Tag Archives: scaffolding

Friday 24th September 2021 – MY LIE-IN THIS MORNING …

… would have been really good had it not been for the 12 text messages that I received – 8 of which were from my mobile phone supplier telling me about special offers that I neither want nor need – during the course of the early morning.

There’s always something that goes wrong whenever I try to have to lie in for a morning.

And as you also might expect, I didn’t actually feel much better when I awoke either. But more of this anon.

After the medication I sat down to finish off yesterday’s blog entry. And there were tons of it too. It’s no surprise that I fell asleep halfway through, especially as that long chat had made me start it rather later than usual.

There was a pause in the middle for breakfast but even so, not finishing it until 11:45 was rather extreme. Mind you, I did have a few other things to do while I was at it.

Once I’d done that, I turned my attention to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was something last night about being in the Army in World War II in the Home Guard. Our platoon had a couple of machine guns and suddenly the alarm went off so we dashed with our machine guns to our selected point and erected our machine guns so that they were covering the beach. After we had been covering the beach for a few minutes the captain, probably Captain Mainwaring, turned round and ordered our guns to point to the right. The sergeant-major immediately leapt over the wall to accost the captain about this, as it meant that we were now no longer firing on the enemy as they landed. The captain gave him such a dressing-down and sent him back to his quarters. A couple of our soldiers were crying as they wouldn’t be able to have a direct reult on attacking the Germans and stopping them landing. We kept our position for about 5 minutes then the captain dismissed us, saying that we had performed a very valuable exercise and we could all go home, to everyone’s dismay. I was one of the last to leave, and suddenly I heard the sound of horses galloping up. I took cover and it turned out that they were on the TV. It was Kenneth Williams and someone else, some kind of medieval heroes doing something. Much as I appreciate the humour of Kenneth Williams, it wasn’t what I wanted to watch so I had to look for the remote control to flick through the channels to see what else was on.

Later on I had a girl come round to me in Virlet and she ended up staying the night. Next morning I had to take her back to work of course. We were wandering around the farm and I was showing her all of the solar panels, everything, and it all looked pretty overgrown with weeds because I hadn’t been there for ages, even on the roofs. The solar panels were still working fine. There was a ritual that I went through to make a reading but I couldn’t remember what it was. I was stuck there for a couple of minutes. I asked her if she wanted a coffee but she said “no” so I asked if she minded if she waited 30 seconds while I made myself one and I could rake it with me. She replied “no, that’s fine as well”

Finally, there was something weird last night about I was walking down a country lane. Someone had fenced off or roped off all of the grass verges, roped off the drive to his house which was really difficult, like a labyrinth or honeycomb, rows and rows of ropes going across it. As I walked past I dropped my screwdriver over the hedge so I crawled under the ropes all the way up to where my screwdriver was and I met him coling down the drive. I explained that I was after my screwdriver and we had a chat. In the end he invited me in for a coffee. By this time I’d acquired a girl, I don’t know who it was. Then he said that he’d go out shortly but he’d be back later on. We heard the sounds of him locking the door as if we were prisoners in it. We both had a shower and change of clothes and sat and waited, then we managed to make our way out of the house. By this time we had discovered a young lad who was something to do with the farm but was also having a lot of difficulties with him. We packed up a few things and I pinched a couple of carrots because I’d been on my way to the shops to try to buy some. I’d already been to the market and bought some cheese. We set off and had to dismantle a gatepost to get out and had to reassemble everything. That took a while, but we were able to get into our car and drive away, leaving the place exactly as it was before we left but obviously without us in it.

One thing that I wish I knew was “just who are these girls who keep on appearing during the night?”. Especially the one who spent the night with me in Virlet. I have a feeling that I’m missing out on an awful lot these days.

As I have said before … “many, many times” – ed … whatever I get up to during the night is far more exciting these days than whatever I do during the daytime, but it seems to be such a waste when I can’t remember who it is that I’m getting it up with.

After lunch, I had a shower and then set off for my physiotherapy session.

ile de chausey man fishing from rocks baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Yesterday I mentioned that if I manage to set out early I would go for a wander around the walls to see what was going on with the repointing.

Before I did so, I stopped off at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord to see what was happening out there on the beach below me.

Not a lot, as it happens, but out there on the rocks we had a lone fisherman casting his line out into the water. I didn’t stay around to see if he caught anything.

And look how clear it is this afternoon over towards the Ile de Chausey in the background.

scaffolding repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021But let us turn our attention to the repair of the medival city walls at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

On the inside, facing the street, they have already repaired a few patches and it looks quite nice, the work that they have done so far.

But as for the outside of the wall, they are going to be here quite a while trying to fix this. The presence of all of those plant roots are undermining the mortar and that’s what it probably causing a lot of the problem.

But if they repoint it with lime mortar (nasty corrosive stuff) as I did with my house in Virlet, they won’t have too much trouble in the future because any seed that tries to take hold will be burnt to a frazzle.

scaffolding repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further up along where that white protective sheeting has been fitted, they are also pushing on.

You can’t see very well in this photo but there are two guys down there underneath the footboard that you can see, and as I watched, they were busy raking out the old, loose mortar from the joints.

If you look lower down underneath where they are working, you can see that they have already repointed to a fair height, so they don’t seem to be hanging around, which makes a change these days.

beach diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021My route carried on around the path underneath the walls and round to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

The other day I mentioned that the beach cabins had been taken away for the winter. The Plat Gousset is looking quite bare without them.

Another thing that I mentioned was the diving platform. As you can see, the platform has also been taken away for the winter and there is just the concrete pillar left.

The swimming pool is looking quite lonely as well. No customers, and no water either. This is all a sign that Autumn has arrived, whether we like it or not, and even though it’s still extremely warm for the time of year.

classe decouverte plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Another sign that the tourist season is over is that the Classe Découverte season has started.

During the summer, the youth hostel in the town is full up with young tourists but once they have all gone, it’s the turn of the schools and their Discovery Classes to take over. That’s a big thing in France, with kids from the cities going into rural areas and kids from rural areas coming to the seaside.

Mind you, what they are going to discover at the Plat Gousset is anyone’s guess.

At the viewpoint I staggered off down the steps to the Place Marechal Foch and then crawled wearily through town and up the hill to the physiotherapist. Nothing happening at the building that we saw on Wednesday, and when something does, I’ll post a photo.

The physiotherapist put me through my paces on the tilting platform thing that he has, and I had to abandon one of the exercises, not because of my knee but because my shoulder was hurting. I’m having problems everywhere by the looks of things.

Mind you, I managed to add a few more seconds to my best on the cross trainer.

random road signs parc du val es fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back home I came past the old railway line and down the steps to the Parc du Val Es Fleurs.

And we can see that just as last time, the local kids have been up to no good with the road signs again.

As I mentioned the other week, part of the park’s car park has been transformed into a store for the equipment that they are using for the building of this new road, that we’ll see in a minute.

But the compound isn’t all that secure while they are down the road working, so anything can happen. And, of course, we were all kids once too – something that many adults forget.

resurfacing parc docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So where was I? Ohh yes, walking down by the side of the old railway line towards town.

They have now stated to dig up this little park just here in order to resurface it. I

‘m not sure what the park is called but the school at the side is the Ecole des Docteurs Lanos, whoever the Docteurs Lanos where when they were at home, if they ever were, and there’s a Park somewhere in the town called the Parc des Docteurs Lanos so I imagine that this could well be it.

But it seems that nothing is sacred when they are on a mission.

grader compacter rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Now doesn’t this here in the Rue du Boscq bring back many happy memories?

Eleven years ago I was the driver of one of the very first vehicles to drive over the new TRANS LABRADOR HIGHWAY and as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, we had endles encounters with graders as we made our way through the mountains.

There weren’t so many compacters though, which was surprising, so our drive was rather adventurous to say the least, but seeing a grader and a compacter here reminded me of old times.

digger moving rocks rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little further on, there was a large digger having fun with a pile of rocks.

He was dragging them around presumably to put them into position for the compacter to come and compress them into the soil ready for a layer of smaller rocks to be laid on top.

Ohh yes, I can build you a Roman Road any time you like. That course that I studied on Historical Technology was one of the most fascinating courses I have ever studied.

Nothing much else was happening in the town centre so I made my weary way up the hill towards home.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the climb up the Rue des Juifs I stopped more times that I care to remember. This is really getting me down, this health issue.

At the viewpoint overlooking the loading bay in the port we have another pile of freight deposited down there by the crane. One of the Jersey freighters must be on her way.

But it won’t be Normandy Trader, I’ll tell you that. She’s up on blocks in the chantier naval in St Malo having a good clean, a wire-brushing and a new coat of paint to maker herself look pretty.

marquee rue du port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further up the hill I bumped into one of my neighbours coming down so I was glad to sit down and rest for a while.

We were sitting on the wall talking, right by where they are erecting the marquees. And I can tell you what they are for as well now.

The season for the Coquilles St Jacques starts next week, and preliminary trials suggests that this is going to be one of the best seasons in modern times.

Consequently, they are going to hold a fête, a buffet and so on this weekend to celebrate what they are hoping to be an excellent season, and there will be shellfish all round for everyone, with a buvette of course. You can’t have a festival in France without there being a buvette involved.

And this is why Hera was in the chantier naval the other day. She was being cleaned and tidied because her owners are going to be giving tourists a guided visit.

bouchots donville les bains people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the way back home I went to see what was going on down on the beach, seeing as it was round about my usual time.

Plenty of beach to be on of course as the tide is receding rapidly, but surprisingly there was hardly anyone on there. I couldn’t see more than about half-a-dozen people down there this afternoon.

But with the tide being well out, the bouchot farmers were out in force of course, harvesting close to the shore while they wait for the tide to go even further out.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On my way out, I mentioned that the air was quite clear and the views were quite good this afternoon.

The camera that I had with me today was the old NIKON D3000 fitted with the 18-105mm LENS so I’m not going to have the same photos as yesterday.

However, this one of the north-east end of the Ile de Chausey came out really well.

Back here I made myself a cold drink (I’ve finished the bottle of banana concentrate and I’m not going to open another one and leave it standing over winter) and then came back in here.

Something has cropped up just recently that featured on a web page that I wrote quite a few years ago, so I had to review the page, rewrite some of it and edit the rest to bring it up to date. And once you do one, it leads you on to another.

It relinded me of a quote by Fridtjof Nansen that I read in his book In Northern Mists “the more extensive my studies became, the more riddles I perceived – riddle after riddle led to new riddles and this drew me on”

That took me up to teatime. Plenty of mushrooms left so I made a potato and mushroon curry. There’s some left too, so I’ll lengthen it with a small tin of something and finish it off tomorrow.

After lunch I had a listen to the internet radio. It’s the last Friday of the month so I feature a live concert and tonight’s (repeated tomorrow at 21:00 CET, 20:00 UK time, 15:00 Toronto/New York time) is one of the best that I have ever attended since the halcyon days of the early-mid 70s.

It took quite a bit of editing and I was keen to hear how it would come out, and I do have to say that it’s one of the finest that I have ever prepared.

It’s repeated TOMORROW at the times that I mentioned, and is podcastable afterwards. It’s well worth a listen.

moonrise eglise notre dame de cap lihou Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Just before I went to bed I went into the living room to close the window.

And the moon tonight was beautiful. It was rising tonight just above the roofs of the houses in the old medieval walled city and looked rather strange, being well below the spire of the Eglise de Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

It was obviously one of these essential photography moments so I went and fetched the NIKON D500.

And so right now, I’m off to bed. I’ve had a hard day and as yet, I haven’t fallen asleep. That is some progress, and a good night tonight should help matters even more. I hope.

Sunday 12th September 2021 – I KNOW THAT YOU …

… have been sitting on the edge of your seats, gripping tightly with eager anticipation waiting for me to tell you what was going on under the marquees that we saw yesterday.

And so this afternoon on my walk around the headland I went for a closer look, only to find that like Longfellow’s “humbler poets”, they have folded “their tents, like the Arabs, and as silently steal away”.

Gone! And never called me “mother”!

hang glider touches down pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Someone who was not as fortunate as to “steal silently away” was one of the Birdmen of Alcatraz

As I was walking on the path around the headland this afternoon, I was there to actually watch him come to grief as his Nazgul ran out of wind near the lighthouse and he silently descended to earth.

He wasn’t able to relaunch himself either in the time that it took me to walk up there. It seemed that his guy wires had become tangled and he was busy trying to untangle them. Whether he did so or not I don’t know

hang glider overhead pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021His colleagues, however, were having no such difficulty.

All through the afternoon they were whizzing by overhead without the slightest hint of a problem, just like the one overhead right now. It was just the other one who was having issues with the wind and his Nazgul.

The problems that I was having this morning though were of another kind. Like not being able to have a decent sleep for one reason or other. Most of the night was spent tossing and turning in bed.

With having problems sleeping, I was up and about by 09:30 which is quite early for a Sunday. I even had a slice of fruit loaf for breakfast after my medication.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too. I don’t remember much about this first bit except that there was a mother and a young daughter who had gone off somewhere to the seaside. Something happened and the mother was on her own. Someone said something to her like “if you think that that is bad you should see the antics that your daughter is getting up to”. I don’t remember any more about this, but what was interesting was just before I went to bed a few of us were chatting on the internet about exactly this subject – a mother and daughter who we all knew (well, we knew the mother anyway) who had gone to Llandudno for the weekend.

Later on there was some kind of walk doing on from Paris where everyone was walking different points of the compass. I was walking out to the west so I set out and was loading loads of diesel into one of the Mk111 Cortinas. It was really thirsty and really drinking it. I don’t know what was the matter and neither did anyone else. I thought “this isn’t going to be any good” so I set off and walked all the way outside Paris into the countryside. The first night was going to be spent at my house. I’d just moved house into a new modern house and none of my furniture would fit. It was all thrown in everywhere, paper all over the floor and it was really untidy. I thought that I was going to have to sort all of this out again. I set out on the second day and ended up losing everyone. I was on my own walking and night was falling. I walked down a hill where these roadmen were fitting all these cobbles. They were talking about what a good job they were doing compared to the one done underneath where they were working. Eventually I found my friends, all asleep and getting ready to awaken for the next day’s walk. As for the house I’d only just arrived. I was tired, everything like that and I really didn’t fancy going back out straight away to carry on this walk without having had a sleep.

The next plan was to do a little (only a little) tidying up as I was expecting company. And once the place was looking a little more respectable I spent the rest of the time, would you believe, editing the photos from Greenland in August 2019.

Yes, I’ve started on the outstanding arrears again, after all this time.

After lunch my invitee came round and we had a very interesting chat about my project for the radio. He seems to be quite enthusiastic about the idea and so when we have our next quarterly meeting (sometime round about the end of September) we’ll discuss it with the others and see what they can come up with.

red autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021After he left, it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

And I hadn’t even left the building when I was interrupted by the noise of something going by overhead.

It’s our old friend the red autogyro that has been for an afternoon out over the bay to have a good look around, taking a passenger with him.

One of these days I’ll have to blag myself a ride on it, or on the yellow autogyro that we see quite regularly too. I bet that the view from 500 feet is pretty spectacular. It looked pretty good from 25,000 feet when I flew overhead on a scheduled flight a few years ago.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So, without any further ado, I wandered off to have a look at the beach to see who was about.

The tide was well out this afternoon so there was quite a lot of beach to be on. Crowds and crowds of them.

Quite a few in the water as well, and why not? Beautiful blue skies and beautiful blue waster – it was a gorgeous day today with not a great deal of wind about (as our friend the Birdman of Alcatraz whom we met earlier will testify.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021So that was the situation lower down on the beach at the water’s edge. What about the situation higher up?

Round by the steps that lead down from the Rue du Nord there were quite literally dozens of people, nestled in their own little nook and cranny in the cliffs out of the wind. A perfect sun-trap.

It actually made me quite envious and I felt like going down there to join them. But the trouble is that I doubt that I could climb back up the steps afterwards when it was time to come home.

repairing medieval stone wall place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From here, there was a pretty good view of the work that they were doing on the medieval city walls at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

They have made some progress at what they have already done so far, but I was more interested in what they were doing with the scaffolding.

It’s not a true “flying scaffolding” because you can see that in places is actually anchored to the ground but it’s still going to be a work of art.

The green railings that you see are those that go around the gate in the walle and on the left of the image you can see the path that leads down from the gate and underneath the walls.

la cancalaise english channel France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I’d been looking around at the beach, I’d also been looking out to sea as well.

There was almost nothing out at sea this afternoon, not even any fishermen, except for this familiar shape out there all alone in the English Channel.

With masts and sails like that, it can only be either La Granvillaise or La Cancalaise and my money is on the latter seeing as she’s right out there in between the Ile de Chausey and the Pointe de Grouin and heading towards land.

st helier jersey Eric Hall photo September 2021The view out to sea today was absolutely excellent and you could see for miles.

Even the houses on Jersey were visible with the naked eye, and with the NIKON D500 and 70-300mm LENS they really came out very well.

But despite how clear they might be, I can still only recognise a couple of them from here. But not to worry, I have a cunning plan to deal with that issue which will be put into operation in early course (I hope) if things go according to plan.

n81fm Mooney M20R Ovation - M20P pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was walking along the path towards the lighthouse and the grounded Nazgul, a, aeroplane went by out in the bay.

She’s one whom we haven’t seen before as far as I can tell. She’s a Mooney M20R Ovation – M20P carrying the registration N-81FM which, if my memory serves me correctly, is a British registration number. So what she’s doing here I don’t know.

She arrived at Granville this morning at 11:49 having been picked up by radar at Etampes at 10:22. When she took off from Granville she stayed pretty low because it wasn’t until 16:46 that she appeared on the radar, somewhere near Flers. And she disappeared off the radar near Etampes at 17:33.

And how I wish that these planes would file flight plans.

Apart from the Birdman of Alcatraz there was nothing else happening along the path so I cleared off across the lawn and the car park.

helicopter baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I did so, something else went buzzing by overhead.

Someone has had his chopper out this afternoon and it went flying by overhead. With it being silhouetted against the sun it was very difficult to see what colour it was but I think that I could see red and yellow paintwork on the fuselage.

That seems to indicate that it might be the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter that is based out near Donville les Bains.

There wasn’t anything happening out there in the bay this afternoon either. So rather disappointingly I fought my way through the crowds (yes, there were crowds) and went down the path on the other side.

tidal creek port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Here’s something that i’ve never seen before, and i’ve no idea why.

This is exactly what a “tidal creek” would look like on some mudflats somewhere in a tidal estuary and while there are one or two little water courses around the harbour area, there isn’t one just here

So I’m totally bewildered as to how come this has suddenly appeared this afternoon, and what has caused it. It’s almost as if an earthquake has occurred.

No change in occupancy at the chantier naval today, so I came on home for my banana smoothie.

This morning I’d taken one of the frozen pizza doughs out of the freezer and it had been defrosting.

Once it had warmed up I kneaded it, rolled it out and put it on the pizza tray to proof for a while.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021When it had risen sufficiently I assembled my pizza and put it in the oven to bake.

And here’s the finished product. It really does look nice and it tasted even better. And it would have been even better still had I remembered to put the diced peppers on it as well.

So that’s the end of my weekend. rather a productive one too. I’ve no idea why but it seems that the for the last few days I’ve been feeling more like my old self.

Of course, one swallow doesn’t make a summer as we all know, so I don’t want to start crowing too soon, but with another injection due tomorrow, I might actually be feeling more like going to leuven on Wednesday than I have done just recently.

But I’ll let you know more about that tomorrow because I’m off to bed. I have a radio show to prepare in the morning too.

Wednesday 30th June 2021 – THE BIRD-MEN …

hang gliders plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… of Alcatraz were out in force this afternoon while I was out for my walk.

Instead of going round the headland I went on the path around the medieval city walls to see how they were getting on with some of the repairs that they have been doing to various things in the old town, but instead I ended up being buzzed by a squadron of Nazgul

They take off and land at the field next door to the cemetery which I always think is good planning because they won’t have far to go if they have an unfortunate accident, and then follow the clifftop along almost to the lighthouse and then fly back to where they started.

hang glider plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat is, always assuming that they can gain enough height to do so.

Some of the bird-men find it easier to do than others. This guy is struggling to find the air currents that will pull him up. Instead, he’s struggling along well below my eye level and well below the top of the cliff and not doing too well about it either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw one of the birdmen come to grief the other day at the lighthouse and he’s not the first either. Someone else was seriously injured last year, and I never did find out whether he recovered from his accident.

But our intrepid birdman did in fact find a current of air in the end and lifted himself off into the ether over my head.

And I must have found a good current of air to lift me out of bed this morning because I leapt out of bed with an extraordinary burst of energy as soon as the alarm went off. And considering how exhausted I was last night, that must have been pretty close to a miracle.

After the medication I came back in here and finished off last night’s journal entry. There wasn’t much to do but I did it anyway. And following that I carried on with the photos from August 2019. and right now I’m on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR pulling into the harbour at Sisimut, Greenland.

Yes, I really managed to crack on this morning and deal with a nice bundle of them. I even managed to find a photo that I took of THE AURORA BOREALIS in Kangerlussuak Fjord

There was a pause for a coffee break and later for breakfast, and then I had another task to carry out. My little niece Amber graduated from High School in Canada last week and she had sent me a video of THE GRADUATION PARADE AND VALDICTORY SPEECHES.

Being as busy as I am I’d not had an opportunity to see it and so with my hot chocolate and fruit bread, and then with the acoustic guitar I watched the video. And I had to laugh as well. You can tell that it’s New Brunswick. They held the parade in the Tractor-Pulling Stadium

That all took me right up to lunchtime when I had some more of my very nice fresh bread.

After lunch I went to revise my Welsh but once more, ended up crashing out on the chair for half an hour or so. I didn’t realise that Welsh had this effect on me. It’s all becoming quite embarrassing. But anyway that took me up to walkies time and I would have gone out earlier had we not had another power cut. And this time it wasn’t any fuse in my apartment and it came back on after a couple of minutes without any help from me.

trans-shipping rubble porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo schoolgirl loitering outside the door this afternoon again so I could push off into the wild blue yonder. But only a little way because there was something going on right at the back of my apartment at the Porte St Jean.

One of the problems of living within the confines of a medieval walled city is that large lorries and delivery vehicles can’t make their way in so there has to be some form of trans-shipment. In this case, this little pickup is bringing builders’ rubble from within the walls and it’s being scooped up into the back of the larger lorry for disposal.

And while I was passing I had a look at the rubble that they were taking away. And there were several granite setts in there that had presumably at one time been part of the road surface. Throwing those away is really sad if you ask me.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallnext stop of course was to go and look down on the beach and see what was going on down there this afternoon.

And you’re probably noticed that we have a different perspective for the view today. That’s because we are going for our walk around the city walls rather than the headland so instead of being in the car park I’m at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord.

This afternoon there are plenty of people down on the beach enjoying the nice weather. And even a young kid running out of the sea as if she’s just been in for a quick splash round. And if I’d been in the sea I’d be running out pretty quickly too and no mistake.

scaffolding wooden structure workmen's hut place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that has been the subject of much comment and discussion in these pages just recently has been the state of the medieval city walls.

Some more were closed off a week or so back here in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux and then a couple of days ago a kind-of workmen’s hut appeared, along with a strange wooden structure that was fastened to the walls.

This afternoon I found a spec on the other side so I could have a look at the outside of the walls to see if I could see to what this wooden structure relates. But it’s not evident at all. But at least you can see the trailer that looks as if it might be a workmen’s hut.

Something else that we can see from this viewpoint is some scaffolding. I haven’t seen that down there before, but I wouldn’t like to insist that it’s only just arrived. I just don’t remember seeing it before.

But I wonder if all of this really does mean that we might actually be seeing some work being done on the walls in the near future in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

lifeguards tidal swimming pool beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA flash of flourescent yellow caught my eye down at the Plat Gousset so seeing as the path underneath the wall was reasonably dry this afternoon, I went that way to have a look.

Being buzzed by a variety of Nazgul on my way along the path I eventually arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the beach, and I could see that I was right. The holiday season is now in full swing and we have a couple of lifeguards on duty in their flourescent yellow jackets.

There is one standing at the water’s edge keeping an eye on the bathers in the sea (and take my word for it – there were a few of those this afternoon) and the other one is supervising events taking place in the tidal swimming pool that still has its water in it. And there were a couple of people in there too.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut out of the wind I bet that it was really nice and cosy if you could catch a few rays of the sun.

Round by the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset we could see the people on the beach. Not exactly the height of summer (which is due to start this weekend of course) but still plenty of reason to be on the beach, especially as it’s half-dayat the schools and the brats have the afternoon off on a Wednesday, as we can tell from this photo.

And the other day I showed you a photo of a couple of girls sitting on the wall overlooking the beach, and I surmised that it must be quite a comfortable spec. And that’s what it must be because there were more girls sitting on the wall this afternoon.

f-gsbv ROBIN DR 400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking around the path underneath the walls I was overflown yet again, only this time not by one of the Bird-men of Alcatraz but by an aeroplane.

Even though it’s quite far out in the Baie de Granville I can actually identify it from here. She’s F-GSBY, one of the aeroplanes that we see on a regular basis. She’s a Robin DR400-180 and is owned by the Granville Aero-Club where she’s used for either advanced flying training or for hire.

According to my radar she took off at 16:55, flew down to do a lap around Mont St Michel and then flew back to the airport where she landed at 17:21. And as my photo is times at 16:15 (it’s set to real time, not summertime) that looks as if it’s correct.

And I haven’t forgotten that I must make suitable enquiries at the airport about the navigation school

seagull chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we’re on the subject of flying … “well, one of us is” – ed … there are other flying objects that need our attention.

So with that in mind I pushed on round to the Square Maurice Marland to have a look out onto the roofs of the houses in the Rue des Juifs to see how our baby seagull chicks are doing.

And they look as if they are doing quite well too. There are three of them on that roof over there and they have grown quite a lot this last couple of weeks. One of them was flapping his wings quite vigorously and so I don’t think that it’ll be too long before he’s ready to take to the air.

But the Square is still a mess and it’s quite annoying. Sumer is here and some of the kiddies’ entertainments have been taken away and the rest are fenced off and overgrown. This is not the way to run a holiday resort.

boat on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday we saw a huge pile of merchandise stacked up on the quayside ready to be taken away by one of the Jersey freighters.

Word on the streets is that Normandy Trader came in for a quick “in and out” early this morning on her way back from St Malo and it looks as if she’s cleared almost all of the load. The boat wrapped in shrink-wrap is still there so either Normandy Trader was full or else that’s a load for Thora.

What’s intriguing me though is the appearance of the garden shed over there. If it is a product for export, I’d expect it to be flat-packed to save on loading space. But it could be for a small office for either one of the boats or else for a customs or police presence (but why wouldn’t they be in the police station across the road?). We shall have to see.

resurfacing venelle st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt te start of the afternoon we saw the trans-shipment going on with the rubbish and a few of the granite setts.

What they seem to be doing now is trying to resurface the Venelle St Michel with granite setts in certain places and judging by the excavations, in other places too. It’s probably from here that the rubbish and the granite setts were discarded and I don’t understand at all the idea of disposing of those.

But I’m still dismayed by the surface of the Rue St Michel and its stone-chips. They could, and should, have done so much better than that.

There were some people in the back garden of a house here having a party, with a tabby-cat sitting on the wall. It let me stroke it, which surprised the people in the garden. But I left them to it and came on home for a coffee and to do some work on my boat trip on the Spirit of Conrad last year.

The practice on the bass went well and then I went for tea – burger on a bap followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce.

Now, tired as I am, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow I’m shopping and I want to carry on with my Spirit of Conrad stuff as well as do some more photos from Greenland. High time that they were all done and dusted.

Tuesday 15th June 2021 – SUMER IS ACUMEN IN.

big wheel place albert godal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLhude sing cucu and all of that stuff.

You can always tell when summer is about to arrive in Granville because the Big Wheel puts in an appearance. It must have sneaked in under the cover of darkness and there they are on the Place Albert Godal sticking it up. By the time that I come back from Leuven on Saturday afternoon (God willing) it might even be working.

But I’ve been working today – and working quite hard too, would you believe. Although it was a real struggle, I managed to be out of bed by 06:00 all the same although I would have given all that I own to have been back in bed tucked up in the warmth.

And “back in the warmth” would have been appropriate because there was a cold, clammy mist outside this morning when I awoke. It didn’t look very sunny at all and there would be no chance whatever of seeing TITTAN 1 or any of its siblings.

After the medication I sorted out the dictaphone notes for the last couple of days. They are up to date now and I can turn my attention to last night’s activity. I was out behind the Iron Curtain on a coach tour as a passenger. Everyone was getting ready to go off on an excursion. I hadn’t heard about this so I wondered what was happening. I asked one of the organisers who was rather brusque with me. He told me that they were just going to visit a church and maybe going on to a show or something. I knew where this church was so I said that I’d follow them on. We were told that things were strange in this town because of different rules and regulations. For example, we’d find lots of doors open, or I did when I walked through it, but no-one was there answering it. Films that were going, when you went to watch them they would freeze and when you’d turn your back they would move again. It turned out that because of Covid no-one was allowed to stay in anyone else’s house. They were worried that people meeting each other in a night club or a cinema or somewhere like that would end up pairing off for the night. The authorities wanted to prevent that from happening. It sounded strange to me. All round this city was ringed with these forest ridges where you could go. There would be loads of people about. The place was like a ghost town and there was no-one about at all because of this.

Following that I worked on my Welsh revision and I’m glad that I did because there was a lot that I didn’t know..

And then grabbing my slice of cake and a mug of hot chocolate I went for my lesson. And surprisingly it went quite well although, shame as it is to say it, I fell asleep three times. Not flat out but I could feel myself going off and managed to stop myself just in time.

The results of our exam won’t be known for another 6 weeks, so we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed for longer than I was expecting.

And while we’re on the subject of tests, my Covid test came back negative.

After lunch I had a huge pile of correspondence and printing to do, as well as my tax return. I’ve no idea what i’m supposed to be doing with that. I just date it and sign it, attach a load of papers from various people and let them deal with it. If they need any more info, they can write and ask for it.

gardeners sheltering from the heat rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was stifling hot when I set out for the town.

And I wasn’t the only one who was feeling the heat. There are some gardeners around the town dealing with the vegetation and they clearly decided that the only protection is flight. They’ve pulled their lorry up underneath a tree and they were all sitting on the wall in the shade.

Not for me though. I pushed on to the estate agent’s and gave them the certificate of insurance for my apartment. They didn’t think that it was the correct one but they’ll sort it out.

And I cursed my bad luck as well. They had a storage garage to let that would have been ideal for me to rent and dump all of this stuff out of Caliburn but I’d missed it by a whisker. It was now let.

Next stop is the Post Office. I’m just a whisker away from having a Carte Vitale, the card that opens the dorrs to the French Social Security system. I didn’t think I’d qualify but I applied all the same. And surprisingly, I had the paperwork back asking for my photo, a copy of my carte d’identité and a specimen signature.

So who knows?

Third stop was at the bank. They pay my Belgian pension 6-monthly by cheque and I don’t know why, but anyway the cheques came the other day and I need to pay them in. Now where can I go with €230?

unsafe scaffolding rue st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn my way up to the Tax Office (there are 41 steps up to the Eglise St Paul and I felt every one of them) I came across this interesting arrangement.

The scaffolding legs that are on the floor don’t go all the way up to the top. It’s just a few 2-metre lengths and the rest of the height of the scaffolding is somehow wedged up against the lengths on the floor.

No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t see how it was rendered safe. That’s the kind of thing that looks totally unsafe to me. But there’s probably a very simple answer to this even if I couldn’t see it so don’t take this insecurity for granted. It probably makes perfect sense to those who go up it.

beach Boulevard des Amiraux Granvillais Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving deposited my papers in the letter box, I headed down to the beach. A different one today – the one by the Boulevard des Amiraux Granvillais with its tidal pool.

And there were quite a few people taking in the sun down there today. And I’m not surprised because it was a really scorching afternoon.

One person down there enjoying the weather was our friend the itinerant who used o hang around up here in the past. He was in an expansive mood and we spent a good 45 minutes chatting before, in the words of the News Of The Screws reporter “I made my excuses and left”. I had plenty of things to do right now and standing there talking wasn’t getting them done.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I left I noticed a Bird Man of Alcatraz on his way towards the end of the headland, but rather more likely on a direct collision course with the spire of the Eglise Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

As I awaited the inevitable calamity, he did a U-turn and steered himself out of the way and headed back from whence he came. And I cursed my bad luck. It’s really not my day, is it?

To console myself, I went off and treated myself to an ice-cream. It was that kind of day. And my favourite ice-cream stall was actually closed, which was a surprise to me. But the one next door wasn’t. And it really did taste delicious. I shall have to go there again.

zero waste shop mademoiselle vrac Rue Georges Clemenceau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe old pharmacy in the Rue Georges Clemenceau closed down a while ago and it’s now been reoccupied.

It’s going to be one of those weigh-and-save places, rather like the BULK BARN places that we know from Canada, but I bet that it will be much more upmarket than that and we’ll be hard-pressed to find any bargains.

You would think that with the absence of packaging, the produce would be cheaper but that’s rarely the case.

Back here, my Inuit friend Heidinguaq was on-line so we had a little chat. It’s nice to see her after than nocturnal visit that she paid me the other day. I asked if she would be coming to Europe some time soon. She hoped so so I said that we’d meet up and I’d bring my bass.

STRAWBERRY MOOSE will come too. Those two have a special affinity after their meeting in Uummannaq when we called in there with THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR

The guitar practice was slow but sure, and then I had veggie balls and pasta for tea, followed by apple pie and home made custard.

Now I’m off to bed. I’m going to Leuven tomorrow and I have nothing whatsoever ready. It’s one of those days.

Thursday 10th June 2021 – IT SEEMS THAT …

century 21 electric bicycle place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… the phrase “The Office Bike” has a completely different meaning here in France than it does in the UK.

There was an estate agent in the building dealing with an apartment that’s for sale in the building (it’s way overpriced so don’t worry) and sticking visiting cards in everyone’s letter box. And instead of a company car, he has a company electric bicycle on which he can get about the town.

How times are changing. I suppose that it’s better than going on a private jet.

As for me, I’ve had a better day today. And it’s high time that I had one of those, isn’t it?

In bed slightly earlier than usual just recently but it was a disturbed, tossing and turning and cold sweat night. That’s a few of these sweaty nights that I’ve had just recently, and the reason why I comment on them is because they ask me about them at hospital. It’s a possible side-effect of one of my medication, but I can’t remember which one.

Tons of stuff on the dictaphone to whet my appetite.

Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson had won an adventure and thewere seeing this out of the way when suddenly something even more new and terrible came along from somewhere in the Indian Ocean which had nee, inspired by Moriarty, which was when I awoke in a cold damp sweat again

There was something in this dream as well about me having an old Vauxhall, old car, a big old Ford type of thing – I can’t remember now. I’d been at work and taken very ill again. I’d ended up spending most of the morning fast asleep in a bed. In the afternoon I decided to go home. The illness was far too much for me to cope with now. There was some firewood to put on the fire and I wondered if I was actually going to leave it or whether I ought to take it. I thought that if I take it then I could use it and they won’t miss it here. I picked up and went outside. It was Clifton Avenue and my car was outside covered in snow. It had been pouring down with rain and my car was covered in snow, damp snow. I went down and got in and started the engine. Then some kind of Hillman Minx came up behind me followed by a Vauxhall Cresta. The Hillman Minx did a U-turn at the end and drove back down the hill again totally followed by this Vauxhall Cresta. Then about 3 minutes later this Hillman came back and did the same thing again only this time it went onto the pavement to do its U turn down the far side of my van – car and then back off. It came back a 3rd time with this car pursuing it and there was an awful row, these people shouting. I was wondering what was happening so I was interested in following them so I could see. So I got to turn the corner with some tight manoeuvres to get round and end up behind them without making it public what I was trying to do with the third vehicle, third parking space. I had to go into Jubilee Avenue to turn round and ended up on Wistaston Road (actually Stewart Street) at one time so I had to turn round again to get behind these cars
At a car park where the cattle market used to be and there were cars being stripped down there. They would just come and dump them and Shearings used to pick up there and we’d always find a few cars dumped. One day I went down there and there was another one dumped. Well there were 4 or 5 but this one was encroaching onto our field and I had to move it out of the way. Then I noticed that all of my tools were there. Someone had broken into my car and pinched all my tools and had been using them to work on one of the abandoned vehicles and had scattered my tools and equipment and everything all over the place everywhere and I wasn’t very well but I had to spend all this time picking them up. It really annoyed me, not just the fact that people had stolen them but they couldn’t be bothered to put them back or even in any kind of resemblance of being tidy after all the effort that I’d made to sort them out and tidy them up in the past

There had been a reorganisation of electoral boundaries in Crewe. Where I lived had been moved into another constituency area for the town but this was an area that was heavily dominated by the Conservatives and my area was a marginal seat held by the opposition. I felt that this was a way of trying to win that particular seat for the Conservatives by moving the boundary to move out some of the people who would be voting against them at the election and I was trying to write a letter of complaint to the CSEB about this but I couldn’t find the address and no-one there seemed to be able to find it either but I wanted to complain about this gerrymandering

Did I say anything about a group of us? Four of us were together and we had some kind pf hire car from somewhere. We’d all ended up staying in a room in a hotel. A couple of people had the itch and decided that they wanted to move on so I’d awoken and started to assemble a fishing rod with the idea that I was going to go out and fish for things as a way of doing something different. But gradually one by one 2 other people awoke and the 3 of us decided that we would all move away and leave that person behind. The guy assembled all of his stuff and went off to the bathroom to have a bath while the girl started to prepare a ton of make-up. I thought to myself that the idea of makeup was not what I had in mind. We were going to be footloose and fancy-free and all to do with nature, getting back to basics and going back to our roots. Putting on a ton of makeup and foundation cream and all that kind of thing had nothing to do with what I was intending

After the medication I had to sort out all of the paperwork that I’m taking to the doctor. There’s so much of that now that it’s difficult to know where to turn. After that I had a shower and in the few minutes that remained I edited some of my photos from August 2019 in Wyoming.

When it was time to go out I hit the streets.

scaffolders college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as you might expect, my attention was distracted the moment that I stepped out of my front door here.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the scaffolding that has covered the building here since late summer last year. That’s the company that installed it, and they are here with a large pick-up and a pretty big lorry armed with a crane.

All of this can only mean one thing, and that is that they have come to collect the scaffolding. It’s taken them long enough to complete the job and as you saw in the photo a week or so ago, the job looks as if it’s finished. So with a bit of luck the scaffolding will be gone by the time that you read this. I can check when I go out this afternoon, if I remember.

skip lorry place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallthat wasn’t all that was going on right outside my door either. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw the skip lorry here yesterday. Well here he is again.

It’s not clear at all if he’s been bringing an empty skip or going to take away a full one. He was parked up in this position when I came out, and didn’t move for the whole time that I was outside here, so I’ve no idea what he was up to.

And as it happens, I was out there for a while too. One of my neighbours was also outside waiting for someone who was coming to pick her up. We had quite a little chat, and then she climbed into her friend’s car and I cleared off down the road towards the doctor’s for my appointment.

pointing rampe du monte a regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing is the pointing work that’s being undertaken on the wall by the Rampe du Monte à Regret by one of these Job Creation Schemes.

The progress was slow as you might expect from one of these Organisations and its puplis, not that there was much supervision, but now it seems that the work has ground to a halt. Not only have all of the students departed, leaving the wall unfinished, but they have taken away all of the scaffolding too.

Wasn’t that something of a flash in the pan? Unless of course it’s to do with the summer tourist season and they will be back once the tourists have cleared off home again.

At the doctor’s, he and I had a good chat. He had a report from the hospital and he was greatly concerned about the amount of blood that they took from me during my operation. Apparently it’s no surprise that I’m tired and exhausted with all of that.

He reckons that it will be a long hard road before I’m feeling myself again, and I can’t even do that right now. They say that a man has a brain and … errr … something else, and only enough blood to work one at a time. I don’t even have that at the moment.

He gave me some information that I requested and wrote out a prescription for my medication. I know that I usually pick it up in Belgium and I still shall, but I want to be a couple of months ahead in case I go off on a ramble some time and need to build up a stock.

Interestingly, he had a stock of Lyrica in this office and he gave it to me. I forget now how many times I’ve been given this from different people now. I suppose they can’t dispose of it, except to people like me. But I suppose that it’s safe for me to take it because I had all of the side effects before I started to take it. “impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless” – I was all of that even before I was ill, never mind all of the rest.

So after having gone through all of that, the doctor threw me out and I headed off for LIDL.

workmen preparing base of terrace rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere in the Rue Couraye we have some excitement going on this morning.

The mayor has passed some kind of rule or regulation that cafés and the like can occupy one car parking space in the street outside their premises, or as near as they can get, to make some kind of outside terrace, if they don’t already have one, in order to welcome the tourists in the nice weather.

It looks as if we are having another one installed here, although I can’t see who would be occupying it as there doesn’t seem to be a café or restaurant just here. I suppose I’ll have to wait and see who moves in to occupy it once it’s finished.

At LIDL I didn’t buy all that much. mainly because I couldn’t carry it. You’ve no idea how difficult it was just to bring me up the hill. The hill at the other end of town in the Rue des Juifs is just as steep and just as long and to go up there with a load of shopping is not my idea of fun.

One thing that I did buy was a litre of drink, which I demolished quite quickly. My raging thirst has come back again, and in spades too.

After leaving LIDL I headed for home via the Rue St Paul.

portacabin rue st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that several months ago we witnessed them demolish the old café on the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo.

Very shortly afterwards, a planning notice for several apartments went up on the site, and it looks as if it’s been granted because we now have a portacabin office and another temporary building on site. Who knows? They might even be starting work sometime soon if we aren’t careful.

But the answer to the scaffolding question that I posed earlier has now been resolved, jusding by a notice that I saw stuck on the building. The mayor has banned the erection of all scaffoldings and the like for the period until September this year, in order to keep the town pretty for tourists.

So now we know.

home made bread rice pudding place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo now that I’m ready to have my lunch, let me show you my culinary delights for today.

Not much in the way of excitement. Just a beautiful, soft loaf of bread and a rice pudding for dessert for the next few days. The rice pudding is quite nice, because I had a little sample when it was cooked. As for the bread, I think that I have that sussed now because it really was nice and tasty. I’ll go with that.

After lunch I had a few things to do –

  1. ring up for a Covid test. But that was a waste of time because they are only open in the morning. I’ll have to try again tomorrow.
  2. try to change an appointment in Leuven next month. This new app thing has a facility to send messages, so I did. Whether it works or not is another question.
  3. Book my accommodation in Belgium. And he’s given me a nice discount, for which I’m always grateful. They do look after me there.
  4. Book my rail trip to Leuven. The bit from here to Brussels was fine but on the SNCB for some reason every time that I tried to pay for my ticket, it was refused, no matter which card I used. However, on the app it worked fine first time and I don’t understand that at all.



As a result, all of that took far longer than it should have done.

The rest of the day apart from desperately fighting off waves of fatigue, I’ve been splitting LPS that I digitalised into their individual tracks. Due to an error in the admin side at the radio where the broadcast of a programme was missed, I’ve ended up with a vacant week and I don’t really know what to do with it.

Several suggestions have come to my mind, but the one that I’ve decided on is that I have piles of stuff that hasn’t yet been allocated into their parent groupings, and some of them are new artists with no previous example of their work anywhere in my broadcasts. And so I’m going to do a programme of completely new, unique and individual stuff.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou’ve already seen the photo of the bike that I took on my way out of the building, so here’s one of the beach that I took next.

With nothing on the car park right now to distract me I wandered off to look over the wall down onto the beach and blimey! Where has the water gone? The tide is well out to sea today. And to my surprise, despite the nice day, there were probably no more than half a dozen people on the beach that I could see.

But there’s an interesting phenomenon over there on the horizon, something about which I’ve talked … “AT GREAT LENGTH” – ed … elsewhere ON ANOTHER OCCASION.

Yes, the bank of cloud in the background. There’s a clear blue sky and hardly any cloud today but the prevailing winds that are coming from the west from over the sea have picked up an amount of water vapour water vapour. The air has to rise up to clear the cliffs and the hills over there on its way into the interior and this causes the air to cool down and so the water vapour condenses and forms clouds.

That’s one of the ways in which ancient mariners could tell if they were near land, by seeing the cloud formations.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut there at sea again today is the yellow inshore fishing boat that we’ve seen on several occasions just recently.

And I’m slowly coming round to the conclusion that maybe it isn’t the same yellow boat that we saw up on blocks in the chantier navale earlier in the year. If you look very carefully, down the side of the hull you’ll see a wide black stripe edged in white. I don’t recall seeing that on the boat that was in there.

There wasn’t anyone else out there close enough for me to photograph – they were all too far away – so I left them to it and I set off along the path to do my lap around the headland with the madding crowds that were thronging around this afternoon

aeroplane 50 nj pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt some point or other, as I wended my weary way along the clifftop, I was bound to be overflown by an aeroplane this afternoon.

And it’s another one about which I know very little, if nothing at all. I can’t even see its registration number properly. It might be 50-NJ in which case it’s definitely a new one on me. But whatever it is, it’s another one of these strange series of numbers that crop up quite regularly in one manner of another.

No point in looking for a flight plan because it won’t have filed one. And it won’t have flown high enough to have been picked up on radar, so basically we can forget all about this one. I really must make an effort and go out to the airport to make further enquiries..

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLe Loup, the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour, was looking very nice today.

What were even nicer was the large black dog and the girl who was looking after him. At one point there was a photo crying out to be taken but just as I was about to take it, they both moved and the moment was gone. I had to take one of Le Loup instead.

And from this photo you can tell how far the tide is out today. The rock on which the light sits is actually exposed, but when the tide is right in, it’s almost up to the lower of the two red bands. I suppose that the red bands are there so as to give any ancient mariner an idea of what the tide is doing.

yacht rebelle trawler chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we’ve had yet another change of occupier today in the chantier navale. It’s all happening in there.

My walk along the clifftop on the other side of the headland took me to the viewpoint overlooking the port where I could see what happening.

And there’s been a tactical substitution of trawlers today. Hera, the trawler that has been there for a while has now gone back into the water and another trawler has come in to join the yacht Rebelle.

I can’t see who she is but I can see that she’s having some electric arc welding being done on the bottom of her hull, and there’s an angle grinder working around the other side so it’s all systems go down there with that boat.

microlight aircraft baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith nothing else of note happening down there I headed for home, on the way to which I was overflown yet again.

This time it was a microlight or U.L.M on its way out for a lap around the bay. It’s certainly been a very busy day with so much going on.

Back at the apartment I carried on splitting LPs until it was time for guitar practice, which for some reason tonight was pretty gruesome. I’ve no idea why I’ve lost my touch and my co-ordination. I was glad when I could knock off and go for my tea tonight.

And having bought or made the necessary, I had stuffed peppers and rice for tea followed by rice pudding, which was delicious.

But I’m totally exhausted now and I’m off to bed. And I need it, and I deserve it. It’s been a hard day and I shall be glad of some rest.

Thursday 6th May 2021 – OUR HEROES …

trawlers returning from st helier channel islands baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… returned from the port of St Helier this afternoon as I was out on my afternoon walk around the headland.

It all seems to happen here during the small hours of the morning because at about 03:00 this morning as soon as the harbour gates opened, almost the entire fishing fleet left the port en masse like a ferret up a trouser leg and set sail to St Helier in Jersey where, arriving at first light, they blockaded the port, hemming in the ferry to St Malo and the oil boat that brings the fuel over to the island.

It seems that the Royal Navy’s two gunboats, HMS Tamar and HMS Severn, were totally powerless to stop them. Do much for this “Britannia Rules The Waves” nonsense. There were also 3 French military vessels, including Geranium with whom I had a run-in last summer, out there too to make sure that there was fair play.

trawlers returning from st helier channel islands baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn case you are wondering what this is all about, let me first mention that it’s nothing whatever to do with Brexit, due to the rather prosaic reason that the Channel Islands were never in the EU.

There’s a separate treaty, the Treaty of the Bay of Granville, that has been in force since 1843 that controls fishing rights out here and the Channel Islanders, doubtless inspired by the British Government, have seized the opportunity of Brexit to unilaterally revoke the Treaty.

In negotiations earlier this year, which I briefly mentioned a while back, they gave the right for French fishing boats already fishing in the bay to continue to do so. Suddenly, on Friday afternoon, they asked the boats to provide proof of their entitlement by Monday morning. And then they promptly closed their office for the weekend.

Some of the boats are owned by fleets where there is office staff and the like who can easily access the information. But the smaller boats and one-man bands don’t have the staff and their records are held at the Fish Processing Plant down the hill – whose offices were closed from Friday late afternoon until Monday morning so the information couldn’t be obtained before the deadline.

Of course, a deadline to provide all of this information with zero working days’ notice is unrealistic, if not impossible. Most neutral commentators see it as nothing more than a deliberate provocation whereas cynics like me would draw attention to the flagging election campaign of the Tory Party and the massaging of the Prime Minister’s ego.

But be that as it may, we aren’t here to discuss politics I was awake at 06:00 and up and about a couple of minutes later. After the medication I finally caught up with the dictaphone notes so I can tell you where I went during the night. I was near Hunter Avenue in Gresty and there was a big American car parked up there. I’d had a lot of problems crossing the road from where the Mucky Bridge was on the Cheshire Cheese corner. I just couldn’t get to grips with waiting for traffic to come, I don’t know why. In the end all of the traffic stopped and let me pass. They did it twice as well. As I got to Hunter Avenue there was this big American car there. This guy was speaking to someone on the telephone trying to find out about a position as a taxi driver with his own vehicle. He obviously had a quote from someone so he said “yes” and they sent hi something that he printed out on his ‘phone – an insurance certificate. I asked him about it. He said that it cost him $15:00 a year for Private Hire endorsement on his licence which I thought was astonishing. With that, he can get going. He said that he could do a couple of jobs I asked ” every few days?” and he replied “no, at weekend”. Anyway so we had a bit of a chat about that. There was one of his competitors nearby who was doing the same thing so this was obviously paying its way, I thought to myself. Maybe I ought to get a car and do some taxi driving again these days. There was a lot more to it than this but I can’t remember now and I wish I knew what the rest of this dream was. Unfortunately several bad attacks of cramp totally disrupted my sleeping arrangements and I’m fed up of that as well.

After a shower I headed off to the shops in the pouring rain. It really was a wicked morning and had it not been for the fact that the shops will not be open on Saturday, I wouldn’t have gone out.

repointing wall rampe du monte a regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the last 6 months or so we’ve been following the very slow progress of the students who have been practising on the pointing of the stone walls at the Rampe du Monte à Regret.

Of course, they aren’t likely to be there today in this kind of weather so I could have a good look at what they have been doing And what I can say is that a blind man would be pleased to see it.

Of course, when I pointed the stone walls on my house back in the Auvergne I had a lot to learn, and a lot to learn quickly too, but I was extremely satisfied with the results that I obtained and I reckon that I did a very good job of it.

scaffolding rampe du monte à regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I was going down the steps, I noticed that they had moved the scaffolding further down the slope to carry on down the other side of the wall.

And I’ll tell you something for nothing, and that is that I don’t fancy the idea of climbing up and working on that scaffolding the way that it is. I wonder if they were in the process of re-erecting it and hadn’t finished it when the rain drove them all away.

LIDL was packed today. There were crowds in there. I couldn’t buy everything that I needed as they didn’t have it in stock, but I did what I could, especially as there are no shops on Saturday. In fact I had to go round a second time as I had forgotten the mushrooms.

It had been difficult for me to go up the hill to LIDL for some reason – I really wasn’t in any kind of form today, and coming back, loaded as I was with everything that I had bought, made it even worse and I had to stop several times to rest on the way back.

Having put the frozen food (they had more of the falafel) into the freezer I made myself a hot chocolate and my sourdough and then came in here. I was so tired that I wasn’t able to do any work but at least I managed not to fall asleep.

After lunch I made a start on the photos from August 2019 and then went out for my afternoon walk.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs usual, I went to the wall at the end of the car park to look over and down onto the beach to see who is about.

Not that there was any beach for people to be out on, and the miserable weather combined to ensure that no-one would be down there this afternoon. It may well have been that it had stopped raining right now but it was freezing cold out there this afternoon and I’ve gone back to being cold again – really cold, just like I was a few days ago.

There wasn’t anyone else around on the footpath up here on top of the cliffs either. And that was just as well because there wasn’t all that much room to move around there because everywhere was quite flooded because of the rain that we had had this morning.

commodore clipper baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallUp on the butte at the back of the lighthouse I could look out towards the sea to see if I could see the ferry that had by now set out to St Malo from St Helier.

Of course, at this range, it’s not possible to say with any certainty but if you look at the island in the centre of this photograph here, you’ll see something large on the horizon next to it. If I had to say that something out there was a small Ro-Ro ferry (because there was one out there somewhere), I’d probably be happy with identifying that as a likely target..

There were still plenty of fishing boats heading my way but I didn’t wait around for them. Otherwise I would have ended up feeling like Brian Hanrahan (and I’ve no idea where i would find him this afternoon) and “I’m not allowed to tell you how many there were, but I counted them all out and I counted them all back”.

black mamba baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been walking over to the butte, I’d seen a familiar black sail in the sunset out on the other side of the headland.

As a result I wandered off along the path and across the carpark and from the top by the old bunker there was an excellent view out to sea in the bay. Of course it’s our old friend Black Mamba who has been moored up in the harbour for the last couple of weeks now having gone off for a run around in the bay. It’s not really the best kind of day for a sail.

While I was out there, Rosemary rang me up so I promised to call her back when I returned to the apartment. That was the cue to set off home before it started to rain again.

bad parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA couple of days ago I mentioned that I’d given up commenting on cases of bad parking, and so it goes without saying that I would stumble on something extraordinary almost immediately, like this in the Boulevard Vaufleury.

Here’s a van and trailer belonging to a garden maintenance company working on someone’s garden this afternoon. It’s parked on the wrong side of the road on a main bus route at school chucking-out time when there are service buses going in one direction and school buses going in the other direction. And there’s a huge parking space free just 10 yards further on where it can park on the correct side of the road without obstructing the traffic.

There are a couple of kids waiting for the bus at the bus stop but they can’t see the bus coming and the bus can’t see them because the van is in the way.

This is a recipe for a disaster if ever I saw one.

Back at the apartment, armed with a coffee I rang Rosemary back and we had a very long chat yet again. Consequently I’ve done almost nothing yet again today.

There was the guitar practice of course, and then tea. Stuffed peppers with rice and veg followed by apple turnover and home-made custard.

And having done that, I’m off to bed. I’m not going to hang around tonight. I’m tired, cold and fed up so a nice long warm-up in bed will do me good. After last night I’ll have one of these sleeping tablets so there might not be a dictaphone entry tomorrow.

Tuesday 2nd March 2021 – WHAT I SAW …

ile de chausey english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… out to sea this afternoon.

Somewhere in that sea fog out there are the Iles de Chausey but you can’t actually see them this afternoon. After all of the nice weather that we’ve had over the last couple of days, we are now having a change of weather. It’s still warm and bright outside, but as for whether or not there were any clouds in the sky, that’s a completely different story.

What isn’t a completely different story is that once more I managed to stagger to my feet shortly after the first alarm went off at 06:00, and by the time that the third alarm went off I was already sitting at the computer working.

We were all on THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR last night, heading off on a cruise somewhere and TOTGA and her 2 kids came to see me off. This was very nice of them of course and I was hoping that it would lead to something further but we’d have to see (and not for nothing is she known as “The One That Got Away). There was still a couple of hours before our ship sailed. Then I had to leave the group with which i was in order to go to the bathroom. This meant stepping off the ship. As I walked down to the bow there were all these people from the restaurant standing around at the front of the ship having a cigarette, people who worked there, so I made a cheery kind of comment which they took in good heart and I walked off down the corridor of the port to try to find the bathroom, all the time thinking that in 2 hours time something might develop with TOTGA if I’m lucky – but just at this point I fell asleep again. And my apologies to Percy Penguin whose word I doubted when she told me that I snored.

Incidentally, just before I went to bed last night I was having a long chat with TOTGA about her daughter. It just goes to show …

Later on, a lady who worked in the OU said that she would do a drawing of me in pen and ink or something so I went to see her. I ended up staying. She was only down the road from Nina’s so I’d been to see her and then gone down to see this woman. She lived just on the border between Wales and England in Wales, 1 mile from the border. We were chatting and she had some shopping to do so we set out and walked along the old railway line that ran past her house into the UK and got to Ashbourne although it wasn’t the Ashbourne that I knew. She did a few bits and pieces and I was trying to go to the toilet but everywhere that I was going was full or there were cars going past or something and in the end we ended up walking back to her house. She had loads of stuff all over the place that she was drawing for people I knew from the OU. I was saying that that was the area where I’d like to live, on the border there. It always struck me as being an extremely romantic type of place and there were places like Tamworth and so on within easy reach. It all seemed so historical and all so interesting compared to Crewe.

That’s something else we were doing too. We’d been to Virlet at one point too, I don’t know why. I had a tiny solar panel there with a USB type of plug on it that you could plug things like telephones that kind of thing into it which would charge up off the solar panel. Quite a few people were interested in that and I was telling them all about it.

Once I’d organised myself I sat down and ran through about 20 photos from my Greenland 2019 trip, making sure that they were edited properly. I’m pressing on with these

Next, I turned my attention to the preparation for my Welsh class. That involved reading through the notes that I made during last week’s lesson, going through it all, and then looking through the course book for the text for this weeks lesson.

The lesson itself passed fairly well, I suppose. I was in a slightly better mood then last week and feeling much more like it.

After lunch I spent some of the time dealing with a few outstanding issues. Now that the new ID cards are coming through the system and being issued, it’s clear that the enormous backlog is being cleared. This is the moment to make my application to convert my ID card to the new type to reflect our revised status on the Mainland.

We now have no more rights over here than any refugee from Somalia or Syria.

Another thing that needed doing was to go through my bank accounts and see how the land lies. I still have my Canada money kicking around and it’ll be two years’ worth soon. With no prospect of going back until at least 2022 and maybe not even then, I need to make it all work for me in the meantime. It’s doing no good in a deposit account.

Unfortunately, the guy whose number I was given wasn’t the correct person and he couldn’t think of anyone who might help me. So it’s back to the drawing board as far as this is concerned.

crowds on beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

Once again, as you might expect, the tide is miles out at sea again. These are the highest and lowest tides of the year right now of course and the public areas of the fishing beds are exposed. There were crowds of people on the beach down there by the steps underneath the Place d’Armes but from up here on the cliffs it didn’t look as if they were actually doing the peche à pied

Maybe they were just enjoying the good weather because despite the rolling sea fog that we were having, it wasn’t cold and it wasn’t all that windy.

kids at gymnase jean galfione place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe schools are still out on half-term this evening so it was fairly quiet around the College Malraux this afternoon. No hordes of schoolkids and no parents parked up where they shouldn’t be.

But there was something going on at the Gymnasium Jean Galfione at the back of the school. These kids all seem to be dressed in some kind of corporate outfit so maybe there’s been some kind of team sport going on there this afternoon.

They were sitting there quietly, presumably waiting for Godot so I left them to it and carried on with my walk along the footpath.

renault voltigeur pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHow long is it since we’ve seen an old car on these pages? Quite a while, isn’t it?

My route took me over the lawn and onto the car park at the back of the lighthouse and there sitting quietly is a rather elderly Renault Voltigeur.

We all know about these vehicles and their heavier brothers, the Renault Goelettes. These were the vehicles used by all of the authorities for a 20 year period from the end of the 40s to the end of the 60s and were the typical paniers à salades, “salad baskets”, used by the Police to carry away detainees, although salade is a more polite way of of expressing what they were usually called.

High ground clearance and short wheelbase, they were ideal for the poor state of the roads in France after the war and with a traditional rear-wheel drive and cheap, basic and simple to assemble, they were much more common than the rival Citroen H “garden sheds” but never acquired the same cult status or lasted as long as their Citroen rivals.

It’s very, very rare to see one on the road these days.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve been following the adventures of the roofers on their scaffolding at the College Malraux.

They have spent several months working on the side of the roof facing my building and about a fortnight ago they moved their scaffolding round to the side. While I’ve been away they seem to have moved their scaffolding round to the other side of the building and I noticed that they are now busy attacking that slope.

With all of that do do, that’s probably going to take them up to summer, given the speed at which they have been working so far.

digger port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound at the viewpoint overlooking the port there was nothing much going on, and there were just the two boats in the chantier navale.

But I did notice one of the two diggers that have been working in the port seems to have retired from the fray and is now clanking on its tracks up the ramp.

It was difficult to see what was going on with it over there but there was a workman round at the front of the machine, so maybe they are going to change her bucket for one of a different size, or maybe even fit a grab onto the end of the arm. But there wasn’t anything down there to fit it with.

digger tractor port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, out in the port, the other digger is hard at it with the tractor and trailer.

It seems to have dug up a pile of rocks from the bed of the port and is busy tipping them into the trailer to be taken away. And why they would be doing that I really don’t know because they’ll have to go down extremely deep in order to make it into a wet harbour at all states of the tide.

And that gives me an idea. Maybe they are going to fit a breaker attachment onto the other digger so that it can break up some more of the rock.

After watching them for a while I came back here for coffee and some of my delicious vegan cake and then carried on with my arrears of my journey to Central Europe. And once again I crashed out completely for a good half-hour and felt pretty dreadful again when I came round.

The hour on the guitars was quite enjoyable and then I went for tea. Burger on a bap followed by my nice jam pie with the last of the soya coconut dessert.

The good news was that the football is back. Y Drenewydd were playing Penybont and it was a good match. Despite Y Drenewydd being at the foot of the table they were far too good for mid-table Penybont and fully deserved their 2-0 win, and even missed a penalty. Despite the long pause in the season they’ve obviously kept themselves fit as the game was played at 100% for the whole of the 90 minutes. I quite enjoyed watching the game.

Now I’m off to bed, later than usual. But the football is always much more interesting than sleeping. Tomorrow I have a pile of correspondence that needs my attention, some tidying up, and then I need to crack on. There’s plenty to do.

Thursday 4th February 2021 – HAVING WAXED SO LYRICALLY …

… at great length about the epicurean delicacies for my meals yesterday, today’s evening meal was a much more plebeian beans and chips with a burger on the side.

For some unknown reason, I had a fancy for baked beans for tea – maybe my subconscious is telling me that I should have a bubble-bath tomorrow – and in the absence of anything else to go with it, I settled on chips, in order to dispose of some really old potatoes, and a burger out of the stock in the fridge.

Making chips here is not too easy because I don’t have – and I don’t want – a deep-fat fryer but my niece Rachel who is a Tupperware senior manager let me have an incredible heavy-duty thing that fries in a microwave. It’s something that I haven’t used much because actually it’s too big to rotate in my microwave oven, but I worked out that if I take out the turntable and put a ramekin dish in there upside-down to cover over the pivot (I’m nothing if not inventive), I can put the Tupperware thing in on top of the ramekin dish and it just about fits in.

It doesn’t rotate but you can’t have everything and while the results are not spectacular, it does what it’s supposed to do.

Talking of things doing what they are supposed to do, I didn’t exactly beat the third alarm clock to my feet today. Mind you, it was a close-run thing, as the Duke of Wellington said after the Battle of Waterloo, because by the time that the alarm stopped ringing, I was actually on my feet.

Only just, it has to be said, and it took the room a good few minutes to stop spinning round so that I could join in, but there I was.

After the medication I did a few bits and pieces and then had a shower ready to hit the streets.

Granville carnaval unesco Manche Normandy France Eric HallAll over town there have been all kinds of things springing up about Carnaval, the event that occurs here OVER THE MARDI GRAS WEEKEND.

No Carnaval this year, for obvious reasons, but there are still a few displays all over the town featuring what might have been on the carnival floats had they been permitted to parade, and we saw THE COW AND PENGUINS when we returned from Leuven the other day.

What is on this sign is a timeline that records the successful application for Carnaval to be registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site. After all of the preparatory work, a formal application was made in January 2014 and approval was given in November 2016.

It’s one of the claims to fame of the town and one of the reasons why I chose this place to come and spend my final years after I was released from hospital in 2017. There’s almost always something interesting and exciting going on here

trawlers ready to leave port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther on down the road I noticed that all of the trawlers were lined up at the harbour gates.

It’s the moment for the harbour gates to open (and indeed, they did open as I was watching) and all of the fishing boats in the harbour streamed out line astern into the open sea. Fishing seems to be back on the agenda for the moment, although for how long I don’t know with the Silly Brits threatening to revoke the agreement if they don’t get what they want, like the bunch of spoilt little brats they are.

But I mustn’t let myself become bogged down in politics, must I? I promised that I wouldn’t do that.

normandy trader unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we have a visitor in the harbour this morning too. Normandy Trader sneaked in on the evening tide and here she is, loading up in order to leave the harbour on the tide.

And I know now why she goes over to St Malo at times on her voyages over here. It’s to do with the shellfish that she brings from the Jersey Seafood Co-operative. They have to be unloaded at a port where there is a Health Inspector to give them a health check, and there isn’t one here at the moment.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there’s talk of having a full Customs Post here in Granville for the port and the airport, but as yet, it doesn’t seem to be in place.

At the Post Office I sent off my application for the Securité Sociale and we’ll see how that evolves. I have been more hopeful about other things, but if you don’t apply, you don’t get, do you?

LIDL wasn’t anything to write home about. There wasn’t anything at all of any interest on special offer today so I just bought a few things there and headed back home again.

digging trench in rue lecampion Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThey had been busy while I’d been away.

A trench has been dug right across the road at the corner of the Rue Lecampion and the Rue Paul Poirier and as I watched, and the traffic waited, a digger picked up a huge sheet of metal to use as a bridge for the traffic to cross.

Down at the far end of the Rue Paul Poirier I fell in with the friendly neighbourhood itinerant and we had a nice long chat for about 15 minutes about nothing much at all, and then I hurried on home in case my frozen peas were to thaw out

Clutching a slice of my delicious sourdough fruit bread and a mug of hot chocolate I came in here and sat down, and made a start on transcribing the remaining dictaphone notes. And there was so much to transcribe that it took me right up until afternoon walkies.

Yesterday’s notes ARE NOW ONLINE, all of them. And by that I DO mean “all”, because there were miles and miles of them. I must have had a really bad night.

Then I could turn my attention to today’s notes. A few prisoners had escaped from a prison and they were being pursued across this building site. 1 had been caught but the other 2 had got away, not without a great deal of difficulty. 1 of them, who reminded me of Kenneth Williams, was almost crushed by a railway locomotive as he ran across the shunting track. The locomotive pinned him up against another one and damaged his hip but he still struggled on. 2 of them ran down the east end of London and ended up in an old derelict market hall type of place that was now a café. The healthy 1 was well ahead and ran into this place. The other 1 running behind him was immediately stuck in some kind of ante-room where there were loads of kids hanging around sitting there drinking coffee. It turned out to be some kind of teenagers’ quiet coffee bar where they could go and watch TV and sit, run by the Church. They showed soap operas there on the TV and this was where the 2 men were going to lay low for a day or 2 where they could get coffee and sleep for a while until they worked out their next move.

Later on I was on a walking tour of Eastern Europe with someone and an old Morris MO went past. I went to grab hold of my camera but I suddenly realised that I didn’t have it with me. I thought “where had I left that?”. I had to wrack my brains all the way back to the start of the day at the hotel and I couldn’t remember having it with me at all during any part of the day. Had I left it at the hotel? Had I put it down when we stopped for a breather and not picked it up? Or had I lost it the day before? I didn’t really know so I had to retrace all of my steps. Obviously the other guy wasn’t all that interested in coming back with me. He preferred to sit and wait which I suppose was the correct kind of thing so off I set. I walked through this small town where a boy was kicking a ball up into the air and then getting underneath to head it as it came down. I carried on walking back to the hotel that was miles away, trying to look on the way back to see if my camera was anywhere

And I bet that you are just as intrigued as I am to know why I seem to be having all of these camera issues during my nocturnal voyages just lately. Who is trying to tell me what?

There was a break of course for lunch – more of my delicious leek and potato soup with home-made bread (there were still some epicurean delights during the day) and then when I’d finished my dictaphone notes I went out for my walk.

erecting scaffolding place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have been following the progress of the roofing job that’s being undertaken at the College Malraux across the car park from here.

The scaffolding has been slowly advancing ahead of the work, as they take it from a finished part behind them and erect it in front at a place that has yet to receive attention. Today, they have dismantled some more from the side and are now erecting it at the end of the building here.

As we suspected right at the very beginning, this is going to be a very long job and they will be here for a while yet.

The paths had dried out considerably and there wasn’t much water left to block my path. But there wasn’t anything much to see anywhere. All the fishing boats were way out of sight and Normandy Trader had long-since left port.

cale de radoub port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut earlier on in the day I’d seen a photo of the Cale de Radoub – the old dry dock here in the harbour.

Completed in 1888 it was used as a dry dock to repair the old wooden fishing boats that went out to the Grand Banks to bring in the cod and the photo that I saw was actually of a boat being repaired in there, but it’s been out of use since 1978 and has fallen into decay.

It was declared a Historic Monument on 28th March 2008 and every now and again there’s talk of recommissioning it, but the cost of restoring it to full working order has frightened off the town council.

Back here I had a phone call to make. I had a letter from the hospital arranging my next series of appointments … for Wednesdays, despite what the doctor told me. So I had to ring them back and change them all over again to a Thursday.

When I had returned I’d made myself a coffee but by the time I came to drink it, it was cold. Not simply due to the fact that I’d been on the telephone, but also due to the fact that I’d crashed out yet again.

For the rest of the afternoon, such as it was, I made progress on my little report about Oradour sur Glane.

There was guitar practice of course which for some reason I didn’t enjoy, and then tea which I have already mentioned.

Bedtime now, and a full day at home with (hopefully) no interruptions and I can press on.

Ever the optimist, aren’t I?

Thursday 7th January 2021 – I STILL DON’T …

… know where all of the time goes, that’s for sure. All that I’ve done today as far as work goes is to answer about 10 e-mails and that’s my lot.

Mind you, it was something of a late start this morning. I heard all of the alarms go off but it was still about 07:00 when I finally left the bed.

First thing was to check the dough. 2 loads because I had prepared a normal yeast-driven loaf as well last night before going to bed.

And while the sourdough hadn’t risen by much, the standard loaf had gone up like a lift. I kneaded them both and put them in their respective moulds to proof a second time and then, after the medication, I came in here to check the dictaphone.

There was a really weird kind of dance thing going on last night with 3 young girls who were dancing and singing and performing these really rhythmic movements. There were me and two other people at the other end of the dance floor just basically keeping in time to the music. For some unknown reason, what we were trying to do was that the movements that these people were performing led to them being separated at some time and our job seemed to be that one of us, when we saw someone separated was, in keeping in time to the music, to go off down there and somehow capture the one who had come out of the pack if you like and was dancing on her own halfway down the hall. I noticed that at one time that it was always the same girl who was doing this. She had a beautiful voice and I remember thinking to myself “I wouldn’t mind capturing her”. On one occasion when this rhythmic dance was going on I had to rhythmically make my way back to my group and one of my colleagues was preparing to advance. He ended up pirouetting round and his hand caught in my clothes and went underneath the top that I was wearing and missed my catheter by a millimetre otherwise it would have been really really dramatic. We had a bit of a joke about that.

What goes on in the night is really exciting, isn’t it?

As I was off out I put a load of clothes into the washing machine to do while I’m out at the doctor’s.

The interesting thing there was that he doesn’t recommend a ‘flu injection. Everyone is in facemasks and the ‘flu isn’t expected to take a hold this year.

As for my booster injections for my immune system (I have to have them every 5 years) he gave me a prescription, along with the prescription for the medication that I forgot.

The most interesting thing is the Covid vaccine. Here in Granville, we aren’t a priority, so it seems. Cases here in the town are rare due to the fact that we are on a westerly clifftop in one of the strongest prevailing winds in Europe. Any airborne virus here is blown well inland and the only time that we usually have any outbreaks is when the holidaymakers arrive.

However, he does agree that I should be in the first batch to be vaccinated as soon as we have supplies and he made a note in my file that I would be willing to take it

christmas decorations rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving bade farewell to the doctor I set off towards LIDL for supplies.

It’s been a long time since I set my foot in the Rue Couraye, what with having chosen a different route to go uptown just recently, so I didn’t really know much about what’s been going on there for a while. But it seems that we had have some kind of novel decorations in the street – some that I haven’t seen before.

At LIDL it was a major shop and I staggered home under quite a load. Not helped any by the fact that they were selling 3kg of carrots for the price of 1kg, and ditto the potatoes. The freezer is for a change fairly empty and I can always do things with potatoes.

trawlers ready to leave port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving called at the chemist’s for a rest and my medication (I have to go back for some on Saturday) I staggered up the Rue des Juifs towards home. And there I noticed that the trawlers were starting to pull away from the quayside.

The harbour gates were closed, so I was expecting them to open any minute now so I hung around to watch. However I was distracted. While I was observing the harbour I fell in with our itinerant friend who is still loitering about the town and we had a chat.

One thing that I noticed was that he had a shopping bag full of groceries so at least it seems that he’s feeding himself, which is one less thing for anyone to worry about.

On returning home I switched on the oven and then, having checked the loaves, I put them into the oven to bake.

Once again, the sourdough loaf hadn’t done very much but the normal loaf had risen impressively again. And this time I did remember to brush the top of the fruit loaf with milk and sprinkle the top with brown sugar.

home baked bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile it was cooking I came in here and answered a couple of outstanding e-mails and then when the oven timer switched itself off I went to check the bread.

The standard loaf was cooked perfectly but the sourdough wasn’t so I left that in for another 20 minutes and with the standard loaf, I made some sandwiches for lunch. And it really was a good loaf, this one. Just as it should be and it was delicious.

After lunch, I attacked the carrots, peeled and diced about a kilo or so and then blanched them ready for freezing. I’ll do some more tomorrow too and then finish the rest off on Saturday.

moving scaffolding roofing college malraux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on this afternoon I went out for my usual afternoon walk around the headland.

The other day, I mentioned that they had started to move the scaffolding from the north end of the east wall and reposition it down at the south end of that wall. Here, on the extreme right, you can see than dismantling some more of it to move that along too. And you can also see where they are ripping off the slates from farther along.

Up until a couple of days ago they were working to the right-hand side of the safety rail going up the roof.

This is going to be a very long job, I can see that

first buds pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther along the path at the side of the College I stopped to have a look at one of the bushes that was growing there.

The other day the gardeners had been by and trimmed the bushes back. But I’d noticed, a day or so later, that there seemed to be some small buds starting to grow. Sure enough, one or two of them have burst out into leaves.

It’s very tempting to say that the mild winter that we have had to date has started the first buds of the year off early but I suspect that the bushes haven’t quite gone into hibernation and there has still been some rising sap in the bush, and that has provoked the growth.

It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on it.

sea fog pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut whatever else happens today, I won’t be keeping an eye out to see what is happening out to sea down the Brittany coast today.

You’ve probably noticed from a couple of earlier photos that there seemed to be quite a mist hanging around today, but out at sea there seems to be so much more of it and there’s quite a heavy fog bank rolling in along the coast and onto the headland where I’m standing.

It’s one of those occasions where you might expect primeval man, or Godzilla or something similar to come emerging from the miasma.

calm seas baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallInterestingly, in the reverse angle of this shot, there’s hardly a wisp of fog to be seen along the coast.

But you can see the reason why the fog is here. If you look closely at the water you’ll notice that it’s calm and almost flat as a mirror. There’s hardly a breath of wind at all – hardly enough to disperse a fogbank, that’s for sure.

But nevertheless out of the fog and gloom came one of my neighbours who had also been for a walk. So we had a chat for a few minutes about nothing in particular before I wandered off to carry on with my perambulations.

scull pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s one thing about a fog and a really calm sea, and that it encourages people to take to the water.

Paddling around the headland from the direction of the port de plaisance came a couple of kayaks. And as I watched, they paddled their way around the marker light on the rocks below.

There was the idea in my mind to make the old hoary joke which regular readers of this rubbish will recall, about it being inadvisable to light a fire in a canoe because you can’t have your kayak and heat it, but a closer inspection revealed that these aren’t kayaks but in fact sculls, so I doubt if the rowers in there would get up to any such scullduggery.

beautiful sun shining on sea baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOver the last couple of days we’ve been having some brilliant sunsets out across the bay. As I walked across the lawn and the car park to the other side of the headland I sensed that today might be different with the fog.

Unfortunately I was correct. There was nothing really like the views that we have had for the last few days. Nevertheless it was quite different and quite unusual, and was creating quite an eerie effect, especially where we seem to be half in and half out of a fog bank.

The rays of sun streaming out through the hole in the clouds and disappearing into the fog bank were quite novel too.

speedboat with cabin baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou probably noticed in the previous photo the traces of a wake passing through the image.

There was a boat out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel and it was making quite a racket and going like the clappers too. My first thought was that it was a fishing boat but no fishing boat goes that quickly. I’ve no idea who he was or where he’d been.

With nothing else of interest out there this afternoon, I made tracks for home. It’s a shame that there was no freighter in port today, and I wonder when we are next going to have another gravel boat.

home made sourdough fruit loaf place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack home I made myself a coffee and then went to have a look at the sourdough loaf. It’s been cooling off in the oven for a good couple of hours.

It’s possibly overdone on top, although I did lower the shelf when I put it back in at lunchtime so that the bottom would cook better, but it doesn’t look at all bad really. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say. And for that, you’ll all have to wait until tomorrow morning’s hot chocolate break.

Instead, I hung up the washing, something that I had forgotten to do earlier, and then came in here to carry on with my e-mail marathon. And it would have been better had I not crashed out again.

There was the usual hour on the guitars of course but for some reason I couldn’t get my head around the acoustic guitar and I’ve no idea why. I didn’t seem to have the same motivation which was strange.

Afterwards, I went out for my evening walk – and I tried a few more runs today too. In fact I made it up to three legs. Not much, but better than it has been.

When I stopped for breath after one of the legs, I looked out to sea and the fog seemed to have lifted. It as a really clear evening and you could see for miles.

st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou probably won’t think all that much of this photo but this is taken with the camera perched on a rock, hand-held. And the camera is in fact the little NIKON 1 J5 which in the past has not proved to be very successful in the past in the pitch-black.

However, with some judicious manipulation I managed to take some photos of St Helier, 58 miles away. And the lights of fishing boats out to sea and even some stars too. And for a camera that doesn’t like the dark, that’s quite impressive even if the quality isn’t up to all that much.

Had I taken the tripod with me, and worked out how the time-lapse procedure works on the calmera, I might have done even better than this.

place marechal foch plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound at the viepoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch there wasn’t much going on at all. The whole town seemed to be deserted and I hadn’t seen a soul.

Instead I came on back to the apartment for tea. Stuffed peppers followed by apple crumble. There’s only enough crumble left for one meal now, so I might have to defrost a slice of frozen apple pie for tea on Saturday.

But now I’ve written up my notes, I’m going to go to bed. Just a couple of phone calls to make tomorrow, a form to fill in and some carrots to peel and blanche and then I can crack on with work.

And, of course, the fruit bread to try. I mustn’t forget that.

Tuesday 5th January 2021 – IT’S BEEN ANOTHER …

… miserable day today.

At least I managed to hear all of the alarms this morning and I may not have beaten the third alarm, I didn’t go back to sleep at all and I managed to rouse yself round about 07:00 so as far as that goes, it’s some kind of progress better than yesterday.

After the medication I came back and had a listen to the dictaphone. And to my surprise I found that I had actually been somewhere during the night.

As it happens, I don’t remember very much about my voyage but we were doing something like besieging a castle. The castle was outside Granville somewhere. One thing that I noticed was that there was a dip in the ground by this castle with a kind of embankment running through it. It suddenly occurred to me after all these years that this could have been where the tacot ran through. I’d never succeeded in tracing the route of the tacot but that looked the right kind of place for the tacot to have been.
Some other time we were all in an office discussing a certain company or other. The company had had rather a rocky reputation. Someone produced on their mobile phone a logo that this company used. I had a look at it and thought “that’s the company that administers my works pension”. I mentioned that to the room and I was quite surprised by that because I always thought of them as being a reliable company but apparently they aren’t and that made me worry about my pension.

Having dealt with that I had a good work through my Welsh homework, revised some more stuff and then reviewed the forthcoming lesson. With a quick tidy up, I made myself some hot chocolate and grabbed a mince pie (the sourdough fruit loaf was … errr … spoiled) and switched on the portable computer, only to find that the tutor wasn’t available today and the course has been cancelled. That was pretty annoying but it can’t be helped.

So having drunk my chocolate and eaten my mince pie I sat down to do the second part of the radio programme. And by the time that I knocked off at 18:00 I’d finished typing (but not dictating) the notes. Again, it was something of a hard struggle today to find any kind of incentive or motivation.

There was a variety of reasons as to why it took me so long. First of all, there was lunch of course. Another helping of my gorgeous vegetable soup with home-made bread – a lunch made with my own fair hands. And there’s enough soup for another helping too so that ended up in the freezer for another day along with the rest of the butternut squash soup.

repositioning scaffolding college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe had the afternoon walk too as usual.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall my musing about the scaffolding up at the College Malraux. They had erected it on just half of the College and I was wondering whether they were just going to do half of the roof. But here they are, dismantling the scaffolding at the far end and re-erecting it down the other half of the wall.

They have also relocated the compound too.

So it looks as if we are going to have the whole of the roof repaired. And judging by the amount of tie that it’s taken to do the part that they have done, they are going to be here for a while.

sunset on water baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere weren’t too many people out there this afternoon either which was no surprise give the cold, windy weather.

The path around the clifftop and across to the headland was pretty deserted so I walked over there to see what was going on. No ships or boats around at all but the evening sunset was shining really beautifully through the clouds onto the water.

We’ve seen a few of these sunsets just recently but the one this afternoon was up there with the best of them. Unfortunately the cliffs at the back were obscured in the low cloud so the distant view wasn’t as good though.

baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallTaking my leave of the view, I walked off along the path on the south side of the headland.

The sun was shining brightly down on St Pair sur Mer and it was looking like a stage set all bathed in floodlights. I carried on walking along the path, admiring the new door that they fitted on the public conveniences yesterday. Nice big and armour-plated but they have made a basic error in its design and installation, and the workmen will be back in early course.

And still no change of occupant in the chantier navale either. The yacht on the blocks and the trawler by the mobile boat lift.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown there in the port, we have a visitor in there today.

Brexit doesn’t seem to have interrupted the little coastal freighters from Jersey coming into the port here. Down there in the loading bay underneath the crane we have Thora there. She’s probably come in on the morning tide.

Having taken a photo, I wandered off back home for a mug of hot coffee and a slice of my Christmas cake and to carry on with my work. But then we had another problem to delay me, in that having rather unsuccessfully fought off falling asleep, then I crashed out not once, not twice but three times during the rest of the afternoon and it’s making me feel terrible.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was the usual hour or so on the guitars and then I wandered off out for my evening walk. And walk too because I’m still feeling pretty terrible.

Along the footpath I walked, as far as the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset where I took a photo to prove that I had been out, and then carried on walking back home again for tea.

Tonight I had baked potatoes, burger in a bap and vegetables followed by the last of the Christmas pudding with custard. These have been delicious meals just recently and we’ll have to see what we can do to keep the delicious meals going.

kiwi pear kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving dealt with the food and the washing up, I had another task to perform.

The last bottle of kefir is now in the fridge ready to use and so I had to make some more from the stuff that had been brewing. There were only three kiwis because the fourth had been left rather too long, so I added a pear to it to see how that would develop.

And now I’ve finished my notes, I’m off to bed. I’m hoping that tomorrow I’ll be feeling a little beter and that I can get on and do some work and finish off what I’ve been trying to do for the first two days of this week. I really need to get going as I have so much work to do and not a great time to do it.

Wednesday 9th December 2020 – I DIDN’T …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This afternoon I made a new batch of kefir.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My running is definitely improving.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that was something that I didn’t enjoy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 28th November 2020 – I’VE BEEN SPENDING …

… my money again. I went out somewhat early this morning on speculation now that the “unnecessary” shops are allowed to open and sure enough, my luck was in I found “mon bonheur” as they say around here. It was expensive and I do mean that, but it will be well worth it in due course.

It’s for my Christmas present so I can’t tell you what it is until I open it at Christmas time but it’s what I’ve always wanted ever since I moved here three and a half years ago.

Even though I said “early”, it wasn’t as early as I was hoping though because I didn’t leave the bed until about 07:20 this morning, to my dismay. But at least I was in a better frame of mind than I was last night, which is one thing I suppose.

First thing to do is to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I’d made contact with my old school last night and I’d volunteered to talk to them about certain things. They suggested that I came round to see them on Saturday. So off I went on a Saturday morning and found to my surprise that a lot of kids were still in school. I thought that it must be something to do with Covid or something like this. I arrived at the front of the school but couldn’t find the door in. All the front of the school had changed. In the end I found a door and went in – I thought that I’d look for the secretariat. All the kids were telling me not to go in through this door for some unknown reason but I went in anyway. I couldn’t find the secretariat but then I saw a hatch that was an opening in the wall and there was a queue of people around there talking to whoever was going on inside. I thought “well, I’d talk to these people, whatever was going on in this hatch and they can point me to the right place”. So I waited my turn. Then a guy came over and said “ohh don’t you go missing now that I’ve got you here. I’m going to give you a class”. I thought “this is strange. he doesn’t even know who I am”. But on my way in parking my car or going into the school grounds or whatever I bumped into one of my old teachers. I said “you must be Mr Lighton” but he didn’t recognise me. But this other guy obviously recognised me, and I didn’t have a clue who he was and I was certain that he ought not to know who I was but he got me right. He said “well …” and we were talking about what I could do. he said “you could give this class a talk on iron ore, the miracle of iron ore”. I replied “yes, I can tell them all about iron ore mining in Labrador”. I thought for a moment “I wish I’d remembered to bring my photographs with me” but then I thought that I had my laptop and they are all on there. Another teacher who was there said “I didn’t know that they mined iron ore in Labrador” so we had quite a chat about that. I had some gold with me and I produced this sample of gold and said “what about this from Labrador?” He looked at it, the amazed guy, but the one who came to talk to me first was totally nonplussed by this gold. he didn’t think that it was anything extraordinary at all.

Next thing was to have a shower and to check my weight. And in the last 2 days I’ve put on 0.6 kilo. That’s clearly incorrect and I shall have to check this again.

Having changed the bedding (I’m going to be in the lap of luxury tonight) and set the washing machine off on a cycle (very clever, my washing machine) I hit the streets with Caliburn.

Our first stop was miles out of town and more of this anon and then it was time for NOZ and LeClerc. Both were open but neither came up with anything of any special interest. It was just more of the boring same so I came on home without hanging around too long.

By now it was quite late so there was barely time to put the frozen food away before I had to make my soup for lunch (more of the butternut squash) and then there was football. Connah’s Quay Nomads against Barry Town in the Welsh Premier League.

Barry Town scored first after just a couple of minutes but from the restart Connah’s Quay went up the field and equalised. Even with half a team out injured or suspended they were still far too good for Barry Town and the final score of 3-1 was fair enough. Barry Town need to find a striker from somewhere if they want to push on up the table.

yacht english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was by now way after the time that I would usually go out for my afternoon walk, but I went out all the same.

Winter has certainly arrived. It was cold and quite windy out there, but there was plenty of sun to encourage people to come out for maybe the last fine day of the year. This guy in his yacht was certainly enjoying himself just offshore.

And you can see what I mean about the sun by looking at the sails of his yacht. They are supposed to be white but they are reflecting the late-afternoon sun and are looking a rather bright shade of gold.

kayaker english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd he wasn’t the only one out there in the water today.

There were several people in kayaks having a paddle around the Pointe du Roc too. And it’s a good job that it’s warm because it’s not permitted to light a fire in a canoe. They say that you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

Back in the apartment I noticed that someone else had taken a photo of the kayakers and posted a “group photo” on the Social Media. And someone complained about them being allowed to congregate but ramblers were not allowed to do so.

I despair of some people.

microlight Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it wasn’t just on the water that there were crowds of people. The air was quite busy too.

A light aircraft had flown over my head just as I was setting out but I wasn’t quick enough to take a decent photo of it. But a few minutes later one of the little microlights went past. This time I was ready and when it turned out of the sun I was able to take a photo to speed it on its way.

What was disappointing was that our autogyro didn’t put in an appearance. We can usually rely on that going past overhead whenever the air is busy.

full moon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s that time of the month too.

There was a beautiful moon out there tonight – we missed the last one due to heavy clouds, if I remember correctly, but no danger of missing this one. It really was quite beautiful. And as you can see, there isn’t a cloud in the sky to get in the way of seeing it.

So it looks like either tomorrow or the day after, I’ll have to be shaving the palms of my hand. I used to be a werewolf but I’m all right noooooooooooooow”.

And that reminds me, the use of shockingly poor English is even threatening the Film Industry. They are planning to remake an old classic horror film of the 1930s, but the modern version this next year will be called “I Were a Teenage Waswolf”

sunset baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEnough of that. I turned tail and headed for the headland to look out over the Baie de Mont St Michel to see what was goign on.

And this is a far cry from 21:00 and 21:30 of early this year, isn’t it? You can tell how late it is that I’ve gone out because the sun is quite low in the sky and about to sink into the sea, where it will presumably sizzle.

we are certainly having some spectacular effects just recently. This one I stayed and watched for a few minutes before pushing my way onwards around to the south side of the headland.

ceres 2 yacht chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a new trawler in the chantier navale and we watched it being hoisted aboard the mobile boat lift.

This morning when I went out to the shops I was half-expecting to see it comfortably installed on one of the sets of blocks so that they can work on it, but to my surprise she wasn’t there. They must have been putting her back into the water yesterday when we saw them manoeuvring around.

Still, Ceres 2 and the yacht are still there. They must be completely fed up of spending all this time together on their own without any company.

clementine kefir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith nothing else going on, I walked on back to the apartment.

There were some carrots that needed dicing and blanching, the sourdough needed feeding and then there was the kefir to attend to. The kiwis that I had bought last week weren’t ripe enough and besides I was rather pushed for time so I grabbed a handful of clementines (I’d bought another load today), whizzed them around to extract the juice, and then made another batch of clementine-flavoured kefir.

Having done that, I set another batch of kefir en route. And one of these days when I have more time, whenever that might be, I’m going to look into making my own ginger beer.

Today’s special offer on veg at LeClerc was “Cauliflowers at €0:99”, and large illegitimate ones too. I love them when they are fresh so I bought one and for tea had veggie balls with steamed veg (including lots of cauliflower cooked to perfection) and vegan cheese sauce. And I’ll be having more of that too in due course.

But the sad thing is that I finished the last of my ad-hoc raspberry and custard tart. That worked really well and I was pleased with that. It encourages me for the future now with other fruits.

night beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe moon was incredibly bright tonight. It really lit up the night sky and it would have been a perfect evening for photography had we not had one of the sea mists yet again.
With something of a struggle I ran on round to the viewpoint over the Plat Gousset and took a photo of the beach in the moonlight just to see how it would come out.

And I have to say that I’ve seen worse than this one. And, of course, it goes without saying, a great many so much better too.

street light scaffolding netting rue lecarpentier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing doing at the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch so I ran off all the way across thez Square maurice Marland where I stopped for my breather.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that on a couple of occasions we’ve had a quick look at the house in the Rue LeCarpentier that is undergoing renovation by this specialist building company. Tonight, I couldn’t help noticing that with the light mist that we were having, the street light wrapped in the scaffolding netting was creating some kind of ethereal effect.

This is the kind of thing that is worth photographing, even if just to let arty people gasp with admiration. I don’t think all that much of this kind of thing

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis on the other hand is much more like my kind of photograph.

Only Marité at anchor – or should I say “moored” – down at the bottom end of the harbour tonight. But she’s all lit up and looks quite pretty and for once, I managed to take a decent photo of her that actually worked out doing what I wanted it to do.

But everywhere is like death now with this lockdown due to the Corona Virus. Once more I was the only one out there tonight and I didn’t see another soul. I’m starting to feel quite lonely these days.

cat rue st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, that’s not exactly true. I wasn’t the only one out there tonight.

As I walked up the Rue St Michel a pretty long-haired cat, looking rather like a heavily-pregnant female, came out of one of the alleyways. I called it and it came to me for a stroke so we had a little bit of socialising. Strange as it is to say it, I miss having a cat, but it’s not possible with my lifestyle.

So having said goodbye to my new friend I ran on home to write out my notes.

Despite being in a better humour than I was yesterday and having had something of a lie-in this morning, I’ve still had a bad day. For some unknown reason I’ve been fighting off sleep (and not very successfully on some occasions) for most of the day and because I’m so tired, everything is taking 10 times longer.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last week because of a few rather extreme, if not ridiculous Sunday lie-ins, I was talking about setting an alarm on Sunday mornings in the future. But not tomorrow. This is going to be one of those “sleep until I awaken” days. I have clean bedding, I’m clean and tidy and I think that a good rest and long sleep will do me a world of good.

It makes me wonder who will come along to spoil it.

Wednesday 18th November 2020 – EEUURRGGHH!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 15th October 2020 – I WAS RIGHT …

… when I asked yesterday “surely this can’t continue” or whatever it was that I said.

Consequently this morning, I missed the third alarm. Not by many minutes, but a miss is as good as a mile, I suppose.

Mind you, I’d been on my travels again somewhat. I’d been looking around, searching for different things about the house and came across an automatic firearm – a big heavy thing, silver one. I was messing around with that and then took it off to show a friend. He and I had a play around doing all kinds of different things. Then we were out in the town with it and there was a lot of trouble about theft and violence, groups, all this kind of thing. We thought that we would be bound to be searched and if they found this firearm we’ve had it even though we aren’t actually doing anything with it. The nearest official building to where we were was the Nigerian embassy so we took the gun there and handed it in. Back home a few days later I was about to go into the living room when I heard my father ask “does anyone know what’s happened to my gun? It’s gone”. One of my brothers and sisters piped up to say “Eric and his friend had it”. He rang up my friend and he told him what had happened but cutting out the flamboyant bits. I was concerned about this because I was going to get into a load of trouble by taking it but my father seemed to be rather nonchalant about this. I walked off into the room something like a hospital waiting room and as I was walking in a woman was walking out. “Ohh I have your food here” she said. “I wondered when you were coming back. I’ll bring it in”. I was loaded up with loads of other stuff that I was dropping on my way in and had to try about three doors before I found which one was the correct one. I went in and sat down and waited for the next part of this story to happen.

Which of course, it didn’t.

Having sorted out the dictaphone I had a good shower and clean-up. And a weigh-in too. And I’ve lost that extra weight that I put on in Leuven, having now accelerated my fitness programme a little. If I keep up this regime and continue to lose weight at this rate, by the time my next birthday comes round I’ll have gone completely.

And now it’s time to head for the shops.

For a change I didn’t but anything extra, but I was still loaded up like a packhorse. And when the 2kg bag of apples burst, I ended up having to stick them in the shoulder bag too and that wasn’t part of the plan. It was quite a stagger back home, loaded up as I was.

And to make matters worse, the battery in the NIKON 1 J5 decided to go flat even though there were plenty of interesting things to photograph. And I only charged up the battery the other day too. I hope that that’s not going to start playing up.

Back here I made a drink and sat down – and then crashed out, which is no surprise. I recovered in time to perform a major upgrade of the computer before lunch, something that surprised me too.

After lunch, with more of my delicious bread, I had a task to perform that I’ve been putting off for several months. There were a plie of *.mkv files on my computer that simply wouldn’t allow themselves to be deleted. I spent some time experimenting with the file properties of one of them and in the end I managed to delete it.

There were about 20 altogether and I had to adjust their properties one by one too, but at least they have all gone now, which is good news.

Next task was the photos of July 2010 in Switzerland and Austria. And here I came up against another problem. Instead of using a dictaphone, I was speaking loudly so that the dashcam in Caliburn would pick up the details. But it didn’t do it well enough so that can be classed as a failure.

But this is how you learn, isn’t it?

In the end I had to look for road signs, names of buildings, town signs, that kind of thing on the dashcam recordings to work out where I was and to follow my route on an internet mapping service to work out where I was.

That took an age, as you can imagine, but now all of the photos for that month have been edited, processed and correctly identified. Another job completed.

There just remains the photos for August which should be interesting, because all of those road signs are in either Czech, Slovak or Hungarian and that is going to lead to difficulties when I see a building name.

Scaffolding College Malraux Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving made some good progress I could go outside for my afternoon walk, almost bowling over four people whom I hadn’t seen before entering the building. Elderly people, so I reckon that someone has let out their apartment for holidaymakers.

Across the car park, the scaffolding seems now to be complete as far as they intend to go. They’ve even put their advertisements on it to let us know who they are. And as for the container, it’s not a container at all but a very large skip. Benne pour bois – “skip for wood”. So that’s where they will be disposing of all of their old laths.

And their compund has blown down again. They aren’t having much luck with that. I mean – it’s not as if it’s windy right now outside.

Sunshine Montmartin sur Mer Rainstorm Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn fact, the weather is quite changeable today.

And no photo can sum that up better than this one of the coast higher up the Cetentin Peninsula. If you look at the view round by Montmartin sur Mer towards the left, you can see the sun shining down on the houses, making them appear so nice and bright.

But yet just a couple of miles away, there’s a huge rainstorm throwing it down just there and everywhere is dark and gloomy.

Trawlers English Channel Ile de Chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday I mentioned that it looks as if the fishing season has started in earnest, and I’m very probably right.

We’re still a good half-hour before the time that the harbour gates open, so all of the big trawler-type vessels are heading for home, presumably with quite a good catch. Here are three of them heading for home and they all seem to be surrounded by socks of fleagulls

We also have a yacht out there over towards the Ile de Chausey. He’s picked a nice day to go out for a sail because it looked quite nice over there.

Unidentified Ship Antea English Channel Islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was scanning the horizon for more trawlers, I came across this object out at sea just off the coast of Jersey near the port of St Helier.

It certainly wasn’t one of our two freighters or a trawler – the superstructure is all wrong. And so I took a photo of it with the aim, when I’m at home, of cropping it and blowing it up (the image, not the object of course) to see if I can identify it.

Not that it was easy, but an examination of plots of ships in the area reveals that there’s a French research ship, the Antea, out there in that vicinity. And an examination of her photo reveals a superstructure quite like the superstructure of this ship here. So it may well be her

Man in Kayak Fishing From Rocks Pointe du Roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked on along the lawn at the Pointe du Roc I came across all of the brats. It looks as if the orienteering classes are back up and running … “very good!” – ed … again after a pause last week.

My route continued on past the Coastguard Post to the end of the headland, and looking down onto the rocks I could see that the fishermen are back again. And as usual, in the time that I was watching them, no-one actually caught anything.

We also had a kayaker out there, and I bet that he was quite cold out there this afternoon because you aren’t supposed to light a fire in your canoe. Everyone knows that you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

Joly France Ferry terminal Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last year or so there have been plenty of rebuilding projects going on all over the port area.

And it looks as if they aren’t finished yet. There’s another crew over by the Ferry Terminal. They have a digger, a shipping container or skip and an assortment of all kinds of other stuff. it will be interesting to see what they are doing.

Joly France, one of the ferries that go out to the Ile de Chausey, is paying no attention whatever to the machinations. It’s the older of the two ferries – you can tell because there’s no step in the stern, the windows are smaller and the superstructure on the top deck is larger.

Autogyro Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen – or, at least, talked about – plenty of people, and we’ve seen a great deal of maritime activity too.

So let’s not go forgetting the air today. And so, our friend, the yellow autogyro who we first encountered AT THE CABANON VAUBAN in August 2018 just before I set off for the North Pole, decided to put in an appearance today.

And that reminds me – I’ve not been on a plane this year, and the only time that I set foot on the sea was our trip on the Spirit of Conrad. I don’t even think that I managed to get onto a ferry this year at all.

Mind you, it’s not good for my blood pressure to see a ferry. Every time I see one, it makes me cross.

Having finished the photos I crashed out yet again for a little while, and then had my hour on the guitar. And I’m still not enjoying it, which is a shame. But I’ll stick at it of course.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper, now that I have some, followed by one of those desserts that I made yesterday.

Later on tonight I went out for my evening runs. And in pursuit of even more fitness I managed to fit in 5 runs tonight. I have to control my weight now I’m back on the intravenous drips.

St Helier Jersey Channel Islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut it really was a beautiful night tonight – one of those nights when you can see for miles and it made me wish that i’s taken the tripod. Although these next two photos don’t add up to much, the fact that I’ve taken them at all is significant.

Here we have the street lights of St Helier in Jersey reflecting off the clouds. And also, quite clear in the photograph, are the lights that are on the radio tower or whatever it is on the hills at the back of town.

And when you consider that this is a hand-held shot taken with a f1.8 50mm lens of objects that are 58 kilometres away in the pitch-dark, it’s quite something. But what would it have been like with a tripod?

Trawlers English Channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd pretty much the same thing might be said of this photo too.

While I was casting my eyes around trying to see what was going on out at sea, my eyes alighted yet again on something else. Three lights out at sea, presumably from working ships. My plotter seems to think that the one over to the left might be Antea, whom we encountered earlier, whereas the two brighter ones to the right might be fishing vessels.

There are in fact two in the area according to the plotter – Philcathane may well be the bright light to the left of the two, and the second one might be L’Alize III

Rue Du Nord Place d'Armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was there, I wasn’t just admiring the view out to sea. There were plenty of other things to see.

In the foreground of this photo is the area where the walls are crumbling away along the Rue du Nord. You can see the barrier that they have put up to stop people walking too close to the edge. It was this barrier that was swept away in Storm Alex and ended up littering the Rue du Nord.

Over in the background is the car park at the Place d’Armes, that used to be the old parade ground when all of the buildings there were Army barracks. And illuminated there is the College Malraux with its coat of scaffolding and its big banner advertisement.

If you see what looks like a diamond-shaped light, that’s the building where I live.

Marité Normandy Trader Port de Granville Harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA couple of nights ago I mentioned that with all of the building material stacked up on the quayside, it looked as if we might be expêcting one of the Jersey freighters to arrive.

And sure enough, anchored at the quayside next to Marité underneath the loading crane is our old friend Normandy Trader. She’s obviously come into port on the afternoon tide on one of her regular runs across from St Helier.

Talking of runs, I’ve managed to do 5 tonight. Nothing particularly energetic but being back on the intravenous drip means that my weight is going to balloon up again and that’s the last thing that I want. I have to keep it down.

But not right now. It’s late and I’m off to bed. I need a good rest.

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.