Tag Archives: plenty o’toole

Sunday 6th September 2020 – THE BIRD-MEN …

hang gliders place d'armes pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall… of Alcatraz were out in force this afternoon.

And while this is not usually exactly any headline news, it is today. That’s because yesterday there was a disaster, if not a tragedy, involving them as one of them came crashing down to earth onto the rocks round by where the tidal swimming pool is on the Plat Gousset.

The air ambulance was called and the stricken bird-man was taken to hospital where he is in a life-threatening condition. Having seen them flying around as I have, I do have to say that sad as it might be, it is not entirely unexpected.

What else is not entirely unexpected is the fact that I was in bed until about 11:10 this morning. Flat-out until about 10:30 and then it took me about 40 minutes to summon up the courage and strength to leave my bed.

On the dictaphone was a very long and rambling, practically incoherent account of a nocturnal ramble. It didn’ make very much sense at all and I had to listen to it again (and again and again) until I could untangle it, and I’m still not sure that I’ve understood it.

I was with a group of young girls last night and we’d been to some kind of resort or holiday place. We’d been wandering around there. There was something about one particular girl. She had to take driving lessons but somehow she could only take 1 at that particular moment. I was hanging around with her and her younger friend or sister and another girl. We had walked past the port where the gates had opened and closed but were now open. Our route led us up into a small room. This room was open and they were wondering why it was still open and not closed so I explained to them about the tides, how it opened and closed with the tides. We went in and I had a look at my watch and there was about an hour left before it closed. There was a lot of noise coming from one of the bars. We couldn’t see it but we had a look but we couldn’t see what was going on but it was a load of boys being quite raucous as if they were drunk. This one girl said something about it and I said “we’ll probably get to meet them tomorrow when we’re going to be down there”. There was the question of her insurance and she had one driving lesson tomorrow and there would have to be others at some particular time and it drifted around quite like this.
Somewhat later, with a big gap in the middle as if i’d failed to dictate something, I played a tape of some driving instructor to this girl and I put it away but she was saying that she wanted to hear it again to learn it properly. I got it out and she sat at the table with her hands positioned as if they were on a steering wheel and I played the tape back. But it was about some kind of bicycle rally, about how a group of them on bicycles were going through the countryside making a very sharp turn, with a lot of people missing the turns and falling off. From this came a discussion about how to ride your bike on damp ground. I began to think that this is nothing like how to teach someone to drive a car at all. I’d put the wrong tape on, something like that. Meantime this girl fetched her bike and started to try to practise some of the things that they were talking about on this tape. I ended up at some point on a derelict railway station with this girl. It was pretty much overgrown but the platform was there. We found the milk-churn loading dock where they manoeuvred milk churns onto the trains by hand as they did back in the 1920s and 30s

There’s a good deal more to it than this but it’s not the kind of stuff that you want to read while you are having your evening meal.

What I can say however, is that when I awoke, I had the very strong feeling that Pollux had been accompanying me during my travels but surprisingly, there was no mention of her on the dictaphone so I’ve no idea as to the source of this feeling.

vegan pizza apple pie apple turnover granville manche normandy france eric hallToday has been a baking day and I’ve been quite busy.

First task was to make some pizza dough. That’s just like making bread dough but with a tablespoon or two of oil. I made enough for three pizza bases, and two of those I put in the freezer for again.

Then I made some pastry mix – 250 grams of flour and 125 grams of vegan margarine, all well mixed in and then a couple of tablespoons of water mixed in to make a very dry paste.

That was rolled out and a base but into a greased pie tin. Then several baking apples were cut up and put in there with some sultanas, desiccated coconut, nutmeg, cinnamon, all mixed in with lemon juice to bleach it.

The rest of the pastry mix was then rolled out and put on top, the edges having been damped with vegan milk. The top was then pressed down with a fork to seal it, and then trimmed.

The top was brushed with milk, sprinkled with brown sugar and then pricked with a knife to make vents to allow the steam from the apples to escape.

Whatever pastry was left was rolled into a square and I made an apple turnover with the remainder of the apple mix stuff. That was sealed, brushed, sprinked and pricked too.

hang glider pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAll of that went into an over for 45 minutes on 230°C and while it was doing, I went for a walk.

As I said just now, the hang-gliders were out again. Despite the tragedy of yesterday that didn’t prevent one of them from doing an aerobatic display for the dozens of walkers who were out there.

What with one thing and another, I have a feeling that the events of yesterday will not be the last either. It all seems pretty reckless to me, some of the things that they do while they are up in the air.

le loup jullouville baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallNevertheless it was a beautiful day and that explains why there were so many people out and about, both on the ground and in the air.

The sky was pretty clear and the view went for miles with just a touch of heat haze. Le Loup, the marker light that is situated on the rocks just outside the harbour, was looking particularly beautiful today.

The town of Jullouville in the background was looking quite nice too. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been out that way and I’ll have to go for another walk down there when circumstances permit.

o'toole transport port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the area is often visited by the rich and famous.

Fans of the James Bond films will remember that in OCTOPUSSY there was a girl called Plenty O’Toole, named after her father of course.

Her father is a regular visitor to the town and he was back again, parked up on the quayside down there by Victor Hugo, the Channel island Ferry.

It actually reminds me of when I lived in Crewe and every day for about six months I had to walk past a big factory with “O’Malley’s Tool Works” on the side of it. I thought to myself “so does mine, but I don’t put up a sign about it”.

Back here I made my pizza and when the pies were cooked I put that in the oven. And it was cooked to perfection. Really beautiful.

And so filling that I didn’t have any pudding. No sense in forcing myself. Have I mentioned that my weight is still slowly decreasing and I’m within touching distance of the weight that I had when i was running every night in my youth.

trawler fishing boat english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will also recall that earlier in the year we couldn’t move out at sea for fleets of fishing boats out there.

One thing that I noticed since I’ve been back is that there don’t seem to be anything like as many out there. This evening I noticed that there was one with its gear out, somewhere in the English Channel between here and the Ile de Chausey.

There wasn’t anyone else out there either and there wwasn’t very much going on either, so I did my three runs and came on home.

That American car from Connecticut that we saw here a few days ago is still parked up in the same place. It now has a flat tire so it won’t be going far in the near future.

Back here I’ve finished my notes and, much later than I was hoping, i’m going to bed.

I doubt if I will be up at 06:00 seeing as it’s this late already and I still don’t feel tired, but I’ll do my best. I have plenty of work to do

And I’ll hope that I can make some sense out of last night’s voyage. I’m sure that it’s quite interesting.

Monday 3rd February 2020 – SHE’S BACK!

plenty otoole haulage lorry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallYes, there I was this afternoon out for my walk, looking across the harbour, and there she was.

Yes, the Bond heroine Plenty O’Toole, named for her father of course, has turned up again in Granville. It must be a couple of years since she was last here but here she is.

Who is going to be next to put in an appearance here in Granville? Foxxy Cleopatra? Or Godzilla?

Last night, I was on something of a roll. Somehow and for some reason (probably the very late lie-in that I had) I didn’t feel like going to bed. And so making the most of it, I carried on attacking the notes for the current radio project. By the time that I was overwhelmed there was only another 5 or 10 minutes left to finish so that was a good plan of work.

And even despite the late night, I was just on the point of putting my feet on the floor when the third alarm went off. So we’ll call that a draw today.

After the medication I checked the dictaphone but I had nothing on so instead I chopped up a digital sound file into the component tracks. That was interrupted by breakfast and by the fact that the sound file bore no resemblance to the details that I had and I had to hunt down a revised description.

chausiais baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallA little later I had a shower and then headed off outside.

And it was my lucky day because for once there was plenty going on outside. Chausiais was on the move again, heading out with presumably another cargo for the ile de Chausey

That’s a couple of times now that I’ve seen her on the move. I’m intrigued to know what her plans are in the long term because it’s a lot of money tied up for just the occasional crossing to the ile de Chausey

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThat wasn’t everything either, because Joly France was on the move too.

At first I was wondering whether or not she was taking out a load of passengers to follow in the wake of Chausiais but I eventually came to the conclusion that where she was, she was preventing Chausiais from leaving her berth.

And that would account for her manoeuvres in port this morning, I reckon.

mini digger pneumatic drill abandoned railway port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that there’s this big project going on in the port right now.

They are ripping up the abandoned railway lines from when this place was a thriving deep-sea fishing port and “improving” the car park. Here today, their work has advanced out of the protected zone and there’s a mini-digger with a hydraulic drill attachment breaking up the surface where there ware more railway lines buried.

It makes me wonder just how long they are going to be at this project and what it’s going to be like when it’s finished. It was something of an eyesore so almost anything will be an improvement, but I hope that the plans include some greenery too.

tractor trailer place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd out in the Place Charles de Gaulle I’m not quite sure what’s happening here.

We have a tractor and trailer and another piece of heavy equipment parked up outside the old Tourist Information office. That’s now an ephemeral display room so it might be something to do with that, or else they are starting to kit out the Square ready for Carnaval, which will take ^lace in 3 weeks time.

We shall see what we shall wee.

cherry picker roof rue des carrosses granville manche normandy france eric hallAround the corner in the rue des Carrosses we are faced with a more mundane, even banal problem.

Something is clearly up with the guttering or the chimney of this building because they have brought in a cherry-picker and sent up a couple of men in the nacelle to deal with the issue.

As for me, I pushed on up the hill towards the Centre Agora for our weekly meeting

Regular readers will recall that I’ve mentioned in the past all of the time that is wasted in these meetings … “not ‘arf” – ed … but in the past there was nothing like as much wasted as today.

For a change I was second there and the others arrived after me. But they stayed outside having a smoke and a chat and didn’t come in until 10:30. And most of the meeting was spent discussing a subject that could have been dealt with in about 2 minutes.

Someone turned up from one of the Council’s committees and she was introduced to us. The guy in charge told her about what we did and while he was very careful to mention several programmes that we had done, he very carefully omitted anything that I had done from the list.

If they don’t like what I do and are ashamed of it, I wish that they would tell me and either stop me doing it or tell me how it can be improved. It’s quite true that the stuff from the last couple of weeks has been light years ahead of what I did at the beginning, but that’s because I’ve worked it out for myself.

If they have something to say, I wish that they would come out and say it.

The real business of the meeting didn’t come out until everyone was almost ready to leave – at about 12:30. These are hours of my life that I won’t ever get back.

On the way home I stopped at LIDL. I needed some olive oil and a few other things, but forgot the stuff to make my muesli and I’ve run out of that. If I can’t find all of the stuff it might be porridge for the next few days.

Back down in town again I picked up my dejeunette at la Mie Caline and came back home for a late lunch.

This afternoon I pushed on with the radio project and although I hadn’t quite finished it at knocking-off time, I hung on in and had it done regardless. And so a late tea.

But there had been a couple of interruptions to my day. Firstly, and unsurprisingly after my late night and early start, I crashed out on my chair for 20 minutes in a really deep sleep

rainstorm english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSecondly, there was the afternoon walk as usual. Mustn’t miss out on that!

And this photo will tell you exactly how things unfolded during the course of the afternoon. There’s a huge, powerful rain cloud about 8 or 10 miles out to sea and judging by the wind right now, it’s heading this way.

This kind of thing is looking quite ominous for later on.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd although it’s not as windy as it might be and indeed has just recently, it’s blowing a terrific gale somewhere out to sea.

We’re a good hour or so away from high tide but even so, there’s enough power in the sea to send the waves crashing right over the harbour wall. No wonder I couldn’t see any fishing boats out there today.

It’s not the kind of day at all to be out there on the ocean waves in the kind of boats that hang around in this harbour.

trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallTalking of fishing boats, there’s been another change of tenant at the Chantier navale.

One of the fishing boats has now left and presumably gone back into the water. There’s only the one left now and judging by all of the people on board working away at here, it doesn’t look as if she’s going to be there for much longer either.

So new tenants all round in the near future, I reckon. It will be interesting to see who comes in and who does what to it.

fishing boat port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen this boat before just recently.

Seeing as it’s in the national colours, I thought at first that it might be something to do with the Government but judging by the large bucket of seafood on her deck and the van there that has come to take the stuff away, it’s probably just a private fishing boat.

And that’s something of a disappointment. I was hoping for a lot more excitement around here now.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhile you admire another photo of the raging sea, let me tell you about teatime.

With plenty of mushrooms lying about here and there I made myself a stuffed pepper with pasta. And I’m not sure quite why but it was one of the best that I’ve ever tasted even though I forgot the herbs.

It was followed up by rice pudding and that was delicious too. I may be eating quite simply but by ‘eck I am eating well these days.

By now the storm had arrived, the weather had broken, and how! There was the deep puddle outside the roor and the streets were like running rivers. I went for my walk regardless, even managing two runs.

Not on the north side of the walls though – that was about a foot deep in water. I had to find a place a little further on even though the ground underfoot isn’t as smooth. And of course, my run across the Square Maurice Marland.

So now I’ve finished, I’ve re-heard my radio project and it’s fine, so I’m going to listen to some music for half an hour before going to bed.

A little luxury is something that I deserve.

Sunday 6th May 2018 – THIS ISN’T GOING …

… to work out very well either.

Toddled off in the heat down to the station this evening to enquire about the trains, only to be told “you need to come back tomorrow evening. We’ll only know the night before”
“So why did your colleague tell me to come back this evening then?”
“I dunno”.
And so the discussion went on.

In the end, the guy at the ticket office at the station made me aware that there was a bus from Avranches to Lille every day at lunchtime. He gave me the details and cancelled my outward journey. So that’s at least something.

Sure enough, there’s a bus at 12:04 on Tuesday lunchtime, and to Lille it’s only €39:99. Takes all day of course, but it’s better than nothing.

Now to check up on the local buses. Ahh yes – a bus at 10:05 – gets to Avranches at 10:57. That sounds ideal to me. An hour to have a coffee and to compose myself (rather than Beethoven, who spent 60 years composing and 400 years decomposing).

but wait a minute. “Does not run on school holiday dates” – and Tuesday in France is a Bank Holiday isn’t it?

At the limit I could go to Avranches in Caliburn, but then he would be stranded down there until I could go to fetch him back, whenever that might be.

Yes, this is not turning out too well right now is it?

Last night, I was in bed at a fairly respectable time, where I stayed until about 09:00 this morning.

I’d been on my travels though, being my usual obnoxious annoying self, and so a car came to pick me up – something to do with Hearts Football Club I believe. The driver invited me to go for a drive with him and we ended up at the local prison. The chief warden met me there and gave me a conducted tour of the premises, showing me all of the dark recesses and crooks and nannies of the place. We arrived at the communal area where some women, inmates I reckon, were washing the floor. He showed me where the buckets were, showed me where the hot water was, the soap and a mop, and invited me to help clean the floor. I was concerned about walking over the area where the women had already cleaned, but they told me to clean the chute in the wall where the cats come in. It seems that a pile of cats come in at night to keep the inmates company. “At least there’s some good news” I thought. I had to move a bed to get to this chute – a three-tier bunk bed with cheap, thin horrible mattresses, and with a young woman dressed very poorly in a sweater and yellowy-brown slacks sitting on the top. And behind the bed was the most indescribable filth and less. Clearly these women were only cleaning what they could see, and no-one cared about the rest.

After breakfast I vegetated around for quite a while without doing too much (it IS Sunday after all) and then just for a change I had some lunch. Afterwards, I tidied up a huge pile of the backlog of e-mails and, would you believe, found an e-mail from Plenty’s dad asking for copies of the photographs of his lorries that we saw parked up here back in March.

We then had the Welsh Cup Final where Connah’s Quay Nomads saw off Aberystwyth Town without too much effort, although it could well have been a different story had the far-side linesman’s guide-dog been paying proper attention.

From there, I went for my walk to the station and then back here where I made another pizza. The pizza base that I bought yesterday was a dsiaster by the way. Stuck to the greaseproof paper and wouldn’t come off. And when it did it went just about everywhere except where it was supposed to.

And then another walk this evening. And the camera lens, about which I have moaned on a regular basis, has now completely given up the ghost. I’ll be sending it back when I return from Belgium.

Final word is that I seem to be being attacked by ants. There’s a pile of them that have somehow found their way in here. Now I need to find them a way out.

Tuesday 27th March 2018 – AND THERE IT WAS …

crane gone gates port de granville harbour manche normandy france… gone!

Yes, if you compare this photo with one … "of the many" – ed … that we have taken earlier of this view, you’ll notice that the large crane working on the harbour gates has now gone.

I’m not sure if this now means that the work on the harbour gates is now finished, but I shall go down there in the course of time and take a butchers.

hanging cloud pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceI should actually have gone down this morning, what with it being Tuesday and the day when I try for a walk into town, but you wouldn’t even send a dog out in this weather.

As we know from past experience, hanging clouds aren’t only encountered back on my farm in the Auvergne, we have them here too. And they are good ones when they arrive too.

And this one brought with it a pile of rain and so that put paid to any plans that I had of going out.

I’d had a really good sleep last night (for once) and if I had been anywhere during the night I certainly don’t recall it. And when the alarm went off for the first time at 06:20 I was bitterly regretting the fact. So much so that when I felt myself drifting away into a little voyage I didn’t fight the temptation – and was still there when the second alarm went off.

We had the usual morning performance followed by the usual morning relax and then, much to everyone’s surprise, I did some tidying up and started to prepare for my next voyage to Belgium. I’ve decided that the small suitcase is too small for the winter when I’m lumbered up with an overcoat, so I’m taking the next size up.

And then I had plenty to do after that but someone with whom I wanted to speak was on line so we ended up chatting for quite some time. There are always other times for working of course.

After lunch I attacked some of the backlog of photos that I’ve been trying to sort, and then went out for my walk as you have already seen.

united ieland o'toole transport granville manche normandy franceThe weather had by now dramatically improved which was just as well.

And apart from the crane (or absence thereof), one of Plenty’s dad’s lorries (or trailers anyway) was parked up on the fish dock. Refrigerated trailers they are so presumably they come for some kind of shellfish.

Which they share with their friends of course because, after all, you mustn’t be selfish with your shellfish.

And if you notice very carefully, on the map of Europe there is no dividing line between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, is there? It’s another one of these Quebec/ Labrador 1927 border issues.

This declaration from the Republic in 1981 or whenever it was that their dispute with the North was over is only so much lip servioe. And talk is cheap. Unless of course they are in advance of the situation post-Brexit when the North will choose prosperity and Europe instead of a leap backwards into the Dark Ages with the United Kingdom.

We had the usual session on the guitar and I was working on an arrangement of “Locomotive Breath”. It’s quite a simple track if you play it quite simply and so I have a cunning plan – more of which anon.

Tea tonight was the other veganburger and bap with vegetables and it was just as delicious. The strawberries were superb too and that really was a good plan to buy those.

place marechal foch granville manche normandy franceWith the change of hour on Sunday, it was still just about light when I went for my evening walk tonight.

And so here’s a (very grainy) photo of the Place Marechal Foch and the view stretching down to Donville-les-Bains in the dusk. Considering that it was a hand-held shot on long exposure, it’s ome out okay.

I took some others too but I have an idea about them. I have a 50mm f1.8 lens somewhere around here and I’m going to take that with me tomorrow night and see what that shoots like in the dusk. It did okay with my football photos so it might do some good around here.

The least it will do is to tell me whether this standard lens that I have is at fault, or of it’s the camera itself.

Sunday 11th March 2018 -JUST BY WAY OF A CHANGE …

… well, for just recently anyway, I managed to remember everything – including my mug out of Caliburn – when I went off to the football this afternoon.

The plan had been to go to Donville-les-Bains to watch the US Mouettes de Donville play the Jeunesse Cenillaise, but just as I was getting myself ready, something flashed up on the internet to wit that the cup match between US Granville’s 2nd XI and US Ducey, due to be played at Ducey-les-Chéris had been switched to the artificial surface at the Cité des Sports in Granville, where we were last night.

That suits me fine because instead of going in Caliburn, I can walk there. And if I take the long route home along the seashore I’ll have done almost all of my whole day’s fitness routine. So off I went, camera, thermos, mug and telephone, and Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all.

rugby cité des sports granville manche normandy franceIn what can only be describes as “changeable” weather, I arrived at the ground to see that game played by those men with odd-shaoed balls.

Not my cup of tea at all, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. We were a footballing school but one of the new masters tried to make us play with the oval ball but we soon saw him.

But the experience left a rather bitter taste in our mouths for years afterwards.

cité des sports ladies football team us granville manche normandy franceAnd if that wasn’t enough, there was a girls’ football match going on too and had I known, I would have been out there earlier to watch because it wasn’t too bad at all.

And I even gave some coaching from the touchline, which DOES NOT account for their 3-0 defeat. They were 3-0 before I arrived and I like to think that I helped them steady the ship a little.

But then, there were only 8 of them out there playing against 11 and so it’s not really much of a surprise that they were struggling. Perhaps they need some moral support.

And if so, that rules me out. Any support that I could give a bunch of girls would hardly be moral now, would it?

granville manche normandy franceAs for the main match, US Ducey are one division higher than Granville’s 2nd XI but the two teams were very evenly matched. In fact, of the two goalkeepers, the Ducey goalkeeper was by far the busier.

But the attacks of either side were pretty ineffectual and a 0-0 scoreline was hardly surprising.

We didn’t have any extra time, but went straight on to penalties. Hero was the Granville goalkeeper who made two good stops for his team to run out the winners.

Highlight of the match was the miserable old man from Ducey who “took issue” with a couple of Granville supporters who were hurling abuse at a Ducey player. “Don’t you go round hurling abuse at players” he cried. “You should be able to behave yourself without hurling insults about”.

Five minutes later, he addressed some rather unparliamentary language towards the referee who was booking one of his players. And a voice nearby piped up “Who was it who just said something about not hurling abuse about?”. I wonder who that was!

But it brought my section of the crowd rolling about with laughter, and that’s all to the good.

st pair sur mer jullouville kairon plage carolles manche normandy franceThe walk back along the coast was windy with the occasional shower, but that didn’t stop me taking some photos.

A couple of weeks ago I took a photo of St Pair sur Mer from around here, but that was cluttered up my street furniture unfortunately. Today I found a new spec from over a hedge in a field.

The photo isn’t as cluttered which makes a nice change for around here. You can see how nice the area looks and how much better it will be in ths summer.

pointe de la roc granville manche normandy franceAnd I discovered a new little lane that I hadn’t seen before, with some of the best views that I have yet to see of the town.

You remember back in October when you saw a photo of a house perched up on a clifftop overlooking the beach? Well, it was the lane that led to that particular house.

And it was worth the effort to get there with this beautiful view of the Pointe de la Roc.

place d'armes granville manche normandy franceAnd over there to the right of centre is the building where I live – the Place d’Armes.

There are four big stone buildings here that were formerly the military barracks, and they fell into disuse in the 1970s I believe. Since then, one of them has become the local college and a second is the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs – accommodation for young people from the countryside who come here to study or work.

The other two are being converted into small apartments. My building is finished and that’s why I’m here now, and the fourth one won’t be long.

eglise st paul granville manche normandy franceOver there is the church – the Eglise St Paul.

I have told you about this church on a couple of occasions. It’s one of the first large buildings in modern times (the Romans built thousands) to be built of concrete.

Many of hthe Roman concrete buildings are still standing after almost 2000 years, but this building will be a pile of dust before then. It’s closed to the public due to its deplorable, decaying condition and if that’s not a testament to Roman engineering I don’t know what is.

beach port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere is a set of steps down to the road, and then another set of steps down to the promenade.

It’s not really the day for going for a walk along the beach, but the sea is good at any time of day and in any kind of weather – in fact the stormier the better.

After all, that is why I came to live here as you all know. Somewhere by the sea in one of the windiest corners in Europe. It’s just great.

ireland nolans lorry port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd remember the other day when I pointed out those two “O’Toole” Irish lorries on the dockside? On my way back I was almost squidged by a “Nolan’s” lorry heading for the same place.

So what’s bringing all of them around here? What I shall have to do is that next time I’m in town, I’ll see if it’s still there and then go to buttonhole the driver.

As I have said before … "and on many occasions too" – ed … if you want to know the answer to a question, you have to ask the question first.

But this morning, wide awake at 07:15. And on a Sunday too!

I’m not having this at all and so I turned over and tried to go back to sleep but that didn’t seem to work and by 07:55 there was a very disappointed me up and about prowling the kitchen.

But I’d been on my travels during the night though. To Budapest in fact (and I’ve not been there since 1994) and trying to get to the station. Wandering around aimlessly in the railway station trying to find which train goes to the airport as I have a flight from there and a time limit to keep to. For some reason I have the idea that every train goes to the airport and I don’t know why. But when I hear that a train is actually called to stop at the airport I leap aboard. There are three stops prior to the airport, which seems strange to me as they are all in different towns, and a couple of the locals – and very vocal locals at that – convince me that it’s a different airport than the one that I need and I’ll be hours sorting myself out if I stay on this train. So I disembark just as it is about to pull out, and continue my aimless ramble around the station.
Later on, I am actually at an airport (not the same one) and in the queue to have my passport checked. The people in front of me are there for hours and ll kinds of forms are being completed for them, including a dark green form with white boxes in which the entries are made. I wonder to myself if this is the ESTAS form for the USA and whether I could have mine completed on the spot like this.

We had an early breakfast and then, seeing as it’s Sunday, a good laze around. Although I did have 5 minutes on the bass guitar trying to work out a Jethro Tull number.

After lunch I hit the streets and then back here it was coffee and cake time. But SHOCK! HORROR! Mother Nature has beaten me to the last of the cake. That’s twice now, for the Christmas Cake went the same way too. I shall just have to have another birthday, won’t I?

The pizza was good again tonight and in the walk in the wind around the headland I made it to 115 % of my day’s activity. And that’s always good.

And an early night. Another easy day tomorrow and then on Tuesday I need to go for the train tickets. Just you watch me forget.

Thursday 1st March 2018 – IT WAS A …

… lot warmer this morning.

Yes, the temperature when I awoke this morning was at the giddy heights of all of minus 3°C. It wasn’t as cold in here either this morning, but after less than 4 hours sleep, it certainly felt like it too.

snow pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceWhat didn’t help though was that after breakfast it started to snow. I wondered why it had gone completely silent outside, with no cars or pedestrians passing.

Under normal circumstances that would have put paid to any idea that I might have had about going to the shops. These, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, are not normal times and I need to move about.

And in any case, you wouldn’t exactly call that a snowfall after what we are used to in the Auvergne, regardless of what they might think around here.

So I had a shower and a general clean-up and cut all 20 of my finger and toe nails (and anyone who knew me even a couple of years ago will realise that an achievement that is). And then I hit the streets.

o'toole lorries port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd there over across the far side of the harbour where the fairground people had their residential caravans are a couple of lorries owned by the Irish company O’Toole.

Everyone knows of course that the company is owned by Plenty O’Toole, one of the James Bond girls from Diaminds Are Forever and who was, famously, “named after her father”.

But more to the point, what are they doing there? And even more interestingly, how did they get here?

water pimpig into port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThat wasn’t all of the excitement down at the harbour either. As you can see, we have a gusher – a ge flow of water into the basin.

I did wonder what it was doing – whether there had been a leak in the gates or whether they were trying something new, but it seems to be the outlet of a rather large pump and I’ve no idea what it’s supposed to be doing.

Or even where the water is coming from. I mean – I know that it’s coming from the sea, but that’s not what I mean.

We had some excitement in the town too. Someone in a 7.5 tonne lorry was delivering parcels – blocking the narrow streets as he unloaded, even though there was a free space just 20 metres higher up.

And another100 metres further on, he stopped OPPOSITE a free space and blocked the passage for the large queue behind him. So when he came out of th shop I asked him if he needed any help to park it – after all, I now have my HGV licence – but he just gave me a dirty look and drove away.

I made it to LIDL to find that there were no more than 20 people in the sho, and I had a till all to myself – something that deosn’t happen very often in LIDL as you know. Clearly the weather had defeated most people. But there was nothing exciting to buy in there, although the sorbet maker looks exciting – I’ll need Caliburn for that.

demolition rue st gaude granville manche normandy franceMy usual route back home takes me down past the streets in the upper part of town and there was some excitement here too.

It seems that a couple of old houses in the Rue St Gaude are being demolished, with plans afoot to replace them with modern apartments. This is a street with a good view in places over the harbour and in much demand – I saw a ruin here at an exorbitant price – and quite a lot of the old single-occupancy properties have gone.

But I admired them for attacking the job with a digger.

The day warmed up later and we were treated to rain – put the dampers on my two walks later on though, but at least I made well over the 100% daily exercise target which is always good.

And tea tonight was all kinds of vegetables and falafel with a cheese sauce, and that was delicious too.

But despite my short night last night and my exercise today, I’m not at all tired and I don’t know why. It’s going to be yet another late night.