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Thursday 28th July 2022 – THIS WAS ANOTHER …

hang gliders place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… candidate for one of the worst days that I’ve had for quite a while.

Most of it has been spent asleep on my chair in the bedroom and that is extremely depressing.

So while you admire a few photos of the aerial activity that was taking place this afternoon while I was out and about on my travels I’ll tell you all about it, not that you want to hear it.

Anyway, last night I went to bed rather later than I intended, although not as late as it might have been.

55qj aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022But it was quite a lively night yet again and I was travelling about for quite a distance.

There was something happening last night. Someone had copy/pasted his signature into a document but the copy/paste had included a lot of inappropriate stuff. This had caused all kinds of problems for him with him copy/pasting instead of cropping what he had copy/pasted

And I was asking my self if I had I dictated about one daughter of my niece being upset about something? I dunno … “no you hadn’t” – ed. I was trying to talk to her and she went off to sit somewhere on a bench so I went over there to sit not too close to her to give her some room but not too far away. She said something but I can’t remember what it was, an ambiguous comment that could have meant “move up closer” or “move further away” and I couldn’t work out which was the meaning of this comment that she had said to me. I was at a loss to understand it.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022A little later I was in a Welsh class. We’d come back after the holidays. We were a full class and I was sitting next to the boy next to whom I usually sit. We talked about what we’d done. The guy behind us talked about what he had done too so I rang up one or two other people who were in the class and was talking to them about their holidays. The teacher started to walk down the aisle handing out papers so I cut off the conversations. Some boy sitting in the aisle next to me started to play some Santana and put his music player on my desk. He asked “how do you fancy a bit of Santana?”. Much as I would have a bit of Santana any time, that wasn’t the time or place so I told him “not now” but he wouldn’t listen. He kept turning this Santana music. He was clearly irritating the prof, it was irritating me and irritating most of the other people around us too. We didn’t want that at that particular moment.

We’d been on the office outing somewhere. We’d been to a town somewhere in Europe. We’d arrived and we were all on board the bus. It was raining quite heavily so they decided that they would abandon the walking tour. Some woman was there with a young daughter and I was quite interested in the daughter. Everyone was asking what they were going to do etc so I said to this woman “when they drop us off we can go for a coffee” as an excuse to talk to the daughter. That seemed to be like a very good idea. She seemed to like that idea. We had to fetch our things and meet back on the bus in a couple of minutes. I wandered off back to my room to get my things together and walk back to where I thought that we’d pick up the bus but it wasn’t there. I was wondering what on earth had happened to it so I had a wander around. I overheard these 2 people talking, talking about the group. One of them had been on “Eric’s group and I’m sure that we’d had more goes than we were supposed to”. That rang a bell with me about something that we’d done. I walked round the corner and it was 2 people from our party. I asked them if they knew where we were meeting the bus. They thought that it was here but I thought that it was somewhere else. I thought that it might be a good idea to go down to this other place to have a look as it wasn’t far away but they didn’t seem to be interested in leaving so I thought that maybe I’d go on my own and leave them there because if they were there they would hold the bus for me if it were to come for me and I wasn’t there and give me chance to return to catch it.

A little later Percy Penguin made a brief appearance in a German class that I was teaching. I was trying to have my students say the diphthong “HK” correctly. She was there in this class having a practice and not getting it right.

Once more it was a struggle to leave the bed before the second alarm went off but I managed it nevertheless (only just) and then I came in here to transcribe my dictaphone notes.

Round about 10:00 I fell asleep and apart from a few moments of wakefulness here and there, that was that until about 15:30. Somehow I’d managed to fit in my breakfast and my lunchtime fruit but I’m not sure how.

Before going out for my afternoon walk I had a shower to clean myself up. I weighmed myself too and the weight that I’d been slowly losing over the last couple of weeks has gone back on. That has probably depressed me more than falling asleep.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Anyway, after the shower I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

And dodging the Nazguls that were flying by overhead I went over to the wall at the end of the headland to look down on the beach to see what was happening.

There ween’t all that many people down there this afternoon but of those who were there, there were quite a few of them in the water.

Further on down the coast a little way there were plenty of people in the water down there, but access to the beach down there at the Plat Gousset is so much easier.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As well as the aeroplanes and so on, there were one or two boats out at sea this afternoon.

There was one of the shell-fishing boats on its way back to port from out at the Ile de Chausey. It’s far too far away for me to identify it from here but her colours and the dinghy that she is towing reminds me very much of Les Bouchots de Chausey.

With the wind that was blowing there was quite a bit of dust about this afternoon. This drought is starting to become serious. It’ s making the place look like 1930s Oklahoma right now and it’s not going to improve until we have some rain.

Although when that might be I have no idea.

fisherman pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Down at the end of the headland I crossed the car park and went down to see what was happening on the rocks.

We had a couple of fishermen out there with rod and line this afternoon. They seemed to be enjoyng themselves except, of course, that they weren’t actually catching anything.

Not that I expected that they would.

No-one sitting on the bench down by the cabanon vauban either. They seem to be having a day off today. So I wandered off around the corner and down the path on the other side of the headland.

fishing boat la confiance 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Down at the port we have a change in occupancy in the chantier naval.

La Confiance II is still in there, and there was someone doing some arc-welding on it as I went past this afternoon. And she’s now been joined by one of the little shell-fishing boats.

Unfortunately I can’t see her registration number so I’m not able to tell you who she might be.

No-one over at the ferry terminal either. They must all be out at work today as well. There was even La Cancalaise, the sister ship to La Granvillaise, out at the Ile de Chausey with a party from Cancale.

ch922344 le roc a la mauve 3 ch640361 nais fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022We didn’t have any ships at the Fish Processing Plant playing “Musical Ships” but we did have some fishing boats over there unloading.

Two of them are regulars of ours and we have seen them many times. At the front of the queue is CH922344 who is of course Le Roc A La Mauve III who we saw in the chantier naval for quite a while earlier in the year, and behind her is CH640361 who is Nais.

The third one is a mystery though. Her registration number begins with “M” and that’s the registration code for Milford Haven in Wales, so I’m not likely to find her in my database of French fishing vessels. Nevertheless it’s quite a puzzle as to what she’s doing coming all the way here.

chausiaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Just now I mentioned that there was no-one at the ferry terminal.

As I walked back to the apartment, around the corner behind me came Chausiaise. She’s rather early and I don’t think that there’s enough water for her to moor at the ferry terminal quite yet.

Back here I had a coffee and then spent a while having a play on the acoustic guitar. I’m enjoying myself much more on the acoustic than I have done for a while and I can actually play an F chord that sounds like an F chord.

In fact, I’m tending much more to play songs in the original key regardless of the chords rather than playing them in keys in which the chords are easier to play. Gone are the days were I’m stuck in A C D E and G and their derivatives.

Tea was steamed veg with veggie balls with vegan cheese sauce and it really was delicious.

So bedtime now. if I’m lucky I’ll be in bed early and have a good night’s sleep. Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow. I can’t go on like this.

Saturday 23rd July 2022 – HAVING COMPLAINED YESTERDAY …

belle france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022… that we hadn’t seen Belle France out and about anywhere for a while, quess who we ran into this afternoon?

Sure enough, there I was out and about on my afternoon walk and as i was crossing the lawn at the end of the headland, from around behind a bunker she came.

It didn’t look as if there was anyone on board so presumably she’s on her way out to the island to bring back a boat-load of tourists.

It just goes to prove once more that I have the Kiss of Death when it comes to things like this. Every time that I make some kind of profound comment I am confounded.

Just like yesterday when I was waxing lyrical about the subject of kites and I was wondering to what exciting place I would be heading and with whom I would be heading there. And instead I ended up going almost nowhere and with no-one either. There was just something vague last night about a few drinks in these tetra-packs and taking a car in for a service etc. I can’t remember anything at all about anything except that and I’ve no idea at all what was going on.

When the alarm went off I struggled to my feet – really struggled – and then after my medication I headed off to LeClerc. I was there so early that the place wasn’t open yet and I had to queue with a pile of other folk for a while before they would let us in.

Once inside I did my usual shopping and bought a few extra things as well. For instance, they had some alcohol-free beer on special offer so I bought a six-pack to add to the supplies in here.

It was only just after 10:00 when I returned so I had a nice early breakfast, and then everything fell apart. I had the worst day that I’ve had for quite a while – several years in fact.

You can tell by the times of the photos that I ended up not going out for my afternoon walk until about 17:00 (adjusted). That’s because from about 10:45 until about 16:45 I was flat out on the chair in my bedroom. Out like a light with no prosepect whatever of awakening.

Anyway, I eventually summoned up the strength to go out for my afternoon walk.

And as usual the first place to go was to the car park at the end of the headland to see what was happening down on the beach.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022The weather had improved dramatically since yesterday and even since this morning when it was still quite cool.

By now it was quite warm and that had brought out the crowds, even if there wasn’t all that much beach right now for all these crowds to be on.

And I do mean “crowds” because there were loads of people out there on the beach today.

Some of them had even taken to the waters which was quite brave of them because I don’t think that the weather was that warm today. Not warm enough for swimming anyway.

paddle boarding baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022In the previous photo we’d seen al kinds of water craft in the water just offshore.

A little further out we had a couple of men on paddle boards looking as if they were going for a good run along the coast this afternoon. Not that I know anything about paddle boards though. It’s not my idea of entertainment.

And that was really all that there was going on down at this end of the beach. There weren’t any Nazguls out and about this afternoon or anything else of any interest.

I left them all to it and wandered off down the path on top of the cliffs towards the end of the headland.

boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There might not have been very much happening down by the car park, but it was all action further on down the path towards the end of the path.

The sea was absolutely heaving with boats and there was hardly any room to swing a cat in between them.

This is just one photo of half a dozen that I could have taken that would have shown the same situation. It seems that everyone who is anyone has taken to the water his afternoon and it must have been total chaos at the slipway trying to put all of these boats into the water in the limited time that’s available when the tide is high enough.

And taking them out of the water is going to be even more exciting.

commodore goodwill english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022It wasn’t just pleasure craft that had caught my eye this afternoon either.

There was something large moving around out in the English Channel behind the Ile de Chausey so I took a photo with the aim of enlarging it and enhancing it when I returned home.

Back here when I examined the image more closely I found that her silhouette bore a close resemblance to the freight ferries that run between Portsmouth, the Channel Islands and St Malo.

And when I checked the fleet radar, I found that at the time that I’d taken the photo, the freight ferry Commodore Goodwill was out there in the English Channel. She left St Helier at 13:30 and arrived at St Malo at 18:50.

f-gbai Robin DR 400-140B baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And seeing as we were mentioning yesterday an obscure 1960s one-hit wonder, today it’s the turn of another one – Pete Townshend’s chauffeur John “Speedy” Keen and SOMETHING IN THE AIR.

It’s one of our old friends, F_GBAI, a Robin DR400-140B from the aero club, flying out into the bay de Granville.

My photo is timed at 17:09 (adjusted) and she was picked up on the radar at 16:10. She flew around the bay, then back inland, then down the coast and back where she disappeared off the radar again right by the airfield at 17:23.

red autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022She wasn’t the only thing in the air either today.

This is something that I don’t recall seeing before. We’ve seen the yellow autogyro flying around here quite often but this is the first time that we’ve seen a red one. She looks quite new and clean too.

So pondering on this mystery I wandered off along the path towards the end of the headland to see what was happening there.

Surprisingly there was nothing at all. No-one fishing off the rocks and no-one on the bench by the cabanon vauban either. And so I wandered off towards the port.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Meanwhile, out in the bay here, we have La Granvillaise coming for a sail past, towing her little dinghy behind her.

The other day I believe that I mentioned something about hos we haven’t seen so many of the charter boats out there so far this year so it’s odds-on that we were going to see one of them out and about this weekend, wasn’t it?

No change in the chantier navale or in the inner harbour so I came on home for my chocolate drink. and to try to do some work seeing as I’d had a miserable day so far.

Tea was the left-over breaded quorn fillet from last weekend, with potato and veg. Really delicious. I’ll have to go back to Lidly to see if they have any more of those.

The one problem with having slept so much today is that I can’t sleep now. It’s quite late, or, rather, early next morning, and I’m still not tired. It’s totally messed me up, this sleep that I’ve had today and I’m going to regret this very much. But it’s a sign of the times I reckon.

It makes me wonder how tomorrow will work out with all of this going on – or not going on, as the case may be.

Monday 18th July 2022 – WE’RE LIVING …

burnt grass on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022IN A DUST BOWL.

That’s the path that leads up to the lighthouse at the Pointe du Roc (the lighthouse is behind me) and “scorched earth” has nothing on this.

The grass is dying and whenever there’s a gust of wind it whips a cloud of dust into the air. We are “living in interesting times” right now and if people don’t get a grip and do something, it will be like this much more often.

Nature is indeed starting to fight back at the human race and we have only ourselves to blame.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that back in 2018 I was on Bylot Island in the Canadian Arctic with an Inuit guy. He told me that where we were standing was where he used to come with his kayak when he was a boy to collect ice from the glacier that was here so that his grandfather could have some fresh, pure water for his tea.

He then took us to where the glacier was on that day. We had to walk a little over two kilometres.
“How old are you, Michael?”
“I’m 22”

Anyone who doesn’t believe in global warming needs to take a little trip to the Arctic and talk to the Inuit who are watching their traditional way of life evaporating before their eyes..

But anyway, I digress.

Nature was certainly getting its own back on me last night. It was far too hot to sleep and I had a miserable night tossing and turning.

However I must have done at some point because there was some stuff on the dictaphone. I’d been with the boys in the band, one of the groups in which I used to play back in the mid-70s. We’d had to go to the Post Office to pick up some new equipment for one of them. When we arrived there was an enormous queue so we had to fight our way to the front eventually. There were crowds of people in the Post Office but the woman didn’t have the time to look for it. She wanted us to come back later. I said “yes, how about 45 minutes?”. That would give us chance to have a bag of chips or something for lunch. She replied “yes, that’s OK”. We went outside but the other 2 didn’t want to wait. They got into the van and drove off home which left me wandering around Crewe wondering what I was going to do. Eventually I drove home and parked the vehicle. I took this speaker cabinet out of the van. It was on 4 castors and I had to push it home over a muddy farm track. It wasn’t easy to push this. It was narrow and there were cars and bikes coming so I had to pull into the side to let them go. A girl appeared – a girl who lived in our building. She said that she would help me push it. I replied that there was no need, I could manage but she pushed it quite easily which surprised me. We reached the part where I’d put down a wooden flooring in this lane. We started pushing it and it really was easy. We pushed it between us up to my building. She made some facetious remark about the carpet that I’d laid down for my speaker. I said “yes and I’d have finished the rest of the way to the van had I had more wood but I’ve not been to Canada for the last few years and that’s where I usually buy it. It’s dirt-cheap there”. We entered the lift and I asked her what floor she wanted. She said “the first floor”. I wanted the ground floor so the lift took us down. I thought that it would take us to the first floor where she lived but instead it went on down to mine. We both left the lift and started to move the speaker cabinet. I thought that it was polite to ask her if she wanted to come in for a coffee or something but my place was a total tip. Even so I thought that it was the polite thing to do to ask her if she would like to come in.

Later on I was driving a taxi last night. On the radio the instructions came through to go and pick up someone called “Jagger”. They said that the address was in Walthall Street. I reached the street and asked for the number of the house. They said that they didn’t have it but it was the one with the wooden frame and the music. I drove down the street, eventually found it and knocked on the door. This old woman came out and Mick Jagger came as well. They both got into my cab. I asked them where they wanted to go to. The woman said that she lived next door to TB Furnishing. That shop I didn’t have a clue where it was. She said that it was one of the streets off Nantwich Road. I headed up that way and when I reached Nantwich Road heading towards the railway station the woman said “it’s not in this direction. Everyone else usually goes another way”. I replied “you tell me which way they go and I’ll take you that way. It’s no problem”. I couldn’t work out where this place was. Mick Jagger was going to Nantwich once I dropped off this old woman but I couldn’t get this old woman out of the cab because I didn’t know where she wanted dropping off.

Finally I was at work and someone came over to me to ask if I recognised a song. They said the first line of it. It was a Barclay James Harvest song “See The Gambler Make a Stand”, one of the tracks that I play on the acoustic guitar. I recognised the song immediately and told them the name … THE WORLD GOES ON” – ed … and which album it was off … “Octoberon” – ed … one of the best albums ever recorded in Progressive Rock (which it is). They asked a little more about it so I said that I would look it up on the computer. I went over to their computer to call up one of the music sites to look at it. They were busy playing on their computer, playing something on there so I had to use a different keyboard. This involved pressing piles of mud, pushing my finger deep into these piles of mud outside their vehicle to type this up. Of course, dealing with mud is not very easy to find the correct keys and their computer was even slower than mine. I thought that it would take quite a time to go through.

When the alarm went off at 06:00 I was up and out of bed quite quickly. Having taken my medication and checked my mails and messages I sat down to prepare the radio programme that I wanted to do today. I wasn’t in any rush and it took longer to do than some of the ones that I’ve done quite recently.

But it really ought to have taken longer than it did because what I do is to prepare 10 tracks for about 48 minutes, 10 speeches that go for about 8 minutes after being edited, work out how much time is left for a final track, knock off 45 seconds for a final closing speech and then choose a track for the time that remains and then record the final speech which, after editing, should last for 45 seconds.

And in case you are wondering, 300 characters of text works out at 17 seconds of speech.

Anyway, usually it all over-runs so I have to edit some speech out from here and there to make it all fit and that can take a lot of time, but today it was a perfect fit. Just 0.3 seconds under, and lengthening a few pauses took that up in a couple of mouse strokes.

While I was listening to it, I was on the hunt for a Welsh Summer School. The problem with having a teflon brain is that nothing sticks to it so I need to keep it working.

Coleg Cambria, with whom I study, had a couple but for some reason that I don’t understand, our tutor didn’t tell us about them. So they have been and gone.

So rummaging through a few of my contacts elewhere I ended up with a tutor whom I know from Coleg Gwent with whom I did those supplementary classes earlier this year. Her college had a Summer School that started today and after much binding in the marsh I managed to blag my way onto it.

So that’s me occupied for the rest of the week.

While I was at it I also had a good session on the guitar today.

For a change, I missed breakfast so I ended up having my fruit bun for lunch with a pile of fruit. And then, regrettably, the bad night caught up with me and that was that for an hour. No problem sleeping in this heat when I’m on my chair, is there?

As usual I headed off out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022And I rather wished that I hadn’t either because it was breathtakingly hot and I was seriously considering going back into my apartment.

As usual I wandered off across the car park to the wall at the end to have a look down at what was going on down there

There weren’t all that many people out there this afternoon and that’s no surprise because anyone with any sense would be sitting inside the fridge keeping cold on an afternoon like this. Somehow I don’t think that being in the water will cool anyone down enough today

seagulls people in water plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There wasn’t anything at all happening out at sea this afternoon, but I was rather intrigued by the people here.

There was a kid on the rocks at the edge of the water doing something or other and an adult with a couple of kids in some swimming rings shaped like swans.

Interestingly though there was a flight of seagulls on their way over to inspect the proceedings and presumably making a bombing raid on the people in the water. That would have livened up the proceedings quite considerably.

The path was completely empty this afternoon. There wasn’t anyone at all out there as I headed off towards the lighthouse.

powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There might have been nothing happening out at sea but we had something going on in the air this afternoon.

It was making quite a racket even though I couldn’t see it, but eventually I managed to lay my eyes on it. It was one of the powered hang gliders on its way out into the bay.

Unfortunately I can’t tell which one because it was flying so high that I was struggling to make it out.

At the car park at the end of the headland there were just four or five cars and no more than 15 people in total. That was all that I saw out there this afternoon.

No real surprise. One of my friends told me later that the temperature this afternoon had reached 41°C and sent me a photo to prove it. That’s what I call warm.

buoys pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022There wasn’t anyone sitting on the bench at the end of the headland by the cabanon vauban this afternoon.

Nor anyone walking around the lower path either so I was having a good look at the buoy that we saw yesterday, simply because today it seems to have found a friend. There’s another buoy there by its side now.

There were a couple of others further on round the headland too but I left them to it and headed off down the path on the other side of the headland to see what was happening in the harbour.

Not that I was expecting all that much.

chausiaise joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Over at the ferry terminal this afternoon we had a couple of boats moored up.

At the front is the little freighter Chausiase and behind her is one of the Joly France ferries to the Ile de Chausey. No step cut out of the stern so she would be the older one of the two.

No Channel Island ferries though. Victor Hugo is still moored up in the inner harbour.

But the situation regarding the Channel Island ferries is becoming clearer by the day. There was a court hearing today that seems to suggest that the previous operators of the ferry service have not handed over the keys and documentation that the new operators require.

They have entered a defence against the action but my understanding is that it’s been struck out, so they are appealing.

l'omerta saint andrews port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022For that reason we’ll have to turn our attention elsechere.

Like to the quayside by the Fish Processing Plant where our game of musical ships continues with L’Omerta moored there again in her usual position. And behind her is the little trawler Saint Andrews.

Plenty of vehicles around there too on the lower level, and up above are a couple of piles of fishing equipment.

There is one of the little harbour lighters there too but I can’t identify her unfortunately, even if she does have a name.

marité port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022On my way back to my apartment and my coconut drink, I noticed that Martité was back in town.

No point though in going to ask when their next trip out will be, because the answer will be “it’s all on the website” and they’ll go back to chatting amongst themselves.

So with my coconut drink I pressed on with dealing with this Welsh Summer School and making sure that I had been accepted. And, of course, thanking Karen (who taught the supplementary courses and who found this course for me at lunchtime) for her assistance.

Byddaf i yna I said. “I’ll be there’.

As I said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … they are taking quite seriously this “Million Welsh Speakers by 2025” or whenever the time limit is.

Tea tonight was a rather sad stuffed pepper. “Sad” in the sense that it was the pepper itself that was showing signs of age. The stuffing was excellent.

So now I’m off to bed. I have four days of Welsh Summer School now for the rest of the week and that will keep me out of mischief for a while. But I bet that I’ll forget it all by the time that our course starts up again in September.

Saturday 16th July 2022 – WHEN THE ALARM …

… went off this morning, I was elsewhere at that moment busily making a sandwich for an Irish girl whom I knew at one time years ago.

It’s strange, the things that go on when I’m on a nocturnal ramble.

Perhaps I should have organised a lie-in today to continue where the alarm cut me off. And I wish that I had too, because I’ve had quite a difficult morning.

It’s not as if I’d had a late night either. It was after my usual time but not so late as would worry me aver-much. But sleeping in nice, clean bedding was really nice. I really must organise myself so much better.

Not surprisingly it wasn’t easy to leave the bed this morning. However I managed to beat the second alarm by a comfortable margin.

Quite early on this morning I nipped out to LeClerc. I was one of the first there too. The cap park was quite empty and I pretty much had the place to myself at first, although that didn’t last long.

For a change I remembered a few things that I’d forgotten, including the new mop. The only thing that I didn’t remember was the mint syrup, which is running low. There was something else that I’d forgotten too but I can’t now remember what it was.

It was only 10:15 when I came back here, which is about the earliest that I’ve been back, so I made myself a coffee and came in here to drink it. And that was when I crashed out. Totally and completely too, for a good couple of hours. Just like a few weeks ago and you know how depressing that was.

Once I’d recovered and warmed up my cold coffee, I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There’s a young girl in this first story. I know who she is but I can’t think of her name. There was a lot in this dream but I’ve forgotten most of it. I had a cat and I was away and someone was supposed to come in to look after it. In fact it was one of the guys from the radio himself who turned up to feed it. My trip ended early and I was back home when he came. I knew about this, at least, it was something like that. Later on in the afternoon when I was round at his house I was preparing everything to go. We were doing something on the car and I went back into the house to see if there was anything that I’d forgotten or that I’d need. His daughter was there in this dream – it was this girl. We said hello. He came in and I asked him about something but he couldn’t think of it. I was inclined to go into the pantry and fetch it myself but no. What happened after this was that he and the girl started to talk. She said that she should have gone round today to feed my cat but he did it instead of her and she wasn’t very happy. Tomorrow was Saturday so I said to her “you can come round tomorrow morning if you like”. She replied “I can’t make tomorrow morning. Would tomorrow afternoon be OK?”. I thought that if I’m going to have visitors of nice young ladies I said “yes, that’ll be fine”. I’ll do my stuff some other time. He wanted to come round to do something as well so I was trying to arrange it that their appointments would be different so that I’d have this girl on her own and she’d come round without him being there so that we could have a nice friendly chat and I could maybe find out a little more about her.

Later I was with someone going around Shavington. We went past the houses at the Sugarloaf. I pointed out that one of them was owned by a family who had been there for a very long time but before that there was someone who was the founder of Chester Zoo who lived there. She didn’t believe it at fist but she went away and did some research and found that it was true. There used to be a zoo in Shavington etc a long time ago which moved off to start Chester Zoo.
And if you think that this is somewhat far-fetched, then READ THIS

Later still, there was something going on in work that made drinks and food to eat but then they left to go cold so someone thought to put them in the oven so in 10 minutes they would all be nice and warm again. There was some issue with a girl here. They found out how she was and sent Security to search her. She thought that these people were trying to arrange a date with her on one of these Social Networks so she was busy trying to arrange a date back while they were coming to look for her. This led to all kinds of confusions as to what was happening at this place that evening when they were trying to rid themselves of these 2 girls and instead had a match-making service operating

Then there was a place with all kinds of problems going on about whether pies were food or whether hair was part of you or an accessory, a few other bits and pieces. I can’t remember any dream that it was in but there was all of this going on. In the end some sea captain of a pleasure cruiser decided that he was going to deport a woman who was continually in the way and made suggestions that were wrong.

Finally, my Irish friend and I had been down at Rosemary’s and we had spent a week there and were about to go our separate ways. My friend had to go to the airport and I had to drive home. I was feeling less and less like the drive. Rosemary said that I could stay over for a few days if I wanted to so I thought that I was going to exercise the option. My friend and I of us went for a walk first of all around the town as her flight wasn’t until the afternoon. We spent a lot of time sitting on a bench just chatting about things in general. Then of course she said that if we’ve got to go, we’ve got to go so that made us get up and wander off along the street. I had to check the times of her flights and make sure that she was on time at the airport. I wasn’t sure if we were to go on the Metro or in the van etc but I was making a sandwich for her when the alarm went off.

She was a lovely girl and we did go out together a few times – even on a skiing holiday together and I would really have liked to have known her better but she had far more sense than to to take our friendship any further than she did.

There was a break for lunch today, seeing that I hadn’t had any breakfast today, and then I washed, peeled diced and blanched a kilo of carrots that I’d bought this morning. Once they had drained properly they went into the freezer for the next couple of weeks.

Later on I went out for my usual afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022As usual I started off by going across the car park to look down over the wall onto the beach to see what was happening down there.

And with it being a really hot day today, and a weekend to boot, I was expecting to see quite a few people down there this afternoon but this really took me by surprise.

There were hordes of people down there this afternoon and plenty of them had taken to the water. I must admit that I was quite tempted too. I really was hot today and by the looks of things the next few days will be even hotter.

No-one out there kite-surfing today. The wind that we were having yesterday has dropped considerably now.

people on beach shellfish harvesting donville les bains Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022No-one hang-gliding either. I did have a good look around to see if there was anyone about on the field by the cemetery preparing for blast-off.

No-one out at sea either today but there was plenty going on out on the beach at Donville les Bains. As well as the crowds in the water over there, we had the sea-food harvesters working away this afternoon while the tide was well out.

You can see the stakes there on the beach. These ae submerged at high tide and the strings that connect them are where the bouchots grow. This was a serendipitous discovery many years ago, the fact that mussels would grow on strings and they are quite a delicacy because unlike sand-grown mussels, they aren’t “gritty”.

It’s quite high-maintenance however, hence the fact that they are considerably more expensive.

yellow powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022So while there was nothing going on out at sea, there was plenty happening in the air, the lack of Nazguls notwithstanding.

While I was looking down at the beach I was overflown by several flying machines. The first one to go by overhead was the little yellow hang-glider.

She had been for a flight down to Mont St Michel by the looks of things and was now on her way back to the airfield.

There are two people on board – the pilot and his passenger. And don’t worry – I haven’t forgotten that I intend one of these days to go over to the airfield and blag a ride on one of these for a lap around the bay with the camera.

yellow autogyro pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022That wasn’t the only airborne machine either.

While I was walking down the path through the crowds that were thronging this afternoon the little yellow autogyro came flying past, having performed a similar trip to the yellow powered hang-glider that flew by overhead a couple of minutes earlier.

As it happens, that’s actually the machine on which I would like to go for a trip. I shall have to make further enquiries.

That was that for the moment so I headed on down to the lighthouse.

fisherman buoy pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Crowds again around here so I imagine that this is how it’s going to be every weekend until the kids go back to school.

To find some peace and quiet I went down to the end of the headland and saw this guy here. At first I had no idea what he was doing but it turned out, when I could have a closer look, to be fishing.

But he’s the first fisherman whom we’ve seen who has been up to his knees in it. All the other just stand upon a rock.

And just offshore is another marker buoy that is presumably indicating the site of a lobster pot that one of the fishermen has dropped off.

la confiance 2 monaco du nord 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo July 2022Down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port.

And absolutely nothing whatever any different from what we saw yesterday. La Confiance II and Monaco du Nord II are still in the chantier naval and L’Omerta was still over by the Fish Processing Plant. Marité was still absent too.

That was that really. I headed off back home for a coffee and a really good session on the guitar. On the acoustic guitar I’m much happier now playing the more complex chords and mastering the more complicated chord changes.

My playing on the acoustic seems to have improved rather a lot just recently.

Tea tonight was potato, vegetables and a breaded quorn fillet. To my surprise, Lidl had some in stock yesterday. Just one packet which I bought and had they had any more I would have bought them too.

Tomorrow is Sunday and a lie-in. And I need it too. I think that I’m slipping back into the situation in which I found myself a month ago when I was crashing out for hours without any notice.

And with my right knee looking as if I’ve done for it permanently right now, I’m in something of a mess.

Sunday 12th June 2022 – I CAN’T EVEN HAVE …

hang gliders place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022… have a Day of Rest on my Day of Rest, can I?

Sunday is a day when I’m supposed to be having a decent lie-in to catch up with whatever I’ve missed during the week and to tell the truth I would probably still be in bed right now except that I had a rather urgent need to go for a ride on the porcelain horse round about 09:20.

And that killed my lie-in stone-dead, regrettably.

So while you admire a few photos of the various forms of aerial activity that took place around the town this afternoon, I’ll tell you about my rather depressing day today.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022After I’d had my medication this morning I came back here and made a start on work.

What I had to do was to pair off the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday. Not that I’ll be doing very much tomorrow, I reckon. If the last few days is anything to go by, I’ll be lucky if I’ll be able to haul myself out of bed at any kind of reasonable time tomorrow.

And then, regrettably, I fell asleep again and that was that. I was still stark out when Ingrid telephoned me and you’ve no idea how difficult it is to hold a conversation with anyone when all you want to do is to sleep.

As a result of the foregoing I had a rather late lunch again.

red powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022After lunch I had a kilo of carrots to peel and blanch ready to freeze and then I had a listen to what had happened during the night on the dictaphone.

I’d been out somewhere and my elder sister had come with me. She was dressed in a pair of thigh-high black leather boots, black trousers and a black jacket. We went to wherever it was and came back. She started to undress in the middle of the room which I thought was a strange thing to do. She told me “you’ve seen all this before” which of course I probably had but not from my sister. It wasn’t the kind of stuff that I was particularly wanting to see. She just peeled herself out of her clothes like peeling a banana. I thought that this was a strange thing to do.

yacht speedboat la grande ancre baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And then we were talking about Jeeps and things. Someone was asked to describe a Jeep. They said that it was like a Land Rover where all the bodywork had been bent backwards and warped because they’ve just been driving through a housing estate somewhere that was being built and had hit a raised manhole. The Land Rover had stuck on it but of course the momentum had caused all the bodywork to twist and warp on it. It had made a real mess of everything.

There was also a teacher bringing a party of schoolchildren over on a catamaran. As he was bringing them in close to port he was going round reminding them not to ask anyone any stupid questions when they docked. I can’t remember how this developed.

yachts cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022and finally there was a story about how a village in Russia had been hit by Bubonic Plague. People had heard all kinds of mysteries going on about this place. They had been issuing jigsaws to people to piece together to try to work out what was the answer. Someone finally completed one and left it in the street completed and cleared off quickly. The village was closed and no-one was allowed in or out and everyone was dying, even the medical staff. The leader of the medical staff there was dead and had the place at the top of the roll of honour of those who had died

There was time for half an hour on the acoustic guitar too before I was ready for going out for my afternoon walk. I don’t want to forget what I’ve spent all this time learning. And while I was at it, I worked out a simple chord structure to CITY OF LIGHTS by RUNRIG.

Strangely enough, I seem to recall a while ago someone saying that he wasn’t going to learn any more new songs but just go with what he’d got at that point. I wonder who that was.

But since that date 26 songs have somehow been added to it, all of which I play at some point or other and of which 15 are on the playlist

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022But anyway that was the cue for me to go off for my walk around the city walls this afternoon.

First stop is, as usual, a look down onto the beach to see what was happening there today. And with it being a really nice afternoon (I ended up in shirt sleeves at some point) there were quite a few people down there today.

Even a few taking to the water too. In fact this had me trying to think of when I was last swimming in the sea and apart from when I fell in when I was up in the High Arctic in 2018, it was when I was in Greece in 2013

Hans and I were actually talking about Greece a while ago and I happened to mention “the last time I was in Athens was with your sister!” That’s the kind of remark that kills a conversation stone-dead, especially when it’s the truth.

repairing medieval city walls rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022And while I’m here I thought that I’d have a good look at the repairs to the medieval city wall.

They have been doing some more dismantling. Quite a lot more has been demolished compared to the last time that we were here. It looks as if they are making a thorough job of it all, and quite right too.

Much as I would have liked to, I didn’t go down the steps to look at what was happening at the outside of the wall. And for obvious reasons too. Going down the steps is one thing. Coming back up is something else completely, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

lobster pot buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Instead I wandered off through the arch and along the path outside the walls towards the Plat Gousset.

Offshore in the bay, as well as all of the boats that we have already seen, there were a few more of these buoys with flags on top.

We’ve had this discussion on several occasions, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and I reckon that they indicate where the local fishermen have dropped their lobster pots so they know where to go to pick them up again.

And as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I wonder how they manage to train a lobster to actually go on one.

kite surfer baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022It wasn’t just lobster pots, yachts, cabin cruisers and La Grande Ancre who were out there in the bay either.

The number of hang gliders in the air will give you some kind of indication of how windy it was this afternoon, and there was a kite surfer out there making the most of it too.

We saw a couple of them in the bay on the other side of the headland a couple of days ago but we haven’t see one on this side of the headland for a while. It’s a sure sign that “Sumer is a–cumen in. Lhude sing cucu”, hey?

tidal swimming pool diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022There were quite a few people wandering around on the path this afternoon so I had to fight my way through the masses down to the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset.

And they still haven’t fitted the diving platform onto the concrete pillar down there. Summer is going to be here and gone before they get round to doing it at this rate

Plenty of people in the water here though, but then access from the promenade to the beach is much easier than scrambling down the steps in the Rue du Nord.

Despite the renovations to the tidal swimming pool, it’s still not holding water between high tides. I thought that was rather the point of it

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022You can see what I mean by the access to the beach from the promenade.

There are a couple of ramps and a set of steps that are by no means as challenging as those at the Rue du Nord. And that’s why there are crowds of people down there sitting in the sand.

They are out of the wind too thanks to the headland.

The red machine that we saw down there working with a pile of dislodged rocks is still there too. That’s going to be quite an interesting job of work. I wonder what the purpose of it all is. I suppose that I shall find out in due course.

baby seagulls with mother seagull rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022Having finished my inspection of the Plat Gousset I wandered off down the Square Maurice Marland to see how the seagulls were doing.

The two chicks that I have been observing were huddled up in some shade this afternoon and I couldn’t take a good photograph so in the end I had to settle with another bunch of chicks, with a very proud mummy standing guard over them

Plenty of sea-going activity in the bay this afternoon but there wasn’t anything exciting going on in the inner harbour this afternoon that we haven’t seen before so I left them to it and wandered off towards home and my strawberry smoothie.

artists fair rue notre dame Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022In the old town this afternoon it’s the Artists’ Fair.

There are plenty of artists in the old town with all kinds of galleries and today was when they were having a sale of unsold work. And frankly I could see why it was unsold because it was either far too overpriced or the quality wasn’t up to all that much.

This modern art, surrealism and impressionism with huge swirls of colours, seems to be all the rage but it’s not something that I like at all. I prefer art to be like a photograph, a faithful representation of a view, with skill and talent.

Something that actually looks like what it’s supposed to be, painted by someone who knows how to paint. But these days I’d be embarrassed to put most of what I see on my wall. I know what I want for my apartment, and I know how much I’m going to pay for it too.

Back here, I crashed out yet again for an hour or so and then I did a pile of Welsh revision, going through some of the stuff that I’d written over the last two weeks.

In between all of this, I had some bread to make. I used the last of the loaf on Friday so I made another pile of dough which I left on one side to proof for a while.

After lunch I’d taken out a lump of pizza dough from the freezer and that had been defrosting. By now that was ready so I kneaded it and rolled it out, putting it on the pizza tray so that that could proof too.

home made bread vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo June 2022While the bread was baking I assembled my pizza and when the bread was baked I put it in the oven to bake as well.

The bread looks absolutely perfect and the pizza didn’t look too bad either. It tasted quite delicious too and I’ll tell you about the bread tomorrow after I’ve sampled it for lunch.

And talking about tomorrow I took out the next batch of fruit buns from the freezer ready to defrost, and put the carrots in there to freeze for the next couple of weeks.

When I finished tea I washed up a pile of stuff in the kitchen and came in here to write up my notes.

Now I’m off to bed. I have an early start in the morning to prepare a radio programme and I’m not looking forward at all to doing it. I’m really not feeling much like anything at all right now.

Saturday 21st May 2022 – AND SO THIS MORNING …

… having done without one of my medications last night, I was awake at about 07:00 or something like that. And not only was I up and about as soon as the alarm went off at 07:30, I was actually feeling something like enthusiastic as well.

But one swallow doesn’t make a summer of course and there is always whatever is the reverse of the placebo effect to consider. I’ll want to wait for a week or two at least before I decide that it’s this particular medication that’s causing me these issues.

After having organised myself I went for a shower, set the washing machine en route and then Caliburn and I headed off for the shops.

At Noz I didn’t buy anything at all – except for a bottle of something to drink because this morning I had a thirst that you could photograph.

At LeClerc I didn’t buy anything special today but at least the larder is stocked up for the next couple of weeks.

Back here I had a coffee and some toast, put away the food and then sorted out the washing, hanging it up to dry. I seem to have caught up with everything now which make a change. It’s not like le to be up to date, is it?

And then I had a listen to the stuff on the dictaphone from last night. There was a dream about a rather fat schoolgirl who had to solve a few clues that might have led to some kind of mystery writer’s novel being solved. She was floating around in a car park for something. At first she made a little headway but later on became dispirited and was knocked out of her stride somewhat and virtually gave up. It became a story about how she once had a boyfriend from another school, a boy who was 3 years older that her but who had committed suicide. The focus of this investigation shifted away from what she was doing into what had happened at this particular school that had led to this boy’s suicide but I can’t really remember very much apart from thet.

And then at another school was a girl who was nicknamed “Rakkers” short for her name of “Irak” who had written a murder mystery. There was some discussion as to whether this might have been tied in with what this other girl was involved in investigating

After lunch I had a kilo of carrots to wash, peel, dice and blanch ready to freeze. The ones that I’d bought on Monday didn’t really last the pace. They were pretty miserable when I bought them and they don’t improve with keeping.

Back in here, just to show that not much has changed quite yet, I sat down and crashed out. And for a good 90 minutes as well. I’m not out of the woods yet by any means. I have simply moved into different woods.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022As a result of all of the foregoing I was rather late going out for my afternoon walk today.

Although it was a bright, sunny day there was something of a strong wind out there so it was a lot colder than it ought to have been.

Add to that the fact that it was late, there weren’t all that many people around down there today and there certainly wasn’t anyone brave enough to be in the water. Going for a paddle looks to be about the limit today.

And there weren’t any more people further down at the Plat Gousset either. They must all be having a day off.

red powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022There might have been few people on the beach, but there was a little more going on up in the air thia afternoon.

As I walked across the car park I was overflown by the red hang glider. That went past on its way back to the airfield after what looks like an afternoon out down the bay.

He has a passenger with him today so they have probably been out on a sightseeing expedition down to Mont St Michel.

And I haven’t forgotten that one of these days I’m going to take myself out to the airfield to blag myself into the passenger seats of one of these machines and go for a flight around to see what I can see.

hang glider cemetery Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022That wasn’t the only aerial activity this afternoon either.

There was quite a crowd down at the field at the side of the cemetery and as I watched, a birdman of Alcatraz rose up from the air with his Nazgul. However he didn’t advance very far in all the time that I was waiting and after a while I lost patience.

Taking off and landing from the field next to the cemetery is actually quite appropriate. If they make a false manoeuvre then they can just chuck the bodies over the wall and that’s the problem solved with as little drama as possible.

man fishing with zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022When I went out to the shops this morning I had to thread my way through the fleets of vehicles pulling boats on trailers down to the harbour.

There were a few of them still out there even though the tide had gone well out and was now on its way back in. One of the boats that I had seen was this zodiac with a fisherman on board and, as you might expect, in all the time that I was watching him he didn’t catch anything at all.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, in all the time that we have been watching the fishermen out here with rod and line, we have yet to see anyone actually pull anything in. I’m not even sure that that’s actually the goal of what they are doing.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Yesterday the weather was so clear that we could see quite clearly the island of Jersey away on the horizon.

Today though, even despite the wind, the haze is back and the good view that we had yesterday has gone. However there was something white right out there in the distance so I took a photo of it so that I could examine it back in the apartment to see what it might be.

Rather disappointingly, it turned out to be a yacht. I was hoping that it might be one of the Channel Islands Ferries on its way back home from St Helier. One of these days I’ll actually see them out there working.

people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Down at the end of the path I walked across the car park down to the end of the headland.

There weren’t any caterpillars making their way across there this afternoon but there were one or two people down there on the bench by the cabanon vauban.

Not reading a book this afternoon, although they may as well have done because there wasn’t anything else going on down there to hold their interest. All in all it was rather boring out there this afternoon, especially for a late-Spring Saturday afternoon.

And so instead I carried on down the path on the other side of the headland towards the port to see what was happening over there.

j158 l'ecume 2 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022No changge in occupancy in the chantier naval today, but they aren’t ‘arf cracking on with the work on L’Ecume II.

When we first saw her in there WHEN WE CAME BACK FROM LEUVEN she was looking distinctly shabby, but they have pressed on with her overhaul quite rapidly.

They have stripped off all of the faded paint right down to the base primer and they are dashing ahead with the top coat of paint. It’s not going to be too long before they will have finished her paintwork and then presumably she’ll be going back in the water and on her way home.

belle france joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Meanwhile, over at the ferry terminal there is quite a gaggle of boats tied up there today.

On my way out to the shops this morning I’d seen one of the Joly France boats on her way out with a load of passengers for the Ile de Chausey.

But right now, all three of the ferries, the two Joly France boats and the new Belle France are tied up over there. Presumably they are waiting for the tide to come in later on this afternoon when they’ll go back out to the island to bring home the tourists at the end of the day.

But as for Chausiaise, the little freighter, she’s tied up in the inner harbour.

crane swimming pool speedboat port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022On thing that interested me was ro see what was happening at the quayside with the freight today.

The speedboat is still there, and we also seem to have acquired a swimming pool too. I also know why stuff isn’t being moved as quickly as it usually is right now. That’s because Normandy Trader, one of the three little Jersey freighters, is currently having a major overhaul and has been out of action for several days.

Apparently her overhaul is nearly complete and she’ll be back in service in early course with her nice new stainles steel accessories. COPULATUM EXPENSIUM, AS WE POMPEIIANS SAY

yellow powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo May 2022Having been overflown by the red powered hang-glider on my way out earlier, it was the turn of the yellow powered hang-glider to overfly my on my way home.

Once again, she’s out there with a passenger, presumably also having been for a flight down the bay towards the Mont St Michel.

Back here, I took out the rubbish to the bin, such is the exciting life that I leave, and then brought up the milk that I’d bought this morning that I couldn’t manage to bring up earlier. I can’t believe how difficult I’m finding ordinary everyday tasks these days.

Tea tonight was a couple of those small breaded burgers with a baked potato and veg. And now I’m off to bed. Despite intent upon having a lie-in, I’m going to miss out on that medication again and see what good that might do me. I reckon that it will take a while for the effects to work their way through so the sooner I start, the sooner I’ll finish.

Thursday 11th November 2021 – I THOUGHT THAT I’D …

crack in Caliburn's windscreen place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021… I’d show you the crack in Caliburn’s windscreen.

According to the examiner at the controle technique this crack is in the field of view of the driver. It certainly is from where I’m standing taking this photo, but remember in Caliburn I’m sitting about a foot higher up from here so it’s nothing like in my field of view from the driver’s seat.

And that’s probably why, for every year since 2016 up until this one, nothing has ever been said about it.

There have been issues like this before. I’ve owned several Transits in the past and on one occasion I was stopped by a policeman for “overtaking on a blind bend”. It was certainly a blind bend for him low down in a Rover 2.6 but up in the driving seat of my Transit you could clearly see the road over the top of the hedge.

Still, not much I can do about it. It does really need replacing so I may as well do it to keep him happy

It does however remind me of the time that a nasty crack appeared on the wall of 10 Downing Street. But the police painted it over before Boris Johnson could read it.

This morning I had quite a fight to leave my bed. And when you see the notes that I transcribed off the dictaphone you’ll understand why.

We were at a holiday camp, a group of us, last night. There had been something going on about some kind of play or something like that and we were all going to have a meeting. We’d booked the place for a couple of days but the previous day while we were there the guy in charge went missing. Next morning there were all kinds of rumours flying around. Some girl came over to our chalet and just walked straight in – she didn’t knock or wait at the door or anything. She said “did you hear the news? So-and-so has been to see the authors of the play and started work already”. I replied “I knew that he had gone yesterday to do this but I want to stress that I knew that he had gone yesterday, but no that I knew yesterday that he had gone”. She replied “all the party is breaking up now and people are going home”. I said “we’re here for another day yet”. It was pouring down with rain, a real wet day. She said something like “you’ll be on your own here. You know that, don’t you?”. I answered “it probably suits me fine to be on my own like that”.

Later on I was with some young girl of mixed race with curly hair. I’d bumped into her 4 or 5 times in one day in London once and since then I’d been bumping into her every now and again. I’d actually started to chat to her because I thought she was nice. She was working in an office somewhere. One morning she’s gone in late to the office and gone to hang up her coat. Seeing as there were 4 or 5 coats in there already she decided not to and to hang it somewhere else. Then she went to see her supervisor to say that she had to leave in the afternoon. The Supervisor said that she couldn’t. The manager said that she had an exam to take in connection with her qualifications so that was going to be OK. Later on that afternoon I was with someone else when this girl walked past me and went down a side street that was quite steep. When she was halfway down she beckoned to me and made a gesture something like “when I’m at the bottom, tell him” – and I couldn’t see to whom she was pointing – “to come down”. I thought to myself “perhaps I ought to go down and have some interpretation of this. Wouldn’t it be a good idea,”. So I asked my friend “do you think that I ought to go down and see what she wants?”. My friend said “no, I don’t think she wants us and you’ll be very lucky if you see her again”. I replied “I’ve seen her so often just recently that I’m sure that there will be more to it”. I had a feeling that there was something nefarious going on, that she was either going to do a robbery or a hold-up or something. Everything about this seemed really suspicious, even not hanging up her coat with the other people looked suspicious to me.

There was something else about this girl as well, something to do with old-time radio. There was an old machine that was available. I’d gone to check the plugs in my room but the centre-piece of the plug where you plugged in the appliance was loose. I told my father and showed it to him. My idea was persuade him to let me have this radio so that I could listen to this girl. We found a few grub-screws but they weren’t the correct ones. They were all screws with broken heads that we’d used in carpentry or something. he said that he’d get round to it. Then he said to one of my sisters “isn’t one of you girls going to start putting a bolt across on your room now?”. One of them replied “there’s this thing, this machine that they say we can travel all around the world from our bedroom in 24 hours. Why would anyone want to do that?”. My immediate response was “why wouldn’t anyone want to do that?”. This started to lead to a discussion between my father and my sister. In the meantime I thought to myself “I’m trying to get hold of him to get him on his own so that I can ask about this radio so that I can get on and listen to this girl but at this rate I’m never ever going to do this. There were just so many distractions again”.

There was another thing about entertainment on board a ship and this girl was in charge of it. I was keen to sign up for the entertainment and everyone was surprised but it was a chance to talk to this girl. Someone said “she won’t be interested in you. She’s a professional hostess and has thousands of people every week whom she sees”. I replied “yes, but you live for the moment and you never know what the future holds.

So that’s three times that this girl put in an appearance last night – with me stepping back not exactly into the same place where I left it but pretty close to it with the same people showing up. There’s definitely something going on right now that I can’t explain.

A little later there was a group of us walking somewhere. We were discussing my dreams and the teacher said that that’s a fascinating subject and wished that she could have a copy. I said “I’ll give you a copy if you like. I write them down”. She seemed to be quite keen at first and then she started to make excuses “I don’t have my computer here” and a few other things like that. I replied “if you really want them you can have them. It’s not a big problem for me”. We went past a house and there was a woman outside. Someone pointed to some footsteps on the floor. The woman said “that’s my son and his football boots”. She had a look in the car and said “you can see where he’s sat when he’s come home and where he’s been looking for his stuff – first turning his head that way and then another way”. This woman rang a bell with me as she had some old cars. I asked where her old cars were. She replied “the woman who lived here has moved away”. I said “I know that she’s gone and taken some cars with her but I’m sure that you had a few old ones”. She pointed to an Austin A35 up by the hedge against the road and there was another one further down in the garden at the bottom. There was something else that I couldn’t recognise. She was talking about these cars and I said “I’m sure you had much more than this at one time”.

So is it any wonder that leaving the bed was rather problematic.

Having put the spare battery on charge last night, it goes without saying that Caliburn started fine this morning. We went to Aldi and while they had plenty of stuff in and plenty of choice, they didn’t have much of what I wanted. And watching girls probably not yet in their 20s dragging four tiny kids around the shop made me realise that this really is rock-bottom shopping.

Not that I’m elitist or anything like that but I’ll probably end up back shopping in Lidl.

Back here I had a coffee and a fruit bun and then attacked the dictaphone notes. And I don’t know what happened today but I had a really good shift and actually finished all of them and updated every one of the journal entries with the missing entries.

And apart from the family and Nerina, I had loads of exciting visitors. Miss Stoke on Trent was there a few time as was Percy Penguin, who doesn’t feature in these pages half as often as she deserves.

TOTGA showed her face too as well as some other people who flit in and out but one surprising omission was Castor. She didn’t turn up at all and I’d swap any appearance of anyone else in my nocturnal voyages for a visit from her.

Something really strange happened on that boat that night and I wish that I knew what it was.

Meanwhile back at the ra … errr … apartment I went for lunch with my nice new bread and then went outside for half an hour to tidy Caliburn a little and to find the screws to reassemble the door panel. I eventually tracked them down and now he’s looking so much better.

However, I wish that I knew where the spring clip that secures the window winder onto the axis sprung off to that day when I levered it off.

man with paddleboard people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Another interruption, if there hadn’t been enough already, was my afternoon walk.

Down at the wall at the end of the car park I peered down onto the beach and was astonished to see all of the crowds down there.

There was even someone negotiating the currents with a paddleboard and I bet that he would have known all about it had he fallen off into the water.

And have you noticed the length of the shadows these days? The sun is sinking lower and lower in the sky.

yachts baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021It wasn’t just seeing all the people on the beach that was surprising either.

Out there in the bay one of the sailing schools from somewhere was being quite adventurous. Four of their boats had gone way out from shore and were busy parading up and down.

And that reminded me – I want to see what the heart specialist has to say about my heart next week so that I can plan about going sailing and going for a flight underneath a Nazgul. Things are building up here.

fishermen peche a pied beach place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Further along on the beach there was plenty more activity too.

Out on the rocks at the water’s edge there was a guy casting his rod and line into the ocean, more in hope than in expectation I imagine. Remember that we have yet to see a fisherman with rod and line actually catch something.

There were a couple of other people down there too. I’m not sure what they were doing. At first I thought that they might have been doing some peche à pied among the rocks but it’s not very easy to see from this angle.

red microlight pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021As I left the building to come out I was immediately overflown by one of the little light aircraft from the airfield but I wasn’t quick enough to photograph it.

But never mind. As I was walking along the path an old familiar rattle from the distance told me that one of the powered hang-gliders was heading my way.

Today, we’re having the red one come to overfly us. The yellow one must be having a day off today.

And that reminds me that we haven’t seen the yellow autogyro for a while either. I wonder where he’s got to.

people on path pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021We’ve seen crowds on the beach, crowds out at see and even a couple of things up in the air so far.

There are crowds on land too and when I saw “crowds” I really DO mean “crowds”. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many people walking around on the path down to the headland before at this time of year.

Mind you, it’s nothing at all like mid-November today. It’s much more like the balmy early evenings on a mid-September day and I don’t recall there being anything like any wind to speak of either.

fishermen people on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Walking down the path and across the car park I came down to the end of the headland.

There were crowds down there as well. usually, we might manage just a couple of people by the little stone cabin there if we are lucky but today there were what looked like a couple of families that were admiring the beautiful sun that was blinding me and the camera.

Further out on the end of the rocks at the water’s edge were a couple more fishermen having a go with rod and line. But I didn’t really pay much attention to them.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Instead I cleared off down the path on the other side of the headland.

Over at the ferry terminal this afternoon in a foot or so of water was one of the Joly France ferries to the Ile de Chausey. The older one I reckon because, as you see, there’s no step in the stern.

And for once, they’ve folded up the crane correctly.

Nothing else happening out there. L’Omerta is still settled in the silt and the portable boat lift is still in the middle of the chantier naval with its wheels lying by the side.

Back here I made a coffee and then waded through another pile of photos from that rock concert a couple of weeks ago.

That took me up to tea time and steamed veg with falafel and vegan cheese sauce which was delicious.

Tomorrow I’m busy. There’s a public meeting about the twinning arrangements between Granville and Uummannaq and as I know Uummannaq and some of its inhabitants very well, I’ve been asked by the radio to go and record it and interview a couple of people there.

There’s also a rock concert in town to which I’ve been invited but I don’t know how I’m going to find the time to go.

First task though will be to find the spare battery and the two battery chargers for the NIKON 1 J5. Before I posted the camera off, I put them somewhere safe so I wouldn’t misplace them, so that means that it will be another 5 years before they next see the light of day.

Monday 11th October 2021 – WE’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… amusing exchange of family correspondence today.

Someone sent me a copy of a family tree and my attention was drawn to a name – Brian – in this family tree.

And so I sent a mail “Your “Brian” – is that the Denis Bryan Ashness-Wells who was born on 1 April 1915, father Francis George Ashness-Wells age 31 and mother, Alice Charlotte Frances Stuart “Elsie” Beavis, 38 who died in 1968, in Hillingdon, London, England, United Kingdom, at the age of 53?”.

The reply that I received was “That’s where you have me at a disadvantage. I find a document, show you the document then you ask me if it matches information you have that I’ve never seen. Not a game I want to play.”.

This reply is from someone who has complained to me in the past (like a couple of days ago) that I haven’t shared any information with him, despite the fact that he hasn’t spoken to me in over 20 years. So when, of course, when I do share some information with him, he goes totally berserk.

You really can’t make up nonsense like this, can you? And to think that I had to put up with behaviour like that for all these years until I became fed up, emigrated and left them all behind.

Some people need to go and lie down in a darkened room and double their dose. The rest of us had grown out of behaviour like this by the time we left Primary School.

But anyway, I digress.

Last night I was in bed rather later than I hoped and the night wasn’t a particularly good one, but I still managed to stagger out of bed when the alarm went off at 06:00.

After the medication and having checked my mails and messages, I attacked the radio programme. And despite a pause for a coffee and another one for breakfast, the programme was all done and dusted and ready to go by 11:15.

Of course I had to listen to it and also the one that I’ll be sending off for broadcast this week. And this week, they both went off without any issues – not like last week of course.

While I was listening to them, I was carrying on with this slow project of checking the duplicates of images that I have on the computer, and another few GB have bitten the dust right now.

After lunch I had a shower and a general clean-up and dealt with some stuff for my other radio project while I waited for the nurse to come to give me my injection.

Eventually I found out that he had already been, while I was in the shower and I’d missed him. So he told me that he’ll be round this evening.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021That meant that I could finally go out for my afternoon walk so I headed off towards the wall at the end of the car park.

Being rather later than usual, the tide was much farther in than you would expect, and the little spit of sand down there was quite prominent. I’ve never seen it quite as clearly as this before.

And there was no-one on the beach down there this afternoon. It’s later than normal and not as warm as it was at the weekend, but still pleasant enough for anyone who wanted to go for a walk along the foreshore.

red powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was looking down on the beach, a familiar noise up above attracted my attention.

As I watched, around the corner from behind the College Malraux came out own friend the red powered hang-glider that we have seen quite regularly over the past few days.

He came flying by and headed straight out across the bay in the direction of the airfield, presumably to go in to land.

Having watched it disappear out to sea, I headed off on my walk along the path on top of the cliffs.

men fishing from zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was looking out to sea, I happened to notice that there was something out at sea.

A closer look showed me that it was a zodiac, and in it were a couple of fishermen dangling their rods into the water in the hope of catching something for supper.

At this point I had another phone call to answer so I couldn’t see whether they actually managed to catch anything, but if the past is anything to go by, it was unlikely.

But once the ‘phone call ended, I carried off on my walk towards the lighthouse, fighting my way through the crowds of people who were on the path.

people on bench men fishing pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021At the lighthouse I walked down the path and across the car park down to the end of the headland.

There was plenty of excitement down there this afternoon. Today, we have two couples sitting on the bench by the cabanon vauban looking out to sea.

What they were looking at was difficult to say because there was nothing whatever going on out in the bay and across to Cancale this afternoon

There was also a couple of fishermen standing on the rocks down there with their rods and lines. But I didn’t wait here either to see if they actually managed to catch anything. I headed off down the path.

yacht les epiettes chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Down the path I came to the viewpoint overlooking the port and the chantier naval.

The yacht is still there, but the trawler Pescadore has gone back into the water. She wasn’t in there for very long.

In her place we have the little boat that is painted in French Government colours. She’s called Les Epiettes and we had a very close encounter with her when we were on board the Spirit of Conrad last summer.

She’s been hanging around the bay for quite a while subsequently and has been in and out of the port a few time, although I haven’t actually found out yet what she does.

joly france belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was at the viewpoint overlooking the Chantier naval, I glanced over at the ferry terminal to see what was happening.

This afternoon we had a full house of Ile de Chausey ferries moored up over at the terminal. From left to right, we have the newer one of the Joly France boats with the smaller upper deck superstructure, and in the centre is the brand-new Belle France.

And then on the right is the older one of the two Joly France ferry with the windows in “landscape” format.

And they have finally collapsed the jib on the crane and folded it back up again after all of this time at full extension.

helicopter pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was on my way back home I was overflown yet again.

This time there was another helicopter going by overhead, a red one this time, different from the one that we saw yesterday.

Back home again I made myself a coffee and then sat down to do some work but instead I had a phone call from Rosemary and we had another lengthy chat, putting the world to right.

After our call finished, I went to make a curry with all of the bits and pieces that were lying around but I was interrupted by the nurse, and this injection was painful for a change.

While I was at it, I told him that I’d been notified that I have the right to a booster injection 6 months after my second injection, so that means with effect from any time now.

The information told me that a nurse can do it, so I asked him f he could administer it when he comes in 2 weeks time. He’ll bring one with him, he told me.

The curry was delicious, as was the scoop of ice cream that I had afterwards as I’d run out of soya dessert.

Now that my notes are complete I’ll have a little relax and then go to bed. I have my Welsh class tomorrow and I need to be on form. And then I have some errands to run in town tomorrow.

Sunday 10th October 2021 – CONSIDERING THAT SUNDAY …

… is supposed to be a Day of Rest and I’m not supposed to be working, I’m flaming well exhausted after everything that I’ve done today.

The day started really well too. I finally had what I’d been hoping for several days now and had a really decent, uninterrupted sleep from about 00:45 right the way through to 09:35 without even a flicker.

And staying in bed vegetating for another hour or so was exactly what I needed to do as well.

After the meds I came in here and checked my mails and messages, and then I paired off the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be doing tomorrow.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too. I dreamt that I’d bought my apartment last night. There had been a problem about the evacuation of water out of one of the sinks. There was some complicated kind of arrangement there. We were going through it and trying to clear it without much success until my brother hit it was a hammer and part of a broken slate came out of it. While we were tidying up we noticed that at the back of the sink all kinds of nuts and joints and everything. They had had a hell of a time trying to assemble this sink with all this stuff that they had dropped down the back and couldn’t reach. This dream was so real that I was all for going to see Odile this morning and telling her about my purchase.

That took me up to lunchtime, following which I had a little clean-up in the kitchen to try to make it look a little more presentable.

Back in here, I printed out my rail tickets and then shock! Horror! I did some tidying up.

There have been papers all over the place for the last couple of months, stuff that I have to keep on moving so I can sit down or go to bed or whatever. Anyway today, I sorted right the way through them and filed away the important ones and filed the rest under “CS”.

There were some expenses from various sources for which I need to seek reimbursement and I set them on one side for scanning, but I ran out of time.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There’s quite a change from yesterday in the amount of beach available this afternoon.

That shows you really just how quickly the tide comes in around here. But there were plenty of people down there sunning themselves, and no surprise because it was a nice sunny day this afternoon.

Not as much wind as of late either either. We seem right now to be having a little Indian Summer since the storms, and I wonder how long we can keep it up.

Robin DR400-160 F-HGSM pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021While I was out there looking at the beach, an aeroplane came flying in towards the airport.

She’s one that we have seen before – on the 2nd of April this year in fact. F-HGSM, a Robin DR401-160 owned by the Aéroclub Des Grèves Du Mont Saint Michel down the road at Avranches.

Once more, she hasn’t filed a flight plan, and she’s not been picked up on radar either so I’ve no idea of her route or anything else about her today. She’s being extremely mysterious.

helicopter 34-ACI pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There was nothing whatever going on out at sea this afternoon so I carried on along the path fighting my way through the hordes of people out there.

While I was doing so I heard the sound of an unsilenced rotary engine overhead. On looking up (yes, things are looking up here) I saw that I was being oveflown by a helicopter.

The nice weather this afternoon has made someone take out his chopper and go for a good run around. And even though I can see her registration number – 34-ACI – I couldn’t find out anything at all about her.

red powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And that wasn’t all either.

As I rounded the corner to head down the path towards the car park, something else came over going the other way.

This afternoon, we have once again the company of the red powered hang-glider, this time heading on its way out to sea rather than back home as we saw it yesterday.

But me, I was heading down to the end of the headland to see what was going on. and the answer to that was “nothing”. No crowds of volunteers, no boats, no-one sitting on the bench at the cabanon vauban and no-one skiving off on the roof of the old German observation post.

belle france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Instead, I wandered off down the other side of the headland towards the port.

No change in occupancy in the chantier naval so I had a good look over towards the ferry terminal. And once again, they’ve gone off for the weekend and left the gib of the crane fully extended. All that weight resting on the hydraulic seals.

Down there tied up at the terminal is Belle France, the very newest of the three ferries that do over to the Ile de Chausey. One of the others is tied up in the inner harbour so the third one is probably over at the island.

workmen's compound boulevard des terreneuviers Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021On the way back, I stopped for a look down at the workmen’s compound in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers.

Things seem to be hotting up in there right now. The piles of gravel that they deposited at the side of the road now have dried out and as well as the white digger that we had before, there’s a large yellow one.

When I come back from Leuven next weekend, I’m expecting to see a few changes down there such as some actual work being done.

Back at the apartment I made myself a coffee and then came back in here to sort out the stuff that I’m taking to Leuven.

This time I’m taking a larger suitcase, simply because it’s easier to manoeuvre and there’s more room to bring things back in it if necessary instead of struggling with a collection of carrier bags.

Everything has been stripped down to the bare minimum too and I’m taking a lot less with me than I usually would. I imagine that it’s still going to be a struggle and I wish that it wasn’t.

While I was at it, I backed up my memory stick with files for the last two months. Last month’s back-up was done in a hurry and wasn’t complete so I made sure that I had time this afternoon to do it.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Earlier in the afternoon I’d taken out the last pizza dough from the freezer to defrost.

Later on i rolled it out and then assembled my pizza ready for baking. After all, what is a Sunday without a pizza?

Especially a delicious pizza like this one turned out to be. It really was nice, one of the best that I’ve made for quite a while.

And now even though it’s early, I’m off to bed as I have an early start in the morning. Tomorrow I’m radioing so I need to be on form. And about time too.

Saturday 9th October 2021 – I DON’T BELIEVE IT!

Yesterday I posted that I had a really good sleep all the way up to 04:41 in the morning.

Anyone care to guess what time I awoke this morning?

Yes, you’ve guessed it. 04:41. Someone round here somewhere must have an alarm clock set for an early start, unless my body clock is playing tricks with me again. It can’t be a coincidence.

Although I was once more in bed early yesterday evening, the big difference is that I had a wretched night. I spent most of the night tossing and turning in my bed it it didn’t seem as if I had slept at all.

Mind you, the dictaphone tells a completely different story because by the looks of things I travelled miles during the night.

After the medication and checking my mails, I prepared to fight the good fight with the dictaphone. And I wasn’t joking about the miles either. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

We were at school, primary school and we’d had a test. Then the teacher sat down and started, we thought, to read through it and give us the answers. No-one understood what she said about question 1 and she didn’t mention question 2 so I asked “could we have the answer to question 2?”. She replied “you’re supposed to be writing down the answers”. We said “we’ve done that. We’re waiting for the answers”. She replied “the next person who makes a noise will be beaten”. Just then one of the children had been playing with something, a traffic light or something, and the lens fell off. She grabbed hold of the child and took it into her room and prepared her cane. There was another teacher there and they were discussing this child’s anatomy about where they were going to give it the cane. This wasn’t the first time that this has happened. I remembered seeing it perhaps on some other occasion the previous day or something. Of course, all the children there were quite distressed by this.

Later on I was playing bass with a guitarist and I just couldn’t find the opening note. It was one of these heavy metal power trio things like Robin Trower. My bass playing was awful. Eventually he told me that the opening note was E which I didn’t think it was, but that was what we started to play.

There was something else about some people. There had been a raid on a camp somewhere and they had found a steel door. Behind the door was a pile of illegal immigrants or asylum seekers. They had gone through and processed them, and found that there were some valuable workers there with them. They were then going to embarrass a few other countries by pointing out what they had found in this batch of asylum seekers.

So the French were interested in these people as resistance fighters from start to finish yet the British were more discerning looking on them as sex objects, that kind of thing.

There was a family barbecue and everyone was buying everything. We were all there at 09:00 lined up outside the supermarket. I was the first one away and took my stuff to where this was being held. My brother was in charge of the camp and I noticed that he had 10 litres of petrol stored somewhere and was planning to burn down some undergrowth near where this petrol was. I went back for a second load. I had a Landrover chassis but it wasn’t really – no body on it and you sat in it rather than on it, towing a trailer. We returned and my brother was there by this time and one of Lynette’s children had stayed with me. We started to unload this stuff. he was fetching out his petrol and putting down a circle ready to burn. I said “don’t be stupid! You have all that fuel there and some gas. He asked “what do you mean? The first lot has already been burned”. I can’t remember who I looked at but I said “thank God I wasn’t here at the moment when you did that.

All these pretty girls (which pretty girls?) were a pile of water too at the port (if that makes any sense) and I wanted to send them away because much as they were very attractive and helping to keep the male/female ratio a little closer than it might be, they were distracting me from anything else going on.

There was some kind of downhill water racing course in a machine, like a series of rapids or something like that. You go down there and when you reach the lake at the bottom you have to swim underneath the water in a tunnel and come out at the other end where the finishing line it. I did it 3 times and filmed it, including the bit of me going under the water down this tunnel which of course is an astonishing thing for me and made a collage together of how the film would be. Nerina was in here somewhere and I was showing this film to her and actually going ahead and doing it for her although I can’t think why. I can’t remember where this went or what happened about it afterwards.

We were off on board the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR again and it was lunch, or evening meal and we were queueing to get it. There seemed to be two queues, one for the normal meal and another for the fish or cheese variety. I had a look at the cheese variety that turned out to be a white square of fish in cheese sauce with toast. I thought that I would try that but I couldn’t find the vegetables. I managed to grab plenty of toast but there were some people chuntering about “all these people pushing in, doing this and doing that”, whatever. Despite the fact that I had to pay 20p extra my meal was looking like a washout. I went over to where Liz was sitting and asked if this looked right to her, my meal I had to choose a place to sit and there wer e2 seats, one either side of her, that were free. The one on the right was opposite another seat of course. I could see that the seat facing Liz was the handbag of the mother of Zero. The seat next on the right had someone else’s handbag on, and the seat on the left facing the seat on the right of Liz had nothing on it. I wondered if that was where Zero was going to sit so I decided that i’d sit at that seat facing there in the hope that it would be the case.

And that’s not all of it either. There was other stuff too but I’m sure that you wouldn’t appreciate my posting it as you are probably eating your meal right now.

It took me all morning to type out all of that – right up to lunchtime. But there was a reason for that.

home made bread fruit buns place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Yesterday saw me almost reach the end of the bread, so seeing as I wasn’t going to go shopping this morning, I decided to do some baking.

There were only two or three fruit buns left too, so while I was at it, I made half a dozen of those. If I make some space in the freezer somehow (don’t ask me how) I can freeze half the load and three of the fruit buns for when I return from Leuven.

And I shall too, because this batch has turned out really well. The buns look really good and believe me! The loaf is excellent!

After lunch, there was football on the internet. Connah’s Quay v TNS.

TNS are way out in front of the table but Connah’s Quay, despite winning the league for the last two years in succession, are stuck in mid-table and their manager left in midweek. Nevertheless it was a pulsating, exciting match decided by a penalty for TNS not long after the start of the second half.

Mind you, it could have been completely different had Connah’s Quay been awarded a penalty for what looked like a pretty clear handball earlier in the game.

Both sides had a player sent off for fighting later in the game and we carried on into no less than 6 minutes of injury time that came from God Knows Where because this is the first match that I have seen for ages where neither first-aid attendant was required to enter the pitch.

Connah’s Quay actually had the ball in the TNS net in the dying seconds of the game but it was ruled out for offside.

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021This took me up to walkies time so I grabbed the NIKON D500 and headed off outside.

Almost immediately I felt the icy hand of death upon my shoulder, but what had happened was that a Nazgul had gone flying by overhead. A two-seater Nazgul too.

In fact, I could have photographed any number of them this afternoon because they were out there in force. probably about half a dozen that I could see at any one time and I bet that there were more than that as well in total.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Having dealt with the issue of the Nazgul, I wandered off to the end of the car park to see what was happening on the beach.

And with the tide being out this afternoon, there was plenty of beach to be on. And there were crowds down there too – more than we have seen on the beach for quite a while.

That wasn’t really a surprise because despite it being October and there being a fair bit of wind about, the day was the warmest that we have had for a couple of weeks and once I was out of the wind I was obliged to remove my jacket.

aerial ballet hang glider powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I was watching the people on the beach, another Nazgul flew by overhead.

And around the corner from behind the College Malraux came the little red powered hang glider that had been out for a spin.

As they closed up on each other, they performed a really delightful aerial ballet – they really did. Not a danse macabre as we have seen the trawlers in the harbour do so often but a proper little dance.

powered hang glider baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021So having performed its little pas de deux with the hang glider, the powered machine headed off.

Its route took it out to sea across the Baie de Granville and I could follow it for quite a way. But then it headed off towards the airfield to come in to land.

The little scene had been witnessed by the crowds of people who were out there this afternoon. It seems that the whole town had come out up here for a walk.

hang glider falls to earth pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I fought my way through the crowds of people I had a very unexpected sight right in front of me.

Another Nazgul had gone by overhead and as I walked along the path he came tumbling out of the air and touched down right on the very edge of the cliff. With the camera already in my hand, it was an instinctive shot into the sun, hence the overexposed image.

My intention was to go over there and buttonhole him and ask him about his association and how I can blag my way up into the air, but as quick as he came down, he leapt of the cliff and was away, long before I could catch up with him.

digger heavy machine laying pipeline baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021As I was walking over the path towards the car park, I could see that there was plenty of activity going on in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

It’s a Saturday of course today, a weekend, so no-one was more surprised than me to see the heavy tractor thing and the digger out there working on this pipeline. It’s very unusual for this kind of work to be carried out at a weekend.

Obviously the tide is playing an important role in this, and with the lowest tides of the season being round about now, they must be paying the workmen a good bonus to have the work done.

Crowds of people out there too having a dab at the pèche à pied while they have the opportunity.

SNU Service National Universel pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021There were three Gendarme vehicles and a pile of gendarmes on the car park and they seemed to be dealing with this group of people, one of whom was carrying a banner.

Thinking that I might be witnessing some kind of exciting incident I sidled up to one of them. “Who are you?” I asked.
“We’re the SNU” he replied
“What’s that?”
“The Service National Universal#34;
“And what’s that all about?”
“We volunteer” he said, and at that he wandered off. Talk about informative!

Anyway, having made my own enquiries subsequently I can tell you that this is a French Government initiative aimed at kids between 15 and 17 who want to “participate in the construction of a society of Engagement built around national cohesion”.

And don’t blame me. I’m only quoting. I don’t write rubbish like that. I have my own brand of rubbish to write.

F-HFMS Robin DR 400-160 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021And while I was talking to that young person, I was overflown by a light aeroplane from the airfield.

And she’s a new one. We haven’t seen her before. We’ve seen plenty like her though because she’s a Robin DR 400-160 like some of the aeroplanes at the Aero Club de Granville, but this one is owned by the Aeroclub d’Andaines, near Alençon and is registered F-HFMS.

With no flight plan filed, I can’t tell you where she was going from here at 16:20, or even how she’d arrived here, but she was picked up on radar at 19:33 somewhere in the vicinity of Vire and did a big loop towards Alençon.

She disappeared off the radar at 19:59 not too far from Alençon somewhere near her home airfield at Rives d’Andaines.

trawler pescadore yacht chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Having spent a lot of time out there this afternoon, I headed off back down the other side of the headland overlooking the Baie de Mont St Michel.

And here in the chantier naval this afternoon we have another new arrival to accompany the yacht that came in here on Thursday morning.

She has her AIS beacon switched off so I couldn’t tell you her name at first but her serial number came up trumps. She’s Pescadore and why I didn’t recognise her was that she used to be blue and yellow before she had a new paint job.

She was in here a couple of weeks ago, so I wonder what has happened to make her come back.

l'omerta tractor trailer vehicles under fish processing plant port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo October 2021Another one of our old favourites from the chantier naval is sitting on the silt over there at the wharf by the Fish Processing Plant.

She’s L’Omerta and was in the chantier naval for a repaint a couple fo weeks ago as well.

And it looks as if they are going to be expecting a bumper harvest of shellfish this evening when the tide brings in the boats that are out working. As well as the tractor and trailer in position, we have several vehicles on the concrete pad underneath the Fish Processing Plant waiting to take away the loads from their boats.

Back here I made a coffee and sat down for a relax. I should have gone up town this evening to watch the football but I wasn’t up to in. Instead I carried on with the updating of some of the journal entries for August to add in the details of my nocturnal voyages.

They are all now complete, so something positive came out of today.

Something else that I forgot to mention was that somewhere along the line I had a play with that desktop mixer and made it work after a fashion. But I need to do more work on it some time.

Tea tonight was a breadcrumbed vegan burger with veg and some more of those nice potatoes.

Now that my journal is finally finished, I’m off to bed, hoping that there’s no 04:41 alarm in the morning.

Today has been something of a bad day. As well as not having had much sleep, I’ve opened a letter, thrown the contents away and filed the envelope, made a mug of coffee without any coffee in it, and boiled the kettle without any water.

Here’s hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Saturday 11th September 2021 – IT’S BEEN ONE …

marité baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… of those days where anyone who can possible get out to sea had been out there today.

We started off today with Marité having a really good sail around the Baie de Granville, in company with a pile of other yachts, some of which you can see in this photograph.

She was quite far out at sea this morning and I didn’t really have the time to wait for her to come back closer to the shore. But never mind. Read on …

armorique english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Further out there in the bay, right out beyond Jersey, is another ship – a huge one this time.

At first I thought that it might be the high-speed Condor Voyager, which I know to to be out there somewhere, but then I had another think.

Another car ferry, a full-size one, left St Malo about 100 minutes ago and on blowing up my image (which I can do, despite modern terrorist legislation) she has a superstructure that is much more like a full-size ship.

And when I saw that the ship was the Brittany Ferries’ Armorica and compared a shot of her stern with my photo, then I’m now pretty certain that that’s who she is.

commodore goodwill english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021There’s another large ship heading the other way, towards St Malo.

Just one quick glance at her was enough to tell me exactly who she is, without even checking the radar or the port arrivals.

Her colour scheme is that of Condor Ferries and so she must be Commodore Goodwill, their big ferry that takes cars and commercial freight between the UK, the Channel Islands and St Malo

In fact, I did check, and she did arrive in St Malo about 50 minutes after I took this photo.

la cancalaise english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Also out there this morning on the right of this image is a ship with a very familiar set of masts and rigging.

At first glance you might be forgiven that she is La Granvillaise but actually, it isn’t.

She actually has a sister boat, a near-identical twin that operates from Cancale on the other side of the bay and is called, surprisingly enough, La Cancalaise, and that’s who she is. I’m pretty certain of that.

As for who the other one is, she could be any one of a couple of hundred yachts that were out there early this morning.

We haven’t finished yet with the maritime activities, but I thought that I would give you all a break from the excitement and give you a chance to recover your breath.

When the alarm went off this morning, I was actually already awake. I’d awoken blot-upright for some unknown reason at 05:47 and there isn’t really much point in going back to sleep then.

After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. In fact I had been on a bus. I had to go and pick up my youngest sister from School. She was at a school called Pebble Brook which was in Shavington (which of course it isn’t). I had to catch the bus and I asked for Dodd’s Bank. The bus drove into Shavington and went clean past Dodd’s Bank so I had to press the button myself and have it stop. The conductor asked “how pressed the button?” I replied “I did. I should have alighted at Dodd’s Bank”. He asked where I was going and I replied “the Primary School”. He chuntered a bit but anyway I alighted, walked through the track alongside the brook and ended up at school. All the kids were milling around and I could see her there, except that she was more like Roxanne by now. I took her by the hand and we set off. I asked her if she had ever been to see any of the houses where we lived when we were kids. She replied “no. Where are they?”. I said “we’re here” because 61 Osbourne Grove is just around the corner from the school. I showed her that house. of course it’s nothing like the heap that it was when we lived there. It’s all been modernised and 2 houses have been knocked into 1. The people inside could hear me talking about what it was like but they never came out which was a shame so we set off to go round the corner and down the street to Vine Tree avenue.

While I was at it, with not going to the shops today I had a couple of hours to spare so I paired off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be doing on Monday. I may as well get ahead of myself just for a very rare change and it will give me some free time on Sunday.

Then there was some tidying up to do because I was going to have visitors. and sure enough, Liz and Terry came round. Terry gave me back my 3/4″ drive heavy duty ratchet and socket set, and I gave him back his computer that I’d been fixing.

Liz gave me a few old towels that she was planning to throw away. I have nothing here for mopping up heavy spillages, protecting surfaces or anything like that and half a dozen decrepit towels are ideal for this kind of thing.

A coffee at La Rafale was next on the agenda so we headed off out that way, checking out the ships in the Baie de Granville as we went past the viewpoint.

diving platform plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021After our coffee we went for a good walk around the old medieval walls.

Regular readers of this rubbish will be interested in the photo just here because if you compare it with THIS ONE taken from the same viewpoint yesterday, this will give you a really good idea of how high the tide is when it’s right in.

You can just about make out the crown of the diving platform, and even a seagull that is photobombing me.

marite baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021A little earlier I mentioned Marité, about how she was quite far out in the bay, and I told you to “read on”.

We’d spent quite a time in La Rafale and on our walk but even so, It was quite a surprise to see Marité just here in front of us as we came round the corner.

She’s done her morning lap around the Baie de Granville and it now looks as if she’s going to be doing a lap around the Baie de Mont St Michel before coming back home before the harbour gates close.

charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And we haven’t finished yet either.

There was another boat that seemed to be doing a lap or two around the inner harbour with a load of passengers.

She’s the Charles-Marie of course and this is one of the very rare occasions when we’ve actually seen her with her sails unfurled.

When we returned to the apartment Liz and Terry went to their car and headed off into the sunset – well, not exactly the sunset but you know what I mean – and I came in here because it was almost lunchtime and my nice fresh bread awaited.

After lunch, I had a couple of other things to do, such as carrying on sorting some images – a project that I started ages ago when I merged together all of my hard drives into one large one.

What had restarted my enthusiasm (such as it is) for this particular project was the other day when I spent half a day looking for a couple of photographs and couldn’t find them. I decided that I ought to be more organised and not let things drift as I seem to be doing right now.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This took me up tp the time to go on my afternoon walk around the headland, and as usual, the first port of call was the beach.

Looking over the wall at the end of the car park I could see that there was plenty of beach to be on, and there were plenty of people making the most of it.

There were even a few people who had taken to the water, which was no surprise because although it had been quite cool this morning, as the day went on it warmed up quite dramatically and after the miserable summer that we had, it looks as if it’s going to be unseasonably warm for a while.

powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was out with Liz and Terry this morning there had been quite a lot of aerial traffic. Ordinarily I would have photographed some of it but you can’t really do things like that in company.

One of the aircraft that had gone by overhead was the red powered hang-glider, and I was lucky while I was out this afternoon because as I was watching the beach she came by again.

This time of course there were no hang-ups, if you pardon the expression, and I could take quite a nice photo of her as she roared by over my head. Unfortunately, from this position I couldn’t see who was in her.

50sa aeroplane pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021and that was by no means all of the aerial activity. There was plenty more to go at yet.

Something else that went by overhead almost immediately was one of the little aeroplanes that seem to have a serial number range all of their own that I have yet to decipher.

This one is 50SA, whatever or whoever she might be. I keep on meaning to go one of these days over to the airfield and have a good look around, make a few suitable enquiries and maybe even blag myself a flight in the yellow autogyro. Who knows?

hang gliders pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021And had I been out a few minutes earlier, I might even have witnessed some more aerial activity too.

But when I arrived at the lawn by the lighthouse at the Pointe du Roc, I could see that a couple of the Birdmen of Alcatraz had come to grief. It looks as if their Nazguls have given up the ghost, the wind has dropped or else Legolas has shot them down with his arrow in the dark.

Now, the riders are lounging around presumably waiting for someone with a car to come and rescue them from their peril and take them back home.

la cancalaise english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021But for the last few minutes I’ve been digressing.

While I was watching the beach and watching the air, my third eye was casting around out at sea to see if there was anything exciting going on out there.

Earlier this morning, I posted a photo of La Cancalaise out there in the English Channel. And when I went out for my afternoon walk I noticed that she was still out there, with a couple of smaller boats to keep her company.

It would seem that they don’t have the same issues with the tides at Cancale as we do here

fishermen in zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021It goes without saying that if there is going to be all this much marine activity, there are bound to be some fishermen somewhere.

What was surprising though was that despite the dozens of boats milling around, there was only this zodiac that looked as it it had any fishermen in it.

So I left them to it and pushed off on the path along the clifftop past the downed Nazguls and across the car park to see what was happening out in the bay.

To my surprise, the answer was “nothing”. It looked as if the crowds that we had seen out there this morning had all gone home. No point in my loitering around. I’ll head for my home too.

saint andrews catherine philippe l'omerta chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021The path along the top of the cliff on the far side of the headland takes me past the viewpoint overlooking the outer harbour.

From here, there’s a really good view down into the chantier naval and I was right yesterday when I thought that I could only make out four boats down there.

We have the blue and black one whose name I haven’t yet discovered, and facing her is Saint Andrews. The white blue and red one is Catherine Philippe and to her right is the shellfishing boat L’Omerta .

Nothing else has come in this morning to fill the empty places.

stalls and marquees parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021On the car park at the Boulevard Vaufleury are a pile of marquees and the like.

Ordinarily I would have gone for a nosey about to see what was happening but it’s a sign of how ill I am that I couldn’t face the extra few hundred yards to go and check.

What I’ll do is to go home now, and if they are still there tomorrow I can give them the once-over without having to take too much of a diversion.

But these health issues are really depressing me and no mistake.

Back here there was football on the internet and for once, the broadcasters had picked a match of two teams that are down at the wrong end of the table, Aberystwyth Town versus Cardiff Metropolitan.

Despite the lack of skill compared to the more successful clubs this was an exciting match as the action raged from one penalty area to the other. Aberystwyth played soe really attractive football but the Met were more direct and began to take control the longer the gamae went on.

They were unlucky to find Aberystwyth’s goalkeeper, the Slovenian Under-21 International Gregor Zabret, in stunning form and he kept them out right until the end when a wicked deflection off one of his own defenders sent him the wrong way.

Aberystwyth are now third-bottom in the table but surely, on this performance, they’ll finish higher up the table than this.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and that means a lie-in. I have more visitors in the afternoon so I want to be at my best and maybe even tidy the apartment a little. It does need it.

Monday 6th September 2021 – HERE THIS AFTERNOON …

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021… in the port we have Marité, back again after her outing at the weekend and tied up at her usual spec in the corner at the end of the harbour.

And today, it’s Monday, so everyone is back at work or at school and Marité thus has nothing to do and nowhere to go.

So as you might expect, we are having one of the most beautiful, warm and sunny days of the summer so far (even though it’s September).

It’s a very sharp contrast indeed to yesterday when she was out and about with the Sunday day-trippers in one of the thickest fogs that I have ever encountered since I’ve been here when the tourists couldn’t see a thing.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was down there at the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour I had a good look around to see how the Galeon Andalucia was doing.

And there she was! Gone! And never called me mother! Apparently she slipped out of port on the morning tide earlier today and is now heading off back down the coast on her way home. I shall have to catch up with her later.

Right now though, I have to say that I had a rather miserable night last night, tossing and turning in bed for ages with a very disturbed sleep.

There is some stuff on the dictaphone too. We were going north to Scotland, 4 of us. One of them was CPO Pertwee. I can’t remember what it was that we were planning to do but to climb a mountain was not exactly some part of it but we thought that that might have been a possibility that we could have reached the top. There was a tremendous overhang at some point and it wasn’t a very easy climb at all. Pertwee asked “what do you think would be in the papers if we actually climbed it?” and he replied that it would be first of all the leader and the fourth person would have climbed up, secondly followed by Pertwee and me, with me carrying all of the equipment of course. Then we turned round and went back and ended up that night on this camp site just outside somewhere in the Scottish lowlands. Who should be bump into but a girl who worked in Crewe. A young girl. I was following the other 3 around all alongside the river but I ended up talking to this girl. We had a bit of a chat but she didn’t seem to be very interested in having a longer chat or anything like that. In the end I drifted away but I couldn’t find the other 3. The bottom end of this path was crowded with people partying. There were lights and everything but I couldn’t find the other 3 and thought “had I know, I would have brought this girl down with me regardless of what she wanted to do and we could have joined the party.

later on we’d all been out at the weekend to go somewhere. There was talk that we might all go out there again the coming weekend. In the meantime we were all thinking about tidying up the house. I was ill and was at home so my mother had me help her tidy up the house which was not my plan at all. She asked me to vacuum off a few surfaces but she had all kinds of rubbish on them including half of a dead plant that she had broken off branches and had leaves everywhere. The vacuum cleaner started to suck up the leaves and jammed so I had to start to pick up all these leaves and branches by hand and move them outside. Then she came down and hardly took a bit of notice about what I was doing and chatting away about this plan of the question of going away again for the day came up. I thought that I’d like to invite this girl who I’d met. I suddenly realised that that meant that there would be 6 of us in the car and it would be overcrowded. I thought that I could take her in BILL BADGER but he was hardly the kind of vehicle for taking girls out on dates. I had several old Cortinas dotted around (again!) the garden and the place wasn’t looking very tidy at all. There was a beige MkIII saloon there that was quite rotten. I was wondering if I set to work and did the bodywork on it this week and get it to be presentable. There was a nagging feeling in my mind that there was a time limit that I had to do something – a legal time limit but I couldn’t remember what it was. I knew that if I didn’t do it there would be complications but I couldn’t remember when or where it was that I had to do this.

Despite how I was feeling, I did manage to crawl out of the arms of Morpheus and into the kitchen to take my medication, and then back into here to check my mails and messages.

Once all of that was dealt with I could crack on with the radio programme that I need to deal with today.

Up until about 10:40 I was doing really well and all that remained was to choose the last track. And then the wheels came off because I was interrupted by a telephone call.

A few days ago I had an idea about a series of radio programme for later on in the year and i’d sent a mail to the co-ordinator. He called me back at about 10:40 and we had a very lengthy chat.

As a result it wasn’t until about 12:05 that I finished the programme, about an hour after I had intended to, and then I had to draft a lengthy report as well as to send out a few feelers here and there to potential interviewees.

After lunch I had a shower and then went to see the co-ordinator where we chatted for well over an hour, batting ideas backwards and forward about how I intend to do it. So now, not only do I have a plan drawn up, I have an awful lot of work before me until Christmas

By the time that I had come back, it was time to go back out again for my afternoon walk, so I grabbed the big NIKON D500 and headed off outside.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Naturally, the first port of call is going to be the wall at the end of the car park where I can look down upon the beach and see what is happening.

And despite it being a work day or a school day, there were plenty of people down there on the beach this afternoon.

Not only that, there were plenty of people down there in the water too. No surprise there, given the beautiful day. You can tell that just by looking at the colour of the water down there.

a href=”https://www.erichall.eu/images/2109/21090044.html”>people on beach rue du nord plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021Now that I can actually see something out there this afternoon, I had a look further down the beach to see what was going on there too.

Down at the bottom of the steps, bottom right in the photo, we have someone armed with his surfboard or paddleboard or whatever on the point of heading out to the water.

Further down, there were plenty of people out there at the water’s edge at the Plat Gousset. That’s the most popular beach around here and is always where you’ll find the crowds, if there are any about. Access to the beach is much easier there.

fisherman in kayak pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was sounding out the beach down there, I was also looking around out at sea to see what was going on there.

This afternoon we have a fisherman down there in a kayak. He certainly has a couple of fishing rods with him but I imagine that trying to cast a line from a kayak is not a very easy proposition.

What has also caught my eye is whatever it is that he has at the back of his kayak. It looks rather like a set of wheels to me, so maybe it’s something that he can use to pull his boat in and out of the water from the beach.

frogmen scuba divers pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021His wasn’t the only aquatic activity that was being undertaken out there this afternoon.

Out there just offshore we have a couple more frogmen – or frogpersons as I suppose that we have to call them these days.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall having seen them a while ago out there in more or less the same spot and I couldn’t understand what they were doing then. It’s probably something to do with training although I don’t know why they would want to do it just there.

red microlight ulm pointe du roc Granville Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was watching the water sports down there I was overflown once more.

It was the little red microlight that we have seen on several occasions. He’s up there with a passenger, by the looks of things, and they were doing a couple of laps around the end of the headland.

Once he disappeared finally out of view, I wandered off across the car park to the end of the headland. There wasn’t anything else going on out at sea which was a surprise given how nice the day was today.

Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six F-GVJC pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021While I was wandering out that way, something else came flying past overhead.

One look at the machine told me who it might be, without even seeing her registration number. She’s F-GVJC, the Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six that we’ve seen a few times. You can tell that by her elongated nose.

She doesn’t seem to have filed a flight plan for this journey so I’m not able to say where she’s going, although it can’t have been far because later on this evening she took off again for Melun, near Paris.

Airbus A321-271NX G-WUKN pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021This aeroplane is much more easy to identify because even at 20,000 feet we can see her livery.

She’s G-WUKN, an Airbus A321-271NX and she’s flying flight W65122 on behalf of Wizz Air between Fuerteventura and Luton Airport at a speed of 347 knots. She was built in Germany, where she is currently registered, and her first commercial flight was as recently as March this year.

It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a good view of a full-size aeroplane flying overhead, and we were lucky to have this view because as you can see, she’s being overtaken by a load of cloud and we are on the point of losing sight of her.

fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021At the end of the headland I could see out into the Baie de Mont St Michel.

There is one of the smaller fishing boats heading back towards port although I don’t know why because the harbour gates won’t be open for a while.

At first, I thought she might be La Grande Ancre but gazing full-on into the sun, it’s very difficult to make out anything.

There were no fishermen down there on the rocks and no-one at the Cabanon Vauban either, so I carried on along the path towards the viewpoint overlooking the port.

yann frederic chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021From the viewpoint overlooking the chantier naval we can see that a change in occupancy this afternoon.

We stall have seven boats, the same number that we have had for the last couple of weeks, but the green, white and black trawler La Soupape that has been up there on the blocks for several weeks has now gone back into the water.

In her place is another trawler, the Yann Frederic. This is the first time that we’ve taken notice of her since we’ve been living here but I don’t suppose that it will be the last, judging by the length of tile that they spend on the blocks over there.

Mind you, they already seem to have made a good start on her, and there is someone working on one of her aerials.

joly france chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2021But whatever is happening here, I really have no idea.

One of the Joly France boats, the newer one of the two with the smaller superstructure and deeper windows, is over there moored at the ferry terminal.

Chausiaise is over there too, and I can’t think what she’s doing because it looks as if she’s moored right across the ferry terminal preventing any other boat from going in there to tie up.

The other two ferries, the older Joly France boat and the very new Belle France are nowhere about so Chausiaise had better move herself by the time that they come back.

Having looked at the inner harbour, I came on back home for my banana smoothie and to carry on with some work such as transcribing the dictaphone notes from the night, but instead I fell asleep. Not the way that I wanted to end my working day.

Tea was a stuffed pepper with rice and veg. And since I’ve been on this kind-of diet and having my physiotherapy I’ve lost 1.6 kilos. Still another 10 kilos to go but that’s probably going to take more effort than I have in the tank.

Now I’m off to bed. Our Welsh lessons start again tomorrow and I have a lot of work to do to bring myself up to date.

Sunday 29th August 2021 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… big fall today. Something along the lines of when I fell a couple of years ago when I dislocated my knee and broke my hand. This time, I landed on my knee and on my elbow and I have gravel rash just about everywhere.

Whatever else I have done remains to be seen, of course but at the moment I’ve cleaned my knee and I have an antiseptic pad on my elbow.

One gets the impression that it’s not safe for me to be allowed out without a keeper.

This morning I finally had a lie-in – until all of about 09:30. It was actually rather earlier than that because someone sent me a text message round about 08:30 but if anyone thinks that I’m going to respond at that time of morning on a Sunday they are mistaken.

After the medication I came back in here to do some work but after a short while I was disturbed by a phone call. I have a appointment to see a neighbour at 14:00 but could I come now?

We had a very lengthy chat for several hours about a project that I have in mind and she gave me a load of informatio which I could put to a great deal of use.

That took me all the way up to lunch and then for the first part of this afternoon I’ve been teaching myself how to write, synchronise and add subtitles to video files. It’s rather time-consuming and took me a while to figure it out, but now everything is working exactly as it should and I’m quite pleased with what I did.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat took me all the way up to my afternoon walk outside.

It goes without saying that the first port of call is the beach to see what is happening, so I wandered off across the car park to have a look over the wall.

There were quite a few people down there on the beach today which is no surprise as it’s about the last day of the holiday season. And chapeau to those who are going into the water because there is quite a lot of wind today and it’s really cold in all of that heavy cloud shadow.

zodiac speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I had one eye out on the beach, the other eye was, as usual, looking out to sea to see what I could see.

Unfortunately, there was nothing big sailing around the bay this afternoon, even though the tide was in and the harbour gates were open. All that I could see was a speedboat out at sea, and a zodiac full of fishermen hidden in the shadow of the cloud.

No sign whatsoever of Marité and La Granvillaise which is strange seeing as this is really their last opportunity to rake in the cash.

So off I set along the path, where I met my Waterloo. Face-down in the gravel and I could only just about manage to find the strength to drag myself to my feet.

It reminds me of the time that Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams fell overbaord from a lifeboat.
“Did you drag yourselves up?” asked Kenneth Horne
“Oh no” they replied. “We were dressed quite casually”.

belle france speedboat brittany coast baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallStaggering off down the path, covered from head to foot in dust, I went down to the end of the headland.

As I reached the end of the path by the lighthouse, aroud the headland came one of the Joly France ferries. This one is Belle France, the newest of the fleet that came in to port earlier in the summer.

The lunchtime train from Paris came in at 14:10 or thereabouts and will have brought in passengers who will be going over to the island for a out-of-season holiday. Belle France will be bringing back the people who are going to be taking the evening train to the metropolis.

Managing to keep on my feet, I tottered across the car park and down to the end of the headland. Surprisingly, there was nothing going on out in the bay around there so I headed off towards the port.

chausiase joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere wasn’t any change in occupancy in the chantier naval today. Still the same seven boats as before.

Instead, I had a good look around the port to see what else was happening in the port. I could see Chausiaise, the Ile de Chausey freighter over there at the ferry terminal waiting for things to happen.

Behind her up against the other side of the ferry terminal is another one of the Joly France ferries. This is the more recent of the older two ferries, with the rectangular windows in “portrait” format.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere wasn’t anything else of note happening over there so I pushed off further along the path.

The Galeon Adalucia is still there moored in the harbour. I wanted to take a photo of it today because this is possibly the last time that we shall be seeing it. Someone was telling me that she’s hitting the road tomorrow for St Brieuc.

She’s still pulling in the crowds as you can see. There are masses of people over there on the quayside taking a last look at her before she goes.

And talking of going, I’m going too, back to my apartment.

red microlight ulm place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back home I was interrupted by a familiar noise going past overhead.

Luckily I had the camera ready so I was able to snap it as it went by overhead. It’s the red microlight, or powered hang-glider or whatever she calls herself. We haven’t seen her for a good couple of days.

Back here, I paired off the tracks for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday, and the unfortunately I fell asleep for half a hour.

Plenty of stuff on the dictaphone to attract my attention today

I started off on board a ship like the THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR only this time I was someone else – a female. I had Zero with me and I wanted to see how she would respond to certain stimuli. I asked on the internet if anyone had any marijuana or cannabis to smoke and if so would they like to bring it round and share it with the 3 of us and see what happened as the drug unfolded. And I have no idea whatever about what was going on here.

There had been a few Hollywood films made with a low budget or even no budget as a strike had hit hard but all of a sudden it cleared up. This meant that this thing with Zero was back on the agenda. How it cleared up was that I was treating a girl not much older than that who had broken her hand. I was a real guessing game and I had to work it out in the end which I did, and the question of how she was going to get back to hospital. I didn’t want to run her because I was waiting to catch up my beauty sleep. It turned out that the traffic was all flowing again so she’ll get something or other (I must stop mumbling) from down the south coast for which I was grateful. She was talking about she’d rung up her brother and gave me her brother’s phone number. Luckily he answered me and said that he would come and fetch her for which I was grateful.

Later, I wanted to go and look at a car somewhere or other and asked my father to come with me. In the end he said that he would come with me one morning which meant that I’d be late for work. I took my car in to the garage and left it there. I asked them where there were any decent cars because I was retiring. He pointed to a garage about a mile down the road which I said that I knew but which occasionally had some old bangers in and a few other cars but I didn’t think that that was the kind of place that was of any interest. I went back to the office at 09:00 and my father was standing outside. We set off and somehow we ended up in this museum having a look round. We became separated and were having a look. It was pretty crowded. Then I thought “this isn’t getting anything done, is it? I’ll be without a car, I’ll be late for work, all this kind of thing”.

Now here’s a thing!

Here I am, at home on a Sunday with nothing much going on today, and I HAVEN’T had pizza for tea. So what happened there?

Yesterday, I’d taken a frozen burger in breadcrumbs out of the freezer in order to have it for tea but with Rosemary phoning me, I’d ended up missing my meal.

Meanwhile, the burger had defrosted so it needed to be eaten. There were a couple of older small potatoes hanging around so I finished off all of that with some vegetables.

So now, an early night. I need to be on form tomorrow so I don’t intend to hang around.

And any case, I’m sick to death of this keyboard.

Thursday 26th August 2021 – THERE HAS BEEN …

… a calamity!

This morning I dropped a full mug of coffee onto my keyboard.

It goes without saying that that has now been filed under “CS” and the rest of the morning was spent hunting down the spare one that I have here.

After a good search I came across two, a very flaky old Belgian one and a more recent French one with “NumLok” stick permanently in the “On” Position. (And it could have been worse – it could have been stuck in the “off position”).

When I had finished lunch I tried to work out why the new keyboard was totally misbehaving and doing all kinds of strange things. That turned out to be a stuck “CTRL” button which I freed off.

All I need to do now is to find out why the “N” doesn’t work, and I’ll be in business. I’m using a keyboard shortcut for now so if you find any missing “N”, then you know why.

Thinking about it later, it would probably have been quicker to have driven to LeClerc and bought a new one instead of all of this messing about.

Strangely enough, the flooded keyboard had a fault with the “N” too. There was a delay in the “N” appearing when I touched it so I found myself often ending up with “GN” instead of “NG” if I wasn’t careful.

But I digress … “again” – ed

Despite yet another late night, I was out of bed as the first alarm rang and the went off for my medication.

After that I came in here to read my messages and as soon as it was light I dashed outside with the NIKON D500

chausiaise joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd without falling over a bollard this morning I headed off to the viewpoint overlooking the port.

And it seems that I should have bee here 30 seconds earlier because they had been loading Chausiaise. I’d seen the crane swinging around as I was coming down the street but as I made ready to photograph it, they closed it up.

Parked behind Chausiaise is one of the Joly France boats that runs the ferry service to the Ile de Chausey. the older one of the two, I think, with the rectangular windows in landscape format.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s the pride of the harbour for the moment.

When I first saw her name I misread it. She’s actually called the Galeon Andalucia and is a replica of a 17th Century Spanish Galleon. She was built in Punta Umbría as a typical “Galeón de Manila” at a cost of about €450,000.

She was launched in 2010 and went out to represent Spain at the Universal Exposition in Shanghai. Since then she’s been visiting various ports around the world, including a couple of weeks in early July in St Malo, and I wonder if that coincides with that mystery sailing ship that we saw.

chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSeeing as I was up quite early, the sun was quite low to the east so we were having all kinds of unusual views that we don’t often see.

The chantier naval was nicely illuminated this morning by the low rays of the sun. You can see quite clearly all of the seven boats that are in there, and they all look pretty much like the seven that were in there yesterday.

Away in the distance on the horizon we can see the town of Cancale quite clearly. I’ve made no effort to enhance this photo so even at this range today, the views were pretty good.

baie de mont st michel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd that wasn’t the best of it either.

There’s a high hill away in the distance somewhere a little way into the interior of Brittany and I can’t recall having seen that more than once or twice. Today though, it was probably about the clearest that I have ever seen it.

The coastline was pretty clear too this morning. And I’m not sure if it’s a trick of the light but that looks like an enormous flotilla of yachts out there in the distance over by the coast.

fishing boat calean leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMuch closer to home there were other things going on.

The harbour gates were now open (I’d only just made it down to the port in time) and already half of the local fleet (that bit that isn’t in the chantier naval) had headed off into the sunrise. One of the last to go out was this little shellfish boat, Calean.

You can the shellfish boats by the covered awning over the open hold. That’s to stop the seagulls diving down and pinching the catch on the way back from the beds.

fishing boat bay de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLeaving the port, I wandered over to the other side of the headland to have a butcher’s at the Baie de Granville to see what was going on over there.

And out at sea many of the fishing boats had taken up their positions and were starting work, like this blue and white one here.

One thing that I had always wondered is “how do they decide which boat fishes where?”. They can’t all surge out en masse and fight for a spec in a glorious free-for-all. There must be some kind of organisation.

Do they draw lots? Or do they take turns on a rota for different specs?

Normandy Trader approaching port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallNow here’s a thing.

While I was looking out at sea at the trawlers I noticed something else heading my way, and as it approached me, I reckoned that the silhouette was quite familiar so I photographed it for a closer look when I returned home.

Back here I had a close look at the photo and had something of a play around with it. Sure enough, it’s Normandy Trader, one of the little Jersey freighters, on her way into port. I wonder what she and her crew will make of a Spanish galleon here in port.

Having done that, I edited the rest of the morning’s photographs and also the ones from last night. Then I began to update the journal to add the details of last night’s meanderings.

Round about 10:45 I knocked off for breakfast – coffee and my fruit bread. The bread was fine but it was round about then that I had my calamity.

Accordingly, the rest of the morning and early afternoon was spent messing around with the computer.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNone of the foregoing stopped me from having my afternoon walk of course.

You will have seen the glorious morning that we had earlier today, but by now there had been a dramatic change in the weather. It was cloudy, overcast and cold, just like any late October day.

It was no surprise therefore to see that the beach was totally deserted. There wasn’t a soul down there that I could see. The weather had finished off the holiday season in a way that no-one will ever forget in a hurry.

There’s even a rainstorm by the looks of things a few miles out to sea to put the tin hat on it.

harvesting bouchots donville les bains Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I said that there wasn’t anyone out on the beach, that’s not strictly accurate.

Away in the distance out at Donville les Bains the bouchot harvesters are hard at work. They have all of the tractors and trailers out there this afternoon bringing in the shellfish from the beds that are to the right of this image.

And in the background there are a few people walking around on the beach. Probably tenants of the holiday park just along there. They will be walking along the beach because, to be frank, there isn’t anywhere else for them to walk around there.

crowds footpath pointe du roc lighthouse semaphore Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo I’m sure that you are now wondering where all of the holidaymakers have gone if they aren’t on the beach.

The answer to that is that they are all on the path that leads down to the semaphore and the lighthouse at the end of the Pointe du Roc. Hordes and hordes of them too.

And they weren’t all holidaymakers either. While I was walking around on top of the cliff overlooking the sea, I fell in with one of my neighbours and we had a really good chat.

While we were chatting, we were overflown by a helicopter, our friend F-GBAI and also the sparrowhawk but you can’t be rude and interrupt a conversation by taking a photo.

Just my luck, isn’t it?

ulm microlight powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, I didn’t have long to wait before someone else flew by overhead.

The familiar rattle in the distance gave me a clue as to who it might be and it wasn’t long before the red microlight who we have se so often came fluttering by.

Interestingly, it just went a mile or so out to sea, turned round and headed for home.

Bizarre.

Nothing else flew by so I carried on to the end of the path and across the car park, which was crowded yet again.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe other day I asked the question “what do you do if you head back to port and find the port gates closed with the tide.

Almost on cue, we saw a yacht riding at anchor about half a mile outside the harbour. And here today we have another one. And I wonder if he has also missed today’s window of harbour gate openings.

There doesn’t seem to be anyone on deck so maybe they are riding at anchor an gone below for a cuppa. However, they are supposed to display a signal – a black ball – if they have their anchor out but I can’t see anything of that nature hanging from the mast.

people on beach port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little further around the headland there was a group of people out on the beach and rocks underneath the harbour wall.

My first thought was that they were doing a bit of peche à pied but a closer look failed to convince me. And apart from the fact that there’s no sun right now, that’s no place to go sunbathing.

Meanwhile, in the chantier naval there was no change in occupancy since this morning. Everything was the same as yesterday except for an infernal racket from down there as if someone was doing some heavy-duty sand-blasting.

galeon andalucia port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallIn the inner harbour I noticed that Normandy Trader had already left. That was a quick turn-round.

Galeon Andalucia on the other hand was still down there with a huge crowd of admirers around her.

And well there might be too, for she’s a gorgeous machine. She’s 38 metres above the water (and 3 metres below it) and her three masts carry almost 2,000 square metres of sail.

Altogether, there are 6 decks which amount to 315 square metres of usable floor space. She looks as if she could launch a broadside of 14 guns

Sadly, she also has an auxiliary engine.

Back here I finished off yesterday’s notes and then went for tea. Aubergine and kidney bean whatsit with pasta.

Finally, I managed to find time to listen to the dictaphone. I was in Villedieu les Poeles last waiting to catch a ferry to go somewhere and there was a talk about how this town was one of the most important in the area as a fishing port, which considering that it’s 20 miles inland, is pretty good going (and I fell asleep here). It was a story on the radio about how important it was and how it was about the 4th most important bridge in France. I thought that it was the first and I was looking for a few reasons out of UP POMPEII to substantiate it. Then I was going through people’s different houses (and I fell asleep again). There was more to it than this but I can’t really remember now which is a shame

later on we were on the top of the cliffs looking down onto the village at Villedieu and the ferry and there was a bridge there as well (yes, I’ve stepped right back in where I left off, haven’t I?). We had to go down to the bottom and somehow fight our way across on rubber boats or something to the other side. We all charged and it was quite a bloodthirsty do with fighting everywhere. Eventually I managed to reach across to the other side of the river, cheered and pushed on. A few of us overwhelmed everything and we were all extremely happy that we had done this and survived and conquered this town.

Now that I’ve finished today’s notes I’m off to bed. I’ve been having too many late nights just recently. I have to put a stop to that.

Thursday 12th August 2021 – I WAS RIGHT …

joly france leaving ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… about the place out here being a hive of activity at the morning tide while I’m still plucking up the courage to drink a mug of coffee

This morning started off with a couple of blasts on the siren from one of the Joly France ferries , the older one of the two as she reverses out of the ferry terminal with a load of passengers on board.

They all do that when they reverse out, because they never know what is coming around the corner behind them, and I imagine that the sounding of the siren is the result of bitter experience.

belle france arriving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it’s just as well that she did because she had company right behind.

The very newest Chausey ferry, Belle France looks as if she’s been an early bird this morning.

She’s on her way back into harbour having presumably already dropped one load of passengers off at the island, and coming back for more, bringing with her, I imagine, holidaymakers who want to return to Paris on the midday train.

And so it looks as if it’s going to be a busy day for them out there today with them starting early like this.

chausiaise arriving at port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallJamais deux sans trois – never two without a third, as I said yesterday.

And in behind all of them, somewhat later and at a much more leisurely rate, comes Chausiaise, the little freighter that they use for running the supplies and the luggage out there

All we need now is the other Joly France boat, wherever she may be, and the Loch Ness monster and we’ll have a full house today.

trans-shipping porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you think that that was all of the excitement this morning you are very much mistaken.

One of the big issues about living in a medieval walled city is that deliveries are somewhat complicated. The heights and widths of the gates weren’t made for modern lorries.

Anyone who has anything delivered here in a lorry like this will need to have some kind of trans-shipment facility for their purchases if they expect their goods to arrive at their front door.

normandy trader loading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMeanwhile, back at the ran … errr … harbour we have another visitor in here this morning.

The Normandy Trader seems to have come into port with the evening tide yesterday and by the time that I got round to see her she was busy being loaded up with a pile of building material that must also have arrived quite early.

According to her skipper, she’d already been over to St Malo on her way out from St Helier so they are keeping her busy.

marite baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was at it, I went to have a look on the north side of the headland when I came back from the shops.

And here, sailing around the bay was Marité

We had seen her at her mooring earlier when we saw Normandy Trader but by the time that I came back both of them had cleared off into the sunset.

Normandy Trader had long-since disappeared into the distance but Marité kept me entertained for quite a while.

condor voyager english channel Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd we had another surprising sight right out to sea just leaving the harbour at St Helier and the camera did really well to pick this up.

A quick check of the fleet radar told me that just about 20 minutes before I took this photo, Condor Voyager, the big superfast ferry whom we had seen the other day, had set out from St Helier on her way back to Poole in Dorset, where she arrived at 14:43.

She was the only ship out there who fitted the description and the size of what I was seeing so I reckon that it’s she.

Yes, I’ll go out again when the tide is right.

But anyway, I’m getting well ahead of myself.

And after last night’s adventures, all that I can say is that there’s no point whatever in killing myself to go to bed at a reasonably early time if I spend most of the night tossing and turning and not being able to sleep properly It was a rather dismal night in fact.

Nevertheless, I did manage to go off on several travels and it’s these that are probably wearing me out the most. Last night I was living at the top end of Crewe in Victoria Street and I had a little ginger kitten. One day I let it out and it shot off at a right pace. I was calling it and running after it praying that it wasn’t going to be knocked over by a car or something as it had never been out at all in the past. Eventually I caught it playing around by the railings that led up the steps to one of the shops on Hightown. I picked it up and thought “I’m on the way to the hospital but i’m going to have to carry the cat because I can’t just put it down and let it run around like this. It will drive me mad and be ever so stressful

Later on I’d arranged to meet one of my Canadian friends to go to the cinema but somehow I’d forgotten. I’d ended up going to bed. But the phone rang to ask me where I was “God! I’ve forgotten!” She replied “we’re just going in now”. She’s met someone and they were going to be on the balcony in the cinema. I dressed quickly and dashed into town, went up into the cinema and had a look round. Eventually I found them and went to sit next to them. There she was, then this guy then me then another woman. This was a B-feature and the lead film was a film abour economic analysis and everything. Of course I was fascinated by this and sat and listened to it. This woman started to talk about something that she had planned for her thesis to do with making glucoses on plants and transposing them to trees. I said “you should speak to my friend’s friend because he’s into genetics”. That sparked off a lively incident. This film then started to talk about someone who had developed some babysitting rings in South London with a couple of friends, about how they had started this but were doing it while studying and hadn’t let on. Their friends were starting to shun them because of the implications about what would happen to their studies if they found out that they were working.

Some time later a couple of us were hemmed in on a car park by a car and a lorry on a car park in Granville. We had to go to pick someone up from the seafront a little later and the gale was howling. It was really strong. I was trying to eat something but it was all falling apart. In the end I turned to whoever it was I was with and said something like “shall we go?”. I swept all of the ruins of whatever it was I was eating into a bag and I saw the cheese sandwich and said “God! Sorry!” to whoever it was we were meeting. We set off to go to see the storm.

A little while earlier at some point I’d been on a bike and I’d come to some roadworks and I’d had to wait while we were ushered through. The ushers were dealing with some kind of incident involving a lorry so we were there for hours. The we were let through and I had to cycle behind the girl on the bike who was leading everyone through. I’d switched my lights off and I couldn’t get them to work again. In the end I cycled off and by now I’d transformed myself into a car. I was heading back home to my place in Virlet. Although I’d come a different way I suddenly found myself back on the road that I knew so I was able to put my foot down and go that way. In the night with the lights and everything we could see all of these ancient buildings with all old dates carved into these buildings, hundreds of dates, all reflected in the shadows of the car’s headlights. It was the first time that I had ever seen them so clearly.

It’s no wonder that I’m totally exhausted with all of this going on, is it?

Having organised that I went and had a shower and went one better than Graham Nash – I actually DID cut my hair, although my not feeling up to par is not because I had the flu for Christmas – it’s something else completely.

Then I hit the streets – not that I feel much like it but on Tuesday I have to go for the train and so I may as well see how I feel.

You’ve already seen some photos and I’ll show you a few more quite soon once I’ve disentangled myself from the chat with the itinerant who hangs around the town.

unloading goods at empty shop rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was a clothes shop for kids in the Rue Couraye but it moved to different premises not so long ago.

Just recently the windows have been covered over to stop people peeking inside, and today they’ve had a delivery of stock.

Hachette is wholesale book distributor and it’s their name on the packaging, so are we going to be seeing a bookshop open in the town?

Watch this space.

On the way up the hill my knee gave out again and that reminded me that as I was going past the new physiotherapists’ clinic I should pop in there and make an appointment. I have a doctor’s prescription for a course of physiotherapy.

At LIDL I didn’t buy very much at all today – it was the exercise that I went for more than the shopping, so I was soon heading back.

crane rue victor hugo rue saint paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that we watched them demolish the old café on the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo.

They erected a crane shortly afterwards and I said that they would get a move on now because hiring a crane is expensive. So since then they haven’t done a tap of work.

Of course it’s August and everyone is on holiday right now, but in that case why bring the crane in and not wait for September when everyone is back at work? It seems rather strange to me, but there again many things around here do.

public notice square potel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt LIDL I’d bought some energy drink to fuel the climb up the hill to home, so I stopped to drink it right by the Square Potel.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, late last year they demolished the staircase and closed it all off to the public, and today I noticed that a notice had been erected at the site.

Basically, work is going to start here next autumn, so they say, and so it’s not worth anyone’s while making the place look presentable at the moment, only to have to rip it all out in early course.

So at least we know when things might be starting. When they might be finishing is something else completely.

Outside the building was a neighbour so we had a chat, then I came in to put away my frozen peas and then … errr … hit the chair for a while. And no surprise there.

As a result there was a rather late lunch and I wasn’t in the mood for doing all that much afterwards for a while. Eventually I did some more Greenland photos to keep things ticking over.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen it was time for my afternoon walk, somewhat later than usual, I wandered as is my custom these days down to the end of the car park to have a look at the beach.

And we’re right at the turn of the tide by the looks of things judging by the beach, and there are quite a few people down there this afternoon making the most of it.

Plenty of sunbathers and and even quite a few people taking to the water. It was certainly one of the nicer afternoons that we’ve had for a while.

A few yachts out there in the distance too and beyond them are the bouchot beds that we saw yesterday. They aren’t as clear today as they were.

yachts ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut on the subject of things being clearer, the air is certainly much clearer than it was yesterday.

The difference between the view of the Ile de Chausey today and the view YESTERDAY WHEN WE SAW MARITÉ is quite considerable.

Unfortunately she’s not out there now, she’s gone somewhere else out of my view. However there are quite a few other yachts over there in the distance, one of them being Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which we went down the coast last year.

lighthouse cap fréhel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we’re on the subject of going down the Brittany coast … “well, one of us is” – ed … the view down the Brittany coast was quite good today.

Right out there on its headland we can vaguely see today the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel, about 70 kilometres from where I’m standing. Not the best view that we have had – we’ve had days when we’ve seen it with the naked eye – but pretty good all the same.

And I haven’t forgotten that I have a few close-ups on the lighthouse to show you one of these days when I find enough creative spirit to write something up about my journey down there.

st helier jersey channel islands Eric HallIf the view out down the Brittany coast is good, there’s a fair chance that the view out to sea might be good too (although quite often it isn’t).

Out there today, we have a really good view of the island of Jersey and the port of St Helier, even down to being able to see plenty of the buildings around the town. It’s very rare indeed that we cans ee them as clearly as this.

The big white building with the round dome on top is as far as I can tell, the Fort Regent Leisure Centre but I can’t really identify the others. One of these days I’ll have to go for a sail out there, but I bet that it will be raining and foggy and I won’t be able to see a thing.

seagulls baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt this particular moment I was overflown by an aerial duo.

The white one on top was, presumably, mummy seagull and she seemed to be taking one of her babies, the browny-grey one underneath, for its maiden flight around the clifftops.

And judging by the noise that baby was making, she was not one very happy seagull at all. The younger ones have this very distinctive squeaky call that sounds like an unhappy toddler.

And by the way, if ever you come to Granville, bring a hat. The seagulls have an accuracy that puts Bomber Command to shame.

yellow microlight pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I’m on the subject of being overflown, it’s getting to be more and more like Play School here.

Today we aren’t going to be deciding which window to be looking out of, we’re going to be deciging which one of the microlight aircraft will be oveflying us.

Last time, it was the red one, so today then obviously it has to be the turn of the yellow one to come and pay me a visit, rattling its way past overhead.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the yellow autogyro so maybe that’s his turn tomorrow.

Surprisingly, that was the only aircraft today that went anywhere like close enough to be able to take a worthwhile photo. There were a couple of others but they were either too far out or too high.

fishermen speedboat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving dispensed with all of the activity out on the north side of the headland I went to see what was going on round the corner because i’d seen some things moving out there.

Across the car park went I, down to the end of the headland and just as I did so, a speedboat went right past in front of me.

We’ve had everything else today so why not a boat full of fishermen? Not doing very much fishing because they are travelling at some speed, from where I don’t know because all of the slipways are out of the water right now.

They are going to be having quite a long wait until the tide comes in far enough for them to go ashore.

yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhen I said just now that things were moving out there, I was only speaking figuratively because here’s someone who clearly isn’t.

This is the best way to spend a quite sunny afternoon – anchored off the coast (you can see his anchor chain extended off the port bow) taking in the rays and waiting patiently for the tide to come in.

It doesn’t even look as if he is doing any fishing, and that is surely heresy around here right now.

There’s a few other things to see around the corner so i’ll wander off that way.

trawler in portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallPlenty of excitement yet again in the chantier naval this afternoon.

The portable boat lift has been pressed into operation today and it has a small trawler-type fishing boat in its evil clutches. And there’s a guy standing behind it with a pressure washer presumably removing the barnacles from her hull

And I suppose that you’re wondering why she’s still in the boat lift despite the tide being well out right now, and not dropped down onto a set of chocks as they usually do as soon as they take them out of the water.

Well, read on.

7 trawlers in chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s your answer. There simply isn’t anywhere to put her.

It’s been a really busy morning down at the chantier naval by the looks of things and we have no fewer that seven boats in there. There’s Charlevy of course across the other side, and Trafalgar nearest the street, and then four in a line with the seventh in the portable boat lift.

This is probably a record number of boats for me in there and I don’t see how they could hope to fit any more in their place.

And the excitement will begin when they need to use the portable boat lift to drop a boat back in the water, with nowhere to drop the one that’s in the lift while they do it.

chausiaise ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe saw Chausiaise coming back into the harbour after her run out this morning, but she’s now back where she was moored yesterday.

Maybe that’s her work finished for the day, unless she has to go over and bring back some luggage tonight.

And in the background there’s another class taking place in the pool over there by the beach at the Grève de Hérel. It looks as if it might be kayaks this afternoon.

But I came back for a cold drink and to stir some papers around. Despite having felt a little better, I’ve still not been able to concentrate at all.

For tea I made a huge pile of aubergine and kidney-bean whatsit, with no pudding as I wasn’t all that hungry. I had no breakfast either so my appetite seems to have gone.

But now I’m off to bed, rather late, and hoping for a better, more productive day tomorrow. High time that I extricated my digit.