Tag Archives: st helier

Thursday 23rd September 2021 – WHAT A BEAUTIFUL …

montmartin sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… day it was today – at least, the afternoon of it.

The sky was as clear as a bell and you could see for miles, way out to sea and all along the coast too. With the sun now shining brightly, and down at a lower angle, it had lit up the town of Montmartin sur Mer as if it had been in a spotlight on a stage.

And when I blew up the photo, I could even make out some people on the beach, and that’s pretty good going for that kind of distance.

st helier jersey Eric Hall photo September 2021The view was just as good further out to sea as well.

It was another one of those days where not only was Jersey really clear on the horizon 58 kilometres away, we could even make out some of the buildings at St Helier.

The big tower over to the left is very intriguing. It really could be anything – the “Marine Peilstand 1 Tower” which was a German Army artillery ranging point or La Tour de Vinde, a Napoleonic-era Martello tower, or even the tower the name of which I have forgotten that overlooks St Brelade’s Bay.

yacht ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further on around to the west, the Ile de Chausey was looking quite good too.

The colours weren’t as brilliant or as visible as we have seen them on the odd occasion here and there but the little white cottages at the foot of the lighthouse stand out quite clearly against the dark background of the hill on which the lighthouse is situated.

There wasn’t much going on out at sea though this afternoon. There was just a yacht drifting about rather aimlessly and what looks like a motor boat on the extreme right, but that was about everything.

trawler cap frehel brittany coast France Eric Hall photo September 2021Finally, finishing off our arc from north-east to due west, from my vantage point on top of the bunker at the back of the lighthouse the view was even better.

Right out there in the distance, 70 kilometres away, the lighthouse and fort at Cap Frehel were visible with the naked eye this afternoon, never mind with the camera’s zoom lens.

And we could even see the headland around at the end of the next bay, which I think is the Ile de Brehat at the mouth of the River Trieux

There’s a trawler out there as well, and we can even see that it has its nets out this afternoon. That’s what I call a really good day.

But I’m glad that some people had a really good day today because I had an absolutely awful one.

The night wasn’t as early as I was hoping and when the alarm went off at 06:00 I was right out of it, absolutely and completely. And having another feverish sweat as well.

There wasn’t even time to finish checking my mails and messages before I had gone west and I ended up, to my complete and utter dismay, back in bed and under the covers again. Twice in three days, after going for a couple of years without doing so. That’s a sign of how I’m feeling right now.

It was about 10:20 when I finally staggered out of bed and I’m not sure if I wasn’t feeling any worse either. It took me an age to pull myself together.

But once I did, I made an Executive Decision, and for the benefit of any new reader (of which there are more than just a few these days), an Executive Decision is one where if it’s the wrong decision, the person who made it is executed.

And the decision is that I’ve changed the time of the alarm from 06:00 to 07:30 to give myself an extra 90 minutes in bed, until this situation resolves itself one way or another. Just on Mondays will I be having an 06:00 alarm call as I have the radio stuff to do.

Once I’d had a coffee I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I had to go to meet my aunt off the ferry that was coming in at 06:00 so I had to get up early. There was half my family in my apartment and that was uncomfortable for a start. When I set off, I didn’t realise actually where I was going to have to go to meet everyone. I ended up at the shop and was in there when suddenly my mother walked in. There was some discussion with the shopkeeper about tickets to go to meet people, all this kind of thing, tickets to come back from the ferry terminal on the bus to where they were dropped off at his shop. He said “if my aunt comes, she’ll have a ticket and we can all arrange it them”. Then I had my mother and my brother trying to argue with me. I said “look, for the last 20-odd years I’ve lived on my own. I’m not used to all these people”. That led to a few ribald remarks from my brother and one or two other people. As we walked back to my apartment I found myself thinking “I wish there were some other apartments in this building vacant where I could stick them and get them out of my hair”. There was something as well that I’d told one of my sisters about a book about a Chinese disc jockey that summed up quite a lot the way that I’d been feeling. All the way back we had “my sister couldn’t be bothered to read that book” all that kind of thing and it was a most uncomfortable dream.

I was out with TOTGA last night, of all people. I’d been to go to a Conference on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday so I went to the hotel which was near Birmingham and booked myself in for the Tuesday night to start on Wednesday morning. There were another 2 people there booking and they were only booking for the Wednesday night and Thursday on the same course. He asked me why, and I recognised one of them. I knew that he lived fairly locally so I said that I imagined that he would come straight from home for the conference and then come back here for the next two nights. I can’t remember how it went on from there but there was some time to kill so I ended up going for a walk with TOTGA. We were hand-in-hand walking and chatting. She asked where I would like to go but I didn’t really have much of an idea. She said “how about the cinema?”. I’d never been to the new cinema in Crewe so I said “yes, fine”. We walked along Wistaston Road. There was a queue outside the cinema and it slowly started to move. The tickets were £27:00 to go in, so I thought that I’d pay for her but she was renewing her annual subscription so she said that she’d pay. I insisted on paying but the woman at the counter said “you know that hers is £999, don’t you?” I replied “right, in that case I’d better let you pay”. We arranged to meet one lunchtime as well. She asked me where we’d meet so I replied “why not the cinema?”. We agreed that we’d meet on the lunchtime at the cinema. Then there was the case of making a snack. She had bought me a pizza from here once so I thought “right, we’ll have a pizza”. Apparently you made your own. The cheese though was like a spread that you spread over the base of your pizza and put your topping on top which I thought was an extremely strange way of going about things but I started to do that.

I’d been working on repairing an old MkII Ford Consul. We’d had the engine all stripped down in situ and reassembled it. The owner, my father, was not very happy about everything. He saw petrol lying around in cans and he went and took them away. I had to clean all of these parts, and in the end someone went and fetched the petrol back so I cleaned all of the parts of the carburettor and reassembled it. There were still a few bits and pieces left to do including fuelling it up because there was very little petrol left in it but someone had brought a portable bed and gone to sleep right up against the car where the fuel filler was so I couldn’t reach it. In the end my father came back and asked how we were doing. I replied that it was almost done. He made a few remarks about a few bits that were missing, all this kind of thing. I said “it’s not trouble at all, they aren’t really necessary until we find out how the car runs”. We went to start it and it started first time and sounded nice. He got into it and took it for a little drive around the block. He said “yes, this is fine”, then drove off somewhere else. I remember saying “he’s not going to get very far with the few bits that are missing off it and there’s no petrol in it” And he should know about the petrol because ha was the one who stopped us filling it”.

But in the middle of all of my blasted family coming around to annoy me like they do, it must have cheered me up to have had an afternoon or evening out involving a Close Encounter with TOTGA. But in real life she had far too much sense to involve herself with me to that kind of extent.

What with one thing and another I missed out on having lunch, because, even though I didn’t feel like it, I had a task to perform

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of weeks ago I bought a new printer to replace the one that was only printing in blue. I hadn’t installed it yet but this afternoon someone sent me an important communication that I needed to sign and send back, so I had to unpack it and install it.

Although it’s the same make and model as the old one, it’s an upgraded version so it took me a while to figure it out, and when I’d finished installing it, even though it would print, it wouldn’t scan.

Eventually I discovered that despite it being one of these multi-function printers from a major manufacturer, the scanner drivers aren’t included in the installation package, something that left me totally bewildered, so I had to go on-line and hunt them down.

And then I couldn’t make the machine work as I wanted. The control panel is quite complicated but seems to be lacking in functionality. I was surprised that it hadn’t installed a “scan” button on the computer desktop.

So after much binding in the marsh, I eventually discovered that the original “scan” icon for the old printer now points to the new one and once I’d realised that, it was all plain sailing.

All of this made me quite late for my afternoon walk, and when I finally made it outside, I bumped into a neighbour who kept me chatting for half an hour. Not that I had the time to spare, but I can’t spend all my life being totally unsociable with everyone.

While we were chatting, there were all kinds of stuff going on in the air. The powered red hang-glider went by overhead, followed by a couple of Nazguls, a light aeroplane and even the air-sea rescue helicopter, but you can’t interrupt your conversation to take a few pictures. It’s not very polite.

launching site for hang gliders Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021One we’d parted company and gone our separate ways, like the Knights in THE HOLY GRAIL? i tried to make amends.

The field from where the Bird-men of Alcatraz take off is right next door to the cemetery, which I always thought was a good idea because if they make a mistake on take-off or landing they won’t have far to go, so I took a random photo to see if I could see anyone.

But they must have come in and untangled themselves from their equipment quite quickly because by the time that I looked, the field was pretty much deserted. The bird-men had flown.

bouchots donville les bains people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Instead, I concentrated myself on what was going on down on the beach this afternoon.

Plenty of beach to be on today of course with the tide being out, but not too many people on it taking advantage of the warm, almost windless afternoon.

Meanwhile, further over at Donville les Bains, they are out there in force at the bouchot beds – the beds where the mussels grow on strings rather than in the sand. You can see the tractors and trailers out there as they harvest today’s catch

repairing medieval city walls place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was here, I had a look to see how the repair work on the old medieval city wall at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux was going on

It’s been a while since we’ve had a close look, so I was hoping to see some substantial progress today. But all that I could see was that some white protective sheet had been erected to cover the scaffolding at the far end.

There are however a couple of guys on the scaffolding down at this end working on the wall so if I can get away early on my way to the physiotherapist tomorrow afternoon I’ll go for a closer look and see how they are doing.

jersey trawler Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While all of this was going on, I was having a good look around out at sea.

As I mentioned earlier, Jersey was standing out quite clearly this afternoon. With some digital enhancing we can see plenty of boats out there this afternoon, like the fishing boat over to the right that might even be the same one that we’ve seen in the bay for the last couple of days.

And it’s not all that usual that we see the eastern end of the island so clearly, yet here it is today. I was trying to identify some of the buildings there by reference to an aerial photo, but without very much success.

boats leaving harbour st helier jersey Eric Hall photo September 2021A little further around to the west there’s a really good view of several boats leaving the harbour at St Helier.

The one on the extreme left of the image caught my eye. Blowing up the image as much as I could, I could see that it has some kind of winching gear on the stern, but it looks too big to be a trawler.

However, there was nothing arriving at or leaving the port round about that time that corresponded with a ship of this nature.

And then we have another couple of trawlers heading our way

trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy Eric Hall photo September 2021With nothing else going on over here (as if all of this isn’t enough) I went to have a closer look at Cap Fréhel, which I could see with my naked eye today, and then across the lawn and the car pary around to the end of the headland.

In the past, I can’t recall having seen fishing boats working in the strait here between Granville and Cancale over in Brittany, but that all changed fairly recently when we noticed them starting to try to exploit this area. There’s a trawler out there this afternoon trying to see what it can pull up out of the sea bed.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I wonder if this constant search for new fishing grounds is due to the issues over fishing rights further out in the Baie de Granville.

hotels baie de mont st michel Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned how nice the weather was today and how clear the sky was.

Down at the foot of the Baie de Mont St Michel, while we can’t actually see the Mont until someone removes the Pointe de Carolles and the Cabanon Vauban that sits thereupon, we can see the hotels on the mainland this afternoon.

If you look just slightly to the right of the foot of the Pointe de Carolles you’ll see a few white or light grey buildings. These are where anyone who comes to visit the Mont and stay overnight will usually stay because prices actually on the Mont itself are quite simply out of this world.

And there on the mainland they aren’t really all that much better, I suppose. It’s pretty much a captive audience over there.

l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Meanwhile, it’s “all change” at the chantier naval this afternoon.

As I walked along the path on the top of the cliff towards the port, I could see that things were looking quite different down there this afternoon. And it looks as if there has been a massive clear-out today.

The only boat that is left today is L’Omerta. The other boats that were in there – Hera, Le Pescadore and Catherine-Philippe – have now gone back into the water.

The next question is “who is going to come into the chantier naval to take their place?”.

belle france chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It’s a lot more normal over at the ferry terminal this afternoon.

The new ferry Belle France and the little freighter Chausiaise are moored over there this afternoon. The two Joly France boats are probably out at sea somewhere. And they’ve closed up the jib of the crane as well, which is good news for the hydraulic seals.

Meanwhile, in other news, there’s some kind of jogging team out there on the quayside going for a run. They’ve turned off and are starting to run along the wall around the port de plaisance.

And I’m intrigues to find out what will happen when they reach the end, because there’s a large gap in the wall. Perhaps it’s the start of a triathlon and they are all going to leap into the sea and swim across.

Back in the past, I took part in a triathlon, but only the once. I was busy doing the water leg when I suddenly thought to myself “this is silly. I’m getting the bike all rusty here”.

marquees chicane rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Over the last few days we’ve seen interesting developments taking place in the Rue du Port.

We have the chicane of course, and the marquee that they erected yesterday. But now a couple more marquees have sprung up on the car park of the Fish Processing Plant. This is all starting to become interesting.

And we can see that Marité is back in town as well. She’s been absent for the last couple of days. Well, in fact, she hasn’t really. She’s been nipping out early on the morning tide for a lap around the Ile de Chausey or over to Cancale and not come back until the evening tide.

Hence my mid-afternoon walk has missed her.

aztec lady capo di fora spirit of conrad mini y port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Meanwhile, In other news, we have a couple of new visitors in the port.

The white yacht on the extreme right next to the blue Aztec Lady is called Capo di Fora. Despite her Italian-sounding name, she’s actually flying the Belgian flag, as, incidentally, her neighbour Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went up and down the Brittany coast last summer.

The large grey yacht is called Mini Y, registered in the UK. She’s a “Baltic 85” yacht built in Finland in 2018 of fibre and composite construction and weighs in at just 50 tonnes.

She’s been cruising along the North European coast for the last few days and just recently has been roaming around St Malo and the waters between there and here

Back here in the apartment I had a few things to finish off and then I was just on the point of starting some work when Rosemary called me again.

Once we’d finished, it was long past my tea time so I grabbed an aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit out of the freezer and had that with some pasta. That tasted really nice, and it would have been even nicer had I not dropped the bottle of tabasco sauce in it.

***Note to self – put toilet roll in fridge tonight ***

And now I’m off to bed – going to make the most of my lie-in for the next few days to see if it makes me feel any better. Although I have a feeling that I’ll need more than this to liven me up.

Sunday 12th September 2021 – I KNOW THAT YOU …

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

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

Gone! And never called me “mother”!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 12th August 2021 – I WAS RIGHT …

joly france leaving ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… about the place out here being a hive of activity at the morning tide while I’m still plucking up the courage to drink a mug of coffee

This morning started off with a couple of blasts on the siren from one of the Joly France ferries , the older one of the two as she reverses out of the ferry terminal with a load of passengers on board.

They all do that when they reverse out, because they never know what is coming around the corner behind them, and I imagine that the sounding of the siren is the result of bitter experience.

belle france arriving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s just as well that she did because she had company right behind.

The very newest Chausey ferry, Belle France looks as if she’s been an early bird this morning.

She’s on her way back into harbour having presumably already dropped one load of passengers off at the island, and coming back for more, bringing with her, I imagine, holidaymakers who want to return to Paris on the midday train.

And so it looks as if it’s going to be a busy day for them out there today with them starting early like this.

chausiaise arriving at port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJamais deux sans trois – never two without a third, as I said yesterday.

And in behind all of them, somewhat later and at a much more leisurely rate, comes Chausiaise, the little freighter that they use for running the supplies and the luggage out there

All we need now is the other Joly France boat, wherever she may be, and the Loch Ness monster and we’ll have a full house today.

trans-shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you think that that was all of the excitement this morning you are very much mistaken.

One of the big issues about living in a medieval walled city is that deliveries are somewhat complicated. The heights and widths of the gates weren’t made for modern lorries.

Anyone who has anything delivered here in a lorry like this will need to have some kind of trans-shipment facility for their purchases if they expect their goods to arrive at their front door.

normandy trader loading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, back at the ran … errr … harbour we have another visitor in here this morning.

The Normandy Trader seems to have come into port with the evening tide yesterday and by the time that I got round to see her she was busy being loaded up with a pile of building material that must also have arrived quite early.

According to her skipper, she’d already been over to St Malo on her way out from St Helier so they are keeping her busy.

marite baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was at it, I went to have a look on the north side of the headland when I came back from the shops.

And here, sailing around the bay was Marité

We had seen her at her mooring earlier when we saw Normandy Trader but by the time that I came back both of them had cleared off into the sunset.

Normandy Trader had long-since disappeared into the distance but Marité kept me entertained for quite a while.

condor voyager english channel Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we had another surprising sight right out to sea just leaving the harbour at St Helier and the camera did really well to pick this up.

A quick check of the fleet radar told me that just about 20 minutes before I took this photo, Condor Voyager, the big superfast ferry whom we had seen the other day, had set out from St Helier on her way back to Poole in Dorset, where she arrived at 14:43.

She was the only ship out there who fitted the description and the size of what I was seeing so I reckon that it’s she.

Yes, I’ll go out again when the tide is right.

But anyway, I’m getting well ahead of myself.

And after last night’s adventures, all that I can say is that there’s no point whatever in killing myself to go to bed at a reasonably early time if I spend most of the night tossing and turning and not being able to sleep properly It was a rather dismal night in fact.

Nevertheless, I did manage to go off on several travels and it’s these that are probably wearing me out the most. Last night I was living at the top end of Crewe in Victoria Street and I had a little ginger kitten. One day I let it out and it shot off at a right pace. I was calling it and running after it praying that it wasn’t going to be knocked over by a car or something as it had never been out at all in the past. Eventually I caught it playing around by the railings that led up the steps to one of the shops on Hightown. I picked it up and thought “I’m on the way to the hospital but i’m going to have to carry the cat because I can’t just put it down and let it run around like this. It will drive me mad and be ever so stressful

Later on I’d arranged to meet one of my Canadian friends to go to the cinema but somehow I’d forgotten. I’d ended up going to bed. But the phone rang to ask me where I was “God! I’ve forgotten!” She replied “we’re just going in now”. She’s met someone and they were going to be on the balcony in the cinema. I dressed quickly and dashed into town, went up into the cinema and had a look round. Eventually I found them and went to sit next to them. There she was, then this guy then me then another woman. This was a B-feature and the lead film was a film abour economic analysis and everything. Of course I was fascinated by this and sat and listened to it. This woman started to talk about something that she had planned for her thesis to do with making glucoses on plants and transposing them to trees. I said “you should speak to my friend’s friend because he’s into genetics”. That sparked off a lively incident. This film then started to talk about someone who had developed some babysitting rings in South London with a couple of friends, about how they had started this but were doing it while studying and hadn’t let on. Their friends were starting to shun them because of the implications about what would happen to their studies if they found out that they were working.

Some time later a couple of us were hemmed in on a car park by a car and a lorry on a car park in Granville. We had to go to pick someone up from the seafront a little later and the gale was howling. It was really strong. I was trying to eat something but it was all falling apart. In the end I turned to whoever it was I was with and said something like “shall we go?”. I swept all of the ruins of whatever it was I was eating into a bag and I saw the cheese sandwich and said “God! Sorry!” to whoever it was we were meeting. We set off to go to see the storm.

A little while earlier at some point I’d been on a bike and I’d come to some roadworks and I’d had to wait while we were ushered through. The ushers were dealing with some kind of incident involving a lorry so we were there for hours. The we were let through and I had to cycle behind the girl on the bike who was leading everyone through. I’d switched my lights off and I couldn’t get them to work again. In the end I cycled off and by now I’d transformed myself into a car. I was heading back home to my place in Virlet. Although I’d come a different way I suddenly found myself back on the road that I knew so I was able to put my foot down and go that way. In the night with the lights and everything we could see all of these ancient buildings with all old dates carved into these buildings, hundreds of dates, all reflected in the shadows of the car’s headlights. It was the first time that I had ever seen them so clearly.

It’s no wonder that I’m totally exhausted with all of this going on, is it?

Having organised that I went and had a shower and went one better than Graham Nash – I actually DID cut my hair, although my not feeling up to par is not because I had the flu for Christmas – it’s something else completely.

Then I hit the streets – not that I feel much like it but on Tuesday I have to go for the train and so I may as well see how I feel.

You’ve already seen some photos and I’ll show you a few more quite soon once I’ve disentangled myself from the chat with the itinerant who hangs around the town.

unloading goods at empty shop rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was a clothes shop for kids in the Rue Couraye but it moved to different premises not so long ago.

Just recently the windows have been covered over to stop people peeking inside, and today they’ve had a delivery of stock.

Hachette is wholesale book distributor and it’s their name on the packaging, so are we going to be seeing a bookshop open in the town?

Watch this space.

On the way up the hill my knee gave out again and that reminded me that as I was going past the new physiotherapists’ clinic I should pop in there and make an appointment. I have a doctor’s prescription for a course of physiotherapy.

At LIDL I didn’t buy very much at all today – it was the exercise that I went for more than the shopping, so I was soon heading back.

crane rue victor hugo rue saint paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we watched them demolish the old café on the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo.

They erected a crane shortly afterwards and I said that they would get a move on now because hiring a crane is expensive. So since then they haven’t done a tap of work.

Of course it’s August and everyone is on holiday right now, but in that case why bring the crane in and not wait for September when everyone is back at work? It seems rather strange to me, but there again many things around here do.

public notice square potel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt LIDL I’d bought some energy drink to fuel the climb up the hill to home, so I stopped to drink it right by the Square Potel.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, late last year they demolished the staircase and closed it all off to the public, and today I noticed that a notice had been erected at the site.

Basically, work is going to start here next autumn, so they say, and so it’s not worth anyone’s while making the place look presentable at the moment, only to have to rip it all out in early course.

So at least we know when things might be starting. When they might be finishing is something else completely.

Outside the building was a neighbour so we had a chat, then I came in to put away my frozen peas and then … errr … hit the chair for a while. And no surprise there.

As a result there was a rather late lunch and I wasn’t in the mood for doing all that much afterwards for a while. Eventually I did some more Greenland photos to keep things ticking over.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen it was time for my afternoon walk, somewhat later than usual, I wandered as is my custom these days down to the end of the car park to have a look at the beach.

And we’re right at the turn of the tide by the looks of things judging by the beach, and there are quite a few people down there this afternoon making the most of it.

Plenty of sunbathers and and even quite a few people taking to the water. It was certainly one of the nicer afternoons that we’ve had for a while.

A few yachts out there in the distance too and beyond them are the bouchot beds that we saw yesterday. They aren’t as clear today as they were.

yachts ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut on the subject of things being clearer, the air is certainly much clearer than it was yesterday.

The difference between the view of the Ile de Chausey today and the view YESTERDAY WHEN WE SAW MARITÉ is quite considerable.

Unfortunately she’s not out there now, she’s gone somewhere else out of my view. However there are quite a few other yachts over there in the distance, one of them being Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went down the coast last year.

lighthouse cap fréhel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we’re on the subject of going down the Brittany coast … “well, one of us is” – ed … the view down the Brittany coast was quite good today.

Right out there on its headland we can vaguely see today the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, about 70 kilometres from where I’m standing. Not the best view that we have had – we’ve had days when we’ve seen it with the naked eye – but pretty good all the same.

And I haven’t forgotten that I have a few close-ups on the lighthouse to show you one of these days when I find enough creative spirit to write something up about my journey down there.

st helier jersey channel islands Eric HallIf the view out down the Brittany coast is good, there’s a fair chance that the view out to sea might be good too (although quite often it isn’t).

Out there today, we have a really good view of the island of Jersey and the port of St Helier, even down to being able to see plenty of the buildings around the town. It’s very rare indeed that we cans ee them as clearly as this.

The big white building with the round dome on top is as far as I can tell, the Fort Regent Leisure Centre but I can’t really identify the others. One of these days I’ll have to go for a sail out there, but I bet that it will be raining and foggy and I won’t be able to see a thing.

seagulls baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt this particular moment I was overflown by an aerial duo.

The white one on top was, presumably, mummy seagull and she seemed to be taking one of her babies, the browny-grey one underneath, for its maiden flight around the clifftops.

And judging by the noise that baby was making, she was not one very happy seagull at all. The younger ones have this very distinctive squeaky call that sounds like an unhappy toddler.

And by the way, if ever you come to Granville, bring a hat. The seagulls have an accuracy that puts Bomber Command to shame.

yellow microlight pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I’m on the subject of being overflown, it’s getting to be more and more like Play School here.

Today we aren’t going to be deciding which window to be looking out of, we’re going to be deciging which one of the microlight aircraft will be oveflying us.

Last time, it was the red one, so today then obviously it has to be the turn of the yellow one to come and pay me a visit, rattling its way past overhead.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the yellow autogyro so maybe that’s his turn tomorrow.

Surprisingly, that was the only aircraft today that went anywhere like close enough to be able to take a worthwhile photo. There were a couple of others but they were either too far out or too high.

fishermen speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving dispensed with all of the activity out on the north side of the headland I went to see what was going on round the corner because i’d seen some things moving out there.

Across the car park went I, down to the end of the headland and just as I did so, a speedboat went right past in front of me.

We’ve had everything else today so why not a boat full of fishermen? Not doing very much fishing because they are travelling at some speed, from where I don’t know because all of the slipways are out of the water right now.

They are going to be having quite a long wait until the tide comes in far enough for them to go ashore.

yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I said just now that things were moving out there, I was only speaking figuratively because here’s someone who clearly isn’t.

This is the best way to spend a quite sunny afternoon – anchored off the coast (you can see his anchor chain extended off the port bow) taking in the rays and waiting patiently for the tide to come in.

It doesn’t even look as if he is doing any fishing, and that is surely heresy around here right now.

There’s a few other things to see around the corner so i’ll wander off that way.

trawler in portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallPlenty of excitement yet again in the chantier naval this afternoon.

The portable boat lift has been pressed into operation today and it has a small trawler-type fishing boat in its evil clutches. And there’s a guy standing behind it with a pressure washer presumably removing the barnacles from her hull

And I suppose that you’re wondering why she’s still in the boat lift despite the tide being well out right now, and not dropped down onto a set of chocks as they usually do as soon as they take them out of the water.

Well, read on.

7 trawlers in chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s your answer. There simply isn’t anywhere to put her.

It’s been a really busy morning down at the chantier naval by the looks of things and we have no fewer that seven boats in there. There’s Charlevy of course across the other side, and Trafalgar nearest the street, and then four in a line with the seventh in the portable boat lift.

This is probably a record number of boats for me in there and I don’t see how they could hope to fit any more in their place.

And the excitement will begin when they need to use the portable boat lift to drop a boat back in the water, with nowhere to drop the one that’s in the lift while they do it.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw Chausiaise coming back into the harbour after her run out this morning, but she’s now back where she was moored yesterday.

Maybe that’s her work finished for the day, unless she has to go over and bring back some luggage tonight.

And in the background there’s another class taking place in the pool over there by the beach at the Grève de Hérel. It looks as if it might be kayaks this afternoon.

But I came back for a cold drink and to stir some papers around. Despite having felt a little better, I’ve still not been able to concentrate at all.

For tea I made a huge pile of aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit, with no pudding as I wasn’t all that hungry. I had no breakfast either so my appetite seems to have gone.

But now I’m off to bed, rather late, and hoping for a better, more productive day tomorrow. High time that I extricated my digit.

Tuesday 29th June 2021 – MY CHOCOLATE PUDDING …

… is absolutely delicious.

This morning after the medication I mixed a pile of bread dough and left it to fester in its own time

home baked bread chocolate cake place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd after my breakfast of fruit cake, toast and hot chocolate (made with real chocolate of course) I gave the bread a second kneading, shaped it and put it in the mould that I use.

While it was festering I made the chocolate cake mix and put it in a deep baking tray lined with baking paper. When the bread mix had risen enough I put both the bread and the chocolate cake mix in the oven.

When everything was cooked I took the cake, cut it in half, layered the halves with jam and joined the two halves together in a sandwich and left it to cool.

The bread was delicious of course but my cake was just so exquisite with some of the chocolate sauce that I make. I’ll make some more of this, that’s for sure.

While all of this was going on, I was working on my photos from August 2019. For a change I made good progress and I’m now in my hotel in Toronto waiting to leave for my plane to take me to Greenland.

One of the photos that I edited was of THE CHURCH IN WINNIPEG where my grandmother was married in 1918 and another one was of THE STAGE IN THE METROPOLITAN THEATRE where she shared the top of the bill in 1922 with Lon Chaney and Jackie Coogan.

Some of the time was also spent revising my Welsh – even though we’re on holiday until September I don’t want to forget what I’ve learnt so I’m going to spend maybe half an hour a day revising. In fact I might have spent more time working on my Welsh had I not crashed out rather comprehensively.

Lunch was as a consequence rather late, although my fresh bread was delicious, and then I carried on with the photos until it was time for me to go for my afternoon walk. And no girl hanging around the doorway today either.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst port of call as usual was to go and look to see what was going on down on the beach so I took myself off across the car park to stick my head over the top of the wall

The tide was on its way out by the looks of things and so there was a reasonable amount of beach to be on. And there were a few people down there as well, and that’s not much of a surprise because the good weather has come back.

Not quite well enough for a session of sunbathing although when we were out of the wind it was quite warm and pleasant. Pleasant enough to loiter around on the rocks and wait until tonight when the tide will come back in.

people swimming in medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was plenty of other activity going on elsewhere on the beach.

While I was taking the photo of the people on the beach in the previous photograph I was casting my eyes around to look for anything else and they alighted on some people having fun over on the beach at the Plat Gousset.

The tidal swimming pool isn’t visible from here but the medieval fish trap is. And as well as being full of fish, it’s also full of people swimming around and being buzzed by a seagull while they were at it. They seem to get everywhere, these birds. And so do the swimmers too. They seem to be enjoying themselves in the fish trap. I hope that the fish don’t mind.

ships approaching st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallToday was one of those days where we could see for miles, which is rather a change from the last few days.

The island of Jersey was quite clearly visible today even if it is 58 kilometres away from me. But I wasn’t as interested in the island as I was in what was going on in the sea just off-shore from the island.

There were several boats sailing around just offshore and it’s very rare that you can actually see them from here. And if you look to the right of centre there’s a boat that has the same profile as the Commodore ro-ro ferries that ply between St Malo, Portsmouth and the various Channel islands although I’ve not been able to identify which one.

buildings at st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe weather was so clear that I could actually see the individual buildings in St Helier.

The big round white building that we can see is, I reckon, the View Bar and Supplement store at Fort Regent on the edge of the harbour. The smaller white building to the left is, I think, a building at the harbourside occupied by a firm of accountants.

As for the big tall structure at the left-hand edge of the photo, I’ve not been able to identify that. And I shan’t be able to for quite a while yet because with no way to get out to the Channel Islands right now as long as the Covid epidemic rages, I can’t get any closer.

cancale brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there’s no difficulty at all identifying this view.

With the air being so clear today, I was expecting to have a good view out across the bay to the Brittany coast. And so after having admired the Channel Islands, I set off down the path and across the car park to the far end of the headland to see what was going on.

The town of Cancale was exceptionally clear this afternoon. That’s 18 kilometres away as the crow flies but to actually drive there it’s about 60 kilometres, as I know only too well having been caught out by that when I first came here.

No fishing boats out there today which was a surprise, and so I headed off down the path.

trawlers philcathane yacht rebelle chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were crowds of people this afternoon at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour so I had to jostle for a view. But at least the path was a lot drier this afternoon than it was yesterday.

There’s been a change of occupancy in the chantier navale today. The trawler Philcathane and the yacht Rebelle are still in there but they’ve been joined by another trawler. She’s carrying the same colour scheme as L’Alize 3 although without being to read any name, I’m not able to say.

So I had to wait for the people to move away before I could take a photo. And then I could move off along the path. There wasn’t anything else going on in the outer harbour to hold my attention.

marite big wheel products on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was however plenty of activity in the inner harbour today.

Maité was in there today and she was surrounded by a pile of people who might be schoolchildren wearing something yellow that might be lifejackets.

And it looks as if we are going to be having a visit from one of the Channel Island freighters, either Thora or Normandy Trader, because there’s a pile of freight on the quayside down there, including a boat still in its shrink-wrapping for transport to its destination.

The Big Wheel wasn’t going round though while I was watching. Maybe there aren’t any customers waiting for a ride around.

But I headed off back home for my afternoon coffee. And while I was waiting for the kettle to boil I cut the vegan meat pie into slices and put them in the freezer along with the remaining apple pie that might be eaten one of these days..

And later on I crashed out yet again.

Guitar practice was quite good and then I went for tea – rice with an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit followed by my cake and chocolate sauce. And then a huge pile of washing-up.

Now I’m off to bed because I’m exhausted. I don’t know why I’m so tired today. Here’s hoping I’ll have a better day tomorrow.

Thursday 6th May 2021 – OUR HEROES …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday 12th April 2021 – I WAS NOT …

… alone this afternoon when I went out for my afternoon walk.

bird of prey place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out this afternoon I was overflown yet again.

Whenever we’ve had clear days in the past it’s been aircraft, whether main-line stuff flying at impressive altitudes over my head or else it’s been light aircraft, autogyros and Birdmen of Alcatraz (who, incidentally, we haven’t seen for quite a while) going past at head height.

But none of that today. It was the local bird of prey, whatever species he (or she) might be, buzzing around over my head looking for food, and then swooping down to the ground to capture something, all of which takes place a darn sight quicker than I can follow it with my camera.

fishing boats brittany coast baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomething else that was different this afternoon was the situation in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

For the last I-don’t-know-how-long I’ve been down there on the path to the end of the headland to look out across to the Brittany coast to see what was happening and, as Bob Dylan once famously sang on THE BASEMENT TAPES there was “too much of nothing”.

But today was rather different. We had the fleet of local inshore fishing boats out there in the bay doing what they are good at. There was probably about half a dozen of them all told presumably setting their traps and the like.

They rotate from one fishing area to another and it looks as if today is the turn of the inshore waters to receive their attention.

My attention this morning was focused hauling myself out of bed this morning. And seeing that I didn’t go to bed this morning until 01:30 that was rather a complicated matter. I’ve had worse mornings than this, but I can’t remember when.

First task after the medication was to deal with the radio programme on which I was going to work this morning. Having already chosen the music and paired it all off it was a simple matter of writing the text, recording it, editing it, cutting it into segments and using the segments to join together all of the pairs of songs.

Then I had to choose a closing song and write the text for it, edit that and then join it all together.

It ended up being 23 seconds over but in the speech that I write, there are all kinds of little bits that can be edited out and so weeding out 23 seconds of recorded superfluous speech is not as complicated as it might sound.

It was all done and dusted and up and running by 11:30.

That left me with plenty of time to book my transport and accommodation for my trip to Leuven next week. And while I can understand that there is only one train out of Granville per day when there’s a pandemic and movement is severely restricted, just WHY does it have to be at 05:55?

At least I’ll get into Leuven with plenty of spare time to recover from the voyage, but on the other hand it means that if there’s an issue with just one of the trains that I need to catch, I shall be well and truly up a gum tree.

After lunch (and my bread from yesterday is really delicious) I had a go at the photos from August 2019 and I’m now caught up with my plan of a minimum of 30 a day. I’m now patrolling the “south skirmish line” of last Stand Hill at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

But while some might think that it’s a “south skirmish line” it look to be very much like the route of a panic -stricken flight to me. You don’t dig yourself in at the bottom of a steep ravine when the place to dig yourself in would be at the top of the slope where your adversary would have to struggle up towards you slowly and you’ve have plenty of time to fire at them to push them back.

The fact that there are so very few memorials to the Native Americans on this side of the battlefield when the whole area is littered with memorials to American soldiers tells its own story. My opinion is that the natives were firing into the backs of the fleeing soldiers rather than face-to-face in a firefight.

All of this took me up to the time for my afternoon walk so I grabbed the NIKON D500 and headed off out.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst thing to do today was to go to the wall at the end of the car park and look down onto the beach to see what was going on down there.

The tide is quite far out this afternoon so there was plenty of beach to go at. And there were quite a few people down there this afternoon making the most of it. Not as many people as we have seen on occasion – no schools playing rounders or anything like that – but I would have thought that with all of the holidaymakers around right now, they would have been there.

After all, it was a pleasant, sunny day if you could find some shelter out of the wind, because once more we seem to be having a bucket-full of wind and I’m rather fed up of that right now.

yacht jersey english channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut as we all know, it’s an ill-wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good.

There’s always going to be someone who would take advantage of it and we have one of those out here this afternoon – the yacht that’s out there somewhere between the Channel Islands and the French mainland.

At the distance that it was from here – probably about half-way across, I couldn’t make out whether it was coming or going and I know exactly how it feels after everything that I seem to be going through right now. And the whitecaps on top of some of the waves will indicate that it’s not having the best of it out there in this weather. The wind must be even stronger offshore.

unidentified ship st helier jersey english channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was looking out at the yacht that I saw just now, I noticed something just offshore outside the harbour at St Helier so I took a photo of it to enlarge when I came back so that I cn see what it might be.

Having done that, I have to say that unfortunately, I’m still none-the-wiser. It’s big and white and my first thought was that it might be a cruise ship anchored outside the harbour. But there’s no trace of any large ship of this size anywhere in the vicinity so I’ve no idea what it might be.

But I’m impressed with the weather this afternoon because I can see St Helier so clearly this afternoon. We can even see the medieval tower that guards the entrance to St Helier harbour, never mind all of the other buildings there.

bird of prey place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was round about now that the famous bird of prey flew past overhead.

It took up station, hovering around over the edge of the cliffs round about 50 yards from where I was standing. And then suddenly, as I looked it swopped off down to near the foot of the cliffs. Presumably it had seen something edible but it was so quick that I couldn’t see what it was.

At least it’s having more luck that the local fishermen.

So from there I set off along the path on top of the cliffs. The people were there on top of the bunker again clearing off the dirt and dust but I carried on past them. There weren’t too many people this afternoon to get in my way.

cap frehel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere’s the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel once more

With the weather out to the Channel Islands being so good this afternoon, I was wondering how the view would be out along the Brittany coast. So I climbed up on top of one of the other bunkers where there’s a good view.

Once again, the lighthouse was clearly visible even with the naked eye and we could even see the headland behind the lighthouse today. It’s not every day that we can see that much of the coastline. I’ll really have to crack on and finish the notes of my trip around Central Europe so that I can get on and show you the photos of the Brittany coast that I took on board the Spirit of Conrad

Off along the path I went and then across the car park to the end of the headland.

fishing boat with nets out pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that just off the headland at the Pointe du Roc we’ve occasionally seen something that might be interpreted as a marker buoy for a lobster pot are something similar.

Seeing this boat here make me even more certain that it is a lobsterpot and its marker or something like that. If you look closely at this little boat you’ll see that it has its lines out on the starboard side so it’s possibly engaged in either lowering down or raising up a lobster pot.

However, as you can see, there are so many boats out here working away in the Baie de Mont St Michel, all over the place this afternoon.

From there I pushed off along the path towards the port.

panhard 24 2+2 rue du cap lihou Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallCrossing over the pedestrian crossing in the Rue du Cap Lihou I was almost squidged by a passing motorist.

But if I’m going to be run down by a passing motor vehicle, I wouldn’t mind so much it being one of these. This is a Panhard 24 2+2, one of the very last of the vehicles built by the Panhard Motor company before they closed their doors in 1967.

The Panhard 24 was the car that was designed to replace the famous Panhard 17 and was built between 1963 and 1967. It contained many features that were considered to be “luxury items” at the time such as 3-way adjustable seats, adjustable steering wheel and the like

They must be beautiful to drive but unfortunately I have never ever had the chance to find out.

joly france ferry terminal port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, there was some kind of excitement going on over at the ferry terminal.

Both of the Joly France boats, the ones that provide the ferry service over to the Ile de Chausey, are over there this afternoon. The tide is well out so they are in a NAABSA – Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground – situation over there.

This would seem to indicate that at the next high tide, probably later on towards the evening, they’ll be going back out to rescue the perishing wo are stranded out there right now.

We also have another fishing boat tied up over there too. It’s bewildering me why so many of them are no longer going into the inner harbour to tie up in there.

material on quayside port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther on along the path there’s a good view down into the inner harbour and the loading bay where the little Jersey freighters Normandy Trader and Thora tie up.

And have you ever seen such a large pile of freight lined up on the quayside waiting to be taken away? It’s enormous. They must be expecting one of the freighters to come in pretty soon because they wouldn’t otherwise leave all this much stuff lying around.

It’s no surprise that they are talking about buying a larger ship to deal with all of the freight. It’s quite an unexpected Brexit dividend that rather than having freight sent to and from the UK for onward trans-shipment to and from Europe, it’s sent directly to the European mainland

men inspecting harbour bed port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat’s not the end of today’s excitement. either. We had some men rooting around in the outer harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve had diggers out there working in the harbour dealing with the issues of installing more mooring chains. They are a long way from finishing, so I imagine that these men are either inspecting the work that has been done or else surveying it for further work.

But I wasn’t all that interested in what they were doing. With nothing else going on, I headed on for home and my mug of hot coffee. And I certainly needed it today because I’m still feeling quite cold.

Armed with my coffee I listened to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was living with Nerina and we had the house at Gainsborough Road and all of the kids were living there as well. I kept on coming back from away and the place was an absolute mess so I started to tidy up the kitchen. I started to collect together all of the things for the microwave. There was a lot of stuff that I didn’t use regularly so I thought that I’d take them to France so I put it on one side ad carried on emptying these boxes to see what there was in there and stacking it up. When I reached the final box it was full of water as it had been left out in the rain. There was one of my electric drills in there. I drained it off but the sound of the running water awoke Nerina as it was 02:00. It also disturbed someone walking down the side of the house so Nerina asked what was going on. I told her. She asked if I was going to take all this lot to the Cheshire Cat. I asked her what she meant and she said “to put it all in a line”. I replied “I’m not selling anything, I want to keep it all. I can keep some of it in my garage but I’ll have to find a place for the rest”. This was another dream where I had these imaginary lock-ups that I had but I couldn’t remember where they were.

Having done that, I did some Welsh revision but unfortunately I crashed out in the middle of it.

The hour on the guitar passed quickly and then I went for tea – veggie balls with steamed vegetables with vegan cheese sauce followed by more of my really delicious jam roly-poly.

Now I’m off to bed. I have my Welsh lesson tomorrow and then I REALLY MUST deal with my Central Europe trip and finish it off. I’m fed up of it lying around like this. There’s plenty of other stuff that I need to be doing, even installing the kitchen that I bought before Christmas.

There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Thursday 8th April 2021 – TODAY, I’VE HAD …

trawler yacht english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… another one of those nautical days that we have every so often.

There has been so much traffic on the waters today that I’ve really been spoilt for choice when it came to taking photos because I could have taken 100 and still not done justice to everything that was going on out there at sea this afternoon.

When I went out there this afternoon for my little walk around the headland I was overwhelmed by the amount of nautical traffic that was bobbing up and down on the high seas, from the smallest plank-boarders to some of the larger trawlers and freighters that hang around the port.

marite unloading normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it wasn’t just out at sea that we were having all of this excitement.

It was pretty busy in the harbour this morning too. One of or favourite boats, the little Jersey Freighter Normandy Trader has come into port on the overnight tide. She’s now tied up underneath the crane at the loading bay while the personnel of the Chamber of Commerce make ready to unload her.

You can see all of the material on the quayside already. I reckon that this is the load that she has to take back with her to St Helier. And you can see how busy she is with all of that load. No wonder her owners are talking about buying a larger boat

vna pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s not just at sea and in the port that we are extremely busy. Thee was quite a lot going on in the air today too.

The bright sunny weather has certainly brought out the aeroplanes this afternoon, like this one that overflew me as I walked my weary way around the headland. I’ve no idea what it is because I couldn’t see the registration properly. I can see the last three letters – VNA – of its registration.

Although I checked, there was nothing of that registration that had taken off from or landed at Granville Airport this afternoon. It’s probably frustrating me deliberately by not filing a flight plan so people like me can’t identify it.

fishing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you admire the picture of the busy port this afternoon with the crowds of boats queueing up and the portable boat lift now tackling Lys Noir, I’ll tell you about my busy morning.

It was rather a late night, although not as late as it has been once or twice, so I was able to leap out of bed with alacrity when the alarm went off.

After the medication I attacked the dictaphone notes for the last couple of days seeing as I missed out on doing it yesterday. And if you now look at yesterday’s entry, you’ll see that that is now up-to-date with the entries for yesterday now incorporated. Now that those were out of the way I could turn my attention to last night’s travel.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSome people came round to my house, including an old friend of mine so I invited a girl to come along as well. I made all of the arrangements but just at the last moment when I was getting ready to receive my visitors I had a ‘phone call to say that this girl was having to go into work so she wouldn’t be able to come. I had a little morning’s entertainment with these people and just strode out and the followed me. They went their separate ways. I just happened to be walking past their house when a car pulled up and these 3 girls got out. 1 of them said “so-and-so will run you home” referring to her youngest sister. “She knows the trick about the car”. They parked up but then they saw me walking past and asked “Eric, are you coming in?”. I walked up the path towards the door to join them.

having dome that I turned my attention to the photos from August 2019 on my North American Adventure and managed a few of those before it was time for me to go off for my shower.

And having done that, I wandered off out on my way to the shops for my mid-week shopping trip.

pointing rampe de monte à regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route took me past the top of the Rampe du Monte à Regret where they are using the poor state of the medieval wall as a training ground for young apprentices.

And sure enough, there were about half a dozen there, a few of whom were females, something that is always nice to see. All of them with their trowels and mortar boards doing a nice rightward lead along all of the cracks. It brought back many happy memories of when I was POINTING THE WALLS AT MY HOUSE all those years ago.

having watched them for a while I pushed on … “pushed off” – ed … down the steps and on into the town.

roundabout place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it looks as if they are getting ready for the summer season, such as it might be this year, in the town.

The other day when we were around the town we saw the candyfloss and sweet stand that had arrived in the town and was now parked up hear the harbour. Today I noticed that the kiddies’ roundabout has arrived and has now been set up in the Place Charles de Gaulle ready to entertain them for the next few months.

My next port of call was LIDL for the midweek session of my weekly shopping. I didn’t want all that much from there so I ended up with quite a light load. So not to waste the trip I stocked up with some soya milk and some tomato sauce because I can always use that sort of thing and I never seem to have enough.

roadworks road closed rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back home I had to go along the Rue Paul Poirier, and that wasn’t as easy as it might have been.

There were roadworks in the street today and it was closed to all traffic. Not for pedestrians though so I could make my way along there and while I was it it, I could see what they were trying to do.

They had half of the road dug up near the junction with the Rue Etoupefour but as for why, I didn’t have any idea. They were digging a small trench and one of the guys was relaying the cobbles where there is the 5-minute waiting spot, cutting a few of them with his stone cutter to make them fit into their spaces. I suppose we’ll have to wait for a few days after they have cleared off in order to see what they have been doing.

roadworks rue etoupefour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the other end of the street, having pushed my way through the roadworks, I crossed over the road and started to go up the Rue des Juifs where I glanced down at the junction of the Place des Corsaires and the Rue Etoupefour.

There was a man down there with some of the cobbles pulled up, chipping away at them. I’m sure that it can’t be a coincidence with people working like this at both ends of the street . They must be doing some kind of work in common so I suppose we’ll find our about that in due course too.

Anyway I carried on up the Rue des Juifs with my light load hardly impeding me at all. I wasn’t going to say that I ran up the street but it was a good climb up there with hardly a pause for breath.

unloading normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was an occasion to call for a pause halfway up the hill because there was something of interest going on at the docks.

One thing that I’ve noticed is that each of the Jersey freighters, Thora and Normandy Trader has started to carry a couple of small sealed containers, presumably with private freight, and this morning they were unloading one of them from the deck of Normandy Trader and putting it on the quayside ready to be taken away.

That was all of the excitement for the morning. I wandered off home for my hot chocolate and sourdough fruit bread and to continue with my photo editing.

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to do too many because I crashed out on my chair. And crashed out completely too. I must have been out for about an hour and a half altogether. As a result I had a very late lunch.

After lunch, seeing as it was a nice sunny day with very little wind I went and attacked Caliburn’s door.

Trying to take off the door card was a contortionist’s delight and it took me an absolute age to free it off just so far that I could put my hand inside the door skin. And as for where the spring clip that holds on the window winder went, I have absolutely no idea.

Being able to put my hand inside the door skin was one thing. To actually open the door was something else and my hands ended up black and blue with cuts and bruises but with a great amount of force and inconvenience I finally managed spring the catch and open the door.

With the door open I could re-attach the bits that had fallen off and do the necessary adjustments and now the door will open from the outside as well as the inside. But I’m not putting the door card back on until I’m sure that it works.

seagull place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there working, I was not alone.

Yesterday we saw the seagull on the windowsill of one of the apartments on the other side of the building. And this time the bird is waiting at the correct window – the one where there is the plastic bird model on the inside. And you only have to look at the state of the window to see how often it is that the bird calls there.

But anyway, I went off inside to put away my tools and then came back outside to go for my afternoon walk in the sunshine.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe first thing to do was to go to the wall at the end of the car park to look over the wall to see what was going on down on the beach today.

The tide is quite well in this afternoon so thee wasn’t all that much beach to be on today but even so, there was still enough room for a few people to wander about. These two people were having a pile of fun leaping about from rock to rock down there and they will probably keep on doing it until the tide comes in and cuts off their only means of retreat.

There was no retreat for me today. I was continuing my walk along the path on top of the cliffs. And despite the really nice weather there was hardly anyone else about so I had the place pretty much to myself

autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier I mentioned that there was quite a lot going on in the air and I mentioned the light aeroplane that flew by overhead.

We also had another regular visitor going past me overhead this afternoon someone whom we haven’t seen for quite some time. It’s the old yellow autogyro that we’ve seen in the past on several occasions. We saw a different one, a reddy-orange one, fly past us the other day and it made me wonder when we would be seeing this one again.

She was flying quite high over my head too, much higher than normal and he had a passenger too so they presumably are on one of these sightseeing trips that she does every now and again

The French have a saying jamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third”, and that applied to the aircraft that I saw today.

EC-MVE Airbus A320-232 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn fact they may well have said “thirty-third” because there were so many in the sky this afternoon. Today’s choice of aircraft is an Airbus A320-232 that’s operated by Vueling Airlines, a Spanish low-cost airline and is operating their flight VY7826 /VLG7826 which is the 15:00 from Barcelona heading to Gatwick Airport.

Her registration number is EC-MVE and airframe number 8130 which means that she was built about three or so years ago and supplied new to the airline which means that she was supplied new to the airline in February 2018.

She wet past me over head at about 25,000 feet and 388 knots and had already started her descent down to the Gatwick flight path as I was watching her

chausiais yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have spent a great deal of time discussing Chausiais, the little freighter or barge that runs the freight between the Ile de Chausey and the mainland.

She’s usually been tied up at the ferry port or in the inner harbour but today I’ve actually been lucky enough to catch her on her travels, coming back from the ile de Chausey.

She’s down there now manoeuvring her way between a couple of yachts as she returns to the port after her little run out. I suppose that with all of the tourists and second-home owners being here fleeing the lockdown in Paris, she has plenty of work to do, ferrying the supplies out there to the island.

fishing boats waiting for port de Granville harbour to open Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom the end of the headland I followed the rail of yachts Chausiais and all of the fishing boats towards the harbour.

The harbour gates into the inner harbour aren’t open as yet but the time can’t be that far off because the queue of trawlers around them waiting to go in was quite oppressive. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many loitering around the harbour gates. Chausiais had quite a struggle to fight her way into her berth.

Earlier on we saw the portable boat lift wrapping her slings around lys noir but I didn’t hang around long enough to see what they were going to be doing with her. Instead, I carried on along the path.

spirit of conrad charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking around on the path above the harbour I’d noticed a sail being erected in the inner harbour. And earlier while I’d been fixing Caliburn’s door, I’d seen my neighbour Pierre who owns Spirit of Conrad in his working clothes leap into his car and drive off.

Putting 2 and 2 together, I assumed that it must be Spirit of Conrad that was having her sail hoisted, and it seems that I was quite right. It looks as if she’s being prepared for the sea again so I wonder where she might be going this time. We had fun on her when we were down the Brittany coast last summer.

Back at the apartment I had a coffee and then finished off the day’s photos from August 2019. I’m now on the Bozeman Trail at the site of the worst humiliation of the US Army at the hands of the native Americans prior to the battle of Little Big Horn where Colonel Fetterman and his entire troop of 79 soldiers and four civilian scouts were cut down by Red Cloud and his Sioux warriors.

Before guitar practice there was time for a little bit of the Central Europe trip and then I absorbed myself in music. And I didn’t really enjoy it al that much tonight. My heart wasn’t in it for some reason and I couldn’t really get going.

Tea was taco rolls and rice and veg, followed by some of my jam roly-poly and coconut dessert.

Tomorrow is going to be a Welsh revision day, I reckon, ready for the restart of my courses. I’m becoming far too rusty. I could do with an early night but I’m not going to get it today, that’s for sure. It’s late so I’m going straight to be. And I’m hoping to have pleasant dreams despite my new evening medicine which somehow has the effect of tranquilising me.

Wednesday 7th April 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… nautical afternoon out there again this afternoon.

There was so much traffic out there at sea this afternoon that you wouldn’t believe it. Out there at sea is one of the local trawlers, either Coelacanthe or her sister Tiberiade heading out to the fishing grounds near to the Channel Islands now that the fishing agreement has been extended, being followed by an optimistic seagull or two.

There was a smaller boat out there too, heading back to port from I don’t know where because there isn’t any land out there in that direction for her to come from.

yachting school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut there in the Baie de Mont St Michel they had the sailing school as well. A pile of little tiny yachts and their tutor accompanying them in his little boat.

One of the students appears to be trying to get away from the others, so good luck to him.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s my ambition to be out there with them one of these days. Having been to the school last Thursday I am now in possession of the literature to enable me to apply. All I need now is 10 minutes of my time to fill in the forms. But where I’m going to find that time at the moment I really do not know.

At least I made a start in the right direction this morning. Once more I managed to leap out of bed as the first alarm was ringing.

And after I’d had my medication I forgot to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. Instead, I started straight away to attack the photos from August 2019. And by the time that I was bored enough to knock off and do something else, not only had I done the arrears, I’d done today’s supply and a few of tomorrow’s too. I have to get ahead because I’m not going to be here on Saturday.

kiwi and pear kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that I’ve been up to today is to make another supply of kefir because I’m running low on stocks.

In the fruit and veg cupboard were several rather ripe kiwis (one of which was rather too ripe to use) so I whizzed up three of them with a ripe pear or two and strained them through the sieve into the big jug. The brewing kefir followed it in and I made a new batch in the big jar for next time.

The stuff in the jug was all mixed up and then poured through the filter stack and bottled in the flip-top bottles where they will fester away for a few days and ferment until I’m ready to use them, hoping that they won’t explode under pressure.

There was also time for a bash at the arrears from Central Europe last summer and I made some headway. Not as much as I would have hoped but I had an interruption, as you will find out as you read on.

Other interruptions of course were the morning break for my hot chocolate and sourdough fruit cake, my lunch, and then my walk out around the headland this afternoon.

seagull window ledge place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOutside the building I was greeted by one of the regulars who hangs around the neighbourhood.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have often seen the seagull out here. He perches on the windowsill of one of the apartments at the other end of the building and I’m not sure why.

But there was quite a change today. Normally he’s on the windowsill chatting to the model bird on the shelf inside but today, for some reason that I don’t know, he was standing on a different windowsill chirping away to no-one in particular. No model birds for him to talk to there.

seagull street light place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd he wasn’t alone there either.

Sitting on a lamp-post just next to the building is one of the first-year juvenile seagulls. It’s clearly not very happy about the larger one on the window sill in front of it because it’s sitting there bleating away.

Eventually it became fed up of sitting on its perch because it took off and did a few laps of the car park before settling down on the wall at the end of the car park. It’s presumably waiting for daddy (or mummy) to move off the window sill so that it can follow on to the next port of call

men fishing from zodiac english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that last summer we saw a yellow zodiac flitting around in the water here and there.

We haven’t seen much of her since then, up until today. But here she is, moored in the English Channel just off the Pointe du Roc with a couple of guys in it casting out a line or two into the water. It looks as if the fishing season is now underway.

It seems that sea bass is the thing that they spend so much time trying to catch around here, but as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, we have yet to see anyone actually catch anything while they have been fishing. And I’m not going to hold my breath waiting.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOver at the end of the car park, I could look over the wall now that the baby seagull has gone and see what is going on down on the beach this afternoon.

There wasn’t very much beach to be on this afternoon with the tide being a good way in but nevertheless some people had managed to find a secluded little spot down there for a little relaxation. The little kid running towards the sea seems to be enjoying himself but the others are more content with keeping quiet and keeping warm.

Winter coats and woolly bonnets abound down there and it’s no surprise because it really was cold this afternoon and there was a bitter wind. I was certainly wrapped up in my winter coat and wished that I had remembered to put on my woolly bonnet.

yacht jersey english channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I said earlier, there was an enormous amount of activity going on out at sea this afternoon.

Right out in the English Channel halfway across to Jersey I managed to pick out a yacht that was sailing on its way to St Helier. It certainly had the right kind of wind to push it along in that direction this afternoon.

And as regular readers will recall, the last time that we saw Jersey we could only just about make out the island and that was our lot. Today, the sky is a little clearer and we can actually see the individual buildings at St Helier. That’s always a good sign.

So with just one or two people walking around on the headland this afternoon, I walked off along the path to the end of the headland to see what was going on.

With the really good view across the English Channel to Jersey this afternoon I went and stood on the roof of the bunker near the end of the headland to see how things were down the Brittany coast.

lighthouse cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor the first time for quite a while, we’re able to see the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel down the coast 70 kilometres away. And we can see it quite clearly too, just to the right of centre in this photograph.

When I’ve finished the story of my trip around Central Europe I’ll be starting on the notes of my trip in the Spirit of Conrad down the Brittany coast, and you’ll be able to see exactly how the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel looks from close up, because we sailed right up to it while we were out there and I was able to take some good photos of it.

Climbing down from the roof of the building I made my wy round across the lawn and across the car park down to the end of the headland.

men fishing from rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown there on the rocks there were a couple of fishermen having a go at fishing from off the rocks at the foot of the headland.

A little earlier we saw a couple of fishermen fishing from the yellow zodiac and I mused that the fishing season might be under way now. These two guys here would certainly lend credence to that sort of thing.

But once again, despite all of the time that I spent watching them, they didn’t catch anything either. In the end I lost interest and headed off along the path on top of the cliffs on that side of the headland to see what was happening in the harbour.

Not that I travelled particularly far because I came to another halt half-way along the path.

sailing school trawler pleasure cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now the sailing school that we had seen earlier had regrouped and they were all performing their own version of a nautical danse macabre over there in the bay.

There was another trawler leaving the port too and heading for the fishing grounds. They seem to be leaving in dribs and drabs just now rather in the mass charge en flotte as has been the usual procedure up until very recently.

There was a nice little cabin cruiser following the trawler out of the port and I wondered where he might be going this afternoon.

While I was there I had a look down into the chantier navale to se what was happening there. There was no difference down there from yesterday – the lifeboat Notre Dame de Cap Lihou was still in there, with some paint now missing from her hull.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile there was some excitement going on in the inner harbour this afternoon.

Thora, the little Jersey freighter, is in there this afternoon and as I watched , she was being loaded up with material destined for Jersey. Sneaked in on the tide, I reckoned.

With the heavy cloud this afternoon it was impossible to see what was going on above me in the air so I headed on home airless, as you might say. And first task was to collect up all of the rubbish that was lying around and taking it to the big waste disposal bins outside. They were rather overflowing.

Rosemary had rung me up while I was out so I phoned her back. And as a result I missed finishing off my Central Europe trip, missed my guitar practice and missed my evening meal too. In the end I banged a couple of potatoes and some beans into the microwave while I was doing something else.

But now I’ve finished and I’m off to bed. I’ve crashed out twice already while I’ve been typing this and I reckon that the third time will be a good one. Tomorrow is shopping and I need a few things as well. And I have to book my travel to Leuven too for the end of the month.

And to have a go at fixing Caliburn’s door if the wind will drop. I’m going for my second vaccination on Saturday morning and entering and leaving the van is pretty much essential.

Earlier the next morning I finally managed to sort out the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I was in France yesterday and I was in Granville. I still had Les Guis. It was a Friday evening and I had Caliburn completely emptied out so I popped into Caliburn and headed off back to Les Guis with the aim of throwing another load of stuff in the back of the van and setting off back to Normandy. I arrived there and made a start on a couple of things. As well as that I was organising the furniture in there – the stuff that I was keeping and the stuff that I was throwing away, that kind of thing. I started to write out a note and I was doing it on a piece of wood that was an old bed base. There was a ridge where two pieces were joined and a strengthening batten and I was having to write around that. I remembered that TOTGA lived just down the road from me in France near Virlet so I arranged that I ought to go along and see her. She had this great big trailer that I had borrowed and I might need it again for removing. But in any case I wanted to go to see her. I worked out where she lived and of course it was a Saturday morning by the time I’d arrive so I wondered if maybe she’d gone shopping or something like that or should I invite her to come shopping with me or something.

This dream continued later on. I was going into a café and there were 3 girls whom Î knew in there. They shouted out “what’s this about you going for a drink with someone’s secretary?”. The girl whom we knew, it was her secretary. I remember saying something in a bit of a jokey jest type of thing and I hadn’t reckoned on her taking it seriously but apparently she had. She had written out directions of where she was going to meet. I remember her being a sweet little kid, Anoushka, and she’d written out this letter for me and where to meet so I thought that I’d better do this because it sounds interesting. The 3 girls asked me what I was actually doing down here. I said that I’d driven through the night to get to Brussels and I was sleeping in that little lodge place down near St Jacobsplein in Leuven. June Wayland said “but they’ve closed that route that you use, haven’t they?” and I was trying to think of which route she meant because I’d been coming a different way just recently. One of the things that I do remember was that a game of cricket was taking place, England v Pakistan or India or someone and the match was taking place in the conconrse of the airport – the arrivals lounge or the departure lounge. I thought that that was a strange place to have a cricket match. But they were playing there, and I was watching for a few minutes and wandered away but I could hear the commentary. It came down to the final couple of overs and at a certain point England can’t possibly lose the match now. I had to go to the bathroom from my room in this lodge and there was an Indian guy actually standing in the doorway listening to this. I couldn’t make him move. I thought that he might have seen me but he didn’t so I waited until the math finished. Then he saw me and stepped out of the way so I could leave my room. Then I suddenly realised that I ‘d forgotten my towel so I went back for it. Then I’d forgotten something else and had to go back for that. I ended up at the bathroom but there was someone already there.

Monday 22nd February 2021 – WELL THAT DIDN’T …

… work out as planned, unfortunately.

Fitting the new hard drive into the little Acer laptop went quite easily in the end, but I went for double or quits in changing the RAM while the laptop was in bits. Dismantling it further to access the RAM went fine enough, but in reassembling it, I broke a pin holder on one of the data ribbons. They were a lot more fragile than I was expecting.

The laptop switches on fine but no matter what, the screen won’t light up and there’s no evidence that the disk is working. I put the old disk back in and that’s noisy enough to be heard when it fires up, but that’s not doing anything either.

Tomorrow I’m going to take it apart and swap the RAM back and see if it’s a RAM fault. If it still won’t work, all that I can think of is that the pin holder that I broke isn’t for the touchpad but for something else more important.

It was a shame, altogether, because it was looking so good. But you can’t win a coconut every time.

What was even better was never mind the third alarm or even the second alarm, I actually beat the first alarm out of bed this morning. And it’s been a long time since that’s happened. And having prepared a pile of music when I was in Leuven last time, I bashed away at the Radio Programme straight away and by 12:15 I’d almost finished.

“Almost”, I said, because somewhere along the line I’d miscalculated and I’d over-run by a whole minute. So I had to sit all the way through it and edit out a whole minute’s worth of speech. Luckily there are always little bits here and there that are specifically designed to be edited out if necessary if the programme over-runs but by the time that I’d found an excess minute I was scraping the bottom of the barrel.

After lunch I attacked the little laptop and we all know how that went But while I was doing that I was downloading and printing out all of the paperwork that I need for Leuven this week. Including the Belgian Government’s Passenger Location Form. Now that they are checking them at the station I mustn’t forget to take it with me.

And, unsurprisingly given my early start, I had a little sleep during the course of the afternoon too.

We had the afternoon walk today of course.

le pearl trawler english channel islands jersey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was a really thick, heavy grey cloud out there this afternoon. Anyone looking out there would have immediately known what is meant by “leaden skies”.

However, although the cloud ceiling might be low today, the view was nevertheless quite clear as far as distance goes. There was a trawler right out to sea just about within range so I took a photo of it and to my surprise, I could see in the background the island of Jersey and even the buildings of the town of St Helier.

And considering how far away the town of St Helier is, the buildings have come out quite clearly. One of these days I’m going to nip over there on one of the freighters and inspect things for myself.

drain place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was leaning over the sea wall looking out at the trawler and the buildings of St Helier in the background, I found something else that I hadn’t noticed.

There’s a grid somewhere along the footpath but I hadn’t really thought about where it went and where its outlet was. But today, I noticed that there’s a pipe running from from where the grid might be, out over the cliffs.

Not that the pipework is going to be doing much good because, as you can see, it’s seen much better days. And I’m also intrigued to wonder why they bothered to drill a hole to pass it through the rocks down there.

And it’ll be interesting to see what’s happening to it when it’s pouring down, because it doesn’t seem to drain the pathway very much.

people lighthouse semaphore pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving satiated my curiosity with regard to the goings-on around the Place d’Armes I set off on my walk around the headland.

The schools are out this week so there were crowds of people walking around this afternoon. Not as many as there were over the weekend but the weather was so much nicer then, despite the high wind. It had dropped quite considerably today but the overcast weather and the cold weren’t conducive to hanging around out there for long.

And you can see the sky pretty well from here. It’s all heavy, grey and miserable although it’s quite clear away in the distance down the Brittany coast.

frogmen in zodiac english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallCrowds of people about on the footpath going up to the lighthouse at the Pointe du Roc but that wasn’t all that was going on either.

There was a zodiac roaring up and down the English Channel just offshore and what was bizarre about that was that there were three guys in wetsuits astride it. And I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had snorkels flippers and aqualungs to go with it too.

They went back and forth out there for a few times as I watched, but I wouldn’t see what they were trying to do and they weren’t leaping out into the water. But the zodiac looked like an official one to me, something that the forces of Authority might use.

Having seen a trawler out at sea in the English Channel I was wondering whether there might have been anything exciting going on in the bay, so I headed off that way to look.

cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing at all of any note, but we do have here a good example of how there are the heavy clouds in the sky but in the distance the view goes on for ever. The town of Cancale is quite clear over there this afternoon, silhouetted on the clifftop across the bay on the Brittany coast.

And over to the left at Cancale there is one of these builders’ tower cranes so someone is having some building work done over there.

And that’s really dismal in the sense that in the old days, they would have labourers, hod carriers and apprentices swarming up ladders carrying the bricks and tiles and the like. Nowadays with all of the automation there is no longer the demand for unskilled labour on a building site and it’s no wonder why there are so many unemployed people around.

Not everyone is able to be a financial consultant or a doctor or a telesales consultant.

people working on yacht chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe other day I mentioned that I’d seen a couple of people working away on the yacht in the chantier navale.

Today I walked on down the path on that side of the headland to see what was going on, and I was in luck because there they were again and I was lucky enough to catch them with the camera.

And there seems to be plenty of work going on with the hull at the moment. They seem to have patched it and it seems to be all masked off in places as if they are going to be doing some patchwork painting. That might account for them putting up that plastic sheeting at the side of it, if they are going to start on some respraying.

le pearl trawler baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there looking at whatever was going on in the port, the trawler that I had seen out there in the English Channel came sailing … “dieseling” – ed … around the headland.

What surprised me was that it was Le Pearl, the new trawler that arrived in port from the builders a few weeks before Christmas. In the few months that she’s been here, I haven’t yet seen her out at sea and as far as I’m aware she’s only been out the once. So seeing her out there, presumably having been out there working, is good news.

The flags that were waving around on her stern were of interest too. I was trying to work out what they were. They looked far too much like “Jolly Roger” pirate flags to me.

Maybe she’s been fishing in British waters.

aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving seen crowds on the paths around the headland and more crowds of people out at sea, it’s no surprise that there were also crowds in the air too.

A aeroplane went flying by overhead as I was there on the path overlooking the harbour. She was too high up for me to read her registration number and there were no details of any plane having taken off from the airport at Granville so I’ve no idea what she it.

Back here, I carried on with my less-than-productive work with the old laptop and when I’d finally abandoned my attempts I had a good play around on the guitars.

Tea was a stuffed pepper and rice followed by an old apple turnover from the freezer as afters.

Having finished my notes now I’m off to bed. I have my Welsh class tomorrow so I need to be on form. The photos from Sunday still haven’t been done yet so that looks as if it will be a job for when I’m in leuven later this week.

Not that I’m short of things to do, but it’s just one more raccoon skin on the wall.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday 20th December 2020 – SHRIMP BOATS …

fishing boats english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… are coming, there’s dancing tonight

Tonight while I was out on my run, I counted the number of fishing boats out at sea that were heading back to home, and made it at 18 as far as I could see, and there where probably even more others the that I couldn’t see too.

With Christmas rapidly approaching and with Brexit threatening to cut off access to the fishing grounds out there with the repealing of the Treaty of the Bay of Granville, anything that floats has probably gone out to sea to make the most of whatever they can catch between now and the end of the year.

As for me, I made the most of whatever sleep came my way last night. Despite not going to bed until 02:30 this morning, I slept all the way through until about 11:20, which isn’t too bad considering.

And plenty of time for me to go off on a voyage or two here and there. We were on board a ship last night steaming into a harbour – a really big harbour without many ships in there. We were imagining what it would have been like 100 years ago. We had to tie up and manoeuvre around in the port and that meant following the quayside edge very closely for quite a distance. I was thinking that 100 years ago with it full of ships we would never have done this. The cleats that you use for tying up the ship were missing – hadn’t been refitted after a paint job so we tipped out a box of them and found 3 but couldn’t find the screws then to screw them together. The screws that we had chosen out of here weren’t big enough. We didn’t have the right screws for some reason. Rosemary was there and she had to do something. I had the impression that it was to spread some jam on some bread or something but I can’t remember what it was she had to do. Then the ship pulled into port. By this time we were on the quayside and the ship pulled in and they threw out the ropes and tied her up. Down came the gang plank and we had to go back on board to get our things ready to move on. I helped on board those whom I was with.

Some time later I was on Crewe Bus Station with my mother and STRAWBERRY MOOSE waiting for a bus to Shavington. It was starting to become late and I thought to myself “I wonder where the thing has got to. It should have pulled in by now”. Mother was chatting away to people as she usually did. She talked to a bus conductor who told her that it had pulled in at the Zoom platform down there, platforms 4 5 and 6 which was where the buses usually went to. So what were we doing up at the top end of the bus station I don’t know. My mother needed some convincing and in the end she suddenly said “yes it must be” so off we ran. I had to fetch my rucksack which was extremely heavy and pick up Strawberry Moose. There was another girl there who was going to school for her first day. She was saying that it’s not going to be much fun if she turns up late for school or not even get in at all on her very first day. We ran on down to where the voice was, and I heard a voice shout “no, no, no” but I ignored it. I was just about to mount on the bus when I saw my mother up on top making “no” gestures so I had a look at the bus that I was just about to get on that he had indicated which was the K43 that goes to Nantwich via Willaston, not Shavington so I thought “what’s goign to happen now?” I had to get off again. A couple of minutes later she came back down. Then this really ancient kind of tram that was actually now a bus pulled into the bus station at Platform 1. We all went down to see it – it was “P” registered which was of course a nonsense because the thing was about 100 years old. We had a good look around it and found that it was an old Liverpool Corporation tram that Crosville had acquired and were going to use it as a bus. It turned out to be ours and we were actually going to have a ride on it as well. Someone took out his camera to photograph it so we all took out ours and stood back in a ring to take a photograph of it but for some reason my camera wasn’t working again and I just couldn’t get a pic of it. This was annoying of course because everyone else was wanting to walk down to have a closer look at it and I was asking them to wait until I had a photo which they were all willing to do but it was just taking me ages to try to take a photo. The camera just wouldn’t seem to take it

And I’m impressed that I can remember so much about the organisation of Crewe Bus Station in a dream after all these years. And it’s also strange that Crewe Bus Station always seems to put in an appearance round about this time of the year.

Later on during the night I was in Whitchurch – 2 of us had set off from Crewe or Nantwich and the guy I was with wasn’t ready so I said that I’d set off and he could catch me up. The usual way that we’d go to Shrewsbury would be via Audlem and Market Drayton but for some reason I went through Whitchurch that way. When I got into Whitchurch this guy still hadn’t caught me up and there was a huge flood in the centre of the town. By now I was on foot, and there was a Mark II Ford Zephyr taxi up to its doors in the water making really heavy weather of trying to get through. I thought that he shouldn’t have got through at all in this. A rough old thing as well with no interior trim or anything, a real ancient elderly machine. When we got past I took out my camera to take some photos but it wouldn’t work again. I ought to take loads of photos of these floods but I couldn’t get the camera to work. Then I noticed that trains were passing very slowly underneath the railway bridge so I went to see what was happening there. There was a load of workmen digging away at a pile of sand. It looked as if the bridge had collapsed onto the railway underneath in parts. I was there trying to take a photo of that but still the camera wouldn’t work. A guy came up and asked what I was doing. I explained that I was taking some photos for a blog. he replied “you’d better bring some bottles down for us. Me and my mates, we’d like some bottles” I said “I’ll talk to the readers – see what they have to say about it. They won’t even pay me for my travelling expenses”. In the end we were allowed down and I was having a look for the charge utile loading plate on the bridge. You could see where the bridge had collapsed under there – a proper Victorian construction. Again I went to take some photos but again the camera wouldn’t work. All that time I was trying to take these photos these kids kept on running around in front of me and the camera and I kept on telling them to keep away so they would keep away for a minute or two and run back again with all of this going on – the floods and the Zephyr up to its doors and the collapsed bridge and the trains inching their way past and the flaming camera wouldn’t work!

It’s not the first time that the NIKON 1 has let me down in a dream either. It seems to be becoming a regular feature in a nocturnal ramble these days, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

But while I’m on the subject, seeing as it came up in the middle of a nocturnal voyage, if you’ve enjoyed or profited from these notes, please make your next Amazon purchases by using the links aside. It costs you no extra but I receive a small commission that helps defray my web-hosting expenses

All of that took me right up until about 13:30 so I went for a hot chocolate and the last slice of my delicious fruit cake. And that gave me an idea.

One of the things that I’d noticed was after having fed the sourdough mother the other day, I noticed that for the very first time, it had risen spectacularly and the jar was full of gas.

Now one of the problems with my sourdough bread is that it doesn’t rise enough and it’s all rather damp and heavy like a cake. And so I prepared a sourdough dough mix and added all of my fruit and nut mix to it, including a couple of ripe bananas, and left it on one side.

If it doesn’t rise very much and ends up like a cake, as it seems to be doing right now, it won’t make any difference and it’ll still taste just as good with all of the fruit in it and I won’t be inconvenienced. And it’ll be a good opportunity to practice.

Having done that, I fed the sourdough again and put that on one side too.

When I’d been in LIDL last I’d bought a traditional ginger spice cake with nuts (completely vegan of course) because I have no Christmas cake this year with Liz being away. On Saturday I’d bought some marzipan so this afternoon I sprinkled my rolling pad with icing sugar and then rolled out a lump of marzipan until it was very thin.

While a couple of spoonfuls of strawberry jam were slowly melting in a saucepan over a very low heat, then using the cake as a template, I cut five slices of marzipan out of the bit that I’d rolled, for the top, the two sides and the two ends.

With the jam now nice and liquid and runny, I painted the 5 faces of the cake with a nice thick layer of the warm jammy liquid and then pressed the marzipan to it so it was now all covered (except for the base). That’s now going to cool and set for 72 hours and then I’m going to try to ice it.

seagull paddle board english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was time for me to go off on my afternoon walk around the headland to see what was happening.

And there were quite a few people out there today having a wander around on the last weekend before Christmas, and even a couple of intrepid wetsuit-clad paddle-boarders having a go at practising their art. It looks as if one of them didn’t quite make it out to sea, but I imagine that he’ll remount and have another go at joining his friend at some point.

There’s a seagull out there that isn’t all that pleased about what has been going on and is expressing its displeasure at one of the paddle-boarders. And we know all about their accuracy

trawler english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there having a good look around, I noticed some movement right out at the north-eastern extremity of the Ile de Chausey.

It was very difficult to see what was happening with the naked eye so I took a long distance photograph to crop and enlarge when I returned home so that I might be able to see what it might be.

What was going through my mind was that it might be either Thora or Normandy Trader coming into port on an additional run, but in actual fact, it’s one of the larger of the trawlers from the port out there doing a little bit of fishing or whatever in that little corner.

sun baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there I wandered off along the path towards the lighthouse, but there wasn’t very much going on that way. And so I wandered off across the lawn and then the car park and round to the end of the headland.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen quite a few good sunsets over here just recently. With us reaching the shortest day of the year I was hoping that we would have a good view of the sun at its perigee and today I was not going to be disappointed at all. It’s not as good as one or two that we have seen, but it’s certainly better than most.

No ships or anything like hat out at sea so I wandered off again on my walk.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut then I didn’t really advance very far before I stopped again.

We’ve seen plenty of fishing boat out at sea today, but it’s not just at sea that there’s a pile of fishing going on. Even though we are not at the period of the Grand Marée there are even so a few people down there taking part in the peche à pied this afternoon.

They were throwing a few things into a bucket, so I watched for a few minutes and then wandered off myself down the path. We still had our two boats in the chantier navale, the yacht and the fishing boat that arrived yesterday, and nothing else.

Piper PA-28-181 Archer III f-ghyz Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was out there looking down on the chantier navale, my train of thought was interrupted by my being overflown.

We’ve had plenty of people on land, and plenty of people out at sea, so there is no reason at all why we shouldn’t have plenty of people in the air. Today, it’s the turn of a Piper PA-28-181 Archer III, registration number F-GHYZ.

As far as I can tell, it’s a machine owned by the Rennes Air Club and according to its flight plan, it’s on its way to Rennes St Jacques Airport.

And so I wandered on home and made myself a nice hot mug of coffee to keep me going.

It was time for me to think about a puddling for next week. With plenty of cooking apples on hand, I made myself a small apple crumble. And with some crumble left over, I made a second, smaller one.

Earlier on in the day I’d taken out a dollop of dough from the freezer. By now it was defrosted so I kneaded it properly, mixed it around and then rolled it out and put it into the pizza tray, folding the overhanging edges back inside.

With an hour or so to spare I came back in here and had a play around with a few things that needed doing and did my Welsh homework for the day again.

When the pizza base had risen, I put on the oven and brought it to temperature and bunged in the apple crumbles. While the crumbles were doing, I prepared my pizza and when the apple crumble were cooked, I took them out and then put the pizza in.

place d'armes lights out to sea english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile the pizza was cooking, I went out for my evening walk and runs. All the way down to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord.

Earlier on, we saw the photo of all of the fishing boats out there this evening. Plenty more than were shown on the photograph as I mentioned, but there was something else that caught my eye.

This particular light here is something quite out of the ordinary and I’ve no idea at all as to what it might be. It’s not likely to be a fishing work light this close to the rocks at the Pointe du Roc. But nevertheless, there were still a couple of other lights in the background from other fishing boats making their way into the harbour.

light on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was standing at the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord, I did my impression of Lord Darnhall’s wife at the sermon in the church on the first holiday of the year, and cast my eye about.

And here’s a thing that caught my eye too. I’ve no idea what this might be but there was some kind of light going on and off on the beach down below at the foot of the steps. There didn’t seem to be anyone standing around down there with it and after a few minutes, the light failed to come on again and that was that.

From there, I pushed on along the Rue du Nord, breaking into a run as much as I could. And then I disappeared down the path underneath the walls, avoiding the puddles.

english channel st helier jersey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHalfway along the footpath I stopped at my usual place to catch my breath, and there I looked out to sea.

It was reasonably clear on the horizon and so I had a try at taking another delayed-exposure photograph or two (or three or four with all kinds of different settings) of the general area in which lies St Helier. Most of them ended up filed under “CS” but one of them was worth another look, although I’ve taken many better photos than these.

You can’t actually see the street lights of the town down here but the red light on the radio mast at the back of the town is clearly visible on the photo, even if it wasn’t visible with the naked eye.

square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there, I walked on down to the end of the path – forgetting to break into a run which was rather disappointing.

Across the Square Maurice Marland I ran, right away to the far side. From there, before I walked up to the top of the walls, I looked back across the square back towards where this leg of the run began and I have to say that I’ve not really appreciated the view from this viewpoint and so I decided to take a photograph from here looking backwards.

Down in the Rue Notre Dame I met Minette‘s mum so we had a chat for a while and then I ran on home.

apple crumble vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now, my pizza was properly cooked so I sat down and ate it, having photographed it first with my apple crumble.

No pudding tonight again of course – the pizza was quite filling and I didn’t need anything else to eat. And then I came back in here to write up my notes for the day.

Tomorrow I have my radio programme to do. I want to finish off the live concert for the month of February and then do a live concert for the month of March. If there’s time again, there’s the month of April to do and then we’ll be right bang up to date.

While I’m in Leuven, if I can do 2, or even 3 radio programme’s worth of music and then deal with the speech when I return, I’ll be well away with where I would like to be. 20 weeks ahead is ideal because if I have plans to do anything over the summer, although I don’t quite know what or whether we’ll even be able to do anything anyway, there will be a breathing space for me to have a little break.

And I can’t say that I don’t need one.

Tuesday 15th December 2020 – I HAD ANOTHER …

fishing boats st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… go at this long-distance night-time photography lark tonight

So winding the ISO down to a very reasonable daylight figure and slowing the speed down to an absurd 4 seconds, I managed to produce this shot. And you can tell how long the aperture was open because while the background is perfectly sharp, the fishing boats in the near distance (they are probably 10 miles out to sea in this shot) are comparatively blurred due to the distance that they have travelled while the aperture was open.

And as well as a nice, light background to the shot, we have plenty of stars in the sky because it was a delightfully clear, cloudless evening.

It’s a shame about the smear on the lens which rather detracts from the photo, but again considering the equipment that I have and the fact that the camera was actually perched on a flat rock to take this photo, I’m really impressed with it. Almost as impressed as I was with my galvanised steel dustbin.

What else that was impressive was the fact that yet again I managed to beat fairly comfortably the third alarm this morning. I seem to be making a habit of this right now, and quite right too.

And after the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was around on a huge liner last night but I can’t remember very much about a lot of it now. It’s gone right out of my head. At one point I had someone with me, a young girl and and I was going to take her to show her around the ship. She wasn’t sure whether she would go and she was dithering at the top of this spiral staircase thing that led down to the executive cabins. The purser came by and looked at her and said “if you want to go, go!” That gave her the courage and she came down with me. I showed her around the Executive Suites, everything like that. Then we found ourselves in the steerage where people were all crammed in like sardines. We were walking through there and I was saying to her that for us who were 3rd class passengers when we came on a cruise we just had one of these bunks that was together whereas they had 9 crammed in them somehow. They had no privacy, no curtains or anything yet we did. It turned out that she and her friend had been sleeping on a mattress somewhere. She sleeping in her friend’s room on a mattress, should I say. Yes, she knew about that, she knew where that was kept round the other side. We walked all around this ship and I was fighting the most enormous temptation to put my arm around her. It was really a strange kind of situation. I had the impression that this was Castor or someone like that but I couldn’t really see who it was. The face was very blurred all the way through this voyage, as if it was being done deliberately which is interesting. There was much more to it than this but I can’t remember it now, something that has filled me with extreme disappointment, as I’m sure you can imagine.

Later on there had been a dispute about some postings made on a Social Networking conference and someone had complained. It turned out that people were posting in one particular Group and the guy there was referring them to another one. Of course they were way off-topic and people were suggesting that they should be banned but they should have been banned in the other Group where they were and this was the argument between the two sets of Moderators about this. This escalated into something about families, I’m not too sure now. I was working at work, not doing anything at all and my arrears were building up (this is quite a recurring dream, isn’t it?) but I was leaving on the following Thursday, the day before Good Friday so it didn’t really make any difference to me anyway. I was thinking that I’d be back home and then I was thinking that there would be 2 generations of retired people living in our house. That was unusual these days when I retire on Thursday. A discussion took place about various different generations living together. It turned out that in one house there were 5 generations where a girl of 18 who should have been celebrating her marriage ended up in hospital having a baby so there were now 5 generations living in the house where she was living. This dispute about the internet rumbled on. In the end 2 burly Australian farmers were sort-of involved in it. They ended up having to get a car started which they finally managed to do, so where next? They’d hard some kind of description about something happening. 1 of them said “I know, there’s a place not too far away from here where they have sea lions, all this kind of thing, just by where you turn onto the main highway”. Everything he said had the right kind of description about it so 1 of them grabbed the steering wheel of this car they had just fixed and off we all drove in this car.

Having sorted that out, I had some stuff to attend to and then I cracked on and organised myself for my Welsh class

christmas lights place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it wasn’t just revision from last week and preparation for this week that was important, I had to make the place look pretty too – that was part of the activity.

If you look in the photo just here there are now some red, white and blue Christmas lights. I found those while I was tidying up so I strung them up over where I sit, at the dining room table. That’s only a temporary thing – they will be in the other window tomorrow.

Strawberry Moose came to the lesson too, complete with Father Christmas hat. He certainly helps to liven up the proceedings and brings a smile to everyone’s face.

As for the lesson itself, armed with a hot chocolate drink and a slice of my fruit bread, it passed quite well and we seem to be more confident. We were given the same set of questions to answer that we were given in September and the answers were much more rapid and profound.

Interestingly, just as we knocked off for a break, the ‘phone rang. Caliburn’s new battery has arrived, about two days before the suppliers told me that it would even be in stock, never mind delivered. So Caliburn will be having his new battery fitted tomorrow.

But the timing of the phone call was spectacularly precise.

After lunch I set to and made some sourdough dough – 500 grammes of flour and a pile of sunflower seeds together with salt, water and some of my sourdough started. In the attempt to make something decent, I spent absolutely ages folding it in to make it nice and smooth, but having had a look at it just now, it’s not increased all that much in size. I’m feeling that sourdough is not the way for me to go, especially as my fruit bread with yeast worked so well on Sunday.

There were carrots that needed peeling, dicing and blanching too, so I organised them while I was at it. They went into the freezer later.

wassmer w54 f-bukk light aircraft Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was time to go out for my afternoon walk (we don’t finish our Welsh lesson until late).

Quite a few people out there walking today, celebrating the semi-end of our detention à domicile. Also crowds in the air too. There were several light aircraft flying by overhead, including this one, F-BUKK. She’s a Wassmer W54 Atlantic, fitted with a Lycoming O-360-A1LD engine.

She’s actually quite an elderly machine, apparently built in 1973. And that might be quite right too because the company closed down in 1977. So it’s a surprise to see her still out and about.

fishing boats english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallPlenty going on out at sea today too.

Or, at least, there might have been earlier in the day because everyone seems to be coming home now. The tide isn’t yet in but it looks as if we are going to have a queue of boats waiting to get to the fish processing plant.

Not that I was intending to hang around too long. I had plenty of things to do and wanted to return home as soon as I could. I was rather disappointed in that there wasn’t any other kind of interesting movement out there to attract my attention. The correct thing to do was to go and make myself a coffee and move on.

There was some post waiting for me when I returned. The good news is that my Old-Age Pension has finally come through, so Spend! Spend! Spend! The bad news is that the Taxe d’Habitation people have finally caught up with me and there are residence taxes to pay.

So it comes in with one hand and goes out with the other. That’s quite typical, isn’t it?

So having listened to a few radio programmes, I sent three of them off to the technicians. They’ll be on holiday soon and if I don’t have them in stock down there, nothing will be broadcast. And my Christmas Day broadcast is something special.

Another thing to do is to send a bank transfer of cash to my niece for Christmas. She and her family are really kind to me and do such a lot to help me out. And as I haven’t been to Canada this year to repay them, the least I can do is to express my gratitude in another way.

There was the usual guitar practice of course, and then a change to the advertised programme.

We are now in curfew from 20:00 until 06:00 which means an end to my late-night perambulations unfortunately. That made me wonder how I was going to fit it in, because I can’t do without my runs, so I’ve decided for the foreseeable future at least, to go for my run as soon as I finish guitar practice and have my meal afterwards. I’m not sure how this will affect my digestion or my sleeping.

We shall see.

fishing boats fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve seen the photos of the Channel Islands tonight anyway, so I carried on with all of my runs, along the Rue du Nord, down the steps and along the path, then through the Square Maurice Marland onto the walls.

There was plenty of activity in the port this evening. You saw in the photo of St Helier that there were plenty of fishing boats out in the English Channel tonight. They were starting to come into port as I reached the viewpoint over by the Eglise Notre Dame.

The Fish Processing Plant is working of course – you can see the lights shining from the open doors into the water, and there’s a refrigerated lorry there parked in the loading bay.

fishing boats fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere had been some other bright lights shining in the harbour that I had missed.

There was a trawler parked on this side of the quay so I wondered if it might have been her, but then in the background there are all kinds of lights shining at the Ferry terminal, and while it’s unlikely that one of the Joly France boats would be coming back at this hour, maybe the little freighter Chausiais has had a little run out.

Nothing gave me a clue, so I walked round the corner, photographed my Christmas lights and then ran on home.

Tea was a burger with pasta and veg and the last of the delicious vegan pesto. No pudding because the football was about to start.

With a vital basement clash of Flint Town v Cefn Druids, a match that neither side could afford to lose or draw if they don’t want to be cast adrift at the bottom of the table, the broadcasters chose to broadcast Penybont V Cardiff Metropolitan, a meaningless mid-table match.

And meaningless it was too. I fell asleep towards the end of the first half for 5 minutes, and by the time the final whistle sounded I had long-since gone off to do other things. Penybont scored quite early in the match but they were restricted to maybe just 2 or 3 other shots on goal, and I don’t recall Ashley Morris in their goal having a serious save to make. The Met were clueless up front and never looked like doing anything at all.

We’ve seen some exciting matches in the JD Cymru Welsh Premier League in the past but this wasn’t one of them. A miserable, depressing match without a single moment of excitement. A poor advert for Welsh football, when so much was at stake up on Deeside.

But now anyway, I’m going to give my sourdough dough a good going over and put it in its mould to work away overnight, and then I’m off to bed.

Tomorrow I’ll be fitting Caliburn’s battery and making a renewed start on some arrears. I’m making no progress at al with those really and I need to sort it all out.

Monday 14th December 2020 – HOW ABOUT …

st helier jersey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… this for a photograph this evening?

Juts in case you are wondering what it is, it’s a photograph of St Helier in Jersey, 58 kilometres away from where I’m standing. Across there you can see the street lights, a floodlight or two in the harbour and the red lights on the radio mast at the back of the town.

And if you are wondering how I managed to produce a photograph like this, the simple answer is that I didn’t have the tripod with me, and neither did I have the monopod, but there was a suitable flat stone on top of the walls.

Making sure that the camera was well-positioned and secure, then the timer delay button on the camera did the rest.

donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFurther along the path I found another flat stone on top of the walls and tried again with a shot of Donville les Bains.

And it’s hard to believe that I’ve actually managed to over-expose the shot. That has to be a first, I reckon. But even the white headboards on the swimming lanes in the tidal swimming pool have come out clearly as you can see lower down on the right-hand side of the image.

This is certainly progress as far as the night-time photography goes. Admittedly this is with a 50mm f1.8 lens and it’s going to be a completely different game of cowboys with a huge and heavy zoom lens at f5.6. That’s not going to come out quite like this, is it?

And so back at work today to deal with the radio programme that needed dealing with. And sure enough, by 11:58 it was all done, dusted and completed and ready to go.

What helped was that once more I was up and about before the 3rd alarm. Well, only just but “only just” is just like Kris Kristofferson’s “feeling good” – it’s good enough for me.

And so I had a pretty good bah at everything after my medication, including stopping for my mid-morning hot chocolate and slice of fruit bread. And it’s the best fruit bread that I’ve ever made. Nice and light and airy and packed with goodness. I’ll make some more of this.

roundabout manege place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving finished my radio programme, it was time to nip out to the shops before lunch and, more importantly, before it started to rain.

So into town I went, past the Place Generale de Gaulle to see what they were unloading the other day when I went past. And sure enough, it’s the kiddies’ roundabout, so obviously despite the restrictions and quarantines the kids will still be celebrating Christmas.

By the time that I reached LIDL I was thoroughly exhausted and that can’t ever be right. I haven’t felt as exhausted as this for quite a while. I ended up having to have a large can of energy drink simply to find the strength to go home.

And it wasn’t as if I’d bought much either. Just the bare essentials and that was that.

new house rue de la corderie Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that ages ago we saw a house-building project going on in the Impasse de la Corderie at the back of the Eglise St Paul.

It occurred to me that we haven’t been to look at it for quite a while so I reckoned that we may as well go that way home and see how they are doing.

From here, it seems to me that they have almost finished and there is just the tidying up to do. And while they seem to have done quite a nice job of the building, it would have been nice if they had cleaned up the stonework and repointed it to make it match the rest of the building

kiwi kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack here, I had lunch and then I had some work to do – namely, to make some kefir. Some of the kiwis that I had in stock were now nice and ripe and so I whizzed them up in the whizzer and pressed out the juice from the pulp through a filter into the big jug.

Then I filtered out the kefir into the jug as well and set another batch of kefir en route. And then mixed up the jug all together and filtered them all back through the filter system into bottles.

There it will ferment for a few days until I’m ready to use it. A nice kiwi-flavoured kefir drink, one of my favourites. And I might have done more too had I not crashed out for about 15 minutes.

college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I was wondering what they would be doing next now that they had almost completed the reroofing of the part of the roof that they had stripped. And here’s the answer. They are ripping off more of the roof.

Therefore it seems to be that they are going to be replacing the whole roof, on this side at least. And good luck to them up there in this weather.

rainstorm ile de chausey englidh channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd quite right too because the weather is pretty deplorable this afternoon.

There’s a rainstorm threatening the coast right now. We can see out there in the English Channel that the Ile de Chausey is already enveloped in the rain and it’s heading my way at a rapid rate of knots.

There was only me and one or two other people out there and that’s not really a surprise either in view of the conditions so I wasn’t going to hang around. I pushed on along the path to see if I could complete the circuit before the storm broke.

chausiais entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut that was something of a forlorn hope.

As it happened I’d hardly gone 20 yards when the rain caught me. It was so quick that in the time that it took to line up and take this photograph of Chausiais coming in from a run out somewhere, presumably with the furniture from the weekend, a fine mist of heavy rain had obscured the view and I was soaked to the skin.

But I pushed on some of the way to see what else if anything was going on down there today. But in the chantier navale there was nothing whatever that had changed. Still just the yacht and nothing else.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis is an interesting photograph though.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the past couple of days we’ve seen the waves whipped up by the high winds rolling off the end of the sea wall. But with the wind coming now round to its habitual westerly direction, we can see that even with the tide some way out, the waves were smashing up onto the sea wall.

But that was enough for me. Feeling rather wet, and drenched by the rain too, I headed off home for my hot coffee, which I remembered to drink this time. And to feed the sourdough. Tomorrow afternoon after my Welsh class I have to start to prepare another sourdough loaf for the coming week.

After having done an absolute mountain of washing-up, I came in here for my guitar practice which was really quite enjoyable. I’ve finally worked out a passing chord from G to C but I’m no idea what it might be. It’s a derivative of C and G but what it is I’ve absolutely no idea at all. The next step is to learn to play it quickly in passing or else find an easier way of playing it.

Having bought some peppers this lunchtime, I was able to have a stuffed pepper for tea which was very nice, and would have been even nicer had I remembered to buy the mushrooms to add to the stuffing. My rather overdone rice pudding needed some coaxing to make it palatable but it wasn’t too bad.

Later on it was time for my evening run. Despite being over 100% of my daily activity I still intended to go out.

The rain had died down and there were crowds of people out there tonight making the most of the last evening stroll before the 20:00 curfew that starts tomorrow.

You’ve seen the photo of St Helier that I took from the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord, and then due to the fact that there were too many people about in the street I had to run on down the footpath underneath the walls despite the couple of inches of water that was down there. And my clothes look as if I was running down there too.

st martin de brehal coudeville sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s another place about halfway down there with a nice flat stone so when I stopped for my habitual breather I had another go with a photograph using the delayed timer.

This time, the photo of St Martin de Brehal and Coudeville sur Mer hasn’t come out as well as the others. That’s overexposed too and I would have done so much better with the aperture closed a couple of stops and the ISO decreased.

But anyway, this is it. And at least the one of Donville les Bains came out OK so you can’t evidently win a coconut every time. From here I ran off along the rest of the path to the end.br clear=”both”>

house rue lecarpentier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving run all the way across the Square Maurice Marland, I noticed that the renovations that have been under way on the house in the Rue Lecarpentier now seem to have been completed.

The scaffolding has gone from outside now and we can see what kind of job that they have done to restore it – or, we will be able to in the daylight, whenever that might be. But at least I could push on down the alleyway at the side and into the Rue Notre Dame that way round.

And there sitting on her windowsill was my old black cat Minette. She was pleased to see me so I gave her a good stroke for 5 minutes or so before pushing off.

trawler unloading fish processsing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe tide was out quite a way, so there was no water in the tidal harbour.

In the inner harbour we just had two fishing boats tied up at the fish processing plant. However all of the lights at the plant were illuminated and there was a refrigerated lorry parked there, so they must be expecting a swarm of boats to come in on the tide and unload.

From there I ran on back to the apartment to write up my notes, of which there were plenty. And now they are written, I’m off to bed. It’s Welsh class tomorrow so I need to be on form with my revision and preparation for the next chapter of the lessons.

And in the afternoon I’m going to have to start doing a couple of live concerts. And there are a few other tasks to do. I’m going to be busy tomorrow.

Thursday 10th December 2020 – ISN’T IT NICE …

christmas lights marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… when you see that someone has actually read something that you’ve posted and actually gone out and acted on it?

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few days ago when we were discussing the miserable array of Christmas lights around the port, and I aid something to the effect that I thought that at least they might have made an effort with Marité and having lights strung up in the rigging?

It seems that whoever they are in charge of her have read what I have had to say on the subject and strung up some lights in the rigging as I suggested. But you can’t exactly say that they have pushed the boat out, can you? I’ve seen far better lights than these in my time, as I’m sure you have.

All in all, it’s a rather disappointing effort and they could – and should – have done so much better with this. But at least they’ve read my notes and done something.

But what a bad day I had today.

And that’s a shame because it started off so well as I beat the third alarm to my feet – something that it always good news.

With the medication today I tried the mint cordial-flavoured Kefir that I had made but it wasn’t anything special and was also pretty inert which was a shame. I’d expected something much more lively.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was working on my own with doing a videographic thing and this kid and her mother had done some kind of magic performance and her father asked me if I could add it on to a video which I agreed that I would do. But it wasn’t going to turn out as easy as I thought because some of it needed cutting out because it was too long but there was music on there and it would disrupt all the sequencing so I had to think of a way in which I could do that. The father was very precise about the bits he wanted including in this film and I started to be worried about whether I had the technology to actually be able to do it despite what i’d been telling people. First I’d have to look for a video editing program but I don’t have one of those.

I was with Castor last night in a pub in south-west London (hello Castor!) but I can’t remember very much about it except that she went to the bathroom and was gone for ages and ages and I was wondering if she’d run out on me again. Eventually she came back. We’d been talking about doing a furniture removal, something like that for her. She said that people she knew had some stuff. They lived in a place called Abbey Sides. They said that it was only like a 5 minute walk away. I had a look on the A to Z and she was right – it wasn’t all that far away from where we were. I suggested that we drank up and went to have a look. For some reason this was taking an awful lot longer than it ought to have done. But I don’t remember any of the rest of this and I can’t really remember the beginning either.

After that, I had a shower and shock! horror! I cut my hair! Now I look a little more human. And I wish that I’d weighed myself after I’d cut it, something that might have made me feel better.

After the shower I made a start on some of the arrears of my trip to Central Europe. It’s one of the three big ones today – the one where I spend a whole day in Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic and this is going to take ages to deal with – there are about 50 photos in this.

Before setting off to the shops I had to pay a bill – or, at least, write out a cheque to pay a bill. The rates on my house in France are due again. And I bet that you wish you only paid … gulp … €26:00 per annum for your rates.

unloading goods at quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was cold this morning as I went down into town, so I was glad that I had taken my gloves.

They make it easy to operate my camera and so when I saw a lorry and a fork lift truck unloading goods at the quayside it was a pretty straightforward operation to take a photo. At least the camera was charged today.

But this unloading can only mean one thing of course. And that is that either Normandy Trader or Thora is heading this way from the Channel Islands, or even now that there’s quite a pre-Christmas and pre-Brexit rush on, that Chausiais is going to be doing another little run.

setting up christmas entertainment place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo down the Rampe du Monte Regret I went and up the Rue Lecampion into town.

Just here in the Place Charles de Gaulle they seem to be setting up some kind of stall for street entertainment, presumably for the Christmas period. I suppose that Christmas still has to go on, even if I have never felt as less Christmassy as I am feeling right now.

All the decorations in the town are there too, and I’ll come by one evening in the dark when (hopefully) they will be illuminated, and take a photo of them to add to the records.

But instead, I posted my letter in the post office and pushed on.

steps from rue couraye down to rue roger maris Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubish will recall that several weeks ago I stumbled by accident upon a little alley in the Rue Couraye that had steps going down to the level below.

It was an alley that I hadn’t noticed before, and it’s been my goal to track down the other end and see to where it leads. So when I reached the end of the Rue du Bosq I had a look around and sure enough, I could see it leading down into the Rue du Marias just on the corner.

And from here it looks as if it goes through someone’s terrace. I’m not convinced that that’s a popular idea with some people.

At LIDL I didn’t buy very much, and nothing at all out of the ordinary except a ginger spice cake. I’m going to find some marzipan at the weekend and marzipan it and then ice it. It won’t be the same as a Liz Messenger cake, but it will be the best that I can do.

pedestrian passsage rue st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back home, this delightful little notice here caught my eye.

There are building works going on all over the place and in the Rue St Paul there are at least three houses undergoing renovation. This is one of them and they have fenced off the front and indicated to pedestrians that they must somehow squeeze through the gap between the fence and the wall, unless they would like you to go through the window.

Either way, you need to be either very thin or very athletic so that rules me out. I walked around in the street.

By now the weather had broken and it was raining quite heavily. I was becoming soaked to the skin going home.

Back here I had a hot chocolate and some cake, and then promptly passed out fast asleep. And it was awful – one of these really deep sleeps that makes me feel so awful. I was stark out for an hour and then it took me an hour to come round, so awful was I feeling.

After lunch I crashed out again but I did manage to do some kind of work here and there on my day in Karlovy vary

fishing boat english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut by now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

The rain had stopped falling by now but the wind was blowing somewhat and the sea was rather rough. This little fishing boat was making rather heavy weather of the journey back from the fishing grounds this afternoon back to the harbour.

And I now know why it is that these fishing boats have a roof over the deck like this. It’s to prevent the seagulls, who usually follow the boats in to harbour, from diving down and helping themselves to some of the catch.

rainbow english channel hauteville sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was looking around, I noticed the view down the Cotentin Peninsula, and there was some astonishing stuff going on there as you can see.

The first thing of note was the rainbow underneath the clouds. We’ve had plenty of rainbows around here and this one is unfortunately far from the best, but it will do to be going on with.

The second thing is the sunlight. You might have to click on the image to see it but there’s a shaft of sunlight shining right down on the town of Hauteville sur Mer, illuminating it like a spotlight would on a stage.

We’ve seen quite a few of that phenomenon just recently too.

normandy trader english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou will remember earlier that we saw them unloading a pile of merchandise on the quayside and I speculated that one of the Jersey Freighters may well be on her way in.

Well, not only has one of them come in, she’s going out too on the same tide. That’s Normandy Trader heading back out to sea with a full load on board, having undergone probably one of the quickest turnrounds yet.

If she’s turning round as quickly as this in port, it’s hardly surprising that we haven’t seen her all that often even though I know that she’s been on her way in. And the same with Thora too. I bet that we have also missed her loads of times.

sun baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo after watching her fighting her way through the waves on her way home, I walked on around the corner and across the lawn and the car park to see what was going on in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

There’s nothing actually happening right now out there, but we are being treated to another one of these late-afternoon winter suns of which we have seen plenty just recently. If you thought that it looked impressive over at Hacqueville sur Mer just now, how about this for a spectacle?

This is probably just about the best one so far. It’s come out really well and if you look carefully, underneath the cloud you can see the Brittany coast.

yacht chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot wishing to hang about too long, I trotted off down the path, across the road (where there was no dog to annoy me) and then down the path overlooking the clifftop, doing my best to avoid falling into one of the very large puddles.

And look at this! There’s been a change of occupant in the chantier navale, so it seems. Ceres II has departed now and our yacht is in there all on its own.

It’s going to be pretty lonely there if it doesn’t find any shipmates to come and keep it company. Not that I’m wishing ill on anyone, but we need a busy shipyard here so that we can have a thriving port.

ceres 2 going back into the water chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut where has Ceres II gone to? She can’t have been gone long because the van that has been attending to her is still there.

The answer is that I reckon she’s there. The portable boat-lift still has its engine running so it’s been working quite recently. And that array of aerials and ancillary equipment that you can just about see looks as if it’s off Ceres II.

So I just about missed her going back into he water, which was a shame. But never mind. I decided to push on for home and a hot coffee, and do some work. There’s plenty of it, right enough.

Unfortunately my bad day carried on and instead of working I ended up crashed out yet again. This is absolutely no good at all and I wish that there was something that I could do about it. But it’s the story of my life right now and it isn’t going to improve.

After my guitar practice, which went according to plan, I had tea. I finished off the last of the fresh broccoli along with other steamed veg with some veggie balls and vegan cheese sauce, followed bu apple pie.

And while we are on the subject of tea, they had a big pack of mushrooms (well, it is the season, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall from the other day) on special offer in LIDL today so I must remember to do a pan of lentils in the morning ready to make a lentil, mushroom and potato curry tomorrow.

And if I leave the eyes in the potatoes, then it’ll see me through the week.

st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy runs tonight were rather half-hearted and although I completed them all (keeping to dry land) I can’t say that I was inspired.

But it was a really beautiful night to be out, another one of those occasions where I could see for miles. St Helier and Jersey could be seen with the naked eye 58 kilometres away and in the phot you can even see the red lights on the radio tower at the back of town.

That’s a hand-held photo by the way. It’s far too windy to take the tripod out at the moment but I’ll be out there with it one of these days when the wind calms down.

christmas lights rue des corsaires Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNothing much happening elsewhere either. It was all rather disappointing.

The lights down in the Rue des Corsaires were visible so I took a quick photo and then cleared off for my run across the Square Maurice Marland, where battling against a gale-force headwind thoroughly exhausted me. But I had a look at the lights on Marité and then ran on to home and warmth

And before I went to bed I did a little radio work. I had the music going on in the background, the music from which I’ll be choosing the tracks for the next programme, and two absolutely ideal tracks came up. So I’ve been dealing with them. I may as well make a head start.

But now I’m off to bed. Plenty to do tomorrow still land I really don’t feel like doing it, but I have to crack on, I suppose. It won’t do itself.

Tuesday 8th December 2020 – HAVE YOU EVER …

lighthouse cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… seen the lighthouse at the Cap Fréhel looking as clear as it did this afternoon?

It’s about 70 or so kms away, as you are probably fed up of hearing right now, but there must be something about the atmospheric conditions and the height of the lighthouse above sea level to make it stand out so well. We’ve seen it on several occasions, that’s for sure, but I can’t think that it’s ever stood out so clearly as it did today.

One of these days I’ll sort out the photos that I took when we sailed right down the coast on the Spirit of Conrad and you can compare the view of the lighthouse from close up with one of these photos taken from the Pointe du Roc.

Something else of note that is worth mentioning today because it doesn’t happen all that often just now is that I beat the third alarm to my feet this morning. And by a good couple of minutes too

That’s twice in two days that I’ve beaten the alarm. Anyone would think that I’ve wet the bed or something.

Last night before going to bed I’d given the sourdough bread mix its second kneading and put it in the mould that I used, and left it on one side overnight. And so this morning as soon as I got up, the first thing that I did, even before the medication, was to switch on the oven at full heat.

And then, when I’d taken the medication and the oven was now nice and hot, I took a large baking tray, put about half an inch of water in it, dropped the bread mould with the dough inside into the water, covered it with another matching baking tray so that the steam off the water would aerate the bread, and stuck it in the oven.

After about 25 minutes, I took off the lid and then left it cooking for about another 40/45 minutes or so on a slightly lower temperature.

While it was baking away to itself, I had a listen to the dictaphone.

Yesterday’s notes I transcribed and added them to the entry, and then I turned my attention to last night. There was a house move to do and we had a flatbed lorry. It involved putting all these personal possessions off this lorry, or were we putting them on because one minute we were putting them on and another minute we were taking them off. It started off with about 10 of us but the number gradually whittled down every week and between us there was a different number of people until in the end there was just 3. We had quite a crowd watching us, sitting on chairs watching us load or unload this lorry. In the end it turned out that we didn’t have a captain. He had left so one of the guys in charged asked me if I wanted to be captain but I ummed and ahhed. Another guy volunteered so there was just 2 of us running back and to, passing these boxes to the guy who was stacking them. I was thinking all the time that an open-sided lorry is not the kind of vehicle to go around with when you are doing a job like this, stacking boxes on top of it. It’s bound to end in tragedy when you go round a corner. There was one part where we were messing around with 7″ singles. They wouldn’t all stay in the boxes. Someone suggested putting them in with the LPs although I couldn’t see how that made any difference. It meant in the end that they were going to be out of alphabetical order and he’d never be able to trace them again if he had them all mixed up like that wil the LPs
Later there was a supermarket in the basement of a big building. An ad-hoc supermarket in the corner of an empty floor with Covid regulations and only a few people were allowed to go there at times. I was down there doing my shopping. I had a trolley with a few items in it and I had to go back and find my car, a yellow MkIV Cortina. I was convinced that i’d parked it outside in the car park so instead of going up and following the directions back, I went outside but I couldn’t see my car on the car park at all although i was convinced that I’d left it there. It must have been on the internal car park in the building so I had to get back into the building somehow with my trolley load of goods and try to remember which flood I’d put my car on or whereabouts, because I didn’t have a clue where it was now.

That wasn’t all either. But seeing as you are probably eating a meal right now, I’ll spare you the gory details.

Now it was time to turn my attention to the Welsh course. I wrote up my notes from last week and went through them to make sure that I understood them (which isn’t very evident)and then turned my attention to prepare for this week’s lessons.

One thing that I do remember from my grandmother was the imperative, which is only natural of course with my grandmother. Dewch i mewn for “come in”, Edrych for “look”, byddwch yn dda for “be good” and of course paid! – “don’t” and so on so it didn’t take too much preparation today, which suited me fine.

home baked sourdough bread Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of its time I took it from the oven and here’s the finished product. It’s something of a disappointment to say the least as it doesn’t seem to have risen at all.

Mind you, when I tried it for lunch, it was light and very aerated all the same, so I’ve no idea what is happening here. Had it been this size but dense and heavy I would have written it off as a failure. But I don’t know what to make of this.

It’s certainly the lightest bread that I’ve ever made, even when I’ve been using yeast.

trawlers english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter lunch I made a start on more of the arrears, but not for long. By now, it was time for me to go out on my afternoon walk around the headland.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last night we saw piles of fishing boats out in the English Channel on their way back into harbour after their day’s work. And here are some more of them today heading back out to the fishing grounds.

But I’m not too sure how long this will go on. Apparently the Jersy fishermen are getting up a petition to revoke the 1836 Treaty of the Bay of Granville that divides the fishing areas up between the Channel Islands and France, and kick the French boats out.

There’s a meeting in a day or two’s time during which the French fishermen and the Regional Council will discuss the matter. The fishermen have already pointed out that 70% of the Channel islands catch is landed here in Granville and that all of the electricity supplied to the Channel Islands comes from the nuclear reactor up the coast here in Normandy that we visited A FEW MONTHS AGO.

We are living in interesting times.

rainstorm brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMaybe you might have noticed just how nice the weather was, looking out to sea in the previous photograph.

That’s not the case down there along the Brittany coast. Over by St Malo and Dinard it looks as if they are on the receiving end of a very localised rainstorm that’s giving them all a really good soaking. I’m glad that I’m not over there in the middle of all that.

But it’s really quite astonishing when you consider that just down the coast the sky is as clear as a bell, as we saw with the view of the lighthouse at Cap Frehel. And I thought that the weather conditions in the Auvergne were bizarre.

track churned up pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we are here, there’s something else that I want to photograph – something that I noticed yesterday but there were too many people around.

The local council has had a man out cutting the grass in his tractor. He’s had his blade set too low because he’s managed to churn up a huge stone right in the middle f the path here. never mind the damage that he’s probably done to his blade, which surely he must have heard, that’s a hazard just waiting for one of our nocturnal ramblers to trip over in the dark.

He shouldn’t have left the rock and the hole like that in the middle of the footpath.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnyway, I pushed on around the headland and with nothing going on out at sea I made my way along the clifftop.

The wind has died down considerably from how it has been and the sea looks as if it’s quite calm. But there must he a heavy rolling sea out there in the Atlantic somewhere because the waves are coming in with quite some force

Remember that the tide is still a long way out. This would be quite impressive at high tide.

But there was no change of occupant in the chantier navale and nothing much else going on, so I headed off for home and a hot coffee.

One task that I needed to do was to remove some photos from the camera. The memory card is full, I don’t have another and the price of the type of card that I use is prohibitive. That involved coupling up an external drive and you’ve no idea how long it takes to remove 2500 files off the camera onto the laptop via a USB 3.0 cable, the software and hardware in the computer, and a USB2.0 cable to an external drive.

It might have taken less time too had I not unfortunately drifted off with the fairies at some point.

After the hour on the guitar I made tea. A burger with vegetables and pasta with some more of that vegan Pesto sauce which is really good and I must buy some more. And the apple pie that I made in the middle of last week is excellent.

hauteville sur mer st martin de brehal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter tea I was straight out and off down the road for my evening run.

And we saw just how nice the sky was this afternoon right down the Brittany coast. it was just as clear along the coast of the Cotentin Peninsula too and the warning lights on the wind turbines at the back of Coutances were clearly visible. You can see two of them towards the left-hand edge of this photograph.

The street lights of the small towns along the sea front were quite visible too. Hauteville sur Mer on the left and St martin de brehal on the right. And in the background, the lights of the main road that runs up eventually to Cherbourg.

st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIf the view up both of the coasts is going to be good, then it ought to be good out in the English Channel too.

This photo might be somewhat blurred but it’s hand-held, and it shows the lights of St Helier in Jersey in the Channel islands 58 kilometres away. And so for that reason it’s not bad at all. The red light on the radio mast at the back of town is clearly visible.

From the viewpoint I ran on all the way down the street, combining two of the legs of my run into one. For some reason I was running quite well tonight. it might have been the head of broccoli that I had for tea, steamed in a pan with the pasta.

donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I finally stopped for breath I retraced my steps for 100 metres because I’d noticed that the view across to Donville les Bains was looking quite interesting too tonight.

The promenade was looking really nice with the street lights reflecting off the water tonight, but then the headland by the cemetery from where the birdmen take to the air cuts out a good part of the view. And then we have all of the houses on the cliffs round by where the Musée Christian Dior might be found.

And then of course I had to run all the way back to the Place de l’Isthme. Yes, I stayed “up above” tonight seeing as at some point there must have been a rainstorm here too as everything was soaking wet.

gate in fortifications place de l'isthme Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’ve shown a couple of photos of the trench that seems to bisect the fortifications up here at the Place de l’Isthme.

It’s not possible to see from one end of the trench to another because there’s something like a walled-over passage that runs through the trench to the part that’s isolated. And while I was nosying around up here I found what I think might be the entrance to the passage.

There’s a date carved on the lintel over the top too – 1843. I don’t know whether that’s the date of the original construction or not.

road works rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown below, I ran on through the Square Maurice Marland with enough energy to go half-way up the steep ramp at the end.

From there I went round to the Rue St Jean to see if there was any better indication of what was going on here. And it seems that they have made a start digging up the pavement. I’ll have to come here in the daytime and see if I can find out why.

From here I ran on home and made it back to the apartment just in time for kick-off. There was football on the internet tonight, hence my early run out.

Over the weekend we saw an ineffective and anonymous Caernarfon team totally rolled over by Penybont. Tonight they were to take on bottom club Cefn Druids in Cefn Mawr in the suburbs of Wrexham.

With several changes in the team tonight, they looked a totally different outfit and seemed to have recovered their spirit. They went 2-0 up and were unlucky not to have had one or two more. This was a much more professional and competent approach, at least for the first 75 minutes.

They had Josh Tibbetts back in goal and he was extremely busy because Cefn Druids were much better than the score and their league position suggested. They pulled a goal back late in the game and the last 15 minutes saw them camped on the edge of the Caernarfon penalty area.

In all honestly, Tibbetts kept Caernarfon in the game, although the Druids could have been embarrassed a couple of times in the closing stages when Caernarfon had a couple of rapid counter-attacks upfield.

But if the Druids are bottom of the table, then all that I can say is that the standard of the JD Cymru League has improved dramatically over the last 5 or 6 years. The Druids would have rolled over clubs like Afan Lido and Llanelli of that period. And then we turn the clock back 15 years with clubs like Rhayadr and Welshpool, to name just two of a dozen that I could mention.

So off to bed. Tomorrow I have a day at home and tons of stuff to do that I’ve forgotten. One day I might even get ahead of whatever I’m trying to do.