Tag Archives: vegan pizza

Sunday 19th March 2023 – WELL THAT WAS A …

… total waste of time.

It was a beautiful afternoon today, so much so that I had turned off the heating for a while and had the window open, so I reckoned that I’d go out to this Home Exhibition that was taking place this weekend.

It was a long walk – the longest that I’ve done since I’ve been back from Canada – and quite uncomfortable on my crutches, but I made it there all the way without too many problems.

But as I said, I needn’t have bothered. Of all the stalls that were there in this big marquee, there was only one that made any reference to bathrooms. And when I finally managed to speak to the guy in charge, he told me that he had no means of assisting with the installation.

And that’s no good for me.

So anyway, I just came back home. I didn’t even stop for an ice cream.

It was a tough climb back up to here and I had to make more pauses than I otherwise would have done, but I made it back and then collapsed on a chair.

It’s no surprise that I was tired though because apart from the walk into town and back, I’d also had another miserable night, following on the usual pattern just recently.

And despite it being a Sunday I was wide awake at 08:45 and out of bed by 09:30, and it’s not something that happens every Sunday. There have been Sundays when I’ve been lucky to see midday.

After the medication, the first thing that I did was to listen to the dictaphone. There were tons of stuff on it from the night. We were having a big argument. I can’t remember very much about it except that it was with some people who were not very well-educated. I had to write out an essay. It was to do with some kind of subject but my life story seemed to fit in there so I was in order of writing my life story. For some reason it had taken me so much time to make a start that I didn’t have much time left so I was doing it as a kind of “cut and paste” but with real paper, a pen and a pair of scissors trying to write it out so I could then cut everything around and fit it into the exam paper in the right kind of order. It was really quite a complicated thing. Then I had to write out the word “seizure” but I couldn’t remember how it was spelt. I asked someone who you spell it. Then I realised that instead I could just say the word “sizes” so I said that there’s no need to bother – I’ll use that instead. Off course “sizes” wasn’t the right word. That was one thing that while I was dictating this I couldn’t think of what words I was supposed to be using in this dream.

And then I was round at someone’s house. They were proudly showing me their anemometer that they had attached to the eaves of the roof of their house. I remembered the one that I used to have at Virlet. I was quite admiring it. They had some kind of set-up in the back, a framework with solar panels etc. I took advantage by fastening a pole to this gantry and putting a wind turbine on it. We went into the house. It was bedtime. I went to bed. All of a sudden this whole framework collapsed. My brother was actually standing next to it outside but he didn’t notice for some reason. I got up to go to see what had happened but immediately fell over because my right knee gave way. Eventually I managed to drag myself off out. They were busy trying to prop it up by driving wooden stakes into the ground with a hammer. I didn’t think that that would do the stakes much good but it was all they had. I had a sledgehammer but it was in the back of Caliburn. Every time this guy had it in the correct kind of place to hold up, my brother would try to adjust it just that little bit more and it would all collapse again. We were fed up of this and shouted at him to leave it alone. There were all kinds of things like bricks there that were separated by little bits of foam to stop the bricks knocking against each other. They had percentages written on them. I worked out that it was some kind of calculator that calculated the percentages for numbers of days in the year. I thought that the only way that this is going to work now is that if they put it back in the right order. But apart from the writing on it there was no way to determine which was the correct order and which wasn’t.

Later on we were on a bus trip in a white Van Hool Alizee taking us all around. I was a passenger. A lot of my family was on it. My mother was there and she was keeping everyone waiting because she always seemed to be the last to turn up. I said to my youngest sister “that will teach you to be born so late in life. If you’d been born before, you wouldn’t have had to wait for so long”. We were all waiting in this park by these iron gates for the bus to appear. While we were waiting there someone who was the guardian of the gates was asleep on the gate. Someone wanted to go out for a minute but they couldn’t awaken him so they just opened the gate anyway and dashed out after their 2 children who’d got out somehow. We all wondered what was going on because no-one had given us any explanation when we saw the woman suddenly dash out of the gates of this park.

Finally, a lot of turmeric had been used in flavouring some green beans that were cooking on the stove in a big pot. So much so that they had gone a greeny-yellow. We were trying to find people who had eaten from here to see whether in fact they’d turned yellow, there was so much turmeric in this cooking pot.

The morning was very quiet. I didn’t really do all that much at all. After all, it is a Sunday and I’m entitled to have a day off once a week.

Lunch was early today and then I nipped out to the Exhibition to make the most of the glorious weather.

Back here, once I’d recovered, I made a pile of dough for the fruit buns. Lots of dried fruit and the like to give it some ooomph. And I made enough dough for a dozen, with the idea that I won’t have to make any for a while. I’ll be just a couple of days short of Easter then when I run out and as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I now have some hot cross buns in the freezer for Easter.

But while we’re on the subject of the freezer … “well, one of us is” – ed … I don’t know where I’m going to put the fruit buns that I won’t be eating this week. The freezer is jam-pack full with the couple of bags of carrots in there and I had a real struggle to open the drawers today.

There’s a bit more space in there now though because after lunch I took out the last ball of frozen dough for the pizza and it had been defrosting all afternoon. While my fruit buns were busy proofing, I kneaded the defrosted dough and rolled it out onto the pizza tray.

Rosemary rang up for a lengthy chat about an issue that is ongoing involving one of her friends in the UK. And while we were chatting I baked my fruit buns and assembled my pizza. And when the buns were baked (to perfection) I put the pizza in to cook.

With the oven being stinking hot the pizza was cooked to perfection too and it was delicious. I’ll make some more like that!

With a spare half-hour I dictated the notes for the radio programme so (in theory) it shouldn’t take too long to do the radio programme. “In Theory” because we all know about “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men” that often “gang aft agley” when you are trying to do something.

We’ll have to see how it all pans out.

Sunday 12th March 2023 – SO MUCH FOR …

… my nice long lie-in this morning. I was wide-awake at 08:20 and by 09:50 I’d long-given up any thought of going back to sleep and so in a fit of resignation I raised myself from the dead and went for a ride on the porcelain horse instead.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages and then had a look at the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I was at some place where you would mix and match your servers. It would be like 4-piece jigsaws with feet, a head, legs and body. The idea was that game that you play where you have to match them all up together. For some reason, one waiter who had been made like this but wasn’t correct was nevertheless working quite hard. A certain female customer objected and made quite a scene to being served by him

Then later on I was in a hotel on some kind of tour. There was a woman who had a daughter who was about 11. They were both blondes. I wasn’t able really to strike up much of a conversation with them except on one day when we started to talk. I ended up back in her hotel room (for purely innocent purposes). There was another man there as well. He was monoploising the conversation and discussion. In the end the little girl got up and went out. I was stuck here listening to this man going on with this woman. There was another woman in there, a black South African woman. It turned out that this blonde woman and her daughter, they were South African. I said “it must be awful to be a South African, particularly at this moment with all of the issues of prejudice and discrimination etc that’s happening, and feeling guilty about it. Unfortunately it’s your Government and there’s nothing you can do about it”. Somehow I couldn’t assert myself, I suppose. I hadn’t any idea about what I wanted to do or going to do anyway but whatever it was, I was unable to do it. It was extremely disappointing for me

That wasn’t all that went on either but you really don’t want to know about anything else, especially if you are eating your meal right now.

For the rest of the day I’ve been finishing off the music for the radio programme that I need to prepare on Monday. And when I’d done that I wrote out all of the notes for the music that I’d chosen, recorded them and even edited about half of it.

Rosemary rang me up as well for a chat after her little journey to Vietnam but we weren’t on the ‘phone for long.

Tea tonight was a pizza. And if you thought that last week’s was good, tonight’s was even better. I’m not sure why but I reckon that the flour that I used might have something to do with it. It’s an expensive flour but it seems to work quite well.

So now I’m off to bed. I’m starting tomorrow at 06:00 as is usual on a Monday and I want to finish this programme fairly early so I can relax for the rest of the day. It’s going to be the only time that i’ll have to myself until at least Friday so I want to make the most of it.

Sunday 5th March 2023 – MY VEGAN PIZZA …

… this evening was probably the best that I have ever made.

Not only was it cooked to perfection, it tasted absolutely delicious as well. And I can’t think what it was that I did differently to make it so nice because it was made exactly the same way as every other one that I’ve made just recently

Mind you, I did have plenty of time to make it because I was up and out of bed astonishingly early for a Sunday.

It was round about midnight when I went to bed and I couldn’t sleep for ages. I’ve been without my medication for several days and with restarting yesterday, I’ve started on the side-effects already as my body becomes accustomed to them again. and so I was itching all over like nobody’s business for ages.

When I awoke, I noticed the time. And it was ony 08:00. That’s just ridiculous for a Sunday. I tried my best to go back to bed but I gave up at about 09:30 and arose from the dead.

For the first part of the morning I didn’t do all that much. There was plenty of time to spare.

A little later I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. There were 4 of us sitting at a table in a restaurant – me, the woman with me who might have been Rosemary or even my friend from Montréal, another woman and another guy. We were having a meal. I was having a plate of vegetables. For some reason it was taking me a long time to eat it. Everyone else had finished a while before me. We were talking about various things. It turned out that the other woman at the table was the carer of the father of the woman with me. She was talking about things that everyone would know. The subject of food came up. I mentioned some kind of salmon that we’d had once in New York that swam around in the underwater rivers and had apparently come from somewhere down in the South-West of the USA in this underwater river all the way to New York. As I was eating I asked the woman with me to explain it but she went on a story about water leaks, how no-one ever fixed them because water was a common commodity and they didn’t want to cut off the supply in order to repair the leaks, hence the water leaking everywhere. That wasn’t the story that I wanted to tell. The other woman talked about how she had to pay £6:00 every 3 days to buy a bus pass to take this woman’s father out for whatever he needed doing. I mentioned that in Granville public transport is free (which it is and I’m surprised that I could remember that when I’m asleep) so we had a chat about this. But all the time that we were talking, of course I wasn’t eating. The meal was taking for ever to disappear. In the end it was becoming quite embarrassing, the time that it was taking to finish my meal, too busy talking about everything else.

My curried leek and potato soup was delicious today. I finished the last of it for lunch and it made quite a nice change from porridge. And soaking my bread in soup instead of toasting it and smothering it in vegan butter made a nice change too.

This afternoon I made a batch of fruit buns and they tuned out to be really nice by the look of things. I can’t wait to start sampling them tomorrow – the first one anyway.

And while the dough was rising I made a batch of pizza dough. When I had my food delivered when I was really ill, they sent me a different kind of flour. I made the pizza dough with it and it came out really smooth. I’ll have to keep an eye open for more of this flour in due course.

It rose quite nicely too. I divided it up into three batches, put two in the freezer and rolled out the other one onto the pizza tray to let it prove. So while the fruit buns were cooking later on I assembled the pizza and that followed the buns into the oven once they had baked. Probably the oven being stinking hot might have helped the cooking process but it won’t explain the taste.

For the rest of the day I wrote out the notes for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow, and even find time to dictate them. In fact I had to dictate them twice because for some reason I forgot to switch on “RECORD” for the first time. I’ll edit that tomorrow morning after I get up.

But not right now. Although it’s early, I’ve already crashed out once today and with a really early start tomorrow I need to be at my best.

And I have to telephone the bank and the visiting nurse tomorrow. Things are moving rapidly here and I have to make sure that I’m on target to complete what I need to do. Time and tide wait for no man.

Sunday 26th Fenruary 2023 – TODAY REALLY SHOULD …

… have been a day off for me but instead, I’ve been working.

In fact I’ve been quite busy, what with one thing or another. Probably even busier than I might be on a normal working day.

It started off quite early too. I was wide awake at 09:00 and try as I might, I coudn’t go back to sleep. By the time it reached 09:30 I had given it up as a bad job and raised myself from the dead.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I didn’t do too much while I slowly came round into the land of the living. And once I was wide-awake, whenever that might have been, I started work.

First thing that I did was to have a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. I was back at the time when Nerina and I were still together, but you don’t really want to know about what the dream was about because you are probably eating your tea right now and it’s not the moment.

But later on, Deana, my friend from Norway, was in the UK so I’d sent her a message to invite her to come round to see me while she was here. She said that she might do in the afternoon. Another one of my friends, who might have been Sue said that she might call round so I had a shower. before I dressed I fell asleep on the chair. I awoke with a jolt about 13:45, realised that I wasn’t dressed and had to scamper around to find some clothes. The first few that I found didn’t fit me so I thought that I’d fit a few of Nerina’s but I couldn’t find her clothes. Eventually I found one or two that were discarded in the bedroom. There was a cake in the bedroom as well and we had 2 cats that were asleep on the tray next to the cake. Eventually I found my clothes. I picked them up and looked at the time. It was 14:00. I thought that they should have been here by now. Then I noticed that I’d left the phone upstairs while I’d been asleep for all this time. There was a different screen on the phone which was one of the ancient Nokias that I used to have. I picked up the phone and tried to get back to the home screen to see if there were any missed calls but I couldn’t find my way back to the home screen.

A short while later I stepped back into that dream. I was trying to take some clothes from the tumble drier but they were still rather damp. While I was doing it, Nerina turned up. She’d been at work and had come out with some story about how she had to go to Blackpool to help someone recover a car. Of course I didn’t believe it for a minute. Then she tolld me about something that she had to do on Friday lunchtime at work. I knew that she had to go out to buy her chips but she came out with some other story about going somewhere else. Again, I wasn’t too sure about this at all. She came in and Tuppence (the old black cat that I used to have in the 1980s) came running downstairs and looked as if she wanted to go out. As I went to open the door she somehow jumped off the wall and managed to open the door herself and went out. Nerina said that that’s not a surprise if she’s been in here all day asleep

Did I dictate the second part of this dream about Nerina or did I dream it again after I’d fallen asleep yet again because I awoke in the middle of that part of the dream again.

Finally I was with a former friend and someone else, a girl, tramping through the streets of Stoke on Trent. She was talking about some plans she had. I was interested to find out what it was but she was very coy and kept them to herself for a while. Right at the end we were sitting on this hill overlooking Stoke on Trent with all these weeds and everything lying around which had once been a row of terraced houses. Then she told me that she was thinking about having some kind of plan or project for the kids of Stoke on Trent who had been disadvantaged. Would I like to help her? I said yes, i’d quite happily help her If that’s what she wants. I went off with my friend then, walking through these really shabby, rough streets in the place. Some woman then appeared to disrupt us. She came in and started to talk about changing the purple carpet in her house etc

And as I said, there was much more to it than all of this. It was one of those nights that was really turbulent and disturbing. You really don’t want to know any more about it.

For the rest of the day, the primary task has been to deal with the notes of the radio programme that I dictated last night before going to bed. And not only are they now uploaded and edited, I’ve even assembled both the radio programmes. All that’s now required are the final tracks and the speeches to go with them and that shouldn’t take too long.

Ingrid phoned me too and we had a lengthy chat about all kinds of things. She’s still having her health issues so it’s unlikely that I’ll ever see her up here in Granville, but it is nice to have a chat and keep in touch.

Another thing that I’ve done is to bake four bread rolls. As far as the general consistency and baking goes, the air fryer has done a tremendous job and I’m impressed. But the rolls have come out like balls and that will make it difficult for me to toast them or to make some sandwiches.

In the future I’m probably going to be as well making a large loaf rather than small individual rolls but I’ve no complaint about how the air fryer is working.

After I’d had lunch I’d taken some pizza dough – the last one of the batch – out of the freezer and it had been defrosting. Later on I kneaded it and rolled it out onto the pizza tray. At teatime I assembled my pizza and baked it, in the traditional oven. It was one of the best that I’d made as well and I’ll make a few more like that.

So now I’m off to bed. Tomorrow I’ll finish off my radio programmes and then sort out my travel arrangements for later in the week. I configured the apps that I’d downloaded onto my mobile phone the other day so I could do a few things already and it won’t take me long to finish all of that off.

And then we’ll see how we go. Travelling on crutches is going to be quite exciting.

Sunday 19th February 2023 – CONSIDERING THAT I …

… was supposed to be having a day off today, I haven’t ‘arf been busy. In fact, it’s been one of the most productive days that I’ve had for quite a while.

Yet you wouldn’t think so after having yet another turbulent night when I didn’t seem to have all that much sleep. The fact that I was actually up and about not long after 10:00 (and on a Sunday too) tells you all that you need to know about that.

After I’d had my medication and checked my mails and messages, the first thing that I did was to transcribe the dictaphone notes from the night, of which there weren’t all that many. We started off with the taxi business last night. We were discussing the people working for us and why they seemed to be sticking to the job instead of going off and doing something more exciting and exhilarating. I mentioned that even 2 more employees were hoping to wangle full-time jobs with us and we couldn’t really understand that because the business didn’t really support it. We had a huge discussion about it. Then we had to go somewhere. We were in a Cortina estate that broke down somewhere. We left it overnight and came back. While Nerina had to go to do something she dropped me off there. It started up straight away so we got into it and set out to drive it back. The roads were very wet and the car didn’t feel at all comfortable on the road. It not long fitted brand-new springs on it so I thought that it would handle much better than it did. That was something of a mystery. There was much more to it than this but I seem to have forgotten a lot of it.

Later on I was driving through rural France somewhere. The roads were extremely difficult. The Cortina estate was going quite well but you would come to these extremely steep hills where the car in front of you would suddenly slow down. You would basically run into the back of it and nudge it along. We’d had 1 or 2 encounters like that. Then I came to a place at the side of the road by an old railway station. It had a couple of motorbike frames outside so I went in. It was a pushbike place and there was a young girl there with a pushbike having her bike serviced by this guy. I apologised for wasting his time but told him that it was the motorbike bits that had caught my eye. He showed me 1 or 2 of the bits and then I went back to the road. I came into a big city somewhere in Alsace. I went to turn up a side street which was extremely steep and the same thing happened again with an Austin A70 saloon that suddenly came to a stop and I pushed it up the hill. I came into a town square where there was this old woman. By now I was on foot. I did the same to her while I was on foot. She had a few things to say so I pretended to ignore her. I was walking up a hill. There was a lorry parked in the road so I had to walk round it. There were crowds of people coming down which stopped me from walking up. I fell down onto my knees and couldn’t pick myself up. When I finally did pick myself up again there were these 2 little boys there. I wanted to go to the toilet but they wanted to follow me. They just wouldn’t leave me alone, pestering me all the time that I was trying to go to the toilet. In the end I abandoned it as a completely bad job and set off on my travels again.

Another thing that I did was to add some new Apps to my telephone.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that recently I changed my phone following the one that I use having a broken charging socket. I resurrected the previous one that I had “lost” and didn’t recover until a few months later. There were some Apps that I had on the old phone that I need to use at some point or other, such as within the next few days for example, so I had to add them on.

This afternoon after food I edited the two dictaphone notes that I’d dictated last night before I went to bed and then in a mad fit of enthusiasm I assembled them into the two radio programmes that I need to make. All that remains to do is to add the final track and the text to bring everything up to one hour each in length.

As well as that, I had another play at baking some bread in the air fryer. And to my surprise, this was the best that I have ever made. My two bread rolls rose up exactly as they should and I’ll be looking forward to eating those, duly toasted and with tons of butter, at some point during the week.

While I was at it, I picked Liz’s brains for a recipe for pancakes. It’s Pancake Tuesday next week and Eric wants to be busy baking. I need to be a little more adventurous with what I cook and try to do a few more things. Certain things, like Hot Cross Buns, are probably a little too complicated and crucial but pancakes are quite simple and straightforward and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t have a go.

And I have plenty of vegan soya cream too. That should be delicious.

After I’d finished my lunch earlier I’d taken some pizza dough out of the freezer and had left it to defrost. Later on I gave it a good kneading and rolled it out onto my pizza tray. When it had finished rising I assembled my pizza and it really was delicious today, one of the best that I’ve made.

A problem that I encountered today was this question of transferring money. apparently the daily limit is only per working day, which means that the money that I transferred yesterday won’t go until Monday and I can’t send off the next lot until Tuesday. That’s going to disrupt my plans but it can’t be helped. They’ll have to give me at least a week’s notice to sign the final purchase so even if they notify me on Monday there will still be plenty of time to finish the transfer.

And no, I didn’t go out today for Carnaval. I saw a few photos of the crowds assembling and that was quite enough for me. Everywhere was absolutely heaving and I had no intention of being swept up with my crutches in a mass of crowd like that. They’ll simply have to do without me.

Sunday 12th February 2023 – I HAD A …

… go at making some bread in the air fryer this afternoon. A couple of small bread rolls.

And it wasn’t actually a success. Not because the air fryer didn’t do what it was supposed to do – in fact it seems to have baked them quite nicely – but because the dough didn’t rise very much at all, and I’ve no idea why that would be.

It’s true to say that the bread that I normally bake in a conventional oven doesn’t rise very much either even though I follow the recipes carefully and knead the dough for quite a while. I just think that the air fryer is simply amplifying the defects in whatever it is that I’m doing when I’m trying to make bread.

But I won’t give up. I’ll try again at some other time and see if there’s any improvement.

After all, the batch of pizza dough that I made today was delicious and did everything that it was supposed to. Tonight’s pizza was delicious and there are two more lumps that are now in the freezer that I hope will be just as nice for the next couple of weekends.

So what I might do is instead of using 500 grams of flour, I’ll use 600 grams and see if the extra 100 grams would make some nice bread rolls instead.

But that’s for another time. Right now I’m more concerned with what happened today.

Last night I was in bed at a realistic time but once more I had the stabbing pains in my legs and feet that awoke me on a couple of occasions. In fact, I could have been up and out of bed at 07:00 or thereabouts this morning but on a Sunday? You must be joking! 10:30 is much more like a reasonable time to stagger out of bed into the kitchen on a Sunday.

There was quite a bit of stuff on the dictaphone from during the night. At one point I was supposed to be going on holiday. I hadn’t packed anything and there was about half an hour before my plane so I grabbed hold of my suitcase and began to throw stuff into it. I couldn’t find half of the stuff that I needed so in the end I gave it up as a bad job and went to work instead thinking that when I return home I can pack and be ready for the next morning to go again. Next morning the situation was the same. The house was an absolute tip with stuff everywhere. I hadn’t cleaned it. Again, I couldn’t find half of the things that I needed. I thought that I can’t possibly leave the house in this kind of condition. The cats needed feeding. 2 boys came. They were talking about the pads that cricketers wear and what sizes they are. I tried to explain to them that the more proficient you are the bigger pads you have but for some reason they didn’t seem to quite understand. Then they said that they would feed the cats for me etc. I said that it’s my job and I have to do it anyway so I’ll go to torture the poor devils with this horrible food that I give them. They tried to insist that they could do it but I just wasn’t getting anywhere with this stuff that I needed to pack. Rosemary had long gone. I thought “this is it, really. My journey may as well be cancelled”. At one point I found what I thought was a stash of all the stuff that I needed but when I began to rummage through it, it was all old stuff, single gloves etc none of which would be any good for what I wanted at all.

And then I was still searching for this missing button. It was nearly time for me to go to work so I was hunting around quickly. I came across a load of dried cat’s food that the cats hadn’t eaten. I opened the door and shouted. One of the cats came in but the other was really taking its time about it. I gave them some food anyway. Then a fuel tanker pulled up at the petrol station. The driver was wandering around doing a few things. Then he climbed back into the cab ready to leave. I thought to myself that I ought to be leaving soon too because of all the things that I had to do and I still hadn’t found what I was looking for.

There was also something happening about some kids’ entertainment that was taking place while I was fuelling up a motor scooter with fuel but I awoke in the middle of this and it immediately evaporated. I couldn’t remember anything more.

A short while later I had to create a new department for doing a certain kind of work as a support for someone famous and well-known in political circles. I had to write out a little speech to set everything out and then make some comments about it. Having written out what I thought was important, I went through and wrote in pencil over the top. The pencil wouldn’t show through very well. By now I’d gone to do this work outside and was sitting in a nice, comfortable place by a bit of a lawn where a group of small children was having a party. I decided that what I really needed was a fine-point red felt-tip pen that could write over the top of what I’d written. It wouldn’t obscure what was underneath but you could see my comments over the top quite clearly. I told these 2 girls that I’d left my papers there and that i’d be back in a moment. I ran back to my office to try to find one. Then there was something of a gap in whatever was happening. It merged into something much later where there was my new boss and probably one of his assistants discussing particular American politicians in some not-very-welcome or friendly terms. I suppose that I should have taken part in this discussion but I was far more interested in guarding my tongue so I didn’t say anything out-of-place but in the meantime listening carefully to what they were saying so that I could work out which way the wind was blowing and what was the lie of the land if I was going to be working with them

Once I’d gathered up my wits (which, seeing how few wits I have these days, takes much longer than it ought) and had some food and coffee, I made a start on one of the two radio programmes that I’ll be preparing tomorrow. And I did so well that apart from the final track and the speech that goes with it, one of the programmes is finished already.

It won’t take me long to finish that and then I can start on the second one. That shouldn’t take too long either because the text is already written and dictated. I dictated them before I went to bed last night in a mad fit of enthusiasm.

Apart from that, I did the baking that I mentioned, and my pizza for tea really was delicious. Cooked to perfection, which is a surprise given the inconsistencies of my table-top oven. I can’t wait to have a decent one up and running in due course but that will have to wait until the new apartment, whenever that will be.

So right now I’m off to bed for an early night ready for an early start in the morning. Dreaming of making bread in the air fryer, I suppose, but that’s not going to be anythign sustainable because it’s only a small air fryer and probably three bread rools is about the limit of what can fit in there.

But at least it works, and it opens all kinds of new doors for me, as I suspected that it would. What’s going to be next on the air-frying menu?

Sunday 5th February 2023 – I’VE ACTUALLY BEEN …

… out for a walk this afternoon.

Well, after a fashion and as much as I can anyway.

It was such a beautiful afternoon with the sun streaming down as it did so I couldn’t resist it. I grabbed the crutches and set off down the stairs. I did a lap around the car park and then walked down to the viewpoint that overlooked the fish processing plant and then came back.

It was quite windy and cold, but the sun made it look quite beautiful and I was glad that I made it outside.

On the way downstairs, I managed to go left-leg first down some of the stairs. That’s important because it means that I have to bend the right knee, and that’s something that I find to be quite difficult.

Much more difficult than going to sleep last night, as it happened. For once I was in bed at something like a realistic time. I fell asleep quite quickly too and slept all the way through until about 10:50. And I felt so much better for it. Especially as I stayed in bed for another 20 minutes doing my exercises.

There wasn’t a great deal of stuff on the dictaphone either so it must have been quite a quiet, relaxing night. There was a whole group of us, a couple of families, all staying in one house so it meant that we were all crammed up sharing a bed etc among several kids. I was sharing a bed with my brother. On one occasion he left the bed and went off because there was some noise or something going on. I took my teddy bear and another toy and put them down the bed with me and tried to go to sleep. I was distracted by all this noise too. I thought that I heard the voice of one of the young boys who was about 7. eventually my brother came back to bed. He was annoyed about the teddy etc being in his way. We started to chat.

Later on we’d been somewhere, a group of us again. I was coming home with a woman and her daughter – it might have been Laurence and Roxanne, I dunno. While we’d been away she’d told some people that there was a James Bond film that they could watch at their house. When we arrived back it was really late at night. We walked in and there was 1 girl still watching it with her mother. We still had a few things to do so for the moment we left them there. Then she said that she wanted to go to check up on another woman to whom she’d mentioned it about her daughter to see if they were still watching it at their house. We ended up driving up Dodd’s Bank. As we were at the foot of the bank I said to her “on the way back drop me here with my little suitcase and I’ll walk through the alley to home”. She asked me to repeat it so I did. In the end I had to repeat it about 3 or 4 times. My aim was to take the short cut through the alley with the small suitcase, leave the bigger suitcase in the car and return for that another time. That would save her a lot of time without having to drive round the housing estate to drop me off. But it was so difficult to try to make her understand what I was intending. She was short-tempered anyway with us being so late and with everyone still being around. And we had work tomorrow as well, of course.

There was rather more to it than all of this but you don’t really want to read it especially if you are eating your meal right now.

This morning I didn’t really do all that much but things began to liven up after I’d had lunch.

There was football on the internet this afternoon, a match in the quarter-final of the Welsh Cup between Penybont and Treffynnon.

Treffynnon spent a few years in the Welsh Premier League back in the 1990s when they were known as Holywell Town but in recent years they have been bouncing up and down between Division 2 and Division 3. At the moment they are doing well in Division 2 but they weren’t expected to do much playing away against a team riding high in the First Division.

It was pretty obvious to most people how this game was going to end but Treffynon put up quite a fight and even took the lead after 15 minutes with A GOAL OUT OF NOTHING but they couldn’t hang on to the lead.

Penybont equalised after 55 minutes and then scored a second from a penalty deep into injury time as a Treffynnon player who had just that minute come on the field as a substitute brought down an attacker in the penalty area with his first attempt to kick the ball.

It just wasn’t that substitute’s day either. 30 seconds later in a scramble to win the ball he ended up kicking an opponent and was sent off.

After I’d been for a walk I had a play about with the pizza dough that I’d taken out of the freezer earlier. And the pizza that I made with it was delicious too. One of my better ones.

And at some point the owner of the apartment that I’m trying to buy rang me up to ask me if I’d heard anything from the solicitor. It looks as if I’m not the only one who is being disturbed by the lack of action from him.

Tomorrow I’ll be doing the two radio programmes and then chasing up to see what news about Caliburn. I’m itching to get back on the road and do some shopping. Supplies of certain items are starting to run low again and I need to go out and about and do some stocking up.

Sunday 29th January 2023 – WITH NOT HAVING …

… gone to bed (for one reason or another) until 03:30 this morning, it was no surprise that I didn’t get up until 11:30 today. And I wasn’t all that bothered either

As a result though, I didn’t have long to wait until I had my breakfast. Toast, porridge and a couple of mugs of nice, strong coffee.

This afternoon, all I did was to finish off all of the notes for the radio programmes that I’ll be doing tomorrow. Hopefully I can get a good run at doing those programmes tomorrow and that’ll be another job finished. Then I can get on with more important things, of which there are quite a few.

There were the dictaphone notes to transcribe too, but they were something of a disappointment. There was something about choosing some music for a radio programme of some description. I’d chosen several songs. A couple of them came up and I wasn’t sure whether they were the ones that I’d chosen or not. The person concerned seemed to be quite happy and basically told everyone that if they didn’t like it, that was rather a shame because that was what was happening. There was a lot more to it than this but I can’t remember it now.

And later on I stepped back with this radio programme again. I had 10 or so songs and 10 or so speeches. I’d paired off the easier songs and speeches and that had just left me with the ones I didn’t know. I was trying to go through to find out how I could possibly put the right speech with the right voice but it was extremely difficult. There were one or two that had me completely and utterly stumped. I had no idea how I was going to manage to sort this out and do it correctly.

Tea tonight was a pizza of course, and another one of the best that I’ve made. I’m not sure why it was so better than a couple of weeks ago, with exactly the same ingredients.

So tomorrow I have the radio programmes, the wages and the financing to sort out. And if I can do all of that I’ll be doing well. I’ll be much better though with a decent sleep and so I may as well make a start on that right now.

Sunday 22nd January 2023 – I REMEMBER SAYING …

… yesterday that I was worried about having a good night’s sleep last night.

Well, I needn’t have wasted my time writing any of that because we had another one of those nights where I didn’t have much sleep at all.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few weeks ago I had a night when I spent most of it fighting a stabbing pain in the sole of my right foot. Last night it was a stabbing pain in the heel of my left foot that went on for most of the night and kept me awake.

That’s a susprise because most of the issues that I’m having with my legs are in my right leg so a pain like that in the left leg is rather worrying.

At some point in the night – or rather, the morning because I definitely saw 07:40 on the fitbit – I did manage to fall asleep and so I wasn’t particularly concerned about not leaving the bed at 11:30. And I expected to be totally wasted too but I’ve managed to keep on going throughout the day.

The way that things were this morning, I didn’t do anything before my brunch, but afterwards the first thing that I did was to transcribe the dictaphone notes. Surprisingly, I had actually managed to go on a couple of voyages during the morning. I was trapped in a fire at some point. The people with me couldn’t actually extricate me from this building so they ran to fetch help. Eventually I was rescued and taken away but my gluteus maximus had burned off so I was going to be quite handicapped. Eventually my friends caught up with me and came to see me. One of them asked how I was so I explained what had happened to me. They were surprised by the way that I was telling this story. They thought that it should be much more serious although they didn’t want me to take out the seriousness on them. I couldn’t understand what was the point of the discussion. There was something in this dream to do with money. I’d had a lot of money that had all been paid to me in pennies. It was for music – albums and things like that. I thought that the only way I could dispose of it now was to change it all in taxis for pound notes etc or else take it to the bank. If I took it to the bank the bank would just put the money in my account and wouldn’t give it to me, so again I didn’t know what to do about these huge piles of coins that I had.

And then I found myself dictating this dream into my hand again while I was asleep. I was on board a ship. We’d been there for 2 weeks and were leaving. It was the final day. There was a girl whom I’d been chatting up while I’d been on board the ship with pretty much no success at all. On the last day when I went to sit down for breakfast someone was actually in my place. There was a place next to this girl so I thought “right, I’ll go and sit there and she’ll have to like it seeing as it’s the last meal anyway”. I put down my stuff next to her on the table and asked “does anyone want anything for breakfast?” because I only had a small breakfast and we were entitled to 5 different things. She said that she wanted something else so I said “yes, I can fetch that for you”. Someone else said that they wanted something. In the meantime I started to chat to this girl about breakfast etc. She didn’t seem in the least bit hostile or standoffish as she had done during the rest of this holiday so I wondered what was happening now.

Later on I was with a girl round at the home of my friend near Macon. I don’t know who the girl was, which was a shame. I had the Luton Transit, another van that might have been Caliburn and I had to get them both home. I also had a motorbike so the idea was to find a plank, put the motorbike up the plank into the back of one of the vans, drive the van home, get the motorbike out, come back the next day on the motorbike, pick up the other van, put the motorbike in the back and drive that back. That seems a pretty logical way to go about it but there was that much stuff in the back of the 2 vans that we had to think again. Then I saw that he was busy trying to put the motorbike into a trailer as if he was going to lend me the trailer. The trailer had been parked outside for years and as he put the motorbike in the trailer collapsed. He was sitting there looking at this trailer. I was wondering what was going to happen next and so was he. I still couldn’t get over the idea that simply tidying up the van to put the bike in it was the best way forward but it seemed to me that everyone was trying to complicate this thing rather unnecessarily.

With it being Sunday today it’s pizza day but I’ve no pizza dough left over so I had to make some more. And this batch turned out quite well too. Two lumps of it have gone into the freezer for the next couple of weeks and the third lump was left to proof.

When it was ready, I rolled it out and put it on the pizza tray to proof again so that I could assemble the pizza. And then I could cook it and eat it.

It was actually quite delicious too and I’ll make some more like that if I can work out what I did that worked so well.

While I was waiting around for things to happen I was finishing off the notes for the radio programme that I should have done on Thursday and then half of the notes for the one I’ll be doing tomorrow. I’m going to see if I can do both programmes tomorrow, always assuming that I can tear myself out of bed at 06:00 tomorrow.

So that reminds me – if I’m going to have an early start I need to have an early finish and so I’m off to bed. I’m surprised that I’ve kept on going for as long as I have today bearing in mind my awful night.

Sunday 15th January 2023 – WITH IT BEING …

… Sunday today, I’ve had one of my usual Sunday days where I’ve had a good lie-in and done next to nothing all day.

What else I’ve done, rather unfortunately, is to fall asleep at some point in the afternoon. As if 9 hours sleep during the night isn’t enough, especially seeing as I didn’t go to bed until 02:00 and get up at 11:00. I’ve no idea what’s going on with me these days.

There was plenty of time during the night to go on a few voyages too, such as I remember. We were working in an office somewhere. There was cake everywhere – everyone was either baking or bringing cake in and there could have been 8 or 10 different cakes in that office. I’d baked one and someone had given me one for my birthday etc. Someone came in to tidy up the office, a young guy. Before we could say anything he’d cut a slice off each of these cakes, dumped it onto my plate and took my plate away. I bawled him out for doing this, saying that in future when he comes, to leave the cake alone. He’s certainly not to cut or take my cake, the cake that I’d made or been given. If he wants anything for himself he should really ask before he just goes and helps himself like that. A huge pile of cake on a plate like that was just outrageous.

And then the problems between me and my partner reached a head. We’d already separated once then on the bus coming back from Chester to Winsford she suddenly alighted at a bus stop and the bus drove away and left her. When the bus reached Nantwich I alighted and decided that I’d walk back to Winsford, I’m not quite sure why. This involved a walk through a field then down an incredibly steep bank. There was a place to go down and a way in which you did it. I didn’t know this particular way. When I arrived at the top of the bank there was a guy there on a bike. he wondered what on earth I was going to do. I launched myself over the top and went down in a large S-shaped sweep down to the bottom and set off to walk back to Winsford. I’m not sure why or what I was hoping to do etc.

I missed out a lot of this next dream. I can’t remember but later on we were discussing films, about making a horror film. I said that the tension is all in the soundtrack and film score. A lot of the tension if you took away the soundtrack and film score just wasn’t there at all. This was particularly true in comedy films. I explained a couple of examples like one or two of the “Carry On” films, about how the music and so on led people to the comedy moments. If you took those away the comedy moments themselves were very small and unimportant

Another dream about which I have forgotten a lot was that I’d gone to a chip shop to buy some chips. There was a huge queue of people loitering around outside so I passed over my order and waited. I ended up chatting to some people etc. I suddenly realised that I’d been there an hour and there was no sign of my chips. I went in and asked but trying to have some people understand what it was that I was trying to ask was extremely difficult for some reason. I couldn’t seem to make them understand that i’d ordered and paid for my meal a long time ago and not received anything.

My day, such as it was, started off with a good chat with Liz who showed me a video and took me on a guided tour of her new accommodation. It reminded me of the house in which my niece’s eldest daughter lives in Woodstock but is in much better condition and laid out much more sensibly.

After brunch of cornflakes, toast and coffee I made a start on doing some more notes for the radio programme that I’ll be doing tomorrow if I wake up in time. That is rather touch-and-go the way that I feel these days

And not that I did an awful lot because it was in the middle of all of this that I fell asleep.

Just as I was on the point of going out for my afternoon walk as I promised, Ingrid ‘phoned me and we had a long chat about all kinds of things. We both have our health issues right now so we compared notes.

When we finished I noticed that the sky had clouded over and it was on the point of raining. Not much point going out now so I made a batch of fruit buns. And they look wonderful too, probably some of the best that I have ever made. And if they taste as good as they look, they will be delicious. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

Last week I mentioned that there was something not quite right with the pizza that I made. The pizza that I made tonight with the same batch of dough was delicious so it must have been just a one-off last week. But I really want to have a decent oven to do my cooking because this tabletop oven that I have isn’t doing what it should.

So now I’m going off to bed. It’s early but I have a 06:00 start in the morning and if the nurse has picked up my message from Friday he’ll be coming round to give me my fortnightly injection. They are starting up again now that I have a proper prescription and some supplies.

Let’s see if I feel any better after this. After all, I couldn’t feel much worse.

Sunday 8th January 2023 – JUST BECAUSE I …

… didn’t leave my bed until about 11:00 this morning doesn’t mean that I had a really good sleep. Even if I was in bed by 22:30.

It didn’t take me long to go to sleep; that’s for sure, but by 01:00 I was wide awake again. I was sill wide-awake at 05:00 too. Four hours of tossing and turning and wishing that I was somewhere else, without any success whatsoever.

However at some point I did manage to go back to sleep again because 10:30 came round rather quickly after that.

Once I’d finally hauled myself out of bed I had a chat on-line with a couple of people and then paired off the music for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing tomorrow. It’s high time that I got back into the habit of working again.

Brunch was cornflakes and toast with the last of the mushroom paté from Christmas, and then for a couple of hours I had a little relax where I did nothing at all. It is Sunday, after all, so I’m entitled to have a Day of Rest, even if I have had more than my fair share of those just recently.

Later on, in the absence of anything better to do, I began to write out the notes for the radio programme and I’ve done about half of them right now. What I should have done was to transcribe the dictaphone notes, but I forgot until much later. During the night I was rooting around in the cupboard and came across a giant cat tree built on the base of a rocking chair. My mother was dismissive of it but I took it out all the same, assembled it and put it in the corner of the room. The young male kitten was straight in there fighting his way through everything ready to climb up and into it. The older female found another way in. There they were, both in this cat tree like kings and queens. By now it was Nerina with me. She made some kind of remark but I thought that the cats were clearly enjoying this. They have as much right to live here as we do. If they can have some pleasure out of this thing that’s been in a cupboard then so much the better.

And then I was on the taxis last night. There was usually a job to take where we had to go to Liverpool to pick up some documents to bring back. But this particular night there had been a fire and the job had been cancelled. Then it turned out that one of my distant relatives had died and the funeral was taking place at about 04:00 at Wardle. I wasn’t going to do anything – I ended up sitting through most of the night chatting to Nerina who was in bed. We were discussing everything but it was time for me to go. I’d taken a previous job to Liverpool and had to drop a guy off at one of the railway stations there. She asked me if I knew where the railway station was, if I’d found it. I replied yes because I knew where most of the railway stations were. I laughed and said that it’s a good job that I didn’t have these documents to pick up, wasn’t it? otherwise I’d have been in Liverpool and back again and then gone straight out to Wardle to the funeral. It seemed a really strange and weird time to have a funeral at 04:00 in the pitch-dark. It was raining outside – it really wasn’t the right kind of weather. I’d asked Nerina on a couple of occasions to see whether it wasn’t really 16:00 but she was quite adamant that it was 04:00 so I went to the bathroom and prepared to leave.

I was also off on a road trip in mid-west USA but it was nothing like the mid-west that I knew. I had the camera with me. I came across a small town where there was a lot of building work and road-widening. I thought “hang on – I’ve been here before. I’m sure I have”. As I drove into the centre I wondered whether or not this was the place where I fuelled up once many years ago. I parked the car, got out and went for a walk round to see if there was any interesting things to photograph. I came across buildings with strange statues on the roofs and abandoned buildings from the 18th and 19th Centuries. Then I realised that I didn’t have my camera with me so I couldn’t take a photo anyway. I wondered whether I should go back to the car, fetch the camera, look for this petrol station to see if it really was here and then start again taking a few photos. Maybe go back outside to where the roadworks were and take a photo of that.

Then later we were kitting out an aeroplane to fly out on a commercial run between the UK and mainland Europe. I was busy trying to peel off some kind of old radio from somewhere and install it into this aeroplane. The pilot was watching me intently as I delicately tried to cut everything and unpeel the track bars etc, asking me quite a few questions, none of which were particularly important. In the end I took it off. He seemed to be so pleased. I gave it to him and told him to refit it.

At one point I was wandering around a square in London. It was all to do with the economy and finance, the history of the coffee houses of London in the 18th Century etc. We talked about how Italian banks would buy security and buy each other to stop themselves being the subject of hostile takeovers etc, how business was flowing out of this square now to businesses that were set up on its periphery and outside in the main streets.
Tea tonight was a pizza and I didn’t really enjoy it which was a surprise. It tasted rather differently than some that I’ve made in the past and I’m wondering if it’s maybe the dough that hasn’t kept so well in the freezer.

So with a 06:00 start in the morning, I’m going to go to bed. Hopefully I’ll fall asleep just as quickly as I did last night but that I’ll sleep through until the alarm goes off. With having done some of the notes for tomorrow I’m hoping that it will be rather a quick programme but there is always something that comes up to disturb me.

Sunday 18th December 2022 – JUST IN CASE …

… you were wondering, it was another miserable night last night.

It was actually fairly early when I went to bed and I managed to go to sleep fairly quickly but once I awoke later, then that was that. Staying in bed until 10:05 is all ver well, but not really if you’ve spent much of the preceding 6 hours wide awake.

Sleeping pills may well be the option for that of course, as someone will probably remind me, but the only pleasure that I have out of life at the moment is what goes on during the hours of when I’m asleep and I don’t want to miss out on that.

And while we’re on the subject of what goes on during the night … “well, one of us is” – ed … I was out walking across London last night. I started off at the south-west and was heading into places like Brompton and the Royal Albert Hall, that area, and I could see everything in the distance. I came across a river but of course the river is nowhere near there. I had to walk around the river to find my way across on a bridge. By this time it had become Paris. I was walking again through Paris. There was something to do with a school where there were a couple of teachers and a few boys. At the end of the war the teachers had liberated themselves and abandoned the boys. The boys typed “Liberation” up on the door. By this time I was with someone else and we’d entered their apartment building and gone into their apartment. We could see the railway line at the back of their house. We were trying to find out what was the matter with them because it was quite obvious that things weren’t right

And then I was with Nerina. We were doing some kind of dissertation each. I was researching someone called the Duc d’Emory who was a French minister. He was someone renowned for being very thorough and going in depth into things. There was a certain legal case that came up at the time that he was in power. I’d managed to find a pile of notes that he’d written. I was going through this. She was doing something else and came towards near finishing. I was pretty much near finishing so I asked her how many pages she thought I ought to do. She replied “probably about eight”. I said “well, I’m cooked then” because I’d done probably double that and more. In the end she said something like “well it doesn’t really matter as long as you haven’t put in any superfluous words or anything like that”. I was really proud of what I’d managed to find out and write about him in this particular case.

Finally, there was a car race for small boys pushing cars around a circuit. I was asked to judge it. At first it was all going quite well but gradually the circuit became smaller as the boys started to cut the corner. I’d already worked out which one of them was going to win because he was better than the others but he was one who was taking so many short-cuts as well that I thought that I’d let him stew for a while before I actually announced the winner. He did far more than the 8 circuits going round but quite right too. I waited for a while before I called him the winner.

Once I was up and about I didn’t do too much at all (after all, it IS Sunday) and then I went for lunch. Coffee, toast and porridge.

The plan was that if the weather warmed up I was going to go outside and play with Caliburn after lunch. It was indeed warmer – we had a balmy 3°C outside – but it was gusting gale-force winds and it was teeming with rain. So I abandoned that idea for today. Instead I paired off the music fr the radio programme that I’ll be hopefully preparing tomorrow.

With it being Sunday, it’s pizza day today. There was no dough left over so I made another batch this afternoon and it ended up being quite a good mix too. Nice and smooth.

The dough was split into 3 lumps and two lots were put in the freezer. The third I put on the pizza tray, assembled it and when it was tea-time I baked it.

Delicious it was too. How I’ve missed not having a pizza this last few months.

Now it’s bedtime. Nice and early too because it’s an 06:00 start. But I better had feel better about it than I do right now. I can’t seem to get my motivation going for some reason – the story of my life these days – and I have to do better.

After all, let’s face it – I can’t be doing much worse.

Sunday 18th September 2022 – THERE’S A NEW …

br905622 cotes de la manche port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022 … kid in town today. Or new boat in the harbour, something like that. Someone whom we haven’t see before.

Her registration number begins with “BR” so that tells me that she comes from Brest down in Finisterre and that’s a long way away from here. Her name is Cotes De La Manche and was launched in 1997. she arrived in port from Antifer at lunchtime today.

She’s not a fishing vessel but an Oceanic Research Ship and travels out and about into the inner ocean monitoring the environment and has been recently involved in research into the effects of the cable that will connect the proposed offshore wind farm near Paimpol to the mainland.

What I was doing during the night was researching into the effects of a rather strange sleep and I’m still not sure about what happened.

It was rather a late night because having done everything that I intended to do, I watched a few films and the like on the internet until about 01:30 when I finally crawled into bed.

What was strange about that was at 08:38 I awoke. and it wasn’t just a brief roll-over or something like that, I was actually wide-awake. There was even a time when I was debating whether or not to raise myself from the dead.

Nevertheless, wiser counsels prevailed and I stayed put. Eventually I went back to sleep and leaving the bed at 11:25 is a much more valid proposition as far as I’m concerned on a Sunday.

After the medication there wasn’t all that much time do do anything until lunchtime. Porridge, cheese on toast and plenty of coffee went down really well. And there’s still some cheese left for tomorrow too

Back in here, I had a listen to the dictaphone to fins out where I’d been during the night. I was back on board a yacht again last night. I had a certain time during which I could be out by I kept on over-running it and being late. Sam said that they reminded her of a pop group whom she’d seen where they had gone on to warm up for the main act when they’d been asked but they stayed on for so long that the main act only had time for 4 numbers. I recalled seeing a group like that as well. I wondered whether she and I had actually been at the same concert.

And then I’d just been in the filthiest office you could imagine. There was oil everywhere and I do mean everywhere. I don’t know how the women working in it could possibly have managed without running away. It was awful. A whole group of us had gone there. I’d met up with Danny Jackson (a taxi proprietor in Crewe whom I used to know). Someone had repaired a hydraulic jack for him and were proudly showing it off. I thought to myself that this jack isn’t going to work. There’s no pressure in the seals for a start. He was outside doing something on a car so I took this jack outside to try to jack up my van. I had BILL BADGER at the time. It started to lift it up and the seals gave out and slid back down again. When I started to jack it up I noticed that one of the rear wheels of the van was in an awful slanting position. I hoped that it was just an effect of it being off the spring rather than something broken or warped, something like that. There were some stuffed animals there as well. I know that he had one so I brought it out to him. He wasn’t paying any attention to it so by the time that I finished I took it back inside. Then he was asking for it and someone said “Eric had one”. I replied “no, that was yours. I brought it out to you but you didn’t want it so I took it back”. He gave me a little lecture about moving his possessions so I thought that it was good that I hadn’t told him about the jack. I was hoping that this animal thing wasn’t going to be covered in oil. It was at that point that we all started to drift home again. I can’t say that I wasn’t happy to leave.

Later on I’d alighted from a bus or train or something and was walking up a hill to some kind of place. There were some people coming up the hill behind me whom I recognised. When I went round the corner and higher up there was a queue of people. I remembered that I’d been on holiday with them once before. They were all ready waiting to sign in at this place and so was I. I could hear them talking. One of them was asking “who shall we invite to come with us?”. They suggested a few names. If they suggested my name, which was unlikely, I’d refuse and tell them “well you’re all far too noisy for me. I’ve come here for the quiet life”.

At some point even later on there was something going on with a sailing ship. Many people including me were of the opinion that all of her rigging and tackle should be replaced because it’s over a certain number of years old. It doesn’t last for ever but the company was exhibiting the ship regardless. Of course people were climbing about in the tackle and if the tackle broke this would cost everyone a lot of money so we couldn’t understand why they weren’t doing it.

That took me up until it was time for me to go out for my afternoon walk

hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And I didn’t even go beyond the threshold of the building before I had to grab hold of the camera.

The cold hand of doom that fell upon me as I left the building was another Nazgul that went flying by. A two-seater Nazgul too, the pilot having picked up a passenger back at the blast-off point in the field by the cemetery.

In fact there were probably a dozen or so Nazguls out there this afternoon having a flutter around. The wind had died down a little from the last couple of days and so it was much safer for them to be up in the air today than it might have been when the gale was blowing.

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And before I even made it right across to the wall, there was a zodiac that I noticed out in the bay.

At first I thought that they might be fishermen but when I enlarged the photo back here later I could see that they were just sitting there, having a concentrated contemplation of the activities that might or might not be going on onshore.

Even more bizarrely, after about 10 minutes they moved off several hundred yards along the coast and stopped again for another contemplation.

No idea what they were up to but it smelt rather fishy to me. However, when you live just a few hundred yards from a Fish Processing Plant, everything seems to smell rather fishy around here.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And eventually I did actually make it over to the wall where I could look down onto the beach.

Quite few people down there this afternoon, although given how nice the weather was this afternoon I was expecting to see many more down there than I actually did.

Of those who were actually down there, some of them were having a little paddle about in the water and some had even gone for a swim in the sea.

This is presumably the swansong of summer, until everyone dresses up as penguins and goes for a run into the sea on Boxing Day.

belle france baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Something else was moving around just off the Ile de Chausey and I’d been keeping an eye on it.

It was large and white and after a couple of minutes of reflection I realised that it was heading my way so I took a photograph of it.

No prozes for guessing who it was. When had a closer look at it I could see that it was in fact Belle France, the newest of the Ile de Chausey ferries, surrounded by all other kinds of water craft.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I’d go for a walk around the medieval city walls today to see what was happening there, so I set off through the crowds of people. It seemed that everyone was up here on the path today instead of down there on the beach.

plat gousset Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022One of the things that I have been saying rather a lot just recently is that with one thing and another, Summer seems to be coming to an end.

Nothing underlines that so much as this photo here. You’ll see that the crown of the diving platform has now been removed from its concrete pillar and the changing cabins on the Plat Gousset have been taken away too.

It’s no surprise that the cabins go into store once the crowds go home and they are no longer required. We’ve seen some terrific storms coming in there in the past and the cabins wouldn’t last long. You’d come back next Summer and find nothing but a pile of matchwood

Nothing else much going on this afternoon down at that end so I pushed on through the wilderness that used to be the Square Maurice Marland on my way home.

philcathane rusa dumper freight quayside port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There’s a lovely pile of freight down on the quayside this afternoon.

A load of dumpers and other stuff presumably destined for a dealer in the Channel Islands are lined up by the fence waiting to be taken away.

Judging by the colours I first thought that they might have been “Kubota” equipment but they seem to be carrying the name of “Rusa”, which as far as I know, is an Indian control equipment company so that doesn’t sound as if it’s correct.

And this was where I suspected that there was something different in the port because I didn’t recognise the array of antennae just to the right.

powered hang glider baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After everything that we had seen yesterday flying around, up to this point we hadn’t seen a single aeroplane here in the vicinity, except for something miles out in the Baie de Granville.

However as I wandered away through the Square we heard the familiar droning of one of our old friends. The red powered hang-glider had been having a run out this afternoon and was now on her way home.

From down here it looked as if there was only one person aboard, so presumably it as simply a training flight or a flight to clock up the hours rather than a run out to see the sights.

refrigerated vans port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022There were however some strange sights to be seen elsewhere around the port.

These two refrigerated vans were parked with their rear doors opened back-to-back with each other as if they were exchanging loads. But with the driver of one of them sitting quietly in his cab, I was obviously missing something.

The last time that we saw a van parked on there with some rather bizarre goings-on around it, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that it ended up in the water. Mind you, it had been there much longer than these two.

Several months longer, in fact.

armoury medieval city walls Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way back home I went a new way, across the lawn behind the church.

Previously I’d seen this little gate and room in a bank of earth built right up to the base of the medieval city walls. This is exactly where I would expect the town’s armoury to be built, where there would be no chance of a stray cannonball striking it.

The construction of the walls began by the English in 1440 during the Hundred Years War, and extended and modified considerably over the next couple of centuries, so I can’t say when this room was constructed.

However by the late 14th Century the use of explosives in artillery was well-established. It wasn’t long afterwards that explosive shells of some primitive description took to the air so some protection to the entry to ensure that a shell didn’t hit it, such as might be provided by the church behind me, would be required.

After lunch I took the last lump of dough out of the freezer and it had been defrosting for a few hours.

later on this afternoon when it had defrosted I kneaded it out and rolled it. They I put it in the pizza tray to proof.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022When it was ready I assembled it, remembering the olives this week, and put it in the oven to cook

It turned out quite nice again, and with not putting quite so many onions on it this week, seemed to taste better too. It goes quite well with fresh tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and olives.

So now that that’s out of the way and I’ve written my notes I’m going to bed. I have a radio programme to do so I need to be up and about early.

It’ll probably take another long, exhausting session to complete it. Sometime between 4-5 hours seems to be par for the course but I wish that it could be done quicker.

And sometime as well I’ll have to think about doing 2 per week as my stock is slowly exhausting itself as I take a week off here and there.

But that’s not this week. I’ll have to make plans for that another time.

Sunday 11th September 2022 – WHILE THIS GUY …

kayak baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022… on his kayak goes paddling by the end of the headland at the Pointe du Roc, I was busy recovering from yesterday.

Far too tired to go to bed, and far too tired to do anything else after my exertions yesterday, it was rather late when I finally went to bed.

For a couple of hours I was having quite a good sleep and then all of the tossing and turning began and the rest of the night was quite disturbed.

If I had had the energy and initiative (both of which are sadly lacking these days) I could have been up and about a lot earlier than 10:45. But then again it IS Sunday and I’m entitled to have one day of lying in bed vegetating.

red powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And as the red powered hang-glider goes gliding by overhead while I was out in the Place d’Armes, I was busy taking my medication and then sitting down to start work.

And work on a Sunday? Yes! Especially when I had a day like yesterday when I didn’t write up my notes.

It took much longer than I ought to have done too, but then again with it being Sunday I wasn’t quite as dedicated as I might otherwise have been. There are always interruptions, one thing leads to another and once you make a start you’ve no idea just how many other things there are.

And this took me up to lunchtime.

It was the usual Sunday breakfast of porridge, toast and plenty of strong black coffee, and a good proportion of my porridge ended up in the bin.

Whyever that would be I have no idea. It’s not like me to leave food that I have made. I usually have a very good idea of how much food I’m able to eat and this was just a usual proportion.

peche a pied pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While these people scramble across the rocks with their equipment for the pèche à pied, I began to deal with the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing.

Having been out all day yesterday I hadn’t paired off the music for Monday’s work and so I sat down to do it after my meal.

The joints went together really well and it sounds quite good. And I’m getting to grips with the idea of intros, and extended the one for Monday’s opening track so that there would be enough time to superimpose the introductory speech.

There was also a good lead-in for the speech from this week’s guest and that impressive as well.

And that took me up to the time for me to go out for my afternoon walk.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The weather was much nicer today – in fact I had the window open again – so there was a good possibility that it would bring out the crowds.

There were plenty of people down there too just as I expected. Plenty of them in the sea too “taking the waters” and that’s quite impressive. We’re approaching the start of Autumn and everything will be cooling down.

The tide was well-out this afternoon – far too far out for people at the Plat Gousset to be taking advantage of it – so it was quite quiet down at that end of the beach. No-one in the water down there unless it was in the tidal swimming pool that I can’t see from here.

ile de chausey baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And you can see just how far out the tide is right now.

We’re used to seeing the marker lights on the rocks at the end of the Ile de Chausey, but it’s rare to see them so far out of the water like this.

It makes quite a contrast from what we are used to seeing when we are looking out from here or going past on a boat.

That will explain the people that we saw just now on the rocks at the end of the Pointe du Roc on their way out for a bit of pèche à pied .

F-GIKI Robin DR.400-120 Dauphin 2+2, chassis number 1931 baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While we were out here on the clifftop there was an aeroplane that had taken off from the airfield.

She’s F-GIKI, a Robin DR.400-120 Dauphin 2+2, chassis number 1931 that is owned by the Aero Club of Granville.

She was picked up on radar at 16:20 just offshore from here, flew over Mont St Michel, deep into Brittany and came back over St Malo, coming back in to land at 17:57.

My photo was timed at 16:17 (adjusted) so that’s probably about right. She must be under the radar just here.

cap frehel brittany Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Taking my life into my hands, I decided to restart my walks down to the end of the headland.

Fighting my way past the crowds, I came in the end to the bunker at the back of the lighthouse where there’s a good view out to sea.

The view out to sea today towards Jersey wasn’t as good as it might have meen but down the coast it was one of the best that we have had. Cap Fréhel was visible with the naked eye today, and even the lighthouse could be identified.

Having clambered up there to the top of the bunker I took a photo, and I’ve not enhanced it at all.

pointe de carolles Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The view down the bay on the other side of the headland was just as good.

The Pointe de Carolles was looking quite beautiful this afternoon. The sun was catching it quite nicely and we could see the houses down there quite clearly. However they aren’t all that far away.

The hotels down at the head of the Baie de Mont St Michel are much farther away but even so, we can see them quite clearly this afternoon as well, in the background just to the right of the Pointe de Carolles.

It’s a shame that we can’t see Mont St Michel from here – that is, not until someone decides to dynamite the headland over there.

cabanon vauban people on bench pointe du roc Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The walk down to the end of the headland was undertaken quite gingerly, sliding about on my gammy leg on the loose gravel and rough surface.

As we have already seen, there was plenty of activity down there with the kayak, the pèche-à-pied and all of the views. And so it’s no surprise that this afternoon there were a few people down there making the most of it.

There’s a woman down there hiding in the bushes but I’ve really no idea what she’s doing, and the knee of someone sunbathing too.

Plenty of people wandering around on the lower path as well enoying the lovely afternoon.

port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Meanwhile, there has been something exciting happening in the inner harbour by the looks of things.

Both od the sailing ships, Marité and Shtandart, have left the port and are out at sea. Marité must have simply gone for a lap around the bay as she did yesterday, because she came back into port at 19:51 this evening.

As for Shtandart, it’s much more difficult to keep track of her. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that she has switched off her AIS beacon and so I’m not able to find out by reference to my radar where she might be.

For all I know, she might even br back in port but it’s dark outside so I won’t be able to see anyway.

Having checked the harbour this afternoon I headed for home.

customs patrol porte st jean Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022And this was something that took me rather by surprise. I’m used to finding police barrages all over the place and even customs barrages. Regular readers of this rubbish in one of its previous guises will recall that I’ve even been caught in a few of them.

But what I don’t understand is why on earth they would want to have a customs barrage underneath the Porte St Jean. It’s not as if they are going to come across too many foreign smugglers there or people driving their cars on red diesel.

In fact the funniest moment that I ever had with a French “flying customs patrol” was back in 2002 when they took ages to set up all of their equipment to check the fuel of a lorry that I was driving, only to find out that it was in fact petrol-engined.

Back here there were the dictaphone notes to transcribe. All of them. There was Hans, Alison, Caroline and me. Caroline was in a wheelchair. We came into a building to go upstairs. Caroline went up first because she was going to bring down Aunt Mary in her wheelchair so that we could go up and visit whoever else was in her apartment. We waited and waited but nothing happened. We went upstairs to the floor, going up the stairs. The lift came back and Caroline exiited pushing the person on a wheelchair. We asked Caroline what had happened. She said that the panel had fallen down and you can’t see the buttons to press. We walked in there and a cupboard in there had fallen over blocking the entrance to the lift properly so we just stood it upright. I went to pull Caroline in and this other wheelchair. I thought that I would be blocked in here so I’d have to go down with them and back up. I stepped out. Caroline asked “how do I get in now?”. Suddenly Hans took her wheelchair, folded it up, stuck it in her hand and pushed them both inside it. Alison looked at Hans and said “I thought that you’d do well living in France”. The lift didn’t move but we were now focusing on getting to this door. Caroline would have to fend for herself to make the lift go downstairs and back up again.

Later I was in a white Ford Transit van driving from Nantwich to Crewe. As we reached Wells Green there was a vehicle in the middle of the road turning right so I passed underneath him on the left. Just as I passed him on the left a Morris Minor Traveller came the other way on my side of the road and hit all down the side of the van. Of course I stopped. Some guy came over who said that he had seen the accident. There was a girl there so he pointed me out to her. I shouted to her to come over. She was shouting some guy’s name. I went over to her and asked her why she wouldn’t come over and talk to me about the accident. She replied “no, I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it” and continued to shout this boy’s name. I said “right, let’s call the police”. I picked up my phone to dial 999 but she ran off up the road towards Nantwich. I ‘phoned the police and told them that I was involved in this accident but the driver had taken flight. They said that they’d be here in a moment.

And then we were in a hotel somewhere. There was a big business meeting taking place. I’d arrived early and was waiting maybe for Alison to show up. People stated arriving, all these upper echelons. I was amazed about how they were behaving, insisting, demanding, peremptory with the staff. One guy whom I noticed was particularly revolting with them. another guy sitting near me who was sprawled out on his chair listening to his music, someone walked past and pulled the plug out of the wall accidentally as they were going past. He was outraged and called on them to come back but they can’t have heard and just carried on walking etc. But he had put his power cable across the aisle so what did he expect? Eventually I noticed that it was approaching 16:00 and we had things to do so I decided to go upstairs which meant disturbing this guy again which wasn’t very popular. There was some stuff on the floor by the seat that I thought was mine so I went to pick it up. he made a scene about it as it was his. eventually I made sure that I had everything I need and began to set off for my room. I was really embarrassed by the behaviour of some of these people checking in at this hotel. It wasn’t a good signal for any of them.

I can’t remember very much about this one. I was with Nerina and I’d gone away early for Christmas. She was saying something along the lines of “you can tell that you’re popular when people waited until after you’d gone to bring in their Christmas gifts for each other”. I replied that that’s not true at all because people give their Christmas gifts around before they themselves go on holiday. There were a couple of people who went on holiday before me who brought in Christmas gifts for everyone including me”. That’s about all that I remember

Finally I was watching the football last night as well. Mike Wilde of Connah’s Quay Nomads took a really quick throw-in down the touchline to one of his players who beat someone and passed inside where one of his team-mates was totally unmarked. He came into goal with a on-on-one situation with the keeper. he pushed the ball past the keeper and then tripped over his own foot. The referee blew his whistle to stop the game. Everyone in the crowd could see quite clearly that there was no penalty because he really did stub his toe in the ground going round a good 3 feet from where the keeper was. We were all bewildered as to why the game had stopped.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Tonight’s pizza was one of the best that I have ever made.

And had I remembered to put the olives on it too, it would have been even better. I shall have to remember to make more like this

After breakfast i’d taken out a lump of frozen dough from the freezer and it had been defrosting all day. After my ginger beer following my walk this afternoon I kneaded it and rolled it out onto the pizza tray where I left it to proof for a while.

When it was ready, I assembled it and put it in the oven to bake, and when it was completely baked it was ready to seat.

Now I’m off to bed. It’s an early start in the morning with a radio programme to prepare. And then I have things to do. It looks as if everything is warming up again.

Sunday 4th September 2022 – AFTER ALL THAT …

… the blasted, flaming, perishing nurse didn’t show up today.

And after I’d made a special effort to fall out of bed at 08:00 this morning, despite the rather late finish yesterday and the bad time that I had during the night.

speedboat buoy baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022So while you admire a few photos of various kinds of nautical life that I saw this afternoon, I’ll explain.

Last night I intended to be in bed by about 23:00 but it was much closer to about midnight when I finally staggered off to bed.

And there I was tossing and turning for much of the night trying my best but failing miserably to go off to sleep.

Mind you, I must have done at some point because there were a few things on the dictaphone – notes of where I’d been during the night on my travels.

zodiac baie de Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022After the medication I came back in here and when I’d eventually awoken (which wasn’t straight away, I’ll promise you) I had a listen to the dictaphone to find where I’d been.

I’d actually awoken with a really vivid sense of having played in goal for Pionsat’s football team for several matches. I really don’t know why but it was such a real feeling. It was hard to explain. We had some kind of team together somewhere in a dream and were looking for reinforcements. I’d heard about some young boy who played in some kind of cup competition as a goalkeeper. When we were putting the team sheet out for the next game a couple of days before hand this boy’s name was on it. I asked what was happening and they said that they’ve signed him up. he was going to sit on the bench for us. As I had to explain to someone that although he’s a good keeper he’s only young. He’ll have plenty of experience and learn quite a lot from just sitting on our bench in case there happens to be an injury. At 16 he has a lot to learn yet. This was when I started to have this feeling about being in goal for Pionsat.

It was actually such a vivid sensation that it took me a good few minutes to come to my senses (such as they are). I really did think that there was actually something in this when I awoke and it took me completely by surprise.

cabin cruiser baie de mont st michel Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022The next three voyages were quite interesting because they were all part and parcel of the same dream. I kept on slipping back into it. And it was another extremely realistic voyage or three as well.

I was with Rosemary and we were discussing the Ukrainians.

And this dream went on and on. We were all in Montreal. I was in the queue for buying something but I can’t remember what now. Their son (whom they don’t have of course) came up to me and asked if I was in a rush to go home. I said “not particularly. Why?”. “How do you fancy a week in Capri?”. I said “I’ll ask you a few questions. One – is it for a nice holiday in the sun?” to which he said “yes”. Then I asked “is your sister going?” to which he said “yes” so I replied “in that case I’m going as well”. We had quite a long chat about that. We all met back up. The father asked where we were but I couldn’t think of the street for a moment. I said “we’re on the south of the Rue St Catherine”. Suddenly I looked around and saw a big hotel and said “yes we’re in Campbell Square”. he picked up the name on an adjoining street and thought that we were in that. I insisted that this was Campbell Square (Place Mark Campbell is actually south of Boulevard Sherbrooke near the eastern end of the island and there’s no hotel there but never mind). I thought “we’d better hurry and organise this trip if we’re going tomorrow. I have to cancel my injection appointment with the nurse. If I cancel that and we decide that we aren’t going”. In the meantime mother and daughter were being rather distant. I couldn’t understand what was happening. When I looked around again the father and the youngest son (which they don’t have) had wandered away for miles. I was trying to find out what was happening here because really we all needed to stick together and book this hotel etc, book this flight and make sure that we were going. It didn’t look as if we were going at the moment and I was confused.

Then back in this dream yet again. A girl and I who had been with the Ukrainians had walked away. They’d gone off somewhere and we were walking past a group of beggars who were trying to entertain someone in the hope of having some money from him. We went past what at first looked like a grassy bank. I had a closer look at it and it was the ruins of a building that had been destroyed in an air raid in the early 1930s. There was a cemetery in the middle of it which I thought must have been the victims but it said something like “a cemetery, late mid-century”. I thought “that can’t be correct”. We carried on walking trying to find out what the Ukrainians were going to do about this idea to go to Italy for a week. We walked into another square and there was this huge magnificent hotel. I said “this is the hotel where we’ll be going to stay before we head off”. She said “there’s been another change of plans now. I heard them talking and it looks as if they’re going to be back home by Saturday so this thing doesn’t look as if it’s going to come off. We have to be careful because we’ll be in the red zone that weekend but if we can return home on Friday i’ve arranged for us to set up the tables presumably for the market stall the following day so this trip isn’t going to happen at all”. I felt extremely disappointed about that.

There’s a large part of this voyage that I’ve left out. Usually, the only things that I leave out are the more gruesome bits and pieces that you really don’t want to read. However today, I’ve left stuff out for another reason completely. If you really want to know the reason why, you’ll have to ask me.

There were a couple of pauses while I was doing that – firstly for breakfast and then for lunch. Yes, I had both today. In fact, going through the fridge yesterday I came across an opened packet of vegan cheese slices about which I had completely forgotten so for breakfast I made myself some cheese on toast.

It was delicious too but I wish that I had remembered to put a few slices of tomato on top.

When I finally finished I spent most of the rest of the afternoon dealing with the photos from Jersey. And once again, more time was spent researching than editing

A few weeks ago Liz and I had chatted about the Rollright Stones – the ancient monument, not the SONG BY “TRAFFIC”. In a Newsgroup that I follow, someone had posted an article about the stones so I sent the link to her and that led to a little chat.

Something else that happened was that I had a little “wobble” and found myself drifting away – the first time for a fortnight. But I think that I won’t count this because after all, it’s Sunday and I did have an early start.

And don’t forget that I did say that I’d go back to bed after the nurse had been. It’s hardly my fault that no-one turned up.

And it goes without saying that I staggered off outside, a little later than usual.

people on beach rue du nord Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Not that I went far. Not the way my leg is feeling right now. I went as usual across the car park to look over the wall and down onto the beach to see the crowds.

And while it’s probably wrong to say “crowds”, there were certainly quite a few people down there right now. My attention was focused though on the ones who were brave enough to take to the water. Good for them.

No neighbours out there to detain me this afternoon so I didn’t have cause to hang around. After a look around out to sea, where there wasn’t much going on for a Sunday, I tried my knee out, found that it hadn’t improved any, and abandoned my plans for a hobble off around the medieval city walls.

masthead flag shtandart port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Instear, I took myself off to the viewpoint overlooking the port and the fish processing plant on the corner of the Boulevard Vaufleury and the Boulevard des 2E et 202E de Ligne

The first thing that I noticed was that Shtandart is still there. It looks as if the port has become a safe haven for her now. All of those who voted for LePen (and there were many more of them than there ought to be around here) must be exerting their influence.

The second thing though is that she has taken down her Russian flag at the masthead. There’s another banner there right now but I really don’t know to what it refers.

The superimposed images are strange. Top left looks roughly like Asia, bottom left roughly like the Middle East, bottom right like Alaska and the Aleutians, but I’m open to suggestions for the top right image. I wonder if they represent areas that Putin intends to occupy.

le styx spirit of conrad capo di fora charles marie port de Granville harbour Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022Chausiaise, Victor Hugo and the trawlers are still there out of shot, and the three boats that we saw yesterday, Le Styx, Spirit of Conrad and Capo di Fora are still there too.

And they’ve now been joined by another yacht that must have come into port after I’d gone back inside yesterday. The blue and white yacht Charles Marie has now come into port. Maybe she has finished her summer season now as well.

There are two other boats in that photo too, a trawler in front of le Styx and a yacht, complete with wind turbine, in front of Spirit of Conrad.

However I have no idea who they are and I have no way of finding out because whoever they are, they don’t have their AIS beacons switched on

grass boulevard vaufleury Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022While I was here I had a look at the grass on the top of the cliff.

That rain that we had has clearly done someone some good because while much of the older grass looks as if it’s definitively gone beyond the possibility of recovery (and I’m not even convinced of that) you can see that there’s plenty of new growth springing up.

It’s not going to take too long before we’ll forget that we have had a drought this summer.

This was as far as I went. With no change at the chantier naval today I decided to head off home and not put too much trust in my knee.

As I said yesterday, I don’t have a great deal of confidence in my knee and it’s all rather worrying.

yellow powered hang glider place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022On the way back home I heard an old familiar rattling up in the sky.

And I had to look long and hard to see who it was because it was so high up and lost in the clouds. I only noticed it when it flew into a gap and sure enough, it turned out to be the yellow powered hang-glider.

And while we’re on the subject of ULMs – as the French call “microlight aricraft” … “well, one of us is” – ed … one of them, not one that we know, went down yesterday morning near Falaise in the Calvados and regrettably both persons on board lost their lives .

Before going out I’d mixed up another load of dough and given it a good going-over.

When I came back it had risen quite nicely so I divided it into 3 and put two portions into the freezer. The third one I rolled out and put in the pizza tray for its second proofing.

vegan pizza place d'armes Granville Manche Normandy France Eric Hall photo September 2022It sprung up like a mushroom too so when it was ready I assembled it and put it in the oven.

Following on from what I said last Sunday I remembered to put it one shelf higher than I usually do and it was actually cooked to perfection. Easily the best one that I’ve ever made and one of the tastiest too.

So now that I’ve finished my notes I’m going to relax for a while and then go off to bed. I have an early start tomorrow – 06:00 in fact – and a radio programme to prepare so I need to be at my best.

What are the odds on the nurse coming along to interrupt me at some point?

But what about last night’s adventures? That football one was certainly bizarre and I can’t believe that I actually had to think about what I’d been doing.

When I was at school I used to play in goal but I never had the height and I was never actually selected to represent the school so thinking that I wasn’t any good, I never kept it up. I just turned out in goal for the odd knock-about side after I left school and played outfield down the left side of the field.

It wasn’t until a good few years later that I discovered that the boy who was n°1 choice in goal at school went on to play for Wycombe Wanderers in the Football League and the boy who was n°2 choice played for Northwich Victoria in the UK’s fifth tier so maybe it was a case that I wasn’t that bad after all. The competition was just too good.

Instead, I ended up keeping wicket for a good-quality club cricket size for a few years until I went off on my travels.

But that voyage with the Ukrainians was interesting too. It’s a shame that I can’t tell all of the story.