Tag Archives: rue st jean

Tuesday 17th May 2022 – YOU ARE PROBABLY …

… just as fed up as I am about hearing about how bad my days are becoming these days. If nothing changes over the next couple of days I’m going to cut out all of these new medications because I can’t keep on going like this.

Just for a change I actually managed to beat the second alarm to my feet. Only just, but I beat it nevertheless.

After the medication I came back in here and that was everything that I remember until 10:27. I was out like a light for almost 2.5 hours and that’s the kind of thing that fills me with dismay. In fact I was lucky that I awoke when I did because I had my Welsh lesson at 11:00 and I needed to prepare everything.

There wasn’t much time but I was actually ready and the lesson didn’t go too badly either. There weren’t all that many of us there either. It seems that numbers are dropping off these days. I wonder how long it will be before they merge our class with another one.

After lunch I had a few things to do and a phone call to make. Rosemary had called me in the middle of my lesson and I needed to call her back

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Later on it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

First port of call was the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down onto the beach and see what was happening down there.

The tide is well out this afternoon and the weather was totally glorious and so I was expecting to see crowds of people down there today. And I wasn’t wrong either.

Surprisingly there wasn’t anyone out there swimming around. If any day was going to be suitable for going in it up to your neck, it would have been today. It was actually 25°C when I went out.

beaches and buoys ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Sometimes when the tide is right out and the sun is shining, the beaches on the Ile de Chausey are quite clearly visible.

And today was one of those days. The beaches were looking marvellous. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of years ago when went off on our week away on the Spirit of Conrad we spent a night on board in that lagoon over there and a morning lounging about on the beach.

You can tell how high the tide comes in too by looking at the pillars on which the marker lights are installed. When the tide is in those lights are barely above the water.

diggers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There weren’t all that many people on the path this afternoon so I had it pretty much to myself.

But when I arrived at the car park at the end I could see the diggers and the other heavy machinery out there working.

Even though I can’t really see what they are doing, they have come quite a long way with this pipeline that they are laying. It looks without any doubt that that they are taking it down to below the level of the lowest tide.

Mind you, having seen some of the storms that we have in the bay I wonder how long the pipeline will last before the storm rips it out again.

people on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And whatever it is that they are doing out there, they have something of a crowd watching them doing it.

There were a few more people sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban admiring the machinery and the work that they were doing.

There wasn’t anything going on out at sea though. There wasn’t a single boat that I could see this afternoon. Some are tied up in port and the rest of them are right out in the bay fishing.

And so with nothing to detain me here I pushed off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was going on there this afternoon.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022As well as the plant and machinery out there in the bay there were other things that the people on the bench could admire, even if there were no water craft of any description out there.

With the tide being so low right now, the public ares of the beach are uncovered and so the crowds are out there this afternoon with their buckets, spades, gratters and other equipment seeing what they can harvest from the rocks.

You need something good and strong to prize to shellfish from the rocks because usually they cling like … errr … limpets. It’s what I suppose you would call “flexing your mussels”.

It’s not really a thing that interests me but regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we broadcast a live radio programme from down there a couple of years ago.

cn726519 l'oasis j158 l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022As I walked past the chantier naval I noticed that there had been yet again anothe rchange of occupancy today.

L’Ecume II is still there of course but I can’t see if Valeque is still there because in the way blocking my view is a completely new trawler whom we haven’t seen before.

She’s called L’Oasis and her registration number tells my why she’s new in town. It begins with “CN” and that seems to suggest that she’s registered in Caen.

All of the trawlers that sail out of Granville have registration numbers beginning with “CH” tat tells us that their port of registration is Cherbourg.

crane lorry port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One thing that I wanted to do was to have a closer look at the crane that I mentioned yesterday.

There’s a better view from here, but it still doesn’t tell me very much. It’s a “Mantsinen”, the same as the other one, but the name has been painted out. And even though the paintwork looks new, the tracks look old and used.

There are also a couple of guys working on it this afternoon too. All of this seems to suggest that it’s the same one that was here before but is in the process of being overhauled at the moment.

All will become clear over the course of the next few days, I reckon.

trans-shipment rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One of the things that I’ve mentioned before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … is the difficulty of moving things around when you live in a medieval walled city.

Many of the delivery vehicles are too tall to pass underneath the gate and into the city so they have to park up while they work out a way of trans-shipping the articles to their destination.

Back here I had a milk shake and then did some work. There was some stuff on the dictaphone so I transcribed all that. It was something like a scene from CONVOY. A whole group of truckers was on the run again. What they were actually doing was that they had something to do with buffaloes, a ranch or something where they were rearing buffaloes from eggs. It was a whole really complicated scenario there about these eggs, how they were recuperated, how they were hatched artificially into more buffaloes etc. This was a real technological marvel and the IRS was involved in it. It was such a complicated system of rearing these eggs that the whole world’s attention was focused on what was going on here insofar as it affected these truckers who were in dispute with their Government. It was easy to see how they were being prejudiced against when they even saw churches that were totally ruined still doing things to support the Government by opposing the lorry drivers’ movement. We saw one new church where all the members had been arrested even though they were no danger to anyone about anything. It was only the power of these truck drivers that was keeping them out and their interest that this project with these buffalo eggs had created.

And then I was in one of my old offices and I bumped into my old boss Norma. She said “I have,’t seen your time sheets for ages, Eric. Do you have them?”. I replied “yes, they are on my desk”. She said “could you let me have them by Friiday?” We had a long chat about this and that. Then I went out into the main office to find my desk. I had STRAWBERRY MOOSE with me. Someone asked where I was on Saturday. “We didn’t see you in here”. I asked “why didn’t anyone tell me that there was overtime on Saturday?”. “Well, you should have known” was the reply. When I reached my desk there was no chair there so I had to hunt round the office for a spare chair. In the end someone made some kind of underhand comment about where there was a chair so I went and found one and put it back. It was covered in dist so I had to tip it out and clean it. While I was sitting there one of the other girls came over and asked “what’s the matter Eric? Are we friends or something?”. I replied “nothing’s changed as far as I know”. They seemed to think that I was offended by something or upset by something which I wasn’t really. It was just my normal usual grouchy self but they seemed to have it in their heads that for some unknown reason I was upset or offended. I couldn’t seem to persuade them otherwise.

That took me right up to tea time. There was some stuffing left over from yesterday so I had another delicious taco roll with rice and vegetables.

So now I’m off to bed. Hopefully I’ll have a good night and a decent start tomorrow as I’m sick to the back teeth of all of this.

Tuesday 4th January 2022 – IT LOOKS AS IF …

lorry trailer minidigger porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022… the work in the Rue st Michel might be finished

While I was on my way back from my afternoon walk I noticed the lorry parked up at the Porte St Jean. It was busy pulling a trailer on which was loaded the mini-digger and various other bits and pieces that I’d seen down at the Rue St Michel.

And then it drove off with the trailer behind it and disappeared down the road. I went back home for my coffee and a rest.

And I’m not sure why I needed a rest because for a change, I’d had one of the best nights’ sleep that I’ve had for ages. Although I couldn’t summon up the energy to go to bed anything like as early as I was hoping, I was out like a light and didn’t awaken until the alarm went off at 07:30.

Definitely the Sleep Of The Dead last night.

There had been plenty of time to go off for a wander around during. I was at a party last night, getting my cat ready to stay with someone. I was rolling up some paper into a ball for it to play with. I was talking to one of these young bespectacled boys who know everything. We were talking about the moon. he asked if we could see it from where I was standing. At first I couldn’t, and then I saw it through the trees. He said that there was a planet just to the right of it so why don’t we go outside and look at it?. I thought that I’d take my camera with me as well. He said something about something that was on it. As we were preparing to go 2 of my friends turned up. They said basically “you don’t want to go out and look at that thing. It’s dangerous, horrible. I said that I don’t understand that because this thing, whatever it is, is a natural phenomenon and grows on the moon. It’s nothing man-made and nothing dangerous to which they said “okay, yes, we’ll take your word for it” so I started to prepare myself to go outside to have a look at the moon and this planet that was right close to it.

There was something to do with aeroplanes last night. I can hardly remember anything about it now but it was to do with some kind of Curtiss high-wing monoplane of World War I and I ended up flying a modern equivalent with an enclosed cockpit. When I returned home I ended up having to go for a shower.

There was something about Sir Lancelot Spratt in there as well from the “Doctor In The House” series but I can’t remember very much about that either except that it concerned medical students being drunk as in one of the old radio episodes.

So no attractive, interesting or exciting young ladies again last night. Those two nights a few days ago have really knocked me out of my stride.

After the medication I sat down to prepare for my Welsh lesson, and to my surprise, also to fight offf a wave of sleep. But anyway, I prepared enough of the appropriate chapter so that the lesson passed without any drama.

After lunch I came back in here and spent a while fighting off sleep again and doing a few bits and pieces here and there when I could.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022When it came to the time for me to go out for my afternoon walk, I wasn’t feeling at all like it and had the strong wind been blowing the other way to send me back into the apartment I would have gone in quite happily.

But instead I made my way down to the end of the car park to look out over the beach. Plenty of beach there today and even more surprisingly, there were quite a few people down there.

They were running around on the beach heading out towards the water, although what they were going to do when they arrived there was anyone’s guess. So I left them to it and pushed off down the path, all on my own, which is just as well with 271,686 cases of infection today.

rainstorm ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022The wind was one of the strongest that we have had for a few weeks and for a change it was blowing from east to west.

And that was quite lucky because out at sea in the Baie de Granville there was a heavy rainstorm that was obscuring the Ile de Chausey, but the wind was blowing it away from me and out to sea. In fact, you could see plenty of puddles around on the path from earlier in the day.

No fishing boats out there that I could see either. They must be either in port or else far out at sea this afternoon, hiding in the rain squall.

So anyway I pushed off rather rapidly just in case the direction of the wind changed. And rather like the skink when the wind changed, “it’ll all come back to me now”.

peche a pied baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Nothing whatever happening down at the end of the headland this afternoon, or down on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

There was however plenty of action out on the rocks. Although the tide wasn’t as far out as it might be, there were still plenty of people out there at the peche à pied.

And we’ve already had all of the discussion about what pied they might be peching for, following the discovery of an old boot with the remains of a human foot in it not so long ago, so I’ll spare you any further discussion.

There was nothing else going on so I headed off down the path.

lorry with building material chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022While I was walking down the path towards the port I saw an articulated lorry loaded with building material heading along the road.

It’s very, very rare to see such a lorry heading to the old walled town so I watched it for a minute or so, when it turned into the chantier naval, not without a great deal of difficulty.

“What’s going to be happening in there?” I asked myself, because I couldn’t see anything that would require a load like that, but the lorry simply did a u-turn, left the chantier naval and headed back into town again.

It looks as if he was looking for somewhere else and had taken the wrong turning. Maybe he’s loaded up with stuff that’s supposed to be going to Jersey on one of the small freighters.

pescadore la bavolette 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On arriving at the chantier naval I could see that there has been yet more activity down there since I last visited.

La Bavolette II is still down there up on the blocks along with Gerlean who hasn’t moved for a week or so, but we now have a new arrival. Although I can’t see her name or her registration number, her colour scheme suggests to me that she is in fact Pescadore who we have seen in there quite often.

And it’s good to see the chantier naval back working again. It was very quiet while the portable boat lift was under repair.

Nothing much else happening down in the outer port with the tide being well out, so I wandered off towards home and my coffee.

lorry porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Rue st Jean I came across the lorry that I mentioned earlier.

And seeing it loaded up ready for moving off gave me the idea that tomorrow on my way to the doctor’s, if I remember I’ll go that way and look at what they have been doing and what the finished result will be.

Back home I had my coffee and then came back in here. And to my shame, I crashed out good and proper, just as I used to do a few months ago and which I thought that I’d passed through.

How disappointed am I that I’ve slipped back into my old habits just as I thought that I was improving.

Tea was some veggie balls with steamed veg with vegan cheese sauce and it was totally delicious. I really enjoyed that meal.

But right now I’m off to bed. I’m not tired, having had a really good sleep this afternoon, but I have to show willing. It’s high time that I cracked on with some work.

Sunday 15th August 2021 – THE OTHER DAY …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The selfishness of some people never ceases to amaze me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 10th July 2021 – 265 DAYS …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They were halcyon times, they were.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 11th June 2021 – I’M NOT SURE …

… what happened today but just for a change I’ve had rather a busy and productive day. And when was the last time that you heard me say that?

As usual I left my stinking pit as the first alarm sounded at 06:00 and headed off for my medication. I spent some time sorting it out too. I have two packs of it – one that stays here and another that’s in my rucksack for when I go off on my travels. I need to make sure that I have everything in both packs otherwise I shall be a bit stranded.

And while I was sorting out the Lyrica I noticed that the doctor’s “couple of boxes” that he gave me yesterday was enough for a six-months supply. It can’t be a very popular medication here.

Afterwards, I came in here and listened to all of the stuff that was on the dictaphone. First of all I started on the notes for last night. We were going somewhere on a coach. I can’t remember now who I was with. For a change I wasn’t driving – I was a passenger. It was an old coach and as we drove to this zebra crossing we had to stop, and a load of vehicles came up on the right-hand lane and pulled up to stop. Then one of these minibus/coach things pulled up. It didn’t pull up quickly enough and slid on the white line and hit a bollard in front of him. He was loaded with schoolchildren. We said “well he probably would have stopped had he not slid on that white line there. When we reached this place we went to a hotel room and the first thing that – it might have been Liz Ayers – said was “shall we have some coffee to forget about the journey?”. I replied “Oh God, yes” (load of incoherent rambling then I fell asleep). Yes this place that we went to was all futuristic and modern and so on. Everything about it was really advanced technology stuff so we couldn’t understand why they had a traditional toaster there.

Next task was to listen to yesterday’s ramblings (in both senses of the word). And did I ramble too because there was tons of stuff from yesterday. That’s all on-line too after much ado about a great deal.

There were several days from my trip to Leuven that weren’t sorted out so I’ve done a few more of those. Everything up to 29th MAY is on line now and I’ll do the final day tomorrow.

And they will be done tomorrow too because I have made an executive decision (that being a decision where, if it all goes wrong, the person making the decision is executed) in that I’m not going to the shops tomorrow.

There are two good reasons for this. Firstly, I’m off to Leuven on Wednesday morning so there’s no real point in buying all that much anyway. And secondly, I’ve made myself an appointment for a Covid test on Monday afternoon ready for my Belgium trip and I have to go there in Caliburn, so if I have forgotten anything, I can buy it while I’m out.

It’s silly to waste two lots of diesel like that.

For much of the rest of the day I’ve been musicking. Splitting a lot of album *.mp3 files down into their original tracks and then uploading lots of CDs that I’ve had lying around. I’ve been working with groups for which I only have one example of their work because I don’t want to confuse things any more than they are.

Some of that could do itself so I used the time to sort out a pile of paperwork and file it away. It’s hard to believe I know, but things are looking a little more organised in here just now.

But it won’t last.

There were of course the usual breaks, for my morning hot chocolate and fruit bread and also for lunch.

Not to mention going out for my afternoon walk … “Your afternoon walk?” – ed … “I told you not to mention that.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as usual I went out to have a look at the beach to see what was going on there today. Across the car park I walked (yes, not staggered. I’m feeling a little better) over to the wall to stick my head over the top of the wall.

And there is much more beach for people to be on today because the tide is quite far out . So much so that I actually managed to count as many as a dozen or so people down there today.

And that was a surprise in itself. There was hardly anyone down there yesterday when the weather was so nice, but this morning we had a rolling sea mist blowing in and there hadn’t been all that much of an improvement as the day had drawn on.

There was a neighbour on the car park and we had a chat. And he was as fed up of this weather as I am.

bouchot beds donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere might not have been all that much going on down on the beach but farther along the coats at Donville les Bains there was all kinds of excitement.

With the tide being so far out the bouchot – the shellfish that grow on strings rather than in the sand – beds were exposed and so the guys with the tractors who harvest them were hard at work pulling in their catch.

And in the background on the shoreline is the little campsite where when I first came to Granville I was all set to buy a touring caravan and park myself up in a corner because I couldn’t find anywhere comfortable to live.

And then I came to this place, and the rest, as they say, is history.

people fishing from boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s not just from the beach that people are harvesting the fruits of the sea – that is, if those in the boat out there are actually harvesting anything.

When I’d finished taking photos down at the car park near my building I walked along the path on top of the cliffs past the hordes of tourists shamelessly not wearing masks despite it being compulsory until 30th June here, and noticed these men in a boat out to sea in the English Channel having a bit of a fish.

And as you might expect, it goes without saying that not one of them seemed to catch anything, other than a cold, while I was there watching. One day someone is going to take me completely by surprise and pull out a whale. And what would I have to say about that?

canoeist baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, there are other varieties of marine life that our men in a boat could try their hand at catching.

Not too far away from where they were, there was a canoeist paddling his own canoe, presumably from the marina around the other side of the headland. And I take my hat off to someone who can be able to do that. I was strictly a canal canoeist in my youth.

Once upon a time someone once asked me why making love in a canoe is different from beer from the south of the UK. My answer is that there is no difference whatsoever. They are both f***ing close to water if you ask me.

There was nothing at all going on out to sea anywhere. Or, at least, if there was, it was shrouded in sea mist and I couldn’t see it. Standing at the end of the headland looking out to sea was pretty much a waste of time today so I cleared off along the path on the other side.

l'omerta fishing boat port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were one or two things going on – or not, as the case may be, in the harbour today.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen plenty of fishing boats in a NAABSA – Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground – position in the outer harbour and today we have L’Omerta, one of the regulars, and another one whose name I remembered at the time and subsequently forgot.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I don’t understand why this is happening. At one time when I first came here we hardly ever saw a one moored like this but these days since they refitted the harbour, we’ve seen plenty.

The cynic inside me wonders how much the harbour fees have increased in order to pay for the redevelopments.

victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere are still plenty of boats in the harbour regardless of whether or not the question of fees is an issue and here are two of the local fleet, Victor Hugo in the foreground and behind it, obscured for the most part, is Granville.

These are the two passenger ferries that go out to the Channel Islands from here and one or two other ports up and down the coast. Or, rather, they did. Because apart from a brief foray at the end of June last year, they haven’t been anywhere (except when the harbour has been drained) since March last year and the start of the Covid drame.

And the word on the streets is that they won’t be going out for the rest of the year either. What with the Covid epidemic now surging in the UK (cases having tripled in a fortnight and are now well above France’s levels) and other factors, all ferries are cancelled “until further notice”.

So on that depressing note I left the harbour and returned home.

political posters rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s election time in France – the local elections this time. And what happens is that the local council sticks up notice boards and each party or group of candidates can have one on which to erect their publicity.

We have all kinds of candidates here, even a couple of Fascists unfortunately, and if I were allowed to vote I would be voting for anyone at all who could beat them. The last thing that we need here is the rise of the extreme right.

Back here I made myself a coffee and grabbed a slice of ginger cake, and then decided to attack the photos from August 2019. And now I’m heading towards the Holy Grail, which took a lot of finding over a couple of days but find it I eventually did, and in spades too. Yes, the goal of every emigrant on this side of the Rocky Mountains – South Pass – where they crossed the Continental Divide.

And the reason that it’s so hard to find is that it’s such a gentle slope up and slope down. Edwin Bryant wrote “we have scarcely been conscious of rising to the summit of a high ridge of mountains”.

That took me up to guitar practice, which went a little better than just recently, and then I went for tea. In the absence of any other alternatives I had taco rolls with the leftover stuffing, followed by rice pudding.

Now that I’m all caught up with my notes, I’m off to bed. With a bit of luck I’ll do the last bit of arrears of dictaphone tomorrow morning and then I’ll get down to some serious work.

We can always live in hope, I suppose.

Thursday 11th February 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… really busy day today and accomplished quite a lot.

And when was the last time you heard me say something like that?

Once more I managed to beat the 3rd alarm, although not by much. And that was a surprise because even though I was in bed early, I’d had a really bad night.

Several bad attacks of cramp in my right leg, a couple of which obliged me to stand up to relieve the pressure. They were really painful and I was in agony for a good part of the night, something that I didn’t enjoy one little bit.

After breakfast I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been. because despite the difficulties that I’d had, I had managed to wander off on my travels, cramp and all.

I had some stuff to leave around and I didn’t want to leave it in my car while I was away for a week so i thought that I’d go to the hotel where I’d been staying or where I would stay on my way back on 12th. I drove my beige MkIV Cortina there, parked it in a temporary parking place on the street and walked round to the hotel, leaving my luggage in the car for a moment. When I arrived there was a Shearings coach tour ready to depart. I could hear them calling my name asking whether I’d be going. Instead I carried on and there were hordes of people because it looked as if there was another coach tour actually starting from there. Everyone was hanging around there at the front of the hotel and I thought that I’d be hours trying to get through this queue into reception. Suddenly 2 coaches pulled up for this coach tour so everyone surged forward into the hotel and I surged in as well. People were complaining that I’d pushed in but I arrived at the reception desk. There I was going to buy some sweets but when I saw the prices I changed my mind. I made up some story about me going on a coach tour and didn’t want my possessions to get damp in the car so she agreed to take my suitcase until 12th when I returned. I went out of the hotel and started to go back the way I’d come. She said “no, there’s a quicker way. Go down this street here, turn left and left again”. The was she said it was so confusing so she said “follow me”. She took me down the first bit and there, there was someone with a collection of old military vehicles behind a hedge, a couple of jeeps and a couple of Jeepnis from the Philippines. Round the bend there was someone else. She said “this is always the person of last resort if you need something urgently”. It was a guy who repaired all kinds of things. he had all kinds of old cars and all bits and pieces parked up in his drive. She kept on taking me down all these footpaths and I was getting so confused. I thought that we would end up miles away from my car and I won’t have a clue where my car is. It was only a 15 minute parking space and what happens if I’ve been towed away because I’ve been so long? But I followed her anyway as she seemed to know where she was going

So fighting off huge attacks of cramp that had brought me out of bed on a couple of occasions I carried on walking down here to find the BASF factory and I’ve no idea why. I was told that it was just near the overbridge but it certainly wasn’t around here. I was going to walk some way to find it and no-one seemed to be interested in telling me where it was. And I’ve no idea what that second part was about either.

But talking about Shearings … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ve had to tell Satan to get well and truly behind me this afternoon. Someone’s offered me a 1997 Volvo B10M coach with a Plaxton Paramount body in good running order but needs tidying – for just £1500.

When I worked for Shearings I had years of fun driving those around Europe when I couldn’t lay my hands on a Van-Hool bodied one and they were really nice to drive. I loved Volvo coaches. And so it’s a good job that there’s a lockdown and we aren’t allowed to travel anywhere, especially to the UK, because it saves me from myself.

But what a bargain that is! The thing is that at the moment with companies (including Shearings) going bankrupt, there’s loads of good second-hand stuff on the market that the liquidators are desperate to move so they are slashing prices. This means that everyone is upgrading and modernising their fleets and so there’s all this good old stuff about that is worthless.

Next task was to make some dough for my loaf. Another 500 grammes of wholemeal bread and having bought a pile of sunflower seeds the other day, I forgot to add them in. But I fed the sourdough and the ginger beer while I was at it.

With half an hour free, I attacked the photos from Greenland and made some good progress and then I went for my shower.

By now, the dough had risen sufficiently so I shaped it and put it in its mould and headed out for the shops, with my two pairs of trousers on because it was absolutely taters again outside and the cold wind didn’t help.

At LIDL I didn’t spend very much. There wasn’t anything special that I needed – just a few bits and pieces.

demolition of house rue st paul rue victor hugo Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way home from LIDL I had to take a diversion from my usual return route.

There had been a few notices knocking around telling us about a new block of flats that they are going to build in the Rue St Paul and I was wondering where that might be. But this here seems to be the answer because the road was closed off while a bunch of workmen were busy knocking down this old cafe on the corner of the Rue Victor Hugo.

For a couple of minutes I watched them in action but it was really far too cold to hang about for long, so I pushed off along the footpath that seems to be the pedestrian diversion at the back of the Community Centre and headed back into town that way.

covidius horriblis place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall
The town centre is all decorated again, which is very nice to see.

As you might expect and as I have probably said before … “here and there” – ed … there’s no Carnaval this year. That’s hardly surprising given all of what’s going on. But it hasn’t stopped the Carnaval Committee doing their best to decorate the town to make up for it, and here’s a statue of Covidius Horriblis that might otherwise in a good year (does anyone remember those) have been mounted on a decorated lorry.

Of course, it’s a sad and sorry state of affairs but I’m convinced that we really need a lockdown much more severe than we have had to date in order to neutralise this virus. It’s no good just some people taking the utmost precautions if they are at risk of catching it from totally reckless people as soon as they go out

Talking of which, be prepared for a surge in cases being reported from here next week. The Government’s mobile testing unit is here on Saturday and everyone is invited. I’m not going though. I’m not mixing with a load of potentially ill people if I can possibly help it.

pointing rampe du monte a regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn up the Rue des Juifs I went with my shopping, to inspect the work that’s been going on repairing the wall and repointing the wall at the Rampe du Monte a Regret.

And disappointing as it is to say it, they haven’t really made any progress at all since we last looked. The (lack of) speed at which workmen work these days is quite depressing. They should be doing much better than this.

It’s quite true that pointing (and roofing, because the roofers haven’t been on the roof of the College Malraux for the last couple of days) isn’t a job that you can do very well in a snowstorm, but it does beg the question “why on earth did they start the job in the middle of winter in the first place?”.

trawler port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … up the Rue des Juifs, I noticed some movement in the inner harbour. One of the trawlers was setting out from her berth at the quayside.

The gates were closed and the lights were on red so I imagined that she was manoeuvring into position ready to leap out of the port like a ferret up a trouser leg as soon as the gates would open. But the tide was well out – no chance of them opening in the very near future.

What she did was to go off and tie up at the quayside behind the fish processing plant where someone was waiting with a van. She must be taking on supplies ready for her next trip out.

trans-shipping product rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the disadvantages of living in a medieval walled city is that the roads are narrow and the gateways aren’t very high at all.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen on several occasions all kinds of large vehicles parked up by the gate in the Rue St Jean while the driver has to offload his charge into a car and trailer or an electric wheelbarrow or something similar in order to pass underneath the gateway.

And here’s someone else having a similar issue with his delivery. But there was nothing around onto which he could offload and he actually carried his parcels through the gate and into the town.

Back here in the apartment the bread had risen to perfection in the time that I had been out, so I switched on the oven and bunged it in.

While it was cooking I made myself some hot chocolate and a slice of sourdough fruit-bread and then came in here where I rather unfortunately fell asleep for half an hour.

But later, having recovered my composure, I dismantled two of the laptops here that have failed hard drives. One of the little portable Acers – the one in which I upgraded the memory and the big one with 8GB of memory that gave up 3 days after the guarantee ran out and which prompted me to buy the big desktop machine.

Both the hard drives are easily accessible, which is good news and on browsing the internet I came across a couple of Samsung 1TB Solid-State Drives at just €89:00 each. They are now winging their way in this direction along with a new battery for the little Acer and also a new SATA caddy – you need an external caddy for this job because you have to download the BIOS programs from the machine’s manufacturers into the new disk to make it start to work.

Why I’m interested in doing this is because I’m trying to lighten the load of what I have to carry around with me. The little Acers are quite light and while this one is older than the one that I used from 2014 to 2019 and which handed in its hat in North Dakota, everything in it is accessible so I upgraded the memory in it quite significantly and so it was a quick little machine, even if it was only running Windows 7.

As for the big machine, that actually came with 8GB of memory so it was quite rapid. No point in it sitting around doing nothing when it can (hopefully) be fixed quickly, easily and cheaply.

home baked bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now the bread was baked so I took it out of the oven.

It looked pretty good considering everything, and it tasted even better, and I know that because I had a slice for lunch with the remains of the bread from last time.

After lunch and having recovered from a post-prandial nap, I carried on with my Oradour notes and I’ve made my way all through the Court cases and onto the final paragraphs. So with a good couple of days on it, it should at long last be finished and I can crack on.

But it won’t be tomorrow morning though. I am required to do some work on a radio programme for someone.

trawlers english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe mustn’t forget the afternoon walk of course.

And we were in luck with the fishing vessels coming back towards port because I managed to take a snap of two of them out in the English Channel heading for home.

And later on as I walked around the headland there were half a dozen others hanging around outside the harbour entrance. The tide is still quite far out and there isn’t enough sea at the Fish Processing Plant for them to come in and unload. It can’t be long though because there wouldn’t be so many out there waiting for Godot when they could be spending the time out there increasing their catch.

snow lighthouse semaphore pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut let’s turn our attention back to where we are at the moment, namely the north side of the headland.

This is pretty much in the shade here and so the sun, such as there is, hasn’t had an opportunity to do very much melting right now and so unless the weather warms up, that snow will be here for a little while.

Not many people out there today either and that’s not much of a surprise. I had on two pairs of trousers so my legs weren’t cold, but that’s about all that wasn’t. I shall be going to the Sports Shop on Saturday morning if I remember for a new woolly hat for my woolly head.

And also a decent pair of warm tactile gloves. My last pair are in the pocket of my blue Adventure Canada jacket, which is hanging up on a peg in a hotel room in Calgary.

lys noir chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith nothing doing out on the Baie de Mont St Michel, I continued on around the other side of the headland to see what is going on in the chantier navale

And we seem to have had a tactical substitution here on one of the sets of blocks. The fishing vessel that was here for a while has now disappeared, presumably back into the water and has been replaced by Lys Noir, one of the charter yachts that plies for hire out of the port.

With no business right now (and now idea when business might restart) they would be quite right in using this dead period to overhaul the boat and make it ready just in case something positive might happen soon.

fixing street lights rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat was enough for me. I decided to head on home before I froze to death. But not before I had a good look to see what they were doing down in the Rue des Juifs.

Earlier on in the day I’d noticed this cherry-picker out around the town with the guys doing some work. It looks as if they are checking the street lights to see which ones are out and to replace the dud light bulbs if necessary.

But that’s a pretty pointless exercise if you ask me because with no-one out and about at night, why do you need the street lights? And in any case, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I almost went base over apex in the dark on my way to the railway station because the street lights had been extinguished.

When I finished my notes on Oradour sur Glane I had my hour on the guitar and it was quite enjoyable. And I’ve noticed that my bass playing seems to have moved up to another level which has pleased me immensely. At one stage I was playing a lead guitar solo on the bass to Neil Young’s “Like A Hurricane” and Tom Petty’s “Mary jane’s Last Dance”.

And my singing seems to be improving too – not actually singing in tune because that’s way beyond the realms of possibility but the fact that I can keep on singing while I’m playing more complicated stuff on the bass.

But at the moment, I’m going all of this on the Gibson EB3. I really ought to be playing it on the 5-string fretless that I bought for my birthday last year, but that’s a complicated machine and there are limits to what I can try to do at any one time.

Tea was a Madras Curry out of the freezer followed by rice pudding. And now I’m off to bed. Flat out tired, I am and that isn’t a surprise given everything that has happened today. And I made 100% of my target today according to the fitbit. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that, considering the lockdown.

No wonder I’m exhausted.

Thursday 24th December 2020 – WOW!

sunset cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEven though I say it myself, I’m quite impressed with this photo that I took this afternoon.

It’s not necessarily the quality of it because I still have a great deal of issues with that, but it’s the dramatic and stark effect of the colours here. Just as I lined up a shot of Cancale silhouetted on its clifftop across the Bay, the light gave me everything I wanted just at the correct moment and it’s come out exactly as I would have wished, with no post-processing at all.

It’s one of those very rare photographs where everything that you are trying to do suddenly does it itself with you having to try.

Another thing that I did without really having to try was to haul myself out of bed before the third alarm. And I bet that that took you as much by surprise as it took me too. Mind you, I was only sitting on the edge of the bed is a dazed and weary state, not exactly running around like a headless chicken.

After the medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was in the USA last night and Trump was giving a concert. He had someone playing banjo or mandolin or something and he was playing bass and singing, doing some kind of rap about how good he was, and everyone in the crowd was greeting him with stony silence. He was becoming all worked up on the stage and everyone was treating him with stony silence. When everyone left I had a look at the bass guitar. It was just a cheap $29 thing so I said to someone of the road crew “at least you might have got him a real guitar to play with”. They replied “he does have a real one but he was afraid he’d be all emotional”. Trump heard this conversation and came over, and started to have a bit of a go at me about it. I said “I’ll tell you what my life means to me. Come with me”. He couldn’t get the hang of what was going on but “come with me, come outside”. So we went outside and there was Caliburn. I opened the door to the back of Caliburn and there on the floor was a mattress and a sleeping bag and a few bits and pieces. I was living rough. And there at the side of the sleeping bag was the Gibson EB3. “That’s what my bass means to me” I said. “It’s all that I have here”.

The next thing was about the wife of my friend on the Wirral. She was telling me that she had been taken into a bedroom by an Indian guy to which I said “lucky her” and they spent 4 hours together so I said “even more lucky her” discussing some kind of new sales venture for some kind of product that she might have been interested in. There was much more to it than this but in the time it took me to grab hold of the dictaphone I forgot it.

The next hour or so was spent dealing with the arrears of work. I’ve been stuck in Chateau Gaillard for the last 2 weeks and I can’t seem to drag myself out of there. I seem to be bogged in there quite deeply at the moment.

That took me up to shower time and weigh time, and I’ve gained 1kilo in weight in this last week. But examining my body closely (and isn’t that a gruesome task?) I noticed that my feet and ankles are swollen. So it looks as if the water retention is back again and that will explain this weight issue.

crowds at seafood shop rue lecampion Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOff I set to the shops for the groceries to see me through the Christmas period.

It’s the tradition in France for people to have oysters as a Christmas treat (which probably explains why so many babies are born here at the end of September) and there in the Rue Lecampion where there’s the fishmonger’s, with the butcher just down the road, it just looks like Poland as I remember it in the 1970s, or the UK after 6 months of Brexit.

But I was joking about the oysters and babies just now. Don’t you believe everything that you hear about oysters. I had 12 of them on my wedding night and only 9 of them worked.

christmas decorations place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s unlikely that I’m going to get down into town to see the Christmas lights this year. I’m not well and I know it, and I’m not going to tax my system too much.

But it didn’t prevent me from having a good mooch around for a look at the decorations in the Place Charles de Gaulle. And I was right about one thing, in that they aren’t very inspiring this year. It seems to be merely the same stuff that has been here for the last ever so many years, just arranged differently.

But anyway I pushed on to the Railway Station for my tickets for next week. The clerk in the office was on her own so I asked her about the trains next week. At the moment, they are still running as advertised. Whether it stays like that, we shall see.

bad parking bmw bus station railway station Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that pathetic parking takes up a lot of room on these pages.

Not so much recently – not (I hasten to add) because the situation has improved but because there is just so much of it that it’s become boring and even i’m fed up of it. But I couldn’t let a thing like this go by.

Right outside the railway station is the bus station. all of the long-distance buses (of which there are plenty) as well as the two service buses for the town come here and there are 4 bays. But this driver has decided that he’s allowed to park in one of them and the bus that goes in there can park elsewhere.

Of course, it’s a BMW and like Audi drivers, they consider that the rules of the road and of common courtesy don’t apply to them.

On the way up the hill I stuck my head in the newsagent’s. I’d heard that US Granville had made some club facemasks and the newsagent was selling them. These are tough times and we have to do what we can to help things along right now, and so I bought one to wear when I’m in Belgium.

At La Vie Claire they had Seitan slices so I bought two ridiculously expensive packs and then went round to LIDL for the shopping. I bought most of what I needed but shock! horror! no Brussels sprouts. How do you have Christmas without Brussels sprouts?

Luckily I still have some frozen ones for the meals on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but it’s going to be touch and go after that.

christmas market kddies roundabout place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn my way back into town again I went past the Place Generale De Gaulle again.

There’s quite a lot going on in there now that wasn’t happening earlier. They seem to be setting up some kind of Christmas market in the Square, although that doesn’t look much like Christmas goodies to me.

But at least the kiddies’ roundabout was working and entertaining some clients. And that’s good news because Christmas is all about children anyway and they ought to be making the most of it while they are still young enough.

seafood stall rue du port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s a fresh seafood stall on the harbour every Friday morning selling the stuff that his boat has landed that morning. But with Friday being Christmas Day it looks as if he’s having his stall a day earlier to cash in on the Christmas trade.

And quite right too. Even though I don’t eat animal products, it’s up to others what they do and there is nothing at all quite like fresh food of any description.

So having caught my breath, for I was carrying some quite heavy shopping, I carried on back home where I had a slice of my fruit bread and a mug of hot chocolate.

And then, shame as it is to say it, I crashed out good and proper on my chair. It was late-ish when I returned from the shops but even so, it was 13:30 when I awoke, feeling like total death yet again. This is what I meant earlier when I said that I wasn’t too good right now. It’s just not possible at the moment for me to live a normal life like this and it’s dismaying me very much.

So at lunch, I’d run out of bread so I set about making some more. Not the sourdough this time but a real loaf. I want to see how my technique is doing and to see if the fault about my sourdough not rising is because of me or the sourdough.

And so I bashed out a quick 500-gramme dough mix with yeast and several handfuls of sunflower seeds and left it on one side to see what it would do.

storm at sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was walkies time so I set out into the wild blue yonder.

And wild was hardly the word either. The wind has shifted around and we now have a nor’easter instead of a sou’wester as we had yesterday. So if you thought that the Bay of Granville was turbulent yesterday, you ought to have seen it this afternoon. There hasn’t been anything quite like this for a considerable period of time and I bet that the boys in Thora and Normandy Trader are glad that they are tucked up safe and sound in the harbour in St Helier.

It was enough to make me want to join them but the journey across to Jersey would be extremely uncomfortable right now.

brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were hordes of people out there this afternoon, everyone having a pre-Christmas walk I reckon and making the most of the lack of rain (for the moment at least).

And if you are able to peer underneath the clouds, it was the kind of afternoon where the visibility was so impressive and you could see a very long great distance down the coast. Cap Frehel and its lighthouse were just about visible with the naked eye over to the right on this photo.

We’ve had some good shots of Cap Frehel in the past, better than this one of course, but it’s not every day that it’s visible with the naked eye

rainstorm brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust a little earlier I taked about the lack of rain – “at the moment” – and I said that for a reason.

While I was scanning along the Brittany coast with the camera, I noticed a strange phenomenon out there in certain places so I photographed it for a closer look to see what it might be. And back here in the comfort and warmth of my apartment I determined that it was actually a rainstorm out there.

Of course, as I said earlier, the wind is blowing in the wrong direction for us to be bothered about it right now, but the wind is a highly volatile and uncertain beast and can change direction at any given moment.

sunset cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving taken my photographs I walked off across the lawn and the car park (almost being squidged by a motorist reversing out of a parking place) down to the end of the headland.

Once more, there are no boats out there in the bay but we do have this beautiful sunset, an excellent example of which you have already seen. And here’s another really good view of Cancale across the Baie de Mont St Michel, lit up as if it was on a stage and they had switched on the spotlights.

Far too many people about for me to break into a run this afternoon so I walked off down the path instead.

st pair sur mer baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw just now how churned up the sea was around the north side of the headland with this raging nor’easter.

Nothing could have been a greater contrast than the sea down on the southern side of the headland by the port. Whereas yesterday we had a raging storm with waves crashing over the sea wall, today the sea seems to be almost becalmed.

Actually, it isn’t but that was how it was looking this afternoon especially after yesterday.

But that was enough for me anyway, I had a peek in at the chantier navale to see that there was no change whatever there, and then carried on home for a hot coffee and a mince pie. And delicious, if a bit sweet and sickly.

And the bread had risen like a lift. I’d never had it go up quite like this before. It was so impressive. I gave it a good squeezing to let the gases out and then shaped it and put it in its bread mould, covering it with a damp tea-towel.

And now I have a little Christmas present for you all. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that my friend Liz and I produced a series of programmes for several local radio stations in the Auvergne under the “Radio Anglais” banner back in those days.

While I was looking around for something I came across one of the Christmas Specials that we did, so I’ve uploaded it to the internet FOR YOU ALL TO LISTEN TO OVER CHRISTMAS with much love and best wishes from me.

Don’t take too long in listening to it because I need the space on my server so I’ll be taking it down again after a week or so. So you’ll probably be better off downloading it onto your own machine. Or, if you make your next Amazon purchase via the links on the right and I receive a small commission on the deal, I can buy more space.

While I was at guitar practice I had the oven warming up and I slipped the loaf of bread in there at a suitable moment along with a potato and, later on, a slice of frozen home-made pie.

rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter the guitar, it was time for evening walkies. And with the wind now blowing in the opposite direction from yesterday, it was the outward journey that caused me more problems than just a few.

In fact, I had to abort the trip along the Rue du Nord and seek shelter within the narrow streets of the old town by dodging down an alley way. We’ve seen plenty of photos of the Rue St Jean in our time but we haven’t seen one from this viewpoint. The Place Cambernon is just down there at the bottom and the Porte St Jean which we have photographed on several occasions is right down there at the end out of the picture.

And if you look up at the top you can see the spire of the Eglise Notre Dame du Cap Lihou all illuminated.

rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I’m not going that way. I’m going in this direction down towards the Place de l’Isthme.

We took a photo of the street from the Place de L’Isthme a few weeks ago and so I reckoned that I should take one back up to the place where I was at the time, just for the record. And then I set off for a run along there all the way to the end of the street.

As I emerged into the open square at the end I was hit by a huge blast of wind that brought me to a dead stop, and I’m not surprised because it was wild.

baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat was enough to make me not want to hang around any longer out of doors – especially now that it had started to rain as well, And so I went down ste steps to the Place Maurice Marland and ran on home.

But up on the walls the night was looking so beautiful despite the rain, so I took a photo of the harbour, the Baie de Mont St Michel and all of the lights out there twinkling away on the Brittany coast. It was all looking quite magical tonight and I’ve no idea why.

But that’s enough of my waxing lyrical for the moment. It’s time I was at home tucking into the tea.

home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile my veg was cooking (endives, broccoli, leeks and carrots) I had a look at the bread to see how it was doing.

It had risen quite a lot while it was sitting for its second proofing, but in the oven it’s not done too much more. But as I took it out of its mould, part of it had stuck so I sampled it. And it was perfect, it really was. The best that I’ve made to date. There’s nothing wrong with my technique at all.

With the veg water I made a delicious gravy, and the whole lot was finished off with apple crumble with some soya dessert stuff. That was what I called a good tea.

So now it’s Christmas Day and I’ve written up my notes. I’m off to bed. A Merry Christmas to you all and I hope that Santa brings you lots of nice things, including, more important than presents, lots of love and good health. We’re living in hard times right now but at least we are living, and the joys of the internet mean that we can stay even closer all the same.

There’s our radio show to listen to and tomorrow night at 21:00 CET, 20:00 UK Time, 15:00 Montreal and Toronto time etc, there’s my Christmas broadcast on LE BOUQUET GRANVILLAIS. It’s a special live rock concert that I’ve spent some time preparing and I hope that you’ll enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed preparing it.

Best wishes from 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.

Wednesday 9th December 2020 – I DIDN’T …

… manage to beat the alarm to my feet this morning but it was only a matter of seconds. I had in fact gone back to sleep after the second but I soon sprang back to life again and was up in a twinkling.

First job after the medication was to look at the kefir. It was the last of the current lot this morning and I’d forgotten to prepare any yesterday so just before I went to bed I made a small bottle with some mint syrup. That’ll have 30-odd hours to ferment and I’ll be intrigued to see how it comes out.

But the fact is that it hasn’t fermented at all. It seems to e quite inert. Still the proof of the pudding will be in the drinking tomorrow morning.

Last night I was taking part in a rock opera about a bird at a boxing tournament between kids. They started off as kids of various ages, and then it became pairs and in one pair some young boy was really hurt in a fight with a gorgeous left hook. In the end it was 3 girls against 3 boys and all 6 were in the ring together. And this is what this rock opera was to do – the start of this boxing match. The people who had green paint had to sing one set of lines and the people who had the blue lines had to sing another set of lines. I was in the blue line team although my girlfriend/partner/whatever was in the other. We had to sit in a certain corner and they sat in another. They sang one line and we sang another and we alternated like that. It turned out to be a song to persuade people to back the cause to rejoin the EU rather than the prelude to a boxing match

The morning has been spent working on the arrears of my voyage to Central Europe but there have been interruptions all along the way.

mini digger porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I nipped into the living room to do something (and I can’t remember what now) and I noticed movement up by the Porte St Jean.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last night we saw that something had been done to the pavement in the Rue St Jean and we’d been musing on what it might be. It looks today as if they have called up the heavy equipment to help them along with what they are doing.

That reminds me – I’ll have to go out that way on my afternoon walk and see if I can’t find out what was going on.

This afternoon I made a new batch of kefir.

orange mint kefir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were three juice oranges lying around from a long time ago so they were whizzed to a fine pulp and the juice filtered out onto the large jug, and the pulp thrown away. The Kefir liquid was then strained through my filter set-up and added to the jug and mixed well in.

A new lot of kefir was started off and the stuff in the big jug was then filtered back through the filter set up into some flip-top bottles.

Here’s the finished product. It’ll be good when it’s had a couple of days to ferment some more. The green stuff in the bottle is the mint-syrup one that I made. And still no fermentation as yet. But I’ll have that in the morning tomorrow and see how it goes.

The kitchen was in something of a mess after all this baking etc (well, it’s been in something of a mess for quite a while if I think about it) so I took out the rubbish to the bins and then cleaned the kitchen, vacuumed it and scrubbed the floor to within an inch of its life. I must be feeling better

replacing paving slabs rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was walkies time so I duly set out to see what was going on about the place.

As I said earlier, first stop was bound to be the roadworks to find out what was going on. There were loads of vnas and lorries and quite a few people. And one friendly workman whom I buttonholed told me that they were simply replacing paving slabs.

It beats me why because they weren’t in bad condition. And I’m disappointed that it’s nothing to do with the fibre-optic. I was hoping that we would have had that up and running a long time ago, but apparently not.

Talking of running, I walked off down the Rue du Nord and then paddled through the puddles along the footpath under the walls.

tidal swimming pool plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd once I was clear of the madding crowds I broke into a run along the path. I need to take advantage of every possibility that presents itself.

Although it was somewhat cold out there, it was a very pleasant afternoon to be out and there were quite a few people walking along the Plat Gousset and even one or two people on the beach too.

The tide looked as if it was on its way in judging by how dry the beach is, and the tidal swimming pool was filling up nicely. Not that there was anyone loitering around waiting to go in it, which doesn’t surprise me in the least. The weather wasn’t that nice.

Once I reached my goal – the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch I retraced my steps.

trench fortifications medieval city wall Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday we saw what looked like a gate in the wall up on the Place de l’isthme which I speculated might be the entrance to this tunnel-like walkway that goes across the trench and blocks the view so that you can’t see right from one end to the other.

This is the trench here, in the daylight, and you can see what I mean by the tunnel.

And if you look very closely you can see that the tunnel doesn’t actually cover the framework of the door surround, almost as if the tunnel is some kind of afterthought. It’s certainly something quite peculiar and I wonder chat purpose it actually serves. I’ll have to wait until there’s an Open Day, whenever that might be.

There was someone walking towards me across the Square Maurice Marland so I had to wait until they had gone before I could break into a run. And for the first time ever I managed to climb all the way up the second, steeper ramp before coming to a halt.

My running is definitely improving.

le pearl port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the top I went to have a look over at the port from the viewpoint there to see if there was anything of note going on.

No freighter from Jersey (and, as an aside, I’ve heard that Chausiais has been called in to take a load across the Channel to Jersey) but it looks as if the new trawler Le Pearl is making ready to go off on her travels.

She’s moved over to another berth, this time on the far side, where she’s receiving attention from a couple of guys as well as someone with a van. Are they provisioning her ready to go to sea, maybe?

renovated house rue lecarpentier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will also recall the house renovation that’s been taking place in the Rue Lecarpentier.

Today, the netting all around it seems to have been taken down and we can see what they’ve been doing. The pointwork around the stones on the ground floor seems to have been renewed for a start.

So I headed off home for a really hot coffee to warm me up and to carry on with my work. but I unfortunately crashed out for about 10 minutes. I’ve been drifting away all through the day on and off and here and there.

After the enjoyable hour on the guitars, I had tea. Taco rolls and rice followed by apple pie. And then time for my evening run.

And that was something that I didn’t enjoy.

Actually I’m rather glad that I ran when I could this afternoon because there was a wicked swirling wind that had sprung up from somewhere In fact I may not know where it came from but I can tell you exactly where it was going.

This evening I hadn’t even made 50 yards down the road before I was brought to a dramatic halt by the force of the wind. it was bad enough trying to walk in it, never mind run.

war memorial to the resistance Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn the shelter of the hedge at the back of the Sports Ground I could run down to the the clifftop and then the wind hit me and slowed me up again.

Round by the War memorial to the French Resistance I took a photo of the view just to prove that I had been there. It was looking quite nice with the lights of St Pair sur Mer in the background

And then, fighting the wind every inch of the way, I made it back home without stopping for another photo. Not exactly, though. The wind contrived to stop me dead in my tracks on more than one occasion.

Thursday tomorrow so it’s shopping day. That means that i’m going to try to grab an early night tonight. I deserve a long sleep. I’m thoroughly exhausted.

Tuesday 8th December 2020 – HAVE YOU EVER …

lighthouse cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… seen the lighthouse at the Cap Fréhel looking as clear as it did this afternoon?

It’s about 70 or so kms away, as you are probably fed up of hearing right now, but there must be something about the atmospheric conditions and the height of the lighthouse above sea level to make it stand out so well. We’ve seen it on several occasions, that’s for sure, but I can’t think that it’s ever stood out so clearly as it did today.

One of these days I’ll sort out the photos that I took when we sailed right down the coast on the Spirit of Conrad and you can compare the view of the lighthouse from close up with one of these photos taken from the Pointe du Roc.

Something else of note that is worth mentioning today because it doesn’t happen all that often just now is that I beat the third alarm to my feet this morning. And by a good couple of minutes too

That’s twice in two days that I’ve beaten the alarm. Anyone would think that I’ve wet the bed or something.

Last night before going to bed I’d given the sourdough bread mix its second kneading and put it in the mould that I used, and left it on one side overnight. And so this morning as soon as I got up, the first thing that I did, even before the medication, was to switch on the oven at full heat.

And then, when I’d taken the medication and the oven was now nice and hot, I took a large baking tray, put about half an inch of water in it, dropped the bread mould with the dough inside into the water, covered it with another matching baking tray so that the steam off the water would aerate the bread, and stuck it in the oven.

After about 25 minutes, I took off the lid and then left it cooking for about another 40/45 minutes or so on a slightly lower temperature.

While it was baking away to itself, I had a listen to the dictaphone.

Yesterday’s notes I transcribed and added them to the entry, and then I turned my attention to last night. There was a house move to do and we had a flatbed lorry. It involved putting all these personal possessions off this lorry, or were we putting them on because one minute we were putting them on and another minute we were taking them off. It started off with about 10 of us but the number gradually whittled down every week and between us there was a different number of people until in the end there was just 3. We had quite a crowd watching us, sitting on chairs watching us load or unload this lorry. In the end it turned out that we didn’t have a captain. He had left so one of the guys in charged asked me if I wanted to be captain but I ummed and ahhed. Another guy volunteered so there was just 2 of us running back and to, passing these boxes to the guy who was stacking them. I was thinking all the time that an open-sided lorry is not the kind of vehicle to go around with when you are doing a job like this, stacking boxes on top of it. It’s bound to end in tragedy when you go round a corner. There was one part where we were messing around with 7″ singles. They wouldn’t all stay in the boxes. Someone suggested putting them in with the LPs although I couldn’t see how that made any difference. It meant in the end that they were going to be out of alphabetical order and he’d never be able to trace them again if he had them all mixed up like that wil the LPs
Later there was a supermarket in the basement of a big building. An ad-hoc supermarket in the corner of an empty floor with Covid regulations and only a few people were allowed to go there at times. I was down there doing my shopping. I had a trolley with a few items in it and I had to go back and find my car, a yellow MkIV Cortina. I was convinced that i’d parked it outside in the car park so instead of going up and following the directions back, I went outside but I couldn’t see my car on the car park at all although i was convinced that I’d left it there. It must have been on the internal car park in the building so I had to get back into the building somehow with my trolley load of goods and try to remember which flood I’d put my car on or whereabouts, because I didn’t have a clue where it was now.

That wasn’t all either. But seeing as you are probably eating a meal right now, I’ll spare you the gory details.

Now it was time to turn my attention to the Welsh course. I wrote up my notes from last week and went through them to make sure that I understood them (which isn’t very evident)and then turned my attention to prepare for this week’s lessons.

One thing that I do remember from my grandmother was the imperative, which is only natural of course with my grandmother. Dewch i mewn for “come in”, Edrych for “look”, byddwch yn dda for “be good” and of course paid! – “don’t” and so on so it didn’t take too much preparation today, which suited me fine.

home baked sourdough bread Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of its time I took it from the oven and here’s the finished product. It’s something of a disappointment to say the least as it doesn’t seem to have risen at all.

Mind you, when I tried it for lunch, it was light and very aerated all the same, so I’ve no idea what is happening here. Had it been this size but dense and heavy I would have written it off as a failure. But I don’t know what to make of this.

It’s certainly the lightest bread that I’ve ever made, even when I’ve been using yeast.

trawlers english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter lunch I made a start on more of the arrears, but not for long. By now, it was time for me to go out on my afternoon walk around the headland.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last night we saw piles of fishing boats out in the English Channel on their way back into harbour after their day’s work. And here are some more of them today heading back out to the fishing grounds.

But I’m not too sure how long this will go on. Apparently the Jersy fishermen are getting up a petition to revoke the 1836 Treaty of the Bay of Granville that divides the fishing areas up between the Channel Islands and France, and kick the French boats out.

There’s a meeting in a day or two’s time during which the French fishermen and the Regional Council will discuss the matter. The fishermen have already pointed out that 70% of the Channel islands catch is landed here in Granville and that all of the electricity supplied to the Channel Islands comes from the nuclear reactor up the coast here in Normandy that we visited A FEW MONTHS AGO.

We are living in interesting times.

rainstorm brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMaybe you might have noticed just how nice the weather was, looking out to sea in the previous photograph.

That’s not the case down there along the Brittany coast. Over by St Malo and Dinard it looks as if they are on the receiving end of a very localised rainstorm that’s giving them all a really good soaking. I’m glad that I’m not over there in the middle of all that.

But it’s really quite astonishing when you consider that just down the coast the sky is as clear as a bell, as we saw with the view of the lighthouse at Cap Frehel. And I thought that the weather conditions in the Auvergne were bizarre.

track churned up pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we are here, there’s something else that I want to photograph – something that I noticed yesterday but there were too many people around.

The local council has had a man out cutting the grass in his tractor. He’s had his blade set too low because he’s managed to churn up a huge stone right in the middle f the path here. never mind the damage that he’s probably done to his blade, which surely he must have heard, that’s a hazard just waiting for one of our nocturnal ramblers to trip over in the dark.

He shouldn’t have left the rock and the hole like that in the middle of the footpath.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnyway, I pushed on around the headland and with nothing going on out at sea I made my way along the clifftop.

The wind has died down considerably from how it has been and the sea looks as if it’s quite calm. But there must he a heavy rolling sea out there in the Atlantic somewhere because the waves are coming in with quite some force

Remember that the tide is still a long way out. This would be quite impressive at high tide.

But there was no change of occupant in the chantier navale and nothing much else going on, so I headed off for home and a hot coffee.

One task that I needed to do was to remove some photos from the camera. The memory card is full, I don’t have another and the price of the type of card that I use is prohibitive. That involved coupling up an external drive and you’ve no idea how long it takes to remove 2500 files off the camera onto the laptop via a USB 3.0 cable, the software and hardware in the computer, and a USB2.0 cable to an external drive.

It might have taken less time too had I not unfortunately drifted off with the fairies at some point.

After the hour on the guitar I made tea. A burger with vegetables and pasta with some more of that vegan Pesto sauce which is really good and I must buy some more. And the apple pie that I made in the middle of last week is excellent.

hauteville sur mer st martin de brehal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter tea I was straight out and off down the road for my evening run.

And we saw just how nice the sky was this afternoon right down the Brittany coast. it was just as clear along the coast of the Cotentin Peninsula too and the warning lights on the wind turbines at the back of Coutances were clearly visible. You can see two of them towards the left-hand edge of this photograph.

The street lights of the small towns along the sea front were quite visible too. Hauteville sur Mer on the left and St martin de brehal on the right. And in the background, the lights of the main road that runs up eventually to Cherbourg.

st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf the view up both of the coasts is going to be good, then it ought to be good out in the English Channel too.

This photo might be somewhat blurred but it’s hand-held, and it shows the lights of St Helier in Jersey in the Channel islands 58 kilometres away. And so for that reason it’s not bad at all. The red light on the radio mast at the back of town is clearly visible.

From the viewpoint I ran on all the way down the street, combining two of the legs of my run into one. For some reason I was running quite well tonight. it might have been the head of broccoli that I had for tea, steamed in a pan with the pasta.

donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I finally stopped for breath I retraced my steps for 100 metres because I’d noticed that the view across to Donville les Bains was looking quite interesting too tonight.

The promenade was looking really nice with the street lights reflecting off the water tonight, but then the headland by the cemetery from where the birdmen take to the air cuts out a good part of the view. And then we have all of the houses on the cliffs round by where the Musée Christian Dior might be found.

And then of course I had to run all the way back to the Place de l’Isthme. Yes, I stayed “up above” tonight seeing as at some point there must have been a rainstorm here too as everything was soaking wet.

gate in fortifications place de l'isthme Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve shown a couple of photos of the trench that seems to bisect the fortifications up here at the Place de l’Isthme.

It’s not possible to see from one end of the trench to another because there’s something like a walled-over passage that runs through the trench to the part that’s isolated. And while I was nosying around up here I found what I think might be the entrance to the passage.

There’s a date carved on the lintel over the top too – 1843. I don’t know whether that’s the date of the original construction or not.

road works rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown below, I ran on through the Square Maurice Marland with enough energy to go half-way up the steep ramp at the end.

From there I went round to the Rue St Jean to see if there was any better indication of what was going on here. And it seems that they have made a start digging up the pavement. I’ll have to come here in the daytime and see if I can find out why.

From here I ran on home and made it back to the apartment just in time for kick-off. There was football on the internet tonight, hence my early run out.

Over the weekend we saw an ineffective and anonymous Caernarfon team totally rolled over by Penybont. Tonight they were to take on bottom club Cefn Druids in Cefn Mawr in the suburbs of Wrexham.

With several changes in the team tonight, they looked a totally different outfit and seemed to have recovered their spirit. They went 2-0 up and were unlucky not to have had one or two more. This was a much more professional and competent approach, at least for the first 75 minutes.

They had Josh Tibbetts back in goal and he was extremely busy because Cefn Druids were much better than the score and their league position suggested. They pulled a goal back late in the game and the last 15 minutes saw them camped on the edge of the Caernarfon penalty area.

In all honestly, Tibbetts kept Caernarfon in the game, although the Druids could have been embarrassed a couple of times in the closing stages when Caernarfon had a couple of rapid counter-attacks upfield.

But if the Druids are bottom of the table, then all that I can say is that the standard of the JD Cymru League has improved dramatically over the last 5 or 6 years. The Druids would have rolled over clubs like Afan Lido and Llanelli of that period. And then we turn the clock back 15 years with clubs like Rhayadr and Welshpool, to name just two of a dozen that I could mention.

So off to bed. Tomorrow I have a day at home and tons of stuff to do that I’ve forgotten. One day I might even get ahead of whatever I’m trying to do.

Monday 7th December 2020 – THERE ARE BENEFITS …

… from doing some work on Sunday even if I don’t feel much like it.

This morning, with having had a head start, I’d finished the radio programme by 12:05. And had I not had to remove 14 seconds-worth of speech to make it fit my one-hour window, I’d have finished 20 minutes earlier too. And that includes stopping for 15 minutes for my mid-morning cake and hot chocolate.

What helped matters was that I was up and about this morning before the 3rd alarm and that’s not something that happens every day these days.

There’s plenty of stuff on the dictaphone from last night too. I’d been out in Canada down the Labrador coast and I’d bought a postcard, but I’d forgotten to post it while I’d been out there but as I was going back very soon I thought that I’d post it while I was back out there then. I went up to one of the Clerical Assistants in the office where I worked, a very young girl and I was going to ask her if she had any stamps that the Canadian authorities would accept for a postcard that was posted in Canada. I asked her a question and started off in one of these statements that could be taken in quite a few ways. She said “you aren’t going to start this again, are you?”. I’d asked her quite a long time ago whether she’d be interested in coming out with me on occasion but she turned me down. I said “look, you made it very clear the last time we spoke exactly what the position was and I accepted much to my extreme disappointment but much as I would like it, this question has nothing to do with any of that” making it clear that I was still extremely interested but I wasn’t going to push it because I knew that that was what she wasn’t wanting. Somehow our conversation stuck on that particular point instead of asking about this stamp and it wasn’t until right at the very end that I was able to ask her about this stamp and I never actually got an answer about that, spending so much time talking about other things or, rather, about one other thing, namely the question of me taking her out which of course wasn’t the point of the discussion at all. I was thinking that we might have moved on from there but there wasn’t time to mention the name before I had to go pretty quickly

There was also someone who died – an upper-class kind of man, a young man. And his mother had suddenly received a packet through the post of some highly erotic literature kept in the form of a diary. A letter that accompanied it said basically that there was plenty more stuff where this came from and she could have it at so much per week. So she called in Hercule Poirot and I was assisting him. We went to speak to this lady and she showed us this literature. This was odd so we went to the British Library and started to hunt around in the books there. We were using the old encyclopaedias to trace events and so on. It was quite strange because the authors of the books had their names carved in marble on this marble tablet that was going all around the walls like the War memorial at Tyne Cot perhaps. You could see where new editions had been carved in at the appropriate place subsequent to this tablet being prepared and we ended up looking at a place called Donovan in Central Australia and another report about trees that had suddenly lost all their foliage somewhere in Leicestershire. We had to try to research those particular places and events.

After the medication, I attacked the radio programme. – I must have travelled quite a way – but I’ve not had the time to deal with it as yet.

When I finished the radio programme I had a little relax that took me all the way up to lunchtime.

After lunch I started another sourdough loaf off. I’d fed the sourdough starter yesterday and it had fermented quite nicely, and today I reached almost the end of the loaf. Not enough bread to make my lunch tomorrow so I need a load that will go into the oven first thing in the morning.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat all took me up to the right time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

Outside, the weather was somewhat better than just recently although it was cold. I even had my gloves on this afternoon. I’m not sure what the roofers working on the roof would be wearing in this but I wouldn’t like to be up there on that roof in the weather that we have been having of late.

But it seems that the area on which they are working has now been extended to the left by a couple of yards. It might be that they are going to be doing thee whole roof but if so they need to be getting something of a move-on because winter will be here any minute now and that won’t be the kind of weather that anyone would want to be up on a roof.

seagull Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving taken note of what was going on on the roof, I set off for my walk around the headland.

First though I had a look out to sea to see if there was anything going on out there. No boats at all today but one or two people walking up and down the beach and there was also a seagull having a nice swim. At least, I thought that it was a seagull. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m a very keen birdwatcher, but not the kind of birds that have wings and feathers.

Nothing else of any interest so I walked on across the lawn and the car park to the end of the headland.

sun baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce more, there was some really good sunshine coming through the clouds and reflecting off the water in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

The Brittany coast was well-hidden in the haze over there too so we couldn’t see anything of Cancale. The weather wasn’t that quite nice.

With no dogs around making a nuisance of themselves today, I headed off down the footpath at the top of the cliffs overlooking the port. There was nothing at all new in the chantier navale and nothing going on in the port either so without any further ado I headed on home. I had plenty of things to do.

First thing that I had to do is my Welsh homework. That was what I’d planned to do over the weekend but I never ended up doing it. But having arranged things around and having ended up with an hour or so free now, I had to do it.

And I’d have done even better had I not crashed out for a short while.

After the hour on the guitars I made tea. Stuffed pepper with rice followed by apple pie and soya coconut dessert with chocolate sauce.

road closed rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on, after a quick chat with my friend in the UK, I went out for my evening runs.

And here’s some excitement going on in the medieval town because one of the roads, the Rue St Jean, is blocked off today. The road up to the Square du Parvis Notre Dame was marked as a 2-way road and so was the Rue St Jean as far as the Rue du Nord.

But anyone going that way will be in for something of a surprise. The diversion ends up just 10 metres down the Rue du Nord where there’s a barrier stopping the general circulation. It’s pass-holders only.

So vehicles following the signed diversion around here will need to reverse, turn round and then go back the way that they came.

My run went along the Rue du Nord and then I took the path along the foot of the walls. Other places had dried up considerably over the course of the day so I was hoping that it would dry down there. The verdict was that it’s been worse down there, but it’s also been better.

escalier du moulin a vent place de l'isthme Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt takes me two legs of about 250-300 metres each to arrive at the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch.

It’s been a few days since I’ve walked around the footpath to there. Where I’ve taken some of the photographs over the last few days has been from up there on top of the Escalier du Moulin A Vent in the Place de l’Isthme. You can see the difference in height between here and there.

There was nothing going on anywhere else so I ran across the Square Maurice Marland and headed for home.

Intrigued as to what was going on in the Rue St Jean that was causing the diversion, but there was no evidence to suggest anything at all.

trawlers entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was on my way out I noticed a pile of lights out to sea. I counted at least 7 fishing boats heading for home.

And so after inspecting the Rue St Jean I headed off on a little diversion to the walls overlooking the harbour to see them come in.

They were all there or thereabouts and the fish processing plant was working at full-tilt. Fork-lift trucks were everywhere. Having admired them for a few minutes, I ran on back to the apartment to write up my notes.

Tomorrow I’ll have to catch up with the dictaphone and then prepare for my Welsh. And then being free for the rest of the week, I can hopefully push on with some of the arrears.

There’s plenty of them to deal with.

Sunday 6th December 2020 – JUST FOR …

… a change today I’ve been working. even if it is a Sunday.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve not been feeling too good this last couple of days and today was no exception. I didn’t feel like doing anything at all but then I have a theory that whenever one is feeling like this, it doesn’t matter what one does, as long as one does something.

And so, for some of the day I’ve been selecting the music for the next radio programme, editing it, remixing it and merging it into pairs.

When I say “some of the day”, I do have to say that there wasn’t much of a day to have some of. Not when one doesn’t wake up until 12:15 and doesn’t leave one’s bed until 12:30. And that’s something of a surprise when I actually made it into bed as early as 00:30. All that I can say is that I must have needed the sleep.

And sleep I did too, although there were a few travels involved in it all too. I was running a bus company last night and some of my buses were doing a shuttle service around town. I pulled up to where these shuttle buses were parked and ready to to and one of the guys with one of the coaches was someone who shouldn’t be driving for some particular reason. I asked him where the driver was and he looked panic-stricken and flustered and said “ohh he must have been here. He’s probably gone. He’ll be back in a minute”. We waited for a couple of minutes but he never showed up so I asked again “where’s he gone? Tell me where he’s gone”. he was becoming even more flustered. In the end I said that I wanted to see the tachograph disc that’s in the coach. Reluctantly he opened the tachograph. I couldn’t see it fairly well but the guilty look on this guy’s face made me believe that it was his tachograph and he’d been driving the bus despite not being allowed to. I said “right, get everything on board. We’re going”. We picked up all of the luggage that was lying around and got ready to set off. I don’t know whether I was going to drive it back or not but we were ready to go back and sort this out back at the depot.

And later on during the night there was something going on with my family. I had to take my father into work in the morning that meant that I would be late into work again. As I’d already been late getting into work the previous day, not getting in until 09:50. I was up early as usual doing a few things and I was getting rather impatient thinking that he’d better get a move on”. One of my sisters came out. “Dad says to tell you that he’s getting up. He’ll be up in half an hour’s time and you have to take him to work when he gets up”. I said “this is just stupid because I’m going to miss an entire morning’s work now, having done this”. I was extremely annoyed. She said something like “there’s been 5 coffees waiting for you already this morning”. I dismissed that. He finally did get up and said something about responsibilities, all that kind of thing. I said to him “are you going to take responsibility for telling work why it is that I’m so late this morning?”. He brushed off the question so I was really annoyed about this yet again.

I’d had a couple of job interviews lined up anyway so later on I was walking through the streets still in a totally foul mood about this but who should be coming the other way but Doctor Chaker. I couldn’t even bring myself to give him a cheery greeting. I just mumbled “hello” at him and walked on past. As for the 2nd interview this was taking place at a football ground in Belgium, either Mechelen or Beveren. It involved getting the train. I got the train to the railway station and could see the ground quite clearly close by so I set off to walk to the ground. I was looking at houses seeing if there were any rooms to let. I’d rent a furnished room for a while and put my furniture in store. I suddenly realised that I’d gone miles from the football ground. I could see the football ground away in the distance and I remembered now that I’d dne exactly the same thig when I’m come to watch a football match here – that I’d taken a wrong turning and gone miles away and been late for the kick-off. And then I thought “I only have 10 minutes before this interview starts. I’m going to have to run like hell”. I could see the floodlights of the football ground illuminated in the distance. I thought “if I can get there in 10 minutes I’ll be doing really well” so I set off to run down this dirt path past this startled pedestrian thinking to myself “I am never ever going to get there in time”.

But I seem to be spending a considerable amount of time travelling around with my family during the night, something that is totally strange seeing that I don’t spend any time at all thinking about them during my waking time. I’d love to know what’s churning up in the back of my mind and, more importantly, why.

Having recovered my composure I made a start on the music for the radio programme but them knocked off to make the dough for my pizza.

jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall And putting it on one side, I then went out for my afternoon walk.

Just for a change recently, the sky was quite clear. Plenty of heavy cloud about but visibility was really good today. There was an excellent view right across the English Channel to the island of Jersey 38 kilometres away.

Unfortunately the sky wasn’t quite clear enough to make out any of the individual buildings over there today. In the past they have on occasion stood out really clearly and we could even see the radio mast at the back of St Helier, but not today.

rays of sun lighthouse pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhilst the skies over the English Channel were grey and cloudy in the vicinity of the Channel Islands there was quite a different kind of sky looking over to the west.

The clouds in that direction were even heavier but there were a few gaps in the clouds that were giving us another TORA TORA TORA as the rays shone through and reflected off the sea.

No lights on the semaphore masts this afternoon though. I’m intrigued to know what that was all about yesterday and that was something to think about as I walked around the path.

rays of sun cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom the Point on the headland there’s a good view across the bay towards the Brittany Coast so I walked across the lawn and the car park and made my way there where I joined someone else taking a photo.

There was even a better view of the rays of the sun here than in the previous photo. The sun is hiding behind the heavy cloud and shining through the gaps. The town of Cancale is standing out really well in silhouette over there on the clifftop in the centre of the photograph.

From there I moved on down the footpath on the cliffs down the southern side of the headland, where a dog tried to bite me. I hope that its ribs aren’t too badly bruised.

carolles Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt that particular moment the sun came out of another gap in the clouds and lit up the town of Carolles as if it had been floodlight. The reflection in the sea over there was extremely interesting too.

But I couldn’t hang around all that long to admire it. I had things to do and so I headed for home. There was nothing in the chantier navale or the port to detain me for very long.

Back here I carried on with the music in some kind of desultory way and even crashed out for 10 minutes too, something that surprised me considering all of the sleep that I’d had this morning.

Round about 18:00 I went to look at the pizza dough and see how it was doing.

vegan pizza Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt had risen incredibly but was far too wet still to do anything with it. In the end I had to add more flour to it, I ended up with four helpings of dough rather than the usual three. Three of those went into the freezer and the fourth I rolled out and put on a pizza tray, folding the edges over, to proof some more.

After about an hour or so I went to check on it. It had risen quite nicely again so I prepared my pizza and put it in the oven to cook. 30 minutes later I pulled it out of the oven, cooked to perfection.

It was delicious, especially when followed down by a banana with banana sorbet and chocolate sauce.

rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halllater on I went out for my evening run around the walls of the city

There was only a slight little drizzle this evening but even so I didn’t go around the footpath underneath the walls. Everywhere else is flooded so the footpath is bound to be, so I carried on along the Rue du Nord. I took a photo back down the way that I came and if you look to the right-hand side of the photo you can see the postern gate that I would usually take when the weather permits.

Right in the background you can see the Place d’Armes, and to the right there’s also a light out to see as if a fishing boat is going past.

rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s a bit of a climb up the hill for someone like me but I broke into a run as soon as I could and ran all the way around the corner.

Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen several photos of the Rue St Jean down at the end near the Place d’Armes, and also round by the Place Cambernon. But this is the bottom end of the street at the Place d’isthme.

And here I was surprised by a police car that came round the corner. For a change, they must be carrying on a night patrol, although I’m not sure why they would be doing it around here. I was half-expecting to be asked to produce my documents and my laissez-passer but they just drove straight past me.

rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the same corner is the end of the Rue Notre Dame. We’ve walked down this street dozens of times but I don’t recall having photographed this end before.

Down the steps from here to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch. The tide was was still an hour or two from being right in and with the sea having calmed down from how it has been over the last couple of days, there was nothing in the way of waves breaking onto the sea wall of the Plat Gousset.

With no-one about to disrupt me, I ran all the way across the Square Maurice Marland down to the far end.

square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the Square there’s a ramp that goes up through another postern gate onto the walls again, but there’s also a kind of lower garden with stairs that lead down to the Rue des Juifs.

In the past it’s made a nice pleasant walk but today the stairs are all closed off due to the deteriorating state of the city walls above. It’s one of the things that I’ve talked about in the past – the fact that the city walls are deteriorating rapidly and since I’ve been here there have been three areas that have been roped offas unsafe without any any attempt being made to repair them.

It makes me wonder where this lack of maintenance is all going to end.

Back here I wrote up my notes and now I’m ready for bed. I’ll finish off the radio programme tomorrow and then try to plan what I have to do for the rest of the week. There’s plenty to do and I have to organise myself better than I am doing at the moment

Friday 4th December 2020 – JUST FOR A …

… change I had a lie-in today and didn’t leave my bed until about 07:30.

And it wasn’t necessarily through oversleeping either. When the alarms went off I was regaled by the sound of a torrential rainstorm and all kinds of wicked things going on outside and they certainly weren’t the kind of conditions conducive to constructive thought.

When I finally arose, I had my medication and then set a pile of lentils on the go in the slow cooker.

Back in the bedroom, I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was back at school last night. I had a girlfriend but one of my friends from school started dating her. After the first time he told me that he was going to be taking her out again. I told him that I wasn’t going to let that happen if I could. I would be taking her out. He started to turn all violent saying that he had all of the weapons arranged, all the oil and everything like that and he’d be dealing with it. But I stuck my ground and we ended up having this fierce argument.

Later on there was something to do with a dog. We’d come into possession of a dog for some reason. My brother, father and I were coming down Underwood Lane in Crewe and were talking about going to get some dog biscuits. We turned left into West Street but it wasn’t out of Underwood Lane but out of Minshull New Road. There was a pet shop right on the corner there so we stopped. But I couldn’t believe West Street. It was like the Blitz had hit it. Everything had been demolished and there was just the odd house here and there on the south side sticking up and a little Sprite 400 caravan with people living in it parked there with a washing line and a load of washing outside. We went into this shop and the woman asked what we wanted. My brother said that we were looking for dog treats. My father took out some money and it must have been a couple of hundred quid he brought out. I said “dad, what are you trying to do? Buy the shop or something?”. This woman put a pile of dog biscuits into a bag, this kind of thing and then a few packets of sweets, saying “this will do you right for Christmas” and charged I dunno about £20 or something for it. He took it and went outside but then started to give my brother a lecture about buying stuff. “What she’s probably done is given all kinds of stuff that aren’t suitable for the dog, stuff that’s past its sell-by date, all this kind of thing. We should have taken much more care about what we bought”. he started to go through it and found loads of stuff that wasn’t suitable. he decided that he would go back into the shop and renegotiate the deal. I was outside, looking at the road, how it went further on and zigzagged up this spectacular cliff like a wild west mesa or whatever. There were birds flying over there and a couple of dogs flying around. I thought that this was a really idyllic setting here but my brother and my father were in such a deep discussion about these dog biscuits that they failed to notice it.

By now, the weather had cleared up so I rinsed the lentils, put them back in with fresh clean water and flavouring, and then fried some onions, garlic, tofu and beans with more flavouring. When it was all cooked properly, I added it all to the slow cooker and left it in there to fester on “low”.

hailstones place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallGrabbing my rain jacket and the rest of my equipment I headed off outside for the shops.

And you can see here what was going on this morning. I thought at first that it was snow but in actual fact it was a mega-hailstorm that had descended upon us from a great height. Most of it had melted now but there were still a few vestiges left.

So leaving it at that, I set off into town. And before I’d gone a quarter of a mile the heavens opened again and I was absolutely, totally and thoroughly drenched. This was not what I was expecting at all. There had been blue skies 15 minutes earlier.

porsche 924 ford capri 280 gare de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall How long is it since we’ve had an old car on these pages? It must be a while, I reckon, so here are two for the price of one.

The red one is a Porsche 924, a model made from about 1976 to 1988. About 150,000 were made which was no surprise because for a Porsche, they were relatively affordable. However, it was its affordability and popularity that were its downfall because many people who bought one were mocked for being “nouveau riche” arrivists. Although the vehicle handled well, its actual performance was lamentable for a top-end sports car until they began to be fitted with turbos. And the turbos brought with them their own problems.

The blue one is much more like my car of course. A Ford Capri from the early 1980s, this one. It’s described as a “280” by which I imagine that it has the 2.8 litre V6 “Cologne” engine in it (Strider has a 4.0 litre Cologne engine in it). Of course, if I were to own such a car, which I wouldn’t turn down, it would be a black one and the V engine would be binned and replaced with a 2-litre Pinto engine

having done a lap around LIDL, then loaded up like a packhorse I headed for home. As well as the immense shopping list that I took with me, they also had a few Christmas dainties that I could eat and so as they won’t be there for ever, I grabbed a few.

new shop front bar la civette rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few weeks we’ve seen them demolishing the facade of a bar, La Civette, in the Rue Paul Poirier, and then building a wooden wall around it while they worked inside.

It looks as if they’ve had the unveiling of the new facade since I last passed this way. It’s a big improvement on what was there before and, thankfully, it doesn’t resemble too much the other new facades going up around the town that all look the same.

And you can tell how the weather is doing right now. Teeming down with rain and it’s really dark. all of the lights oare on in the street, despite it being 11:00.

fresh fish stall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOf course it’s Friday, not Thursday, so there are different things going on in the street that I wouldn’t normally see when I’m out and about usually.

We’ve talked … “at great length” – ed … about the fishing industry in the town and all of the lorries and vans that go to the fish processing plant to cart away the catch. But some of the produce is sold locally and every Friday morning there’s a stall on the harbour where one of the local fishermen sells his catch.

Straight from the sea.

It’s a far cry of course from the fish market in Oostende that we have seen before but nevertheless it’s an interesting venture. Seafood doesn’t get any fresher than this.

Back here I had a hot chocolate and a slice of my chocolate cake, and then had to speak to Rosemary. She’d rung me up to say that she was having computer issues. So I had to talk her through a remote session in order to fix it.

My Diploma in Computing does come in handy some times even though it was 20 years ago since I obtained it.

After lunch I had a look at the pie filling that was simmering away in the slow cooker. Far too liquidy and so to bind it and make it nice and glutinous, a couple of handfuls of porridge oats went in and were stirred around. That should stiffen it up somewhat.

Once that was organised I went and carried on with some of the arrears from Central Europe.

heavy skies english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on it was time for me to go for my afternoon walk. And it was just as well that it had stopped raining.

But just look at the sky over there down the Brittany coast. When you consider just how nice it has been at times, this is rather depressing, isn’t it? This is what they call around here un ciel de plomb – a leaden sky. And you can see that it lives up to its description.

All that I can say is that I’m glad that I’m not out there at sea in all of that. The Brittany coast must be taking quite a pasting at the moment.

rainstorm ile de chausey english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOver towards the Ile de Chausey it’s somewhat brighter, but there is still a terrific rainstorm cascading down on the population over there.

And the wind is blowing it my way so I don’t want to hang around here. I’m the only person out here walking and I can understand why if all of this weather suddenly arrives. So I clear off around the headland to see what’s on the other side.

And nothing of any significance over there either, except for more of the same. Nothing of note, apart from the usual, in the chantier navale. But by now the rain has arrived and it’s starting to fall quite heavily so I don’t want to hang around.

lorries port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there’s something bizarre going on down in the loading bay in the port.

Those two lorries shouldn’t be there unless they are delivering, and if they are delivering, we are going to be having an interesting nautical arrival down there pretty soon. I wonder what it might be. Still, we’ll find out in de course I suppose.

Musing on that for a moment, I turned and headed on home and a nice hot mug of coffee. And I can’t say that I didn’t deserve it. By now the rain was teeming down once more and I was soaked to the skin again.

Back here, I switched off the slow cooker and emptied the contents out to cool. A nice glutinous sticky filling. Just what I wanted.

So I made my pastry and put it in my mould. And when the filling had cooled down properly, I filled the pie base and made a pie lid out of some of the remaining pastry. With the pastry that was left, I made a quick apple turnover.

Now it was time for my session on the guitars. And I spent much of the time trying (and eventually succeeding) in working out the chords to Richard Thompson’s “Keep Your Distance”.

I’ve been feeling quite nostalgic for certain events that occurred over three nights on board The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour that one day I might talk about when I’m in the mood. There are a couple of lines in that song that really are quite relevant.

Half way through the proceedings with the guitar I’d switched on the oven and started off the pie and the apple turnover. Now, having finished the guitar, I came in and did a huge mound of washing up.

vegan tofu pie apple turnover Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were some potatoes left so I had put those in the oven too so I sorted out some veg – sprouts, carrots and runner beans, and put them in a small pan and cooked them in some gravy with some herbs.

Eventually the pie was done – at least on top. I wished that I had cooked it lower down in the oven and not on a metal tray as I had done. It’s a mistake that I always make, cooking too high in the oven and having a heat deflector underneath doesn’t help anything either.

But it actually tasted delicious and there are another 7 slices for the freezer for a later date. The apple turnover was impressive too. That worked really well.

It was time for me to go out on my evening walk and runs so I hit the streets, straight into the biting wind that made running almost impossible.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNevertheless I pushed on as well as I could but I eschewed the route down on the footpath under the walls due to the bad weather. And as it was by now raining quite heavily I carried on the route that I took yesterday.

From up on the Place de l’Isthmus I could hear the waves crashing down onto the promenade at the Plat Gousset so I wandered down the steps of the Escalier du Moulin a Vent to have a look at what was happening.

It was certainly wild out there. And it’s hard to believe that we are still a fair way away from high tide. What this is going to be like in an hour’s time will be anyone’s guess, but it certainly would be something to see.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut not for me, unfortunately. By now the rain was coming down in sheets and I was being soaked to the skin.

Braving the weather, I stuck it out just long enough to take a second photograph and then ran all the way across the Square Maurice Marland in the general direction of home.

Just for a change, I took the shortest route possible. I’d had my walk out to the shops and back, my afternoon stroll and now my evening runs so I was quite confident that I’d done enough today.

rue st jean place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallComing back the short way, I ended up in the Rue St Jean. And I reckoned that I haven’t taken a photo down here at this end for quite some considerable time. I’d better put that right.

And you can see the weather in this photograph. teeming down with rain and everywhere soaking wet. Including me.

And the Place Cambernon just down there with the Christmas lights peering around the corner.

having done that, I ran on home to write up my notes. 147% on the fitbit is good enough for me today.

Shopping at LeClerc and Noz tomorrow. And there will probably be other things that I need but which I’ve forgotten that I’ll remember when I return home. That always happens to me.

Wednesday 18th November 2020 – EEUURRGGHH!

Yes, I’m not quite sure what happened here but once more I slept right through the three alarms and I would probably still be asleep right now if the telephone hadn’t rung and awoken me from my slumber.

baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you admire a couple of photos of the brittany coast taken this evening , it was 09:25 it was when I left the bed and that’s something of a tragedy. It’s not as if I had a particularly late night last night, and although I was off on my travels during the night I didn’t go very far.

I wasn’t very well last night and I’d been at home. I was sitting quietly in the kitchen when someone knocked on the door. One of my sisters or someone went to see who it was. It turned out to be some one about whom I don’t care that much and can’t understand why he would be invading my nocturnal rambles when there are many more pleasant companions from whom I could choose were I able to. I didn’t realise who is was at first – I didn’t know – and my sister said “can he come in and see Eric?” I replied “yes, come in”. He came in with his wife, who is in the same category as he is and was clutching a workshop manual. He came over to me with it and said “I have this Jag and it has 3 airfoil fins underneath”. He pointed to them on the diagram, and said “I don’t think they are working properly while I travel because it(s a pig to handle at all and these airfoil fins should work a lot better”. They were underneath the car somewhere in between the wheels. He wanted me to help him or tell him which one it would be but it was something totally new that I had never come across before, this kind of wing on a motor vehicle and wasn’t sure whether I wanted to become involved in it. I know how these stories end. If it goes wrong it’s always your fault but it’s never to your credit when you fix it (and that’s the voice of bitter experience, isn’t it?).

baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on there was something about a football match with Pionsat playing and in a dispute the goalkeeper was sent off. Strangely, he was wearing n°3 on his shirt. Then there was a guy in a clothes shop and another guy came along but it was too late to go and look for him. And I’ve no idea at all about any of that.

By the time the room had stopped revolving and I’d been able to stand up and have my medicine it was already quite late. And with a pile of personal stuff that needed attention it was soon lunchtime and it didn’t feel as if I’d done a thing.

After lunch I rang up about Caliburn. “Ring back Friday morning” was the response. “I’m snowed under here”. So that was that. Then, as I mentioned yesterday there was some important stuff that needed attention. And not just one but two issues in fact. So I occupied myself with those and neither reached a very satisfactory conclusion. In fact, I’m rather disappointed by one and extremely disappointed (to say the least) by the other.

scaffolding roofing rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis was the moment to wander off for my afternoon walk.

For the last couple of nights I’d been seeing a dim orange light flashing away in the distance and I’d wondered what it was. For that reason this afternoon I headed into the old walled city to see what it might be. There’s plenty of roofing work going on in the town as we have seen over the last few months and it seems that there’s some more going on here now.

And I bet that it’s exciting watching some of the vehicles trying to negotiate their way past there, when we remember how they (didn’t) cope with the one further up the street.

fishing boats english channel ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day I was complaining about the absence of fishing boats out at sea.

Well, I’m not complaining today. Round at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord overlooking the English Channel and the Ile de Chausey I could see probably about a dozen or so of them out in mid-channel. There are five or six that I managed to capture in this photo alone.

What we’ll probably find, were we to look, is that the sea is zoned and they work their way around from patch to patch. Of course, for seafood of the swimming variety that’s not usually possible, but most of the catch here is of the crustacean variety and doesn’t move around so much.

medieval fish trap mussel beds beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallTalking of seafood of the crustacean variety, there’s a good view today of the mussel beds out offshore by Donville le Bains.

Incidentally, while we are on the subject of the mussel beds … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ve seen reference to a paper of 1819 that mentions that the concessions for harvesting crustaceans goes back to an edict of 1816 to regulate the trade and prevent over-exploitation.

This paper is apparently freely available and I’ve an idea where I might find a copy. So one of these days when I have more time, whenever that might be, I’ll track down a copy and have a read. It should be interesting.

birds medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn that photo just now you also saw a photo of the medieval (at least I assume that it’s medieval) fish trap.

Even though the human population of the area seems to have forsaken it, it seems that the animal kingdom has not. it was teeming with seabirds this afternoon, presumably helping themselves to a late lunch of all of the small fish that have been trapped the wrong side of the wall by the receding tide

But you can see how this all works. For centuries up to about 100 years or so the local peasant women would have been up to their knees in that water grabbing the fish with their bare hands or rudimentary nets to make sure that there was something for tea

beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe weather was quite nice today, all things considering and there were one or two people walking about (usually just where I didn’t want to meet them).

No-one about on the beach though, which was surprising. The beach was looking absolutely beautiful, really pristine this afternoon in the cloudy sunshine and it was just the kind of weather that folk should have been taking advantage of it, particularly as it’s Wednesday afternoon and the brats are out of school.

Not for me though. It’s all very well going down the steps but I have to come back up them afterwards so I eschewed the opportunity. Instead I ran off along the Square Maurice Marland for part of the way until I bumped into a couple out for a walk so I slowed down to a more sedate and less embarrassing walk and made my way home again.

There was time to amend a page of the arrears from Germany before my guitar practice. And tonight I felt much more like it. And I ended up playing a lead guitar solo to “One Tree Hill” by U2. I’ve a long way to go before I’m Duane Allman but as Confucious says, the longest journey in the world begins with one step.

Tea tonight was a delicious burger on a bun with microwaved potato and veg followed by an apple crumble. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I really am eating well these days.

My runs out tonight were something of a disappointment and I think that if the weather doesn’t improve I’m going to abandon my evening run around the headland in the evening.

There was a howling gale that brought me to a sudden halt on four of my 6 legs tonight as I ran full-tilt into the teeth of a gale. There’s no shelter out there and with the wind gusting as wickedly as it is right now I catch the full force of it. At least underneath the walls there’s shelter of some sort.

You’ve seen the two photos of the Brittany coast that I took earlier. It was a gorgeous clear night and you could see for miles. Just the right kind of weather for taking out the tripod, except for the wind of course. This really is the windiest period that I’ve ever known. It’s been almost non-stop for 6 months.

ceres 2 chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe Brittany photos were blown about in the wind – it’s impossible to do a hand-held long exposure in these conditions, but at least the photo of the chantier navale didn’t turn out too badly.

Ceres II and the yacht are still in there. It looks as if they have put down roots there and are making themselves comfortable for the duration. I decided to run on home and make myself comfortable there, so I ran off home as best as I could given the conditions.

Back here I was having a laugh with a friend of mine from Northern Ireland. We were discussing Brexit and he said “Chickens, voting for Christmas. Their goose is cooked!” And I couldn’t resist it. I retorted “and now they can get stuffed”.

So that’s me finished. It was a bad day today, so here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow. Getting up early might help. But it’s shopping day too so that’s the morning wasted. Still, I have to eat and I can’t eat if I don’t have food. Although I have far too many things to be doing right now.

Wednesday 28th October 2020 – IN WHAT MAY COME …

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… as a surprise to most of the regular readers of this rubbish who might recall the difficulties that I might be having these days? I actually beat the third alarm yet again!

Well sort-of. I was sitting on the edge of the bed with both feet on the floor when it went off. Not exactly what I would call “lively” – you mustn’t go round expecting too much from me these days – but it was good enough to count.

So while you admire a few more photos of the tremendous waves that we have been having, smashing down on the promenade over by the Plat Gousset and making all of the kids squeal as they are drenched by a downpour as the spray falls to earth, I’ll tell you all about it.

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLast night, I didn’t actually find anything additional to do after I’d finished my notes – except to make a start on downloading the data files from the old travelling laptop onto an external drive for safety.

And it can do most of that itself. It doesn’t really need all that much of my help to do that. Mind you, I was surprised to see it fire up without a hitch although it took its usual while to fire up, but that’s only to be expected.

Once I had started it off, I snuggled myself down the bedclothes to get warm in the hope that I could have another interesting night after last night’s lack of excitement. Like I have said … “on many occasions” – ed … my voyages during the night are much more interesting and exciting that what I get up to during the day these days, and I miss it when I don’t go anywhere.

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I wasn’t disappointed last night. There were voyages a-plenty.

Last night I started off baking bread and there was something about getting it all ready before the Army came which was in effect me getting it ready before I went off back to sleep again

Later on there was something about we were somewhere or other. I was with Marianne and there was a dog. This big bulldog appeared and it took a big lump out of this dog’s side. The dog yelped and wandered off but didn’t go far, and the bulldog came round and grabbed hold of him again and took another bite out as if he was intending to eat him. This gradually evolved as more and more animals were becoming involved, all up to no good, and then they started to chase after the humans. There was a guy there an I was with Marianne and another young girl as well.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this was something about car windows – the glass inside the windows but where that fitted in I really don’t know

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe were next on the top of the hill looking out across the water. There was a fight going on in the harbour and my country was being overwhelmed quite easily. I remember thinking that I’m lucky that I’m no footballer, that type of thing, because I would hate to participate in the kind of game that I’d been talking about earlier this evening

This building that we started off in tonight, a round building that looked very much like the buildings involved in London’s domestic water supply or something designed by that architect Bazalgette (and I’m surprised that I could remember his name in the middle of a dream) or something who did all of those public works in the London area round about that time

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThen I awoke and it was back to chasing these people around again back in the original harbour. For once I was in the pack of the hunters rather than the hunted but I fell asleep before I could see where this actually went towards.

There was far more than that too but some of it didn’t seem to be recorded and I’ve no idea why. Is my technique slipping or am I dictating to an empty hand again like I have done a few times just recently?

And then there is other more gruesome stuff that you wouldn’t thank me for repeating, especially if you are having your lunch or something right now. I’m back on the disturbing dreams again, so it seems.

After getting myself organised, I spent much or the morning working on one of the arrears AND THAT IS NOW FINALLY FINISHED although I’ve no idea why it took me so long to do it. Having a little … errr … relax in the middle of the morning didn’t help matters too much. Clearly beating the third alarm was not the advantage that it might seem.

And then the fun began. With all of the data files now copied onto an external disk, I could set about doing a reinstall of the operating system and files onto the old laptop. When I tried that on the Lenovo the other day it took well over a day to do it. On the little Acer it took 4 hours and as a result required my almost constant attention.

Much to my surprise, once everything had been done and installed and registered, it fired up a darn sight quicker than it ever did in all the years that I have owned it. I’ve now uploaded a few programs to it and I’m going to leave it running for a couple of days to see how stable it is before I decide whether to start reusing it.

Surprisingly, that took me most of the early afternoon.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving decided on a break from work, I decided to take myself outside for my afternoon walk.

And I do have to say that I didn’t envy the roofers up there on the roof of the College Malraux. There was what the French call a ciel de plomb – a sky of lead – out there right now, there’s quite a strong wind and it’s threatening rain at any moment.

Yet there they are up there fixing that roof and I wouldn’t like to be up there with them in this kind of weather.

trawlers english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if there is one group of people for whom I have even greater sympathy than roofers, it’s deep-sea fishermen.

My route today took me round to the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord and in the distance out in the English Channel near the Ile de Chausey I could make out a couple of trawlers heading out to sea for the day’s catch. My hat goes off to them in this weather, as I have said before … “on many, many occasions” – ed.

There were crowds of people about this afternoon so I couldn’t break into a run down the footpath. Instead I had a leisurely stroll that way to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset to watch the waves smashing down again on the promenade, photos of which you have already seen.

marité thora normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s full house in the harbour this afternoon.

Last night I must have been mistaken … “What? You? Perish the thought!” – ed … when I mentioned that Thora had left port yesterday afternoon – either that or else she’s been and done an allez-retour in a remarkably quick time to be back in port right now, because here she is.

But all of the wood that was on the quayside when we had a look yesterday is still there so it’s quite possible that she hasn’t gone anywhere and is waiting for part of her load.

marité thora normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut she’s not alone out there today.

Of course Marité is moored there astern of her in her usual corner. Her tourist season, such as it was, is probably over. And there ahead of her is Normandy Trader, the other Jersey Freighter. She’s made a run in to port today and has had to moor somewhere else, which is rather confusing.

All we need now is Godzilla, or maybe the Loch Ness Monster. But ideally for me, I’d like to see one of the gravel boats come into port. And then we really would have a full house, wouldn’t we?

roofing rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back to my apartment I went to have a look at the roofing job on the house in the Rue St Jean to see how they were getting on.

And to my surprise, they seem to have finished, packed up and gone home. Nevertheless, they seem to have done a nice jon on it. It looks quite good from here. But I notice that a seagull is on its way to have a look, and probably to christen it too.

As for me, I didn’t want to hang around too long. I have plenty to do back at the apartment so I came home to carry on with my work.

There was my Welsh to revise, and I made a good start on that, but left off to have my hour on the guitars, which wasn’t helped by me having lost my notes on one of the tracks that I’ve been playing.

Tea was a burger on a bap – the last bap in the freezer. Must buy some more tomorrow. And then I came back in here to listen to the news from Our Glorious Leader that we’re all back in detention à domicile with effect from Friday. So where this leaves me with my trip to Castle Anthrax next week I really don’t know.

Just as I was about to go out for my evening run, Rosemary rang for a chat and by the time we had finished two hours (yes, two hours) later, it was far too late for me to go out.

So instead, I’ll go to bed. Tomorrow is shopping day of course and I’ll need to get some suplies in because I’ve no idea now what’s going to happen next with this virus and our confinement.

Whoever said that we are “living in interesting times” has got it perfectly right, especially after I’ve just gone to all this trouble to fire up the old laptop again.