Tag Archives: Sisimiut

Friday 2nd July 2021 – NOT VERY MANY …

… photographs today at all unfortunately.

and the reason for that was that while I was walking along the top of the cliffs admiring the boats out there at the sea just beneath my feet, I fell in with one of my neighbours. And although I represented the UK in Unsociability at an Olympic Games at one time, I couldn’t turn round and interrupt the flow of conversation by taking photos of this and that.

And there wasn’t any of the other so there was nothing to photograph in that respect either.

This morning I did something that I don’t do very often, and that was to have a lie in during the week. The reason for that was that this backing-up was well on its way during the night and I didn’t want to stop it.

It was 03:00 when it stopped so no chance of me being in any fit state to do anything at 06:00. 08:00 was a much-more reasonable time.

And I was out of bed as soon as the alarm went off and that made me feel a little better.

During the night I’d been on my travels too. There was something going on about a city where they had dug up the main road that ran through it and replacing the surface. All the traffic was having fo find its way through. It was really quiet down this street with bicycles, things like that. I had the impression that it was in Germany. I was walking through all these parks in the centre of this city and found my way to this house which was where I was working as a young boy. I was basically working on the garden tidying it up. I had a list of work that I needed to do but I went upstairs anyway to introduce myself to the family that I was there. There had been a chapter missed out of a book that we had read. I’d had a brief glance at it and she asked me what we were going to do about it. I said that I was going to read it today. Later in the evening I was going to sit on the railway station and watch the trains but there was someone who might be coming to visit me but I’d be on the other platform if they were on this train so I was going to have to be quick to dodge my way across to the other platform if they did indeed get out of one of the trains that appeared in the station. This dream reminded me of one that I’d had a while ago when I was walking around the countryside somewhere in the south of England.

Having transcribed the dictaphone notes I set about editing some photos from August 2019 and Sisimiut and I’d actually managed to do two before I crashed out. When I awoke I started on my Welsh revision but crashed out yet again. It was a horrible morning and I accomplished next to nothing.

After a late lunch (I had to finish my revision before I went to eat) I sat down to organise my self for the next month – organise what needed organising and so on. I’d done about half of that before it was time to go on my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst port of call is the beach to see how the tide is doing and how many people are down there.

Off down to the end of the car park and a look over the wall told me that there wasn’t a great deal of beach this afternoon with the tide on its way in. Not too many people down there either, and in fact a few people were heading back up the steps to the Rue du Nord.

It was a surprise to see so few people down there this afternoon though. It was quite warm and the holiday season is now in full swing so people should be here in droves. Not that I’m complaining of course because tourism shouldn’t be encouraged in these present circumstances and I’m glad that people are staying at home.

yachts motor boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut maybe everyone is here and they are all at sea. I know that I’ve been all at sea quite often even when I’m on dry land.

It might be nice and warm but the sea fog that has plagued us is still with us this afternoon. There are plenty of pleasure craft out there that I could see, and doubtless plenty more out there hidden in the mist that I can’t see at all.

The boats that were down there weren’t actually fishing, which was a surprise. They were all actually moving this afternoon. Heading back to harbour while the heading back was good. And as for me, I carried on with my walk along the footpath down to the end of the headland.

yacht fishing boats baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom where I’d taken the previous photo I’d seen a rather large yacht with a big blue sail shrouded in the mist so I went across the car park at the end of the headland where I could take a better photo of it.

At first I thought that it might have been Black Mamba, the big bark blue boat that we have seen around here quite often. But she has a dark blue hull if I remember correctly and that hull seems to be white or light grey.

There were plenty of other boats around here too. Another yacht, a powered pleasure craft and one of the small fishing boats. In fact it was an extremely busy day.

Even more so for me because it was round about here that I fell in with my neighbour and we walked home together, ignoring all of the other distractions.

circus tent port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut this was something that I couldn’t ignore.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing a garden shed spring up on the quayside one day and we wondered what it was. Today, there’s a tent erected around it. Apparently this weekend we’re going to have a circus and this is part of the entertainment.

All that I can say is that it’s a good job that it’s not raining.

Back here I made myself a coffee and then came in here to work, only to find that Rosemary had ‘phoned me. And so I phoned her back and we were chatting until 20:20. So much for all the work that I had planned to do.

Tea was taco rolls with the last of the stuffing followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce.

Now that I’ve finished my journal I’m going to try to do some more work. Not that I mind meeting friends or being sociable – not at all – nut I don’t have much time left and I have such a lot to do. I really must get cracking.

Thursday 1st July 2021 – HAPPY SUMMER…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Sunday 18th August 2019 – I HOPE THAT …

… tonight isn’t as lively as last night was.

While it was interesting if not exciting, to see the Aurora Borealis and I don’t regret it for a moment, it interrupted my sleep pattern somewhat and I couldn’t get back off to sleep properly. Tossing and turning throughout the night with a very shallow sleep, I was not very rested at all.

Nevertheless I was out of bed at something-like and in time to see the early morning sun. Although I couldn’t see much through the thick sea mist.

We had breakfast of course and then a briefing about the day’s activities. Sisimiut is our destination today and I’ve been here before, although that’s not important. It gives me a chance to revisit a few places that I saw last time, only with a decent camera. And for Strawberry Moose too, for last time he was here he went kayaking and thus didn’t see too much of the town.

We had the customary guided tour around the town and then back to the ship for lunch. And afterwards, shame as it is to say it, I crashed out for quite some time. Mind you, that’s hardly a surprise given the events of the precious night

It was nice and warm outside so I discarded my fleece and went back into town with His Nibs to take some photos and to visit the museum of the history of the town.

The weather though was quite deceptive. It WAS bright and sunny and warm out there, but then a fog bank came rolling in off the sea and it went really cold – which is hardly a surprise seeing as we are north of the Arctic Circle.

Sill, a good chance for a wander around and a photo opportunity or two for His Nibs.

Back here there was a kayaking demonstration so I took advantage of everyone’s preoccupation to have a roasting hot shower and a clothes-washing session. Travelling light as I am, with just three tee shirts, three sets of underwear and two pairs of trousers, it’s important to keep on top of everything.

There was the usual resume of today’s events and then a briefing about tomorrow’s activities, followed by the evening meal. We had a staff introduction afterwards and I chatted to a few members of the team.

But now it’s bed-time. It’s not likely that we’ll be disturbed by any nocturnal sightings because there’s a thick sea mist outside and you can’t see anything. A good sleep will do me good, especially as I’ve edited 212 photos today in between everything else.

But not before I’ve shown one of the two little girls here back to the stairway to her cabin. “Lost” she said. But more like “having a good explore” if you ask me. And why not? Being a little kid is all about exploring

So right now, having organised her, I’m off to explore my bed.

Monday 17th September 2018 – HAVING GONE TO …

*************** THE IMAGES ***************

There are over 3,000 of them and due to the deficiencies of the equipment they all need a greater or lesser amount of post-work. And so you won’t get to see them for a while.

You’ll need to wait til I return home and get into my studio and start to go through them. And it will be a long wait. But I’ll keep you informed after I return.
***************

… bed early (for me, anyway) and having had a really good sleep (just for a change) I was all set for a lovely long time in bed when I had a severe attack of cramp in my ankle that not only awoke me but had me out of bed.

“Still, start the day as you mean to go on”, say I.

I was up and out of bed at the usual time, watching the sun rise from the east. It really was a glorious morning. Only confounded by the fact that I had forgotten my medication and needed to dash down again before breakfast to rescue it.

Next task was to put Strawberry Moose into his wetsuit. He’s been invited to go kayaking later today by Jill.

For breakfast I sat with three members of staff but true to form they all cleared off after a short while and left me to it. Not unusual for me to be alone, is it? Not these days anyway. So I wandered off to make enquiries about the kayaking. “Not until 12:30” I was informed.

That gave me plenty of time to sort out a few things and then to go to the compulsory briefing on disembarkation tomorrow. Just for a change, I’m on the early and quick flight. So we’ll arrive in Toronto at 20:00.

And we’ve heard all of this before, haven’t we?

Jerry Kobalenko gave a talk on “why we travel” and made reference to William Noyce’s “13 Reasons for Travel”. Very interesting they were, and while we noticed the “escape” as a reason, he failed to mention that most people who travel on adventures in the guise of “escape” are usually doing it to escape from themselves.

And I can tell you all about that too. It’s all very well running, but when you stop, you catch up with yourself so it never ever works.

An early lunch found us tied up at the dock at Sisimiut. No zodiacking today. This is the most northerly ice-free harbour in Greenland and is the second-largest city in the country with a population of 5500. On this site there has been human habitation going as far back as 4500 years.

We were given a guided walk by a local tourist guide, who had the quietest voice that I have ever heard in a tourist guide so we didn’t really pick up too much from him.

I did my usual trick of going around the supermarket at the top of the town to check out the prices. 4 pears for $7CAN and coffee at $11CAN for a 250-gram pack convinced me that you would need more money than I have to live sustainably here. Fuel at $1CAN per litre wasn’t sufficient to entice me, nice though the town was.

But after all of that the biggest drawback to my moving here for good is the gender imbalance. Men are by far in the majority in this town and that wouldn’t suit me at all.

Ohh yes! I can still chase after the women. I just can’t remember why.

Heather was loitering around the streets whipping in the latecomers so I attached myself to her and accompanied her to the ship where I invited her for coffee. We had a long chat before she had to go back to work, but I was starting to feel an attack coming on so I cleared off to my room.

Sure enough, I was out for a good hour or so and felt really groggy when I awoke. It was a struggle to find my feet.

We had the usual self-congratulatory meeting to wind up the proceedings and then off for tea. Once more, I was at the naughty table and we had our usual rowdy time.

This was followed by the bane of all group travel parties – the TALENT COMPETITION – where everyone’s idea of his or her own abilities and talents is completely different from that of the assembled sufferers.

Luckily the arrival of the Aurora Borealis put a stop to it. We had yet another “Gold Strike At Bear Creek” moment so we all trooped up on deck to see them. I could see them but the camera couldn’t so you won’t be able to see them either unfortunately.

They were impressive, right enough, but not like you might have seen on any photograph. And the cynic inside me seemed to think that the person who made the announcement about the Aurora Borealis had the same opinion as I had about shipboard talent contests.

Later I was trying to download the photos of Strawberry Moose kayaking but they haven’t uploaded yet.

And when I asked Linda the cruise director for help, she cut me dead. I’m clearly not Flavour of the Month with her and I can imagine that I shall have to whistle for the e-mail address that she obtained the other day and which I need.

Add to that the case of Latonia who clearly has no intention whatever of talking to me about Newfoundland and Labrador, despite having made me several promises, and you can see what I mean about my own popularity.

But hey ho! Who cares? I’m off back home tomorrow and saying goodbye to this Ship of Fools. Despite the difficulties that we encountered, we could have accomplished so much more had we had an intrepid captain who knew his ice, and a team of experts who might have been more interested in their subjects than their own egos and the warmth and comfort of the ship.

No-one really goes on an expedition like this without being willing to push on the extra mile. And to have had the ship packed out with “trophy tourists” is a huge disappointment. Life in the High Arctic is tough and if all that you want to do is to watch it from a window or simply just put your feet ashore to say that you made it, then this kind of trip isn’t for you.

Or maybe this kind of trip isn’t for me. Perhaps I chose the wrong way and the wrong Organisation to take me to the High Arctic. A couple of dedicated and faithful Inuit guides and a komatik would maybe have been better.

But I made it anyway.

And now I’m sounding like a trophy tourist too.

Maybe I should go to bed before I become even more depressed.