and she’s afraid that any non-urgent meeting might expose him to risk – something that I quite understand.

But still, I’ll be sorry to leave. Lech is one of my most favourite places in Europe and I struck gold with this hotel – I really did. We’ll have tu see what the next 10 days or so will bring.

Wednesday 11th December 2019 – I WAS RIGHT!

fishing boats thora english channel granville manche normandy franceThis afternoon while I was out and about I noticed a movement out to sea, right out on the horizon near Jersey.

Not being too sure what it was – it might even have been a rock for all I knew – I took a photo of it with the big Nikon lens at full stretch, with the idea of blowing it up (the photo, not the object) back in the apartment.

Nevertheless I had a sneak preview on the camera’s monitor and although I couldn’t see clearly, it looked as if it had the outline or silhouette of Thora setting out to come here.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd sure enough, when I went for my evening walk tonight, I noticed that there anchored in the inner harbour tonight at her usual mooring place next to Marité and underneath the crane is Thora.

Crept in on the afternoon tide while my attention was elsewhere of course. There must be quite a lot goign on right now because she’s made quite a few trips over here just recently in rapid succession. It’s good for trade, that’s for sure.

As for me, I was right about having a late night. Long after any time that I wanted to be up and about, but can’t be helped. There’s a lot to do.

Eventually though I crawled off into the stinking pit. Straight into the Arms of Morpheus and also, simultaneously, off on a voyage or three.

One more I had this group of young escapees with me (have I had them with me before?) and there was one in particular being lodged at my house. Someone connected with a political party – the Labour Party – thought that this was inappropriate and the Party started to run this kind of campaign to get the situation changed (…now doesn’t this all sound remarkably familiar?…). Their tactics including running some kind of spurious article or poll or something in the local newspaper, including a photo, about some girl or other. This girl wasn’t any younger than the girl who was staying with me and was probably older too, but even so, that situation didn’t go down very well with me, particularly after I had read all of the articles about it. They were all completely irrelevant and so far from the truth even though they weren’t actually supposed to be about the particular girl but some other spurious character, but there was very little truth in any of it.
Yes, this all rings a big bell about a certain incident in the past, doesn’t it? They say that old sins cast long shadows!
However, retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, I ended up a little later back on board a ship last night. It might have been The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour, I dunno, I didn’t recognise it and even in the dream I didn’t recognise it. This voyage was all about dreams again and how my dreams were getting all mixed up about people and things and so on, in parallel to how mixed up these things seem to be being in life right at the very moment. For once even though the tracks were muddled up and I didn’t know which track went where, all that kind of thing I seemed to have some kind of better arrangement about sorting out these tracks. And what would I give in real life to have a method like that?
Later on I was playing football for Crystal Palace last night, don’t ask me why. There were high balls being pumped into the penalty area and I had to bring them down under control. Qite bizarrely, I was doing much better with the difficult ones rather than the English were doing with the easy ones, just like being a multi-million pound footballer or something, and isn’t that pretty much how I’ve been talking about Lee Trundle just recently after his one-man show for Rhydaman the other night?
And that’s not all either. There was also something going on about one of these extreme right-wing Fascists, something about the roundabout up near LeClerc and I’m not quite sure what. He was down by the Post Office in the Cours Jonville and a British policeman as it happened came over to talk to him about his book saying that if he was going to publish it he needed to submit it to magistrates first to be reviewed. 20 magistrates would look at it rather like they did with Marguerite Radclyffe Hall’s book The Well of Loneliness to decide whether or not it was obscene or fit for publication. Apparently he’d been witnessed kicking some kind of Pakistani or immigrant, something like that but the immigrant had refused to press charges so the police were powerless, but they were intending to stop him somehow.
Ironically, when I was dreaming this, I remember thinking that I was actually awake so it wasn’t a dream so I had no need to dictate it. But then the alarm went off and awoke me, so I must have been asleep at the time.

Yet again I beat the third alarm quite comfortably and that led of course to an early medication and an early breakfast.

With all of that out of the way I sat down and with an air of determination I bashed out all of the 4-odd minutes of text for the live project that I’m preparing. I overran somewhat but it all fitted in so well that I had to do some editing of the music. And believe it or not, it sounds so much better now.

Talking of things sounding better, I listened a couple of times to the teaser that I had prepared yesterday. I decided that it needed some amendment so I re-did that too. That’s much better now but I’m convinced that I can make it even better still. But that’s a job for again.

sluice gates port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAll of that took me right up to almost lunchtime, would you believe, so I went for a nice long walk around the harbour, the long way round seeing as the gate was closed so the walkway was open, and went to pick up my dejeunette.

With the gates being closed and the tide being right out, the sluice hate is open. This discharges water slowly out of the inner harbour into the sea. Not enough to drain it of course, but to lower the level so that the harbour gates can be opened a good deal before high tide when the water level will of course rise again.

And with each tide being of a different height, some kind of regulation of the water level is necessary.

And have you noticed the tidal depth gauge by the way?

christmas decorations rue des juifs granville manche normandy franceThe way back was via the rue des Juifs as usual.

That gave me an opportunity to have a good look at the Christmas decorations that they have set up in the street. And … well … it’s not exactly going to set the town alight, is it? They could have done so much better than this, I reckon.

On the way back up the street I bumped into one of the guys who was at that strange meeting Monday evening. We had a little chat and then I came back here to eat my butties.

Feeling in a productive mood, I sat down after lunch and attacked another one of the projects I need to do. And now that it’s 23:30, I’ve just finished it and I’m having a listen to it.

All that remains is to send it off and then I’ll be right up to date for the New Year, and then I can get on and do stuff properly and make an attempt to catch up on this ever-increasing backlog.

As well as all of this, I had a little five minutes away on the new comfy chair. It’s doing the business, this is.

surfers plat gousset granville manche normandy franceBut I managed to pull myself together long enough to go out for my afternoon walk.

And if you think that I’m having trouble with the weather and the gale-force winds, then how about these two guys? They’ve decided to go out surfing at the Plat Gousset. And all I can say is “good luck to them” because you wouldn’t get me out there in any water less than 37°C. Not even if Castor and Pollux were in there ready to catch me.

But one advantage of the miserable weather was that there was no-one around so I could have an extra run without being observed.

fishing boat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceThe surfers weren’t the only ones out there taking to the waters.

We had one of the trawlers from the port out there too. Well, in fact there were probably a dozen of them at least but there was this one right outside the harbour on its way in. In view of the rough weather that it was having to face, I reckoned that it deserved to have its photo taken.

And on that note, I headed back into the apartment to carry on work.

building renovation place cambernon granville manche normandy franceBut not quite straight away because there was something else that needed doing.

There’s the old Municipal building in the Place Cambernon that has been empty or thereabouts for as long as I’e known it, although just recently iy’s been covered in scaffolding, covered over and there have been workmen in there.

But today it seems that its cover has gone and we can actually see some of the work that they have been doing to the building. And it’s looking quite good. I can’t wait to see what they are going to do with it when it’s finished.

christmas lights rue couraye granville manche normandy franceLater on this evening I went out for my evening walk – and another run too as there was no-one around. I have to keep up the pressure.

As well as Thora I was also looking to see what else I could see of the Christmas decorations. There’s a certain point where you can see right up the rue Couraye to the railway station and I reckoned that if the Christmas lights are going to be good from anywhere, they’ll be good from that place.

Seeing the lights and seeing Thora meant that I had to take a slightly different, longer route. And when I finished, I found that I was on 95% of my daily effort. And so I did another lap around the block to reach the 100%.

Quite right too, because I had a big tea tonight. A pile of steamed veg with falafel and cheese sauce. Totally delicious it was too, especially when followed down by some of Liz’s apple cake with sorbet.

So another very late night, and I do need to be up early. The indications are that my morning train to Paris might be going (well, it’s not shown as cancelled) and my train from Paris to Lille is running too. But from Lille to Brussels it isn’t. So the plan is that I cancelled the bus trip and I’m relying on the trains to get me to Lille at least (if I can’t negotiate a trip direct to Brussels).

If I can only get as far as Lille there may be some public transport to get me across the border to Mouscron or Harelbeke in Belgium, and then a local train to Brussels. But if I’m confounded here at Granville, I’m going to go in Caliburn. My appointment isn’t until 13:30 on Friday so there’s plenty of time to do it in two stages

So I’m off to bed. I need to be ready for my adventures tomorrow.

surfers plat gousset granville manche normandy france
surfers plat gousset granville manche normandy france

surfers plat gousset granville manche normandy france
surfers plat gousset granville manche normandy france

Sunday 10th November 2019 – EXCUSE ME …

full moon granville manche normandy france … a minute while I shave the palms of my hands.

We’re getting close to that time of year again and probably within a day or two we’ll be having a full moon. It won’t affect me of course, because although I used to be a werewolf, I’m all right nooooooooooooooooow!

Nothing wrong with a bit of lycanthropy when yuo can get it, is there?

You’re probably looking at the huge pile of photos from today and thinking that I’ve really been out on the prowl today.

And that’s quite true. I’ve done over 100% of my day’s target according to my fitbit and I haven’t failed to notice that the daily target for the new keep-fit me has increased from 7.7 kms to 9.0 kms as a result of my increased athletic activity.

Mind you, I nearly didn’t go out on the prowl today. No-one was more disappointed than me to wake up, despite having a rather latish night last night, at 06:09. And on a Sunday too.

But badger that for a game of soldiers. If anyone thinks that i’m goign to be doing anything at that particular time of the morning on a Sunday, they are totally mistaken.

What I did was to turn over and go back to sleep, where I stayed until a much-more realistic and appropriate … errr … 11:25.

Yes, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a day like that!

Plenty of time to go on a nocturnal ramble, you might be thinking. And you’re dead right.

Last night I was helping out in a cafe somewhere taking the cash from people and paying it into the till and there was some confusion about what went where because I couldn’t see where the 5 cents went. I just left them on the side while I carried on working .later, the manager came in and had a look round. “Ohh the 5 cents go in here” he said, pointing to a space in the till. But that had all kinds of rambling writing in it from someone. We had a look at it and quite a laugh because the narrative was changing from “us” to “we” to “I” as if he wasn’t really sure about who he was writing about (… there’s a Sherlock Holmes story about this …) in his long rambling speech. We had a good laugh about it and I said that I hadn’t wanted to disturb it otherwise I would have missed the start of this conversation, something like that. he said “yes” – it’s very important to get the start or you just have to wait a year and get it when it comes round again next year”. We began to talk about music lessons and I’m not quite sure how that fitted into the arrangement anywhere and I was saying that I wanted to learn the guitar and the piano and a third instrument and I lost my way into a rambling incoherent thing after that and woke up – that was at 06:09.

As I said, i went back to sleep and ended up in Leek last night – but don’t ask me why – and it wasn’t Leek at all but some strange town. I was walking through it, although there wasn’t all that much to walk through and I wanted to find a way to walk through the town. I found a street that was called James Lyette Way or James Wysse Way or something like that and that name rang a bell with me in this town – I could not think why. So I thought that I would go this way. So I got round that way and I was kicking something in front of me which wa making a rattly noise and I’d only gone about 30 yards in front of me when I came to a dead stop because there was a huge set of double doors in front of me with glass and this was the shopping centre. I thought “yes I remember this” so I walked in. There was a group of young people in there all over the place milling around, standing, talking, leaning against the wall, sitting and I noticed that they were all wearing a kind of plaid overshirt, the type that I used to like to wear but they were wearing them two by two – like if you were in a couple you had to have the same overshirt as your partner. They were lounging around and drinking coffee and so on and I said to whoever I was with “God this is where everyone – a heavy place to hang out”. There were no shops but just like little rooms with glass fronts for little groups to sit with coffee. There were stairs so we went upstairs and there was like an art class going on and people were around there doing art things, all young people all wearing these plaid shirts in couples. I was hoping to find a door through here so I could get out and find my way onto the main road, or find some shops or something interesting but this shopping precinct in James Lyette Way was really strange because there are no shops, just these rooms with these groups of young people in them sitting around.
But somewhere in the middle of all of this I had an old Ford “T” and I was having to drive somewhere. This Model “T” was old and creaking and the steering wheel was weak and about to break in two but I was driving it all the same (… and people were noticing me and watching …) on this road that was taking me towards Leek. It was all up and down hill and round bends and over canal bridges and I seem to remember that this vehicle was going really well and I was doing about 40mph and I thought to myself that at times I’ve gone down here at 60mph and it’s seemed to be really slow so I thought that it must be something to do with the particular make of car or type of car and that was when I got into Leek. And it was strange because I had to walk though the streets and they had traffic lights to control the flow of pedestrians on the pavement because the pavements were so narrow and they didn’t want you to be walking into the street.
(… something that I maybe ought to add because I can still remember it even if I didn’t dictate it – that on my way back downstairs I noticed sitting on a window ledge a young girl with glasses and curly hair all sticking up around her head. Although she was wearing a plaid overshirt she didn’t seem to strike me as being the kind of person who would have a partner (although I’m not sure why because I thought that she was quite attractive) but having a good look round I found a tall girl on her own wearing the same plaid overshirt …)

With a late start to today (almost an early start for tomorrow in fact) I had my medication and subsequently my breakfast rather later. And I did without lunch too.

instead, I cracked on and transcribed the night’s dictaphone notes, and then carried on updating the web page that I told you about the other day, and the relevant files that go to it.

And reviewing what I wrote at the time, I can say without fear of contradiction that I’m glad that I don’t write like that any more and that I’ve moved on from those days.

crowds of people pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceThat took me nicely up to the time for my afternoon walk, having missed my morning walk.

With it being a Sunday with a Bank Holiday to follow, and a nice afternoon to boot, the place was absolutely heaving. I’m sure that I can say with confidence that I have never ever seen so many people out there, even on a summer Sunday afternoon.

No idea what was going on at all

jersey channel islands granville manche normandy franceAnd it was certainly a nice day for being out there.

Although there was something of a wind, the air was perfectly clear and I could see for miles. Even parts of the Channel Islands that I have never ever seen before were perfectly visible with the big zoom lens this afternoon.

And I felt really sorry for the couple behind me asking each other if they could see with the naked eye whatever it was that I was photographing.

yacht bird english channel granville manche normandy franceIt wasn’t just on land that there were hordes of people either. It was pretty crowded out there on the water too.

This yacht was one of the many out there today having a really good time, and we were once more photo-bombed by some kind of flying thing.

Although I have spent many years doing plenty of bird-watching, and with binoculars and huge telephoto zoom lenses, it wasn’t this kind of bird that I was watching so I’ve no idea what it is. Craig thinks that it’s a cormorant but I wouldn’t know.

And that brings me round to one particular occasion when we were aboard The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour and they announced that we were going to have a lecture on birdwatching.

“Not a problem” I replied. “I had plenty of those from Nerina when I was married”

yacht motor boat pointe de carolles baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france“Hordes of people in the water” I said just now. And I was right too.

We’ve seen plenty of stuff in the English Channel, but the Baie de Mont St Michel was heaving with vessels too enjoying the wind.

And you can see how clear the weather was today too. Even the hotels down at the foot of the bay near Mont St Michel are clearly visible in this photo, and that’s without me making any special effort to include them in the image.

From the Pointe du Roc I carried on down the path and into town along the harbour.

old van rear suspension collapsed rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOne of the reasons why I’d come here was to have a closer look at this strange van that has been parked at the fish processing plant for quite a while.

Either the rear suspension has collapsed or else there’s a really heavy weight in the back of it because the rear end is almost touching the roadway.

And it looks to me as if someone has jemmied the back doors of it at one time too. They are held together at the moment by a cord tied across the back.

port gates opening granville manche normandy franceAnother reason for my being down in the port area today was to go and have a look at the strange boat that has just appeared in the harbour.

The tidal gates were shut as I strolled leisurely past the fish processing plant, but just as I was about to put my foot on the top of the gates, the siren went off, the barrier went down and the gates started to open.

It seems that I had missed them by about 2 seconds. But I contented myself with watching them open, and then walked around the harbour to the other side.

chausiais granville manche normandy franceThat new boat was still there, tied up at the quay in between Vicor Hugo and Charles Marie.

And I can put a name to her too. She’s called the Chausiais and she’s out of Cherbourg.

But interestingly, she’s painted up with the advertising from the company that runs the ferry service out to the Iles de Chausey, so does this mean that they are now going to be running some kind of freight service out there?

la grande ancre granville manche normandy franceTalking of freight services to the Iles De Chausey, we’ve seen La Grande Ancre go out that way on a couple of occasions with what looked like a load of freight.

More recently though she’s been going back and to into the bay to carry out what looks like fishing activities.

But here she is, at rest today in the harbour with some kind of pontoon or lighter tied up to her.

What with one thing and another, there’s a lot of activity in the harbour these days even if we haven’t seen a gravel boat for quite some time and it doesn’t look as if there’s one due any time soon.

With it being such a nice day today I decided to carry on with another long walk.

Institution Sevigne granville manche normandy franceMy journey took me through the town and out along the old harbour railway in the general direction of the Parc du Val es Fleurs.

It’s a walk that I’ve taken on a few occasions but it wasn’t until today that I looked up onto the top and saw this building.

It’s called the “Institution Sevigne’ and it’s some kind of secondary school. The school’s advertising blurb (crudely translated by Yours Truly – after all, if you want any crudity then, in the words of the late, great Bob Doney “I’m your man”) says that it’s a “Catholic Educational Establishment of which the aim is to help young people become adults”, whatever that is supposed to imply.

animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy franceIn the Parc du Val Es Fleurs there is some kind of zoo place where there are several animals of all kinds – terrestrial as well as aquatic ones.

With the crowds of people milling around the park, all of the animals were out there looking for some petting or, maybe, some food, although feeding the animals is strictly forbidden.

This horned sheep and these hens were eyeing me rather suspiciously, but I’m a vegan, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall

yacht baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceThere’s a path and a set of steps at the back of the park that lead up to the top of the corniche and the road to Donville-les-Bains.

We were starting to lose the light by now but there was still a good view out across the rooftops and I could see a yacht out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel making the most of the last of the weekend’s sunshine, with the Brittany coast in the background.

The seagulls perched in a line on the roof were enjoying it too.

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThere’s a back way down the hill to the Place Marechal Foch.

That was the route that I took, and found myself amongst yet another madding crowd of people. Although the wind has died down considerably from how it was a few days ago, there’s still quite a powerful force embedded in the sea.

All of the people were thoroughly enjoying it, even when they received a drenching from the spray. And we’re still half an hour from high tide too.

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy franceBut here’s an object lesson for you all.

Never stand on the boat-launching ramp when the sea is powering its way into shore like this. One of the waves caught the edge of the ramp just in the right place at the right moment and we had this huge cloud of spray thrown up.

When the wind caught it and blew it inland, that guy there knew all about it.

For a change I climbed up tall the steps and headed home for tea. A vegan pizza, which was delicious and properly cooked too, seeing as I’ve moved the oven shelf down one row to the bottom.

Rice pudding too for afters.

night place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceEven though I’d had a really good walk this afternoon, I still went out for my evening promenade.

One or two people out there too enjoying the chilly night, and so was I because I could take my time. It’s a Bank Holiday tomorrow so I can have a lie-in.

The pleasant evening enticed me to linger a while, leaning over the wall and looking down to the Place Marechal Foch where I was earlier this evening.

parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy franceAnd then back home, but not before I include this photo of the Parc Val es Fleurs.

The reason why it’s so interesting is that you can see just how far down it is and that gives you some idea of the steps and that path that I had to climb up to the top.

The slope is about one-in-three and I actually managed to run about 100 metres up it too, and I was well-impressed by that.

And not only that either. On my way back from my evening walk I managed my evening run and made it all the way up to the top of the little ramp too – the one that in the past has always defeated me.

Things must be looking up.

So now it’s bed-time. No alarm for me tomorrow as it’s a Bank Holiday. And if I have a sleep that’s only half as good as the one that I had last night I’ll be happy.

There will be more albums to record too. So far tonight I’ve done seven.

And the guitar too. This afternoon I’ve been working out the chords to Traffic’s “Dear Mr Fantasy”.

kids fighting granville manche normandy franceBut before I go completely, I’ll let you make up your own minds about what these kids were doing in a quiet corner of the Primary School playground down by the little stream.


kids fighting granville manche normandy france


kids fighting granville manche normandy france


jersey channel islands granville manche normandy france
jersey channel islands granville manche normandy france

fishing pointe du roc granville manche normandy france
fishing pointe du roc granville manche normandy france

yacht motor boat english channel granville manche normandy france
yacht motor boat english channel granville manche normandy france

jersey channel islands granville manche normandy france
jersey channel islands granville manche normandy france

yachts baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france
yachts baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france

privateer Le Pelley de Pléville dit la Mouette granville manche normandy france
privateer Le Pelley de Pléville dit la Mouette granville manche normandy france

chausiais granville manche normandy france
chausiais granville manche normandy france

animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy france
animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy france

animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy france
animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy france

animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy france
animals parc du val es fleurs granville manche normandy france

granville manche normandy france
granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
storms high tide waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

Tuesday 27th August 2019 – I HAVE SPENT …

… a very pleasant day in the company of those two two very pleasant young girls whom I have mentioned previously. I’m not sure quite why, but I seem to be Flavour Of The Month right now – a situation to which I’m not accustomed at all

When we saw the polar bear the other day the younger one of the two who was wandering around the deck on her own wasn’t able to pick it up with her camera very well To help her out, I put her memory card into my camera and let her take a few photos using the big zoom lens. No kid should ever go around being disappointed if there’s someone around who can lend a hand.

Unfortunately I had my camera set on RAW data rather than *.jpg so her camera couldn’t see it, as I came to realise afterwards. But I was working with the laptop in my little corner in the upper lounge today when they both came past, so I grabbed her memory card, edited the photos for her, converted it into *.jpg format and, for good measure, slipped her a photo of my walrus from yesterday as a little present.

We ended up having quite a chat, that started at about 15:00 this afternoon and went on until … errr … 00:30. And I’ll tell you something for nothing – and that is that they are far more intelligent and interesting and have much more to say for themselves than any of the adults on board The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour.

And that, unfortunately, is not saying very much either. To tell the truth, this is a pretty miserable lot of passengers on board the ship for this section of the voyage. There’s not even one of them with whom I’d choose to spend any of my spare time, and I’m pretty certain judging by the number of times that I’ve sat at a table and taken my meals all alone that the feeling is pretty much mutual.

Not that it bothers me at all though. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m much happier with my own company and It seems as if I’m condemned to prowl the deck of the ship totally on my own until all kinds of late hours until I fall overboard, rather like Joshua Slocum, which is par for the course these days.

Mind you, I don’t know how I do it because I had another dreadful night. Wide awake at 01:00 and then not going back to sleep at all. And I was feeling dreadful too – fearing a recurrence of my trouble of the other week.

I know what caused it though. Basically, I was in a totally foul mood and it was eating me up all yesterday evening.

Yesterday or the day before, I’d mentioned that we have someone from the Archaeological Service of Canada Parks on board and as a result things are being run “by the book” on board, to the total exclusion of everything else.

Consequently, even though I’ve travelled for 40 days and spent not far short of $40,000 over two years to travel to a certain point and to take a certain photograph, it’s been decided that I won’t be permitted to take it.

I was furious (to say the least) about the idea of missing out on the photo that I really wanted to take, and it was preying on my mind. But being wide-awake enabled me to have a good think and it gave me the opportunity to come up with a solution.

And so at breakfast I buttonholed Rachel the Archaeologist and bent her ear somewhat (poor girl), telling her of my utter dismay and disappointment. She replied that she would “take my concerns on board”.

It was snowing slightly outside and freezing cold, as you might expect up here in the High Arctic, but we all warmed ourselves up in our really warm expedition clothing and hit the zodiacs. 10 minutes later we were on Beechey Island. at last, after all of these years.

We visited the graves of the three sailors who died at the start of the Franklin expedition and I took the photos that I wanted. Permission had been obtained (although, I suspect, unofficially, and I thought it best not to make further enquiries). We then walked on through the rain and the howling wind past a passing gyrfalcon down to Northumberland House (or the remains thereof) built by William Pullen’s expedition to relieve Franklin should he still be alive (which he wasn’t)

The whole place is covered in old tin cans, barrel staves and barrel hoops from Franklin’s and the relief expeditions in the 1840s and 50s and that all adds to the mystery of the place. But at long last I have made it there and that was what I’ve come all this way to do.

But one thing that I couldn’t do was to deal with yet more of this red tape. There’s a shipwreck – the yacht Mary – dating from the 1850s on the island, and known since at least 1854. I was hoping to be able to visit that but because it didn’t form part of the permit that the company had obtained (apparently no-one thought that it would be of much interest to anyone) it had been taped off and an “unofficial excursion’ was out of the question with this official loitering around.

So instead, I cursed my bad luck.

The zodiac ride back was wild, totally wild. You’d pay good money for that in an adventure park. We were all soaked to the skin and frozen to the marrow, so when we returned I had a hot shower to warm myself up.

After lunch I was on deck for a while and then fell in with the girls. They are cousins apparently, both mad on music and keen players of the ukelele. So I’ve been having private ukelele lessons all evening.

There was a concert in fancy dress this evening. Strawberry Moose dressed up for it and won a prize.

Later on in the evening while I was chatting to the girls and learning to play the ukelele, two boys joined in. One of them was no mean guitarist and the other could sing really well and so we had a jam session until long after midnight, all five of us.

And as a result, a cunning plan is developing. But more of this anon. I’m off to bed.

Thursday 25th July 2019 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… having had a good sleep the other night, then last night I was awake again at I dunno – was it 01:00 or 02:00? Well, whatever it was, it was flaming ridiculous.

Back to sleep again, I awoke at about 04:45 or something and lay there quietly vegetating until the alarm went off.

Breakfast was rather quiet as everyone was concentrating on packing and, having been caught out by Adventure Canada’s charter flights in the past,as well as my packed lunch I made myself a couple of bagels with jam and stuffed them in my backpack too. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Back in the cabin, I stuffed all of my winter gear and spare clothes into a bin liner, wrapped it, labelled it and taped it and dumped it in the office. I’ll be back at some time in the future and I don’t want to lug a pile of winter gear around the world with me unnecessarily.

And then I hid in my cabin and kept out of the way of the chaos. I did have to stick my head out of the door to take my luggage down and to receive my passport.

Most of the morning was spent reading a book on the failed Greely expedition to Fort Conger and I was so captivated that I didn’t want to leave the book when I was called to my zodiac. But needs must when the devil drives so I sailed ashore.

But here’s a tragedy. I think that some salt water has got into the contacts of the big lens because it won’t focus any more. If that’s the case, then it’s more than a tragedy. A crisis, I would call it.

The bus that was waiting for us took us to the airport at Kangerlussuac, passing by a friendly arctic fox on the way.

But here’s some more bad news. Our flight is running late. An hour behind time, so they say, But I’ve heard that before. It was about seven hours late last time.

So plenty of time to have a walk round and eat my packed lunch. And to buy a packet of crisps because Ben the Chef’s idea about the size of my appetite is somewhat different from mine.

Waiting around for ages,I was joined by Rosemary who walked down from her hotel, and we had a little chat. But not for long as we were summoned through security. And our flight arrived only 50 minutes late, which is always welcome news.

Once the previous passengers unloaded and the plane was cleaned, we could board and we set off to Iqaluit where we refuelled.

They served a meal on board too and much to my surprise they had something for me. The jammy bagels that I had surreptitiously prepared at breakfast were not required.

No sleep on the plane though. One of the many children on our trip, all of whom had been exceptionally well-behaved throughout the trip, chose this moment to have a temper tantrum and that went on for a couple of hours.

At Toronto, immigration was quite painless but we had to wait ages for our luggage. A 20:50 touch-down, yet we didn’t reach our hotel until about 22;30 and that was depressing.

This evening I’ve washed my undies as they needed it and I hope that they will be dry for tomorrow. And I’m going to take advantage of this super-duper hotel and have a good night’s sleep.

The Sleep Of The Dead if I can.

Tuesday 30th April 2019 – I’VE NOT HAD …

… a very profitable day today as far as my backlog of work goes. But there have been a few very good reasons for this.

Not the least of which being that I had yet another bad night. Tossing and turning for too much of it without actually departing hence.

At one point I must have been away with the fairies because I was off on my travels again. There was an exam taking place last night and I was doing part of the English syllabus. I was there in the exam room struggling my way through the first of three questions that I needed to answer when I suddenly found out that I had been named as a volunteer to take place in some kind of exam. They had needed someone to act as a “prop” to lie down while they danced a Highland Fling over and around, rather like a Highland sword dance. I was grabbed for this and taken out of my own exam before I’d even finished the first question. I was made to lie down and was dragged all the way across the floor and these ice floes until I was in the correct position. By now I was miles away from where my exam was taking place. All of these people turned up in a whole collection of old cars, motor bikes, pedal cycles. Even a unicycle that didn’t have a rider, an autonomous one. They all seemed to be symbolic of death. An old vehicle pulled up with a coffin in it and I had to lie there while they did this dance around me. I didn’t have a clue what was happening. Everyone was going on about their exams but I replied that they could consider themselves lucky. I hadn’t finished my first question yet, I only had three hours and I’d been dragged away over here and I don’t know when I’m going to end up back. All these kids started to join in. At one time a kid was trying to do a handstand balancing on two shovels. He could get himself off the ground like this but then he fell over and all the while I was panicking about my exam with all these old cars and people all around me trying to get me to be the prop for this Highland dance thing.

Nevertheless, just for another change I was up and about before the third alarm went off, but with some not inconsiderable effort too;

The usual morning performance was followed by a shower. I need to get myself clean and tidy because I’m having visitors. That also meant a really good clean-up around the apartment too to make it look more respectable.

Liz turned up bang on time so we had a coffee, biscuits and a good chat for an hour and a half until she had to go off for her appointment. I made a start on the dictaphone notes.

But I didn’t get very far. I had two interruptions, one half an hour after the other.

The second one, the most important one, I’ll tell you about in a day or so’s time when I’m ready. Instead I’ll tell you about the first.

In a few months time I’m hoping to go a-voyaging again and I shall be having my hands full as usual. Changing the lenses over with one hand free with the Nikon 1 is quite possible with practice, but with a full-size camera it’s impossible.

And so idly surfing the internet like you do … “like YOU do” – ed … a week or so ago I found one of these.

It’s second-hand, so I paid nothing whatever like the full retail price on here, but it’s only meant to be for use when I’m travelling on foot or on the train, not in Caliburn.

It means that I only need to lug around this one and the 50mm f1.8 lens for indoor shots, rather than all of the equipment.

The trouble with a lens like this is that with it trying to be everything, it ends up being nothing so I’m not expecting the quality to be as good as a pure focal-length lens, but it won’t have all that much use.

But anyway, you can judge for yourselves with the photos below.

Lunch was taken indoors again as there was a high wind and then I sat down to finish off the dictaphone notes.

Just as I did the last one of today’s batch, I crashed out. i’d already been away once or twice during the morning but this was more serious. I ended up in bed for 40 minutes, feeling like death.

yacht english channel granville manche normandy franceStill feeling not much like it, I fitted the new lens onto the Nikon and went off on the prowl.

First thing that I noticed was a nice yacht in the distance. I reckoned that this might give me a good opportunity to try out the lens to see what it’s like.

And it’s not as bad as I was expecting.

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWe had a trawler right out to sea too heading back towards the Fish-Processing plant here in Granville.

It was unfortunately into the sun, but it was still worth an attempt. And it didn’t come out too badly either, although I had to manipulate the image somewhat to make it different.

Tomorrow, I’ll go out with the polarising filter and have a play with that and see what difference it might take. It might cut down some of the reflected sunlight off the surface of the water.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAs regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve been saying for a while that these long gaps between seeing Normandy Trader and Thora in here must be down to the fact that the turn-rounds are so quick that I have been missing them.

And this is a case in point.

Just as I rounded the headland, I noticed Normandy Trader slipping silently out of the harbour.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy franceShe wasn’t there last night so she must have slipped in on the early morning tide, unloaded while the tide was out, and gone out again at the first available opportunity.

And I know what she does to earn her living too.

Her trips from Jersey to here are generally chartered by a co-operative of shell-fishermen who engage her to bring their catch over to Granville.

tourist boat english channel granville manche normandy franceIn an effort to catch Normandy trader heading off into the sunset, I wandered back over to the other side of the headland.

However I was rather disrupted by the noise coming from out of the bay over near St Martin de Brehal.

We have one of the Ile de Chausey ferries doing a trip around the bay. And whoever is giving the running commentary has no need of a loud-hailer or a tannoy.

normandy trader ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceIt was quite a long wait for Normandy Trader to put in an appearance so I had to wait for a while.

But she turned up sooner or later and I wa sable to take a really good photo of her, with the Ile de Chausey nicely silhouetted in the background;

I really am going to gave to try the polarising filter and see if that gives me any better effects.

Back here, I dealt with the photos and then amended a few blog entries. I’m now back as far as Thursday 18th April.

That took me up to tea-time which was the rest of the falafel with steamed vegetables and cheese sauce, followed by rice pudding.

gravel hardstanding house renovations rue du nord granville manche normandy franceLater on I went outside for my usual evening walk.

My route took me past the house that is being renovated on the corner of the rue du Nord where I could inspect the progress that they have been making.

I noticed that the driveway for the house has been gravelled and levelled out, just as if they are about to drop a load of concrete onto it. It should be quite interesting to see it in a couple of weeks time

beach party plat gousset granville manche normandy franceFurther on along my walk I heard a noise coming up from the beach.

Having a look down over the wall, I noticed that there was a little party going on on the beach by the Plat Gousset.

It wasn’t that warm as far as I was concerned but I don’t suppose it matters if you are pretty well fuelled up. It’s all good fun if you are in good company.

So I’m off to bed. I have lots to do tomorrow and I have – surprise surprise – an appointment at 15:00 tomorrow. There’s a cunning plan rearing its head.

trawler fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france
trawler fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france

trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france
trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france
normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france

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

trawler english channel jersey channel island granville manche normandy france
trawler english channel jersey channel island granville manche normandy france

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

normandy trader ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
normandy trader ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

normandy trader ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
normandy trader ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france
beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france