Tag Archives: outdoor market

Saturday 18th June 2022 – I WAS THINKING …

“which is always dangerous” – ed … of hitting the road this weekend.

But a temperature of 32°C in an old van without air-conditioning heading off into the wild blue yonder is more than any man can stand and so I eschewed the idea for now.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022In order to underline the situation, I’ll post a couple of photos that I took of the crowds of people swimming in the sea today

You can tell how warm it was just by looking at these photos.

It was quite warm during the night too and I was tossing and turning for much of it. It was really difficult to go off to sleep.

By about 06:45 I’d effectively given up and I was sitting there waiting for the alarm to go off when with about 5 minutes to go I drifted off to sleep again and when the alarm went off I awoke with a start.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Nevertheless I was out of bed as it rang and went off for my medication.

When I’d checked my mails and messages afterwards the first thing that I did was to check the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I’d had the insurance through for the van. I remembered distinctly putting the certificate and policy in the container up on the roof rack while I was sorting everything out but it wasn’t there when I went to look for it. I turned the van inside out but still couldn’t find anything. By now we were 6 months into the insurance. I said that I would have to have a duplicate but my brother didn’t think that they would send me one after 6 months if I turned round and said that it was missing. I was just going to say that I’d misplaced it but he didn’t think that that was a good enough excuse for having a duplicate. We had one of our interminable discussions about it. In the end he decided that he would search through Caliburn to see if he couldn’t find the papers. at that point I left him to it. No point in both of us doing the same thing and getting annoyed with both of us doing it

We’re now in a Welsh lesson. A few of us given Welsh lessons on top of this double decker bus. One by one we must have been plucked off and disappeared because further along the programme nothing was heard but Welsh on this bus. The people weemed to be unaware that there was a party of English persons I fell asleep here

Finally it was the World Series of baseball and one of the coaches would be happy having amateur referees in it. That was a crazy thing to do because these World Series games go on for every. In any case his tactics were all wrong and the other teams were exploiting his tactics. The one team that had made it to the final had some depressing tactics of their own, like timewasting and making each play count minutes although they did manage to bottle up the defence of the others and make them run down one corridor. This violent hugging had cost the coach a $25 fine at the last game and was likely to be repeated if he continued.

At some point as well I was with Louise. She had had a long wheelbase Landrover that she had fitted a short cab. She’d sold the long wheelbase cab to someone in the area but he’d died before he could collect it so his executor was trying to haul away the cab. She was a kind of mouse who wouldn’t engage with him because she said that it was this other guy’s, even though he’d died. She had it all laid out in bits where it should go, here and there, everything. She showed me round quite proudly. Her uncle was there as well. He was talking to me about this and that. We were out there and all of a sudden it started to rain a torrential rainstorm. He said that he had to nip over and buy some fish but if I got in his car and sheltered from the rain he would come back when he had his fish and drive me home

The bit about Caliburn’s insurance was interesting. It expires at the end of the month and I had the new paperwork the other day. I’d forgotten all about it completely and dreaming about it reminded me, so I nipped out to put it in Caliburn before I forget it completely.

What I started to do next was to download a load of music. Not sound files but “proper” music because if I do manage to go off on my travels I’ll be taking the Gibson EB3 and the acoustic with me and having a little ja session all of my own.

at some point I had to break off because I needed some bread for lunch. I’m not taking half a loaf out of the freezer.

la grande ancre les bouchots de chausey l'omerta le roc a la mauve 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022So on my way into town I stopped at the viewpoint overlooking the fish processing plant to see who was there this morning.

And we had quite a crowd down there today. From front to back we have La Grande Ancre, Les Bouchots de Chausey, L’Omerta, Le Roc A La Mauve III and a small boat that as far as I know doesn’t have a name.

Plenty of vehicles down on the lower level too, unloading the boats and taking away the catch. It’s always quite a profitable affair and sometimes I’ve seen the tractor and trailer groaning under the weight of shellfish taken off Les Bouchots de Chausey

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was plenty of activity outside the harbour in the bay too.

This yacht that was sailing past the entrance to the harbour was gorgeous and I quite liked the sails on the smaller one that was following along behind her.

And that wasn’t everything out there either. There were more than enough boats of all types, shapes and sizes sailing around there today ad I could have spent all afternoon there photographing them.

But instead I pushed on down the hill towards the town centre and the supermarket for my baguette.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Now here’s quite a surprise.

Here we are on a Saturday in summer and there are crowds of people round about, as we have seen already in our photos of the beach, yet for some unknown reason the crew of Marité has decided not to put to sea today.

It’s the kid fo day when I would have expected them to have rounded up hordes of passengers and gone off for a lap around the bay.

As for me, I went off for a lap around to Carrefour where I bought a baguette and a can of cold drink for the climb back up the hill to home.

saturday market place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022On the way back home I wandered back through town past the Place General de Gaulle.

With it being a Saturday morning it’s market day and the open-air market is in full swing. Mind you, there isn’t really anything there that is of interest to me.

The walk up the hill in the heat was agonising as I expected and I enjoyed the stop that I made halfway up when I drank the can of cold drink. That made me feel better.

Back here I made a sandwich for lunch and then carried on with the downloading of the music. I ended up having a play around with Wishbone Ash’s THE BALLAD OF THE BEACON. It’s much easier than you would think.

In the middle of all that, rather regrettably I dozed off for 10 minutes or so. And I was doing so well too.

fishermen in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy Francec Hall photo June 2022As it happens I was rather late going for my afternoon walk today.

Having already looked down onto the beac I wandered off along the path towards the end of the headland, having a look out to sea to see what was happening. Out there in the bay this afternoon was a zodiac with a few people in it.

At first I thought that they might have been fishermen but before I could have a good look at them they started up the engine and cleared off around the headland out of sight.

As for me, I cleared off around the headland too, but at a rather more sedate pace

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There wasn’t anyone on the bench at the cabanon vauban this afternoon so I carried on down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

Over at the ferry terminal across the harbour we had Belle France, the newest of the ferries that go over to the Ile de Chausey. The other two aren’t in port anywhere so I imagine that they are out there at the Ile de Chausey already waiting for the tide.

Still no Victor Hugo either. According to the maritime radar she spent the night at St Helier and left early this evening, presumably to come back here. I’ll get to see her yet!

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Earlier this morning I mentioned that Maritéwas still in port despite it being a summer Saturday today

And she was still there this afternoon too. By the looks of things she hasn’t been out at all today. I know that it’s none of my business but if I were in charge of Marité she’d be out all weekend during the summer, as much as possible.

Most of the fishing boats are also in the harbour too. They don’t go out at weekend either. Even L’Omerta was moored up at the fish processing plant, settling down into the silt. All on her own as well.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Just now I mentioned Victor Hugo being out at St Helier.

Also out at St Helier, according to the maritime radar, is Southern Liner, the freighter that was in port yesterday.

And I can tell you much more about her today. The company that owns her has started a freight service between St Malo and the Channel Islands just recently and as they had a couple of days free they sent the ship over here to see how she would get on in and around the harbour here.

Apparently the plan is that they want to see if there is sufficient demand for another freight service between Granville and the Channel Islands, using small containers rather than loose freight that the other little freighters carry.

This is something that is going to be interesting

Back here I crashed out again for rather longer than I was hoping – so much so that my coffee was stone cold. But I did some more music downloading. There’s still plenty to go at.

Tea was a breaded quorn burger with baked potato and veg, and then I had my notes to write, interrupted by another marathon phone call from Rosemary, hence I’m way later than I intended.

We’ve had a storm and a rainstorm too so that might cool everything down. I hope so because I’ve been in shirtsleeves with z fan going all day and I’m still struggling for breath in this heat.

Tuesday 7th June 2022 – THIS WAS ANOTHER …

… day that I’d much rather forget, because I’ve spent most of it asleep again.

Surprisingly the day started quite well because I was wide-awake shortly after 07:00 and didn’t have any trouble at all leaving the bed at 07:30 when the alarm went off. But that was as good as it got.

After the medication I came back in here to prepare for my Welsh course, and I promptly fell asleep. And not just for a few minutes either but for over an hour and that was disappointing. Even more disappointing was that Zero didn’t come to watch over me while I was asleep, like she did yesterday.

Eventually I managed to find the strength to prepare for the Welsh lesson, and actually it didn’t go too badly. I was actually surprised with what I could remember and that’s not like me at all.

When the lesson finished I went for a shower and a good scrub up, and I actually smell quite nice for a change.

Lunch was quite late, what with one thing and another, and then fighting off waves of sleep I headed off out.

gerlean port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was no physiotherapy yesterday because it was a Bank Holiday, but she had offered me a session today.

So on my way out I stopped at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to see what was happening down in the port.

And it looks as if we are back playing another game of “musical ships”. L’Omerta isn’t there this afternoon nut in her place today is Gerlean.

There’s another boat moored behind her too but I can’t see who she is from here. Whoever she is, she’s quite small so she can’t be anyone special.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was plenty of activity going on in the Baie de Mont St Michel this afternoon too.

One of the sailing schools has gone out there and they are all having a really good time, being shepherded around by a couple of zodiacs.

One of these days I’ll be out there with them. I haven’t forgotten that. But I just don’t know when I’m going to find the time what with everything that I have going on right now, physiotherapy, language lessons, hospital appointments and all of that.

But anyway, that’s something to worry about for another time. I headed off down the hill towards the town.

la grande ancre p692 maroni gendarme maritime port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022The other day we saw one of the Gendarme Maritime boats, P692 Maroni, in port.

There’s one moored over there against the wall today as well. Of course I can’t say whether it’s Maroni, but it would be most unlikely to be a different one.

Plenty of smaller boats over there as well, and we can recognise La Grande Ancre amongst them.

The walk up the hill was total agony. It was just like the dark days of last summer when I was at my worst. Just recently I’ve been making it all the way up the hill in one go but today I lost count of how many times I had to stop for breath

She put me through my paces for a while and then we finished off with 10 minutes on the exercise bike. Luckily she didn’t wind it full up otherwise I would never have managed it.

My plan when she threw me out was to go round to Lidl for some shopping but I was honestly in no state whatever to go there today. Instead, I went to the Carrefour across the road for just enough apples and onions to see me through until the weekend.

kiddies roundabout biofood stalls place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Back in the centre of the town the kiddies’ roundabout was still there.

It’s certainly smaller than the pink one that used to come here, about which there was all of that fuss with the mairie.

And with it being Tuesday, it’s the bio market in the Place General de Gaulle and you can see a couple of stalls in the background. But it’s not much of a bio market at all. Last time I looked, there were only two stalls and that’s not going to change significantly anyone’s eating habits.

But the walk back home was pretty awful again with several stops for breath. I’m definitely right out of this.

omerta hera victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022A little earlier we saw Gerlean moored at the quayside by the fish processing plant and you were probably wandering where L’Omerta, who usually lives there, was moored.

She’s actually just there in the inner harbour, just to prove that she can do it at times when she wants to. It’s just a mystery why she doesn’t want to do it all the time.

Also in shot is the trawler Hera on her way back to the quayside after a day out fishing in the bay. And Victor Hugo is there too. One of these days we’ll see her actually taking passengers out to the Channel Islands, although I’m not holding my breath.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before going into the apartment for a coffee I went to look down onto the beach.

There were just one or two people down there this afternoon, and no-one brave enough to go into the water. It was a nice afternoon, but clearly not that nice.

Back in the apartment I made myself a coffee but before I could drink it, I crashed out. And I was out for 90 minutes too in a really deep sleep.

One of the things that was disappointing about that was that after yesterday, Zero didn’t come to watch over me while I was asleep. That was something that I actually found extremely touching. I’m not used to people being so solicitous about my welfare.

It’s a shame that it never happens in real life. But then again I would take Zero in a dream watching over me rather than anyone whom I know in real life.

While I was drinking my very cold coffee later on I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was a young person, a little person running around creating mayhem in a kitchen somewhere that was doing something for a fair or a fête or something but that’s all that I can remember.

And then I was on a beach somewhere but it wasn’t a beach it was a snow field. It was like a holiday thing and a meeting and we’d all connected to the internet to try to follow this meeting. I’d managed to make a connection and I could follow it vaguely although it was clicking in and out. There were a few things that needed to be doing here and there and I could follow them vaguely. The girl in charge of it was coming round. She came to me and asked me how I was doing. I showed her that everything seemed to be fine and working after a fashion so she left me to it. People started breaking up and drifting away as it was starting to go dark and cold. I didn’t see much point in being here for very much longer so I was planning on drifting away as well, I reckoned, and seeing what maybe tomorrow might bring or later on that night somewhere else might happen

Tea was a taco roll with rice and veg and then I sat down to type up my notes. I had intended to deal with my Welsh notes for my exam once I’d finished but Rosemary rang to tell me about her trip to the mairie with her Ukrainian refugees in order to start their registration process. That should keep her busy for the next few weeks.

But right now I’m off to bed. An early night because I have a lot to do. Here’s hoping that I can do it without falling asleep. Or if I do, then that Zero will come to watch over me while I’m sleeping.

Saturday 26th March 2022 – IN SOMETHING OF A …

…. major surprise, the first day of my Welsh revision course actually passed quite well and I’ve no idea why either because as usual we were launched straight into the deep end.

crane ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022In something else of a major surprise, I actually caught the crane at the ferry terminal working this morning.

With having my Welsh lesson starting at 10:30 I had to nip into town early for my special bread for lunch and the mushrooms for the pizza. And there as I approached the corner of the street the crane was busily swinging something about.

Of course, at this kind of distance and as far as I was away from the outer wall it’s impossible to see what it was that they were moving around. And the sun shining right into the lens of the camera didn’t help matters at all.

person swimming in sea rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And that’s not all either.

When I went out for my afternoon walk I went as usual to look down at what was happening on the beach and out at sea. And despite the weather I really was surprised to see someone actually in the water this afternoon.

That’s what I call “courage”.

But I’m getting ahead of myself yet again today.

When the alarm went off this morning it was yet another struggle to leave my stinking pit for the real world. Nevertheless, I beat the second alarm clock. Not by much, I have to say, but enough.

After breakfast there was plenty of time to transcribe the dictaphone notes.

The Germans were busy executing a load of prisoners whom they had caught last night, hanging them in groups of so many. After they had done several groups, they decided that they would call it a night for the moment, just as they got to one particular woman. They were all there having a little party I suppose. This woman was sleeping on what was a large bed, the type that you would fit probably a dozen people on. One of the women who was there involved in the executions was with a guy. They were busy eating green apples. They asked this woman if she wanted one but she said no. It created problems with her stomach so they carried on with what they were doing while she was there trying to sleep with all this noise. her hands were tied so she couldn’t do very much. When everyone went off to sleep she tried to free her hands but she wasn’t able to do it. Next morning the hangings started again and she was in the first batch of them to go to meet their maker. Interestingly, where this was all taking place was somewhere round by the corner of Alton Street and Walthall Street in Crewe.

And later we were babysitting a small child for someone. I can’t remember who I was with now but it was male. It might have been my brother. We were babysitting in my house. This woman turned up unexpectedly to take the boy away. It was her grandmother on his mother’s side. She had a friend with her. They walked into my house and had a look around. She said to her partner “just remember before you say anything about the condition of their house, it’s their house”. She said that with one of those long pointed looks down her nose. I thought “you ungrateful cow”. I was just about to tell her what I thought of her when she grabbed the child and left so I chased after her but she had gone. Just then my mother in law turned up with her other daughter in law, her brother’s wife, for measuring our house. We had a tape measure and someone asked to know the length of it so I said that it was 20 metres. They insisted that it was 10 but I could see quite clearly that it was 20. I told the story of this woman coming in. My mother-in-law said “yes, quite” as if she clearly agreed with the first woman. I thought “all these miserable people here . I can’t even live my life quietly on my own without having all of these attacks from all kinds of different people. What made it worse was there I was out of the goodness of my heart looking after this little child and all I received was a heap of abuse, which sounds about pretty much par for the course the way things are these days.

And that’s not all of what happened last. But trust me – you really don’t want to know about the bits that are missing, especially if you are eating your tea right now.

There was also an extremely bad-tempered reply to the e-mail that I wrote last night. Which went basically “I’m not paid to do …” a task that he actually volunteered to do without any prompting, and “ohh, that’s different” – the standard sort of reply that you receive when you mention something that they haven’t considered.

And plenty of other bells and whistles besides

“Ohh, that’s different” – like when the subject crops up about the footballer who is accused of cruelty after kicking his cat and you ask his critics if they’ve just eaten a meal containing the flesh of some animal that someone has actually killed.

crane ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022So climbing down from my soapbox, I headed off into town this morning nice and early just as the shops were opening.

And there at the viewpoint at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne I watched them playing about with the crane but by the time that I arrived at a good viewing position whatever it was that they were moving had gone out of sight.

There were problems going down into town too. There are some steps that go down from the Rue des Juifs to the Place Pelley and someone has erected a scaffolding across them, as I discovered when I was half-way down.

market place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022At the Carrefour I bought a special baguette and a punnet of mushrooms and headed for home.

Although it’s early, the market was in full swing. The barbecue on the right, burning its charcoal, was in full operation. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that two years or so ago the Maire at the time tried to stop him burning charcoal, but he fought the case and won.

The walk back up the hill to home was surprisingly easy. Not only did I not stop for breath, I actually made it up to the top at something like a reasonable speed as well.

That’s not like me these days either, is it?

At 10:30 our lesson began and I was actually already connected up. But not for long. The laptop that I use for Zoom crashed and it took me about 15 minutes for it to fire up again and reconnect.

We’re 15 students in this class, all from South Wales apart from me so I’m confusing them all by saying “efo” instead of “gyda”, “rwan” instead of “nawr”, “dwâd” instead of “dod” and so on which isn’t very helpful. I don’t know why they insist on putting me in a South Walian revision group when my learning provider is registered as Coleg Cambria, which is based in Wrexham in North-East Wales.

We had two coffee breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and a lunch hour of course. And to my surprise I managed not to fall asleep either.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As soon as it finished I legged it off outside, rather later than usual, but never mind.

Earlier on, I mentioned that it was a beautiful afternoon. And you can tell that by the crowds of people down there on the beach.

This lot is sitting at the foot of the steps that lead up to the Rue du Nord. And there were dozens of other little groups like this one scattered around all over the place as well, enjoying every minute of the weather.

Including the woman, who we saw earlier up to her waist and beyond in the water. Perhaps I ought to mention that despite the crowds down there, she was the only one who had taken the plunge. It wasn’t that warm.

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022You’ve seen the crowds on the beach already. Now look at the crowds on the path on top of the cliff.

My route to the lighthouse was dogged by hordes of people pushing pushchairs, walking dogs, holding children and all of that kind of thing. The beautiful weather has brought them out in their droves this afternoon.

And the reason why everyone seems to be on land at the moment is because if you look at the background of the photo you can see that we have the sea mist back again..

There won’t be much sightseeing being done on the water this afternoon.

fishermen in boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022However this photo represents something else completely.

There were a couple of boats that I could actually see and even though the bright sunlight was shining directly into the camera and reflecting off just about everywhere else, I still had a go at it.

These two boats were actually full of fishermen – you can tell by the silhouette of their fishing rods – but what caught my eye was how close they were together, like the two trawlers the other day and there were some strange antics going on aboard.

There are some strange things happening out at sea these days.

people on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022And whatever it was that they were doing, they had an audience watching them.

Down on the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon we had another group of people enjoying the sun and whatever the spectacle was out there with those two boats.

And no dog – or polar bear – to disturb the peace either today.

But I have things to do, places to go, people to see, so I headed off towards the port on the path on the other side of the headland to see what was happening over there.

cabin cruisers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022There was no change whatever either in the chantier naval or over at the ferry terminal since we last looked.

But there was some water in the inner harbour and there was a small cabin cruiser on its way into port. Presumably the larger one is waiting for a bit more water to come in.

Back here there was football on the Internet. Haverfordwest County v Connah’s Quay Nomads.

And what a match this was. The first shot on target was on 32 minutes and the second shot on target was at 51 minutes. We had a brief flurry of action for 5 minutes immediately after than and then it was “as you were”.

The final score was 0-0 and believe me – both sides were lucky to get nil. After the exciting game we had last Friday night, this was a considerable let-down.

Tea was a burger on a bap, and then I came in here to write up my notes.

Having done that, I’ll have a play on the guitar and then go to bed. No lie-in tomorrow either. I’ve set the alarm as I have Day Two of my Welsh revision weekend. I suppose that if you throw enough of it at a wall, some of it might stick.

Wednesday 22nd December 2021 – ALL OF THE …

repointed wall Rampe du Monte à Regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021… scaffolding has gone from the Rampe du Monte à Regret, I noticed today.

It looks as if all of the repointing of the wall has now finished, they’ve dismantled the scaffolding, picked up their tools and, as Longfellow once wrote, “shall fold their tents, like the Arabs and as silently steal away.”.

As for the quality of the work, they’ve mixed the mortar too dry by the looks of things. It won’t percolate into the stone and so will eventually solidify and drop out and they’ll have to do it all over again.

christmas market place pleville le pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021You are probably thinking that that means that I can now take the short cut and go down the steps to the street.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The Christmas market is in full swing down there and the whole area is cordoned off. There’s just one entrance and that’s at street level, where there’s a security guard checking Covid passports.

As I type out these notes I’m actually supposed to be down there. A group has been in touch with me about doing a live show for my radio programme and they are playing there tonight.

But if anyone thinks that I’m standing outside in a bitter wind for 2 hours with a temperature of minus 1°C they are mistaken.

And it was freezing this morning too. Winter has come with quite a bang just now. I was freezing when I awoke – at 06:45, about 45 minutes before the alarm went off.

At least I managed to leap out of bed with alacrity (and you all thought that I slept on my own) and dress rather hurriedly before I froze to death.

home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021After the medication I came in here to check my mails and messages, and then went back into Ice Station Zebra to make the bread for this coming week now that I’ve finished off the bread that I’d brought back from Leuven.

Another 500 grammes of flour, a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds and this time I remembered the Vitamin C tablet too. It all went together really well and kneaded up quite nicely.

It went into the oven and 75 minutes later I had a beautiful, soft loaf of bread with a nice even texture. One of the best that I’ve made so far. My bread-making technique is improving, so it seems.

While I was at it, I cleaned, diced and blanched the 2kg of carrots that I’d bought on Monday. They are waiting for some room to be made in the freezer so I can file them away for future use.

One thing that I needed to do was to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. In fact I’d been invited out again for a meal with some people whom I knew. I went off and turned up at this restaurant. I didn’t know these people all that well. There were 2 of them, a guy and a woman who weren’t a couple. We were having a chat and at that moment another girl came down to join us. She was a young girl and dressed so simply but really well, really beautifully that it took my breath away. I made a few complimentary remarks and she blushed I suppose, and sat down. They asked about when the others would turn up. I had heard that someone I used to know and his wife and daughter (who was actually Zero) were coming but they had to go to the dentist’s first so they may not make it depending on what had happened at the dentists, which was going to be something of a shame. They were asking “should be order?”. I replied “no. We’ll have to wait until everyone else turns up and we’ll have to order together, I suppose. That seems to be the normal way of doing things”. However, I did have another reason for not wanting to start until everyone (well, at least one person) was present.

At some point during the night I was walking around the fish docks at some fishing port in the UK. I was doing something at one end of the port where there were a few fishing boats at anchor but I had to walk round the other side of the port where everyone was and that was where you could really smell the fish. Then I had to walk all the way back again but I can’t remember why and I can’t remember what was happening about it all.

As I was off to the physiotherapist this afternoon I needed a shower so I had to wait until the oven had finished backing as I needed the heater in the bathroom. And as a result of everything I ended up having a very late lunch.

freezing fog port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021By now it was time for me to brave the freezing conditions and head up to the physiotherapist.

And you can see how cold it is by looking out beyond the outer harbour into the bay. You can see a layer of freezing fog that’s obscuring the view of the Pointe de Carolles.

It was the first thing that I noticed when I walked round the corner to the viewpoint at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

And although it’s only 14:45 the sun is pretty low in the sky as well, as you can tell. It’s not the kind of weather to be out unless you have to.

jade 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021But talking of being out, the port was quite empty of fishing vessels.

They all must be out at sea this afternoon, except for Jade III that is doing something exciting, having reversed up to the wharf by the fish processing plant. Unfortunately, I can’t see what she’s up to.

There wasn’t much else of any excitement going on around the town so I had a slow, weary trudge up to the physiotherapist. For some unknown reason I wasn’t feeling myself this afternoon which is just as well because it’s a disgusting habit.

At the physiotherapist she put me on the cross trainer for five minutes and then we did some kinetic exercises, finishing off with 5 minutes on the tilting platform. The exercises that I had to do on there were agonising but I suppose that if it hurts men it’s doing me some good – except that it’s hurting me in places where I have no problems and not where I have the issues.

It was a very weary and painful me who staggered into the street when my half-hour was up. And also a very destitute one because it’s the year-end and I had to pay her.

Outdoor Market Place General De Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021On the way back I noticed that we had a little mini-outdoor market going on in the Place General de Gaulle.

It usually takes place on Saturday of course and that’s Christmas Day so it looks to me as if they have brought it (or, at least, part of it because there aren’t all that many stalls there) forward to today.

There weren’t all that many people there this afternoon which is really no surprise in this weather, and I felt really sorry for the stallholders who are obliged to stand outside without any real form of shelter from the cold and the wind.

Spirit Of Conrad Aztec Lady Anakena charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021My weary trudge continued on up the hill towards home. However I stopped to have a look at the charter boats in the port.

On the left is of course our old friend Spirit of Conrad in which we sailed down the Brittany coast in the summer of 2019. To her right is Aztec Lady who has now been liberated from her stay in the chantier naval.

The large blue boat to her right is Anakena, the big boat that is planning to sail up the Norwegian coast next summer if conditions allow, and alongside her under a tarpaulin is CHarles Marie. She doesn’t look as if she’s going anywhere any time soon.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021It goes without saying that before I can go in, I have to go for a look at the beach.

And to my surprise there was someone taking a long, solitary walk out towards the water’s edge. all alone down there without another soul around him (or her). That was a lonely stroll.

Back here I had a coffee and then I had work to do. Someone at the University of Newfoundland is writing a thesis on Paradise River, a settlement of sorts on the Labrador Coast. I’ve visited it on several occasions and have dozens of photographs of the area.

Anyway, to cut a long story short … “hooray” – ed … he’s written to me and asked me if he may use some of my photos to illustrate his thesis. So we agreed a trade – I’ll send him some photographs and he’ll send me a copy of his thesis to add to my pile of Labrador literature.

Consequently I had to sort back through my photos for September 2014 and September 2017 to dig out some good ones for him.

Tea was taco rolls with the leftover stuffing, lengthened with a small tin of kidney beans. And now, as it’s cold and I’m cold, I’m off to warm myself up in bed.

Tomorrow I have to tidy up in my bedroom as I have someone coming round on Friday to record something or other for the radio so the place needs to look as if it’s habitable.

Friday 21st May 2021 – THIS IS THE VIEW …

view from window gasthuisberg university hospital Leuven Belgium Eric Hall… from my window this evening.

And I bet that you are wondering where I am and why I’m not in my usual little room in the Dekenstraat. Well, the fact is that I’ve had a ‘phone call at 18:20 this evening “Mr Hall – you need to come back here. And bring your nightie and sponge bag.

So here I am, sitting in a hospital room gazing out of the window. I’ve just had a catheter fitted into my port, they’ve taken a blood sample and I’ve been poked and prodded about by various nurses and doctors, and we shall see what we shall see as the situation unfolds, because I’m going to be here for a few days apparently.

This morning I didn’t have too much of a lie-in because there’s a building site at the back of the building here and at 08:00 they started work with all kinds of machines going off. I gave up after about an hour and went to have my medication.

What I’ve been doing this morning is carrying on choosing the music for the next few radio programmes. Anything that will save time as far as I am concerned .

Nevertheless I knocked off halfway through in order to go to the shops.

triumph tr6 tiensestraat Leuven Belgium Eric HallAs regular readers of this rubbish wil recall, I’m a big fan of old cars and I’ll always take a photo of one whenever I can when I see one, and so it’s only natural that when one goes past my nose down a quiet street, I’ll have the camera ready.

This one here in the Tiensestraat is the poor man’s E-type Jaguar, a Triumph TR6. And in British Racing Green, although I could never understand why they chose a colour that isn’t on the Union Flag for the British racing teams.

Made from 1968-1976 and fitted with Triumph’s straight-6 2.5 litre engine, over 90,000 of these were made, mainly for the export market.

Just over 8,300 were sold in the UK and such is their popularity that 4,000 are still on the road and 1,300 are declared as stored. And I bet that there are more than just a few that were stored off the road in sheds and barns before registration of stored vehicles became obligatory.

This one is carrying a Belgian registration, and the “O” in the front of its registration number means that it’s registered as an “old-timer” so it has a less-severe technical inspection but limits are applied as to its use. For example, emission standards and braking distances of modern cars couldn’t be matched by older vehicles even when they came off the factory production line.

market herbert hooverplein Leuven Belgium Eric HallDown in the Herbert Hooverplein my passage was blocked by the weekly market that sets up there.

It occurs once a week here and of course I had completely forgotten about it. Of course, the water fountain had been switched off so that the stall holders wouldn’t be havng a shower as they sold their wares.

One stall that I hadn’t noticed before was that there was a sweet stall there and I don’t have my usual bag of mints with me. There were none on the stall but they did have some of these jellied sweets that I like. They didn’t have any indication of what was in them but I know a place where I can buy gelatine-free jellied sweets.

market monseigneur ladeuzeplein Leuven Belgium Eric HallAnd so on my way to the shop that sells jellied sweets, I passed by the Monseigneur Ladeauzeplein and found a few market stalls set up there.

This is the first time that I’ve been out and about on a Friday at this kind of time so I hadn’t realised that the market stretched around here. But even so, one or two of them were packing up, and I imagine that the others won’t be long in going.

And as for that, I wasn’t long in going either. I went to the Kruidvat and bought myself a nice big bag of gelatine-free jelly sweets. They will last me for a week or so and that’s good. It’ll make a change from mints and eucalyptus sweets.

new building diestsestraat Leuven Belgium Eric HallAs regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I forgot to bring any spare clothes with me this week. And so I popped off to Wibra. But on the way I stopped off to have a look at this new building going on.

When I was in the Diestsestraat a few months ago they were demolishing a building and, in common with a lot of building work in Belgium, they keep the facade but stick something completely new behind ir, just as they are doing here.

A couple of doors away is Wibra, the shop that sells cheap clothes and I found a couple of cheap tee-shirts, a couple of undies and a couple of pairs of socks, all reasonable quality for the money that I paid.

While I was there I also picked up a tin opener. I have a small tin opener at home and after my exertions here over this last few visits, I’ll pack the small one that’s at home and replace it with this one here. It’s not as if €1:99 is a massive expense.

signs of donors to university library monseigneur ladeuzeplein Leuven Belgium Eric HallOn my way home I walked past the University Library in the Monseigneur Ladeuzeplein when this writing caught my eye.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, the University Library was gratuitously destroyed by the Germans during the Sack of Leuven and all of its contents, including books and papers going back to the earliest days of writing in Europe, were lost to humanity.

After the war many Universities from all over the world sent historic books to restock the library when it was rebuilt and it seems that the names of donors to the library were engraved into the fabric of the building. And I suppose that the donors to the library would have been absolutely mortified when the Germans came back in 1940 and burnt it down again.

Back in my room I had a nice hot shower, had a shave and changed my clothes so that now I look as human as I ever could. And this was followed by a very late lunch.

In the afternoon I sat down to carry on with what I was doing and unfortunately I fell asleep yet again. And that’s how the afternoon went – rotating between working and sleeping.

Some time later I managed to listen to the dictaphone for the previous night and found that there were two entries. I must have had quite a mobile night. It was the last day of our holiday on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR and for the last evening I was hoping to invite the girls to come and sit at my table with me for a final dinner. The only trouble was that there were 4 or 5 girls whom I liked and as usual I was caught in this wave of indecision about which one I would invite. In the end I didn’t invite anyone and I was just swept away in the crowd. When I mentioned it, it was to 2 girls who were together, whether one of them would like to but they pretended not to hear and were swept away in this crowd of people coming down this gangplank. I ended up with my meal crammed into this really uncomfortable place surrounded by all kinds of other people. No-one would make any room for me, anything like that so in the end I just threw my napkin down on the table and got up to walk out – something that I have actually been known to do in real life.

Later on, there was a huge pile of us and we’d been camping somewhere. I was on my own as usual, all round the Paris area and someone I was with suggested that I went to London where I could stay with someone for a few days and then come back. They said that I coud get a lift from this festival so I saw everyone off, my friends, and went back to where there was supposed to be a car but there were some people packing their things into it. I went over to them and asked them about “are they going near so-and-so”. They replied “yes” so I asked if I could cadge a lift. The first thing that the guy did was “those 3 packs of peaches for £0:49 – were they yours? Because I’ve eaten them”. I couldn’t remember whether they were or not but it didn’t really bother me too much. We got chatting while his wife went off doing things . He asked me where I was going but actually I didn’t know. I had to ring up in the morning to find the address. But by this time they would be on the road – they were planning to leave and drive through the night. I hoped that whoever it was was going to be expecting me and that I could find the place otherwise I was going to be rather foolish going all that way and getting lost like that. There was more to it than this but I just can’t remember it now. I can remember a bit about talking about going by bike somewhere to visit my friends in (wembley?) (Memling?) and they were saying that it was a bit far and they weren’t that energetic, something along those lines. But there was much more to it than this and I don’t remember it at all now.

All of this came to a halt when I had my phone call. I gathered up as much stuff as I could reasonably carry and headed off to the hospital.

roadworks amerikalaan franz tielemanslaan Leuven Belgium Eric HallIn the Brusselsestraat I walked past the building work that we had noticed yesterday on the corner of the Amerikalaan and the Franz Tielemanslaan.

They seem to have made some progress there, having covered the lump with cobbles and made a path out of bricks. This is starting to resemble a cycle pathway there and I’m wondering why if they could put down a nice brick surface there, why they couldn’t do that in the Monseigneur van Waeyenberghlaan where they put down that horrible asphalt surface.

There is a Carrefour mini-supermarket just beyond where I’m standing and that’s just as well because the big Delhaize was closed and that was a disappointment. No vegan cheese then but I grabbed one of these honey loaf things and a couple of large packets of buildings. The vegan food at the hospital is sometimes quite questionable.

There was no-one at the registration desk when I arrived to I had to enquire at the information desk. I had to follow the light purple arrow to the lift at the far end of the hospital and then ascend to the 6th floor.

One thing about Covid is that now everyone is in a single room. Mine is nice and comfortable with a reasonable view. I’ve no idea how long I’ll be here, and neither does anyone whom I’ve seen. I suppose that things will become much more clear as time goes on.

Saturday 31st October 2020 – I DID HAVE …

… my lie-in this morning.

Until all of about 10:00 too. Mind you, seeing as I was still up and about at 03;30 it wasn’t all that much of a lie-in today. Not at all. For some unknown reason, despite my exhausting day I just couldn’t go to sleep.

Anyway, when I listened to the dictaphone this morning- or what was left of this morning – there was some stuff on there from yesterday too. So first thing that I did was to add all of that into yesterday’s entry. Then I could concentrate on where I’d been last night and, more importantly, who came with me.

There was some kind of football match going on last night, a team of grown-up men if you like and they were playing in the Cup against another team. This other team sent out its juniors to face them for some unknown reason and Zero was there playing centre-forward. There were two matches that they had to play and this team of kids won them both, with Zero scoring a couple of important goals playing centre-forward. It’s nice to see her around on my travels.

Later on I was in a van or pickup, presumably Strider and I was waiting at some traffic lights. There were three or four people behind me. I was editing Strider’s signwriting while I was waiting at the lights. I could do that with the computer and it would change all over the van. I was busy doing that and the lights changed so I pulled off. There was a big pickup and another van behind me. We advanced up to another road junction and turned right I suddenly realised why this road had so much traffic on it. It was the main road from Ottawa to Québec and I’d just turned off the main road from Montreal to the east so it’s bound to be extremely busy here. It went through a beautiful pass, a big main road going through this beauiful pass and Québec City was just at the end of it. I thought “why didn’t I come this way before because it seems to be so much quicker. The I realised that going home from Adventure Canada the coach had gone this way; He went to the other side of Ottawa to drop off Castor and Pollux and then turned round and gone back to Ottawa to drop off their grandparents. That seemed to be such a sensible way of doing things and I wondered why I had never thought of doing that before either. And all the time I was wondering what these people in these vehicles were thinking with Caliburn’s signwriting changing just like that while I was either parked at those lights or starting to drive away.

There’s something else that spun into my mind as well, to do with a river. There was a girl doing something in this river, it might have been Zero or it might have been Castor. We were all alongside his river – there was something going on on it and I can”t remember very much now. Later on they drained the river and I started looking on this river bed for something that was concerning this girl. I was chatting to a few of the organisers and they were saying something like “yes well someone found something and we saw them using it”. I wondered whether it might have been this girl who had found it without actually telling me. That was a big disappointment for me because I was hoping to find it and give it to her as a way of drawing her attention to me. But I don’t remember very much about this – it was all very confusing.

And there was far more to this series of voyages too but seeing as you are probably eating a meal right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

After hat, I went and had a shower and washed my clothes. I need to look as pretty as I can s eeing as I’m staying here until at least Friday. I say “at least” because with more and more European states closing their borders to travel it might not be as easy as I think it might be to return home.

And while we’re on the subject of lockdowns … “well, one of us is” – ed … the Tory Party’s social media site had a post pinned to the top accusing Keir Starmer of “playing party politics with people’s lives” by demanding a second lockdown. It mysteriously disappeared earlier this morning and then later this evening the Tory Party announced the same measures that the Labour Party had demanded and which they had criticised.

You really couldn’t make this up.

After lunch I sat down here for a few minutes – and promptly crashed out. A really deep and depressing and disappointing sleep that lasted for almost an hour.

skip windmolenveldstraat leuven belgium Eric HallOnce I pulled myself together I went out for an afternoon walk around.

Not that I went very far before I came to a halt. There’s been a building site at the back here that has been abandoned for longer than I can remember and which had become a local rubbish dump.

A few months ago I noticed that it had been fenced off, and today I noticed that there was a skip there loaded up with much of the rubbish that had been abandoned. It might be that work is goign to restart there sometime soon and if do, that should be very interesting.

Maybe it’s going to be an extension of this place.

If you’re wondering about the photos by the way, the battery in the NIKON 1 J5 has gone flat on me yet again.

It’s a good job that I had my phone with me right now.

demolition and rebuilding tiensesteenweg leuven belgium Eric HallSo having dealt with that, I pushed onto the Tiensesteenweg where I was nearly squidged by a kid on a scooter.

In the street there’s more stuff of interest going on. There’s a building here that’s been knocked down. The site is fenced off and there’s some heavy machinery there. That presumably means that they are going to be rebuilding something else in its place.

In fact, there were several places up and down the Tiensesteenweg where there is redevelopment taking place. Despite the virus and the retraction of the economy, it still seems to be “full speed ahead” at the moment in this respect.

photographer cardinal ladeuzeplein leuven belgium Eric HallDown the Tiensesteenweg I went, into the Herbert Hooverplein and then into the Ladeuzeplein towards the main shops.

Down at the bottom end of the Square there was a couple having fun with a camera and tripod. One of the things that I seem to do is to spend a lot of my time taking photos of people taking photos.

And for a change, there weren’t too many people about here today. It seems that people here might be taking this health crisis seriously which can only be good news. It won’t disappear if people don’t treat t with respect and obey the rules.

market brusselsestraat leuven belgium Eric HallMind you, that wasn’t the case here. The maket in the Brusselsestraat is still open and there’s even more chaos than normal.

This is what I don’t understand. With a shelf-life of just 14 days, thus virus could be halted if they simply had three weeks of draconian restrictions. Half-hearted measures are not going to be good for anything.

And on the market there was a stall selling bratwurst – ed and that got me thinking. The idea of making sausages out of unruly children might be the answer to the post-Brexit food catastrophe in the UK. Perhaps they need to think about that to go along with hedgerow foraging and apple scrumping.

grote beguinhof leuven belgium Eric HallThere was some more shopping that I needed to so for a change I decided to go on to the Carrefour supermarket on the edge of town.

My route took me down through the Grote Beguinhof, the ancient area on the edge of the city which were formerly a kind of almshouses. Having been derelict for years they are now student accommodation for the University here and it really is a beautiful area.

It’s a pity that it didn’t become private accommodation because an apartment in here would be wonderful. I would be right at home here.

river dijle leuven belgium Eric HallThere’s a dual carriageway not too far away from here and a subway takes pedestrians and cyclists underneath.

But the River Dijle flows along right by here and it was looking really nice at this time of the year with the leaves almost all off the trees.

At the Carrefour there was plenty of vegan food, much of which was reduced so I stocked up with a few extra items for my diet. But looking at the selection, I decided that I would come here again the next time that i come to Leuven. There’s much more choice here.

stadion den dreef leuven belgium Eric HallOn the way back I went to have a look at the Stadion den Dreef.

Yes, I’m definitely missing my live football here. OH Leuven were promoted to the Premier Division for this season but with matches being played behind closed doors, there won’t be any chance of seeing them again for a while.

But there was football on the internet so I came home;

In the Welsh Premier League we were treated to Haverfordwest County against Bala Town. Haverforwest were promoted this year and I’ve seen them a couple of times this season.

Each time that I’ve seen them they have played quite well and deserve their mid-table position. They gave leaders TNS a fright the other week and this week we were entertained to an exciting 1-1 drawn. And had they been more clinical up front, they might have had more of it.

Tea was burgers and pasta with tomato sauce followed by tinned peaches and ice cream.

Bed-time now because I’m going out for the day tomorrow so I need to be on form. Let’s hope that it’s stopped raining.

Friday 24th January 2020 – THAT ISN’T …

… the news that I was hoping to hear. Not at all.

My blood count is down to 8.8 – something that will not surprise any regular readers of this rubbish because they will recall that I’ve been mentioning over the last couple of weeks the fact that I’ve not been feeling myself … “just as well” – ed.

Worse though is the fact that my kidneys are now playing up again. They want me to see a kidney specialist the next time that I come.

It looks as if I’m starting to break up. But that was something that was always on the cards. People start to die of this illness after 5 years, and although I was diagnosed with it only 4.25 years ago, there’s no telling how long I had been suffering before I was taken to hospital.

Last night, despite the comfortable bed, I had a very mixed sleep. Tossing and turning around, waking up, all of that. There had been time to go on a voyage or two though.

We started off on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again and we were all having to get off to go for a coach drive. There were crowds of people in this square waiting for the buses and there was a lot going on. Some people who we were with decided that they weren’t going to do as they had other things that they really wanted to do. Anyway it was to see the statue of Sir John Slessor . They asked me if I knew anything about Sir John Slessor. I said “yes, he was an Anglo-Irish guy who was associated with Polar Exploration at one time”. I told a bit about a story but I can’t remember the bit now. There were crowds of people milling around and someone came up to me and asked me if we were going on a train. I said “no, we’re going on a bus”. Someone else asked the same question. There were loads and loads of Arab kids around and every time that I got up to go somewhere they would sit at my seat and I would have to go and grab my seat back again from him. We were sitting there waiting for these buses to come. I had some rare church relics with me – a box of something and a china – porcelain cross, white with blue edgings and I was afraid that one of these days I was going to break these, the way that I’m picking them up and putting them down. I can’t remember who I was with now but I was with some woman or other on this trip.
Later on, I was at the radio and I’d interviewed a rock band. It was an interview that I had done by chance with no plan in mind and I’d had a call or something for one of these programmes so I sent them that.

The alarm went off as usual and I was out of bed before the third alarm which is good news. And after the medication and breakfast, seeing as my appointment isn’t until 13:30, I attacked some radio stuff.

Not one project, but in fact two. The music for the first one is chosen (except the last track of course) and I’ve chosen half for the second one. I may as well use my free time here profitably.

new fence condo gardens windmolenveldstraat leuven belgium eric hallThere was a break while I went to the Spar shop for some bread.

At the back of the Condo Gardens here in the Windmolenveldstraat it doesn’t look good at all – or at least, it didn’t. But it seems that they are making a concerted effort to tidy it up so that it looks pretty.

The new fence looks really nice – and what a pity some low-life character has decided to leave his mark on it. That’s the kind of thing that makes me quite fed up.

laying tactile paving tiensestraat leuven belgium eric hallA little further on down the Tiensestraat there are some exciting signs of activity.

They are using a stone-cutter to slice huge chunks out of the pavement and they are installing tactile pavement right by where the kerb drops are for the pedestrian crossings.

As an aside, I once had a female friend who worked for the Royal National Institute for the Blind and she reckoned that she had some of the responsibility for introducing tactile pavement into the UK.

Back here, I made myself a butty or two and round about 12:00 I headed off up town.

old cars lotus 7 tiensestraat leuven belgium eric hallStraight away, back in the Tiensestraat, I was interrupted by an old car.

We haven’t seen an old car in a while so I reckoned that I had better photograph it. According to the badge, it’s a Lotus 7, and according to its front number plate, it was registered in 1965.

But these are things that you can’t take for granted. Many Lotus 7s were sold in home-assembly kits and there were several other clones doing the rounds too. So you accept with care the “evidence” of the badge.

open air market friday herbert hooverplein leuven belgium eric hallThere’s the little open-air fruit and veg market today in the Herbert Hooverplein.

That was my immediate destination as I wanted an apple and a pear to take to the hospital with me. But having waited for about a week while the assistants served a couple of the slowest customers that I’ve ever seen, I rather lost patience.

Yes, I gave it up as a bad job and abandoned my prospective purchases and carried on the the hospital.

sint pieter hospital brusselsestraat leuven belgium eric hallRegular readers of the rubbish will recall what I’m going to be discussing next because we’ve been keeping an eye on these.

We’ve looked at the Hospital Sint Pieter here in the Brusselsestraat. It was built for the French community here in Leuven apparently but they left to go to Louvain-le-Neuve.

This became a huge white elephant and was never ever used to its potential. The respite care was here and so were the guest rooms, where I stayed for a while when I first came to Leuven.

Now it’s empty and they have made a start in demolishing it.

rebuilding car park sint jacobsplein leuven belgium eric hallWe’ve also seen the big hole in the car park in the Sint Jacobsplein.

As to what they were doing with this hole, I really have no idea. And I don’t suppose that I shall ever find out either because by the looks of things they are now filling it back in again.

Had I come by here two weeks ago when I should have been at the hospital, I might have noticed. Anyway, it will probably be fully restored the next time that I come.

building new sewers Monseigneur van Waeyenberghlaan leuven belgium eric hallThis is something that we haven’t seen before.

The road by the traffic lights in the Monseigneur van Waeyenberghlaan is closed off and they have been digging up the road right here. It looks as if they are doing something to the drains and sewers but I’ve no idea what.

It does make me wonder if it is connected in some way to the hole that they dug in the St Jacobsplein car park. That would make a lot of sense I suppose.

rebuilding apartments Monseigneur van Waeyenberghlaan leuven belgium eric hallThe final thing of note is also in the Monseigneur van Waeyenberghlaan.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that sometime last year they completely gutted this block of flats – stripped it right back to the bare concrete. They now seem to be well-advanced with the renovation, and there was a lorry delivering a load of insulation.

The ground floor has been done out into shops so I’ll be interested to see who moves into them when they are ready.

At the hospital they are giving me yet another new treatment. Something called IQYMUNE which, according to Helena, is the bee’s knees. So we shall see.

And it had better be too if it’s to arrest this sudden decline.

Most of the time that I spent here, I was asleep. And it took the doctor an age to awaken me when he needed to talk to me about my kidneys.

My butties had unfortunately disintegrated inside my bag so I ate what I reasonably could, and then spent 15 minutes in the toilet on the way out cleaning bits of tomato, lettuce and hummus from the inside of my rucksack. What a mess!

On the way home I didn’t loiter. Just picked up my fruit and a tin of lentils from the Delhaize and came straight back. One of the side effects of this new medical stuff is “fatigue” and if I don’t have enough problems with that already!

Tea was the second burger with pasta, tomato sauce and vegetables. Followed by peach halves and mango sorbet. Totally delicious, it was too.

And then the football. Rhydaman v Caernarfon Town.

Rhydaman had comfortably disposed of Carmarthen away in the previous round and while Caernarfon are a different proposition to Carmarthen, the home advantage should normally count for something. Especially when I saw just how packed the ground was.

But Carmarthen were undone by four magic moments of Trundlemania and when we saw that Lee Trundle wasn’t playing tonight, then any advantage evaporated.

The game was littered with errors from start to finish and Caernarfon will have to improve dramatically and work on these silly mistakes if they want to push on into Europe. But even so, they had more in the tank than Rhydaman did.

They were 2-0 up by half-time and later in the game when Rhydaman tired, Caernarforn went on the rampage and scored 2 more, exactly as I had predicted to Johan Gallon in my interview with him a few days ago. Not even the introduction of the veteran Andy Robinson by Rhydaman could turn the game around.

Anyway, as this medication is responsible for fatigue and tiredness, I’d better hurry up and finish this before I …

ZZZZZZZ.

Wednesday 4th December 2019 – BRRRRHHHH!

caliburn freezing fog iced windscreen granville manche normandy franceWinter is acumen in. And Caliburn is the first to notice it.

It was absolutely taters in my apartment this morning. And even with one of the radiators going full-tilt overnight in the living room, the temperature was a mere 9°C.

The other radiator won’t be switched on though, because I spend most of my life in the bedroom-cum-office here and even with just one small radiator, it keeps quite warm in here.

But outside this morning, the temperature had descended to just 0°C, with the promise of more frost on the way. Winter is well and truly on its way.

It’s not the only thing that’s on its way either. I was on my way during the night. I had an old beige Cortina mkIV (UOB? YLO? WGS?) that had been involved in an accident and was quite badly damaged at the front so we were taking the seats out of it to put in another one. We were having to do this on the very quiet in the hope that no-one would ever get to see about it because with the floor pans being the same all the seats in the mkIII, mkIV and mkV were quite the same. But the door cards wouldn’t fit and I remember thinking so it was probably a mkIII that we were going to fit these seats in. But apart from that I don’t really remember very much else and awoke shortly after the dream started.

There were further instances too, but the battery in the dictaphone went flat as I began to dictate them and by the time that I had sorted out new batteries, I’d forgotten where I’d been.

An early start meant an early breakfast and I was back at my desk quite early too. And by the time that I knocked off at lunchtime, I’d reduced the dictaphone backlog to just 8 files. I’m hoping to finish those tomorrow if I can get a good whack at it.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was planning to head off for this outside market on the football club car park. So I took a break from the dictaphone and headed off outside.

bad parking avenue des matignon granville manche normandy franceMy route took me up the hill into the avenue des Matignon and here once again we witnessed one of the eternal banes of this site – the pathetic parking of various selfish motorists.

Here’s one guy who’s parked over not one but two places in a loading bay while he went into the boulangerie, despite the fact that right behind where he parked was an empty public parking place.

It really is unbelievable.

new house building avenue des matignon granville manche normandy franceAnother thing on which we focus is the various house-building activities that are going on all over town.

This site in the avenue des Matignon has featured before, but a long while ago when it was nothing like as completed as it is now.

And judging by the space heaters and moisture extractors in use in the building, it won’t be long before it’s ready for occupation, I reckon.

open air vegetable market avenue des matignon granville manche normandy franceAd I’m glad that I wasn’t expecting too much of this open-air market today, because I wasn’t disappointed at all.

There were a couple of bakers there but none of them had a loaf my size so I eschewed the opportunity. And the price of the fresh veg was, well, out of my range I’m afraid.

But there was someone there selling baking apples and had I not been planning my getaway in a week’s time, I’d have bought a few. Instead, I’ll get a few next week and they will be nice and ready for when I return.

erecting christmas trees place pierre semard granville manche normandy franceOn the way back down into town, the workmen were there once more at the roundabout at the place Pierre Semard, working on the Christmas tree.

Today they have brought another pile of smaller trees and they seem to be erecting their own little forest. And without any obvious Health and Safety issues, although had it been the UK, they all would have had to wear armour-plating to defend themselves against splinters.

Having admired them for a few minutes, I continued on down into town, picked up my dejeunette and came back home.

And much to everyone’s surprise, especially mine, I managed to run about 100 metres up the steep hill. I’ve not done that before.

Still an hour or so to go before lunch so I continued with the dictaphone notes, leaving just 8 to do, as I mentioned when I knocked off for lunch.

After lunch I had another play around with the Fostex mixer desk and I’ve managed to make it work after a fashion. At least, it’s recording tracks and I can upload them to the desktop computer, but the recording level is too low for my liking.

Still, I’ve ordered a few of the correct cables for the external microphones and when they arrive, I’ll be in business (I hope).

Next task was to edit out some soundbites of Louis de Funes and his friends from a few video soundtracks so that I can use them in my projects. I had an 8-minutes soundtrack and I’m halfway through it, having selected out about 15 so far.

At some time during the course of the afternoon I must have dozed off on my nice new comfy chair, because I suddenly sat bolt upright with quite a shock. And it’s been a while since I’ve done that.

freezing fog english channel granville manche normandy france 16:00 – time for my afternoon walk.

There was bright sunlight out there in places, yet it was freezing cold still and the sea was covered in this layer of freezing fog.

All in all, from this point of view it looked like a rather depressing afternoon.

peche a pied plat gousset granville manche normandy franceDespite the cold and the fog, there were some people out there enjoying themselves.

Some guy was out there with his bucket, doing what they call round here the peche à pied – fishing on foot. Scavenging in the rockpools for the cockles and mussels, alive, alive-ohh, hey?

And I hope that he shares them out with his friends. After all, one mustn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish

donville les bains granville manche normandy franceFurther on along the coast the beach out at Donville-les-Bains was swathed in glorious sunshine.

There were quite a few people out there on the beach enjoying the sunshine while they could, and that sad former hotel building that is now apartments and where I went to look at something once, even that was looking quite nice today in the conditions.

But as you can see, the fog isn’t all that far away. You can’t see very much behind the building.

beach plat gousset granville manche normandy franceIt wasn’t just on the beach at Donville-les-Bains that the people were sunning themselves either.

There were quite a few people walking out on the promenade at the Plat Gousset and there were even some intrepid souls who had made their way onto the beach.

As for me, I carried on with my walk and seeing as there was no-one out and about on the Square Maurice Marland where I take my evening run, I leapt into action there too.

All the way along my little track and up the ramp at the end too. It was something of an effort, that final 20 metres and that’s what usually finishes me off, the rise at the end, but I made it up to the top today.

Back at the apartment I started to split into their individual tracks the digital music that I have been downloading just recently. Today, I did two albums and I reckon that along with the photos, this will be my project once the dictaphone notes are finished.

There was some stuffing left over from the pepper the other day so I added a tin of kidney beans and made some taco rolls for tea. And there’s still some stuffing left over now. What I’ll do, probably on Friday, is to make some pasta and eat it with the stuffing and the left-over veg.

christmas lights rue du port granville manche normandy franceFreezin cold and pitch-black outside so I didn’t loiter on my evening walk.

They have installed the Christmas lights on the rue du Port so I stopped to photograph them. And, frankly, if that’s the best that they can do, it’s all rather sad if you ask me. They needn’t have bothered.

No-one about again so I broke into a run and made it all the way down my course here without too much effort.

Even though I say it myself, I’m feeling much better with myself because I’m making the effort to move about more. Who knows? At this rate I might even start looking for a partner. Wouldn’t that be something?

So LIDL tomorrow. I don’t know what they have in the specials but it will be fun finding out. So I’ll catch up with my beauty sleep right now.

After all, with my looks, I need all the beauty sleep I can get.