… you all had a very nice, enjoyable and relaxing break from work. I know that I did – I did badger all today!
What with a really late night (or, more like, early morning) last night, I didn’t feel quite like getting up when I awoke at … err … 07:00. That wasn’t part of the plan. 09:45 was much more like it. At least it wasn’t as late as yesterday morning, was it?
Medication first, of course, and once it started to work I could have breakfast, including my fig roll thing without any jam.
After that, it was time to attack the dictaphone notes from my voyages through the night. And a welcome return to Castor, putting in her first appearance for several weeks, so hello to you!
Yes, she was there last night. I was doing some photography of the Civil War and she was helping me out but then of course I was on the Southern side and we were overwhelmed by the Northerners. I told her to make a run for it, to get out while the going was good but she couldn’t run so in the end she ended up staying with me. I had to think up various ways to avoid us being captured or recaptured by the Union Army, but I woke up almost immediately with a streaming head cold.
A little later on I’d been at work and I’d had all sorts of fun trying to go home. Previously I’d gone along and bought a pass for the train, which had cost me so much money, so I went and organised that. Then I gave the woman at the cash desk a ticket for another €50:00. She asked “ohh do you want another one?” I said “no, I want a 10-ride ticket for the … Err … STIB they call it in Brussels but it’s the De Lijn service in Antwerp”. She said “yes I can give you one of those but you know that it’s for all of Flanders”. I said “yes, but I just want it for Antwerp”. She gave me one of those. I took those and went outside, I wanted to go home but I heard a former friend of mine shout me from across the street “isn’t it tonight we’re going to this auto wiring course?” I thought “yes it is actually” but I couldn’t remember whether it was at 18:00 or 19:00 and in any case I was too tired and in no real mood to go. We got to a road junction, I was on foot, and I had to go to the right but it was getting difficult to turn. I couldn’t work out how I was going to turn in front of all this traffic. In the end I just stepped out and walked across the road hoping that the traffic would stop which was something that I wouldn’t normally do, but I did it then. The conversation then moved on to a discussion about the radio programmes. I said something like “my radio programmes …” but a couple of people said “OUR radio programmes …” because of course they were the audience. Anyway I can’t remember where it went after this. It certainly went somewhere but I just don’t remember any more of it.
But somewhere in that dream just then there was something about music as well – I was having to organise some music for a play in the theatre and I’m not quite sure where that fitted in either. But later on I was with TOTGA or Castor someone like that, someone I was very attached to. I’d been talking to my brother earlier in hospital where he was a patient about working hours regulations in Victorian days. When I came back, there was TOTGA or Castor or whoever poring over some kind of document which was talking about working hours and how they were having to work a lot longer hours in those days. I said “yes, funnily enough I was just talking to my brother about this and how they reduced the working hours from 6 days to 5.5” – or 7 days to 6 days, I can’t remember now. She said “yes but this is only 3 days”. I said that that would be a three day shift – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and then they’d do Thursday Friday Saturday then they would have a day off”. She said “no, it definitely refers to Yo-Yo here”. That was her way of sounding on three days on and three days off. We had a bit of a discussion about that because I could see her point of view and the logic behind her argument but I was convinced that she was wrong. That’s not the way that I understood working hours to have worked in Victorian times.
After that, I have emulated my namesake the mathematician by doing three-fifths of five-eights of … err … nothing whatsoever. I’ve just sat around doing some personal stuff and drinking a couple of cans of alcohol-free beer. I suddenly realised that back i last January I had bought a whole tray of the stuff from NOZ and it needed drinking.
There was however football on the internet. The Welsh Premier League, Caernarfon v Bala Town. Bala have probably two of the top five players in the Welsh Premier League – Henry Jones and Chris Venables – in their team and they can be devastating when they are on form, which unfortunately isn’t as often as it should be.
As I have said before … “and you’ll say again” – ed … the biggest problem in the Welsh Premier League is the lack of consistency.
On the other hand, Caernarfon doesn’t have any star players but their manager Sean Eardley has moulded them into a proper team. They are one of the few sides that actually does play like a team rather than a collection of individuals, and they are urged on by the largest and most partisan crowds by a country mile in Welsh domestic football.
Caernarfon had by far the most of the play and hit the woodwork on a couple of occasions but Tibbetts in the Bala goal didn’t have too much to do. Bala on the other hand had few chances but took those that they had, although had Alex Ramsey not been stuffed full of Christmas pudding he might have prevented them.
2-1 to Bala it finished, and I suppose that it was about right. And Bala’s goalscorer? Chris Venables got them both.
Although it wasn’t raining, it was pretty near enough and you can tell from the photo of this fishing boat out there in the English Channel just how miserable the weather was.
In fact I was glad that I didn’t have to go very far.
So I carried on with my walk. Crowds of people out there braving the miserable, grey skies, but (for a change no-one whom I knew).
And like yesterday, I went the long way round, down the new pathway that reopened in early summer.
In nautical terms, this is called NAABSA – “Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground” – and you’ll see many harbours described in pilots’ handbooks as “NAABSA” harbours, which means that the ships will sit safely on the bottom when the tides go out and refloat when they come back in.
Some big ships -and big harbours – too.
Sometimes they unload at Ridham Dock, near Sittingbourne in Kent, and Ridham Dock is a NAABSA harbour.
But none of the foregoing will explain why this fishing boat is sitting here like piffy on a rock with the tide long-since gone out to sea.
With tha harbour gates closed, I walked across the footway over the top and down that side of the harbour, but there was nothing going on there today. For a change, the gates were open which saved me a mountaineering effort like I had on Christmas Eve.
It seems that the reason for this is to do with this house here in the rue Ernest Lefrant. Reading the notices plastered to the door, it seems that this is a wooden-framed house and the wood on two sides is in such bad condition that there is a risk of it all collapsing.
This is the second risque de péril imminente notice that we’ve seen just recently. A house and shop in the rue Couraye was served with a similar notice just before Christmas.
Don’t ask me to what it’s referring because I have no idea. But I do recognise the style and it’s very similar to a lot of other bizarre graffiti around the town.
That’s something else that I shall have to add to my list of things to do – track down the author and ask him what “legalise crabe extra” is all about
Quite a few people out and about in the rue des Juifs, and there was now a lot going on in the outer tidal harbour too. The fishing boats that had been queueing up outside were now starting to come in to unload.
You jusst need to look at the seagulls hovering around to tell that this boat is fully loaded with a decent catch.
There’s just 35 minutes between the photo of the fishing boat aground earlier on and this photo here and the fishing boat is now well in the water.
You can see how many of the smaller fishing boats come in to unload here, and the crowds of people up on top with their vehicles and equipment helping to unload the catch.
After the football I had tea – vegetables and pasta tossed in olive oil, tarragon, black pepper, garlic and vegan cheese. And followed by Christmas cake for pudding.
Only a short walk this evening though. It was raining really heavily and there was what Doctor Spooner would have called a “Sea Pouper” meaning that you couldn’t see very far in front. Soaked to the skin after half a mile so I gave up and came home.
The new strings on the acoustic bass are really good and it now plays like it’s supposed to, for the first time. It was a pleasure to play along to some music on the computer.
So it’s late and I’m tired, so off to bed. Work starts again tomorrow and there’s a lot to do. I need to be on form.