Tag Archives: penybont

Saturday 18th May 2024 – THEY’VE DONE IT!

After all of this bad news and negativity that’s been going around and about just recently, it’s nice to have some good news to report for a change

But anyway it’s a pleasure to report that in the close season this year it will be the turn of the Cofi Army to hit the road out Europe way as Caernarfon Town swept aside Penybont for that discretional place in European club competition in front of a massive crowd that must in modern times at least be a club record

Last night I’d gone to bed, later than I would have liked of course, full of eager anticipation for this game.

Wales has traditionally three spots in European competition, one spot in the Champions League and two spots in the Europa League.

These spots are traditionally won by TNS, COnnah’s Quay Nomads and Bala Town but every so often there’s a fourth discretionary place awarded and then there’s a play-off between clubs between 4th and 7th

This is the “real” cup final because it gives the lesser clubs something to play for and an opportunity to sample the delights of European football

But for me, for some reason last night was quite turbulent. I went to bed in the “old” way which caused me no pain at all which was nice, but I kept tossing and turning, and couldn’t really settle down to sleep.

Nevertheless I must have gone to sleep at some point because I was dead to the world when the alarm went off. I fell out of bed, switched off the alarm and headed for the bathroom

One good wash and change of clothes later I was in the dining area taking my medication and then setting out the room as the nurse likes it.

He didn’t have much to say when he came and was soon gone. But then I had a problem – I couldn’t rise out of the chair on which I was sitting. I knew that it was going to be a bad day today.

Once I managed to rise to my feet, after a great battle, I began to make my broccoli stalk soup. I put a great deal of effort, not to mention a pot of soya yoghurt, into it and it was really delicious today with freshly ground black pepper and fresh home-made bread.

Nevertheless, I still fell asleep drinking a mug of strong coffee. It must be one of the pills that I’m taking that’s doing this.

Eventually I pulled myself around and went into the bedroom to check my messages and mails. And it seems that I have to go to the hospital in Paris on June 12 for a check-up and hopefully receive he results of my stay there the other week. They’ll have loads of news for me, and I bet that it’ll all be bad

Judging by the amount of stuff on the dictaphone the night must have been disturbed. In my version of “The Horror of War” or whatever it was called, when the Americans tried to make good their getaway in World War I from the prison camp they would actually succeed. Some would go to ground amongst the native population and some would head west looking for a front line to dodge behind. I don’t think that they would be still there sitting there in bed and waiting for something to happen to them if they had already broken out and made arrangements for where to go. It would be most unlikely that they would be just sitting there. They would be up there somewhere doing something and trying to be involved in the action and get away from their captivity.

And then I’d been doing something in Brussels. That involved staying in someone’s house while all this was done. It was some kind of work in the street but on the last day I decided that this would be it and I’d go home on the last train so I had to do what I was doing then come back to where I was living, change and then go back in the rain to give the final orders and then go straight to the station to catch the train home. As I was washing and putting on my clean clothes there were all kinds of disturbances. The girl who lived there came in to me to ask me if I’d show the owner of the house how to make an apple pie. I thought that this was the last thing that I needed at this time of night. I wanted to be off but the quicker that I did it, the quicker I’d be finished so I went over to see what he’d done. He’d done the pastry in a strange way. He’s cut it into eighths but in the circular way round do there wasn’t a bottom or top, just like eight slices of pie crust. Of course they had all to be joined together and the filling had to go in, the top had to go on. I thought to myself that the people were making this thing much more complicated than it ought to be but that was just how things used to go. No-one seemed to know just how to do anything ordinary and straightforward. It all had to be so complicated.

And that’s another story of my life, isn’t it? If there’s a simple way of doing something and a complicated way of doing it, you can bet your life which one anyone would choose when I’m involved. Even I’m not immune from this myself

I was in this big German prisoner-of-war camp in Russia weeding the garden and the band suddenly began to play the national anthem. It took me a few minutes to cotton on to what was happening nut suddenly I realised that it was the German national anthem and that meant that they were planning an escape. I wasn’t sure who was escaping but I learnt later on that 20 guys from hut two had escaped. For some reason I was held responsible for it. Whilst no real punitive action was taken against me I was treated like a prisoner, being shackled, by being … indistinct … I felt in the end it probably wouldn’t have ended up better for me had I tried to escape with the others rather than stay behind. I certainly couldn’t have been worse-treated once they left. And then one of the members playing the second time, I was supposed to either sing some songs or write some songs, the songs that shouldn’t have music and they turned out to be tracks off the album that were played to basically accompany the escape. Most of them were not good at all

Back in this dream again, the composer was well-known but he was not in the camp, he was dead so I took it that this was the signal for an escape. I was puzzled why I hadn’t been told about it seeing that I was one of the leaders of the camp from the prisoners’ point of view. Anyway everyone was immediately confined to bed. I saw my moment and escaped. Schopenhauser or whoever wrote it originally had chosen a different moment to escape but I chose that one. In the end I ended up down in the south of Germany where this girl tried to persuade me to help her paint her toenails red but I was unable to do so … fell asleep here …

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I don’t actually “fall asleep” because I’m already asleep when I’m dictating. What happens is that the disctaphone goes silent and eventually you hear deep rhythmic breahinf and occasional snoring.

But what’s going on with this obsession with prison camps tonight then?

Our nurse went to the local council tip during the night to throw away all of her incriminating paperwork. On the way her little brown Clio was involved in an accident with a couple of guys. It wasn’t particularly badly damaged or anything like that but it made her reflect for a couple of minutes and led to something of an argument before she agreed to invite the guys to her house one day when she wouldn’t be there. So she went there and threw away all of her paperwork. Then she was talking about this and that as if she’d already spoken to the female guards about it. They’d had some kind of friendly interaction but it didn’t sound right by the way that this dream was going. I think that she was trying to avoid all kinds of interaction while she disposed of this incriminating … fell asleep here …

“Si” is the French way of contradicting someone so this dentist woman or whatever she was started to use it to correct members of her team and then their team had been exposed to the Germans and they should make ready for a rather rapid flight before the Germans came along to arrest them.

Some of the stuff about which I dream really is bizarre for sure and quite often there’s no logical explanation for it. I often wonder what goes on in the depths of my subconscious.

Rosemary had left a message for me to call her so I gave her a “quick” ring – “quick’ being 56 minutes this afternoon while we put the World to rights as usual

And then it was the football.

For a town with a population of less than 10,000, a crowd of over 2,000 is immense but they were there singing away and cheering on their team

And their team rewarded them by roaring into a three-goal lead in the first 35 minutes with some beautiful play down the wings that tore the Penybont defence to shreds

Penybont pulled one back right at the death and quite right too as they played the more classy football. We had the usual chaos in the Caernarfon defence that we have had for several seasons too but they rode their luck

At the end of the game the fans flooded onto the pitch and the party began. For a club that was on the verge of extinction and in the third tier of football 15 years ago, the devotion of the fans, the most passionate in Europe, saved the club and they now have their reward

If you want to see the highlights of the game THEY ARE HERE

But as I said earlier, it’s this discretionary fourth place that has permitted all kinds of Welsh Clubs to sample European football, even Cefn Druids from the second tier one year.

After this I fell asleep for a while until tea time, and then baked potatoes, salad and one of my favourite quorn fillets.

But I broke another plate when I dropped a jar of pickled onions onto it. Luckily not one of my dinner service plates, but it’s still very bad news. I don’t know what’s the matter with me right now.

Right now though I’m off to bed. Tomorrow is another day and, I hope, a better one

And just be glad that Penybont didn’t play Their new signing. That guy who is half man, half horse
"and who is he" – ed
Why, their new centaur-forward of course.

11th May 2024 – I’VE HAD A …

… footfest this afternoon. It’s the semi-finals of the play-offs to decide which Welsh team will take the fourth place allotted to Wales in European Club competition in the forthcoming season.

TNS will go into the Champions League, hoping to qualify for the group stages at long last

Connah’s Quay and Y Bala will go into the Europa League by virtue of finishing second and third, and another place in the Europa League due to Wales will be awarded to the winner of the playoffs

And so we started off with Y Drenewydd v Penybont followed by Caernarfon v Cardiff Metro.

As you might expect, I was quite looking forward to it all. And for the first time since I can’t remember, I was actually in bed before 23:00. And that’s not something that happens all that often these days. I could have been in bed much earlier than I was too but with all of the aches and pains that I was carrying, it was really difficult to actually get into bed.

With having this early night, I was looking forward to a long, undisturbed sleep but it wasn’t to be. It was a really disturbed, turbulent night.

There was another phantom alarm call and I forget how many of these we’ve had just recently. I’ve no idea what’s going on with them – where they are coming from and what they are doing – but it’s certainly confusing.

When the real alarm went off I found that it was easier to move out of bed. Many of the aches and pains had gone and the pain in my hip had reduced a little and I could lift my leg more.

So now that I was out of bed I went to the bathroom and then into the dining area for my medication.

Having done that I set out the room for the nurse and came in here to see what’s happening in the big wide world. But as any student of history will tell you, the news today is just the same things happening to different people in different places at different times.

After the nurse had gone, having given me a shopping list of items needed, I came in here for a relax. And then I listened to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I had another niece last night. It was a non-existent niece, someone small and petite. She sat and we chatted for ages about her course and the future. When she was ready to go I asked her where she was staying. She hadn’t booked anywhere so I told her that my settee was really comfortable and she was welcome to stay on it. She wondered how any other person was going to stay there because there were two nieces wandering around and how I was going to distinguish which was which too. That was easy because one had a tie with a small emblem on it. The other one had a tie with a big emblem on it so I could distinguish them by that. I could see that this was going to be complicated but it didn’t seem to bother me on the ground that it’s all going to work out normally anyway. Then we had someone coming, brandishing a gun and being obnoxious. I don’t know what he wanted or anything like that but he totally disrupted everything that we were trying to do.

That’s nothing new. Whenever I was trying to do something back in the old days, there would always be someone coming along being obnoxious and trying to disrupt whatever it was that I was doing. And if there was a young girl involved anywhere, you could bet your life that they’d be down in droves to put le baton dans la roue as they say around here.

Then at one point a girl was pouring some new information into my travelling laptop. I was very concerned so I awoke to try to stop her but just at the point where it became liquid memory she began to pour the liquid memory I had to shout at her to make her stop and I really did shout as well. I washed hem and got ready and ended up back in bed until the alarm

Yes, I really did shout in the middle of my sleep. It’s a good job that these walls are 1m20 of solid granite or whatever would the neighbours have said?

Then we finished off with this complicated story about addition and subtraction over the numbers. I had quite a batch to do which I did mainly right and managed to ensure my team’s presence in the Scottish League 2 next season

And that reminds me – we have the first leg of the playoffs between Stranraer of Scottish League 2 and East Kilbride of the Scottish Lowland League at some point this weekend.

And then I had a message. There’s an “issue” simmering in the UK that’s been simmering away for almost 30 years. I think that I’ve mentioned this before. It’s now erupted and like Pandora’s Box, once the lid is off then that’s it.

There’s a considerable amount of work that needs to be done that should really have been done 40 years ago but it wasn’t, and the events of the last 28 years haven’t helped. So if you see me loitering on Boots Corner any time, you’ll know why I’m there.

After this I crashed out – from 10:00 until 11:50. Dead to the World as well. But not that I’m complaining this time because I saw Zero. While I was asleep this morning I was with a former friend. I’d finally managed to persuade him to come to see me with the intentions of thrashing out some programme about repairing all these cars that I have. I’d walked down this track through this forest and encountered Zero playing in a school playground so we’d chatted but that was all. I pushed on and came across my former friend and we began to chat. I was going to tell him that I had £90:000 for the programme but we never reached that far in the discussion. We had several bikes ad had to move them by moving two, dropping them down, running back for two more and advancing lie this. At one point I had to run back miles because the exhaust had dropped off a motor bike we were moving. While I was up on top of this grassy bank my former friend came back to see what I was doing so I showed him. He was furious. “this is jus attention to detail” he raged and urged me to hurry up. By now this grassy bank had changed into a roof with a chimney and some dormer windows and I couldn’t work out how to descend. I thought that manoeuvring by holding on to the chimney and pivoting round by hanging on to the edge of the dormer window would be my best bet but the window opened and I was left dangling in thin air with no prospect whatever of improving my position.

It was really nice to see Zero of course but this “no prospect of improving my position” sounds like how my finances will be in a few months after the news that I received earlier.

By now, breakfast had become lunch so I fuelled up with food and then settled down to watch the football.

Y Drenewydd finished 4th in the league and Penybont 7th so the game was held at Drenewydd. But home advantage counted for nothing as they were swept aside by what can only be described as a Penybont masterclass.

The game finished 5-0 for Penybont and believe me – Y Drenewydd were lucky to get nil. They were awful. It wasn’t just that Penybont were so good but that Y Drenewydd offered nothing at all

The other game between 5th and 6th and played at Caernarfon in front of a massive crowd was much more exciting.

Caernarfon roared down the left flank with a combination of Louis LLoyd and Morgan Owen more times than you can mention but the final ball was always either too short of too long.

On the other hand the Met soaked up the pressure and tried to hit on the breakaway and had three excellent chances to score but couldn’t find the target.

The game was drifting to a 0-0 draw and penalties when Marc Williams drilled a powerful shot through a crowd of players into the net

And as Cardiff Metro were throwing everything forward to try to equalise in the closing stages a breakaway involving Sion Bradley and Adam Davies saw Davies score a second for the Cofis

So the final next weekend will be between Caernarfon and Penybont and played at Caernarfon.

And then, dear reader, I crashed out again. And for an hour or so too.

Tea tonight was one of my breaded quorn fillets with baked potato and salad. I know that it’s monotonous, but it’s also delicious.

So that’s all that I’m doing tonight. I’m going to try to be in bed early and see if Zero will come back into my dreams.

And I’ll tell her "I dreamed about you this morning"
"Did you?" she’ll reply.
"No" I’ll answer. "You wouldn’t let me".

Saturday 6th April 2024 – TODAY WAS ONE …

… of the worst days that I have had for quite a while.

In fact, it’s a day that harks back to the bad old days of winter 2015-16 when I was struggling to come to terms with this illness, or over the summer of 2015 when I’d moved to live in Leuven

It’s a combination of two factors really.
Firstly those stabbing pains that I have nin the sole of the foot returned yesterday and gradually worsened as the day wore on and accelerated through the night.
Secondly I was wide-awake at about 04:30 and there was no hope whatever of going back to sleep.

It totally beats me as to what would have awaken me, and awoken me to such an extent that I couldn’t go back to sleep, even at that time. It must be something quite considerable and important, so I’m surprised that I don’t know what it is.

What I was going to say was that I didn’t have a clue, but I doubt whether there would be many people who would disagree with that diagnosis.

And as it happens, I do have a clue about what time I went to bed last night, and it was late yet again, which is even more surprising considering how early I awoke.

But doing all this paperwork and making all these notes really does take its time and I’m surprised that I’m ever ready to go to bed.

So having settled down to go to sleep I was soon awake again, drifting into alternate fits of wakefulness and sleepiness, but always being awake nevertheless.

And that didn’t stop my imagination working because even though I was in this semi-wakefulness I was still off on my travels.

When the alarm went off at 07:00 I’d already been up and about for 15 minutes and was on the point of finishing dressing and going for a wash.

Not before checking the blood pressure though. 16.1/9.9, which compares with last night’s figure of 16.4/10.1 – pretty much the same by the looks of things.

After shovelling down the piles of medication I arranged the room for the nurse and then tidied up the knives and forks etc from the previous evening. If I’m having house guests, which looks pretty much like it in the near future, I need to learn some new habits.

Rather like the man in church praying to God – "Oh God give me patience! And hurry!"

When the nurse came round he plastered me up again but said that this will be the last of them as the foot has healed so well.

As it happens, I think that the foot has certainly healed but not as well as he thinks. Still, he’s the nurse, I’m not.

After he left I made a start on the dictaphone notes from the night and from the morning when I was half-awake. And apart from what seems to be the usual fact these days of getting up, getting dressed and ready to leave the bed but only in my subconscious mind (as far as I know), also later on there was a phantom doorbell to say that the nurse had arrived. That was at 03:00 and so it was extremely unlikely, but nevertheless I found myself getting out of bed for that as well. I’ve no idea what’s going on with me at the moment. This is crazy.

What this next dream was about was a woman who was visiting the doctor’s for some reason. He gave her an examination . Then someone like Ingrid came along. Because she was more ill he gave her the more profound examination and had to make sure that she was supported by enough orderlies but she could withstand the pressure that he was going to apply. It was all to do with rolling balls Up and down the body to find weak points. Obviously he’d roll them quite hard and then feel the resistance, to see where the body was in need of reinforcement

And before anyone says anything about it, I shall say myself that that particular dream sounds like a right load of balls. It’s an interesting concept though and I bet that there’s plenty of mileage in an idea like that if I were to take it to some of the more obscure clubs in Soho

In fact I could probably make a small fortune from clubs like that for the rights to the unexpurgated version of this blog

And then while I was lying there half-asleep Nerina and I were at a port somewhere on our way to cross the Channel to go to a party at a friend’s house. We didn’t have any preparations at all – we didn’t have a GPS to find out where it was, we didn’t have any accommodation booked for Nerina or anything like that. We were going to simply improvise and make it all up on the spot. So we boarded the ferry and I went to look out of the window but they were all misty and steamy so I asked the purser if he had any car windscreen wipers. He chuntered but had a really good search, chuntering all the time. Eventually he came up with a pair and handed them to me, which I thought was nice. I could sit down then and look out of the window to admire the shipping like I usually do.

And this brings back many happy memories of me being invited to a party and setting out to go there, and suddenly realising that I had no idea of the address or where the person lived. I drove around in circles for quite a while before in the end I gave up and went home.

As Kenneth Williams once so famously said, "I’m often taken aback by my own brilliance". It’s the kind of thing that only I can do.

Meanwhile back at the ran … errr … bed, this thing about Normandy involved the Normandy group on Social Network. In the end we’d sacked all of our advisers and dealt with everything on a question and answer basis amongst ourselves. That even included the vets. Everything there on the group seemed to be going much better since we no longer had advisers and people were resolving their own problems like this

In my case though I’ve simply sacked my Social Network. It’s becoming less and less of a Social Network and more and more a vehicle for adverts and publicity. If I wanted to see “sponsored links” and “suggested for you” articles I’d look for them. I don’t want them thrust into my face at the expense of stuff that I want to see.

So I went for my coffee and cheese on toast for breakfast and despite two really strong mugs full of coffee I crashed out quite completely and absolutely, and for a good couple of hours too.

And Nerina came to visit me again, but it wasn’t a very pleasant meeting so I’m not going to transcribe the notes. With all of these problems I’ve been told to do all that I can to avoid unpleasantness.

In fact, this illness has made a whole new person of me.

What I can say about it though was that the dream was building up to a ‘phone call, and sure enough, I had one too, and a real one. It was the delivery man with the rest of my Amazon order.

This afternoon, I really felt like death. It was the worst that I have felt for quite some considerable time.

Margaret Thatcher once famously said something like "anyone can do a good day’s work when they want to. To be successful, you have to do a good day’s work when you don’t want to" and I’ve ploughed nevertheless through some radio notes and a pile of Welsh homework when all that I wanted to do was to go back to sleep.

There was football on the Internet later, Aberystwyth v Penybont. Penybont are far too good a team to be involved in a relegation scrap where they are right now, but Aberystwyth are down near the bottom for a good reason.

And that was how it went on. Aberystwyth started well and had a couple of chances but faded quite quickly and Penybont took control.

A 3-0 win was probably about right but Aberystwyth will rue the errors that they made. However it’s not easy playing football in a monsoon like they had this afternoon during the game.

Tea was baked potato and salad with one of the delicious breaded quorn fillets that I like, and that’s it for the day. I’m off to bed, with an alarm for tomorrow as the nurse will be round.

And tomorrow afternoon I have biscuits to make as I have now run out of supplies.

But before I go, talking about obscure clubs in Soho and unexpurgated versions of writings reminds me of a former girlfriend who worked at the local library on Saturdays and who has featured on these pages on more than just a few occasions.
She was asked to order a pile of books so she was going through the list, and one title caught her eye
"What’s this book here?" she asked
"It’s called ‘Ferry across the River Kwai’" explained her supervisor
"But is that title right?" she asked. "I’m sure that it should be called something else"
"It’s all right" said the supervisor. "Don’t worry. It’s simply the unabridged version of the story"

Saturday 3nd March 2023 – I’M FED UP …

… of falling asleep during the day and not having anything done.

Fighting off wave after wave of sleep while trying to watch the football, I ended up crashing out for several hours later on and I’ve even crashed out while typing these notes.

It beats me what’s responsible for it. One of these medicines, that’s for sure, but which one? But all I can say is that I’m glad that I don’t drive any more, because this would be driving me up the wall.

It was another late night last night, simply because of the highlights of the football for the evening being posted. Connah’s Quay’s defeat at Bala means that TNS would be handed the championship yet again if they win against Cardiff Metro this afternoon.

So on that sombre note I wandered off to bed, later than usual, and settled down for a good night’s sleep.

When the alarm went off and awoke me, I was dreaming about people wearing different clothes, being in different epochs that they chose. I could just imagine the scene when awakening, asking for a pair of 1950s undies, something like that. Think of how confusing it would be for people. But there are many people who don’t want to live in the modern world today

And I for one, entangled in the technological jungle, think fondly of my past life in Crewe where we didn’t have these new-fangled inventions like the wheel to bother us and where the most exciting thing that happened was when that tree fell down in 1847 and people still talk about it now.

They have these blue plaques on some houses that say something like “between 1903 and 1926 this house was inhabited by no-one of any importance”.

First thing this morning was to check the blood pressure. 15.4/8.5 this morning, compared to 13.0/8.3 last night. So something during the night must have wound me up. I shall have to go back and see.

It’s nice though to see it generally falling. They were quite worried about that at one time. Mind you, I wish that I knew how to control it without medication.

On that note I staggered into the kitchen for another helping of medication

Back in here I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night, apart from discussing historical underclothes of course. This is where my Wing for the Air Force has been split up and the daughter of one of the pilots, a young girl probably 7 or 8, has been kidnapped somewhere between Iceland and Greenland. It was the patrol’s light-hearted way of doing things that had enabled this to happen Now, their next job was to try to find this little girl even though they had these transatlantic patrols to maintain all the time every so many hours they were out flying over the ocean

This sounds as if it might relate to part of the novel that I’ll never ever write now, where I had my anti-submarine patrols bases in Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, the Caribbean, Brazil and the Azores fighting the Battle of the Atlantic in 1943.

Later on I stepped back into that dream again afterwards … "which dream?" – ed … but there was another part of this dream that was based in an office where I worked. I’d applied for some annual leave but it was over a busy period. The annual leave was about my health issues. On one particular afternoon I was being confirmed into some kind of religion or other ready for my eventual death but when the boss called me in he talked to me about the possibility of promotion, how I needed to show that I was a firm, loyal and committed member of his team in order to be promoted. Feeling that it was rather late now for me to change my ways I basically mentioned to him what was happening and asked him what I could do about it to ensure that I’d be promoted, which event should I abandoned, which postpone, which cancel, what should I do with something else so that my cancelling it with some kind of higher position in the league or in a higher division would be a much better option for everyone than me going off and being treated for my health issues.

Then I had a dream about being in the Air Force with people in the front line, forming this special squadron that must be provisioned properly when requested. Bomber Command tried to hoist onto it a raid that was out of their jurisdiction – involving bombing somewhere south of Crewe and flattening it. The senior officers objected. In the end senior officers were put into the plane but had to board it in senior order or near enough. In the lower ranks what they did was to quite simply transfer everyone to shore-going establishments where there were no provisions to attack anything.
Then the dream changed later on. I was back in it when it was 3 officers who were on their way to the camp which was in the middle of Shropshire, lost in a backstreet somewhere. They asked me about it and I told them where it was, but decided to follow them just in case they weren’t who they said they were and were up to no good. It was a good job that I did because I noticed a couple of things that brought my attention to them.

Why would anyone want to bomb anywhere south of Crewe and flatten it? In my opinion, Crewe would be an ideal target for all of that. During the “Baedecker Raids” a stick of bombs fell on Crewe and caused £14,000,000 of improvements and we could do with a few more of that type of thing.

The town centre right now looks like Dresden after an Allied air raid and I shudder to think of what they’ll erect in place of the bus station and the shops that were there. As the current King Charles said a while back, "You have to give this much to the Luftwaffe. When it knocked down our buildings, it didn’t replace them with anything more offensive than rubble"

What beats me about the current plans for the town centre are firstly, why are they building the multi-storey car park first when there is nothing for anyone parking there to see or do in the town centre? And secondly, why are they building shops there when they couldn’t find tenants for the shops that were there just now?

But as long as they build a new bus station complete with public convenience. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I passed my Biology “O” level with flying colours thanks to the helpful drawings on the walls of the gentleman’s rest room and I want others to have the same chance as I had.

Having dealt with all of that I had a few things to do and then I went for my lovely cheese on toast. It would be nicer if the bread would rise more, but I really must work harder than I do with it. But “gently” is the word, don’t fight it. Pretend that I’m massaging Zero’s clavicles.

What I’ve been doing today, when I’ve not been asleep, is going through that mass of stuff that I sorted out last night and splitting it up into tracks. I’ve not done much, because I’ve been asleep for quite a while today, to my bitter regret.

There’s a few done, but I really could have done with doing a few more.

Football on the internet, as I said today. TNS v Cardiff Metro. A win for TNS would see them win the championship with about 8 games to spare, which out of a 32-game season is some impressive going.

And as expected, they swept the Met aside in a canter and strolled to an easy 4-0 victory. And it should have been many more than that.

There’s no stopping TNS on the domestic front these days, but how I wish that they would transfer this form into Europe and win a few games there

Many people say that the dominance of TNS is killing the game, but the fact is that it’s the fans who are the winners because in the race to try to keep up with TNS, the quality of teams, matches and facilities has come on in leaps and bounds, so everyone is a winner.

But while we’re on the subject of football and winners, THIS ONE is the kind of game that I like. Where one club is pushing and pushing forward with wave after wave of attack and fail to produce anything, whereas the other team goes racing away downfield in a breakaway and score a goal from their only attack.

Tea tonight was another one of these breaded quorn filets that I like, with salad and baked potatoes. And the potatoes were so nice that I baked another one.

Rice pudding for afters too, and I can’t complain at all.

Tomorrow I have some hummus to make, and also some fruit buns as I’m running out of those. That should keep me busy for an hour or so while I’m making my pizza, I suppose. There is some pizza dough left – I checked.

But the hummus will be nice, one batch with chilis and the other with olives and I’ve forgotten the sun-dried tomatoes again. I’m not sure what I have that will go with olives in a hummus.

Garlic, obviously. That goes without saying. never any danger whatever of vampires coming around here with the amount of garlic that I use.

When I was at Castle Dracula in Romania that time in the early 1990s I actually met a vampire there. We had a race together and it was neck and neck all the way.

But seriously, when we were kids the neighbour’s boy told us that he’d been reading a book where someone killed a vampire with a stake.

"That’s nothing!" we retorted. "Our mother could do that with her egg and chips"

They are actually running a remake of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA so I shall take myself away and carry on reading it while I wait for everything to quieten down so that i can dictate my radio notes.

It’s one of these books that has already been reworked to correspond with the New World Order and stars a trans-sexual cross-dressing vampire. Known, as you might expect, as Count Dragula.

I’ll get my coat.

Saturday 10th February 2024 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… miserable night with very little sleep.

How many is this now just recently? I’m feeling like death right now.

Just for a change I was in bed at a respectable time and went to sleep quite quickly – but not for long.

It wasn’t the burning sensation but instead an agonising pain in both my ankles. It was a real killer. Every time I moved and the bedding touched the sore points on the ankles the pain drove me through the roof

Strangely enough, when the alarm went off and my ankles were still wracked with pain, I was afraid of standing up. But somehow standing up seemed to ease the pain and that surprised me. I wandered off into the kitchen to take my medication with a sigh of relief.

Back in here I had plenty of things to do before I could look at the dictaphone. And to my surprise there was actually something on it from the night. The night can’t have been as bad as I thought. “The Mole”, a Welsh poem, was written by someone with the aim of aiding people with Educational difficulties by learning French but it didn’t have a great deal of support. In some places the Government disliked it and many other organisations disliked it too because they said that it showed disabled people in the wrong batch by segregating them into groups run by them or not but that’s a complete red herring because the whole point is that everyone joins in and gains something from it.

Well, that’s what I said. And you don’t expect me to make any sense out of it, do you?

Rosemary rang up with a quick question. And it was a quick question too – only 52 minutes today. One of our shorter ‘phone calls. She was going out for afternoon tea with a couple who had just come back from Australia so I told her that they might have brought her back a kangaroo seeing that Australia is overrun with kangaroos right now.

During our conversation I told her about the earliest European explorers to go into the interior, and they took a native guide from the coast with them
They saw a strange animal bouncing around and so they asked their native guide what it was.
He replied "kangaroo" so they captured one, put it in a crate, labelled it “kangaroo” and sent it back to Europe where anthropologists officially called it “kangaroo”, by which name it’s been known ever since throughout the world.
So the explorers went back into the interior with their native guide and they saw a strange tree. "What’s that tree called?" they asked the native guide
He replied "kangaroo"
"Don’t be silly" answered the chief explorer. "You told us that the bouncing animal was called a kangaroo. How can the tree be a kangaroo? What’s it called?"
"Kangaroo" he insisted.
The explorers dragged the native guide back to the coast and to his chief. They told him the story of the tree and demanded an explanation.
The chief burst out laughing. "In our language" he said "”kangaroo” means “I don’t know”."

The rest of the day has been spent with some sound tracks, converting them to a format that I can use and then chopping them up into the bits that I want.

But it wasn’t easy. Being exhausted as I am I crashed out two or three times in the middle of something exciting, and I reckon that there will be a few more times before I can go to bed.

And during one of these spells, I was off on my travels. That will give you an idea of how deep the sleep was. I was with a group of people, several of whom I knew and a few who were quite young. Thee was something organised at the local church and one of the women and I Had been up quite late making food for the event. On our way there one of the small children said “I used to go to Sunday School, didn’t I?”. So we arrived there and that child was shocked to see how people were going in. She piped up “when you go into church you’re supposed to go in quietly and kneel down” in the shocked kind of voice and tone that only a young child can do. Everyone looked at her so I said “we’re all going to have a lecture now about going into church” in a light-hearted was but everyone still looked daggers at us. After the lecture or whatever it was, it was the buffet. And I’ve never seen food disappear so quickly. When I arrived there was very little left. I said in a loud voice to the woman with whom I’d come “what time late at night were we up to making this food?” in attempt to try to shock and embarrass everyone but she replied in a horrified tone “you don’t talk about things like that”. Some woman looked sympathetically at me so I replied “don’t worry. I can always go outside and wait until the event is over. It doesn’t bother me”.

As if you’d really get me into a church. Fair enough, I went into plenty with Marianne but that was out of friendship and respect. I’ve also been in plenty as a tourist too.

However in the UK, the first time that I went into church, someone stuck me in a pool of water. The second time, someone attached me to a strange woman. The next time that I go into a church will be over my dead body.

As for Nerina being strange though, that’s certainly not the truth. If we hadn’t both been under such stress and if I hadn’t been in such a dark place, things might well have been different. As I once said to my niece in Canada, it wasn’t until I met a couple of other girls on a more personal level that I realised how lucky I might have been when I had Nerina.

On another subject that cropped up in that dream, I remember being in a meeting in Toronto in Canada and they announced at the end that there was a buffet.

Seeing a few of my friends on the podium I stopped to chat to them so I was late joining the queue for the food. And when those of us near the end of the queue arrived at the front, the buffet had been totally stripped of food. Yet some people early in the queue had their plates piled high with sandwiches.

What I did was to shrug my shoulders and walk down to the nearest “Subway” and have a sandwich there.

Something else that interrupted me was the football on the internet. In fact I was asleep when the match between Penybont and Y Barri kicked off so I missed the first 25 minutes of it but luckily it was streamed via a recording site so I could go back to the start.

Penybont are having a strange season. For all of their experience and organisation, they are having a wretched season and are in danger of being sucked into the relegation battle.

On the other hand, Y Barri might be low down in the table but as a newly-promoted side and with such a gulf between the Premier League and the feeder leagues, they are coping better than some have expected.

THE MATCH seemed to reflect the situation. Penybont were much more organised but Y Barri played with more flair and improvisation.

The result at the final whistle was probably about fair, I suppose.

Penybont’s Chris Venables was sent off yet again for another stupid off-the-ball incident, and I really don’t understand it. He’s one of the better and more articulate players in the league and could easily be a regular in the “C” International side, yet the problem would be to keep him on the pitch for the whole 90 minutes.

There’s far too much of this niggly off-the-ball stuff in the league and I do wish that some of the players would grow up.

Tea tonight was one of the breaded quorn fillets that I like, now that I’ve had a Leclerc delivery, along with vegan salad and delicious baked potato started in the microwave and finished in the air fryer. And it was so nice that I went and baked myself another potato afterwards.

Now, I have a few notes to dictate before I go to bed, but I’m not sure how I’m going to do it. It’s Carnaval weekend, there are hordes of motor caravans parked on the public carpark outside and crowds are going back and forth singing and making a noise.

For the weekend half of the town join in the celebrations with gusto along with the other 150,000 people who attend here as visitors. As for the other half of the town though, they all make themselves scarce and head for the hills.

For people who don’t want to be here but can’t get away, the constant noise and sound of the entertainment can be quite overwhelming.

In fact, as my hero the Irish politician Boyle Roche once remarked, even "little children who could neither walk nor talk were running about in the streets cursing their Maker"

Saturday 11th November 2023 – THINGS TODAY WERE …

… somewhat different from yesterday.

in fact it was the morning when I was crashed out on my chair. And I was totally out of it too. I find it very hard to believe that yesterday took so much out of me.

Admittedly I was later in bed that I would have liked to be, but I was determined to dictate the notes that I’d been preparing for a future radio programme. They were all done and dusted and I crawled into bed.

When the alarm went off this morning I have to say that I have never felt less like moving – at least, not for a good while anyway. But I did make it to my feet before the second alarm went off and I staggered into the kitchen for my medication.

Back in here I settled down to do some work but ended up drifting in and out of sleep for much of the morning and I really didn’t feel like anything at all.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone from the night. I’d been invited to a wedding in Nantwich so I set off. As I pulled up outside the church there were all these people milling around with huge banners and floral decorations etc. It looked like a really sumptuous wedding. All the people with the banners went inside and I hung around outside. I had a good look round but didn’t recognise anyone. After a while I mentioned to someone “I hope that I’m attending the correct wedding”. They didn’t really say anything. Just at that moment a group of people appeared carrying a huge tray above their heads, full of beer. They swooped down onto the outside of the church and began to put the tray down so that everyone outside could have a drink. I thought that this is not like the kind of wedding that I would ordinarily attend, that’s for sure.

I didn’t mention that going to that wedding I actually walked some of the way, and walked some of the way without crutches. That astonished me, even in the dream.

There was a story about two people, a man and a woman, working in a kitchen. For some reason the man misunderstood a comment made by the woman. As a result the situation in that kitchen became extremely uncomfortable for a while. There was a lot more to it than this but it was another one of these dreams that disappeared the moment that I reached for the dictaphone.

However I don’t need to know how this ended. I know all about misunderstandings like this

Finally last night I was with a girl whom I knew for a while in Brussels, living in an apartment somewhere. She had go out out to sell some kind of Employee Management software database to a company. I tagged along with her. When she began her discussion the elderly woman in charge of the situation was extremely aggressive. My friend was talking about this product and the woman said “it’s not something that you have to use every day, is it?”. My friend was there patiently explaining “it’s a dispute-management system, yes, but it has lots of underlying parts to it. You only need the disputes part infrequently but everything else is important”. She replied “we’ll strip that out for a start”. The discussion continued and the woman found that it was based on Word-Perfect. “We can strip that out too”. I remembered smiling at 2 girls sitting at a nearby desk looking as horrified as I was. I whispered to them “I think that I’d have been long gone from here at this point”. My friend kept going patiently and the woman kept interrupting her. Every time Nicole tried to insist on speaking the woman went “interrupting me! How rude!” even though she was the one doing al the interrupting. I thought that I would never ever make a career in sales because I wouldn’t have put up with this kind of comment for a minute.

Following that I made a start on editing the radio notes that I’d dictated last night. It was a very slow process, for reasons that I mentioned a little earlier, but the programme is now finished and ready for broadcast on … errr … 7th June 2024.

With plenty of time on hand despite the fatigue I carried on editing the blog entries from last autumn. I managed to do a pile of them, and I’m now having a good drive around various Ford agents in Eastern Canada trying to find a sunroof to fit the only Ford Flex that was ever imported into Europe.

It’s quite true that I sometimes end up with doing some most unusual tasks.

There was some football on the internet later. It’s Welsh Cup weekend and the match that was featured for live commentary was Llanelli v Penybont.

Llanelli have a good history in Welsh club football but unfortunately it is nothing but history. There have been some very hard times down in South West Wales but the club is slowly rising back up the pyramid and is currently leading the Southern pool of the Second Division

Penybont on the other hand is a fully-established Premier League club that qualified for Europe this season.

The gap between the Premier League and the Second Division is immense under any circumstances, as clubs like Flint, Airbus and Afan Lido will testify over the past few years so no-one was under any illusions.

And that was how the game started, with Penybont rampaging forward. Consequently everyone was taken completely by surprised when Ethan Cann’s brilliant finish out of nothing from the edge of the penalty area put Llanelli ahead.

By half-time however Penybont had restored sanity and were 2-1 to the good.

A brilliant point-blank save by Scott Coughlin in the Llanelli goad right from the second-half kick-off kept them in the game and then up popped Ethan Cann again with one of the best goals that you’ll ever see from a Second-Division player.

Even more surprisingly, Llanelli went ahead later, only for Penybont to equalise in the dying seconds of normal time.

We ended up with a penalty shot-out in which Scott Coughlin was once again the hero as a couple of excellent saves saw the Second Division side through to the next round, totally against the run of play and totally against the odds.

Tea tonight was a baked potato cooked in the air fryer, with a vegan salad and one of those breaded quorn fillets that I like so much.

And it seems that I’ve cracked the system of baking potatoes with the air fryer. First, give them a couple of minutes in the microwave to cook the interior. That worked really well

So tomorrow I can have a day off. I’ve done all of my work.

All that remains to be done is to make my fruit buns for the next fortnight. For a change I have everything that I need so they should turn out really well, I hope.

But in the meantime I’ve been reading up on what I need to make my Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. The Christmas cake that I made 2 years ago turned out really well and I’m keen to make another one.

A Christmas pudding will be a new experience but Jackie told me what steamer to buy and sent me a recipe for a vegan pudding. One or two things I’m short of but I’ll order what I can and invent the rest.

When I was in Canada last year I was lucky because I found some brandy and some rum essence and that should give my Christmas baking a lift. I’ve no mixed spice but my friend in Munich thinks that he might be able to find some German gingerbread spice and that might actually work too.

One thing that I mustn’t forget to do though it to check my marzipan and make sure that that works too. I didn’t use it last year, with recovering from my hospital efforts so I hope that it’s still good.

if not, I shall have to think of a Plan B.

Saturday 30th September 2023 – I HAVE MADE …

… an executive decision, and for the benefit of new readers, an executive decision is a decision that if it turns out to be the wrong one, the person making it is executed.

Anyway, I went to LeClerc this morning to do my shopping. The drive there was horrendous because I can’t now work the brake sufficiently in Caliburn, and the left foot is struggling now to work the clutch.

Not only that, I didn’t have the power to climb back into the cab after my shopping.

When I returned here, I found that my usual parking place had been taken. The only other parking place up against a kerb that was free was right across on the far side of the car park. Consequently my shopping trolley and most of my purchases are still in the back.

Luckily, having had an idea that I might find things difficult, I’d taken a backpack with me so at least I could manage to bring the frozen and chilled food upstairs.

Coming back up the stairs, I did something else that I have never done. The lifts here are on the half-landing so I staggered (and I DO mean “staggered”) up as far as the first half-landing and took the lift up to the next one, and then walked down to my front door.

So in other words, what this means is that I am no longer going to drive. That is, not until I can find a car that works with hand controls only.

Meanwhile, back in the apartment, when the alarm went off I was reading a letter from a company to someone else about a lock-up garage that they were renting and for some reason they hadn’t paid their instalments. There was a family waiting to take it over so what were they planning to do with it. I don’t know why I’d had this copy but it immediately made me interested so I was busy sending it off to our company secretary to see what they could do about it.

So I crawled to my feet and wandered off into the bathroom. And then round about 08:40 I struggled down the stairs with my shopping trolley as far as Caliburn, and then the excitement began.

At LeClerc they had nothing exciting, but I found some vegan camembert-type cheese on sale on special offer so I treated myself to it for a change.

When I finally made it back here, I put away whatever it was that I’d managed to bring upstairs, and then made myself some cheese on toast and a pot of very hot, strong coffee.

Not that it did me much good, because I crashed out on my chair – and no surprise either because I was totally exhausted.

Later on I had a listen to the rest of the dictaphone notes. A group of us was going camping. One of my friends – it might have been a girl – had been to work so I said that I’d pick her up at about 01:30. I set my alarm for about 01:15 and went to bed. When the alarm went off I arose but I had so much to do that 15 minutes was going to be far too optimistic to accomplish it. Meantime I’d been collecting stuff to take with us. One of the things was like a stake that you drove into the ground and you added more stakes to it until it was quite tall and then a basketball hoop. It was extremely high off the ground like this but what my interest was that if I had some kind of long cloth I could make some kind of really nice wind protector for my tent or for when I’m sitting down on the beach, by sewing loops in it and putting each individual stake through each pair of loops to hold it. It was all packed in a big canvas bag like a tent bag so at the moment it was going to be quite easy to manoeuvre. Then I had my dishes to wash, things like that, and that was going to take me ages

And then I went to see my Aunt in London, and I had a woman and daughter with me, who might have been Laurence and Roxanne. We had to go so Roxanne carried STRAWBERRY MOOSE. We walked down from this big building where she lived to where I’d parked the car which was in some kind of extremely steep, muddy car park. I was right at the top so we didn’t have far to walk at all. We piled in and said our goodbyes. I had a packet of digestive biscuits. I made some remark about having made them specially. My aunt said “don’t be silly, Eric. You’ve bought them from a shop to eat on your journey home”. We rolled the car, which was my red Cortina estate, down to the bottom of the hill ready to set off. I remembered something that I had to take back so I left the two of them and the car there and ran all the way back up again. Really, what I wanted to do was to say goodnight to my aunt privately and to ask her about any situation going on that I ought to know. She anticipated this and came down. We met at the entrance to her building after I’d run back up the car park. It was quite an emotional reunion considering, and then we began to chat.

There was also something about some rocky fields and stone walls but I can’t remember anything more than that about it

There was football on the Internet this afternoon – Connah’s Quay Nomads v Penybont, played in a monsoon in a swamp in the Welsh Premier League – second v third.

And despite the conditions, it was an entertaining game with plenty of skill, really enjoyable to watch. And for 60 minutes or so Connah’s Quay roared into a 3-0 lead.

But then, a strange thing happened. Henry Jones, one of the best players in the league when he chooses to be, had been on the bench for Penybont and at the hour mark, Rhys Griffiths sent him on to play.

And a couple of minutes later we had two of the most bizarre substitutions that I had ever seen. I’ve no idea what must have been going through Neil Gibson’s mind but two of his best players, Harry Franklin and one of my favourites, Jack Kenny, who had been running the Penybont defence ragged, were then replaced.

As a result, 15 minutes later the score was now 3-2 and Penybont were going all out for an equaliser. A breakaway at the end of 90 minutes led to a fourth goal for Connah’s Quay but it could have been so, so different.

However, some of the substitutions that one or two of these managers make sometimes totally baffles me.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap with salad and chips. And it was really delicious too yet again. I seem to be making good progress with my meals these days and I’m eating well, which is always good news.

So now having had a nice relaxing evening, I’m off to bed, to have sweet dreams and think about how my car-less life is going to pan out in the future.

Tuesday 29th August 2023 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… one of those dreams that really ought to be turned into a film. One that went on for ever and ever during the night.

It’s a pity that I can’t remember word-for-word exactly what went on during these voyages because if I could and I could write it all down I’d be sitting on a fortune in royalties.

But at least it explains why I had another miserable night where I struggled to wake up this morning. Beat the first alarm I did, but I would have liked not to.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I had to let the nurse into the building. He’s coming to check up on my neighbour again.

Most of the day has been spent sorting out the paperwork and filling in forms for the hospital. You’ve really no idea of the stuff that they need, and then I had to track it all down.

There was also the issue of trying to find out exactly where I ought to be going. I don’t think that I’ve ever encountered a hospital as large as this one. The building where I needed to be took some tracking down.

As it happens, it’s right across the road from where there’s a Metro station on a direct line from Paris Montparnasse. That means that if whoever it is who comes to meet me fails to do so, I can make my way there on my own in a reasonable fashion.

While I was sorting everything out, the hospital actually rang me. They asked if I could come any earlier for my appointment. I replied that allowing for trains and connections, I should be able to be there earlier, but who knows how the transport will pan out?

Something else that I did today was to go one step further than Dave Crosby. Probably because I had the flu for Christmas I wasn’t feeling up to par and it increased my paranoia, like looking in my mirror and seeing a police car.

And then I attacked the dictaphone nots. I was watching Morton play last night. They were absolutely awful and turned over quite easily by the team against whom they were playing. Everyone was in a state of shock. On the climb back up to the steps of the Supporters dressing room the supporters were saying all kinds of things about how they didn’t believe the result of what was happening. One guy just sat on a step right by the door totally speechless. It was difficult to pass him to go in so I left him and went for a walk around the grandstands. When I came back he was still there so I said some platitude like “come on guy, let’s go inside. We’re not doing any good sitting here” and took him inside the Supporters room where he sat down and began this really huge inquisition about what was going wrong with the team.

I had the dream that I mentioned just now – another one of these enormous dreams about a film last night. We were in the USA, me, my friend from South Carolina and another girl. He went off somehere and I arranged to meet him at LIDL, somewhere like that. The the girl and I, we were in Shrewsbury or Chester at the time discussing the commercialisation of the port at Chester. That was my task. She was a student who was interested in developments on the waterfront for artistic purposes. I explained the river and canal network in Cheshire and how we intended to bring it all together so commercial freight would end up in Chester and distributed by the rivers and canals to the towns, and how their produce would come to Chester and be exported on sea-going ships. This chat went on for ages. In the end I sent her off after my friend and arranged to meet at LIDL where I’d do my shopping. I turned up at LIDL but the place was tiny. I couldn’t move around in it. I was so fed up that I decided that I’d take the bus into town to do my shopping there. Off I went, but I suddenly realised that I’d arranged to meet everyone at LIDL, I didn’t have my shopping bag or my money and I was on a bus into the centre of town. There was a discussion in which i was interested about developments in workshops and safety systems for electrics. I explained that in my father’s workshop he had a system of push bars against all the machinery. If he tripped and fell, he’d fall against a push bar, that would hinge with the force of his body and cut off the power. Everyone was interested in the design of this so I was talking about it when my friend came along and we met by accident. We ended up talking about this system. I asked him where the girl was. He said that she hadn’t turned up and he hadn’t met her. From there, there was a meeting taking place to do with abortion. The guy running it was clearly in favour of abortion and there was a group there trying their best to manipulate the results and figures to reveal statistics in a different fashion who were anti-abortionists. It turned out that this girl was actually there, one of the anti-abortionists who was involved in working on these figures. This led to a confrontation right at the end. The guy who was promoting this meeting and the idea of abortion was her father. They had a confrontation in the middle of the hall. That’s how my film finished. It was another one of these long ones that went on for hours and was so realistic again.

Later on I was back in that dream. I’d been taken to a restaurant as some kind of gesture to compensate me for what had happened to me at that meeting. The guy was making crèpes and showed me how he made them. I had the idea to roll them out even thinner, which I did. We cooked them quickly and they curled up into a kind-of ball. He coated a couple with ice cream and chocolate and a couple more with fruit. We chatted about his crèpes. I was sitting there talking to my friend, I don’t know who it was. My friend was asking me if I’d seen a survey in the handbook that needed to be filled in. I said that I’d seen it at a glance so he told me to have another look because it was full of things about environmental concerns and how a school had been built to trap everyone in a certain valley so that their children would go to this elementary school. It was turning into some kind of environmental and ecological disaster. There was another school where in order to make life more healthy for children they’d bulldozed absolutely everything around it. They’d made a time-lapse photo of all of the demolition that went on around the school. It really was the most extraordinary thing because it looked as if you could see the whole demolition process taking place from space at an extraordinary rapid rate of knots. It looked frightening how they’d simply bulldozed whole neighbourhoods of houses to make an environmental haven for these children. I wasn’t surprised that everyone was so upset about all of this

And then later on I was back in this dream again, something to do with serving orange juice but I can’t remember it now. But nevertheless, it was all extremely exciting, everything that flowed from this dream.

Tea tonight was my taco roll with some of the leftover stuffing. Quite nice again too, it was. Quite delicious and even better after having marinaded overnight in the herbs and spices. There’s a little left which I’ll be adding to a curry on Thursday.

Then we had the football, Penybont v Cardiff Metropolitan. For the first half hour it was played at 100mph but gradually Penybont asserted themselves.

They played some really nice and stylish football at times and had some wretched luck, with the woodwork and the Met’s keeper Alex Lang making a couple of dramatic interventions.

The Met had a couple of moments too but nether side managed to score the important goal to break the deadlock.

But I felt really sorry for the Met’s centre-forward Tom Vincent. Having been booked earlier, he was booked again and thus sent off for kicking Billy Borge in the head. But it was extremely harsh because Borge dived in for a ball at thigh-height that Vincent was attempting to play. Borge shouldn’t have had his head in there at all. If anyone’s play was dangerous, I’d have said that it was his.

So now I’m off to bed, ready to fight the good fight around the SNCF and Paris tomorrow. I’m not looking forward to this trip at all but I’ll have to do the best that I can. It might not solve anything but it won’t solve anything at all if I don’t go.

Thursday 13th July 2023 – NOW THAT’S WHAT I …

… call a much better football match.

In the Europa League Penybont who finished 3rd in the Welsh Premier League last season were playing Santa Coloma from Andorra.

Santa Coloma were the obvious favourites with 4 Andorran internationals in their side and their football was quite attractive but Penybont were full of grit and determination. What Santa Coloma had in skill, Penybont matched them toe to toe with a more physical style and never ever looked second-best even for a moment.

The match was played in a fiercely competitive but totally fair manner, which makes a big change, and the final score of 1-1 was about right.

Considering that these two teams are quite low down the club rankings in the overall scheme of things, it was an excellent advert for European football and it’s a shame that one of these clubs will be eliminated after the second leg in Andorra next week.

At least the football makes up for my rather depressing night. For practically the whole of the night I was wracked with attacks of cramp, and in both my legs too. That was what I call miserable.

However I must have gone to sleep at some point because there’s some stuff on the dictaphone and also because when the alarm went off I was miles away in the next world somewhere and it was quite a shock to be awoken.

After the medication and checking the mails and messages, first thing that I did was to transcribe the dictaphone notes from the night. I was reading a story in a newspaper or magazine about a Welsh pirate. While I was doing so I dropped a toilet roll. It fell down towards the deck of the boat but I couldn’t catch it. I began to look for it but couldn’t see it. Every time that I seemed to be within touching distance of it, it moved position and went further away again. I thought to myself that this is stupid. Here I am reading something complicated like this from the 16th Century without any problems at all but I can’t manage to control an errant toilet roll on board the ship on which I’m travelling.

I’d been round to the home of a friend from school but I’m sure it was actually the home of someone else. We were going to be doing something but it turned out that there was a football match on the TV. He had it on so I settled down to watch it. I could see that he was frustrated but I wasn’t sure what were his actual plans. he hadn’t really suggested anything. Everything was really going wrong apart from feeling a kind of atmosphere coming from him. He’d asked me to go down to the shops to buy some stamps which I had but while he was sulking he’d gone out for a while and come back. Then he started to stick some stamps on these envelopes. I said that I didn’t realise that he’d been out to buy them himself because he didn’t think that I’d bought them so I produced them. I had the feeling that this whole evening was going totally wrong from start to finish. It was one of those evenings that I wanted to be over as quickly as possible and we can start again some other time.

Then there was something about having some complimentary tickets on the railway. There was a special series of Bank Holidays and I had these complimentary tickets. The railways were working anyway so I thought that I’d go down to the ticket barrier to see one of their clerks there to see whether he knew anyone going through who might want to buy them from me. When I arrived there all of the barriers these days were automated. There was no-one to whom I could talk about my complimentary tickets for these four days of special Bank Holiday.

Next thing was to finish off the notes for the radio programme. I forgot yesterday to do the ones that I’d planned to do then so I ended up doing two lots this morning and that’s that, all ready for dictating. I might even do that tomorrow.

The rest of the time was spent revising for my lesson today. That actually went quite well too so I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting better or whether it’s because I haven’t had time to forget anything yet. Tomorrow is the last day and then there’s a couple of weeks off before I undertake this mega-course.

And if I don’t know it by the end of that, then I never will.

Yesterday, I mentioned that we have fallen behind with what we were supposed to be doing, and I’ve found out how we’re going to be catching up. He asked us to do a mountain of work after the lesson ended. That took up the remainder of the afternoon.

With the football being on, I ended up with an early tea. Fried rice with some of those Chinses thingies that I bought from Noz a few weeks ago. They were quite nice, although nothing particular to write home about. It makes a different meal, and it was done quite quickly too which was just as well.

And there was a change in my habits for tea. I vowed when I moved here that I would only eat my meal sitting at the table in the dining room. Try to be a little civilised for a change. But today it was on a tray on my knee at the computer watching the football. Maybe I should have had pie and chips.

Tomorrow I was going to nip out early and go for a quick run into town for a little shopping. But it’s a Bank Holiday here, the shops are closed and there are no buses. That’s upset my plans.

So sausage, beans and chips, I reckon. That should make a nice change. But I’m beginning to run low on proper, real baked beans. I shall have to organise some supplies from somewhere. Anyone fancy a little run out?

Saturday 4th March 2023 – MY CURRIED LEEK …

… and potato soup today was delicious.

In a large saucepan I fried an onion in olive oil until it was almost black, and then tipped in some minced garlic, two chopped small leeks, four small diced potatoes, half a teaspoon of nutmeg, half a teaspoon of cumin and a good dollop of ground black pepper, and fried all of that.

Then I covered it with water, added a vegetable stock cube and left it to simmer for twenty minutes.

Finally, I added some soya cream and whizzed it all up into a purée.

Totally delicious and furthermore, there’s enough left over for tomorrow lunchtime too. I’ll have it with the other half of the crusty baguette that I bought this morning.

While we’re on the subject of this morning … “well, one of us is” – ed … this was another morning when I arose from the dead before the alarm went off. I forget how many consecutive days this is now.

Mind you, it was another miserable night when I had a lot of difficulty going to sleep. My sleeping issues are really causing me a few problems right now.

But anyway, after my medication I went off to the shops – LIDL in fact this morning – and did a rather complete shop. It worked out to be quite expensive too, and for no good reason. There wasn’t much that I bought that wasn’t on the “usual” list.

Back here I made myself a nice strong coffee and then made my soup. Delicious as I said previously.

That gave me time to listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. There was quite a lot of stuff on there going back to when I was in Belgium just now and one of these days I’ll transcribe it. But last night there was something going on about some photos. It led to doing some green-screening overlaps with a girl of about 5 years old

Later on I was watching the football again tonight while I was asleep. The Man of the Match was awarded to a player who didn’t even play in the real game.

Finally, we’d demolished part of an old building and had gone to rebuild it. We suddenly realised that certain key elements were missing. We had to scavenge through the pile of rubbish to try to find these missing bricks and special tiles etc. We found 1 or 2 but a couple were eluding us and this pile was enormous. There was a small girl there jumping up and down insisting that something particular was exactly what we wanted. We couldn’t understand what it was she was meaning. We were actually looking for some roofing tiles that had on them pictures of girls who had been martyrs for some reason or other and been sanctified. This girl insisted so much that in the end someone picked up this tube and unrolled it. Sure enough it was a picture of a girl on a lead tile. It wasn’t the girl we wanted but it was from the right place and the right era so the one that we wanted had to be somewhere in the immediate vicinity unless we’d scattered them much further than we thought. We had to carry on searching. It was strange that she had tried to insist that where we were was what we wanted yet for some reason or other we hadn’t paid any attention at all and she turned out to be although not right, pretty close to it.

That wasn’t all that went on last night either, but whatever else there is, you really don’t want to hear it. Not if you’re eating a meal right now.

And we’re on the subject of football … “well, one of us is” – ed … there was more football on the internet after lunch. The other Welsh Cup semi-final between TNS and Penybont.

This was actually a better game than last nights, with much more skill and not quite as much thunder. TNS were always on top in this game but Penybont kept them at bay for most of the game. However two moments of madness leading to two defensive errors in the Penybont defence just before half-time and that was regrettably that.

It’s hard enough to get a result against TNS as it is, without handing them two goals on a plate.

Later on this afternoon I went back out to Caliburn to bring in some more shopping. I tried an experiment by going out with just one crutch instead of two.

It was easier to carry the shopping but I was quite unsteady on my feet and I can understand now why the physiotherapist insists on me using both crutches. However I had been moving around so much easier this morning after all of the exercise I’ve just had, so it was worthwhile having a try.

Tea tonight was a breaded quorn fillet with a delicious salad and some potatoes baked in the air fryer. And once again the air fryer came up with the goods. I’m now toying with the idea of trying to find some kind of container that I can put into is to that I can roast vegetables in there. I’m really getting the hang of this, I think.

As I said a few days ago, I’m determined to have a try at baking a cake in there too when I can find a cake mould that will fit in there. Exciting times ahead, I reckon.

But that’s for later. Tonight I’m off to bed and hoping for a good lie-in to recover from my exertions. There’s some pizza dough to make tomorrow as well as some fruit buns for the rest of the week. And so it’s not going to be a relaxing day tomorrow. I’ll be busy.

Still, high time I did some work.

Saturday 25th February 2023 – NOBODY WAS …

… more surprised than me to wake up this morning, bolt-upright, at 07:22. 8 minutes before the alarm went off.

For a change, I’d had a decent night’s sleep. I’d gone to bed at something like a reasonable time and apart from taking a while to go off to sleep, I can’t remember anything at all about the night.

And that’s a big disappointment because one of my favourite visitors came to see me last night. or, more exactly, I went to see her. I went round to Stoke on Trent to see Zero and her parents. They were all there still in bed in their bedrooms so I went up to see them. We had a chat and they all slowly got up out of bed. They talked about going off to a holiday camp sometime in August and asked me if I wanted to go with them. Of course I said “yes”. There was someone else there as well who talked about going somewhere exotic. I said “if you’re thinking of going to North America, go from Casablanca to Montreal because it’s beautiful” remembering the trip that I did a few years ago. A bird flew into the window and later one of the cats was hunting it. I went to grab it but missed. It flew straight past Zero who caught it. She went to put it out of the window. As she opened out her hand it flew back in again so we had to hunt it down again. She stuck her tongue out at me playfully so I scratched the top of her head with my hand like a crane basket. She carried on hunting for this bird.

Fancy missing out on an evening with Zero. You couldn’t make it up.

That flight that I mentioned was quite a good flight. It was when I came back from my encounter with Castor (who has been missing from these pages for far too long in recent times) on board THAT BOEING 787 DREAMLINER. I had no idea of when (if ever) I would be likely to return.

Having gone from Europe to the Far North of High Arctic Canada on board a ship I hadn’t booked a return flight of course, so when I finally decided that maybe I ought to go home, the prices of direct flights were completely out of my pocket so I had to negotiate for a reasonable price. That brought me to Brussels via Casablanca with Air Maroc and I didn’t regret my choice for a minute.

But I shan’t be going back to the High Arctic any time soon. I’ve spent all my mad money on buying this apartment and that will be that for a considerable while.

It wasn’t all that i spent either. I had a rather hectic morning.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I went out to the shops. First of all, I called at Noz where I was in luck. They had some vegan nuggets, rather like chicken nuggets. 2 different varieties so i stocked up with a couple of boxes of each and they are in the freezer now.

They also had one of these silicone baking moulds that I like. I have a few of them for different things, but this one is cake-sized and I don’t have one of those. When I finally move and have a real oven, I shall put that to use. It will be better than trying to bake in a pyrex casserole dish.

At Leclerc, I struck lucky.

When I’d been there a couple of weeks ago I’d found a lump of vegan cheese and thought that that was lucky. Today though, they had slices of vegan cheese and also some grated vegan cheese. It looks very much as if Leclerc is slowly dragging itself into the 21st Century. I bought some of each because, as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I have to encourage these places to stock more vegan food.

Back here as I was struggling up the stairs with some shopping I fell in with a couple of neighbours and we had a good chat about not very much at all. I have to be sociable, I suppose, and keep on good terms with my neighbours, even if I don’t feel much like it. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m not what you would call a sociable person.

Having put away as much as I could, we’re now back to the situation of no room in the freezer and no room in the fridge either. I bought plenty of other stuff and I’m not going to miss out on buying the burgers that I like at €1:99 for two with a second packet of two at just €0:67

Just after lunch we had football on the internet. TNS v Penybont. TNS took an early lead and missed a couple of sitters. And that was something that they came to regret as Penybont equalised laste in the game from a penalty. And we had the unusual situation of a referee being substituted. That was quite a swelling that the had on his left ankle.

This afternoon I finished off the notes for the radio programmes and i’ll be dictating them tonight before I go to bed. With the Carnavalers having mostly all gone home, it’s much quieter outside now so there’s not as much danger of being disturbed and having to redictate everything. It’s pretty depressing when you have to do that.

Cooking the potatoes in the air fryer worked really well and I’ll have to remember that for the future. It’s not a practical proposition if I’m cooking veg but if I’m having a salad or something like that it’s ideal.

But anyway, that’s all that I’ll be doing today. Tomorrow is a day off but I need to bake some bread rolls. I’m hitting the road on Wednesday for a couple of days so I’ll need something for breakfast on Monday and Tuesday and then something to make some sandwiches for my journey

it looks as if I’ll have to have the air fryer out again.

Sunday 5th February 2023 – I’VE ACTUALLY BEEN …

… out for a walk this afternoon.

Well, after a fashion and as much as I can anyway.

It was such a beautiful afternoon with the sun streaming down as it did so I couldn’t resist it. I grabbed the crutches and set off down the stairs. I did a lap around the car park and then walked down to the viewpoint that overlooked the fish processing plant and then came back.

It was quite windy and cold, but the sun made it look quite beautiful and I was glad that I made it outside.

On the way downstairs, I managed to go left-leg first down some of the stairs. That’s important because it means that I have to bend the right knee, and that’s something that I find to be quite difficult.

Much more difficult than going to sleep last night, as it happened. For once I was in bed at something like a realistic time. I fell asleep quite quickly too and slept all the way through until about 10:50. And I felt so much better for it. Especially as I stayed in bed for another 20 minutes doing my exercises.

There wasn’t a great deal of stuff on the dictaphone either so it must have been quite a quiet, relaxing night. There was a whole group of us, a couple of families, all staying in one house so it meant that we were all crammed up sharing a bed etc among several kids. I was sharing a bed with my brother. On one occasion he left the bed and went off because there was some noise or something going on. I took my teddy bear and another toy and put them down the bed with me and tried to go to sleep. I was distracted by all this noise too. I thought that I heard the voice of one of the young boys who was about 7. eventually my brother came back to bed. He was annoyed about the teddy etc being in his way. We started to chat.

Later on we’d been somewhere, a group of us again. I was coming home with a woman and her daughter – it might have been Laurence and Roxanne, I dunno. While we’d been away she’d told some people that there was a James Bond film that they could watch at their house. When we arrived back it was really late at night. We walked in and there was 1 girl still watching it with her mother. We still had a few things to do so for the moment we left them there. Then she said that she wanted to go to check up on another woman to whom she’d mentioned it about her daughter to see if they were still watching it at their house. We ended up driving up Dodd’s Bank. As we were at the foot of the bank I said to her “on the way back drop me here with my little suitcase and I’ll walk through the alley to home”. She asked me to repeat it so I did. In the end I had to repeat it about 3 or 4 times. My aim was to take the short cut through the alley with the small suitcase, leave the bigger suitcase in the car and return for that another time. That would save her a lot of time without having to drive round the housing estate to drop me off. But it was so difficult to try to make her understand what I was intending. She was short-tempered anyway with us being so late and with everyone still being around. And we had work tomorrow as well, of course.

There was rather more to it than all of this but you don’t really want to read it especially if you are eating your meal right now.

This morning I didn’t really do all that much but things began to liven up after I’d had lunch.

There was football on the internet this afternoon, a match in the quarter-final of the Welsh Cup between Penybont and Treffynnon.

Treffynnon spent a few years in the Welsh Premier League back in the 1990s when they were known as Holywell Town but in recent years they have been bouncing up and down between Division 2 and Division 3. At the moment they are doing well in Division 2 but they weren’t expected to do much playing away against a team riding high in the First Division.

It was pretty obvious to most people how this game was going to end but Treffynon put up quite a fight and even took the lead after 15 minutes with A GOAL OUT OF NOTHING but they couldn’t hang on to the lead.

Penybont equalised after 55 minutes and then scored a second from a penalty deep into injury time as a Treffynnon player who had just that minute come on the field as a substitute brought down an attacker in the penalty area with his first attempt to kick the ball.

It just wasn’t that substitute’s day either. 30 seconds later in a scramble to win the ball he ended up kicking an opponent and was sent off.

After I’d been for a walk I had a play about with the pizza dough that I’d taken out of the freezer earlier. And the pizza that I made with it was delicious too. One of my better ones.

And at some point the owner of the apartment that I’m trying to buy rang me up to ask me if I’d heard anything from the solicitor. It looks as if I’m not the only one who is being disturbed by the lack of action from him.

Tomorrow I’ll be doing the two radio programmes and then chasing up to see what news about Caliburn. I’m itching to get back on the road and do some shopping. Supplies of certain items are starting to run low again and I need to go out and about and do some stocking up.

Saturday 7th January 2023 – I’VE DONE SOMETHING …

… today that I haven’t done for quite a while, and that was that I went back to bed this morning.

Not that I’m really surprised because despite going to bed after midnight, I was wide awake at 04:30 and try as I might, I couldn’t go back to sleep.

In the end I gave it up as a bad job and made a start on the day.

Something else that I did that I haven’t done for quite some time was to have some breakfast. Not really a surprise given my really early start. A bowl of cornflakes and soya milk went down really nicely at that time of the morning.

A little later Liz was on the internet so we had a little chat for a short while too. It’s nice to keep in touch with good friends.

Round about 10:00 I could feel myself drifting away and spent a few minutes trying to fight off the wave of sleep but in the end I gave it up and hit the sack. It goes without saying that a short while later I had a phone call. It was one of the neighbours asking me if I needed anything from the shops. But having had a good shopping session on-line yesterday, there wasn’t anything that I needed.

It was round about 13:00 when I awoke again and after some toast and coffee I watched the football on the internet. Penybont swept aside a poor Caernarfon side 5-1. I’m not sure what has happened to Caernarfon but for a team that over the last couple of seasons has been so competitive, this season they have gone right off the boil.

That really is a surprise because although their defence hasn’t been up to all that much for a while, they have a very talented midfield that can usually carry the attack to the opposition but the fire seems to have gone out.

One of the things on the shopping list yesterday was 1.5kg of carrots. They have been washed, diced and blanched and are now sitting in the freezer quietly freezing. Well, actually in the freezer compartment of the fridge because the freezer itself is full to overflowing. Despite everything that has come out of it this last year or so, there is still no room.

At least there is plenty of stuff in there right now, including frozen vegetables because I had another salad for tea with my baked potato and vegan burgers. It was a good plan to treat myself to a salad this weekend as part of my order.

But with a little luck there will be some more room in there by the end of the weekend as a lump of pizza dough will go and some fruit buns will be taken out too. I’ll probably find something else to fill it though.

During the night, even though I didn’t have much sleep, still went on a voyage here and there. I was with my Greek friend. We were in Crewe making a curry. We had a little room in this factory complex where we lived. We had this curry going and it was simmering away, on “very low” so we planned on going to bed and letting it simmer away through the night. Just as I was getting into bed the alarm went off at the factory as if an intruder had come onto the premises. I looked out of the window but couldn’t see anything. Eventually I could hear one or two people walking towards the gate, like security staff. When my friend awoke I told her about this. We had a bit of a laugh about this security system. But this curry was all starting to go wrong. It was simmering away and looking really nice but it kept on rising up in the pan even on the lowest heat and threatening to overflow everywhere. She became quite angry. I was quite disappointed, particularly as some curry had gone on her clothes. She said that she would coat all my clothes in curry and see how I liked it but after a couple of minutes of this she started to smile and pat me on the shoulder as if either she wasn’t being serious or if the crisis had passed and we were friends again.

Even though I’d had a good sleep later in the morning and another one … errr … at some point in the evening, I didn’t go anywhere else.

But even if it is early, I’m going now, and that is to bed. Despite all the sleep that I’ve had I’m feeling pretty exhausted and miserable and a good sleep will do me good. A nice lie-in if I’m lucky, followed by a nice, strong coffee and I might feel better. I wish that I could find some energy from somewhere to sort myself out because nothing is being done right now. Everything is just too much of an effort.

Saturday 19th November 2022 – I WAS RIGHT …

… about it being a quiet day today because almost nothing has happened today.

It was quiet through the night as well. I hardly remember anything at all. There was a moment when I went for a walk down the corridor for the usual reasons that any man of my age will know, and that’s about that.

I awoke at about 02:30 and had the impression that I’d been somewhere or doing something in a dream but unfortunately there was no recollection of where or what it was at all. There was nothing in my mind about what I was doing.

And later I can’t remember too much about this but there were 3 of us in a car. We’d been talking to someone and when we were about to set off the girl who was driving dropped her gloves. She leaned out of the car to try to pick them but she couldn’t manage it. She went back and forward in the car trying very hard to rescue them without leaving the car. In the end we set off and found ourselves in a part of Glasgow that was in very poor condition. Several houses had their slates ripped off and you could see daylight through the windows. The pub was the same. Roaming around the streets were tatty kids. We drove somewhere and someone pointed out a chapel that someone had visited. It was famous for some reason in the 18th century for Methodist missionaries etc. There was a garage that was also famous for a similar kind of reason presumably in the days before it became a garage

Another thing of note was that it was a very slow morning. I didn’t stir at all after that until the alarm went off. And even so, it still didn’t galvanise me into action.

What did get me going was the arrival of all of the nurses with the medication and all of the measuring devices:

The doctor put in an appearance too before breakfast and asked me how I was. I told her that it was too early to say and I haven’t even had a coffee. Strangely though, she didn’t sit on the edge of the bed next to me like she normally does That’s rather sad.

There were three meals today and I had to be shaken awake to eat them; The soya yoghurt for breakfast was there as was the soya dessert for the evening meal. There was a kiwi as well with my evening meal but in accordance with our agreement I eschewed it

The nurses had to awaken me for a few other tasks I’m definitely having my money’s worth of sleep right now.

There was football on the internet this evening too Penybont v TNS.

There’s no doubt that TNS are a mile better than anyone else in this league and play the ball around amongst themselves far better than the rest of the league and that was evident today.

However the team from Bridgend defended resolutely and while they never ever looked like scoring they kept TNS away from the goal and it ended 0-0.

In the middle of the second half the student nurse came to give me my medication so I let her listen to the language of my grandmother.

So that’s it really. A peaceful day and I’m likely to have the same tomorrow. So that calls for an early night. I have to build up my strength.

Saturday 17th September 2022 – I FORGOT …

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… that it was Saturday and shopping day today and almost forgot to go out.

When the alarm went off this morning I wasn’t in any rush at all and was lounging around for a whole 10 minutes or so before I had a sudden attack of realisation and leapt to my feet in something of a panic

So while you admire a whole collection of all kinds of aerial craft, because today it looked as if almost anything that could fly was in the air this afternoon, I shall regale you with my adventures.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And when I say “almost anything that could fly was in the air this afternoon”, there were even one or two things that couldn’t but were making a valiant attempt.

Like this Nazgul, for an instance. If it were me, I’d have “shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight. “
but Legolas was obviously having much better luck than Wordsworth and me.

This Nazgul came staggering around the headland clearly in some kind of difficulty and he ended up loitering around here for a good five minutes just half an inch above the ground waiting for a gust of wind to pick him up and send him on his way.

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner F-HRBC baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Not all of the aerial craft was unidentified though.

Flying by this afternoon was Air France flight AF428 from Paris Charles de Gaulle to, of all places, Bogotà in Colombia, by coincidence where my journalist friend Jill from Philadelphia is on an assignment right now, and had I known, I would have been on it.

The plane that’s taking the flight is a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, registration F-HRBC, and it was at 34,000 feet on course 261° at 460 knots.

We’ve flown on Dreamliners before, once FROM CHARLES DE GAULLE TO MONTREAL IN AUGUST 2014 and once FROM MONTREAL TO CASABLANCA IN OCTOBER 2019.

aeroplane 50SA baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, and more banal kinds of flying machine.

So there I was, scrambling to my feet and dashing off to take my medication while I made plans.

After the medication I leapt (well, crawled, actually but sometimes you have to write for effect) into the shower for a good scrub and to make myself pretty, but I’ll need much more than the 4 minutes that the British Government recommends that you spend in the shower in order to do that.

And then Caliburn and I headed for the hills and the LeClerc supermarket.

aeroplane 55OJ baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Today’s shop was actually quite expensive, but they had a lot of stuff on special offer today.

The hair shampoo that I use, a special type with oils and not soap, was on offer in three-packs. It’ll probably take me the rest of my life to use it all but I couldn’t turn it down.

Fabric softener was at a give-away price too, and then they had some 100% végétale margarine of the best quality in the “end of range” row. It’s much better than the rubbish that I usually buy and the reduced prices was even cheaper than what I would pay for my usual stuff.

Nothing there that I could pass up.

These days I’ve become quite domesticated, haven’t I?

unknown aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home, I called at the Health Centre. The nurse had told me that my vaccination certificate for my fourth vaccination is now ready.

The certificate might be ready but the receptionist wasn’t. Her desk was all closed up. It looks as if the reception is only open 5 days per week. And so instead I came home.

Having put the frozen peas and the cold items away, I came in here and started work.

One thing that I want to do on Saturdays now that I have a little free time with only going to LeClerc and not to Noz is to pair up the music for the radio programme that i’ll be preparing on Monday. That means that I really can have Sundays off.

If I’m not careful, I’ll end up like Robinson Crusoe. he worked a 5-day week because all his outstanding work was finished by Friday.

unidentified aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The joins in the pairs were amongst the best that I’ve ever made, and I’m very pleased with these.

While I’d been rummaging around in the fridge the other day I found some vegan cheese that I had forgotten. And so for breakfast I had cheese-on-toast and coffee. And that old vegan cheese, stuff that I’d bought ages ago from Lidl, actually melts like real cheese.

That’s the kind of thing that’s useful to know so I made a note.

So having had a nice breakfast, I made a start on what was on the dictaphone from last night. Tons of stuff too. It must have been quite a mobile night.

powered hang glider baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Last night I was at the airport taxi-driving. I was sitting in the car in the rain watching the line of passengers grow longer and then shorter. Then it was my turn to leave, and I picked up some people going to the hotel in the south near Waterloo. 6 people entered the taxi so I had to insist that 1 of them left as I was only licensed for 5. In the end 2 of them left. They had a chunter but I was only licensed for 5 so there was nothing that I could do about it. We set off

After that I had my boat and I was up round the top of north-west Scotland somewhere. An emergency had occurred and I had to go back to London. It was fairly stormy but I went none-the-less. Although the journey shook me up a lot I made it back without any serious injury or illness.

Later on, Nerina came home from school one day very upset because someone had been taking the mickey out of her. She wanted me to go along and sort them out. Of course it’s not really something that you can sort out as I told her. I said that it was pretty pointless but she insisted so we drove back to Nantwich. I said “when we park up you’ll have to do this, this and this”. She replied “I’m not coming with you”. “Of course you are. This is about you”. In the end we didn’t actually have to go very far because as we pulled up he was there. I had a few words with him about it. He was effectively “what are you going to do about it,”. Of course there wasn’t really anything that you can do about something like that. In the end nothing ever became of it. It didn’t really prove a point but it was one of those things that you just have to do, one of the affairs through which you have to go.

powered hang glider baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022and then this was early in the morning. Everyone was getting up. I was talking to someone at the front door of the residence where I was staying, brushing my teeth. He pointed to my upper lip telling me that there was some toothpaste on it. I replied “don’t worry. I’ll wash my face when I’ve finished”. He replied “yes but I’m telling you that I thought for some reason that it was an extremely silly thing to do”. There was an advert on the TV as well about a young black boy taking 2 children, 1 on the handlebars of his bike and the other in a trailer behind. he was struggling up a hill in the snow. It was something to do with some kind of energy product because it cut to the end where he was cycling up this hill and overtaking everyone like nobody’s business, nothing like the struggle he was having before”. One of my friends from Germany was there. She was there as I was rinsing my face off so we had a little chat. I had my suitcase and was thinking that I’d have time to go to the airport to check in and hand in my suitcase and then come back. Then I’d be ready for going in the evening. I was thinking about it and I wasn’t going for another couple of days yet so why would I be wanting to take my suitcase now? This was starting to become really confusing.

yellow autogyro baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After the lunchtime fruit the next task was to deal with the carrots. I’m running a little low on them so seeing as they had 1.5kg bags this morning at the same price at which 1kg bags usually sell, I treated myself

They are all now scrubbed, diced, blanched and in the freezer. And I had to be quite imaginative about how I fitted them in because it really is now full to the brim and there’s no room for anything else in there.

Now that I’m much more organised here, I realise that I should have pushed the boat out and bought a bigger freezer. However I would have filled up the space just as quickly and I still would have ended up in this position with no room in there for anything else.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With the carrots now done, there’s still no time to breathe a sigh of relief and collapse into a heap.

There’s the afternoon walk – or stagger – around the headland. But not before I’ve gone over to the wall at the end of the car park to check up on the activities down on the beach.

Plenty of people down there this afternoon. No surprise though because although it was quite windy, even if a Nazgul rider didn’t think so, it was a lovely late summer day and it really was a pleasure to be out in it.

There were even one or two people brave enough to be in the water this afternoon.

st helier jersey UK Eric Hall photo September 2022The views out to Jersey were magnificent this afternoon.

They were so good that you could see some of the buildings on the island with the naked eye, and now that I’ve been over there I can tell you what some of them are, and when I’ve finished reviewing the photos I’ll probably be able to tell you what the rest are.

Going from left to right, what I think that we have is first of all Elizabeth Castle and to the right is Fort Regent. Over to the right, the white buildings are the blocks of flats at Le Marais in St Clément.

Of course, that’s guesswork based on what I saw when I was over there, but of course I didn’t actually see everything.

commodore goodwill english channel France Eric Hall photo September 2022And how about a flying ship?

It’s not actually a fata morgana – it is a real ship roughly in the position where it’s supposed to be, but the effects of the haze caused by temperature inversion at the water level gives the impression that she’s flying,.

It’s a phenomenon that’s been observed by mariners for centuries and has been the subject of all kinds of books and the like.

And no prizes for guessing who she might be either. It’s actually Commodore Goodwill out there in the English Channel surrounded by yachts and she left St Helier at 10:36 for a slow sail over to St Malo.

kayakers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Fighting my way past the crowds and the wounded Nazguls I crossed the lawn and came to the crowded car park.

Out in the bay there were a couple of kayakers having a good paddle around offshore this afternoon. Having a lot of fun, I suppose.

When I was at school I used to go canoeing but that was a very long time ago and on a canal. I wouldn’t fancy my chances in an open sea in this kind of wind.

STRAWBERRY MOOSE has been kayaking in the open sea while we were in the Arctic, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.
“Would you like a couple of oars?” I asked him before he set out.
“Yes” he replied. “After I’ve come back and put away the kayaking gear”

cabanon vauban man sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022My route continued across the car park to the end of the headland, and then I picked my way very gingerly down the loose gravel path on my one good leg.

There was plenty going on out at sea and plenty up above in the air too, as you have already seen. Consequently seeing someone sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban was no surprise at all.

What was surprising was that he was taking no interest whatever in the exciting events that were unfolding all around him. By the looks of things he was reading a good book, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Nothing wrong with continuing my way down towards the port either.

belle france joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So I scrambled off on my way towards the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see what was happening there.

Nothing much going on at the ferry terminal today. It seems that despite the fine weather, the summer season is grinding to a close. Moored over there are Belle France and one of the Joly France ferries. No step in her stern so that means that she’s the older one of the two.

The only one out at the island today is the other one, the newer of the two. So there aren’t any tours around the bay this afternoon.

As for Victor Hugo, she’s still moored in the inner harbour. Her season is definitely finished and I imagine that it won’t be long before she and her sister are off to Cherbourg for a maintenance visit.

l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The portable boat lift here in the chantier naval is only rated at 100 tons and I don’t imagine that that’s anywhere near as what is required to lift Victor Hugo out of the water.

It would be nice if we had a bigger left to pull heavier boats out of the water but then there’s no real room here for anything large.

Everyone whom we saw yesterday is still here by the way. However I took a better photo of L’Omerta. When I was looking at the radar yesterday I noticed that there isn’t an image for her on the radar database. As I keep the installation here I reckon that it’s upto me to bring it up to date.

That’s a little project for me – to go through and photograph every boat that lives here. I probably have most of them anyway.

Back here I had a coffee and then settled down to watch the football – Y Drenewydd v Penybont in the Welsh Premier League.

This was a game that had everything. Penybont were the better side and they raced into a 2-0 lead in the first half. Watching Y Drenewydd mounting a comeback and trying to pull themselves back into the game made the second half probably one of the most exciting that we have seen.

They pulled a goal back and kept on piling forward, only to be hit by a sucker-punch breakaway that made the score 3-1. Nevertheless they kept on going and scored a second, but couldn’t find a way through for the third despite everything that they tried.

3-2 was about the right result and the game was a great advert for the League except for a couple of “little incidents” in stoppage time that saw a rash of bookings and a sending-off as Penybont tried to slow down the game and run out the clock.

Tea was one of my breaded quorn fillets with veg, and then I came back in here to write up my notes, rather later than usual.

All my work for this weekend is now done so I can have tomorrow off. I even have pizza dough in the freezer (I think).

So I’ll try a walk around the walls tomorrow and see how I feel. I’m still not feeling myself, which is just as well because it’s a disgusting habit, but apart from that my right knee is finished, I reckon. I don’t think that I’ll recover from this.

And even if I were to recover, I’m not sure that i’d have the confidence in it that I had.

That’s sad, isn’t it?