Tag Archives: rue paul poirier

Wednesday 25th May 2022 – EVERYONE SAY “AHHH” …

seagull with chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… as a very proud mummy seagull shows off her brood of baby chicks to the assembled multitudes this afternoon.

Over the last two or three weeks i4ve been keeping a little desultory eye on her and finally today, I noticed that her eggs have hatched and she has her little babies all around her.

If I can count correctly, I reckon that there are three of them and that’s pretty good going for a brood of seagulls. She’s going to have her work cut out for the next couple of months while they learn to fly and to fend for themselves.

Not all that many of them actually survive to maturity and I remember a couple of years ago when we were keeping an eye on one particular nest where all of the offspring died.

This morning I must admit that I was feeling something like death after yet another good sleep. It seems that the deeper I sleep, the harder it is to awaken even if I do have a decent 8 hours-worth.

What I mean is that once more I was awake before the alarm went off but I had a struggle to leave the bed. It’s all something like Jethro Tull and
“Remembering mornings, shillings spent.
Made no sense to leave the bed.
The bad old days, they came and went,
Giving way to fruitful years.”

except that I’m a long way yet from THOSE FRUITFUL YEARS. I’m still at the “Fears of dying, getting old” stage.

Anyway I eventually staggered out of bed and went for my medication, and then I spent much of the day working on a table (the first of many) for my Welsh revision.

Welsh is a strange language. The “5 Ws”, or interrogative questioning words ‘When, where, why, what, who (and how)” take different verbs depending on how they are being used in a sentence.

Part of our exam is to ask questions based on missing words in adverts, for example the time might be missing and we are expected to ask the examiner “what time is the …” so a good working knowledge of these words and when they take either “mae”, “sy” or “ydy” is pretty important.

Tomorrow’s table is going to be verbs. There are four verbs that are used all the time – to go, to go, to have and to come so I’m going to make a table up for all of that as well.

And then there are 28 subjects that we have to revise and we’ll be expected to speak for a minute on five of thm that the examiner will choose. So every day I’m going to pick two and write out 6 sentences for each one.

That will be my revision.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022As usual, I wandered off outside for my afternoon walk at some point during the day.

And for a change I decided that I would go for a walk around the city walls, hence the change in perspective of the photo of the people on the beach.

As fas as I could tell, they were the only people down there this afternoon which wasn’t all that much of a surprise because first of all there wasn’t much beach to be on right now, and secondly, the weather had changed and it was rather cool, grey and overcast.

Certainly not the right kind of weather for being at the peche à pied today.

people in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022While I was here I had a good look out to sea to see what was happening.

Unfortunately, the good weather that we had yesterday has disappeared. It’s fairly hazy and misty out there today so I can’t see all that much this afternoon.

All that I could see were a couple of small boats like this zodiac offshore with a couple of fishermen on board. But they didn’t have the same luck as the guy yesterday whom we saw pulling a tiddler out of the water.

That was something that was really quite surprising. I hope that we don’t have to wait another five years to see someone else catch a fish out there.

repointing medieval city wall rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022A little further along the Rue du Nord I went to have a look at the work that they are doing on the medieval city walls.

They are making some progress on the medieval latrine which is now a public convenience for those out walking around the walls, and they are also having a good rake-out of the walls to clear out all of the old mortar from between the stones.

They are going to have their work cut out to repoint all of that. It’s not the easiest job in the world as I remember from when I repointed the walls of my house in the Auvergne, but it really does look beautiful when it’s completed.

repairing medieval city wall place dy marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Here’s the part of the wall that they have completed already, or, to coin a phrase, “here is one I made earlier”.

Despite all of the complications, including being obliged to erect a “flying scaffolding”, a scaffolding that’s held up from the top and not from the bottom, they have done a really good job of this.

Mind you, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and we’ll see how it’s holding in in 20 years time. Or, at least, you lot will because I won’t be here by then unless a miracle happens.

It always reminds me of the time that a solicitor was looking for me in Brussels.
“Mr Hall! We thought that you had died!”
“Not at all” I replied. “I just smell like it”.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022From the Place du Marche Aux Chevaux I walked off along the path underneath the walls towards the viewpoint overlooking the beach at the Plat Gousset.

Last week I mentioned that that were preparing the tidal swimming pool ready for the summer season, but with the tide being right in of course, we can’t actually see how it looks today.

But whatever they have been doing, they haven’t fitted the diving platform onto the top of the concrete pillar down there. They are usually quite rapid at sorting everything out ready for the tourists. It’s not like them to be dragging their feet.

But the sea is quite wild this afternoon so there wouldn’t have been anyone down ther eusing it anyway.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022A little further on I stopped at the viewpoint overlooking the beach.

You can tell how miserable and depressing the weather is today by the fact that there are so few people down there. And not just on the beach, but also on the promenade. Considering that it’s school half-day, there would normally be quite a few more people down there.

The vertical axis wind turbine was going round quite quickly too. The story is that it was installed to power the lights on the Plat Gousset but I’m not sure whether it’s still working. It’s certainly in the ideal place to catch the wind that goes roaring through that gap.

That’s actually a man-made gap, dug out by the English during the Hundred Years War as part of the defences of the walled city.

bollards rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yesterday I took a photo of them installing bollards in the Rue Paul Poirier to stop motorists parking on the pavement.

And in the newspaper this morning there were all kinds of people, mainly tradesmen, expressing their discontent with the work that the Council had done.

Apparently they are worried about losing trade if motorists are unable to plough down pedestrians on the pavement and prevent pushchairs and wheelchairs from going by.

So I carried on along the path to see how the seagulls were going, and then headed for home and a hor coffee. It wasn’t smoothie weather this afternoon, not at all.

crane loading thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022After yesterday’s vitis to the port of Normandy Warrior yesterday, we have another visitor in there today.

This time it’s Thora who has come into port on the afternoon tide. They have already unloaded her and now they are busy loading her up ready for her return trip this afternoon. They don’t hang around long these days.

As you can see, she has quite a cargo to take back this afternoon. Things are looking up for business by the looks of things.

On the way home I had a chat with the newspaper shop owner and then came here for my coffee and, regrettably, to fall asleep again. I’m not doing too well right now but even so, it’s better than it was a week ago.

And it won’t be long before I have the Sports therapist person to see. I wonder what damage he can do to me.

There was the dictaphone to listen to too. There was a young girl who I was actively pursuing, for obvious reasons of course. Her story was that she was in an occupied country and there was someone, a soldier or a civilian, who had gone to ground on her. She had fallen in love with him But he was doing no good there. Sooner or later he was bound to be captured and that would lead to problems for everyone. The easiest way for them to deal with the issues would be for him to escape or evade and reach the UK where he could continue the fight, then come back when the war was over. But it was very hard to try to tell this girl about what was right and proper when she had her heart set on being with him all the time regardless of whatever risks they were running about being together and being caught etc. He would be much better off making a break for the UK and freedom

Tea tonight was a curry made of bits and pieces loitering around in the fridge. And it was quite delicious too. I seem to have the knack of making good curries these days.

So tomorrow I have the physiotherapist, some revision and then there’s plenty of paperwork that needs to be done. I can’t let that slip.

Monday 23rd May 2022 – HAVING GONE TO …

… bed last night at 22:15 I bet that you are all dying to know at what time I actually awoke for my 06:00 alarm call this morning.

The truth is that I was wide awake and raring to go at … errr … 05:30 this morning and I actually had difficulty staying in bed until the alarm went off.

That’s not like me at all is it? If recent events are anything to go by, my get-up-and-go has got up and gone a long time before I’m ready to leave my stinking pit.

So having had the medication and a mug of hot coffee I made a start on the radio programme that I needed to to today. I wasn’t in any particular rush and in any case there were several pauses for this and that (but regrettably, not for “the other”. Those days are long-since gone) so a time of 11:20 to finish it was not unreasonable.

And then I spent the next hour or so listening to it to make sure that it’s OK. It actually features several artists who are making their debuts on my radio programmes and you’ll get to hear them if you can wait for about 9 months or so.

When I finished I went for a shower and a good clean-up ready for my physiotherapy appointment, followed by a rather late lunch.

After lunch I had a listen to the radio programme that I’ll be sending off tomorrow for broadcast this weekend. As it’s the end of the month it’s a live concert and I do have to say that if I had to choose my top five live concerts of all time this one will be up there in that lot.

However, the tape is full of holes. It’s been played to death one way or another and it needs a lot of patching. So I made a few notes before I nipped off for my appointment.

saviem low loader porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Just my luck that the battery in the NIKON 1 J5 was flat. And as I was late, I didn’t have time to go back home to change it so you’ll have to make do with the camera on the ‘phone.

At the Porte St Jean we have a really beautiful old lorry this afternoon. An ancient Saviem pulling a low-loader trailer and if you look through under the gate you’ll see some kind of heavy machinery.

It’s probably just brought that here and unloaded it, and it’s gone disappearing off into the old town. I’ll have to go for a wander that way later in the week to see if I can find out what it’s up to.

There’s quite a bit going on in the old town at the moment. The Council doesn’t seem to be shy about spending our money, does it?.

gerlean omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And so I cleared off down to the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to see what was going on there this afternoon.

It’s not really any surprise for me to tell you that L’Omerta is there again this afternoon, but she has a new companion today.

Petite Laura is no longer there behind her, but in front of her this afternoon is Gerlean.

From there I headed off down the hill towards town, becoming entangled in a party of schoolchildren. French schoolchildren too, but wearing what I can only assume were ghastly parodies of a typical English school uniform.

There was something not quite Catholic about all of this and I wasn’t the oly one who noticed it.

speedboat swimming pool port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Thinking that I could head them off at the pass, I stopped for a look down at the port.

The speedboat is still there, and that is definitely a swimming pool that’s appeared there at some point over the last couple of days. And after the amount of rain that we had this morning, it probably has plenty of water in it already.

The walk up the hill to the physiotherapist was agony yet again. I’m not doing so well with that these days. I feel as if I’ve gone backwards by several months.

Still, it will soon be the 1st of the month when I have my next appointment with the Sports therapist person. I hope that he can do me some good.

It’s often been said that some women are capable of doing a man to death. I must admit that I staggered out of the physiotherapist’s pretty darn close to it and then I headed rather unsteadily for home.

erecting bollards rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One thing that has cheered me up is that they seem to be doing something about some of the crazy parking that goes on in the town.

In the Rue Paul Poirier the local council was erecting a row of bollards along the edge of the kerb to prevent vehicles parking on the pavement just there. Not that it’ll do much good because they will just obstruct the traffic somewhere else instead.

But at least they are trying. Whereas the motorists who park on the pavements are very trying.

The walk up the hill towards home was much more like another agonising crawl and I had to stop a couple of times for breath before I made it.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But as usual I went to have a look at the beach before going in.

By now it was raining quite heavily so I wasn’t expecting to see anyone down there on the beach, so I wasn’t disappointed. Everyone has much more sense than me.

Back here I had a coffee and then I had work to do. There were five holes in this concert that needed patching and they had to be done forensically.

Luckily, it’s a group whose music has a pronounced beat and rhythm so I could copy out a segment from elsewhere that has the same beat and rhythm and then superimpose it back over the damaged sector, drag it around until it fitted perfectly, and then cut out the damaged sector from underneath it.

Do that 5 times, which took an absolute age and I ended up being 1.406 seconds over length. But if I can’t lose that amount of time with some judicious editing out of some applause after all of the practice that I’ve had, I can’t be much good.

You can – well, I can – detect one of the joins because it’s in the middle of a lead guitar solo and it doesn’t flow as it ought to, but the others are invisible and I challenge any of the regular readers of this rubbish to detect them when it’s broadcast.

It’s certainly, from a technical point of view, the best concert that i’ve ever done.

There was time to listen to the dictaphone too. There was plenty on there from last night. I was in my office last night, working on the case of a guy whose wife was also working. It was starting to become a little late so I mentioned that maybe Nerina would come round to join me in the office when she finished. As I was pushing on it was becoming later still so I was talking to myself rather out loud like “is Nerina here? Is she hiding from me?”. I carried on doing that. I was trying to find cases where I would know about the man’s income and about the wife’s income, what children they had, whether they went to school or to university or somewhere like that. It suddenly struck me that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing … “that’s something that doesn’t usually bother you” – ed … because it’s 30 years or more since I’d last done this. Things had changed so much over that time that I was probably doing everything wrong anyway. I was going to have to re-learn absolutely everything from the very beginning again in order to start again and have it all correct this time. Of course it was becoming late now and I could see that all that I’d been doing all afternoon has been wasting time because I’m in no condition as far as my knowledge goes today to actually do anything at all about any of this. I wondered why on earth I’d been wasting my time.

And then I was with a girl. I can’t remember who she was but she was a young girl. The subject of the Titanic came up. It was beached in New York and it was possible to go for a guided tour of her. I took this girl and we wet on board the ship and down into the bowels to the waterline where we could see the damage and the holes. It was all extremely impressive. They had one of those pressurised cargo wells like they had on some of the early “Lake-type” submarines where they were open to the water but it was air pressure that kept the water out so that you could actually walk off the boat inside under water and go into the sea. We were busy exploring that because it was quite a novel thing. We had a really good wander around and then headed back. I suggested to this girl that we go for a beer which sounded like a good plan so we stood in the queue for the lift back up to the top of the ship. The question of football came up because every Thursday they were showing Welsh Premier football on the TV. There had been a series of matches that had taken place on one day and what they were doing was to show them one by one every Thursday over the next few weeks. I was explaining to this girl that I was intent upon watching them so I’d be home from work early that particular day curled up in front of the TV. We had a little chat about that as we stood in the queue waiting for the lift in the Titanic to take us back up to street level where we could leave and go for a beer.

So who was this mystery girl? I Wish that I knew. Fancy being with a girl and not knowing who she was.

And finally I was in Crewe last night staying in some lodgings in a little room just off Nantwich Road somewhere. Someone had a big bottle of pop and offered us a drink out of it. I had a drink and another guy who was there, an Australian guy, said “no, you don’t want to have a drink yet. Wait until he’s tried to borrow something then he’ll be much more willing to lend you some more stuff tomorrow. Of course I had quite a thirst so I was happy for that. Then I thought about getting us some food so I thought that I’d try to find a pizza in the area and something to drink as well. I thought that there’s bound to be a place nearby so I went out but for some reason I couldn’t lock my room. I tried 3 or 4 times to do it but it wouldn’t lock so in the end I thought that I’m only going out for a minute so it shouldn’t be too crucial just for a minute. I thought that I’d better leave it and just nip out to get something while everything was still open.

Tea was another delicious stuffed pepper, and now that I’ve finished I’m off to bed. I’ve decided that I’m going to file that medication under CS because whether it’s really that or whether it’s simply auto-suggestion, I seem to be doing much better without it. If I can keep on going like this I’ll be happy but as we know, one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

Thursday 19th May 2022 – JUST IN CASE …

… you’re wondering, which I’m sure you aren’t because I’m as fed up as you are, there wasn’t any change today in the way things worked out.

So there wasn’t all that much of a morning to do things in but I was working out a couple of plans for later next month. My Welsh exam is on 17th June and then I might go off on my travels for a while. I’m not doing much good here so I may as well not do much good somewhere else.

While I was at it I managed to fit in the time to go for a shower and a good clean-up.

After lunch I had a Welsh conversation class which wasn’t as long as it ought to have been because firstly I had to finish early to go for my physiotherapy appointment and secondly it took an age for me to connect up to the chat. It really was steam-driven internet here today.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So eventually I had to wander off out for my physiotherapy appointment this afternoon.

As usual I went for a look down into the port from the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

And for a change we haven’t seen L’Omerta settled down in the silt for the last few days. She must have gone out to sea to earn an honest living.

Incidentally, you are probably wondering what the “2E et 202E de Ligne” refers to in the name of the street. It actually refers to the “2nd and 202nd (Regiments) of the Line” – the two infantry regiments that were housed in the buildings here where I live when they were military barracks before the army sold them off in the late 80s.

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022With nothing much else going on around here I headed off down the hill towards the town.

And for a change just recently, Marité is tied up at her berth this afternoon. It looks as if she might be having a day off today.

There are a few people loitering around on the quayside but I don’t think that they will be going aboard because she doesn’t have a gangplank out to the quayside.

And the speedboat that was there yesterday is still there today. No-one has been in from Jersey with a freighter to take it away so far today.

bar ephemere place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Things seem to be happening at Chez Maguie, the Bar Ephemère that opens every summer on the Place Pelley.

Never mind the boulonauts, the café tables now seem to have grown some orange parasols to shelter everone from the sun and, more likely, the torrential thunderstorms that we’ve been having this last couple of days.

As seems to be the case these days I didn’t enjoy the walk up the hill to the physiotherapist. I’m not doind as well as I did a couple of weeks ago and even then, that was nothing to write home about.

The physiotherapist put me through my paces again this afternoon. I’m sure that it’s a case of “kill or cure” with her. She’s certainly having a good go at finishing me off.

electricians working rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022At the end of my session I staggered out into the street and reeled off down the hill into the town centre.

The last time we came by this way, which was on Monday, we saw the electricians at work laying cables in the conduits under the pavement. And they are still at it today, but their tent has moved a few feet down the hill to another manhole.

The walk up the hill towards home was another desperate struggle with me having to stop for breath on several occasions. I was thinking that if I’m like this after just 10 days of being without my hospital treatment, what am I going to be like after 13 weeks?

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022When I (finally) reached the top of the hill, after much binding in the marsh, I didn’t go straight home.

Instead, I went down to the end of the car park to have a look over the wall to see what was happening down on the beach this afternoon.

It had been a lovely day – in fact I’d been out to the physiotherapist in just a tee-shirt without wearing a jacket or a jumper – so I was expecting to see the crowds down there this afternoon so it was rather disappointing to see so few people.

There wasn’t anything going on out at sea either. Mind you, I only had the NIKON 1 J5 with the standard lens so even if there had been something happening, the tide was so far out that I wouldn’t have been able to see it anyway.

hang glider plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022However in the distance there were couple of bird-men of Alcatraz trying their best to take to the air with their Nazguls.

They seemed to be having an enormous amount of difficulty so I waited for a while to give them a chance to approach me but in the end I ran out of patience and went indoors for a strawberry smoothie.

And then I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was something about spies. We were actually catching a spy in Wales on the Lleyn peninsula. Right at the very end we put his body back in the water hoping that the current would catch it and take it out to sea. There was much more to it than this and I remember thinking that this would have made a really good plot for a book. Then there was Mildred Murfin and two men a bit like the Men from the Ministry. She was planning on going on holiday with them but of course they weren’t used to going on holiday. It was all a bit of a mess, packing and preparing everything etc. One of them turned up at her apartment dressed in his pyjamas saying that he wasn’t going. He didn’t think that it was him so she had to cajole him along to try to take the few final steps to prepare his things ready to catch his flight. They were all typical British holidaymakers of the 60s going abroad with no idea what to expect, no idea what to do or what to take etc, all very naive and all really rather a sad dream watching them try to prepare to leave on this holiday of a lifetime.

There was a married couple, two kids and me somewhere in Central Europe. They were something like a Romany family. We were all going off to stay somewhere in a caravan for 2 weeks. I was driving and I didn’t recognise the car that I had. We were all going to this caravan by the sea somewhere. I can’t remember anything about it at all, what was happening. I know that in the end everyone ended up leaving the car, leaving me in it. There were a couple of little girls who had come to meet the youngest of these two children to go to a dancing class. There was going to be a football match with all the kids against the adults but that’s all that I can remember.

We were listening to a Gospel-rock song by “Arrival” although it was in fact mostly “Alquin” musicians with Dyan Birch singing. For some unknown reason the guitar solo wasn’t what I wanted at all. I had an earlier guitar solo for that track stashed away somewhere so I edited out the guitar solo that was being played and superimposed the one from earlier in its place. I mentioned to the musicians that I’d changed guitar solo and the guitarist was distraught. He was unhappy with his own playing rather than anything else. I explained that it wasn’t a case that the playing was bad, simply a case that it was inappropriate for what I wanted. He was still inconsolable about it but I went ahead and changed the solo anyway. The other group members didn’t seem to be all that concerned at all.

This is about the 6th attempt at dictating this. I’d had all of the motor insurance renewals for France and I’d noticed that the premiums had gone up quite a lot so I’d gone round to the broker’s. They told me that much of it related to the yellow Cortina saloon because with it being parked up the premiums had gone up because some actuary had worked out that cars are more at risk of accidents when they are stationary than when they are actually moving. I thought that that was absolute nonsense. Maybe they disagreed with me but they couldn’t agree with the actuarial report. It was a girl with a cleft palate who saw me so it was very difficult to understand what she was saying. The thalidomide girl was involved in the discussion as well at some point. I learnt as well that they were going to drop down and possess part of my yard where the building was, taking away 1500m² that I owned there so that they could make a by-pass around the town. That was going to be even worse for me because I had nowhere else to keep anything. This was turning into a very bad situation for me. I wasn’t enjoying what I was hearing at all today. The boss was very unhappy with the fact that I was complaining but I thought that I was well within my rights to complain about this kind of thing.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap with a baked potato and veg – well, only half the veg because the other half ended up on the floor. It’s not my day today, is it?

and the fridge needs defrosting so I’m going to deal with that before I go to bed. One of these days things will start to go right for me, although God knows when that might be.

Monday 14th March 2022 – THERE HAS BEEN …

burnt out house rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… some rather bad news about the fire in the house in the Rue du Midi on Saturday evening.

Yesterday evening, the firemen finally worked their way through the rubble to the ground floor where they found the missing person. And as you might expect, they found him far too late to be of any use.

It’s a rather sombre note on which to start today’s journal entry, but I suppose that there are times when sombre notes will creep in to everything at some time or other. There but for the grace of God go we.

Wherever I went on my travels last night is something else completely. For the first time since I don’t know when, one of my young ladies put in an appearance – Zero, as it happens.

And do you know what? I can’t remember why she was there or what we did.

How disappointing is that?

Anyway, I’m sure that you are all dying to know about where I went last night

I started off at a well-known square in Paris – I can’t remember which one – and it had some kind of weird fence and turnstile arrangements to control the flow of pedestrians but that’s all that I remember about this.

And later I was with Zero , for the first time for years, and her father last night and I can’t remember very much of what it actually involved (and isn’t that a disaster?) with them, but it led to me thinking about going to buy a motorbike so maybe I could take Zero around on the back of it. I went into a shop in Hungerford Road Crewe that used to be an old Co-op but was now selling motorbikes. They had a couple of Kawasaki 414 bikes in there for sale but they were more expensive than I was planning to pay although they looked quite nice. I thought that maybe something like that would be quite interesting. I had a good look around their shop but they didn’t really have very much at all. They had a few cars outside of course but it was the motorbikes that were interesting me more because I could go into Stoke on Trent on a motorbike, leave it to be serviced, overhauled and MoT’d while I was at work during the day, that kind of thing and probably Zero would enjoy going for a ride around on the back of a motorbike every now and again but there was nothing there that I liked.

There was something else as well. I was leaving work so I wandered off down the maze of corridors following the yellow arrows and yellow tape as I usually did. At one point I took a turn and found that the yellow arrow didn’t actually go that way which surprised me because I was pretty sure that it was the route that I took all the time I went back and followed the yellow arrow and suddenly found myself in a completely different security room. There was no way out. There were all kinds of security guys in there doing things. In the end I turned round and found another door that took me out. I could see that I was in a completely different place outside than where I would normally be when I was leaving the building. There were a few other people whom I knew around there as well so I went over for a chat and told them about the changes. They couldn’t understand what was happening either. Some girl came along and joined in. She was saying that she was now one of those people whose salary was a secret but she didn’t agree with that because it creates distrust amongst all the other employees. Someone else turned up with 3 daughters. She was talking to 2 daughters about giving their names to someone else and preparing for Christmas but for one daughter it was too late that they didn’t have any of what it was they didn’t have. They didn’t say. Then a couple of others turned up. One of them had had a dramatic cut in the salary that he was receiving as a Life Insurance broker so he was trying to chivvy up all of his friends and contacts to do something about increasing their insurance cover so he could receive a higher commission to offset his decrease in salary.

In fact, all told it was rather a bad night, and for many reasons too. I was tossing and turning around in bed for much of it and that’s guaranteed to set me off on the wrong foot.

When the alarm went off at 06:00 it was a struggle to leave the bed but I did manage – only just – to leave the bed before the second alarm.

The radio programme was the task for this morning and despite a couple of breaks for coffee, breakfast and so on, by 10:45 it was finished. And in a major departure from usual procedure, I’ve reused a song that I first used 18 months ago, simply for the reason that it seemed to fit so well with what I was doing.

“I have been around the world looking for that woman-girl who knows love can endure. And it always will”. And in my case, it endured for all of three days, didn’t it?

There were several phone calls – some of them long-distance – that I had to make and that took me all the way up to lunchtime. And the net result of all of those phone calls was … errr … nothing.

After lunch I had a shower, set the washing machine off on its cycle (a clever washing machine, mine) and then went out for my physiotherapy session.

chant de sirenes joly france belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Of course, the first port of call when I’m on my way to town is to check the camera at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne where the viewpoint overlooks the Fish Processing Plant.

The tide is on its way in right now – not far enough for the gates to open to let the larger boats into the inner harbour, but far enough for the boats with a lighter draught to pull up at the quay here to unload.

The Chante des Sirènes is easily identifiable with its mermaid painted on the side in a kind of green stripe.

Moored up at the ferry terminal in the background are Belle France and one of the Joly France boats.

repairing roof rue lecampion Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Down in the town I walked along the Rue Lecampion towards the centre.

There’s something going on with the roof of one of the houses here. There’s a cherry-picker and a couple of guys doing something with the roof and a scaffolding.

Leaving them to it, I wandered off up the road and to the physiotherapist. And I don’t know why, but I haven’t climbed up the Rue Couraye as easily as I did this afternoon for quite a long time.

The physiotherapist had me on the couch and massaged my knee with her machine, and then had me doing some exercises.

And to my surprise, it was my left knee, not my right knee, that was hurting by the time that I had finished.

On my way home I called in at the Carrefour to buy something to drink. I had a thirst that you could photograph.

cable laying rue lecampion Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022In the town centre we had some more excitement.

There were some guys laying a cable in the duct under the street. The had the manhole cover up and had surrounded the hole with cones. And so an elderly woman in a black car drove over the cover and almost ended up in the hole.

And then she had the nerve to bawl out the crew. Some people really are unbelievable. I shan’t repeat on here what the crew replied to the woman. My journal is intended for all of the family, not just the over-18s.

place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Another thing that noticed was that the kiddies’ roundabout has now gone.

The carnival season is now over here and all of the fairground rides have packed up and gone off to their next engagement wherever that might be and we’ll be back with peace and quiet again until Easter when there will be more crowds descending on the town.

Bringing more cases of the virus with them, no doubt. This kind of thing really depresses me, especially as I don’t have the means to fight it.

fire engines rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022When I was up in the Rue des Juifs on my way into town the fire brigade was still there clearing up.

While I was in the town centre, they came through presumably on their way back to base. And it was extremely interesting watching them trying their best to negotiate the hole in the road.

And once they had gone, it was the turn of the school buses and that was even more interesting. The manhole covers and several cones took a right battering and there was what can best be described as “a frank exchange of views” between the drivers and the cabling crew.

repair facade rue georges clemenceau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022While all of that was going on, I left them to it and wandered off down the Rue Paul Poirier.

The other day we saw them with a scaffolding outside one of the buildings in the Rue Georges Clemenceau and it had been intriguing me as to what they might be doing.

When I’d seen the carpenter’s van outside, I imagined that it might have been a roofing job but it actually looks as if they are working on the facade of the building. It could do with a good rendering and a new coat of paint.

ch933900 carteret port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022In the earlier photo of the boats in the harbour, I don’t know if you noticed a fishing boat that we haven’t seen before.

She was moored in the inner harbour with her crew working on the nets when I came back, and I could see her registration number from here.

It’s CH933900 – a number from this coast – and it’s so new that it’s not in the register that I have. But I was able to track her down from “other sources” and she’s called Carteret. She sails out of … errr … Barneville-Carteret.

She’s only 9 months old apparently and was built to replace a previous boat that was destroyed in a fire.

burnt out house rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On the way back, I could have a closer look at the burnt-out house now that the fire engines and the crowds have gone.

It’s not just the house and the one to the right of it that have been affected, the one to the left has been badly-affected too. You can see that much of the roof there has been burnt away too.

This is an appalling thing to have happened. Apart from the loss of life which is a tragedy, the loss and damage is considerable and there are many people in these three houses who have been badly affected.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Before I went home, I went to look at the beach to see what was happening.

The tide is now well in and there’s not much beach down there to be on. It’s no surprise that I couldn’t see anyone wandering about.

As I was looking down there, one of my neighbours pulled up in her car. She’s had some bad news from her doctor about her health and she told me all about it. Of course I sympathised, but there isn’t much that I could do.

Back here I made a coffee, hung out the washing and then came here to spend an hour on the photos from the High Arctic in 2019.

Talking about that, it made me all nostalgic and it reminded me of a poem about which Alison and I had chatted the other day

“Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?


That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again. “

Poetry at school was mainly awful with all of these depressing war poets and all of that. The only bright spark amongst all of that which we learnt was A E Housman and “A Shropshire Lad” is one of my favourite works.

Had I been born 5 miles away from my actual place of birth, I would have been a Shropshire Lad myself.

But seriously, when Housman said “The happy highways where I went and cannot come again. “, I don’t think that he had Covid and World War in mind. We won’t be going anywhere for a while yet.

In another mad fit of excitement I took out about half a ton of paper to the waste bin and then spent half an hour playing guitar. The first time that I enjoyed myself with the guitar since the summer. These pills must be working somehow.

Tea was a curry of leftovers and then I had to fight the good fight on the Internet. A discussion group of which I’m a member has become a very contentious place since War broke out and the Moderator was overwhelmed. She called for another volunteer and so I responded.

And tonight I’ve been dealing with a flame war – just like the “Good Old Days” on “First Class” – pulling warring factions apart, sending a couple of people to the naughty corner and … errr … “saying goodbye” to a couple of them. I’m surprised that I had time to write up my notes.

But now that they are done, much later than usual, I’m off to bed. I’ve a Welsh lesson tomorrow and I need to be on form.

Monday 7th March 2022 – IT WAS A …

… very different experience today at my physiotherapy session. She put four electric pads around my knee, coupled them up to some kind of electric machine and then spent 20 minutes putting electric shocks through my knee.

When the machine wasn’t pulsing, it was as if someone was tapping the surround of my kneecap with a small hammer. And when the current was going through it, it was as if some kind of retired Bulgarian weightlifter was squeezing my leg in a downward direction.

But anyway, more of that later.

Last night I actually had the first decent sleep that I’ve had for quite some time. I was in bed by 22:15 and there was one file on the dictaphone at 23:17 and a second at 05:12 and that was about that until the alarm went off at 06:00.

So where did I go during the night?

The night started off by me getting on a train in Central Europe, a steam train. I was trying to syphon some lemon juice from one empty container to another. I looked out of the window and there was a woman having a row with what looked like an old border guard in an old border guard uniform. The woman with me and I went down to see what was happening. He was trying to detain her but as this wasn’t the border here he had no authority so we simply told this woman to come on board and ignore him. He became quite agitated at this and threatened to arrest us all but he had no authority to do that. We took no notice and in the end the woman with me broke the hold that the man had on this other woman. She could board but my lady-friend was subjected to some rough treatment from this guy so I went over there. It ended up that he let go of her and the 3 of us boarded. As the train was heading away I went to find out where everyone was sitting. I found my friend but the other person, she was now a pair of twins whom I knew from years and years ago. They were sitting somewhere else. Being of African descent they were quite obvious in this 3rd class carriage. The woman and I sat not too far away from them. I wandered over to where one of the twins was. She was asleep but when I was very close to her she awoke so I made some kind of gesture that I hoped no-one else noticed that the two of them should come and sit by the two of us and discuss what our next move was going to be. We certainly couldn’t say that we were inconspicuous with what had happened boarding the train.

And later I was with someone last night who might have been a girl with whom I worked 40 years ago. We’d bumped into each other quite by accident and she told me that she was working out at the back of Chester. She mentioned the place and I said “yes, I know it well there. It’s by the Little Chef, isn’t it?”. She replied that it was further on down from the Little Chef closer towards Shelton Bar … “he means John Summers Steelworks at Shotton” – ed. I mentioned that it must be near somewhere else but she replied that that was in the other direction. I thought that I’d better shut up otherwise I’d make more of a fool of myself than I’m doing at the moment. Of course that’s an area that i used to know years ago all around there. We started to talk about this and that and I asked her how she was going to work. She replied that she was going by train. I thought that the railway line there had been closed years ago but apparently not. They had reopened it with new stations and there was a new station that had opened that very day right where we were. That was where she was heading to catch the train. We set off to walk to the station and quite by surprise I found myself holding her hand and we were having a very friendly boy-girl chat about next-to-nothing. When we reached the station there was a train just pulling in so she let go and ran for it but the train didn’t stop. It pushed on right through the station. I arrived on the platform just behind her. We asked someone and they said “the train you want is the 17:17 which is in a minute’s time. That was a non-stop through train, that one. Her train pulled in and she boarded, and I did as well for no particular reason other than to go with her to her particular station.

After the medication I started the radio programme that I wanted to do today and it took me much longer than it ought to have done, simply because there were so many interruptions of all sorts. Have you ever tried to explain to someone with no braincells the difference between cost-of-living increases and price increases?

No wonder the UK is in such a mess.

After lunch I had a shower and a good clean up and then I left for my physiotherapy appointment.

joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual, I stopped at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne on the way out to test the camera.

The tide wasn’t very far in at all this afternoon so there wasn’t anyone out and about down there. As usual these days, one of the Joly France boats is over there at the ferry terminal waiting for her next trip to the Ile de Chausey, whenever that might be.

The walk down into town was rather difficult today. There’s a ramp of four steps halfway down the hill where I can test my right knee to see if there’s the strength in it to lift me up.

And today, there was no force whatsoever. I had to climb the steps with the left leg leading and the right leg limping along behind instead of climbing up normally with alternate legs leading.

digging up rue saintonge Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Down in the Rue Lecampion, I noticed that in one of the side streets … “Rue Saintonge” – ed … they had closed off the street and were busy digging up the surface.

It doesn’t look as if it’s a cable-laying job as there’s no trench there and no cables either. It looks as if they are just digging a hole there.

In the town centre I went to the Post Office. I’d written two letter earlier and they needed posting. Not that anything will necessarily come from them but nothing will anyway if I don’t post them.

Up the hill I went to the physiotherapist. It was quite agonising but I managed it without having to stop for breath. I’m not so sure that going to the railway station on Wednesday is going to be any better.

decorating mairie place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022On the way back down into town I noticed that there were things going on at the Mairie.

We were all across the road from there showing our support for Ukraine, but I hadn’t noticed the blue and white banner that was attached to the balcony and I was surprised that I had missed it.

And there’s a cherry-picker out there too with a couple of people sticking up posters for something else. I’ll have to wander past there when they’ve all gone and take a closer look at what’s happening.

erecting scaffolding rue georges clemenceau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022There’s something happening in the Rue Georges Clemenceau down at the end of the Rue Paul Poirier.

There are several buildings that have changed hands down there just recently and this afternoon they’ve been erecting scaffolding up around one of them.

Parked over there too is a carpenter’s van so it looks as if the building over there is going to be having a new roof within the next few weeks or so.

The walk up the Rue des Juifs towards home wasn’t as easy as it has been for this last couple of weeks. I wasn’t feeling too good over the weekend and it seems to have continued into today. I hope that it picks up before Wednesday. I don’t want to be going to Leuven like this.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Before I went into the apartment for a coffee I went to have a look over the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

There was plenty of beach to be down on as well today, but only a couple of people down there on it. It seems that everyone has gone back to work or back to school now, and that will be that until Easter when we’ll have the crowds back again.

After I’d had my coffee I transcribed the dictaphone notes and then did a little tidying up. Not for any good purpose because it looks as if the Nurse has forgotten to come round today to give me my injection for Wednesday.

Tea tonight was a curry made of all kinds of bits and pieces hanging around in the fridge. And there’s enough left over for tea tomorrow as well. At least the fridge will be fairly empty when I go to Leuven.

But right now I’m off to bed. It might be early but I’m exhausted. Tomorrow is my Welsh lesson and I need to be on form for that. I’ve been rather flagging over the last few weeks as far as that goes.

Wednesday 1st December 2021 – ONCE AGAIN I HAVEN’T …

… done anything like as much today as I had wanted to.

There have been a variety of reasons for this – not the least being that I had yet another dreadful night, wide-awake at 05:20 and lying there waiting for the alarm to ring at 07:30. I tell you – I’m thoroughly sick of all of this.

As you might expect, it took a good few minutes for me to summon up the energy to leave my bed this morning and then I was pretty much wasted for the rest of the day.

After the medication I had a shower to clean myself up and bang on time Laurent came round for me. We went off to meet Thierry and then the three of us went off to meet Father Christmas and his blasted elves.

As I thought, the interview turned out to fall rather flat. I could understand the logic (whether I agreed with it or not) of submitting the questions in advance, I totally disagreed with the idea of “suggested replies”.

Children have a really fertile imagination and they need to be encouraged to develop it. And sometimes they can come up with some fascinating responses. But having them blindly reading off a script is a pretty dismal activity and it destroys the spontaneity of it all.

Having them all sitting around a table was another bad idea too because it’s always the more powerful ones who are heard. I would have interviewed them one by one where the kids could have responded without any peer pressure and chosen the pick of the answers.

In other words, this affair was micro-managed to an overwhelming degree and Laurent and I were quite disappointed about how it turned out. What had given us the idea for this was that two years ago wandering around the streets one night we had come across Father Christmas and subjected him to an off-the cuff interview. That was a resounding success.

While I was there I took a few photos of Father Christmas and his elves but I can’t publish them of course.

Back here Laurent came in for a coffee and we had a good chat about a few things, and made a few plans for the future.

After he left I went outside to wipe the rust-proofing liquid off the wheels and dry them, but painting them was out of the question. There was a howling gale again and it was sleeting.

Lunch was late again and afterwards I had the morning’s photos to edit and send off. They’ll choose one to illustrate our programme when it’s ready to broadcast.

trawler thora arriving at port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Once I’d finished that it was time for me to go off for my physiotherapy session.

The wind was if anything rather worse than it had been earlier and it was rather difficult to walk.

And I wasn’t the only one having difficulty moving around either. There was a trawler out at sea battling with the storm to come into port and behind her, Thora was being thrown about by the elements.

When I took this photo she was actually being blown sideways by the wind and was coming into port rather like a crab.

pointing wall Rampe du Monte à Regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Down at the wall at the Rampe du Monte à Regret the pointing of the wall was proceeding apace.

Mind you, I’m not sure what was happening there earlier. On our way back from Father Christmas there was an ambulance and a police car parked up at the side.

The personnel of the vehicles seemed to be quite interested in what was going on down below but as I wasn’t driving and as we had other things to do, I couldn’t go over and have a look.

If it’s anything interesting or important, it’ll be in the local paper in the morning.

Halfway up the hill towards the physiotherapist’s, I had to stop. Not because I was out of breath but because we suddenly had another torrential downpour. I had to nip into a doorway and put on my rain jacket.

It reminded me of how Superman and all of these other superheroes used to dash into telephone boxes and emerge seconds later with their underpants on outside their trousers. Where do they go to change now with the rise of mobile ‘phones and the demise of telephone boxes?

And then of course, there was my brother. He was often seen with his underpants on outside his trousers, but that was less to do with any superhero status and more to do with the fact that he didn’t have both paddles in the water.

No tilting platform today. There was the usual 5 minutes on the cross trainer and then a load of kinetic exercises that somehow took their toll of me.

She had me once more walking along this narrow beam and throwing a ball about. She was impressed with my reflexes co-ordination but as I have said before, my previous life as a goalkeeper and wicket-keeper had a lot to do with that.

father christmas decorations Place Général de Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021On the way home I came via the Place General de Gaulle.

On the way up to the physiotherapist’s I’d seen a few council workmen on up on ladders working on the trees and I was interested to see what they had been doing with them.

By the time that I returned, the workmen had gone but I noticed that some of the trees were now festooned with decorations. And if you ask me my opinion, it’s all a load of balls.

christmas decorations rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of years ago Strawberry Moose reckoned that the Christmas decorations in the Rue Paul Poirier WERE ALL BALLS too.

THis year though, there’s been a change, and not before time either. This year we have the street lined with artificial “Christmas Trees”.

Now what was I saying a few days ago about them recycling the same old decorations year after year and wishing that they would make a change?

Clearly, a great many people are very interested in the contents of my pages and pay them a great deal of attention.

La Bavolette Ii thora marité belle france joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021A short while ago we saw Thora having a bit of a struggle to make it into port.

Well she finally arrived, as you can see in this photo, moored up at the loading bay in front of Marité, with Belle France and the newer Joly France ferry – the one with the smaller upper-deck superstructure, moored alongside her.

The little trawler in the background is an interesting boat. She’s called La Bavolette II – at least, for the moment. And I mean that too because in the past she’s been known by several different names.

She was built in 1982 out of wood and displaces 40 tonnes

philcathane l'ecume II port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021This trawler is much more interesting though.

Not Philcathane, of course – not that she isn’t interesting in herself but she hasn’t had the adventures that the other one in the photo has had.

You can tell by her registration number – beginning with “J” – that she’s a Boat from Jersey and how long is it since we’ve seen a boat from the Channel Islands here in port with all of the shenanigans that are going on right now?

There’s a great deal of talk about illegal fishing right now and this trawler – she’s called L’Ecume II by the way, can tell you an awful lot about that because on two occasions about which I know, her crew has been in the dock and emerged with their pockets far lighter than they were when they went in.

And not only that, 18 months ago she found herself stuck on a sandbank because her helmsman had fallen asleep at the wheel.

In other words, she’s quite a well-known boat, for one reason or another.

storm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021However I wasn’t going to hang around and admire her for too long.

As you can see, out in the Baie de Mont St Michel there was quite a storm brewing up and the gale-force wind was blowing it my way.

As a result, I wasn’t going to hang around. I was going to head for home and a hot mug of coffee, and make plans about what I was going to do for the rest of the week. I actually have a day at home without any interruptions at all – but just you watch all that change.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Before I went in I went to have a look at the beach

And that was rather a waste of time because there wasn’t any beach to look at today. The tide was right in now and the water was at the foot of the cliffs. All I had for my pains was a good battering by the wind.

Back here I had my coffee and sat down to try to do some work.

Checking my messages there was a mail from my Welsh course telling me what ingredients I need for the Christmas Cake I’ll be baking on-line on Friday evening. Treacle isn’t available here so I ended up asking Liz for advice on a replacement and chatting to her for quite a while.

For some reason, tea was quite an effort tonight. I’m experiencing brain-fade – not quite as bad as the nonsense I was churning up last night – but I couldn’t think of what to have for tea. I’d really run aground.

In the end I settled for a burger and pasta. That was the best that I could do.

Right now, although I haven’t crashed out today, I’m thoroughly exhausted so I’m off to bed where I hope that I’ll sleep until I awaken.

But not much hope of that, I’m afraid. All of this is really depressing me.

Monday 22nd November 2021 – REGULAR READERS OF …

painting shutters bar la civette rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021 … this rubbish will recall that at the start of the lockdown in March last year one of the bars in the Rue Paul Poirier, La Civette, took full advantage of the enforced closure by ripping out their shop front and replacing it with a nice new modern one.

It’s had a drop-down aluminium shutter to close it off after hours, but when I walked past today there was an elderly gentleman painting a scene of Granville Harbour on it.

It’s a beautiful job that he’s made, and so on my way past to the physiotherapist I went over and told him how much I appreciated his effort. It’s the kind of thing that the town needs to brighten it up

vehicles blocking rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Another thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that there are several regular features on these pages, one of which is “pathetic parking”.

And so when I saw this lorry and trailer parked on the pavement with a van parked (it really was parked, with no driver in it) in the middle of the street blocking it, I was in my element.

After all, not only is this the main route up to the old medieval walled city where I live, it’s a bus route too with service buses coming up here every so often. I was all ready to write something extremely offensive about it.

cherry picker rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021However, as Proverbs Chapter 16 Verse 18 tells us, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”.

And that was certainly the case here. Further down the hill I noticed that the street was closed off and there was a cherry-picker doing something to the electric cables that feed the Christmas illuminations.

So I slunk off ignominiously down into town and onwards up the hill to the physiotherapist. I had a feeling that it wasn’t going to be my day today.

And I was right too. I had another awful night but you are quite used to those now so I shan’t trouble you any more about it.

What I can say though is never mind an 06:00 alarm call. I was wide awake at 04:53 this morning wishing that I was fast asleep. Even though it was a late night last night, I still had difficulty sleeping.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages and then launched myself into the radio programme that I need to prepare. And I would have set a new record for completing it too except that half-way through I had a ‘phone call.

The nurse who gives me my fortnightly injection just happened to be in the building taking a blood test and so could he come up and inject me while he was here instead of coming later as usual.

The place was looking like a tip with my stuff from Leuven scattered around the place, and I hadn’t had a shave or a shower for a couple of days, but if he’s here he’s here and he’ll have to take me as he found me.

When I finished the programme I had a listen to the one that I was to send off today and then had a listen to the one that I had prepared just now.

While I was doing that I was sorting through the mess of photographs that I’d discovered the other day, sorting out everything into proper directories ready to go through and weed out the duplicates of which there are more than enough.

There was a little break while I went for a shower and then I went one better than David Crosby and actually did cut my hair. Not that it was very long but it just so happened that for a change I wasn’t in a dreadful rush after my shower.

After lunch I made a start on identifying duplicates in the collection of photographs and by the time that I’d finished, 86GB had gone into the bin and I’ve only scratched the surface of it.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There was a break for me to go off to the physiotherapist and as I said the other day, I’ll go today through the town to see what’s happening with the work that’s taking place here.

First stop was the medieval city walls were a couple of months ago we saw a big hole at the foot of the wall. You can see that they have made considerable advances in repairing the wall down there.

They have built themselves a nice mobile shelter as the advance along the foot of the wall. We saw the other week that the workmen working above had a nasty habit of leaving their tools on top of the wall and so some kind of protection against objects falling from above is essential.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On top of the wall it’s all quiet. There wasn’t anyone around working here today.

But they haven’t made a great deal of progress over the period since I’ve last passed by.

You can see the size of the coping stones that go on top of the wall and you will notice that several are still missing. If while they are refitting them they happen to drop one over the top while the men are working down below, then that little flimsy protection that they have built isn’t going to me of much use.

rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021But what I really came here to see was what was happening in the Rue St Michel now that they seem to have finished and the workmen’s compound has been dismantled.

This is pretty awful isn’t it though? When they build the medieval town here in the early part of the 15th Century they went to all the trouble of surfacing the streets with some nice stone setts, but what they have done here is to just throw down a layer of asphalt.

It seems to me that despite the advances in technology over the last 100 years or so, the skill of relaying stone setts is a skill that has long-gone.

But this is a work that has been undertaken on behalf of the town council. Can you imagine what they would say if I as a private individual did work like this on a historic or listed building?

Anyway, I headed off to physiotherapist and she had me doing exercises and then some time on the tilting platform. And as he rnext patient didn’t need the tilting platform she let me stay on for some overtime.

On the way back I stopped at the Carrefour for some pears and a few other bits and pieces. They had more of those potatoes at €0:99 for 1.5kg and seeing as I’ve run out, I grabbed a bag of those as well.

Instead of going through the town centre I took the back way, the way that I took on Saturday, and it was much less busy.

tractors and freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Halfway up the hill in the Rue des Juifs, I had a pause. Not to catch my breath but to drink the drink that I’d bought.

While I was there I took a photo of the quayside. As well as the shrink-wrapped boat, there’s another pile of freight as well, and two tractors parked up on the far side. It looks as if they are going to be busy down there very soon.

From there I walked straight back home and just as I was reaching the door of my building A young boy ran over to me and asked me if I had the time.

Had it been the young girl who was with him who asked, I would have asked her if she had the inclination but things don’t happen to me like that these days.

And that reminds me. Just recently they have installed a clock factory in the leaning tower of Pisa. They thought that seeing as they had the inclination, they may as well make the time.

Back here I made a coffee and carried on with my photos, with such intensity that it was 20:15 when I noticed the time. Too late to make a stuffed pepper so I had pasta and vegetables in a cheese sauce.

Eventually I managed to listen to the dictaphone and judging by the amount of stuff there, it really must have been a disturbed night. Something had happened and we’d gone round to arrest a guy who was a film star. We’d taken a guard dog with us and also a woman who was an actress. She was in charge of the party. When we got into his house we found where he was sleeping. He was fast asleep so we were expecting this police woman to come along and awaken him and arrest him. But she seemed to be doing everything she could to avoid going along to arrest him, checking over this first and checking over that first, checking over the times of plays, running orders, all sorts of things. There was one thing there, one film and she was saying that she expected it to be a little longer than it was, all this kind of thing. The dog was starting to become restless so she told me to keep the dog under control. I told her that she ought to be arresting this guy and it wouldn’t be an issue but she was still putting off arresting this guy as much as she could.

Later on I was working as a lorry driver last night. I absolutely hated the job so I decided to leave. I went up to the dormitory and waited around until everyone had gone to sleep. There were two other people who knew how much I hated it. I decided that I would leave and let them in on my secret. Once everyone had gone to sleep I crept over to the door and they were there. The door was closed so we had to open it very quietly. Someone made a noise, but we were through and out. The lift dor wasn’t closed so we had to close the door, call the lift, get into the lift and press the button for the ground floor. The lift descended but as I looked up I could see one of my colleagues looking down on the lift and shouting into the dormitory “I can see the lift moving and it’s someone who looks like him on it”. With these other two guys we were talking about how we could exchange information about photocopying files and everything, even doing that with LPs. I said that that would have been really good with my programme of digitalising my radio equipment and everything. Of course I had half an eye on what was happening elsewhere because I was convinced that my escape had been noticed. I wondered what was going to happen next.

Finally I was leaving work again. I’d gone to the lift only I was on my bike so I cycled into the lift. Just as it was about to go down I heard voices so I pressed the door to close quickly. Unfortunately I pressed the door open and two of my colleagues, young girls, came in. They were cursing because they thought that they had missed the lift. We went down again and went out but I had forgotten my bike so I had to go back to fetch it. I ended up at the junction of Broad Street and Hightown. There I bumped into Derek Guyler, the Men From the Ministry. He and Richard Lamb were in a car going to buy some food. I’d already said to someone whom I’d met that I was on my way to buy an Indian meal for tonight’s tea. I ended up in this car with them. From the noise that it was making, one of the wheel bearings was going. Derek Guyler dragged Richard lamb out from behind the steering wheel and drove himself. We set off and ended up driving down this country lane. At the last moment I could see that part of the lane was cordoned off so I shouted “turn right”. At the very last minute he did. We went down this side road and should have turned left immediately but I forgot. We carried on driving for a while. We came across a group of Romany, women and children, who were throwing bread at horses but the bread was still in its plastic bags. We went past an area that was lined with targets for bows and arrows. We then came to a road junction where of course we would have to turn left to continue on the way that we were going. This looked like the main road between Whitchurch and Chester. I thought that if we are going to have to get to Wrenbury to pick up this meal we’ll have to do some manoeuvring down this road and I’m not quite sure of the way.

But now at last I’m going to bed. I have my Welsh class tomorrow and I really do need to have a decent sleep beforehand.

Monday 8th November 2021 – GUESS WHO …

… has just dropped his rice and veg down the sink?

So we ended up with not very much for tea this evening. Mind you, it’ll do me good for once in a while.

There has however been some good news. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m having heart problems right now.

2 weeks ago I went to see the cardiologist who checked me over, found that I still had a heart (which means that I’m not a Conservative) but it has a few problems.

He gave me a report that I scanned and sent off to the hospital in Leuven, on the grounds that if I’m going to have another major health issue, it makes much more sense to have them both treated at the same place to avoid complications.

Anyway, they have now replied. And they’ve offered me an appointment earlier on the same day that I have my usual treatment in 10 days time. So they obviously think that there’s something worth following up.

This morning’s 06:00 start was rather painful seeing that I didn’t take full advantage of the night in bed that I had.

But after the medication and checking my mails and messages I attacked the radio programme that I wanted to prepare. And by 10:50 it was up and running. I could even have finished it earlier except that for a while I was talking to someone on the internet about something or other.

And that included a break for coffee and for breakfast too.

It was the old ZOOM H1 that I used too, not the new ZOOM H8. I’ve not as yet worked out how to record in stereo with just one mike on that.

While I was listening to the finished product I was doing some research. I’ve received a pile of paperwork relating to our family history and I’ve been going through it.

And if anyone wonders why my mother’s side of the family (including me) is so … errr … combative, it seems that somewhere in our family tree we are related to EDWARD KENEALY of TICHBOURNE CLAIMANT fame, or rather, infamy.

One thing that I’ve been doing as well today is to attack the dictaphone backlog, and another few days from late October have now been updated.

While I was at it, I had a go at last night’s voyages too. There was some kind of machinery or equipment used in connection with my health. I posted something about it and someone posted back that it was ridiculous, that this didn’t exist. I had to go through all this rigmarole to prove that it did and how I was supposed to use it because of my health

Later on there was some guy who had a mine of some description. He had a girlfriend and she and her father went off to look at this mine leaving the guy and his two friends like Bulldog Drummond behind. When they didn’t come back at the end of the day he started to become worried and decided that next morning he would set out to the mine to look for them. Next morning instead there was a press release that this woman considered that he’d been exploiting her and that she was now assuming control of the mine. It was necessary for him to infiltrate this circle of people with whom she was now working. He and one of his friends arranged to disappear and the disappearance became headline news. The 3 of them set off for this hotel where everyone was staying. When they arrived they found that it was some kind of show with cheerleaders or something. They found a cheerleader uniform and dressed in it as girls, but found another group who had exactly the same uniform. They waylaid a couple of girls, borrowed their uniforms and went on to do a kind-of dance routine. One of them lost her dress so quickly the 2nd one had to drag her away and lock her in a room somewhere. This guy couldn’t understand why he was being treated like that. His friend explained to him that with the scientist being missing, he couldn’t go around identifying himself as who he was even if it was simply over the case of a missing dress because everyone would immediately put two and two together, knowing everyone’s relationship wtth each other and immediately guess what was going on. It was very important for them to remain anonymous for as long as possible.

Somewhere in all of this I was fostering a kitten, a tabby and white one. Someone came to see me and saw the kitten. When I went to bed the kitten came and got into bed with me but it got up again, ate some food and wouldn’t settle after that

Later on I was back in Virlet and, surprisingly, back with the kitten. There had been a big rainstorm and a lot of the houses were flooded. Mine was OK. I came back from work, it was my last day at work. I opened the outer door but when I came inside I found that I had left the inner door open. I walked in and there was someone in there. She said “look what your kitten has got”. I had a look and the kitten had one of my bread buns. I said “it doesn’t really matter because it’s been here over a week now so it’s bound to be no good”. She put the kitten down and let the kitten run off with it. We were talking about voyages to space, the stars, saying that they need to be somewhere deep at the bottom of a deep quarry to launch the rocket. We were working out other suitable places. We thought that the Auvergne would be fine for that because it was so soggy that if you put a rocket on top of the ground somewhere it would just sink in and go down to any depth you like before you could fire it.

For some reason or other, the nurse never came round today to give me my injection. I changed the time from 15:00 to 12:00 so I can go for my physiotherapist for 15:30. He didn’t come at 12:00 and he never rang me later on to say that he was here at the normal time but had missed me.

courreur des iles charles marie lorries unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way out to the physiotherapist I went down to look at the port to see what was going on this afternoon.

What caught my eye were the two lorries over there unloading. I’m not sure what they were unloading but the old cold storage plant over there has been closed since cod-fishing on the Grand Banks was suspended in 1992.

There were a few of the charter boats down there this afternoon too. Charles Marie is moored up against the harbour wall, with Courreur des Iles moored alongside. There won’t be much going on with them now until maybe Christmas.

repointing wall Rampe du Monte à Regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Something else that regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a while ago they had some work experience people out repointing the wall at the Rampe du Monte à Regret.

They did half of it and then stopped, but today I noticed that there were scaffolders down there erecting scaffolding down alongside the part that they didn’t make a start laat time.

Perhaps we’re going to be having another lot of Work Experience people learning the trade. There’s plenty of work for them when they qualify, and not just around the city walls here in the medieval city. There are plenty of stone houses and walls that could benefit.

Once again I walked all the way up the hill to the physiotherapist without stopping. She had me on this tilting platform thing doing exercises to strengthen my knees and shoulders. We finished off with 5 minutes on the cross trainer.

It has to be said that i’m doing much better now than I was when I first came. But then that’s the point of the exercises, isn’t it?

place Général de Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Going back, I went the short way right down the Rue Couraye into the town centre.

The kiddies’ roundabout has now gone, and we aren’t sure if it’ll be coming back again. The owner was in front of the local council last Friday arguing his case about his roundabout, which is larger than he said in his planning application and which forces pedestrians to walk in the road.

He’s asked for a 12-month adjournment of the case to give him time to buy a slightly smaller machine and the council has offered him another site. They haven’t been able to agree a compromise so we’ll see how things develop over the next few days.

erecting christmas decorations rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile, around the corner, the Rue Paul Poirier is closed to traffic.

They have a cherry picker out there and he’s busy putting up the Christmas lights. Unfortunately, they look just like the Christmas lights that they had last year and the year before that, and the year before that as well.

The lack of imagination that they show round here in respect of the Christmas decorations is dispiriting.

Once again, I made it all the way back up the hill to home without stopping once, which pleased me very much. I wonder if these heart tablets that the cardiologist prescribed are having some effect, or whether it’s the effect of the physiotherapy.

It’s still a struggle to make it up the hill and I don’t really feel comfortable while I’m doing it, but I have to do what I can.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Before I went back into the building I went to have a look down on the beach.

Today the weather was cool, windy and overcast so even though there was plenty of beach down there, there weren’t all that many people down there on it. And I wasn’t surprised either.

Back here in the apartment I made myself a coffee and then attacked the photos from that rock concert the other day. There’s another huge pile of those that are now done.

What I’ll be doing will be to create three-column *.css layout to show the photos off. I’ll have to dig deep into my memory for that because it’s been probably not far short of 20 years since I was doing three-column *.css stuff.

Two-column stuff is quite easy because it’s either “align-left” or “align-right” and I use that all the time. But I’ll sort it out.

Tea was stuffed pepper with whatever rice and veg remained in the sieve after I’d finished pouring it into the sink. And it was quite nice too, what I was able to eat.

But now I’m finished my notes I’m off to bed. A nice long sleep, I hope, but if it’s anything like the last few weeks it’ll be a disappointment. I’m seriously considering sleeping pills if this carries on.

Wednesday 25th August 2021 – I WENT TO …

… see the rapist this afternoon.

rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst thing that I have to say about it all is that there’s traffic flowing again down the Rue Cambernon again.

It looks as if the braderie was only a one-day thing because everything seems to have been cleared away, all of the streets are now open and the cars are driving along them.

It’s a shame really because for that one day it was quite interesting and quite quiet too. It reminded me of the “car-free Sunday” that we had once a year when I lived in Brussels. All of the public transport was free, all of the parks and museums were open and you could wander everywhere without any interruption at all.

And, at the end of the day, the normal haze that hung over the city had gone and the sky was really clear.

Just for one day.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, one of the things that really gets my goat around here is the pathetic parking.

bad parking rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou’ve seen so much of it that I’ve been trying to avoid showing it, in order not to bore you to death, but sometimes there is something so extreme that I have to feature it. Something like this, for example.

The white car, with a registration number from out of the département so clearly a tourist, has stopped – with a couple of wheels on a zebra crossing, and let his wife out to go and buy a baguette from the bakery here.

And then he sits and waits for her.

This is a bus route for the large service buses that ply up and down the coast, and he’s blocking the road so that this bus can’t go past.

And does he move? Of course he doesn’t. He’s a tourist. The town belongs to him. Who cares about the locals?

But anyway, let’s start at the very beginning.

Despite having a good deal less than 5 hours sleep last night, I was up and about at 06:00 and went to take my medicine.

Back in here again I checked my messages – well, I didn’t – just about half of them. I didn’t actually go to sleep – I was wide awake – but in something like a zombie-like trance for a couple of hours, unable to function at all.

When I finally gathered my wits – which takes far longer these days than it ought, seeing how few wits I have left these days, I made myself a coffee and cut a slice of my gorgeous fruit bread – which really is gorgeous by the way – and then came back in here to finish off checking my messages.

Next task was to prepare a music playlist for the week. It’s the turn of the music in the “BB” folder to be selected and it will be any 11 tracks from about 15 of the 50 artists and groups in the folder.

The playlist will now be running continuously until Sunday night (as long as the computer is switched on) and I’ll be listening to all of the relevant albums, choosing tracks that might be interesting, noting down their running times and the albums from which they come, and whether they are good or faulty.

And whether they are needing editing too. Chopping exciting bits out of “Tubular Bells” or “Thick as a Brick” – stuff like that. Much as I like the complete albums, my listeners would fall asleep if I played all of them non-stop.

There was the dictaphone to check of course and eventually I managed to get around to it. Last night I was living on some kind of island. There was a huge explosion that had destroyed part of the buildings. Everyone had to evacuate this island and move onto another one that was already occupied. Everyone immediately thought that it was me who had blown up this island or whatever it was, so no-one was really my friend and gave me all cold stares when I’d tried to talk to them about anything.

And doesn’t that remind me of an event about two years ago?

Later on, I’d been on a bike and apparently I’d started off walking. It was medieval times. I was loaded up and on my way somewhere or other. The priest of this area was standing there looking over the harbour and everything. As I walked past he made the sign of the cross to me so I made the sign of the cross to him. He said “good evening” and I thought “it’s morning, isn’t it?”. I carried on walking and then I was on a bike cycling down a hill near Lyon. A group of 5 people walked off the pavement straight in front of me. I gave them a tinkle of the bell. They moved slowly out of the way so I swore at them and cursed them in French. They were making all kinds of gestures and insults but I carried on. In the end someone invited me to appear on television. I thought “if they had heard that lot just now they wouldn’t have allowed me on at all.

After that, I know that I did something else, but don’t ask me what it was because I can’t remember.

After lunch I went and had a shower and a general clean and tidy up, and then went off on my travels to see the rapist.

transhipment porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I didn’t go very far before I came to a stop.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, because I’ve said it before … “and on many previous occasions too” – ed … living intra muros in the old walled city does have its drawbacks Like the height of the gateway into the old walled city.

If you are having anything big delivered, you need to have some kind of trans-shipment system in place because the chances are that the delivery lorry might not be able to fit through the arch. We’ve seen all kinds of Heath-Robinson arrangements since I’ve been living here.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, a little farther on along the road I come out to one of the viewpoints on the outer walls – the one that overlooks the fish processing plant.

The first thing that I noticed was that all of the “charter hire” yachts like Aztec Lady, Spirit of Conrad and so on are conspicuous by their absence.

Not that it is a real surprise because I heard on the grapevine that the Channel Islands are relaxing their strict anti-Covid controls on visitors from France, and so everyone who is anyone has headed off in a northward direction.

And had I not had my series of appointments starting this week, I would have been tempted to have joined them as well.

Les Epiettes port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallEvery now and again we’ve been seeing a small red, white and blue boat running around in the bay or just outside the harbour.

It might be this one here. I know that we encountered one, called Les Epiettes once when we were on Spirit of Conrad out at the Ile de Chausey, but unfortunately we can’t see her name from here.

When I was back in the apartment later I checked the port call register and there was no trace of a boat that resembled her so she probably has her AIS switched off.

But I did discover something else and I’ll talk about that tomorrow.

charlevy port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd I’m sure that we all recognise this trawler. It’s been the subject of quite a few photos just recently.

Unless I’m very much mistaken, she’s our old friend Charlevy, anchored at the loading bay with one of the cranes working on her.

What I suspect is that while she’s been in the chantier naval she’s had all of her nets taken out and presumably overhauled and repaired on the quayside as we’ve seen them do before.

Today, it looks as if the crane is reassembling all of her fishing gear, ready for her to go back out to sea.

From there I pushed on through the streets and up the hill to the therapist. And the climb up there was a little better than on Monday.

He had me walking up and down a step, doing some stretching exercises and then standing on some kind of tilting, vibrating plate that reminded me on being on the deck of THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR in a hurricane.

There was a kind of ski-walking machine there but that wasn’t a success. Not because I couldn’t work it but I didn’t have the breath to keep it going.

After half an hour he threw me out and I walked home, feeling actually a little more sprightly in my right leg than I have done for a while. I wonder what it will be like at the end of the sessions.

Passing the shenanigans outside the bakers I carried on towards home and my ice-cold strawberry smoothie. And the climb up the hill in the Rue des Juifs went rather better than the other day.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out, I thought that I’d go and see how things were down on the beach. It’s much more like my usual time of afternoon.

Plenty of beach to be on or course because the tide is well on its way out now. You could see quite a difference to how it was 90 minutes ago when i set off for my appointment.

But the holiday season is definitely coming to an end. Three days now on the run I’ve made the point that there have been fewer and fewer people down on the beach , and once again I couldn’t see anyone in the water either. It’s a sad end to a rather depressing summer season here.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was at it, I was having a good look out to sea.

The NIKON D3000 was my main camera between the demise of the Nikon D5000 and the purchase of the NIKON D500 and while I was happy with it at the time, I’ve had to do a lot of post-work to pull out a photo of the Ile de Chausey from the haze out at sea.

None of the Joly France ferries in sight – they must all be sheltering in the gap between the two islands. Just the odd yacht or two out there this afternoon. Nothing much to be excite myself today. I did see a brown smudge on the horizon which at first I thought was Marité but it turned out to be a mark on the computer screen.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallGoing back to the apartment, there was a view of the beach down at the Plat Gousset – a view that I don’t usually see because I’m going the other way.

Quite a few people going for a paddle around in the water retained by the medieval fish trap, and a few folk on the beach down there too. But seeing as that area is the most popular part of the beach, I was expecting it to be much busier than that.

A few people down on the beach at Donville les Bains though. I can just about make them out in the distance.

So back into the apartment I came and had my strawberry smoothie – and the next thing that I remembered was thatt it was 18:30. I’d been stark out for 90 minutes. The walk out and back had taken it all out of me.

There were carrots that needed peeling and blanching ready for freezing and then it was time for tea. I had the rest of the mushrooms which were going to start to do something rather peculiar if I didn’t do anything with them so I threw in a small tin of lentils and a few other bits and pieces and made a quick curry.

big wheel at night place albert godal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack in here I came to write up my notes but while I was checking the radar to see whether it really was Les Epiettes coming into the port, I noticed a rather large boat coming into the port, larger than any that have been in here recently.

Immediately I grabbed the camera and dashed outside to see what it might be, falling over a concrete bollard in the street in the darkness.

Firstly though, the big wheel was working, even though it was quite late. People must be staying up until all hours, being still in the holiday mood even if they don’t want to go down to the beach during the daytime.

big wheel at night place albert godal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the attractions of the big wheel, especially for the spectator, is that it changes colour as it goes round.

As I watched, it went through all of the colours of the rainbow and made quite an exciting spectacle.

But only for a few more days. It usually closes down round about the end of August so maybe next week will be the last that we shall see of it.

And the tourists too. While I’m always pleased to see them leave, I do feel sorry for them for the miserable summer that they have had.

medical emergency at galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou probably noticed in the two photos of the big wheel a set of lights coming down the hill in the Rue Couraye. What you won’t have heard of course is the sound of the sirens that came with the lights.

There’s something rather large and top-heavy down there and it’s certainly not a gravel boat as I was originally thinking.

And why it’s put into the harbour is presumably due to some kind of medical emergency that needs to be dealt with

medical emergency at galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut in the meantime I can tell you something about her, because she has her AIS beacon switched on.

Believe it or not, she’s a Spanish galleon. Not a original one, I haste to add, and wouldn’t that be something if it were, but a faithful replica of a Spanish galleon of the 17th Century and at an overall length of almost 48 metres, she’s the largest ship of any description to come in here for quite a while.

How long she’ll be staying is something else, so I’ll be out there first thing in the morning to see her in daylight, because the harbour gates open early.

trawler leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’m out, I’m not going to bed quite yet. I may as well make the most of things

With the harbour gates being open, one of the trawlers here is taking the opportunity to slip out to sea. She doesn’t have her AIS beacon switched on so I can’t tell you who she is. It’s just a purple lozenge on my radar screen with no name attached.

Anyway, that’s enough excitement for this evening. I’m going back to the apartment to carry on with my journal entry for today before I forget any more.

Now, much later than intended, I’m off to bed. A whole day at home with no interruptions. I bet that I’ll fall asleep and miss most of it.

Thursday 1st July 2021 – HAPPY SUMMER…

foggy morning rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… so welcome to the sunshine and the glorious weather. Can it get any better than this?

Yes, what a way to start of the summer. A cold clammy fog enveloping absolutely everything, just like a November day. And it was cold too. I had to go and search for a jumper to keep me warm. I’m not cut out for this kind of weather.

Anyway, that was the weather that greeted me as dawn broke this morning. I couldn’t believe it. And I have to go out shopping later. One look at that and I made myself a piping hot mug of coffee and came back in here to get on with some work

With it being the first of the month, it’s the day when I normally back up everything. So today I decided to start on a full and complete programme.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there’s a USB stick permanently plugged into the laptop on which I back up a few times every day. Then there’s a spare hard drive in this machine on which I back up once a month.

And then there’s an external drive on which I uploaded every single file off every computer or hard drive that I have ever owned and I’ve been gradually sorting it out into some kind of order.

So today, I copied the files off the working drive onto the back-up drive in the machine and then copied them over to the external drive. And even as we speak, after about 12 hours or so, it’s still going on. It’s a long job but it had to be done and I ought to do it more often.

But there’s one good thing about it, and that is that I can remove some of the stuff off the working drive that doesn’t need to be there and make some space, now that it’s stored in at least two other locations. That’s probably going to be tomorrow’s job, always assuming that this back-up is completed by then.

At least, while it’s doing, I can get on and do other stuff, like a pile of photos from August 2019. And now I’m wandering aimlessly around Sisimut in Greenland having a good look around.

After a shower, I made myself ready to set off to the shops. Not that I was feeling like going. And I was feeling even less like coming back loaded up with shopping.

empty shop rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere in the Rue Couraye is somethign that regular readers of this rubbish might recall.

This used to be some kind of oriental restaurant, as you might remember. And after it closed, a lot of money was spent on transforming it into a rather plush and expensive interior decoration shop with condultants and the like to give advice. And it opened amid a great fanfare.

But it didn’t last very long by the looks of things. As I went past this morning, it was empty, closed up and abandoned. There was a sign saying “we have moved” – but it omitted to tell us just where it actually moved to. And that tells us all that we need to know.

At LIDL I spent more money than I intended, not that I bought anything special. And they had run out of brazil nuts too which is a shame. But anyway, off I set for home, staggering under my heavy load.

retiled roof rue de la houle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is the roofing job that was being undertaken on a house here in the Rue de la Houle.

Last week we saw them nailing battens around the chimney in order to hang slates therefrom. And sure enough, they’ve now been and gone and as we can see, the chimney is now all slated and looking quite nice.

But my money is on the fact that they didn’t repoint the chimney and replace the rotten bricks, and that’s going to lead to a problem in the future because a poor chimney isn’t going to last forever, especially when the wind gets going.

And we’ve seen some famous winds since I’ve been living here.

crane building site rue st paul rue victor hugo Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomething else that we’ve seen a lot of since we’ve been living here is redevelopment of buildings and building sites, such as this one at the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo.

There used to be a café on this corner and we watched them knock it down and clear the site, and then fence it off. last week we saw a digger on site and it had dug a big hole. And I was wondering what was the purpose of the hole.

And now we know. They’ve installed a huge crane here and that tells me that building is about to get under way any minute now. Those cranes are expensive to hire and small builders won’t hang about when they have the rental to pay.

Although I suspect that you’ll all be reminding me that I said that in 6 months time.

seagull chick lost in rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack in town again, in the Rue Paul Poirier, I encountered something that caused me some anguish.

It’s the time of the year right now when the fledglings in the seagull nests begin to flex their wings and one or two of them manage to take to the air. Here is one that has left his nest and fluttered down into the street in the Rue Paul Poirier. And now he can’t get up steam to fly back to his nest.

It isn’t easy to know what to do in these circumstances. Maybe his mother will come to look for him, and human scent on her baby might drive her away. And if you do try to catch him, would he dash off into the traffic? I decided with regret that the best course of action was to leave him and hope that a more knowledgeable person would come along.

trawlers waiting to leave port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo up the hill I trudged with my heavy load of shopping until I reached the benches half-way up where I could see down into the harbour.

And it looks as if I’ve arrived at exactly the right time because judging by the little queue of trawlers here, the harbour gates are going to be open any minute now and I could sit and enjoy the spectacle. Mind you, I don’t envy them going out to sea in this dreadful fog. It’s not that thick down there, with visibility about half mile or so, but I bet that it’s a lot worse further out at sea.

It made me wish that there was a café nearby where I could fetch a drink for myself as events would unfold. This is pretty unseasonal weather for July.

trawlers leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSure enough, I only had to wait a couple of minutes before the gates opened and the red lights changed to green.

And once they did so, a whole line of trawlers suddenly burst into life from all over the inner harbour and they were off like ferrets up a trouser leg. It was quite an impressive sight to see them all go like that.

There was a whole line of trawlers waiting to come into the harbour too but it looks as if those leaving have priority. And once they had cleared the entrance, the ones outside swarmed in. I wanted to take a photo of them but once again, the lens jammed on the NIKON 1 J5. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we had that repaired about 18 months ago.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnyway I cleared off up the hill, still wrestling with the camera lens and eventually I managed to free it off.

And thzt was just as well because out of the fog came another one of our old friends going for a run around the bay with a bunch of tourists. It’s La Granvillaise, one of the charter yachts that operates out of the port. We can tell who she is because of her unusual sail layout and also the fact that she displays quite prominently the number G90.

And I felt sorry for the tourists because they aren’t going to see very much in this weather, although with the tide being in, at least the boat can go closer to the shore so they will be able to see something of what’s going on.

seagulls fighting rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was taking the photo of La Granvillaise there was a tremendous squawking from the roof of one of the buildings so I went off to have a look to see what was happening.

There are two seagulls down there having a tremendous tug-of-war over something or other but I couldn’t see what it was. They kept it up for quite a while too – longer than I was prepared to wait and see the outcome. I wanted to go home.

Back here I put the frozen peas in the freezer and made my self some real hot chocolate to go with my fruit bread. and having had breakfast I came in here to upload the photos onto the computer when unfortunately I dozed off.

Good and proper too. I didn’t wake up until about 13:30 and then it took me a while to find my equilibrium. Another late lunch.

This afternoon there was plenty of excitement, which led to me being kicked out of the “British in Europe” Group. The people who run it have the most unbelievable egotism and arrogance. Ever since Brexit they have leapt aboard every possible bandwagon going and every time some concession has been made, it’s been “look what we won for you” even when they weren’t involved at all.

There’s a campaign been organised to thank the various Préfectures in France for their forbearance and patience but the people who run “British in Europe” have ordered everyone (and told people to pass the message on) NOT to thank the French authorities as “it undermines our campaign”. Have you ever heard anything like it?

One of their main beefs is that the French authorities have, according to them, failed in their obligations to notify every British person of the new arrangements. However, the facts are considerably different. In France, the censuses are held every 5 years and a great many British people have failed to fill in the census forms, for various reasons. So, quite naturally, the French authorities don’t know that they are here so they can’t notify them.

Furthermore, they are complaining that the French are expelling people. The French have a right to expel people if they represent a manifest danger to the security of the State, and the people I know who have been refused residence and expelled are those who have not long been released from prison for certain unspeakable offences.

So I told the organisers what had been going on, but like any two-bit organisation, it can’t tolerate one bit of criticism and won’t hear anything that undermines the “Big I Am”.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis took me up to afternoon walkies so the first thing that I have to do is to go off to the end of the car park and look down to see what was happening on the beach.

So uutangling myself from a group of residents at the door, I set off to see who was about down there. And this afternoon there was quite a crowd down there. That’s because the weather had improved somewhat since this morning. The sun had burnt off the mist from on the land and it was quite warm.

Warm enough for people to be undressed and in swimwear although I didn’t see anyone actually take to the water while I was there. Maybe it wasn’t all that warm in there after all.

sea and rocks baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut whether it was warm or not, the sea really did look beautiful this afternoon.

It was that beautiful emerald green colour that we don’t see all that often. I reckon that it has to be a trick of the sunlight and the reflections or something like that to make it look so nice and inviting, even if it might be fairly cold this afternoon.

But I can’t hang around and admire the view. I had to push on around my little circuit and see where I can end up. And more importantly, what I encounter on my trip round the headland.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRather like this yacht that suddenly appeared from out of the mist.

Somewhere out there in that direction is the Ile de Chausey but there is no chance of seeing it in this weather. And that is probably from where the yacht has departed. As I was walking along the path on top of the cliffs it just materialised out of the doom and gloom rather like a phantom.

Of course it’s too far away for me to identify from here so I can’t say if it’s someone whome we know. But anyway, I wandered off across the car park and along the footpath on the other side of the headland.

trawlers philcathane chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut here is someone that we ought to recognise. And I ought to know who it is because I’ve seen it so often in the past.

There’s been another change of occupancy in the chantier navale this afternoon because she certainly wasn’t there this morning. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the trawler le Pearl, the new trawler that arrived here last autumn. Well I’m pretty sure that this is her elder sister and I wish that I could remember her name.

But anywhere, here she is, next to Philcathane, with the other trawler whose name I have yet to discover and the yacht Rebelle to keep her company while she’s in here receiving attention.

chausiais l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown in the other harbour, the tide is quite far out but once more we have a couple of fishing boats tied up ay the fish processing plant and left to go aground.

It’s L’Omerta of course and she’s been moored over there on and off for quite some time now and I’m curious to see what is going on and why she’s there so often.

In the background to the right, moored up at the ferry terminal, is Chausiais, the small freighter that runs supplies out to the Ile de Chausey. She’s probably not long come back from a trip out there and is empty at the moment. When she’s about to go off on a trip out there she’ll be in the loading bay underneath the crane in the inner harbour.

Back here I carried on with the backing up of the computer and the hard drives and that took me up to guitar practice. And I’m not making as much progress as I would have liked with the bass unfortunately. It’s not a case of lack of technique, it’s a case of lack of memory. I can’t remember what I learnt yesterday, stuff like that.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper (now that I have some mushrooms) and I’m sure that I forgot something that usually goes in it. My chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce was delicious too.

And now, as this argument from this afternoon rumbles on over a whole variety of pages on my Social Network, including someone from Britain In Europe wading into a person’s private page and telling her how to manage her own page (how outrageous are these people?) I’m of to bed, as soon as there’s a suitable pause in this backing-up.

But I fear that it’s going to be going on for quite a while yet. And so is this argument.

Thursday 8th April 2021 – TODAY, I’VE HAD …

trawler yacht english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… another one of those nautical days that we have every so often.

There has been so much traffic on the waters today that I’ve really been spoilt for choice when it came to taking photos because I could have taken 100 and still not done justice to everything that was going on out there at sea this afternoon.

When I went out there this afternoon for my little walk around the headland I was overwhelmed by the amount of nautical traffic that was bobbing up and down on the high seas, from the smallest plank-boarders to some of the larger trawlers and freighters that hang around the port.

marite unloading normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it wasn’t just out at sea that we were having all of this excitement.

It was pretty busy in the harbour this morning too. One of or favourite boats, the little Jersey Freighter Normandy Trader has come into port on the overnight tide. She’s now tied up underneath the crane at the loading bay while the personnel of the Chamber of Commerce make ready to unload her.

You can see all of the material on the quayside already. I reckon that this is the load that she has to take back with her to St Helier. And you can see how busy she is with all of that load. No wonder her owners are talking about buying a larger boat

vna pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s not just at sea and in the port that we are extremely busy. Thee was quite a lot going on in the air today too.

The bright sunny weather has certainly brought out the aeroplanes this afternoon, like this one that overflew me as I walked my weary way around the headland. I’ve no idea what it is because I couldn’t see the registration properly. I can see the last three letters – VNA – of its registration.

Although I checked, there was nothing of that registration that had taken off from or landed at Granville Airport this afternoon. It’s probably frustrating me deliberately by not filing a flight plan so people like me can’t identify it.

fishing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you admire the picture of the busy port this afternoon with the crowds of boats queueing up and the portable boat lift now tackling Lys Noir, I’ll tell you about my busy morning.

It was rather a late night, although not as late as it has been once or twice, so I was able to leap out of bed with alacrity when the alarm went off.

After the medication I attacked the dictaphone notes for the last couple of days seeing as I missed out on doing it yesterday. And if you now look at yesterday’s entry, you’ll see that that is now up-to-date with the entries for yesterday now incorporated. Now that those were out of the way I could turn my attention to last night’s travel.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSome people came round to my house, including an old friend of mine so I invited a girl to come along as well. I made all of the arrangements but just at the last moment when I was getting ready to receive my visitors I had a ‘phone call to say that this girl was having to go into work so she wouldn’t be able to come. I had a little morning’s entertainment with these people and just strode out and the followed me. They went their separate ways. I just happened to be walking past their house when a car pulled up and these 3 girls got out. 1 of them said “so-and-so will run you home” referring to her youngest sister. “She knows the trick about the car”. They parked up but then they saw me walking past and asked “Eric, are you coming in?”. I walked up the path towards the door to join them.

having dome that I turned my attention to the photos from August 2019 on my North American Adventure and managed a few of those before it was time for me to go off for my shower.

And having done that, I wandered off out on my way to the shops for my mid-week shopping trip.

pointing rampe de monte à regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route took me past the top of the Rampe du Monte à Regret where they are using the poor state of the medieval wall as a training ground for young apprentices.

And sure enough, there were about half a dozen there, a few of whom were females, something that is always nice to see. All of them with their trowels and mortar boards doing a nice rightward lead along all of the cracks. It brought back many happy memories of when I was POINTING THE WALLS AT MY HOUSE all those years ago.

having watched them for a while I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … down the steps and on into the town.

roundabout place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it looks as if they are getting ready for the summer season, such as it might be this year, in the town.

The other day when we were around the town we saw the candyfloss and sweet stand that had arrived in the town and was now parked up hear the harbour. Today I noticed that the kiddies’ roundabout has arrived and has now been set up in the Place Charles de Gaulle ready to entertain them for the next few months.

My next port of call was LIDL for the midweek session of my weekly shopping. I didn’t want all that much from there so I ended up with quite a light load. So not to waste the trip I stocked up with some soya milk and some tomato sauce because I can always use that sort of thing and I never seem to have enough.

roadworks road closed rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back home I had to go along the Rue Paul Poirier, and that wasn’t as easy as it might have been.

There were roadworks in the street today and it was closed to all traffic. Not for pedestrians though so I could make my way along there and while I was it it, I could see what they were trying to do.

They had half of the road dug up near the junction with the Rue Etoupefour but as for why, I didn’t have any idea. They were digging a small trench and one of the guys was relaying the cobbles where there is the 5-minute waiting spot, cutting a few of them with his stone cutter to make them fit into their spaces. I suppose we’ll have to wait for a few days after they have cleared off in order to see what they have been doing.

roadworks rue etoupefour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the other end of the street, having pushed my way through the roadworks, I crossed over the road and started to go up the Rue des Juifs where I glanced down at the junction of the Place des Corsaires and the Rue Etoupefour.

There was a man down there with some of the cobbles pulled up, chipping away at them. I’m sure that it can’t be a coincidence with people working like this at both ends of the street . They must be doing some kind of work in common so I suppose we’ll find our about that in due course too.

Anyway I carried on up the Rue des Juifs with my light load hardly impeding me at all. I wasn’t going to say that I ran up the street but it was a good climb up there with hardly a pause for breath.

unloading normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was an occasion to call for a pause halfway up the hill because there was something of interest going on at the docks.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that each of the Jersey freighters, Thora and Normandy Trader has started to carry a couple of small sealed containers, presumably with private freight, and this morning they were unloading one of them from the deck of Normandy Trader and putting it on the quayside ready to be taken away.

That was all of the excitement for the morning. I wandered off home for my hot chocolate and sourdough fruit bread and to continue with my photo editing.

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to do too many because I crashed out on my chair. And crashed out completely too. I must have been out for about an hour and a half altogether. As a result I had a very late lunch.

After lunch, seeing as it was a nice sunny day with very little wind I went and attacked Caliburn’s door.

Trying to take off the door card was a contortionist’s delight and it took me an absolute age to free it off just so far that I could put my hand inside the door skin. And as for where the spring clip that holds on the window winder went, I have absolutely no idea.

Being able to put my hand inside the door skin was one thing. To actually open the door was something else and my hands ended up black and blue with cuts and bruises but with a great amount of force and inconvenience I finally managed spring the catch and open the door.

With the door open I could re-attach the bits that had fallen off and do the necessary adjustments and now the door will open from the outside as well as the inside. But I’m not putting the door card back on until I’m sure that it works.

seagull place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there working, I was not alone.

Yesterday we saw the seagull on the windowsill of one of the apartments on the other side of the building. And this time the bird is waiting at the correct window – the one where there is the plastic bird model on the inside. And you only have to look at the state of the window to see how often it is that the bird calls there.

But anyway, I went off inside to put away my tools and then came back outside to go for my afternoon walk in the sunshine.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe first thing to do was to go to the wall at the end of the car park to look over the wall to see what was going on down on the beach today.

The tide is quite well in this afternoon so thee wasn’t all that much beach to be on today but even so, there was still enough room for a few people to wander about. These two people were having a pile of fun leaping about from rock to rock down there and they will probably keep on doing it until the tide comes in and cuts off their only means of retreat.

There was no retreat for me today. I was continuing my walk along the path on top of the cliffs. And despite the really nice weather there was hardly anyone else about so I had the place pretty much to myself

autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier I mentioned that there was quite a lot going on in the air and I mentioned the light aeroplane that flew by overhead.

We also had another regular visitor going past me overhead this afternoon someone whom we haven’t seen for quite some time. It’s the old yellow autogyro that we’ve seen in the past on several occasions. We saw a different one, a reddy-orange one, fly past us the other day and it made me wonder when we would be seeing this one again.

She was flying quite high over my head too, much higher than normal and he had a passenger too so they presumably are on one of these sightseeing trips that she does every now and again

The French have a saying jamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third”, and that applied to the aircraft that I saw today.

EC-MVE Airbus A320-232 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn fact they may well have said “thirty-third” because there were so many in the sky this afternoon. Today’s choice of aircraft is an Airbus A320-232 that’s operated by Vueling Airlines, a Spanish low-cost airline and is operating their flight VY7826 /VLG7826 which is the 15:00 from Barcelona heading to Gatwick Airport.

Her registration number is EC-MVE and airframe number 8130 which means that she was built about three or so years ago and supplied new to the airline which means that she was supplied new to the airline in February 2018.

She wet past me over head at about 25,000 feet and 388 knots and had already started her descent down to the Gatwick flight path as I was watching her

chausiais yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have spent a great deal of time discussing Chausiais, the little freighter or barge that runs the freight between the Ile de Chausey and the mainland.

She’s usually been tied up at the ferry port or in the inner harbour but today I’ve actually been lucky enough to catch her on her travels, coming back from the ile de Chausey.

She’s down there now manoeuvring her way between a couple of yachts as she returns to the port after her little run out. I suppose that with all of the tourists and second-home owners being here fleeing the lockdown in Paris, she has plenty of work to do, ferrying the supplies out there to the island.

fishing boats waiting for port de Granville harbour to open Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom the end of the headland I followed the rail of yachts Chausiais and all of the fishing boats towards the harbour.

The harbour gates into the inner harbour aren’t open as yet but the time can’t be that far off because the queue of trawlers around them waiting to go in was quite oppressive. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many loitering around the harbour gates. Chausiais had quite a struggle to fight her way into her berth.

Earlier on we saw the portable boat lift wrapping her slings around lys noir but I didn’t hang around long enough to see what they were going to be doing with her. Instead, I carried on along the path.

spirit of conrad charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking around on the path above the harbour I’d noticed a sail being erected in the inner harbour. And earlier while I’d been fixing Caliburn’s door, I’d seen my neighbour Pierre who owns Spirit of Conrad in his working clothes leap into his car and drive off.

Putting 2 and 2 together, I assumed that it must be Spirit of Conrad that was having her sail hoisted, and it seems that I was quite right. It looks as if she’s being prepared for the sea again so I wonder where she might be going this time. We had fun on her when we were down the Brittany coast last summer.

Back at the apartment I had a coffee and then finished off the day’s photos from August 2019. I’m now on the Bozeman Trail at the site of the worst humiliation of the US Army at the hands of the native Americans prior to the battle of Little Big Horn where Colonel Fetterman and his entire troop of 79 soldiers and four civilian scouts were cut down by Red Cloud and his Sioux warriors.

Before guitar practice there was time for a little bit of the Central Europe trip and then I absorbed myself in music. And I didn’t really enjoy it al that much tonight. My heart wasn’t in it for some reason and I couldn’t really get going.

Tea was taco rolls and rice and veg, followed by some of my jam roly-poly and coconut dessert.

Tomorrow is going to be a Welsh revision day, I reckon, ready for the restart of my courses. I’m becoming far too rusty. I could do with an early night but I’m not going to get it today, that’s for sure. It’s late so I’m going straight to be. And I’m hoping to have pleasant dreams despite my new evening medicine which somehow has the effect of tranquilising me.

Sunday 10th January 2021 – IT WILL BE …

… of no surprise to anyone that I slept right through until about 11:00 this morning. Furthermore, it was 11:30 when I finally fell out of bed.

But then again, I do have to say that because of the deep sleep that I’d had earlier during the day, it wasn’t until about 02:30 that I went to bed this morning. And so the sleep wasn’t as deep and as long as it might otherwise have been.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. We were off on another coach trip. We were leaving from some kind of stately home and there were 2 coaches there. Ours was pretty much full – there were only about 3 or 4 seats so we were all waiting around. One of the coaches pulled up. It happened to be ours so we all scrambled aboard and the driver set off. I had a look round and there were more empty seats on this coach than I remembered but I couldn’t see anyone running after the coach. We reached the end of the driveway and had to cross the traffic and turn – we had to wait for a gap. I looked around and there was still no-one running after the coach. Well, it must be right but there were more empty seats than I remembered. We set off but by now we were on foot, walking. We had a load of giant dolls with us, about 3 feet tall. They were walking. One doll was a female and another was a male. The male was about 40 and the female doll looked as if she was in her late 20s. Someone made a joke about what a good couple they would make and the female doll said “we’ve already had a kiss and he didn’t seem all that interested” and she started ordering him about, this doll, to give her another kiss. It was really funny, this doll giving these orders like this. We were walking up West Street and one of the girls with us was spotting golf balls so we were making jokes about her and her golf balls. There was one that we went past but she didn’t bother to pick it up so we had a few jokes about that. But while we’d been on the bus some people had lapel badges about something or other. Someone had done a deal but hadn’t let on – he’d passed an order around and people had ordered and paid him for these but instead of sending off to buy them he pocketed the money and had some cheap substitutes made. One of the people on the coach actually belonged to this organisation and he could tell straight away that these badges were false so he made the people buy the right ones and pay the money for it. I was keeping a low profile about this because although I wasn’t involved, I knew what had gone on and I was afraid that my name would be mentioned in this connection by someone or other.

That brought me all the way round to lunchtime and so I went off and had a bowl of porridge

After lunch, I went off on a cookery afternoon.

First task was to mix up a pile of dough for the next three pizza bases as I have now run out. That flour mix stuff that I found in Belgium when I was there in November is really good and did a great job. I’ll be sorry when it runs out.

Next stop was to deal with the next load of kefir as I’m running low.

orange kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I was in LeClerc on Saturday I noticed that they had a pile of juice oranges so I bought a bag of a couple of kilos so I took four of them and whizzed them in my whizzer. I strained them through my filter stack into my large jug and then added most of the kefir that had been brewing for a few days.

Leaving an inch or so in the jar, I made up another batch for a few days later.

Having mixed the kefir and the orange juice in the large jug, I filtered it back through the filter stack into the bottles. And this will keep me going for the next 5 days.

yacht english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was time to go off for my afternoon walk around the headland.

There were quite a few people walking around too because although it was cold and windy, it was quite nice and sunlight. The wind was such that there were several yachts out there on the water having a good sail around. This one here was out in the English Channel on its way back presumably from the Ile de Chausey.

For some reason that I didn’t understand, the path was al churned up and muddy so I had to pick my way around the mud on my way along the top of the cliffs.

sunset baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAcross the lawn and down the path across the car park, I ended up at the end of the headland looking out to sea.

There was nothing going on out there to sea as far as boats go, but there was yet another example of a really nice sunset this afternoon. The rays of the sun was pouring through the gaps in the clouds and illuminating the sea right in the middle of the channel.

There were quite a few people out there admiring the sunset and this view this afternoon, and I left them to it as I walked on around the headland and down the path on the other side.

yacht chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale, I had a look down to see how they were getting on.

The trawler was still there up on its blocks and the yacht was still there too. But there were some people on board in protective uniforms and it seemed to me that they were painting the boat. It certainly looks better than it has done from that point of view, although this isn’t really the weather to be out there painting.

There was nothing else going on in the harbour so I came on back home and made myself a nice hot mug of coffee and prepared to start work on some more cookery items.

First of all I fed the sourdough – mustn’t forget that. I need to keep that going even if I’m not having much success right now.

The pizza dough had risen nicely so I needed it again and split it into three. Two of them I rolled in oil, wrapped in baking paper, put in a plastic bag and bunged them in the freezer.

The third one I rolled out and put it into the pizza tray and put it on one side.

Next off I made some pastry and having rolled it, I lined a pie dish with it. There are plenty of half-open jars of strawberry jam around here so I tipped some into the pie dish and put a pastry lid on top and sealed it down and brushed it with milk and water.

With the pastry left over I made a jam turnover and then put the pie and turnover in the oven to bake.

While that was cooking, I prepared a vegan pizza and when the pie and turnover were cooked I took them out and put the pizza in.

rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile the pizza was cooking I headed off for my evening walk around the medieval walls.

Once again, I was all on my own out there except for a couple walking their dog, so I could do my running bits quite happily. At the viewpoint overlooking the town I took a photo of the Rue Pau Poirier just to prove that I was out there and then I turned for home and ran across the Place Maurice Marland.

It was so quiet out there and there was so little going on that I don’t really remember anything about the trip home. However I did run the last length back home again just to keep going.br clear=”both”>

strawberry jam pie strawberry jam turnover vegan pizza place d'armes  Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now the pizza was cooked so I took it out of the oven. And here we are – doesn’t it look delicious? The jam pie and the turnover look really nice.

The pizza was delicious too, although the tomato sauce wasn’t as I would have liked because having forgotten to buy any tomato sauce I’d ended up with a jar of tomato and aubergine purée to use as a base. And as for the jam pie and turnover, I’ll tell you about that tomorrow as I wasn’t hungry after my pizza.

Now I’ve written my notes, I’m off to bed. I’ve had a short day but if I’m not too well I don’t want to push my luck. I need to take it easy until I’m feeling better, whenever that might be.

After all, I have to start back to work in the morning with a radio programme to do.

Friday 18th December 2020 – AS YOU PROBABLY …

… might have guessed – after yesterday there was no hope whatever of my beating the third alarm to my feet. Not a hope.

In fact it was 09:35 when I finally shook off whatever it was that I was suffering from and arose from the dead.

After the medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone. And while I might not have been here in body, I was certainly out and about in spirit.

We started off in the living room in Shavington and there were piles of us there – we’d got ourselves into little groups. Suddenly another 11 children arrived and we had to add a couple of children to each of the groups. Not being able to find anything and not being able to think of a good way of doing it I cut up a paper into 8 with 8 squares because 2 of the kids were quite well known to us and one of the leaders of one of the groups immediately bagged them as soon as they walked in. That left 8 or 9, maybe there was 1 left over. The idea was that someone would call out say 1 and 2, or 7 and 4 or 3 and 1 or something and that way have these kids allocated. This took so long in doing, for reasons that I don’t understand – there was a dog asleep on the sofa and I couldn’t find half my paperwork, I’d lost my keys and there was something that I knew before I went to bed that I couldn’t find. And everyone had crashed out to sleep in a heap anyway so it wouldn’t make any difference whose group anyone went to.

Later, we’d been off on a University field trip. Again, we’d been divided into groups and we’d been to visit all of these particular sites. Our group came across a particular site where there was a destroyed statue or cairn or something and the remains of what was quite classed quite clearly as an Iron-Age fort. We reckoned that there had been a battle here maybe and that the fort had been overwhelmed by the Romans and they had built a Victory cairn. of course, time had weathered everything away. The tutor came to see how we were doing and we showed her this and explained our theory. She was immediately all excited and said “there’s a Mr so-and-so coming round with another group. Make sure that one of you grabs hold of him and show him all of this”. Of course I had the short straw so I had to stay behind while they all moved off but I forgot his name so that wasn’t any good. When I tried to ask each group that came along, no-one would actually identify themselves as being this special person doing this special research. By then it was almost time to go home and everyone was congregating down at the bottom so I went down to the bottom and there were 1 or 2 more groups that I hadn’t seen who hadn’t made it round yet so I asked them. Someone stepped forward but this person didn’t correspond with the description that I’d been given. I don’t think that I ever solved that particular problem about finding that person and showing them that sight.

Still plenty to go at yet. I was next somewhere around the Crewe Road in Nantwich. I was looking in a driveway and there was a shoot of what looked like one of these ground alder trees pushing up. I took hold of it and pulled it to pull it up but off shot this root. I had to follow this root and it went for a couple of hundred yards all the way down Crewe Road pulling it up out of the tarmac. In the end I thought “this is going to go on for ever” so I cut it off with a pair of sharp scissors, making sure that I did it behind a bud. Then I had to go and wash my hands that were filthy so I went into a garage of a house – the door was open. I had a look but there was no water in there but the drain was like a drain down from the house above the garage went off in a 90° elbow but the pipe that it went into wasn’t a tight fit at all – just something pushed over and was dripping away. I pulled it apart to clean it but I lost a piece, the drain plug underneath the elbow. I had to reassemble it but still it wouldn’t go on correctly – there was this piece missing too. In the end I found the piece and put it in but the junction was no better and probably even worse than it was before I’d started messing with it. In the end, after having been there for about 10 minutes I just left it and thought that the occupier will have to deal wit it when he realises that he has a really bad leak worse than he had before.

Finally there were 2 of us inside this hospital ward, me and a woman or girl. I can’t remember how this started now but we were in there talking away and I thought “I’d better go and put some clothes on in a moment” so I looked around for a dressing gown but thought “no, I may as well go down to my bed” which was a few floors below. Off I set down the stairs but someone accosted me going down the stairs and asked “do you think that there ought to be separate stairs for patients?”. I couldn’t be bothered about that so I said “yes, absolutely right” and trotted off down these stairs and ended up at my bed on floor Minus 2. it was really early in the morning and a lot of people were still asleep even though the alarm had gone off a long while ago. I had a chat with a few people while I made my bed and then went to make myself a coffee in the put but it turned out that I made soup instead – I must have opened the wrong sachet and there were these dehydrated vegetables everywhere. The lid of the pot was on wrong and that wasn’t going to help matters any. I was having a bit of a moan about this. I noticed that there was a little girl in bed, about 4 or so, asleep in one of the beds, fast asleep with her arms open really wide as if she was hugging something. I remembered that she has her big teddy bear in the cupboard underneath her bed so I thought “wouldn’t it be nice if I got her teddy out and put it on her bed so she could put her arms round it and cuddle it while she was asleep?”. Then I had another thought that I’d better get dressed, but how was I going to remember where this room was that I’d just come from that I’d go back and meet this woman? Then I realised that with it being to common day room of our particular ward it should be written on a piece of paper somewhere on a list so I ought to go and find this list and check to see which room it was that I had just come from.

With all of that going on, it’s hardly surprising that I didn’t leave the bed until 09:35, is it?

And it goes without saying that it took me all of the morning to type out all of that.

Next task was to book my few days in Belgium. Much to my surprise, the trains are actually running according to the timetable (although there is still plenty of time for all that to change of course) and in view of the fact that I had a Christmas bonus voucher from the SNCF the price of the return ticket to Brussels – 1300 kilometres of which about half is undertaken on a TGV – came to just €121:00. I reckon that that’s about the cheapest that I’ve had.

My departure is on Monday 28th December and my return will be on Sunday 3rd January, so I’ll be celebrating New Year in Belgium.

After lunch, I had a look at the kefir.

This morning I finished one of the bottles which mean that the last bottle of Kiwi Kefir went in the fridge. The next batch is ready and so I attended to that. 4 of the clementines went in the whizzer and were whizzed up nicely to extract the juice which was then passed through my nest of filters into the large 3-litre jug.

clementine kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe kefir was then poured through the nest of filters into the jug, leaving about an inch of the mother solution behind. 40 grammes (7 large lumps) of sugar, half a lemon cut into slices and a dried fig cut in half went in too, and then the bottle was filled up with 2.5 litres of water and the top sealed.

The clementine kefir was then run back through the fine filter and funnelled into the various bottles that I use, and here’s the finished solution.

That’s enough for about 5 days of medication in the morning and if it works properly (and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t) it will be delicious. I like my Clementine kefir, but I’m going to have to experiment with other varieties.

Next step, which I mustn’t forget, is to feed the sourdough. As I said, my next batch of bread is going to be a standard batch of yeast bread, just to see whether it’s my technique at fault, but I’m not going to completely abandon the idea of sourdough.

Despite still not feeling very well, I wasn’t going to let it prevent me from heading out to my afternoon walk around the headland.

colours in water rainstorm ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while it wasn’t as yet raining, I could see that at any moment it was about to, and I’m glad that i’d donned my raincoat.

You can see from here that the Ile de Chausey is shrouded in a rainstorm and quite luckily at the moment the wind is blowing out to sea. The moment the wind drops we’ll be getting all of that on our heads.

And you’ll notice that other weird phenomenon that we have sometimes over here too. The different colours in the water there. And I wish that I had a tame oceanographer handy who could explain it all to me.

marine debris peche a pied Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe high winds and damp weather were keeping most people indoors this afernoon. There can’t have been more than half a dozen folk out there this afternoon.

But there was at least one brave soul out there this afternoon. After I’d walked around the headland and started back on the other side I came across this guy out there having a go at the peche à pied to see what he could find.

And while we don’t usually see much marine debris around here, and I’ve never known for sure why, there’s some in this photo. What looks like a concrete block to his right and a sheet of moulded composite board further over.

yacht chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a little cabin cruiser in the chantier navale.

You’ll remember that I speculated that it wouldn’t be around here for very long, and it seems that I was right on that score because here she is today, gone. Conspicuous by her absence.

As for the big yacht that’s been in here since time immemorial, it looks as if she’s having a new coat of paint. So here’s hoping that the rainstorm is going to keep well away until it’s dried. It’s really not the kind of weather to be out there painting anything right now.

As for me, it wasn’t the kind of weather for me to be out there either. I came on back home for a coffee.

After the coffee I spent an hour or so working on the arrears of the summer, and then knocked off for guitar practice, which went much better. I discovered that I could even play the bass to “White Wedding” while I’m singing it, which would have astonished me three months ago.
“Hey little sister, what do you think about that?”
“It’s a nice day to start again.”

christmas lights rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallPutting down the guitar I was back out again quite quickly for my evening runs.

And it seems that I’ve started a trend. I had a letter put through my letter box by one of my neighbours to thank me for brightening up the place with my lights, and it seems that the guy who lives in the house by the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord has decided to follow suit.

There were plenty of fishing boats out there tonight but I imagine that you are pretty sick of seeing substandard photos of blurred boats beating a retreat across the Bay back to port, so I left them alone. Instead I ran on all the way round to the viewpoint over looking the Place Marechal Foch, a rund that I do in three legs, rather lake Jake The Peg.

christmas lights rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing happening there but seeing as it was before 19:30 all of the lights on the shops in the Rue Paul Poirier were illuminated.

We’d missed them by a tiny fraction of a second yesterday and I was determined not to miss them today to make up for it.

The run across the Square Maurice Marland was totally painful. I wasn’t feeling so good and the runs up to this point had been difficult, but trying to run into the teeth of a gale was agonising. I really struggled to make it across to the other side and had to stop for a few minutes.

Nothing much happening anywhere else so I ran on home from the walls and started to make tea.

And tea was very pleasant tonight because I had company. Not physical company, I hasten to add, but my friend Esi who lives in Brussels was having a Zoom party so while I was eating my tea I joined in. Curry and rice with convivial chat for an hour or so was very nice indeed and made a pleasant change. There were about a dozen or so of us all told.

But I had to leave after a while because there’s football on the internet. Caernarfon v Y Drenewydd, with the latter badly in need of some points.

But you can’t play football in a monsoon with a howling gale blowing the ball anywhere except where you want it to go. The Cofis, playing with the wind in the 1st half scored the first goal even though Newtown had the better of the chances, but in the 2nd half the boot was on the other foot as the wind helped Newtown move up the field.

And after about 75 minutes, you could se the light go on in the head of Chris Hughes, the manager of Y Drenewydd. Sitting on his bench was Jake Phillips, who probably has the longest throw in professional football right now. And with the wind behind him, he should have been on from the restart.

But onto the field he trotted – and his first task before he’d even entered the pitch was to take a throw-in. He heaved a really long throw right into the penalty area, helped by the wind. It was headed on by a Newtown attacker to a colleague who slotted it into the net to equalise.

And that’s how the game ended – one goal each. It could have been more but Tibbetts in the Cofis goal had an excellent game to keep Newtown out, but this match was never going to be entertaining in the weather that they were having and I was glad to be undercover in my apartment.

Bed now and shopping tomorrow, if I can remember to wake up in time. There’s so much that I need to buy for my Christmas cooking and it isn’t going to be easy. I’ll have to scan through my recipes before I set out and see what I need.

Thursday 17th December 2020 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

… day I’ve had today.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile you admire a couple of photos of Thora leaving port under cover of darkness, let me tell you all about it.

And it all went wrong rght at the start when I missed the third alarm. And missed it by a good 35 minutes too which is extremely disappointed. It wasn’t as if I had had a late night last night either. I was actually in bed at about 23:30 which is early for me these days.

And so there I was, late again. I hauled myself off (eventually) into the kitchen for my medication and morning kefir. Kiwi kefir, which was my favourite until I discovered that clementines work well in it too (note to self – “buy more clementines”.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd then back to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been.

We were out somewhere driving last night and we got to Liège on the motorway – we’d been driving on the left as in the UK down a steep bank and everyone was going past me but I thought that when we reach the hill back up on the other side I’ll catch up with them because I had the cruise control set which will carry me on as they slow down – but we had to come off at Liège for some reason at the exit, down the slip road and turn left because the central reservation was closed off and it took us up to the Liège by-pass and we expected to be able to double back and return to the motorway again there. But apparently not. There were riot police and barbed wire all over the place. It turned out that there was a football match taking place in Liège that night between Standard Liège and some European opponent. I thought “this is some extreme to go to because of this football match” we had to inch our way along the ring road until we could arrive at the next junction. Someone else in the queue at the traffic lights to whom I was chatting counted that there were 7 sets of traffic lights between where we were and that next junction. While we were inching our way along, someone in a red Cortina S registered estate drove out of a side alley. Admittedly he was going slowly and it was impossible to see but it took me completely by surprise and nearly hit it. Then I ended up back at the EU and they were proposing a judo class so I went along to the opening lesson. There was a guy there interviewing all of the people there who wanted to join, asking about their experience. Of course with being the last to arrive they kept me until last. Then they came over to me, asked my name and what I did. I replied “as little as possible, like everyone else”. He gave me one of these tired, worn-out looks and went over to the computer screen to look up my details. I thought “if he wanted my details he should have asked for that instead of asking a silly question”. He started to scroll through but couldn’t see my name. I asked “why don’t you type me name on the screen and it will scroll right through to my name”. He replied “it won’t do that”. I said that it had been doing that for 20 years that I know of. He replied that there had been problems with the computer and it doesn’t do that. I had a look at the screen. It was all burnt and mangled, and looked a bit like a relief map of a railway line and a railway station. I was surprised that it was working at all looking like a mess like this

Having transcribed that, which took longer than it might have done, I had half an hour or so on the arrears of work from the summer before going for a shower and getting ready to go out to the shops.

normandy trader thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt looks very much as if we have a full house today down in the port right now.

Thora is still here after her adventures last night, and it’s been pretty common knowledge that Normandy Trader is really busy, so it’s no surprise to see her in port this morning.

She set out at about 03:00 so I’m told, so she’s come in on the morning tide and so Thora has had to move off into the gravel-loading bay in order to allow Normandy Trader to moor underneath the crane in order to be unloaded

I struggled up to LIDL though – not quite as bad as the last tie I went, but near enough. And I didn’t buy much today because I didn’t really need anything special. They had those nice multi-coloured AAA batteries on offer so I bought 2 packs to use for the high-quality equipment. And the clementines of course.

citroen saxo tyres marked rue st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe way home usually brings me down the Ru St Paul and for the past however many months there’s been a Citroen Saxo parked here. One of its windows is broken and it looks pretty much abandoned to me.

And it seems that the local council has noticed too, because since the last time that I was down here they have tagged the tyres and the road where she’s parked. The intention would seem to be to come back in after a reasonable period of time to check whether or not she has moved at all.

And if not, she’ll be taken away for disposal, I imagine.

But this tagging is interesting. In the old days the officials would note in their notebooks the position of the tyre valves in order to determine if a vehicle had or hadn’t moved. I suppose that there’s only me these days who still goes around with a notebook

Back here after a slow, weary crawl up the hill (noticing that Normandy Trader has already cleared off and that was a rapid turn-round, wasn’t it) I made myself a hot chocolate and cut myself a slice of fruit bread. And this is when I started to have problems because after about half an hour or so, no matter how many things I had to do, I crashed out completely.

And I DO mean “completely” too. It was 14:09 when I next glanced at the time – about 2.5 hours after I’d sat down. And it took me another half-hour to summon up the strength to leave the chair in search of food. You’ve no idea just how depressing that was today on top of the really bad start to the day.

But at least after lunch I managed to fit Caliburn’s new battery and he starts perfectly now too. He’s in need of a good run-out though so we might go for a little trip out on Saturday if I’m feeling up to it.

buoy people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite how I was feeling, I wasn’t going to go and miss my afternoon walk.

And neither did anyone else by the looks of things, that’s all I can say because it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the paths as crowded as they were today. Even down on the beach there were hordes of people moving around in the beautiful sunshine enjoying what may well be the last of the good weather.

And at the top of the photo towards the right you’ll notice a bright yellow buoy of some description. I’d be surprised if it were a lobster pot, so close into the shore at low tide, but who knows what it might be?

Threading my way through the throngs, I walked on along the footpath. Nothing else happening here so I walked across the lawn and the car park to the headland.

yacht cabin cruiser chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing doing there either so I walked along the path at the top of the cliffs to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale.

And it seems that we have a new tenant in there today. But it’s nothing to get excited about unfortunately. It’s only a very small cabin cruiser-type of boat and I don’t imagine that it’s going to be in there for very long, or that it will need all that much attention either.

We could do with a return to the heady days of late summer when we had as many as 9 of the largest types of boat in there receiving attention and there wasn’t room in there to swing a cat.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut down in the harbour, Thora is still there. She ended up not going out on the tail of the morning tide.

But interestingly, we saw in this morning’s photo that there was an articulated lorry pulling a trailer on which were two old shabby sea containers. The lorry and trailer have gone, but the sea containers are now on the quayside right by Thora. I wonder if she’s going to be taking them with her when she goes.

As for me, I must be going too. A nice hot coffee awaits me and I can’t say that I don’t need it. I need something to bring me to my senses, such as they are.

Back here, I did week 2 of my Welsh homework and then carried on with the arrears of work, making very little progress unfortunately. I just can’t seem to fire up the energy.

There was the hour on the guitars of course, which was quite enjoyable, except that I forgot my bass line to “Street Fighting Man” and that was disappointing. too. It’s not a very good day

In accordance with new procedures, it was time for me to go for my evening run about.

fishing boats english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou might have seen in the previous photos for earlier today that the tidal port was quite empty. There was hardly a fishing boat to be seen. And in case you are wondering where they all went, they are here.

In this photo I counted 12 fishing boats on their way back home now that the tide is a-cumen in. And there were probably just as many that didn’t make it into the frame as well.

What’s happening, I reckon, is that they are all out there catching what they can before the curtain comes down on fishing in the Bay on 31st December.

And while we’re on this subject, I heard the report of the meeting that took place the other day between the local fishermen. Basically, they have agreed that if they are restricted from the fishing grounds that were agreed under the Treaty of the Bay of Granville in 1836, then no British fishing boat will be allowed to land its catch in France.

This will complicate matters for our two coastal freighters, particularly Normandy Trader which is chartered by the Co-operative of Jersey Fishermen to bring their catch into Granville.

But I’m just surprised that they didn’t propose to cut the underwater cable that provides the Channel Islands with electricity. All of their electricity comes from here, and my way of thinking is that if they want to cut themselves off from Europe and from their obligations, then they can do, but that’s the kind of thing that works both ways.

donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord I ran off down the road until my next rest point. And I’m slowly pushing it a little further up the steep hill that’s there.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that very occasionally we have seen some very bright lights at the back of Donville les Bains, and we’ve been wondering what they might be. They were there again tonight so I took a photo o that I might have a closer look when I returned home, but nothing evident showed itself

The football ground is in that general direction, but when I was there, I don’t recall it having floodlights

christmas lights rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe next two legs of my run have changed a little. In view of the floods on the footpath I now go along the road and down the steps half-way along near the Place de l’Isthme

There wasn’t anything going on around here so I wandered over to the side. The Christmas lights in the Rue Paul Poirier were looking really good tonight. Both of the big green crosses for the chemists in the street were flashing away but as my first photo of it didn’t work too well I deleted it and went to take another.

And just as I clicked the shutter, not one but BOTH of the lights were switched off. 19:30 bang on the button. Closing time, I reckon.

crescent moon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there I ran off across the Square Maurice Marland, straight intothe teeth of a roaring gale. I don’t know what had happened but the wind has suddenly picked up.

But as I walked up the ramp at the far end, this was far too good an opportunity to miss. the winds had blown away all of the clouds and this beautiful little sliver of a crescent moon appeared through the trees. It’s not really worked out unfortunately but never mind.

And if you look tothe left of the photograph, you’ll see the ramp that leads up to the viewpoint here that overlooks the port.

chausiais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo I walked up the ramp to the viewpoint to see what was going on there in the port.

And I was treated to another beautiful display of nautical danse macabres as a little freighter steamed … “dieseled” – ed … into port with all of its lights ablaze. At first I thought that it was Normandy Trader either forgotten something or else she’s dome a most amazingly rapid turnround back in St Helier.

But not even Normandy Trader can turn round that quickly. It is in fact Chausiais who now wants a go at the loading crane, but she’s not going to be having that for a while.

thora marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd the reason for this is that, surprisingly, Thora is still in port next to Marité. She seems to be taking her time getting in and out these days.

So I watched the procedure for a few minutes and then headed home.

As you saw at the beginning, just after I moved away Marité slipped her moorings and headed off out into the open sea on her way home again and Chausiais slid into the vacant berth.

having put my tea in the oven before I set out, I came back home to hot pie and baled potatoes with veg and gravy followed by rice pudding. Fresh sprouts were on the menu today, and with some steamed frozen broccoli it was all totally delicious.

Now that I’ve written up my notes, I’m off to bed. later than I intended, but that’s how things are these days.

There’s plenty of work to do tomorrow, a few ‘phone calls to make and that sort of thing, and then of course the arrears to attend to. So here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow than I did today. It was all quite depressing what with one thig and another.

But I am noticing little deteriorations in my health here and there. People with this illness have already died during the length of time that I have had it, and while I’m being very careful about what I do, who I meet and what I eat, and about keeping fit, I can’t go on for ever.

We’ll see what the future brings to me.

Saturday 12th December 2020 – I DIDN’T …

… go to the shops today. I went outside to start Caliburn but his battery was flat and he wouldn’t start.

The battery has been somewhat feeble for a while so it’s not a big deal, and it was a second-hand battery anyway. So I’ve ordered a new one off the internet and it’ll be here by the end of next week. I can survive by that.

Last night’s late night meant that I only had 4.5 hours or so of sleep, and it felt like it too. But I still managed to beat the third alarm to my feet. After the meds and a shower I made a start on the arrears again until it was time to leave.

With Caliburn not starting, I took his battery off and put it on charge (and that battery charger took some finding too) to see what it might do. But it’s only a trickle-charger and with the battery being down at 11.7 volts it’s going to take quite a while to build up the charge and to hope that the battery will hold it.

The time that I spent at the shops, I chose the rest of the music for the radio programme that I’ll be recording on Monday. I might have to nip out to the shops on Monday for the supplies that I didn’t buy today so I need to be in advance and not waste the time. Let’s see what good I can do with all of that tomorrow if we have time.

christmas tree place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter lunch I had a go at putting up the Christmas decorations. Even though I don’t feel at all festive, I ought to make some kind of effort and make it look as if I’m enjoying myself.

And so I erected my little tree and stuck the Christmas balls on it, and then wrapped a garland of LED lights around it. Now the living room looks a little better and brighter as if Christmas is actually going to come.

And while I was at it, I switched on the heating in there too. The temperature has dropped alarmingly right now and winter is on its way.

christmas decorations place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was looking for the battery charger I came across another garland of LED lights that I couldn’t remember ever buying.

So while I was at it, I strung them up in the window in the dining area (which wasn’t easy) and then switched them on.

Now it looks extremely festive – but I do have to say that this will be all that I’m doing as far as Christmas goes. I just want t find some marzipan to go on top of my ginger spice cake, and some seitan slices for my Christmas dinner to go with my roast potatoes.

But all of that wiped me out and I ended up having 20 minutes of deep sleep on the chair. And when I say “deep” I DO mean “deep”. In fact I even went off on my travels. I was working in an office and all of the desks were arranged rather strangely in it. Mine was tucked away behind the door so when it was opened you couldn’t see me. I was doing something and ended up having to go for a wander around the building and a group of people was congregating by the door. I said something along the lines of “it says here that we have to get to know new people and make friends with them. If this next next girl who arrives has won £5,000 on the lottery I shall certainly be making friends with her!” Everyone immediately turned round and said “what new girl? Has she really won the money on the lottery?” they hadn’t realised that I was just being funny and making a wisecrack. They were taking it all so seriously. I thought that it’s best to get on my way. I picked up this coat which was like a cardigan but big and heavy and went all the way down to your calves. I really liked this. I thought that it was wonderful so I picked it up and started to walk back to my desk but someone else came up to me and started to talk about this girl again. I thought “my God, what have I started now?”

st martin de brehal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was time now for me to go out for my afternoon walk before anyone rang me up and detained me.

It was another one of those days where everywhere was overcast and with the odd gaps in the clouds with the sun shining through. And through one of the gaps the sun was shining right onto the town of St Martin de Brehal and illuminating it like something on stage in a theatre.

We’ve seen quite a few views similar to this before but this is certainly one of the best that we have seen.

rainstorm brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOff I trotted along the path around the headland and if we look in that direction things are somewhat different over there.

That is the West over there and the sun goes down in that direction, so it’s usually brighter. But there’s another exciting phenomenon over there in that despite the brightness, there’s a huge rainstorm going on down the Brittany coast. Someone is having a soaking and no mistake.

We were lucky at the moment because we were still in the dry but there was no doubt that it was on its way. There were a few others out there but everyone was slowly heading away.

sunlight cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route continued across the lawn and across the car park to see what was going on out in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And today, we are treated to probably the best view that we have ever had of Cancale in Brittany. Over there on the top of its cliff the church and some of the building stands out really well in silhouette against the very bright sky in the background.

And then of course we have a rainstorm as well over to the right. That’s a terrific rainstorm too and I wouldn’t like to be out there in that when it makes it over here.

yacht waves sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd so I headed off homewards along the top of the cliff down the other side of the headland.

The wind was blowing extremely strongly but as yesterday, blowing in the wrong direction and so despite the high tide, the waves weren’t crashing onto the sea wall at all but rolling off around the end. That’s rather a shame. I was expecting quite a show this afternoon. The guy walking around the top will be pretty safe but the yacht will be having a bit of a rough time.

With nothing else much going on outside today, I turned and headed for home and my mug of hot coffee. And the football on the internet. It was that time already.

A top-of-the-table crunch match between perennial champions TNS and Connah’s Quay Nomads, the team that was adjudged to have won the championship in the curtailed season last time round. In the first 5 minutes TNS had three gilt-edged chances to score but Nomads reserve keeper Oliver Byrne did really well to keep them out.

As the game developed it was clear to me at least that while TNS were playing the more skilful football, they didn’t look likely to score. Nothing seemed to be going their way up front. And neither did the Nomads, until all of a sudden round about the 60th minutes, when the Nomads scored 2 goals out of nothing at all, one right after the other.

There was a strange team selection out there, and then the manager made a strange decision in a couple of substitutions that saw them play for about 10 minutes without a striker at all. When they finally did bring Greg Draper on to play up front, it was far too late to do any good and the Nomads held on to win and draw level at the top of the table.

But I was bewildered by the TNS side. Greg Draper is by far the most lethal striker who has ever played in the Welsh Premier League but for reasons about which I can only speculate he only plays for about 15 minutes of every match. if he’s fit and healthy, he should be on the field for 90 minutes every match.

And Anton Cieslewicz is the most difficult, solid, aggressive attacking midfielder to play against and who would also be one of the first names on my team sheet, but he was also on the bench and I didn’t understand that decision either.

Both he and Draper should have been on the pitch from the start and have put some steel into the TNS side. Once Ebbe missed those couple of sitters he drifted right out of the game and Mullan was totally anonymous throughout the match.

Tea was a burger on a bap followed by a slice of frozen apple pie with the last of the banana sorbet. And now that there’s plenty of room in the freezer I could freeze the remainder of the curry from yesterday. As you can gather, I’m starting to fill up the freezer with cooked meals again having been through and slowly emptied it over the last 6 months.

man installing christmas decorations rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halllater on I went out for my evening run around the walls, and I’ve never ever felt less like doing it than I did this evening.

But at least I had a little smile to myself as I went down the Rue St Jean. It seems that I’m not the only person putting up Christmas decorations this evening. This guy was out there stringing up a few of them outside his house.

having taken my photograph I drew my breath for a while and then headed off down the Rue du Nord at a run. I didn’t go down the footpath because of the state of the footpath and all of the rain that we have been having, so I carried on to the Place de l’Isthme.

christmas lights rue paul poirier place des corsaires Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was up there I walked across to the other side and there, there was a view that I hadn’t seen before.

Well, I had, but not at night with the Christmas lights in the Place des Corsaires. We haven’t seen them yet so I took a photo.

As an aside, starting on the 15th of December there’s a curfew of 20:00, with just a pause on Christmas Eve so that’s going to be the only chance that I’ll have to take a photo of them, so you can bet your life there will be a torrential downpour on Christmas Eve.

christmas lights place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith no-one about I ran on across the Square Maurice Marland and then walked around the walls.

From up on the walls there was a good view of the Christmas lights in my apartment. Unfortunately we can’t see the lights from the Christmas Tree which is a shame. And so I carried on home to write up my notes for the day.

Sunday is a Day of Rest but I have to make some fruit bread for next week. Much as I like my chocolate cake, it’s far too fattening, I reckon. We’ll see how the fruit bread goes. Luckily I have a banana left.

And then I need to find the time to combine into pairs the music that I’ve chosen for next week. If I can do that tomorrow I’ll be where I want to be and hopefully I can go shopping on Monday afternoon with the radio programme finished.

We shall see.