.. 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.
I 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.
There 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.
Being 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.
As 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.
Pivoting 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.
Out 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.
Further 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.
Further 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.
While 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.
But 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.
Musing 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.
Down 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
My 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
There’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.
On 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.
Regular 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.
Chausias 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.
Parked 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.
It’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.
After 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.
The 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
With 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.
From 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.
Having 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
There 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.
There 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.