Tag Archives: rue du roc

Saturday 10th July 2021 – 265 DAYS …

players warming up us Granville en avant guingamp stade louis dior granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… since we were last in the Stade Louis Dior to watch a football match, so I’m told.

And I nearly missed this one as well because the kick-off was at 16:00 and at 15:00 I was fast asleep, crashed out in my chair slumped over my desk. It was something of a scramble for me to make it to the stadium in time for the kick-off.

Up until that point it had been a reasonably good day as far as I was concerned. Once more I was up as soon as the alarm went off at 06:00 and although it was a struggle to gather my wits (which will be quite a surprise to everyone seeing as I have so few wits left these days) I gradually pulled myself round ready to face the day.

First task after the medication was to listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. Noticing that the newspapers had arrived today we read them and we noticed that the group “White Spirit” was appearing somewhere. They had one of these young female singers so the two girls would have liked to have seen them. I ended up buying 4 tickets and I took a friend of mine and the 2 girls so the 4 of us went. The 2 of us decided that we didn’t really want to go so we’d wait outside the hall in the car. He’d had to paint the doors inside-out so the paint was one colour but I’d had the tin and taken a look inside it and it was the right lot so I thought that … indistinct … Anyway they wandered off. This girl was singing and at the end of the first song she came down the corridor and came out to us saying “I hope that you 2 are going to behave because I’m going to be coming out here afterwards to see you”. She stayed to chat to us for a while. She was sucking on a stick of rock and I thought that seeing as she has a stage performance to do she’s being extremely I couldn’t think of the word. But there was much more to it than this of course but I can’t now remember what it was. And never mind the guy – who were the 2 girls we took to the concert and who was the girl who came to see us? Yes, all these girls appearing during the night and I can’t remember who they are. What kind of state is this to be in?

Later on I had to go to Manchester with a computer or PA or something so I got on the tram. Someone I knew was on there so I said “hello” to him. We set off and were well on our way when suddenly the tram came to a stop. I walked down towards the front past this guy again to see what was happening. There was some big accident in front of us so I got off the tram and started to wave the traffic through. All the traffic including this tram got through this obstruction. It all drove away and left me standing there so I had to hitch-hike. I had a lift with someone in a Mark I Cortina and it was an automatic with a bench seat in the front, or it might have been column change with a bench seat in the front. We were talking about something with these cars. I said something and he denied it but I knew that I was right but he wasn”t having any of this at all. In the end I took the rubber mat out of the front and emptied it out to make the car a bit tidier. He told me that I could drive on the way back. There was lots more to this dream as well but I can’t remember it now.

Having dealt with all of that, what remained was to bring up to date yesterday’s journal entries. Perhaps I should add at this point that although I said that I was going to have an early night last night, but in fact I became engrossed in the acoustic guitar and ended up playing for a couple of hours.

And I can’t do the slip-change from Chord C to Chord F and back again like I used to. I’m far too rusty.

Having organised the notes from yesterday I spent the rest of the morning organising the new laptop bag and making sure that it has everything that I need in it.

And then I packed the little suitcase that I’m taking with me, and sorted out the clothes that had been airing on the clothes airier on my windowsill since I can’t remember when.

While I was sorting things out I came across an old USB drive and a USB SD micro-card reader stuck in the pocket of an old abandoned bag.

And searching further I came across the missing audio cable for which I’ve been searching since I don’t know when. I must have taken it with me to Canada a few years ago so that I could couple up my old *.mp3 player to Strider’s audio input socket, and then forgotten to unpack it.

Here’s hoping that whatever new vehicle I might buy to replace Strider will have a USB socket. Yes, I was having a good look at a Subaru Forester estate car this afternoon while I was out.

After lunch I came in here to do some work on my photos but I soon crashed out on the chair. And then it was a rather desperate struggle up the hill.

moulin childrens roundabout place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way out to the football ground I went past the Place Charles de Gaulle and the Saturday market.

Summer is in full swing here in Granville if you are a kid (except in the Square Maurice Marland of course) and the kiddies’ roundabout is in full swing with plenty of potential customers. I stayed to watch the proceedings for a minute while I caught my breath and then pushed on up the hill.

And it was a long, lonely climb up there and I had to stop four or five times to catch my breath. I’ve aged 20 years over this last couple of months and that has filled me full of dismay. But I eventually arrived at the Stadium Louis Dior.

players us Granville en avant guingamp stade louis dior Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEn Avant Guingamp play in the French Second Division, but this was described as “A Team from EA Guingamp” which probably means that it contained triallists and players on the fringes of the first team rather than the first team itself.

And in an astonishing match, and in a game that Granville pretty much dominated, they somehow managed to lose the game 3-0. Threw it away completely and comprehensively.

Two goals they gave away by defenders going to sleep and there should have been a third as well except that the Guingamp player stood on the ball instead of kicking it. The third goal was a wonder strike of a curling free kick round the blind side of the defensive wall.

Granville had a bew player playing in the centre of defence – an older guy – and he certainly looked as if he had been around the block a few times. He was head and shoulders above anyone else on the pitch. He wasn’t a centre back from what I could see but more of a defensive midfielder distributing the ball out of defence. If he has signed for the club then things are looking up.

But once again, total defensive lapses and a bunch of forwards who couldn’t score in a brothel

2 players with n°33 us Granville en avant guingamp stade louis dior Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut here was something interesting that I have never seen before on a football pitch at this level.

Two players on the same team with the same number. And about 20 seconds after I had noticed, so did a few other people and the “older” n°33 was quickly withdrawn and replaced by another player. And he’d only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes too.

The younger n°33 took some time to warm up but once he got going he had a good game. He almost scored too, getting in on the end of a delicious cross to the far post but his shot was somehow scrambled off the line.

So after all of this I think that it’s going to be a long, hard season, if we manage to complete it.

no parking in town on Sundays Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way up towards the football ground I’d noticed the town centre covered with these signs.

There had been something in the local newspaper about shops opening all day on Sunday during the summer season but I hadn’t realised that parking will be banned in the town centre too. This makes for interesting opportunities if ever we have a summer here.

Actually it was quite warm now – the sun being out made a change from the damp, dreary start of the day, so I went for an ice cream. But my favourite ice cream parlour was surprisingly closed. I had to walk quite a way before I found another one with non-dairy options.

sale of fresh seafood closed port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now I found myself on the quayside at the spot where the fresh fish seller sells his catch from his boat every Friday morning.

However he’s announced that he’s not operating until the middle, missing the entire summer season, which seemed rather strange to me. But then I noticed the photos of his boat, and that explained everything. Do you recognise it?

Anyway, clutching my ice cream I wandered off down the quayside to see what else was going on that I might have missed since I’ve last been on the quaysid.

philcathane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s an old friend of ours riding the waves at her mooring here in the inner harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the past couple of weeks we’d been seeing the trawler Philcathane up on blocks in the chantier naval until she went missing, back into the water, at the end of the week.

By the looks of things she’s all finihsed now with her nice fresh coat of paint and she’ll be ready to go back to the fishing grounds on Monday.

And the interesting question now is “who has gone to replace her in the chantier naval?

tour du roc à la nage no parking at port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut never mind that for a moment. Let’s turn our attnetion to the immediate present and what’s going to be going on in town.

It looks as if they are planning quite a pile of events to welcome the tourists to the town and this one is certainly a new one on me that I haven’t seen before.

It looks as if there is going to be some kind of swimming race from the port and around the Pointe du Roc to somewhere on the other side of the headland. So good luck to those who are attempting it.

And never mind “no parking”. They will probably need a good ambulance of two or three at the finishing line to take away the unlucky ones. Struggling with the tides and the currents in the sea won’t be as easy as some people might think.

helicopter hovering over port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking along the edge of the quayside I was overflown by a helicopter. Someone has hed their chopper out this afternoon.

The only camera that I had with me today was the NIKON 1 J5 and the standard lens (I’ve mentioned before that it passes amost unnoticed into sports grounds and the like where a large DSLP won’t) so I wasn’t able to take much of a photograph of it this afternoon.

Without the telephoto lens I can’t see if it’s the yellow and red air-sea rescue helicopter, a drab olive military helicopter or a multi-coloured civilian chopper. But hs didn’t have any of his emergency lights on so whatever he was doing wasn’t anything urgent. I could press on without witnessing anything dramatic.

trawler galapagos chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo, did you all guess the significance of the photo to which I drew your attention earlier?

We’ve all … “well, one of us” – ed … been wondering who the big blue trawler is that’s appeared in the chantier naval the other day and now we know.

She’s called Galapagos and she belongs to the people who sell the fresh fish on the quayside. And now we also know why they aren’t going to be selling fish until the middle of September and we also have an indication of she’ll be back in the water.

There were some people with the yacht Rebelle. They weren’t very talkative but at least I know that she’ll be back in the water “shortly”.

joly france 1 ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was chatting to the people working on Rebelle we were disturbed by yet more activity – this time coming from the water.

Of course it’s the weekend, a Saturday evening in Summer zo the tourists are out in their hordes The Ile de Chausey is one of the places to be and so by the looks of things, there have been plenty of people out there.

This is when the two Joly France boats that work the ferry out there come into their own. This is the newer one of the two, Joly France 1 as you can tell by the windows in portrait mode, and she has quite a load of people on board today coming back from the island.

From the chantier naval I wended my weary way up the hill in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers and made it back home. There was time to upload the photos to the computer and then I knocked off for tea.

There’s plenty of stuffing left over and also a pepper that won’t survive until next week so a stuffed pepper it was, followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce. And that reminds me – it’s been a while since I made a jam roly-poly. That will have to be the next dessert.

Back here to write up the journal today when I noticed that I’d performed 95% of my daily activity today. So never one to miss an opportunity, I took the NIKON D500, fitted the f1.8 50mm lens and went for a walk around the block.

midnight sun baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd who said “The Land Of The Midnight Sun” then?

This is the sight that greeted me as I stepped out of my apartment this evening. We’re situated at 48°50′ here and that’s far from being in The Land Of The Midnight Sun so imagine what it must be like somewhere north of the Arctic Circle.

It did remind me of the nights that I was driving coaches on my Friday night run to Central Scotland and on one occasion one June-end it was so light that when I’d dropped off my passengers I drove to Stirling and parked up on a mountain top near there to watch the midnight sun and that’s 8° further North.

donville les bains rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was here at my little spec at the end of the car park I went over to look over the wall.

Not that I was expecting to see anyone on the beach this evening – as a matter of fact I couldn’t even see the beach – but I was more interested in what was going on along the coast, insofar as I could see it.

The Rue du Nord is quite well illuminated right now especially round by the Place du Marché aux Chevaux, and then carrying on to the left we have the lights of the houses on top of the cliffs at the Plat Gousset and then the lights of the waterfront reflecting into the sea down on the promenade at Donville les Bains.

rue du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack across the car park and along to the road now to see what’s going on here right now.

That is of course the Rue du Roc that leads to the headland where we find the lighthouse, the semaphore and the coastguard station – not that you can actually see any of those right now.

It’s very had to believe that a year ago I could run all the way down there to beyond the end of the street lights and then turn left and keep running all the way down to the top of the cliffs. The way I am these days, even just looking at the images makes me feel totally exhausted.

They were halcyon times, they were.

porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat’s the view in the opposite direction, looking towards the Port St Jean and the entrance to the medieval walled city.

And that shadow down there is the guy on whom I almost stepped in the dark because I hadn’t seen him. I must pay greater attention when I’m out and about in the dark. But at least he gives the photo some animation.

After all is said and done, the Porte St Jean all floodlit at night is one of my favourite photo objects and the shadow gives it something different.

Through the arch we can see the Rue St Jean illuminated by the street lights and in the foreground to the left is the car park for the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallStill 3 or 4% of my daily activity to perform in order to bring me up to my 100% and so I thought that I’d better go for a walk down to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour and see what’s going on there.

And it wasn’t easy to find my way down there either tonight as this economy drive means that all of the streetlamps are switched off and I had to grope my way down there in the dark.

What was even worse was that the harbour was in darkness too. There were just a couple of isolated streetlights and that was really our lot. It was difficult to work out where I was or what I was photograpiong but somewhere down there in the shadows are Granville and Victor Hugo.

They are the two boats that in better times provided the ferry service between Normandy and the Channel Islands but the combined effects of Covid, Brexit and the tight-fistedness of the Channel Islands in refusing to pay a subsidy towards the reopening of the service is making the recommencement of the services more and more unlikely.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt least here at this end of the harbour the presence of a couple more street lights makes it slightly easier to see what’s going on.

Over to the right the ferry terminal is brightly illuminated by several lights but to no good purpose because there won’t be any of the ferries coming into port for quite a while yet.

To the left of the image, illuminated by two street lights are the port offices. They are open when the harbour gates are opened and there is movement in and out of the port.

But with thz harbour being in total darkness like this I don’t think that there will be much movement going on right now.

In the foreground, all wrapped up on the darkness of the night, is the fish processing plant and there isn’t much going on round there right now either.

tower of eglise notre dame de cap lihou Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne final photo before I toddle off back to the warmth and comfort of my own little apartment.

Just behind where I was standing to take those two photos of the harbour area is the Eglise de Notre Dame de Cap Lihou. part of it is obscured by the medieval city walls but the spire isn’t, and it’s illuminated tonight for a change. I can’t go back home without photographing that now, can I?

So back in my apartment I’ve accomplished 102% of my daily activity and been out for my first night-time walk for about 6 months too and taken some photos.

And I’ll have to go out again and take some more, only this time remembering to adjust the ISO from 800 to 6400 so that I can let in more light without straining the camera unnecessarily.

Brain of Britain has struck again, hasn’t he?

Tuesday 27th October 2020 – CALIBURN HAS …

… gone off today for his makeover. He’s a teenager now of course, and I promised him a makeover for his bodywork as a treat, as the Controle Technique tester made a couple of remarks about it last time.

It’s not cheap – not at all – but buying a new vehicle is even less cheap. The garage where he goes every year says that he has plenty of life in him, the bodywork repairs will be guaranteed for five years, and I’ll be lucky, very lucky indeed if I get another five years out of my body with this illness. So there’s no point in doing anything else except getting him fixed.

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you admire the waves from the latest storm smashing their way into the sea wall over at the Plat Gousset, let me tell you about my day today.

Rather – last night too because after I’d finished writing up my notes, and not feeling in the least bit tired I amended ANOTHER PAGE OF THE ARREARS to include the photos of the day and the voyages that I’d been on during the night.

And consequently, despite the lateness of the hour when I went to bed, no-one was more surprised than me (except you of course) to find that I was up and about – well, “sort-of-about” – when the third alarm went off. I shall have to do this more often.

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing on the dictaphone either, which was just as surprising. I must have had a really peaceful sleep last night for a change.

And so with no notes to write up, I had a go AT YET ANOTHER PAGE OF THE ARREARS. Well, sort-of, because there weren’t any photos taken that day and I didn’t go anywhere during the night either. So that ended up being something of a non-event.

Before I could take Caliburn off anywhere, I had to find the details of my rail journey at the weekend. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I always like to have my rail tickets in my hand long before the day of my journey.

That’s because on a couple of occasions the printing machine at the station is out of order and as the ticket office doesn’t open until after my train has left, I’d look rather silly if I left it until the morning of travel to pick up my tickets and found that the machine wasn’t working.

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo having collected the necessary, Caliburn and I set out through yet another driving rainstorm to find our way to the garage where he’ll be staying for the next two weeks.

When the boss came in I handed him the keys and gave him a couple of extra instructions. he needs his annual service of course, he needs his brakes looking at, and there’s the controle technique due on the 5th November – and there will be fireworks if he doesn’t pass.

Mind you, it’s only an emissions check so there shouldn’t be too much of a problem about that – I hope. He runs well enough, which is why I’m keeping him.

mushroom Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back home in the rain I walked down the main Route de Villedieu in the rain, but I stopped when I saw this.

It’s mushroom season now of course and you’ll find plenty of mushrooms in plenty of places, but growing in a flower bed at the side of the road is not one of the more likely places to find one, especially one as big as this.

And do you know how to tell if they are edible?

It’s really quite simple. Take a sample and eat it just before you go to bed. If you wake up next morning, then you know that it’s safe.

alleyway off rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust for a change, after leaving the railway station with my tickets I walked down the “other” side of the Rue Couraye.

And it’s amazing the things that you see that you haven’t noticed before. Granville is honeycombed with little alleyways and surreptitious flights of steps and here’s one that I haven’t ever noticed before.

It leads down across the old railway line and over to the Boulevard Louis Dior, the road that leads to the Parc du Val es Fleurs where we went a good while ago to see all of the animals and where they had that marquee once.

working on shop front rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust across the road from here, the workmen are being pretty busy.

There was a Home Decorating shop there – one with a ghastly aluminium 1960s-style of shop front that they had installed at some point and ruined the aspect of the building. It was sold a couple of months ago and since then it’s been sheathed in wood.

But now they seem to have taken that down and they are busy with the angle grinder cutting into the brickwork and concrete on the pavement. I don’t know what they will be installing there but I’m pretty sure that it will be an improvement on what was there before.

Back here I made some hot chocolate, cut myself off a slice of my banana bread – and then fell asleep in the chair. hardly surprising, I reckon, after all of this walking that I had done.

When I awoke there was enough time to make a good start on YET ANOTHER ONE OF THE BLOG ENTRIES that needed updating now that I’ve finished the photo editing and the dictaphone transcribing.

Plenty of photos and voyages in that one so it took me all the rest of the day, which isn’t surprising in itself considering everything else that I had to do.

kiwi grape kefir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor example, after lunch my kefir needed attention. It’s been brewing for long enough.

Four nice, ripe kiwis were peeled and put into the whizzer with a few handfuls of grapes and whizzed around until I had a nice mushy liquidy pulp. This was strained through my filter stack into the big jug and the kefir out of the pot followed through the stack, leaving an inch or so at the bottom of the pot.

Everything in the jug was then strained back through the filter stack into a few bottles that I had washed and cleaned.

Then I set another batch of kefir on the way – 40 grammes of sugar, three slices of lemon, a fig cut in half and then the pot filled to within a couple of inches at the top with filtered water.

donville les bains rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on, with the rain having stopped for a brief moment I decided to go out for my afternoon walk.

Crowds of people out there taking advantage of the moment of sunshine that we were having, even though it didn’t look too nice further down the coast towards Donville les Bains. I reckoned (and I was right too) that we would be having another good helping of rain any moment now.

And so no time to hang around. I pushed on around the footpath under the walls dodging the puddles that hadn’t diminished one iota from the last time that I was out.

You’ve seen the photos of the storm that we were having. The rain might have stopped (for the moment) but the wind had got up and was raging away to itself. For a few minutes I watched them crashing down on the Plat Gousset and then headed off across the Square Maurice Marland.

At a walk, I hasten to add. Too many people about for me to break into a run.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow here’s a nice surprise awaiting me in port this afternoon.

How long is it since we’ve seen Thora, the smaller of the two Jersey freighters, here in the harbour? I was thinking about her quite recently and here she is. There’s a huge pile of building material, wood and the like, all kids of stuff, on the quayside so it looks as if she is going to be taking all of that back with her.

But I wasn’t going to hang around at all. There was the storm brewing up yet again and I wanted to be home as soon as possible.

Back here I finished off the blog entry that I mentioned just now, and then had my hour on the guitar. And tonight I just went over a couple of old numbers that I could sing to, just to make me feel better. I wish that I could snap out of this depression that I’ve been in since August last year when a whole lifetime’s ambition was within my grasp and it just melted away through my fingers at the side of a windswept airport runway in the Frozen North.

Am I becoming all maudlin and broody again?

Tea was a stuffed pepper which, strangely, was one of the best and tastiest that I’ve ever tasted. I enjoyed that very much. And my slice of apple pie was even nicer. I’m even surprising myself with my cooking.

light on beach pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith the rain having now died down I went out for my evening walk and runs.

A run up the Rue du Roc and then another one down to the clifftop, and this was the sight that met my eyes. At first I thought that it might have been the reflection of the moon or something in a rock pool but no matter how I changed my position the light remained in the same position.

It’s not a beach down there – it’s where all the rocks are. And there are plenty of rock pools so it may be that there’s someone having a go at night fishing. And he’ll probably catch just as much in the dark as he might do during the day.

moonlight baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy walk continued on to the end of the headland to look out across the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of days ago I tried to take a shot of the moon reflecting on the bay, but the wind was too strong to have a good attempt. Tonight was a little better, but still too windy to use the flat-topped post that I found, so I had to make do with wedging the camera up against the side of the bunker.

And that one hasn’t come out very much better than the previous one either, which is a shame. I must do better

joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom here I ran on down the path at the top of the cliffs as best as I could. Not because I was tired but because I had to dodge the huge puddles that were everywhere.

Sometimes late at night, we’ve encountered the Joly France boats coming in from a late-night trip back from the Ile de Chausey, but we won’t be seeing them out at sea tonight. Both of them are moored up over there at the ferry terminal.

Not much sign of life there either. They’ve all packed up and gone home a good long while ago, I reckon.

offices port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHave we had a night-time photo of the port offices yet? It’s no use asking me as I can’t remember.

The offices are right by the gates to the inner harbour and anyone going into there has to make contact with the Port Officer first. But the gates are closed (you can tell by the red light) and so is the office.

The green light is there to tell pedestrians that it’s permissible to cross over to the far side by taking the little pathway across the top of the gates, a route that we have taken quite often.

On my way home I had a quick look down at the harbour. Thora has now left – that was a quick turnround yet again – and there was nothing else going on. I completed all of my runs, somewhat easier than of late. I must be easing up again, which can only be good news.

It makes me wonder where I’ll be by the summer. I’m not pushing myself to extremes like I did last Spring but I can feel that I’m starting to become ready to push myself on.

But right now, I’m going to push on (or push off, more like) into bed. A whole day at home (barring accidents), and as there was no Welsh course this week I intend to spend some time tomorrow revising what I’ve already forgotten – which is probably about all of it.

Another plan of action that I have is, seeing how well the reformatting of the laptop went the other day, to have a go with the little travelling Acer too and see if I can’t tempt that back into proper life. I managed to rig it so it worked well enough to extract the data from it but a disk format and clean installation might possibly do some good.

It was the slowest laptop that I ever had but it was also the lightest and travelled with me everywhere despite everything. It will be nice to make it go again. I’m not too optimistic but if I don’t try, it definitely won’t work.

And in other news, I had a “parcel” today in the post. More of this anon

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 13th June 2020 – I SPENT A …

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hall… fortune today in the shops.

And for a couple of good reasons too, so while you admire today’s photos of the baby seagulls, let me tell you about it.

The spending spree started in NOZ, as you might expect. But what you won’t expect is the fact that food (and drink) played only a minor part the expenditure. Some of the alcohol-free beer that I like and the last of the breaded soya fillets, together with a tiny tub of vegan ice cream.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallSome of the rest went on a platform on wheels.

The way things are at the moment I’m not as young as I was and heavy lifting is a problem. I have a collection of wheeled platforms and indeed at one time I made my own, but everything is, of course back in the Auvergne and it’s not much use there.

However the crowing glory was a huge pile of history books. Occasionally NOZ has a book sale and I’ve bought a few from there (I’m currently reading a book that I bought there a while back on the history of Normandy in the Middle Ages) but today was a whole pile of interesting stuff .

Right now one of my bookshelves is groaning under the weight of 7 big new volumes of French and European history, all written from a French perspective.

That lot will keep me out of mischief for a while.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallRound at LeClerc it was also an expensive day

But, once more, there was a very good reason for that. There’s a well-known UK frozen food manufacturer that has a large range of vegetarian products, one or two of which are vegan

It now seems that LeClerc has started to stock them and they had their products on an opening special offer of 34% off.

It’s rare to find high-quality vegan food at a reasonable price but right now there’s some room in the freezer so now there’s a pile of deep-frozen falafel and deep frozen vege-balls in there.

It wasn’t an offer that I could pass up.

Talking of passing up on thisgs, I managed to pass myself up into the kitchen before the third alarm went off this morning – something that doesn’t happen very often these days..

And no-one was more surprised than me.

So after I had my medication I came back in here to listen to the dictaphone

What a nightmare that I had last night too! I had a house on Osbourne Grove in Shavington. It had either caught alight or someone had planted a bomb in it and everything was due to happen at midnight. I was runing back there – it was nearly 3 minutes to. I got inside the house, I had to rip electrical appliances off the wall, thrown them out of the window, pick up my belongings, pick up Strawberry Moose. I could feel the time really really advancing . I was doing this faster and faster. Then I lost the way a bit and ended up in a telephone box thing – interview booth

Somewhat later on I was driving taxis last night and we were in Earle Street in Crewe where there was a taxi rank. I dunno whether there was something going on but one of the drivers whom I knew came over to me and in a kind of forceful way said “just you go and get me a packet of crisps – a packet of chips and wait for me on tha corner and give them to me when I come past. he was obviously going to do something to upset the other drivers but anyway I set off towards the chip shop round into Market Terrace. Walking down there I met Roxanne. We started talking and she was telling me about how when she was young she’d drawn a picture of her mother and made a remark about it. I said that I disagreed, so she told me about a drawing she had made of me. We had a chat about that, and she added “I had a really good imagination as a child”. Anyway I came round and I got to the fish and chip shop by this time and I was just about to walk in when the alarm went off.

It always does just as things are becoming interesting.

There was more to last night’s voyages too, but as you are all probably having your lunch or something I’l spare you the gory details.

Having dealt with the dictaphone notes I went and had a shower and a weigh-in. And while one swallow doesn’t make a summer, and it’s too early to start crowing, for a whole week now I’ve been below my target weight.

Whether I can keep it up is another thing. We’ll have to see about that but it’s encouraging.

That means that in 11 months since I had my major health scare in the USA I’ve lost 13kgs. Not a pleasant way to lose the weight but the ends justify the means.

It reminds me of the story about my wife, who proudly announced “this last two weeks I’ve lost 5kgs”
“Keep it up, dearest” I urged (I used to call her “dearest” because she was the most expensive thing I’ve ever had) “in another 26 weeks you’ll be gone completely”.

Off to the shops which I’ve already mentioned, swamped in the crowds and the traffic. The port was heaving today with the sailing school having a busy morning. Cars parked everywhere.

Back here I actually managed to unpack everything and even put some of it away without having to go and sit down. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do that.

For lunch I had some of the baguette that I buy every Saturday and then came back in here to do some work.

And I really don’t know what happened after that. There was some work that needed doing which I started but the next thing that I remember was that it was 15:28. I must have been out like a light for 90 minutes or so and I don’t understand that at all.

Mind you, I awoke just in time for the kick-off of today’s football match – the Welsh Cup Final between Bangor City and Port Talbot Town from 2010.

Bangor City were expected to win this match at a canter and at 2-0 up after 15 minutes, it looked all over. But the Spuds stiffened up and began slowly to come into the game.

Bangor spurned a couple of good chances as the match progressed and when the Spuds pulled a goal back out of nothing after an hour, it was game on.

Astonishingly, in a frenetic end to the match, the Spuds scored an equaliser with just two minutes to go, only for Bangor to go back into the lead in injury time, to lift the Cup for the third year in succession.

But what a difference a decade makes. Bangor City were acquired by a couple of crooks (which I can safely say, having in my possession a list of their criminal convictions) whose financial manoeuvres saw the club lose its professional licence and expelled from the Premier League, and the Spuds who now play in the third tier of Welsh football

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThis was the time – about 90 minutes later than usual, for me to go for my afternoon walk.

From the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord I could see that down on the rocks and on the beach just there that the people were gathering in their masses.

When I came out of LeClerc earlier there was a torrential downpour going on and it had been pretty miserable. But now the sun had some out and brought with it the Saturday afternoon crowds

plank surfers plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t just on the beaches either.

The water was pretty busy too. We had a pile of plank surfers or whatever you call that sport out there two round by the buoys that seem to be marking the end of the swimming zone for the beach at Plat Gousset.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen them out there before. What the attraction is in that sport I really don’t know. But as long as they enjoy it, it keeps them out of mischief.

brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallYou probably noticed from the previous photos how beautiful the weather was looking right now. A real contrast from a few hours ago.

Over across the bay towards Bréhal Plage the colours really were magnificent and while the view into the distance wasn’t as clear as that which we saw the other day whe we saw the wind farm at the back of Coutances, it was certainly a nice sharp view over there.

It’s a shame that I can’t have a sharp view like this when the coast in the distance is clear.

crowds rue du nord granville manche normandy france eric hallBut you can see what I mean about the crowds out here this afternoon.

That’s the way that I go when I’m walking around the wall – underneath the arch and onto the path behind the outer curtain walls. That was my first running track too when I started running back in the winter, but as you can see, there’s no hope of running down there today.

You’ll notice the puddles on the path too. There was that much rain that the water hasn’t drained off. You’ll also notice that the grass is still quite brown despite the rain of the last couple of days.

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSurprisingly, the beach wasn’t all that busy. I was expecting to see many more people than that down there.

No-one swimming around in the water either this afternoon either, which was another surprise. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen swimmers in that water in all kinds of temperatures.

No-one in the tidal swimming pool which is a shame after all of the effort that they went to when they cleared it out a month ago. It’s still holding water.

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallSo where were all of the people then who should have been on the beach?

This is where most of them seem to be. I’m not sure what the attraction is of the rocks and the stone ramp when there’s some nice sand to sit on.

But do you notice the boy on the left-hand edge of the photo? He’s having a space-hopper ride on one of the yellow buoys that’s broken away from its mooring point.

You can see its chain behind it lying in the sand.

maserati roadworks rue notre dame granville manche normandy france eric hallMy route now took me round through the crowds in the Place Maurice Marland where I could check on my seagulls, and then towards home.

But here in the rue Notre Dame I noticed that the roadworks that they taped off yesterday have not been respected. Someone has driven through the tapes (not this car) and broken them – and now a whole stream of vehicles is passing along the road.

No wonder they have to keep on redoing them if people will drive on the cobbles before the concrete has set.

gribouille seagull place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back to the apartment this view made me lauch.

Here’s Gribouille, the big ginger cat, sitting quite comfortably on his wndowsill admiring the view, taking absolutely no notice whatsoever of the seagull that’s on the windowledge just above his head.

What kind of cat is this? But then again when I was married we had four cats but there was once a mouse in the kitchen that they completely ignored.

Back here it was guitar time already so I had an hour or so on those, followed by tea again. One of my breaded soya fillets with a baked potato and vegetables. I do quite like them but they aren’t on sale in France officially.

However NOZ sells anything and everything that comes its way. I stocked up when I could and it’ll be a shame when the supplies run out.

Out for my run afterwards but I had to abort the first part of the first run.

There was a major gale blowing – a proper sou’wester. And the tall buildings on either side of the rue du Roc were funneling it straight into my face. It was hard enough to walk, and impossible to run in it.

Once I’d gone beyond the buildings on the north side I could break into a run but it was still agony.

storm at sea english channel islands jersey granville manche normandy france eric hallThe itinerant was still there, calmly reading a newspaper as I ran past him down to the clifftop.

And I could see what was going on from the top of the cliff. The strong winds that we had had had blown the storm out to sea and the eastern side of Jersey was now taking a right pasting, presumably from the same storm that we had had earlier.

Whoever might be out there in a boat right now is probably not enjoying that one little bit, I’m sure of that. It’s hardly a surprise that there’s no fishing boat in view.

jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallHowever, one thing that can be said is that I’ve never seen Jersey looking so clear and visible so late in the evening.

With the big70-300mm LENS at full stretch I took a photo, and it’s amazing just how clear it is. We can see the tower at the entrance to the harbour which I reckon is St Helier, and on the right we can even see what looks like a church spire.

That’s not bad for 58 kilometres or so, I reckon.

fishermen resting cap lihou pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I walked off across the lawn and round to the viewpoint near the coastguard station.

Down by the Sailors’ memorial I looked down onto the rocks and noticed a cuple of guys lounging around here. Nominally fishing, as you can tell by the rods, but the lines aren’t in the water and hey don’t seem to be too interested right now.

And I don’t know why they are there because it can’t be pleasant down there in that wind.

couple resting cap lihou pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd they weren’t the only ones out there either.

This couple were here sitting on a bench by the old guard cabin, taking the full brunt of this sou’wester that was roaring up the bay.

Anyway, it’s none of my business, so I walked round, crossed over the road and ran on down to my first resting place, despite the crosswind.

heavy machinery fish processing plant rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe next stage of my route takes me all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury and round the corner at the end

While I was catching my breath I walked back to the harbour to see what was going on there. Nothing much, but our heavy equipment is still there. I’ll go for a closer look tomorrow if it’s still there.

From there I ran on round to the viewpoint at the rue du Nord, but there wasn’t anything at all of any interest happening there either so I came on home again.

Sunday tomorrow, and a lie-in too. I suppose that i’d better do some work too, seeing as I have done almost nothing today. But I’m going to make myself an apple crumble for tea, I reckon. We’ve not had one of those for ages.

Friday 5th June 2020 – I HAD A …

joly france baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… better day today (not that it could have been much worse of course).

So while you admire the photos of Joly France fighting her way out of harbour into the howling gale and the seagull that photobombed me while I was doing it, I’ll tell you all about it.

First of all, it goes without saying that when I crashed out yesterday evening, I switched off the alarms with the intention of sleeping until I awoke.

And that was until all of about 00:30

seagull photobomb joly france baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour granville manche normandy france eric hallThe first task when I awoke was to deal with the notes and the photos from yesterday.

That took me up until about 03:00 because there was other stuff to deal with too, like the notes of a voyage or two that I’d travelled. And then I went back to bed.

While I was in bed I was off on a couple of mega-voyages, and I dunno why I always seem to have the most interesting trips when I’m not feeling too well.

And some of the stuff I can’t recount because I bet that you are having your tea right now and you certainly wouldn’t thank me for spoiling it for you.

joly france baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour granville manche normandy france eric hallWe were at the radio last night working and I was asking about something or other to be done. They said that they had this new reporter in, which annoyed me rather. We were talking about a live concert that he had done of some singer, which I had dismissed as being nothing. But it turned out that it had had over a million listeners to the podcast and even I was impressed with that. It gave the whole place a new impetus. Everyone seemed to be much more excited and much more energetic. They had started working with a couple of new programs and we had been given some accounts so that we could use these new programs even if we didn’t know what they were all about. I started to think to myself “why the hell did I want to leave when I’m having such a good time with it now?” Even though we were swamped with work it was all going really well. I’d had this habit of getting stuff that I didn’t want to deal with, just putting it away and not even thinking about it. It was the pressure of that that had been getting to me. But I was actually working on a file and a couple of old pieces of post from January fell out. I looked at them and thought “why the hell did I file these anyway? What needs to be done is just so simple” so I sat down and made a start on dealing with these pieces which was only going to take me 5 minutes anyway.

joly france english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was also the question of the MoT servicing book – a big book, narrow and quite long and we wrote in all the details of the cars, what was being done on them and so on. I’d just finished one batch and I wondered if there was another book so I had to go outside to find the guy who was responsible. He told me “there’s plenty of room in there – you just aren’t looking properly”. I had a good look through and found that there was another batch of stuff in there, another batch of forms that I’d managed to miss

I must have awoken to dictate the notes of the above, and when I went back to sleep I went straight back into the dream in more or less the same place, walking to Nantwich past the Cedars and down Millstone (actually Birchin) Lane and ended up back at the place again. It seemed that I’d gone off last night and left all the drawers empty and all the spares open and I couldn’t find half the stuff. I realised that I had left them out lying everywhere. By this time we were very busy with people coming in and someone else was demonstrating a technique that he had used. He’d been looking for something in some other stores and they were going through a pile of this stuff and he’d actually found a modern-day use for a pile of stuff like on one occasion he’d made a stand for the vacuum cleaner using bits that were lying around and he showed us how he’d done it but he couldn’t undo it though because no-one had the correct screwdriver. It was strange just stepping back into that dream where I’d left off
One thing though was that I was smoking at some particular time and I don’t know why I’d started smoking. I’d burnt myself with a cigarette that I was holding so I went to stub it out thinking that this is a crazy thing to be doing anyway.
Later still We were on board a ship and there had been some kind of incident going on between a woman and a man and the man being given a big bill for his services. As a result the girl who ran the accounting office was not very pleased about it and she came to talk to me about it. Just after she finished there was a knock on my door and it was from one of my cabin friends from a nearby cabin wanting to know if I was ready to come down for breakfast. I had to search for my keys as usual then we set off out. He said what about the third guy who usually came with us that i didn’t particularly like. But there was a ribbon pinned to his door which said “lie in”. Obviously he was wanting a lie-in so we went downstairs. We were on about the 8th floor and the breakfast was on the 2nd or something. We got down to the 6th and there was a small breakfast being set out there and the woman seemed to think that we were from the party that was having the breakfast there. She told us to help ourselves. One of the girls with us went over and grabbed a glass of orange juice. I thought “I could always drink orange juice” so I went over to grab one but it turned out to be apple juice and there was only a mouthful in the beaker and there wasn’t any more in any of the jugs.

After all of that, what surprised me was the fact that with not having gone to bed until 03:00 and done all of that, I was wide awake again at 07:30. That was rather astonishing.

Mind you, that isn’t to say that I was out of bed by then. 08:30 was a much more realistic time to be out of bed.

It took a good while to type out all of my notes, as you can imagine. And I wasn’t feeling in the best of form either so it took even longer than it might have done.

No breakfast either – I still wasn’t feeling like eating anything.

For lunch though, I did try some food. While I had been searching around in the freezer the other day I had come across a pot of carrot and coconut soup. Today I defrosted that, warmed it up and ate it with the last of my home-made bread.

And to my surprise, it stayed down too.

What I’ve been doing for most of the day has been to finish off the radio project that i started. I’d dictated the text a couple of days ago but hadn’t edited it so that was the first job.

When that was finished, and the speech for my invited guest was included, I then had to edit into sections, find the pairs of tracks that I had coupled together, join everything up by using the sections of text to make a bridge between the different pairs.

That left some time over, so knock 30 seconds off that for the outro speech and then find a track of the right length that sounds like an outro track.

That track needs to be remixed to match the volume level of the rest of the programme, the speech needs to be written, recorded and edited, and then everything joined together.

It overran the hour by 5 seconds so I had to edit out 5 seconds from somewhere and then it could be saved.

fishing boat storm english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a break of course, while I went out for my afternoon walk. Just because I’m feeling ill doesn’t mean that things have to stop.

It was a horrible day out there today. It had been raining quite heavily by the looks of things and there was a howling gale blowing too. This poor little fishing boat pulling its dinghy behind it was really struggling to fight its way back through the waves into port.

As I have said before … “and you’ll say again” – ed … my hat goes off to all of them out there in weather like this

donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk took me down to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord.

Nothing happening on the beach s you might expect. The wind had driven almost everyone back inside. And there was some kind of miserable grey sky down the coast that was causing a peculiar kind of light down at Donville-les-Bains.

And it hasn’t escaped my notice that they have put out all of the beach cabins down at Donville-les-Bains. They are really getting ready for summer down there.

marker buoys plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallMy attention had been drawn in the previous photo to a series of yellow buoys strectched out across the end of the beach so i went for a closer look.

No clear evidence what they are there for though. The only thing that I can think of is that they are a mark to indicate to people the limit beyond which they are not allowed to swim.

Mind you, I think that it will take more than that to stop anyone swimming further out. Barbed wire and machine guns would probably be more effective.

roofing place marechal foch granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk carried me on around the walls to the viewpoint that overlooks the Place Marechal Foch.

The roofing job down there has been going on for a while so I had another look to see where they were. And they seem to have finished what they were doing and the scaffolding has come down.

But there are still a few piles of slates and it looks as if the scaffolding is going up around the back of the building. So there’s more roofing to come, I reckon.

seagull chick egg rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued around the walls and into the Square Maurice Marland.

There was a young family there leaning on the walls admiring my favourite mummy seagull and I was talking about the babies when mummy suddenly stood up and went for a walk.

We could then see quite clearly that she seems to have one chick and there’s one egg there that has yet to hatch. So whether it will or not, that remains to be seen.

seagull chick rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallHowever my particular mummy seems to be a little behind with her offspring.

On the next roof we had a mummy perched there watching her babies already stagger around taking their first steps.

She had two babies, but one of them had disappeared behind the chimney breast before I could prepare the camera. But the other one put on a little dance for me before flopping down exhausted on the nest, with a very proud mummy looking on.

thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHaving watched the seagulls for long enough I wandered off an continued my little walk along the walls.

Down in the harbour I’d noticed a little funnel sticking up from the loading bay in the bocks and it didn’t look like Chausiais so I went to see who it was. And sure enough, Thora has braved the storms and gales to come into port.

And she didn’t hang about long either. Another quick turnround for when I went out later, she had gone off back to Jersey.

fishing boats on tow port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallA little earlier we’d seen a little fishing boat fighing its way through the waves as it pulled its dinghy in towards the port.

By the time that I had completed my circuit I was treated to some kind of exhibition of I’m not really sure what it was. I reckon that that’s the boat down there the front one, that we saw struggling through the storm and it seems to have two dinghies behind it.

But as to what the other boat is doing down there with it, I really don’t know.

Back here at the apartment I carried on with my work. It took until 20:00 to complete it, with no pause for the guitars and no food either. I wasn’t hungry and in any case I wanted to finish this exercise before the weekend and I’m glad that I did.

storm jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallMy evening walk and runs was something of a disaster this evening.

One look at this photo will tell you why. There was a howling headwind blowing all the way down the Rue du Roc and it was difficult enough to walk, never mind run up there. And down on the clifftop I could see that Jersey, the ile de Chausey and the Brittany coast were taking a right pasting.

The storm was heading my way, and pretty quickly too. I didn’t think that this was the moment to be hanging about.

trawler pleasure boat chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFinally, I managed to break out into a run, the one along the top of the cliffs past the chantier navale.

And there’s been a change of occupant in there yet again. This time, one of the long-term resident trawler-type of fishing boats has gone back into the water, and its place taken by a little pleasure cruiser.

That’s a nice piece of kit, that boat, and I could see myself cruising around in a white cap in one of those. But I haven’t a clue where I could rustle up the dosh for it.

It reminds me of the guy in Crewe who sent his wife to Boots Corner in Crewe to earn some money for a new car. At the end of the first night she came back with £50 and 50p
“Who gave you the 50p?”he asked
“Why, all of them” she replied.
Yes, Crewe was a right dismal place to live and I’ve no idea how I stuck it for all that time.

My run down the Boulevard Vaufleury was interesting as a dog decided to try to have a little bit of fun.

After he limped off with a pain in his rear left leg, I turned on the owner and told him precisely what I thought of him. In good old colloquial French too, and left him in no two minds of what I thought. I didn’t spend 12 years working with a bunch of French-speaking drivers for nothing.

fishing boats pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHaving stopped for breath at my usual stop, I walked down to the viewpoint over the harbour to see what was happening.

Nothing very much except that the new pontoon is being put to very good use by the fishing boats that are congregating all around it.

From there I ran on back to the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord.

There was nothing happening out at sea this evening, apart from the storm, and as the tide was right in there were no picnickers. So I ran back home instead.

Later than I hoped, I’m off to bed. I’ll set an alarm, hope I’ll beat it, and then go to the shops. Not that I need much because I haven’t eaten anything for a few days.

At least, with keeping a note of how I feel, I know that I seem to be on the upward slope again and in a few days I’ll be back to normal – as if I ever was normal.

Last time this happened, in the USA in July, I lost 10kgs in weight. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could lose another 10kgs?

Tuesday 26th May 2020 – WE’RE BACK TO NORMAL …

mcdonalds rubbish rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall … again, aren’t we?

For eight glorious weeks the planet has been in lockdown, the earth has breathed again and all was right in the world. But the gates are opened for about a week or so and already the humans are back to their disgusting habits.

It’s as if this last eight weeks has taught them nothing at all and it’s totally shameful.

For eight weeks there’s hardly been a paper out of place and the whole area has looked so nice. And now this!

I despair.

As for me, I managed to beat the third alarm to my feet, which is always good news. it was “only just” – but that’s enough for me right now.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone. At first there was a army unit. There had been a unit of a sergeant and a few other people. They were getting rather tired of the war and had been doing things rather independently. One evening they’d come back to us in their tractor. They had a load of their supplies and they were just arranging them in a pretty formation, using them as wickets. There was some talk of distributing them among the poor. While this was going on there happened to be a general inspection and all the generals were there with this old tractor chugging past and they wondered what on earth he was doing. He was setting out all of these things. We expected there to be some kind of argument or discussion but the general went over to look at it and started to make suggestions about the best way to deploy his field to defend against it. It looked very much as if instead of having a huge argument about this old sergeant we were just going to have a peaceful game of cricket. A few people inside were telling all of their stories and there was one guy who was moaning away that he’d only qualified for 8 weeks and he’d spent 4 of those weeks in the army. We asked him what he was and he had qualified as a doctor so he said but he had come in as a private. Then people started clamouring for me to tell them my story
Somewhat later during the night we were doing something out on an island somewhere. One of the boats that was doing the connection between the mainland and the island was this yacht run by this woman. She was a bit domineering and bossy, and it wasn’t very pleasant having to work anywhere where she was in control. Anyway, at the end of the period we all left. A year or so later I came back to do something and found that the woman and the boat were still here. For some unknown reason I had a different opinion of her by then – maybe she wasn’t as bad as she was made out to be and we were probably as much to blame about things. I was interested to get to see her and talk to her and that took a lot of doing.

After breakfast I tidied up in the living room and the kitchen to get the place looking tidy (that’s the one thing about video-conferencing – I have to make the place look nice), reviewed last week’s Welsh notes, and then swatted up on the notes for this lesson.

And you’ve no idea how quickly time goes when you’re trying to concentrate like this. I had to dash the last page or two, and then I couldn’t find the invitation to the chat.

But eventually I was sorted out and we had our two-hour lesson. And we’re getting quite good at it. However we’re going at a cracking pace so heaven alone knows what it will be like when our 10-week course finishes. Fluent but totally exhausted, I reckon.

For lunch I attacked my loaf and now there’s just an end that’s left. So tomorrow morning I’m going to have to make another loaf. This will be version 4 and I wonder if this will be any improvement on the previous three. We’ve seen improvement week on week so here’s hoping.

This afternoon I attacked the radio project and by the time I came to knock off I’d written the text, dictated it and edited it. Tomorrow morning after my baking, I’ll join everything up.

marker buoy english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual break mid-afternoon to go for a walk around the headland. And in the sun and the wind too.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that on many occasions we’ve seen marker flags and buoys bobbing up and down in the sea just off the coast. There’s another one out there today in the English Channel.

One of these days I’ll work out what they are for. I reckon that it’s something to do with fishing equipment, but I would have expected them to be painted in a bright colour that’s easily seen rather than black that no-one can see so easily.

sunlight reflecting off a window brittany coast trawler granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I was in Wyoming last July following the traces of the battles between the US armed farces and the native Americans, I was intrigued to read a report to say that in the clear conditions of the Plains of Wyoming the flash of a heliograph signal could be seen 50 miles away.

Once or twice I saw some decent reflections out there, but this one here today over on the Brittany coast was even more interesting. That’s about 20-25 miles away, which may well be only half the distance, but it’s from a window I reckon, not from a pre-focused mirror.

And regular readers of this rubbish who have followed this stuff for years will recall that when we were at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the Outer banks of North Carolina and one or two other lighthouses out there, we had a very interesting discussion about pre-focused Fresnel lenses.

So with the right equipment, imagine the distance that the flash of a heliograph would travel across here. From hill to hill of course, otherwise you’ll be confounded by the curvature of the earth.

ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t just the flashes from the Brittany coast that were looking impressive today either.

In all the time that i’ve lived here I don’t think that I’ve ever seen the Ile De Chausey looking so clear at this distance. It’s 20-odd kms away over there.

And the yacht in the long distance has come out surprisingly clear too. That was quite impressive too.

giant cranes rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk carried me on around the headland and back down the south side of the headland.

No change in the chantier navale – still the same four boats in there – but there seems to be an incredible amount of activity down in the rue du Port with the two giant cranes at full stretch across the harbour.

It’s not easy to see what they are trying to do, so I’ll have to creep up quietly a little closer to see if I can have a better view.

giant cranes rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThis is better. I can see what they are doing from here.

And it’s as I suspected. They are putting in the finishing touches to the floating pontoon that they have built out from the rue du Port. I was wondering when they were going to finish that.

But it really is depressing. This is costing them a fortune all of this equipment. But a couple of years ago they had the harbour drained for a couple of weeks. They could have done all of this then at a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time with working on what was effectively dry land.

Back here I carried on with my radio project and then had a play on the guitar as usual.

But I missed out on my session on the bass, and for a very good reason too. I’d been playing the chords to U2’s “One Tree Hill” and was interested in trying to fathom out the fiddly bits in it. And after a few minutes, it hit me as to what they were.

And it’s simple – the lower four notes of the G chord and the upper 4 notes of the C chord and the D chord. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But you try playing it at the speed that they play it when you’ve never done it before.

So I spent all of my hour trying to master t and at the end of my hour there is just one interchange that I cannot get tight no matter how hard I try.

But then when I started to teach myself the 6-strin guitar back in late August I couldn’t play bar chords and that was a great disappointment too. So I’ll just keep on persevering.

Tea was an old “anything curry” out of the freezer with rice and veg.

There should have been a dessert made today but if I’m baking bread tomorrow the oven will be on so I’ll make an apple pie as well. I’ll be brave and use the last of the pastry rolls in the fridge. So for dessert I had a go at making a rice pudding in the microwave. However that was a disappointment and I shan’t be doing that again

The high winds had calmed down this evening so it was very pleasant outside.

The first run up the hill was the same old struggle as usual and it isn’t getting any better with time. I remember when I started back running when I went to live in Belgium. After a couple of weeks I could run miles and miles with no problem. But then again that was when I was healthy and it was 25 years ago of course.

trawlers baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run took me across the lawn down to the clifftop and then I walked across the lawn to the other side through the crowds.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that just recently we’ve been seeing whole fleets of fishing boats down in the Baie de Mont St Michel far deeper than we have seen them before.

And again today, there was probably seven or eight of them down there working.

At the fish processing plant there were four large refrigerated lorries so they must be anticipating a large catch today. And I’m just wondering how long they are going to keep on exploiting the harvest out there.

fishing from pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s not just from boats in the Baie de Mont St Michel that they are fishing.

In the beautiful evening sunshine we had someone perched on a rock with a rod and line. The other day we saw the seagulls on there waiting for the tide to go out, and here’s someone taking full advantage of the tide being in.

For my part, I took advantage of the fact that what wind there was was now blowing from behind me so I took to my heels down along the clifftop

trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd I was right about the anticipation of a really good catch today, by the look of things.

The fishing boats were queueing up to unload at the quay. We had one boat reversing away and another one pulling into its place and we ended up with a fascinating nautical danse macabre as they maoeuvred around each other.

So, with no shipwrecks and nobody drowndin’, I headed off for the next part of my run down the Boulevard Vaufleury.

yacht baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut here was something totally magnificent heaving into view while I was stopped for a pause for breath.

It’s probably the most magnificent yacht that I have seen for quite a while. I’ve no idea where it came from because I hadn’t seen it out at sea earlier. It took me quite by surprise.

There was nothing much going on at the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord so I didn’t hang about, and ran on home instead to write up my notes.

Tomorrow I’m going to be busy because there is so much that needs catching up and I really don’t know how I’m going to find the time to do it all.

Thursday 14th May 2020 – THAT WAS A …

… better day today!

For a start, I actually made it out of bed before the third alarm. And after yesterday’s disaster, that was really some kind of progress.

And I was off on a voyage as well during the night. Not quite as graphic as the previous night’s, which is a good thing, I suppose. There were three of us wandering around central London last night, me and two girls. I know these two girls and I just can’t think who they are. It was the time of a vampire attack on the city and we’d been doing something, fighting off these vampires and a fourth member of our party, an elderly gentleman dressed in Victorian suit and top hat was helping but he was taken ill on one occasion. So I went over to see him although it wasn’t me – but it was me in the dream if you know what I mean – and I undid his shirt. I found that he had a bandage wrapped round his chest so I had to undo the bandage. He snarled and snapped at me and I realised that he was a vampire. Someone had pushed a stake through his heart at one time. I grabbed these two girls and I stuck a cross in his way or his hand or something and we ran off. Somehow we became separated and I ended up with one of these girls and she ended up going home. I escorted her home and we came back out. We were on this street, something like rue St Catherine Est (near the CHUM) in Montreal. Down at the bottom of a hill was a church and that was where I’d arranged to meat this other girl. We were late so I said to this girl who was with me “stay here” and I ran on down to see the other. There she was outside this building and she was curling up, settling down on the floor going to sleep to wait for us on the pavement. I grabbed hold of her “God, don’t do that!”. She asked “where’s the other girl?”. “I’ve left her on a street cornerto come and fetch you. Now we have to go and fetch her back”. We were loaded up with valuables (…like the camera…) but we couldn’t find anywhere to put them. There were all these boxes where you could leave stuff but there was no key. We had to scratch around for a key or a lock or something – we didn’t have one. Time was getting on and in the end I thought “God just put the stuff in there. If someone pinches it, too bad”. The door didn’t close, the camera strap was dangling out right by a fire, everything like that. We ran back up the hill and as we ran back up we were really afraid of what we would see – whether the vampire had hold of this girl again. Should I have left a cross in her hand or wrapped garlic around her neck or something? I started to have all of these weird ideas about what was going to happen and what I should have done.

After breakfast I assembled the radio project as far as I could and checked the timing. Knock off 30 seconds from what was left out of the hour, and that was the length of track for which I was looking.

A shower was next, and a shave and general clean-up. And of that 300 grammes of weight that I had lost at the last weigh-in, I’d put 400 grammes back.

workmen rue st jean medieval city walls granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s Thursday today, and so that means shopping of course. But once again, I didn’t go very far before I stopped.

One of the penalties of living in a medieval walled city is that quite often the old gates are too low for lorries and the like and regular readers of this rubbish will have seen plenty of examples of trans-shipment

There’s more work taking place within the walls, I imagine, and they can’t pass the lorry and the trailer here through the gateway. They are going to have to unload all of this, I imagine, and take it through as best as they can.

joly france baie de mont st michel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallWe’ve seen all of the ferries – the two for the Channel Islands and the two for the Ile de Chausey, parked up during the confinement.

But today it looks as if things have eased off. Joly France, one of the passenger ferries that goes out to the Ile de Chausey, was just heading off out of the harbour and by the looks of things, she has a good complement of passengers.

Here’s hoping that none of them are infected because the virus would spread like wildfire out on the island.

First stop was the Post Office to post of Rosemary’s Christmas present. I know that it’s May but she was away from home until the day of the lockdown and as she came home, the Post Office closed.

We had to queue outside and were allowed in three by three.

At the Bank, where I went to pay in a cheque and to change a standing order, it was even worse. Facemasks compulsory (luckily I had taken with me the one that I was given by a neighbour the other week), oOnly one person in at a time and so the queue was down the street.

The counter clerk was very scrupulous about cleaning off the perspex window and all of that, and then handled all of my paperwork and bank card, which made the scrupulous cleaning of the perspex screen rather superfluous.

At LIDL I spent more than intended, but a large part of that was spent on a folding rucksack. It’s a reasonable size but folds up into a large pocket and it’s just the job for when I go on excursions.

The apple pie is on its last slice too but they had on special offer some frozen red fruits – €1:79 for a 750 gramme bag. So I bought a bag and I’ll make a pie with that tomorrow.

floating pontoon out to outer harbour granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I bought a dejeunette from La Mie Caline for lunch, but was once more interrupted walking up the Rue des Juifs.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen them floating the new pontoons across the harbour by pushing them with a motor boat, but this one is actually being pushed out of the inner harbour.

We’ve also seen the mounting brackets that they installed at the ferry terminal. It looks as if, now that Joly France has gone off on her travels, that they are going to install the new pontoons.

Back here I wrote the text for the final track, uploaded it to the computer, edited it and assembled the final track. I was over time by 5 seconds but a quick edit of some speech soon dealt with that.

After lunch, while I listened to my handiwork, I had a look at the template issue for one of my websites – the issue that I mentioned the other day.

And it should be no surprise to anyone that I resolved the issue in less than 10 seconds. In fact, I’d been thinking about this problem here and there and I had a very good idea of what I had done. And I was right.

It will also be no surprise to anyone that I also had a little doze for a few minutes here and there.

Once I’d recovered my composure I set about installing the new hi-fi. And I rather think that I’ve over-egged the pudding somewhat.

It was necessary to drill a couple of holes in the furniture and then perform a complicated rewiring job which meant practically dismantling the computer and a few other things too.

It led to something of a tidy-up too (and putting away a pile of papers) and then I connected everything up. And as I said, I’ve over-egged the pudding somewhat because this system is somewhat overwhelming.

But the quality is phenomenal nevertheless and I’m as impressed with this as I was with my galvanised steel dustbin.

Somewhat later that anticipated, I went out for my afternoon walk.

On the way out with the hi-fi box I bumped into a woman from the Mairie who was handing out the free washable face masks that the commune had ordered for their inhabitants. I asked her for an innuendo so she gave me one.

“Corona virus?” I enquired.
“No” she replied. “The school next door starts back up next week. We don’t want you frightening the kids”.

trawler english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hall

The hurricane was still blowing and it was a struggle to walk around the walls. But I wasn’t struggling half as much as some people. The trawler out there in the English Channel near the Ile de Chausey was really making heavy weather of the journey home.

You can tell by the whitecaps on the tops of the waves that far out (that’s probably about 10 kilometres out) just how wild the wind is right now.

windsurfer people on beach donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd the trawler wasn’t the only one out there in the wind.

Never mind the story about the beaches being closed and so on, we have a windsurfer out there enjoying the storm. And I suppose that he parachuted in from the air too.

But there must be a good handful of people out there on that beach between Donville les Bains and Bréhal Plage and I have no idea why they are there and what they are doing.

There was still half an hour left to enjoy the music before the hour on the guitar, which was spent mainly playing around with two Dire Straits tracks – “Sultans of Swing” and “Tunnel of Love”. Despite all of the time that I’ve spent working out “Telegraph Road”, i reckon that right now it’s beyond what I’m really capable of doing.

Tea was a nice stuffed pepper followed by the last of that delicious apple pie that I made, so tomorrow is going to be a baking day, I reckon.

car caravan parking rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBack outside in the teeth of the gale and my run up the hill which was agonising tonight.

And at the caravanette park in the rue du Roc we have yet more grockles who haven’t quite grasped what all of this virus thing is about. I’ve seen the local police on their patrols and I reckon that they ought to be doing something about this.

But anyway having recovered my breath I ran on down to the clifftop to see what I could see out to sea.

And the answer to that was “nothing at all”.

sunlight relection beach st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france eric hallAround the corner to the south side of the headland and I noticed something glistening on the beach over across the bay at St Pair Sur Mer.

Being of a curious bent … “errr … quite” – ed … I took a photo of it to crop and blow up back here. And what I can see is that it seems to be the sun’s reflection on the window there reflecting into a tidal pool on the beach.

It’s quite amazing what you can pick up with a good zoom lens.

floating pontoon ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallEarlier on today we noticed that they were pushing a floating pontoon out of the harbour.

At the time I speculated that they might be finally going to fit them to the mounting brackets that they fitted to the harbour wall over at the ferry terminal.

And sure enough, there they are in position. But I’m intrigued to see what is going to happen when the tide goes out because it dries out over there. And what happens to the pontoons then will be interesting.

floating pontoons port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDespite the howling gale I struggled on with my run down the Boulevard Vaufleury and I was pretty done in when I finally reached my marker.

Back down to the viewpoint over the harbour to see what they had been up to down there. And it looks as if some of the floating pontoons down there (we’d seen three rows yesterday) have gone.

The missing ones are probably those that they installed at the ferry terminal.

My next run took me round to the viewpoint in the rue du Nord but there was nothing going on over there so I turned round and ran back home as best as I could in the wind.

So now I’ve finished this, I’m ready for bed. This was a better day today and I felt a bit more like myself. Here’s hoping for an even better day tomorrow.

Friday 8th May 2020 – WHAT THE …

… heck happened here?

Running late yet again, and there was a football match planned on the internet tonight kick-off at 20:30 – a historic match from a few years ago in the Welsh Premier League between Bangor City and Rhyl – so I decided to forego tea, worry about that later, and watch the match in peace.

While I was waiting for it to come on, I busied myself with other things until I noticed the time – 21:35!

So what happened to the match?

A brief visit to the page of the broadcaster, and all mention of the match has been wiped off.

In fact, really, the match tonight should have been Port Talbot Town v Bala and the Bangor match last Friday, but regular readers of this rubbish will recall that it was that match that was broadcast last Fridat night.

There might almost have been another disappointment this morning too but I was saved on a technicality. The three alarms went off as usual but it was about 06:45 when I left the bed.

That might usually have counted as a failure, except that it’s a Bank Holiday here (Victory in Europe Day) and by rights there shouldn’t be an alarm at all.

But in a state of exhaustion I went to bed early-ish last night before I’d finished my notes so in compensation I left the alarm to ring this morning.

There was so much to write that it was 09:20 or thereabouts when I went for breakfast – that’s the penalty of not being focused – and so it turned out to be just like any other Bank Holiday afterwards where I didn’t do very much.

And there was nothing on the dictaphone from the night either.

There were some photos edited from July 2019 but not as many as I would have liked as I had to go back and change quite a few due to having become confused with the numbering. So I’m still on board The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour trying to get into the harbour at Vestmannaeyjar on the island of Heimaey just off the coast of Iceland.

Round about 12:30 I was thinking about lunch when the telephone rang. It was Rosemary who wanted a little chat. And when she finished, it was 14:21. We had a lot to say to each other.

By the time that I’d eaten lunch it was about 15:15 and that was effectively the day gone. I continued the task of sifting through the web server looking for files that shouldn’t be there, and I moved another few off that I had been looking for for ages.

All in all, it wasn’t a very profitable day and I could have done much better.

There was the usual hour on the guitars and then just as I was thinking about tea, someone with whom I had wanted to speak came on line so I was caught up in another chat.

Hence the running late.

sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallWith no football to watch I pushed myself on outside for my evening run.

And just about caught the tail end of the sunset. It really was beautiful out there too, Everything. The sun, the wind, the calm, the quiet. One of the nicest evenings so far.

To my surprise too, the run all the way up the hill was the easiest that I’ve had to date. I’m wondering if that might be due to the fact that I had no tea tonight. I shall have to experiment

chausiais port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallI ran all the way down the south side of the headland and then all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury, well past my usual stopping place, and then walked back to look at the harbour.

There was nothing much going on as far as shipping went and it was too far to see if they had been working there today. However there were several people at the fish processing plant and they were making quite a noise.

Chausiais was there too, still moored in her usual place over by the ferry terminal ready, I suppose, for a voyage to the Ile de Chausey.

trawlers chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHaving had a good couple of weeks of no movement whatever at the chantier navale they seem to be working at a frenetic pace just now.

We had five boats yesterday morning and then back down to four yesterday evening, but this evening we seem to be back up to five boats again.

But the boat on the extreme left of the row of four – if that’s not the one that was there in that spot for so long and had disappeared by yesterday, then it’s one very much like it.

trawler aeroplane beautiful sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving digested the scenery here, I carried on with my runs around to the rue du Nord.

While I’d been running around the headland I’d seen the Rescue Boat shoot out of the harbour as if it meant business and I wasn’t quick enough to photograph it. But now we have an aeroplane take off from the airfield at Donville which you can see in the upper left of the photo above the illuminated fishing boat.

That may well be the air-sea rescue ‘plane taking off to follow the boat, so it looks as if we have a naval emergency somewhere.

brehal plage donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallBut it was a beautiful night by the time tha I got down to the viewpoint on the rue du Nord.

It was practically going dark and I couldn’t see much, except the fact that it was looking really nice over to Brehal-Plage and Donville les Bains

That prompted me to take a photo of it. I had the big NIKON D500 fitted with the f1.8 50mm lens so at least it was the correct equipment for the job and the photo came out well enough considering.

rue st jean place d'armes rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBut this photo came out even better.

That’s the rue St Jean passing out under the medieval town walls and on into the Place d’Armes and out into the rue du Roc.

As for me, I ran off to my apartment and that was that.

Now it’s bed time and I’m glad because I’m tired. It’s been a rather pointless day today but tomorrow there’s shopping to do and I need to be on form.

There will be queues everywhere, I imagine, so I need to be at my best.

Some hope!

Wednesday 6th May 2020 – THE LEAST …

… said about this morning, the better.

It was quite a late night last night as a pile of good music came onto the playlist just as I was thinking of going to bed, so that was that. I stayed up to listen to it.

And even though I heard the three alarms, ask me if I cared. 08:15 when I finally exerted myself and that’s no good to anyone at all.

To make things worse, there was nothing on the dictaphone either. That’s always a disappointment because I have said on many occasions … “indeed” – ed … as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, that I have more excitement on my little nocturnal voyage than I ever do in real life, and meet far more interesting people

In fact, apart from a brief bonjour to two women walking their dogs together while I was out, I haven’t spoken to anyone else today.

After a very late breakfast I had a knotty problem to resolve. For some unknown reason, none of my mice (or mouses, I dunno) want to work on my big computer, except one that isn’t up to much.

As to why that might be, I’ve no idea. They work fine on other machines and the USB ports work fine with other appliances so it beats me.

After a good rummage around the apartment I eventually found an ancient radio mouse and, to my surprise, that seems to work for the moment.

The rest of the morning was therefore spent editing photos from July 2019. There wasn’t much time to do many and right now I’m on a sandbank in South-East Iceland admiring a bunch of harbour seals.

That loaf of bread that I made seems to improve with age because it was totally delicious – even better than yesterday.

But I was thinking about that at lunchtime. There’s too much of it and it’s going to mean that there will be some left by the weekend. So what i’m going to do is to make a smaller amount (maybe 400 grammes of flour instead of 500 grammes, always assuming that I can find some tomorrow) and make two small loaves.

Smaller loaves will also mean that it will bake quicker too and that’s always a good plan.

After lunch I took out the 10x4GB memory sticks from their quarantine and set about reorganising the music. It took two of them and there was still about 3.5GB left on the computer, mostly of incomplete files that need looking at. But they’ll receive “the treatment” in early course once my hi-fi arrives, whenever that might be.

For the rest of the afternoon I carried on updating the web pages and there’s another 16 or so now done. I’ve no idea how many are left to do but I have to go back and do the earlier ones again – the first batch that I did – as I missed something off.

As for my hour on the guitars, I’m not sure what happened but I couldn’t find the enthusiasm. It was a very long, weary but not very productive time.

It’s probably a sign that that the spirit must be quite weak these days and that usually means that I’m due a bout of ill-health any day now.

And that’s not surprising because it’s now three and a half months since I’ve had my four-weekly cancer treatment and I remember how I was feeling when I was in the High Arctic. The last couple of days out there, I was running on pure adrenaline and I well remember the counter-reaction that I had while I was waiting for the aeroplane in Kugluktuk and my two days in that hotel in Calgary.

Tea was falafel and steamed vegetables in a cheese sauce followed by the last of the rice pudding. I might bake a small apple pie for pudding for the rest of the week, and if there is plenty of flour in LIDL I might have a go at making my own pastry to see where that takes me.

road marking painting rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThe other day I mentioned that they had been planning last week to repaint the white lines in the car park at the back here.

So off I went on my evening run tonight and sure enough, the painters have been past. They’ve done the car park, right enough, but they’ve also repainted the yellow lines here in the rue du Roc for the area where buses and coaches are allowed to park.

Judging by the signs that have now appeared on the other side of the road, it looks very much as if they are going to be back to paint those lines there sometime in the near future.

beautiful sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving recovered my breath, I ran on down to the clifftop to see what was happening out there in the English Channel.

For a change just recently, there weren’t so many clouds in the sky so we had this beautiful sunset out there over the Ile de Chausey.

There were a few people out there enjoying the evening, including a couple with a dog. And they were disturbed by the arrival of these two women with their mutts who wanted to play.

trawler english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNo social distancing for pooches of course but there are for owners and they were amm rather tangled up for a while.

What I did was to ignore them and concentrate on what was going on out to sea. There were the usual trawlers and other fishing boats out there and this one here was on its way out to join them.

This evening I could see about five in total, working away a little farther out to sea this evening.

full moon granville manche normandy france eric hallI USED TO BE A WEREWOLF!
But I’m all right nooooooooooooooooow!

Yes, it’s full moon again and with there being no clouds to speak of in the sky I had a really good view of it tonight.

Again, it’s a hand-held shot so it’s not as steady as it might be with a tripod.

And that reminds me – I need to set up one of the function buttons on the NIKON D500 to work a “delayed action” shot sequence

chausiais trawler cap pilar port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThis photo was interesting because it shows that Chausiais has moved over to the harbour wall by the harbour offices.

And in the foreground is another trawler-type of fishing vessel, the Cap Pilar. I’ve no idea why she might be here or what she’s doing, because she’s actually a boat from St Malo.

So pondering over that, and also the fact that there’s still no change of occupant in the chantier navale I carried on with my run down the Boulevard Vaufleury.

trawler cap pilar leaving port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHalfway down along my run I noticed that Cap Pilar had “cast off forr’ard, Mr Phillips” and was turning round.

So having reached my marker (the second pedestrian crossing up the hill) I walked back to see what was happening. So off she goes out into the evening sunset.

As an aside, when I returned home, I checked on my AIS detector beacon to see where she might be going. And to my amusement her destination was signalled as où je veux – “where I like”.

It’s all very amusing, that kind of remark, but it’s not very much help if she fails to arrive anywhere. No-one can report her missing if they don’t know where she’s supposed to be.

pontoons road marking rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw the first lot of new pontoons put out and fastened to the support pillars that they have installed.

Parked up here down in the rue du port is an articulated lorry with a couple of new pontoons on it. So they are pushing along with this plan to finish the port as soon as possible.

And we saw the road-painting earlier. It looks as if they have been down here too because there are white lines painted on the new car park.

And that’s a disappointment, that car park. They could have done so much more than a squalid slab of tarmac with just a little imagination.

pontoon marite port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut we can see why Chausiais has moved, and why the pontoons are on the back of the lorry just here.

First of all, Marité is now moored where Chausiais had been, so that means that there’s something going on down in her corner. I’ll have to check that tomorrow when I go out shopping.

But you can see that the line of pontoons has extended now, but they are still a couple short. So they’ll be taking those off the back of the lorry tomorrow, I imagine, and installing them.

Nothing doing at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord tonight. I’d missed the sunset and the crowds were dispersing. And so I ran home.

The notes are finished now so I’m off to bed. It’s not as early as I would have liked but I’m hoping for a decent sleep (such as it is) and an early start tomorrow. I must crack on.

Sunday 3rd May 2020 – IT’S A GOOD …

… job that it’s Sunday and a Day of Rest, otherwise this could have been a disaster today.

A Day of Rest and a lie-in is one thing, and all very well too, but 11:15 is probably something of an exaggeration.

Mind you, that’s hardly a surprise when I listened to the dictaphone because during the night I’d put in a whole load of miles.

I’d started off with this virus in full swing and I’d been on a ship. I’d been asked if I could perform with the guitar for some people somewhere in Spain so I agreed to do it. I came off the ship with the guitar right in the middle of this raging illness. People were asking about me and asking about it but I can’t remember now very much more about it than that.
But later I’d been to Manchester for a job interview. I had NMP, the MkV automatic. It was a strange job interview because the woman was speaking to me in French although her French was pretty dreadful. She said that it’s no good applying for this job if you haven’t had this driving test here. I said “oh no I actually haven’t had my driving test here”. She said “what are you wasting my time for when it’s so important that you have a British driving licence?” I said that I had one. “When you said ‘here’ I thought that you meant ‘here in this town or whatever'”. By now we had transformed into Stoke on Trent (I was getting confused) and so this interview went on and I came out and got into the car and set out to drive home. At a certain point the road narrowed from a wide two-lane road into two narrow-laned roads to go through some kind of barrier. There was a big concrete post in the way in between where the road narrowed off and I hadn’t noticed. I thought that it was two lanes so I went to go into the outside lane and push on and put my feet down and I came across this concrete bollard. I went up and over it and had to reverse off. I was sure that this have done quite a bit of damage but I carried on driving. I had to go round in a circle now to get to where I was going so when I got to where this concrete pillar was again I could see the block covered in oil and an oily patch where the car had stuck so I imagined that it had damaged the gearbox and broken a casing and there was oil leaking everywhere. The only thing to do was to try to get home. So I set out for home. I noticed that the speedo wasn’t working and one or two other things. I was having to go quicker than normal, driving past these bridges where there were these schoolboys going back to school and a load of teachers hanging around outside chatting.
Still in connection with this I was back driving with a girl with me this time. We’d stopped at some town or another for a break and a coffee. As we were getting back into the car we noticed a Ford Cortina that was parked behind us. It was a yellow tobacco-leaf coloured convertible and it had written on the back “white wedding”. Of course that immediately caused a bit of laughter and so I went to get the camera to take a photo of it but the car pulled off before I could do so. There was another car there – a Bentley of some description, a mini-Bentley type of thing. There was a man and woman in it and they were asking where to go. Someone said “go that way because the other way is far too touristy”. We got into our car and went to start it. I noticed that from one of the gear lever rubbers or somewhere like that there was a small flow of water coming out of it and going straight into my box of food. I had a look and thought that i’d better take the bonnet up but I didn’t want to take the bonnet up because I didn’t want to see the damage that had been caused when I went over that concrete bollard but I had to do it. I lifted up the bonnet and there was all steam coming everywhere out of the joints so the car was obviously extremely low in water. I thought that the next step before I got home was to fill it up with water.
In the meantime there was something going on with an electric cooker. It required a four-way cable so that had to be rewired. So I’d done that and so I was trying to find out how to plug it into the circuit because of course I had a four-way plug but there was no four-way socket anywhere that I could see. For some unknown reason this led to a discussion about ventilators and children in a particular area of South Wales – the deaths of children had gone up 80% overnight.
Anyway, I was on a train. Somehow on a train heading to the city of London on an Underground train. For some reason that I don’t understand I got off at Wandsworth, I’m not quite sure why. I realised that I didn’t really want to get off at Wandsworth – I wanted to carry on to the City, to Victoria. So I got back on the platform and one of these limited-stop express trains pulled in so I had to run, dragging my case behind me towards it. So I ran but I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. Terrible. I was running as fast as I could but I couldn’t seem to move. The train seemed to be further and further away. In the end the guard shouted “come on, come on” and I struggled to get there and just as I got there he closed the door but he opened it so I got on and then there was a woman with whom I’d been travelling with previously – it might have been someone I knew in Brussels, it could have been anyone. I sat down next to her and the train pulled out. After a few minutes I thought that it was getting remarkably rural for the City of London. I’d seen a few signs. We came to a hill and by this time we were driving on a road and came to a hill. I thought “God, this hill is familiar”. “I’ve been here in a dream” I said, “with Nerina. And she was on a bike and I was on a bike and the hill was so steep that Nerina got off and walked down the hill as I carried on cycling down and I cycled off and left her”. This girl said “naughty thing” and so I asked “are we heading out of the City?” She saud “yes, we’re just coming up to (somewhere, I can’t remember the name where there was a Motorway Service Area on the edge of the city)”. I said “God I’ve got on the wrong train, I’d better get off somehow”. There was a bit somewhere in this where we were on this road, a narrow road, and a whole fleet of orangey-red single-decker Duple coming towards us and our bus had to pull off on the wrong side of the road to let them pass. Anyway we all got off. There was another girl with us and we were walking. This girl I was with – she was talking about the things that she’d done and here in her house was a kind of tricycle she’d built out of a horse buggy. She was telling us about how the tyres had been moulded from a bread case, all that kind of thing. I made a remark that the rear end was a bit light as there was a front-end snowplough, don’t ask me why. She said “when Kevin Ayers was here he said something or other”. I thought “God, Kevin Ayers been here? Soft Machine? That’s incredible
Nerina was somewhere about in this too. We were walking down a street on a 1930s housing estate and she came up behind me with a small dog on a lead and we chatted about that.

It’s hardly a surprise that, with the late start and with a stop for breakfast, it was the middle of the afternoon when I finally finished doing my notes. And no wonder that I was in bed for so long too.

There was more than that too but as you are probably eating supper or something, I’ll spare you the gory details. But all that I can say is that why don’t I have exciting things like this happening to me during the day rather than to rely on some kind of vicarious pleasure.

There was time to digitalise an album though – another one that I did manually. This one was very, very straightforward now that i’ve worked out how to do it.

But it was an album that meant a great deal to me and took me back to 1975/76 when I used to hang around in Congleton so out came the acoustic bass and, to my surprise, after a couple of minutes, all of the old bass lines came back to me and I was well away for over 50 minutes doing that.

vegan lentil tofu bean pie place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallThe rest of the afternoon and evening was spent in culinary activities.

You can’t see the rice pudding that I made, but here you can see the lentil, tofu and bean pie that I made.

Yesterday I explained how I’d made the filling and I’d left it to marinade overnight. All of the liquid had been absorbed and it was stone cold – necessary when using it with pastry.

There’s enough there for at least 8 helpings, so that’s food one night per week for a couple of months sorted out. I’ll try a slice tomorrow with potato, vegetables and gravy.

gena pizza place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallSo that’s tomorrow night’s tea. What about tonight’s?

Here’s a vegan pizza, with the home-made base that I made from the pastry last week. There’s not enough pastry – I think that I’ll need four mugs of flour instead of three for three pizza bases, but the freezing worked fine.

It turned out rather biscuity because the base was so thin, but more flour for the next batch should see that right. It’s a learning curve and I will get better at it over time.

home made apple turnover loaf of bread place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallI won’t know about the final product here until tomorrow either.

With the leftover pastry from the pie I made an apple turnover that I will have for pudding tomorrow, and then I went for the pièce de résistance – the loaf of bread.

I gave it the skewer test and it seemed to be done well enough, although it’s another armour-plated crust. But I’ll slice some of it tomorrow and see how it tastes with my home-made hummus.

And while we’re on teh subject of home-made stuff … “well, one of us is” – ed … the orange and gignger cordial was delicious this morning.

moon place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallEventually I made it outside, long after my usual time for an evening walk.

The moon had risen quite well already and so even though I didn’t have my tripod, I took a photo of it to see how it would come out.

Not as sharp as it might have been with a tripod but it’s not too bad, I suppose. I would have been very happy with a photo like this two years ago but I’ve learnt a lot since then.

trawlers english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallMy first run was down the rue du Roc and up the other end. half of it is up a steep hill and it kills me to do it but I have to push on … “or push off” – ed.

There’s a pause while I recover my breath and then I run down to the clifftop. And out there tonight were four or five fishing boats.

And not in the usual place either, but much further across towards the Brittany coast and I’ve no idea why they should be so far out over there. They must be working on some new fishing grounds because we’ve seen them in a few different and unusual places just recently.

trawler baie de mont st michel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallThere’s another one over there too – right across the Baie de Mont St Michel not too far from Cancale.

In all the time that i’ve lived here I don’t recall having seen them over there either.

But never mind, I carried on with my run and provided a little light entertainment to three kids who were stakeboarding on the car park on the Boulevard Vaufleury.

Not exactly what I would call “social distancing” but never mind. That’s their problem, not mine.

lights port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the top of the cliff by the chantier navale I stopped to recover my breath.

Nothing any different going on in there so I left them alone, but over at the ferry terminal (still no new pontoons as yet) the lights were on and reflecting in the wet silt of the tidal basin.

They looked quite beautiful so I took a photo of them. And then carried on with my run.

The fourth run is the longest, and getting longer too. I can now make as far as beyond the second pedestrian crossing which is impressive. and with nothing else happening anywhere else I did my final two and then came home.

Tomorrow I’ll have to clean up the kitchen because it’s a mess and I’m too tired to do anything about it. My battery has gone flat right now.

An early-ish night is called for and I hope that it’s going to be as exciting as last night’s adventures.

Sunday 19th April 2020 – I’VE HAD A …

apple crumble apple peach puree drink place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hall… cookery day today.

From left to right we have a bottle containing peach syrup and the liquid from a pile of cooking aples with coconut cinnamon and nutmeg. That will be the breakfast drink for the next few days.

The two – or, rather, one and a half – jars are apple and peach purée, with desiccated coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg. After the success of my apple purée with a tin of apricots a few weeks ago, I reckoned that I’d try it with a cheap tin of peaches to see how that works out.

At the front is another apple crumble. Not a great success, the crumble topping unfortunately, but that’s a matter of aesthetics really – personal taste more than anything else. I must put more oats in it.

There’s also a tub of muesli about somewhere. I made a load of that too.

No, one thing that needs to be understood. When I say “today” – that is being … errr … somewhat economical with the truth. It’s probably more accurate to say “this afternoon”.

And when i tell you that breakfast was at 13:30, you’ll understand why.

No alarm today of course, so I can stay in bed as long as I feel like it (staying in bed, that is). So awakening at … errr … 11:30 after a night that wasn’t all that late at all is rather comforting, even if it does mean that I’ve missed half of the day.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was with a group of people on the The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour last night and a whole pile of gunmetal grey cabinets and I’d bought the lot. I had them in a storage hold there and people were wondering what i was going to be doing with them but I didn’t say anything. I had one of my mkIII Cortinas, a saloon, and I had it up on some ramps at the back – jacks, axle stands, things like that and I’d made a rear number plate – no, someone brought a number plate to me and asked me how it worked. So I told them how to fit it, where it goes, where the number plate light went and how the wires connected up, how it was fitted on with tivets, this kind of thing, and this girl said something like “I’m glad that I came and asked you because of all the other people I could have asked”. So I started to fix this number plate to the back of this mk III Cortina. Other people came by and started looking and could see it going on. We were talking about them. Someone asked “what was I going to do with all of these cabinets once I left the ship?” I told them about this big warehouse, 280 ft², not a lot of course (did I mean metres?) and I used to be a taxi proprietor and I had 5 Cortinas in there. I carried on fitting this number plate. I fitted it in a different place than usual and it actually looked quite good although the number plate light was off-centre. Some people came by and these Americans were chatting about rear number plates and the legal requirements, all of this kind of thing.

There was much more to it than that but you won’t want to know about it, seeing as you are probably eating a meal right now.

After breaKfast, or lunch, or whatever, I made a start on a couple of compilation albums. And i was perfectly correct yesterday when I said that I probably wouldn’t find all of the tracks for them. I did what I could but they have gone onto one side for me to deal with in due course.

And then the cooking and the muesli-making. Now I’m set up for another couple of weeks, although at some point I’ll need to make some more orange and ginger drink

After the crumble had finished cooking I made my pizza. Now, of course, the oven is stinking hot and the pizza cooked to perfection. I’ve come to the conclusion that even when the thermostat trips out, that doesn’t mean that the oven is warm enough. It needs much more time than that to reach the proper kind of warmth.

rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd then out for my walk – or, rather, my runs. Much, much later than usual

Here’s the rue du Roc again. I ran all the way up to there from beyond the last lamp-post that you see in the photo, right down at the bottom. My apartment building is the one to the left where you can see the three lights.

That’s really quite a steep climb and I’m impressed that I can get as high up the hill as I do.

brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving recovered my breath, I run down from here to the clifftop for a good look out to sea to see what is going on.

With me being late, it’s going quite dark and all of the lights are on. Brehal-Plage is looking quite nice in the evening light and you can even see the lights on the wind turbines away in the distance.

From here I walk on up to the lighthouse, across the lawn and the car park and then down by the side of one of the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall for the view across the baie de Mont St Michel to Brittany

chausiais joly france ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallNothing much doing there either so I carried on with my run along the top of the clifftop.

No change in the chantier navale so I had a look to see what was happening in the tidal habour. Chausiais and Joly France were still tied up to the ferry terminal, but there wasn’t a lot of anything else happening around there.

And so I carried on with my runs back to the apartment.

With having set out late, it’s later than usual so I’m not going to hang around. I’ll be off to bed in a minute.

Back to work tomorrow and another two radio shows and then I’ll have to turn my attention to some live concerts. I need to organise a few of those.

Friday 10th April 2020 – WE HAVE HAD …

… a calamity!

Opened the fridge door this morning, the top shelf fell off, dropped on the one beneath it and broke that off too. At the moment they are wedged in position but at this rate I can see the fridge becoming the first major item in here to be replaced once the shops reopen, if they ever do, that is.

At least my morning went as planned. It wasn’t particularly early when I went to bed, but I slept right through until about 09:30.

And it was more like 10:15 when I arose. That’s what a Bank Holiday is all about, anyway.

After the medication, I had a look at the dictaphone to see where I’d been. I’d actually been in London during the night and on my way back I’d had to go a long, mazy, merry way round by Newport, the one in South Wales, to reach home. I ended up back in Stoke on Trent where someone whom I know and his family were living. I was in a Mk III Cortina Saloon and I had to drive into their drive but usually I reversed in so that I could swing round into their garage. For some unknown reason I drove down this morning and I didn’t have anywhere to turn to drive back out. It was a really steep hill as well. Down at the bottom you could see that there was all new concrete so I wondered what had been going on there. I’d heard that they had had a water leak of some description but there was a torrential river that was flowing down their driveway with all of this rain that was happening. I had to climb my way back up there and it wasn’t easy with the force of the water. When I reached the back door I knocked and a voice said “come in”. I recognised the voice – it was the voice of Zero, who at one time used to accompany me quite regularly on my little nocturnal voyages but has been conspicuous by absence just recently. Anyway I said “hello beautiful”. There was another similar person in there so I said “hello and called her by her name”. The guy’s wife said “hello” but with a “why aren’t you speaking to us” kind of “hello”, so I said “hello” and tpld them about the weather and told them about the rain. She went to look and saw this torrent of water and made some remark. Something to the effect that we were supposed to be going out for a meal that night but how were we going to do that with this torrent of water cascading down the drive? I had already realised that there was far more water coming down the slope than could have possibly come with the rainfall that we were having.

What was so sad about all of that is that the batteries must have gone flat in the dictaphone because it simply petered out to a dead stop. and so I wonder what happened after that and where it all went to. It was starting to become quite interesting.

It’s Good friday today, one of the Easter Holidays of course. And i’m lucky in that last year I bought two packets of vegan hot cross buns and froze one of them. That came out of the freezer yesterday and defrosted overnight, so I had a toasted hot cross bun with my breakfast.

We then had the digital file splitting process, and another 4 albums have bitten the dust today. Not so many now to go at that can be done in a short time. Probably this time next week I’ll be into the cassettes.

There was a break for a taco roll in the middle of all of this but really things went so quickly that there wasn’t a great deal of time to do too many photos and I only reached 0506, which isn’t a great deal of progress.

Later on I made a start on the dictated notes for the radio projects for the rock music. I ended up yesterday with 4 audio files and now, three of them have been edited and i’m working on the fourth.

At 18:00 I came to a dead stop and had a good play around on the guitars for an hour.

Tea tonight was a falafel with vegetables and what should have been a vegan cheese sauce but the grated vegan cheese was off. And, of course, with not having gone to the Health Food shop in Leuven last time, I have no more.

The rice pudding was off too – I thought that it tasted rather peculiar yesterday – so that went into the bin and I had an apple turnover out of the freezer. On Sunday I’ll make a big apple pie and freeze some of it.

rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the washing up I went outside for my evening runs.

And you can see from this photo that I’ve pushed on the finish of my first run right up to the corner of the hedge where I usually start my second run down to the clifftop.

So, in other words, I can link up two of my runs – well, in theory because I’m well out of breath by the time that I reach here.

brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallAnyway, having recovered my breath I ran on down to the top of the cliff and arrived just as all of the lights were coming on over in Bréhal-Plage.

It was well worth a photograph. And when I enlarged it back at home later, i could see other lights up and down the coast.

That’s one thing about this f1.8 50mm lens, that it does have a good resolution when it wants to. And that’s quite handy in this kind of light.

cross of lorraine war memorial st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france eric hallSo having recovered my breath again I carried on with my walk.

This evening there was a beautiful view right across to the other side of the bay round by St Pair sur Mer and I caught a glimpse of the lights of the town through the War Memorial

That was another one of these “must-have” photo moments, even though the focusing on something like that was a bit hit-and-miss. Still, I did my best.

pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite what it looked lke in the previous photo, it wasn’t as dark as all of that.

The view of the old sentry cabin on the Pointe du Roc and the surrounding sea came up very nicely in the dusk light.

And it really was a beautiful evening too. For the first time this year I didn’t have a jacket on at all for my evening walk. It was 18°C outside when I went out so I’ve no idea what it must have been during the day.

harbour entrance light port de granville harbour baie de mont st michel manche normandy france eric hallThere was yet another nice view across the Baie de Mont St Michel too down towards Jullouville and Carolles.

It was going dark quite quickly now and the light at the entrance to the harbour was flashing quite brightly. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen it look quite like this – it’s probably something to do with the very high tides that we are having right now.

And the lights on the coast in the background have come out quite well too. It was a good night for photography, I reckon.

trawlers chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere’s yet more excitement in the chantier navale tonight.

There were four boats in there on Wednesday night, then last night there were three. But today we are back up to four again, with the one on the extreme left.

And it’s not keeping its social distance either. That’s risky behaviour in these times.

So I ran back to the apartment – in two stages of course, to make sure that I had all of my five runs. And they are slowly but surely prolonging themselves, which is something for which I had been hoping the more that I run

It’s not going to be much better than this but we have to remember that four years ago I couldn’t even walk. And since then I’ve had all kinds of bits taken out of me, with not very much success.

So having spent most of the evening talking, it’s really late now. I’ll feel like death tomorrow and it’s shopping day too.

Still, you only live once.

Sunday 5th April 2020 – THAT WAS ANOTHER …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unbelievable, isn’t it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Has Spring finally arrived?

Monday 9th March 2020 – I WAS RIGHT …

neptune port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… about those piles of gravel that had been appearing over the last couple of days on the quayside down in the harbour.

This blurred and illisible photo (I still have a lot to learn about the NIKON 1 J5) shows a ship that I have every reason to believe is Neptune moored at the loading bay by the conveyors where they ship the gravel on board.

At long last we’ve had a gravel boat in the harbour and I shall go out tomorrow (and try to be early) just to confirm that it is indeed she. It would be just my luck for her to have a rapid turn-round and for me to miss her.

But here’s something else quite interesting.

police interaction bad parking boulevard vaufleury granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that bad parking is a regular topic in these pages, particularly in the boulevard Vaufleury which is on a service bus route, is just 50 metres from the High School and is an access road for the fleet of school buses that come in the opposite direction to the service buses.

Where Madame (it is indeed a Madame) is parked is
1) the wrong way round
2) half on the pavement
3) blocking the buses
4) at school chucking-out time
5) just about 20 FEET from a huge free car park
so finally, at long, long last, the local police are doing something about it and they are making her move her vehicle.

That is pretty much encouraging news.

What else is encouraging news is that I was awake before the first alarm went off, and I was out of bed before the final alarm. Crashing out half-way through last night’s entry and so giving up and going to bed was good news in that case.

After the medication, I had a look at the dictaphone. Apparently I was in this labyrinth of a theatre complex last night all the way through this underground reception hall place with doors going off leading into theatre auditoriums and all kinds of things. There were all kinds of announcements about the place, many of them were out of date, 2011 I noticed. There were all kinds of things happening here. But I was just wandering through listening to the radio. They were talking about “hypocrites of the year” I suppose – some guy who was telling us all about how keen he was for this and how good he was going to be for that but while he was doing that he had increased all your library charges. Someone else was going on about how brilliant a cricketer he might have been, all this kind of thing, but he made one fatal mistake and that was heroin. I was drifting through this auditorium that had a couple of very faded leather chairs and the leather was worn out in certain places. Something to do with catching a London Underground train somewhere. There was a thing too about caring for your vans if you were on a limited income, like a hippy, and a warning that the supply of LDV vans even in scrapyards was drying up now – the van that was chosen for an example was a silver LDV M-reg.
A little later I was outside with someone who was supposed to be Liz’s husband but he was more like the father of a couple of friends of mine. He had Liz’s daughter with him. She’d been on a student exchange and she had a student back with them. He was saying “you’ll have to come round for a game of pinocle or something one of these days. We’ll have an evening of five people”. He indicated roughly a place in eastern Manchester, Hyde or that area Stalybridge where he was living but he didn’t go into any further details about that. I was wondering who this “five” was because I knew that he was on his own, the daughter had her friend and there was me, so who was the 5th? I couldn’t think.

After breakfast I had a look at the digital sound files. I managed to unsort three of them too. One of them however needs much more attention because for some unknown reason there’s a load of “additional music” which seems to be a mixture of selections of various tracks, so I’d like to know what was going on there.

It isn’t the first one like that that I had found either.

By now it was time to go for my shower and to clean myself up somewhat, and then head up into town.

floating pontoon support pillar rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallNot that I actually got very far before I was interrupted.

Remember yesterday when I photographed all of the pontoon-supporting pillars on the quayside and I mused that they might be assembling them in two rows of four?

Here’s the big floating pontoon travelling across the harbour with one of the pillars within its clutches almost at the place where one would expect to see it if we were going to have a fourth pillar in that row.

scaffolding port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd the scaffolding too. We talked about that as well.

My attention was drawn from a distance that the masts of Marité were not where they would usually be. And that was strange because she doesn’t usually roam around the harbour but stays put in her habitual little corner.

But she’s definitely moved, and the reason for that is that they’ve put the scaffolding, complete with OSB wallboards, in her usual berth and there are a couple of guys down there doing something.

So at least I know that the scaffolding is actually a working platform for some kind of task.

la mascotte boulangerie rue couraye granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom here I headed down into the town centre and up the rue Couraye towards LIDL.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that several weeks ago we watched them fit some kind of protective shuttering around the front of the boulangerie here and start to smash out the old window.

The protective shuttering has now gone and, like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, the new shop front is in glorious display. That’s quite a nice job that they’ve done there. It looks quite good.

Now for the first time ever in my whole life, I’ve seen every till open at the same time in a LIDL. And that will give you some kind of indication of just how busy it was in there today.

No cucumbers, which is a problem, and nothing else of any real interest as far as I was concerned. All in all, a little disappointing. 3-kilo bags of apples was about the closest that I was to a bargain. And they won’t last long now that I’m making my purées myself.

birnam wood dunsinane moving vegetation rue couraye granville manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back I headed to La Mie Caline for my dejeunette but i was held up outside the shop as Birnam Wood went past on its way to Dunsinane.

There was actually a tractor and trailer parked around the corner with several large plants stacked thereupon, and presumably this machine was busy distributing them around the town.

It’s certainly a different approach to beautifying the town. I’ve said often enough … “indeed” – ed … that there isn’t enough greenery in this town and we ought to have some more.

new pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHaving picked up my dejeunette I headed back home again.

Only half-way up the rue des Juifs before I was distracted yet again. Not that I would know much about these things but they look pretty much like new pontoon supports and new pontoons over there on the west wall of the harbour.

What with one thing and another, I can see that I’m going to be quite busy tomorrow having a look at all of these things. But at least the harbour gates will be closed again by 09:30 or thereabouts so it doesn’t have to be an “early” early.

la granvillais chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd in other news, there’s activity in the chantier navale today too.

It’s been quite busy in there up until very recently, but regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the boats have been going back into the water one by one until just now we had none whatever left.

But that’s all changed now. There are two boats in there now, one of which is a large yacht that might actually be La Granvillaise. I’ll go for a stroll over there this afternoon to check on that.

Back at my apartment I made myself a coffee and then split up a fourth music file. Pretty straightforward except that there were three extra tracks on it that aren’t on the LP that I have, so I had to track down which version of the master tape I had obtained so that I could identify the tracks.

There was still time before lunch to send off my project for this weekend and to start a new one to add to the stock.

After lunch, I carried on with the radio project but didn’t get too far before I was overwhelmed with a wave of fatigue. I didn’t quite crash out but for about 15-20 minutes I was teetering on the edge and didn’t actually do any work or anything while I was sitting there

trawler fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallBy now it was raining outside when I went for my afternoon walk.

Neptune was due to come into port, that I knew, so when I saw an object the same colour as Neptune far out to sea in the English Channel I took a photo with the intention of enlarging it back in the apartment.

Which I did, and it wasn’t Neptue at all but one of the fishing boats heading back to the port. Neptune must still ne well out of range, which wouldn’t be a surprise because there’s a while yet before the harbour gates will open and she won’t want to sit around outside waiting.

fishing boats trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallShe might not want to, but everyone else is.

The tide is well out and the little creek that leads up to the side of the fish-processing plant is only just starting to fill with water. It’ll be another half an hour or so before she’ll be deep enough to accept the fishing boats but they are all starting to congregate just outside.

There were at least 10 of them out there – maybe more but I had run out of fingers by this point and I wasn’t going to start taking off my shoes and socks. Mind you, had I had my hands in my pockets, I might have been able to count up to 11.

strange house rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was walking round across the lawn by the War memorial, I noticed this.

We haven’t had an earthquake or a landslide or anything. That house is actually built like that. It’s what they call a trompe l’oeil – “something that cheats the eye” and it’s the window thats aligned strangely to follow the contours of the roofs rather than being in the hotizontal/vertical plane.

What’s bewildering me right now though is why I never noticed that before. It’s not like me to miss out on something this.

la granvillais chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnyway, enough of this. I continued on my way around the headland to go to see what was going on in the chantier navale.

And I was right here too. It’s my lucky day, isn’t it? The “G90” painted on the side of the yacht tells us that it is indeed La Granvillaise down there on blocks.

Crowds of people milling round her too so there’s clearly something important going on with her. At least, I imagine that the people are there for her. It’s unlikely that a fishing boat would receive that much attention unless she had caught the Loch Ness Monster.

men in small boat baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallYesterday, you’ll recall that we saw a couple of kayaks out there in the baie de Mont St Michel.

And so when I saw something else quite small out there in that general direction, I reckoned that it might be another one so I took another photograph of it to examine back in the comfort and safety of my apartment.

But it wasn’t a kayak at all but one of the small flat-bottomed boats that they use for transporting the boxes of seafood to the quayside from boats that have for one reason or another not been able to moor at the fish-processing plant.

floating pontoon support pillar rue du port de granville harbour  manche normandy france eric hallAnd earlier this morning we saw the large flaoting pontoon carrying one of the pillars across the harbour.

A short while later the noise of the pile-driver started up and it’s been going on for most of the day. And so I had expected them to have made substantial progress, and I was quite right about that.

It’s been pounded quite well and quite deeply into the bed of the harbour and I imagine that they’ll be connecting up some pontoons to it in early course.

It’s certainly interesting.

And while I was musing on this, I witnessed the “police interaction” that I mentioned earlier.

Back here I did a little more to the radio project but ended up having an hour or so playing with the bass guitar and the 6-string electric/acoustic. It’s been a good while since I had a decent play about and I must work harder on this and make more of an effort.

Tea was a delicious stuffed pepper with rice, followed by some apple pie and coconut soya stuff. And despite the absence of spices, it was really nice. I’ll have to make a few more like that one of these days.

But I’m really going to have to buy a bigger fridge and a bigger freezer.

high winds storm plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFor my evening walk I went to see what was going on with the winds.

The tide is well out now but the wind is still causing the waves to smash against the wall down on the Plat Gousset. I bet that they didn’t do much repair work on that wall today.

My two runs weren’t a problem, except that my first run had to be on a different course due to waterlogging. And then I went to have a look at Neptune.

Now i’m back here and ready for bed. I’ll finish (I hope) the radio project tomorrow and then I can deal with another outstanding matter.

However did I find the time to go to work?


Wednesday 22nd January 2020 – BRAIN OF BRITAIN …

… strikes again!

Went down to ma Mie Caline for my dejeunette this morning, didn’t I? Normandy Trader had sneaked in on the early morning tide and there were a few other things that I needed to observe so I made sure that I had the big Nikon D500 with me.

It was when I was reviewing a photo that I had taken that I discovered that I had forgotten to put the memory card back in it last night.

And badger me if I went out this afternoon still having forgotten to put it in. But at least there, I cold go back for it which was more than I could do when I was down on the docks.

Last night, just for a change, I was in bed before midnight. Only just, by a couple of seconds or so but nevertheless …

And I slept right through until the alarm went off without moving, and not going anywhere, either virtually or for real The alarms went off as usual and while I didn’t beat the start of the third alarm, I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my feet on the floor when it stopped. So I suppose that I kind-of beat it.

The early part of the morning was spent cutting up digital music tracks as usual. That’s another pile organised but there are still plenty – dozens if not hundreds – to go at over the next while.

Another thing was that while I was looking for a track that had somehow been missed, a few things by Louis de Funes popped up. Anyone who has listened to my “A La Pointe Du Rock” programmes on OUR LITTLE RADIO STATION will know that Louis de Funès is my regular studio guest and having as many examples of his speech as possible is always useful so I downloaded a pile more of that.

With the Zoom I’m entitled to a free download of Cubase and also Wavelab. Not that I intend to use them – I’m quite happy for now with Audacity – but I can see possibilities so I downloaded Cubase.

That was the cue to go for my bread, take my camera and forget the memory card.

There was no indication of anything that would indicate what work was going on in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers so I pushed on down to the docks where there was no water vessel beached today.

Across the top of the harbour gates and over to the other side of the harbour where I fell in with someone wrestling with a huge, really long wire rope that was about 10mm in diameter. He was opening it up with a file head and threading a nylon rope through it. “Something for the fishermen” he told me, after I’d asked him about four times.

Normandy Trader was bearing more of a resemblance to the Marie Celeste. Fully loaded up but not a soul about anywhere. One day I’ll get to meet the skipper and his crew I suppose.

Back home I attacked the radio project and that took me all the way up to about 18:00 to finish off. There was all of the text to finish writing, and then it needed to be recorded, spliced into its individual sections and then merged in with all of the music files. It’s just like a little military operation.

Some of it needed to be redone because it overran by about 10 minutes. Hefty editing was called for, including the dropping off of a song that I was hoping to play but then that’s what editing is all about.

There were the usual interruptions of course. Lunch was one of them and my afternoon walk was another.

normandy trader aztec lady ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNormandy Trader was already leaving port and heading off into the wild blue yonder so I went to take a photo of her. That’s when I remembered the memory card.

But a dash back to the apartment and load it up again. Then back outside just in time to see her disappear into the afternoon fog that’s been swathing us for a couple of days now despite the wind.

And the yacht that’s out there with her – that might well be Aztec Lady. There’s certainly a resemblance.

chausiais baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd there wasn’t just Normandy Trader out there either.

Here’s Chausiais heading back into harbour having clearly been somewhere. And not too far either so it’s quite possible that she’s been doing a delivery to the Ile de Chausey.

If I remember correctly, this is the first time that I’ve seen her out in the open sea (although I have seen her sailing around the harbour) so I’m glad that I went back for the memory card.

wind surfer hermitage holiday camp donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallThis afternoon’s walk took me, for a change, around the city walls, just by way of being different.

Out there in the bay just off the holiday camp there were a couple of windsurfers enjoying the sunshine and the wind out at Donville les Bains near the Hermitage holiday camp. Like I said, there was a lot of maritime traffic today.

As for me, I had my run along the north side of the walls, and again along the Square Maurice Marland, although not all the way for the latter because there were some people loitering around.

But nevertheless I actually made it to the top of the first ramp so that’s something.

pollard trees boulevard vaufleury granville manche normandy france eric hallDesperate to reach the 100% figure, I carried on further than I otherwise would have done, basically to see what was the purpose of the bollards in the Boulevard Vaufleury last night.

Talking of bollards, how about pollards? They are pollarding the trees along the boulevard. Something that they do every spring before the growth starts so as to make the place look pretty.

The machine upon which they are standing is extremely interesting and I could find a hundred uses for something like that.

road sign fibre optic cable rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallBack round to the rue du Roc to clock up the miles and here’s an interesting notice that I saw.

“No parking from 08:00 on 23rd January while they connect up the fibre-optic cables”. This can only be good news. They’ve been playing about with the installation almost since the day that I arrived here, so it’s about time that they finished it off.

Here’s hoping that I’ll be connected soon!

back at the apartment I … errr … closed my eyes for a few minutes before finishing off the programme. And then I did nothign whatsoever until teatime.

Tea tonight was an everything curry with all of the leftovers going in the pot. And as there wasn’t quite enough, I lengthened it with a handful of peanuts.

Apple pie and sorbet for afters and the remaining piece of pie went in the freezer for when I come back.

The evening walk was around the headland. Freezing cold it was and I didn’t hang around. I just went out and came back. No photos, although I did get yet another run into the programme, but fell short of my target point.

Not that I’m worried too much, because it was the third run of the day.

So in a minute I’ll be having an early night. I’m off on my travels tomorrow so I need to be on form.