Tag Archives: tax office

Tuesday 15th June 2021 – SUMER IS ACUMEN IN.

big wheel place albert godal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLhude sing cucu and all of that stuff.

You can always tell when summer is about to arrive in Granville because the Big Wheel puts in an appearance. It must have sneaked in under the cover of darkness and there they are on the Place Albert Godal sticking it up. By the time that I come back from Leuven on Saturday afternoon (God willing) it might even be working.

But I’ve been working today – and working quite hard too, would you believe. Although it was a real struggle, I managed to be out of bed by 06:00 all the same although I would have given all that I own to have been back in bed tucked up in the warmth.

And “back in the warmth” would have been appropriate because there was a cold, clammy mist outside this morning when I awoke. It didn’t look very sunny at all and there would be no chance whatever of seeing TITTAN 1 or any of its siblings.

After the medication I sorted out the dictaphone notes for the last couple of days. They are up to date now and I can turn my attention to last night’s activity. I was out behind the Iron Curtain on a coach tour as a passenger. Everyone was getting ready to go off on an excursion. I hadn’t heard about this so I wondered what was happening. I asked one of the organisers who was rather brusque with me. He told me that they were just going to visit a church and maybe going on to a show or something. I knew where this church was so I said that I’d follow them on. We were told that things were strange in this town because of different rules and regulations. For example, we’d find lots of doors open, or I did when I walked through it, but no-one was there answering it. Films that were going, when you went to watch them they would freeze and when you’d turn your back they would move again. It turned out that because of Covid no-one was allowed to stay in anyone else’s house. They were worried that people meeting each other in a night club or a cinema or somewhere like that would end up pairing off for the night. The authorities wanted to prevent that from happening. It sounded strange to me. All round this city was ringed with these forest ridges where you could go. There would be loads of people about. The place was like a ghost town and there was no-one about at all because of this.

Following that I worked on my Welsh revision and I’m glad that I did because there was a lot that I didn’t know..

And then grabbing my slice of cake and a mug of hot chocolate I went for my lesson. And surprisingly it went quite well although, shame as it is to say it, I fell asleep three times. Not flat out but I could feel myself going off and managed to stop myself just in time.

The results of our exam won’t be known for another 6 weeks, so we’ll have to keep our fingers crossed for longer than I was expecting.

And while we’re on the subject of tests, my Covid test came back negative.

After lunch I had a huge pile of correspondence and printing to do, as well as my tax return. I’ve no idea what i’m supposed to be doing with that. I just date it and sign it, attach a load of papers from various people and let them deal with it. If they need any more info, they can write and ask for it.

gardeners sheltering from the heat rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was stifling hot when I set out for the town.

And I wasn’t the only one who was feeling the heat. There are some gardeners around the town dealing with the vegetation and they clearly decided that the only protection is flight. They’ve pulled their lorry up underneath a tree and they were all sitting on the wall in the shade.

Not for me though. I pushed on to the estate agent’s and gave them the certificate of insurance for my apartment. They didn’t think that it was the correct one but they’ll sort it out.

And I cursed my bad luck as well. They had a storage garage to let that would have been ideal for me to rent and dump all of this stuff out of Caliburn but I’d missed it by a whisker. It was now let.

Next stop is the Post Office. I’m just a whisker away from having a Carte Vitale, the card that opens the dorrs to the French Social Security system. I didn’t think I’d qualify but I applied all the same. And surprisingly, I had the paperwork back asking for my photo, a copy of my carte d’identité and a specimen signature.

So who knows?

Third stop was at the bank. They pay my Belgian pension 6-monthly by cheque and I don’t know why, but anyway the cheques came the other day and I need to pay them in. Now where can I go with €230?

unsafe scaffolding rue st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn my way up to the Tax Office (there are 41 steps up to the Eglise St Paul and I felt every one of them) I came across this interesting arrangement.

The scaffolding legs that are on the floor don’t go all the way up to the top. It’s just a few 2-metre lengths and the rest of the height of the scaffolding is somehow wedged up against the lengths on the floor.

No matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t see how it was rendered safe. That’s the kind of thing that looks totally unsafe to me. But there’s probably a very simple answer to this even if I couldn’t see it so don’t take this insecurity for granted. It probably makes perfect sense to those who go up it.

beach Boulevard des Amiraux Granvillais Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving deposited my papers in the letter box, I headed down to the beach. A different one today – the one by the Boulevard des Amiraux Granvillais with its tidal pool.

And there were quite a few people taking in the sun down there today. And I’m not surprised because it was a really scorching afternoon.

One person down there enjoying the weather was our friend the itinerant who used o hang around up here in the past. He was in an expansive mood and we spent a good 45 minutes chatting before, in the words of the News Of The Screws reporter “I made my excuses and left”. I had plenty of things to do right now and standing there talking wasn’t getting them done.

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I left I noticed a Bird Man of Alcatraz on his way towards the end of the headland, but rather more likely on a direct collision course with the spire of the Eglise Notre Dame de Cap Lihou.

As I awaited the inevitable calamity, he did a U-turn and steered himself out of the way and headed back from whence he came. And I cursed my bad luck. It’s really not my day, is it?

To console myself, I went off and treated myself to an ice-cream. It was that kind of day. And my favourite ice-cream stall was actually closed, which was a surprise to me. But the one next door wasn’t. And it really did taste delicious. I shall have to go there again.

zero waste shop mademoiselle vrac Rue Georges Clemenceau Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe old pharmacy in the Rue Georges Clemenceau closed down a while ago and it’s now been reoccupied.

It’s going to be one of those weigh-and-save places, rather like the BULK BARN places that we know from Canada, but I bet that it will be much more upmarket than that and we’ll be hard-pressed to find any bargains.

You would think that with the absence of packaging, the produce would be cheaper but that’s rarely the case.

Back here, my Inuit friend Heidinguaq was on-line so we had a little chat. It’s nice to see her after than nocturnal visit that she paid me the other day. I asked if she would be coming to Europe some time soon. She hoped so so I said that we’d meet up and I’d bring my bass.

STRAWBERRY MOOSE will come too. Those two have a special affinity after their meeting in Uummannaq when we called in there with THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR

The guitar practice was slow but sure, and then I had veggie balls and pasta for tea, followed by apple pie and home made custard.

Now I’m off to bed. I’m going to Leuven tomorrow and I have nothing whatsoever ready. It’s one of those days.

Wednesday 13th January 2021 – IN NEWS THAT WILL …

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall … surprise almost everyone reading this rubbish right now – because it certainly surprised me – I managed to beat the third alarm to my feet this morning. And that’s not something that has been happening very often these days is it?

Mind you, it wasn’t actually a sprightly leap out of bed. More of a stagger to the edge of the bed and a sit there until the room stopped spinning sufficiently for me to try to stand up. I’ve had many better mornings that this. But then again I’ve had many worse too.

So while you admire more photos of the storm stirring up the waves to break down on the Plat Gousset I’ll recount the history of my day today.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst of all, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I usually start with details of last the previous night’s nocturnal rambles.

Last night’s voyage was a really long, rambling one. I’d been giving some kind of interview to someone or other and I’d dictated a few things about my brother about how he needs to work on his charm and all this kind of thing in order to get on much better with the opposite sex – just part of what I said. I’d said a lot of other things too. A couple of weeks later I was sitting on a wall outside a factory or something and my brother walked past. He saw me, stopped, took off his rings and handed them to me saying “if you think that these are no good, you can have them”. I said “that’s not what I said at all” but he carried on being argumentative and in the end left them to me and walked off. I took them thinking that it would get rid of him and he can calm down and have them back at a later date.

There was so much more to it than this but this is all that I remember, which is a shame.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhat I have been doing in a rather desultory fashion today is some of the arrears from my trip around Central Europe in the summer.

For several weeks now I’ve been bogged down in recounting the history of the siege of Chateau Gaillard on the River Seine between Paris and Rouen, but finally at some point this afternoon the trebuchet or mangonel (history does not recount which one it was but I suspect the former) finally succeeded in propelling its missile right through the front door of the keep allowing the forces of King Philip to swarm inside.

As an aside, we built trebuchets and mangonels as part of our “Historical Technology” degree, but I digress.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that I managed to accomplish today was to finally contact the local tax office about the payment that they wanted me to make before Friday.

She had to run off and do some hunting around but, much to my surprise, she did actually phone me back. And it’s good news too.

The issue was that I had received a request to make 2 Taxe d’Habitation payments, but of course that can’t be right as you can only live “officially” in one place. I had noticed that my registration number in the Registre Natioanal as quoted on the two documents was different so I suspected that that had something to do with it.

And I was right too. The Belgian Pensions Office has me down as Nationalité Belge and so as that’s different from my Nationalité Britannique the French authorities have assumed that it’s a different person and so created another entry in the register.

She confirmed that I didn’t need to make the 2nd payment, and I had to e-mail her a copy of my passport and ID Card so that she can update the registers and delete the duplicate entry.

peche a pied beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe had the usual pauses of course. Hot chocolate and sourdough fruit loaf at 10:30 and lunch at lunchtime. And there was of course the afternoon walk.

At least the weather was slightly better today. I could leave my guide dog and white stick behind, so just the NIKON 1 J5 and me went out this afternoon. There were some people out there doing the pèche à pied down on the beach but very few other people out there this afternoon.

And so I trudged off along the muddy path. What DID they actually do to it to churn it up like this?

fishing boats english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown the path I trotted towards the headland. And at least with the view being better this afternoon I could see right out to sea.

With the tide well on its way in by now, the fishing boats were on their way back home to unload their catch at the fish processing plant. When I noticed the pink trawler in this photo I took a photo of it or course, but I didn’t notice until I returned home and enlarged it that there were two others out there in the shot as well.

It looks as if I should have gone to Barnard Castle the last time that I was in the UK.

sunset baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo off I went across the lawn, across the car park and round by the bunker to look out from the headland across the Baie de Mont St Michel and the Brittany coast.

And we’re in luck this afternoon because, compared to the last couple of afternoons there’s actually something to see. It’s not the best sunset that we’ve had, and in any case with the changing season we are quite far from sunset right now anyway.

The Brittany coast is however still obscured in fog though – the weather can’t be that clear further out.

fishing boats le loup baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there I pushed on around the headland and down the path along the top of the cliffs on the other side.

The tide is in some way and the smaller boats can make it up to the Fish Processing Plant but the larger ones look as if they have to wait a while for the harbour gates to open so that they can go into the inner harbour and unload there. These two are busy making a circle around Le Loup – the marker light on the rocks at the harbour entrance – while they wait for the tide.

While I was here I had a look in at the chantier navale to see what was happening there. And there’s no change – the same three boats as yesterday.

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there’s a change in the inner harbour down by the loading bay.

Moored underneath the loading crane is our old friend Normandy Trader who presumably came in on the morning tide. She doesn’t seem to be in such a rush now as she was just before Christmas where she would be in and out on the same tide.

For my part, although I wasn’t in all that much of a rush, I still cleared off home. It’s not that warm outside (although it’s warmed up since the weekend) and a mug of hot coffee would do me some good.

Shame as it is to admit it, I crashed out at some point in the early evening and so missed most of my bass guitar practice. In fact, had Alison not messaged me and awoken me, I’d probably be still asleep now. But I did manage to find the time to run through a few scales before going for my half-hour on the acoustic guitar.

rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFor the evening run tonight I was pretty much on my own. I don’t recall seeing anyone else at all.

At the moment I’m still stuck to doing 4 of my running legs instead of the previous 6 but I seem to be running a little freer than just now. However I did walk along the Rue du Nord instead of running down it as I might have done previously.

But I still managed to run down the path underneath the walls and even put 20 metres on my previous distance. I must be slowly recovering from whatever infection I had just now.

fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallEventually, having had a pause to watch the raging storm at the Plat Gousset, I arrived at the Fish Processing Plant again.

And while there are no boats there, the place is lit up and there’s a refrigerated lorry waiting at the loading bay. This must indicate that there are fishing boats still out at sea and they’ll be heading home very shortly to unload.

And it was time for me to head home too. I was hungry. For tea I had falafel and steamed vegetables with vegan cheese sauce followed by jam pie and coconut dessert.

And I have a cunning plan for my next attempt at a pudding.

Tomorrow (well today, because it’s after midnight) I’m off to the shops. I don’t need much but I need to keep going because it frees me up, this long walk up to LIDL. And I have a few things to do on the way too which I mustn’t forget.

So I won’t be having too much time in bed tonight so I’ll probably be like death tomorrow.

We shall see.

Thursday 11th June 2020 -I WAS TREATED …

normandy trader thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hall… to a delightful little nautical danse macabre this morning down in the port.

Normandy Trader had come in on the morning tide – in fact she was waiting outside the harbour for the gates to open earlier – and was tied up at the unloading point while the workers on the crane were busy unloading her.

And into the harbour, full steam ahead, came Thora. She almost came to a dead stop when she saw Normandy Trader moored just there. Being too far over to moor up at the side, she had to go into a delightful 360° outside turn in order to get herself into position to moor in a temporary unloading place.

Mind you, while we’re on the subject of a berth being occupied, mine was occupied for rather longer than intended this morning.

Never mind the third alarm – it was 06:30 when I finally crawled out of bed again.

No breakfast once more so I came back here to listen to the dictaphone. We were on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour again and we reached the Far North of Iceland although it was much more bleak and much more cold and much more icy than the Far North of Iceland – it could easily have been the far North of Greenland. There was some kind of settlement there which was pretty much abandoned – there weren’t many people living there. There was one building made of wood and the whole front had been washed away by a high tide in a storm. We typed something into a search engine about this place and it came up with a couple of shots of the boat that we were using to ferry ourselves back and to to the ship and also the World War II 4-engined bomber that had crashed somewhere in the vicinity. Of course I was really keen to go ahead and find out where this plane was but that was when I awoke, with a massive attack of cramp that knocked me right for 6.

So how did this end? I’ve no idea because after I’d eased the cramp off and went back to sleep I missed the restart and that was that.

Looking back on things, I’ve spent so much time during the night on The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour that I shudder to think what the bill would be if ever Adventure Canada find out and decide to send me a bill for my stays.

Next job was to finish off the Tax Return and type a letter to the Tax people to explain my particular circumstances. A shower, and a weigh-in, and then off to LIDL

traffic lights porte st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallNot that I got very far.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the roadworks that we saw yesterday in the rue Notre Dame. All of the traffic is having to travel down the rue St Jean and as we have seen on many occasions, it’s pretty narrow.

As a consequence they have installed temporary traffic lights now at the Porte St Jean. I shall have to go for a wander and see how far they stretch down the street.

normandy trader baie de mont st michel port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOff I continued on my travels, but I didn’t get very far.

Around the headland came our friend Normandy Trader. As she approached the port entrance I prepared myself ready to take a photo of her entering port, but she came to a shuddering halt just outside the harbour.

Of course, what has happened is that the tide isn’t quite in far enough and the gates are closed. She’ll have to wait until they open but for some reason she’s decided to wait outside.

kiddies play area open air bar place godal granville manche normandy france eric hallAt last I could push on down the road and down the Rampe du Monte Regret.

And there seem to have been a few changes there too. Everyone is preparing for the summer and as there’s no Nuit des Soudeurs this year, it looks as if they are installing a kiddies’ open air play area of some description with a little casual café.

People won’t be travelling on holiday this year of course so we’ve seen all kinds of preparations being undertaken to make sure that people enjoy their holidays at home.

delivering beach cabins place general de gaulle granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd on that subject, I’ve no idea what’s going on here.

These look pretty much to me like the beach cabins that we’ve seen them installing on the Plat Gousset just now, but I’m wondering what on earth they are doing unloading in the middle of the town centre here in the Place General de Gaulle.

All will be revealed in due course, I imagine. I see that the route of my Sunday perambulation is already panning itself out without me having to sit and think about it.

Up at LIDL I spent a lot of money but without anything substantial to show for it. A pile of bin liners was one thing, but the principal expenditure was on olive oil. I always cook with olive oil and I’m getting rather low, and today they had two-litre bottles at a ludicrous price. So one of them found its way into my shopping bag.

On the way back I went to the Tax Office to deliver my letter. It’s closed one day a week and regular readers of this rubbish will recall, having followed my exploits around the world often enough, which day of the week it’s going to be.

So I slipped it into the letterbox and headed back towards home.

Thursday is the day for a little treat. Calling at La Mie Caline, I picked up my dejeunette for lunch. I know that I bake my own bread these days but it’s still nice to have something different.

roofing place marechal foch granville manche normandy france eric hallPushing on I went via the Rue Paul Poirier to see if I could see the roofing works in thr Place Marechal Foch from a different angle.

And from here, there’s a completely different perspective on what they are doing up there. It’s quite a big roof, that much is evident, and it must have been something of an effort to put the scaffolding up in the gap between the two wings.

But on the fork-lift trucks they have a hod of slates so they are clearly pressing on with the job and it won’t be long before they will finish it.

normandy trader unloading port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallUp the hill in the rue des Juifs, I could see Normandy Trader at her berth.

They are cracking on with the unloading and with Thora awaiting her turn they aren’t going to be long in turning her round ready to leave port.

So I pushed on back home to sort out the shopping. There wasn’t any more excitement on the way back which was a shame.

Having gathered up my strength I went to have a look at Week 3 of my Accountancy course. There are actually 38 modules in this week’s session which makes this “four hours of study per week” look a bit ridiculous.

But by the time that 15:30 came round, I’d done 21 of them, and that was despite a stop for lunch.

At 15:30 though, just as I was planning to leave for my afternoon walk, Rosemary called me up. We ended up having a lengthy chat – to such an extent that it was after 17:00 when I was ready to go for my afternoon perambulation.

trawler english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd just for a change, it was pouring down outside. and I can’t say that we didn’t need it. All of the grass here is scorched dark brown and needs a really good soaking.

Dressed in my raincoat I was fine and I could watch in comfort yet another nautical danse macabre as a fishing boat sailed into the bay just here, performed an exquisite U-turn and sailed back out again.

If you look at the photo, you can see its wake quite clearly. But the point of it quite clearly beats me.

fisherman peche à pied pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThe weather might be bad for some people but others are taking full advantage of it right now.

Here’s someone down there dressed in the right gear and fishing off the rocks. I’m not quite sure what he might catch down there, apart from pleurisy, but it did remind me of the old guy who once told me that having sex these days was very much like fishing.
“Why is that?” I asked
“Well” he replied, “these days you get your rod out and you never know what you are going to catch”

fishing boats trawler chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOn that note I strolled off around the headland and down along the path on the other side of the promontory.

That route takes me above the chantier navale where I can look down and see what’s going on down there. And today we have another occupant. A large fishing boat has come in to join the others.

And only just come in too by the looks of things. The crew are still down there with her giving her a good hose down. Not that she’ll need much in this weather.

repairing roof rue du port granville manche normandy france eric hallA rhythmic tapping from further down the Boulevard Vaufleury told me that the roofing work down below in the rue du Port was still going on.

Not that I would want to be working on a roof in weather like this, but the answer to that is that with no roof on the building in a rainstorm you are going to get wet anyway so it doesn’t make much difference.

Talking of getting wet, standing here watching the workers on the roof was having that effect on me so I came on back home. There was my hour on the guitars to occupy my time.

After the session on the guitar I would normally go for tea but I wasn’t feeling hungry at all so I caught up with a few little bits and pieces, only to develop a raging hunger round about 20:30.

What’s going on here?

Anyway it was far too late to worry about food now with so much to do – like going for a run.

A few biscuits filled a little hole and then I set off into the rain again. Up the hill a little easier than it has been just now, which reminded me that my climb up the hill to LIDL had passed without the slightest hint of drama.

Having recovered my breath I ran on down to the clifftop past the itinerant who was sheltering under a plastic sheet. And that’s what I don’t understand. All of the World War II bunkers of the Atlantic Wall and the couple of stone buildings from the 18th Century fortress in which he could be sheltering, all of which are out of the rain and all a mere cockstride from here, and he’s sheltering under a plastic sheet under a hedge.

trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was nothing much happening out to sea so I carried on walking around the headland to the other side of the promontory.

It must be getting close to gate-opening time, I reckon, because the fishing boats were starting to head for the port. 105 minutes before High Tide, so I’ve been told, that the gates open and it’s not so very far off that right now.

But no seagulls hanging around the boats tonight. Probably the rainstorm is proving to be too much for them too and they’ve gone off to seek shelter elsewhere.

baie de mont st michel fishing boats queueing outside port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe next stage of my run takes me down past the chantier navale and down to the end of the path where I always stop for breath.

And I was right about the harbour gates being on the point of opening because just look at all of the fishing boats here. And that’s not by any means all of them either. There were another three or four out of shot behind the harbour wall, not to mention those still out at sea.

But the gate didn’t open while I was there so I carried on with my run.

boats new pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAll the way down the Boulevard Vaufleury, around the corner and up to the second pedestrian crossing. But once more I ended up a good 20 oe so metres beyond it.

Back down at the harbour I had a look at to see what was going, accompanied by someone else who was taking a few photos of the place. What caught my eye were the couple of little boats that were moored against the new pontoons in the shadow of the larger boats.

But what I was trying to understand was why they would want a ladder at the end of the pontoon going down into the water. That’s another mystery to me.

young boy fishing peche à pied plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThe fifth stage of my run takes me now all the way to the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord where we usually see the sunset. But not this evening of course. Not in this weather.

No picnickers out there either tonight which is no surprise either, but we did have some more fishermen doing their stuff. One of them was a young boy whom I watched scrambling over the rocks until he foud a good position to cast his line.

Once he’s put his hook in the water I ran on back home to write up my notes.

So later than I anticipated I’m off to bed now. No idea who I’ll be meeting during the night but I hope that it’s someone interesting and exciting. After all, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any.

Tomorrow I’m going to finally get to grips with my music course and spend the day learning blues piano. It’s free so I may as well make the most of it.

Tuesday 26th November 2019 – YET ANOTHER EVENING …

… walk missed tonight.

Not through any lack of willingness or through any other distraction. In fact, I did my best and made about 100 metres down the road before the savage winds and torrential rainstorm drove me back and inside again.

Not the kind of weather to even send a dog out.

What with one thing and another, it was a very late night yet again. The problem is that when you start on one thing, you’ll be surprised at just how many other things there are.

Mind you, I still beat the third alarm out of bed. Not by very much, I have to say, but I beat it all the same. Despite having only 405 hours sleep, I have a vague recollection that there was some epitaph for someone who had died and it involved a piece of music. However it wasn’t that piece of music that they were listening to at all but another piece of music completely and I’ve no idea at all why this piece of music was chosen as the title of this obituary

Well, that was what was on the dictaphone and if you can make any sense of it, let me know. There’s a “contact me” button down on the bottom right of your screen.

After the medication and breakfast I attacked the dictaphone notes. And after a good session I’m now down to a mere 76. But there are some pretty big entries left in there, including one of FOUR HOURS and so it’s not going to be plain sailing by any means.

Round about 09:o0 I came to a stop as I needed to sort out some info for the tax Office. This involved printing out some stuff and of course it was at this moment that the printer decided to throw a hissy-fit.

It took me an age to sort out everything, including trying out two different blue ink printer cartridges before I could find one that worked. And I even filed a few papers away, and that’s not like me.

By the time that I was organised it was about 11:15 so I hurried off, not realising that I’d forgotten the most important document of them all.

red iveco daily van abandoned port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThe harbour gates were closed so I went the pretty way over the top.

But at first I couldn’t see the old red Iveco daily that has been parked on the car park by the fish processing plant for quite a while. It wasn’t there

But it’s not gone far. It’s been moved out to the edge of the car park now overlooking the loading and unloading dock, although I’m not sure why.

It was about 11:45 when I reached the Tax Office and although there was just one person ahead of me, I had to wait an age. It was after the place had closed for lunch and i could tell that the guy who saw me wasn’t impressed by that.

Although I was there in the computer, he couldn’t find any details of my visit there last year which was bizarre. There was nothing on record, not even my tax exemption certificate. I just KNEW that I would regret forgetting to take a copy with me.

Anyway, I left him with all of my papers and he can sort them all out himself. If he needs anything else he can write to me.

haystacks war memorial place place general de gaulle granville manche normandy franceThey had to let me out of the back door and I headed off into town. As I expected, the Post Office was closed for lunch, so I needn’t have written those letters.

But I’m glad that I came because I was able to see them doing something completely bizarre in the Place General de Gaulle by the War Memorial. They’ve heaped up a pile of haystacks, for whatever reason I really don’t know.

And anyway, the boulangerie was open so I bought another dejeunette for lunch. This is becoming a habit. And why not? The bread is always fresh, there’s no waste and the walk down to town and back does me good.

Cheese butties for lunch because I’ve finished off one pot of hummus and there was some cheese left over in an opened packet. have to use that up.

After lunch, I still had these carrots to deal with so I sliced them all up, blanched them with some bay leaves and now that they are thoroughly drained and dried they are now in the freezer freezing away to themselves.

I just have to go there every so often to break them up so they don’t congeal in a solid mass.

airbus ec145 helicopter granville manche normandy franceThat was the cue for me to go for another walk this afternoon.

And just as I stepped out of the door a helicopter flashed right past the car park at almost-sea-level. I’m not sure who was more surprised, me or him, but I had the presenc eof mind to snap him as he flew past me.

And it’s come out rather well considering. But I do wonder what is going on with people getting their choppers out all over the place.

trawlers english channel granville manche normandy franceThat wasn’t the only activity out there either.

The tide had turned and was on its way in and so the fishing boats were slowly making their way back to harbour. There were two trawlers out there and as far as I could see, they were painted in the same livery so presumably they belong to the same people.

They were on their way in to port to unload.

boat english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceThere was something else out there too so I took a photo of it to enlarge back in the apartment.

Despite my best efforts, it’s not improved the situation very much. There’s a smallish boat coming over from the Ile de Chausey and it’s going at quite a rapid rate of knots.

So we’ll have to pass on that one for now and try again some other time.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAlthough the tide was quite some way out right now, the storm that we were having and the high winds were pushing the waves along quite dramatically.

Down here they were pummelling their way into the sea wall with quite a considerable amount of force.

It would have been nice to have been out there and to see what was going on at high tide.

spirit of conrad omerta aztec lady chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWe’ve had another change in the composition of the visitors to the chantier navale.

We can see the usual suspects. Spirit of Conrad is there, and so are Omerta and Aztec Lady. But where has the fishing boat gone – the modern one that was over to the right behind the others?

It looks as if it’s gone back into the water again. Presumably they’ve finished what it was that they were doing.

fishing boats port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAs I aid just now, the tide is on the turn and so the fishing boats are on their way back to port.

And as you can see, there’s already quite a large queue of boats down there underneath the fish processing plant busily unloading what they have caught today.

The cranes are working hard pulling up some of the containers, but there’s also one boat unloading its catch into the white van parked underneath.

rainstorm baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceWe haven’t finished the photos either.

You probably noticed in the photo of the Ile de Chausey just now that there seemed to be a rainstorm out to sea. But by the time that I had worked my way around my circuit it had now advanced into the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And as I said at the start, we got the lot down our necks later.

Back here I amended a few web pages, worked on the Christmas presents that I needed to order (and that took some ordering too, I’ll tell you, and a big pile of work to go with it) and then stopped for tea. There was half a pepper and a few mushrooms that needed eating so I added a potato to it and made a curry. The fennel and fenugreek that I had bought gave it all a beautiful kick, and the coconut milk left over from the carrot soup added something to it too.

And even better, there’s some left over for later in the week.

No walk because of the weather, so i was chatting on the internet for a while and then writing my notes. But you’ve no idea how quickly the time passes and I’m late for bed.

Let’s hope that I have a good sleep.

Monday 25th November 2019 – I MISSED …

… my evening walk this evening.

There I was, sitting at the dining table (I’m all posh these days) round about 20:00 eating my rice pudding when the phone went.

Fetching it back again, I discovered that Rosemary was on the end of the line and she wanted to chat.

And chat we did. I had a lot of news to tell her, all about my weekend and people whom we both knew, and she had a lot of news to tell me. Really good, maybe even stunning news too, but there’s this old medieval saying about “never be sure of the bird on your plate until you have your fork stuck in it” so I’ll wait for a few weeks and see how things develop before I say anything.

And while I was chatting on the phone to Rosemary, I was also having an internet discussion with TOTGA. Yes, two conversations, eating a bowl of rice pudding, ohh yes, I can do multi-tasking!

By the time that Rosemary and I hung up it was well after 22:00. I did say that we had a lot to talk about!

And indeed, there was a lot to say about today. It wasn’t a late night particularly and so being up and about before the last alarm wasn’t too much of a problem.

No nocturnal ramble either which makes a change. So nothing much to do. While I was waiting for the medication to work I attacked some of the outstanding dictaphone notes.

In fact I’ve been whittling away at those throughout the day and now there are just 83 left. They won’t be finished for the end of the month though, which was my target. That’s a disappointment but I’ve had so much going on just recently.

After breakfast I had a shower and some clean clothes and then headed out up town in the rain.

neva old diesel bus new electric bus granville manche normandy franceThere had been a report in the local newspaper that the town was taking a electric bus on trial to see how it would function on the bus routes here, bearing in mind how hilly the place is.

And sure enough, as I was up the avenue LeClerc here was the new electric bus, being overtaken by one of the old diesels.

Excuse the blurred photo but it was a fleeting glimpse in between two passing vehicles and I didn’t have time to focus properly.

At the Centre Agora we had our weekly meeting. And I do have to say that I have never met so many people with a capacity for fitting the least amount of thought into the greatest amount of words.

These are the kind of meetings that should be held outside – standing up – in the rain. They would be over in seconds with just as much decided.

It also seems that the people are very jealous of their “babies” and guard their empires carefully. We were discussing the port and the subject of Thora, Normandy Trader and Chausiais came up.

As I know the crew of the two British ships, I suggested that I could interview the skippers and see how the new rules and regulations affecting the commerce of the port post-Brexit is going to affect them.

“Ohhh” piped up one of the guys. “I’ve been thinking about doing something about the port and the maritime commerce, but I’m not sure how to go about it”.

So I sat on the edge of my chair waiting for him to ask for suggestions (of which I have more than a few, as regular readers of this rubbish might realise) but instead he moved on to another topic. It’s his baby, and he won’t let anyone else share it with him.

Shame as it is to say it, I can see this project not lasting all that long with this kind of ego that seems to preclude teamwork and co-operation.

And I was told that the transmitting quality of my broadcasts needs to be improved, and I was given some technical guidelines in this respect.

Yes, after I’ve recorded four of them! Obviously no possibility of giving me the technical guidelines 4 or 5 weeks ago, before I recorded any at all, is there?

So everything that I’ve spent the last few weeks downloading at 96kbs – all about 70 hours of it – now needs to be re-recorded at 192 kbs! That was a waste of my time and effort, wasn’t it?

One thing that always gets my goat is a lack of professionalism.

old well allee des sycomores granville manche normandy franceRemember the other day when I was coming back from the Centre Agora and I saw what looked like an old well in the middle of the street in the Allee des Sycomores?

On my way back I went for a butchers to see what it was. And I was right. It is a well.

Not an old well though. Although it might be old, it’s still in use as you can see and a lady in a house nearby chatted to me about it for a while.

old well rue des ecoles granville manche normandy franceAnd that’s not all the excitement either.

Walking down the main street – the rue des Ecoles – I happened to notice another similar object in someone else’s garden.

Just think! Ther emight be a third one somewhere else in the vicinity. Well, well, well!

On the way back home I called in at LIDL. There wasn’t much that I needed but seeing as I was there I went in regardless. A couple of bananas, some soya milk and sparkling water.

And I stopped at the boulangerie for another dejeunette – that last one in the shop.

I’d also been stopped by a man in one of these microcar-based van things. He wanted to know where a certain street was, but how would I know that?

After lunch I made a start on the web page for the weekend’s events. And it was only meant to be a brief thing with photographs but, like Topsy, it “just growed” and at one point I found myself in mid-rant.

I really do need to calm myself down sometimes.

fishing boat yacht english channel granville manche normandy franceThis afternoon I went for my usual walk around the headland again in the wind and the rain.

And it seems that I wasn’t the only one out there enjoying the weather either. There was a fishing boat coming back from the English Channel and also a yacht out there have an enormous amount of fun.

And quite right too.

helicopter english channel granville manche normandy franceThere was something else going on out there too.

Whatever it was, it looked important because someone had had his chopper out again. The Air-Sea rescue one in fact and judging by the way that it was flying – quite slowly about 50 feet above the water, it was looking for something.

Maybe there will be something in the news about it tomorrow.

spirit of conrad aztec lady omerta chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceMy walk took me around past the chantier navale so as usual I had a peek down there to see who was about.

Three of our boats from the other day – Spirit of Conrad, Aztec Lady and Omerta – are still in there up on blocks, as is the fishing boat over on the far side.

And Omerta looks as if she’s receiving some serious attention out there too. They seem to be stripping off all of the paint, presumably to give her a respray.

pecheur de lys chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAll of that is all very well, but there was no sign of the old Pecheur de Lys who was with them the other day.

She wasn’t back in the water either so I had a good look around, and there she is up on blocks right round at the back of the sheds.

Her stay in the water didn’t last all that long and it looks as if she might be out for good. And that’s a shame.

fishing boat english channel granville manche normandy franceWhile I was standing there looking for Pecheur de Lys, I was interrupted in my reverie by a diesel engine coming from around the headland.

And a matter of just a couple of seconds later, the fishing boat that we had seen earlier out in the English Channel came a-sailing … “a-dieseling” – ed … into view.

She must have made some really good time to arrive here so qickly. Perhaps someone in the port has put the kettle on.

fishing boat joly france ile de chausey granville ferry manche normandy franceIt was all go in the harbour too with the tide being in.

Plenty of fishing boats unloading, and some must already have unloaded their catch because this one here has turned round and is on its way back out to sea.

And Joly France, one of the ferries for the Ile De Chausey, must have been out on a crossing today because she’s tied up at the passenger terminal rather than in the inner harbour

fishing boat unloading shellfish port de granville harbour manche normandy france“Plenty of fishing boats unloading” I said. And “it was all go in the harbour today”.

As you can see, I wasn’t wrong either. Here’s one of the fishing boats unloading its catch. And I don’t think that I have ever seen so many crates of mussels or whatever they are piled up on the quayside.

There’s enough on that trailer at the back of the tractor to keep anyone going for several days, I reckon.

Back in the apartment I carried on with what I was doing until tea time. And seeing as there was some stuffing left I had another stuffed pepper. And then my rice pudding as I mentioned earlier.

But now it’s about 01:30 and I’m off to bed. But not for long. Up at 06:00 and I have the tax Office to visit tomorrow.

That will probably be very taxing.

Wednesday 13th November 2019 – I HAVEN’T BEEN …

… for any of my usual walks today, and neither have I taken any photos.

The fact is that I’ve been really busy today what with one thing and another (and once you get started, you’ll be surprised at just how many other things there are).

Last night wasn’t as early a night as I was expecting. 00:30 and I was still up and about. Mind you, I was soon in bed and off on another journey or two. And why is it that as soon as I reach for the dictaphone I lose immediately any recollection of what it is that i’m doing or have been doing?
But whatever it was, later on I was in bed and I heard this noise or scrambling going on and I started to wake up, and it was Claire Brierley of all people saying to someone “I’m sending the taxi back for him and it’ll be ready at 08:55”. So I wondered what the heck was going on so I thought that I’d better get up. So I got up and dressed just in time to see her disappearing in a yellow and white two-tone taxi, an old Austin A40 “Cambridge”, this square type with round rear lights. Off they went and I went downstairs and loitered around for a bit. It suddenly occurred to me that it was the office party (… office trip?…) and they were leaving at 09:05 and no-one had woken me up and I don’t know why. So it got to 08:55 and the taxi hadn’t turned up, and 09:00 and at 09:05 he turned up. I the meantime, I think that someone (Joanie and her mother?) had been going through the old taxi records that we had been keeping and she had been asking questions about the fares, like “today to go from (… somewhere …) to Crewe railway station is £1:75. How much was it in your day?” I replied “£1:10 or something” and we had quite a long chat about that. Anyway eventually my taxi arrived and there was this thing in Canada about tipping locally – make sure that you give a good tip, for that way your money stays with the driver and stays local and can work its way back through the economy again. I looked at my cash and for a cheap fare I’d be giving him a huge tip by proportion. I can’t remember whether or not I got into the taxi but I was back where I started from in like a church hall or something – a generic church hall with thick brick pillars protruding from the walls and so on. A little girl was there so I said to her “go on, sing me a nursery rhyme” but she came out with some kind of fantasy poem. In the end Nicole (what’s she doing here?), who was her mother got her to say a little poem for me which was very nice.

So that’s enough of that. I beat the third alarm again and went for an early medication and breakfast. Following which, I bit the bullet and sat down with these dictaphone note that I have been trying to avoid.

And I was right about something that I said back at the time – and that is that they will make interesting reading. And I’m beginning to see what was going on in my subconscious during that particular time.

Ahh well – that’s 7 of them out of the way. Only another 100 to go, and I hope that they don’t make as much grim reading as that last 7 of them did. Otherwise I’ll be back to where I was in my head four or five weeks ago.

At 10:00 I was picked up by this guy who drove me to Coudeville-Plage to see (a video of) this musician. I’m not sure what that was all about at all but it wasn’t what I was expecting.

He brought me back to Granville but I hopped out in the town. I had to pick up a parcel from the Post Office (my microphones have come) and also a baguette for lunch. And I found, to my delight, that the local boulangerie does what it calls dejeunettes, two-thirds-size baguettes for €0:50. Exactly the size that I need for my lunch.

And this home-made hummus that I made the other day is wicked. I’m enjoying every mouthful of it and there is plenty more to come.

This afternoon there were a few things to do and then Caliburn and I set off. We had things to do.

First call was at the Tax Office. I’ve had a reminder that I hadn’t filled in a tax return. If you think that going in to pick one up is easy, then you’re in for a big surprise. I had to queue for over half an hour just to see the receptionist.

He couldn’t give me a form over the counter. “Ohh no!” I had to go to see his colleague.

There was a queue in front of me and for about 20 minutes it didn’t move an inch. Eventually I thought “badger this for a game of soldiers. I’ll miss the Post”. I headed off back to Caliburn and we drove out of town to the big central sorting office for this region and dropped off my parcel.

Back at the Tax Office to resume my place in the queue and wait for another 20 minutes until I was seen. All in all I reckoned that it was about an hour and a half between my initial arrival and being seen.

Even then, I couldn’t have a Tax Return. The woman there told me what she needed me to supply and told me to bring it back. But one thing is certain – and that is that after all of this performance I’ll be registering on-line to do it next year.

Back here, I needed to complete the paperwork for the parcel that I had sent back and also to deal with the website updates. The Norse in Newfoundland can wait until the end – I did another 20 pages elsewhere.

But I’ve found to my dismay that I’ve left off something from the header menu. But then, this is why I went into Javascript, so that I can amend just one file and it will update everything else.

At least, I hope that it will.

For tea I finished off the stuffing from the other night, and finished off the taco rolls as well. I’ll have to buy some more of them because they are nice.

No walk this evening, so my fitbit is going to make depressing reading. But it can’t be helped. Instead, I’ve been downloading some digital music for some of the albums that I own. Dozens of it, in fact. And I’m finding albums that I didn’t even realise that I owned.

Anyway, enough of this. I’m off to bed. An early start in the morning because I mustn’t forget that my train leaves half an hour earlier than usual.

And I want to be on it.

Tuesday 2nd April 2019 – WINTER IS …

… back again.

When I awoke this morning, it was raining. In fact it rained for most of the early part of the day and was still going at lunchtime. And so I ate my butties indoors.

This afternoon it stopped and the sun came out for a while. But this evening there is a dreadful gale howling around outside and it’s freezing cold. In fact, I only made a few hundred metres of my evening walk before I changed my mind and came back indoors.

This morning, much to my surprise, I was up and about by 06:20. And it’s been a long time since that’s happened too.

There was plenty of time to go on my travels too. Last night I was in New York with a group of people and we came across a taxi driver – a little middle-aged type of typical Brooklyner. We were talking about him and his business and his car. I crawled underneath his car to have a look. It was in reasonable condition with oil splattered around all underneath but the paint was coming off the underneath and the surface was rusty. I got him to come down and have a look underneath it, and I explained to him that if he were to to the underneath of this and touch up the bodywork there was no reason why this car couldn’t go on for ever. I was showing off a little I have to admit. He was looking at a kind of dirt guard that went underneath the car. One of the nuts had come off the studs so that’s why the car was making a noise from underneath, he said, with the dirt guard loose in once corner. We were chatting about another taxi driver friend of mine who worked from 18:00 Friday to 03:00 Saturday, from 12:00 Saturday to 03:00 Sunday and from 12:00 Sunday to 03:00 Monday. He made enough out of that to live off for the whole of the rest of the week. This guy was going “wow”. I then had to sit down and do his accounts but I had no idea what to do. I’d found an explanatory booklet so I’d sit down with this guy and work out some accounts. There was a girl there – it might even have been Nerina – who said that she needed her accounts doing too. I replied that once I had done this guy I would have more of an idea of how to do them. I could then sit down and do hers properly. But I seem to recall having been in this taxi with this guy going uphill and the car was coughing and spluttering a little. But going downhill again it picked up. He said that it was the spider that was always doing this when he goes uphill. What he was meaning were the plug leads, as I eventually worked out. Of course it would be a V8 under the bonnet

After breakfast I attacked the outstanding pile of work.

First problem was to untangle the mess in which my blog had ended up last night. I must have clicked inadvertantly on an “update now” link that must have popped up while I was working. My blog hung up for 20 minutes and when it finally reloaded, it had gone back to how it was when it uploaded to the previous version.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the fun and games that I had trying to configure it back then, and I was in no state to do it last night.

Last time, it took me a good few weeks to sort it out and it’s still not how I like it. This time I had to do it straight away and it took a good couple of hours before it was back to how it should be.

That was depressing.

I did a couple of test runs with a few blog entries, and it needed a further tweak or two.

Once I’d done that, I then had other work to do. A large amount of correspondence had built up so I spent much of the rest of the morning and the early part of the afternoon after lunch scanning a few documents, printing them out, and writing a few letters.

And then, of course, filing away the papers. I’m getting good at this now.

les bouchots de chausey port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOnce I’d done all of the letters and attachments, i went down into town.

In the harbour this afternoon was a boat that I didn’t recognise, and so fighting my way through a pack of schoolkids on a classe découverte, I went to see what it was.

It turns out that it’s Les Bouchots de Chausey, and we’ve seen her before in the harbour.

la granvillaise port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWhile I was there, I went to have a look at the big yacht that has been there for a few days in the berth usually occupied by Marité.

She is in fact displaying a nameboard to say that she’s La Granvillaise, and if that’s really the case, then all I can say is that they have done a really good job on her because I didn’t recognise her at all.

There were a few people loitering around her, and ordinarily I would have gone over to chat to them, but they seemed to be very busy working.

Leaving the port, I wandered over to the Post Office. A couple of my letters went straight into the letter box thanks to La Poste’s system of stamped envelopes. As for the rest, they needed to be weighed and stamped. Everything in there is now automatic, just as Alvin Tofler predicted in The Third Wave.

chantier de murs boulevard des 2eme et 202eme de ligne granville manche normandy franceOn the way back, I went to the Boulevard des 2eme et 202eme de ligne to inspect the chantier where they are repairing the wall that was closed off.

They are doing a good job with that and I’m reasonably impressed. But it brings back many happy memories when I spent a whole summer in 2012 doing that down on the farm.

So having admired the workings, I came back for a drink of hot chocolate.

i spent the next few hours doing a pile of dictaphone notes. That’s another lot gone into the great filing cabinet in the sky. I’ve reached the notes for my trip around the Somme battlefield now.

Tea was some taco wraps with stuffing, followed by apple crumble.

We had the half-walk this evening, but that’s enough. I came back in and did some more work. And now it’s time for an early night. I’ve had a long day and, much to my surprise, I managed not to crash out at all.

les bouchots de chausey port de granville harbour manche normandy france
les bouchots de chausey port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Thursday 21st March 2019 – AS REGULAR READERS …

… of this rubbish will recall, today has been a difficult day.

It always is the day after I return from hospital, but today was rather different from the others.

Margaret Thatcher (and how we miss her, with this shower in charge) once said “anyone could do a good day’s work when they felt like it, but the key to success is to be able to do a good day’s work when you don’t feel like it”.

And that’s what happened today. I didn’t feel very much like it at all, but I did do a very good day’s work all things considering.

Admittedly, when the alarm went off at 06:00 (and 06:10 and 06:20) I didn’t take much notice. I turned over and went back to sleep. And that’s no surprise either. Despite being tired it took me ages to go to sleep last night and I thought that I would never drop off. But I did, and was awoken by the alarms. No chance of leaving the bed at that time though. I turned over and went back to sleep and that was how I stayed until 07:22

Last night I was in London with some other guy and we were looking for a place to stay on a long-term basis. There were student flats available and we were sent to see one near the Thames on the north bank somewhere Fulham way, in a modern block of flats. It was the tiniest room that you have ever seen, with two beds in it and there was already one person in it, so we didn’t know if this person was to leave or whether we would end up with three sharing this tiny room. I was fitted with some kind of arm bracelet, for a reason that I didn’t know at the time. There was a large ginger cat roaming around the area so I picked it up and stroked it, and took it outside with me, to the horror of everyone else who explained to me that the arm bracelet meant that I wasn’t allowed to hold a cat outside the building. Someone mentioned that my Aunt Mary lived in London so why don’t I telephone her. So I did. She told me that she now had a bike so I asked her why she didn’t cycle down the Embankment to meet me. So off she set and we – by now Cecile was with me – went down to meet her. She came out of the subway in the wrong direction as if she had been riding east, and then we lost sight of her. But there she was, a few levels down at street level so we waved and she came up. By now she had transformed into Marianne, and she came over to give me a great big hug and said how much she had missed me. But strangely she had another guy with her too.

07:50 was when I left the bed. So it was rather a late breakfast this morning.

cement mixer rue st jean granville manche normandy franceNever mind though. Off into town.

I didn’t gte very far though. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there are some very low gates into the old medieval walled town and the streets are very narrow, so large vehicles are not permitted in there.

Everything has to be off-loaded and trans-shipped, including ready-mixed concrete.

supplies awaiting loading port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWe saw Normandy Trader in port yesterday afternoon, loading up with a cargo.

She’s now gone from the port, but there’s plenty of cargo left on the quayside. This means that we might well be expecting a visit from Thora.

On the other hand, it could be that Normandy Trader was actually unloading, and we are waiting for the cargo to be taken away.

First stop was at the Railway Station. My old fogey’s railcard is on the verge of expiring so I need a new one. And it’s a good job that I went early because the lady in front of me looked as if she wanted to be there for the Duration.

waste recycling collection avenue des matignon granville manche normandy franceSo armed with my new railcard, I headed off (on foot, not on the train) to LIDL.

We’ve talked in the past about recycling and waste here in Granville, and I was lucky enough to see one of the waste lorries emptying one of the town’s waste containers in the avenue des Matignon.

I hope that they will be emptying the paper bin near me so that I can dispose of some more of the European Paper Mountain.

Although I didn’t buy anything special in LIDL, I did treat myself to a bag of brazil nuts. Two people – one of whom is a doctor and the other one is a patient – have told me now that brazil nuts contain plenty of vital vitamins and minerals, one of which is selenium, a deficiency of which is said by some to be one of the possible causes of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Back here, I did a little (only a little) tidying up and then did the filing of all of the mail that had built up while I was away. And there was a lot of it too.

There were four letters that needed my attention and so after lunch I set down to work. One of the letters was unnecessary because over lunch I had received a mail to say that the issue was resolved, but I managed the other three without any problem.

And then, I … errr … crashed out on the chair for 20 minutes.

On recovering, I headed off back into town and the Post office and dispatched the three letters. That’s another task out of the way. We’ll have to see what comes of those.

lorry unloading supplies port de granville harbour manche normandy franceon the way back, I took a little sight-seeing diversion to push my daily fitness target up to 100%.

Round by the harbour now we have a lorry just pulling in. So is he going to be delivering more supplies for the next freighter, or is he going to be taking away the supplies that are already here?

Watch this space.

low tide port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAt the moment we are experiencing one of the lowest tides of the year, and for a town that already has the highest tidal range in Europe, a low tide is pretty exceptional.

With all of the fruits de mer around here, the peche à pied or fishing on foot by scavenging in the rock pools and the sand for oysters and mussels is very popular.

The situation basically (it’s much more complicated than this in fact, but this will give you a basic idea) is that the accessible fishing rights between the high tide and the low tide are leased out to people and companies and are thus private.

But the fishing rights for the beach beyond the low tide limits aren’t leased out because they aren’t usually accessible. They are public access fishing areas.

So when we have exceptionally low tides, about a dozen or so times a year, everyone floods out to the public access areas to try their luck.

la granvillaise charles marie ile de chausey ferry chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThey are still quite busy at the Chantier Navale.

It seems that Armor has cleared off, but Charles_Marie and la Granvillaise are still here.

We have a new boat too. I’m not sure if she’s one of the ferries for the Ile de Chausey, or whether in fact she’s something else.

I Shall have to go out and check at some point.

Back here I attacked the mountain of photos that have built up while I was away – fighting hard the temptation to go and lie down for half an hour. But I survived up until teatime. Pasta and a burger, followed by chocolate cake and soya dessert.

night trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceThis evening it was dark when I went out for a walk, and spent much of the time out there watching a trawler coming out of the English Channel towards the harbour.

I took a pile of photos of it at different speeds, apertures and ISO settings and you can compare them all by looking at them here and also below.

But I’ve done 118% of my daily activity today, which is good news. I’ve been at or over 100% for almost every day since last Thursday. It’s hardly a surprise that I’m feeling the pressure just now.

So on that note, I’m going to bed. And it’s not even 21:45 yet. I’ve had a hard day.

night trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
night trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

night trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
night trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

night trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
night trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

night trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
night trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

night trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
night trawler baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

night trawler tying up port de granville harbour manche normandy france
night trawler tying up port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Friday 1st March 2019 – DYDD GWYL DDEWI HAPUS …

… to everyone.

And haven’t I had a big surprise today.

Remember when I went into the Mairie the other day to have a discussion with the Maire and ended up with the secretary?

Well, the secretary phoned me back today. Apparently the Maire has taken on board my remarks, made a few enquiries and come back to me.

I wasn’t expecting that, that’s for sure.

It’s not advanced things very much, as I didn’t expect that it would, but having someone like the Maire on your side is a comfort in these difficult times.

And difficult times they are.

Being completely wound up last night as I was, I was still up working at 02:00, totally unable to sleep. More like 02:30 when I went to bed,. And as for sleep, well, there wasn’t very much of that. I was tossing and turning all night.

There was enough time to go off on a travel. I was in Greece in some kind of primitive café helping with moral support (although what support I could ever give anyone would be considered as being moral) some girl who was trying to run it despite all of the opposition and difficulties that her family – the nominal owners – were putting in her path. The strange thing was that when the alarms went off, I totally ignored them and stayed in bed. And although I was by now awake, the journey carried on. And carried on for miles too from exactly the same place where I awoke. Not something that happens every day.

By 09:25 I was ready to awaken, and straight into controversy yet again where a couple of self-important auto-sycophants were bragging about how they had “briefed” a politician and “won a famous victory for UK citizens in Europe” by getting him to look at at. Completely oblivious of the fact that the EU had thrown out this idea weeks ago.

And so this totally shameless display of self-serving egocentricity caused me to explode yet again. And even deeper into the abyss.

I went for a very late breakfast after that. and then came back to start on the blog and the text database.

But not for long, because the Mairie interrupted me.

And then, almost immediately, another phone call from someone else who is on my list of things to do.

This started me off on a wave of work. From somewhere, I summoned up a piece of energy so went on a tidy-up in the bedroom.

Bank statements are fairly tidy now and I found a couple of other papers. And so I then sat down, made a few more phone calls, sent out some e-mails and wrote a letter too.

It may sound not much, but it certainly made an impression on the stuff in here.

My lunch was a light one, and that made me feel a little better.

I did manage to do some work on the photos and the database. Not a lot, but I’m back as far as 18th October 2018. It’s going a little quicker than I was expecting.

cale de hacqueville port de granville harbour manche normandy franceLater on in the afternoon I went for my afternoon walk.

I went around the headland at the Pointe du Roc through the crowds and hordes of tourists up there

And there was a beautiful view across the harbour right over to the coast on the far side by the Cale de Hacqueville.

la granvillaise chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere were quite a few people at the Chantier Navale, loitering around that big wooden boat that I mentioned last time, so I went over for a chat.

The boat that is on there is in fact La Granvillaise – a yacht that we have seen on many occasions around the harbour.

She’s been taken out of the water for a complete refit and overhaul by the volunteers, and she’s going to be there for a while.

armor chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWhile I was down there at the Chantier Navale, I went over to have a look at Armor – the ship from the diving place down the Brittany coast.

They’ve stripped off most of the old paint, and are currently giving it a good go over in white primer, ready presumably for its top coat.

They have put a lot of work into it. It will look good when it’s finished.

stage place charles de gaulle granville manche normandy franceMy route into town took me past the place Charles de Gaulle.

Here I could admire the stage that they had erected the other day. Events will be getting under way tonight, although I won’t be down there.

Instead, I went to the Post Office and sent off the letter that I had written. It won’t go until Monday afternoon but it needs to be on its way.

ferry ile de chausey entering port de granville harbour manche normandy franceBack up the hill, I stopped to watch one of the ferries from the Ile de Chausey coming into port.

And there was a weird commotion going on behind me.

Some woman pulled up in her car, shouted to a passer-by “watch my vehicle” and ran off down the road shouting “Chantal” or something.

Everyone was standing around there shaking their heads.

Back here, I had a pleasant surprise. A friend of mine in the UK has sent me a little present for my birthday to help me along my way. That was just so very thoughtful of him and I’m overwhelmed.

Tea was a small stuffed pepper with a little rice followed by a pot of soya dessert and a banana.

And then football. The Welsh Cup, Caernarfon Town v Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Connah’s Quay were strangely subdued, michael Wilde was at walking pace and Callum Saunders was somewhere else in his mind, I think.

But Caernarfon seem to have gone off the boil too – a shadow of the impressive hard-working side of earlier in the season.

The Nomads won 2-1, but it was a very long game.

So it’s bedtime now.

I’m feeling a little better, and maybe a decent sleep might cheer me up again.

It’s Carnaval tomorrow.

And I seem to have lost one of the camera gloves that my friend Liz bought me for my birthday of 2008. I’m dismayed.

coastline granville manche normandy france
coastline granville manche normandy france

chateau de la crete granville manche normandy france
chateau de la crete granville manche normandy france

harbour light st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france
harbour light st pair sur mer granville manche normandy france

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france
chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franc

Thursday 14th February 2019 – TODAY’S BAD NEWS …

… is twofold.

Firstly, my TGV to Brussels on Sunday is cancelled. Due to a perturbation, or disturbance, so they say, but more likely it’s under-subscribed and there’s plenty of room on the ones before and after.

Secondly, I had a letter back about my taxe d’habitation. I asked for the years 2013 and 2015, but instead they sent me the ones for 2016, 2017 and 2018. Just as did the Tax Office in Montaigut-en-Combraille.

So I’ve no idea what’s going on there. I’ll have to ring them up to find out.

Last night wasn’t as early as I was expecting, and I left the bed … errr … somewhat later than the alarms. i’d been on a nocturnal ramble too, but all that I remember was going into someone else’s office to sharpen my pencil – the plot of something that I was watching on a DVD at teatime last night – to write it down.

We had breakfast and a shower and general clean-up, and then headed off to the shops. Just LIDL today of course. And the only thing that I bought was a new balaclava helmet to wear under my crash helmet. The old one that I have is ancient and filthy and so it’s high time that I replaced it.

marité normandy trader loading up port de granville harbour manche normandy franceBut I was waylaid on my way to the supermarket.

Normandy Trader was in port this morning, moored up at her usual mooring place next to Marité. She was unloading what looked like piles of shellfish, and the empty crates were being loaded back on board.

There were also sacks of what looked like sand or gravel just there on the quayside, presumably waiting their turn to be loaded up on board.

Back here, I made myself a coffee and attacked the remaining carrots that needed preparation and freezing. They were peeled, diced and blached with a couple of bayleaves, and then stuck in the freezer.

That was anough for the morning. I had a little relax while I reviewed what had been going on during the morning.

No excitement as yet – that is to come later.

After lunch, I carried on with my text database and all of December is now complete. I’ve done a few more blog entries and I’ve now reached back as far as 24th December 2018. The 23rd is the day that I went to Köln to see Jackie, and there are so many photos from there that I’m working even as we speak on a web page to display them all.

people on beach pointe du roc granville manche normandy francelater on this afternoon, I went out for my usual walk.

Around the walls in the glorious winter sunshine. It was such a beautiful day today.

And I wasn’t the only one out there enjoying the weather. There were crowds of people swarming around on the pathways and down on the beach making the most of the school holidays.

sea tide beach waves plat gousset granville manche normandy franceThe tides and currents were interesting too, and the crowds on the beach down there at the Plat Gousset weren’t the only ones enjoying them.

There were some beautiful swirling waves coming onto the beach with the tide, making some spectacular patterns up and down the beach.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anything look quite so artistic as this. Nature can do some wonderful things sometimes.

street decorations rue paul poirier granville manche normandy franceCarrying on around the walls, I looked down on the rue Paul Poirier. They have strung up a pile of decorations across the street – probably today because I don’t recall seeing them yesterday.

This year, Carnaval is the weekend of 2nd/3rd March and it looks as if they are setting their stall out already.

The Carnaval here in Granville is certainly special, and attracts crowds from hundreds of miles away.

yachts baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy franceDown in the harbour, Normandy Trader had cleared off – presumably fully loaded with whatever it was that was piled up on the quayside.

But it looks as if the sailing school was in operation today because there were a few yachts outside the harbour doing a little manouevring around in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Everyone seemed to be out there enjoying the weather today and I can’t say that I blame them.

Back here, I had a coffee and carried on working, fighting off wave after wave of fatigue. In the end, I went to bed where I stayed quite comfortably for 90 minutes, most of which was spent asleep.

I’ve gone on from an occasional 10 minutes here and there to a regular flat-out 90 minutes and it’s worrying.

For tea tonight I didn’t have my potato curry. In fact, by the time I’d been through and sorted out the bit of a leek and the mushrooms that were remaining in the vegetable rack, the rest of the stuffing from yesterday made a decent-sized proportion.

And it was delicious too.

night rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOutside tonight for my walk in the calm, cool evening, and almost colliding with a couple of shadows making their way around in the dark, I noticed that there wasn’t anything to see in the tidal harbour.

Probably something not unconnected with the fact that the tide was too far out.

Instead I noticed that the restaurant down on the rue du Port was open and, presumably, frying tonight. I’ve taken a few photos of the street down there but I’ve never noticed the restaurant before.

night english channel pont aven st malo granville manche normandy franceThis photo and the next one might not be of any interest to you, but they are to me.

Right out in the distance there was a bright light slowly moving across the horizon. And so I took two photographs of it, messing around with the exposure controls and the camera speed.

The first one (this one) is over-exposed, and the second one, below, is underexposed.

night english channel pont aven st malo granville manche normandy franceThey aren’t very clear at all and you can’t see what they feature, because after all, it’s only a 50mm lens, but I can have a wild guess.

It was round about 21:15 when I took the photos, and so that tells me that the lights could well be those of the Brittany Ferries ship Pont Aven setting out on its 20:35 sailing to Portsmouth.

I really need a better camera to bring out the best in this kind of shot.

So back in the apartment again, and I’m getting ready for bed. If I can go to sleep after my repose later on this afternoon.

I need to sort myself out.

And today’s excitement?

Mrs Mayhem put her proposals yet again before Parliament. And once again, she was defeated.

But is she taking this latest humiliation seriously? Not in the least. She’ll keep on going by keeping on presenting her proposals every week, wearing everyone down with the threat that if they don’t accept her plan, they’ll have to accept a no-deal pull-out.

Something that will suit her husband – and piles of currency traders and Futures dealers – down to the ground.

She will go down in History as having laid down her country for her life.

beach sea pointe du roc place d'armes granville manche normandy france
beach sea pointe du roc place d’armes granville manche normandy france

beach tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france
beach tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france

sea tide beach waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
sea tide beach waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

waves beach tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france
waves beach tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france

casino sea tide beach waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france
casino sea tide beach waves plat gousset granville manche normandy france

Tuesday 29th January 2019 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

… day.

There was so much that needed doing and so much that I wanted to do, but I spent the afternoon flat-out on the bed under the covers.

And I’m not just talking about a little 10-minute snooze, or even a really deep one-hour sleep. I was flat-out from about 14:30 to long after 17:00. I’d awoken at 16:50 but there was absolutely no chance whatever of me getting up.

Going back a couple of years, I can remember when I could go a whole day without dropping off. And gradually we started with the little 10-minute snoozes. And then, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I started to complain about the hour-long sessions that were coming my way. And look where I have ended up now.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s the beginning of the end.

It probably has something to do with the late night that I had had. Despite pushing on for all day yesterday, I still wasn’t tired at bedtime and I couldn’t go off to sleep.

Mind you, I must have done at one point because I was off on my travels. I was doing a huge load of tidying up at my old apartment in Brussels, and much to my surprise the person who was actually helping me with tidying away the paperwork was Nerina.

The alarms went off at 06:00 as usual although it was more like 07:00 when I actually arose from the dead. After the usual morning performance I had a shower and a good clean-up too. High time – and I do mean “high” too.

This morning I attacked some more photos and then there was a slight interruption. I have to make a file up of all of my official expenses and the like over the last … gulp … 5 years, but amongst the papers that I can’t find are two of my household charges bills – for 2013 and 2015.

I’d written to the Hotel des Impôts in Montaigut for copies and so I received copies for … 2016 and 2017. Clearly no good.

And so I had to telephone them to find out what was going on.

It turns out that they no longer keep hard-copy records. Just those for the last two complete years. Any further information for other years needs to be obtained from the Tresorerie in Riom.

And so I had to write a letter.

Another project that I had in mind was to start printing off my bass guitar lines. I have the rhythm tabs saved on the laptop but I want to print them off to take with me to places now that I have a decent printer. First off was “Bobby McGee” – the old Kris Kristofferson song.

And that took me longer than it might too, because the printing wouldn’t align with the paper, or vice versa

We had lunch of course and then I came back in here to carry on. “In here” refers of course to my bedroom, because the long wall in here has been transformed into a rather comfortable office.

But, as I said earlier, I didn’t last long. And I missed my afternoon walk, my guitar session, my afternoon coffee, my slice of Christmas cake, all of that too.

Tea tonight was a delicious stuffed pepper with spicy rice. And then biting the bullet, I went for my evening walk.

When I had awoken this afternoon, there was a howling gale outside and a torrential rainstorm going on. This evening though we still had the hurricane but the rain had gone. At least, for half of my journey. For the second part of my walk I got the lot and was like a drowned rat by the time that I returned.

Another day when I haven’t spoken to anyone at all. And I’m not tired after my afternoon sleep. It’s all becoming some kind of circular performance and I can’t break out of it.

Wednesday 12th December 2018 – THAT WAS TWO …

… hours of my life that I won’t ever get back, I can tell you.

In fact, the lady whom I saw at the Tax Office couldn’t tell me anything that I didn’t already know. And after she had asked me half a dozen questions, she didn’t alter or amend my tax form in any way, neither did she ask me to do so. And I’ll be getting my “certificate of non-taxation” in due course, whenever that might be.

Despite what I said last night, it was nothing like an early night. An early morning more like – something round about 02:15 in fact, so engrossed was I in what I was doing.

Much to my surprise I managed to crawl out of my nice clean bedding round about 06:15, and I don’t remember much about any voyage except that I was on board a ship at one particular moment.

After breakfast I had a rustle around for a pile of papers and it turns out that I can’t find one particular document. I’ve probably overlooked bringing it with me from the Auvergne, so I had to go to the bank for a statement.

unloading plant and equipment place d'armes granville manche normandy franceJust outside the building here there was a plant lorry dropping off a pile of equipment.

That looked interesting so I went over to them to find out what was going on.

Apparently there are some major engineering and building works taking place in the old walled town so they were dropping the stuff off here.

Heavy vehicles aren’t allowed within the walls.

And there The bank manager looked me out, and came over to shake my hand. I must be well in credit back there right now.

The Tax Office was pretty painless, as I mentioned, and I had a nice walk back here, calling for a baguette on the way.

crane loading normandy trader marite port de granville harbour manche normandy franceWhen I was heading into town, I noticed that Thora had gone out on the morning tide.

That was the same tide that had presumably brought in Normandy Trader, which was now tied up at the quayside loading up with supplies.

But on the way back, I noticed that Normandy Trader had gone out too. That was a quick turn-round.

No wonder I’m finding it difficult to keep up with what is going on in the harbour these days – who’s coming and who’s going – with turn-rounds as quick as this.

blankets on chairs in cafe Rue Saint-Sauveur, granville manche normandy franceYou can’t say that people here in Granville are softened by the mild weather.

Hear, the street cafés in the rue Saint-Saveur encourage their patrons to sit outside in all kinds of weather, even in mid-winter.

But for those few who do feel the cold, blankets are provided to make sure that they stay outside.

First thing that I did on reaching the apartment was to make a coffee, and then I crashed out on the chair for a while, until lunchtime in fact.

This afternoon I attacked the files again. But not for long.

bathers changing plat gousset granville manche normandy franceI went out in the sunshine for my walk around the walls. And the temperature has plummeted again. Baby, it’s cold outside.

But not too cold for some.

I don’t know whether these people were on the point of going in or coming out of the water, but I wasn’t going to hang around and wait to see.

I left them to it and cleared off.

On returning to the apartment I restarted work but had to go and lie down for a while on the bed. And I was well-away with the fairies until all of a sudden I had one of the worst attacks of cramp that I have had for quite some considerable time.

Despite whatever I tried (and I tried plenty) I couldn’t get it to ease off for quite a while and it still hurts now.

For tea, I found a potato and chick-pea curry from 30th October … errr … 2017. Tons of old stuff in the freezer that needs cleaning out and I’m aiming at one a week until I can keep something like a 6-month time limit.

night christmas lights rue couraye granville manche normandy franceThe wind was rising again when I went out, and we had another endless stream of fishing boats coming into the harbour.

But we are approaching Christmas and the lights are going full-flow now. Right across the valley, the lamps are burning brightly all the way up the rue Couraye.

Won’t be long before we’re all curled up around the tree, although whosever tree I’ll be curling around, it won’t be my own.

bad parking Boulevard des 2e-et-202e-de-Ligne granville manche normandy franceThat was all that there was about, except for two cars having a race along the road at the top.

But here around the corner there’s another example of our famous bad parking.

Why park in two places when you can take up three between you? As I have said before … “and you’ll say it again” – ed … I really don’t know what goes through the minds of some people.

But now the temperature has really dropped and it’s going to be cold tonight. We were told that the weather would change this week and it looks as if winter has arrived at last.

bathers changing plat gousset granville manche normandy france
bathers changing plat gousset granville manche normandy france

Tuesday 11th December – I HAVE BEEN SUMMONED TO APPEAR …

… at 10:00 in the forenoon – at the local Tax Office.

A few weeks ago I had to apply for a certificate of non-taxation from them, and so I went to pick up some forms to fill in and send off. But I didn’t have a clue for what I was supposed to be asking so I filled in the form as best I could and sent it off with an accompanying letter.

So the long and short of it is that they don’t understand either and trying to explain on the telephone was pretty hopeless. And so I need to head that was tomorrow for a personal chat.

It was another night where I vaguely remembered the alarm going off and not doing too much about it. 07:45 it was when I finally arose.

Plenty of time to go off on a ramble during the night. In an aeroplane with a pile of soldiers and we all had to parachute out – and could you really imagine me doing that? We landed in Paris and tried to assimilate ourselves into the population but that didn’t work and we ended up being chased by the German police. It came to a situation where in the end we had to choose the slowest members of our party to stop and fight a rearguard action to hold up the pursuers, so that the quickest could get right away. Rather a cruel decision, but a necessary one – to sacrifice some so that the rest could get away.

After breakfast I had a shower and, just by way of a change, changed the bedding. I haven’t done that for a few weeks so it’s high time – “high” being the appropriate word.

Most of the day has been spend moving files around again – and disposing of another mound of duplicates. There are tons of stuff that are not needed or duplicated.

I hope that when I finally receive my new computer that I can keep it tidy and in order for a change. I thought that back in those days I was really good at keeping it properly filed, but it’s nothing like how I would like it to be and how the more modern computers are organised. I don’t know what I must have been thinking back in those days.

We had a little relax, and our two walks as well. On the way out this evening, I noticed no fewer than eight (and there may well have been even more) fishing boats in line-astern heading into the bay from the English Channel.

night thora port de granville harbour manche normandy franceAnd round the corner and in the port, I noticed that our old friend Thora was tying up at the quayside too.

She must have sneaked in as soon as the harbour gates opened a little earlier.

And she was tied up at a different place on the quayside too, so I don’t know what that was all about.

Tea was a pie with veg as I said. And while I had the oven on, I made another rice pudding. And that was delicious too.

And while I was waiting for tea to cook, I mixed some more muesli for breakfast tomorrow seeing as I’ve run out.

So tomorrow morning I need to be up early to find some papers so an early night is called for.

So sweet dreams.
night thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france
night thora port de granville harbour manche normandy france

Thursday 8th November 2018 – I’VE FINISHED …

… the second day of my mega-voyage to the High Arctic and it’s now on line.

All you need to do is to go to this page and follow the link to Day Two. There are five pages in total and they should give you hours of endless fun.

Even more exciting is the fact that I’ve made a start on adding some photos to Day Three of the blog. That might even be finished if I have a good day, and then I can start on the web page that goes with it.

Or pages, probably, if it’s anything like Day Two.

In case you are wondering, I’ve had a good day today and done quite a few things. That early night that I had must have done me a world of good.

There was even time for me to go off on a ramble during the night. I was heading towards a boat, travelling down a valley, and we were to collect a group of kids to take skiing with us. They came running down the sides of the valley down to the bottom, screaming and squealing like young kids do. And what was surprising about all of this was that there was plenty of snow on the sides of the valley so it was difficult to understand, even during a nocturnal ramble, why they would need to go off somewhere else to ski.

After breakfast, I finished off the form that I’d been completing, but at this moment the printer decided to pack up yet again. It always seems to do this at a crucial moment, and it’s getting on my nerves.

But then again, I did pick it up in the Spring of 2013 and it was second-hand so I can’t complain too much. But I’ll be buying another one on Saturday. I hope that I’ll have more luck with this, but it never seems to work out between me and printers.

A shower and setting the washing machine going, and then into town, with Yves and Lily whom I encountered at the foot of the stairs. We had a good chat until we went our separate ways in the town centre. Me to the magasin de presse for the photocopying and then to the Post Office to send it all off.

cherry picker christmas decorations gare de granville railway station manche normandy franceOn the way up to LIDL there was a cherry-picker working on one of the lamp-posts by the station.

It looks as if they might be starting to put up the Christmas decorations. It’s getting closer to that time of year already. And of course, I’m not going to be here to celebrate it, am I?

LIDL didn’t come up with anything special – in fact, the cupboard was pretty bare. But I did remember to buy 2kgs of carrots for freezing.

On the way back to town, I went past the private car park of the local Tax Office, and saw a sight that made me laugh.

national demonstration hotel des impots granville tax office manche normandy franceThere’s a demonstration due to take place soon against inter alia the amount of tax being charged on fuel.

People are expected to show their solidarity by putting their reflective chasubles on top of their dashboards.

I found it extremely ironic that a couple of people who apparently work in the Tax Office are demonstrating against the amount of taxes being charged.

armistice cenotaph children monument granville war memorial manche normandy franceIn the town centre there was a big crowd around the War Memorial.

The local schoolkids had been learning about the Armistice as part of the school curriculum and so they were holding a commemoration service there for them.

There was a considerable number of adults who were passing by and were swept up in the emotion.

tv cameraman armistice cenotaph children monument granville war memorial manche normandy franceThere was an enormous number of kids there listening to the service.

And there was also a film cameraman recording the event, presumably for the local television channel.

He was quite interested in filming the kids listening to the service, and so I couldn’t resist the opportunity of filming him doing it.

I have quite a few photos of this kind of thing, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

On the way back here, I had a strange encounter in the rue des Juifs.

In one of the art galleries there was a really nice painting of a tramp steamer. It looked quite nice so I was interested in having a closer look at it.

Just as I was about to go inside, the owner came out
“I’m just closing up because I’m going to an exhibition” he said. “I’ll be back in a week”
And he locked up the shop right in front of me.

The next person who complains that there’s a recession going on will get a smack in the mouth. People throwing customers out of their shop like this.

Up the hill again where I fell in once more with Yves and Lily who were on the way back home.

Lunch was inside again – far too windy to go outside and sit on my wall. And then I finished off the web pages that I mentioned earlier.

A cookery session followed next. I peeled, sliced and blanched the carrots and then prepared them for freezing. And 2kgs is too much to freeze at one go. 1kg at a time will do in future. But I should really have bought a bigger freezer.

There was a pile of mushrooms left over too so I prepared a mushroom and potato curry with the left-over potatoes from the previous batch, and added a giant tin of macedoine vegetables and a dollop of soya cream.

And now there’s no room in the freezer for it so I don’t know what I’m going to do.

high winds baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceWhat with all of that, I was rather late going out for my afternoon walk around the Pointe du Roc.

And that wasn’t as easy as it might have been either, due to the high winds that were still blowing a gale around in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

But the winds were making quite an impression on the waves, as well as blowing the seabirds around somewhat.

they couldn’t have found it very easy to move around, and neither did the pedestrians down there either.

high winds baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceA little further around the bend we came to a position where we could see the wind full-on with the waves, pushing them forward towards the port de plaisance.

They were making some really pretty patterns too and it looked quite impressive.

You can see what kind of a beautiful day that we were having too. It was rather a shame that the wind was cooling everything down.

With the time that was left before tea I started on Day Three of the blog, and sometime during the proceedings I had a little repose.

At tea time I went to try a helping of the curry with boiled rice and veg. Not my best, I have to say, but then I only made it to use up some of the food that was left and in danger of going off.

It was at that moment that I remembered that I had left the washing in the machine.

high winds waves play gousset granville manche normandy franceThe high winds didn’t prevent me from going for my evening walk around the walls.

Even though the tide was well on its way out, the high winds were still catching the waves and smashing them down on the promenade at the Plat Gousset.

What was even more impressive was that the new f1.8 lens was working well enough to pick up the motion, and the crop of the image was sharp enough to bring it out.

pizza van bar place cambernon granville manche normandy franceSo I carried on with my walk around the walls and back into the old medieval town.

And here at the Place Cambernon there was a hive of activity. Dozens of people at the bar, and the pizza van that comes here on a Thursday evening was doing a roaring trade.

One day I’ll take some of my cheese down to the van and try out one of their pizzas

Back home in the hallway I met Brigitte who was back from her holidays. We had a good chat for over an hour down there.

It’s definitely my day for being sociable with the neighbours.

However, it’s made me later than I intended to be and I won’t have a night as early as I would like.

But I’ll do my best.

armistice cenotaph children monument granville war memorial manche normandy france
Children’s Armistice Day commemoration

armistice cenotaph children monument granville war memorial manche normandy france
Children’s Armistice Day commemoration

armistice cenotaph children monument granville war memorial manche normandy france
Children’s Armistice Day Commemoration

storm high winds plat gousset granville manche normandy france
Storm, high winds and waves, Plat Gousset

storm high winds plat gousset granville manche normandy france
Storm, high winds and waves, Plat Gousset

pizza van place cambernon granville manche normandy france
The Pizza Van in the Place Cambernon, Granville

pizza van place cambernon granville manche normandy france
The Pizza Van in the Place Cambernon, Granville

pizza van place cambernon granville manche normandy france
The Pizza Van in the Place Cambernon, Granville

Friday 26th October 2018 – IT WAS HARD …

… this morning to get out of bed and I ended up with something of an unexpected lie-in.

And so it was something of a rather late breakfast this morning, what with one thing and another.

This led to a nice walk up town to collect my railway tickets. And it was a good job that I was somewhat later than planned because the ticket machine wasn’t working and I had to go to the booking office. It’s a good job that I hadn’t waited until Sunday to do this.

Round the corner and down the road to join the Madding Crowd at the Hotel des Impôts. And afer a rather long wait in the queue I was handed a form by a Civil Servant who smiled and wished me luck. I was rather taken aback by that.

On the way back I remembered the lettuce and I bought myself a baguette too so as to have a nice lunch. And for that, I went out onto the wall but I was only there for five minutes. It was bright and sunny, but there was a cold, biting wind and that drove me back to my apartment.

The day has been spent in editing the photos from yesterday, but also attacking a huge project that I started the other day on the other laptop. That’s taken me most of the day, and I’ve made a load of rapid progress there. I’m pleased with that.

I also spent some time on the Arctic pages too, but not as much as I would like.

jersey channel islands granville manche normandy franceThe walk this afternoon around the walls was freezing. The wind has increased in volume and it was quite uncomfortable.

But at least the skies were clear and there was a really good view out to see and Jersey was quite clear.

And so I attacked the island with the new 70-300mm zoom/telephoto lens to see what I can see.

jersey channel islands granville manche normandy franceI blew up (because I can do this despite modern anti-terrorism legislation) the photo and cropped out and enlarged a few selections from the images

Very blurred and very shaky of course, but considering that we are looking at something 55 kms away and there’s a strong wind blowing, it’s not really come out too badly.

To do much better than this I’ll have to invest a lot more money than I can afford into my equipment.

agon coutainville donville les bains granville manche normandy franceBut never mind the view out to sea. The view out along the coast past Donville-les-Bains all the way down to Agon-Coutainville was beautiful too.

This was taken using the 18-105mm lens with a focal length of 25mm so it’s something of a wide-angle shot.

It’s brought out the scenery and the colours, and you can tell the strength of the wind from the whitecaps on the waves breaking on the beach.

new lintel rue du nord granville manche normandy franceA short while ago I posted a photo of some men on a cherry-picker drilling away into the wall of a house on the rue du Nord.

It’s far too windy for them to be working up there today so I could see what they were doing.

It looks as if they are going to replace the lintel over the window there, although I can’t think why.

residence des granvillaises rue paul poirier Rue Etoupefour granville manche normandy franceHere’s something that I have never noticed before.

On the corner of the rue Paul Poirier and the rue Etoupefour is a building with “Residence des Granvillaises” cast thereupon. It’s not very easy to see this from street-level

Apparently it’s some kind of holiday accommodation, but it’s probably well out of my price range and out of the range of most people who might want to visit me.

Tea tonight was the rest of the crèpes with salad. Just as delicious as it was before.

And there was no walk this evening either for we had football. Llandudno v Cefn Druids in the Welsh Premier League.

Two clubs scrapping it out in the basement and the first half was pretty dismal. It livened up after the inteval and the last half-hour was quite good. The Druids were the better-organised team but Llandudno looked the more dangerous going forward.

But with both sides being totally incapable of hitting the nether regions of a ruminant animal with a stringed musical instrument, a 0-0 draw was no surprise.

There are four clubs slowly coming adrift at the foot of the table – Llanelli, Carmarthen, Cefn Druids and Llandudno and it’s clear to see why these two are down there at the bottom. There is no-one pulling the strings and there is no-one providing the service to the forwards. Rittenberg for the Druids looked quite dangerous when someone gave him the ball – which wasn’t all that often.

So no walk – the howling wind and now the rainstorm is enough to keep me in the house tonight. I’ll have an early night instead.