… feeling myself today.
“And quite right too” I hear you say.
But never mind that for a moment, I’m definitely sickening for something and I know that for definite because I’m off my food. Which, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, is not something that happens every day.
The day didn’t really get off to a very good start today , as seems to be usual these days, I missed the third alarm. Only b a couple of minutes, but nevertheless …
The notes on the dictaphone from my night’s voyage were interesting too. There were two new people who had started work on the radio – a girl and an older guy. I’d had a listen to a piece of music on the girl’s site and I wasn’t very impressed with it but everyone’s taste is personal. Anyway I was in the queue to ge tmyself organised when these two came over the hill. They were talking and the guy was saying something about “there’s only one song on your web site and it’s the same one that i’ve got”. She was saying things like “well I’m very new” but she’s only just started, all this kind of thing. I said “I’m quite happy to help anyone with any kind of help that they need” but they just drifted past as if I hadn’t said a word. They ended up in the queue in front of me to have their work dealt with and they were going on about this being new and all of this kind of thing. Then it was my turn so I gave me name and asked if there were any special instructions for me. he was looking down the list to see whether there was anything. I was going to say that if anyone like these two people needed a hand to get themselves started I would be quite happy to do it but instead I ended up dictating the notes of the journey.
But looking back, how long is it … ” that’s a rather personal question” – ed … since I’ve had some pleasant company with me on a nocturnal voyage? It must be an age – or, at least, it feels like it.
After breakfast I made a start on updating the journal entry for Sunday – the one that I had left hanging in the air. And by the time I knocked off for the evening I’d actually finished it.
However, there was a whole variety of interruptions today – tidying up being not the least of them. If I go video-conferencing, I need to have the place looking quite nice.
Terry came round too. he had an appointment in town and so came for the hat that Liz had left here the other day. And, furthermore, and even more importantly, he brought me a fresh supply of home-made cake from Liz.
So that’s one crisis solved.
At 11:00 I had my Welsh lesson on the internet. That meant doing quite a bit of preparation too, which was not easy because I don’t have the course book. In the end the tutor sent me a *.pdf version which was very nice of her
A few important things had come up during the lesson that needed attention so I had to organise those, and that meant once more a very late lunch.
It was another really gorgeous afternoon and so I decided once more to take my sandwiches outside and sit on my wall overlooking the harbour.
Not that I managed to go very far at first. In fact I came to a shuddering halt at the front door of the building. Regular readers of this rubbish will know about the underground refuse system here in the town and we’ve seen one or two lorries emptying them
But we’ve never seen a lorry this close with this much detail. Just look at how big these subterranean containers are.
Down at the wall, I was there all on ly own today. Everyone is either back at school or back at work and I was late as well.
But there was an awful lot going on in the harbour today. I’m not sure at all what was happening here but we had one of the smaller fishing boats tied up at the fish processing plant and there were a couple of people in a zodiac-type of boat inspecting it.
Mind you, in that depth of water they didn’t need a zodiac to go out there. They could quite easily have walked.
Mind you it didn’t stay there long.
Into the port came another one of the shell-fishing boats, a rather larger version. Our zodiac was clearly in the way so it set off and piddled off out of there
What that was all about, I really didn’t know because I couldn’t see at all what was going on.
It was pretty busy in the inner harbour too, and there was a queue of boats waiting at the crane for unloading.
In pole position for loading and unloading is our old friend Chausiais, looking as if she’s making ready to set off with a cargo for the Ile de Chausey. And behind her awaiting her turn – or maybe having already had hers and waiting for the harbour gates to open, is Normandy Trader
She must have sneaked in on the morning tide when I wasn’t looking.
Something else caught me rather by surprise too.
There I was, sitting there quietly eating my butties when suddenly a horn went off around the corner, that almost made me drop my book.
Of course, the tides are almost half an hour later every day, so it’s round about now that Joly France would be coming back from the morning ferry out to the Ile de Chausey.
And you can tell that the tide has only just started coming in.
The smaller boats with a shallow draught can pass over the sandbar at the entrance quite easily but boats like Joly France have much more trouble and have to go all the way over to the eastern side of the harbour entrance.
The water that drains out of the inner harbour has scoured a deeper channel on that side and that gives the larger boats more depth to play with.
Even so, when we went out there A WHILE AGO we grounded out on the way back in.
But Joly France didn’t hang around long. She dropped off one load of passengers, picked up another and headed back out to sea.
And as I watched her disappear, one of the medium-sized fishing boats came around the corner heading for port, presumably with a full load of shellfish ready to be unloaded at the fish processing plant.
She was travelling at a fair rate of knots too. At first I thought that she was a large speedboat of some description, making waves like that.
But better late than never – I came back inside and carried on with the work that I had to do. Choosing the music for a radio project was on the agenda this afternoon.
And I didn’t really have all that long to spend working because, with being rather late, it was time soon enough to go back out for my afternoon walk.
By now I reckoned that the harbour gates were well and truly opened because I have never ever seen so much nautical traffic just offshore as I have today
There were boats heading in all directions, and not just to and from the port either. This speedboat in the foreground was putting quite a spurt on heading along the coast towards Bréhal-Plage.
And those ships and boats in the previous photo – I thought that I recognised one of them.
And I was right too. It’s Chausiais. The harbour gates are definitely open now, because she’s been able to leave the port and head off on her little trip to the Ile de Chausey.
One of these days I’d love to be able to see what she’s carrying but her holds are closed in and with covered hatches so it’s not that easy at all. But I suppose that it takes all sorts of cargo out there.
Of course, if the harbour gates are open to let one boat out, they will be open to let everyone else out too.
And sure enough, out of the port right behind Chausias comes Normandy Trader off on her way back to the Channel Islands with another load of freight.
She’s an open freighter of course – a former car ferry by the looks of things, so it’s easy to see what she carries. But of course you can’t see anything at this distance.
As a small car ferry, she’s not really equipped to deal with the seas in the same way that a ship with a pointed bow would be.
And, for that matter, neither is Chausiais.
There’s quite a wind blowing out there and I had to take off my cap as I was walking around the headland. And the ships, with their less-than-conventional design were making rather heavy weather of the journey out to sea.
There was some beautiful spray flying around as Normandy Trader smashed her way through the waves. This photo has come out rather well, I reckon.
So that’s enough ships for the moment.
In the beautiful sunny sunshine I carried on with my afternoon walk around the headland and it was my turn to surprise some people. It looked as if they were practising Tai Chi, although I don’t think that you need yoga mats for that.
Anyway they must have seen me coming because as soon as I pointed the camera they folded up their mats and they too piddled off into the sunset as well.
It wasn’t my day, was it?
And what was quite amusing about this afternoon was that we seem to have had a tactical substitution of freighters in the harbour.
Chausiais and Normandy Trader may well have sailed out of the port on the afternoon tide, but the tide has also brought in with it another one of our old friends, Thora, also from the Channel islands.
And how I would have loved to have been at the harbour and watched her come in. There would have been an extremely interesting nautical danse macabre as all three boats were jostling for position in there.
The high winds have brought out a whole load of people and nautical craft as we have seen.
And you can tell just how windy it is out there, simply by looking at the sail on that yacht as it comes round the headland.
Look how much it’s billowing out. I bet that it’s pulling the boat along at a ferocious rate despite the load that it’s carrying. I can count at least 10 people on board and that’s quite a load for a boat like that.
But I bet that it’s exciting on there.
With all of the fishing boats out there, it’s no surprise that they are expecting a bumper load of fish and shellfish coming into the port today.
As a result there are three large artics, a smaller 17-tonne lorry and several other smaller refrigerated vehicles waiting at the fish-processing plant this afternoon
And the fork-lift truck – that has quite a load on it that’s goign to be deposited into the artic trailer over there. That’s a never-ending chain of product that will be stuck in there and the other vehicles.
There’s a really high turnover of product down there these days
And talking of high turnover of product, I used the last of my apple purée this morning. Time to make some more.
Six apples, one and a half pears, some desiccated coconut, cinnamon, nutmeg all put on the boil and then left to simmer. And when it was ready, the liquid was drained off and bottled, the solids were put in the whizzer and whizzed into a purée.
Then a handful of raisins was added, and all of that was bottled too. Of course the bottles were sterilised by giving them a minute in the microwave with some warm water in there to spread the heat.
But it wasn’t all as easy as that. Our Welsh group has set up a communication group on the internet. A couple of us set it up and were testing it – to such an extent that I completely forgot about the fruit on the stove and instead of 45 minutes simmering, it had just about two hours.
That’s not a good idea.
By this time I wasn’t feeling too good, and I don’t know why. I hadn’t been able to concentrate all day and I’ve done none of my Accountancy or Music studies because of it.
And not only that, I’ve lost my appetite, and that’s the sign of a major relapse heading my way – no surprise seeing how many months (over 4 months in fact) since I’ve had my four-weekly cancer treatment.
So no tea tonight, but I was determined to carry on with my running despite everything. So off I went, with all of my aches and pains and grouches.
Despite the wind, it was a beautiful evening and the colours were splendid. The big marker light on the rock just outside the harbour entrance, the sea, and the resort of Kairon-Plage in the background all came out really well
Surprisingly, after all of the excitement today, there wasn’t a boat to be seen anywhere at all in the baie de Mont St Michel. I wonder where they all went.
As fr me, i went off on my run all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury where one of my colleagues from the radio drove past and waved to me.
My run ended up at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord and I had a look over the wall to see how we were doing for picnickers tonight. And do you know what? After all of the excitement here over the last week or two there wasn’t even a one.
But not to worry. Because as I was musing over the situation, down the steps came a few young people carrying blankets and bags, and they began to settle themselves down in the evening sun.
And evening sun there was plenty of tonight.
We’ve had some good ones just recently but tonight was one of the best. But I didn’t hang around too long. I just stayed for a minute or two and then ran on back home.
Tonight I made a determmined effort to finish my notes even though I didn’t feel like it. And now I’m off to bed, rather later than I had hoped.
Here’s hoping that I feel a little better tomorrow because otherwise we’ll be heading for a tragedy again.