Tag Archives: st pair sur mer

Thursday 16th March 2023 – DO YOU HAVE …

… any idea just how painful it is to have a needle stuck in your central nervous system in your spinal column?

I do!

And you don’t want to know either. Just sit and hope that it’s something that never ever happens to you.

In fact I must have expected something along these lines because I had another miserable night tossing and turning around in bed not being able to go to sleep. And when the alarm went off at 07:00 this morning I was already up and about.

It didn’t take me long to prepare myself and by 07:30 I was on the road to Avranches. It’s a good job that I was early too because in a daze I missed the by-pass around Sartilly and ended up being stuck in the roadworks in the town centre.

There was plenty of space in the car park at the hospital but there’s quite a long way to walk. It’s uphill too and that’s not ideal for someone on crutches to negotiate.

When I went to check in I found that I had forgotten to bring my wallet with my money and my personal papers with me. However, I’d remembered to bring everything else but surprisingly they didn’t ask me to produce any of it – not even the medication that they had told me to buy for the appointment.

After wandering around the hospital for quite some time trying to find my way I ended up in the Day Hospital where they found me a bed. First thing that they did once I was settled down was to send me off for one of these scans in one of these Stargate time-travelling portals.

It was a Siemens machine so I told them that I’d worked in the past for General Electric but they told me that they had tried those but preferred Siemens.

Back in the ward the nerve specialist came to see me to try to tell me what she was going to do but, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I told her that I wasn’t interested in knowing. I just signed the “consent” forms and told them to get on with it.

They put some kind of numbing plaster on my lower back, brought me a coffee and then left me to it for an hour or so while the numbing liquid did its work. And then they came back for the real business.

They drew off a couple of CCs of clear liquid which they said they would send away for an analysis and then communicate with the specialist in Granville whom I saw a few weeks ago. He’ll be in touch with me and let me know how we’ll proceed.

They wouldn’t let me go home straight away but insisted that I stay for a while to recover. They sent a choice of food to me and I settled for bread and lentils.

Surprisingly, I’m sure that what they did has done me some good because I seem to be moving a little easier and I could climb into Caliburn’s cab a little better. I’m sure that I’m not imagining this.

On the way home I called at Brico Cash in St Pair. I went to look at the showers that were on offer and ended up having a lengthy chat with one of the guys in the warehouse who gave me the phone number of someone he knows who installs showers. I also called somewhere else to look at showers and they gave me a helpful lead too that I shall be following up at the weekend.

By the time that I arrived home I was feeling rather feak and weeble so having fallen asleep on my chair in here, I ended up going to bed where I crashed out for three hours in a really deep sleep. At the hospital they warned me about this.

Once I’d awoken I had a listen to the dictaphone to discover the night’s activities. I was arguing with my family and friends last night. I had a record player that I hadn’t seen for ages because I’d lent it to some member of my family. It turned up at this family party. I noticed the number of LPs that it had played because there was a counter on it that had reached over 2000. I was horrified by this because I’d hardly ever used it. Bt it was borrowed out of my apartment not long after it was new. Then it was food time – burger and chips. Someone pushed my plate into my stomach. I ended up with all these boiling hot chips stuck to my clothes. I was busy trying to sort myself out but everyone just carried on eating and totally ignored it. I picked up the plate again and half the salad fell off the burger. I made some kind of remark about how I was pleased to see how interested my family was in looking after me, taking notice of how things were going on here. Again they all totally ignored me. Someone else passed me a burger but it was an ordinary one not a vegan one so I couldn’t eat it. Generally I was in an absolutely foul mood in this party.

And then there was something else to do with groups and music, about recording 2 extra tracks for some reason but I can’t remember very much about this because I was in the middle of starting to dictate it when I had a bad pain in my right knee again that totaly distracted me.

Finally I’d been away somewhere for a while and was slowly heading home. I called in at a library, a big modern building for a look round and browse through their second-hand books. I ended up with 3 or 4 books. I thought “should I stay or should I go” but was wondering about how long the parking ticket would last on the car. I decided to go anyway but I had to be home as they’d asked me to cover to drive the taxis the following day. When I walked out of the library I found that the car park was probably about 20 feet below where I was standing and it would be quite a jump down to road level. I wasn’t sure whether I could manage it but I couldn’t see any steps anywhere to take me down so I wondered how I was going to manage now to reach the car park with all the stuff that I was carrying and no way down this 20-foot drop.

Tea tonight was a vegan burger with pasta, veg and spicy tomato sauce. And that went down quite nicely too. I was good and ready for that. Rather a banal meal but I have tons of burgers to deal with following the spate of recent offers at LeClerc.

Tomorrow I have nothing much to do so I might have a relaxing day. I can’t have a day off on Sunday because there will be some fruit bread to bake and some carrots to peel dice and freeze because I’m running out.

There’s also the annual Home Renovation Fair in Granville at the weekend and I’m intending to visit because I want to see what else I can do about showers. I’m determined to find a few more quotations for the shower because, much as the work done by that company whose representative came to see me yesterday is of excellent quality, their price is way out of my pocket.

Friday 12th August 2022 – GONE!

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And never called me “mother”!

When I went out this afternoon for my walk, I noticed that Victor Hugo, the Channel Islands ferry boat, has disappeared again. Gone on its travels, probably.

According to the fleet radar, she left at 08:12 and arrived in St Helier at 10:20, which is pretty quick going. And there she sits even as we speak. She doesn’t seem to be in any rush to come back home again.

Here’s hoping that the ferry service starts up again soon.

Something else that is gone! And never called me “mother” either is a certain letter.

This afternoon I have just heaved a rather large shark into the swimming pool by sending a letter of 1573 words to the Hospital’s Director of Medical Services.

Both Liz and Alison, to whom I showed it before I sent it, told me that they reckoned that it was too long. But you know me – never write 100 words when 1000 will do the job just as well.

If the past is anything to go by, which it usually is, the net result of my letter will be “nothing at all” but one can live in hope, even if I end up dying in despair. Some things need to be said, some points need to be underlined and (more importantly) the hospital needs to know in precise detail exactly how I feel.

What they do then is their own affair of course, but at least I’ve done all that I can and I can’t really do any more, much as I would like to. We’ll just sit back and see what happens now. It’s in the lap of the Gods.

But it goes to show the value of keeping a blog, and an indexable, searchable one too because although it took up a lot of time, I could come up with dates, places and resumés of conversations. And it’s that kind of thing that can kill any argument stone-dead before it even starts.

So retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, the alarm going off found me dictating into the dictaphone. So yes, I must have gone off on some travels at some point. And that’s despite a night that was later than it ought to have been.

After the medication I went and had a shower and, because I’m feeling under par due no doubt to having had the ‘flu for Christmas, I cut my hair.

Having dealt wit that I came back in here and, managing to avoid falling asleep, I transcribed the dictaphone notes from last night. I’d gone to the library to look at a book. The Reference Library was extremely untidy. I was searching through the shelves looking for this particular book and laying down one or two others that I might need when one of the workers came past. It was one of the bad-tempered ones and she was saying that the place looked so untidy. She said “get it tidied” to me and presumably one or two other people, members of the public, so I said a few words to her and she said a few words to me and wandered off. In the end what we did was to start to pick up the loose books lying around and stuffing them in the shelves any old how. Of course in libraries there’s a certain order and a certain position to respect, particularly with reference books so we thought that that would give then ten times more work to do when they come to sort it out. A group of us began to talk about this and said how bad it was here. One of them asked me if I’d like to go to the library at Rennes, a young girl, quite nice. I wasn’t sure at first. One of the other people there had been to the library at Rennes with her. She said that she had some spare tickets still so in the end I agreed that I’d go with her. I don’t know why I needed too much persuading to do something with a young girl. The subject came round to religion. I said that I didn’t have a religion which scandalised them so I told them the joke about me walking by a church and God sending down a thunderbolt which they thought was extremely funny.

Telling jokes again in a dream again?

Later on I’d been for a weekend away. I was already in the middle of a holiday. I was in New York somewhere and something had happened and I had to change hotel and had to change the style of the way that I look and the clothes that I was wearing so that I had a completely different look about me. For a couple of days I had to go away to Southport. I found myself standing outside the station and I had all mu luggage – my huge suitcase and my little suitcase, my 2 sacks with all my bedding. I thought “why on earth do I need all of this just for a weekend?” but it was too late. I was there now. I had to be careful about the trains and was wondering how I was going to manage to manhandle all this luggage. I’d gone over there to the station and borrowed a trolley. I put my bags on it and found that it would go up the steps quite comfortably and quite easily. That looked fine. As I reached the top I came to the steps to go down to the other side. These steps were totally different and I thought that this would be totally agonising going down here with all of this. I reached the bottom and found that the 2 bags with my bedding had gone. I don’t remember seeing them fall off. I wondered if someone had taken them. I couldn’t hang around because the train was coming so I took my 2 suitcases and boarded the train. It was crowded and people were moving my suitcases around as they came in and went out. Someone in the end squeezed them in a corner that upset a guy with a musical instrument. His musical instrument was there. The train gradually thinned out so I could rescue my suitcases. He made some kind of gesture to me which I thought might have been friendly but I didn’t know and this train continued rattling on its way to Southend.

Later on it was the graduation of my little girlfriend who worked on Saturdays in the library about whom I’ve talked quite often and I’d been invited which was a surprise. She obviously thought highly of me. Because of the Covid restrictions she could only invite 3 different households and then only 2 people from each household so I felt extremely honoured. We were at the University making all kinds of arrangements. Someone was asking for details about the graduation so I told them basically that there were only 3 households and 2 people from each one. They had a hard time trying to understand it which I didn’t understand. It seemed straightforward to me but I had to tell them probably a dozen times and they still hadn’t understood what was happening. They wanted to know why but it was quite obvious with Covid. We were back in the hall talking about things, talking about computing. Someone asked me if I’d ever used Flash. I replied “God yes I’ve used Flash on games and everything 15 years ago. I’ve certainly used it but I’ve never actually been inside it to see how it works or programmed anything with it”. Then we were talking about 15 years ago and how that was the heyday of the internet when all kinds of private people were making the internet work and it was a really exciting place to be before Corporate took over the internet.

It’s actually quite amazing that I could come out with something like that in a dream. Back 15 years ago the internet was a fun and exciting place to be. In those days small groups of talented individuals were leading the tech revolution. But now they’ve all either sold out, been suckered in or submerged into the Corporate internet world and these days the onlu small groups of individuals remaining are down in the depths of the dark web spending their time waging war on Corporate tech. There doesn’t seem to be the same “Internet Warriors” that we had back then and it’s made the internet a dreary place.

At least I’m still shining the torch for the lost generation of 15-20 years ago of blogs and personal websites and newsgroups. But I won’t be around for long. We need to turn the clock back and reclaim the internet.

Having had a lengthy pause to gather up my thoughts, I sat down and composed my masterpiece. And rather unlike Beethoven who spent 44 years composing and then the next 195 years decomposing, I spent just several hours on writing out my pièce de résistance.

As a result I ended up with a considerably late lunchtime fruit session while Alison and Liz were reviewing “War and Peace”.

Having fixed the typos I printed it out and put it in an envelope, putting the bill from May in an envelope to send back too, and eventually, later than usual, headed out for the town.

fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022As usual, I stopped at the viewpoint on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne to check the camera.

There’s a good view down onto the Fish Processing Plant from here and strangely, there were no boats tied up playing “musical ships” today. They must all be out and about somewhere offshore earning a living.

But they are certainly expected back sometime soon. If you look down onto the lover level down the ramp underneath the car park you’ll see the tractor and presumably the trailer that it pulls.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen that wandering through the town quite often loaded to the gunwhales with boxes of bouchots.

fire st pair sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Yesterday we saw the signs of a fire over the back of the church here in Granville.

Here, it’s the turn of St Pair sur Mer to catch fire. Even though it’s quite a distance away we can see the smoke billowing up from somewhere across the bay there at the back of the town.

And that reminds me. I did have a quick look through the local newspaper this morning but there was nothing at all in it about the fire yesterday. So that’s quite a mystery to me. It’s the kind of thing that you would expect to be reported.

Anyway, I wandered off down towards town.

burnt houses rue du midi Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022While we’re on the subject of fire … “well, one of us” – ed … we mustn’t forget what happened here in the old town one Saturday evening a few months ago.

That was when the house in the middle here caught fire and went up like a Roman candle, taking the houses on either side with it.

We saw them weatherproof the houses (not that they needed to have bothered given the weather that we have been having) shortly afterwards and that’s how I found them today on my first trip to town after so many weeks.

It looks as if any talk about repairing them has been put on the … errr … back burner for a while, presumably while the insurance details are finalised.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022So while Victor Hugo has sailed off into the sunset – or, rather, sunrise – Marité is back in town.

She’s been absent for the last couple of days having a sail around the bay, usually coming back at the end of the evening long after I’ve been tucked up in bed with my glass of hot Wincarnis.

When I was younger I would go for the Phyllosan that fortifies the over-forties but they haven’t invented anything yet that will sixtify the over-sixties. But never mind. Sony has a product launch in mind for my generation. Soon they’ll be bringing out the Sony Walkframe.

That is something I could use as well as I staggered into town. I made it to the Post Office and posted my letters, having to remind someone in front of me who clearly has more problems then I do that when you’ve bought your price label for your letter, you need to take your letter off the scales, stick the label onto it and stick it in the post box instead of simply walking out of the building.

And you thought that I had problems.

So I dealt with the necessary, exchanging a few pleasantries with the woman in the queue behind me, and then headed for home.

kiddies roundabout place charles de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022One of the things that I wanted to do was to check the kiddies roundabout.

With that article having been in the paper a couple of weeks ago even though the roundabout has been here for several weeks longer than that, I wanted to make sure that we were talking about the same machine.

So yes, by comparing photos this is indeed the one that came here a while back so I’m at a loss to explain why the local newspaper has only recently picked this up.

It must have been a quiet news day.

bar ephemere chez maguie place pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022The climb up the hill was better than I was expecting – in that I actually did manage to make it home.

It was necessary for me to pause a couple of times to catch my breath and at one of those places I was overlooking Chez Maguie, the Bar Ephemère on the Place Pelley.

It’s still here, despite the best efforts of the residents in the new block of flats in the background to drive out of town everything that disturbs their peace regardless of how popular it might be with the people who were living in the town a long time before they moved in.

It’s quite popular too, with loads of people enjoying a drink. No-one on the boulodrome though. It was far too hot for that.

Round about here I fell in with a neighbour and we had a good chat. Then I pushed on for my final leg.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Before going in for my nice cold chocolate drink I went to look at the beach to see what was happening.

Being later than usual, the tide was well out so there weren’t too many people down there this afternoon. They must have called it a day. A few people here and there in the water which sounded like a good idea.

Back here I had an ice-cold glass of chocolate drink and then had a play around with some photos for a while.

Tea was pie and veg with gravy, in the hope of making yet more room in the freezer. I need beans and peas tomorrow and I’ve no idea where I’m going to put them

Right now, having had a mammoth diet all day of “Eloy” and “Ten Years After”, I’m going to bed ready for shopping tomorrow. And then a nice restful day followed by football on the internet later. The Welsh Premier League starts back up tomorrow afternoon.

And what will my letter to the hospital bring me? I imagine that it will be several weeks before I hear anything, if I hear anything at all. And I don’t think that anything will change. But there’s not much else that I can do. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I can’t keep going on like this.

Wednesday 1st June 2022 – MY VISIT TO THE …

… sports doctor person was interesting today.

He had a look at my knee with his ultrasound scan thing and then put his thumb right on a certain spot that as soon as he touched it, it hurt like hell. Right on it with no messing around at all.

And then he gave me this injection right in the spot. And that hurt like hell too because the needle wasn’t long enough and he had to press really hard on my leg to make the needle go in deep enough.

He wants me to send him an e-mail to tell him whether there’s an improvement. And I do have to say that there does actually seem to be an improvement already, but how much of this is due to the placebo effect is anyone’s business.

He’ll write out a prescription for me to give to the physiotherapist to recommend some exercises that will build up my knee, and apparently I’m entitled to one session per week of sports training with him. Would I be interested?

He wants to see a resumé of my medical condition from the hospital at Leuven before he can work out a training programme for me. I’ll have to sort something out.

Anyway, once again I fell out of bed when the alarm went off at 07:30. I’m still not exactly bouncing with health these days and I wish that I could do better than this. But after how I was three or four weeks ago then anything is an improvement than that.

After the medication and doing some paperwork I went and had a shower, and I noticed that my weight is slowly – very slowly – going down. I seem to recall when I lost all that weight in 2019 was a combination of having food poisoning and being without my blood transfusion stuff for three months.

Due to problems on the road I was almost late for my appointment. Just as I was driving along the promenade a tractor pulled out of the port de plaisance towing a large boat on a trailer. And so we inched our way all down the coast at a maximum 25 kph until I could find a place to overtake.

After they threw me out at the clinic I drove back to LIDL to do some shopping. I needed some olive oil but I ended up buying everying except olive oil because they didn’t have any.

In fact I’m surprised that they had anything at all because the woman in front of me in the queue spent €256:00 on groceries. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen anyone buy so much stuff in a supermarket.

It was late when I returned from the shops so it was something of a very late breakfast. And then I ended up having a session on the guitar to keep in shape.

Another thing was to have a look at a couple of songs in this playlist that I was sent but I’m not convinced by their accuracy, especially when I saw a mention of a chord of “H minor” in one of them. That’s enough to make anyone smell a rat.

After lunch, rather regrettably, I crashed out for a while. And as I said yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that as well, it’s getting on my nerves and I’m rather fed up of all of this.

hang gliding cemetery Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Later on, I just about managed to awaken myself in time to go for my afternoon walk around the headland.

Yesterday I mentioned the lack of Birdmen of Alcatraz and their Nazguls but I was going to have better luck today by the look of things.

As I watched, a Birdman rose up from the ground and began to hover over the cemetery ready to shoot off down the coast along the top of the cliffs.

And as he began to move away, another one began to unfurl his equipment ready to take to the air. It’s going to be busy out there today.

man on beach reading book rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022so having dealt with that I went over to the wall to have a look down onto the beach.

With it being half-day closing at school today and a nice day I was expecting to see quite a few people out there today enjoying themselves but to my surprise there was just one person down there on the beach by the Rue du Nord.

Interestingly, he was actually sitting there reading a book, very reminiscent of that girl who was sitting on the rocks at the end of the headland the other day.

It’s actually something of which I approve wholeheartedly. In fact it’s been a long time since I sat down with a really good book.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022for the last couple of days we’ve been admiring the views out to sea.

It’s yet another day where the views were excellent. That white building at St Helier was once again quite clearly visible with the naked eye. But I was more interested today with the little islets down at the end of the Ile de Chausey.

A couple of years ago when we were on the Spirit of Conrad we were out there walking on that beach that you can see and it really is beautiful. And much of its beauty is due to the fact that it’s quite inaccessible.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While I was walking along the path on top of the cliffs I was overflown.

It’s our old friend the yellow autogyro. It’s been down the coast with a passenger, presumably for a lap or two around Mont St Michel and is now on its way back to the airfield.

We’ve seen it a few times just recently which is something of a surprise because we went for a couple of months through the winter without seeing it at all. It made me wonder where it had been.

And no, I haven’t forgotten …

people in zodiac baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022there weren’t all that many people on the path again so I had it pretty much to myself today

At the end of the car park there was nothing happening so I went down to the end of the headland to see what was happening. No-one sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban but if there had been, they would have seen this zodiac in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And I’ve no idea what they were doing in their zodiac. They don’t seem to be fishing and I can’t see anything else to give me a clue. They might just have gone out for a roar around the bay with the afternoon tide.

cabin cruiser chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022From there I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was happening in the port.

And we can all see why work had ground to a halt on L’Ecume II yesterday after the speed at which they had been working. Here she is! Gone! And never called me “mother”!

She’s actually over in the inner harbour even as we speak, ready to go back to Jersey at some point in the proceedings .

All that we are left with at the moment is the impressive-looking and expensive cabin cruiser that we saw in there yesterday.

crane dismantling dredger chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Well, that isn’t exactly all.

On my way out to the sports therapist person this morning I noticed that there was a rather large mobile crane in the chantier naval. It looks as if they are now making a start on dismantling the dredger.

One of these days in the very near future a lorry will turn up and the crane will pick up the bits of dredger and drop them on the trailer.

In fact I’m surprised that she’s still there now. It’s been several weeks since she was lifted out of the water and she’s just been sitting there waiting for things to happen.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022On my way back towards home, I was overflown yet again.

Actually, I had to wait for quite a while for it to arrive. I could hear its engine from a long way away and I was surprised that it took so long to reach here. It certainly made a racket when it did.

It’s another helicopter, a different one from the last one that we saw, but I do have the feeling that I’ve seen this one before at some point in the past.

And once it had gone by I could hear it rattling its way towards the airfield for quite some time as well. It was definitely one of the noisiest light aircraft that we have seen.

chausiaise scrap metal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022When I went out this morning I noticed that Thora was in port unloading.

She’s gone back out now but has left a pile of scrap metal on the quayside waiting for someone to come and collect it for taking away.

In her place is Chausiaise, the little freighter that goes out to the Ile de Chausey. I’m not sure why because there’s nothing on the quayside that needs to be loaded up onto her.

Back here I made a coffee and then came back in here to listen to the dictaphone. No nightmares involving Zero this time. Instead, I’d done something extremely silly like lending a scrapman some money and I was having a load of difficulty talking to him, never mind getting it back. We had to go back and I had to take someone with me and have one more go at speaking to him. We had to mountaineer up the side of this house to reach somewhere near where his office was. We couldn’t go in it. This was an awful climb up the bricks and the gutters etc. Finally we arrived within shouting distance of where his office was and we shouted without any hope at all. His wife heard us and said “he’ll be here in a minute” which I didn’t expect but it turned out that he was. We had a chat about the money that he owed me and I had a date by which he would pay me back etc. Of course I didn’t expect him to keep to any of this for a minute but it was even something that he had agreed to see me and talk to me about it. I didn’t think that there was any chance whatever that I’d be getting back this money at all.

Tea tonight was a curry made up out of leftover bits and pieces, and it was just as delicious as normal. And having written up my notes I’m off to bed ready for tomorrow.

But would I be interested in a once-weekly sports training session with a sports therapist? Do bears go to the toilets in the woods?

Thursday 12th May 2022 – HAVING HAD A FEW …

… extremely quiet days just recently, that all changed today. I’ve been rushed off my feet and haven’t stopped all day. I haven’t even had any time for tea.

There’s even some stuff on the dictaphone too but I haven’t had time to transcribe it yet.

It all went wrong earlier this morning when for some reason that I didn’t understand, the alarm went off at 06:15. I was actually up and about by the time that I realised and it didn’t take much for me to crawl back into bed.

When the alarm went off again at 07:30 I did manage to leave the bed something-like on time and after I’d had my medication I went to have a shower and clean myself up

Then I nipped out to go and see this sports therapist at Saint-Pair sur Mer.

My appointment was for 09:30 but he was running horribly late and it was gone 10:00 when he finally saw me. He asked me a few questions and poked and prodded me around, and it didn’t take him long to find out where the bone in my kneecap is broken.

There is a series of special injections that he is proposing for me so he gave me a prescription and an appointment to go back on 1st June.

This weekend I have a Welsh weekend school so I called at LIDL on the way home and stocked up with a big pile of stuff to see me through the next 10 days. It cost a fortune too. But I’ll still nip out for a few things late on Saturday that I couldn’t buy at LIDL.

By the time that I returned home it was almost lunchtime, never mind breakfast, but I had one of my fruit buns all the same with some coffee. And I was right. It really was delicious.

After lunch I was back out again. It was the turn of the physiotherapist to have the pleasure of my company.

trawlers fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022First stop though was the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne where you can look down upon the fish processing plant.

It’s quite busy down there this afternoon. This is the moment when all the boats are coming in to unload and they are having to fight their way around L’Omerta who is still tied up to the quayside.

It shows you what a busy little port it is, with all of the boats down there and the people on top of the quayside helping to unload the catch into the fish processing plant. There will be cars and vans on the lower level underneath too, there to take away the load from some of the boats.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There was plenty of activity out in the bay too.

And not just trawlers coming into harbour either. One of the yachting schools was out there this afternoon with the pupils having a sail around the bay, with someone in a zodiac shepherding them around. And I haven’t forgotten that one of these days in the near future I’ll be out there with them.

There were plenty of pleasure craft too like the large yacht in the foreground that has just come out of the port de plaisance. And there were a couple of speedboats loitering around out there too.

chaisiase l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022That wasn’t all either.

While I was here I had a look over towards the chantier naval to see how they were getting on with L’Ecume II. They are still bashing away at her but as I watched, something else came around the corner into my field of view.

It’s the little freighter Chausiaise, on her way back from, presumably, a run out to the Ile de Chausey with a load of freight. Someone mentioned to me that if she’s out there with no return load, she’ll bring back a pile of shellfish for the fishermen over there.

marite normandy warrior port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022From the corner here I walked on down the hill towards the town.

As I was on my way I noticed in the distance that there was a shrink-wrapped speedboat on the quayside and as I approached I could see that Normandy Warrior was in port.

At least, I think that it’s she, because the bridge is slightly different and her skipper has moored her differently than her sister Normany Trader is usually moored.

There were also crowds queueing up to board Marité too. It looks as if she’s going off out for an afternoon’s sailing around the bay. The first time this year that we will have seen her.

The walk through town was rather agonising today and I don’t know why. I’ve noticed for the last few days that I’ not moving around as well as I have been.

And the physiotherapist put me through my paces todays. This new one works me a lot harder than any of the others whom I’ve had so far. I think that she’s on a “kill or cure” mission.

On the way home I called at the pharmacy for the prescription that the sports doctor gave me. If I pick it up while I remember, it saves all kinds of unfortunate complications for later.

freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022The walk back up the hill was a struggle today. I really am becoming worse and worse these days.

There were several occasions where I was obliged to stop, including at the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour. And “Gone! And never called me ‘Mother’!”. Both Marité and Normandy Warrior have cleared off.

But the shrink-wrapped speedboat is still on the quayside. Normandy Warrior hasn’t taken that away this afternoon. And so it looks as if either she or her sister will be back in port quite quickly to do the necessary. They won’t be leaving that on the quayside for too long.

notre dame de cap lihou port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Something else that was wandering around in the harbour was the local lifeboat, Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

Strange as it may seem, they have been using her to tow the dredger St-Gilles Croix-de Vie around the harbour while she’s been doing her dredging. So by the looks of things, she’s just knocked off for the day and it going home to have a rest.

In actual fact, not that I saw it, but apparently she was back out later. The dredging is finished so she towed the dredger over to the chantier naval where the portable boat lift could winch her out of the water.

marite baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022A little further on along the path we finally caught up with Marité again.

It’s a shame that I only had the NIKON 1 J5 with me. That just has the standard lens and so distance photography is pretty useless and I can’t really pick out anything.

But at least, by the looks of things she’s having a good sail around, even if it is with her diesel engines and not with her sails. I don’t suppose that many people still have the skills for this kind of thing.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Instead of going into my building I went for a look out to see what was happening.

What I was hoping to see was Normandy Warrior disappearing off into the sunset but wherever she was, she was well out of range of any equipment that I had with me.

All that there were that I could see were a couple of local inshore boats with a couple of fishermen therein so I had to content myself with them.

In any case, there was quite a haze out at sea and even the Ile de Chausey was difficult to see in these conditions this afternoon.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But it was actually a nice day so it was no surprise to see a few people down there on the beach this afternoon.

They were enjoying themselves, especially the few people who were brave enough to go into the water.

Having photographed them I came in here and had a strawberry smoothie and (regrettably) crashed out completely for a good half hour or so. This physiotherapist works me really hard.

And then I had to get everything together for my Welsh conversation class this evening. That passed quickly and it could have been much, much worse. But I’ve ended up with no tea and I don’t care either because I’m tired and I’m going to bed.

Tomorrow there are no plans but something will come along to disturb me, I’m sure of that.

But anyway, that’s for another time. Let me finally post up the details of my little nocturnal voyages from last night now that i’ve transcribed them We were in Wales, Hans, Jackie, Alison and me. We had to go to somewhere which meant going south on the train and then heading east and then back north again in the direction towards Shrewsbury. That was basically what we did and that was how we set off to do whatever it was that we were supposed to be doing.

And then there was something happening at the bar in the Rue des Juifs as well. We’d all taken musical instruments there and set them up in the alcove as if we were going to have some kind of performance but that was as far as I went with that.

Saturday 6th November 2021 – I DIDN’T HAVE …

… such a productive day today as I did yesterday. I found it very hard to make a start yet again.

It should actually have been a much better day today because for once I was actually wide awake a 07:15 – 15 minutes before the alarm went off – and I should have taken full advantage of it but once again, being awake is one thing – actually leaving the bed is something else completely.

Anyway I eventually crawled out of bed and went off for my medication.

Back here I ended up deep in conversation with someone on the internet.

In my possession is a very limited-edition copy of David Hill’s AN ATLAS OF ANGLO-SAXON ENGLAND but unfortunately there are several pages missing.

The person with whom I was chatting had been a student of David Hill at Manchester University and had a copy of the Atlas himself so he copied the pages for me and sent them to me, along with several maps showing the distribution of Royal lands in South Cheshire, North Shropshire and the Maelor, my old stamping ground of course, and a copy of his thesis on the Domesday Book entries for that area.

That really was a wonderful gesture and I was very grateful for all of that. It’s restored a little of my faith in human nature.

boats heading out to the ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021After breakfast I headed off out to do some shopping. No Caliburn so I went on foot to the local shops in town.

And by the looks of things I wasn’t the only one going out and about this morning. There was a relentless stream of boats heading out to the Ile de Chausey this morning.

That suggests that the gate at the entry to the port de plaisance opened a short while ago and everyone is taking full advnatage.

boat yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Of course, some boats are quicker away than others.

This one was right out in the bay going past the Ile de Chausey and by the size of the wake that he’s creating compared to the size of his boat he must have le feu dans ses fesses as they say around here.

On the other hand I don’t believe that the yacht to the right has gone out at that kind of speed. Either she’s been out all night or else she’s come from a non-tidal harbour, if there is such a thing around here

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021My route today was to go around the headland and down into town that way.

And I hadn’t gone too far along the path before one of the Joly France came around the corner.

One look at the stern is enough to tell us that she’s the older boat of the two. The newer one has a step cut into the stern.

There’s quite a crowd of people on board the boat as well. It’s not the best day to be going out to the Ile de Chausey but at least it’s not raining.

a href=”https://www.erichall.eu/images/2111/21110044.html”>boats heading out to the ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021As I walked down the path and across the car park I could hear this dreadful racket coming from the water and I wondered what it might be.

At the end of the headland I found out that it wasn’t just one boat making a noise but a whole collection of them.

It looks to me as if the whole world is heading out to the ile de Chausey this morning and I’ve no idea why it should be so popular. I haven’t seen anything in the local newspaper.

And while we are on the subject of the local newspaper, the helicopter was scrambled yesterday to rescue two people stuck in a tidal swimming pool but a pleasure boat beat the helicopter to it.

fishermen boats heading out to the ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And that’s not all of the water craft either.

As I went down the steps to the bottom I noticed that there were three fishermen setting themselves up on the rocks down there.

And they were having a grandstand view of everything going sailing past them this morning.

And they can consider themselves lucky too. Many people would pay good money to see a spectacle like this and we are all having it for free.

portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021I walked along the path at the foot of the cliffs and that brought me down to by the chantier naval.

We can have a closer look at the portable boat lift and see how sorry it’s looking without her wheels. It must be some kind of serious repair that’s had her holed up like this in the middle of the yard.

But we can do with getting her back on her feet – or her wheels, at any rate. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … a proper functioning boat repair yard is vital to the success of the port.

fishing boat with tender leaving fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Tanking of the success of the port … “well, one of us is” – ed … there was a small fishing boat unloading as I was walking along the quayside.

It didn’t take her long and, hauling her tender alongside her, she was soon off on her way again.

Her name was clearly visible on the wind deflector over the cabin but it was written in some crazy Gothic script that I couldn’t decipher. And as she doesn’t have an AIS beacon, I can’t check her registration number against my records.

crab left behind by the tide port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There was something else of interest in the tidal harbour this morning.

What he’s actually doing here I really don’t know. Whether he’s fallen out of a basket from a boat that’s unloading or whether he simply fancies going for a walk is something of a mystery.

But one thing is certain and that it’s very rare for a crab to be left behind by a receding tide. If he doesn’t get a move on, he’ll be on someone’s dinner plate this evening.

st gaud port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Yesterday from up above at the viewpoint overlooking the port I noticed that there was a trawler moored where Marité is usually tied up.

As I was down this way I went for a look to see who she was.

She’s the Saint Gaud, named after a former Bishop of Evreux. There’s a shrine dedicated to him at St Pair sur Mer that used to be a centre of pilgrimage where mothers would bring their babies to receive a blessing.

After his retirement as Bishop he came to live in the Forest of Scissy part of which is today the town of St Pair sur Mer.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Next to her at the quayside is the little Chausey freighter Chausiaise.

She has a sliding top that covers the hold, as you can see. It’s similar to a design that we did in the 1980s for an outdoor swimming pool where the sides and roof slide back underneath one another to make it an open-air one in good weather.

There’s no photo of her in the shipping database and as I maintain the AIS beacon for the port I feel that I’m in some way responsible for the local boats. This photo has come out quite well so it’s now been uploaded to the database.

By the way, up on the city walls just to the left of the French flag is the viewpoint that overlooks the inner port. And that’s the hill that I have to stagger up to go home.

Around the corner I bumped into the itinerant, still going strong. I’ve not seen him for a while so we had a chat and then I went off to buy the lettuce, a baguette, some mushrooms and a couple of peppers. And a can of drink for the journey back.

barbecue marché de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way home I passed round by the market.

All of the smoke that you can see is from the legendary barbecue about which there was so much trouble two years or so ago. He uses charcoal to grill his sausages and the mayor at the time didn’t like the smell or the smoke so she tried to make him convert to gas.

He took her all the way up the heirarchical ladder of appeals and in the end he won his case, so he still used the charcoal. The Carnaval that year was … errr … rather cruel.

marché de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021But as you can see, the market here on a Saturday morning is quite popular. It certainly pulls in the crowds.

For the first few weeks that I lived here I would come back this way from the shops on a Saturday morning but the first weekend that I tried it after the summer holidays started, I found an alternative route very quickly.

On the way back home I stopped halfway up the hill. Not because I was exhausted but rather because I wasn’t and I had my can of drink to drink before I returned home. It was nice sitting on the wall overlooking the port with a can of drink in my hand.

As I approached my buildiing I bumped into yet another neighbour and she held me captive for 20 minutes chatting about this and that. I reallt do seem to be popular right now and i’ve no idea what I’ve done to deserve that.

As a result it was almost lunchtime by the time that I came back inside.

This afternoon I’ve been working on the arears of the journal, adding in the photos and the dreams from when I was in Leuven last month. Now they are all up-to-date.

And after I’d done that I transcribed some dreams for a couple more days and I’ll be adding them in as I go along over the next while – just in time (presumably) to go into arrears again when I go to Leuven in 10 days time. It’s a vicious circle in which I find myself at the moment.

In the meantime, last night I was with my mother somewhere. I was in one room of the house. There was music on the radio so I was playing along on the bass but on one particular song the bass actually switched on and was really loud. When I looked, one of the potentiometers was glowing red-hot with sparks. I couldn’t get down there to turn off or turn down the sound

There had been a whole new road network opened from after Whitchurch to Shrewsbury and Market Drayton. It was quite late at night and I decided that even though I had things to do I would go to see if after someone had told me something about it. I set off and just as I was coming onto the new bit there was a telephone box so I thought that I’d stop and put all my papers in order because I’d thrown them into the car. I wanted to check on the ferry at 02:30 which was the one that I should have been on but then I couldn’t find my papers. The 2 people sitting in the back, I don’t know where they came from were having a rummage around in the car. Eventually they found something and I found the rest. I was sitting on it. Percy Penguin in the passenger seat read out the ferry booking number to me so I wrote it down. I found that I’d already written it once in my notebook. That meant that I could phone up about the ferry that I should have been on.

I’d been doing a coach tour. I’d had to go out, drive over 300 miles, pick up some passengers and bring them back to the depot and be back by lunchtime. I had loads of things that I’d brought with me, tools and everything and I had to get them into my red Cortina estate. That took me an age to do that. Then I had to set off and drive back home but I had a phone call to make, to ring up my niece in Canada. I parked my car at the side of the road and went to the phone box. The number wasn’t actually the number that I thought it was but it was there written down so I thought that I’d go to dial it. Then I noticed that my bike was missing. The car outside had changed into a bike. I went out to look for it and there were 2 girls there. One was Zero. She had my bike but she had hit something with it. I asked her why she’d taken it. She relied that 2 boys had taken it and had a ride on it but it was some stupid bike without a computer so they’d dumped it so she’d gone on it and gone for a ride. I had to go back and find a phone box and telephone Canada again. She came with me in the phone box. I started looking for my notebook which I eventually found. There was the number written down in it but it was the wrong number. I remembered that the last time the number had changed. I thought that I’m not going to be able to phone up because I only have one 10p. If I dial the wrong number I’m going to lose it and I won’t be able to call her again.

But here I am, stuck in a tiny, confined space like a telephone box with Zero who can’t possibly escape from my evil clutches and I choose that moment to awaken. You couldn’t make up something like that.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021As usual I nepped out at 16:00 to go and see the beach.

At the moment the tide is well out as you can see so there was plenty of beach this afternoon. There were quite a few people down there as well this afternoon going for a good walk around .

The weather is quite cool and there’s a little wind, but it’s been windier and colder than this already so it’s not too bad for November. But I imagine that over the next few weeks winter will be starting to get a grip on everything and that will be the last that we shall see of the idlers.

hermitage promenade donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A few weeks ago I posted a photo or two to show that the beach cabins on the Plat Gousset have been taken away for the wonter to protect them from the storms.

Down on the promenade at Donville-les-Bains they don’t seem to be too concerned by that. The cabins are still there.

To the left is that big building that used to be a hotel but is now a block of apartments and flats. I had a look at a room that was to let there not long after I came to live here but it really was in bad condition and I didn’t like it all that much at all.

Back here I carried on work until tea time. Breaded burgers and veg with baked potatoes and it really was delicious. I must admit that I’m eating really well since I’ve been living here.

Now my journal entry is written I’m going to have a little relax and then go to bed. I can’t describe how much I’ve been looking forward to the lie-in tomorrow but the problem will be that having spent all weel working myself up to it, somethign will happen to put a spanner in the works.

We shall see.

Tuesday 7th September 2021 – I’VE HAD A …

… much better and much more productive day today – due almost entirely, I reckon, to the fact that I had a sleep for about 90 minutes or so on my chair this morning not long after I had risen from the dead

As you might expect, it was a struggle to leave the bed this morning when the alarm went off and when I came back in here after the medication, I didn’t do very much in the way of work before I was away with the fairies.

When I finally awoke and came back round into the Land of the Living, I made myself a coffee and then attacked the dictaphone.

Yesterday’s notes were transcribed and went on line, and then I turned my attention to today’s notes.

I’d been on the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR last night and it was our final day out. We’d all been off looking at something and I was wandering around. Suddenly I had this uncomfortable feeling that everyone else had gone. Not to worry, because these were the days when I could run so I set off at a run back to it. Matthew Swann and a few others were there. Yhey were being quite derogatory about it They asked what had happened and I told them that I had fallen asleep. They had a moan and everything like that. I was quite literally leaping over obstructions, scrambling down hills and so on. But it turned out that it was all like giant beds with blankets and sheets on and I was falling down the side of these giant beds and running up the other side of them, hanging on to the sheets and everything as I went over the top. Every now and again I would bump into someone who knew me. They all were wondering what I was doing, whether I was doing something for a bet or a personal achievement. I explained what had happened, and I was wondering what would happen when I would reach the other side of the island. Had all of the boats gone out to the ship and left me right behind? But I awoke in a night sweat, as I have been doing for the past couple of weeks.

Later on there was something about we were driving somewhere in Germany and retracing our steps back the way we had come. It all started to become confusing when we arrived in a big city. There were all these weird blue and white buses and trams driving around and I couldn’t quite follow the signposts for some reason. I wasn’t even sure where I was supposed to be going. After we had driven out of the city and going into the suburbs I suddenly looked over to my right and saw a couple of shops in the distance that were extremely familiar so I turned round and started to head off that way thinking that if I remember them it must have been from when we came in and therefore it’s that road over there that must be the right one out again.

While I was asleep just now I was driving around Montreal with one of my Canadian friends talking to her. She was asking me all kinds of questions about places in Montreal and its vicinity and I knew none of them. I came to the conclusion that I didn’t know Montreal anything like as well as I thought I did. We were discussing dating sites with someone else. he was wondering about their popularity. I said “well sex is the most important part in people’s lives and people just aren’t meeting up as they used to” which he agreed. I went out anyway, going to post a letter and get some food. In the meantime a bus did a U-turn in the road in front of me and clipped a car that was in front. Another vehicle clipped another car somewhere else. I was driving around finding myself in an area that I didn’t really know at all and wasn’t really sure how I was going to find out anything.

Grabbing another mug of coffee, I went for my Welsh lesson and ended up being rather late because the portable computer chose that inconvenient moment to perform an upgrade.

The Welsh lesson passed really well and then after lunch, because I was feeling very lively, I caught up with an outstanding task. A while ago someone gave me a laptop to fit an Solid State Drive in it,seeing as I have a certain little computer program that means that I can do it without going through any complicated back-up procedure.

It took me quite a while because it’s an old steam-driven computer, dating to at least the year 2000 running an underlying DOS operating system so I had to dig deep into my memory from 20-odd years ago.

It works fine now except that I can’t extract the data files from the old drive because this computer doesn’t have a USB 3.0 port so tomorrow, if I’m feeling up to it, I have a cunning plan that I can use to make things work.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This took me right up to the time that I go out for my walk around the headland this afternoon.

Across the car park I went to look out over the wall down onto the beach to seed the crowds of people down there this afternoon. And crowds there were as well today.

Although there are a couple of people wearing swimwear, walking away from the water, there weren’t any people in the water here this afternoon. And this was surprising because this was one of the nicest days that we have had so far this year

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further out along the coast down at the Plat Gousset, there were even more people on the beach.

Quite a few people in the water too, making the most of the opportunity presented to them by the availability of the water in the medieval fish trap.

Way further out on the beach at Donville les Bains, there are dozens of people taking advantage of the sunny afternoon. Of course, you might well expect this now that the children have gone back to school and the holidaymakers have all now gone home.

There was nothing whatever going on out at sea in the Baie de Granville – no kayakers, no frogpersons and not even any fishermen so I had a very lonely trudge around the headland in the heat.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021As I walked around the corner by the old bunker I could see that out in the Baie de Mont St Michel on the other side of the headland that Le Loup, the marker light on top of the rock at the entrance to harbour, was looking splendid today.

The dark line underneath the lower of the two red lines is where the tide reaches and so it gives you a good idea of how high the tide can be.

Out in the background on the beach at Kairon-Plage in between St Pair sur Mer and Jullouville, there seem to be hordes of people this afternoon. More than I would expect so I wonder what is happening there today.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned that there were no fishermen out in the Baie de Granville.

On this side of the headland however there were plenty of people down on the rocks having something of a scavenge about.

With the tide being so far out this afternoon the public part of the foreshore down there is now uncovered so they can have a good forage for the shellfish and other seafood in rockpools that have been left behind as the water recedes.

Judging by the size of the containers that they have, they must be having a good and successful time.

trawler baie be mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Over the past few months we’ve seen the local fishing boats working out in areas that have previous been unexploited.

Today, right down at the end of the Baie de Mont St Michel close to the Brittany coast, we have a trawler down there this afternoon having a go to see what it can pull up out of the water.

At this kind of distance I can’t see who she is, and I’m not even sure that she comes from here.

So with nothing else happening, I pushed off along the path on top of the headland towards the port.

l'omerta fishing boat massabielle trawler chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And down at the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval I could see that we have had plenty of excitement down there today.

The little trawler Briscard that was nearest the camera and Pierre de Jade, the trawler next to her, seem to have gone back into the water this afternoon.

It didn’t take long for their places to be filled either. L’Omerta, the little shellfish boat that we’ve seen so often sitting on the silt by the Fish Processing Plant, and Massabielle, a trawler whom we haven’t seen before, have taken their places.

It’s all go in the chantier naval these days.

Back here I had my banana smoothie and then had another play with that computer, which took me up to teatime. Taco rolls with the rest of yesterday’s stuffing.

Tomorrow I’m at the physiotherapist’s so I need to have a good relax and gather my strength during the morning. But not 90 minutes-worth.

And while I was typing up my notes, with my other hand I fixed the computer issues that I mentioned just now

Sunday 5th September 2021 – WHAT I SAW …

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… down on the beach this afternoon.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s my habit to go over to the wall at the end of the car park outside my door and look down to see the activity on the beach.

But today, you’ll need a darn sight more than a good telephoto lens to penetrate this sea-fog that is rolling in with the wind from off the bay and over the headland where I’m standing. There were definitely people down there because I could hear them, but there was no chance whatever of seeing them.

sea fog baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Round the other side of the headland, it’s easy to see whereabouts in the bay is in the wind-shadow of the headland.

The two harbours and the coast down as far as St Pair sur Mer are fairly clear but further on down the coast where there is no wind-shadow the coast is overwhelmed by the sea-fog.

But that’s enough of that for the moment. Let’s go back to the start of the day.

And Bane of Britain strikes again, by somehow having managed to arrange for the alarm to go off at 06:00 this morning. One very unhappy bunny here.

It was about 09:30 when I finally staggered from my stinking pit. After the medication this morning and checking my mails and messages I made a start on the notes for yesterday that I hadn’t done last night.

Strangely enough, it didn’t take me too long to do it and by the time that I stopped for lunch, they had long-been finished.

This afternoon I made a start on pairing up the tracks for the next radio programme – the one that I’ll be preparing on Monday.

That took much longer than it ought to have done because I’ve made a conscious decision that many of the songs that I’ve been choosing are no longer appropriate for the style of programme that I want to develop. Well – they are, but not in the amount that I’ve been using them just recently.

Later on I made another pile of dough for the pizzas for the next three weeks. This one seemed to work really well and I wish that the fruit bread had turned out like that the other day.

By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon grope around the headland.

lighthouse semaphore pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This is a view that we have seen on many occasions.

It’s the path that leads along the top of the headland towards the lighthouse, the coastguard station and the semaphore post. But unfortunately today, you can’t see any one of those things with the fog.

Nevertheless, the fog didn’t deter people from being out and about. There were far more people out there this afternoon than you would realise, and you didn’t notice them until you fell over them.

cabanon vauban people pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Not just on the path towards the lighthoue either.

My walk took me across the lawn and across the car park down to the end of the headland where there is a good view across the bay. But not today, unfortunately.

We couldn’t see a thing out to sea this afternoon, but there were some people who had made their way down the steps to the little bench in front of the Cabanon Vauban, the old Customs sentry-box. I’m not sure what it was at which they were looking, but I couldn’t see anything special.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021They weren’t the only people wandering around off the beaten track in the fog this afternoon.

It will take more than a sea-fog to stop the fishermen going out to practise their art, and sure enough, there is one of them down there.

It’s very difficult to see what he’s actually doing. He has his rod in his hand but I can’t tell whether he is packing up or setting out.

And so I left him to it and headed off along the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was going on down there.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Down at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, I could see that there was no change in occupancy in the chantier naval. Still the same seven boats that have been there for a couple of weeks.

Over on the other side of the harbour, there was one of the Joly France ferry boats moored up at the ferry terminal. Judging by its small superstructure and rectangluar windows in “portrait” format, it’s the newer one of the two near-identical ones.

As for where her older sister and the brand-new Belle France might be, I really can’t say. But I bet that they won’t be doing any sightseeing trips around the bay or a lap around the Ile de Chausey. And Chausiaise, the little freighter, is in the inner harbour.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From the viewpoint further along the path, I could see into the inner harbour where I noticed that Marité wasn’t there.

She must be out at sea with passengers, and I bet that they can’t be enjoying themselves too much in this weather, with not being able to see what is going on anywhere.

There was also an aeroplane flying around overhead, but of course I couldn’t see it in this weather.

Instead, I went back home and had a banana smoothie. Despite the fog, it was hot, clammy and oppressive out there this afternoon.

Having drunk my smoothie I sat down to check the dictaphone notes but ended up dozing off for about 20 minutes. That still left time for me to find out where I’d been last night.

The first thing that I noticed was that I remarked that I had had an attack of cramp – first time for about ever. I’d forgotten all about this.

But in the meantime, a former friend of mine was speaking to me and telling me what a surprising person I am with all this news that I have that I have never told anyone. he said that he had only found out by accident so I asked him what he was on about. He said that we’d have to go out and celebrate it, all this kind of thing, and I hadn’t really any idea. It turned out that he’d heard someone say “we’d still be up to 15 people if we replace Eric quickly or get a replacement for Eric quickly enough”. “Ohh that!” I said. “I’ve just had an internal transfer in the office and going somewhere else”.

There was somewhere else about a house in Wistaston in Crewe that I was trying to sell but no-one had been to see it for a while. People had asked me why I hadn’t reduced it to sell. I replied that I’ve had it almost 20 years and very very shortly the mortgage will be paid. It’s not in my interest to sell it once the mortgage is paid because it will be increasing in value.

What was that dream about a banana that suddenly awoke me and drained everything away from me immediately? And don’t ask me what that was all about because I don’t have a clue. It’s what I must have dictated but I can’t think why.

Later on during the night I was out with Nerina. There were 4 of us, me, her, another guy and another girl, something to do with me being at the hospital. Nerina had her Wolseley 1300 and the door on it didn’t fit quite properly. While we were walking towards it there was another group of people walking towards us. One of them was joking about how easy it was to steal these cars. he took out a key from his pocket, opened the door, got in and sat at the steering wheel. The guy and I dived in, dragged him out, bent him over the car and had his arms in an arm lock. We marched him into the hospital where someone called the police. The idea was basically to frighten the wits out of him. But this went on and on and in the end I was called forward for my surgery. The boy that had come out before me now had the most beautiful white teeth so I wondered if that was what they were going to do to me. I had to go to wait by this cubby hole where the guy searched through some papers. There were people coming and going and the surgeon was rooting through these papers as well looking for the names. Someone else out of the room where we were had come out and gone past me in a wheelchair and gone into a theatre. I thought that I was going to be here all night with this. I’d told one of the others who was with us that they were in charge about the affair with this boy. I wondered how long it was going to be before they become fed up?.

There was also time to deal with a couple more of the arrears too. I’m hoping that they will be finished quite soon too so that I can update the relevant journal entries.

When that was done I divided up the pizza dough into three, rolled two in oil, wrapped them in greaseproof paper, put them in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The other, I rolled out and put in the pizza tray and left it to proof for a while. And once it was ready I assmebled it and baked it.

Here’s the finished product. It was nice and crispy for a change, one of the best that I’ve made for ages. Quite delicious too.

Now the washing-up is done and the kitchen has been tidied up and it’s all looking quite nice. i’ve finished my journal entry early too so I have a couple of things to do and then i’m off to bed. I have a radio programme to prepare in the morning so I need to be on good form because I don’t want to waste too much time.

Sunday 7th March 2021 – AFTER I’D FINISHED …

… finished writing up my notes last night I went off and made my kefir. There were a pile of kiwis that were on the verge of going off so I used four of those. Whizzed up in the whizzer and then pressed through the filter system and the brewed kefir mixed in.

While it was seeping through I set another batch of kefir on the way and then the stuff that I’d mixed, I filtered through the filter stack into the bottles and left it to brew.

When I’d finished I came back in here but I wasn’t in the least bit tired so I sat down and did some work. I finished ANOTHER PAGE OF THE ARREARS FROM CENTRAL EUROPE and then I went on and bashed out 30 or so photos from Greenland 2019 and I’m now sailing down Tunulliarfik Fjord.

It was about 01:45 when I finally went to bed so it was something of a disappointment to be awake at 07:50 when I awoke. But there’s no chance whatever of me being up and about on a Sunday at that ridiculous time so I turned over and went back to bed.

10:15 is much more like it on a Sunday.

First task after the medication was to deal with the sink. I went to do all of the washing-up from last night but the water simply didn’t drain out at all.

In the end I dismantled all of the pipework under the sink and found a nice piece of cable to ram down the pipe that I couldn’t dismantle. Judging by how far the cable went down the pipework it was well into the communal lengths before it found the obstruction.

It took quite a while of furkling about with the cable before the obstruction suddenly moved. And then I had to reassemble everything. It wasn’t exactly how I intended to start my Sunday but at least I could crack on.

After all of that I couldn’t concentrate on the blog entry that I’d started and didn’t seem to make any progress so I had another go at the photos. That’s a huge pile of those that I did today and I’m now in a zodiac in Arsuk Fjord heading for a close encounter with a musk-ox.

microlight powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite it being a Sunday, I remembered to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

The sky was absolutely beautiful once more with not a cloud in the sky today. But there were plenty of other things in the air instead. None of the bird-men because there wasn’t enough wind but we did have one or two people up in the air in their powered hang-gliders or whatever they are called.

Several light aircraft were flying past overhead too, but they were too far away for me to photograph with any kind of clarity.

bird of prey pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the other hand, something else went flying by quite clearly enough for me to photograph this afternoon.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have some kind of bird of prey flying around the edges of the cliffs. There’s a colony of rabbits somewhere in the cliffs and I imagine that it targets the very young of the colony together with whatever else it can find in the way of small mammals.

As for the details of its species, I have to say that I have no idea. Despite all of the lectures on birdwatching that I’ve had in the past from Nerina, they weren’t about this kind of bird.

But retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, we were talking about the gorgeous weather today.

girls coming out of the water beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNice though it might have been, it wasn’t all that warm at all and so I was surprised, if not astonished, to see a couple of women emerging from the sea like a couple of 21st-Century sirens. I would have expected the water to have been cold enough to freeze the barnacles off a brass dinghy right now.

When we were in the Arctic we had people throwing themselves into the sea even as the surface was freezing over but they were Canadians and it’s the kind of thing that you might expect from them but it’s not the thing that I would normally expect French people to do for pleasure.

There were quite a few people out there this afternoon, not as many as there were yesterday for sure, and with nothing going on out at sea I walked round to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

trawlers fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was no change in occupancy in the chantier navale today, the same four boats that have been there since Thursday are still there on their own today, but also, surprisingly, the two boats that were grounded over by the Fish Processing Plant yesterday are still there today.

Every now and again we see the odd boat left there overnight or in between tides but to see them there for this long is quite unusual. It prevents others coming in to unload from reaching the wharf and they can’t be too happy about that.

It’s not as if there isn’t any room in the inner harbour for them to tie up. There is plenty of space in there since they installed the new pontoons.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I mentioned earlier, there wasn’t a great deal of wind this afternoon, but there must be some kind of strong wind blowing from somewhere as you can see from this photograph.

The sea was quite calm this afternoon without any high waves, as you can tell by the wake of the cabin cruiser going past but there was a really powerful current rolling in. It’s about every seventh wave that is the strongest and this seventh waves was smashing in and sending spray right up to the top of the sea wall.

There were several people standing around here at the viewpoint watching the spectacle. I’m not quite sure why because there were no shipwrecks, nobody drownding, in fact nothing to laugh at at all.

yacht st pair sur mer Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother indication of how calm the sea really was today was the behaviour of the yacht out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

All of that looks perfectly calm out there and the boat looks perfectly stable regardless of all of the waves beating up against the harbour wall. It seems to be such a really nice day to be out and about on the water.

In the background, the road that leads into Saint-Pair sur Mer is all bathed in sunlight and the chateau d’eau looks particularly prominent today. There’s also some building work going on in St Pair sur Mer too, judging by the crane on the extreme right of the image. I’ll have to go and have a look at that one of these days too.

Back here I made another attempt at rewriting the notes of one of my pages from Central Europe and this time, I made some progress. But I broke off to have a chat with TOTGA and then I had to go to attend to the cooking for the following week.

The pizza dough I had taken out of the freezer this morning and now that it had defrosted I kneaded it again, rolled it and put it on the tray to proof again.

home made vegan pizza apple pie kiwi kefir place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was a roll of flaky pastry left over in the fridge since Christmas so I used it this afternoon and made myself an apple pie with it. And while the pie was baking I assembled the pizza and that went into the oven when the pie was finished.

And here we have the finished products from today’s baking session, along with the kefir from last night. That’s already fermenting so it seems to be a very good batch today. I hope that it tastes as good as it performs.

The pizza was delicious but as for the apple pie, I’ll tell you another time – there was no room for any this evening as the pizza was, as usual, quite filling.

Having done a little tidying up, I’m now off to bed as it’s Monday tomorrow and I’m radioing again. I remember saying at the beginning of the week that I was quite optimistic about the week that was to come and I seem to have accomplished a fair amount for a change. I wonder how this week will turn out.

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

… miserable day today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They have also relocated the compound too.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday 15th November 2020 – I DIDN’T GO …

… to bed until about 2:00 this morning. But even so, not awakening until 11:15 is a bit extreme nevertheless, and the least said about not getting out of bed until 12:00 the better.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo while you admire the photos that I took tonight of the storm and the waves smashing into the promenade at the Plat Gousset in the storm, I was listening to the dictaphone

I could hear that I had been been on my travels during the night. But I’ll spare you all of the gory details seeing as you are probably having your tea right now. But interestingly, at some point I must have stepped right back into wherever it is that I had left off because I was talking to a guy about the first part of my voyage. He asked “how did you know that she was telling the truth? Which Government would allow that kind of thing?”. I said that there is only one Government in the whole wide world that would do that kind of thing and that’s the British Government. They are employing all of their wives and mistresses as aides and sleeping with all of their aides who aren’t their wives and mistresses”. We had a talk about all of their morals in the UK after that.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that wasn’t all either. Later on there were more things happening but unfortunately it was just a jumbled mishmash and I can’t remember it. Which is probably just as well.

After my medication I switched on the computer. My Covid friend was on line so we had quite a lengthy chat to keep up her morale and then I went off for something to eat. A nice piping hot bowl of porridge.

After my porridge I’ve spent all day baking as I mentioned yesterday. Supplies are running low round here. There isn’t enough bread for my sandwiches tomorrow and I’m not going to have the time to bake any in the morning with a radio programme to prepare.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor a start, I needed some more bread and it was far too late now to make a sourdough loaf which needs a lot of standing, so I made a yeast loaf as I have done in the past with a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds.

There was no pizza dough left in the freezer so I had to make some more. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’d bought a 2 kg bag of prepared bread flour “just add water” from Belgium the other day for just €1:00. It’s white flour, which is not much use for bread baking, but it would be ideal for pizzas.

And so I made a pile of dough, 450 grammes, to see how it would perform. If it works out well I might look out for some more for my pizzas.

storm whipping up waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallTaking a pause from my baking activities I went out for my afternoon walk while the dough was proofing, straight into the teeth of the howling gale that seemed to have whipped up in intensity from last night.

Clutching hard to my hat, I went over to the sea wall to look at the waves that were breaking on the shore over there. And the whitecaps out there bear full testimony to the force of the gale.

The other people around (there were three or four out there) were just as impressed as I was and so after watching them for quite a while as I did, I set off around the headland on my walk.

storm whipping up waves st pair sur mer baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was certainly interesting to watch the waves on the north side of the headland, so I was intrigued to see what they might be like on the south side in the bay by St Pair sur Mer.

And I wasn’t to be disappointed either. As i reached the peak of the headland the wind was thoroughly wicked and there was a veritable gale blowing straight into my face. As I walked around the headland I could see that the storm raging down there was even more wild that it had been round on the north side.

The contrast between the sea out there in the open and the sea in the sheltered lee of the harbour’s outer wall is quite impressive. You could almost draw a straight line between the two.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe tide is still well out right now but with the force of the waves being driven onshore by the wind I was expecting to see something rather impressive with the waves against the sea wall.

And unfortunately it wasn’t as wild as I was expecting it to be. The waves and the spray were not flying up over the sea wall as I was hoping, but there was still something to see. The waves were giving me something of a little performance.

The guy out there walking around on the sea wall was not going to be in any danger of a drenching when he comes round to this side. But he was the only person other than me involved in the scene.

seagulls in outer tidal pert de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there I pushed on along the footpath down to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

The tide was out as we had seen in the earlier photo, and there was this beautiful dry patch there which the seagulls had decided to colonise for the moment.

What caught my eye particularly about it was the fact that this looked very much like a representation of a map of the United Kingdom. You can see the mainland of Great Britain and over to the upper left, something that looks as if it might be Northern Ireland. The resemblance was quite uncanny.

And so I headed on for home in the wind to carry on with my baking.

The dough had risen really nicely for both the bread and the pizza dough. This flour stuff from Belgium seemed to work quite well.

The pizza dough I separated into three. Two of them I kneaded and rolled in oil, and then put them into greaseproof paper into the freezer. The third one I kneaded, greased and then rolled out and put into the pizza tray, rolling over the edges to remain in the tray and not overhang.

The bread dough, I kneaded and shaped and put into the mould and left it on one side with the pizza base on the tray to proof again.

home made bread apple crumble vegan pizza Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe baking apples that I had bought a few weeks ago were on their last legs so I washed them and diced them and prepared an apple crumble. Some cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, desiccated coconut and raisins will do all of the apple some good, especially when washed in with some lemon juice.

While the crumble and the bread (which was now ready) were baking in the oven I prepared the pizza and once the bread and crumble were baked I could put the pizza in. I must buy a bigger oven one of these days.

And here are the finished products. The pizza came out really well and the edges where I’d folded them over were nice and spongy. As for the bread and the crumble I’ll tell you about them tomorrow. I was too full for any pudding tonight.

viewpoint rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halllater on I went out for my evening walk and runs, some of which were chasing after the lens hood of my camera that rolled off down the street in the wind. And wind there was too. It was extremely difficult to open the door of the building with the wind holding it closed.

At the viewpoint there was nothing much going on so I ran on in several legs down to the viewpoint where you saw the photos of the waves crashing down on the Plat Gousset.

No-one about at all again so I ran on across the Square Maurice Marland, walked around the rest of the walls and then ran on home to write up my notes for the day. By now the wind had picked up even more and I had to abort my final run halfway through as the wind brought me to a dead halt.

Tomorrow it’s back to work. I have a radio programme to prepare.

When that’s done I need to enquire about Caliburn and then swot up my Welsh for our next lesson on Tuesday. Not that I’m going to have an early night now, but I’ll do the best that I can.

Friday 13th November 2020 – AFTER EVERYTHING …

… that I wrote yesterday evening about an early night and an early start? it was … errr … 10:30 when I finally crawled out of bed.

If you think that that is devastating, just let me say that after finishing my notes, I started on a little project of no significance, a project that I dip into every now and again, and by the time I started to feel tired enough to go to bed, it was after 04:00.

So 10:30 isn’t really all that bad, I suppose, and at least there was some work of a sort being done.

During the night I’d been on my travels again. I was going somewhere laat night on a bus or something so I had to leave my car, the mk V Cortina NMP parked up at the side of the road. I was going to be away ages so I was worried about leaving it there for so long but as the bus passed by I could see two of the guys from the taxis opening it and climbing in Obviously they needed it for things so that was OK. I ended up round at my mothers where suddenly I had some kind of panic attack – what about all my personal stuff that I’d left in the car? What was going to happen if the people at the taxis got their hands on it? But anyway I got dressed, in a pair of grey trousers that I wore when I was at Shearings. And as I pulled the belt tight, it went two notches over where it usually went which was strange. As I was setting off to visit the parents of a friend my mother shouted “make sure you ring them to tell them that you are coming. Don’t just turn up unannounced”. I thought that that would be difficult to arrange but I said nothing. However my mother said it twice so I wondered what was happening here.

My Covid friend was on line so we had a chat while I finished off what I’d been doing last night. And with the late start that took me right the way up to lunchtime. Something of a waste of a morning, really.

After lunch, fighting off the temptation to go back to sleep, I made a start on amending one of the journal entries from my voyage around Central Europe but I ran aground half-way through.

waves breaking on rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was enough time however for me to go off on my afternoon walk around the headland.

The tide was well on its way in when I went out, and I noticed the effect of the waves breaking on the rocks that were there on the beach and which by now had disappeared beneath the waves near the marker light for the rocks.

They were actually submerged but only to a very minimal depth so although you couldn’t see them, you could see the waves breaking on them.

It was something that held my interest for a couple of minutes and then I pushed on, passing three or four others who were out there this afternoon.

sun in windows carolles Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was very little going on out at sea this afternoon – no boats of any description in the English Channel or the Baie de Mont St Michel.

But there was an exciting phenomenon occurring down the bay round by Carolles. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing the sunlight reflected off the windows of St Pair sur Mer in the late afternoon earlier in the year. Of course, the sun has moved round in the sky and we now have the windows in Carolles picking up the glint of the sun.

You wouldn’t credit just how dark it’s starting to go now, even though it’s only about 16:00. Winter is going to be upon us a darn sight sooner than we think.

coelacanthe joly france waiting for gates to open port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallStill no change in the occupants of the chantier navale. The yacht is still there, as is the vessel Ceres II

But it was interesting out in the tidal harbour though. The gates must have been on the point of opening and boats were queueing up to go into the inner harbour. Here we have one of the Joly France boats, the older of the two, and also one of the two trawlers, either Coelacanthe or her sister La Tiberiade.

There were a couple of other boats in the queue too, and as I watched, the harbour gates opened and the boats went steaming … “dieseling” – ed … into port

le tiberiade port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallI came to the conclusion that the trawler that I had seen just now was Coelacanthe, and I concluded that for a very good reason too.

Moored up at the Fish Processing Plant was her sister and I could clearly see her name on the side of her superstructure. She’s Le Tiberiade, and one of these days I’ll be able to tell them apart. I’ve noticed a couple of little differences between them when they have been next to one another.

She’s busy unloading her catch right now. There’s a van with an opening cargo door that looks as if it might be taking away some of the seafood, and the tractor is busy negotiating the loading ramp with a full trailer.

coelacanthe thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was there, I watched Coelacanthe pass through the gates and into the harbour.

Once inside she began to perform a little nautical danse macabre as she made for her mooring at the rear of the two Channel Island Ferries. And I noticed that Thora was still in port this afternoon. It seems that for one reason or another, she’s not benefitting from these rapid turnrounds that I’ve mentioned before.

But one thing that I did notice from the image that I couldn’t see with the naked eye is that she has steam … “diesel” – ed … up, so it does look as if she’s actually on the point of heading out to the open sea.

thora leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it all was turning out to be quite interesting in there this afternoon.

As Thora “cast off forr’ard, cast off aft” in the inner harbour, Le Tiberiade did likewise and as the one headed for the harbour gate so did the other from the other side, out of view of each other. Half expecting a “Greek meets Greek at the Hull Paragon, Valentine’s Day 1927” moment, I gripped the edge of my seat in eager anticipation.

However le Tiberiade just about made it into the harbour without a collision, Thora

waves on promenade plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been wandering around, I’d noticed that the sea was becoming rather rough. And with the tide being well-in right now I was keen to see what was happening down at the Plat Gousset.

And it was a good move too because even with 90 minutes to go before high tide, the waves were coming in with something of a powerful force and smashing into the sea wall over there.

There weren’t very many people out there enjoying the spectacle from close to, but I imagined that they would all be out there a little bit later at high tide when they really would be treated to something of a spectacle.

thora english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now I imagined that Thora would now be rounding the headland on her way out to sea, so I retraced my steps of earlier up to the viewpoint next to the College Malraux to see how she was doing.

And eventually she came a rattling around the headland into the teeth of the wind and the waves and set course for St Helier. It’s not going to be an easy ride for her in this kind of sea.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I keep on saying that one of these days I’ll hitch a ride on her when she has a couple of trips in rapid succession and see how she does. Luckily I’m in a good position in that I hold a British passport and a Permanent Residency Card for France so there needs to be little in the way of border controls to ease my passage.

thora english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut that’s not going to be for a while with all of this Covid going on. No-one will be going anywhere for quite a while yet.

And so I watched Thora battle her way through the waves for a while and then headed for home.

On the way across the car park I’d seen Gribouille, the big ginger cat, sitting on his windowsill so I went to give him a stroke. And there I fell in with his owner, and learnt some pretty sad news. She’s had a couple of falls just recently, during one of which she fractured her had and it had to be stapled together. But as she doesn’t seem to be able to cope particularly now, she’s moving into sheltered accommodation

Of course, she’s taking my mate with her, but regardless of that, it’s another convivial soul from the building who is moving away. Nothing stays the same for long, and rightly so, but it’s a shame when people move away like this and break up a happy little circle.

Back here I caught up with a few notes and then went to make some kefir. This morning, I’d started on the last bottle and there was another batch brewing nicely.

The four kiwi fruits that I had bought three weeks ago were now nice and ripe so I peeled them and threw them in the whizzer, followed by a generous handful or two of grapes.

Having whizzed them around for quite a while to extract as much juice as possible and then passed it all through my network of meshes and filers into the big jug.

Having done that, I drained off the brewing kefir through a very fine-mesh filter and added it to the juice, stirring it well in, leaving an inch or two of liquid in the bottom to keep the kefir grains covered.

kiwi and grape kefir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSeveral slices of lemon, a fig bisected and 40 grammes of sugar went into my big jar, followed by 2 litres of filtered water. That’ll brew now for a few days while I wonder where I’m going to get some figs from for the next batch after that as I’ve now run out.

The mixed kefir and juice was then strained through a mesh coffee-filter into the various flip-top bottles that I use. They’ll be put into a cool place out of direct light now to complete the second fermentation and in a couple of days they will be ready to drink.

But I made a bit of a boo-boo here. Remember the pineapple slices that I’d had the other day? I’d put the syrup on one side to use in my kefir today but I’d forgotten it. I don’t know whether it’ll keep for four or five days now.

All of that took so much time that I didn’t have my guitar practice, which was disappointing.

Instead, I ended up with some of the best taco rolls that I’ve ever made. That chick pea and couscous stuff that I used in error instead of the bulghour certainly made a difference. And my defrosted apple pie was delicious too

night rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halllater on I went out for my runs around the walls.

No-one else was out there, everywhere else was quiet, not even the Pizza van in the Place Czmbernon tonight with the lockdown. No-one down in town either.

I had a look to see if the Christmas decorations had gone up in the Rue Paul Poirier but while there is certainly something or other, and several thereof, strung up across the street, there’s nothing illuminated yet.

All of this is to come very soon, I imagine. But I’ll find out more in due course. I ran on home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow it’s shopping day, and I have to track down some figs. That’s not going to be easy because I’ll still without Caliburn so wherever I go and whatever I buy, I’ll have to carry it home and I’m not looking forward to that.

Luckily the freezer is pretty well stocked up and that should keep me going for a week or so but I really do need to organise myself better. I don’t know what it is that I’m doing right now but whatever it is, I’m doing it all wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 26th June 2020 – JUST FOR A CHANGE …

… I was up before the third alarm went off this morning.

Not by much, it has to be said, but before is before and it’s all good.

Mind you I don’t know why because outside was a really miserable day. I didn’t know if it was raining because I couldn’t see. Wr had a huge sea mist rolling in and it was freezing cold – a far cry from the last few days.

After the medication it was the dictaphone. I had an appointment at the hospital last night and I went to go to the reception. I walked into the office and had to get a ticket to queue up. But the woman called me over as I waslked in. I shouted “in a minute” and went to get my ticket anyway, but I don’t know why. When I got to the desk and said that I had an appointment she asked “who with?”. I said that I didn’t know – it was on the card. She looked on the card and all it had was “Doctor C”. She said “what you’ll have to do is to ring up Doctor Carpentier and se if it’s him. If it’s not him, here are all the other doctors whose names begin with C. You’ll have to ring round all of them until you find the one who is supposed to be seeing you.

Today, with nothing really outstanding that needed doing, I exerted myself by sorting out the washing that had been hanging up on the clothes airer for the last 10 days or so.

Nice and dry of course, and because of the washing softener it actually smelled nice too. Far better than it did the last time that I washed it and forgot about it in the washing machine for a couple of days.

After that, I had some things of my awn to attend to and then I settled down to carry on with a few of the projects that I started a while ago.

Firstly, this involves completely rewriting one of my websites. And that’s not as easy as it might sound either because it seems to have been amended in several stages in the past and some of the early stuff seems to have stuck in a previous format and missed the subsequent amendments.

What I’ve had to do is to prepare a template for each version, work out which version of the site each page is and then amend it accordingly.

So far I did about 4 or 5 pages this morning once I’d sorted out the templates. But it’s not just that – I’m finding lots of stuff that shouldn’t be there as well as a few files that i’d lost here and there along the way.

This afternoon I carried on with editing a web page from another site. What I wrote 20 years ago is not the same as I would have written today, and it’s not easy either to change a style of writing but keeping the same emotion that I had when I first wrote it.

As well as that, it’s been about 12 years since I’ve done any serious third-party web design work so I’m quite rusty in that respect but looking at my site with different eyes, I’ve solved almost instinctively a couple of problems that stumped me whan I was in full flight. I’m not sure how I managed that at all.

As well as that, I had a good go at the photos from July 2019 in Iceland and now I’m back in Heimaey on the way out to Greenland.

Another thing that i’ve done is to make a few tentative enquiries about going off on my travels sometime whenever. I have a couple of plans but they are not for right away or even in the near future. Nevertheless there is no time like the present to get things under way.

rocks light pointe du rock granville manche normandy france eric hallAt the usual time this afternoon I went out for my walk.

Although, once again, I couldn’t see why. In fact i couldn’t see very much at all this afternoon because that sea mist was still hanging around out there.

it was cold too, as I said earlier. I had a sweater on, which is pretty much unthinkable for the latter days of June. Even Gribouille the big ginger cat wasn’t coming out in this weather. He stayed stuck on his windowsill indoors.

seafarers memorial pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallWith nothing much to see I trudged on around my little circuit, mixing with the people who were out there. There were actually quite a few – more than I was expecting.

With not being able to see very much in the fog, there wasn’t an awful lot to photograph. But regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen a few photos of the seafarers’ memorial just recently in the bright sunlight, so I thought that I would reproduce the view in the fog.

If you look carefully you can juts about make out the coast on the other side of the bay near St Pair sur Mer and Jullouville

la grande ancre port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallWith nothing else going on I walked on down along the top of the cliff and then round towards home.

Not an awful lot going on in the harbour either. No Jersey freighter today, but La Grande Ancre is there in port tied up. She has no intention of going out in this, that’s for sure.

From there I headed off back home to carry on working. There was plenty to do. And I might have accomplished so much more had I not gone off with the fairies again for half an hour or so.

When I came round, I was feeling pretty miserable. I reckon that I’m sickening for something else right now and I don’t like that idea very much at all.

But I plodded on with my work and then had the usual hour on the guitar.

Tea tonight was exciting. There was a pepper left over so I sliced it up. A potato was diced and put in the microwave with a little water and some spices (turmeric, coriander and cumin) for a couple of minutes.

While that was doing I sliced up a couple of onions and fried them with spices and also some fennel and fenugreek. A pile of garlic went in next, and then the pepper.

The potatoes followed, with a tin of exotic vegetables that I had picked up from NOZ a while back. And then a handful of spinach.

More spices to taste, and then the pièce de résistance – not a French virgin but a little carton of soya cream (regular readers of this rubbish will recall that they had some on special offer at LeClerc a couple of weeks ago).

So there we are – an Instant Korma, and vegan to boot. With some rice and mixed veg it was delicious and, even better, there are four more helpings for the freezer.

Apple pie and ice cream for pudding with chocolate sauce.

My run was going to be late tonight because I wanted to hear the start of my radio programme. But badger me if the baskets have forgotten YET AGAIN to broadcast it.

Having been missed off the list of “presents” at the meeting last week, I am not very impressed at all by this. If they don’t want my programmes they should have the courage to tell me so that I don’t waste my time.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallEventually I made it outside for my evening run.

And I ran straight into the sunset again. Unfortunately, although the weather is 100 times better than it was earlier and you could actually see things, there was too much cloud about for it to be as spectacular as the last couple of nights.

Anyway, I made it all the way down to the clifftop past the itinerant, even though I didn’t feel much like it tonight.

fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNot a great deal of activity out there tonight.

There was a small yacht way out in the distance over by the Ile de Chausey but there were also some fishermen in their boat just off the cliffs fishing for something or other.

One of these days I’ll have to accost a fisherman and find out what the catch is in the waters off here. The waters aren’t all that deep so it’s not going to be anything super-exotic.

crowds pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was another evening with no-one picnicking in the old gun emplacement so I carried on walking across the lawn.

There were a few people about as well, getting in my way, but round by the Pointe du Roc all of the action seemed to be down at the viewpoint by the old watchman’s cabin.

W’ve seen quite a few groups of people congregating down there just recently and there was another bunch of people hanging out in the evening sun down there. It’s a lovely spot to hang out.

fisherman pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was no fisherman down there this evening though. The rocks around there were looking pretty bare.

It seemed to me as if they had all given up for the duration but, having a look around, I found one of them standing on a rock elsewhere in the vicinity casting his line into the void.

With nothing else exciting going on, I carried on with my run. Past the chantier navale where there were still the five fishing boats.

joly france port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAt the end of the path i stopped for a breather, and from there i had a look around to see if there was anything exciting.

The two Joly France boats were down there near the ferry terminal but what caught my eye was the older boat of the two. She was moored in rather a dangerous position right by the harbour gate and I was sure that she shouldn’t be staying there.

But closer inspection revealed that her crane was extended and as I ran on down the road, she lifted something out of the forr’ard hold, dumped it on the quayside, and then cleared off elsewhere.

swimmers changing people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallAll the way down the Boulevard vaufleury I ran, round into the medieval city and round through the alleys to the viewpoint at the rue du Nord – a little easier tonight, I reckon.

There were a few people down on the beach this evening. Not picnicking but simply soaking up the sun. Not as many people as we have seen in the recent past.

But I was admiring a couple of people down there. They were drying themselves with towels and sorting out some clothes, so it looked to me as if they had actually been in the water for a swim.

Braver men than I am, Gungha Din.

sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs I said earlier, the sunset tonight wasn’t all that spectacular.

Back at the apartment I showed it to Liz and she described it as a storm in a sunset sandwich, which I thought was very lyrical of her.

For a change it’s a little earlier than usual so I’ll probably go for an early night. I’m expecting a couple of visitors tomorrow so I might even do a little tidying up early tomorrow morning if I feel up to it.

Shopping tomorrow of course, but I don’t need much at all. But I want to go to the second-hand shop because I have a project in mind.

More of this anon

Wednesday 24th June 2020 – I’VE BEEN …

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hall… out and about on my travels this morning.

So while you admire the photos of the baby seagull, which now seems to be very fit and healthy, I can give you the account of my day.

And just for a change, it got off to a very good start, for I was actually up and out of bed before the third alarm – something that doesn’t happen too often these day. Maybe it was the early night that helped there – if you can call 23:45 an early night.

baby seagull rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

Last night there was a group of us working on a new history textbook for schools and this involved rewriting quite a bit of stuff that was already in it including a load of songs and so on. So we noticed that these songs to fit into the new way of things and it was quite difficult for everyone to get into the habit of hearing them in the new way and I remember my brother being particularly surprised at some of the changes made to the songs in order to make the songs fit the times more than anything else
There was something else going on during the night and I’ve forgotten a lot of it but I’d been caught doing something and been punished in some way by having to do something, carry out a few tasks and at the end of that time I was given £30:00 in 2x£15:00 vouchers to spend. Whoever I was with – it might have been Nerina – was really upset about that and demanded to talk to me about it. The guy who was watching me, I held up the two vouchers and waved them about to attract his attention and said that I was going into the building. Nerina came with me and I had to find a quiet room to have a discussion. There were about 6 rooms in this building and there wasn’t really one that was suitable – the walls were flimsy and there were people in adjacent rooms. In the end we found a room where the photocopier was and we were about to go into there. And that was when the alarm went off.

And even though it was Nerina who was with me for part of the evening I do have to say that regardless of any of our issues, I would much rather have her company on my nocturnal rambles than many of the others who have been putting in an appearance just recently.

I’m still not eating breakfast so having done a little work, Caliburn and I headed for the hills – Gavray, in fact.

tacot voie metrique gare de gavray manche normandy france eric hallWhen I arrived in the town I took a wrong turning and I’m glad that I did because I found something that I would otherwise have missed – an old disaffected railway station.

There was a “Light Railway Act” in France similar to that in the UK of 1896, and for a period of about 50 years the whole of France became honeycombed with what they called the tacot or “rattletrap” – a narrow-gauge voie metrique railway network.

It’s the kind of system that was highlighted in the Alec Guinness FATHER BROWN series of films in the 1950s of the books by GK Chesterton

tacot voie metrique gare de gavray manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen plenty of examples of this on our travels, especially in the Auvergne where I used to live and also here in Normandy along the coast.

There was also a voie metrique that went across-country from Granville to Conde-sur-Vire, opened in 1910 and closed in 1936 (and we’ve seen lines closed much quicker than that too). That line passed through Gavray and there would almost certainly have been a railway station here.

That has always been one of the things that I’ve been aiming to do – to track it down – and having taken a wrong turning in Gavray when I was looking for something else, I find myself falling right on it, quite by chance.

kayaker english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo while you admire the photos of the kayaker and othe rpeople in various water craft out there fishing today, I was busy tracking down the garage that I had come to visit.

Eventually I tracked it down and the guy had a good look at Caliburn. He reckons that it’s perfectly possible to do something with Caliburn. There’s no rot except in one wheel arch – the rest of it is simply rubbing down, rust-proofing, zinc priming and about a ton of underseal.

He’s not going to end up as he did out of the factory 13 years ago, and it’s not cheap either. But with my lifespan that’s left there’s no point in buying a new vehicle just for three or four years.

Caliburn and I may as well go out together.

buoys speedboat fishing english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo I headed on back to Granville and I’ll wait for the estimate to arrive. But I’ve decided that i’m going to have it done anyway.

When I reached the outskirts of Granville I took the by-pass and joined the traffic queue heading south towards St Pair sur Mer.

Brico Cash was where I was heading, to see what they had on offer today as I haven’t been there for a while.

And the answer is “not an awful lot”. There wasn’t anything that caught my eye particularly although I picked up some French plugs. A couple of the appliances that I brought from The Auvergne when I was there just now still have British plugs on them.

fishermen zodiac english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallTraffic queues back here as well. I was stuck behind a grockle in a motor home admiring the blasted seagulls instead of advancing in an orderly fashion.

Back here there was still plenty of time before lunch so I had another look at the web pages that I’ve been amending.

That one is now completed and I’ve made a start on the next. I’ve now crossed over the border into Great Satan and I’m on my way to Bar Harbor in Maine.

cranes ferry terminal port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBy now it was lunchtime.

It was beautiful and warm and bright and sunny so I made my sandwiches (home-made bread, home-made hummus and salad) and went and sat outside on the wall again.

Even though the tide was well out and there were no ships or boats in the harbour, there was still quite a bit of activity going on down there today, despite it being the lunch hour.

joly france cranes ferry terminal port de granville harbour  manche normandy france eric hallThere was a mobile crane down there and as I watched, it was joined by another one – the big mobile crane that comes here every so often.

The big crane extended its jib and they were both performing some kind of activity out there. I couldn’t see what it was, so I shall have to go out that way on my Sunday walk to see what has changed.

It can’t be anything too complicated because all the way through the manoeuvre … “PERSONoeuvre” – ed … one of the Joly France boats – the newer one – was moored right there and with the tide being out, it wasn’t moving anywhere else.

Back at the apartment I tackled the last week of my Accountancy course. I’ve finished it, not very successfully I have to say because I can’t remember all that much about what I just learnt.

That’s one of the penalties of old age. Two things happen to you then.
The first is that you forget absolutely everything that you are supposed to remember.
And as for the second thing – well, I’ve forgotten what that was.

crowds on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was the usual break for my afternoon walk.

Today, in the gorgeous hot sunlight I went for a walk around the walls of the medieval town. From there I could look down on the beach at the Plat Gousset and watch all of the crowds enjoying themselves.

It’s Wednesday afternoon and the brats aren’t in school so the beach was busier than normal, and that’s not a surprise. Given half a chance, I’d be down there myself.

crowds tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few weeks ago we saw the local council clearing out the old tidal swimming pool with a lorry and a digger – clearing out years of accumulated silt.

They’ve done a really good job by the look of it. It’s actually retaining some water and it’s attracted quite a crowd of people, splashing around in there.

And the people in the flourescent jackets – I’m convinced that they are the lifeguards, although how they are expected to swim while wearing those is anyone’s guess.

roofing place marechal foch granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk went on along the walls and around to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch.

There’s been a roofing job going on on one of the roofs of one of the buildings down there for as long as I can remember, and they still don’t seem to have finished it.

Not long to go by the looks of things, but I recall having said that before. They were doing really well at one point but seem to have gone off the boil just recently.

lorry fork lift truck fishing nets port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I passed through the Place Maurice Marland to check on my seagull chick, and then walked on to the viewpoint over the harbour.

There’s some activity down there right now. A lorry has turned up and there’s a fork-lift truck that looks as if it might be thinking about unloading the lorry. Does this mean that either Thora or Normandy Trader are going to be paying us a visit some time soon?

And we have another group of fishermen over there wrestling with a rather large fishing net

pointing medieval stone wall granville manche normandy france eric hallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing is the works van that appeared on the city walls near where they did all of that repointing.

The pointing on part of it in the Parvis Notre Dame was pretty poor so i speculated that the work might be something to do with that, and it seems that I was perfectly right. There are two men down there cleaning it all up

You can see how much excess cement that one of the guys has scraped off the wall – it’s all lying on the ground behind the car.

Back here I carried on with the course and, shame as it is to say it, crashed out a couple of times too. This is really getting on my nerves.

But I finished the course in the end and there was time to edit a few more photos. Tomorrow I’m going to start the final part of my music course. I want that out of the way too.

After the guitar I made tea. There was some left-over stuffing so I added some kidney beans and tomato sauce and made taco rolls

yacht baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallSomewhat later than usual, iw ent out for my evening run. It was far too warm to go out at the usual time.

All the way up the hill and down to the cliff without stopping, saying hello to the itinerant sheltering under the tree. Out to the sea there was plenty of activity and we have already seen some of the boats. We haven’t seen this yacht though, sailing back from the Ile de chausey into port, towing its dinghy behind it.

It’s making me all broody again and I’m going to have to do something about all of this before too long.

fisherman picnickers pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallJust for a change there was no family group picnicking in the old gun emplacement.

There were however plenty of people down on the viewpoint by the old watchman’s cabin and they were having a good time by the looks of things

Quite a few fishermen too, down there on the rocks casting their lines out into the water. It seems to be becoming quite a regular thing these days.

trawlers chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy run continued on along the path on top of the clifftop on the south side of the headland

No kids jumping off the sea wall tonight, but instead we seem to have had some activity down at the chantier navale. One of the fishing boats that has been there for quite some considerable time seems to have gone back into the water.

There were a few other people down there taking photos of themselves in the evening sunshine. All in all, it was quite busy.

crowds on port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd not just there either.

Way across the port on the sea wall that protects the port de plaisance – the yacht harbour – there were crowds of people milling around tonight. They were certainly making the most of it.

As for me, I cleared off and ran all the way round down the Boulevard Vaufleury and the rest of my vastly elongated route round to the viewpoint in the rue du Nord.

people sitting on rock plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe tide is right in right now so the chances of finding any picnickers on the beach was extremely remote.

However that little shelf that we noticed a few days ago – that seems to be the place to be these days as there are a couple more people making use of it.

And I’m still trying to work out the optical illusion surrounding the guy on the left. It looks thoroughly weird to me.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThe people down there were enjoying another magnificent evening.

There were quite a few people up here enjoying it too, and quite rightly so for although it wasn’t as good as last night’s, it was still something special.

having watched it for a while I headed on home to write up my notes.

Tomorrow, it’s shopping day. There’s not much that I need but it’s stuff that I can’t do without so I shall have to go.

And then i’ll make a start on the last week of my music course. I want to get that out of the way before the weekend. It’ll give me a chance to do some other work that’s been sitting on the back burner for the last month or so.

High time I got a move on.

Monday 22nd June 2020 – THIS MORNING …

… was another morning to really forget about as far as the “getting up” stakes went.

And it beats me as to why, really, because whilst it wasn’t exactly an early night, I crashed out and went to bed before I’d finished the night’s tasks. Finish the journal and do the back-up.

And the back-up is becoming quite complicated these days.

There’s been an upgrade to the operating system that I use – a major upgrade – and some of the functions are missing.

In the past there was a “search” function where you could specify “today” or “yesterday” or “this month” or “this year”. I have a 128GB memory stick in one of the USB ports and I would would simply “search” for “today” on the computer’s hard drives (there are four in here) and it would come up with all of the files that I’ve created or modified today, then I would just drag copies onto the memory stick.

But that function seems to have gone and what i’m having to do in the meantime until I find a work-around is to go into each of the hard drives on the computer, list all of the files and drag over copies of those that were last saved today.

And that takes about 10 times as long.

So when I eventually did heave myself out of bed and have my medication, I had a listen to the dictaphone. Yesterday’s voyage was transcribed and I amended the journal entry to include it.

But as for the one from last night, I was for ever writing that one out.

Last night I was in Canada – at least, I assumed that it was in Canada. I was in my car off taking photographs and there was someone in a car. But we started – I had to go to the tax office and I had to fill in a load of forms. One of them was the Vanden Plas that I’d got and how I’d come by it, how I was given it, all that kind of thing. And I was being interviewed by these two people – first one and then the other. They were asking me loads of questions about all this kind of thing. The first one came back with a pile of forms. “Here’s a pile of forms and you’ll have to follow the instructions that you will be receiving scrupulously” I had a quick glance though these forms and I couldn’t see what there was in there of any particular importance. I thought “I’ll find out in due course”. To go out it was liek a kind of maze of one room inside another, all with wallpaper painted over them and a rotted chipboard door in one wall that had swollen up. As I was going out a woman was going out with a girl who had her hair in pink pigtails. She went and I got in my car and drove off. Just then I encountered another car that had been bogged down in the gravel and they were trying to push it to get it out. The rear left tyre was totally flat on it, all the tyres were worn, the paintwork was peeling, it was an absolute mess this car.Anyway they pushed it out got into it and drove away. I thought “God imagine a car like that on the road in the Uk these days. My tyre was flat now so I took out the spare and put the wheel on the same nuts as the one that was still on there that was flat so I had two wheels on that particular corner. Just then a girl came past and we started chatting. A little earlier I’d been looking at a map and there was a promontory a way out from here miles down some narrow roads which had a shop there called something like “when the lorry stops, the community stops” or something like that. I imagine that it was a lorry that would take all the supplies out there. She was actually talking about what was I doing here, looking at my car and saying how a train doesn’t do this and a train doesn’t do that and a train doesn’t need inflatable tyres and so on. We started walking off down this road round this lake. I had a dog with me, a black and white sheepdog called Shep. She said “we’ll go on, there are some places to photograph and then we can go back to my place”. I thought “what’s happening here?” So we wandered off with the dog and by this time we had another guy with us – the three of us. The dog decided to disappear so I shouted after him to come back and he knew which way we were going. She stopped at this old derelict house and she said that it was something to do with – she came out with a quote from a book which the other guy immediately recognised as one of these American authors of the 19th Century and saying “is that the house where one of his characters lived?” He named the character and I can’t remember it now. We were talking about this and the blasted dog still hadn’t come back. I thought that I’d better go and look for this dog but I thought “if I do that this guy is going to get his feet under the table with this girl isn’t he? But the dog is much more important, isn’t it?”

Yes, I’m back to having anxiety attacks in my dreams again, although seriously, I don’t think that I ever stopped them over the last few years.

Ohhhh! To have a couple of pleasant voyages like I used to have with convivial companions. It’s been ages since TOTGA, Castor and one or two others have come along to accompany me.

It took me much longer to deal with the dictaphone notes than it ought to have done, and there was the Welsh homework to attend to. All of that took me up to lunchtime which was taken on the wall overlooking the harbour.

All alone, with no lizards, no passers-by and nothing going on down in the harbour. But even so, there has to be something to be said for home-made hummus spread out on home-made bread.

This afternoon I had a radio project to deal with – a live concert to bring myself into synch with everything else. I ended up with 57:09 of music and so I dictated piles of introduction – only to find that I was 15 seconds short – something that seemed most unlikely to me but there we were.

Consequently I dictated some more – only to find that I was still 5 seconds short. But some spurious applause fed into the soundtrack soon dealt with that issue and it’s come out quite well.

low tide beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were the usual breaks during the day of course.

For a start, there was the afternoon walk outside. rather windy but apart from that it was absolutely beautiful weather. The tide was well out although there weren’t too many people down there enjoying the sunshine which was quite a surprise to me.

Not that I intended to go down there. I was off for my walk around the headland.

fishing zodiac kayak granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve spent a lot of time looking at fishermen just recently.

We have the peche à pied of course – the people who scavenge amongst the rocks for the shellfish, and those with rod and line percehed on the rocks. There’s also plenty of movement out at sea too – with the speedboat roaring past the guy paddling his own canoe.

Fishing rods bristling everywhere of course. They all mean business, but in their own fashion.

feeding frenzy seagulls tidal pool granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s not only humans who are out there fishing.

The local wildlife spends a lot of its time fishing too. We’ve seen whole socks of fleagulls loitering on the rocks waiting for the tide to go out so that they too can go scavenging in the rock pools.

This bunch here seems to he having some kind of feeding frenzy down there in that tidal rock pool. And no fighting means that there must be plenty of food to go round.

And that’s just as well. You mustn’t be selfish with your shellfish

seafarers memorial baie de mont st michel le loup entrance light port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn the way round to where the seagulls wee hanging out, I went past the memorial to the seafarers.

There has been a lifeboat station here for a considerable length of time and a couple of crews have lost their lives over the years while out on a rescue.

The memorial stands just here overlooking le Loup – the light that marks the submerged rock at the entrance to the harbour – the Baie de Mont St Michel and the coastal towns of St Pair sur Mer, Kairon-Plage and Jullouville.

There wasn’t a great deal else happening out there so I came on home to carry on with my radio project. But, once more, in something that is becoming only too regular an occurrence these days, I ended up in the arms of Morpheus for 20 minutes or so. And I’m thoroughly fed up of all of this.

There was the usual hour or so on the guitars during which I found that I had forgotten most of what I had learnt.

Although on the 6-string I’ve found that I’ve been changing from Bm to F without even thinking about it and without even looking. 6 months ago I couldn’t even play them and I was changing key whenever a bar chord cropped up in my playing.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper followed by apple crumble and soya dessert. And I really had to force myself to eat it because my appetite has well and truly gone now.

fishing from zodiac english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallSo later on I went out for my run, and I never felt less like it than I do right now.

All the way up to the top of the hill, around the corner and down to the clifftop without stopping, to see what was going on there. We saw a zodiac out there earlier with a pile of men going fishing, but I’m not sure if that’s the same one.

The tide is right in so that they don’t have to go too far out from the cliffs this evening.

picnickers pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt was a really beautiful evening and there were quite a few people out there enjoying the beautiful sunset.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a pile of people picnicking in one of the old gun emplacements, and tonight there’s a different crowd in occupation

It seems to me that that’s the place to be if you are having a family picnic and there’s no doubt that the view from there out across the English Channel to the Ile de Chausey and down the Brittany coast is certainly spectacular.

yacht baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallMy walk continued across the lawn and the car park and down onto the path at the extremity of the headland.

And as I arrived there, this beautiful little yacht went sailing past. It really did make me feel quite jealous and how I wished that I could be out there right now.

In fact I spoke to someone whom I know about going out sme time on a yacht but he never ever got back to me about it so I imagine that that particular plan is kicked in the head.

At this rate I can see me ending up buying a boat and had I been in better health I probably would. But then again, had I been in better health I wouldn’t be here, would I?

fishing from rocks cap lihou pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s surprising that during the course of the day we’ve seen almost everything out there fishing – except for anyone perched on the rocks.

We almost have to wait until the end of the evenign before we finally encounter someone. He’s climbed down the old collapsing stairs (they are fenced off these days) to where there’s a small tidal beach.

The tide is right in now of course, so he’s taking the usual step of perching himself on a rock and casting his line into the water from there.

Whether he’s actually catching anything is another question entirely.

people on rocks plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I ran on down to the viewpoint on top of the cliffs and as there was nothing happening there either I ran on all the way down through the medieval town and round on the rue du Nord to the viewpoint.

There’s no beach here to picnic on when the tide is in, so I wasn’t expecting any picnickers. But that didn’t worry these people here. They simply perched themselves on a handy ledge on the rocks and soaked up the sun.

That’s a place that i’m going to remember for future reference. It seems to have everything.

beautiful sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd they were in luck because there was plenty of sun to soak up.

It was another night of beautiful sunset so I stayed there fora while to enjoy it and then ran on home to write up the notes.

Earlier on I’d said that I didn’t feel at all like going out. But somehow the runs seemed to be a little easier than they have been over the last couple of days.

It’s clearly a state of mind that affecting me right now and I think that i’m sinking into deep depression. And that’s all that I need right now.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last summer when I was on my Transatlantic and Arctic escapade for several months without my four-weekly cancer treatment, I ended up deep in the depths of a depression.

On one or two occasions I expressed myself in a manner that made me unwelcome in one or two places and there are still three or four days at the end of August and the beginning of September where I haven’t published my notes because of what I wrote at the time and the manner in which I wrote it.

Back in February when my cancer treatment was dramatically stopped “for the duration” I remember writing something like “God knows what state I’m going to be in by the time they call me back” so it’s no surprise.

It’s just as well that there isn’t anyone around who gets on my nerves otherwise we might have another couple of “those” moments.

But anyway, you don’t want me to burden you with my troubles. You have enough of your own to be dealing with. I’ll go to bed instead before this Steve Harley concert that I’m listening to drags me deeper into the pit.

Who’s going to come along and disturb my sleep tonight?