Tag Archives: normandy trader

Tuesday 26th July 2022 – AFTER ALL OF THE …

hang gliding place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… problems that I’ve been having over the past few days, today has been a rather better day from that point of view.

So while you admire several photos of all of the aerial activity that was going on outside this afternoon, I’ll tell you something about it.

Last night, I was much later than usual in going to bed. There was a Hercule Poirot programme, MURDER IN THREE ACTS, that came round on the playlist and so I stayed up to listen to it instead of going to bed.

Sleep is of course quite important but sometimes a little relaxation is quite good for the soul and I enjoyed the radio programme very much.

35ma aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As a result, trying to wake up at 07:30 was extremely difficult indeed and I was very lucky that I managed to beat the second alarm to my feet.

After the medication and so on I came in here to deal with my mails and messages and then I had things to do.

However I didn’t do much. Surprisingly I didn’t fall asleep today (although I was pretty darned close to it) hence the day being rather better, but for all the good that I was doing today it didn’t really make much difference.

At least the weather was warmer today than yesterday. We’re slowly climbing back into heatwave territory.

45ahb pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It was rather a late breakfast today, with the last of my delicious fruit buns and some nice strong coffee.

And a rather late lunch too. Just the usual fruit at the moment. I’m still taking a lot of care about my eating habits and trying where I can to cut down on everything. This diet of fruit and nuts hasn’t lost me much weight but you ought to see me climb trees.

After lunch I went through everything that was in the kitchen and sorted out what I needed to make another batch of fruit buns. I seem to be running low on just about everything right now and I’ll have to stock up on my baking supplies.

It would be nice though if I could bring up here the two cupboard things that I bought in IKEA and install the proper oven.

What a state to get it, hey?

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While we’re on the subject of all of the aerial craft that went by overhead this afternoon, here’s a horrible photo of the yellow autogyro.

Horrible because it was taken directly into the sun rather quickly through a gap in a couple of buildingss, but important because it’s the yellow autogyro.

And why that is important because the other day we saw a beautiful new and shiny red autogyro fly past and the thought had gone through my mind that the reason why I hadn’t seen it before might have been because it might have been the yellow one having been given a respray.

But as the yellow one is still up in the air then that can’t be the case.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Rather later than usual, for reasons that you will soon find out if you read on down to the end, I went out for my afternoon walk.

As usual I wandered across the car park through the crowds to see what was happening down on the beach this afternoon.

There wasn’t much beach to be on but that didn’t matter much because the warm weather had driven many of the people into the water to cool down. It was that kind of day today.

Quite windy too, as you have probably guessed when you saw the squadrons of Nazguls flying by overhead in one of the earlier photos.

man on paddle board baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There was quite a bit of excitement going on out in the bay too.

This guy was out on what looked to be a paddle board but he’d stopped to sit down and have a rest for a while when I saw him.

At first I thought that he might have been in a kayak but on closer inspection I ruled that out.

And he was on his own too, which is just as well because making love in a kayak is rather like Watneys Beer – it’s f***ing close to water.

yacht
marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was walking down the path and being overflown by all kinds or aerial machines, I was also looking out to sea to see what was happening there.

Through the gap in the trees at the far end of the headland I could see Marité riding at anchor in the Baie de Mont St Michel near Le Loup – the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour.

But what’s interesting in this photo is the colour of the grass in the background. It’s a rather scorched light brown colour right now. Apart from that 5-minute shower that I mentioned the other day, we’ve not had any rain for ages and everywhere is looking rather like North Africa at the moment.

yacht joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Marité wasn’t the only ship out there in the bay this afternoon either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we’d seen Belle France out at the bottom of the bay with, probably, a full load of passengers going for a look at Mont St Michel. Today, we have one of the Joly France ferries coming back from down there with a full load of passengers.

Have a look at her windows. They are in “portrait” format rather than “landscape” format and so that tells us that she is the newer one of the two. Her upper deck superstructure is smaller than her sister too.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Fighting my way through the crowds I wandered off through the car park down to the end of the headland.

And this afternoon, we had a fisherman out there on the rocks this afternoon. Just one fisherman, and he didn’t look as if he was all that interested in catching anything. He didn’t have a bucket of anything in which to put his catch.

Mind you we have actually seen someone catch something with rod and line a couple of months ago, although I didn’t see what he actually did with his catch. I was just hoping that it wasn’t one of Austin Powers’ bad-tempered sea bass.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022With all of the activity out in the bay and the fisherman on the rocks, it’s hardly surprising that that there was quite a crowd watching everything that was going on.

Sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban in a front row seat was this family watching Joly France go sailing past around the headland and Marité at anchor in the bay, as well as a host of other small craft out there too.

Having watched everything for a while I wandered off down the path and around the corner to go and see what was happening down at the port this afternoon

ch517520 yann frederic ch898472 cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022L’Omerta was still moored at her position at the Fish Processing Plant but I was more interested in the two boats that were moored behind her.

The one at the front is Yann Frederic and the one behind is Cap Lihou. I’m not quite sure what they were doing over there but there was quite a crowd of people watching them doing it and there was a van over there looking as if it was unloading some shell-fishing crates.

Meanwhile, La Confiance II was still in the chantier naval and Chausiaise was moored up at the ferry terminal.

The harbour gates were opn by now and all of the other fishing boats were streaming into the inner harbour.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And once everyone had gone sailing in, it was the turn of the ships in the inner harbour to come sailing out.

And just for a change these days I was right yesterday about the freight on the quayside when I said that it wouldn’t be there for long. Out of the inner harbour came Normandy Trader with a load of freight, including the swimming pool that had been on the quayside yesterday.

The guy walking on the deck by the crane is Nathan the skipper.

You can tell that she’s Normandy Trader and not Normandy Warrior by the raised deck at the back of the wheelhouse.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Anyway, this is why I’d gone out later than normal this afternoon.

Word had reached me on the grapevine that Marité was out and about this afternoon so I imagined that she would want to come home when the harbour gates opened and I wanted to see it.

Sure enough, as soon as the commercial congestion at the harbour entrance eased, she pulled up her anchor and set sal for the harbour and I watched her come into port and tie up.

She had quite a crowd of people on board too so it must have been a good trip. It’s a shame that her staff aren’t nicer otherwise I might be out there myself one of these days.

bad parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There was quite a crowd of people lining the walls watching her come into port this afternoon.

And that had led to some of the worst examples of pathetic parking that we have seen for a while. It’s a subject that I’ve tried to avoid but sometimes it’s inescapable and it’s the kind of thing that brings these holidaymakers and their caravanettes into disrepute.

When he finally moved off, he went to try to park in a car park in which caravanettes are prohibited as if it didn’t matter at all.

These caravanette drivers have a logic that only works in their bizarre minds

normandy trader bay de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Before going in for a drink, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to check on Normandy Trader.

It had taken me an age to make sure that Marité was tucked up safely in bed so by now Normandy Trader was miles out at sea. I was hoping that I’d catch her a bit closer to shore than I did.

Back here I had a drink of iced almond milk and then had a look at how my fruit bread was doing. I’d mixed up the dough before going out and now that it was proofed I divided it up into little rolls and put them on some baking paper on the shelf.

When they’s had another go at proofing, I brushed them with milk and dusted them with brown sugar and bunged them in the oven to bake for 35 minutes.

While they were baking I had a listen to the dictaphone. I had been playing in a rock group during the night. I was talking to one of the girls in it. There were a couple of people who were in the group who were very insecure and needed a lot of guidance. We had one or two people who would do that. For example, One girl (wit whom I’d worked a few times in the dim and distant past) needed a lot of prodding around and guiding and taking places and everything and there was a guy near to where she lived and where she worked who would do all of that. Some of us were very self-reliant and would make our own way without any problems. Others needed just as much help but couldn’t really find anyone to do things for them. It all came to be rather chaotic. There were the wrong kind of people hanging around and it was a shame because it was a really good experience except for these people. I was talking to one of the girls, explaining about that girl’s helper and how it would have been nice if everyone had found someone like that who could have led them around and worked on their personal development or whatever so that they would have been much more comfortable with themselves and the travelling.

But what’s she doing making a rather dramatic appearance in my nocturnal voyages? She’s someone about whom I haven’t thought for even a minute for probably 38 years

Later on I was out in my van and I’d encountered a young girl somehow. I’d lent her the music and she was really delighted with it. I’d made arrangements to go and pick it up again but when I arrived she was at her grandmother’s house at Kidsgrove up at the back, Newchapel way and a really steep hill to get there. I’d gone with Caliburn. Her grandmother had given me a list of things to do, some of which I could do on the spot and some I couldn’t, like disposing of a pile of mail for her etc. I invented some kind of procedure that meant that I’d have to come back there again in the hope that I’d see this girl when I went back. I had to sort out my tapes that she had. The grandmother asked me something about this job and I was stuck because I couldn’t remember what it was that I’d told her that I’d do. I had to invent something quite quickly. For once it seemed that I was going to be getting somewhere with some young girl which was very nice. When I left I noticed that I didn’t have much fuel in Caliburn so I’d have to go along and find some fuel somewhere and that wasn’t easy. This was once for a change something positive, even if I didn’t actually “get the girl” during the dream.

And Newchapel again? I’ve been there a few times during the night, probably more times than I ever was there in real life. That’s a mystery too.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022By now the fruit buns were cooked and they looked absolutely delicious so I took them out of the oven to cool, and then thought about making tea.

Plenty of stuffing eft over from yesterday’s pepper so I made myself a taco roll with rice and vegetables and that really was delicious again. Spicy food tastes so much better after it has marinaded for 24 hours.

Back in here I wrote up my notes from today and engaged in an argument on my social network with someone who posted a photo that he had taken in Norway of a car and was insisting that it was a MkIII Cortina estate when it was actually a Ford Taunus

Yes, I can be a pedant when I have to be.

Tomorrow I’m hoping that I’ll feel better. Not crashing out (even if it was touch-and-go on occasion) today was already an improvement despite the lack of sleep, so a good sleep might make me feel even better.

But as events have shown, quite often a good sleep usually makes me feel worse. But whatever it is, it’s still quite depressing.

Friday 18th February 2022 – I WAS IN …

storm beach rue du nord baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… two minds this afternoon … errr … weather to go out for my afternoon walk.

The local weather office had produced a map today showing predicted windspeeds and Granville just happened to be at the junction of two wind bands – 100-110 kmh and 110-120 kmh – between 15:00 and 17:00, just round about when I usually go out for my walk.

But nevertheless at my usual time of 15:45 I set off out and while the sea looked quite turbulent, as you can see in the photo, the wind was actually something of a damp squib. We’ve had much stronger winds than this in the recent past without any drama at all.

Never mind Storm Eunice, it was more like Storm Useless. 110kph might look inpressive but a few weeks ago we had gusts of 140kph so we are used to it.

For a change, last night wasn’t all that turbulent – or, at least, not as turbulent as it has been. It was probably due to the fact that when it was bedtime I wasn’t in the least tired and it ended up being 01:30 when I finally crawled into bed.

As a result, things wre not all that easy when the alarm went off at 07:30, although I did manage to beat the second alarm.

There wasn’t all that much time for me to go on anything like as many nocturnal voyages as I seem to be doing just recently. I had to go to pay a fine at the police station last night. I hadn’t been given the formal notice to pay but I’d been given the decision. I knew that there was something else happening at the police station that was likely very much to have me arrested but my idea was to have everything over and finished as quickly as possible. I turned up at the police station but the entrance hall there was under all kinds of renovation so I had to walk through all this work, everything like that. I eventually ended up at a temporary desk and handed over the paper. The policeman started to go through the list to see what he had of cases but couldn’t find my case. I saw a name that I thought was mine so I said that i’d seen it so he turned back a couple of pages but it wasn’t and that annoyed him. I thought that if I carried on like this the kind of outcome isn’t going to be any good whatsoever so in the end I decided that i’d keep quiet and let him find it himself and see what happens. There was much more to it than this but I can’t remember that bit now.

After the medication I spent the rest of the day transcribing dictaphone notes and updating a few previous journal entries. What started off as being 41 dictaphone sound files is now down to 22.

There were several voyages involving members of my family, which is regrettable, but also a few featuring people like Zero, which always cheers me up. But we’ve not had a voyage featuring Castor for quite some time and that’s disappointing.

There were also several breaks today, firstly for breakfast and secondly for lunch. And I do have to say that my fruit bread is absolutely excellent. This is a really impressive fruit loaf.

There was also a rather unfortunate break when I fell asleep. But that’s not really a surprise these days, is it?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As I mentioned earlier, I did manage to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

As usual I went over to the wall overlooking the beach to see what was happening down below. And apart from the waves that were coming in with the kind of force that I haven’t seen for a while, there were actually several people down on the beach.

That was quite surprising because of the weather, but then again apart from the wind it wasn’t actually a bad day. Warm for the time of the year and fairly sunny.

storm le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022When I went round the corner where the Monument to the Resistance is situated, I had a really good view of how the storm was raging in the bay.

The waves down there were quite impressive, smashing over the rocks on which Le Loup, the light that guards the entrance to the harbour, is situated.

And judging by the tree on the right, Bob Dylan wouldn’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows around here, would he.

Not that it’s any surprise, but there was no-one out at the end of the headland today admiring the view. Only me of course, and I was glad when I turned the corner and had the wind blowing into my back instead of into my face.

man and van on ramp port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022No change of occupancy in the chantier naval or the ferry terminal today so I had a look around elsewhere.

It was the van on the boat-launching ramp underneath the fish processing plant that caught me eye. I wondered what it was doing there because the incoming tide would make short work of it.

However there was a man standing on the silt down there having a good look around. But at what I really don’t know. However it is round about the time of year when they dredge the harbour so I wonder if he’s eyeing up the job.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Further on down the path towards the inner harbour I noticed that Normandy Trader is still in port.

She came in on the evenign tide last night as I mentioned, and she should have gone out on the morning tide after laoding up (you can see the swimming pool on board) but a message went round earlier in the day that “due to abnormal weather conditions” she won’t be going out until things calm down.

What I did was to send a message to the crew to invite them round for a coffee but they didn’t reply. I suppose that they were quite comfortable on board.

Incidentally, you’ll notice the small “upper deck” behind the wheelhouse. That’s how we know that she’s Normandy Trader and not her sister Normandy Warrior.

philcathane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Also in the inner harbour is a trawler that we haven’t seen for a while.

She’s Philcathane of course, and moored up against the harbour wall just like almost every other fishing boat. It loks as if none of the fishing boats have gone out today and that’s not a surprise in this weather.

Outside the building I noticed one of my neighbours struggling taking her rubbish over to the bins so I gave her a hand. We had a little chat about next-to-nothing and then I came back in for my coffee, clutching my new credit card in my hand.

So “Spend Spend Spend” hey?

After the coffee I finished off what I was doing and then went for tea. Veggie balls, pasta and veg in a vegan cheese sauce and it really was nice. It might only be simple food that I cook but it really is delicious

So tomorrow if Caliburn is still there and hasn’t been blown away I’ll be going to the shops. I wonder how things would work if I fitted him with sails.

Wednesday 5th January 2022 – REGULAR READERS …

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022… of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a lorry taking away the material that had been used in resurfacing the Rue St Michel.

At the time I said that if I remembered, I would go that way down to the doctor’s to have a look at what kind of job they have done of it.

Anyway, this will teach me to post vituperative comments about things like the quality of the road surfacing that they do, because while I’ve seen better surfaces finished than this, it’s not actually too bad.

They seem tp have been somewhat confused with the curves in a few places, but considering that this is the 21st and not the 15th Century, I don’t suppose that they have the skill that they used to have.

rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Mind you, I don’t think that they have quite finished.

A little lower down in the Rue Cambernon they are still in something of a temporary situation as they carry on laying the electric cables in the street.

When they finish the cable-laying, they might relay the pavé to the same standard as in the Rue St Michel, but what is actually making me wonder right now is what kind of electric cables they are laying, and for what purpose?

The hope is that we might finally be having fibree-optic cable, some 25 years after we had it in Belgium and 4 years since they started to install it here, but I’m not that optimistic about that. This is the kind of work that can go on for ever.

lorry trailer minidigger porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But they obviously have some kind of plans for something, because the lorry, its trailer and the mini-digger were back this morning.

Not unloaded though, so I’ve no idea what was happening. But they haven’t apparently finished quite yet.

But never mind the pavé. After today, I’m pretty much finished. I’ve had another really bad day where I seem to have fallen deep into the pit and been paralysed by inaction. That’s not doing me any good at all.

It’s a shame really, because although I didn’t end up going to bed as early as I would have liked, I was optimistic that I would have as good a sleep as I had last night. But it wasn’t to be. Nothing like, in fact.

There were a few travels during the night and once more, I was blessed with pleasant company. I started off with a girl last night, a young girl. It could have been Percy Penguin, it could have been Castor, one of those two. But I was in the Navy when I met this girl and I was going to take her home so we set out and drove and ended up behind a convoy of farm carts pulled by a tractor. We couldn’t go past it because the roads were narrow and it was too slow. The rear cart was just bumping around hitting just about everything so I couldn’t get too close to that. Then it disappeared somewhere so we could carry on. Then we had to climb over loads and loads of brambles and rocks down this well overgrown path to reach my house. In the end I had to go first and trample down as much as I could and help her over. She was standing on my clothes so I couldn’t move and that was where we ended up. And I wish that I knew which one of my female companions it was.

Some time later, Zero and I went off together in a car to Blackpool. She did a few things on her own and so did I, and then we did a few things together before coming home. It was quite late now as we drove home, which was my old family home in Vine Tree Avenue. When we went into the house I hoped that the two of us would have some time to be alone together but her parents were still up, which was surprising. It was Christmas morning so they had started to celebrate rather early. Surprisingly they said nothing whatever about anything.

Later still I was at the hospital last night and I’d had a booster injection, then I had an appointment with someone. But the booster injection didn’t show up on my passport so I went to see someone at reception. There was already one person being served, then there was me, then a girl came up behind. Thea someone came and started to talk to this third girl so I shouted “hello” quite loudly making it clear that it was me next. I explained the situation to this receptionist and she replied in English that it takes a day or two to come through. That’s why when someone comes to the hospital asking for a pill for the temporary effects they always take a note of their name and number

There was more to it than this but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you any inconvenience. But nevertheless, Zero and either Percy Penguin or Castor all on the same night. My luck really was in for a change.

But talking of people who I met on my travels a long way from home, we haven’t seen anything of The Vanilla Queen for a couple of years. I wonder how she’s doing.

Leaving the bed was agony this morning, and I didn’t have long to hang around before I had to nip off to the doctor’s.

christmas lights place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022It came to my mind while I was on my way out that I hadn’t seen the Christmas decorations in the Place Cambernon yet this year.

On my way to the Rue St Michel I went that way for a look as it was still just about dark enough to appreciate them. But they were nothing special. Just the same old stuff that they have every year.

So I took my photograph to add to my collection that one day when I’m feeling better (whenever that might be) and pushed on down the road towards the Rue St Michel, chatting with one of my neighbours whom I encountered on my way down.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022We have a visitor in the harbout too today.

We can tell that this is Normandy Trader by the little raised deck behind the bridge. She’s come in on the morning tide for what I believe to be the first trip of the year, and is busy loading up.

And that might explain the lorry with the building materials that was doing a U-turn in the chantier naval yesterday.

At the doctor’s, he renewed my physiotherapy and my Aranesp prescriptions, and delighted on showing his student doctor a photo of THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR and telling her all about my voyages.

He mentioned the radio too. I hadn’t realised that I was such a celebrity!

But he also mentioned something else. Apparently he’s had some kind of sneak preview of the report that the cardiologist will present to me next week. There’s something somewhere in my body that I’m supposed to have 50 units of, but which some people might have as many as 250. I have 2246.

No idea what it is though. Craig thinks that it’s the size of my spirit, but I reckon that it’s the number or people whom I p*ss*d off last year. anyway, I’ll find out soon enough.

Next stop was the bank. I’d had my cheque for the last 3 months of my Belgian pension so I needed to pay it in. It also had my Christmas bonus too, so aren’t I the lucky one? And now I can go off and paint the town red with that extra €32:00.

moving apartment post office place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But I didn’t let it lie fallow for long.

There are bills that need to be paid so I headed off to the Post Office to post off a cheque. And there was an interesting removal job going on from the apartment up above.

They could do with a couple of these lifts that are quite common in Belgium. That will be a much more convenient machine that the pallet truck that they are using.

Next stop was the chemist’s to give them my prescription. She’ll have to order them of course, and I can pick them up again later in the afternoon.

normandy trader leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way home we had even more excitement.

Having seen Normandy Trader loading up on our way down into town, we were lucky enough to catch her stern as she sailed off out of the harbour back to St Helier. That’s what I call a quick turn-round.

Back here, the first job was to book my trip to Leuven next week. And that’s not as easy as it might be either.

Covid (would you believe more than 330,000 new cases of infection today?) has decimated the railway network and the trains are not running as they usually would

With the choice of either sitting at Paris Gare du Nord for almost 3 hours or making an early start, I’ve gone for the early start option and I’m on the … gulp … 06:55 to Caen and then to St Lazare in Paris, the reverse of the trip that I took a couple of months ago.

This means that I actually arrive in Brussels at 13:00 but I need to visit my bank there at some point, so this seems like the perfect opportunity. Do it on Wednesday early afternoon while I can.

That took longer than it ought to have done, but nevertheless there was time to start to edit a sound file of an interview before lunch.

After lunch I sat down to carry on with this editing but this is where I ran aground. And seriously too. I need to snap out of this. And it’s not even anything to do with the news that I had at the doctor’s either.

And with the travelling companions that I had during the night, I ought to have a smile on my face and a spriing in my step for the rest of the day

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022However not even the thought that Percy Penguin, Castor and Zero might be waiting outside for me made going out at 16:00 to pick up my Aranest any easier.

But once I was out, I was out, and first port of call was the beach to see what was happening down there. And there were a couple of people down there this afternoon.

One person was walking around along the water’s edge, but I have no idea whatever what the other person was supposed to be doing. It looked quite unhealthy to me.

There were a few other people walking around in the distance too but they were too far away for me to see what they were doing.

trawler jersey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022The air was extremely clear this afternoon – one of the clearest days that we have had for a while.

As usual I had a good look around to see what was happening out in the bay, and in the distance right out towards Jersey I could see a couple of fishing boats.

And they looked as if they were heading for home too. The tide might be well out right now but by the time that they arrive in the vicinity it will be quite a way in and they’ll be able to come into harbour without too long of a wait.

There were several other boats further out towards Jersey but I couldn’t tell from this photo which way they were heading.

baie de Granville st helier jersey Eric Hall photo January 2022But you probably noticed how clear the air was in the previous photos.

The buildings at St Helier were quite visible with the naked eye even though they are 58 kilometres away.

And that reminds me that I must go over there one of these days to have a look to see which buildings are which. I’ve had a virtual drive-round with an internet program but that’s no substitute for going for a real walk around the town itself.

Talking about going for a walk around the town, I ended up at the chemist’s to pick up my Aranesp and then walked back up the hill towards home, with no drama whatsoever.

It’s still not as easy as it used to be but a lot better than it was in the summer. I’m not sure whether it’s the physiotherapy, the Aranesp or the heart medication that’s doing it.

peche à pied port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way back, I did stop for a moment.

But not for a question of breath, but for a photo opportunity. There were some people out there having a go at the peche à pied. But if I were going to be having a go at it, I wouldn’t be at it at the entrance to the harbour where several dozen boats pass right over the top four times a day.

Back here I had a coffee, but that was that. I’d really run aground by now. So much so that I couldn’t even think of what to have for my evening meal. In a total state of indecision and confusion I ended up with a curry from out of the freezer.

It beats me where this depression has sprung from, but I know that regardless I need to pull myself together and drag myself out of it. I have far too much to do than to waste my time sitting around feeling sorry for myself.

Part of it is the inactivity, with all of this time slipping away without going anywhere or doing anything. But then, I’m not fit enough to go anywhere anyway and even if I could travel, I’d be far too tired and exhausted to do it satisfactorily and to profit from it.

So i’ve no idea what the answer might be. But whatever it is, an endless circuit of physiotherapy and shopping broken by a trip every month to Leuven isn’t it. And with Covid running rampant at the moment almost everywhere, it won’t be anything else.

332,252 cases of Covid in one day is a disgrace.

Wednesday 3rd November 2021 – I HAVE HAD …

… a proposal of marriage today.

And the worst thing about it is that I’m not sure exactly how serious it was.

On the way back from the physiotherapist I met one of my neighbours heading down the hill. We had a chat about the current situation in the town, one thing led to another and she asked me “do you have your French nationality yet?”?
“No I don’t” I replied. “Just my Carte de Séjour. Nationality is a long, complicated process”.
“We’ll have to marry and then it will take much less time” she continued.

And so in the best traditions of the (News of the Screws), I “made my excuses and left”.

But the regular readers of this rubbish needn’t worry. Since I’ve been ill and I’ve had all of these bits cut out of me, I’m no use to anyone. Not even to myself.

It’s all very well discussing people like Percy Penguin, TOTGA, Miss Stoke on Trent, Castor and all of the others but they’ll all be perfectly safe with me these days.

Particularly after the night that I had last night. I was in bed really early – not long after 22:00 when I went to bed, planning on having a really good sleep all the way through to 07:30 but it wasn’t to be.

And so I’ve decided that in the future I’ll mention my good nights rather than my bad ones. It’ll save more time.

So staggering out of bed I went for my medication and then came back in here to check my mails and messages.

Plenty of mails too about my radio project and I stirred the pot by sending out a pile more. That led to the odd ‘phone call or two and so most of my day evaporated before my very eyes.

While I was dealing with the radio stuff, I uploaded the recording from last night on our visit. Two microphones means two mono tracks, with one “major” sound channel and one “minor” sound track. I’ve run them together and created a stereo track which doesn’t really give the effect that I wanted but I’m a novice with this machine and I have a lot to learn as yet.

Some time during the course of the day I had a look at the photos from Saturday night. I’ve edited 27 so far and I’m surprised at how good one or two of them are.

During the night I travelled miles. I started off having to make declarations of imports to the Customs and Excise people at Newcastle upon Tyne. My first ones weren’t very good – not very-well completed but by the time that I came round to the second ones and subsequently I had it all down to a T and was busy , doing it quite well and I was quite pleased with that.

Later, I was in Chester and I can’t remember what I was doing there now. I had this really ancient 1920s motorbike with me. We’d gone to the station to meet someone and it turned out to be an old woman. I was there with a friend of mine who was on an old motorbike too. When we met this old woman we then had to go out of Chester. I lost my way all round the station complex. I couldn’t remember where everything was because Chester had been so modernised. In the end we made our way to Northgate Street more by luck than judgement. This old woman was lagging behind because we were setting quite a pace. In the end she was talking about going for a cup of tea so we found this olde-worlde café place and went in there. I left my motorbike outside but he took his in. There were probably 7 or 8 other old motorbikes from that era in there as well. Now we had acquired 2 children, a girl about 6 and a little boy. I went and sat down where my friend and this woman went to order the coffee or whatever.

Later still I was working in an office and I’d been up to the canteen at about 10:45 to ask for a coffee. The woman said that she would make one and bring it down. By the time that it was 15:15 it hadn’t come so I went back up to find out what was happening. When I went in there I asked and she replied that she wasn’t going to make one for me. There were several other people there, one or two who were also drinking coffee so I asked why she wasn’t going to make one for me when she’d obviously made one for other people. One or two of the people tried to get me to leave but I wasn’t leaving under any circumstances and it all developed into something rather unpleasant. She still refused to make me a coffee even though everyone else who had asked had been given one

trawlers ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021It was such a beautiful afternoon when I set out for the physiotherapist so I headed over to see what was happening in the bay.

And for a change this afternoon, there was quite a lot. The Iles de Chausey looked really nice in this strange sunlight and we could see plenty of fishing boats out there looking as if they were heading for home.

On the horizon though was something big and white. One of the ferries going from St Malo to Portsmouth, I expect. I made a mental note to check it when I returned but I forgot.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There was quite a bit of activity looking the other way too.

Down in the bottom of the Baie de Granville between Donville les Bains and Bréhal Plage there were quite a few boats out and about this afternoon – some yachts and a cabin cruiser, as well as a few others that didn’t make it into the photo.

But not that I was going to hang around to count them. I have things to do and other fish to be frying.

One of the things that I mentioned that I would do was to go and see what was happening in the old town with all of the rebuilding that seems to be taking place.

repairing medieval city wall place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Regular readers of this rubbis will recall that we have noticed a big hole in the medieval city walls near to where they are working in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux so I wanted to check up on that.

And the hole isn’t there any more – or, at least, if part of it still is, it won’t be there much longer.

The stone masons have now reached the hole and they are busy patching it up, with a handy shield up above their head to prevent anything dropped over the wall from hitting them.

repairing medieval city wall place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And there is actually a big danger of things being dropped down on their heads from up above.

Another worker has been raking out the loose mortar between the stones, so presumably that’s going to be the next bit that will be repointed once they have finished below.

And you can see why the men down below have erected a roof when you see where the guy up above has left his electric drill. That will make quite a dent in someone’s skull if it’s dropped 20 feet.

repairing medieval city wall place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021When we were here last time, they had dismantled part of the wall in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

Now it looks as if they have begun to reassemble it and with the fresh pointing it looks quite nice. When they refit the large stones on top, it will be a really good job.

But what will be the next job to tackle? There’s the one further along towards the viewpoint at the Plat Gousset that has been fenced off for as long as I’ve been living here at least, then then there’s the bit in the car park by my building.

But the smart money is on the Square Potel and the signs are up there already.

repairing rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Another thing that we saw a couple of weeks ago was all the hieroglyphycs that had appeared on the road surface in the Rue St Michel.

They had been working in the Rue Cambernon close by, but now they have finished. They have gone on up the Rue St Michel and by the looks of things they are quite well advanced there.

But this road surface is dreadful. In the medieval city everywhere else is cobbled stone – except here. They can’t complain about people not keeping to the “epoch” in their own private renovations if they aren’t going to do the same with the official ones.

thora loading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile, down in the harbour, I see that we have a visitor.

Thora, one of the two little Jersey freighter, is in port today and by the looks of things she has quite a huge load on board. You can tell that by how deep she’s sitting in the water.

It looks as if there are some vehicles on the deck too, but I’ll go for a look on the way back. I want to have a chat with the skipper anyway.

erecting christmas decorations avenue leclerc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Once more, I made it all the way up to the hill to the physiotherapist without stopping for breath.

There was however one stop, and that was almost near the top as well. You can tell that we are in November and the tourist season is over, because now they are putting up the Christmas decorations.

And this year, I hope that they are going to use their imagination and do something different than they have done over the past couple of years. They have been very samey, except that there seem to be fewer and fewer things to erect.

The physiotherapist had me doing kinetic exercises for my half-hour session and it does seem to be doing me some good. I can tell that by the fact that I seem to be moving about a little easier than I did when I first started. Not by very much, but it does take time.

working on abandoned railway line Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way home, I went to see how the major roadwork project is doing down in the Parc Du Val Ès Fleurs.

They are making some kind of progress where the old railway line used to be. It’s all graded and they have fitted the drainage system and the electric conduit.

It looks as if it’s All Systems Go there, but I doubt if it will be finished for when I need to go to Leuven in a couple of weeks time. I might have to wait a little longer for that but it will be a much easier way to walk once it’s finished.

workmen installing play equipment parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Remember the hardstanding that we have seen in the Parc Du Val Ès Fleurs in the past?

There are a couple of workmen down there doing something with it all today. I shall have to go for a closer look.

But there are still plenty of the concrete reinforcement matting sheets down there – if anything, more than there were last time. It looks as if we are going to be in for a serious amount of concreting which will be a shame. This much concrete must be bad for the environment.

workmen installing play equipment parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021So down at the bottom of the steps I could have a closer look at their doings.

In the absence of any indication I asked them what was the purpose of they were doing. “It’s for the sport” replied one of them.

And so it looks as if I might not need the physiotherapist at all once they have finished what they are doing. I can come and do my exercises down here. But they will need much more equipment than just this, that’s for sure, if they want the town to improve its fitness.

square des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There wasn’t much else that I could see happening on the trackbed of the abandoned railwy so I cleared off down the road towards the quagmire that is the Square des Docteurs Lanos.

And quagmire is certainly the word. It’s raining on and off at the moment and over there is just a morass or sea of mud. Nothing much has changed there over the last 10 days or so, except that we now have some concrete drain boxes dropped over there.

And do you notice in the bottom corner the concrete strip that they have placed across the road? It looks as if we are going to be having a sea of concrete all the way up to the end of the abandoned railway line at this rate, hence all of the reinforcement matting.

roadworks rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021That’s certainly what it’s looking like in the Rue du Boscq.

The concrete strip that we saw them pouring the other day has now expanded widthways to three times its size, for what purpose I really don’t know.

Ohh! For a long line of trees that should have been planted every 30 feet along there to bring some shade and greenery to people walking about in the summer.

On the other side of the road they have left the half-a-dozen trees that were growing there previously, and that looks as if it’s going to be our lot for now.

digger moving road roller rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021But the excitement here isn’t quite over yet.

There’s a road-roller that has been stuck on the concrete and can’t drop off the end so they summoned up one of the diggers on the site.

He picked it up without too much effort and dropped it back onto the roadway where the driver drove it away. and then the digger picked up what looked like a generator and then cleared off down to the far end of the roadworks.

children's roundabout place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And as if in sympathy, I cleared off down the far end of the roadworks too.

The kiddies’ roundabout that we saw them installing the other day is still here. It’s planned to be here until 7th November but it may be on its way sooner than that.

Apparently it’s larger than it’s supposed to be, according to the plans that were submitted to the local council, and it’s forcing people to step into the roadway. The council is none-too-happy about it and there’s some kind of proceedings going on right now about the issue.

vans and builders material thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On our way out to the physiotherapist, we saw Thora moored at the loading bay and I mentioned that I’d go over for a chat.

However as I arrived, she was just casting off ready to go. And I was right about the vehicles that she was carrying. 2 vans with Dutch number plates heading off towards the Channel Islands along with about 40 large sacks of stone.

Obviously it’s too late to speak to her skipper to I shouted a message to him as he peered through his window. Whether he heard me or not is another thing completely.

thora leaving normandy trader arriving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021The reason for the rapid departure of Thora is that the loading bay is wanted by someone else.

As she disappears off into the sunset, right in behind comes Normandy Trader. I didn’t think that they would be able to fit all of the freight on the quayside into Thora.

It was sheer luck that I’d arrived at this moment because I wanted to speak to Normandy Trader‘s skipper too. But he had a considerable amount of work on the go, quite obviously, so I didn’t want to get in his way. I’ll catch him another time.

normandy trader unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021But doesn’t Normandy Trader look nice in her new livery?

Her captain was telling me that he was fed up of everything being blue and so while she was out of the water the other week he’s had a lot of her painted red.

They started to unload her almost immediately so I stood and watched from a good viewpoint. And the unloading didn’t take long because, as you might expect with all of this going on, the Jersey Fishermen’s Co-operative isn’t sending any shellfish over to Granville right now.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little earlier I mentioned that it was raining on and off as I walked home.

As you can see, out there in the baie de Mont St Michel and on the Brittany coast they were having it much worse than I hwas having it right now. That looks like one impressive rainstorm that is cascading down over there.

The wind wasn’t blowing it in my direction but I didn’t want to hang around. Nevertheless it was round about here that I had my proposal of marriage.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little further on I bumped into another neighbour out for a run so we had a little chat and then I carried on along my way.

Before going inside, I went to look at what was happening down on the beach. And the fact is that there wasn’t any beach for anything to be happening on right now. The tide is well in.

A few minutes earlier while I was walking home Rosemary telephoned me. So back here I made myself a coffee and phoned her back for another one of our long chats.

Hence I am, us usual these days, running hours later than planned.

later on, I was out again. I seem to be in great demand today as well because I was invited to a soirée in the building. It’s not like me to be popular, is it? I took myself off upstairs but I only stayed for an hour or so. I just don’t have the time (or the inclination) to be nice and friendly for such a long time.

Back down here I had pasta and a burger for tea, and now I’ve written up my notes I’m going to bed.

While I was out I took over 20 photos. But you won’t get to see them until later because with running late, I haven’t processed them and in any case, I’m whacked.

Somehow (and I don’t know how) I’m managing not to fall asleep during the day as I did in the summer but at the end of the day I’m wasted, particularly when I’ve had a bad night. A good night will do me the world of good, although I don’t know when, if ever, I’ll have one.

Monday 13th September 2021 – IT’S A PITY …

ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… that my 70-300mm LENS is the longest lens that I have.

Had it been of any greater length it might have picked up some really exciting activity out at the Ile de Chausey over the weekend.

Someone in a zodiac pulled up at a landing stage on the island to drop off some passengers and a speedboat, taking a great deal of exception to someone beating him to the pitch, rammed him – not once, not twice but continually over a period of seven or eight minutes.

They say that the police and the harbour authorities are “very interested” in the affair, and i’m not surprised.

If you are interested, you can see A VIDEO OF SOME OF THE ACTION

There was plenty of action during the night in here as well. I’d borrowed a van to do some removals. I had everything in the van and gone to do this but the place wasn’t ready so I had had to hang on to the van. I was going to do it next morning. The guys whose van it was wanted their van back by 11:00. After much discussion we agreed that someone from their place would come with me early in the morning, we’d unload the van and then he’d drive back the van so that I could go on to work. There were two pints of milk on the table so I said that i’d take one with me as my breakfast but my mother refused and said “no”.

A little later there was something going on about an old Transit van that i’d had for years, like that Sykes Pumps one. The diesel engine had been no good in it. I took the diesel engine out of my old white Transit and put it in. Then I tried to start it and to my surprise it fired up. I remember saying to someone that I’ve had this van for 18 years and it’s the first time that I’ve ever heard it run

Later on again I was working in Manchester. There was a huge office car park and we were parked on there. They were talking to an old manager of Rangers FC about what was going to happen to some buildings just below. He said that they were going to turn them into shops so the discussion went on to parking. Were they going to be parked in our area or not? he said not – they would probably have parking of their own. I went outside the compound and looked back. One of the buildings here was a huge 37-storey building like a space rocket thing. I was working in another one. I was lying down on my back looking at this building and these two girls came past. I said that that was where I worked . They looked at it and asked “what floor?”. I said “the ground floor. They won’t get me working on the 37th floor for any love or money. Just then I heard a load of clanking and it sounded as if the car park was being locked. I had to run back to the car park but I couldn’t get in because the gates were closed. There was a security guard there and he opened the gate for me and let me in. He said “I’ll let you in this time but don’t do it again because you won’t be let in otherwise.

There was some other stuff as well but as you are probably eating your meal right now, I’ll spare you the gory details.

After the medication I made a start on the next radio programme. And despite having to stop for a coffee and for breakfast it was all done and dusted by 11:20. And it’s a pretty good one too. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

While I was listening to it afterwards I was busy sorting through a pile of old photographs and weeding out the duplicates. There’s a couple of GB in there right now and I imagine that as I progress there will be plenty more to go with them.

After lunch I had a shower and then did a pile of tidying up because the nurse was coming around to give me my fortnightly injection.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a week or so ago I had a very lengthy talk with the skipper of Normandy Trader. Amongst other things, he told me some news but asked me no to say anything quite yet.

Anyway, now I’m able to spread the news about. Several weeks ago he saw a sister boat to his own and discovered that it was for sale. He made several enquiries and as a result, this morning the boat passed into his fleet.

At the moment she’s called Brecqhou Warrior but she’s likely to have a name change before she starts work.

lotus place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

Once again I was held up before I’d gone too far, because on the car park is one of the little Lotus Sevens.

At least, it says that it’s a Lotus and while I have no reason to doubt that it is, one has to be very careful about accepting cars like this at face value. There are plenty of kit cars out there that resemble the real thing, and some of them are very good indeed.

There are several cases of people having been “taken in” by faithful replicas. It’s very hard to tell some of them apart.

red autogyro place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021esterday, I couldn’t even get out of the door without being overflown by the red autogyro.

This afternoon I should have delayed my walk by about 30 seconds because then exactly the same thing happened. As I was looking at the Lotus, the autogyro came out from behind the College Malraux.

It rattled past overhead, the pilot and his passenger, and disappeared off towards the airfield where presumably it went in to land.

There were several other aeroplanes that went past, light aircraft or full-size commercial aircrat but they were all too far out in the bay or too high up for me to photograph them with any clarity.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Having dealt with all of that, I went over to the wall to look down at the beack to see who was about.

The tide is now well in so there isn’t much beach down there right now but there were still quite a few people down there.

And who can blame them? It was a really nice afternoon with plenty of sun and not a lot of wind. An ideal time to be down there.

There wasn’t anything going on out at sea this afternoon which was quite a surprise, so I headed off along the path on top of the cliffs.

One of the sparrowhawks was there looking for food but he wouldn’t keep still long enough for me to take a photo of it, so carried on through the crowds of people.

man on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Across the lawn and across the car park, I went down to see what was going on there.

Surprisingly, there wasn’t a single boat of any description that I could see out there this afternoon. The only sign of any life was this guy down there sitting on the bench in front of the Cabanon Vauban.

And wherever he has come from, it’s been a hot and difficult walk judging by the sweat stain on his back.

So with nothing to see out at sea, I cleared off along the path towards the port.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There was no change of occupant today at the chantier naval so I looked over towards the ferry terminal to see what was going on there.

Moored up there at the walkway was one of the Joly France ferries that run over to the Ile de Chausey.

This one has the larger upper deck superstructure, no step at the stern and windows in “landscape” format, so she’s the older of the two near-identical boats.

The red crane on the quayside was working although I couldn’t see what it was going to lift, but there was certainly something going on over there with the boat.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021In front of her was the other one of the Joly France boats.

We can see by the smaller upper-deck superstructure and the windows in “portrait” format that she’s the newer one of the two.

And if we could see her stern clearly, we would see a step in it as well.

All that remains to be found now is the brand new Belle France. She must be over at the Ile de Chausey hoping to catch a bit more of the aquatic demolition derby. They could sell tickets for an event like that.

refrigerated lorries fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Not many fishing boats in port this afternoon and I’ve no idea where they all are because I couldn’t see them out at sea.

But they are obvously out there working somewhere because there’s one refrigerated lorry already at the fish processing plant and another one reversing into position.

And this is what makes a mockery of the UK Government’s plans to simplify the HGV driving tests and eliminate the reversing requirement. There’s only one way for an articulated lorry to park in a loading bay, and that’s backwards.

It’ll be extremely interesting when I newly-qualified driver has to reverse up to a loading bay between several other lorries.

Back here I had my banana smoothie and then made a start on my Welsh homework but at 17:00 I had to go upstairs to speak to a neighbour. I have several cunning plans going on around in my head right now, and one of them has something to do with this building.

Tea was another one of these curries made with everything that was lingering in the fridge – well, almost everything because having forgotten the diced peppers yesterday, I forgot them today as well.

Tomorrow I have my lung examination early on, and then my Welsh lesson. There’s my homework to finish too. And then Wednesday i’m off to Leuven. It’s all go here, and I can’t keep up with it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s non-stop, isn’t it?

Thursday 26th August 2021 – THERE HAS BEEN …

… a calamity!

This morning I dropped a full mug of coffee onto my keyboard.

It goes without saying that that has now been filed under “CS” and the rest of the morning was spent hunting down the spare one that I have here.

After a good search I came across two, a very flaky old Belgian one and a more recent French one with “NumLok” stick permanently in the “On” Position. (And it could have been worse – it could have been stuck in the “off position”).

When I had finished lunch I tried to work out why the new keyboard was totally misbehaving and doing all kinds of strange things. That turned out to be a stuck “CTRL” button which I freed off.

All I need to do now is to find out why the “N” doesn’t work, and I’ll be in business. I’m using a keyboard shortcut for now so if you find any missing “N”, then you know why.

Thinking about it later, it would probably have been quicker to have driven to LeClerc and bought a new one instead of all of this messing about.

Strangely enough, the flooded keyboard had a fault with the “N” too. There was a delay in the “N” appearing when I touched it so I found myself often ending up with “GN” instead of “NG” if I wasn’t careful.

But I digress … “again” – ed

Despite yet another late night, I was out of bed as the first alarm rang and the went off for my medication.

After that I came in here to read my messages and as soon as it was light I dashed outside with the NIKON D500

chausiaise joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd without falling over a bollard this morning I headed off to the viewpoint overlooking the port.

And it seems that I should have bee here 30 seconds earlier because they had been loading Chausiaise. I’d seen the crane swinging around as I was coming down the street but as I made ready to photograph it, they closed it up.

Parked behind Chausiaise is one of the Joly France boats that runs the ferry service to the Ile de Chausey. the older one of the two, I think, with the rectangular windows in landscape format.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s the pride of the harbour for the moment.

When I first saw her name I misread it. She’s actually called the Galeon Andalucia and is a replica of a 17th Century Spanish Galleon. She was built in Punta Umbría as a typical “Galeón de Manila” at a cost of about €450,000.

She was launched in 2010 and went out to represent Spain at the Universal Exposition in Shanghai. Since then she’s been visiting various ports around the world, including a couple of weeks in early July in St Malo, and I wonder if that coincides with that mystery sailing ship that we saw.

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSeeing as I was up quite early, the sun was quite low to the east so we were having all kinds of unusual views that we don’t often see.

The chantier naval was nicely illuminated this morning by the low rays of the sun. You can see quite clearly all of the seven boats that are in there, and they all look pretty much like the seven that were in there yesterday.

Away in the distance on the horizon we can see the town of Cancale quite clearly. I’ve made no effort to enhance this photo so even at this range today, the views were pretty good.

baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that wasn’t the best of it either.

There’s a high hill away in the distance somewhere a little way into the interior of Brittany and I can’t recall having seen that more than once or twice. Today though, it was probably about the clearest that I have ever seen it.

The coastline was pretty clear too this morning. And I’m not sure if it’s a trick of the light but that looks like an enormous flotilla of yachts out there in the distance over by the coast.

fishing boat calean leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMuch closer to home there were other things going on.

The harbour gates were now open (I’d only just made it down to the port in time) and already half of the local fleet (that bit that isn’t in the chantier naval) had headed off into the sunrise. One of the last to go out was this little shellfish boat, Calean.

You can the shellfish boats by the covered awning over the open hold. That’s to stop the seagulls diving down and pinching the catch on the way back from the beds.

fishing boat bay de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLeaving the port, I wandered over to the other side of the headland to have a butcher’s at the Baie de Granville to see what was going on over there.

And out at sea many of the fishing boats had taken up their positions and were starting work, like this blue and white one here.

One thing that I had always wondered is “how do they decide which boat fishes where?”. They can’t all surge out en masse and fight for a spec in a glorious free-for-all. There must be some kind of organisation.

Do they draw lots? Or do they take turns on a rota for different specs?

Normandy Trader approaching port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow here’s a thing.

While I was looking out at sea at the trawlers I noticed something else heading my way, and as it approached me, I reckoned that the silhouette was quite familiar so I photographed it for a closer look when I returned home.

Back here I had a close look at the photo and had something of a play around with it. Sure enough, it’s Normandy Trader, one of the little Jersey freighters, on her way into port. I wonder what she and her crew will make of a Spanish galleon here in port.

Having done that, I edited the rest of the morning’s photographs and also the ones from last night. Then I began to update the journal to add the details of last night’s meanderings.

Round about 10:45 I knocked off for breakfast – coffee and my fruit bread. The bread was fine but it was round about then that I had my calamity.

Accordingly, the rest of the morning and early afternoon was spent messing around with the computer.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNone of the foregoing stopped me from having my afternoon walk of course.

You will have seen the glorious morning that we had earlier today, but by now there had been a dramatic change in the weather. It was cloudy, overcast and cold, just like any late October day.

It was no surprise therefore to see that the beach was totally deserted. There wasn’t a soul down there that I could see. The weather had finished off the holiday season in a way that no-one will ever forget in a hurry.

There’s even a rainstorm by the looks of things a few miles out to sea to put the tin hat on it.

harvesting bouchots donville les bains Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I said that there wasn’t anyone out on the beach, that’s not strictly accurate.

Away in the distance out at Donville les Bains the bouchot harvesters are hard at work. They have all of the tractors and trailers out there this afternoon bringing in the shellfish from the beds that are to the right of this image.

And in the background there are a few people walking around on the beach. Probably tenants of the holiday park just along there. They will be walking along the beach because, to be frank, there isn’t anywhere else for them to walk around there.

crowds footpath pointe du roc lighthouse semaphore Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo I’m sure that you are now wondering where all of the holidaymakers have gone if they aren’t on the beach.

The answer to that is that they are all on the path that leads down to the semaphore and the lighthouse at the end of the Pointe du Roc. Hordes and hordes of them too.

And they weren’t all holidaymakers either. While I was walking around on top of the cliff overlooking the sea, I fell in with one of my neighbours and we had a really good chat.

While we were chatting, we were overflown by a helicopter, our friend F-GBAI and also the sparrowhawk but you can’t be rude and interrupt a conversation by taking a photo.

Just my luck, isn’t it?

ulm microlight powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, I didn’t have long to wait before someone else flew by overhead.

The familiar rattle in the distance gave me a clue as to who it might be and it wasn’t long before the red microlight who we have se so often came fluttering by.

Interestingly, it just went a mile or so out to sea, turned round and headed for home.

Bizarre.

Nothing else flew by so I carried on to the end of the path and across the car park, which was crowded yet again.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe other day I asked the question “what do you do if you head back to port and find the port gates closed with the tide.

Almost on cue, we saw a yacht riding at anchor about half a mile outside the harbour. And here today we have another one. And I wonder if he has also missed today’s window of harbour gate openings.

There doesn’t seem to be anyone on deck so maybe they are riding at anchor an gone below for a cuppa. However, they are supposed to display a signal – a black ball – if they have their anchor out but I can’t see anything of that nature hanging from the mast.

people on beach port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further around the headland there was a group of people out on the beach and rocks underneath the harbour wall.

My first thought was that they were doing a bit of peche à pied but a closer look failed to convince me. And apart from the fact that there’s no sun right now, that’s no place to go sunbathing.

Meanwhile, in the chantier naval there was no change in occupancy since this morning. Everything was the same as yesterday except for an infernal racket from down there as if someone was doing some heavy-duty sand-blasting.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn the inner harbour I noticed that Normandy Trader had already left. That was a quick turn-round.

Galeon Andalucia on the other hand was still down there with a huge crowd of admirers around her.

And well there might be too, for she’s a gorgeous machine. She’s 38 metres above the water (and 3 metres below it) and her three masts carry almost 2,000 square metres of sail.

Altogether, there are 6 decks which amount to 315 square metres of usable floor space. She looks as if she could launch a broadside of 14 guns

Sadly, she also has an auxiliary engine.

Back here I finished off yesterday’s notes and then went for tea. Aubergine and kidney bean whatsit with pasta.

Finally, I managed to find time to listen to the dictaphone. I was in Villedieu les Poeles last waiting to catch a ferry to go somewhere and there was a talk about how this town was one of the most important in the area as a fishing port, which considering that it’s 20 miles inland, is pretty good going (and I fell asleep here). It was a story on the radio about how important it was and how it was about the 4th most important bridge in France. I thought that it was the first and I was looking for a few reasons out of UP POMPEII to substantiate it. Then I was going through people’s different houses (and I fell asleep again). There was more to it than this but I can’t really remember now which is a shame

later on we were on the top of the cliffs looking down onto the village at Villedieu and the ferry and there was a bridge there as well (yes, I’ve stepped right back in where I left off, haven’t I?). We had to go down to the bottom and somehow fight our way across on rubber boats or something to the other side. We all charged and it was quite a bloodthirsty do with fighting everywhere. Eventually I managed to reach across to the other side of the river, cheered and pushed on. A few of us overwhelmed everything and we were all extremely happy that we had done this and survived and conquered this town.

Now that I’ve finished today’s notes I’m off to bed. I’ve been having too many late nights just recently. I have to put a stop to that.

Thursday 5th August 2021 – HAVING BEEN FEELING …

… a little better over the last couple of days, I’m afraid that the inevitable happened today. I ended up having the worst morning that I’ve had for a considerable period of time. While I should have been out at Lidl doing my shopping, I was curled up in the foetal position on my chair in the office, and that’s no good for anyone.

normandy trader leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut be that as it may, I consoled myself with the thought that I was probably feeling a little better than any landlubber who might have found himself on the deck of Normandy Trader as she set out from the port this afternoon.

Right into the teeth of a raging nor’wester that hit her full bow-on the moment that she left the shelter of the harbour wall. And with having a blunt end at the bow, I bet that she would have felt every wave that came smashing into her.

This was not the weather for the faint-hearted to be out at sea this afternoon.

storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you are wondering what has brought this on, well here’s your answer.

As you can see, we were hit this afternoon by one of these rolling storms that soaked absolutely everything that was in its path, including me

It was relatively moderate, if windy weather when I set out for my walk but the wind soon whipped it onto the shore and we suddenly got the lot. Where there were once several dozen people idly strolling along the path, the next minute it was panic-stricken flight and the path cleared in a matter of seconds.

normandy trader in storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf I had had any sense I would have cleared off with them as well, but I had things that needed my attention.

Normandy Trader left the harbour while I was on that side of the headland and I wanted to see if I could catch a glimpse of her out at sea and see how she was doing, battling against the storm.

However, you couldn’t see a thing out there in all of this. Eventually I was able to make out some kind of trace of a wake so I took a photo with the aim of digitally enhancing it when I returned to the apartment. And this is the best that I can do.

normandy trader leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m getting ahead of myself here. While you admire another photo of Normandy Trader fighting her way out of the harbour, I was busy fighting my way out of bed.

After the medication I came back in here for a listen to the dictaphone to see where i’d been during the night.

There were all kinds of things going on last night like I’d started to make a radio programme. It was all about little bits of music or speech in French and it was all over the place. It took some tidying up and someone’s speech overran by miles, all kinds of things. I can’t really remember all that much about it now except having to combine all these speeches together to make my programme.

A little later on we were talking about postal charges and how I had to spend a lot of money getting a jacket back from Canada once but only £5:99 to get a camera back. There were some jokes about “what was my jacket doing in the meantime? Who was wearing it?” And all that sort of thing – had she stripped it off and was no longer interested. The question came round to postage and Airfix kits where it was all just die-cast plastic – you’d cast a few off, put them into envelopes and post them away, and why was postage “always to be advised” when you were buying something on line. It turned round to me singing on board the ship. I’d just started to sing a song when the alarm went off.

Until breakfast time I occupied myself in doing some more tidying up of the new computer drives. Then after breakfast I had some things that needed my attention but that was when I hit the wall and so I remined curled up on my chair for a couple of hours.

For two pins I would have climbed into bed and gone to sleep properly but that’s defeatism. If I were to do that I’d be in bed for the rest of my life and that wouldn’t be very long. I have to stay up and slug it out.

When I finally recovered my wits, such as they are these days, I did some tidying up in here and threw away a pile of stuff.

After lunch I set about trying to print out a label for the return of my NIKON 1 J5 and its faulty lens but it seems that the printer has failed definitively.

At the moment it’s printing just blue ink and not very much of that, despite all four cartridges being full of ink. I’ll buy some genuine ink cartridges at the weekend and see if it will work with those, and if not, it will be a new printer. I never have much luck with printers

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

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst stop of course is the beach. Well, not actually on the beach, but to look down upon it to see what was happening.

And with the tide being well in, there wasn’t all that much beach for things to be happening upon. But there were still a few hardy souls sticking it out down there.

There were even one or two people in the water, and had they realised what was heading their way, they probably would have been well-advised to stay in it because it was bound to be drier than what they were about to receive.

And I would have loved to have been there to have witnessed the panic-stricken flight up the steps to the Rue du Nord when the going got tough.

yacht in storm at sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you are wondering what I meant by “what was heading their way” then take a look at this.

As usual, I had one eye on the beach and one eye out at sea, and I caught a glimpse of this yacht being battered by the storm as the giant dark cloud was catching it up.

The waves and the whitecaps should be enough of a clue about the weather. And it’s no surprise that I ended up being as soaked as I was. One glance at this made me think that I had better get a move on otherwise I would be regretting it.

So I didn’t hang around. Down the path, across the car park and round the corner like a ferret up a trouser leg

le loup normandy trader leaving port de Granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen a few photos of Normandy Trader already on her way out of the harbour, and here’s another one.

She’s still not cleared Le Loup – the marker light at the mouth of the harbour, so she’s no more than a couple of hundred yards out at sea and still theoretically in the shelter of the headland, although you wouldn’t have thought so judging by the waves and the spray that are beating over her bow

You can imagine what that is going to be like when she’s 30 kilometres out in the bay.

trawler charlevy yacht rebelle going back into the water chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut while all of this is going on with Normandy Trader we must not allow ourselves to be distracted from anything else that might be going on down there.

And we’re having a change of occupancy down in the chantier naval. The trawler Charlevy is still there but at long last, the yacht Rebelle is going back into the water.

A good few weeks after the crew that was repairing her told me that it would be “shortly”, which I suppose it is, geologically-speaking. I wonder who is going to be coming into the chantier naval to take her place.

joly france leaving ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt this point my reverie was interrupted by a loud blast from a siren nearby.

It’s actually one of the Joly France boats, the older one of the two, reversing out of the ferry terminal on her way to the Ile de Chausey.

Plenty of people standing around watching (the rain hadn’t hit over there yet) but there didn’t seem to be too many people on board, and that was probably just as well because, although she has a pointed bow of course, she still has a pile of waves that are going to hit her as she heads out to sea.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we’re at it, let’s have a look at Chausiaise.

She’s still where she was yesterday, moored up against the wall by the harbour gates, and still with her freight hatches open. So she can’t have been on the point of unloading or loading up yesterday as I thought.

And I hope that she has some decent bilge pumps to pump out the water. Leaving the hatches open in a rainstorm that is going to arrive any minute is not a good idea.

trawler charlevy yacht rebelle going back into the water chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut diverting my attention back to the chantier naval once more, I notice that there’s another change that I have missed.

The yacht Rebelle is on her way out of the place of course, but if we look closely, we see that the little inshore shell-fisher that was in between the two trawlers seems to have preceded her into the water today.

And in a storm like this that’s boiling up nicely, it will be a good test of workmanship in the chantier naval to send them right out of the repairer’s into the open sea. We’ll soo n see how good the work was.

So having done that I scurried off in the teeth of the gale and right into the storm head-on in order to catch a final glimpse of Normandy Trader as she disappeared off into the sunset.

joly france in storm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as she went off out of sight, around the headland came Joly France.

This photo needed to be digitally enhanced too in order to pick her out of the raincloud which was by now drenching everyone and everything. And you can see that she’s making really heavy weather of the crossing, and she’s only about a mile out.

This is not ordinarily the weather for her to be going out, but there must be a good crowd of day trippers on the island who would otherwise be stranded there, and there’s almos nothing in the way of shelter on the island

But no matter what the circumstances, I bet that they aren’t looking forward all that much to the return journey.

By the time that I returned home I was dripping wet, and I mean that too. A hot coffee went down really well while I dried out.

The rest of the evening was spent dealing with photos from Greenland 2019 (I have to justify my day somehow), playing guitar and then making tea. The last of the aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit from a few months ago so I had better make some more next week

Now I’m off to bed. It’s been a harrowing day for me and a good sleep might do me some good. At least it can’t be any worse than today.

Friday 30th July 2021 – THE THING THAT …

… surprised me most about this morning was that after so little sleep – much less than 5 hours, I was up and about so early and so … well … maybe not so energetically but at least I wasn’t staggering about incoherently (inasmuch as I am usually incoherent). And I was even back in here to check my mails and my newsfeeds in a reasonably rapid rate of knots.

It wasn’t long though (geologically speaking) until I had to leave the apartment and head off to the doctor’s and my early morning appointment. And I actually made it almost to the surgery before I realised that i’d forgotten to bring my injection with me, by which time it was too late to go back.

skip lorry loading scrap port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way to the doc’s I walked past the docks as I usually do

My attention had been drawn there a long, long way before I could see them by the racket that was coming from down below. When I reached the viewpoint I could see that there was a skip lorry that was picking up the scrap metal in the skips there.

Bearing in mind my post from several days ago, I mused that it was probably old bicycle wheels and World War 11 munitions that had been dredged up in the shellfish scrapers. Start the day with a bang? Why not!

“This is not the time to be hanging around within pressure-wave distance” I thought.

repairing brick wall Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further on down the hill, this little matter of interest caught my eye.

In actual fact, it was a closed-off car parking space across the road that I noticed at first before I saw the builders’ tape. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall, without any help from me, that the old medieval walls around here are crumbling away quicker than they can repair them.

Thai wall here, in between the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard des Terreneuviers has been quietly crumbking away and bits have gone missing, but it looks as if the local builders have been having a go at it.

Whatever next?

Next of course was the doctor’s. Having forgotten the injection, it wasn’t much of an omission because the doctor wrote out a prescription for me to have a nurse come round.

Furthermore, stocks of this injection are available in France and he’ll write out the prescription for me when I run out of the stock that I had from the hospital.

The Covid certificate is easy. Now that I have a Carte Vitale and an account at the French Government’s Health database, he could do all the necessary and I now have a proper Covid Europass. My telephone even reads it too.

The knee isn’t so simple. he thinks that it’s just the menisque, the meniscus muscle, and he’s prescribed an anti-inflammatory medication (which means that my daily dose has now gone up to 10) and a course of physiotherapy.

But prescribing a course is one thing – finding a therapist to do it is something else completely, especially in midsummer when everyone has gone on holiday.

At the chemists I had to wait five minutes before they were opened – first in the queue as well. But clutching my medication I headed back home.

aztec lady charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish might recall that a few days ago we saw Charles Marie come sailing into the harbour.

Not having been this way since then, I hadn’t seen whether or not she was still there but sure enough, she’s the blue and white boat across there.

As for the dark blue boat behind her, I couldn’t make out at first whether she was Anakena, the boat that had set off to go to Scandinavia but had been caught in the pandemic. If it had been she, she probably would have set the record for the boat that’s been the longest in the harbour.

However, a closer examination of the photo shows that she’s Aztec Lady and she’s been in there for quite a long time too.

goods on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut remember yesterday? When we saw a pile of goods on the quayside as Normandy Trader was busy loading up, and I speculated that they wouldn’t be getting all of that into her with the swimming pool as well?

It looks as if I was right – although it didn’t really take much of an effort to work it out. There’s still a pile of freight on the quayside despite the fact that the ship has long-since sailed off into the sunset.

That means that we shall be expecting another visit, either from her or from Thora, in the near future. Imagine leaving all of that stuff unguarded on a quayside in the UK.

On the way back home I met a neighbour (I seem to be doing this quite a lot just recently) and we had a good chat for a while. Then I came back in here for my hot chocolate and fruit bread, which really is delicious!

Armed with my breakfast I came in here and settled down to work on yesterday’s journal entry and the next thing that I remember, it was 2 hours later. Luckily I’d finished my hot chocolate before it went cold.

While I’d been asleep on the chair I’d gone off on another voyage. I was in my holiday home getting ready to go back to the Auvergne because I decided that I was going to move my holiday home … start again … I was in the hotel where I was staying in some seaside resort somewhere in the south of France or somewhere in the west of France. I was going to get back into Caliburn and drive back to Virlet to get some stuff because I was planning to rent an apartment here. I’d thought about going to contact all of the Agents Immobiliers in the region about seeing who had a flat to let. I just walked out of my hotel room and across the hotel into the lobby just to walk straight out, get into Caliburn and drive straight back. I saw the rain and thought “do I need anything to take with me to leave back there? Do I need to bring anything else. Then I had a horrible thought about the train – how was I going to get to my hospital in Belgium?

There was really only just enough time to sort out the photos before lunch and guitar practice.

After lunch I had to ring around for a nurse, but everyone seems to be unavailable. Better luck at the hospital where I was able to change my appointment to the following week. And then I could at last push on with my notes.

There was the usual break for my afternoon walk so grabbing the NIKON D500 j cleared off outside.

lancia fulviasport 1600 zagato place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while there was no bus parked outside the building today, I would swap any bus on the road for one of these.

This vehicle is probably one of the fasted production cars that Lancia ever produced, and I didn’t recognise it at first because someone has taken off the distinctive bumpers. But in actual fact it’s one of the Zagato-bodied Lancia Fulvia Sport 1600s.

Made for just two years, 1971 and 1972, there can’t have been many of these made, and there can’t be more than a handful that still survive, especially here in France.

But yes, one of these would do me very nicely, thak you.

man in water beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo having dealt with the car, let’s go and deal with the issue of the beach.

It took quite an effort to make it across the car park because there was now a howling gale that had sprung up. I wasn’t expecting to see too many people on the beach, and I was quite right too because everyone was conspicuous by their absence

Apart from a few brave souls wandering around out there, there was this guy leaping up and down as the waves came into shore. He was certainly a braver man than I am.

waves breaking on rocks baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd waves of course, there were plenty because there was quite a storm raging out at sea.

There are some rocks that even when the tide is well in, they aren’t covered over by the sea and the waves were breaking on them with quite considerable force. We aren’t likely to see too many ships out there today.

But there were crowds of people at a loose end wandering what to do and I threaded my way through them along the path, chasing after my headgear that had decided to go off for a stroll all on its own with the aid of the wind.

joly france 1 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I said that we aren’t likely to see many ships out there this afternoon, here’s one that I certainly didn’t expect to see.

It was the clouds of spray being thrown around out there that drew my attention to somethign moving so I went to find a high point on top of one of the old bunkers to have a better view.

Exposed as I was to the wind, it was impossible to take the shot that I wanted for when there was a shower of spray over the ship I was being blown out of position. I had to compromise.

Digital enhancement back home brought out the step in the stern of the ship and this tells us that it’s Joly France I battling its way valiantly out through the gale to the Ile de Chausey and I bet that the people on board were not enjoying the trip.

A few years ago I was on a crossing like that, and everyone was leaning over the railings.
“The trouble with you” I said to one man “is that you have a week stomach”.
“Nonsense” he retorted. “I’m throwing it as far as all the others”.

waves on sea wall baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith all of these storms at sea I was expecting to see waves of hurricane proportions dshing over the sea wall and soaking everyone and everything in the inner harbour.

Consequently I dashed down the path, across the car park and around the corner onto the path onto the other side of the headland in eager anticipation.

And this is the best that I can get.

It’s true that the harbour wall is well-sheltered from the nor’westers by the headland around which I have just walked, and you can tell that by the fact that I have now replaced my headgear. But I was expecting much better than this.

If I knew who to complain to, I would lodge a complaint.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday (was it only yesterday?) we saw one of the shell-fishing boats moored up and aground at the wharf by the Fish Processing Plant.

Today, it looks as if we have had a tactical substitution because while she has now cleared off, another one his come to take her place.

When I went further round to the front, I could see that it’s our old friend L’Omerta who seems to spend a lot of her time moored over there when she isn’t out at sea.

But anyway, that’s not my affair. With nothing going on any different in the chantier naval I carried on with my walk.

man in hazmat gear le tiberiade port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther on down the road I stopped to have a look at what was going on in the inner harbour.

The trawler Le Tiberiade is in there this afternoon. She has a sister-ship, Le Coelecanthe and the only way that I can tell them apart is when I see them together because the latter is bigger than the former.

But as I looked more closely, there was something else that had caught my eye. In the background is a white van and a large commercial pressure-washer, being operated by someone in full hazmat equipment.

So whatever that is all about, I’d love to find out more. Although there isn’t likely to be anything in the local paper about it, and at the speed at which I move these days, I wouldn’t be able to catch him before he went.

unloading builders equipment port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallInstead, I turn my attention to the rest of the inner harbour.

And remember the pile of builder’s material that we saw there yesterday and this morning, well, like Topsy, it “just growed”.

If you look very closely, you can make out the front of an articulated lorry and there’s also a guy on a fork-lift truck busy manoeuvring stuff around there.

All of this seems to indicate to me that the arrival of one of the Jersey freighters is imminent.

But I shan’t be around to wait for it if it arrives on the evening tide. I’m off back home for my coffee.

Downstairs in my letter box was a letter, from the Welsh Joint Education Council. For my “spoken Welsh exam” I’ve scored … errr … 208 out of 220. The reason for that mark is that I have learnt after many years of bitter experience to “Keep it Simple” and don’t try to complicate things gratuitously. Then you can’t tie yourself in knots of your own making.

Back here I finished off yesterday’s entry, about 7 hours later than I had intended, and then made tea. Falafel and pasta with the most delicious pineapple upside-down cake with coconut soya stuff.

No football tonight so I can go to bed. And about time because I’m wasted after my bad night and early start.

Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Thursday 29th July 2021 WHILE I WAS …

repairing city walls rue du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… out for a walk with Liz at lunchtime on our way back from a coffee we came via the rue du nord, one of the reasons for which being that I wanted to see how they are progressing with the repair work to the medieval city walls.

Much to my surprise, they have already made a decent start to the work and I’m sure that regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen A SIMILAR STYLE OF WORK in the past when they were repairing the walls in the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

When they did that work they did what looks like a decent job so I hope that they’ll bet on and do the same here.

And then hopefully they can get on and do the rest of the walls that are falling down around our ears. If medival builders can build something that will last for 600 years there’s no reason why modern builders shouldn’t be able to do so.

But anyway, be that as it may, I was awake at about 06:00 this morning as usual so I had my medication and came back in here listen to the dictaphone. We were all at home but home was dirty, disgusting and untidy and a complete mess. For some reason, at a court my mother’s family life as a young person was being discussed. Then some time later or was it earlier, I dunno, we ended up with anoher girl staying with us and we were trying to think of a place to go. But then this girl started talking about going to somewhere on the North Wales coast where she had been. She asked if we had ever been there and we replied “ohh no, we had far too much class. We went to Rhyl” which provoked howls of laughter but this gave us an idea and we booked a trip to Rhyl. When we arrived on the coach we all piled off and this girl “ohh yes I know all of this, I know all of that” so we were having a laugh and a joke and teasing her. Our mother was telling us to be quiet, we mustn’t be so rude. Then something happened to my mother and she ended up talking about other people behind their backs and we were sitting there saying “mother, don’t be so rude” which of course didn’t go down very well. We crossed the road over to the river.

At that point I’d switched off the dictaphone, which makes a change from the way that things have been just recently.

When I’d finished transcribing the notes I finished off the tidying up of the apartment as far as I could and it actually looks quite tidy, which is just as well, because Liz turned up.

We started off making the first dough for my fruit bread and she gave me several valuable hints for the first kneading, and then we put it into a basin to proof while we had a nice cold drink.

After the drink I mixed the fruit for the filling but Liz thinks that I’m putting too much fruit and nuts in it – and she would leave out the banana too. As for the banana chips she thinks that I should be breaking them up.

Liz showed me her method of adding the fruit and nuts, which might have worked had I not been using so many.

That was the cue to go for a coffee so we walked down to La Rafale, bumping into one of our neighbours on the way. And also meeting another one at the bar.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back we came via the Rue du Nord and I’m pleased to report that the absence of boats out to sea over the last couple of days must have been an aberration because they were all there today.

As many yachts as you might care to see this afternoon and I suspect that it might have something to do with the state of the tide. The tide is well in, the outer port is under water and the gates to the harbour and the port de plaisance are open.

It will be a completely different situation, I suspect, when the tide is ebbing and the gates are about to close. Then all of the marine craft will scuttle off home to safety.

Incidentally, there’s a dark blue flag right out there in the distance. I wonder if that’s Black Mamba gone off for a run around in the bay.

swimmer baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt wasn’t just water craft that were out there this lunchtime.

There was a swimmer down there doing the Australian crawl along the coastline just offshore. In a wetsuit too, and I can’t say that I blame him either because although it was sunny, it wasn’t actually all that pleasant.

Now comes the story of a disaster. Liz hadn’t asked me how I baked my bread and I hadn’t thought to tell her, so when I produced the bread mould back home she was taken by surprise.

The bread fell apart as we tried to move it gently into the mould so that didn’t work too well. Anyway we put it in the oven to bake while we had lunch.

After lunch, our next trick was to make a pineapple upside-down cake. I don’t know why but I’ve been hankering after one of these for a while and Liz had a recipe. Well, of an apple upside-down cake but the theory is still the same so we had a go at that.

That went into the oven and while it was baking, Liz still had some time to spare. A while back she had sent me a recipe for cranberry and pecan cookies and as I actually had some cranberries (but cashew nuts instead) we made a pile of those too. They went into the oven as soon as the upside-down cake was baked, and we went for a walk outside.

50sa aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe hadn’t gone more than five yards out of the building before two things happened.

Firstly, we were overflown by a light aeroplane. Well, not exactly overflown – it was in fact right out at sea and it was difficult to pick it up with the camera.

Some judicious editing when I was back home later showed it to be 50SA – another light aircraft that does not figure in any register that I have been unable to find, even though we’ve seen it before. It’s painted out in the style of a World-War II US Army Air Force fighter although its fixed tricycle undercarriage tells me that it is anything but.

The second thing that happened was that we were swept away in the turmoil of a furniture removal. Someone else is moving out of the building. There won’t be anyone else left except me at this rate, and I won’t be here for all that long at the rate that bits are dropping off me.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo walk outside the building these days is complete, or even begins, without a walk across to the end of the car park to look down onto the beach to see the activity down there.

By now the tide has gone well out and there’s plenty of room for people to be moving around this afternoon. Not that there were too many people though because while the weather had improved, it hadn’t improved that much.

nd while I was admiring the people in the water, Liz’s eye had picked out a father rubbing his young children with sun tan oil so that they could all run into the sea and wash it off.

Yes, I used to be a child too, believe it or not.

marité english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been watching the beach with one eye, the other one had as usual been roving out to sea.

Out there was a silhouette on the horizon that looked quite familiar to me so we headed for the nearest high ground where I could have a better view.

Once safely installed I took a photo and later on after Liz had left, I had a look at it, cropped it, enhanced it and blew it up (the photo, not the object)

No prizes of course for guessing what it might be, because we are all familiar with this silhouette right now.

Anything that’s big, with three masts and loads of sail can only be the Marité, our sole remaining Newfoundlander fishing boat, gone out on the morning tide for a lap around the coast and will probably return home this later on the evening tide.

people in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLiz had also spotted this and wanted to know what it was. I explained that it was probably asylum-seekers who had gone to the UK, decided that they didn’t like it and came back.

Seriously though, I thought that it might have been fishermen at first, which it may well be, but of what description?

And I wonder if they had anything to do with the strange square object bottom left? It doesn’t look like a mooring buoy marker or a lobster pot marker, so I wonder if it’s a diver in a face mask?

Mind you, what would be be diving for that he couldn’t find quicker and easier in an hour or so when the tide has gome out and the sea bed is uncovered?

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw the swimming pool on the quayside and I intimated that this would mean that Normandy Trader would be on her way into port quite soon.

And look who’s in port this afternoon then? I wasn’t wrong. And I was very lucky to see her because usually she comes in as soon as the harbour gates open and she does a quick turn-round and disappears back to Jersey with her load before they close again.

And so I’ve no idea why she’s loitering in port this afternoon. I suppose that these swimming pools have to be stowed very carefully because they are quite fragile, especially when they have a rolling sea to contend with.

Tons of other stuff on the quayside too and they’ll be lucky to fit all of that in. They can’t exactly drop it inside the swimming pool.

fishing boat in naabsa position port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut in the meantime, while you are admiring Normandy Trader, there’s another item worthy of note.

Here moored up at the quayside by the fish processing plant is another one of the local fishing boats, left to go aground as the tide goes out.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve discussed this phenomenon on many … “many, many” – ed … occasions in the past so I shan’t dwell on it again. Instead, Liz and I will go home and see how the biscuits are doing.

And cooked to perfection they were too, so we had another cold drink to celebrate, and rightly so because when you are out of the wind it’s really quite warm in the sun.

After another chat, Liz decided to head off for home and make tea for Terry who had been out working.

That was a shame because I had a few things that I wanted to discuss, but they were things of the moment and it’s doubtful that the moment will ever present itself in the same way again.

home made fruit bread oat and cranberry cookies pineapple upside down cake Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving seen Liz safely off on her way, I had a look at all of our cooking efforts for today.

As I mentioned earlier, the fruit load was not as it was supposed to be. The consistency and texture were perfect – the best that I’ve ever tasted and that was certainly a success. But picking it up and putting it into the bread mould halfway through its second proofing was not a success as you can see.

We’d already sampled the cookies and I do have to say that they were pretty good too. That was certainly a success and instead of cranberries and pecans, almost any kind of dried fruit and nut will do.

It’s like most things, when you are baking, you have your basic recipe and you adjust it as you go along, depending on what you have to hand.

When I worked in that Italian restaurant in Wandsworth, the woman who owned it told me that whenever she interviewed a new chef she would always have him make a tomato sauce. If that were good, then everything else would be.

Incidentally, my tomato sauce passed muster, but then Nerina was full of fiery Italian blood so what do you expect? I had a good teacher.

Back in my little office I sat down on my comfy chair and found that I couldn’t move. Not actually stuck in it, but I lacked the energy to pull myself out of it. I started to do some work but I couldn’t concentrate on it and that was the most difficult part.

Eventually a football match came on the internet. Connah’s Quay Nomads were playing FC Pristina in the European Championships. Having lost 4-1 in Kosovo last week they were up against it but it all started so well for them and within 3 minutes they had pulled a goal back.

They were pushing forward and forward incessantly and could have had several more but in the space of five minutes were hit for two soft, sucker goals, the kind that would kill off any team.

Nevertheless, Andy Morrison isn’t one to throw in the towel. He pulled off a defender at half time and sent on an attacker and then it was a relentless stream down the field towards the Pristina goal.

To everyone’s surprise, they managed to score three goals as they created all kinds of panic in the Kosovar defence, and had Mike Wilde not been offside in the 70th minute or had Jamie Insall had a clearer connection on the ball in stoppage time, who knows where they would be now?

But this is the problem with so many Welsh clubs. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. They are up against teams that are much more street-wise and astute than they are, with several internationals from all over the developing world in their teams, and while domestic Welsh teams can turn on a performance like this, little lapses of concentration and stupid, silly mistakes are ruthlessly punished and rob them of just about everything.

Meanwhile, in the other match that wasn’t broadcast, events went on to prove just how wrong I can be. Having stuffed no fewer than 5 goals past FK Kauno Zalgiris of Lithuania last week, TNS went out and did exactly the same again tonight, to record the biggest ever aggregate win by a Welsh domestic side in any European competition anywhere. Teams with a long history in European competition, like Dinamo Tbilsi, Austria Wien and AA Gent were knocked out of the tournament last night.

It was 01:00 when I finally found the energy to go off to bed. And with getting up at 06:00 and going to the doctor’s tomorrow, I’m not looking forward to that at all.

Wednesday 28th July 2021 – SAY HELLO …

belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… to a new resident in the port here.

And we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future that’s for sure. She’s called Belle France and she’s came into port last night to take part in working the ferry service between here and the Ile de Chausey.

It’s not clear whether she’s in addition to the 2 Joly France boats or whether one of them wiil be sailing off into the sunset in early course.

But one thing that I noticed about Belle France is that she doesn’t appear to be fitted with a crane to load the luggage from the quayside, and that may well explain the presence of Chausiaise in the fleet.

My presence this morning can be best explanied by the fact that I managed to stagger to my feet at 06:00 despite not having gone to bed until 01:00 this morning and so for the rest of the story I only have myself to blame.

But nevertheless I kept on going for quite a while. Nothing on the dictaphone and so I worked on the photos from Greenland in August 2019 . And seeing that we are in the middle of the Olympics, WHALES WON THE GOLD MEDAL in the synchronised swimming.

What else I did was to carry on with loading the shelves in the kitchen. I’ve rearranged them somewhat and now I seem to have made much more room there, which is always nice. And while I was at it, I took out the waste paper and the rubbish to the waste bins and washed my bin. What excitement, hey?

While I was sorting through stuff I came across the filters for the water jug so I cleaned the jug and changed the filter over.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve mentioned this before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … why I note down things like this. The answer to that is that this journal is indexed and so I can find out when I last changed the filter and when it’s time to change it again.

It’s important that I write these things down to remember them because two things happen when you reach my age .

  1. you forget everything that it’s possible to forget
  2. I can’t remember what the second thing is

Having done all of that (and you’ve no idea how tired that makes me) I came in here. It was round about 12:15 when I sat down and the next thing that I remembered it was 14:05. Yes, I’d had another one of these mega-sleeps that I’ve been sliding into just recently without knowing it.

That led to a very late lunch followed by a very late acoustic guitar practice.

After lunch being fed up of tripping over the clothes airer I put away the dry clothes and then had another look through some papers. And while I didn’t find the papers for which I had been searching yesterday, instead I found Caliburn’s insurance certificate for which I had been searching previously. So I wonder what I’ll be looking for when I find my missing paper.

After another 10 minutes or so dealing with the kitchen shelves, It was time to go walkies

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst port of call is of course the beach down below the cliff just here so I wandered off across the car park for a look.

No buses parked on the kerb or young people on the verge in the car park this this afternoon.

I’m quite a bit earlier than yesterday so the tide isn’t all that far out right now. But nevertheless there are still plenty of people down there enjoying what they can, as I discovered when I stuck my head over the wall.

And that’s not really a surprise because the weather was quite mild today and I’d actually gone out without a jacket, which shows you just how brave I am.


tractors people on beach donville les bains Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s not just in Granville either.

There must be a very low tide this afternoon because you can see that over on the beach at Donville les Bains the bouchot farmers have brought out all of their tractors and so on ready to begin the harvest as soon as the beds are uncovered.

And you can tell that none of those beaches is affected by the ban because there are quite a few people on the beach right out there, including something of a crowd by the caravan park on the extreme left, as well as a few people taking the waters.

Yes, when I go to visit the airfield, whenever that might be, I’ll pick a nice day and take my butties.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat was what my right eye was doing while I was there overlooking the beach. But what was my left eye doing?

As usual, my roving left eye was looking around out to sea to see what might be going on out at sea.

And the answer was “zilch” – nothing at all. There wasn’t a single (or a married) boat between here and the Ile de Chausey and I’ll tell you something else for nothing as well – and that was that this afternoon I didn’t even see a hint of a boat anywhere out at sea at all.

After he crowds of boats that we saw last week and the traffic jams of fishing boats heading for home, I have been amazed by the lack of water craft.

It’s true of course that the tide is out but even so, someone could have nipped out this lunchtime with his butties and gone fishing until this evening when the harbour gates opened up again

autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHowever one thing was not missing from our afternoon’s activities.

Having been overflown by endless squadrons of light aircraft and Nazgul over the past week or two, then yesterday aerial activity in the vicinity was conspicuous by its absence.

The abstinence didn’t last long though. While I was walking along the path near the lighthouse a familiar rattle announced itself and sure enough, the yellow autogyro that we have seen so often in the past went flying by overhead.

And it’s a two-seater too of course. That’s something else I can do whenever I make it to the airfield – I can hitch a ride and go for a fly around. I’d feel much happier in that than in a 2-seater Nazgul.

medieval fish trap plage d'hacqueville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow here’s something that I haven’t noticed before.

The other day I took a photo of Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks just outside the harbour. So today I took a photo a little further inland towards the Place d’Hacqueville.

And doesn’t that look like a medieval fish trap to you? It certainly does to me.

It’s like two stone walls built in a V out to sea. The tide comes on and fills the pool with water and hopefully fish, and when the tide goes out, the water percolates out through the gaps in the rocks leaving the fish behind, trapped

Then the medieval fishwives wade in and pull out the fish for supper with their bare hands

swimming pool port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile from my vantage point above the harbour, I’m not too interested in the chantier naval because nothing has changed in there since yesterday

Instead, looking in the other direction, I can see that very shortly we will be expecting the arrival of Normandy Trader.

And how do I know this? The answer is that there’s a swimming pool on the quayside by the loading crane. There’s a company here in France that exports swimming pools to the Channel Islands and I know that the owners of Normandy Trader have the contract to pick them up and take them back to Jersey.

They won’t leave that on the quayside for long in case it’s damaged. Those things are not cheap at all.

boats aground port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou are all probably wandering what has happened to all of the boats that we haven’t been seeing out at sea just recently.

Well, here there are – or, at least, some of them. There’s a port de plaisance with a gate to keep the water in and that’s where the expensive stuff and the houseboats are moored, but the less expensive boats and the smaller fishing boats are out here in the tidal harbour.

When the tide goes out they simply settle down in the silt and wait for the tide to come back in and re-float them.

You can see what looks like a little river on the left. That’s water that drains out of the inner harbour quite slowly so that the inner harbour settles down and isn’t full when the tide comes back in, which means that they can open the gates a long time before high tide.

victor hugo granville port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeantime our two Channel Island ferries Victor Hugo in the foreground and Granville in the back ground are still here.

The Channel Islands have announced that entry restrictions to the Channel Islands are being slightly relaxed so people can at long last go to visit the islands.

However, that doesn’t apply to the two ferries. I’ve no idea why not, but it seems a strange decision to me. Maybe they don’t want the kind of numbers coming to the islands that the ferries could bring.

And I do know that there is some kind of issue about finance. The local region has been footing the bill for this for ages and they have suggested that the Channel Islanders put their hands in their pockets too, but as yet, no folding stuff has come from over there.

And as an aside, do you notice a resemblance between Granville and Belle France?

Back here I sorted out some photos, had my bass guitar practice and then went for tea. Chips and curried beans (I found a tin or two in my supplies while I was filling the shelves) and a burger followed by apple pie from the freezer.

Now an early night is called for as I have visitors coming tomorrow, I hope.

Friday 23rd July 2021 – WHAT HAVE I BEEN …

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… saying for the last few days? That with all of the freight that we ought to be expecting the arrival of one of the little Jersey freighters to take it all away?

And sure enough, look who I saw in port this afternoon? And i was lucky, I can tell you, because as we have seen so often in the past, the boats are so busy that their turn-rounds are so quick these days and I miss them on a regular basis.

Yes, here’s Normandy Trader, the old converted ex-military landing craft having missed the morning’s tide and having to wait until this afternoon and the tide comes in before the harbour gates open and she can clear off back to Jersey.

But seeing Normandy Trader and Thora in the port in the same week is not something that happens all that often these days.

And what else have I been saying quite often just recently about how my regular nocturnal companions seem to have deserted me? Well, look who came back to accompany me last night.

We were off on the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR again last night and although there were lots more to it than this but where it led up to was that we were all out somewhere ond one of the girls was Pollux so I started to try to talk to her but her mother kept on getting in the way, or different people did. In the end it was time to walk back to where we were going to have our evening meal so we set out back and I went to align myself with Pollux who was now Castor – or was it Castor who was now Pollux (proper Castor and Pollux stuff this, to anyone who worked out the story). We walked back and to start the conversation I ask who were her favourite groups. She told me a few names which I didn’t recognise. When I told her that I didn’t recognise them she laughed and asked where I’d been living for the last so many years. We walked back to this village hall-type place and had to walk up onto the stage where we could wash our hands and so on. She disappeared off behind the scene backcloth, I imagined to put on a special kind of dress so I forestalled – that was the favourite word of Peary, the Arctic explorer by the way – her by going round the other side and grabbing 2 seats, sitting on one and saying that the other one was taken. Pollux turned up and I beckoned her over and said “here, I’ve saved a seat for you”. She replied “that’s fine, thanks, but do you mind if I sit next to my mother?”. I had a look round and found that I was sitting right next to her mother and I thought “ohh dear! Right! Ok!” So I moved up one seat and she slid in. Of course she was still next to me but she was next to her mother as well and then I tried to start off some kind of conversation with her.

But it’s interesting that I was spending so much time with Pollux and not with Castor. There has to be a story behind that and I wish I knew what it was. And I wish that I knew how the story ended.

But it’s quite a throwback to the days of my youth when I had my long hair, my leather jacket and either my Ariel 250 or later on, my AJS 650. I might have been popular with one or two girls (not all that many) but certainly not with their mothers.

I remember once lying in wait for a girl in Nantwich on Saturday morning and her mother, who knew my family well, saw me waiting and steered her up a side street out of my path.

That was the story of my life with mothers, and it’s interesting to see it emerging out of nowhere in this instance.

But meanwhile, back to the plot.

This is my last day of staying in bed until 08:00. And so I celebrated by having a really bad night’s sleep where I awoke early on in the night and couldn’t go back to sleep.

After the meds I came back to listen to the dictaphone and I must have gone to sleep at some point because my story about Castor and Pollux was there.

Then I went to print out the noted for today – 22 of them. And in trying to be ready early, the printer ran out of yellow ink and it took me ages to fit a new cartridge and make it work.

And then a few minutes later the black one ran out, so in desperation I ran it all in blue ink.

With my hot chocolate (made with real chocolate of course) and home-made fruit bread and went 5 minutes early for my Welsh lesson – last day of our Summer School. And if to confound absolutely everything, the tutor forgot me and didn’t let me in until 5 minutes after the lesson had started.

And if you thought that we had belted on at 100mph on each of the last 4 days, that had nothing on how we moved today. I don’t think that we stopped to draw breath. And it’s the only time that ever I’ve used more than 4 pages of notebook of vocabulary. When I’d finished I had to come in here and sit in the shade and talk to a friend of mine on the internet for a while.

Eventually I plucked up the energy to go off outside for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo buses or coaches parked on our kerb today, so I wandered off across the car park and looked over the wall to see what was going on down below on the beach.

And to my surprise, while there was much more beach to be on today, such are the benefits of going out 2 hours earlier, there were far, far fewer people down there on it than there have been over the past few days.

It beats me where everyone had gone to, that’s for sure. While the day had clouded over and the wind had got up (in fact at one stage earlier in the day it blew open the bedroom window and blew the clothes drier all over the floor) it wasn’t cold by any means.

We’re well into the holiday season too. There should be so many people about that it would be impossible to move. But not that I’m complaining. The fewer tourists bringing their viruses here the better from my point of view

fishing boat towing dinghy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd of course, while I had one eye scanning the beach, the other eye was scanning out to sea to see what I could see out there this afternoon.

Plenty of movement going on out there, including something quite bizarre out there close to the Ile de Chausey, so I took a photo of it with the idea of cropping it out, enhancing it and bowing it up (the photo, not the object) when I returned home.

Sure enough, it seems to be one of the smaller fishing boats on its way back to port this afternoon, but towing behind it a little dinghy.

They probably work the Ile de Chausey and the smaller boat is for getting in between the rocks. We saw what they were like last year when we were out there last year on our week away from home on Spirit of Conrad

men fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt goes without saying that there have to be some fishermen around here doing something or other offshore.

These guys are just offshore by one of the coastal marker lights having a go at trying to catch something.

And as I watched, for all of five minutes or so, no-one pulled anything at all out of the water. No fish and nothing else either which is no surprise because whatever else out there will have been picked up by beachcombers when the tide goes out.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd even as we spoke, we had someone else come to join us.

Not La Granvillaise – I don’t know where she has got to today, but Joly France, one of the ferries that runs out to the Ile de Chausey.

And with me having talked about it so often in the past, regular readers of this rubbish will recall quite easily which one of the ferries this is from this angle.

No step in the stern, windows rectangular in the “landscape” format – it can only be the the older one of the two going out to bring home a load of day-trippers

yacht fishing boat towing dinghy speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, in other news, things are developing quite quickly and quite dramatically out at sea.

We’re heading for a traffic jam or a collision here right now. There aren’t as many water craft out there today as there have been just recently but these three here look as if they are heading for disaster nevertheless.

There has to be a yacht picture though, doesn’t there? There wasn’t one just offshore at the Rue du Nord as there had been at the start of the week, so I reckoned that I’d take a photo of this one, but I never ever expected to have it as exciting as this.

But luckily everyone missed everyone else and they all continued safe and sound on their way.

And so did I too. I walked around the path and across the car park down to the rocks at the end but, surprisingly there was no-one fishing down there either today, so I cleared off along the coastal path.

chausiaise entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as I rounded the corner I just about managed to catch the rear end of Chausiaise disappearing into the inner harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall who she is but for the benefit of everyone else, she’s a barge, I suppose, owned by the people who run the ferry service between here and the Ile de Chausey.

With so many holidaymakers heading out there, the transport of their luggage and supplies for their stay on the island was becoming quite problematic on the ferries so the company bought the barge to transport the freight.

We saw her loading up the other day at the quayside near the harbour gate. She’s fitted with a nice big crane for that purpose as there are no unloading facilities on the island.

yacht rebelle trawler chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now my walk has taken me round to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval, and it looks as if there is plenty of excitement going on down there this afternoon.

With the trawler L’Alize III going back into the water the other day, they now seem to have moved the yacht Rebelle into the place that she occupied. The portable boat lift was just dropping her into position as I walked past.

So I wonder if that means we’re going to be having another arrival pretty soon who will occupy that place, or does it mean that we aren’t expecting anything in in the near future to occupy the other spaces here.

But one thing is quite clear. When one of the guys told me that she would be “back in the water soon”, he was clearly talking in geological terms.

fishing boat pulling dinghy into port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now I was ready to go home, but not before I’d taken another photo.

The fishing boat and little dinghy that had been dogging my path all afternoon was just now coming (undamaged) into the harbour as I walked by.

And it looks as if it’s quite busy down there with endless streams of people leaving port on all kinds of water craft. But our fishing boat will be going to moor at the fish processing plant and unload its catch.

And me? Back at the apartment it was finally warm enough for me to have a strawberry smoothie instead of a coffee, and I came in here to finish my chat.

One thing led to another, as it often does and I ended up not only missing my guitar practice but my tea as well, which was just as well because I didn’t know what to eat.

But now I’m off to bed. Back to the early starts tomorrow and shopping as well – all three of my shops because there’s nothing in the house today.

The question is – will I last the pace?

Thursday 8th July 2021 – THIS IS BECOMING …

… far too much of a habit and it’s getting on my nerves, but I just can’t seem to kick this total and utter exhaustion.

When the alarm went off I was up quite smartly and went off for my medication. And afterwards I came back in here to listen to the dictaphone, but instead I ended up asleep on my chair in the office.

It’s shopping day today and luckily I awoke in time to have my shower before setting out into the cold, damp morning.

yachting school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite the poor weather, the yachting school was out in force this morning.

As I went round the corner I noticed all of the yachts out there having a good sail around. And having crashed out so convincingly this morning I’m glad that I’d decided not to do very much in that respect until my health improves, if it ever does.

Instead I wandered off down the Rue des Juifs towards the town to see what was going on there today now that everywhere is slowly opening up for business.

empty quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that there was a pile of stuff – a big load of timber and a shrink-wrapped boat – on the quayside for the last few days.

As I went down the street today I noticed that it had all gone. One of the little Jersey freighters has obviously nipped in during the rainstorm that kept me indoors yesterday and made off with all of the loot. My money is on Thora at the moment because I usually get to hear if Normandy Trader has been about.

In town I bumped into Bernard, one of the people with whom I’d travelled last year on Spirit of Conrad and we had a little chat before I pushed on up the hill towards LIDL.

And what a stagger it was as well. I can’t do much more than this. Looking back over things a couple of years ago when I could walk up there quite easily, I realise just how much my health as deteriorated. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I feel as if I’ve aged 20 years this last couple of months.

At LIDL I spent a lot of money. They had Brazil nuts in today so I bought two packets – I don’t want to be left short again. And as well as they they had some electric juicers in there, reduced from €19:99 to €11:99. I’d seen those before and liked them, so I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. And they were quite light too.

And in case you haven’t guessed, I’m going to restart my drinks processing and the sourdough too when I come back from Leuven, seeing as I haven’t any plans to go anywhere this summer.

baby seagull chick rue st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that last week we encountered a baby seagull in the town centre, clearly disorientated.

There was another one today in the Rue St Paul today. This is the time that they will be stretching their wings and taking their first flights so we’ll be seeing much more of this.

Luckily, where this one fell to earth is in a quiet suburban street with plenty of cover so it should be fairly safe here until its mother comes to look for it.

Yet another thing that regular readers of this rubbish in one of its many previous incarnations will recall is that back in 2002 when I was doing a furniture removal in France I found the carcass of a Solex moped in an overgrown garden so I liberated it and stuck it in my barn.

One day a few years ago when I was walking home from LIDL I encountered a guy who had three or four Solexes in his garage. He’s a collector and restorer and so seeing as this Solex was doing no good in my barn, next time that I was in France I brought it back and gave it to him.

This morning he was there in his garage again so I stopped to have a chat. He had a really amazing curio that he showed me – a kiddies’ bike that actually looked like a small Solex, complete with imitation plastic motor. I’d never seen one of those before – apparently they are quite rare.

The stagger back up the hill with the shopping was awful. I felt every footstep and I had to stop half a dozen times to catch my breath. Not even my hot chocolate and fruit bread would revive me very much, although I did manage to edit a few of the Greenland 2019 photos.

After lunch I carried on with the photos but one thing that I wanted to do was to telephone Ingrid as I haven’t chatted to her for ages. We had a good chat but I had to hang up in the end because I fell asleep talking to her and had to drag myself back into consciousness.

person in sea beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat made me decide to go out for my afternoon walk, so I wandered off to the end of the car park to look over the wall and down onto the beach to see what was happening.

And here’s a brave soul heading off into the water. The weather had changed and it was rather sunny and warmer than it has been just recently, but still nowhere near warm enough for me to trust to the water.

But this person didn’t seem at all concerned by the temperature and was ready to take the plunge. And in my defence, I can say without any fear of contradiction that whoever it was was the only person to risk going into the water this afternoon.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you are thinking, which you probably are, that this person was the only one on the beach you are in fact quite wrong.

The holiday season is now well under way and the schools have broken up for summer. And so as you might expect, there are plenty of tourists about – individuals and families.

And having been deprived of the beach over the last few days, they were out on the sands in force this afternoon to make up for it, even if conditions were not ideal. But at least they had plenty of beach to be on right now because the tide is still a long way out

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was looking down onto the beach a dark shadow fell upon me. No prizes for guessing what it is.

It’s one of the Birdmen of Alcatraz out for an afternoon’s flight around the headland and he was travelling quite quickly too, which is no surprise in this weather because there was a fair bit of wind blowing around.

In fact, I’d expected to see quite a few this afternoon now that the holiday season is upon us, we have some sunshine and the wind is still here, but he was the only one as far as I could see.

But these shadows that they create as they fly around are quite eerie, especially if one of them should suddenly fall upon you when you aren’t expecting it. It’s hardly any surprise that the Hobbits were so afraid of the Nazgul in Lord of the Rings

trawler working the baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe still haven’t finished yet with the activity at the end of the car park.

One thing that I do when I’m here is to cast my eyes out to sea to see if there’s anything exciting going on out there, and today we’re in luck. It seems that with the Channel Island fishing grounds being in dispute, the local fishermen are having a go at exploiting other areas of the Bay of Granville that they don’t usually fish.

And here’s a trawler out to see off the coast here seeing what he can pull out of the sea. And he is working too, even if he’s too far out at sea for me to tell for sure if his nets are out, because he was zigzagging up and down out there as he would if he did have his tackle out.

And I wonder what luck he’s having.

fishing boats entering baie de mont st michel coming to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat trawler might be out there working, but others are not so diligent.

It looks as if it’s home time for the local fishing fleet. here are a couple of shellfish boats presumably coming back from their specs on the Ile de Chausey with today’s harvest. And you’ll notice that they have canopies over the hold areas of their little boats. That’s to keep the seagulls away from the catch of course.

So having satisfied myself as to the activity going on at the car park outside here, I could push off along the path, fighting my way through the maskless crowds of tourists who have now arrived in considerable numbers and were out there in the first sun that they have seen since they’ve been here.

powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, I didn’t get very far before I was brought to a standstill by yet more activity in the air.

A little earlier I mentioned that I’d only seen one Birdman of Alcatraz go past me on his wind-powered outfit but the racket going on behind me was enough to tell me that one of his powered cousins had taken off from the airfield and was heading my way.

As he few past I took a photo of him. It’s the red one today and he was quite high up. And while he was up there he did a few laps around here and there as well. He didn’t seem to be in any hurry to come back down to earth.

But I was in a hurry to make my way back home. I was tired and exhausted and was desperate for my coffee.

yacht joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHowever there was still plenty yet to see before I could go home.

It wasn’t just fihsing boats out there this afternoon heading for home. Leading the charge out of the Ile de Chausey was another one of our old friends, one of the Joly France ferries that run the ferry service between here and the Ile de Chausey.

This one is the older of the two, with the “landscape format” windows and she has quite a crowd of people on board, coming back into port from a day out on the island. And she’s hotly pursued by a yacht too who seems also to be in a hurry to return to port ready for when the harbour gates open

fishing boats waiting to enter port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve talked … “on many occasions” – ed … about the fishing boats going to try out new areas to fish in case the Channel Islanders start to cut up rough later in the year.

As I walked round the corner and down to the car park I was confronted by several trawlers on their way into port. They hadn’t been in the Baie de Granville as I would have seen them, so the conclusion that I drew was that they must have been working in the Baie de Mont St Michel today.

There were about half a dozen there, although only three of them made it into the photograph. Two of them were heading past Le Loup – the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour – while the third was not moving for some reason known only to itself.

You don’t sell your catch moored up outside the harbour and it’s usually the earlier ones in who have the better prices so she needs to get a move on.

joly france fishing boats entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the time I’d walked fown the path and all the way round to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, there was quite a pile-up of boats.

They were either waiting for a berth – the small ones that is – at the Fish Processing Plant or, in the case of the larger ones, enough water for them to be able to sail into the harbour and for the harbour gates to open.

Poor Joly France had to fight her way through the fishing boats in order to park up at her berth in the ferry terminal. She normally comes in as the tide is ebbing so I assume that she’s going to drop off these passengers and go back for another load while the tide is still high enough.

In that case she can’t afford to hang about.

fishing boats unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe wharf at the Fish Processing Plant is, as you might expect, quite busy this afternoon.

The big orange cranes there will winch up the loads onto the wharf where a fork-lift truck will take them inside the building.

But the vans underneath belong to private operators like fish shops and the like who have contracts with individual boats. When “their” boat comes in, the seafood will be passed by hand to the drivers of the vans who will then load up their vehicle and take it directly to wherever it’s supposed to go without passing through the Fish Processing Plant.

But digging that trench a couple of years ago was a pretty good idea. It fills up quite quickly when the tide turns and it means that there’s a longer window for boats to come in and unload, especially those with a shallow draught.

Anyway I cleared off home to have a coffee and then to work on my notes for my Spirit of Conrad adventure last year but to my shame I ended up falling asleep. I was well away with the fairies too, to such an extent that I missed half of my guitar practice and I’m annoyed intensely by that.

Yes, this is becoming far too much of a bad habit and I wish I knew how to pull myself out of it. I have far too much to do than to fall asleep all the time.

At least I managed to stay awake for tea. Stuffed pepper with rice followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce. Delicious as usual.

Eventually I managed to listen to the dictaphone to hear if I’d been anywhere. While I was asleep on the chair I was in Canada with a group of people, all young, keen and enthusiastic. I ended up going for a walk around with one of the girls. She was a single girl in her 30s, having loads of fun teasing this particular boy. During our walk I sat down while she went off to make a ‘phone call – it was a call to this boy to tease him even more that she was out for a walk with me. While she’d gone, I had this idea about maybe marrying this girl so I could claim Canadian citizenship then after an appropriate amount of time we could divorce but I could still claim my rights to live in Canada. I was thinking that maybe I should have done that when I was a lot younger. And I wish that I knew who this girl was.

Anyway, now I’m off to bed. I’ve had far too many bad days just recently and it’s high time that things changed around here. I wish that I knew how to do it.

Wednesday 30th June 2021 – THE BIRD-MEN …

hang gliders plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… of Alcatraz were out in force this afternoon while I was out for my walk.

Instead of going round the headland I went on the path around the medieval city walls to see how they were getting on with some of the repairs that they have been doing to various things in the old town, but instead I ended up being buzzed by a squadron of Nazgul

They take off and land at the field next door to the cemetery which I always think is good planning because they won’t have far to go if they have an unfortunate accident, and then follow the clifftop along almost to the lighthouse and then fly back to where they started.

hang glider plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat is, always assuming that they can gain enough height to do so.

Some of the bird-men find it easier to do than others. This guy is struggling to find the air currents that will pull him up. Instead, he’s struggling along well below my eye level and well below the top of the cliff and not doing too well about it either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw one of the birdmen come to grief the other day at the lighthouse and he’s not the first either. Someone else was seriously injured last year, and I never did find out whether he recovered from his accident.

But our intrepid birdman did in fact find a current of air in the end and lifted himself off into the ether over my head.

And I must have found a good current of air to lift me out of bed this morning because I leapt out of bed with an extraordinary burst of energy as soon as the alarm went off. And considering how exhausted I was last night, that must have been pretty close to a miracle.

After the medication I came back in here and finished off last night’s journal entry. There wasn’t much to do but I did it anyway. And following that I carried on with the photos from August 2019. and right now I’m on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR pulling into the harbour at Sisimut, Greenland.

Yes, I really managed to crack on this morning and deal with a nice bundle of them. I even managed to find a photo that I took of THE AURORA BOREALIS in Kangerlussuak Fjord

There was a pause for a coffee break and later for breakfast, and then I had another task to carry out. My little niece Amber graduated from High School in Canada last week and she had sent me a video of THE GRADUATION PARADE AND VALDICTORY SPEECHES.

Being as busy as I am I’d not had an opportunity to see it and so with my hot chocolate and fruit bread, and then with the acoustic guitar I watched the video. And I had to laugh as well. You can tell that it’s New Brunswick. They held the parade in the Tractor-Pulling Stadium

That all took me right up to lunchtime when I had some more of my very nice fresh bread.

After lunch I went to revise my Welsh but once more, ended up crashing out on the chair for half an hour or so. I didn’t realise that Welsh had this effect on me. It’s all becoming quite embarrassing. But anyway that took me up to walkies time and I would have gone out earlier had we not had another power cut. And this time it wasn’t any fuse in my apartment and it came back on after a couple of minutes without any help from me.

trans-shipping rubble porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo schoolgirl loitering outside the door this afternoon again so I could push off into the wild blue yonder. But only a little way because there was something going on right at the back of my apartment at the Porte St Jean.

One of the problems of living within the confines of a medieval walled city is that large lorries and delivery vehicles can’t make their way in so there has to be some form of trans-shipment. In this case, this little pickup is bringing builders’ rubble from within the walls and it’s being scooped up into the back of the larger lorry for disposal.

And while I was passing I had a look at the rubble that they were taking away. And there were several granite setts in there that had presumably at one time been part of the road surface. Throwing those away is really sad if you ask me.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallnext stop of course was to go and look down on the beach and see what was going on down there this afternoon.

And you’re probably noticed that we have a different perspective for the view today. That’s because we are going for our walk around the city walls rather than the headland so instead of being in the car park I’m at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord.

This afternoon there are plenty of people down on the beach enjoying the nice weather. And even a young kid running out of the sea as if she’s just been in for a quick splash round. And if I’d been in the sea I’d be running out pretty quickly too and no mistake.

scaffolding wooden structure workmen's hut place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that has been the subject of much comment and discussion in these pages just recently has been the state of the medieval city walls.

Some more were closed off a week or so back here in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux and then a couple of days ago a kind-of workmen’s hut appeared, along with a strange wooden structure that was fastened to the walls.

This afternoon I found a spec on the other side so I could have a look at the outside of the walls to see if I could see to what this wooden structure relates. But it’s not evident at all. But at least you can see the trailer that looks as if it might be a workmen’s hut.

Something else that we can see from this viewpoint is some scaffolding. I haven’t seen that down there before, but I wouldn’t like to insist that it’s only just arrived. I just don’t remember seeing it before.

But I wonder if all of this really does mean that we might actually be seeing some work being done on the walls in the near future in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

lifeguards tidal swimming pool beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA flash of flourescent yellow caught my eye down at the Plat Gousset so seeing as the path underneath the wall was reasonably dry this afternoon, I went that way to have a look.

Being buzzed by a variety of Nazgul on my way along the path I eventually arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the beach, and I could see that I was right. The holiday season is now in full swing and we have a couple of lifeguards on duty in their flourescent yellow jackets.

There is one standing at the water’s edge keeping an eye on the bathers in the sea (and take my word for it – there were a few of those this afternoon) and the other one is supervising events taking place in the tidal swimming pool that still has its water in it. And there were a couple of people in there too.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut out of the wind I bet that it was really nice and cosy if you could catch a few rays of the sun.

Round by the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset we could see the people on the beach. Not exactly the height of summer (which is due to start this weekend of course) but still plenty of reason to be on the beach, especially as it’s half-dayat the schools and the brats have the afternoon off on a Wednesday, as we can tell from this photo.

And the other day I showed you a photo of a couple of girls sitting on the wall overlooking the beach, and I surmised that it must be quite a comfortable spec. And that’s what it must be because there were more girls sitting on the wall this afternoon.

f-gsbv ROBIN DR 400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking around the path underneath the walls I was overflown yet again, only this time not by one of the Bird-men of Alcatraz but by an aeroplane.

Even though it’s quite far out in the Baie de Granville I can actually identify it from here. She’s F-GSBY, one of the aeroplanes that we see on a regular basis. She’s a Robin DR400-180 and is owned by the Granville Aero-Club where she’s used for either advanced flying training or for hire.

According to my radar she took off at 16:55, flew down to do a lap around Mont St Michel and then flew back to the airport where she landed at 17:21. And as my photo is times at 16:15 (it’s set to real time, not summertime) that looks as if it’s correct.

And I haven’t forgotten that I must make suitable enquiries at the airport about the navigation school

seagull chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we’re on the subject of flying … “well, one of us is” – ed … there are other flying objects that need our attention.

So with that in mind I pushed on round to the Square Maurice Marland to have a look out onto the roofs of the houses in the Rue des Juifs to see how our baby seagull chicks are doing.

And they look as if they are doing quite well too. There are three of them on that roof over there and they have grown quite a lot this last couple of weeks. One of them was flapping his wings quite vigorously and so I don’t think that it’ll be too long before he’s ready to take to the air.

But the Square is still a mess and it’s quite annoying. Sumer is here and some of the kiddies’ entertainments have been taken away and the rest are fenced off and overgrown. This is not the way to run a holiday resort.

boat on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday we saw a huge pile of merchandise stacked up on the quayside ready to be taken away by one of the Jersey freighters.

Word on the streets is that Normandy Trader came in for a quick “in and out” early this morning on her way back from St Malo and it looks as if she’s cleared almost all of the load. The boat wrapped in shrink-wrap is still there so either Normandy Trader was full or else that’s a load for Thora.

What’s intriguing me though is the appearance of the garden shed over there. If it is a product for export, I’d expect it to be flat-packed to save on loading space. But it could be for a small office for either one of the boats or else for a customs or police presence (but why wouldn’t they be in the police station across the road?). We shall have to see.

resurfacing venelle st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt te start of the afternoon we saw the trans-shipment going on with the rubbish and a few of the granite setts.

What they seem to be doing now is trying to resurface the Venelle St Michel with granite setts in certain places and judging by the excavations, in other places too. It’s probably from here that the rubbish and the granite setts were discarded and I don’t understand at all the idea of disposing of those.

But I’m still dismayed by the surface of the Rue St Michel and its stone-chips. They could, and should, have done so much better than that.

There were some people in the back garden of a house here having a party, with a tabby-cat sitting on the wall. It let me stroke it, which surprised the people in the garden. But I left them to it and came on home for a coffee and to do some work on my boat trip on the Spirit of Conrad last year.

The practice on the bass went well and then I went for tea – burger on a bap followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce.

Now, tired as I am, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow I’m shopping and I want to carry on with my Spirit of Conrad stuff as well as do some more photos from Greenland. High time that they were all done and dusted.

Wednesday 23rd June 2021 – REGULAR READERS …

… of this rubbish will recall that another recurring theme that runs through these pages with monotonous regularity is the shameful state of the medieval city walls here.

As you know, there was an initiate 2 years ago to restore part of them in the Rue des Juifs and they did a good job but while they were doing that, more and more of the city walls were being cordoned off as being unsafe for the general public.

more city walls closed to public place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA year or two ago they cordoned off part of the city walls in the Place du Marché Aux Chevaux and as I went past there today, they had closed off yet more of it by order of the mayor.

Much as I despise tourists … “surely not! Perish the thought!” – ed … there’s no doubt that they bring a lot of money into the town and help provide all of the activities and amenities that we have here. One of the things that they come to see is the medieval walled city, but at this rate there won’t be much of a walled city left.

The shame about this is that the Council seems to be showing not the slightest sense of urgency of dealing with this issue and the city walls are crumbling all around them. There’s history going back 600 years and they have a duty to protect it, not to let it rot away like this.

stairs removed to square potel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers saw the other day that in the Square Potel we saw a mini-differ that had brought down the condemned staircase that led down from the city walls and I mentioned that it was about time that something was done to make all of this area safe too.

But by the looks of things, the digger has cleared off too. The stairs are down and the ground underneath has been tidied but that looks as if it’s going to be our lot for the near future.

But it really is appalling, all of this. There was a campaign, as I have mentioned previously, when the previous mayor was in office to denounce her for the state that the place was getting into. But now there’s a new mayor, I wonder what the people who ran this campaign are saying now.

Today has been something of a depressing day, in case you haven’t already guessed from my first couple of paragraphs.

As usual, I was out of bed bang on the first alarm at 06:00 even though I didn’t feel like it, not having gone to bed until 00:30 this morning.

First task after my medication was to deal with some outstanding correspondence that has built up just recently. And as the regular readers of this rubbish have stopped writing to me, there wasn’t anything to send to them. But a couple of the mails were really quite important and we’ll see how they develop.

Then for a few hours I’ve been musicking. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve been digitalising my record collection and today while searching around I came across some more stuff that relates to albums that I own so I was working on that.

Another thing that I did was to record a cassette tape onto the dictaphone to see how that would work. And that, dear reader, was a dismal failure. The sound levels are all over the place and had “clipped” so lowering the recording level after the event was no good. It all ended up filed under CS.

There are a couple of dictaphones around here so I’m going to see if I can find one with a manual recording level rather than an automatic level, and see what good that might do. I’m not beaten yet. Ohhh no!

The rest of the morning was spent dealing with the photos from August 2019 and I’m now back in Montana on my way to Winnipeg. And just as I was about to back up my work and go to lunch we had a power cut and it wiped it all out.

After lunch I started to try to restore everything and by the time that it was walkies I was a long way from finishing it.

fishing boat yacht ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOff I trotted into the wild blue yonder and down to the wall to look out to sea to see what was going on out there today.

Out there in the Bay of Granville there’s some activity going on. Out there today we have a fishing boat that I don’t actually think is fishing right now. It looks as if it’s heading back into harbour.

Behind it is some kind of yacht, right out near the Ile de Chausey. It’s far too far away for me to be able to read its name and head-on to the camera like she is right now, I can’t actually pick up any clues from her hull lay-out either.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was here, I had a look down onto the beach to see if there was anything exciting happening.

Again, there isn’t all that much beach to be on but nevertheless, there are a couple of ^people down there sitting around on a rock. And rather them than me because it’s not exactly what I would call a warm summer day. Far from it in fact.

And you are probably noticing that today’s photo of the beach is taken frol a different perspective from the usual photographs. Instead of going around the headland this afternoon, I’ve gone off for walk around what remains of the city walls that hasn’t crumbled away.

objects swimming in water plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut there near to the Plat Gousset there was something really strange going on this afternoon.

Whatever they are supposed to be, I really have no idea but they are animate objects swimming against the tide and current. They might be humans, they might be mammals or anything at all but I really can’t identify them well enough.

But here’s something interesting. It’s down this path that I used to go running back in the good old days. And as there was no-one around, I actually did break into a run. I only covered about 100 metres which is nothing like enough or anything like as much as I used to do, but it was a start and it astonished me that I could even run that much after what I’ve been through.

lifeguard watching man entering water by diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s a viewpoint along the path where I can stop and look out over the Plat Gousset to se what’s going on down there.

And despite it being a wintry day, nothing like summer at all, we actually have a lifeguard on duty there this afternoon, presumably with thermal blankets and mugs of hot soup and other artefacts and devices for treating frostbite.

There’s a guy down there who’s going off to test the water, but I imagine that he’s pretty safe. He’s not actually dressed for going swimming.

And in this photo you can see that the diving platform has been erected on top of the concrete pillar.

people swimming in water plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat guy might not have been dressed for swimming but these two people are, and don’t they know it?

There’s a couple down there in the water cavorting about and they are certainly braver men than I am, Gungha Din because not even Kate Bush and Jenny Agutter in skimpy bikinis would entice me into the water this afternoon in weather like we are having right now.

For a few minutes, I stood there and watched them fooling around and then I wandered off down the path to carry on with the rest of my walk. There were too many people about for me to break into a run. I don’t want to show myself up. I can do that without breaking into a run

seagull chick flapping its wings rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I reached the Square Maurice Marland there were still too many people around for me to start running, so I walked over to the edge of the path where I can look at the seagull chicks on the roofs of the houses in the Rue des Juifs.

And it looks as if there are plenty of things happening right now. A few of them were flapping their wings and taking their first steps towards some kind of flight, like this one here and his sibling who were really making a valiant attempt to get off the ground.

It won’t be long until this new generation of seagulls will be flying around the town. And as an aside, any visitor to Granville is advised to bring a hat. The seagulls have an accuracy that puts Bomber Command to shame.

digger and lorry rue lecarpentier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut of the Square Maurice Marland I found myself in the Rue Lecarpentier.

There’s some excitement going on there today as well because we have a lorry and a digger. They aren’t actually doing anything except blocking the street, because this is a cul-de-sac for vehicles and those stuck down at the bottom end were I am can’t move away until the lorry clears off.

Incidentally, there’s an interesting story told about one of the houses here. It’s actually facing into the street but it’s been turned round in effect so that the front entrance is through the garden at the back, off the Rue Notre Dame.

The story is that the owner of the house had an argument with the descendants of the person after whom the street is named, so he changed the layout of his house round so that its address was no longer “Rue Lecarpentier” but “Rue Notre Dame”.

thora normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day, the swimming pool on the quayside suggested to me that Normandy Trader would be in port pretty soon.

Well, I wasn’t wrong, was I? She seems to have come in on the morning tide and brought her friend Thora with her as well.

What with all of the changes that have been going on as a result of Brexit, and one or two as a result of Covid, we have had weeks when we haven’t even seen one of the little Channel Island freighters, never mind both of them. and so we really are lucky to see both of them in port together like this.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe boat that’s underneath the loading crane is Thora.

She was built in the Faroe islands in 1975 and was the fifth of the ferry boats ordered by the Shetland Islands Council when they began to run the ferries between the mainland of Shetland and the outlying islands.

She was one of the two ships that operated the ferry service across Yell Sound but that was a route that was only really busy in the summer so for much of the time she was either laid up or else operated as the relief vessel for the other runs.

She was laid up in 2006 when a new ship arrived to relieve her.

She first appeared here two or three years ago and looked quite smart at the time but the sea and the sinds that we have around here have given her quite a battering.

She’s used occasionally as a car ferry and regular readers of this rubbish will have seen cars lifted off her deck by the crane.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe ship to the right is the Normandy Trader She’s a converted landing craft – an ex-military machine apparently, designed for transporting tanks and that kind of thing.

And apart from the fact that she’s 27 metres long, I’ve not been able to find out very much else about her.

But you can see the swimming pool. That was what gave the game away. I know that she has the contract with a certain manufacturer for moving the swimming pools to their new clients in the Channel Islands, so when I saw one on the quayside on returning from Leuven, I guessed that the boat will be in port quite soon.

After all, they aren’t going to leave them lying around for too long.

patrol boat baie de mont st michel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was watching the two little freighters, there was some activity going on close inshore in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we saw an official-looking boat passing by the entrance to the harbour towing a little boat behind her. And here she is again, or at least, one very much like her.

There’s no possibility of reading her name from here which is a shame. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen one boat very much like her, Les Epiettes when we were on the Ile de Chausey last year and they are some kind of patrol boat. Bit I’ve no idea what they are supposed to be patrolling.

fishing boats fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey won’t be patrolling the fisheries right now because by the looks of things the boats are coming in with their catch.

There are quite a few boats down there today, and if you look at the back of the queue you’ll see the boat that we saw as we set out on our journey. I was right when I said that she seemed to be on her way into port.

You can see the layout of the wharf here. The bigger loads of seafood are lifted up my the little cranes that you can see here and are whisked away by fork-lift truck into the plant for processing.

But you’ll notice the ramp that goes down and underneath where the people are working. Several of the smaller boats are chartered by fish shops, restaurants and the like. Their vehicles can drive down there underneath and the crew of “their” boats can pass the catch to them to be taken away

fishing boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot all of the fishing boats are in by the look of things.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the activity that has been taking place in the Baie de Mont St Michel. We have another two boats out there fishing even as we speak I don’t know who they are though unfortunately.

Anyway, I’ve done enough right now so I’m heading off home for a hot coffee and to carry on with recovering some of the stuff from when the power went. I never had this problem with laptops.

By 18:00 I’d done all that I could so I had a play with the bass guitar, writing out the notes for one of the songs that I need to learn. This is going to be a very long series of sessions

Tea was a curry from the freezer followed by more apple pie, which really is good. And now I’m off to bed. Shopping tomorrow and there’s quite a list. I need to organise myself for that. I wonder how I’ll get on up the hill?