Tag Archives: speedboat

Thursday 21st July 2022 – I WAS RIGHT …

la confiance 2 chantier naval chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… when I said the other day that it looked as if Les Bouchots de Chausey wasn’t going to be around for very long in the chantier naval.

When I went past this afternoon she had gone! And never called me “mother”. There was just La Confiance II in there now and that was that.

Meanwhile, in other news, over at the ferry terminal is Chausiaise, the little freighter. The last time that we saw her was when she was underneath the crane in the loading bay in the inner harbour.

However someone whom I know sent me a photo this morning of Chausiaise in the harbour at St Helier. That will explain why she was loading up the other day.

It will also explain why ships like Southern Liner have been in port sounding out the possibility of running additional freight services to the Channel Islands. Business must be booming if they have pressed Chausiaise into service on that route too.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While we’re on the subject of ferry terminals and ferries … “well, one of us is” – ed … other things that have gone! And never called me “mother” either are the two Channel Island ferries.

Granville departed at 11:04 and is currently in St Helier. Victor Hugo also left at 11:04 and may currently be found in Cherbourg.

So what’s happening there I really don’t know, but the plot sickens. Whatever it is that’s going on, I wish that they would sort themselves out quite quickly because all of this isn’t doing anyone any good.

Last night’s sleep didn’t do me much good, unfortunately. It was another one of those nights where I struggled to go to sleep and when I did, I was soon awake as the bedroom warmed up dramatically.

Things were such that I could even have left the bed at 07:00 but I loitered around until the alarm went off at 07:30, for old time’s sake.

After the medication I went outside to take some stuff out of Caliburn. A pile of rubbish went into the waste bin and some more stuff came upstairs.

The idea was that someone was coming round this morning. There was a request on Social Network for an offcut of linoleum and I have some here.

We’d agreed a deal that he could have it for free in exchange for helping me bring upstairs the flat-pack units that I’d bought from IKEA in Germany the other week, hence the tidying up in Caliburn. However it goes without saying that after all that effort on my part, he never turned up.

What else never turned up was the Zoom link to the Welsh class. As a late addition to the course I’m not on the mailing list. I had to send an e-mail to the tutor and hope that she saw it. I ended up being 45 minutes late for my course.

She was much more organised today which was good, and that was helped by the fact that we as students are starting to take the initiative and between us we’ve worked out screen-sharing for powerpoints and so on and that makes things much easier when we are in break-out rooms.

Once again we bashed right through without lunch and finished early. That gave me time to deal with a few things such as the dictaphone.

My solicitor came round last night and he brought his managing partner with him. This was when my parents were out then – there was me and one or two other people. They began to talk and said that they had some good news for me. Firstly all my accounts had been accepted. They confirmed that I didn’t actually buy or sell anything so I’m not liable to anything. Secondly they aren’t interested in any accounts for previous years. The third thing is that I don’t have to sit any English exams at all. For unknown reasons this really delighted me. When my parents came back it took an age for them to stop talking. At the end I could tell them all my good news. They wanted to know all about the implications of it. They were wondering about this English exam because they thought that I could have some really high marks with my English. Not taking it would reduce my overall average. I explained that things like time was an issue, my energy was an issue. If I could receive a credit for my English without taking an exam then I would go that way. We had quite a long talk about everything about this.

There was something going on later about 2 girls who knew each other. They had been to the USSR and had noticed a few business opportunities that they could exploit. One went back to the USA and the other stayed in the USSR. They set up this import-export agency. For one of them it went really well and so was living a life of comparative luxury but the other one was living in poverty in a caravan and eventually on an old boat. She had to cross the Atlantic in this boat but it was not particularly seaworthy. Things like the wind generator was only held on by an old nail etc. This was going to be a voyage fraught with disaster. I was on it as it slipped out of harbour and she went off to do something. As we rounded the bend to leave the harbour there was a catamaran coming in with children on board. I couldn’t really stop the boat so I had to put it into the side wall where it bounced along the side wall and out so that it left this catamaran plenty of room. She was quite upset about that and asked me what I thought that I was doing. I explained that I’d never been on board a boat before in these kinds of circumstances and I was doing what I thought was correct to the best of the ability that I had

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It was rather later than usual when I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

That meant that it was cooler than it otherwise might have been when I went out so I wasn’t expecting to se too many people out there but I was pleasantly surprised.

It was warmer than I was expecting anyway and the crowds were wandering around everywhere even down on the beach and even one or two brave souls who had gone into the water.

No Nazguls out there today though. There wasn’t all that much wind about.

ch651332 hera suzanga baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that one of the things that I have mentioned recently is the fact that the fishing boats seem to be exploiting new areas of the sea since the issues with the Channel Islands.

This wzs illustrated today by not one but two trawlers out there in the bay with their nets out and I was expecting to see one of Tom Rolt’s “Greek vs Greek” moments as Hera in blue and Suzanga in pink sailed towards each other on a collision course.

They did however pass by with a couple of metres spare, and then both did a U-turn and went back for another go at each other.

This was certainly exciting and I stayed around for a few minutes to watch but eventually they formed themselves into parallel lines and headed off into the sunset.

lysandre baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were plenty of other boats out there this afternoon too.

This blue inshore shell-fishing boat heading back from the Ile de Chausey is blue and white and that tells me that it’s either Lysandre or Petite Laura because there isn’t much differenc ebetween the two and I can’t read the registration number from here.

But for reasons that you will find out if you have the patience to read on to the end, I reckon that this boat is Lysandre.

And there were others too but they were too far out to identify.

10sa aeroplane baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And there weren’t just crowds on the path or on the sea either.

Although we had to Nazguls in the air today while I was out, we did have a light aeroplane. As far as I can tell, its registration number seems to be 10SA and that’s one of the ones that isn’t on the aeroplane database that I can access.

But that’s a number that hasn’t appeared before in our paperwork so I’m wondering it it is in fact 50SA with some dirt or staining obscuring part of its registration.

Or maybe I should have gone to a well-known chain of opticians.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022My eyesight can’t all be that bad today though.

Although there’s quite a bit of haze about today I actually did manage to see the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel with the naked eye, even if it is about 70 kms away from where I’m standing.

In fact it was easier to see with the naked eye than it was with the camera and that’s not something that heppens every day. Usually the camera picks out objects much better than the naked eye at any kind of distance.

One of these days I’ll post the photo that I took of the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel that I took when we sailed past on Spirit of Conrad so you can see what it is that you are supposed to be seeing.

fishermen pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022With the crowds out there this afternoon it was quite busy at the end of the headland so I fought my way down to the end of the headland.

There were plenty of fishermen out there too. There seemed to be one on every rock. This guy, and presumably one of his offspring, were out there near the cabanon vauban.

Only the father seemed to be fishing though. Although the younger one had a fishing rod handy, he seemed to me more interested in scrambling around on the rocks and I’ve no idea why.

But then we’ve only ever seen one fisherman actually catch something so I imagine that the younger one found it to be rather boring.

cabanon vauban man pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Mind you, there was an audience out there this afternoon.

Not sitting on the bench but standing down at the end of the headland was this guy armed with a camera. And there was plenty going on down there so I’m surprised that he wasn’t taking any interest in anything that was happening around him.

There were more people in the vicinity too, including a Dutch family of a father and two young girls who were taking photos of almost everything. And much as I like to take photos of people taking photos, there are some limits to what it’s polite to do.

yachts speedboat le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022From the end of the headland I wandered off around the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

There was plenty going on there as well. Out by Le Loup, the marker light on the rock at the mouth of the harbour, a few yachts from one of the sailing schools were happily sailing by.

There was a speedboat too roaring past, as well as another boat hiding behind the light.

There was quite a lot of other stuff too but they somehow managed to make themselves out of shot.

Having made a photographic note of what was going on at the ferry terminal and the chantier naval, I carried on along the path towards home.

l'omerta petite laura port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Over at the Fish Processing Plant we can see L’Omerta. She’s still there from the other day and doesn’t look as if she’s moved.

And behind her is a blue and white shell-fishing boat. She has a “CH” (Cherbourg) registration number so she’s not Lysandre, who has an “SM” (St Malo) number and so she must be Petite Laura

That means that the one that we saw earlier out in the bay must be Lysandre because it’s certainly a different boat.

With my chocolate drink awaiting me at home, I headed off back to the apartment

extinction rebellion posters Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It looks as if the flyposters have been out overnight.

There’s a project afoot to turn the road between Granville and Avranches into a dual carriageway and it’s causing a great deal of controversy. It now looks as if the Extinction Rebellion movement people are now on the case.

Actually I sympathise with their campaign because the road isn’t all that busy. And they could deal with much of that by making the train service more reliable and regular.

At the moment it’s just trains between Caen and Rennes but they really need to restore the trains between Cherbourg and St Malo and that will double the frequency of trains on the section of the line between Granville and Avranches.

Bus transport around Granville is improving and if they would make more of an effort at Avranches I for one wouldn’t need to use the van to travel there.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bun and that was quite delicious with potatoes and vegetables. Tomorrow I’m going for sausage beans and chips.

But that’s tomorrow. Right now I’m off to bed and prepare for the last day of my Summer School. I’m glad that I found this Summer School because even if it’s not as well-organised as it might be, it’s still bringing my Welsh out of the dark recesses of my mind and that can’t be a bad thing.

There’s still 6 weeks until our course restarts and I bet that I will have forgotten it all again by then.

Wednesday 20th July 2022 – SUNDAY NIGHT’S PIZZA …

… may not have been as good as others might have been in the past but tonight’s curry was a belter. One of the best that i’ve ever made.

Basically it was the left-overs out of the fridge with a potato added thereto and cooked to perfection with lots of lovely spices and some soya cream.

And if I can make curry like that again on a regular basis, I’ll be in business.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Quite a lot more pleasure boats out there at sea today so while you admire them all in the next few photos (becase these are all that there were), I’li start at the very beginning.

And at least last night was somewhat better than the previous one. Even with the bedroom window closed and the fan switched off it was a lot cooler in the bedroom and I actually managed to go to sleep.

So much so that when the alarm went off at 07:30 it was a struggle to leave the bed.

Nevertheless I beat the second alarm to my feet (which is always good news) and staggered off into the kitchen to take my medicine.

fishermen speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Back in here I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night.

We started off with a neighbour just like that guy in Virlet who was bad-tempered and miserable, always finding fault, always being picky. We’d all been somewhere on board a bus, a pile of us. He had 2 young girls with him. When the bus stopped and everyone alighted he disappeared for a moment. I was going through my things and found some small bottles of water so I gave one each to these 2 girls and also a sweet. When he came back I gave him one as well, a bottle of water and a sweet. He was going on about how I was trying to buy friends, this kind of thing. I said “no, not at all. It was just something that I wanted to do because I’m that kind of person” or something like that. While they were all sitting there talking I took out my laptop and my headphones and was going to sit down to transcribe some notes.

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And then someone had heard of a photographer so he went to see him about doing some photographs. When the photos were done they were so good that he was wondering who it was who recommended him, whether he was a relation or simply just a friend of that person

Finally I was with a group of friends and we had gone to a meeting or something. There was a lunch laid on so we started to help ourselves to lunch. This meeting had cost us £8:00 each to go. We went but the meeting wasn’t particularly inspiring but the lunch was quite nice. This carried on for a short while afterwards and then they started to lay out the table with all these curries etc so I asked if we were going to stay for this as well. They replied “well we’d better start moving around or else we’ll be stuck in one place”. We started to wander around and they started to bring all of the things that they were going to serve. In the meantime where was this nice curry. I thought “never mind anything else. I’m going to have some of the curry”. We started to help ourselves to the meals. One of the things that was happening was a display of firearms with the children. The firearms discipline was hopeless. All the kids were turning their backs on each other while they were carrying loaded firearms. I said to one of the girls with us that that was terrible. If they had done that anywhere else they would have been thrown out immediately. Some fellow turned round and made some kind of remark to me. I replied “don’t worry. I’m a foreigner”. He asked “why is it that you are telling her then?”. I said that’s OK because she’s a foreigner too” so he turned round and walked away at that point.

The Welsh class continued with its usual chaotic structure but I’m not complaining. After all, it is free and it’s the best offer that I’ve had for a Summer School. And once again we didn’t stop for lunch but crashed on right through.

One of the tasks that we had to do was to read a couple of chapters of a book. The book was able to be downloaded as an *.epub but no program that I have on any of my computers would read it.

Eventually I tracked down a program – CALIBRE – that would read it but the field of view is so small that I can’t read the text and after spending about an hour at it I’ve still not found a way to zoom the page up to a realistic size.

It really beats me why people can’t stick to a good old-fashioned *.pdf format for on-line books.

When the course finished I had my lunchtime fruit and then a play about on the guitar for a while. That took me up to the walkies time.

people on beach rue do nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And as usual I went out across the car park over to the wall at the end so that I can look down onto the beach.

Less and less beach down there today, and fewer and fewer people too. It was really warm out there this afternoon but I think tht what must have put people off was the fact that it was nothing like as warm as Monday. That really was exceptional.

And while we’re on the subject of the beach … “well, one of us is” – ed … someone trying to negotiate the steps that lead to the beach missed their footing and fell from the cliffs onto the beach yesterday evening.

That was the reason why the Air-Sea rescue helicopter was hovering around here while I was on the ‘phone.

hang gliders Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022You’ve seen all of the photos of what was going on out at sea this afternoon, so I had a look elsewhere to see if there was anything else going on.

And as I watched, a couple of Nazgul reared up from the field at the side of the cemetery and began to head my way.

“Your Only Protection is Flight” as Hawkwind sang in SONIC ATTACK, especially as I’m over 10 years old and don’t have a cocoon, but whereas a couple of years ago I could quite happily run all the way around the headland, these days I can’t even run for a bus.

There were quite a few people out and about on the path today and so we had the dust-clouds to deal with. I shudder to think what it will be like if the wind gets up with all of this dust about. It won’t be pleasant.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Down at the end of the headland there was no-one sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

However we did have a fisherman out there on the rocks. What with the ones that you might have seen earlier in one of the boat it seemed to be quite busy from that point of view.

There were even a few people having a go at the pèche à pied although I’m not quite sure, for the tide is nowhere near far enough out.

But that’s their problem, not mine. I left them to it, in the hope that a Nazgul would get them, and headed off down the path towards the port.

les bouchots de chausey la confiance 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And yet another change in occupancy in the chantier naval.

We still have Les Bouchots de Chausey if it is indeed she, and La Confiance II but Monaco du Nord II has disappeared. back into the water, I suppose.

And while L’Omerta is still tied up – on her own – at the Fish Processing Plant, there wasn’t anyone this afternoon over at the ferry terminal. All of the ferries to the Ile of Chausey are presumably out.

But a friend of a friend tells me that Granville, the newer of the two Channel Islands ferries, has turned up this evening in St Helier and is planning on staying the night over there. So some kind of skeleton service is being run at the moment.

marité chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And if you are wondering where Chausiaise is, the little freighter is over there at the quayside underneath the crane, presumably being loaded with supplies for the island.

Marité is over there too. She’s not going anywhere right now by the looks of things. It doesn’t seem to be much of a summer so far for the town’s water craft.

Back at the apartment I had a good clean-up and a shower to make myself look pretty and then, bang on cure, Rosemary rang me. She MUST have installed a camera here somewhere.

It ended up being another one of our long chats, mainly about her Ukrainian guests. By the sound of things they have settled in the Auvergne and seem to be at home.

Their issue is first of all to learn to speak French, and secondly, to sort out some kind of employment. This involves contacting all kinds of Government agencies and finding out what facilities are available for Ukrainian refugees to integrate into French society, and so we spent the time of our ‘phone call making lists

Hopefully, progress can be made. But I can see myself being recruited into going for another trip into Central France some time in the near future for a hands-on task.

Tea was my delicious curry and then I came in here to write up my notes.

And now I’m off to bed. Another day at Summer School tomorrow and I’ll see how I get on. I’m not expecting too much but it’s all that’s on offer right now.

And considering that all of these supplementary courses are free, I’m just grateful that the Welsh Government is taking the trouble to educate us.

Friday 8th July 2022 – BACK IN THE …

boats buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… same old routine now that I’m home. It didn’t take long, did it?

So while you admire several photos of the activity that is taking place out at sea this afternoon I shall regale you all with tales of my first day back at home.

But before I do, I’ll mention a couple of things that I forgot to say yesterday. Firstly, I cut my hair and secondly I’m 2kg lighter than I was before I set out. Maybe the two events are connected. I dunno.

Anyway, when the alarm went off, I was in no hurry to leave my bed and it was much more like 09:15 when I finally staggered out into the light. And I’ll probably do the same tomorrow too.

speedboat ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Having had my medication I downloaded … GULP … 47 sound files off the dictaphone, all of which will have to be transcribed at some point in the near future.

However, I did transcribe a couple of them that related to my travels last night. I was on another road trip. There was me, someone who might have been my youngest sister and a few other people. We were all in a car going places. For some reason one of these people was taking so long getting ready that in the end I ended up with a mouthful of her Pringles. She looked at me and asked “where did you get those Pringles?”. I replied “I don’t know”. The little girl laughed and said “they are your Pringles because you didn’t come”. I asked the little girl if she still had the notebook of where we were supposed to go. She couldn’t find it so I had to look back at the table where we were sitting. In the end she did find it and gave it back to us. I had to then get into the car and prepare to drive away. It was all a very happy, cheerful dream of lunchtime out on a road trip although I had a feeling that the circumstances around the trip were not so joyful.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Later on a girl called Judith (not the one we know) rang me up and asked me to pick her up somewhere across the Spanish border at Sinfin. I asked her what Sinfin was and she replied that it was a place. She couldn’t give me any more details and hung up. Just then another girl, a girl I used to know in Stoke on Trent, a small cheerful girl came round as I was going and asked if I could run her across the border to somewhere else. She got in and I drove her over there. I said that I had to go to pick up Judith. She replied that Judith was absolutely wasted. I explained that when she rang me up she didn’t sound too bad at all but this girl was quite insistent. I asked her if she knew where this place Sinfin was. She had no idea so I went back to the border where I thought that i’d speak to a guy in one of the bars to ask him. There was no-one around and when he came out he was busy. Following my instincts I drove off down this road and came across a cottage with the big word SINFIN written on the side. There was a girl asleep in the hallway so I walked in and shouted “taxi”. She jumped out of her skin. I said that i’d come for Judith. She replied ‘I don’t think that Judith’s here”. We had a chat about Judith and a chat about the place and a chat about the party that had gone on etc and I awoke right in the middle of it. I’d love to know how it ended.

yachts zodiac baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Most of the rest of the day has been spent dealing with the photos from July that i’d taken while I was away.

When I go out later I’ll be taking photos of course (if the camera works) so I need to know which number I’ve reached. There weren’t too many and I wasn’t in a rush. and dozing off for half an hour or so didn’t help much. And that after having a lie-in too!

There was the usual pause for breakfast of course, the remains of yesterday’s baguette sliced in two lengthways and stuck in the toaster. But no lunch. Having managed to lose some weight while I was away, I’m going to try my best to keep it off.

Not that I imagine that I’ll be very successful.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Rather later than usual, thanks to my little … errr … rest, I went out for my afternoon walk.

And as usual, just to show that I haven’t forgotten anything, I went over to have a look down onto the beach to see what was happening there.

It’s the holiday season right now. School has broken up for summer and so we can expect the crowds. And there were several people down there enjoying the sun.

And by the looks of things, it seems that a few people had even been brave enough to try their luck in the sea. However they managed to scramble out before I could take a photo of them in flagrante delicto.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Surprisingly there weren’t very many people out here on the path this afternoon so I didn’t have to dodge around anyone to avoid their germs.

Across the car park I went down to the end of the headland to look at what was happening there. There was someone down there having a fish from off the rocks but we didn’t see him catch anything.

What was puzzling me however was why he had decided to take his dog with him. There can’t have been very much of interest that would have attracted the dog’s attention and kept him amused.

The tide was well in today too so there wasn’t any room for anyone at the pèche à pied.

cabanon vauban person on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Nevertheless there was plenty going on out at sea and we have seen a few photos of the action too. There was much more too that I didn’t photograph.

And they had an audience too. As I watched, someone walking around on the lower path walked down to the bench by the cabanon vauban to have a good rest.

There were actually quite a few people down there on the lower path, including a rather bored toddler who was having something of a mini-tantrum. He wasn’t enjoying it.

But that’s a problem for himself and his parents. I cleared off along the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

philcathane chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Having been away for almost three weeks, I wanted to see what was going on in the port.

First … errr … port of call was the chantier naval, which had been quite busy before I left. What we had today (and yesterday because I saw her as I drove past) was Philcathane.

She’s looking quite smart and so I wonder if she’s had a new coat of paint while I’ve been away.

If you look closely you can see the Plimsoll Line on her beam. That’s some kind of weird complicated drawing with horizontal lines that indicate how she must ride in the sea, depending on the type of sea that she is to sail.

It’s always interesting to see a ship’s “WNA” (Winter North Atlantic) load line and see how it differs from any other line that is included in the Plimsoll Line. Those seas can be extremely rough and you don’t want a ship to be too low in the water in case it’s swamped.

belle france ferry terminal chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As for the rest of the chantier naval there isn’t anyone at all in there.

The last time that we were here, the chantier naval was occupied by L’Alize III Charles Marie II and Wavecat Express but they all seem to have gone back into the water. And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m keen to know what’s going on with Wavecat Express

Over at the ferry terminal we have Belle France and I’m not sure why because she won’t have time to make it over to the Ile de Chausey and back on this tide now and the next high tide will be late at night.

Her sisters however aren’t out there at the ferry terminal though so they are presumably out at the island.

les epiettes ch922443 cap pilar port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022No-one playing Musical Ships today so I wandered off down the path towards the inner harbour.

No trace of Marité today though. She has gone off for a trip out and about and is at Lorient even as we speak. She left Granville on 26th June, so I believe.

The boat that is there at her berth is, I think, Les Epiettes, the boat from the Ponts and Chaussées and over there on the right is the trawler Cap PIlar.

On the quayside they are erecting some marquees. Some time during the summer there’s a Festival of Working Sailing Boats and I wonder if they are preparing for that.

victor hugo chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022When we were here last before we set off on our trip, Victor Hugo wasn’t here.

But now, she’s back at her berth in the inner harbour. It looks as if they aren’t all that busy running out to the Channel Islands right now, which is a surprise.

Also over there is Chausiaise, the little freighter that runs out to the Ile de Chausey.

Back here I made myself a coffee and worked through the photos that I’d taken while I was out on my afternoon walk so that I would be up to date. The photos for June, I’ll deal with them in due course.

Tea tonight was pasta and a burger, and then I came in here to write my notes. Once they are on line I’ll be off to bed. No shopping tomorrow but I’ll walk down into town to buy a baguette, and see how I get on walking back up again. I don’t think that there will be an improvement but I hope that things aren’t worse.

Wednesday 15th June 2022 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

f-GSBV Robin DR400 180 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022… slight improvement today. and that was even though I had something of a very late night last night as well.

So while you admire a few photos of various aerial activity like for example F-GSBV, a Robin DR400 180, flying by overhead, I’ll tell you all about it.

This morning I was actually awake at 06:15 which considering that I didn’t go to bed until 00:15 this morning, that’s quite good going.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 I struggled to my feet and after the medication and checking my mails and messages I made a start on organising my revision papers for my Welsh exam on Friday. In the confusion and fast pace of the revision lesson yesterday evening everything had become mixed up.

f-ghpj Robin DR400/140B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022So while you admire F-GHPJ, a Robin DR400-140B that had just taken off from the airfield on her way to Chavenay Villepreux, I was fighting off wave after wave of sleep.

Not too successfully in the end unfortunately. I drifted off for 15 minutes round about midday. And even though it was a crash-out, the fact that it was only 15 minutes is a big improvement on how things were this time last week.

When I recovered, I made a start on reading through all of the notes that I had made about the subjects that we are expected to know. There are 28 subjects, and we will be given 5 by the examiner and expected to talk for a minute on those five and answer several questions.

And then we have to pick one of those five and ask the examiner questions for a minute on each.

Finally, and where I’m expecting it all to go pear-shaped, we are given several adverts with important sections blanked out and we have to ask the examiner questions so that we can fill in the gaps.

Where the difficulty lies with this is that the “5 W-words”, who, when, where, what, why (and how) take different verbs depending on whether it’s a noun or a verb or a proper noun that follows them and what tense it is, and that’s already confusing.

sparrowhawk pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022So while you admire the sparrowhawk that was flying around above the cliffs, I was having lunch.

And then I went back to carry on with my revision. And I managed to finish off going right through it again before I succumbed to another wave of sleep.

Once again, it was only about 15 minutes again and once I pulled myself together I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was in the army. There was something going on. There had been an attack ordered and for some unknown reason I was given something different to do. It annoyed a lot of people that I wasn’t joining in with the attack, some people far more than others, and it even reached the stage where some of our own soldiers were throwing hand grenades at me and I was having either to move out of the way or throw them back. It was all a very unhealthy situation that no-one could understand why things were working out the way that they were and I wasn’t going on this attack etc. And there was this particular group of people fording this passage in couples and throwing hand grenades at me at every conceivable opportunity. In the end it reached the stage where I had to abandon my post because it was far too dangerous for me to be out there with all these hand grenades coming at me from all directions.

Later on I’d been in a factory dismantling one or two pieces of equipment. There had been some people hanging around who were doing some work there as well Who were as usual getting in my way. There was a digger that needed dismantling so I went back to do that today. There were hordes of people, probably 50, around there watching someone move some parts around on the car park. They were all wearing scarves with blue and cream (I think), the colours of some company or other that was also doing some work there. I had to go to find the foreman to tell him that I was going to start work dismantling this digger that was nearby. Luckily they weren’t in my way at the moment but they might be if they came any closer. I’d seen him once at the very beginning. As I was fighting my way through these throngs I suddenly realised that I couldn’t see him at all. I was wondering where he’d gone. I didn’t want to start dismantling this digger without making him understand exactly what it was that I was doing and how I wanted some space around me where I could work without being confined and pushed around

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

First stop was the wall at the end of the car park where I could look down onto the beach to see what was happening down there.

It was a nice sunny day and there was plenty of beach for people to be on, so it was no surprise to see a lot of people down there this afternoon. There was even the dog down there that may well have been the dog that we saw there yesterday

There weren’t any painters up here on the path this afternoon so I wandered off down the path on top of the cliffs towards the end of the headland

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022We’ve seen the sparrowhawk that was busily engaged in hunting along the top of the cliffs so I was looking out at sea to see what was going on.

There were a couple of things moving around right out in the bay over by the Ile de Chausey so I took a photo of one of them with the aim of enhancing it when I returned home to see what it might be.

What was going through my mind was that I was hoping that I’d see one of the Ile de Chausey ferries or maybe even Victor Hugo on her way out to Jersey but in actual fact it was a speedboat or cabin cruiser having a run out to the islands.

It doesn’t seem that I’m having any luck at all with the ferries.

sun reflecting off window brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022No’one loitering around by the car park this afternoon, which was just as well because there was rather a strange phenomenon.

Way across down towards the foot of the bay on the Brittany side, the sun was shining off a window or something like that and reflecting back, and I could see it quite clearly even if it was about 20 miles away.

Years ago I read an ancient book from the 19th Century called ON THE BORDER WITH CROOK, the story of General Crook’s campaign against the Native Americans written by his Aide de Camp.

It’s one of the books that travels with me when I go to the “Wild West” and what’s interesting about it is that Bourke describes at great length the use of mirrors as heliographs for sending messages between advancing columns of infantry and cavalry and how in the right conditions the flashes of reflection could carry for as much as 50 miles.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve been up on the dry, arid plains of Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico and I can easily believe it. And even in the kind of weather conditions that we have here, a flash of light transmitted through serendipitous means will carry over 20 miles.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There wasn’t anyone down on the bench by the cabanon vauban looking at the reflected light so I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland.

There were crowds of people out there this afternoon having a go at the pèche à pied. The tide is well out and the areas where the public can fish for shellfish are now out of the water allowing the harvest to begin

At first I thought that they were carrying fishing rods but they are in fact raker, gratters, nets and all that kind of thing that the serious pecheur à pied will carry with him to prize the shellfish off the rocks.

From there I wandered off down the path towards the port.

l'alize 3 wavecat express chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022We’ve had another change of occupant in the chantier naval since we were last here.

Wavecat Express is still here and so is the catamaran. But the expensive cabin cruiser and Pescadore have gone back into the water.

In their place we have acquired another trawler. This one is L’Alize III, a trawler that we have seen before on several occasions.

Still, it’s all good as long as there is a healthy turnover of boats down there. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … a healthy, thriving boat repair yard is good news as it encourages owners to moor their boats here.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Before I went back home I had a look in the inner harbour.

Hauts de France seems to have gone definitively but Victor Hugo is still in there. But Marité is back again from her nautical perambulations of the last couple of days, tied up down at the bottom of the harbour having a rest.

Back here I had a coffee and carried on with my Welsh revision until teatime.

There was some stuffing left over from Monday so I had a taco roll with rice and vegetables and it was even nicer having been left for a couple of days.

Right now though I’m off to bed. I’m going to keep on with this having a good night’s sleep and hoping that I can keep this little improvement in my health going.

If it is something that is going to continue, it won’t be before time.

Sunday 12th June 2022 – I CAN’T EVEN HAVE …

hang gliders place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022… have a Day of Rest on my Day of Rest, can I?

Sunday is a day when I’m supposed to be having a decent lie-in to catch up with whatever I’ve missed during the week and to tell the truth I would probably still be in bed right now except that I had a rather urgent need to go for a ride on the porcelain horse round about 09:20.

And that killed my lie-in stone-dead, regrettably.

So while you admire a few photos of the various forms of aerial activity that took place around the town this afternoon, I’ll tell you about my rather depressing day today.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022After I’d had my medication this morning I came back here and made a start on work.

What I had to do was to pair off the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday. Not that I’ll be doing very much tomorrow, I reckon. If the last few days is anything to go by, I’ll be lucky if I’ll be able to haul myself out of bed at any kind of reasonable time tomorrow.

And then, regrettably, I fell asleep again and that was that. I was still stark out when Ingrid telephoned me and you’ve no idea how difficult it is to hold a conversation with anyone when all you want to do is to sleep.

As a result of the foregoing I had a rather late lunch again.

red powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022After lunch I had a kilo of carrots to peel and blanch ready to freeze and then I had a listen to what had happened during the night on the dictaphone.

I’d been out somewhere and my elder sister had come with me. She was dressed in a pair of thigh-high black leather boots, black trousers and a black jacket. We went to wherever it was and came back. She started to undress in the middle of the room which I thought was a strange thing to do. She told me “you’ve seen all this before” which of course I probably had but not from my sister. It wasn’t the kind of stuff that I was particularly wanting to see. She just peeled herself out of her clothes like peeling a banana. I thought that this was a strange thing to do.

yacht speedboat la grande ancre baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And then we were talking about Jeeps and things. Someone was asked to describe a Jeep. They said that it was like a Land Rover where all the bodywork had been bent backwards and warped because they’ve just been driving through a housing estate somewhere that was being built and had hit a raised manhole. The Land Rover had stuck on it but of course the momentum had caused all the bodywork to twist and warp on it. It had made a real mess of everything.

There was also a teacher bringing a party of schoolchildren over on a catamaran. As he was bringing them in close to port he was going round reminding them not to ask anyone any stupid questions when they docked. I can’t remember how this developed.

yachts cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022and finally there was a story about how a village in Russia had been hit by Bubonic Plague. People had heard all kinds of mysteries going on about this place. They had been issuing jigsaws to people to piece together to try to work out what was the answer. Someone finally completed one and left it in the street completed and cleared off quickly. The village was closed and no-one was allowed in or out and everyone was dying, even the medical staff. The leader of the medical staff there was dead and had the place at the top of the roll of honour of those who had died

There was time for half an hour on the acoustic guitar too before I was ready for going out for my afternoon walk. I don’t want to forget what I’ve spent all this time learning. And while I was at it, I worked out a simple chord structure to CITY OF LIGHTS by RUNRIG.

Strangely enough, I seem to recall a while ago someone saying that he wasn’t going to learn any more new songs but just go with what he’d got at that point. I wonder who that was.

But since that date 26 songs have somehow been added to it, all of which I play at some point or other and of which 15 are on the playlist

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022But anyway that was the cue for me to go off for my walk around the city walls this afternoon.

First stop is, as usual, a look down onto the beach to see what was happening there today. And with it being a really nice afternoon (I ended up in shirt sleeves at some point) there were quite a few people down there today.

Even a few taking to the water too. In fact this had me trying to think of when I was last swimming in the sea and apart from when I fell in when I was up in the High Arctic in 2018, it was when I was in Greece in 2013

Hans and I were actually talking about Greece a while ago and I happened to mention “the last time I was in Athens was with your sister!” That’s the kind of remark that kills a conversation stone-dead, especially when it’s the truth.

repairing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And while I’m here I thought that I’d have a good look at the repairs to the medieval city wall.

They have been doing some more dismantling. Quite a lot more has been demolished compared to the last time that we were here. It looks as if they are making a thorough job of it all, and quite right too.

Much as I would have liked to, I didn’t go down the steps to look at what was happening at the outside of the wall. And for obvious reasons too. Going down the steps is one thing. Coming back up is something else completely, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

lobster pot buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Instead I wandered off through the arch and along the path outside the walls towards the Plat Gousset.

Offshore in the bay, as well as all of the boats that we have already seen, there were a few more of these buoys with flags on top.

We’ve had this discussion on several occasions, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and I reckon that they indicate where the local fishermen have dropped their lobster pots so they know where to go to pick them up again.

And as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I wonder how they manage to train a lobster to actually go on one.

kite surfer baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022It wasn’t just lobster pots, yachts, cabin cruisers and La Grande Ancre who were out there in the bay either.

The number of hang gliders in the air will give you some kind of indication of how windy it was this afternoon, and there was a kite surfer out there making the most of it too.

We saw a couple of them in the bay on the other side of the headland a couple of days ago but we haven’t see one on this side of the headland for a while. It’s a sure sign that “Sumer is a–cumen in. Lhude sing cucu”, hey?

tidal swimming pool diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There were quite a few people wandering around on the path this afternoon so I had to fight my way through the masses down to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

And they still haven’t fitted the diving platform onto the concrete pillar down there. Summer is going to be here and gone before they get round to doing it at this rate

Plenty of people in the water here though, but then access from the promenade to the beach is much easier than scrambling down the steps in the Rue du Nord.

Despite the renovations to the tidal swimming pool, it’s still not holding water between high tides. I thought that was rather the point of it

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022You can see what I mean by the access to the beach from the promenade.

There are a couple of ramps and a set of steps that are by no means as challenging as those at the Rue du Nord. And that’s why there are crowds of people down there sitting in the sand.

They are out of the wind too thanks to the headland.

The red machine that we saw down there working with a pile of dislodged rocks is still there too. That’s going to be quite an interesting job of work. I wonder what the purpose of it all is. I suppose that I shall find out in due course.

baby seagulls with mother seagull rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Having finished my inspection of the Plat Gousset I wandered off down the Square Maurice Marland to see how the seagulls were doing.

The two chicks that I have been observing were huddled up in some shade this afternoon and I couldn’t take a good photograph so in the end I had to settle with another bunch of chicks, with a very proud mummy standing guard over them

Plenty of sea-going activity in the bay this afternoon but there wasn’t anything exciting going on in the inner harbour this afternoon that we haven’t seen before so I left them to it and wandered off towards home and my strawberry smoothie.

artists fair rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022In the old town this afternoon it’s the Artists’ Fair.

There are plenty of artists in the old town with all kinds of galleries and today was when they were having a sale of unsold work. And frankly I could see why it was unsold because it was either far too overpriced or the quality wasn’t up to all that much.

This modern art, surrealism and impressionism with huge swirls of colours, seems to be all the rage but it’s not something that I like at all. I prefer art to be like a photograph, a faithful representation of a view, with skill and talent.

Something that actually looks like what it’s supposed to be, painted by someone who knows how to paint. But these days I’d be embarrassed to put most of what I see on my wall. I know what I want for my apartment, and I know how much I’m going to pay for it too.

Back here, I crashed out yet again for an hour or so and then I did a pile of Welsh revision, going through some of the stuff that I’d written over the last two weeks.

In between all of this, I had some bread to make. I used the last of the loaf on Friday so I made another pile of dough which I left on one side to proof for a while.

After lunch I’d taken out a lump of pizza dough from the freezer and that had been defrosting. By now that was ready so I kneaded it and rolled it out, putting it on the pizza tray so that that could proof too.

home made bread vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While the bread was baking I assembled my pizza and when the bread was baked I put it in the oven to bake as well.

The bread looks absolutely perfect and the pizza didn’t look too bad either. It tasted quite delicious too and I’ll tell you about the bread tomorrow after I’ve sampled it for lunch.

And talking about tomorrow I took out the next batch of fruit buns from the freezer ready to defrost, and put the carrots in there to freeze for the next couple of weeks.

When I finished tea I washed up a pile of stuff in the kitchen and came in here to write up my notes.

Now I’m off to bed. I have an early start in the morning to prepare a radio programme and I’m not looking forward at all to doing it. I’m really not feeling much like anything at all right now.

Thursday 9th June 2022 – I WAS DOING …

… really well today. I went all the way through to the late afternoon without crashing out and I even managed to accomplish a great deal of work which was quite a surprise.

And when you see how far I travelled during the night, it’s a surprise that I wasn’t dead on my feet a long time before I did.

Once again I was awake before the alarm went off – at about 06:30 in fact – and there was no difficulty at all in leaving the bed as soon as the alarm sounded.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I sat down to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. We started off with something to do with Christmas time. There were Christmas carols. Some young girl had to sing them but someone was busy trying to make her intoxicated and she was far too young for that so that they could take advantage of her. Her mother found out about what was going on and stepped in to put a stop to the situation developing out of hand. There was part of it with someone having an on-line chat. She was having all of these people queueing up to have on-line chats with her as soon as she came on-line. There were so many that she couldn’t carry on a conversation with any of them and was being swamped. If it had been a case of 2 or 3 conversations it wouldn’t have been too bad but this was dozens of people calling her for conversations as soon as she came on line and she wasn’t able to cope with any of this at all. That was a dream that was again extremely vivid and extremely real, far too real to be comfortable.

Then I had to go to the Wistaston Green estate to pick up Andrew Beddow to take him to one of the clubs in Crewe. The taxi fare came to £1:40 but he gave me a 20-guinea piece to hold onto as a sign of good faith while I waited while he went off to change a £20 note so that he’d have the correct change to give me. We were talking about taxis and money and the clubs etc. It was quite an interesting chat.

There was some kind of quiz game on TV. One of the contestants was having a right mauling and the producer went over to the presenter to ask him to go easy with the contestant because she was someone from his old school. He wanted her to have an easy ride about it. The presenter wasn’t having any of this and if anything, started to make the questions even tougher for this particular girl. That’s all that I remember of this which is a shame.

There was a swimming pool where a lot of young girls used to go. The owners had it in their heads that they wanted to set up cameras and film everyone from a safety point of view and tuition point of view. None of the customers or regulars were having it. They believed that this was being done for some kind of mischievous purpose. Everyone just upped and walked out. Even the boss of this company quit as well right in the middle of him having some kind of beauty appointment with Frank Sinatra when he handed in his notice and left.

Nerina and I had both been at work as well and we’d come home to our flat as usual. We had to go out again so we made ready. She was going out of the door and I had to check to make sure that I had my keys and money etc. There was a note on our door so she picked it up and read it. She asked me if I’d go down and put the money in an envelope that someone would give her and then inside an envelope that someone else would give her and take it to the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival so that they’d be up-to-date and if I could spend any time to work down there that would be great. I said that I’d see what I could do about that. Then we prepared to go out. There was much more to it than this but I can’t remember any more now. What confused me about this was that I found myself dictating this into my hand as well and I had to go back and start again from the beginning using the dictaphone this time. That’s how come I forgot a lot og it

And then I had to go to Nantes or Rennes and I was in the red Cortina estate. I drove all the way down there and found what I had to do. I had to come back in 2 days time. I had all my dirty clothes and a big plastic sack and I wandered around looking for a tap. Eventually I found one in a park and filled the plastic sack of clothes full of water. I was going to leave it down there for a couple of days all to soak and I could pick it up when I returned in 2 days time for the next meeting or whatever it was. While I was wrestling with this bag a woman, her husband and three little girls came down the steps. Of course I was in their way with this bag so I had to move it out of the way. I didn’t realise how heavy it was now and it was quite a wrestle for me to move it out of the path so that they could all go past and go on into this park.

Meanwhile I went all the way down to the end of the yard in these 2 old Commer vans so that I could dismantle all of the plumbing fittings that were around here. And I have a feeling that I’ve missed off a lot of this one as well.

After the events of recent times, I’m surprised that I wasn’t stark out at some early point in the morning after all of that.

There was an interruption at 10:00 for breakfast with my delicious fruit buns and to answer the telephone when Ingrid rang me. We chatted for quite a long time as we had plenty to say to each other. It’s been quite a while since we last spoke.

Having finished the dictaphone notes I had a form to fill in.

Every couple of years I have to complete a certificate to say that I’m still alive so that I can continue to receive my pension. The doctor countersigned it last time that I was there but I’d forgotten to send it off. Now they were telling me that they are planning to stop paying me unless I send it back quite soon.

It did rather remind me of the story that I’d heard about the guy who had been left a large sum of money in a will “if he could prove that he was still alive”. He had to find a Justice of the Peace to swear an oath.
The JP asked him “Are you …. (Mr X)?”
“Yes I am”
“Are you still alive?”

That left me with enough time for a shower and a good clean-up before lunch.

After lunch I had several e-mails to write. As I’ve mentioned before, this Sports Therapist wants to give me a few sessions of therapy and he wants to give a prescription to the physiotherapist about some special exercises.

Before he can do so, he needs a resumé of my health condition, presumably to make sure that nothing that he’s prescribing will compromise my hospital treatment or create a bad effect on my health.

Another thing is to tell them about how I’m feeling about my health in general, that seems to be deteriorating quite rapidly now. And so I composed an e-mail to each of the services that is treating me to make them aware of the situation and to ask them for the resumé.

gerlean port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022By now it was time for me to go out for my trip to the physiotherapist.

And as usual, I went to the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to see what was happening this afternoon down in the harbour.

And our game of Musical Ships has taken another turn this afternoon. L’Omerta is no longer there this afternoon but in her place Gerlean is back again.

At the moment then there are only these two boats playing “Musical Ships” and I wonder how long they’ll be able to keep it up, or whether we’ll have some more players in due course.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While I was here I had a good look out in the baie de Mont St Michel.

There was plenty of activity going on there this afternoon too. After the storms of yesterday that kept everyone indoors a few of the sailing schools were out there today.

There were two sailing schools out there just outside the harbour with a couple of zodiacs shepherding them around.

And there was a third one out there deeper in the bay too as I discovered later as I was walking down the hill towards town. The students were certainly having their money’s worth this afternoon.

While I was here I had quite a shock as well. A girl who was the spitting image of Castor went walking past. I did a double-take and I still wasn’t convinced that it wasn’t she and it was quite unnerving.

Something similar happened to me in Brussels a few years ago now. It’s been years since I’ve seen Zero in the flesh and I’ve often imagined how she might have looked as she’s grown older.

And then in Brussels, of all places, into a café where I was drinking walked a girl who was exactly how I had imagined Zero to be by then. I was so surprised that I dropped my coffee.

painting zebra crossing Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022But retournons à nos moutons as they say around here – there was work going on in the street this afternoon.

The pedestrian crossing here has faded quite considerably and this afternoon they are repainting it.

And that reminds me of the time that a pedestrian was trying desperately to cross a busy street and a passer-by yelled at him “there’s a zebra crossing just a little further down the street”
“Well, I hope that it’s having better luck than I am” retorted the pedestrian.

So hotfoot in desperate pursuit of the Castor lookalike and failing miserably, I headed off down the hill into town and the Post Office where I posted my letter about my pension and then wandered off to the physiotherapist.

Somehow today, although the climb up the hill was agony again, the physiotherapy session wasn’t quite as painful today. Even so, I staggered out of there at the end of the session looking like “The Death of Nelson”.

Even walking down the hill was painful, and the least said about the climb back up towards home the better.

victor hugo chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Once again, I had to make several pauses on the way back up there to catch my breath.

One of them was at the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour. Marité was there with members of her crew clambering all over her, but I was more interested in Victor Hugo and Chausiaise

We still haven’t seen Victor Hugo in action so far despite the service to the Channel Islands being up and running for over a month. We’ve noticed her absence on a couple of occasions and I’ve seen photos of her out around the Channel Islands when other ships have encountered her, but that’s all there is so far.

And Chausiaise seems to be leading something of a nomadic life in the harbour, moving around from berth to berth.

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Having recovered my breath I pushed on up to the top of the hill and home.

Before going inside though, I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to have a look at what was going on out at sea this afternoon.

It’s not easy taking photos out there today as I only had the NIKON 1 J5 and the standard lens with me. I could pick up this speedboat that was out in the bay but that was the best that I could do.

Whether there was anything else out there I really couldn’t say. The focal length of the lens isn’t all that long and in any case the weather conditions weren’t as good as they have been just recently.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And of course while I was here I had to go and look at what was happening down on the beach this afternoon.

Sticking my head over the wall and having a look I could see that there were plenty of people down there on the beach this afternoon and several of them had actually taken to the water.

There was a little wind about, although nothing like as much as yesterday, and it was nice and warm. In fact, I’d come all the way back from the physiotherapist’s in my shirt sleeves.

It was that kind of day today. I actually saw a lizard today – a sure sign that sumer is acumen in.

bus with passengers place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There was a crowds of people loitering around in the vicinity and as I watched, a coach pulled up and they all scrambled aboard.

Where the coach is parked is where they put that new kerb in the other day, and the fact that the coach is there explains in part why they installed that kerb.

As of 1st July they are reorganising the town’s bus service. There’s a new line being added and there are a few more changes, one of which is rerouting the bus that comes up here. Instead of going down the Boulevard Vaufleury where no-one lives, it will now coming through the square where everyone including me lives, and the bus stop will be where they installed that kerb.

That couldn’t be much better for me, could it?

Back here I had a strawberry smoothie and then I crashed out. I knew that I couldn’t keep going for ever. I’m surprised that I kept going as long as I did after the night that I had. I was out of it all for about 90 minutes and felt like death.

There was plenty still to do but I’ll have to do that tomorrow for I’m not in any fit state to do it now.

Tea was steamed veg with vegan cheese sauce and falafel, and that was just as delicious as usual.

So having written my notes I’m off to bed. I’m totally exhausted and I’m hoping for a good night’s sleep where I can recharge my battery and have a better day tomorrow. I have that meeting tomorrow at 10:00 about the radio and we’ll see what happens there.

Friday 3rd June 2022 – GONE!

cabin cruiser catamaran joly france belle france chantier naval ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And never called me “mother”!

Yes, as I wandered around the headland this afternoon and reached the chantier naval I noticed that the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie has now disappeared.

They were there the other day with a large portable crane busily dismantling it and at some point subsequently they have been with a lorry to whisk it away.

We’ll have to content ourselves today with the cabin cruiser and the catamaran, and with Belle France and one of the Joly France ferries over there at the ferry terminal.

After saying yesterday that I’d managed to go a whole day yesterday without crashing out at all, how those words came back to bite me today. And bite me in spades too.

After I’d had my medication I came back in here to sit down ready to start work and the next thing that I remember was that it was 10:40. I’d been out like a light for over 2.5 hours and that was pretty dismal.

But it seems to be par for the course these days.

What might account for much of this is the fact, as I alluded yesterday, that it was something of a highly mobile night as far as my voyages went. I started off talking to someone about how ill I was feeling. I’d been down in the south of France in a dark blue car and a couple of people from my family. I’d been feeling ill again. I was explaining that it was just like 2018 when I’d been feeling really ill and I was right down there on the Mediterranean coast. I was talking about the journey that I was in the middle of doing. They came out with the idea that maybe I could find a couple of passengers who would want to come along on that particular trip. They could pay me a lot of money for having some kind of bespoke travel arrangement around France like that but then of course a Cortina would be the wrong car. You would need something like a Volkswagen minibus or something in which to do that kind of thing.

There was also a big football match being played in Crewe at 08:00 on a Sunday. I was up at 06:30 going for a walk around. There were hundreds of football supporters asleep all over the town in doorways etc who had been unable to find rooms or anything. They had crashed out in the first available shelter out of the open air where they could be some kind of reasonably comfortable and reasonably protected from the elements.

We had a girl who came to see me with her father. He was waving around a receipt because he’d bought a car that was named after him. I couldn’t see why that was any concern of mine but apparently they all thought that it was something to do with me and wanted me to deal with the matter. I didn’t have a clue what was happening about this. It was a definitely a garage from where he’d bought the car, not from me.

And then there was a really heavy snowstorm around Crewe so I’d been out in the night spreading salt around the pavements to make access to the office earlier although I didn’t bother around areas where people were actually having to walk through paks and grass etc. There was one area of grass that was extremely overgrown. It was impossible to walk through there although someone was running a little circus through a corner of it. On the way back I went by there to have a look. It was one of these Wild West circuses with the guy I knew from Eddie and the Hot Rods in charge and Laurent and a few others dressed up in Wild West clothes marshalling the entertainment etc. They all seemed to be having a tremendous amount of fun down there.

Finally there was something strange about people having bodyguards outside their rooms while they were sleeping. Someone had this young girl who was guarding a room by standing on her hands upside down. There was a discussion about how they were going to overcome her. Someone suggested cutting off her feet. They thought “yes, but how far up the legs would you want to go to actually cut off her feet”. This became something of a strange discussion amongst a couple of people.

After all of that it’s hardly a surprise that I was quite exhausted.

Once I’d organised myself and had a late breakfast I had a strum through my acoustic guitar set just to make sure that I don’t forget it.

It will be a shame to put it on the back burner after I’ve gone to all of this trouble to learn it, even if I probably won’t ever have the chance to play it again. Certainly not at Nicorps

After lunch I spent an hour writing about “The Future”. One of the things that I was happy to say – well, not happy to say but you know what I mean – was that I don’t think that I have a future. What with war and Covid and my illness that is slowly deteriorating day after day I don’t have much of a future

And that’s not an idle statement either. When I went out last night I took my acoustic guitar, my bass and my little Roland bass cube with me. I’d brought the acoustic back last night and this afternoon I brought the bass cube and the bass back.

Or, at least, I tried to. I didn’t have the strength to bring them both upstairs at once. I had to make two trips. And you’ve no idea how that made me feel.

There are some kitchen units in the back of Caliburn that I need to bring up here and assemble, but I’ve no idea how I’m going to find the strength to do that

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022As usual, I went out for my afternoon walk.

And as usual, I went across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach this afternoon.

There was plenty of beach to be on, but there were only these two people down there as far as I could see. They had the whole of the beach to themselves.

It was quite a nice day today but there weren’t all that many people at all out there enjoying it. Even up on the path on top of the cliffs it was quite quiet today. I had the place pretty much to myself this afternoon.

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022What was probably keeping them all indoors was the racket that was coming from the repointing of the medieval city walls at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

Someone was up there working with a power tool and you could hear the whining from up here. It must have been deafening down on the beach.

And that reminded me that I forgot to go and have a wander around the walls during the week to check on the repairs and to see how the baby seagulls were doing. If I remember, I’ll wander around that way this weekend.

hauteville sur mer Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Although the view out to sea wasn’t as clear as it has been just recently, the sun shining along the coast and reflecting off the sand was producing some nice effects.

Over there is the town of Hauteville sur Mer where the River Sienne flows into the sea. With the white houses and the golden sand over there it looked really nice in the afternoon sun.

Strangely enough, there wasn’t anything at all happening out at sea this afternoon. I couldn’t see a single water craft of any description out there in the bay or further out in the English Channel. I’ve given up hope of ever seeing one of the Channel Island ferries out there.

f-gbai Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022On the other hand, things were different as far as aerial activity went.

As I was wandering along the path towards the end of the headland I was overflown by a light aeroplane on its way to the airfield. It’s one of the regular ones that we see, F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140B that belongs to the local aero club.

She took off at 15:24 and flew out to do a lap around the Ile de Chausey before going down to Mont St Michel and then back up where she came in to land at 16:00.

And seeing that my photo was taken at 15:51 (adjusted) that’s about right, I reckon.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone else filed a flight plan or flew high enough to be picked up on radar?

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022As I went around the corner of the headland, coming the other way was a speedboat.

This is the first water craft that we’ve seen today. I’ve no idea where everyone else might be today.

They certainly weren’t down on the bench at the cabanon vauban today. That was quite deserted too this afternoon. It’s a shame that the town isn’t like this all the time

And so instead I wandered off around the headland and down the path on the other side in order to check on what what was happening in the chantier naval, as we have seen earlier.

l'omerta ch589986 la bavolette 2 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022When we were out yesterday we took a photo of the port by the fish processing plant because, for a change, it was strangely deserted.

Today though; L’Omerta is back where she seems to spend most of her time. And she has company too. Behind her moored up against the quayside is the little trawler La Bavolette II. Presumably she arrived too late and the gates to the inner harbour were closed.

Back here I had a coffee and then I had an important e-mail to write. It concerns the live rock concerts that I do for the radio programmes. Basically, I’m not going to produce any more if they can’t guarantee to broadcast them. I’m still pretty upset about last weekend’s concert not being broadcast after all of the effort that I put into making it.

It’s not as if it’s the only one that’s been missed either. There have been several and it totally defeats the purpose of spending all this time preparing them if they are going to be missed.

The rest of the day was spent writing notes about “I don’t like” for my Welsh exam, and then playing some stuff off this playlist that I was sent. I need to work on that now for the next few weeks.

Tea was steamed veg with falafel and vegan cheese sauce which was delicious. And now I’m off to bed. I’m shopping tomorrow (if I can stay awake) and I mustn’t forget the olive oil because I’m running very low.

In fact I’ll probably remember everything else except that. I’m not doing all that well right now

Monday 23rd May 2022 – HAVING GONE TO …

… bed last night at 22:15 I bet that you are all dying to know at what time I actually awoke for my 06:00 alarm call this morning.

The truth is that I was wide awake and raring to go at … errr … 05:30 this morning and I actually had difficulty staying in bed until the alarm went off.

That’s not like me at all is it? If recent events are anything to go by, my get-up-and-go has got up and gone a long time before I’m ready to leave my stinking pit.

So having had the medication and a mug of hot coffee I made a start on the radio programme that I needed to to today. I wasn’t in any particular rush and in any case there were several pauses for this and that (but regrettably, not for “the other”. Those days are long-since gone) so a time of 11:20 to finish it was not unreasonable.

And then I spent the next hour or so listening to it to make sure that it’s OK. It actually features several artists who are making their debuts on my radio programmes and you’ll get to hear them if you can wait for about 9 months or so.

When I finished I went for a shower and a good clean-up ready for my physiotherapy appointment, followed by a rather late lunch.

After lunch I had a listen to the radio programme that I’ll be sending off tomorrow for broadcast this weekend. As it’s the end of the month it’s a live concert and I do have to say that if I had to choose my top five live concerts of all time this one will be up there in that lot.

However, the tape is full of holes. It’s been played to death one way or another and it needs a lot of patching. So I made a few notes before I nipped off for my appointment.

saviem low loader porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Just my luck that the battery in the NIKON 1 J5 was flat. And as I was late, I didn’t have time to go back home to change it so you’ll have to make do with the camera on the ‘phone.

At the Porte St Jean we have a really beautiful old lorry this afternoon. An ancient Saviem pulling a low-loader trailer and if you look through under the gate you’ll see some kind of heavy machinery.

It’s probably just brought that here and unloaded it, and it’s gone disappearing off into the old town. I’ll have to go for a wander that way later in the week to see if I can find out what it’s up to.

There’s quite a bit going on in the old town at the moment. The Council doesn’t seem to be shy about spending our money, does it?.

gerlean omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And so I cleared off down to the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to see what was going on there this afternoon.

It’s not really any surprise for me to tell you that L’Omerta is there again this afternoon, but she has a new companion today.

Petite Laura is no longer there behind her, but in front of her this afternoon is Gerlean.

From there I headed off down the hill towards town, becoming entangled in a party of schoolchildren. French schoolchildren too, but wearing what I can only assume were ghastly parodies of a typical English school uniform.

There was something not quite Catholic about all of this and I wasn’t the oly one who noticed it.

speedboat swimming pool port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Thinking that I could head them off at the pass, I stopped for a look down at the port.

The speedboat is still there, and that is definitely a swimming pool that’s appeared there at some point over the last couple of days. And after the amount of rain that we had this morning, it probably has plenty of water in it already.

The walk up the hill to the physiotherapist was agony yet again. I’m not doing so well with that these days. I feel as if I’ve gone backwards by several months.

Still, it will soon be the 1st of the month when I have my next appointment with the Sports therapist person. I hope that he can do me some good.

It’s often been said that some women are capable of doing a man to death. I must admit that I staggered out of the physiotherapist’s pretty darn close to it and then I headed rather unsteadily for home.

erecting bollards rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One thing that has cheered me up is that they seem to be doing something about some of the crazy parking that goes on in the town.

In the Rue Paul Poirier the local council was erecting a row of bollards along the edge of the kerb to prevent vehicles parking on the pavement just there. Not that it’ll do much good because they will just obstruct the traffic somewhere else instead.

But at least they are trying. Whereas the motorists who park on the pavements are very trying.

The walk up the hill towards home was much more like another agonising crawl and I had to stop a couple of times for breath before I made it.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But as usual I went to have a look at the beach before going in.

By now it was raining quite heavily so I wasn’t expecting to see anyone down there on the beach, so I wasn’t disappointed. Everyone has much more sense than me.

Back here I had a coffee and then I had work to do. There were five holes in this concert that needed patching and they had to be done forensically.

Luckily, it’s a group whose music has a pronounced beat and rhythm so I could copy out a segment from elsewhere that has the same beat and rhythm and then superimpose it back over the damaged sector, drag it around until it fitted perfectly, and then cut out the damaged sector from underneath it.

Do that 5 times, which took an absolute age and I ended up being 1.406 seconds over length. But if I can’t lose that amount of time with some judicious editing out of some applause after all of the practice that I’ve had, I can’t be much good.

You can – well, I can – detect one of the joins because it’s in the middle of a lead guitar solo and it doesn’t flow as it ought to, but the others are invisible and I challenge any of the regular readers of this rubbish to detect them when it’s broadcast.

It’s certainly, from a technical point of view, the best concert that i’ve ever done.

There was time to listen to the dictaphone too. There was plenty on there from last night. I was in my office last night, working on the case of a guy whose wife was also working. It was starting to become a little late so I mentioned that maybe Nerina would come round to join me in the office when she finished. As I was pushing on it was becoming later still so I was talking to myself rather out loud like “is Nerina here? Is she hiding from me?”. I carried on doing that. I was trying to find cases where I would know about the man’s income and about the wife’s income, what children they had, whether they went to school or to university or somewhere like that. It suddenly struck me that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing … “that’s something that doesn’t usually bother you” – ed … because it’s 30 years or more since I’d last done this. Things had changed so much over that time that I was probably doing everything wrong anyway. I was going to have to re-learn absolutely everything from the very beginning again in order to start again and have it all correct this time. Of course it was becoming late now and I could see that all that I’d been doing all afternoon has been wasting time because I’m in no condition as far as my knowledge goes today to actually do anything at all about any of this. I wondered why on earth I’d been wasting my time.

And then I was with a girl. I can’t remember who she was but she was a young girl. The subject of the Titanic came up. It was beached in New York and it was possible to go for a guided tour of her. I took this girl and we wet on board the ship and down into the bowels to the waterline where we could see the damage and the holes. It was all extremely impressive. They had one of those pressurised cargo wells like they had on some of the early “Lake-type” submarines where they were open to the water but it was air pressure that kept the water out so that you could actually walk off the boat inside under water and go into the sea. We were busy exploring that because it was quite a novel thing. We had a really good wander around and then headed back. I suggested to this girl that we go for a beer which sounded like a good plan so we stood in the queue for the lift back up to the top of the ship. The question of football came up because every Thursday they were showing Welsh Premier football on the TV. There had been a series of matches that had taken place on one day and what they were doing was to show them one by one every Thursday over the next few weeks. I was explaining to this girl that I was intent upon watching them so I’d be home from work early that particular day curled up in front of the TV. We had a little chat about that as we stood in the queue waiting for the lift in the Titanic to take us back up to street level where we could leave and go for a beer.

So who was this mystery girl? I Wish that I knew. Fancy being with a girl and not knowing who she was.

And finally I was in Crewe last night staying in some lodgings in a little room just off Nantwich Road somewhere. Someone had a big bottle of pop and offered us a drink out of it. I had a drink and another guy who was there, an Australian guy, said “no, you don’t want to have a drink yet. Wait until he’s tried to borrow something then he’ll be much more willing to lend you some more stuff tomorrow. Of course I had quite a thirst so I was happy for that. Then I thought about getting us some food so I thought that I’d try to find a pizza in the area and something to drink as well. I thought that there’s bound to be a place nearby so I went out but for some reason I couldn’t lock my room. I tried 3 or 4 times to do it but it wouldn’t lock so in the end I thought that I’m only going out for a minute so it shouldn’t be too crucial just for a minute. I thought that I’d better leave it and just nip out to get something while everything was still open.

Tea was another delicious stuffed pepper, and now that I’ve finished I’m off to bed. I’ve decided that I’m going to file that medication under CS because whether it’s really that or whether it’s simply auto-suggestion, I seem to be doing much better without it. If I can keep on going like this I’ll be happy but as we know, one swallow doesn’t make a summer.

Sunday 2Sunday 22nd May 2022 – WE HAD MORE OF A …

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… nautical day today than we have had for the last while.

So while you admire a few photos of all various kinds of water craft that was out there this afternoon, I’ll tell you about my day today.

And to my surprise – and probably yours too – it was rather better than it might otherwise have been today.

Last night, I was in bed by 00:00, without the particular medication that is causing me all of these issues. And as a result, I was tossing and turning in bed for quite some considerable time trying to go off to sleep.

cabin cruisers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Eventually, I must have managed to drop off to sleep because there was something on the dictaphone. At least I’d managed to go off on my travels for a while at some point during the night.

But even more surprisingly, considering that Sunday is a day when I spend as long as possible lying in bed without moving, by 09:35 I was actually up and about. And, believe it or not, actually feeling as if I was up and about as well. And without an alarm either.

It’s early days yet but even so it’s a long time since I’ve felt like this on a Sunday, isn’t it? Usually I’m lucky to see anything at all this side of midday, medication or not notwithstanding.

yacht speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022When I’d finished the medication I had a listen to what was on the dictaphone to see where I was during the night.

This is the story about the Clitheroe Kid who was working with a group of children in a coal mine underground. They were talking about the wages and everything which were peanuts of course. At the end of the shift the children began to come up. Some of them looked as if they were only 5 or 6. A couple of the children didn’t come out. They had to send a rescue party with people like Higginbottom etc. They rescued the ones who were stuck, saying how lucky they were, at least they had a decent hospital near where they were where the children who were injured could receive treatment. They had like an overhead gantry where they could put the children on and it would take them to the hospital. Jimmy Clitheroe was one of the last to leave but one of his friends didn’t appear with him so he shouted that this kid was stuck so they had to go back and free this kid. They came out, and as they were coming out of the mine a kid and her parents, and this kid couldn’t have been more than 5, came back out of the hospital. She saw Clitheroe and his friend and went over to them to share a cigarette with them. Her parents were relieved that their daughter had been saved and that Clitheroe and his friend had managed to make their escape from the coal mine.

This was another one of these dreams that was just so real.

speedboat yacht le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Much of the rest of the day has been spent playing guitar.

There’s a little project simmering away on the back burner right now that might actually come off in the near future if I’m not careful, so I need to be prepared.

Mind you, it’s not something that I can do alone and, regrettably, there is some “history” about this particular event in the past. I hate being dependent upon other people, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

Someone has “promised faithfully” to send me something “straight away” for over two weeks and a couple of reminders now and I’m still no further forward.

The last time this happened, I made my own notes which I wrote down in my notebook which is in the pocket of my jacket hanging up on a hook in a hotel in Calgary and at this rate it’ll be quicker to fly over to Canada and rescue them.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Later on I went out as usual for my afternoon walk.

First of all I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end to have a look down onto the beach to see who was down there this afternoon.

The good weather that we had earlier in the week looks as of it’s gone for the moment. It was cloudy and rather windy out there this afternoon. Mind you, there were a couple of people down there and they were brave enough to go into the water up to their knees.

So hats off to them. It’s not really the kind of weather that would make me take to the water. But then again water at minus 1°C in a snowstorm 700 miles from the North Pole didn’t deter me, did it?

cormorant baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Out there on the rocks just offshore we had rather an impressive-looking bird flexing its wings down there.

It could well be a cormorant but I don’t really know. I know that when I was married to Nerina I had plenty of lectures about birdwatching and I suppose that I really ought to have paid more attention, but not one of them was about this particular type of bird.

It was around here that some local came up to me to ask me about my photos. He lives locally apparently and he has seen me out and about quite often. We ended up having a little chat for a few minutes about photography and the like.

He was interested to know whether I had ever sold any photos so I delighted in telling him about the photo that appeared in that book a couple of weeks ago, to name but one.

sparrowhawk baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Meanwhile, while we are on the subject of birds … “well, one of us is” – ed … there was another one of the feathered variety a little further along the path.

This is one whom we have seen on several occasions in the past – or one very much like it. It’s a sparrowhawk that preys on the colony of rabbits and other wildlife that live in the long grass on the edge of the cliffs around here.

And all I can say about his efforts this afternoon is that he was having just as much luck as the fishermen were having yesterday..

At the end of the car park I fought my way through the crowds and across the car park down to the end of the headland. No caterpillars to impede my progress this afternoon either.

35ma pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There wasn’t anyone sitting on the bench down at the end of the headland this afternoon, but we had a little bit of aerial activity while I was admiring the view.

It’s one of the little light aeroplanes – 35MA – that fly out of the airfield down the coast. Unfortuately I can’t tell you anything about her because her registration number isn’t listed in the database to which I have access.

She doesn’t file a flight plan either so I can’t tell you where she’s going but it’s a reasonable bet to assume that she’s going down the bay to do a lap around Mont St Michel and then come back in to land.

My journey took me down the path along the other side of the headland so that I could see what was going on down at the port this afternoon.

j158 l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And they have made an enormous amount of progress with L’Ecume II.

She’s almost finished now so it won’t be long at all until she’s back in the water with her nice fresh coat of paint.

The dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie is still over there too, out of shot on the right by the portable boat lift. The lorry should be coming to take her away any day now ready for her next posting.

It’s interesting to speculate who is going to be next in the chantier naval. It’s only a few months ago that they actually had as many as nine boats in there under repair at the same time.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Meanwhile over at the ferry terminal we have Belle France tied up.

The other two Joly France boats that were there with her yesterday have cleared off this afternoon. Now that the tide is coming in presumably they have slipped their mooring and gone out to the island to bring back the last of the weekend’s holidaymakers ready to catch the last train back to Paris.

But as I said yesterday, I’m much more interested in the two Channel Island ferries, Victor Hugo and Granville. I’ll have to try to track down a copy of their schedules to see when they are likely to be sailing out to Jersey.

l'omerta ch643489 petite laura port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Meanwhile, over at the quayside by the Fish Processing Plant, L’Omerta has some company this afternoon.

Moored up behind her is Petite Laura, another one of the shell-fishing boats. Neither of them is doing very much this afternoon except getting in the way of the other boats that might want to come in and unload.

Back here I had a coffee and carried on with the guitar and, a little later, rather regrettably, I fell asleep again for an hour or so. I’m not yet able to shake off all of the vestiges of this medication that I’ve been taking.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022After lunch this afternoon I’d taken out a lump of pizza dough from the freezer and it had been defrosting during the afternoon.

Later on this evening I kneaded it and rolled it out, putting it on the pizza tray to proof for an hour or so. And then I assembled this evening’s pizza.

When it was cooked it was quite delicious but I’m finding it difficult to accustom myself to the plain, bleached flour. Admittedly it goes up like a lift and cooks quite nicely but the taste is rather different.

But anyway now that i’ve dealt with all of that I’m off to bed. I have a 06:00 start in the morning and a radio programme to prepare, and it will be interesting to see how I cope without this medication and an early start.

Wednesday 18th May 2022 – IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG …

crane shrink wrapped speedboat port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… to solve the mystery of the clean-looking crane on the dockside.

As it happens, I mentioned yesterday that the name of the manufacturer had been painted out . But today, it’s been painted back in again. Therefore the conclusion that we can draw from this is that it is the old crane that was there, currently undergoing a renovation programme.

We’ll probably see a bit more of the signage painted back in over the nexr few days

But there has been a big change at the quayside today as well. One of the shrink-wrapped speedboats and a pile of freight has disappeared. Presumably one of the little Jersey freighters came in on the morning tide to whisk it away.

But while we’re on the subject of the morning … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’m not going to talk about this morning as you don’t want to hear about it. In fact I didn’t even make any effort to beat any of the alarms this morning.

It took quite a while to make a start as well today and that was extremely depressing. It seems to me that I’m drifting back into how I was in 2003/2004 and I really can’t go through this again.

Somehow I managed to find some enthusiasm to have a play on the guitar. Not very much but it was the first time since I’ve been back from Leuven.

And talking of Leuven, I ‘m beginning to come round to the feeling that my weekend in Paris was the wrong decision. Sleeping dogs are best left to lie and as I remember saying a good few weeks ago when we were talking about snowstorms in Ottawa, it’s wrong to go raking around in the embers of fires that were extinguished a long time ago.

Rosemary was on the phone again this afternoon. It seems that her refugees from Ukraine are now no longer coming. She’s now pondering over how best to proceed now.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022That took me up to the time to go for my afternoon walk.

And if you are thinking that this afternoon’s photo of people down there on the beach is taken from a different perspective or viewpoint, the fact is that this afternoon I went for a walk around the walls instead of around the headland.

It was another lovely day this afternoon so it was rather a surprise to see so few people down there this afternoon. I was in a tee-shirt again this afternoon and I’d left the window in the living room open last night.

Sumer is acumen in. Lhude sing cucu.

repointing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One of the things that I wanted to do was to look at the repairs to the medieval city wall and see how they were progressing.

They have erected the scaffolding all around the medieval water closet and it looks as if they are having a good go at that right now.

They have also raked out all of the decaying mortar from the joints in between the stones in the wall so it looks as if they are going to be repointing all of that as well.

It doesn’t look though as if they are using any ballast to weigh down the scaffolding while it’s in position there. I have to say that I admire their confidence in this respect.

repointing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022While I was here I nipped down the steps to have a look to see what was happening on the outside of the wall just here.

As I was looking at the wall I fell in with one of the workmen here. We had a good chat about the work. I told him about the work that I’d done on the stone wall of my house in the Auvergne and he told me that he reckoned they will still be here this time next year doing this.

So having exchanged pleasantries, I climbed back up to the path (which wasn’t easy) and then carried on my way along the path underneath the walls towards the Plat Gousset.

open air swimming pool diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the other day we noticed that the changing cabins had arrived on the Plat Gousset.

That usually means that the town is preparing for the summer season so I was expecting to see the diving platform installed on top of the concrete pillar. But that’s not here yet. They are taking their time with that.

But as far as the outdoor tidal swimming pool goes, I’m told that that they have been working on that today and they will finish of off tomorrow morning ready for the weekend.

You can also see the yellow buoys that mark the area of the beach that is patrolled by lifeguards.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022From the viewpoint overlooking the beach I walked around the corner to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

Once again, despite the nice weather, there weren’t all that many people down there either. It’s a Wednesday afternoon with schools on a half-day closing too so there should be many more people down there than that.

From there I walked off across the Square Maurice Marland that’s looking rather sad these days, especially when you consider all of the money they spent on it a couple of years ago.

On the way past I had a good look at the crane, a photo of which you all saw earlier.

seagull on nest rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Something else that caught my eye was all of the nests on the roofs in the Rue des Juifs.

The seagulls are settling down on top of their eggs waiting for them to hatch and I don’t imagine that it it will be too long before we have our fist sight of a few little chicks.

From here I went straight home. I was in no mood to go for a wander around. I bumped into one of my neighbours again and we had a chat for a couple of minutes and then I came home where there was a nice hot coffee waiting for me.

Later on I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There had been some refugee children come from Central Scotland. I’d been organising things, fetching them over, finding them accommodation, sending them there etc. There was one girl who was really nice. Everyone fell in love with her and that was no surprise because she was lovely. I don’t kow how this happened but one morning she was staying in bed at a home where there was another girl and someone else. I had to go and awaken the three of them. They were all being a bit cheeky so in the end I picked up all 3 of them at once and carried them downstairs all in my arms, the three of them. One of them, the English girl, had a driving lesson so I had to organise the car for her. There was much more to it than this of course but I can’t remember any more than that

There were 3 of us in north London in the early 60s. 2 were local boys and one was the son of West Indian immigrants who used to hang around together. This is the story of growing up and dating etc, students and driving down to cafés on the North Circular Road and the A1. In the end I was parked up on an old abandoned section of the A1 reading a book. Crowds of people were going past on their way for a Saturday night somewhere in the town. I was reading my book not really interested in what the others were doing at all. I was quite happy about that. There were some statistics about costs of house repair etc between prices of what you’d pay corporations to do work and what you’d pay the little people to do work. The little people’s prices were surprisingly significant whereas if it was a multi-million pound company to do the work you were probably paying twice as much for the same job. This cut-off was strange because it was all full of cut-down trees and I’d backed my car in among them so people walking past didn’t really see me until the last minute and it took them by surprise that I was there.

Later on I was in Crewe again taxiing. It was Christmas Eve and we were really busy. We had 2 cars working, me and someone else. There was a job from Crewe that we had to go to MacDonalds in Wrexham and if they didn’t have what we wanted we had to go to MacDonalds in Stockport and then come back. I reckoned that it would take about 2 hours to do that round trip. The driver didn’t think so but I was sure that that was what it would take. Anyway we packed him off and I carried on working. I ended up in Earle Street on a bicycle. There were crowds of motor bikers and cyclists around. The police had a barrage across the road and were checking people’s motorbikes for something or other. Some of them were glowing blue as if it was an explosives detector or something like that. I tried to find a policeman to ask but they were all far too busy to talk to me. Some passer-by pointed out a derailleur gear. He asked me about derailleur gears and I thought that it was Swiss but I’d be surprised if it was that that was the problem but he thought that it was. These bikers had huge piles of rocks at their disposal and it looked as if they were going to launch a hail of rocks on someone or something at some particular time and that’s why the police were there

There was more to it than this but you really don’t want to know about it, especially if you’re eating your meal right now

Tea tonight was a curry made with the leftovers in the fridge. And it was delicious too. Quite a good one. And now I’m off to bed, especially as I have a headache right now. Here’s hoping that I have a better day tomorrow for a change.

Monday 16th May 2022 – THAT WAS ANOTHER …

… totally messed-up day today.

Not that that’s any surprise because after my totally messed-up weekend and a 06:00 start this morning, it was pretty much odds-on.

Not that I’m complaining of course, even though it might sound like it. I take my days as they come and take what’s given to me. I really wanted to do that Welsh weekend course and so I have to accept the baggage that comes with it.

No-one was more surprised than me to find me half-way out of bed when the alarm went off at 06:00. And I even managed to be up and about before the second alarm went off.

After the medication I came back in here to make a start on today’s work but rather regrettably I fell asleep almost immediately. In fact I was out like a light until almost 08:00. In fact, for all the good that I was doing I may as well have stayed in bed.

When I’d finally come round I grabbed a quick coffee and then attacked the radio programme and that took me all the way up until 12:30 this morning before it was finished. I really wasn’t doing very well

There was time for a shower and a good clean up and then I made my butties with some of that delicious bread that I’d baked yesterday.

It was a good job that I’d set the alarm for my physiotherapy session this afternoon because back in here after lunch I fell asleep. And fell asleep in spades too. It was a real struggle for me to pull myself together when the alarm went off and I was in no mood whatever to go out for my physiotherapy.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022As usual, the first place to go when I went outside was to the viewpoint on the corner onfthe Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

And for a change there was no-one parked up down by the fish processing plant. Not even L’Omerta. She’s forsaken her usual spot for a change and gone off to see what she can catch out at sea.

And have you noticed the weather? We had a torrential rainstorm for about 15 minutes yesterday afternoon and it looks as if we have had another one while I was asleep just now. The weather is all wet, grey and miserable.

Not that that’s any surprise, because so am I

diggers working in port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022On thing that we see every now and again is something to do with the laying of a drain out of the port de plaisance into the open sea.

By the looks of things they are back there again today. They have a couple of diggers out there this afternoon working away. It’s not actually all that easy though to see what they are doing and the standard lens on the NIKON 1 J5 doesn’t help things any.

What I’ll have to do is to go by with the big NIKON D500 with the 70-300mm LENS tomorrow and see if that gives me a better clue.

From there I headed off down the hill towards town.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022At the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour I was lucky enough to catch sight of another hive of activity.

We’ve seen a shrink-wrapped speedboat down there for a couple of days, but today there’s a lorry delivering another one to add to the collection of stuff on the quayside to be taken over to Jersey by one of the little freighters.

My attention was also caught by the crane over there at the back of the loading bay by the old gravel bins. That looks quite new to me, unless they’ve overhauled one of the ones that was here before. If it has been overhauled they have done a good job because it’s much cleaner than it was before.

repairing electrical cables rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There have been notices all over town telling us of power cuts this afternoon.

On the corner of the Rue Paul Poirier and the Rue Couraye I caught up with them at one of their work sites. Apparently the work is due to go on into the evening.

The climb up the hill was awful. I wasn’t feeling in the least bit like it and it seems today as if I have gone backwards by about 6 months.

But when I was there she put me through my paces again. She’s certainly working me hard enough, much harder than the others did. Here’s hoping that it’s doing me some good.

After she threw me out I went to Lidl – eventually, because it was a nightmare going up the hill to the top. To think that there used to be times when I would sail up there like a galleon in the Spanish Armada.

At Lidl I spent a bit of money buying a few things and then headed for home.

digger working in rue de la houle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Myy route home from Lidl is a different way to the way that I came, so I hadn’t seen these roadworks until I left the shop.

They’ve been digging a trench with the digger and were now busy filling it in so I couldn’t see what they had been doing with the trench.

But I was more interested in watching the digger driver. Of course I can drive and operate a mini-digger – I used to own one until recently – but I couldn’t drive mine the way that this guy was driving this one.

It was something rather like a ballet and it was most impressive. I was in half a mind to give him a round of applause when he finished. I was quite jealous.

cycle path rue de la houle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Further on down the Rue de la Houle I noticed that they’ve been installing something of a cycle lane here.

They are spending a fortune on facilities for cyclists in the town and we have seen several examples thereof just recently, but I have a feeling that much of this is going to be money wasted.

The truth is that Granville is not a cyclists’ town. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s all “up-and-down” and that’s not the best terrain for cyclists. In fact there are parts of the town that are used as endurance trials during the Tour de Normandy cycle race.

That should give you some idea of what the streets are like around here.

new building rue st paul rue victor hugo Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we4ve been following the adventures of the new building on the corner of the Rue Victor Hugo and the Rue St Paul.

They have made a great deal of progress just recently. The roof is going on and the crane that has been there since July last year has now been taken away. It looks as if they might be finishing it some time soon if they aren’t careful.

From there I carried on down into town where I bumped into one of my neighbours and then staggered up the hill towards home, having to stop on several occasions to catch my breath and, on one occasion, to brink a can of energy drink.

That’s the kind of state in which I find myself today.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022The weather had brightened up by now so I went to look down onto the beach to see what was happening.

There wasn’t a lot happening there right now though. Just one or two people. The bad weather earlier seems to have put the rest of them right off coming out today.

Back here I had a coffee and then collapsed into a chair, feeling absolutely awful. It’s a long time since I’ve felt as bad as this.

But I did manage to listen to what was on the dictaphone from last night. There was something about moving a squadron of lorries across the border in northern France. My friend from the Wirral was there at one point. I can’t remember very much about this particular dream at all. Then I was in Canada. I’d just hired a car and had an accident in it and that was before I’d picked up my temporary Canadian driving licence so they had to hurry up and issue my Canadian driving licence extremely quickly. In the meantime I had to go and wait over by the Sheriff’s office to tell them to come along and deal with it. It was in a terrible state, more untidy than mine. Some big, fat lady came over and asked me what I was doing. I explained so she went and rolled over onto a settee and lay down there and went to sleep leaving me amongst all these cameras and guns etc while they sorted out my driving permit.

Tea should have been a stuffed pepper but the pepper was no good so it ended up being a taco roll.

And now I’m off to bed. I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be at my best but that’s unlikely the way that I’m feeling right now.

Friday 13th May 2022 – THIS WAS PROBABLY …

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… the worst day that I have had for quite a while.

And as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve had a few of those just recently.

So while you admire a few photos of everything that was going on out at sea this afternoon, when the alarm went off at 07:30 I couldn’t move an inch and it was just the same at 07:45 and again at 08:00. In fact it was, would you believe, 10:20 when I finally put my feet on the floor this morning

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It wasn’t that that was the worrying part about it. What worried me more than anything was that I was feeling as if I had a hangover. I don’t know what there are in these pills but they are certainly kicking in with a vengeance

But seriously, if this is how I’m going to end up, I’m going to try to work out which one of these new medications it is that’s causing this and simply stop taking them.

As I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … the only excitement that I seem to have these days is what goes on during the night. The last thing that I want to do is to cut all of that out of my life.

In fact I can understand why (although that’s not the same as saying that I agree with) the taking of hallucinatory drugs is so habit-forming. There is certainly something to be said for being taken out of yourself and going off on a series of voyages into the ether.

yacht ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So while we’re on the subject of my nocturnal voyages … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’ve actually managed to pull myself together at some point during the day and dealt with the stuff on the dictaphone.

I was going to do a coach job which meant taking a coach to a race track by a big army camp in Yorkshire. I set off in Nerina’s Ford Escort to go to find the coach. When I reached the army camp I parked the Escort and got out but I must have knocked the gear lever by mistake for all of a sudden it revved up and roared off across the car park on its own with no-one at the wheel. It was late at night and there weren’t all that many vehicles on the car park but I had a feeling that this was going to be a recipe for disaster. I had to run after it but I didn’t have a hope of catching it. I could see it driving erratically around this car park. There was no way that I would catch it. Gradually the car park filled up, ordinary people, whole families of Gypsies hauling scrap and rags, soldiers etc. Of course I lost sight of the car and had to climb up onto a bank in the middle of the race course and that wore me out so I had to climb up a smaller one but I couldn’t see as far. Then they came in with the coach. I thought to myself that if I’d made such a mess of driving this Escort what am I going to be like driving this coach? This is going to be an absolute nightmare to me and how am I going to explain to Nerina what’s happened about her car? She’s not going to believe this story for a minute.

yachts speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And then there was a big group of us on an aeroplane. I somehow ended up with a girl whom I’d sat newt to on numerous occasions. We were discussing an aeroplane incident in the Atlantic similar to the Titanic and we were looking for the location of the yellow parachute of the plane. We were poring over maps documentation etc but we couldn’t actually see it. As well as that we were having a big lengthy chat. This girl was married but was in bad company and they spent a lot of money gambling. I’d been trying to tell her to cut down on it. She told me that last weekend she’d refused to go out even though everyone else in her family had wanted to. They’d wanted to go out on a big gambling spree but she’d dug her heels in and ended uo not going out at all. I was immediately pleased with her. Our hunt went on with quite a few documents but we couldn’t relate anything in them to anything on the ground. In the end she asked me quite pointedly what I was going to do now. I interpreted this as being that she wanted me to go. I gave her a great big kiss but she fought me off saying that people were looking so I prepared to leave on my own

That actually took me until rather late in the afternoon to type all of that out. For the first part of the day I couldn’t actually bring myself to do anything. It was all far too reminiscent of 2003/2004/2005 when I was going through another phase like this and I remember how difficult it was to climb out of the pit back then.

It was only Rhys’s wedding that rekindled my spirit of adventure back then. I’ll have to persuade him to marry again.

A lot of the morning was spent trying to recover and then the rest of the day was spent tidying up in the kitchen. There were piles of stuff everywhere and all of the washing-up that I hadn’t done yesterday after my rather busy day.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There is of course the afternoon walk around the headland so I had to drag myself out of the apartment and off on my way.

First port of call was the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down on the beach to see what’s happening down there today.

It was a really nice day and there were plenty of people down there making the most of it. No-one brave enough though to take to the water which was a surprise. I’d have expected to have seen the crowds in there today with the nice weather that we are having but they semmed to have all chickened out.

f-pdyt Turquetil DYT-01 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022While I was looking around out at sea at all of the maritime traffic, I was overflown by a light aeroplane on its way to the airfield.

It’s a new one on us. We’ve not seen her before. She’s F-PDYT, a Turquetil DYT-01 and that’s a machine about which I can tell you nothing at all.

Firstly, she hasn’t filed a flight plan and secondly, she wasn’t picked up on any radar anywhere so I can’t tell you anything about where she’s been and where she’s going.

And then I can’t even tell you anything about the manufacturer either because I can’t find any information about that either. It’s really not my day, is it?

As I walked down the path I came across a large group of people trying to take a selfie so I took their phones and duly obliged them. We had a little chat and then I carried on my way.

fishermen in speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Nown at the end of the path I walked across the car park and down to the end of the headland.

For a change there wasn’t anyone sitting down on the bench by the cabanon vauban, which was a surprise because there was enough going on out there this afternoon to keep everyone entertained for hours.

We’ve already seen plenty of marine traffic going by this afternoon, but this speedboat was stationary out in the bay. There were several fishermen on board but in all the time that I was watching, no-one actually pulled anything out of the water.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in all the time that we’ve been here, we’ve never ever seen anyone catch anything with a rod and line.

l'ecume 2 valeque sagone d'angawelys chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022From there I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was happening in the port.

There was quite a racket coming from the chantier naval this afternoon. It looked as if they had the air sander working full tilt on L’Ecume II grinding off the old paintwork.

In actual fact they are making quite rapid progress on her, which you can see when you compare her to how she was ON SUNDAY.

It’s not like them at all to be this rapid, is it?

St-Gilles Croix-de Vie chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yesterday I mentioned that the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie had finished its work in the harbour and had been towed across the harbour to the portable boat lift and had been lifted out of the water.

She’s now out there on a couple of blocks while they start to dismantle her ready to be taken away.

She doesn’t actually sail into port, as you might expect. She comes into port in a dismantled form on the back of a low loader and they assemble her on the hard-standing before they drop her into the water.

And then they dismantle her ready for her to be taken away again on the lorry that will come to pick her up in due course and take her off somewhere else.

fishing boats unloading fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022This afternoon there was quite a crowd over at the fish processing plant.

All of the boats are coming in to unload, swarming around L’Omerta that is still there after all this time. And there are a couple of large refrigerated lorries over there ready to whisk away the catch.

Back here I carried on tidying the kitchen and putting away the shopping from Thursday. The place looks a little more respectable now which makes a change. It had got into quite amess over the last few days.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper now that I have some and it tasted quite delicious. But I’m using a different rice right now and it’s not as nice as the usual stuff.

So later tha usual, I’m off to bed. I have a weekend school for my Welsh course so I’m hoping for a better start to the day tomorrow that today’s start. That was appalling and I don’t want to do that again.

Sunday 8th May 2022 – I WASN’T WRONG …

… when I said that I was likely to have a bad day today.

speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So while you admire a few photos of the various water craft that was out and about offshore this afternoon while I was out on my afternoon walk, I’ll tell you all about it.

It actually all went wrong late last night because having crashed out so definitively yesterday late afternoon, I wasn’t in the least bit tired and it was long after 02:00 when I finally crawled into bed.

Strangely enough, that was round about the same time that I went to bed last Saturday night too but how I wish that it was for the same reason.

Even though it was really nice to be back in my own bed, I was awake at 10:00 and couldn’t go back to sleep again. Nevertheless it was 11:00 when I finally crawled out of bed.

speedboat zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022After the medication I did some work on the radio programmes, pairing off some music for a radio programme that I’ll be preparing in the future.

At the moment I’m almost a whole year ahead which is good news. I have to concentrate on building up a stock ready for if ever I get to go away again and, of course, for another eventuality which you all know.

That took me up to lunchtime – or, rather, brunchtime, because I haven’t had anything to eat yet. Porridge and toast and plenty of strong black coffee to keep me going for the afternoon because, surprisingly, I was starting to flag already.

As I said yesterday, I had a feeling that it was going to be something of a bad day.

zodiac with fishermen baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But not quite yet because there were still things to do.

The first thing was to write a rather difficult message. I’m not very good at expressing my thoughts and emotions, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and I always end up making a total mess of what I’m trying to write.

But when someone who has known me long enough to know better calls me “sweet”, then that’s the kind of message that deserves something of a rather special reply of the type that I’m really no good at all at writing.

Why does life have to be so full of complications? It would be so much better if I could simply rely on the power of thought transmission.

Having finally sent something (and that took much longer than it ought to have done) that I still didn’t think was good enough but was the best that I could do, I attacked the dictaphone.

I was having a dream about having to write letters to people (something of a premonition, I reckon). Someone was writing them on my behalf but something had happened. The situation had changed unexpectedly and the person writing these letters no longer felt comfortable doing it. The situation was not as she imagined it and she didn’t think that it was as I expressed it so she refused to write any more. I had to collect all the pens and papers and make a list of the people who have already had their letter, then sit down and write the letter again myself to every one who had been missed.

And then I was round at someone’s house doing some tidying up for them (as if that’s ever likely to happen. I can’t even tidy up for myself!). They decided that they would go out and I was still there, not making a great deal of progress. I was busy making myself something to eat when one of them came back, the first to come back and started setting out some food on the table. There were some cakes that he was laying out. I noticed that one of them was a plain scone and I wondered if that was for me. If so, that was quite nice of them. Then someone else came in with a strange-looking object that was like a glass globe that the top came off. They said “here, cook your food in that”. I can’t remember if it was porridge or something like that that I was making but I cooked it in this glass globe thing. It swelled up really nicely and when you coupled up a Land Rover to it at the back it looked absolutely perfect. Whatever it was that I was cooking had the look of like a cake or something like that but when I took it out of the microwave it went flat again which was a shame because it really looked so nice in this glass globe thing in the microwave.

As I expected, I fell asleep in the middle of dictating all of this. And then I fell asleep as soon as I had finished. And on the latter occasion, it was a really deep, intense sleep that wiped me out completely. Right the way up to time to go walkies.

And when I set out I was really in no fit state to go.

people in water beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022The first port of call once I was outside was to go down to the wall at the end of the car park to look down onto the beach to see what was going on down there.

The tide was on its way out so more and more of the beach was being uncovered. And there were more and more people uncovered too, to such an extent that several of them had actually taken to the water.

And that wasn’t a surprise because it was a gorgeous sunny late Spring day and there wasn’t much wind to cool things down.

even Rover was having a good time too, down at the water’s edge having a good bark at the passing seagulls, trying to chase them away.

fisherman baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Plenty of boats out at sea this afternoon as we have already seen, and plenty of fishermen too.

It seemed as if every rock had its own fisherman perched thereupon this afternoon. I counted a couple of dozen out there casting their lines into the water.

Not that we actually saw anyone catch anything. That’s been a regular theme running through these pages that we have seen hundred upon hundred of fishermen fishing from the rocks and not once have we ever seen anyone pull anything out.

There were crowds of people on the path too. It looked as if the whole town had turned out today for a walk around. After all, it is a Bank Holiday today – VE Day – and that’s quite an important date in the French calendar.

f-gorn Robin DR400-120 Dauphin 2+2 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022While I was out there looking at the sea I was overflown by a light aeroplane heading towards the airfield.

It’s one whom we know quite well – F-GORN, one of the Robin DR400-120 Dauphin 2+2 aeroplanes that they have.

When I returned home later I had a look at the flight database. The only flight that was recorded for her today was one where she took off at 15:07, flew briefly around the bay and landed again at 15:17.

But my photo was taken at 16:03 (adjusted) so she’s obviously been out again later and kept below radar level.

Incidentally, when I say “adjusted”, all of my appliances like cameras, dictaphones etc aren’t adjusted for Summer Time.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Crowds of people out on the paths, as I said earlier, and also a few people sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban.

There was plenty of activity going on out at sea and there’s little doubt that these people were enjoying the spectacle, both maritime and pescatorial. And with plenty of sun and very little wind, why not?

But I can’t stand here all afternoon watching them. I’ve forgotten to put the coffe on before setting out so I need to go home and make it. I headed off down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was happening there.

trawler l'ecume 2 j158 fishing boat valesque le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022One of the things that I had wanted to do was to check the chantier naval to see what was happening there.

And I was right yesterday when I said that I thought that the trawler there might be a Jersey trawler. Indeed it is, and it’s one whom we have met before. J-158 happens to be the registration number of L’Ecume II and she’s been in the harbour here a couple of times.

Her claim to fame is that a couple of years ago her watch fell asleep at the helm and she ran aground on a sandbank. And by the looks of her hull, she looks as if she’s been having a few more issues as well.

Also in the photo are La Roc A La Mauve III, Valesque and an unidentified inshore fisheries boat.

l'omerta ch646489 petite laura port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yesterday, we saw L’Omerta and another inshore fishing boat over there at the fish processing plant.

They are still here today, and from this viewpoint I can identify the second one. At first I thought that she was Lysandre but on checking her registration number I find that she is actually Petite Laura and she’s a new ship to us. We haven’t seen her before.

You can see in her stern all of the buoys and flags and so on of the type that we see dotted around in the sea just offshore. I’m convinced that they relate to things like lobster pots, indicating where the crew has dropped the pots over the side.

dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having noticed the dredger in port yesterday I was interested in having a closer look at her today.

And I was right. She certainly is St-Gilles Croix-de Vie, she who comes into port quite often.

But I was more interested in looking at the water level in the inner harbour because that looks a lot lower than it usually is. So what’s happening there?

Back here I had a nice surprise. Rosemary has been tidying up at home and she told me that she had sent me a little gift. So in my mailbox was a little parcel containing a little book on identifying ships. That was really nice of her.

Armed with a mug of coffee I came in here and promptly fell asleep again and that’s how I spent most of the late afternoon. I’m not doing too well right now with all of this. The first couple of days after my transfusion always seem to knock me out.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022After lunch I’d taken the last ball of dough out of the freezer.

Now that it had defrosted I rolled it out and left it to proof and then made myself a pizza.

This is the fourth out of this load of dough and I have to say that it was something of a failure becuase 600grams of flour divided into 4 leaves the base too thin. I’ll have to go back to 500 grammes into 3 for the next batch of dough.

So now I’ve written my notes I’m off to bed. I’m having an early start tomorrow to prepare a radio programme so I have to be on form. But where I’m going to find the energy to do it I really don’t know.

Tuesday 26th April 2022 – TODAY HAS BEEN …

speedboat buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022 … something of a nautical day.

After a week or so of next-to-nothing out at sea, we had the lot out there on the water this afternoon. Speedboats, cabin cruisers, yachts and even La Granvillaise if you look closely at one of these photos. It wouldn’t haven’t surprised me if the Loch Ness Monster had reared its ugly head at some point.

And at some point during the proceedings I reared my ugly head from off the pillow this morning, but not at all when I had wanted to. I’ve had a bad day today.

trawler la granvillaise baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022So while you admire a pile of photos of boats on the water this afternoon, I was struggling to leave my bed.

Never mind the alarm at 07:30, nor the alarm at 07:45, I just about struggled to my feet in time to beat the alarm at 08:00.

Nothing at all like how things were yesterday morning.

After the medication I came back in here to check my mails and messages and then revise for my Welsh lesson later this morning. But in actual fact I didn’t. I crashed out and that was that.

cabin cruisers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Eventually I awoke and managed to do a little work before the lesson began.

Luckily our tutor had decided on a revision exercise seeing as we have been on holiday for a fortnight so the hole in my knowledge and the lack of preparation didn’t really matter all that much.

There weren’t all that many of us in the lesson today though. A few dropped out at the end of the second year and we’ve not had any new students in to replace them.

But it’s what you might expect. There won’t be many people of the 1022 who started who will make it through to the end of year 6.

yacht cabin cruiser trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022One thing that I did just after taking my medication was to make a pile of dough for another loaf.

I’d given it a second kneading at some point and when the lesson began I put it into the oven to bake. By the time we knocked off for a mid-lesson coffee it was baked and so I had taken it out of the oven to cool.

As a result, at lunch I actually had some more bread. Unfortunately I forgot to photograph it, so you’ll just have to take my word that it was perfectly baked.

And it tasted delicious too. One of the best that I’ve made so far.

trawlers fishing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Plenty of stuff on the dictaphone from last night too.

I dreamt that I’d turned over in bed and pushed a load of people out who had been on the other side of the bed from where I’d turned over. When I went to look there was no-one there, I’d just turned over and emptied the quilt into the basin in the Canadian High Arctic, no people at all.

I was also running a marathon last night. It finished in Shavington. It was the bank up to Gresty out of Crewe that slowed me right down and quite a lot of people ran past me while I was struggling up that bank. Once I came onto level ground I was able to push on and overtake a lot of them. The final stretch was just something like just 10 laps around a table to the finishing line. I even overtook a couple of people there. 2 parents, a man and a woman, actually crashed out on that 10 laps round the table but their boy kept on going. However I beat him.

trawlers yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Going back to the dream about the marathon, after we’d stopped, someone was in a car driving around with a load of dry-cleaning in it of which she was trying to find the owners. She kept on stopping to ask whether this dry-cleaning was theirs or not.

Finally, it was the school sports day. I wasn’t actually competing in anything. It was like something out of one of these “Trumpton Fort” things, a children’s TV programme where they opened the school building that was like one of these houses in a kids’ TV programme. They opened a grille in the door so everyone could swarm in. The day went on and we were all sitting there outside dressed in white. They announced that the girls could go to choose a partner to dance. I wasn’t expecting to be selected but as the girls came closer and were picking up these boys I could see that there was going to be someone heading my way. It looked as if someone was slowly working their way around but she was cut in by another girl who asked me to dance. I said “yes” and we started to dance but she wouldn’t let me lead. She wanted to lead. It was all extremely confusing. Then this girl suddenly became another boy. It was a boy with whom I was dancing and kept on trying to lead. It was all becoming very confusing.

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

As usual, I wandered off across the car park to have a look down onto the beach to see who was about. This afternoon there wasn’t much beach for anyone to be on but there were a few people down there.

That’s not really much of a surprise because it was quite nice today. Quite a bit of wind … “yet again” – ed … but it was quite sunny and warm.

There was something of a mist out there which cut down the visibility somewhat but even so there was quite a fleet of boats out there this afternoon as we have already seen.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And there were quite a few people out there enjoying the view as well.

Here’s a couple sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban but they look as if they have other things on their minds that all of the boats out at sea.

They weren’t concerned by the crowds of people swarming around on the paths around at the end of the headland either.

In fact it was quite a touching scene and to be honest, it made me quite envious. I’m trying to think of when I last had such a romantic scene as this and I really can’t remember.

classe decouverte port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022They weren’t the only spectators either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall, because I have mentioned in the past … “and on many occasions too” – ed … the situation of the classe découverte.

What they do is to send classes from schools in a particular area to another area where the lifestyle is completely different so that the kids can discover what goes on in other parts of the country. Kids from the towns will go to rura areas and vice versa.

The fishing ports will have their fair share of visitors too. Those kids will be staying at the Youth Hostel at the town and will be nosing around the harbour and the fish-processing plant.

The metal objects down there are shellfish dredges. The fishing boats drag them across the sea bed to scrape up the shellfish, rocks, human remains and unexploded bombs

The dredges are constructed to a standard set of dimensions, including the size of the grid framework. That’s to ensure that any undersize shellfish will fall through the framework and back onto the sea bed.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022One of the things that had caught my attention this afternoon was the fact that the sailing schools were out and about.

They are all having a good sail around the bay, under the watchful eye of a friendly neighbourhood zodiac making sure that none of its charges comes to grief. Not that the weather was anything like rough enough to cause a disaster today.

Having had a good look around in the harbour and seen everyone coming back home from the sea, I headed off back for home and my afternoon coffee. There was no need for me to hang around this afternoon.

lorry trans-shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Another thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is the difficulty that people have of receiving deliveries when they live within the medieval city walls.

What usually happens is that they have to arrange some kind of trans-shipment with a smaller vehicle to carry the articles underneath the Porte St Jean

By the looks of this lorry though, it has quite a heavy load on board judging by the way that the rear end is sagging down.

While I was drinking my coffee, Rosemary ‘phoned me up. She’d put the little holiday cottage next door to her house on a database for refugee families from the Ukraine and she wanted to tell me that she’ll be taking in a young family as of next weekend.

We had another one of our lengthy chats on the subject and I gave her a few hints. The solidarity that people are showing in the middle of this crisis is quite heart-warming.

Tea was taco roll with rice and veg. Plenty of stuffing left too so I’ll be having that with pasta and whatever else I can conjure up tomorrow.

But right now I’m going to bed. I’m exhausted yet again and a good sleep will set me up for the rest of the week. What’s the betting that I don’t have it?

Thursday 21st April 2022 – GLOBAL WARMING ANYONE?

When John Ross, the leader of the first European expedition credited with exploring the north coast of Lancaster Sound, came by here in 1818 and when William Parry examined it in 1819-20, they noticed what might have been the entrance to a bay, which Parry called Croker Bay after the then-Secretary to the Admiralty.

dry valley croker bay devon island canada adventure canada into the north west passage 2019 photo august 2019 eric hallThey weren’t actually sure about whether it was a bay or not because the whole coastline was covered in impenetrable ice so they couldn’t sail in to make sure.

And there I was 200 years later, 25 kms deep into what is quite clearly a fjord rather than a bay, at the mouth of a dry valley where a glacier once flowed and where there isn’t a single trace of ice.

If you want to look for the “Croker Bay Glacier” you need to travel another 5kms up the fjord and eventually you’ll reach it. Over the last 200 years or so, a belt of ice 30kms deep and heaven alone knows how thick has melted.

Anyway I digress … “yet again” – ed.

aeroplane 54aay baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Outside this afternoon we’ve been having an aerial day but while you admire the light aeroplane 54AAY that flew past overhead making its debut on these pages, I’ll start at the very beginning … “a very good place to start” – ed.

And once more, it was a struggle for me to crawl out of bed again. I didn’t beat the second alarm, having gone back to sleep after the first one, but I was still up before the 3rd, even though it was “only just”.

And after the medication and checking my mails and messages, I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. And to my surprise I found that I’d stepped back into a dream not once but twice.

It’s becoming something of a habit.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022One of my former work colleagues starred in this one. It was something to do with his retirement. He’d been called out for overstaying his retirement by some kind of sea creature so he went down to attack this sea creature and had a fight with it. He was stopped and they arranged a proper bour of either boxing or wrestling between the two of them. it was rather unfair because this sea creature had 4 arms instead of just 2 and it had to have its gills reinforced. The fight took place and eventually the sea creature won it. The person commentating said that it was a really good fight but he reckoned that every non-human and probably one or two humans as well really enjoyed the result and how it panned out

And then I started dictating the next dream in French. I was at home and had invited some friends round. They were actually grown-ups and I was only quite young. We ended up playing cards which I thought was a good game. They were 3 middle-aged men and one had a wife but she didn’t want to come. We dealt, and dealt for partners etc. They asked what I had to drink. I had a bottle of beer on the side from yesterday that I could drink. I looked in the drinks cupboard and they had one of these boxes of wine and there was some whisky etc so I started to put everything out ready for people to help themselves to alcohol

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022That dream continued afterwards and I’d actually met the wife. They were living in a big detached house very much like UK 1930s but it was in France. She was dreading the start of the French school year because her kids were going to school. I asked her if her move to France was permanent. She told me 20 good reasons why it was. We were having quite a chat when her husband came up and said that when he had the house tidied up and the kitchen arranged I would have to come over for a cup of tea by the fire

Later on I was talking to Percy Penguin, and it’s been a while since she’s put in an appearance. She was being very cagey on the telephone about something. I could tell that there was something going on but she didn’t seem to want to expand on it very much. I couldn’t seem to chisel it out of her. At the same time I was talking to a footballer who lived on the continent. We were planning some kind of event together. My family came on the phone and I started to chat to them and happened to mention something about my youngest sister. They replied “haven’t you heard?”. I said “no” and they answered that she’d died. I was appalled. I asked how. It seemed that she and her husband had gone for a breakfast brunch somewhere. Some security guard had knocked her husband’s cup or something onto the floor so they had “had words”. A fight started and my sister had tried to join in but the security guard pulled out his revolver and shot her 4 times in the groin. At that moment he had been arrested.

Airbus A350-941 F-HTRE pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022We haven’t quite finished yet, but we’ll have an interruption to watch F-HTRE go past overhead.

She’s an Airbus A350-941 owned by Air Caraibes and first took to the air in July 2019. She’s flying TX514/FWI14J from Orly to Fort de France in the Caribbean and went past me at 38,000 feet and 498 knots at vector 272°

But in the meantime I was stepping back into the dream involving my youngest sister. Everyone was now round at my house collecting her stuff to take away. I was busy writing a note to my brother expressing my condolences etc.

Once again it took me a couple of hours to come to my senses, which is a surprise seeing how few I have these days, but when I’d come round I made a start on the photos from the High Arctic of 2019. By the time that I’d finished this evening I was up the end of Croker Bay pinned against a glacier.

There’s a huge batch of photos that I’ve dealt with over the last couple of days. But I’m not out of the woods yet. I have simply moved into different woods.

We had a whole variety of interruptions today, coffee and breakfast being not the least of them.

But on the subject of fruit bread, I had the last slice today.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022That’s the cue for another load – this time it was fruit buns because there was nothing else to bake in the oven so I had the room.

And here’s the results. Enough to keep me going until I clear off next Friday, with a few in the freezer for when I come back too.

It’s basically a bread mix of 250 grammes with a pile of brazil nuts ground into a coarse flour, some dessicated coconut, raisins, sunflower seeds, chopped banana chips, some of those mixed dried fruits and a fresh banana all mixed in. And probably a few other things too that happen to be lying around.

And then when it’s all proofed, cooked for 40 minutes on a medium-high oven.

For lunch I took the remaining half-loaf out of the freezer this morning and it had been defrosting. And there’s nothing like fresh bread like that. I’ll have to make another loaf on Sunday, I reckon, while I’m doing my pizza and I’ll freeze half of that too.

taped off front of building place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was of course the usual afternoon walk around the headland.

However today I didn’t go very far before I came to a stop. Just outside the front door in fact.

There’s something afoot here just outside the building, and I’ve no idea what because I haven’t heard anything at all. But whatever it is, they have most of the front of the building taped off, presumably to prevent access.

The plot thickens, that’s for sure.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022But anyway, we can leave that for a while. Let’s go and have a look down on the beach.

It was another quite nice day today and the crowds were out enjoying it. Down on the beach too there were plenty of people taking the air including a group of young women playing with a frisbee.

There were other folk down there too, poking around in rock pools, scavenging amongst the rocks and the like. We can tell that the tide is on its way out this afternoon.

And they had beautiful weather for it too.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022While I was up here looking down onto the beach I also had my roving eye wandering around looking at what was going on offshore.

There was quite a haze today so I couldn’t see all that far but I did notice a couple of fishing boats out there. One that we can see here but there was another one further out as well.

And presumably they were working too because they were pointing away from the harbour and following the coast.

Of course, they are far too far out to sea for me to be able to identify them, especially in these weather conditions when I had to peer through a sea mist to see anything at all.

marker buoys baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022That wasn’t everything either.

Just down there offshore is a collection of marker buoys. It looks as if someone has dropped a few lobster pots into the water just there.

Mind you, that’s not all that far out and I suppose that they will just come along later this afternoon walking across the sand to collect them and their catch because I’m pretty certain that where they have dropped them is out of the water when the tide is right out.

That speedboat roaring past didn’t have anything to do with them anyway

However that’s not my problem. Armes with my face mask, I went to fight the good fight amongst the crowds of people on the path.

people taking photograph pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a recurring theme that runs through these pages as that oe me taking photos of people taking photos.

But here’s quite a new twist on the subject. Down at the end of the headland I looked back and saw a guy setting up a tripod with his camera perched thereupon.

And having done that, he took up station with his beloved and the self-timer did the rest, much to the chagrin of one of the workers at the coastguard post who wanted to drive past there in his car and who was obliged to wait.

But they did make a handsome couple.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022It wasn’t just with lobster pots and trawlers that people were out fishing this afternoon.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen someone perched on the rocks with rod and line at the end of the headland but today we had one of the aforementioned.

And it still bewilders me that these fishermen don’t have a basket or anything in which to put their catch. However, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that in all the years that we’ve been watching them, we’ve yet to see a fishermen pull a fish out of the water with rod and line.

There were no spectators on the bench at the cabanon vauban either today. They must have known that I was coming.

le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022From the end of the headland I walked down towards the port to see what was happening there today.

And there has been another change in occupancy at the chantier naval today. Le Roc A La Mauve III is still there showing little signs of moving but Anakena seems to have finished her overhaul and she’s now gone back into the water, ready for her summer voyages to the frozen north.

And how I wish that I was going with her too, but I suppose that you are fed up of me moaning about that. It’s high time that I went out and got myself a life. I need to do something to start moving again but with these heart issues and knee issues it’s not so easy.

But I have the doctor to see next week and the heart specialist at the hospital to see on the 5th of May so who knows? Something might start happening soon, but I’m not holding my breath.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Over at the fist processing plant it looks as if there’s a very long and complicated game of “Musical Ships” taking place.

Briscard was there but she went and L’Omerta came in her place. And then they swapped places, and today they have swapped back again. The excitement here is terrific and I might have to go and lie down in a darkened room.

Instead, I came home for a coffee, a session on the guitar and then (regrettably) I crashed out for a good while. I don’t know what’s the matter with me these days.

Tea was a curry made with leftovers, and delicious it was too. Tomorrow I fancy sausage, beans and chips, especially now that I have my air fryer. I’ve no excuse now for rubbishy chips

But that’s tomorrow. Tonight I’ll have a strum on the guitar and then go to bed. I could do with a much better night and then maybe I’ll have a much better day to follow.