Tag Archives: taco roll

Thursday 22nd September 2022 – HAVING SPENT …

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… all the afternoon writing up my notes from yesterday, I’m now going to spend all the evening writing up the notes from today.

And notes a-plenty there will be too because there was quite a bit of activity going on in and around the headland this afternoon while I was on my afternoon walk.

And of the 20 photos that survived the cut, there will be plenty to say about them too. No time like the present so I shall have to make a start.

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And so while you sitting comfortably admiring plenty of photos of the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter F-ZBQA practising its craft along with its crew this afternoon, I shall begin.

And I’ll begin where I left off, which was coming home last night after midnight, letting it all hang out, the dirty stop-out that I am.

It’s hardly a surprise that once I settled in my chair I couldn’t summon up the energy to go to bed. In the end, it was after 02:00 that I finally called it a night staggered off into bed.

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022One thing that I regretted was not checking the fitbit.

While we were on our way back to Granville I noticed that I was on 93% of my daily activity. But walking around while we waited for a table must have clocked up well over 100%

However when I checked after I returned home, it showed just 1%. Of course, it was after midnight wasn’t it, and so it had reset and I’d missed what was the final total.

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There was no alarm last night. I’d switched it off in the hope of having a decent sleep to compensate me for my efforts.

However, it didn’t work out like that. I ended up awakening at 06:30 and at various times thereafter. Had I set my mind to it I could have been out of bed a long time before … errr … 10:30.

Some stuff on the dictaphone too but I didn’t have the time to deal with it right away. It wasn’t until almost bedtime that I managed to find a moment to deal with it..

air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022I was back home. I’d been out for a very long walk but for some unknown reason I was only half-dressed. I was in one of the upstairs rooms. I could hear everyone downstairs and the clanking of plates as if it was lunchtime. I thought that I’d betther finish dressing so I grabbed the rest of my clothes, went into the bedroom and dressed. I came out and the sofa had gone. I had who had moved the sofa. My mother stuck her head in the door and asked “what do you mean?”. “The sofa – where’s it gone?”. She pointed to it being stood up in a corner out of my view. She must have been past and cleaned the floor. I went to put down the sofa. She said “you can do that afterwards. It’s mealtime. Come down and have something to eat with the rest of us”.

F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Having dealt with the medication the next task was to sort out the photos from yesterday.

And when I’d finished those, I could make a start on the notes from all of the places that we visited while we were on our trip out.

Another purpose of this blog is to make me much better-acquainted with what is happening around here and in other places that I visit. And I’m certainly learning an awful lot. That’s because taking photographs is one thing, writing notes about what I photograph is something else completely.

fishing baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while you admire all of the photos of the water craft that were out there today (and weren’t there a lot?) I was busy researching the photos from yesterday.

It takes a lot of discipline to do it correctly, and I’ve had to learn how to discipline myself. After all, what with the Recession, I can no longer afford that woman in Soho.

And so I settled down with the computer, a couple of ancient guide books, my book on the Hundred Years War and started to work.

fishing kayak baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Incidentally, while we’re on the subject of the Hundred Years War … “well, one of us is” – ed … for most British people, it’s a story of Crecy, Agincourt, Poitiers and a few other things too, mostly inspired by William Shakespeare.

For the French however, it was something else completely. When there was no major fighting, there were bands of discharged soldiers roaming around the country at will, terrorising the civilians and committing all kinds of bestial acts.

In addition, there were what they called chevauchées, raiding parties led by noblemen who would use terror as a means of enriching themselves and their followers by any means possible.

cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022All in all, it was a total nightmare for the civilian population in France. Imagine the events that have happened so far in Ukraine lasting for 116 years, from 1337 to 1453.

A few years ago, while I was rummaging around in a junk shop like you do … “like SOME of you do” – ed … I came across an old book written in French that described the Hundred Years War from the French point of view in almost 500 pages.

Obviously, it was far too good a purchase to miss and so I’ve been having a good read of it today as I’ve been working.

yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022That’s because the history of Avranches and Mont St Michel are pretty-much tied up with what was happening during the Hundred Years War.

For example, the dramatic and rapid modifications to the entrance to Mont St Michel, brought about by the rapid and dramatic development of field artillery that rendered obsolete each modification almost as soon as it was completed.

It took ages to do because there were the usual interruptions, like coffee, lunchtime fruit, and all that kind of thing too.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Not forgetting the afternoon walk around the headland either.

And i’m glad that I went out despite all the work because it was a beautiful day. And there were several people down there on the beach enjoying it, as I discovered when I went over to the wall at the end of the car park.

They weren’t actually sunbathing, although they may well have done because it was that nice today. I’d actually gone out without a sweater today and I’d even had the fan on in the office for a short while.

yellow autogyro baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022We’ve seen plenty of stuff going on out at sea, and also quite a bit in the air too.

But the helicopter wasn’t all that was going on up there. As I set off to tramp around the headland I was overflown.

Having seen one of the powered hang gliders yesterday down at Mont St Michel, it’s the turn of the yellow autogyro to go down there, I suppose, and I caught her on her way back to the airfield.

There were two people on board this afternoon so it looks as if there has been an interested spectator today.

normandy trader baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While i’d been walking around, I’d seen something larger than the usual trawler heading our way from the direction of St Helier.

It didn’t take a moment to work out that it was in fact Normandy Trader coming in to port, presumably to pick up the freight that we saw being dropped at the quayside the other day.

We can tell that it’s she because of the raised platform at the back of the wheelhouse. Her sister Normandy Warrior has a larger wheelhouse but no raised platform behind it, carrying all her freight in the hold.

people watching air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There were crowds of people out there this afternoon in the nice weather.

Plenty milling around up and down the path, but by far the most of them standing around on the lawn or on the car park watching what was going on with F-ZBQA, the air sea rescue helicopter Eurocopter EC 145 that usually lives at Donville les Bains.

She’d been flying around quite a lot while I’d been out for my walk, and so I wasn’t convinced that this was a “real” rescue. I was of the opinion that it was more of a drill or a training rather than anything else.

cabanon vauban person sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And so all in all, this afternoon there was tons of stuff going on, more than enough to keep anyone entertained.

And so for that reason, I was puzzled by the apparent insouciance of the person sitting on the bench down at the cabanon vauban.

There he was, in a ringside seat with all of this going on. The best seat in the house and he seemed to be casually reading a book instead of watching all the activity unfolding right before his eyes.

There’s no accounting for taste, is there?

normandy trader baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022When I saw Normandy Trader just now I thought to myself that with all of the activity going on just outside the port, she’s going to have something of a surprise when she goes around the headland and finds herself in the middle of whatever is going on.

So around the corner she came, and the first thing that I noticed was that she didn’t have all that much freight on board.

She usually carries the shellfish from the Jersey Fishermen’s Co-operative but since Brexit that’s not been a very easy product to export

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … after Brexit you can catch as much fish as you like without any let or hindrance, but it counts for absolutely nothing if you don’t have a market in which to sell it.

normandy trader air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So here she comes, right into the thick of the action.

A little later on, I spoke to Nathan, her skipper. He told me that he was impressed by the welcome that he received today.

But anyway, while I watched what was going on, the Eurocopter was lowering down someone to where there was a buoy, and then just hauling him up again, with all of the proceedings being surveyed by the small boat directly underneath.

“Definitely a training exercise” I said to myself.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With all of that going on, it was easy to forget that there was other activity too today.

This is a scene that had it happened on any other day, it would have been headline news. It’s the moment when they are about to open the gates and let all of the fishing boats into the inner harbour.

Consequently they are all queueing up there at the gate and there are plenty of others at the Fish Processing Plant who have already unloaded who are now waiting their turn to go inside and ties up for the day.

This would have made quite a dramatic photograph on its own.

charles marie yachts air sea rescue helicopter F-ZBQA Eurocopter EC 145 baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022With Normandy Trader having gone past on her way into port, next on the scene is Charles Marie.

She’s a charter yacht who takes out private parties or else organised day-trips when she isn’t doing anything else. She has about a dozen people on board and I’m sure that they are all having more than their money’s worth this afternoon.

As well as that, I bet that there isn’t much being taught in the yachts at the sailing school that have gone out this afternoon. They probably have other things on their minds too.

normandy trader entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So as Normandy Trader headed into port and F-ZBQA headed back to base for presumably a change of crew, I headed off back home.

And armed with a mug of hot coffee and a handful of brazil nuts, I carried on with my notes from yesterday.

Tea tonight was a taco roll with left-over stuffing. And with the stuffing having been marinating now since Monday night, it was even more delicious than usual.

But now I have other fish to fry after this evening’s marathon. Work is never finished, is it?

There’s a lot more to do tomorrow as I have some plans festering away in the background. I’m ready to have another day off and I’ve only been back at work for a day.

Tuesday 13th September 2022 – THAT WAS HORRIBLE!

Quite the worst Welsh lesson that I have ever had. I couldn’t remember a thing and it all went from bad to worse.

Having a lay-off for three months or so was clearly the wrong thing to do, but unfortunately there didn’t seem to ba ny other way to keep going during the Summer break. That’s something to which I ought to attend in the future.

Right now though, I’m worrying about the present.

Going to bed was rather later than I was hoping so I didn’t have too much sleep. And compared with the last couple of days it was rather a lethargic raising of the dead when the alarm went off.

When the alarm did go off I was talking to some people about someone who was in a harbour somewhere along the coast over in the Channel Islands. I’d only just started this when the alarm went off and spoilt my journey.

Actually making a start on my Welsh revision was even more lethargic than leaving the bed, although at least I didn’t suffer the indignity of falling asleep. Finally, grabbing hold of my coffee and fruit bun I went for the disaster that was my lesson.

What made it worse was that there were only 4 of us today rather than the usual dozen or so. Consequently we were under much more pressure and there was nowhere to hide when you are constantly in the spotlight.

This afternoon I finally caught up with the guy with whom I needed to speak about this weekend and, regrettably, it’s not possible to involve myself in it. It was an extremely long shot but if you don’t ask, you won’t get.

And that took me up to time for me to go for my walk this afternoon.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022As usual, my walk took me across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

There weren’t all that many people down there this afternoon. The good weather hadn’t arrived today so it was much more like a mid-September day with a heavy overcast and a wind.

The tide was well out again today so those people who had actually managed to go down there had plenty of room to spread out. But surprisingly, there wasn’t anyone up at this end of the beach having a scratch around for shellfish.

No-one flexing their mussels today, you might say.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Nevertheless, there were plenty of people out there on the rocks this afternoon.

Not scratching around with pèche-à-pied instruments but actually brandishing a rod and line from the rocks. In fact, almost every rock down there had a fisherman perched thereupon.

And this isn’t our usual spec at the end of the headland either there wasn’t any room out there for any more fishermen. This lot were down the northern side of the headland.

And, as you might expect, we didn’t see anyone pull anything out of the water this afternoon. Not that anyone was expecting it.

ship english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The view out at sea this afternoon was quite miserable. But the view down the coast was so much better.

The headland at Cap Fréhel was quite visible this afternoon, even with the naked eye, but strangely we couldn’t see the lighthouse at the end. There was something out there that I could see so I took a photo with the aim of enhancing and enlarging it when I returned home.

Back here, when I had a closer look, I could see that it wasn’t the lighthouse. It’s actually a large ship, a blue one. Unfortunately I’ve not been able to identify it.

There was nothing in or around the port of St Malo that might have corresponded, but it could be a serviceship for the proposed offshore wind farm there.

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022and so I carried on with my walk around the headland.

Fighting my way through the throngs of the people too. There might have been only a few people down on the beach this afternoon but there were plenty of others around and they were all up here walking around.

And it looks as if there are a couple of new people who have rented one of the apartments in our building because there was one of the occupiers showing them around out here, explaining how the buses and the refuse collection works.

And it’s all of these temporary lets via the Internet that are killing the accommodation possibilities in these seaside resorts.

cabanon vauban person on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There wee crowds everywhere up here on the cliff path and lawn this afternoon.

Even down on the bench by the cabanon vauban. There was someone else down there with his backpack and his bottle of water looking around at what was going on down there. Fishermen and that ship that I’d seen a little earlier.

Not much else though. No-one is going out right now with the tide being as far out as it is. I can see me having to change my timetable in order to capture a little more of the action when the boats are going out and coming back in.

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022From there I walked around the path on the other side of the headland down to the port.

It looks as if the summer season is dying out right now because this afternoon we have two of the three ferries moored up over there this afternoon. There is Belle France and there is the newer one of the two Joly France ferries with its windows in “portrait” format.

No sign yet of Victor Hugo though. She ought to be coming back pretty soon because later on in the week she has some work booked, running out the last ferries of the year to St Helier.

It goes without saying that I’m quite disappointed with the ferry service to the Channel Islands. Half a dozen trips per month, and just in the summer season too, and the service isn’t going to last all that long.

les poulbots unknown pierre de jade briscard chant des sirenes massabielle le styx chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, there were things that I needed to check in the chantier naval

Yesterday we saw the portable boat lift hovering around over Peccavi looking as if she was about to be put back in the water. Well she’s not there now, the ground’s all flat. And in her place is the trawler Pierre de Jade.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we know a lot about her because she was marooned in the chantier naval for quite a long period of time.

There’s another change too. Pescadore has gone back into the water too and her place has now been taken by a trawler that unfortunately I don’t recognise. She’s switched off her AIS transmitter so I can’t pick up a signal to tell me who she might be.

Time for another reconnoitre, I reckon.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Before I go back home I had a look down into the inner harbour.

Shtandart hasn’t come back yet but Marité is there in port. That’s another sign that the Summer season is drawing rapidly to a close.

So another day during which I managed to make a complete tour of the headland after my fall a couple of weeks ago. But I was decidedly unsteady on my feet today and I had a few wobbles. I don’t think that I’m in much shape to go anywhere really.

There xas some chocolate milk today for a mid-afternoon drink, and then I had a good listen to the dictaphone to find out where i’d been during the night.

I started off on a ferry going across the Gulf of St Lawrence somewhere. There were all these strange goings-on happening in the water but that was all that I remember. I can’t actually remember anything about this dream.

And later I had a house with a big front yard, a piece down the side and planty of room at the back. It was looking like a scrapyard with bits and pieces everywhere. Cars and cars etc. I started one evening trying to tidy up the place. By the time dawn came up there were only a couple of cars and a car bonnet that needed to be moved. I’d installed a sign outside the house that pointed to “Eric”. I’d made arrangements to build a sign so that people could see that it was here where I lived and that I had cars and everything. I programmed the sign so that if you typed up the name it came up with another. For some unknown reason that function didn’t work. I couldn’t make it change automatically. But the first sign that I mentioned was still out there. Liz and Terry popped by. They saw what was going on so they came for a chat. They had a look around and asked what this sign was for on the street. I couldn’t think so I said that it was a bed-and-breakfast. She said that I wasn’t going to have many people in here. I said that it’s basically for people driving past who want somewhere to stay for the night. If they came past here late in the evening they would never make it to the coast. She had a look and the place was all untidy. She said that she couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to stay here. It became later and later and they decided that they were going to stay. I had a little giggle to myself with Liz saying that at one time she’d never want to sleep in a caravan but here they are, they’d actually bought a caravan. I went outside to finish off. A Cavalier, the type from 1984 turned up, a beige one, Y-registration. It was all smashed in down one side. Behind it an elderly Jaguar or Daimler stretch limousine came along. The guy in the Cavalier went to exit and enter this Jaguar thing and drive away with the driver. I went to have a look. This Cavalier was actually a Private Hire vehicle complete with plate but it was all smashed in down one side, far worse than any one that I’d ever had and I couldn’t understand at all why it would still be working.

During the night I’d also been out doing a coach trip to some kind of market or trade fair. All these passengers on board and we were wandering around here. Someone knew half the stalls and told me where to go to try on a leather jacket. As the crowds were drifting away I went round. Most of the stuff had been packed away and there was only one rail. I tried on a leather jacket and I happened to like it so I walked away with it without paying, wearing it. No-one said anything, no-one chased after me. I ended up walking right out of the market ready to go home. I ended up back at the Leese’s. She had noticed the time and thought that I was going to be hours late because when she’d seen me she was sleeping. She thought that this was a bad sign. If course Iw as soon awake, soon tidied up, soon had everything ready and soon back. She was surprised. There was another job to do that they didn’t think I’d be ready for. That was another coach trip. She had the paperwork ready and gave me a portable ‘phone. She started to explain it to me how it worked, the numbers and what the numbers meant and so on. of course I knew all this thing really well with having used mobile phones before but she insisted on showing me like some 5 year old baby would be shown something. It was all extremely patronising

Tea tonight was a taco roll with rice and veg. And as I expected, the stuffing was quite powerful after marinading for 24 hours. Perhaps I ought to leave it for longer and see what it would be like then.

So, bedtime after a really disappointing day – for the Welsh lesson and for my little weekend project too. But as one door closes, another one opens and we’ll have to see where that one takes us

But that’s tomorrow. Here’s hoping for a better day.

Tuesday 6th September 2022 – WHILE I WAS OUT …

rainstorm baie de mont st michel brittany France Eric Hall photo 6th September 2022… this afternoon, I noticed this rather enormous rain cloud out in the bay.

The wind was blowing from the south-east rather than from the north-west this afternoon, and blowing in spades as well. The cloud was down there in the south west though and so any change of direction in the wind could create a few problems.

Sure enough, about half an hour later the wind swung round 90° clockwise and about half an hour after that we had the rainstorm to end all rainstorms.

It didn’t last all that long but it was impressive while it happened and maybe tomorrow we might see some kind of change in the vegetation if we are lucky. It’s still looking quite burnt-out right at the moment.

Maybe tomorrow there might be some change in me too. A couple of weeks ago I was feeling burnt-out too, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. But I seemed to have improved – until I had that big fall on board Victor Hugo last week that stopped me dead in my tracks.

A good night’s sleep will probably do me a world of good too and last night I almost had it too. I only awoke a couple of times during the night and there was only one sound-file on the dictaphone.

But what a sound-file it was!

This was another really long, rambling dream that went on for ages. I was at school, in my room because we had little dormitories. Someone called me but I couldn’t think why. I went outside my room but couldn’t see anyone. I wandered round. In the end I found myself holding a young cat, a light-coloured tabby so I was walking around finding out what I was supposed to do with this cat. I must have walked around the entire school asking people questions about this cat. In the end I ended up in the secretary’s office. She explained to me that it was the cat out of their office. Could they have it back? Surprisingly I felt extremely disappointed having to hand back this cat because even though I didn’t have any equipment I would have quite happily taken it with me and kept it in my room. I told her that if she’s ever looking for someone to look after it for a while I’d be quite happy to do that. She replied “yes but there are a lot of people in the queue”. I was surprised at how disappointed I felt.

Later on there was some kind of festival going on in the school and there were loads of people milling around. I had some sandwiches and I was going off to find somewhere to eat but there was hot food being served so I wondered if this was going to be provided free. I ended up at a kind-of snack café where I could see the prices clearly displayed so I imagined that that would be the same everywhere. I went and found a seat where I could sit and eat my sandwiches. The guy there was Jolyon Robinson from school. He was going on about how few people were going round right now. I explained that most of them have probably gone into town to find a good restaurant. Wherever we went anywhere with the school and was staying on we’d go into town to find an Indian and eat Indians all over the UK. He thought that that was quite strange. I was rummaging around on the table and came across a bill for a restaurant. I said “there you are. Look at this”. I read out the items on the bill and the bill was something like £63:00 for 1 meal for 1 person. I noticed that the price for dessert was a flamenkuche which was £18:00. I said “ik kan een mooije flamenkucke gebacke” in Flemish. He looked at me strangely so I told him what it meant. I said that I wouldn’t pay £18:00 for one of these when I can make one in 20 minutes. Some woman sitting nearby came over and snatched the receipt away from me. She said “this is a receipt from (somewhere else). That’s wrong, what you are saying anyway” but I couldn’t understand at all about why it was wrong and why she was making such a fuss.

Strangely enough, with not travelling anything like as far as I used to do, the idea of adopting a cat is something that has gone round inside my head. For many years when I was on my own in the past I had a cat, my black cat “Tuppence” who used to do her best to chase away any girl who I brought home, and when I was married we ended up with four of them.

Despite having one of the best sleeps that I’ve had for quite a while, it was even so the worst morning that I’d had for quite a while about leaving the bed. I did beat the second alarm to my feet but only just. I was only half-dressed when it went off.

Back in here after the medication I transcribed the dictaphone notes, as you have seen, and the rest of the day was spent editing the photos from Jersey.

And that’s taking much longer than it should do, not because of any difficulty that I had with the editing, but finding out what was actually depicted thereupon. And it needs to be done too because after all, that was the whole point of going to Jersey in the first place

Right now I’m just off the coast here in Granville on my way home with another 15 or so photos to edit. And they won’t take too long to do seeing as I’m back home.

And aren’t they “famous last words”? We’ve heard all of that before.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 6th September 2022With nothing else exciting happening, I went out for my afternoon walk.

High winds and overcast skies were enough to put the willies up anyone this afternoon. There was hardly anyone about up on top of the cliffs so I wasn’t expecting to see anyone down on the beach this afternoon.

And so I wasn’t disappointed to find that the beach was absolutely deserted this afternoon. There wasn’t a soul about

There was however someone with a van working on the new car-park barrier that was installed last week but as soon as he saw me coming, he hopped into the van and cleared off.

As for the bust that was loitering around here for a couple of days, I haven’t seen that since I said something about it on Friday.

le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 6th September 2022Walking across the car park and down the side street to the viewpoint overlooking the port wasn’t easy. I was continually being blown about by the wind and when you are as unsteady on your feet as I am these days you’ll know all about it.

There wasn’t even one boat out at sea this afternoon and that’s no surprise either. Just have a look at the waves surging around by Le Loup, the marker light on the rocks at the entrance to the port.

No waves and spray splashing around at the base though. The wind is in the wrong direction for that today. We’ll have to wait for that until the wind veers back round to the north-west.

work on crane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo 6th September 2022There was some work going on at the crane in the inner harbour.

The crane over there is the one that has recently been refurbished – at a cost not unadjacent to €80,000, so I’m told – but it looks as if there’s a guy down there giving the thing some further attention.

What with the barrier at our car park being adjusted just about a week after it’s been installed, it seems to be the thing these days that nothing seems to work as it should despite all of the care, attention and money that has been lavished upon it.

But on the subject of the cranes, I’m still dismayed that the gravel boats are no longer coming into the port. We haven’t seen one of those for a couple of years.

cancale brittany France Eric Hall photo 6th September 2022While I was up here on the cliffs I noticed that I could see the town of Cancale quite clearly.

While the view out to sea wasn’t all that much to write home about, the wind was keeping the air in the bay quite clear and the clouds were preventing too much reflection from the sun

Mind you, the rainstorm over there wasn’t doing the visibility much good. You can see how heavy it was.

Back here I had a coffee and then carried on with the photos until I ran out of steam. It’s quite hard to keep the concentration going for too long. At least, it is for me.

Tea was a taco roll with most of the rest of the stuffing, accompanied by rice and veg. It was delicious as usual.

Anyway, I’m off to bed in a moment. For some reason I’m feeling quite tired, although I haven’t done all that much today in the way of physical activity.

But what I am going to do it so try to walk with that crutch that I have in the cupboard from three years ago to see if that can encourage me to move around more. I’m fed up of being stuck around here leaning from wall to wall

In theory I could push on farther but I don’t have the confidence to do so right now. That walk back from the ferry terminal to here was a nightmare.

And I’m worried about what might happen if I fall over and can’t pick myself up, particularly when I’m very close to the edge of the top of a cliff.

Tuesday 9th August 2022 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

trawler hermes I baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022… really bad day today.

And that’s completely miserable seeing as I forgot to switch on the alarm this morning and as a result ended up having an impromptu lie-in. You would have thought that I would have expected rather better after that.

So while you admire a few photos of the trawler Hermes I and La Granvillaise on a collision course out in the Baie de Granville I’ll tell you all about it.

And rather surprisingly, I didn’t go all that far during the night so that’s even more of a reason not to have had any difficulty today.

la granvillaise baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022In fact, one of the first things that I did after having my medication and checking my mails and messages was to transcribe the dictaphone notes.

I was doing something with my friend from the Wirral and the Ford Cortinas but when I awoke it went almost completely. It was something to do with motorbikes as well and something else to do with lock-ups. I had some lock-ups in Wistaston and I wanted some extra ones particularly as I had acquired an extra car. We’d looked at a few but nothing seemed to be right. One came up in the block where I already had 2 or 3 so I had that but I hadn’t mentioned it to anywone which was why I kept on being reminded about it. I kept on having these reminders about looking for an extra lock-up garage. That’s how I bumped into my friend. He told me about his new car and how he’d come to get that.

trawler hermes I la granvillaise baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And then later on there was an episode of the Clitheroe Kid about the Clitheroes on holiday at the seaside. Jimmy had been up to his usual tricks again and had to write out a apology to his grandfather in so many hundred words. He took a sheet of computer paper and cut off half of it which upset his sister because she was using the other half – using the page for something but now she only had the other half. He was in discussion with Alfie about what it was that he should write to express his apology but as usual Alfie wasn’t very much help at all.

When I’d finished that I had a little play about on the acoustic guitar for half an hour or so. I have to keep in practice although I’m not sure why because I don’t think that I’m ever going to have the chance for a live performance. That ship sailed a long time ago unfortunately.

hermes I baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022After my lunchtime fruit I made a start on the arrears of dictaphone stuff from my trip to Leuven

And believe it or not, I actually managed to undo a day’s worth of notes before I found myself crashing out on my chair. I’ve no idea how long I was out of my tree but it felt like an absolute age.

When I finally awoke, I was in no fit state to go out for my afternoon walk at first and I was all ready to postpone my perambulation until another day, that’s how I was feeling this afternoon.

Eventually though, much later than usual, I managed to stagger out into the street to take the air

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022and as usual the first thing to do is to go and look at what is happening down on the beach.

Consequently I staggered off across the car park and through the crowds to the wall at the end so that I could look down over the top of the cliff.

There wasn’t much beach to be on today, with the tide being well in, but somehow they still managed to fit hordes of people onto whatever beach there was.

Crowds of them taking to the waters too, which isn’t a surprise seeing how warm it was today. Another candidate for the hottest day of the year, I reckon today.

The path around the top of the cliffs was crowded too but I didn’t take much notice, waiting (rather in vain) for another one of Tom Rolt’s “Greek v Greek” moments involving Hermes I and La Granvillaise but they managed to avoid each other.

“No shipwrecks and nobody drownding. In fact nothing to laugh at at all”.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022There were cars everywhere at the car park – in the parking spaces and even parked up on the lawn as well.

That will account for the hordes of people being around today. I was even expecting to see some fishermen on the rocks at the end of the Pointe du Roc and I wasn’t disappointed.

But never mind. I didn’t see anyone pull anything out of the water today. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that as far as I can remember, we’ve only ever seen one person actually pull a fish out of the water with rod and line.

We’ve seen a few pull a few out with nets, but that doesn’t really count.

cabanon vauban people on bench fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022That wasn’t everything out here either this afternoon.

There were plenty of people wandering around on the lower path underneath where I was standing and as I watched, a couple of them left the path and wandered over to the bench at the end of the headland by the cabanon vauban.

They didn’t seem to be interested in the fisherman who was on the rocks down below where they were, but something in the Baie de Mont St Michel had clearly caught their eye and all their attention

speedboat trawler hermes I joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022And I’m not surprised either because this made quite a lovely photograph.

Our trawler Hermes I had rounded the headland and was sailing down the south side of the headland just as one of the Joly France ferries, the newer one by the looks of things judging by its “portrait” format windows was leaving the port.

Once again it looked as if we were going to have a “Greek v Greek” moment but Joly France I gave a touch of the old “left hand down a bit” and the two boats passed by starboard-side on.

Only a handful of people on the ferry so it looks as if she’s going to bring back a group of tourists out on the islands and those on board have just gone out for the ride.

ch764626 chant des sirenes ch449345 peccavi ch 730708 la soupape I ch898472 cap lihou chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022We’ve had another change in the chantier naval today as I found out when I made my way around there.

We have of course Chant des Sirenes, La Soupape I and Cap Lihou in there along with the unidentified trawler, but a new boat has come in to join them, the white one with the red and gold stripe.

Her registration number is CH449345 and according to the trawler database, that tells me that she is called Peccavi and we’ve seen her on a few occasions in and out of the chantier naval

And in the background over at the ferry terminal this afternoon we have the little freighter Chausiaise.

gerlean l'omerta le styx fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Meanwhile, over at the Fish Processing Plant we have quite a bit of traffic today.

L’Omerta is still over there tied up at the quayside as she was yesterday, but she has now been joined by Gerlean. Those two seem to be regulars over there now and maybe I ought to stop being so surprised by seeing them there.

They have company over there too today. Tied up behind them is the trawler Le Styx. She’s busy unloading over there right now.

Hermes I who came into port a few minutes earlier has gone into the inner harbour and is presumably unloading at the other side of the wharf.

victor hugo ch338276 massabielle port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Also back in port today is Victor Hugo.

She apparently came into port late afternoon yesterday after having spent several days either in St Helier or St Peter Port.

Does this mean that the dispute over her operation has been resolved and she’ll be starting up in service, or is this rather wishful thinking? Her colleague Granville is still hanging around out and about in the Channel Islands and it’s been a while since she’s been shuttling back and to from France.

In the foreground is the little trawler Massabielle. I don’t recall having noticed her before today.

yacht school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo August 2022Before I went home I had a look at what was going on out in the bay.

It looked as if one of the sailing schools was preparing to go out for a run around. They had brought out all of the yachts and put them in position ready to take off. But the state of the tide means that they won’t be out there for long.

And neither will I.

With my walk almost finished and melting from the heat, I came back home for a coffee and to sort out my photographs from today

Tea tonight was a delicious taco roll with rice and vegetables. And it looks like curry tomorrow, I reckon.

But I’m struggling again for space in the freezer. I’ll have to stock up on frozen veg this weekend but I’m not sure where I’m going to put everything.

But that’s for another time. Right now I’m off to bed. I’ve remembered to switch on the alarm this evening so in theory I should wake up something like on time tomorrow. But whether I’m going to be in any state to do anything remains to be seen

Tuesday 19th July 2022 – THAT WAS HORRIBLE

There can’t have been too many nights like last night.

When I finally went to bed I had every door and window open in the apartment and a fan on the chest of drawers going off blowing cold air onto my body – no cover over me of course.

The racket was indescribable and totally impossible to sleep but when I closed the doors and windows and switched off the fan the heat was indescribable and totally impossible to sleep. In the end I decided that if I wasn’t going to sleep, at least it’s a better plan not to sleep when it’s hot and noisy rather than not to sleep in the boiling hot, stifling and stuffy oppressive heat.

When the gale sprung up at about 02:00 I wished that there had been a third alternative too. Not even hanging a heavy weight to the end of the curtain would stop it flapping about.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 and I’d had such an awful night, and with a Welsh lesson to come, I decided that a lie-in would do me some good and there I stayed until 09!15

Having organised myself I went for Day One (well, Day Two really) of my Welsh Summer School. This tutor doesn’t seem to be as organised as the others whom I’ve had in the past. She’s one of these people who doesn’t believe in breaks. Instead she crashed on regardless and finished early.

However I can’t complain because
1) it was very nice of her to squeeze me into her course
2) the course is free

What I’ll have to do tomorrow is make a flask of coffee and have some biscuits standing by.

By the time I’d had my midday fruit (at some time considerably later than midday) I went out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As usual, I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end so that I could look down onto the beach.

There wasn’t a great deal of beach today. The tide cycle here is about 25 hours or so so every day when I go out the tide is about half an hour later and with the speed that the tide comes in and out here that can make a considerable difference.

There weren’t too many people down there this afternoon either. The weather was not quite as warm as yesterday and, strange as it might seem, at midday or thereabouts we’d had a little shower of rain for a couple of minutes.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was here I was looking out to sea as well.

And as I watched, one of the Joly France boats came out of the mist (because it was quite misty this afternoon) from the Ile de Chausey and was heading back towards the port.

The small upper-deck superstructure and the windows in “Portrait” format suggests that this is the newer one of the two.

And she has quite a crowd on board too. It looks as if they have had quite a busy time out on the island today. There are water supply issues on the island and I bet that this weather has been taxing their facilities.

d-eqdk Breezer B600 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And that wasn’t all the excitement either.

As I watched, a light aeroplane went flying by out in the bay from the south. And as I watched it performed a U-turn and headed back southwards.

When I enlarged the photo back home, I could see that she’s a German-registered plane, D-EQDK. She’s a Breezer B600 and we have in fact seen her before, on the 13th August last year.

According to the flight radar she took off from Avranches 16:04, headed north towards Granville, turned back southwards and then disappeared off the radar near Dinard at 16:27. My photo was taken at 16:13 (adjusted).

f-gbai robin dr 400-140b pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022She wasn’t the only aeroplane in the sky either.

A few minutes later another one went flying by in the bay. This one is one of our usual suspects, F-GBAI, a Robin DR 400-140b that belongs to the Granville Aero Club.

She’s been out and about a couple of times today but at the time that I saw her, according to her flight plan, she was still on the ground at the airfield and certainly wasn’t picked up on the radar.

Maybe someone has the time set wrong somewhere.

yellow autogyro baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Jamais deux sans trois – “never two without a third” as they say around here.

Sure enough 10 minutes later, out of the mist came the familiar rattle of another one of our old friends.

This is the yellow autogyro that we see quite regularly, taking passengers for a spin up and down the bay to see Mont St Michel and whatever else there is of interest in the area.

All we need now is the Loch Ness Monster and Godzilla and we will have had everything.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There were plenty of people wandering around on the path today kicking up the dust so I didn’t hang around.

Narrowly avoiding being squidged on the car park I went down to the end of the headland. No-one fishing off the rocks today but there were a couple of people sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

And they had plenty to see as well, like the Joly France ferry going past and the aerial display too.

Quite a few people down there on the lower path as well. The slightly cooler weather this afternoon has brought out the crowds.

les bouchots de chausey la confiance 2 monaco du nord 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Some more changes in the chantier naval today.

La Confiance II and Monaco du Nord II are still in there but over there on the left they’ve now been joined by one of the shell-fishing boats. Her number isn’t on the database that I have but I reckon that she may well be Les Bouchots de Chausey.

Whoever she is, there are several workmen already swarming all over her so it doesn’t look as if they are going to be hanging around.

Mind you, I’ve said a few things like that before and lived to regret it, haven’t I?

joly france chausiaise yacht ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Over at the ferry terminal there’s some congestion.

We have Chausiaise, the little grey, white and orange freighter, and also the two Joly France boats. The one that just arrived is the one at the back of the queue.

By the looks of things Belle France, the newest ferry, isn’t there. She’s not in the inner harbour either so I reckon that she’s probably still out there at the island.

Not much happening in the way of pleasure craft today though. That yacht that went sailing past in the background was the only one that I saw.

loading zodiac onto trailer port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Mind you, had I been out there 10 minutes earlier I might have seen a zodiac out there in the bay.

But as I went past just now, the zodiac was at the ramp underneath the Fish Processing Plant and there was a van and trailer there. By the looks of things they were loading up the zodiac onto the trailer ready to take it away.

L’Omerta was still there too, but she was on her own. Everyone else who was tied up there yesterday has now cleared off.

Having taken my photos, I cleared off too. I have plenty of things to be doing this afternoon and not much time to be doing them either.

Granville victor hugo port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Things seem to be heating up in this ferry dispute too.

In the inner harbour Victor Hugo has now been joined by the newer Granville. They are both tied up there now and that seems to be that for the moment.

It would really be nice if this dispute could be resolved and we could get back into the business of running a ferry service. Right now we seem to be going one step forward and two steps back.

Incidentally, Granville, although the newer of the two ferries, is a second-hand boat. She was built new as the Bornholm Express in 2006 and sailed between Simrishamn in Sweden and the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and was last seen on that service in 2014.

lorry trans shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022One of the problems of living in a medieval walled city is that the streets and gates aren’t designed for modern traffic.

The Porte St Jean into the old town is quite small and many larger vehicles can’t enter. They have to park up outside the walls and arrange some kind of trans-shipment of their cargoes.

Just like this van delivering wine, in fact. I suppose that his cargo is destined for one of the restaurants in there.

Back here I had a glass of cold coconut drink and then sat down to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I must have gone to sleep at some point during the night.

There was some kind of tennis match taking place. I don’t really remember who it was or what it was about or anything but I think that one of the participants was quite young. There was something about an advertising campaign where you could have stencils to stencil over your vehicle. The company would give you money for doing that kind of thing so that they would have the publicity from the moving vehicle as well as anywhere else.

And then we had to go to stay in a dormitory for some reason, a load of us. It wasn’t separated by sex at all for young people. I found a bed right by the alleyway, the walkway in this dormitory in the hope that a young girl whom I knew would sleep in one of the other beds around me. She was with a group of people so hopefully she might go on the other row and be down this end. I had to go to the bathroom. It was again a communal bathroom and wasn’t restricted by sex so there were all kinds of people coming and going, including one rather insistent girl while I was using the facilities. That was rather uncomfortable. Then I had to hurry back to make sure that I had my bed and that no-one else had it and hoped that this girl would have the bed that was across the walkway from mine.

There was something about a bookstore. all the books were in a total mess and it needed some arranging. I was there doing some work. a young girl kept on coming in to look at the books. She would also come in to chat to me and we became quite friendly. It turned out that she was leaving school and didn’t know what to do. I asked her why she didn’t want to work in a bookshop with us. We always had vacancies and she would enjoy it. Of course I had a two motives. One was to be nice to her and the second was to get to know her much better but that’s beside the point isn’t it?

Just recently I seem to have spent a lot of time thinking about young ladies. I must be becoming broody or something.

I forgot to mention that one of the offices in this dream had a sheep’s skull nailed to the door as a kind of talisman. Someone else who came to see me once and there was a dispute in the corridor which was upsetting. I explained that but it made no difference about people having disputes as long as they weren’t with each other.

Someone with whom I used to work in Chester was teaching at the school where I was working. He came up to me in a class and we were talking. “Do you know what I would really like? I would like to go on holiday to the Isle of Thanet and for you to come with me” which I thought was really nice. We had a really good chat about the Isle of Thanet and me going on about things that we did when we were kids and things that my mother used to tell us that she did etc. This talk went on for quite some time about all kinds of things.

My mother lived in Birchington as a child until she and her sister were evacuated to Frome in Somerset when Manston Airfield down the road came under attack. She had plenty of stories to tell us and in fact we used to go down there every summer in the late 50s and early 60s while she still had her connections there to see things for ourselves.

The guy from Chester wanted to know when I’d be free but what he didn’t know and I didn’t tell him was that I was retiring at the end of the school year so I would be free all the time. There was no case of needing a diary or anything to write stuff down but I didn’t want it generally known quite yet that I was retiring so I didn’t say anything to him while he was discussing everything.

And that’s a recurring theme too these days

However I couldn’t keep going and at about 18:30 I crashed out. Only for about 20 minutes and that’s no surprise after the night, but I wish that I could have kept going.

Tea was a taco roll with rice and then I came in here to write my notes.

Rosemary rang me up for one of our marathon chats and that prevented me from going outside to find out why the Air-Sea Rescue helicopter was hovering around. By the time that I could go outside, it had gone.

So bedtime now. Let’s see how we get on tomorrow with this Summer School. It’s not like the usual ones that i’ve had before but it’s free and at least it keeps me interested and helps me remember what I might otherwise forget.

That has to be some kind of positive anyway.

Tuesday 12th July 2022 – GUESS WHO …

boats ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… came to see me during the night?

So while you all admire a few water scenes, there I was at work sitting behind my desk sitting next to some woman I don’t know and who should walk in to come and buy some cheese but Zero. She didn’t see me as she came in but she went over to the cheese counter and they cut her some cheese. When she turned to go she saw me and so I waved. She came over and chatted. The girl sitting next to me also knew Zero and said “don’t forget, when you come in you can talk to me any time”. The woman who was a supervisor beckoned her over and said “young lady, do me a favour. When you come in again don’t talk to (the girl who was with me)”. I whispered to her “you can always talk to me anytime you like when you come in”. She smiled, I patted her and she went skipping off. This woman asked me “who is that child?” (because don’t forget that I’ve known Zero ever since she was born). I replied “that’s probably the nicest child in the universe” (and she was, too). They asked me who she was so I told them. Of course they knew the parents of this girl so they all thought that it was marvellous how she’d grown up as she had, so bright and cheerful and energetic.

Then I was back in Stoke on Trent later but Zero wasn’t there. What had happened was that a member of her family had been killed so we’d been scrolling through someone’s phone trying to find hers and her father’s chat pages so that we could post some kind of message of condolence on them. As we kept on looking we just couldn’t find which were the correct pages on this person’s phone. There were thousands of different chats. It was very hard to see whose was what. Eventually we found a photo of both of them with their heads covered in towels but we didn’t even think that that belonged to one of them so we scrolled through this phone for ages trying to find what we were looking for

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022We were back in this dream again on our way to this funeral. We ended up round at someone’s house trying to find their contact details on Social media or their phone number etc so that we could send them messages of condolence. I couldn’t find them on my phone but I knew that I had them somewhere from years ago – probably on the old phone that lies in the van and a few other things. It was becoming late, already 18:30. When we arrived at this guy’s house she asked me who someone was so I explained that there were 4 people currently wandering around, 2 friends of mine who I named but I can’t remember and Zero and her father. I had to work out how to get in touch with them but I couldn’t do it – I needed some help from these 2 people with me or maybe even the 2 people who were going to turn up but time was drawing on and I was going nowhere. In the end to my surprise the guy who was with this woman where I was was actually Zero’s father. I was completely confused then about what was going to happen where, when and how. If that’s the case, where has Zero gone and with whom has she gone?

Finally I was with her father and we were talking about these people who were going to arrive. He said that he’d better push on and tidy everywhere before they arrive. It was 09:15 and I was still in bed so I thought about getting up. I asked him if I could send Zero a “Happy Birthday” message. He handed me his phone so I started to send a message on it. Then I thought that perhaps if I copied the number onto my phone I could send it from my phone and she would know who it was. Then I was trying to take some car registration numbers because they had something to do with how I could contact her although I don’t know how but I couldn’t get close enough to read the numbers. I was either too far away to see them or else I’d overshot. This was becoming extremely confusing. I was turning something simple into something of nightmarish complications.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Later on I was in Caliburn driving quite recklessly through rural France until I came to a stop because there was something going on. I ended up talking to a group of teenagers. There was some guy being harassed by someone or other. he quickly reached over his wall and handed me a cardboard box. He said “here, take this”. I took it and there was a trailer in it and a few other bits and pieces etc, and a couple of phones, one of which was a UK phone and it had a charger. There was no plug on the end of the charger. I was thinking “at last this is how I can contact Zero but I have somehow to make this phone charge”. I asked these kids if anyone had a charger. They replied “no”. They were interested to know why I was in France and what I was doing but they gradually drifted away. Someone told me a cheat how you can charge up your phone without a charger but it looked extremely dangerous to me. I wasn’t going to try it. I thought “once again the solution is here in my hand but I just can’t make it work”.

And isn’t that a regular occurrence? And not just in dreams either.

And here’s a dream without Zero in it although it started off that way. I was again with her father who was running me back to Crewe. I was telling him about the guy whom I used to know in Moathouse Drive who had just given me 3 cars, 2xMkIIIs and a MkIV Cortina. I had to go and pick them up at some time in the near future. I ended up back at my garage and walked in where I had a couple of cars. I found that there were half a dozen cars in there some of which weren’t mine. There was a woman so I asked her what she was doing with her car in my garage. She said that someone had given her permission. I said “I’m the occupier of this garage and I haven’t given any permission”. This escalated and there was a crowd of people who came in who didn’t care at all the fact that I was renting this garage. They had their cars there and other possessions and weren’t intending to leave. They made sure that I knew that I was pretty powerless to make them too.

So stepping back yet again into several dreams one after the other, that’s quite a strange situation too. usually stepping back involves just stepping back once, but how many times ws this?

yacht sailing school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022But why is my subconscious telling me to get in touch with Zero? In the past my subconscious has told me many things that have subsequently turned out to be true, to such an extent that I rely on my subconscious intuition rather more than most people. And it was certainly quite insistent last night.

Especially when after she skipped out of the first dream I awoke bolt-upright and it took me quite a while to go back to sleep. Awakening fully as I did, I’ve always found that in the past it’s been impossible to step back into a dream but I managed it last night, and in spades too.

No surprise then that I was thoroughly exhausted when the alarm went off this morning but nevertheless I staggered out of bed for my medication quite smartly.

And then I transcribed the dictaphone notes, and that took much longer than it ought to have done.

We had a Welsh conversation class this morning too and so as you might expect when I switched on the laptop that I use to connect to Zoom, it decided to perform a full upgrade.

When it had finally finished upgrading I connected to my course but nothing was happening at all. Eventually, further investigation revealed that the internet server at Coleg Cambria had crashed so they had no internet connection. “Your course will be re-arranged”.

That left me with some free time to deal with the photos from June when I was in Germany. I’m now inside the camp at Dachau heading up to the crematorium.

Once again, I didn’t have lunch – that is, except for some fruit. I’ve just been making do with fruit at lunchtime right now. I’ll weigh myself on Saturday to see if I’ve kept this weight off.

This afternoon I fell asleep for an hour or so which is no surprise given the exciting events of the night. Not exactly stark out but it was near enough.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland so grabbing the NIKON D500 I set out.

As usual my first stop was at the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down onto the beach to see what was going on there.

And once more, we had the crowds out in force enjoying the beautiful weather, even if there wasn’t all that much beach to be on right now.

Of course, they weren’t all on the beach either. Quite a few of them have taken to the water. I suppose that after a week or so of heatwave the water must be nice and warm. But I’m not going to be the one who goes to try it. I’ll take their word for it.

Airbus H225M Caracal helicopter pointe de roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022While I was taking a few photos that you saw earlier of the local shipping, I was being overflown.

It’s not one of our regulars either. This one is a helicopter belonging to the Armée de Terre, the French Army. I’ve no idea what it is except that it’s one of the “Puma” family. It closely resembles a H225M “Caracal” except that the fairing over the wheels doesn’t look right.

The French Army has 18 Caracals although none of them are based anywhere near here.

It’s strange though to see an Army helicopter flying around here. We have the Air-Sea Rescue one of course and the occasional Navy, Fishery Patrol or Customs helicopter. So I dunno.

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022So with nothing else happening anywhere at the headland I wandered off down the path towards the port.

And there has been a change in occupancy at the chantier naval. Philcathane who was up on blocks by the portable boat lift has now gone back into the water.

No-one has yet come in to replace her though. But I’m keen to see who else we might have next in there. We could do with a few strangers in there like Wavecat Express who was in there for a wile a month or so ago.

Whatever happened to her? I was hoping that she would bring something new to the port.

omerta calean le styx peccavi port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022However there is plenty of stuff happening over at the Fish Processing Plant this afternoon.

We have L’Omerta over there this afternoon, and behind her from left to right we have Calean, Le Styx and Peccavi. And plenty of vehicles around there on the lower level taking away the catch that they are unloading.

Once more, we had quite a few other boats either coming into the harbour or else leaving the Fish Processing Plant for the inner harbour but I was in a rush so I didn’t wait around.

However I did wonder who will be there playing “Musical Ships” tomorrow. It’s all pretty exciting.

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Down at the far end, Marité is back.

She’s finished her trip around to the southern Brittany coast and has come back home. With a bit of luck I’ll see her out in the bay some time soon. If she’s based here in Granville she ought to spend more time closer to home unless she’s off on a real expedition.

Lots of activity going on down at the loading bay. There’s a lorry there and the crane is busy moving a huge pile of building material around. That can only mean that one of the little Jersey freighters will be coming here soon.

And while we’re on the subject of the Jersey freighters … “well, one of us is” – ed … I wonder what was the result of the trials when the freighter Southern Liner came in here to try out the port for size

When I came back home I went into the kitchen to fetch some ice for my banana drink I noticed that the ice box in the fridge was full of ice and so I empted as much out as I could and set the fridge to “defrost”.

That should keep me out of mischief for a while so I had a play with the acoustic guitar and then, as promised, I had the bass out and had a play for an hour or so.

Tea tonight was a taco roll with rice, and then I carried on defrosting the fridge for a while. That’s all finished now so I came in here to write up my notes.

So who’s coming out with me tonight? It would be nice if it would be one of my favourite companions but I don’t suppose that I should be greedy and expect anyone special after last night’s excitement.

So it’ll either be no-one at all or else one of my family. Perhaps I ought to organise a sweepstake.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 31st May 2022 – I’VE HAD A …

… really miserable day today and I’ve absolutely no idea why. I thought that having stopped taking that medication 10 days or so ago would have seen an end to days like I had today, but aparently not..

During the night I had a visitor. Zero came to see me but you really don’t want to know about it, especially if you are eating your evening meal right now.

But I reckon that it was her visit that set me off because I couldn’t go back to sleep after her visit and that was hardly surprising. It’s been a good while since I’ve had such a disturbing experience.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 I fell out of bed and went off to have my medication. and then I came back in here and … errr … fell asleep.

And fell asleep in spades too. I couldn’t even make it to my feet for breakfast this morning. I was out like a light for well over two hours and it’s a good job that I didn’t have a Welsh lesson today.

Instead I had a listen to the dictaphone because there was something else on there. There was a hotel in Sandbach and we had to go there to find some oil. It was very late at night so we had to be quiet. A wedding had taken place and they were still celebrating. They had the bride and groom’s room all done out and a Vietnam minefield sign written on the door etc. There were drunk people everywhere. We were on the 3rd floor of this hotel and this was the way out to Bayley Close which is actually in Nantwich but let’s not go letting facts get in the way of a good nocturnal ramble. We were wandering around this hotel trying to find what we were looking for. It was just like one great big maze although it was a small provincial hotel. We were quite lost in it trying to find whatever it was that we wanted. We couldn’t make a noise because of the time and no-one seemed to be in any kind of fit state to ask. We were just going round in circles.

It hadn’t escaped my notice that the details of Zero’s visit weren’t on the dictaphone. It’s hardly surprising that I couldn’t bring myself to dictate them, even when I’m in the arms of Morpheus. That’s not something that happens very often.

And so for the rest of the morning I’ve been writing notes about “my favourite place” for my Welsh exam. And that includes topics that can be covered in “my last holiday”, “celebration”, “family and friends”. It’s all interlinked and the deeper into things I go, the clearer it will all become.

It ended up being a late lunch and then I came back in here and fell asleep again for an hour or so. And it’s really getting on my wick now.

new kerb place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Just for a change, I managed to do something on time this afternoon.

Yes, I staggered off outside for my afternoon walk bang on time to see what was happening around the headland. But first I went to look at what they had been doing with this kerbstone that they had been laying just outside the door here.

By the looks of things, they have just been straightening out the road layout and the junction of the driveway that leads into the car park. And I can’t think why because while it was a bit untidy here, it wasn’t actually anything that was in desperate need of attention.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having resolved that issue I wandered off across the car park to have a look at what was happening down on the beach.

It was quite a nice clear day so I was expecting to see a few people down there this afternoon but surprisingly there can’t have been more than three or four people down there this afternoon that I could see.

The tide was quite a way out so they had plenty of beach to be on as well. But there wasn’t anyone brave enough this afternoon to be in the water.

And no Birdmen of Alcatraz out there this afternoon on their Nazguls.

st helier jersey Eric Hall photo May 2022One thing that I do have to say is that the air was one of the clearest that I have ever seen.

We’ve seen a few photos of that white building in St Helier in the past but what was surprising about today was that I could actually see it with the naked eye even though it is 58 kilometres away.

Although the ferry service is said to have started up again and I’ve seen photos of Granville arriving in St Helier, her older sister Victor Hugo is still tied up here in port where she has been for the last couple of weeks so I’m beginning to wonder what the situation might be with regard to the services to Jersey from here.

It’s one of the things that has quite a high priority on my bucket list and yet I haven’t seen a single advert about the operation as yet.

trawler ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So while I was up here on the wall I had a good look around out at sea as well.

There was something way out in the bay over by the Ile de Chausey so I took a photograph of it with the aim of having a closer look when I returned home.

And having enlarged and enhanced it back here, I could see that it was a trawler busily working away. Unfortunately, at this distance I’m not able to identify it

But you can see how clear the skies are today, just by looking at the colours in this photograph. It’s not often that the come out so clearly and so vividly as they have done today.

plage de la touesse brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There weren’t very many people wandering around on the path so I headed off down towards the end of the headland.

You saw the Cap Fréhel the other day so you don’t really want to see it again so soon. Instead, you can see one of the beaches that are over on the Brittany coast near St Malo.

There are four or five of them over there and it’s difficult to say which one this is. But I think that it may well be the Plage De La Touesse. It’s the only one whose orientation matches the orientation of the beach over there and isn’t hidden behind a headland of rocks

f-gifn Piper PA-28-161 Cadet baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022A little earlier I mentioned that there were no Birdmen of Alcatraz out there this afternoon.

What we did have though is a light aeroplane flying by overhead. This one is F-GIFN, a Piper PA-28-161 Cadet. She’s actually appeared in our pages before, back in February when she flew into the bay from an unknown direction , flew around and then disappeared.

Today, she did exactly the same. She didn’t come in to land at the airfield here, she didn’t appear on radar and she hasn’t filed a flight plan and so I can’t tell you any more at all about her.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There weren’t very many peole on the car park this afternoon so I wandered off down tot he end of the headland.

There wasn’t anyone sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban this afternoon, but we did actually have a fisherman down there on the rocks with his rod and line.

Not that he actually caught anything while I was watching but I didn’t really expect him to.

So after a wait of a couple of minutes I wandered off along the path down the other side of the headland to see what was happening down in the port

l'ecume 2 cabin cruiser chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And we have a new occupant in the chantier naval this afternoon.

L’Ecume II is still there today. It looks as if work on her has slowed down just now. But my eye was caught by the boat that is in there with her.

That’s a serious piece of kit, whatever it is. It really looks the business and it’s the type of machine that any one of us is likely to be able to afford, although I’m sure that we all would love to.

It seems to be quite new as well so it’s a surprise to see it in here in the chantier naval. I’ll have to go down there and find out who owns it and see if I can’t blag myself a trip out on it.

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But at the moment this is more like what I’m able to afford right now.

Over there at the ferry terminal is the new Belle France and one of the Joly France boats, presuably going to go out to the island on the evening tide to bring back to holidaymakers who are out there.

Back here I made myself a coffee and came in here to drink it. Instead I fell asleep again and ended up once more with a mug of cold coffee. This is really awful and I can’t be doing with this. Obviously this medication isn’t the secret.

And after my cold coffee I spent an hour or so writing notes about “sports”, another subject for my Welsh exam.

Tea was a taco roll with rice and veg, and now I’m off to bed. I’ve had enough for today. It really was awful, especially having a nightmare about Zero. I really can’t keep going on like this. Let’s see what this sports doctor person has to say for himself tomorrow morning.

Tuesday 24th May 2022 – WELL, JUST LOOK AT …

fisherman with catch pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022… this! We were only talking about this a couple of days ago.

If you look very closely at this photo you’ll see, dangling on the end of the line just above the water, is what looks suspiciously like a small fish on his hook.

Of course, it could well be something that our fisherman might be using as bait to catch something larger, but on the other hand it could be the encouraging sign that one of our fishermen has at long last managed to pull something out of the water while we were watching.

Wonders will never cease. At least I won’t be quite so quick to pour scorn on the activities of the fishermen in the future. As is said in Proverbs Chapter 16 Verse 18, “Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”

normandy warrior baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022But here’s something else that I was much more pleased to see this afternoon.

As I walked around the headland, just pulling out of the harbour was Normandy Warrior on her way back to Jersey, having presumably picked up the swimming pool and the speedboat that have been on the quayside for the last couple of days.

Apart from the fact that we know that her sister, Normandy Trader, is currently in dock being overhauled, we can tell that this is Normandy Warrior because she doesn’t have the raised deck at the back of the wheelhouse.

marité english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Something else that caught my eye, miles out in the English Channel beyond the Ile de Chausey was this sailing ship.

As to who she is, I wouldn’t really like to say. It’s true that Marité wasn’t in the harbour this afternoon but that array of masts and rigging on that ship in the distance doesn’t look as if if belongs to her.

and unfortunately, I have too admit that when I returned to my apartment after my walk, I forgot to look at the radar to see if I could identify her from there.

Do you ever have that feeling that it’s really not your day today?

normandy warrior baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022So while you admire a few more photos of Normandy Warrior loaded up to the gunwhales with freight and on her way back to the island, let me tell you something about my day today.

Just by way of a change, I was in bed at something like a respectable time – 23:30 if I remember correctly – but in the absence of this night-time medication it takes me an age to drop off to sleep.

But sleep I did, eventually, and I was once more wide awake a good few minutes before the alarm went off at 07:30. Mind you, it was more of a struggle to leave the bed this morning than it has been of late.

As I said the other day, I’m not out of the woods quite yet. I’ve just moved into different woods.

normandy warrior baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It took me a while to make a start on work today as well, and that’s something of a change from the last couple of days too.

There was a Welsh lesson this morning so I had to prepare. It’s about this fifth time that I’ve prepared this particular lesson, what with one thing and another.

And it didn’t go as well as I would have liked it to either. I just couldn’t get going this morning.

And it’s half-term next week as well so there are no lessons either. As far as I’m concerned, this is the wrong time to be having a pause, what with my exam coming up in less than 4 weeks’ time. I’m going to have to do better than this if I want a decent result.

After lunch, I had an urgent task to perform.

home made fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022On Sunday I forgot to make some fruit bread and then I promptly forgot on Monday too. And so this afternoon, having been living on toast for the last few days I made myself a big batch of fruit buns.

For some reason I ended up with a dollop of dough that was much bigger than usual and instead of making a batch of 8, it made a batch of 12. And it mixed together quite nicely too. In fact, one of the best that I have made.

And so I left it to proof for a while and after I came back from my afternoon walk I baked them in the oven. And they look, and smell delicious too. I can’t wait to sample one for my breakfast tomorrow.

In the cake tin now are enough to last me up to the weekend and the rest are in the freezer.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Anyway, with the dough busily proofing, I wandered off outside for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And as usual, I went across the car park to look over the wall down onto the beach to see what was happening there.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t actually see anyone down there this afternoon. It was actually quite a nice, warm day without very much wind. Just the kind of weather to bring out the crowds, but in fact I couldn’t see a soul.

So I’ve no idea at all where everyone had gone to this afternoon. Presumably they were all watching the fisherman pulling that tiddler out of the water.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022And while I was there leaning on the wall I had a look around out to sea to see what was happening there.

Way out in the bay was a trawler – well, at least, I think that it’s a trawler but it has a superstructure like no other trawler that I have ever seen here in Granville. Mind you, it was wandering slowly up and down out there as a trawler might do if it were to have its nets out.

It’s a convention of the sea that a trawler with its nets out has to show a white light as a warning to other maritime traffic but at this kind of distance in daylight I wouldn’t be able to see it.

And as you have probably noticed, it’s another day with really good visibility. You can see the island of Jersey quite clearly in the background.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yes, I mentioned that the view this afternoon was really quite impressive.

Once more, we can see the Ile de Chausey in all of its glory, with the colours being quite clear without all that much enhancing.

But surprisingly, even though we can see for miles, we can’t see any maritime traffic at all out there in the vicinity of the island. Not a yacht, not a cabin cruiser, not a speedboat.

And certainly not one of the ferries. This would have been a really nice day to have gone out there for a walk around the island. But just like the ferries to the Channel Islands – they don’t seem to be doing very much in the way of marketing here. It’s all very well running ferries and the like, but you need to let people know all about them.

cabin cruisers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022It wasn’t just out at sea or on the rocks that we had the fishermen this afternoon.

As I walked off along the path towards the end of the headland, a couple of cabin cruisers came around the headland in the other direction. The only thing that sprung to my mind was that they were fishermen looking for a cosy spec for a couple of hours before the tide goes back out.

There were quite a few people on the path this afternoon as well so I had to fight my way around, yet for once there was no-one on the bench by the cabanon vauban. First thime that we’ve ever seen a fisherman pull something out of the water and there wasn’t anyone there to watch it.

yellow autogyro baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Here’s someone who we haven’t seen for quite a while.

We’ve seen the red and the yellow powered hang gliders quite often just recentlly but the yellow autogyro has been conspicuous by its absence. But today while I was walking across the car park at the end of the headland it flew past overhead.

Incidentally, there was something in the newspaper about someone who was 98 going for a flight in one of the light aircraft that operate from the airfield. That had me thinking that if I don’t get a move on and do something, I’ll probably be older than that by the time that I actually take to the air.

gerlean ch640361 nais port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Down at the port by the fish processing plant, it looks like we’re having another game of musical ships.

The other day we had L’Omerta and Petite Laura. And then yesterday we had L’Omerta and Gerlean. Today it’s the turn of Gerlean and Nais to hold the fort.

Back here I brushed the bread rolls with milk and brown sugar and then put them in the oven to bake while I came in here with my mug of coffee where I … errr … fell asleep for a few minutes.

And to my surprise, there was nothing on the dictaphone through the night. It looks as if I had a really good sleep for a change, even though it didn’t feel much like it when I awoke.

Tea was a taco roll with the left-over stuffing from yesterday, and it was even more delicious than yesterday.

But now it’s bedtime. Another long, interrupted sleep like last night and I’ll probably feel even worse.

It reminds me of Pyrrus of Epirus, who said after his victory against the Romans at the Battle of Asculum, “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined”

Saturday 14th May 2022 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… day where I’ve hardly ever stopped. So much co that I’ve not even had time to upload any of the photographs that I’ve taken today.

Just for a change, the way that things have been just recently, I managed to beat the second alarm to my feet. Well, actually, I was sitting on the edge of the bed with my feet on the floor when it went off so I suppose that that counts.

Mind you, I was feeling rather like death but I struggled on as best as I could despite everything.

Having had my medication the first thing that I did ws to transcribe the dictaphone notes from last night. There was something going on with Québec. If you worked with the Canadian Civil Service and you were close to retirement and that meant that your family was to be split up for different kinds of reasons like some were working and some were not, you had the right to settle in Quebec so you could reunite all your family together. I came to hear of this proposal because I was close to retirement date and my mother who was a few months older than my father and my other siblings, we all tried to arrange a meeting with someone official. The Premier of Québec was having some kind of entertainment thing. He was busy giving speeches to different people about the advantages of living in Québec although he did make some remark about people who travelled 350 miles just to catch a little bit of country food which he thought was a strange behaviour. I thought that his attitude was strange because of course it was country food that was the mainstay of Canadian society before Europeans. I had every hope that my application to move to Québec for this family reunification programme would be accepted. There was much more than this too but I can’t remember the rest of it. It’s slipped right out of my mind.

Having done that I spent an hour or so revising my Welsh ready for the first day of my weekend revision school

When I was ready I switched on the laptop that I use for Zoom meetings, only for it to perform a major update, consequently I was late joining and that was rather annoying. Punctuality is the politeness of princes.

We covered a lot of ground this morning and I was ready to knock off for lunch before my brain turned to spaghetti. We had an hour’s break so I nipped out for my afternoon walk considerably earlier than usual, for reasons that will soon become apparent.

Back here there was time for my butties before we started up again.

This afternoon we spent in small groups of two and three chatting about selected topics that are likely to come up in the exam next month. The conversations are quite lively and despite the lack of vocabulary we are making considerable progress.

These free supplementary classes that I managed to track down are worth every penny.

When the day’s work finally finished I dashed into the bedroom where my office is. I had 20 minutes before kick-off

It’s the final of the playoff in the JD Cymru League between Caernarfon Town and Y Fflint. It’s a winner-take-all match, the winner representing the league in the Irn-Bru Cup with teams from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

As for the match itself, I’ll let you be the judge of that. It was probably the most exciting, and intense matches that I have seen for many a long while, a game that swung from end to end from start to finish played like a game of chess. And it was certainly the most dramatic.

Don’t take my word for it. I don’t know how many of the regular readers of this rubbish are football fans but if you are and have a couple of hours spare you can WATCH THE GAME HERE. You won’t be disappointed.

That took me up to a rather late tea. There was some stuffing left over from last night so I had a taco roll with rice and veg. And as usual, marinading overnight makes it all taste so much better.

So now I’m off to bed. There’s an alarm in the morning and I’m starting the day with a mock exam. On a Sunday too. Whose crazy idea was that? I must be out of my head.

Tuesday 26th April 2022 – TODAY HAS BEEN …

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

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

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

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

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

Nothing at all like how things were yesterday morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 20th April 2022 – I’VE NOT HAD …

… a very good day today unfortunately.

After having had a few weeks of feeling so much better, today was something of a relapse.

It was one of those things that I knew as soon as I awoke this morning. It was a real struggle to leave the bed (but I still managed to beat the second alarm) and I was feeling like death. For a couple of hours I couldn’t manage to do anything at all and it was a desperate struggle to keep awake for much of it.

Mind you, I had another extremely violent dream and I reckon that it was this that took a lot out of me. We were in some city somewhere in Eastern Europe. There had been a load of events leading up to something but I’ve forgotten them all. We went into this restaurant, it might have been in Eastern Germany, to order something. There were all these people milling around, all kinds of people of all kinds of sexual persuasion just as there used to be in West Berlin in the early 80s. No-one seemed to be paying very much attention so our drink hadn’t come so I went to walk out. Someone gave me a bunch of flowers so I just threw them onto the floor and walked out. Someone tried to restrain me so I gave them a “Glasgow Kiss”. It just descended into a complete and utter orgy of violence after that. It just became worse and worse afterwards and really you don’t want to know about it. It was all absolutely appalling and violent and so real as well.

And then there was a group of us somewhere in Ireland last night. There were several abandoned villages and the talk was that one of them should be reoccupied so they sent a guy out there. They asked which house he would be living in and he replied “the warm house”. They arranged for him to have supplied etc and his letters delivered. A short while later a few more people went out to live there, prospectors, miners, etc. I was one of them although I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing. I had my electricity bill, 3 for one property, 3 for another and 1 for a third as well as a few other bits and pieces. I was trying to contact the Electricity Board to have some kind of overview of my account so that I could write out one cheque to clear everything. This was much more difficult than it seemed and I could see that after the time that I had spent on the ‘phone and on the 2-way radio trying to talk to people, I was just going to have to write out one cheque for each individual bill and pay it like that. If I run out of cheques that would be rather too bad.

So having had my medication, checked my mails and messages and transcribed the dictaphone notes, I spent most of the day dealing with the photos from the Canadian High Arctic in 2019. We eventually struggled onto the shore on Devon island across the bay from Dundas Harbour, STRAWBERRY MOOSE and me, and His Nibs was serenaded by a lady Inuit drum-dancer whom we encountered.

Right now, we’re back in our zodiac heading back to THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR.

Something else that I did was to do some tidying up (shock! Horror!) here in the bedroom and also to deal with some more photos that I found hidden in the depths of the computer that look as if they have been here since the Dawn of Time.

There were the usual pauses for breakfast, for lunch, for a good session on the guitar and also my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022And as usual I went over to the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

And just here at the foot of the steps that lead up to the Rue du Nord there wasn’t very much happening at all. There was hardly anyone down there this afternoon.

Quite a few people further down by the Plat Gousset though. That seems to be where all of the action is taking place. Maybe I ought to go for a wander in that direction one of these days.

But not to buy an ice-cream. There’s a photo (not one of mine) currently doing the rounds about a “certain event” that took place there earlier today.

marker buoys baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There were however considerably more people up her eon the path so I was glad that I remembered to wear my mask.

Anyway, I walked all the way round and across to the car park to see what was happening out at sea and once again there were strange objects bobbing up and down in the water.

Nothing particularly exciting though. No dolphin or anything, just a buoy marking where a fisherman has dropped a lobster pot into the water.

And the 25-litre plastic container seems to be back. It wasn’t there yesterday. It’s probably also being used as a pot marker in that case. But these lobster pots are quite interesting. How on earth do you train a lobster to go on one?

cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022Although there wasn’t a great deal going on out at sea this afternoon, there had been some people watching it.

However, they must have heard about me because as I turned up and prepared the camera, they stood up and began to leave. This is what happens when you are famous.

So with nothing else happening over here, I wandered off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was going on down at the harbour. Not all that much, I imagined. I was having one of those days today that one has when things aren’t going too well.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022There was no change in occupant at the chantier naval this afternoon. Still just Anakena and la Roc A la Mauve III.

Over at the ferry terminal we have Chausiaise today and that was about it. By the looks of things the two Joly France boats are out at the Ile de Chausey and Belle France is still moored in the inner harbour.

But still no sign of the Channel Island ferries. If they really are planning to restart the service by the end of April as the intimated earlier in the year, they need to be getting a move on. There’s not long to go.

In any case, I can’t see me being off to Jersey before I go off on my next trip.

And that was something else that I did this morning and forgot to mention – to book my next trip on the road.

ch 798530 briscard port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo April 2022The other day we saw a few fishing boats moored up on the silt by the fish processing plant.

Yesterday they had gone and L’Omerta was in their place. But today she’s gone and one of the three that was here the other day – Briscard – is now back again. It looks as if it’s becoming a popular spot.

Abd back here in my apartment I made a coffee and came back in her – and prmptly fell asleep. I told you that I was having a bad day and it didn’t improve as time went on.

Tea tomight was a taco roll with the left-over stuffing from yesterday. And so tomorrow I’ll be having a curry with the left-over food in the fridge

Anyway, right now I’m off to bed. I’m hoping for a better night tonight without the violence, and a better day to follow. I was really hoping that I’d seen the last of these bad days that I’ve been having, but apparently not.

Wednesday 13th April 2022 – GUESS WHO …

… has a broken kneecap? And for a fourth time too.

The first time was when I went head-over-handlebars on a motorbike when I was 16. The second time was when I slid a motorbike on a greasy road when I was 19 and the weight of two people and the bike itself (a 350cc Triumph) fell on it. The third time was skiing in Scotland when I was in my 20s – and I drove BILL BADGER, my old A60 van, home again.

As for when I did it in the fourth time, all that I can think of is that it was when I had that fall and broke my hand just before I went off on my transatlantic trip across to the High Arctic on THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR in the summer of 2019.

But taking a couple of years to manifest itself (it collapsed last spring, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall) is some going.

Anyway, retournons à nos moutons as they say around here, I had a lie-in this morning. Not that I intended to but at 07:30 – and at 08:00 – I couldn’t summon up the enthusiasm to leave my stinking pit. 09:25 was much more like it.

Having had my medication, sorted out the mails and messages and organised this week’s musical playlist on the computer, I had a listen to the dictaphone. And there was tons of stuff on there too. I’d had a busy night. No wonder I was in no hurry to leave my stinking pit.

The night started off with a huge long rambling dream about refugees. Again I had them with me and I arrived at a railway station. There were rooms above so we took a room above there. We had to carry all of their possessions up into the room above. That meant 4 or 5 trips in the lift to do it. There were all kinds of things happening – there was some objects still stuck in a lift from someone, I kept on bumping into all kinds of old schoolfriends while I was doing it, there was interaction with authority, one of those things that just went on and on and on while we were trying to move these refugees into this room. I’ve missed out most of it I think but the interesting part was of course all these people from school who kept appearing every time the lift either went up or went down and the doors opened. There would always be someone whom I knew waiting there. One person in particular was there once and also other people

So I had these refugees trying to get them into the upstairs room at this station passing by loads of people whom we knew. Some wanted arguments, some wanted help. I had papers from the Red Cross and had to show them. We were going up and down in this lift moving their stuff into this little room. The dream went on like this for ages. We met so many kinds of people and friends and one or two other people who helped us on our way but the farther we could get away from Vienna or Germany or wherever it was the better

My brother had bought a car, a Ford Cortina estate over the internet. A Mark IV model but he said that it was grey so we imagined that it would be the colour of my father’s old one. He was sitting down trying to work out how to get out and get it because his timetable was so full, he was going here and going there, he was having to work something else. In the end it was going to be several weeks before he could get it so I said that I would go for it. It turned out that it was near Foinavon that’s not the name but it’s on the railway line over Slochd Summit so that rules out Forsinard so of course the Inverness train is the place to go. I checked on the timetables, found the correct train and set off. I had to change at a big station to catch one of the stopping trains that went up the Highland line. The train pulled in and I checked with the guard that there was a local service coming up behind. All the doors closed and I thought that I’d missed the opportunity to leave the train but the door was opened from outside so I had to fight my way out. I found myself on some kind of temporary wooden platform which was just framework and no flats. There were people balancing awkwardly on there trying to enter the train and I was trying to alight. Other people who had already alighted were trying to work out how to go down to the main platform. I had to point them the way. This was a scene of total chaos as everyone who alighted from this train onto this wooden framework or whatever was trying to fight their way down to where everyone else was down on the main platform. I was thinking about all the things that needed doing, that I hoped that the car had enough fuel as it was getting late and I imagined that most places for fuel would be closed round here. I’d have to go to Inverness or Stirling or somewhere to fuel up and I hoped that everything else would be OK. I could imagine 1001 things that could go wrong between me picking up the car and brining it back home again.

I don’t know how this one started but I was working in the American embassy doing something, running errands. There was some kind of issue with the Russian desk in this large building and the Russians suddenly started firing loaves of bread over to the Americans. I caught a few and stored them up but they were coming over more and more and more. Eventually there was a pause so I walked across the hall to the Russian desk, found their senior officer, thanked him very much for sending all the bread to me but I told him that I now had enough fresh bread that I needed so if he wanted to send me any more could he make sure that it was frozen so that I could keep it in store. This was greeted by stunned silence throughout the building. After I had said my little piece I walked back to where the American desk was. I was beckoned over to the desk of the Ambassador’s personal secretary. She said “don’t you ever do anything like that ever again” but she was laughing and so was everyone else. I imagined that although i’d been told off, that everyone else was really quite sympathetic and really quite pleased that I’d gone out there and confronted them over it.

We were a big group of teenagers last night wandering around the streets of Crewe. I can’t remember how this worked out but we ended up at the house of a girl to do something. Her mother came to the door and in the end she fetched this girl. We were all around the back having something of a laugh etc. This girl was being quite chatty and quite friendly. Then it became time for us to leave so I asked her for her ‘phone number. She was possibly playing a game and in the end ended up trying to give me her father’s ‘phone number. She said that she could always remember it because it was 8 over 6, the 6 numbers at the end. Of course I immediately told them what it was, which was 675000 (which of course it isn’t). She gradually warmed a bit and in the end asked me for my ‘phone number. I didn’t have a card on me so I had to borrow a card off someone else, try to write my number but we didn’t have a pen that worked. In the end she decided that she would ‘phone me so that I’d have her ‘phone number and she’d have mine. That was what she did. But all of this took ages and there was much more to it than this but I can’t remember now. It was another one of these dreams that slowly developed into something extremely warm and pleasant and the type that I would want to carry on for ever. I awoke in a night sweat, which I haven’t had for a good few months. “I wish that this could have gone on for ever, this particular dream” I said into the dictaphone, so being able to talk like that while I’m asleep shows you exactly what kind of effect it had on me.

But low-flying loaves of bread as well? As I have said before… “and on many occasions too” – ed … what goes on during the night is much more exciting than anything that happens to me during the day these days.

To take me up to shower time I had a play with a few more photos of the High Arctic 2019 and I wish I could remember the name of the hill on which the flagpole is erected at Dundas Harbour on Devon Island. All that I can think of, and I know that it’s not correct, is the painter Samuel Gurney Cresswell who sailed to the High Arctic as Lieutenant with James Clark Ross and then with Robert McClure.

If I had to pick one of my favourite Arctic explorers he would be up there somewhere, not the least for his quote “a voyage to the High Arctic ought to make anyone a wiser and better man”. Well, it didn’t work for me, as the events of the last few days of my 2019 trip bear witness.

After a shower and a weigh-in (and I’ve lost 600g) I had lunch and then cleared off with Caliburn to the physiotherapist. It’s my last session with her today as she moves on to pastures new. She’s fixed me up with a colleague, but I bet that the new girl won’t be anything like as nice as Sonia. She can massage my clavicles any time she likes.

The trip to Avranches was complicated today because of all the roadworks and road closures. I ended up having to meander through the countryside and then it took me a while to find the centre. And when I found the centre, to find the building where I needed to be.

The scanning machine was made by General Electric, one of my former employers, so I knew that it would be good. And eventually they shoved me through it.

The doctor came to see me afterwards and told me about my kneecap, and also the fact there’s some cartiledge damage too. She’ll send a report to my GP who I’ll have to go to see in due course, but I have to be aware that surgery is not ruled out

There was an Intermarché next to the clinic so seeing as it’s been a few years since I’ve had a good look around inside one, I popped in. But there wasn’t anything there much that interested me. I bought one or two bits and pieces and some frozen peas and beans, and that was my lot.

Then I had to fight my way back through the roadworks. And it was good to give Caliburn a decent run-out this afternoon.

Tea was a taco roll (seeing as I had bought some this afternoon) with the left-over stuffing from yesterday, with rice and veg and it really was nice. But I have plenty of mushrooms left so it looks as if it will be a potato and mushroom curry for tea tomorrow.

So a broken kneecap now. Whatever next? At the rate that bits are dropping off me these days I’m at the stage where I’m afraid to go to the toilet.

In fact I haven’t felt so nervous since I was standing in a toilet next to Shakin’ Stevens but that’s another story for another time.

Tuesday 1st March 2022 – DYDD GWYL DEWI HAPUS …

… to all of my readers. It was quite appropriate that we had a Welsh lesson today.

But anyway, retournons à nos moutons as they say around here.

bicycle shelter place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that ON 7th FEBRUARY I drew your attention to some kind of work that was taking place at the side of the road just outside here.

And this is what they were doing there. It’s taken them a whole three weeks to come back and finish the work but when they started this morning, it didn’t take them too long to finish.

On my way home I discovered that it’s actually a cycle shelter. Not that there are all that many cycles around here that need sheltering.

However, I’m surprised to note that there’s no electric power point there. Electric bicycles are all the rage these days and there will be more and more on the streets in due course. They will need charging at some point, of course, and a bicycle shelter would be the right place to do it.

A few hundred volts of electricity and a recharge would do me some good right now because this morning I fell asleep again after the alarm had gone off at 07:30 and it was the 08:00 alarm that finally awoke me

After the medication and checking my messages I transcribed the dictaphone notes because despite the lengthy sleep that I had had, I hadn’t gone far during the night. The three things that they should be checking in this thesis is boys v girls, the battle of the sexes, the bayonet of the Ents as they march to sacrifice and the third thing is how their behaviour interacts with each other that might lead to any particular death. That was a response to a person in a dream who was wanting help about three different parts to his thesis

There was something about one of these tasks about a baby that had crawled into the top of a cage to try to eat their food and the dog and everyone stoofd around watching it.

And whatever all of that was supposed to mean, I really have no idea at all. But once again, After the frenzied nights of a few weeks ago, yet another night without any of my favourite characters appearing. I suppose that they are as exhausted as I am after what has been going on during the night.

For an hour or so I prepared for my Welsh lesson and I could have done more had I not … errr … relaxed for a few minutes. But at least the lesson passed quite happily this morning, just for a change.

After lunch I spent the rest of the day bringing the blog up-to-date, at least, as far as the recent past goes. All of the posts FROM 7th FEBRUARY. And what was so disappointing about all of this was that despite the amount of stuff that needed updating, there were only two appearances of my favourite characters.

It seems as if i’m losing my touch.

installing bicycle shelter place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022There was also the afternoon walk as usual.

And first thing that I noticed was the pick-up and trailer outside busy with the erection of this shelter. At first I thought that it was a bus shelter, but the local buses don’t come past here and in any case it’s on the wrong side of the road.

But anyway, as I said earlier, I found out later that it was a bicycle shelter, otherwise known as a bike shed, behind which all kinds of things went on when we were at school. So I’m wondering what we might find going on behind here, especially just after school chucking-out time.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022So leaving the bike shed on its own in the hands of the workmen, I went across the car park to look down on the beach.

And in contrast to how things have been over the last few days, the beach was deserted. There wasn’t a soul down there at all, despite the fact that there was plenty of beach to be on right now as the tide is still on its way in..

And that no-one is down there this afternoon is no surprise because the rain was teeming down and if I had had any sense I wouldn’t have been out there at all either.

la grande ancre trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022As usual, I was also casting my eyes out to sea to see what was happening there.

There was a heavy sea mist, thanks to the rain, so I couldn’t see much but there were two fishing boats emerging from the gloom on their way in towards the harbour.

One of them is immediately recognisable. The one on the right is of course La Grande Ancre, a boat with a very low freeboard that is often used for transporting freight here and there, and also used for fishing purposes.

The other boat is one that, unfortunately, I can’t identify and she’s too far away for me to read her registration number. One thing is sure, and that it’s not the new Suzanga.

flooded footpath pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw the local council with a lorry-load of gravel repairing the footpath where it usually floods.

And you will recall that I asked the question as to whether they would carry on and deal with the other parts of the path that need repair. Well, anyway, here’s your answer.

They must have cleared off home when they’d finished yesterday and as you can see,didn’t come back today. The heavy rainstorm that we are having right now has flooded the path in several other places that, I imagine, will stay like this as long as it keeps on raining.

Only doing half a job sounds like the way that i’m working right now.

la grande ancre baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022When I saw La Grande Ancre out at sea a few minutes ago it looked as if there was something interesting on her deck and it excited my curiosity.

As she drew nearer to the headland I took another photo of her so that I could have a closer look at her cargo when I returned home.

It looks as if she’s loaded up with some of these wire crates that they use for stacking sacks of shellfish, and there are a few shellfish boxes on board too which look as if they are quite full.

By now, the rain was coming down quite heavily and I’m slowly becoming soaked to the skin. I wasn’t going to hang around too long out here. My hot coffee was calling me.

tiberiade le roc a la mauve 3 suzanga la grande ancre joly france trawler yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022With the poor weather, I was in such a rush that I didn’t look down at the cabanon vauban. Instead, I carried on along the path.

There’s a change in occupancy in the chantier naval. One of the two yachts has gone back into the water today, but all of the other craft were still in there.

the outer harbour is crowded with fishing boats right now, even though it will be a while before they open the gates to the inner harbour.

Apart from La Grande Ancre, whose silhouette is easily recognisable, there’s no possibility of identifying anyone else down there. The rain is coming down so heavily that it’s impossible to see clearlu.

Making a quick stop to photograph the bike shed, I came back in here for a coffee and to dry out.

And then to continue updating the journal entries. And what surprised me with this task is that I actually managed to finish it. And it’s been a long time since I’ve completed a task, isn’t it? I even found the time to book my next trip to Leuven.

Tea tonight was a taco roll with the left-over stuffing from yesterday, and it really was quite nice. Tomorrow will be a left-over curry, I reckon, mainly with mushrooms as I have plenty of those. I might even fry some chips in my new air fryer later in the week.

Bedtime now. My physiotherapist is back from holiday tomorrow afternoon, and I also have to see the doctor tomorrow morning. So I must remember to take with me the form that I need him to sign.

Tuesday 22nd February 2022 – AT LEAST I DIDN’T …

… burn up during the night. The cold cream stuff seems to have done the trick but it’s going to take a good few months for my leg to heal up, even if I don’t make another mess of it in the near future

As well as that, I actually managed something of a better sleep last night. I was in bed at just after 23:00 and the first entry on the dictaphone was at 03:45, meaning that I must have had almost 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

But once I was off, I really was off too. With the situation going on in the Ukraine at the moment there were all kinds of things going on in the West. In Germany for example there were these mines of something special that were used in robotics that had to reopen. It meant that there was only one train per day up into the mountains and back again. In my case if I wanted to work on this train I had to take a pill every day so I mentioned it to a couple of my workmates . One of them asked me late one evening if I knew exactly what this pill was to which I said “no”. he said that one of his other colleagues knew pretty well and I ought to talk to him. I went over to the reception desk to ask if this other colleague was free. He said that he was so I went over to his cubicle to ask if we would come over to the reception desk to have a chat. He agreed but then the receptionist said that she had to go to type some kind of document so she wouldn’t be able to listen to the conversation

Later on there was another one of these dreams where I was at work. I was well past my retirement age. They were talking about rather large changes and I was thinking again that there was so much work building up that I wasn’t able to cope with so I was going to take retirement and walk away. part of my job involved checking up some kind of old house – stately home place. It seems that what had happened subsequently after this what had happened was that I’d gone down there to check on this house even though I was now retired but I seem to have stayed and become its curator 6 days per week. No-one knew that I was there and no-oen knew that I was being paid. Of course I had very little money because of not being paid so going to and from work was quite a struggle. In the end someone discovered me there and it led to some kind of enquiry as to how I was doing it and why, what my travel arrangements were. I said that I could simply walk out of this door and walk across the car park of a large petrol station and onto the main road. When I did it once there was some kind of thing with police and ambulances holding everyone up but they waved me through so that I could walk through to the main road. The next day that I came back someone had been making a pile of chelsea buns which seemed to be a regular thing but they never baked enough. When I arrived once they had all gone. However there were 3 or 4 extremely large ones on top of the oven that no-one had noticed so I took one. Someone said that it belonged to someone else, one of the senior people, but I didn’t care. I took it anyway. I could easily have cut it into 4 and just taken a quarter which would have been plenty but I was taking the whole thing. I went to sit down to eat it but these 2 women in the dining room were having a bit of a moan or complain about Gregory, whoever he was, and how come his chelsea bun had gone and what he was going to do. I can’t remember much more.

There was another huge, lengthy dream and I was dictating it but I suddenly realised that I didn’t have the dictaphone and when I picked it up I couldn’t remember anything about the dream that I was having so I’ll have to forget that one.

Finally I’d been round to Whitchurch to talk to some family whom I knew. Then I had to go somewhere north to see a friend of mine and then somewhere south so see another friend of mine. When I was leaving I went into the room where the daughter of the house was, she was about 15 or so, and was sewing or knitting or something, a small girl. She asked where I was going so I told her and in some kind of fit of bravado I said “why don’t you come with me?”. To my surprise she said that she would. She found her keys and we set off. Then it ended up that it was the school’s leaving year’s annual leaving do. A little while earlier another friend and I had been down in London and the school’s leaving year had turned up there. They were having a big day out, all of which was being filmed and we were around where some of the film was being shot. I was with this girl and we were seeing the film. There was a group of us together by this time and the two of us who had been down in London kept saying “they are bound to show us in a minute because we were there when all of this was going on”. We all then had to walk somewhere and it was in the snow. We walked along this road and I was with this girl of course. Quite a few people were very interested to see that we were together as a couple. As we walked down this road there was a big dog that we saw. One of the people with us who had been in London said “we saw that dog and it was on the film”. We kept on drifting out of this real-life situation with me and this girl and back into bits of this film. One moment it was me with this girl walking down this path through the snow and the next minute it was this film of the kids leaving party or whatever.

It was one of the nicest and most relaxing and most interesting nocturnal voyages that I’ve ever had, especially when I was with the girl, and I wish I knew who she was because I’d be quite happy to go off on another ramble with her at any time of day or night.

When the alarm went off I had another struggle to leave the bed and then after the medication I had a little project to do that took me all the way up to a rather late lunchtime

This afternoon the first thing that I did was to peel, dice and blanch a couple of kilos of carrots. They had another huge bag on special offer in LeClerc on Saturday at a price that was too good to pass by and I get through quite a lot of them.

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

And as usual, I wandered off over to the wall at the end of the car park to see who was about down there. And there were plenty of people down there too this afternoon. This is just one shot of any dozen that I could have taken to illustrate the point.

These people down here look as if they are engaged in the peche à pied and there were a few others out there at the water’s edge at it too. But several others were just having what looked like an aimless amble about.

One of my neighbours was out there by the wall too and we had a little chat for a few minutes, not about anything important.

trawler ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022While I was out there this afternoon I had a look to see what was happening out at sea.

Despite the wind there was quite a mist in the distance but right out by the Ile de Chausey there was something moving around. I took a photo with the aim of enhancing it when I returned.

Back here I could see that it was a trawler although at this kind of range I couldn’t say which one it was. Nevertheless, it looks as if the fishermen have gone back out to sea after their enforced holiday over the last few days and that will be good news for local businesses.

The brats are of course back at school so there weren’t too many people around on the path this afternoon so I could have a nice leisurely walk around the headland all by myself.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a couple of months ago one of the storms that we had had had ripped one of the flagpoles here out if its concrete base.

flagpole base pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022A few days ago we came across a workman concreting a new base and he told me that when it had cured he would come back and drill the mounting holes.

By the looks of things he had been back recently because the bolts for the flagpole have now been installed in the base. We’ll probably come back here some time within the next few days and found that the flagpole had been repositioned.

There was still no-one loitering around at the end of the headland, which was hardly a surprise given the weather and also the fact that there wasn’t anything to see out at sea, so I pushed on around the path to the other side of the headland.

yacht tiberiade le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022There’s something strange going on this afternoon down in the chantier naval.

Tiberiade is far from finished as we can see, but they have brought the portable boat lift over to her and she seems to be sitting in the cradle.

It would be very surprising if she were to go back into the water in this condition so they might just be moving her around. I’ll probably find out tomorrow when I go round for my walk.

The other two boats, Le Roc A La Mauve III and the unknown yacht, are still in here though and not looking as if they will be going for a while.

Back here I had my coffee and then transcribed the dictaphone notes from last night to see where I’d been. And I wish that I knew who that girl was whom I met in Whitchurch.

Tea was a taco roll with the left-over stuffing from yesterday and then Rosemary gave me a ring. Two hours we were chatting tonight. No wonder I’m running rather late.

But now I’m off to bed hoping for a good sleep and a good run out with pleasant companions during the night. I enjoyed that little trip last night and I wish that something like that would happen to me in real life.