Tag Archives: vegan chocolate cake

Saturday 10th July 2021 – 265 DAYS …

players warming up us Granville en avant guingamp stade louis dior granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… since we were last in the Stade Louis Dior to watch a football match, so I’m told.

And I nearly missed this one as well because the kick-off was at 16:00 and at 15:00 I was fast asleep, crashed out in my chair slumped over my desk. It was something of a scramble for me to make it to the stadium in time for the kick-off.

Up until that point it had been a reasonably good day as far as I was concerned. Once more I was up as soon as the alarm went off at 06:00 and although it was a struggle to gather my wits (which will be quite a surprise to everyone seeing as I have so few wits left these days) I gradually pulled myself round ready to face the day.

First task after the medication was to listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. Noticing that the newspapers had arrived today we read them and we noticed that the group “White Spirit” was appearing somewhere. They had one of these young female singers so the two girls would have liked to have seen them. I ended up buying 4 tickets and I took a friend of mine and the 2 girls so the 4 of us went. The 2 of us decided that we didn’t really want to go so we’d wait outside the hall in the car. He’d had to paint the doors inside-out so the paint was one colour but I’d had the tin and taken a look inside it and it was the right lot so I thought that … indistinct … Anyway they wandered off. This girl was singing and at the end of the first song she came down the corridor and came out to us saying “I hope that you 2 are going to behave because I’m going to be coming out here afterwards to see you”. She stayed to chat to us for a while. She was sucking on a stick of rock and I thought that seeing as she has a stage performance to do she’s being extremely I couldn’t think of the word. But there was much more to it than this of course but I can’t now remember what it was. And never mind the guy – who were the 2 girls we took to the concert and who was the girl who came to see us? Yes, all these girls appearing during the night and I can’t remember who they are. What kind of state is this to be in?

Later on I had to go to Manchester with a computer or PA or something so I got on the tram. Someone I knew was on there so I said “hello” to him. We set off and were well on our way when suddenly the tram came to a stop. I walked down towards the front past this guy again to see what was happening. There was some big accident in front of us so I got off the tram and started to wave the traffic through. All the traffic including this tram got through this obstruction. It all drove away and left me standing there so I had to hitch-hike. I had a lift with someone in a Mark I Cortina and it was an automatic with a bench seat in the front, or it might have been column change with a bench seat in the front. We were talking about something with these cars. I said something and he denied it but I knew that I was right but he wasn”t having any of this at all. In the end I took the rubber mat out of the front and emptied it out to make the car a bit tidier. He told me that I could drive on the way back. There was lots more to this dream as well but I can’t remember it now.

Having dealt with all of that, what remained was to bring up to date yesterday’s journal entries. Perhaps I should add at this point that although I said that I was going to have an early night last night, but in fact I became engrossed in the acoustic guitar and ended up playing for a couple of hours.

And I can’t do the slip-change from Chord C to Chord F and back again like I used to. I’m far too rusty.

Having organised the notes from yesterday I spent the rest of the morning organising the new laptop bag and making sure that it has everything that I need in it.

And then I packed the little suitcase that I’m taking with me, and sorted out the clothes that had been airing on the clothes airier on my windowsill since I can’t remember when.

While I was sorting things out I came across an old USB drive and a USB SD micro-card reader stuck in the pocket of an old abandoned bag.

And searching further I came across the missing audio cable for which I’ve been searching since I don’t know when. I must have taken it with me to Canada a few years ago so that I could couple up my old *.mp3 player to Strider’s audio input socket, and then forgotten to unpack it.

Here’s hoping that whatever new vehicle I might buy to replace Strider will have a USB socket. Yes, I was having a good look at a Subaru Forester estate car this afternoon while I was out.

After lunch I came in here to do some work on my photos but I soon crashed out on the chair. And then it was a rather desperate struggle up the hill.

moulin childrens roundabout place generale de gaulle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way out to the football ground I went past the Place Charles de Gaulle and the Saturday market.

Summer is in full swing here in Granville if you are a kid (except in the Square Maurice Marland of course) and the kiddies’ roundabout is in full swing with plenty of potential customers. I stayed to watch the proceedings for a minute while I caught my breath and then pushed on up the hill.

And it was a long, lonely climb up there and I had to stop four or five times to catch my breath. I’ve aged 20 years over this last couple of months and that has filled me full of dismay. But I eventually arrived at the Stadium Louis Dior.

players us Granville en avant guingamp stade louis dior Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEn Avant Guingamp play in the French Second Division, but this was described as “A Team from EA Guingamp” which probably means that it contained triallists and players on the fringes of the first team rather than the first team itself.

And in an astonishing match, and in a game that Granville pretty much dominated, they somehow managed to lose the game 3-0. Threw it away completely and comprehensively.

Two goals they gave away by defenders going to sleep and there should have been a third as well except that the Guingamp player stood on the ball instead of kicking it. The third goal was a wonder strike of a curling free kick round the blind side of the defensive wall.

Granville had a bew player playing in the centre of defence – an older guy – and he certainly looked as if he had been around the block a few times. He was head and shoulders above anyone else on the pitch. He wasn’t a centre back from what I could see but more of a defensive midfielder distributing the ball out of defence. If he has signed for the club then things are looking up.

But once again, total defensive lapses and a bunch of forwards who couldn’t score in a brothel

2 players with n°33 us Granville en avant guingamp stade louis dior Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut here was something interesting that I have never seen before on a football pitch at this level.

Two players on the same team with the same number. And about 20 seconds after I had noticed, so did a few other people and the “older” n°33 was quickly withdrawn and replaced by another player. And he’d only been on the pitch for a couple of minutes too.

The younger n°33 took some time to warm up but once he got going he had a good game. He almost scored too, getting in on the end of a delicious cross to the far post but his shot was somehow scrambled off the line.

So after all of this I think that it’s going to be a long, hard season, if we manage to complete it.

no parking in town on Sundays Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way up towards the football ground I’d noticed the town centre covered with these signs.

There had been something in the local newspaper about shops opening all day on Sunday during the summer season but I hadn’t realised that parking will be banned in the town centre too. This makes for interesting opportunities if ever we have a summer here.

Actually it was quite warm now – the sun being out made a change from the damp, dreary start of the day, so I went for an ice cream. But my favourite ice cream parlour was surprisingly closed. I had to walk quite a way before I found another one with non-dairy options.

sale of fresh seafood closed port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now I found myself on the quayside at the spot where the fresh fish seller sells his catch from his boat every Friday morning.

However he’s announced that he’s not operating until the middle, missing the entire summer season, which seemed rather strange to me. But then I noticed the photos of his boat, and that explained everything. Do you recognise it?

Anyway, clutching my ice cream I wandered off down the quayside to see what else was going on that I might have missed since I’ve last been on the quaysid.

philcathane port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd here’s an old friend of ours riding the waves at her mooring here in the inner harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that for the past couple of weeks we’d been seeing the trawler Philcathane up on blocks in the chantier naval until she went missing, back into the water, at the end of the week.

By the looks of things she’s all finihsed now with her nice fresh coat of paint and she’ll be ready to go back to the fishing grounds on Monday.

And the interesting question now is “who has gone to replace her in the chantier naval?

tour du roc à la nage no parking at port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut never mind that for a moment. Let’s turn our attnetion to the immediate present and what’s going to be going on in town.

It looks as if they are planning quite a pile of events to welcome the tourists to the town and this one is certainly a new one on me that I haven’t seen before.

It looks as if there is going to be some kind of swimming race from the port and around the Pointe du Roc to somewhere on the other side of the headland. So good luck to those who are attempting it.

And never mind “no parking”. They will probably need a good ambulance of two or three at the finishing line to take away the unlucky ones. Struggling with the tides and the currents in the sea won’t be as easy as some people might think.

helicopter hovering over port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking along the edge of the quayside I was overflown by a helicopter. Someone has hed their chopper out this afternoon.

The only camera that I had with me today was the NIKON 1 J5 and the standard lens (I’ve mentioned before that it passes amost unnoticed into sports grounds and the like where a large DSLP won’t) so I wasn’t able to take much of a photograph of it this afternoon.

Without the telephoto lens I can’t see if it’s the yellow and red air-sea rescue helicopter, a drab olive military helicopter or a multi-coloured civilian chopper. But hs didn’t have any of his emergency lights on so whatever he was doing wasn’t anything urgent. I could press on without witnessing anything dramatic.

trawler galapagos chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo, did you all guess the significance of the photo to which I drew your attention earlier?

We’ve all … “well, one of us” – ed … been wondering who the big blue trawler is that’s appeared in the chantier naval the other day and now we know.

She’s called Galapagos and she belongs to the people who sell the fresh fish on the quayside. And now we also know why they aren’t going to be selling fish until the middle of September and we also have an indication of she’ll be back in the water.

There were some people with the yacht Rebelle. They weren’t very talkative but at least I know that she’ll be back in the water “shortly”.

joly france 1 ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while I was chatting to the people working on Rebelle we were disturbed by yet more activity – this time coming from the water.

Of course it’s the weekend, a Saturday evening in Summer zo the tourists are out in their hordes The Ile de Chausey is one of the places to be and so by the looks of things, there have been plenty of people out there.

This is when the two Joly France boats that work the ferry out there come into their own. This is the newer one of the two, Joly France 1 as you can tell by the windows in portrait mode, and she has quite a load of people on board today coming back from the island.

From the chantier naval I wended my weary way up the hill in the Boulevard des Terreneuviers and made it back home. There was time to upload the photos to the computer and then I knocked off for tea.

There’s plenty of stuffing left over and also a pepper that won’t survive until next week so a stuffed pepper it was, followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce. And that reminds me – it’s been a while since I made a jam roly-poly. That will have to be the next dessert.

Back here to write up the journal today when I noticed that I’d performed 95% of my daily activity today. So never one to miss an opportunity, I took the NIKON D500, fitted the f1.8 50mm lens and went for a walk around the block.

midnight sun baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd who said “The Land Of The Midnight Sun” then?

This is the sight that greeted me as I stepped out of my apartment this evening. We’re situated at 48°50′ here and that’s far from being in The Land Of The Midnight Sun so imagine what it must be like somewhere north of the Arctic Circle.

It did remind me of the nights that I was driving coaches on my Friday night run to Central Scotland and on one occasion one June-end it was so light that when I’d dropped off my passengers I drove to Stirling and parked up on a mountain top near there to watch the midnight sun and that’s 8° further North.

donville les bains rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was here at my little spec at the end of the car park I went over to look over the wall.

Not that I was expecting to see anyone on the beach this evening – as a matter of fact I couldn’t even see the beach – but I was more interested in what was going on along the coast, insofar as I could see it.

The Rue du Nord is quite well illuminated right now especially round by the Place du Marché aux Chevaux, and then carrying on to the left we have the lights of the houses on top of the cliffs at the Plat Gousset and then the lights of the waterfront reflecting into the sea down on the promenade at Donville les Bains.

rue du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack across the car park and along to the road now to see what’s going on here right now.

That is of course the Rue du Roc that leads to the headland where we find the lighthouse, the semaphore and the coastguard station – not that you can actually see any of those right now.

It’s very had to believe that a year ago I could run all the way down there to beyond the end of the street lights and then turn left and keep running all the way down to the top of the cliffs. The way I am these days, even just looking at the images makes me feel totally exhausted.

They were halcyon times, they were.

porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat’s the view in the opposite direction, looking towards the Port St Jean and the entrance to the medieval walled city.

And that shadow down there is the guy on whom I almost stepped in the dark because I hadn’t seen him. I must pay greater attention when I’m out and about in the dark. But at least he gives the photo some animation.

After all is said and done, the Porte St Jean all floodlit at night is one of my favourite photo objects and the shadow gives it something different.

Through the arch we can see the Rue St Jean illuminated by the street lights and in the foreground to the left is the car park for the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallStill 3 or 4% of my daily activity to perform in order to bring me up to my 100% and so I thought that I’d better go for a walk down to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour and see what’s going on there.

And it wasn’t easy to find my way down there either tonight as this economy drive means that all of the streetlamps are switched off and I had to grope my way down there in the dark.

What was even worse was that the harbour was in darkness too. There were just a couple of isolated streetlights and that was really our lot. It was difficult to work out where I was or what I was photograpiong but somewhere down there in the shadows are Granville and Victor Hugo.

They are the two boats that in better times provided the ferry service between Normandy and the Channel Islands but the combined effects of Covid, Brexit and the tight-fistedness of the Channel Islands in refusing to pay a subsidy towards the reopening of the service is making the recommencement of the services more and more unlikely.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt least here at this end of the harbour the presence of a couple more street lights makes it slightly easier to see what’s going on.

Over to the right the ferry terminal is brightly illuminated by several lights but to no good purpose because there won’t be any of the ferries coming into port for quite a while yet.

To the left of the image, illuminated by two street lights are the port offices. They are open when the harbour gates are opened and there is movement in and out of the port.

But with thz harbour being in total darkness like this I don’t think that there will be much movement going on right now.

In the foreground, all wrapped up on the darkness of the night, is the fish processing plant and there isn’t much going on round there right now either.

tower of eglise notre dame de cap lihou Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne final photo before I toddle off back to the warmth and comfort of my own little apartment.

Just behind where I was standing to take those two photos of the harbour area is the Eglise de Notre Dame de Cap Lihou. part of it is obscured by the medieval city walls but the spire isn’t, and it’s illuminated tonight for a change. I can’t go back home without photographing that now, can I?

So back in my apartment I’ve accomplished 102% of my daily activity and been out for my first night-time walk for about 6 months too and taken some photos.

And I’ll have to go out again and take some more, only this time remembering to adjust the ISO from 800 to 6400 so that I can let in more light without straining the camera unnecessarily.

Brain of Britain has struck again, hasn’t he?

Thursday 8th July 2021 – THIS IS BECOMING …

… far too much of a habit and it’s getting on my nerves, but I just can’t seem to kick this total and utter exhaustion.

When the alarm went off I was up quite smartly and went off for my medication. And afterwards I came back in here to listen to the dictaphone, but instead I ended up asleep on my chair in the office.

It’s shopping day today and luckily I awoke in time to have my shower before setting out into the cold, damp morning.

yachting school baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDespite the poor weather, the yachting school was out in force this morning.

As I went round the corner I noticed all of the yachts out there having a good sail around. And having crashed out so convincingly this morning I’m glad that I’d decided not to do very much in that respect until my health improves, if it ever does.

Instead I wandered off down the Rue des Juifs towards the town to see what was going on there today now that everywhere is slowly opening up for business.

empty quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallRegular readers of this rubbish will recall that there was a pile of stuff – a big load of timber and a shrink-wrapped boat – on the quayside for the last few days.

As I went down the street today I noticed that it had all gone. One of the little Jersey freighters has obviously nipped in during the rainstorm that kept me indoors yesterday and made off with all of the loot. My money is on Thora at the moment because I usually get to hear if Normandy Trader has been about.

In town I bumped into Bernard, one of the people with whom I’d travelled last year on Spirit of Conrad and we had a little chat before I pushed on up the hill towards LIDL.

And what a stagger it was as well. I can’t do much more than this. Looking back over things a couple of years ago when I could walk up there quite easily, I realise just how much my health as deteriorated. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I feel as if I’ve aged 20 years this last couple of months.

At LIDL I spent a lot of money. They had Brazil nuts in today so I bought two packets – I don’t want to be left short again. And as well as they they had some electric juicers in there, reduced from €19:99 to €11:99. I’d seen those before and liked them, so I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity. And they were quite light too.

And in case you haven’t guessed, I’m going to restart my drinks processing and the sourdough too when I come back from Leuven, seeing as I haven’t any plans to go anywhere this summer.

baby seagull chick rue st paul Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is that last week we encountered a baby seagull in the town centre, clearly disorientated.

There was another one today in the Rue St Paul today. This is the time that they will be stretching their wings and taking their first flights so we’ll be seeing much more of this.

Luckily, where this one fell to earth is in a quiet suburban street with plenty of cover so it should be fairly safe here until its mother comes to look for it.

Yet another thing that regular readers of this rubbish in one of its many previous incarnations will recall is that back in 2002 when I was doing a furniture removal in France I found the carcass of a Solex moped in an overgrown garden so I liberated it and stuck it in my barn.

One day a few years ago when I was walking home from LIDL I encountered a guy who had three or four Solexes in his garage. He’s a collector and restorer and so seeing as this Solex was doing no good in my barn, next time that I was in France I brought it back and gave it to him.

This morning he was there in his garage again so I stopped to have a chat. He had a really amazing curio that he showed me – a kiddies’ bike that actually looked like a small Solex, complete with imitation plastic motor. I’d never seen one of those before – apparently they are quite rare.

The stagger back up the hill with the shopping was awful. I felt every footstep and I had to stop half a dozen times to catch my breath. Not even my hot chocolate and fruit bread would revive me very much, although I did manage to edit a few of the Greenland 2019 photos.

After lunch I carried on with the photos but one thing that I wanted to do was to telephone Ingrid as I haven’t chatted to her for ages. We had a good chat but I had to hang up in the end because I fell asleep talking to her and had to drag myself back into consciousness.

person in sea beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat made me decide to go out for my afternoon walk, so I wandered off to the end of the car park to look over the wall and down onto the beach to see what was happening.

And here’s a brave soul heading off into the water. The weather had changed and it was rather sunny and warmer than it has been just recently, but still nowhere near warm enough for me to trust to the water.

But this person didn’t seem at all concerned by the temperature and was ready to take the plunge. And in my defence, I can say without any fear of contradiction that whoever it was was the only person to risk going into the water this afternoon.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you are thinking, which you probably are, that this person was the only one on the beach you are in fact quite wrong.

The holiday season is now well under way and the schools have broken up for summer. And so as you might expect, there are plenty of tourists about – individuals and families.

And having been deprived of the beach over the last few days, they were out on the sands in force this afternoon to make up for it, even if conditions were not ideal. But at least they had plenty of beach to be on right now because the tide is still a long way out

hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was looking down onto the beach a dark shadow fell upon me. No prizes for guessing what it is.

It’s one of the Birdmen of Alcatraz out for an afternoon’s flight around the headland and he was travelling quite quickly too, which is no surprise in this weather because there was a fair bit of wind blowing around.

In fact, I’d expected to see quite a few this afternoon now that the holiday season is upon us, we have some sunshine and the wind is still here, but he was the only one as far as I could see.

But these shadows that they create as they fly around are quite eerie, especially if one of them should suddenly fall upon you when you aren’t expecting it. It’s hardly any surprise that the Hobbits were so afraid of the Nazgul in Lord of the Rings

trawler working the baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe still haven’t finished yet with the activity at the end of the car park.

One thing that I do when I’m here is to cast my eyes out to sea to see if there’s anything exciting going on out there, and today we’re in luck. It seems that with the Channel Island fishing grounds being in dispute, the local fishermen are having a go at exploiting other areas of the Bay of Granville that they don’t usually fish.

And here’s a trawler out to see off the coast here seeing what he can pull out of the sea. And he is working too, even if he’s too far out at sea for me to tell for sure if his nets are out, because he was zigzagging up and down out there as he would if he did have his tackle out.

And I wonder what luck he’s having.

fishing boats entering baie de mont st michel coming to port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat trawler might be out there working, but others are not so diligent.

It looks as if it’s home time for the local fishing fleet. here are a couple of shellfish boats presumably coming back from their specs on the Ile de Chausey with today’s harvest. And you’ll notice that they have canopies over the hold areas of their little boats. That’s to keep the seagulls away from the catch of course.

So having satisfied myself as to the activity going on at the car park outside here, I could push off along the path, fighting my way through the maskless crowds of tourists who have now arrived in considerable numbers and were out there in the first sun that they have seen since they’ve been here.

powered hang glider pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, I didn’t get very far before I was brought to a standstill by yet more activity in the air.

A little earlier I mentioned that I’d only seen one Birdman of Alcatraz go past me on his wind-powered outfit but the racket going on behind me was enough to tell me that one of his powered cousins had taken off from the airfield and was heading my way.

As he few past I took a photo of him. It’s the red one today and he was quite high up. And while he was up there he did a few laps around here and there as well. He didn’t seem to be in any hurry to come back down to earth.

But I was in a hurry to make my way back home. I was tired and exhausted and was desperate for my coffee.

yacht joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHowever there was still plenty yet to see before I could go home.

It wasn’t just fihsing boats out there this afternoon heading for home. Leading the charge out of the Ile de Chausey was another one of our old friends, one of the Joly France ferries that run the ferry service between here and the Ile de Chausey.

This one is the older of the two, with the “landscape format” windows and she has quite a crowd of people on board, coming back into port from a day out on the island. And she’s hotly pursued by a yacht too who seems also to be in a hurry to return to port ready for when the harbour gates open

fishing boats waiting to enter port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve talked … “on many occasions” – ed … about the fishing boats going to try out new areas to fish in case the Channel Islanders start to cut up rough later in the year.

As I walked round the corner and down to the car park I was confronted by several trawlers on their way into port. They hadn’t been in the Baie de Granville as I would have seen them, so the conclusion that I drew was that they must have been working in the Baie de Mont St Michel today.

There were about half a dozen there, although only three of them made it into the photograph. Two of them were heading past Le Loup – the light on the rock at the entrance to the harbour – while the third was not moving for some reason known only to itself.

You don’t sell your catch moored up outside the harbour and it’s usually the earlier ones in who have the better prices so she needs to get a move on.

joly france fishing boats entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy the time I’d walked fown the path and all the way round to the viewpoint overlooking the harbour, there was quite a pile-up of boats.

They were either waiting for a berth – the small ones that is – at the Fish Processing Plant or, in the case of the larger ones, enough water for them to be able to sail into the harbour and for the harbour gates to open.

Poor Joly France had to fight her way through the fishing boats in order to park up at her berth in the ferry terminal. She normally comes in as the tide is ebbing so I assume that she’s going to drop off these passengers and go back for another load while the tide is still high enough.

In that case she can’t afford to hang about.

fishing boats unloading port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe wharf at the Fish Processing Plant is, as you might expect, quite busy this afternoon.

The big orange cranes there will winch up the loads onto the wharf where a fork-lift truck will take them inside the building.

But the vans underneath belong to private operators like fish shops and the like who have contracts with individual boats. When “their” boat comes in, the seafood will be passed by hand to the drivers of the vans who will then load up their vehicle and take it directly to wherever it’s supposed to go without passing through the Fish Processing Plant.

But digging that trench a couple of years ago was a pretty good idea. It fills up quite quickly when the tide turns and it means that there’s a longer window for boats to come in and unload, especially those with a shallow draught.

Anyway I cleared off home to have a coffee and then to work on my notes for my Spirit of Conrad adventure last year but to my shame I ended up falling asleep. I was well away with the fairies too, to such an extent that I missed half of my guitar practice and I’m annoyed intensely by that.

Yes, this is becoming far too much of a bad habit and I wish I knew how to pull myself out of it. I have far too much to do than to fall asleep all the time.

At least I managed to stay awake for tea. Stuffed pepper with rice followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce. Delicious as usual.

Eventually I managed to listen to the dictaphone to hear if I’d been anywhere. While I was asleep on the chair I was in Canada with a group of people, all young, keen and enthusiastic. I ended up going for a walk around with one of the girls. She was a single girl in her 30s, having loads of fun teasing this particular boy. During our walk I sat down while she went off to make a ‘phone call – it was a call to this boy to tease him even more that she was out for a walk with me. While she’d gone, I had this idea about maybe marrying this girl so I could claim Canadian citizenship then after an appropriate amount of time we could divorce but I could still claim my rights to live in Canada. I was thinking that maybe I should have done that when I was a lot younger. And I wish that I knew who this girl was.

Anyway, now I’m off to bed. I’ve had far too many bad days just recently and it’s high time that things changed around here. I wish that I knew how to do it.

Wednesday 7th July 2021 – I’M FED UP …

… of this perishing weather.

rainstorm place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis afternoon I didn’t have the chance to go out for my afternoon walk because it was raining like it had never rained before.

Even in all my wet-weather gear I wasn’t going to set foot outside the building in all of this. Torrential rain had nothing whatever on what was coming down when I wanted to go for my walk.

The irony of it all was that there was a Welsh conversation on-line tonight and I was bent on joining it. And while we were chatting, the sun came out and there was some blue sky too. But the moment the chat finished, down came the rain, right on cue, and that was that.

Last night was another rather late night because something came up on the Old-Time Radio – an Agatha Christie play concerning Hercule Poirot – so I stayed up and listened to it. If it meant for a bad night and following morning, that’s rather a shame but for me I ought to be having some pleasure out of life somewhere.

As a result it was rather a struggle for me to raise myself from the bed when the first alarm went off, and some time after I’d taken my medication and come back in here I’d crashed out, sitting on my chair. And for about an hour and a half too. I must have been tired.

When I’d recovered I made myself a coffee and then had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I’d bought some item of clothing and it was going to be for me only and it was very special. I was living at Coleridge Way at Nerina’s. Somehow this thing was picked up in her washing and washed along with everything else and hung out on the airing trolley things. I was wondering how on earth I was going to get it back. I had to wait for a moment when everyone was out of the house. I waited for a period of over a couple of days until everyone had gone and I went downstairs and into the living room where all of these clothes were on airers. There had been a bed made up on the sofa. I crept over there to see and it was an empty bed. I thought that with the bed being on the sofa there was something strange going to happen and so I slowly made my way round to where this article was. Then I heard voices in the house so I waited thinking that the way to distract these people whose voice this was would be to leap out and startle them, and that way to forget what it was that was going on. That was what I did, and it turned out that it was my youngest sister and someone else, another female of our family. They’d both been involved in a car accident so I immediately went to console them both and tell them “it doesn’t matter – it’s only metal” and so on. Another guy was there. he was trying his best to console them as well. All the time this article that I wanted was still up on the clothes airers and I was in a very great danger of actually losing it again to someone else who wasn’t going to be careful about what they packed up and what they put away.

Tater on there was another long and rambling dream that went on and one and on. What I can remember was that some girl was having to have lessons. My brother had been giving her lessons but was unable to do so so I was now having to do it. We were living on the Wistaston Green estate and I had to find out where to go. They said that on Saturdays she lived at home but on Sundays she stayed at someone else’s house. On the Saturday it was somewhere on the Wistaston Green estate but no-one actually knew where. We knew where to go and where to park the car ans one of my sisters thought that she knew which house it was but every time I asked for the number it was “oh you just go there and park your car” and so on. The Sunday was a little clearer because I remember taking the phone call when she was changing it to her relative’s house. I could vaguely remember something about that. But there was tons to this and it just went on and on and I can’t rememner any of it.

While I was asleep on the chair though I was working in an office in Stoke on Trent. They had come along and cleared all of the files in the store room and sent them off to a central repository, which I thought was the strangest decision that I’d ever heard. Every time someone rang up or wrote in a letter you had to write to the central repository to get back the file before you could deal with their query. I’d had something to do with one particular case which I’d been working quite regularly but the file wasn’t there so in the end I went into the basement, couldn’t find this file there so a guy whom I used to know and I went off to the central repository which was in Stoke on Trent. He said that he knew his way around so off he went. I ended up just sitting there for a couple of hours and I was totally fed yp so I decided to go back home again. Back to the van was past a compound with all of these big Bentley 3-litres in it. Then there was a place wirh 4 or 5 Isetta bubble cars all mangled, it was that kind of place. Just as I was getting into Caliburn to go back, he appeared. He said that he couldn’t find the file but he’d found one of his big old buckets that he’d had before and went to empty it over the edge of this drop so that he could take it back but he almost ended up going over the drop with all of the rubbish that was in this bucket thing before he could stop himself.

It must have been a really deep sleep on the chair if I’d wandered off like that.

So having organised myself and grabbed my breakfast much of the morning up until lunchtime was spent dealing with the photos of Greenland in August 2019. I’m not about to go for a wander in a zodiac to look at the icebergs in the Davis Strait and Disco Bay just off Ilulissat. And this, I remember, is the day that I allowed my curiosity to get the better of me.

But one thing about editing these photos – it makes me want to go North again.

My work this morning was interrupted by a couple of things. Firstly, I crashed out yet again for half an hour or so, and secondly, I had a visit from the postie. The first of the deliveries from my mega-Amazon order. And so immediately after lunch I went into unpacking-mode.

A pair of batteries for each of the NIKON D500 and NIKON 1 J5 cameras. And I bet that I still end up down the street with flat batteries too at some point or another.

But interestingly, the new generation of chargers work off 5-volt USB connectors rather than the mains current. So that means less gadgets to haul around with me

The new Dashcam came too, and that took ages to work out how to initialise it, and the new multi-caddy that I’ll be using for back-up storage. The memory is here too, as is the new USB 3.0 multi-connector but that’s all a job for next weekend after I come back from Leuven when hopefully, the two new hard drives for the computer will be here.

rainstorm rue du roc foyer des jeunes travailleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now it was time to go for a walk but the lousy weather put the brakes on that, as I told you earlier.

Going back upstairs I stuck the camera out of the rear window overlooking the Foyer des Jeunes Travailleurs to take a photo of the weather out there as well. I wasn’t going to end up being soaked just for the sake of a couple of photos.

Instead, I came back here and did some more work on my trip down the coast on board Spirit of Conrad last year. This is a pretty slow process because there’s about 400 photos and I don’t really know what to write about most of them – although that has never stopped me in the past of course.

There was a Welsh chat on Zoom this evening so I wanted to join, but the tutor had sent me the wrong link so it took a while for me to be connected. But a couple of things that I noticed, namely

  1. this particular tutor is a lot more disorganised than the two that we have had so far
  2. this was a mixture of people from several groups and the people from our group were much more confident than the people from the other groups

Tea tonight was chips with burger and baked beans followed by chocolate sponge and coconut soya stuff. I’ll be back to making chocolate sauce for the next few days now.

But not right now because I’m off to bed. It’s shopping tomorrow of course, if I don’t fall asleep, and there might even be more toys from Amazon. Won’t that be nice?

Monday 5th July 2021 – WELL I’LL BE …

… and I will be too.

It’s another one of these “if you don’t try it, it won’t work so try it and see what happens – you have nothing to lose” moments.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but many others will not, that I don’t have health insurance from the French Government. When I took early retirement from my job in Belgium I kept my private health insurance and as it’s more comprehensive than offered by the French Government (because it’s Belgian) ther’s no need for any other cover.

To prove that you have French health insurance, a person has a Carte Vitale – a green and yellow chipped photo ID card. For the people of pension age, it confers other benefits too but I’ve never been too bothered by any of those.

However the Government’s Covid passport scheme, and hence the European passport scheme, depends on having a Carte Vitale and so back at the beginning of the year, more in hope than expectation, I applied for one.

For months I didn’t hear a thing but about 6 weeks ago I had a message asking me to send off a photo and a copy of some photo ID which I did. And in the post this morning, sure enough, came a Carte Vitale. So now all that I have to do is to work out what I can do with it.

Another thing that has taken up most of the latter part of the afternoon was to answer a phone call about a subject that has been simmering away in the background for 6 months or so. There’s a possibility of going North again, and a lot farther north (depending of course on the ice conditions) than we did IN SEPTEMBER 2018.

One of the things on which it depends (and there are several) is how far the news of certain events of two years ago, and about which I haven’t yet written but will write one of these days when I can think of a way to express them, have spread.

And also, how far the Covid epidemic has spread too. This particular journey starts and finishes within Canada and so will not be affected by the closure of Canada’s borders but if I can’t get into Canada to reach the starting point, then I shall … errr … be in difficulties.

But as it isn’t going to happen for at least a year and maybe even longer than that, then the future remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, returning to our moutons, as they say around here, despite another crazy, late night, I was up at 06:00 as the alarm went off.

After the medication, I sat down to deal with the next radio programme in the cycle. And today it took me rather longer than usual and it wasn’t until midday that I had finished.

There was a reason for this, and not just a halt for coffee and breakfast either. But when I’d listened to the programme that I was to send off today, I found a glaring mistake in it. So as well as the programme that I was doing, I had to write out some more text for the other one to rectify the mistake, record that too, and then do some rather hasty doctoring in order to make that one work as well.

There was the dictaphone too, to find out where I’d been during the night. We were back with the old Cortinas last night scattered all over the place and I was doing some work, The paraffin heater was becoming rather low on fuel and I was wondering whether to go and fill it up. But my friend and his wife, I noticed hat they were preparing to go out in the evening and when I looked, they were wearing masks and I thought “they are off to do another bank robbery”. I decided that I would go and fill up the oil heater which meant that I had to go across the car park. There on the car park were crowds of people milling around using the paraffin machines. I thought “I hope that there’s no-one using mine”. Eventually I had to fight my way into the end of the queue. Mine was OK which I thought was lucky but there were loads of people hanging around it, especially kids and I had difficulty trying to put my container over the nozzle of the filler. I said a few times to a kid “be careful, don’t step back” but like kids they would step back anyway and got oil all over themselves. There were a few moanings and rumblings, that kind of thing. Eventually a guy said that he would do it for me. He did it but kept finding an obstruction so he went to siphon it and ended up with a mouth full of dirty engine oil. At this point I thought that I’d give up and go and buy some fuel from the petrol station but then I wasn’t sure what fuel I was using in my oil heater. I thought that if it’s not paraffin and I go and buy some fresh paraffin and put it in, then of course it’s going to start to pop because the regulator is only going to be set for whatever fuel I have in it, not paraffin. Having worked in the motor trade as often as I did with insurance companies I cantell you what happens when an oil stove pops and there’s a jet of flame that shoots out from it and sO many fires starting. This isn4t really the best way forward to go at all.
So after this car had done its aerobatics and gone out of the way (and what was that part about?) I could prepare to fuel up but I was offered a posting to the Caernarfonshire Fuel Authorities for my time getting the most out of this fuel station was over because it was the old Alan Pond garage in Crewe and it was time that I looked for somewhere a bit nearer wherever it was that I might be living

The rest of the day has been spent working on the photos from August 2019 and now we are heading up to the end of the Nassuttooq, or Nagssugtoq, or Nordre Stromfjord in Greenland preparing to go ashore for a walk around amongst the artefacts.

Talking of going for a walk, it was time soon enough for me to go for my walk around the headland.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst port of call was to go to check on what is going on down on the beach this afternoon and so I walked off across the car park for a look over the wall down to the beach.

This afternoon, there was no-one down on the beach. And that’s no surprise, and there were two reasons for that. Firstly, with the tide being well in, there wasn’t all that much beach to be on this afternoon. and the second reason was that it was raining yet again – no surprise here – and not only was there no-one on the beach, there was no-one about on the path up above either.

But one thing that did catch my eye in this photo was in the upper right-hand corner where the other day that had set up some scaffolding underneath the city walls. There seems now to be some kind of covering over the scaffolding now, so I’ll have to go along to check on that later this week.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was looking with one eye at events going on (or not going on as the case may be) down on the beach the other eye was roving around out to sea to see what was going on in that direction.

The weather was pretty rough this afternoon and so was the sea, and it was quite a struggle for the fishing boats making their way back into the harbour before the tide turns. This one here was battling its way through the waves on its way back to the Fish Processing Plant.

My journey along the path was something of a struggle too in the miserable weather. I really can’t believe that it’s July when we are having weather like this.

fishing boat yacht brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe view out to sea might have been pretty depressing and miserable but along the Brittany coast it was actually quite clear.

Off the coat near St Malo one of the beaches was quite clearly visible, as were two very small yachts just offshore and another larger yacht that was sailing by offshore out there. There was a fishing boat out there too having a go at harvesting the sea at the entrance to the Baie de Mont St Michel.

Nothing else was going on out there so I carried on down the path and across the car park down to the end of the headland to see what was happening down there.

man fishing off rocks pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe sea was actually quite rough out there this afternoon with spray flying around just about everywhere where the waves were breaking on the rocks.

It’s the kind of weather where the best policy would be to keep away from the edge but it’s not the kind of weather that’s going to deter a keen fisherman from trying his luck even if his bait is going to be swished around by the waves.

Even in the best of weather they don’t seem to catch anything so I didn’t fancy his chances in this weather. Mind you, he was the only one out here trying his luck. Anyone else interested in fishing must have decided to stay indoors and I wish that I had stayed indoors too.

joly france baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom the end of the headland I walked off around the headland on the other side of the headland and came across another group of people who might have wished that they had stayed indoors too.

It’s not the weather to go off sightseeing out at sea but one of the Joly France boats – the newer one – that provides the ferry service out to the Ile de Chausey looks as if she’s taken a load of tourists out on a trip around the Baie de Mont St Michel.

In this weather you’d certainly need your sea legs to go off on a voyage around the bay in a small boat like that. It was pretty rough on land as well and it was something of a stagger along the clifftop for me in the wind and rain.

l'omerta fishing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith no change of occupancy in the chantier naval today, and with you having seen yesterday in close-up the new boats that were in there, I didn’t bother to take a photograph of anything going on in there.

Instead I concentrated on what was happening in the outer port at the Fish Processing Plant as the fishing boats come in to unload. And here’s an unusual sight. That looks as if it might be L’Omerta over there leaving the quayside.

What’s unusual about it is that instead of staying tied up at the quayside she’s gone off to moor herself in the inner harbour for a change. She’s spent the last couple of weeks moored up there and left to go aground when the tide goes out.

a href=”https://www.erichall.eu/images/2107/21070044.html”>fishing boat yacht kairon plage baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut as some boats leave the quayside by the Fish Processing Plant, other boats come along to take their place.

A short while ago we saw a fishing boat out at sea heading in towards port. By now, it’s taken me so long to walk around my circuit that she’s caught me up and she’s now about to enter port where she can unload too.

Behind her is a yacht that I thought at first was heading in towards the harbour but when I cropped and enlarged the photo I noticed that she was actually heading out to sea. She’s not the Spirit of Conrad and I can’t think who else she might be, and I pondered on that as I headed home.

goods on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I walked past the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour I noticed that there was another pile of merchandise lined up on the quayside underneath the loading crane where the Jersey freighters tie up.

The swimming pool on the quayside seems to indicate that it’s Normandy Trader who’ll be coming in to take the stuff away. She has the contract with the manufacturer to transport his pools to the Channel Islands whenever it’s necessary.

But the shrink-wrapped boat that’s at the other side of the crane is a puzzle. That’s been there for a while now and showing no signs of moving. But the red tent that we saw at the end of last week has gone now. Whatever its purpose was is now clearly over.

Back here I had my ‘phone call from Canada that went on for quite a considerable time and which meant that unfortunately my guitar practice time was curtailed.

But I had a lovely tea – pie with veg and gravy followed by chocolate sponge and coconut soya whatsit. But right now I’m off to bed now that my journal is finished. We have a Welsh conversation group meeting tomorrow so I need to catch up with my revision in the morning.

Saturday 3rd July 2021 – WHAT A HORRIBLE …

… afternoon I’ve had.

After my lunch I came in here with my coffee to do some work, and the next thing that I remember it was 16:55 and my coffee was cold by the side of my desk.

The confusing thing about this is that I don’t remember falling asleep. It was another one of those occasions where I seems to have switched myself off into a stupor or a cataleptic spasm or something, without any memory of being tired or anything.

What’s bothering me about this is the issue of driving. If I switch off while I’m driving without realising that I’m falling asleep, this could lead to a catastrophe that cold have unpleasant consequences.

But talking of driving, Caliburn and I were out this morning going to the shops as usual on a Saturday morning.

When the alarm went off at 06:00, I was up and about quite quickly even though I’d had a late night. After the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out if I’d been anywhere during the night. There was something involving a huge serpent that had been slithering around somewhere and had been causing people to be trapped in their buildings and houses and so on. I had the idea at a certain moment that I was going to trap it and take it to the Government and let it terrorise the Government for a change. So I had everything arranged in my mind about what I would do but actually when I went to do it the serpent wasn’t there. The thing had disappeared. That was a big disappointment so I had to abandon my plans. The moment that I abandoned my plans the serpent came back and started to terrorise everyone else again.

After a shower, a shave and a general clean-up we set off for the shops.

new building at rear of noz Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLast week at the back of the NOZ car park they had started building a new shop unit.

Although I had the camera with me then, I forgot to photograph it but I remembered to do so this morning. I wonder what they are going to be selling from that shop. I suppose that I’ll have to wait for a few months before I discover that. It’s not going to be a big shop that’s for sure.

At NOZ there wasn’t anything very much of any excitement – just some more vegan soup and a couple more small things and then I went off down the road to LeClerc for the rest of the shopping.

LeClerc had alcohol-free beer on special offer so I stocked up with some bottles. They had some more of those small vegan burgers so I bought another pack. I need to encourage them to stock more vegan products. Oven chips were on offer too so I bought a pack of those as well, although I’m not sure why I did that.

On the way back home we had one of these two-minute torrential downpours that soaked about everyone and everything in its path as it moved down the coast. But I was lucky to be able to make my way back home because there had been an accident or something right outside the entrance to the car park and there was total chaos.

And if that wasn’t enough, all the tourists have arrived now and the roads were jammed with people trying to find a parking space. I was glad to return home, where I had a chat with a neighbour who had arrived at the same time as me.

Armed with my toast and hot chocolate, I came in here and had a few things that I needed to organise for the next month or so and that took me up to a rather late lunch

After lunch I wanted to book my trip to Leuven and my hotel but the less said about the afternoon the better. i’m so dismayed and fed up about it all.

people swimming in sea rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd so it was rather late when I went out for my walk and to see what was going on down on the beach this afternoon.

But never mind the beach for a moment. Look at these two people. That had been previously on the beach of course but now they were having a load of fun splashing and swimming around in the water. Perhaps I ought to try that. It would certainly wake me up a little

But then on the other hand I remember when Castor and Pollux asked me if I was going to take part in the Arctic Dip when we were on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR in the North West Passage.
“I can’t” I replied. “I have this catheter in and I can’t go into salt water with t”.
Castor asked me later “would you have gone in the water if you didn’t have the catheter?”
“No” I thought to myself. “I’d have found another excuse.

And that reminds me – whatever happened to Castor and Pollux? They haven’t been on a nocturnal voyage with me for ages. But then, there are many people who are conspicuous by their absence these days. Even my life during my sleeping hours is becoming very mundane these days.

Where did all the excitement go?

yachts boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s probably all going on out at sea right now judging by all of tha boats that are sailing around in the Bay of Granville this afternoon.

The weather might be warm but it’s still misty and the visibility isn’t all that much good with the mist that’s hovering around out at sea. We have quite a few yachts sailing around, but everyone seems to be heading back to the harbour right now. It’s close to high tide and if they miss this high tide, the next one will be in the early morning tomorrow so they’ll have to spend the night out at sea.

But that’s not a problem that’s going to affect me right now. I headed off down the path on top of the cliffs, trying to avoid the madding crowds. But I’ve no idea what prompted a group of young people decide to have a game of boules in the middle of the path so everyone had to walk in the grass around them or risk a broken ankle.

f-giki ROBIN DR 400-120 pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I was walking long the top of the cliffs I was overflown by a light aeroplane to I took a photo of it to see who it might be.

And it’s our old friend F-GIKI who we have seen on many occasions in the past. She’s a small Robin DR 400-120 that belongs to the Granville Aero Club and is used for flight training or refresher courses for pilots who need to keep up their licences.

She had taken off at 17:06, which looks about right to me, and according to her radar plot, went for a flight along the coast towards Avranches, did a lap around the block and came back home, where she landed at 18:11.

f-gdkm robin DR 400 140 B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOnce F-GIKI had flow off on her little adventure I was overflown yet agaon almost immediately.

This time it’s F-GDKM who has taken to the air. She’s a Robin DR 400-140B, powered by a Lyvoming 160HP engine and she’s a new aeroplane to us. It’s not one that I’ve noticed before. She’s owned by the Manche Aero Club and is available to hire for instruction at €131 per hour for a solo flight and €151 per hour for dual instruction.

She actually took off from the airport at 16:42, her second flight of the day, and did pretty much the same circuit as F-GIKI, returning at 17:31.

And while I was looking at the flight radar, there was something else that caught my eye. At 14:08 a plane had landed at the airport here, N65MJ which is a British registration and had set off from Turweston Airfield near Brackley in the UK at 11:48.

Si what’s a ‘plane from the UK doing landing at an airport where there is no international clearance in the middle of a pandemic when the UK is on France’s red list? I smell something fishy, and I’m not talking about the content’s of Baldrick’s apple crumble either.

joly france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile all of this was going on, there was plenty more activity going on out at sea.

More and more boats started to appear out of the gloom and mist and one of them was one of the Joly France boats that provide the ferry service to the Ile de Chausey. They will be quite busy right now with all of the tourists that we have around here and she certainly looks crowded.

There were a couple of yachts and other light craft out there too, but what caught my eye was what was going on out on the horizon. Just left of centres is a large mast that might belog to one of the larger yachts that plies for hire in the harbour.

However out towards the left edge of the photo there are some pretty big masts and I wonder if it’s Marité on her way home from wherever she’s been for the last few days. It’s certainly big enough.

trawlers l'alize 3 philcathane yacht rebelle chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd I’ve identified the white trawler that’s in the chantier navale at the moment.

As I went past this morning I was able to read a couple of letters of her name, and that was enough to tell me that she’s L’Alize 3, the trawler that we saw in the inner harbour last week. She’s up there on blocks next to Philcathane with the yacht Rebelle over to the right.

As for the black and white trawler, I still can’t remember her name and there was far too much traffic about today for me to stop and look. I’ll go that way for a look around tomorrow afternoon if I’m not asleep but I’m sure that she’s related to le Pearl. Her owners have a distinctive car and that car was parked underneath this trawler this morning.

joly france entering port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now many of the boats that had been out at sea were coming into port, including Joly France

From this angle we can tell that she’s the newer one of the two because her windows are rectangular in “portrait” format rather than the “landscape” format of the older boats.

Now that Joly France is back home, I can go back home too. And I can’t say that I wasn’t sorry. It had been a tough afternoon.

Back home I put the coffee from lunchtime into the microwave to heat it up and then I came in here to push on with some work. I have plenty of work to do from Friday that I haven’t done yet and it won’t ever be done at this rate.

But whatever I did, it took me up tp teatime. A couple of the burgers from today with baked potatoes and veg followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce.

Now that I’ve finished my journal I’m off to make some bread mix. I need new bread for Monday so I can cook it while the oven heats up for the pizza. That sounds like a good plan.

Thursday 1st July 2021 – HAPPY SUMMER…

foggy morning rue st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… so welcome to the sunshine and the glorious weather. Can it get any better than this?

Yes, what a way to start of the summer. A cold clammy fog enveloping absolutely everything, just like a November day. And it was cold too. I had to go and search for a jumper to keep me warm. I’m not cut out for this kind of weather.

Anyway, that was the weather that greeted me as dawn broke this morning. I couldn’t believe it. And I have to go out shopping later. One look at that and I made myself a piping hot mug of coffee and came back in here to get on with some work

With it being the first of the month, it’s the day when I normally back up everything. So today I decided to start on a full and complete programme.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, there’s a USB stick permanently plugged into the laptop on which I back up a few times every day. Then there’s a spare hard drive in this machine on which I back up once a month.

And then there’s an external drive on which I uploaded every single file off every computer or hard drive that I have ever owned and I’ve been gradually sorting it out into some kind of order.

So today, I copied the files off the working drive onto the back-up drive in the machine and then copied them over to the external drive. And even as we speak, after about 12 hours or so, it’s still going on. It’s a long job but it had to be done and I ought to do it more often.

But there’s one good thing about it, and that is that I can remove some of the stuff off the working drive that doesn’t need to be there and make some space, now that it’s stored in at least two other locations. That’s probably going to be tomorrow’s job, always assuming that this back-up is completed by then.

At least, while it’s doing, I can get on and do other stuff, like a pile of photos from August 2019. And now I’m wandering aimlessly around Sisimut in Greenland having a good look around.

After a shower, I made myself ready to set off to the shops. Not that I was feeling like going. And I was feeling even less like coming back loaded up with shopping.

empty shop rue couraye Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere in the Rue Couraye is somethign that regular readers of this rubbish might recall.

This used to be some kind of oriental restaurant, as you might remember. And after it closed, a lot of money was spent on transforming it into a rather plush and expensive interior decoration shop with condultants and the like to give advice. And it opened amid a great fanfare.

But it didn’t last very long by the looks of things. As I went past this morning, it was empty, closed up and abandoned. There was a sign saying “we have moved” – but it omitted to tell us just where it actually moved to. And that tells us all that we need to know.

At LIDL I spent more money than I intended, not that I bought anything special. And they had run out of brazil nuts too which is a shame. But anyway, off I set for home, staggering under my heavy load.

retiled roof rue de la houle Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall is the roofing job that was being undertaken on a house here in the Rue de la Houle.

Last week we saw them nailing battens around the chimney in order to hang slates therefrom. And sure enough, they’ve now been and gone and as we can see, the chimney is now all slated and looking quite nice.

But my money is on the fact that they didn’t repoint the chimney and replace the rotten bricks, and that’s going to lead to a problem in the future because a poor chimney isn’t going to last forever, especially when the wind gets going.

And we’ve seen some famous winds since I’ve been living here.

crane building site rue st paul rue victor hugo Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallSomething else that we’ve seen a lot of since we’ve been living here is redevelopment of buildings and building sites, such as this one at the corner of the Rue St Paul and the Rue Victor Hugo.

There used to be a café on this corner and we watched them knock it down and clear the site, and then fence it off. last week we saw a digger on site and it had dug a big hole. And I was wondering what was the purpose of the hole.

And now we know. They’ve installed a huge crane here and that tells me that building is about to get under way any minute now. Those cranes are expensive to hire and small builders won’t hang about when they have the rental to pay.

Although I suspect that you’ll all be reminding me that I said that in 6 months time.

seagull chick lost in rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBack in town again, in the Rue Paul Poirier, I encountered something that caused me some anguish.

It’s the time of the year right now when the fledglings in the seagull nests begin to flex their wings and one or two of them manage to take to the air. Here is one that has left his nest and fluttered down into the street in the Rue Paul Poirier. And now he can’t get up steam to fly back to his nest.

It isn’t easy to know what to do in these circumstances. Maybe his mother will come to look for him, and human scent on her baby might drive her away. And if you do try to catch him, would he dash off into the traffic? I decided with regret that the best course of action was to leave him and hope that a more knowledgeable person would come along.

trawlers waiting to leave port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSo up the hill I trudged with my heavy load of shopping until I reached the benches half-way up where I could see down into the harbour.

And it looks as if I’ve arrived at exactly the right time because judging by the little queue of trawlers here, the harbour gates are going to be open any minute now and I could sit and enjoy the spectacle. Mind you, I don’t envy them going out to sea in this dreadful fog. It’s not that thick down there, with visibility about half mile or so, but I bet that it’s a lot worse further out at sea.

It made me wish that there was a café nearby where I could fetch a drink for myself as events would unfold. This is pretty unseasonal weather for July.

trawlers leaving port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallSure enough, I only had to wait a couple of minutes before the gates opened and the red lights changed to green.

And once they did so, a whole line of trawlers suddenly burst into life from all over the inner harbour and they were off like ferrets up a trouser leg. It was quite an impressive sight to see them all go like that.

There was a whole line of trawlers waiting to come into the harbour too but it looks as if those leaving have priority. And once they had cleared the entrance, the ones outside swarmed in. I wanted to take a photo of them but once again, the lens jammed on the NIKON 1 J5. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we had that repaired about 18 months ago.

la granvillaise baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnyway I cleared off up the hill, still wrestling with the camera lens and eventually I managed to free it off.

And thzt was just as well because out of the fog came another one of our old friends going for a run around the bay with a bunch of tourists. It’s La Granvillaise, one of the charter yachts that operates out of the port. We can tell who she is because of her unusual sail layout and also the fact that she displays quite prominently the number G90.

And I felt sorry for the tourists because they aren’t going to see very much in this weather, although with the tide being in, at least the boat can go closer to the shore so they will be able to see something of what’s going on.

seagulls fighting rue du port Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was taking the photo of La Granvillaise there was a tremendous squawking from the roof of one of the buildings so I went off to have a look to see what was happening.

There are two seagulls down there having a tremendous tug-of-war over something or other but I couldn’t see what it was. They kept it up for quite a while too – longer than I was prepared to wait and see the outcome. I wanted to go home.

Back here I put the frozen peas in the freezer and made my self some real hot chocolate to go with my fruit bread. and having had breakfast I came in here to upload the photos onto the computer when unfortunately I dozed off.

Good and proper too. I didn’t wake up until about 13:30 and then it took me a while to find my equilibrium. Another late lunch.

This afternoon there was plenty of excitement, which led to me being kicked out of the “British in Europe” Group. The people who run it have the most unbelievable egotism and arrogance. Ever since Brexit they have leapt aboard every possible bandwagon going and every time some concession has been made, it’s been “look what we won for you” even when they weren’t involved at all.

There’s a campaign been organised to thank the various Préfectures in France for their forbearance and patience but the people who run “British in Europe” have ordered everyone (and told people to pass the message on) NOT to thank the French authorities as “it undermines our campaign”. Have you ever heard anything like it?

One of their main beefs is that the French authorities have, according to them, failed in their obligations to notify every British person of the new arrangements. However, the facts are considerably different. In France, the censuses are held every 5 years and a great many British people have failed to fill in the census forms, for various reasons. So, quite naturally, the French authorities don’t know that they are here so they can’t notify them.

Furthermore, they are complaining that the French are expelling people. The French have a right to expel people if they represent a manifest danger to the security of the State, and the people I know who have been refused residence and expelled are those who have not long been released from prison for certain unspeakable offences.

So I told the organisers what had been going on, but like any two-bit organisation, it can’t tolerate one bit of criticism and won’t hear anything that undermines the “Big I Am”.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis took me up to afternoon walkies so the first thing that I have to do is to go off to the end of the car park and look down to see what was happening on the beach.

So uutangling myself from a group of residents at the door, I set off to see who was about down there. And this afternoon there was quite a crowd down there. That’s because the weather had improved somewhat since this morning. The sun had burnt off the mist from on the land and it was quite warm.

Warm enough for people to be undressed and in swimwear although I didn’t see anyone actually take to the water while I was there. Maybe it wasn’t all that warm in there after all.

sea and rocks baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut whether it was warm or not, the sea really did look beautiful this afternoon.

It was that beautiful emerald green colour that we don’t see all that often. I reckon that it has to be a trick of the sunlight and the reflections or something like that to make it look so nice and inviting, even if it might be fairly cold this afternoon.

But I can’t hang around and admire the view. I had to push on around my little circuit and see where I can end up. And more importantly, what I encounter on my trip round the headland.

yacht baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRather like this yacht that suddenly appeared from out of the mist.

Somewhere out there in that direction is the Ile de Chausey but there is no chance of seeing it in this weather. And that is probably from where the yacht has departed. As I was walking along the path on top of the cliffs it just materialised out of the doom and gloom rather like a phantom.

Of course it’s too far away for me to identify from here so I can’t say if it’s someone whome we know. But anyway, I wandered off across the car park and along the footpath on the other side of the headland.

trawlers philcathane chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut here is someone that we ought to recognise. And I ought to know who it is because I’ve seen it so often in the past.

There’s been another change of occupancy in the chantier navale this afternoon because she certainly wasn’t there this morning. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the trawler le Pearl, the new trawler that arrived here last autumn. Well I’m pretty sure that this is her elder sister and I wish that I could remember her name.

But anywhere, here she is, next to Philcathane, with the other trawler whose name I have yet to discover and the yacht Rebelle to keep her company while she’s in here receiving attention.

chausiais l'omerta port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown in the other harbour, the tide is quite far out but once more we have a couple of fishing boats tied up ay the fish processing plant and left to go aground.

It’s L’Omerta of course and she’s been moored over there on and off for quite some time now and I’m curious to see what is going on and why she’s there so often.

In the background to the right, moored up at the ferry terminal, is Chausiais, the small freighter that runs supplies out to the Ile de Chausey. She’s probably not long come back from a trip out there and is empty at the moment. When she’s about to go off on a trip out there she’ll be in the loading bay underneath the crane in the inner harbour.

Back here I carried on with the backing up of the computer and the hard drives and that took me up to guitar practice. And I’m not making as much progress as I would have liked with the bass unfortunately. It’s not a case of lack of technique, it’s a case of lack of memory. I can’t remember what I learnt yesterday, stuff like that.

Tea tonight was a stuffed pepper (now that I have some mushrooms) and I’m sure that I forgot something that usually goes in it. My chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce was delicious too.

And now, as this argument from this afternoon rumbles on over a whole variety of pages on my Social Network, including someone from Britain In Europe wading into a person’s private page and telling her how to manage her own page (how outrageous are these people?) I’m of to bed, as soon as there’s a suitable pause in this backing-up.

But I fear that it’s going to be going on for quite a while yet. And so is this argument.

Wednesday 30th June 2021 – THE BIRD-MEN …

hang gliders plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… of Alcatraz were out in force this afternoon while I was out for my walk.

Instead of going round the headland I went on the path around the medieval city walls to see how they were getting on with some of the repairs that they have been doing to various things in the old town, but instead I ended up being buzzed by a squadron of Nazgul

They take off and land at the field next door to the cemetery which I always think is good planning because they won’t have far to go if they have an unfortunate accident, and then follow the clifftop along almost to the lighthouse and then fly back to where they started.

hang glider plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThat is, always assuming that they can gain enough height to do so.

Some of the bird-men find it easier to do than others. This guy is struggling to find the air currents that will pull him up. Instead, he’s struggling along well below my eye level and well below the top of the cliff and not doing too well about it either.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw one of the birdmen come to grief the other day at the lighthouse and he’s not the first either. Someone else was seriously injured last year, and I never did find out whether he recovered from his accident.

But our intrepid birdman did in fact find a current of air in the end and lifted himself off into the ether over my head.

And I must have found a good current of air to lift me out of bed this morning because I leapt out of bed with an extraordinary burst of energy as soon as the alarm went off. And considering how exhausted I was last night, that must have been pretty close to a miracle.

After the medication I came back in here and finished off last night’s journal entry. There wasn’t much to do but I did it anyway. And following that I carried on with the photos from August 2019. and right now I’m on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR pulling into the harbour at Sisimut, Greenland.

Yes, I really managed to crack on this morning and deal with a nice bundle of them. I even managed to find a photo that I took of THE AURORA BOREALIS in Kangerlussuak Fjord

There was a pause for a coffee break and later for breakfast, and then I had another task to carry out. My little niece Amber graduated from High School in Canada last week and she had sent me a video of THE GRADUATION PARADE AND VALDICTORY SPEECHES.

Being as busy as I am I’d not had an opportunity to see it and so with my hot chocolate and fruit bread, and then with the acoustic guitar I watched the video. And I had to laugh as well. You can tell that it’s New Brunswick. They held the parade in the Tractor-Pulling Stadium

That all took me right up to lunchtime when I had some more of my very nice fresh bread.

After lunch I went to revise my Welsh but once more, ended up crashing out on the chair for half an hour or so. I didn’t realise that Welsh had this effect on me. It’s all becoming quite embarrassing. But anyway that took me up to walkies time and I would have gone out earlier had we not had another power cut. And this time it wasn’t any fuse in my apartment and it came back on after a couple of minutes without any help from me.

trans-shipping rubble porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNo schoolgirl loitering outside the door this afternoon again so I could push off into the wild blue yonder. But only a little way because there was something going on right at the back of my apartment at the Porte St Jean.

One of the problems of living within the confines of a medieval walled city is that large lorries and delivery vehicles can’t make their way in so there has to be some form of trans-shipment. In this case, this little pickup is bringing builders’ rubble from within the walls and it’s being scooped up into the back of the larger lorry for disposal.

And while I was passing I had a look at the rubble that they were taking away. And there were several granite setts in there that had presumably at one time been part of the road surface. Throwing those away is really sad if you ask me.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hallnext stop of course was to go and look down on the beach and see what was going on down there this afternoon.

And you’re probably noticed that we have a different perspective for the view today. That’s because we are going for our walk around the city walls rather than the headland so instead of being in the car park I’m at the viewpoint in the Rue du Nord.

This afternoon there are plenty of people down on the beach enjoying the nice weather. And even a young kid running out of the sea as if she’s just been in for a quick splash round. And if I’d been in the sea I’d be running out pretty quickly too and no mistake.

scaffolding wooden structure workmen's hut place du marché aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne thing that has been the subject of much comment and discussion in these pages just recently has been the state of the medieval city walls.

Some more were closed off a week or so back here in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux and then a couple of days ago a kind-of workmen’s hut appeared, along with a strange wooden structure that was fastened to the walls.

This afternoon I found a spec on the other side so I could have a look at the outside of the walls to see if I could see to what this wooden structure relates. But it’s not evident at all. But at least you can see the trailer that looks as if it might be a workmen’s hut.

Something else that we can see from this viewpoint is some scaffolding. I haven’t seen that down there before, but I wouldn’t like to insist that it’s only just arrived. I just don’t remember seeing it before.

But I wonder if all of this really does mean that we might actually be seeing some work being done on the walls in the near future in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

lifeguards tidal swimming pool beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA flash of flourescent yellow caught my eye down at the Plat Gousset so seeing as the path underneath the wall was reasonably dry this afternoon, I went that way to have a look.

Being buzzed by a variety of Nazgul on my way along the path I eventually arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the beach, and I could see that I was right. The holiday season is now in full swing and we have a couple of lifeguards on duty in their flourescent yellow jackets.

There is one standing at the water’s edge keeping an eye on the bathers in the sea (and take my word for it – there were a few of those this afternoon) and the other one is supervising events taking place in the tidal swimming pool that still has its water in it. And there were a couple of people in there too.

people on beach plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut out of the wind I bet that it was really nice and cosy if you could catch a few rays of the sun.

Round by the viewpoint overlooking the Plat Gousset we could see the people on the beach. Not exactly the height of summer (which is due to start this weekend of course) but still plenty of reason to be on the beach, especially as it’s half-dayat the schools and the brats have the afternoon off on a Wednesday, as we can tell from this photo.

And the other day I showed you a photo of a couple of girls sitting on the wall overlooking the beach, and I surmised that it must be quite a comfortable spec. And that’s what it must be because there were more girls sitting on the wall this afternoon.

f-gsbv ROBIN DR 400-180 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking around the path underneath the walls I was overflown yet again, only this time not by one of the Bird-men of Alcatraz but by an aeroplane.

Even though it’s quite far out in the Baie de Granville I can actually identify it from here. She’s F-GSBY, one of the aeroplanes that we see on a regular basis. She’s a Robin DR400-180 and is owned by the Granville Aero-Club where she’s used for either advanced flying training or for hire.

According to my radar she took off at 16:55, flew down to do a lap around Mont St Michel and then flew back to the airport where she landed at 17:21. And as my photo is times at 16:15 (it’s set to real time, not summertime) that looks as if it’s correct.

And I haven’t forgotten that I must make suitable enquiries at the airport about the navigation school

seagull chicks rue des juifs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile we’re on the subject of flying … “well, one of us is” – ed … there are other flying objects that need our attention.

So with that in mind I pushed on round to the Square Maurice Marland to have a look out onto the roofs of the houses in the Rue des Juifs to see how our baby seagull chicks are doing.

And they look as if they are doing quite well too. There are three of them on that roof over there and they have grown quite a lot this last couple of weeks. One of them was flapping his wings quite vigorously and so I don’t think that it’ll be too long before he’s ready to take to the air.

But the Square is still a mess and it’s quite annoying. Sumer is here and some of the kiddies’ entertainments have been taken away and the rest are fenced off and overgrown. This is not the way to run a holiday resort.

boat on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday we saw a huge pile of merchandise stacked up on the quayside ready to be taken away by one of the Jersey freighters.

Word on the streets is that Normandy Trader came in for a quick “in and out” early this morning on her way back from St Malo and it looks as if she’s cleared almost all of the load. The boat wrapped in shrink-wrap is still there so either Normandy Trader was full or else that’s a load for Thora.

What’s intriguing me though is the appearance of the garden shed over there. If it is a product for export, I’d expect it to be flat-packed to save on loading space. But it could be for a small office for either one of the boats or else for a customs or police presence (but why wouldn’t they be in the police station across the road?). We shall have to see.

resurfacing venelle st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt te start of the afternoon we saw the trans-shipment going on with the rubbish and a few of the granite setts.

What they seem to be doing now is trying to resurface the Venelle St Michel with granite setts in certain places and judging by the excavations, in other places too. It’s probably from here that the rubbish and the granite setts were discarded and I don’t understand at all the idea of disposing of those.

But I’m still dismayed by the surface of the Rue St Michel and its stone-chips. They could, and should, have done so much better than that.

There were some people in the back garden of a house here having a party, with a tabby-cat sitting on the wall. It let me stroke it, which surprised the people in the garden. But I left them to it and came on home for a coffee and to do some work on my boat trip on the Spirit of Conrad last year.

The practice on the bass went well and then I went for tea – burger on a bap followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce.

Now, tired as I am, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow I’m shopping and I want to carry on with my Spirit of Conrad stuff as well as do some more photos from Greenland. High time that they were all done and dusted.

Tuesday 29th June 2021 – MY CHOCOLATE PUDDING …

… is absolutely delicious.

This morning after the medication I mixed a pile of bread dough and left it to fester in its own time

home baked bread chocolate cake place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd after my breakfast of fruit cake, toast and hot chocolate (made with real chocolate of course) I gave the bread a second kneading, shaped it and put it in the mould that I use.

While it was festering I made the chocolate cake mix and put it in a deep baking tray lined with baking paper. When the bread mix had risen enough I put both the bread and the chocolate cake mix in the oven.

When everything was cooked I took the cake, cut it in half, layered the halves with jam and joined the two halves together in a sandwich and left it to cool.

The bread was delicious of course but my cake was just so exquisite with some of the chocolate sauce that I make. I’ll make some more of this, that’s for sure.

While all of this was going on, I was working on my photos from August 2019. For a change I made good progress and I’m now in my hotel in Toronto waiting to leave for my plane to take me to Greenland.

One of the photos that I edited was of THE CHURCH IN WINNIPEG where my grandmother was married in 1918 and another one was of THE STAGE IN THE METROPOLITAN THEATRE where she shared the top of the bill in 1922 with Lon Chaney and Jackie Coogan.

Some of the time was also spent revising my Welsh – even though we’re on holiday until September I don’t want to forget what I’ve learnt so I’m going to spend maybe half an hour a day revising. In fact I might have spent more time working on my Welsh had I not crashed out rather comprehensively.

Lunch was as a consequence rather late, although my fresh bread was delicious, and then I carried on with the photos until it was time for me to go for my afternoon walk. And no girl hanging around the doorway today either.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst port of call as usual was to go and look to see what was going on down on the beach so I took myself off across the car park to stick my head over the top of the wall

The tide was on its way out by the looks of things and so there was a reasonable amount of beach to be on. And there were a few people down there as well, and that’s not much of a surprise because the good weather has come back.

Not quite well enough for a session of sunbathing although when we were out of the wind it was quite warm and pleasant. Pleasant enough to loiter around on the rocks and wait until tonight when the tide will come back in.

people swimming in medieval fish trap plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was plenty of other activity going on elsewhere on the beach.

While I was taking the photo of the people on the beach in the previous photograph I was casting my eyes around to look for anything else and they alighted on some people having fun over on the beach at the Plat Gousset.

The tidal swimming pool isn’t visible from here but the medieval fish trap is. And as well as being full of fish, it’s also full of people swimming around and being buzzed by a seagull while they were at it. They seem to get everywhere, these birds. And so do the swimmers too. They seem to be enjoying themselves in the fish trap. I hope that the fish don’t mind.

ships approaching st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallToday was one of those days where we could see for miles, which is rather a change from the last few days.

The island of Jersey was quite clearly visible today even if it is 58 kilometres away from me. But I wasn’t as interested in the island as I was in what was going on in the sea just off-shore from the island.

There were several boats sailing around just offshore and it’s very rare that you can actually see them from here. And if you look to the right of centre there’s a boat that has the same profile as the Commodore ro-ro ferries that ply between St Malo, Portsmouth and the various Channel islands although I’ve not been able to identify which one.

buildings at st helier jersey channel islands Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe weather was so clear that I could actually see the individual buildings in St Helier.

The big round white building that we can see is, I reckon, the View Bar and Supplement store at Fort Regent on the edge of the harbour. The smaller white building to the left is, I think, a building at the harbourside occupied by a firm of accountants.

As for the big tall structure at the left-hand edge of the photo, I’ve not been able to identify that. And I shan’t be able to for quite a while yet because with no way to get out to the Channel Islands right now as long as the Covid epidemic rages, I can’t get any closer.

cancale brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut there’s no difficulty at all identifying this view.

With the air being so clear today, I was expecting to have a good view out across the bay to the Brittany coast. And so after having admired the Channel Islands, I set off down the path and across the car park to the far end of the headland to see what was going on.

The town of Cancale was exceptionally clear this afternoon. That’s 18 kilometres away as the crow flies but to actually drive there it’s about 60 kilometres, as I know only too well having been caught out by that when I first came here.

No fishing boats out there today which was a surprise, and so I headed off down the path.

trawlers philcathane yacht rebelle chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were crowds of people this afternoon at the viewpoint overlooking the harbour so I had to jostle for a view. But at least the path was a lot drier this afternoon than it was yesterday.

There’s been a change of occupancy in the chantier navale today. The trawler Philcathane and the yacht Rebelle are still in there but they’ve been joined by another trawler. She’s carrying the same colour scheme as L’Alize 3 although without being to read any name, I’m not able to say.

So I had to wait for the people to move away before I could take a photo. And then I could move off along the path. There wasn’t anything else going on in the outer harbour to hold my attention.

marite big wheel products on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was however plenty of activity in the inner harbour today.

Maité was in there today and she was surrounded by a pile of people who might be schoolchildren wearing something yellow that might be lifejackets.

And it looks as if we are going to be having a visit from one of the Channel Island freighters, either Thora or Normandy Trader, because there’s a pile of freight on the quayside down there, including a boat still in its shrink-wrapping for transport to its destination.

The Big Wheel wasn’t going round though while I was watching. Maybe there aren’t any customers waiting for a ride around.

But I headed off back home for my afternoon coffee. And while I was waiting for the kettle to boil I cut the vegan meat pie into slices and put them in the freezer along with the remaining apple pie that might be eaten one of these days..

And later on I crashed out yet again.

Guitar practice was quite good and then I went for tea – rice with an aubergine and kidney bean whatsit followed by my cake and chocolate sauce. And then a huge pile of washing-up.

Now I’m off to bed because I’m exhausted. I don’t know why I’m so tired today. Here’s hoping I’ll have a better day tomorrow.

Saturday 15th May 2021 – WE’VE HAD A

unidentified aeroplane place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… one of these aerial days today – a day when just about everything in the air flew past me today.

It wasn’t possible for me to count all the ones that went past today because I ran out of fingers. Several of them flew past out of range so I couldn’t photograph them but I did photograph those that I could, like this one here.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to identify it because I couldn’t see its serial number anywhere and it’s not a model that I recognise anywhere. It looks like a pretty lightweight machine so it’s quite possibly one of these kit-built aircraft that care classed as microlights.

unidentified aeroplane place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThis is another one that I didn’t recoognise, but that’s for a completely different reason.

As it flew past overhead, it didn’t present to me a surface that carried the registration number. That will be underneath the port wing of course and it wasn’t going that way round. But whatever it is, it’s not one of the aircraft that regularly flies out of the airport here that we see quite regularly.

There was nothing shown on the flight radar for these aircraft of course. It’s unlikely that they file flight plans and they probably don’t fly high enough to be picked up on the radar anywhere.

powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd it wasn’t just aeroplanes that went flying past overhead either.

As I walked out of the building here to go for my afternoon walk I was overflown by one of these powered hang glider things. That wasn’t shown on my radar set either and that’s no surprise. It’s the kind of thing that struggles to lift itself over my building, especially as it’s carrying two people therein.

As this went past overhead I was thinking that all I needed now was to see Godzilla going past and then I’d have the full set. Either that or the Loch Ness Monster. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many aircraft on one particular day.

This morning I hauled myself out of bed fairly early, just after the first alarm, despite my rather late night.

And after the medication I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was really surprised to find that I’d been anywhere because it had been a bad night with several raging attacks of cramp that didn’t ease off even when I went for a walk around.

This was the worst series of attacks that I’d had and they were horrible. Painful and horrible.

aeroplane 55-OJ place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut returning to our moutons as they say around here, while you admire aeroplane 55-OJ, I was somewhere on the outskirts of London last night, living by the side of this big main road that was a 2×2 lane with the carriageway nearest me higher than the other. Crossing over there was quite difficult because it was so busy. One night I’d finished my tea and I had the remains on the plate so I thought that I would take then to the dustbin. I had to walk along the pavement, across the road on a zebra crossing, down a set of steps and across the other road. Luckily there was no traffic and I reached the dustbins to put my stuff away. I’d been counting my steps – so many steps across the road, so many steps across the central reservation and so on. There was a lot of traffic waiting at a junction on the other side of the by-pass and I had to walk my way round. I thought that I recognised one of them. It turned out to be a black boy from the City of London on a bicycle who had been wanted by the police for a murder but released. At that moment a police car pulled up and someone started to talk to the policeman saying something like “it’s happened again but I definitely saw something white which was either something white once 100 times or something white twice 50 times”. I immediately thought of this boy. What had he been up to?

After that I went for a good hot shower which made me feel so much better, and then I stripped the bed and changed the bedding, the first time since I can’t remember when. The bedding, my fleece jacket and a few other bits and pieces went into the washing machine and I set it off on its cycle again.

Meanwhile Caliburn and I went to the shops. At NOZ I found a guide book on Iceland, which will come in handy when I write up my notes and if I ever return to the island. There were also some frozen vegan veggie balls, so I bought three packets of those.

LeClerc’s was an expensive shop this morning, even if I did forget the coffee. They had vegan burgers on special offer, and also some special vegan burgers made of sweet potatoes, a new variety with an introductory offer and I wouldn’t want to miss those. I’m building up rather a large supply of burgers now, more than I can probably tackle so I need to start to make my way into that supply some time soon.

Back here I put the veggie balls in the freezer along with the falafel, the other vegan veggie balls, the vegan sausage rolls and whatever else I have picked up in NOZ over the last while. The freezer is now bursting at the seams.

Having done that I made myself some hot chocolate. And despite now having some more cocoa powder I made it with real chocolate. I even bought a pack of 5 slabs of pure chocolate so that I can do this again for the next while.

And then back in here I sat down and promptly crashed out.

The football had already started when I awoke so I watched the rest of the game. TNS v Bala Town and even though TNS went down to 10 me, with a defender rather harshly sent off, they were always too good for Bala Town.

They won rather comfortably 2-0 but it didn’t do them very much good because Connah’s Quay Nomads beat Penybont and that meant that the Nomads were crowned champions for this season. The 4-1 victory that the Nomads had over TNS a couple of weeks ago proved to be so decisive.

Despite their championship win, the Nomads are rather short on consistency and rather short of strength in depth. If they intend to make progress in European competition and retain their championship, they need to recruit half a dozen good players this close season and move on a few of the fringe players who haven’t contributed enough to the team whenever they have come on to play.

It’s the same with Bala Town. They have a good, solid side but apart from Chris Venables and Henry Jones, they don’t have any players capable of pushing the club up to the next level. And the rest of the League are just also-rans with just the odd star dotted about here and there.

But one thing is quite interesting, and it just goes to show how much the Welsh Premier League has progressed over the last few years is that when an ex-Football League came to play with a Welsh Premier League club it made headline news that reverberated around the pyramid for months.

These days there are ex-Football League players in every club, several players who play International football for their country and a couple of players who were in Wales’ successful Euro 2016 squad. And things can only get better when we see the money that these clubs earn by being successful in Europe.

All of that took me up to the time to go out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst stop was to go down to the end of the car park and look over the wall down onto the beach to see what was going on down there this afternoon. So dodging the powered hang-glider and other aircraft, I headed in that direction.

There were crowds of people down there this afternoon, which was only to be expected seeing as the holiday season is well under way. The town was heaving with people this morning as I drove out to the supermarket so it was no surprise to see the beach so packed.

We’re at the period of lowest tide too so I imagine that many of them down there are scavenging for seafood. And I hope that they will share their catch with their friends because you mustn’t be selfish with your shellfish.

aeroplane 35-MA place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little earlier I posted a photo of an unidentified aeroplane that flew overhead while I was walking across the car park.

As I walked back, I was overflown again by an aeroplane that was pretty much identical to one of the unidentified ones. And this time I could see the registration quite clearly on the port wing.

Not that it did me any good because the number on the wing is 35-MA and that is not a number that I can find in the series of registration numbers that I have. And so I’m not able to tell you anything about it, unfortunately. There’s certainly no flight plan or trace of it on the flight radar.

citroen sm maserati place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut I didn’t make it off the car park and off down the path because I was detained by this absolutely gorgeous machine parked here.

It’s been a while since we’ve featured an old car on these pages and to break our barren spell with a vehicle as rare or extraordinary as this is quite exceptional. In case you don’t know what it it, it’s basically a Citroen DS or ID, with the model designation “SM”.

The “S” of course stands for “Sport” but the “M” stands for “Maserati” because the earlier models of the series were powered by the same engine that was in the Maserati Merak and the later ones were powered by the engine out of the Maserati Biturbo.

citroen sm maserati place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe model was made between 1970 and 1975, but only about 13,000 models were made.

In 1974 there were just 294 examples sold and in 1975 a mere 115 so with the rationalisation of the French motor industry in the mid-70s, the poor sales resulted in the model being discontinued. What did for the model was the fact that the tax band in which the vehicle fell was so high that few people could afford to run them.

Nevertheless, if I had to choose a French vehicle of this era to keep as my own, there wouldn’t be any question about it. I would have one of these in a heartbeat. One of these would rival the Maserati Quattroporte in my list of top-10 vehicles.

citroen u23 place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was something else of interest parked up here at the end of the car park.

We’ve seen this vehicle before a few months ago. It’s a Citroen U23 lorry, a type of lorry that was launched in 1936 and was seen everywhere all over France. There are even A FEW EARLY ONES KNOCKING ABOUT ON THE ROADS today. They were also very popular with the French Army in World War II and quite a few were incorporated into the German army after the fall of France.

The earlier models looked very much like a Citroen Traction Avant but the bodywork evolved over the next 30 or so years before the model was abandoned in 1964. This is one of the last redesign of the model, undertaken in the late 1950s.

On that note I finally set off along the path above the cliffs, amongst the madding crowds wearing facemasks to a greater or lesser extent. There was nothing out to sea but as I approached the lighthouse a storm rolled in quite quickly and it began to rain. And so I didn’t wish to hang around for very long outside.

chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the other side of the headland in the rain I looked down on the chantier navale from the viewpoint overlooking the port.

It looks quite strange right now with nothing in there up on blocks down there. It’s not very often that we can see the place looking quite like this without any boats of any description in there. It’s restricted by the fact that the portable boat lift only has a rating of about 95 tonnes, and so that rules out some of the boats that are based in the harbour.

There’s a dry dock here, the Cale de Radoub, in which larger boats could be placed and where they could be repaired but even though that was declared an Ancient Monument in 2008, it’s been out of use since 1978 and will cost several millions to put into working order so that it could be used again.

marite port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOne of the boats that requites an annual inspection is Marité, the old Newfoundland fishing boat that’s based here and which takes passengers out every now and again.

She had to sail to Lorient for her annual overhaul a few days ago as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. She must have come back on the tide last night. I was lucky enough to catch her coming home last year but I missed her this year.

Back here I made myself a mug of hot coffee and sat down to make a start on doing some work. But instead, I crashed out yet again. This is becoming far too much of a habit these days and I’m becoming rather fed up of all of this. I could understand it if I’d done any heavy exercise but even a walk around the block these days is finishing me off.

After I came round and recovered my equilibrium, I spent an hour or so playing the bass. I have to learn the songs on this song list and there’s no time like the present. I ned to exert myself one way or another.

Tea tonight was a burger with pasta and vegetables followed by chocolate sponge and chocolate sauce, which is just as delicious as it was when I made it. And chatting to a few people on the internet later, I posted them my recipe so that they can make it.

Now I’m off to bed, a lot later than usual but it doesn’t matter all that much because I’m having a lie-in tomorrow. And as long as it’s not 13:30 like it was last Saturday, I won’t mind too much.

Friday 14th May 2021 – I DON’T KNOW …

people on lawn pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… what on earth was going on this afternoon but I’ve never ever seen so many people wandering around on the paths this afternoon.

All of the car parks were full of cars and all of the paths and the lawn and everywhere else were heaving with people. There must have been something going on this afternoon somewhere in the vicinity to attract crowds like this and I wish that I knew just what it was because it must have been exciting.

What else that was exciting today was the fact that I managed to rise up from the dead just after the first alarm despite my rather late night last night. It wasn’t just a late night either but I spent much of the night wracked by an endless series of attacks of cramp that disrupted just about everything.

At some point I managed to drift off to sleep because there was something on the dictaphone. I was in an old Wild West railway town last night but I can’t remember anything about why I was there or what I was doing. I awoke at 05:20 with a really bad attack of cramp again that had me out of bed in agony for a while.

Anyway, I didn’t have a very good morning after all of that last night. It was rather slow as I carried on with the photos from Wyoming in 2019. Not even a coffee could perk me up and I didn’t do very much at all. I can’t have too many days like this.

After lunch, to my dismay I crashed out. And what was different about that today was that usually I feel myself drifting away and I can usually fight it for so long before I drop off, but today I didn’t even realise that I’d been asleep until I awoke and I’m rather bewildered about that.

The rest of the afternoon has been spent learning some new songs on the bass guitar. A week or two ago someone created a new Group on Social Media for this region and invited me to join. And so I did, and posted a brief bio on there, like you do. And as a result, someone else on there sent me his playlist.

There’s not all that much on there that appeals to me but you have to start somewhere, I suppose.

There was the usual break for my afternoon walk around the headland.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFirst stop was the wall at the end of the car park. I mustn’t forget to go over there and look down onto the beach.

And while over the last few days it’s been pretty quiet down there, today it was heaving with people. And I don’t know why because the weather wasn’t anything like as good as it has been earlier in the week. It was rather cool, overcast and windy. Not at all like the kind of May Day that we have sometimes that drags out the crowds in their hundreds.

Anyway, that’s enough of that for the moment. I set off on my walk around the headland. And today it wasn’t quite as easy as it has been because of the vehicles and the crowds. It really took me by surprise to see so many cars and people out and about this afternoon.

people fishing from cabin cruiser baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere were a few people out and about on the sea too.

Just off the shore was this little cabin cruiser with a handful of men on there fishing with rod and line. But as you might expect, true to form, while I was watching them they didn’t manage to catch anything and I’m wondering if they ever will

None of the commercial fishing boats in the vicinity though. In case you missed the news, there was a meeting of the European Union earlier in the week in which banking relations between the UK and the EU were discussed. An agreement was almost reached but at the last moment France vetoed it.

As a result, Jersey has hastily postponed the implementation of its new fishing regulations until the end of June in the hope that the French will reconsider their veto.

With nothing going on out at sea that I could see, I went on my way around the headland and down the path on the other side on the cliffs overlooking the port.

chausiais ferry port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe tide is quite far out today so there wasn’t anything going on in there. All we have today is Chausiais, the little freighter that goes over to the Ile de Chausey with the freight for the island, moored up at the ferry terminal.

None of the two Joly France boats – the passenger ferries for the island – though. They have both gone out to the island with passengers so there must have been hundreds of people in town today for some reason that I don’t understand.

There was nothing going on in the chantier navale today, still no boats of any description in there, so I carried on home.

And regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a pile of freight on the quayside. That had gone. Apparently with the easing of tension, Normandy Trader was able to come in on the morning tide today, drop off a load, load up with the objects on the quayside and clear off on the same tide.

f-gbai Robin DR.400-108B pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was planning on taking a photo of the bare quayside by the loading bay I was overflown by a light aeroplane on its way to the airport over by Donville les Bains.

It’s one of our regulars, F-GBAI, the Robin DR 400-108B that belongs to the Aero Club de Granville. It’s not unfortunately filed a flight plan so I can’t tell you where it’s been but it’s probably just been for a run around the area by a student pilot or a licensed pilot keeping up his hours.

But anyway, it totally distracted me and I forgot to photograph the quayside. I really ought to concentrate more on what I’m supposed to be doing.

Back here I had my hot mug of coffee and then had a look at this playlist that I’d been sent. And spent the rest of the afternoon having a play through it. Some of the stuff I already knew, some of it I could work out easily enough and some of it is pretty darn complicated

Tea was taco rolls with the left-over stuffing from the stuffed pepper yesterday, followed by some of my chocolate sponge and the best chocolate sauce that I’ve ever made. I had made my morning hot chocolate with real chocolate in a bain marie so there was some cocoa powder left, and I’d bought cornflour and sugar yesterday from LIDL

So now it’s bedtime. Once again it’s later than I was expecting. Tomorrow I’m going shopping, something that I know that I don’t usually do when I’m off to Leuven a couple of days later but I’ve not been to LeClerc for several weeks and I’m running low on milk, cocoa powder, olives and a few other bits and pieces that I normally use.

Tuesday 11th May 2021 – LE STYX …

trawler chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… didn’t stay long in the chantier navale then.

When we walked past there yesterday we saw her still suspended in the cradle of the portable boat lift despite the fact that the tide must have gone out a good while earlier, so I wondered if she was actually destined to be finding a berth up here, but apparently not.

When I walked past this afternoon, there she was, gone! And never called me mother! Her stay up there must have been remarkably rapid – just quick enough for them to repair whatever it was that might have been the issue, and then back to sea she went.

My stay in bed was rather rapid last night too. I ended up having yet another late night, late nights that I can well do without, but nevertheless I managed to haul myself out of bed at the first alarm.

After the medication I came back in here to start revising my Welsh but I had a great deal of difficulty keeping awake. Not even a coffee could revive me so in the end, I went and had a nice hot shower in the hope that it would liven me up. And afterwards, I came back in here and promptly crashed out.

So much for that idea.

The Welsh that we are learning is now coming thick and fast. We’ve made a start on the subjunctive and conditional tenses which should be exciting seeing as I am still finding it hard to come to terms with the present tense of “to be”.

My brain, such as it is, has gone to pieces … “you’ve only just noticed?” – ed … and my memory has disappeared completely.

We actually finished on time today, the first time for about forever, but I nipped off into the office to attend to one or two matters, one of which involved the Welsh Parliament, and I was so engrossed that I missed lunch. No-one was more surprised than me when I glanced at my watch and saw that it was 15:30.

Grabbing a handful of crackers, I grabbed the NIKON D500 and headed for the door.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallDown to the end of the car park went I as usual these days, to look over the wall and down onto the beach to see what was happening there.

The tide is now quite far out so there was plenty of beach for people to be on, but there were very few people out there this afternoon. It’s fairly warm out here (although I have known it warmer at this time of the year) and nice, bright and sunny, but the wind is back and it was blowing quite strongly.

As far as I can tell, we only seem to have had a handful of days so far this year when there has been very little wind. I’ve never known a year like it from that point of view. I know that we are living in one of the windiest corners of Europe but even so, there are limits and what we have experienced so far this year has gone beyond them in my opinion.

trawler english channel baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYou can tell just how windy it is by looking at the whitecaps on the waves out there in the English Channel.

This is one of the trawlers that is currently working the English Channel between the Pointe du Roc and the Ile de Chausey and it really was working it too because I watched it turn round at the end of its run and go back the way it had come.

There were several out there again today having a go at seeing what they could find. They seem to be putting a lot of effort into working that stretch of indisputably-French water over there and not heading for a confrontation with the Jersey authorities right now.

But like most people, I’m taking rather a vicarious pleasure in thinking about what they might do next.

trawlers baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt’s not just in the Baie de Granville where the fishing boats are working right now.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that over the last few weeks we’ve seen them hard at work in the Baie de Mont St Michel too. There are two fishing boats that we can see quite clearly in this photo but if we peer into the gloom and haze in the background we can see several more out there over by the Brittany coast.

Having watched them for a few minutes I pushed off along the path on the other side of the headland to go and have a look at what was happening in the chantier navale and we have seen that it’s pretty quiet in there this afternoon, so I carried on home for my hot coffee

spirit of conrad charles marie aztec lady port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallOn the way back I paused for a moment to have a look to see if Aztec Lady was still in here at her berth.

Sure enough, she’s over there dead ahead doubled up to Anakena who also spend a considerable amount of time in the chantier navale just now. Immediately to their left draped in some kind of canvas is Charles Marie and to her left, sideways on is the other big yacht that was in there for a while.

To her left is Spirit of Conrad, the yacht on which I went down the coast of Brittany last summer. I wonder where she will be going this year, if she will be going anywhere at all with all of this virus going around.

Back here I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. The Welsh Parliament was under attack last night from some kind of aerial creature. We formed some kind of group, me and a few other people too to form it and we defended our corner of the coastline and sank a few of these missile things and so on, and we had a party to celebrate what we were doing but someone pointed that there was another one on its way. It seemed that we hadn’t got to the root of the problem at all and killing something of course means that a few others will arise in its place. I was thinking that this was pretty strange, something like a South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive bus to be involved in a fight like this here in North Wales on the coast

Later on there was some kind of war game going on involving ships but I don’t remember too much of it. Later on I was talking to one of the guys, someone whom I knew in Stoke on Trent. he was telling me about a car he had for sale and I was trying to bu it from him but he wouldn’t tell me how much. It was a MkV Cortina. We had this back-and-to for about half an hour and he even brought his old man to have a play at this game “well he wants to buy my car but I don’t know if I want to sell it yet. What’s he asking for it? What’s he offering?” and so on. Then we came to the headlines “the car had run for the 1st time in 30 years” so I thought “it’s not going to be a road-going car but I’ll go and see it”. The car was kept in a fridge and I looked inside. It was a Vauxhall Carlton, the old type, B-registered 1984. I tried to fight my way in to the fridge to get to it but found that all the doors had been locked and the key had been left inside, and the parking light was on. It was an estate. I thought “how the hell am I going to get in here? I could scramble through and it won’t have been the first time that that I’d done that but for some reason I was feeling all claustrophobic and didn’t really fancy the idea of getting inside the fridge and crawling all over everything like that in order to get this car to start.

There were other things that I needed to do but regrettably, I crashed out yet again and ended up missing my guitar practice as a result and no-one was more dismayed than me.

falafel chips salad place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallLater on I went for tea. falafel, chips and salad. All of it was made with my own fair hands.

The falafel was some of the stuff that came from LIDL and I do have to say that it was the nicest that I’ve ever had in France. The chips were cut from potatoes and “fried” in the microwave fryer that my niece Rachel let me have when I was in Canada in 2019.

The microwave fryer isn’t as efficient as it was in her microwave. Mine is less powerful so it takes much longer to work. And in any case it’s too small so I have to take out the rotating plate and put an upturned ramekin dish over the top of the rotator and drop the fryer on that.

It’s not ideal, but at least it works on the odd occasion when I need it.

chocolate sponge chocolate sauce place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut as for the pudding, what can I say?

It was absolutely delicious, to such an extent that I was amazed. The chocolate sponge is the lightest that I have ever tasted and the chocolate sauce worked out really well. I shall be making much more of this, and on a regular basis too if only I could prevent the sponge from being so crumbly. I wish that I knew what the secret was.

So having done all that, and reasonably early too, I think that I’m going to go to bed. An early night will do me good after all of my efforts just now. Anyone would think that after the weekend I would have had more than enough sleep just recently, but it doesn’t seem like it.

Sunday 9th May 2021 – IT REALLY SEEMS …

yachts kayaks baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… as if the warm weather has arrived this weekend, and it brought out the people in their hordes.

You can see a fleet of kayaks at the bottom of the photo and the flotillas of yachts out there by the Ile de Chausey. That was just a small part of what was going on this afternoon.

What has happened is that, as you can see, there’s a really heavy, grey overcast sky with 10/10ths cloud and a reasonable amount of wind, but it wasn’t cold at all. In fact, it was rather warm, and that was what made me think that perhaps, at long last, we might be moving into summer after the coldest and windiest winter that I’ve ever had in Normandy.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd although, as I said, there wasn’t as much wind today as there has been in the past, we are still having these heavy rolling seas sending the waves smashing into the sea wall.

But anyway, we’ll leave that for the moment. After my ridiculous lie-in yesterday, today’s lie-in was a much more reasonable and realistic 10:30. and after the medication, first thing that I did was to give the sourdough dough its second kneading and shaped it to put into its mould.

The second task was to make a load of normal dough made with regular yeast, 500 grammes-worth of flour with a pile of sunflower seeds and a vitamin C and magnesium tablet, mixed it all up and left it on one side to rise for a couple of hours.

After I’d had my porridge and toast for brunch, I started to knead the dough that I’d taken out earlier from the freezer, and put that on one side. I came back in here to start to listen to the dictaphone but I didn’t get very far before it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as usual, the first thing to do was to go down to the wall at the end of the car park and look over the top down onto the beach below.

A little earlier I already mentioned the fact that the weather seems to be slowly improving. And that accounts for the fact that despite the high tide and the reduced amount of beach available, there were quite a few people wandering around down there making the most of the first really warm May Day.

And while I was watching, one of my neighbours turned up and parked her car, almost squidging me in the process. We had a little chat and then I pushed off on my travels along the footpath.

kayaks baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWe’ve already seen a photo of the fleet of kayaks just offshore in the Baie de Granville.

Here they all are, having paddled all the way around from the Navigational and Sailing School round on the other side of the headland, so hats off to them. It can’t have been an easy trip in this sea.

It must have been really cold in there too because the water can’t have warmed up yet, but I hope that they haven’t lit any fires in their canoes. Because, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, you can’t have your kayak and heat it.

By now the hordes of people milling around, many without masks despite the Prefectorial Order for masks to be worn until the end of the month, were making life uncomfortable on the path.

yachts cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd if you think that things were quite busy today out in the Baie de Granville on the north side of the headland, then it wasn’t any less hectic on the southern side of the headland in the Baie de Mont St Michel.

There were more kayakers out there, out of shot closer to the shore, but there were also plenty of yachts sailing around, accompanied by a cabin cruiser or two and the odd pleasure boat or so. I’d seen them at a distance as I was walking along the footpath so I crossed the car park down to the end of the headland for a closer look.

And talking of a closer look, you can see if you look closely down at the bottom left of the photo the nappe of silt that’s coming out of the harbour. We’ve seen a few good ones of those just recently, but usually going into the harbour as soon as the harbour gate is open.

waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnother thing that I had seen while I was walking across the car park was the waves breaking on the sea wall of the outer harbour. So having watched the boats for a while out there in the bay, I walked down the path towards the harbour for a closer look.

There wasn’t a great deal of wind this afternoon but as I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … there can be a storm anywhere out there between the American mainland and here and it will roll in to the sea wall down there because there is no land mass or anything else in between to stop them.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we have seen much more powerful waves than this on occasion but this isn’t too bad at all considering how calm it is here for the moment.

kids climbing waves on sea wall port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving taken a photo or two from my usual viewpoint I carried on walking down the path but stopped again because my eye had caught something going on down there that I hadn’t seen before.

There were some kids walking along the harbour wall and suddenly they started to climb down the ladder that leads down to the beach below. And I’ve no idea why they would choose to go down there. We’ve seen that ladder used by kids before but usually when they were climbing up them after having jumped into the sea at high tide from the sea wall.

With them not doing very much, with the ladder I carried on. There was no change of occupancy in the chantier navale today – just the little fishing boat in there now.

aeroplane 35ma pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was walking around the top of the cliffs I was overflown yet again by another aeroplane that had probably taken off from the airport at Donville les Bains.

Once more, it’s an aeroplane that doesn’t carry a registration number within the series of numbers to which I have access so I can’t tell you too much about it. It’s not recorded at the airport at Donville les Bains as having filed a flight plan either.

So with nothing else going on I headed for home and my hot coffee, and then I had plenty of work to do because I was having a cook-in this afternoon. I’ve already mentioned the bread but there were other things that I had to do too.

On of the things that I was going to make as an extra for dessert for the coming week is some chocolate brownie cake. The idea is that I’ll have a try at making some chocolate sauce to go with it.

I made a nice vegan brownie mix and spread it out in a large tray and then stuck it in the oven. While it was baking, I kneaded the pizza dough again, rolled it out and put it in the pizza tray to rise again.

Before I’d started on the brownie mix I’d kneaded the bread dough that I had made earlier, shaped it and put it into the mould. And when the brownie mix was cooked (which took a lot longer than I expected) the normal bread and the sourdough loaf went into the oven.

While that lot was cooking I assembled the pizza and when the bread was cooked the pizza went into the oven to cook.

vegan pizza home made bread sourdough fruit bread chocolate brownie place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHere are the finished products, all looking beautiful except the brownie mix. It was difficult to take out of the tray and when I cut it in half, spread the halves with jam and stuck them together in a sandwich, the top layer crumbled into about 6 pieces.

That was a disappointment but it’s happened every time I’ve made one. I wish I knew how to avoid it, but it won’t make a great deal of difference because it’s all going to be eaten anyway. It will taste delicious too, and I ought to know because there were plenty of bits left clinging to the baking dish and I had to sample them before I did the washing up.

The pizza was delicious too, and as for the bread and the sourdough fruit bread, I’ll tell you all about them tomorrow.

Eventually I caught up with the dictaphone note of my voyage during the night. I’ve already forgotten a load of this dream but there was a huge group of us and we were all kinds of ages. One of the girls was aged 8. It ended up with all of us being at some kind of museum and I ended up in a room with this girl, with her looking at all of the desks and seeing where they had come from because it was an office museum with some from Barclays Bank in Middlewich and one or two other places. I noticed that the floors had all been brought from various places too and had names inscribed on it “so-and-so from Crewe”, all of this. I looked around and couldn’t see this girl so I shouted her. She was in the adjacent storeroom washing her hands or something. I went in to see her and the floor was just the same there so I asked her about the floor in the other room – had she seen it? She said “yes” but we went back in the other room.

There were a few girls who were hanging around together and they used to come over to me for a chat and I knew them all quite well. One of them was going up to University. She’d bought herself a car, or her parents had bought her a car. They’d paid $3200 for it and she was really pleased with it. Then some issue came up with her best friend and we never really knew what they were. I’d heard a few rumours about this and that but I’d decided not to say anything because I didn’t want to be accused of stirring the pot any. One day this girl came up to me. We had a lengthy discussion with a couple of other people about bank accounts, how when you have money you have to be very careful how you spend it. Some people go mad when they have credit cards and buy loads of stuff that they don’t really need. She mentioned the name of the older sister of this friend who had this huge credit card debt and doesn’t know how to cope with it. As the conversation developed she started to talk about her best friend who had been up to 1 or 2 little tricks and “do you know what?” she said. “She’s written off my car and she’s had the nerve to offer her own car to my former boyfriend for $800 so she can get some money”. She was going on and on about this so I let her carry on and I had a little laugh because her mother was all prim and proper and “how is mother going to cope now with 2 daughters, 1 of whom is deep in debt and the other who has all these problems about this car?”. One thing led to another and I ended up round at this girl’s house. She was talking to her mother and turned to her mother to say “you’ll never guess who this is” and mentioned my name but it wasn’t my name – whatever name she used and she introduced me. She asked “what are you doing around here with my daughter?”. The daughter put her arm around me and said “actually mum, I don’t want to annoy you or anything but we are actually going out with each other”. Her mother had a little laugh and a smile about it and I don’t think … I dunno

Later still I was at work and I had the car and did the jobs that came up first in the morning then nipped out to see my niece’s daughter who was in Brussels. I spent a lot of time talking to her to such a point that I was worried about being late and they’d notice my absence at work so I went back. This went on for a period of a couple of weeks while she was here and it started to get later and later. One one occasion I was lying on a bed talking to a couple of girls and I actually started to fall asleep. I thought “this isn’t any good at all” so I had to get dressed. For some unknown reason I had my t-shirt off. It took me a while to work out which way round my t-shirt would go and I had to find my socks. I was talking to her about the insurance on Strider, how it has to be paid although I hadn’t driven it for so long and I still had to pay for it. I eventually got into my car and drove off, and had to go and fetch fuel. I stopped at the Jet petrol station. I had a machine in the back of my car that was from another garage where the petrol was so much cheaper. I could swap them over and have the fuel cheap. I was busy taking this out of the boot and programming it and one of my former colleagues turned up. he mumbled something about they needed something back at the office and he had to repeat it 3 or 4 times before I could get the message. It was some long planks that were being used to weigh down a pile of bricks. I said “ohh they want half a dozen of these back at the office”. he replied “God, yes, that would be a good idea” so I didn’t really have much of a clue about what we were talking about.

Somewhere in all of this, this mountain pass that figures quite frequently came up in that I was walking somewhere with someone and we had to go a reasonably long way. I pointed to the mountain and said “it’s the other side of that mountain”. She said “God it looks miles away”. I replied “no it’s not at all”. I explained to her the route that we would take and told her about the mountain pass and it’s fairly difficult but it’s OK if you keep your head and so on. But that’s appearing quite regularly in my voyages, this mountain pass, and I wonder why.

There was much more to all of this too but as you are probably eating your meal I’ll spare you the gory details.

So right now I’m off to bed ready for tomorrow. And a big “hello” to Geoff, someone from one of my other lives who has found his way here just recently. It’s good to catch up with old friends.

Thursday 3rd December 2020 – I DIDN’T …

… go to the shops today.

On looking out of the window I noticed that it was absolutely chucking it down and there was a violent wind bending all the branches of the trees. It’s not as if there’s anything particular that I need today, so I’ll wait until tomorrow and try again.

Another thing that I didn’t do today was to beat the third alarm. When it went off, I was still in bed. Mind you, I was up and about within seconds so it didn’t make a great deal of difference either.

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWith it being shopping day (even though it ended up not so being) I had a shower, and then while you admire a couple of photos of tonight’s storm, I’ll attack the dictaphone.

A gang of thieves had raided a large shop and had escaped with an enormous amount of money in the run-up to Christmas. They decided that they would go on and do it again thinking that there would be more money in it now and they would have learnt a lot from their previous escapade. So that was what they did. But what was lacking this time was a suitable watch-out, a suitable dedication and a certain amount of ruthlessness. They obviously thought that they knew it all before and that they knew it all but whereas the authorities had learnt quite a lot, these people hadn’t. The person who was actually the security guard was actually one of the criminals. He faked the hold-up while someone fired a shotgun blast that blew out one of the windows in a door and the guard let everyone in. They started rampaging through the store, going through the safe but there was just one guy working. The others were larkign around a bit. There was no-one in the foyer of the place keeping an eye on who was coming up and down in the lift which was still working. Of course the Police appeared pretty quickly because they were all clued up by this before the gang had even finished loading up the stuff from the 2nd safe. It was the look on the guy’s face when everyone was urging on the safecracker, when he got everything out of the 1st safe and they said “there’s another safe to go now”. You should see the look on his face because he’s the only one working. The others were just larking around when speed was the essence. if they had taken what they had out of the 1st safe and disappeared they might have made it. As it was there was a running battle all the way down this street with the police and these gangsters. They’d set the whole street on fire in trying to make away their escape in the confusion. But it hadn’t quite worked like that and they were trapped by the flames. And I awoke in a night sweat

storm waves plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallA little later I was staying in a house with a family. A house very similar to Davenport Avenue. There was a question about this mattress. We had to put it out of the way and I had assured everyone that it would go somewhere in a cupboard so I tried to push it into a cupboard but after a while trying, it wouldn’t go so I said in the end “what would it matter if it went into the attic?” They all agreed to put it into the attic so I climbed into the attic ready for them to pass it to me. But it looked far too long to go into the attic and had to be folded in half. I wasn’t sure whether it would fit. We needed it to be in the box to keep the dust away from it and that was going to be even more difficult. It was going to turn out to be one of these Chinese puzzle things . Again I awoke in a sweat. There were a few other things we could get into the attic afterwards as well if we persevered which would make the place look a lot better anyway

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

Having typed all of that I spent the morning dealing with the arrears of my journey to Central Europe. There was a break for my hot chocolate and chocolate cake and I do have to say that despite how it looks, my chocolate cake is delicious. And the icing, once it had set, was perfect too.

That recipe will be used again, certainly, but with individual cake cases to better manage the dough mixture.

kiwi kefir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAfter lunch I had the kefir to attend to as stocks are getting low right now. The earliest batch of kiwis are now super-ripe so they were whizzed up into a pulp, the juice was extraced and the remainder squashed to extract the final drops.

The kefir that had been brewing was now passed through the filter with the kiwi pulp in so that it would rinse more liquid through into the juice in the big jug while I made up another batch of kefir

The kefir and kiwi juice in the big jug were all mixed together and then filtered through the very fine mesh filter into the bottles where it will ferment for a few days

mushroom pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBy now, believe it or not, it was time to go out for my afternoon walk.

And so walk I did seeing as the rain had stopped for the moment. But the weather had certainly brought out the mushrooms. They were sprouting everywhere and were quite an impressive size. This one must have been about three inches in diameter.

Many people have asked me if I know whether these mushrooms are edible or not. I usually reply that I don’t know, but there is a test that works. All you do is just before you go to bed, take a small piece, cook it and eat it. If you wake up next morning then you know that it’s perfectly safe to eat.

It’s infallible

cap frehel brittany coast Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallStrangely, even though the weather was heavily overcast and it was threatening rain, there was a really good view down the Brittany coast.

If you look closely at this photograph you’ll not only see the lighthouse at Cap Fréhel but also the headland behind it that it is protecting. And while seeing the lighthouse is not an everyday occurrence, seeing the land is even less so.

The gap in the land mass that you will notice just to the right of centre, that’s the bay with Saint-Cast-le-Guildo at the bottom – the little port where we stayed one night in early summer when we were out aboard wem>Spirit of Conrad.

north coast of Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe view in the other direction from where I was standing is pretty impressive too despite the weather.

from left to right, we have

  • Coudeville-sur-Mer on the extreme left
  • The “Route Blanche” caravan site
  • The large white building which I think is the grandstand for the racecourse
  • the airport buildings
  • Bréville church on the skyline
  • L’Oasis camp site
  • the start of Donville les Bains just disappearing behind the hedge


ceres 2 yacht chausiais joly france port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there, I pushed off around the headland and down the path on the other side to see what was happening.

Chausiais and Joly France were over there at the ferry terminal of course. And there’s a sign of things to come in the chantier navale this afternoon. For some unknown reason they have erected a tarpaulin tent over the rear of Ceres II as if there’s some kind of important work like repainting going on underneath it (although it’s rather too cold and damp for painting right now, I would have thought).

It looks as if we might have to wait for a few days to find out. But could this be a sign that at long last she might be going on her way very soon?

normandy trader port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd while we’re on the subject of comings and goings in the port … “well, one of us is” – ed … here’s someone who has come into port this morning and, presumably waiting for the gates to open so she can go out again.

Yes, we’ve been honoured with the presence of Normandy Trader over there being loaded up ready for departure. And moored the correct way round too, not like Thora yesterday, although it’s not so crucial which way round she moors as her accommodation is at the rear.

With that much excitement going on, I was overwhelmed so I had to come on home for a mug of nice hot coffee to warm myself up.

There was the usual hour on the guitars and then I went for tea. I fancied a vegan pie but to my surprise I’ve run out completely of main-course pies. I had one of my vindaloo curries that I made a few weeks ago instead, followed by apple pie.

So tomorrow, I can see that I’ll have a job to do – like bake a pie. I really fancied one today too so I’ll have to make one tomorrow instead, I reckon.

This evening I almost came within an ace of not going out for my runs. It was teeming down with rain and there was a howling gale blowing.

But having missed so many, I gritted my teeth (well, it was freezing) and set off.

christmas lights mairie cours jonville Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRunning was pretty difficult and I didn’t even consider the path underneath the walls. That’s waterlogged at the best of times so heaven alone knows what it would be like right now. I remained on the Rue du Nord and round to the top of the Escalier du Moulin a Vent

That’s possibly one of the highest part of the walls at this end and you can see all the way out across town. And down into the Cours Jonville and the Mairie – the Town Hall – which is now all decorated in blue Christmas lights.

There’s a hint of decoration in the trees opposite the Mairie too. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw the electricians stringing up the lights in the trees down there a while ago.

escalier du moulin a vent viewpoint place marechal foch Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy usual viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch is down there.

You’ll see the metal fence, and if you look below it you’ll see what looks like a row of small arches. I’m usually tucked in the corner on the far right of those arches when I’m taking my photos. You can see the difference in height between the two positions. It’s probably about 30 feet to right down there.

And that was where I went for my photos of the storm that you have seen, and then I ran off across the Square Maurice Marland and straight home. No detour around the walls in this weather.

So if the weather is better, it’ll be shopping tomorrow. I shan’t be going if it’s still like this though. I was soaked to the skin and frozen to the marrow. Never mind my woolly hat – it’ll be gloves tomorrow if I go out.

Wednesday 2nd December 2020 – THIS IS MY …

failed chocolate cake apple pie apple turnover Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… first culinary disaster for quite some time.

The apple pie and apple turnover that were in the fridge awaiting baking have turned out quite well but the chocolate layer cake has, unfortunately, flopped. And I do mean “flopped”.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that the last time I made a chocolate cake with this vegan brownie mix recipe, it was far too thick, took about three times longer to cook, and then was totally crisp on the outside and very soft in the middle.

And so today I had a cunning plan. I cooked it in a long, wide dish so that it was quite shallow and thus would cook quickly, then I cut it in half, spread one surface of each half with strawberry jam; and then stuck them together. And in the meantime I had a go at making some icing..

But what happened was that the cake collapsed, rather like the edge of a cliff crumbling off, and the icing ended up being too liquidy. For the icing, it was possible that the cake hadn’t cooed down enough and caused the icing to melt, and that also might be part (but not all) of the reasons why the cake collapsed.

On the other hand, it could simply be that the mixture isn’t intended for this kind of construction. I’ll have to go to a Plan B which involves making individual little cakes in their own cake moulds. I have a batch of those.

But they say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And despite how it looks, the sample that I tried tasted 100 times better than the previous one. I seem to have the quantities correct this time and used the correct oil.

So plan B it will be next time, with this same mix, and see where we go from there.

And the proof of the pudding about my sleeping is also in the eating because this morning I was up and about (well, sort-of-ish anyway) before the third alarm, and that’s despite not being in bed until well after 01:00.

After the medication, I turned my attention to what went on last night while I was asleep. I remember waking up saying that I received a notice to quit the defensive wall as I was being moved out of my position because some attacking football team wanted to install a defensive wall. However I couldn’t understand what this was to do with as I don’t recall anything at all. There was some vague chat about baking and so on and me being in a similar situation to which I am now but that’s about it. I don’t know where this footballing thing came from.

And the more that I look at it, the less I understand about what I was actually discussing during the night. But that’s the one thing about these little rambles. Very often they make no sense whatsoever and it’s always interesting to try to work out what (if anything) was going on in my head.

While I was at it, I transcribed the mountain of arrears that had built up over the last few days. I’ll try to put those on line sometime this week too.

And then the cookery session which took up almost all the rest of the morning and I didn’t even have my mid-morning break which was a shame. The colza oil was much better and lighter than the olive oil and I used less cocoa because mine is too sweet. As well as that, I put a few handfuls of desiccated coconut in there too – I’m a big fan of coconut as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

Anyway, we’ll have a formal tasting session tomorrow when I come back from the shops, and I’m sure that I won’t be disappointed.

After lunch I’ve been working on the arrears of the journey to Central Europe and at least I made some progress so I can’t complain too much.

fishing boat english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut then of course it was time to go out for my afternoon walk. And several neighbours of mine were there today too and I couldn’t really get away from them for quite a while.

But eventually I managed to extricate myself and go over to the wall to look out across the sea. And there was a fishing boat coming back into port. It’s that time of day again, obviously.

Apart from my neighbours, there weren’t all that many other people out there. I walked on to the headland and then seeing as there was no-one else about I ran down along the path on top of the cliffs overlooking the port.

fishing boats coming into port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was nothing new happening in the chantier navale. Still the same two boats and that was that.

And so I turned my attention to what was going on down at the Fish Processing Plant. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when they dredged the harbour a few years ago they dredged a little channel up by the wharf at the fish processing plant so that the smaller craft can come into port even when the tide is quite low.

And sure enough, down there right now it must just be the right moment because there’s a queue of them. They have been waiting outside the harbour but as I watched, they started up and headed in to unload their catches.

thora port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere’s another visitor in port right now too and if you can peer through the gloom (because it was dark, overcast and misty) you can see Thora down there at the quayside underneath the loading crane.

She must have nipped in on the previous tide and hadn’t quite made it out again. But what I find intriguing is that if you compare this photo with all of the others that I’ve taken of her, you’ll find that she’s turned round.

Both she and her friend Normandy Trader tied up port-on and I’ve never seen them do any other in that loading bay, until today. But why it’s unusual with Thora is that she has her superstructure offset to one side – the starboard side – so moored as she is, they have to load and unload over the superstructure.

And that will be rather unfortunate if the load slips in the cradle as it’s up in the air.

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving admired Thora for a while I turned tail and headed for home.

When I’d set out, the roofers were still out there on the roof so I’d made up my mind to photograph them. But in the time that it had taken me to do my lap around the headland they’d all cleared off and gone home. And as for me, I cleared off home too and made a nice hot coffee.

This evening I had my usual hour on the guitars. On the bass I just had a play around and a sing-along. On the acoustic I tried to play a lead solo to “Like a Hurricane”. That might sound adventurous but at the moment all I’m doing is, I suppose to pluck the strings individually while I’m holding down the chords.

Still, it’s progress from a while ago.

Tea was taco rolls and more apple pie, which really is delicious, I have to say. In fact it really was a good tea tonight.

trawler place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallHaving had a little chat with my friend who is now well on the road to recovery I went out for my evening runs. And I was the only person out there tonight which is no surprise because it was raining.

And on my own I might have been on land, but there was some kind of activity out at sea. When I finished the first leg of my run I stopped at the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord and looked out to sea where I could see what looked to be a fishing vessel on its way around the headland towards port.

It’s not really possible to take much of a distance photo with a f1.8 50mm lens so it’s not come out with very much and I had to have three or four goes to get that one.

christmas lights place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallFrom there I ran on down the Rue du Nord towards the footpath underneath the walls, but ended up having to go back and retrace my steps.

As I’d gone past one of the little alleys I’d glanced down and seen that at last they’ve illuminated the Christmas lights in the Place Cambernon. It makes the place look really pretty, but it’s a shame that with the lockdown there was no-one else but me there to see it.

Back on the footpath I ran all the way down to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch, but there was nothing going on there as you might expect.

christmas lights rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallBut with the Christmas lights being illuminated in the Place Cambernon, it’s odds-on that they will be illuminated elsewhere too.

Like down in the Rue Paul Poirier, for example. And I was right too. They’d switched them on too and from up here on th path just underneath the walls there’s a good view all the way down the street. One of these days I’m going to have to go for a good walk all around the town with the camera late at night and see what’s going on.

But that’s not going to be any time soon. With the lockdown we aren’t allowed to stray too far from home except for shopping and that isn’t done after dark of course. So we’ll have to see.

trawlers port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route took me across the Square Maurice Marland where I had a good run, and then up the ramp and through the gate at the far end up onto the walls.

And the fishing boat that we saw earlier? She’s now just about coming into port and at the same time there was another one making ready to leave, so we were treated to yet another nautical danse macabre as they waltzed around each other trying to avoid a tragedy.

So with no collisions or shipwrecks and nothing else to provide some entertainment this evening, I wandered off around the walls on my way home.

christmas lights place cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallNot before I’d had another look at the lights in the Place Cambernon.

By now they were blue so they must have some kind of time controller there. It’ll brighten up the place and make it look very Christmassy, but I wish that they would refresh the decorations instead of using the same ones every year. Why can’t they swap with neighbouring towns? That’s what I want to know.

So I finished my walk and ran on the final leg home to write up my notes and then go to bed.

Shopping tomorrow so I need to be on form. After all there’s plenty to do and not enough time. But at least it was a better day today. Apart from the cake of course.

Monday 23rd November 2020 – REGULAR READERS …

police interaction bad parking boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… of this rubbish will recall that one of the things that I moan on about from time to time is the question of bad parking.

In the Boulevard Vaufleury round about school chucking-out time it’s particularly bad as people would rather block off the street and prevent the school buses and the service buses passing rather than make their precious little darlings walk an extra 20 metres to the large free car par park just across the road.

And here today is the local police force giving a “Hail Columbia” on the loud hailer to two women (because they are both women) parked opposite each other, the white one with all four wheels on the road and the black one with two wheels on the pavement, combining to block the entire street and one of the two pavements to just about everyone who might be going past.

And that’s good news as far as I am concerned.

What else that is good news is the fact that when the third alarm went off this morning I was already in the kitchen sorting out my tablets. And that’s a long time since that has happened.

After having had the medication I cracked on with this week’s radio programme. And by the time I stopped for lunch it was all done, completed and ready to go. And apart from the fact that I stopped for my hot chocolate and slice of chocolate cake (which isn’t half as bad as I was expecting it to be) I would have finished it earlier had there not been a power cut round about 09:30 which meant that I lost whatever work I hadn’t saved since I’d backed it up a short while earlier.

In actual fact, it’s all worked out really well and it’s certainly one of the better ones that I’ve done. Unfortunately, I missed out the fact that I should have been doing a live concert, so I’ll have to deal with that probably later on this week.

As for my chocolate cake, the bottom is rather burnt and the rest of the outside is overcooked whereas the centre is rather heavy and slightly undercooked. That implies that the oven was too warm but the cooking time was not long enough. It’s not as much of a disaster as I was thinking and it’s hopeful for the future.

After lunch, I had a listen to the programme that I’d recorded this morning ans also to the live concert that I had prepared a few weeks ago for this weekend. And it seems that in the past I had already edited the part that I felt needed attention so I could relax.

While that was going on, I had a listen to the dictaphone. to see where I’d been during the night.

I was with a lady-friend of my acquaintance last night. We were a couple. Something had happened about a letter – there was an important letter to give to me and even though I wasn’t there she hadn’t realised about it so she said that she would take it. I ended up being back at home again on my own first and I had gone to the bathroom. I’d had a load of issue about closing the door to the bathroom but in the end I managed to do it. Just then she turned up and said “I have this important letter for you”. I was trying hard to pretend that I didn’t know that she had it. I said “ohh right”. She said “I’ll throw it over the top of the door”. I said “no, I’ll be out in a minute. You hang on to it”. So I went to sit on the toilet and she went into the kitchen. There was only a wire netting fence between the two so that you could see. She was getting out this envelope and then she got some cucumbers and cut them in half lengthways so that they were very long and thin and started scoring them to get them into some kind of cut, maybe about 10 to the inch, something like that all the way down this cucumber and then bent the skins inwards then she could trim all of the cucumber off at one go and have all of these half-slices at one go. Some other girl came along into the kitchen, picked up another half of a cucumber and started to do the same thing so I wondered what on earth was going on here now with this other girl. What’s she doing here?

Later on I was on a tram in New York last night travelling up Edleston Road in Crewe when a couple of ticket inspectors climbed aboard to check tickets. I suddenly realised that I’d forgotten to buy a ticket. I had a search around in my pockets and found a ticket that I had used a couple of days previously so when the ticket inspector came to me I handed her the ticket. She had 2 or 3 tickets in her hand at the same time so she checked them, handed the 2 back to the other 2 people and said “I’ll be back in a minute” and wandered off up the tram. Just at that moment the tram reached the top of Edleston Road and of course I was planning to go off down Nantwich Road anyway so I took the opportunity to nip out at that tram stop and walk off down Nantwich Road and tried to think about how the tram system in New York worked – I certainly hadn’t put any of my tickets through any machines or anything like that while I’d been on the trams or so on. And then thinking that maybe it’s probably not a good idea to get a tram back home but to walk. At least it would save me going out for a walk later on at night. I’d have got my exercise in simply by walking home from Nantwich Road.

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

roofing college malraux place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallRound about the normal time I went out for my afternoon walk around the headland.

As you can see from the photo they have made a start on replacing the slates on the roof, and that’s not something that I would fancy doing doing in this kind of weather. It was cold and windy although, admittedly, not as windy as it has been.

One thing that I ought to mention about the roofing task is that a couple of weeks ago while I was in Leuven one of the workmen fell from the roof and was seriously injured. They actually had the helicopter air ambulance in the car park here to take the injured party to hospital.

cloud formation ile de chausey english channel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as I’ve already mentioned the weather just now, I went over to the sea wall to look out to sea in order to see what might be going on out to sea.

There were no boats out there at sea today which was a shame, but what had caught my eye was the beautiful cloud formation out there in the centre of the photograph just beyond and to the left of the Ile de Chausey. There have been quite a few good ones just recently, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

No brats out there today orienteering so I pushed on round to then end of the headland to see if there is anything going on round there too, but there was disappointment there too. I’ve never known it to be so quiet.

ceres 2 portable boat lift chantier navale port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallMind you, there was something going on at the chantier navale as I was to discover when I arrived at the viewpoint overlooking the port.

While there was no change in the actual occupancy of the chantier navale but as we can see, the mobile boat lift has now moved from its usual position over the docking area to a position right by Ceres II as if it’s about to pick up the little boat and drop her into the water at the next high tide.

Having spent a few minutes watching the excitement in the Boulevard Vaufleury with the Police interaction, I came on home because there were things to do.

The sourdough was bubbling away quite nicely so I cleared all of the workplace, cleaned the worktop and started to make some sourdough dough. And it’s a real time-consuming process too – much more than I was expecting and the standing time is quite lengthy too.

While I was at it, I prepared the next batch of kefir.

5 of my batch of clementines were peeled, put in the whizzer and slightly whizzed round to extract the juice. This was filtered through into the large jug and the pulp was put back into the whizzer, whizzed for a good five minutes and filtered through again.

clementine kefir Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThe kefir was then filtered through the filters and the clementine pulp into the jug and then it was stirred round to mix together. I’d left an inch or two of liquid in my big pot with the kefir starter in, and prepared a new batch with sugar, lemon slices and a dried fig and, or course, a couple of litres of water.

The clementine/orange mix was then filtered through the fine mesh filter into the bottles and that will now be left to ferment for a few days until it’s ready for use.

With having used some nice, juicy clementines, I’m intrigues to see how it’s all going to turn out. The big idea of course is to use whatever fruit is handy and in season to make your kefir.

The hour on the guitar was quite enjoyable too and I’m finding that my singing and playing the bass is improving, although I have to keep the bass lines much les complicated than I otherwise would and I can only let myself go during the solos. But at least it’s quite an improvement over where I was a few months ago. I just have to persevere.

Tea was a vegan burger with pasta and vegetables followed by a slice of my raspberry tart, which likewise hasn’t turned out too badly. The custard Filling worked particularly well.

st martin de brehal Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallOut on my walk tonight, I was all alone yet again so I could run as much as I wanted, which was not as much as I would like, but nevertheless …

It was a cold, clear, bright night with a good view all the way down the coast so when I stopped at the viewpoint at the Rue du Nord I took a photograph of all of the street lights on the promenade down at Saint Martin de Bréhal and further along the coast at Bréhal-Plage.

having dealt with that, I ran down to the footpath underneath the walls and then ran all the way round to the viewpoint overlooking the Place Marechal Foch.

rue paul poirier Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallThere was nothing going on at the Place Marechal Foch so I went over to see what was happening in the Rue Paul Poirier.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few days ago we saw that the Christmas lights had been installed down in the street and I was rather hoping that they might have been switched on by now. But that wasn’t to be the case. It seems that we’ll have to wait for that to happen, whenever that might be.

There was quite a strong headwind as I ran across the Square Maurice Marland and it was something of a struggle to fight against it. But I made it all the way to the end, despite giving the girl sitting on the wall in the dark quite a surprise.

victor hugo port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric HallContinuing along the medieval walls I heard a sound coming from the harbour as if there was an engine running somewhere.

It looks as if they are doing something with Victor Hugo. All of her lights are on and it seems that the engine was running too. What’s going on there is something that remains to be seen, but I do know that there are no plans to resume the ferry service to the Channel Islands in the near future.

From there I ended up at the Place du Parvis Notre Dame and from there I ran on home to write up my notes for the day.

Now that’s done, I have to knead my sourdough dough. It’s been standing for five hours instead of the recommended three but it still hasn’t doubled in size. Nevertheless I’ll give it a go and put it in its mould and leave it overnight ready for the morning when I’ll bung it in the oven.

In view of its lack of energy so far, I’m not convinced by the sourdough procedure. I’ll try three or four loaves but unless there’s something dramatic it’s an experiment with which I may not continue. At least the kefir and the cordial (this batch of orange cordial is delicious) are working.

But that’s for tomorrow. After I’ve kneaded the dough I’m going to bed. I have my Welsh letter tomorrow.