Tag Archives: Robin DR-400-140B Major

Saturday 23rd July 2022 – HAVING COMPLAINED YESTERDAY …

belle france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… that we hadn’t seen Belle France out and about anywhere for a while, quess who we ran into this afternoon?

Sure enough, there I was out and about on my afternoon walk and as i was crossing the lawn at the end of the headland, from around behind a bunker she came.

It didn’t look as if there was anyone on board so presumably she’s on her way out to the island to bring back a boat-load of tourists.

It just goes to prove once more that I have the Kiss of Death when it comes to things like this. Every time that I make some kind of profound comment I am confounded.

Just like yesterday when I was waxing lyrical about the subject of kites and I was wondering to what exciting place I would be heading and with whom I would be heading there. And instead I ended up going almost nowhere and with no-one either. There was just something vague last night about a few drinks in these tetra-packs and taking a car in for a service etc. I can’t remember anything at all about anything except that and I’ve no idea at all what was going on.

When the alarm went off I struggled to my feet – really struggled – and then after my medication I headed off to LeClerc. I was there so early that the place wasn’t open yet and I had to queue with a pile of other folk for a while before they would let us in.

Once inside I did my usual shopping and bought a few extra things as well. For instance, they had some alcohol-free beer on special offer so I bought a six-pack to add to the supplies in here.

It was only just after 10:00 when I returned so I had a nice early breakfast, and then everything fell apart. I had the worst day that I’ve had for quite a while – several years in fact.

You can tell by the times of the photos that I ended up not going out for my afternoon walk until about 17:00 (adjusted). That’s because from about 10:45 until about 16:45 I was flat out on the chair in my bedroom. Out like a light with no prosepect whatever of awakening.

Anyway, I eventually summoned up the strength to go out for my afternoon walk.

And as usual the first place to go was to the car park at the end of the headland to see what was happening down on the beach.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The weather had improved dramatically since yesterday and even since this morning when it was still quite cool.

By now it was quite warm and that had brought out the crowds, even if there wasn’t all that much beach right now for all these crowds to be on.

And I do mean “crowds” because there were loads of people out there on the beach today.

Some of them had even taken to the waters which was quite brave of them because I don’t think that the weather was that warm today. Not warm enough for swimming anyway.

paddle boarding baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022In the previous photo we’d seen al kinds of water craft in the water just offshore.

A little further out we had a couple of men on paddle boards looking as if they were going for a good run along the coast this afternoon. Not that I know anything about paddle boards though. It’s not my idea of entertainment.

And that was really all that there was going on down at this end of the beach. There weren’t any Nazguls out and about this afternoon or anything else of any interest.

I left them all to it and wandered off down the path on top of the cliffs towards the end of the headland.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There might not have been very much happening down by the car park, but it was all action further on down the path towards the end of the path.

The sea was absolutely heaving with boats and there was hardly any room to swing a cat in between them.

This is just one photo of half a dozen that I could have taken that would have shown the same situation. It seems that everyone who is anyone has taken to the water his afternoon and it must have been total chaos at the slipway trying to put all of these boats into the water in the limited time that’s available when the tide is high enough.

And taking them out of the water is going to be even more exciting.

commodore goodwill english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It wasn’t just pleasure craft that had caught my eye this afternoon either.

There was something large moving around out in the English Channel behind the Ile de Chausey so I took a photo with the aim of enlarging it and enhancing it when I returned home.

Back here when I examined the image more closely I found that her silhouette bore a close resemblance to the freight ferries that run between Portsmouth, the Channel Islands and St Malo.

And when I checked the fleet radar, I found that at the time that I’d taken the photo, the freight ferry Commodore Goodwill was out there in the English Channel. She left St Helier at 13:30 and arrived at St Malo at 18:50.

f-gbai Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And seeing as we were mentioning yesterday an obscure 1960s one-hit wonder, today it’s the turn of another one – Pete Townshend’s chauffeur John “Speedy” Keen and SOMETHING IN THE AIR.

It’s one of our old friends, F_GBAI, a Robin DR400-140B from the aero club, flying out into the bay de Granville.

My photo is timed at 17:09 (adjusted) and she was picked up on the radar at 16:10. She flew around the bay, then back inland, then down the coast and back where she disappeared off the radar again right by the airfield at 17:23.

red autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022She wasn’t the only thing in the air either today.

This is something that I don’t recall seeing before. We’ve seen the yellow autogyro flying around here quite often but this is the first time that we’ve seen a red one. She looks quite new and clean too.

So pondering on this mystery I wandered off along the path towards the end of the headland to see what was happening there.

Surprisingly there was nothing at all. No-one fishing off the rocks and no-one on the bench by the cabanon vauban either. And so I wandered off towards the port.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Meanwhile, out in the bay here, we have La Granvillaise coming for a sail past, towing her little dinghy behind her.

The other day I believe that I mentioned something about hos we haven’t seen so many of the charter boats out there so far this year so it’s odds-on that we were going to see one of them out and about this weekend, wasn’t it?

No change in the chantier navale or in the inner harbour so I came on home for my chocolate drink. and to try to do some work seeing as I’d had a miserable day so far.

Tea was the left-over breaded quorn fillet from last weekend, with potato and veg. Really delicious. I’ll have to go back to Lidly to see if they have any more of those.

The one problem with having slept so much today is that I can’t sleep now. It’s quite late, or, rather, early next morning, and I’m still not tired. It’s totally messed me up, this sleep that I’ve had today and I’m going to regret this very much. But it’s a sign of the times I reckon.

It makes me wonder how tomorrow will work out with all of this going on – or not going on, as the case may be.

Tuesday 19th July 2022 – THAT WAS HORRIBLE

There can’t have been too many nights like last night.

When I finally went to bed I had every door and window open in the apartment and a fan on the chest of drawers going off blowing cold air onto my body – no cover over me of course.

The racket was indescribable and totally impossible to sleep but when I closed the doors and windows and switched off the fan the heat was indescribable and totally impossible to sleep. In the end I decided that if I wasn’t going to sleep, at least it’s a better plan not to sleep when it’s hot and noisy rather than not to sleep in the boiling hot, stifling and stuffy oppressive heat.

When the gale sprung up at about 02:00 I wished that there had been a third alternative too. Not even hanging a heavy weight to the end of the curtain would stop it flapping about.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 and I’d had such an awful night, and with a Welsh lesson to come, I decided that a lie-in would do me some good and there I stayed until 09!15

Having organised myself I went for Day One (well, Day Two really) of my Welsh Summer School. This tutor doesn’t seem to be as organised as the others whom I’ve had in the past. She’s one of these people who doesn’t believe in breaks. Instead she crashed on regardless and finished early.

However I can’t complain because
1) it was very nice of her to squeeze me into her course
2) the course is free

What I’ll have to do tomorrow is make a flask of coffee and have some biscuits standing by.

By the time I’d had my midday fruit (at some time considerably later than midday) I went out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As usual, I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end so that I could look down onto the beach.

There wasn’t a great deal of beach today. The tide cycle here is about 25 hours or so so every day when I go out the tide is about half an hour later and with the speed that the tide comes in and out here that can make a considerable difference.

There weren’t too many people down there this afternoon either. The weather was not quite as warm as yesterday and, strange as it might seem, at midday or thereabouts we’d had a little shower of rain for a couple of minutes.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was here I was looking out to sea as well.

And as I watched, one of the Joly France boats came out of the mist (because it was quite misty this afternoon) from the Ile de Chausey and was heading back towards the port.

The small upper-deck superstructure and the windows in “Portrait” format suggests that this is the newer one of the two.

And she has quite a crowd on board too. It looks as if they have had quite a busy time out on the island today. There are water supply issues on the island and I bet that this weather has been taxing their facilities.

d-eqdk Breezer B600 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And that wasn’t all the excitement either.

As I watched, a light aeroplane went flying by out in the bay from the south. And as I watched it performed a U-turn and headed back southwards.

When I enlarged the photo back home, I could see that she’s a German-registered plane, D-EQDK. She’s a Breezer B600 and we have in fact seen her before, on the 13th August last year.

According to the flight radar she took off from Avranches 16:04, headed north towards Granville, turned back southwards and then disappeared off the radar near Dinard at 16:27. My photo was taken at 16:13 (adjusted).

f-gbai robin dr 400-140b pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022She wasn’t the only aeroplane in the sky either.

A few minutes later another one went flying by in the bay. This one is one of our usual suspects, F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140b that belongs to the Granville Aero Club.

She’s been out and about a couple of times today but at the time that I saw her, according to her flight plan, she was still on the ground at the airfield and certainly wasn’t picked up on the radar.

Maybe someone has the time set wrong somewhere.

yellow autogyro baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Jamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third” as they say around here.

Sure enough 10 minutes later, out of the mist came the familiar rattle of another one of our old friends.

This is the yellow autogyro that we see quite regularly, taking passengers for a spin up and down the bay to see Mont St Michel and whatever else there is of interest in the area.

All we need now is the Loch Ness Monster and Godzilla and we will have had everything.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were plenty of people wandering around on the path today kicking up the dust so I didn’t hang around.

Narrowly avoiding being squidged on the car park I went down to the end of the headland. No-one fishing off the rocks today but there were a couple of people sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

And they had plenty to see as well, like the Joly France ferry going past and the aerial display too.

Quite a few people down there on the lower path as well. The slightly cooler weather this afternoon has brought out the crowds.

les bouchots de chausey la confiance 2 monaco du nord 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Some more changes in the chantier naval today.

La Confiance II and Monaco du Nord II are still in there but over there on the left they’ve now been joined by one of the shell-fishing boats. Her number isn’t on the database that I have but I reckon that she may well be Les Bouchots de Chausey.

Whoever she is, there are several workmen already swarming all over her so it doesn’t look as if they are going to be hanging around.

Mind you, I’ve said a few things like that before and lived to regret it, haven’t I?

joly france chausiaise yacht ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Over at the ferry terminal there’s some congestion.

We have Chausiaise, the little grey, white and orange freighter, and also the two Joly France boats. The one that just arrived is the one at the back of the queue.

By the looks of things Belle France, the newest ferry, isn’t there. She’s not in the inner harbour either so I reckon that she’s probably still out there at the island.

Not much happening in the way of pleasure craft today though. That yacht that went sailing past in the background was the only one that I saw.

loading zodiac onto trailer port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Mind you, had I been out there 10 minutes earlier I might have seen a zodiac out there in the bay.

But as I went past just now, the zodiac was at the ramp underneath the Fish Processing Plant and there was a van and trailer there. By the looks of things they were loading up the zodiac onto the trailer ready to take it away.

L’Omerta was still there too, but she was on her own. Everyone else who was tied up there yesterday has now cleared off.

Having taken my photos, I cleared off too. I have plenty of things to be doing this afternoon and not much time to be doing them either.

Granville victor hugo port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Things seem to be heating up in this ferry dispute too.

In the inner harbour Victor Hugo has now been joined by the newer Granville. They are both tied up there now and that seems to be that for the moment.

It would really be nice if this dispute could be resolved and we could get back into the business of running a ferry service. Right now we seem to be going one step forward and two steps back.

Incidentally, Granville, although the newer of the two ferries, is a second-hand boat. She was built new as the Bornholm Express in 2006 and sailed between Simrishamn in Sweden and the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and was last seen on that service in 2014.

lorry trans shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022One of the problems of living in a medieval walled city is that the streets and gates aren’t designed for modern traffic.

The Porte St Jean into the old town is quite small and many larger vehicles can’t enter. They have to park up outside the walls and arrange some kind of trans-shipment of their cargoes.

Just like this van delivering wine, in fact. I suppose that his cargo is destined for one of the restaurants in there.

Back here I had a glass of cold coconut drink and then sat down to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I must have gone to sleep at some point during the night.

There was some kind of tennis match taking place. I don’t really remember who it was or what it was about or anything but I think that one of the participants was quite young. There was something about an advertising campaign where you could have stencils to stencil over your vehicle. The company would give you money for doing that kind of thing so that they would have the publicity from the moving vehicle as well as anywhere else.

And then we had to go to stay in a dormitory for some reason, a load of us. It wasn’t separated by sex at all for young people. I found a bed right by the alleyway, the walkway in this dormitory in the hope that a young girl whom I knew would sleep in one of the other beds around me. She was with a group of people so hopefully she might go on the other row and be down this end. I had to go to the bathroom. It was again a communal bathroom and wasn’t restricted by sex so there were all kinds of people coming and going, including one rather insistent girl while I was using the facilities. That was rather uncomfortable. Then I had to hurry back to make sure that I had my bed and that no-one else had it and hoped that this girl would have the bed that was across the walkway from mine.

There was something about a bookstore. all the books were in a total mess and it needed some arranging. I was there doing some work. a young girl kept on coming in to look at the books. She would also come in to chat to me and we became quite friendly. It turned out that she was leaving school and didn’t know what to do. I asked her why she didn’t want to work in a bookshop with us. We always had vacancies and she would enjoy it. Of course I had a two motives. One was to be nice to her and the second was to get to know her much better but that’s beside the point isn’t it?

Just recently I seem to have spent a lot of time thinking about young ladies. I must be becoming broody or something.

I forgot to mention that one of the offices in this dream had a sheep’s skull nailed to the door as a kind of talisman. Someone else who came to see me once and there was a dispute in the corridor which was upsetting. I explained that but it made no difference about people having disputes as long as they weren’t with each other.

Someone with whom I used to work in Chester was teaching at the school where I was working. He came up to me in a class and we were talking. “Do you know what I would really like? I would like to go on holiday to the Isle of Thanet and for you to come with me” which I thought was really nice. We had a really good chat about the Isle of Thanet and me going on about things that we did when we were kids and things that my mother used to tell us that she did etc. This talk went on for quite some time about all kinds of things.

My mother lived in Birchington as a child until she and her sister were evacuated to Frome in Somerset when Manston Airfield down the road came under attack. She had plenty of stories to tell us and in fact we used to go down there every summer in the late 50s and early 60s while she still had her connections there to see things for ourselves.

The guy from Chester wanted to know when I’d be free but what he didn’t know and I didn’t tell him was that I was retiring at the end of the school year so I would be free all the time. There was no case of needing a diary or anything to write stuff down but I didn’t want it generally known quite yet that I was retiring so I didn’t say anything to him while he was discussing everything.

And that’s a recurring theme too these days

However I couldn’t keep going and at about 18:30 I crashed out. Only for about 20 minutes and that’s no surprise after the night, but I wish that I could have kept going.

Tea was a taco roll with rice and then I came in here to write my notes.

Rosemary rang me up for one of our marathon chats and that prevented me from going outside to find out why the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter was hovering around. By the time that I could go outside, it had gone.

So bedtime now. Let’s see how we get on tomorrow with this Summer School. It’s not like the usual ones that i’ve had before but it’s free and at least it keeps me interested and helps me remember what I might otherwise forget.

That has to be some kind of positive anyway.

Wednesday 15th June 2022 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

f-GSBV Robin DR400 180 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022… slight improvement today. and that was even though I had something of a very late night last night as well.

So while you admire a few photos of various aerial activity like for example F-GSBV, a Robin DR400 180, flying by overhead, I’ll tell you all about it.

This morning I was actually awake at 06:15 which considering that I didn’t go to bed until 00:15 this morning, that’s quite good going.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 I struggled to my feet and after the medication and checking my mails and messages I made a start on organising my revision papers for my Welsh exam on Friday. In the confusion and fast pace of the revision lesson yesterday evening everything had become mixed up.

f-ghpj Robin DR400/140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022So while you admire F-GHPJ, a Robin DR400-140B that had just taken off from the airfield on her way to Chavenay Villepreux, I was fighting off wave after wave of sleep.

Not too successfully in the end unfortunately. I drifted off for 15 minutes round about midday. And even though it was a crash-out, the fact that it was only 15 minutes is a big improvement on how things were this time last week.

When I recovered, I made a start on reading through all of the notes that I had made about the subjects that we are expected to know. There are 28 subjects, and we will be given 5 by the examiner and expected to talk for a minute on those five and answer several questions.

And then we have to pick one of those five and ask the examiner questions for a minute on each.

Finally, and where I’m expecting it all to go pear-shaped, we are given several adverts with important sections blanked out and we have to ask the examiner questions so that we can fill in the gaps.

Where the difficulty lies with this is that the “5 W-words”, who, when, where, what, why (and how) take different verbs depending on whether it’s a noun or a verb or a proper noun that follows them and what tense it is, and that’s already confusing.

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022So while you admire the sparrowhawk that was flying around above the cliffs, I was having lunch.

And then I went back to carry on with my revision. And I managed to finish off going right through it again before I succumbed to another wave of sleep.

Once again, it was only about 15 minutes again and once I pulled myself together I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was in the army. There was something going on. There had been an attack ordered and for some unknown reason I was given something different to do. It annoyed a lot of people that I wasn’t joining in with the attack, some people far more than others, and it even reached the stage where some of our own soldiers were throwing hand grenades at me and I was having either to move out of the way or throw them back. It was all a very unhealthy situation that no-one could understand why things were working out the way that they were and I wasn’t going on this attack etc. And there was this particular group of people fording this passage in couples and throwing hand grenades at me at every conceivable opportunity. In the end it reached the stage where I had to abandon my post because it was far too dangerous for me to be out there with all these hand grenades coming at me from all directions.

Later on I’d been in a factory dismantling one or two pieces of equipment. There had been some people hanging around who were doing some work there as well Who were as usual getting in my way. There was a digger that needed dismantling so I went back to do that today. There were hordes of people, probably 50, around there watching someone move some parts around on the car park. They were all wearing scarves with blue and cream (I think), the colours of some company or other that was also doing some work there. I had to go to find the foreman to tell him that I was going to start work dismantling this digger that was nearby. Luckily they weren’t in my way at the moment but they might be if they came any closer. I’d seen him once at the very beginning. As I was fighting my way through these throngs I suddenly realised that I couldn’t see him at all. I was wondering where he’d gone. I didn’t want to start dismantling this digger without making him understand exactly what it was that I was doing and how I wanted some space around me where I could work without being confined and pushed around

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

First stop was the wall at the end of the car park where I could look down onto the beach to see what was happening down there.

It was a nice sunny day and there was plenty of beach for people to be on, so it was no surprise to see a lot of people down there this afternoon. There was even the dog down there that may well have been the dog that we saw there yesterday

There weren’t any painters up here on the path this afternoon so I wandered off down the path on top of the cliffs towards the end of the headland

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022We’ve seen the sparrowhawk that was busily engaged in hunting along the top of the cliffs so I was looking out at sea to see what was going on.

There were a couple of things moving around right out in the bay over by the Ile de Chausey so I took a photo of one of them with the aim of enhancing it when I returned home to see what it might be.

What was going through my mind was that I was hoping that I’d see one of the Ile de Chausey ferries or maybe even Victor Hugo on her way out to Jersey but in actual fact it was a speedboat or cabin cruiser having a run out to the islands.

It doesn’t seem that I’m having any luck at all with the ferries.

sun reflecting off window brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022No’one loitering around by the car park this afternoon, which was just as well because there was rather a strange phenomenon.

Way across down towards the foot of the bay on the Brittany side, the sun was shining off a window or something like that and reflecting back, and I could see it quite clearly even if it was about 20 miles away.

Years ago I read an ancient book from the 19th Century called ON THE BORDER WITH CROOK, the story of General Crook’s campaign against the Native Americans written by his Aide de Camp.

It’s one of the books that travels with me when I go to the “Wild West” and what’s interesting about it is that Bourke describes at great length the use of mirrors as heliographs for sending messages between advancing columns of infantry and cavalry and how in the right conditions the flashes of reflection could carry for as much as 50 miles.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve been up on the dry, arid plains of Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico and I can easily believe it. And even in the kind of weather conditions that we have here, a flash of light transmitted through serendipitous means will carry over 20 miles.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There wasn’t anyone down on the bench by the cabanon vauban looking at the reflected light so I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland.

There were crowds of people out there this afternoon having a go at the pèche à pied. The tide is well out and the areas where the public can fish for shellfish are now out of the water allowing the harvest to begin

At first I thought that they were carrying fishing rods but they are in fact raker, gratters, nets and all that kind of thing that the serious pecheur à pied will carry with him to prize the shellfish off the rocks.

From there I wandered off down the path towards the port.

l'alize 3 wavecat express chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022We’ve had another change of occupant in the chantier naval since we were last here.

Wavecat Express is still here and so is the catamaran. But the expensive cabin cruiser and Pescadore have gone back into the water.

In their place we have acquired another trawler. This one is L’Alize III, a trawler that we have seen before on several occasions.

Still, it’s all good as long as there is a healthy turnover of boats down there. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … a healthy, thriving boat repair yard is good news as it encourages owners to moor their boats here.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before I went back home I had a look in the inner harbour.

Hauts de France seems to have gone definitively but Victor Hugo is still in there. But Marité is back again from her nautical perambulations of the last couple of days, tied up down at the bottom of the harbour having a rest.

Back here I had a coffee and carried on with my Welsh revision until teatime.

There was some stuffing left over from Monday so I had a taco roll with rice and vegetables and it was even nicer having been left for a couple of days.

Right now though I’m off to bed. I’m going to keep on with this having a good night’s sleep and hoping that I can keep this little improvement in my health going.

If it is something that is going to continue, it won’t be before time.

Friday 3rd June 2022 – GONE!

cabin cruiser catamaran joly france belle france chantier naval ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And never called me “mother”!

Yes, as I wandered around the headland this afternoon and reached the chantier naval I noticed that the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie has now disappeared.

They were there the other day with a large portable crane busily dismantling it and at some point subsequently they have been with a lorry to whisk it away.

We’ll have to content ourselves today with the cabin cruiser and the catamaran, and with Belle France and one of the Joly France ferries over there at the ferry terminal.

After saying yesterday that I’d managed to go a whole day yesterday without crashing out at all, how those words came back to bite me today. And bite me in spades too.

After I’d had my medication I came back in here to sit down ready to start work and the next thing that I remember was that it was 10:40. I’d been out like a light for over 2.5 hours and that was pretty dismal.

But it seems to be par for the course these days.

What might account for much of this is the fact, as I alluded yesterday, that it was something of a highly mobile night as far as my voyages went. I started off talking to someone about how ill I was feeling. I’d been down in the south of France in a dark blue car and a couple of people from my family. I’d been feeling ill again. I was explaining that it was just like 2018 when I’d been feeling really ill and I was right down there on the Mediterranean coast. I was talking about the journey that I was in the middle of doing. They came out with the idea that maybe I could find a couple of passengers who would want to come along on that particular trip. They could pay me a lot of money for having some kind of bespoke travel arrangement around France like that but then of course a Cortina would be the wrong car. You would need something like a Volkswagen minibus or something in which to do that kind of thing.

There was also a big football match being played in Crewe at 08:00 on a Sunday. I was up at 06:30 going for a walk around. There were hundreds of football supporters asleep all over the town in doorways etc who had been unable to find rooms or anything. They had crashed out in the first available shelter out of the open air where they could be some kind of reasonably comfortable and reasonably protected from the elements.

We had a girl who came to see me with her father. He was waving around a receipt because he’d bought a car that was named after him. I couldn’t see why that was any concern of mine but apparently they all thought that it was something to do with me and wanted me to deal with the matter. I didn’t have a clue what was happening about this. It was a definitely a garage from where he’d bought the car, not from me.

And then there was a really heavy snowstorm around Crewe so I’d been out in the night spreading salt around the pavements to make access to the office earlier although I didn’t bother around areas where people were actually having to walk through paks and grass etc. There was one area of grass that was extremely overgrown. It was impossible to walk through there although someone was running a little circus through a corner of it. On the way back I went by there to have a look. It was one of these Wild West circuses with the guy I knew from Eddie and the Hot Rods in charge and Laurent and a few others dressed up in Wild West clothes marshalling the entertainment etc. They all seemed to be having a tremendous amount of fun down there.

Finally there was something strange about people having bodyguards outside their rooms while they were sleeping. Someone had this young girl who was guarding a room by standing on her hands upside down. There was a discussion about how they were going to overcome her. Someone suggested cutting off her feet. They thought “yes, but how far up the legs would you want to go to actually cut off her feet”. This became something of a strange discussion amongst a couple of people.

After all of that it’s hardly a surprise that I was quite exhausted.

Once I’d organised myself and had a late breakfast I had a strum through my acoustic guitar set just to make sure that I don’t forget it.

It will be a shame to put it on the back burner after I’ve gone to all of this trouble to learn it, even if I probably won’t ever have the chance to play it again. Certainly not at Nicorps

After lunch I spent an hour writing about “The Future”. One of the things that I was happy to say – well, not happy to say but you know what I mean – was that I don’t think that I have a future. What with war and Covid and my illness that is slowly deteriorating day after day I don’t have much of a future

And that’s not an idle statement either. When I went out last night I took my acoustic guitar, my bass and my little Roland bass cube with me. I’d brought the acoustic back last night and this afternoon I brought the bass cube and the bass back.

Or, at least, I tried to. I didn’t have the strength to bring them both upstairs at once. I had to make two trips. And you’ve no idea how that made me feel.

There are some kitchen units in the back of Caliburn that I need to bring up here and assemble, but I’ve no idea how I’m going to find the strength to do that

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022As usual, I went out for my afternoon walk.

And as usual, I went across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach this afternoon.

There was plenty of beach to be on, but there were only these two people down there as far as I could see. They had the whole of the beach to themselves.

It was quite a nice day today but there weren’t all that many people at all out there enjoying it. Even up on the path on top of the cliffs it was quite quiet today. I had the place pretty much to myself this afternoon.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022What was probably keeping them all indoors was the racket that was coming from the repointing of the medieval city walls at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

Someone was up there working with a power tool and you could hear the whining from up here. It must have been deafening down on the beach.

And that reminded me that I forgot to go and have a wander around the walls during the week to check on the repairs and to see how the baby seagulls were doing. If I remember, I’ll wander around that way this weekend.

hauteville sur mer Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Although the view out to sea wasn’t as clear as it has been just recently, the sun shining along the coast and reflecting off the sand was producing some nice effects.

Over there is the town of Hauteville sur Mer where the River Sienne flows into the sea. With the white houses and the golden sand over there it looked really nice in the afternoon sun.

Strangely enough, there wasn’t anything at all happening out at sea this afternoon. I couldn’t see a single water craft of any description out there in the bay or further out in the English Channel. I’ve given up hope of ever seeing one of the Channel Island ferries out there.

f-gbai Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022On the other hand, things were different as far as aerial activity went.

As I was wandering along the path towards the end of the headland I was overflown by a light aeroplane on its way to the airfield. It’s one of the regular ones that we see, F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local aero club.

She took off at 15:24 and flew out to do a lap around the Ile de Chausey before going down to Mont St Michel and then back up where she came in to land at 16:00.

And seeing that my photo was taken at 15:51 (adjusted) that’s about right, I reckon.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone else filed a flight plan or flew high enough to be picked up on radar?

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022As I went around the corner of the headland, coming the other way was a speedboat.

This is the first water craft that we’ve seen today. I’ve no idea where everyone else might be today.

They certainly weren’t down on the bench at the cabanon vauban today. That was quite deserted too this afternoon. It’s a shame that the town isn’t like this all the time

And so instead I wandered off around the headland and down the path on the other side in order to check on what what was happening in the chantier naval, as we have seen earlier.

l'omerta ch589986 la bavolette 2 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022When we were out yesterday we took a photo of the port by the fish processing plant because, for a change, it was strangely deserted.

Today though; L’Omerta is back where she seems to spend most of her time. And she has company too. Behind her moored up against the quayside is the little trawler La Bavolette II. Presumably she arrived too late and the gates to the inner harbour were closed.

Back here I had a coffee and then I had an important e-mail to write. It concerns the live rock concerts that I do for the radio programmes. Basically, I’m not going to produce any more if they can’t guarantee to broadcast them. I’m still pretty upset about last weekend’s concert not being broadcast after all of the effort that I put into making it.

It’s not as if it’s the only one that’s been missed either. There have been several and it totally defeats the purpose of spending all this time preparing them if they are going to be missed.

The rest of the day was spent writing notes about “I don’t like” for my Welsh exam, and then playing some stuff off this playlist that I was sent. I need to work on that now for the next few weeks.

Tea was steamed veg with falafel and vegan cheese sauce which was delicious. And now I’m off to bed. I’m shopping tomorrow (if I can stay awake) and I mustn’t forget the olive oil because I’m running very low.

In fact I’ll probably remember everything else except that. I’m not doing all that well right now

Sunday 17th April 2022 – THE MYSTERY OF THE …

photo credit interlink a changing canada Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022… mysterious booklet is solved. All I had to do was to look in the photo credits on the final page.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few months ago some company or other bought a photograph from me – a photo of a small isolated community on the “forgotten coast” of Québec

The photograph has been published in the booklet and they sent a copy to me as a courtesy.

Perhaps I ought to add that much of my photography is no better – and probably a lot worse – than many other people’s but it’s all to do with the fact that I’m quite often wandering around, boldly going forward where the hand of man has never set foot.

Consequently they are of interest more for their curiosity value and content rather than their technical merit.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But be that as it may, it’s been another beautiful Spring day today.

The crowds were out in force this afternoon. And they had plenty of beach to be out there upon this afternoon.

Hordes of people swarming around down there this afternoon, all over the beach as well, not just in the shadow of the cliffs waiting for the tide to come in.

There are quite a few people out there in the distance hanging around the water that is retained in the medieval fish trap. Maybe they are looking for whatever might have been retained in there as the tide is on its way out.

hang glider people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Crowds of people swarming around on the path on top of the cliffs as well.

And as you will probably already have noticed, not a single face mask anywhere in sight. Except of course the one that I was wearing. I managed to remember to bring it with me today.

You will also notice that yet another Nazgul has come to grief over there too. And it doesn’t look as if the Birdman of Alcatraz is in any hurry to either take to the air again or to “fold up their tents, like the Arabs and as silently steal away”

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022A couple of days ago I mentioned that this weekend is one of the periods where the tidal coefficient is one of the greatest of the year.

And seeing as that coincides with the holiday season, we can reasonably expect to see crowds of people down there having a go at the pèche à pied and we are not wrong either because there were crowds down there today having a go.

So good luck to them too. As long as they remember to spread it out amongst their friends. Flexing your mussels, you might say.

Last night I certainly flexed mine while I was in bed because I covered a great distance while I was asleep. There was plenty of time to do so too because even though I didn’t go to bed until about 00:20, I didn’t actually raise myself from the dead until 12:00 this morning.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages, and then it was time for brunch – porridge and hot cross buns again. I have to celebrate the Easter season and I do love hot cross buns.

Having eaten, I turned my attention to the masses of notes on the dictaphone from last night. We started with something about the refugees coming back from Paris or Brussels. We had to walk to an adjacent station to catch the train rather than the station where we usually caught it but I don’t know how this finished because this was all that I dreamt about it.

Then this dream advanced to be something to do with the army. There was a huge depot full of all vehicles – dozens of Ford Anglia estates, stuff like that. They were all being sent for scrap. There was an ERF artic tractor, etc. An ex-girlfriend was there. She pointed to a smashed-up Ford Transit van and said that that used to be hers but it had been hit by a lorry when they were moving it around. They were all talking about these vehicles. She pointed out a couple that had the new green log books but he wouldn’t let them go for some reason or other. There were a few cars parked over there. I thought at first that they were Sunbeam Rapiers or Humber Sceptres but they turned out to be Citroens of some description, saloon cars. We were talking about them and we said “why don’t we take them back as a taxi? Why don’t we ask him?”. That seemed to be the logical thing to do for me but there were dozens of stuff here. They all had a big white cross painted on the side, stuff that was being sent for scrap.

Later on we were back in a big railway station that I recognised as the Gare du Midi (although of course it wasn’t). The refugees were actually leaving, flying by aeroplanes that were taking off from the roof. They had some kind of volunteers down there who would call the train times out and marshall the volunteers to bring them up onto the roof where they could then walk across to the terminal building to catch the ‘plane.

And thenI was at one of these American colleges and I’d been watching American football. They were talking about their own particular college that everyone was expecting them to post a 9-6 season but were on the verge of posting a 10-5. They were talking about the quarterback there who had had a better season than expected. I asked them what they thought about the clubs in their Conference and where they thought that their team was going. We had a chat about that. They pointed out about one young lad sitting there – he was actually their 3rd-choice quarterback and they were saying that when it neared the end they should have put him on to give the 1st choice a rest as the match was clearly won and he would avoid injury for him ready for the next couple of games. They talked about the match, that was actually broadcast on TV that went on until about 03:00 or 04:00. I was doing something that night otherwise I might have watched it but even so it was still quite late. The previous one finished an hour earlier because of the time difference in the USA where they had been playing and I’d missed that one as well. While we were chatting the clock was ticking down, about to come into the 2-minutes where they could take a knee and stop the game. They were all counting down the time while they were talking to me and I bet that you are all as impressed as I am that I can discuss technical phrases and tactics in American football games while I’m asleep

However I forgot to mention that there was something involving pizzas in there with all of the students sitting around eating pizza at this particular moment.

Now that all the Palestinians are safely aboard their train we now had to bring all of their luggage across to the new station. That wasn’t easy because there was just a couple of us on the Metro doing all of this. Eventually we arrived and we had to sort out the luggage into the various stops so that the correct luggage would be put out at the correct station. That brought me back to years ago when I worked in travel for Shearings

Interestingly, I was in Crewe last night in a Cortina mkIV or mkV, a red one that was really nice. I turned up Gainsborough Road into the side street to park. There was a policewoman there with a kid chatting so I thought that i’d better park tidily and properly while she was there. The steering was rather stiff because the car had just had a new steering rack fitted so I had to maul it round. When I got out she came over and told me that even though I had both feet on the floor they weren’t on the floor in the right place. In theory she could give me a ticket but she just wanted to make me aware. I found that hard to believe that your feet had to be in a certain position on the floor of your car but apparently so anything is possible in Tory Britain. We had a little discussion about things. Eventually she told me that there had been a police meeting yesterday. I said that I’d heard about it from someone else, and that there had only been 2 policemen on patrol for the whole of Crewe during the day yesterday while this meeting had been on and most of the policemen were there. That she agreed to

Finally I was living with someone in France. TOTGA had run away from home and came over to France to the town or village where I was living. She settled in a cave. For one reason or another she didn’t come to live with the two of us which must have been a great disappointment for me. We used to take her food etc. Then it was starting to become winter. There were a few more days to go before the school holidays so in the end we talked her into going to register for school for the next term. We told her that every child living in France has the right to education whether they were legal immigrants or not. eventually she went and took the plunge. She went to the local school to register. The school started to give her all kinds of help about who to see and where to go etc.

But imagine that! TOTGA living in a cave nearby and me not being able to take her in.

red powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022all of this took me up to the time when I go off for my afternoon walk.

And no sooner did I set my foot outside the building here when I was overflown by one of the aircraft that buzzes around overhead.

It’s our old friend the red powered hang-glider that we have seen quite often. and it has a passenger on board this afternoon too.

And all of this reminds me that we haven’t see the yellow powered hang-glider or the yellow autogyro for quite some time. I wonder what they are up to these days.

F-GBAI Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And that wasn’t all the aerial activity this afternoon either.

Buzzing along overhead was F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local Aero Club. She took off at 15:25, did a lap around the Ile de Chausey, flew down south to do a lap around Mont St Michel, and then back up the coast where she came in to land at 16:00.

And seeing as my photo is timed at 15:54 (adjusted for summer time) then that sounds about right.

By the way, this was the fourth of five voyages that she undertook (so far) today. They have certainly been keeping her busy.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022As was the case yesterday, I was surprised to see so few boats out there this afternoon.

It’s certainly true that there would be quite a while before the harbour gates would be open but I would have expected, given the fact that it’s a Bank Holiday weekend, the crowds are thronging around and the weather is so nice, to have seen all kinds of water craft milling around offshore in the bay.

Instead, all we can see today are a couple of cabin cruisers moored offshore, with the occupants probably having a good fishing session. And that was the lot. The weather was quite clear this afternoon and I could see for miles. And there was no other boat that I could see.

pointe du roc objects floating in baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022That wasn’t everything that was visible in the water.

As I walked around the corner and across the car park I could see something bobbing up and down just offshore from the Pointe du Roc.

This area is frequented by a few varieties of sea mammals, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall and I was thinking that I might have been lucky enough to have caught the head of one of the aforementioned bobbing up and down.

However, no such luck. It looks more like a plastic 25-litre drum of some description floating around out there and that was disappointing.

cabanon vauban people on bench watching peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022A little earlier, I mentioned the pèche à pied today.

There were quite a few people down there on the rocks this afternoon having a go at harvesting whatever there is to be harvested.

Furthermore, there were spectators to the events too. Apart from the usual people wandering around on the paths there were a few people sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban watching what was going on.

So from there I pushed off along the path on the other side of the headland.

anakena chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022My route took me along towards the harbour where I could see down into the chantier vauban to see what was going on there.

There are no changes to the occupants down there this afternoon but my eye was caught by what was going on with Anakena.

Part of the stern drops down to reveal a step into the water. That’s presumably for the passengers to step into a zodiac or something when it’s out on tour.

And, one assumes, for passengers to leap into the water for the “Polar Dip” when she’s up in the Arctic. And we’ve seen people do that quite frequently on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR

That reminds me of when Castor and Pollux tried to entice me into water at a sub-zero temperature in Cambridge Bay
“I can’t with this catheter in my chest” I replied.
A short while later, someone who had overheard the conversation asked me “had you not had the catheter, what would you have done”?
“I’d have found another excuse” I replied.

Not even Castor could entice me into the water at that temperature. I’ve been in twice up to my knees – on one occasion at just 700 miles from the North Pole – and I’m not going in any deeper than that.

bouchots de chausey port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Another boat that we have seen quite frequently is Les Bouchots de Chausey.

Shes often seen pottering around loaded to the gunwhales with shellfish that she passes over to the tractor and trailer that come to the harbour to meet her but today her crew is having a day off.

She’s been left to go go aground in the silt with all of her fishing equipment on board this afternoon now that the tide has gone out.

With nothing much else going on, I headed off through the crowds back to my apartment for my afternoon coffee and a decent session of music on the guitar.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022After lunch this afternoon I’d taken some pizza dough out of the freezer and left it to defrost throughout the afternoon.

later this evening I kneaded it and rolled it out onto the pizza tray. And when it had proofed sufficiently I assembled my pizza and baked it.

It was rather overcooked around the edges this afternoon but nevertheless it was quite tasty and filled a gap in my stomach.

So now that I’ve finished my notes I’ll have a little relax before I go to bed. Although I have a radio programme to prepare, it’s a Bank Holiday so i’m having another lie-in.

And maybe go off on a few more travels too. having had the pleasure of TOTGA’s company last night, it must surely be the turn of Castor or Zero to put in an appearance.

We shall have to see.

Thursday 2nd September 2021 – I’VE BEEN OUT AND …

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… about this morning, being sociable, which regular readers of this rubbish will know is not like me at all

As you can see, this morning we have Normandy Trader in the port. She came in on the overnight tide. And I had an appointment to go and have a chat with the crew.

The discussion that we had enables me to tell you a lot more about her too. She’s an ex-military landing craft built in 1964 and served in the Falkland Islands Campaign. And if you look very carefully, you can still see the bullet holes.

There are lots of other news to tell too, but I’m under instructions to leave that for a couple of weeks. So watch this space.

But at least I was right about the reason for the triangular run that they now do on occasion from St Helier to St Malo to Granville to home. There’s no health inspector here at Granville so the shellfish have to be landed at St Malo where there is one.

But anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself here yet again. After my marathon session last night when I couldn’t sleep and didn’t go to bed until 03:10, I reset the alarm to 08:00 and even so, it was still a nightmare rising from my stinking pit yet again.

At least I’d written up yesterday’s notes so I didn’t need to worry about that.

With such a late start there wasn’t long to wait before breakfast, and after breakfast there was barely enough time to start work before the doorbell rang. And I wasn’t even back in my apartment with my parcels – just loitering at the front door – when someone else turned up with a package for me too.

And isn’t it nice to be finally typing with a decent keyboard – the nearest thing to a flat-key silent portable-computer-type of keyboard that I have ever experienced. It’s definitely something.

Once it had all arrived, I shot off down to the harbour to talk to them at Normandy Trader, bumping into a whole collection of neighbours on the way.

After lunch, I very regrettably fell asleep for a while, which is no surprise after my night’s efforts but even so I’d managed to attack some of the arrears from the other day. But anyway, I was a few minutes late going out for my afternoon walk.

people swimming in sea rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As usual, I wandered off across the car park over to the wall at the far end to look down onto the beach to see what was going on.

It wasn’t the beach that actually caught my eye today. If you look closely at the photo you’ll see that there are actually some people down there swimming in the water.

And I do have to take my hat off to them because it wasn’t all that hot and it was quite windy too. Not the kind of day to be going out into the water.

As for the beach today, there wasn’t all that much of one this afternoon as the tide is well in right now.

f-gbai Robin DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was busy admiring the view of the swimmers, I was overflown by a small aeroplane heading inland.

No prizes for guessing who she is. She’s F-GBAI of course, the Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the Granville Aero Club. She seems to be about the only aeroplane we ever see these days.

She took off at 14:24 and did a kind-of figure of 8 – one circle inland and the second circle dpwn to Avranches and round the Ile de Chausey to come back into land at 16:02, and as my photo was taken at (adjusted) 15:57 that seems about right to me.

It’s been a while since we’ve featured an aeroplane on these pages but that’s not to say that I haven’t been overflown. I’ve either had the wrong camera, the wrong lens or else I’ve been busy talking to a neighbour.

yacht in high winds baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A short while ago, I mentioned the wind that has sprung up this afternoon out in the bay.

Looking at this photo should give you something of a clue about that. Apart from the whitecaps on the waves, the way that the sails belly out in the wind and the fact that the yacht is keeling over will tell you everything that you need to know.

Strangely though, the wind is coming from the north-east today. It almost invariably comes from west-north-west so to see it actually doing something else is quite a surprise.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The Baie de Mont St Michel is therefore sheltered from the nor’easter and so with the tide being in, it’s no surprise to see one of the sailing schools out there this afternoon. Doesn’t the sea look calmer on that side of the headland?

They are having quite some fun out there in the bay and I haven’t forgotten that once my physio sessions are over I have every intention of joining them

It’s school chucking-out time now incidentally, hence the arrival of the big 53-seater fill-size coach, and have you seen one of the bunkers from this angle, proudly displaying its battle scars from World War II.

normandy trader yacht pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So from there I pushed off across the car park and down to the headland to see what was happening in the bay.

And rattling around the corner right into the wind came Normandy Trader. I was told that she would start her loading at 14:00 so it’s not taken her too long to load up and get under way back home to St Helier.

The yacht that we saw coming in earlier has now made it to the headland anyway so in a few minutes she’ll be in the calmer waters of the Baie de Mont St Michel.

What I’m going to do is to see if I can beat her back to the harbour.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, I noticed that there was no change in occupancy of the chantier naval so I turned my attention elsewhere.

Over at the ferry terminal this afternoon there was only one of the ferries that I could see. She’s the very new one, Belle France, and she doesn’t look as if she’s going to be going anywhere this afternoon.

As for the other two, they are probably over at the Ile de Chausey and they’ll be back before long otherwise they will miss the tide.

At this rate I’ll miss my nice banana smoothie if I don’t make an effort to go home. So with nothing else exciting (Galeon Andalucia is still here but you’ve seen enough of her just recently) happing in the inner harbour and no bad parking to upset me, I made for home.

After my drink I tidied up the kitchen because I had a visitor coming round to see me with some information for me and after he had gone I FINALLY finished amending SATURDAY’S ENTRY. It’s really nice having a decent keyboard to type everything with.

When Sunday’s entry was finished, I could start on the tons of stuff that have accumulated on the dictaphone over the last fortnight. Nothing from last night though, which was a shame.

Tea tonight was another handful out of the European Veggie Ball Mountain with microwaved potatoes and veg – delicious as usual – and still no dessert. My appetite has diminished just now and I’m going to keep on encouraging it to do so.

So bedtime now. I have a computer to fix in the morning, fruit bread to make, and in the afternoon it’s the physiotherapist again. As well as that I have a radio epic to prepare for the end of December.

It’s non-stop, isn’t it?

Sunday 22nd August 2021 – AS BARRY HAY …

… once famously said – “one thing I gotta tell you man, that it’s good to be back home.

And indeed it is too. Even though I didn’t go to bed until 02:30 last night, I slept right the way through until 12:40 this afternoon without a single interruption. And I must have needed it too.

There’s some stuff on the dictaphone too. I was with 3 girls and I can’t remember who they were now, which is a disaster, but I do know them. We were in Canada sightseeing in my Passat. In the end we tried to find the big fort that was at the junction of the two rivers on the cliff where the place was being defended. After poring over a map I worked out where it was. A passer-by showed us where it was as well so off we set. We went for a good explore and then went through the forest on the other side of the river which would lead us out to the battlefield and so on. After we’d been there we said “let’s go and visit Liz and Terry because they are leaving”. One of the others said that and the other 2 couldn’t believe that they were leaving. Off we went in the car and came to their apartment. We could see Liz down at the bottom working on the garden so off we went down their garden. The other 3 girls had disappeared somewhere along the way. I said to Liz “can we come and visit or are you too busy?”. She had a dubious think and said “ohh okay”. I turned round anf found that the other 3 had gone so I said “OK I’ll round them up”. Somewhere along the line I had one of these pencil case purse type of things with a huge pile of cash in it and I can’t understand why. There had been some discussion about my cars. Someone said that they couldn’t see the word “Audi” on the clock. I said that it isn’t an Audi but a Cortina – no, it’s a Passat

First thing was of course the medication, and after I’d taken all of that I came back in here to check my messages, of which there were more than just a few.

With all of this medication, I have to wait for about an hour before I can eat anything so it was rather a late lunch – or breakfast – today. Toast and porridge and coffee.

After my meal I paired up the tracks for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow morning. And that reminds me – I mustn’t forget my appointment with the physiotherapist tomorrow afternoon, and to go and do some shopping too because there isn’t much here in the house.

Having dealt with that, it was time to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst place to go to visit is the beach, of course. It’s been almost a week since I’ve seen it and it will be interesting to se how the tide has evolved.

Right now, the tide is quite far out, and there is plenty of room for people to be wandering around and lazing about down there, soaking up the sun. And plenty of people were making the most of the opportunity too.

No-one had actually made it right into the water this afternoon, and that wasn’t a surprise because although it was reasonably warm this afternoon, there was quite a wind blowing, as you can tell by the whitecaps on the waves down there.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile one of my eyes was looking around at the events going on down on the beach, the other one was looking around out at sea.

It’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good, as the old saying goes. And the proof of that is that despite the fact that the tide is well out and the harbour is inaccessible, there’s a yacht out there that is taking full advantage of the wind.

He’s going to have to stay out until the tide turns in about 5 hours time, so I hope that he’s stocked up with supplies while he waits.

There’s another one right out there near the horizon too, but I’ve no idea where he might have come from.

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving dealt with the question of the land and the sea so far, it remains for me to check the air to see what’s going on up above.

Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen plenty of photos of the sparrowhawks that seem to congregate around the cliffs here. And there’s another one out there this afternoon keeping an eye open for something for tea.

A year or so ago, there was just one of them and then a second one came along some time later. Now there are four or five of them, so the cliffs are obviously a happy hunting ground, otherwise they wouldn’t be sticking around like they do.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd then of course, while we were dealing with that, we were overflown by a mechanical device.

This one is our old friend F-GBAI, the Robin DR400-140B that belongs to the Granville Aero Club and which we have seen quite regularly flying around the Baie de Granville.

She took off at 16:03 this afternoon, flew a short way down the coast towards the Pointe de Carolles, back again, did a lap around towards Coutances and then came back into land at 16:17. My photo was taken at (adjusted) 16:12 so I must have caught her coming back from down the coast.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe weather was quite clear this afternoon and we could see quite far out to sea.

The ile de Chausey was looking quite splendid this afternoon although the houses at the foot of the lighthouse didn’t stand out as well as they have done for us in the past.

There wasn’t all that much activity out there at sea though. I could only see a couple of yachts and that was about my lot. None of the ferries were visible, which wasn’t all that much of a surprise seeing that the tide won’t be far enough in here at Granville to allow them into the harbour for another couple of hours.

beaches marker lights ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe view down at the north-east end of the island was quite clear today as well.

With the tide being so far out, we can see the beaches there today, looking really nice. We walked along those when we were over there with the Spirit of Conrad. Most of them are leased out to seafood harvesters and where you are allowed to walk is controlled.

And you can tell how high the tide comes in by looking at the warning beacons on the rocks. Those rocks are well-submerged at high tide and the height of the beacons with give you some idea of just how much water will cover them.

police car parked on grass pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe paths around the headland were quite crowded this afternoon.

The car park at the Pointe du Roc was completely full and everyone was having to park on the grass at the side of it.

You can tell that it must have been authorised because there is a police car parked on there as well. There were a couple of coppers walking around the lawn amongst the crowds but I’m not sure why. I didn’t actually see them do anything while I was watching.

Mind you, I didn’t wait around all that long. I’m trying not to draw attention to myself.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallInstead, I went for a little wander around on the lawn on the other side of the car park.

le Loup, the marker light on the rock just outside the harbour entrance was looking quite attractive this afternoon in the sun. You can actually see how high the tide actually rises down in the bay by looking at the change in colour of the material with which she’s built.

There are a few people right out on the beach behind it, and in the background, we can see quite clearly the houses at Kairon-Plage and Jullouville on the side of the coast road down to Avranches.

On the skyline on the right-hand side of the image is that strange tower, and one of these days I’ll go for a wander round over there to see what it is.

man fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s Sunday in August, the height of the tourist season, so I was half-expecting to see crowds of fishermen on the rocks this afternoon taking advantage of it.

In fact, I only did see one of them out there. He was up to his knees in the sea casting his line out into the water, without having very much luck by the looks of things. As far as I could see, he didn’t have a net or a bag with him in which to keep his catch

As for commercial fishermen, or recreational fishermen out there in boats, I couldn’t see a one. There were a couple of small boats out there though, but they were quite far out and it wasn’t possible to tell who they were or what they were up to.

peche à pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, he wasn’t the only person out there fishing this afternoon.

A little further around from where our fishermen was standing, there were three young people scrambling around on the rocks, looking for all the world as if they were doing a bit of the old peche à pied, although the tide wasn’t far enough out to make a good catch.

No boats out there that were close enough to photograph and nothing else of any excitement going on, so I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … along the path around the headland towards the port.

trawler trafalgar charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving been away from the town for a few days, I wanted to see what was happening down in the chantier naval.

There has been quite a high and rapid turnover of boats in there just recently so I was expecting to see a few changes in there.

However, there didn’t seem to be anything different in there. There was Charlevy of course, still there on her blocks on the right-hand side of the image, all masked off and with a nice fresh coat of paint.

The smaller fishing boat is there too in the centre of the image, up on blocks in front of the line of all of the others. There doesn’t look as if there is much room left to bring anyone else in if there is an emergency.

trawler trafalgar charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further along the path I could have a good look at the row of boats by the old dry dock.

There are five of them there, including the trawler Trafalgar nearest the camera. So there’s a total of seven boats in there right now, and that is pretty good going.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … it’s good to see such a busy ship repairers. It encourages people to bring their boats into Granville, knowing that they can be serviced and repaired here. Plenty of boats in the port is good for the town.

yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust before we went away, we also saw a yacht in the yard down here too, looking as if she was about to receive a paint job.

While I was out there this afternoon, I didn’t forget to have a look down there to see how she was getting on.

And by the looks of things, she’s getting on quite well. She’s pretty well masked off and she looks from what I can see that she’s already had a coat of paint on her superstructure. I’ll be very interested to see how she turns out when she is finished.

It’ll be quite exciting too, watching the portable boat lift coming to fetch her and take her back to drop into the water.

horse and carriage chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn one of the earlier photos we had a good view of Chausiase, the little freighter that runs out to the Ile de Chausey and back.

At that time, I didn’t take a photo of her because I’d seen something else out of the corner of my eye and I wanted to wait until I could take the picture that I wanted.

There wasn’t long to wait, as it happened. Soon enough, a horse and open carriage came into view, carrying some passengers. It looks as if part of the entertainment for this Festival of Working Sailboats includes a ride ina carriage.

However, I’m not sure why this would be. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t really have much of a nautical flavour about it.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were bound to be further interruptions today, with all of this nice sunny but windy weather.

Sure enough, the Bird-Men of Alcatraz decided to come out and enjoy the weather this afternoon. One by one they came over the Pointe du Roc on their way down to the end of the headland.

There were all kinds of nazgul going by over head. This one is a two-seater, as you can see, and the person in the front seat seems to be filming the voyage as they passed by overhead. They will probably have a good film to show everyone when they return, thanks to the good weather.

crowds festival of working sailboats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I mentioned the other day, this weekend is the Festival des Voiles de Travail, the “Festival of Working Sailboats”.

Today is the climax of the event and so I was expecting to see crowds of people wandering around down there, and I’m not disappointed. The harbour down there was heaving with them this afternoon.

It was interesting to see the old marker buoys that were down there. I’m not quite sure what is the purpose of displaying them. I suppose that if it’s connected with the sea, it’s good enough to exhibit them

And that rectangle that we saw – it’s actually a water tank and there were some model boats going around it.

crowds festival of working sailboats rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the reasons why there were cars parked just about everywhere this afternoon is that the car park down at the port is occupied .

As part of the Festival, they have erected tents and booths on the car park, and part of the exhibition is being held down there. It seems to be quite popular too, with all of the people who we can see down there.

It’s a strange decision though – to hold an event in the centre of the town in order to attract tourists from elsewhere, and put the event on the car park so that they have nowhere to park so that they can visit it. They should have put these tents on the other side of the harbour where the gravel used to be stored.

jazz band crowds festival of working sailboats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the things that we saw them erecting last weekend or whenever it was is a grandstand.

We now seem to have acquired a stage too, and there was a jazz band performing down there this afternoon to give the festival some kind of ambience and to entertain the public as they wander around.

All of the greenery down there was interesting too. We seem to have acquired a kind of desert island environment with sand and palm trees, presumably to give a kind of “Pirates” effect to that part of the exhibition.

If that’s the case, then instead of a jazz band, there ought to have been Roy Plomley, a gramophone record and 8 songs.

Croix du Sud 3 sailing yacht port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the looks of things, we have a new sailing boat in the harbour right now, one that I haven’t seen them before.

She’s called Croix du Sud III and was built in 1934. She was built as a fishing boat and when she retired, she passed through several pairs of hands before being bought by the town of Cherbourg in 2003.

She was completely overhauled as soon as she came into the hands of the town, and again during the winter of 2015-16 and is now the “official boat” of the town. She now represents the town at all kinds of maritime events, and that’s probably why she’s here at the Festival.

Croix du Sud 3 sailing yachr port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe harbour gates are closed so she can’t go outside.

As I watched her, she was doing a series of figure-eights, taking passenger around the harbour. She is completely sold out, by the way, so I couldn’t have a trip on her even if I so wished.

And that was really all that was happening, so I decided to go back home and have a nice cold strawberry smoothie.

You are probably wondering why I haven’t gone down there for a closer look around and ro take a few photographs. The fact is that I didn’t feel as if I could face the walk back up the hill afterwards. I really am in a right state, aren’t I?

Back here I spent the rest of the day going through the photos. As well as today’s, there were those for the previous two days too, which I’ll bring up to date when I’ve transcribed the dictaphone notes.

After my lunch i’d taken out the last pizza dough and it had been defrosting during the afternoon. Now it was ready to be kneaded and rolled, put on the pizza tray and left for an hour to rise. When it was ready I assembled the pizza and then baked it.

It was delicious and really tasty, despite it being rather low on ingrdients. No dessert of course because I wasn’t hungry – my appetite is still down from where it was.

And now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. There’s an early start in the morning and a radio programme to prepare. I need to be on top form.

Monday 16th August 2021 – WE HAD TO WAIT …

yellow autogyro ponte du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… for a good few days longer than I expected but nevertheless we got there in the end.

Sure enough, while I was out walking around the headland this afternoon, out of the clouds in the distance with its old familiar rattling came the old yellow autogyro from the direction of Avranches and the Pointe de Carolles.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I had anticipated her arrival a few days ago and as if to make up for her rather late arrival, she did a couple of laps around my head before disappearing off into the sunset and that was that.

grandstand port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that we have been eagerly anticipating for the last few days is to find out whatever is going to be happening down at the loading bay on the quayside.

The information still hasn’t filtered through but all of the equipment, including the grandstand is still down there.

As well as that, where that kind of rectangle was that we saw yesterday, we now have a couple of tents that have sprung up like little mushrooms. And we have even grown a couple of potted palms over the course of the day, as well a couple of bizarre objects, red and yellow.

tents quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it isn’t just there that things are happening.

All along the quayside down there and out into the car park at the side, there are yet more tents, marquees and other different things, and a few noticeboards indicating whatever might be going on.

As I’m off to Leuven tomorrow, I’ll probably miss whatever it is, but I shall go that way towards the railway station for a closer look and see what I can discover.

The plot sickens.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Let us return to our moutons as they say around here, and start at the very beginning.

Once more, going to bed early doesn’t seem to make all that much difference because I still had a very tormented sleep and it didn’t seem to make all that much difference as to how tired I am.

After the medication I checked my mails and then made a start on the radio programme. And by 11:20 I was finished as well, despite having stopped for breakfast – a slice of fruit bread (I’ve given up the hot chocolate as it’s starting to show).

And had I not had to redo some of it and choose another track in the middle to replace one that didn’t work as I would have liked, I could have been finished a long time before that too.

Having dealt with that, I listened to the programme to make sure that it was correct, and while I was doing that I booked the rail ticket for tomorrow from Brussels to Leuven and back again. By the time that it was all finished it was almost time for lunch.

After lunch I had the tidying up to do because the nurse is coming round to give me my injection and the place needs to look as if someone actually lives here.

The rest of the afternoon was spent transcribing the dictaphone notes, and there were tons and tons of them too, and it took me ages.

The stuff for Sunday took ages and ages, but it was all done and it went on-line to update yesterday’s journal entry.

There had been a couple of interruptions while I’d been doing it. Firstly the nurse came round and injected me. I hope that it will propel me up the hill tomorrow to the railway station.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSecondly, there was the afternoon walk around the headland, which of course always starts with a look down to the beach to see what is happening.

Off across the car park I went and over to the wall at the end of the car park where I could look over the wall. Not many people down there this afternoon but then again there wasn’t all that much beach to be on.

Nobody was quite brave enough to take to the water to any great degree this afternoon which wasn’t a surprise because there was a biting wind this afternoon that was quite really quite cold

Here I met one of my neighbours and we had a good chat, interrupted by a frantic chase back across the car park to rescue my cap that had Gone With The Wind

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallwhile we were chatting we were overflown a couple of times by various aircraft, but I only managed to detach myself long enough to catch one of them.

She’s our old favourite F-GBAI, one of the Robin DR 400-140B aircraft that belong to the Granville Aero Club. We’ve seen more of her just recently than we have of all of the other aircraft in total.

She took off from the airfield at 14:12 and flew several laps up and down the coast and even inland for some distance before coming back to land at 16:33. My photo was timed at (adjusted) 16:15 so she still had some time to remain in the air before landing.

sparrowhawk bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallF-GBAI wasn’t the only flying object that we were able to photograph this afternoon.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there are some birds of prey that loiter around the edge of the cliffs looking for animals, baby rabbits and anything else that might do for an appetising lunch.

We started off with one but it seems to be a happy hunting ground down there because there are now three or four of them.

Incidentally, I am informed that they are sparrowhawks. Not that I would know, of course. While I am a very keen birdwatcher, it’s not this kind of bird that usually attracts my attention.

fishermen in zodiac pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was plenty of activity going on out of the wind in the Baie de Mont St Michel so I wandered off in that direction.

There was a zodiac with fishermen aboard coming around the headland and I knew what was likely to happen once they came out of the lee of the headland so I waited.

Sure enough, the wind and the waves that hit them gave them a very nasty moment.

It reminds me of the story of the zodiacs aboard THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR. They all carry names, but prior to that they had numbers.
One day, the captain was bellowing down the loud-hailer “Zodiac number 61 – come back to the ship”.
No response, so he called again. Still no response, so he called a third time.
Suddenly realising that there were only 20 zodiacs aboard, he changed his tune and shouted “zodiac number 19 – do you have a problem?”

cabin cruiser yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut as I said earlier, there was plenty of activity going on in the bay out of the wind.

The first things that caught my eye were the yachts of one of the sailing school. There were a couple of schools out there this afternoon, taking advantage of the tide and the shelter that was afforded by the headland.

As well as that, there were all kinds of other boats out there – a cabin cruiser goign along at quite a rate and a small motor boat that might be something to do with the yachts of the sailing school – maybe the instrructor with a loud-hailer.

trawler charlevy trafalgar chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlong the path on the southern side of the headland, I took myself down to the viewpoint overlooking the port and in particular the chantier naval.

And we’ve had another change of occupant down there this afternoon. We’re now back up to our seven boats again and I really ought one of these days go down and enquire about their names. But that won’t be this week as I’m off to Leuven tomorrow as I mentioned earlier.

But I can’t keep up with the speed at which they are coming and going these days. They are wearing me out and I don’t have the energy to keep on nipping down there to check before they clear off back into the water and another lot take their place.

tents car park port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBefore I go back to the apartment and carry on with the dictaphone notes, we can see the final shot that I took of what’s going on down at the end of the port.

As you can see, the tents and whatever it is that they have erected have continued out into the car park, the area where the fishermen keep their shellfish drags and where the fresh shellfish are sold. It’s clearly going to be something quite important to take up all of that space.

With all of the lorries being there, it looks as if they are only just setting up their equipment. That means that they probably won’t be doing whatever they will be doing until the weekend.

Eventually, I finished off the notes from yesterday and then pounced upon the pile that related to last night. And if anything, there were even more of them.

Last night I started off on a ship, the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR or something last night in the Antarctic. We were involved with icebergs and so on and there was a very famous poem that had been written about ships and icebergs and somehow I was trying to make the poem match up with those on board the ship but I awoke before I’d gone very far with this.

And later we were discussing the ferries and in particular the ones out to the Ile de Chausey and the trips that they do around the bay and the Ile de Chausey but I can’t remember now how the story went

Later still I was around at the farm of a friend of mine from school and was talking to one of the young girls who worked there – it might even have been Percy Penguin. I’d just been into the farmhouse to use the bathroom and as I was leaving someone came to the door. Whoever I was with asked if I knew who it was and I said “no”. She replied “what a shame. You could have found out and they could have babysat while we went out”. After a couple of minutes I thought that i’d go back and find out and pretend that I needed the bathroom again. Just as I arrived these people were disappearing down the drive. One of them just looked from the rear like the sister of my friend except maybe a little younger. In the house I talked to their mother and she showed me her new Avon purchase which was something for putting tea into for dropping into a cup like a reusable tea bag. We had quite a talk about that. When I returned I explained things to the girl I was with. She asked “didn’t you ask if she would babysit for us anyway?”

But here’s a thing. After making those notes I stepped right back into where I had left off before dictating the previous notes, back on the farm. My friend and his little sister, on whom actually I had quite a crush back 50-odd years ago, were there. They were laughing and joking and she was sitting on him and generally being a pest. He said “why don’t you go and sit somewhere else?”. So me, ever the opportunist, said “come and sit on me instead” and much to my surprise she did. I thought “God, I’m popular”. We sat there, the three of us, talking and I had my arm round her at one point. Then she had to go and clear off and fetch the dinner as there was a big party taking place. She was serving everyone around and still coming over to talk and chat to me occasionally here and there. I couldn’t believe my luck. I thought “how on earth is this going to end?” but it ended up by me sitting bolt upright wide awake with probably the greatest feeling of disappointment I have ever had in my life and I would have given all that I had to have gone back into that dream again at that point and see how it finished. It was just as if 50 years had suddenly vanished from my life.

That was probably the most powerful, realistic and optimistic dream that I have ever had since the famous WORLESTON INCIDENT all those years ago and the fact that I cans till remember that particular voyage so well after all these years shows you just how much of an impression that made on me. And this one will probably be the same. It’s another one of these that has left quite a disturbing effect.

Having dealt with all of that I went and made tea. A fry-up of everything that was left in the kitchen that wouldn’t keep until I return.

And now I’m off to bed. It’s not early but still earlier than it has been here and there. There’s a lot to do in the morning before I head off for the train.

Sunday 15th August 2021 – THE OTHER DAY …

belle france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… when discussing all of the boats that were out there on the water, I believe that I mentioned how I would love to be out there when the harbour gates are near closing, in order to witness the stampede as the boats all headed back for port.

And sure enough, this afternoon I had my wish, and a lot sooner than I was expecting as well. The tide is advancing quite rapidly and even though this is my usual time to be out, you can see the mad dash for home already.

Belle France is well up there in second place to that cabin cruiser in front, but on the outside there’s a speedboat coming incredibly quickly, making quite a wave as he does so.

boats heading for harbour port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound on the pther side of the headland, things are much more advanced.

There are at least five and maybe even more small boats in the photo just here, all dashing for the port de plaisance while they still are able to do so.

Nobody would want to be stranded out in the bay during the night, especially if they have work to go to in the morning.

Not too many people out on the sea wall watching them though. I would have expected this to have been one of the best free entertainments going.

Last night I did without any kind of entertainment – free or otherwise – after the football. At the final whistle I staggered off to bed and that was that.

At 06:19 I was awake but if anyone thinks that I’ll be leaving my bed at that time of day on a Sunday they are mistaken. Even 09:10 is a bit optimistic. 10:40 is much more like it.

Ordinarily I would have said that that was a good sleep but there is tons of stuff on the dictaphone so I must have been quite disturbed (as if I’m not disturbed enough as it it).

I started off at the home of a couple of friends last night, doing a load of moving for them or something like that. I’d gone to her office room to talk to her but she was busy on the phone so I went into his office room kind of thing and he wasn’t there. I thought that I would wait for him to come back and I started listening to music and I thought “He has loads of LPs so I’m sure that he has loads of live cast-offs that would do for a live concert”. There was a box of strawberries and cream by the side of his computer and I was busy eating my way through those and scrolling through his Facebook screen. Suddenly I saw a message that he had sent me about Welsh Premier League football and I could see my reply under there. I thought that I’d better not be confused in this subject comes up again because I’ll be replying as someone else instead of me and reading my own replies. When they did come down they looked so young and it was very hard for me to believe that it was them. I couldn’t believe it. They were talking about everything, about how we don’t need to go out for a meal tonight but we can go for breakfast tomorrow somewhere. I said that my partner (and I couldn’t think of her name) was having to teach this afternoon but I’d been watching “Alfie” and this started off with some guys going to rob the home of a policewoman or something but the robbery had all gone wrong and several policemen in there and there had ended up being a gunfight and all these guys had gone to prison and been sent down for an enormous length of time. The Michael Caine character had to flee the country with his girlfriend and she was telling him all this bad news about everything else that was connected with this but still going wrong. He was pretty powerless where he was to actually do anything about it

This flat (and I wish that I knew which flat is was that I was discussing) is ideal for the kind of thing for a weekend retreat where you can come away from Paris on Friday and be here Friday night, and not have to go back until Sunday night and spend every weekend down by the sea.

A little later I was on my way to a football match and I arrived in Chester and was running late so I had to take a taxi. I went to the local rank but there were only little electric telephone box-type cars so I said to a guy standing near it “is that yours?”. Another guy immediately leapt out of a vehicle and asked “taxi?”. I replied “yes but just give me a minute to make a phone call. Is there a phone handy?”. I had a discount card that I needed to ring up to book. he showed me over to a phone but said “there’s still 12 minutes left on the meter. Where do you want to go? I said “Deva Road” so he replied “come on. We’ll get there before this runs out”. He ushered me into a red Rover V8 and drove me there. We had a bit of a laugh in the snow about how uneconomical his car was, everything. He said that it wasn’t that bad. As I got up the steps to the football ground, I did a bit of shopping and started to walk back. I didn’t go to the game at all if there had been one.

A group of travellers turned up in Palestine, amongst them a three year old boy that was donated by some parent in some emergency but when they got to Palestine they didn’t have a clue as to what they were going to do so they built some kind of meeting centre or something like that to show at least that they weren’t going to waste any time.

Somewhere as well there was a story of two 9-year-old girls who used to go around all these rock festivals and blues festivals filming the events. Their mother would form them into some kind or promotional video. I was there somewhere with a girl and I introduced her to people like John Hite and someone who wrote a lot of songs, Creedence Clearwater Revival (do I mean Bob Hite of Canned Heat?). I said “there you are, you have to meet John Hite and a few others and that’s something to tell your friends, isn’t it?”. She replied “most of my friends wouldn’t even know who people like that are”.

Later I woke up in a panic thinking that it was 16:00 and I had a flight back to Europe in an hour and I had so much to do. I grabbed all of my things and shot off to the airport and then spent quite a lot of time trying to find a place to sit down and sort myself out and pack everything. A couple of people came to join me and we were talking about the lack of seats in this place. The discussion drifted on to airports in North Carolina and the rudimentary facilities there, some experience that I could share with these two people as well.

As well as all of this, someone had asked me to do some tiling for him. I’m not very good at tiling but I went along to have a look. At my place I’d tiled on top of a piece of lino so I found a piece of lino and cut to size and cleaned up but instead of using soap I’d used fat and it made a right mess of everywhere so I had to take it out. There was fat all over the floor so I prepared to mop it up. Then he came in. He hadn’t really twigged on what was going on but he was inspecting it as much as he could and how I knew what was going to be done to the right size so that I’d cut off a piece of lino as a template. He went to look at it. I told him that it was wet so he said “we’d better open it out to dry” so he opened it out on his balcony. He asked me “your insurance liability is up to date, isn’t it?” Unfortunately I didn’t have any and I was beginning to regret having said that I would do this job for him the way that he was going on like this.

After the medication I came back in here to check my mail and then I went off to have a look at the view now that the tide is on its way out.

boats baie de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that’s the view that greeted me looking out across the Baie de Granville and the English Channel this morning.

After the really wonderful few days that we have had, summer is now apparently over and we are back in winter again.

It’s pretty pointless trying to look for car ferries and sailing ships in that lot just there. It was raining too, the first time for about a week, and that didn’t help matters at all. We could have had Godzilla and the Loch Ness Monster out there this morning and I wouldn’t have seen them.

rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe view down the coast was, if anything, even worse.

We can just about make out the white beach huts on the promenade at the Plat Gousset but our view doesn’t go very much beyond there right now. The Rue du Nord is swathed in raincloud too.

Hopefully the view will be better on the other side of the headland in the lee of the wind. The rain might not have reached there yet.

spirit of conrad aztec lady port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we might not have any rain, the view isn’t all that much better, which is a shame.

However Aztec Lady is back in town. She’s the blue boat over there that goes on a few exciting voyages every so often, although the current travel regulations have curtailed much of the more interesting sailings.

To her left, bow-end on to the camera is Spirit of Conrad, the boat on which we went down the Brittany coast last year. The last time that I’d heard of her, she was over at the Ile de Chausey but I met her skipper yesterday so I assumed that she had come home.

suzanga baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother boat that was on her way home this morning in all of the bad weather is the trawler Suzanga.

She’s the new boat in town, having only recently arrived from the shipbuilders in Turkey, and she’s already out there earning her keep.

That’s several new trawlers that have joined the local fleet since I’ve been living here. It shows that contrary to all expectations, the local ship owners are rather optimistic about the future of the fishing industry here, and that’s always quite a good sign.

Positive thinking seems to be in rather short supply these days among some people.

zodiac port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite the miserable weather, there’s plenty of activity in port this morning which is nice to see.

There were several zodiacs loitering aroind in the neighbourhood, almost as if there was a cruise ship like THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR anchored somewhere offshore.

But the girl who was driving this one came in, went up to the harbour wall, said something to a few people and then turned round and sailed back out again. So what was that all about then?

passengers boarding zodiac port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile I could see the heads of some other people down there and they looked as if they were sitting in a zodiac, but I couldn’t really see because the house roofs were in the way.

It took about 20 minutes for them to decide what they were going to do and I had to wait around all that time because there wasn’t anything else going on that I could see that would occupy my mind.

Eventually they threw a rope to someone on the quayside and they moved away, so that I could see what was going on.

people on board zodiac leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey set off in the tracks of the one that had left earlier.

And I know that my expedition friends would be having heart failure seeing a moving zodiac with people standing up in it as it travels, even if they are hanging on to something.

The way that they pitch and roll and sway in the sea means that they aren’t as stable as they might be with a high centre of gravity when people are standing up. Everyone should be sitting down and luggage goes at their feet to keep the centre of gravity lower still.

By now I was becoming rather wet (as if I wasn’t wet enough before I started) so I headed for home and a nice hot coffee, and then start work on yesterday’s journal entry.

dropping off passengers blocking rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt some point or other during the day I was interrupted by noise from out at the back.

The streets around the old town are closed today as it’s the book fair, and there was a breakdown lorry trying to gain access . The driver had gone off to seek assistance but in the meantime, another car had come past him and then inexplicably stopped, rather selfishly, to let out his passengers while he goes to park the car.

Never mind that the road is narrow enough so that no-one else behind him could go past. That’s clearly unimportant as long as he’s OK.

The selfishness of some people never ceases to amaze me.

Writing my notes was a long and arduous task today, and took much longer than I expected. I even had a rather quick lunch to try to make more time but as you probably realise, something like that seldom seems to work.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis afternoon I went out to have a look at the beach to see what was happening down there.

No afternoon walk seems to be complete without that these days.

The tide has come in quite quickly but there are still plenty of brave souls down there trying out the beach, sitting around and sunbathing.

There didn’t seem to be anyone actually in the water this afternoon but that’s not to say that there weren’t any.

kayaker baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were other people in the water though, but in a different fashion entirely.

Like this kayaker for instance. He must have paddled his canoe quite a long way to end up here, and now he’s going to have to turn round and paddle himself all the way back, and pretty quickly too if he wants to find a slipway or launching pad still in the water.

And is that a fishing rod that he has poking up behind him? It can’t be all that comfortable fishing in a kayak. And where would be put his catch?

great cormorant baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomething else that was out here like piffy on a rock was this strange creature.

It’s actually a Great Cormorant and he’s a long way from home. His breeding colony is probably the one across the bay on one of the small islands facing Cancale. Several of those islands – the uninhabited ones – are know to be breeding grounds.

They were much more widespread than that at one time but predators like foxes and rats have seen off several colonies. In fact there’s a plan for the Ile de Chausey for a mass eradication of non-indigenous predators.

hang glider cemetery Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd when you compare this photo of the one that I took down the coast earlier today, you’ll see a great difference.

Of course, the rain cloud has now passed on to better things and the weather is so much nicer. In addition to that, the Bird-Men of Alcatraz have awoken and they have come here with their Nazgul to have an afternoon’s adventuring.

One of them has just taken off from the field by the cemetery and at the moment he’s fighting to gain control of his Nazgul, after which he’ll be heading this way.

yacht ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere didn’t seem to be all that much going on farther out at sea this afternoon but I did scan the horizon.

At one point I picked up something large and dark out by the Ile de Chausey and although I couldn’t imagine it being anything else other than the sail of a yacht I took a photo to check when I returned home.

Sure enough, it is a yacht although it’s too far out to see if it’s anyone we know. Black Mamba isn’t in port right now but she’s apparently in Cherbourg right now so I doubt that it might be her.

belem english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere is someone else who we might have seen over the last few days out there in the English Channel.

Unfortunately the weather is nothing like as clear as it was yesterday morning for us to give a positive identification but thinking that it might again be the training ship Belem, I made a note of her position.

Sure enough, when I returned, I could check on the historical radar plot and Belem was indeed at that spot round about that time of the afternoon.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was nothing else going on out there of any importance (apart from the mad stampede that you saw earlier) so I pushed on around the headland.

As I crossed over the road, one of the errant Nazgul went swooping by over the top of the old bunker so I stopped to take a photograph of it.

And then I ended up in a mad stampede of my own down the hill chasing after my camera’s lens cap that I had unfortunately dropped.

Luckily I managed to avoid being run down by a car coming up the hill towards me. We both would have had a surprise.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt this point I was overflown yet again, this time by a mechanical device and I wondered why it had taken them so long to find me.

This is one that we recognise, having seen her many times just recently. She’s the Granville Aero Club’s Robin DR 400-140B F-GBAI going out on an afternoon flight.

She was first picked up on radar at 16:01 (my photo is (adjusted) 16:14) and she did a few laps around the Ile de Chausey and then up and down the coast before disappearing off the radar again near the airfield at 17:50

chausiaise joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was no change in occupant at the chantier naval today so I turned my attention elsewhere.

The ferry that we saw coming over from the Ile de Chausey, I wasn’t sure who she was. But I can tell you who she wasn’t because the older one of the two Joly France boats is sitting there at the quayside already with a load of people on the path just above her as if they have just gone ashore.

And here on the other side is the little freighter Chausiaise. So it can’t be any one of those two. But we’ll find out in a couple of minutes.

belle france entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it didn’t even take that long before we were to find out.

Around the bend, alongside the sea wall and into the harbour came the brand-new Belle France, crammed to the gunwhales with people from the Ile de Chausey.

There were quite a few people on the sea wall by now admiring her as she appeared, and quite rightly too because not only is she a beautiful machine, she’s a sign of faith and optimism that there’s plenty of life left in the port.

And with the uncertain future surrounding the Channel Island ferries and the gravel boats, then this is good news.

man taking photograph car park boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that I have to do before I finish.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that my pages are littered with inter alia photos of people taking photos. Today we had a large family group with a photographer who was taking pictures of them, with tripod and all.

This was far too good an opportunity to miss and I had to add a discreet shot of the event to my little collection.

Back here at the apartment I finally finished my notes from yesterday and then I joined up the tracks for the radio programme for tomorrow.

When that was done I attacked my pizza which was delicious. I haven’t made anything else though because I’m off on Tuesday to Leuven.

And now seeing as I’m exhausted, I’m off for an early night ready to start work tomorrow. Radio first of course, and I also have the injection man coming as well. I wonder if that will kickstart me into life for my trip to Leuven.

Friday 13th August 2021 – I WAS WRONG …

35ma pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… about it being the little yellow autogyro that would cast its shadow upon me from the air this afternoon.

A couple of planes about which I had completely forgotten are the little ones that seem to carry a “special series” number that, to date I have been unable to trace except by the most fortunate of circumstances.

This one, 35MA, has overflown me on several occasions and I’m still none-the-wiser. I’m not even better-informed either and so I’m going to have to wait for a more suitable moment to make further enquiries.

unidentified aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving aeroplanes overfly me when I can’t identify their numbers is one thing. Having them overfly me without any number at all on display is somethign else completely.

This machine overflew me at (adjusted) 17:06 going straight up the coast from south to north and as she didn’t make any effort to turn off as if to land at the airfield here at Granville then I’ve no idea who she is.

It’s this kind of thing that gets on my wick. It’s a legal requirement for an aeroplane to display a registration number, but it ought to be a legal requirement to display it where people can see it.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe had much more luck with this aeroplane because we’ve seen her on numerous occasions, and her number is clearly displayed.

She’s F-GBAI from the Granville Aero club, one of the Robin DR400s that they have. This one is the 140B models.

She took off from the airfield at 10:38 and flew off out to sea, and then flying up the Rance estuary beyond St Malo, doing a lap around Mont St Michel and coming home for 11:23

My photo was taken at (adjusted) 11:19 so that’s about right.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we were in luck later on too, because we saw her as she went out for a run around later.

This time she was picked up on radar at 17:05, which corresponds with my (adjusted) time of 17:03 when I saw her, and according to my flight radar plot, she’s still airborne even now.

She headed out to sea, did a lap around the ile de Chausey and for the rest of her time has been cruising up and down the coast as someone clocks up the flying hours. I’ll have to check tomorrow to see what time she finally did land.

Breezer B600 D-EQDK baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s an aeroplane that we haven’t seen before.

At first glance I thought that she was an ME-262 fitted with a Junkers Jumo 210 engine as some of the earlier ones were, but in actual fact she’s a Breezer B600, registered D-EQDK and owned by the Aeroclub-Avranches.

She was first picked up on radar at 11:11 and must have done a few laps around before I picked her up at (adjusted) 11:22, and she disappeared off the radar near Avranches at 11:31

There are plenty of small airfields around here and on the basis of no other information I would imagine that they have their origins with the German Luftwaffe

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner TC-LLA Turkish airlines baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow this is much more like it. It’s been a good while since the skies have been clear enough to pick up full-size jets in mid-flight.

No prizes for guessing what this is – its distinctive shape gives the game away straight away. It can only be a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

And according to my radar, only one Dreamliner in the air in this vicinity when I took this photo. And that’s a Type 9, TC-LLA, owned by Turkish Airlines.

She took off last night from Miami and is taking Turkish Airlines Flight THY78C to Istanbul where she’s expected to arrive at 12:31, 26 minutes late.

She passed over me at 39,000 feet at 544 knots ground speed on a bearing of 098.

la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo that was what I got wrong today. Why don’t we look at what I got right?

Like the fact that there’s much more activity in the morning at high tide than what I’ve been seeing on my afternoon walk, like La Grande Ancre heading out of port.

What exactly her rôle is, I haven’t quite worked out yet. One of the very first times that I encountered her, she had a tractor strapped to her deck and heading out to the Ile de Chausey. But most of the time she’s running here and there with fishing equipment like this morning.

sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomeone else having an early start today is one of the sailing schools.

Plenty of water in the bay of course, seeing as I’ve gone out round about high tide this morning, and so they are bringing out the little yachts to do a lap around, being towed out into open water.

There are quite a few other boats too, coming and going out there this morning, and even a couple of kayaks having a paddle around. It’s more-than-likely that there will be some fishermen too somewhere.

trawler le coelacanthe speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the subject of fishermen, here is one bunch of fishermen heading for home this morning after a night on the tiles.

It’s our old friend Le Coelacanthe , one of the larger trawlers to sail out of the port, and if she’s on her way home with her hold full of fish then her little sister Le Tiberiade can’t be all that far away somewhere because they keep quite close to each other more often than not.

And the people in that speedboat were in quite a devilish hurry too – with the feu dans les fesses as they say around here. I’ve no idea where she’s off to.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallActually, it’s not Le Tiberiade that has come following Le Coelacanthe into the harbour, as it happens.

It’s one of the Joly France ferry boats that goes over to the Ile de Chausey and presumably she’s come back for a second load of passengers.

This boat is the one with the smaller upper deck superstructure and the rectangular windows in “portrait” format so that tells me that she’s the more modern of the two near-identical boats.

And having seen the older one and the very new Belle France yesterday, it means that we have all three running the service right now. Business must be booming.

marité baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomeone else who seems to be having a booming business these days as well is the sailing ship Marité.

We’ve seen her out and about for the last few days, usually out in the English Channel or the Baie de Granville but here she is today going for a lap around the Baie de Mont St Michel.

From what I can make out, she has quite a crowd of passengers on board, and I do sometimes wonder what would happen if they had an emergency and had to fit everyone in the little boat that she tows behind her.

But I suppose that there are always enough other boats loitering in the immediate vicinity everywhere she goes to deal with any issues.

yacht ile des rimains cancale brittany France Eric HallBut anyway, while I was out there, I noticed that the air was quite clear this morning and the view was really good.

A clear white sail right over underneath Cancale caught my eye so I took a photo of it. And when I enhanced it on returning home, I could see quite clearly the fort on the Ile de Rimains over there just offshore, to the left of centre.

When I was on board the Spirit of Conrad I took a few close-up photos of the fort and one of these days when I can, I’ll post them on line.

And on the right there’s a very good view of the church at Cancale – one of the best views that we have had from over here.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf you think that all of the action was taking place on the southern side of the headland this morning, you are mistaken. There’s plenty more going on out here on the north side too.

Most of these boats look to me as if they are fishing boats – I did say that there would probably be some fishermen out today. There were several groups of them, some inshore and others farther out in the bay.

But I bet that those just here don’t think all that much of what that rather fast craft just behind them is doing. That’s the kind of activity that will drive away all of the fish and it’s not as if they catch all that many to start with.

joly france la granvillaise ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd even more activity over towards the Ile de Chausey too this morning.

Apart from the dozens of smaller craft out there, bearing down upon us at a rather rapid rate of knots is one of the Ile de Chausey ferries and to my reckoning she is the older of the two Joly France boats likewise returning to this side of the bay.

Also over there, right up against the shore were some strange white objects and while I can’t see for sure what they are, they have the same shape as the sails on La Granvillaise

beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we’re here, we will of course have to have a look over the wall and see the beach to see what’s happening down there.

And as I expected, there isn’t any beach for anything to be happening upon right now. The tide is well and truly in, and that will account for all of the boats out there at sea.

Maybe I should come out here and look at what happens about 10 minutes before the harbour gates close. I imagine that there will be an almighty stampede for the harbour and the devil take the hindmost.

trans-shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo that was all of the water craft and aerial activity this morning.

Still afew other things going on that caught my attention this morning, like another lorry stranded at the Porte St Jean being unable to pass under the arch. That’s two now in two days.

No-one in attendance either so it looks as if the driver has gone off to seek further instructions. It’s really pleasant living in an environment like this, but it does have its drawbacks if you don’t happen to have a handcart handy.

mummy and baby seagull foyer des jeunes travailleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we are at it, yesterday we saw mummy seagull taking baby seagull for its maiden voyage over the cliffs.

There’s another mother and offspring here this morning siting on the roof of the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs, the hostel for young people, and baby is not at all enthusiastic as you can tell by looking at the photo.

It’s squawking at its mother in the most plaintive of tones and mummy, like most exasperated mothers, is taking absolutely no notice whatsoever. I find a lot of pleasure in watching the interaction between the young and their parents, whatever the species.

But like most things, I’m getting way ahead of myself these days. Let’s start with waking up, which I did about 20 minutes before the alarm was due to go off.

There were details of a voyage going round and round my head, details that were so miserable that I couldn’t even say them, let alone dictate them and transcribe them.

It’s very rare, very rare indeed that I have a voyage quite like this. Some have been really gruesome and they haven’t been much of an issue although I’m sure that you wouldn’t want to read them, but this was just unhappy, miserable and depressing. I’m glad in a way that it happened during the night and not during the day.

After the medication I came in here to start work but it took me a good couple of hours drifting in and out of a kind of trance before I was able to get myself going and then shock! Horror! I tidied up the bedroom.

You couldn’t move in here for stuff all over the floor, but now most (not all, just most) of it has been put away. I have plenty more to go at in here but I can only do so much before I wear myself out.

In the past the question of tidying up ( or the lack thereof) used to be because the Spirit was unwilling. But these days I have to contend with the flesh being weak as well.

Another thing that I did this morning was that when I was going through the files that I’d uploaded to this computer I came across three digital soundtracks of albums that I’d found but hadn’t yet split.

Two of those were quite straightforward, even if they are time-consuming, but the third should have had 8 tracks on it but somehow I ended up with at least 12, and one of them definitely didn’t sound like the singer whom it should have been.

All of that took some tracking down and it seems that I have somehow ended up with a master tape that includes several other tracks that were recorded for the sessions but were cut from the album.

These are as rare as hens’ teeth of course, these dropped tracks, and I have amassed quite a few here and there. They are good fun to broadcast on my radio programmes when probably no-one has ever heard of them.

After lunch I came in here and … errr … closed my eyes. And for only about half an hour too. A couple of years ago that would have filled me with dismay but these days it’s a sign of optimism – in that it’s not a couple of hours dead to the world as it has been just now.

Once I’d recovered, I had a coffee and had another go at the Greenland photos from 2019. Right now I’m on board the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR just about to get into a zodiac to go and visit the Eqi Sermia Glacier in Ataa Fjord, one of the fastest-moving glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere.

At 15:00 I knocked off to have a go at the Spirit of Conrad notes and I’d actually written a cople of words too when the phone rang. It was Rosemary wanting a chat and she had one too – for 105 minutes as well.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAlthough you’ve already seen over the wall and down onto the beach during my morning wanderings, no reason why we can’t go there and have another look.

This time, of course, the tide was way out and there were plenty of people down there this afternoon compared to how there have been in the past.

Dozens of people sunbathing on the beach, and plenty of hardy souls out there in the water too. Mind you, it was really nice out there this afternoon even if there was some wind. But I suppose that down there, they are out of the wind and it could be quite pleasant.

fishermen in zodiac speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEarlier on, we saw plenty of what I took to be fishermen out there in the bay.

It looks as if a few of them are staying out until this evening’s tide comes back in because there were several boats still out there.

Those two boats out there look as if they have fishermen on board although they don’t seem to have their rods in the water right now. They are probably just having a sociable chat for a few minutes.

There’s a dark object in the water behind the boat on the left and I wonder if that’s the head of a swimmer maybe.

men fishing in zodiac man fishing from beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut these people here much closer inshore have definitely gone out there with the intention of fishing.

However the guy on the rocks doesn’t really look all that enthusiastic about it either, holding his rod at about 45° when the water is that shallow just where he is isn’t going to bring him very much much.

As for the four people in the zodiac, they look even less enthusiastic about the whole idea. Their rods are still perpendicular in their holders while they seem to be just sitting around chatting. I’m sure that they ought to be more eager than that if they hope to catch anything.

sailing boat english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there spying out the land I saw a rather large sail out there on the horizon in the English Channel.

Being interested, I took myself off to the high point on top of the bunker at the end of the path for a better view. I took a photograph of it and when I was back at home I had a much closer look.

Rather disappointingly, it turned out to be something of an optical illusion. It’s a smaller boat closer into shore than I thought and it’s the spar of the mast that’s level with the horizon. I don’t think that it’s anything more than a rather large yacht.

men fishing from zodiac pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut on that disappointing note I walked off down the path and across the car park to see what was going on at the end of the headland.

And we have a few more fishermen this afternoon. At first glance I thought that these people on this zodiac were musicians because one of them at least seemed as if he was holding a guitar.

In actual fact it is a fishing rod and he’s holding it with his arms extended. Two other people are fishing too but the fourth one just looks as if he’s passing the time. If I were out there, I’d need a really good book to help do that, along with some good music.

yacht being prepared for painting chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo leaving them to it, I pushed off down the path towards the port. And when I arrived at the chantier naval I asked myself “have I seen this before?”.

None of my earlier photos are conclusive but I’m sure that I would have noticed this had I seen it. It’s a medium-sized yacht and it’s been stripped and masked off for painting.

And if it has indeed only come out of the water this morning, then they have been moving at a hell of a pace and it’s a shame that all workmen around here can’t work at this kind of speed.

She’ll look really good when she’s finished, that’s for sure.

trawler on blocks chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday I mused about what might happen if the have to drop one of the seven trawlers that were here yesterday back into the water when the portable boat lift had a trawler in it.

It looks as if they have actually had to cope with this eventuality because they seem to have rigged up some kind of impromptu kind of blocking so that the trawler can be dropped from the lift.

The workmen have now clambered aboard her making a start and the boat lift has now gone back in its usual position over the drop into the harbour.

trawler charlevy trafalgar chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd this is the reason why there have been the changes.

Today there are only 6 tralwers down there. Charlevy, Trafalgar and four whose names I don’t know and which I’ll have to find out before they all go back into the water. There are plenty of workmen down there so they aren’t hanging around.

It looks as if the next one to be moved might be Charlevy because they seem to be well-advanced with her paint job and there are a couple of vans around her with men who look as if they are working.

marité grandstand port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne last thing to do is to check the inner port to see who is there.

We saw the big sail earlier, and even without enlarging the image I can say that it’s not Marité because she’s moored up in her little corner down there.

What has however caught my eye is the temporary grandstand at the loading bay. We had a concert down there a couple of weeks ago and so I wonder if they’ll be having another one this weekend.

Let’s hope that the Jersey freighters don’t want to come and drop off a load of freight.

Nack here there wasn’t time to do much before tea. Veggie balls, seeing as I have an endless supply thereof, followed by apple crumble.

Tomorrow is shopping day and I don’t need much with going to Leuven on Tuesday but I do need some fruit so I’ll see how I go.

And there’s football tomorrow, and about time too.

Tuesday 10th August 2021 – HAVING GONE FOR …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can’t win a coconut every time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 4th August 2021 – I HATE COMPUTERS!

For most of the day, and still continuing even now as I speak, I’ve been rebuilding my big desktop computer

And generally speaking, it’s working fine and many of the faults that existed before I took it to bits have been corrected. And with 32GB of RAM instead of 8GB, it bounces along quite quickly.

What has been an issue has been that of the hard drives. It previously had 3 hard drives, a solid-state drive of 256GB that is the system drive and two standard hard drives, one of 1TB and the other of 4TB, which are for data. The 1TB drive is the working drive and the other one is the back-up drive.

It now has a 1TB SSD and two standard hard drives of 4TB each.

According to the destructions, one just plugs them in to where they ought to go, and the computer works out for itself which one goes there. So now what I have is that the computer boots up off the new 4TB drive, has created two partitions on the Solid State drive and won’t recognise the previous 4TB drive, even though I can feel it moving around.

This new “plug and play” system isn’t working as it should right now. It was much easier in the old days when hard drives had jumpers where you set for yourself the bootable order.

What I can see me doing is to disconnect everything and connect up the Solid State Drive and load up the operating system to there before I add the other two drives.

But at the moment, having some USB 3.0 ports and a wi-fi instead of an ethernet cable is already something.

This morning I could have done with an ethernet cable to help me out of bed. Last night, having struggled throughout the day with tiredness and going worse and worse as the evening drew on, I ended up crashing out in bed at 22:30 in eager anticipation of a really good sleep.

And so if I ever get my hands on whoever it was who was shouting underneath by bedroom window at 03:20 this morning, they’ll be on a liquid diet with a straw for the next few weeks. You can’t imagine how I was feeling at that particular moment.

But at 06:00 I staggered out of bed and went off for my medication. And back here afterwards having sorted out the post, I finished off the journal entry from yesterday.

While I was making breakfast (and my fruit bread has died a death as well now) I started on what was the laborious task of backing-up of the big computer and that took a couple of hours to do. But once that was done, I made a start on the dismantling and reassembly.

And there isn’t all that much of these modern systems of assembly that I like either. It seems that they have tried absolutely everything and gone to great length to avoid the use of screws and it’s certainly not an improvement.

There were the usual breaks for lunch and coffee and then I went out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst port of call was the wall overlooking the beach so I could see what was happening down below.

And of course, having followed the comings and goings of the tide over the last couple of weeks, we’ll know that there wasn’t all that much beach for anyone to be on today. However there were enough people trying to grab their own little corner so that they could sit in the … well, cloud if the truth be known.

And there were even some people braving the sea. And that demanded some kind of courage that not many other people might have. Certainly not me.

microlight powered hang glider ulm pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here we go again. I haven’t set foot out of my front door for more that 30 seconds before I heard the distant drone of a Nazgul heading my way.

Sure enough, overflown once more a couple of seconds later by one of these powered hang-glider things. And today we have the yellow one rather than the red one. It feels rather like an episode from Play School.

He roared over my head at a height of about 500 feet and soared off into the distance. I felt like joining him – soaring off into the distance I mean, but I have other fish to fry right now.

la granvillaise baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving dealt with the issue of land and air, all that remains now is to turn our attention to the sea.

Having seen La Granvillaise sailing past offshore for the last few days, it’s almost inevitable that she’s going to be out here again this afternoon, isn’t it?

And just one look at her will tell you exactly what the rest of the weather is like this afternoon. There’s quite a wind that’s blowing from the north and the ship was heeling over at an angle of about 15°. I bet that those on board were loving it.

marite baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that’s not all that was out there either today.

Remember yesterday when we saw two ferries one after the other come sailing around the headland? Well today we have two sailing ships. We’ve already seem La Granvillaise and now coming around the headland in her wake is Marité.

At the moment she’s being buzzed by a few people in a zodiac and I don’t think that that will make them very popular with the ship’s commander.

And going back to what I was saying just now, look at how the yacht to the left is canting over in the wind.

fishing boat belle france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we were discussing sailing ships just now, I happened to drop into the discussion the question of the ferries that ply their way out to the Ile de Chausey and back.

And almost directly on cue, into camera range comes one of them on her way back from the island. She’s too far out for me to be able to identify her but judging by the speed at which she’s approaching the headland, I bet that she’s the new Belle France.

If that inshore fishing boat isn’t careful, she’s going to be run down by the ferry if the ferry doesn’t look where it’s going.

And right now, I’m going. Off down the past and across the car park at the end of the headland.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomethign was moving down on the other side of the headland – I could tell that by seeing some kind of aerial or mast going past under the cliffs.

As I came around the corner, the ship came round the corner in the other direction at the same time, and it’s the older one of the Joly France boats. She has quite a crowd of people on board too.

It would surprise me if they were going out to the island at this late hour of the afternoon, so they are probably just going for a lap or two around the bay to pass the time. And I only just had time to take a photo of her before she disappeared out of sight behind the coastguard building.

marite baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now, Marité had done a loop around the entrance to the bay and ina figure S shape was now heading out for sea.

As for where she’s going, I really don’t know but she can’t be going far because the harbour gates won’t be open for too long and she’s not the easiest ship to manoeuvre through the gates and park up at the quayside.

But here’s a thing. Look on the extreme right-hand edge of the image near the top. You’ll see thatthere’s the outline of another sailing ship there. I wonder who she is and what she’s doing around here in the bay.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut that’s a question for another time. i’m pushing off around the headland on the path on the other side to see what’s happening there.

It’s evidently busy at the ferry terminal this afternoon with all of the comings and goings of the various ferries. So much so that Chausiaise has been evicted from her berth and has to moor up against the wall by the harbour gates.

That’s her spec for loading up, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and her hold is open too so I imagine that she’s about to be taking on a load of freight for the island, unless she’s just unloaded.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut in the meantime I’m focused on what’s happening beyond the harbour wall.

The yachting schools are out there again but they haven’t managed to make it back out into open water as they had the other day. Instead they are sticking vlose to shore.

These ones are being shepherded back into calmer water by a couple of pilot boats. All of the others are in there already.

And you can see the yellow buoy in th =e background? That’s the limit of the patrolled beach at the Plage d’Hacqueville, whenever the beaches aren’t closed to the public by the Préfet or the mayor.

belle france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now, the ferry boat that I’d seen out in the Baie de Granville was coming round the headland.

And it’s exactly as I was expecting when I saw the speed at which she was approaching. She’s definitely Belle France as you can see. And she has quite a crowd on board whom she has brought back from the Ile de Chausey.

So while she was manouevring her was into the harbour, I was looking at the chantier naval to check on the occupants. But there was no change in there. Still the same boats from yesterday. I wandered off home intead.

f-gbai ROBIN DR 400-140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as I was heading back towards the apartment I was overflown once more.

This time it’s one of our regular visitors, F-GBAI, one of the Robin DR 400-140B aircrafts from the Aero Club de Granville. She’s used for navigation and flight training, but is available for local flying.

It was at 16:46 that she took off, did a few laps around just offshore and then headed off south-south west where at 18:44 she disappeared off the radar near Dinan Trelivan Airport

High time that I was disappearing off the radar too.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut not before I’d checked out the situation in the inner harbour.

Yesterday we saw all of the freight piled up on the quayside waiting for a lift out to the Channel Islands and sure enough, in port this afternoon is Thora, the smaller one of the two boats. And these days I’m lucky to catch her given the speed of the turnround here.

Back at the apartment I had a coffee and carried on with my work, suddenly realising that I’d forgotten to index the music files before taking the disk our.

That’s taken me all night to do it despite a pause for tea – falafel and pasta followed by one of my desserts that I made yesterday.

But now despite the fact that it’s not all finished, i’m switching off and going to bed. And hoping that no-one wakes me up at some stupid hour of the morning.

Monday 3rd May 2021 – IT LOOKS AS IF …

joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMarité isn’t going to be back in port very soon.

As you can see in this photo, her place down at the bottom corner of the harbour has been taken by one of the Joly France boats that normally runs the ferry service over to the Ile de Chausey. She’s the newer one of the two as well. You can tell the difference from this angle by the windows. They are deep and thin rather than the square-ish ones of the other boat.

So I’ve no idea when we might see Marité back in town. She’s still in Lorient undergoing her annual service and I’ve no idea how long that’s going to take. We’ve seen boats in the chantier navale for a lot longer than we would expect.

Last night I was much shorter in bed than I was expecting. But that was due to not going to bed until late. When the alarm went off at 06:00 I leapt out of bed and went for my medication. And to my surprise, I’ve not crashed out at all today despite less than 6 hours sleep. Perhaps its the late rising yesterday that is responsible for that.

After the medication I came in and had a go at the next live concert. I’d decided on which concert that I was going to do but to my dismay some of the sound files have become corrupted and I had to re-record them onto the laptop.

And I learnt something today too. The CD on which they had been recorded was damaged due to all kinds of staining and wouldn’t clean off. However, I have some glass cleaner that is designed for these new electric hobs and I tried some of that. And to my surprise it worked perfectly and I’ll remember that for next time.

So now that the sound files were uploaded to the computer I could proceed. And with a lot of hacking about and editing and copy-and-pasting, and a little over-dubbing here and there, I now have a quite presentable live concert. 5 minutes 08 seconds of speech written, recorded and edited down to 2 minutes and 49 seconds completed the one-hour slot.

It took rather longer than I was expecting, due to the re-recoding issues. I was hoping to have a second one done today too but that will have to be for another time

After lunch I had a listen to the programme that will be transmitted this coming weekend and then I sent it off. Following which I had a listen to my completed live concert to make sure that it’s ok. But there’s still a couple of little bits of editing to do and that will be for tomorrow.

That toom up nicely for my afternoon walk around the headland.

builders materials place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I went outside I didn’t get very far. Just a couple of inches in fact before I took my first photo.

The other day, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I mentioned that there must be road works going on somewhere in the old town as they had set up some kind of builders’ compound on the corner of the car park across the road from here.

Today it looks as if they have had a delivery of gravel because there was a fleet of dumpers coming up the road having their hoppers filled with gravel from the digger. That presumably means that they are not far from finishing what they were doing if they are back-filling it already. I really ought to go down into the old town and try to find out what is going on.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNext stop of course is the end of the car park and to look over the wall to see what is happening down on the beach.

And the answer to that was “not a lot”. First of all, there wasn’t all that much beach to be on in order to have a happening, and secondly, there wasn’t anyone that I could see actually down there to which it might be happening.

And that was a surprise because it was the nicest day of the year so far. Not only was it warm, there was very little wind and it’s a very long time since I’ve been able to say that. I would have expected to have seen the crowds out there in their thousands today.

f-gbai Robin DR400 140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there looking at the beach I was overflown by another light aeroplane on her way to the airport at Donville les Bains.

And she’s another aircraft whom we have seen on several previous occasions – at least three in fact. She’s F-GBAI, one of the Robin DR400 140B four-seater aircraft that is actually owned by the Granville Aero Club. She’s powered by a 160-horsepower engine and has a range of 500 miles without refuelling.

Being equipped for night flying, she’s used by the Aero Club for advanced training and for local flights. And that reminds me that I need to make further enquiries about her too one of these days as well as enquiries about the sailing club in the town.

people filming pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis was something strange that I bumped into, and I have no idea what was going on here.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that one of the (many) things that feature in these pages on a regular basis is me taking photographs of people taking photographs. Here, there’s some kind of set-up involving a three-piece suite, other furniture and a few cameras on tripods. I particularly liked the potted plants.

There was nothing in the local papers about there being a film set here and there was no- security around ushering people away so it can’t be anything formal. But whatever they were doing, they were obviously enjoying themselves doing it.

people on bench watchman's cabin pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the headland I finally caught up with a few people out and about enjoying themselves.

Apart from the people at the film set, I hadn’t seen anyone coming towards me on the lawn, the path or the car park but at the end of the headland there were several people walking around the lower path, taking the long way round. This small family had stopped at the bench by the old watchman’s cabin, presumably to catch their breath.

The adults, that is. The kids still looked as if they had bags of energy. Kids can run around for hours and then collapse spectacularly.

No fishermen out there either. None on the rocks or, as far as I could see, in the bay. There was one boat way down the far end but that was far too far away for me to identify it.

From there I walked on down the path along the top of the headland. No change in occupancy in the chantier navale today, and nothing else going on in the harbour.

people leaving fish processing plant port de Granville granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there was something happening down at the Fish processing Plant. As I looked, a whole horde of people came streaming out of the Fish Processing Plant.

“What on earth is happening there?” I asked myself. There was no indication of anything. But I do know that the fishermen are having regular meetings talking about escalating their dispute with the British Government and maybe it was something to do with that this afternoon. Who knows?

None the wiser, and not eve better-informed, I came on back to the apartment for my hot mug of coffee, of which I forgot to drink half.

During the night I can’t remember who I was with now but I was in Stoke on Trent, Hanley, walking up towards Etruria station. Someone was coming down the road after me who I’d left but I had gone on a little detour to have a look at something so it looked as if I was actually walking back up Etruria Road to find my street, as if I was heading back up to Hanley. That was bound to be confusing to the person coming behind me in this car. I wandered off down a side street and sat down. I had a wind turbine with me and I put it on the table while I was sitting there in the rain. There were 3 girls, like I suppose 6,8 and 9 something like that who were running around in this garden. They were looking at my wind turbine and looking at me, chatting among themselves then went back inside the house. There was then some kind of commotion so I went in. 2 girls were sitting in a corner quietly and the oldest girl was unconscious. There was a heap of people with this girl, men and women then these people started to move around a little and a guy started to interrogate 2 of them. It turned out that he was probably a bigger crook than they were. They were telling him about the kind of vehicle that the hero was driving and they had to catch him, so the guy was telling them all his plans for catching them. He’d let the guy chase him and when he came up behind him he’d flip his car round and flip the other car off the road. He made a deliberate mistake in writing the address so one of the fellows summoned him over to have a look and he got there in the middle of these 2 people to look at what this guy was writing and suddenly gave them an enormous rabbit punch in the kidneys with a knuckle duster and flatted them both out, said “goodbye suckers” and walked out.

And that’s only about half of it too. Seeing as it’s tea time right now I’ll spare you (and myself) all of the gory details.

Tea tonight was veggie balls and steamed veg with vegan cheese sauce, followed by jam roly-poly and sorbet. I’ve over-cooked the jam roly-poly unfortunately, not as bad as it was the first time, but half an hour, I reckon, will be plenty long enough next time. Nevertheless, it’s a good attempt at a pudding.

Anyway tonight, I’m not hanging around. I’ve had a day where I haven’t crashed out at all and that’s the first time for ages. I want to keep on going and anyway there is my Welsh class tomorrow.

Monday 19th April 2021 – I HAVE SEEN …

1st butterfly pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… my first butterfly of the year this afternoon while I was out on my afternoon walk today.

Despite how I was feeling – cold and miserable in the wind, the wildlife seems to waking up after the long, cold winter that we have had. We have already seen the buds out and the flowers blooming on the lawns and on the verges, but now the butterflies are out doing their business.

As for what type of butterfly it is, I really don’t know. I can identify a cabbage white, but that’s about everything. Flora and fauna isn’t really my cup of tea.

But I suppose that having seen the first butterfly of the year, I don’t imagine that it will be long before we’ll be seeing the first wasp and first mosquito of the year.

buoy mooring chains port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that we are seeing the first of are the mooring chains in the harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have been keeping an eye on the work that’s been going on in the harbour where, with this new Government grant, they’ve been planning on adding another few mooring chains in the harbour for casual visitors. We’ve seen diggers and all kinds of equipment working out there at low tide, and today it looks as if their work is coming to fruition.

It was the red buoy that caught my eye. That wasn’t there yesterday so I had a closer look. And sure enough, there are three chains down there that weren’t there yesterday either. The buoys are attached to the chains and float to the surface when the tide is in, to give boatmen an idea of where the chains are.

The boatman will fish for the chain with his boat hook in the vicinity of the buoy, haul the chain onto the deck, attach his mooring rope to it and drop it back over the side into the sea.

This morning I felt like being dropped over the side into the sea because it was the only way that I would have awoken, I reckon. Despite my early night I felt totally out of it when the alarm went off.

Nevertheless I did manage to haul myself out of bed after the first alarm and just before the second alarm went off. And after the medication, with nothing on the dictaphone I set to work on the radio programme for today.

Having paired off and joined the music during a spare moment over the weekend, some of the work had been done so it was pretty straightforward. Round about 11:50 it was finished too, a whole hour of it, music, speech and special guest included.

There was the usual break for breakfast too with the hot chocolate and sourdough fruit bread. Just one more slice of that left, unfortunately. But I’ll make some more when I come back from Leuven.

Having done the radio programme I spent some time scanning and photocopying various documents and then I printed out the paperwork that I need to take with me to Leuven.

After lunch I sat down to edit a few photos from Wyoming in August 2019 but I crashed out instead. And I do mean “crashed out” too because it was 16:20 when I awoke. I’d been out of everything for almost 2 hours.

That was plenty of time for me to go off on a little nocturnal ramble while I was at it. There was a caravan – my brother had bought it. It had ended up somehow without its wheel on and it was sitting on the ground on one of its jacking legs and on something else. My brother was saying “we need 3 bricks to get it off the ground”. I replied “first of all we are going to have to jack it up, aren’t we, to get the bricks underneath it?”. I wasn’t a big fan of bricks anyway so I had to go and find a big trolley jack – although looking at it, I was thinking “where am I going to get the trolley jack underneath?” because with the caravan sitting on the ground like that you couldn’t get the trolley jack underneath. I went off into my father’s workshop and had a rummage around and came back with a load of other tools like spanners and pliers and so on. They guy who was supervising me asked what I had there, so I explained. “Does your father let you use his tools?”. I thought to myself “it’s a strange family that he comes from where that kind of thing doesn’t happen (in fact my family was just like like, but that’s another story). He was giving the most ridiculous orders and I was at this point somehow flying in the air carrying these things. I was trying to drop them onto his head but for some reason whenever I got into a position above him I couldn’t let go of the things that I was carrying. He was going on and on about ridiculous kinds and ways of behaviour. In the end I said that if he had been my father I’d have given him a smack in the mouth a long time ago. There was a family there and two little children, toddler type of people, one of whom was very friendly with me. We were playing a kind of hide-and-seek – she would drop down behind the back of the sofa with her teddy, hiding and saying that the 2 of us should go off on a boat. I said “yes but we’d have to bring teddy”. There was another toddler there who was not too happy at all and I thought that things are getting most unhealthy around here.

There was much more to it than that but I’ll spare you the gory details seeing as you are probably eating your tea right now.

So, about an hour later than usual, I headed off for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe place was swarming with people again, as you can tell from this photo of the beach.

As usual, I wandered over to the end of the car park and looked down over the wall to the bottom of the cliff. The madding crowds were spreading out all over the beach this afternoon and I can’t say that I’m surprised because out of the wind, it was really quite nice and pleasant. Unfortunately there weren’t all that many places where you could go up here to get out of the wind.

A couple of my neighbours were out here on the car park so I stopped for a chat and pass the time of day for a little while. After all I have to be sociable, whether I like it or not.

f-gbai Robin DR400 140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked along the path on top of the cliff one of our old friends came by to see me and say “hello”.

This is F-GBAI, a Robin DR400 140B that’s actually owned by the Granville Aero Club. With her 160-horsepower engine and four seats, she has a range of 500 miles without refuelling, and is equipped for night-flying (all of which interested me greatly). She’s used for advanced flying training and also for local flights

According to the flight radar, she’s been out a couple of flights today just around the local area and back home again. Presumably that’s just pilots who are having to keep up their licences by flying the necessary hours per year, and that kind of thing gives me ideas too.

trawler military vessel baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the headland I went down to look out over the sea at the mouth of the Baie de Mont St Michel to see if there was any shipping in the Bay de Mont St Michel this afternoon, and I was in luck again.

It’s been busy out there for the last couple of days with the fishing boats exploiting the Bay so I was hoping to see a few of them out there again. There was a fishing boat out there right enough, away in the distance over on the right-hand side of the photo close to the Brittany coast and that had been hanging around for a while.

But the trawler in the foreground was steaming … “dieseling” – ed … into port at a rather rapid rate of knots from out at sea. I’m not quite sure why because the port was still dry and they wouldn’t be opening the harbour gates for quite a while.

trawler military vessel baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut what had caught my eye was the other boat out there in the bay over to the left of this image in the distance.

As to what it is, I have no idea but from its outline I can tell that it’s not a fishing boat or even a freighter. That boat has all the outlines of a military craft – possibly a fisheries patrol vessel. We’ve seen a few of them every now and again in the bay although I’m not quite sure why because there isn’t likely to be much in the way of infractions.

It does make me wonder if it’s anything to do with all of the fishing boats that were in there last week and the fact that there aren’t any in there right now.

So having taken a couple of photographs and having observed the butterfly, I moved of along the path on top of the headland.

anakena aztec lady chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually I arrived at the viewpoint on top of the cliffs overlooking the harbour and the chantier navale, and I could see that we have had a change of occupant.

Anakena and Aztec Lady are still in there up on their blocks, but Cherie d’Amour, the little yellow fishing boat was conspicuous by her absence.

Her stay in the chantier navale was particularly short so there can’t have been much wrong with her. Apart from the ladder that was propped up against her hull and one or two people loitering around her, there didn’t seem to be much going on with her. But there seems to be a lot going on with the other two boats right now with all of the people around them.

man pegging out on ground fishing boat aground port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve already seen the new chains that have been installed in the harbour today, but there’s more work going on as well, as we can see with this guy here.

He seems to be pegging something out in there, presumably relating to the addition of another chain or two. I had a closer look at what he was carrying and he has another one of the red buoys in the bucket that’s in his right hand.

And he has quite a crowd taking an interest in his work too, with those young people sitting on the quayside observing him from a distance.

And incidentally, one of the fishing boats that has been tied up at the fish processing plant and left to go aground when the tide was out for the last few days is still there too. They can’t be in a hurry to go back to work in her.

joly france chausias ferry port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, over at the ferry terminal, there’s been some activity just recently.

One of the Joly France ferry boats that runs out to the Ile de Chausey is moored in the inner harbour but the other one, the newer one, is moored out there at the terminal.

At the pier formerly used by the Jersey Ferries, Chausiais, the little freighter that takes the goods over to the island, is also moored there. It’s been mentioned that occasionally when she’s run out there with goods, she’s also taken a few passengers too. I suppose that with all of the second-home owners being out there escaping the lockdown in Paris, there’s more of a demand for transport, but not enough to run one of the full-sized ferries.

crumbling wall Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back home I stopped for a closer look at the crumbling wall that’s dropping bits of stone into the highway

And that is starting to look pretty serious to me. There’s quite a bit that’s crumbling away but that part there is the worst. They need to give that their attention quite rapidly if they are to keep the building standing upright.

Back here I had my coffee and edited a couple more photos before going for my guitar practice. And that seemed to go okay today although the bass line in the Doobie Brothers’ “China Grove” is defeating me at the moment. I need to put in much more effort if I’m to make any serious progress.

As for the acoustic guitar, I’m finding that I’m not satisfied with what I’m doing. And that’s a sign that I’m improving rapidly because the dissatisfaction is the sort of thing that will push me on to do more.

For tea tonight I had a curry. There was a sweet potato, a pile of mushrooms and plenty of other potatoes so I made a big bowl of curry. I’ll have more tomorrow and freeze the rest for when I come back from Leuven.

Now I’m off to bed. It’s been a really bad day and it isn’t going to get much better because I have my Welsh class tomorrow and then I have my … gulp … 04:30 start on Wednesday. And with feeling as ill as I do right now, I’m not filled with much optimism about how I’m going to cope with all of this.

Sunday 28th March 2021 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… the photos of the crowds of people out and about in thr glorious sunshine this afternoon, I can tell you about my rather quiet day today.

It started off as we mean to go on with me not rising from my stinking pit until 11:05 according to my fitbit, only to find out that it was in fact 12:05 because the clocks had altered this morning.

After breakfast I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night, because despite the fact that I’d taken that pill before I went to bed, I’d been out and about during the night and there were some notes about it on the dictaphone that needed to be transcribed.

yacht english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallI’d been to buy a motor bike at Webster’s at Crewe. They told me to come back on Friday and they would have a Honda 50 for me. I went back on Friday evening and as I walked into the shop the guy was selling it to someone else. I was really annoyed by that and I made my annoyance known. He said “don’t you worry. We have something ideal for you”. He took me into the back and there was this ancient Suzuki 250 painted red. I thought “this is a scrambler type of configuration, not very comfortable and I didn’t fancy that. There was another 50cc scooter but it was the type that was renowned for being uncomfortable and I didn’t want that either”. He said “we have a Ford Transit like your old one. It needs some work doing to it, the wheel bearings and a few things”. I took it home and noticed that a few of the exhaust parts were in the back of it. I did the rear wheel bearings and went to assemble the exhaust but found that it was bits of a VW exhaust and didn’t fit at all. That’s why half of it was in the back. I was pretty annoyed and ended up taking it back to the garage. I was going to tell them what I thought of them. There was much more to this dream than this but I can’t remember.

speedboat english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on a plane took off from somewhere and the radio was stuttering. It didn’t gain height and all of a sudden it crashed right in front of the sentry box where I was on duty. I summoned help and ran over to this ‘plane to see what had happened. I don’t remember any more of this except that I ended up in a load of trouble. For some reason my superior officer was very unhappy with me and bawled me out for something but I can’t remember what it was. I did notice that in the report that I’d submitted, the second sentence started with 2 capital letters instead of the usual 1. But I can’t remember very much of this at all.

First task today, despite it being Sunday and a Day of Rest, was to synchronise the big computer with the one that I took with me to Leuven. I’d done some work on various files while I was away so they needed to be copied back and to over-write the ones on the big computer.

Of course, if I were to have my files stored on a cloud, there wouldn’t be any need to do that. But I don’t want my files stored anywhere where I couldn’t access them regularly or, more importantly, where other people can access them.

Having done that I made a start on the baking activity.

First task was to make one of my sourdough bread things. I’m not very good with the sourdough as regular readers of this rubbish will recall and it doesn’t rise as much as it should. But adding to it a banana, some ground brazil nuts and a pile of dried and desiccated fruit, it makes a kind of soggy moist fruit cake, a slice of which makes a really delicious and nutritious breakfast with my hot chocolate.

Having set that off I turned my attention to the normal bread. A pile of wholemeal flour, water, salt, yeast, sugar and water and as well as that, several handfuls of sunflower seeds. The yeast and sugar added to the warm water and left to fester, and once it has begun to ferment I could add it to the flour and salt, and mix it all in.

While I was doing that I was talking to Liz on the internet and feeding the sourdough and the ginger while I was at it.

When it was all sitting there festering I went out side for my afternoon walk.

people playing boules place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were crowds and crowds of people wandering around outside this afternoon, including these people here who are playing petanque.

And this is what annoys me intensely because as you can see, not one of these people is wearing a face mask. Never having seen these people before, it’s my betting that they are tourists and if they have come from a Covid-infested area they could be spreading the virus around amongst everyone around here, despite everything that we are trying to do around here to keep the area virus-free.

It beats me, what these people do not understand about the virus and how it spreads after all of this time that we have been suffering. It’s people like this that are responsible to the raging epidemic that is going on at the moment and they should be brought to account.

people taking footpath under city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallCrowds of people surging around everywhere this afternoon, as you can see over there in this photo.

That is the footpath underneath the walls, along which I used to run in the evenings when we were allowed out at night. But I wouldn’t show myself up by running along there in broad daylight with all of those people around. I have my pride.

But returning to our moutons as they say around here, you can see where the medieval walls are fenced off from the public because of their crumbling state. I have seen in the Council’s budget a reference to the repair of part of the walls and I hope that this part is to be included. It’s been fenced off since before I came to Granville.

hole in headland pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere’s something that’s extremely exciting and which had happened while I was away in Leuven.

As usual, my route took me along the footpath on top of the headland and down to the lawn near the lighthouse and semaphore post, and on the lawn I stumbled across this.

It seems that a mysterious hole has appeared in the lawn. It’s about 20 cms in diameter and goes down to quite a depth. It seems unlikely to be any kind of natural formation so it’s possible that we are going to be seeing some kind of human activity around here in early course.

That’s something for me to keep at the back of my mind for the future.

f-giki robin dr 400 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was observing the hole in the ground, I was overflown by another light aeroplane. It was even quite busy in the air today.

This aeroplane is a Robin DR-400, serial number 1931, registration number F-GIKI and it’s owned by the Granville Aero Club. It’s one of their machines that is used for teaching flying and also teaching navigation, and hasn’t that given me an idea?

As for where it’s going, I can’t say because it hasn’t filed a flight plan and by the time that I returned to my apartment it must have landed because it wasn’t shown on the flight radar.

From there I walked across the car park and down to the headland where I saw the yacht with the wind turbine at the stern whose photo you saw earlier. And then I wandered off along the path on top of the headland overlooking the port.

spirit of conrad hermes 1 lys noir freddy land aztec lady chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt goes without saying that I was interested in what was going on down in the chantier navale.

From the viewpoint there I could see down into the yard and I noticed that there was no change in occupancy there. We have Spirit of Conrad, Hermes I, Lys Noir, Freddy Land and Aztec Lady but that’s about it. No-one left and no-one else came while I was away in Leuven.

There’s no-one down there working on them so they can’t be in a dreadful rush to leave here and go back into the water. Not that they could go back into the water right now because as you can see, the tide is right out just now.

And there’s nothing going on at the ferry port either. On the way down to the station I’d noticed that there was an excursion to the Ile de Chausey advertised for today so probably both of the Joly France boats are out there with their passengers.

chausiais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere seems to be plenty of activity down at the loading bay in the inner harbour. Chausiais is moored up there underneath the loading crane.

The boat behind it is interesting too. It’s shrink-wrapped so it’s possibly a new boat, and it’s looking as if it’s waiting there for a lift to other parts. We’ll have to see who comes along to pick her up.

From the harbour I went on home and partook of what was left of my orange ginger beer – no coffee today because it’s quite warm outside. And it was delicious too. Despite its volatile nature and explosive capability, I’ll make some more – but this time I’ll try some stronger bottles rather than the IKEA ones that couldn’t last the pace.

Back here I carried on with my cooking.

First thing to do was to prepare an apple crumble. Because I have only a small oven I made it in two smaller dishes that I could stack one on top of the other.

While I was doing that I’d switched on the oven and when the crumble was ready I bunged that and the bread in there.

Next was to roll out the pizza pastry that I’d taken out of the freezer first thing. And having greased the pizza tray I put the pizza base in and folded the overhanging edges back into the tray. Then I left to fester for an hour.

Later on I assembled the pizza and when the bread and crumble were cooked I took them out and put the pizza in.

During the various pauses I’ve been working on the photos from July 2019. Another pile has bitten the dust and there are just 38 left for that month. I’m now approaching Wounded Knee in South Dakota.

vegan pizza home made bread vegan apple crumble place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere are the finished products. Don’t they look delicious?

The pizza tasted really delicious and it would have been even better had I remembered to turn up the oven again after I’d removed the bread. I’ve no idea what the crumble is like because being full after my pizza, I didn’t have a dessert.

Now that I’ve written my notes I’m off to bed. There’s a radio programme that needs doing tomorrow and that’s the first thing to be done. But there’s also the sourdough to be baked so that it’s ready for my mid-morning break and so I’ll have to put that into the oven as soon as I wake up.

Here’s hoping that I have a good cramp-free sleep.