Tag Archives: place cambernon

Sunday 25th September 2022 – IT’S SUNDAY …

55-qj baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… today and so I had my usual lie in. And as you admire a few photographs of examples of the local aviation, I’ll tell you all about it.

Not that it was all that much of a lie-in because despite not going to bed until 02:00, I was up and about by 10:30 this morning. And that’s not the usual way of doing things on a Sunday.

In fact, I could actually have been out of bed much earlier than that. I was debating whether to leave the bed and do some work round about 08:30 and that would have been a miracle in itself.

Thinking about it, I really ought to have made something of an effort, just for the sake of it.

helicopter baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After the medication this morning I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

This was something to do with a dog that was hanging around where I lived. I didn’t like it at all. I hated dogs so I was not interested in the least in anything that was going to happen with this dog. In the end we injected it with something that was guaranteed to kill it. Then I had to take a computer out to someone. We took the computer and prepared everything and then went outside. Then I realised that we didn’t have the cable for it so we’d have to go back. We popped in roundabout where the sofa with this dog was that we’d injected. I went back in and went to pick up the cable that was plugged into this plugboard, and the dog got up and started to move about wagging its tail. I told it to go and lie down again and go to sleep. I was really bewildered about this in the dream, wondering what on earth was happening. It was such a surprise in the dream when this dog actually got up when i’d just put it to sleep 5 minutes earlier.

Back in the War, we were preparing for the defence of Jersey. The island fell very quickly so once the War was over there was a kind-of war game. We found an old bunker that had a lathe in it with an electric fan. There was some kind of slicing machine that went on the lathe. We found a way where you could drop hand grenades from this bunker down underneath it if anyone had entered the cellars. We considered that this bunker would have held out for quite some time and probably several others too that were built to the same style although it was never publicly announced as to how they had been built. Of course all of this had been rendered useless in June 1940 when the Germans simply marched into Jersey with no opposition. It was really only a theoretical exercise but having done it we were convinced that we could have held out for a considerable period of time.

I can’t remember where we were next but it was something to do with some Chinese people. They lived in a town where the industrial estate and residential ares were not distinctly separated. Sometimes it was very hard to tell which was the residential building and which was an industrial premises. Having lost a trailer from somewhere or other that we had to find it was very important that we worked it out fairly quickly.

The rest of the day has been spent carrying on with where I left off yesterday. I’ve still not had the replies that I would like so I’ve had to proceed by guesswork and that’s not really all that easy either because I’m more than likely to guess incorrectly.

Things are a little clearer in my head now though, at least for the important parts of it and the rest will surely follow as night will follow day. But I can’t do anything about any other part until next weekend.

So on that note I wandered off outside for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As usual I wandered over across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

The sunbathers have now all gone home and the only people about and about are the walkers going out to take the air, like this lot here.

And they were all that there was around here. There wasn’t anyone else around here at all.

And there wasn’t anything going on out at sea either. The view was really good out at sea just now but apart from a couple of yachts out towards Jersey, that was really that.

With it being a Sunday I decided to go for a walk around the walls this afternoon instead of around the headland.

medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022From the Place du Marché aux Chevaux there is a good view over the wall and for a change there was no-one obstructing the view. No-one blocking the view of the base of the wall on the outside this afternoon either so I had an uninterrupted view of the repairs.

They had dismantled quite a lot of that and regular readers of this rubbish will recall the big hole that appeared in the wall at one time as they were repairing it, but now they have gone we can see the kind of job that they have done.

And the work that they have done really does look good. I was hoping that the workmen would now come back and work on something else that needs fixing but so far they have been conspicuous by their absence.

So from here I pushed on along the path nderneath the wall towards the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

tidal swimming pool diving platform beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And the end of the season is quite apparent here. For a start, the cabins and the crown off the diving platform have now been removed and placed into store.

No-one was swimming around in the tidal swimming pool either and there are no lifeguards on duty from what I can see.

There are just a couple of people now wandering around on the beach, and they are dressed for autumn too. Bikini days are over now, which is a shame. I can put my eyes back in.

Down in the Place Marechal Foch there was nothing happening, so I wandered off through the Square Maurice Marland. There wasn’t much happening there although a bunch of kids were having a really good time with a small ball.

ride on lawn mower port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There’s a little bit more freight on the quayside this afternoon too.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when we walked past here last weekend there were some red dumpers on the quayside. They found their way to Jersey on Wednesday.

Today we seem to have acquired a green ride-on mower. There isn’t anything in the way of grass down on the quayside so it looks as if this mower is going to follow the dumpers out to the Channel Islands the next time that Normandy Trader comes into port.

It’s good news anyway and as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any. And we need good news after hearing that the gravel boats have definitely finished coming.

Why St Malo would have bought the gear I really don’t know. They are rather constrained for space in there right now as there is a 6,000-tonne Russian freighter, the Vladimir Latyshev, marooned in the port because of sanctions. She’s been there now for 117 days

As the aeroplane 55-OJ flew by over head, followed by an unidentified helicopter, I set off for the long walk home.

street art place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022At the Place Cambernon, we had something that I hadn’t noticed before.

Unfortunately I can’t say when this piece of street art appeared but I can’t recall seeing it the last time that I passed. It’s not actually what I would call “professional” and it isn’t up to the standard of street art that we’ve seen elsewhere.

However it had drawn the attention of several of the passers-by and it’s livened up the place a little.

We can see it a lot better now though because the newsagents has gone onto winter house and is closed. There was just the bar, La Rafale, with a few tables out today, and not too many customers were there either this afternoon.

la maison du guet place du parvis notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home I went past my favourite house.

This is the Masion du Guet – the “Watch House” (“Watch” as in being a group of people engaged in observation) and was originally built by a carpenter in the 17th Century but in 1696 the French Minister of War ordered the walls to be cleared and demolished.

When the walls were restored, a house was built on the original site and has slowly been extended over time.

Today though, I doubt if they would be allowed to extend it. But with the scaffolding being there, it looks as if they are working on it, maybe doing a little restoration or renovation work.

F-GBAI Robin DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Jamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third” as they say around here. So sure enough, as I was heading for home I was overflown again.

This one is much more like it – being one of our usual suspects. She’s F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local aero club.

She had taken off from here at 15:17 and slipped off the radar near Avranches at 15:48. She was then picked up on radar near Avranches at 16:54, flew over airfield at Granville and inland before performing a U-turn to come back, and then disappeared off the radar near the airfield at 17:00.

My photo was taken at 16:52 (adjusted) sometime during the period when she was flying under the radar.

Back at home with a coffee, I carried on with my work and then went for tea.

No pizza tonight though. I’m still dealing with the arrears in the fridge. And cooking a vegan burger in the air fryer was yet another success.

In a few minutes I’m off to bed. An early start in the morning as I have a radio show to prepare. And I might well have to go out for a few hours too. There’s something going on with the radio tomorrow and my presence has been requested.

Wonders will never cease.

Wednesday 5th January 2022 – REGULAR READERS …

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022… of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a lorry taking away the material that had been used in resurfacing the Rue St Michel.

At the time I said that if I remembered, I would go that way down to the doctor’s to have a look at what kind of job they have done of it.

Anyway, this will teach me to post vituperative comments about things like the quality of the road surfacing that they do, because while I’ve seen better surfaces finished than this, it’s not actually too bad.

They seem tp have been somewhat confused with the curves in a few places, but considering that this is the 21st and not the 15th Century, I don’t suppose that they have the skill that they used to have.

rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Mind you, I don’t think that they have quite finished.

A little lower down in the Rue Cambernon they are still in something of a temporary situation as they carry on laying the electric cables in the street.

When they finish the cable-laying, they might relay the pavé to the same standard as in the Rue St Michel, but what is actually making me wonder right now is what kind of electric cables they are laying, and for what purpose?

The hope is that we might finally be having fibree-optic cable, some 25 years after we had it in Belgium and 4 years since they started to install it here, but I’m not that optimistic about that. This is the kind of work that can go on for ever.

lorry trailer minidigger porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But they obviously have some kind of plans for something, because the lorry, its trailer and the mini-digger were back this morning.

Not unloaded though, so I’ve no idea what was happening. But they haven’t apparently finished quite yet.

But never mind the pavé. After today, I’m pretty much finished. I’ve had another really bad day where I seem to have fallen deep into the pit and been paralysed by inaction. That’s not doing me any good at all.

It’s a shame really, because although I didn’t end up going to bed as early as I would have liked, I was optimistic that I would have as good a sleep as I had last night. But it wasn’t to be. Nothing like, in fact.

There were a few travels during the night and once more, I was blessed with pleasant company. I started off with a girl last night, a young girl. It could have been Percy Penguin, it could have been Castor, one of those two. But I was in the Navy when I met this girl and I was going to take her home so we set out and drove and ended up behind a convoy of farm carts pulled by a tractor. We couldn’t go past it because the roads were narrow and it was too slow. The rear cart was just bumping around hitting just about everything so I couldn’t get too close to that. Then it disappeared somewhere so we could carry on. Then we had to climb over loads and loads of brambles and rocks down this well overgrown path to reach my house. In the end I had to go first and trample down as much as I could and help her over. She was standing on my clothes so I couldn’t move and that was where we ended up. And I wish that I knew which one of my female companions it was.

Some time later, Zero and I went off together in a car to Blackpool. She did a few things on her own and so did I, and then we did a few things together before coming home. It was quite late now as we drove home, which was my old family home in Vine Tree Avenue. When we went into the house I hoped that the two of us would have some time to be alone together but her parents were still up, which was surprising. It was Christmas morning so they had started to celebrate rather early. Surprisingly they said nothing whatever about anything.

Later still I was at the hospital last night and I’d had a booster injection, then I had an appointment with someone. But the booster injection didn’t show up on my passport so I went to see someone at reception. There was already one person being served, then there was me, then a girl came up behind. Thea someone came and started to talk to this third girl so I shouted “hello” quite loudly making it clear that it was me next. I explained the situation to this receptionist and she replied in English that it takes a day or two to come through. That’s why when someone comes to the hospital asking for a pill for the temporary effects they always take a note of their name and number

There was more to it than this but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you any inconvenience. But nevertheless, Zero and either Percy Penguin or Castor all on the same night. My luck really was in for a change.

But talking of people who I met on my travels a long way from home, we haven’t seen anything of The Vanilla Queen for a couple of years. I wonder how she’s doing.

Leaving the bed was agony this morning, and I didn’t have long to hang around before I had to nip off to the doctor’s.

christmas lights place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022It came to my mind while I was on my way out that I hadn’t seen the Christmas decorations in the Place Cambernon yet this year.

On my way to the Rue St Michel I went that way for a look as it was still just about dark enough to appreciate them. But they were nothing special. Just the same old stuff that they have every year.

So I took my photograph to add to my collection that one day when I’m feeling better (whenever that might be) and pushed on down the road towards the Rue St Michel, chatting with one of my neighbours whom I encountered on my way down.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022We have a visitor in the harbout too today.

We can tell that this is Normandy Trader by the little raised deck behind the bridge. She’s come in on the morning tide for what I believe to be the first trip of the year, and is busy loading up.

And that might explain the lorry with the building materials that was doing a U-turn in the chantier naval yesterday.

At the doctor’s, he renewed my physiotherapy and my Aranesp prescriptions, and delighted on showing his student doctor a photo of THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR and telling her all about my voyages.

He mentioned the radio too. I hadn’t realised that I was such a celebrity!

But he also mentioned something else. Apparently he’s had some kind of sneak preview of the report that the cardiologist will present to me next week. There’s something somewhere in my body that I’m supposed to have 50 units of, but which some people might have as many as 250. I have 2246.

No idea what it is though. Craig thinks that it’s the size of my spirit, but I reckon that it’s the number or people whom I p*ss*d off last year. anyway, I’ll find out soon enough.

Next stop was the bank. I’d had my cheque for the last 3 months of my Belgian pension so I needed to pay it in. It also had my Christmas bonus too, so aren’t I the lucky one? And now I can go off and paint the town red with that extra €32:00.

moving apartment post office place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But I didn’t let it lie fallow for long.

There are bills that need to be paid so I headed off to the Post Office to post off a cheque. And there was an interesting removal job going on from the apartment up above.

They could do with a couple of these lifts that are quite common in Belgium. That will be a much more convenient machine that the pallet truck that they are using.

Next stop was the chemist’s to give them my prescription. She’ll have to order them of course, and I can pick them up again later in the afternoon.

normandy trader leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way home we had even more excitement.

Having seen Normandy Trader loading up on our way down into town, we were lucky enough to catch her stern as she sailed off out of the harbour back to St Helier. That’s what I call a quick turn-round.

Back here, the first job was to book my trip to Leuven next week. And that’s not as easy as it might be either.

Covid (would you believe more than 330,000 new cases of infection today?) has decimated the railway network and the trains are not running as they usually would

With the choice of either sitting at Paris Gare du Nord for almost 3 hours or making an early start, I’ve gone for the early start option and I’m on the … gulp … 06:55 to Caen and then to St Lazare in Paris, the reverse of the trip that I took a couple of months ago.

This means that I actually arrive in Brussels at 13:00 but I need to visit my bank there at some point, so this seems like the perfect opportunity. Do it on Wednesday early afternoon while I can.

That took longer than it ought to have done, but nevertheless there was time to start to edit a sound file of an interview before lunch.

After lunch I sat down to carry on with this editing but this is where I ran aground. And seriously too. I need to snap out of this. And it’s not even anything to do with the news that I had at the doctor’s either.

And with the travelling companions that I had during the night, I ought to have a smile on my face and a spriing in my step for the rest of the day

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022However not even the thought that Percy Penguin, Castor and Zero might be waiting outside for me made going out at 16:00 to pick up my Aranest any easier.

But once I was out, I was out, and first port of call was the beach to see what was happening down there. And there were a couple of people down there this afternoon.

One person was walking around along the water’s edge, but I have no idea whatever what the other person was supposed to be doing. It looked quite unhealthy to me.

There were a few other people walking around in the distance too but they were too far away for me to see what they were doing.

trawler jersey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022The air was extremely clear this afternoon – one of the clearest days that we have had for a while.

As usual I had a good look around to see what was happening out in the bay, and in the distance right out towards Jersey I could see a couple of fishing boats.

And they looked as if they were heading for home too. The tide might be well out right now but by the time that they arrive in the vicinity it will be quite a way in and they’ll be able to come into harbour without too long of a wait.

There were several other boats further out towards Jersey but I couldn’t tell from this photo which way they were heading.

baie de Granville st helier jersey Eric Hall photo January 2022But you probably noticed how clear the air was in the previous photos.

The buildings at St Helier were quite visible with the naked eye even though they are 58 kilometres away.

And that reminds me that I must go over there one of these days to have a look to see which buildings are which. I’ve had a virtual drive-round with an internet program but that’s no substitute for going for a real walk around the town itself.

Talking about going for a walk around the town, I ended up at the chemist’s to pick up my Aranesp and then walked back up the hill towards home, with no drama whatsoever.

It’s still not as easy as it used to be but a lot better than it was in the summer. I’m not sure whether it’s the physiotherapy, the Aranesp or the heart medication that’s doing it.

peche à pied port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way back, I did stop for a moment.

But not for a question of breath, but for a photo opportunity. There were some people out there having a go at the peche à pied. But if I were going to be having a go at it, I wouldn’t be at it at the entrance to the harbour where several dozen boats pass right over the top four times a day.

Back here I had a coffee, but that was that. I’d really run aground by now. So much so that I couldn’t even think of what to have for my evening meal. In a total state of indecision and confusion I ended up with a curry from out of the freezer.

It beats me where this depression has sprung from, but I know that regardless I need to pull myself together and drag myself out of it. I have far too much to do than to waste my time sitting around feeling sorry for myself.

Part of it is the inactivity, with all of this time slipping away without going anywhere or doing anything. But then, I’m not fit enough to go anywhere anyway and even if I could travel, I’d be far too tired and exhausted to do it satisfactorily and to profit from it.

So i’ve no idea what the answer might be. But whatever it is, an endless circuit of physiotherapy and shopping broken by a trip every month to Leuven isn’t it. And with Covid running rampant at the moment almost everywhere, it won’t be anything else.

332,252 cases of Covid in one day is a disgrace.

Sunday 11th July 2021 – I’VE NOT HAD …

… a very good day today, and I don’t know why that is.

Well, I do, but it’s something that I don’t care to talk about on here and involves a trip down Memory Lane to places that I’ve been trying to forget.

But I would ordinarily say that I don’t know what’s brought it on, but actually I do – I just don’t know why it’s caught me unawares like this.

It’s one of those things that always seems to hit us when we are at our most vulnerable so I’ll need to have a good night’s sleep and in the words of the boxer Jack Johnson, “Eat jellied eels and think distant thoughts”.

This morning after my walk around the upper town at midnight (and about which I haven’t forgotten the photos, by the way) I was to my surprise awake at 07:00. But badger that for a game of cowboys. 09:30 was too early too but 10:45 is much more respectable for a Sunday.

After the medication I came in here again to listen to the dictaphone. At first there was something going on in a big old rambling house full of kids last night but I can’t remember what it was now. And waking up with an attack of cramp and when was the last time that I did that as well? I thought that some of this medication was supposed to stop that.

So having had some kind of meeting (when did this take place?) with a Greek girl with whom I was very friendly in Brussels who put in an appearance I was off in some medieval city somewhere in medieval times. There was some kind of difficulty that I can’t remember now but a man became involved in it who was a so-called spy and he helped me resolve this difficulty. In the end he stood on this bridge of this canal with his hand behind his back hiding a gun these 6 people road up asking for information. He replied “sorry, I don’t have one”. They replied something like “how is it possible to be in this country without an identity card?”. At that moment, from behind his back he pulled out a gun. He made them all drop their guns. Somehow at this point he became me. I ordered 5 of those people away and the 6th guy I mounted on a camel and told him to set out to such-a-place and I’d follow him. On the way out there was a barge going past on the canal so I stopped to take a photo of it. We had another one of these sessions when the NIKON 1 J5 wouldn’t work. All the time this guy was getting further ahead of me as I was trying to take this photo. In the end I said “sod it” and chased after this guy on the camel. Then I got to thinking “how stupid am I? I made those people drop their guns in the street and walk away. Why didn’t I throw them over into the canal? All they need to do now is to wait until I’m out of sight, pick up their guns and come along and chase after me. At least had I thrown their guns into the canal they might have chased after me but they couldn’t have done very much without any weapons”.

There was also something somewhere about me being with a few people and the subject of dreams came up. I was told to go and see a woman with whom by some lucky chance I’d just been talking because she was very keen on the subject. I wish I knew where she’d gone so I could chase after her. I explained to the people with whom I was talking that I’d been following my dreams for nearly 30 years.

So at least I managed to go off somewhere at some point.

One task that I wanted to do was to to pair off the music for the next radio programme and find a suitable chat line for my guest. That was all done and organised and took me nicely up to lunchtime.

Before I could make my lunch though I needed to make some bread mix. Only for a small loaf though because I’m going to be away for a while next week and there’s not much room right now in the freezer.

Talking of the freezer… “well, one of us is” – ed … I also took out the last pile of dough from the freezer so that it could defrost ready for tonight.

After lunch I came back in here and the first thing that I did was to sort out the camera equipment. I have three cameras on the go – the NIKON D500 which is the main one, the little NIKON 1 J5 that I use when weight and/or privacy and discretion are czlled for, and the old NIKON D3000 that I bought ON QUECEC IN 2012 after I had broken the Nikon D5000 and which keeps on rolling along.

Each camera now has its own bag with all of its own accessories inside it and surprisingly, I bought a brand-new upmarket camera bag last year. The D3000 has found its way into that and the D5000 is in the bag that the D5000 used to occupy and which I’ve had for ages.

The J5 is in an even older camera bag that belonged to one of the older 1st-generation digital cameras that I had and which packed up nearly 20 years ago.

One of these days I’ll have to go through the redundant camera equipment, sell it off and use the money to repair the D5000.

With time to spare I sat down to deal with the photos from last night. They are all uploaded, edited and some of the text was written. But my afternoon walk intervened.

Before I went on my walk though I kneaded the bread mix, added the sunflower seeds and put it in the bread mould.

full car park place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe crowds outside this afternoon were unbearable. You couldn’t move for people and cars. It was not very pleasant at all.

You can see what I mean from this photo. The public car park just outside this building is bursting at the seams and if you look quite closely at the photo you’ll see the crowds of people milling around there today.

In fact, while you are looking closely, you’ll see a group of several people standing together just to the right of centre on this photo, looking over the wall there. That’s my usual spec for when I’m taking photos of the beach if I’m going off around the headland on my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m not going round that way this afternoon. I’m going off on a trek around the city walls.

That means I’m having to look down onto the beach from the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord so the view is rather different than usual.

The tide is well out so there is plenty of beach to be on, and there were plenty of people on it this afternoon taking advantage of the space.

And I’m not sure why because while the conditions weren’t Arctic today the sky was quite overcast and it was cool (if not cold) for the time of the year and there was plenty of wind about. It’s not the kind of day in which you’d catch me sunbathing o the beach, that’s for sure.

people fishing in rock pool beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the other hand, I might be down on the beach for other reasons, rather like this family here.

The retreating tide has left several large rockpools behind it, so while daddy supervises the operation, mummy and the two kiddiewinks have taken off their socks and shoes and, in one case, trousers, and they are scavenging around in the rock pools for whatever they can find.

Which I hope they will remember to share with their friends because, after all, one shouldn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish.

And as for paddling up to my knees, I’ve done that twice now in water that was much colder than this – AT ETAH IN GREENLAND just 700 miles from the North Pole and the second time in the North West Passage in the Canadian High Arctic, about which I’ll write when I can think of what i’m going to say that will express how I felt on that day with the events that were goign on all around me, without causing too many problems.

But meanwhile, trying to dig myself out of the Black Pit into which i’ve fallen, let’s return to our moutons as they say around here and ask why there are all these people wandering around this afternoon.

people at brocants rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe answer to that is that it’s the annual brocante or car boot sale in the old town, and that always attracts the crowds, which is not a good thing from my point of view.

Not 50 yards from where those people are, and they must have walked past that spot to be where they are is a sign “face masks mandatory”, and yet there are so many people who just couldn’t care less.

Having brought the figures down from over 20,000 per day to just a thousand or so, it can’t give anyone any pleasure to see the infection rate rising again so rapidly and yet people totally disregarding even the most basic of rules because they just don’t feel like it.

But anyway, that’s enough of me moaning and whining for the moment. Let’s return to my afternoon walk around the walls

medieval city wall crumbling place du marche au cheveaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the main reasons that I came around this way was to see what they were up to with that scaffolding the other day, but I wasn’t quick enough with the scaffolding and it’s now gone.

But we can see just so clearly now exactly what is the problem with the city walls at the Place du Marché au Chevaux. You can see the vertical crack in the brickwork right there and it’s not before time that they are going to be dealing with it.

It does in fact remind me of the rather nasty crack that appeared on the outside wall of 10 Downing Street but Carrie called in builders to cement over it before Boris Johnson could read it.

And I still haven’t worked out what that wooden structure is that they have built on top of the wall and what its purpose is supposed to be. I suppose that it will become clear over the next few days, but I remember saying that a few days ago.

cement mixer workmen's cabin place du marché au chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo the obvious question is “what are they going to be doing with the walls?”

Here in the little compound we have what looks like a couple of workmen’s huts but also a cement mixer and tubs full of something or other, so it looks as if they are going to be making a start some time soon on repointing. But I think that it needs a bit more than repointing, if you ask me.

And if you look above the nearest workmen’s hut, you’ll see a map. It tells us of work that they have done in the past in restoring the walls, and what they will be doing this year here in the Place du Marché auc Chevaux.

And I wish that it would tell us what they are going to be doing subsequently because sections of the old medieval walls are being closed off quicker than they can repair them.

It was round here that I fell in with a family – mum, dad, a girl about 12 or so and a grandfather. They were not from round here and were struggling to make out a few of the local landmarks. Jersey was really clear to me today so I pointed it out to them, as well as the Ile de Chausey and even the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel which was perfectly clear with the naked eye today.

bouchot beds donville les bains medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was talking to them, I noticed that the bouchot beds at Donville les Bains were quite visible today too with the tide being so far out.

The tractors were taking advantage of the low tide this afternoon and were out there doing the harvesting.

The medieval fish trap had some water still in it too although no-one was taking advantage of it. I’d love to see it restored and people in there catching their own supper with their own bare hands just like they did in the Middle Ages.

After all, there were enough people down there to have had a good go and made a good catch this afternoon had the fish trap been working properly.

f-gcum Robin DR 400/180 Regent baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was doing that, I was overflwon by a light aeroplane. I mean – we have to have one of those, don’t we, on a day like that?

She’s another one of our old friends, F-GCUM, the Robin DR 400/180 Regent that’s owned by the Granville Aero Club.

And she’s been out for a nice long flight this afternoon. She took off at 13:38 and did a nice figure-of-8 going gown to Avranches then across to Cap Fréhel, back to Granville, over Coutances, up to Barneville Carteret and then back home.

She disappeared off the radar at 15:58 presumably when she went into her landing approach and I saw her about 15 minutes later so it must have been a long, shallow dive into landing.

crowds avenue de la liberation place marechal foch plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf you think, by the way that everyone is here who is coming here and that the crowds will slowly die away, then look again at this lot.

There’s a whole stream of cars coming down the hill nose to tail in the Avenue de la Liberation. And good luck to them if they can find somewhere to park when they finally get to where they are going.

It’s a Sunday of course and the public transport doesn’t run on a Sunday. Perhaps the local council needs to think about that in the summer when there are all of these events and organise a “Park and Ride” on the LeClerc Car Park

Plenty of people too in the Place Marechal Foch and walking along the promenade at the Plat Gousset too. And the ice cream parlour looks as if it’s doing a roaring trade.

seagulls rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOf course, seeing as I’m here now, I have to go and see how my baby seagulls are doing.

So off I took myself into the Square Maurice Marland, past a couple of little girls playing hopscotch, and up to the place where I can see onto the roofs of the Rue des Juifs where their parents have their nests.

Two of my seagull chicks weren’t up to very much, just curled up in the nest having a relaxing afternoon but the third one here was a little more energetic and he was off for a wander around on the roof.

And I hope that he doesn’t fall off like a couple of his friends seem to have done over the last week or two.

seagull rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallActually I was watching this particular energetic one for quite a while.

When I first saw him he was flapping his wings like Billio and I thought that he was going to have a go at taking off, but animals, like children, are very contrary and never do what you want or what you expect. Having got myself into a good position, he did nothing at all.

You can tell by the times of the images. 4 minutes after I took up my position he decided to inspect himself for fleas and that was about the limit of his activity while I was watching.

In the end I became fed up before he did and I cleared off, upon which I imagined him immediately taking off, doing a few loop-the loops and Immelmann turns

people in brocante rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the Square I walked through the alleyway into the Rue Notre Dame where it was all happening.

And the first thing that I noticed was the lack of face masks despite the notices plastered everywhere. And I know that I go on about this quite a lot but 4,000,000 dead and God alone knows how many people’s health permanently damaged, endless queues in hospitals, routine work cancelled (remember, I went 9 months without my four-weekly cancer treatment) just because people can’t be bothered to take the most basic precautions.

But anyway, even though I remembered to bring my money, I didn’t even look at what was on offer. I have seen the prices in the past and that’s been enough for me. Not even the chip van could tempt me this year.

people place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallCrowds of people in the Place Cambernon too, mainly at the bar down the far end.

However I didn’t go that way, I carried on around the church and at the edge of the walls overlooking the port I fell in with one of my neighbours chatting to a couple at the nice house with the nice round turret.

We had quite a pleasant chat for 10 minutes or so but then I set off for home as I had work to do.

autogyros pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I hadn’t gone very far before I was brought to yet another halt.

On my way along the street I’d heard a rattling from the air and I’d wondered what it was. But suddenly in a gap between two houses, two of these autogyros came flying past in formation.

Two-seater autogyros too so they were obviously up to something, like a photo shoot or a film shoot. And one of these days I’ll have to get myself up there in one of those things for a photo shoot.

But not right now. Ad I said earlier, I have things to do this afternoon. Like kneading the pizza dough that had now defrosted, rolling it out and putting it on the pizza dish that I had greased.

When everything was ready I switched on the oven and bunged the bread in to bake, and when the pizza dough had proofed sufficiently I assembled my pizza.

vegan pizza home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen the bread was baked I put the pizza in and let that bake, and here are the finished products.

Only a small loaf as I mentioned earlier, and I’ll tell you about that in a day or two, but the pizza was delicious as usual.

No pudding because there is still some chocolate sponge left and in any case, I’m pretty full right now.

And now my notes are finished I’m off to bed. I’ll sleep off my depression and have a better day tomorrow. And if I have time, I’ll finish off those photos from last night and post them up.

We’ll see how I get on.

Sunday 13th June 2021 – SUNDAY IS …

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… pizza day as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and so for the first time for several weeks, having been stranded in Leuven a couple of weeks ago and then having had visitors last weekend, I’ve been having pizza withdrawal symptoms.

And so I made myself a nice pizza today, and put on it a bit of everything that I had. And it was delicious too. A really good way to end a weekend in my opinion.

But no dessert tonight though. The pizza was quite filling and there was no more room left. And that’s just as well, for I didn’t fancy the rice pudding that was left anyway. That’s destined for the bin and for the remaining 2 nights that I’m here before I go off to Leuven I’ll drag some apple pie out of the freezer. There’s a ton of that in there.

This morning, the lie-in wasn’t as long as I would have liked. Or maybe it was because I’ve complained about some of these mega-lie-ins in the past. Being up and about by 09:25 is probably realistic.

Mind you there are some who disagree. I remember once when I was staying with a friend that I always liked a lie-in on Sunday. She replied “you can stay in bed until 09:00 if you like”. I remembered that I thought that round about 09:01 some sharp words would be spoken.

After the mountain of medication I came in here and had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. We started off with something going on last night about Liz’s chocolate cake and something or other involving music but I can’t remember what it was. It was another one of those things that when I awoke it disappeared completely from m mind, not that there’s much to hold it in these days.

At another time I was in a pub in Crewe – it might have been the Cheese Hall – talking to the barmaid, someone I knew. It might have been some girl with whom I worked at one time even. A guy (someone who was once a friend of mine and with whom she’d once gone out) came in and said to her “don’t think I’m prying or anything but have you seen anything of do-and-so?” and he mentioned a guy’s name. It turned out to be a guy who I got on well with fairly reasonably. She asked why and he replied “I didn’t want to say anything but he and I became champions of the George’s pools team on Monday night so of course we were all giving him our congratulations and there were the usual “how many people entered? Just two?” that kind of thing. We got talking and he was working on boats. He said how he would love to be working on cruises one day. That gave me an idea and I immediately, well, not signed him up but got him to be interested in a project that I was doing involving cruises and I was thinking of hiring the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR. I can’t remember where I’d go with it but I’d get all of my friends as stewards and stewardesses and we’d go off and have a really good time like we did at the time of the institution.

I was at my sister’s in Canada. I’ve no idea what I was doing there. She was talking about changing jobs or she had a new job, something like that. As I was tidying things up, on the settee I came across a folder that was talking about her new job. I forgot myself and started to read it. I’s read about 2 pages before I realised that everyone else was in the room so I shut it and moved it. There was a black cat actually sitting in the fire and it was smoking so I had to move it away otherwise it would catch fire. My sister said something about le being on the settee so I had this pair of pliers in my hand so I showed her this pair of pliers that I said I’d pinched my hand with. I was thinking while I was there about getting a MIG-welding set so that I could start to weld up all of the vehicles that I had to repair. Then we were back again hunting for the vehicles that I’d dumped all round Crewe somewhere and wondering where they were and whether I should go and collect a few back.

That bit about having Ford Cortinas dumped all over Crewe was at one time a recurring dream but it’s one that I’ve not had for a little while.

The first mission for today, if I chose to accept it, was to defrost the fridge. The pizza dough is in the freezer compartment and that has all iced up and I can’t even open the little door, never mind get anything out. So I took most things out, put a towel at the bottom, switched it off and let nature do its bit.

Second task was one that I had been putting off for quite a while. as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve been digitalising my record collection for the last 18 months or so. There are a good few cassettes that need recording digitally and I’ve yet to find a successful means to do it.

One thing that I tried was to couple up an old tape deck and run a line out into the Zoom H1 but that didn’t work all that well.

This morning I resurrected an old amp, connected all of that up (which involved no little amount of manipulation and even some tidying up). The net result of that was a set of pierced eardrums from the headphones that I was using.

So having ruled that out, I’m now back to the only other remaining idea that I have, of using one of the old laptops with a lead from the hifi in the other room.

I wish that I’d remembered to bring the old cassette player back from the Auvergne last year. I had such success with that years ago.

Giving the stack of ice in the fridge a prod every now and then, I next split up a few more LPs that I’d recorded a long time ago. Just a few more to go now and that task will be finished. Then there will only be the cassettes to deal with.

That took me up to lunch. And as usual these days I had porridge and a couple of slices of toast, followed by coffee.

Having spent the morning shuffling the music around and dealing with the fridge (all done with and finished now) this afternoon I’ve been attacking photos from August 2019.

And by the time I knocked off, I was actually standing with my feet in between some real waggon ruts from the 1840s and 50s right in the middle of South Pass – the “real” bit of South Pass where I was actually supposed to be.

From here, it’s all downhill to Winnipeg and then to Toronto where my Voyage of Destiny begins.

Right now, though, I’m going on my Voyage of Destiny outside the building.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOf course, we have to go out and have a look at how things are doing on the beach this afternoon.

And sure enough, there were crowds of people down there too because today was the hottest day of the year so far and there was hardly any wind to speak of, which will come as a big surprise to most of you. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, this has been the windiest year that I can ever remember.

And in case you are wondering about the change in perspective of the photo today, I’m not at my usual spec down at he end of the car park. I’ve gone the other way round and I’m in the Rue du Nord heading off around the walls.

people swimming in medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow here’s a thing that will take many people by surprise.

Where those kids and other folk are swimming is actually in the old medieval fish trap. And that shows you that it’s still reasonably effective at what it does compared to more modern techniques because the concrete tidal swimming pool has drained itself of all of its water. Modern isn’t always best.

All that we can hope for is that some old medieval fishwife with a home-made trident doesn’t actually spear a small boy instead of a fish by mistake, or else another small boy doesn’t have his toe bitten by a crab that is bent on making good its escape before a fishwife can grab it.

people playing football sunbathing on beach plat gouseet Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route continued around the walls until I came to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset, where I could see what was going on down there.

That spec down there really is protected from the wind and so if the crowds were going to be anywhere today, that was where they would be. And I’m not wrong as we? We have some kind of informal football match going on on an impromptu pitch down by the diving platform (which has now been reinstated for the summer) and a few other private kick-abouts among the dozens of people sunning themselves.

But I have no time to stand and watch them. I’m pushing off around the corner and across the Square Maurice Marland to see what’s happening there.

seagull with chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe first thing that I do is to have a look to see how the various families of seagulls and their chicks are going.

This little family was quite interesting and I spent quite an amount of time watching them. One seagull chick was being quite well-behaved but the other one was having quite a dispute or something with its mother and I wasn’t sure why. But when I saw them, the mother and chick were taking it in turns to chase each other around the roof here in the Rue Des Juifs.

The baby chick was giving its mother some nasty pecks in what I can only describe as some kind of teenage seagull angst. And I really ought to have stayed around to see how the situation developed.

seagull chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown at the other end of the Place Maurice Marland were a few more seagull chicks. And here, there seemed to be no parent in sight. It’s not like a seagull parent to fly off and leave the chicks unattended so this is rather an unusual situation.

What, however, seems to be a usual situation is the state of the place. There was some kind of campaigner campaigning about the previous mayor and how she had let the place become run-down.

But I wonder what our anonymous blogger has to say about the new mayor who not only has let the place deteriorate even more, but many of te kiddies’ amusements are blocked off and many of those that aren’t have been removed.

And at summer time too when the tourists are here.

crafts stalls rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallInto the Rue Notre Dame I went, but I didn’t get very far before I was brought to a standstill by the crowds.

On my way into the old city I noticed that there were diversions everywhere and there were signs telling us that “an event” was taking place. And so there was too. It’s another one of these craft fair things where people sell the the most overpriced in-bad-taste articles at the kind of prices that would make even a Bond Street salesman blush.

For quie a while now I’ve been trying to find a nice seascape original to hang in my living room, but not at the kind of prices that they are asking here, even if I were to find anything half-decent, which is most unlikely.

craft stalls rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe Place Cambernon and Rue Cambernon were lined with stalls too, but I wasn’t going to push my way down there with all of those people thronging around carrying God-alone-knows-what kind of virus with them.

And that was what appalled me, quite frankly. The Préfet of the département has decreed that face masks are compulsory until 30th June but you only have to look at this photo and the previous one to see that half of the people aren’t wearing them and of the other half, half of those aren’t wearing them properly.

Where are the authorities who are supposed to be enforcing this measure? I headed for home rapidly and my nice cold strawberry smoothie with ginger cake. And I’ve timed this hospital trip quite nicely because I’m right down on cake.

What else can I persuade the hospital to chop off so that Liz will feel sorry for me and bake another cake?

Anyway, having had tea and written my notes, I’m off to bed. I have the radio stuff to do tomorrow, followed by a visit to have a Covid test. It’s non-stop, isn’t it?

Monday 4th January 2021 – THAT WAS A …

… horrible day today again.

It is a fact that the day after I come home from Leuven, exhausted by the travel and by the effects of the medication, I find it difficult to do anything the next day while I recover my strength. And when I’ve had no sleep the night before and I’ve been carrying heavy shopping around as well, it simply amplifies the effect.

When I’ve slept through the alarms in the past, at least I’ve heard them somewhere in the distance but I’ve taken no notice. This morning though, I didn’t hear a thing. Nothing in the night disturbed me. There wasn’t even anything on the dictaphone so it must have been one of the deepest sleeps that I’ve ever had.

Mind you, I didn’t go to bed until 02:30. Despite the heavy couple of days that I’d had, I wasn’t tired at all for some reason and I don’t understand that. And so it’s no surprise that I didn’t awaken until about 09:30, and didn’t leave the bed until about 10:20.

After the medication then, with nothing to transcribe from the dictaphone. I could make a start on the radio programmes. But while in the past I’ve been able to dash off a programme in a couple of hours, by the time that I knocked off at 18:00 to play the guitar I had just about finished writing, neve rmind dictating and editing, the notes for just one programme.

Fighting off sleep (unsuccessfully a couple of times), and not having the same energy that I’ve had just recently, it’s clear that I can’t keep going like I could previously. I hope that I can pick up in due course.

beach donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLunch was some of my delicious vegetable soup, even nicer than it was yesterday, and later on this afternoon I went out for my afternoon walk.

The temperature had dropped to about 3°C and it was damp and miserable out there. There were a few people nevertheless walking on the beach out by the Plat Gousset this afternoon, something that surprised me.

There was quite a mist out there too and it wasn’t possible to see any distance particularly. So haven’t taken a photograph of the beach I headed off along the path on top of the cliff

people sitting by cabanon de guet pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAcross the lawn and across the car park I went until I reached the end of the headland looking out over the bay.

As I mentioned just now, it was pretty cold this afternoon and so I was surprised to see a couple of people sitting on the bench by the old sentry cabin right out on the end. They can’t have been enjoying the view in this weather.

With nothing else going on out there that I could see, I walked off along the path to see what was going on at the chantier navale. And the answer to that was “nothing”. The trawler and the yacht were still there, in exactly the same position that they where before they left.

workmen repairing public toilets pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot too far away from the viewpoint overlooking the harbour is a set of public conveniences. There’s a roll-up lightweight door that rolls down when they are closed but before I went away, that had been damaged.

Today there were a couple of workmen there. They’d taken away the roll-up door, or what was left of it, and they were fitting a heavy-duty metal sliding door instead. I watched them for a while and then headed home for a nice hot coffee and a slice of Christmas cake.

What with chatting to Liz and dozing off a few times I didn’t do much work, and I knocked off for a very enjoyable session on the guitars.

donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on I went out for my evening walk. Walk, not run. I wasn’t feeling up to running around tonight. I must be feeling under the weather.

It was now 2°C outside and trying its best to rain. Not the best weather to be out there at all. The view along the coast had improved slightly and down the coast to Donville the street lights stood out clearly. The image though, taken with the NIKON 1 J5 didn’t come out as clearly as I liked though. I shall have to have the big NIKON D500 repaired pretty quickly.

As you can tell, I’m down on the footpath underneath the walls tonight. Despite the weather today, it must have been dry while I was away because the path was no longer flooded.

st martin de brehal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther along the coast, the lights on the promenade at St Martin de Bréhal were quite bright this evening. The view was nothing like as clear as this earlier today

From here I carried on walking along the footpath and eventually ended up at the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch. There wasn’t anything else going on around there either so I pushed on across the Place Maurice Marland – again at a walk.

The rain was starting to fall a little heavier now so I wasn’t going to hang around. I might not be able to run today but I can walk pretty quickly.

place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow that the scaffolding has gone from the house on the corner I could walk down the alleyway and into the Rue Notre Dame.

No black cat to greet me tonight, and no Christmas lights in the Place Cambernon either. I’d noticed from my viewpoint earlier that all of the Christmas lights in the town had been switched off so I suspected that that would be the case here.

The lights are still there though. They haven’t actually got around taking them down yet. And so it wouldn’t have heurt to leave them illuminated to add a touch of gaiety to the place in these difficult times.

fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been walking around the path earlier I’d seen all of the fishing boats out at sea heading home to unload.

By the time that I’d walked around my circuit, the first ones had started coming into port. The tide can’t be far off coming right in.

Back home I made tea. Rice with veg and a vindaloo out of the freezer followed by Christmas pudding and custard. That was a really nice tea.

While i’d been out Rosemary had rung so I called her back and we discussed this and that. for a whole hour and 38 minutes. This is why I’m just dashing off my notes – because it’s late and I’m tired. Tomorrow it’s the Welsh lesson and then hopefully I can push on with this work. And I haven’t forgotten that I didn’t do my Welsh homework today. That was disappointing.

Must do better.

Thursday 24th December 2020 – WOW!

sunset cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEven though I say it myself, I’m quite impressed with this photo that I took this afternoon.

It’s not necessarily the quality of it because I still have a great deal of issues with that, but it’s the dramatic and stark effect of the colours here. Just as I lined up a shot of Cancale silhouetted on its clifftop across the Bay, the light gave me everything I wanted just at the correct moment and it’s come out exactly as I would have wished, with no post-processing at all.

It’s one of those very rare photographs where everything that you are trying to do suddenly does it itself with you having to try.

Another thing that I did without really having to try was to haul myself out of bed before the third alarm. And I bet that that took you as much by surprise as it took me too. Mind you, I was only sitting on the edge of the bed is a dazed and weary state, not exactly running around like a headless chicken.

After the medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was in the USA last night and Trump was giving a concert. He had someone playing banjo or mandolin or something and he was playing bass and singing, doing some kind of rap about how good he was, and everyone in the crowd was greeting him with stony silence. He was becoming all worked up on the stage and everyone was treating him with stony silence. When everyone left I had a look at the bass guitar. It was just a cheap $29 thing so I said to someone of the road crew “at least you might have got him a real guitar to play with”. They replied “he does have a real one but he was afraid he’d be all emotional”. Trump heard this conversation and came over, and started to have a bit of a go at me about it. I said “I’ll tell you what my life means to me. Come with me”. He couldn’t get the hang of what was going on but “come with me, come outside”. So we went outside and there was Caliburn. I opened the door to the back of Caliburn and there on the floor was a mattress and a sleeping bag and a few bits and pieces. I was living rough. And there at the side of the sleeping bag was the Gibson EB3. “That’s what my bass means to me” I said. “It’s all that I have here”.

The next thing was about the wife of my friend on the Wirral. She was telling me that she had been taken into a bedroom by an Indian guy to which I said “lucky her” and they spent 4 hours together so I said “even more lucky her” discussing some kind of new sales venture for some kind of product that she might have been interested in. There was much more to it than this but in the time it took me to grab hold of the dictaphone I forgot it.

The next hour or so was spent dealing with the arrears of work. I’ve been stuck in Chateau Gaillard for the last 2 weeks and I can’t seem to drag myself out of there. I seem to be bogged in there quite deeply at the moment.

That took me up to shower time and weigh time, and I’ve gained 1kilo in weight in this last week. But examining my body closely (and isn’t that a gruesome task?) I noticed that my feet and ankles are swollen. So it looks as if the water retention is back again and that will explain this weight issue.

crowds at seafood shop rue lecampion Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOff I set to the shops for the groceries to see me through the Christmas period.

It’s the tradition in France for people to have oysters as a Christmas treat (which probably explains why so many babies are born here at the end of September) and there in the Rue Lecampion where there’s the fishmonger’s, with the butcher just down the road, it just looks like Poland as I remember it in the 1970s, or the UK after 6 months of Brexit.

But I was joking about the oysters and babies just now. Don’t you believe everything that you hear about oysters. I had 12 of them on my wedding night and only 9 of them worked.

christmas decorations place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s unlikely that I’m going to get down into town to see the Christmas lights this year. I’m not well and I know it, and I’m not going to tax my system too much.

But it didn’t prevent me from having a good mooch around for a look at the decorations in the Place Charles de Gaulle. And I was right about one thing, in that they aren’t very inspiring this year. It seems to be merely the same stuff that has been here for the last ever so many years, just arranged differently.

But anyway I pushed on to the Railway Station for my tickets for next week. The clerk in the office was on her own so I asked her about the trains next week. At the moment, they are still running as advertised. Whether it stays like that, we shall see.

bad parking bmw bus station railway station Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that pathetic parking takes up a lot of room on these pages.

Not so much recently – not (I hasten to add) because the situation has improved but because there is just so much of it that it’s become boring and even i’m fed up of it. But I couldn’t let a thing like this go by.

Right outside the railway station is the bus station. all of the long-distance buses (of which there are plenty) as well as the two service buses for the town come here and there are 4 bays. But this driver has decided that he’s allowed to park in one of them and the bus that goes in there can park elsewhere.

Of course, it’s a BMW and like Audi drivers, they consider that the rules of the road and of common courtesy don’t apply to them.

On the way up the hill I stuck my head in the newsagent’s. I’d heard that US Granville had made some club facemasks and the newsagent was selling them. These are tough times and we have to do what we can to help things along right now, and so I bought one to wear when I’m in Belgium.

At La Vie Claire they had Seitan slices so I bought two ridiculously expensive packs and then went round to LIDL for the shopping. I bought most of what I needed but shock! horror! no Brussels sprouts. How do you have Christmas without Brussels sprouts?

Luckily I still have some frozen ones for the meals on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but it’s going to be touch and go after that.

christmas market kddies roundabout place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn my way back into town again I went past the Place Generale De Gaulle again.

There’s quite a lot going on in there now that wasn’t happening earlier. They seem to be setting up some kind of Christmas market in the Square, although that doesn’t look much like Christmas goodies to me.

But at least the kiddies’ roundabout was working and entertaining some clients. And that’s good news because Christmas is all about children anyway and they ought to be making the most of it while they are still young enough.

seafood stall rue du port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s a fresh seafood stall on the harbour every Friday morning selling the stuff that his boat has landed that morning. But with Friday being Christmas Day it looks as if he’s having his stall a day earlier to cash in on the Christmas trade.

And quite right too. Even though I don’t eat animal products, it’s up to others what they do and there is nothing at all quite like fresh food of any description.

So having caught my breath, for I was carrying some quite heavy shopping, I carried on back home where I had a slice of my fruit bread and a mug of hot chocolate.

And then, shame as it is to say it, I crashed out good and proper on my chair. It was late-ish when I returned from the shops but even so, it was 13:30 when I awoke, feeling like total death yet again. This is what I meant earlier when I said that I wasn’t too good right now. It’s just not possible at the moment for me to live a normal life like this and it’s dismaying me very much.

So at lunch, I’d run out of bread so I set about making some more. Not the sourdough this time but a real loaf. I want to see how my technique is doing and to see if the fault about my sourdough not rising is because of me or the sourdough.

And so I bashed out a quick 500-gramme dough mix with yeast and several handfuls of sunflower seeds and left it on one side to see what it would do.

storm at sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was walkies time so I set out into the wild blue yonder.

And wild was hardly the word either. The wind has shifted around and we now have a nor’easter instead of a sou’wester as we had yesterday. So if you thought that the Bay of Granville was turbulent yesterday, you ought to have seen it this afternoon. There hasn’t been anything quite like this for a considerable period of time and I bet that the boys in Thora and Normandy Trader are glad that they are tucked up safe and sound in the harbour in St Helier.

It was enough to make me want to join them but the journey across to Jersey would be extremely uncomfortable right now.

brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were hordes of people out there this afternoon, everyone having a pre-Christmas walk I reckon and making the most of the lack of rain (for the moment at least).

And if you are able to peer underneath the clouds, it was the kind of afternoon where the visibility was so impressive and you could see a very long great distance down the coast. Cap Frehel and its lighthouse were just about visible with the naked eye over to the right on this photo.

We’ve had some good shots of Cap Frehel in the past, better than this one of course, but it’s not every day that it’s visible with the naked eye

rainstorm brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust a little earlier I taked about the lack of rain – “at the moment” – and I said that for a reason.

While I was scanning along the Brittany coast with the camera, I noticed a strange phenomenon out there in certain places so I photographed it for a closer look to see what it might be. And back here in the comfort and warmth of my apartment I determined that it was actually a rainstorm out there.

Of course, as I said earlier, the wind is blowing in the wrong direction for us to be bothered about it right now, but the wind is a highly volatile and uncertain beast and can change direction at any given moment.

sunset cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving taken my photographs I walked off across the lawn and the car park (almost being squidged by a motorist reversing out of a parking place) down to the end of the headland.

Once more, there are no boats out there in the bay but we do have this beautiful sunset, an excellent example of which you have already seen. And here’s another really good view of Cancale across the Baie de Mont St Michel, lit up as if it was on a stage and they had switched on the spotlights.

Far too many people about for me to break into a run this afternoon so I walked off down the path instead.

st pair sur mer baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw just now how churned up the sea was around the north side of the headland with this raging nor’easter.

Nothing could have been a greater contrast than the sea down on the southern side of the headland by the port. Whereas yesterday we had a raging storm with waves crashing over the sea wall, today the sea seems to be almost becalmed.

Actually, it isn’t but that was how it was looking this afternoon especially after yesterday.

But that was enough for me anyway, I had a peek in at the chantier navale to see that there was no change whatever there, and then carried on home for a hot coffee and a mince pie. And delicious, if a bit sweet and sickly.

And the bread had risen like a lift. I’d never had it go up quite like this before. It was so impressive. I gave it a good squeezing to let the gases out and then shaped it and put it in its bread mould, covering it with a damp tea-towel.

And now I have a little Christmas present for you all. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that my friend Liz and I produced a series of programmes for several local radio stations in the Auvergne under the “Radio Anglais” banner back in those days.

While I was looking around for something I came across one of the Christmas Specials that we did, so I’ve uploaded it to the internet FOR YOU ALL TO LISTEN TO OVER CHRISTMAS with much love and best wishes from me.

Don’t take too long in listening to it because I need the space on my server so I’ll be taking it down again after a week or so. So you’ll probably be better off downloading it onto your own machine. Or, if you make your next Amazon purchase via the links on the right and I receive a small commission on the deal, I can buy more space.

While I was at guitar practice I had the oven warming up and I slipped the loaf of bread in there at a suitable moment along with a potato and, later on, a slice of frozen home-made pie.

rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter the guitar, it was time for evening walkies. And with the wind now blowing in the opposite direction from yesterday, it was the outward journey that caused me more problems than just a few.

In fact, I had to abort the trip along the Rue du Nord and seek shelter within the narrow streets of the old town by dodging down an alley way. We’ve seen plenty of photos of the Rue St Jean in our time but we haven’t seen one from this viewpoint. The Place Cambernon is just down there at the bottom and the Porte St Jean which we have photographed on several occasions is right down there at the end out of the picture.

And if you look up at the top you can see the spire of the Eglise Notre Dame du Cap Lihou all illuminated.

rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m not going that way. I’m going in this direction down towards the Place de l’Isthme.

We took a photo of the street from the Place de L’Isthme a few weeks ago and so I reckoned that I should take one back up to the place where I was at the time, just for the record. And then I set off for a run along there all the way to the end of the street.

As I emerged into the open square at the end I was hit by a huge blast of wind that brought me to a dead stop, and I’m not surprised because it was wild.

baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat was enough to make me not want to hang around any longer out of doors – especially now that it had started to rain as well, And so I went down ste steps to the Place Maurice Marland and ran on home.

But up on the walls the night was looking so beautiful despite the rain, so I took a photo of the harbour, the Baie de Mont St Michel and all of the lights out there twinkling away on the Brittany coast. It was all looking quite magical tonight and I’ve no idea why.

But that’s enough of my waxing lyrical for the moment. It’s time I was at home tucking into the tea.

home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile my veg was cooking (endives, broccoli, leeks and carrots) I had a look at the bread to see how it was doing.

It had risen quite a lot while it was sitting for its second proofing, but in the oven it’s not done too much more. But as I took it out of its mould, part of it had stuck so I sampled it. And it was perfect, it really was. The best that I’ve made to date. There’s nothing wrong with my technique at all.

With the veg water I made a delicious gravy, and the whole lot was finished off with apple crumble with some soya dessert stuff. That was what I called a good tea.

So now it’s Christmas Day and I’ve written up my notes. I’m off to bed. A Merry Christmas to you all and I hope that Santa brings you lots of nice things, including, more important than presents, lots of love and good health. We’re living in hard times right now but at least we are living, and the joys of the internet mean that we can stay even closer all the same.

There’s our radio show to listen to and tomorrow night at 21:00 CET, 20:00 UK Time, 15:00 Montreal and Toronto time etc, there’s my Christmas broadcast on LE BOUQUET GRANVILLAIS. It’s a special live rock concert that I’ve spent some time preparing and I hope that you’ll enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed preparing it.

Best wishes from me.

Friday 4th December 2020 – JUST FOR A …

… change I had a lie-in today and didn’t leave my bed until about 07:30.

And it wasn’t necessarily through oversleeping either. When the alarms went off I was regaled by the sound of a torrential rainstorm and all kinds of wicked things going on outside and they certainly weren’t the kind of conditions conducive to constructive thought.

When I finally arose, I had my medication and then set a pile of lentils on the go in the slow cooker.

Back in the bedroom, I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was back at school last night. I had a girlfriend but one of my friends from school started dating her. After the first time he told me that he was going to be taking her out again. I told him that I wasn’t going to let that happen if I could. I would be taking her out. He started to turn all violent saying that he had all of the weapons arranged, all the oil and everything like that and he’d be dealing with it. But I stuck my ground and we ended up having this fierce argument.

Later on there was something to do with a dog. We’d come into possession of a dog for some reason. My brother, father and I were coming down Underwood Lane in Crewe and were talking about going to get some dog biscuits. We turned left into West Street but it wasn’t out of Underwood Lane but out of Minshull New Road. There was a pet shop right on the corner there so we stopped. But I couldn’t believe West Street. It was like the Blitz had hit it. Everything had been demolished and there was just the odd house here and there on the south side sticking up and a little Sprite 400 caravan with people living in it parked there with a washing line and a load of washing outside. We went into this shop and the woman asked what we wanted. My brother said that we were looking for dog treats. My father took out some money and it must have been a couple of hundred quid he brought out. I said “dad, what are you trying to do? Buy the shop or something?”. This woman put a pile of dog biscuits into a bag, this kind of thing and then a few packets of sweets, saying “this will do you right for Christmas” and charged I dunno about £20 or something for it. He took it and went outside but then started to give my brother a lecture about buying stuff. “What she’s probably done is given all kinds of stuff that aren’t suitable for the dog, stuff that’s past its sell-by date, all this kind of thing. We should have taken much more care about what we bought”. he started to go through it and found loads of stuff that wasn’t suitable. he decided that he would go back into the shop and renegotiate the deal. I was outside, looking at the road, how it went further on and zigzagged up this spectacular cliff like a wild west mesa or whatever. There were birds flying over there and a couple of dogs flying around. I thought that this was a really idyllic setting here but my brother and my father were in such a deep discussion about these dog biscuits that they failed to notice it.

By now, the weather had cleared up so I rinsed the lentils, put them back in with fresh clean water and flavouring, and then fried some onions, garlic, tofu and beans with more flavouring. When it was all cooked properly, I added it all to the slow cooker and left it in there to fester on “low”.

hailstones place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallGrabbing my rain jacket and the rest of my equipment I headed off outside for the shops.

And you can see here what was going on this morning. I thought at first that it was snow but in actual fact it was a mega-hailstorm that had descended upon us from a great height. Most of it had melted now but there were still a few vestiges left.

So leaving it at that, I set off into town. And before I’d gone a quarter of a mile the heavens opened again and I was absolutely, totally and thoroughly drenched. This was not what I was expecting at all. There had been blue skies 15 minutes earlier.

porsche 924 ford capri 280 gare de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall How long is it since we’ve had an old car on these pages? It must be a while, I reckon, so here are two for the price of one.

The red one is a Porsche 924, a model made from about 1976 to 1988. About 150,000 were made which was no surprise because for a Porsche, they were relatively affordable. However, it was its affordability and popularity that were its downfall because many people who bought one were mocked for being “nouveau riche” arrivists. Although the vehicle handled well, its actual performance was lamentable for a top-end sports car until they began to be fitted with turbos. And the turbos brought with them their own problems.

The blue one is much more like my car of course. A Ford Capri from the early 1980s, this one. It’s described as a “280” by which I imagine that it has the 2.8 litre V6 “Cologne” engine in it (Strider has a 4.0 litre Cologne engine in it). Of course, if I were to own such a car, which I wouldn’t turn down, it would be a black one and the V engine would be binned and replaced with a 2-litre Pinto engine

having done a lap around LIDL, then loaded up like a packhorse I headed for home. As well as the immense shopping list that I took with me, they also had a few Christmas dainties that I could eat and so as they won’t be there for ever, I grabbed a few.

new shop front bar la civette rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few weeks we’ve seen them demolishing the facade of a bar, La Civette, in the Rue Paul Poirier, and then building a wooden wall around it while they worked inside.

It looks as if they’ve had the unveiling of the new facade since I last passed this way. It’s a big improvement on what was there before and, thankfully, it doesn’t resemble too much the other new facades going up around the town that all look the same.

And you can tell how the weather is doing right now. Teeming down with rain and it’s really dark. all of the lights oare on in the street, despite it being 11:00.

fresh fish stall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOf course it’s Friday, not Thursday, so there are different things going on in the street that I wouldn’t normally see when I’m out and about usually.

We’ve talked … “at great length” – ed … about the fishing industry in the town and all of the lorries and vans that go to the fish processing plant to cart away the catch. But some of the produce is sold locally and every Friday morning there’s a stall on the harbour where one of the local fishermen sells his catch.

Straight from the sea.

It’s a far cry of course from the fish market in Oostende that we have seen before but nevertheless it’s an interesting venture. Seafood doesn’t get any fresher than this.

Back here I had a hot chocolate and a slice of my chocolate cake, and then had to speak to Rosemary. She’d rung me up to say that she was having computer issues. So I had to talk her through a remote session in order to fix it.

My Diploma in Computing does come in handy some times even though it was 20 years ago since I obtained it.

After lunch I had a look at the pie filling that was simmering away in the slow cooker. Far too liquidy and so to bind it and make it nice and glutinous, a couple of handfuls of porridge oats went in and were stirred around. That should stiffen it up somewhat.

Once that was organised I went and carried on with some of the arrears from Central Europe.

heavy skies english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on it was time for me to go for my afternoon walk. And it was just as well that it had stopped raining.

But just look at the sky over there down the Brittany coast. When you consider just how nice it has been at times, this is rather depressing, isn’t it? This is what they call around here un ciel de plomb – a leaden sky. And you can see that it lives up to its description.

All that I can say is that I’m glad that I’m not out there at sea in all of that. The Brittany coast must be taking quite a pasting at the moment.

rainstorm ile de chausey english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOver towards the Ile de Chausey it’s somewhat brighter, but there is still a terrific rainstorm cascading down on the population over there.

And the wind is blowing it my way so I don’t want to hang around here. I’m the only person out here walking and I can understand why if all of this weather suddenly arrives. So I clear off around the headland to see what’s on the other side.

And nothing of any significance over there either, except for more of the same. Nothing of note, apart from the usual, in the chantier navale. But by now the rain has arrived and it’s starting to fall quite heavily so I don’t want to hang around.

lorries port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there’s something bizarre going on down in the loading bay in the port.

Those two lorries shouldn’t be there unless they are delivering, and if they are delivering, we are going to be having an interesting nautical arrival down there pretty soon. I wonder what it might be. Still, we’ll find out in de course I suppose.

Musing on that for a moment, I turned and headed on home and a nice hot mug of coffee. And I can’t say that I didn’t deserve it. By now the rain was teeming down once more and I was soaked to the skin again.

Back here, I switched off the slow cooker and emptied the contents out to cool. A nice glutinous sticky filling. Just what I wanted.

So I made my pastry and put it in my mould. And when the filling had cooled down properly, I filled the pie base and made a pie lid out of some of the remaining pastry. With the pastry that was left, I made a quick apple turnover.

Now it was time for my session on the guitars. And I spent much of the time trying (and eventually succeeding) in working out the chords to Richard Thompson’s “Keep Your Distance”.

I’ve been feeling quite nostalgic for certain events that occurred over three nights on board The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour that one day I might talk about when I’m in the mood. There are a couple of lines in that song that really are quite relevant.

Half way through the proceedings with the guitar I’d switched on the oven and started off the pie and the apple turnover. Now, having finished the guitar, I came in and did a huge mound of washing up.

vegan tofu pie apple turnover Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were some potatoes left so I had put those in the oven too so I sorted out some veg – sprouts, carrots and runner beans, and put them in a small pan and cooked them in some gravy with some herbs.

Eventually the pie was done – at least on top. I wished that I had cooked it lower down in the oven and not on a metal tray as I had done. It’s a mistake that I always make, cooking too high in the oven and having a heat deflector underneath doesn’t help anything either.

But it actually tasted delicious and there are another 7 slices for the freezer for a later date. The apple turnover was impressive too. That worked really well.

It was time for me to go out on my evening walk and runs so I hit the streets, straight into the biting wind that made running almost impossible.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNevertheless I pushed on as well as I could but I eschewed the route down on the footpath under the walls due to the bad weather. And as it was by now raining quite heavily I carried on the route that I took yesterday.

From up on the Place de l’Isthmus I could hear the waves crashing down onto the promenade at the Plat Gousset so I wandered down the steps of the Escalier du Moulin a Vent to have a look at what was happening.

It was certainly wild out there. And it’s hard to believe that we are still a fair way away from high tide. What this is going to be like in an hour’s time will be anyone’s guess, but it certainly would be something to see.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut not for me, unfortunately. By now the rain was coming down in sheets and I was being soaked to the skin.

Braving the weather, I stuck it out just long enough to take a second photograph and then ran all the way across the Square Maurice Marland in the general direction of home.

Just for a change, I took the shortest route possible. I’d had my walk out to the shops and back, my afternoon stroll and now my evening runs so I was quite confident that I’d done enough today.

rue st jean place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallComing back the short way, I ended up in the Rue St Jean. And I reckoned that I haven’t taken a photo down here at this end for quite some considerable time. I’d better put that right.

And you can see the weather in this photograph. teeming down with rain and everywhere soaking wet. Including me.

And the Place Cambernon just down there with the Christmas lights peering around the corner.

having done that, I ran on home to write up my notes. 147% on the fitbit is good enough for me today.

Shopping at LeClerc and Noz tomorrow. And there will probably be other things that I need but which I’ve forgotten that I’ll remember when I return home. That always happens to me.

Wednesday 2nd December 2020 – THIS IS MY …

failed chocolate cake apple pie apple turnover Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… first culinary disaster for quite some time.

The apple pie and apple turnover that were in the fridge awaiting baking have turned out quite well but the chocolate layer cake has, unfortunately, flopped. And I do mean “flopped”.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the last time I made a chocolate cake with this vegan brownie mix recipe, it was far too thick, took about three times longer to cook, and then was totally crisp on the outside and very soft in the middle.

And so today I had a cunning plan. I cooked it in a long, wide dish so that it was quite shallow and thus would cook quickly, then I cut it in half, spread one surface of each half with strawberry jam; and then stuck them together. And in the meantime I had a go at making some icing..

But what happened was that the cake collapsed, rather like the edge of a cliff crumbling off, and the icing ended up being too liquidy. For the icing, it was possible that the cake hadn’t cooed down enough and caused the icing to melt, and that also might be part (but not all) of the reasons why the cake collapsed.

On the other hand, it could simply be that the mixture isn’t intended for this kind of construction. I’ll have to go to a Plan B which involves making individual little cakes in their own cake moulds. I have a batch of those.

But they say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And despite how it looks, the sample that I tried tasted 100 times better than the previous one. I seem to have the quantities correct this time and used the correct oil.

So plan B it will be next time, with this same mix, and see where we go from there.

And the proof of the pudding about my sleeping is also in the eating because this morning I was up and about (well, sort-of-ish anyway) before the third alarm, and that’s despite not being in bed until well after 01:00.

After the medication, I turned my attention to what went on last night while I was asleep. I remember waking up saying that I received a notice to quit the defensive wall as I was being moved out of my position because some attacking football team wanted to install a defensive wall. However I couldn’t understand what this was to do with as I don’t recall anything at all. There was some vague chat about baking and so on and me being in a similar situation to which I am now but that’s about it. I don’t know where this footballing thing came from.

And the more that I look at it, the less I understand about what I was actually discussing during the night. But that’s the one thing about these little rambles. Very often they make no sense whatsoever and it’s always interesting to try to work out what (if anything) was going on in my head.

While I was at it, I transcribed the mountain of arrears that had built up over the last few days. I’ll try to put those on line sometime this week too.

And then the cookery session which took up almost all the rest of the morning and I didn’t even have my mid-morning break which was a shame. The colza oil was much better and lighter than the olive oil and I used less cocoa because mine is too sweet. As well as that, I put a few handfuls of desiccated coconut in there too – I’m a big fan of coconut as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

Anyway, we’ll have a formal tasting session tomorrow when I come back from the shops, and I’m sure that I won’t be disappointed.

After lunch I’ve been working on the arrears of the journey to Central Europe and at least I made some progress so I can’t complain too much.

fishing boat english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut then of course it was time to go out for my afternoon walk. And several neighbours of mine were there today too and I couldn’t really get away from them for quite a while.

But eventually I managed to extricate myself and go over to the wall to look out across the sea. And there was a fishing boat coming back into port. It’s that time of day again, obviously.

Apart from my neighbours, there weren’t all that many other people out there. I walked on to the headland and then seeing as there was no-one else about I ran down along the path on top of the cliffs overlooking the port.

fishing boats coming into port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was nothing new happening in the chantier navale. Still the same two boats and that was that.

And so I turned my attention to what was going on down at the Fish Processing Plant. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when they dredged the harbour a few years ago they dredged a little channel up by the wharf at the fish processing plant so that the smaller craft can come into port even when the tide is quite low.

And sure enough, down there right now it must just be the right moment because there’s a queue of them. They have been waiting outside the harbour but as I watched, they started up and headed in to unload their catches.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s another visitor in port right now too and if you can peer through the gloom (because it was dark, overcast and misty) you can see Thora down there at the quayside underneath the loading crane.

She must have nipped in on the previous tide and hadn’t quite made it out again. But what I find intriguing is that if you compare this photo with all of the others that I’ve taken of her, you’ll find that she’s turned round.

Both she and her friend Normandy Trader tied up port-on and I’ve never seen them do any other in that loading bay, until today. But why it’s unusual with Thora is that she has her superstructure offset to one side – the starboard side – so moored as she is, they have to load and unload over the superstructure.

And that will be rather unfortunate if the load slips in the cradle as it’s up in the air.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving admired Thora for a while I turned tail and headed for home.

When I’d set out, the roofers were still out there on the roof so I’d made up my mind to photograph them. But in the time that it had taken me to do my lap around the headland they’d all cleared off and gone home. And as for me, I cleared off home too and made a nice hot coffee.

This evening I had my usual hour on the guitars. On the bass I just had a play around and a sing-along. On the acoustic I tried to play a lead solo to “Like a Hurricane”. That might sound adventurous but at the moment all I’m doing is, I suppose to pluck the strings individually while I’m holding down the chords.

Still, it’s progress from a while ago.

Tea was taco rolls and more apple pie, which really is delicious, I have to say. In fact it really was a good tea tonight.

trawler place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving had a little chat with my friend who is now well on the road to recovery I went out for my evening runs. And I was the only person out there tonight which is no surprise because it was raining.

And on my own I might have been on land, but there was some kind of activity out at sea. When I finished the first leg of my run I stopped at the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord and looked out to sea where I could see what looked to be a fishing vessel on its way around the headland towards port.

It’s not really possible to take much of a distance photo with a f1.8 50mm lens so it’s not come out with very much and I had to have three or four goes to get that one.

christmas lights place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there I ran on down the Rue du Nord towards the footpath underneath the walls, but ended up having to go back and retrace my steps.

As I’d gone past one of the little alleys I’d glanced down and seen that at last they’ve illuminated the Christmas lights in the Place Cambernon. It makes the place look really pretty, but it’s a shame that with the lockdown there was no-one else but me there to see it.

Back on the footpath I ran all the way down to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch, but there was nothing going on there as you might expect.

christmas lights rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut with the Christmas lights being illuminated in the Place Cambernon, it’s odds-on that they will be illuminated elsewhere too.

Like down in the Rue Paul Poirier, for example. And I was right too. They’d switched them on too and from up here on th path just underneath the walls there’s a good view all the way down the street. One of these days I’m going to have to go for a good walk all around the town with the camera late at night and see what’s going on.

But that’s not going to be any time soon. With the lockdown we aren’t allowed to stray too far from home except for shopping and that isn’t done after dark of course. So we’ll have to see.

trawlers port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route took me across the Square Maurice Marland where I had a good run, and then up the ramp and through the gate at the far end up onto the walls.

And the fishing boat that we saw earlier? She’s now just about coming into port and at the same time there was another one making ready to leave, so we were treated to yet another nautical danse macabre as they waltzed around each other trying to avoid a tragedy.

So with no collisions or shipwrecks and nothing else to provide some entertainment this evening, I wandered off around the walls on my way home.

christmas lights place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot before I’d had another look at the lights in the Place Cambernon.

By now they were blue so they must have some kind of time controller there. It’ll brighten up the place and make it look very Christmassy, but I wish that they would refresh the decorations instead of using the same ones every year. Why can’t they swap with neighbouring towns? That’s what I want to know.

So I finished my walk and ran on the final leg home to write up my notes and then go to bed.

Shopping tomorrow so I need to be on form. After all there’s plenty to do and not enough time. But at least it was a better day today. Apart from the cake of course.

Saturday 14th November 2020 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… the way things have been recently, I actually managed to beat the third alarm this morning.

Well, sort-of anyway. I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my feet on the floor waiting for the world to stop spinning round before I stood up.

Mind you,with not having gone to bed until almost 01:00 this morning I did realise that it was going to be a very long day.

There was a sale onlast night and there were one or two things that I wanted so after I’d finished writing my notes I went to make my purchases.

Only to find that Paypal now has this weird system like my French bank does, that in order to make a purchase they will send a numerical code to your phone number for you to enter into a box on the vendor’s website. It’s a system that has never troubled me previously with Paypal so I’ve never had occasion to use it. So when I didn’t receive the text message I found to my dismay that it had been sent to my old number in Virlet which has of course been out of commission for well over 4 years.

Now you can change your ‘phone number, but only if you log in. And to log in, you need the four-figure number that they send to your phone. Which is still in the Auvergne.

The next step is to send Paypal a message. But to do that you need to log into your account, for which you need the four-figure number.

There is of course the option to telephone them, for which you don’t need to log in. But you can only call them between 09:00 and 19:30 Mondays to Fridays.

In the end, having exhausted ever other avenue, I created a new Paypal account, which was not easy, and thanked my stars that there was a one-hour time difference between here and the UK and for having an on-line access to my bank statements.

It just goes to prove a point doesn’t it? If something is going to go wrong, it’s going to go wrong with me.

With what little sleep I had, I still found time to wander off.I was in Nantwich last night. I had a little house there in Welsh Row that used to be an old shop at one time. I had all kinds of various friends and acquaintances. Two of them were people like Walter Billington used to be. They had been to visit me and I’d shown them out but I’d suddenly discovered them back in my house again searching for something. I went to grab them both but one got away. The other one I managed to grab hold of him and got him in an arm lock and stuck his head under a cold tap to cool him down, and phoned the police. It was a sergeant who knew me so I explained exactly what had gone on and where I was. He asked me “are you drowning someone?” I replied “yes”. In the end a black policewoman turned up outside in a Ford Anglia panda car so I dragged this guy downstairs, not caring if he was bumping along the floor or anything, let her in and told her the story. She made him sit in a corner while we went through the kind of things that he might have been looking at.

After the meds and transcribing the dictaphone notes I found some time to do some work on the outstanding blog entries, which makes a change. And then I went for a shower. At least my weight has stabilised – albeit at 100 grammes over one of my target weights. It’s not gone up any but it hasn’t gone down either.

And then I set off for the shops, in a howling gale. And I bumped into the itinerant who is still sleeping rough. I urged him to go to the Mairie to seek help, but he says that he will be OK. I’m not too sure about that but I’ve learnt from bitter experience, as I’m sure you have too, that trying to persuade people to do things, even if you think that it’s in their best interests, quite often rebounds.

replacing shop front rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that when we were on our way to the shops the other day we saw some workmen busily starting to rip out the front of the cafe on the corner in the Rue Paul Poirier.

In just two days, they seem to have really gone to town with it, for not only have they completely ripped it out, they’ve erected a temporary facade around it to protect the building while they set about installing a new shop front.

It would be nice to think that they would replace it with something nice and aesthetically pleasing rather than something that is simply utilitarian. We can always live in hope, I suppose. It’s better than dying in despair.

replacing shop front rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallTalking of utilitarian, this is what I was talking about.

Regular readers of this rubbish will call that we saw a similar temporary structure across the front of a shop in the Rue Couraye when we were out picking up our rail tickets the other day. That’s all been swept away and we’ve been left with this.

But whatever you might say about “utilitarian”, it’s a vast improvement on the cheap and dated 1960s aluminium shop front that was here before.

However there’s a singular lack of imagination around here because there have been three or four new shop fronts in the town since I’ve been living here and they all look like this. Here’s hoping that the one they are doing in the Rue Paul Poirier will be a little more individual.

No figs at the fruit and veg shop, La Halle Gourmande, and none at the Health Shop, La Vie Claire either. It’s the end of the season. So I asked the guy there what I should use in my kefir instead of figs and he gave me a bizarre look and said “dried figs” – the look being the kind of look that means “why aren’t you using dried figs to start with?”.

At LIDL they had a packet of dried figs and they had tons of other stuff too. But I was limited by what I could carry away. It’s a long walk home and the final climb is long and steep. I wish that they would hurry up and fix Caliburn.

Back here I put away the frozen food and one or two other things, made myself a hot chocolate and grabbed a slice of my banana bread, and then came in here to do some work. I was doing all right too up to a certain point, and then the next thing that I remember was that it was 13:45. 90 minutes I’d been out for, I reckon.

It took me a while to come round to my senses and then I ended up with a very late lunch.

That confused all of my timing and I was running well behind after that.

rainstorm english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on in the afternoon I took myself off for a walk around the headland in the gale force wind that was blowing out there.

Although it was dry at the moment, there was plenty of rain about and the strong winds were blowing it all about at a ridiculous speed. The clouds were so thick and heavy that we were having some really unusual lighting effects in the sky like this one across the bay over the Brittany coast.

And with the wind, everything was changing so rapidly too. I’d go to take a photo of a particularly impressive scene and by the time that the camera had focused it had changed considerably.

different colours tidal settlement baie de mont st michel pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnoher thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we mentioned the other day is the phenomenon of different colours in the sea – this layering effect that we see every now and again.

There was another beautiful example this afternoon in the sea just off the Pointe du Roc. I’d struggled around the headland in the wind but when I saw this I considered it to be worth the effort.

We’ve seen plenty of photos of this point when the tide has been out and there’s nothing on what is at the moment the sea bed to cause this dramatic change in colouring. It’s not even the effect of the clouds obscuring the sun either because you can see what the weather is like.

victor hugo spirit of conrad aztec lady port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith there being no-one about I had a little run down to the viewpoint overlooking the port and then had a slow walk the rest of the way home.

It didn’t turn out to be all that slow though because the rain that had been loitering around just offshore came in and got me and I ended up having to run for it. Not before I’d taken a nice photo of the harbour with the two Channel Islands ferries, Victor Hugo and Granville down there along with Spirit of Conrad and Aztec Lady.

The harbour gates can’t have long opened because we can see the trail of sediment flowing into the harbour from outside. It’s quite a dramatic contrast when you see it in this context.

Back here I played with a few photos, chatted on the internet with Rosemary and then it was time for the football. TNS v Barry Town.

And regrettably, Apart from the first 5 minutes, Barry didn’t start to play until there was 15 minutes to go by which they were already 2-0 down. They pulled back a goal pretty quickly but it was too little far too late.

One thing that I noticed though was that the Barry defenders were giving the attackers of TNS far too much time and space instead of closing them down. With the space that TNS was being gifteg, it’s no surprise that they were running the defence ragged and they really ought to have had a couple more, including what I considered to be a stonewall penalty.

But I really do wonder what Kayne McLaggon had to do to be awarded a free kick in his favour. The TNS central defenders were kicking lumps out of him and when he fell over the outstretched leg of a defender (no penalty, and quite right too) he was booked for diving, which was probably the most extraordinary decision that I noticed.

Tea at half time was out of a tin, followed by another slice of defrosted apple pie.

rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd then I went out walkies on my evening circuit.

As it happens, I didn’t go far. It was much later than usual, there’s a curfew too and the gale is still howling away like mad but I needed the exercise. The Rue du Nord was looking quite pretty in the streetlights and as that’s one of the bits that I run, I set off down there, to the surprise of a couple of small dogs and their owners.

At least it’s in the shelter out of the wind so that it didn’t bother me too much. I could run down there quite comfortably until I reach the incline, which brings me to a shuddering halt.

place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s an alleyway that cuts through there and leads to the Place Cambernon so I nipped down there instead of going all the way around the walls.

And it looks as if the Christmas decorations fairy has paid here a visit too. They might not be illuminated yet but they have certainly been installed. This is looking quite good, I reckon.

But the Place Cambernon isn’t. The bar La Rafale and the restaurant La Contremarche are closed. The place is like a ghost town. But then again, it would be even more of a ghost town if everyone caught the virus and died. I cleared off too, back home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow is a day of rest but I have carrots to freeze, bread to bake and pizza dough to make. My work is never completed, is it?

Monday 28th September 2020 – JUST FOR A …

… change I had a good day today.

It started quite well too – long out of bed before the third alarm went off.

There was nothing on the dictaphone either. But although you might think that this meant a decent night’s sleep, in fact I was tossing and turning for much of the night and didn’t really have a good deal of sleep.

Nevertheless, fighting-fit (that is – fighting for breath and fit to drop), I attacked the radio programme for this week. And by the time I knocked off for tea, I’d finished it as far as the last track and it won’t take me very long (they are famous last words, aren’t they?) tomorrow afternoon.

Not tomorrow though, because of course I have my Welsh lesson at lunchtime and I need to revise.

What else I did today was to strip out the toilet and the bathroom and clean them to within an inch of their life – the first time since I don’t know when. And it went so much better once I’d emptied the vacuum cleaner of all of the rubbish in there.

light aeroplane pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual break to go for my walk in the afternoon.

We had an aeroplane fly overhead too, but it was too far out for me to read its serial number. However, looking at the flights that came into Granville this afternoon and a closer examination of the image, it could well be F-GBAI.

She’s a Robin DR-400-140B Major, serial 1289. That’s a model that went into production in 1972 and is still being made. She has a 160hp Lycoming O-320-D2A engine.

trawlers english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNot too many people out there walking about today either. The wind had dropped to just “strong” but it was overcast and cloudy, and pretty cold too.

Out at sea though, there were a few things going on. There were several fishing boats out there that were heading into port now that the harbour gates are open.

The sea has calmed down considerably which makes it a lot safer for them to go out. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when we were in the harbour on Saturday evening the place was packed with boats that couldn’t get out to sea because of the weather.

man in dinghy port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHowever, with the easing of the weather, everyone seems to be heading out to sea right now.

In the tidal harbour, once the water comes in, the crew of the boats in there have to make their way out by all kinds of precarious means, whatever is available. Just like this guy standing up in his little dinghy paddling out to his yacht.

It’s quite incredible really that this is the same way that a couple of thousand years ago, people would be going out in boats like this, coracles made of branches and the like. Nothing changes very much, except the materials that they use.

st malo fishing boat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was another fishing boat heading out to sea, and this one is quite interesting.

If you look closely at the registration number of the boat, it begins with SM. Here in Granville, they all begin with CH – indicating that they are registered in Cherbourg.

This one here that begins with SM – I saw that registration prefix on boats that we encountered down the Brittany coast and that implies in my mind that the registration office for that part of the world across the bay from here is in St Malo.

Back here, I finished off the radio programme as much as I could, without the final track, and then went for tea. A slice of pie out of the freezer with potatoes, veg and gravy. Totally delicious.

The last of the rice pudding disappeared too, and tomorrow I can start on the strawberry flan.

beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on, I went out for my evening walk.

The wind had dropped considerably by now but even so there weren’t too many people out there. There was no-one taking a walk along the promenade at the Plat Gousset.

My run along the footpath under the walls was quite pleasant. I have been feeling a little stiff for the last few days but it all seems to have eased a little this evening

On the way down, I bumped into a neighbour – the captain of the Spirit of Conrad. He’d been to La Rafale with his mates, so we exchanged pleasantries.

houses in rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallWith nothing going on down in the Place Marechal Foch, I ran on round and across the Square Maurice Marland. No wind to hold me up tonight.

Nothing much going on in town either but the street lights illuminating the big houses in the Rue Lecampion looked quite impressive this evening. I stood and admired the view for a few minutes and then I headed off.

Having seen Minette, the old black cat, the other day, I was hoping that I’d see her again but no luck. That must have been a one-off.

rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallAs I walked into the Place Cambernon I looked down the street, the Rue Cambernon, to see what was happening there. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw a “police incident” there the other day.

Nothing at all going on tonight, but the creperie restaurant down there was open and illuminated. It looked really nice tonight.

Back here I wrote up my notes and as there was not much to say about today I finished pretty early. I’m going to have an early night tonight ready for my Welsh course tomorrow. I need to be on form.

Thursday 10th September 2020 – IT’S ALWAYS INTERESTING …

traffic lights porte st jean granville manche normandy france eric hall… the things that I see when I’m out and about on my travels around the town.

And it’s not as if I have to go all that far from home to find it either. I hadn’t gone 20 yards otside my front door this morning before I was confronted by a set of traffic lights.

“Road works going on in the old Medieval walled city” I mused to myself. I shall have to go for a look round later on to see what is happening.

roadworks rue notre dame pizza van place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd sure enough, while I was on my travels later this evening, I did come across what was causing the issues.

The road has been dug up on the corner of the Place Cambernon and the Rue Notre Dame. And judging by the names written on the “no parking” signs, it seems to be the Water company whose turn it is right now to dig up the streets.

It’s Thursday night as well, and the Pizza van is there tonight. And with the tables of the bar La Rafale being out in the square and its reserve place prohibited by the road works, it’s had to perch itself precariously on the corner.

Talking of perching oneself precariously on the corner, when the third alarm went off this morning I was perched precariously on the corner of the bed with my feet on the floor.

Not exactly awake but it still counts as being up and out of bed.

What was surprising about this was I’d had such a bad night. At one stage I thought that I would never ever drop off to sleep. There isn’t really much point in going to bed early if you can’t sleep.

When I finally got off to sleep last night I met another strange girl. She was from Venn which wasn’t too far from Eching (which it isn’t, but let’s not go allowing facts to get in the way of a good nocturnal ramble). There was this weird girls’ school and they were teaching these children all this dance, everything like that and poetry recital, that kind of thing. They had a kind of dancing competition. I wanted to see them about something but it was “oh no we can’t interrupt these proceedings now. It’s far too important. You’ll have to come back later”. Off they all went and I went back. All of these girls were in school uniform, grey with grey hats, that kind of thing, a very posh private school, that type of place. They all had taken some strange kind of wooden furniture, shelf kind of thing with two sides like blackboards that you could write on them. They had all taken these with them but there was one left in the garden. I mentioned it to the headmistress. She said “you’ll have to take that. It looks like one of the girls has forgotten it”. “What do you mean ‘I have to take it’?”. She said “you have to take it”. I asked “what do I do with it?”. She replied “you have to learn the ritual and at the appointed time tonight you’ll have to perform the ritual”. I thought to myself “what the hell am I going to be involved in now?”. She insisted that it was terribly important that I did this, so I ended up taking it home with me and stuck it in a corner when I returned home. I had to be very careful about who came to my house. We were listing stuff to sell and I can’t remember who was helping me now, maybe my brother I dunno. We’d listed some stuff to sell and we’d sold it and now we were listing some free stuff. He was listing some stuff that I thought was much more important to sell – we could get a good price for this – but no, he insisted on it being free. There was one thing that he insisted that people make an appointment to come round to pick it up. I said “that’s crazy, tying me to the house and I don’t want to be tied to the house. I want to get rid of these things as and when!”. We had a dispute about that and in the end we agreed that people would just have to ring up and say when they were coming to pick it up, a kind of compromise. After we’d done that, I said “hang on – I have something else to show you”. There was a girl in my house at this time – it might have been Pollux but I’m not too sure about this. I went and brought down this furniture thing and assembled it. I asked this girl ” how’s your Latin?”. She said “I come from Venn, it’s Venn that I speak, that’s near Eching in Germany, like Germany and Austria”. I replied “you’ll get on really well with Hans”. “Yes” she said, “that’s right. From Eching”. I showed them this and explained about this ritual that I had to do. One thing that I had forgotten was that during this competition I had 16 dances to learn. There had been a musician playing all of the dances and for a minute I’d been round with him doing something, trying to work out what the music was for these dances. It was another hot and sweaty night when I awoke and it took me hours to go back off to sleep as well.
Somewhat later I was with a girl and my father was around somewhere. I’d had to go out in a car and there had been some kind of confusion over which one I was to drive. It was suggested that i would take my father’s Zephyr 6 – the MkIV, not the MkIII which was his famous one 3816 TD. I went to try to organise something about all of this and I ended up with a pocket of keys. I had to start swapping them over. Then I noticed – I had to get up from my table at this bar place – and on the way back I noticed this key on the floor. It was the one that I needed to start the car. I showed it to the girl I was with and said “phew! That’s lucky!”. She asked what it was so I told her that it was the key to the car. My father then went to move all of his cars away. he took his mkIII Zephyr and drive it home and came back with the MkIV. There was still a bit of confusion about how we were going to go somewhere. I had a pocket full of rubbish and wondered how I was going to fit this key in. Then I couldn’t find the key and it was hidden in all this rubbish in my pocket. There was the question again about what car I was going in and we agreed that it was my father’s. I asked “what’s going to be in it?”. They replied “just his coat and one or two other little things”. I wanted to ask my father a couple of questions about his cars. I remember the two Ford E83W vans that we had – KLG 93 and XVT 772 – and I’m sure that there was one before them that had become stuck in my head, a 1937 van, and I wanted to know what we had had before that, and what he would consider to be his typical car if someone had to connect him with one particular car, which one would it be? I thought that it was important that he would tell me because of course he wouldn’t last for ever and if I didn’t start asking these questions soon I would never know.

But I’m not too sure why it is that Pollux has suddenly started making a series of appearances in my nocturnal rambles. Where has Castor got to?

There was some stuff on the dicaphone from yesterday too, so I transcribed that and ADDED IT TO THE ENTRY FOR YESTERDAY.

As well as having a shower this morning, I also cut my hair. It’s been a while since I’ve cut it and it was becoming a little straggly.

mobile crane rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd then I went out to the shops.

We’ve seen the traffic lights around the corner but that was far from being the only excitement. There’s a huge mobile crane down there in the Rue Lecampion lifting a load of something or other over the roofs of the houses into the rear behind the Rue des Corsaires.

That was well worth a photo of course, and when I’m down there I shall make further enquiries to see what they are up to.

crane rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd sure enough, when I was down there I could see that there’s quite a major operation going on.

It’s difficult to say what they are doing but there was this kind of glazed roof – at least, it would be glazed had there been any glass in it but I imagine there soon will be – that they are presumably going to lift up and over and onto whatever it is that they are doing.

My first stop today was the railway station.

My Old Fogey’s railcard expired a few weeks ago and with me planning to go to Belgium for my hospital appointment at Castle Anthrax, I need it updated.

That was dealt with without any particular problem and then I went off to LIDL. There was nothing much there that attracted my attention although with fruit being so cheap right now (especially grapes, of course) I ended up with a huge pile of fruit.

archaeological dig square potel granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I went past the Square Potel.

There’s an archaeological dig going on around there right now and we’ve seen the digger in the grounds of the museum. Today though, they were digging a trench in the square and there was an archaeologist examining some artefacts.

Having watched them for a short while I came on home, where I … errr … crashed out on the chair until lunchtime. That’s enough to make me feel really miserable.

After lunch I spent a pleasant hour or so working on the photos from Brittany at the end of June when we went off on the Spirit of Conrad.

joly france english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd the sailing – or, at least, nautical – theme continued while I was out on my afternoon walk.

There were crowds of people out there enjoying the pleasant weather and looking out to sea as something rather large was moving about heading towards us. These days I can recognise the silhouette at quite some distance without needing to crop and enlarge it.

And it is as I expected. Joly France is on her way back with the afternoon ferry from the Ile de Chausey. She seems to be quite busy right now despite the end of the holiday season.

fishing from speedboat pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were plenty of other boats out there too, as you could see in the previous photo.

There are several boats too much closer to home. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we seem to be in the middle of the rod-and-line fishing season. We have another small boat out there today with their rods out trying for a bite.

Here’s hoping that they will have more luck than anyone else who I have seen out there. Three and a half years have I been here and not a single bite have I seen

sailing school baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnyway i pushed on along the path and round the headland to the path on the south side.

One of the things that I regret not doing while I’ve been living here is to make the most of the opportunities that the local sailing school can offer. I would have thought that with the season being over their activities would have ceased but there seems to be another class out there today.

Not having gone down there to make enquiries is an opportunity that I have let slip and I hope that I’ll have another opportunity to put that right.

speedboat cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen we saw the photo of Joly France just now, we saw another boat coming along behind it.

And as I carried on with my walk along the path this rather large pleasure boat came around the headland towards the port de plaisance and I reckon that this is the “other” boat from the previous photo.

Having a good look at this, it’s clear that there is plenty of money around here, what with one thing and another. Not around me though. It seems to have passed me by a long time ago.

Back here I did some Welsh revision and then had my hour on the guitars.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallTea tonight was a stuffed pepper with rice, followed by apple pie. And then I went out for my evening walk.

There was a beautiful sunset tonight, although maybe I should say that the sun has long-since set. It was very reminiscent of some of the very late nights that I have seen in the High Arctic and makes me all nostalgic.

Before much longer, I’m going to have to make another return out there, even if it’s just to sit on the shore of the North West Passage and admire the sky.

My route carried on with a run down along the footpath, a walk around the corner to gather my breath and then another run across the Square Maurice Marland.

minette black cat rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that for a couple of years I had a regular encounter with an old black cat called Minette

Ever since the turn of the year I only recall meeting her once and the feeling seemed to be that she had gone off across the rainbow bridge. However, much to my delight, she was there again tonight sitting on her windowsill waiting for her stroke.

That cheered me up no end.

Nothing much else going on, apart from the roadworks that we have seen, so instead I came home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow I have a full day at home in which I can catch up with some arrears. I also need to book my voyage to Leuven for my visit to Castle Anthrax and so that will be a priority too.

But sleep is the first thing to do. And who will come with me on a travel tonight?

Tuesday 8th September 2020 – THIS EVENING …

… I have seen something that has caused me a great deal of disquiet.

There was an ambulance and police car in the rue Cambernon here and about half a dozen people, ambulancemen and police, were struggling with a hysterical adolescent girl to put her into the ambulance.

There was no clue as to what had caused the incident, but her hysteria was way beyond the norm and quite suggestive of some kind of stupefiant-ignited issue although of course from the distance at which I was observing the affair and the fact that it was in the dark, there was nothing other than the audible indication to promote this idea.

But whatever it was, my hat goes off to the police and ambulancemen. It was a very stressful event, quite a battle to put her inside and strap her in, and they showed far more patience and discipline than I ever would have done.

It goes without saying that it’s not the kind of incident that one photographs, but it’s still bad news when the affairs of the banlieux of Paris come to, quite literally, our own doorstep.

As for me, much to my and everyone else’s surprise, I was out of bed before the third alarm went off. At least – I was sitting on the edge of the bed trying to summon up the courage to take some kind of drastic action, like moving.

Once I’d gathered my wits, I had a listen to the dictaphone.

I was on a galleon last night, one of these Spanish galleon things with crowds of people on it, a big tourist attraction. I was there with a certaib lady of my acquaintance. Something happened, me being careless I think, and she ended up with a sea-full of face – or, more likely, a face full of sea. I said that I was sorry but she started to whine on and on and on in this silly voice that she had, mimicking what I was saying so on that point I’d had enough so I just turned round and walked away. She changed her tune afterwards, apologised and asked me to come back but I’d really had enough so I just walked off. There was someone climbing up a ladder into the rigging of this ship. He was carrying a tray with about 10 different drinks on it. I thought that that was adventurous. I wouldn’t even do that with two. I was wandering around this ship, trying to find my way around and try my best to totally ignore her while she was still having one of these tantrum display things. There were some people sitting down – I was wondering whether to go to sit with them but I thought “no. I really want to be somewhere quite a way from this end of the ship somewhere on my own”.
Somewhat later we were having a look at some photos last night about all of the abandoned properties around Crewe and Nantwich, places like the old Co-op brewery and so on, a lot of them with photos of abandoned cars on them. There were several in Nantwich, three of them being churches close together in Hospital Street and their congregations transferred to the main parish church there. These churches, one of which was called St Werburgh’s, were all very eerie but very magnificent, Victorian Gothic-type but in terrible states of disrepair and decay. Even though I don’t remember them as a kid (because they weren’t there) we were having a good prowl around these places last night in this dream. It was really quite interesting. On one occasion we ended up being at a church service. They came along and asked for a collection. The girl I was with said she didn’t have anything and I just had a few copper coins that I gave them. later, we were on a railway station watching the trains come in. We moved away but a train had pulled in so I prepared my camera to take a photo. As it pulled out another one, a magnificent really big powerful locomotive pulled out of this station hauling an express train so I went to take a photo of them with the NIKON 1 J5 as it pulled out of the station but it wouldn’t work at first. I had to press the shutter a couple of times for it to work. While I was doing this there was some woman standing nearby. She was excited because she could see the main railway station from here. I thought that she meant the one at Manchester which was quite some way away and you can’t see with the naked eye, but bathed in fog anyway. But she said “no, it’s Denton station! Look over there! So I looked over there but I couldn’t see it at all with my naked eye.

Having dealt with all of that, I finally got round to having a look at Sunday’s effort. And after a good deal of listening, of thought and of transcription I managed to sort something out and you can READ IT HERE.

Surprisingly, even though I had the strongest impression that Pollux was one of the people with me, there was no mention whatever of her name at all, so I’ve no idea where this impression comes from. Mind you, there are several minutes missing here and there, either because

  1. I didn’t dictate it (there seems to be a hole in the middle of the story somehow).
  2. I didn’t transcribe it because I couldn’t decipher it (there was some of that too)
  3. I didn’t type it out because there was a significant part of the voyage that would put you off your tea. And there seems to have been quite a bit of that just recently. I’ve been having some really disturbed – and disturbing – nights just recently.

As I was finishing everything, which had taken me long enough, someone with whom I wanted a chat appeared on the internet. We ended up having a lengthy chat and that was, basically, the morning finished.

After lunch I set about the radio programme. All of the tracks have been paired and combined and the text is written. Not dictated though because I ran out of time.

There had been a few interruptions during the afternoon.

speedboat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallFirst of all, there was the afternoon walk in the beautiful pleasant if not slightly windy afternoon.

There wasn’t all that much activity out there at sea this afternoon. Whatever that big ship was yesterday, that’s cleared off and there was only a speeedboat roaring past out at sea.

They are clearly going far too fast for fishing and I can’t think of any other good reason why they would be out there this afternoon. It’s not as if there’s anywhere to go in that direction.

tractors beach breville sur mer granville manche normandy france eric hallIn theory I suppose that they might be heading towards shore because there is something exciting going on over there on the beach by the looks of things.

We saw the other day that the bouchot harvesters were out there on the mussels beds at Donville-les-Bains. Over there on the beach bear Breville-sur-Mer they seem to be gathering again.

They are quite possibly waiting for the tide to go out so that they can access the mussels beds over there too. I doubt that the cabin cruiser there has any involvement in the activity.

fishing pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThey are probably local fishermen, because there have been quite a few of those out there over the last week or 10 days. There are plenty of mooring buoys and pot markers out there right now.

And plenty of other fishermen too. While I was walking along the path on the north side of the promontory a boat came around the headland. They are clearly intent on fishing as they have rods and fishing nets clearly on display.

It beats me why, because I have yet to see anyone out there ever catch anything.

painting trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route arounf the headland took me past the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale.

And there was plenty of activity in there once again. The usual seven boats of course – nothing has changed that much. But the fishing boat from which they had been stripping the paint the other day, that’s now in the process of being resprayed.

Give it a week or two and we may well find that boat back in the water. And one or two others because there was a considerable amount of work being carried on on the other boats too.

Back here, another interruption was to deal with the question of Strider’s insurance. That expires in a few days and needs to be paid, even though I won’t probably have the pleasure of going over to Canada to drive him this year.

So this involved several e-mails, a ‘phone call to Canada, a complicated series of transactions with the bank and then a discussion on the internet with Rachel.

That took much longer than I expected and meant that my third interruption, my session on the guitar, was somewhat curtailed.

Tea was my burger on a bap with potatoes and vegetables, followed by a slice of my delicious apple pie and soya dessert.

yacht sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I went out for my evening walk it wasn’t quite dark outside.

In the distance out in the English Channel there was a yacht looking as if it was heading towards port. Of course it was far too far out for me to be able to identify it.

There were also plenty of other lights out to sea on the horizon. It wasn’t possible to say anything whatever about those.

Instead, I carried on and ran all the way along the footpath underneath the medieval walls. And, having recvered my breath again I ran across the Square Maurice Marland

trawler docking in port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDuring my walk across the Place Cambernon I observed the incident that I related earlier and by the time that I moved on, it was now quite dark.

We’ve seen a couple of fishing boats here and there just recently – not as many as we saw three or four months ago. However there was one coming into port and performing a U-turn to tie up alongside the fish processing plant, presumably to unload its catch.

From there I walked down to the road and then ran all the way home to write up my notes.

And having done that, I’m now ready for bed. A nice early night, finish off the radio programme (which might take all day) and then do some tidying up

There is still plenty of work to be done and I’m not really catching up with very much at all. That needs to be changed, and rapidly too.

Thursday 16th July 2020 – TODAY WAS …

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… not much better than the last couple of days. In fact in some respects it was worse because I missed the third alarm yet again.

So while you admire the photos of tonigh’s sunset, I’ll tell you that I only missed the alarm by 5 or so minutes, but a miss is as good as a mile, as we all know. What didn’t help was that all through the night I was awoken by some wicked attacks of cramp that really had me in pain. I could have done without those, right enough.

After the medication I checked the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallYes I’m not too sure about very much of last night’s dream at all except that I was in Belgium and I’d been out somewhere. I’d ended up on the frontier with France right on the point of a headland by the sea. There was a river that divided the two countries and you could see everything that was happening in France and I took a few photos. Then I went back to tell everyone where I’s been but people weren’t all that concerned or interested in what I was doing.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallA little later on I was playing football, playing central defence. I’d gone into a kind of forward attacking role to play the ball but I’d made a bit of a mess of it and the ball had got behind me with three attackers so I was running back after it but I just blew up – ran out of steam completely and could hardly move while I was chasing the ball and chasing these players
After another attack of cramp I went back to sleep and found myself on the playing field at the back of where we used to live in Shavington. There was the upper football pitch and the lower football pitch and I was on the upper one. everyone else was on the lower one and no-one was coming along to play with me so in the end I went down to join the others. But there were many more than 11-a-side there so I reckoned that one team ought to wear chasubles (I’m dreaming in French again) so that we would know who is on which team.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving disposed of all of that I turned my attention to the photos from July 2019. Another 50 or so bit the dust today which is good news, although I haven’t advanced very far. Right now we are in a fleet of zodiacs zooming around Kangerluluk Fjord on the east coast of Greenland. At this rate I’m never going to get to the North-West Passage, never mind New Brunswick.

It was shopping today too so I had a shower and a weigh-in. And my weight is still under my first target weight which is good news, I suppose.

And nice and clean, I changed the bedding and did a machine-load of washing. It’s all clean and nice-smelling right now which is good. I like the conditioner that I bought the other week.

film crew foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallSo off into town I set, having a quick chat with a neighbour as I left.

But I didn’t get very far. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there’s a film being made here just now. The seem to have transformed the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs into some kind of Government office and it was all floodlit this morning.

They must be filming something right at this moment, I reckon. And for that reason we are not allowed to approach the site.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route into town continued. And as I looked over the wall here I could see that down in the harbour “Old Faithful” is nack.

Chausiais must have moved pretty smartly this morning from the mooring underneath the crane because Normandy Traders, one of the little freighters from Jersey, is now in port.

The gates havent long been open so I imagine she sneaked in on the morning tide to drop off a load of shellfish from the Jersey Seafood Co-operative and pick up a load of material.

moving house place godal granville  manche normandy france eric hallOn I pushed to the Rampe du Monte Regret where I pictured a bizarre kind of house removal.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in Brussels we had portable lifts for all of this, but here apparently not. They were hauling up the stuff by hand with a couple of ropes.

That must have been hard work but it’s not a new experience for me. When I was younger I did all kinds of furniture removals like this, but that was in the days before Health and Safety regulations were in force.

Making my way into town, I called at the Post Office and sent off my letter – the one that I had written yesterday. Then I walked on to LIDL.

It beats me really why I went because I didn’t want to buy very much at all – and for a good reason too as regular readers of this rubbish will find out in a couple of days.

weedkillling with hot water rue de la houle granville manche normandy france eric hallIn the end, the grand total of €6:12 or something like that was what I spent.

On the way back down the Rue de la House I encountered this trange phenomenon – some people spraying the streets. That intrigued me greatly so I went to make further enquiries.

On the side of their little vehicle was a little sticker “weedkiller with boiling water”. So that’s what they are doing them. Pouring boiling water on the weeds.

How effective is that? I asked myself. It’s better for the environment than Agent Orange, that’s for sure. But does it really work that well?

On the way back I called at the vegetable shop and bought two (yes, two) carrots. For tea tonight and tomorrow. I won’t be needing any more for a while after that.

loading normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd so I headed on home up the Rue des Juifs.

Normandy Trader was still there being worked on. They were loading her up quite rapidly so it looks as if they are pushing to have her out of the harbour and on her way as soon as the gates open this afternoon

Back here I carried on with the photos for a while and then I had something else to do. There are a couple of cunning plans running round my head right now, one or two of which I have put in motion already.

One of the people approached actually replied (and another one did later this evening too) so I decided to push my luck and see if fortune would carry me onwards. That meant replying to the mail with a certain amount of jen ne sais quoi and seeing where we go with this.

But it’s not for right now, although it makes sense to push along while it’s fresh in people’s minds.

After lunch I started on my two courses. Firstly the song-writing course. And by the time that I knocked off I’d done the first week.
It didn’t teach me anything new but that’s not a problem. There is plenty of time and I have great hopes for this.

joly france baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter I’d finished I went for my afternoon walk around the walls.

The tourist season is well under way as we can imagine right now. Joly France is keeping quite busy, taking day-trippers on a couple of laps around the bay as she waits for the tides to turn so she can go back to the Ile de Chausey and pick up those whom she dumped on there earlier.

They do a lot of work in the tourist season, do the two Joly France boats. This is the older one, with the smaller windows, the larger upper deck and without the step in the stern.

boats people fishing baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThis is the kind of thing that makes me wish that I’d been out here 10 minutes earlier.

There is a huge load of small boats moored just off the headland as if there is a shoal of sea-bass in the vicinity. It seems to me that anyone who can hold a rod in his hand is out there trying his luck at catching supper.

I learnt the following day that it was in fact a shoal of mackerel that had appeared off the headland

And what confusion it must have caused to everyone when Joly France came round the corner at a rapid rate of knots. Scattered them like ninepins, I reckon.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallCarrying on my walk around the walls, I came to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

The tide is rushing in right at this moment and the massed crowds of grockles have now retreated up to the sea wall to keep their feet out of the sea.

The tide isn’t a particularly high tide today – a coefficient in the 40s – so they might be lucky and stay dry. But it would be interesting to see the outcome of all of this if the tide does comme in higher than they are expecting.

hang glider bombed by seagull plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd not just on land or in the sea was it busy.

It goes without saying that there was plenty going on in the air this afternoon too. The Birdmen of Alcatraz are out there in force swooping around like a bunch of vultures.

The seagull here is taking a great deal of exception to this particular birdman. It spent a good 10 minutes or so buzzing him, presumably to get him to clear off. Unfortunately I didn’t have tile to stay and see how it ended but my money was on the seagull.

kids jumping from diving platform plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd not just boats out on the sea either. There were plenty of swimmers there too.

The diving platform was crowded with people too and others in the sea swimming out that way to take part in the sports. This young boy here showed us quuite an acrobatic somersault into the water.

He received a good 4.9 for artistic impression from the bystanders but he lost a few points on the technical merit. His entry into the water could have been better.

kids jumping from diving platform granville manche normandy france eric hallBut at least he entered the water quite rapidly. This young boy here was not quite so keen.

The onlookers on the cliff were urging him on, chanting “sautez, sautez” but he didn’t budge. A couple of the people on the platform were also counting him down to enter the water too.

Eventually the young boy in the previous photo pushed his way to the front and leapt in. This seemed to galvanise the other one here into action and he leapt in immediately afterwards, to a loud cheer and round of applause from the onlookers.

loading boats onto thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRound I went to the Square Maurice Marland I went to check on my baby seagull but he seems to have definitively gone now.

Something else that has gone is Normandy Trader. She must have cleared off the moment that the harbour gates opened because there at the loading bay in her place in Thora, the other Jersey freighter.

You might recall seeing in an earlier photo some shrink-wrapped boats on the back of a lorry at the side of the quay. They are now being loaded into Thora ready to go to the Channel Islands.

And Marité is back in port too after her adventures just recently.

market place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving spent a few minutes looking at the loading, I carried on with my walk.

And there are changes in the Place Cambernon too today. It looks as if a little market of sorts has sprung up in the square. Only a couple of stalls but it’s a start, I suppose. We could do with more like this in the neighbourhood

There is the pizza van of course. That’s here on Thursdays too so it looks like that’s the day for everyone to come to the old town just here. I wonder if the market will expand over time. I hope so.

film crew foyer des jeunes travailleurs place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I was walking along the elevated section of the walls when I noticed that the filming at the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs had finished.

They were packing up the equipment so I took a photo to show you what was going on.

Back here I started the other course – “building an interactive website”. And unfortunately and depressingly, i crashed out yet again. Another good hour or so on the chair, well away with the fairies.

As a result I didn’t do half as much as I liked, so I’ll have to push on tomorrow as it’s going to be rather a busy day for me

There was the hour on the guitars, followed by tea. A lentil and potato curry out of the freezer followed by apple crumble.

joly france lifeboat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfterwards I went out for my run. And I don’t know why because my heart isn’t in it right now.

It’s knowing that I had a collapse in health a couple of weeks ago on the Spirit of Conrad that’s done it. I can feel the difference right now and it isn’t very nice.

But anyway I made it a good way up the hill before I shuddered to a halt, and then walked the remaining 100 metres to the corner. From there I ran on down past the itinerant to the clifftop.

There were a few people around but nothing at all happening so I walked across the lawn to the other side and then ran on down the next leg of my run.

From that rest point I could see that there was something going on at the ferry terminal. Joly France is there of course but the lifeboat is tied up next to it.

It beats me why it would be there. The only thing that I can think of is that it’s been out on a job and missed the tide for going back into the port de plaisance where it lives.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe next stage to the viewpoint in the rue du Nord I have to do in two legs these days. The strain is definitely getting to me these days, that’s for sure.

At the viewpoint I watched the sun go down, and you have already seen the photos of that. But once more there were the crowds on the beach enjoying the good weather (it was a really nice evening).

Having seen the sun go down, I ran on back to the apartment to write up my notes. And now they are done I’m going to put away last week’s washing that I took off the clothes airer and then go to bed.

It will be a long day tomorrow so I want to be on form for it. I hope that I don’t have another attack of the cramps like last night.

Sunday 5th July 2020 – WITH IT BEING …

… a Sunday and therefore a Day of rest, anyone who thinks that I might have leapt out of bed at 07:30 when I awoke is quite clearly mistaken

09:30 is much more realistic as far as I’m concerned and I’m quite happy with that.

After the meds I had a look at the dictaphone sure enough, I’d been on a few voyages during the night.

There was something going on last night about Space and I’m not sure how or why or where it was but there were three of us – me, a girl and a Welsh guy. Something happened – we’d been in contact with some extra-terrestres (I’m dreaming in French again) and we were all trying to decide what to do. I came up with a few ideas – I couldn’t really remember what they were. This Welsh guy came up with an idea “why don’t I go to deep Space to visit them and talk to them?”. He was a salesman by profession and of vourse being Welsh he knew how to talk so that seemed to be the way forward. We could see if we looked through an inspection hatch that there was a little hole on the side of this planet. That was where he had to aim his spacecraft for. We had to wait until the Americans had a space rocket ready to blast a capsule off into high outer space orbit so that he could contact the extra-terrestres and start selling them things. I thought that this was a really weird thing to be doing.
We were on our boat last night and we came to a place where some of us wanted to get off to go to look at some things. But Strawberry Moose he stayed on board and everyone wondered where he was. I said that he wanted to stay on board and do some things on board. We all got down into our zodiacs but the two girls whom I hoped would come with us stayed on board as well which was disappointing. We finally came ashore in a jungle area where a woman had arranged to meet two people who would be in a bar around the corner. So we went to this bar while everyone else dispersed. There was no sign of these two people at all and we waited for about 10 minutes. In the end we decided to go. Just then this German boy off one of the crossings turned up in the bar and started to talk to us. That was the last thing that we wanted, to end up with him. Before we went in we had to organise our clothes. I had some clothes that wouldn’t go in the washing machine to be washed in the cycle that they had. I was going to do them by hand but the guy in charge of the laundry had this procedure. He had some washing conditioner arranged in a series – a bowl with conditioner, a bowl with clean water, a beaker full of conditioner and another bowl of plain water. He took hold of one of my socks and was pasting this conditioner over it. Normally when I wash my socks I put one over my hand , rub soap into it, put the other sock over the other hand, rub soap into that and rub the two together like I’m washing my hands. He was doing it in a strange way so I thought I’d do it in that way too, watching him and seeing what procedure he was going to use.
There was a group of us in a room in a house later on. The room was really untidy and there was a load of papers and magazines and maps and things. They were all mine and all needed to be tidied up. A couple of girls were helping me, going through the piles and getting them in the right order, unfolding them and laying them flat, merging them together. There were piles of cables, computer and audio cables etc all over the place and they were all arranged in some weird crazy cat’s cradle. While the girls were organising these magazines and I’d done a bit of that I was starting to untangle these cables. One of the girls with black hair and glasses came over and said “I’ve already done that”. I showed here that there was a lot that was still tangled up. She said “just leave it for the moment because we can do that when it’s more convenient”. She started to take down the washing that was hanging up everywhere. We were on a big barge and we had to leave the main waterway to go down some kind of side waterway. It was a very tight turn, almost as if you had to double back on yourself which is no fun when you have a big barge like we had. The girl at the helm up front had to steer this barge round and I knew that she didn’t like doing it here so I said “this is your favourite bend, isn’t it, Judy?”. She didn’t hear me at first so I said it again. She made some kind of grimace. When we got to this waterway it was dry and there were sheep in it. We had to pivot this boat round to get it lined up then get out and drag it up out of the water onto this pathway that was going downhill. The first time we did it the boat ground out. It was in the wrong area and was going to hit the wall so we had to push it back to line it up to start again. I had a feeling that this was not going to be easy having to do this. But somewhere in the middle of all of this was Alan Dean – now when was the last time I ever heard of him? I was at the top of the steps walking down with some swing doors at the bottom. He was down there. It was a case of playing a bass guitar and I was stuck. I wanted to improve and I didn’t know where to go, how to learn, how to change my procedures. I thought that I would look at a few videos on Youtube but that was somewhere stuck in the middle that was.

It was therefore something of a major surprise that I found myself awake so early after that. And even more of a surprise that I kept going all day without a rest.

But let’s not go getting ahead of ourselves here.

It took me long enough to type out all of that, and then there was my Welsh homework. With having missed Tuesday’s lesson I had to do the coursework myself before I could make a start.

So what with one thing and another it was lunchtime by the time it was all done.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I spent a few days a couple of months ago copying all of the files from various hard drives onto the new external drive that I had bought.

The aim was to compare them and delete any duplicate files but for some unknown reason the file duplicate detecting program was having issues.

This afternoon I uninstalled it and reinstalled it but it still wouldn’t work. However eventually I found the reason. Two of the drives are “C” drives out of old computers with the deep BIOS settings on them – the settings that drive the drives. Of course you can’t delete those so when the program detected two identical files in the BIOS settings in two drives it was obliged to pause for thought.

Excluding those files from the compare did the trick, and so the afternoon has been spent mostly dealing with this little project.

bird of prey pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was of course the afternoon walk to deal with, and with it being a Sunday it was the day when I go into town for my weekly ice cream.

But I didn’t go very far before I was interrupted. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m quite a keen bird watcher and when I was married I had many a lecture on birdwatching from poor Nerina.

Anyway, this bird here was hovering around over the edge of the cliff where the little rabbit colony seems to be. I imagine that it was looking for any errant rabbit babies.

bird of prey pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s a bird of prey of some description but whatever it is, I’m none-the-wiser.

My friend Erika thinks that it’s either a white-tailed hawk or a hobby and she certainly has more idea than I do. My bird-identifying is rather like that of a woman identifying a car.

“What kind of car was it, madam?”
“A red one”.

And that’s me with birds too unfortunately

peche a pied port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs it’s my long Sunday walk I went down the steps at the end of the path and round the headland on the lower level.

Plenty of people milling around there today. The holidays are well under way now. And there were loads of people out there on the rocks this afternoon too. It’s a low tide today and so those who practise the peche à pied are out there in force.

Here’s hoping that they share their catch out with their friends too. After all, one shouldn’t be selfish with one’s shellfish.

fishing boats chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe path carries on around the foot of the cliff and then past the Chantier navale.

A big surprise in there today. It seems that they’ve been busy while I was away, for every berth has some kind of vessel in there undergoing repair. No fewer than six fishing boats, I make it, up on blocks today.

Having been quiet for a while, it’s good to see them so busy. It’ll just be someone’s luck to have a breakdown while there’s no berth available to accommodate them

covid warning notice fish processing plant port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe tide was right out just now as we have seen so I was able to take the short cut across the top of the harbour gates to the other side.

On the way past the Fish processing plant I observed this notice pasted to the door. Briefly, and crudely (and if you want anything crude, then in the words of the late, great Bob Doney “I’m your man!) translated by Yours Truly, there have been several “incidents” at the Fish processing plant that breach the Corona virus precautions.

This notice informs everyone of these breaches and states that if there are any more, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry will take whatever action they consider necessary.

They don’t mess about here. None of your “driving to Barnard Castle” or “going to Greece via Bulgaria” in these situations.

spirit of conrad victor hugo port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOur home from last week is still in port.

Spirit of Conrad is quietly moored where we left her on Friday evening, with the big wheel in the background.

The two Channel island ferries, Victor Hugo and Granville are there in port too. We are told that the ferry service is to start very soon – the 11th July is one date that is freely bandied about.

But the regulations for travelling are extremely severe and I don’t imagine that there will be many takers at the moment.

man fallen out of zodiac baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving observed the shipping in the harbour I walked on round to the end of the wall to see what was going on.

Here was something interesting. There was a zodiac parked up in the water over there and it looked as if there was no-one in it. Enlarging the photo when I returned home, I could see that there was someone in the water right by it.

It was one of those situations where I couldn’t see what he was doing or why he would have been in the water. It’s a shame that I didn’t notice him until it was too late to do any good.

propellor of antwerpen port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThis propellor here from a ship is propped up against the wall of the harbour offices and I must have walked past here 100 times without really noticing it.

It belonged to a small ship of 265 or so tonnes, the Antwerpen. She was a German coaster built in 1917 by the Germans but abandoned in Oostende at the Armistice.

Taken over by the Belgian Navy, she was repossessed by the Germans in 1940 when Belgium fell, and was one of the boats that plied between Granville and the Channel islands taking supplies out there.

In December 1940 in thick fog she was rammed by another vessel in her convoy and sank in shallow water. Demolished finally in 1963, her propellor was found by divers in 1986 and presented to the port office.

bad parking port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOne thing that features quite often in these pages, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, is pathetic parking.

And does parking ever get more pathetic than this? All of these cars are parked without any regard whatsoever for the road markings. It’s totally unbelievable, isn’t it?

Continuing on my walk, I went round onto the quayside to see what was happening, but there was nothing whatever going on there this afternoon.

big wheel place godal granville manche normandy france eric hallThat was probably because the gates were closed and the tide was right out. Not much point in anyone being here right now.

Turning on my heel, i went out to have a look at the big wheel. It’s going round and there are people on it too, although it would be wrong to say that it was actually busy. No clues at all.

And so I pushed on into the rue LeCampion to my little ice cream stall and had the weekly ice cream. I need to keep up with my habits while the summer is here.

steps rue lecampion granville manche normandy france eric hallFor a change I walked back along the rue LeCampion, up the steps at the Rampe du Monte Regret and under the drawbridge into the old town.

The aim of going this way was to see how they were getting on with the replacement of the gas pipe in the rue Lecarpentier.

By the looks of things, they seem to have finished the work. And it looks quite a tidy job too. You’ll hardly notice that all of that has been dug up and subsequently replaced.

yacht english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallUp through the Place Cambernon and through the alley down to the rue du Nord and along the walls to the viewpoint.

There was a yacht out there in the English Channel struggling along in the wind. It’s not a boat that I recognise either and I can’t read a name on her anywhere.

Back here I carried on with my work and at 18:00 knocked off for a play on the guitars for an hour or so.

Later on I had tea. Another home-made pizza that was really delicious. But no pudding tonight as I wasn’t that hungry.
In

My run this evening was a dismal failure – and for a couple of reasons too.

  1. When I came back in this afternoon I put the camera battery on charge. And when i went out this evening, I forgot to put the battery back in it – so no photos
  2. There’s a gale blowing out here – 75 kph winds. Several of my runs ended abruptly as I turned a corner and ran into a headwind that blew me backwards. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so depressed. Something of a failure, that was

So I’m packed now and I’ll be off on my travels tomorrow. Back to Castle Anthrax. I wonder what plans they have in store for me there.

Tuesday 23rd June 2020 – REGULAR READERS …

… of this rubbish will recall yesterday that I mentioned something about the possibility of going out on a boat, but the owner never came back to me about it.

kids jumping off sea wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallSo while you admire the photos of the kids leaping off the sea wall into the sea this evening, let me tell you that it goes without saying that having vented my spleen (well, I would have done had I had one) yesterday, who should knock on my door today?

Right in the middle of my Welsh lesson too, which meant that I missed some of it. But then that’s always going to be par for the course too, isn’t it?

The upshot of all of this means that I have a little trip out organised for next week. And you’ve no idea just how much I’m looking forward to it either. I must get out to sea – and some time soon too.

kids jumping off sea wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall
Another thing that I have been looking forward to for quite a while is beating the third alarm call out of bed.

And this morning, much to my surprise, I actually managed it. No-one was more surprised than me.

Another thing that I have been eagerly anticipating, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, is some convivial company accompanying me on my travels during the night. I had a good whinge about that yesterday too as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

kids jumping off sea wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut everything comes to he who waits . When I listened to the dictaphone after the medication this morning, who should I discover accompanying me during the night but TOTGA? I was wondering when one of my regulars would put in an appearance on a nocturnal ramble. Last night it was something to do with a holiday and I don’t remember very much. I’d been on holiday and I’d met her quite by accident. We ended up talking and walking off somewhere. I actually held her hand and she didn’t really discourage it – she just let herself be taken along. We carried on chatting and the question came round to “I’m having to go on Tuesday and that will be that I suppose”. She replied “I hope that we can make some time together – there will be some time together for us to meet one evening before you go” which of course cheered me up no end.

kids jumping off sea wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallIt’s nice to have some good news like that. It’s been a long time since I’ve had any, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall – late nights in the North-West Passage notwithstanding.

After organising the dictaphone notes I went and did the tidying up. Even vacuumed the place a little too. I brought up some stuff from Caliburn that has been in there for a couple of years and cleaned that too before rearranging it.

Next task was to prepare for my lesson and make sure that I knew everything. The lesson was going quite well until I was disturbed at the door. But as it was good news, I didn’t mind all that much.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallLunch was taken on the wall overlooking the harbour in the beautiful warm weather.

And for a change I wasn’t alone either. There was a girl down at the other end of the wall eating a salad out of a bowl, and we had Normandy Trader, having presumably sneaked in on the morning tide, down there too.

While I was eating my butties I watched them unload her (the ship, not the girl of course). And I also watched a couple of fishermen (on the extreme right of the image) laying out a fishing net on the quayside in order to entangle it.

Back here I made a start on week 5 of my music course. And by the time that I knocked off at 18:00 I’d finished it too.

At least, I’d reached the end. It’s wrong to say that I’ve completed it because it’s way, way over my head. I’m supposed to be able to improvise using 5/10ths, 7/10ths, 7/13ths, 6/9ths, do inversions and play V-I, II-V-I and II-V-VI-I chord progressions.

And while I have to say that it’s way beyond my capabilities, what has surprised me more than anything is that now I actually know what they mean.

What else has surprised me was that I finished the week’s course despite the interruptions that I had during the day.

shellfish beds donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallOf course there was the afternoon walk as usual, in the beautiful afternoon sun.

And I reckon that this is the first time for ages that I’ve seen them working on the shellfish beds over by Donville les Bains.

There’s a type of mussel called a bouchot that has a liking for string or rope, as someone discovered by accident a good few years ago. And so they have those kind of attachments out there to help the things grow in massive numbers then when the tide is really low they drive out there with a tractor and pluck them off the ropes.

seafarers memorial baie de mont st michel le loup entrance light port de granville harbour  manche normandy france eric hallYesterday, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I went round the Pointe du Roc and took a photo from behind the Seafarers’ Monument out across the bay.

So just for no particular reason, seeing as I was there, I’d take a photo of it again today so that you can compare the two.

In fact, you can compare it with THIS PHOTO as well. In the one here to the side, the tide isn’t yet all the way out and in the one in the link, the tide isn’t all the way in either.

But you can still have a really good idea of the height of the tides nevertheless. Probably the highest in Europe, as I have said before … “on many occasions” – ed.

microlight aeroplane pointe de roc granville manche normandy france eric hallLoads of people about on land and sea.

And also in the air. While I was taking the photo of Le Loup – the light in the previous photo, I was buzzed by a microlight aircraft or ULM that presumably had taken off from the airport at Donville les Bains.

At first I thought that it was my autogyro, the yellow one that we see quite regularly, but not with those wings. In those flimsy craft with their engines it must be just like back in the Golden Days of aviation between about 1907 and 1914 and I don’t think that it’s for me

trawlers fishing boats chantier navale granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s all change in the chantier navale too.

We seem to have acquired a third fishing boat right now. There were a few people working on it sanding it down so it looks as if it’s going to be receiving a new coat of paint some time soon.

That’s something for me to observe over the course of the next few days, isn’t it? It’s always interesting to know what they are going to be doing with it.

Back here I carried on with the course but once more, depressingly, I was overwhelmed with fatigue and crashed out a couple of times. In the end I stuck my head under the cold tap and carried on work.

When it was finished there was still 45 minutes of my working day left before the guitar practice so I had another play at a web page that i’ve been amending for the last week or so. It’s almost finished, but then it needs to be split up into two because it’s rather unwieldy

For a change, the guitar practice went well, which is good news, and then I turned my attention to tea. One of the vegan beanburgers that I bought from LeClerc a few weeks ago, on a bun with baked potato and veg, followed by the last off the apple crumble.

Tomorrow I can start on the apple pie that I made. And for a change, it seems to be cooked properly, base and all.

speedboat yacht normandy trader english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThis evening it was another beautiful evening outside.

And for a change I had another good run too – all the way up the hill round the corner and down to the clifftop where I could see what was happening out to sea, like this yacht heading in one direction and a cabin cruiser thing heading in the other.

And out there in the distance, I suspect, is Normandy Trader. With the tide being well in now I imagined that she wouldn’t hang around long (and I was right too – she had indeed left port).

people picnicking pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThe picnicking spot in the old gun emplacement seems to be quite popular these days.

There was another family in there putting it to good use with their coolboxes and picnic hampers.

And who can blame them? it really was a wonderful evening to be out there soaking up the sun. I had even surprised the itinerant (who is still there) who has now moved to shelter under the tree and who was applying sun-tan oil to his limbs as I ran on past.

fishing from boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd of course, there would be crowds of people out to sea too.

With the tide being well in the local fishermen don’t have far to go out to make their catch, assuming that they catch anything, for I remain to be convinced. I’m not quite sure what his boat is either. A low profile like that suggests a kayak, but not with his feet on top of it.

That too is not the kind of thing that I would like to be out in if ever it comes to a swell on the water.

crowds man fishing pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were people absolutely everywhere tonight.

We’ve seen the crowds on the lawn, we’ve seen the big bunch of kids jumping into the water off the harbour wall, and there’s also a crowd down there at the viewpoint by the watchman’s cabin enjoying themselves in the sun.

And of course it goes without saying that we have the obligatory fisherman perched on his rock with his rod in his hand.

My run continued down along the clifftop where I could watch the kids leaping into the water, and then I carried on all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury.

crowds perched on rocks plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThese days of course I don’t stop for breath but carry on all the way down the rue St Jean almost to the Place Cambernon, cut through the alley and then back up the rue du Nord to the viewpoint on the corner.

No picnickers tonight again, seeing as the tide was in, but that rocky shelf that we saw yesterday seems to be very popular right now.

We have another, different group perched on there tonight making the most of the beautiful weather.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd they had every reason to be out there enjoying it tonight too because this was one of the better sunsets.

If you look very closely you’ll notice that the sun has its orange halo tonight. There’s a lot of discussion about what these halos represent but current thought seems to indicate that there would be very thin cirrus clouds up there laden with ice crystals.

The sun would be shining into the ice and this would create a prism effect .

But whatever it is, it’s certainly beautiful

fishing boat with net out english channel ile de chausey sunset granville manche normandy france eric hallJust as I was about to run for home I noticed the fishing boat in the distance out in the English Channel over by the Ile de Chausey. Wondering what it was doing, I took a photo of it to crop and enlarge back at the apartment

So I ran on back home to do the necessary, and if you look very carefully at the rear of the boat, you’ll see that the crew have their tackle out and are clearly going hard at it.

As for me, I edited the photos and then wrote up my journal.

An early night is called for tonight. Tomorrow I’m going out for a drive with Caliburn.

He became a teenager a few weeks ago as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, so he’s going to have a makeover. Tomorrow someone in a bodyshop is going to have a look at him and we’ll have a discussion about how to keep him going for the next 13 years.

He’ll probably outlive me at this rate.