Tag Archives: photo editing

Thursday 12th August 2021 – I WAS RIGHT …

joly france leaving ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… about the place out here being a hive of activity at the morning tide while I’m still plucking up the courage to drink a mug of coffee

This morning started off with a couple of blasts on the siren from one of the Joly France ferries , the older one of the two as she reverses out of the ferry terminal with a load of passengers on board.

They all do that when they reverse out, because they never know what is coming around the corner behind them, and I imagine that the sounding of the siren is the result of bitter experience.

belle france arriving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s just as well that she did because she had company right behind.

The very newest Chausey ferry, Belle France looks as if she’s been an early bird this morning.

She’s on her way back into harbour having presumably already dropped one load of passengers off at the island, and coming back for more, bringing with her, I imagine, holidaymakers who want to return to Paris on the midday train.

And so it looks as if it’s going to be a busy day for them out there today with them starting early like this.

chausiaise arriving at port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJamais deux sans trois – never two without a third, as I said yesterday.

And in behind all of them, somewhat later and at a much more leisurely rate, comes Chausiaise, the little freighter that they use for running the supplies and the luggage out there

All we need now is the other Joly France boat, wherever she may be, and the Loch Ness monster and we’ll have a full house today.

trans-shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you think that that was all of the excitement this morning you are very much mistaken.

One of the big issues about living in a medieval walled city is that deliveries are somewhat complicated. The heights and widths of the gates weren’t made for modern lorries.

Anyone who has anything delivered here in a lorry like this will need to have some kind of trans-shipment facility for their purchases if they expect their goods to arrive at their front door.

normandy trader loading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, back at the ran … errr … harbour we have another visitor in here this morning.

The Normandy Trader seems to have come into port with the evening tide yesterday and by the time that I got round to see her she was busy being loaded up with a pile of building material that must also have arrived quite early.

According to her skipper, she’d already been over to St Malo on her way out from St Helier so they are keeping her busy.

marite baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was at it, I went to have a look on the north side of the headland when I came back from the shops.

And here, sailing around the bay was Marité

We had seen her at her mooring earlier when we saw Normandy Trader but by the time that I came back both of them had cleared off into the sunset.

Normandy Trader had long-since disappeared into the distance but Marité kept me entertained for quite a while.

condor voyager english channel Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we had another surprising sight right out to sea just leaving the harbour at St Helier and the camera did really well to pick this up.

A quick check of the fleet radar told me that just about 20 minutes before I took this photo, Condor Voyager, the big superfast ferry whom we had seen the other day, had set out from St Helier on her way back to Poole in Dorset, where she arrived at 14:43.

She was the only ship out there who fitted the description and the size of what I was seeing so I reckon that it’s she.

Yes, I’ll go out again when the tide is right.

But anyway, I’m getting well ahead of myself.

And after last night’s adventures, all that I can say is that there’s no point whatever in killing myself to go to bed at a reasonably early time if I spend most of the night tossing and turning and not being able to sleep properly It was a rather dismal night in fact.

Nevertheless, I did manage to go off on several travels and it’s these that are probably wearing me out the most. Last night I was living at the top end of Crewe in Victoria Street and I had a little ginger kitten. One day I let it out and it shot off at a right pace. I was calling it and running after it praying that it wasn’t going to be knocked over by a car or something as it had never been out at all in the past. Eventually I caught it playing around by the railings that led up the steps to one of the shops on Hightown. I picked it up and thought “I’m on the way to the hospital but i’m going to have to carry the cat because I can’t just put it down and let it run around like this. It will drive me mad and be ever so stressful

Later on I’d arranged to meet one of my Canadian friends to go to the cinema but somehow I’d forgotten. I’d ended up going to bed. But the phone rang to ask me where I was “God! I’ve forgotten!” She replied “we’re just going in now”. She’s met someone and they were going to be on the balcony in the cinema. I dressed quickly and dashed into town, went up into the cinema and had a look round. Eventually I found them and went to sit next to them. There she was, then this guy then me then another woman. This was a B-feature and the lead film was a film abour economic analysis and everything. Of course I was fascinated by this and sat and listened to it. This woman started to talk about something that she had planned for her thesis to do with making glucoses on plants and transposing them to trees. I said “you should speak to my friend’s friend because he’s into genetics”. That sparked off a lively incident. This film then started to talk about someone who had developed some babysitting rings in South London with a couple of friends, about how they had started this but were doing it while studying and hadn’t let on. Their friends were starting to shun them because of the implications about what would happen to their studies if they found out that they were working.

Some time later a couple of us were hemmed in on a car park by a car and a lorry on a car park in Granville. We had to go to pick someone up from the seafront a little later and the gale was howling. It was really strong. I was trying to eat something but it was all falling apart. In the end I turned to whoever it was I was with and said something like “shall we go?”. I swept all of the ruins of whatever it was I was eating into a bag and I saw the cheese sandwich and said “God! Sorry!” to whoever it was we were meeting. We set off to go to see the storm.

A little while earlier at some point I’d been on a bike and I’d come to some roadworks and I’d had to wait while we were ushered through. The ushers were dealing with some kind of incident involving a lorry so we were there for hours. The we were let through and I had to cycle behind the girl on the bike who was leading everyone through. I’d switched my lights off and I couldn’t get them to work again. In the end I cycled off and by now I’d transformed myself into a car. I was heading back home to my place in Virlet. Although I’d come a different way I suddenly found myself back on the road that I knew so I was able to put my foot down and go that way. In the night with the lights and everything we could see all of these ancient buildings with all old dates carved into these buildings, hundreds of dates, all reflected in the shadows of the car’s headlights. It was the first time that I had ever seen them so clearly.

It’s no wonder that I’m totally exhausted with all of this going on, is it?

Having organised that I went and had a shower and went one better than Graham Nash – I actually DID cut my hair, although my not feeling up to par is not because I had the flu for Christmas – it’s something else completely.

Then I hit the streets – not that I feel much like it but on Tuesday I have to go for the train and so I may as well see how I feel.

You’ve already seen some photos and I’ll show you a few more quite soon once I’ve disentangled myself from the chat with the itinerant who hangs around the town.

unloading goods at empty shop rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was a clothes shop for kids in the Rue Couraye but it moved to different premises not so long ago.

Just recently the windows have been covered over to stop people peeking inside, and today they’ve had a delivery of stock.

Hachette is wholesale book distributor and it’s their name on the packaging, so are we going to be seeing a bookshop open in the town?

Watch this space.

On the way up the hill my knee gave out again and that reminded me that as I was going past the new physiotherapists’ clinic I should pop in there and make an appointment. I have a doctor’s prescription for a course of physiotherapy.

At LIDL I didn’t buy very much at all today – it was the exercise that I went for more than the shopping, so I was soon heading back.

crane rue victor hugo rue saint paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we watched them demolish the old café on the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo.

They erected a crane shortly afterwards and I said that they would get a move on now because hiring a crane is expensive. So since then they haven’t done a tap of work.

Of course it’s August and everyone is on holiday right now, but in that case why bring the crane in and not wait for September when everyone is back at work? It seems rather strange to me, but there again many things around here do.

public notice square potel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt LIDL I’d bought some energy drink to fuel the climb up the hill to home, so I stopped to drink it right by the Square Potel.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, late last year they demolished the staircase and closed it all off to the public, and today I noticed that a notice had been erected at the site.

Basically, work is going to start here next autumn, so they say, and so it’s not worth anyone’s while making the place look presentable at the moment, only to have to rip it all out in early course.

So at least we know when things might be starting. When they might be finishing is something else completely.

Outside the building was a neighbour so we had a chat, then I came in to put away my frozen peas and then … errr … hit the chair for a while. And no surprise there.

As a result there was a rather late lunch and I wasn’t in the mood for doing all that much afterwards for a while. Eventually I did some more Greenland photos to keep things ticking over.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen it was time for my afternoon walk, somewhat later than usual, I wandered as is my custom these days down to the end of the car park to have a look at the beach.

And we’re right at the turn of the tide by the looks of things judging by the beach, and there are quite a few people down there this afternoon making the most of it.

Plenty of sunbathers and and even quite a few people taking to the water. It was certainly one of the nicer afternoons that we’ve had for a while.

A few yachts out there in the distance too and beyond them are the bouchot beds that we saw yesterday. They aren’t as clear today as they were.

yachts ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut on the subject of things being clearer, the air is certainly much clearer than it was yesterday.

The difference between the view of the Ile de Chausey today and the view YESTERDAY WHEN WE SAW MARITÉ is quite considerable.

Unfortunately she’s not out there now, she’s gone somewhere else out of my view. However there are quite a few other yachts over there in the distance, one of them being Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went down the coast last year.

lighthouse cap fréhel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we’re on the subject of going down the Brittany coast … “well, one of us is” – ed … the view down the Brittany coast was quite good today.

Right out there on its headland we can vaguely see today the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, about 70 kilometres from where I’m standing. Not the best view that we have had – we’ve had days when we’ve seen it with the naked eye – but pretty good all the same.

And I haven’t forgotten that I have a few close-ups on the lighthouse to show you one of these days when I find enough creative spirit to write something up about my journey down there.

st helier jersey channel islands Eric HallIf the view out down the Brittany coast is good, there’s a fair chance that the view out to sea might be good too (although quite often it isn’t).

Out there today, we have a really good view of the island of Jersey and the port of St Helier, even down to being able to see plenty of the buildings around the town. It’s very rare indeed that we cans ee them as clearly as this.

The big white building with the round dome on top is as far as I can tell, the Fort Regent Leisure Centre but I can’t really identify the others. One of these days I’ll have to go for a sail out there, but I bet that it will be raining and foggy and I won’t be able to see a thing.

seagulls baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt this particular moment I was overflown by an aerial duo.

The white one on top was, presumably, mummy seagull and she seemed to be taking one of her babies, the browny-grey one underneath, for its maiden flight around the clifftops.

And judging by the noise that baby was making, she was not one very happy seagull at all. The younger ones have this very distinctive squeaky call that sounds like an unhappy toddler.

And by the way, if ever you come to Granville, bring a hat. The seagulls have an accuracy that puts Bomber Command to shame.

yellow microlight pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I’m on the subject of being overflown, it’s getting to be more and more like Play School here.

Today we aren’t going to be deciding which window to be looking out of, we’re going to be deciging which one of the microlight aircraft will be oveflying us.

Last time, it was the red one, so today then obviously it has to be the turn of the yellow one to come and pay me a visit, rattling its way past overhead.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the yellow autogyro so maybe that’s his turn tomorrow.

Surprisingly, that was the only aircraft today that went anywhere like close enough to be able to take a worthwhile photo. There were a couple of others but they were either too far out or too high.

fishermen speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving dispensed with all of the activity out on the north side of the headland I went to see what was going on round the corner because i’d seen some things moving out there.

Across the car park went I, down to the end of the headland and just as I did so, a speedboat went right past in front of me.

We’ve had everything else today so why not a boat full of fishermen? Not doing very much fishing because they are travelling at some speed, from where I don’t know because all of the slipways are out of the water right now.

They are going to be having quite a long wait until the tide comes in far enough for them to go ashore.

yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I said just now that things were moving out there, I was only speaking figuratively because here’s someone who clearly isn’t.

This is the best way to spend a quite sunny afternoon – anchored off the coast (you can see his anchor chain extended off the port bow) taking in the rays and waiting patiently for the tide to come in.

It doesn’t even look as if he is doing any fishing, and that is surely heresy around here right now.

There’s a few other things to see around the corner so i’ll wander off that way.

trawler in portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallPlenty of excitement yet again in the chantier naval this afternoon.

The portable boat lift has been pressed into operation today and it has a small trawler-type fishing boat in its evil clutches. And there’s a guy standing behind it with a pressure washer presumably removing the barnacles from her hull

And I suppose that you’re wondering why she’s still in the boat lift despite the tide being well out right now, and not dropped down onto a set of chocks as they usually do as soon as they take them out of the water.

Well, read on.

7 trawlers in chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s your answer. There simply isn’t anywhere to put her.

It’s been a really busy morning down at the chantier naval by the looks of things and we have no fewer that seven boats in there. There’s Charlevy of course across the other side, and Trafalgar nearest the street, and then four in a line with the seventh in the portable boat lift.

This is probably a record number of boats for me in there and I don’t see how they could hope to fit any more in their place.

And the excitement will begin when they need to use the portable boat lift to drop a boat back in the water, with nowhere to drop the one that’s in the lift while they do it.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw Chausiaise coming back into the harbour after her run out this morning, but she’s now back where she was moored yesterday.

Maybe that’s her work finished for the day, unless she has to go over and bring back some luggage tonight.

And in the background there’s another class taking place in the pool over there by the beach at the Grève de Hérel. It looks as if it might be kayaks this afternoon.

But I came back for a cold drink and to stir some papers around. Despite having felt a little better, I’ve still not been able to concentrate at all.

For tea I made a huge pile of aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit, with no pudding as I wasn’t all that hungry. I had no breakfast either so my appetite seems to have gone.

But now I’m off to bed, rather late, and hoping for a better, more productive day tomorrow. High time that I extricated my digit.

Tuesday 10th August 2021 – HAVING GONE FOR …

hang gliders plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… several days without even the hint of being overflown by anything airborne, I had it in spades today.

How many Nazgul go you see in this photo? I make it at least six (although it might well be just four if the yellow and the orange ones don’t sort themselves out quite quickly).

And there were several more than that too by the time that they had all finished. They were out there in some quite considerable numbers this afternoon.

f-bxrn Robin DR 400/120 Petit Prince pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that is by no means all of the aerial traffic either.

There were aircraft in numbers too, like this one here. She’s a new one that we haven’t seen before. Her registration number is F-BXRN and that tells me that she’s a Robin DR 400-120 Petit Prince.

She was picked up on the radar out in the bay at 16:06, and that corresponds with the time of my photograph which was (adjusted) 16:05. She flew up and down the coast once and came back in to land at 16:33.

microlight powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallStill plenty more aircraft to come.

This is the red microlight thing that flies up and down here and which regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing on several previous occasions. If there’s going to be plenty of aerial activity then either she or the yellow autogyro will be in there somewhere.

But leaving the aerial craft alone for a moment (don’t worry – we’ll be returning to them in due course) let’s go back to the very beginning and start the day correctly.

This morning I was up as the alarm went off at 06:00 and staggered off to take my medication for the day.

After that, I had a couple of days’ worth of dictaphone entries to transcribe. I was on my way to work down this street last night, a narrow street something like Pillory Street. There were crowds of people with processions, all in fancy dress like Smurfs and snowmen and so on. I had no idea what was going on so I went into work and found my boss and asked him about it. After much beating about the bush he told me that it was the anti-something – anti-Covid or anti-EU demonstration. I said that I wouldn’t join it but I can’t find any cleaning stuff. Where’s it all gone because we had tons of it?. He replied “it’s all gone out”. He listed all of the people who might have had it. There were some people in a group with a couple of girls whom I’d seen. He said “they were in tears this morning about this”.

While I was at it, I updated yesterday’s entry with details of Saturday night/Sunday morning’s voyages

When I went to check my e-mails I found that our Welsh class today had been brought forward so I had to get a wiggle on and prepare myself. Not that it did much good because I wasn’t ready by any means.

There were only a few of us there today but it went quickly but I’m really struggling with my memory. I can remember all kinds of things from 50 years ago, but ask me what I had for tea on Saturday.

The rest of the day has been spent alternating between the notes for the Spirit of Conrad trip and the photos of the Greenland adventure. And I came across a photo that I hadn’t realised that I’d taken (or maybe its significance had escaped me at the time) and it opened up a whole new can of worms.

And, unfortunately, I ended up being away with the fairies yet again for an hour or so. Whether things might have been any different had I gone straight to bed when I said that I would instead of staying up until almost midnight playing the guitar I really don’t know.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was the afternoon walk around the headland of course. And no sooner had I set foot out of the apartment when the hand of doom fell upon me.

Actually it was a shadow cast upon me by one of the Nazgul flying past. I told you earlier that there were quite a few more than the half-dozen that we saw in a photo right at the beginning.

But as he cleared off out of my line of sight I could go along and inspect the beach to see who was about.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd there was plenty of beach to be out there on today, as I discovered when I peered over the wall.

There were a few people actually in the water this afternoon and as well as that, even one or two people sunbathing. Another day when I had managed to go out without my jumper.

Summer might well be showing signs of coming back but it’s rather late in the day for many people who have had their plans disrupted by the lousy weather. They’ve had a miserable time

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile one of my eyes was roving around on the beach, the other eye was us usual roving around out at sea.

There was something away in the distance creating quite a wake so I took a photograph of it with the aim of blowing it up (which I can do despite modern terrorist legislation) when I returned to the apartment.

And I’m rather out of luck this afternoon. Having hit the jackpot yesterday with Condor Voyager, today I’ve managed to pick out a speedboat having fun in the bay.

You can’t win a coconut every time.

f-gbai Robin DR400/140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt this particular point I was overflown yet again.

THia aircraft is one of our old friends – F-GBAI, one of the Granville Aero Club’s Robin DR400-140B machines that we see quite often going out or coming home.

She took off at 14:02 and came back to land at 16:04 – my photo was taken at (adjusted) 15:59 having done several laps up and down the coast and out to sea.

It seems to me that the almost-precise time that is being flown (2 hours, half an hour etc) implies that these are either lessons or pilots making up their flying hours.

marité english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking down the path on top of the cliffs I was still looking out to sea to see what I could see.

Not the Condor Voyager right now, but a rather large sailing ship out there in the English Channel again, similar to the one that we saw the other day.

And the plot sickens. Is it the same sailing ship that we saw then, or is it Marité having gone out for an afternoon stroll around the bay? We’ll find out in a few minutes if she’s still moored up at her berth and that should give us a clue.

fishing boat smaller boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut right now I have other fish to fry.

Out at the entrance to the baie de Mont St Michel I’d seen signs of life so I nipped across the lawn and the car park down to the end of the headland to investigate.

There are definitely two marine craft out there this afternoon. A smaller one that could be a cabin cruiser and another larger object that might be a fishing boat having a quick trawl around the bay to see what she can pull in.

And leaving them to it, I cleared off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

baie de Mont St Michel Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen just about everything else today, but one thing that we aren’t going to see is any of the yachts from the yachting schools.

And the reason for that is quite clear. With the tide being so far out this afternoon, the bay where they assemble has no water in it right now. And the absence of water will put a stop to all kinds of sailing activity.

There are a few people walking around out there, but I imagine that they are doing a little pèche à pied to see what shellfish they can harvest while the tide is out.

welding trawler chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom my viewpoint overlooking the port I can see right down into the chantier naval.

There’s no change in the occupants this afternoon, but there’s still plenty of excitement. The owners of one of the trawlers in there has called in the welders and there’s a guy busily welding up part of the dredging tackle with an electric welder.

Back in the old days I used to do a lot of welding but I was never all that much good with electric. I always used oxy-acetylene – but that was a very long time ago and although I still have all of my equipment, I wouldn’t be able to do it now.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, over at the ferry terminal, poor Chausiaise is over there all on her own.

All three (if we still have three) of the Joly France ferries seem to have cleared off this afternoon. And if they are going to be anywhere they will be over at the Ile de Chausey. We haven’t seen them out at sea anywhere and I did look.

Incidentally, the water that you see in the background is retained by an artificial wall so that people on the beach over there can go for a swim even when the tide is miles out as it is today.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFinally, before I go back home, I have to check the port.

Marité is conspicuous this afternoon by her absence. That doesn’t prove for definite that it was she out there in the English Channel but at least it gives us a clue.

And meantime, the freight is still on the quayside so we haven’t had one of the Jersey freighters in yet to which it away. I shall leave it there and go home for my afternoon coffee.

As well as the work and having a kip I had half an hour on the acoustic guitar and then went off for tea. Stuffed pepper and rice followed by apple crumble. And while all of this was going on I was chatting to Liz on the internet.

Now that I’ve finished my notes I really am going to bed. In any case it’s quite late so it doesn’t make much difference.

And if I don’t fall asleep tomorrow I’ll crack on with a few arrears. As if there aren’t enough of those.

Friday 6th August 2021 – JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT …

yacht rebelle trawler monaco du nord 2 trawler charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… that is was safe to go back into the chantier naval, look who’s returned.

And judging by the pile of water underneath her, she’s not long returned either.

Sure enough, the yacht Rebelle whom we witnessed going back into the water yesterday afternoon as now turned up back on her blocks in the chantier naval. Putting her into the water yesterday in the middle of that tempest found out a few things about her.

The next question is “how long is she going to be staying here this time?”.

A few other items of note as well, while we are here at the viewpoint overlooking the port *

  1. we now know the name of the blue trawler that has been there a while because they have finally got round to painting it on her superstructure. She’s called Monaco du Nord II, “Monaco du Nord” being the nickname give by the people of Granville to their town
  2. where the smaller fishing boat was that went back into the water yesterday, we now have another small trawler up on the blocks in her place.

There’s no peace for the wicked, is there?

Certainly not for me, anyway. It was at 00:20 this morning when the revellers awoke my by carousing underneath my window on the way home from wherever it was that they had been. I could have done without that, thank you very much.

Especially as it was difficult for me to drop off to sleep again afterwards. I had a very fitful, disturbed sleep.

After breakfast, I had a little listen to the dictaphone and sure enough, I’d been on my travels during the night. Someone was pushing a photo or drawing around and wondering what it was. I had a very good idea what it was but I wasn’t going to tell them and I’m not going to tell you either – you’re probably eating your tea of something. An “exploded diagram” could not have been a better description.

Later on I was out climbing with an explorer friend of mine in a limestone cliff kind of thing. We were following a map and we didn’t really have a great idea of where we were going but we were working it out. There was like a canyon through these limestone rocks and that was where we were heading. We climbed up about 3/4 of the way and stopped to get our bearings and have a chat. I thought that I could see the cleft so I pointed it out to him and he thought so too so I set off to climb in the front. But it seemed that the whole cliff had fallen over and was hard up against the wall of his attic so when we reached the top of course the cleft was on the side that we couldn’t reach which was up against his attic wall. That was a disappointment. I asked him how long he had been living in this house and he replied “6 years”. He asked me if I knew Ottawa and Gatineau. I replied “not really, no”. He asked how well I knew Canada. I replied that I knew the east pretty well but once I started going west of Montreal it all became a question of reliability of any vehicles that I owned. We had quite a laugh about that. I was going to ask him if he had lined out the attic himself with plasterboard but I didn’t have the time.

There were a few tasks that needed my attention this morning and I settled down to do them but feeling my eyelids become heavier and heavier in the end I succumbed – on the grounds that I wasn’t going to be doing anything at this rate if I didn’t bring matters to a head.

For about 50 minutes I’d been crashed out on the chair and during that time I’d travelled a surprising difference. I had a Moskvitch car, a dark green 412, given to me to take me to the airport or somewhere like that. I’d left it parked up at the side of my lock-up garage but decided that I’d go back and re-park it a little better. When I got there I found that someone had done something to the front left-hand wing, putting a cut in it as if they had pushed in a pile of rust or as if they had used a metal-cutter or something. It made quite a mess of this wing and it looked pretty dangerous. But at another point as well i was driving somewhere. It must have been in North America but I was driving on the left, a big, long main road and there was a vehicle in front of me. I couldn’t see very well what was going on coming towards me because it was that dusk time of day. Suddenly I noticed a huge collection of headlights that indicated that a load of vehicles were coming. As I couldn’t see anything silhouetted in the headlights I worked out that it was clear in front so I put my foot down to overtake. But these vehicles coming towards me were approaching a lot more rapidly than I thought so I had to put the brakes on and slow right down again. There was some debate going on too about the vehicles that my father had driven at his last place of employment. At first I was remembering that they were AEC Mercurys but of course they were all Fodens and ERFs so must have been Mercurys where he was working prior to that.

The morning was spent tidying up the music. That’s pretty important because of the radio programmes and I can’t just do things any old how. It wasn’t as easy as it might have been either, having forgotten to take screenshots of the music directories before I took out the old hard drive.

Eventually I managed it, and it would have been much easier and quicker had I first, rather than last, remembered that I had a full_size SATA hard-drive caddy. It took quite a while to set that up, mainly due to dirt and some such on the contacts but at least I could check what I’d done.

By the way this SATA caddy takes, in theory, 4x6TB hard drives and now that I know that it works with at least one (and maybe more if the computer has a multiple port SATA driver) hard drive, I shall be experimenting

Anyway, all of that was after lunch. I had to have my break for my butties and my fruit, and the coffee for afters.

Having finished playing with the computer I went outside for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo off across the car park I trotted, over to the wall to look down onto the beach to see what was happening.

And the tide is encroaching further and further and there is less and less space on which people can congregate. So there weren’t all that many people down there this afternoon.

And if you want a clue as to what the weather is doing, just have a look at the clothing. Not quite winter woollies but pretty damn near, I can tell you. And that will explain why there doesn’t seem to be anyone swimming in the water today as well.

yachts ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallas usual, while i had one eye roving the beach this afternoon, the other eye was roving out to sea.

And today, you could actually see things out there, which was surprising after yesterday. I thought that that weather was going to be here for good. At least the two yachts out there were making the most of the weather right now.

The sea was a lot calmer despite the wind, and the Ile de Chausey was quite clearly visible. It was even possible to see Jersey out there today. It was rather a shame about yesterday’s weather.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor the last couple of days there have been quite a few moments of excitement when ships and boats of all descriptions have come around the headland.

Not today though. It was quite disappointing. Just this small yacht and nothing else. I can’t think where everyone else has gone.

But I know where I’m going. I’m going across the car park and round the headland to the other side to see what excitement awaits me around there. We can’t have a nice day like this (figuratively speaking) and nothign happening at all.

Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six F-GVJC baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut right at this moment, I was overflown yet again by an aeroplane that has taken off from the airfield.

The outline or silhouette of this one is quite distinctive with her long nose and tricycle undercarriage. She can only be F-GVJC, the Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six that we have seen on a couple of occasions just recently.

And she did indeed take off at 15:47, which fits in with my photograph, and was still airborne when I checked two hours later, drifting up and down the coast between Avranches and Lingreville for no good purpose as far as I could tell.

joly france carolles plage baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA few minutes ago I was wondering where everyone had gone to. And now I know the answer for at least one of our seaborne craft.

Right out down the bay near the Pointe de Carolles was a dark outline leaving a wake behind it. Too far in to the coast to be a fishing vessel so I took a photo to enlarge and enhance back at the apartment.

And while it’s not clear from the image exactly who she is, her colour scheme and general size tells me that she’s one of the Joly France boats taking punters for a lap around the bay for a few bob a head while there’s time before nipping over to the Ile de Chausey.

Anything to keep busy, I suppose. They had a rotten season last year.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSome other people keeping quite busy this afternoon are the various sailing schools. They are out in force after the whitewash yesterday afternoon.

And rather strangely, this bunch is quite strung out with several stragglers. usually they keep together in some kind of tight formation. Unless they happen this afternoon to be doing some kind of nautical danse macabre.

All the others were bunched up out of shot down by the shore to the left, not doing very much that was exciting. And they still had a couple of hours to go before they needed to be back home again.

storm waves breaking on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday of course we had the big storm as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and as I do too. My clothes were still wet this morning.

But while the storm has abated somewhat, it’s still piling on somewhere out at sea as you can tell by the force with which the water is hitting the sea wall.

And it beats me why so many people are opposed to harvesting the energy inherent in the sea when you ssee the waves coming in like that. The power in that lot down there could keep the area running for a while.

The answer to the conundrum about how to cope with the world’s energy demands is not to consume as much energy, but that’s far too simple a solution.

Stopping to admire the chantier naval, which you saw earlier, I came back home and carried on with the photos from Greenland 2019. That’s another pile of those moved on although I’m a very long way from finishing them. They’ll just be added to the piles of other arrears, I suppose.

There was guitar practice of course, followed by tea. Pie from the freezer with veg followed by the last of the coconut whatsit with pears. And I used the wrong bowls with those because that’s two now that cracked under the heat.

An early night now and I’m ready for this. Shopping tomorrow of course and so a clean-up at long last. I might even push the boat out and change the bedding if I’m not careful. This lot will probably walk into the washing machine on its own.

Friday 9th July 2021 – NOT VERY MUCH …

… to say about today right now because I’ve been out this evening.

Yes, me socialising! Whatever next? But I had an invitation from a neighbour to go for a soirée. I only intended to stay for half an hour but then I noticed the time – 21:00 and I’d been there for two and a half hours. I thought that I’d better go home. I can amend these notes tomorrow because I’m not going shopping.

Not with having to leave for Leuven on Tuesday. I’ll make do with what’s lying around in the house.

And after all of this whining and moaning that I’ve been doing just recently, I thought that I was going to have a really good day today.

When the alarm went off I leapt to my feet (and I did too!) and went off for my medication. And while I was at it I went through the medication that I need to take with me to Leuven and a few other things that accompany me. I recall that I’d run out of ice cube bags, not that I’ll need them in this weather. I’ll just scrape it off the puddles outside

Back in here I had a listen to the dictaphone. There was something from yesterday so I did that, and THAT’S NOW ON LINE. and then I went and had a listen to last night’s wanderings around. I was with a boy from school last night and we were in a pub. He was asking me about any map that I had because he was going to go out on his bike on a few country roads. The only map that I had in my possession was a map for the whole of the British Isles which he said was no use so I suggested that we go back to my house to download one. That sounded like a good idea so off we went. When we arrived we changed into al all-maroon strip. Then I went downstairs and we had to manhandle my computer downstairs which was not easy. He was passing it down to me, then a voice from upstairs, which was my brother’s, asked me what’s going on. I replied “nothing much – I’ve just come back” saying today that really this is the first time that I’ve come back for about 8 hours and the story finished there – there was a lot more to it than this … I fell asleep here …

As I explained a while back, I’m always asleep when I dictate where I’ve been. But I usually manage to switch off the dictaphone and put it back on top of the unit by the bed when I’ve finished what I have to say. 20-odd years of doing this has taught me a lot.

But just recently these days, more and more often, I find that I’m drifting back off before I’ve finished what I want to say and the dictaphone goes on for hours recording the sound of my snoring.

Having done all of that I made a start on the photos from Greenland in 2019, but with an endless, remorseless stream of interruptions. The most important was the visit of the postie with another couple of boxes of my Amazon order, including the two new hard drives for the computer.

There’s also a bag for the portable computer. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, with me not feeling so well, I’m going back to taking a rolling suitcase with me to Belgium instead of my backpack. A nice big shoulder bag for the computer will be just the job

After a very late lunch I spent a couple of hours just doing things for pleasure, something that I don’t do often enough, and then I went for my walk. And now that I’ve uploaded all of the photos and edited them, I can post them on here.

people leaving beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd the first thing that you’ll notice are the crowds of people deserting the beach and heading for the steps back up to the street.

Obviously, I have to go to see what’s going on down on the beach this afternoon so I wander off across the car park and down to the end where I can look over the wall.

And while it’s probably incorrect to say that there are “crowds of people” deserting the beach, it’s true to say that everyone down there is leaving.

And that’s not very many people at all, and that’s no surprise because we’re back in winter and there’s no-one swimming today.

trawler returning to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was at the end of the car park I could also look out to sea to see what’s happening over there this afternoon.

Here in the Baie de Granville, it’s home-time for the fishing boats as the tide is now coming in. Here’s a trawler heading back to port after a day’s work out in the bay, coming sailing, steaming or dieseling in past the Iles de Chausey

Stuck up on a rock out there on the right of the photo is another one of these lights similar to Le Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour here in Granville, and I’ll tell you its name when I’ve finished my Spirit of Conrad notes.

And the height of the column on which the light is situated tells you the height of the tide here in the Baie de Granville.

trawlers and yacht returning to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s not just that trawler that’s heading back to port right now. There’s a veritable stampede of vessels heading in that general direction.

In this photo we can see three fishing vessels that have finished work in the Baie de Granville for the day and are heading back to port. But in the lead right now, although I suspect that it won’t be for long, is a yacht presumably heading for the Port de Plaisance where the pleasure boats moor up.

In the background we can see the Brittany coast. The day might be heavy, overcast and about 9/10ths cloud, but visibility is quite excellent today and even Jersey in the Channel Islands was quite clear this afternoon.

ship heading to st malo lighthouse cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo clear was the view this afternoon that I could see for miles. And out to sea off the entrance to St Malo was a boat that didn’t have the profile of a traditional fishing boat.

With the 70-300mm LENS fitted to the NIKON D500 I took a photo of it with the intention of cropping it out and blowing it up (which I can do these days despite modern terrorist rules) to see what i’d caught.

And sure enough, it does seem to be a small freighter heading into St Malo about 35-40 kilometres away from here. And a couple of hours after I’d taken this photo, a small chemical tanker called Tatlisu docked in St Malo harbour.

In the background of this photo the Brittany coast is even clearer than the previous one, thanks to photo enhancement, and on the extreme right of the image we can see the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, about 70 kilometres away.

boy finishing fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s not just the fishing boats that are heading back home right now either. This guy down here looks as if he’s had enough.

After I’d exhausted the possibilities of the sea I walked down the path, across the car park and down to the end of the rocks. The guy was fishing from a rock out there but as I approached he hauled in his line and began to scramble away over the rocks.

What interested me about this is that he didn’t have any equipment, like a net to haul in his catch or a bag to take it away once he’d caught it. It’s almost as if he was expecting to catch nothing. And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have yet to see anyone actually catch a fish with a rod and line.

fishing boats coming in to unload port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSome of the boats with the shallowest draught have already made it home and into the harbour.

So having dealt with our fisherman I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what they are up to.

As I mentioned yesterday, they did a good job of excavating that little channel at the wharf underneath the fish processing plant because even though there are plenty of craft still grounded out on the silt, that channel is filling up quite rapidly with water as the tide is coming in, and the smaller boats can come in to unload.

And I wonder if the yellow and white one is the same yellow and white fishing boat that we saw in the chantier naval a couple of months ago.

l'alize 3 black pearl trawlers chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we’re on the subject of the chantier naval“well, one of us is” – ed … I had to cast my eyes in that direction to see what was going on there.

And we’ve had a change of occupancy in there today by the looks of things. We still have Rebelle the yacht and three trawlers, but while L’Alize 3 and Black Pearl are still there, Philcathane who was in there between them has now disappeared back into the water.

Instead, another trawler has appeared to the right of Black Pearl. Unfortunately I can’t read her name from up here, so I see that I shall have to go for another walk around the harbour sometime over the weekend.

Not right now though. I’m going back home for a nice hot coffee.

Back here I made another start on my trip on board the Spirit of Conrad and I really thought that, after all of the complaining that I’ve done just recently I was going to hold out until bedtime. But unfortunately it wasn’t to be and I crashed out for an hour.

At least I managed the practice on the bass before I went socialising and that always makes me feel better I suppose.

Having spent much longer than I intended round at my neighbour’s, I’m back in the land of the living and now I’m going to have an early night. I updated the post the following morning instead of going shopping.

Thursday 8th July 2021 – THIS IS BECOMING …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I wonder what luck he’s having.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 24th June 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… really tiring day today – so much so that I was stark out for a couple of hours round about midday and ended up having a very late lunch.

And that’s really no surprise because in what time was available I did quite a lot of work.

When the alarm went off at 06:00 I struggled out of bed and went off to take my medication. And then back here I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

I’d been to see a band play – it might have been Strife – and then a while later they were in a rehearsal room or village hall setting up for a kind of concert. They were going through a few things before they started, talking about stuff on the stage and said “we’re a bit overwhelmed with basses as well because Eric has his stuff here as well and someone else has his stuff” and so on. A little later on he took me on one side and said “did you learn the three numbers like I asked?” I replied “well to be quite honest no I didn’t”. He said “right” and fetched a pile of paperwork out. He said “someone worked out a way of teaching people how to follow music a bit like some kind of game. All you need to do is to watch your ‘phone and watch the paper”. He drew this kind of musical anotation thing with each string going down to the end of the page and then it doubled back going the other way rather like Chinese writing. He said “this is far the easiest way to learn and I’ll show you how it all works in a minute”. I was really intrigued by this method. Anyway sometime during this I’d been to the supermarket or the chip shop or something and while I was waiting around for this group to turn up I bumped into a girl and she gave me a really nice smile. I looked puzzled and she said “you don’t remember me but I was the girl in the shop yesterday. I made a special effort to remember everyone’s faces because I’m new here”. She was really extremely friendly about this kind of thing and that took me by surprise as well.

Having organised myself as well as I can these days I had an hour or so attacking the photos from August 2019. Right now I’m in Montana on the verge of making a fabulous discovery.

That was followed by a shower and – surprise surprise – a haircut. And having tidied myself sort-of-ish and set the washing machine of on a cycle (a very clever washing machine, mine) I hit the streets.

lorries unloading at quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot that I had actually managed to proceed very far before I stopped to take a photo.

Yesterday we had seen the two Jersey freighters Normandy Trader and Thora here in the port. By the time that I went out this morning they had both cleared off back to Jersey but it looks as if they (or at least, one of them) is going to be back fairly soon.

These two lorries here are the reason for that. The only reason that they would be here in the port area is if they are bringing merchandise to the quayside for the little freighter to take away back to Jersey with them.

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFull of curiosity I went to see what was going on in the loading bay but I was distracted.

Marité, the old fishing vessel now used for training and sightseeing trips has been away from port for the last week or two but this morning she is back. She’s definitely the star attraction of the waterfront so a photo was in order.

Every time that I see her I’m tempted to find out how and when I can go off on her for a sail but I’m not a big fan of the people who run it. Every time that you go down to their office and ask a question they scowl at you as if “how dare you interrupt us?”, tell me that “everything is on our website” and then go back to chatting amongst themselves.

It’s the kind of thing that makes me wonder if they are Belgians. They certainly know all about Belgian customer service.

It was a long, hard climb up the hill to LIDL this morning. I remember a few times when I sailed up there like a Spanish galleon or if I was on my way to invade Poland but those days are over. After my operation I’ve aged 20 years and I felt every single, solitary step up that hill

At LIDL I didn’t buy anything special but even so the bill today came to almost €13:00. I did buy myself an energy drink because I reckoned that that would be the only way that I’d get up the hill at the other end of my journey.

roofers fitting laths around chimney rue de la houle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back, I hadn’t gone all that far before I came to a stop.

Here in the Rue de la Houle they have been reroofing a house and today they are fitting a series of laths around the chimney as if they are going to be tiling that too. In fact, if you look further along the roof, you can see a chimney that has already been tiled by the roofers.

It’s a strange way of going about things, tiling a chimney like that. All kinds of things can be going on to the chimney, the brickwork and the cementing underneath the tiles and you won’t be able to see it until the chimney collapses. And as I looked at this one, it certainly needed a bit of fixing before they go to seal it in.

digger building site rue st paul rue victor hugo Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing upon which we have been keeping an eye is the building site on the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

There used to be a little cafe here but that had long-since closed. They demolished it and fenced off the site a few months ago, and then a notice appeared to the effect that planning permission had been granted for a 4-storey block of flats.

Today though, I noticed that things might be starting to get under way at long last. As well as some equipment that has been deposited on the sire, there’s a digger here and it looks as if he’s just dug a big rectangular hole in the middle of the plot.

As for why, we’ll have to wait and see. I pushed off down the hill into town where I became entangled in a schoolkids’ crocodile that had obviously just set off from the youth hostel.

As I passed through the town I noticed my first “G” registered car. The turnover is about 2 years and a couple of months for a letter, but the “F” plates started in October 2018. It shows you just what effect Covid had on the new car sales market.

wood on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallUp the hill I staggered underneath my heavy load, wishing that I had a shopping trolley to take with me, and made several stops to catch my breath – one of which was the viewpoint overlooking the loading bay.

That pile of wood wasn’t there yesterday evening and it won’t have come over from Jersey because wood travels in the other direction. It made me wonder if that was what one of the lorries had brought in this morning for one of the Jersey freighters to take away.

Over the next couple of days I’ll have to be keeping my eye open on the quayside. The turn-round of the freighters in the port is so rapid these days that I miss their visits quite regularly. By seeing when the load has gone from the quayside, that will tell me when one of them has been in here.

square potel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRight behind where I’m standing is the Square Potel, which at one time had the famous unstable set of steps.

Work has been promised to start on here in 2022 but the other day we saw a digger in here and it looked as if it had just brought down the set of steps. I was wondering if that was going to herald the start of the work, a year or so ahead, but that was being rather optimistic, I reckon. The digger has gone and the site is fenced off and that looks to be it for now.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … the way that the patrimony of he town is treated is a disgrace. The whole place seems to be tumbling down around our ears and the council is showing no sense of urgency.

fishing boat towing dinghy baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHeading back up the hill on my last leg(s) home I noticed something else going on.

There was a boat out there, moving quite quickly and towing a smaller boat behind it. Thinking that it might have been the patrol boat that we have seen a coupe of times just recently I took a photograph of it so that I could have a closer look when I returned home.

However when I enlarged it back at the apartment I noticed that it was simply an ordinary fishing boat heading out to sea. So why it would be towing another boat behind it I don’t know, unless it’s to go closer inshore when it arrives at wherever it’s going.

Back at the apartment I put the frozen food in the freezer, made myself some hot chocolate and cut myself a slice of fruit bread, and then came in here to carry on working.

At some point I crashed right out completely and I don’t know when, because it was another one of those occasions when I didn’t remember going off to sleep.

And this is something that worries me because if I’m going to be out driving around in Caliburn here and there, I would really like to know when I’m becoming tired and ready to sleep so that I can find a suitable place to stop and sleep it off. Just “switching off” like this is the kind of thing from which accidents are made.

Round about 14:00 I awoke again and it took me a good 10 or 15 minutes to orientate my head into the right direction. And when I finally managed to stand on my own two feet I was somewhat unsteady as I staggered around the apartment but I eventually managed to find my way into the kitchen to make a rather late lunch.

After lunch I had a task to complete. Well, to start actually. I have a huge pile of medical receipts that need scanning and then sending off to my insurance company to claim reimbursement. I made a start on some that I had to hand, and then had to break off to go for my afternoon walk.

hang glider point du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHardly had I managed to set foot outside my front door before the dark shadow fell upon me.

It’s the kind of thing that makes me understand what the Hobbits went through as they were being overflown my the Nazgul in LORD OF THE RINGS but of course there’s very little that is sinister in this particular occasion because we all know what’s going on here and there is no evil intent, unless one happens to crash-land on your head.

Yes, we have quite a wind (yet again) today and so the hang-gliders are out in force. There is probably half a dozen out there this afternoon.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that’s not all of the aerial activity. Not by a long shot.

After the incident with the hang-glider I’d probably gone no more than half a dozen paces before I was overflown by something else. That’s right, someone has got his chopper out this afternoon and is flying around the headland.

It’s not the usual yellow and red air-sea rescue helicopter that we have seen on so many occasions but its grey-green colour suggests to me that it’s a military machine and I wonder why one of those has decided to come out to entertain us today.

Nevertheless it reminds me of the story in which a class of schoolchildren were asked to write a sentence including the words “chaste” and “by helicopter”. And one boy wrote “the boy chaste the girl and by helicopter”.

hang glider beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that I always like to do is to go out and check on the beach and see how the tide is doing and whether there are any people taking advantage of it.

One thing that you’ll notice is just how much beach there is compared to YESTERDAY AT ROUGHLY THE SAME TIME. There’s about 50 minutes time difference between each high tide, so comparing this photo and that of yesterday give you some idea of how quickly the water comes in

But anyway, there are a few people out there enjoying themselves on the beach this afternoon, even if they are about to be overflown by the Nazgul that is hovering away in the distance.

tape marking path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEarlier this morning round about 07:15 or something like that I heard a lot of noise – schoolchildren cheering and all that kind of thing. But I couldn’t see anything from here.

But what I noticed this afternoon as I went on my afternoon walk around the headland is that some kind of path had been marked out by all of these tapes. It made quite a circuit and so I wondered if there had been some kind of race going on around the headland. And maybe that might explain the presence of the schoolchildren whom we saw earlier who seem to be lodging in the youth hostel.

But whatever was happening, it was all over now and there was no-one around to ask. Not even anyone coming to take away the rubbish that they have left and to remove the tapes. Maybe I’ll find something in the local paper tomorrow that might give me a clue as to what has been going on with all of this.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow how I wish that I’d come out for my afternoon walk about 5 or 10 minutes earlier. I might have been treated to an exciting spectacle.

The blue and green object on the ground over there near the gun emplacement is the parachute or whatever they call it of one of these Nazgul It seems that one of the bird-men of Alcatraz has come to grief over there and I was quite disappointed at having missed the spectacle.

Quite a few other people didn’t by the looks of things and there are plenty of people with mobile phones and cameras over there who presumably have recorded the incident. But anyway, the pilot or whatever you might call them doesn’t seem to be injured or anything and he’s up and about on his own two feet organising himself and his parachute.

hang glider taking off pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce he’d gathered up his wits, presumably from wherever he might have dropped them, he made his preparations for getting back into the air.

And getting back into the air seemed to be quite easy. He just lifted up his parachute and the wind filled it full of air. Gently, he rose up and away from the ground, and once he had sufficient height he was able manoeuvre himself and his parachute around and head off back the way that he had come.

The crowds of people watching the spectacle clearly enjoyed it. They had all taken enough photos and even a few films about all of the activity. when they return home to wherever home is, they’ll have plenty of exciting films and photos to show the grandchildren

fishing boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile all of this was going on, my eyes had been roving around and when they came back they pointed out more goings-on out at sea.

And so I took off down the path and across the car park down to the end of the headland for a closer look at what was happening. And living in a fishing port, you can expect that there is always something to do with fishing.

With issues going on involving the Channel Islands, which need to be resolved within the next seven days or so, the local fishermen are busy trying to exploit new fishing grounds that don’t fall within the scope of the Treaty of the Bay of Granville that the British Government unilaterally revoked under the pretext of Brexit

And so the Baie de Mont St Michel has become a favourite fishing ground at the moment for several local boats who are trying to see whether they can do any good here.

But the story of the Treaty of the Bay of Granville is that it was signed in 1839 between the Channel Islands and the fishermen of Brittany and Normandy to give fishermen from the three regions equal access to the bay. It was reinforced on many occasions, the latest being in 2000.

The Channel Islands are not and never have been part of the European Union and they are also free to negotiate on their on behalf in local affairs independently of the British Government so there is no reason for the British Government to intervene in the affairs of the Channel Islands.

However, the UK has claimed a 12-mile limit around the Channel Islands after Brexit and has revoked the Treaty without consulting either the Channel Islands or the local fishermen who have fished together in peace since 1839, and this is the subject of the dispute.

fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn the meantime while I’m talking about the Treaty of the Bay of Granville another boat comes in from down the Baie de Mont St Michel.

It’s coming in at quite a rate of knots too so I imagine that it must be late for a tea break or something like that. And as it’s surrounded by seabirds, I’m assuming that it must have quite a harvest on board. And that’s why many of these little shellfish-catchers have canopies or tilts across the cargo space – to prevent dive-bombing by the seabirds eager for a cheap and easy meal.

But I’m not going to hang about too long watching it. I’m taking to the path, despite all of the people ignoring the Prefet’s regulations on face masks, to see what’s happening in the harbour.

yacht rebelle chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd today, we have another change of occupancy in the chantier navale.

At the moment we’re down to just one boat in here, the yacht Rebelle from London. The other boat that was in here, the fishing boat Gwenn Ha Ruz, or “White and Red” has now departed, presumably back into the water to carry on with whatever it is that she does.

Who will be the next arrival in the chantier navale, I wonder. as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … a thriving ship repairing business is good for the port because it encourages people to base their boats, whether working boats or pleasure boats, in the port where they can be assured of a good and reliable repair and maintenance service.

fishing boat aground ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut this issue of people leaving their fishing boats to go aground when the tide is out instead of mooring them in the inner harbour is still continuing.

There’s another one moored over there this afternoon, right at the ferry terminal. So here’s hoping that none of the joly France ferries to the ile de Chausey want to go out or come in. We know that the Channel Islands ferries Granville and Victor Hugo won’t be going out any time soon.

But as for going out, I’m going back in. I’m ready for a nice piping hot coffee and then I can carry on with the work that I’m doing, sorting out the receipts for my medical expenses and getting them ready to submit to my insurance company.

And by the time I’d sorted them out, I found that there were two months missing. I remember one month where I wasn’t seen by a doctor at the hospital and so didn’t receive a prescription, but I don’t know what happened to the other month. I certainly had a prescription but there’s no mention anywhere of me going to a pharmacy to collect the medication, so I can’t have done.

By the time that it was guitar practice, I was still a long way from sorting them out, never mind scanning them. That’s a job for tomorrow. and so is guitar practice, I reckon, because I’m not making all that much progress with what I want to do. It’s a slow, laborious task.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper, because I bought some this morning, followed by apple pie and coconut whatsit. But that’s the last of the coconut so I’m going to treat myself to some custard tomorrow and Saturday.

And now I’m off to bed. I’ve finally caught up with everything that I did today and I’m ready for a good sleep. Tomorrow I’mm continue sorting out my receipts. There must be €1000 here so it’s “spend spend, spend” I don’t think.

Friday 23rd October 2020 – ANOTHER FLAMING …

… shambles of a morning where I couldn’t find the energy to drag myself out of bed when the alarms went off.

That was despite having a relatively early night too. And nothing on the dictaphone either to disturb me. Although I do seem to remember something about hitting someone with a golf club so that he couldn’t take part in a competition in which I was competing, something like Tonya Harding, I suppose.

First task was then to finish off THE BLOG FROM YESTERDAY by adding in all of the photos that I took last night. And when I say “all of them”, I mean “all of them that survived the cull” because most of them ended up in the bin.

It was a very disappointing session last night.

Another thing that I did, which took up the rest of the morning, was a two-week course in “How To Create Great On-Line Content” from the University of Sheffield. I studied the course, took the exam at the end and ended up with a score of 80% and a certificate. Yes, the World’s my oyster now, isn’t it? And all in a couple of hours before lunch too!

This afternoon I attacked the outstanding 46 photos from August and now they are all done. Right on cue too.

woman swimming in sea plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving compeleted my day’s tasks, I went off for my afternoon walk.

Not as enthusiastically as this lady here, of course. She has come here to take the waters and that’s plainly evident by her actions in leaping into the sea. A braver man than I am, Gungha Din. I know that I’ve been it up to my knees 700 miles from the North Pole but I had a coat on at the time.

You wouldn’t get me doing what she’s doing, not for all the tea in China. I’m sure that I don’t need to repeat the discussion that I had with Castor and Pollux on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR.

light aeroplane Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallso instead I wandered off on my afternoon walk around the medieval walls of the old city.

Having seen someone in the water, several people on the beach and crowds of people around on the footpath, it only remained for me to see someone in the air and I would hit the jackpot. And sure enough, a light aeroplane from the airport at Donville-les-Bains duly obliged.

You are probably wondering why I didn’t include any of the scaffolders on the roof of the College Malraux or the house in the Rue St Jean as my aerial representatives, but the fact is that they had all cleared off and gone.

joly france baie de mont st michel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I’d been out at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord, I’d seen some movement out to sea near the Ile de Chausey.

My money was on it being one of the Joly France ferries coming back from the Ile de Chausey and as I came around the corner into the Square Maurice Marland, sure enough, she came around the headland and headed for the port entrance.

Unfortunately there were far too many people around so I couldn’t break out into a run. What with one thing and another, I run like a dromedary with dropsy and it’s not for public consumption.

joly france baie de mont st michel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the time I reached the far side of the Square, Joly France was making her tight turn into the harbour entrance.

Down there on the left-hand side, there’s a current that swirls away at the silt and it’s worn a channel over there that is deeper than the rest of the harbour entrance. When the tide is quite low like it is at the moment, the boats need all the sea-room that they can get and even so, I’ve bumped along the bottom over there once or twice.

But she successfully negotiated the entrance and then went over to the ferry terminal to tie up and disgorge her passengers.

pallet loader loading onto trailer port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn fact, there were quite a few strange goings on in the harbour this afternoon.

A van and a trailer pulled up at the quayside and then a pallet loader came along and dropped some rectangular metallic object onto the trailer. And as well as that, there’s a huge pile of what looks like wood dumped in one of the gravel bins over there. That’s something else for me to keep an eye on in the future.

But not right now. I headed for home as I had plenty of things to do this afternoon.

So, what were my plans for this afternoon?

First of all, I had to feed the sourdough. And it was a mistake to tip the excess down the sink because it’s clearly working, extremely sour, and has stunk the place out to high heaven. The next step, probably the middle of next week when the current loaf is exhausted, is to try my hand at making a sourdough loaf.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that several weeks ago, in the process of digitalising all of my music, I asked the question “could I record straight off the cassette unit of the old Hi-fi into the ZOOM H1 unit that I use for outside broadcasts when I’m out on the streets WITH THE RADIO.

Well, now I know the answer. And the answer is “yes, I can”. I tired it and it works. But not very successfully, unfortunately. There’s no output control on the cassette unit so it’s a tinny sound and it’s also overwhelming the recording level range of the machine. My next trick will be to dig out the old amp (which, as you might expect, is at the bottom of the pile so inaccessible for the moment) and run the cassette unit through the amp with the Zoom plugged into the headphone socket on there.

It’s a long and complicated process but in the end I’ll get there, I’m convinced of that.

The hour on the guitars was rather more interesting tonight. On the bass playlist a couple of Jimi Hendrix tracks came round. When I played in a group back in the mid-70s with Jon Dean and Dave Hudson we performed a few Hendrix numbers so I was reliving old times. But it’s depressing me because 45 years on and I can’t play the bass lines as rapidly as I used to be able to. So instead, I concentrated on singing.

That made me feel better, but I don’t think that anyone else within earshot did.

The half-hour on the 6-string, I just bashed out a few Lindisfarne numbers and then had a go at Led Zeppelin’s “Tangerine”. That’s not going to be the work of five minutes either.

Tea tonight was a potato and veg curry out of the freezer followed by more of my delicious home-baked apple pie.

lights of St Malo Brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was another beautiful clear night out there tonight. Not across to the Channel Islands but down the Brittany coast it was marvellous.

But no tripod tonight. The gale-force winds that we were promised for Wednesday and Thursday that we didn’t receive have arrived this evening. Instead, you have to make do with a hand-held photo of the Brittany coast – but with the correct lens tonight.

That photo was taken with me leaning up against one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall. A solid support but still plety of wind about. The tripod would never have worked here.

lights of St Malo Brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut this is so much better, isn’t it?

No tripod, but a handy flat-topped stone pillar being used as a route marker was pressed into service. And with the timer delay and suitable long exposure I managed to conjure up this photo. And for an ad-hoc photo of the lights of Cancale on the left and St Malo on the right reflecting from the clouds, there have been much worse than this.

Happy with that, I continued along on my run along the clifftop down to my rest area at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

yacht chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis was the view that I was hoping for last night that didn’t come out at all.

It’s a far cry from when we had 8 boats in there a few weeks ago, isn’t it? Now we’re just down to the one and that’s not a working boat either. It’s not the Spirit of Conrad, the one on which I went down the Brittany coast either. It has a wind turbine on the stern and that makes me pretty sure that I’ve seen her before.

From here I ran on back home and, to my surprise, without even thinking about it, I ran on a good 20 metres beyond my rest stop too – and uphill. I’m slowly getting myself back to fitness. It’s been a while and there’s still a long way to go too

Having written my notes, I’m off to bed. Shopping tomorrow of course and I don’t need much because next weekend I’m off on my travels. I’m going early to Castle Anthrax because I have a few things to do in Leuven. That means that I have to do two radio programmes next week. Luckily one of them is a live concert and hey! Have I got something special for that?

But that’s not all. Schools are out, the holidays have started, the holidaymakers have arrived, and three cases of Covid reported in the town – one of which is apparently in the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs which, as everyone knows, is the building behind mine.

Thursday 22 October 2020 – I WAS FEELING LIKE …

… the Man From Westphalia this morning. In fact, it really was a failure.

When the third alarm went off I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed. I was rather like the two merchant seamen swimming in the sea with an overturned lifeboat.
“Did you manage to drag yourselves up on the boat?” asked a rescuer
“Honestly” replied one of them. “We never even had the time to do our hair”

It was 08:20 when I finally left the bed and that’s way beyond depressing.

It wasn’t as if I’d gone far during the night either. I’d been in the office to work and we’d been in the basement. To climb back out was hundreds of steps and I was exhausted by the time that I got to the top. There were crowds of people milling past me so when I went down again and coming back, I came back up the wider part of the stairs so all these crowds of people came swarming up the narrow part, which was quite strange. They all started to go home. Someone had an Austin A90 Atlantic with a very large boot on the back and I’d never seen that before, much bigger than a standard type. I got to the counter and asked if they had some papers for me. I knew that they had because I’d dropped them off there when I arrived. They asked “what name?” so I told them and they gave them back to me with a smile. I said “I’m going to take a shower before I go”. They asked were and I replied “in my room”. Someone had noticed on my paper the name of my car. They asked “do you have a Vanden Plas?” (which ACTUALLY, I DO). I went to show them on the paper. But there was somewhere something about a situation in the shower where I’m going to take a shower at someone’s house at one point and there was a rubbish bin full to the brim of all kinds of rubbish, mostly lightweight, these polystyrene balls, bits of plastic, whatever. I’d switched on the fan in the bathroom and all these papers and this polystyrene balls had blown absolutely everywhere and made a complete and utter horrible mess of untidiness inside this bathroom. I thought “it’s going to take me ages to clean this up, and it’s in someone else’s house as well”.

Writing out all of that didn’t leave me too much time to do anything else. I had a quick shower and then hit the streets.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOff to the shops now, albeit rather later than usual.

This morning though, i managed to catch the roofers on the roof at the College Malraux. They seem to be hard at it today as well, ripping the slates off the building. And their cherry-picker will make light work of hauling up the material to the roof.

It’s a bit tough on the young kids. No apprentices and labouring jobs these days where the youth of today can watch and learn how it’s done.

fishing boats leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hallhaving got that out of the way I continued on with my walk to the shops.

It looks as if I’d just that very minute missed the opening of the harbour gates. There was an endless stream of fishing boats, both large and small, engaged in a stampede out to sea . There were probably about 20 all told, I reckon.

The fishing season must now be in full swing again, I reckon, with all of this activity going on. It will be interesting to see the quayside at the Fish Processing Plant at high tide tonight.

repairing sails marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt wasn’t just the fishing boats that were undergoing some activity this morning. Marité was having her fair share of attention too.

There were a couple of guys in a sky jack or a cherry picker or something of that ilk checking and repairing one of her sails this morning.

You can see the heaps of gravel piling up in the background too. It’s not going to be long, I reckon, before a gravel boat comes in to pick it all up. It’s been 6 months since we saw the last one so it’s about time.

Everyone was in facemasks in the town what with these new regulations and it looked quite bizarre. But obviously necessary with 40,000 new infections today.

At LIDL there was nothing exciting. Just the usual stuff. I wasn’t out there long. Heavily loaded (not as heavy as last week though) I headed back for town and home.

trawlers port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked back up the Rue des Juifs I noticed an interesting spectacle.

It was something that puzzled me at first – two trawlers lashed together and sailing out og harbour. But just after there where I photographed them they did a hard left turn and the right-hand one came up against a pontoon. There, it was lashed to a support and the other trawler cut itself free.

Maybe it might have been an engine problem on the right-hand one that it couldn’t move under its own steam … “diesel” – ed … or something like that, I suppose

Back at the apartment I made myself a hot chocolate and then attacked the laptop. It has finished its reloading and all of the data files had now been copied back. What remained now was to add my suite of programs, something that took the rest of the morning.

More of my really delicious bread for lunch, and then this afternoon I started on the photos again. And this was extremely complicated because there were several photos that I took that, because of this failure of the DashCam to pick up my voice, I didn’t know where the photos were taken.

In the end I had to resort to watching the dashcam recordings to pick up any hints and with German road signs being so miserable, that wasn’t early and I ended up at one stage plotting my route by virtue of wayside advertisements.

However, I’ve now arrived at the Luxembourg border so from here on in, it should (hopefully) be pretty plain sailing for the remaining 46. Yes, I only managed to do 9 this afternoon, so complicated was it all.

roofing rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter I’d done some of the photos it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

First stop was to see just how they were getting on with the roofing job in the Rue St Jean. And, by the looks of things, there has been plenty of progress. Most of the laths are now on and they have almost covered one of the pitches of the roof with tiles. It’ll be fun watching them do the edging on the left.

And there was an ambulance in the area early this afternoon too. It made me wonder if someone had fallen off that flying scaffolding.

zodiac english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy walk continued on down and round the corner to the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord.

Actually, I was rather hoping to see a gravel boat so I had a good scan out to sea. But there was nothing doing. Only this zodiac racing past across the bay, with no indication of where it had come from and to where it was going.

However it was all loaded up with fishing gear so I imagine that they were going to have another go at the sea bass. And who knows? Some day someone might even manage to catch one too.

building sandcastles beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was plenty of activity going on down on the beach and that caught my attention for a while.

Over the least couple of days we’ve had the beach artists down there doing there stuff but today it looks as if they have abandoned the place to the Civil Engineers. There are a couple of young guys building something substantial – a dyke with protective walls and sand castles. Good for them

The adults seem to be be preoccupied with something going on out to sea, but I couldn’t see what it was from up here.

people in sea plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy walk continued on along the Rue du Nord, mixing in with the hordes of people who were milling about.

You probably saw in the photo of the roofing that it was a beautiful, cloudless afternoon. Nice as it may have been, it wasn’t that nice. You wouldn’t get me into that water down there right now.

So instead I continued with my walk. No opportunity to break into a run unfortunately. There were far too many people about for that and I don’t want to show myself off.

When it reached 18:00 I called a halt and had my hour on the guitar. but I’ll need to find some enthusiasm from somewhere because I have lost it all right now and that’s not like me. Or maybe it is these days. I dunno. I can’t seem to summon up any enthusiasm for anything right now.

Tea was taco rolls with the left-over stuffing from the other night, followed by my delicious apple pie with chocolate sauce.

Moon baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd then I went for my evening walk.

During one of my many pauses I’d read up on how to use the delayed timer, and it was a beautiful, clear night with no wind, so I took the tripod for a walk.

Many of the photos didn’t come out and were summarily deleted, and had I had the f1.8 50mm lens on the camera instead of the BIG NIKON ZOOM LENS I might have been able to salvage more. I have a lot to learn about photography in the pitch black

Trawlers english channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe tripod isn’t up to all that much either. Even on a level flat piece of concrete there’s still plenty of shaking in the joints. I didn’t have a weight with me to hold it down.

That’s pretty apparent in this photo of the street lights of Jersey. A 5-second exposure shows it up well enough. But had I had my night lens on I could have taken the same shot with just a one-second exposure and it would have been better.

And believe me – there were plenty more much worse than this that bit the dust.

Trawlers brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut you’ll remember from earlier today when I photographed the stream of fishing boats heading out to sea on the tide, and I mentioned that i’d like to be there when they would all be coming back.

And sure enough, I was too. while I was setting up my tripod at the end of the headland to take some photos of the reflection of the moon in the sea, two of the blighters went chugging past me on their way back home.

They are the lights of Kairon Plage and Jullouville in the background by the way.

Moon baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut this was what I was trying to photograph.

Over there in the background we have the Brittany coast round by Cancale. There’s the moon too, and some stars and planets, and the reflection of the moonlight in the sea. And there’s the traditional dilemma too – street lights just about right but the moon was far too bright.

Closing the aperture might reduce the light of the moon down to a proper proportion, but then you can’t see the stars or the street lights, and the reflection of the moon in the sea isn’t anything like impressive.

trawler baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen quite often the reflection of the street lights of St Malo bouncing around off the clouds in the distance.

One of the things that I wanted to do this evening was to take a better photograph of that, particularly as the clouds are now starting to close in. This was done with a 10-second delay, just long enough for a fishing boat to come into the shot, and a three-second exposure time, just long enough for the boat to become a nice blurred streak.

But at least the stars and the street lights aren’t blurred. I must have been out of the wind here, I suppose, and that prevented the tripod from being shaken about.

Moon baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis one was taken looking further up the Bay to the Brittany coast round by St Benoit des Ondes.

And taking this photograph was not without its difficulties either. There were a couple of other people walking about around here this evening and they had the habit of walking in front of the camera just after I’d pressed the shutter and while the time delay was running

Someone else though saw what was happening and he stopped. We ended up having a good chat about the area. He was from the Paris region and was on holiday here. It was his first visit and he was enjoying it so far.

moon trawler baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallhaving stood here for a good half-hour taking loads of useless photos I ran on (because I was still running despite the equipment) round the headland to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

By now, the clouds had thickened up and the moon was being obscured. Nevertheless I tried for a 2-second exposure here and that seemed to come out reasonably well. At least the trawler that drifted into the image wasn’t quite as blurred as the previous one was.

And strangely enough, there were even more stars visible in this photo despite the shorter exposure time

moon trawler baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot being sure of how the previous photo would come out, because the tripod was far from level and the photo was askew (I straightened it in post-production) I rejigged the tripod and took another one.

This one has come out quite nicely too although there’s plenty of room for improvement.

What didn’t come out nicely though was the photo of the chantier navale. Only one boat in there tonight – the yacht that we have seen. The other two have cleared off.

fishing boats unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor the record, I took several shots of the yacht in there but for some reason, not one of them came out as it should have done.

So instead I turned my attention to the Fish Processing Plant. We’d seen all of the fishing boats heading out to sea this morning and earlier this evening we’d seen them all come sailing back. It was now like a rugby scrimmage out there as all of the boats jostled for position at the quayside to unload.

All of the lights in the Fish Processing plant are ablaze, there’s plenty of movement with the fork-lift trucks and there’s a refrigerated lorry ready to take away the catch.

fishing boats unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat photo was taken at 1/3rd of a second so I went to take the same one at a faster speed.

This one was taken at 1/5th second and it’s not come out anything like as well as the previous one. So I gave up and ran on home.

All in all, I’m pretty disappointed with all of this. Had I had the correct lens on the camera I might have done so much better, quite simply because of the shorter exposure times that would have compensated for a rather wobbly tripod.

Tomorrow morning I’ll have to check that and do some adjustment, I reckon. My technique might not be very good but it’s not going to be helped by relying on faulty equipment.

So now I’m off to bed. I can’t do with another night like last night. I have to put more of an effort into things. But only another week before I’m off to Leuven so there’s tons to do and I can’t hang around brooding.

Interestingly, my horoscope for this week reads “I’m missing my true love. I need to do everything that I can to meet up with her, see her, or simply show her the proof of all my love”.

Anyone remember Tuesday’s notes?

Wednesday 21st October 2020 – THE ONE THING …

… that I can say about Social Media is that it’s amazing, the things that come crawling out of there.

When I was an adolescent I went to school in Nantwich and had a few friends and contacts there, but lost touch with most people over the years.

The town has its own page on Social Media and I am a member. Occasionally I see the odd name here and there that I remember, so I have a little reminisce. But the other day, seeing the name of a company reminded me of someone I once knew with the same family name. So I asked the question on there – “is anyone in touch with … ?”.

The power of Social media is stunning because within half an hour I had three positive responses and three hours later I was chatting to the person concerned. And as a result, anyone who listens to one of my “live concerts” ON THE RADIO in a couple of months’ time will be treated to the rarest of rare.

There was a rock group from Nantwich that soared to fame for five minutes in the early 70s and then disappeared just as dramatically – totally forgotten by everyone. But I can still remember the names of the three musicians. And I work on the theory that “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”.

And if you don’t make an effort you don’t get either so today I certainly did. I beat the third alarm by a good 30 seconds, I reckon, and that’s good enough for me these days.

So despite only having 5.5 hours sleep last night (I was reformatting the laptop after I’d finished my notes, a task that is still continuing by the way) I still managed to go walkabout.

I was playing football last night, would you believe? I’d gone to Gresty Road to see Crewe Alex play in the FA Cup but frankly it was a boring 0-0 spectacle and wasn’t really exciting me at all. On the next pitch a local Sunday afternoon side with a couple of players whom I knew, really only a scratch side, were playing against Hulll City on the Cup. They were hanging on for a 0-0 draw but of course as you might expect, it was all Hull City and very much a last-ditch defence kind of thing. So I went over to watch them. For some unknown reason I ended up as a substitute for them with about 30 minutes to go. I didn’t really do much but the team which by now had become Man City were attacking and attacking and attacking. On one occasion they worked their way down the left wing, cut back inside and a cross went to one of their players who hit this enormous volley straight at the goal. Of course with me being a goalkeeper my immediate reaction was to stick my hands up and divert it over the crossbar. An obvious penalty and an obvious sending off so I didn’t even wait for the referee to pull his card out. I just walked off the field. The referee took out his card and went to show it to another player. The other player was saying that it was him but of course I wasn’t any good so I might as well leave the field anyway. I said “no, no, it’s me, it’s me”. The referee, seeing that I’d already left the field and was walking up the field just showed me the red card. he didn’t even ask me for my name which was just as well because I didn’t even know which name I was playing under. I went back to Gresty Road and by now there was a torrential downpour, half the crowd had gone and there was no football. People were sitting around in the stands so I asked this woman and her little daughter who were sitting next to me “what’s happening now with the football?” She replied “I don’t know” but pointed to another guy and said “he’ll know. Why don’t you ask him?”. So I went over to ask him.

Later on, I was at a concert. It was something like The Grateful Dead taking place in Crewe market with all of the market stalls. It wasn’t particularly enjoyable because quite simply their music wasn’t loud enough, very very quiet and I was listening. I went over to the group’s mixing desk which was on a market stall in Crewe to tell them to turn it up. They basically shrugged it off and carried on. A little later they announced that tickets would be on sale for another concert, for $5:00 each with a reduction of $0:50 for everyone who had a Grateful Dead club membership, which cost $1:00. I thought “well I wouldn’t mind seeing them again. The sound might be better so I queued up. when it was my turn to get my tickets I said to the woman “I’m going to make myself very unpopular now with you”. She said “what note do you have? A $20?”. I replied “no, $100”. She sighed but I got the money out and handed it over. It was dated February this year. Anyway she took it and started to count out the money from the money that she had just been taking in from everyone else.

One of these days I’m going to review my journeys and review the amount of time I’ve lived in various places, and compare notes. I only lived in Crewe 1970-72, 1975, 1981-1992 yet it features the most by a country mile in my night-time travels whereas Brussels, where I lived the longest, rarely features at all. How bizarre is that?

After I’d been working for a good hour or so I suddenly realised that I had things to do. Thank heavens for my journal in which I write down what I need to do.

First thing was to peel and dice very finely a lump of ginger and put it into some cold water and bring it to the boil very gently.

Next was to prepare the dough for the bread. 500 grammes of cereal flour and rwo big handfuls of sunflower seeds with a couple of dessertspoons of salt. Some sugar was dissolved in 250 grammes of lukewarm water and then a sachet of yeast was added and shaken well in, and left until a nice foamy froth had formed.

Then it was all kneaded together and then left in the mixing bowl under a damp teatowel so that it might rise.

four lemons were next peeled and I took the pith off as well. This was all whizzed around in the whizzer so that the juice might separate. This was put in a cold sterilised bottle, and the rest was whizzed up further into a pulp and then added to the ginger in its water.

Having done the washing up, I then prepared the hummus
For any given quantity of hummus you need

  • 50% of that quantity in chick peas
  • 25% of that quantity in sesame seed paste
  • olive oil (this amount can vary depending on how you like the texture of your hummus)
  • chick pea juice (ditto)
  • Lots of garlic
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • sea salt

You should end up with something like 95% of your given quantity.
All of this should be then put into the whizzer and whizzed around and around into a nice smooth purée. It takes quite a while.

And now you need your filling. I made two loads

  • one with olives
  • one with dried tomatoes

but really you can use what you like.

Dice up your filling into tiny bits and then add it to your hummus. Then GENTLY whizz it in. Too much will purée it and that’s not what you want. Not enough and it won’t be mixed in thoroughly.

And there’s your hummus.

By now the bread had risen sufficiently so I gave it its second kneading, shaped it, and put it in the mould that I use these says – a silicon cake mould. better than nothing. And then the damp teatowel put over the top.

The lemon and ginger was ready after having simmered gently for an hour or so. I took that off the heat, added two tablespoons of honey and then whizzed it around and around in the whizzer until it resemebled a nice syrup. That was then added to the lemon juice in the bottle, mixed well up, sealed and put in the fridge.

Home Made Bread Home Made Lemon and Ginger Cordial Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now, after about half an hour or so, the bread was ready. So that went in a hot oven for 75 minutes. I fed the sourdough and then came in to edit a few photos and to hunt down some places where I’d taken them. And that wasn’t easy either.

And here’s one I made earlier. Yes, we have a loaf of bread here all nicely cooked and fresh out of the oven. Lemon and Ginger Cordial too, but not the hummus. Most of that is in the freezer and there’s only a small amount in the fridge right now.

And I can tell you without any fear of contradiction that the fresh bread from the oven is delicious and my hummus is thoroughly wicked. I shall enjoy eating all of this and no mistake.

Home Made Pear Kefir Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter lunch there was the kefir to see to.

There were two rather over-ripe pears so they were whizzed into oblivion. The resultant purée was pressed through a sieve to extract the juice into a big measuring jug, and the kefir that was brewing was filtered through my filter stack into the big jug. It was all then whizzed around and bottled.

This is something that I’ve never tried before so I’ve no idea how it works. I’ve seen a recipe for apple kefir but not for pear kefir, so I’m hoping that it’s going to work out fine.

Cherry Picker salles Communales Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been messing about I’d noticed some activity in the car park at the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs.

There’s a cherry-picker in there and I wondered what it was doing, so when I went out for my afternoon walk I went to have a peek. And it looks as if they are going some pointing work to the building that is used as the Communal Rooms, where you can hire a room for an exhibition or a wedding reception or something like that.

It’s high time that they did something about it. The upper floors are empty and abandoned and need some repair work so that they can be occupied. I hope that this will be the start of the renovation.

Roofing Rue St Jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw them working on the roof of one of the houses in the Rue St Jean.

They seem to have made some very good progress since we last saw them. It looks as if all of the laths are now on the roof and they have started to trim off the overhang.

But I remain totally unconvinced by the flying scaffolding that they are using on the left-hand side of the house. I’ve worked in precarious positions in the past – in fact on my own house the rear was done with me working without scaffoding although I was wearing a safety harness.

And I’d feel much safer with that set-up rather that the set-up that they have.

Beach Art Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing yesterday was a group of people performing some beach art.

At the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord overlooking the beach I had a look down and I could seem them all again out there today having another go at some art. It looks quite pretty too today.

It’s a shame that the tide has to come in and wash away their hard work. Still, it gives them a clean canvas tomorrow for them to come up with another beautiful design. But it must be very said to see your previous gros oeuvre wiped out by the waves.

Kids Playing In Sea On Beach Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were plenty of people about on the cliffs today too. Far too many for me to go for a run along the path, so I had a nice pleasant walk instead.

Threre were plenty of squeals coming from the beach that distracted me as I was walking. And at the viewpoint I could see the reason for that. Despite it being late October and quite cool outside, a group of kids has decided that it would be fun to run into the sea.

There are certainly some hardy people around, but I’m not one of them. I left them to it and carried on with my walk.

Gravel Piles Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was no-one around in the Square Maurice Marland so I took the opportunity to have a quick, impromptu run. And this was the view that I saw at the end of my run.

And this can only mean one thing. Lorries bringing in tonnes of gravel and diggers piling it up in heaps on the quayside. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there’s a quarry not too far away where a really had and durable rock is found. It’s excellent when used with tarmac as roadstone and it’s bought by many people, including two road-making companies in the UK.

And we haven’t seen a gravel boat in here for probably 6 months – a big 2,500-tonne bulk carrier – but it looks as if one of them is on its way to part for another load to take to Whitstable or Shoreham.

That’s good news as far as I’m concerned.

Workmen repairing electric light Porte St Jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way out for my afternoon perambulation I’d seen an Electricity Board van parked up at the side of the road.

So this is what they are doing. One of the floodlights that illuminates the Porte St Jean hasn’t been working, but today it’s receiving some care and attention. Presumably the silicone in the tube is to make a waterproof seal afterwards to prevent more water ingress.

While the workmen were occupied I took a quick photo and then came on home at a leisurely walk to carry on editing photos.

That’s another pile done, including the most difficult ones where I had to track down a road accident. Just 55 left now.

Another task that I had to do was to convert a pile of files into *.mp3 ready for a radio programme, and to carry on working with the laptop organising that too.

Then I could have my guitar practice. And that went much better today and I actually enjoyed it. I was playing a few Neil Young tracks on the bass – tracks like LIKE A HURRICANE – and I find to my surprise that I can actually sing them while playing bass too and that cheered me up no end.

As for the 6-string, I spent my half-hour working out the chords to MODERN TIMES by Al Stewart. And again, to my surprise, by the time that I’d finished my session, I’d even worked out half of the lead guitar solo at the end, and made a reasonable attempt at playing it.

Moon over Baie de Mont St Michel Brittany Coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis evening I had the streets to myself when I went out for my evening promenade.

My first run up the Rue du Roc and my second one down to the clifftop were quite comfortable. And when I got down to the clifftop I could see in the distance the new moon shining brightly over the Brittany coast, so I walked round to the end of the headland to take a photograph of it shining over the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Actually, in view of the clear skies and good views I’d been tempted at first to take the tripod with me. But there was far too much wind for that tonight, which was a shame.

Trawlers Unloading Fish Processing Plant Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallInstead, I ran on along the path on the clifftop past the Chantier Navale. No change there, and the yacht in there isn’t the Spirit of Conrad.

It’s all go though at the fish processing plant. When I’d been running around the headland I’d seen probably a dozen fishing boats making their way in with their catch tonight. By the time I’d reached my breathing point they were all steaming … “dieseling” – ed … into harbour ready to unload.

There were a few of the kids on the car park again tonight so I didn’t stay long there. I carried on with my run down the Boulevard Vaufleury.

Victor Hugo Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving reached the end-point of this particular leg of my run, I walked back down to the viewpoint over the inner harbour.

That was because on my live fleet monitor this morning, I noticed that Victor Hugo was on her way back from Cherbourg, via the Channel Islands. And sure enough, there she is obscured by Granville who has also returned to the fold from her sojourn at Cherbourg.

It looks as if they had gone, just like Marité, because the harbour was to be drained. And they are back now. Although there isn’t much chance of them resuming their ferry runs for the rest of the year.

Trawlers Unloading Fish Processing Plant Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s an even better view of the boats unloading at the fish processing plant from here.

We haven’t taken a photo in the dark of the view from here for quite some time so I reckoned that tonight would be as goos a night as any. I was rather late for watching them unload Les Bouchots de Chausey. There she is in the foreground, quite empty, and the tractor and trailer that takes away her load is rattling off down the streets.

So seeing as I was here I put in another run all the way to the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord.

Porte St Jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd on the way back I actually encountered some people.

You will have noticed the electricians earlier fixing the light underneath the Porte St Jean that lights up the stonework and I wanted to take a photo of it. And sure enough, bang on cue, a couple of little kids ran into the shot to animate the scene. That adds a bit of colour to the scenery.

And from there I ran on home. I’d had a really good and athletic night out there again. I must be improving

While I was writing my notes, I tried my lemon and ginger cordial. And that reaches the parts that other cordials can’t reach. So now I’m off to bed, confident in the knowledge that A MAJOR INJUSTICE HAS BEEN PUT RIGHT. 90 minutes too late of course, and will probably be a very expensive 90 minutes at the end of the season. I’m still shaking my head in bewilderment and disbelief.

Friday 16th October 2020 – SOMEONE ELSE …

Helicopter Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… has had his chopper out today, so it seems.

We’re used to seeing a helicopter flying around here but it’s usually the Eurocopter one that the Air-Sea Rescue uses. In fact we saw that one out and about the other night. But today it’s a new one that I don’t recall having seen before.

It looks as if it’s a private helicopter, not one belonging to a Government department or organisation. And it makes a change from the autogyro that we usually see flying around here in the afternoon.

And if it had been flying around here when the third alarm went off, I would have missed it because, once again, I failed to make it out of bed at the appropriate time and that has filled me with dismay.

And it’s not as if I had a late night either – well, not as late as some have been.

And I didn’t really go all that far during the night either. I’m not sure what was happening here but it was in lockdown and no-one was allowed out. There was one group or orchestra practising in a shipping container that was floating on the sea. But the container suddenly nose-dived and anyone in it was taken below the water. There were a lot of people appealing to the Ministry to allow people back out onto the beaches to avoid another tragedy

And later on, after many struggles Wales finally had its own navy although no-one ever called it out for very much. It wasn’t safe to go out in the ruler’s boat too far because of all kinds of different complications but we certainly had a navy by now.

It’s certainly interesting, the things that I get up to during the night.

All of the morning has been spent dealing with the photos from August 2020. And that took an age as well because the system that I tried, of dictating my notes out loud so that the recorder on the Dashcam would pick it up, was also a dismal failure.

In the end, I had to follow on the Dashcam the route that I took, look for road signs that I could decipher (which was not easy with the bright sunlight shining into the windscreen) and then timing the difference between two photos.

That’s complicated enough when it has to be done in German, but when you are dealing with notices, adverts and signs written in Czech, Slovak and Hungarian, it’s another thing entirely. It took me all the morning to do about 30, and there’s still plenty more to go at.

After lunch, I had to go out. Caliburn is now a teenager, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and for his birthday he’s having a makeover as I promised him. So basically I had to drive to Gavray where we repeated the process that we has done several months ago, and now he’s booked in for a week from 27th October.

There’s plenty of life left in him, that’s for sure, but his bodywork is looking his age and the MoT examiner made a few comments about it. It’s going to cost me an arm and a leg, and I really do mean that, but buying a new vehicle will cost me 10 times that. And if I get a second-hand vehicle, who knows what I’ll end up with?

And the repair will come with a 5-year guarantee, which is about all the life that I have left in me if I’m lucky, according to the doctor’s. They gave me a lifespan of between 5 and 10 years, and we’ve entered that period now.

Crowds On Beach Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving returned from my rather pointless drive from Gavray, I went for my afternoon walk.

And at least I had very good weather for it. The weather was really beautiful this afternoon. A little cold and windy but really sunny outside. There were quite a few people down ther eon the beach making the most of the mid-October sunshine.

However, on the way out of town, I’d seen people carrying buckets and rakes and all kinds of things off onto the beach, so I wonder if it’s another Grand Marée when they’ll be swarming onto the beach for the shellfish in the public area.

Antea English Channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was other activity going on out to sea too.

The white boat that we saw away in the distance in the English Channel is still there, only now a bit closer to the Ile de Chausey. A look on the live plotter of the Fleet Monitor that I have (regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I host in my apartment the AIS receiver and antenna for the port) tells me that the research ship Antea is still out there.

That leads me to the conclusion that she is in fact none other than the aforementioned. The next question of course is “what is she researching?”

Children Orienteering Pointe Du Roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were quite a few people out there on foot today wandering around in the good weather.

And the brats were out there again today, with their orienteering project. I’m not quite sure what it is that they are actually supposed to be doing because when I was walking past, one of the monitors was sending them off in pairs to stand by the control points.

It seems to me that one of these days I shall have to grab hold of a brat and interrogate it to find out what they are up to out here.

Fishing Boats Returning Home to Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo off past the lawn to the Point of the headland to see what’s going on there.

Even though it’s the same time as yesterday more or less, the tide is about 35 or so minutes slower so it’s not deep enough in the tidal harbour for the fishing boats to come in to unload. But they are streaming back from their stations in droves and I counted probably 8 or 9 that I could see with the naked eye.

Here are a couple of them – a trawler-type on the left and an inshore shellfish fisher (and try saying that with someone else’s teeth in) heading back to port.

Le Loup Baie de Mont St Michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was another one of these strange lighting effects today too.

There wasn’t a rainstorm today but there was plenty of cloud obscuring the sun in places. And every now and again the sun would pop out to say hello and there would be this extraordinary floodlighting effect, just like over there in the fields at the back of Kairon-Plage

Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour is nevertheless all in the shade and the guy fishing on the rocks in the bottom-left is nothing but a shadow.

Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was looking at the live plotter of the Fleet Monitor, I noticed that there had been a change in the boats in the harbour.

Victor Hugo, the older one of the two Jersey Ferries, the one that’s blue, is no longer shown as being present in the harbour. So while I was out I went for a look and sure enough, there’s only Granville, the newer one of the two present.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, the ferries to the Channel Islands have stopped for the time being as the Channel Islands have closed their borders, and both of them were moored here. So why, at about 06:20 this morning did Victor Hugo suddenly pull up sticks and head off – to Cherbourg as it happens?

And of course Normandy Trader has cleared off too. Out on the early morning tide on her run back to St Helier.

There was the hour on the guitar with the same lack of enthusiasm, and then tea. I added a small tin of kidney beans to the remainder of the stuffing from yesterday and had taco rolls. That was followed by the third of those desserts, and there’s one left for tomorrow.

Eglise St Paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halllater on I went out for my evening walk and runs. 5 more runs, to be precise. I’m stepping up my fitness activity as much as I can.

And it’s just as well, because I was all alone tonight and I had the old walled city to myself. There was nothing much going on worth photographing so I settled for a photo of the Eglise St Paul – on eof the world’s first modern concrete buildings.

However in 1999, not even 100 years old, it was found to be in a deplorable condition and was closed. Bits of concrete drop off without notice so parking at the side of it is forbidden. A project of renovation has been considered, but at a cost of €7,000,000 which is considered to be beyond the budget of any interested party.

Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow, here’s a thing.

A short while ago, I mentioned that Victor Hugo had left port early this morning and that Granville was there all on her todd. But after I’d finished my run across the Square Maurice Marland and looked down onto the port, I noticed that she had disappeared too.

At 16:53 to be precise according to my live tracker, not long after I came in. Or, in other words, as soon as the harbour gates opened. And she’s also in Cherbourg now apparently, so the crew who took her sister out there earlier must have come back by train and gone straight back out again.

It looks as if the ferries have now finished for the season if they’ve gone into winter quarters already. It was a pretty lean year for them, then.

Thursday 20th August 2020 – IT’S BEEN …

clouds sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… another slightly better day today, and while you admire a few photos of the evening sunset – because I managed to get out and about today – I’ll tell you all about it.

Mind you, it could just as easily not have been because for some reason or other I couldn’t go to sleep last night. It was 01:30 and I was still awake, working on the computer.

But sleep I eventually did because the alarms awoke me at 06:00. Mind you, that doesn’t mean that I was out of bed at that time.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hall08:15 is a much more reasonable time to be leaving the bed when I’m not feeling well. Plenty of time for me to go off on a noturnal voyage here and there

I was in Scandinavia last night and there was some friction at the border, to do with transporting young people across the national line from one to the other. You aren’t allowed to do it, rather like the old Mann Act in the USA. I can’t remember but I was going across and it was a question of a girl who came under this particular jurisdiction. Whether she had come with me I dunno but I ended up being chased by these people who wanted to arrest me. We had all kinds of James Bond things, Spiderman leaping from buildings, all this kind of thing, running at ridiculous lengths for ridiculous distances at ridiculous speeds, everything so that I could get clear of whoever was pursuing me about this and eventually find my way across the border.

light out to sea english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallBack at the border again I was walking past a kind of supermarket which had a huge tent as an entrance. 4 or 5 men went in there. I thought that these looked suspicious – they were rough, heavily-armed type of people so I waited outside the door. There was someone else waiting outside the door too who was clearly going to be helping them. They came out with these two girls and it was clear that they were intending to take them across the border so I intercepted and grabbed hold of these two girls and steered them off and these people came after me. They caught me in some kind of area but I had a machine gun and just let fly at a couple of people with it. I can’t remember whether I hit anyone or anything like that. With this machine gun I was well in control of the situation here about liberating these two girls .

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallSome time later I was back in a similar kind of situation, if not further along on the same voyage. Yet again, it was a border crossing thing.

This time though I was on a motorbike this time having to cross the border which was not so straightforward as I would have liked bearing in mind that the countries were in the EU. Again it was a question of what to do with the young girl who was there.

Unfortunately I don’t remember much about it because I awoke in the middle of it with the thing well under way and I missed the most exciting bits – the story of my life I suppose.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallSo now that I seem to be feeling a little better, what exactly have I done today to put my life back in order?

Apart from the usual bits of paperwork here and there that needed sticking away, I’ve actually been something of a busy boy, which took me completely by surprise.

Now that I’ve finally managed to organise the photographs of today you can see something of what I’ve been up to, if you are all up to it, that is.

crowds watching clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallFirst of all and most importantly, I’ve managed two meals today.

For tea this evening I had a ferret around in the freezer and ended up with a potato curry that I had made back in June with some rice. This was followed by an improvised dessert of pineapple chunks and ice cream.

For lunch though, there is no bread here so I had a couple of taco rolls with salad. It’s a good job that I have a packet or two of those in stock. And they were really nice too.

But two proper meals in a day is pretty much of an improvement.

crowds watching clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hall
No bread reminded me that I ought to be doing something about it. After all, I have all of the ingredients and I seem to have a little energy and enthusiasm today.

I emptied a sachet of yeast into about 250 ml of slightly warm water into which a table spoon of sugar had been dissolved, and left the yeast to ferment. While that was a-doing I took 500 grammes of flour, added some salt and a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds and mixed it all together with my hands.

Then I added the liquid which by now had a nice frothy foam on top, and mixed it all together and gave it a really good kneading to mix it all togather. When the dough had all gone nice and smooth and elastic afer about 10 minutes, I put it on one side with a cover over the top to proof.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThe bread usually takes about an hour or an hour and a half to proof – the dough should double in size – so there’s plenty of time to be getting on with things.

And things I did too. There was another little session on the photos from my little voyage too, and I managed to complete about 35 of them this afternoon.

That might not sound as if it’s very much but the fact that I’ve been able to concentrate to that extent is definitely something of an improvement over how I’ve been for the last few days.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFinding that I was still feeling somewhat better, I plucked up the courage to go for a walk around outside.

And I’m glad that I did, even if it was something of a very slow stagger around, because it really was a beautiful day out there this afternoon. Down on the beach just below the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord there were plenty of people enjoying it.

It was the kind of thing that might have tempted me to go and join them but I wasn’t sure how I’d climb back up the steps.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd so instead I pushed on along the pathway underneath the walls, fighting my way through the throngs of people out taking the air.

Down on the beach at the Plat Gousset there were plenty of people taking the sun too. The tide was well out, as you saw in the previous photo, so there was plenty of room to spread out for your social distancing.

That’s going to be pretty important too because one thing that I know about these viruses, having spent so much time reading about the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918, is that it’sll be back. And back in spades too.

young seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallOne of the things that I wanted to do while I was out was to check on how the baby seagulls were doing.

Off I toddled around to the Square Maurice Marland where I could see over the roofs of the houses in the Rue des Juifs where they had made their nests earlier this year. And sure enough, there was a very fine example of a baby seagull just here.

Not such a baby now either. Probably as big as his mum, I reckon. But at least he’s one of the survivors. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the baby that we were following at first didn’t seem to make it.

tree trunks wrapped in woollen texture square maurice marland granville manche normandy france eric hallBut what’s going on here? This is something completely new that wasn’t here before.

Down on a couple of the trees at the far end of the Square someone has seen fit to knit some kind of woollen warmer for the tree trunks of a couple of the trees. This is extremely puzzling. I don’t understand the purpose of this. After all, the trees have managed quite well on their own for the last God knows how long.

The artists around here are a funny lot, that’s for sure.

Back in the apartment I had a look at the bread to see how it was doing.

It had risen somewhat, although nothing like what I was hoping for. That seems to be a problem with the bread that I make. But anyway, I gave it another good kneading, shaped it, and put it into the mould that I use and which I had greased all ready. It can have another go.

And while it was doing, I went and had a crash out on the chair in the bedroom. The walk had done me in for right now.

home made bread place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hall
When I’d recovered my wits – not that that takes too long these days because I don’t have too many left – I switched on the oven and when it was hot, I bunged the bread inside.

70 minutes later, the timer switched off so I went to extract it. And by the looks of things it came out really well too. Not quite as overwhelming as the previous one, but still looking pretty good.

As for how it tastes, I’ll give you my verdict on that tomorrow lunchtime when I try it. Home-made bread is always good.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallBy now I’d recovered womwhat from my exertions of the afternoon walk so I decided to take my courage in my two hands and set out for an evening walk.

And how there’s been a change since I was here last because even though it’s only 21:00 the sun is sinking rapidly down behind the horizon. Crowds of people out there enjoying it too, which is not much good for the social distancing, but that’s going to be an eternal problem, I reckon.

Nevertheless I hung around and took a few shots of the sun sinking into the sea.

clouds sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallTen seconds later the sun had gone completely.

You have no idea whatever of just how quicky the sun disappears. By my timing and that of the camera, it was still over 100% above the water just 3.5 minutes ago and that is really quite some going.

And once the sun had gone, the crowds on the headland here slowly dispersed, and me along with it. I had plenty of other things to be doing now that I’m out and about.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued on around to the other side of the headland.

As well as checking up on the baby seagulls I wanted to check up on the chantier navale too. That’s a regular port … “very good” – ed … on out travels. There are four boats in there this evening, and I don’t know if that’s more or less than last time because I can’t remember how many were in there the last time that I looked.

And even though it’s 21:15, there are people down there working on one of the boats. I suppose that when it’s your living, you don’t do an 8-hour day 9-5.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd the people in the chantier navale weren’t the only ones out there working this evening.

As I watched, one of the Joly France boats, one of the two that run the ferries across to the Ile de Chausey, came around the headland towards the port. She had quite a crowd of people on board too. They must have had a really good day out today.

She’ll go right over to her starboard (right-hand) side to come into the harbour. The running water out of the harbour drain has scoured away a chanel over on that side so there’s more depth for the boats to make use of.

philcathane trawler port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale I walked down the Boulevard Vaufleury to the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

There’s a viewpoint there that overlooks the inner harbour and I was interested to see who might be in there. The answer to that was “no-one special”. Just a whole collection of assorted fishing boats, amongst which was the trawler Philcathane, all nicely lit up and reflecting in the water.

From here I walked on home. No chance of running because I’m not up to that.

In fact the walks took a great deal out of me. I was exhausted after the first walk and crashed out on the chair. Right now, after the second, I’m even more exhausted and I’ll be off to bed in a minute. I’ve also made a couple of trips down to fetch stuff from Caliburn but I forgot to mention those earlier. There will have to be a major washing-up session soon so that I can clean everything that I brought with me, once I feel up to it.

So progress is being made – slowly but surely. It’s just like when I was in the High Arctic last year and how I slowly recovered at Rachel’s after my exertions over the three preceding months.

I’m clearly not as well as I used to be.

Friday 14th February 2020 – IT’S ST VALENTINE’S DAY …

… and someone loves me evidently.

No-one tangible unfortunately, but someone “up there” … “down there, more like” – ed … must do, because I’ve had some good fortune. And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

Those of you who read my notes from yesterday will remember that I’d received this strange letter from some insurance company in Belgium. I rang them up this morning to enquire about it because it was puzzling me.

It turns out that, not that I remember, but when I worked for that strange American company in Belgium I’d been part of their occupational pension scheme which involves a “lump sum” payment on retirement.

As I officially retired, as far as Belgium is concerned, last year on reaching 65, I claimed my Belgian retirement pension to which I’m entitled having worked for this company and also my spell at General Electric.

This was awarded to me and as a result my identity number in the Belgian national records system has been reactivated and the Insurance company has thus been able to track me down and write to me telling me to claim it.

Usually I like to slip sideways off national registers because being on them brings the wrong kind of attention from the Authorities, but for once, as I said, it’s good news

Other good news – well, almost good news – is that I’m feeling a lot more like myself today. I must have had one of these 24-hour bug things, that’s all that I can think of, and of course I have no immune system to fight it off.

And I almost beat the third alarm today too. I had my head off the pillow and I was just about to sit up straight when it went off. Still never mind. Close enough!

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone. And another night of rambling away to myself. I started off with something to do with the dictaphone last night but as soon as I picked up the dictaphone whatever memory I had in my mind had gone completely and I’d completely forgotten what it was all about. But I did remember a bit of it. I was walking past an outdoor swimming pool. It was pouring down with rain and there was a big fat boy swimming in there. He climbe dout and got his clothes on and started to get dressed. He went inside the office and there was something happening inside the office with a couple of people and he was one of them but this is where my memory runs out. This certainly involved something to do with dancing and i was trying to work out a dance step with someone or other, a girl but I’ve no idea now.
Later last night I was emptying out Marianne’s apartment getting a pile of stuff in her living room and throwing away some of it, putting some of it in boxes and bags and getting it ready to be taken down to Caliburn. I was working quite well and was quite impressed wuth myself but when I had a look at the bedroom and kitchen there was still tons to do there and I started to get a bit despairing. But I thought well, it’s no good me standing here looking at it is it? I may as well press on regardless and get on with it, which was what I did. I was looking out of this window at Caliburn parked in the street, all that kind of thing.

So whatever all that was about, I really have no idea.

After breakfast I set about cutting up a few albums and this was an agonising task. The first one just wouldn’t cut as it was supposed to and after much binding in the marsh I realised that it was actually titled wrongly and not the track it was supposed to be.

The second one wouldn’t cut properly either but after a while (and I do mean a while) I realised that it was a studio acetate rather than a recording master and so the track order is quite different than the published and printed album.

The third one was one of the very few that had survived the Universal Studios fire so it was actually very high quality although it was “in bits” and needed reassembling.

But just a reminder – I’m only tracking down digital tracks for albums that I already own on vinyl or on tape.

trawler coelacanthe port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHaving resolved the issue of this pension thing, I had to go to the bank to have my payment details confirmed and stamped.

But on the way I was … errr … detained. We saw the trawler
Coelacanthe doing some kind of weird nautical danse macabre in the harbour the other day, but here she is again manoeuvring herself around.

Obviously the fishing is back on the agenda right now that Storm Ciara has passed.

Meanwhile, at the Bank, in the headlong plummet into the abyss of being The Worst Bank In The World, the Credit Agricole Normandie once again rises to the top, or maybe I should say “sinks to the bottom” to snatch the lead from the Royal Bank of Scotland once more.

“Ohh we can’t do that here” said the second cashier to whom I had spoken. “Our Head Office has to do that”.
“All I want is for you to confirm my bank account details and to apply your stamp”
“No, our Head Office has to do that”.

Totally pathetic, that is. Whatever happened to the excellent service and first-class customer consideration that I had at Pionsat? There was none of this nonsense.

trawler coelacanthe port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back to the apartment I picked up my dejeunette from La Mie Caline and then went to see what was happening in the harbour.

And the gates were open now, so Coelacanthe was heading off out so sea. And at the same time there were fishing boats coming in so we had a kind of traffic jam at the port entrance as they jostled for position.

But as for me, I came back here to carry on work. There was plenty to do

This afternoon I started to attack the outstanding photos. And there are more than I thought because there were those few weeks when I had my broken hand and couldn’t type or do anything.

Not only that, there were piles missing so I had to fire up the failed laptop and see if they were still left on there, and also to fire up the travel laptop to see what was on there.

They’ve all been copied over, although I’m still not convinced that they are all here as they are supposed to be. And it took an age to do so.

By the time that I’d knocked off for tea I’d finished all of the photos for June. And I think that I was unnecessarily depressed about the quality – at least of the early ones – because they didn’t need much post-work at all. Well, not as much as I was expecting anyway.

But of course that’s without making any reference to the ones that were taken under the Arctic light which is a great deal different than any light that I’m used to.

samu pompiers emergency ambulance rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallMy afternoon was interrupted, as you might expect, by my afternoon walk. And, for a change and I’ve no idea why, there were hordes of people out there. A nice day, yes, but not that nice.

And I’d hardly set foot out of my apartment before I was shocked out of my usual reverie by the sirens of an emergency ambulance roaring past me.

So, as you might expect, I wandered off down the footpath at the top of the cliffs in order to catch up with it to find out what was going on that needed an ambulance.

samu pompiers emergency ambulance rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBut when I finally caught up with it I was none-the-wiser. And not even better-informed either.

The ambulance was parked at the side of the road sure enough and there was an ambulance man talking to a family group on the grass verge. But as for why, I really have no idea.

And whatever was going on there didn’t look like anything particularly urgent to me, so I left them to it.

digger hydraulic drill concrete breaker port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBy now, the tide was well on its way out. Not quite right out yet though.

And so I was totally surprised to see the digger and the concrete-breaker already making their way out across the water to the ferry terminal. What was really quite amusing was that, as I watched, the digger bogged down a couple of times and he used his jib and bucket as a lever to pull himself out.

On eof the best free afternoon’s entertainments that I had had.

tractor trailer port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut the sight of the digger bogging down, even with its caterpillar tracks, had presumably convinced the tractor driver that the time wasn’t right for him to set out.

He was waiting patiently at the foot of the concrete ramp for the tide to subside some more and for the ground to dry out a little before he sets off.

And I can’t say that I blamed him. After all, he doesn’t have a bucket and jib to pull himself out if he becomes bogged down.

hydraulic concrete breaker port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut they had the order of proceeding all wrong anyway.

The tractor should have been the fourth, not the third machine to move. Because he’s not ready to set out quite yet he’s stopping the other concrete breaker from going across.

The other two by this time had actually made it across and had started work while they were still sitting there.

modeling mannequin rue st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallDesperate to bring the day’s total up to 100%, I went on another extended walk to clock up the miles.

My route back brought me along the rue St Jean towards home, and there at the dressmaker’s there was some excitement going on. Someone was all dressed up like something out of the 19th Century and there was someone else taking a photo of her using a tablet.

With nothing better to do, I stayed and watched them for a minute to see what they were up to but after the photo they just hung around chatting so I cleared off home.

cat place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it looks as if I have a new neighbour too.

Whoever they are, they must be acclimatising their family pet to his new surroundings as they had a cat tethered to a lead that was tied in through their window on the ground floor.

A very friendly cat too, and we had a good ten minutes of chat and socialisation. I hope that he’ll be there again.

Back here, I carried on working despite having a little snooze here and there. But nothing like as complete as they have been just recently.

Tea was next and, having tidied the freezer once more, I came across a potato and lentil curry of 2018. That was totally delicious with rice and vegetables.

No more rice pudding so I had a banana and raspberry sorbet. And even though it was the cheap LIDL sorbet it was still delicious.

But one thing that I noticed was that there are only a couple of slices of pie left. Sunday’s task will therefore be to make another pie. If I can fit in two pies at once I might even make an apple pie.

night trawlers entering port de  granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe evening walk was, as usual, all alone around the walls. That meant that I could fit in my two runs in relative comfort, regardless of the howling gale.

Being almost at 100% I extended my walk and went on the cliff by the fish processing plant where, from my lunchtime spec when the weather is good, I could see the fishing boats coming home now that the tide was coming back in.

Fishing is back on the agenda now that Storm Ciara has passed.

Back here, there was the football. Bala Town v TNS in the Welsh Premier League

TNS have swept all before them over the past 10 seasons although Connah’s Quay are catching them up. And with TNS losing at Newtown the other day the gap has narrowed.

Bala are, somewhat surprisingly considering that they have two of the best players in the league in their team, somewhat off the pace.

The match though, went according to expectations. TNS had about 80% of the possession and had Bala pegged back in their area for most of the match. But we were treated to something much more than a defensive masterclass – more like a desperate rearguard “thin red line” defence as bala did everything they possibly could.

Henry Jones and Chris Venables were surprisingly subdued today and so they offered little in attack. The big winger Lassana Mendes though had an excellent game and why he didn’t win the man of the match award I really don’t know.

Surprisingly, despite having nothing much up front, Bala took a surprise lead when a corner into the TNS penalty area was headed into his own net by Aeron Edwards. But TNS pulled one back with a penalty late in the game – a case of “blaa to hand” rather than “hand to ball” but a penalty none-the-less.

But no matter how much they threw at the Bala defence they couldn’t break through for a winner.

Meanwhile over on Deeside, Connah’s Quay put four past Caernarfon to go top of the table. Interesting times indeed.

But asI write up the notes I have a feeling that I’m not going to reach the end before I crash out at my desk so i’d better ….


Saturday 24th August 2019 – TODAY I HAVE BEEN …

… learning to play the ukelele. And furthermore, I now know four chords (C, G, F and Am) and can play two songs. And if Status Quo can tour the world for 50 years with just 3 chords, I can do far better than that.

Last night I was wide awake again just before 04:00 and it took an age to go back to sleep again. Mind you, I comfortably beat the third alarm out of bed.

As I intimated yesterday, all events are cancelled for today. There had been talk of going into a couple of fjords in order to spot wildlife and the like, but there’s a howling gale raging on Baffin Island right now and while it’s not enough to cause us many problems out here 25 kilometres offshore, it could be devastating in a narrow and uncharted fjord. We are going to stand to offshore until it all subsides and head on north as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Consequently we had a series of on-board workshops. This morning I attended the photo-editing workshop during which I came to the conclusion that not only is my technique rubbish but the program that I use is even worse, and both must be improved when (ever) I return home, if not sooner.

After lunch we had a lecture on polar bears, during which I fell asleep and then made a fool of myself by asking a question that had been covered during the time that I was away with the fairies, and then the ukelele session that I mentioned just now.

I also took advantage of the computer technician who has now managed to stop (but not remove) the Walmart splash screen that has been annoying me, and I also went to see the expedition leader about a project that I have in mind.

Tea was with the photographer and I had a curry that had been specially made for me by the chef. Later, I finished (hooray) editing the photos and now I’m up-to-date for the month of August. But they are all going to have to be done again as I’m far from satisfied with the output.

But not tonight though. I’m off for an early night. Everything starts back up tomorrow if the storm subsides.