Tag Archives: taco roll

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.

Tuesday 8th February 2022 – I’M GOING TO …

… Leuven tomorrow and I do have to say that I’ve never felt less like it. It’s not because of any health issue (although that is weighing me down of course but it’s an “energy and enthusiasm” issue again and I just can’t seem to shake it off.

It wasn’t as if I’d had a bad night either. I was in bed at something like a reasonable time and according to the dictaphone I wasn’t disturbed until comparatively late in the proceedings, so I must have had quite a deep sleep.

Having listened to what I’d been up to during the night, I hadn’t gone all that far either on my travels. There was something last night about a girl who was an orphan who came to stay with us but I don’t remember very much at all about this particular trip.

Later on though we had to go out and investigate someone who was driving without a speedo. When we arrived they were performing some really weird manoeuvres but we couldn’t find anything wrong but told them that now that they have brought themselves to the attention of the police they ought to take it very easy for the next while or so. Then this girl and I went home again.

That was all a bit of a damp squib, wasn’t it?

Leaving the bed though at 07:30 was not as easy as it might have been but eventually I was in the kitchen taking my medicine before coming back in here to check my mails and messages and then to prepare for my Welsh lesson. And, unfortunately, crash out for a short while too.

The lesson was, like most of them these days, quite dismal, just like me but with the course slowly coming to an end I renewed for the next level. I’m not sure how that’s going to work because this one seems to be rather above me, but my brain will seize up if I don’t use it (if it hasn’t already) and I have to push myself along.

After lunch, I had a listen to this concert that has a hole in it. And after quite a while of manipulation … “PERSONipulation” – ed … I’ve actually fixed it with a bit of “cut-and-paste” of another section that I’ve managed to fit in over the top.

It took ages to synchronise the beats but now, not only can you not hear any join or any difference in sound tone and level where I’ve pasted in, you can’t even tell that there’s been any alteration in the beat of the music and I’m well-impressed with what I managed to do.

It ended up being 0.264 of a second over-running but that was no problem to deal with.

However, I’ve also found two other slight holes in the tape when I listened more closely and my next challenge will be to replace them – and to see if I can do a job as well as I did this afternoon or whether that was just a lucky strike.

Another thing that I did was to shuffle the introduction around on another concert that I did yesterday. I’d written something that seemed to run in a logical order but when I recorded it and played it back later when I was editing, it didn’t seem to be right.

That was something that had irritated me ever since yesterday and so this afternoon I did a cut-and-paste on that too and rearranged my intro.

Looking back over the last day or two, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve actually enjoyed doing these concerts – enjoyed them very much, especially the first one that I did yesterday where I manufactured it out of a pile of bits of miscellaneous items.

It seems to me that given half a chance and provided that I can lay my hands on the material, I’ll be doing a few more of these.

My supply of concert material, from the days when I drove a sound engineer around, is limited though to another 40 or so concerts, a few of which are not really suitable so if I keep on going, I’ll start to run out sooner or later. And if ever he contacts me and asks for his material back, then I will be in trouble.

However, it is something of a miracle that after all of the vicissitudes that I’ve been through over the last 45-50 years, I actually still have in my possession as much as I do..

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

First port of call was, as usual, the beach down at the bottom of the steps at the Rue du Nord to see who was down there this afternoon – and even, of course, that there was a beach for anyone to be on.

This afternoon we had quite a bit of a beach and there were even a few people down there. They were scavenging around on the rocks as if they were hunting for shellfish. Not that it’s the correct time of day and the state of the tide to do that but nevertheless they can probably find something to take home with them.

trawler baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022And, as usual, I was also looking around out at sea to find out what was happening there.

Yesterday we noticed a trawler or two out there working in the Baie de Granville over by the Ile de Chausey. Today, there was another one – and a different one too – working out there in the bay. It seems to be quite the thing these days.

There were a few people out there walking on the path this afternoon, which is not surprising seeing that it’s half-term. The weather wasn’t anything notable either – not at all cold for the time of the year although it was grey and overcast. No problem about being outside this afternoon.

seagull rainstorm baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022However that’s the kind of thing that can change at any moment.

There’s a terrific rainstorm out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel and it’s slowly heading my way. Give it half an hour or so and I imagine that we’ll be having all of that dropping on our heads over here.

Consequently I have no intention of hanging around out here on the headland waiting for it to arrive. I shall emulate the seagull in the photo and push on … “push off” – ed … down the path on my way towards home and my nice hot coffee bubbling in the percolator even as we speak.

le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022It was interesting to see what was going on in the chantier naval this afternoon

Work on the Le Roc A La Mauve III is proceeding quite rapidly, which makes something of a change around here. There are a couple of people working on her and they have been doing quite a lot of sanding-down of her hull.

You can see the pile of paint dust that has fathered around her on the floor.

Still in the chantier naval up on her ramps is Tiberiade. She’s also having quite a going-over as well.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022Over at the ferry terminal we have the older of the two Joly France ferries, the one that we saw going out to the island on Saturday morning.

They still run out now and again during the winter, not that we are having any winter right now, and so for that reason she’s tied up there in the NAABSA (not always afloat but safely aground) position rather than tied up with her sisters in the inner harbour.

They are still in there where we saw them on Saturday.

What I’m wondering is whether they will be carrying out a refurbishment on the ferry terminal too. It’s not been used for getting on for two years so it’s probably going to need a good sorting out if ferry services to the Channel Islands are going to restart at the end of April.

plaque to 21st battalion chasseurs à pied place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo February 2022One thing that I have been meaning to do is to go and look at what was going on on Saturday across the road in the car park of the other building.

There were several wreaths on the floor and above them is this plaque commemorating the the 21st Battalion of the Chasseurs à Pied. I can’t say whether or not this plaque was here prior to Saturday but it certainly looks new and this was where they were standing.

Back here I had a shower and shave and a general clean-up, and then I did my Dave Crosby impression. Must be because I had a flu for Christmas and I’m not feeling up to par.

While I was there, I washed my trainers. They have been filthy and totally disreputable for the last several years but they are supremely comfortable.

One of the things that I did this afternoon while I was editing my sound files and so on was to fall asleep again – for 10 minutes or so. This is becoming far too much of a habit these days and quite depressing especially as I had a reasonable sleep last night.

Tea tonight was a taco roll. The stuffing that I forgot to use yesterday was quite edible and there was half a tomato that needed eating so I added that in. Tea was delicious.

And bang on cue, I reached the end of the film that I’d been watching over the last few days while I’ve been eating my evening meal. This one was THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

This is a film that I’ve seen in several different versions with several different edits, depending upon the region in which the film was marketed, and I have yet to find a copy of the unedited version that combines all of the different versions.

It’s strange, because when I see that film I always think that it’s the best of the three films but when I see FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE I consider that one to be the best. So I dunno.

Now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. I’ve a 06:00 start and have a lot to do to prepare before I leave for Leuven.

At least I can sleep on the train if necessary.

Thursday 20th January 2022 – DAY THREE …

… of my enforced confinement was very much like Day Two; with very little of any kind of note happening at all.

And seeing as I’m not going anywhere, doing anything or seeing anyone is hardly any surprise.

Although I just about beat the alarm to my feet this morning, it was a dreadfully slow start. But there was a reason for that. I’m suffering from a lack of football and my thirst was satiated last night instead of going to bed early.

It’s the Scottish Cup at the weekend and Greenock Morton, a team in which I have an interest since I wrote a newspaper article about the club and its controversial chairman 20 years ago, have drawn Premier League opposition.

In the past, Morton have had four major acts of giant-killing and last night someone strung together a video of the highlights of those four matches and broadcast them on the internet. So I stayed up to watch them – videocam recordings of old 405-line transmissions in the good old days of steam-driven television.

And worth is just to watch ANDY RITCHIE’S MARVELLOUS GOAL that dumped Aberdeen, Alex Ferguson and all, out of the Scottish Cup.

Anyway, having struggled out of bed and having taken my medicine, I came back in here to see how things were with the dictaphone. There was something on there from last night – and about 20 things from the previous few nights. And you can tell how lightly I’m sleeping these days with the volume of stuff that’s on there. This is no deep, profound sleep that I’m having.

But never mind the dictaphone for the moment. I had other things that needed my attention.

As it happens, I’m a member of an organisation that is fighting to defend the SNCF from the onslaught of privatisation that the right wing of the political spectrum is fighting to impose on the rest of the country. And I happened to post a couple of messages relating to a couple of things that related directly to me.

Anyway, to cut a long story short … “hooray” – ed … the organiser of the campaign asked me for dates and times. And that meant going through about 18 months’ worth of blog entries. They were relatively unimportant, minor things so I hadn’t tagged them and that explains the time that it took.

Perhaps I ought to mention in passing that my journal is tagged and indexed. I keep it as a diary and as a reminder because my memory is hopeless, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. I can sing any number of lyrics of songs from the 1960s and 70s totally word-perfect, but ask me what I was wanting when I walked into the kitchen 5 minutes ago …

It also serves other purposes too, as I have probably mentioned in the past.

Then I could turn my attention to where I’d been during the night. As it happened, Nerina and I had another one of our arguments. This time she had a friend with her and it was pretty permanent so she stormed off, leaving me with the business and the dry-cleaner’s to run. All the people wanted assurance that I’d still be open at 09:00 on a Wednesday. I replied “of course”. Then I realised that it was going to be difficult because there was going to be a bus run that I normally did but I didn’t return until 10:00 so I could see that I had about 2 days to organise a pile of changes to make sure that everyone else was happy and that they could have their dry-cleaning when they wanted but it wasn’t going to be easy.

After lunch (I remembered today) I carried on with the entries from yesterday and was actually planning on doing a lot more but I rather sadly fell asleep. And to my surprise, I was off on my travels there too. I was with my brother and someone else. I can’t remember why now but I had some work to do so I set myself up in a room in some kid of village hall place to do it and they wandered off. However I couldn’t settle and when someone came in – a big ugly-looking man rather like Jack Elam, I lost my concentration completely. I went out for a walk to settle myself down. There, I bumped into my brother and the other person. They were angry that I wasn’t working so I invented a story that I was looking for a torch. The third person said that he had one and went to fetch it and they accompanied me back to where I was working while I tried to invent a story as to why I needed the torch. When we arrived back where I was, my brother bumped into this strange man and let out a gasp of surprise and shock which awoke me.

Later on I went for tea. I’m not feeling very hungry right now but I have to go through the motions. There was some stuffing left over from Monday’s pepper so I had a taco roll with some rice.

Rosemary rang me up while I was eating so I called her back and we had a chat. But not for long because my throat gave out.

But the question of food was rather interesting. Last time that I was ill like this was when I was in Minnesota in July 2019 (in the days when we could travel) and I lost 10kg in weight. If I can lose even half of that during this bout of illness I’ll be happy with that and I’ll have gained something.

So now I’m off to bed – at … errr … 02:05. Just as I was thinking of going to bed earlier, Help Yourself came onto the playlist, followed by Quicksilver Messenger Service with the magnificent John Cipollina, Roxy Blue (a vastly underrated band who could have been another Aerosmith or Bon Jovi and whose lead guitarist is now a dentist), followed by Kate Bush. And that’s enough to keep anyone awake, for all kind sof different reasons.

But now that Kansas has come round, I’ll clear off to bed because we’ll end up next with Lone Star (another vastly underrated band featuring Paul “Tonka” Chapman, later of UFO and Jon Sloman, later of Uriah Heep) and I’ll be here all night.

See you in the morning.

Monday 10th January 2022 – NOT VERY MANY …

… photographs today. And you’ll find out why as you read on. It’s not been a very good day today. Not at all.

It started off quite well though. When the alarm went off at 06:00 this morning I was actually out of bed quite rapidly for a change. And after the medication and checking the mails and messages, I attacked the radio programme that I intended to do.

And despite a couple of breaks for coffee and for breakfast, It was all finished and up and running by 10:37. And it would have been finished even quicker had the final track that I had chosen been properly formatted.

In the end I had to re-record it and re-format it and that took a while. And had I thought on, I would have re-recorded the whole album because if one track is badly formatted, it follows that all of the others are too.

When I’d finished the programme and listened to it (and to the one that will be sent off later for broadcast this weekend) I went and had a shower and washed a load of clothes ready for my voyage to Leuven on Wednesday.

After lunch the nurse came round and gave me my injection of Aranesp following which I sorted out my papers ready for my walk up to the physiotherapist.

jade 3 loading with crane port de Granville harbour Manche harbour Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way down the hill into town I noticed that there was something happening down at the inner harbour.

If I am correct, the trawler down there is Jade III and there is somethign going on for which she needs the services of one of the dockside cranes.

It can’t be the nets because they are usually loaded from the rear, with the boats stern-on to the quayside, as we have seen on many occasions down there in the past. But this crane is being used on the side of the boat.

This afternoon I was rather late setting out for my appointment so I couldn’t loiter around. I had to push on quite rapidly. But I made it there in time.

And this is where my problems began. In the middle of an exercise my knee gave out again, just as it did that time in Paris, and I fell to the floor quite heavily. I didn’t have the strength to pull myself up, but luckily I was by the wall-bars so I could grab hold of something to help me to my feet.

But at least my physiotherapist had a really good view of what happened. She’s no longer in any doubt about the issues that I’m having. But it’s not boding well for my trip to Leuven on Wednesday.

Luckily, one of my neighbours was there at the same time as me, and he too was a witness to my little incident. He was here in his car so he offered to drive me home which was very kind of him.

Back here I grabbed the NIKON D500 and headed outside for a wander around – and fell down the stairs as my knee gave way again. And so I didn’t go very far.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Nevertheless I struggled on across the car park to see what was happening down on the beach.

It was rather later than usual, with having had to hang around somewhat for a lift, and so the tide was coming in quite rapidly. And there was no-one down there on the beach at all. The place was deserted.

The weather wasn’t actually all that bad. Although there was some rain in the air being blown around by the wind, it was quite warm for the time of year. In fact, this weather is unseasonably-warm. I don’t think that I’ve ever known a winter quite as mild as this one so far.

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022There had been some kind of activity at the chantier naval that I’d noticed earlier so I went for a closer look with the 70-300mm LENS

Gerlean is still there of course, but over on the right the skyjack has put in an appearance from out of the shed where it usually lives. It doesn’t look as if there’s any reason for it to have been brought outside – they usually only need it when they are working on one of the large trawlers.

But even more interestingly, they have a couple of vans with people in attendance over at the portable boat lift. It’s not been back in commission for a month yet but it’s already been under repair once and it looks as if it’s under repair yet again.

ch640361 nais ch638749 pescadore port de Granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Meanwhile, back in the inner harbour, most of the fishing boats that we had seen in there the other day now seem to have gone out to sea.

There’s Pescadore, the blue and black trawler that we saw in the chantier naval the other day, down there, and also one of the inshore shell-fishing boats too.

Luckily I could read her registration number from up here and now that I know where to access the index of French-registered fishing boats, I can tell you that she’s called Nais.

What with the leg giving me issues right now, I didn’t go any farther. I turned round and headed for home, with something of an undignified scramble up the stairs to my apartment.

Back here I made a coffee and came back in here to sit down, where I crashed out definitively. And to such an extent that I was seriously thinking of going back to bed at one point I felt so dreadful. And it’s been such a long time since I’ve felt even remotely like that. When I awoke, my coffee was stone-cold.

And once I recovered I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was staying last night in some weird hotel run by some Indians somewhere. He had only prepared part of my bill but I had to leave although I’d be back later. He hadn’t finished working out how much my evening meal was. I went out but when I returned he told me that Nina had been to see me. She’d turned up not long after I’d gone. There obviously wasn’t much that I could do about that. I waited for him to finish this bil for the meal. It was totally astronomical. He’d done things like because I was the only person there eating at that time he’d charged me the hourly rate of the 3 servers and the cook, that kind of thing. I had to pay their wages for an hour or so. Instead of paying something like £7 or £8 it was £70 or £80. I thought that it was absolutely astonishing. But whatever it was, he was busy explaining why he’d added this in, why he’d added that in and he never reached to point of telling me how much it was. No matter how much I asked him about this bill he still wouldn’t tell me how much it was. It was dragging on and on and on. I wanted him to get to the total but he was too busy with all of these explanations to tell me anything about how much I was going to have to pay at the end.

Tea tonight was taco rolls and rice with veg using the stuffing left over from Saturday. Tomorrow night’s tea will of course be a curry made of everything loitering in the fridge that needs to be eaten before I go off to Leuven.

That is, of course, if I go. With Covid being out of control it depends if there will be a train. And even if there is a train, it depends if I’m in any kind of state to travel there.

This is not going to be a good week for me to travel.

Friday 31st December 2021 – CALIBURN IS BACK …

… at long last. And I’m lying down in a darkened room with a damp towel over my head recovering from the shock of seeing the bill. It was not pleasant.

And having broken the whizzer yesterday, my tale of woe and misfortune continued this morning when my little dictaphone – my constant travelling and bedside companion for the last seven or so years, went tits-up, much to my great dismay.

And having gone to LeClerc for some lemon syrup to make my hot lemon drinks and having walked away from the shop with just about everything except the lemon syrup, it’s really not my day today.

At least there was some stuff on the dictaphone from sometime during the night, as I discovered some time this morning. I’d been in hospital having all these tests done to me. Finally they took me to some kind of operating theatre or something where there were all these grotesque people waiting for some kind of surgery or lying on a bed. I was just so uncomfortable there. I couldn’t look at anything, just focus on the wall, all this kind of thing, not look around anywhere. At one stage I felt my oxygen cable being tugged so I had to walk to follow it so they could disconnect me from the other peron who was attached to the end. Then they said something like “right, Mr Hall, you can go”. But I didn’t know what they were doing or trying on me, or anything. They hadn’t even started. There was a bowl of something or other and I was looking for some medication in it, some kind of bean, trying to sort my way through. The taxi driver who transported me turned up. He asked “how much did we charge you for the Isle of Man the other day?”. I replied “I don’t know. Didn’t they pay you?” “No” he replied. “All the trips for this week haven’t been paid yet. You really ought to get yourself organised”. I replied “how the bl** he** can I get organised when I’m in here having all these tests? I have no vehicle and I don’t know what the he** I’m doing or what they are doing to me?”. I was having a really good moan and complain about this because I was totally fed up

Later on we were in Italy running the taxis and I had to go to the bank on my way to work to take the money. There was a bike handy, a really expensive type of posh bike so I got on it and cycled off towards the bank. People were noticing it because of the type that it was. I suddenly realised that it didn’t have any brakes. I had to drag my foot along the floor to slow it down or stop it. I reached the bank and had to leave the bike outside. I thought “I hope that i’m not going to be long”. I went into the bank just as they opened and put the cheques on the counter. She pointed out that one cheque hadn’t been signed and the amount hadn’t been entered in the box so I went to do it. Then I noticed that it was an odd amount of money so I thought that I would have to make this up out of my own pocket and this is going to take a while. The bike was outside and I wondered how long would the bike stay outside while I’m in here doing this before someone runs off with it.

Leaving the bed at 07:30 – well, the least said the better about that. I’m having a bad time right now, yet again.

Nevertheless, I managed to make my bread this morning – another delicious loaf of bread that I forgot to photograph before I got stuck into it at lunchtime.

After lunch I telephoned the garage. The repairs were complete but now they can’t find the log-book which they need for the controle technique. He turned out his garage while I turned out the apartment and neither of us could find it. “Ring m back in half an hour” he said.

Half an hour later I rang him back. He had found it, right where it ought to be, in the glove compartment of Caliburn. “Come round in half an hour”.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021On leaving the building, I went down to the end of the car park to have a look down onto the beach.

The tide is well in right now so there isn’t a lot of beach at the moment, but a dozen or so people have managed to find enough so that they can have a little fun before the beach is swamped.

And not like the other group of people yesterday. These are actually at the foot of the steps that lead up to the Rue du Nord so there isn’t all that much likelihood of them being cut off by the tide, which is just as well. A helicopter rescue isn’t cheap.

yacht baie de granville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021While I was looking down onto the beach my eye was roving around out at sea too, as it usually does.

Today there was actually some maritime activity out there in the bay. A little yacht was buzzing around out there, not doing very much, it has to be said, but there it was.

Having taken a photo I leapt into the little Opel van and set off. Half an hour later the little Opel van and I were back there at the garage and having to wait yet another half an hour before they attended to me, Caliburn and I could finally leave.

And wasn’t my pocket lighter?

At Leclerc I did some last-minute shopping, including another cheap whizzer set. They didn’t have any decent ones and the delivery time on Amazon was unbelievable. No next-day delivery with the Christmas and New Year rush on. And as I said, I forgot my lemon syrup.

But they had some breaded quornburgers in the “end of range” stuff and they are now in my freezer. I do like those, with baked potatoes and steamed veg tossed in vegan butter.

Throughout the day when I’ve not been doing anything else I’ve been editing that sound file that I started the other day. That’s now done and ready for a second run-through.

There are just two more to do and I’ll start those tomorrow. I was going to make a start on them when I returned but for some unknown reason I seem to have fallen into the pit again and I can’t climb out.

Nevertheless, I managed to make tea – taco rolls with the rest of the stuffing left over from yesterday, and then I came back in here to listen to MY NEW YEAR’S EVE ROCK CONCERT.

And if you missed it, you can hear it again tomorrow at 21:00 CET, 20:00 UK Time and 15:00 Toronto time.

Here’s hoping that I’m in a better humour tomorrow than I am right now.

But before I go, may I wish you all a very Happy New Year, with everything that you wished for other people in 2021. It was a dreadful year last year and it shows no sign of improvement. But let’s all hope that we’ll see many other much happier years in the days to come and that we can all go off and do things.

Thank you all again for your support over the last year. I love you all.

Wednesday 22nd December 2021 – ALL OF THE …

repointed wall Rampe du Monte à Regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021… scaffolding has gone from the Rampe du Monte à Regret, I noticed today.

It looks as if all of the repointing of the wall has now finished, they’ve dismantled the scaffolding, picked up their tools and, as Longfellow once wrote, “shall fold their tents, like the Arabs and as silently steal away.”.

As for the quality of the work, they’ve mixed the mortar too dry by the looks of things. It won’t percolate into the stone and so will eventually solidify and drop out and they’ll have to do it all over again.

christmas market place pleville le pelley Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021You are probably thinking that that means that I can now take the short cut and go down the steps to the street.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The Christmas market is in full swing down there and the whole area is cordoned off. There’s just one entrance and that’s at street level, where there’s a security guard checking Covid passports.

As I type out these notes I’m actually supposed to be down there. A group has been in touch with me about doing a live show for my radio programme and they are playing there tonight.

But if anyone thinks that I’m standing outside in a bitter wind for 2 hours with a temperature of minus 1°C they are mistaken.

And it was freezing this morning too. Winter has come with quite a bang just now. I was freezing when I awoke – at 06:45, about 45 minutes before the alarm went off.

At least I managed to leap out of bed with alacrity (and you all thought that I slept on my own) and dress rather hurriedly before I froze to death.

home made bread place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021After the medication I came in here to check my mails and messages, and then went back into Ice Station Zebra to make the bread for this coming week now that I’ve finished off the bread that I’d brought back from Leuven.

Another 500 grammes of flour, a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds and this time I remembered the Vitamin C tablet too. It all went together really well and kneaded up quite nicely.

It went into the oven and 75 minutes later I had a beautiful, soft loaf of bread with a nice even texture. One of the best that I’ve made so far. My bread-making technique is improving, so it seems.

While I was at it, I cleaned, diced and blanched the 2kg of carrots that I’d bought on Monday. They are waiting for some room to be made in the freezer so I can file them away for future use.

One thing that I needed to do was to listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. In fact I’d been invited out again for a meal with some people whom I knew. I went off and turned up at this restaurant. I didn’t know these people all that well. There were 2 of them, a guy and a woman who weren’t a couple. We were having a chat and at that moment another girl came down to join us. She was a young girl and dressed so simply but really well, really beautifully that it took my breath away. I made a few complimentary remarks and she blushed I suppose, and sat down. They asked about when the others would turn up. I had heard that someone I used to know and his wife and daughter (who was actually Zero) were coming but they had to go to the dentist’s first so they may not make it depending on what had happened at the dentists, which was going to be something of a shame. They were asking “should be order?”. I replied “no. We’ll have to wait until everyone else turns up and we’ll have to order together, I suppose. That seems to be the normal way of doing things”. However, I did have another reason for not wanting to start until everyone (well, at least one person) was present.

At some point during the night I was walking around the fish docks at some fishing port in the UK. I was doing something at one end of the port where there were a few fishing boats at anchor but I had to walk round the other side of the port where everyone was and that was where you could really smell the fish. Then I had to walk all the way back again but I can’t remember why and I can’t remember what was happening about it all.

As I was off to the physiotherapist this afternoon I needed a shower so I had to wait until the oven had finished backing as I needed the heater in the bathroom. And as a result of everything I ended up having a very late lunch.

freezing fog port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021By now it was time for me to brave the freezing conditions and head up to the physiotherapist.

And you can see how cold it is by looking out beyond the outer harbour into the bay. You can see a layer of freezing fog that’s obscuring the view of the Pointe de Carolles.

It was the first thing that I noticed when I walked round the corner to the viewpoint at the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne.

And although it’s only 14:45 the sun is pretty low in the sky as well, as you can tell. It’s not the kind of weather to be out unless you have to.

jade 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021But talking of being out, the port was quite empty of fishing vessels.

They all must be out at sea this afternoon, except for Jade III that is doing something exciting, having reversed up to the wharf by the fish processing plant. Unfortunately, I can’t see what she’s up to.

There wasn’t much else of any excitement going on around the town so I had a slow, weary trudge up to the physiotherapist. For some unknown reason I wasn’t feeling myself this afternoon which is just as well because it’s a disgusting habit.

At the physiotherapist she put me on the cross trainer for five minutes and then we did some kinetic exercises, finishing off with 5 minutes on the tilting platform. The exercises that I had to do on there were agonising but I suppose that if it hurts men it’s doing me some good – except that it’s hurting me in places where I have no problems and not where I have the issues.

It was a very weary and painful me who staggered into the street when my half-hour was up. And also a very destitute one because it’s the year-end and I had to pay her.

Outdoor Market Place General De Gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021On the way back I noticed that we had a little mini-outdoor market going on in the Place General de Gaulle.

It usually takes place on Saturday of course and that’s Christmas Day so it looks to me as if they have brought it (or, at least, part of it because there aren’t all that many stalls there) forward to today.

There weren’t all that many people there this afternoon which is really no surprise in this weather, and I felt really sorry for the stallholders who are obliged to stand outside without any real form of shelter from the cold and the wind.

Spirit Of Conrad Aztec Lady Anakena charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021My weary trudge continued on up the hill towards home. However I stopped to have a look at the charter boats in the port.

On the left is of course our old friend Spirit of Conrad in which we sailed down the Brittany coast in the summer of 2019. To her right is Aztec Lady who has now been liberated from her stay in the chantier naval.

The large blue boat to her right is Anakena, the big boat that is planning to sail up the Norwegian coast next summer if conditions allow, and alongside her under a tarpaulin is CHarles Marie. She doesn’t look as if she’s going anywhere any time soon.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021It goes without saying that before I can go in, I have to go for a look at the beach.

And to my surprise there was someone taking a long, solitary walk out towards the water’s edge. all alone down there without another soul around him (or her). That was a lonely stroll.

Back here I had a coffee and then I had work to do. Someone at the University of Newfoundland is writing a thesis on Paradise River, a settlement of sorts on the Labrador Coast. I’ve visited it on several occasions and have dozens of photographs of the area.

Anyway, to cut a long story short … “hooray” – ed … he’s written to me and asked me if he may use some of my photos to illustrate his thesis. So we agreed a trade – I’ll send him some photographs and he’ll send me a copy of his thesis to add to my pile of Labrador literature.

Consequently I had to sort back through my photos for September 2014 and September 2017 to dig out some good ones for him.

Tea was taco rolls with the leftover stuffing, lengthened with a small tin of kidney beans. And now, as it’s cold and I’m cold, I’m off to warm myself up in bed.

Tomorrow I have to tidy up in my bedroom as I have someone coming round on Friday to record something or other for the radio so the place needs to look as if it’s habitable.

Monday 6th December 2021 – THE PECHE À PIED

jullouville baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021… has taken on a whole new significance today, judging by the news that’s currently doing the rounds.

A couple of people who were over there at Jullouville looking among the rocks for crabs came across an old boot instead. And in it were the remains of a human foot.

There are of course all kinds of wrecks out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel – fishing boats, aircraft, pleasure craft and so on – and many people have been lost there, especially during the fighting in June and July 1944.

What has quite possibly happened is that Storm Arwen has disturbed an old wreck that still has human remains on board and the boot has floated free.

But it seems that from now on, when one is mentioning the peche à pied one will have to specify to which pied one is actually referring.

This morning at 06:00 when the alarm went off I had a struggle to take to my feet. But once the medication had been taken and the mails and messages checked, I cracked on with the two radio programmes that I needed to prepare, with the aid of a mug of strong coffee.

It took me much longer than I reckoned too, knocking off as finished at 13:15, but that was having had quite a chat on the internet with Liz who was on line.

What else didn’t help was that I couldn’t find a suitable ending-track for my Christmas programme. In the end I had to find one that would do, stretch out the speech that went with it and lengthen a few pauses and in the end it fitted quite nicely.

As for the other radio programme on which I was working went together quite happily

After lunch I had a quick clean-up and then headed off to the physiotherapist.

fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Outside it was grey and miserable and threatening rain.

On the corner of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne and the Boulevard des Terreneuviers I could look down on the fish processing plant. There weren’t any boats down there of course – the tide is well-out right now – but there is a refrigerated lorry and several freezer vans parked down there.

There must be plenty of fishing boats out at sea right now and they will be due back on the early evening tide, when the vehicles down there will take away the catch.

Yesterday while we were out on our travels we noticed that there were no longer any boats moored up at the ferry terminal in the tidal harbour.

joly france belle france chausiaise victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021They have all now come into the inner harbour so that would seem to indicate that they have no plans to go to sea in the immediate future.

The three that are moored together in the foreground are the brand-new Belle France nearest the quayside, with the newer of the two Joly France ferries, the one with the smaller upper-deck superstructure next to her. On the outside is the little freighter Chausiaise.

Over at the back on the right are the two Channel island ferries – Victor Hugo on the outside and Granville on the inside moored against the quayside.

repointing wall Rampe du Monte à Regret Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Further on down the road I had a look at what was going on with the pointing at the Rampe du Monte à Regret.

They seem to be making good progress with it, but my attention was drawn to the two guys on the scaffold – the one in the red jacket and the other in the fluorescent jacket.

Judging by the way that they are standing around doing very little and pretending to inspect the work, they look very much like site managers to me.

With the steps being closed off I had to walk down the Rue des Juifs and go through the town that way to my appointment

Today she had me do five minutes on the cross trainer and the rest of the time was spent doing kinetic exercises. And I’m dismayed at how much I seem to have been affected by whatever it is that is going on with my body right now.

Much of my co-ordination and balance has gone completely and I don’t have the power in my knees to stand up from a sitting position without using my hands.

Anyway, after half an hour she threw me out and judging by the state of the pavement I’d just missed a torrential downpour..

a href=”https://www.erichall.eu/images/2112/21120044.html”>christmas decorations rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021On the way up to the physiotherapist I’d noticed that the decorations in the Rue Couraye have … errr … evolved.

We now have candy-striped pillars placed over all of the bollards on the edge of the kerb. They have signs on them indicating the nature of the shops alongside.

Dark though it was right now, the Christmas lights weren’t yet illuminated. I can see that i’m going to have to come down later in the evening one night and see how they look, in the hope that they are better than they have been in previous years.

For some reason, I don’t seem to have the same enthusiasm that I had in previous years.

sunset baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Halfway up the Rue des Juifs I stopped at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

Not because I was out of breath and not because of anything that was going on in the port either but there was another beautiful sunset out there in the Baie de Granville. This was far too good to miss. It really was quite impressive.

Before I set out earlier I put a can of energy drink into my bag with the idea that if I needed it I could drink it on the way home but I totally forgot about it. I might not be feeling enthusiastic but at least I’m feeling a little more fit than I was three months ago.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Before going back into my building I went over to have a look down onto the beach.

There’s plenty of beach down there just now, but there wasn’t anyone down there on it. That’s not really a surprise because it was quite windy, going dark and threatening rain.

Back in the apartment I had a nice hot coffee and then transcribed the dictaphone notes from last night. I’d had quite a busy night by the looks of things. and there was plenty to transcribe.

There were quite a few entries from the last few days too but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow to read those.

Anyway, last night I was at the cinema. I’d gone to see some rock concert or other that was taking place there. I mentioned to someone that I was going and he said that his younger sister was going as well. I turned up at this cinema and took a seat. When I looked round, there was a young girl there waving at me. I said “hello”. I thought to myself “is this that girl?” because when I looked around again there was another girl waving at me who looked pretty much identical. I couldn’t work out who was who and I couldn’t remember her name. As usual I was tying myself up in a knot about “should I go and sit next to her and so on? What if it was the wrong girl?”. The usual kind of confused state that I find myself in at times. Then the lights went out and we had the immediate “get your hand off my leg” comment that used to go around the cinemas in Crewe in those days when the lights went off, which always of course caused a lot of laughter. When I looked around though, both the girls had disappeared off somewhere. Here was yet another situation that I’d let slip through my fingers because I was being far too indecisive. The story of my life, isn’t it?

And I wish that I knew who the girl was too. Although seeing as I let her slip through my fingers like that, maybe it’s better that I don’t know, to avoid any disappointment.

Later on I was going out that night and I needed a new jacket to wear to make myself look smart (it’ll take more than a jacket to do that of course) so I went off to a shop that I normally use. I’d had a look round on the upper floors at a few different kinds of things but no jackets. I’d taken off my jacket and hung it on a peg while I was doing that. I then went downstairs to look at the men’s clothing. There were lots of other interesting things down there as well. When I arrived downstairs there was only the men’s clothing section open. The rest was all closed off as if they were remodelling the shop. They were busy hanging clothes onto hooks from behind the blanking-off thing that they were doing. There was a TV there with a load of men there watching the TV. I thought that they had probably been dumped by their wives who had then gone off to do the shopping somewhere else. Before I could look for a jacket I awoke.

Later still Nerina and I had had an argument in Germany somewhere on holiday and she had stormed off. I was walking the streets – it was 00:30 – wondering whether I should go back to the hotel room. As I was walking down the street a car pulled up. A man got out with a little girl about 7 or 8. She walked past me and said “here’s your computer mouse. I got on my bed and it fell off so I put it on the floor and here it is”. I took my computer mouse and was still wondering what to do. Somewhere somehow it turned out that Nerina had gone and my car had gone as well. I was stranded in Germany. I ended up with something like a Bella estate that I had managed to find. I was with that car and with Linda from Portugal (and here’s someone from a very distant past making her debut in my nocturnal rambles) but I’m not sure at all about where this bit with the Bella estate fitted in. I was in Stoke on Trent by this time

Finally I was having to negotiate my passage through the country that had formerly ruled the place where I live. I suspected that it wasn’t going to be easy. We set off and reached the border. I’d built some kind of big snowball or snowman and behind it were hiding several other men. I was discussing with them the plan that we’d go as far as the border and maybe go across. There would be a lot of bloodshed. They asked “what after that?”. I replied “I don’t know after that”.

The early start and the exercise at the physiotherapist’s had worn me out today and what with my early start on Sunday, I ended up drifting away for 20 minutes or so. That was rather a disappointment because I’ve been trying to avoid that for the last couple of months.

Tea was taco rolls with the left-over stuffing from Saturday evening lengthened with a small tin of kidney beans. And it’s even more delicious after marinading for a couple of days.

But now I’m off to bed. It’s early but I’m exhausted and I have my Welsh lesson tomorrow. There can’t be many left now before we break for Christmas. With my cookery lesson on Friday I have plenty of notes to review tomorrow so I need to be at my best.

Wednesday 24th November 2021 – YOU HAVE ALL HAD …

… a very lucky escape today. I was in half a mind … “your usual state” – ed … to post a photo of my naked chest today.

For the last 24 hours or so I’ve been having a pain in my chest round about where my catheter port is and when I felt it, it felt about three times the normal size

Of course, where it is on my chest, I can’t see it (not that I would want to look anyway) but on my way back from the physiotherapist I bumped into my neighbour who is a home help for the elderly and knows about these things.

She came round accordingly to have a look on her way home.

The swelling (for it is a swelling) and the “hard spot” is not actually at my catheter port but about half an inch away from it, and it doesn’t seem to be septic or anything like that.

She took a photo of it so that I could forward it to the hospital tomorrow and ask their advice. And if they can’t come up with anything, I’ll go and see my doctor.

A visit to my doctor is on the cards anyway because I’m having some serious difficulty in going off to sleep. Last night was rather later than intended but even so, being wide awake at 04:50 when I’m supposed to be lying in until 07:30 is ridiculous.

Mind you, it’s just as well that I was wide-awake because at least I wasn’t disturbed when the alarm went off at 06:00 as I’d forgotten to switch it off from last week.

After the medication and checking my e-mails I transcribed the dictaphone notes. This was a long rambling dream but I can only remember a few bits. I was living in the Netherlands or Flanders and I had to take my CPC for my coach operator’s licence. I passed and was given a certificate so I took it home. On the way back I bought some more clothes from IKEA because we had two kids. I had some quite nice towels, a bluey green one and a reddy maroon one with their own little covers which would be just the thing. My mother was pleased with the towels. She didn’t understand the certificate at first but when she did she wanted to know if I was going back into business. I said “not really but it was due for renewal so I wanted to make sure that it was up to date just in case”. But there were tons more to this but I can’t remember anything

Later on there was some kind of party and I’d been there and was on my way home. I’d left my alcohol pills there but I was bringing home the church tower with the clock on it. I met these two people down the road but I can’t remember any more yet again about this which is a shame because this was beginning to sound interesting.

While I was lying there awake waiting for the alarm at 07:30 I was off on a very long ramble with my niece to a radio station in “Piedmont”, somewhere in Eastern North America. But as I was awake (at least, I think I was), that doesn’t really count.

Once I’d organised myself I started to edit out the soundfiles of the radio interview that we did a couple of weeks ago. By the time that I stopped for lunch I’d edited about 45% on the first run through.

How I do it is that I have a first run-through and edit out all of the stuttering and stammering and breathing, stuff like that, so that it’s coherent and consistent.

Then I go back through it and cut out the bits that are irrelevant to my programme.

Finally, as with any interview, the interviewee often answers questions that haven’t been asked so we dictate the questions later and edit them in to break up what might be a monologue.

And a quick note to Grahame – recording in mono, running the tracks simultaneously with “hard left” on one track and “hard right” on the other works perfectly and gives the effect that I want. Thanks for the tip.

There was just enough time for a shower before lunch (and I’m now at my lowest weight since I stopped running) and just as I’d finished, Laurent arrived.

We went off across the courtyard to the Council’s annexe where the controller of the radio works, and discussed a forthcoming “event”. And this is going to be yet another World exclusive scoop, but more about that anon.

While we were there, we discussed a few other things here and there because we’ve long-since arrived at the conclusion that leaving things until the last minute doesn’t work. We need to have a few things in stock ready.

By now it was quite late so Laurent drove me up the physiotherapist’s, hence the absence of any photos.

Today I didn’t have a go on the tilting platform. Instead she had me on the cross trainer (where I set a new personal best) and then a pile of kinetic exercises.

When she threw me out, I had shopping to do so for a change, seeing as I hadn’t been to LIDL for ages I pushed on reluctantly up the hill and round the corner.

And for a change I managed to find everything that I needed and to be un the safe side I bought three boxes of yeast. I seem to be getting through yeast and flour at an alarming rate these days. And that reminds me – I have a loaf to bake tomorrow morning.

crane rue victor hugo rue st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way back home I passed the building site that we used to observe when I came this way regularly.

There are some concrete slab walls that have gone up on the ground floor level so they seem to be at last making progress. But it’s rather slow progress, more like what you might expect of Belgian housebuilders, of which regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

Carrying my rather heavy load I carried on down the hill, when I remembered that I hadn’t bought an energy drink to help me back up the hill on the other side towards home.

council workmen installing father christmas place general de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021In the town centre the Council workmen were out in force.

Every year there’s a Christmas display of some kind or other and this year the centrepiece seems to be a giant Father Christmas, surrounded by a pile of trees that have been brought in from somewhere.

On the way back up the hill I met my neighbour coming down so we had a chat about my catheter port, and then I came home for a coffee.

No photo of the beach because by now it was going dark quite rapidly.

Tea tonight was taco rolls followed by a soya dessert thing. It’s amazing what one finds in LIDL these days.

But right now I’m off to bed. I’m exhausted. I had a lot of things to do today and hardly did any of them. I really must get a move on.

Tuesday 9th November 2021 – WE’VE HAD ANOTHER …

aeroplane f-hgsm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… aerial afternoon this afternoon, just for a change.

Not a nazgul or any bird-men of Alcatraz but actually an aeroplane flyng by overhead out in the bay on its way hame to the airfield just outside Donville Les Bains.

Its an aeroplane that we have seen before – F-HGSM, a Robin DR400/160 aeroplane that’s owned by the Aero Club of Greaves of Mont Saint Michel just down the road from here – coming out for a quick lap around towards the end of the afternoon.

aeroplane f-hgsm baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021We’ve seen her before, and a few minutes later we saw her again, this time flying the other way.

In fact she’s spent much of the afternoon flying up and down the coast between Avranches and Granville. The first this that she was picked up on radar today was at 14:41.

Unfortunately, many of her flights weren’t picked up on radar. Certainly, these two weren’t. The aeroplane doesn’t seem to have filed a flight plan either so I can’t say much more about what she’s been up to.

65px light aeroplane place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Jamais deux sans trois – “never just two without a third” as they say around here.

Sure enough, no sooner had F-HGSM disappeared off down the coast then around the corner came another aeroplane from the direction of the airfield. But as this one approached me it did a dramatic U-turn and headed back the way from which he came.

Unfortunately I can only tell you even less about this particular one because it’s another one with one of these short registration numbers – 65PX -that isn’t on any database to which I have access. So I let it go off on its way.

This morning, I had a great deal of difficulty going off on my way. Despite a reasonably early night I had an extreme amount of difficulty leaving my bed. But as I promised no to talk about my bad nights I won’t say any more.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages and then knuckled down to revise my Welsh from last week and to prepare for my lesson this morning.

There was a slight interruption though because the NIKON 1 J5 came back. I shall have a play with that in due course.

The Welsh lesson passed quite quickly and quite well too. An I need to remember now is “Fish Fingers, Baked Beans, More Beans, MMMMM”

After lunch I updated a few more days of the journal from late October, transcribed a few more entries for due course and then set about dealing with last night’s issues. I’d been back at my old school last night but I didn’t recognise anything of it. All of the House names had been changed to reflect the current way of thinking. I couldn’t see a timetable or a room list, a teacher list or anything like that. I was just wandering around aimlessly checking rooms to see if there was anyone I recognised, which I ddn’t. The teachers all looked strange, young and modern to me. Each class had a Social Media page that was pretty open and even the teachers were writing down their innermost thoughts on this. I went to have a look at the roll-call for students who had started this year. There were some from Pontypool, some from Galashiels, even some from Centreville in Canada. This has all changed from how it used to be with just local recruitment. I wondered where they were all staying because there’s nowhere for groups of kids to stay in Nantwich

Then about 85 minutes later, the problem with the school was that they were recruiting from all over the place, Galashiels, down south, even Cetreville in Canada. There didn’t seem to be anyone local at all. All the classes had Social Media accounts. Even teachers were writing their innermost thoughts down there. It didn’t look anything like the school that I knew with local recruitment. It seemed to me that there was a year that was being missed for which they weren’t offering tuition which I thought was strange. I must have dictated the previous notes and then gone back to sleep right back into where I left off yet again.

Later still, I’d been leaving France for Belgium and gone a different way than usual. I was looking over the map and the road that I wanted was over the edge of a page so I was wondering where I was going to end up. At first I thought that it looked shorter but then with it going off the page it started to look longer. I was wondering whether I’d made the right decision. I noticed that it seemed to end up back on the road that I used to take when I went down to the Auvergne through the mountains of the Ardennes. I was trying to work out exactly where that was going to be.
There was also something about living on a farm and buying a car, but I wasn’t allowed to use the car on the road. I bought it and I was trying to smarten it up and getting it to be a kind-of custom hot-rod thing. I’d bought 2 exhaust pipes for it that go down the outside of the car. Then I found out that there was another type that improved performance even more than I ought to have bought and it was starting to get a little bit crazy.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021In the middle of all of this I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

First stop is at the end ot the car park where I can look down on the beach. And considering that we are now rapidly approaching mid-November there were still plenty of people down there this afternoon.

It was actually quite a nice, sunny day which was a surprise, and there wasn’t very much wind. And as you can see, there was plenty of beach down there for everyone to wak upon with the tide being well out this afternoon.

seagulls harvesting bouchots donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Further on down the beach towards Donville les bains there were even more crowds down there.

Mainly crowds – or shoud I say flocks – of seagulls. They seem to be enjoying themselves having a feeding frenzy in the tidal pools with all of the fish that has been left behind, stranded by the tide.

Further on down the coast the harvesters of bouchots are also out there at work. You can see a couple of their tractors heading out towards the beds. No trailers though, so they aren’t ready to pull them in just yet.

trawlers yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021As usual, when I’m out and about looking at what is going on down on the beach, I have one eye looking around out at sea to se what’s happening there.

Right now of course we are living in interesting times so I’m keeping a close watch on all of the activity. And there’s plenty og avtivity out there this afternoon.

Out there we have a couple of trawlers looking as if they are working rather than heading in for home. And the yacht that’s out there with them is going to have a long wait before the tide comes in far enough for it to make it back home.

patrol boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021I’m not the only one keeping a close eye on the activity either.

Unless I’m very much mistaken, that looks like a French Navy patrol boat out there having a little wander around in the bay.

Of course, with things starting to heat up around here in the bay, it’s not surprising that the French Government has sent someone in to watch what is going on.

It’s not just the British Navy that has warships, despite what the crooks in Westminster and the collaborationist press will tell the gullible public.

There were quite a few people walking around on the path this afternoon in the nice weather, although I don’t know where they have come from. The schoolkids were out ther eorienteering too but none of them came over for a chat this afternoon.

people taking self photograph cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the end of the path I crossed over the car park to go down to the end of the headland.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, a regular feature on these pages is photographs of people taking photographs of people. And here were a couple of people in action down by the cabanon vauban.

Whether or not “selfies” actually count as photographs of people taking photographs of people, I’ve included it all the same. There was another couple as well on the car park taking photos of each other but I wasn’t quick enough for that.

man fishing off rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And our photoraphers weren’t the only ones down there at the end of the headland.

We had the fishermen out there on the rocks as well. Here is one of them almost up to his knees in the water casting his line into the deep. Not that he’ll be catching very much if past experience is anything to go by.

With plenty of things to do I couldn’t hang around very long to watch. I cleared off down the path towards the viewpoint overlooking the port.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Over at the ferry terminal there was one of the Joly France ferries sitting in the silt. It’s the older one of the two with the larger upper deck superstructure

On this side of the harbour at the chantier naval there wasn’t anything at all happening.

The portable boat lift is still standing there in the middle of the yard with its wheels off waiting for something to happen to it. And I hope that they won’t be taking too long to repair it. The town needs the business that the chantier naval can bring.

joly france belle france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021One of the ways of telling the two Joly France boats apart is by the step in the stern of the newer one.

There’s a really good view of the stern of the new one down there in the inner harbour and you can see the step quite clearly.

To the left of her is the very new Belle France ferry that came into the town earlier in the year.

And if you want a full house, Chausiaise, the little Chausey freighter, is over on the right out of shot. There’s nothing whatever going on over at the Ile de Chausey today, not like the other day when we saw them streaming out from port.

roofing rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little further along the road there was quite a racket coming from somewhere in the Rue du Port.

Looking down there from up on top of the cliff I could see that there was someone down there doing a bit of roofing.

It’s certainly the right kind of weather to do it. It’s a nightmare being up on a roof in a torrential downpour and a howling gale, as I know from bitter experience. And I’m surprised that, just for once, there isn’t a howling gale blowing around.

Anyway, there’s plenty of time for him to be soaked to the skin or blown off the scaffolding. It looks as if he’s only just started and the weather can turn at any moment.

people taking photographs boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little earlier, I mentioned something about some people taking photographs of each other.

When I was down at the Pointe du Roc I wasn’t quick enough to catch them but I caught up with them in the Boulevard Vaufleury, standing in the middle of the road defying the oncoming traffic to take their photos.

She had a bunch of flowers earlier. I wonder where she has stuck them.

Back at the apartment I made a coffee and carried on with the dictaphone notes, and that took me right up to teatime.

It was a quick tea of taco rolls and rice with veg (not dropped into the sink tonight) because there was football on the internet. Hwlffordd v Barry Town.

Played in a driving rainstorm on a sodden pitch it wasn’t a very attractive game as the teams struggled to come to terms with the conditions. The match ended 1-1 which was probably a fair result in the circumstances although the goals were really messy goalmouth scrambles.

It wasn’t at all like the match LAST WEEKEND which had a couple of the finest goals you’ll see at this level of football.

Anyway now I’m off to bed for another night’s voyages. Listening to all of the stuff on the dictaphone I’ve been having some really vivid dreams just recently, and plenty of them too.

All of this corresponds with my dreadful nights and I’m wondering if there’s been a change in eithe rmy diet or my medication that has brought all of this on. I shall have to go back and review everything to see what it’s all about.

Tuesday 2nd November 2021 – NO PHOTOS TONIGHT.

That’s because I didn’t go out for my afternoon walk today

Well, there are a few photos, but they aren’t for general publication because they were taken at a radio interview. But more of that anon.

This morning, after yet another turbulent night, I managed to awaken at the correct time, about 10 minutes before the alarm went off, which it did at the correct time.

What was disappointing was that I had made a special effort to be in bed by 22:30 with the aim of having a really good night’s sleep, so it was really disappointing that I wasn’t able to make the most of it.

After the medication this morning I went off to revise my Welsh from my last lesson and to prepare for this one, and then I went to class. For some reason or other, presumably because of the bad night, I found it hard to keep awake but I managed. I didn’t make any silly mistakes either, which makes a change.

When I’d finished lunch I went for a shower and a general clean-up, then while I waited for Laurent to come to fetch me I made a couple of phone calls and spent some time working on the arrears.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too. We were on a big aeroplane going on our holidays. It was all confusion and getting the luggage on board and everything like that. I had a few bits and pieces. I was with Nerina again. When it was time to go up into the cabin I had to stay behind for some reason. later on when I went up they asked me to help with the stewarding so I had to go up and down sliding on my side between these plates of food, salad and everything. But the girl who was doing it was on her first trip and she didn’t like doing it at all. She wasn’t very happy. Something then needed to be delivered back to the office or somewhere so I went down to take it. When I came back no sooner had I clambered on board the aeroplane than the door shut and I had to run up these stairs and try to find Nerina in the dark as the plane was preparing to take off.

Later on we’d been to Paris for the weekend. I’d already taken a load of stuff with me but somehow managed to acquire some more. I ended up with tons of baggage that I’d no idea how I was going to get home. Packing it was something of a nightmare. I was just stuffing stuff into suitcases, backpacks and everything indiscriminately as I wasn’t really sure how I was going to do it. In the end TOTGA (and how nice to see her again) came to see what I was doing and to help if she could. We ended up having a dance. I had her in a really close clinch in this hotel … “if only” – ed. We were having a waltz like that

Later on I was round at a couple whom I knew from the past only it wasn’t their house but somewhere else. We were planning to go off somewhere and ended up in 3 cars. We shot away from the house and the wife and Zero (her daughter) came behind, with someone else in the 3rd car. We left them way behind but were stopped at the traffic lights. By the time the lights changed they had all caught up with us. We drove on somewhere but ended up back at their house getting things ready to leave again. This time there was just the couple and me. He was telling me about all the stories that he had written about so many-prostitutes doing this and so many other prostitutes doing that, some stuff to keep him out of mischief. I said that he ought to speak to another friend of mine about that because that’s what he does. He was showing me the garden and saying about how one part of the garden they couldn’t do anything with because of a disease in the shrubs. Seeing the way that the sun was shining and the slope I thought that it would make a really good vinyard. They said that they had tried. At some point everyone was dancing together so I went to try to find Zero so that I could dance with her … “if only” – ed … because she was loitering somewhere in the background of the dream.

There was more stuff too but once again you won’t be wanting to read it if you are eating your meal.

Laurent and I then headed off into the wilds of the bocage to a small hamlet near Ger where we interviewed a subject for our radio project. She and one of her children had quite a good deal to say for themselves, which was very useful. Their interview will make very good radio.

After 90 minutes there we set off back for our long drive home and it’s strange that the journey home always seems to take less time than the journey out.

Tea tonight was stuffed taco rolls, using the rest of the stuffing left over from yesterday, and now that I’ve written up today’s notes, such as they are, I’m going to bed. Nice and early, with the hope that I’ll finally have a really good sleep. I have about 163 photos to edit tomorrow.