Tag Archives: tora tora tora

Sunday 16th January 2022 – NO WONDER …

… that I’m exhausted. I must have travelled miles during the night.

One of these days they’ll invent an ethereal fitbit that will track my travels when I’m off on my nocturnal voyages and I bet that the distances that I travel will be interesting.

Anyway, last night I had a very disturbed night (as you will discover as you read on) and despite being awake on several occasions at some kind of ridiculous hour, there was no danger whatever of my leaving my stinking pit until I was good and ready – which was about 10:15 this morning.

After the medication I had to download a few files off the portable computer that I take with me to Leuven, and then I could pair off the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday. They went together quite well too, but not as well as they did a couple of weeks ago.

For a few hours afterwards I had a little laze about not doing too much, except for having my brunch. Porridge and thick slices of toast with strong black coffee.

Round about 15:00 I wandered into the kitchen and made a big load of pizza dough, seeing as I’d run out. And I do have to say that for some reason that I can’t understand, it turned out to be one of the nicest doughs that I have made.

Nice and soft and smooth and silky.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022having put the dough on the side in order to rise, I went off for my post-prandial perambulation around the promontory.

First port of call quite obviously was the beach to see what was happening down there today. It’s been a good few days since I stuck my head over the parapet.

Plenty of beach this afternoon but there wasn’t anyone down there on it, although I did notice a couple of people walking down the steps from the Rue du Nord going off for an afternoon ramble.

And while I was at it, I was being photo-bombed by a seagull on its way out to sea.

rainstorm ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022While I was there, I was having a good look around out to sea to see if there was anything happening there.

There wasn’t a single boat that I could see out there this afternoon which was a surprise because it was actually quite a nice afternoon, for a change. And after the last few days of winter, it’s warmed up somewhat and now much more like March again.

But there was a rainstorm brewing out at sea in the bay. You can see it out there just offshore, obscuring the Ile de Chausey. Luckily there wasn’t very much wind to speak of this afternoon so there wasn’t very much danger of me being caught in it.

rainstorm sun on sea baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022This afternoon we were having yet more beautiful lighting effects. It’s one of the things that I like about this time of the year.

We were having another one of these really nice TORA TORA TORA light displays where the sun comes streaming through the gaps in the clouds.

And with the rainstorm that was going on out at sea it was producing some quite interesting effects. It was a shame that there were so few people out there watching it. There can’t have been more than a dozen or so people out there on the path up to the lighthouse this afternoon.

sun baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022And out in the Baie de Mont St Michel things were even nicer.

As well as the TORA TORA TORA effect we had a spotlight or two illuminating the water as the sun shone brightly through a gap in the clouds.

The rainstorm in the distance was obscuring the Brittany coast but the sea was nice and bright there.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to have caught a yacht or a fishing boat sailing through the beams of light? But you can’t have everything of course.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022There actually were some people down there admiring the view as well.

Sitting down there by the cabanon vauban was someone on the bench watching the sunset. And someone further out sitting on the rocks at the end of the headland. It’s a shame that there weren’t any boats out there for us to see this afternoon.

But on another more depressing note, the way things are these days, we have to keep a lose eye on people sitting like that on the rocks. The events of mid-November are still etched quite firmly in my mind.

container pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But never mind that for the moment. There were things that were much more interesting going on that require some investigation.

The skip that’s down here on the headland gives us a clue, and my hat goes off to the driver who dropped it off here.

What is going on right now is concerning the group of people who are planning on opening a museum in one of the abandoned World War II bunkers. They have been given permission to go into another one of the closed-up bumkers and clear it out of 75 years-worth of debris and see what they can find.

pivot for cannon bunker pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022and almost straight away, they uncovered something interesting.

This is the pivot of a field gun – either a 105mm or a 128mm quite likely, that would be used as coastal defence to protect the area from either an invasion landing or a commando raid.

Mind you, when the Germans launched a commando raid on Granville on 9th March 1945, whatever artillery was here in the bunker didn’t do much good to repel the attack.

And, I suppose, as they go further into the bunker, the more and more artefacts will be discovered.

interior of bunker pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But at least they have cleaned the walls of the bunker we can actually see the markings that the Germans painted on the walls.

These are presumably unit identification marks, although I don’t know which units are being indicated.

What I’ll have to do is to have a wander around the area during working hours and hope that I can lay my hands on one of the people clearing out the bunker. The fact that the skip is still here seems to indicate that they will be back here using it at the beginning of next week at least.

And so I’ll make a mental note.

storm waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022although I said that there was very little wind today, there must be something going on somewhere out at sea.

As I walked around the headland I could hear the sound of the waves smacking into the harbour wall so I was keen to see exactly what was going on. Consequently I pushed on along the path towards the post.

It wasn’t much of a show, unfortunately. The waves were more powerful that I was expecting in view of the weather conditions, but they weren’t producing anything spectacular when they crashed into the wall. There was plenty of noise but none of it to any great effect.

les bouchots de chausey unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Meanwhile, over at the fish-processing plant, there was plenty of activity going on.

Les Bouchots de Chausey, one of the little inshore shell-fishing boats, was in port this afternoon, working on a Sunday. And she must have had quite a good catch today.

She’s busy unloading her boxes of shellfish onto the trailer at the back of the tractor over there and you can tell from the amount on there that she’s had a profitable day.

A few weeks ago I encountered the tractor hauling the loaded trailer off through the town and out towards Donville les Bains. And one of these days I’ll follow her to find out where she goes.

gerlean chausiaise joly france chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022When I came back from Paris yesterday I could see that there was little change in the chantier naval.

As we can see, Gerlean is still in there. All on her own, too. No-one else has come in to join her while I was away.

Over at the ferry terminal however, we have the usual suspects over there. Chausiaise, the little freighter, is at the head of the queue and behind her is the older of the two Joly France boats – the one without the step in the stern.

ch638749 pescadore ch907879 l'arc en ciel ch898472 cap lihou l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022On the way back home I went to look at the boats moored in the inner harbour, not the least of the reasons being that L’Omerta was actually tied up for once at the pier.

We also had Pescadore, L’Arc-en-Ciel, Cap Lihou and a couple of other boats that I didn’t recognise tied up down there too.

And of course there were the two Channel Island Ferries, Victor Hugo and Granville, moored up in the background looking as if they aren’t ever going to move again.

Back here, I made myself a coffee and then sat down to transcribe the dictaphone notes from last night.

In the middle if the night I awoke as I was counting something and trying to write down these numbers with a pen but I couldn’t find a pen that worked. But I can’t remember now what it was that I was counting and I have no idea. It was like a table of numbers or something and this was just one particular row of these numbers but I can’t remember what they were for.

Later on there was a pile of girls, probably about 6 or 7 years of age having to stand in a line and talk about where they came from etc. One girl came from Africa but was a white girl said “Africa, yes, that’s me. That’s where I come from. That’s my home town” etc but I couldn’t help the feeling that this was being transferred over to me as well. I had ti edit the view of this concert because the ratio was wrong – something like 1.5:1 instead of 1.1. If I were to do that I would lose a lot of everything. I had to have the focusing right and the general screen capture size right in order to do it. And I’m impressed with the technical details and terms that I can spout when I’m asleep .

After that there was a girl aged about 10 or 11 or so in a swimsuit and bonnet. Suddenly she was attacked and killed. That cheered me up because it meant that there would be a place for me to go and live on an island so I put myself in the queue but there was someone there in charge, some fellow or person, who said “there are still too many people so the queue needs to be cut down by half” which meant that I wasn’t going to go this time. I would have to wait for something equally dramatic next time before I could go. And isn’t that all a totally gruesome idea?

Last night we were also prisoners of war in something like COLDITZ CASTLE in a high security room with a few of us in it. We tried to escape once but the guy in charge was not very good and not only had we all been recaptured before we’d even done anything he’d had some confidential papers captured too and he’d been shot although not seriously. We were there again and we tried to have another go at escaping. The idea was to lull this commandant person into a false sense of security then when one of his guards would go out to do something, we could overpower the reduced numbers and escape from the castle like Colditz. So one of the guards had to leave. As he pulled up the zip on his ski suit it passed a certain point that someone had indicated with a blue “X”. This meant that the escape was on. He went and someone pulled on the commandant a gun that he had hidden and gathered up quickly everything that they needed. Then it was a case of making the commandant unconscious so someone hit him with the barrel of the gun. It didn’t work so I hit him about 3 or 4 times but that still didn’t knock him unconscious so in the end someone else took over. We then set the room alight. Someone wasn’t happy about leaving the commandant there with this room alight. I replied that every time he flew over Germany he dropped one bomb that killed far more people than just one without any scruples whatsoever

Interestingly, later on we were all in this Prisoner of War camp in this high-security room with the commandant and a couple of the guards. We’d already tried to escape once but had been overpowered by weight of numbers and the guy in charge had been shot, not seriously. They captured all of our confidential papers and I tried to drum it in to the idea thatwe should keep all of the papers like that together so that they could be thrown into the fire early etc. In the end we made ourselves ready. One of the German guards was called away as we hoped leaving the commandant behind. When this guy’s zip was drawn up to a certain spot it was as if a blue “X” appeared on his zip when the two sides were drawn together. That was our signal so we overpowered the commandant and captured his papers etc and prepared to leave. We set fire to the room with some accelerant. Someone was upset about that. We should rescue the captain but I said that each bomb that they had dropped over German territory would kill far more people than just one and that they’d dropped that bomb without any scruples whatsoever. In the end they prepared to scramble down out of this building and this railway cutting on their way off. So what was happening there that I had an almost-identical dream twice I have no idea.

And then I had my house up for sale. There was a group of us round at my other place tidying it up because it was really dirty, building rubble and brick dust everywhere that I was trying to vacuum, not very successfully. My friend from Belfast grabbed hold of me and asked me what was going on about Luxembourg. I replied that they were worried that the whole world was going to be flooded with cheap labour from the Arab states. He asked what I propsed to do about it and I replied “put a tax on foreign workers”. He said that that wouldn’t go down very well with some people. I replied “never mind. It can’t be helped”. We had to keep checking the door to make sure that a girl I know from Luxembourg wasn’t overhearing. We came round to what we were going to do about the apartment that was for sale. Someone told me to be careful and not to accept the first offer I received. I replied “I’m well aware of that” and told them a few stories about apartments that had been sold. “I’m prepared to wait for the right moment” even if it meant leaving it empty or putting it down in ten, but I’d sell it”. Then we were all called together and had to collect our security passes. Helen’s security pass and Steve’s security pass, I’d been involved in the preparation of those and I still had the boxes in which their cards came so I had to be very careful to give the right number to the guy taking the details that whoever he looked at had, he would write down the right number, mine and not one of the other two’s, and that he wouldn’t duplicate the numbers and leave one of the cards out.

Finally there was something about a Land Rover. I was with a friend last night. We’d gone to see a van that I’d just bought – that he’d bought on my behalf. An LDV. We didn’t actually get to see the LDv – we were sidetracked as usual by a Land Rover that he owned. It was a diesel and we were taking about this diesel Land Rover. I mentioned that I owned a Minerva that brought a few smiles from around various people. In the end we ended up back at his wife’s. She was talking about his cars, saying that he had far too many and it was high time that he did a few things with one. Something came up about another Land Rover that he owned, how something had to be done with that so that the Land Rover that we had seen at someone else’s house could be brought home. he said something about going to fetch the van that I’d bought but I asked him “where are you going to park it?”. There was no room in his drive at all. he saw the wisdom in that and said that we can do that another time. By then the wife and I were out somewhere. We had Zero with us. We’d been driving around but I thought that we’d not been going the right way to get back to her house. Instead she took another way. We were waiting to turn right at a road junction but were there for hours, even with people passing on the right to go straight on. Eventually we reached this other house which was in total chaos worse than mine. She was telling these guys about her husband’s new Land Rover. Zero was there with these other kids, all playing with a huge pile of toys and everything. It just seemed to peter out at that particular moment, this story, which was rather a shame.

It’s no surprise that I was exhausted after all of this travelling about. And what a shame that the final voyage petered out just as it was becoming interesting.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022But there was so much of it that I had to break off in the middle to go and deal with the dough.

It had risen beautifully so I split it into three batches. Two of them went into the freezer and the third one was rolled out and put in the pizza tray to proof for an hour or so while I carried on with “War and Peace”.

After the dough had risen nicely I assembled the pizza and put it in the oven to bake.

And when it was finished, it looked totally beautiful. And I do have to say that it tasted even better, even if I had forgotten to use the remaining half-pepper that I had brought out of the fridge.

So having written my notes, I’m off to bed. It’s a 06:00 start tomorrow as I have a radio programme to prepare. There’s the physio tomorrow afternoon too, so I need to be at my best.

But we’ll see how tomorrow unfolds, especially if I travel as far during the night as I did last night.

Sunday 26th December 2021 – IT REALLY IS …

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021 … unbelievable, isn’t it?

Look at all of the crowds here walking along the path between the College Malraux and the Pointe du Roc. Hordes of them, and not even one single face mask to be seen.

Yesterday we had almost 105,000 cases of infection here in France and much of it is heading our way on the holiday trains that I saw at Gare Montparnasse at the weekend.

As well as that, there’s a Prefectorial Arrêt ordering the wearing of facemasks in public in the Manche, and no-one (except me) taking any notice whatsoever of it all.

If they all catch Covid, it will be no surprise, and won’t the World be a much better place when these people are no longer on it? Serve them all right, the lot of them.

But in much more interesting news, while I’m typing out these notes, I’m letting my evening meal cook itself. And in news that will come as a complete surprise to regular readers of this rubbish who will recall that Sunday night is pizza night, I’m not having a pizza.

Yes, as it’s Boxing Day, I’m cooking another Christmas meal.

With it also being Boxing Day, I had a nice lie-in this morning. All the way up to 10:30 which was really pleasant. I could do with a few more of these although I doubt that I will have any more for a while.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages and sent out a few replies to messages that I had received over the last day or so. And then, I had a relaxing morning doing next-to-nothing except sorting out this old hard drive. Another 2.3GB of duplicate data has bitten the dust and there’s still more to go. It’s hard to think that my first home computer back in the 1980s worked on 2x 5.25″ floppy drives of 256kb each and at a push I could make it work on just one.

There was a ‘phone call immediately after 12:00 – someone is well-aware of my habits. A friend of mine is writing a book and needs a letter writing in English to a “witness”. It’s an extremely complicated and crucial letter so he’s asked me if I could write it for him.

Not a problem – after all, he’s helped me out on numerous occasions, so he’s going to come round tomorrow at 17:00 for me to do it.

The work is piling up, isn’t it?

After my Christmas brunch of beans, sausage, potato fritters, toast with mushroom pâté, I sat down to pair off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow (yes, I’m still working). And to my surprise, the joints went together perfectly – they couldn’t have been better.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021By now it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk, especially after yesterday when I didn’t go out at all.

What was disappointing was that there wasn’t anyone down there on the beach at all. I must have missed the mad stampede into the sea down at Donville-les-Bains this afternoon.

No-one down on the beach here either, although over there we can see plenty of people walking around on the path underneath the city wall and over on the promenade at the Plat Gousset.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021So with absolutely nothing whatever going on out at sea, I turned my attention to the Ile de Chausey.

There was something of a sea mist over there in the direction of the Ile de Chausey so we couldn’t see it as clearly as we have done just recently. It was all hidden in some kind of light blue haze.

But even more interestingly, there weren’t any boats at all out there at sea this afternoon. I would have expected there to have been quite a few out there right now as people sail off their Christmas pudding. I’ve no idea where they all are.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021A little earlier I showed you the photo of the crowds of people milling round on the path.

While I was up there on top of the bunker I had a good look around in the other direction down the coast.

The view was much clearer in that direction and even with the naked eye I could just about make out the lighthouse at the Cap Fréhel 70 kilometres away. The camera lens didn’t bring it out very much better than I could see with the naked eye, unfortunately.

sunset cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021Another thing that I noticed while I was up there on top of the bunker was the sunset over the Brittany coast.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … one of the things that I like about going out for my walk at this time of afternoon at this time of year is the magnificent sunsets that we can sometimes have.

This afternoon there was another TORA TORA TORA effect with the rays of the sun streaming down through the small gaps in the clouds over there.

The nice round circle in the centre of the bay was most impressive.

cabanon vauban people at bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And as it happens, I wasn’t the only one out there enjoying the sunset.

It’s been a few days since we’ve seen people down by the cabanon vauban at the end of the headland but today with all of the crowds milling around on the paths I was expecting to see some people down there this afternoon.

Sure enough, we have four people down there right now. Not actually admiring the sunset but talking to each other with their backs to the view. But I imagine that they will be turning round in a moment or two to see the beautiful sight behind them.

light aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And while there was nothing whatever going on out at sea, we had a few things going on up above in the sky.

The usual sounds of machines in the air told me that there was something heading my way.

Unfortunately it was too far out for me to see its registration number but it doesn’t resemble any of the larger aeroplanes that loiter around at the airfield.

It’s probably one of the light aircraft there that isn’t registered on the main database and doesn’t file a flight plan.

red autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021The light aeroplane wasn’t alone either.

Following it very closely was one of our regular visitors – the red autogyro. It was following the aeroplane so closely that I imagined that they had been out together for a lap around the bay.

My lap around the headland was coming to a close as well so I set off down the path towards the viewpoint overlooking the harbour to see what was happening down there.

l'omerta port de granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021L’Ormerta was back in town today.

She was moored over by the fish processing plant, settling down in the silt seeing as the tide has gone out. There is a whole pile of fish baskets just above it on the quayside so it looks as if she is in the course of being made ready to go to sea.

At the chantier naval the portable boat lift was back in its position over the dock. The yard was still fenced off, however and there was no boat in there awaiting repair. I imagine that it will be getting back under way after the New Year.

articulated lorry fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo December 2021And talking about the fishing boats being made ready to go out to sea, there was an articulated refrigeration lorry pulling up at the fish processing plant.

It looks as if they will be expecting a decent crop of seafood when the boats come back from their next trip out.

My trip out was drawing to a close so I headed back home. I’d put the coffee machine on the go before I went out and the coffee should now be nice and hot.

Back here I made a couple of ‘phone calls to wish a friend the season’s greetings but she was out which was a shame. I’m not having a great deal of luck just recently.

Tea was delicious as usual. But I have so many vegetables left over – leeks and sprouts – that tomorrow I’m going to have a blanching session followed by a freezing session.

And whatever else happens, I mustn’t forget last night’s voyages. They are really quite important. And there were plenty of them too. It must have been a restless night.

I started off in hospital. It was actually my old Grammar School building but it was a hospital. I was walking there. As I was walking through a ward of a corridor there was someone there who was not a medical staff but opened a door and pushed a rat into the room. Someone inside said “you’re cheating! This isn’t a minute!”. I chased him off and asked matron what was happening. She replied “he’s not a medical staff. He’s a friend of mine. I have a personal pet project that I’m following up”. I said “it doesn’t look very good to me”. There were some other kinds of slithering animals etc that were being introduced into this hospital for one reason or another that made me most uneasy. Outside there were a few kids messing around. Girls probably mid-teens. One of them started to talk about a Beatles song, Savoy Truffle. She asked whether something was in the song and I said that it was. She threw me something like a very small but heavy frisbee. I caught it and threw it back to her. She asked me about something else. I said “yes” so she threw it again. This went on for a couple of minutes. Then a couple of other girls who had been watching came down and it was as if they had put me in the middle, like a kid’s game to catch this thing as they were throwing it between themselves. Of course I caught it. One of the girls had a kind of wrestling match with me to to try to wrestle it from me.

Later on I was driving a lorry up to Scotland last night. I had a box with me that I had to bury, the ashes of one of my cats. I dropped off the cars that were on the back of this lorry, drove out of the yard and stopped at the side of the road to make sure that all of the straps were secure and weren’t going to fall off as I drove home. There, it was a lot of wasteland so I started to look around to find a place to bury this box with this cat’s ashes. A couple of little kids came round to see what I was doing. I explained it to them. In the end we found a few cemeteries where you could bury ashes but there were lots of people round there. I didn’t have a spade. In the end I thought that I would just throw it in a ditch on this wasteland. I thought that I could drop it in my old rucksack and leave that there. I wasn’t very happy but that was the only solution. I Went to the bottom of the rucksack and pulled out a few things that I’d overlooked and put the box in there ready to discard. Then I had another thought. I kept on having all these different thoughts of course but every time I tried something I ended up with some kind of problem so I would think of something else. That would create a problem as well

And then I was back on the taxis last night. After I’d sold it we were going through the paperwork. The boy who lived down Coleridge Way, we found some papers of his. I was back out again driving, sometimes in France, sometimes in the UK, enjoying things much better in France than the UK. Then I had to go to the station in Sandbach so I was driving down the A530 and came to the roundabout at the end of Bradwell Road. The car skidded at the roundabout, mounted the pavement, went through a pile of snow, missed a lorry and ended up facing the correct way down the correct street. Everyone gave a round of applause for that so I got out and bowed to everyone. I got into a different vehicle and started to drive back up there. I can’t remember now what happened after that.

While I was asleep in the middle of one of my voyages someone came past, banged on the door and shouted “alarm call for Madame -” (and said a Russian girl’s name). I wondered what she was doing sleeping in my room

Later on there was some kind of workmen’s or youth hostel where I was staying. There were dozens of people staying there but I always seemed to be pushed out on the margins for everything. I remember we would have our meal and then be in this series of common rooms and I would always end up being on my own. When the meal was finished there was this huge bowl of water that needed to be taken out and emptied and for some reason or other I would always do it. They would probably have to open the door for me while I took it out. There would be people hanging around the sink etc. I’d tip the water in down the sink. Gradually after I’d been there a few days I discovered the snacks, where they kept the fruit salad, where they kept the soya dessert. Gradually, wandering around I came to where they kept the fruit so things weren’t going to be too bad. The people there from all places and all nationalities but it seemed that everyone was speaking English which I thought was a shame. Then I thought that I would have to look for a couple of books, something like “500 Words You Never Knew In France”, that kind of thing and make more of an effort to improve my foreign languages.

There was more than that too but as you are probably eating your meal right now I’ll spare you the gory details.

Having done all of that, which totally exhausted me, now I’m off to bed. I have an early start tomorrow as I’m preparing a radio programme. It’s later than I would like right now so it’ll be a struggle to leave my bed. But we’ll manage somehow, won’t we?.

Sunday 14th November 2021 – ONE OF THE BEST …

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… pizzas that I have ever made.

And one of the best that I have ever eaten too. It really was delicious. I just wish that I knew what the trick was to make the vegetables go crispy instead of soggy.

Liz recommends that I gril them slightly before using them on the pizza but that didn’t seem to bring me mush success. Maybe I ought to try it again and persevere until I get it right. I dunno.

Anyway, after yesterday’s issues I’m surprised that I went to sleep last night. But sleep I did, right up to 11:00 here and there.

Mind you I did go off on several voyages during the night, nothing really relating to the events of yesterday but it was definitely a restless night. There was something last night about a group of us having to explain or someone suggested that we explain the difference between the rules between lacrosse and some other sport I can’t remember now, another game that’s descended from the native Americans of North America.

Later on it was the village fête at Audlem. There was music and a procession and exhibitions and everything like that so I went down. Of course there are loads of people in Audlem whom I know and I ended up chatting to these 2 girls, one of them whom I knew really well and they were both about 15 or 16. She was flirting with me absolutely outrageously and I thought to myself “what’s going on here?”. We were talking for ages then the procession started to come past. There was a steam-powered fire engine pulled by horses that was the first thing. I said “I’d better go and take a photo of this” and went to fetch my camera. She came along too. We were chatting and the procession went into the church so we went in and everything was laid out for a meal. She said “we may as well sit down” so we went to find a table. I noticed that she was very careful to pick two seats where I wouldn’t be sitting next to her, just opposite her. I thought “this is rather strange from 5 minutes ago”. We sat down. This woman looked at me as if I had to introduce myself so I said “hello, I’m Eric. I’m the guy who drives the bus that takes …” and I couldn’t think of this girl’s name no matter how hard I tried. The girl said “oh yes, he has a memory like this so I explained about my road accident. It was terribly embarrassing that I could not remember her name at all. But it was the way that she was flirting with me back at the town square. I thought that there was something really strange happening here. I’m not used to this behaviour, certainly not in real life. And I wish that I knew who she was too.

Something had happened and I wasn’t living at home any more, living with a large family. It wasn’t very convenient at all. I was having to share a bedroom with 2 small girls. They were going to have a party last night and there were crowds of people there. One girl told me that I wasn’t in someone’s very good books because I’d attacked him with a mop and the mop happened to be wet and he’d soaked his trousers. I went up to try to dress for this party. First of all I went into the wrong room where there was a little girl still in bed. We had a talk, a laugh and a joke then I went into the room where I was sleeping and I couldn’t find my clothes. Eventually, after much looking about, I came upon them in a white set of chest of drawers like I had in Crewe but it was hidden behind a TV, something like that. While I was getting them my father came in and said that I was going to have to leave. I asked why. He replied “it’s very inconvenient as you’ll soon find out, cramped and everything like that”. Whilst I thought that it was the case that everyone was realy cramped the conditions back where I was supposed to be living hadn’t improved any. He said “you can leave right after this party”. I said “that’s impossible” because I had all my clothes and everything here and I can’t leave just like that in the middle of the night.

I was with a girl – it was either with the girl whom I’d met in Brussels or my friend from the Scottish borders, I can’t remember who now. I was trying to make the beds. This was difficult for me because we were back in the old days of bedspreads, stuff like that, She came upstairs to see what I was doing and she helped me do the beds. We had them done in no time, with me shaking the blankets out of the window, looking at the cats playing around outside and she came to look at them too. I said “it’s much easier making the beds with two of us, isn’t it?”. “Yes” she replied and talked about her mother, how her mother would make them. I said about mine and how she was really difficult and didn’t have much of a clue about everything. She said that there was this Nicholson guy and I remembered that her Family name was Nicholson (which it isn’t). He worked in tobacco but spent much of his time asleep when he came home from work. I don’t know how he coped with his day job if he was asleep like he was when he was at home.

There was more to the night than this but as you are probably having your tea right now I’ll spare you the gory details. But it wasn’t anything to do with the events of yesterday morning.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages and then set about pairing up the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow. And typing this out reminds me that I didn’t choose a speech for my guest. There will now be a short intermission while I deal with that.

So now that I’ve sorted out Louis de Funès, I went for a nice brunch – toast and porridge with plenty of coffee. I do quite alright for myself here as far as food goes.

Once lunch was out of the way I had some work to do. That’s right – me working on a Sunday! Would you believe it?

On Friday night I interviewed that girl from Greenland and I’d intended to deal with the recording yesterday. However, the events of the morning got in my way.

What I did was to separate the two tracks, mine and the interviewee’s, cut out the bleeding over between the mikes (I haven’t had time yet to look at that helpful tutorial you sent me, Grahame), diminish the volume on my track and then cut out any irrelevances from the interview

When that was done I sent them off to the girl who wanted me to do the interview along with the photos that I had taken.

What she can do now is to prepare her own track to ask the questions that I asked as well as any questions that she might want to ask to interject into the monologue of the interviewee.

When I interview someone, I don’t like to interrupt them when they are in full flow. I let them carry on, wait until I’m back home to ask the questions to break up the monologue, and edit them into the recording at the correct place.

Once I’d done that it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021First stop was of course the wall at the end of the car park and the beach down below.

The tide wasn’t actually all the way in this afternoon. There was still a little bit of beach to be on but I couldn’t see anyone down there taking advantage of it.

That’s hardly a surprise because we are now well into the grip of autumn. It wasn’t as cold as it might be at this time of year but it was a real November day with a strong wind blowing that would blow the cobwebs away from the corners of your mind.

yacht ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021While I was there looking over the wall I was also looking out at sea to see what was going on in the bay.

There was something white moving around just off the coast of the Ile de Chausey so I took a photograph of it to examine at my leisure back home later.

Its shape suggested to me that it was a sail, a sail of a yacht, and when I enlarged and enhanced it, I could see that that was the case. He was the only one out there too.

having photographed the object I headed off down the path. There weren’t too many other people down there so it was quite a comfortable walk.

zodiac marker light baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Halfway along the path I noticed that there was somethign happening just offshore.

There’s some kind of marker here sitting on a big lump of rock and there were two guys with a zodiac right by it. I’m not sure what they were doing but they didn’t look like fishermen.

With nothing else going on, I waited for a couple of minutes to see whether they would tie up their zodiac and then shin up the ladder but it took them so long to sort out their equipment that I was distracted elsewhere and that was that.

tora tora tora sun shining through clouds baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021As I have said before … “and on may occasions too” – ed … one thing about going out for a walk at this time of day at this time of the year is the marvellous effects that are sometimes produced by the sunlight.

Once again, we have another TORA TORA TORA effect as the sunlight streams through a gap in the clouds and onto the surface of the sea.

However I’m not going to hang about too long. That looks like a tremendous storm in the background and the wind is blowing it my way. The sooner that I go back for my coffee, the better.

brittany coast yachts baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021But I shan’t be going back home quite yet.

As I was walking down the path and over the car park I could see all of these yachts out there in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

The light at the moment is producing some really spectacular effects and it’s probably the best light that I’ve seen for a while. The colours that it’s creating are superb.

Looking closer at the image, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen the wind turbines at the foot of the bay stand out so clearly as they were doing this afternoon.

cancale brittany boat in baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the end of the headland there was a couple of people sitting on the bench by the old stone cabin.

However I ignored them today because for once we had some kind of activity going on out there at sea right now.

There’s some kind of boat heading off towards the brittany coast and the town of Cancale but I can’t tell what kind of boat it is.

Even enlarging and enhancing the image didn’t tell me all that much. There are a couple of crane-like objects on the back but that’s all that I could say.

l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way back home I went past the chantier naval as usual but now that we know the score after my foray down to the port office yesterday, I shan’t be featuring it until there’s some kind of activity taking place at the yard.

Instead, I concentrated on L’Omerta instead, still tied up at the wharf underneath the Fish Processing Plant. It looks as if she’s moved in there permanently now.

Back here I made a coffee and then did some work on cutting up a couple of digital recordings of albums that I had tracked down on the internet over the past few weeks. I’ve pretty-much digitalised my entire collection now but some tracks are quite badly damaged and I’ve been hunting down replacements.

Now that I’ve had my pizza I’m planning on going to bed. I’m up early radioing tomorrow and I have my physiotherapy in the afternoon so I’m going to be having a busy day. An early night and nice deep sleep will do me some good.

Friday 12th November 2021 – TORA TORA TORA!

tora tora tora sunlight through clouds pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021One of the many things that I like about this time of year is the effects tha the sun can produce when it’s low in the sky.

Particularly on days when there is heavy cloud and there are these small gaps through which the sun, low in the sky, can send its beams radiating out into the sea.

Here on the edge of the cliffs we have no obstruction to our view and can see for miles, so it’s really a grandtand seat here to see the sort of effect that so inspired the Japanese naval Air Force when they set out that morning to attack Pearl Harbour

spotlight of the gods brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021And sometimes we have an effect that is even more spectacular, like this one seen from the other side of the headland.

This one really is a spotlight of the Gods and I’d love to know what it was illuminating over there on the Brittany coast. it must have been just like on the stage of a theatre during a performance.

It isn’t every day that a photo opportunity such as this presents itself and strangely, I was the only person who seemed to be interested in watching it. These days most people seem to be oblivious of the free shows that Nature puts on for them.

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021If you had read these pages earlier, you might have been wondering why the entry was so short last night.

The answer was that I had been out radioing until quite late. I’d been to see a girl called Leoma who was performing at the local Mediatheque.

She was born in Paamiut, in the south of Greenland, and had come here to tell a few native Greenlandic tales for a small audience in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the twinning of Granville with the town of Uummannaq in northern Greenland.

For once in my life I must have had a reasonable night because the entry (there was only one) on the dictaphone was at 07:15 – just 15 minutes before the alarm rang. Nothing whatever at 02:00 or 03:30 or whatever like there has been quite recently.

Last night they had doled out the soup on THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR and it was just sitting there going cold while there was something going on. I heard somehow that there had been a record number of complaints about something so I mentioned it to one or two people. One of my disabled friends from University was there. We were chatting about the company. I said last year that i’d come north with a different company and it wasn’t the same at all hence I’m back. He said that it was the same for him and several other people whom he knew. I said that at least I reached destinations differently last year. Then our ship pulled into a port. I disembarked and so did a lot of other people, took my camera with me and went to photograph it. There was a big aeroplane coming in to land that flew past overhead. There was a church and the hotel. I couldn’t fit the hotel in the frame so i went to photograph the church first but everyone kept getting in my way. Then I couldn’t get the camera to work. When I did, I found that I didn’t have the shot that I wanted so I had to go somewhere else to take the shot. I walked past a shop, a toy shop, and there were a couple of girls dancing, being very happy. I went to take the photo but a couple of other people got in my way so I couldn’t. When finally I could, I pressed the shutter but the camera didn’t click. I was wondering “have I taken this photo or not? How am I going to be able to check?”.

When the alarm did go off I struggled once more out of bed and went for my medication.

Afterwards, having checked my mails and messages and transcribed the dictaphone notes, I set out to perform the task that I had promised yesterday to undertake – to wit find the spare battery and battery chargers for the NIKON 1 J5.

Finding the mains charger was easy – it was plugged into a plugboard in the dining room. But the USB charger and battery was something else completely.

This led to a sorting-out and filing of a pile of papers, making up my suitcase for Belgium next week, photocopying a pile of medical receipts, a discovery of several other missing bits and pieces (which usually happens at these moments) and SHOCK! HORROR! I actually found what I’d been looking for.

Mind you, it had taken long enough but even so, finding something on the day that I set out to do so must be something of a record.

After lunch I had another go at attacking the photos from Greenland 2019. It’s been quite a while since I’ve attacked that, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

It’s not that I’m actually out of the woods with this backlog of arrears, I’ve simply moved into different woods.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Of course there has to be the usual break while I go for my afternoon walk today.

First place to visit is the beach down below the car park – not actually visit the beach of course because I can’t manage the stairs these days – but to look down upon it from above.

There wasn’t anyone down there that I could see today, which was hardly a surprise because after the balmy day that we had yesterday, winter and the wind are back with a vengeance.

There weren’t too many people around on the footpath this afternoon either which was goon news for me. I could walk around in peace and tranquiliity without running much risk of catching some kind of infectious disease.

cabanon vauban people sitting on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There were a few people though braving it out, sitting on the bench down at the end of the Pointe du Roc.

Not that there was very much to see today because the sun, being so low in the sky, was shining right into the surface of the sea and if there was something out there it was impossible to see it.

But take a look at the sea out there. It’s not as rough as it was the other day but even so there’s quite a storm whipping up the waves somewhere further out at sea.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021However, what the storm was producing at the blunt end was something of a damp squib.

Having left behind the ladies on the ledge I set off along the path to see how the waves were doing as they broke on the sea wall around the corner.

However I needn’t have been so impatient because there wasn’t all that much to see. I wasn’t expecting them to go right over the sea wall but I was expecting to see someting rather more lively than this. And this wave was the best of the bunch too.

portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Meanwhile, down in the chantier naval there’s something going on at the portable boat lift.

They haven’t just been content to take off the wheels, they have the stub axles off too. This looks as if it’s going to be quite a long job to fix whatever is the problem with it.

Meanwhile, they’ve corralled it off with the blocks that they use for the boats to settle in while they are being worked on. Not that it’s going to be keeping too many people away from the scene, although it might prevent a car driving into it at the dead of night.

yachts baie de mont st michel crane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Further along at the ferry terminal, I see that they have once more left the crane to its own devices fully-extended while they have gone off to do something else.

Things like this makes me wonder how long it will be before this is out of service for repair, and who they will end up blaming for the faulty seals.

But it’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good. I mentioned the wind earlier and there are a couple of yachts out there taking full advantage of it.

Back here I had a shower then a coffee and then checked my radio equipment ready for this evening.

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the Mediatheque I found, to my dismay, that the girl running the show on whose behalf I was going there for THE RADIO hadn’t reserved me a place and it was a sell-out.

Nevertheless I managed to blag my way in and listen to her telling a few animated traditional stories from Greenland, stories that I hadn’t heard before, surrounded by her collection of Qulliks

Although I took a few photos from my very cramped and uncomfortable position, it was impossible for me to record it, despite doing my best.

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021At the end of the show I door-stepped her and after a little chat she agreed to be interviewed by the radio.

We agreed to meet at the Archipel Theatre where there was an exhibition of paintings by an American artist who had visited Uummannaq to paint the town and its scenery

There were plenty of people around there because they were having some kind of party – a vernissage, although it’s the first time that I’ve ever heard of a vernissage given by a dead artist – so I had to hunt around for a quiet room and ended up in the refectory.

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Of course, all of these entertainers have their fans and so I had to hang around for her while she disentangled herself from her admirers.

Eventually she came over and we went off for our chat.

Although she was born in Greenland, her family are French. Her grandfather had visited Greenland quite often and ended up settling there. She was born while her parents were visiting him.

She didn’t stay there long after she was born but in Greenland there’s a droit de sol – nationality is accorded to those who were born there but they have to be present at 18 years old to claim it so she returned. Unfortunately, she’d never visited Uummannaq so that mean that most of my questions ended up in the bin. In fact, she’s never been to the north of Greenland.

In the end we chatted about life in Greenland, which was rather difficult seeing as she hadn’t grown up there, so talking about youth and education and the like was clearly going to be difficult.

Having visited Greenland as often as I have (which is three times more than most people on the planet) I had a good idea of where things differ than mainland Europe and what might be of interest

leoma mediatheque Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021One thing that surprised me (well, it didn’t because I know all about this, although I wasn’t expecting it) was that she was subconsciously aware of the differences between the more urban (if anything in Greenland can be said to be urban) southern part of the country and the more rural and traditional north of the country.

It was very much a case of “us and them”.

She didn’t seem to be concerned as much as I would have expected about the environment either. For her it was a case of exploiting the opportunities that the melting ice-cap had given then in the search for new raw materials to make the country economically self-sufficient, rather than the destructive effect that it will have on the traditional Inuit lifestyle in the north.

That was probably the strongest “us and them” part of the interview and, to be honest, it was an attitude that rather dismayed me. Most of the people whom I know in Greenland are Inuit from the North and their response would have been completely different.

For that reason, it wasn’t a very good interview from the point of view of Uummannaq.

he said that she could spare 5 minutes but we were there for half an hour talking about Greenland, and we would have been there longer had she had anything to say about Uummannaq.

By the time that I returned home it was late to to listen to a group whom I’d been invited to see so I just threw a quick tea together – pasta and veg tossed in a garlic, oil and pepper sauce with grated vegan cheese.

Now I’m off to bed and I’ll add the photos in tomorrow. No big shopping tomorrow as I’m off in the middle of next week. I’ll just pop into town for some basic supplies instead.

Tuesday 26th October 2021 – I’VE NOT HAD …

… a very good day today. I mentioned yesterday that I felt that I was feeling as if I was having something of a relapse and today I think that it caught up with me today.

Last night I was in bed fairly early and I had a very sound sleep – for a couple of hours, and then it all went wrong. Once I’d awoken, I found it very difficult to go back to sleep. That is – until about 5 minutes before the alarm went off, as you might expect.

During the night I’d been on my travels too. I’d been out for a meal with my niece, her husband and one or two of her daughters. We got to this Indian restaurant but I had to nip off and do something. There was an engine in the hallway in Vine Tree Avenue and I wanted to take it up to my bedroom to work on it but it was leaking oil everywhere so I had to wash my way behind it, clean up all of the oil and everything, stack it on newspapers and so on. Then I could go back to this meal. They already had their food and were well on their way through it so I apologised. My niece said something like “I don’t think I like you any more Eric”. It really was embarrassing because I didn’t have any meal at all in this restaurant.

Later on I had my brother with me again in a car. We were going somewhere to meet a girl. We went along Bradfield Road and there was a garage on the right-hand side and there was one further on the left over the railway bridge. I asked if the one further on the left was open. Everyone seemed to think that it was so I went there but it was closed so I had to go back to the other one. I put enough fuel in to get us down towards Middlewich and then drove off. For some reason I had to go back and get more fuel. I went back but this time that garage was open. We fought our way in through the crowds to fuel up. There was a girl there who worked in the petrol station handing out 4x£1:00 notes to everyone fuelling up. I put in some fuel and grabbed my money. My brother grabbed some money too and in fact grabbed some more of another girl. We drove out and the subject came round to this girl. I knew who she was but I had to find out where she was. I had to look on this chart and everything. Eventually I found her. She was 56C. Then I thought “I’d better go back and get more petrol”. I asked my brother “are you going to come back with me?”. he said “no”, got off and went into a shop. I turned round ready to go back and get more petrol and hopefully get more money as well.

After the medication, I couldn’t find the energy to start work and ended up sitting here vegetation for several hours while I tried to summon up something. Eventually I ended up wading through a pile of photographs, sorting out the duplicates and deleting the unwanted files.

After lunch, feeling a little (if not very much) better, I scanned all of the documents that I’d received from the cardiologist as well as the receipts that related to my visits yesterday. I don’t want to end up like I did the other day with 18 months worth of receipts, some of them missed and some of them out of time.

Once that was done I made a series of ‘phone calls to Leuven. After being passed from pillar to post, I eventually, after much binding in the marsh, ended up with the secretary of the Cardiology Unit.

She told me to write a mail with all of my details and a resumé of my case, and attach the photocopies of the report that I had received, and that took much longer than it ought to have done as well.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021All of that took me up to the time to go for my afternoon walk.

First port of call is the wall at the end of the car park where I can peer over and down onto the beach to see what was happening.

There were plenty of people wandering around on the path but for some reason or other, the beach was strangely deserted. All I could see was this guy standing on a sandbank at the water’s edge.

There was what looked like a pile of clothes or a bag or something on the rocks nearby, but I couldn’t tell if they belonged to him. I couldn’t see anyone swimming in the water.

trawlers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Looking out to sea, I couldn’t see any boats of any description with my naked eye but there was a glint of sunlight on glass somewhere out there.

Consequently I took a speculative photograph with the idea of enlarging it and enhancing it when I returned home so that I could see if there was anything exciting happening out there.

In fact, it turns out that there were half a dozen fishing boats in that sector of the bay. With so many boats having been refused (for the moment) the right to fish in the Jersey sector of the Bay, they are exploring other avenues.

fishing boats ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Such as just offshore at the Ile de Chausey.

In all of the time that we have been living here, we’ve never seen fishing boats operating that close to the islands.

The issue about fishing permits is that the Jersey authorities are insisting on proof that the boats have previously fished in the bay, but many of the smaller boats are not equipped with radar or AIS equipment and so don’t have print-outs to show where they have been fishing.

Incidentally, this dispute has nothing to do with Brexit. The Channel islands, despite being a British territory, were never part of the European Union and fishing in the bay was regulated by Normandy, Brittany and the Channel Islands under the Treaty of the Bay of Granville 1834.

The Channel Islands have simply leapt on board the Brexit bandwagon to use it as an excuse to unilaterally revoke the Treaty and keep the fishing grounds to themselves.

But as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed …. the Channel Islanders can catch as much fish as they like but it all counts for nothing if they are prevented by the French fishermen from landing their catch at a French fish market.

Since this situation has escalated, I’ve not seen a single Channel Island trawler permitted to unload here.

35ma aeroplane place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was admiring the maritime activity, an aeroplane came flying by overhead.

It’s another one of these light aeroplanes with a registration number that is out of the run of the normal series.

We’ve seen this one on several occasions in the past. She’s registered as 35MA but apart from that, I’ve never been able to find out any more about her.

Now that all of that is out of the way, I could head off down the path towards the lighthouse.

sunset on water baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021another thing that I mentioned yesterday was that now that the sun is lower in the sky, we’ll be having some interesting effects out in the bay.

And sure enough, this afternoon we have another really good one. It’s not quite up to the TORA TORA TORA standard as far as the rays from the sunshine through gaps in the clouds go, but the reflection of the sun on the water is really impressive.

What was sad about this was that there was no-one else watching it. No-one was sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban this afternoon enjoying the view, and no fishermen out on the rocks either.

chausiaise joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Walking along the path on top of the cliffs, I came to the viewpoint overlooking the tidal harbour.

Over by the ferry terminal we have one of the Joly France ferries, the newer one if I’m not mistaken. Behind her is Chausiaise, the little freighter that runs out to the islands. She was parked at the loading bay under the crane when we last saw her.

The chantier naval was strangely deserted today. Since Yann Frederic went back into the water, no-one has come into take her place. It’s quite rare these days to see the yard looking so empty.

workmen's compound boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Further along on my walk I could have a good look down into the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

The work must still be proceeding in the Rue Cambernon because the workmen’s compound down there hasn’t yet been dismantled and there seems to be plenty of activity with all of the signage, piles of sand and gravel and all of the machinery.

Back at the apartment I found that the postman had left me some presents so I brought them up here and made myself a coffee.

Having drunk the coffee I made a start on sorting out the paperwork for filing but regrettably I fell asleep. I thought that I’d gone through all of that but Sunday and today have been a big disappointment in that respect.

Tea was taco rolls with the remainder of yesterday’s stuffing lengthened with a small tin of kidney beans and then I came here to type up my notes.

Right now I’m absolutely exhausted and I’ve no idea why. It’s like the bad old days of a couple of months ago that I thought that I’d put behind me. I’m going to go to bed in the hope that I’ll sleep it off and have a better day tomorrow.

Sunday 24th October 2021 – SUNDAY IS A …

… day of rest around here, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. And I rested so well that I actually crashed out for 10 minutes in the late afternoon, and how long is it since I’ve done that?

Mind you, it was another depressing night. It was 03:00 when I finally crawled into bed last night after all that coffee. But I was up and about at 04:40 with a severe bout of coughing that awoke me. I had to go off and have a drink of water.

That’ll teach me to eat a handful of peanuts just as I’m going to bed.

But once back in bed, it took an age, a real age, to go back off to sleep and even when I did, I was wide awake again at 09:30. I stayed in bed though, hoping that I would go back to sleep again but by 11:00 I gave it up as a bad job and went for my medication.

Before lunch I paired off all of the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow – that is, depending on what happens at the heart consultant tomorrow at 08:00.

As well as that I have the nurse coming for my injections in the afternoon followed by the physiotherapist, so I’m going to be pushed for time.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too from last night. There was some filming going on in our school. I’m not sure what it was about but I was there looking at the stills afterwards to see if there was anyone there whom I recognised. Afterwards the producer was issuing a couple of girls with rail tickets, a years worth, 12 x monthly ones. He was putting on the date. It was something like January for this and every subsequent year. I remember saying to him “I hope that this picture will be finished before the end of this year, never mind every subsequent year”.

I was doing something for G&B Coaches last night but it involved being in cars. One of the cars was an Austin Princess that I was driving. When I brought it back home I checked the oil and the oil was low so I topped it up. I set out to do what I had to do and we all met up near a beach somewhere. There was one driver, a girl, missing. While we were sitting on the beach we were wondering where she was. Then I went to check the engine oil again and the whole inside of the engine compartment was awash with oil. There was obviously a major oil leak somewhere. This was awful. We had a talk about that. I mentioned that they should have a mechanic in to fix this because this will cost them a lot in the long term with the oil. One of the guys said “with a mechanic in, that’s why they can get all these boxes of spares that they’ve bought and go through them and work out that they’ve made a good deal out of it all”. That still didn’t convince me anything about the state of this Austin Princess that was leaking oil everywhere. I thought that i’d be lucky if I get home in this.

There is also the afternoon walk but before I set out I had some bread to make. I’ve run out of fruit buns for breakfast so I made some dough with everything in it, mixed it all up and kneaded it, rolled it out and cut it into 8

With the lumps of dough I rolled them round into balls, pressed them down and put them on a baking tray to leave them to rise up.

seagulls on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Of course I had to go out to the end of the car park and look down over the wall onto the beach to see what was happening.

Never mind the beach, or the people thereupon. I was much more enthralled by the sight that caught my eye down in one of the tidal pools.

Just about every seagull in the Manche seemed to be either floating on it or hovering above it. According to someone with whom I was talking, it’s a feeding frenzy. Maybe a shoal of fish has been left behind as the tide has retreated.

Had I been fitter, I’d have gone down and checked it, but going down the steps is one thing – coming back up them afterwards is something else completely.

seagull man on rocks place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There was however someone down there on the beach.

And he was in danger of coming under attack by a low-flying seagull that is coming along to inspect him. I’m not sure exactly what he was doing down there. He wasn’t equipped for the peche à pied, or any other kind of fishing either.

But anyway, I wasn’t going to hang around and watch him while he strolled about among the rocks. I cleared off down the path towards the lighthouse, fighting my way through the crowds as I did so. it was quite busy out there this afternoon.

people at the pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down the path and across the car park, I came to the end of the path at the headland.

There wasn’t a single boat out there this afternoon in the bay. Nothing whatever was moving. And so I was wondering what these people would be doing down there this afternoon. Something had caught their eye but I couldn’t see what it was.

There was also a girl on the path down below, taking a photo of I don’t know what. But just as I was about to take a photo of her taking a photograph, she put her camera away and cleared off down the path.

sun shining through clouds brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021You can tell that the autumn is well on its way now, judging by the sun.

This kind of photo is a regular feature of these pages during the autumn and winter with the sun at a very low elevation in the sky shining through gaps in the clouds giving a kind of TORA TORA TORA effect to the sky.

There will be a few more of these as the year progresses.

From here I wandered off down the path on the southern side of the headland towards the viewpoint overlooking the port.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There was no change in the Chantier naval today. Yann Frederic was still there all on her own.

Jade III had gone from her perch on the slipway into the tidal harbour too and so I turned my attention to whatever was going on in the inner harbour.

Chausiais was there, tied up at the quayside underneath the crane. That tells us two things –

  1. She must have some kind of load to deliver to the Ile de Chausey in the very near future.
  2. We aren’t expecting a Jersey freighter in port for the next day or so.


Back at the apartment I had a coffee and then turned my attention to my stomach.

Earlier on, I’d taken out some dough from the freezer and it had been defrosting. By now it was ready so I kneaded it again, rolled it out and put it on the pizza tray to proof for the next half hour or so.

vegan pizza fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was assembling my pizza later, I turned the oven on and put the fruit bread buns in to back. It had all risen quite nicely over the last hour or two although I would have liked it to have risen more than it has.

When the buns were ready I put the pizza in and when it was cooked I went for my tea.

It was actually one of the best pizzas that I have ever eaten. The fruit buns look really good but I’ll be telling you more about those tomorrow.

For a change I’ve actually finished my notes early, so I’m going to take full advantage and go for an early night ready for tomorrow. It’s a busy day so I need to be on form.

Saturday 20th February 2021 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

storm waves sea wall port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… the waves that are crashing down on the sea wall at the port this afternoon in the gale that was blowing outside this afternoon, I was trying desperately to struggle out of bed.

The two alarms had gone off and I’d even heard the one that I’d set to remind me that the third one is about to go off and give me a three-minute warning to rise.

However I felt myself drifting away and I just about managed to pull myself up out of bed in time to beat it. I didn’t want to miss out on another complete week of beating the third alarm call. It’s not every week these days that I can do it and two complete weeks on the run was is a memorable achievement these days, not to be discarded lightly.

storm waves sea wall port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night.

There wasn’t anything on there but I have a completely vivid memory of watching through a window as two white dolphins were leaping up and down in the water, calling my brother to look but he didn’t have the least interest in coming to see the spectacle.

Now that my magnum opus is done for now, the next task is to continue with the subsequent entries and make sure that they are up to date. And I even managed to do NEXT DAY’S ENTRY.

storm waves sea wall port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter a shower, I headed off to the shops to stock up with stuff for the next few days and have a few bits and pieces left over for when I come back from Leuven.

Noz didn’t have very much worthwhile except for a new Sports Bag. I’d been looking for one to take with me to Leuven so I don’t have to struggle with a shopping back to bring back the supplies. Black and yellow too!

At LeClerc, no confrontations or anything like that on the car park this week, and inside there wasn’t anything exciting or interesting or useful on sale this weekend. All in all it was rather boring. There was however 20 cents off soya milk so I bought as much as I could carry away because the sell-by date is a year hence and I can certainly use it.

Such are the highlights of my life these days, hey?

One thing that I had done was to go to the techy bit of the shop to see if they had a travel keyboard that might work with the laptop that I repaired. It was a forlorn hope anyway.

Back here I had a mug of hot chocolate and a slice of my sourdough fruit bread and carried on with my work. However at some point I crashed out – crashed out good and proper too and it was another one of those “feeling really awful” ones from which I seem to take an age to come round.

As a result, lunch was rather late today.

One task that needed doing is to feed the mixtures here – the sourdough and the ginger bug. They both seem to be doing quite well and the ginger beer that I made earlier in the week, after a very slow start, is now fermenting nicely. I’ve been venting the pressure on the ginger beer and the kefir every half-day and at last, this afternoon the beer almost presented me with a gusher.

One more feed of those on Wednesday morning before I head off for Leuven and that will see them right for when I come back.

crowds on beach rue du nord plat gousset donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt was a beautiful afternoon today even with the gale-force winds that were blowing and it had brought out the crowds in force.

I went out dressed for the Arctic temperatures only to find that it was a balmy 14°C – or maybe that should be “barmy” given the fact that we are in the middle of winter. But the crowds down on the beach were enjoying themselves. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many people down there at this time of year.

It’s not as if they had a great deal of beach to go at either because the tide hasn’t gone all that far out right now. But there are still quite a few people having a go at the peche à pied, scrabbling around on the rocks.

crowds on path pointe du roc gymnase jean galfione Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving satisfied my curiosity down on the beach I headed off along the footpath on top of the cliffs.

Considering that this is mid-February and there was a howling gale blowing, I couldn’t believe the crowds of people who were out and about. Everyone was jostling everyone else on the footpaths just like on an August Bank Holiday Weekend. The path down by the Gymnase Jean galfione was packed.

Despite how bright and sunny it looked this afternoon, there was quite a haze about. It wasn’t possible to see out as far as Jersey and it was just as bad down the Brittany coast this afternoon. Warm as it might be this afternoon, it wasn’t warm enough to burn away the haze.

Across the lawn and the crowded car park I went down to the headland. Nothing much happening there at the moment so I turned away to walk on down the path.

sunset baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut just as I moved away I felt the sun come out from out behind a cloud so I turned round. And there was the sun streaming down right into the middle of the bay with another one of these TORA TORA TORA moments.

Having photographed that I pushed on past the waves roaring into the sea wall with quite a force considering how shallow the water is there right now, and had a look over into the chantier navale

There were a couple of guys clambering all over the yacht that’s been in there since time immemorial . And just as I went to take a photo of them, they dodged back down into the cabin.

“Obviously very shy” I mused to myself. It wasn’t my day today.

trawlers victor hugo port de granville harbour Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were fewer people around here on this side of the headland so, taking my time, I went to see what was going on in the port.

Not many fishing boats out at sea by the looks of things this afternoon. There are plenty of them tied up at their berths. Granville and Victor Hugo, the Channel Island ferries, are there too as you might expect. Apart from a brief flurry of activity in June, they haven’t sailed on a paid voyage for almost a year.

The future is looking quite bleak for the Channel Island ferries right now, and the Joly France ferries to the Ile de Chausey aren’t doing all that much better. I know that I haven’t been out as regularly as I have been in the past, but it’s been a good while since I’ve seen one of those out and about with passengers.

Back here I had a hot coffee and then carried on with the work that I’d been doing and there are now several days’ worth of updates that I’ve completed. I knocked off at about 18:30 to telephone Ingrid for a chat and then went for tea.

Baked potatoes, veg and one of those breaded soya fillets of which I’d bought a large supply from Noz ages ago. And the last of the apple crumble. For the couple of days that I’m here next week, I’ll defrost some slices of apple pie from the freezer.

Having written my notes, I’m not going to be up for very long. That repairing a disk failed – overnight it reached 30% before the repair crashed. But the drive is still recognised so there’s hope for it. There’s a diagnostic tool that I can try to see if I can access the files but it’s very complicated so I need to be at my best to work it to make sure that I don’t make an error.

Sunday 7th February 2021 – COLD, GREY, MISERABLE, DEPRESSING AND WINDY.

But that’s enough about me. Let’s talk about the day instead.

With it being Sunday I had a nice little lie-in today.

It was rather a late night last night because I ended up playing the guitar right through into the small hours, for want of anything better to do. So being awake just before 10:00 and not leaving the bed until about 10:30 isn’t of any importance.

Surprisingly, after all the sleep that I had, I didn’t go all that far on my travels during the night. I only remember bits of this but I was with Terry and Liz and we were talking about my Welsh course. I’d somehow led them to believe that I was taking classes physically rather than virtually and taking place in North Wales, Bangor. Terry said that he had to go there so I replied that if it was a Monday I could take him there in the afternoon. He said that it wasn’t. We started to chat about Bangor and he asked where I stayed when I was up there. I replied out by THE MENAI BRIDGE which of course I didn’t stay there at all. I can’t really remember the rest of this.

But anyway it must have been a deep relaxing sleep if that’s all that I did.

As far as work goes, I really didn’t do all that much at all. After all, it is Sunday and I’m entitled to a day of rest here and there.

One thing that I did do however was to make a start on the ginger bug – the base that you use for brewing your own ginger beer. That’s now up and running and we’ll see how that develops over the next week or so, ready to make into ginger beer. Having over the last couple of weeks accumulated a few more flip-top pressurised bottles, I can do that now.

And while I was at it, I fed the sourdough

windsurfer baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOf course there was the afternoon walk – no afternoon is complete without that.

Mind you, I would much rather have stayed indoors this afternoon because it was horrible out there. Only the guy windsurfing offshore at Donville les Bains would be taking any pleasure from the howling gale that was going on out there this afternoon.

With no-one about at all, I even tried to run along the footpath under the walls but gave it up after half a dozen steps because the wind brought me to a shuddering halt as I tried to make progress.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn view of the howling gale I had decided to take the low road under the walls rather than the high road around the headland.

And you can tell what the weather was like because there are so few people out and about compared to yesterday, and those who were had dressed themselves sufficiently to enable them to cope with the Arctic conditions. Even my ears were freezing as the wind somehow found its way to whistle through the woolly hat that I was wearing to keep my woolly head warm.

It was one of those days where I had no intention whatever of staying outside for a second longer than I had to. I was keen to come on home for my hot coffee.

sunlight baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve had a few occasions over the depths of darkest winter where we’ve been having some spectacular sunsets on the bay out there by the Brittany coast.

Whilst the day has lengthened to such an extent now, we aren’t having the same effects which is a pity. But there were a couple of holes in the thick, heavy clouds this afternoon and we ended up with another TORA TORA TORA moment this afternoon as rays of sun were shining down onto the sea.

There was someone else out there armed with a camera wandering around looking for objects to photograph but I can’t believe that he missed this view.

mural rue lecarpentier rue des degres Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I’d been out on my travels yesterday I’d seen a mural that someone had painted on a gate down in the Rue Carpentier, but there were so many people around it that it was impossible to photograph it.

Today I’d forgotten all about it – until a casual glance down the Rue des Degres brought me face-to-face with it again. There was no-one about here so I could photograph it at my ease, and I’m glad that I waited until today because photographing it like this from the far end of the side street has brought it out quite well.

But I’m curious to know what it’s all about. It’s rather reminiscent of the album cover of COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING but I’d be surprised if anyone recognised that album out here.

yacht aztec lady chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAround the walls I walked, to see what was happening. And from up here there’s a good view down onto the chantier navale.

There’s no change in the occupants – the two fishing boats, the yacht that has been there for ever and Aztec Lady which has been there for much longer than I was expecting, but I took a photo of it all because it’s not often that we see it from this perspective.

Seeing as I was dressed for the winter, I took the opportunity to take out the rubbish – the general garbage and the recyclable metal and glass. Such is the highlight of the day, hey?

Having taken out a lump of pizza dough from the freezer at lunchtime, it was now ready to prepare. I rolled it out and put it in the pan to proof again while I came back in here to edit some more photos from Greenland.

rice pudding home made vegan pizza Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce it had proofed, I switched on the oven and bunged in the rice pudding to cook while I prepared the pizza.

And when the pudding was ready, in went the pizza. Meanwhile, I parcelled up the remaining slices of apple pie, labelled them and put them in the freezer for when the rice pudding runs out.

The pizza was delicious but I can’t comment on the rice pudding because there wasn’t any room left inside me for dessert. So that will have to wait until tomorrow.

So now I’m off to bed for an early night. I need to have a good start tomorrow as I have nothing prepared for the radio so I’ll be doing a programme from scratch.

I’ve not crashed out at all today so despite the late start I’m tired and if I prolong it, it’s going to be another dismally late start tomorrow and I can’t afford that.

Sunday 6th December 2020 – JUST FOR …

… a change today I’ve been working. even if it is a Sunday.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’ve not been feeling too good this last couple of days and today was no exception. I didn’t feel like doing anything at all but then I have a theory that whenever one is feeling like this, it doesn’t matter what one does, as long as one does something.

And so, for some of the day I’ve been selecting the music for the next radio programme, editing it, remixing it and merging it into pairs.

When I say “some of the day”, I do have to say that there wasn’t much of a day to have some of. Not when one doesn’t wake up until 12:15 and doesn’t leave one’s bed until 12:30. And that’s something of a surprise when I actually made it into bed as early as 00:30. All that I can say is that I must have needed the sleep.

And sleep I did too, although there were a few travels involved in it all too. I was running a bus company last night and some of my buses were doing a shuttle service around town. I pulled up to where these shuttle buses were parked and ready to to and one of the guys with one of the coaches was someone who shouldn’t be driving for some particular reason. I asked him where the driver was and he looked panic-stricken and flustered and said “ohh he must have been here. He’s probably gone. He’ll be back in a minute”. We waited for a couple of minutes but he never showed up so I asked again “where’s he gone? Tell me where he’s gone”. he was becoming even more flustered. In the end I said that I wanted to see the tachograph disc that’s in the coach. Reluctantly he opened the tachograph. I couldn’t see it fairly well but the guilty look on this guy’s face made me believe that it was his tachograph and he’d been driving the bus despite not being allowed to. I said “right, get everything on board. We’re going”. We picked up all of the luggage that was lying around and got ready to set off. I don’t know whether I was going to drive it back or not but we were ready to go back and sort this out back at the depot.

And later on during the night there was something going on with my family. I had to take my father into work in the morning that meant that I would be late into work again. As I’d already been late getting into work the previous day, not getting in until 09:50. I was up early as usual doing a few things and I was getting rather impatient thinking that he’d better get a move on”. One of my sisters came out. “Dad says to tell you that he’s getting up. He’ll be up in half an hour’s time and you have to take him to work when he gets up”. I said “this is just stupid because I’m going to miss an entire morning’s work now, having done this”. I was extremely annoyed. She said something like “there’s been 5 coffees waiting for you already this morning”. I dismissed that. He finally did get up and said something about responsibilities, all that kind of thing. I said to him “are you going to take responsibility for telling work why it is that I’m so late this morning?”. He brushed off the question so I was really annoyed about this yet again.

I’d had a couple of job interviews lined up anyway so later on I was walking through the streets still in a totally foul mood about this but who should be coming the other way but Doctor Chaker. I couldn’t even bring myself to give him a cheery greeting. I just mumbled “hello” at him and walked on past. As for the 2nd interview this was taking place at a football ground in Belgium, either Mechelen or Beveren. It involved getting the train. I got the train to the railway station and could see the ground quite clearly close by so I set off to walk to the ground. I was looking at houses seeing if there were any rooms to let. I’d rent a furnished room for a while and put my furniture in store. I suddenly realised that I’d gone miles from the football ground. I could see the football ground away in the distance and I remembered now that I’d dne exactly the same thig when I’m come to watch a football match here – that I’d taken a wrong turning and gone miles away and been late for the kick-off. And then I thought “I only have 10 minutes before this interview starts. I’m going to have to run like hell”. I could see the floodlights of the football ground illuminated in the distance. I thought “if I can get there in 10 minutes I’ll be doing really well” so I set off to run down this dirt path past this startled pedestrian thinking to myself “I am never ever going to get there in time”.

But I seem to be spending a considerable amount of time travelling around with my family during the night, something that is totally strange seeing that I don’t spend any time at all thinking about them during my waking time. I’d love to know what’s churning up in the back of my mind and, more importantly, why.

Having recovered my composure I made a start on the music for the radio programme but them knocked off to make the dough for my pizza.

jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall And putting it on one side, I then went out for my afternoon walk.

Just for a change recently, the sky was quite clear. Plenty of heavy cloud about but visibility was really good today. There was an excellent view right across the English Channel to the island of Jersey 38 kilometres away.

Unfortunately the sky wasn’t quite clear enough to make out any of the individual buildings over there today. In the past they have on occasion stood out really clearly and we could even see the radio mast at the back of St Helier, but not today.

rays of sun lighthouse pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhilst the skies over the English Channel were grey and cloudy in the vicinity of the Channel Islands there was quite a different kind of sky looking over to the west.

The clouds in that direction were even heavier but there were a few gaps in the clouds that were giving us another TORA TORA TORA as the rays shone through and reflected off the sea.

No lights on the semaphore masts this afternoon though. I’m intrigued to know what that was all about yesterday and that was something to think about as I walked around the path.

rays of sun cancale brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom the Point on the headland there’s a good view across the bay towards the Brittany Coast so I walked across the lawn and the car park and made my way there where I joined someone else taking a photo.

There was even a better view of the rays of the sun here than in the previous photo. The sun is hiding behind the heavy cloud and shining through the gaps. The town of Cancale is standing out really well in silhouette over there on the clifftop in the centre of the photograph.

From there I moved on down the footpath on the cliffs down the southern side of the headland, where a dog tried to bite me. I hope that its ribs aren’t too badly bruised.

carolles Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt that particular moment the sun came out of another gap in the clouds and lit up the town of Carolles as if it had been floodlight. The reflection in the sea over there was extremely interesting too.

But I couldn’t hang around all that long to admire it. I had things to do and so I headed for home. There was nothing in the chantier navale or the port to detain me for very long.

Back here I carried on with the music in some kind of desultory way and even crashed out for 10 minutes too, something that surprised me considering all of the sleep that I’d had this morning.

Round about 18:00 I went to look at the pizza dough and see how it was doing.

vegan pizza Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt had risen incredibly but was far too wet still to do anything with it. In the end I had to add more flour to it, I ended up with four helpings of dough rather than the usual three. Three of those went into the freezer and the fourth I rolled out and put on a pizza tray, folding the edges over, to proof some more.

After about an hour or so I went to check on it. It had risen quite nicely again so I prepared my pizza and put it in the oven to cook. 30 minutes later I pulled it out of the oven, cooked to perfection.

It was delicious, especially when followed down by a banana with banana sorbet and chocolate sauce.

rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Halllater on I went out for my evening run around the walls of the city

There was only a slight little drizzle this evening but even so I didn’t go around the footpath underneath the walls. Everywhere else is flooded so the footpath is bound to be, so I carried on along the Rue du Nord. I took a photo back down the way that I came and if you look to the right-hand side of the photo you can see the postern gate that I would usually take when the weather permits.

Right in the background you can see the Place d’Armes, and to the right there’s also a light out to see as if a fishing boat is going past.

rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s a bit of a climb up the hill for someone like me but I broke into a run as soon as I could and ran all the way around the corner.

Regular readers of this rubbish will have seen several photos of the Rue St Jean down at the end near the Place d’Armes, and also round by the Place Cambernon. But this is the bottom end of the street at the Place d’isthme.

And here I was surprised by a police car that came round the corner. For a change, they must be carrying on a night patrol, although I’m not sure why they would be doing it around here. I was half-expecting to be asked to produce my documents and my laissez-passer but they just drove straight past me.

rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the same corner is the end of the Rue Notre Dame. We’ve walked down this street dozens of times but I don’t recall having photographed this end before.

Down the steps from here to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch. The tide was was still an hour or two from being right in and with the sea having calmed down from how it has been over the last couple of days, there was nothing in the way of waves breaking onto the sea wall of the Plat Gousset.

With no-one about to disrupt me, I ran all the way across the Square Maurice Marland down to the far end.

square maurice marland Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the end of the Square there’s a ramp that goes up through another postern gate onto the walls again, but there’s also a kind of lower garden with stairs that lead down to the Rue des Juifs.

In the past it’s made a nice pleasant walk but today the stairs are all closed off due to the deteriorating state of the city walls above. It’s one of the things that I’ve talked about in the past – the fact that the city walls are deteriorating rapidly and since I’ve been here there have been three areas that have been roped offas unsafe without any any attempt being made to repair them.

It makes me wonder where this lack of maintenance is all going to end.

Back here I wrote up my notes and now I’m ready for bed. I’ll finish off the radio programme tomorrow and then try to plan what I have to do for the rest of the week. There’s plenty to do and I have to organise myself better than I am doing at the moment

Thursday 9th July 2020 – ANYONE CARE TO …

normandy trader english channel granville manche normandy france eric hall… guess who this is heading our way this evening?

While I was out on my evening walk I noticed it way out to sea and so I took a photo of it with the aim of enlarging it when I returned home to make sure that I was correct.

And just in case you haven’t already gathered, I’m now back home in my cosy little apartment in Granville after my journey back home on the train from Leuven

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallHowever, as it happens, I didn’t need to wait until I returned home to find out, because as I was running back home after my trip to the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord, into the harbour she came.

Sure enough, it’s our old friend Normandy Trader coming in from Jersey.

And while her loading bay isn’t particularly full this evening, there are quite a few passengers – maybe as many as a dozen – standing on the deck just in front of the wheelhouse.

It seems that she’s as busy doing these repatriations as her friend Thora

As for me, I was doing my own repatriation this morning, heading for home after my stay in Belgium.

The alarm went off this morning at 05:30 and within minutes I was up and about. I made my sandwiches, packed my bags and so on and was well on my way having dropped the key off at the office.

roadworks Martelarenplein Leuven, Belgium eric hallBy 06:00 I was halfway down the road towards the railway station and that’s always a good sign.

When I was here last they were digging up the surface of the Martelarenplein to make some kind of underground parking and I was intrigued to see how they were doing with it

But as it happens, it’s all well fenced off and it looks in any case as if they are now at the stage where they are starting to resurface it. It seems that I have missed all of the excitement.

railpool bombardier traxx f140 gare de leuven railway station belgium eric hallIt was about 06:05 when I walked onto the station platform.

There’s a stopping train that goes out at 06:17 but an Intercity non-stop goes at 06:24 so I decided to wait for that. So while I was waiting I admired the freight trains that were passing through the station – dozens of them.

This locomotive is quite interesting. It’s one of the Bombardier Traxx F140 locomotives, although I can’t tell from here which model.

They are owned by a company called Railpool and that’s an interesting company. It was created by two German banks and owns all kinds of rail equipment including 42 modern electric locomotives that it leases to rail operators all over Europe whenever they have a shortfall of equipment.

sncb class 13 electric locomotive gare de leuven railway station belgium eric hallThis locomotive is much more regular though.

It’s one of the SNCB’s Class 13 electric locomotives of the late 1990s with a maximum speed of 200kph. But they weren’t without their teething troubles due in the main to electrical interference from their equipment that disrupted the signals.

The class 18s, of which we have seen an awful lot, have come in and taken their place on the headline routes, pushing them back onto secondary duties. But they are proving to be remarkably resilient.

sncb am96 electric multiple unit gare de leuven railway station belgium eric hall5 minutes earlier than planned, my train came in.

It was one of the AM96 multiple unit sets that do the express working to Blankenberge and are quite interesting because when two are coupled together and the bellows seal them in, the cabs pivot out of the way so that you can walk through from one unit to the other.

We arrived in Brussels without any issue and much to my dismay the seats in the waiting area were all taped off. And I had about 45 minutes or so to wait for my train and I didn’t fancy standing for all that time.

Luckily this train came in early too and I had to run almost the whole length of the train to find my seat.

man not wearing face mask tgv brussels belgium paris france eric hallBut as I mentioned on the way out to Leuven on Monday, I’m appalled by the casual manner of some people in the way that they are wearing their face masks.

Seeing someone with their nose uncovered is quite par for the course, but this guy here on the train from Brussels to Paris went the whole way, 300-odd kms, with his face mask around his chin and nowhere near his nose and mouth.

His friend sitting next to him didn’t have his face mask on either when i went for a ride on the porcelain horse. I really don’t know what these people don’t understand about a pandemic.

TGV Réseau 38000 tri-volt gare du nord paris france eric hallWe arrive in Paris Gare du Nord bang on time which is always good news, and I found a different way to the Metro.

Down in the bowels of the station at the line 4 platform I didn’t have long to wait before the train came in. And then I was whisked off through the catacombs down to Gare Montparnasse.

They’ve been working on that for a couple of years and it’s nearing completion. As a result I had to think for a minute about how to find my way to the train shed.

One good thing though is that we no longer have to go all the way down to the platforms at Vaugirard. Our train can fit into the main hall.

An hour to wait before my train but luckily I found a vacant seat so at least I was in some comfort

84561 gec alstom regiolis gare de granville railway station manche normandy france eric hallWe were called to our train about 20 minutes before it was due to leave, and that must be something of a record

Having stamped my ticket in the machine I scrambled aboard and found that, once again, I had a travelling companion. As I have said before, I don’t understand this social distancing thing in the station if we are all having to sit cheek by jowl in the train.

At L’Aigle there was an “incident” with a passenger and the police were called. I’m not sure what that was about but it didn’t take long and we were soon on our way. So much so that we actually arrived in Granville 5 minutes early which was quite impressive.

cherry picker clock mairie cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallMy route home was interrupted by a visit to the Post Office. A recorded delivery letter had come for me while I was away on my boat and I hadn’t had to pick it up.

So while I was passing through I called in for it. And outside the old tourist information office there was a cherry picker with a couple of guys on it working on the clock that’s there.

It’s been stuck at about 01:50 for as long as I can remember so it looks as if they are finally going to to do something about it.

And not before … errr … time either.

As Barry Hay once famously said, “one thing I gotta tell you, man – it’s good to be back home!” and he’s perfectly right too. I’ve lived in a great many places in my life and here in Granville is the only place for which I’ve ever felt any kind of emotion that might be described as “homesickness”.

Usually the kind of “homesickness” that I’ve felt is the kind of sickness that you have when you are sick of a place, but not here.

The travelling takes quite a lot out of me, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, so I didn’t do much. I sat and vegetated for a while.

At one point I was tempted to go and lie down on the sofa and watch a film. In fact I actually got as far as switching on the DVD player before I overcame the impulse.

Tea was actually the same as last night, which is hardly surprising because I used the stuff that I brought back from Leuven – pasta, veg and the second falafel burger – but this time with spicy tomato sauce.

The last slice of apple pie that was in the fridge too with some of the soya coconut dessert.

speedboat waves high winds english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallNone of the foregoing prevented me from going out for my evening walk and runs.

What actually did put a stop to it was the gale-force wind that had sprung up in the latter part of the afternoon. You can tell what was going on out there by looking at this speedboat that was moored offshore with guys in there fishing.

The swell of the waves was such that it was hiding the boat at times. That can’t be comfortable for anyone out there casting his hook and line into the sea, and I wouldn’t like to be the neighbour of any fisherman there right now.

chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallOut of the wind I managed to run along the top of the cliffs on the south side of the headland.

This takes me along the path overlooking the chantier navale where I can have a good look down to see what’s happening there. And once more we have a full house of 6 boats in there receiving attention.

As I have said before … “on many occasions” – ed … it’s good news for the town that they can keep so busy down there. It encourages people to bring their boats here

fishing boat baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallEven though I was out of the wind on this side of the headland, others were not quite so lucky.

This little fishing boat out in the Baie de Mont St Michel is having quite a battle with the elements as it struggles to make it back into harbour.

It’s not really the weather to be out there in a small boat like that I reckon. I’m glad that people have so much faith in their equipment.

sunset english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run down the Boulevard Vaufleury was OK but as I rounded the corner I was hit by the full force of the gale and that brought me to a dead stop.

It was so powerful that I had to walk on round the next corner before I could continue my run to the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord. Unfortunately the sunset tonight wasn’t all that much to write home about although we did have a nice TORA TORA TORA moment.

No picnickers down on the beach tonight, which was no surprise in this wind. I for one wouldn’t be down there.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFrom the viewpoint I set out to run back to the apartment but as I passed by the end of the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne I could see our visitor had arrived.

The little fishing boat was coming into port, but she was following in the wake of Normandy Trader who had now made it into port.

You can see the crowds of people huddled on the deck just there. That must have been a really uncomfortable crossing standing on the deck all the way across the English Channel from St Helier in a wind like this.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallNormandy Trader fought her way into the harbour and went off to moor at the quayside underneath the large crane that would unload her.

As for me, I ran off back to my apartment to write up my notes.

First of all though, there was the dictaphone to see if I had been anywhere during the night.

We had been at school last night and we ended up in little groups of about 10 of us doing something on Geography, talking about Iceland, places like that. One girl I particularly wanted to be with she ended up being in another group of 10 which quite disappointed me. I was with someone else in a pair in our group of 10. On going through the names I saw that one particular was in our group and I thought “why didn’t I get myself into a pair with her? Good Lord! I must be really slipping these days! I thought that there would be plenty of time to do that but then I realised that it was right at the end of the school year. For some reason the school year had gone really quickly and there wasn’t much time left. I was leaving anyway at the end of the year and all these opportunities I’d missed yet again.
Later on I was going back home from my holidays and we were having a look at my photos. Someone was saying somethign about the state and condition of places that I had been to. I said that I’d been to a lot worse than this and I had to search through my computer to see if I had any older photos. I came across the photos of 2002 when i was in the USA so we started to look through those. there were some really nice ones there but there were some really dreadful places that I’d seen. “Someone else said “yeh. I used to go on the Fred Trueman Estate or something in Crewe back in the 70s and God! That was a bit dire as well” and we ended up having a chat about all of that

Unfortunately I didn’t finish all of my notes. I ended up falling asleep, which is no surprise. So I’ll have to finish them off in the morning.

And it will be late too because I’m not setting an alarm. I’m always exhausted when I come back so I’ll be having a lie-in.

Wednesday 13th May 2020 – THE LEAST SAID …

… about this morning the better.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I was saying the other day that I’d had certain symptoms that were suggestive of a health setback sometime soon

Well, I didn’t have long to wait. This morning when the alarms went off I awoke feeling like death. I hadn’t felt as bad as that for quite some considerable time.

And to such an extent too that it was long after 10:30 when I found the energy to haul myself out of bed and it took another couple of hours before I was anywhere in touch with anything else.

And you can tell what kind of night it had been too because I’d been on the kind of travel during the night that you wouldn’t want to hear, seeing as you are probably eating your tea or something right now. Even more interestingly, I was accompanied on my voyage by someone really astonishing who is making her debut on these pages. Whatever she was doing making an appearance during the night I really don’t know.

With being in no fit condition to start work again until mid-afternoon I missed a good chance to catch up on stuff. But it can’t be helped, I suppose. Ill-health is something for which no-one can plan.

As a result all that I’ve managed to do is to write out the notes, dictate them and edit them. And it’s an achievement to get that far with how I was feeling.

seabirds rocks plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was a quick break for a sandwich (and that loaf of bread that I made yesterday is excellent) and also for my afternoon stroll, now that it’s permitted.

My perambulations took me around the medieval city walls today and I wasn’t half surprised when I looked down over the outer wall. There were hordes of seagulls down there sitting on the rocks and I’ve no idea why.

The first thought that I had was that they were fishing for shellfish amongst the rocks but they were all sitting there doing nothing at all.

tidal swimming pool plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will also recall that we have been watching the excavations at the old abandoned tidal swimming pool over the last few days.

There was no-one around right now so they may well have finished, but the pool seems to be holding water for the first time since I’ve no idea exactly when, for I’ve never seen it with water like this with the tide so far out.

And if you have a look just below the steps you’ll see the drain with the water emptying out. It’s hard to believe that they are going to call it finished, but the proof of the pudding will be in seeing the amount of use that it will have once the beaches are open.

seagull nest roof rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallTalking of seagulls … “well, one of us is” – ed … they seem to have taken to their nests. There’s a seagull on a nest on almost every roof in town.

It must be that time of year when the eggs aren’t too far off hatching although how many will or will not remains to be seen because there has been some kind of campaign to sterilise the eggs.

What this actually involves, I really don’t know but it sounds interesting.

So back here, I carried on with work and then had a play on the guitars for an hour. I was obviously feeling a little better.

Tea tonight was a vegan burger with rice and vegetables, followed by apple pie and coconut soya dessert stuff.

mobile homes caravanettes camping rue du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallOut for my evening run tonight and … you wouldn’t believe it.

What do some people not understand about

  1. essential travel only
  2. a 100 kilometre limit
  3. not going out of your home département

You clearly can’t tell some people anything. Is it any wonder that the virus is spreading so rapidly and so far as it is?

trawler english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run was difficult tonight as the howling gale is back again. I struggled up the hill and after I’d caught my breath, ran down to the clifftop.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve seen the fishing boats out exploring all kinds of different areas that I don’t recall them fishing. Here’s a boat that’s been in the bay off the coast at Bréhal-Plage.

There are no seagulls hovering around her so it’s not easy to say if she has caught much.

uk flag disintegrating war memorial pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing is that they put some flags up at the new Resistance war memorial that they installed last year.

With all of the high winds that we’ve ben having, one of the flags is disintegrating rapidly and it looks as if it’s about to be blown away in the next gust of wind.

No prizes for guessing that it’s the British flag that’s about to be torn to shreds. That’s obviously some kind of symbolic gesture from Mother Nature.

refrigerated lorries parked fish processing plant rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAnd this is impressive over at the fish processing plant.

That’s three refrigerated lorries and possibly a fourth one behind waiting to load up over there. Obviously there have been some really good catches just recently to entice all of those vehicles here.

Business certainly seems to be booming in the port and I have to say that the detention à domicile doesn’t seem to have had too much effect on business.

chantier navale trawlers port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMy pause for breath was on the lookout point over the chantier navale.

Sill the same four boats that have been there for a week or wo – we don’t have a fifth one yet to replace the one that left recently.

But going back to the question of fishing boats, you can see two of them queueing up outside the harbour. No room at the inn, or even at the wharf just now so they can’t come in to unload. They have to wait for another one to go out.

tora tora tora sunset ile de chausey english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhat with the howling gale blowing right into my face I eschewed my long run down the Boulevard Vaufleury.

Once out of the wind though, I picked up the pace and ran down to the viewpoint in the rue du Nord where I witnessed a TORA TORA TORA spectacle – the sun streaming through gaps in the clouds.

Eben more interestingly, I was the only one there witnessing it. Dunno where the crowds are who gathered there when they weren’t allowed to. It’s the kind of thing that defies logic.

And so I ran on home.

Here’s hoping that tomorrow will be a better day. I have to go shopping, I have to make more cordial and I’m way behind with the stuff that I need to do. I can’t let ill-health get in the way.

Tuesday 5th November 2019 – CALIBURN HAS GONE …

… to the garage today for his annual service and Controle Technique.

He should have gone sometime towards the end of June but as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I was dealing with other issues like a broken right hand and a damaged kneecap which meant that I couldn’t drive.

And then I was heading off on my mega-adventure.

So this is the first time that Caliburn has turned a wheel since about the middle of June – 5 months – and then it was only around the block. So all in all, he did very well. There was a dashboard light illuminated when I set off but after about 10 minutes it went out again.

And talking of things going out, you won’t believe what time I was going out of bed this morning. Up and about and actually working at … wait for it … 05:45 and when was the last time that I was up and about long before the alarm? Even without a late-ish night?

But it’s not all about the new lean, keen, mean me. I woke up with the most incredible pain in a place that many men will understand and although the pain eased off somewhat, it was still giving me grief. So no point in lying in bed when there are things to do.

An early start means an early medication and an early breakfast, and being well-advanced with the dictaphone notes backlog, I could hit the streets with Caliburn.

There was a brief stop at the Centre Agora to pick up a recording kit. I have piles of audio to record in the near future and the quality of the dictaphone isn’t good enough.

Caliburn was then dropped off at the garage and I’ll tell you what’s frightening about all of this. I’ve only ever been there twice, the last time in June 2018, but the guy there this lunchtime saw me and said “ahhh – Mr Hall”. I don’t like the sound of this one little bit.

On the way back, I went into the cheap electrical shop where I’ve bought some stuff before and today I fell in love with an oven. Then down to LeClerc for a bit more shopping. Not too much though because this audio kit is quite heavy.

The route back took me by surprise because I walked all the way back up the hill to here from town without even stopping and I’ve not really managed that too often in the past.

After lunch I made a start on project 002 and the audio kit came in very handy, although it took me a while to work out how to use it. And I was so impressed that I was thinking about getting one of my own – until I saw the price. Now I’m trying to find something similar but cheaper.

sun effects tora tora tora baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy brittany franceAs usual, I went out for my afternoon walk at about 15:45 as usual – a nice mid-point between lunch and tea.

Round the headland again, and the sunlight is still playing tricks. We had yet another delightful TORA TORA TORA effect out there across the bay over onto the Brittany side between Cancale and St Malo.

You can see how this strange light is playing havoc with the colours of the sea out there

sunshine carolles granville manche normandy franceAnd that wasn’t all the excitement about the sunlight either.

The way that the rays of the sun were shining through the gaps in the clouds over there had illuminated the promenade between Jullouville and Carolles just as if it had been some kind of actor on a stage.

All of the surrounding countryside was in the darkness and this little area was properly bathed in sunshine.

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy franceGiven the foregoing and the lack of comment about any high winds, you could be forgiven for thinking that Tempete Amelie has abated.

But not a bit of it. Although the wind has calmed down somewhat (but not very much) we are still having the heavy rolling seas coming in from mid-Atlantic.

They are pushing along and smashing into the sea wall with some kind of incredible violence as you can see.

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy franceBut as well as the one just above with the huge rolling wave, this one here is one of my favourites.

I waited just an extra second later before I pressed the shutter on the camera and while the wave has rolled away, I’ve captured the spray splattering down on the top of the sea wall and splashing everywhere.

It’s not very likely that I’ll be able to take another photo quite like this, right at the best moment.

fishing boat joker port de granville harbour manche normandy franceThere was a fishing boat in port … “there were about a dozen actually” – ed … that caught my eye.

At first glance, Joker looked rather too much like the very ill-fated MV Darlwyne for comfort. But of course it isn’t.

However if someone were to tell me that it was a direct descendant of the aforementioned I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised.

And talking of ships in the harbour … “well, one of us is” – ed … I had a nice mail (this contact form thingy really works!) this morning from some of the crew of Normandy Trader, a ship that has featured on these pages no fewer than 26 times, admiring my photos and inviting me aboard next time she’s in the harbour.

That’s a nice plan

There wasn’t enough time for me to finish off the audio work so I need to do that tomorrow. But for tea I had a scrounge around in the fridge and found some onion, green pepper, mushrooms and a few other things so I cooked some lentils and made a curry.

There’s enough for two days too so I’ll use the left-over stuffing in some taco rolls tomorrow and the rest of the curry on Thursday.

half moon granville manche normandy franceOutside, there were some thick clouds scudding about in the wind.

But just as the right moment the clouds parted and I had a lovely view of it. Just for a change, the camera was quite handy too and so I was able to take quite a good shot of an Autumn half-moon.

It’s come out quite well considering that it was hand-held and taken in a hurry. When I was taking all of those last year I was using a tripod and going for a slow exposure.

For my walk in the wind I was all alone, except for Minette the cat sitting on her windowsill. She still remembered me and allowed me to give her a good stroke.

And I had my run too – and even managed to run half-way up the hill at the end of my usual straight. You’ve probably noticed from the photos of the waves and the spray over the harbour walls that the wind has changed direction today. For a change I had a following wind.

carolles granville manche normandy franceWe had a photo earlier of Carolles bathed in sunshine.

Tonight there was no sunshine of course but the atmosphere was beautifully clear despite the clouds and I could see Carolles perfectly lit up tonight by the street lights along the promenade

Again, no tripod so it was hand-held and it’s not come out too badly. But some of the other night-time photos weren’t up to much.

So before I go to bed I’ll just have time to do half a dozen web-page updates. I promised myself that I would do that every day and I do need to catch up with the arrears of work

But no reason to go out tomorrow (I doubt that Caliburn will be ready) so I can do plenty of work if I put my mind to it.

That’s some “if”.

diving platform granville manche normandy france
diving platform granville manche normandy france

ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france

storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france
storm high winds tempete amelie port de granville harbour manche normandy france

moon hidden by clouds granville manche normandy france
moon hidden by clouds granville manche normandy france

jullouville granville manche normandy france
jullouville granville manche normandy france

rue paul poirier granville jullouville manche normandy france
rue paul poirier granville jullouville manche normandy france

Sunday 23rd June 2019 – I’VE HAD A …

… much more productive day today, even though it might not seem like it.

For a change I’ve been hard at at for most of the day, what with one thing or another. The pile of outstanding dictaphone notes has now gone down to a mere 11, after I’ve spent most of the day bashing away.

And that’s not all of it. I had a reasonably early night and stayed in bed until 09:30 and I must have spent all of that time on the road. There was a ton of stuff that had accumulated on the dictaphone overnight that needed transcribing.

I started off the night going through the Arctic on a ship that might have been the Ocean Endeavour and were having to break our way through some of the ice there. There was a question of which port we were going to dock into. We had a choice of 3 and supplies were being moved to 3 different ports to await us. I had to go to these ports to check them out and make sure that all of the stuff was appearing in the right kind of position. I was amazed at some of the stuff that was being sent on shipment. There we were, been struggling in the ice and supplies were getting low I suppose etc, and they thought strange things like pairs of tights were among the most important supplies that we needed.
Later on, we were into motor racing and preparing a car, a Mark II Cortina for racing. We had to modify the exhaust so I was busy making the modifications out of bits of pipe and tin can. Of course it didn’t have to be very solid, for one race then rebuilt for another. Someone was helping me and they had assembled it all up and came to fit the rear part. They said that it went on the inside of the front pipe but I replied “no, the outside”. They couldn’t see why they would dispute with me but then they tried it and it actually DID go on the outside. They could push it all the way up until the front pipe ground out on the baffles inside. But the thing was that this back box was made of glass. We had to fit it and seal it by by getting it hot and moulding the glass, a glass-blower technique or something. They were going “this is great. We can make 50 of these and sell them on” but I was thinking “hang on! We haven’t got this one to work yet”. Someone asked me when I thought that it might be working. I replied that it might even be working tomorrow night because there’s only this exhaust to fit now. It needs some tempering and reshaping, joints and gaskets but I’m sure that that won’t take me all day. There was some certain music going off in the background, martial music with marching movements
From then on we had a new girl come to work in our office although she was an entertainer. We were the administration staff and it was our job to organise people like this and I came in – we were on flexible hours and 10:00 was the latest start. It was 09:29 when I arrived and someone, one of the girls, said something about “ohh Eric you’re early this morning”. I said that I’m not that early, but they said “earlier than normal”. The girl who was manning my post until I arrived asked “are you ready to take over now Eric?” I said “just give me a minute to get myself organised”. I took my coat off and hung it on my chair and went to open my briefcase for my paperwork. I found that the lock had jammed. There was much more than this but I can’t remember it now. This woman had fallen apparently and someone from the section had picked her up and sat her down
later still I was in an office and my work was hopelessly in arrears and I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. I had tons of stuff. I was supposed to tell switchboard that I was in but I had forgotten. People were ringing me up ordering battleships and brochures and I didn’t know where to get the brochures from. It was quite a mess. I went to look for some brochures in the storeroom but found myself outside. So I walked up into town out of the mud and who should I bump into but Margaret Stockton who was coming out of our other office. She was limping, just been involved in an accident. We had a chat and she told me about the accident, how it had happened. I found myself in the indoor market in Crewe looking at the cheese stalls. I thought that I would buy something and go back – cheer myself up. But while I was rummaging around in my pocket I found some bits of old cheese fallen out of a sandwich that I had had in there. They were all musty, covered in fluff but I ate them nevertheless. I noticed that at the side of the wall there were loads of off-cuts of cheese, the bad bits going mouldy had been trimmed off and dumped in this corner by all the stalls, ready to be moved by someone or other.
Finally, I was packing last night ready to leave, folding up a long-sleeved dress shirt (and I’ve no idea why), but I couldn’t find my light-tan shoes. I had my comfortable boots of course but not the others. And I was panicking around looking for them and whoever I was with was making a few suggestions. But then I realised that I did have my deck shoes so it wouldn’t be so bad. However I still was keen on finding them. Nevertheless, I ended up being ready and was about to set off when I suddenly glanced across to the bed and discovered that not only had I left the Sat-nav behind but also Strawberry Moose, and wouldn’t that have been a catastrophe?

It’s hardly a surprise that I awoke in yet another feverish sweat.

After a rather late breakfast, I cracked on with the dictaphone notes, with a brief pause for lunch. And by the time my eyes went all blurry and I could no longer see straight, it was about 17:00.

divers in boat english channel granville manche normandy franceThat was the cue to go off on my rather late afternoon walk.

There wasn’t anything like as much shipping out there in the English Channel or the Baie de Mont St Michel as there was yesterday.

Nothing in the way of trawlers or yachts, just a couple of small boats and rafts with people either fishing or diving from them

old yacht english channel granville manche normandy franceBut that’s not really quite all.

Right out in the English Channel off the coast near St Malo was some kind of large vessel. I couldn’t quite make it out so I took a long-distance photograph in the hope that I could crop and enlarge it at a later date.

And although I managed to create something out of it, I’m still none the wiser. Judging by the way that it’s rigged though, it could be Lys NoirLa Granvillaisn but that is pure conjecture.

f-gbai Robin DR-400-140B Major Construction number  1289 granville manche normandy francewhile I was admiring the view, I was overflown by a light aircraft. And with the new Nikon D500 I was able to grab a shot of it for further examination at home.

It turns out that she’s F-GBAI, a Robin DR-400-140B Major presumably on its way to Donville les Bains.

She set out from St Nazaire on the afternoon of 21st June and wasn’t recorded as landing anywhere else in between. But then again , the smaller airfields don’t have data loggers as yet

old cars army 6x4 atlantic wall bunker pointe du roc granville manche normandy franceThey were back working at the bunker on the Atlantic Wall today.

And they had a visitor too. An ex-Army 6×4 heavy lorry of the type that ran the “Red Ball Express” from the Normandy landings to the front-line troops.

I meant to go round for a closer look but as it happens I forgot. I’m clearly not feeling myself these days

Back here I made some more of that dessert stuff. A Coffee-flavoured one this time with pineapple rings. And it goes without saying that that too was quite delicious when I tried it for tea.

First though, I did some more of last Monday’s blog, which I will finish one of these days and then I made myself a vegan pizza. And it wasn’t half delicious too.

tora tora tora sunset ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceBack outside again for my evening walk, and the sky had now clouded over.

There was another Tora Tora Tora evening as well, with the rays of the sun breaking through small gaps in the clouds.

We’ve seen quite a few evenings like this over the last couple of years since I’ve been living here. I don’t recall seeing anything like as many as this when I lived elsewhere.

crowds beach plat gousset granville manche normandy franceAnd just for a change, I wasn’t alone out there enjoying the scenery and the sunset;

There were quite a few people out there on the beach enjoying the evening sun.

And that’s hardly surprising because it really was warm despite the late hour. I’d even taken off my jumper and was walking around in my shirt-sleeves. It’s not very often this year that I’ve been able to do that.

Now it’s time for an early night. I need to be up and about early because I have the Doctor’s tomorrow at 08:45.

Then I’ll find out exactly where I stand.

square maurice marland granville manche normandy france
square maurice marland granville manche normandy france

men in zodiac ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
men in zodiac ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

men on raft donville les bains granville manche normandy france
men on raft donville les bains granville manche normandy france

Wednesday 9th January 2019 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

…day.

And it all started off so well too.

Despite a night that wasn’t as early as it might have been, I was still up and about relatively early. I’d even been on a nocturnal ramble but wherever I had been, I don’t remember now because it disappeared from view as soon as I awoke.

After breakfast and a little attention to a few things here and there, I attacked the European Paper Mountain. And by the time that I had finished for the day (more of which anon) almost all of the most important papers had been itemised and filed away in a special binder.

I’d even gone through and made a list of papers that are missing, and I’ve started to send out enquiries for the missing ones.

One thing that surprised me more than anything though was that after living in total chaos since 2012 (according to the papers that have already been filed), with papers just about everywhere all over my house in Les Guis, in sacks and boxes and all over the floor on three levels of home, and living in all kinds of unsatisfactory temporary accommodation until moved here in May 2017, there are so few papers missing.

In fact, I was hard at it for most of the day.

Lunch was soup again, and it was even nicer than before.

people hunting shellfish on the beach granville manche normandy franceI managed to go on my couple of walks today too.

in the wind. Few people about, but then again that’s not a surprise. The wind is a bit strong. But there’s clearly something going on with the tides because there were people out there on the beach scavenging in the rock pools.

Flexing their mussels, you might say.

ostreiculture donville les bains granville manche normandy franceIn fact the tide was quite far out and in the distance I could see that there was a lot going on.

I don’t know whether they are oyster beds or mussels beds just offshore at Donville-les-Bains but whatever they are, it looked as if they were taking advantage of the low tide by doing a spot of harvesting.

There were a few men with a couple of tractors and trailers working around amongst the staves.

ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceBut even though the sky was cloudy and overcast, and the wind was quite strong, it was for some reason a beautiful day for photography.

You couldn’t see all that far today but what you could see came out really well.

With the 70-300mm zoom lens I was able to pick out features on the Ile de Chausey that are usually enveloped in haze and spray. That view over there is probably 14 or 15 miles away at the far northern end of the archipelago.

sun through clouds baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy franceThat wasn’t all of the excitement either.

Anyone remember the film Tora Tora Tora? And in particular the scene where as rhe Jpapanese pilots step into their aeroplanes and the sun breaks through the clouds?

That’s exactly what happened here just as I walked around the corner to the Place Maurice Marland and looked over the Baie de Mont St Michel. It really was so impressive.

gravel port de granville harbour manche normandy franceFrom my vantage point back on top of the walls, I could see that there was a lot of activity going on on the quayside down below.

There was a lorry pulling up down in the harbour, loaded with another 20 tonnes of gravel. It’s not the first one either because there’s already quite a pile there by the conveyor.

That can only mean one thing – that is that Neptune or one of her sisters will be putting in an appearance pretty soon to take it all away.

building renovation place cambernon granville manche normandy franceThere’s a derelict building in the Place Cambernon. Apaprently it was formerly the library and meeting hall.

It’s been like that ever since I moved here nearly two years ago and there was some talk at the mayor’s meeting last year that something was going to happen to it.

And here we are, with scaffolding up and the builders have moved in. This should be an exciting development once things get under way and the work advances.

Back here after my walk, something else that I managed to do was to book my next trip to Leuven and my medical appointment. It’s quite exciting in that the fares are on special offer so I’ve booked my trip – 600 kms each way of which 300 each way are on a high-speed TGV – for a mere €138.

For 1200 kms! I bet that you wouldn’t ever have a fare like that in the UK.

And my room for three nights in Leuven because I’m going to stay on for an extra day and come back on Wednesday.

But the bad news is that round about 17:00 I started to wobble. I kept it up for about 10 minutes and then that was that. On the bed.

At 18:30 I briefly came round and crawled under the covers, and there I stayed until about 20:30. Totally flat out. And I would probably still be there now had I not been required to go for a ride on the porcelain horse.

Mind you, I did go off on a nocturnal ramble. And a welcome return to Zero. She used to accompany me quite regularly on my travels during the night but she’s not been around awhile so it was nice to see her, even if she was known during this journey by another name.

I’ll spare you the details though. You are probably eating your tea right now, which is more than I did because I missed my tea slot.

night st malo granville manche normandy franceI did manage to arouse myself enough for my evening walk though.

And the night was another one of those nights that was crisp and clear, and probably deep and even too, with a good view for quite a considerable distance.

Across the bay, the lights of Cancale were quite clear, and you could see the reflection up there in the clouds of the streetlights of St Malo.

trawler night ile de chausey granville manche normandy franceThere was a patch of light moving across the bay from the direction of the Ile de Chausey.

I wasn’t sure at first if it might have been one of the ferries, but on closer inspection it appears to be a trawler coming into port here at Granville on the evening tide.

And for once, I was able to take a fairly clear photograph of it. It’s not come out too badly, all in all.

So back in my cosy little nook. Tomorrow is shopping so I’ll need to get my rest. But what with all of this rest and sleep, I’m not sure what state I’m going to be in if I don’t manage to go to sleep again.

ostreiculture donville les bains granville manche normandy france
ostreiculture donville les bains granville manche normandy france

ostreiculture donville les bains granville manche normandy france
ostreiculture donville les bains granville manche normandy france

ile de chausey granville manche normandy france
ile de chausey granville manche normandy france

sun through clouds baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france
sun through clouds baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france

night st helier jersey granville manche normandy france
night st helier jersey granville manche normandy france