Tag Archives: oven chips

Friday 24th February 2023 – HAPPY BIRTHDAY …

… to me.

Another year older and deeper in debt. But there are many people, myself included, who didn’ think that I would ever reach this point, what with one thing and another, and there are many people who help to ake that happen as well, so I can’t complain.

Still alive, but not kicking, although if the muscles in my legs continue to improve, then who knows? I might be kicking yet!

A further night last night where I don’t remember too much. Plenty of stuff on the dictaphone though so I must have been off some lengthy travels here and there. I started off playing in the Welsh Premier Football League. I was bewildered because a club had suddenly disappeared from the league table right at the start of the season. I’d not heard whether it had closed down or what had happened. We were on the car park playing football when a pushchair that people had been using as a football came rolling across the car park. I ran up the hill to try to intercept it. I realised that it wasn’t coming near me so I had to run faster to try to catch it. I realised that I wasn’t going to catch it but then it came up against the kerb. I thought that it would hit the kerb and bounce back in which case I could catch it quite easily. Instead it hit the kerb, went up over it and carried on round in a big wide arc round almost to where I’d been right at the very start of this. If I’d stayed still I would have been able to catch it with ease.

And then I was with 2 other people last night, 2 women. All 3 of us were broke. We ended up at some kind of factory that was run very much on Victorian lines doing hand sewing. We all went in, found a place and blagged ourselves something to do. It was quite clear that we didn’t have a clue what was happening. We sewed something but didn’t know whether it was right or not. Then there was a break while they had to fix a machine that had broken down. The they told us that we would all have to sew “Article C”. Someone pointed me in the direction of where to go for the lace. Someone pointed me in the direction of where to go for the plans. I had to wander down to the front like being in an old Victorian school and collect everything. I wasn’t sure that I had everything and I wasn’t sure that the plans would tell me what to do anyway. I went back to the bench where I’d been sitting with my 2 friends to start to hand out the stuff. It was all very much like a Victorian sweat shop kind of thing, one of the worst ones. At least everything was quite clear as to what time you worked, how you were paid, when and what you were paid etc.

Later on, it was Christmas. We were all finishing work for the holidays. I’d collected up a pile of stuff and been round wishing everyone a happy Christmas then walked out of the building onto the car park. A few jaws dropped to see me walk to Caliburn and put my stuff on board him. By the time that I waslked round to the other side it was the Opel Omega that I used to have. I found that I’d left the door open when I’d gone into work that morning – unlocked anyway. I got in and started up ready to go. There was another Opel parked next to me with a couple of girls in it. That was all iced up. They saw me about to leave. One of them said “I’ll just make sure that the Opel starts before I go”. She started the car and it fired straight away. I said “yes, they are good cars, these Opels”. We had a little chat about how good Opels were compared to Mercedes. Then I pulled away from the office and had to wait a few minutes to move into the traffic so that I could leave the area

Finally, I went out in Caliburn to go to the ferry terminal. I pulled up on the car park there. There was a van there of someone who was lodging with us. He was doing some work somewhere. I went inside the ferry terminal which was in fact a supermarket. There were piles of fruit and veg everywhere, even growing cucumbers on vines in there. There was someone cutting the cucumbers off to sell them. There was a fountain inside the supermarket with probably about a dozen kids jumping up and down in the water in the fountain.

After the medication, mails and medication, I did nothing at all for much of the rest of the day. I’d decided that I was going to have a day off and relax, and sure enough I did, at least for quite a while.

But I couldn’t keep it up. There were some sound files from the days when I was digitalising my record collection and they needed breaking up.

Most of them had been done a year or two ago but some were pretty obscure and finding a track list that actually corresponded with what I had (because studio recordings are done in recording order, not album order) has been difficult. The fire at Universal Studios that destroyed tons of paperwork didn’t help matters very much.

However, over the passage of time more stuff has become available and I could break down a few more from my list, although one of them, the “lost” Traffic album that I have, took some detective work to unravel.

There’s still one by Joe Walsh’s mate Dan Fogelberg that has defeated just about everyone because what I have corresponds to absolutely nothing at all, and there are still a few that I’ve yet to track down.

When I was in Canada I bought a few bags of those vegan wine gums that they sell at Atlantic Superstores and I treated myself to a bag. But as luck would have it, there were only three of my favourite black ones in the bag. I’m definitely having a few First World problems here.

Tea was veggie balls and chips, all done in the air fryer, and a lovely salad. Another nice meal, jjust to prove to the world that my air fryer really IS doing the business. It should be really interesting tomorrow when I have a go at doing some baked potatoes in there. I have some high hopes about that.

And a couple of people who read my notes have sent me some suggestions about vegan sausage mix, one of which happens to involve the bag of chestnuts that she gave me a while ago. We might actually be onto something here.

Tomorrow morning I’ll have to have a look to see what I need. I’m off to the shops first thing and I’ll call in at Noz on my way round because there’s room in the freezer if I see anything there on offer and I’m running low on my Sunday evening alcohol-free beer.

Time to start thinking about building up the supplies again.

Thursday 17th February 2022 – TODAY WAS SOMEWHAT …

… better today than yesterday and at least I manahed to accomplish a couple of things.

Actually it started last night when after I finished writing my notes; I finished off the notes for the radio programme and then in a mad fit of energy I actually dictated them. It can’t be any better than that.

There was something that resembled a reasonable sleep last night. Judging by the times that I dictated the notes of my travels during the night, I must have had a good four hours of uninterrupted sleep.

After that I was off on my travels and I spent a lot of time wandering around. I started off with someone from the Wemsh group, and I wondered when one of them would appear. We’d been doing something or other and a third person whom I know but can’t remember came up to me saying “I saw your note just now back there” but I couldn’t think which note it was at all. I hadn’t written one. We went back into the lounge room and my Welsh friend said something like “right, it’s TV time. There was a programme on there that we usually watch. I had to use the ruler to switch on the TV because it was so high up on the wall. Apparently it was already on – it just needed touching to reactivate it. It tunred out that it was the Wimbledon singles tennis final between Maria Scharapova and someone. He’d written a note or a poem or doggerel about her. The other match that was taking place was the men’s singles final between Boris Johnson and someone else and if that isn’t a nightmare, I don’t know what is. I was surprised about how good Boris Johnson was. he was really making this young guy work his position and for a big man he was a lot quicker on the court than I expected him to be. He had this enormous smash that ended up with him hurtling backwards and hitting the wall at the back. Then he began to pull all kinds of bits and pieces from under his shirt. We realised then that he was wearing some kind of kevlar body armour that had shattered under the impact of him hitting this wall. he was pulling it out bit by bit. When there was a lull in the noise in the stadium I shouted “it’s not a very good advert for kevlar, is it?” and everyone burst into laughter.

Later on I was on my way into work and was at the back end of Tunstall when I saw a motorbike at the side of the road, a Royal Enfield single. I had a good look at it and decided that it was quite nice and carried on to work. Later that day I had to go back out again. 2 girls from the office came with me. One was a girl whom I quite liked. The other one was quite nice but this one was something special. I had my red Cortina and we piled into it. We ended up back in Tunstall again. This bike now had a sign or something on it saying “Series BSA for sale” but it was quite clearly a Royal Enfield. I mentioned that and they said “why don’t you go to see the person and find out?”. I replied “probably because I would be very tempted to buy it”. We found the address so we set off. Soon the houses finished and we were in the open countryside. The second girl said “we’ve been this way before haven’t we?”. The first girl replied “yes. It was that office outing when you went wine-tasting”. I said “yes, and we had a good time at that”. As we drove down this road we were on top of the moors. The wind was really strong, rattling a caravan out in a field. All of a sudden we came to some barbed wire right across the road. We couldn’t go any further, we had to turn round in a farm drive and go back but the bank out of this drive was so steep that the Cortina struggled to make any headway and it was difficult to try to go back out onto the main road again so that we could drive off.

As well as that I was at a school last night with some pupils, actually at a railway station in the underground passage beneath the lines. Someone came down carrying what looked like a solar-powered satellite. They reached the bottom, stopped, had a think, turned round and went back again. I wondered what that was all about. There’s more to it than this but I can’t remember

Finally, someone came out of the library at work bringing something to me. First of all we were having a discussion about some meeting and playing the ‘cello where we had to sit, where we had to stand, how we had to behave. I didn’t understand any of this and I’d never played a ‘cello in my life. I wondered whether I’d misheard or mistranslated. I couldn’t get any of this at all. While I was trying to talk to someone about it, someone came out of the library at work and handed me a kind-of press cutting wrapped in sticky-backed plastic and said that it was very important not to lose it because it means that she can join me. I had a look and it was about Nerina. She’d been awarded either a Doctorate or a Master’s for a dissertation that she had submitted to the University of Québec. Of course I was quite envious because of the Québec connection. I wondered what it was about all of these little privileges she could have so I thought that I’d better go to see the guy who’s in charge of “privileges and immunities” and talk to him aboit it before I posted it on to her wherever she was. At that point I set off to walk home. There were crowds of people on the pavement and a very strong wind and was making very little headway at all. Everone else seemed to be walking okay but it was so strong that it was stopping me going forward. I went over this long railway bridge and had to work out my way home. My way home was going to take me back towards my apartment in Jette but it seemed rather strange because I couldn’t understand anything of what was happening at all with any of this. Nothing seemed to make sense.

When the alarm went off it was something of a struggle to leave the bed but I managed to beat the second alarm all the same.

After the medication, the first job to do was to make the bread as I’d run out.

home made bread fruit bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022In fact I’d run out of all kinds of bread, normal as well as fruit bread. And realising that there isn’t a lot of room in my oven, I couldn’t make fruit buns so it had to be a fruit loaf instead.

The bread dough was one of the best that I’ve made so far, and for some reason that I don’t understand, the fruit loaf went together really nicely. I’ve not had one quite like this at all.

While they were baking I took out the glass and plastic rubbish to the bins outside, such is the exciting life that I live these days that I feel the need to write about it.

The ordinary bread was very delicious, exactly how it ought to be. As for the fruit bread, I’ll tell you about that tomorrow. But what I can tell you that half of the normal bread and half of the fruit bread have gone into the freezer. I can’t seem to get them to last more than three or four days and I suppose that that shows how fresh and natural the ingredients are.

Most of the rest of the day has been spent in some kind of desultory fashion finishing off the radio programme. And it took much longer that it ought to have done for the simple reason that I forgot to dictate some of the text.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022As well as lunch, there was also a break for my afternoon walk around the headland.

As usual I went off down to the end of the car park to have a look at what was happening on the beach.

There were actually a few people walking around on the beach this afternoon – one in the middle of the beach and a family over at the foot of the steps.

And they had a nice day for it too. It was warm again for the time of year and it was quite sunny too. Just the right kind of day to go for a look at the sea.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022usually I go and look out to the sea as well but today I was rather distracted.

We’ve seen them working on the medieval city walls over at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux for the last few months and now they seem to have moved around the corner of the wall.

We can see that the protective netting has extended round to there so that would seem to indicate that the workmen have reached as far as there now.

There were several large and deep cracks in the wall just there so they will be quite a while working on that part.

And that reminds me of the time that a nasty crack appeared on the wall of 10 Downing Street, but workmen painted over it before Boris Johnson could read it.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Despite the nice weather there weren’t too many people out and about on the path so I had it pretty much to my self.

Out at sea though, when I finally managed to focus myself on what was going on out there I could see that there were whole fleets of fishing boats out there heading back into the harbour.

The tide was still a fair way out so I don’t imagine that the harbour gates will be open yet so they will be all queueing up outside.

At the end of the headland there was a family peering into the old bunker and another one looking at the monument to the missing sailors, but that was about the lot so I carried on towards the harbour.

yacht tiberiade le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Down at the chantier naval there’s been a change of occupancy yet again.

Le Roc A La Mauve III is still down there of course, with her paintwork a long way from being completed, and as for Tiberiade, her sanding down is still going on and her paintwork is a long way from even starting.

And we now have another boat in there too – a yacht without a mast. And the yellow prop on which she is sitting, I haven’t seen that one before.

While I was there I took the opportunity to have a good look at the stern of Tiberiade and sure enough, there are no fishing nets on board her that I can see.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022From the chantier naval I carried on down the path towards the inner harbour.

Yesterday we saw Thora moored at the loading bay and today she is still moored up there. I don’t think that she’s been out and back again in the time available.

While I was writing out these notes I had a look on the shipping radar. Thora doesn’t have an AIS detector so I can’t see where she is, but I did notice that Normandy Trader has now come into port.

That means that tomorrow when we go out for our walk we’ll probably find that the swimming pool that is on the quayside will have gone too.

ch932880 Calean sm735890 lysandre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022A little earlier I mentioned that the tide was quite well out and so the fishing boats will be queueing up to come into port.

The little channel that they dredged out at the side of the fish processing plant a couple of years ago is filling rapidly and some of the smaller boats with a lighter draught are already there.

There are two that I can identify. CH932880 is called Calean and SM735890 is called Lysandre– The SM tells us that she is registered in St Malo.

As for the other two, I can’t tell who they are.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Over the past weekor two we’ve seen Joly France, Belle France and Chausiaise moored together down at the bottom end of the harbour.

Today though we can see that Chausiaise has now moved and she’s tied up where the two Channel Island ferries usually tie up. Those two are still in Cherbourg, presumably being overhauled ready to go back into service.

On the subject of going back, I went back home for my hot coffee, half of which I forgot (I didn’t fall asleep, by the way) and finished off listening to the radio programme that I’d prepared during the day. And after all that, it’s come out quite well.

Tea was something of a disaster. I really fancied some chips seeing as I didn’t have any in Belgium, and as the microwave fryer doesn’t work so well, I tried doing them in the oven. And they took about an hour and a half to do.

What I’ll have to do next time is to see if cooking them for five minutes in the microwave first will make any difference, or else buy some proper oven chips.

So today was a little better, for which I am grateful. If I show the same daily improvement over the next few days then by this time next year I might actually finish something off.

Perhaps a good night’s sleep will do me good.

Saturday 16th May 2020 – IT’S THAT TIME …

paraglider pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall… of the year again and the paragliders are out in force. So while you admire them in full flight I’ll tell you about my day.

As for this morning I won’t tell you anything because regular readers of this rubbish will recall what has happened. The same on many far-too-similar mornings just recently.

And after the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been and, more interestingly, who had been with me.

Last night started me off on the The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour pulling into a fjord in Iceland. This was going to be the end of our journey. There was all snow and ice everywhere and the sea was frozen and the boat was crashing its way through. I was busy doing something, like washing my clothes whatever when I learnt that we were going to finish the tour here. I thought “all my clothes are going to be wet. This is no good”. Then we had a kind of meeting, a group meeting. I was going through my clothes. Some wee dry and some were still wet. I thought that I would have to take them back and hang them up. I noticed that everyone else was streaming off the ship. I asked what was happening. They replied that we all had to get off and stretch our legs. I thought “I’ve far too much to do. I can’t possibly go off and stretch my legs” but we all had the appearance of being ushered off the ship. I couldn’t find Marianne. I was with her but couldn’t find her. I thought that maybe she had left the ship already or maybe she’s somewhere still on board. I had to go and fetch my camera and all my washing needs to be sorted out and everything and I’m never going to get anything done at this rate messing around like this.

As an aside, it was 7 years ago yesterday that I stood by Marianne’s side and watched her die.

paraglider plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on I was back on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again and we were all getting ready to get off. Our trip had come to an end. I’d been co-opted into this committee to go to do something about the ship finishing its trip so I’d missed all of the socialising that had taken place. As we were all sent back to our posts I walked back onto the ship and there in the queue, the first passenger ready to leave was one of the passenger with whom I’d spent a great deal of time back in 2018. I was so pleased to see her because I really liked her and I wanted to see her before we went and I was sorry that our trip was over. She was equally delighted to see me so I suggested that we went for a drink because there was so much that I wanted to tell her. We worked out that while there was five minutes before people started to get ready to go so arm in arm we went off down into the hold to look for the bar while everyone else was streaming up the steps with their suitcases. Just as I went to sit down and the waiter came with the drinks and as I started to tell her all about my problems I awoke. And this was another one of these senses of disappointment.
Even later, we were all on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour and we were just coming into port. Our cruise was coming to an end. I’d been co-oped onto this committee to do something so i’d been off on a meeting. When it came to getting back on board again who should be standing at the first position ready to get off the ship was the aforementioned woman. I wanted to see her and was really sorry that I was going to miss her. I said “let’s go for a coffee, a drink” so while everyone was staggering up the steps with their suitcases we were going down and ended up in this cafe. Just as I was about to tell her what it was that I wanted to say, I awoke. But yes that was one thing where I wanted to see Inspector Japp because I don’t know what was planned already, and that was so puzzling.

It goes without saying that you’ve noticed a great deal of similarity between all of these voyages. and the final two are more-or-less identical (except for Inspector Japp of course – I was watching a Hercule Poirot adventure while I was eating my tea).

Strangely though, according to the timestamps on the dictaphone, there was about two hours between voyage one and two, and one hour or so between voyages two and three so it’s unlikely (although not impossible) that it’s the same voyage that i’ve dictated three times.

And, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there have been several occasions now where I’ve had repeat voyages on the same day and even on different days. All I can say is that I hope that MCI isn’t going to charge me for these trips that I am making on their ship during the night.

After breakfast I had a shower and set the washing machine off on its travels, and I went to the shops.

The town was heaving and the market was in full swing. You would never guess that there was a global pandemic. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anything like it.

NOZ was open and I bought a few things here and there, including a six-pack of that cranberry and rosemary alcohol-free beer that I like (and even as I write, I’m polishing one off).

LeClerc was total mayhem with the whole world and his wife in there. Flour is back on the shelves and tomatoes are a reasonable price again. But no yeast at all still.

What they did have which was interesting was some new pure coconut dessert stuff. It was expensive but a two pack was a special offer with a considerable reduction so I bought a pack. We’ll see what it tastes like in a day or two.

One thing that didn’t impress me though was the surly cashier. They are usually cheerful and happy in LeClerc but this one wasn’t.

And we are on the verge of a tragedy. I went into la Vie Claire, the Health Food shop and there isn’t a gramme of vegan cheese or Manuka honey in the whole town.

This afternoon I’ve been a very busy boy.

This new template seems to work so I set about a few of the pages from that web site and brought them up to the new specifications. And then had to go back and do some more work on them because, for one reason or other that I haven’t quite understood, I didn’t put an index on the pages.

There was also this plan to rewrite a web pager per day for my main site. And the one that I chose took some rewriting too because since I wrote it over 20 years ago, the area has changed out of all recognition.

It took me up to 18:15 to finish it and so I missed out on editing any photos.

kayakers plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were a couple of breakes in between though.

No crashing-out today, but lunch was one and my afternoon walk was another. And outside was a seething mass of humanity. We’ve had the paragliders and we had pedestrians too, but there was an awful lot of nautical activity too and we even had a couple of canoeists.

And you know that you must never light a fire in a canoe, don’t you? After all, you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

speedboat yacht brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t all canoeists and kayakers either.

Right out over there offshore at Bréhal-Plage they had the yachts out. I’m not sure whether it’s a yachting school or similar, but the boats seem to be of an identical type. And then there’s the speedboat roaring past.

Crowds on the beaches over there at Bréhal-Plage too, all enjoying the beautiful weather because even with a wind it was quite nice out there this afternoon.

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallCrowds on the beaches down here on the Plat Gousset too.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday and the day before I queried the situation with regard to access to the beach during the post-quarantine.

The local newspaper came up with the answer this morning, which was that, with certain restrictions applying to the dunes and to the use of the beaches for picnics and sunbathing, the ban was lifted on Thursday afternoon.

So now we know.

seagull nest roof des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallWe saw a seagull settling down comfortably on the roof of one of the houses in the rue des Juifs the other day.

The council has been cutting down the weeds around here just recently and you can see that this seagull here has collected some of the freshly-cut weeds in order to make a nest. The weeds are still green, and I suppose that the heat given off during the decomposition will help incubate the eggs.

Not that I’m a birdwatcher of course (well, not this kind of bird anyway) but it’s fascinating to see how their lives evolve over the year.

small fishing boat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route took me round and through the Square Maurice Marland.

And although I can’t be certain it looks as if the harbour gates have just opened – you can see the algae at the high water mark – and this boat has just come sailing … “dieseling” – ed … through.

At first I wasn’t sure what kind of boat it might be but as it turned towards the quayside along the rue du Port I could see that it’s one of the very small inshore fishery boats. It must have been interesting out there in that boat in those winds and waves earlier in the week.

On the way back, I encountered Minette, the old black cat that I hadn’ts een for ages and whose disappearance perplexed me. Anyway, she’s back and wherever she went, she had a very good grooming. She’s a long-hair and she certainly needed it.

Tea was a huge disappointment. I’d seen the remains of a bag of oven chips in the freezer yesterday and that had fired up my appetite. And so I prepared everything that I needed

And then I found that in the bag were just half a dozen chips, so that was pretty much a waste of time. I ended up with a baked potato with my beans and burger.

The apple turnover that I prepared yesterday with the leftover pastry, I baked that as well and that was pudding.

On my evening walk tonight there were even more caravanettes on the camp site, so I’ve given up moaning about it as it’s clearly doing no good. However I did check the numberplates and while there were one or two “50” plates (that’s a number for round here) most of them were not.

sun reflecting off window onto beach st pair sur mer baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallHowever, apart from the grockles, there weren’t all that many people around. My run up the hill and then down to the clifftop was a solo effort, although two girls sitting on the old gun emplacement wished me a good evening.

Yesterday, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we had some sunlight reflecting off a window in St Pair sur Mer across the bay and into a tidal pool on the beach. Tonight we have a very similar phenomenon although even more so

Disturbing a bunch of boys eating a take-away meal, I ran on down to my resting place on the clifftop for a breather and then wandered over to the Boulevard Vaufleury.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite the headwind I made it all the way down to my marker and then after a breather, carried on down to my next resting place at the viewpoint in the rue du Nord.

There were several people there already, and I arrived just in time to see the sun sink slowly down behind a cloud. Timed to the second, it was.

For a good few minutes I stood there soaking up the atmosphere because out of the wind it really was a pleasant night – the idea night to be out and about admiring the scenery.

crowd on beach building inukshuk plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd as I said, I wasn’t alone here. There were far more people than I was expecting to see.

The rules for the use of the beaches might be relaxed, but not as relaxed as these people here are suggesting. It’s not what I would call social distancing and they seem to be having a forbidden picnic.

It looks as if they have constructed an inukshuk too, in good old Greenland or Canadian Arctic Inuit tradition. They are going to have to wait for quite a while if they are planning on slaughtering a seal for supper.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo the sun and I said goodbye and I ran on back to the apartment.

An early night tonight, I hope, and then a decent sleep with no alarm.

where shall I go tonight? And, more importantly, who shall be coming with me? And even more importantly after last night’s antics, how many times will I be going there?

And I have to be on form tomorrow too, because I’m having visitors late in the morning. I told them to ring me before they set out because we’ve seen some silly times of leaving the bed when there’s been no alarm.

And some when we have had an alarm too. We can do without any of that

Friday 21st June 2019 – YET ANOTHER …

… day where I’ve not been able to do anything like as much as I would have liked.

I had an exciting night though. And what a night it was! I started off in the Free French infantry or Resistance or something, trying to track down something that had gone on at a certain crossroads. I’d been out there in Caliburn a few times but I’d never managed to see the mayor or never managed to find out very much about any of this. So there I was on a Saturday morning, there was a train at 08:58. It was 08:48 and I was just getting to the station. I had all these plans to go to see whatever it was at these crossroads. I had to walk on foot from the station at the other end, hope that the mayor would be in on a Saturday morning and I could get some answers and have a physical visit of the spot. I felt that it was going to be a really long walk for me at all.

Later on, I was on the Ocean Endeavour talking to some people about the possibility of hiring it. We discussed the ship – that it was old and not luxurious and needed one or two little things to make it better like a coat of paint and de-rusting, things like that. They were saying that it was free on December and January and how to get in touch. Here’s the number – it’s this company here on the internet that you need to contact. They asked what I had in mind for it, but I didn’t want to tell them because what I had in mind was something that they might not like – it’s up to the people who wanted to hire it to negotiate. This company who owned it looked extremely interesting because they owned all kinds of car ferries, with routes going across the South Atlantic and South Pacific, car ferries. And if that’s the case I was hoping to get down there with Caliburn and see where we could all go.

And later on yet, I was out with a patrol of cowboys kind of people and we were hunting down some Indians. We came across where these were and they threatened to attack us. So we dug ourselves into firepits or trenches. There was one guy there who wouldn’t dig himself in. he was the officer of the troop we had come out to relieve. His excuse was that he had no shovel so someone gave him one, a short blue one, but he wouldn’t dig, coming out with something else, clearly not interested in digging, wanting someone else to dig it for him I imagine. We were quickly in these firepits and disporting ourselves around, a case of who was going to defend what, who would fire at what? What happened if they got in behind us? But that wasn’t too much of a problem because there was a little cave facing behind us and in there they had secreted a guy with a Maxim gun so if they came behind us he could take care of them and the noise of the Maxim would alert us.

There was much more too, including a trip to the library somewhere along the line.

All of this led to a rather late start. I’d heard the alarms go off but it was more like 06:45 when I crawled out of bed.

After breakfast I had a go at transcribing the dictaphone notes – the stuff from last night and then some stuff out of the backlog. And the backlog is now down to just 34. Doing 7 per day will give me just enough time before I leave, although I’ll be pushed to do that, as I will explain in due course.

Some of these files were quite large and what with various interruptions that took me right up until lunchtime, which was taken indoors because as I was making my sandwiches, they all fell apart and I ended up with a mixed salad.

This afternoon was a paper-chase looking for all of the bits and pieces relating to my medical examinations, and then I set out.

Firstly to the estate agent’s to give them a copy of my insurance certificate and to check that I was up-to-date with everything before I leave (I am).

Next was the railway station to check train times because I’ve had some good news, to wit that I need to present myself at the Préfecture at St-Lô on Tuesday morning between 08:30 and 12:00.

That means a train at … gulp … 06:57, something to which I am not looking forward at all.

Then to the laboratory for all of my test results. I’ve no idea what they might mean, so I telephoned the doctor and arranged an appointment for Monday at 08:45 to have them interpreted.

I’ve no idea what the outcome would be, but if it requires any action after Wednesday it will be rather a shame, won’t it?

Back into town and the library book sale. No books that interested me unfortunately, but there was a copy of Humble Pie’s “Live at the Whisky a-Go-Go” for just €2:50. A magnificent live album including a 21:25 version of “I Walk On Gilded Splinters”.

Seeing as how beautiful it was today, I treated myself to a sorbet while I was out – a coconut and mint one. I felt that I deserved it.

Rosemary rang me up when I returned and we had a lengthy chat that took me right up to tea-time. A vegan burger on a bap with oven chips and the rest of the baked beans from the other day.

Later on, when it was going dark, I went out for a walk.

It’s the musical evening tonight with groups set up all over the town in various corners.

I made a few interesting discoveries – a bassist playing with a very rare acoustic dobro bass, and another bassist playing with a Rickenbacker 4003.

In the darkening evening I had a good wander round, experimenting with the low ISO settings on the new camera.

It’s not too bad down to about ISO51200 but beyond there the quality drops off quite rapidly. At H2.0 it’s unusable.

But it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to take photos at 1/640 in the dark with a 18/300 zoom lens. I’m itching to get out and about with the 50mm f1.8 lens in the dark.

When I went back to see the group with the Rickenbacker, they were just finishing, which was rather a disappointment because I was intending to stick out and hear the rest of the set.

But I did manage to have a chat with the guy with the Rickenbacker. He was quite sociable, unlike the last Rickenbacker player who I had met at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

They are still making them apparently, but I don’t imagine that they would be as good as those of the 1960s.

So despite wanting a early night, I was editing the photos until i don’t know what time. That’s going to set me up for a good day tomorrow, isn’t it?

Wednesday 19th June 2019 – I DON’T KNOW …

… what happened today.

It was rather a disappointment because I had another early start. And that was despite not being in bed until after 01:00 – not being tired despite having had a long day yesterday.

What probably caused me to wake up was the most impressive thunderstorm and torrential rain that was going on outside. I haven’t seen or heard anything like it for quite a while.

But it didn’t last long.

Despite it being a short night, there was plenty of time to go off on a travel. Last night I was reliving the plot of an old “Saint” television programme during the night where I had met this girl. But people considered her to be beneath me. But I didn’t care – I decided to take her anyway but no-one could understand this, no-one knows why I have done this. They all think that it’s wrong and they are all trying to persuade me otherwise. I’m in hospital and she brings me some fruit but a lot of it is wrotten and I have to throw the rotten fruit away and simply keep the good stuff. But after she’s been and gone the others look through the bin and say things like “this is the same kind of fruit that your girlfriend has thrown away in the bin and what’s happening? Why is this the case? Of course they already know what’s happening and why it is the case – she doesn’t know what fruit is rotten and what fruit isn’t. It goes on all like this, having these shortfalls because she doesn’t know any better, with people immediately pouncing on them and exposing her to ridicule and stuff like that.

I had to loiter around for a while until the nurse came for my blood test. That gave me an opportunity to do some tidying up in the living room and make the place look quite presentable. Having these visitors coming round is a good thing.

Once she’s gone off with my sample I sat down to start work. But someone with whom I was hoping to chat came on line and that led to an interruption in my workflow.

An interruption that for some reason that I have yet to understand, the interruption seemed to last for much longer that I was expecting and much longer than I thought that it did, for after I’d been back working for a short while, I glanced at the time and it was 12:40.

Where on earth did the time go to?

Liz came on line too and we had a little chat, and then I went off for lunch. Taken once more indoors because it was cold and foggy outside.

After lunch I cracked on with the dictaphone notes. I had a good go at that and I’m now down to 47 entries. I doubt however if I will have enough time to finish that before I leave next Thursday morning.

Once I’d done that, I headed down into town. I needed some more rolls of sticking plaster because I didn’t buy enough on Monday. And I wanted some potatoes too because those that I bought last week have gone off already.

The potatoes were a shocking price in Carrefour so I ended up with a bag of oven chips. For 600 grammes, I pad €0:90 whereas a kilo of potatoes would have set me back €1:99.

Back here I wanted to carry on with the photos from Monday but I didn’t last long. By about 17:00 I was in bed and there I stayed until about 19:00. Totally out of it.

And that’s a big disappointment because for the last few days I’ve been doing so well in fighting off the fatigue.

Tea was oven chips with beans and a vegan burger in a bap, followed by one of those coconut desserts that I made the other day.

It was a nice walk around the headland this evening and I took a few photos. When I’m up-to-date with this and that, I’ll post them on here.

But it’s rather worrying as far as I’m concerned because I don’t seem to be able to catch up with the stuff in the immediate past, never mind what is outstanding going back more than 10 years.

I’m reminded of the last words of Draza Mihalovic, a Yugoslav freedom fighter who was killed in 1946, and which I consider to be so appropriate –
“I wanted much – I began much, but the whirlwind, the whirlwind carried me and my work away.”

I hope that that isn’t going to be my epitaph.

Wednesday 2nd May 2018 – I HAD A SURPRISE …

… visitor this morning.

Some time round about 09:00 (I have really no idea) there was a buzzing on the door. Terry had an appointment in town and was early so he came round for a coffee.

But it’s always the case though, isn’t it? I can have this place looking spotless and clean as a new pin and no-one ever comes round at all. Yet here I am, still not properly unpacked from Africa, papers all over the place yet to be tidied away and me not having cleaned up seeing as I’m not too well, so I have a visit , don’t I?

Not that I’m complaining of course. I don’t see enough people and so visitors, especially good friends, are always welcome round here. But it always happens like this, doesn’t it?

I had another miserable night last night, but I had made sure that I’d switched the alarms off before going to bed so that I could sleep until I awoke. Which was several times during the night, unfortunately. And so much for my good sleep too, because I was up and about at something silly like 07:20.

Terry told me that he had sent a message to tell me that he was going to call round but one of the difficulties that you have when you switch off the alarms is that you have to switch off the phone too, so that explains that.

It’s been another one of those days where I haven’t done very much. I managed some breakfast but didn’t feel like anything at all for lunch. And so you can tell that there’s something wrong with me if it measn that I’m off my food.

beautiful sunset pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceBut I did manage my two trips out today again. And I’m glad this I did because we were having yet another famous night.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen some magnificent sunsets since we’ve been here. Nothing like as magnificent as what we saw on Long Island Sound in New York State back at the beginning of October last year, but pretty good all the same

And last night’s was a belter.

beautiful sunset pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceThe thing is, though, that there was nothing like as many people out enjoying it as I would have expected, so I had a pretty good spec all to myself.

And there I stood for a good 10 minutes watching the sun slowly sink down below the horizon into a stormy sea.

And if I’m managing to wax all lyrical about it, then you know that it must have been good. Shame that there were no more than three or four people out there with me.

storm at sea wall granville manche normandy franceBut “stormy” was certainly the word. That was probably why there were so few people out there enjoying the sunset.

Clutching grimly … "lucky grimly" – ed … onto my hat i staggered off into the wind along the path at the foot of the old town walls to the little spec overlooking the casino and the Place Marechal Foch

And there I could watch the waves crashing onto the sea wall

storm at sea wall granville manche normandy franceThere were a few intrepid pedestrians down there dodging the waves as they crashed over onto the promenade.

And they needed to be intrepid too because some of the waves were quite impressive. I was lucky enough to capture one of the best ones right at its apogee and I shall enjoy this photo for a while.

There was a tremendous storm here on 3rd January which kept me in the house all day. That apparently caused a considerable amount of damage down there and I regret now that I never managed to struggle out to see it. It must really have been something.

Tea was more oven chips, sausage and beans followed by strawberries and kiwi sorbet. Delicious all of it too. And with a helping of sausages and some grated vegan cheese left (I can get some more next week) I’m going to go for cauliflower, sausages and cheese sauce for tea tomorrow.

Yes, all this talk of food. I must be feeling better than I was just now.

Thursday 29th March 2018 – RED SKY AT NIGHT …

kairon plage fire manche normandy france… shepherd’s delight.

Red sky in the morning, Kairon Plage is on fire

Well, it was this afternoon actually. But we aren’t going to let a little historical inaccuracy stand in the way of a good poem are we? Politicians do much more than this and yet no-one else seems to mind.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceI’d had the big zoom lens fitted to the camera this afternoon for a while because I’d been taking a couple of long-distance photos out towards Jersey.

Because of the mist that was lingering out there, they aren’t very good. But the one of the Ile de Chausey seems to have come out reasonably well all things considered.

It wasn’t really the right kind of day for that kind of thing. YOu can’t do much in a rolling ocean fog.

rainbow donville les bains granville manche normandy franceBut as I stepped out of the building to go for my afternoon stroll, I had the standard lens on it

And although you can’t see it very clearly, you might just notice above that dreadful building in Donville-les-Bains where I visited a ruin last Spring, there are the vestiges of a rainbow.

Half an hour earlier it had been absolutely teeming down with rain, and freezing cold here. I wish that it would warm up so that I could switch off the heating.

Yet another reasonable sleep last night – I can’t think of what’s brought all of this about, and then after the usual performance and routine, I had a shower and a change of clothes.

That’s right – it’s Thursday and LIDL time.

Setting foot outside the building I noticed that while it might have been nice out of my window, it looked grey and depressing out of the front and the wind was puching it my way. So I nipped back in for my rain coat.

And I’m glad that I did because by the time that I’d gone half a mile it was p155ing down. And that’s how it stayed for all of the morning.

roadworks avenue des vendeens granville manche normandy franceThe roadworks have now reached beyond LIDL and today, I was in luck because the workman whom I buttonholed was quite garrulous.

It’s an assainismant project – drainage. But others are also taking advantage of his trench to put the fibre-optic cable down there.

You can tell that we aren’t in the UK, can’t you? Over there, they would each take their turn, usually once the previous set of repairs has finished. But that explains why there are markings on the street in severl different colours and handwritings.

Apart from the usual things, LIDL came up trumps again. Belts for a belt-sander, 4 for e1:99. I don’t have any sandpaper here and it’s something that I might need every now and again. And at €0:30 a sheet, belts at €0:50 each is a positive bargain.

Not only that, they had gas-filled pencil solderers. Best things since sliced bread these and I’ve been trying to get a decent one for hundreds of years. I probably won’t ever use it now, but it was there and on sale, and it’s here now.

new gates port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWalking back through the rain, I noticed the reason why the crane has now gone from the harbour.

Yes, our new dock gates are installed and to be honest, they don’t look much different from the old ones.

The photo isn’t up to much – the zoom on the phone camera isn’t any good, so I’ll go for a wander down there again when we have some decent weather.

The postie came by this afternoon and brought me another pile of stuff. Most excitingly, the plug-in foot pedal tuner for the bass guitar. I don’t have a tuner here and have been doing it by ear, but it seems that my ear is about half a tone sharp. That explains my miserable singing, doesn’t it?

Lots of other stuff too, all of which will be mentioned in due course.

sunset granville manche normandy franceAfter tea – oven chips, beans and the left-over sausage followed by strawberries and vegan cream – I went for my evening ramble.

And at last, the first decent sunset that we have had since I can’t ever remember when. High time we had one of those. The slight rain that we were having didn’t dampen my ardour in the least.

And I’m now at 114% on my fitbit. That’s much more like it. I can go to bed in peace and satisfaction.

If my memory serves me correctly, it’s a Bank Holiday tomorrow. That means a lie-in of course.

I shall take full advantage.

Tuesday 20th February 2018 – THE ONE PROBLEM …

… with having a really major crash-out during the day is that when it comes to bed-time, you just aren’t ready for sleep. So never mind 23:30 – at 01:20 I was still wide-awake and reading something on the laptop.

And when you do go to bed and finally fall asleep, then you fail to be up and about by the time that the second alarm goes off.

Mind you, I’d been off on my travels again. And weird travels they were too. It was the story of some little cartoon-character marionette who was the butt of the humour in this cartoon strip because he was always falling off objects and making a fool of himself. he had a couple of partners – one of them an “old man” rather in the style of Big Ears and the other one was a bird who was the “conscience” of the cartoon. And so in the new revitalised comic strip each character had a window where they introduced themselves, and in the fourth window were signs that the three characters had decamped rather quickly, with a speech bubble appearing from offstage saying “and I’m a bear”.

I ought to do this stuff for a living.

Which reminds me – if you have enjoyed what I’ve been writing or want to express your gratitude for the effort that I put in on your behalf, why not make your next purchase from Amazon via the links on the sidebar to the right? It costs you no extra but I receive a small commission on the sale and it helps with my web-hosting expenses.

Make sure you pick the correct box for your country.

After the medication and the breakfast, I had a little relax and then had some work to do. And there was plenty of it too.

First job was to download all of the files from the travelling laptop onto an external hard drive and then copy them to the one here. That’s not as simple as it might have been as there is stuff on this external hard-drive going back to 2014. This meant that I had to review it all, categorise it and either copy it over or delete it. And this led to confusion when I had two files of the same name, each one with different amendments.

Another task that I needed to perform was the result of a total mystery. There’s a site on the internet that I access with quite some regularity but for some reason about two weeks ago it gave me a “403 error” message – “you are not authorised to access this directory from this server”, even though it’s a root directory.

And so after much trial and quite a few errors, I abandoned the site which was a shame, because it had been of quite some use to me and I’ve not subsequently been able to find another with similar information. But when I was in Leuven with the travelling laptop, I found that I could access it as normal.

And so back here this morning, I tried to access it with the travelling laptop. But no luck whatever. Back to the 403 error message.

But there’s an open wi-fi network from the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs that I can access with a little configuration. And so I configured the travelling laptop to access that network and, to my surprise, I’m back in.

It seems that my network provider doesn’t like this particular site – the blockage is at their end, not at the receiver’s end. And I’ve no idea why because it’s not as if it’s a “black” site or anything like that. It’s a total mystery to me.

After lunch, I had a shower, a shave and a change of clothes. I need to look my prettiest best because I was going out.

The tide was right out when I set off, and so I went down to the tidal basin to see what I could see.

And would you believe it? Although you probably would. The battery in the camera went flat just as I was about to take a photo. So you’ll have to make do with the photos off the new smartphone.

But the quality of these images is rubbish, especially on telephoto or zoom, so I’ll have to replace them in due course.

men replacing mooring chains port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe mystery of what the digger and the men were doing in the tidal harbour is resolved, thanks to a local yokel, who turned out to be a very vocal local yokel indeed.

What the digger was doing was dragging for the anchor chains for the boats that are moored in the tidal basin. It seems that many of them have sunk into the mud, taking the odd small boat with them.

Now that they have been uncovered, they can be examined, repaired or replaced as necessary.

guillotine entrance port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe quality of this photo is really so poor that you can’t tell what it’s supposed to be.

But in fact it appears that they have installed a kind of guillotine lock gate installed that rises up to hold back the water when the tide is out.

I’m not sure whether it’s a permanent or a temporary arrangement, but it seems to be working after a fashion and there’s quite a lot of work going on around it.

rebuilding house rue du port granville manche normandy franceAnd another mystery is solved too.

Remember the big crane in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers? It seems that they are knocking down this house in the rue du Port and intending to rebuild it with something else.

The crane is for handling the deliveries of building materials.

And at least the camera on the phone can produce something that might just about be reasonable for this close-up view. Right now, I’m not impressed at all with my photographic equipment.

Down at the Post Office I finally sent off the letters that I had typed before going to Leuven. And that was an adventure too as I struggled to come to grips with the self-service technology.

And to my dismay I found that I had actually purchased a stamp for a letter that was postage-free. That upset me.

The Carrefour was next, and I was struggling for shopping there as they haven’t had a delivery for a week. I had to go to the fruit shop for some more expensive bananas, but at least they have some fresh coriander for my carrot soup.

Back here I had a coffee and some more German vegan chocolate and then, shame as it is to say it, I was away with the fairies again.

18:45 once more when I finally surfaced, and that at least gave me sufficient time for a strum on the guitar.

Tea was oven chips, beans and a vegan burger, and then I went off in the wind for my evening stroll.

Now I’m going to try for an early night, although how that’s going to work with the good sleep I’ve had this afternoon I really don’t know. And that also means that you’ll have to wait a little longer for your missing two days.

Wednesday 7th February 2018 – I MISSED …

… the first alarm this morning.

Well, I actually didn’t. I vaguely remember it going off, and I vaguely remember reaching out and turning it off. And then that was that until the second alarm went off. Dead to the world. And it was a struggle to haul myself out of bed – I’ll tell you that.

A,d I’d been on my travels again during the night. I Was with some girl or woman – and I can’t remember who now – watching some old cat try to come to terms with three kittens who were doing their usual kitten antics like falling into the bowl of milk. Watching the bewilderment on the face of this old cat made us both remark at the same moment that it was like he had completely forgotten that a few years ago he was a kitten too.

After the usual performance this morning, I cracked on with this huge pile of photos that I’ve discovered. And anther enormous pile has headed the way of being stored on the External Hard Drive in the Sky. Duplicates, triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, we’ve got the lot.

On my laptop I’ve a duplicate file finder program and I set it to work in one of the directories, but it took one look at what I was expecting it to do and promptly crashed. And I can’t say that I blamed it.

But I was so engrossed in what I was doing that it was gone 13:30 when I stopped for lunch. And another packet of that “5 assorted vegetables passed through a sieve” soup, with small pasta and bulghour. Add some bread and fruit as well, and there you are.

This afternoon, with not having gone out, I attacked another corner of the living room – the part between the sofa and the window. That’s all vacuumed, cleaned and tidied and things put away.

The good news is that when I moved the sofa back to vacuum underneath where it had been I found the miniature 64GB memory stick. I’d totally forgotten about that. But that prompted me to do a back-up of the laptop. You never know.

And I’ve started to pack for Leuven next week. It’s never too early for that of course.

We had the usual walk around the headland, in the bitter biting wind, followed by a coffee, a … errr … relax, and then an attack on the database, as well as a play on the bass guitar.

For tea we had oven chips, beans and some falafel that I had bought at the weekend. And it’s nothing like as good as you might find in a Leuven fritkot.

Out into the wind for the evening walk, and then back here. And that’s that for today. I’ve done quite enough. Shopping tomorrow of course, and I need to stock up a little because the town will be in chaos this weekend with the carnaval.

So I’d better have an early night, hadn’t I?

Thursday 30th November 2017 – MY FITBIT …

.. will tell you everything that you need to know about last night. Hours sleeping – 3:36, of which restless sleep – 0:20.

That’s not very good, is it? No wonder I was feeling rather miserable this morning. But even so, I still beat the second alarm.

The fresh muesli was nice, and so was the coffee that followed it. And the nice hot shower was even nicer. I was ready for anything after that. Well, almost.

It was pouring down with rain outside and it looked as if that was that for my trip to LIDL. But at about 09:30 the rain stopped and we had some small amount of blue sky, so I dashed out to LIDL – well, dashed as well as I can these days.

The bread was nice, and so were one or two other things, but there were no special offers that tempted me. It seems to be toy week thee, and that will account for the massed crowds of people in there.

But on the way, I observed that we are having roadworks down the hill on the little side street. And when I can find out why my *.ftp add-on has disappeared from my web browser, I’ll post you a photo.

It seems that they are replacing the side wall at the back of the houses there. There was even someone with a strimmer cutting down the weeds just there.

I’ll have to go back tomorrow and have a proper butcher’s.

The rain held off too on the way back, which was good. I didn’t fancy being soaked to death. And it also meant that I could take a photo of the cherry-picker that was blocking the street while they were doing something to the eaces of one of the houses.

With the high winds that we’ve been having just recently (it’s blowing a gale outside right now) it’s hardly surprising that slates and the like are bing dislodged from roofs.

And Combattant was back at work today too, with the digger on the lighter at the side of it going flat-out digging up the silt.

They seem to be making a really good go of this dredging the harbour. I do hope that this will be the key (or should it be “quay”?) to more shipping coming into the port. I could do with some more excitement.

Back here, I had some coffee from the flask and then crashed out for half an hour, which is hardly a surprise. No sleep, a long walk and my general ill-health.

This afternoon I attacked another hard drive of photos. This is going to be a major piece of work as there are tons of the things on this drive. Everything that I want, except of course the ones that I’m looking for.

The story of my life.

Tea was oven chips, frozen peas, fresh carrots and a home-made burger on a bap with mustard and vegan cheese. Delicious it was too, but I’ve noticed that I’m almost out of oven chips.

Braving the hurricane, I went out this evening. It was raining on and off throughout the afternoon but now the rain has stopped, we have clear sky and an almost-full moon. And I would have taken some photos of the Christmas lights except that the battery in the camera decided to go flat at the crucial moment.

So off to bed in a moment, and I hope that I can have a decent night’s sleep.

Wednesday 15th November 2017 – IT WAS BUSY …

grma PORT DE COMMERCE granville manche normandy france… down in the harbour today.

I was out for a walk around the cliffs today and there in the distance I noticed the arrival of our old friend the Grima. And so I quickly scuttled on round to the other side of the promontory to watch her come into port.

There wasn’t anything piled up on her dock so I hadn’t been expecting her to arrive today.

grima PORT DE COMMERCE granville manche normandy franceI’d never actually seen her come into harbour … "yes you have" – ed … and so I was keen to see her come sailing … "dieseling" – ed … into port.

She was carrying the usual load of scrap, including a white van something like a VW Caddy. And so I’ll have to go down to the port tomorrow to see what she’s fetched over from Jersey.

And, more to the point, what she’s actually going to be taking back because I’m sure that she wouldn’t find a one-way trip all that profitable. She’s need a return load.

combattant PORT DE COMMERCE granville manche normandy franceAnd my luck was certainly in this afternoon.

You probably noticed in the previous photograph that there was another ship on the horizon looking as if it was about to come into port.

And you wouldn’t be wrong in that assumption because chugging into port behind Grima came Combattant. And she’s vertainly new to us here in Granville. I’ve not seen her here before.

combattant PORT DE COMMERCE granville manche normandy franceShe seems to spend all of her working life out along the north-east coast of the Cotentin peninsula working her way around places like Cherbourg and Dieppe, and has come here from Le Havre.

I thought that she might have been another gravel boat, but she is actually much smaller than they are – at just 55 metres.

But nevertheless, watching her negotiate the chicane into the port was quite interesting and quite a feat of seamanship.

combattant PORT DE COMMERCE granville manche normandy franceAs we admire her passing through the harbour gates, I couldn’t see what she was carrying. Or what she was taking away either because she didn’t tie up at the gravel dock but at one of the fishing quays

But whatever it was she’s come here to fetch, it won’t be much because she’s only rated at 668 tonnes and you won’t go far with that.

And much to my surprise, she’s quite an elderly ship – dating from 1977. And she looks it too

I’d had another bad night, despite going to bed early. Head cold again prevented me from going to sleep and it woke me up at about 05:15 too, so all in all it was a disappointment. No wonder I’ve spent most pf the day crashed out on the sofa feeling ill.

But I’ve done some more tidying up on the shelves in the kitchen and it’s looking quite good on there now. Plenty of space for everything now.

And then we had our afternoon walk.

Tea was oven chips, burger (one of those we made the other day) in a bap with peas and carrots. And delicious it was too. And then I went out for my evening walk.

Jersey was even clearer tonight than it was last night and we had something of a light show. With the clouds higher in the sky over there (it was cloudless here) the glow in the sky was beautiful.

So now I’m going to try for another early night. And I hope thzt I can have a better night’s sleep. I’m definitely not feeling up to anything right now.

Wednesday 8th November 2017 – I’M FEELING …

… a little better today.

I managed to have a reasonable night’s sleep too. I was in bed something like early and went off on a voyage. I’d been doing some research into criminal cases at the Old Bailey in the 18th Century for the last couple of days, and so last night I was on my travels being involved in some kind of welfare arrangement with children who had ended up before the judges (there are plenty of examples of children aged 15 being hanged in the 18th Century) and this even involved 18th-Century frozen food.

The alarm went off at 06:00 as usual but by that time I was already half out of bed. And after breakfast and a good relax, I even did some housework. I tidied up the frezer a little, rinsed out the new washing machine and did a load of washing (it works quite well, this machine).

It was a beautiful day outside and I was tempted to go out for a walk for the first time this week but instead I crashed out after lunch. Maybe the idea of going for a walk is a step too far. But my head cold seems to have eased off a little and transformed itself into a cough – and haven’t we been here before?

Tea was oven chips, vegan sausages and baked beans, followed by apple crumble and custard.

And now I’m preparing for an early night again. I’m definitly going to try to go out tomorrow if the weather is nice. High time I stretched my legs.

Thursday 26th October 2017 – BETWEEN 1ST OCTOBER …

… and 30th Aprli, the dechetterie in Granville is closed one day per week.

I wonder if anyone would care to guess which day it is.

With having an early(ish) night last night, I was awake once more before the alarm went off. And I was out of bed and half-dressed when the second alarm went off. Going for a walk before going to bed is doing me some good, I reckon.

The soya milk, fruit puree and grapefruit juice were nice and cold in the new fridge and that’s very pleasant. My ice cubes had frozen quite nicely too.

After breakfast I had a few things to do and then I set off through the thick fog and damp to the dechetterie. It was pretty miserable out there this morning.

At the dchetterie I had the usual disappointment as you might expect. It’s something that seems to dog my trails no matter wherever I go, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

But never mind. I went to LIDL on the way back, bought some frozen food for the freezer and some kitchen storage containers that they had on offer – just the kind of thing that goes in the freezer. Some bread and a lettuce too seeing as I’m running low on fresh supplies.

I also called in at the GIFI. When I was there the other day I’d seen a cheap ice cube tray with storage container. I drink quite a lot and it’s nice to have ice in it. This will make things taste a little better and I’m all for luxury these days as you know.

After lunch I crashed out for a while. The exertions of yesterday are still affecting me. I’m aching everywhere and I pulled a muscle in the inner of my left thigh. So that’s playing me up. I’m in a bit of a mess.

With having bought some oven chips this morning I had sausage, beans and chip for tea. Nice though it was, I had clean forgotten about the stuffed pepper that I had half-prepared for tonight. I hope that it will still be okay for tomorrow.

That’s the one thing about having a freezer these days. I can now vary my diet quite considerably and that’s a good thing.

This evening I went for a walk and watched a fishing boat struggling through the gloom. It’s still quite misty outide and damp, although it isn’t raining. I hope that this will mean another decent night’s sleep tonight.

Thursday 8th June 2017 – I DUNNO …

… what was going on this morning but there was a hell of a racket outside underneath my window.

children school trip place d'armes granville manche normandy franceWhen I went out for my baguette later, I found the reason why. There’s another school trip been decanted into the Old Town and they were assembling right underneath my window. 150 of the brats all told, noisy badgers.

And they were back at lunchtime to eat their butties too. SO I stayed indoors again, even though the wind has dropped down to more manageable proportions.

My living room by the way is the two windows on the first floor on the left of the photo.

I couldn’t get out of bed this morning – took me ages. And it wasn’t as if I’d had a late night last night either. But breakfast and a long hot shower and shave (and clean clothes) soon brought me round. But not that it did too much good because today was another day where I stayed in and did very little.

Tea was nice though. I took the oven chips out of the freezer a good hour before tea and switched the oven on for 15 minutes to warm up. The chips were … errr … reasonable.

So not having done much, I don’t feel as if I deserve to go to bed. But that’s where I’m going all the same. It’s shopping day tomorrow but I don’t need much as I’m not here for three days.

But then again, people say that I’m not all here all of the time, and who am I to argue with that?

Monday 29th May 2017 – LAST NIGHT …

… we had the most tremendous storm that I have seen for years.

It started off at 23:00 exactly with the most terrific crash of thunder that rattled just about everywhere in the vicinity. And then the heavens opened and we got the lot.

I’m not sure how long the storm went on for but it was a good couple of hours at least – although I did eventually go to sleep.

And I was on my travels too. A Rock concert that I wanted to see and I ended up seeing it from backstage. A group of about five young men who should have been a rock group but it was more like a Boys Band with them dressed in suits. And I was horrified to notice that they were actually miming, not singing or playing their instruments.

After breakfast I headed off out, and had to swim across the entrance hall as it seemed that the whole of last night’s rain entered the building. Good job I’m on the first floor, isn’t it? It was still raining when I went to pick up the baguette.

Back here, I spent the morning shortening the lace curtains. Well, not exactly shortening them but measuring them and pinning them up so that they don’t drag on the windowsill. In time, I’ll sew them up and cut off the excess. That’s a nice job for a cold winter evening I reckon.

Apart from that, not much else. I rigged up a printer (and that was no easy task either) and printed off a form that I need to complete – which I duly did. It needs a rubber stamp from the Bank and that was my project for this afternoon but I wasn’t going out anywhere in this weather.

As for the oven chips, they were a disappointment. They had been in there for 30 minutes, not 20, and at 230°C, not 210°C, and they still weren’t cooked. It’s rather a disappointment if you ask me.

Another item of interest is that every now and again I develop a raging thirst. When I was in that hostel it was almost perpetual but I’ve not noticed it for a while. However today, I’ve had four or five mugs of coffee and demolished 1.5 litres of soft drink. Is this a sign of something?

So now it’s bedtime. And if the weather is better I’ll be off on a Great Trek down to the Bank and, subsequently, to the Post Office.