Tag Archives: vegan curry

Tuesday 29th March 2022 – WHILE YOU ADMIRE …

peccavi carteret trawlers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022… various photos of various sea-going craft that were out and about on the water this afternoon, I’ll tell you about my somewhat depressing day today.

It couldn’t have got off to a worse start this morning. When the alarm went off at 07:30 I leant out of bed and switched it off. And the next thing that I remember was when it went off again at 08:00.

Although I didn’t go back to sleep at that point, it was … errr … somewhat later when I finally arose from the dead.

After I had taken my medication I came back in here to sit on my chair where I … errr … fell asleep again for 20 minutes.

cabin cruisers baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Nevertheless, I awoke in time to prepare for my Welsh lesson today but there was actually no need because we didn’t finish the first lesson last week and we only just about reached the end of it today.

That’s because we spent much more time talking in this lesson and after my weekend course I was feeling much more confident about things. As a result the lesson passed quite well, to my surprise.

There was lunch as well and it seems that I might have miscalculated the bread issue. Even if there’s enough bread left for tomorrow, there won’t be enough for sandwiches on my journey tomorrow and I don’t want to take the bread out of the freezer just for a couple of slices.

What I’ll have to do is to make other plans for lunch on my travels.

ch933900 carteret jade 3 port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022After lunch, having fought off yet more sleep, I had a listen to where I’d been during the night.

I was a famous footballer in the days before I was famous and I’d fixed a car for one of my clubmates, a white 2000E with a black vinyl roof. I had it running really well and everyone came to see it. They stood there and listened to it. Someone noticed the ice in the radiator. I explained that it had only just gone in and it would melt but they all started making fun of this ice that was in there. Just then I was violently sick. This went on for 3 or 4 minutes that I was violently sick. Someone else who had a white 2000E came up, a footballer, and said “come with me. We’re going to the chemist. Apparently it was something to do with what I was eating. It was good for sport and energy but not for my general health. Someone went to fetch his car and beckoned to me get in it but I noticed that one of his rear lights was not working.

belle france joly france black pearl peccavi charlevy port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022I was then with a group of people last night in a house somewhere. One person was having trouble with his car so he set off and we followed him. He went down a hill, you could hear his car misfiring from here, and reached the bottom, pulled off and went round the roundabout underneath. It was obvious that he was still having problems. His car managed to go round the roundabout but he ended up in the wrong gear and tried to come back. He was struggling up the hill and an ancient Austin 7 went past. By the time we returned to the house the guy in the Austin 7 had checked the car over, adjusted the points and was giving him a few other suggestions about how he could improve the performance on his car like put a shaft in to connect the gear lever up to the flywheel, one or two other little things like that. They’d made a meal for me but first when I came in the offered me a cup of tea but I asked “what about everyone else for a cup of tea?”. I went to pour some tea for everyone and have mine with my meal in a couple of minutes.

omerta calean chant de sirenes trafalgar pierre de jade port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022I’d been to see people like those whom I knew from the Wirral and the like. We’d been talking about all meeting up in the States sometime at the end of the summer. Gradually there were just me and one of them left. We were on a petrol station. He was on his Harley Davidson, a gold one. I said goodbye to him and “see you in a couple of months”. He said “what?”. He’d plainly forgotten about this trip about which we’d been talking. I knew really that it wasn’t going to happen so I just thought that I’d mention the trip but without any real hope that it would actually come off. We were looking at all these electric motorcycles including tiny little 33cc ones. I was estimating how much time it would take me to return home on one of those, not because it could travel quickly but obviously it was so uncomfortable that you could never have a comfortable ride on a motorcycle so small as this. We had a look at the 50cc and 75cc ones but they didn’t seem to be all that much better. I set off home and as I walked out of this garage there was a blind spot for the security cameras where I could easily have picked up one of these motorbikes and walked off with it but I decided against it. I set off to walk home, interested to see how many hours it would take me so that I could compare it at some other time with one of these small motorbikes. I didn’t think that it would be any quicker because although you could move quicker, you’d need to spend more time recovering from the uncomfortable position.

Finally I’d been to see Morton playing but they’d been playing somewhere like Hamilton or Motherwell. I walked out of the ground down to the old A74 because the motorway hadn’t been built yet. I started to hitch a lift but there was no-one stopping for me to go home and I ended up in Stirling (don’t ask me how), walking through the town centre of Stirling at night. I thought that I’d better buy a few things to keep me going for the journey because it was a long way. I ended up talking to Louise, discussing changing part of a car. I showed her how to work a power bar backwards so that you didn’t have as long a swing but you could get more power on it. I was still a long way from home and working out how many hours it would take me to actually walk. I arrived at a figure of something like 80 hours if I didn’t have a lift.

person sitting on rock rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022That took me up to the time when I usually go out for my afternoon walk.

As usual, my first port of call was the wall at the end of the car park to see what was happening down there.

And there wasn’t all that much beach to be on this afternoon but there were rocks a-plenty and there was someone sitting down there like Piffy on … errr … a rock, acting as if she owned it.

There was quite a bit of mist out at sea again but as you have seen, there was plenty of maritime traffic today as well, with all of the fishing boats heading back to port this afternoon.

repointing medieval city walls place du marche au chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022However my mind was elsewhere this afternoon.

While I was looking down onto the beach, I could also see that there was plenty of activity going on this afternoon on the medieval city walls over at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

There were several people scrambling over the scaffolding, doing some pointing on the wall over there. And there’s plenty of it that needs to be done as well, but over the last couple of weeks since they seem to have made rapid progress.

They may well not be there for much longer, but then again I have said things like that before and been confounded.

storm ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022One thing is sure though, and that it that they may well not be there for much longer this afternoon.

Over at the Ile de Chausey is one of the most wicked storms that I’ve seen for quite a while and while, for a change, the wind isn’t all that strong, it won’t be too long before it’s upon us.

That’s really the cue for me to get a move on. I’ve no idea how long it’ll take for the storm to arrive but I don’t want to be caught out and about in it.

But at least I won’t be alone because there were several other people out and about. But I bet that they won’t be out and about for long.

people sitting on bench cabanon vauban pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Nevertheless, there will be several people who will end up being taken by surprise by the rainstorm, if it does actually arrive.

Down here on the bench by the cabanon vauban, you can’t see over the top of the cliff and beyond the lighthouse and so the couple sitting down here won’t have any idea of what’s lurking out at sea. And it’s not exactly a place from where you can run easily, with all of the steps and the muddy path.

But then I suppose that they can always shelter inside the cabanon if necessary.

Leaving them to it, I headed off down the path on top of the headland towards the port to see what was going on there.

chausiaise port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022You’ve seen all of the fishing boats lined up waiting, either to unload at the fish processing plant or for the gates to the inner harbour to open.

But I was more intrigued to see what was happening with Chausiaise. She’s currently moored at the pontoon where many of the fishing boats tie up so they aren’t going to be too pleased to see her there.

And she has her crane extended too so there’s something going on with her right now.

Back home I made myself a coffee and then made another start on the photos from the High Arctic in 2019.

Right now we’re anchored off Devon Island and I’m stuck – there’s a hill there by the old RCMP post at Dundas Harbour where there’s a memorial monument. And I know the name of this hill – it’s named after a sailor on Belcher’s expdition of 1852 but can I think of his name?

To try to think, I had a good spell on the guitar but it didn’t work and even now, as I’m about to go to bed I still can’t think of his name.

Tea was a left-over curry which was delicious and then I came in here to write up my notes. And I had an interruption as well. I seem to be in great demand just recently and I don’t understand why because it’s not the usual state of affairs as far as I am concerned.

But all of that is for another time. I’m going to have a quiet play on the guitar and then I’m off to bed. I have the doctor in the morning and the physiotherapist in the afternoon. And then on Thursday I’m off on my travels again.

There’s no holding me back right now.

Tuesday 8th March 2022 – EVEN THOUGH …

… I was in bed quite early last night, leaving my bed this morning was something else completely.

Apparently, when the alarm went off at 07:30, I turned straight over and went back to sleep. And when the alarm went off a second time at 08:00 ditto.

It was 08:12 when I awoke with a start and then it was a real struggle to leave the bed.

After the medication I eventually managed to concentrate on revising my Welsh and preparing for today’s lesson. And to my great surprise, it all passed off quite well and I’ve no idea why

Lunch was very enjoyable. In fact, it’s been very enjoyable for the last couple of days because having finished off a container of hummus, I started on the vegan cheese that I’d bought in Aachen a few weeks ago.

It’s a type that I used to buy quite regularly in Montlucon when I lived in the Auvergne and it’s the best vegan cheese that I’ve ever eaten. It really is delicious and I wish that I could find it here in Granville.

Having finished lunch, I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There was some kind of dream last night about me in Shavington. It was to do with the war and all of these bungalows, where we’d meet up and who we’d meet up with, and how one or two of these bungalows were going to be blown up and erased from the map but I can’t remember any more about it than this.

Carrying on from where I was earlier, the Russians have now invaded and caught hold of a load of people. They were actually dealing with them and quite a few people, they had just thrown into the sea including some pregnant women. 3 women had had miscarriages and the Russians were trying to work out which 3 women they were so that they could take them out og the water and presumably kill them. But these people were swimming around in there doing their best to confuse the issue, mix with all the others and not say who they were so that the Russians would have an extremely difficult job trying to locate them. Everyone was giving the hints on how to pass a Russian inspection etc.

Later on it was young boys being thrown into the sea. There was something about the Russians had put these boys in the sea but a few of them found a way to keep alive and keep afloat, and even plug themselves into the electrical circuit and succeeding in keeping out of the way of the Russians who were trying to capture them.

They were busy throwing things at these young boys in the water or the other boys were throwing things at them and there were things like food packets but instead of reaching the intended person for whom they were intended they became bogged down in the gravel at the side of this lake. This meant that no-one could capture them and some kind of heroes were cheering on the Russians at this instead of trying to help these boys which I thought was awful

Once again there was a group of us. Someone too k a throw-in with a pie. It came towards me and I was facing it so I did a beautiful overhead bicycle kick with this pie. When I turned round there was a woman with half a pie in her face. Of course I appealed for a catch to give her out. At first the referee wouldn’t give her out. He said that it was impossible for that to have happened but I was convinced that it was a good throw-in with this pie, that I’d done a perfect overhead kick and the evidence was there for everyone to see. They asked where the rest of the pie was. I had a look around and it was in the footwell of the car under where she was sitting, right on the floor right by her. In my mind there was absolutely no dispute or doubt whatsoever that it was my overhead kick of this pie that had hit her in the face. But the umpire and referee and everyone needed an awful lot of convincing before they would actually give her out which I thought was extremely strange because it was so obvious.

The first few of these voyages involving Russians was something of a surprise.

When I dictate these notes, I’m usually in some kind of sleep-mode, not really conscious of dictating them. However when I’m transcribing them, usually some kind of deep subconscious memory stirs and I vaguely remember something about them. But for those few, I have absolutely no recollection whatsoever of anything.

That took me up to walkies time. And on the way out of the building I bumped into one neighbour and then another.

beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022Finally I could extricate myself and wander over to the wall at the end of the car park and see what’s happening down there. and while there was quite a bit of beach this afternoon, there wasn’t anyone down there taking advantage of it.

That’s not really a surprise because apart from the fact that most people have either gone back to work or to school, the weather was a lot more wintry than it has been just recently, and quite windy too.

Not as cold as it might have been though. We’ve still not had a winter this year and I don’t know where this is going to end.

The tide was making some pretty patterns down there in the sand too. It’s one of those things that you have to capture just at the right moment and it looks as if I’ve found it today.

There was just a handful of people out here on the path this afternoon going for a walk so I had the place pretty much to myself, apart from a couple of errant dogs who presumably had owners somewhere in the vicinity.

bunker pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022There wasn’t anyone down on the bench by the cabanon vauban and there was nothing happening out at sea either.

But what caught my eye was the old bunker right out at the end of the headland above the lower path. It’s been a good while since we’ve had a look at that. It’s a shame that (for now, at any rate) it’s sealed off from inspection.

Regular readers of this rubbish will also recall that down there are also some concrete cable anchors. There was probably some kind of German radio mast there during World War II when this was part of the Atlantic Wall and these anchors were for the anchor cables.

chausiaise spirit of conrad charles marie la granvillaise le roc a la mauve 3 chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo March 2022This afternoon we seem to have had some kind of change of occupancy in the chantier naval.

Spirit of Conrad, la Granvillaise, Le Roc A La Mauve III and the unidentified yacht are still there, but where is Courrier des Iles?

It looks as if she’s gone back into the water since the last time we were round this way.

Over at the ferry terminal Joly France has now disappeared out on a sailing somewhere, but the little freighter Chausiaise is parked up there as well, presumably waiting for the tide.

Back here I had a coffee and then packed my suitcase for tomorrow’s trip to Leuven. I needed to fill up the coffee container that I take and sort out the mixed herbs. It’s annoying not having anywhere there where I can leave things.

The medication needed sorting out too. There’s plenty that’s redundant now but I still need to check what I have. I need at least three months’ supply on hand in case I’m whisked off on a mission somewhere.

And then of course I can file away the stuff that I don’t need, of which there is more than just a considerable amount.

Tea tonight was the left-over curry from yesterday and it was even more delicious than yesterday.

Now that I’ve finished my notes, I’m off to bed. It’s an 06:00 start tomorrow ready for my trip to Leuven. Not that I’m feeling much like it but I have to show willing.

Tuesday 11th January 2022 – I’M NOT SURE …

… how far I’ll reach with writing out these notes this evening. However, the fact is that I have an 04:00 start in the morning so it won’t be long before I go to bed.

It actually felt like a 04:00 start this morning because I had a very disturbed night yet again and that was quite depressing as well. I’d been on plenty of travels too, which explained a lot. I’d borrowed a friend’s Volkswagen convertible, an old Beetle convertible and I was driving around in it somewhere. At the same time I was having a chat on the internet so someone, while I was parked up, not while I was driving. Then I heard a voice bleed over like the used to do with CBs but there was another car that had driven up nearby. They said “well it’s so and so’s car, a BMW convertible”. It said a girl’s name – it might even have been Caroline. I thought that this was probably not the moment to be hanging around so I set off and drove away. I thought that perhaps maybe it’s going to be better if for the rest of the weekend I went out in a different vehicle because this was just a little unsettling, what was happening at the moment.

There was something else last night about a girl called Elodie who was in hospital and who had had a baby. I was driving down a road somewhere while all of this was going on and reading all of the announcements about this birth. But I can’t remember any more about this apart from the birth and me driving along this road in this town.

And then I’d been driving somewhere in Caliburn last night. There was a train from Crewe to Birmingham, another one from somewhere else to Birmingham and a third one. As I was going round a roundabout I hit a caravan that was being pulled by another vehicle. Caliburn was pretty badly damaged so I had to arrange for a breakdown etc to come along and clear away the mess. Someone asked me what had happened. I basically explained something so he took charge. By the time that everything had happened I couldn’t find the person with this caravan, I couldn’t find the person who had taken charge, I couldn’t find anything. I was standing there all on my own. I carried on to the airport and went off on holiday. When I came back I had a banana with me for some reason and went to the police station for something. I said “before I deal with whatever it was, I want to talk about an accident that took place a couple of days ago”. He asked “are you the guy who hit that gypsy’s caravan?”. I replied “yes, I think so, if that’s the incident”. he answered “you had some poor sucker to sign for everything and accept all the blame”. Of course, that was a surprise to me. He said “when everyone from this police station has gone we’ll have to go to Headquarters”. I replied “fair enough”. There were 2 people in the police station, 2 members of the public. When it reached 12:00 and closing time one of them went but the other one was having an enormous load of difficulty getting his things together and getting ready to go, whatever, giving a running commentary of what he was doing and what he couldn’t do, his bottle of water, his food etc. The policeman was becoming extremely impatient about getting him out of the building so that he could lock it up for lunch. I was thinking that this isn’t going to be doing very good for me because if everyone gets into a bad mood I’m going to have more problems than I’m in already.

Finally, we’d been on a cruise somewhere, a pile of us. It was the last night so we’d had a bit of a party. For some unknown reason I was in a bad mood and decided to go back to my cabin. A couple of other people came with me as well. It turned out in the end that there were probably about 40 people in my cabin. They were all smoking so I told them to put out their cigarettes, which they did but as soon as my back was turned they lit up again. By this time I was in a really foul mood so I stormed out. I went for a walk around the deck to calm down. A couple of people came out to ask what was going on. I explained that I was totally fed up with all of this. One of the girls started to talk to me. She started to tell me a few stories about 1 or 2 people whom she knew who were on board the ship. It came round to love and relationships. I told her that I’d only ever been in love twice, once when I was very young. I was on the point of mentioning the second occasion, wondering how to mention it in a manner that she’d understand because it was a difficult thing to explain but at that point I awoke, as you might expect.

With this last little voyage, I can equate with every second of that story. Every second. It sums up the mood in which I find myself right now, as it happens, and the stories about falling in love are pretty spot on too. One day, when I can summon up the courage, I’ll finish off the story of the second occasion too, but the world isn’t ready to hear it yet.

However it does remind me of the days of my youth when I saw a book in Crewe Public Library entitled “How to Hug”. I took it home with eager anticipation, only to find that I’d borrowed Volume 12 of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

To my surprise I fell out of bed quite promptly when the alarm went off and after the medication and checking the mails and messages I concentrated on revising my Welsh ready for my lesson. It wasn’t easy because I was totally exhausted after last night.

As it happened, I managed to stay awake throughout the lesson but it was touch and go on one or two occasions. But there weren’t all that many of us this week.

While I’d been going through the previous entries the other day I came across a day in late December that I had forgotten to update from a placeholder so I attacked that, and that’s now all done and dusted.

repairing medieval city walls place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022By now, it was time to go out as I had things to do.

First thing to do was to go and see how they were doing with the repair of the walls of the old medieval town in the Place du Marché aux Chevaux.

It’s not very easy to see how far they have advanced over the past week or so. But they haven’t replaced the shelter that they built to protect the workmen from objects that were dropped from the above and which was destroyed by the strong winds that we have had, so maybe they have finished doing that bit.

The way that my knee is right now, I had no intention of going down the steps to the bottom to have a better view.

repairing medieval city walls place du marche aux chevaux Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Instead I wandered around to look at the top of the wall to see what they were doing there

They were making some kind of progress- mainly slow, it has to be said, but they’ve been up to an awful lot of raking out of loose pointing which they have piled up over there. Presumably this means that they will be infilling and replacing the pointing at some time in the near future.

There’s still a long way to go though before they finish, so it’s not going to be completed for some time yet.

And then they will have to wander off and tend to another bit of the crumbling wall.

electric rewiring rue cambernon Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022A short while ago, We had a look at what was going on with regard to the road surface in the Rue Cambernon.

They are still a long way away from finishing here too, but they have now installed some kind of electric control box with a rather large collection of sockets.

This is the kind of thing that they have near street markets so that all of the stalls can have some kind of power, so I’m extremely interested to find out what the intention of this box might be.

Are we going, at long last, to have some kind of street market in the old town? That would certainly be exciting. At the moment we have the pizza van but that’s about it these days.

In the town I had to call at one of the shops to pick up something, and then I headed off to the railway station. On the way up the hill I met my physiotherapist taking an elderly client for a walk so we exchanged a “hello”.

And why the railway station? Because I’d heard a story that my first train tomorrow, the 06:55 to Caen, has been cancelled.

And I was right too, so I went to try to change my train back to the usual one at 08:55 and suffer the lengthy wait at Paris. But that wasn’t easy either what with one thing or another. It was much easier to change my train to Caen from 06:55 to 06:04. The ticket clerk told me to simply turn up for the earlier train. There’s no need to change the ticket because the tickets for that trip have all been vacated anyway.

But I’m not looking forward at all to the 04:00 start. 05:00 sounded bad enough to me.

abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022It’s been quite a long time since I’ve been to see the work that’s been going on down at the abandoned railway so I decided to take a look down there this afternoon.

At this end of it nearest the road they don’t seem to have made a great deal of progress since we saw it last. They’ve been working on the concrete edging, but they have only completed it so far.

The electricity cables that they have laid still aren’t couple up to anything – still sitting there capped off in their conduits, and there’s no road surface that’s been laid. It’s going to be quite a while yet before I can come that way dragging my suitcase behind me.

piles of soil and bark chippings parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Lower down at the bottom of the steps there have been a few changes.

There is still plenty of the concrete reinforcement matting left, which is bad news, and the piles of soil have grown. We also have what looks like a pile of wood chippings down there.

It seems to me that all of this will be for landscaping purposes when they are ready to finish off the work, whenever that might be. And I suspect that it isn’t going to be any time soon judging by the way that things at this end are progressing.

abandoned railway square des docteurs lanos Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022While we’re on the subject of landscaping … “well, one of us is” – ed … this is, I reckon, going to be one area where plenty of landscaping will be needed.

As I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I don’t know the name of this square but seeing as it’s opposite the Ecole des Docteurs Lanos I’m wondering if it’s called the Place des Docteurs Lanos.

Anyway, it’s the place where they have been storing all of the building material and the machines that have come to pick it up have churned the place up into some kind of swamp. It’s going to take more than they have in landscaping to make this place look pretty.

rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022Meanwhile, looking in the opposite direction we can see what a mess they have made of the Rue du Boscq.

Nothing but a sea of concrete and it looks totally appalling. I really can’t imagine anything worse than this, particularly when the rest of the town (at least, the older parts) is laid out in nice cobbles of all various colours and styles, except of course for the mess of tarmac that they laid down in the port.

At least they have actually planted some of the trees about which they bragged on the noticeboard. Mind you, it’s going to take a good while for them to show anything worth seeing.

And then, of course, they have to landscape the rest. They surely can’t leave it looking like that.

On that depressing note, I cleared off through the town on my way home for my coffee. I’d earned it after my little stroll this afternoon. At least my knee held out – so far.

building material on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo January 2022The climb up the hill out of town to my little rock was quite easy and I didn’t have to stop at all for breath, which is some kind of progress, I suppose.

However, I did actually stop to take a photograph. I noticed on the way down that there was some activity going on in the loading bay so I made a mental note to have a look on the way back.

And as it happens, there seems to have been a delivery of building material and supplies, which presumably means that one of the Jersey freighters will be over here shortly to take it all away again. Presumably when I’ll be in Leuven later in the week, which will mean that I will miss it.

Having done plenty of things this afternoon, one of the things that I forgot to do was to go and check on the beach. Instead, I came back here and had a coffee instead and transcribed the dictaphone notes that you read earlier.

Tea tonight was a curry made of all of the bits and pieces that were lying around in the fridge. Actually, it was quite delicious. I seem to have acquired the knack of making a successful curry

For half an hour or so after tea I wrote up my notes from the day but I was nowhere near finished when a wave of tiredness overtook me. Usually I would have ridden it out but with an 04:00 start in the morning I said “sod it” and went to bed.

Tuesday 16th November 2021 – LAST NIGHT WAS A …

… much better night, in that I actually managed to go to sleep.

Mind you, it was rather late when I went to bed. I was downloading something off the internet that took far, far longer than I expected and I ended up having to loiter around until it finished. I didn’t want to abandon the proceedings half-way through as I’d probably forget what I was doing.

There was nevertheless plenty of time for me to go for a wander around during the night. I was round at someone’s house. Zero was there with her father. He had a Volvo but an indicator was out and he couldn’t buy a bulb for it. I had a look at the list of bulbs and it was a current bulb so there was no reason why he couldn’t. We tried a couple of places but couldn’t get one. In the end even though I was going to be late for my bus back from Wheelock I practised by trying to wedge some kind of bulb in somehow. To my surprise it actually worked. I had to get all of my things together and when I went to open the car to take my bag out this large dog in the back tried to come out. I had to lecture this dog firmly to stay put to prepare all my things. I had to go down to the end of the road to catch the bus but it was late now. I has hoping that he would offer to run me back to Crewe and if he did would he bring Zero with him? That’s a few times now just recently that she’s put in an appearance during the night and I wonder why.

Some time later I was with some guy in a block of flats near the airport watching planes take off, chatting about the aeroplanes. Someone was saying that the last flying Caravelle goes over late at night from here. Of course I knew it and had been out to see it a couple of times at night. Just at that moment a light aeroplane flew past, a tiny thing. He came in to land but his approach was so steep. The guy said “he clipped the top of my balcony the other week doing this”. As he came into tland on the runway he was miles short because of his steep approach and hit a red and white Austin 1100 and was turned upside-down on his top wing. I leant over the balcony to look. The driver of this car ran over and went to look at the aeroplane. I shouted down “is everything OK?”. He shouted “no, phone for an ambulance. I picked up the phone and went to dial 999. By this time there were crowds of people all around this. I couldn’t hear a thing. They were all crowding me, all trying to find out what was happening. I was dialling 999 and I couldn’t hear anyone on the phone because of the noise. I had to push people out of the way and have them keep quiet. It was like a nightmare.

Leaving the bed at 07:30 was something of a struggle after all of this. I’ve felt much better even after 4 hours sleep than I did last night after 6.5 hours sleep.

After the medication I Had a look at my mails and messages and then set about revising my Welsh from last week (once I found my paper with the notes on it) and preparing the lesson for today but regrettably, I … errr … dozed off for 10 minutes instead.

The lesson itself passed quite well and I even managed not to fall asleep either. But regrettably I finished my last fruit bun. I shall have to make some more on Sunday after I return.

After lunch I had a few things to do which resulted in uncovering yet another batch of image files that I had overlooked. Undoubtedly all duplicates because they had been on a portable disk drive so I must have done a back-up at some point a long time ago.

Well, not all that long ago because there was almost … errr … 450GB of them. But moving them over to where I can merge them in had created all that space on my back-up drive which probably means that i’ll be able to do another back-up one of these days.

And if I keep on uncovering files like this, I’ll soon end up with a new slimline version of my computer and all of its assorted drives.

boat offshore beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021As usual there was the afternoon walk around the headland to clear out all of the cobwebs.

At the end of the car park I could look down onto the beach and see what was happening down below.

And the answer was “not a lot” because

  1. There was not an awful lot of beach to be on
  2. There was no-one down there on whatever little beach there was.

fishermen in speedboat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021If you had a close look at the previous photo you would have seen a speedboat of some type or other over to the left.

But this isn’t it. There were three or four of them out there and this was one of the other ones that went roaring past where I was standing.

Judging by the looks of things, they were fishermen. They had all of their gear in the rear, including their fishing rods in the upright position.

Why they would need a boat like this and why they would want to move at this speed I really don’t know because this is the kind of thing that would drive away all of the fish for miles around.

boats offshore baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There was a cabin cruiser out there too, anchored out by the marker buoy that se saw the other day.

One of the speedboats came along to join it, something that must have upset the fishermen, if that’s who they were, in the cabin cruiser, when the speedboat turned up at full speed.

There were several other boats in the distance too but I couldn’t see who they were or what they were doing. There was quite a sea-fog today rolling in with the wind that was obscuring almost everything that’s out there.

evening sky baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Further on along the path towards the lighthouse I could see the sky doing some interesting things out towards the Brittany coast.

When I arrived at the end of the headland I could see that the mist and cloud had come right down to sea level and it was not possible to see anything at all out there.

But there was another nice gap in the clouds and although the setting sun wasn’t shining through it today, someone was having a lovely evening sunset out there on the other side of the clouds.

Of course, as we all know, “red sky at night means St Malo is on fire”.

yacht baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Arounf the corner in the Baie de Mont St Michel the sky was rather clearer.

There was a queue of boats, one of which was this yacht, loitering around just offshore around by Le Loup, the light on the rock by the entrance to the harbour.

As to why they were waiting, I don’t know the answer to that because judging by how far in the tide was right now, the harbour gates would have been open for a while and anyone could have gone back in had they wished.

portable boat lift chantier naval port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021One thing that I did say previously was that I wouldn’t feature the chantier naval and the portable boat lift unless there was a change in situation there.

While I was out yesterday I noticed that there was something going on over there but with only having theF1.8 18.5MM LENS on the NIKON 1 J5 I couldn’t take photo that was clear enough.

Today though while I was right over there I didn’t have the same issues. But as you can see, we now have a van, a trainer and a cherry picker down there next to the portable boat lift, so it looks as if repairs are now well under way.

joly france ferry terminal port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021There wasn’t really much else going on over there so I had a look over at the ferry terminal.

Moored over there this afternoon is one of the Joly France boats. There’s no step in the stern and the windows are in “landscape” format so by that we gather that it’s the older one of the two.

As for the other Joly France boat and the very new Belle France, they are moored up together in the inner harbour and don’t look as if they will be going out to sea any time soon

fishing boats port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Also not going out to sea any time soon are some of the trawlers that hang around the port.

There’s a handful of them that came in to port a short while ago and are over there unloading at the fish processing plant.

L’Omerta is still over there looking as if she hasn’t moved for quite a while. And she seems to have acquired a tender – or, at least, there’s one tied up to her at this side.

light aeroplane 45AHB boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Seeing as it’s been a while since I’ve seen anything go flying by, I thought that I’d take a photo of this aeroplane as it went by overhead.

It’s another one of the light aircraft whose registration number isn’t in the series to which I have access so I can’t say very much about it.

Just as I was about to cross the road I was almost run down by one of my neighbours driving by so we had a chat, and then I came back for my coffee and to carry on where I left off with my work.

Tea tonight was the rest of the curry and it was just as nice as last night. Now I’m off to bed as I have an early start in the morning and a train to catch.

Leuven here I come.

Monday 15th November 2021 – NOW THAT REALLY WAS …

… a bad night. Had it not been for the fact that there was something on the dictaphone I would have said that I didn’t go to sleep at all. It certainly didn’t seem like it at all.

But during the night I was wandering around Crewe at the back of Delamere Street and Market Street. There was an area of houses that had been condemned and the roofs were off and everything like that. One had been a bar and one a café. I’d gone there with my desktop computer and I’d set myself up in there, doing some work as well as having a little sleep on the bench that was there. After a while I went off to do something quick but when I returned this place was pretty busy. It was advertised as a bar but it was still open. There were some people sitting on the bench where I’d been sitting and working so I had to have them unplug my computer and pass it over to me. They weren’t very happy and neither was I. It was a right grumpy situation there at that bench where I was.

The alarm didn’t go off with its usual serenade this morning at 06:00 and I don’t know why, but as I was awake anyway it didn’t make much difference.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages and then set about dealing with the radio programme that I needed to prepare.

There weren’t any records set today though because there was a continual series of interruptions, mostly to do with the radio interview that I did on Friday night. And I do have to say that in the time it took me to sort out everything, including yesterday’s work, I could have made the programme myself and had it up and running ready to go.

While I was listening to the finished product and the programme that will be broadcast this weekend I was having a play around with the new ZOOM H8.

And now I seem to have somehow enabled it to record in stereo with one microphone, and now I can’t remember how I did it and can’t return it to mono. I’m going to have to learn so much more about this machine, I reckon.

After lunch I went and had a shower and then prepared myself to go to the physiotherapist.

fishing boats waiting to go into port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down to the corner of the city walls I went where I could see what was going on down in the Harbour.

And by the looks of things, it seems to me that the gates of the inner harbour are about to open. That’s judging by all of the fishing boats coming into the outer harbour right now.

There will be plenty more of them coming in within the next few minutes but I’m not going to be here to watch them because I’m running rather late as it is. I’ll probably catch them on the way back.

boats freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Further on down the hill I paused at the viewpoint overlooking the inner harbour.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that yesterday we saw a lorry loaded with a couple of shrink-wrapped boats pull up on the quayside. When I looked this afternoon I could see that the boats are now down there waiting to be picked up.

Neither of the two Jersey freighters has been in today, and they’ll need to come in soon because there’s quite a pile of builders’ material building up down there too and they’ll be struggling to get everything on board if it builds up like this.

The walk through town and up the hill was one of the easiest that I’ve had for a while. I didn’t stop at all and I wasn’t in as much distress as I have been just recently by the time that I reached the physiotherapist’s.

Today she had me doing a few more kinetic exercises and then a good 15 minutes on this tilting platform thing.

drains fitted abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021On the way home I came back by the Parc du Val es Fleurs to see how they were doing with the engineering work.

Last time we came this way we’d seen them doing something with a load of drainage pipes. They now seem to have laid them and buried them in because there are now some drainage access points that have been installed.

This gives you some idea of how high they are going to be building up the road surface. And you can also see the electric conduit that they have fitted. It looks as if we are going to be having some street lights down here too.

workmen working on abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021A little bit further on I could hear the sound of a cement mixer.

From where I was standing I couldn’t actually see what was happening but there definitely was a cement mixer working away by where they were standing.

Now that winter is arriving, it won’t be possible for me to sneak down there in the evening and spy out the land because by the time that they will have knocked off it will be far too dark to see anything.

When I come back on Saturday, I’ll have too much stuff with me to come back this way.

sports equipment parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Another thing that regular readers of this rubbish will recall seeing last time that we were down here was the workmen installing some sports equipment.

By the looks of things it’s all here now, installed and ready to use. And according to a notice at the side, there’s even an application that one can download to work out some kind of exercise routine.

Had I not just come from having a go on the cross trainer in the physiotherapist’s, I might have bbeen tempted to have had a little play on the one here myself.

concrete shuttering abandoned railway parc du val ès fleurs Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Whatever those guys were doing with e cement mixer the higher up the track, it must have been something to do with this.

This looks like another load of concrete shuttering that they are installing on the edge of the track. There was someone there working on it so I had to wait until he turned his back before I could take a photograph.

And how I wish that they would show some initiative and imagination and use something else. But on that depressing note, I headed off down the street towards the town

workmen parc des docteurs lanos abandoned railway Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at what used to be the Parc des Docteurs Lanos or whatever it is called, the work is still continuing.

And they are really churning it up into a right quagmire. It seems to be the material store and as I watched, an engine with some kind of fork lift attachment came by and picked up a pallet of kerbstones.

He made quite a difficult task of it too, with two wheels off the ground at one time.

With all of this going on here, I imagine that this will be the very last area to be completed, whenever that might be.

concrete reinforcement matting rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021But this across the road is absolutely awful, isn’t it?

You can see that all of the area over there, except for some very small parts of the surface, are covered in concrete reinforcement matting. This probably means that they will be pouring concrete all over all of it.

If we are lucky, the small areas that are not going to be concreted might well be reserved for planting trees. That will at least be something, I suppose, but it’s nowhere near enough greenery for my liking.

workmen working on roof rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Now that the border of the road on the left-hand side is fully concreted, I walked along there on my way down the Rue du Boscq.

Half-way down I came across some more workmen. With a rather large cherry-picker or skyjack or whatever it is, they are carrying out some work on the roof of this building down here.

But the machine that they have is a useful piece of equipment and I would have loved to have had something like this when I was down on my farm. I could have had hours of endless fun with this.

concrete reinforcement matting tactile pavement rue du boscq Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021Down at the far end there is yet more concrete planned.

They’ve filled all of this in with concrete reinforcement matting so they will be pouring concrete down there any day now.

But you can also see the slab of tactile pavement that has already been installed. Regular readers of this rubbish in one of its previous guises will recall that I once met the girl who worked for the RNIB whose claim to fame is that she was the person who invented tactile pavement.

At one time I could tell you exactly how many times of tactile pavement there were and what the different shapes indicated, but that’s something that has long gone out of my head.

boats freight on quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo November 2021The way back up the hill towards home was much better than it was a few weeks ago.

Although I did stop halfway up, it wasn’t to catch my breath but to take a photo of the freight on the quayside, totally forgetting that I’d taken the same photo earlier.

Something else that I forgot when I arrived back home was to go and take a photo of the beach at the Rue du Nord. I went straight back home instead. And I suppose that you are grateful for that.

Back here I had a coffee and there were a few things to do but after the events of last night, I ended up drifting off into the Land of Nod for about 10 minutes. And that makes a change from a few months ago when it was well over an hour, and sometimes even two hours.

Tea tonight was a curry made up of everything lying around in the fridge. And there was enough for two nights too, which is good news because it means that I don’t have to cook very much tomorrow.

And now I’m off to bed. I have my Welsh class tomorrow so I need to be at my best. I’m hoping that tonight I might actually go to sleep.

Tuesday 8th June 2021 – I DON’T THINK …

boats in passage ile de chausey Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall… that I’ve ever seen so many boats in the passage between the Ile de Chausey and the Pointe du Roc all at once.

It goes to show just how busy the place is and how many boats there are operating out of the port. But we’re coming to the time when the harbour gates are going to be open and there will be enough water in the outer tidal harbour so that the smaller boats will be able to tie up to the quay at the fish processing plant and unload their catch.

And talking of the number of boats in the harbour, there’s going to be another one very soon. The company that owns the Joly France boats are about to take delivery of a new one that has been built in Turkey. Business must be booming.

men fishing from boats baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallIt wasn’t just the commercial boats streaming back towards the harbour this afternoon that caught my attention.

As you might expect, we’ve had the sports fishermen out there in numbers again today. This is just three of the dozen or so little boats that were out there stationary in the water today. A couple of zodiacs and a small cabin cruiser full of men casting their rods and line into the sea.

As to whether they caught anything, I couldn’t really say because I didn’t hang around for very long. That was because this afternoon, I wasn’t feeling myself this afternoon … “and quite right. Disgusting habit” – ed … and I wanted to be home without too much delay.

The problem actually began last night when I didn’t go to bed until 00:30 after everything that I had to do. And when you don’t go to bed until that time and you have to get up at 06:00 it’s a recipe for disaster. And awakening at about 02:30 in a cold sweat is another reason to be wary about how the events of the day would unfold.

Nevertheless I leapt out of bed as the alarm rang and went off to take my medication. Armed with a coffee I came back in here afterwards to make a start on revising my Welsh for the lesson today.

And that didn’t pass very well because firstly whatever I had read just wouldn’t stick in my head. and secondly I had to fight off waves of sleep.

When it came to the lesson I took my hot chocolate and slice of fruit bread over to the portable computer (there’s no microphone or webcam on this big machine) in the dining area. And there I had the misfortune to fall asleep twice in the middle of the lesson.

And once again, nothing at all seemed to stick. I need to be doing better than this if I’m to make good progress.

After lunch the tutor offered us a mock exam. Mine was at 15:00 and although I didn’t feel as if it was good, the tutor seemed to think that I’ll have no problem tomorrow afternoon.

Despite all of the other pressures under which I have been wilting today I didn’t forget to go out for my afternoon walk today, as you have probably noticed.

people on the beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAnd as usual, the first port of call was the beach to see what was going on down there, so I took myself off down to the end of the car park to look over the wall and down onto the beach.

Just as yesterday, there wasn’t all that much room down there with the tide coming in quite rapidly but these two people have managed to find somewhere to loiter. And they are busy looking in the sand to see if they can pull any shellfish out of one of the little rivulets.

But they aren’t particularly equipped for scavenging on the beach. No bucket and no grattoir to scrape the sand or pull the oysters off the rocks. They won’t go far without those.

fishing boat baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallWhile I was there looking over the wall down onto the beach, I was also looking around to see what was going on out at sea as well.

This boat out here looks familiar, doesn’t it? Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that we saw a boat exactly like this up on blocks in the chantier navale for a while a couple of months ago having some work done on her.

It’s very hard to mistake that bright yellow colour, especially as it’s similar to the colour of Caliburn.

But whether she is the same boat of not, she doesn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to go home right now like the other boats in the vicinity.

f-bxjq Robin HR-200-100 Club pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallAs I moved off along the path at the top of the cliffs I was overflown by yet another light aeroplane that apparently had taken off from the airport at Donville les Bains.

She’s another aeroplane that we haven’t seen before. She’s F-BXJQ, a Robin HR-200-100 Club aeroplane and the 71st of her type to be built. She’s powered by an Avco Lycoming O-320-D2A air-cooled flat-four piston engine with an output of 119 kW, or 60 hp.

Unfortunately I’ve no idea where she’s going because she hadn’t filed a flight plan and she wasn’t picked up on any radar anywhere. In fact the last radar plot that I can find for her is over Belgium somewhere a while ago.

swathe cut through long glass pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallMy route took me along the cliffs to the lawn, which they have left uncut for the last while and even planted a sign there to tell everyone that this area will not be cut so that it will encourage biodiversity, birds and bees and all of that.

And so I’m totally bewildered to see that they have been past here today and cut a great big, wide swathe right the way through the middle of it all. How this will promote diversity I really have no idea.

It was bad enough when someone came past with that lawn mower when they made a labyrinth in the long grass. But this swathe today is just inexplicable, especially as it’s right by the sign.

fixing flags to flagpoles pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallYesterday we saw the start of work being undertaken to remove the base of one of the four flagpoles that were installed near the Monument to the Resistance.

Today we have a couple of workmen here with a cherry picker and so I worked my way round to a good vantage point where I could take a good photograph of them without causing a disturbance.

It seems that they are attaching flags to the flagpoles which is rather late, seeing as D-Day was on Sunday. They have already fixed the flag of the USA and are in the process of attaching the French flag. And that’s a strange decision too. I would have expected them to have fixed the French flag first.

And whose flag will be on the third flagpole?

fishing boat baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric HallEarlier in my walk around we’d seen all of the boats heading back towards the harbour. But one or two of them are well ahead of the game and have already arrived.

This trawler here just off the south side of the headland near the harbour entrance looks as if it will be first into the inner harbour, although it’s going to have a long wait, for while there’s some water by the Fish Processing Plant there still isn’t enough water in the outer harbour for them to open the gates to the inner harbour.

There seemed to be no-one fishing in the Baie de Mont St Michel this afternoon so I cleared off along the headland on the path as far down as the viewpoint overlooking the harbour.

trawler hera yacht rebelle chantier navale port de Granville harbour  Manche Normandy France Eric HallAt the chantier navale today there has been yet more movement of boats.

The trawler Hera is still in dock, up on her blocks, but the wooden hulk that we saw over the last few days has now gone. Instead there’s another yacht, called Rebelle down there on the portable boat lift and it isn’t clear to me as to whether she’s coming or going. I don’t like to speculate these days , having had a couple of spectacular failures just now.

Instead I pushed on home for my coffee and some of Liz’s ginger cake. And when I awoke at 18:00 the coffee was by my side, stone cold.

During that 90 minutes during which I was stark out, I’d been a-travelling. I was round at a girl’s house – I can’t remember whose house but it was a girl from school. She was asking me how I was and where I’d been so I replied but I also noticed some vegan cooking on the oven. Then I noticed that she had my notebook open. I said that I was grateful for all of the help and the hospitality that I had received, and I added “and the vegan meals”. She laughed and explained that she wanted to see what I needed and how she could help. She asked if I’d picked up any ordnance while I’d been out. “Not even from Verdun” I added. I didn’t want to tell her about the ordnance ie the automatic pistol loaded and in working order that I’d found elsewhere.

Guitar practice was depressing as you might expect with me being half-asleep tonight. Another dismal failure because I just can’t keep awake these days. But I remained awake enough to make tea – one of the last of the curries that were in the freezer followed by the last of the apple crumble and custard.

Having written up my notes, I’m off to bed. And I can’t say that I’m sorry about it. I’m totally exhausted and I’m not going to be any better. A good sleep would do me good so that I can be in good form for my Welsh exam.

Wednesday 9th September 2020 – THE BIRD …

bird of prey pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hall… of prey that we have seen every now and again flying around above the rabbit colony has been back again today.

This afternoon while I was out on my rounds I came across it yet again. Unfortunately it wasn’t in such a good position to photograph as it was last time, but I did my best.

And that’s something else too. I’ve spoken previously … “and at great length too” – ed … about the fact that I’ve never seen any fisherman actually catch anything but, thinking about it, I haven’t seen the birds of prey catch anything yet either.

For my own part, I didn’t catch anything today either. The early bird might catch the worm but I wasn’t early at all this morning. Even though I was in bed at some kind of reasonable-ish time, I still couldn’t summon up the strength to be out of bed when the alarm went off.

Unfortunately, it was round about 08:45 when I finally crawled out of bed and I didn’t feel much like it then either.

Having finally managed to listen to the events of last night on the dictaphone it appears that I can’t remember very much about the nocturnal events. It seems that I was somewhere in Central Europe and it involved a cavalry army mounted on horseback that was pretty comfortably defeated by some insurrectionists of which I was one and had to retreat. All of its artillery was exposed to the TV cameras and so on during this retreat and it had to be very careful not to fall into the hands of the partisans who were roaming about

Despite it being something or a miserable day in which I was hard-pressed to summon up any enthusiasm, I finally did finish the radio programme on which I’ve been working. And much to my own surprise, it was short by a mere 0.912 of a second by the time that I had finished.

However a few additional small bits of generated silence in appropriate places soon took care of that and it was soon back up to the one-hour limit

joly france english channel ile de chausey granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was of course the usual interruption while I went off on my afternoon walk.

And it seems that I wasn’t the only one heading off on an outing this afternoon. Joly France was heading off into the English Channel. It’s the old one – you can tell that by the fact that there is no step in her stern, and she’s on her way out to the Ile de Chausey with a load of passengers.

It beats me why they would want to go out there so late in the day because they wouldn’t have too much time to stay on the island.

microlight aeroplane pointe du roc granville manche normandy france eric hallThere was plenty of action in the air too.

Never mind the bird of prey that we have seen already. There was also a small light aeroplane too but I didn’t take too much notice of that as my attention had been attracted by the powered hang-glider flying overhead.

There are all kinds of aerial activity going on around here and I suppose that I ought to be paying more attention to it.

But for the moment I carried on with my walk. Apart from the fact that someone seems to have shuffled the boats in the chantier navale, there was nothing else very much going on at all and I came on home.

After finishing the radio programme I made a start on tidying up the bedroom and sorting things out. It’s a lot better now and I can actually move around in here. There’s still plenty to do but little by little I’ll get there.

Sitting down to carry on with my Welsh revision, I had the misfortune to fall asleep and I was out for about 90 minutes on the chair. And when I awoke I was in yet another dazed and confused state that lasted for a good half hour. I ended up missing most of my guitar practice yet again.

Tea tonight was a curry that I found in the freezer, with rice and vegetables, followed by apple pie and soya dessert. Very delicious.

porte st jean granville manche normandy france eric hallFor my evening walk outside, there was no-one out there at all

The Porte St Jean looked very beautiful tonight, all illuminated by various floodlight, and with the streetlights of the Place d’Armes in the background it made a very spectacular photograph.

With it being too dark to see if there was anything going on out at sea, I walked on along the rue du Nord and then ran all the way along the footpath underneath the walls to my usual resting place.

Having recovered my breath I carried on with my walk and then ran across the Square Maurice Marland.

place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallNo excitement or tension in the rue Cambernon this evening so I carried on around the walls past the car from Connecticut which seems to be definitively abandoned.

From up on the top, the Place d’Armes was looking splendid in the streetlights so I took a photo of that and then ran on home.

Now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed. It’s shopping day tomorrow so I need to be on form. Not that there’s much chance of that because I’m really not feeling as fit as maybe I ought to be.

It’s been over a month since I returned from my voyage and I had been hoping that I would have been much better than this by now.

Sunday 2nd August 2020 – TONIGHT, I’M IN …

… Munich in Germany.

It’s Sunday today but even so, I set an alarm. Only for 08:00 though as I need to be up and about, breakfasted and gone by 10:00 today.

And despite the later alarm time and the fact that it’s Sunday, I still awoke bolt upright at 06:03. No chance of gtting up at that stupid time. I turned over and went back to sleep until a more reasonable and respectable time.

All of this meant that there was plenty of time for me to go off on my travels again last night and I started off at Rosemary’s. We were discussing kitchen arrangements, cooking, that kind of thing. I ended up swapping slow cookers and letting her have mine in exchange for one of hers because one was a bigger size than the other and I can’t remember now which way round was which. But it suited me to have the one she had and it suited her to have the one that I had so I proposed a swap

Later on I was with Nerina and we were on our travels. We came to a freighter that was going to take us on to somewhere but we suddenly realised that we didn’t have any insurance and there was no security patrol or anything on board this ship so I had to set off leaving Nerina with the car in this queue to run down the road and came to some kind of insurance place. I went in and it really was a dive. The people there were dirty and certainly weren’t clerical types at all but I explained what i wanted. They went away and came back with a green form. I gave them a £20 note and they gave me £12-something back and a box of chocolates. I had to run back to the car because they would be loading by this time. I’d told them in the insurance what was happening about this and what I wanted. So I ran back and came to these steps and had to run all the way up these steps, stone narrow steps and i was counting them as I went up. I got to 60 but I was still running up these steps and still going and I came round the corner and a couple of kids were playing right by the edge of this cliff drop which I thought was a bit strange. There were still more steps and I had to keep on running up here to try to get back to where Nerina was with the car, carrying the change in my hand, this green card, this box of chocolates

Finally, I was a bit loaded up last night. I had all of my holiday gear with me including the camera. I ended up with a guitar and I had a long way to walk. I was hoping that I would find somewhere where I could leave the guitar and come back for it later. My first idea was the church so I went there but it was all locked up. I was wondering what to do and someone else told me that there was another church further on downtown. I walked down there and came across some kind of building and the church was built on the back of that. I went round the back there just as the policeman was locking up the door ready to go away. I thought “forget that” and continued walking. I suddenly had this thought “what have I done wiht my camera?” I had a search among the stuff that I was carrying and in the end found that the camerz was slung around my neck but for some unknown reason it was underneath my jumper. At least I had it. I had to carry on walking towards where I was going to go and that was where this voyage broke off.

After breakfast it didn’t take too long to pack and tidy everything up, and by 10:00 I was on the road heading northwards.

The weather had started off as a gloomy morning and that didn’t help my mood. And neither did all of the grockles driving around at about 20mph admiring the scenery. They might have had nothing better to do, but I did.

There were several roadworks and diversions too. Because of the winter weather there’s only a short timescale in which to do road-mending so of course it has to be in summer.

The closer I came to Munich the greyer the weather became and by the time I came out of a tunnel on the Munich ring road I was in the middle of a torrential downpour.

One thing that I have noticed is that this Satnav is not using the same program as the previous one. Despite setting the preferences to exactly the same as the previous one, it brought me into Eching in a completely different way and I drove past Hans’s apartment building before I had realised where I was.

It’s nice to see Hans again. We had a coffee and then despite the showery weather we climbed into Hans’s jeep and headed off to the nearest metro station to catch a train into Munich.

Hans knew of a little vegan restaurant so we headed there for a drink and some banana cakeand then wandered off in search of excitement.

Wittelsbacher Brunnen Maxvorstadt, Munich, Bavaria, Germany.eric hallOur first port of call was the Wittelsbacher Brunnen, or fountains.

The Wittelsbachs were the royal family of the Kingdom of Bavaria until the political upheaval at the end of World War I. Munich was their capital and the eplendour that survived the bombing of World War II gives some kind of indication of their wealth.

The fountain was designed by Adolf von Hildebrand, a famous German designer of fountains, and sculptor Erwin Kunz and was built between 1893 and 1895.

Wittelsbacher Brunnen Maxvorstadt, Munich, Bavaria, Germany eric hallIts purpose, bizzarely enough, was to celebrate the arrival in the city of the new high-pressure water pipeline from the Mangfall, a river in Upper Bavaria that is a tributary of the river Inn.

A site was chosen at the junction of the Karlsplatz and Lenbachplatz where the old city walls had been, and it was unveiled on 12th June 1895. We are told that the design consists of all kinds of allegories connected to the power of water

The fountain suffered damage during the bombing raids but was restored by one of Hildebrand’s pupils and reopened on 3rd October 1952.

From there we pushed off down the road to continue our little exploration of the north-west corner of the inner city.

karolinenplatz munich bavaria germany eric hallOur little stoll brought us to the Karolinenplatz. This is named for Princess Caroline of Baden who married Maximilian Joseph, Duke of Palatine-Zweibrucken and became Queen Caroline II of Bavaria when her husband became King in 1806.

When Napoleon set off for his disastrous invasion of Russia in 1812, he took 36,000 Bavarian troops with him, but only 6,000 returned home. The column, designed by Leo von Klenze, is a monument to those 30,000 Bavarian soldiers who disappeared.

The Square was designed by Karl von Fischer (who died in 1820) who based his design upon that of the Place de l’Etoile, where the Arc de Triomphe is, in Paris.

The big building to the left of the column is the Palace of Prince George and you might have expected it to have been easy for me to tell you all about Prince George, but instead I’ll merely mention that so far I’ve been able to trace about a dozen Prince Georges so you can take your pick.

Our next stop is going to be the the Konigsplatz so we walked down the Briennerstrasse, another part of von Fisher’s great design.

On the corner of the Arcisstrasse are two very large and heavy plinths that I didn’t photograph, because there are the bases of a couple of temples erected to the memory of thse supporters of Hitler who were killed in the Munich Putsch of 1923.

konigsplatz munich bavaria germany eric hallThere was no summer festival in Munich this year because of the virus, which was a shame although it was quite understandable, but what we had instead were little festival sites scattered around the city, like the one here at the Konigsplatz.

This is another part of Karl von Fischer’s masterpiece. He had been charged with organising an orderly expansion of the city beyond the old city walls at this point.

The Propylaea Gate that we can see in this image though isn’t by him but by Leo von Klienze and dates from 1862. It was originally intended to be a commemoration of the accession of King Ludwig’s son Otto to the throne of Greece in 1832 but it took so long to build that in effect it became a monument to the overthrow of King Otto from his throne by the Greek people after 30 years of rule.

roundabout summer in the city konigsplatz munich bavaria germany eric hallThe whole area is bedecked with “Summerin the City” banners as people make the most of whatever entertainments there are in the area.

Everyone seemed to be enjoying the fun, even if there wasn’t all that much of it. It’s a far cry from the traditional Munich summer festivals but we are living right now in extraordinary times.

Having wandered around loking at the sites and being unable to go to either of the two museums here, we went off for a wander around to look for a metro station because we were going to be heading from here into the town centre. We eventually found something in the Louisenstrasse and from there we ended up in the Marienplatz.

One thing that I like about the German language is the name that is given to the local town hall and civic administration offices in the towns – the Rathaus. I can’t think of anything more appropriate.

old town hall Altes Rathaus Spielzeugmuseum marienplatz munich bavaria germany eric hall
This is the Altes Rathaus, or Old Town Hall. The building was known to be in existence in 1310 and underwent a reconstruction, the first recorded of very many, between 1392 and 1394.

The spire beside it is actually the old Talburgtor gate in the eary city walls. As you can see, the gate is quite narrow and so in the 1870s they actually tunneled through the ground floor, with a second tunnel being put through in 1935. And in 1938 in the Great Hall Josef Goebbels made the speech that launched the Kristallnacht – the destruction of Jewish property in Germany in 1938.

It was badly damaged by bombing in World War II and not restored until the early 1970s. Somewhere in my ancient collection of photos I have a photo taken of it in 1988 when I was here with Nerina and when I get back to the farm, whenever that might be, I’ll dig it out.

town hall rathaus marienplatz munich bavaria germany eric hallThis building here looks absolutely magnificent so it’s very easy t lose sight of the fact that this is a much more modern “Gothic Revival” building.

In the second half of the 19th Century it became apparent that the old town hall was becoming too small for modern needs so in 1867 construction of a new building, designed by Georg Hauberrisser, began.

The Town Council offices moved here in 1874 but as the building was still too small, further enlargements took place. The building was not finally finished until 1906. It has 400 rooms and covers an area of over 9,000m²

Somewhat surprisingly, it escaped severe destruction during the bombing attacks of World War II and was very quickly, if simply, restored

musicians marienplatz munich bavaria germany eric hallOne thing that was nice to see here was a group of musiciens entertaining the crowd of people.

Although masks are not compulsory in the open air, it’s pretty much a waste of tie to just wear one over your mouth and not over your nose. And I would have loved to have seen the flautist play the flute wearing a mask. That would have been interesting.

Having finished our wandering around we ended up in the Munchener Freiheit at a little Indian café that I know, rather like the one in Montreal. A bowl of curry was delicious – it’s been a long time since I’ve had a decent one of those.

By now the heavens had really opened and we were being pasted in a torrential downpour. Walking from the metro to the car, we were drenched.

A couple of films and a good chat finished off the evening and then we all went our separate ways.

The sofa here is really comfortable so I’m settled down for the night. We’ll see what tomorrow will bring me.

Friday 10th July 2020 – I’M WHACKED!

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd while you admire the photos of this evening’s sunset I’ll tell you why.

This afternoon I went out for a little walk. And by the time that I returned I’d walked 11.0 kilometres and 142% of my daily activity.

And that’s BEFORE I go out for my evening run.

This morning started off though as it ought to have done – with me having a decent lie-in until almost 08:00. And I’d earned it too after yesterday’s efforts.

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAfter the meds I had a listen to the dictaphone. We were on board the yacht last night and the discussion turned round to Brexit. My opinion of it that it was a mass of sewage met with great approval. I said things like they made all this mess and now they have to clean it up. There was a lot of symbolism there that I don’t remember now and there was a lot more to this that I can’t remember at all.

But I awoke all drenched in sweat again – it was another one of those nights, wasn’t it? I have to make a note of these because it’s a symptom of my illness, although they didn’t ask me about that the other day.

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallWhen I’d finished today’s dictaphone entry I had a session transcribing a couple of others that were awaiting processing.

Rather too many of those, although nothing like as many as there were while I was on my transatlantic sail last year and which took a good while to transcribe.

The rest of the morning was spent dealing with the photos from my voyage on the Spirit of Conrad last week. A good few hundred of those and so far I’ve probably done about 40 of them. I’m not doing too well with those, am I?

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThere’s no bread in the house at the moment because I used it all up before I went to sea.

So instead I had taco rolls for lunch, filled with salad. It’s quite a useful thing to have hanging around here, a couple of packs of those. But I can see Sunday being a Day of Baking)

After lunch I set off on my mega-ramble. I need to go to pick up the estimate for Caliburn’s bodywork and the garage is shut on Saturdays. With trying to use Caliburn as little as possible, I decided to walk there. it was a lovely day for it too.

film crew place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd I didn’t get too far out of the house before I was interrupted.

This morning I was awoken by an infernal racket coming from underneath my bedroom window. There’s a film being made in the old medieval town for the next couple of weeks and it looks as if the film crew has arrived with all of the equipment.

There are probably half a dozen large vans and lorries parked all around here with all kinds of stuff inside them (I did have a crafty peek).

unloading freight from lorry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallMore excitement down at the docks too this afternoon.

having lived here long enough, I’m starting to recognise the signs. There’s a lorry down there loaded up with wooden beams which are being unloaded by the fork lift truck.

It’s a sure sign, if ever there was one, that one of the Jersey freighters, Thora or Normandy Trader or maybe even both are due to pay us a visit in early course.

Normandy Trader was in last night as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but she didn’t hang around for long and was soon back at sea again. But a quick turn-round at St Helier will bring her back soon enough.

clock with no hands tourist information office cours jonville granville manche normandy france eric hallRegular readers of this rubbish will likewise recall that yesterday they had a cherry-picker with a couple of men in it working on the broken clock by the old tourist information office.

Being keen to see if they had finally repaired it after all these years I went for a quick look.

And isn’t this a disappointment? They seem to have taken the hands away from the clock rather than actually fixing the mechanism. The mechanism must be beyond repair.

But why remove the hands? At least the time was correct twice a day as it was before. Now it isn’t right at all and that’s rather a backward step.

coccinelle express rue couraye granville manche normandy france eric hallThere’s a new grocery shop opened in town in the old kids’ clothes shop.

We had a Coccinelle here before but it changed its franchise to Super U so someone has decided to open another Coccinelle franchise here.

And just look at the opening hours! This is really dragging Granville kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, isn’t it? It’s high time that a few places around here actually started to respond to the needs of the clients

water tower rue fontaine jolie granville manche normandy france eric hallIt’s quite a long walk out to Espace Autos on the edge of town.

It takes me past the water tower on its little eminence on the edge of town. Quite a few times I’ve driven past here and seen the paintings on the side but I’ve never actually stopped for a closer look.

It’s certainly impressive, the way that it’s been painted. So much better than just a whitish-grey concrete eyesore despoiling the countryside. Up there it can be seen for miles so it needs to be a good advertisement for the town

At the garage they gave me the estimate for Caliburn’s bodywork. And when I recovered from the shock I set off again for home.

On the way back I called in at a couple of shops to see what was going on but there was nothing there that impressed me so I returned empty-handed.

Only as far as the Plat Gousset where I treated myself to a vegan banana sorbet. I reckoned that I had earned it.

So much that I wanted to do during the early part of the evening but instead I crashed right out. And for a good 90 minutes-worth of deep sleep.

That was a deep disappointment but I can’t say that I was surprised after all of the effort. It’s not every day that I walk that kind of distance without a break.

So a rather late tea. A curry from out of the freezer with rice and veg, followed by the last slice of apple pie and some soya coconut dessert. There’s an apple turnover for tomorrow and then on Sunday I’ll bake an apple crumble. It’s been a while since I made one of those.

cap frehel brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallThe weather out there tonight was beautiful.

Plenty of wind but very bright and clear and I could see for miles. All the way down to Cap Fréhel and its famous lighthouse in fact, as you can see right over on the extreme right-hand edge of this enlarged photo here.

And I’ll show you the photo of what it looks like close-to when I finally finish editing the photos that I took when I was aboard Spirit of Conrad

cap frehel brittany coast granville manche normandy france eric hallHere it is again only a more distant shot.

The lighthouse is again on the extreme right and just to the left of it is the Fort la Latte. Immediately to the left of that where there is nothing on the horizon is the bay where St Cast le Guildo is.

That was where we moored up one evening during our voyage the other week. I really must crack on and deal with the photos that I took. It’s a shame that it was difficult to work on board the boat.

Phare de la Pierre-de-Herpin pointe de grouin brittany granville manche normandy france eric hallThis is something a little closer to home that I also had an opportunity to inspect when I was aboard Spirit of Conrad

That’s the Ile des Landes and in front of it is Phare de la Pierre-de-Herpin, the Pierre de Herpin lighhouse off the Pointe de Grouin on the Brittany coast.

It marks the entrance to the Baie de Mont St Michel and was opened on 1st October 1882, a light having been requested some 30 years previously. Since 1970 its light has been electrified and these days, like most lighthouses, it’s probably automated

people on beach plat gousset granville manche normandy france eric hallMy run was something of a disappointment. My two longest runs were cut short. It’s amazing how just two weeks of not exercising has affected me.

But I made it round to the viewpoint at the rue du Nord all the same. And while there was no-one picnicking on the beach, there were still crowds of people hanging around down there.

But one thing that I haven’t noticed so far is an fishermen. Before I went away there was a fisherman on every rock, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. Where have they all gone?

children's garden college malraux granville manche normandy france eric hallBy now I was on 191% of my day’s activity and being keen to make it 200% I carried on for another lap around.

This extra route took me past the College Malraux and here the kids have made themselves some kind of soft fruit garden. There are all kinds of soft fruits here with a sign “let’s protect them so that we can eat them – the fruit presumably.

Soft fruit? I’m all in favour of that! I’m going to restart my home food production next week now that i’m back in the saddle. It’s high time that I organised myself.

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallFrom there I continued on to the cliff edge in time to catch the sunset.

We’ve seen plenty of sunsets just recently but not with the sun actually sinking below the horizon. But here I was at the right time and the right place so I stayed to enjoy the view.

There were a few other people loitering around here too admiring the sunset and I can’t say that I blame them either. Everything was just about perfect for a change.

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallAs the sun slowly sank below the horizon I took a few photos and then scuttled off back to my apartment. I had a few things to do.

Firstly there was to reset the language on the portable laptop that I bought in the USA. It’s in “American English” which I detest so I’d ordered some French keyboard stickers.

While I was tidying up a little yesterday I came across them again so I changed the language settings to “French” at applied the stickers in the appropriate place.

beautiful sunset english channel granville manche normandy france eric hallThen there is the journal to write up for today. And to be proud of course of my 202% of my daily activity. If that’s not a success i don’t know what is.

There was an interruption as “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart came onto the playlist. I had a quick strum with that and worked out the chords while I was at it.

But now it’s bedtime, just like the sun that has now sunk below the horizon. Shopping tomorrow, and there’s quite a bit of stuff that I need too. I’ve not done much for this last couple of weeks.

So I’ll set the alarm tomorrow. It’ll do me good.

Thursday 13th February 2020 – LIDL IN GRANVILLE …

soya steaks LIDL granville manche normandy france eric hall… is slowly dragging itself into the 21st Century at long last.

Over the past year or so its BIO range has slowly been expanding and there have occasionally been things there that I can eat, but today, the freezer has been restocked and there are now not only vegetarian frozen foods but even a (very small) vegan selection.

And that’s god news for me and even though i’m struggling for space in my freezer, I bought a box, on the grounds that if no-one buys it, they won’t stock it.

Yes, I made it to LIDL this morning although I’m not quite sure how because I was feeling really dreadful. Last night I slept right the way through the alarms and it was 07:35 when I hauled myself out of bed eventually.

And to say that I wasn’t feeling at all like it is an understatement. Looking back on what I wrote last night before I went to bed, then nothing whatever had changed.

It was preying on my mind too during my sleep (such as it was) by the look of things. After the medication I struggled back to the desk to check the dictaphone. It had taken me ages to go off to sleep but I went back on board The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour and there was a party type of thing that we were having and a group of people – the organisers – got up and did a song that involved banjos and guitars and a bass. It was really good – they were all disguised as Mexicans. I dashed in with my camera to take a photo but I couldn’t remember how to set the settings on it to get the photo that I wanted because they were standing right by an open window where the sun was streaming in so I wanted to play around with the settings but I couldn’t remember how to do it and it was the subsequent panic attack that awoke me, about 30 seconds after I’d gone to sleep.

storm high winds port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallAfter breakfast I had a quick shower and then headed out to LIDL even though I didn’t feel much like it.

And the first thing that I noticed was that the wind was back after its day off yesterday. And back in spades too. The port gates can’t have been opened long so the tide still has about 90 minutes before it’s full but even so it was still looking very impressive.

The waves were hurling themselves with all of their might against the sea wall and some were going over the top.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe wind wasn’t the only thing that was back either.

For the first time in well over a week, Normandy Trader had turned up in harbour. The blockade of Channel Island ships has ended of course with Guernsey’s capitulation (in four days!) and Normandy Trader, which brings in the shellfish from the Jersey Fisherman’s Co-operative, can now come into port.

But for how long remains to be seen.

crane pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallregular readers of this rubbish will recall that we’ve been following the antics of the workmen down in the port and the gradual assembly of the big pontoon.

A large crane turned up yesterday too, and now it seems that it has been taken out onto the pontoon.

But for what, I have no idea. I can’t think what they would need something like that for in a harbour like this – unless it’s to act as a counterbalance for the crane on the quayside as it lowers the new walkways into the water.

Even so, that’s using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

mobile crane rue du port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallBut then again, ther emight be something in this argument.

There’s now another mobile crane turned up in the rue du Port where they have been fitting the mounting brackets for the pontoon walkway on that side, so it looks as if they are almost ready to start there too.

This is all going to be extremely interesting over the next few weeks or so and I hope that I’ll be here to see it.

After something of a struggle I made it to LIDL where I forgot the mushrooms, but it was an expensive shop there today and for a good reason too. The largest saucepan that I have here is a 20cm one with a capacity of 2.5 litres and for what i’m doing now with making soups and drinks and also freezing carrots, it’s just not big enough.

On Monday I noticed that they had nig saucepans in on offer but I couldn’t bring one home. Today though, I was prepared with a large carry-bag and a 24cm 5.5 litre saucepan is now sitting in my kitchen.

That’s even big enough to sterilise all of my jars too.

pumping concrete rue des juifs granville manche normandy france eric hallHaving picked up my dejeunette at la Mie Caline I headed for home.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall the other day the workman on the roof of that house that they are slowly renovating in the rue des Juifs. They are obviously going quicker than I was reckoning because now they are doing the floors and the concrete pump is here punping the concrete in.

It’s a good job that the local buses here aren’t double-deckers, isn’t it?

la grande ancre leaving port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallDespite the winds having started up again, it seems that the marine activity is still going on.

We’ve seen Normandy Trader braving the winds to come into port but now it’s the turn of La Grande Ancre to head off for a life on the open waves out there on the open sea.

And good luck to her too. She’s going to need it, a small thing like her out there in waves like that. As I’ve said before … “on many occasions” – ed … my hat comes off to all of those going out there

On the way back I bumped into my neighbour and we had a lengthy chat, buffetted by the wind as we were standing there.

Back here I had a coffee and then started work. And I can safely say that today I didn’t do a single thing that had anything whatever to do with the radio. And I think that this must be the first day since well before Christmas too.

First thing was, due to my late start this morning, to split up a few digital tracks into their component parts. And I’ve given up relying on the official data for cutting the tracks because they are just so hopelessly wrong.

That took me up to lunch time and my butties.

This afternoon I attacked the mountain of paperwork that had accumulated over the past few months. Some of it was quite urgent too so it wasn’t just a case of simply filing it away, I had a few letters and e-mails to write for stuff that I should really have attended to a while ago.

There was a pile of photocopying too that needed doing. All in all, I was still at this by the time that I knocked off for tea and there’s more to do.

But here’s a surprise. I’ve found a document that tells me that I have an employment assurance policy maturing at the end of February that is going to pay me a pension. The only pensions that I know of are my morks pension, my UK and my Belgian State pension (not that these are anything to write home about) and some old pension from when I was in the UK years ago.

So what is this all about? I’ll have to ring up tomorrow to enquire about it because I don’t have a clue. It can’t be anything substantial otherwise I would remember it. But was I in a works pension scheme when I spent that 12 months working for that crazy American company in Brussels?

windsurfer place d'armes granville manche normandy france eric hallThere were several interruptions to my afternoon walk.

First and foremost was my afternoon walk. And that was interrupted too by me noticing a couple of guys out in the sea windsurfing. They must be out of their minds in this weather with this wind and these heavy seas and as I prepared the camera, one of them capsized into the sea.

This left the other one to engage with me.

storm high winds baie de mont st michel granville manche normandy france eric hallAnd if I thought that the wind was bad around here, I hadn’t yet gone round the headland.

and there it really was wicked. Not as bad as it was earlier in the week but still enough to disrupt almost everything that I was trying to do. The waves were rolling into the Baie de Mont St Michel with quite a considerable force and I reckon that this evening when the tide is in it’s going to be quite dramatic.

So I wish that they would fix up some lights somewhere to make it easy for photography.

dredger digging rocks ferry port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallNo change at all in the Chantier navale so I pushed on to see what they were up to at the ferry terminal.

The big tractor and trailer (there are in fact two of them) was heading back out there for another load of stone, with it being low tide. And wedged up in the corner was a concrete-breaker and a large digger.

The breaker breaks it off, the digger picks it up and puts it into the trailer and the tractor drives away the loaded trailer.

normandy trader port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallThe photo this morning of Normandy Trader hadn’t come out too well as I had had the sun in the lens at the time.

But now, mid-afternoon, I have the sun behind me so i can take a much better photo of it too, and with the big NIKON D500 instead of the little NIKON 1. The Nikon 1 is a useful little camera and I take it with me when I go for long walks or go shopping because it’s very lightweight and fits nicely in my pocket

But it’s not up to big panoramic distance shots unfortunately. It’s very good at what it does, but it doesn’t do much.

crane pontoon port de granville harbour manche normandy france eric hallFor the same reason as the previous photo, I re-took a photo of the pontoon and the big crane.

No idea at al what they are doing but as I said earlier it’s going to be interesting in the next couple of weeks as the story unfolds.

Back here and a coffee and then I tried to carry on work but I crashed out again. And that was a shame because my head had cleared and I was starting to feel a little better

But once I was back awake I carried on and now I have a huge blood blister on my finger where I caught it in the hole puncher.

Tea was a kind-of curry of everything left over – namely the rest of the stuffing with more onion and garlic and, to lengthen it, a good handful of salted peanuts. It was delicious with a tomato sauce, veg and pasta.

And the last of the rice pudding that followed it was equally delicious.

All alone again on my evening walk, and I managed my two runs, even putting an extra 10 metres on them which was quite surprising.

But now it’s bed-time, later than I had hoped but it can’t be helped. Tomorrow I’m going to finish off the paperwork and then start on the photos from my Arctic adventures.

That will be exciting.

Monday 9th December 2019 – I HAVE NEVER EVER MET …

… so many people so gifted with the art of expanding so little thought into so many words.

It’s true that I have said this before, but here I am saying it again under different circumstances. Like at another one of these volunteer meeting things.

Following my exploits at that meeting with the kids from Greenland the other day, I was invited to take part in this twinning committee because “my mother tongue is English and I speak French pretty well”

And so there in the upstairs room in the Grand Café they were going on about “we could do … (X, Y and Z) … but the stuff is in English so if only we had someone to translate it into French” – and there I was sitting right next to and right opposite the two people having this discussion who both had totally forgotten that I had translated from the English to the French at that meeting the other week. “There’s someone here who could translate it for us” said another person, and pointed to … another (French) woman sitting at the corner of the table.

And in order to introduce myself to the others, I had to make a little speech of introduction to the rest of the gathering, so I began with “there are six people in Greenland who I know really well …” and named them. And a few minutes later someone said to me “surely you know … (Mr X) and (Mrs Y) and (Master Z) and (his pet gibbon)” who were not among the people whose names I had mentioned.

Obviously, people not taking the slightest bit of interest or notice of what I have been doing or saying.

The conversation carried on about not very much for two hours, except for who could speak the longest and say the least. I was effectively shunted off into obscurity, musing to myself that these are the kind of meetings that should be held standing up, outside, in the pouring rain. And then all of the work would be accomplished in probably a tenth of the time, and much more effectively too.

But it’s my own fault. I paid the €15:00 membership fee as soon as I arrived. Had I held out until the end before waving the folding stuff about, I imagine that they might have made more of an effort to engage with me until they had managed to chisel the cabbage out of my sweaty little mitt.

This morning though was just as bad. Apparently I had to go with someone to interview someone in English. I thought that we were doing that a couple of weeks ago but it was merely a telephone call. Today it looked like the real thing but when we arrived, it was simply a case of going for a meal with this British guy with the purpose of arranging a date for the interview.

It’s all complete, total and utter chaos and what made it worse was that when we were outside this restaurant the British guy and I were having a chat and the French guy who was trying to set up this interview said afterwards to me “if only we had the gear hear to record that. It was exactly what I wanted!”

Had I not needed him to drive me home from Avranches, I would have beaten him to death on the spot.

That’s not the worst of it either. The way to do this interview is to prepare a list of questions. I ask them of this English guy and we record the answers. We then superimpose a French person asking the questions into the recording and then I do a translation into French with a nice British accent and it’s overdubbed so you can hear the British guy talking in the background but hear the French (with accent) over the top.

It’s such a simple thing to do and I can do it all in half an hour here at my desk but the guy who thinks that he’s running the show (as distinct from the guy who is supposed to be running it) feels that he needs to be there and to do it in a way that is about 10 times more complicated and gives nothing like the same effect.

As I’ve said before … “and you’ll inevitably say again!” – ed … the lack of professionalism is really annoying me. And these are hours of my life that I won’t ever get back and I don’t have all that many to spare.

The proof of all of this was that I was up until quite late last night working, trying to catch up with the arrears of work (some hope).

And just as I was about to go to bed the gale got up, we were hit by a tempest and as I opened the bedroom door there was an enormous flash of lightning – just by way of a spontaneous greeting to me.

Despite the late night I was off on my travels last night, with Batty Bat (and it’s been YEARS since she’s accompanied me on a nocturnal voyage) and TOTGA. I’ll spare you all of the gory details because you’re probably eating a meal right now and I don’t want to turn your stomachs. But what was surprising about this particular journey is that encompassed several events that have or had a parallel with events that have or had taken place in real life and one event in particular that has been going through my conscious mind for the last week or so. It was quite surprising when I heard it on the dictaphone.

With a Herculean effort I was out of bed before the third alarm and after breakfast I attacked the outstanding project that needed to be done by today.

And ohh me miseram“well, puer amat mensam!” – ed … I miscalculated the timing and ran 5 minutes short of my hour. A frantic search found a piece of music exactly the correct length, and then I needed a vocal explanation to go with it. Which I recorded incorrectly.

strange sunlight effects baie de mont st michel st pair sur mer granville manche normandy franceToo late now for my shower, I shot off for my meeting at the Centre Agora.

One thing about being late for my meeting is that had I been on time five minutes earlier I would have missed this glorious light. I’ve spoken … “at great lengths” – ed … on several previous occasions, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, about the peculiar lighting effects that we can sometimes have around here and we’ve seen a few examples, but there has been nothing quite like this one.

This is one of the best that I have ever seen.

At the Centre Agora I made another suggestion but this one suffered the same fate as the other suggestions that I have made – viz kicked into the long grass. And then this abortive drive to Avranches with people who have nothing better to do with their lives.

Back here again I cracked on and finished the project that needed finishing and then I attacked the following one that I had already prepared. The music was ready and just needed the sound so I dictated that and began to edit it when i discovered that I had forgotten a track.

Down into town for this other meeting and on the way back I had a text message – “your train on Thursday is cancelled due to a strike”. So much for that!

aztec lady omerta spirit of conrad chantier navale port de granville harbour manche normandy franceOn the way back home after the meeting I went the long way round in order to clock up the kilometres and also to see what was going on in the Chantier Navale.

We stall have our three boats in there – Spirit of Conrad, Omerta and Aztec Lady but never mind them for a moment. Just admire the photograph.

It’s quite true that I’ve taken many photos that have come out far better than this one, but the fact is that this one was taken with the little Nikon 1 and if it could take photos like this all the time I wouldn’t be so reluctant to rely on it.

Whenever I go out on foot for any distance I take that one with me because it fits nicely in the pocket, but its night-time photos have usually been something of a disappointment.

With my train being cancelled, the first task when I reached home was to see what Flixbus had to offer me.

Nothing at all from Avranches, but there is a bus going from Caen at … errr … 08:00 that morning. So it looks as if Caliburn and I will be having an early start. The station car park at Caen is quite expensive but I’ll be badgered if I’m going to leave him in the street for four days.

But something happened to me today. Walking up the hill towards my meeting at the Centre Agora this morning, I suddenly came over all queer. And then tonight, I had another fall. Luckily onto a raised grass surface so I did myself no damage. But what’s happening here?

Tea was the rest of the leftover curry with rice and veg followed by the last of the pineapple with sorbet. Now I’m carrying on working as I listen to a “Traffic Live” concert. A brilliant band, Traffic, especially live.

Tomorrow I have a couple of things to do in town as well as cashing in my rail tickets, but I want to finish this project on which I’m working as well as doing another one at least before I go.

There’s tidying up to do too, so I’m hoping to be on form. But I doubt if I’ll have an early night. Far too much to do!

Tuesday 5th November 2019 – CALIBURN HAS GONE …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s a nice plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s some “if”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

jullouville granville manche normandy france
jullouville granville manche normandy france

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

Monday 14th October 2019 – SOMETIMES IT’S VERY HARD …

… to say goodbye to people with whom one has been associated for so long, but today is the day that I hit the road, Jack (or Jacques, seeing that I’ll be heading towards Quebec).

4th September I arrived in New Brunswick and apart from 10 days or so clearing out my storage unit in Montreal and visiting family and friends in Ottawa I’ve been here ever since.

If I’m not careful I’ll be putting down roots next, and that will never do. I was born under a wandering star, as the old song went, and I’m destined to wander for the rest of my life until, making reference to a certain posting 6 or so weeks ago when I was still aboard The Good Ship Ve … errr … Ocean Endeavour, Charon ferries me across the River Styx.

With it being Thanksgiving (which reminds me, Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Canadian family and friends and new readers, et Bonne Action de Grace a toute le monde francophone Canadien) we had another lie-in this morning. Nothing like as dramatic as yesterday’s. Not quite so early in bed, a small disturbance during the night, and raising myself from the Dead round about 08:45. But still, I’ll take that over almost any other night that I’ve had for quite some considerable time.

Eventually there was some noise coming from the rest of the house so I went in to join the (af)fray. We had a reasonably heavy brunch, nothing like the legendary Sunday one but a good one nevertheless, and then hung around chatting for ages. Everyone seemed to be in a very sociable mood today.

With me heading for the hills, I managed to make the printer fire up so I could print off all of my travel documents ready for the trip. Another task accomplished.

This afternoon people had tasks to do so I busied myself packing and having another play around on the bass guitar before I put it away in Strider where it will live for the next foreseeable future.

A curry was on the agenda for supper so for a change Hannah and I attacked it. For some reason that I don’t understand, it didn’t taste anything like as good as any previous one that I have made. I hope that I’m not losing my touch!

But as for my carrot soup, well, what more can I say? All of the leftover carrots (because there were tons of them) steamed slowly to warm them up, with bay leaves for added flavour, and then simmered gently for a while in coconut milk with ginger. Finally the bay leaves were removed and the whole lot given a ride around in the whizzer.

Totally delicious.

Finished packing, and leaving a few things behind such as my spare clothes and my deck shoes, because I seem to have acquired a Tupperware microwave fryer and a pile of CDs somewhere on my travels and it won’t all fit in, and then Rachel took me down to Irvings in Florenceville and the Maritime Atlantic bus.

21:15 it was scheduled to arrive, and at 21:15 arrive it did. And remind me never to travel on a Bank Holiday or thereabouts because it was packed and it was a struggle to find a seat. What I did find though was a backpack under the seat, apparently left behind by someone who had alighted earlier, so I took it down to the driver.

We eventually arrived at Riviere du Loup where we all change buses. It was cold, miserable, wet and rainy but nevertheless I had a chat to the driver. He comes up all the way from Moncton, sleeps in the hotel next door, and then drives all the way back the following day. Reminded me of my days with Shearings when I used to do an overnight run every Friday night from Manchester to Glasgow and Edinburgh and return the following day.

And while I was chatting, someone came around “has anyone seen a black backpack?” so I passed him on to the driver.

So now I’m sitting on a seat in a draughty windswept crowded waiting room here waiting for my bus to Montreal to arrive. I’m reaching the end of this phase of my journey and who knows where I’m going to end up next?

As Winston Churchill once said after the British flight from the Germans at Dunkirk, “this is not the beginning of the end. It is merely the end of the beginning”.

Saturday 24th August 2019 – TODAY I HAVE BEEN …

… learning to play the ukelele. And furthermore, I now know four chords (C, G, F and Am) and can play two songs. And if Status Quo can tour the world for 50 years with just 3 chords, I can do far better than that.

Last night I was wide awake again just before 04:00 and it took an age to go back to sleep again. Mind you, I comfortably beat the third alarm out of bed.

As I intimated yesterday, all events are cancelled for today. There had been talk of going into a couple of fjords in order to spot wildlife and the like, but there’s a howling gale raging on Baffin Island right now and while it’s not enough to cause us many problems out here 25 kilometres offshore, it could be devastating in a narrow and uncharted fjord. We are going to stand to offshore until it all subsides and head on north as soon as it’s safe to do so.

Consequently we had a series of on-board workshops. This morning I attended the photo-editing workshop during which I came to the conclusion that not only is my technique rubbish but the program that I use is even worse, and both must be improved when (ever) I return home, if not sooner.

After lunch we had a lecture on polar bears, during which I fell asleep and then made a fool of myself by asking a question that had been covered during the time that I was away with the fairies, and then the ukelele session that I mentioned just now.

I also took advantage of the computer technician who has now managed to stop (but not remove) the Walmart splash screen that has been annoying me, and I also went to see the expedition leader about a project that I have in mind.

Tea was with the photographer and I had a curry that had been specially made for me by the chef. Later, I finished (hooray) editing the photos and now I’m up-to-date for the month of August. But they are all going to have to be done again as I’m far from satisfied with the output.

But not tonight though. I’m off for an early night. Everything starts back up tomorrow if the storm subsides.

Friday 7th June 2019 – THE GOOD NEWS …

… is that my knee doesn’t seem to be septic or infected. Whatever is weeping out of it doesn’t correspond with anything that one would expect to see under those conditions.

It seems to be what you might expect to see in the case of an inflammation. And the bad news is that there’s nothing that I can take that it anti-inflammatory that would not react with the other products that I take.

Consequently I need to go off to somewhere around here for an ecograph and then on 17th June to see a specialist in Coutances.

And isn’t that cutting it rather too fine?

But for now, the salt baths do seem to be working. I was in the bath for an hour this afternoon and it eased the leg off considerably. In fact I was walking around a darn sight better than I have done for the last 10 days or so.

What I shall have to do is to keep on with that every day or so and take whatever relief it might give me.

But the one thing about going to Coutances is that I’ll finally get to have a ride on the new railway. There are good connections to and from Granville for my appointment, and it’ll give me a chance to try out the leg prior to my trip to Leuven the following weekend.

Last night was another decent night for sleeping and I was even out of bed, up and about before the final alarm went off.

And having had breakfast I made a start on the searchable text database for the photos for April 2018. And this is going to take a while because there are plenty of them. I had a good weekend in Germany, a few days in Oostende and a week in Tunisia.

After a little tidying-up and lunch I had my salt bath and a good clean-up and tidy-up, and then Brigitte came to take me to the doctor’s.

Back here, I invited her in for a coffee and a chat and then made my tea. a curry made out of leftovers, and I found that I had forgotten to add the leftover peppers. Nevertheless it was delicious.

Tomorrow I’m shopping so I’m going to have another early night. I hope that it’s as good as last night, because it occurs to me that I haven’t crashed out yet.