Tag Archives: running

Wednesday 6th January 2021 – I WON’T EVER SEE …

… my friendly neighbourhood ginger cat again.

Regular readers of this rubbish may recall that I mentioned a while ago that his mum, one of my neighbours, had been offered an apartment in sheltered accommodation due to her age and infirmity. This afternoon as I put my head outside the door of the building I saw a removal van outside the door to her block.

And when I went out later this evening, her apartment was totally empty and cleared out. There she was – she and her cat – gone, and never called me mother (next week, East Lynne).

As for me I was totally gone last night too. When I finally made it into bed, late as usual just recently, I was out like a light and didn’t move a muscle until the alarm went off. And while I didn’t actually beat the third alarm, I wasn’t many minutes behind it.

After the medication I had a few things to do and then I had to ring up the doctor’s and make an appointment. And you can tell that this isn’t the UK.
“Is it urgent?”
“no, not particularly”
“Is 9:30 tomorrow OK?”

Haven’t dealt with that I sat down to start to dictate the notes that I’d written but then almost immediately I was interrupted by a telephone call. Would I like to go for a coffee with the manager of the radio station?

So I managed to dictate all of the notes and then go and have a shower before I headed off across the car park to the Municipal offices at the back. Coffee was served and then we had a lengthy chat about Brexit and Scottish and Welsh independence.

Very little to do with the radio, and it seemed to me that I was being interrogated for something, although I don’t know what it might be. We shall see what transpires of this in due course, if anything.

There was no bass guitar practice tonight. Even though I seem to be a little better today, it’s not that much better and it took me an age to do what it would normally take a couple of hours to do. When it came to 18:00 and knocking-off time, I wasn’t far away from finishing so I pushed on and by 18:35 both of the outstanding radio programmes were now completed up and running.

Of course we had had a couple of interruptions. Lunch was taken of course and unfortunately the bread supplies are quite low. I need to look into this.

There was the afternoon walk and today this was a walk with a difference.

If I’m baking bread tomorrow morning, I may as well make a sourdough fruit loaf so having fed the sourdough and watched it rise like a lift, I headed off into town. I have no jellied fruit and I need to buy some. The Super U in the town is the place for that.

water tower chateau d'eau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOutside it was cold and cloudy but with the sun poking through the clouds here and there.

But just for a change, instead of the sun lighting up the sea or the Brittany cliffs or whatever, today the sun was streaming down onto the water tower up near the Shopping Centre. It was all particularly impressive.

The Super U came up trumps with the jellied fruit but my new bank card wouldn’t work. having tried a couple of times I paid in cash and went round to the Bank to try it there. Once again, it didn’t work so I went to chat to a cashier.

It seems that Brain of Britain has struck again. Somehow I must have taken the old card out of my wallet, signed the new card and then put the old card back in the wallet.

sunset on water baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith nothing else much going on in the town I headed back for home.

By now, with the sun having moved around on its cycle and with the clouds having been blown around by the wind the sun was now shining in a different direction. It was rather later than usual so we were having a gorgeous orange glow in the sky which was reflecting off the water in the bay.

This is without doubt one of the best sunsets that we’ve seen so far, even though the photo was being photobombed by a seagull flying through the shot and I stayed out there for a while to watch it – the sunset that is, not the seagull.

chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there I had a look down to see what was going on at the chantier navale

There was nothing special going on there this afternoon. The yacht is still there on its blocks and there are a couple of cars parked around it. It’s not clear though whether they have anything to do with the yacht or its owners. There certainly doesn’t seem to have been much progress on the yacht, whatever they might be doing, over the past few months.

The trawler is still there too, parked up on blocks at the back near the portable boat lift. There’s a van parked right by it so it might well be that there has been some kind of work being undertaken.

But that’s been there for a while too.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRather than go straight home I went to have a look out to sea from the North side of the headland to see if there was anything exciting going on.

Nothing much at all though this afternoon. No boats out to sea or anything else. There were a few people out walking on the beach, presumably looking for shellfish or something similar lying around on the beach. I’m not sure what they have found.

For a couple of minutes I watched them and then came on back into the apartment for a hot coffee and a slice of Christmas cake. Having digested that I cracked on with the radio work that I had been doing until I finished it.

And I might have finished it earlier too had I not crashed out a couple of times.

gymnasium jean galfione Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter the practice with the 6-string guitar, I headed off out for my evening walk.

Seeing as I hadn’t been round the headland this afternoon I went that way this evening in the dark. The gymnasium of the College Malraux was all lit up and so there must have been something going in there. It’s actually called the Gymnase Jean Galfione.

And in case you are wondering who Jean Galfione was when he was at home, if he ever was, he is probably France’s most successful pole vaulter and won the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympic Games as well as winning several other championship events.

woman with laptop pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s a shame that this photo hasn’t worked out as I wanted, but it was taken in quite a hurry.

You can’t actually see clearly in this photo but there’s a woman there with a large dog, and also a laptop computer. And what she’s doing working on a laptop with a dog outside in the middle of winter I really do not know.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few months ago we also saw a couple of other people working on a laptop outside in the cold on the city walls. So I’ve no idea what that is all about.

From there, I ran home – my first run for a week or 10 days. I really wasn’t up to it and I was in agony when I finished but I can’t let this thing pass me by.

Tea was pasta with veg and some veggie balls followed by defrosted apple crumble; And then I made my sourdough loaf – or, at least, the first mix of it so that it can do what it might do overnight. It’s crammed full of goodies like

  • a pile of whizzed up brazil nuts
  • several dessert spoons of desiccated coconut
  • ditto sunflower seeds
  • a couple of handfuls of raisins
  • ditto jellied fruits

and I can’t wait to see how it comes out.

And now that I’ve finished my notes I’m going to make some dough for my main loaf and let that rise overnight too. It both loaves have their second kneading first thing tomorrow morning, they’ll be ready to bake as soon a I come back from the shops and I can have fresh bread for lunch.

Wednesday 14th October 2020 – IT LOOKS AS IF …

Boats Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… the fishing season is now back with a bang.

While you admire the piles of fishing boats queueing to get into harbour and unload, I’ll mention my day and we can talk about fishing boats later.

For a start, just by way of a change, I was up and about well before the third alarm yet again, which is something that is surprising me as much as it’s probably surprising you too. I can’t keep this up, surely?

And so first task this morning was to listen to the dictaphone to see if I had been anywhere during the night.

And I had too!

Boats Queueing Up To Unload Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt started off last night with a scandal when a bowls team was disqualified for fielding an ineligible player in a tournament. Once his identity had been discovered they awarded all of the remaining points to the opponents. However the organisers took no further action because his arrival at the club had been well-documented in the Press previously.

And just WHAT am I doing dreaming about bowls? It’s a game with which I have absolutely no empathy whatsoever. I’ve only ever played bowls once in my life and then not very well.

Unloading Bouchots De Chausey Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while they are unloading the bouchots about which we talked the other day, there was something going on during the night about car parking. I wanted to park a vehicle on some waste land between some buildings. I parked the building but left a note for the people who owned it. They telephoned me back and passed me on to someone. We ended up having quite a chat about it. They wanted money for it so in the end I decided not to do that. In the meantime they told me that if I would be passing the representative’s place which was at n°230 such-and-such a street in Shavington. So I went there and knocked on the door but no-one came, no-one answered, so I thought “never mind. I’ll drive on”. Then all of the family were going for a meal and this meant picking up a few other people. I had to go to pick up someone at 230 again – a street in Nantwich, near The Leopard. When I pulled up at that house, it looked exactly like the description of the property that I’d been given over the phone (… by the previous guy…). When the guy came out he said “ohh yes, you’re Eric” and started to chat to me. The discussion came round about welding. I’d just been given back my MIG welder so I said “yes I can do MIG welding now. I’m going to practise when I get home”. We ended up with Liz and Terry in a big field somewhere to go sunbathing. There were quite a few people there already and it was fairly busy and there weren’t all that many places to go. Terry had a word with the owner of the field. He said “if you want to eat, you’d better go and eat now as the restaurant is really busy. There might be a table free now at 18:30 but later on there might not. One of the women with us suggested that it might be an idea to at least go down and find out about “should we eat now while we would or see if we could book a table for later. We ought at least to make sure that there would be a table later”.

Fishing Pointe du Roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you lot admire the fishermen on the rocks at the end of the Pointe du Roc, I carried on with a project that I’d started back in May and which had ground to a halt on 24th June.

My web pages are becoming unwieldy, especially the earlier ones. As more and more stuff has been added to them they have done a pretty good imitation of Topsy and “just growed”. So I’ve started redrafting them and cutting them up differently to make them into smaller, bite-sized pages for the truncated attention span of the MTV generation.

The ones for MY 1999 TRIP TO NEW YORK AND NEW JERSEY were done ages ago when I first started this project. Then there were a few miscellaneous ones, but then I ran aground with my trip to Canada and New England over the period of New Year 2001-2002.

But finally today, that one is finished and ALL OF THEM ARE NOW ONLINE TOO.

And that knotty web-coding problem that I had? After a good night’s sleep I resolved it in 5 minutes this morning. However it didn’t give me the result that I wanted so in the end I abandoned it for something else.

There was the usual break for lunch with more of my delicious bread and then there was work to do.

There were four extremely ripe kiwis here so I peeled them and whizzed them up to turn them into a nice runny liquidy mess. That was them filtered through my stack of filters to remove as much solid matter as I could, leaving just a kind of juice. I threw in the last of the grapes too for good measure.

Then I strained the kefir that I had brewing and put the resultant liquid in with the kiwi juice and mixed it around, leaving an inch or two in the bottle as my mother solution.

This was then strained through a fine mesh filter into two cleaned and disinfected glass bottles with stoppers where it will brew for the next 48 hours.

Kiwi Kefir Coffee Dessert With Apricots Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLast night I’d finished the blackberry pie so for a change I opened a tin of apricots and found a packet of coffee-flavoured dessert that you make with milk and it sets like a blancmange. That all went in together into four Sundae glasses and will do me until my next cookery session on Sunday.

And here is one that I made earlier, children.

No – seriously, these are the finished products. The bottles are now brewing in a dark corner of the kitchen at the side of the fridge, and the dessert is in the fridge cooling. For tea tonight I tried one of the desserts and even though I say it myself, it was delicious.

Erecting Scaffolding College Malraux Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack out for my afternoon walk of course, and straight into the action across the car park.

Our scaffolders are now back at work. The scaffolding has grown considerably since we last saw it and they have even no started to put stairs into it. This is going to be a serious job, I reckon.

And the compound has been repaired too. There’s now a shipping container in there, which is presumably going to be used as a store, and there are also a few pallets of bits and pieces. No slates yet though. I imagine that they will take a day or two to arrive, presumably after the scaffolding is finished.

Beach Seafront St Martin De Brehal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallJust for a change, the sun was out today, and that made a pleasant change from just recently.

It wasn’t particularly bright over here where I was, but across the bay on the promenade at St Martin de Bréhal it was really lighting up the area and making it all look so beautiful. I bet that it must have been really nice to have been out there in all of this.

In that direction you could see for miles too. The big wind turbine on the way out to Cerences is clearly visible on the range of hills on the horizon. It’s not every day that you see that too.

Zodiac Fishing English Channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen all of the fishermen in the harbour and those fishermen on the rocks, and the fishermen in the small boats seem to be back out again now that the weather has calmed down.

In the usual place amongst the rocks on the northern side of the Pointe du Roc we have three fishermen in a zodiac casting their rods into the water after, I presume, the sea-bass that is said to swim around here in these waters. I say that carefully, because in all the time we’ve been watching the fishermen, we’ve yet to actually see anyone catch anything.

There were quite a few pedestrians around here and I became embroiled in a lively chat with a very pleasant young lady who was aged about 4, I reckon. She had quite a lot to say for herself.

Yacht Baie de Mont St Michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that surprised me was that there was nothing much going on right out at sea today. No trawlers or freighters or anything like that – after all, the trawler men were queueing up to get into port right now.

But the good weather had certainly brought out the pleasure-boat men in their dozens today. There were yachts everywhere, including this rather beautiful one scudding along in the wind and going around the headland.

The purple sail was making a beautiful reflection in the water and it was a shame that the water wasn’t calmer.

Still the two usual suspects in the chantier navale so I ignored them and carried on home to finish off the web site work that I’d been doing.

Just as I was completing everything, Rosemary rang for a chat so we were on the ‘phone for an hour or so putting the world to rights. And then the hour on the guitar.

It was quite depressing mainly because I could not summon up the enthusiasm yet again. But I perked up a little towards the end when I tried to work out the chords to Steve Harley’s beautiful RIDING THE WAVES.

And it’s not as easy as you might think either, especially as in order to be able to sing it, I have to go down to a different key and then I lose my place.

For tea, I made an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit. I’ve run out in the freezer, as I discovered when I did an inventory the other day. And my pudding as I mentioned.

Air Sea Rescue Helicopter English Channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was some excitement tonight out there as well.

This photo might not look much but it is in fact the air-sea rescue helicopter that we’ve seen on several occasions carrying out an air-sea search with its floodlight. I’ve no idea why but doubtless I’ll find out tomorrow in the newspaper, if it’s anything serious.

So four runs tonight. No wonder I was exhausted when I returned home to write out my notes.

Shopping tomorrow and there’s quite a list too. I don’t know how I’m going to carry it all home so I’d better be on top form. A good shower will probably do me some good.

Nevertheless it’s a long walk there, and an even longer one back when I’m loaded up.

Sunday 13th September 2020 – WITH IT BEING …

… Sunday today I had a lie-in as usual.

crowds on the beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd while you admire some photos of beach scenes from this afternoon’s beautiful weather, let me just mention that while a lie-in is one thing, 11:40 is something of an exaggeration.

Even when going to bed is as late as 02:30 and still not being able to go asleep straight away (despite the comfortable clean sheet), I was still hoping to be up and about long before then.

Consequently the most important part of the day was wasted away as I lay sleeping in my bed.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallOnce I’d gathered my wits (which took longer than you might expect given the small amount of wits that I have still remaining) I attended to the dictaphone.

Last night we were round in Berlin in May 1945 just at the moment when the city was about to fall. We were there urging everyone to get away as far as they could. A lot of people refused. They were thinking that it wasn’t going to be any problem at all. Someone was even saying that it would be things like probably they’d just issue little notes like “get your hair cut” or something like that. I exploded with disbelief because I knew exactly how the Russians were going to behave once they had taken control of the city. No civilian should be expected to suffer anything like that at all. I was just so unbelievably annoyed by the attitudes of the average Berliners who refused to do anything to save themselves.

It sounds rather like the UK and Brexit, doesn’t it?

There are still plenty of arrears to be dealt with, and I had time to deal with three of them. The backlog is disappearing slowly. This time next year I might be somewhere near catching up.

Apart from that I had a very quiet day and didn’t do too much else.

st helier jersey channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual afternoon walk of course. And today I went around the medieval city walls instead of around the headland.

The weather was gorgeous and the view was magnificent. All down the coast you could see for miles, just like the other days. The Channel islands, and Jersey were as clear as a bell despite being 58 kilometres away and the town of St Helier was easily visible with the naked eye.

On the photograph even the tall buildings on the quayside came out quite clearly.

lifeguards on paddleboard kids jumping off diving platfrom plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were crowds of people out there today enjoying the beautiful weather and who can blame them?

We’ve already seen all of the people on the beach at the Plat Gousset and also just outside here at the foot of the steps. There were plenty of people in the water there, as we have already seen, and there were also quite a few clambering up onto the diving platform and leaping off.

That’s something that we’ve seen quite often, but what is new about all of this is that the lifeguards are there too – two of them sitting on a paddleboard in the immediate vicinity keeping a close eye on the proceedings.

joly france 1 yacht entering port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHaving observed from the viewpoint over the Place Marechal Foch the crowds in the water and on the beach down on the Plat Gousset, I headed off.

Of course with the crowds, I didn’t run across the Square Maurice Marland but walked across instead. And as I was doing so, I saw a rather large yacht come sailing into the inner harbour.

My first thought was that it was Spirit of Conrad coming into the harbour. It certainly looked quite like it and so I wondered where she had been.

joly france 1 yacht entering port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut on closer examination it turned out not to be at all.

Leaving aside the fact that Spirit of Conrad was already moored in the harbour, this boat has a very large solar panel on the stern.

And that makes me think that I’ve seen this yacht before because I recognise the solar panel. But I can’t think of when and where and I certainly can’t remember the name.

Incidentally, Joly France I is there moored up against the harbour wall. It can’t be all that busy out on the Ile de Chausey today which is quite surprising.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHaving said that, however, there was still plenty of business today going across to the island.

As I watched the boats in the harbour, around the headland came Joly France, the older one with the larger upper deck superstructure and smaller windows. And, of course, without the figure “1” next to the name on the front underneath the windows.

You can see the crowds on there too. It looks to have been really busy today and I bet that there isn’t very much in the way of social distancing going on aboard.

yachts baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallBut never mind all of the people on board the boat in the water, what about all of the boats actually in the water?

The Baie de Mont St Michel is crowded again today, just like yesterday. All kinds of beautiful boats out there but what particularly caught my eye was this lovely collection of yachts, sails billowing in the breeze and other extremely poetic metaphors.

None of them that I particularly recognise of course. Loads of people come here with their boats in trailers from all parts of north-west France.

microlight pointe de granville granville manche normandy france eric hallSo we’ve seen crowds of people walking, crowds of people on the beach, in the sea, on board boats and everything. But I’ve not mentioned anything about the air yet.

Plenty of movement up in the air today too, including the microlight powered hang glider that we’ve seen on a couple of occasions just recently.

Back at the apartment I sorted out a pizza base. I’d taken a ball of dough out of the freezer earlier so as soon as I came back I flattened and rolled it and put it on the baking tray to sort itself out.

As it overhung the edges I adopted the simple expedient of folding the overhang back into the pizza tray.

While that was settling down I made an apple crumble. being rather extravagant with the mixture I ended up with far too much so I had to make two. With not enough apples I had to use some of my eaters.

As to what they came out like, I really don’t know.

Once the crumbles were in the oven I assembled the pizza and then cooked it in the oven. It came out really well and the edges were perfect. I’ll have to fold them over next time too.

However, so filling was it that I didn’t have room for any crumble. That’s going to be as of tomorrow.

sunset ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was nothing much going on outside tonight for my evening walk.

The sunset (even though the sun had long since sunk below the horizon) was really nice this evening and it was so clear that all of the lights were clearly visible.

Nothing else of note so I completed my lap around, including my three runs, and then came home.

Back to work tomorrow and there’s plenty to do. There’s just getting to be more and more building up and I really need to get myself moving.

One thing that I’m going to have to deal with is the situation about my LPs. I’m hoping too have a go at recording them and there’s one that I particularly want to do for my radio programme.

Always assuming that I remember to send it off this week.

Thursday 3rd September 2020 – YOU CAN TELL …

lights on brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hall… that the nights are getting longer right now. Summer seems to have left us a long way right now and we are in a slow downward spiral towards winter.

Out on mt stroll tonight, around the city walls tonight, it was quite dark by the time I’d gone around and the street lights across the Baie de Mont St Michel on the Brittany coast were shining quite brightly.

It won’t be long now until i’m out with the tripod, I reckon. It will be the cue to be taking more photos of the night so I’ll have to learn how to use THE NIKON D500 with the delay action shutter.

This morning, much to everyone’s surprise, including my own, I was out of bed before the third alarm went off. Sitting on the edge of the bed in a dazed condition trying to gather my wits together in order to stand up and do something constructive.

I’d been on my travels too. I was out with Nerina again last night. We were looking at a couple of houses that she’d seen on the internet that she was interested in buying. They were round about the £76,000 £78,000 mark in Crewe and were semi-detached but of the smaller type. There was one that was particularly nice and she was looking at it. We found to our surprise that it had three bedrooms which was already something. There was a load of stuff included in the sale, including four kiddies’ bikes and a couple of kiddies’ scooters. She was wondering about those – going to make sure that they were written in the sale. I said “basically if they are there you make sure that they are written in”. She asked “what do you think I’m going to do with a kiddie’s bike?”. There was a pregnant pause as I was trying to work out whether or not I ought to tell her that I knew that she’d had a child or something like that. We had a good look at this house and it looked to be really good value for what it was, one of these 1920s types of small semi-detached houses the type that you would see around Bedford Street, that area, with a drive and a garage. There was a van parked there, like a Ford Escort van only a little bigger parked outside the garage door.
Had I not awoken with a severe attack of cramp at this particular moment, I wonder where this would have gone.
Somewhat later I was teaching some Russian girls gymnastics in the water. It was an established class but it had been allowed to go to rack and ruin, people forgetting to bring their gym clothes with them, forgetting this, forgetting that. I decided that we would have a tidying up of discipline so as soon as the girls came in I made them perform their handstands for me in the water in their uniform, and if they didn’t have their uniform with them they were to go home and fetch it. If they didn’t have a uniform they weren’t to come back until they had one. There were a few other things as well that I wanted cutting out as well. it provoked quite a few sullen disputes but I was insistent on doing this. And I was well on my way to doing it when the first alarm went off.

Once again there was much more to it all than this but as you are probably eating your meal right now, I’ll spare you the miserable details.

working on medieval city walls rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter my shower I went out to go to the shops.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the other day that we saw part of the Rue Des Juifs fenced off, and I said that I’d go down and see what was going on.

And as luck would have it, there was a notice on the fencing. Basically, there is an archaeological survey going on right now involving the building and grounds in which the museum is situated.

They seem to think that it dates back to the founding of Granville and the building of the fortifications by the English during the Hundred Years War.

Myy walk up to LIDL was pretty uneventful but I spent quite a lot of money in there, even though there wasn’t anything particular extra that I bought, except for a set of compasses thet I need for measuring precise distances.

And not only that, some of the stuff that I wanted wasn’t available either, so it’s on the list for Saturday and LeClerc.

la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way back, my load was rather heavy and it was a struggle up the hill, that’s for sure.

And as I stopped for breath at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, La Grande Ancre set sail out of her berth and out of the harbour.

So having recovered my breath I carried on back here. I was too tired to unpack the shopping though. I sat down on my chair and that was that until 13:30. About 2 hours, I reckon that i was right out of it altogether, and it felt like it too.

After lunch there was some more paperwork to do and then I went out for my afternoon walk.

old sailing boat english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were plenty of people out there today but as far as photography went, there was nothing particular going on at all.

What there was though was some kind of yacht out there just off the coast of the Ile de Chausey. That looked interesting to I took a photo of it for future reference.

My walk carried on around the headland rather aimlessly and then I came back here.

At my desk I cropped and enlarged the photo that I had just taken. It looks as if it has the same kind of sails and rigging as a boat like la Granvillaise or her sister across the bay, but there is another yacht with a similar rig that sails around here occasionally and it might be her.

After my slice of banana bread, I had a go at the photos from my trip around Europe. I didn’t do too many of those because much of the time was spent doing some research into some of the items that I had photographed.

At 18:00 I knocked off and had an hour on the guitars. And I do like my new acoustic guitar.

Tea tonight was taco rolls with the leftover stuffing, with rice and vegetables followed by rice pudding

light off the ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallFor my evening walk today, I went for my trip around the walls.

Looking over towards the Ile de Chausey, I could see a light shining just offshore, not too far away from where that strange yacht was moored this afternoon.

Of course I can’t say that it’s the same boat, but whoever it is seems to be bedded down for the night over there.

A strange cat came up to me tonight for a stroke, and then I set off on my run along the footpath.

lights on radio mast jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallThis took me to the viewpoint from where there’s a good view over towards Jersey and the Channel Islands.

The view was really good tonight and we can see the light of some kind of boat – probably a fishing boat – working just offshore. What else we can see is a series of red lights just to the right of the white light.

You probably can’t see it in this photo but in an enlarged photo you can see that it’s actually the warning lights on the big radio mast that we have seen in photos of Jersey taken during the day.

Before I went home I did another couple of runs. One across the Square Maurice Marland and the other one down the hill back home. The three runs in total work out at about 850 paces, which equates to about 500 metres.

So now I’m going to have an early night, as much as I can. I’m not going anywhere tomorrow so I’m hoping that I can have a good sleep and then a good day doing a pile of work.

It’s about time too. I’m just falling farther and farther behind.

Wednesday 2nd September 2020 – AFTER YESTERDAY’S …

… little fit of zeal and energy, it goes without saying that today was something of a contre-coup. I felt every ache and pain when I awoke, and I couldn’t get out of bed until 08:10.

Plenty of time to go off on a nocturnal ramble or two, and how!

I had a girlfriend last night and we had gone skiing or mountaineering together. There were four of us in total . It was quite clear that the two of us were together but we hadn’t known each other long. She was just explaining how difficult relationships were because she wasn’t the kind of person to just accept any kind of relationship. She explained how difficult it was to make her laugh and all that kind of thing, how she liked to have someone who was attentive towards her. I thought “that sounds like me actually” but for some unknown reason I couldn’t actually get her to laugh or whatever. We escorted each other on this trip and I got her down the mountain safely. We ended up somewhere just coming into the town and we were told that some old guy whom we knew was at the bar but he’d had the wrong beer so he was rather differently drunk than usual and it wasn’t a pretty sight. We thought that we’d better go over there and see what was going on. We ended up over there to see this old guy but by that time he’d gone. The barmaid asked us if we wanted a drink. I really fancied a drink but she said no she didn’t so I thought that I won’t have one. I won’t drink on my own. There was another girl there and for some reason I wanted to be a little show-offy with the girl I was with but she wasn’t the kind who would be particularly emotional, which was one of the things she had said to me. She said “the barmaid is obviously thinking that we are going to be having a drink so maybe we ought to move away” so reluctantly I agreed to move away with this girl.
Somewhat later on, I went on a voyage concerning two of my mother’s aunts. They had been engaged to work as matrons in some exclusive boarding school place. The small boys in the Preparatory school had been taken away from their fathers and so they weren’t bonding with them and the girls were just left there by there parents. The aunts were very unhappy about the entire situation and they wanted to leave to go into some kind of religious establishment that was there but they decided that they couldn’t leave these children at this very vulnerable time. It was all very sad and all very depressing.
There was another thing too about an island off the coast of Australia or New Zealand, although it looked like Northern peri-Arctic to me, right at the far north. It was all very isolated and there was only a boat every so often that went to the island. It was very isolated. Someone whom I knew was a driving test examiner who came over to give everyone a driving test. It was Nerina, and she was very busy doing all of this. I eventually caught up with her and she pointed out that some had passed and some had failed and she was rather disparaging towards the people who had failed. We were talking about death and she said that when she died she wanted a certain photo to be placed in her memory. It was a photo of her with another boy – someone whom she knew in University. Of course that upset me rather a lot because I expected to be the one on the photo with her when she went but apparently not. There was all kinds of talk. I had had a Reliant three-wheeler van which had long-since gone but I still had the papers for it. I was thinking that with this not being taxed I could get into a lot of trouble with this even though the van was no longer extant. There was some talk as well about getting Ryanair to provide a flight service to the airport, how they were going to arrange it. At one time they were talking on the island about a storm that was heading their way. It had already devastated the south of New Zealand and how were they going to cope up here when the storm finally hit? This was a strange thing as well.
Later still there were two red double-deck buses that appeared on the front of a restaurant or car park of a pub where Terry and I were sitting. One of then was an AEC which might have been a Regal V but it wasn’t – did I mean a Regent V? and the other one was more like an RT although i’m sure that I meant Routemaster from London. Terry wondered what on earth they were doing here so I said that I could soon find out by taking a photo and posting it on the Abandoned Buses group and I’ll have a reply in 5 minutes. But as I went to take a photo, in the time that it took for me to get my phone out and my camera on the phone ready, these buses had disappeared again. I said something to a woman who seemed to be with them but she just blubbered some kind of nonsense and walked away. Terry and I walked to the end of the car park to see if we could see where these buses had gone but we couldn’t see a thing.

It took ages to transcribe the dictaphone notes, as you might expect with all of this, and then I attacked the radio programme. That’s now completed and ready to go.

After lunch I sat down and dealt with a load of correspondence that had built up. I also tried to order a SSD hard-drive for my little Acer laptop but the effects of Brexit are biting already, for the company concerned now no longer delivers to the mainland.

So I made another start on the photos from early August but instead I crashed out completely for a couple of hours. On awakening, I felt absolutely awful again, just like I have done for this last while (apart from yesterday of course)

lovers on beach pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was thus rather late when I went out for my afternoon walk and once again I went around the headland.

And I’m glad that I did too, because there was this lovely scene unfolding before my eyes, down on the beach. A young couple strolling casually hand-in-hand down there lost for all the world in their own amorous attachment.

It was all very nice and romantic and made me feel quite envious, as it happens.

fishermen in zodiac kayak english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThat wasn’t all the people out there either. There were hordes of people strolling along on the paths around the clifftop.

The sea was quite busy too. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall from yesterday that there were quite a few people out there having a good fishing session. They were still out there today, like these in the zodiac down here.

There was also someone out there having a paddle around in a kayak. I could see his paddles but I couldn’t see if he had a rod with him.

And of course, you mustn’t light a fire in your boat. As you all already know, you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

light aeroplane 83 tx granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd if the crowds on the beach, crowds on the paths and crowds in the sea aren’t enough to be going on with, we had crowds in the air too.

As I was walking around, I counted no fewer than four light aeroplanes flying over me. This one here came the closest and so presented the best photographic shot. I’ve no idea what type of aeroplane it is, and the serial number that I could see didn’t come up with anything.

The other aeroplanes were too far away for me to take a clear photograph which was a shame. All that I needed to see was the autogyro fluttering past overhead and the day would have been complete.

pointe de carolles baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was quite a nice day outside today. It was quite sunny and there was very little wind for a change.

The view was quite clear today too. We’d seen the Brittany coast yesterday, so today we had a good look down towards the bottom of the Baie de Mont St Michel. We can’t see the Mont and the abbey but we can see the white buildings down at the foot of the bay that are the hotels on the shore.

What is extremely interesting is whatever might be there just to the right of centre. It seems to be a very small, low cloud having a rainstorm but I’m sure that it isn’t.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued on round to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale.

There’s been a change in occupancy in there too today. Over the last few days there have been seven boats in there but today we’re down to just six. One of the little chalutiers is missing – presumably having gone back into the water.

It’ll be interesting to see over the next few days whether we’ll be having a new arrival to make up the numbers, or whether it’ll be like 10 green bottles and they’ll be disappearing one by one as everyone slowly goes back to work.

Back here I continued with the photos for a while, and then went back to having an hour on the guitars before tea. And I do like my new acoustic guitar.

Tea tonight was a burger with pasta and tomato sauce, followed by rice pudding. Quite a delicious tea, I have to say.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallRunning rather late tonight, it was going dark when I went outside for my evening stroll.

The sun had gone right down of course, but there was still a beautiful red glow through the clouds in the sky over by the Ile de Chausey in the English Channel.

Surprisingly, I was the only person out there admiring it. There were no more than half a dozen people out there this evening and they were all walking dogs and the like, taking no notice of the beautiful evening.

diving platform plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom the viewpoint in the rue du Nord I walked along along the walls to the footpath.

And once on the footpath and there was no-one about, I broke into a run and ran down the footpath again, regardless of how I was feeling. The tide was well in this evening and we can see the diving platform practically submerged by the water.

We’ve seen plenty of photos of the diving platform totally out of the water when the tide is well out. This gives you some idea of how far the tide comes in and how high it is. One of the highest tides in Europe, so they say.

illuminated trees square Maurice Marland granville manche normandy france eric hallhaving spent a few minutes watching the sea, I walked on round to the Square Maurice Marland.

No-one about at all so I broke into another run and went all the way across the square and up the first ramp at the end. And as I ran along the square, suddenly the lights came on and lit up all of the trees.

It lit up everything just as if it was on the stage in a theatre.

After that I headed off home, running the final 100 metres back to the apartment. I’ve written up all of my notes now and I’m off to bed in a minute.

Tomorrow is shopping day and it’s a long walk to LIDL so I need to be on form, regardless of how I’m feeling, as there’s a few things that I need to buy.

And maybe I’ll have a series of voyages just as exciting as I’ve had for the last couple of nights.

Tuesday 1st September 2020 – I’VE HAD A …

… much better day today, which will surprise many people. In fact, even more surprisingly, it was such a better day that I even managed to fit in three runs this evening.

Short they may have been (although two of them were longer than when I first started running again a year ago) but runs nevertheless.

And you wouldn’t have bet on that yesterday, would you?

What was even more surprising is that I actually managed to beat the third alarm this morning. And it’s been such a long time since that has happened too.

Plenty of voyages during the night too. I started off the night walking the streets of Paris last night and I was interviewing someone about some kind of incident that had happened at a parking meter. It was a guy on a motorbike and sidecar and I took a statement or whatever and asked the guy to produce his driving licence for me. I had no doubt that he was an official kind of person and looked quite presentable and respectable. Nevertheless I asked for his papers and he replied “you aren’t in uniform” and opened up the throttle of his motorbike. I grabbed hold of him by the lapel and ended up overturning the motorbike and sidecar and dragging him off into the street. Then I got on the radio and asked for assistance.
Before that there had been some kind of archaeology dig. A group of us was taking part in it. Normally we were finding comparatively modern things but we suddenly came across a complete skeleton of a girl aged about 11 that had been buried in a bank. We’d excavated it and it was pretty much complete. Zero was there too. She was in a red jumper grey skirt and red tights. She was lying on the bed and we were talking about this skeleton, saying how it might have been her even and so on. All the time we were talking about this skeleton. They asked what i was going to do with it. I said that I would put it back where it came from first, back in this little place and then we’ll have a think about it.
There was another dream about a great big black bull and I was having to fit bolts into it for some reason or other. It was a huge hairy type of bull like a rastaman. I was talking to it about it being a rastaman and explaining what I was doing – the bull saying “ohh yes I like that – that’s very good”. I was tightening up the bolts with a huge spanner, not too tight though. I turned to the final bolt on the left-hand flank and it just upped and wandered off. I had to chase all the way after it. every time I got close to it it moved on again. By this time it had turned into a cat so I was just following this cat around through this crowded room. Eventually it went to settle down right in the very far corner the furthest possible point away from where I was.

That’s not everything either. There was a little bit of truncated, incoherent stuff from some voyage or other that never quite made it onto the dictaphone, and also another round of stuff that you wouldn’t thank me for posting while you are eating a meal or something.

After breakfast I did some paperwork and also SHOCK! HORROR! some tidying up. Mind you, it doesn’t look much like it right now.

However one thing that I did today was to finish as far as I can the radio project on which I’ve been working. The final track has been selected too and all that remains is to write out the closing speech, dictate and edit it and then combine it with what I’ve already done and with the final track.

In fact, I could have finished it today but Rosemary telephoned me for a chat and we were on the telephone for well over an hour.

hang gliders place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallThis afternoon I went out for my usual walk in the sun (and wind).

And I hadn’t gone more than 10 yards out of the building before I was dive-bombed by a couple of bird-men of Alcatraz.

It’s another one of these tandem machines with two people in it. Ideal for doing some photography or even some bomb-aiming should the need ever arise.

It’s just as well that there was enough wind to get them off the ground.

cap frehel brittany normandy france eric hallFor a change I went for my afternoon walk around the headland instead of around the walls, for reasons that I will explain in due course.

The view once more was tremendous and we could see for miles. Right in the centre of this photograph is the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, that I could see quite clearly with the naked eye.

There’s a boat out to sea right on the right-hand edge of the photo and also a marker light off the coast clearly visible to the left. This might possibly be round about the Ile Agot or the Ebihens archipelago

speedboat fishing baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere wasn’t very much out there in the way of marine traffic today.

Not many fishing boats at all out there, although there were several smaller boats out there. A couple of speedboats rather like this one here in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

It looks to me as if they might be stopping there to do some fishing or something like that. It’s that time of the year.

peche a pied baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallIndeed, it wasn’t just out at sea that there was fishing going on.

Here on the rocks there were several fishermen like these two casting their lines into the sea. I stood and watched them for quite a while but once more, I didn’t actually see anyone catch anything.

In fact in all the years that I’ve been watching fishermen on the rocks here in Granville, I have yet to see anyone catch any fish at all with a rod and line.

working on trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy walk carried on around the headland until I came to the viewpoint overlooking the chantier navale.

We still have the same seven boats in there that have been in there for the last few days. And because we are still in working hours, a few men are down there working on the various boats.

It’s keeping them very busy down there, whether it’s the employees of the shipbuilder, representatives of the owners or specialist tradesmen and it’s all good news for the town.

light aircraft pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt wasn’t just out at sea and here on the rocks that there were plenty of people

While I was out there there was a lot going on in the air. We’ve seen the bird-men of Alcatraz a little earlier and right now while I was walking along the footpath I was buzzed by a light aeroplane flying overhead.

There seems to be plenty going on in the air right now, and a trip to the airport at Donville-les-Bains will have to be on the cards for me one of these days in the near future.

crowds outside school bad parking boulevard vaufleury granville manche normandy france eric hallOne thing about today is that the schools have started back.

You can tell that by the fact that we are back with the pathetic parking again – a car parked with two wheels on the pavement blocking it off for pedestrians when there is a perfectly good free car park just 50 yards away.

And look at the people congregating around the gate too. No sense of social distancing and not very many facemasks either.

It’s no wonder that the virus is currently running rampant around the country with all of this going on. I don’t know how people expect this virus to be over.

Back here I finished off my work and had tea. Another stuffed pepper with vegetables and rice, followed by rice pudding which was delicious

plat gousset Place Maréchal Foch granville manche normandy france eric hallThen it was out for my evening walk tonight.

Feeling energetic I went around the walls and on the flat parts where there was no-one around, I broke into a run or two. It might not have been much but I went way beyond where I left off when I started running down there a year ago.

Round at the viewpoint over the Plat Gousset I had a look down at the Place Marechal Foch. There were quite a few people out for a walk round there, and it was nice to see the streetlights switched on too.

During the winter they had them switched off, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and it made photography something of a challenge. I hope that they keep them on this winter.

moonrise granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I had a second run along the
Square Maurice Marland and right up the ramp at the far end.

We’d seen the moon yesterday shining up above St Pair sur Mer but tonight as I watched, the moon slowly rose up above the cliffs and into view. It was really quite spectacular.

From there I had a wander home, breaking into another run for the last 50 yards or so.

back here I’ve written up my notes and now I’m off to bed, hoping to have another good night and hopefully another better day tomorrow – not that I have too much optimism about it.

But one thing that I know is that in approximately 5 hours time a year ago, my life changed dramatically thanks to one particular incident that happened at roughly that moment.

It was an incident that meant a great deal to me and which I won’t ever forget, regardless of anything else Even a year later, I still can’t get it all out of my mind.

Saturday 11th July 2020 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… day I’ve had today!

While you admire the beautiful sunset from this evening, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that it always takes me a day or two to adjust myself after the travelling to Leuven, but it’s never been quite as bad as this.

It goes without saying that I missed the alarms this morning. No danger whatever of me showing a leg at 06:00. 07:30 would have to do, I’m afraid.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd after the medication I listened to the dictaphone to see if I had been anywhere during the night. Somewhere on my travels I’d ended up near the new by-pass that they were building on the A556. I had a lift in a lorry out of Manchester and it dropped me off right slap bang in the middle of the roadworks and I had to walk all the way up to the M6 roundabout. I could see queues on the new road and I was lucky because there was no traffic here. When I walked off I met my brother and we had a discussion about things that needed to be collected from a little factory just off this old road that was being modernised. We had to walk all the way back to this factory. A guy came out to see us and said “yes I’ll fetch your order”. So we waited and waited and waited and waited. In the end I said to my brother “you stay here. I’ll go back and fetch the van because they are going to come out and say that the order is ready and we’ll have to fetch the van anyway. We may as well do it now while we are waiting”. Then the question of tyres came up. They had sent me four tyres and I had never received them. Then; thinking on, there were two earlier tyres that I had ordered from them and they had never come either. I was wondering what was happening about these tyres and should I bring up the subject while I’m waiting here to pick up this next load of stuff.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSeeing as I’m off to the shops I went for a shower and a weigh-in. My weight is hovering just underneath my target weight which is good although I would love to lose two or three more kilos.

NOZ was rather a disappointment. Some coconut milk, another box of these breaded soya fillets and a 9-volt battery for the preamp on the 5-string fretless bass. I need to push on more with that.

LeClerc wasn’t much better either. I wandered around rather aimlessly in there, spending most of my money on fruit. They did have some of the small tins of kidney beans in stock. I like using those to lengthen left-over meals to fill taco rolls.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were more frozen falafel too so I bought another box of 12.

Back here I unpacked, put the frozen stuff away and then … errr … crashed out for half an hour or so. It took me quite a while to gather my wits once I returned to the land of the living, something that surprised me seeing as I don’t have all that many left.

Most of the day has been spent dealing with photos. There have been some of those from my journey on board Spirit of Conrad and some more of my Transatlantic voyage last July. We’ve left Vestmannaeyjar and now in our raging storm somewhere in between Iceland and Greenland.

There was the break for lunch of course and also a break for my afternoon walk.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I wasn’t the only one out there either.

Although there was plenty of wind about, there was a beautiful sunshine too. Not the kind of weather that would encourage me to go and sit half-naked on a beach but it evidently appealed to some folk.

More than some folk in fact because the beach was pretty crowded. That’s the inaccessible bit down there.

granvillaise ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNow that the tourist season has officially started the “boats for hire” are back hard at it.

Marite has slipped her moorings, nowhere to be seen, but out there near the Ile de Chausey is a boat that has the same sail configuration as La Granvillaise

It’s not easy to see from this range, even with a good telescopic lens, whether it has the “G90” in its sails that would confirm its identity as La Granvillaise, but I can’t think who else it might be in a yacht like that.

And she wasn’t alone either, as you can see. Plenty of other yachts out there too dashing in and out of the harbour over there. They are keeping busy in the port right enough.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallDodging the massed crowds out on the walls, I made my way down the footpath to the viewpoint over the beach at the Plat Gousset

Here, it’s a bit more sheltered from the wind and I expected to see many more people here. And i wasn’t disappointed because they were out there in droves this afternoon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I have been rather critical of Mme la Maire’s expenditure in the town but my hat does go off to her for having dealt with the issue of the tidal swimming pool and restoring it for use this summer.

The crowds down there are really enjoying it.

air sea rescue helicopter plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was admiring the view of the beach, I was buzzed by a low-flying object passing by overhead.

“Someone has got their chopper out again” I mused, but it is in fact the Air-Sea rescue helicopter flying back to its base at the airfield at Donville-les-Bains.

It’s obviously been somewhere, but whether on a training flight or a real mission I really couldn’t say. I suppose that I’ll have to keep an eye out in the papers tomorrow and see if there is anything in there to give me a clue.

baby seagull learning to fly rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallNo change at the roofing job in the Place Marechal Foch so I carried on into the Square Maurice Marland

My baby seagull wasn’t there on its roof this afternoon and I couldn’t see where it was at all. Mummy wasn’t there either. But on a roof across the road a couple of baby seagulls were taking their first fluttering flight from ground. This one here was hopping up onto that air vent and hopping off flapping its wings and somehow managing to cover a couple of feet before landing.

My baby seagull is a week or two behind the others so I don’t imagine that it’s flown away already. I hope that it’s OK.

square Maurice Marland granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall the three baby seagulls that we saw a couple of weeks ago having a pile of fun on a roof.

Today though they were being much more sedate, just sitting around in the sun. It gave me an opportunity to have a look at the Square Maurice Marland in all its glory.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when I started running last winter I used to run across there. The first ramp that I somehow managed to struggle up is to the right of the tree and it was the steep one on the left of the image that always defeated me.

The place was littered with wedding parties too – there had been a couple of weddings up here and they weren’t half making a racket. But nevertheless I somehow managed to crash out yet again and was gone for a good hour or so. It really was a miserable day from that point of view.

Round about 18:00 I pulled myself together and had a session on the guitars – including the 5-string fretless bass that I’m not using half often enough.

That took me up to tea time, which as usual was a breaded soya fillet with potatoes and veg. I’d bought some endives today so I had one of those with tea.

An old apple turnover from the freezer made up the dessert. It was quite nice with some of the vegan soya coconut stuff.

yacht english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile I was going out, it looked as if everyone else was coming home.

My first run was once more a disappointment. For the nth time in succession I never made it to the top of the hill, never mind down to the clifftop. But at least I was in time to see this yacht coming in towards port.

The itinerant was there again, buried in his hedge, sitting quietly reading a book. I have to say that I totally admire his stoicism, sticking it out in the hedge in all weathers.

yacht speedboat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallNot needing to pause for breath I carried on past the hordes of picnickers on the lawn and round to the south side of the headland.

And it does have to be said that I was right about everyone heading for home. The town had been thronged with cars and trailers pulling boats into town this morning as I went to the shops. All of those boats that had been launched are not streaming back into port to go home.

There are five boats close to shore on this photo and any other photo of the sea around the port entrance would have picked up a completely different five. There’s a lot of money to be made with the launching fee, that’s for sure.

victor hugo port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I ran on down the Boulevard Vaufleury but ran out of steam when I rounded the corner, so I went back to see what was going on in the port.

It was rather disappointing to see both Granville and Victor Hugo still in port. It was my understanding that the ferry service to the Channel Islands would be starting today and that one or other (or maybe both) of the ferries would be off.

But apparently not. They are both ties up here, presumably waiting for Godot or something like that. It will be good to see them back at work and bringing some revenue into the town.

While I was on my travels this morning I noticed a couple of Jersey-registered vehicles out an about, so it looks as if the car ferry to St Malo is already up and running.

crowds picnicking on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe next stage of my run took me down the Rue St Jean and through the alley into the Rue du Nord and up to the viewpoint.

There was quite a crowd there watching the setting sun – I just arrived there in time – but I was also interested in what was going on down on the beach. We have the picnickers back this evening having a meal down there. Not for nothing are they called “sandwiches”.

Having seen the sun set I came back home to write up my notes.

That was another disappointing day, spending most of it fighting off waves of sleep. It’s rather depressing that I can’t have a few days when I’m free to concentrate on what I’m supposed to be doing.

But there’s always tomorrow. It’s going to be a baking day with a loaf of bread, an apple crumble and some honey, lemon and ginger drink. Now that i’m back home I ought to be more focused on what i’m trying to achieve.

We shall see.

Saturday 20th June 2020 – LET’S NOT TALK …

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… about this morning as it was nothing at all to celebrate.

Instead, while you admire the photos of the sunset this evening, let me tell you something about the rest of the day.

After the medication (when I finally did leave my stinking pit) I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. It’s always the most important part of the day when I check the dictaphone and find out that I’d been on my travels.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallI was back in school last night and it was the annual prizegiving. On eof the prizes being awarded was for the most attractive male pupil. I actually made it to second place … “yes, as if …” – ed … which I thought was absolutely bizarre … “and quite right too” – ed. The winner was a friend of mine from my schooldays, and that would have been omething that would have surprised everyone except him. He was a little taken aback and when they presented him with the award he asked “is there a speech that I have to read?” I shouted out “no, you have to read your own”. So he gave a very tear-laden speech, just a short one thanking everyone. The the MC said “it’s lunchtime now so we’re going to do something down in the canteen but you can all go for a wander round until it’s ready”. I stormed out of the room there, I’m not sure why, to wait for the guy I was with – my doctor friend again. And we saw this winner again standing in the corner of one of the rooms on his own with a few people hanging around in that room as well and we wondered what was happening now with him

After a shower I headed off to the shops. And to my surprise I bought next-to-nothing at NOZ – some vegan ice cream, a couple of little bits and pieces and a nice comfy seat cushion for my office chair.

At LeClerc again I spent almost nothing at all. And to my regret they had run out of those frozen falafels that I had bought last week. I should have bought a few more packets last week.

However I did buy some of the veggie balls that they had, and also some more of that bread flour seeing as I seemed to have had some good results with that last lot.

Back here I put most of the stuff away and then I … errr … had a little relax. As if I haven’t done enough of that already today.

Lunch was taken on the wall overlooking the harbour again but whether it was the weekend or whatever, there wasn’t a soul moving about anywhere. I can’t think of such a less interesting time out there.

Mind you it was nice in the sun. I didn’t mind that much.

This afternoon I spent a lot of time going through some stuff on the hard drive of the computer. One or two … “dozen” – ed … directories seem to have got themselves into something of a tangle just now and needed a good clean-out

Hidden deep in there was a small utility program that I had downloaded and then completely overlooked. It’s quite a useful little utility too and I put it to some use while I was at it. No time like the present.

Not only that, while doing some research into the issue I came across the solution to a problem that has Been vexing me since Christmas.

So even if it looks as if I haven’t done much, I’ve accomplished an awful lot.

surfers english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallOut for my walk this afternoon and I had several errands to run.

Not that I got very far though because I was distracted by something out to sea. I took a photo of it with the big 70-300mm LENS with the aim of enlarging it when I returned home.

And much to my disappointment it wasn’t the Loch Ness Monster at all. It seems to be a group of people, maybe surfers with their surfboards having a Union meeting out to sea and I’ve no idea whatever what they may have been discussing.

woman fishing from rocks plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallOne of the many things that regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing has been the fishermen perched on rocks on the edge of the water rather like little garden gnomes on their tuffets.

There were yet more out there today – and for a change, I reckon from the body shape that this one is more likely a female of the variety. That’s certainly something new.

A friend of mine once took his wife fishing. “never again!” he replied. “She did EVERYTHING wrong to show me up in front of the others. talked too loudly, used the wrong hook, fixed the wrong bait, cast the line incorrectly, caught the biggest fish …”

lifeguard crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will also recall that we saw them a good few weeks ago now digging out the accumulated sand from the old tidal swimming pool.

It’s now well up and running as you can see from this photo. There are a few people there or thereabouts.

And do you notice the guys in the yellow flourescent jackets? I was told the other day that the beach and the pool are to be patrolled by lifeguards this summer in view of the larger-than-expected crowds.

My suggestion is that the two guys down there in those jackets are the lifeguards.

seagull chick rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallOne of the things that I forgot to do was to check on the roofing to see how it was doing.

Instead, I pushed on through to the Place Maurice Marland to check on my baby seagull to see how it was doing.

And there it is, on the roof, looking fit and healthy although still a week or two behind the others around here. And no sign of mummy. She probably thinks that baby is big enough to be left alone while she goes off foraging around for food.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the medieval city walls are falling to bits.

escalier square potel closed granville manche normandy france eric hallThey spend a whole year almost repairing a huge section in the rue des Juifs but in the meantime there are three more sections of wall (and one on the Plat Gousset) that have had to be closed to passers-by due to the danger of falling rocks.

And here’s another one today. I noticed in the newspaper a few days ago that the stairs down to the Square Potel have been closed of “due to a serious degradation”.

It’s high time that, instead of wasting millions in the port on a job that could have been done at half the cost and twice the speed when the port was drained a couple of years ago, they started to do some serious work and maintenance on the cultural heritage of the town.

None of this is going to last for ever, and tourists – and inhabitants – won’t want to come if all there is is a heap of stones

work on staircase rue lecarpentier granville manche normandy france eric hallAnother thing that I have been meaning to do is to go and check up on the work that we saw on the steps in the rue LeCarpentier.

They had a digger there of course and it had been doing plenty of work. They’ve cleared away the ground from around a meter so it’s obviously some kind of mains services that are being overhauled.

As it happened, at the foot of the steps I bumped into my friend who works at the mairie. She told me that it’s a gas pipe being replaced.

While I had her attention I mentioned to her the subject of the itinerant. There’s a welfare service in town that deals with the disadvantages and there is emergency accommodation available. She’s going to get on the case and see what she can do.

If he wants to stay out there in all weathers, that’s his choice and I’m the last person to stand in his way. But someone who knows what they are doing should be keeping an eye on him all the same.

old cars citroen b12 1924 granville manche normandy france eric hallNow how long is it since we’ve had an old car in these pages? And I don’t just mean something from the 1960s or 70s either but something really old.

Walking back to the apartment I came across this parked on the side of the road by the Porte St Jean so of course I went over to have a closer look and take a couple of photos.

According to the radiator grille it’s a Citroen B12. And according to the woman who was sitting in the back, it’s from 1924

old cars citroen b12 1924 granville manche normandy france eric hallSomething isn’t right there then.

The B12 wasn’t unveiled to the public until the October 1925 Paris Motor Show, when it replaced the B10 and the B2

It seems that the car had broken down, so the lady told me. The driver had gone off to look for spare parts so I didn’t really learn an awful lot. I hung around for a while but he didn’t show up so I headed for home.

After the guitar, tea tonight was baked potato and veg with one of the brzaded soya fillets (there were a few more in Noz today) followed by Apple Crumble and soya coconut dessert.

Just for a change I didn’t buy any of that today. In Noz they had some vegan oat-based ice cream and I’m going to try that when the coconut stuff runs out.

One thing that I like about Noz is that they do have the unexpected in there and it’s a great way to vary my diet. As I have said before … “on many, many occasions” – ed …I’m eating so much better these days.

crowds picnicking pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallOff I went on my run later on – all the way up the hill and down to the clifftop without stopping (in total agony too).

It was a lovely evening although there were not too many people around out there which was a surprise. There was one family just there having a big picnic in one of the old gun emplacements and a few other people loitering around just to make up the numbers.

The itinerant was there too of course, perched under his hedge. I reckon that he’ll be here for the summer, and more besides, probably.

speedboat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere wasn’t much going on in the water this evening.

One or two fishermen on their rocks but no-one about in a fishing boat. Just this speedboat roaring over from the Ile de Chausey on his way back to town.

So with nothing doing there, I ran down to my viewpoint past the chantier navale, where there was no change in occupancy, down to the port which was all quiet.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallWith nothing happening I ran all the wat down the Boulevard Vaufleury, gown the Rue St Jean, through the alley and back up to the Rue du Nord and the viewpoint.

You’ve seen the photos of the sunset at the beginning of this posting, but you haven’t seen the beach. No picnickers down there – just a couple soaking up the summer sun and some kids having some fun.

With nothing else going on, I ran on home to write up my notes.

Sunday tomorrow, and I lie in. But I need to find the papers for Caliburn’s controle technique which are around somewhere and also book my next voyage to Leuven

That 6 months has come round fast, hasn’t it?

Wednesday 3rd June 2020 – EVERYBODY SAY “AHHH”

mother seagull with baby granville manche normandy france eric hallregular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have been keeping a close eye on the socks of fleagulls that nest on the roofs of the houses in the Rue des Juifs during the Spring.

And so; while keeping an eye on one particular nest today, I noticed something rather different, so I took a photo of it with the aim of blowing it up when I returned to the apartment

And don’t we have one very proud Mummy Seagull here? At least one and maybe two eggs have hatched and there’s a chick or two sheltering under her wings in the nest on the roof.

Well done, mummy, and congratulations. I shall be following their progress over the next few weeks.

hang glider granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile you admire the photos of the hang gliders who have been buzzing around the town today like a bunch of Nazgul, let me tell you about my thoroughly miserable day

Just for a change, I was up before the third alarm this morning. But that was as good as it got. Although I had my medication I didn’t feel like any breakfast and in fact I’ve not eaten anything today except some fruit

Yes, I’ve been thinking over the last few days that I was sickening for something and it looks as if I’ve got it.

hang gliders granville manche normandy france eric hallThat’s one of the reasons why I keep my notes – so that I can track my health as it fluctuates up and down. And it’s particularly important right now, seeing as I’ve now been probably 18 weeks without my essential four-weekly treatment.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that back in March I predicted a decline in health. But that wasn’t really a prediction. Based on previous experience – it was a foregone conclusion.

So with no breakfast I decided that, at least while I was still compos mentis that I would attack my two courses, the Accountancy and the Music course.

hang gliders donville les bains granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I ended up completely finishing a week of each course too.

As for the Accountancy course, this week’s work was spent on basic numeracy. And I do mean “basic” – in fact I’ve no idea what they must be teaching in school these days if a course like this has to instruct its followers in the kind of basic numeracy that we had to do

The music course was exciting. And now at the end of the week I can play the blues on the piano with 5/10th scale chords and in theory, 7/10th scale chords. The theory being because I can’t stretch my hands far enough.

It really makes me wonder how we managed to play the piano when we were mere kids, having to stretch like that.

No lunch of course, but I did have something to do that involved the fridge. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the door pockets are broken on the fridge. The last surviving on was wedged in somehow, but that fell off when I opened the door.

And so, having nothing better to do, I bit the bullet, sorted out the electric drill and screwed all three shelves in. Whether they hold for any length of time I really wouldn’t know, but it has to be better at the moment.

This led to another problem.

The very top shelf is a very tight fit up against the freezer compartment door and with no shelf having been there for 18 months, the ice inside had grown and pushed the compartment door out. And having replaced the shelf, the fridge door wouldn’t now close.

That meant having to defrost the fridge and pull out about half a ton of ice.

But at least the door closes now and there’s room in the freezer compartment to actually put things now. And that’s progress of some kind.

fishing boats english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhile all of this was going on, I went for my afternoon walk.

We’ve been having some really glorious weather just recently, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but not today.

As you can see, the weather has changed and we are now back in all of the fog and mist that I thought that we’d left behind a few weeks ago

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was still quite warm outside though, and so I suppose that out of the wind it would really have been quite nice.

At least, that’s what all of the people down there must be thinking. And good look to them too – sooner them than me. You wouldn’t stand any chance of me getting into the sea down there at any time today.

Mind you, the way things are, you wouldn’t be getting me into the sea at any time these days, even at 40°C in the air.

roofing place marechal fochgranville manche normandy france eric hallFor part of my afternoon walk I’d had the company of a neighbour, but she had cleared off and I carried on on my own.

At the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch I had a look down to see how they were doing with the roof of the building there. And the answer was that although progress seems to have been quite rapid, they appear to have had a technical hitch.

Someone was on the roof there hacksawing away at the galvanised sheeting that they have been using to cover the dormer windows. It looks as if they might have misjudged some measurement or other.

yachts sailing school baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving stood and watched them for a while, I moved on around onto the Square Maurice Marland to see what was going on there and to check on my seagull.

It also gave me an opportunity to see what was going on out in the Baie de Mont St Michel. It looks as if the sailing school is now in full swing, with all of the little yachts out there having a lap or two around the marker buoys that they put out there.

It’s probably what they call a “slalom for sailors”, I reckon. And wouldn’t it have been a good idea for me to have enrolled onto a course like that? I must make further enquiries.

wooden steps onto ramp down to fishing boats rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThis photograph here has made me laugh, and it shouldn’t really, because it’s very sad.

It’s not the workman carrying the metal pole down the ramp that has caught my eye but something else there. They’ve spent I really don’t know how many millions of Euros completely refitting the port out with new ramps and pontoons, and it’s taken about a fortnight for social shaping by the citizens to take place to amend it.

All that money, and someone has felt obliged to build a set of steps out of a few old pallets.

crowds la rafale open place cambernon granville manche normandy france eric hallAll of the restaurants, bars and cafés have been closed in France since the start of the pandemic, but since Tuesday in the “Green Zone” which is where we are living, they can re-open under certain circumstances.

The Place Cambernon Is usually blocked off for July and August to allow the café La Rafale and the restaurant to spread their tables about, but it seems that they have decided to extend the period of closure from now until the end of September.

And La Rafale is taking full advantage of it – and so are the customers too. That’s good news to see the commerce re-igniting.

more work on medieval walls granville manche normandy france eric hallMy perambulations took me on an extended route today because I’d seen some kind of work going on in the distance.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there was a major amount of work done on the medieval walls all through last year, and I made some kind of derogatory remarks about some of the work that was done.

It’s nice to see that the local council has been following my journal because the work seems to involve cleaning up the mess that passed for pointing on the stairwell here.

They’ve only been at it for a couple of days and already there’s a vast improvement.

On the subject of vast improvements, I wish that there had been a vast improvement with me.

Back home again I started to write out the notes for the radio project on which I was working. I even finished them too in a most amazing blitz of work.

Next stop was to dictate them – and I even managed that too. However, when I went to edit them I found out that someone driving around here in a motor bike had made such a racket that the microphone had picked it up.

Closing all of the windows I went to dictate it again.

However I didn’t get far, because I crashed out for about 15 minutes or so and woke up feeling like death. Eventually I managed to finish dictating it but as I went to upload it to the computer I went off again.

45 minutes this time, and I missed my session on the guitars. And if I had felt bad before, I was feeling even worse now. It’s a really long time – and I do mean long – since I’ve felt as bad as I did just then.

itinerant visitor pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallNevertheless I was up, so I was staying up. And i wasn’t intending to miss out on my run, despite no food and no health.

There was the usual struggle up the hill – which isn’t getting any better regardless of whatever circumstances. But at least my problems aren’t as bad as some of other people. There’s been an itinerant person wandering around the Pointe du Roc and he seems to have settled down under the hedge for the night.

It beats me why he’s settled there, because there’s plenty of covered spaces where he could settle if he so choose. But I do have to say, that having slept so often in Caliburn, Strider and various hire cars by the side of the sea over the years, there is something hypnotic about sleeping in the open air with the sound of the sea in my head.

storm jersey english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallhaving recovered my breath I ran on down to the top of the cliff to see what was going on.

Nothing much here right now, but away in the distance Jersey and the Channel islands were taking quite a pasting. That’s something of an incredible storm that’s raging out there right now.

There’s quite a high wind blowing here right now, but luckily it’s not coming in this direction but going off out to sea, so it’s not likely to affect us. However, the winds are quite contrary and who knows what’s in store for us overnight.

old cars 1985 morgan pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we saw a couple of old cars, one of which was a green Morgan, driving around here.

On the car park by the Coastguard Station this evening was this green Morgan. I’m not sure if it’s the same car but anyway, it’s still interesting so with the owner’s permission I photographed it.

He told me that it is an original Morgan, not a reproduction, but it’s one of the modern series and made in 1985. That’s a shame, because I was hoping that it might have been one of the older ones. It’s still nice though.

trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallDespite the wind, there’s still work to be done.

As I wandered around the headland I noticed a couple of fishing boats heading out across the Baie de Mont St Michel. It looks as if they are heading out towards the Brittany coast to see what they can find to catch over there.

It looks as if the head of the Baie de Mont St Michel has been abandoned by the fishing boats right now. But that may well be because of the school of dolphins that is said to be loitering around up there and which have been seen by one or two people – but not by me.

trawlers yacht chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy run took me down along the top of the cliff and past the top of the chantier navale.

We have another occupant in there today, but I’m not sure whether or not it actually counts. There are the two big fishing boats that have been there for ages, but also a small yacht on blocks next to it.

Whatever it is, it was nice to see it so I took a photo and then carried on with my run all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury.

chausiais port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWhile I had stopped for breath, I walked down to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see what was going on.

Chausiais was down there, moored up in the loading position underneath the crane. Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen her heading out to the Ile de Chausey the other day, so it’s strange that she’s looking as if she’s loading up ready to go out again so soon.

Nothing else seemed to be happening so I turned round and ran off to the viewpoint at the rue du Nord, pushing on by about 50 metres that particular segment of my run.

There was nothing going on there either. The sun was hidden in swathes of clouds and so there were no picnickers out there this evening. So I ran on home.

Having written my notes I’m off to bed, for an early night for once. I’m off for a day out tomorrow so I need to be on form. I’ll try some breakfast tomorrow morning and see if I can keep it down, and I have to go shopping too on my way out as supplies are getting low – not that it particularly matters right now.

Monday 25th May 2020 – A FEW MORE …

… things to add to the pile of things that haven’t been done today. I’m not having a good start to the week.

It all went wrong right at the very beginning when the third alarm found me somewhere in Wyoming, and a very dry, dusty Wyoming at that too. I’d been in my old Opel Senator and had an accident in which it was written off and I’d had to wait around for a taxi. Eventually the one that the insurance company sent fo me tuned up – an old blue Volvo 244. On the way back (and the name Irmo – which Rhys might know – was mentioned) I mentioned how I’d be happy to settle in a place like this and I asked what taxi-driving was like around here. The driver told me with alarm “ohh don’t go settling around here” but didn’t elaborate. He told me that he might have a buyer for my car so we were talking about buying old cars and dismantling them like I used to from the abandoned car auctions in Brussels but at that point the alarm went off.

After the medication (I was up and about by 06:30) I had a listen to the dictaphone. And there was something very enigmatic on there from round about 02:30. “Yes sometime during the night I dreamt that I was actually writing up my blog. Yes, it’s getting to me, isn’t it?” was what I heard when I played it back. But what it was all about I really didn’t have a clue.

Between breakfast and lunch there was a variety of things to do. First off was to send off the radio project for the forthcoming weekend. And seeing as it’s the end of the month we’re having a live concert again.

Then it was time to choose the music for the next radio project.

It’s a friend’s birthday so I had to prepare a special birthday card for her. That was quite important.

My Welsh homework needed doing too, and that involved some research and more than a little tidying up of my notes. And the questions had come in *.docx format which Open Office doesn’t read correctly – so I had to reformat that by copying the text and paginating it which took an age.

Then back to the radio project and by the time that I knocked off for lunch the tracks had been joined in pairs, I’d chosen a speech for my guest and I’d started to write the notes.

home made apple pear purée cordial granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter lunch there was cookery to be done.

This morning I’d used the last of the purée so I made some more. It hadn’t kept as well as previously so I’ve decided to make smaller amounts more regularly. Today’s effort was apple and pear, and I remembered the cinnamon and nutmeg.

With the juice that was left over, I added some syrup to make a cordial, and we’ll see how that goes.

As well as that, there was the remaining kilo of carrots to be peeled, diced, blanched and frozen. They are in the freezer right now too.

yacht english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a break while I went out for my afternoon walk in the glorious sun.

There were a few people staring down at the foot of the cliff so I went along to see what there was going on. I’m not sure what it was that they were seeing, but I saw this beautiful little yacht go scudding by right under my nose.

One of my neighbours was there too – Gribouille’s mum – with her arm in plaster. She’d had a fall in the market on Saturday and broken her wrist.

She started to tell me all about it but no thanks – I don’t want to know things like that.

st helier jersey trawler english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallThe next couple of photos look as if the quality is quite dismal too.

In several respects that’s true, but it was necessary to enhance them to bring our exactly what it was that I wanted to see. These are two fishing boats – in this photo and the next one, but it is what is in the background that is more interesting.

In all the time that I’ve been living here I don’t think that we have ever had such perfect weather out that way

st helier jersey trawler english channel islands granville manche normandy france eric hallAs regular readers of this rubbish will recall, on a good day we can see the island of Jersey from here even though it’s at least 54 kilometres away.

Today, not only could we see the island quite clearly but we could even see the buildings and the radio masts on the island. I’ve seen them before, but only with the zoom lens at full-extent and with some severe cropping and enhancing. But today, it didn’t take much to bring them out.

In places you could even see them with the naked eye, and that was impressive.

peche a pied beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving chatted to another neighbour who was in the vicinity I went off for my afternoon walk.

There were crowds of people out there today – picnicking on the lawn, walking around the headland and even down on the beach. Some corners of the beach are not easy to get to but the seafood pickings must be really good. Here was someone having a go at the peche à pied by the looks of things

It would be really interesting to find out how much he actually was able to catch and, more importantly, how he was going to prepare it for eating.

seagulls scavengig in rock pools pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallTalking of good seafood pickings, regular readers of this rubbish will recall a few days ago that we saw a whole sock of fleagulls perched on the rocks, looking as if they were Waiting for Godot.

At the time I speculated that they were waiting for the tide to recede from the mudflats so that they could get stuck in to supper. The tide is out right now and here they are, having a feast.

There must have been several hundred here and it shows the capacity of the shellfish to regenerate themselves every day to be be able to produce enough food to satisfy this lot.

pointe de carolles plage cabanon vauban mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallA little earlier I mentioned the beautiful weather.

Over towards the Brittany coast the weather was rather misty and hazy but down at the end of the baie de Mont St Michel we could see quite clearly.

The large white buildings are all of the hotels and the like that service Mont St Michel. Having seen the prices that they charge for even the most basic services down there, I shudder to think how much they would want for a night in a hotel down there.

Over to the left we have the Pointe de Carolles with the Cabanon Vauban – the customs lookout post – perched on the edge.

And notice how far out the tide is? You can clearly see the orange sand down at the head of the bay.

boats trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual pause to admire the scenery down below the cliff on the south side of the Pointe du Roc.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we always keep an eye on the chantier navale to see what goes on there. Just ecently we’ve seen them whittle themselves down from five to four to three to two. But today, they have gone back up to four with the arrival of two more.

Only small ones, but then I suppose that everything helps. Someone was sanding down one of them. I couldn’t see which one it was but I could certainly hear the sound.

trawler beached port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallUp on blocks in the chantier navale is not the only way that boats receive attention around here.

Careening is a regular feature when there’s a high tidal range, although I’ve yet to see that applied in any seriousness. Being strapped tightly to a knuckle on the harbour wall so that the boat grounds out safely when the tide goes out is on the other hand something that we’ve seen on a regular basis and there’s another one over there receiving similar treatment.

There was quite a crowd up on the wall by it too, so something exciting must have happened to it.

giant crane rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOver the last few days regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing the giant crane that appeared on the docks at the end of last week.

Whatever it’s come here to do, it’s doing it right now. Its width with its safety feet is such that it’s blocked off half of the road and there afe traffic light sontrolling the traffic.

It’s not possible at all to see what it’s doing from here. One of these days I’ll have to go for a walk down there and take a closer look. It has to be something worthwhile to have attracted machinery like that.

There was the usual hour on the guitars, somewhat later than usual, and then tea. Tonight was a stuffed pepper and the last of the apple crumble. I’ll have to make another pudding tomorrow and I have a cunning plan for that.

port de granville harbour entrance marker light manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual run out tonight – an agonising crawl up the hill in the teeth of a gale. But I recovered my breath, ran down to the clifftop and then walked round the corner.

The other day, regular readers of this rubbish saw the marker light for the harbour entrance standing well clear of the water on its rock. By my estimation it’s still half an hour or so before high tide, and if you compare the two photos you’ll see how high the tide comes in.

And look how clear the air is this evening. You can see for miles down there.

people fishing from wall port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAs I ran on down on top of the cliff I noticed hordes of people standing on top of the harbour wall.

For quite a while I stood and watched them, thinking that they might be going to jump in. We’ve seen them do that before. But as long as I looked, no-one moved and I came to the conclusion that they were fishermen or something.

There were a couple of parties of girls as well loitering around where I was standing, presumably likewise waiting for things over there to happen.

fishing boat seagulls baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs I stood there watching them, something came a put-putting around the headland.

At first I wasn’t sure what it was, but I suppose that it’s another one of these very small fishing boats. It’s a working boat, judging by the radio aerial.

And those things in the foreground. I wasn’t sure whether they were marker buoys or seagulls. And having had a closer look I have to say that i’m still none-the-wiser.

And that reminds me of a story I heard about a barrister, FE Smith, giving a lengthy explanation of something to a crowded courtroom.
“I’ve listened to you for half an hour” said the judge “and I’m still none-the-wiser”
“Maybe not, My Lord” replied Smith. “But you’re certainly better-informed”.

fish processing plant sucking shellfish out of trawler hold granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run took me all the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury and as there was a lot going on at the fish processing plant I went to see.

This equipment that they were using was quite interesting and it took me a minute or two to work out what it was. And I came to the conclusion that it’s a kind of vacuum-cleaner that was being used to suck the shellfish out of the hold of the trawler and into the fish processing plant.

And if that’s what it is (and that was what it sounded like) it’s a pretty ingenious device.

sunset english chennel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run tok me round to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord.

Nothing exciting going on there and still a while before sunset so I took a quick photo and ran on home to write up my notes..

Tomorrow is a busy day. I have my Welsh class so I need to prepare, I have my book-keeping class that has now started, I have my music course.

Then there are the photos from Sunday to deal with, the current radio project and another live concert for the end of next month too.

That’s before I even think about the ongoing projects like the websites and the July 2019 photos, and then all of the other stuff that’s built up from projects before that were never finished.

It’s a mystery to me how I’m ever going to find the time to do it all.

Tuesday 12th May 2020 – HAVE YOU EVER …

… had one of those days when you’ve been trying to do something straightforward and simple and it just doesn’t work?

Right now I’m having one of those. I’m making a new template for one of my websites – a task that I’ve done on countless occasions – and for some unknown reason it just won’t work out.

For three hours now I’ve been at it, and I’ve spent a similar amout of time on this template too, but I’m getting nowhere fast. I’ve even gone right back to basics and started from the beginning but that’s not working either.

What has happened, I reckon, is that I’ve made a spelling mistake with one of the *.div boxes, or forgotten a quotation mark or something, but I’m badgered if I can see where.

After all this time I’ve abandoned the quest for the evening because my eyes have turned to mush and I can’t see straight.

The day started off so well too. I actually beat the third alarm to my feet, which is something to celebrate these days. And I’d been off on my travels, as I discovered when I listened to the dictaphone later after the medication.

Last night I was coming back from Shavington into Crewe and down by Gresty Brook was a row of lock-up garages. Something had happened and there was a black Lamborghini-type of sports car with all of its front end stoved in and some of these garages were open and there were motorbikes everywhere. It looked as if this Lamborghini had lost control and smashed into these garages. As I walked past I could see that there had been some work doing but there was more to do. Anyway, all of the traffic coming out of Crewe had stopped so I was able to negotiate my way through. Then it came to updating my website so I moved some information around and wrote in a bit about this accident to fit in with a few of the images. Roxanne came to talk to me about something and we ended up talking about hot air balloons that she had seen as a very small child and where they fitted in to the story of Montgolfière, these balloons
We were all on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour, a huge mob of us. I was interested in a woman or girl or somebody. I was doing what I could to become friendly with her. At the same time there was another guy trying to do something to be friendly with another girl and everyone kept on butting in on him like they usually do with me. So one one occasion someone said something about this girl – that Stephen from Brooklyn, so I explained to him that the other guy had first dibs and he was quite put out by that. One evening we were having a meal and it was a huge refectory kind of place, not like the dining room. I grabbed my evening meal and went to sit down and I couldn’t see this girl whom I wanted to sit next to. I thought “she can’t be here yet” so I chose a place a bit away from everyone else but there was no cutlery or anything for anyone else so i started to assemble some cutlery to make a place for her. Just then I was overwhelmed by half a dozen people who appeared at once and all sat down at this table all around me and left no space for this girl. One of them was this Stephen and he explained to me that ‘I was having a nice friendly chat with so-and-so and this girl and thank you for putting me right to the situation”, things like that, and i was thinking “God I wish that someone would put these people right about my situation”,
A hot, sweaty, sticky night again, which I have to note, and I ended up somewhere in all of this in a big 1960s American estate car, a beige one, right-hand drive. For some unknown reason whenever I left a standing start I had to push it to make the car roll forward and then leap in. It was really heavy too but one in started to roll it was fine. I remember having to do this at a certain traffic light where opposite, the road narrowed and made it an interesting procedure. So I bought a different, smaller and lighter American estate car and at the same junction I had to do the same thing and that was for some reason even heavier to push.

After breakfast I had a good go at cleaning up the kitchen and dining area. And then configure a laptop so that it would work “Zoom” – this on-line meeting thing. It had to be done on the laptop because there’s no microphone or webcam on this big machine here.

Promptly at 11:00 we had our first lesson. There was the initial teething trouble with the programme as you might expect as no-one (not even the tutor) knew how to do it, but we were soon organised and the two hours passed quite quickly.

One of the attendees had her daughter of about 6 with her, and she had brought a dolly with her. So it goes without saying that at some point Strawberry Moose joined in the Welsh lesson.

Apparently the Welsh Government body that is sponsoring these courses expected about 100 attendees and made the appropriate provision. However there are a total of 1039 people who enrolled. It seems that the events of the last four years are swinging the pendulum over towards the side of Nationalism.

It did not escape my notice that one of the choices for “reasons for studying this course” was “to establish my national identity” or something very similar.

That took me right up to lunch where I finished off the last of the bread that I had made 10 days ago. I’m surprised that it had lasted so well.

home baked bread apple apricot puree cordial place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallThis afternoon, as I said yesterday, has been a cookery afternoon. And you cans ee the finished products here.

We have a loaf of bread, one and a half jars of apple and apricot purée for breakfast, and some apple and apricot cordial. And once again, I forgot the cinnamon and nutmeg.

The loaf was made with 400 grammes of flour.

We started off with 250 ml of water had a teaspoon of sugar and a sachet of yeast added to it. It was all stirred together and put in the microwave until it was lukewarm.

Meanwhile, 400 grammes of flour had a dessert spoon of salt added to it, and it was all mixed togather.
The lukewarm water was slowly added, every so often stopping to give the mixture a really good mix. make sure that your hands are well-floured so that the bread mix doesn’t stick to them so badly.

Eventually, you’ll end up with something rather like plasticene, nice and elastic. Then, you have to really knead it with your hands to make sure that the water and yeast are really well circulated throughout the mix. This can take 10 minutes or so and it’s quite an art.

Then put a towel over the bowl and put the bowl in a warm place for 45 minutes or so, to give the yeast a good start.

Meanwhile, peel, slice, core and dice 10 apples and but them in a saucepan with just a dash of water and plenty of lemon juice, stirring them well round as you add them to make sure that the lemon juice and water soaks the outside to stop them browning.

Then bring them to the boil and once it’s boiling, turn the heat right down to simmer gently until the apples are really soft (this could take 45 minutes even), giving it all a really good stir around every ten minutes or so.

Once the apples are simmering away, go back to the bread. It should already have started to rise now. So turn your oven on and while it is warming up, you need to knead the bread again for a while to make sure that the nitrogen being released by the yeast it distributed evenly through the bread.

Then put the mix in your bread mould and put in a hot oven 230°C for 10 minutes and then 210°C until it’s done.

When the apples are cooked, open a cheap tin of time-expired apricots from NOZ, drain off the syrup into a sterilised jar and add the fruit to the apples.

After about 5 minutes when the fruit is all thoroughly heated through, strain off all of the liquid into the jar with the syrup and whizz the fruit up in your whizzer.

Sterilise a couple of large jars (I put a small amount of water in them and run them for a minute in the microwave on medium-high and use boiling water on the caps) and put the purée in the jars and seal the lids.

Then check the bread by poking a large skewer into it. When it’s ready, it should sound good and the skewer should be clean when it comes out

tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallRather later than usual, I went out for my afternoon walk with the madding crowds – although nothing like as many people as I was expecting.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw them yesterday digging out the sand from the old tidal swimming pool. They’re not there now … “the ground’s all flat” – ed … but whether it’s because they have finished or simply knocked off for the day I really couldn’t say.

What i’ll have to do is to go that way tomorrow too but somewhat earlier so that I can see how they are doing.

floating pontoon across port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallI carried on walking around the walls, past more people than I have seen for quite a while, until I came to the Square Maurice Marland.

Between the chimneys I noticed some movement in the harbour so I took a speculative photo to see what it might be.

It’s beautifully focused on the chimneys, which means that it’s out of focus deeper in the image, but I could see that it’s one of our floating pontoons for the new walkway being pushed across the harbour by a motor boat.

marite floating pontoon across port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallA little further on there was a better view of what it was doing. It looks quite impressive too.

But we can see that whatever was keeping Marité out of her berth seems to have been resolved because she’s now back in her little corner.

The two Channel Islands ferries, Granville and Victor Hugo, are moored up over there, and today there’s just one Joly France boat, the ferries that go over to the Ile de Chausey, moored up. The other must be out on a run.

Back here I had another bash at this web site problem and then had my usual hour on the guitars.

Tea was steamed veg in vegan cheese sauce with falafel, followed by some of my apple pie and soya coconut dessert stuff.

trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThere were a few people out there this evening but that didn’t prevent me from going running.

It was yet another struggle up the hill in the wind but I made it all the way up there. There was nothign much going on offshore tonight so I wandered around the corner to watch the fishing boats unloading at the fish processing plant.

It was really busy there tonight. There was a queue of boats there waiting for a berth to unload their catch.

trawlers chantier navale port de granville granville manche normandy france eric hallBut there seems to be plenty of activity down in the chantier navale

We’ve had five boats in there for the last couple of days but today it seems that one of them has gone back into the water. I wonder if we are going to be having another visitor any day soon.

Despite the strong headwind I ran on down the Boulevard Vaufleury and was almost bursting by the time that I reached my marker.

floating pontoons port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallhaving seen them pushing the pontoons over this afternoon I went down to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see if I could see what they had been doing.

It’s not evident at all but I think that they might be adding a third layer to the bit that’s perpendicular to the harbour wall. That’s all that I can think of that might be different.

My next run took me up to the viewpoint at the rue do Nord but there was nothing at all happening out there so I ran on back home.

Bed now, not as early as I had hoped. But there’s a lot to be done tomorrow. I want to finish off this radio project, sort out this perishing web template and do the chores like photos and rewriting other web pages

And I need to find time for another play around as my new hi-fi has finally arrived today. I’m looking forward to that.

Monday 11th May 2020 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… the photos of this evening’s beautiful sunset, let me tell you a little about my rather less-than-successful day.

It actually started off exactly as I predicted. Pretty much beautiful weather throughout the detention à domicile and when it was lifted somewhat, at midnight, we were in the middle of a howling gale and torrential rainstorm.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall, having followed my adventures for any great length of time, MANY SIMILAR OCCURRENCES in the past and should, if they had had any sense, have cleaned up at the bookie’s, having bet their mortgage on this happening.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I awoke … errr … somewhat later than planned, the rain had stopped. But the howling gale was still howling away outside. And it kept it up all day too.

After the medication I went to have a listen to the dictaphone. And sure enough, I’d been off on my travels again. I was talking to one of the girls at work and trying to build some kind of relationship with her. It wasn’t until we were talking about going to a football match so she dressed in a blue denim jacket and blue jeans that I realised exactly who she was – someone who I once trained at a job that I had briefly in the 1980s and that was a name from the past.

As it happened, I did quite like her, but she was already married so that was that. ironically, a few weeks after I’d left and moved on to pastures new, she and her husband separated.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallA little later on (during the night, not during the 1980s) I was off again.

I’d come down to breakfast in a posh hotel where I’d been staying. There were already quite a few people down there even though it was early and I wasn’t the first. We all had a good chat and had some kind of breakfast and the place slowly filled up. I decided that I wanted to take a coffee to my room which was one of the options offered by the hotel so I hunted down the reffer – a girl walled Maria, a Slavonic type of blonde girl and she’s someone I know but I can’t think who – it wasn’t the pretty Polish girl who I knew in Stoke on Trent – so I asked her about the coffee . Sh said “yes, where’s your chit?”. She had to sign it and I asked if I had to sign it as well. She said no, her signature was good. So off she went. Then I awoke and I was lying here for about two minutes wondering what had happened to my coffee and when was I going to get it before I realised that it had been in a dream and no it wasn’t.

It really was that realistic, and there have been a few like that just recently, as regular readers will recall.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs an aside, someone else whom I know, a girl with whom I was at school, is also taking part in this project.

She contacted me first thing in the morning.
“You appeared in my dream last night, Eric”.
“Did I?” I enquired
“No” she said. “I fought you off”.

I’ll get my coat.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter breakfast, I made a start on the next radio project.

And organising myself like I have done, it was certainly a lot easier to choose the music. In fact, I was rather spoiled for choice and that’s a very good sign.

By the time that I knocked off for lunch I’d

  1. chosen all of the tracks (except the last one)
  2. combined them into pairs
  3. chosen a speech for my guest
  4. written part of the text for the broadcast


It’s not finished though, and it won’t be finished tomorrow either.

Tomorrow morning I have the first part of my Welsh course (it’s amazing, isn’t it – I’ve signed on for three on-line courses to pass the time during the detention à domicile and they all wait to start until it’s over) and in the afternoon I’m baking. The bread is almost running out and I need more apple purée too.

This afternoon I started off my doing some coursework for my Welsh lesson. My grandmother is Welsh and all of the little words she used to say to us when she dandled us on her knee were, as I subsequently learnt, terms of endearment in Welsh. I can still remember her saying a word that sounded like “cooch” when she used to hug us, and that of course is the Welsh word “cwch”.

When she died, my grandfather threw away her family’s Welsh bible with all of the family tree in it (it stopped in 1912) and I went to rescue it.

A coach driver with whom I worked was a native Welsh-speaker and he taught me quite a lot of basic Welsh and I worked my way slowly through the Bible, comparing it with an English one, but I’m determined to learn Welsh properly.

Where we lived as tiny kids, in that part of Wales known as “Part of Flint” until we moved to Cheshire, it was very angiicised. No-one there spoke Welsh and there was even a movement at one time to attach the area to Shropshire during the Local Government reorganisations of the early 1970s.

But you only had to look at my father, small, dark-haired, to know that he was a Celt, not a Saxon or a Norse.

Da iawn

storm at sea english channel brehal plage granville manche normandy france eric hallThat was the cue for, at last, going out for an afternoon walk.

The footpath down aunderneath the walls below the rue du Nord was open and there were quite a few people there admiring the wicked wind that was whipping up the waves into a foam of frenzy just offshore.

On the lower right-hand side of the photo you’ll see the stone walls of the medieval fish trap.

Water would overflow that during high tide and bring in a pile of fish. As the tide receded the water would seep out through the gaps in the rocks but the fish would be trapped.

People would just go down at low tide and pick up the fish.

digging out tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallTalking of tidal traps, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that here at the Plat Gousset there is a tidal swimming pool, but over the years it’s fallen into neglect and disrepair.

But it’s clear that they are anticipating that firstly, the beaches will reopen sometime soon and secondly, we are going to have an influx of visitors this summer.

They have a digger down there digging out years of accumulated sand and silt. And then, I suppose, they’ll repair the leaks in the walls and it’ll be back in business again.

joly france marité port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallA few days ago, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, we noticed that Marité had moved to a new mooring and I said that I’d see if I could find out why.

My walk continued across the Square Maurice Marland where there’s a point that overlooks the harbour. But there was no evidence of anything at all to suggest that she has had to move.

The two Joly France boats are down there and look as if they have encroached upon Marité’s mooring, but that can’t be the reason why she’s moved.

Back here I amended today’s web page, fixed the one for the other web site and then attacked some photos from July 2019. I’m now at the Storhordi Nature Reserve on the island of Heimaey off the coast of Iceland.

Halfway through I was interrupted by a phone call. It seems that in these times the Jehovah’s Witnesses are conducting their Ministry by telephone.

We had a very pleasant half-hour’s worth of chat during which I tied him up in a big theological knot.

There was the usual hour on the guitars and I was feeling more enthusiastic again about it, and then I broke off for tea.

There was some stuffing left over from Saturday so I tipped in a small tin of kidney beans and tomato sauce, and had taco rolls and rive for tea.

More pie for pudding with that Alpro almond soya dessert and it was just as delicious as before.

trawler seagulls baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe evening rune were something of a nightmare with the wicked, howling gale blowing about.

The run up the hill was a real struggle and I felt every inch of the way. There were quite a few people out there, not as many as I was expecting, and they were watching the activity out at sea.

This fishing boat was certainly providing a lot of entertainment.

trawler seagulls baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france eric hallShe’s been fishing out in the baie de Mont St Michel and she evidently has a full hold on board.

You can tell that by looking at the gulls surrounding her. There must be well over a hundred out there following her in and I hope that the crew are all wearing protactive headgear.

My run down the Boulevard Vaufleury, the longest one, was aborted tonight. The gale was such that it was a struggle to even walk down there, never mind run.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallBut as soon as I went out of the wind I could run again and I ran round to the viewpoint on the rue du Nord.

That’s where all of my sunset photos were taken this evening, as it sank behind the clouds just above the horizon.

After watching it go down, I turned round and ran on back here.

Bedtime now and I’m not sorry. Our detention à domicile has ended and in some ways I’m rather disappointed. I was doing so well in organising myself and catching up with the arrears.

Let’s see how the future unfolds.

Tuesday 5th May 2020 – I THOUGHT SO!

puddle boulevard vaufleury granville manche normandy france eric hallFor some reason or other, I had it in my mind during the night that we were having a rainstorm.

It’s one of those things that I’m not quite sure why and when day dawend, although it was a miserable morning it certainly wasn’t raining. But on my run around the walls in the evening I pass by a spot that always floods when there’s heavy rain. It’s been dry for a few weeks yet this evening we have a puddle on the path.

And so there you are. Yet you would never have said anything because once the day got under way it was quite pleasant.

And for a change, I had quite a pleasant night too. In bed relatively early and I actually managed to beat the third alarm, which is always a good sign of progress.

After the medication I went and had a listen to the dictaphone. And sure enough, I’d been on my travels again.

First of all, Castor put in an appearance again. Or did she? Because on the dictaphone I definitely use the name on several occasions but even in my sleep I made a note that it wasn’t her. So do I count her as Castor or as an unknown?

No idea myself. It’s the kind of thing that’s really confusing me.

But anyway we were at a party that I was helping supervise. But when it was getting towards the end she said “could you go and fetch me some paper because I need some paper”. I said “there’s some here in the printer” so I went to get some out of the printer but there wasn’t any. I had to go downstairs for it. She came downstairs with me and she started to talk about this game. She’s got to do this – this game has to be done right now – it can’t wait any later as it all has to be finished by midnight and we were getting very close to the time. So we got a piece of paper out. There was a third person down there but we ignored that person. It was a case of asking the questions alternately and doing the actions but the 1st question had been cut out. She was a bit mad at that because some other people taking part in the game had cut it out to spite her and she was not at all impressed.
At some other point during the night I was making sandwiches. I had four people with me doing different things and I had to make sandwiches. I had to buy a pile of strange stuff and the kind of pastry stuff that I had to use as a base had all gone off and gone manky so I ended up having to get some bread and making some sandwiches, but I was just getting completely and utterly confused. It took me ages to do something so straightforward as I was so confused about this. When it came to packing everything up ready to take down to the people I couldn’t find any plastic bags to put them in. It was now 13:30 and I guessed they would be wondering what on earth had happened to lunch. I saw a post on Facebook – one of my people had bought lunch and donated money to LIDL for his lunch and I thought to myself it’s going to be an awful row when I get these sandwiches downstairs. But I had a bit of food everywhere that I couldn’t get organised as to what went on where, anything like that. It was all really confusing and it was taking place on the playing field at Nantwich Grammar School as well.
There was more to it all than this but as you are probably eating your evening meal right now I’ll spare you the details. But the interesting thing was that there was some kind of mix of circumstance – the usual confusion and indecision was there of course, but also for once (and which doesn’t happen very often) something was going right for me until, once again, someone comes along in the night and spikes it. That happens far too often – in real life as well as on a nocturnal voyage. The whole story of my life is that people can’t bear to see me being happy and do whatever they can to spike it.

But anyway, I digress … “again” – ed.

After breakfast (which was late due to the amount of stuff I had to type) I carried on with the radio project and that was done well before lunchtime.

Next task was to sort out the music. All of the irrelevant music (from the radio point of view) was moved into a separate directory so that they are excluded from selection for the radio programme.

The reason for this is that with the 6 directories that I have (AA-FF) next week it’s the turn of music from directory CC to be selected for the radio so I have all of that (50-odd artists with however many albums) going round on a continuous random loop for the next week and I’ll be making a note of likely possibilities.

There’s so much music these days in my collection that it’s easy to lose track of what I have and some really good stuff will slip though my fingers if it doesn’t spring to mind.

So moving the irrelevant stuff out of the way means that I don’t waste my time with it popping up on the playlist.

Another task that I have set myself concerns the updating of the web pages.

That’s a task that I started ages ago and which fell by the wayside as I started back to work on the radio. But now that I have the radio work under control (for the moment) I can return to the programme.

When I started MY WEBSITE it was in 1997 as part of a project for my technology degree. It was completely hand-coded from scratch and pretty basic but over the years it slowly evolved.

The last major upgrade that it had was back in 2007 and I’ve learnt a lot since then. The menus were all handcoded *.css, individually for each page and when the number of pages passed 50, I realised that this would present a problem if ever I had to update anything on the menus.

So while I was laid up in Canada recovering from my exertions in the High Arctic, I taught myself some basic javascript, designed a few javascript menus and some iframe procedure and set about changing the menus over from individual *.css stuff to one common set of menus that can be inserted as a javascript script.

Today, after lunch, I carried on with the project and amended 20-odd pages. I’ll do some more tomorrow too. As an aside, I was impressed with my bread. It’s a much better attempt than the last one.

That still left an hour or so , thus I attacked the photos from July 2019. I managed about 20 of them, spending more time wrestling with a recalcitrant mouse than anything else.

And despite that, I’m still in an inflatable rubber boat in a lagoon amongst the icebergs at the foot of the Vatnajokull Glacier in eastern iceland

After an hour on the guitars, I went to make tea. I had an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit with vegetables, all out of the freezer, with pasta. And having taken stuff out of the freezer, there’s still not enough room for the half of the pie that’s waiting in the fridge for a space.

sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallAs I mentioned earlier, it was another pleasant evening.

The wind had died down somewhat and there was a beautiful sky and sunset out there tonight. I went to take a photo of it and then ran off up the road to my marker at the end of the hedge.

Having gathered my breath I ran on down to the clifftop past an extremely concerned pedestrian who gave me a weird look. I suppose that I really am a sight, running around the place at my age.

Walking around on the bumpy bit past the demolished bunker of the Atlantic Wall, I startled a woman having a relax in the bushes watching the sunset. Yes, I would give everything that I owned, and more besides, to be able to sing.

trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallOut in the Baie de Mont St Michel it was really busy tonight.

A brief perusal of the bay showed no fewer than four (and maybe more) fishing boats out there over towards the Brittany coast, and this one on its way out there to join0 them.

And that will come as a surprise to someone who posted this morning another one of these “news stories” about how the small fisherman is banned from fishing while the big industrial concerns are free to come and go as they like.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen enough evidence to know that that is total nonsense.

trawler ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallCarefully avoiding the big puddle I carried on with my run along the tp of the walls.

No change in the chantier navale today, but there is something bizarre going on in the ferry terminal. It seems that a fishing boat – one of the trawler-types – has decided to tie up there.

And I’ve no idea why that might happen either. I didn’t think that they were supposed to be over there, and for all kinds of reasons too. The pontoon to which it is tied is for foot passengers for the ferries.

floating pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOff on my long run down the Boulevard Vaufleury and round the corner to my marker, and then I walked back to see what was happening in the port.

There’s been quite a lot going on today by the looks of things. We actually have some of the new floating pontoons in place attached to the pillars that they have spent weeks piledriving into the ground.

And across on the other side, they’ve fitted a few new anchorage mounts on the wall. I’ve no idea what they will be anchoring to them, but we’ll probably find out over the course of the next few days.

But it’s all exciting stuff.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom a standing start I ran off up the hill and round the corner to the viewpoint in the rue du Port.

No-one else was there but me but that’s no surprise because the low cloud on the horizon prevented me witnessing the sun sinking below the horizon.

Instead I had to content myself to watching in pass through a gap in the clouds.

My final run was back to the apartment where one of my neighbours was disinfecting the stairs. They are a friendly, sociable bunch of people here, not like anywhere else where i’ve lived, that’s for sure.

It’s late now. There was some good stuff on the playlist. So not much of a sleep tonight but we’ll see how the day unfolds. It’s a bank Holiday on friday so at least I can catch up with my beauty sleep then.


Sunday 3rd May 2020 – IT’S A GOOD …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 2nd May 2020 – THE LEAST SAID …

… about this morning, the better. It was not very good.

And that’s a surprise because it wasn’t as if I was all that late going to bed either. I’ve been to bed later than that and not had as much difficulty peeling my back from off the bed as I did this morning.

Maybe it was the effects of my nocturnal voyaging, I dunno. But according to the dictaphone Nerina and I been away somewhere for a while. However we’d only been gone a day and a half before we decided that we would have to go back home so we went back home. We were outside my house in Gainsborough Road talking to some people and I suddenly thought “there’s something different here. Things aren’t the same”. I had a really good look around and suddenly realised what it was. TNY, my 2000E saloon had disappeared out of the drive and there was a wet muddy patch underneath where it had been parked. I couldn’t think of what was happening. In the end I phoned the police. Nerina and I were at a meal or something and these policemen came over. They didn’t ask who I was – they knew immediately who I was which was no surprise in Crewe and they came along and stated asking me questions about it. One of the policemen said something like “as soon as I knew that it was you and an old Cortina I knew that there was going to be a story in this” and they started to ask me all kinds of questions about it. I was telling them and so on.

After breakfast there wasn’t a great deal of time to do much else. I had a shower, a general clean-up and a weigh-in (and I’m still stuck at 1100 grammes over my target weight and I can’t seem to bring it down) and then off to the shops.

No NOZ still – that’s well and truly shut right now, but at LeClerc it seemed that everyone and his dog was there today. There was quite a queue and the place was packed, just like any other normal Saturday.

And how glad was I that I’d made a few pizza bases last weekend? Not a one in the shop today and there were a few other things missing too. Not like the UK or the USA where it looks as if a plague of locusts has gone by though. We here in France are pretty disciplined about things like that.

But not this detention à domicile though. It seems that people are totally fed up of it all which is no surprise. But at least the figures are falling rapidly (only 1050 new infections today whereas there were 17818 in the USA and 4806 in the UK and those figures spell great trouble for those two countries in two weeks time – the death rate on any day seems to be about 15% of the infection rate of two weeks previously) so it may well be that, for the moment we have passed the peak.

“At the moment” because anyone who has studied history and seen the evidence of the Black Death of the 1340s, the Plague of the 1660s and the cholera outbreaks of the 1840s wil know that these illnesses and infections come and go over a period of a couple of years. They don’t just disappear.

So we aren’t out of the woods yet. We’re just moving into different woods.

Back here I had a coffee and then attacked a couple of albums. I had two that were half-digitalised and two where I’d only been able to find a couple of tracks, all projects suspended because all that I could find were *.mkv files.

using my new technique, I proceeded rapidly to finish them all off, but I’m going to probably have to do a couple of them again because there was something that I forgot to take into account – or, rather, didn’t realise at the time.

But I do now – and, luckily, I managed to resolve the situation half-way through.

Unfortunately, even though it’s a very efficient way to do it, it’s very labour-intensive and so there was no time to edit any photos. So that’s something that I’ll have to fit in somehow. It’s quite an important job, for a variety of reasons.

When I’d finished (with a break for lunch in between) I went and did some cooking.

home made orange ginger honey cordial granville manche normandy france eric hallHere is one I made earlier.

It’s an orange, ginger and honey cordial and it tastes as good as it looks.

Take a lump of fresh ginger, peel it and dice it into tiny squares. Stick it in a small amount of water, bring to the boil and leave to simmer.

Meanwhile, grab a handful of oranges, peel them and take off as much pith
(“are you taking the pith?”
“Yeth”)
and other bits that you can, stick the oranges in the whizzer and give them a little whizz round, just to separate the juice.
Pour off the juice through a filter into a clean, sterilised bottle and put the solids back in the whizzer
Whizz all of the solids round until they are properly pulverised then add them to the ginger and water, adding more water if necessary.
Bring to the boil and then leave it to simmer for an hour.
After an hour, turn off the heat, add a couple of tablespoons of honey (manuka honey is the best) and stick the lot into the whizzer.
Whizz it around for a good while until everything is thoroughly pulverised into a syrup
Add to the orange juice in the bottle and shake well to mix everything in.
And there you are – orange, honey and ginger cordial.

After that I put a cupful of lentils into the slow cooker with a couple of cupfuls of water and various spices, and put it on “high”.
Meanwhile I peeled two small onions and a pile of garlic and fried them in the wok with herbs until they were golden brown.
While that was happening I cut up a square of tofu and then added that to the onions, with a tin of white beans, some concentrated gravy browning and a pile of soy sauce and stirred it all around.
When the lentils started to boil I rinsed them and drained them off, then put them back in the slow cooker with clean water and more herbs and then tipped the contents of the wok into it too.
Once it all came to the boil it was put on “keep warm” for 6 hours to marinade.

That’s my vegan pie filling for tomorrow. I’ve bought a new proper pie dish today and we’ll see how this turns out.

And while I was at it, I cleaned the oven.

That’s what I call a busy afternoon!

After the session on the guitars I made tea. An “anything curry” with tomato sauce and pasta, followed by, seeing as I had no apple pie to hand, a banana and banana-flavoured sorbet with chocolate sauce.

The wind had dropped this evening although it was rather cool. Nevertheless I went out for my evening runs And I really don’t understand why the first run takes so much out of me when I seem to have cracked all of the others

mouth of the river sienne havre de la vanlee granville manche normandy france eric hallBut anyway I struggled up to my marker at the end of the hedge and then when i’d recovered ran down to the clifftop.

The night wasn’t bright but it wasn’t that dark either. It was quite clear out to sea and there was a really good view of the mouth of the River Sienne near Hauteville and the Havre de la Vanlée near Lingreville

It’s been a while since the view has been that clear out that way and we haven’t had a photo of there for quite some time.

Those wind turbines by the way are probably 30-40 kilometres away from here.

brittany coastline st malo granville manche normandy france eric hallThe Brittany coast wasn’t as clear, however and it wasn’t too easy to see.

But that object that regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing with me a couple of weeks ago – it’s still there are the mouth of the harbour at St Malo. It can’t be a ship then. It must be an island.

That’s a disappointment because I’m always looking for exciting things to spice up my photos. With this detention à domicile you all must be as sick of the sight of trawlers and sunsets as I am.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallWith nothing else going on, I headed off to my spec at the rue du Nord to see what the sunset is doing. And on the way I pushed on my long 4th run another 10 metres.

The answer to “what is the sunset doing” is “not a lot”. It’s lost in the clouds. There were half a dozen of us out there all told, but we had a wasted journey.

So I ended up running back fome.

And that reminds me. According to the fitbit I ran last month for 5 hours and 37 minutes. That’s just over 11 minutes per day. And when you consider my age and my health and the fact that in February 2016 I couldn’t even walk, that’s pretty good going.

Sunday tomorrow. A lie-in and then a Day of Rest and seeing as there is nothing desperately outstanding, I can have a day of rest.

My pie filling is marinading nicely as it is cooling and that will make a really nice vegan pie for a couple of days.

But right now I’m going to make the most of my Day of Rest. But I bet that someone will come along and spoil it.