Tag Archives: rosemary

Monday 26th September 2022 – GONE!

gerlean briscard chant des sirenes chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And never caled me “mother”!

Thee have been wholesale changes in the chantier naval today and I seemed to have missed them all!

The only boats that are still there from the five that were lined up at the side are Briscard and Chant des Sirenes. And add to that the fact that Gerlean has now moved over there too, and you can see that they have been really busy.

Everyone else that we have seen in there over the last couple of days has now gone back into the water.

So what’s going to happen next?

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Also gone! And never called me “mother!” either are the crowds of people

Autumn has certainly arrived, and arrived in spades too. As a result, despite the fact that there was plenty of beach to be on, there wasn’t a single person – or a married person either – taking advantage of it.

By the looks of things, everything is quietening right down ready for winter to arrive. All we need to do now is to clear out the caravanners and we’ll be back to our normal sleepy selves, and I won’t ‘arf be looking forward to that!

belle france joly france le roc à la mauve 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The beach isn’t the only thing where winter is a-cumin in.

Over there at the ferry terminal we now have two of the ferries parked up. Belle France is over there at the front of the queue and behind her is one of the Joly France boats.

We can tell from the windows in “portrait” format and the lack of step in the stern that it’s the newer one of the two. Chausiaise is in the inner harbour so all we need now is the other ferry and we’ll have a full house.

In the foreground, nothing to do with winter, is the little Le Roc À La Mauve III whom we saw for a while in the chantier naval

granville victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The final event that has underlined the arrival of winter relates to the Channel Island ferries.

Victor Hugo has been moored in the harbour for quite a few days but she’s now been joined by her sister, the single-hulled Granville that plies between some of the smaller ports up the coast and some of the ports on the minor Channel Islands like Alderney and Sark.

The fact that they are now both here seems to imply that they aren’t going to go anywhere until next Spring. And I hope that next year when everything starts up again we’ll have a much better service than we had this year.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But while we’re on the subject of going anywhere … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ve been going places today.

So while you admire some of the photos that I took while I was out and about I’ll tell you all about it.

And the first thing that I wanted to say was that I actually went out on the bus. The event that I attended was taking place at the rear of the Agora Centre on the edge of town and as the bus passes by there, I reckoned that I would leap aboard instead of going in Caliburn.

Especially as travelling on the bus around the town is free. I should really do more with that.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Mind you, I was lucky that I went.

The bus was due to leave at 09:10 and the nurse was also due as well and he can come at any time. I was half-expecting him not to come until after the bus had left but he turned up with 10 minutes to go.

Having had a shower earlier in the morning I was ready and so immediately after he left I grabbed my things and was out of the door. I made the bus in seconds flat, which you must admit is an amazing piece of engineering.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022It was pouring down with rain this morning, and I had to wander around in the wet to find the place that I wanted.

It’s the old Ecole Pierre et Marie Curie that closed down last year. The town has bought it so that they can bring into one place all of their outlying offices instead of having them scattered all around in various buildings.

It’s been refurbished, so they tell me, which I find surprising – it must have been in a dreadful state before – and some of the services have moved in. Today was the formal, official opening and I’d been invited.

official opening espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There’s plenty of room in there. I must have counted as many as 20 old classrooms, of which only a handful were occupied.

Consequently they have made a lot of the empty rooms into “communal rooms” where the various associations can rent a space to hold meetings, and several “likely tenants” were there. I spent a lot of time talking to someone who runs a ballroom dancing class.

Interestingly, they have ploughed up what I suppose used to be the school playing field and that has been converted into some kind of communal garden rather like an allotment site. Now doesn’t THAT have possibilities?

le bouquet granvillais radio studio espace pierre marie curie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But why I was there was that one of the rooms has been seized by the organiser of our radio station.

We’ve never had a studio. Everything is always done at the home of whoever is presenting the programme and that can sometimes be inconvenient. But right now we have staked our claim and thinks can only (hopefully) improve.

It’s nothing like the type of studio that I would like to have, with a separate control room, sound insulation and absorption material all around it, but from small acorns large oaks grow and they’ll begin to realise the shortcomings and do something about it.

Thierry drove me home afterward so I didn’t even have to wait for the bus, and I could then carry on with my work.

As it happened, I’d already done quite a lot of work. With the alarm going off at 06:00 I was out of bed immediately even if I hadn’t gone to bed until after 23:00 and had a bad night, all of which just goes to show that I can do it when I really try.

After the medication, having a shower and checking my mails I made a start on the notes for the radio programme that I’d be preparing today. And not only did I finish writing the notes I’d actually dictated half of them when the nurse interrupted my progress.

Back here later I had a very late breakfast and then carried on with the work.

And it took an absolute age to do because it was rather a different way of doing it today. Usually I just trawl through my databases when I’m choosing the final track and pick one that matches the available timeslot less 45 seconds for a closing speech.

Today though was a themed programme and I didn’t have the same choice that I would otherwise have. I had to choose a track from a very small selection and adjust the length of the speech to fit.

And then in an error of calculation I was 10 seconds short so I had to re-dictate the final speech with some extra stuff in it and then re-edit it.

As a result it was a very late walk around the headland. At least the rain had stopped for a moment but there was a howling gale that had sprung up. I was the only one out and about and I could understand why.

le loup fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022You’ve seen the beach already, and there was nothing else of any note on the north side of the headland.

The storm was keeping everyone else in today except for a few brave souls such as those people in the little boat out there sailing … “dieseling” – ed … past le Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the port.

You can see how much she’s struggling against the wind in this photo, and although I wasn’t in the best position to take it, it was too good an opportunity to miss as it would soon be in the shelter of the headland.

ch932880 calean baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022This boat is having even more difficulty coming into port.

This is Calean whom we have seen on many occasions in the past. And I’d seen her way out at sea fighting her way past the waves and she had taken an age to come into the bay.

In fact she didn’t have it easy coming into port either because as you saw in one of the earlier photos there wasn’t a lot of water in the harbour so she’ll have to ride outside in the storm for a while until the tide comes in a little more.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Surprisingly, there was someone on the rocks at the end of the headland.

THis fisherman was having plenty of fun fighting the storm but he didn’t last long. He evidently heard me coming because as soon as I arrived he folded up his gear and cleared off.

There was someone on the bench at the cabanon vauban as well but as soon as I arrived he did likewise. I really ought to change my deodorant.

Crossing the road was rather a bad time as I hit the school buses going home. A whole fleet of them. Discretion was the better part of valour so I stayed on the pavement until they’d all gone by.

ch922443 cap pilar port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way home I took a few photos that you have already seen, but there was this one too.

Actually it’s cropped out of another one and although it is missing some of the hull of Cap Pilar, it’s of interest because it shows quite a lot of her distinguishing features.

One of the things to do eventually is to make my own fishing boat database for the port with photos of all of the boats showing their name and registration number so that I can refer to it in future.

No time like the present.

Back here I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And then later (“later than what?” I asked myself) I was walking around an island. I started off in the company of Zero but we met other people. Gradually they wandered off and I was on my own. Because I’d had no orange juice I went to look for a shop that would have them. There weren’t many shops on this place. There used to be 3 but now there were only 2. Now the hotel had a few possessions as well, things to sell. I went to the first one but I ended up being side-tracked. I bought something else but completely forgot about the orange juice. Later on, when I was wandering around waiting for someone I remembered the orange juice as well. By this time I was a long way from where the shops were and I didn’t want to go to the hotel to see if they had one to fill so I had to go all the way back to the shops and have a look in there. But there was much more to it than this. It was a dream that went on and on and on as I was walking around this island and it lasted for ever.

I couldn’t go back to sleep after this but I must have done at some point because there was some kind of office meeting taking place. I was having to question a couple of people at this meeting. It concerned an interview between 2 people that had taken place on Monday. One of them was management. Some meetings between more members of staff who were senior grades and representatives of employers. There was a third topic too but I can’t remember that. I had to ask that question at 4 or 5 separate meetings. The first 3 or 4 went fine but in the final one I lost my plot, lost where I was. That was because in the first question I asked about this meeting with one member of staff, someone whom I believed was a member of staff shouted up and shouted “yes” in answer to a question. Of course no-one was even supposed to know about it except me. Anyway I awoke again and couldn’t go back to sleep after that

When the alarm went off I was somewhere in a hotel with a group of people. We’d been driving somewhere and going down this steep hill it was pretty dark. Some guy kept shouting “no, no, no! You’ve gone the wrong way! Stop, stop stop!”. In the end we stopped and had to retrace our steps then turn to the right. We followed a canal for a while. There was a sign for an abandoned railway station and we passed through some kind of derelict abandoned village. That was where I dropped something that I was carrying over the side of the jeep so we had to do a U-turn but the jeep behind us picked it up and gave it back to me. Someone in the jeep asked if I really enjoyed camping. “No” I replied. “I’m a hotel person myself”. And this really was an extremely realistic dream too that shook me rather when I awoke and found that it was a dream.

But at least Zero had come to see me during the night, although not for long. But let’s just be thankful for small mercies.

Tea was a delicious stuffed pepper, interrupted by a phone call from Rosemary, so I called her back later.

1 hour 45 minutes we were on the phone talking about this and that, and especially how Miss Ukrainian is enjoying going to school even if it is just part-time for a crash course in French. As a result, I’m running horribly late today.

And a Welsh lesson too so I need to be fully fit and raring to go. Still, we can all dream, can’t we?

Monday 19th September 2022 – WE ALMOST HAD …

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… a new record for the completion of our radio programme this morning. So while you admire several photos of the marine activity out on the water today I’ll tell you all about it.

Actually, I’m not quite sure what happened today but at about 10:10 this morning I was about to start dictating the final speech for the last track, and once that it would be edited, it would be done.

For some reason though, probably an error of mathematics, I ended up with 10 seconds too much of speech. That was quite disappointing because I’d taken great care to make sure that the length of speech was correct. One like of text in my text editor is about 290 characters and that equates to about 17 seconds when it’s edited down so I have a reasonable idea of how long a piece of text takes to dictate.

So finding 10 seconds of speech to “lose” from what I’ve already dictated and merged into the programme so far isn’t as easy as it might be. Sometimes there’s a nice piece of speech that is ripe for editing out but there might be the introduction of the track of music to which it relates that overruns it.

yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Anyway, while it finally saw the light of day at about 10:50, which is still quicker than quite a few that I’ve done just recently.

But almost as soon as I started to listen to it to make sure that it was OK, Rosemary rang me up. I’m convinced that she hid a camera in here when she came to visit a few years ago. Anyway, we had one of our lengthy chats again.

But the good news is that Miss Ukrainian has started school today at the High School in the nearest town to where Rosemary lives. I’m sure that that’s a good idea.

Even if she can’t speak French and follow the lessons, she’ll be mixing with kids of her own age. Where she’s living right now there’s no-one around at all of her age and a young teenager needs to socialise

speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022But meanwhile, back at the ran … errr … apartment, last night was something of a mess.

It was later than intended that I went to bed, and then I didn’t have much sleep because I must have travelled miles during the night. To start off there was a lady-friend of mine. I don’t know who she was but she started to date someone who was a cross between Boris Johnson and Bill Bailey and only had one leg. he was a famous politician and would sneak away from meetings etc to be with her. On one occasion the two of us had booked somewhere to stay but there was only one double-bed so we thought that we’d just have to make the best of it. Biy he turned up as well so it ended up with three of us in the bed. I went out to go to the bathroom ready to go to bed. He and this woman were in there so I said to them on parting “don’t forget later on in the night that your partner is the one on your right. When I prepared to go to bed his security team was there. They were looking for him so I didn’t say anything. I went back to another room after I’d had a wash in order to leave them to it for a while.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Back in the same dream later I was up and about. Those two were still in bed. Meantime the house was filling up with people. Eventually the woman got up and came in to join us. I asked her if she knew what “discussing Uganda” meant. She replied that she didn’t. I said that if I come out with the phrase, do me a favour of bursting out laughing and I’ll explain it to you later”. She wondered what I meant by that. Eventually he came out of the room. I explained that Zero (who must have put in an appearance somewhere but shame as it is to say it, I can’t remember her being there)’s mother had been to collect her, implying that we had a young child in the house at the time last night etc. After about 10 minutes of embarrassed chatting from their side I said that I’m going off to wash my hair so I’ll leave them alone and they can “discuss Uganda” or something like that. The other people in the house knew exactly what that meant and burst out laughing. I went into the bathroom, used the bathroom and went to wash my hands and found that someone had coupled the shower up to the tap and hadn’t undone it afterwards. As soon as I turned on the tap the water went everywhere and soaked the bathroom. I managed to stop it, opened the bathroom door and hurled a huge volley of abuse about the person who’d had a shower and left the shower attachment attached to the sink and not removed it at the end. Of course you can guess who that probably was but it was an impressive volley of abuse all the same. I started to look for something to clean up the mess.

Back in this dream for a third time. I said that Zero had gone home and the kids who had been on the trampoline were leaving. I gathered that those 2 had gone back to bed again so I made some remarks about “ships that pass in the night” etc while they were there and various other things to give the game away that I knew exactly what had happened although I said them in a manner that implied that I knew nothing.

Moving on from there, there was a big party in the office. The office was absolutely filthy. There was stuff all over the place. There was only one girl and I think that it might have been my elder sister who was attempting to tidy it up. I wasn’t going home as I had something arranged in the town so I stayed behind and helped her as best as I could. I did several huge bowls of washing up. Then it came to be 19:10 so I went to put back everything that I’d done so far. She asked how the room was so I told her that it was still a mess. I told her what I’d done. She said “OK, you’d better wander off now and do what you have to do. I’m going to be late in the morning” she said. “I’m not going to be in at my usual early morning time”. I said “never mind. I’ll try my best to be there myself something early and see what happens”. I was really disappointed that all our colleagues, none of them would stay behind and help and none of them were interested in coming along to open up the office tomorrow either.

When the alarm went off I was in the middle of a meeting with the owners of this building but they were only just setting up the bottles of water for people to drink and I never found out what went on. It was all about some abandoned farmhouse and buildings on the side of a main road that they were talking about demolishing even though it was nice, old Victorian stuff. It would have made a really nice conversion to flats and houses etc rather than being just swept away.

Anyway so when the alarm went off I did manage to leap to my feet quite quickly even though it was early, and after the medication I cracked on with the radio programme, as I mentioned earlier.

There were a couple of interruptions. Firstly for an early morning coffee and secondly to answer the door. The nurse had finally printed out my vaccination certificate from last June. Just one or two things that I need to do now.

Having listened to the radio programme and also the one that I’ll be sending off for this weekend, I went for my lunchtime fruit And then I had the notes on the dictaphone to deal with.

So I stepped back into a dream not just once but twice last night. And a mention of Zero too. What a shame I can’t remember her being about although I know that she must have been there.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After all of that it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And once again, it seems that the Nazguls were waiting for me to step outside the door again. I hadn’t gone more than three feet outside the building when one of them came swooping over the roof of the High School and heading in my direction.

A solo outfit too, but not to worry. There were several others waiting around in the distance, some of which were two-seater Nazguls. So at least there’s still an opportunity to go for a flight around.

And I haven’t forgotten …

paddle board people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So dodging the diving Nazguls I wandered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

But first, my attention was focused on the events just offshore. yesterday we had a zodiac watching events unfold on the beach. Today, we have a paddle-boarded paddling past.

There were a few people down there as well for him to watch. Probably a dozen or so scattered about all over there.

No-one in the water as far as I could see, but then again the paddle-boarder hasn’t fallen in yet. There’s still plenty of time for that.

cormorants baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Lots of other stuff down there for me to watch as well.

As I made my way along the path amongst the people who were wandering around, I noticed that out there on a rock just offshore was a whole colony of birds.

Cormorants, I reckon, but what do I know? All that I do know is that they aren’t any kind of bird which I would be interested in watching. I should have paid much more attention, because when we were married I had several long lectures from Nerina about bird-watching.

What I could do I suppose is to go on and on about how I don’t particularly like those birds, but it would just be another cormo-rant.

F-GCUM - Robin DR400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022and so on that note I suppose that I’d better carry on with my walk and see what’s hapening with the aeroplane that has just taken off from the airfield.

It’s one of the aeroplanes that we see quite regularly as we are walking along the cliffs around here. She’s F-GCUM, a Robin DR400-180 that belongs to the local aero club.

My photo is timed at 16:01 (adjusted) which corresponds with a flight that she undertook when she took off at 15:15 and flew northwards. That’s not a usual flightpath for an aeroplane out of the airfield. usually they go out to sea and then down the coast to the south.

F-GCUM - Robin DR400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022However there was something bizarre about the flight that she was undertaking just now.

As I watched her, she did a U-turn and headed back towards the airfield, almost as if when she had taken off but the pilot had forgotten his sandwiches.

Her actual flight plan though was she went north, as I said just now, and then flew back south, back over the airfield and out to sea but after just a couple of miles she performed a rather dramatic U-turn and flew back towards the airfield.

Once back over the airfield she carried on inland, performed yet another U-turn and back to the airfield where she landed at 16:09.

My route along the top of the cliff and across the car park was pretty much without incident today. Just a few craft out at sea that you have already seen, and no change either in the inner harbour or in the chantier naval.

mercedes tourismo iveco mercedes tourismo coaches boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Now that the heaving masses have headed back home at the end of the holiday season, we have the next generation of visitors.

The town and the cliffs are crawling with the pensioners out of the caravanettes or day-tripping on the fleets of coaches that are now arriving.

The poor little Iveco that waits to take the Homework Club schoolchildren back home at 17:00 is sandwiched between two rather large Mercedes Tourismo coaches, and thanks to Duncan Payne on the “Bus and Coach” group for identifying the bodywork.

It’s a good job that he did too. The driver of the brown one with whom I had a lengthy chat didn’t know and the driver of the green one drove off when he saw me approaching.

Unfortunately I’m out of the loop these days. I was left behind on Van Hool Alizees and Plaxton Premieres. I can’t believe that it’s almost 28 years since I last drove a coach after all the miles that I did in the past.

Back here I had a coffee and then I had a few things to do which took me up to teatime.

My stuffed pepper tonight was a really good one. I have really grasped the principle of those now. Plenty of stuffing left over for a taco roll tomorrow and maybe even some more to add into Wednesday’s curry.

But right now that’s that. Tomorrow I have a Welsh lesson and I hope that there will be more than four of us. But to be on the safe side I shall have to have a good night’s sleep and do some more revision tomorrow.

That is, if I can remember.

Wednesday 14th September 2022 – PECCAVI WASN’T BACK …

peccavi le styx chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… in the water for very long, was she?

A couple of days ago we sw the portable boat lift hovering around her like a bird of prey, and yesterday she had gone.

But this afternoon as I wandered around the headland on my walk, I noticed that she’s back in the cradle of the portable boat lift, either looking for a berth or else having ha da quick touching up and waiting to be lowered back down again when the tide comes in later this afternoon..

We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what’s happened to her. But whatever is going on, it was rather a short stay in the water.

Just for a change my stay in bed last night wasn’t all that short. I was (for once) actually in bed at something like a reasonable time and it’s been a while since that’s happened.

Quite a few little voyages during the night too. I can’t remember who I was with now but I was at a fishing port somewhere. I had a daughter who lived here. My partner asked me about her so I made a couple of excuses and said that she’s just been sent to bed because she’s misbehaved. Just as I was saying that, round the corner she came along wiht the nurse or nanny who looked after her. I thought “that’s my story blown, isn’t it?”. I said to her “hello. What are you doing?”. She replied that she had indeed been sent to bed but for a different reason to the one that I just gave. I asked her if she wants to see me when I’m here, she obviously has to be on her best behaviour because if she keeps on being sent to bed she won’t be able to see me at all. The two of us, my friend and the child’s nurse or nanny, we had a little chat together about everything.

And later, Marianne and I were in the Metro or Underground on our way to a theatre to watch a play or a cinema. We were passing through different Underground stations talking about groups whom we’d seen performing at concert halls nearby. As we closed to our destination Marianne said suddenly that she didn’t have her handbag with her. She’d left it at one of our stops. She had to leap off the train and go back. I carried on and got off at our stop and took up a place where I could watch the train arrive. It wasn’t many minutes afterwards when she arrived, saying that she didn’t have her bag, didn’t have her purse etc. I looked a bit suspicious about everything. She came up with some small change to leave the Underground etc. We went over there and I bought the tickets to go in, all the drinks, sweets etc. We decided that we’d go somewhere else but I can’t remember now where that somewhere else was.

Finally I was unloading a load of Rowntrees products from Strider when I awoke. I thought that he was saying that that company would haul anything if the price was right. They had a couple of large containers with their food on board that was destined for Taylor’s to share out at Christmas. The rest of it was shop deliveries. Even though it was all mis-sorted all over the place it had to be delivered to individual shops. We were going on about our relationship with the shop, about how sometimes it was very good, sometimes it was very bad depending on the particular issues. Before that I’d been somewhere or other from town. We’d been wandering around and there had been this 6-cylinder Harley Davidson parked up at the side of this building. It had been there for a while. Everyone would come to look at it, Harley Davidson aficionados from all over the place. One day a Harley Davidson club turned up to see it and decided that they would take some of us for a ride so somehow they managed to disconnect the lock on it. Someone else bought a trailer of the type that this Harley Davidson would pull when it was working. I was unlucky enough that I had a lift on a traditional Harley. They went north out of Crewe through the lanes. It was a wild experience. He was playing an LP of A NEIGHBOUR OF MINE like THE TALE OF SIR ROBIN but it was the tale of the guy who was actually driving the motorbike and I can’t remember now his name.

For the benefit of any new reader, anyone who knows anything about LORD OF THE RINGS will know exactly what make and model of vehicle Strider is. He’s on my mind at the moment because he’s just been for his safety inspection in Canada and I’m told that he needs some welding. That’s bad news of course but he is 14 years old and is left outside during the Canadian winters, so it’s not a surprise.

It’s high time that I made up my mind about what to do with him.

Having dealt with all of that then most of the rest of the day has been spent with dealing with my Jersey photos. I’ve not done too many of those because most of the time has been spent researching.

And most of that time was trying to find out when a couple of buildings were erecting. It’s always puzzled me that there’s much more information available about older buildings than there is about newer ones

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There were several breaks during the day of course, the afternoon walk being one of them.

As usual I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on down on the beach. And today, it was a case of playing “spot the human being”. I certainly couldn’t see one in this photo.

Not that that’s really surprising. The weather has turned yet again and the temperature has dropped. It’s quite cool there and pretty much overcast. Winter won’t be long in a-coming, I reckon.

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Looking out to sea was pretty much a waste of time this afternoon as well.

There was quite a sea mist and you couldn’t see the Ile de Chausey this afternoon. I’d almost given up hope of seeing anything out at sea when this zodiac came into view from around the headland. So at least that was something.

There was a guy on board who had in his possession a couple of fishing rods. So there’s no surprise as to where he’ll be going.

However I’m more concerned as to where he’s come from because in the kind of range in which a zodiac travels safely, there’s no port with a ramp into the water right now. It’s only people like us who’ll travel 30 miles in open water on a zodiac trying to find our ship.

But be all that as it may, about 30 seconds after this zodiac came by, another one came around the headland. It looks as if there’s quite a lot going on as far as they are concerned.

lobster pot marker pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022A little further on, I came across another marker buoy with a flag.

Having seen quite a few of these, I’m even more convinced that they mark the position of lobster pots that have been dropped overboard in the hope of making a catch.

And just in case I hadn’t seen enough of them already, there were several all dotted along the coast here.

They were all flying the same colour of flag so that seems to be pretty conclusive that the same flag belongs to the same owner, and a different flag belongs to a different owner.

cabanon vauban man on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With not too many people out and about this afternoon I wasn’t expecting to see anyone down at the bench at the cabanon vauban.

Nevertheless there were two people down there this afternoon. One of them went and hid out of sight behind the cabin when they saw me coming, such has my fame spread these days. But the other person took no notice so he fitted in quite nicely to my photo.

One or two people down on the lower path too but they didn’t hang around waiting for the bench to clear so that they could take their turn at sitting down.

And neither did I hang around. I cleared off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

pierre de jade chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And plenty of excitement today in the chantier naval.

We’ve seen Peccavi back in town, but it looked very much as if we had yet another trawler in there that wasn’t in there yesterday.

To be on the safe side I took a photo of it with the aim of examining it back at base but when I did so, it turned out to be Pierre de Jade who was in there yesterday.

They must really be cracking on with that because they have already painted out her name with some undercoating. And with all of the workmen swarming all over her in contrast to how the work is progressing on the other boats, it looks as if they have a pressing engagement for her.

shtandart marite chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile down at the far end of the inner harbour it looks as if we have a full house.

Not only is Marité there but it seems that Shtandart is back in town as well, tied up in her usual place. So what’s the story with her then? For how long is she staying?

Chausiaise is down there too in the loading bay underneath the crane. Now that things are quietening down at the end of the summer, maybe she’s thinking about going out with another load to the Channel Islands.

Meanwhile what I am thinking about is going home for a coffee. I’m really struggling, going round my circuit and I certainly can’t do it in 15 minutes as I used to. Fings ain’t looking so good.

For a while I carried on with my photos and later on ended up having a chat with my neighbour. This things isn’t happening this weekend, as I said, but we were talking about a few more opportunities. However, they are increasingly unlikely from my point of view.

Tea tonight was another delicious, magnificent curry and then Rosemary rang so we had another one of our marathon chats. Hence I’m running rather late tonight yet again. There’s no end to it.

Tomorrow I’ll be carrying on with my photos from Jersey. At least I’m ashore now having a coffee – about a quarter of the way through the images. It’s going to take another age to finish it, and then I can restart on all of the other hundreds of outstanding days when there was so much to do that is as yet undone.

It never ends, does it?

Thursday 8th September 2022 – THIS WEATHER …

rainstorm baie de mont st michel pointe de carolles Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… has certainly changed dramatically over the last week or so and I’m glad that I went to Jersey when I did.

While I was out there this afternoon on my post-prandial crawl, there was another rainstorm out in the bay. It was missing us by quite a few miles and battering the Pointe de Carolles and Jullouville.

But not to worry. We had had a considerable numbers of showers throughout the day. One moment we had bright sunlight and the next moment we were knee-deep in the rain.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022What has happened today, if you haven’t guessed it from watching the rain cloud, is that the wind has turned round.

Instead of blowing from the south-east it’s now back in its usual direction of north-west. That has stirred up all of the waves and as you can see, Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour, is taking something of a battering.

Not as much as it might have done though because the wind has dropped slightly today. Had we had yesterday’s wind, we wouldn’t have seen it for the spray.

weeds place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022but at least the local vegetation is enjoying it.

As we have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … the local vegetation is extremely resilient. As you can see, the weeds that grow around here have sprung dramatically into life already.

You would have thought that after 47 days without a drop of rain they would have been dead and buried but that’s far from the case. You can see now how it is that after a rainstorm in the Sahara, animal life suddenly makes a dramatic reappearance after having lain dormant for so long.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Unfortunately, last night I didn’t remain dormant long enough.

While you look at a couple of photos of the waves breaking on the harbour wall I was tossing and turning in bed trying my best to sleep.

The number of times that I awoke for no good reason is something that I can’t understand, but there we are. It’s not as if there were masses of notes on the dictaphone.

And once again, leaving my stinking pit was something of a challenge too, just as it has been for the last few weeks or so. I might be feeling a little better these days and not falling asleep during the afternoon but I’m obviously not that much better.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022after the medication I came in here and checked my mails.

And to my surprise there was a message from that garage in British Columbia. But only to say that the VIN that I quoted was wrong.

What I had to do then was to contact Rosemary to ask her to take a photo of her friend’s Carte Grise so that I can forward it on. A photograph can’t lie.

But I seemed to have dropped myself right into the middle of some “events” down there and we’ll have to see how that transpires.

spirit of conrad baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while you look at few more photos, this time of boats, which in this one might be Spirit of Conrad I put everything behind me and started work.

The morning was spent on my trip to Jersey last week. And despite all the time that I spent on it, I’m still standing at the ferry terminal waiting to board Victor Hugo in order to set off for the Channel Islands.

That’s about photo number 5, and when you realise that there are 94 altogether that need things doing to them, you’ll understand that it’s going to be a very long job. Especially when you consider that I’m not as young, fit and enthusiastic as I used to be.

yacht cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022This afternoon … well, shock! Horror! I’ve cleaned the bathroom.

It goes without saying that I had a shower first so that I wouldn’t dirty it afterwards, and then I stripped out all that I could. The floor has been brushed, vacuumed and mopped, the carpet has been cleaned, and so has absolutely everything else.

What I haven’t done though is to empty and clean the cupboards. There are limits to what I’m prepared to do when I’m not feeling too well. That’s going to be a job for another time.

But really, I’m swamped in unused medicine and so on and I really don’t know what to do with it. The best plan will be to speak to the chemist next time that I’m down there and check with her.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Eventually I could call a temporary halt to the proceedings in the bathroom because it was time for my afternoon stagger outside.

As usual I wandered over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down there on the beach.

Just a handful of people down there this afternoon wandering about in the sunshine. No-one sunbathing, which is no surprise, and no-one in the water either. It seems that the summer is now over as far as that is concerned.

Mind you, they wouldn’t have far to run each time the weather broke because they couldn’t be any wetter standing in the water than they would be standing in the rain.
“The boy stood on the burning deck
While all around had fled
But for the rain
I’d examine his brain
a passing psychiatrist said”

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The weather further out to sea was quite hazy but closer to home there were some surprising views today.

One of the best was the Ile de Chausey. It’s not every day that we see it looking as nice as this. It was quite clear and we could see the colours of the island quite distinctly

Interestingly, you can see some white vertical lines over there on the island. Many of the houses down there are all painted white and what you are actually seeing is the the sun catching the end walls of the houses and the light reflecting therefrom.

And you can see how rough the sea is as well today. That’s probably one of the reasons why there are no swimmers.

la grande ancre port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Having seen all that there was to see over on this side of the headland I crawled down to the viewpoint on the other side of the headland where I could overlook the port.

Yesterday we saw Le Coelacanthe and le Tiberiade moored down there, but they have cleared off today. In their place, and obviously compting in a new series of “Musical Ships” is La Grande Ancre

She has one of the harbour lighters on board, as well as a pile of fishing equipment.

There’s another boat behind her – a small inshore shell-fishing boat but at this distance I’m not able to see who she might be. Anyway, she didn’t stay long and was soon on her way.

le soupape, pescadore, peccavi, chant des sirenes le styx le poulbot chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, more excitement in the Chantier Naval.

Trafalgar, the white trawler with blue and pink stripes, has now gone back into the water and her place has been taken by an unidentified shell-fishing boat.

Also back in the water today is Charlevy. She’s been replaced by Le Styx whom we saw moored in the inner harbour for a few days.

There’s another change too. Le Poulbot has moved from her position in front of Le Soupape and she’s now up on blocks in front of Le Styx.

Plenty of people down there working too. It’s quite a hive of activity down there this afternoon.

cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022A little earlier you might have noticed a photo with a yacht and a cabin cruiser in it.

This is a better photo of the cabin cruiser. It looks quite old and I bet that it’s a beast of a thing and just the kind of boat that I would like to own.

It’s quite a shame really but had things been very different, I might have ended up living on a boat in a harbour. But then again, had things really been different, I would still be living in the Auvergne. sigh

Still, this isn’t the time to be all broody

trafalgar les bouchots de chausey port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Just in case you are wondering where Trafalgar is, she’s over there just about to tie up in front of Les Bouchots de Chausey

There’s a large pile of fishing net just there where she’s about to tie up, so I imagine that’s her net and they’ll be fixing it back on this evening ready to go out fishing tomorrow.

From there I headed back home where I had an “unusual” encounter with a rather inebriated motorist who wanted to engage me in conversation

This afternoon I walked quite far considering everything. But it showed that I’m still far from having recovered from the events of last week. And even if I were to be moving around easier, I’d still be quite wary about trusting this right leg in the future.

Back here I had some more ginger beer and then listened to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I was taking an exam for the Open University. There was one subject with 3 parts to this question, each of which was an essay all done under the heading of one question. It was quite complicated. The first part I did without too many problems whatsoever. The second part was much more difficult but the third part seemed to be straightforward so I simply dictated that answer then went back to do the second part. At one point I stood up to walk around and stretch my legs just as one of the main invigilators came into the room. He was astonished to see people up and about walking around. He ordered us to sit down and carry on. It was 20 past something already and we only had 10 more minutes. I was suddenly in a panic then. Not only had I to dash down the rest of the answers to this second part, I realised that the third part being dictated won’t fetch any marks. I’d have to write that out again. Then my handwriting had disintegrated and became more like a doctor’s handwriting. I thought to myself that really this is going to be an absolute and total fail before I even started anything. I could see that happening here..

Later on I was working for the Resistance. It was being completely shaken up by the French government. Ally my hippie friends were being pursued. I was trying to keep out of the way but at the same time give them what support I could. There was a group of them fleeing down Crewe Road towards Goodall’s Corner in Shavington. I followed them down there at a safe distance. Most of them had been dispersed. There was just a couple there. They’d gone on a flight in a light aircraft. I joined the flight and it went to Paris. We all piled out at Paris in the suburbs and the plane went off to land somewhere for the night. We would make our way on foot to that place so as not to attract attention by arriving by plane. We started to walk. This young girl who was in charge was extremely nervous. An older person was rather more steady so I found myself walking with him or her for much of the time. I noticed that the lens hood of my camera had gone. It must have fallen off either in the plane or when we were running around. We came to near the Gare du Nord to catch our train. There were three statues at the side of the road. The other guy went to take a photo of them so I did too but my camera decided not to work for some reason no matter how much I tried (and that’s a recurring theme during my dreams, isn’t it?). By now this girl was in a real state because there had been €1400 taken from her bank account “to pay crash fees”. There had been another deduction for crash fees that she’d not seen how much it was yet in respect of this light aeroplane. apparently when it landed it was detained for e few minutes and the pilot questioned before he could go on his way again. They linked it to this girl and somehow with having access to her bank account they’d debited her with crash fees, which were the fees for the officials to turn up at the site. I was thinking jamais deux sans trois but I hope that this aeroplane will be OK when we meet it and that it hasn’t really crashed because she’d really have something about which to complain if they take away the money from her account for the real crash of an aeroplane.

vegan curry pasty place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was some curry left over after yesterday’s tea and I wanted to do something different with it.

Consequently I made some pastry with the aim of making something like a Cornish pasty with it. But my pastry didn’t turn out too well, there wasn’t enough filling and generally speaking it wasn’t a great success from the making point of view.

But from the eating point if view, it was everything that you would want from an impromptu meal, along with baked potatoes and veg cooked in a really thick gravy.

There were really no words to describe how nice this was. It made quite a pleasant change from the usual diet.

So bedtime now. Not much to clean now and I’ll finish that tomorrow with a bit of luck. And then I can speak to the woman who I’ve lined up to come and clean for me.

It was a step that I thought that I would never take but it’s taken me almost 3 weeks to clean this place and it’s still not very good. But I can’t keep on going like this. Something needs to change, although I’m not quite sure what.

But I’ll worry about that another time. Right now I’m off to bed.

Sunday 4th September 2022 – AFTER ALL THAT …

… the blasted, flaming, perishing nurse didn’t show up today.

And after I’d made a special effort to fall out of bed at 08:00 this morning, despite the rather late finish yesterday and the bad time that I had during the night.

speedboat buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while you admire a few photos of various kinds of nautical life that I saw this afternoon, I’ll explain.

Last night I intended to be in bed by about 23:00 but it was much closer to about midnight when I finally staggered off to bed.

And there I was tossing and turning for much of the night trying my best but failing miserably to go off to sleep.

Mind you, I must have done at some point because there were a few things on the dictaphone – notes of where I’d been during the night on my travels.

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After the medication I came back in here and when I’d eventually awoken (which wasn’t straight away, I’ll promise you) I had a listen to the dictaphone to find where I’d been.

I’d actually awoken with a really vivid sense of having played in goal for Pionsat’s football team for several matches. I really don’t know why but it was such a real feeling. It was hard to explain. We had some kind of team together somewhere in a dream and were looking for reinforcements. I’d heard about some young boy who played in some kind of cup competition as a goalkeeper. When we were putting the team sheet out for the next game a couple of days before hand this boy’s name was on it. I asked what was happening and they said that they’ve signed him up. he was going to sit on the bench for us. As I had to explain to someone that although he’s a good keeper he’s only young. He’ll have plenty of experience and learn quite a lot from just sitting on our bench in case there happens to be an injury. At 16 he has a lot to learn yet. This was when I started to have this feeling about being in goal for Pionsat.

It was actually such a vivid sensation that it took me a good few minutes to come to my senses (such as they are). I really did think that there was actually something in this when I awoke and it took me completely by surprise.

cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The next three voyages were quite interesting because they were all part and parcel of the same dream. I kept on slipping back into it. And it was another extremely realistic voyage or three as well.

I was with Rosemary and we were discussing the Ukrainians.

And this dream went on and on. We were all in Montreal. I was in the queue for buying something but I can’t remember what now. Their son (whom they don’t have of course) came up to me and asked if I was in a rush to go home. I said “not particularly. Why?”. “How do you fancy a week in Capri?”. I said “I’ll ask you a few questions. One – is it for a nice holiday in the sun?” to which he said “yes”. Then I asked “is your sister going?” to which he said “yes” so I replied “in that case I’m going as well”. We had quite a long chat about that. We all met back up. The father asked where we were but I couldn’t think of the street for a moment. I said “we’re on the south of the Rue St Catherine”. Suddenly I looked around and saw a big hotel and said “yes we’re in Campbell Square”. he picked up the name on an adjoining street and thought that we were in that. I insisted that this was Campbell Square (Place Mark Campbell is actually south of Boulevard Sherbrooke near the eastern end of the island and there’s no hotel there but never mind). I thought “we’d better hurry and organise this trip if we’re going tomorrow. I have to cancel my injection appointment with the nurse. If I cancel that and we decide that we aren’t going”. In the meantime mother and daughter were being rather distant. I couldn’t understand what was happening. When I looked around again the father and the youngest son (which they don’t have) had wandered away for miles. I was trying to find out what was happening here because really we all needed to stick together and book this hotel etc, book this flight and make sure that we were going. It didn’t look as if we were going at the moment and I was confused.

Then back in this dream yet again. A girl and I who had been with the Ukrainians had walked away. They’d gone off somewhere and we were walking past a group of beggars who were trying to entertain someone in the hope of having some money from him. We went past what at first looked like a grassy bank. I had a closer look at it and it was the ruins of a building that had been destroyed in an air raid in the early 1930s. There was a cemetery in the middle of it which I thought must have been the victims but it said something like “a cemetery, late mid-century”. I thought “that can’t be correct”. We carried on walking trying to find out what the Ukrainians were going to do about this idea to go to Italy for a week. We walked into another square and there was this huge magnificent hotel. I said “this is the hotel where we’ll be going to stay before we head off”. She said “there’s been another change of plans now. I heard them talking and it looks as if they’re going to be back home by Saturday so this thing doesn’t look as if it’s going to come off. We have to be careful because we’ll be in the red zone that weekend but if we can return home on Friday i’ve arranged for us to set up the tables presumably for the market stall the following day so this trip isn’t going to happen at all”. I felt extremely disappointed about that.

There’s a large part of this voyage that I’ve left out. Usually, the only things that I leave out are the more gruesome bits and pieces that you really don’t want to read. However today, I’ve left stuff out for another reason completely. If you really want to know the reason why, you’ll have to ask me.

There were a couple of pauses while I was doing that – firstly for breakfast and then for lunch. Yes, I had both today. In fact, going through the fridge yesterday I came across an opened packet of vegan cheese slices about which I had completely forgotten so for breakfast I made myself some cheese on toast.

It was delicious too but I wish that I had remembered to put a few slices of tomato on top.

When I finally finished I spent most of the rest of the afternoon dealing with the photos from Jersey. And once again, more time was spent researching than editing

A few weeks ago Liz and I had chatted about the Rollright Stones – the ancient monument, not the SONG BY “TRAFFIC”. In a Newsgroup that I follow, someone had posted an article about the stones so I sent the link to her and that led to a little chat.

Something else that happened was that I had a little “wobble” and found myself drifting away – the first time for a fortnight. But I think that I won’t count this because after all, it’s Sunday and I did have an early start.

And don’t forget that I did say that I’d go back to bed after the nurse had been. It’s hardly my fault that no-one turned up.

And it goes without saying that I staggered off outside, a little later than usual.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Not that I went far. Not the way my leg is feeling right now. I went as usual across the car park to look over the wall and down onto the beach to see the crowds.

And while it’s probably wrong to say “crowds”, there were certainly quite a few people down there right now. My attention was focused though on the ones who were brave enough to take to the water. Good for them.

No neighbours out there to detain me this afternoon so I didn’t have cause to hang around. After a look around out to sea, where there wasn’t much going on for a Sunday, I tried my knee out, found that it hadn’t improved any, and abandoned my plans for a hobble off around the medieval city walls.

masthead flag shtandart port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Instear, I took myself off to the viewpoint overlooking the port and the fish processing plant on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne

The first thing that I noticed was that Shtandart is still there. It looks as if the port has become a safe haven for her now. All of those who voted for LePen (and there were many more of them than there ought to be around here) must be exerting their influence.

The second thing though is that she has taken down her Russian flag at the masthead. There’s another banner there right now but I really don’t know to what it refers.

The superimposed images are strange. Top left looks roughly like Asia, bottom left roughly like the Middle East, bottom right like Alaska and the Aleutians, but I’m open to suggestions for the top right image. I wonder if they represent areas that Putin intends to occupy.

le styx spirit of conrad capo di fora charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Chausiaise, Victor Hugo and the trawlers are still there out of shot, and the three boats that we saw yesterday, Le Styx, Spirit of Conrad and Capo di Fora are still there too.

And they’ve now been joined by another yacht that must have come into port after I’d gone back inside yesterday. The blue and white yacht Charles Marie has now come into port. Maybe she has finished her summer season now as well.

There are two other boats in that photo too, a trawler in front of le Styx and a yacht, complete with wind turbine, in front of Spirit of Conrad.

However I have no idea who they are and I have no way of finding out because whoever they are, they don’t have their AIS beacons switched on

grass boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While I was here I had a look at the grass on the top of the cliff.

That rain that we had has clearly done someone some good because while much of the older grass looks as if it’s definitively gone beyond the possibility of recovery (and I’m not even convinced of that) you can see that there’s plenty of new growth springing up.

It’s not going to take too long before we’ll forget that we have had a drought this summer.

This was as far as I went. With no change at the chantier naval today I decided to head off home and not put too much trust in my knee.

As I said yesterday, I don’t have a great deal of confidence in my knee and it’s all rather worrying.

yellow powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way back home I heard an old familiar rattling up in the sky.

And I had to look long and hard to see who it was because it was so high up and lost in the clouds. I only noticed it when it flew into a gap and sure enough, it turned out to be the yellow powered hang-glider.

And while we’re on the subject of ULMs – as the French call “microlight aricraft” … “well, one of us is” – ed … one of them, not one that we know, went down yesterday morning near Falaise in the Calvados and regrettably both persons on board lost their lives .

Before going out I’d mixed up another load of dough and given it a good going-over.

When I came back it had risen quite nicely so I divided it into 3 and put two portions into the freezer. The third one I rolled out and put in the pizza tray for its second proofing.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022It sprung up like a mushroom too so when it was ready I assembled it and put it in the oven.

Following on from what I said last Sunday I remembered to put it one shelf higher than I usually do and it was actually cooked to perfection. Easily the best one that I’ve ever made and one of the tastiest too.

So now that I’ve finished my notes I’m going to relax for a while and then go off to bed. I have an early start tomorrow – 06:00 in fact – and a radio programme to prepare so I need to be at my best.

What are the odds on the nurse coming along to interrupt me at some point?

But what about last night’s adventures? That football one was certainly bizarre and I can’t believe that I actually had to think about what I’d been doing.

When I was at school I used to play in goal but I never had the height and I was never actually selected to represent the school so thinking that I wasn’t any good, I never kept it up. I just turned out in goal for the odd knock-about side after I left school and played outfield down the left side of the field.

It wasn’t until a good few years later that I discovered that the boy who was n°1 choice in goal at school went on to play for Wycombe Wanderers in the Football League and the boy who was n°2 choice played for Northwich Victoria in the UK’s fifth tier so maybe it was a case that I wasn’t that bad after all. The competition was just too good.

Instead, I ended up keeping wicket for a good-quality club cricket size for a few years until I went off on my travels.

But that voyage with the Ukrainians was interesting too. It’s a shame that I can’t tell all of the story.

Monday 29th August 2022 – BEFORE I START …

… crowing about another day where I haven’t crashed out at all (and how many consecutive days is this now?) just let me mention two things –

  1. I didn’t go to bed until 22:25 and I was up at 06:00
  2. There were no fewer than TWELVE entries on the dictaphone during the night. And if that isn’t a recode I don’t know what is

In fact, the longest period during which I wasn’t disturbed was one hour and 22 minutes.

So given the foregoing, I expected to be crashed out on my chair a long time before tea never mind still going strong at this time of evening.

Something else I’ve noticed is that my walking seems to be a little easier and so is my breathing. Only a little, but it’s noticeable. I know that they told me a week or two ago to stop taking one particular medication, but I was feeling quite ill a good while before I started taking it. So it can’t be that.

Nevertheless, it was a struggle to tear myself out of bed when the alarm went off at 06:00 and I really didn’t feel much like doing the radio programme today.

However, despite a couple of interruptions, for coffee and for breakfast, it was all up and running and sounding quite well by 11:10. Mind you, with two tracks less about which to write, it ought to have been finished a while before then.

However I made a total mess of dictating the speech and had to restart not once but twice. And you try saying “The Victor Brox Blues Band” when you’re half asleep

Yes, 2 tracks short today, but when you open with a track that is 21:42 long, it doesn’t leave much time for many others when you only have an hour to do.

There are plenty of short tracks that aren’t being used because with 11 tracks in about 52 minutes, it’s not that easy to fit so many in. One of these days I’ll have to start doing programmes with 13 tracks. That’ll move them on.

While I was listening to that one and the one that I’m sending off for broadcast (I’m several months ahead) I was … errrr … tidying up.

Lazy me hasn’t filed away the post since last October and there’s paperwork and letters all over the bedroom. Having made a start yesterday on tidying the desk, I went through the paperwork that was lying around, sorted it into date order, perforated it all and filed it away in a binder.

There are binders for each year with papers filed in date order, but since everything seems to be digitalised these days I’m doing two years to a binder.

After lunch I had something important to do.

On Friday I ate the last of the fruit buns and so I had to make some more. It took quite a while to make the dough with all of the extras that went into it, and then I divided it up into 10 and made buns, leaving them to proof

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While the buns were busy proofing I went out for my afternoon walk.

And you can tell that the holiday season is now over. The car park was comparatively empty and down on the beach there weren’t all that many people down there at all.

It’s true to say that the weather was quite windy but that wouldn’t be enough to keep the crowds back at home if there were crowds of people and a beach to be on. It certainly kept them out of the sea anyway today.

But I’ve never seen the beach as empty as this on a sunny August day.

people on rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022A little further on along the path I noticed these people scrambling over the rocks.

From up here I had no idea what they were doing, not even with a 300mm telescopic lens. They didn’t look as if they were engaged in the peche à pied because they didn’t seem to have any equipment.

My neighbour couldn’t understand what was happening either. She was slowly ambling along the path so I stopped and we had a good chat for 10 minutes

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m not the sociable type at all, but I have to be friendly with the neighbours. It makes the world go round and makes life here much easier.

scuba divers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Further along the path I noticed some unusual activity just offshore in the bay.

And I’m not talking about the lobster pot buoy either, but the other objects down there in the water.

It didn’t take me long to work out what they were, particularly once they broke surface, because we’ve seen them before. It seems to be where they practice their SCUBA-diving techniques although I couldn’t see a boat anywhere in the vicinity.

So would you call them SCUBA-divers or frogmen? If the latter, I suppose that we’ll have to call them “frogpersons” these days.

And SCUBA? Why, its “Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus” of course.

unidentified aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While I was walking along the path in comparative solitude I noticed an aeroplane out at sea.

Just in case I could identify it, I took a photo to check when I returned home, but it was far too far out at sea for me to read its registration number.

As you might expect, I checked the registers of the local airfields and there were no arrivals or departures that corresponded with the time that the aeroplane flew past

On the path there can’t have been more than a dozen people walking past. It seems that the holiday season has ended here too.

cabanon vauban person pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Not so many people on the car park either. It was almost as if I had the place to myself.

So I pushed on down to the end of the headland to see what was happening here. There was a young woman out by the cabanon vauban who was taking a photograph of themselves but as soon as I arrived she put her ‘phone away.

However I’m not sure why she would want to be down there this afternoon. It wasn’t as if there was anything going on out at sea. There wasn’t a single boat out in the bay that I noticed, and the weather wasn’t all that bad either.

breakdown rue du cap lihou Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Fromthe end of the headland I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland.

It may well have been that there would have been an extra vehicle on the car park but whoever it was didn’t quite make it to the top of the hill. a depanneuse had been sent for and he was busy dragging a car onto the load bed.

And depanneuse is a lovely word. It’s a feminine word and means here in a France a “breakdown truck”. But if you see the word depanneur on a notice in Québec, it doesn’t mean the driver or the male version of a breakdown truck, but it’s actually Québecois for a “corner shop”.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The tide was well out this afternoon so the port was quite dry.

But once again you can tell that the summer season is over. We’ve been used to seeing all of the Ile de Chausey ferries out and about in the afternoon doing all kinds of things to keep themselves busy with the crowds of tourists looking for things to do.

But today, Belle France, the newest one of the three, was parked up at the ferry terminal waiting for the tide. There wasn’t anyone loitering around there with her so it looks as if she’s going to be there for a while.

unloading shellfish drags port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Here was something interesting that I noticed while I was here.

Those down there are the drags for the shellfish trawlers. The are marked, usually with electric welding writing, with the name of the ship to which they belong and they are stored down there.

A lorry-load has just turned up and there’s a forklift truck dropping them off.

The grillage is made to a certain size so that when the drag is dragged along the sea bed, anything undersize slips through the grillage and back onto the sea bed.

Mind you, they still manage to pull up all kinds of interesting things, unexploded World War II munitions included. There are plenty of those about out there.

la soupape trafalgar peccavi trafalgar chant de sirenes hermes I charlevy chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Meanwhile there is much excitement in the chantier naval this afternoon.

Cap Lihou has gone back into the water, what with her brand-new paint job. But La Soupape Trafalgar Peccavi Trafalgar and Chant De Sirenes are still in there too.

However we have a couple of new occupiers in there over at the back. We can see Hermes I quite clearly but hidden behind the portable boat lift is Charlevy.

So things are looking up in the chantier naval and that is good news for all of us.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Not so much though over in the inner harbour.

Almost all of the fixtures and fittings of the Festival of Working Sailing Ships have now gone. It didn’t take them long to remove all of that. The only thing that I can see that still remains is the artificial beach over on the right-hand side.

Something else that has also gone is Marité. And never called me “mother”! She was glued to the harbour for most of the Festival when all of the crowds were about but once the visitors departed she cast off her chains and cleared off.

She left at 09:10 and didn’t return until 20:36 having spent the day having a run-around in the bay.

chausiaise victor hugo arc en ciel massabielle port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Someone else who is back in port after being away for a while is Victor Hugo.

She’s been running around in the Channel Islands and came back into port yesterday evening at 20:57 and tied up next to Chausiaise. She won’t be back out now until Wednesday morning at 09:30.

Meanwhile, several of the trawlers haven’t gone out to sea this morning. We can see Arc en Ciel and Massabielle down there and there are a few more too.

But I didn’t stay around to see them. I came back home for my iced ginger beer.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And having drunk my drink, I brushed the fruit buns with vegan milk and brown sugar and put them in to bake.

And I’m not sure what happened by the bottom of the buns are slightly burnt as if they are overcooked. And I cooked them as I would usually do. So what’s happening there? With my pizza being overcooked too, I wonder if my oven has finally started to do what it is supposed to do.

While they were baking I was transcribing the dictaphone notes. And I’m not convinced that you’ll want to know about them. I was with Rosemary in Canada. We’d been for a walk in this city then she had to go off somewhere so I kept on wandering around. We met up again and ended up right out of town at this park somewhere wandering around the park. I said that I had things to do so I needed to be back in town so I’d leave her there and come back for her at 19:00. I walked back into the city centre and was sitting on a bench catching my breath when another tourist from our group came past – a South-Asian guy. He sat down and was complaining about the distance that he’d walked and how he was going to find someone with a Honda moped. I said that I had one of those back at home (and I do back in Virlet – a Honda Melody actually) which of course was no use here. he was saying that so far he’d walked 12 kilometres. I had a look at my fitbit and found that i’d only done 7 which really surprised me as I thought that I’d done three times that. We carried on talking and a 3rd member of our party, David from my building, turned up and joined in our chat. I said that I was going to go back to pick up Rosemary because I was going to cook a meal. This Indian guy’s eyes lit up. “A meal?” he asked. “I’d have to come to help you do something” but I didn’t like the idea of someone inviting themselves in for one of my meals like this.

I was getting married but at the very last moment the bride pulled out. She didn’t tell me until the very final minute. I had to go round to tell all the guests that the wedding had been cancelled. That’s all that I remember of this. There was an awful lot more to it.

Back at my wedding again and this time I’d married. I was standing on a page about to give a speech when my mother in law turned up with a bunch of flowers and began to chat me up in the middle of all of this crowd of people. I thought that regardless of anything else this was extremely inappropriate, certainly not the time and place to do something like this.

This was another one where I found myself dictating into my hand again. There was some kind of issue with the parking and one of the guys at the wedding stood up and was making a speech about the issue but I can’t remember now what he said because the dream evaporated when I was halfway through it.

This was my parents again at this wedding talking to some other people who were there including some girl who they happened to like and wanted me to marry at one point. I had to hurry up and change ready to go on my holiday. I was chatting to a girl of 12, something like that, and realised that I had to prepare to go on my honeymoon

There was a girl there notoriously flirting around, getting on everyone else’s nerves so she was arrested and found guilty of water-walking, whatever that is, I dunno.

Dick Whittington had been elected in 1066 for each year and protested in favour of more-normal relationships between London and Exeter, Bristol and Manchester.

I’d been out to somewhere near Audlem, some stately home to do something or other. It was early in the morning. When I arrived there was no-one around so I had to wait for someone but they didn’t show up so I was sitting in their library reading books. Then I had to go to work. They told me that it was 07:40 so I’d have to leave. I went down to my car but I wasn’t sure that it would start so I coupled up one of these battery packs to it. That didn’t do anything, the whole car was dead so I disconnected it. There was enough charge in the battery just to turn the engine over sufficiently for it to fire up. I drove off down the long drive. There was a small lorry heading my way something like a Mercedes 508 with a tipper back. The path was extremely narrow so trying to pass was quite difficult. I had to use a paper in front of the car to press down the weeds to find out where the edge of the road was so that I didn’t slip into the ditch at the side. On the way down the drive before that lorry a woman and her friend had been talking. I mentioned something about DVDs. They said that they had plenty ond they would lend me one for the journey back. As I set off to drive they came running out of the barn with these buckets of DVDs. So I tried to stop. There were no brakes so the vehicle rolled on about 10 metres and they had to catch me up. I had a quick glance. There was nothing there that I needed so I set off down the farm track. Turning onto the main road was on a really bad bend. I wished that I had some extra-powerful rear lights so that people coming from a distance away could actually see me coming onto the road. For some unknown reason the Polish guy who worked there hadn’t fitted any. I drove on down there and came to a road junction. There was a guy who pulled up with his car on a piece of wasteland at this road junction and then went running back to the main road waving as if he was trying to flag down a car behind. I asked him if he needed any help but he just ignored me and carried on trying to wave down whatever it was that was coming behind him.

I’d booked a hotel, an expensive hotel but it was at a bucket price at an on-line website place for e47:00. When I had the bill next morning it was for €163:00. I had a look and there were all kinds of optional things that he’d added in to this bill that I hadn’t the remotest interest in paying. There was €43:00 for the privilege of booking a room at Christmas and New Year which I didn’t want. There was £25:00 for the manual finding of the records, all kinds of this. I was flatly refusing to pay this. He told me that it was too late to take them off my credit card but I told him that I wanted it put back on my credit card because I’m not paying it. I went through the bill item by item, crossed off what I didn’t agree with until it came back down to this €47:00 that I’d been promised. He wasn’t going to move an inch and I could see that we were heading for some kind of enormous confrontation.

I was back working for Shearings again, doing a feeder out from the tour interchange to places all round the East Midlands. I set out with a coach and started to climb up through the Pennines. It was a brand new coach full of all mod cons, everything, really nice. We were doing OK. Then I had to come down a hill. While I was driving I was sewing my trousers because I had a tear in them. I was doing that but as we went down this hill I stopped sewing and concentrated. I suddenly found myself in a series of bends that I didn’t recognise at all. An ancient Ford Anglia came the other way that virtually brought me to a stop on one set of bends. When I came round these bends I came to a road sign that said “Windermere”. I thought “where am I going here? I don’t recognise any of this and I shouldn’t be anywhere near Windermere”. I pulled up at the side of the road in a lay-by. All the passengers alighted to stretch their legs. I went to fetch my SatNav. I thought that I’d plug it in and plug in the address of the first drop-off. That way I’ll have the coach take me back to where I want to go. There were all discussions about this coach and all of the luxuries that were fitted to it that we never had when we were driving the old Fords etc. Even so there was still only room for one official passenger which was bound to make life complicated when you had 2 drivers bringing their wives on a Christmas tour.

There were some people in a medival tower being taken to their rooms . Although this was a modern period these people might have been prisoners or something like that being led through the tower. One said to the other “at least it’s not bad. We know that there are people in the adjoining rooms”. One of the people in one of the adjoining rooms was a young girl. They said “goodnight” as they walked past but there was no reply from her room so they were wondering what was going on in there, it was so quiet and she didn’t seem to be about.

And there was more to that than this as well but if you’re eating your tea you really don’t want to hear about it.

Tea was a stuffed pepper as usual and it was one of the best that I’ve ever made. Plenty of stuffing left too so I’ll have a good taco roll tomorrow.

But I have no idea what was going on between 00:30 and 02:01 when I dictated no fewer than SEVEN soundfiles and stepped back into the same dream a total of four times one after the other.

It’s probably the strangest night that I’ve ever had and it’s a shame that none of my regulars were there to share it..

Friday 26th August 2022 – DOESN’T CAP LIHOU

cap lihou chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022… look smart?

One thing about the chantier naval is that they don’t mess about. When they repaint a trawler they slap it on good and thick.

There have been several trawlers that have gone in there looking like drab caterpillars and come out like gorgeous shining butterflies and it looks as if Cap Lihou is going to be the latest in a long line.

It’s a far cry away from how she was looking A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO when they started grinding off the old paintwork

Not quite a far cry away from how I was a couple of weeks ago but how many days now is it that I’ve gone without crashing out?

Having mentioned it now is rather like tempting fate but a run of several days of keeping going is worthy of note all the same.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So while you admire a few photos of the Nazguls that flew by overhead, I’ll tell you about another busy day today.

Once more we started off with a struggle for me to leave my bed just after the alarm went off. I beat the second alarm to my feet although not by much, and then I went off in search of the medication.

Back in here, once I’d gathered my wits (which takes me far longer than it ought, seeing how few I have these days) I had a little listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

As you’ll hear in a moment, I knew that there was some stuff on there because I was awake when I dictated it. But there was some other stuff on there too.

hang gliders pointe de lude Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Someone tried to smuggle a woman onto a camp last night. It was a man probably in his 50s respectably dressed with a top hat, rather like a circus ringmaster trying to bring in a woman. But the people on the camp were discussing the football, how Rhyl had risen from the ashes and made it to the Welsh Cup Final where they’d been playing Newport and had a 1-1 draw at the end of 90 minutes and how we were going to see 30 minutes of extra time, and hats off to rhyl if they manage to pull it off from their position down in the flames a couple of years ago.

And Rhyl have done that too. A few seasons ago the owner closed down the club and abandoned it. A group of fans reformed a shadow club from nothing and with grit and determination, and a series of successive promotions, have now hauled themselves up into the third tier of Welsh football.

Bangor City have done exactly the same thing, by the way and are also in the same third tier league after successive promotions. It’ll be an interesting season with the two of them slugging it out for just the one promotion spot to the second tier

There was then something in the local newspaper about how some newspaper or other was going to take this expensive car for a drive if they could obtain permission from the maid of this particular family.

When the alarm went off, I was likewise in the middle of a dream so I dictated it as soon as I awoke, hence knowing that there was stuff on there. There had been me, a girl and a few other people. She was talking about her past and how at one time she had a menagerie of animals but there were only 2 that she loved. The others she liked but just the 2 that she loved and she only had special hugs off those. She was so disappointed about that that I gave her a hug and said something like “I’m sure that they all liked you”. She replied “yes” but she was talking about something different. But this was a long dream that went on for ages, interrupted by the alarm. As soon as it went off I forgot almostt everything off it.

Once I’d settled down, I made a start on things that needed doing and now all of the entries for when I was on my travels around Leuven ARE ONLINE for you to peruse at your leisure.

There were plenty of interruptions too. Breakfast of course, and Rosemary telephoned me again. She’d forgotten to tell me something yesterday that was quite important so we had another one of our marathon chats and then I had work to do

While I was at it, it reminded me that there was something else that I needed to do. As it doesn’t seem as if I’m going anywhere in the near future and as you lot seem to think that I ought to get out more, I put some steps in motion.

And lunch as well. Mustn’t forget my fruit.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And the afternoon walk, which meant dodging the low-flying Nazguls while I nipped across the car park to have a look at the beach.

The fact that there were plenty of Nazguls out today wil tell you what the weather was like. Clear and quite windy. And that had affected the numbers of people down at the beach.

With the Festival of Working Sailing Ships being a much better attraction, everyone had presumably gone off over there this afternoon leaving just the hard-core sunbathers taking the waters.

And “taking the waters” they were as well by the looks of things.

While I was checking on the beach I was looking around out at sea at the same time.

sailing ship english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There wasn’t anything special in the immediate vicinity but out in the distance in the English Channel behind the Ile de Chausey there was something exciting that looked like a large sailing ship.

With the idea of checking it over when I returned home, I photographed it And having enlarged the photo and enhanced it back here, I’m still none-the-wiser. I’m not even better-informed.

There were dozens of sailing ships of all different sizes out there according to the radar, and amongst them were La Cancalaise and Le Renard, either of whom might fit the bill. You’ll have to make up tour own mind.

It wasn’t just the Nazguls overhead that were taking advantage of the weather up in the air this afternoon.

f-gicp Piper PA-28RT-201T baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022

While I was walking down the path towards the end of the healdand I was overlown by a light aircraft coming from the direction of the airfield.

Her registration number is clearly visible as F-GICP and that tells me that she’s a Piper PA-28RT-201T

It’s one that I can’t recall having seen before. She first appeared on the radar at 09:40 this morning somewhere just to the west of Paris and then disappeared off the radar somewhere between Vire and Villedieu les Poeles

Since then she’s been flying around Western France only being picked up intermittently on radar and as far as I can tell, she hasn’t stayed anywhere for too long. She’s not recorded at the airfield here .

f-guxf F-GUXF - Robin DR 400-120 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Another mystery aeroplane went flying by overhead almost immediately afterwards.

She’s F-GUXF and that information tells me that she’s a Robin DR 400-120. She’s owned by the Aeo Club at Caen and for that reaosn I think that we might have seen her before.

What she’s doing though I can’t say. I now have access to the flight records at Granville, Avranches and Caen and she isn’t featured on any of them and she wasn’t picked up on radar either.

Mind you, according to the list of old German World-War II airfields that I found, there are quite a few around here that even though they might no longer be in use, something could be happening there

group of dancers pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While we’re on the subject of mysteries … “well, one of us is” – ed … what’s happening here is a mystery too.

There are about twelve people and one group leader or monitor, and they are all standing round in a circle whilst the leader demonstrates some kind of dance move that they all repeat. I’m half-expecting them next to all join hands and dance around in a fairy ring.

This is something else that it is better not to know too much about I suppose and is somewhat similar to the Conservative Party annual conference where all of the attendees gather round, hold hands and try to contact the living.

green grass around base of war memorial pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022This though is quite interesting and extremely topical.

We’ve had very little rain for a couple of months and it’s like a desert here. What has fallen has been absorbed straight into the bone-dry soil and you wouldn’t notice it.

Where the rain has fallen on concrete the water has slowly run off and that is why the grass and plants at the very edge of the concrete look so much better – that they have had the benefit of all of the run-off water.

It’s a similar situation in the High Arctic. There’s always a more luxurious plant growth around the bases of big stones.

That’s not simply because of the run-off of water either but also because the birds perch on the rocks and their droppings are washed off in the rainwater so it’s extremely nutritious for a plant.

fishermen pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There were quite a few people loitering around on the car park so I had to fight my way through to the end of the headland.

And having a look down onto the rocks there was just one fisherman today. However he must have seen me coming because as soon as I arrived he picked up his equipment and began to move away.

It’s the same kind of effect that I seem to have on most people. As soon as they see me coming they pack up and clear off rather smartish-like.

Maybe I should change my deodorant.

cabanon vauban people leaving pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And I’m not joking either.

There were also a few people sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban but as soon as they saw me coming they cleared off too and headed for the hills.

Mind you I don’t know what they were doing down there because there was absolutely nothing to see out at sea today.

There was someone next to me showing off to his friends pointing out the sights, telling people that Cancale was St Malo and stuff like that. I was half-inclined to correct him but I didn’t want to start a fight.

vapour trail pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And so instead I cleared off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

It was a really strange day today though. Plenty of wind down below but up in the upper atmosphere ther emust have been no wind whatsoever. Just look at this beautiful vapour trail left behind by a high-flying jet airliner.

Uusually there are some very strong air currents up there and vapour trails don’t usually last long before they are shredded by the wind. But this one was there for ages and was one of the most beautiful that I have seen.

painters boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022This wasn’t anywhere like so beautiful.

At the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval we had a group of artists painting the scene. One of them – she on the far right, had set up her chair right in the middle of the path completely blocking it and the only way round was to walk on the lawn.

When I reached there I asked “is it OK to pass?” because her tutor was blocking the rest of the way round. “Ohh there’s plenty of room” she replied.

With youths and kids there’s a certain level of incivility because of poor – or even absent – parenting but there is really no excuse whatsoever for incivility from people of my age

festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Before I went back home I had a look down at the Festival to see how things were doing.

Marité wasn’t there. She was out at the Ile de Chausey. But the crowds were. They were having a right old time down there. You might say that this Festival is a success.

Back here I finished off the chocolate milk and finished off the blog entries from my leuven trip.

Tea was a quick tea of sausage, beans and chips (done to perfection in the air fryer) because there was football on the internet, Y Bala v Y Drenewydd.

Both teams qualified for Europe last season but so far they have been well off the pace. Y Drenewydd played really well up until the final 10 yards in front of goal where they just couldn’t find the killer touch. I felt sorry for Louis Robles who is supposed to be a striker but spent most of the time out on the wing going to collect the ball.

Y Bala weren’t any better but the contrast was that they had the killer touch and a 3-0 victory for them was a great exaggeration. Still, that’s what counts in the end – getting the ball into the net.

Having said that though, there’s obviously a new definition this season as to what is and what isn’t a foul. From wat I saw, a blatant push in the back is considered to be fair game. If I’d seen it missed once I’d have shrugged it off but to see it four or five times, including in the build-up to two of the goals, makes me wonder what is going on.

So now I’m off to bed. A good night I hope, and then a shopping trip in the morning. I’m not expecting to go another day without crashing out but I’ll do my best. I have plenty of stuff to do anyway and just because I’ve dealy with one lot of arrears doesn’t mean that I can relax.

There are still another 99 to go.

Thursday 25th August 2022 – I HAVE BEEN …

… out and about this afternoon, just for a change. And the days when my whole existence can be uplifted into headline news because I’ve actually been into the town centre shows you what’s going on in my life right now.

With a cheque to pay in, some magnesium tablets to buy and a load of ships in port, it seemed like a good plan.

Yesterday’s highlight, which I didn’t mention for fear of overwhelming you all with excitement, was going to the bins to take out the rubbish. It needed something really riveting to surpass that, didn’t it?

Only a few minutes late going to bed, and for a change I had a reasonable night. Mind you, once again it was a struggle to my feet this morning.

After the meds I attacked the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. A bill came through for £170 and I wanted to pay it so I took my credit card and rang up the people concerned ready to pay it over the phone. After being shunted around half a dozen departments I was told that there was another procedure to follow. They explained the procedure to me which I didn’t quite understand but I had a go and the payment failed. I rang them back to explain to them. They explained another procedure which again failed. I was there for about three days trying to speak to all kinds of different people. Eventually they said that they had taken the payment with the credit card over the phone. I asked for confirmation so they put me through to the accounts department to make sure. When I spoke to her and told her about this she replied “you have to pay it”. I retorted “I’ve just paid it”. She asked “have you?” in an air of totally disbelieving tone. I replied “yes” so she said that I’d have to speak to someone in Accounts. I said “I just have done. It was they who just passed me through to you”. I had a feeling that with this money we were just going to be going round and round in a circle and end up nowhere at all. This was taking place while I was in the hospital. I had people in the ward with me so it was really extremely uncomfortable as well.

Afterwards I was in bed but awoke to hear some laughing. The ‘phone went and I couldn’t hear one side of the conversation but the other one was something like “yes, we’re all up and preparing to leave but Eric is still in bed”. I stood up quickly, grabbed my clothes, all my money fell out of my jeans, put on my clothes, kept on having my feet stuck in the legs of my trousers, generally trying to organise myself quickly because they’ll be taking down this tent in a minute. It seemed to me that the quicker I tried to do things, the longer it was actually taking me. I thought that I’d never have enough time to do this and collect my things together before they wanted to pull down this tent.

There was an interruption though in mid-transcribe, and an embarrassing interruption at that.

Yesterday with not feeling so bright and being rather tired, I hadn’t tidied anything up and the place was looking like a total tip. And, of course, I’d completely forgotten about the nurse. She turned up to find me in total chaos and not as clean as I would otherwise have liked the place to have been.

She struggled to find a clean and clear place to put the paper while she wrote out her notes and while she’s a cheerful sort, she clearly wasn’t happy.

All in all, it was rather an shameful situation.

It’s not going to improve very much either because the next time that she’ll be coming to inject me is in 10 days time on a Sunday morning and you all know what I’m like early on a Sunday morning.

After she left I carried on transcribing the notes and almost as soon as I’d finished, Rosemary called me. I’m convinced that when she was here she must have concealed a camera somewhere because she seems to know the precise moment to phone me.

When Rosemary and I finished our chat I started on what was left of the dictaphone notes from my trip around Central Europe and in a mad fit of enthusiasm and energy (don’t ask me where that came from)I completed them all. So that’s another good job completed.

In fact, it took me longer than I was expecting the pause for my lunchtime fruit notwithstanding.

fish processing plant festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Because of the position of the tide, I wanted to go out for my walk earlier than usual this afternoon.

As usual when I’m heading into town my point of reference for checking the camera is the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

There wasn’t anyone down there at the Fish Processing Plant this afternoon. Gerlean who sometimes ties up there was in the inner harbour and I couldn’t see L’Omerta, the other boat that loiters around there usually.

Plenty of boxes on the quayside though so they must be expecting a load of traffic.

sailing boats rowing boat festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022In fact you can see Gerlean down there right now tied up to a pontoon.

What you can’t see though is Victor Hugo. Gone! And never called me “mother”!

Believe it or not, I can tell you exactly where she ought to be right now without even looking at the radar. She should be back at her berth. She left home at 09:30 for Jersey and left there at 18:30 to return home.

It reminds me of Frankie Howerd when during one of his TV programmes he turned to the audience and asked “how do I know? Well, I have read the script”

While I was over there I picked up a timetable from the ferry terminal so I now know her agenda. It’s all bad news as far as I can see because the season of sailings is so intermittent that there’s no possibility of my going over there for a convenient three-or four-day break as I was hoping.

Going down all of the steps to the Rue du Port was mush more difficult than I imagined. I’m definitely losing my mobility. I then crossed the road and went over along the side of the Fish Processing Plant towards the harbour gates.

la granvillaise marie fernand grain de sail le loup rouge festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The boat that we haven’t seen before on the extreme right is called Le Loup Rouge. She was built in 1962 and has a very interesting history as she was designed by John Illingworth and Angus Primrose as a racing yacht.

She actually won the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s championship that year. Now though, she lives a more sedate life in Cherbourg just going to regattas and exhibitions.

Of course, over there we have on the extreme left La Granvillaise and next to her is Marie Fernand. We are, for the moment anyway, much more interested in the other boat, Grain de Sail

grain de sail festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travailport de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Her claim to fame is that she’s a commercial sailing boat that is powered (almost) exclusively by wind. There’s a small diesel engine on board but that’s just for manoeuvring, so we are told.

But while a uniquely wind-powered boat is nothing unusual, what is unusual about her is that she has a carrying capacity of 50 tonnes and twice a year goes over on a triangular voyage from Europe to New York with local French produce for the American market, and then down to the Caribbean and finally back to Europe.

Not that two voyages per year of 50 tonnes is going to contribute much to the environment, but it’s all to prove a point. And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, when I lived in the Auvergne I did much more than that and for a much longer period to prove a point.

le roc a la mauve 3 festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022My was timed to perfection as the harbour gates were closed so I could walk over the top to the other side.

As I did so, the first of the shell-fishing boats came in to unload at the fish processing plant. This one is Le Roc à la Mauve whom we saw for a lengthy period in the chantier naval.

Towing her little lighter behind her, she chugged into port with a respectable load of shellfish on board. The guy back there at the HIAB was repositioning the boxes, presumably for ease of unloading.

That’s not the kind of thing that you would do out in the open sea. There have been maritime disasters too numerous to mention where the load in a boat has suddenly shifted or been shifted and caused the boat to capsize with all hands. There was one like that in North Wales not so long ago.

grain de sail festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Once I was on the other side of the harbour I went down to Grain de Sail.

There was a member of the crew on board so I button-holed him. His ship is only a four-berth and as it needs four hands to sail it, it doesn’t take passengers on its transatlantic jaunts.
“What about if you only have three crew members and are in need of a fourth?”
“Do you have a “Marine Marchand” – a Merchant Navy certificate?”
“Regrettably not”
“Then I’m afraid that you wouldn’t be considered.”

And so that was that. At least I tried

Instead I admired the arrays of solar panels and the two wind turbines. They also have some hydro-generators too but I bet that they slow down the boat.

Next stop was the ferry terminal where I picked up a brochure for Victor Hugo. And my enquiries told me that Ukrainian refugees going for a day out to Jersey need a UK visa all the same.

kiddies pirate ship festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022With things to do in the town I headed that way along the side of the quay.

One thing that I like about France is that they are much more child-friendly than the UK and so I was expecting to see much more for the kids than you would see at a festival across the channel.

And I wasn’t wrong either. You can’t have a Festival of sailing ships without having a pirate ship, complete with pirates and buccaneers to chase the kids and press-gang them into service on board.

Even STRAWBERRY MOOSE has experienced life as an active buccaneer, as regular readers of this rubbish WILL RECALL

In fact, looking for that photo made me all nostalgic. That was an excellent road trip, one of the very best, when I started off in the far north of Labrador and three weeks later I was at Rhys’s in South Carolina.

Housman summed it up completely with his
” That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

kiddies pirate ship festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Meanwhile, retournons à nos moutons as they say around here.

The buccaneers have now rounded up a crowd of apprentice pirates and one of them is giving them all a lecture on what is expected of them when they serve aboard the Good Ship Glug Glug.

Actually she should have been called The Jolly Roger but the pirate captain’s wife fell off the quayside as she swung the bottle of champers

Anyway, everyone was having a whale of a time (seeing as we are discussing nautical terms) and I left them to it, crossing the ad-hoc bridge over the artificial beach.

film screen festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Yesterday I thought that I saw a puss .. errr … a TV screen down on the harbour so I went for a closer look seeing as I was here.

It was in fact a screen showing a series of cartoons for children explaining in simple terms all about life at sea. It’s nice to see the kids having a fair whack at the festival.

From there I wandered into town to pay my quarterly pension cheque into my bank account. Now where can I go with €142:60? Spend! Spend! Spend! Hey?

At the chemist’s I bought the magnesium tablets. Extra-strong. According to my friend the pharmacist these will give me a donner un coup de fouet – liven me up.

She might actually have a point there. Thinking about it, I started going downhill when I finished the last lot, went without for a week or 10 days and then had that big box of German ones.

marité festival of working sailing ships fete des voiliers du travail port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That was it. I could go home now.

The walk back up the hill wasn’t as difficult as I was expecting. I still had to stop a couple of times for breath, at one point where I could overlook the port and see what was happening.

Marité was there of course, one of the centres of attention. But you can see just how busy the Festival is. And it will be like that until Sunday now, I reckon. It’s a good way to finish the summer season I suppose, even if the roads and the car parks will be crowded.

So having gathered my wits, I pushed on further up the hill towards home.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, I wanted to see what was happening on the beach, although I don’t know why because I checked the camera on the way out.

The weather was much nicer today although maybe a little cooler. But the absence of people on the beach can probably be explained by the crowds of people down in the town and at the Festival.

Back here I had a surprise. There’s an undercurrent of dissent about the way the building is managed and two or three people are trying to stir up a revolution. They had pushed a letter into my letterbox

As I’m a tenant and not an owner, it doesn’t really concern me so I wrote a quick note on the back of the letter and put it in the letter box of the building’s President.

During this argument I’m taking no sides but I’m keeping in with the President. She’s the one who has my best chance of coming up the quickest with news of an apartment here to sell that I could buy.

The idea behind renting this place was because it would give me chance to look around and see what else was available. But there is no place on earth better than here so I’m staying here and renting rather than buying somewhere less good.

One day an apartment will come up here.

The walk was such that an iced chocolate drink went down well and then I began to update one or two of the blog entries with the dictaphone notes and images.

After a chat on the ‘phone with the President about my note

Tea tonight (at the usual, correct time) was pie with potatoes, veg and gravy. It’s one of my favourite meals and this one was just as nice as ever. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … my meals are simple but they aren’t half tasty.

It’s been a surprising day today – I’ve walked quite a way, not crashed out, done a lot of work. I wonder if I can keep this up. It’s not like me to have a day like this so I’m glad that I made the most of it.

Ready for the (af)fray tomorrow, I hope.

Friday 19th August 2022 – JUST FOR A …

… change, I’ve had a good day today.

Here in the apartment I can’t move because of carboard boxes too. And printers. There are two of them that are destined for that great office in the sky once it goes dark.

What I’ve actually done is to strip out the cupboard and wardrobe in the bedroom. Apart from finding all kinds of stuff that I didn’t know that I had or forgotten that I’d bought, I found a big pile of cardboard boxes that I had no idea why I was keeping them.

They are all now piled up by the door waiting for dark as well, always assuming that I can leave the apartment because of the cardboard boxes in the way of the door.

In fact I had a good couple of hours in the cupboard stripping it out without even stopping to catch my breath. And now, there’s tons of storage space that I’ve liberated. I shan’t know myself at this rate.

As well as that, over the last couple of days I’ve been walking a little easier too and it was better again today, although I’ve no idea why that should be. But whatever it is, all of the foregoing has made me feel much better.

And it’s been a long, long time since I’ve been able to say all that.

It will be interesting if this new, improved me can keep on going and keep the momentum. We all know some very well-worn phrases about swallows and summers but there’s absolutely no reason why I can’t make the most of it while it’s there to be made the most of.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So while you admire a couple of photos of the two Joly France ferries coming back from the island in line-astern, I’ll tell you how my day went today.

And as usual these days, it started off with a late night. I’m having a few of those just now.

A turbulent night as well. I didn’t sleep very well at all. Tossing and turning around for much of it, wide awake, something of a failure as far as I can see.

Consequently it was something of quite a struggle to rouse myself from the depths of wherever I was when the alarm went off. I’m having more than just a few of those as well just recently too.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022after the medication I came here to have a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

To my surprise, I hadn’t gone very far. I had a group of people around, a couple of girls whom I knew and one or two others. I was sorting out something to eat. There was a bag full of cooked sausages so I put some plates out and started to put these sausages on the plates for these people. Gradually everyone came in and began to sit down. One of the girls piped up and said ‘now Eric what about our ski holiday?”. I simply had a flash of horror because it was now 20:30 and we had a plane to board at 22:00 to take us to our ski holiday. It had completely and utterly slipped my mind. Of course it seemed to have slipped everyone else’s mind too who was going except this girl who had left it until the last minute to remind me. I sat there totally lost for words which is not like me trying to think of what to say while everyone else sat there and waited for some kind of reply from me but I really didn’t know what to say about that.

It must have been a bad night if I’d only gone off for a wander once despite spending most of the night tossing any turning around like that.

But it’s an ill-wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good, so the saying goes. Having typed that out fairly quickly, in a mad fit of enthusiasm I dealt with (a mountain of) recordings from one of the days when I was out and about in Central Europe. And I bet that that took you by surprise as much as it took me.

Had I not had an interruption in mid-transcribe, I could have done far more too. However Rosemary rang me up and we had another one of our marathon chats that go on for hours and hours.

It’s almost back-to-school time and some arrangement ought to be made for Miss Ukraine to be educated. Whether or not she’ll benefit academically is one thing, but she’ll certainly benefit from having some social contact with local kids of her age.

And now that she’s a teenager I’m sure that the question of “boys” will be somewhere on the agenda at some point in the near future and she isn’t going to meet too many where she is.

Her parents don’t have a clue about what to do and neither does Rosemary so we spent some time surfing the internet looking for clues, as well as having one of our usual chats.

It was after the phone call and having finished the notes that I was transcribing that I attacked the cupboard in here.

It’s not very well-laid out so it’s always going to be problematic but I’ve been stuffing things in there for a little over 5 years without much thought. And I’ve no idea why I have so many empty boxes.

But now they are ready to go along with a lot of other old stuff (yes, I’m ACTUALLY throwing stuff away) and there’s now quite a lot of room to bring yet more rubbish into the apartment. This is progress.

With a break for my fruit and to chat with my niece’s eldest daughter on the internet (it’s her birthday today) all of this took me up to the time for me to go for my afternoon walk.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And as usual, my first stop would be at the wall at the end of the car park to see what was going on down on the beach.

With nothing to hold me up on my way across the car park I strode out (for the first time for months). I wasn’t expecting to see too many people down there on the beach because the weather has changed dramatically.

The temperature must have dropped about 20°C since those heady days of 10 days ago and although we had some blue sky, we also had plenty of cloud and wind.

There wasn’t anyone at all in the water and that’s no surprise at all to anyone in this weather

dry footpath pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022During the morning we had had some rain, and with the rain that we had had overnight, it’s done wonders for the local plant life.

Although the path is still quite dusty, the vegetation is starting to regain its colour. We saw yesterday how the weeds had picked up after those two quick showers but if you look closely today at a photo that I took from roughly the same place as the others, you’ll see that the grass is now starting to find its colour.

It’s pretty good how quickly nature can revitalise itself after such a period of stress. Give it a few hundred thousand years after humans have been eradicated from the planet and we’ll see Mother Nature in all her glory.

Well, we won’t, because we won’t be here. But you know what I mean. But it’s not just in the nineteen-seventies that humans have “Mother Nature on the run”.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Just now we saw the older of the two Joly France boats coming across the bay from the Ile de Chausey.

Shortly afterwards we had another boat come around the headland heading out into the bay. At first I thought that it might be Lysandre or her look-alike Petite Laura so I took a photo with the aim of enhancing and enlarging it when I returned home to see who it was.

However, it’s neither of the two. It looks like some kind of unusual design of cabin cruiser that has taken to the water.

So leaving that alone I fought my way through the crowds to the end of the headland. It was busy up here today yet again as holidaymakers look around for something to do.

lobster pot buoys pointe de roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022When I was out here yesterday I forgot to check to see if the buoy for what I preusme to be a lobster pot was still out here just offshore.

So either it’s the same one that I hadn’t noticed yesterday or else it’s an entirely new one that has appeared offshore today. And it seems to have found a friend too.

Not that I would know anything about it but I would imagine that the fact that the flags on the buoys are different colours, they belong to different owners. But I really have no idea. I know that I would want my flags to be different from any other.

There wasn’t anyone on the bench by the cabanon vauban so I cleared off down the path towards the port.

le roc a la mauve III belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There was no change in occupant yet again at the chantier naval so I had a look over at the ferry terminal to see what was going on.

Moored over there at the head of the queue is Belle France. We didn’t see her out and about this afternoon but that is not of course to say that she hasn’t gone anywhere.

My attention was also caught by the fishing boat down there with the impressive-looking HIAB on board. She’s le Roc à la Mauve III who we saw in the chantier naval for a while a couple of months ago.

With a crane like that on board they must be expecting to haul in a whole load of shellfish.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Meanwhile, as I was watching Belle France, the first of the Joly France ferries that we saw earlier pulled into port.

She is of course the older one of the two. That you can tell from her windows in “landscape” format and the larger upper deck superstructure. She has quite a crowd of people on board this afternoon. It must have been quite busy over there today.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day I mentioned something about the water over on the island. There was something about that in the local paper yesterday.

Scooped them again, didn’t I? I wonder if they are actually reading my notes.

plant with flowers boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As I walked down the path on top of the cliffs overlooking the harbour I had a look at the lawn by the Boulevard Vaufleury.

A little while ago I mentioned the grass and how quickly it seems to be regenerating. But nothing like as quickly as this here.

This plant has not only recovered its green colour but pushed out some flowers since I was last here. That’s quite dramatic. Mind you, whatever would my friends make of me taking photographs of flowers?

IT HAS BEEN SAID in the past that the only time I would ever take a photo of a flower would be if there were an old car parked upon it.

While I was musing over this, the other Joly France ferry pulled around the headland and you saw a photo of that just now.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Before going home to carry on, I went to have a look in the inner harbour.

Victor Hugo has gone out again but back in port is Chausiaise after her run out to St Helier. She docked at 21:04 last night.

Back here I had a coffee and sat down for a while. And regrettably I … errr … disappeared with the fairies. Only for about 15 minutes or so but even so it was something of a disappointment after what else had been happening.

Tea tonight was falafel with steamed veg and vegan cheese sauce. Delicious as usual. At least I’m slowly making some room in the freezer but there is still plenty more to go at in there that needs finishing off.

And while we’re on the subject of cold storage … “well one of us is” – ed … it IS nice to be able to open the fridge door without the fear of being buried under a pile of bottles.

So how long will that last?

Anyway I’ll try one more time for an early night. Shopping tomorrow although I don’t need all that much. And we’ll see how long this mad fit of enthusiasm lasts. If it keeps up, I shan’t know myself but not even I am that optimistic.

Monday 8th August 2022 – EVEN THOUGH I WENT …

… to bed fairly early last night, the 06:00 start didn’t do me much good and round about 12:45 while I was thinking about lunchtime, I ended up going away with the fairies.

And not just for five minutes either. When the alarm went off at 14:45 to remind me about my physiotherapy appointment (that I’m not restarting until next week) I was only just about tucking into my lunchtime fruit.

That was a period that I would like very much to forget.

When the alarm did go off at 06:00 I was out of bed quite quickly for my medication etc and round about 06:30 I was beginning to attack the radio programme.

There were a couple of new groups and artistes making their debuts so I had to carry out some research rather than just extracting information from my notes, and then I had to find about 11 seconds of speech to edit out when it came to adding the final track as it over-run.

As a result, it wasn’t finished until about 11:20 but it does all sound very good and, as usual, I learnt a lot.

That was the cue to go for breakfast, much later than usual, and Rosemary mistimed her ‘phone call because I hadn’t quite finished my toast when she rang up. We ended up chatting for about 45 minutes during which I told her about my vicissitudes at the hospital on Thursday.

It was shortly after the end of my phone call with Rosemary when I crashed out.

After lunch I made a start on transcribing the dictaphone notes but stopped half-way through because it was time for me to go on my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, the first place to go was to go and see what was happening down on the beach.

Consequently I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end of the car park where I can look over and down onto the beach.

As it was a lovely day, I was expecting to see crowds of people down there this afternoon and I wasn’t disappointed either. There were plenty of people disporting themselves on the rocks and many of them had actually gone into the sea.

It must have been really nice down there this afternoon and what wouldn’t I have given to be down there with them?

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, while I was looking around down on the beach I was also having a look around out at sea too.

Away out in Granville Bay almost in the English Channel (you can see the channel marker over to the right) was a beautiful set of sails, the topsail of which was bellying out in the wind.

No prizes for guessing who it was, although I had to wait until I returned home to enlarge and enhance the image to make certain.

It is indeed our old friend Marité who has gone out for a sail around the bay with a bunch of passengers. At least, that’s why I imagine that she’s gone out there.

belle france joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There was even more activity out at sea too.

As I watched the action in the bay we almost ended up with another one of Tom Rolt’s “Greek v Greek” moments. There was a ferry on its way back from the Ile de Chausey and another one going out from the mainland and it looked at first as if they were on a collision course.

The one of the left heading out to the island is the very new Belle France and the one coming in on the right from the island is one of the Joly France boats.

They didn’t stay on the collision course for long though so I was cheated out of some free entertainment. Belle France did a little bit of the old “left hand down a bit” and they passed each other to starboard.

flying a kite pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022From my vantage point at the back of the College Malraux where I’d been observing the nautical goings-on, I headed off down the path towards the end of the headland.

On the lawn half-way down the path there was a father and his little child having endless amounts of fun with a balloon. Unfortunately he couldn’t keep it up for all that long and it soon came crashing down to the ground.

But just look at the vegetation. It really is in a right state, isn’t it? All burnt to a rather delicate shade of light brown with just the odd patch of green weed that still seems to be thriving.

And the path is like an Oklahoma Dust Bowl from the 1930s and with the wind, there’s quite a bit of dust being blown about.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Acros the car park I walked down to the end of the headland to see what was happening out at sea in the bay.

There was plenty of activity out there this afternoon but I was much more interested in the ferry that we had seen a little earlier that was now just sailing around the headland towards the port.

From this position it’s easy to see which one of the ferries she it. With the step taken out of the stern and the windows in “portrait” format, we can tell that she’s the newer one of the two.

Strangely, there was no-one on the bench by the cabanon vauban watching the fun, and no-one fishing off the rocks either, so I pushed on down the path on the other side of the headland towards point.

ch764626 chant des sirenes ch 730708 la soupape I ch898472 cap lihou chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There has been some activity in the chantier naval while I was away in Leuven.

Chant des Sirenes and her painted mermaid are still in there, but I can’t remember who was there with her before I went away. Anyway, in there today with her is La Soupape I and over on the extreme right by the portable boat lift is Cap Lihou.

There’s a trawler in between Chant des Sirenes and La Soupape I but I can’t identify her from this position.

L’Omerta was still there moored up by the Fish Processing Plant but she was on her own.

men working on crane chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022They were having fun with one of the cranes in the inner harbour this afternoon.

That’s the one that they renovated a couple of months ago as you can tell by its new fresh paintwork but now someone is busy presumably checking over the hydraulics.

Chausiaise is over there too moored up close to the crane but the two Channel Island ferries are missing.

Back here I finished off the banana drink that I’d brought back from Leuven and then finished off the dictaphone notes from last night. I started out at school, sitting in a lesson writing notes into a notebook. On the cover of this notebook I had a drawing and the name of The Farmer’s Daughter (who has appeared a few times in the past in my nocturnal rambles but was only there last night in spirit) who went to this school and on whom I had quite a crush. When the lesson finished I put my notebook in the desk. Of course it happened to be hers. We all filed out of the classroom and I didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t until a couple of lessons later when one of the teachers asked me for a piece of work and I realised that it was in the notebook that was in The Farmer’s Daughter’s desk. He wanted it straight away so I had to go to her classroom. It was being used by another group. My brother was there along with a load of other people whom I knew so I had to interrupt the lesson to ask if I could collect something out of one of the desks. All the desks had been pushed over to the back wall to make a large empty space in the middle. I didn’t have a clue whose desk was whose and what and where. I had a look in them all as best as I could but I couldn’t find this notebook. I wasn’t even sure that I’d looked in them all. I did everything that I possibly could but in the end I had to admit defeat. I thanked the teacher and the class for their time and made my way out to go. They had all piles of magazines etc stacked up ready to be distributed amongst the students etc. Everything was in a real mess. There was no way that I could find this desk with this notebook in it so I was wondering what was going to happen next.

As it happens, I did have quite a crush on her at school although that didn’t go anywhere. However we did meet up in Manchester once or twice when I was living there and we saw each other once or twice.

Later on Nerina and I had separated and I was left with a pile of cars. I had the red MkV estate, the brown MkIII saloon and a couple of other estates. I decided that what I was going to do was to trim down the fleet and dispose of a couple of estates. I was putting a couple of ads in the newspapers. I’d written the ads but I hadn’t sent them off yet and I hadn’t decided which of the estates I was going to sell. I was obviously going to keep the red one but I didn’t know about the others. Then I was thinking that at the moment I don’t have a car on the road. There was no reason why the MkIII can’t be on the road because that’s MoT’d but it’s not taxed and I could afford to pay the road tax for once so I may as well tax it and have that going. While I was debating this my brother came along and asked me what I was doing. I said that I was contemplating the ceiling. He said “besides that”. I said that I was getting ready – I was going to – I was at work. He said “that’s not what I mean at all”. I replied “that’s all that I’m doing at the moment. I’m not doing anything else. It’s not the Spring or Summer so i’m not working on any cars. I’d leave it until then to put something else on the road running”. The chat with my brother turned in to be something rather acrimonious.

For some reason I was looking at fishing rods. I still had my fishing rod from when I was a kid but it was falling to pieces. I was looking in the window at various fishing rods. There was a young boy standing there looking who came over to talk to me. While I was looking at some that were in the region of £70-£80 he was just looking at any old one. I found out that he had never been fishing before and wanted to have a go. In the end he came into one of the shops with me and we had a talk to the woman behind the counter. I introduced her to him and he explained that he wanted to go fishing. She took him off to have a go with a few things while I listened to the radio about a few few fishing programmes. She came back with him picking a fishing rod at £5:95 but it needs some line and a few other bits and pieces. I said “that sounds good to me. Make sure that he has everything”. Then we started talking about what I really wanted. I explained that I wanted something good that would work under ice as well.

Like most kids, I had some fishing tackle that my grandfather gave me but I only went out about three or four times and just like the fishermen around here, I never actually caught anything. It was like watching paint dry.

Finally there was some woman whom I wanted to see, something to do with the radio. When I found out where she lived I went round to see her. She had some kind of security guy on the door who refused to let me in on the grounds that she was working. I suggested that maybe the 2 of us could do our work together and that way I could talk to her while she was working and neither of us would be wasting any time.

Having had a search around in that old-time radio site that I mentioned the other day, I came across some more ITMA, some “Much Binding In The Marsh”, some PG Wodehouse and some more Clitheroe Kid that I’ve not found elsewhere so I’ve been downloading that.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper which was delicious and now that I’ve finished my notes, I’m off to bed for an early night. I’m exhausted and a good sleep will do me the world of good. I bet that I’ll still fall asleep at some point tomorrow

Thursday 4th August 2022 – I’VE DONE SOMETHING ELSE …

… today that I also vowed that I would never do. But once again, needs must when the devil drives and once again, it’s a sign of how far down the slippery slope I’ve slid just recently.

Not only did I take the bus to the hospital this morning, I took the bus back home again as well. And that’s probably more dismal than going in Caliburn to the railway station.

Last night was quite a bad night yet again with plenty of tossing and turning, and I was wide awake long before the alarm went off. But somehow I managed to go back to sleep so that the alarm awoke me with a resounding crash.

After a shower and a clothes-washing session I went in search of a toaster which one of the staff managed to track down for me so that I could have some toast for breakfast, and then I spent a little 20 minutes or so choosing some music for a future radio programme.

roadworks herestraat Leuven Belgium Eric Hall photo August 2022The bus journey was quite uncomplicated. It was, for a change, on time and it had me at the hospital quite early.

When I alighted I went over to the corner of the street to see how they were doing with the roadworks that we noticed the last time that we were here.

Now they seem to have dug up one of the carriageways as well as half of the car park. Presumably it’s to replace all of the drains, continuing the work that did lower down the street that kept us entertained for a couple of years just now.

It’s one of those things that we’ll have to continue to watch, I suppose.

Arriving early at the hospital was just as well because I had to track down my new social worker who replaced the lovely Kaatje. My medical insurance agreement expired at the end of April so the hospital sent me a bill for May’s treatment. Kaatje usually sent off the billing request to my insurance people automatically so I had to go and chivvy up the new woman.

As expected, the urologist couldn’t find anything wrong with me and suggested that I see the pneumologist. And at this I exploded because as I expected back in April, they are just sending me round in a circle. And I told the doctor what I thought of the situation.

He went to fetch his professor and I told him too in greater detail. I finished my monologue by saying that I felt that I was no longer a patient but now a statistic and that was a barb that struck home.

My examination with the cardiologist went the same way. It started off rather strangely with me wondering how they can correctly check the operation of my heart when they have a young student nurse in a low-cut overall with no tee-shirt underneath clamering all over me to connect me to her machine.

But the professor who saw me felt the lash of my tongue and the cutting edge of my wrath as well and so both he and his colleague in urology now know exactly how I feel.

Not that it did any good because a short while later I was paged to go and have some more tests at Pneumonology – the same tests that I’d had last October and on looking at the screen while the tests were ongoing, I could see that the results were exactly the same. So that was a waste of time.

At Oncology I had what at fist glance might be good news. This last batch of treatment seems to have worked as three months without it has cause a drop in my red blood count of just 0.2. And so they are going to try me for another three months without any tratment.

Ordinarily this would mean that I would be on the next plane to Montreal but the state that I’m in at the moment I can’t even go down to the end of the street.And three months before they even think about doing something else about my breathing issues means a whole waste of of a summer. I can’t see me struggling anywhere on foot dragging a suitcase behind me right now.

Cursing my luck I went to the pharmacy for my medication, only to find that they are closed. Consequently I caught the bus back to the station, did a little shopping and came home.

For 10 minutes or so I crashed out but a phone call awakened me, and then Alison came to pick me up. We had a nice meal and I had a nice cuddle of a cat while I regaled Alison with all of my woes from today at the hospital.

Back here at some point I found time to listen to the dictaphone I was trying to get hold of my friend in the USA. I’d sent him some stuff for him to dictate back to me so that I could type it out. He’d been scrabbling around for further information so I asked Rosemary about it. In the meantime somehow my friend had gone offline so seeing that I’d sent Rosemary some information to check I asked her if she’d dictate it to me. For some unknown reason she couldn’t understand what I was trying to do. It started off being a series of questions. She asked me the questions and was waiting for me to asnwer. I said “no, just read everything out slowly so that I can write it down and then I’ll give you the answers”. It went on like that and was extremely difficult to explain to exactly what it was that she was needing to do for me. Sometime in the conversation it came up that it was only 5 weeks before she was due to go off on holiday somewhere. She was worried about the Ukrainians being on their own. I was thinking of saying something to the effect that if she would like me to come down and stay at her place while she was gone so that the Ukrainians would still have some kind of point of contact but I never really got that far.

Later on my mother was taxi-driving in a Ford Granada. We were at home and my brother answered it. She said that she wanted him to go and do a taxi job later. He said “no, ask Eric” and hung up which I thought was strange because the job was to Manchester. I wasn’t a big fan of going to the airport – I didn’t fancy going all that much because it’s years since I’ve been and I don’t know the arrangements these days. I didn’t say anything. When my mother came home she was talking about a couple of the jobs that she’d done, how she’d had to drive someone into Acton and someone who had come running out of the church had seen her and had her take them to the police station at Nantwich and had had some fun rooting around for some money for change. I ashed “did you ask if they had any coppers at the police station?”. She was talking about a girl who was going to convert to Catholic and going up to see a priest in Oldham. I asked if this was what this job to Manchester was about. She replied “yes” so I said that if it’s a job to Oldham i’d quite happliy go to do it. It’s years since I’ve been to Oldham. I was thinking that I’d been somewhere round the east of Manchester just recently and a run-out to Oldham would be quite nice. I could go in one of the older cars that I happened to like. That was basically what I said but she didn’t actually say whether she wanted me to do it or not so I didn’t know where I stood about it.

Apart from the fact that my mother couldn’t drive a car, never mind drive a taxi, I’m impressed that I’m able to tell jokes in the middle of my dreams.

Ingrid and Clotilde were around in a village that might possibly have been Audlem. They were talking about art and about students who had been to help with excavations. Clotilde was saying how the students would usually disappear at about 15:30 or 15:45 and you would never see them again after that until the next day. They had no interest at all in staying until closing time of the excavations. She and Ingrid were talking about the excavations and how they get some examples of bloodstone or puzzolane. They would use it in their art. They would occasionally find layers in between the ironstone or elsewhere. Clotilde asked Ingrid if she’d go back home and bring some. Ingrid got into her car and set out but nearly hit a lorry that was coming round the corner. I think Ingrid’s nerve had gone. She was very reluctant to drive off in the dark to return home to fetch this and come back again. I was interested in finding out whether it was simply a question of Ingrid needing someone to go with her because I’d quite happily go as a passenger in a car to give her some moral support but she didn’t seem to be answering any question as to what was happening and why she didn’t want to go. She was just sitting in the car talking to the guy in the petrol station and the guy in this lorry and not really answering any of the questions that anyone else was asking of her.

After all of that I’m off to bed. I’ve had enough of today so I’m going to have a good sleep with no alarm in the morning. I’ll feel much better if I have a good sleep although I doubt if I’ll have one.

Wednesday 27th July 2022 – THERE WASN’T ANYONE …

l'omerta yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… playing “Musical Ships” this afternoon at the Fish Processing Plant.

In case you are wondering where L’Omerta was this afternoon while I was out on my afternoon walk, she was out in the bay doing a spot of fishing, surrounded by a flotilla of yachts from one of the sailing schools being ushered along by a zodiac.

There were a couple of the smaller port lighters moored up at the quayside there but it’s not usually possible to identify them and in any case they are only there for a matter of minutes.

le renard english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Something else that was oout there this afternoon was a large sailing ship out in the English Channel way beyond the Ile de Chausey.

At this kind of distance it’s impossible to identify her but having a crafty peek at the radar screen when I returned home I could see that Le Renard, the 30-metre sailing ship from St Malo, was out there in that position at that time.

So retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, once more I ended up going to bed rather later than I intended, once again because something interesting came up on the on-line radio playlist.

Not as late by any means as the other night of course. We have to have some kind of limits somewhere.

During the night I travelled some considerable distance, but I actually started off at home. We were all there, all doing various things with electrics and electronics. Someone came to the door and asked for a quote so thinking that it might be for something like that I went to the door to ask them. It turned out that they wanted a quote for moving a load of carrots to Germany. For that I needed further information so I had to invite them in and clear a little space by my desk. Instead they went to sit on my sofa. That was difficult for me so I went to sit on a sofa over there. There were a couple of them and a very young girl and were talking about all kinds of strange and different things. One of our little girls was taking to them about something like that as well but not really about these carrots. I was trying to get them to come to the point so that I could deal with them but they were still busy talking about a pile of irrelevances. They asked if our milk was pasteurised. I replied that it was heat-treated. We talked about rockets to the moon. One of my sisters said that she was born on a rocket going to the moon so I corrected her and said that it was on a rocket coming back from the moon etc but no-one actually reached the point of talking about this lorry-load of carrots that needed moving.

And then this was where I’d had a bird bath or something delivered to me unexpectedly. Someone came to the door to me about it. They wanted to talk straight away but when I tried to talk there was some kind of major eruption from them about everything. It turned out that they were learning the language and wanted to practise it or something like that but they realised that this had been dropped in the wrong place and wanted it moved and wanted to do it themselves or organise it themselves. I didn’t have very much to say while this thing was swinging about. They finally managed to put it somewhere else.

Checking if my laptop didn’t work as well as I’d like. What I’d done was to switch it on and let it update itself. Then I’d been called away so I’d left it but it had been picked up by the Security people who had transported it to the central unit. I was watching it and the central unit was only programmed to show roads and a lot of the route that my laptop had taken was on internal pathways. It wasn’t shown on those. Basically the tracking thing for internal purposes was no use at all. Eventually I had the call through that my laptop had been found and I had to go to pick it up. That was at the centre so we went up there. Their building wasn’t a building at all but in the open air sheathed in tin while they were rebuilding the medieval city walls around them rather like they are doing in Leuven. It was pretty much a building site, I fell into a trench and people thought that it was funny there. In the end I managed to rescue my laptop that was still uploading and carry on with what i’d been doing.

So we were all back in this big hotel. I had my laptop. We were chatting. It was Christmas Eve. There was a huge group of us in the lobby and people were talking about what they were going to do. Someone said that he was goig to wait a few years, carry on working and then do all the things that he wanted to do with his £2 million. I said that his £2 million isn’t going to be worth that much in a few years time, which caused everyone to laugh. Then I decided that I’d go to bed so I took my laptop with me and went to my car. I went to plug the laptop in. One of the plugs I could plug in fine but the two RCA plugs I just couldn’t plug in at all. There was like a subsidiary plug on the RCA plugs that plugged into another part and I couldn’t make them line up no matter how I tried. They wouldn’t go in at all into the charging box

Somewhere in a dream with some girl or other we’d had to go along and file some important papers. To do that we had to access a room where there was no access. In theory I could always jump up there, catch it with my fingernails and haul myself up. The two of us went. The idea was that I’d take the torch and paperwork and jump up there, she would pass everything to me then I’d haul her up. There were some other people there too. They had something made out of a weird collection of plastic bottles full of water that they were trying to use as steps to get themselves up like a circus artist’s trapeze thing. I went round to my usual spot but didn’t even bother to try to jump because I knew that I couldn’t reach it. I thought “what kind of state am I in these days that I can’t even do something like this that I could have done so easily a couple of months earlier?” I really am in a bad state right now and I wish that I wasn’t. Usually my dreams are my only form of escapism but it seems that it’s even catching up with me there and that’s a horrible state of affairs.

It’s hardly a surprise that I had a real struggle to leave the bed this morning. I did manage to beat the second alarm but there wasn’t that much in it.

After the medication I had a really exciting time taking the metal, glass and plastic rubbish out to the bin. Such are the highlights of my life these days when I have that to look forward to.

As well as having a really good session on all of the guitars that went on for hours I’ve been downloading stuff again. I’ve found another OLD-TIME RADIO SITE that I hadn’t know about before. That had tons of Francis Durbridge’s “Paul Temple” radio programmes on it so I’ve been downloading them.

Some tidying up too, packing for my trip next week to Leuven and doing a little DiY around here too – stuff that I should have been doing a long time ago. I was so busy that I was surprised that I managed to find the time to crash out for half an hour after my lunchtime fruit.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And there was time to go out for my afternoon walk as well.

And as usual my first port of call was down at the end of the car park to have a look over the wall to see what was happening down on the beach.

A few more people down there this afternoon although no-one was brave enough to take the waters. “I was misinformed” as Rick Blaine might have said.

It was quite warm this afternoon, although not that warm. Not like it was the other day.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It was quite windy this afternoon too.

That ws evident by the number of Nazguls that were out and about. There were several of them hovering around having just taken off from the field by the cemetery and a few minutes later one of them went by overhead, casting a cold shadow on those of us below.

This one is another two seater and it looks as if the passenger is a rather young person. I wonder what the age limit is for going as a passenger on board a Nazgul … “it’s 6 years old” – ed.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The Nazguls weren’t the only things out there enjoying the wind either.

There was this rather beautiful yacht out there in the bay this afternoon having a sail around. And as I watched, her sail bellied out in the wind and she performed a rather dramatic U-turn and headed back the way that she had come.

At a rather slower pace, I followed her down towards the headland. I can’t travel as quickly as a yacht in full sail in a gale, unfortunately. Especially when I have other pedestrians to contend with.

f-gsbv Robin DR400 180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Round about here, I noticed an aeroplane out there in the bay on its way back towards the airfield.

Too far out for me to read its registration number I took a photo of it in the hope that I could enlarge and enhance it when I returned home but when I did so, that didn’t reveal much either.

However, the records of the airfield show that F-GSBV, a Robin DR400 180 that we have seen on several occasions in the past, took off at 15:19 and flew down the coast to Avranches. It then flew out into the bay, did a lap around the Ile de Chausey and came bak to the airfield where it came in to land at 15:56.

My photo was taken at 15:48 (adjusted) so that seems to correspond.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The views out to sea today were really quite good.

You probably noticed that when you saw the earlier photo of the sailing ship out in the English Channel. It’s even more apparent with the view of the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel 70 kilometres away down the Brittany coast.

What is interesting about this photo is firstly that it wasn’t even taken from the usual spot on top of the bunker but from a place much more banal, and secondly I could see it with the naked eye without the aid of the camera lens.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022From there I walked across the desert that at one time used to be a lawn and was almost squidged on the car park by two cars reversing out of parking spaces.

Nevertheless I adroitly avoided them and wandered down to the end of the headland where I noticed that we had a fisherman down there on the rocks.

According to the local newspaper this morning the ban on fishing at certain spots has been lifted and our fisherman here does have something in which he might drop his catch.

Always assuming that he does manage to catch something. That would be exciting if we were to see someone else pull something out of the water.

cabanon vauban people pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022But whatever was happening, there was quite a crowd down there watching it.

These two people were sitting on the bench but they must have seen me coming because as soon as they saw me they stood up and made ready to leave. And who could blame them?

Not me anyway. I headed off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was happening there, passing L’Omerta and her entourage as I did so.

La Confiance II is still in the chantier naval and still on her own. I’m hoping that she will have some more company soon.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022In the inner harbour yesterday we saw Normandy Trader loading up with freight and setting sail for Jersey.

Today we have Thora in port too loading up with freight. The harbour gates are closed right now but once they are opened I imagine that she will be disappearing into the sunset.

My coffee was waiting so I disappeared into my apartment and then transcribed the dictaphone notes which you read a little earlier.

Tea tonight was a leftover curry that was just as delicious as last week’s. I’m not quite sure what it is that I’m doing differently that is responsible for the improvement but I wish that I knew so that I could keep on doing it.

While I was writing up my notes Rosemary rang me up and we had another long chat, and as a result I’m going to be quite late going to bed yet again. Isn’t it always the case? But then again talking to friends is an extremely permissible reason for being late and I don’t do it often enough.

Tomorrow is another day without a lot to do so I need to organise myself even better and catch up with some arrears. There are plenty of those.

Wednesday 20th July 2022 – SUNDAY NIGHT’S PIZZA …

… may not have been as good as others might have been in the past but tonight’s curry was a belter. One of the best that i’ve ever made.

Basically it was the left-overs out of the fridge with a potato added thereto and cooked to perfection with lots of lovely spices and some soya cream.

And if I can make curry like that again on a regular basis, I’ll be in business.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Quite a lot more pleasure boats out there at sea today so while you admire them all in the next few photos (becase these are all that there were), I’li start at the very beginning.

And at least last night was somewhat better than the previous one. Even with the bedroom window closed and the fan switched off it was a lot cooler in the bedroom and I actually managed to go to sleep.

So much so that when the alarm went off at 07:30 it was a struggle to leave the bed.

Nevertheless I beat the second alarm to my feet (which is always good news) and staggered off into the kitchen to take my medicine.

fishermen speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Back in here I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

We started off with a neighbour just like that guy in Virlet who was bad-tempered and miserable, always finding fault, always being picky. We’d all been somewhere on board a bus, a pile of us. He had 2 young girls with him. When the bus stopped and everyone alighted he disappeared for a moment. I was going through my things and found some small bottles of water so I gave one each to these 2 girls and also a sweet. When he came back I gave him one as well, a bottle of water and a sweet. He was going on about how I was trying to buy friends, this kind of thing. I said “no, not at all. It was just something that I wanted to do because I’m that kind of person” or something like that. While they were all sitting there talking I took out my laptop and my headphones and was going to sit down to transcribe some notes.

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And then someone had heard of a photographer so he went to see him about doing some photographs. When the photos were done they were so good that he was wondering who it was who recommended him, whether he was a relation or simply just a friend of that person

Finally I was with a group of friends and we had gone to a meeting or something. There was a lunch laid on so we started to help ourselves to lunch. This meeting had cost us £8:00 each to go. We went but the meeting wasn’t particularly inspiring but the lunch was quite nice. This carried on for a short while afterwards and then they started to lay out the table with all these curries etc so I asked if we were going to stay for this as well. They replied “well we’d better start moving around or else we’ll be stuck in one place”. We started to wander around and they started to bring all of the things that they were going to serve. In the meantime where was this nice curry. I thought “never mind anything else. I’m going to have some of the curry”. We started to help ourselves to the meals. One of the things that was happening was a display of firearms with the children. The firearms discipline was hopeless. All the kids were turning their backs on each other while they were carrying loaded firearms. I said to one of the girls with us that that was terrible. If they had done that anywhere else they would have been thrown out immediately. Some fellow turned round and made some kind of remark to me. I replied “don’t worry. I’m a foreigner”. He asked “why is it that you are telling her then?”. I said that’s OK because she’s a foreigner too” so he turned round and walked away at that point.

The Welsh class continued with its usual chaotic structure but I’m not complaining. After all, it is free and it’s the best offer that I’ve had for a Summer School. And once again we didn’t stop for lunch but crashed on right through.

One of the tasks that we had to do was to read a couple of chapters of a book. The book was able to be downloaded as an *.epub but no program that I have on any of my computers would read it.

Eventually I tracked down a program – CALIBRE – that would read it but the field of view is so small that I can’t read the text and after spending about an hour at it I’ve still not found a way to zoom the page up to a realistic size.

It really beats me why people can’t stick to a good old-fashioned *.pdf format for on-line books.

When the course finished I had my lunchtime fruit and then a play about on the guitar for a while. That took me up to the walkies time.

people on beach rue do nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And as usual I went out across the car park over to the wall at the end so that I can look down onto the beach.

Less and less beach down there today, and fewer and fewer people too. It was really warm out there this afternoon but I think tht what must have put people off was the fact that it was nothing like as warm as Monday. That really was exceptional.

And while we’re on the subject of the beach … “well, one of us is” – ed … someone trying to negotiate the steps that lead to the beach missed their footing and fell from the cliffs onto the beach yesterday evening.

That was the reason why the Air-Sea rescue helicopter was hovering around here while I was on the ‘phone.

hang gliders Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022You’ve seen all of the photos of what was going on out at sea this afternoon, so I had a look elsewhere to see if there was anything else going on.

And as I watched, a couple of Nazgul reared up from the field at the side of the cemetery and began to head my way.

“Your Only Protection is Flight” as Hawkwind sang in SONIC ATTACK, especially as I’m over 10 years old and don’t have a cocoon, but whereas a couple of years ago I could quite happily run all the way around the headland, these days I can’t even run for a bus.

There were quite a few people out and about on the path today and so we had the dust-clouds to deal with. I shudder to think what it will be like if the wind gets up with all of this dust about. It won’t be pleasant.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Down at the end of the headland there was no-one sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

However we did have a fisherman out there on the rocks. What with the ones that you might have seen earlier in one of the boat it seemed to be quite busy from that point of view.

There were even a few people having a go at the pèche à pied although I’m not quite sure, for the tide is nowhere near far enough out.

But that’s their problem, not mine. I left them to it, in the hope that a Nazgul would get them, and headed off down the path towards the port.

les bouchots de chausey la confiance 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And yet another change in occupancy in the chantier naval.

We still have Les Bouchots de Chausey if it is indeed she, and La Confiance II but Monaco du Nord II has disappeared. back into the water, I suppose.

And while L’Omerta is still tied up – on her own – at the Fish Processing Plant, there wasn’t anyone this afternoon over at the ferry terminal. All of the ferries to the Ile of Chausey are presumably out.

But a friend of a friend tells me that Granville, the newer of the two Channel Islands ferries, has turned up this evening in St Helier and is planning on staying the night over there. So some kind of skeleton service is being run at the moment.

marité chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And if you are wondering where Chausiaise is, the little freighter is over there at the quayside underneath the crane, presumably being loaded with supplies for the island.

Marité is over there too. She’s not going anywhere right now by the looks of things. It doesn’t seem to be much of a summer so far for the town’s water craft.

Back at the apartment I had a good clean-up and a shower to make myself look pretty and then, bang on cure, Rosemary rang me. She MUST have installed a camera here somewhere.

It ended up being another one of our long chats, mainly about her Ukrainian guests. By the sound of things they have settled in the Auvergne and seem to be at home.

Their issue is first of all to learn to speak French, and secondly, to sort out some kind of employment. This involves contacting all kinds of Government agencies and finding out what facilities are available for Ukrainian refugees to integrate into French society, and so we spent the time of our ‘phone call making lists

Hopefully, progress can be made. But I can see myself being recruited into going for another trip into Central France some time in the near future for a hands-on task.

Tea was my delicious curry and then I came in here to write up my notes.

And now I’m off to bed. Another day at Summer School tomorrow and I’ll see how I get on. I’m not expecting too much but it’s all that’s on offer right now.

And considering that all of these supplementary courses are free, I’m just grateful that the Welsh Government is taking the trouble to educate us.

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.

Saturday 16th July 2022 – WHEN THE ALARM …

… went off this morning, I was elsewhere at that moment busily making a sandwich for an Irish girl whom I knew at one time years ago.

It’s strange, the things that go on when I’m on a nocturnal ramble.

Perhaps I should have organised a lie-in today to continue where the alarm cut me off. And I wish that I had too, because I’ve had quite a difficult morning.

It’s not as if I’d had a late night either. It was after my usual time but not so late as would worry me aver-much. But sleeping in nice, clean bedding was really nice. I really must organise myself so much better.

Not surprisingly it wasn’t easy to leave the bed this morning. However I managed to beat the second alarm by a comfortable margin.

Quite early on this morning I nipped out to LeClerc. I was one of the first there too. The cap park was quite empty and I pretty much had the place to myself at first, although that didn’t last long.

For a change I remembered a few things that I’d forgotten, including the new mop. The only thing that I didn’t remember was the mint syrup, which is running low. There was something else that I’d forgotten too but I can’t now remember what it was.

It was only 10:15 when I came back here, which is about the earliest that I’ve been back, so I made myself a coffee and came in here to drink it. And that was when I crashed out. Totally and completely too, for a good couple of hours. Just like a few weeks ago and you know how depressing that was.

Once I’d recovered and warmed up my cold coffee, I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There’s a young girl in this first story. I know who she is but I can’t think of her name. There was a lot in this dream but I’ve forgotten most of it. I had a cat and I was away and someone was supposed to come in to look after it. In fact it was one of the guys from the radio himself who turned up to feed it. My trip ended early and I was back home when he came. I knew about this, at least, it was something like that. Later on in the afternoon when I was round at his house I was preparing everything to go. We were doing something on the car and I went back into the house to see if there was anything that I’d forgotten or that I’d need. His daughter was there in this dream – it was this girl. We said hello. He came in and I asked him about something but he couldn’t think of it. I was inclined to go into the pantry and fetch it myself but no. What happened after this was that he and the girl started to talk. She said that she should have gone round today to feed my cat but he did it instead of her and she wasn’t very happy. Tomorrow was Saturday so I said to her “you can come round tomorrow morning if you like”. She replied “I can’t make tomorrow morning. Would tomorrow afternoon be OK?”. I thought that if I’m going to have visitors of nice young ladies I said “yes, that’ll be fine”. I’ll do my stuff some other time. He wanted to come round to do something as well so I was trying to arrange it that their appointments would be different so that I’d have this girl on her own and she’d come round without him being there so that we could have a nice friendly chat and I could maybe find out a little more about her.

Later I was with someone going around Shavington. We went past the houses at the Sugarloaf. I pointed out that one of them was owned by a family who had been there for a very long time but before that there was someone who was the founder of Chester Zoo who lived there. She didn’t believe it at fist but she went away and did some research and found that it was true. There used to be a zoo in Shavington etc a long time ago which moved off to start Chester Zoo.
And if you think that this is somewhat far-fetched, then READ THIS

Later still, there was something going on in work that made drinks and food to eat but then they left to go cold so someone thought to put them in the oven so in 10 minutes they would all be nice and warm again. There was some issue with a girl here. They found out how she was and sent Security to search her. She thought that these people were trying to arrange a date with her on one of these Social Networks so she was busy trying to arrange a date back while they were coming to look for her. This led to all kinds of confusions as to what was happening at this place that evening when they were trying to rid themselves of these 2 girls and instead had a match-making service operating

Then there was a place with all kinds of problems going on about whether pies were food or whether hair was part of you or an accessory, a few other bits and pieces. I can’t remember any dream that it was in but there was all of this going on. In the end some sea captain of a pleasure cruiser decided that he was going to deport a woman who was continually in the way and made suggestions that were wrong.

Finally, my Irish friend and I had been down at Rosemary’s and we had spent a week there and were about to go our separate ways. My friend had to go to the airport and I had to drive home. I was feeling less and less like the drive. Rosemary said that I could stay over for a few days if I wanted to so I thought that I was going to exercise the option. My friend and I of us went for a walk first of all around the town as her flight wasn’t until the afternoon. We spent a lot of time sitting on a bench just chatting about things in general. Then of course she said that if we’ve got to go, we’ve got to go so that made us get up and wander off along the street. I had to check the times of her flights and make sure that she was on time at the airport. I wasn’t sure if we were to go on the Metro or in the van etc but I was making a sandwich for her when the alarm went off.

She was a lovely girl and we did go out together a few times – even on a skiing holiday together and I would really have liked to have known her better but she had far more sense than to to take our friendship any further than she did.

There was a break for lunch today, seeing that I hadn’t had any breakfast today, and then I washed, peeled diced and blanched a kilo of carrots that I’d bought this morning. Once they had drained properly they went into the freezer for the next couple of weeks.

Later on I went out for my usual afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As usual I started off by going across the car park to look down over the wall onto the beach to see what was happening down there.

And with it being a really hot day today, and a weekend to boot, I was expecting to see quite a few people down there this afternoon but this really took me by surprise.

There were hordes of people down there this afternoon and plenty of them had taken to the water. I must admit that I was quite tempted too. I really was hot today and by the looks of things the next few days will be even hotter.

No-one out there kite-surfing today. The wind that we were having yesterday has dropped considerably now.

people on beach shellfish harvesting donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022No-one hang-gliding either. I did have a good look around to see if there was anyone about on the field by the cemetery preparing for blast-off.

No-one out at sea either today but there was plenty going on out on the beach at Donville les Bains. As well as the crowds in the water over there, we had the sea-food harvesters working away this afternoon while the tide was well out.

You can see the stakes there on the beach. These ae submerged at high tide and the strings that connect them are where the bouchots grow. This was a serendipitous discovery many years ago, the fact that mussels would grow on strings and they are quite a delicacy because unlike sand-grown mussels, they aren’t “gritty”.

It’s quite high-maintenance however, hence the fact that they are considerably more expensive.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022So while there was nothing going on out at sea, there was plenty happening in the air, the lack of Nazguls notwithstanding.

While I was looking down at the beach I was overflown by several flying machines. The first one to go by overhead was the little yellow hang-glider.

She had been for a flight down to Mont St Michel by the looks of things and was now on her way back to the airfield.

There are two people on board – the pilot and his passenger. And don’t worry – I haven’t forgotten that I intend one of these days to go over to the airfield and blag a ride on one of these for a lap around the bay with the camera.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022That wasn’t the only airborne machine either.

While I was walking down the path through the crowds that were thronging this afternoon the little yellow autogyro came flying past, having performed a similar trip to the yellow powered hang-glider that flew by overhead a couple of minutes earlier.

As it happens, that’s actually the machine on which I would like to go for a trip. I shall have to make further enquiries.

That was that for the moment so I headed on down to the lighthouse.

fisherman buoy pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Crowds again around here so I imagine that this is how it’s going to be every weekend until the kids go back to school.

To find some peace and quiet I went down to the end of the headland and saw this guy here. At first I had no idea what he was doing but it turned out, when I could have a closer look, to be fishing.

But he’s the first fisherman whom we’ve seen who has been up to his knees in it. All the other just stand upon a rock.

And just offshore is another marker buoy that is presumably indicating the site of a lobster pot that one of the fishermen has dropped off.

la confiance 2 monaco du nord 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

And absolutely nothing whatever any different from what we saw yesterday. La Confiance II and Monaco du Nord II are still in the chantier naval and L’Omerta was still over by the Fish Processing Plant. Marité was still absent too.

That was that really. I headed off back home for a coffee and a really good session on the guitar. On the acoustic guitar I’m much happier now playing the more complex chords and mastering the more complicated chord changes.

My playing on the acoustic seems to have improved rather a lot just recently.

Tea tonight was potato, vegetables and a breaded quorn fillet. To my surprise, Lidl had some in stock yesterday. Just one packet which I bought and had they had any more I would have bought them too.

Tomorrow is Sunday and a lie-in. And I need it too. I think that I’m slipping back into the situation in which I found myself a month ago when I was crashing out for hours without any notice.

And with my right knee looking as if I’ve done for it permanently right now, I’m in something of a mess.