Tag Archives: rue du port

Tuesday 21st December 2021 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… day when I’ve not accomplished anything like as much as I intended to today and I’m really going to have to snap out of this if I want to make any progress because it’s getting me down.

Going late to bed last night didn’t help matters too much and as usual it was difficult to haul myself out of bed. However, as I had things to do, there wasn’t any question about it.

No medication this morning because I don’t have time to wait for the side-effects to kick in. Instead I took the paper rubbish out to the paper bin, and I hadn’t realised just how much there was and how long it had been hanging around.

But of course, you couldn’t take a pile of paper outside with the winds that we have had just recently.

Back inside I actually tidied up the kitchen and the dining area and even vacuumed the floor and it’s a long time since I’ve done that.

Caliburn’s new brake discs had arrived, having been on order for several weeks, so I had to take him to the mender’s and drop him off so they can fix him. And it was freezing outside, really cold. Minus 0.3°C and that’s the coldest that it’s been so far this winter.

Laurent came to pick me up and bring me home where we had a coffee and then wandered off down the road to speak to Nadia.

She’s a costumier who lives down the road and makes all of the costumes for the Carnival. We’re starting a series pf programmes about the Carnival in February in the hope that it isn’t cancelled again, and she’s an ideal candidate to be interviewed to tell us about her life, her work and how the Carnival affects her.

After we’d finished Laurent went home and I came back here for another coffee and to crash out in front of the computer. Well, not exactly crash out because I was as compos mentis as I can be these days, but I certainly was in no mood to do anything.

After lunch I forced myself into work and began the arrangements for my Christmas programmes. –

Wednesday 22nd December 2021 at 11:00 –
An exclusive interview with Father Christmas and his Elves, direct from his workshop in a secret location

Friday 24th December 2021 and Saturday 25th December 2021 at 21:00
Christmas songs with your favourite rock stars

Friday 31st December 2021 and Saturday 1st January 2022 at 21:00
A New Years Eve live concert from Boston, MA,; USA recorded on 31st December 1975

These can be heard on LE BOUQUET GRANVILLAIS


There’s also a special treat – while I was sorting out all of the old hard drives I came across many of the old radio programmes that we did in the old Radio Anglais days. So what I’ll be doing is on Christmas Eve at midnight I’ll upload it to my website and you can hear it AT THIS LINK – but not yet. You’ll have to wait until Christmas Eve.


And just a reminder …
All times are CET (French time)
For the UK, subtract one hour
For Toronto, subtract six hours
And you’ll have to work out the rest for yourself

peche à pied beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Despite everything there was still time for me to go out for my afternoon walk and with the aim of catching up with my old habits I went over to the wall at the end of the car park.

What took me by surprise was the number of people down there on the beach this afternoon. As I suspected, all of the holidaymakers and second-home owners have descended on the town and packed it out.

And there were many down there trying their luck at catching fresh oysters for their Christmas treat. Oysters is a big tradition in France on Christmas Day, rather like my Christmas cake is to me.

man in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021In fact there were so many people around roday that you had to be inventive if you wanted to have some peace and quiet.

Here’s someone out in the bay in his zodiac having a little relax. At first I thought that he might be fishing but having a closer look at his boat I couldn’t see any fishing equipment.

Just as I was standing here watching him, a neighbour of mine pulled up in her car and we had a chat for a quarter of an hour or so before I wandered off on my travels.

fishing boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Even though it’s coming up to Christmas for most of us, others are still out there working.

While I was looking out to sea I noticed two fishing boats heading slowly for home, presumably with a full catch after a hard day’s work.

And of you look very closely at the photo, to the upper left of the right-hand fishing boat you’ll see what looks like the Loch Ness Monster rearing its ugly head out of the water.

That took me rather by surprise. I’ve enlarged the photo and enhanced it and I still can’t make out what it is.

f-GSBV Robin DR400 180 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And how long is it since we’ve seen an aeroplane overflying us?

Today it’s the turn of F-GSBV – a Robin DR400-180 from the flying school here at Granville, flying past on its way home.

At least, I thought that she was on her way home but according to her flight plan, she took off at 16:06 and flew southwards before coming back, did a figure-of-eight over the airport heading northwards before coming home much later than when I saw her.

Someone clearly has a lot of flying hours to catch up.

base of flagpole pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Regumar readers of this rubbish will recall that the Pointe du Roc was devasted by gusts of 136kph at the height of Storm Arwen.

One of the flagpoles was uprooted and I posted a photo of it leaning drunkenly against its neighbour.

It’s now been removed and the base has been cordoned off. Presumably in the New Year they’ll re-drill it and fit new anchor bolts and then re-erect the flagpole.

You can see the size of the anchor bolts in the concrete base as they seem to have left one behind. You can imagine the force of the wind that tore the others out of their concrete settling.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … what I like about this time of the year are the magnificent sunsets that we have.

With the beautiful blue, clear sky that we had had today we were having another one and this has to be one of the best that we have seen for quite a while.

As I came up the path towards the lighthouse I noticed how nice it was looking, and as I walked across the car park I could see it in all its splendour. And one of the fishing boats that we had seen earlier had caught me up and you can see it silhouetted over on the right.

cabanon vauban woman on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And, just for a change just recently I wasn’t on my own admiring it.

As well as the crowds that were milling around on the car park and the footpath, there was someone down below on the bench by the cabanon vauban at the end of the headland.

Whatever it was that she was doing, she seemed to be totally engrossed in it, so I left her alone and pushed on … “pushed off, he means” – ed … along the path towards the port to see what was happening there.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021At the chantier naval there was no change in the situation this afternoon. Aztec Lady was still there of course but that was about it.

Over at the ferry terminal, we have one of the Joly France ferries in a NAABSA (not always afloat but safely aground) situation. She’s the older one of the two, as we can see because there’s no step in her stern.

There were a couple of people up on the sea wall making the most of the early evening sun sinking slowly down below the horizon, but my attention had also been caught by something in the water in the background, moving quite rapidly.

roofing rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Having done all of that I set out back to home, but I didn’t go far before I was distracted by the sound of Pink Floyd.

Further investigation revealed that there were a couple of workmen on a roof down in the Rue du Port, doing a re-roofing job by the looks of things. And I do have to say that I admired their choice of music.

Further along here, while walking on the path just above the port I fell in with another neighbour and we had another chat for a while – so much so that by the time I arrived home the coffee that I’d set in motion before coming out was now cold.

Having finished my radio notes I thought about tea. Stuffed pepper with veg and rice and it was delicious.

And while I was at it, I almost forgot the dictaphone too. We were all by a river somewhere in different positions. I wanted to attract someone’s attention so I built a mine and put it in the river to float it down there so that everyone else would see it. However I didn’t have any means of controlling it or directing it so it wasn’t as good an idea as it sounded. I was wishing, when I was halfway through making it, that I had some kind of radio control apparatus that I could make this thing work.

In actual fact, back in the 1960s my grandparents lived near a canal and it was the start of the pleasure boat cruise network in those days. A big marina had been built at Barbridge and there was a lot of traffic on the canal. My brother and I had the idea to build a replica “mine” complete with horns, like an old German contact-mine, and float it down the canal into the marina and watch the chaos and confusion from a discreet distance. However our parents, in a rare act of parenting, vetoed the idea quite firmly.

Later on we were at the side of a river waiting for something. The guy in charge of this expedition said that he had sent someone down with the sandwiches. They got down to where we were. As they approached the first person he dropped the lot onto the floor. Of course everyone mulled round to see what they could find but the sandwiches were all messed up in the mud and totally unfit to eat

I was also back with the taxis last night. My brother was driving and he had driven all night, all the previous evening until quite late and was back in again early next morning working. My mother mentioned that when he had taken her home at the end of the shift at the evening he’d fallen asleep a couple of times driving and she had to wake him up. That surprised him that he was back in early next morning working away again. There was something about a job going on from Underwood Lane to Audlem so I made sure that whoever it was had our ‘phone number so they could ring up and book it for the next evening

I’d been out somewhere and I had a pile of oranges and one of them was rotten and had leaked everywhere so I had to go upstairs and wash everything out. Some had fallen on my pillow so I’d rinsed everything off. My mother wanted something so I went into her room. She started to laugh about these oranges and I became extremely annoyed so I tipped the contents of the bag, rotten oranges and all, all over her bed and left them there with it all staining into her bedclothes.

There was something else about photocopying. There was a girl doing a pile of photocopying and she was saying something about how the photocopying companies said that it couldn’t be done but she could do it. I asked “is that recto-verso? Because I found the same”. She asked “how do you do your recto-versos?”. I had to think for a moment because it’s one of those automatic things that you do without even thinking about it. I had to think for a minute and then explain it to her but I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right because I’d never really thought about it. She asked “did you write and tell the company?”. I answered “no. They told me that it couldn’t be done when I asked them and I had to work it out for myself so it’s nothing to do with the company. It’s something to do with me that I can do it. The company shouldn’t be profiting from my ideas”. She agreed to that.

And now, later than intended, which is no surprise after transcribing all of that, I’m off to bed. I’m baking bread tomorrow, making more hummus, peeling a pile of carrots and going to the physiotherapist. It’s all go around here and I’m exhausted.

Tuesday 9th November 2021 – WE’VE HAD ANOTHER …

aeroplane f-hgsm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… aerial afternoon this afternoon, just for a change.

Not a nazgul or any bird-men of Alcatraz but actually an aeroplane flyng by overhead out in the bay on its way hame to the airfield just outside Donville Les Bains.

Its an aeroplane that we have seen before – F-HGSM, a Robin DR400/160 aeroplane that’s owned by the Aero Club of Greaves of Mont Saint Michel just down the road from here – coming out for a quick lap around towards the end of the afternoon.

aeroplane f-hgsm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021We’ve seen her before, and a few minutes later we saw her again, this time flying the other way.

In fact she’s spent much of the afternoon flying up and down the coast between Avranches and Granville. The first this that she was picked up on radar today was at 14:41.

Unfortunately, many of her flights weren’t picked up on radar. Certainly, these two weren’t. The aeroplane doesn’t seem to have filed a flight plan either so I can’t say much more about what she’s been up to.

65px light aeroplane place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Jamais deux sans trois – “never just two without a third” as they say around here.

Sure enough, no sooner had F-HGSM disappeared off down the coast then around the corner came another aeroplane from the direction of the airfield. But as this one approached me it did a dramatic U-turn and headed back the way from which he came.

Unfortunately I can only tell you even less about this particular one because it’s another one with one of these short registration numbers – 65PX -that isn’t on any database to which I have access. So I let it go off on its way.

This morning, I had a great deal of difficulty going off on my way. Despite a reasonably early night I had an extreme amount of difficulty leaving my bed. But as I promised no to talk about my bad nights I won’t say any more.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages and then knuckled down to revise my Welsh from last week and to prepare for my lesson this morning.

There was a slight interruption though because the NIKON 1 J5 came back. I shall have a play with that in due course.

The Welsh lesson passed quite quickly and quite well too. An I need to remember now is “Fish Fingers, Baked Beans, More Beans, MMMMM”

After lunch I updated a few more days of the journal from late October, transcribed a few more entries for due course and then set about dealing with last night’s issues. I’d been back at my old school last night but I didn’t recognise anything of it. All of the House names had been changed to reflect the current way of thinking. I couldn’t see a timetable or a room list, a teacher list or anything like that. I was just wandering around aimlessly checking rooms to see if there was anyone I recognised, which I ddn’t. The teachers all looked strange, young and modern to me. Each class had a Social Media page that was pretty open and even the teachers were writing down their innermost thoughts on this. I went to have a look at the roll-call for students who had started this year. There were some from Pontypool, some from Galashiels, even some from Centreville in Canada. This has all changed from how it used to be with just local recruitment. I wondered where they were all staying because there’s nowhere for groups of kids to stay in Nantwich

Then about 85 minutes later, the problem with the school was that they were recruiting from all over the place, Galashiels, down south, even Cetreville in Canada. There didn’t seem to be anyone local at all. All the classes had Social Media accounts. Even teachers were writing their innermost thoughts down there. It didn’t look anything like the school that I knew with local recruitment. It seemed to me that there was a year that was being missed for which they weren’t offering tuition which I thought was strange. I must have dictated the previous notes and then gone back to sleep right back into where I left off yet again.

Later still, I’d been leaving France for Belgium and gone a different way than usual. I was looking over the map and the road that I wanted was over the edge of a page so I was wondering where I was going to end up. At first I thought that it looked shorter but then with it going off the page it started to look longer. I was wondering whether I’d made the right decision. I noticed that it seemed to end up back on the road that I used to take when I went down to the Auvergne through the mountains of the Ardennes. I was trying to work out exactly where that was going to be.
There was also something about living on a farm and buying a car, but I wasn’t allowed to use the car on the road. I bought it and I was trying to smarten it up and getting it to be a kind-of custom hot-rod thing. I’d bought 2 exhaust pipes for it that go down the outside of the car. Then I found out that there was another type that improved performance even more than I ought to have bought and it was starting to get a little bit crazy.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021In the middle of all of this I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

First stop is at the end ot the car park where I can look down on the beach. And considering that we are now rapidly approaching mid-November there were still plenty of people down there this afternoon.

It was actually quite a nice, sunny day which was a surprise, and there wasn’t very much wind. And as you can see, there was plenty of beach down there for everyone to wak upon with the tide being well out this afternoon.

seagulls harvesting bouchots donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Further on down the beach towards Donville les bains there were even more crowds down there.

Mainly crowds – or shoud I say flocks – of seagulls. They seem to be enjoying themselves having a feeding frenzy in the tidal pools with all of the fish that has been left behind, stranded by the tide.

Further on down the coast the harvesters of bouchots are also out there at work. You can see a couple of their tractors heading out towards the beds. No trailers though, so they aren’t ready to pull them in just yet.

trawlers yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021As usual, when I’m out and about looking at what is going on down on the beach, I have one eye looking around out at sea to se what’s happening there.

Right now of course we are living in interesting times so I’m keeping a close watch on all of the activity. And there’s plenty og avtivity out there this afternoon.

Out there we have a couple of trawlers looking as if they are working rather than heading in for home. And the yacht that’s out there with them is going to have a long wait before the tide comes in far enough for it to make it back home.

patrol boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021I’m not the only one keeping a close eye on the activity either.

Unless I’m very much mistaken, that looks like a French Navy patrol boat out there having a little wander around in the bay.

Of course, with things starting to heat up around here in the bay, it’s not surprising that the French Government has sent someone in to watch what is going on.

It’s not just the British Navy that has warships, despite what the crooks in Westminster and the collaborationist press will tell the gullible public.

There were quite a few people walking around on the path this afternoon in the nice weather, although I don’t know where they have come from. The schoolkids were out ther eorienteering too but none of them came over for a chat this afternoon.

people taking self photograph cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the end of the path I crossed over the car park to go down to the end of the headland.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, a regular feature on these pages is photographs of people taking photographs of people. And here were a couple of people in action down by the cabanon vauban.

Whether or not “selfies” actually count as photographs of people taking photographs of people, I’ve included it all the same. There was another couple as well on the car park taking photos of each other but I wasn’t quick enough for that.

man fishing off rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And our photoraphers weren’t the only ones down there at the end of the headland.

We had the fishermen out there on the rocks as well. Here is one of them almost up to his knees in the water casting his line into the deep. Not that he’ll be catching very much if past experience is anything to go by.

With plenty of things to do I couldn’t hang around very long to watch. I cleared off down the path towards the viewpoint overlooking the port.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Over at the ferry terminal there was one of the Joly France ferries sitting in the silt. It’s the older one of the two with the larger upper deck superstructure

On this side of the harbour at the chantier naval there wasn’t anything at all happening.

The portable boat lift is still standing there in the middle of the yard with its wheels off waiting for something to happen to it. And I hope that they won’t be taking too long to repair it. The town needs the business that the chantier naval can bring.

joly france belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021One of the ways of telling the two Joly France boats apart is by the step in the stern of the newer one.

There’s a really good view of the stern of the new one down there in the inner harbour and you can see the step quite clearly.

To the left of her is the very new Belle France ferry that came into the town earlier in the year.

And if you want a full house, Chausiaise, the little Chausey freighter, is over on the right out of shot. There’s nothing whatever going on over at the Ile de Chausey today, not like the other day when we saw them streaming out from port.

roofing rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little further along the road there was quite a racket coming from somewhere in the Rue du Port.

Looking down there from up on top of the cliff I could see that there was someone down there doing a bit of roofing.

It’s certainly the right kind of weather to do it. It’s a nightmare being up on a roof in a torrential downpour and a howling gale, as I know from bitter experience. And I’m surprised that, just for once, there isn’t a howling gale blowing around.

Anyway, there’s plenty of time for him to be soaked to the skin or blown off the scaffolding. It looks as if he’s only just started and the weather can turn at any moment.

people taking photographs boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little earlier, I mentioned something about some people taking photographs of each other.

When I was down at the Pointe du Roc I wasn’t quick enough to catch them but I caught up with them in the Boulevard Vaufleury, standing in the middle of the road defying the oncoming traffic to take their photos.

She had a bunch of flowers earlier. I wonder where she has stuck them.

Back at the apartment I made a coffee and carried on with the dictaphone notes, and that took me right up to teatime.

It was a quick tea of taco rolls and rice with veg (not dropped into the sink tonight) because there was football on the internet. Hwlffordd v Barry Town.

Played in a driving rainstorm on a sodden pitch it wasn’t a very attractive game as the teams struggled to come to terms with the conditions. The match ended 1-1 which was probably a fair result in the circumstances although the goals were really messy goalmouth scrambles.

It wasn’t at all like the match LAST WEEKEND which had a couple of the finest goals you’ll see at this level of football.

Anyway now I’m off to bed for another night’s voyages. Listening to all of the stuff on the dictaphone I’ve been having some really vivid dreams just recently, and plenty of them too.

All of this corresponds with my dreadful nights and I’m wondering if there’s been a change in eithe rmy diet or my medication that has brought all of this on. I shall have to go back and review everything to see what it’s all about.

Saturday 25th September 2021 – THIS SHELLFISH FESTIVAL …

marquees fete des coquilles st jacques port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021 … isn’t half bringing in the crowds. And it’s absolute chaosas well by the looks of things.

Several more marquees and stalls have been set up since we last looked and they are packed to the gunwhales with people who have apparently come from all parts of France in order to indulge in an orgy of shellfish.

Including the boat Anakena, the one that was stranded in port at the height of the pandemic. You can see her, the dark blue one moored in the background. She’s been working her way around the Brittany coast, having set sail from Lorient at the end of August.

marquee marité rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And the chicane in the Rue du Port was total chaos this morning as well.

Motorists not knowing where to go and what to do, stopping, and even parking, in the most inconvenient places, and then there were the hordes of pedestrians milling about in the way of all of the traffic.

The way out to the hypermarket was chaos enough at 09:15. I shuddered to think of what it would be like by the time that I come back, so I went the long way round to reach home. And I bet that despite being the long way round, it took me much less time.

bad parking leclerc hypermarket Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While we’re on the subject of bad parking … “well, one of us is” – ed … there was enough bad parking today to fill a photo album, so I’ve selected this example for you.

It’s a delivery van delivering products to one of the boutiques in the Hypermarket. Dozens of empty spaces at this time of morning, including this disabled space right by the front door, but reversing in there is far too complicated for this guy.

What he’s chosen to do is to abandon his van in one of the car park paths, blocking in several cars while he was at it, including one with a driver who was trying to leave. But as long as he’s okay, what does he care about anyone else?

Anyway, let’s return to our moutons as they say around here.

Once more, the blasted phone people sent me a text message that awoke me during the night and I had trouble going back to sleep again. Nevertheless I must have done because the alarm awoke me at 07:30

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too so I copied the audio files onto the computer, and as I type out these notes, I realise that Bane of Britain has forgotten to transcribe them.

Off I went to the shops once I’d awoken. at Noz I didn’t spent much but at LeClerc it was another large bill, due to my buying more coffee and a pile of syrups seeing as I’m running out. I’ve given up making my own drinks for now. I’m not feeling up to tasks like that at the moment.

Another thing that I bought was some of those soya desserts in small pots. I need to vary my diet rather more than I’m doing at the moment.

Back here, having taken the long way round, it was astruggle up the stairs with my heavy shopping. But the fact that I managed it, albeit rather precariously, tells me that the physiotherapy is working somewhat.

Having put down the shopping I made myself a coffee and cut a slice of my fruit bread, and then came in here to relax for a while. I was exhausted after my efforts at the shops.

After lunch, there was football. Trefelin against Connah’s Quay Nomads in the Welsh Cup.

The gul in class was pretty evident right from the kick-off and at one point well into the second hald, the stats showed 28% Trefelin possession and 72% Connah’s Quay possession.

Nevertheless, the score at half-time was just 1-0 to the Nomads thanks to a brilliand Jamie Insall goal. The Trefelin goal was having a charmed life with shots whistling narrowly over the bar or around the post, and when they were on target, they found the Trefelin keeper in exceptional form.

Nomads scored a second goal shortly after the interval as a result of a goalmouth scramble, a goal that should quite properly have been disallowed due to a foul on the keeper, but with the Nomads having been denied a stonewall penalty in the 1st half that everyone except the referee thought should have been given, I suppose it evened things up.

The introduction of Jamie Mullan injected some more spark into the Nomads. He had a point to prove, and set about proving it.

2 late goals for the Nomads sealed what was in the end a comfortable victory, but in all honesty they should have been down the road and out of sight a long time before the interval.

old car peugeot 203 wedding civic offices Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was getting ready to go out for my afternoon walk there was quite a racket going on outside.

My apartment looks out onto the Civic Offices where the marriages take place, and it looks as if this afternoon, judging by all of the people around there, this today must have been the marriage of the Century.

But my attention was drawn to the car down there. It’s been a long time since we’ve featured an old car on these pages, and today there’s a Peugeot 203 down there – the white and red car.

These are gorgeous machines and I would have one in a heartbeat, especially a plateau, or pickup. I found one once ON THE ILE D’YEU when Cecile and I went to visit her mother, but I had to decline.

ship relaying bouchot stakes donville les bains baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As usual I went across the car park to have a look down onto the beach, but my attention was immediately drawn to this.

Whatever is going on down there, I have no idea but there’s a small ship fitted with a crane of some description, and I’m sure that that row of bouchot stakes wasn’t there yesterday.

It looks as if the bouchot farmers are having an extension, and there are quite a few people on the beach down by the campsite having a good look

And had I been feeling much better, I would have been down there having a good look with them.

people on beach rue du nord plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021But enough of that. Let’s go back to the beach.

Today was cloudy and overcast so I didn’t expect to see too many people down there, especially with all of the other attractions going on elsewhere.

And I was right in that respect, at least by the steps that lead up to the Rue du Nord, because there was only a handful of people there.

Farther along by the Plat Gousset there were a few more people, but that’s always the case. Access to the beach is much easier along there

f-gorn Robin DR400/120 Dauphin 2+2 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out there at the end of the car park, I noticed a light aeroplane taking off from the airfield.

She’s F-GORN, the Robin DR400/120 Dauphin 2+2 that belongs to the Aero Club de Granville, on her way out to sea

However I can’t tell you any more than that because she didn’t seem to file a flight plan, and she wasn’t picked up on radar. She’d been out for a couple of flights earlier in the day, flights that had been either recorded or picked up on radar, but for some reason or other, this one hasn’t.

trailer load of everything place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From the wall at the end of the car park I set off for my walk, but as I crossed back across the car park I encountered this.

Everyone will know what some of these items are, and I’m surprised to see them on open display like this. But different countries have different attitudes of course.

But whatever the significance of it all is, it beats me. I was thinking that maybe it’s something to do with the wedding that’s going on at the Civic Offices. But it’s certainly strange behaviour and I’ll simply leave it at that.

zodiac men fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From my usual vantage point at the highest point of the walk, I had another look out to sea.

There was a zodiac out there, stationary, with a couple of guys in there. “Fishermen” I mused to myself.

But as I watched and prepared to take a photo, another zodiac came around the headland into the bay travelling at some speed so I waited until they were both in the viewfinder before I pressed the shutter.

At least the moving zodiac gave the stationary one a wide berth. Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen many photos that showed speeding boats passing fishermen far too close for comfort

cabanon vauban person sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Across the car park I went, down to the end of the headland.

There was someone this afternoon sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban having a good look out to sea. And I’m not sure why because with the mist and haze that was about this afternoon, you couldn’t see very far out across the bay this afternoon.

There weren’t any fishermen down on the rocks this afternoon, nor anyone at the peche à pied. They are all probaby at the shellfish festival having a whale of a time.

So leaving our visitor to it, I set off on the path down the far side of the headland.

cherie d'amour port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, I could see that there was no change in the chantier naval this afternoon. L’Omerta was still in there all on her own.

As for the boats that have been in there just recently, sitting in the silt in the tidal harbour is the yellow Cherie d’Amour. She was in the chantier naval for a short period of time a couple of days ago.

Over at the ferry terminal, Belle France was tied up, but you’ve seen plenty of photos of her just recently. The other two Joly France boats are very probably out at sea somewhere around the Ile de Chausey waiting for the tide to come back in.

marquee chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As for where Chausiaise might be, she’s over there underneath the crane in the loading bay, preulably waiting to load up for her next trip out to the island.

While I was busy looking at the mayhem down at the fish processing plant as everyone swarms around the stalls and marquees, I noticed her over there so I fitted her into this photo of the rest of the activity.

The pile of freight to the right of the crane seems to have increased since we saw it yesterday, and it’s a good job that neither of the two Jersey freighters are coming into port today. It would otherwise have been extremely exciting to watch them try to unload with all of those cars blocking the loading bay.

buffet fete des coquilles st jacques port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I mentioned yesterday, no fête anywhere in France is complete unless there’s a buvette.

THis one of course is no different than anywhere else in that respect. You can see what looks like a bar and row upon row of tables and benches where everyone can sit down and enjoy a quiet drink.

The doors into the Fish Processing Plant are open, and I understand that that is where the dressing of the shellfish is taking place.

There was apparently even a space for small children to try to dress a shellfish, although what you would do with the sleeves of your garment is something that would confuse me.

la granvillaise coelacanthe suzanga port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021No prozes for guessing who this is.

The angle of the sails and the number “G90” painted thereupon will tell you that this is of course La Granvillaise. Never one to miss out on a commercial opportunity, she’s giving tourists a lap around the harbour, presumably for a couple of bob a head.

You might have noticed Marité in an earlier photo. She’s down there too, although not sailing around right now. Also down there at the back on the left is the trawler Coelacanthe and in the foreground is the new pink Suzanga.

yellow autogyro place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Finally, and last but not least, on my way back to my apartment I was overflown by the yellow autogyro.

She came around the corner from behind my building at an altitude of several hundred feet just as I was crossing the road.

Back here, I made myself a coffee and then watched a couple of videos with highlights of a couple of other games from the Welsh Cup. I suppose that I should have been transcribing my dictaphone notes but I rather unfortunately forgot.

Tea tonight was the remainder of the curry from yesterday, lengthened with a small tin of lentils, and it was just as delicious. I had one of those soya dessert pots for afterwards to sweeten my palette.

Eventually, I did manage to deal with the dictaphone notes from today. I’d bumped into the captain of one of the little Jersey freighter in Granville and tried to interest him in taking part in our radio programme. But he didn’t have very much for himself to say and he asked about payment. I explained that there was no budget, that we were volunteers. He insisted that there must be some money somewhere. We went round in circles and in the end I thought that I had managed to persuade him that there was nothing. he didn’t speak French but one of his crew did so we arranged that next Sunday we would all meet in one of the bars here and he could let me know exactly what he thought and what he was able to tell me with the aid of his colleague

later, we were at a vehicle exhibition, wandering around looking at all the old lorries that were there, in the USA judging by the plates. A former friend of mine had one, an old Ford-type of lorry but there was no engine in it. We were wandering around and they lifted a flatbed back off a lorry and found that there was another flatbed underneath it, a FEMSA dated 1972. They wondered what this was doing because this was quite rare. They made a few enquiries but the owners knew nothing about it. They rang up FEMSA and quoted the body number. They replied that they sold it to that company in 1972 so this was a big mystery as what they’d bought it for and on what hat they were going to use it. There was an autojumble there as well. I was with some woman looking at all the bits and pieces. She was asking one particular guy loads of questions about stuff. All his stuff was American electrical stuff that was no good for the UK. Eventually we came back and there was a guy actually dismantling a lorry and rebuilding it while the show was going on. He was waiting for some bits but he was quite confident that he would rebuild it and have it on the road. He was planning on a drive from Northern France to South Africa in his lorry so I was interested in going along as a co-driver but he had a team. I still tried to see and ask my way around to see whether or not there might have been a place for me because it was something extremely interesting. But there were all kinds of strange people there, 3 babies, 2 of them very badly sunburnt. There was a woman dressed as a bride who was carrying a baby on her back. I thought “she’s left it rather late to be married, hasn’t she?”

So rather later than I was hoping, I’m off to bed. I’ll leave the phone in the living room where if someone messages me tonight, I wont hear it. It’s Sunday, and a lie-in tomorrow and I’m hoping to make the most of it.

But something will go wrong of course – it usually does.

Friday 24th September 2021 – MY LIE-IN THIS MORNING …

… would have been really good had it not been for the 12 text messages that I received – 8 of which were from my mobile phone supplier telling me about special offers that I neither want nor need – during the course of the early morning.

There’s always something that goes wrong whenever I try to have to lie in for a morning.

And as you also might expect, I didn’t actually feel much better when I awoke either. But more of this anon.

After the medication I sat down to finish off yesterday’s blog entry. And there were tons of it too. It’s no surprise that I fell asleep halfway through, especially as that long chat had made me start it rather later than usual.

There was a pause in the middle for breakfast but even so, not finishing it until 11:45 was rather extreme. Mind you, I did have a few other things to do while I was at it.

Once I’d done that, I turned my attention to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was something last night about being in the Army in World War II in the Home Guard. Our platoon had a couple of machine guns and suddenly the alarm went off so we dashed with our machine guns to our selected point and erected our machine guns so that they were covering the beach. After we had been covering the beach for a few minutes the captain, probably Captain Mainwaring, turned round and ordered our guns to point to the right. The sergeant-major immediately leapt over the wall to accost the captain about this, as it meant that we were now no longer firing on the enemy as they landed. The captain gave him such a dressing-down and sent him back to his quarters. A couple of our soldiers were crying as they wouldn’t be able to have a direct reult on attacking the Germans and stopping them landing. We kept our position for about 5 minutes then the captain dismissed us, saying that we had performed a very valuable exercise and we could all go home, to everyone’s dismay. I was one of the last to leave, and suddenly I heard the sound of horses galloping up. I took cover and it turned out that they were on the TV. It was Kenneth Williams and someone else, some kind of medieval heroes doing something. Much as I appreciate the humour of Kenneth Williams, it wasn’t what I wanted to watch so I had to look for the remote control to flick through the channels to see what else was on.

Later on I had a girl come round to me in Virlet and she ended up staying the night. Next morning I had to take her back to work of course. We were wandering around the farm and I was showing her all of the solar panels, everything, and it all looked pretty overgrown with weeds because I hadn’t been there for ages, even on the roofs. The solar panels were still working fine. There was a ritual that I went through to make a reading but I couldn’t remember what it was. I was stuck there for a couple of minutes. I asked her if she wanted a coffee but she said “no” so I asked if she minded if she waited 30 seconds while I made myself one and I could rake it with me. She replied “no, that’s fine as well”

Finally, there was something weird last night about I was walking down a country lane. Someone had fenced off or roped off all of the grass verges, roped off the drive to his house which was really difficult, like a labyrinth or honeycomb, rows and rows of ropes going across it. As I walked past I dropped my screwdriver over the hedge so I crawled under the ropes all the way up to where my screwdriver was and I met him coling down the drive. I explained that I was after my screwdriver and we had a chat. In the end he invited me in for a coffee. By this time I’d acquired a girl, I don’t know who it was. Then he said that he’d go out shortly but he’d be back later on. We heard the sounds of him locking the door as if we were prisoners in it. We both had a shower and change of clothes and sat and waited, then we managed to make our way out of the house. By this time we had discovered a young lad who was something to do with the farm but was also having a lot of difficulties with him. We packed up a few things and I pinched a couple of carrots because I’d been on my way to the shops to try to buy some. I’d already been to the market and bought some cheese. We set off and had to dismantle a gatepost to get out and had to reassemble everything. That took a while, but we were able to get into our car and drive away, leaving the place exactly as it was before we left but obviously without us in it.

One thing that I wish I knew was “just who are these girls who keep on appearing during the night?”. Especially the one who spent the night with me in Virlet. I have a feeling that I’m missing out on an awful lot these days.

As I have said before … “many, many times” – ed … whatever I get up to during the night is far more exciting these days than whatever I do during the daytime, but it seems to be such a waste when I can’t remember who it is that I’m getting it up with.

After lunch, I had a shower and then set off for my physiotherapy session.

ile de chausey man fishing from rocks baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Yesterday I mentioned that if I manage to set out early I would go for a wander around the walls to see what was going on with the repointing.

Before I did so, I stopped off at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord to see what was happening out there on the beach below me.

Not a lot, as it happens, but out there on the rocks we had a lone fisherman casting his line out into the water. I didn’t stay around to see if he caught anything.

And look how clear it is this afternoon over towards the Ile de Chausey in the background.

scaffolding repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021But let us turn our attention to the repair of the medival city walls at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

On the inside, facing the street, they have already repaired a few patches and it looks quite nice, the work that they have done so far.

But as for the outside of the wall, they are going to be here quite a while trying to fix this. The presence of all of those plant roots are undermining the mortar and that’s what it probably causing a lot of the problem.

But if they repoint it with lime mortar (nasty corrosive stuff) as I did with my house in Virlet, they won’t have too much trouble in the future because any seed that tries to take hold will be burnt to a frazzle.

scaffolding repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further up along where that white protective sheeting has been fitted, they are also pushing on.

You can’t see very well in this photo but there are two guys down there underneath the footboard that you can see, and as I watched, they were busy raking out the old, loose mortar from the joints.

If you look lower down underneath where they are working, you can see that they have already repointed to a fair height, so they don’t seem to be hanging around, which makes a change these days.

beach diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021My route carried on around the path underneath the walls and round to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

The other day I mentioned that the beach cabins had been taken away for the winter. The Plat Gousset is looking quite bare without them.

Another thing that I mentioned was the diving platform. As you can see, the platform has also been taken away for the winter and there is just the concrete pillar left.

The swimming pool is looking quite lonely as well. No customers, and no water either. This is all a sign that Autumn has arrived, whether we like it or not, and even though it’s still extremely warm for the time of year.

classe decouverte plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Another sign that the tourist season is over is that the Classe Découverte season has started.

During the summer, the youth hostel in the town is full up with young tourists but once they have all gone, it’s the turn of the schools and their Discovery Classes to take over. That’s a big thing in France, with kids from the cities going into rural areas and kids from rural areas coming to the seaside.

Mind you, what they are going to discover at the Plat Gousset is anyone’s guess.

At the viewpoint I staggered off down the steps to the Place Marechal Foch and then crawled wearily through town and up the hill to the physiotherapist. Nothing happening at the building that we saw on Wednesday, and when something does, I’ll post a photo.

The physiotherapist put me through my paces on the tilting platform thing that he has, and I had to abandon one of the exercises, not because of my knee but because my shoulder was hurting. I’m having problems everywhere by the looks of things.

Mind you, I managed to add a few more seconds to my best on the cross trainer.

random road signs parc du val es fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back home I came past the old railway line and down the steps to the Parc du Val Es Fleurs.

And we can see that just as last time, the local kids have been up to no good with the road signs again.

As I mentioned the other week, part of the park’s car park has been transformed into a store for the equipment that they are using for the building of this new road, that we’ll see in a minute.

But the compound isn’t all that secure while they are down the road working, so anything can happen. And, of course, we were all kids once too – something that many adults forget.

resurfacing parc docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So where was I? Ohh yes, walking down by the side of the old railway line towards town.

They have now stated to dig up this little park just here in order to resurface it. I

‘m not sure what the park is called but the school at the side is the Ecole des Docteurs Lanos, whoever the Docteurs Lanos where when they were at home, if they ever were, and there’s a Park somewhere in the town called the Parc des Docteurs Lanos so I imagine that this could well be it.

But it seems that nothing is sacred when they are on a mission.

grader compacter rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Now doesn’t this here in the Rue du Boscq bring back many happy memories?

Eleven years ago I was the driver of one of the very first vehicles to drive over the new TRANS LABRADOR HIGHWAY and as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, we had endles encounters with graders as we made our way through the mountains.

There weren’t so many compacters though, which was surprising, so our drive was rather adventurous to say the least, but seeing a grader and a compacter here reminded me of old times.

digger moving rocks rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little further on, there was a large digger having fun with a pile of rocks.

He was dragging them around presumably to put them into position for the compacter to come and compress them into the soil ready for a layer of smaller rocks to be laid on top.

Ohh yes, I can build you a Roman Road any time you like. That course that I studied on Historical Technology was one of the most fascinating courses I have ever studied.

Nothing much else was happening in the town centre so I made my weary way up the hill towards home.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the climb up the Rue des Juifs I stopped more times that I care to remember. This is really getting me down, this health issue.

At the viewpoint overlooking the loading bay in the port we have another pile of freight deposited down there by the crane. One of the Jersey freighters must be on her way.

But it won’t be Normandy Trader, I’ll tell you that. She’s up on blocks in the chantier naval in St Malo having a good clean, a wire-brushing and a new coat of paint to maker herself look pretty.

marquee rue du port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further up the hill I bumped into one of my neighbours coming down so I was glad to sit down and rest for a while.

We were sitting on the wall talking, right by where they are erecting the marquees. And I can tell you what they are for as well now.

The season for the Coquilles St Jacques starts next week, and preliminary trials suggests that this is going to be one of the best seasons in modern times.

Consequently, they are going to hold a fête, a buffet and so on this weekend to celebrate what they are hoping to be an excellent season, and there will be shellfish all round for everyone, with a buvette of course. You can’t have a festival in France without there being a buvette involved.

And this is why Hera was in the chantier naval the other day. She was being cleaned and tidied because her owners are going to be giving tourists a guided visit.

bouchots donville les bains people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back home I went to see what was going on down on the beach, seeing as it was round about my usual time.

Plenty of beach to be on of course as the tide is receding rapidly, but surprisingly there was hardly anyone on there. I couldn’t see more than about half-a-dozen people down there this afternoon.

But with the tide being well out, the bouchot farmers were out in force of course, harvesting close to the shore while they wait for the tide to go even further out.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On my way out, I mentioned that the air was quite clear and the views were quite good this afternoon.

The camera that I had with me today was the old NIKON D3000 fitted with the 18-105mm LENS so I’m not going to have the same photos as yesterday.

However, this one of the north-east end of the Ile de Chausey came out really well.

Back here I made myself a cold drink (I’ve finished the bottle of banana concentrate and I’m not going to open another one and leave it standing over winter) and then came back in here.

Something has cropped up just recently that featured on a web page that I wrote quite a few years ago, so I had to review the page, rewrite some of it and edit the rest to bring it up to date. And once you do one, it leads you on to another.

It relinded me of a quote by Fridtjof Nansen that I read in his book In Northern Mists “the more extensive my studies became, the more riddles I perceived – riddle after riddle led to new riddles and this drew me on”

That took me up to teatime. Plenty of mushrooms left so I made a potato and mushroon curry. There’s some left too, so I’ll lengthen it with a small tin of something and finish it off tomorrow.

After lunch I had a listen to the internet radio. It’s the last Friday of the month so I feature a live concert and tonight’s (repeated tomorrow at 21:00 CET, 20:00 UK time, 15:00 Toronto/New York time) is one of the best that I have ever attended since the halcyon days of the early-mid 70s.

It took quite a bit of editing and I was keen to hear how it would come out, and I do have to say that it’s one of the finest that I have ever prepared.

It’s repeated TOMORROW at the times that I mentioned, and is podcastable afterwards. It’s well worth a listen.

moonrise eglise notre dame de cap lihou Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Just before I went to bed I went into the living room to close the window.

And the moon tonight was beautiful. It was rising tonight just above the roofs of the houses in the old medieval walled city and looked rather strange, being well below the spire of the Eglise de Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

It was obviously one of these essential photography moments so I went and fetched the NIKON D500.

And so right now, I’m off to bed. I’ve had a hard day and as yet, I haven’t fallen asleep. That is some progress, and a good night tonight should help matters even more. I hope.

Thursday 23rd September 2021 – WHAT A BEAUTIFUL …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then we have another couple of trawlers heading our way

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hence my mid-afternoon walk has missed her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 22nd September 2021 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… I’ve actually had a good day today. Not that I’ve done very much in the way of work, but I didn’t crash out. And any day when I don’t crash out is a good day today.

Not that going to bed early helped much, because, as you might expect, I was awake again at 05:20. It’s rather pointless, isn’t it?

After the medication I came back in here to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. It started off with something somewhere about me having a twin VHS recorder and I was trying to copy films from one tape to another, but it was so long since I’d done it that I couldn’t remember and I wasn’t doing very well at this. I’d tried 1 or 2 but it didn’t seem to work so I was having to go away and sit and think about how I used to do it and try to do it again. I can’t remember much more than that.

Later on I was in Brussels and suddenly had a whim to go down to the Auvergne so I climbed into Caliburn and set off. It was rush hour of course so fighting my way around the ring road was something of a nightmare with all kinds of people doing all kinds of crazy things. Eventually I arrived. I don’t remember the journey and I don’t remember arriving but the next thing that I remember was that I was sitting in what I suppose was my living room on some comfy seat on castors that you could move around with your feet. There was a big roaring fire and Rosemary was there who had presumably lit the fire for me. Later on – because I dictated the first part and then afterwards stepped right back into the place where I left off, AGAIN! – there were 2 girls there and I had to show them how to use the bathroom and everything. I looked outside and it was snowing so I went to send a text to say that it was snowing but then I thought to myself that this can’t be real – in a dream as well! – because it was August. It was getting light so Rosemary who had now transformed herself into that woman whom I knew in Stockport wondered if she should make us all a cup of tea. I thought that that was a great idea. As it became light there was a couple of dogs flying around into the area and they met up with each other and started to fight.

This was actually one of the most realistic voyages that I have had and when I awoke I was all for immediately leaping into Caliburn and leaving Brussels for the south.

This morning I had a little relax and took care of a few personal things that needed attention, and then just as I was about to start work, Rosemary rang – by pure coincidence – and we had another one of our marathon chats that went on for ever – well, until lunch time actually.

After lunch I had a shower, set the washing machine off and then headed off to the physiotherapist

chausiaise buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we discussed the two cranes on the quayside and how one of them seems to have developed some nomadic tendencies of late.

It’s been off on its travels too since we last saw it. It’s now found a place on the quayside in between Chausiaise, the Ile de Chausey ferry, and Buddy M, the trawler that came over from Ireland the other day for a reason that I have yet to discover.

There’s plenty of traffic on the quayside too and I wonder why that is. Usually there’s no big issue about parking in the public car parks once the tourists have gone home and I’ve no heard of any big event going on in the town today.

trimming vegetation Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On my way downhill in the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne on my way towards the Rue des Juifs, I noticed that at last they have started to trim the vegetation.

Usually, I’m all in favour of letting the vegetation grow as much as it likes without doing too much trimming but regular readers of this rubbish will have noticed from some of the blurrings on some of the photos, that the vegetation has grown so high that it’s been getting in the way of my photos and I’m not tall enough to photograph over it.

So I’m hoping that clearing the vegetation will improve my view and improve the quality of my photos. and they need all of the improvement in quality that they can get.

“And who are the 2E et 202E de Ligne?” I hear you ask. The answer is that the Second and Two Hundred and Second Regiments of the Line were the regiments that were stationed in the barracks here where I now live.

From the town centre I pushed on up the hill towards the physiotherapist, stopping more times than I would like or care to admit, in order to catch my breath.

building due for demolition rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I came up to near the top, I stopped to have a look at what was happening to this building.

It used to be a hairdresser’s with apartments over the top but one day about a year or so ago an announcement went up in the window Fermé à cause de péril imminent – “closed on account of an immediate danger”.

A short while later I managed to wangle a view of the Order from the Préfet. The building was said to be in a dangerous, insalubrious condition with a list of faults in the apartments as long as your arm. In view of that, it was no surprise that they obtained an Order for eviction and closing of the premises.

notice of impending demolition rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The building went up for sale a while back, but today I observed that there was a sign affixed to the window.

It seems that the building has now been sold and the new owners obtained planning permission 2 weeks ago to demolish the existing building and replace it with a building of 8 apartments with commercial premises on the ground floor.

This will be another worksite that we shall follow and see how things develop, or, in this case, how they redevelop.

At the physiotherapist he put me through my paces and I actually went for 2:08 in the cross trainer thing before I had to stop for breath. That’s about 20 seconds more than my previous best.

But the sad thing is that the cross trainer is not the street on which you walk. That’s an entirely different proposition.

On my way home I called in at the Carrefour to buy an energy drink to propel me up the hill on the way back. It was quite warm and sweaty and the drink was cold so that was even better.

cherry picker crane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back, I stopped on several occasions to catch my breath.

One of them was at the viewpoint overlooking the loading bay. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing a cherry picker down there next to the crane that’s up at that end. It’s still there today, although it’s no clear what has been going on or what it has been doing.

The dark blue container by the crane is one that belongs on Mormandy Trader, by the way. She carries a few of them when she roams about, but on her last trip here (which was early Monday morning, by the way), she must have been fully loaded with other stuff.

windsurfers kayakers chateau de la crête baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further up, I had another stop for breath and a sit-down to attack my drink and cool off.

Over in the distance I could see that the sailing school was in action again this afternoon but to my surprise, they aren’t yachts out there but windsurfers.

They must do a little of everything there, because there are a couple of kayakers too whom I could see.

Incidentally, they are in the artificial lagoon there. There’s a wall that traps some of the sea when the tide goes out so that the people on the beach don’t have to walk miles to the water when the tide is out.

setting up marquee rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Regular readers of this rubbish will also recall that on Saturday I talked about the chicane in the Rue du Port.

As I walked back up the hill towards home I noticed that they now seem to be erecting a marquee down there now, and part of the car park at the Fish Processing Plant is cordoned off too.

So it looks as if maybe this weekend there is going to be an event taking place in the town, so I’ll have to prime myself for another walk.

It must be something to do with the Fish Processing Plant, I reckon, because there must be 100 places where they could set up a large marquee without having to interrupt all of the traffic in the Rue du Port.

The walk back up the final 100 metres of the hill wasn’t as bad as I was fearing although it would have been even better had I not been almost squidged by a car full of Bretons coming the wrong way down a one-way street.

peche a pied beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Before I went back to my apartment I went to see how they were getting on with the peche à pied seeing as by now the tide was miles out

Sure enough, there were quite a few people scavenging around on the rocks down there this afternoon taking advantage of the very low tide and hoping to see what they can find.

One or two people too down at the water’s edge, although I couldn’t tell if they were scavenging for shellfish or paddling in the water. The afternoon was quite nice right now, but it wasn’t that nice. Not for me, anyway.

beach plat gousset Granville donville les bains Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Of course it goes without saying that I went to have a look down on the beach.

Plenty of beach to be on, but surprisingly apart from the scavengers doing the pêche à pied, there weren’t too many other people there. It’s a Wednesday afternoon and the schools are closed so I would have thought that there would have been many more people down there making the most of our Indian Summer.

And I was correct about the disappearance of the beach cabins on the Plat Gousset. They were taken away yesterday morning, apparently. That probably means that the diving platform out at the Plat Gousset has gone too.

Back here in the apartment I hung out the washing and then made the dough for my next batch of fruit bread because I had the last slice this morning. And almost immediately that I finished, a neighbour came to see me and I had to go to talk to him for about 45 minutes.

After I came back there was just enough time to update a couple of earlier journal entries with the missing dream details before it was time to bake the bread.

While it was at it I stuck some potatoes and the last slice of pie in there, and then blanched the leeks that I’d bought on Monday ready for freezing.

Tea was pie with potatoes, veg, (leeks of course included) and gravy. It was very nice too.

And now that my delicious meal is over and my notes are written, it’s time for bed. Later than I was hoping. I have a whole day at home tomorrow so I’m expecting something to pop up at the last minute to disturb me.

Monday 20th September 2021 – SOME GOOD NEWS TODAY!

And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

I went to pay the laboratory for my blood test this morning and after they registered my Carte Vitale – the entitlement card for the French Social Services, they told me that I’m registered as a Maladie Grave – a “Serious Illness” case, I don’t have to pay a thing.

So as well as the nice nurses at Castle Anthrax, we now have free blood tests. This illness does have some compensations, but I’ve had to look hard in order to find them.

This morning I was up quite quickly as the alarm went off, thanks to the early night that I had, and with nothing on the dictaphone I must have had a very peaceful, restful night for a change.

After my medication I came back here to check my mails and messages.

Do any of the regular readers of this rubbish recall A PHOTO THAT I POSTED a few weeks ago?

photo from advertisement Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021When I posted it I mentioned that the photo was being used on the internet as an advert for a piece of photo-editing software and that when the photo came round again I would post it for you to compare.

It’s definitely the same photo as you can see, so there is something weird going on here with this. I smell something fishy, and I’m not talking about the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

Having checked my mails and messages I then attacked the next radio programme. And despite a couple of stops for coffee and for breakfast, it was all done and dusted and ready to go by 11:05 and I don’t recall having prepared a programme as quickly as this one.

11:05 I’d finished my radio programme, and 11:06 I was on my way out to the shops to buy salad and fruit.

chicane rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There were roadworks in the Rue du Port and so we had to go through a sort-of chicane to head into town.

What complicated the issue was that firstly I was stuck behind a grockle in a mobile home crawling along at 10mph admiring the seagulls and secondly, a coach had decided to stop there despite the narrow road and the “no waiting” signs in order to discharge his passengers.

After a couple of foul oaths and curses I eventually made it to LIDL and did a lap around the shop for a pile of stuff. And forgot to buy the syrup for the soft drinks too

The laboratory closes at 12:00 for lunch and it was 12:01 when I pulled up on the car park. I just about beat the staff to the door and I was lucky in that they agreed to see me. So with the good news about my account, I headed for home and a coffee.

cherie d'amour chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way out to the shops I went past the chantier naval where I noticed that there was a new occupant this morning.

On the way back I nipped into there to see if I could find her name. Actually, she’s not a new boat because we have seen her before when she was in the chantier naval a while back.

She’s one of the smaller inshore shellfish boats called Cherie d’Amour. She’s usually been seen – for the last few weeks at least – sitting on the silt in the outer tidal harbour and not travelling very far, if at all.

Ordinarily I would have made further enquiries about her but there was no-one around her to ask.

le pescadore chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was there, there was another task that I had to do, one about which I’ve been talking for a while.

There’s been a trawler in the chantier naval for the last several weeks and i’ve never been able to find out her name. But seeing as the paintwork was almost finished I imagined that her name would have been painted on the wind deflector above the cabin windscreen.

Sure enough, they’ve repainted her name and I can now tell you that she’s called Le Pescadore. She’s one whom we’ve seen before although I’m not surprised that I didn’t recognise her because back then, she was painted light blue and yellow. But she’s certainly carrying the same registration number

l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On my way back to Caliburn I went to have a good look at L’Omerta.

She’s a catamaran-type, which explains why they are happy for her to sit in the silt when the tide goes out, and I bet that there’s a really good view from that lower window when she’s out at sea.

One thing that I noticed is that she has two screws or propellors, one on each pontoon. I don’t recall having seen that on a small catamaran before.

So back at the apartment I made myself a coffee. That was a good morning’s work and it’s one less thing to worry about.

There was a huge pile of washing-up to do because I’d forgotten to switch the water back on after my return from Leuven. It wasn’t until late last night that I realised and switched it back on. And now having clean crockery and cutlery I could make lunch.

That’s the last of the bread so tomorrow morning first thing I shall have to make some more.

After lunch I listened to the radio programme that will be broadcast on Friday night and the one that I’d prepared this morning. Friday night’s is going to be a belter – a live concert from the Crystal Palace Bowl and it’s one of the best that I have ever done

whitecap waves people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk, so with no Nazguls about this afternoon to threaten me I could make my way safely to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach.

Down on the beach there were very few people, and that’s no surprise because despite the sunshine and the bright sky; it was howling a gale out there.

You can tell that by looking at the whitecaps on the waves as they crash down onto the beach. I know that we have plenty of wind around here, but this was one of the strongest winds that we have had for a little while.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So much so that when I wwent to look out at the sea, I had to take off my cap in case it blew away.

But right out there in the Baie de Granville there was one of the smaller shellfishing boats battling away among the waves. It was having quite a battle too, trying to make progress against the weather.

There weren’t too many people around on the footpath this afternoon and none of the aeroplanes from the airfield taking to the air so I pretty much had the path to myself as I set off towards the lighthouse.

sparrowhawk fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I reached the end, I discovered that I wasn’t alone.

There were one or two people here but there was also one of our sparowhawks hovering around keeping an eye open for anything edible moving around at the foot of the cliffs. And while I was looking, he didn’t seem to be having much success.

And while we are on the subject of people not having very much success, there was a fishing boat down there just offshore. He was too far out for me to see what he was doing or if he was catching anything, but we have yet to see anyone pull anything out of the water.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The tide was too far out for me to expect to see anyone fishing from the rocks at the end of the headland at the Pointe du Rock.

There were however two people sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban braving the gale-force wind although I’m not sure why because there wasn’t anything at all going on out there this afternoon.

By the looks of things they were picking up messages on their mobile phones, but I’m sure that there must be plenty of other places nearby that are much more comfortable than down there to do it.

baie de mont st michel le loup kairon plage Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little further on around the headland I could have a really good view of Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour.

The tide is out so we can see the rocks upon which the light sits, but we have also seen it when the tide has been right in up to the upper of the two red rings, and we can see the tide mark that is the more usual level of high tide.

In the background we can see the beach at Kairon Plage. It looks like quite a nice beach, which it is, and there are quite a few people on it too. The headland here at the Pointe du Roc acts as a windbreak so that it’s not as cold over there as it is here.

le pescadore, catherine philippe cherie d'amour l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further on along the path I came to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval.

We can see all of the four boats that we noticed this morning. From left to right we have Le Pescadore, Catherine Philippe, Cherie d’Amour and L’Omerta. Only four boats down there, which is a far cry from the heady days of a couple of weeks ago when we had no fewer than seven.

There are plenty of vehicles down there so it seems that there is plenty of work going on with the boats. I’m half-expecting to come down here one of these days soon to find that another one or two boats have gone back into the water.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was looking down at the chantier naval, I was overflown.

In fact, I was wondering if I was going to see some aerial activity (apart from the sparrowhawk of course) with there being no Nazguls, no aeroplanes from the airfield, and too much cloud to see if there were any full-size aeroplanes going past at 35,000 feet.

However I was not going to be disappointed because rattling past overhead on its way back to the airfield came the yellow autogyro that we see quite often. And he was making heavy weather of the trip back, fighting his was through the headwinds. His rotor was going round at 13 to the dozen but he was barely inching along.

trawler buddy m port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way home to the apartment I noticed this strange trawler moored in the inner harbour.

She’s one whom I haven’t seen before so I had to make a few enquiries. She’s called Buddy M and she’s arrived here earlier this afternoon from her home port of Cork in Ireland.

Tomorrow morning I shall have to check the newspapers to find out why she arrived here because it’s a pretty strange voyage for a trawler like this to undertake.

Back here I made myself a smoothie and then spent another while sorting out some photos from several years ago until it was time for tea.

At the shop this morning I’d bought a pepper and some mushrooms so I made myself another really nice stuffed pepper – and to do the washing up again now that I have mor ehot water.

And with my notes now written, I’m off to bed. I have bread to make tomorrow and a Welsh lesson too, so I can’t hang around.

Saturday 24th July 2021 – JUST TO PROVE …

sunrise walled city Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall…. that I can do it when I really try, this is sunrise this morning.

It says 05:44 on the image date-stamp but because my cameras and recording equipment are always set to local standard time, it was in fact 06:44.

And by this time I’d had my medication, checked the dictaphone (to find that there was nothing at all on it – what a shame. I thought that Castor and Pollux might have come back to carry on from where we left off last night) and I was making a mug of coffee.

Such is the dedication, but unfortunately it didn’t last, as you will find out if you read on.

With nothing to transcribe on the dictaphone, I used the time by attacking the photos from August 2019 when we were in zodiacs cruising around Disko Bay in the Davis Strait.

A little later I went for a shower and then set the washing machine off on a cycle (a very clever washing machine, mine). And at the astonishingly early hour of 08:15 I hit the streets and went to the shops

3 Shops I visited, all in all. Lidl, Noz and LeClerc. Not an emty shelf in sight and you couldn’t move round the aisles for the piles of fresh fruit and vegetable. As well as the usual apples, pears and bananas, I bought peaches, grapes and a melon. Ill be pigging out this week

In fact, LIDl’s shopping bill came to something like €46:00 and it’s not very often at all that I spend that much there without something tangible to show for it.

new building near noz Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt Noz, the building that they are constructing on the waste land at the back is coming on apace, but I’m more interested in what was in the shop.

And at long last I found four matching seat cushions for my dining chairs. And a folder for all of my Welsh Summer School stuff. And some frozen falafel and as well as that some frozen vegan minced “beef”.

That was a good find because I need to make a curry, being pretty low down on stuff like that in the freezer and I was wondering what to use. That will make a nice change.

It was an important shop in LeClerc too. I told you that I was running out of stuff in here not having been shopping for a couple of weeks. But now I have a full freezer, a full fridge, a full vegetable rack and full shelves.

Having done all of the shopping I rushed back home and dragging only half the shopping up here (you’ve no idea how heavy everything was), putting the freezer stuff away, sorting out the washing and hanging it on the airing cupboard, I was ready for my new Saturday morning Welsh chat session, armed with hot chocolate and fruit bread.

Brain of Britain has struck once again.

After that, I can’t remember what I did. But one thing that I do know is that it wasn’t very much.

There was a pause for lunch, as you might expect, and then I came back in here. Next thing that I remember was that it was something like 16:15. I’ve had another one of those cataleptic crashing-out that has been the bane of my existence for the last 6 months.

Mind you, I don’t think that going to bed well after midnight contributed much to my good health.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo with no buses outside ruining the pavement and the grass, I wandered over across the car park to have a look down on the beach to see what was going on this afternoon.

And what surprised me more than anything was that there were so many people down on the beach this afternoon.

It may not look like it in this image but right now it was teeming down with rain. I hadn’t noticed at first, but I soon did once I put my sooty foot out of the front door of the building and I hadn’t gone 20 yards before I went back for my raincoat .

So all of those people strolling up and down the beach trying to work out what to do on summer Saturday afternoon that is probably one of the wettest that I have every know, well, they are braver people than I am.

ile de chausey baie de granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs usual, while one of my eyes was roaming around the beach, the other one was busy roaming around out to sea to see what I could see.

And while regular readers of this rubbish will recall being regaled with endless photos of whole fleets of boats out there at sea during the week and would have been expecting to see maybe ten times that on a Saturday afternoon in midsummer, then you are in for a shock.

In the expanse of the water in the Baie de Granville between here and the Ile de Chausey, I couldn’t even see one boat. And that’s probably the most surprising thing of all today.

So on that note, I cleared off along the path around the headland, dropping my camera lens cap on the way.

yachts in rainstorm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was however something going on out at sea. I’d seen something vaguely white down the coast near St Malo.

Back home, I cropped the image, enhanced it and enlarged it, and I found that there were two yachts just emerging out of a rainstorm down the Brittany coast. I can’t think that they must have been enjoying the weather out there very much.

And neither was I. I didn’t want to be hanging around too much in all of this so I cleared off rather smartish-like.

Across the car park and down to the headland, nothing going on down there. Not even a fisherman today which was a surprise. So I wandered off along the path on the other side of the headland to see what was going on there.

man with kids flying kite boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s an ill wind indeed that doesn’t blow anyone any good, as we all know.

As well as the driving rain, we were having winds of April-and-May proportions which were presumably keeping most people indoors, but not this father and his two sons.

They were making the most of whatever the weather could throw at them by flying a kite. They weren’t particularly good at it, I have to say, but full marks to them for trying it. Most of the other people around here at the car park in the Boulevard Vaufleury had taken shelter in their vehicles.

volkswagen lupo with broken rear window boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m not quite sure what had happened to this Volkswagen with a broken rear window.

It’s the kind of thing that I’ve seen happen before, when someone has put a rather large object on the parcel shelf and then slammed the tailgate without thinking.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall watching a young girl open a car door, causing the glass to come into contact with the mirror of the car next to her. The mirror made short work of her window.

On the other hand, there could have been something more sinister going on here with this broken window, but anything that I might say and any suggestion that I might make would be pure speculation.

tidal harbour chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn case you are wondering where all of the boats are that ought to be out at sea right now making the most of a Saturday in mid-summer, then now you know the answer.

They are all here, moored up in the inner harbour and left to go aground with the changing tide. The owners are, I imagine, either at home curled up y the wire with a good book, or else in one of the many bars in the town waiting for the weather to turn.

But it was something of a forlorn hope. There was 10/10th cloud everywhere with no sign of anything clearing. In fact at rained all afternoon, all evening and by the looks of things, it’ll be raining all night too.

There doesn’t look as if there is going to be any let-up in this weather until the wind turns round.

rue du port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou can see what I mean by looking at this photo here.

This is the Rue du Port on a Saturday afternoon at a couple of minutes to 5:00pm in late July, and you’ll see that some of the cars have their headlights illuminated. That tells you everything that you need to know about the weather.

And that was my lot today. I wasn’t going to hang around in this sort of weather. I headed for home.

And having had a nice cold Strawberry Smoothie yesterday afternoon, today it was a nice, hot strong coffee. It was taters outside.

Shock! Horror! I did some tidying up, and then I came for tea. One of those bread-crumbed soya things of which I bought a pile a while ago and stored in the freezer. That was followed by jam roly-poly.

Bedtime now, although I’m not tired, having had a really long sleep this afternoon. But I’ll do my best.

It’s a lie-in tomorrow but there’s plenty of work to do, like bake some more bread, for example. For some reason the loaf that I made the other day was a dismal failure. I blame the useless yeast myself, but it could really be down to anything.

Tomorrow I’ll give it another go.

Monday 15th February 2021 – I WAS RIGHT …

lighthouse semaphore people on lawn and path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… about the heavy rain last night washing away the rest of the snow and ice that was still hanging around after our famous snowfall last week, more’s the pity.

If you compare this photo with the one THAT I TOOK THE OTHER DAY you can see immediately the difference between the weather conditions in the two photographs. I wonder when, or if, we might see snow again. It was a long time coming.

Beating the third alarm was another thing that was a long time coming, but once again I managed to be up and about before it went off.

There’s some stuff on the dictaphone so later on I had a listen. I was at work, working long past my retirement date which I was doing yet again. It seems to have become something of a regular occurrence. Suddenly a memo came down to say that Friday 8th February was to be my very last day. It was the Friday before that at the moment and the next week I was working away so I worked late until everyone had gone and I just took a bag and put some stuff in it, so much that it was really difficult to carry, and then I set off, thinking that I’d come back the Monday after I’d retired and bring a box to put the rest of the stuff in it. I walked all the way through town and ended up at the hospital. I was going there in the hope that I could have my 1st Covid injection before I set off on my business trip

Today I’ve spent all morning working on another radio programme. After the medication I sat down and started work and by the time that I was ready to knock off for lunch it was all done and dusted, the whole hour of it, and I was listening to it to make sure that it was okay.

It’s come out quite well too, and I’ve even managed to squeeze into it a track that has been on my playlist ever since the moment that I first heard it in 1970.

There was of course the morning break for hot chocolate and sourdough fruit-bread. There’s only one helping left of that so tomorrow afternoon I’ll have to make a start on preparing some new stuff.

And talking of the sourdough, after I fed it yesterday it’s gone berserk, erupted, and made a mess all over the worktop. It’s quite active now by the looks of things. I reckon that the ginger bug is ready too so while I’m at it I’m going to have a go at making my first batch of ginger beer.

Having listened to the radio programme and also the one that will be broadcast this weekend, I sent off the latter and for the next while I carried on with tidying up the hard drive with all of the back-up files on it, going through the duplicates.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAll of that took me up to my afternoon walk outside.

As we can see, the workmen are now back up on the roof of the College Malraux carrying on with the tiling after their enforced break at the end of last week. And I don’t envy them one bit whatsoever about their job, because there was another gale-force wind blowing and there was rain threatening too.

It’s hardly surprising, given the weather conditions that we experience around here, that the wind blew one of the workmen off the roof a couple of months ago while I was away in Leuven and they had to send the air ambulance out to pick him up and rush him to hospital.

people on the beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was at it, I went over to the edge of the car park to look down upon the beach to see if there was anything exciting going on.

There wasn’t anything special that I could see down there, except for the fact that there seemed to a rather extraordinary number of people down there amusing themselves. This wasn’t really the weather for crowds of people relaxing at the water’s edge.

Despite the torrential rain last night, the paths were fairly dry for a change. I was expecting to be up to my knees in the mud and slush. It was quite easy to move around out there, although there wasn’t anything particular to see out there, and the heavy clouds prevented any sun from seeping through.

people working on aztec lady chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith nothing particular going on out to se, I had a walk along the path to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale and the port.

And there was some excitement going on down there today. Whilst the occupants of the chantier navale are still the same, the area around Aztec Lady seems to be a hive of activity today. There were quite a few people wandering around there looking as if they might be about to start work on her.

They may even be thinking about putting her back into the water some time very soon, although I seem to recall having had a similar fit of optimism a long, long time ago when she was first hauled ashore.

rue du port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s a good view from here too all down the Rue du Port as far as the Place Pleville.

We can see that most of the fishing boats have all gone out to sea today. They must have had Sunday off. Of course, the tide is well out so we won’t be seeing them coming back for a while, especially as we have the curfew at 18:00. There’s no sign of that being lifted right now either given the fact that the casualty figures for the virus don’t seem to be decreasing by very much.

By now the rain was falling as I had expected, so I made my way back to my apartment. My hot coffee would just the job to warm me up after my exertions.

The postman had been today which was good news. He’d brought me a couple of little presents for which I was grateful.

The first thing was the SATA caddy for 2.5 inch drives. I need that to download the BIOS files for the new SSD drives that are on their way. The BIOS needs to be loaded onto the drives before I fit them into the machines so that the machines will fire up properly and I can download the operating system etc. These SSD drives are completely blank. I’ll plug them into the caddies which will then be plugged into a USB port on another machine and I can download the BIOS files like that from the laptop manufacturers.

But it’s also enabled me to carry out another task. I had an ancient laptop 10 years ago that gradually gave up the ghost and died after the charging pin broke off inside the casing. Soldering a flying lead onto the motherboard provided only a temporary repair.

At the time I salvaged the hard drive from it and put it on one side with the view of looking at it and salvaging the files at some time. Now that I have the caddy I can actually access the files and even as we speak I’m uploading the contents from the hard drive via the caddy onto the hard drive in this computer. And it’s going to be a long job.

The second thing that came in the post was the new battery for the little Acer that will be the recipient of one of the SSD drives. The battery had died in it completely and while I was surfing the net I came across a stock of spare batteries for it.

Surprisingly, the difference between a standard battery and a battery of twice the capacity was a mere €4:00 and so for a mere €23:99 including, this will be ready to go when it has its new 1TO SSD.

Even though it’s an old machine running Windows 7, the fact is that everything important is easily accessible in it and I remember when I bought it that I enquired about the memory and ended up ramming into it as much RAM as it could take. The processor is pretty slow but it did everything that I wanted of it quickly enough, and it’ll go even quicker with a Solid-State Drive.

It’s much smaller than a standard laptop, with an 11.6″ screen and very light so it was great for travelling. I need to cut down on the amount and weight of stuff that I have to take with me when I travel.

This took me up to guitar practice time, which went off okay although I wasn’t really in the mood very much..

At the shops on Saturday there were no loose mushrooms so I was obliged to buy a punnet of 500 grammes. They won’t keep for long so I made myself I great big potato and mushroom curry with vegetables and coconut cream. It was absolutely delicious and, even better, There’s enough for another four or five meals so I’ll be stocking the freezer when it’s cooled down.

So now I’m off to bed. No Welsh course tomorrow as it’s half-term but I do have my little 15-minute chat with my tutor. And then I need to nip to the shops. I need to buy a couple of things that I forgot on Saturday.

Friday 22nd January 2021 – JUST TO PROVE …

… that Ireland doesn’t have a monopoly on this sort of thing, I thought that you might be interested in a telephone conversation that I had this morning

“Hello Mr Hall. This is the hospital at Leuven”
“Hello”
“You have your appointment with us on Wednesday afternoon”
“That’s correct”
“Well there has been an important change. Before you come to the hospital on Wednesday you need to have a Covid test on Monday or Tuesday”
“No problem. Where can I go for that?”
“Well I don’t know. I don’t know how the system works in France”.
“But I’ll be in Belgium from Monday afternoon”
“Then you need to be tested in Belgium”
“Where can I go for a test in Belgium?”
“Wait a moment”
lengthy pause
“You can have an appointment here on Tuesday afternoon at 14:30”
“At the hospital?”
“Yes”
“So if I can have an appointment at the hospital on Tuesday afternoon, why can’t I have one on Wednesday prior to my appointment?”
“Because you can’t come to the hospital without having had a test”
“But the test is at the hospital?”
“Yes”
“So I can come to the hospital without a test in order to have the test?”
“Yes”
“So why can’t I do that on Wednesday?”
“Because you can’t come to the hospital without having a test”.

And I promise you – I am not making this up.

Mind you it’s a good thing that the hospital did ring me because that was what awoke me. I’d slept through all of the alarms and it was now 09:45. So that was another morning wasted and I’m becoming quite fed up of this. It serves me right for not going to bed until late.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone.

There had been some kind of issue with the Ranger in Canada. I was working on it but I was making no progress at all and no-one seemed to be giving me very much of a hand. I was pretty much resigned to being without the Ranger for quite some time. I’d been given a rail warrant to go off on the train to fetch some parts but I was in no way ready to do that so I didn’t use the warrant. One of the daughters of my niece came back with a big fire extinguisher thing. Apparently it used to be full of old tar but she had gone and bought some paint for my Ranger. She said that her dad was unhappy about it being put in that container but she’d done it all the same. I was in pyjamas – I’d been in pyjamas all week and it was time for me to go home so I said to my niece “I’ll let you have these pyjamas back”. She replied “no, no, keep wearing them”. I said “I’ll let you have them back on Sunday when I return home” so that was fine. Then her husband turned up. “That railway warrant that you didn’t use – you’ll have to see your sister’s husband about that. It came from him”. I replied “I’ll sort it all out. It’s not a problem”. I noticed in his work bag – he had a huge work bag/holdall kind of thing that there was all kinds of food in it and there was food in other places. I thought that this place was becoming untidy now. I wouldn’t leave food lying around like that, not even me. Things need to be tidied up around here because it’s really in a mess. I asked about the paint – what paint they had bought. He said that it was a dark green but it should have been red. I replied “no, it should have been yellow like Caliburn if it was going to be anything”. He said that he had to go somewhere to see someone about the Sky cards so I asked “may I come with you for the drive?”. So we agreed on that. he took the Sky cards out of the machine to read the passwords and off we set. At a certain point someone came haring down the driveway towards the road in an old green and white Consul Mk II. For some unknown reason I had it in my mind that it was a Cortina. They came down there and just got to the end and stopped so I had a smile. He asked what was the matter. I replied “nothing really. I was just having a smile at that car”.

As well as the phone call from the hospital, I made several other ‘phone calls today, all of which were to do with my potential Covid vaccination.

Having been given a prescription by the doctor and also at the same time a letter of introduction listing my illness and other health issues, I rang up the Covid centre at St-Lô. I explained that with being a foreigner with a private health insurance I’m not registered with the Sécurité Sociale and as it’s they who are dealing with the Covid injections, I’m afraid that I’ll slip through the cracks and be missed.

She replied, after presumably consulting a few colleagues, that if I have a prescription and a doctor’s letter I would be added to the list but at the moment there aren’t too many vaccines here in the département. We aren’t a high-risk area.

The next batch of vaccines is due to arrive on 8th February so if I ring back then, they will add me onto the list.

While I was speaking to them I also had the idea that maybe it might just be a good idea to be registered with the Sécurité Sociale here even if I’m not liable to be covered by anything that they can offer me.

Having made a few false calls (because it’s not clear to whom you need to contact) I eventually managed to speak to someone who seemed to know what he was talking about. And the net result of this that if I send them a pile of information INCLUDING proof of my own private health insurance, they will register me into the system.

So that’s some good news anyway, although I’m not expecting it to be a speedy solution. The straightforward appointment at St-Lô seems to be the best. But I’m not going to the shops tomorrow seeing as I’m off on my travels on Monday, so I’ll deal with this form them and there.

Apart from that, the rest of the day, such as it was, has been spent dealing with the siege of the Chateau de Chalus and the death of Richard the Lionheart. And I’m not making very much progress.

Although there was no pause for breakfast, there was still a pause for lunch and more of my nice bread.

bernie sanders mittens rubble from gas pipe laying Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd there was the pause of course for the afternoon walk around the cliffs.

First stop was just outside the door to see how they were getting on with the relaying of the gas pipes in the Rue St Michel. But I don’t have to worry about that any more these days as there is an eminently qualified inspector on the job as you can see if you enlarge the photo.

So leaving him to carry on with his good work, I cleared off down the path which was now starting to dry out somewhat.

storm at sea english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut it’s not going to remain like that for long, I reckon.

As you can see out there in the distance over the sea there’s a storm cloud and a pile of heavy rainfall and the wind is blowing it in our direction. It won’t be long before we have that lot dropping on our heads.

So not wishing to hang about any and wait for it, I headed off across the lawn and the car park to see what was going on across the bay. And today, there was nothing to see. A few clouds but the sun was quite bright and we weren’t having any special effects on the water.

rue du port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe huge puddle in the path on the southern side of the headland had receded somewhat so it wasn’t as awkward as it was to pass by there yesterday. And as there was nothing going on at the chantier navale I turned my attention to the port.

There hadn’t been any fishing boats out at sea this afternoon as far as I could see, so I imagined that they were all in harbour. There were certainly plenty of them in there. It seems that they haven’t resolved this dispute with the Channel Islands yet.

Nothing else of note so I turned my attention to the mug of hot coffee that was waiting for me back at home.

The hour on the guitar passed quickly enough and after all of this time I’ve suddenly found myself able to play the bass again with 2 fingers like I used to back in the early and mid-70s. Having struggled along playing with just one finger (I never ever used a plectrum on the bass) since I started to play again a couple of years ago, it came back just like that.

I need to work on the timing because my synchronisation seems to be out on one or two tracks, but I’m sure that it will come. But I can’t sing and play with two fingers – well, not yet anyway. I’m working on that.

Tea was taco rolls with the rest of the stuffing, and then a ‘phone call from Rosemary to finish off the evening.

Now that my notes are written up, I’m off to bed. Last night was a disaster and I need to do much better than this, especially as as I have a 04:30 alarm call on Monday morning.

What a way to start the week, hey?

Saturday 5th December 2020 – I’M NOT …

… feeling myself today.

And quite right too, as it’s a disgusting habit.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you admire some more photos of storms at night on the Plat Gousset, I can tell you that there’s probably a reason for part of my issues, in that not going to bed until about 02:00 and waking up at 06:00 means that I’m probably quite exhausted. But looking around me and the state in which I seem to be living right now, I can see all of the signs of having fallen into the Black Pit.

When I moved here from the farm I vowed that I wouldn’t let my place ever get into this condition, but they seem to be somewhat hollow words now.

But yes, I was indeed awake at 06:00 and although I didn’t quite beat the third alarm to my feet, there was only a matter of seconds in it.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving had the medication, I listened to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And even though there hadn’t been much time in bed, there had still been plenty of time to wander off. We (whoever “we” were) were living in a house in Africa, a great big house. There were servants and all of these people who were living there. Armed guards and everything because the area was a little out of control. We noticed, peering through the forest, that there were 3 horsemen going past in the distance. We didn’t really pay too much attention to them because there were people always going past and usually it was better not to know who they were. Then a few minutes later they came back. One of the servants pointed them out. It turned out that they were dressed as policemen but they were carrying with them this enormous collection of knives. That made them the strangest kind of policemen I’d ever seen. The servant stuck his head out of the window to see. One of the men saw him and gesticulated so he opened the door and words were exchanged. The woman of the house went next to the window to speak to these guys, then turned back and said “we all have to present our papers to these people”. I made sure than I appeared in the window to make sure that they realised that there were a lot more than just the 2 people they had seen so far in the house.

a href=”https://www.erichall.eu/images/2012/2012044.html”>storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on I had a shower and then headed out for the shops. NOZ had a few bits and pieces but nothing of real interest and at LeClerc the only thing that I bought that was unusual was some puff pastry sheets. That is something really complicated to make and way beyond my capabilities, but I have to turn my attention to making my mince pies very soon.

Back here I was too exhausted to unpack straight away so I made my hot chocolate and with a slice of chocolate cake I came in here to sit down and to do some work.

After lunch I came back to continue but fatigue had caught up with me again and I crashed out for half an hour on the chair, feeling pretty much awful.

Nevertheless, I awoke in time for the football. Penybont playing Caernarfon, a nice mid-table match in the JD Cymru League. And whatever it is that I’m suffering from Caernarfon must have had it too because they were as awful as I was. 6-0 the scoreline was to Penybont and, believe me, Caernarfon were lucky to get nil.

With Lord Lucan and Martin Bormann in the defence, Penybont were striding through on goal at will. I felt really sorry for Tyler French in the Cofis goal because on one occasion he made a brilliant reflex save only for the ball to hit the bar with three of his defenders and one attacker standing on the goal line, the ball did have to drop at the feet of the Penybont attacker who did the necessary.

Caernarfon’s midfield was non-existent too and Mike Hayes and Jack Kenny were totally isolated up front waiting for balls that never came. In fact, “balls” is probably a good word. Loads of them.

storm cotentin peninsula Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was time to go for my afternoon walk. A rather late one, in fact as it happens. And I bumped into one of my neighbours on the stairs and we had a little chat amongst ourselves for a couple of minutes.

When I eventually made it outside, the torrential downpour that we had been having for most of the day had ceased and there were just the occasional gusts of rain coming in with the wind. Mind you, further up the coats of the Cotentin Peninsula they were taking a right battering by the looks of things. That’s an evil-looking cloud up there.

The waves, although still quite fresh, aren’t as turbulent as they were last night which is one good thing, I suppose.

rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was quite dark by the time that I made it out, partly due to the time and partly due to the thick, heavy clouds blocking out the sunlight.

Instead of the usual Zoom lens, I had the f1.8 50mm lens on the camera and while it doesn’t zoom in or out, it’s made to perform in these conditions. I don’t recall if I have taken a photo of the Rue du Nord in the twilight before, so here’s one of them to be going on with.

You can see where the city walls zig-zag just to the left of centre where the cars are parked. That’s where there’s the little postern gate that leads to the path that runs around underneath the walls which is part of my running track.

lighthouse semaphore pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis afternoon I was the only person out there, which is hardly a surprise given the weather conditions so I had the place to myself.

My route took me around the path towards the lighthouse and I was surprised to see that the coloured lights on the semaphore were illuminated. I’ve no idea what message it was supposed to be and to whom it was signalling because I couldn’t see any lights on the semaphore stations on the Ile de Chausey or over on the Brittany coast.

Even though it’s pretty dark now (and wasn’t that quick?) the beam on the lighthouse isn’t illuminated yet. They need to get a move on.

At the top I cut across the lawn and then across the car park to the headland but there was nothing going on there. So with no-one about I ran all the way down the footpath on top of the cliffs on the other side.

rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route went past the chantier navale where Ceres II and the yacht were sleeping peacefully still on their own.

One set of Christmas lights that I hadn’t checked were the ones in the Rue du Port. usually they haven’t been up to very much and so I was intrigued to see what they had done. And the answer was simply that they had done nothing to improve on last year’s.

In fact, it’s all pretty depressing, isn’t it? There’s nothing actually around the port at all.

rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was raining fairly heavily, so I took another photo of the Rue du Nord from a slightly different aspect.

When you think that the Port is the main entry to the town for many visitors you would expect the Council to make much more of an effort than this with the Christmas lights. And if I were the owners of Marité I’d have a pile of Christmas lights strung up all over her rigging too.

She would look quite magnificent like that, I reckon, but it seems to be too much effort for some people . I’ve talked about my “interactions” with the crew of the ship before … “and on many occasions too” – ed.

Back here I did more work in a kind-of desultory fashion and then called a halt for tea. Not that I was all that hungry – I just had a bowl of pasta and veg, including some fresh steamed broccoli (this week’s special veg offer from LeClerc) tossed in olive oil, garlic and some vegan pesto that I found in NOZ a while back (that’s why I like NOZ – it comes up with all kinds of interesting things now and again).

Musée d'art moderne Richard Anacréon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halllater in, in the drizzle, I went out for my evening run around the walls.

Not along the footpath under the walls though. Many of the footpaths are flooded after the rains of today and down there it must be dreadful. I stayed up on the road and walked and ran around to the Place de l’Isthme and the Musée d’Art Moderne Richard Anacréon which I haven’t photographed in the night before as far as I remember.

And I needn’t really have bothered tonight either because I couldn’t find a decent spec to take the picture.

christmas lights cours jonville rue du bosq abandoned railway line Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom right up here though there’s a good view across the town and we can see more Christmas lights down there on the Bank and the Post Office in the Cours Jonville.

But what we can also see by the side of the Rue du Bosq is the abandoned railway line down to the port. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that here and there I’ve posted photos of bits of the railway network that runs through the town and around the port. It’s quite substantial and must have seen a lot of use when the harbour was full of all of the cod fishers that went out to the Grand Banks around Newfoundland.

All that has gone though now with the exhaustion of the cod stocks, and the railway network has unfortunately gone with it.

The wind was back up too and we were having some more stormy waves, as you saw earlier. I took a few pics and then ran on home to write up my notes and have a long chat with my friend in the UK.

A lie-in tomorrow and I can’t say that i’m sorry either. I know that i’m sickening for something but I don’t know what, so plenty of rest and sleep will be the order of the day I think.

But I mustn’t forget to make some pizza bases. I’ve run out yet again and we can’t have a Sunday evening without a pizza, can we?

Wednesday 11th November 2020 – JUST FOR A …

… change I managed to beat the third alarm to my feet. And that’s not something that happens every day these days.

And that’s not the best of it either.

Twice during the night I had to leave the bed – once to find the dictaphone that I had forgotten to put by the bedside as I went to bed, and the second time to look for the spare batteries when the batteries in the dictaphone went flat.

And considering that I’d had yet another late night consoling my friend on the internet, this is all pretty astonishing too, especially when you consider that today is a Bank Holiday and I don’t normally have an alarm call on a Bank Holiday.

With all of this going on, it’s even more surprising that I managed to find the time to go off on my travels during the night.

I was on a big cruise liner last night, an American one. There were loads of people on there and for some unknown reason I was feeling a bit tetchy and irritable like I normally do after a few days in other people’s company. These Americans were really getting on my nerves and it reached the stage where I could barely hide my contempt for them, something that regular readers of this rubbish will know about only too well. It reached the stage where on one occasion I had to go somewhere and the quickest way for me and a couple of other people with me was to unlock a kind of emergency door and step through that out to the other side. As we did that and stepped through we had to stoop down to do so there was a couple of other old guys there and they started to try to push us around. I spoke in some kind of derogatory term to them and this situation slowly started to escalate out of hand, if it wasn’t out of hand already.

This has quite a familiar ring about it doesn’t it? And even more so if you consider the events of early September last year that I’ll write about one of these days when I learn to moderate my language.

Later on we’d been out to the South Pole. It was the 19th Century and we had gone very far but hadn’t reached the Pole. We’d got onto the Antarctic continent and gone quite a way but couldn’t go any further so we turned round to go back to our base camp and set out back for the UK. We’d left Caliburn there and a few things had been left inside Caliburn including a book that belonged to Nerina. We sailed back. It was quite interesting by the way to see an aerial photo of the area a bit later on where a town had grown up etc and where we had been. We could see our route. When I returned to Gainsborough Road Nerina was being very sullen and offhand with me. What I did was to take her bookmark back that was in the book. She was extremely annoyed about this book. I said “don’t worry. We’re going back to get it next year”. There was some confusion about whether it was a library book. She’d had notice that it had already been renewed. I said “no, that was another one. This was such-and-such a book”. It had a duck-egg blue cover. She was just extremely offhand. Then she asked if I knew where a place called TK fasteners was in a certain town, a town where I was working. When she described what it was for – you could buy snowmobile bits there – I knew immediately where it was but it was very difficult to describe it. She’d been to the area once so I was trying to explain. “Which way did you come into the town?” because there were a couple of ways but she wasn’t really answering. Then she sat down and started to draw herself a map. “Oh, you’ve remembered, have you?” She replied “no, someone has sent me a photo and I’m copying it out”. When she finished that she stood up, picked up her coat and said “I’m going”. “Going where?” “Going home. i’m not staying here with you any more and you’re going to regret something”. “What?” “This 99”. “Regret what about 99?” “99 pence”. “Well, what about 99 pence?”. “You’ll find out” she retorted. “I suppose you’re going to be keeping the warmth, are you?” “I suppose so, yes” I answered. “That’s a shame. And it’s a shame about that lamp as well. I like that lamp”. “Well, take it with you”. “It was your friends who bought it for us”. “Well, take the lamp if you want it”. But she wouldn’t take it and just turned round and walked out of the house. I didn’t have a clue what was going on and what was the matter with her and what all of this was about. I was completely bewildered.

After this, I had an attack on the outstanding notes from my stay in Belgium. And now they are all transcribed and that’s that job finished. And right at that moment my friend came on line and we had a good chat while I soothed her fevered brown from this distance, poor kid.

With a few other things that needed doing, that took me up to lunch and more of my delicious bread (I’d had some of my wonderful fruit loaf with my morning hot chocolate).

This afternoon I sat down and finally made a start on finishing the radio programme that I had started in Leuven and by the time I knocked off for my guitar practice I’d just about finished it – another hour’s worth of music.

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk, and I remembered to go around the old medieval walls today as well.

There was quite a wind blowing out there today so there weren’t too many people out there this afternoon. There was a lot going on out to sea though, such as this trawler heading back home to port with today’s catch.

It was having quite a battle against the waves too. The wind had whipped up quite a storm this afternoon.

And something else that was interesting was that we had the different coloured streak of water out there again today that you can see in the foreground.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe weather might have been extremely windy and so keeping a lot of people indoors, but there were some out there taking full advantage of the solitude.

The tide was only just on its way out so there wasn’t much beach to talk about yet these people here were making the most of what beach there was.

Having observed them for a few minutes, I set off – at a run – along the Rue du Nord until I encountered a group of pedestrians coming my way so I slowed down to a brisk walk.

tiberiade coelacanthe english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat caused me to look behind and see what there was going on behind me.

When I’d set out just now, I’d noticed a light moving about in the harbour so I suspected that there was a boat on the move in there. And sure enough as I watched, around the headland and out to sea came another trawler. I can’t tell at this distance if it’s Coelacanthe or her sister ship Le Tiberiade but it’s certainly one of them.

Doing her impression of Steve Harley, she went off riding the waves right past the streak of different-coloured water. And one of these days I’m going out to test the salinity of the streaky bits to see if it is indeed fresh water being discharged into the saline water of the sea. It’s a well-known phenomenon that’s been reported on on many occasions in the far north of Canada and places like this.

It’s another way of mariners being able to tell if they are near land when big rivers are involved, and I would love to prove this for myself.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there I managed to break into a run again and push on a little way until I encountered another group of people.

Once they had gone, I broke into a run and went all the way down to the viewpoint over the Plat Gousset. The wind here on this corner really was wicked and I was surprised to see even a handful of people down there.

There were several people in the Square Maurice Marland too, so that put paid to any plans that I had to go for a run across there. But there was nothing else whatever of any importance or note going on so I walked on home to warm up with a nice hot mug of coffee.

Having finished the radio programme I had my hour on the guitars, which wasn’t as successful as it has been of late and then went for tea – steamed vegetables and veggie balls in a nice vegan cheese sauce, followed by pineapple and ice cream.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I stuck my head out of the door, I was glad that I’d had a few goes at my running this afternoon because the wicked headwind put a stop to anything in the Rue du Roc.

But I made it around as best I could to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, even managing a couple of legs of my running. No change in the chantier navale today, and nothing special going on in the harbour either – quite probably because the tide was right out by now.

One of the Joly France boats – the older one – was moored up over there at the ferry terminal, and it looked as if Chausiais was tied up in front of her. But that was about it really.

rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was nothing happening in the inner harbour either tonight. None of the Jersey freighters had paid us a visit today.

But by now the rain and started and with the wicked wind out here it was as if I was being lashed by a rather vigorous cat-o’nine tails. And seeing as I was the only one daft enough to be out here right now – not even any kids on the car park, I took a photo of the Rue du Port and then ran all the way home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow I have to go shopping. With no Caliburn here I don’t have much in the way of fresh stuff so I can see me making two trips to LIDL – one tomorrow and the next on Saturday.

It’s rather inconvenient but it’s all in a good cause.

And then I can push on, update the journal for when I was in Leuven just now and then, hopefully, push on and catch up with yet more arrears from my trip around Central Europe earlier this year.

It’s high time that I put that to bed and got on with the real stuff.

Sunday 25th October 2020 – I KNOW THAT …

… it’s Sunday and Sunday is a Day of Rest, a lie-in and all of that, but nevertheless, 11:20 is just a little exaggerated, even if it was about 02:30 when I went to bed this morning.

Another thing that I learnt today is that my fitbit doesn’t automatically reset the time when the clocks change. So in actual fact, it was 10:20, not 11:20. That makes me feel better. Clocks only an hour back not like the UK where they are busily setting their clocks back 200 years to the days when the rich and privileged sent starving kids up chimneys and condemned the poor to workhouses.

Mind you, I needed that extra hour in bed because of the distance that I must have travelled last night.

I started out in Shavington last night. It was snowing and wintertime. We were all hanging around outside, doing all kinds of different things and it gradually became dark at night. I went around the street at night looking in people’s gardens because they would put out things that they wanted other people to have. I was collecting a nice little collection of Christmas decorations. Every night I would go out and look but tonight I was at someone’s house I knocked my box over and all the decorations went everywhere. It was embarrassing trying to pick them all up again because you would think that people would be thinking that I was stealing everything. Then I went for a slide, like you used to do as a kid, on your feet. I remember sliding all the way down Vine Tree Avenue into Chestnut Avenue and I got to where the new-build houses were. I couldn’t remember whether they had any Christmas stuff or whether it was just the old ones, so I went over there to have a look. I was doing something in an attic and I can’t remember exactly what it was that I was doing. Something to do with my clothes or something, I’m not too sure, all a very sad, solitary thing

Later I was at the doctor’s. There was a queue in front of me and we were gradually advancing one by one to get in. It was an Asian doctor and most of his clients were Asian. Who should walk in behind me but an Indian woman whom I knew in Stoke on Trent. After some people had gone in she said “go on in Eric, it’s your turn”. I said “no, there’s someone just gone in”. She replied “no, there can’t have been”. “Yes there is” I countered so she had a look and she was right and this doctor was doing some kind of strange tests and setting everything right.

Some time later there were all these people milling around in the bus station thinking where it was they were wanting to go to. I was going to somewhere along the North African coast and people keep on presenting me to their cousins who were travelling with me or travelling in the reverse direction. There was a queue at the reception desk, and I was busy trying to find the bay for my bus because it wasn’t very clear. If you were travelling by car the bay was actually somewhere else outside, but I couldn’t see from the map. I was hoping for a clue when there were all these people who had got to the front of the queue and were being told by the receptionist that they could discuss the matter amongst themselves but preferably do it away from where the ticket machines were and the queue for the reception was because they were blocking the road for everyone else.

Later still I’d been out for my usual early morning walk and as I crossed over the railway bridge where one of the branch lines came into Crewe an electric goods train went underneath. I had a look at my watch – it was something like 06:15 and I thought “I’m usually somewhere else at this time, not here. I have to be out and on my way to the station by 06:30 and I’m well over a mile away from home. How am I going to manage this?”. I cut short my route and went home through a side street. The first thing that I came to was a wolf- a sheep that was all alone. It came over towards me so I shoo’d it off. It went over to where a pack of dogs was so the dogs chased it off down the street. I continued walking and came to a T junction. I didn’t remember a T junction here so I didn’t know which way to take. There was a hill where I could climb to the top to look over but it was on private property. When I went over the fence onto this land to try to climb this hill I was suddenly surrounded by several people who demanded to know exactly what it was that I was doing. I gave them an explanation but they wouldn’t believe a word of it.

I’ve not finished yet. Not by a long way.

I was manning a look-out post on a high ridge overlooking a valley. I had a tent there and that was basically my camp. I was out on this ridge with a large-bore shotgun. I had no idea what I was supposed to be looking for – just generally watching the movements. First of all a couple of young people came up. They put their tent up not too far from mine and then changed into their hunting gear complete with feathers on their hats and wandered off with their guns further off down the ridge. Then a couple of couples, elderly couples turned up and started walking aorund, taking a great deal of interest in my van, like an old Ford Thames 400E with a high-top roof. Filthy inside – it had been used as a butcher’s van and it was all lined with dirty fat inside. I had a few words with them. There was a girl about 9 or so who was expressing an interest in it. She said something to me that was extremely informal so I asked “did your father teach you to say things like that to people whom you don’t know?” She replied “my father’s here. You can ask him”, something like that. I ended up having a chat with this guy. He took me down to his farm and then wandered off. I was still there, on guard in his farmyard now, and noticed a really ancient moped so I went over to have a look at it. The handlebars were broken and the rear wheel was missing. This girl came out again and I said “is this yours?” “No” she replied. “It’s dad’s”. He came over and took me into this room, barn or storeroom or something. He had all kinds of machinery all over, huge stuff and he was showing me one or two things. I hadn’t a clue what they were but he showed me the crankshaft of an engine which was really long but really lightweight. I thought “I wonder what it is that this is from”. We had a chat about it. he had a few other bits and pieces together and showed me roughly how it worked. Further on down into this barn was all of his electrical equipment – desk meters and so on. He had one that turned out to be some kind of 2-way radio, a 2-way hi-fi radio so he could actually talk on it as well. As he was showing it, he said “ahh! Table-tennis!” and started to tune it in so people could have a game of table tennis on this machine.

And finally I ended up walking across a car park, the one at St Nicolas. There was a van there parked in the roadway in the car park and the driver was eating his sandwich. But there were plenty of places for him to park, even one right by where he was stopped. I had this great big dig with me for some unknown reason and it came across 2 girls having a wrestling match, so he shot off to join in, which didn’t go down very well and everyone said something about it. Then this girl from the previous voyage put in an appearance. Stepping back into a previous dream yet again!

And when I said “finally”, I’m not sure that I really mean it. I’m certain that there was much more to all of this and furthermore, the files on the dictaphone are numbered consecutively and there are two missing. I’m not sure how it happens because it doesn’t have an “over-write facility” (well, yes it does but I’ve disabled it) and I’ve also disabled the “delete” facility – the only way that I can delete files is through a computer interface.

So what’s going on here, then? It beats me.

This morning there wasn’t much time left after I had typed out all of that. I went and had a hot chocolate and some of my fruit bread.

And having had some food, I then prepared another fruit loaf. Two small bananas, a dozen or so brazil nuts finely whizzed up in the whizzer, several handfuls of raisins and, for a change, a couple of tablespoons of desiccated coconut added into the flour and salt mix. Then, the yeast and water (more water than usual – I’m told that my mix is too dry) mixed in and kneaded well into a lovely dough ball.

While that was proofing, I took some pizza dough out of the fridge and kneaded that ready for tonight.

With the important stuff out of the way, I turned my attention to the day’s work. I know that it’s Sunday and I don’t usually do any work today but I’ve been so lazy just recently that I thought that I’d better do something.

Accordingly, I started on the updating of the journal to include the stuff that I didn’t do when I was ill or when I was away. The first one, for 23rd August when I was recovering, is now completed and you can SEE THE FINISHED VERSION HERE. I’ll be working on backwards from here and finally you’ll get to read about some of these weird and wonderful nocturnal voyages that I went on and told you all about.

All through the morning (such of it as I saw) we were alternating between sunshine and torrential downpours. And it became worse and worse after lunch.

crowds on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually the rain eased off. It had all gone quiet and I could hear voices of people outside. It must be the moment to go for a walk I reckon. I took to the walls.

There was no-one sitting down on the beach this afternoon and I’m not at all surprised by that. But nevertheless there were still plenty of people taking, presumably, their last stroll on the beach.

And when I say that, I don’t mean it terminally. Although of course, with almost 50,000 new infections disclosed yesterday, it may well come to that for so many people. I really don’t understand what is so difficult about the restrictions that are taking place.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, I walked (not ran – there were far too many people about for that) around to the Square Maurice Marland.

And here you can see exactly what the weather is doing today. Huge and horrendous squalls of rain being blown by the wind across the Baie de Mont St Michel. I’m glad that I’m not out there in all of that, that’s for sure.

In fact, I’m not going to hang around at all. I’m going to head for home as soon as I can to avoid being caught up in this because as sure as night follows day, this lot will be dropping on my head in about 20 minutes.

lifeboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it doesn’t look as if I’m the only one with doubts about the weather either.

As I watched, out from the harbour came the port’s lifeboat, the Notre Dame de Cap Lihou. it headed off to sea, cutting its way through the waves that were crashing down on her bow. If it’s an emergency call, it’s no surprise in this weather because the storms really were raging again.

Unfortunately though, I couldn’t see where she went. She certainly didn’t head out into the English Channel as far as I could see, and she didn’t go across the Bay to the Brittany coast either. All told, she wasn’t out for long. When I checked her fleet log an hour later, se was already back at her berth.

joly france baie de mont st michel port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that’s for sure – she wasn’t going to rescue the passengers of Joly France, the ferry that goes out to the Ile de Chausey.

The bad weather today hasn’t stopped her sailing. As Notre Dame de Cap Lihou went one way, Joly France came the other way, back to port with a load of passengers.

And it must really have been a shame for them. All that way out to the island, it’s not cheap either, and to have had the dreadful weather that’s bothered us for much of the day, and then had to come home in a storm that created a really rough crossing for them.

waves crashing over sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd rough crossing it must have been too.

The wind wasn’t as strong as the last couple of days when I spent more time running after my hat than I did walking around my little circuits, but it was still strong enough to send the waves crashing over the sea wall, even though the tide was quite far out as you saw in the photo of the beach just now.

All of this has got me thinking. And I know that that could be quite dangerous. looking back over the last few months, we seem to have spent most of our time being battered by storms. I know that I’ve only lived here 3.5 years and that’s no time at all but I don’t remember it being as windy as this for as long as this.

brittany coast cap frehel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLooking for the lifeboat, I went for a walk over to the other side of the headland to see if I could see where she went.

No such luck, but what I did see cheered me up immensely. Through a large gap in the clouds the sun was treaming down onto the Brittany Coast round by St Cast le Guildo where we went with Spirit of Conrad and the Lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, on the extreme right of the photo, is quite clearly visible.

No lifeboat so I came home, noticing that one of my neighbours had left the headlights burning on her car on the car park, so I gave her a buzz to tell her as I came in.

When I came back, I checked on my bread. It hadn’t risen as much as I would have liked – far from it in fact. But never mind. It’s had three hours to have sorted itself out so I gave it another good kneading, and then shaped it and put it in the mould that I use and covered it for its second proofine.

home made fruit bread vegan pizza Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor the pizza dough, I gave it a good kneading and then rolled it out . When I had it how I wanted it, I put it on a greased pizza tray and left it to proof.

In the office I sorted out the photos that I had just taken and wrote up my notes, and then bunged the fruit bread in the oven. It hadn’t risen very much but once in the hot oven it went up like a lift. While that was cooking I prepared the pizza and when the bread was cooked, I took the bread out and put the pizza in.

Half an hour later I was tucking into one of the best pizzas that I have ever made. Everything about it was just so right.

And I’ll tell you about the fruit loaf tomorrow.

moonlight baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallTonight’s run was rather depressing, if not something of a failure.

There was a biting, howling gale coming hurling itself down the Rue du Roc that brought me to a standstill as soon as I started on the uphill bit. With the sky being do clear I was hoping for a good photo of the moonlight reflecting off the bay by resting the camera on that handy stone that I found last night but no chance of that. It was impossible.

From the shelter of the Atlantic Wall bunker there, the result just wasn’t the same. But you can’t win a coconut every time.

rue du port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing at all happening out to sea so I harried on along the path to the viewpoint.

Nothing in the harbour either. The tide is too far out for the fishing boats to come in, assuming that there are any out there tonight in this wicked storm. And so tonight I took a photo of nothing – except perhaps the lights of the restaurant in the Rue du Port.

From here I ran on home again, bunging in a little deviation to make up some of the ground that I’d lost. After all, it it’s deviation that you want, then, in the words of the late, great Bob Doney “I’m your man”.

So tomorrow I have work to do. Two radio shows have to be prepared. But at least I have a head start for I’ve sent off this week’s – and next weeks – already, ahead of time. Next week’s of course because I won’t be here and it’s almost impossible to work when I’m away.

Consequently I need to be on form. None of these 10:20 or even 07:20 – starts. Not that I’m optimistic but I’ll see what I can do.

Saturday 26th September 2020 – I WAS WRONG …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There were three significant items in this match

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 29th August 2020 – IT DOESN’T MATTER …

football us granville voltigeurs de chateaubriand stade louis dior granville manche normandy france eric hall… how many players they change at US Granville. They are still churning out the same old aimless nonsense.

They have replaced the three strikers of last year – the three who misfired for so much of the season last year, and replaced them with three who are, unfortunately, even less clued up.

Today we were treated to another pile of long, aimless balls up front to no-one in particular, or attacking midfielders who dribble round all the defenders as they run upfield with the ball, only to end up in a blind alley near the corner flag.

For the second week in succession Granville’s goal was scored by a defender coming up for a corner – and they wouldn’t have scored that had the Voltigeurs de Chateaubriant’s goalkeeper not let the ball go right through his hands.

As for the defence, they might be different players but they are still the same panic-stricken shambles under pressure and they conceded two goals that should have been cleared at least five minutes earlier.

Mind you – I know that it’s no excuse but i’m sure that the referee was refereeing a different match than the one that we were all watching. He booked a Granville player for diving when we could hear the crunch of the opposition’s boot into his leg from up in the stands, and he sent off a Voltigeurs de Chateaubriant player for a foul that didn’t even merit a yellow card in my opinion.

And they were just two of the more bizarre decisions that I noticed

This morning there was no chance of my beating the third alarm, even though I’d had a quite early night. 07:30 on a Saturday morning is rather excessive.

Still, there was plenty of time to go on a few nocturnal rambles. Yes indeed!

We were back in London in the world of gangsters last night. Something had happened involving millions of pounds had been stolen and the word was out for it and it was extremely hot. Someone, this Michael Caine character I suppose had been told that it was hot money where it would be and who was involved and how dangerous it would be, all this kind of thing and he was walking through the streets of London, the east end, and someone came running towards him with a briefcase. He stopped this person and there was quite a fight and he ended up in possession of the briefcase. Of course the whole world was after him after this. he was running away and had to hide in a phone box from a girl on one occasion and eventually ended up in a certain night club which he had been led to believe was a safe night club. There he started to boast about all of his exploits with this money. One or two other people started to boast about what they had heard. This was all heading towards a showdown with the real villains.
Some time later we were in South London discussing roads. We were by a big road leading out of London. It was a bleak industrial area. It had been World War II and we had been looking at the accounts of someone who had been in hospital who had been hit by a V1 and seeing how much they had had to pay, all of that under the situation before the National Health, all of that, going through the itemised bill that they had found. Even in wartime hospitalisation cost you a lot of money. The girl had been released. She had been on this bus that had dropped everyone off at this bus stop. She was quite inebriated but was extremely polite drunk. We were watching this scene as they got out of this bus, talking about this bleak view of this modern industrial estate being built at the side of this road. I said ‘this is the A2 isn’t it? I know where we are I think”. We started to chat and there was a railway line with automatic half-barriers. I asked “isn’t there a railway station to the left?”. The said “yes there is”. Someone recognised the BBC building in the distance, someone recognised something else. This corner that we were on – “isn’t this the back way to Wimbledon?” They looked at me strangely as if it wasn’t. Someone reckoned that he had to go to Croydon and I thought “yes it’s the road to Croydon, not Wimbledon”. we started talking about a bank and how I had to visit a bank in the neighbourhood. One of the guys said “if you find a bank in the neighbourhood let me know the details because I’m looking for a bank as well to pay some money in”.
For some unknown reason I want to bracket this with a voyage that I had a good while ago about a van leaving London and coming to grief on a tight bend.
Later on I was out in the USA getting quotes on bank loans and finance deals for cars. I talked to a garage and he ended up showing me a Ford Escort Cube. the finish was pretty naff and it was leaking oil out of the rocker covers and one or two other things. They wanted nearly $30,000 for it and I thought they were joking. I ended up having a 10-minute chat with them, testing everything, feeling the oil on the dipstick and all that kind of thing, acting as if i’m really serious about it. Of course I wasn’t. I pretended that it was my son who was learning to drive who was looking for a vehicle. I was just passing the time more than anything else. i said that the pedals needed adjusting because they are in the wrong place for where the seat was going to be so they needed adjusting downwards.
And that’s not all. We were having a caravan outing a group of us. It was a three-storey caravan believe it or not.A girl – a female officer type of thing lived in the basement with some other people who were with us. Some of the crew stayed on the first floor and I was on the second floor which was where all of the offices were. I was early in bed but this girl was complaining that she was bored, that nothing was happening. We were saying that if you go to bed early and wake up early that’s when everything happens. Anyway sp I was getting ready for bed and said “when are you going to come round with the tea?” But someone said that it was only 21:00 so I said that there was another hour before our evening tea. Someone else was watching “‘Allo ‘Allo” on the TV and talking about it in the Radio Times.
And finally, there was something in one of my voyages about a young Harley Street physician who had to call Holmes in to investigate a case. He had come round again when Holmes was busy doing something else trying to get holmes to go round to see him straight away. basically this doctor had simply panicked and Watson was able to put him right onto the correct path. Then it turned out that this doctor was driving a lorry-load of grain and he had to get out of this loading depot. There was one land full of cars that were being let out fairly quickly so ha manoeuvred around a lorry that reversed out of the way for him. he got out via this lane. There was some issue about data recording but he refused to become involved because he thought it would be some kind of fiddle so coming out of the depot he turned left instead of turning right and went down to the traffic lights there. This recalled some discussion about when he was in an emergency and his young secretary was busy working the oxygen pump for him. he was talking about marrying some kind of rich widow or something like that to inject funds into his business but you could see that this young girl was much more suitable for him and there was some kind of rapport between them – they were doing really well and you could see that they would make a really nice couple if only he had been able to see it.

It’s hardly surprising that I didn’t make it out of bed early with all of that going on.

But anyway I did, and after a shower I headed off to the shops.

last week I followed a British Volvo all the way through town without it giving a single turn signal. Today, it was the turn of a local Gendarme vehicle do go all of that way without a single signal. I’ve no idea what has happened to the Code de la Route here in Granville.

Noz came up with nothing special – they had windscreen wipers on offer but none of Caliburn’s size. LeClerc came up with a pile of stuff, including a nail brush or two, a pile of orange juice on special offer and a pile of reduced vegan burgers that I can freeze for later.

After lunch I played around with some photos and then headed off to the football.

piles of granite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, in order to push up the daily total to over 100% I walked through the harbour.

It looks as if we’ll be having one of the Channel Island freighters, Thora or Normandy Trader, coming into harbour very soon. There’s a huge pile of pallets loaded with granite waiting here on the quayside.

There were some expedition labels on them so I checked, and they are indeed for someone or other in the Channel Islands. So they’ll be gone pretty soon, I reckon.

spirit of conrad le Courrier des Iles marie pierre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWalking along the harbour a little further I came across a gaggle of boats moored up.

We know all about Spirit of Conrad of course because back at the beginning of July we went away down the Brittany coast aboard her for five days or so.

The one nearest the camera is Le Courrier des Iles, a boat that also runs guided trips out and about. As for the third one, she’s the Marie-Pierre and I don’t know very much at all about her as yet.

old cars mark 2 jaguar 3.8 granville manche normandy france eric hallFor quite a while now we haven’t seen any old cars around and about.

And what we have seen just recently are several old Jaguars, like the XJ-S that we saw yesterday.

So how about this one that I saw on the harbour this evening? A beautiful mark II Jaguar from the 1960s, and a 3.8 at that too. I’ll take that home with me in a heartbeat.

old cars mark 2 jaguar 3.8 granville manche normandy france eric hallThese are really beautiful, powerful cars and the archetypical “Villain’s car” of many a 1960s gangster film in the UK.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I once owned its bigger brother, a jaguar 420G, when I had my taxis. And it was this colour too. And, incidentally, an even bigger Mark X Jaguar that I bought for spares.

And I bitterly regret letting an opportunity pass me by when I was offered one of these Series 2 vehicles fitted with a 2.5 V8 Daimler engine and couldn’t afford it at the time. It was all of £250 too.

Mind you, I once missed a Bentley priced at £800. But then again, that was 1971 and prices were a little different then.

sunset port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallSo while I was musing on the Jaguar and reminiscing on former times, I headed off into the sunset.

And beautiful sunset there was too. The sun had sunk below the horizon but it was reflecting up into the clouds and making this lovely lighting effect, complete with reflections in the water.

The tide was out so the harbour gates were closed and I could walk across the top back to the fish processing plant and along to the rue du Port.

cat seagull boulevard des terreneuviers granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was no-one about as I walked along the rue du Port. I headed for the steps up to the Boulevard Vaufleury.

But I had a laugh as I climbed up the steps. There was a baby seagull standing on the wall with its plaintive cry calling for its mother, and the cat sitting there taking absolutely no notice whatsoever.

Back here, it was tea out of a tin again. And a lovely surprise too because one of my co-voyagers from the Spirit of Conrad has been around and left me a present, more of which tomorrow.

Bedtime now, and quite right too because I’m exhausted. Sunday is a lie in and I have to say that I’m ready for this. I’m still not feeling myself right now, which is just as well, and I hope that I’ll be better tomorrow.