Tag Archives: ocean endeavour

Sunday 17th April 2022 – THE MYSTERY OF THE …

photo credit interlink a changing canada Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… mysterious booklet is solved. All I had to do was to look in the photo credits on the final page.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few months ago some company or other bought a photograph from me – a photo of a small isolated community on the “forgotten coast” of Québec

The photograph has been published in the booklet and they sent a copy to me as a courtesy.

Perhaps I ought to add that much of my photography is no better – and probably a lot worse – than many other people’s but it’s all to do with the fact that I’m quite often wandering around, boldly going forward where the hand of man has never set foot.

Consequently they are of interest more for their curiosity value and content rather than their technical merit.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But be that as it may, it’s been another beautiful Spring day today.

The crowds were out in force this afternoon. And they had plenty of beach to be out there upon this afternoon.

Hordes of people swarming around down there this afternoon, all over the beach as well, not just in the shadow of the cliffs waiting for the tide to come in.

There are quite a few people out there in the distance hanging around the water that is retained in the medieval fish trap. Maybe they are looking for whatever might have been retained in there as the tide is on its way out.

hang glider people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Crowds of people swarming around on the path on top of the cliffs as well.

And as you will probably already have noticed, not a single face mask anywhere in sight. Except of course the one that I was wearing. I managed to remember to bring it with me today.

You will also notice that yet another Nazgul has come to grief over there too. And it doesn’t look as if the Birdman of Alcatraz is in any hurry to either take to the air again or to “fold up their tents, like the Arabs and as silently steal away”

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022A couple of days ago I mentioned that this weekend is one of the periods where the tidal coefficient is one of the greatest of the year.

And seeing as that coincides with the holiday season, we can reasonably expect to see crowds of people down there having a go at the pèche à pied and we are not wrong either because there were crowds down there today having a go.

So good luck to them too. As long as they remember to spread it out amongst their friends. Flexing your mussels, you might say.

Last night I certainly flexed mine while I was in bed because I covered a great distance while I was asleep. There was plenty of time to do so too because even though I didn’t go to bed until about 00:20, I didn’t actually raise myself from the dead until 12:00 this morning.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages, and then it was time for brunch – porridge and hot cross buns again. I have to celebrate the Easter season and I do love hot cross buns.

Having eaten, I turned my attention to the masses of notes on the dictaphone from last night. We started with something about the refugees coming back from Paris or Brussels. We had to walk to an adjacent station to catch the train rather than the station where we usually caught it but I don’t know how this finished because this was all that I dreamt about it.

Then this dream advanced to be something to do with the army. There was a huge depot full of all vehicles – dozens of Ford Anglia estates, stuff like that. They were all being sent for scrap. There was an ERF artic tractor, etc. An ex-girlfriend was there. She pointed to a smashed-up Ford Transit van and said that that used to be hers but it had been hit by a lorry when they were moving it around. They were all talking about these vehicles. She pointed out a couple that had the new green log books but he wouldn’t let them go for some reason or other. There were a few cars parked over there. I thought at first that they were Sunbeam Rapiers or Humber Sceptres but they turned out to be Citroens of some description, saloon cars. We were talking about them and we said “why don’t we take them back as a taxi? Why don’t we ask him?”. That seemed to be the logical thing to do for me but there were dozens of stuff here. They all had a big white cross painted on the side, stuff that was being sent for scrap.

Later on we were back in a big railway station that I recognised as the Gare du Midi (although of course it wasn’t). The refugees were actually leaving, flying by aeroplanes that were taking off from the roof. They had some kind of volunteers down there who would call the train times out and marshall the volunteers to bring them up onto the roof where they could then walk across to the terminal building to catch the ‘plane.

And thenI was at one of these American colleges and I’d been watching American football. They were talking about their own particular college that everyone was expecting them to post a 9-6 season but were on the verge of posting a 10-5. They were talking about the quarterback there who had had a better season than expected. I asked them what they thought about the clubs in their Conference and where they thought that their team was going. We had a chat about that. They pointed out about one young lad sitting there – he was actually their 3rd-choice quarterback and they were saying that when it neared the end they should have put him on to give the 1st choice a rest as the match was clearly won and he would avoid injury for him ready for the next couple of games. They talked about the match, that was actually broadcast on TV that went on until about 03:00 or 04:00. I was doing something that night otherwise I might have watched it but even so it was still quite late. The previous one finished an hour earlier because of the time difference in the USA where they had been playing and I’d missed that one as well. While we were chatting the clock was ticking down, about to come into the 2-minutes where they could take a knee and stop the game. They were all counting down the time while they were talking to me and I bet that you are all as impressed as I am that I can discuss technical phrases and tactics in American football games while I’m asleep

However I forgot to mention that there was something involving pizzas in there with all of the students sitting around eating pizza at this particular moment.

Now that all the Palestinians are safely aboard their train we now had to bring all of their luggage across to the new station. That wasn’t easy because there was just a couple of us on the Metro doing all of this. Eventually we arrived and we had to sort out the luggage into the various stops so that the correct luggage would be put out at the correct station. That brought me back to years ago when I worked in travel for Shearings

Interestingly, I was in Crewe last night in a Cortina mkIV or mkV, a red one that was really nice. I turned up Gainsborough Road into the side street to park. There was a policewoman there with a kid chatting so I thought that i’d better park tidily and properly while she was there. The steering was rather stiff because the car had just had a new steering rack fitted so I had to maul it round. When I got out she came over and told me that even though I had both feet on the floor they weren’t on the floor in the right place. In theory she could give me a ticket but she just wanted to make me aware. I found that hard to believe that your feet had to be in a certain position on the floor of your car but apparently so anything is possible in Tory Britain. We had a little discussion about things. Eventually she told me that there had been a police meeting yesterday. I said that I’d heard about it from someone else, and that there had only been 2 policemen on patrol for the whole of Crewe during the day yesterday while this meeting had been on and most of the policemen were there. That she agreed to

Finally I was living with someone in France. TOTGA had run away from home and came over to France to the town or village where I was living. She settled in a cave. For one reason or another she didn’t come to live with the two of us which must have been a great disappointment for me. We used to take her food etc. Then it was starting to become winter. There were a few more days to go before the school holidays so in the end we talked her into going to register for school for the next term. We told her that every child living in France has the right to education whether they were legal immigrants or not. eventually she went and took the plunge. She went to the local school to register. The school started to give her all kinds of help about who to see and where to go etc.

But imagine that! TOTGA living in a cave nearby and me not being able to take her in.

red powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022all of this took me up to the time when I go off for my afternoon walk.

And no sooner did I set my foot outside the building here when I was overflown by one of the aircraft that buzzes around overhead.

It’s our old friend the red powered hang-glider that we have seen quite often. and it has a passenger on board this afternoon too.

And all of this reminds me that we haven’t see the yellow powered hang-glider or the yellow autogyro for quite some time. I wonder what they are up to these days.

F-GBAI Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And that wasn’t all the aerial activity this afternoon either.

Buzzing along overhead was F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local Aero Club. She took off at 15:25, did a lap around the Ile de Chausey, flew down south to do a lap around Mont St Michel, and then back up the coast where she came in to land at 16:00.

And seeing as my photo is timed at 15:54 (adjusted for summer time) then that sounds about right.

By the way, this was the fourth of five voyages that she undertook (so far) today. They have certainly been keeping her busy.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022As was the case yesterday, I was surprised to see so few boats out there this afternoon.

It’s certainly true that there would be quite a while before the harbour gates would be open but I would have expected, given the fact that it’s a Bank Holiday weekend, the crowds are thronging around and the weather is so nice, to have seen all kinds of water craft milling around offshore in the bay.

Instead, all we can see today are a couple of cabin cruisers moored offshore, with the occupants probably having a good fishing session. And that was the lot. The weather was quite clear this afternoon and I could see for miles. And there was no other boat that I could see.

pointe du roc objects floating in baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022That wasn’t everything that was visible in the water.

As I walked around the corner and across the car park I could see something bobbing up and down just offshore from the Pointe du Roc.

This area is frequented by a few varieties of sea mammals, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall and I was thinking that I might have been lucky enough to have caught the head of one of the aforementioned bobbing up and down.

However, no such luck. It looks more like a plastic 25-litre drum of some description floating around out there and that was disappointing.

cabanon vauban people on bench watching peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022A little earlier, I mentioned the pèche à pied today.

There were quite a few people down there on the rocks this afternoon having a go at harvesting whatever there is to be harvested.

Furthermore, there were spectators to the events too. Apart from the usual people wandering around on the paths there were a few people sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban watching what was going on.

So from there I pushed off along the path on the other side of the headland.

anakena chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022My route took me along towards the harbour where I could see down into the chantier vauban to see what was going on there.

There are no changes to the occupants down there this afternoon but my eye was caught by what was going on with Anakena.

Part of the stern drops down to reveal a step into the water. That’s presumably for the passengers to step into a zodiac or something when it’s out on tour.

And, one assumes, for passengers to leap into the water for the “Polar Dip” when she’s up in the Arctic. And we’ve seen people do that quite frequently on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR

That reminds me of when Castor and Pollux tried to entice me into water at a sub-zero temperature in Cambridge Bay
“I can’t with this catheter in my chest” I replied.
A short while later, someone who had overheard the conversation asked me “had you not had the catheter, what would you have done”?
“I’d have found another excuse” I replied.

Not even Castor could entice me into the water at that temperature. I’ve been in twice up to my knees – on one occasion at just 700 miles from the North Pole – and I’m not going in any deeper than that.

bouchots de chausey port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Another boat that we have seen quite frequently is Les Bouchots de Chausey.

Shes often seen pottering around loaded to the gunwhales with shellfish that she passes over to the tractor and trailer that come to the harbour to meet her but today her crew is having a day off.

She’s been left to go go aground in the silt with all of her fishing equipment on board this afternoon now that the tide has gone out.

With nothing much else going on, I headed off through the crowds back to my apartment for my afternoon coffee and a decent session of music on the guitar.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022After lunch this afternoon I’d taken some pizza dough out of the freezer and left it to defrost throughout the afternoon.

later this evening I kneaded it and rolled it out onto the pizza tray. And when it had proofed sufficiently I assembled my pizza and baked it.

It was rather overcooked around the edges this afternoon but nevertheless it was quite tasty and filled a gap in my stomach.

So now that I’ve finished my notes I’ll have a little relax before I go to bed. Although I have a radio programme to prepare, it’s a Bank Holiday so i’m having another lie-in.

And maybe go off on a few more travels too. having had the pleasure of TOTGA’s company last night, it must surely be the turn of Castor or Zero to put in an appearance.

We shall have to see.

Thursday 7th April 2022 – MY BLOOD PRESSURE …

… is up. When it was checked at the hospital this morning, it was at 168 over 109 and that set all sorts of alarm bells ringing in there.

They have told me to double the dose of certain medication that I take, and to visit my GP for a blood test in 14 days time to see if this extra medication is causing any more problems.

Mind you, had I told them the real reason for the high blood pressure they wouldn’t have done anything at all and allowed it to pass. It’s all to do with the fact that I had a visitor during the night, someone who stayed with me all the way through.

Not Zero though, despite my comments yesterday. In actual fact TOTGA had the call-up last night, and a very young TOTGA it was too. There was a group of us on board a ship – maybe even THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR discussing all kinds of things. For some reason I lay down to sleep under a blanket. It was one of those sleeps where you were asleep but you could hear everything that was going on. They were talking away. I turned over and fell off the seat onto the floor. Everyone came round to see me and to see what I was doing and help me up. Gradually the conversation drifted off and it was just me and TOTGA. I started to become quite familiar with her. I happened to mention that I knew almost everyone on board to which she replied that so did she. She pointed out a few people whom she knew. There were persons who were friends of my mother so she said “let’s go downstairs and see who I know through my grandfather”. At this point I slapped her behind. We were halfway down the stairs when there was a bride and groom coming up. They had married and were travelling on their honeymoon, still in their wedding clothes. They were saying that they had just bought a pub in Alsager and had demolished it and were going to build houses on it. They were really surprised to see TOTGA here. The way that the two of us were fooling around, it was quite obvious to anyone that the two of us were a couple, which would have been quite strange because of the difference between our two ages during this dream but it was pretty clear to everyone. TOTGA knew the bride and that’s how we were talking but it was clear to everyone that the two of us were certainly a couple.

I forgot to mention that the group of us was doing things in music and the reason why the 2 of us were alone was that we had to persuade whoever was supposed to be looking after her that she could come on a tour abroad with the rest of us and play the music and that she’d be fine and well-looked after (clearly whoever writes the script and directs these nocturnal rambles doesn’t know me very well. Since when would TOTGA ever be safe alone with me?) etc but we didn’t reach that point in the dream

Later on I stepped back into this dream where the leader of the orchestra was trying to spit up TOTGA and me. He thought that our relationship was inappropriate but I was so unwilling to give her up and she was so unwilling to give me up. All around us things like Russian songs and Russian poems had been written on the walls of this ship and the 2 of us wrote something on there too but I can’t remember what.

And then I was back in this dream yet again but I missed a lot of the start that I can’t remember that I’d dictated into my hand without the dictaphone being there. The 2 of us were walking down a set of steps with some people whom she knew, her parents or guardians or something. I had my arm around her but considering her age that would be most unlikely. Again we were looking for these musicians, talking about playing in this music group. I’ve missed so much off the start of this with dictating into my hand.

Finally I was back in this dream again. We’d made it to Köln. I came out of the station and onto the square there and was thinking about where we were going to play. It looked very much as if we’d made up our minds so I went back to the station to find everyone else and that’s all that i can remember of this, coming out of the station, making up my mind and going back. But I’m sure that there was a lot more to it that I can’t remember now.

So having spent the whole night in the company of a very young TOTGA and on a very familiar basis too, it’s hardly surprising that my blood pressure was racing. Yours would have been racing too under these circumstances.

When the alarm went off I was already up and about and when the second one went off, I had actually already had a shower. It goes to show that I can do it when I really try.

rebuilding tiensestraat leuven belgium Eric Hall photo April 2022Having made my butties I staggered off outside into the rain and my walk up to the hospital.

At the start of the Tiensestraat where it leaves the Rector de Somerplein I walked past the building that they started to knock about a couple of months ago.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we were lucky enough to have had a peek inside back then but it’s not quite so easy right now with all of the goings-on.

But I’m intrigued to see what they are going to be doing with it. I hope that it’s not going to become another fast-food joint. There are already plenty of those in the town and it would be nice to see something rather more substantial.

photographer rector de somerplein leuven belgium Eric Hall photo April 2022another thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that taking photos of people taking photos is a fairly regular theme that runs through these pages.

Today we have something slightly different, a photo of someone making a film.

Back there where they have the camera, there’s some kind of plaque set in the floor that doesn’t announce anything in particular yet it seems to be of a great interest to the guy with his camera and his assistant.

That prompted me to make a mental note to go for a closer look on the way home but regrettably, it seems that I forgot.

marquee stand demolition site brusselsestraat leuven belgium Eric Hall photo April 2022My route carried on through the rain down to the demolition site that was formerly Sint Pieter’s Hospital.

The site over there where there’s the concrete base is where they occasionally erect a marquee when there is something going on in the town but right now there isn’t anything happening anywhere.

But as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … if they are going to be building some kind of “model village” on this site with expensive apartments and all that kind of thing, they are going to have to do something about the view.

demolition site brusselsestraat leuven belgium Eric Hall photo April 2022This isn’t really what you want to see if you’ve shelled out a lot of money for somewhere reasonable to live, is it?

But then again, as we have often said about Belgium, they don’t seem to be in all that much of a hurry to do things around here so I’m not expecting these apartments to see the light of day for quite a while yet. It took them long enough to knock down the hospital.

But as we saw yesterday, the pile of soil on the extreme right seems to be slowly growing. Perhaps one of these days they’ll get round to landscaping part of the site with it. Just imagine the weeds that will be growing in it once the summer arrives.

new building kapucijnenvoer leuven belgium Eric Hall photo April 2022And while we’re on the subject of growing … “well, one of us is” – ed … the newt building in between the Kupicijnenvoer and the Zongang seems to have stopped.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last time that we are here we saw them caulking the joints where they had installed the windows. This month they have now gone along and installed the exterior cladding.

They have been quite quick doing that, which just goes to show that even Belgian builders can get a move on when they have to. It won’t be long before the tenants start moving in.

It’s not for me though. It’ll be quite dark in there, I reckon. I’ll need more light than they can offer otherwise I’ll wilt.

new building kapucijnenvoer leuven belgium Eric Hall photo April 2022Another new building that has attracted our interest over the last few months is the one that they are erecting further down the Kapucijnenvoer on the other side of the road.

They are making a start on the second floor now and in the normal course of events it shouldn’t take them too long to do that. But the depth of the foundations and the height of the cranes onsite seem to suggest that the building is going to be a lot higher that that.

The size of the underground car park is quite impressive too so I’m intrigued to see how tall the building will be and who is going to occupy it. In Leuven you would think that it would be something to do with the University, but why would they need such a car park?

And the final climb up the Monseigneur van Waeyenberghlaan finished me off. Despite the cooling effect of the rain I was defeated at the halfway mark and had to stop for breath

furniture lift monseigneur van waeyenberghlaan leuven belgium Eric Hall photo April 2022And a couple of places further up the hill too, although one was for a photo opportunity too.

This is something that you don’t see too often, except in Belgium where you find them quite often. Moving house is sometimes complicated when apartment-dwelling is commonplace, and the easiest way to shift your furniture can often be “out of the window”.

That’s where these furniture lifts come in handy. They can do the job in a couple of minutes. When I moved into my apartment in Brussels in 2000 I hired one, but when I finally moved out in 2011 I went out in the hours of darkness via the interior lift.

And so I struggled on up the hill to the hospital. It was a bad day.

At the urology department they poked and prodded me around, took piles of copious notes and weighed me. Despite all of the exercise that I’ve had over the last week I’ve gained 2kg and I don’t know how. And they’ll “get back to me” in due course.

They had already been looking for me at the Haematology Day Clinic so when I arrived they were ready for me. As soon as I walked into the reception she had the paperwork and my ID bracelet all ready. The fact that they are beginning to know me in the hospital is a little disturbing.

With everything ready, I was coupled up quite quickly and I didn’t have to wait very long for the doctor to see me.

She was much more friendly than the one last time but she had no concrete suggestions about my struggles. Next month I have the appointment with the heart specialist and we’ll see what he can suggest.

Having picked up some extra medication I headed for home and halfway down the hill I had a ‘phone call from Urology. “Come back on 5th May”. So that’s now three appointments on that day. Things are obviously reaching a critical point.

bicycle rack kruisstraat leuven belgium Eric Hall photo April 2022Several months ago I noticed that they were installing some cycle racks at the side of the Sin Jakobuskerk.

At the time I speculated that they weren’t likely to see much business because they were rather off the beaten track as far as accommodation goes, and it looks as if I might have been right.

What caught my interest though was the electric bike in the foreground. I noticed that it was carrying some kind of registration plate. As well as that, instead of having a chain it has a synthetic drive belt.

Next time that I’m out and about I’ll have to keep an eye out for what’s happening with this situation. I’ve not encountered it before.

The banana-flavoured soya milk that I love and can only buy in Belgium has now run out so I called into Delhaize for more supplies on the way home. And back here I had a coffee and a chat with Liz before I rather unceremoniously crashed out.

This evening I’m not all that hungry so I’ve just had a couple of biscuits. This weight issue isn’t do to food but to water issues, but even so I should take every opportunity to cut down on my food intake.

So having written my notes I’m going to lounge around for a while before going to bed.

But a whole night with TOTGA! Whatever next?

Friday 18th March 2022 – AFTER ALL …

filming at civic rooms place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… the excitement of yesterday, there’s been even more today.

Unfortunately not quite of the same calibre, but nevertheless it beats the monotony. Especially when they lay down a red carpet at the Communal Rooms at the back of my apartment and set up a film camera to film whatever was going to make use of it.

Whatever or whoever it was, though, I’m not able to say. I had to go out to the Post Office before it closed and so I missed it.

If we’re lucky, there will be something in the newspapers tomorrow, but I’m not all that hopeful. There wasn’t a word about what the Dassault Falcon was doing yesterday.

fire brigade rue des juifs burnt out house rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022At that wasn’t everything either.

This afternoon it looked as if it was the local Fire Brigade’s annual outing. There they were, complete with vehicles, standing around and chatting, looking up at the ruins of the houses that were devastated in the fire.

While we’re on the subject of “devastated” … “well, one of us is” – ed … I was pretty devastated this morning.

It ended up being a much later night than I was expecting or hoping, and when the alarm went off at 07:30 I switched it off and … err .. went back to sleep. But it wasn’t as bad as yesterday. I managed to make it out of bed a good few minutes before the second alarm.

Not all that much on the dictaphone through the night either. I must have had something of a decent sleep. I was out somewhere last night on the road that runs between Newcastle and Shrewsbury. I don’t know where I’d been but I ended up down some kind of side road somewhere. I stopped and I’d had a piece of cake and a coffee, standing in the middle of this farm track drinking it and eating the cake while the farmer was driving around in his tractor somewhere. Something had gone wrong but I can’t remember what it was. I looked at the time and I thought “God! I only have 20 minutes to get to work!”. I thought that I’d never reach work on time at all from here because I’m on foot. I put down my mug and plate down in the middle of this track and walked down to the main road thinking that I’d hitch a lift. I walked back towards the road junction that would take me to Crewe which was 4 miles away. First of all a bunch of school kids went past, then an old Austin A40 Somerset followed by an old BMC lorry. I then found myself in this village As I walked through this village I thought that I’d never seen such a village. I didn’t know that there was a village like this on this road and I know it so well. By now I was in Caliburn and. There was some road work in the town centre. Everything was being dug up. There were rocks being cut up with a disc cutter. They were even dynamiting small small rocks. I was just driving over everything, machinery, the lot in Caliburn. Some guy was even putting his feet against the glass windows to stop them vibrating when the dynamite went off.. There was this really sharp U-bend by an expensive estate agent’s. I thought that things were becoming really bad. Some woman went past and said “you’re going to be terribly late for work. It’s 2 days running for me that I’ve had to call in with car problems”. I was back in Caliburn again and came across an auto-electrician. I drove into his workshop. I had to straighten a carpet. A guy came over so I asked him to go to listen to the starter while I turned the engine so he could see if there was a problem with the starter.

Later on I was out near Tarporley in a small village … “Tiverton;” – ed. I bumped into a girl whom I knew but I can’t remember who she was. She had curly ginger hair and I don’t know a girl like that in real life. She was telling me about a family whom I knew who lived by the traffic lights at the Rising Sun. She was saying that they’d all cashed in their chips, sold up and moved on. I asked if she knew where they had gone. She told me of a couple of them but there was one whom she didn’t know. She mentioned his name and I knew the name. He’d gone to Toronto. She said “yes, I remember now. He’s bought a racehorse”. I looked surprised and asked “what’s he doing with a racehorse?”. She didn’t actually know. In the end she said something like “if you’re going to take a chance on buying an unknown racehorse for £1:00 or something you’d buy it from a member of your own family rather than from a complete stranger” but she couldn’t see the purpose of this racehorse. I asked her if it was identical to any others that he owned because there’s always the old “run a slower identical horse in a few races to build up a bad reputation then switch the real one in for an important race once the other one has a bad name”. She said “no, it’s not at all like (she mentioned the name of another horse)” so I thought that perhaps it might be an identical horse or something where in this case this one might be slower. I was about to ask her the question when the alarm went off.

After the medication and transcribing the dictaphone notes, I spent most of the rest of the morning working on the photos from the High Arctic in August 2019. We’re now back on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR after our little walk around Qikiqtarjuaq.

That was where Dennis Minty and I bumped into a local Royal Canadian Mounted Police “Mountie” who gave us a lift in his pickup up to the top of a mountain on the island where we took some superb photos which you will see in due course.

After lunch I had a letter to write. It’s the reply to one that’s been hanging around here for quite a few months and someone somewhere is probably wondering if I’ve died.

“Snail mail” has all but died out for personal purposes but I still have the odd (and I use the term advisedly) technophobe friend who writes letters. Unfortunately, just like me, she has had a hand injury and so I have a great deal of difficulty reading her writing just like people have difficulty in reading mine, and it’s not easy to decipher it.

But anyway, it was eventually ready and in a mad fit of enthusiasm which has sprung up from heaven alone knows where, I actually set off to post it.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual, I stopped at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to check the camera and see what was happening down below.

As you can see, the tide is right out at the moment. It’ll be a while before it’s back in today. But there doesn’t seem to be anyone taking advantage of it and going for a bit of the peche à pied.

And if there’s anything going on at the Ile de Chausey this afternoon, they aren’t doing it aboard the Joly France ferries.

There’s one moored up over there at the ferry terminal in the NAABSA (Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground) position, and the other two are moored up in the inner harbour along with Chausiaise

charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As well as the Ile de Chausey boats in the inner harbour, there’s plenty of other stuff too.

One of the boats here is Charles Marie. We’ve been keeping an eye on her over the last couple of weeks while she was being serviced in the chantier naval but now she must be ready for the sea.

There was a trawler parked in the chantier naval where she was, but I couldn’t see who she was. I’ll go for a wander out that way tomorrow and find out more about her.

And by the looks of things, La Granvillaise wasn’t there either. She must have gone back into the water but she isn’t around in the harbour so I wonder where she’s gone.

There are tons of the containers in which they stack the sacks of shellfish over there on the quayside. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many.

road works abandoned railway line Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Dodging the pompiers who were having their meeting on the pavement, I carried on down the hill to the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour.

The freight was still there but what caught my eye was the lorry and the digger over there on the track of the old abandoned railway.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we saw them working on the far end of that track in the town centre. They seem to have made rapid progress.

Down in the town I made rapid progress to the Post Office to post my letter. And then I went off to the Credit Agricole. I’ve received a cheque in respect of my Belgian State Pension but I dont now why. Anyway it has to be paid in to my account.

Now what can I do with €60:45? Spend! Spend! Spend! I suppose.

road works abandoned railway line Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Walking back into the town centre on my way home I had a quick peek down where the old abandoned railway ran to see how they were doing.

And by the looks of things, they don’t seem to be doing a great deal. They have a compactor down there (which was more than they had on the 1800 miles of the TRANS LABRADOR HIGHWAY IN 2010 but the road surface doesn’t look much different than it did before they started.

And I’m half-expecting one of those boys to end up like an Austin Powers henchman if he isn’t careful. I suppose that the other boy there would refer to his friend as his “flatmate”.

I’ll get my coat.

So having dome my tasks for the day I set off up the hill for home, feeling rather pleased that I’d actually finished a couple of tasks.

Maybe it is these pills that are giving me energy, I dunno, but sometimes I really think that they could give you absolutely anything, tell you what the imaginary effects will be, and then you psyche yourself up to believe them.

kite surfers people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Before I went back inside I went to see what was happening down on the beach outside my building.

Today was a really glorious May day today, really warm, but with a strong wind. And so while there were no Nazguls about, there were a couple of people down there kitesurfing. And having a really good time doing it by the looks of things.

Plenty of people walking around on the beach too having a good time. I don’t know where they have all come from.

One of my neighbours was outside the building too, soaking up the rays. he and I had a good chat before I came in for a coffee.

Later on, I had another session on the guitar. I seem to have rekindled my enthusiasm, having done very little since I fell into this depression several months ago. I quite enjoyed it too, although i’m dismayed at how much of my technique I’ve lost.

Tea was a quick falafel from out of the freezer with pasta and veg because there was football on the internet. Y Bala v Penybont in the first of the Welsh Cup Semi-finals.

And for a match then ended 0-0, this was probably one of the best and most exciting that I’ve seen in a long while. Both teams have star players but they managed to checkmate each other at every turn as the game roared from end to end for the whole 90 minutes. It’s a shame that there aren’t more games like this.

So bedtime now. I’m shopping tomorrow and then I’m going to try to do some exciting stuff. What, I’m not quite sure yet.

Who knows? I might do something wild, like take more rubbish out to the bins.

Saturday 5th March 2022 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… a few photos of the 120-odd people who turned up spontaneously outside the Mairie in Granville at midday for an impromptu show of support for Ukraine, I’ll tell you about my really miserable night last night.

And when I say “miserable” I really DO mean “miserable” because last night, in a sleep that went on theoretically for just a little over 8 hours, there were no fewer than 14 entries on the dictaphone and that must be something of a record in anyone’s language.

And so it will be no surprise to anyone to learn that when I awoke this morning with the alarm I was thoroughly, completely and absolutely overwhelmed with fatigue.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Although it wasn’t until very much later that I transcribed the dicatphone notes, it’s probably a good idea if I insert them here so that we can keep things in order.

Last night I was standing up but suddenly I fell forward and knocked over this tripod that had some kind of equipment on it like camera equipment or dictaphone equipment. Then I realised that I was wearing a soldier’s uniform and I’d been arrested or captured, something like that

And then there was something about a cucumber rolling around in the bed and I’ve no idea at all what that was all about.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And then later on I was out with a friend of mine from Brussels. We’d started off at work – we were working together – and then we decided that we would go for a walk. There’s a bride being married in a couple of days and she was having an exhibition so off we went. We had a lengthy heart-to-heart chat about all kinds of things that had happened between us 20 years ago. It was an extremely intimate discussion. She ended up saying “if only you hadn’t been married, if only you hadn’t been middle-aged” etc. It was a really deep discussion. The bride had settled herself down so we decided that we would go and look. I knew that there was a phrase that you had to use but I couldn’t remember what it was. We walked past this tent and a little head popped out – a little girl. I said “cuckoo, are you getting married?” and she blushed and went back, stuck her head back inside. I could see inside that the bride was asleep in the corner of the tent and there were 3 goats in there as well. I was trying to work out the ritual nature of all of this.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022I actually missed out a few things in that story about my friend in Brussels. I can’t remember who I was with at first but we were coming in late for work and we heard people talking about the “Naz” department store. I arrived at work and asked someone what had happened about the department store. They replied that it had fallen down. I asked if it was any relation to the fire a few days ago somewhere. They said “no”. This guy was very interested in telling me so much more about so many different things but I wasn’t interested in hearing them. On my way back to my desk with whoever it was I said that we really need to be in work earlier because we are pushing the boundaries and we need to do better than this and make every effort to arrive at work earlier. When I was walking with my friend we could see in the distance a load of white smoke that might either have been from the collapse of “Naz” or whatever it was called or else the remains of this big fire

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022. Back at home later I was talking to my mother and one of my sisters. I said where I’d been and that many years ago when my blog was in hiatus I used to read books and I’d underline or highlight phrases in books that actually meant something. When I’d been writing my blog subsequently and re-read one of these books and came to a phrase that I’d noted, I’d mentioned it in relation to her. She’s read my blog and seen these references etc but was still interested in coming out with me for a chat. I thought “well, there’s hope yet, isn’t there?”

So there were pirates who stopped a boat and they put everyone ashore. There was a flag that they were flying that had five rings on it like the Olympic flag. I had no idea to engage in this fight so I didn’t go but they swarmed onto this other boat and started hacking the other defenders about to see whether it was going to take them

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And here I am doing it again – dictating a dream when I have no dictaphone with me. I was on a boat somewhere in the Indian or South Pacific Ocean and I was talking about the time that I’d been on a voyage of discovery with my Belgian friend – and fell asleep again in the middle of it – but basically what this was about was something about me being there and maybe taking a boat to Japan and back to the USA. There was a lot more to it than this but unfortunately I can’t remember anything and that’s really disappointing.

And later again I was out on the Pacific on yet another ocean liner with someone else when the subject of this girl in Belgium came up again but I don’t know where it went from here. But how many times last night was it that she put in an appearance?

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Next time I was in the American cavalry in a dark-blue uniform. There was a person of colour in the troop. We came across this girl and noticed her bounty of seventeen dollars which we thought was quite a lot for her seeing as she was an Indian so we resolved to kill her. She was killed in the struggle but handed her jacket all the same to create an entry to receive this money

And yet again dictating in my sleep but it was one on those things where the ones I was with would go and sort out some enemy checks or something like that so we set off in a car and drove. As we drove around the headland we saw the ruins of a castle across a bay that looked very close. We suddenly realised that we had gone within earshot of these particular people and so we’d better not say any more in case they overheard us.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022I was at University last night waiting for morning classes to start and I’d been talking to Rosemary on the ‘phone and I said something like “why don’t you come up?”. When I finished I went back into the classroom and took my seat but suddenly Rosemary turned up. I had to go out to see her and talk to her. I sent her off to the cafeteria because our lecture was about to begin. Back in there the cat was on the windowsill so I went to stroke it. Someone said “that’s my cat” but I said that anyone could stroke it as far as I’m concerned. I found that someone else had taken my seat so I had to look for another empty one. Then I had to go through my timetable to find out what lessons I had for the rest of the week so I could go down when this one finished and talk to Rosemary. There were a couple of conversation lessons I couldn’t miss and one or two other things but there was still a fair amount of time so I had to sit down and think about making a plan that I could take to Rosemary in 40 minutes when this lecture finished.

beach rue ru nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022After the medication and checking my mails and messages (and having a little relax too) I set off to go into town to do a little shopping. I need some mushrooms for the pizza tomorrow and also a baguette for my Saturday treat.

As usual, I went off to have a look at the beach to see what might have been going on down there today. And one look at what is supposed to be the beach will tell you that there wasn’t anything whatever going on down there right now.

And for an obvious reason too. The tide is right in today at probably its fullest extent and that’s put a stop to everything. You can see now how it’s possible for people to be cut off from the steps.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual, I was also looking out to sea to see what I could see.

Right out on the horizon in the Baie de Granville are a couple of yachts. At least, one of them is a yacht and I’m not quite sure what the other one is.

As you can see, it’s a beautiful day out there this morning but there’s plenty of haze around farther out and the Channel Islands are obscured which is a shame. I was hoping that we might have had a really good view of St Helier today.

And that reminds me – the ferry service is supposed to be starting up some time soon. I must make further enquiries.

cabin cruiser marker light baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022One thing that regular readers of this rubbish might recall is that a few days ago we say the marker on the rocks just off the headland here right out of the water.

Today of course, it’s a completely different story. You can see that it’s almost submerged and that will give you a really good idea of how high the tide is. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … we have some of the highest tides in Europe just here.

Of course, with the tide being as it is, the harbour gates will have been open for quite a while and that will account for the yachts, and also for the cabin cruiser that’s out there. At first I thought that it might be fishing but judging by its wake it’s in rather a hurry and presumably heading out to the Ile de Chausey.

pointe de grouin brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022The view out to sea might have been obscured by haze this morning but the view along the coast was one of the best that we have ever had.

Although I had to enhance this photograph quite considerably, it shows a really good view of the lighthouse at the Pointe de Grouin on the headland at the entrance to the bay on the Brittany side.

That’s of course where we spent our first night when we were out and about on the Spirit of Conrad in summer 2020.

It was here that I had a ‘phone call about the Demonstration at lunchtime so I abandoned my shopping trip and headed home for a shower and clean-up and to find some blue and yellow clothes.

demonstration manifestation ukraine place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On leaving the apartment I’m grabbed my ZOOM H8 to record whatever might be happening.

There wasn’t enough time to check the batteries – I use it on the mains here – and so it goes without saying that the batteries were flat. And so were the spare ones too.

But anyway the talk that we were given only lasted for a couple of minutes and that was that. I wandered around taking a few photos until everyone dispersed.

A couple of friends from the radio were here so we all went for a coffee and a chat.

On the way home I popped into Carrefour for the mushrooms and baguette and then crawled slowly (and it was slowly too because I wasn’t feeling too good after my bad night) back home where I had lunch.

This afternoon was pretty slow. Transcribing all of the dictaphone notes took an enormous amount of time and there was also at least an hour and a half when I crashed out completely, absolutely and definitely.

There was football too on the internet – Penybont v Caernarfon. Penybont hit the woodwork twice, had a stonewall penalty appeal turned down, had about 75% of the play and somehow managed to lose 3-0 in a match that they should have won at a canter.

Tea tonight was a couple of those small breaded quorn fillets with potatoes and veg and it was delicious.

This evening, something surprising has happened. Someone from Ottawa has contacted me and asked to be my “friend” on my social network.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I have plenty of family and friends in Ottawa. There are also plenty of people who have been with me on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR and of course a certain young lady who has accompanied me on several of my nocturnal voyages in the past.

Consequently I was intrigued to see who it might be and how I might know them.

It turns out that it’s someone who has found me “by accident” and wants me ” to always be open, honest and having free speech about everything, share your worries, your children and everything be that support group for me as I will for you, plan together, play together and treat me like I mean something to you, you don’t have to sugar coat anything, as adults, we can handle things. I expect you to treat me right, be truthful, and honest with me because I do believe in gospel truth and that is what I want. I want to feel true love and happiness with you and share everything with you based on love and understanding.”

She will apparently “climb the highest mountains just to be with the one i love”.

So while you are all reading this, I’ll be waiting for the message when she will ask me to send her the air fare so that she can come to join me.

Wednesday 9th February 2022 – HERE I ALL AM …

.. not actually sitting in a rainbow, but sitting in my little room here in Leuven, after one of the most uneventful journeys that I’ve ever had.

man with giant teddy gare du nord paris France Eric Hall photo February 2022One of the only two things of note about this journey took place in the Gare du Nord in Paris.

There, I came across a guy with an enormous teddy-bear strapped to his back, with the bear carrying a backpack.

Of course, it goes without saying that I went over to him and told him how much I admired his choice of travelling companion. And then of course that led to a discussion that involved STRAWBERRY MOOSE.

And that of course served to remind me that it’s been 18 months since His Nibs and I last went on an adventure, when we did our tour of Central Europe, and two and a half years since we last set foot on North American soil.

And like me, he’s getting itchy feet. We need to be on our way somewhere, moving about.

TGV Réseau 38000 tri-volt 4520 PBA gare du midi brussels belgium Eric Hall photo February 2022The second incident of note took place on board my train at Lille Europe.

There was a couple sitting in my seat and at first they refused to move, insisting that the numbers on the seat in front related to their seats. It was only when I asked them if that meant that the people in seats 75 and 76 had to sit on the luggage rack that they reluctantly agreed to move.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t have bothered and would have sat somewhere else but there was something about this couple’s attitude that rubbed me up the wrong way and these days my good humour evaporates much more quickly than ever it used to, especially when I’m confronted by intransigent people.

Apart from that, it’s been a very fair day today. When the alarm went off at 06:00 I was (for a change) out of bed quite quickly, made my sandwiches, had a coffee and, to my own surprise never mind yours, steam-cleaned the kitchen, including washing the floor with disinfectant.

l'omerta fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022At 08:00 or thereabouts I left the apartment with my gear and headed off for the station.

First … errr … port of call was the viewpoint overlooking the fish processing plant where I checked the NIKON 1 J5 to make sure that it was working.

The fish-processing plant was this morning’s first subject. It might be early in the morning but there are plenty of people down there working as we can see. All of the lights are on in there and there’s a refrigerated lorry down there waiting to take away the catch.

And L’Omerta is still down there where we saw her yesterday, sitting on the silt.

dawn st pair Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Although it was still dark, the sun was starting to rise.

The sky in the distance over at the back of St Pair sur Mer is becoming lighter with a beautiful pink tinge.

What they say around here is “Red Sky at Night, Shepherd’s Delight. Red Sky in the Morning, Avranches is On Fire”.

And as I was on the point of taking the photos, most of the streetlights in St Pair sur Mer went out and what would have been a glorious photo suddenly turned into something rather more banal.

On that note I headed off down into town and then out the other side and up the hill to the railway station.

modernisation gare de Granville railway station Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022It only took me 25 minutes to reach the station this morning, with only one stop on the way, which is progress of a sort.

And at the station, I had a surprise. There has in the past been some kind of vague talk about some improvements at the station and today, they had fitted out the entrance hall with a pile of scaffolding.

It looks as if it’s “all systems go” and it will be interesting to see what they’ve been up to when I come back next month.

You can see the yellow boxes there. They are for passengers to use to stamp their tickets before they board the train. All paper tickets have to have a timestamp on them to make them valid.

84571 gec alstom regiolis gare de Granville railway station Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Despite my being there early, the train was already on the point of pulling in, and that was a welcome sight. I didn’t have to sit outside in the cold.

Today I had a seat all to myself right next to the toilet so I didn’t even have to walk very far.

There was all of my work to back up from the large computer and while I was doing that I listened to my Hawkwind “concert” again. I stomped all my way to Paris, except for the 10 or 15 minutes when I was … errr … resting.

We were bang on time in Paris and the trip on the metro to the Gare du Nord was straightforward, especially my little walk along the street and I can’t understand why I didn’t check this before.

There was a bit of a laugh though. The metro was crowded but I managed to find a seat. A woman grabbed the seat next to me and beckoned to her daughter, who was about 11, to come and sit on her lap instead of standing up hanging onto a strap.

“I think that that’s a bit too baby” I said, which brought a smile from daughter and a sigh from mother, and despite repeated entreaties, daughter steadfastly refused to sit on her mother’s lap all the way to the Gare du Nord.

tgv inoui 225 tgv reseau duplex gare du nord paris France Eric Hall photo February 2022Having exchanged pleasantries with the guy with the teddy-bear, I went to find my train to Lille Flandres.

As usual, it was one of the TGV Reseau Duplex double-deckers, looking as if they are in need of a little paintwork these days. Nevertheless they are quite comfortable, even if there is only one power point per seat.

This afternoon I was lucky because I didn’t have a neighbour so we didn’t have to fight over the power point and I could carry on listening to Hawkwind and reading my story about a Michigan cavalry unit in the American Civil War all the way to Lille.

And for a change, I was on the lower deck. No fighting with the stairs

TGV POS 4404 gare de lille flandres railway station France Eric Hall photo February 2022At Lille I found that we had brought another trainset with us – one of the POS units from eastern France so once more it was something of a hybrid train.

In fact, it actually brought us because it was certainly coupled up at the front of our trainset and there weren’t any passengers at all on it, so I imagine they’ve taken advantage of our trainset to carry out a positioning voyage.

We were 8 minutes late arriving at Lille so we had to push on rather rapidly to Lille Europe for our train from Montpelier to Brussels. Some young woman was looking rather lost so I brought her with me and we had a nice chat. However when we reached the station she disappeared off somewhere else and that was that.

There were a couple of minutes to spare so I used them wisely in eating my butties, and then I had my little … errr … discussion on my train.

The journey to Brussels doesn’t take long so I didn’t mess about with the computer. I listened to an album that I’d stored on my phone.

Colosseum Live, one of the greatest live albums ever, and something bizarre usually happens to me whenever i hear it.

In the Canadian High Arctic in 2018 I had a strange encounter with an interesting young lady whom I met on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR while I was listening to it, and in The Canadian High Arctic in 2019 on the same ship sitting in the same seat on the same deck listening to the same album, I had an even more strange encounter with another even more interesting young lady, about which I’ll write one of these days.

However, to my dismay, nothing whatsoever happened this time to ignite my curiosity.

class 27 electric locomotive gare de leuven railway station belgium Eric Hall photo February 2022A train to Leuven was already in the station when I arrived – a push-me-pull-you – so I scrambled aboard, and we set off, at a snail’s pace, down the line.

When I arrived at Leuven I went to see what was pushing us and to my surprise it was one of the old Class 27 locomotives. 60 of them were built in the early 80s and they were the first of the modern generation of electric locomotives.

“Powerful” is not the word to describe these locomotives. One of this class pulled a train of 70 carriages, the longest passenger train ever assembled in the world, so I’ve no idea what was the matter with mine going so slowly.

At the back of the station is the little Match supermarket so I went there to buy the bread and drink for the next couple of days and then headed for my room

cherry pickers martelarenplein leuven belgium Eric Hall photo February 2022In the Martelarenplein they had a couple of cherry-pickers but they were parked up and it wasn’t easy to see what they had been doing.

Back here I didn’t have an upgrade but instead I’m in my usual room up two flights of stairs that kill me having to climb them.

After a coffee I … errr … relaxed for half an hour and then walked down to Delhaize for my shopping. I bought everything that I need and even “won” a trolley token from one that had jammed in an abandoned trolley. A trolley attendant saw me wrestling with it and gave me one from his pocket.

At some point I finally managed to catch up with the dictaphone notes. I was up in the Scottish Borders last night with a couple of young girls whom I met there once upon a time, at the festival indoor. The two girls were dancing. They were carrying bottles of drink around and I’m not sure why because they weren’t drinking them. We’d filmed them dancing, as well as quite a few others. We were watching it, and I can’t remember now, but she was most offended when she saw them dancing with the alcohol and had quite a lot to say about it. There was something about food too, making queues for the food and serving the queue, how if you had your food in one room you couldn’t go into another but eat in that room etc, something to do with the fact that some parts were licensed as a takeaway and some weren’t. It was all quite complicated. We were talking about my flat-bottomed boat festival. The film went on to talk about it and said about how these two girls would be invited to attend as well but of course the older one by this time had been killed so it was totally irrelevant.

It’s surprising, this little voyage, particularly about the death of one of these girls. In real life I’d actually met them a couple of times and then after one of our meetings, the older one was actually killed. She was driving to work early one morning when a German tourist who had driven up from Dover through the night without stopping pulled off the M74 onto the wrong side of the road and hit her head-on.

In her ancient and frail Open Corsa, she didn’t stand a chance.

Regular readers of this rubbish in one of its many previous guises will recall that the after-effects of this accident were quite considerable and are still rumbling on today

Later on we were back at the Scottish Borders again later and there was another girl there in between the age of these two girls, probably about 15 or so. She was dancing as well but I can’t remember where this started or why it was significant.

My friend Marianne was in hospital so I’d been staying in her apartment. I’d been there for five months from September until February. There was some talk that she might come out very soon so I’d had to have a good go round and tidy everything up and make sure that everything was where it was supposed to be, all of her clothes and everything, find her bank cards, find her money and all that. It was extremely complicated. At one point I found her cassette player so I put some music on and was listening to that while I was working. When I’d finished in the bedroom I couldn’t make up my mind whether to leave it on or switch it off. In the end I switched it off but this was something extremely emotional, all of this.

I was with Lise last night (and who is Lise?), on my way home in a car. There was some kind of news report about an Italian who had done something and taken an Israeli person hostage. I was driving home and I came to the road junction which I thought that I needed but for some reason I couldn’t see clearly out of the car. I ended up driving past so I had to find a place to turn round. I came to a place in a village where I could turn round but parked in a field were a couple of steam traction engines, all overgrown and covered in weeds, creepers etc so I went to take a photo of them. No matter how I tried I couldn’t find a decent viewpoint. In the end, after a while, I gave it up as a bad job, went back into the car, turned round. Then I noticed several ruined buildings from the Middle Ages so I stopped to take a photo. All these kids swarmed around me and kept on standing in front of the lens so I didn’t have a clear shot. Then the camera wasn’t recognising the lens. This was proving to be extremely awkward. In the end I was having to push these kids out of the way but the more I pushed, the more they formed back and kids started appearing from everywhere. I never did take that photo.

And that wasn’t all either. But as you are eating your tea right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

Now that I’ve had my tea, I’m off to bed. It’s early but I’m exhausted and I have my hospital appointment tomorrow so I need to be fighting fit. 123% of my daily activity deserves a good rest.


Friday 4th February 2022 – OHH LOOK …

royal belgian air force airbus A400m-10 BAF676 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022… at what flew past over my head while I was out for my afternoon walkies

Never mind your “stealth bomber” or “whisper jet”, this was making enough of an indescribable racket that would have awoken the dead down here, even though it was flying overhead at 33,975 feet. I’d forgotten what these things sounded like, having been away from Evere in Belgium in all this time.

For it’s a Belgian Airforce Airbus A400M-180 four-engined turbo-prop, registration number CT-04 coming from “an unreported departure point” flying to Brussels.

And don’t worry – they’ll hear it coming from a long way off. I did, and I hadn’t a clue what it was at first until I saw it but I’m sure that they will know.

Lufthansa LH498/DLH498 Boeing 747-830 D-ABYG pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022This however was much more easy to identify and I’m surprised at how quiet it was. But then, anything would be quiet next to the Airbus.

And it was next to the Airbus too. They crossed flight paths a few minutes after I’d taken the first photo and she came streaking my way.

She’s D-ABYG, a Boeing 747-830 belonging to Lufthansa and known as Baden-Württemberg – build n°1470 and delivered in 2013. One of the 16 still in the air of the 19 747-8s that they own.

She’s flying flight LH498/DLH498 from Frankfurt am Main to Mexico City

Seeing her made me go quite broody because it’s been ALMOST TEN YEARS since I last flew on a Jumbo Jet, when I had my famous little jaunt to Montréal via Schiphol.

It’s been 30 months since I last set foot in Montréal and while Montréal might appreciate the rest from my presence, I’m missing it and that’s part of my problem, I reckon. Montréal has always been my spiritual home.

And I wish that I’d been there today because I haven’t had a very good day at all here yet again.

The night was nothing like as good as last night but then that’s no real surprise because the idea that lightning would strike twice in the same place on consecutive days was far too much to hope for.

And I fell asleep after the first alarm went off and almost failed to beat the second one. And that would have been a tragedy.

After the meds and checking (some of) my mails and messages I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been. I was in Virlet last night, Les Guis, in my bedroom doing something that was using a lot of electricity. It was time to go to bed so I switched everything off and went outside onto the landing but none of the lights would work. I wondered if I’d cut off the electricity for some reason out there so that I couldn’t see anything out there. Then I noticed that the warning light was red rather than amber. I thought “I can’t have used that much electricity during the day, surely?”. Having had a listen I could hear something whirring in the background. it was the fridge that had been left on for some reason instead of working off the overcharge circuit that was at the farm. I had to change all of the plugs around on there but it was really difficult to do it in the dark and the uncertain floorboards and everything else that was there before I’d put the floor down and the walls in etc. I thought that this was a really silly thing to do, trailing all my electric like that.

And later, I was in the middle of doing something or other when I stopped to go and have coffee. I don’t know where I was, whether I was at school or something, but there were loads of people whom I knew from all through my life. I went downstairs to get this coffee, ddging a lot of people whom I didn’t want to see at that moment. By the coffee stand with a teddy bear was the nice girl from THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR“Yuliya” – ed. The coffee had been spilt all over the floor and everyone was mopping it up and was telling everyone to be careful. I made some remark about “you must have done this” to this girl. She replied “there you go, blaming me again”. I had a coffee. There was a little girl behind me, like a new-starter schoolgirl or something. She had a coffee and was really surprised to find that it was free. What I was doing before I went for the coffee I really can’t remember now. I can’t remember a thing.

There was also something about one of these big shopping centres like the Desjardins Centre in Montréal (yes, Montréal, and I wonder if that was what started me off being broody) but I can’t remember what it was.

Finally I was with a friend last night. He’d been working on a house and I’d gone round to see him. There were all kinds of animals there including a couple of kittens. I was playing with one of the kittens and said to the girl whose house it was “would you miss this one if it went?”. She told me that it was only 14 days old so I replied “maybe we ought to wait a while”. While I was looking around I had a kind of grip thing with some clothes in and one of her cats had climbed into there and gone to sleep. He had been doing some work and he had a pile of bricks, a pile of slates and tiles etc stacked on the floor in the attic of this house. I thought “this isn’t a very good idea because all the weight of that on these beams is going to break the beams if he’s not careful. He was telling me that his wife was back in the UK . There were things going on at the school where all the kids went, how they had moved school. She’d been roped in to do some work about which he wasn’t very happy. He explained that they could go to a place called Beaumont’s where they would have shoes for peanuts and maybe make some money at it. Later, I was with she. She’d been badly injured in something and was covered in plaster. I was as well. She wanted me to do something with this car. There was a car there from the 1930s. That was all covered in plaster as well. I had to help her into it, which wasn’t easy considering how I was. There were tools and everything all over the driver’s seat and the driver’s footwell so I started to move them. She asked me what I was doing. I replied “I can’t possibly drive this car with all of this stuff in the footwell here”. She replied “but if you put it all on the back seat, everyone will see it”. I answered “we can always put it back afterwards. I’ll stay with the car”. Then she wondered why I was going to drive it anyway. I replied “I thought that that was the plan now that you were in it” but she didn’t seem to think that it was. I was really puzzled about what was going to happen so in the end I sat in the driver’s seat which was on the right-hand side of course because this was a British car and told her to tell me when it was clear to pull out. I started to go and she started to panic but this cyclist coming was miles away. There was a police car coming down the hill so I thought that we’d best let the police car go out of sight before we set off. But with me being in plaster etc trying to move this car was a nightmare. There was no power steering, no anything and I was having to maul this round with my hands but I had no power in my arms because of where I’d been injured etc.

Much of the rest of the day has been spent going through the sound files and extracting the bits that I want to include in my broadcast. I’m about half-way through and I would have done much more than that had I not falled asleep after lunch.

And fallen asleep definitively too. For all of 90 minutes. Totally painless. I even went off on a voyage in the middle of it all. There was a long story, most of which I’ve forgotten. I ended up wit a young boy who was distilling something using heat, threading a bottle and pipe through an old resistance element of a 1960s electric cooker. He was adding to it some kind of solution that looked like very thick strong coffee except that it was supposed to be extremely alcoholic. he was gradually feeding this in but there were times when the heat was making his main liquid boil up so it was on the verge of overflowing so he had to turn down the heat. This meant that the dark brown liquid was blowing backwards out onto a tray but he didn’t realise any of this. When I went in there I saw this tray with a fair amount of this black alcoholic liquid so I went to pour it back into his container so that it would percolate back into the main mix that he was heating. For some unknown reason he became quite annoyed about my idea of doing this and made quite a little scene about it

Luckily, because I thought that at one time it would be debatable, I awoke in time for me to go out for my afternoon walk where I encountered those two aeroplanes.

people on beach medieval fish trap rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022First of all I went off for a good look down on the beach and the medieval fish trap.

Plenty of beach again of course, and there were once more plenty of people down there making the most of it.

You probably noticed the bright, clear blue sky that we were having while I was out. It really was a gorgeous day, even if the wind had sprung up somewhat and that probably explains all of the people down there this afternoon.

Very few people up here on the path though. The good weather hadn’t brought them this far out.

marker buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Mind you, it was really windy out there this afternoon, especially up here on the headland.

It was such that I was really having difficulty holding the camera still. That explains why the photo of the marker buoys just offshore is rather more blurred than I would have liked.

Nothing else of any excitement going on anywhere else. The chantier naval was as it was yesterday, the freight was still on the quayside but the cherry picker that we saw yesterday behind my building has cleared off somewhere else.

Consequently I was home quite quickly for my afternoon coffee.

Tea tonight was a falafel burger that I found in the fridge, with pasta and veg. Nothing special, but it was quite nice all the same.

Liz as on line later so we had quite a chat, the first time for what seemed like years. I’ve heard nothing from her for ages, even though she’s been here and there and around and about on my nocturnal rambles.

No shops tomorrow as I’m off to leuven on Wednesday. I’ll nip into town nevertheless for mushrooms and things like that but there won’t be much.

And with having had none of my favourite companions out with me during the night for a few days, they ought to be recovered from the previous exertions and raring to go.

So who will it be tonight? Castor? TOTGA? Zero? Or some other member of my family?

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.

Friday 17th December 2021 – THAT WAS HORRIBLE

Thy injected me with some kind of radioactive material, and then added a tracer to it. This material stimulated my heart and it becan to beat quite rapidly.

And while all of this was going on that had all kinds of leads attached to me monitoring my stress levels.

After about 20 minutes of this, they put me in a waiting room for half an hour and then fed me through one of these Stargate time-tunnel things for 10 minutes.

Having done that, they then threw me out saying that “we’ll be in touch”.

They didn’t actually throw me out of the hospital though. I only made it as far as the corridor where I had to sit for a while and gather my strength

And I bet that I’ll be glowing in the dark for a few weeks after all of this.

Considering that I had to leave my bed at 06:15, I thought that all of this was rather excessive.

At least the walk to the hospital was rather easier seeing as I didn’t have anything to carry. But it was a strange walk up there in the thick fog that was hanging around everywhere. And even though it was extremely cold I was sweating like a pig. I seem to be pretty hot stuff these days.

On the way home I called at the Origin’O health food shop for some vegan sausages and some seitan slices, and then to the Delhaize for some more banana drink.

This afternoon I alternated between fighting off sleep and choosing the music for the next series of radio programmes. I’m doing my best to get well ahead, for obvious reasons.

There was the disctaphone too. There had been all kinds of adventures taking place on the final day of our trip on THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR when a couple of cruise ships docked at the same place and everyone went ashore to wait for the tide to sail out for their big ships home. We were having all kinds of games in the snow and everything but I can’t remember anything about them now

Later on I was getting ready to go on my holidays and wanted to borrow a roof rack for Caliburn. I noticed that last year I borrowed on and it turned out that I’d borrowed it from Anne-Marie so I telephoned her to see if it was available but it wasn’t now because she was married and it was on the roof of her husband’s car. Ahh well, fair enough. We had a little chat and apparently she was having Monday off work and they were going to look at a new house at Mount Pleasant in Winsford – not a new house but new to them. We had quite a little chat.

Tea tonight was a bag of chips from the fritkot across the road and some baked beans with a couple of the sausages, just for a change.

Now I’m going to do some packing and then go to bed. There’s an alarm call set for 05:00 because I’ll be on my way home.

Tuesday 14th December 2021 – LOOK AT THIS!

christmas cake with icing place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Here’s my Christmas cake, all finished and almost ready to eat. And doesn’t it look nice?

The icing is a bit hit-and-miss unfortunately as I don’t have a proper palette knife to spread it. And the icing is a little too runny so it’s slowly sliding down to the bottom so every hour or so I have to scrape it back up again.

Maybe overnight it might set in which case it will be fine but let’s hope so.

All that I can say is that considering my first go at icing a large cake like this, I haven’t done too badly although I’m the first to admit that I have a lot to learn about baking a cake.

But in bed last night I wouldn’t have learnt anything because I spent much of the time trying all I could to drop off to sleep.

It must have worked at some point because I was off on my travels at one or two points. I’ve no idea what was happening at first but according to the dictaphone but I was definitely off on my travels with all kinds of animals and horrific things going on there for 10 minutes while I was asleep.

Later on, Matthew was giving a speech on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR last night. Apparently when it comes to unloading a zodiac it’s always the infirm people who leave first and leave the fit people behind so that they can have a better control of the boat and everything that’s going on. But it seemed that someone concealed their illness, let everyone else leave the boat first until there was just him and the driver. Then this guy couldn’t leave the boat – he wasn’t able to. There was only the driver to help him. While the driver was concentrating on dealing with this guy the zodiac was out of control and they risked losing the zodiac as well as the two people on it while all this was happening. He was not impressed at all and gave the audience what amounted to a real dressing down about this kind of behaviour. He insisted that the infirm people should leave the zodiac first and people should accept their responsibilities and accept their limitations and not put the whole party at risk.

Later on a former friend of mine and I were down in the Auvergne last night. We needed some product of something or other so we had to drive back to Stoke on Trent to fetch it. We took some stuff back with us with the idea that we could do some work on his house while we were there. We hadn’t heard anything from his wife so we did it anyway. He drove back and I was a passenger in this sports car thing. The arrangement was that I’d drive back to the Auvergne and he’d be passenger. It was very tiring of course and we had to set a route, like 3 hours for this bit which would normally take 2, etc. It took ages to get back and we arrived in Stoke on Trent and the first thing that we did was to fall into a bed fully clothed and went to sleep. Shortly afterwards, Zero of all people came in. She saw us both and got into bed with us, being very little-girly. She came and snuggled up to me so I snuggled up to her as well.

Yes, not very often at all that I’m lucky enough to snuggle up to Zero during the night, is it? Add to that the events of the other night when I was back at school and things are looking up.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I wish that my daylight hours would be as exciting as what goes on during the night.

There was much more going on during the night too but as you are probably eating your meal right now I won’t put you off your food by talking to you about it.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I sat down to revise my Welsh from last week. Only to find that I’d forgotten most of what I’d learnt. This teflon brain that I have is really getting on my nerves.

There weren’t too many of us in the lesson this morning, considering that it’s the last of the year. And to my surprise, it passed well enough. Revising and preparing an hour or so before the lesson seems to be a good idea.

christmas cake with marzipan place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021After lunch, I decided to marzipan the Christmas cake.

With no apricot jam I had to use blackcurrant jam but that seemed to work just fine. I warmed the marzipan in my hands, coated the worktop with flour and then rolled out the marzipan.

It was rolled out rather thin so I built it up with a couple of layers and given half a chance and more marzipan I would have made it thicker. It’s rather thinner than you might expect in a Christmas cake but as I have said earlier, I have a lot to learn.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021By now it was time for me to go out and about on my post-prandial perambulations.

First stop was over to the end of the car park to look down onto the beach to see what was going on down there. And seeing as there wasn’t all that much beach on which anything could be going on, I wasn’t expecting very much to be going on at all.

And consequently I wasn’t disappointed. There wasn’t anyone at all down there that I could see this afternoon. There didn’t even seem to be anyone walking around on the promenade at the Plat Gousset either.

philcathane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Mind yuo, there was something going on right out in the Baie de Granville.

From my vantage point on the cliffs I could see something moving in the raincloud out at sea so I photographed it with the aim of enhancing it when I’m back at home to see if I could find out who it might be.

The colour scheme gave me some kind of clue though. If I had to guess at this range I would have said that it may well be Philcathane.

Anyway, whoever she might be, she was the only thing out there that I could see moving around out at sea.

cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And it wasn’t just out at sea or on the beach at the Rue du Nord that there was next-to-no activity.

Down at the bench by the Cabanon Vauban there wasn’t a soul either. There were one or two people wandering around on the path down below, but no-one stopping for a rest.

But then there was nothing happening out at sea here, there wasn’t a sunset of any description to admire and the Brittany coast round by Cancale was obscured by clouds. And so I pushed off along the path around to the other side of the headland.

portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Yesterday I posted a photo of the portable boat lift because it looked as if there had been something going on with it during the day.

So when I arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval I could see that they have been doing yet more work on it.

Yesterday it was in grey rust-proof primer but today it’s been painted again and now has its top-coat of a nice off-white. And it really does look nice painted like that.

It can’t be long now until it’s finished and we’re back at work down there. It’s been very quiet over the last couple of months around here with no boats under repair down there.

chant de sirenes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021The last time that I looked, L’Omerta was tied up at the fish processing plant.

She’s not there today though. Moored in her place was one of the smaller trawlers – Chant de Sirenes – “Song of the Mermaids”.

It looks to me as if she’s either unloading her catch right now or loading up a pile of catch boxes because there are some men working in the stern of the boat and there are some others up on the quayside with a pile of boxes that are identical to those in the stern.

Why they are doing it from above I really don’t know. It’s much easier to load up the boat from the level down below.

philcathane baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021As I was turning for home I looked round, just in time to see the trawler that we had seen earlier come into harbour.

And there’s no need to do anything to the photo back at the apartment because we can see quite clearly who she is from here.

She is in fact Philcathane, coming back in from a day’s fishing out at sea.

And so I headed for home, surprising a couple of kids aged about 11 or 12 having a crafty cigarette behind a hedge as I walked past.

After a coffee I started to ice my Christmas cake and while it ought to be done better, I’m still reasonably pleased with what I’ve done.

Tea was a curry out of the freezer and now, rather later than intended, I’m off to bed. I’ve a 06:00 start in the morning so I need to make to most of what remains of the night.

Friday 12th November 2021 – TORA TORA TORA!

tora tora tora sunlight through clouds pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021One of the many things that I like about this time of year is the effects tha the sun can produce when it’s low in the sky.

Particularly on days when there is heavy cloud and there are these small gaps through which the sun, low in the sky, can send its beams radiating out into the sea.

Here on the edge of the cliffs we have no obstruction to our view and can see for miles, so it’s really a grandtand seat here to see the sort of effect that so inspired the Japanese naval Air Force when they set out that morning to attack Pearl Harbour

spotlight of the gods brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And sometimes we have an effect that is even more spectacular, like this one seen from the other side of the headland.

This one really is a spotlight of the Gods and I’d love to know what it was illuminating over there on the Brittany coast. it must have been just like on the stage of a theatre during a performance.

It isn’t every day that a photo opportunity such as this presents itself and strangely, I was the only person who seemed to be interested in watching it. These days most people seem to be oblivious of the free shows that Nature puts on for them.

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021If you had read these pages earlier, you might have been wondering why the entry was so short last night.

The answer was that I had been out radioing until quite late. I’d been to see a girl called Leoma who was performing at the local Mediatheque.

She was born in Paamiut, in the south of Greenland, and had come here to tell a few native Greenlandic tales for a small audience in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the twinning of Granville with the town of Uummannaq in northern Greenland.

For once in my life I must have had a reasonable night because the entry (there was only one) on the dictaphone was at 07:15 – just 15 minutes before the alarm rang. Nothing whatever at 02:00 or 03:30 or whatever like there has been quite recently.

Last night they had doled out the soup on THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR and it was just sitting there going cold while there was something going on. I heard somehow that there had been a record number of complaints about something so I mentioned it to one or two people. One of my disabled friends from University was there. We were chatting about the company. I said last year that i’d come north with a different company and it wasn’t the same at all hence I’m back. He said that it was the same for him and several other people whom he knew. I said that at least I reached destinations differently last year. Then our ship pulled into a port. I disembarked and so did a lot of other people, took my camera with me and went to photograph it. There was a big aeroplane coming in to land that flew past overhead. There was a church and the hotel. I couldn’t fit the hotel in the frame so i went to photograph the church first but everyone kept getting in my way. Then I couldn’t get the camera to work. When I did, I found that I didn’t have the shot that I wanted so I had to go somewhere else to take the shot. I walked past a shop, a toy shop, and there were a couple of girls dancing, being very happy. I went to take the photo but a couple of other people got in my way so I couldn’t. When finally I could, I pressed the shutter but the camera didn’t click. I was wondering “have I taken this photo or not? How am I going to be able to check?”.

When the alarm did go off I struggled once more out of bed and went for my medication.

Afterwards, having checked my mails and messages and transcribed the dictaphone notes, I set out to perform the task that I had promised yesterday to undertake – to wit find the spare battery and battery chargers for the NIKON 1 J5.

Finding the mains charger was easy – it was plugged into a plugboard in the dining room. But the USB charger and battery was something else completely.

This led to a sorting-out and filing of a pile of papers, making up my suitcase for Belgium next week, photocopying a pile of medical receipts, a discovery of several other missing bits and pieces (which usually happens at these moments) and SHOCK! HORROR! I actually found what I’d been looking for.

Mind you, it had taken long enough but even so, finding something on the day that I set out to do so must be something of a record.

After lunch I had another go at attacking the photos from Greenland 2019. It’s been quite a while since I’ve attacked that, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

It’s not that I’m actually out of the woods with this backlog of arrears, I’ve simply moved into different woods.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Of course there has to be the usual break while I go for my afternoon walk today.

First place to visit is the beach down below the car park – not actually visit the beach of course because I can’t manage the stairs these days – but to look down upon it from above.

There wasn’t anyone down there that I could see today, which was hardly a surprise because after the balmy day that we had yesterday, winter and the wind are back with a vengeance.

There weren’t too many people around on the footpath this afternoon either which was goon news for me. I could walk around in peace and tranquiliity without running much risk of catching some kind of infectious disease.

cabanon vauban people sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There were a few people though braving it out, sitting on the bench down at the end of the Pointe du Roc.

Not that there was very much to see today because the sun, being so low in the sky, was shining right into the surface of the sea and if there was something out there it was impossible to see it.

But take a look at the sea out there. It’s not as rough as it was the other day but even so there’s quite a storm whipping up the waves somewhere further out at sea.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021However, what the storm was producing at the blunt end was something of a damp squib.

Having left behind the ladies on the ledge I set off along the path to see how the waves were doing as they broke on the sea wall around the corner.

However I needn’t have been so impatient because there wasn’t all that much to see. I wasn’t expecting them to go right over the sea wall but I was expecting to see someting rather more lively than this. And this wave was the best of the bunch too.

portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile, down in the chantier naval there’s something going on at the portable boat lift.

They haven’t just been content to take off the wheels, they have the stub axles off too. This looks as if it’s going to be quite a long job to fix whatever is the problem with it.

Meanwhile, they’ve corralled it off with the blocks that they use for the boats to settle in while they are being worked on. Not that it’s going to be keeping too many people away from the scene, although it might prevent a car driving into it at the dead of night.

yachts baie de mont st michel crane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Further along at the ferry terminal, I see that they have once more left the crane to its own devices fully-extended while they have gone off to do something else.

Things like this makes me wonder how long it will be before this is out of service for repair, and who they will end up blaming for the faulty seals.

But it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good. I mentioned the wind earlier and there are a couple of yachts out there taking full advantage of it.

Back here I had a shower then a coffee and then checked my radio equipment ready for this evening.

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the Mediatheque I found, to my dismay, that the girl running the show on whose behalf I was going there for THE RADIO hadn’t reserved me a place and it was a sell-out.

Nevertheless I managed to blag my way in and listen to her telling a few animated traditional stories from Greenland, stories that I hadn’t heard before, surrounded by her collection of Qulliks

Although I took a few photos from my very cramped and uncomfortable position, it was impossible for me to record it, despite doing my best.

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021At the end of the show I door-stepped her and after a little chat she agreed to be interviewed by the radio.

We agreed to meet at the Archipel Theatre where there was an exhibition of paintings by an American artist who had visited Uummannaq to paint the town and its scenery

There were plenty of people around there because they were having some kind of party – a vernissage, although it’s the first time that I’ve ever heard of a vernissage given by a dead artist – so I had to hunt around for a quiet room and ended up in the refectory.

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Of course, all of these entertainers have their fans and so I had to hang around for her while she disentangled herself from her admirers.

Eventually she came over and we went off for our chat.

Although she was born in Greenland, her family are French. Her grandfather had visited Greenland quite often and ended up settling there. She was born while her parents were visiting him.

She didn’t stay there long after she was born but in Greenland there’s a droit de sol – nationality is accorded to those who were born there but they have to be present at 18 years old to claim it so she returned. Unfortunately, she’d never visited Uummannaq so that mean that most of my questions ended up in the bin. In fact, she’s never been to the north of Greenland.

In the end we chatted about life in Greenland, which was rather difficult seeing as she hadn’t grown up there, so talking about youth and education and the like was clearly going to be difficult.

Having visited Greenland as often as I have (which is three times more than most people on the planet) I had a good idea of where things differ than mainland Europe and what might be of interest

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021One thing that surprised me (well, it didn’t because I know all about this, although I wasn’t expecting it) was that she was subconsciously aware of the differences between the more urban (if anything in Greenland can be said to be urban) southern part of the country and the more rural and traditional north of the country.

It was very much a case of “us and them”.

She didn’t seem to be concerned as much as I would have expected about the environment either. For her it was a case of exploiting the opportunities that the melting ice-cap had given then in the search for new raw materials to make the country economically self-sufficient, rather than the destructive effect that it will have on the traditional Inuit lifestyle in the north.

That was probably the strongest “us and them” part of the interview and, to be honest, it was an attitude that rather dismayed me. Most of the people whom I know in Greenland are Inuit from the North and their response would have been completely different.

For that reason, it wasn’t a very good interview from the point of view of Uummannaq.

he said that she could spare 5 minutes but we were there for half an hour talking about Greenland, and we would have been there longer had she had anything to say about Uummannaq.

By the time that I returned home it was late to to listen to a group whom I’d been invited to see so I just threw a quick tea together – pasta and veg tossed in a garlic, oil and pepper sauce with grated vegan cheese.

Now I’m off to bed and I’ll add the photos in tomorrow. No big shopping tomorrow as I’m off in the middle of next week. I’ll just pop into town for some basic supplies instead.

Saturday 9th October 2021 – I DON’T BELIEVE IT!

Yesterday I posted that I had a really good sleep all the way up to 04:41 in the morning.

Anyone care to guess what time I awoke this morning?

Yes, you’ve guessed it. 04:41. Someone round here somewhere must have an alarm clock set for an early start, unless my body clock is playing tricks with me again. It can’t be a coincidence.

Although I was once more in bed early yesterday evening, the big difference is that I had a wretched night. I spent most of the night tossing and turning in my bed it it didn’t seem as if I had slept at all.

Mind you, the dictaphone tells a completely different story because by the looks of things I travelled miles during the night.

After the medication and checking my mails, I prepared to fight the good fight with the dictaphone. And I wasn’t joking about the miles either. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

We were at school, primary school and we’d had a test. Then the teacher sat down and started, we thought, to read through it and give us the answers. No-one understood what she said about question 1 and she didn’t mention question 2 so I asked “could we have the answer to question 2?”. She replied “you’re supposed to be writing down the answers”. We said “we’ve done that. We’re waiting for the answers”. She replied “the next person who makes a noise will be beaten”. Just then one of the children had been playing with something, a traffic light or something, and the lens fell off. She grabbed hold of the child and took it into her room and prepared her cane. There was another teacher there and they were discussing this child’s anatomy about where they were going to give it the cane. This wasn’t the first time that this has happened. I remembered seeing it perhaps on some other occasion the previous day or something. Of course, all the children there were quite distressed by this.

Later on I was playing bass with a guitarist and I just couldn’t find the opening note. It was one of these heavy metal power trio things like Robin Trower. My bass playing was awful. Eventually he told me that the opening note was E which I didn’t think it was, but that was what we started to play.

There was something else about some people. There had been a raid on a camp somewhere and they had found a steel door. Behind the door was a pile of illegal immigrants or asylum seekers. They had gone through and processed them, and found that there were some valuable workers there with them. They were then going to embarrass a few other countries by pointing out what they had found in this batch of asylum seekers.

So the French were interested in these people as resistance fighters from start to finish yet the British were more discerning looking on them as sex objects, that kind of thing.

There was a family barbecue and everyone was buying everything. We were all there at 09:00 lined up outside the supermarket. I was the first one away and took my stuff to where this was being held. My brother was in charge of the camp and I noticed that he had 10 litres of petrol stored somewhere and was planning to burn down some undergrowth near where this petrol was. I went back for a second load. I had a Landrover chassis but it wasn’t really – no body on it and you sat in it rather than on it, towing a trailer. We returned and my brother was there by this time and one of Lynette’s children had stayed with me. We started to unload this stuff. he was fetching out his petrol and putting down a circle ready to burn. I said “don’t be stupid! You have all that fuel there and some gas. He asked “what do you mean? The first lot has already been burned”. I can’t remember who I looked at but I said “thank God I wasn’t here at the moment when you did that.

All these pretty girls (which pretty girls?) were a pile of water too at the port (if that makes any sense) and I wanted to send them away because much as they were very attractive and helping to keep the male/female ratio a little closer than it might be, they were distracting me from anything else going on.

There was some kind of downhill water racing course in a machine, like a series of rapids or something like that. You go down there and when you reach the lake at the bottom you have to swim underneath the water in a tunnel and come out at the other end where the finishing line it. I did it 3 times and filmed it, including the bit of me going under the water down this tunnel which of course is an astonishing thing for me and made a collage together of how the film would be. Nerina was in here somewhere and I was showing this film to her and actually going ahead and doing it for her although I can’t think why. I can’t remember where this went or what happened about it afterwards.

We were off on board the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR again and it was lunch, or evening meal and we were queueing to get it. There seemed to be two queues, one for the normal meal and another for the fish or cheese variety. I had a look at the cheese variety that turned out to be a white square of fish in cheese sauce with toast. I thought that I would try that but I couldn’t find the vegetables. I managed to grab plenty of toast but there were some people chuntering about “all these people pushing in, doing this and doing that”, whatever. Despite the fact that I had to pay 20p extra my meal was looking like a washout. I went over to where Liz was sitting and asked if this looked right to her, my meal I had to choose a place to sit and there wer e2 seats, one either side of her, that were free. The one on the right was opposite another seat of course. I could see that the seat facing Liz was the handbag of the mother of Zero. The seat next on the right had someone else’s handbag on, and the seat on the left facing the seat on the right of Liz had nothing on it. I wondered if that was where Zero was going to sit so I decided that i’d sit at that seat facing there in the hope that it would be the case.

And that’s not all of it either. There was other stuff too but I’m sure that you wouldn’t appreciate my posting it as you are probably eating your meal right now.

It took me all morning to type out all of that – right up to lunchtime. But there was a reason for that.

home made bread fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Yesterday saw me almost reach the end of the bread, so seeing as I wasn’t going to go shopping this morning, I decided to do some baking.

There were only two or three fruit buns left too, so while I was at it, I made half a dozen of those. If I make some space in the freezer somehow (don’t ask me how) I can freeze half the load and three of the fruit buns for when I return from Leuven.

And I shall too, because this batch has turned out really well. The buns look really good and believe me! The loaf is excellent!

After lunch, there was football on the internet. Connah’s Quay v TNS.

TNS are way out in front of the table but Connah’s Quay, despite winning the league for the last two years in succession, are stuck in mid-table and their manager left in midweek. Nevertheless it was a pulsating, exciting match decided by a penalty for TNS not long after the start of the second half.

Mind you, it could have been completely different had Connah’s Quay been awarded a penalty for what looked like a pretty clear handball earlier in the game.

Both sides had a player sent off for fighting later in the game and we carried on into no less than 6 minutes of injury time that came from God Knows Where because this is the first match that I have seen for ages where neither first-aid attendant was required to enter the pitch.

Connah’s Quay actually had the ball in the TNS net in the dying seconds of the game but it was ruled out for offside.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021This took me up to walkies time so I grabbed the NIKON D500 and headed off outside.

Almost immediately I felt the icy hand of death upon my shoulder, but what had happened was that a Nazgul had gone flying by overhead. A two-seater Nazgul too.

In fact, I could have photographed any number of them this afternoon because they were out there in force. probably about half a dozen that I could see at any one time and I bet that there were more than that as well in total.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Having dealt with the issue of the Nazgul, I wandered off to the end of the car park to see what was happening on the beach.

And with the tide being out this afternoon, there was plenty of beach to be on. And there were crowds down there too – more than we have seen on the beach for quite a while.

That wasn’t really a surprise because despite it being October and there being a fair bit of wind about, the day was the warmest that we have had for a couple of weeks and once I was out of the wind I was obliged to remove my jacket.

aerial ballet hang glider powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I was watching the people on the beach, another Nazgul flew by overhead.

And around the corner from behind the College Malraux came the little red powered hang glider that had been out for a spin.

As they closed up on each other, they performed a really delightful aerial ballet – they really did. Not a danse macabre as we have seen the trawlers in the harbour do so often but a proper little dance.

powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021So having performed its little pas de deux with the hang glider, the powered machine headed off.

Its route took it out to sea across the Baie de Granville and I could follow it for quite a way. But then it headed off towards the airfield to come in to land.

The little scene had been witnessed by the crowds of people who were out there this afternoon. It seems that the whole town had come out up here for a walk.

hang glider falls to earth pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I fought my way through the crowds of people I had a very unexpected sight right in front of me.

Another Nazgul had gone by overhead and as I walked along the path he came tumbling out of the air and touched down right on the very edge of the cliff. With the camera already in my hand, it was an instinctive shot into the sun, hence the overexposed image.

My intention was to go over there and buttonhole him and ask him about his association and how I can blag my way up into the air, but as quick as he came down, he leapt of the cliff and was away, long before I could catch up with him.

digger heavy machine laying pipeline baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I was walking over the path towards the car park, I could see that there was plenty of activity going on in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

It’s a Saturday of course today, a weekend, so no-one was more surprised than me to see the heavy tractor thing and the digger out there working on this pipeline. It’s very unusual for this kind of work to be carried out at a weekend.

Obviously the tide is playing an important role in this, and with the lowest tides of the season being round about now, they must be paying the workmen a good bonus to have the work done.

Crowds of people out there too having a dab at the pèche à pied while they have the opportunity.

SNU Service National Universel pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There were three Gendarme vehicles and a pile of gendarmes on the car park and they seemed to be dealing with this group of people, one of whom was carrying a banner.

Thinking that I might be witnessing some kind of exciting incident I sidled up to one of them. “Who are you?” I asked.
“We’re the SNU” he replied
“What’s that?”
“The Service National Universal#34;
“And what’s that all about?”
“We volunteer” he said, and at that he wandered off. Talk about informative!

Anyway, having made my own enquiries subsequently I can tell you that this is a French Government initiative aimed at kids between 15 and 17 who want to “participate in the construction of a society of Engagement built around national cohesion”.

And don’t blame me. I’m only quoting. I don’t write rubbish like that. I have my own brand of rubbish to write.

F-HFMS Robin DR 400-160 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And while I was talking to that young person, I was overflown by a light aeroplane from the airfield.

And she’s a new one. We haven’t seen her before. We’ve seen plenty like her though because she’s a Robin DR 400-160 like some of the aeroplanes at the Aero Club de Granville, but this one is owned by the Aeroclub d’Andaines, near Alençon and is registered F-HFMS.

With no flight plan filed, I can’t tell you where she was going from here at 16:20, or even how she’d arrived here, but she was picked up on radar at 19:33 somewhere in the vicinity of Vire and did a big loop towards Alençon.

She disappeared off the radar at 19:59 not too far from Alençon somewhere near her home airfield at Rives d’Andaines.

trawler pescadore yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Having spent a lot of time out there this afternoon, I headed off back down the other side of the headland overlooking the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And here in the chantier naval this afternoon we have another new arrival to accompany the yacht that came in here on Thursday morning.

She has her AIS beacon switched off so I couldn’t tell you her name at first but her serial number came up trumps. She’s Pescadore and why I didn’t recognise her was that she used to be blue and yellow before she had a new paint job.

She was in here a couple of weeks ago, so I wonder what has happened to make her come back.

l'omerta tractor trailer vehicles under fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Another one of our old favourites from the chantier naval is sitting on the silt over there at the wharf by the Fish Processing Plant.

She’s L’Omerta and was in the chantier naval for a repaint a couple fo weeks ago as well.

And it looks as if they are going to be expecting a bumper harvest of shellfish this evening when the tide brings in the boats that are out working. As well as the tractor and trailer in position, we have several vehicles on the concrete pad underneath the Fish Processing Plant waiting to take away the loads from their boats.

Back here I made a coffee and sat down for a relax. I should have gone up town this evening to watch the football but I wasn’t up to in. Instead I carried on with the updating of some of the journal entries for August to add in the details of my nocturnal voyages.

They are all now complete, so something positive came out of today.

Something else that I forgot to mention was that somewhere along the line I had a play with that desktop mixer and made it work after a fashion. But I need to do more work on it some time.

Tea tonight was a breadcrumbed vegan burger with veg and some more of those nice potatoes.

Now that my journal is finally finished, I’m off to bed, hoping that there’s no 04:41 alarm in the morning.

Today has been something of a bad day. As well as not having had much sleep, I’ve opened a letter, thrown the contents away and filed the envelope, made a mug of coffee without any coffee in it, and boiled the kettle without any water.

Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Tuesday 7th September 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… much better and much more productive day today – due almost entirely, I reckon, to the fact that I had a sleep for about 90 minutes or so on my chair this morning not long after I had risen from the dead

As you might expect, it was a struggle to leave the bed this morning when the alarm went off and when I came back in here after the medication, I didn’t do very much in the way of work before I was away with the fairies.

When I finally awoke and came back round into the Land of the Living, I made myself a coffee and then attacked the dictaphone.

Yesterday’s notes were transcribed and went on line, and then I turned my attention to today’s notes.

I’d been on the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR last night and it was our final day out. We’d all been off looking at something and I was wandering around. Suddenly I had this uncomfortable feeling that everyone else had gone. Not to worry, because these were the days when I could run so I set off at a run back to it. Matthew Swann and a few others were there. Yhey were being quite derogatory about it They asked what had happened and I told them that I had fallen asleep. They had a moan and everything like that. I was quite literally leaping over obstructions, scrambling down hills and so on. But it turned out that it was all like giant beds with blankets and sheets on and I was falling down the side of these giant beds and running up the other side of them, hanging on to the sheets and everything as I went over the top. Every now and again I would bump into someone who knew me. They all were wondering what I was doing, whether I was doing something for a bet or a personal achievement. I explained what had happened, and I was wondering what would happen when I would reach the other side of the island. Had all of the boats gone out to the ship and left me right behind? But I awoke in a night sweat, as I have been doing for the past couple of weeks.

Later on there was something about we were driving somewhere in Germany and retracing our steps back the way we had come. It all started to become confusing when we arrived in a big city. There were all these weird blue and white buses and trams driving around and I couldn’t quite follow the signposts for some reason. I wasn’t even sure where I was supposed to be going. After we had driven out of the city and going into the suburbs I suddenly looked over to my right and saw a couple of shops in the distance that were extremely familiar so I turned round and started to head off that way thinking that if I remember them it must have been from when we came in and therefore it’s that road over there that must be the right one out again.

While I was asleep just now I was driving around Montreal with one of my Canadian friends talking to her. She was asking me all kinds of questions about places in Montreal and its vicinity and I knew none of them. I came to the conclusion that I didn’t know Montreal anything like as well as I thought I did. We were discussing dating sites with someone else. he was wondering about their popularity. I said “well sex is the most important part in people’s lives and people just aren’t meeting up as they used to” which he agreed. I went out anyway, going to post a letter and get some food. In the meantime a bus did a U-turn in the road in front of me and clipped a car that was in front. Another vehicle clipped another car somewhere else. I was driving around finding myself in an area that I didn’t really know at all and wasn’t really sure how I was going to find out anything.

Grabbing another mug of coffee, I went for my Welsh lesson and ended up being rather late because the portable computer chose that inconvenient moment to perform an upgrade.

The Welsh lesson passed really well and then after lunch, because I was feeling very lively, I caught up with an outstanding task. A while ago someone gave me a laptop to fit an Solid State Drive in it,seeing as I have a certain little computer program that means that I can do it without going through any complicated back-up procedure.

It took me quite a while because it’s an old steam-driven computer, dating to at least the year 2000 running an underlying DOS operating system so I had to dig deep into my memory from 20-odd years ago.

It works fine now except that I can’t extract the data files from the old drive because this computer doesn’t have a USB 3.0 port so tomorrow, if I’m feeling up to it, I have a cunning plan that I can use to make things work.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This took me right up to the time that I go out for my walk around the headland this afternoon.

Across the car park I went to look out over the wall down onto the beach to seed the crowds of people down there this afternoon. And crowds there were as well today.

Although there are a couple of people wearing swimwear, walking away from the water, there weren’t any people in the water here this afternoon. And this was surprising because this was one of the nicest days that we have had so far this year

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

Quite a few people in the water too, making the most of the opportunity presented to them by the availability of the water in the medieval fish trap.

Way further out on the beach at Donville les Bains, there are dozens of people taking advantage of the sunny afternoon. Of course, you might well expect this now that the children have gone back to school and the holidaymakers have all now gone home.

There was nothing whatever going on out at sea in the Baie de Granville – no kayakers, no frogpersons and not even any fishermen so I had a very lonely trudge around the headland in the heat.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I walked around the corner by the old bunker I could see that out in the Baie de Mont St Michel on the other side of the headland that Le Loup, the marker light on top of the rock at the entrance to harbour, was looking splendid today.

The dark line underneath the lower of the two red lines is where the tide reaches and so it gives you a good idea of how high the tide can be.

Out in the background on the beach at Kairon-Plage in between St Pair sur Mer and Jullouville, there seem to be hordes of people this afternoon. More than I would expect so I wonder what is happening there today.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned that there were no fishermen out in the Baie de Granville.

On this side of the headland however there were plenty of people down on the rocks having something of a scavenge about.

With the tide being so far out this afternoon the public part of the foreshore down there is now uncovered so they can have a good forage for the shellfish and other seafood in rockpools that have been left behind as the water recedes.

Judging by the size of the containers that they have, they must be having a good and successful time.

trawler baie be mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Over the past few months we’ve seen the local fishing boats working out in areas that have previous been unexploited.

Today, right down at the end of the Baie de Mont St Michel close to the Brittany coast, we have a trawler down there this afternoon having a go to see what it can pull up out of the water.

At this kind of distance I can’t see who she is, and I’m not even sure that she comes from here.

So with nothing else happening, I pushed off along the path on top of the headland towards the port.

l'omerta fishing boat massabielle trawler chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And down at the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval I could see that we have had plenty of excitement down there today.

The little trawler Briscard that was nearest the camera and Pierre de Jade, the trawler next to her, seem to have gone back into the water this afternoon.

It didn’t take long for their places to be filled either. L’Omerta, the little shellfish boat that we’ve seen so often sitting on the silt by the Fish Processing Plant, and Massabielle, a trawler whom we haven’t seen before, have taken their places.

It’s all go in the chantier naval these days.

Back here I had my banana smoothie and then had another play with that computer, which took me up to teatime. Taco rolls with the rest of yesterday’s stuffing.

Tomorrow I’m at the physiotherapist’s so I need to have a good relax and gather my strength during the morning. But not 90 minutes-worth.

And while I was typing up my notes, with my other hand I fixed the computer issues that I mentioned just now

Monday 30th August 2021 – I’M GLAD THAT …

… today is coming to a close because I’ve had a really depressing day.

And would you believe it – I went to bed last night at 22:30 which is probably one of the earliest times that I have been to bed just recently.

As you might expect, I couldn’t go to sleep. In the end, round about 01:30, I went to find those pills that are supposed to send me to sleep.

Consequently when the alarm went off at 06:00 it was a real struggle for me to leave the bed.

After breakfast I made a start on the radio programme and that was something of a struggle too because I kept on falling asleep while I was working. It wasn’t until about 11:30 when I’d finished. And while I was listening to it I fell asleep again.

Once lunch was finished I went and had a shower, nad then came in here and tidied up the bedroom floor so that I can walk around without stepping on anything

Just as I was dropping off to sleep yet again, the doorbell rang. This was the nurse who had come to give me my fortnightly injection.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk, so I walked across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

Looking over the wall, I could see that the tide is well in this afternoon and there wasn’t all that much of a beach to be on. And in any case there was nobody at all down there on the beach either, as I expected.

There wasn’t anyone on any of the other beaches either. All the way around the coast out past Donville les Bains, the place is totally deserted. The holiday season is now over and most of the tourists have gone home.

men in speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was looking with one eye down onto the beach, the other eye was roving around looking out to sea.

There wasn’t anything out there in the distance this afternoon. Not even a small yacht. The only thing that I could see was a small speedboat just off the coast.

There were a couple of guys in it but at the speed at which they were travelling they clearly were’t after any fish.

An aeroplane flew past but it was right out in the bay so it would have been impossible to take a good photo of it. And so I pushed off along the path.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked further on along the path, I noticed that there was something that had just set off from the Ile de Chausey

Judging by the size of the wake, It was something of a large boat heading my way at a rapid rate of knots and so I reckoned that it was one of the Joly France ferries on its way back to port.

It was way too far out for me to identify it so I took a photo of it to enlarge and enhance it when I returned to the apartment. It was definitely a Joly France but even so, I wasn’t able to identify it with any certainty.

joly france chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo I’ve told you what it might be, and now I can tell you what it isn’t.

Walking around the headland and down the path towards the port, there was no change in the occupants of the chantier naval so I turned my attention to the ferry terminal.

There were two boats over there tied up at the terminal. One of the boats moored over there is of course Chausiaise, the little freighter that runs out to the Ile de Chausey with the goods and luggage. She’s the grey, white and orange one.

The other boat over there is the newer of the two Joly France ferries. We can tell that by the smaller superstructure on the top deck, and the rectangular windows in “portrait” format.

joly france baie de mont st michel granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was checking the boats at the ferry terminal I had my answer to the boat out in the bay.

Around the headland came the older of the two Joly France ferries – the one with the larger superstructure on the upper deck and the rectangular windows in “landscape” format.

She has quite a crowd of people on board, returning from the island this afternoon. The holiday season may well be over but there are still some tourists about. Mostly elderly pensioners as I noticed as I was walking around the path. They’ll still be coming here in their caravanettes all the way through the autumn.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday I took a photo of the galleon Galeon Andalucia, saying that the photo would be the last one of her that I would take.

The grapevine had hinted to me that she would be on her way out of the harbour today, but now the tide is out and the harbour gates are closed, so she won’t be going anywhere today.

But as for me, I’m going back home right now. I have two kilos of carrots to peel, dice and blanch ready for freezing. They’ve been hanging around since Saturday and need to be done this afternoon.

When I’d finished I made a start on some of the recent arrears but was interrupted by a ring on the doorbell. And that led to me going out for a chat and a visit for half a hour. I seem to be quite popular these days.

Back here I could finally listen to the dictaphone. I had been on the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR again. We were at Alsager, me and two other people. We’d been out for a walk and had to buy tickets for the train back to Crewe. I bought 4 tickets, because someone else had joined us. As there was time, I wandered off to the market. At the market was a coffee stall with a kind of tent behind it as an extension. as I was watching, this tent was caught in the wind and blew over, with all people witting in it and food being roasted and everything. It was quite impressive. I suddenly realised that I had my train so I ran back down to the train just in time to see the train pull out. I had to catch another one. I had to work my way out across Paris and get on the train that was going to take me to the ship. With talking to these other 2 people who were coming with me, they were actually flying from Gatwick so instead of going to Paris they were actually going to Reading and from there get a train to Gatwick, which I thought was a much better idea than messing around where I am through Paris. Perhaps I should have thought of going that way too.

For tea I made some stuffing for my stuffed peppers, only to find that the peppers were off. I ended up having taco rolls instead.

But now I’m off to bed. Ad I’ll take a pill before I go in the hope that I’ll be able to have a good night’s sleep. I have a Welsh class tomorrow.

Sunday 29th August 2021 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… big fall today. Something along the lines of when I fell a couple of years ago when I dislocated my knee and broke my hand. This time, I landed on my knee and on my elbow and I have gravel rash just about everywhere.

Whatever else I have done remains to be seen, of course but at the moment I’ve cleaned my knee and I have an antiseptic pad on my elbow.

One gets the impression that it’s not safe for me to be allowed out without a keeper.

This morning I finally had a lie-in – until all of about 09:30. It was actually rather earlier than that because someone sent me a text message round about 08:30 but if anyone thinks that I’m going to respond at that time of morning on a Sunday they are mistaken.

After the medication I came back in here to do some work but after a short while I was disturbed by a phone call. I have a appointment to see a neighbour at 14:00 but could I come now?

We had a very lengthy chat for several hours about a project that I have in mind and she gave me a load of informatio which I could put to a great deal of use.

That took me all the way up to lunch and then for the first part of this afternoon I’ve been teaching myself how to write, synchronise and add subtitles to video files. It’s rather time-consuming and took me a while to figure it out, but now everything is working exactly as it should and I’m quite pleased with what I did.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat took me all the way up to my afternoon walk outside.

It goes without saying that the first port of call is the beach to see what is happening, so I wandered off across the car park to have a look over the wall.

There were quite a few people down there on the beach today which is no surprise as it’s about the last day of the holiday season. And chapeau to those who are going into the water because there is quite a lot of wind today and it’s really cold in all of that heavy cloud shadow.

zodiac speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I had one eye out on the beach, the other eye was, as usual, looking out to sea to see what I could see.

Unfortunately, there was nothing big sailing around the bay this afternoon, even though the tide was in and the harbour gates were open. All that I could see was a speedboat out at sea, and a zodiac full of fishermen hidden in the shadow of the cloud.

No sign whatsoever of Marité and La Granvillaise which is strange seeing as this is really their last opportunity to rake in the cash.

So off I set along the path, where I met my Waterloo. Face-down in the gravel and I could only just about manage to find the strength to drag myself to my feet.

It reminds me of the time that Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams fell overbaord from a lifeboat.
“Did you drag yourselves up?” asked Kenneth Horne
“Oh no” they replied. “We were dressed quite casually”.

belle france speedboat brittany coast baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallStaggering off down the path, covered from head to foot in dust, I went down to the end of the headland.

As I reached the end of the path by the lighthouse, aroud the headland came one of the Joly France ferries. This one is Belle France, the newest of the fleet that came in to port earlier in the summer.

The lunchtime train from Paris came in at 14:10 or thereabouts and will have brought in passengers who will be going over to the island for a out-of-season holiday. Belle France will be bringing back the people who are going to be taking the evening train to the metropolis.

Managing to keep on my feet, I tottered across the car park and down to the end of the headland. Surprisingly, there was nothing going on out in the bay around there so I headed off towards the port.

chausiase joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere wasn’t any change in occupancy in the chantier naval today. Still the same seven boats as before.

Instead, I had a good look around the port to see what else was happening in the port. I could see Chausiaise, the Ile de Chausey freighter over there at the ferry terminal waiting for things to happen.

Behind her up against the other side of the ferry terminal is another one of the Joly France ferries. This is the more recent of the older two ferries, with the rectangular windows in “portrait” format.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere wasn’t anything else of note happening over there so I pushed off further along the path.

The Galeon Adalucia is still there moored in the harbour. I wanted to take a photo of it today because this is possibly the last time that we shall be seeing it. Someone was telling me that she’s hitting the road tomorrow for St Brieuc.

She’s still pulling in the crowds as you can see. There are masses of people over there on the quayside taking a last look at her before she goes.

And talking of going, I’m going too, back to my apartment.

red microlight ulm place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back home I was interrupted by a familiar noise going past overhead.

Luckily I had the camera ready so I was able to snap it as it went by overhead. It’s the red microlight, or powered hang-glider or whatever she calls herself. We haven’t seen her for a good couple of days.

Back here, I paired off the tracks for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday, and the unfortunately I fell asleep for half a hour.

Plenty of stuff on the dictaphone to attract my attention today

I started off on board a ship like the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR only this time I was someone else – a female. I had Zero with me and I wanted to see how she would respond to certain stimuli. I asked on the internet if anyone had any marijuana or cannabis to smoke and if so would they like to bring it round and share it with the 3 of us and see what happened as the drug unfolded. And I have no idea whatever about what was going on here.

There had been a few Hollywood films made with a low budget or even no budget as a strike had hit hard but all of a sudden it cleared up. This meant that this thing with Zero was back on the agenda. How it cleared up was that I was treating a girl not much older than that who had broken her hand. I was a real guessing game and I had to work it out in the end which I did, and the question of how she was going to get back to hospital. I didn’t want to run her because I was waiting to catch up my beauty sleep. It turned out that the traffic was all flowing again so she’ll get something or other (I must stop mumbling) from down the south coast for which I was grateful. She was talking about she’d rung up her brother and gave me her brother’s phone number. Luckily he answered me and said that he would come and fetch her for which I was grateful.

Later, I wanted to go and look at a car somewhere or other and asked my father to come with me. In the end he said that he would come with me one morning which meant that I’d be late for work. I took my car in to the garage and left it there. I asked them where there were any decent cars because I was retiring. He pointed to a garage about a mile down the road which I said that I knew but which occasionally had some old bangers in and a few other cars but I didn’t think that that was the kind of place that was of any interest. I went back to the office at 09:00 and my father was standing outside. We set off and somehow we ended up in this museum having a look round. We became separated and were having a look. It was pretty crowded. Then I thought “this isn’t getting anything done, is it? I’ll be without a car, I’ll be late for work, all this kind of thing”.

Now here’s a thing!

Here I am, at home on a Sunday with nothing much going on today, and I HAVEN’T had pizza for tea. So what happened there?

Yesterday, I’d taken a frozen burger in breadcrumbs out of the freezer in order to have it for tea but with Rosemary phoning me, I’d ended up missing my meal.

Meanwhile, the burger had defrosted so it needed to be eaten. There were a couple of older small potatoes hanging around so I finished off all of that with some vegetables.

So now, an early night. I need to be on form tomorrow so I don’t intend to hang around.

And any case, I’m sick to death of this keyboard.

Wednesday 25th August 2021 – I WENT TO …

… see the rapist this afternoon.

rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst thing that I have to say about it all is that there’s traffic flowing again down the Rue Cambernon again.

It looks as if the braderie was only a one-day thing because everything seems to have been cleared away, all of the streets are now open and the cars are driving along them.

It’s a shame really because for that one day it was quite interesting and quite quiet too. It reminded me of the “car-free Sunday” that we had once a year when I lived in Brussels. All of the public transport was free, all of the parks and museums were open and you could wander everywhere without any interruption at all.

And, at the end of the day, the normal haze that hung over the city had gone and the sky was really clear.

Just for one day.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, one of the things that really gets my goat around here is the pathetic parking.

bad parking rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou’ve seen so much of it that I’ve been trying to avoid showing it, in order not to bore you to death, but sometimes there is something so extreme that I have to feature it. Something like this, for example.

The white car, with a registration number from out of the département so clearly a tourist, has stopped – with a couple of wheels on a zebra crossing, and let his wife out to go and buy a baguette from the bakery here.

And then he sits and waits for her.

This is a bus route for the large service buses that ply up and down the coast, and he’s blocking the road so that this bus can’t go past.

And does he move? Of course he doesn’t. He’s a tourist. The town belongs to him. Who cares about the locals?

But anyway, let’s start at the very beginning.

Despite having a good deal less than 5 hours sleep last night, I was up and about at 06:00 and went to take my medicine.

Back in here again I checked my messages – well, I didn’t – just about half of them. I didn’t actually go to sleep – I was wide awake – but in something like a zombie-like trance for a couple of hours, unable to function at all.

When I finally gathered my wits – which takes far longer these days than it ought, seeing how few wits I have left these days, I made myself a coffee and cut a slice of my gorgeous fruit bread – which really is gorgeous by the way – and then came back in here to finish off checking my messages.

Next task was to prepare a music playlist for the week. It’s the turn of the music in the “BB” folder to be selected and it will be any 11 tracks from about 15 of the 50 artists and groups in the folder.

The playlist will now be running continuously until Sunday night (as long as the computer is switched on) and I’ll be listening to all of the relevant albums, choosing tracks that might be interesting, noting down their running times and the albums from which they come, and whether they are good or faulty.

And whether they are needing editing too. Chopping exciting bits out of “Tubular Bells” or “Thick as a Brick” – stuff like that. Much as I like the complete albums, my listeners would fall asleep if I played all of them non-stop.

There was the dictaphone to check of course and eventually I managed to get around to it. Last night I was living on some kind of island. There was a huge explosion that had destroyed part of the buildings. Everyone had to evacuate this island and move onto another one that was already occupied. Everyone immediately thought that it was me who had blown up this island or whatever it was, so no-one was really my friend and gave me all cold stares when I’d tried to talk to them about anything.

And doesn’t that remind me of an event about two years ago?

Later on, I’d been on a bike and apparently I’d started off walking. It was medieval times. I was loaded up and on my way somewhere or other. The priest of this area was standing there looking over the harbour and everything. As I walked past he made the sign of the cross to me so I made the sign of the cross to him. He said “good evening” and I thought “it’s morning, isn’t it?”. I carried on walking and then I was on a bike cycling down a hill near Lyon. A group of 5 people walked off the pavement straight in front of me. I gave them a tinkle of the bell. They moved slowly out of the way so I swore at them and cursed them in French. They were making all kinds of gestures and insults but I carried on. In the end someone invited me to appear on television. I thought “if they had heard that lot just now they wouldn’t have allowed me on at all.

After that, I know that I did something else, but don’t ask me what it was because I can’t remember.

After lunch I went and had a shower and a general clean and tidy up, and then went off on my travels to see the rapist.

transhipment porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I didn’t go very far before I came to a stop.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, because I’ve said it before … “and on many previous occasions too” – ed … living intra muros in the old walled city does have its drawbacks Like the height of the gateway into the old walled city.

If you are having anything big delivered, you need to have some kind of trans-shipment system in place because the chances are that the delivery lorry might not be able to fit through the arch. We’ve seen all kinds of Heath-Robinson arrangements since I’ve been living here.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, a little farther on along the road I come out to one of the viewpoints on the outer walls – the one that overlooks the fish processing plant.

The first thing that I noticed was that all of the “charter hire” yachts like Aztec Lady, Spirit of Conrad and so on are conspicuous by their absence.

Not that it is a real surprise because I heard on the grapevine that the Channel Islands are relaxing their strict anti-Covid controls on visitors from France, and so everyone who is anyone has headed off in a northward direction.

And had I not had my series of appointments starting this week, I would have been tempted to have joined them as well.

Les Epiettes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallEvery now and again we’ve been seeing a small red, white and blue boat running around in the bay or just outside the harbour.

It might be this one here. I know that we encountered one, called Les Epiettes once when we were on Spirit of Conrad out at the Ile de Chausey, but unfortunately we can’t see her name from here.

When I was back in the apartment later I checked the port call register and there was no trace of a boat that resembled her so she probably has her AIS switched off.

But I did discover something else and I’ll talk about that tomorrow.

charlevy port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd I’m sure that we all recognise this trawler. It’s been the subject of quite a few photos just recently.

Unless I’m very much mistaken, she’s our old friend Charlevy, anchored at the loading bay with one of the cranes working on her.

What I suspect is that while she’s been in the chantier naval she’s had all of her nets taken out and presumably overhauled and repaired on the quayside as we’ve seen them do before.

Today, it looks as if the crane is reassembling all of her fishing gear, ready for her to go back out to sea.

From there I pushed on through the streets and up the hill to the therapist. And the climb up there was a little better than on Monday.

He had me walking up and down a step, doing some stretching exercises and then standing on some kind of tilting, vibrating plate that reminded me on being on the deck of THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR in a hurricane.

There was a kind of ski-walking machine there but that wasn’t a success. Not because I couldn’t work it but I didn’t have the breath to keep it going.

After half an hour he threw me out and I walked home, feeling actually a little more sprightly in my right leg than I have done for a while. I wonder what it will be like at the end of the sessions.

Passing the shenanigans outside the bakers I carried on towards home and my ice-cold strawberry smoothie. And the climb up the hill in the Rue des Juifs went rather better than the other day.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out, I thought that I’d go and see how things were down on the beach. It’s much more like my usual time of afternoon.

Plenty of beach to be on or course because the tide is well on its way out now. You could see quite a difference to how it was 90 minutes ago when i set off for my appointment.

But the holiday season is definitely coming to an end. Three days now on the run I’ve made the point that there have been fewer and fewer people down on the beach , and once again I couldn’t see anyone in the water either. It’s a sad end to a rather depressing summer season here.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was at it, I was having a good look out to sea.

The NIKON D3000 was my main camera between the demise of the Nikon D5000 and the purchase of the NIKON D500 and while I was happy with it at the time, I’ve had to do a lot of post-work to pull out a photo of the Ile de Chausey from the haze out at sea.

None of the Joly France ferries in sight – they must all be sheltering in the gap between the two islands. Just the odd yacht or two out there this afternoon. Nothing much to be excite myself today. I did see a brown smudge on the horizon which at first I thought was Marité but it turned out to be a mark on the computer screen.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallGoing back to the apartment, there was a view of the beach down at the Plat Gousset – a view that I don’t usually see because I’m going the other way.

Quite a few people going for a paddle around in the water retained by the medieval fish trap, and a few folk on the beach down there too. But seeing as that area is the most popular part of the beach, I was expecting it to be much busier than that.

A few people down on the beach at Donville les Bains though. I can just about make them out in the distance.

So back into the apartment I came and had my strawberry smoothie – and the next thing that I remembered was thatt it was 18:30. I’d been stark out for 90 minutes. The walk out and back had taken it all out of me.

There were carrots that needed peeling and blanching ready for freezing and then it was time for tea. I had the rest of the mushrooms which were going to start to do something rather peculiar if I didn’t do anything with them so I threw in a small tin of lentils and a few other bits and pieces and made a quick curry.

big wheel at night place albert godal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack in here I came to write up my notes but while I was checking the radar to see whether it really was Les Epiettes coming into the port, I noticed a rather large boat coming into the port, larger than any that have been in here recently.

Immediately I grabbed the camera and dashed outside to see what it might be, falling over a concrete bollard in the street in the darkness.

Firstly though, the big wheel was working, even though it was quite late. People must be staying up until all hours, being still in the holiday mood even if they don’t want to go down to the beach during the daytime.

big wheel at night place albert godal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the attractions of the big wheel, especially for the spectator, is that it changes colour as it goes round.

As I watched, it went through all of the colours of the rainbow and made quite an exciting spectacle.

But only for a few more days. It usually closes down round about the end of August so maybe next week will be the last that we shall see of it.

And the tourists too. While I’m always pleased to see them leave, I do feel sorry for them for the miserable summer that they have had.

medical emergency at galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou probably noticed in the two photos of the big wheel a set of lights coming down the hill in the Rue Couraye. What you won’t have heard of course is the sound of the sirens that came with the lights.

There’s something rather large and top-heavy down there and it’s certainly not a gravel boat as I was originally thinking.

And why it’s put into the harbour is presumably due to some kind of medical emergency that needs to be dealt with

medical emergency at galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut in the meantime I can tell you something about her, because she has her AIS beacon switched on.

Believe it or not, she’s a Spanish galleon. Not a original one, I haste to add, and wouldn’t that be something if it were, but a faithful replica of a Spanish galleon of the 17th Century and at an overall length of almost 48 metres, she’s the largest ship of any description to come in here for quite a while.

How long she’ll be staying is something else, so I’ll be out there first thing in the morning to see her in daylight, because the harbour gates open early.

trawler leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’m out, I’m not going to bed quite yet. I may as well make the most of things

With the harbour gates being open, one of the trawlers here is taking the opportunity to slip out to sea. She doesn’t have her AIS beacon switched on so I can’t tell you who she is. It’s just a purple lozenge on my radar screen with no name attached.

Anyway, that’s enough excitement for this evening. I’m going back to the apartment to carry on with my journal entry for today before I forget any more.

Now, much later than intended, I’m off to bed. A whole day at home with no interruptions. I bet that I’ll fall asleep and miss most of it.