… about the place out here being a hive of activity at the morning tide while I’m still plucking up the courage to drink a mug of coffee
This morning started off with a couple of blasts on the siren from one of the Joly France ferries , the older one of the two as she reverses out of the ferry terminal with a load of passengers on board.
They all do that when they reverse out, because they never know what is coming around the corner behind them, and I imagine that the sounding of the siren is the result of bitter experience.
And it’s just as well that she did because she had company right behind.
The very newest Chausey ferry, Belle France looks as if she’s been an early bird this morning.
She’s on her way back into harbour having presumably already dropped one load of passengers off at the island, and coming back for more, bringing with her, I imagine, holidaymakers who want to return to Paris on the midday train.
And so it looks as if it’s going to be a busy day for them out there today with them starting early like this.
Jamais deux sans trois – never two without a third, as I said yesterday.
And in behind all of them, somewhat later and at a much more leisurely rate, comes Chausiaise, the little freighter that they use for running the supplies and the luggage out there
All we need now is the other Joly France boat, wherever she may be, and the Loch Ness monster and we’ll have a full house today.
And if you think that that was all of the excitement this morning you are very much mistaken.
One of the big issues about living in a medieval walled city is that deliveries are somewhat complicated. The heights and widths of the gates weren’t made for modern lorries.
Anyone who has anything delivered here in a lorry like this will need to have some kind of trans-shipment facility for their purchases if they expect their goods to arrive at their front door.
Meanwhile, back at the ran … errr … harbour we have another visitor in here this morning.
The Normandy Trader seems to have come into port with the evening tide yesterday and by the time that I got round to see her she was busy being loaded up with a pile of building material that must also have arrived quite early.
According to her skipper, she’d already been over to St Malo on her way out from St Helier so they are keeping her busy.
And while I was at it, I went to have a look on the north side of the headland when I came back from the shops.
And here, sailing around the bay was Marité
We had seen her at her mooring earlier when we saw Normandy Trader but by the time that I came back both of them had cleared off into the sunset.
Normandy Trader had long-since disappeared into the distance but Marité kept me entertained for quite a while.
And we had another surprising sight right out to sea just leaving the harbour at St Helier and the camera did really well to pick this up.
A quick check of the fleet radar told me that just about 20 minutes before I took this photo, Condor Voyager, the big superfast ferry whom we had seen the other day, had set out from St Helier on her way back to Poole in Dorset, where she arrived at 14:43.
She was the only ship out there who fitted the description and the size of what I was seeing so I reckon that it’s she.
Yes, I’ll go out again when the tide is right.
But anyway, I’m getting well ahead of myself.
And after last night’s adventures, all that I can say is that there’s no point whatever in killing myself to go to bed at a reasonably early time if I spend most of the night tossing and turning and not being able to sleep properly It was a rather dismal night in fact.
Nevertheless, I did manage to go off on several travels and it’s these that are probably wearing me out the most. Last night I was living at the top end of Crewe in Victoria Street and I had a little ginger kitten. One day I let it out and it shot off at a right pace. I was calling it and running after it praying that it wasn’t going to be knocked over by a car or something as it had never been out at all in the past. Eventually I caught it playing around by the railings that led up the steps to one of the shops on Hightown. I picked it up and thought “I’m on the way to the hospital but i’m going to have to carry the cat because I can’t just put it down and let it run around like this. It will drive me mad and be ever so stressful
Later on I’d arranged to meet one of my Canadian friends to go to the cinema but somehow I’d forgotten. I’d ended up going to bed. But the phone rang to ask me where I was “God! I’ve forgotten!” She replied “we’re just going in now”. She’s met someone and they were going to be on the balcony in the cinema. I dressed quickly and dashed into town, went up into the cinema and had a look round. Eventually I found them and went to sit next to them. There she was, then this guy then me then another woman. This was a B-feature and the lead film was a film abour economic analysis and everything. Of course I was fascinated by this and sat and listened to it. This woman started to talk about something that she had planned for her thesis to do with making glucoses on plants and transposing them to trees. I said “you should speak to my friend’s friend because he’s into genetics”. That sparked off a lively incident. This film then started to talk about someone who had developed some babysitting rings in South London with a couple of friends, about how they had started this but were doing it while studying and hadn’t let on. Their friends were starting to shun them because of the implications about what would happen to their studies if they found out that they were working.
Some time later a couple of us were hemmed in on a car park by a car and a lorry on a car park in Granville. We had to go to pick someone up from the seafront a little later and the gale was howling. It was really strong. I was trying to eat something but it was all falling apart. In the end I turned to whoever it was I was with and said something like “shall we go?”. I swept all of the ruins of whatever it was I was eating into a bag and I saw the cheese sandwich and said “God! Sorry!” to whoever it was we were meeting. We set off to go to see the storm.
A little while earlier at some point I’d been on a bike and I’d come to some roadworks and I’d had to wait while we were ushered through. The ushers were dealing with some kind of incident involving a lorry so we were there for hours. The we were let through and I had to cycle behind the girl on the bike who was leading everyone through. I’d switched my lights off and I couldn’t get them to work again. In the end I cycled off and by now I’d transformed myself into a car. I was heading back home to my place in Virlet. Although I’d come a different way I suddenly found myself back on the road that I knew so I was able to put my foot down and go that way. In the night with the lights and everything we could see all of these ancient buildings with all old dates carved into these buildings, hundreds of dates, all reflected in the shadows of the car’s headlights. It was the first time that I had ever seen them so clearly.
It’s no wonder that I’m totally exhausted with all of this going on, is it?
Having organised that I went and had a shower and went one better than Graham Nash – I actually DID cut my hair, although my not feeling up to par is not because I had the flu for Christmas – it’s something else completely.
Then I hit the streets – not that I feel much like it but on Tuesday I have to go for the train and so I may as well see how I feel.
You’ve already seen some photos and I’ll show you a few more quite soon once I’ve disentangled myself from the chat with the itinerant who hangs around the town.
There was a clothes shop for kids in the Rue Couraye but it moved to different premises not so long ago.
Just recently the windows have been covered over to stop people peeking inside, and today they’ve had a delivery of stock.
Hachette is wholesale book distributor and it’s their name on the packaging, so are we going to be seeing a bookshop open in the town?
Watch this space.
On the way up the hill my knee gave out again and that reminded me that as I was going past the new physiotherapists’ clinic I should pop in there and make an appointment. I have a doctor’s prescription for a course of physiotherapy.
At LIDL I didn’t buy very much at all today – it was the exercise that I went for more than the shopping, so I was soon heading back.
Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we watched them demolish the old café on the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo.
They erected a crane shortly afterwards and I said that they would get a move on now because hiring a crane is expensive. So since then they haven’t done a tap of work.
Of course it’s August and everyone is on holiday right now, but in that case why bring the crane in and not wait for September when everyone is back at work? It seems rather strange to me, but there again many things around here do.
At LIDL I’d bought some energy drink to fuel the climb up the hill to home, so I stopped to drink it right by the Square Potel.
As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, late last year they demolished the staircase and closed it all off to the public, and today I noticed that a notice had been erected at the site.
Basically, work is going to start here next autumn, so they say, and so it’s not worth anyone’s while making the place look presentable at the moment, only to have to rip it all out in early course.
So at least we know when things might be starting. When they might be finishing is something else completely.
Outside the building was a neighbour so we had a chat, then I came in to put away my frozen peas and then … errr … hit the chair for a while. And no surprise there.
As a result there was a rather late lunch and I wasn’t in the mood for doing all that much afterwards for a while. Eventually I did some more Greenland photos to keep things ticking over.
When it was time for my afternoon walk, somewhat later than usual, I wandered as is my custom these days down to the end of the car park to have a look at the beach.
And we’re right at the turn of the tide by the looks of things judging by the beach, and there are quite a few people down there this afternoon making the most of it.
Plenty of sunbathers and and even quite a few people taking to the water. It was certainly one of the nicer afternoons that we’ve had for a while.
A few yachts out there in the distance too and beyond them are the bouchot beds that we saw yesterday. They aren’t as clear today as they were.
But on the subject of things being clearer, the air is certainly much clearer than it was yesterday.
The difference between the view of the Ile de Chausey today and the view YESTERDAY WHEN WE SAW MARITÉ is quite considerable.
Unfortunately she’s not out there now, she’s gone somewhere else out of my view. However there are quite a few other yachts over there in the distance, one of them being Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went down the coast last year.
And while we’re on the subject of going down the Brittany coast … “well, one of us is” – ed … the view down the Brittany coast was quite good today.
Right out there on its headland we can vaguely see today the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, about 70 kilometres from where I’m standing. Not the best view that we have had – we’ve had days when we’ve seen it with the naked eye – but pretty good all the same.
And I haven’t forgotten that I have a few close-ups on the lighthouse to show you one of these days when I find enough creative spirit to write something up about my journey down there.
If the view out down the Brittany coast is good, there’s a fair chance that the view out to sea might be good too (although quite often it isn’t).
Out there today, we have a really good view of the island of Jersey and the port of St Helier, even down to being able to see plenty of the buildings around the town. It’s very rare indeed that we cans ee them as clearly as this.
The big white building with the round dome on top is as far as I can tell, the Fort Regent Leisure Centre but I can’t really identify the others. One of these days I’ll have to go for a sail out there, but I bet that it will be raining and foggy and I won’t be able to see a thing.
At this particular moment I was overflown by an aerial duo.
The white one on top was, presumably, mummy seagull and she seemed to be taking one of her babies, the browny-grey one underneath, for its maiden flight around the clifftops.
And judging by the noise that baby was making, she was not one very happy seagull at all. The younger ones have this very distinctive squeaky call that sounds like an unhappy toddler.
And by the way, if ever you come to Granville, bring a hat. The seagulls have an accuracy that puts Bomber Command to shame.
And while I’m on the subject of being overflown, it’s getting to be more and more like Play School here.
Today we aren’t going to be deciding which window to be looking out of, we’re going to be deciging which one of the microlight aircraft will be oveflying us.
Last time, it was the red one, so today then obviously it has to be the turn of the yellow one to come and pay me a visit, rattling its way past overhead.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen the yellow autogyro so maybe that’s his turn tomorrow.
Surprisingly, that was the only aircraft today that went anywhere like close enough to be able to take a worthwhile photo. There were a couple of others but they were either too far out or too high.
Having dispensed with all of the activity out on the north side of the headland I went to see what was going on round the corner because i’d seen some things moving out there.
Across the car park went I, down to the end of the headland and just as I did so, a speedboat went right past in front of me.
We’ve had everything else today so why not a boat full of fishermen? Not doing very much fishing because they are travelling at some speed, from where I don’t know because all of the slipways are out of the water right now.
They are going to be having quite a long wait until the tide comes in far enough for them to go ashore.
When I said just now that things were moving out there, I was only speaking figuratively because here’s someone who clearly isn’t.
This is the best way to spend a quite sunny afternoon – anchored off the coast (you can see his anchor chain extended off the port bow) taking in the rays and waiting patiently for the tide to come in.
It doesn’t even look as if he is doing any fishing, and that is surely heresy around here right now.
There’s a few other things to see around the corner so i’ll wander off that way.
Plenty of excitement yet again in the chantier naval this afternoon.
The portable boat lift has been pressed into operation today and it has a small trawler-type fishing boat in its evil clutches. And there’s a guy standing behind it with a pressure washer presumably removing the barnacles from her hull
And I suppose that you’re wondering why she’s still in the boat lift despite the tide being well out right now, and not dropped down onto a set of chocks as they usually do as soon as they take them out of the water.
Well, read on.
And here’s your answer. There simply isn’t anywhere to put her.
It’s been a really busy morning down at the chantier naval by the looks of things and we have no fewer that seven boats in there. There’s Charlevy of course across the other side, and Trafalgar nearest the street, and then four in a line with the seventh in the portable boat lift.
This is probably a record number of boats for me in there and I don’t see how they could hope to fit any more in their place.
And the excitement will begin when they need to use the portable boat lift to drop a boat back in the water, with nowhere to drop the one that’s in the lift while they do it.
We saw Chausiaise coming back into the harbour after her run out this morning, but she’s now back where she was moored yesterday.
Maybe that’s her work finished for the day, unless she has to go over and bring back some luggage tonight.
And in the background there’s another class taking place in the pool over there by the beach at the Grève de Hérel. It looks as if it might be kayaks this afternoon.
But I came back for a cold drink and to stir some papers around. Despite having felt a little better, I’ve still not been able to concentrate at all.
For tea I made a huge pile of aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit, with no pudding as I wasn’t all that hungry. I had no breakfast either so my appetite seems to have gone.
But now I’m off to bed, rather late, and hoping for a better, more productive day tomorrow. High time that I extricated my digit.