Tag Archives: pointe de carolles

Thursday 23rd September 2021 – WHAT A BEAUTIFUL …

montmartin sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… day it was today – at least, the afternoon of it.

The sky was as clear as a bell and you could see for miles, way out to sea and all along the coast too. With the sun now shining brightly, and down at a lower angle, it had lit up the town of Montmartin sur Mer as if it had been in a spotlight on a stage.

And when I blew up the photo, I could even make out some people on the beach, and that’s pretty good going for that kind of distance.

st helier jersey Eric Hall photo September 2021The view was just as good further out to sea as well.

It was another one of those days where not only was Jersey really clear on the horizon 58 kilometres away, we could even make out some of the buildings at St Helier.

The big tower over to the left is very intriguing. It really could be anything – the “Marine Peilstand 1 Tower” which was a German Army artillery ranging point or La Tour de Vinde, a Napoleonic-era Martello tower, or even the tower the name of which I have forgotten that overlooks St Brelade’s Bay.

yacht ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further on around to the west, the Ile de Chausey was looking quite good too.

The colours weren’t as brilliant or as visible as we have seen them on the odd occasion here and there but the little white cottages at the foot of the lighthouse stand out quite clearly against the dark background of the hill on which the lighthouse is situated.

There wasn’t much going on out at sea though this afternoon. There was just a yacht drifting about rather aimlessly and what looks like a motor boat on the extreme right, but that was about everything.

trawler cap frehel brittany coast France Eric Hall photo September 2021Finally, finishing off our arc from north-east to due west, from my vantage point on top of the bunker at the back of the lighthouse the view was even better.

Right out there in the distance, 70 kilometres away, the lighthouse and fort at Cap Frehel were visible with the naked eye this afternoon, never mind with the camera’s zoom lens.

And we could even see the headland around at the end of the next bay, which I think is the Ile de Brehat at the mouth of the River Trieux

There’s a trawler out there as well, and we can even see that it has its nets out this afternoon. That’s what I call a really good day.

But I’m glad that some people had a really good day today because I had an absolutely awful one.

The night wasn’t as early as I was hoping and when the alarm went off at 06:00 I was right out of it, absolutely and completely. And having another feverish sweat as well.

There wasn’t even time to finish checking my mails and messages before I had gone west and I ended up, to my complete and utter dismay, back in bed and under the covers again. Twice in three days, after going for a couple of years without doing so. That’s a sign of how I’m feeling right now.

It was about 10:20 when I finally staggered out of bed and I’m not sure if I wasn’t feeling any worse either. It took me an age to pull myself together.

But once I did, I made an Executive Decision, and for the benefit of any new reader (of which there are more than just a few these days), an Executive Decision is one where if it’s the wrong decision, the person who made it is executed.

And the decision is that I’ve changed the time of the alarm from 06:00 to 07:30 to give myself an extra 90 minutes in bed, until this situation resolves itself one way or another. Just on Mondays will I be having an 06:00 alarm call as I have the radio stuff to do.

Once I’d had a coffee I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I had to go to meet my aunt off the ferry that was coming in at 06:00 so I had to get up early. There was half my family in my apartment and that was uncomfortable for a start. When I set off, I didn’t realise actually where I was going to have to go to meet everyone. I ended up at the shop and was in there when suddenly my mother walked in. There was some discussion with the shopkeeper about tickets to go to meet people, all this kind of thing, tickets to come back from the ferry terminal on the bus to where they were dropped off at his shop. He said “if my aunt comes, she’ll have a ticket and we can all arrange it them”. Then I had my mother and my brother trying to argue with me. I said “look, for the last 20-odd years I’ve lived on my own. I’m not used to all these people”. That led to a few ribald remarks from my brother and one or two other people. As we walked back to my apartment I found myself thinking “I wish there were some other apartments in this building vacant where I could stick them and get them out of my hair”. There was something as well that I’d told one of my sisters about a book about a Chinese disc jockey that summed up quite a lot the way that I’d been feeling. All the way back we had “my sister couldn’t be bothered to read that book” all that kind of thing and it was a most uncomfortable dream.

I was out with TOTGA last night, of all people. I’d been to go to a Conference on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday so I went to the hotel which was near Birmingham and booked myself in for the Tuesday night to start on Wednesday morning. There were another 2 people there booking and they were only booking for the Wednesday night and Thursday on the same course. He asked me why, and I recognised one of them. I knew that he lived fairly locally so I said that I imagined that he would come straight from home for the conference and then come back here for the next two nights. I can’t remember how it went on from there but there was some time to kill so I ended up going for a walk with TOTGA. We were hand-in-hand walking and chatting. She asked where I would like to go but I didn’t really have much of an idea. She said “how about the cinema?”. I’d never been to the new cinema in Crewe so I said “yes, fine”. We walked along Wistaston Road. There was a queue outside the cinema and it slowly started to move. The tickets were £27:00 to go in, so I thought that I’d pay for her but she was renewing her annual subscription so she said that she’d pay. I insisted on paying but the woman at the counter said “you know that hers is £999, don’t you?” I replied “right, in that case I’d better let you pay”. We arranged to meet one lunchtime as well. She asked me where we’d meet so I replied “why not the cinema?”. We agreed that we’d meet on the lunchtime at the cinema. Then there was the case of making a snack. She had bought me a pizza from here once so I thought “right, we’ll have a pizza”. Apparently you made your own. The cheese though was like a spread that you spread over the base of your pizza and put your topping on top which I thought was an extremely strange way of going about things but I started to do that.

I’d been working on repairing an old MkII Ford Consul. We’d had the engine all stripped down in situ and reassembled it. The owner, my father, was not very happy about everything. He saw petrol lying around in cans and he went and took them away. I had to clean all of these parts, and in the end someone went and fetched the petrol back so I cleaned all of the parts of the carburettor and reassembled it. There were still a few bits and pieces left to do including fuelling it up because there was very little petrol left in it but someone had brought a portable bed and gone to sleep right up against the car where the fuel filler was so I couldn’t reach it. In the end my father came back and asked how we were doing. I replied that it was almost done. He made a few remarks about a few bits that were missing, all this kind of thing. I said “it’s not trouble at all, they aren’t really necessary until we find out how the car runs”. We went to start it and it started first time and sounded nice. He got into it and took it for a little drive around the block. He said “yes, this is fine”, then drove off somewhere else. I remember saying “he’s not going to get very far with the few bits that are missing off it and there’s no petrol in it” And he should know about the petrol because ha was the one who stopped us filling it”.

But in the middle of all of my blasted family coming around to annoy me like they do, it must have cheered me up to have had an afternoon or evening out involving a Close Encounter with TOTGA. But in real life she had far too much sense to involve herself with me to that kind of extent.

What with one thing and another I missed out on having lunch, because, even though I didn’t feel like it, I had a task to perform

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of weeks ago I bought a new printer to replace the one that was only printing in blue. I hadn’t installed it yet but this afternoon someone sent me an important communication that I needed to sign and send back, so I had to unpack it and install it.

Although it’s the same make and model as the old one, it’s an upgraded version so it took me a while to figure it out, and when I’d finished installing it, even though it would print, it wouldn’t scan.

Eventually I discovered that despite it being one of these multi-function printers from a major manufacturer, the scanner drivers aren’t included in the installation package, something that left me totally bewildered, so I had to go on-line and hunt them down.

And then I couldn’t make the machine work as I wanted. The control panel is quite complicated but seems to be lacking in functionality. I was surprised that it hadn’t installed a “scan” button on the computer desktop.

So after much binding in the marsh, I eventually discovered that the original “scan” icon for the old printer now points to the new one and once I’d realised that, it was all plain sailing.

All of this made me quite late for my afternoon walk, and when I finally made it outside, I bumped into a neighbour who kept me chatting for half an hour. Not that I had the time to spare, but I can’t spend all my life being totally unsociable with everyone.

While we were chatting, there were all kinds of stuff going on in the air. The powered red hang-glider went by overhead, followed by a couple of Nazguls, a light aeroplane and even the air-sea rescue helicopter, but you can’t interrupt your conversation to take a few pictures. It’s not very polite.

launching site for hang gliders Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021One we’d parted company and gone our separate ways, like the Knights in THE HOLY GRAIL? i tried to make amends.

The field from where the Bird-men of Alcatraz take off is right next door to the cemetery, which I always thought was a good idea because if they make a mistake on take-off or landing they won’t have far to go, so I took a random photo to see if I could see anyone.

But they must have come in and untangled themselves from their equipment quite quickly because by the time that I looked, the field was pretty much deserted. The bird-men had flown.

bouchots donville les bains people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Instead, I concentrated myself on what was going on down on the beach this afternoon.

Plenty of beach to be on today of course with the tide being out, but not too many people on it taking advantage of the warm, almost windless afternoon.

Meanwhile, further over at Donville les Bains, they are out there in force at the bouchot beds – the beds where the mussels grow on strings rather than in the sand. You can see the tractors and trailers out there as they harvest today’s catch

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was here, I had a look to see how the repair work on the old medieval city wall at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux was going on

It’s been a while since we’ve had a close look, so I was hoping to see some substantial progress today. But all that I could see was that some white protective sheet had been erected to cover the scaffolding at the far end.

There are however a couple of guys on the scaffolding down at this end working on the wall so if I can get away early on my way to the physiotherapist tomorrow afternoon I’ll go for a closer look and see how they are doing.

jersey trawler Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While all of this was going on, I was having a good look around out at sea.

As I mentioned earlier, Jersey was standing out quite clearly this afternoon. With some digital enhancing we can see plenty of boats out there this afternoon, like the fishing boat over to the right that might even be the same one that we’ve seen in the bay for the last couple of days.

And it’s not all that usual that we see the eastern end of the island so clearly, yet here it is today. I was trying to identify some of the buildings there by reference to an aerial photo, but without very much success.

boats leaving harbour st helier jersey Eric Hall photo September 2021A little further around to the west there’s a really good view of several boats leaving the harbour at St Helier.

The one on the extreme left of the image caught my eye. Blowing up the image as much as I could, I could see that it has some kind of winching gear on the stern, but it looks too big to be a trawler.

However, there was nothing arriving at or leaving the port round about that time that corresponded with a ship of this nature.

And then we have another couple of trawlers heading our way

trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy Eric Hall photo September 2021With nothing else going on over here (as if all of this isn’t enough) I went to have a closer look at Cap Fréhel, which I could see with my naked eye today, and then across the lawn and the car pary around to the end of the headland.

In the past, I can’t recall having seen fishing boats working in the strait here between Granville and Cancale over in Brittany, but that all changed fairly recently when we noticed them starting to try to exploit this area. There’s a trawler out there this afternoon trying to see what it can pull up out of the sea bed.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I wonder if this constant search for new fishing grounds is due to the issues over fishing rights further out in the Baie de Granville.

hotels baie de mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned how nice the weather was today and how clear the sky was.

Down at the foot of the Baie de Mont St Michel, while we can’t actually see the Mont until someone removes the Pointe de Carolles and the Cabanon Vauban that sits thereupon, we can see the hotels on the mainland this afternoon.

If you look just slightly to the right of the foot of the Pointe de Carolles you’ll see a few white or light grey buildings. These are where anyone who comes to visit the Mont and stay overnight will usually stay because prices actually on the Mont itself are quite simply out of this world.

And there on the mainland they aren’t really all that much better, I suppose. It’s pretty much a captive audience over there.

l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Meanwhile, it’s “all change” at the chantier naval this afternoon.

As I walked along the path on the top of the cliff towards the port, I could see that things were looking quite different down there this afternoon. And it looks as if there has been a massive clear-out today.

The only boat that is left today is L’Omerta. The other boats that were in there – Hera, Le Pescadore and Catherine-Philippe – have now gone back into the water.

The next question is “who is going to come into the chantier naval to take their place?”.

belle france chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It’s a lot more normal over at the ferry terminal this afternoon.

The new ferry Belle France and the little freighter Chausiaise are moored over there this afternoon. The two Joly France boats are probably out at sea somewhere. And they’ve closed up the jib of the crane as well, which is good news for the hydraulic seals.

Meanwhile, in other news, there’s some kind of jogging team out there on the quayside going for a run. They’ve turned off and are starting to run along the wall around the port de plaisance.

And I’m intrigues to find out what will happen when they reach the end, because there’s a large gap in the wall. Perhaps it’s the start of a triathlon and they are all going to leap into the sea and swim across.

Back in the past, I took part in a triathlon, but only the once. I was busy doing the water leg when I suddenly thought to myself “this is silly. I’m getting the bike all rusty here”.

marquees chicane rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Over the last few days we’ve seen interesting developments taking place in the Rue du Port.

We have the chicane of course, and the marquee that they erected yesterday. But now a couple more marquees have sprung up on the car park of the Fish Processing Plant. This is all starting to become interesting.

And we can see that Marité is back in town as well. She’s been absent for the last couple of days. Well, in fact, she hasn’t really. She’s been nipping out early on the morning tide for a lap around the Ile de Chausey or over to Cancale and not come back until the evening tide.

Hence my mid-afternoon walk has missed her.

aztec lady capo di fora spirit of conrad mini y port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Meanwhile, In other news, we have a couple of new visitors in the port.

The white yacht on the extreme right next to the blue Aztec Lady is called Capo di Fora. Despite her Italian-sounding name, she’s actually flying the Belgian flag, as, incidentally, her neighbour Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went up and down the Brittany coast last summer.

The large grey yacht is called Mini Y, registered in the UK. She’s a “Baltic 85” yacht built in Finland in 2018 of fibre and composite construction and weighs in at just 50 tonnes.

She’s been cruising along the North European coast for the last few days and just recently has been roaming around St Malo and the waters between there and here

Back here in the apartment I had a few things to finish off and then I was just on the point of starting some work when Rosemary called me again.

Once we’d finished, it was long past my tea time so I grabbed an aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit out of the freezer and had that with some pasta. That tasted really nice, and it would have been even nicer had I not dropped the bottle of tabasco sauce in it.

***Note to self – put toilet roll in fridge tonight ***

And now I’m off to bed – going to make the most of my lie-in for the next few days to see if it makes me feel any better. Although I have a feeling that I’ll need more than this to liven me up.

Saturday 28th August 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… miserable day today. And much of that is my own fault too.

Despite having, for what has been just recently an early night – so early in fact that I was nowhere near finished yesterday’s journal entry – it was a real struggle to force myself out of bed this morning when the alarm went off.

It was a crawl into the bathroom and even after a cold-water wash I didn’t feel any different. I had the medication and then came back in here to start work.

After an hour or so and ot having done very much at all, I reckoned that I may as well go for a coffee.

A quick check of the time told me that it was in fact just 05:25 – it seemed that I had forgotten to switch off the alarm from last Saturday. No wonder I was feeling so dreadful.

What I did was to switch off all of the following alarms except that for 06:20 and then went back to bed.

When the alarm went off, I couldn’t move out of bed at all so I went back so sleep and the next thing that I remembered was rhat it was 08:40. That wasn’t the start of the day that I wanted.

Having organised myself I went out to the shops. First port of call was Lidl where I bought some stuff that I couldn’t carry home when I was there on Wednesday.

Next stop was at Centrakor where I wanted to see if they had anything to cover my fruit but that was a disappointment.

At Noz I spent half my time going around the shop buying a couple of things and the other half of the time dismantling Caliburn’s door handle and freeing it off so that it would work.

At LeClerc, that was a disappointment too. No decent keyboard and no decent printer either. Some other stuff that I needed, like food and so on, and then I came home.

Carrying the stuff up here (only some of it too) was quite a struggle and I was glad to sit down for a pause with a coffee. And while I was seated, I organised myself a new keyboard and printer. The keyboard can’t be here soon enough because this one is driving me berserk.

After lunch I came back in here to start work but unfortunately I fell asleep again – as if this morning hasn’t been enough. It meant that I was rather late for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNevertheless, out I went and as usual, my first port of call when I go out for my afternoon walk is to stick my head over the wall at the end of the car park to see what’s going on down there.

Despite the weather, which is quite windy today, there are a few people making the most of the last weekend of the summer season. No-one actually in the water this afternoon which is hardly a surprise because I imagine that it will be quite cold in there this afternoon.

By the looks of things the beaches further along the coast look as if there is no-one on them and that’s a surprise. They are less susceptible to the wind, the views are good and they are good for walking

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile one eye was roving around on the beach, the other eye was having a good look out to sea.

There wasn’t anything going on just offshore but way out in the bay there was a zodiac travelling offshore at quite a rapid rate of knots. I’ve no idea from where it’s come and to where it’s going. There’s no evidence of anything out there that might be of interest.

But you can see how rough the sea is this afternoon. It’s due to the effect of the wind that is whipping up the waves. You can tell that from the whitecaps out there in the bay.

joly france ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite everything else, the sky was quite clear this afternoon and the view was really good.

In the past regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen plenty of photos of the Ile de Chausey but it’s been very rare that we’ve been able to see it quite as clearly as this.

The colours have been enhanced a little, of course, and we can see the houses along the shore quite clearly . And that’s the lighthouse on the left of the image on the hill, and on the hill on the right is the semaphore station.

lighthouse semaphore crowds on footpath pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo that’s the lighthouse and semaphore station station on the Ile de Chausey. Here are the lighthouse and the semaphore station at the Pointe du Roc.

The semaphore is of course the smaller post on the far right. The taller post in the centre seems to be some kind of transmission aerial, maybe for the coastguard post right out on the end of the headland behind the building up there.

And is that one of the Joly France boats out there to the right?

Crowds of people taking a walk this afternoon around the headland too. The last weekend of the summer season and they’ll all be heading home tomorrow (I hope) and we can all return to some peace and tranquility far from the madding crowds.

fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, in other news, a little further on along the path we have the presence of a fisherman.

Not a very optimistic fisherman either because he doesn’t have a net with which to haul in his catch or a bucket in which to keep it, and that seems rather a strange idea to me.

In fact, I’m slowly coming round to the conclusion that the fishing off the rocks is sport fishing, not subsistence fishing, and the aim isn’t actually to keep and eat any fish that they catch but to release it back into the water afterwards.

As a vegan I should be applauding this gesture but it’s still something of a mystery

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving had our attention distracted by the sea and by the land, it’s now time to turn out attention to the air.

Even if the fisherman isn’t necessarily hunting for food, other people are, like the sparrowhawk whom we have seen on several occasions.

He’s out there again hunting for his food in the rough grass down the bank on the clifftop and he’s probably having better luck than the fisherman below him.

That’s my lot really. Nothing else of any other great excitement happening around here and nothing else going on out to sea, I headed off around the path and across the car park.

carolles plage Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust at that moment, as I was crossing the car park, a ray of sun fell onto the beach at Carolles-Plage and illuminated it as if with a spotlight on a stage.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have walked the length of that beach on several occasions not long after I first came here, when I was staying at that cheap hotel in Jullouville while I was looking for an apartment.

It’s a beautiful beach and quite quiet too as much of it is not easily accessible. It peters out up against the Pointe de Carolles, under the watchful eye of the Cabanon Vauban that is out of shot to the right.

Around the end of the headland and along the path I came to the viewpoint overlooking the outer harbour.

marite les epiettes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing much going on there of any note so I carried on along to where I could see the boats in the inner harbour.

First of all, the small red white and blue boat that’s there in the loading bay – when I was down there yesterday I was able to have a good look at her and she is indeed Les Epiettes, the boat that we saw out at the Ile de Chausey when we were aboard Spirit of Conrad last year.

Marité of course needs no introduction at all. she’s quite happily sitting at her berth waiting for her next trip out.

But as for me, I was waiting for my trip back home.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that “bad parking” is a feature that used to figure quite often on these pages, but fear of boring you all to death has made me abandon it, except in certain clearly outrageous circumstances.

bad parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust like this one here in fact.

This is a van that is fitted out as a mobile home and because there is no room to park just here (obviously the public car park just up the road at the Boulevard Vaufleury is too far to travel, they have decided to park just here.

Two wheels up on the kerb on the grass verge and the rest of the vehicle parked in the street, on a bus route and right opposite a relatively busy road junction.

But of course, who cares about the day-to-day life of the residents here? Being a tourist is much more important and who cares if it inconveniences the locals? Tough luck!

It’s no wonder that many people are glad to see the backs of the tourists when the holiday season is finally over.

By the way, it was one of those little concrete bollards just there that I tripped over on my nocturnal excursion the other evening.

Back here later there was the dictaphone that needed attention. And despite the rather short night, there had been plenty of time to go off for a mega-ramble or three.

There was another ship very like a Spanish galleon. I was on it and someone said to me “you won’t be going back on board the ship for a while because it had been raided by the local police. I was still out there trying to make a living by getting her food by carving on fish paste sandwiches and making sure that she does actually want to do it herself. I’ve no idea at all what was going on here, but once again I awoke covered in sweat from this.

And who is “she”? The cat’s mother?

Later on I was watching a football match and the opposition goalkeeper had been sent off just like someone yesterday. Someone else had to go in goal. His team won a corner so he went up to the penalty area for it. The corner came in but the other team’s keeper caught it quite cleanly but the other guy bundled him straight into the net, ball and all, and did a lap of honour around the goal at the back. Of course, the referee, talking to his linesman, ruled it out. That caused all kinds of problems but I could certainly see why it had been ruled out and wasn’t going to argue about it. It seemed a fair decision to me

And somewhere along the line I had another one of these work dreams where everything that I was doing was in total chaos yet again, and when I was on the point of retiring and could have just walked out.

There was football too on the internet – Penybont v Connah’s Quay Nomads. An exciting, free-flowing end-to-end game but most of it went to naught because the final touch was just not good enough.

The score finished 1-1 which was a surprise because there was a point in the game when I was thinking that they could be playing until next weekend and the score would still be 0-0. The central defensive pairing of Penybont was one of the best that I have ever seen.

But up front, both teams will have to be doing much better than this.

Just as I was about to go for a late meal, Rosemary rang me and we had a chat for … errr … 2 hours and 37 minutes. Hence I’ve had no food, and I’m too tired to write this out properly.

It’s just not my day, is it?

Friday 6th August 2021 – JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday 13th December 2020 – JUST FOR A …

… change just recently, I was up and about at something resembling more a respectable time of day on a Sunday – like 10:30 for example, which is a world of a difference away from 12:00 and 12:30, isn’t it?

So having taken my medicine, I went to have a listen to the dictaphone. And phew! Was I busy during the night?

I can’t remember much about the next bit that happened (I can’t even remember any first bit) at night but there was a young girl in it something like my youngest sister. I don’t know what she was doing but later I was out and they were controlling the stuff that was going out of this shop. I had a TV computer screen and took a felt-tip pen and wrote on the screen surround today’s date to make it look as if I’d actually brought this in with me rather than just buying it so that I could take it out of the store without actually paying for it but my big felt-tip pen was all discoloured and the ink didn’t show up very well on the brown surround so I had to take a felt-tip pen off them.

Later, it was my mother’s birthday and I wanted to wish her a happy birthday (don’t ask me why). I was living in Chester at the time so I had to go to Crewe. I had this idea of going with the aid of a stick where I leant all my weight on this stick and pivoted forward like that. I could work up a good rhythm with that and actually go at 7 miles per hour doing that all the way back to Crewe. But then I thought that I would have to turn round and do it all the way back again. There were all kinds of stories about how they were going to use paper boarding but this kind of thing was extremely dangerous after all they had said. There were countless people who had set out with things like this and thought that they could do really well.

Next, we had another one of my “wandering around London” dreams last night. I’d been to see my aunt with a pile of things – I think that I’d been on holiday and I’d called back there just to drop off some stuff. Then I wandered off around and met up with a friend – we were planning on having a night in. But she turned out to me a mixture of herself and my cousin in Canada and we were actually in Canada. I had to go back to her house so I got off this bus with all these people with whom I’d been chatting, and noticed that her street was under more development. They were building another restaurant so I went to talk to her about it and she explained that it was always being modernised and so on. I said that these other people had talked about this restaurant and how good it was going to be and she agreed. Then we got into her car to drive these presents round to Mary’s. But when we arrived it was after the time that their building had been locked up. I said that we ring on the bell and wait 5 minutes and she’ll let us in, then we can get ourselves organised. But she seemed to be reluctant to get out of the car to go to see her and said something about her mother who was in her 90s, the same age as my aunt. In the end I decided that I would go out as well and she would go out and maybe we would just put the presents in the letter box and come back or perhaps maybe just find the time to say a quick hello but we didn’t get to the point of making a quick decision

I was with this same friend yet again subsequently and we had been all around south-west London. She was talking about her relationships and how her husband was moving out at the end of January. I asked her if she knew for sure. Had he given her a date? She said not but reckoned that that was what it was going to be. I asked about her plans and she said that she was going to move to a place called “Sea Breezes” so if he came to look for her he wouldn’t find her. I asked her about this place and she was a bit vague about it. She said that things were going to change – the air, you would feel the sea in it and the ozone. I thought that it would have to be pretty close to the sea but she said “no, it’s in south-west London”. So we set off to go and have a look at it but we ended up being sidetracked miles off our course and we had to come back to retrace our steps. she had been on a bike and in the end she picked up another one and I picked up hers and we both cycled back and came to a place where the hill was really steep. We had to cycle down this hill at an enormous speed. I said “I hope that your brakes work on this bike that I’m riding”. She said “yes so do I”. That unnerved me a little. I had to use my foot to slow down but we reached the bottom and ended up in part of the big urban environment there. I’d lost my friend for a minute and ended up talking to a couple of women. One of them was speaking in a French accent so I started to reply in French. We had a bit of a chat. She noticed the dry ski slope and said “oh, skiers. It’s like Mont Blanc here”. I had a look and I could see someone who resembled my friend going down the slope. I thought “she’s been quick to get there” so I set off. Instead I found her standing in the middle of the road on a traffic island chatting to Jackie. There was a group of about 6 of them. I went over but kept on bumping into this guy and kept on excusing myself. He kept replying “it’s no problem” but I could see that he was starting to become irritated about this but it was a natural reaction that I couldn’t stop. Then I noticed that STRAWBERRY MOOSE wasn’t there so I asked my friend what she had done with him. She pointed “he’s over there” so Jackie went to pick him up. They were all talking to this guy who looked like someone from the OU warning him about the clothes that he was wearing – he shouldn’t go to a certain place wearing those clothes. But his clothes weren’t OU at all – they had some other logo on them that I didn’t recognise so this chat continued

It’s hardly any surprise after all of that that I didn’t have time to do very much today. Transcribing that took a lot of time

But I did find the time to make my fruit bread. Much as I enjoyed my chocolate cake, it was very fatty and probably responsible for the weight that I’m gaining. Not an ounce of fat in the fruit bread, except maybe in the oil from the ground Brazil nuts.

So that was stuck on one side again while I joined up the music tracks for my next radio programme. That’s all done too. And our journey around the World moves on into yet more uncharted territory.

helicopter english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now I was ready to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland. First thing though was to exchange pleasantries with a neighbour outside who was taking the air.

It was a good job that I was wrapped up in my rain gear as it was raining outside. And as I stepped out of the car park I noticed that our local air-sea rescue helicopter went flying by, right out there in the English Channel. Someone with his chopper out this afternoon

At first I wasn’t sure what it was because it was so far out at sea. It was only when I returned when I could enlarge the photo to see what it was.

Anyway, I set off down the track to the lawn and across and through the car park to the headland to see what was going on.

fishing boats chausiais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd the answer to that conundrum was “nothing at all”. Not even a boat anywhere out at sea. So I walked down to cross over the road and I ran off down the path on top of the cliffs seeing as there was no-one about.

There wasn’t all that much going on in the harbour either. There were no fishing boats at the fish processing plant but there was one moving around in the harbour looking as if it was going out to the fishing grounds.

There were several others moored in the harbour but they didn’t look as if they are going anywhere right now. I suppose that they are all having the day off.

jean claude rabec furniture removals chausiais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there was certainly something quite strange going on in the background.

The company that owns that lorry is one of the country’s leading furniture removers and you can see that from the lorry they are unloading some very large wooden crates. These are the kind of crates that you would expect to see in a long-distance furniture removal such as a removal by sea.

But why unload them at the ferry port? They can only be for Chausiais but surely it’s easier to drop them in with the crane at the loading bay in inner harbour.

chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was here at the viewpoint on top of the cliffs, I had a look over at the chantier navale to see if there was anything new happening.

We’re still stuck at just the yacht right now. Nothing else has come in over the last couple of days since Ceres II went back into the water. Instead we can just admire the weather.

We’re having something of a rainstorm as you can see. The Pointe de Carolles over there in the background is shrouded in thick cloud and the rain is quite heavy out in the centre of the bay and it looks as if it’s settled in for the night.

sunset baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut out in the Baie de Mont St Michel the weather conditions aren’t quite as dismal.

We’re having another one of these “sunshine streaming through the heavy cloud” moments across near the Brittany coast, with the rain coming down to the North (on the right) and the South (on the left). In the centre of the image the corner of the cliffs by Cancale and the sea off the coast are really nicely illuminated by the rays of the sun.

But I wasn’t going to hang around to admire it for too long. I was becoming rather wet what with all of this rain. I turned on my heel and headed for home and my coffee, which I forgot to drink.

Instead I kneaded the bread a second time and shaped it, then dropped it into a greased tin to rise again. And having taken a lump of frozen dough out of the freezer earlier, I added some more flour to what was a wet mix, and then kneaded, rolled and shaped it, and stuck it in a pizza tray.

vegan pizza fruit bread rice pudding Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLiz was on line so we had a chat and I did some more work, but later on I put on the oven and when it was warm, stuck the bread in the oven, and then added a rice pudding to the oven as well.

While it was cooking, I prepared the pizza. I had no peppers and, unfortunately, I forgot the olives. But when the bread and rice were cooked, the pizza went into the oven.

The pizza was soon cooked and it was absolutely delicious – one of the best that I’ve made. The bread was left to cool and then stuck in a tin and the rice pudding ended up back into the oven to finish off as it wasn’t quite cooked.

I wasn’t hungry so I didn’t try it. That will be for tomorrow.

casino plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on I went for my perambulations around the medieval city walls – not that I was feeling much like it and which I won’t be able to do when the 20:00 curfew comes into force on Tuesday.

As seems to be the case these days I kept to the dry land up on top of the walls and the view from up there is different from what I usually see, as is the case with the view over the Plat Gousset.

Down on the path I ran all the way round and after having a pause, ran off around and through the Square Maurice Marland towards home.

christmas lights rue lecampion Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallback on the walls again, I had to remind myself that there’s a little point where you can see the Christmas lights of the Rue Lecampion and I haven’t photographed those yet.

You can see right down the street into the Place Generale de Gaulle and the blue lights on the Mairie that we saw a couple of days ago from up on top. And in the distance in the top right-hand corner you’ll see the lights at the top of the Rue Couraye.

So back here I wrote up my notes ready to go to bed. I’ve already started writing the notes for the radio programme so I’m hoping that I can finish them and have time to go to the shops before lunch. But that remains to be seen. It’s more important to have a decent sleep and a good start in the morning.

But we’ll see about that tomorrow too.

Friday 2nd October 2020 – I KNEW THAT …

Repairing Roof Guttering College Malraux Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… it was a mistake for me to have those baked beans the other night.

The storm that was brewing last night was actually Hurricane Alex or whatever it was called and it finally arrived round about 02:00. By 05:00 is was in its full fury and round about 05:20 the weather station just down the road here recorded a gust of wind at 142Km/H – that’s 85MpH for those of you still working in real money.

This afternoon when I went out for my walk, they were out repairing all the damage – because damage, there was plenty. There was a cherry-picker just across the car park putting part of the roof and the guttering back on the College Malraux. And that’s the leeward side of the building too. I wonder what it must have been like on the windward side.

But imagine being up there on that with the wind gusting like it did. Luckily the wind had died down considerably by the time that I went out and everywhere was slowly getting back to normal – until the next storm.

It’s not surprising therefore that I had a bad night. It was difficult to sleep with all of this going on – that is, unless I was in mid-dictate because in the middle of recounting one episode I did fall asleep. And my apologies to the much-maligned Percy Penguin, who doesn’t appear in these pages anything like as often as she deserves. Yes, so I do sometimes snore when I’m asleep. Et Alors?

For a change I beat the third alarm to my feet this morning. But it didn’t make much difference because there was that much on the dictaphone that I still didn’t have the early night for which I was hoping.

We started off with people all dying off in this country house – a typical Agatha Christie murder thing and there was an investigation going on. Hercule Poirot came to carry out the investigation but he mysteriously died as well. That left everything in the clear so I thought that it was best that I made my getaway at the moent while everyone else was preoccupied. I nipped out. There were all these people at the seaside at tables having a communal meal down the coast. I ran past them. What I hadn’t realised was that Poirot had come to life again. He’d tried a trick. He chased after me and actually caught me. A proper detective led me away. I tried to argue my way out of it but to no avail. He took me to his car which was a long way away by foot. His car had some kind of publicity thing like upturned cows’ udders on the roof for milk.
Rather surprisingly, a while later I had exactly the same dream but it finished differently. It was 2 other people who cornered me, not Poirot. They managed to stop me and the police came up and took me away. But it was the same, identical dream except that it finished in a different way.
Somewhat later, there was a note on my dictaphone about which I don’t have a clue, because it appears that I might have missed the start. There was in fact an entry prior to this, but it was a blank one so I must not have recorded it. However – “This was done (what was?) first in film then it was done the second time also in film, glorious technicolour. Then I walked back to the town at Granville again past a group of (I fell asleep here) said they would kill me. I went to drag them away. (I fell asleep again here for a good few minutes). So I ran but in the end they caught me and that happened twice in both particular dreams. Later still it all came into a hospital, not a country house party, and all this started to happen but I was arrested before I actually poisoned too many of those”.
At least it looks as if it has something to do with the events of the previous dream, but I’ve no idea what it’s about really.
Later on last night I was joined by someone who fluttered briefly into my life 12 or so years ago and who has recently reappeared quite dramatically. I was planning on moving house out of my parents’ home into the one I’d bought at Winsford. She was moving house as well so we were all discussing our plans and so on. I already had a lot of furniture in my house but the dining room table in my parents house belonged to me and what was I going to do about that? Would I take it? Leave it? Sell it or something? It ended up being quite a lengthy discussion. We had had a bit of a lie-in that morning but had things to do. Suddenly it announced on the radio that it was nearly 12:00. Someone said that they’d better get on with this tin of beans while they still can before the contents go off. It was a huge tin of baked beans and someone had tried to open it and made a right mess of butchering the top so someone else had to open it. I had some things to take round to my house, which had now become my house in the Auvergne. I got there and went to quickly look at things and put things away because this girl might come round. Sure enough she suddenly presented herself. She asked if she could use the bathroom. I explained to her that the toilet was a dry one. She replied “ohh no, I can’t use that!”

There was far more to it than this but some of my readers have delicate sensibilities and they are probably eating their meals right now.

So what have I done today?

For a start-off, I’ve done some rearranging of things in my office. I’m fed up of cables that go absolutely everywhere except where they are supposed to go. So I’ve moved a few things around and tidied up the wiring to some degree. That means that as well as the place looking neater, I can actually now get into the two drawers that are in one of the bookcases. I can now start to put things away.

There was still 1kg of carrots that needed freezing. They have been washed, peeled, diced, blanched with bayleaves, drained and they are now in the freezer taking care of themselves.

But I spent all day working on the photos of July this year. All of the ones from the trip on the Spirit of Conrad have been dealt with and I’m now well into the ones for my Great Trek around Central Europe.

What was disappointing though was that I could have done much more except that I crashed out no fewer than three times during the course of the day. An early start is no good if I end up being asleep for all of this time during the day.

Le Loup Baie de Mont St Michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe had the afternoon walk as usual, and although the wind had dropped somewhat, I still didn’t want to spend too much time out there.

No boats of course, as you might expect, and not much else going on. I took a photo of the Baie de Mont St Michel and Le Loup – the light that’s on the rock at the entrance to the harbour, more out of the fact that there was nothing much else going on anywhere. At least you can see how grey and miserable everything looked today.

But when I said that there were no boats out there, that’s not strictly true. Somewhere out there on the rocks is a yacht. The gusts of winds snatched one from its moorings over at Cancale on the Brittany coast and drove it across the bay onto the rocks neat the Pointe de Carolles. There was no-one in it, but a lifeboat did go out. They managed to rescue it and tow it into the harbour during the afternoon.

debris Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound in the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne there is yet more devastation.

It’s effectively an alleyway between the high walls of the medieval city on one side and the high walls of one of the old barracks buildings. It’s like a wind tunnel up there at the best of times and so earlier this morning it must have been horrific. It’s brought down mortar and even small stones out of the walls of the barracks. That lot certainly wasn’t there yesterday.

Back here I carried on with my work and then had my hour on the guitar. And strangely, I didn’t enjoy it at all. I couldn’t seem to be able to do anything properly and it really annoyed and frustrated me. I’m not supposed to have days like this.

Tea was taco rolls, using up the rest of the stuffing left over from my stuffed peppers with a small tin of kidney beans chucked in for good measure. That was followed by yet more strawberry flan with coconut soya dessert.

Calm Seas Plat Gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor my evening walk tonight, the wind was behaving itself a little more. Now, it could just be classed as “strong”. Nevertheless there were still some brave folks sitting outside at La Rafale.

There wasn’t anyone else wandering around so I had the old town to myself. I ran on down the path to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset and if you want any confirmation about how dramatically the weather has changed, then one view of the sea should tell you all that you need to know.

The tempest that was raging last night even before the storm reached anything like its peak has subsided as dramatically as you can get. Tonight, it was like a millpond out there and as long as I looked I didn’t see a single wave of any significance.

Moonlight Behind Clouds Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe sky was beautifully bright tonight and you could see for miles in all directions, including upwards.

That is, until you reached where the moon was. Here, there was some cloud cover and the moon was obscured. Not enough though to stop the bright moonlight seeping out around the edges and that was just beckoning for a photograph. And all in all, given the limitations under which I’m working, it came out rather well.

No sign of life in the harbour tonight, which is no surprise seeing as there were no boats out today in view of the weather. I know that they go out on most occasions in adverse weather, but today it really was adverse. With nothing to see, I ran on home to my apartment.

Tomorrow is shopping day so now that I’ve finished my notes, I’m having an early night. In fact, I don’t need much from the shops as I’m not going to be here for a few days next week. It’s Castle Anthrax time, but whether or not I go is another thing. Lille is a hotbd of the virus and there’s talk of a severe lockdown. And that’s where I change trains for Brussels.

That’s going to be exciting.

Saturday 26th September 2020 – I WAS WRONG …

… about the weather last night. We didn’t have the rainstorm today. Or the plague of locusts either. But we had just about everything else.

The high winds are still here and still wreaking devastation about the town. I blame the baked beans that I had for tea the other night.

We also had one of the coldest days that I can remember for a good while too.

That’s probably why I didn’t feel like springing into action this morning and leaping joyously out of bed. Consequently I missed the third alarm. Only by 10 minutes or so, but missed it all the same.

And that’s hardly surprising as I must have been exhausted after my travels last night. I was with my aunt and we were doing a lot of stuff on the computer quite happliy working away. There was another guy with us as well. Suddenly my computer hard drive caught fire. This boy was all for dashing off for phoning up the fire brigade. Of coure I wouldn’t let him do that – I put it out myself. The fire brigade would just smother it in foam and ruin everything. In the end I managed to put out the fire. Of course the hard drive was ruined. My aunt and this boy were going into the City – Bishopsgate, although I don’t know why I thought Bishopsgate because it wasn’t there that I meant. There was a huge computer shop there. I felt really annoyed because I’d been to a computer fair that day and I could have bought a new hard drive there for peanuts had I known but it’s too late now. I asked this boy if he knew about this computer shop. Oh yes, he knew it very well. I asked “while you’re up in London with my aunt can you nip in there and pick me up a hard drive?”. I told him the one I wanted. He said “wouldn’t it be better to pick up a differet type for a MAC or something like that?”. He only ever uses MACs. I said that I use PCs and I’ve used them for years and I know them pretty well so I’m going to stick with them. He had a little bit of a chunter about that. Then I thought that I would have to get him some money as well and I probably don’t have enough cash on me so how am I going to do that? Then it came to booking the tickets so I went to look on the railway site. It turned out instead that I was looking at the bus site. It took endless goes for me to log in on it because everyone was meithering me and I kept on typing the wrong word. Eventually I got in to find that it was buses that we were looking at because we were now actually living in Bath. The first thing my aunt said was that they don’t have a direct bus service from Bath to London any more. We have to go on the train. We had to start looking for things like that. In the meantime we managed to find the times of the buses which would at least get them some of the way. Then the phone rang. My aunt talked to whoever it was and so on. When she hung up she said “that was George and that’s strange. He’s after his wages for the taxis. He’s on holiday and he wants it posted to him in York by cheque”. She couldn’t understand why he wanted it. I said “he’s probably going to buy something special while he’s in York”. “Yes but it’s early. he doesn’t get paid until Thursday but anyway …”. She had a chunter about that. Then I had to go and get her ready for this bus so they could get on it and this other guy too and head off into London
A little later on there was a girl and she was a lot older than she ought to be and she still had a dolly that she cuddled. People used to make remarks about it (Wiske and Schanulleke, anyone?). They decided that they would pass a Law about it. Somewhere inside there they inserted a clause that people who cuddled a pet or other object or person for the purpose of comfort would be exempt, which of course wiped out the whole purpose of this Law anyway. So we all had a debate about it.
Just then this other girl turned up. She was in a purple and gold kind of trouser suit kind of thing that looked more at home in a Middle-Eastern harem. She had long dark-brown hair that was cut in the style of an Egpytian, really precise cuts and edges and so on.
There was much more to it too but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you any discomfort.
And once again I was dictating without the dictaphone in my hand. Either this is starting to become a habit or else it already is and a whole load of stuff has slipped quite literally through my hands.

After a shower, Caliburn and I hit the streets and headed to the shops.

NOZ is always on my shopping list. That’s a shop that buys job-lots of bankrupt stock, overstocks, that kind of thing from all over Europe.

In the past I’ve found plenty of useful things in there and also a whole variety of different foods to vary my diet somewhat. Today they had stocks of Sharwoods products on offer so I now have some vindaloo and madras sauces as well as some mango chutney. Stocks of curry in the freezer are getting low, an I’m also going to learn to make poppadoms, I reckon.

At LeClerc I didn’t spend very much, and most of what I did went on fruit. The place is now looking like a greengrocer’s, which is good for my health (and that reminds me – my kiwi, lemon and ginger cordial is delicious and I’ll be doing that again – hence more kiwis today).

One good thing is that, after much searching, I finally found the fresh figs. So back here, I finally set my kefir en route. How that will pan out remains to be seen.

This afternoon I had a whizz through some more photos of my adventures with Spirit of Conrad in July and we are now in our anchorage for the final night aboard. I reckon that there are about 50 more to edit before I finish.

Then, there are the 400 or so from my voyage into Eastern Europe and once they are completed I can turn my attention to the 3000 that remain from the High Arctic in 2019 and the 2000-odd from the High Arctic in 2018.

And then, finally, I can write up the notes for all of this.

The burning question of the day is not Rafferty’s motor car but whether I’ll finish all of this before all of this finishes me.

A few more albums bit the dust too, some more work was done on revising the web pages, Rosemary rang me and we had a chat for just over an hour, and I even found time to crash out for 15 minutes.

And as for that latter, with everything else that I’ve been doing today, it’s hardly a surprise. I must have been exhausted by then so I’m not too disappointed, even if for the last couple of days I’ve managed to keep going.

chez maguie bar itinerante closed granville manche normandy france eric hallThe day is far from finished too. There’s football this evening so I headed off into town.

And here’s another sure sign that the summer season has ended. The beach cabins have gone and they’ve taken down the diving platform at the Plat Gousset already, but now the itinerant bar Chez Maguie has folded up its tent and crept silently away in the night.

It’s a very significant sign for some of us, but for others it means that the locals can have their boulodrome back until next summer.

football stade louis dior fc flerien flers us granville manche normandy france eric hallProfessional football started back up a few weeks ago, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. But this weekend amateur football has had the green light.

Consequently I headed off up to the Stade Louis Dior to watch Granville’s 2nd XI play FC Flerien, the team from Flers, in Normandy Regional 1.

For the first 15 minutes Granville’s control of the ball and their passing and movement was extremely fluent, but by the end of this little period they were already 2-0 down – a corner that the goalkeeper dropped into the path of an onrushing forward (he seemed to have a good pair of teflon gloves) and a misplaced header under pressure back to the goalkeeper that went to another onrushing forward.

After that, a couple of heads dropped, and the Fleriens got into their stride. We had to wait 55 minutes for Granville’s first shot on target (and about 10 minutes before the end for their other one) and 65 minutes for their first corner.

It was literally men against boys because Granville’s team was quite youthful whereas Flers had three or four old hands who had clearly been around the block far more times than the Granville players could handle.

The match ended 2-0 but really Flers could have had half a dozen and no-one in Granville would have complained.

And I’m glad that the match finished when it did because I was absolutely frozen to the marrow. It’s a long time since I’ve been this cold. I’ve been much warmer than this in the Arctic and next time I go to the football I’ll put on the thermal undies that I bought on Thursday.

blue light pedestrian crossing ave matignon granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, here’s something that I haven’t noticed before – mainly because it’s been an age since I went into town in the dark at night.

But now there seems to be blue lights shining down on all of the pedestrian crossings on the main roads. Presumably to give motorists a better chance of spotting civilians trying to cross the road.

It brought back many happy memories of a press release that we wonce received from the Parisian authorities when I worked at Shearings – “The policeman who directs the traffic at the roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe will from now on be floodlit to make sure that motorists don’t miss him in the dark”.

marite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route home had to be extended tonight for the simple reason that “if I’m out, I’m well out” and there’s no point in going home with just 90% on my fitbit. I may as well push it up to 100%.

For that reason I wandered on down into the port to see what was going on.

“Nothing much” was the answer to that. Marité was there of course, tucked up in her little corner and so were the two Channel Island ferries, Granville and the older Victor Hugo.

As an aside, we haven’t seen a gravel boat in here for almost 6 months. I was hoping that this new mayor would do something about stimulating the freight trade to the port.

restaurants rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy route continued along the rue du Port.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen several photos taken of this street in the dark, all of which have been taken from the cliffs up above.

And so tonight, in an effort to do something different, here’s the reverse-angle shot taken from the street looking back towards the cliffs.

Not that you can actually see the cliffs in this (lack of) light. You’ll just have to use your imagination.

moonlight baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the climb back up the Boulevard des Terreneuviers I stopped (for breath) to look at the tidal port.

There was a beautiful bright moon tonight, even though it’s only half-full, and there was a wonderful reflection of light down in the Baie de Mont St Michel looking across to Jullouville and the Pointe de Carolles.

Actually, considering that this photo was hand-held and taken with the little NIKON 1 J5 with the standard lens, it’s not come out too badly, even if I did have to stop it down by 8 (in fact by 10 because normally the camera has to be opened up by 2 since the lens was repaired).

Back at the flabberblok there was yet more football so I grabbed a bowl of rice pudding and settled down in a ringside seat in front of the internet.

Y Fflint, newly promoted to the JD Cymru League this season after a 20-year absence were entertaining Barry Town. Barry, usually a strong competitive side but who misfired so spectacularly in European Competition earlier and then against TNS on the opening day of the season, have yet to grace my screen this season and I’ve only ever seen Y Fflint play once, in a cup match a few years ago.

The match was quite entertaining because while Barry were much more powerful and street-wise (which you have to expect), Flint matched them blow for blow and I was quietly impressed.

There were three significant items in this match

  1. Alex Titchiner, Flint’s ace striker, was carried off injured after just 2 minutes.
  2. Mike Lewis, in the Barry goal, played the game of his life and made a couple of stunning reflex saves (and that’s not to say that our old favourite, Jon Danby, formerly of Connah’s Quay Nomads, now next-door in the Flint goal didn’t have his moments too)
  3. and had a Flint defender kept his head when Matt Jarvis burst into the area and not conceded a penalty

then the new boys would have had something from this game. They are no mugs, and certainly not cannon-fodder like some promotees have been.

And if TNS managed to sweep away this Barry side so convincingly, then just HOW good are TNS?

There is also some exciting news from Deeside too. It seems that the idea to build a new football stadium on Deeside to be UEFA-compliant for junior international matches, and European club competition and to be shared by next-door neighbours Connahs Quay Nomads and Y Fflint has taken a giant step forward.

Who knows? It might even become a reality if the two clubs can keep up the momentum they they have established over the last couple of years. The announcement that “certain funds have been made available” is major news but, as expected, BBC Wales, with its hands so deep in the pockets of the Welsh Rugby Union to an indecent depth that it imposes a news blackout on Welsh football, has totally passed it by.

But by now, it’s late. Long after midnight, so I’m off to bed. I’ll write up my notes in the morning – if I’m here. It’s Sunday and a day of rest and I might sleep in long past midday.

Wednesday 2nd September 2020 – AFTER YESTERDAY’S …

… little fit of zeal and energy, it goes without saying that today was something of a contre-coup. I felt every ache and pain when I awoke, and I couldn’t get out of bed until 08:10.

Plenty of time to go off on a nocturnal ramble or two, and how!

I had a girlfriend last night and we had gone skiing or mountaineering together. There were four of us in total . It was quite clear that the two of us were together but we hadn’t known each other long. She was just explaining how difficult relationships were because she wasn’t the kind of person to just accept any kind of relationship. She explained how difficult it was to make her laugh and all that kind of thing, how she liked to have someone who was attentive towards her. I thought “that sounds like me actually” but for some unknown reason I couldn’t actually get her to laugh or whatever. We escorted each other on this trip and I got her down the mountain safely. We ended up somewhere just coming into the town and we were told that some old guy whom we knew was at the bar but he’d had the wrong beer so he was rather differently drunk than usual and it wasn’t a pretty sight. We thought that we’d better go over there and see what was going on. We ended up over there to see this old guy but by that time he’d gone. The barmaid asked us if we wanted a drink. I really fancied a drink but she said no she didn’t so I thought that I won’t have one. I won’t drink on my own. There was another girl there and for some reason I wanted to be a little show-offy with the girl I was with but she wasn’t the kind who would be particularly emotional, which was one of the things she had said to me. She said “the barmaid is obviously thinking that we are going to be having a drink so maybe we ought to move away” so reluctantly I agreed to move away with this girl.
Somewhat later on, I went on a voyage concerning two of my mother’s aunts. They had been engaged to work as matrons in some exclusive boarding school place. The small boys in the Preparatory school had been taken away from their fathers and so they weren’t bonding with them and the girls were just left there by there parents. The aunts were very unhappy about the entire situation and they wanted to leave to go into some kind of religious establishment that was there but they decided that they couldn’t leave these children at this very vulnerable time. It was all very sad and all very depressing.
There was another thing too about an island off the coast of Australia or New Zealand, although it looked like Northern peri-Arctic to me, right at the far north. It was all very isolated and there was only a boat every so often that went to the island. It was very isolated. Someone whom I knew was a driving test examiner who came over to give everyone a driving test. It was Nerina, and she was very busy doing all of this. I eventually caught up with her and she pointed out that some had passed and some had failed and she was rather disparaging towards the people who had failed. We were talking about death and she said that when she died she wanted a certain photo to be placed in her memory. It was a photo of her with another boy – someone whom she knew in University. Of course that upset me rather a lot because I expected to be the one on the photo with her when she went but apparently not. There was all kinds of talk. I had had a Reliant three-wheeler van which had long-since gone but I still had the papers for it. I was thinking that with this not being taxed I could get into a lot of trouble with this even though the van was no longer extant. There was some talk as well about getting Ryanair to provide a flight service to the airport, how they were going to arrange it. At one time they were talking on the island about a storm that was heading their way. It had already devastated the south of New Zealand and how were they going to cope up here when the storm finally hit? This was a strange thing as well.
Later still there were two red double-deck buses that appeared on the front of a restaurant or car park of a pub where Terry and I were sitting. One of then was an AEC which might have been a Regal V but it wasn’t – did I mean a Regent V? and the other one was more like an RT although i’m sure that I meant Routemaster from London. Terry wondered what on earth they were doing here so I said that I could soon find out by taking a photo and posting it on the Abandoned Buses group and I’ll have a reply in 5 minutes. But as I went to take a photo, in the time that it took for me to get my phone out and my camera on the phone ready, these buses had disappeared again. I said something to a woman who seemed to be with them but she just blubbered some kind of nonsense and walked away. Terry and I walked to the end of the car park to see if we could see where these buses had gone but we couldn’t see a thing.

It took ages to transcribe the dictaphone notes, as you might expect with all of this, and then I attacked the radio programme. That’s now completed and ready to go.

After lunch I sat down and dealt with a load of correspondence that had built up. I also tried to order a SSD hard-drive for my little Acer laptop but the effects of Brexit are biting already, for the company concerned now no longer delivers to the mainland.

So I made another start on the photos from early August but instead I crashed out completely for a couple of hours. On awakening, I felt absolutely awful again, just like I have done for this last while (apart from yesterday of course)

lovers on beach pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was thus rather late when I went out for my afternoon walk and once again I went around the headland.

And I’m glad that I did too, because there was this lovely scene unfolding before my eyes, down on the beach. A young couple strolling casually hand-in-hand down there lost for all the world in their own amorous attachment.

It was all very nice and romantic and made me feel quite envious, as it happens.

fishermen in zodiac kayak english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThat wasn’t all the people out there either. There were hordes of people strolling along on the paths around the clifftop.

The sea was quite busy too. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall from yesterday that there were quite a few people out there having a good fishing session. They were still out there today, like these in the zodiac down here.

There was also someone out there having a paddle around in a kayak. I could see his paddles but I couldn’t see if he had a rod with him.

And of course, you mustn’t light a fire in your boat. As you all already know, you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

light aeroplane 83 tx granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd if the crowds on the beach, crowds on the paths and crowds in the sea aren’t enough to be going on with, we had crowds in the air too.

As I was walking around, I counted no fewer than four light aeroplanes flying over me. This one here came the closest and so presented the best photographic shot. I’ve no idea what type of aeroplane it is, and the serial number that I could see didn’t come up with anything.

The other aeroplanes were too far away for me to take a clear photograph which was a shame. All that I needed to see was the autogyro fluttering past overhead and the day would have been complete.

pointe de carolles baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was quite a nice day outside today. It was quite sunny and there was very little wind for a change.

The view was quite clear today too. We’d seen the Brittany coast yesterday, so today we had a good look down towards the bottom of the Baie de Mont St Michel. We can’t see the Mont and the abbey but we can see the white buildings down at the foot of the bay that are the hotels on the shore.

What is extremely interesting is whatever might be there just to the right of centre. It seems to be a very small, low cloud having a rainstorm but I’m sure that it isn’t.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued on round to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale.

There’s been a change in occupancy in there too today. Over the last few days there have been seven boats in there but today we’re down to just six. One of the little chalutiers is missing – presumably having gone back into the water.

It’ll be interesting to see over the next few days whether we’ll be having a new arrival to make up the numbers, or whether it’ll be like 10 green bottles and they’ll be disappearing one by one as everyone slowly goes back to work.

Back here I continued with the photos for a while, and then went back to having an hour on the guitars before tea. And I do like my new acoustic guitar.

Tea tonight was a burger with pasta and tomato sauce, followed by rice pudding. Quite a delicious tea, I have to say.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallRunning rather late tonight, it was going dark when I went outside for my evening stroll.

The sun had gone right down of course, but there was still a beautiful red glow through the clouds in the sky over by the Ile de Chausey in the English Channel.

Surprisingly, I was the only person out there admiring it. There were no more than half a dozen people out there this evening and they were all walking dogs and the like, taking no notice of the beautiful evening.

diving platform plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom the viewpoint in the rue du Nord I walked along along the walls to the footpath.

And once on the footpath and there was no-one about, I broke into a run and ran down the footpath again, regardless of how I was feeling. The tide was well in this evening and we can see the diving platform practically submerged by the water.

We’ve seen plenty of photos of the diving platform totally out of the water when the tide is well out. This gives you some idea of how far the tide comes in and how high it is. One of the highest tides in Europe, so they say.

illuminated trees square Maurice Marland granville manche normandy france eric hallhaving spent a few minutes watching the sea, I walked on round to the Square Maurice Marland.

No-one about at all so I broke into another run and went all the way across the square and up the first ramp at the end. And as I ran along the square, suddenly the lights came on and lit up all of the trees.

It lit up everything just as if it was on the stage in a theatre.

After that I headed off home, running the final 100 metres back to the apartment. I’ve written up all of my notes now and I’m off to bed in a minute.

Tomorrow is shopping day and it’s a long walk to LIDL so I need to be on form, regardless of how I’m feeling, as there’s a few things that I need to buy.

And maybe I’ll have a series of voyages just as exciting as I’ve had for the last couple of nights.

Monday 15th June 2020 – I WAS HARD …

… at it all day today for a change) and by the time I knocked off at 18:15 I’d completed a whole radio project.

It was one of my live concerts which regular readers of this rubbish might think are usually easier than the usual ones – and usually they are. But not this one. Not at all.

Someone had very kindly send me a pile of music (which reminds me – if you are in a group and want your music featured on my shows, get in touch!) for a live concert, which was very nice of them and I never decry the effort, but it was all unusable.

It was a case of scouring the internet to see what I could find, re-manipulating and remixing the rest and then editing it and merging it all together. It’s ended up a bit of a dog’s breakfast, but there wasn’t all that much I could about it.

So in the end I wrote the intro, dictated it, uploaded it to the computer, edited it, and then merged it into the other part, and then had to edit everything to make it fit the on-hour time slot.

And if you think that’s a lot of work, it’s not all that I had to do either. And it didn’t help much that I missed the third alarm as well. Only by a few minutes but missed it all the same.

After the meds I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I had been during the night. I was actually working with someone for whom I don’t really care all that much in real life. We had a tyre depot or we had taken one over. It wasn’t particularly very busy but we were just doing odd jobs and things just to tide us over while we established ourselves. We’d taken it over from some other people, one of their depots and we noticed that we were getting into Novermber but we hadn’t had any calls to change tyres for winter or anything like that and I would have expected that to have been happening round about now. So I was wondering whether they were keeping all of the good jobs back from us and doing them themselves. I was talking to another friend on line and he was asking about how things were. I explained that I hadn’t had time to devote anything to any project that I particularly wanted to do because earning a living was the priority and as no-one wanted to employ me I’ve been having to create a business for myself and I was telling him about this tyre depot.

There were a few things that needed doing and then for the rest of the morning I dealt with my Welsh homework. And I found that I had forgotten most of what I had learnt last week so I had to revise it again.

There was the break for lunch of course, and also the brak for my afternoon walk.

speedboat zodiac buoy english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was trying its best to rain when I went out there this afternoon, so i didn’t like to hang around too much.

But regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen piles of weird buoys and maritime markers bobbing up and down in the water around the coast. There’s another one here just now, with a couple of boats – a zodiac and a speedboat loitering around it.

It’s difficult to see what they are doing – whether they are fishing with rod and line or whether they are doing something with the buoy.

fisherman cap lihou pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallNo prizes what this guy is doing here.

With not very much (and even fewer people) around on the lawn I wandered off around the headland to see if there was anything happening there. Again, not an awful lot except this guy fishing from the rocks.

It’s quite a scramble to reach that particular point and I bet that it’s even more difficult scrambling back up the hill, especially with a full catch.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I’m not convinced about his choice of attire either, and I have a feeling that he’ll be regretting it before much longer.

Just look over there at the Brittany coast. That’s a couple of wicked rainstorms and they are heading right this way. I’m not too bothered because I’ll be home in five minutes. It’ll take him at least that to put away his gear and scramble up the rocks.

There are plenty of boats out there too and they’ll know all about it when the rainstorm hits them in mid-ocean or whatever

rainstorm baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france eric hallThat’s not the best of it either.

My walk took me further around the headland to the south side and this was the sight that greeted me there. A huge rain cloud has blown in from the bay and enveloped the Pointe de Carolles in its wet and clammy grasp.

It’s slowly heading up the coast and as I watched it advance, it slowly spread its shround all over Jullouville.

“This isn’t the time to be hanging about” I reckoned, and headed back for my apartment

workers van place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the weekend we saw the “no parking” notices on the part of the car park that is on the public part of the Place d’Armes.

Being intrigued to see what was happening there I went round for a good look. It’s not easy to see what they will be doing but we have a builder’s mobile office parked here now.

Not only that, there’s a generator just parked there waiting for just anyone to come along, pick it up and drive away. Imagine that in the UK!

On my way back I saw Gribouille sitting on his windowsill so I went to give him a stroke, only to find Nicole there struggling with her drawers, with her hand still in a plaster.

Gallant me, I went to give her a hand. I glued them back together for her and slid them back into the unit.

Back outside it was now teeming down. The rain had caught me up so I came inside quickly.

After my hour on the guitars I ended up with a stuffed pepper for tea. And the amount of fresh food that I’ve had to throw away due to not eating is appalling. I hate throwing food away.

pile of rubble place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallLater on I went for my evening walk and run around the headland.

First stop though was to see what was going on where the builders’ office was. And we seem to have acquired a pile of tarmac and sand from somewhere. They must be digging up somewhere, but I’ve no idea where.

Having examined that, I ran off up the road – a little bit (just a little bit) easier than it was been. And having recovered my breath I ran on down to the clifftop.

couple enjoying sunshine pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallMy itinerant was there again. I reckon that he’s here for the duration.

He wasn’t the only one here either – although he might well have been seeing as how quiet the whole area was. There was just one other couple here – a young couple sitting in the sun quietly watching it sink down into the sea

It’s a really nice way to spend a summer evening.

And talking about nice ways to spend summer evenings, I’ve had an e-mail completely out of the blue from someone who played a large part in my life 45 years ago and who I’ve seen on a few occasions since, but not for about 10 years.

So what’s happening here?

fishing boats english channel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallNo prizes for guessing what’s happening here.

A couple of fishing boats out there, almost stationary. So I imagine that they have their fishing equipment out and are dredging up the sea bed for the shellfish. I’m determined to get out there one day and see how they do it.

Despite it being overcast, there was another excellent view all the way down the Brittany coast towards Cap Fréhel. Not as good as the last time but still impressive enough.

chateau de la crete atlantic wall baie se mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs I walked across the lawn by the Resistance memorial, the sun suddenly came dramatically out of the clouds and lit up the Chateau de la Crête.

Ordinarily I would wait until I’m down on the other side of the headland where there’s an unrestricted view, but the weather is being rather capricious just now and you can’t rely on there still being the same effect in five minutes time.

But at least you get to see one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall. They don’t feature very often in my photos for one reason or another.

picnickers plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallNothing else of any importance happened at all. My run all the way in its several stages) down to the viewpoint at the rue du Nord was pretty uneventful.

There on the beach though I could see that a group of picnickers weas just installing itself down among the rocks. I didn’t think that it was warm enough for that, but they clearly do.

But when you ae young you are pretty much immune to that kind of thing. Yes, since I had that e-mail earlier, I’ve gone all nostalgic and broody.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallInstead of musing on the past, I straightened myself up and admired the sunset.

It’s another one of these wonderful mid-evening lights again and I really like the effect that it gives.

But I couldn’t stay for long. I had a chat with a couple of people admiring the apartment that’s for sale, especially when the woman stood on one of the bollards in the street to have a better view and it sank into the ground under her weight.

Tomorrow I have my Welsh class so I need to revise and prepare for it.

That means an early night, in the hope that I can be out of bed early.

Some hope, hey?

Friday 12th June 2020 – BRAIN OF BRITAIN …

… strikes again!

Yes, guess who put a load of washing in the washing machine on Thursday morning before going to the shops – and then forgot all about it?

It’s out airing on the clothes airer right now, but when I go to the shops tomorrow I have a feeling that I shall have to buy some nice perfumed fabric conditioner or something similar and put them through again.

As for my part, much to my own (and everyone else’s) surprise I actually beat the third alarm call to my feet this morning. I was in the kitchen organising my medication when it went off.

Back here afterwards (still no breakfast!) to look at the dictaphone – and … phew!

Last night I put in an appearance in an office where I used to work and went into one of the rooms which was room D and it was absolutely heaving with people. I’d been for a while in another room and getting a few things organised in there watching a couple of videos that kind of thing but I didn’t really want anyone else to know what I was doing so I was hunched up in a corner where no-one could overlook me. In this room it was crowded with people, hundreds of them. There was one little girl about 5 or 6 and a pile of these white fish fillet squares that she had got down all over the floor. There were a couple of guys in charge and they didn’t seem to be paying the slightest bit of attention. Before i’d gone in there I’d had a look out of the window and I’d seen someone disappearing off in a car towing a trailer pulling a petrol pump so I wondered if that had been something that had come off the beach around the corner so I went there to find out. I was told “yes” but the person didn’t seem to want to elaborate on it.
Later on during the night something had happened about something or other in Aberystwyth. It meant that I had to go home and fetch something and come back again. I was in an old mark V Cortina so I put my foot down i Aberystwyth and drove all the way back to Crewe where I got what I wanted . The journey back should have taken me about 45 minutes (well, yes!) but by the time that I had everything ready it was now exactly 1 hour 05 after I had left so I was going to have to do something about catching up this time. So I put my foot down. I hadn’t gone more than a couple of hundred yards before I ran straight into one of these processions. Even though it was something like 01:00 – 01:30 in the morning there were all these processions like a Miners’ Parade or something. And of course as I set to move off a group of motorcycle policemen came round pushing their bikes following this parade. Of course I had no seat belt on and the car wasnt in any particularly good condition so the captain of the motorcyclists came over and asked me a couple of questions about the car. I’d only had it a couple of days so I couldn’t really answer him so he asked to see my documents. I gave him my driving licence which was stuck inside my purse and took ages to put out. he invited me to come in to his office. Of course I didn’t have time to do all of this but he interrogated me a bit and he got on his radio and radioed my licence number through. I asked “am I clear to go?”. he replied “you’re clear to go. Some guy said “that will be £50:00. I thought “£50:00? What the hell is this for?” He replied “it’s just for having your hair cut”. “But I don’t want my hair cut”. However a girl came round and threw a towel over my shoulders and sat me in the seat. I asked “what the hell is this all about?”. “It’s just something that he likes to do when he’s caught someone and letting them go. It’s a way of raesing funds”. I thought “yes, I bet it is”. And all the time I was supposed to be going to Aberystwyth. I was already running late, I had these things, these people would probably be long gone by the time that I get there and that will be a wasted journey. There I was being trapped in this seat having my hair cut for £50:00
When I went back to sleep I stepped right back into this dream where I’d been before and set off again. I was once more waylaid on the route but I don’t remember anything about it now. I do remember though thinking that this is absolutely ridiculous and I’m never going to get to Aberystwyth at this rate.

A little later still I was on my way to South Wales. I pulled in at Knutsford Services and there I had to hire a car for the weekend and get some food to eat on the journey, get some fuel and sort out some gearbox oil for my car. I’ve no idea why I wanted a hire car but I went into the office and started to make all of the arrangements. They said that they had a Crusader so I said that that was fine by me. They said “hang on, we’ll see what else we’ve got” but I said “no, a Crusader is fine”. They wandered away and I was talking about which guy it was who knew which car they were. They said “it’s the girl over there – the one who’s big enough to be a girl guide”. I thought “what the heck has this got to do with me renting a vehicle”. I thought that i’d better drive my vehicle somewhere, come back, pick up this hire car, go off and I have to be back before Monday. So I told them to make the booking until Monday. Then of course I could work out about what I needed and what I had to get.

After all of that, it was quite a surprise that I was out of bed so sprightly.

Today has been spent working on my music course. And by the time I reached the end of the afternoon I’d done a whole week’s work. And now I can play the blues on the piano in the Key of F, Fmin and F7 with the left hand playing 7/10ths and 7/13ths.

Or, at least, I could if I were any good at it. But you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

At lunch I had some more of my bread. And it’s still tasting quite good. This was, I reckon, something of a success although, as I have said … “on many occasions” – ed … there is still plenty of room for improvement.

What I might do, when I run out of cake, is to make a smaller loaf but crush some banana in it, or else add a pile of sultanas, and make a kind of snack bread. Apricots in it might be good too of course.

After lunch I took some time off work and made myself some orange and ginger cordial. The honey that I’m using isn’t very good though, but I’m hoping that soon I’ll be back in Belgium where I can find some more Manuka honey.

jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallIt had been pouring down for most of the morning but by the time that I went out for my afternoon walk, the rain had stopped.

There’s a strange kind of light when it’s just stopped raining in the summer. And with the air being cleaner these days, the views are generally better. Once more, Jersey is standing out really well and you can see the houses at St Helier.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall a few weeks ago I mentioned something about the lockdown helping to clean up the air.

joly france ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThe ile de Chausey was standing out really well today too.

The houses over there were quite clear to see too, and we could even see Joly France setting out of the harbour there on its way back to Granville.

There’s no doubt whatsoever that I’ve never taken a photo as clear as this of the Ile de Chausey from the mainland. We could do with a few more days like this.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThe photo that I took, I split it into two parts. The previous photo that you saw was the left-hand half, and this one is the right-hand half.

You can see the houses in the little village at the northern end of the island and if you look just to the left of them you might just be able to make out the church. It’s said that there’s a bit of a Liberator bomber in there – one that was shot down over the bay just after D-Day.

The building on the eminence in the middle, that’s the chateau I reckon, a converted fort that was at one time owned by the Renault family.

You can see MORE PHOTOS OF THE ILE DE CHAUSEY here.


crowds lighthouse pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThe fine weather that we were having now that the rain had stopped had certainly brought out the crowds.

As you can see, the path around the cliff and up by the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall were heaving with people this afternoon all catching what sun here was.

The lighthouse is looking good today , and the four flags are still flying up by the war memorial – the British one hasn’t yet made good its bid for freedom

pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t just on the lawn by the lighthouse that there were the crowds either.

The steps down the path round the end were pretty busy, and there were people here down by the old watch cabin enjoying the view and the sunshine. And who can blame them?

You’ll notice that the cabin still has its roof and it’s pretty watertight. It’s just one of half a dozen places where our itinerant could seek shelter from the rain if he so chooses.

speedboat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo despite the crowds, I headed off on my walk down the other side of the headland.

Nothing much going on down there this afternoon – still the same three boats in the chantier navale and nothing else of interest. But there was this speedboat roaring past with le feux dans ses fesses – a fire up his … errr … posterior – as they say around here.

It’s quite stimulating being out on the sea at that kind of speed, but it’s not so good for the wildlife and the Noise Abatement Society would have something to say about it too.

heavy equipùent being unloaded rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few weeks we’ve been seeing all kinds of heavy plant parked up at the side of the Rue du Port.

Today there are a couple more things that have arrived. In fact the lorry that dropped them off is just pulling away as you can see. We seem to have acquired a kind of cherry picker and a fork lift elevator.

But I’ve no idea what they are doing with them. We see all kinds of weird things arriving or parked up there and after a day or so they just disappear.

traffic lights place du parvis notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallYesterday we saw the installation of a set of traffic lights to control the traffic in the old town while the roadworks are taking place.

It was my intention to go round to see where the other end was, and sure enough, it’s here at the edge of the Place du Parvis Notre Dame – not where I was thinking it would be at all.

So traffic at this end of the rue Notre Dame can come out of here the wrong way dow the one-way system and the lights are there to stop any unfortunate encounter.

les ilots cafe restaurant hotel rue st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallIn for a penny, in for a pound. I decided that I would go off and see how the roadworks were doing.

But down the rue St Jean I saw something that I hadn’t noticed before. In the good old days, it was the fashion in France to have huge advertising notices painted on the side of the buildings and it’s always been my regret that the practice has ceased. Here’s an old one advertising “Les Ilots” – café restaurant, with furnished rooms.

That’s going back a few years, isn’t it? Another lifetime ago, I reckon.

cobbles rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallBut at least there’s some good news at the roadworks.

Everything seems to be done and dusted now and the cobbles have been recemented into position. It looks now as if they are just waiting for the cement to dry and the road will probably be open tomorrow or Monday.

So in that case I’m glad that I came and photographed it today.

Back here I carried on with my coursework and by about 17:15 I was finished. I even managed to find the time to do a few photos from July 2019

Only a few though. Most of the time was spent hunting down the name of a church that I had photographed from The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour. And it took some doing too.

Nothing is straightforward with me, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

My half an hour on the bass was spent playing along to Arthur King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign” – which is how it feels sometimes. And the half-hour on the six-string was spent playing along to Springsteens “No Surrender” and also Bob Dylan’s “Times They Are A’Changin'”

A couple of lines of the lyrics leapt out at me from the latter.
“Come writers and critics”
“Who prophesize with your pen”
“And keep your eyes wide”
“The chance won’t come again”

Yes – “the chance won’t come again”. I’m back on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again aren’t I – one night at the beginning of September in the North-West Passage of Canada. All I need now is Kris Kristofferson and “I’ll give all my tomorrows for a single yesterday”

And do you know what? I would as well!

For a change, I had tea tonight. The last aubergine and kidney bean whatsit from April. I’ll have to buy another one and make some more. But I have peppers and potatoes that need using up so it looks like a pepper, potato and spinach curry is on the menu next week.

no parking place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallWe’d had a tremendous thunderstorm earlier on in the afternoon, followed by a really heavy rainfall. But when I went out for my evening walk, it had stopped and the weather was reasonably bright.

But my eye had been caught by a few notices like that dotted around outside. It looks as if something exciting is going to be happening here on 15th June – maybe roadworks or something.

Anyway, anyone who has a car parked there has been instructed to move it and no-one else can leave their vehicles there.

“That’s something to look forward too” I mused as I ran off up the road.

storm at sea english channel brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallThings were a little (just a little) easier tonight as I made it up to the top of the hill, I felt that I had a little left to spare in the tank.

But I recovered my breath and ran on down past the itinerant to the clifftop. The storm that had battered us earlier is still there – just out to see and round by Bréhal-Plage and Montmartin sur Mer.

It looks as if it’s having a right old hammering over there and I’m glad that I wasn’t out there earlier in that. And it beats me why the itinerant is sticking it out.

yacht baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france eric hallhaing recovered my breath again I walked on around the corner.

Where we saw the speedboat earlier, we now have a yacht strutting his stuff just offshore. But apart from the boat itself, I was intrigued by the colours now that the rain has washed out the sky.

The whole coast round from Kairon-Plage through Jullouville round to the Pointe de Carolles is really brightly lit this evening. And the white hotel buildings down by Mont St Michel are really clear too.

It really was nice.

chausiais victor hugo port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe next couple of legs of my run took me all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury and round the corner – and once more I overran my mark by a good 20 metres. And I could have done more too I reckon.

But I walked back to have a look down at the harbour and see what was happening. And once more, nothing much. Chausiais is there moored up against the harbour wall so she won’t be going very far very soon.

And Granville and Victor Hugo, the two Channel Island ferries, they are still there too. I’ve not had a latest update as to when the service will start again, but I’m going to try to hitch a lift on Thora or Normandy Trader one of these days.

beach bolwing plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom here I ran on all the way round to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord.

There didn’t seem to be the crowds of picnickers down there tonight – I did look – but instead we have a young couple who are playing beach bowls down there. You can see the guy tossing the “ball” at the pins.

It looks as if they have been having a party too. I can see a bottle of wine down there and with no cork in it, I’ll fathom a guess that it’s empty.

ile de chausey sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere wasn’t a decent sunset tonight – not even an impressive cloud formation.

But that’s no surprise either. Not with the weather that we’ve just had. And as I said yesterday … “and on many other occasions too” – ed … we’ve had some beautiful ones recently, and we can’t win a coconut every time.

Back to the apartment I ran but seeing that I was up to 90% on the day’s activity, I went for an extended walk to clock up the 100%

Hence the reason that I’m rather late tonight.

But I had an interuption this evening. Someone from the radio contacted me – someone not actually in my list of top 10 contacts. Would I like to go for a drink with him before our big meeting on Thursday night?

So what’s that all about, I wonder. Why would he want to see me before the meeting? I smell a rat, and I’m not talking about the contents of baldrick’s apple crumble.

Tomorrow it’s shopping. And I don’t need that much stuff either. A good start, I hope, and then a relax as we have football on the internet tomorrow afternoon.

High time we had some live football too. I’m missing my football fix.

Sunday 7th June 2020 – IT’S SUNDAY TODAY …

hang glider pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall.. and so I have followed the example set by my namesake the mathematician, and done
three fifths if five-eights of … errr … nothing.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I believe that everyone should have one day a week where they do nothing at all without feeling guilty about it, and that for me is a Sunday.

Mind you, there was an extra reason today because I considered that I had done more than enough during the night.

crowds pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallI was with someone called Bob last night and we ere wandering around doing something with regard to a zoo. It involved drinks and the subject came up about a certain type of animal and I can’t remember which one it was. It led to some discussion about drinks – whether we could only have had half a pint or a pint. Because we had a pie we both had hung on to our pints really tightly so that no-one could take them away
A bit later I was supposed to be going off somewhere and this involved going with one of my sister’s daughters. She hadn’t come in and I was concerned that I had to go into work but I had to get this organised but the girl wasn’t there. So I went round to see my sister and my mother and “ohh she went out on a ramble last night and she went to so-and-so’s and spent the night”. I said “what time is she expected to come in?” but they didn’t know. No-one knew what time she was coming in and I was getting a bit agitated about this. I went back a little later on and all my family was around there. Nevertheless I got hold of this girl, my sister, and asked her again. She gave me far more precise details “she went off with X and then they went here and there and then somewhere else”. But there was still no word of when they were coming so I said to my sister’s other child “make sure that I’m told straight away as soon as she appears” and they promised that they would. But I was still pretty wound up about having to wait and miss out on a day’s work and a day’s money, all this kind of thing.

hang glider crowds pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a group of us and we had gone off onto Ellesmere Island last night and trudging on northwards through the freezing weather. Trying to peel an orange was horrible. We stopped for the night and someone had brought with them a prefabricated wooden chalet to sleep in and I thought that by the time that they have gone very far with this, they’ll regret it. They put it up and I was invited to shelter in it. There were deer all around and female cows and we were noted the fact that there were no males. We ended up waiting for the bus. I was with Rosemary by this time and we had to check the bus to make sure that it was going to the right place – the Savannah College. Rosemary and I got on it with all of our equipment. It pulled into Hull and this was where we had to get out as we had to changed buses here to go to the hospital. I got off but Rosemary was taking an awful lot of time getting off. You could hear the struggle she was having with this equipment. I shouted up to her to see what she was doing and that was when I awoke – bang on 06:00.

But no danger of my getting up at that point. I went back to sleep again and ended up with a former friend of mine and we were cycling through Chester but for some unknown reason he put on a really fast spurt. I had to go like hell to catch hime up otherwise I would have shown him where I lived when I first came to Chester, because we were right by that area. He didn’t realise that I had lived in Chester when I told him, and I told him about my little room in Lightfoot Street as well. They we cycled off and came to this little building site and it turned out that the reason why he was having to go there was because his father was having a week off work and with a shortage of labour he was having to help out. At the same time he was fielding phone calls from Shearings about driving coaches and saying that he wasn’t available that weekend. Somewhere in the proceedings was a story about a cup with Inuit patterns on it but I don’t remember much about that but I do remember that when we reached the work compound in there were a load of old Standard forward-control vans like the Standard Atlas only different. He was saying to one of the guys there that if ever they get rid of it to let me know

My apologies too to Percy Penguin, who doesn’t appear these days in these pages anything like as often as she deserves.

She used to accuse me of snoring when we were asleep together – not that I ever did much sleeping when we were together as there were plenty of other things to be doing, but that’s another long story.

I used to deny it strenuously but having once more fallen back into unconsciousness in mid-dictation and left the dictaphone running, all I can say is … well … errr … quite.

But when I did take up the dictaphone again, I said that I don’t know if that registered so I’ll dictate it again about putting my house on the market – the house in Shavington where I was living at the time although it was how the Yoxalls had it organised with the garage, all that kind of thing. As I was passing an estate agent’s he had some houses in the area so I put it on sale with him. But I put it in a few newspapers as well including an American one. My father had seen it in an American one and was going around telling everyone that I was moving to the USA. Of course he was quite upset about that, i’ve no idea why. The discussion came round to a neighbour of my niece who had advertised his Mercedes coupé in the newspaper. I explained that he had had a lot of use out of it when he had first bought it but over the last few years he had been working away and had never used it except the odd weekend when he was home. She said “well that’s a waste then, isn’t it?” I said ‘that’s probably why he’s selling it”. I told her the story about how I had bumped into it (not literally of course) when I was down in the USA one time and he was down there on his holidays too

So it looks to me that not only did I dream it but I must have dreamt that I dictated it – and that’s when all of this becomes interesting.

09:30 when I finally saw the light of day, a reasonable time for a Sunday morning, I reckon.

There was no breakfast this morning, but instead I mixed some dough to make bread. As well as a sachet of “old” yeast, I used half a sachet of new yeast to see what kind of difference.

And having decided that if I’m going to be hungry at lunchtime I’ll have breakfast, I simply mixed it (and even though I say it myself, it was a perfect mix) and left it alone.

While I was at it, I rolled out the (now unfrozen) pizza dough, greased a pizza tray, put the dough thereupon, and left that too.

Back here I made a start on finding the documents to complete my Tax Return but I gave up after a while. It’s a Sunday and I didn’t feel like working.

In the end, I didn’t really do anything at all except just lounge about.

After lunch I went and checked on my bread dough. It had stood for about two and a half hours and had certainly risen – but by 100% I couldn’t really say. Anyway, I folded it over again, shaped it and dropped it into the greased dish that I use as a bread mould, covered it with the damp cloth again and left it.

jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallBeing Sunday, it’s my day to go for a long afternoon walk if the weather is nice.

And if the weather is even nicer, to go for my weekly ice cream too.

And there was no doubt that the weather was nice today. There was some wind but the view was one of the clearest that I have seen for quite some considerable time.

And the crowds – which we have already seen, were certainly out there making the most of it.

close up seagull jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallAs we saw in the previous photo, the view across to Jersey, 54 kilometres away, was ideal.

There’s some kind of lighthouse or beacon that stands prominently off the entrance to the harbour at St Helier and as you can see in this cropped and enlarged image, that came out clearly in this photo.

There’s even a seagull, heaven alone knows how many miles out to sea, that features clearly in the photo too, in the top right.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallPivoting round slightly to our right we have the Ile de Chausey.

Not really an island but an archipelago, where there are 365 islands at low ide and 52 at high tide – or is it the other way round? I can never remember.

But today, it was standing out there beautifully and even the colours had come out somewhat through the sea haze, just for a change.

close up ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallOut of interest, I cropped out a section from the centre of the previous image to see if I could see anything special.

And “not very much” is the reply. The main island, or “Grand Ile” is the only one that is inhabited these days. We can make out plenty of the houses on there and, of course, the lighthouse to the left of centre.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we went there once and TOOK DOZENS OF PHOTOS. One day I’ll get round to writing out the notes for the place.

sunlight Plage de Port Mer brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallFurther on along on my walk I noticed an interesting phenomenon right across the Baie de Mont St Michel on the Brittany coast.

There’s a beach over there, the Plage de Port Mer, in between Cancale and the Pointe du Grouin, and the sunlight today was catching it at the absolutely perfect angle.

It was illuminated as if someone had pointed a floodlight onto it and the bright orangey pink colour could be seen for miles. Remember that that is probably 20 or so miles away.

yacht brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallFurther on around the coast and out at the mouth to the harbour at St Malo, there was something that looked as if it was moving on the horizon.

Not being sure what it was, because there’s quite a lot of stuff that moves in and out of the harbour over there, I took a photo to crop and enlarge when I returned to the apartment.

And it seems to be a yacht with a very dark blue or even black sail. And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen one of those around the Baie de Mont St Michel a few times just recently.

cap frehel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was at it, I noticed that the Brittany coast all the way down to the Cap Fréhel was pretty clear today too.

That’s not something that happens every day either, so I took a photo to manipulate when I returned to the apartment.

If you look closely you can see the Cape – slightly to the right of centre in this photo. As I said the other day when we talked about it, it’s about 70 or so kilometres away from here, so the cameera is doing well to pick it out.

close up Phare Du Cap Frehel brittany coast unidentified object granville manche normandy france eric hallBut my intention was drawn to something that I noticed on the photo when I enlarged it for a closer look. Hence I croppd a section out to enlarge and examine in greater detail.

It’s really difficult to see anything in any detail. But on the Cap Fréhel is a lighthouse and a fort with a tower, and when they are viewed from this particular point, they might give the cross-reference that e can see on the extreme right of the image.

It’s also true that Marité, our three-masted schooner left port this morning for Lorient and she would be somewhere in that direction right now, although that doesn’t look like the kind of silhouette she might make.

So that’s another mystery to unravel.

kairon plage baie de mont st michel harbour entrance port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMusing on the aforementioned I wandered on down the steps, round the path at the headland and sown the old track into the port.

On the way around the Point, the view into the Baie de Mont St Michel was absolutely splendid today. The tide was far out so there were people down there performing the peche à pied for the shellfish (which they must share with their friends – after all, you mustn’t be selfish with your shellfish). and our beacon was sitting ther eilluminating its rock at the entrance to the harbour.

The beach in front of Jullouville and Kairon-Plage was looking magnificent too today.

digger rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDown in the harbour there’s another piece of heavy machinery here.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw a couple of diggers and a hydraulic breaker parked here a couple of weeks ago, and I never did find out what they had come to do.

And so I don’t suppose that I’ll have any luck finding out about this digger either. It’s a mystery to me why they come here when they don’t seem to be doing very much

no marite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy perambulations took me round the back of the fish-processing plant. As the tide was well out, the harbour gates were closed so I could cross over on the path on top.

One of my neighbours had mentioned that Marite had gone off on her travels, and so her berth was empty today. I’m not sure how long she’ll be away but she’s not due to dock in Lorient until 9th of June.

But you can see on the extreme right of the photo a few more Birdmen of Alcatraz hovering about on the thermals as they try to advance along the cliff-edge

portable offices port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere’s something new on the docks today – at least – I don’t recall having seen it before today.

There’s a series of portacabins stacked here to make some kind of office complex, witn an old shipping container at the side which is presumably to be used as a storage facility.

There were loads of posters plastered on the front giving various warnings about the Virus and so on, but I don’t think that it has any connection with the medical profession.

It could of course be something to do with the digger across the harbour, but whether that’s the case remains to be seen.

chausiais joly france ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn eof this things that I wanted to do was to see how they had got on with installing the new pontoons at the ferry terminal.

They now seem to have them down both sides of the terminal, which is quite useful, I suppose, for when both of the Joly France boats come in together and when Chausiais is moored here too.

There’s a length that seems to be missing on the nearest row of pontoons, and none of this looks particularly level to me – not that I suppose that it matters because passengers probably wont be boarding when the tide it out.

When the tide is in, the pontoons will of course be floating.

ramp up to new walkway ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will have seen the concrete block that appeared on the quayside here when we last came by.

Now, there’s a ramp up to the top, complete with handrails, and there’s a really impressive-looking ramp that goes down to the pontoons. But no artisanal wooden steps as we saw over where the fishing boats are moored.

It goes without saying that this has all cost a fortune (much of it needlessly – see many of my earlier postings) and so it will come as no surprise that there has been an “adjustment” of the tariffs for passengers.

The net ticket price remains the same, we are told, but the taxes and port taxes have increased. Someone has to pay for the expenditure.

chausiais ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallChausias that prevent us from seeing what cargo it is that she takes out to the Ile de Chausey.

There’s a drop-down ramp at the front and also a small crane, which I imagine would be for the ease of taking large bulky objects out to the island. I don’t recall seeing any unloading facilities out there on the island.

joly france ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallParked up behind Chausiais is one of the Joly France boats that provide the passenger ferry services out to the Ile de Chausey.

This one is Joly France I which, I suspect, is the newer of the two. It’s difficult to tell them apart from the front but from the side the newer one has deeper windows and a smaller upper deck, and from the rear the newer one has a cut-out in the stern

But the pontoons look impressive from here, especially with the handrails to stop eager tourists pushing each other into the water in their rush to board the ferries.

It’s a tidal harbour here, and the inner one is a “wet” harbour due to a pair of lock gates that close as the tide goes out, leaving water trapped behind to keep the boats afloat.

Some of the water has to be drained out however to allow the level to sink slightly so that the water pressure equalises and there’s a constant level between the inner harbour and the outer tide for when they can reopen the gates, which is 105 minutes before the high tide.

water evacuation point port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallIt’s also said (and how true this is I don’t know) that there’s a stream that runs into the inner harbour from inland.

So the surplus water need to have a drain out somehow and over there we can see the drainage channel for the water to run out.

To the left we can see one of the boat ramps underneath the fish processing plant and on the extreme right we can see part of the security fencing.

International passenger ferries dock here, coming from Jersey and they don’t want people to nip over the other side into the country without going through passport control and immigration checks

Having exhausted myself over here this afternoon I had a leisurely walk in the sunshine through the port de plaisance and into town, stopping off for one of my vegan ice-creams and a chat to the café owner.

He told me that business was not picking up as he had hoped, but it’s true to say that the last week or so has not seen very good tourist weather.

From here I had a slow walk back up the hill enjoying my ice-cream. And back at the apartment I checked on the bread dough to see how it was doing.

It had gone up like a lift – exactly how people said that it should. And so i switched on the oven, waited until it was hot, and then stuck the bread in it.

This time I remembered to reduce the heat after 10 minutes or so, and set the timer for 90 minutes. That’s longer than recommended but my oven is pretty much hit-and-miss and I’m sure that the thermostat isn’t correct anyway.

vegan pizza home made bread place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter an hour or so I went and prepared my pizza for tea and when the oven clicked off, I took the bread out and stuck it on a wire rack to cool, then bunged the pizza in.

The pizza was excellent, using my own dough of course, and as you can see, the loaf of bread actually looked like a loaf of bread today. It’s certainly the best that it has been to date.

The proof of the pudding though is in the eating and I’ll tell you al tomorrow about how it tastes.

No pudding tonight – it was a struggle to finish the pizza – so I went for my run.

And I’m not sure about what was going on, but while I’m not going to say that it was easy tonight, there certainly wasn’t the suffering of the last few occasions. It seems as if the illness that I had was brewing for a while.

sunset reflecting off terrelabouet brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallThe itinerant was still there, I noticed, as I ran down to the cliff top, but there was nothing else happening down that end so I walked round to the other side of the headland.

And it’s true to say that the excellent visibility that we had had this afternoon was continuing. The buildings across the Baie de Mont St Michel on the Brittany coast were all quite clear this evening with something clearly visible on the range of hills in the background slightly to the right of centre, about 20-25 miles away.

And the evening sun had caught a few things over on the coast at Terrelaboulet and we were having some more heliograph reflections from them

pointe de carolles cabanon vauban baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallWith the sky being so clear tonight, the view down at the head of the baie de Mont St Michel was also probably the best that we have ever seen.

The white hotels down at Mont St Michel are standing out really clearly tonight. All of the buildings down at Carolles-Plage were looking quite nice too, and we could even see waves breaking on the rocks down at the Pointe de Carolles

It won’t be like this for long, I reckon, so make the most of it while we can.

joly france ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom here I ran on all the way down across the top of the cliffs past the chantier navale where there is still no change in occupant.

Over at the ferry terminal both of the Joly France boats are now moored there and we can compare them to see the differences. The smaller upper deck cabin and deeper windows on Joly France I – to the right – can be clearly seen

There’s another row of yellow marker buoys over there, like those that we saw the other day at the Plat Gousset. The Plage de Hérel – the beach that we saw a few weeks ago – is over there so I’m more convinced now that they must be the limits beyond which one is not supposed to go swimming.

aztec lady port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHaving recovered my breath I ran on down the Boulevard Vaufleury to the bottom and my resting place at the second zebra crossing – well, actually about 5 metres further on seeing as I was in good form.

As I had gone past the harbour I had noticed some activity down there so I went for a look to see what was going on. Aztec Lady is now back home from her little sojourn in Scandinavia where, I believe, she was detained in quarantine in the Lofoten islands on her way back from Svalbard.

That must have been a very exciting voyage, I reckon. I’m sorry that I missed it

loading dredges into trawler rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was also something going on much closer to home too.

One of the fishermen had one of the electric cranes working and they were lowering one of the dredging plates down into the back of a fishing boat.

These plough up the sea bed and release the shellfish out of the mud, which are then scooped un in a kind of metal dredging basket that we have seen on a few occasions before which allow the silt and the smaller examples to pass through the slots and back out to sea.

ile de chausey english channel beautiful sunset rue du nord granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were a few people round at the viewpoint at the rue du Nord as I discovered when I ran around there.

Still a good while before sunset but the sun sinking slowly into the clouds really was a nice effect so along with a few other people I stayed and watched it for a while, and then ran back to the apartment.

Tonight there’s a lot to do and I probably won’t finish off all of my notes but that’s the first task for tomorrow.

Then there’s the Welsh homework to do – we’re almost half-way through this course – followed by the two other courses that i’m doing, and then two radio projects this week.

Sometime too I must push on with the photos from the Transatlantic adventure from last year, and then there are the website-updating projects to continue.

And I’m supposed to be retired and taking it easy too.

Monday 25th May 2020 – A FEW MORE …

… things to add to the pile of things that haven’t been done today. I’m not having a good start to the week.

It all went wrong right at the very beginning when the third alarm found me somewhere in Wyoming, and a very dry, dusty Wyoming at that too. I’d been in my old Opel Senator and had an accident in which it was written off and I’d had to wait around for a taxi. Eventually the one that the insurance company sent fo me tuned up – an old blue Volvo 244. On the way back (and the name Irmo – which Rhys might know – was mentioned) I mentioned how I’d be happy to settle in a place like this and I asked what taxi-driving was like around here. The driver told me with alarm “ohh don’t go settling around here” but didn’t elaborate. He told me that he might have a buyer for my car so we were talking about buying old cars and dismantling them like I used to from the abandoned car auctions in Brussels but at that point the alarm went off.

After the medication (I was up and about by 06:30) I had a listen to the dictaphone. And there was something very enigmatic on there from round about 02:30. “Yes sometime during the night I dreamt that I was actually writing up my blog. Yes, it’s getting to me, isn’t it?” was what I heard when I played it back. But what it was all about I really didn’t have a clue.

Between breakfast and lunch there was a variety of things to do. First off was to send off the radio project for the forthcoming weekend. And seeing as it’s the end of the month we’re having a live concert again.

Then it was time to choose the music for the next radio project.

It’s a friend’s birthday so I had to prepare a special birthday card for her. That was quite important.

My Welsh homework needed doing too, and that involved some research and more than a little tidying up of my notes. And the questions had come in *.docx format which Open Office doesn’t read correctly – so I had to reformat that by copying the text and paginating it which took an age.

Then back to the radio project and by the time that I knocked off for lunch the tracks had been joined in pairs, I’d chosen a speech for my guest and I’d started to write the notes.

home made apple pear purée cordial granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter lunch there was cookery to be done.

This morning I’d used the last of the purée so I made some more. It hadn’t kept as well as previously so I’ve decided to make smaller amounts more regularly. Today’s effort was apple and pear, and I remembered the cinnamon and nutmeg.

With the juice that was left over, I added some syrup to make a cordial, and we’ll see how that goes.

As well as that, there was the remaining kilo of carrots to be peeled, diced, blanched and frozen. They are in the freezer right now too.

yacht english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a break while I went out for my afternoon walk in the glorious sun.

There were a few people staring down at the foot of the cliff so I went along to see what there was going on. I’m not sure what it was that they were seeing, but I saw this beautiful little yacht go scudding by right under my nose.

One of my neighbours was there too – Gribouille’s mum – with her arm in plaster. She’d had a fall in the market on Saturday and broken her wrist.

She started to tell me all about it but no thanks – I don’t want to know things like that.

st helier jersey trawler english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallThe next couple of photos look as if the quality is quite dismal too.

In several respects that’s true, but it was necessary to enhance them to bring our exactly what it was that I wanted to see. These are two fishing boats – in this photo and the next one, but it is what is in the background that is more interesting.

In all the time that I’ve been living here I don’t think that we have ever had such perfect weather out that way

st helier jersey trawler english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallAs regular readers of this rubbish will recall, on a good day we can see the island of Jersey from here even though it’s at least 54 kilometres away.

Today, not only could we see the island quite clearly but we could even see the buildings and the radio masts on the island. I’ve seen them before, but only with the zoom lens at full-extent and with some severe cropping and enhancing. But today, it didn’t take much to bring them out.

In places you could even see them with the naked eye, and that was impressive.

peche a pied beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving chatted to another neighbour who was in the vicinity I went off for my afternoon walk.

There were crowds of people out there today – picnicking on the lawn, walking around the headland and even down on the beach. Some corners of the beach are not easy to get to but the seafood pickings must be really good. Here was someone having a go at the peche à pied by the looks of things

It would be really interesting to find out how much he actually was able to catch and, more importantly, how he was going to prepare it for eating.

seagulls scavengig in rock pools pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallTalking of good seafood pickings, regular readers of this rubbish will recall a few days ago that we saw a whole sock of fleagulls perched on the rocks, looking as if they were Waiting for Godot.

At the time I speculated that they were waiting for the tide to recede from the mudflats so that they could get stuck in to supper. The tide is out right now and here they are, having a feast.

There must have been several hundred here and it shows the capacity of the shellfish to regenerate themselves every day to be be able to produce enough food to satisfy this lot.

pointe de carolles plage cabanon vauban mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallA little earlier I mentioned the beautiful weather.

Over towards the Brittany coast the weather was rather misty and hazy but down at the end of the baie de Mont St Michel we could see quite clearly.

The large white buildings are all of the hotels and the like that service Mont St Michel. Having seen the prices that they charge for even the most basic services down there, I shudder to think how much they would want for a night in a hotel down there.

Over to the left we have the Pointe de Carolles with the Cabanon Vauban – the customs lookout post – perched on the edge.

And notice how far out the tide is? You can clearly see the orange sand down at the head of the bay.

boats trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual pause to admire the scenery down below the cliff on the south side of the Pointe du Roc.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we always keep an eye on the chantier navale to see what goes on there. Just ecently we’ve seen them whittle themselves down from five to four to three to two. But today, they have gone back up to four with the arrival of two more.

Only small ones, but then I suppose that everything helps. Someone was sanding down one of them. I couldn’t see which one it was but I could certainly hear the sound.

trawler beached port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallUp on blocks in the chantier navale is not the only way that boats receive attention around here.

Careening is a regular feature when there’s a high tidal range, although I’ve yet to see that applied in any seriousness. Being strapped tightly to a knuckle on the harbour wall so that the boat grounds out safely when the tide goes out is on the other hand something that we’ve seen on a regular basis and there’s another one over there receiving similar treatment.

There was quite a crowd up on the wall by it too, so something exciting must have happened to it.

giant crane rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOver the last few days regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing the giant crane that appeared on the docks at the end of last week.

Whatever it’s come here to do, it’s doing it right now. Its width with its safety feet is such that it’s blocked off half of the road and there afe traffic light sontrolling the traffic.

It’s not possible at all to see what it’s doing from here. One of these days I’ll have to go for a walk down there and take a closer look. It has to be something worthwhile to have attracted machinery like that.

There was the usual hour on the guitars, somewhat later than usual, and then tea. Tonight was a stuffed pepper and the last of the apple crumble. I’ll have to make another pudding tomorrow and I have a cunning plan for that.

port de granville harbour entrance marker light manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual run out tonight – an agonising crawl up the hill in the teeth of a gale. But I recovered my breath, ran down to the clifftop and then walked round the corner.

The other day, regular readers of this rubbish saw the marker light for the harbour entrance standing well clear of the water on its rock. By my estimation it’s still half an hour or so before high tide, and if you compare the two photos you’ll see how high the tide comes in.

And look how clear the air is this evening. You can see for miles down there.

people fishing from wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs I ran on down on top of the cliff I noticed hordes of people standing on top of the harbour wall.

For quite a while I stood and watched them, thinking that they might be going to jump in. We’ve seen them do that before. But as long as I looked, no-one moved and I came to the conclusion that they were fishermen or something.

There were a couple of parties of girls as well loitering around where I was standing, presumably likewise waiting for things over there to happen.

fishing boat seagulls baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs I stood there watching them, something came a put-putting around the headland.

At first I wasn’t sure what it was, but I suppose that it’s another one of these very small fishing boats. It’s a working boat, judging by the radio aerial.

And those things in the foreground. I wasn’t sure whether they were marker buoys or seagulls. And having had a closer look I have to say that i’m still none-the-wiser.

And that reminds me of a story I heard about a barrister, FE Smith, giving a lengthy explanation of something to a crowded courtroom.
“I’ve listened to you for half an hour” said the judge “and I’m still none-the-wiser”
“Maybe not, My Lord” replied Smith. “But you’re certainly better-informed”.

fish processing plant sucking shellfish out of trawler hold granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run took me all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury and as there was a lot going on at the fish processing plant I went to see.

This equipment that they were using was quite interesting and it took me a minute or two to work out what it was. And I came to the conclusion that it’s a kind of vacuum-cleaner that was being used to suck the shellfish out of the hold of the trawler and into the fish processing plant.

And if that’s what it is (and that was what it sounded like) it’s a pretty ingenious device.

sunset english chennel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run tok me round to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord.

Nothing exciting going on there and still a while before sunset so I took a quick photo and ran on home to write up my notes..

Tomorrow is a busy day. I have my Welsh class so I need to prepare, I have my book-keeping class that has now started, I have my music course.

Then there are the photos from Sunday to deal with, the current radio project and another live concert for the end of next month too.

That’s before I even think about the ongoing projects like the websites and the July 2019 photos, and then all of the other stuff that’s built up from projects before that were never finished.

It’s a mystery to me how I’m ever going to find the time to do it all.

Saturday 18th April 2020 – SOME PEOPLE ARE …

… becoming very touchy as time goes on.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that quite often I’m posting photos here of interesting food articles and the like that have caught my interest when I’ve been out at the shops.

Today though, I was just taking a photo of something in leClerc when a couple of security men appeared, gave me a grilling and “asked” me to delete it. It seems that they are becoming rather nervous about what they have in stock and, presumably, their prices too – because, as I mentioned last week, they seem to be slowly going up.

And the fact that I was asked to either delete the photo or to go and do my shopping elsewhere tells everyone more than any photo ever could about what is happening in LeClerc right now

What else is definitely happening right now is that I didn’t hear the second alarm at all. That’s a surprise because it’s Billy Cotton going “Wakey WaaaaaaaaaaKEY” followed by the theme music to the Billy Cotton Band Show, and how anyone can sleep through that I really don’t know.

But I did

Consequently it was something silly like 06:30 when I awoke.

Nothing on the dictaphone so, even though it might have been a late-ish night, it was a complete one with no interruptions. So instead, I made an early start on the digital file stuff.

And today, I ran aground. I’ve reached the end of the first run-through of stuff that I can digitalise easily, and I shall be starting on part 2

That’s the compilation albums. There are quite a few of those that I have, for one reason or other, and I shall have to hunt them down track by track.

But some of the stuff is pretty obscure, like a demo single by Graham Gouldman and Kevin Godley long before 10CC ever became thought of, and another by Gordon Jackson, formerly in a group called “Deep Feeling” with half of “Traffic”. I wouldn’t have the first clue even where to begin searching for tracks like that.

But talking of 10CC – where are my 10CC albums? 3 of them, there should be, the early pre-commercialisation stuff? And “Angel’s Egg” by Gong, and “Caravanserai” by Santana? I’ve not found those yet and I’ve been through everything several times. I’m beginning to notice more and more stuff missing, the more that I think about it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Having done one or two albums I went for a shower and a weigh-in. And that weight I put on the other day – it’s gone again. Yes, I think that my bathroom scales are about as reliable as the blood machine at Castle Anthrax.

But no matter what I do, I can’t seem to drop below the 80kg barrier. Well, I did, just once, and it didn’t stick. I haven’t exercised like this for 20 years.

After the shower I set the washing machine on the go. I’ve changed the bedding, for the first time since I can’t remember when. I’ve been letting things slide just recently and I need to get myself back on track.

At LeClerc I spent more than usual – but a good proportion of that was on coffee. They had some decent stuff on special offer – not as good an offer as the last tme that I bought some and I wish that I’d bought more of that now, but enough to tempt me to have some luxury in the near future and I’m all in favour of that.

pointe du roc old medieval walled town from rue couraye granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back home, I saw the most amazing view.

With the market being closed, I’ve been coming back through the town instead of along the coast as I would normally do and as I came over the brown of the hill by the roundabout at the Avenue Marechal LeClerc I could see the Medieval Walled Town in the distance, all swathed in mist.

Consequently I did a U-turn around the roundabout by the station, drove back up the hill, another U-turn at the roundabout at the top, and pulled up at the side of the road to take a photo.

close-up pointe du roc old medieval walled town from rue couraye granville manche normandy france eric hallIf you see the church right in the centre, you’ll see behind it the roof of my apartment building.

To the left of that is the building opposite mine. That’s the College Malraux, the local High School (and seeing as it’s up there on top of the Pointe du Roc, “High” Is probably right). And to the left of that is another old stone building that has also been converted into apartments like this one.

In case you are wondering, this complex is an old stone military barracks, lately for the 2nd and 202nd Regiments of Line, with a parade ground in front which is now a car park, part of which is fenced off for private use by the residents of these apartments.

The old sports field behind the College, with athletics track and all of that, is now the College’s playing field which we’ve seen a few times in various photos in the past.

Back here I put my frozen food away, made myself a coffee, sorted out another digitalised file and then went for lunch.

After lunch I started on the third laptop – the 8GB one with the failed drive that I can restart using an old trick that the Gypsies taught me (T223 was an amazing course!) and moved the contents of that hard drive over onto the new external drive that I have bought to use as a back-up. And during the course of the day I’ve started on the external portable drives.

Memory sticks and memory cards will be next, and then the desk-top external drives, followed finally by the two desktop computers. I’ll sort this all out yet! Then I can start to lay up some of the old equipment. I can remember when I thought that a 250GB external hard drive for a back-up would last me a lifetime.

While I was drifting about on the internet I came across yet another two albums that seem to have gone missing from my collection too so I attacked those too and digitalised them.

But, shame as it is to say it, I crashed out yet again.

On the positive side though, I had a really good and lengthy time on the guitars tonight all told and I’m at the stage now where I’m really enjoying playing a 6-string guitar. That’s progress, isn’t it?

Tea tonight was a burger with pasta and vegetables followed by the last of the apple pie and some coconut soya stuff. Tomorrow i’m going to make an apple crumble, I reckon.

Monday though, I’ll need to make some more apple purée, and bearing in mind my success with the tinned apricots a while ago, I bought a cheap tin of peaches and I’ll see what that does.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the washing up and so on, it was the time to go walkies outside.

Or, rather, runnies, because I’m running quite a lot just recently. I was hoping for a really nice clear, sunny evening tonight but I was out of luck.

While the air was quite clear and there was a really good view out for miles, there was plenty of cloud in the sky and for that reason it was difficult, if not impossible to see the sunset.

objects in the english channel st malo brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallTThe view out to sea was really good, as I said earlier so I had a scan along the Brittany coast to see what was going on.

From my vantage point high up, there was something that looked as if it might have been a ship leaving St Malo, 50kms away.

Not being too certain, I took a photo of it with the aim of blowing it up (the photo, that is, not the ship). My first thought was that it might have been Pont Aven, the big Brittany Ferries ship, but the superstructure didn’t look quite right to me.

objects in the english channel st malo brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallWhat I did was to go to a different viewpoint and take a photo on a different bearing to see if that was any clearer, but if anything it confused the situation even more.

And so the jury is still out on this. Even enlarging the photos and enhancing them couldn’t give me any definite hint of whether it’s a ship or a large island. I’ll have to go again and see if whatever I saw is still there another time.

If it’s no longer there, it must be a ship, not an island of course.

sunset ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallBut having said that, while you lot admire the beautiful red sky tonight over the ile de Chausey, I was doing some research.

And what I found was that there was a “Condor” freight ferry, the Commodore Goodwill in port at St Malo at 10:24 this morning. And 12 hours later, i.e. just now, when it sent out an AIS signal (I have an AIS detector and antenna in my apartment as regular readers of this rubbish will recall) she was somewhere to the north of Jersey, east of Guernsey and west of the Cotentin.

And her silhouette is not unlike that of whatever it is in the first photo.

But I dunno.

However, according to A PRESS RELEASE FROM BRITTANY FERRIES, Commodore Goodwill was taken out of service in Winter 2015 to be fitted with scrubbers.

That’s a ferry on which I’ll be sailing once normal service is resumed. Absolutely!

pointe de carolles plage baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallCrowds of people out here tonight. I think that this quarantine thing has had it.

For the first time since all of this started, there was a road block on the way into town where the police were checking motorists and as I drove back through the town on my way back from the shops, a foot patrol was checking papers of people at the bus stop.

But they should have been out here with me tonight because there were people everywhere, especially on the footpaths that are officially closed to the public.

carolles plage cabanon vauban baie se mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallOne of the photos that I took was of the head of the baie de Mont St Michel and you can see that above.

But with nothing special to do, I had a play with it and cropped bits out to see what I could see, close-up. This is Carolles-Plage, about 20kms away, with the white beach huts and the old hotel that’s now converted into apartments where I saw a miserable-looking apartment for sale that had once been a shop.

But never mind the apartment, what wouldn’t I give for a room in that house there perched on the side of the Pointe de Carolles? That would do me quite nicely

cabanon vauban pointe de carolles baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallHere’s another bit cropped off the photo above.

It’s not possible to see the Abbey of Mont St Michel and its island from here because the Pointe de Carolles is in the way, but we can see the hotels and restaurants and so on situated on the mainland. They are the white buildings at the head of the bay about 30 miles away.

And perched on the end of the Pointe de Carolles is the Cabanon Vauban, the old Customs observation post that we visited two years ago.

sunset english channel baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter that I carried on with my runs and stopped for a breather on the walls.

By now the sun was sinking rapidly and while the Ile de Chausey was obscured by clouds, there was enough of a gap in them to let some red glow seep though and reflect off the water.

While I was here, I was entertained by part of the choir from the local church who were przctising outdoors just here. They clearly believed more in the power of worship than they did in the power of Social Distancing, that’s for sure. I left them to it and ran home.

Tonight has been quite relaxing and much of it was spent playing the 6-string guitar. I’m really getting into that right now.

But I have new bedding tonight so I’ll be getting into that in a minute. Tomorrow is Sunday, no alarm so I can have a lie-in. A day of rest tomorrow and then back to work on Monday.

Sunday 12th April 2020 – REGULAR READERS …

trawlers baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hall… of this rubbish will recall a short while ago that we saw a fishing boat heading out deep into the Baie de Mont St Michel, and I expressed my surprise, because I didn’t recalls eeing a fishing boat that deep in there before.

But if yuo look at those white lights just there, you’ll understand that what we are seeing is actually three fishing boats down in thz bay somewhere off the Pointe de Carolles. They are stationary with their working lights on, and that would indicated to me that they are working.

There was a fourth one too, out way off to the left close inshore, but couldn’t fit the photo to include it.

So there you go. It seems that they are starting to look around for more places to fish, and I wonder if that is something to do with Brexit.

What isn’t surprising of course is the fact that I didn’t see the light of day until about 10:30 this morning.

Not that I’m complaining today either, because it’s a Sunday and also a bank holiday so in effect i’m allowed two lie-ins.

It was just as well because just as I was thinking of going to bed last night an interesting track came round on the playlist so I had a bash at it with the 6-string guitar.

And not just any old how either. I plugged in the VOX AMPLUG, turned it full up and put on the headphones.

It was just like being in a studio or on a stage, and I was so carried away that I ran through a pile of the repertoire until getting on for 03:00

And do you know what? I don’t regret it for a minute.

This morning after the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

I was in Gainsborough Road last night and the place was an absolute tip with stuff everywhere, tons of stuff all over the place. There was an insurance guy who was trying to sell me some insurance policy so he could come round to the house and I could tell him to clear off. Then I got to thinking about the state the place was in but before I could do anything about it the front doorbell went – a strange doorbell like a couple of dogs barking. I went downstairs and there was this guy. Of course the two cats and a dog in my house went immediately rushing out. He made a remark about a mentally-handicapped person, having a couple turning around. He indicated a couple of people to me – one was a young girl with long albino blonde hair. He pointed to her.
A little later I was driving a lorry, a big artic with a trailer with an old van and a pile of wood on it. I was doing all right – even in a narrow road I pulled right over to let a Polish bus come the other way. Suddenly the road petered out and I ended up in the wrong section of the road. I’d been right about which was the main road but I’d taken the wrong turning at a really confusing junction because I wasn’t sure. I had to reverse around in some yard. I did it basically without looking at first and just missed a parked car by about a quarter of an inch. The guy in the house came out and was quite cheerful about it. He told me what I’d done. I said “well I’ll turn it round but the difficulty is that I can’t see what I’m doing”. He put a light on but it wasn’t what I wanted because of course you have loads of blind spots on artics. He said “do you want me to do it?”. I said “no, I’m going to do it” I don’t know why, because I wasn’t at all confident and it was really tigh but what I wanted was someone to watch me. But he wandered off. While I was sitting there examining this I noticed that the van had come loose on the trailer. I thought that this was probably just the awkward positioning that it’s in and it will straighten out when I have the trailer straight again. That didn’t look right to me. This girl came out for a conversation so I thought I’d get her to watch, but I’d still rather have the guy watching.

There was more to it than this too but you’re probably having your tea or something like that right now, so I’ll spare you the gruesome details.

After breakfast, which was well after midday, I made a start on the digitalised file splitting.

As I suspected, I seem to have run aground. I’ve started to come up against albums that for one reason or another I can’t do right now – mainly though because the digital sound files just aren’t available.

They will need a good sorting out to see what’s what and for me myself to digitalise them as necessary. But that’s for another time. In the meantime I made a start on the cassettes.

What with one thing and another it was a long, weary early afternoon trying to sort all of this out and I didn’t have much opportunity to edit many photos from July last year. We’re just pulling into port at Akureyri and photo 0542. That’s probably about a quarter of the way around my July voyages.

Finally I was able to deal with the two outstanding radio projects. They are both now complete as far as I can go right now, and the final two tracks have been timed and chosen. I just need to write and then dictate the text, edit it and merge it all together.

But I think that I’ll do what I did last week and that is to choose the music for the next two radio projects, and then write and record all of the text in one go.

And I’m not sure if I mentioned, but I had a really lovely note from someone about our outside broadcast for the GRANDE MAREE VIRTUELLE, and for those of you who understand French, you can download the Podcast at the link that I posted.

Having had a good play about on the 6-string guitar late last night and here and there today, I just had half an hour on the bass tonight.

One thing that I’ve noticed thought is that with having played a lot just recently on the 5-string fretless bass, I found today that the Ibanez acoustic 4-string just isn’t up to what I want it to do.

In my old age, I’m becoming spoilt. That’s for sure.

apple pie apple turnover place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallWith it being a Sunday,as well as vegan pizza night, it’s also pudding for the week-making night.

having had rice pudding last week and having used a couple of the apple pie slices from the freezer during the week, I decided on a big apple pie and an apple turnover. What I don’t eat this week can go into the freezer to build up the stock again.

The pizza was delicious, and half of the apple turnover was equally nice. I shall have to make this again sometime.

It was really late tonight when I went out for my evening perambulations.

trawler english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallOnce more, I ran all the way up to the end of the hedge and could have carried on, incorporating run n°2 down to the clifftop but I stopped to catch my breath.

Down at the cliff top, this fishing boat was going past on its way towards port. The fishing boats are still working out of Granville (as we saw in the first photograph earlier) whether they are working anywhere else or not.

They are even allowed to sell their fish directly off the quayside here, as I mentioned a while ago, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

night brittany coast st malo granville manche normandy france eric hallBut it really was a beautiful night and I regretted bringing the NIKON D3000 with me instead of the NIKON D500.

The sky was really clear and you could see for miles. The street lights of St Malo right across the Baie de Mont St Michel were reflecting beautifully from the sky and the extra versatility of the bigger camera would have done it much more justice.

What was sad about this was that I was the only person here enjoying it. There wasn’t another soul around at all.

coasthuard station pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd it was hard to say if there was even anyone manning the radar in the Coastguard station either.

There was certainly no shadow or anything moving around in there, so I continued on my merry, mazy way.

The same four boats in the chantier navale so I left them in peace, and carried on home. The usual 5 runs in total and although I’m totally wasted and sweating by the time that I return, I notice that I’m pushing on the distance, a couple of metres here, a couple of metres there

That’s quite important to me because I need to keep on top of my health as much as I can.

But it’s a Bank Holiday tomorrow, so no alarm and a lie-in. I hope that no-one comes along to spoil it.

Sunday 5th April 2020 – THAT WAS ANOTHER …

… wasted day today. And it’s my own fault too.

It all started to go wrong last night. As I was preparing to go to bed, some decent music came on the playlist. One thing leads to another, and once you have started, you’ve simply no idea how many other things there are.

It was one good piece of music after another, all kinds of nostalgia came flooding back (this is what happens when you start to listen to music that you haven’t heard for 40 years and more) and in no time at all I was in the depths of a depression.

So much so that, believe it or not, it was 04:00 when I finally went to bed. And I still wasn’t able to sleep.

At some point, I must have dozed off, because I awoke at 11:00. That was a good start to the day – having missed half of it. And even worse, it was 11:45 when I finally hauled myself out of bed.

Nothing on the dictaphone, which is hard to believe after the exertions of just recently, so after the medication I attacked the digital sound files.

That’s another four albums out of the way, reasonably straightforwardly. Only a couple of tracks that weren’t readily available and which took some tracking down. And while I was at it, I disposed of some more photos from July 2019. I’m not up to 19070400 or thereabouts, which means that there’s only about another 1200 from that month to deal with.

And then there are August’s (of which there are so much more) and September’s and October’s too.

That meant that breakfast was at the rather democratic time of … errr … 13:45, which is a late time even for lunch. And the apple purée is running low and I don’t have enough apples to make any more. I sense that a supplementary trip to the shops is on the cards some time soon.

After breakfast – or lunch, or whatever you might like to call it – I buckled down to the 2 radio projects on which I have been working.

They are both done now except for the speech for the last tracks which needs to be recorded, edited and merged into position. And they could so easily have been finished had I not … errr … closed my eyes for a while.

Unbelievable, isn’t it?

It’s just some more stuff to do tomorrow, isn’t it?

There was the hour or so on the guitars and I spent much of the time working out the rhythm and bass parts to U2’s “In God’s Country” and David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream”.

Tea was another vegan pizza with the last pizza base, followed by one of the best rice puddings that I’ve ever made.

rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallMy daily exercise was after tea of course.

It was going dark now because I was so late, but I took a photo of one of my running spots in the rue du Roc. I start way back there beyond the farthest street light, and you can see the rise that always brings me to a halt.

The usual spot where I run out of steam is just by where the hedge begins but just recently I’ve been pushing on to the point at which I took the photo.

“Nothing much to shout about” I hear you say, but it is at my age and in my state of health. And it’s just one of four running tracks that i’m using

night lighthouse pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallFeeling in something of a good form, I ran across the lawn to the top of the cliffs where the lighthouse looked really good, silhouetted as it was against the darkening evening sky.

That was well worth a photo too, and it’s come out rather well.

And so it should, because I’m back in business again.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I had had an issue with the big NIKON D500 CAMERA. It wasn’t reading any memory card.

However, there is a second slot for XQD memory cards, an obsolete but much better form of memory storage.

baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles granville manche normandy france eric hallSo even though it’s much more expensive than SD format, I ordered a card to see whether the fault lay in the camera or simply in the SD card slot.

As you can see from the quality of the photos, like this one of the Pointe de Carolles, the XQD memory card seems to be functioning perfectly well.

The fault must therefore be in the SD card slot and I don’t know what to do about that. It’s probably going to be an expensive repair and unnecessary too as long as I can obtain XQD cards.

But one thing that I won’t be doing if I can help it is to take out the cards to upload the photos to the computer.

It’s only a passing thought of course, but I wonder if the regular removal of the card is what has caused the card slot to fail.

chausiais joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallSo once the card is in, it stays in and I’ll upload it using a cable, like I’ve been doing for the last few weeks with the NIKON 1 J5 and the old NIKON D3000

With the new card, I took a photo of the port with Chausiais and Joly France moored up over at the ferry terminal, and then carried on.

A poor woman had the shock of her life as I came round a corner at something rather less than a canter – but not as much of a shock as I had.

But anyway, 5 runs tonight and a good bit of distance too. This is starting to be a bit more like it.

But for how long? It’s well over an hour since I came back in and i’m still out of breath. But I must push on. Keeping fit, losing weight and watching my health is how I’m going to keep on going, not to mention an improvement in my diet.

But hard work tomorrow. There’s still plenty to do and less time to do it of course.

And the weather has changed. In the space of two days we’ve gone from being far too cold to having the heat switched off and the windows opened.

Has Spring finally arrived?

Sunday 8th March 2020 – I DON’T KNOW …

… whose idea it is to ring that cacophony of church bells at 11:00 on a Sunday morning but it’s almost as if they don’t want you to have a decent lie-in on a Sunday morning when they go around awakening the dead like that.

It certainly put paid to my morning reverie and I was obliged to leave the comfort and warmth of my beautiful bed.

It wasn’t the first time that I had had to leave the bed either. Round about … errr … 04:00 or something like that, I had to go for a ride on the porcelain horse. I thought that I had passed beyond that, but apparently not.

So I went off and had my medication.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhile you admire the high winds that we were having and the storm that was raging somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean, let me tell you about my morning.

First thing that I did of course was to check on the dictaphone. And sure enough, I’d been on a little voyage. I was with someone last night who resembled a girl with whom I had worked for a while although it wasn’t her I’m sure, someone like that. We were discussing languages. Something weird had come up and we had a reply to do which we had done in French or Flemish or something. This led to some kind of discussion about languages and what do we do, how did we behave, all this kind of thing. I made the point sometime during this discussion that what we did is that we’d have the radio on if we were at home and just listen to a French programme or a Flemish programme. It didn’t really make any difference to the two of us what we were listening to. Any of the languages were usually pretty good for us.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfter that, I carried on with the project that I’m undertaking – of digitalising my collection of LPs.

On thing that I’ve been able to do is to find about 120 digitalised sound files of albums that I own, and I downloaded them all. I’ve then had to split them into individual tracks.

It isn’t easy because many of them are studio master tapes where the tracks are recorded in “recorded order” of course which is quite often very different than the order in which they are published on CDs and LPs

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnother issue is that some of the tapes include tracks that were never ever published – rejected for one reason or another – and which I don’t have a clue what they are.

And sure enough, one of the sound files on which I was working was one of the latter.

Eventually, after a great deal of effort, I tracked it down. It seems that I have somehow managed to lay my hands on a rare Swedish-only version of a master-tape with one additional track that was only available in a couple of countries and a second additional track that was only available in Sweden.

That should be quite a curio when it comes to playing it on the radio programmes.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall13:30. That’s a very civilised time to have breakfast, I reckon. And the last of the home-made apple juice from when I made the apple and pear purée. It’s certainly quite interesting when I am responsible for the making (within certain limits of course) of almost every product that I eat for breakfast.

After breakfast I didn’t really do all that much. After all, it is Sunday and I’m entitled to a break one day a week when I don’t do much.

Nevertheless, round about 15:30 or thereabouts I decided that I would have lunch. I wasn’t all that hungry, and there was an end of a baguette from yesterday hanging around in the kitchen.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallLuckily, I had remembered to fetch some hummus out of the freezer yesterday. Roasted pepper hummus too, made with my own fair hands.

So I had a hummus, tomato, cucumber and lettuce butty for lunch, followed by the usual apple, pear and banana for afters.

And that reminded me (although I’ve no idea why it would) that the lemon and ginger syrup that I make for my medication is running low. Sometime later this week I’ll have to make some more. I’ve plenty of ginger but I bought some juice oranges so I’ll go for orange syrup this time.

storm baie de mont st michel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallWhatever happens, I mustn’t forget my afternoon walk. I’m only on 3% wandering around the apartment.

Mind you, sticking my head out of the door, I wasn’t too impressed about the idea of going out.

By the looks of things, there was a huge storm brewing away across the baie de Mont St Michel over there on the Brittany coast. And knowing my usual luck, I would probably end up finding myself right in the middle of it before I’d gone too far.

storm baie de mont st michel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallBut anyway, in for a penny, in for a pound. I set off out.

And I wasn’t alone either. Despite the wind there were crowds of people milling around enjoying the weather and I was determined to join them.

My route took me right around the headland and down the steps at the end. And the farther on my travels I advanced, the more I didn’t like the look of the weather. It was just looking worse and worse

storm pointe de carolles baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallMind you, my luck was in, for once.

The storm was advancing quite quickly but as I rounded the headland at the Pointe du Roc I could see that it was going to miss me by a good few miles.

It had found shore down by the Pointe du Carolles and places like Carolles-Plage and Jullouville were taking something of a pounding. I’m glad that it wasn’t here, because it did look particularly nasty over there.

storm high winds port de granville harbourmanche normandy france eric hallMy perambulations brought me further around the headland and here I was greeted with a sight that made the walk all worthwhile.

As I have said before … “many times” – ed … there’s nothing between that harbour wall and the eastern seaboard of the USA and here we have the highest tides in Europe.

Consequently the power that can build up in the water whenever there is a major storm anywhere in the North Atlantic is really impressive and the sea walls here catch the lot of it full force.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallregular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen some really impressive seas come roaring in just here.

And today is no exception to that. I stoop and watched it all for a good 10 minites even though I had other things to do, just because it was so impressive.

Strangely enough, there were several people passing by here, but no-one else seemed to be interested in staying to watch the free show.

trawlers new pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallSo instead, I had a wander down to the port. The harbour gates were closed as, believe it or not, the tide is well out (although you might not think so) so I could cross over to the other side of the harbour.

One thing that has been interesting me is the story of the new pontoons that they have been installing in the harbour. We’ve seen the pontoons on the north side of the harbour alongside the rue du Port but I wanted to look at the new ones on this side

That is, assuming that I can get close enough to them, because they are crowded out with fishing boats right now. There can’t be too many out at sea today.

scaffolding anchoring boards port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnother thing that we’ve been looking at as we have been on our way around is the scaffolding that is bolted to the side of the harbour wall here.

Being a Sunday and with no-one around, I took the opportunity to have a closer look, trying not to fall into the harbour while I was doing it.

And the result is that I’m still not too sure of its purpose and the OSB boards here fixed to the wall don’t seem to be able to throw any light upon the subject.

All that I can think of, as a wild guess, is that it’s a set of steps for the crew of the floating pontoon to descend to their little boat.

new pontoon anchoring poles port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWe’ve also seen them installing steel pillars in the harbour in order to extend the row of pontoons out perpendicularly from the harbour walls.

Three have already been installed in the harbour and I was sure that there were others although I couldn’t remember how many. Consequently I went to have a good look aroud and eventually came across them.

And I was correct. I had seen them and here they are – five of them by my reckoning. That seems to indicate two lines of four each and that’s not going to be good news for the commercial boats that come here and need the open space to manoeuvre.

And that’s going to be interesting even sooner than we imagined, because Neptune, one of the gravel boats, has just left Shoreham Harbour – “next stop Granville”. I was right about the heaps of gravel.

quai de hérel roche gauthier granville manche normandy france eric hallAs you probably saw in the previous photograph, the storm has passed, the clouds are now all gone and the sun is now out.

That made me decide to push on and have a marathon walk all the way along the Quai Hérel all the way down to the new block of flats (and how I would love to live here!) and the Pointe du Roche Gauthier.

That’s as far as you can do around here. The path comes to a sudden stop and you have to retrace your steps 100 metres or so until you come to a flight of steps that go back up to the road.

quai de hérel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo, retracing my steps, I can show you the big modern building over there on the left.

That’s the CRNG, the Centre Regional de Nautisme de Granville, and it’s also where the Youth Hostel and the Salle Hérel are.

The Salle Hérel was quite interesting today – or should have been – because they were having a “Free Market” where everyone takes the stuff that they no longer want so that others may help themselves.

However I was too late because anything that might have been of interest had probably long-since gone.

old pallet bulkhead granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk brought me up past the Tax Office and it was round about here that I had an exciting encounter.

It’s not so much the car, but what the owner was using as a bulkhead to stop whatever was in the back sliding forward into the passenger seat.

It’s an old freight pallet cut down to size and trimmed to be an exact fit. I was well-impressed by this and wished that I had thought of it in the past when I had the Passat.

escalier chemin de choisel railway engineering depot gare de granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk took me onwards down little alleys that I had only glimpsed in the past.

My aim was to do down past the station and down into the Park de Val es Fleurs to see what was going on around there but in the distance I noticed a flight of steps that I hadn’t seen before.

That made up my mind to go and follow my star wherever it was going to lead me and see what was at the other end – stopping for a glance backwards at the railway engineering depot in the background where the trains are stored and repaired.

chemin de choisel granville manche normandy france eric hallMy little climb brought me out into a little housing estate where a small path led to the main Avenue de la Liberation.

This path in turn led me past a nice modern block of flats in the chemin de Choisel. And nice though the flats might have seemed, it wasn’t my cup of tea because someone was playing some music full-blast with the windows in one of the apartments.

Where I live, I have solid stone walls 1.2 metres thick so I can play music as loud as I like without disturbing the neighbours. That wouldn’t work here at all.

ruined house under repair avenue de la liberation granville manche normandy france eric hallOut on the avenue de la Liberation and here’s a thing.

Ever since I’ve been in Granville, and probably for many years prior to that, there were some old, abandoned houses that were fenced off from the road.

It’s been a good while since I’ve been past here on foot and to my surprise something seems to be happening to them right now. We have a crane, a new roof and all other kinds of exciting things.

That will be a nice place to live when it’s all finished.

While I was here, I could have carried on down the road into town, gone down another footpath and the steps to the Park de Val es Fleurs, or else through the gardens of the Musée Christian Dior and down the steps to the Plat Gousset.

buoy english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallObviously the latter will bring me closer to the sea and with me being a Pisces, being close to water is one of my aims, so I made my way down the side of the tennis club.

Last time I was out here, I saw a big cruise ship out to sea, so I had a look to see if I was going to be lucky again.

Not quite. No shipping out there today but we did have one of these mysterious buoys bobbing around in the sea down there. I still haven’t worked out what they are four but my suspicion is that they are something to do with fishing gear – nets or lobster pots, that kind of thing I reckon.

garden musée christian dior granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were crowds of people out there today and a long, continuous line of people coming up the steps.

The steps are quite narrow and there isn’t much room to pass anyone so I had to wait for a while while they came up. That gave me an opportunity to take a photo of the nice archway down there that leads to the final flight of steps down to the promenade.

And the sea was looking pretty rough down there too. This could be very interesting.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd i wasn’t wrong either.

It’s now 17:40 which means that there’s still an hour or so to high tide, and the sea is totally wicked out there, smacking into the sea wall here with an incredible force and sending spray everywhere.

It’s lucky that the promenade s quite wide otherwise I could easily end up marooned down here and that wouldn’t be very pleasant, having to climb all the way back up the steps again..

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I wasn’t alone here either.

This was a show that you would have to pay a fortune to watch in some places, but we were having it for free. There were probably a couple of hundred people down here this afternoon making the most of the entertainment and we were all having more than our money’s worth.

So impressive was it that I stayed down here for half an hour taking photos when one of the very big waves came in

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWe’ve had quite a few storms down here so far this year, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and we’ve seen plenty of areas that have been fenced off due to the damage that the wild seas have caused.

There’s some more over there and apparently this needs to be fixed before the Grand Marée, the very high tide, comes in on Wednesday. They’ve engaged some workmen to do the job and they have erected some scaffolding to work from, but I don’t fancy their chances out there today.

It’s a good job that it’s a Sunday – a Day Of Rest – today when they can have a day off.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile you admire a few more photos of the storm on the Plat Gousset, I climbed back up all of the steps and walked home via the square Maurice Marland.

There was still about 40 minutes or so before teatime, so I busied myself with another pile of photos from July 2019 and my trip to Iceland. I really need to press on with that before i’m much older.

The trouble is, though, that with having no internet out there, I wasn’t able to do any research into the photos. Consequently every one that I am editing, I need to research to find out where it is and what’s in the image.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSunday is vegan pizza night of course, but it’s also pudding time seeing as I have the oven on already.

It’s usually rice pudding or some such, but last week we had a delicious apple crumble. Apple pie has been on the menu too in the past and that was what I intended to try today, using the new pie dish that I bought.

These pastry rolls are the business. The cheap ones from LeClerc are vegan of course so I always have a stock of those on hand. And I’d picked up some backing apples too on Sunday.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSo, grease the pie dish and unroll one of the pastry rolls and put that in, gently pressing down so that it’s in at the seam at the bottom.

Thinly slice a couple of the apples and lie the slices in on top of the pastry, making as many layers as you can fit in, so that the pastry is completely covered.

On every layer, a think coating of desiccated coconut, brown sugar and lemon juice (and some cinnamon and nutmeg, which I completely forgot, for some reason or other that I can’t explain).

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallUnroll another pastry roll, cut out a top for the pie, with an overhang of about 2 cms.

Wet with some mile the part of the pastry that is on the lip of the pie dish, then put the top on and press it down really hard with a fork to the pastry underneath on the lip. Then trim off the excess pastry.

Put a few slits in the top of the pie to let out the steam, brush with milk and sprinkle with brown sugar. Then bung in the oven.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWith the excess pastry, coast it on both sides – and your rolling pin – with flour to stop it sticking, and roll it out with your rolling pin. It won’t be square, so keep on trimming it off and adding the trimmings into appropriate places so that it’s as square as you can make it

Grease a flat oven tray and gently with a couple of spatulas, pick up your flat pastry and put on the tray. Add the leftover apple slices into the centre, with desiccated coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg (which I remembered this time) then fold over all of the pastry and press it together to seal it.

Prick it with a fork to let the steam out, brush with milk and sprinkle with brown sugar, and bung that in the oven too.

apple turnover apple pie place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd here’s the end result. It all looks pretty impressive and I bet it tastes even better even without the spices in the pie. I won’t be trying it this evening though because there’s still some apple crumble left.

Instead, the turnover was cut into 2 and put in the freezer, and the pie went in the fridge ready to start on tomorrow.

Rather like the time that I made a meat and potato pie when I was younger. I left the eyes in the potatoes so that it would see me through the week.

I’ll get my coat.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOne thing that I mustn’t forget is my evening walk. I’m already up to 95% so i don’t intend to go far.

The NIKON 1 J5 and f1.8 18.5mm lens came with me so that I could have a little play around. I reset the ISO to “MAX 3200” rather than “MAX 6400” as the graining is too much, and stopped down a couple of stops to see what I could produce with that.

And f1.74 at 1/50 second and ISO3200 gave me this image. And for a hand-held shot, it’s quite reasonable. Joly France looks quite nice out there at the ferry terminal.

There have been much worse shots than this.

I’m wondering what else I can produce with this camera if I show some patience. Some good might come out of the enforced deprivation of the big NIKON D500

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile you admire the rest of the photos of the storm there is something else that I mustn’t forget – and that is to go running.

And it’s a good job that I did those two-and-a-half runs yesterday because I only managed one and a half today. Not because of lack of willingness or lack of fitness, but because my first run down the rue du Roc was right into the teeth of a howling gale.

When I hit the slope of the hill about half-way or so along my course, it stopped me dead in my tracks and that was that. Luckily the return run along to boulevard Vaufleury was with the wind so that was a lot easier and I managed an extra 20 metres or so.

storm waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSo now I’m back home and in the warmth.

There are tons of photos to edit and lots to write, so i doubt that I’ll be able to finish it tonight. But I’ll do what I can before I go to sleep and whatever remains to be done, I can finish it all off tomorrow.

Not that I’m complaining of course. This was a good day out and a really good walk around – more than enough to tire myself out. If I do fall asleep while writing out my notes, it will be for a very good …

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